Domestic Disclosures Letters and the Representation of Cross-Cultural Relations in Early Colonial New South Wales anette bremer In December 1804, the Sydney Gazette published an obituary of James Bath, the first "savage inhabitant [of New South Wales] . . . to be introduced to civil society."1 Fifteen years among the colonists markedly affected the boy; James exhibited a "total change of disposition," he regarded his "sooty kindred" with "abhorrence," evincing an "unconquerable aversion to all of his own colour," and was exemplary in cleanliness, docility, and gratefulness.2 James's obituary does more than recount his life; in telling James's story, the newspaper addresses the question of whether or not the Indigenous people of New South Wales can be Europeanized. Answering favorably, the Sydney Gazette suggests that this "hitherto unserviceable race might in the process of time attach themselves to industry, and become useful in society."3 This is clearly why the newspaper then becomes interested in Reverend Samuel Marsden's young Indigenous adoptee, Tristan, whose story and its circulation in nine other colonial documents is the subject of this essay. Citing the similarities in the manner in which James and Tristan have been reared, the Sydney Gazette forecasts a positive result
Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jul 17, 2007
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