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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47 Responses to Peter FitzSimons (and his committee) open fire on the facts

  1. egg_

    IIRC Maori, another relatively advanced civilisation, didn’t invade Australia because of the local Aborigines’ use of spears as long range weapons, Pirate Pete.

    /noble savages
    /dark excreta

  2. Up The Workers!

    Some people are said to speak through their hat.

    Old Pirate Pete still speaks through Stephen Conjob’s soiled red jocks.

    Every time I see or hear of him, I am convinced of the merits of retaining our system of Constitutional Monarchy for at least another 10 or 20 years.

  3. mundi

    Banks also wrote an account of the landing:

    “where we saw these people, hoping that as they regarded the ships coming in to the bay so little they would as little regard our landing. We were in this however mistaken, for as soon as we aproachd the rocks two of the men came down upon them, each armd with a lance of about 10 feet long and a short stick which he seemd to handle as if it was a machine to throw the lance. They calld to us very loud in a harsh sounding Language of which neither us or Tupia understood a word, shaking their lances and menacing, in all appearance resolvd to dispute our landing to the utmost tho they were but two and we 30 or 40 at least. In this manner we parleyd with them for about a quarter of an hour, they waving to us to be gone, we again signing that we wanted water and that we meant them no harm. “

  4. Tom

    Fitzsimons is a better-known carbon copy of Numbers: an ageing coward consumed with self-hatred writing books that no-one reads about people he loathes who actually DID things.

  5. mundi

    “They remaind resolute so a musquet was fird over them, the Effect of which was that the Youngest of the two dropd a bundle of lances on the rock at the instant in which he heard the report; he however snatchd them up again and both renewd their threats and opposition. A Musquet loaded with small shot was now fird at the Eldest of the two who was about 40 yards from the boat; it struck him on the legs but he minded it very little so another was immediately fird at him; on this he ran up to the house about 100 yards distant and soon returnd with a sheild. In the mean time we had landed on the rock. He immediately threw a lance at us and the young man another which fell among the thickest of us but hurt nobody; 2 more musquets with small shot were then fird at them on which the Eldest threw one more lance and then ran away as did the other. We went up to the houses, in one of which we found the children hid behind the sheild and a peice of bark in one of the houses. We were conscious from the distance the people had been from us when we fird that the shot could have done them no material harm; we therefore resolvd to leave the children on the spot without even opening their shelter. We therefore threw into the house to them some beads, ribbands, cloths etc. as presents and went away. “

  6. Who is this man (FitzSimons) behind the myth?

  7. egg_

    As a side note:
    Thanks for keeping up your assault on the usual suspects, CL.

  8. lotocoti

    You are likewise to observe the Genius, Temper, Disposition and Number of the Natives, if there be any and endeavour by all proper means to cultivate a Friendship and Alliance with them, making them presents of such Trifles as they may Value inviting them to Traffick, and Shewing them every kind of Civility and Regard; taking Care however not to suffer yourself to be surprized by them, but to be always upon your guard against any Accidents.
    Admiralty orders to Lieutenant James Cook.

  9. Infidel Tiger

    Manly was named by Captain Arthur Phillip for the indigenous people living there, stating that “their confidence and manly behaviour made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place”.

    Yes, this sounds exactly like the behaviour of invaders determined to wipe out Aborigines.

    Pity Cook didn’t have something stronger than birdshot in Hawaii.

  10. BrettW

    It was inevitable Australia would be colonised. It was just a matter of by who.

    If the French had staked their claim first would the British have also tried to fight for it. It was only a few years earlier that the British and French were in a major war in India. Clive of India was still there in the 1760’s. The Dutch also made an appearance in India. Or would the British have taken it after defeating Napoleon ?

    If the Spanish then would America have attacked at same time they were in the Phillipines and Cuba in 1898 ?

    How about Bandana man at least acknowledge the British were the best option if a European country was going to colonise a foreign land.

    At least once the British claimed it there were no other European armies landing to fight over it. A lot more Aboriginals would have been killed in such a war as they would have been forced to ally with either side.

    See also Peta Credlins column today.

    One thing we know. There will never be enough apologies or money to make some people happy.

  11. BrettW

    Further to my post above.

    India was a far more valuable place to colonise as it had plenty of useful items that could be traded or taken back to England. Which explains the serious war with the French.

    Australia was pretty much a wilderness when found. It was British exploration, hard work and entrepreneurship that made Australia what it became. How many of the original poor or convict settlers went on to create a good future for themselves ?

    If the Aboriginals had kept running the place as they were they would not have been able to work out how to make an airport for future tourists. Tourists would also be wondering where the taxis and trains were to take them to their hovels / hotels.

  12. Lee

    I take no notice of a literary fraudster, whose first notion after the 9/11 attack was to defend the terrorists’ religion; no criticism of the attack itself.

