1800-1819 : Sources for Aboriginal Studies
Grant's Voyage to Hunter's River
In June 1801 Governor King sent an exploration party to the Hunter's Riverled by Lieutenant Grant and Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson. There mission was to report on "where the most eligible place would be to form a settlement, both with respect to procuring coals and for agricultural purposes". Their report informed the Governor of the alluvial flats as being "a very fit situation for forming a settlement for the cultivation of grain or grazing";. They also reported on the presence of oyster shells along the beaches as well as good quality timber along the river. A small party were left behind to mine the coal at the present site of Newcastle, but due to the misconduct of a commanding officer the small settlement that had been working the seams was abandoned in 1802. Among their reports are observations of Aboriginal people.
Note: When reading the following accounts from Grant's voyage please be aware that they confused the rivers with one another and "regarded the Williams as the main stream and refer to it as the Hunter in their reports. The Hunter upstream from its confluence with the Williams they named the Paterson. Although the confluence of the (present) Paterson and Hunter was shown on their map, they did not explore the Paterson." (From T.M. Perry Australia's First Frontier: The Spread of Settlement in New South Wales 1788 - 1829. Melbourne University Press, 1963 p.56 note 8)
- 14th June 1801. Hunter River. REMARKS, & c., on board His Majesty’s armed surveying vessel, Lady Nelson, in Hunter River, 1801. By LIEUT. GRANT, COMMANDER, H.R.N.S.W., Vol.IV, pp.404 - 409. [Transcription] [Meeting with an elderly native on the 23rd June 1801]
Compare this account with Henry William Hemsworth Huntington's account relating to meeting aboard the Lady Nelson of Budgerie Dick and King Bungaree in June 1801.
- 24th June 1801 - Ensign Barrallier to Governor King. (King Papers) Historical Records of New South Wales, V.4 Ed. by F.M. Bladen Sydney, 1896: 413-414. [Transcription and Translation from the French by Emeritus Professor Ken Dutton] Describes the terrific waves around Nobbys and the entrance to the Harbour. He mentions a map (that is now lost) but that could possibly this one recently located by Doug Lithgow in the State Library of NSW.
- 25th June 1801. Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson to Governor King. (King Papers), H.R.N.S.W., Vol. IV, pp. 414 - 416. [Transcription] [Refers to a native befriended by Barrallier and Grant and brought aboard the Lady Nelson]
- 25th June 1801 - Surgeon Harris to Governor King. (King Papers) Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. IV. Ed. by F.M. Bladen Sydney, 1896: 416-418. [Transcription ] [Notes the shyness of the natives]
- 11th August 1801 Lieut. Colonel Paterson to Governor King (King Papers) Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. IV. Ed. by F.M. Bladen Sydney, 1896: 447-448. [Transcription] includes Lieutenant - Colonel Paterson's Journal and Discoveries at Hunter River Historical Records of New South Wales, V.4 Ed. by F.M. Bladen Sydney, 1896: 448-453. [Sighting natives in the vicinity of Ash Island and later, a canoe]
- 21st November 1801 - Mr M. Mason to Governor King (King papers) Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. IV. Ed. by F.M. Bladen Sydney, 1896: 627-628. [Transcription] [Report of meeting 60-70 natives of peaceful disposition, theft of blankets, drinking of spirits.]
- 11th December 1801 Mr Surveyor Grimes on Hunter's River. Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol .IV. Ed. by F.M. Bladen Sydney, 1896: 634-635. [Transcription ] [Description of the landscape]
- Skottowe, Thomas. The Skottowe manuscript : Thomas Skottowe's select specimens from nature of the birds, animals, & c. & c. of New South Wales / edited, with an introductory essay, by Tim Bonyhady ; natural history consultant: John Calaby ; foreword by Sir David Attenborough. Sydney : David Ell Press : Hordern House, 1988. Drawings by T.R. Browne.
- For a complete set of images from this recently digitised manuscript please visit http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/album/albumView.aspx?acmsID=423725&itemID=824099 [Courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales PICMAN Database]
- Joseph Lycett (c1774/75 - 1828) Newcastle, New South Wales, looking towards Prospect Hill c.1816-1818. [Detail 1] [Detail 2] [Detail 3] A gift by Port Waratah Coal Services to Newcastle Region Art Gallery. Photographed by Bruce Turnbull [Courtesy Newcastle Region Art Gallery]