It is ‘a matter of History and mentioned in several authoritative writings’: Reminiscing ‘the line’ in Tasmania’s ‘Black War’, c. 1830-1916
Brodie, ND, It is a matter of History and mentioned in several authoritative writings': Reminiscing the line' in Tasmania's Black War', c. 1830-1916, Tasmanian Historical Studies, 20 pp. 41-63. ISSN 1324-048X (2015) [Refereed Article]
In January 1916, as part of what by his own account was 'a tour of Tasmania in search of Australiana', the Sydney-based barrister John A Ferguson was invited to the house of Mrs M E Emmett 'to inspect a Ms. "History of the Black War" waged by [Lieutenant-]Governor Arthur upon the Aboriginals.' Ferguson bought this manuscript from Mrs Emmett, which she mailed to him in Sydney in February. Mrs Emmett also appended a two-page history of the Emmett family in Van Diemen's Land that Ferguson had asked her to write to complement the manuscript. Mrs Emmett also included a photograph of her father-in-law, Henry James Emmett, the ostensible subject and source of the manuscript, labelling him as 'Commander of The Black War party'. Recounting the Emmett family story, Mrs Emmett commenced with their arrival in Van Diemen's Land in 1819, before then mentioning in brief the marriages, movements, and locations of a number of Emmett's sons throughout Van Diemen's Land and Victoria. She mentioned nothing of the manuscript or conflict with Aborigines. Nonetheless her account ended with an interesting parallel to the manuscript, written in the same distinct handwriting that had labelled her father-in-law's connection to 'The Black War'. Mrs Emmett closed her account by noting the family was widely spread across 'various parts, and the family is well represented in the present war, a few of them already have given their lives for their King and Country.'