  13. Bronson

    Pirate Pete could, wouldn’t, can’t get it right. He must have been a pain in the arsenal as student in history, always trying to rewrite it against the facts!

  14. H B Bear

    Pirate Pete and his missus have made their careers on spreading ignorance.

  15. Bruce of Newcastle

    Guys with spears overwhelmed a full regiment of the British Army 109 years later.
    Mayhap Mr FitzSimons could study such history.

  16. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Guys with spears overwhelmed a full regiment of the British Army 109 years later.
    Mayhap Mr FitzSimons could study such history.

    Pay that one…

  17. Diogenes

    BoN,
    But 150 or so, properly prepared held off around 3,000 spear wielders.

  18. Rafe Champion

    The British were massacred by the Zulus at Isandlwana because they were campedin open country with extended lines and the Zulus armed with short stabbing spears could get hand to hand.

    A couple of days later at Rorke’s Drift a handful of Welsh redcoats held off the Zulus by singing and firing with close ranks behind simple barricades. See the movie Zulu.

    Later at the Battle of Blood River a well prepared Boer detachment inside a circle of wagons destroyed a Zuly army with the loss of one man.

  19. Robbo

    Blimey, a piece that links together FitzSimons, Robertson and Adams. All the dickheads lined up in a row but I bet that the egos of that fat blowhard Adams and patronising windbag Robertson would find it irritating in the extreme to be in the same group as FitzSimons. They would look at the Pirate in the same way most would view a freshly backed out dog turd.

  20. Bruce of Newcastle

    But 150 or so, properly prepared held off around 3,000 spear wielders.

    Yep. Good officers. Cook was a good officer too.

  21. Rafe Champion

    The battle of Blood River correction, three wounded. The Zulus with their traditional weapons simply couldn’t do any damage until the got hand to hand. They had a few captured firearms at Rorke’s Drift but clearly didn’t use them effectively.

    The red indians were much more dangerous and so were the Aborigines with throwing spears.

    Early Australians in the bush tended to be in pairs because the Aborigines knew it took 43 second to re-load the common musket in use at the time and a single white man would be history after the first shot unless he had a colleague or a second musket.

  22. Dr Faustus

    Fairly sure that Historian FitzSimmons will also ‘discover’ that Cook carried syphilis, contracted due to porking someone other than Mrs Cook. This will be a major recurring theme, highlighting: lack of self control, infidelity, moral turpitude, hypocrisy, transphobia, climate denialism, and growing insanity – a cartoon gargoyle, thrashing around the Pacific in the name of the British Establishment.

  23. H B Bear

    Pirate Pete should learn some history from Bill “smallpox blankets” Shorten.

  24. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    A couple of days later at Rorke’s Drift a handful of Welsh redcoats held off the Zulus by singing and firing with close ranks behind simple barricades. See the movie Zulu.

    Ummm, Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift were fought on the same date – 22nd January 1879.

  25. John A

    Up The Workers! #3302641, posted on January 26, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Some people are said to speak through their hat.

    Old Pirate Pete still speaks through Stephen Conjob’s soiled red jocks.

    Every time I see or hear of him, I am convinced of the merits of retaining our system of Constitutional Monarchy for at least another 10 or 20 years.

    And to HB Bear, he seems to have already done that.

    Indeed, even with Charles as the prospective monarch. At least he has years of maturity over the bandana’d one (deliberatley not given proper case, “he don’t deserve it” as they say in HMS Pinafore).

  26. John A

    Oops – para sequence reversed in haste.

  27. Not Uh oh

    I recently read Rob Mundle’s book ‘Captain James Cook’ and can thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to know about the great man. Why anyone would need to read Pirate Pete’s stuff is beyond me.

  28. Jock

    I have never bought or owned a Fitzsimmon book. I love history. And if i want to read about it I go to trusted sources and writers. Not hacked out ex footballers.

  29. Professor Fred Lenin

    So it was invasion ? The High Court will have to look at mabo and land rites .Invaders dont give bacl\k land they conquered,those things are given because Australia was Occupied not Invaded and Conquered,so go along with the aboriginal indystry idea ,then scrap land rites and special,treatment for aborigunals of all colours and races
    Who was the stupid pirates adviser ,professor Pommy pascoe ?

  30. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I recently read Rob Mundle’s book ‘Captain James Cook’ and can thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to know about the great man. Why anyone would need to read Pirate Pete’s stuff is beyond me.

    I would highly recommend Rob Mundle’s biography of William Bligh, and his book on Dampier, the Dutch and the West Coast, 150 years before Cook claimed the East Coast. I see no good reason to ever subject my eyeballs to Pirate Pete’s brand of “history.”

  31. Tim Neilson

    The book, which FitzSimons wrote with the help of four researchers

    There should be an investigation under the “misleading and deceptive conduct in trade and commerce” laws about how much bandanna man actually “writes” of these books.

