Political History

Constructions of Colonialism: Perspectives on Eliza Fraser's by Ian J. McNiven

By Ian J. McNiven

Probably the most well-known shipwreck sagas of the nineteenth century happened at the tropical coast of north-east Australia. In 1836 "The Stirling fort" used to be wrecked off the Queensland coast and plenty of of the workforce, including the captain's spouse, Eliza Fraser, have been marooned on Fraser Island and held captive via Aboriginal humans. Early money owed symbolize Mrs Fraser as an blameless white sufferer of colonialism and her Aboriginal captors as barbarous savages. those narratives of the white girl and her Aboriginal "captors" impacted considerably on England and the politics of Empire at an early level in Australia's colonial background. this article seriously examines the Eliza Fraser episode by way of bringing jointly an interdisciplinary crew of authors, artists, participants of the Fraser Island Aboriginal neighborhood and lecturers within the components of cultural and women's stories, literature, heritage, anthropology, archaeology, the visible and artistic arts. Essays within the textual content contain feminist analyses of the incident, investigations of textual and visible representations of Aboriginal humans, and concerns of the function performed by means of Eliza Fraser as inventive idea for the humanities. The textual content explores the structures of Empire, colonialism, id, femininity, savagery, "otherness", captivity and survival.

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Additional resources for Constructions of Colonialism: Perspectives on Eliza Fraser's Shipwreck

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On the pretext of taking her to his land on Teewah Beach, where he can catch fish to feed her, he and four of his 'relatives' convey her across the lake in two canoes and walk her across to the beach. Near the end of the track, he leaves her by a 24 Eliza Fraser: an historical record waterhole while he fetches the clothing that Lieutenant Otter has brought for her. To the delight of Otter, who has arrived at the marked spot only half an hour earlier, Graham proudly produces his prize. At this point, two vivid descriptions of Eliza are available, one from Graham and one from Otter.

The death of Brown: The first mate Mr Brown having likewise become too weak to carry wood the natives burnt his legs and back in the most dreadful manner by rubbing them with firebrands. Three days after my husband's death one of the natives put Mr Brown and myself over to the mainland in a canoe - Mr Baxter the second mate being too weak to accompany us. Three or four days after we had crossed, Mr Brown died from the frightful injuries he had undergone. For some days he had been unable to walk as the flesh had fallen from his feet and the bones of his knees protruded through his skin.

Unable to communicate with the women except by signs, Eliza has no way of understanding the social system of which she is now a part. 18 She cannot guess that the physical evidence of her recent childbirth may have caused the men who stripped her of her clothing to leave her with that item of underdress and to abandon her to the care of the women. Accounts of the events that take place at Hook Point grow more melodramatic with each retelling, so it is helpful to start with the account Eliza gave to the Moreton Bay Commandant soon after her rescue, which is direct, detailed, and backed up by other references, 21 Elaine Brown and then note where changes occur.

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