Peter FitzSimons (and his committee) open fire on the facts
It wouldn’t be Australia Day without the ‘author’ drumming up sales for another one of ‘his’ books …
How Captain Cook SHOT an Aborigine from boat before he’d even set foot on Australian soil.
The book, which FitzSimons wrote with the help of four researchers, sets out to reveal the ‘real’ James Cook. It promises to show the man behind the myth.”
In fact, Cook fired harmless birdshot (self-protectively) at two belligerents armed with a “bundle” of spears.
SUNDAY 29th. In the PM winds southerly clear weather with which we stood into the bay and Anchor’d under the South shore about a Mile within the entrance in 6 fathoms water, the south point bearing SE and the north point East. Saw as we came in on both points of the bay Several of the natives and a few hutts, Men, women and children on the south shore abreast of the Ship, to which place I went in the boats in hopes of speaking with them accompaned by Mr Banks Dr Solander and Tupia; as we approached the shore they all made off except two Men who seemd resolved to oppose our landing. As soon as I saw this I orderd the boats to lay upon their oars in order to speake to them but this was to little purpose for neither us not Tupia could understand one word they said. We then threw them some nails beeds [etc] a shore which they took up and seem’d not ill pleased in so much at that I thout that they beckon’d to us to come a shore; but in this we were mistaken, for as soon as we put the boat in they again came to oppose us upon which I fired a musket between the two which had no other effect than to make them retire back where bundles of thier darts lay, and one of them took up a stone and threw at us which caused my fireing a second Musquet load with small shott, and altho some of the shott struck the man yet it had no other effect than to make him lay hold of a Shield or target to defend himself. Emmidiatly after this we landed which we had no sooner done than they throw’d two darts at us, this obliged me to fire a third shott soon after which they both made off, but not in such haste but what we might have taken one, but Mr Banks being of opinion that the darts were poisoned, made me cautious how I advanced into the woods.
Journal of James Cook
Cook’s intentions were clear: to ‘speak’ peaceably with the natives, two of whom were ready to kill one or more of the landing party; they were at least making a show of threatening to do so. From a tactical standpoint, being exposed in an open, rocking boat to spears thrown expertly from land placed Cook and his men at a dangerous disadvantage. It is highly probable that had Cook not established in the Aborigines’ minds the sting of his own mysterious weapons – but proceeded to the beach in the hope of parleying at the waterline – he and his party would have been massacred. He showed great restraint in the circumstances – as, in their own way, did the two Aborigines. Note well that the Daily Mail “exclusive” includes a photograph of the Gweagal Shield, a fascinating object about whose provenance Geoffrey Robertson QC and Phillip Adams have fabricated a politically charged version. Keith Windschuttle debunked their nonsense earlier this month.
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