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Batman's Contract with the Aboriginals



extract and picture from "Australian Pictures" by Howard Willoughby
printed in 1886.



In 1835 Batman says in a despatch to the Governor of Tasmania: "After some time and full explanation, I found eight chiefs amongst them who possessed the whole of the territory near Port Phillip.
Three brothers all of the same name, were the principle chiefs, and two of them, men six feet high, very good-looking; the other not so tall, but stouter.
The chiefs were fine men. After explanation of what my object was, I purchased five large tracts of land from them — about 600,000 acres, more or less — and delivered over to them blankets, knives, looking-glasses, tomahawks, beads, scissors, flour, etc., as payment for the land; and also agreed to give them a tribute or rent yearly.
The parchment the eight chiefs signed this afternoon, delivering to me some of the soil, each of them, as giving me full possession of the tracts of land."

pen drawing of a railway pier in Melbourne

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