  32. Lee

    Why anyone would need to read Pirate Pete’s stuff is beyond me.

    I was given his book on Gallipoli a few years ago for Christmas (I would never actually buy one of his books) by a couple of very politically misguided relatives.

    Terrible, terrible book on every level.

  33. Gyro Cadiz

    Oh no. Another tome from Fitzie.

    Anyone have any idea who the actual author is?

  34. Some History

    Pirate Pete… an historian?

    Arrrr, matey, that be funny.

  35. Shy Ted

    We went up to the houses, in one of which we found the children hid behind the sheild and a peice of bark in one of the houses.
    Houses! Seems Dark Emu was right. Doesn’t say if they were semis or double-storey Queenslanders. And he failed to say the cars were parked in the driveway or the garage.

  36. Des Deskperson

    I’m also intrigued by his ‘researchers’, what they do and how they are employed. In the campaign against the abolition of the Parallel Importation Rules a couple of years back, Fitz argued that his books deserved the protection of the PIR because they created employment for these people.

    How much does he pay them? Are they ongoing employees or do they work under casual contracts? Do they have secure work or does he just piss them off after each, err, opus is published? Are they unionised? Are they poor arts graduates being exploited? I’ve no evidence for or against those suppositions, but I would like to know.

    Fitz referred to a person of colour as a ‘gorilla’, an inexcusable racist insult. . His open letter to Taniela Topou about the Folau case was classic example of patronising white-splaining, a privileged whitey talking down to a Pacific Islander. Presumably his orthodox opinions and his famous wife have protected him from what would otherwise have ended his career.

  37. Squirrel

    We’ll know the millionaire celebrities are committed to righting the wrongs of the past when they give up the stolen land on which their very, very “des res” homes are built.

  38. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Sir Johnny Franklin, Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen’s Land for a short period of time, before going on to make his name in the wastes of the Canuckistanian Yarctic.

  39. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    We’ll know the millionaire celebrities are committed to righting the wrongs of the past when they give up the stolen land on which their very, very “des res” homes are built.

    Which will be never. In our lifetimes, anyway.

  40. Lee

    I think Peter FitzSimons must have studied at the Bruce Pascoe School of History.

  41. Roger

    Why anyone would need to read Pirate Pete’s stuff is beyond me.

    They are always marked down in my two local bookshops.

    For that reason they may be often bought as gifts, but quite possibly seldom read by the recipients.

  42. Robert

    Fitzsimons is a sad, pathetic simpleton with a cognitive deficit, who churns our prosaic, simplistic text for people who move their lips while reading.
    He zeroed-in on a woman connected to the publishing world, because that’s the only way he was ever going to get published and marketed, then married her.
    Now this elderly bald man with a red bandana and his portly, hyper-botoxed wife wallow in their smugness, counting their money and pontificating to all and sundry from their embodiment of poor education.
    What’s really sad for them is they have no idea what buffoons everyone thinks they are.

  43. The Pirate Pete’s adventures, single handedly routs the British Empire. A ghost writer for Walter Mitty more like it.

  44. Bad Samaritan

    BrettW (11.55am) If no Europeans had ever found the place, then one day in the 1930s or so, it’s probable that a whole bunch of Japanese would’ve arrived….and then totally exterminated the natives….

    “B J Rummel, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii, estimates that between 1937 and 1945, the Japanese military murdered from nearly 3 to over 10 million people, most likely 6 million Chinese, Koreans, Malaysians, Indonesians, Filipinos and Indochinese, among others”

    It’s got me beat why leftists in general, and aborigines / part-aborigines in particular, reckon that Oz and the aborigines woulda had a better time with the Japanese than with the Pommies. Complete extermination and no malarkey about noble savages or any of that crap I’m guessing.

    Seriously, what use would aborigines have been to imperial Japan? What reason would there have been not to wipe them out?

  45. Lee

    I remember a few years ago, an Aboriginal activist bemoaning that Australia was not invaded by the Japanese during WWII.

    If he thinks that the Aborigines would have been better off under wartime Japanese, then he has another think coming.

    The Japanese wouldn’t not have given a fig for them; in all probability they would have been treated even worse than the Asians.

  46. Old Lefty

    AJP Taylor could cut corners and play fast and loose with the evidence at times, and became something of a media tart. But he was at his best a very good and stimulating historian, and far better than our protagonist of the Bandana Republic could ever be.

    He steadfastly refused to use research assistants, whom he called by their proper name as ghost writers.

    I have heard some interesting reports topo of Manning Clark’s exploitation and distortion of the work of his own research assistants – and of rack renting students living in his garage while he denounced our nation of grasping, venal petit bourgeois Philistines.

  47. Old Lefty

    And there is the last work by John Molony, something of an old Labor man but a very fine historian.

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