Inside the Black Line: Three Startling New Documents That Change Everything.
Presentation by Nick Clements
QVMAG – Inveresk
Sunday, 2nd October 2011 Commencing 2.30 pm until 4.30 pm
Public lecture – Northern Tasmania
About the Speaker
Nick was born in rural northern Tasmania, but has lived in Launceston for the past seven years. He currently teaches history, philosophy and Aboriginal studies at the University of Tasmania where he is also completing the final year of his PhD looking at the experiences of both whites and Aborigines during Tasmania’s Black War (1825-31).
Brief Abstract of the Talk
The Black Line, as it came to be called, was Australia’s largest military operation prior to the defence of Darwin in WWII. It cost the Colonial Government half its annual revenue and detained 2,300 men in the field for eight weeks during October and November, 1830. An epic undertaking for an infant Colony like Van Diemen’s Land, the details of the campaign have long been mired in obscurity. Government records which give us a basic idea of the movements and key developments, but what about those who participated in this historic event? Why did they join? What happened day-to-day? What was it like? Until recently, the only sources that spoke to such questions were two brief and embellished accounts by George Lloyd and Jorgen Jorgenson. This was before the discovery of three exciting new sources written by civilian party leaders. In this lecture I examine these tantalising documents in an attempt to come to terms both with what happened on the Line and how it was experienced.