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In December 1789, under the orders of the first governor, Arthur Phillip, the British had kidnapped Bennelong in the hope that a captive would both provide intelligence about the population and martial strength of the Eora people and serve as an intermediary in conciliating their affections.
Both men sought to occupy the middle ground between natives and newcomers by mediating and controlling the wants of each side-knowledge of the local environments as well as peaceful interactions on behalf of the early colonists, and for the Aborigines, information about the colonists, food, and material goods (such as metal axes which all of the Gandangara men happened to wear even though few had previously come face to face with Europeans, as well as the red cloth that the Eora people particularly desired).
Lieutenant Dawes (1762-1836) was an English astronomer/surveyor who recorded the language of the indigenous Eora people of Sydney Cove, Australia, in the colonial period.
'Eora people' or 'people from this place' was the generic term that they themselves used to include the Cadigal, Dharug, