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‘Me Write Myself’: The Free Aboriginal Inhabitants of Van Diemen’s Land at Wybalenna, 1832–47


Taylor, Rebe Tess Ida, Me Write Myself': The Free Aboriginal Inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land at Wybalenna, 1832-47, Archives and Manuscripts, (March 2019) pp. 1-3. ISSN 0157-6895 (2019) [Review Single Work]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/01576895.2018.1560834


Tasmanian history, and Tasmanian Aboriginal history in particular, has a uniquely long and unbroken tradition of research and writing. Historians began to reflect on Tasmania’s frontier war even as it drew to a close in the 1830s and they have continued ever since. The topic has stirred intense debate and more than half a dozen new publications since the turn of this century. Stevens, an established writer of fiction, has thus chosen for her first book of history a much-studied subject. But she has nonetheless found an area of Tasmanian Aboriginal history that has received less attention. Me Write Myself recounts the years immediately after Tasmania’s frontier wars, from 1832–48, when almost all the Tasmanian Aborigines were living in exile in the Wybalenna Aboriginal Establishment on Flinders Island in Bass Strait. Moreover, Stevens turns her focus to a largely overlooked set of records, the texts written by the exiles: the regular contributions they wrote to the Flinders Island Chronicle; their sermons, their correspondence to colonial officials and, significantly, their petitions to the Crown, seeking recognition of their rights.

Item Details

Item Type:Review Single Work
Keywords:Tasmania, history, Aboriginal, archives
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Taylor, Rebe Tess Ida (Dr Rebe Taylor)
ID Code:131569
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:College Office - CALE
Deposited On:2019-03-22
Last Modified:2020-02-11

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