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"Homes Are Sought for These Children": Locating Adoption within the Australian Stolen Generations Narrative

"Homes Are Sought for These Children": Locating Adoption within the Australian Stolen Generations... "Homes Are Sought for These Children" Locating Adoption within the Australian Stolen Generations Narrative shurlee swain In 1838 a child known as Mathinna was removed from the settlement for the remnant of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people on Flinders Island and taken to Hobart to live in the house of the lieutenant governor. Sir John and Lady Franklin, the historical record recounts, were impressed by her intelligence and wanted to bring her up as a companion to their own daughter. However, when they were recalled to Britain five years later, Mathinna was left behind. Initially sent to the Orphan School, she was later returned to live amongst her people and reputedly died at a young age while under the influence of alcohol.1 Mathinna has been memorialized in art, dance, literature, and children's books primarily as the tragic victim of a failed experiment in the contest between savagery and civilization, but hers is also a story of adoption that encompasses within it much of what would bedevil attempts to adopt Indigenous children in Australia over the next 150 years.2 When James Bonwick, one of the earliest historians of European Tasmania, set out to tell the Mathinna story, claiming as his http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The American Indian Quarterly University of Nebraska Press

"Homes Are Sought for These Children": Locating Adoption within the Australian Stolen Generations Narrative

The American Indian Quarterly , Volume 37 (1) – Jun 2, 2013

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Nebraska Press.
ISSN
1534-1828
Publisher site
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Abstract

"Homes Are Sought for These Children" Locating Adoption within the Australian Stolen Generations Narrative shurlee swain In 1838 a child known as Mathinna was removed from the settlement for the remnant of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people on Flinders Island and taken to Hobart to live in the house of the lieutenant governor. Sir John and Lady Franklin, the historical record recounts, were impressed by her intelligence and wanted to bring her up as a companion to their own daughter. However, when they were recalled to Britain five years later, Mathinna was left behind. Initially sent to the Orphan School, she was later returned to live amongst her people and reputedly died at a young age while under the influence of alcohol.1 Mathinna has been memorialized in art, dance, literature, and children's books primarily as the tragic victim of a failed experiment in the contest between savagery and civilization, but hers is also a story of adoption that encompasses within it much of what would bedevil attempts to adopt Indigenous children in Australia over the next 150 years.2 When James Bonwick, one of the earliest historians of European Tasmania, set out to tell the Mathinna story, claiming as his

Journal

The American Indian QuarterlyUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jun 2, 2013

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