By Ian J. McNiven
Essentially the most well-known shipwreck sagas of the nineteenth century happened at the tropical coast of north-east Australia. In 1836 "The Stirling fortress" was once wrecked off the Queensland coast and lots of of the workforce, including the captain's spouse, Eliza Fraser, have been marooned on Fraser Island and held captive by way of Aboriginal humans. Early bills symbolize Mrs Fraser as an blameless white sufferer of colonialism and her Aboriginal captors as barbarous savages. those narratives of the white girl and her Aboriginal "captors" impacted considerably on England and the politics of Empire at an early level in Australia's colonial background. this article severely examines the Eliza Fraser episode via bringing jointly an interdisciplinary crew of authors, artists, contributors of the Fraser Island Aboriginal group and teachers within the components of cultural and women's stories, literature, heritage, anthropology, archaeology, the visible and artistic arts. Essays within the textual content contain feminist analyses of the incident, investigations of textual and visible representations of Aboriginal humans, and issues of the position performed via Eliza Fraser as inventive idea for the humanities. The textual content explores the structures of Empire, colonialism, id, femininity, savagery, "otherness", captivity and survival.
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Additional info for Constructions of Colonialism: Perspectives on Eliza Fraser's Shipwreck
Steele, Brisbane Town in Convict Days: 1824-1842 (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1987), 235. 18 J. Mathew, Two Representative Tribes of Queensland (London: Unwin, 1910), 178. 19 Eliza Fraser 1836 (AONSW SZ976, COD 183). 20 Sydney Gazette, 17 October 1836. 21 Curtis, 79. 22 G. Langevad, Some Original Views Around Kilcoy: Book 1. The Aboriginal Perspective (Queensland: Archaeology Branch, 1982), 83. 23 Charles Otter, 27 August 1836 (AONSW SZ976, COD 183). 24 Otter's first account is part of the AONSW file.
The eastern sections of Cooloola exhibit numerous shell middens eroding from dunes fronting the beach while large sandblows located a kilometre or so inland contain stone artefact scatters complete with microliths. As with Lauer, it seemed obvious to me that the middens were not very old, as many were eroding from dunes that had clearly formed in the last 500 years. 23 My interpretation of inland sandblow sites (stone artefact scatters) 40 Reconstructing Fraser Island's Aboriginal past differed radically from that put forward by Lauer.
In 1994, Sinclair's autobiography Fighting for Fraser Island was published and it too contains much interesting information on the island's past. In Written in Sand it is clear that Williams was most impressed with Lauer's work which he featured in the opening two chapters on traditional Aboriginal lifeways. 29 The high regard Williams had for Lauer is further evidenced by the fact that Lauer wrote the foreword for the book. Despite the just praise for much of Lauer's archaeological research, Written in Sand actually highlights and compounds the chronological limitations of his archaeological research.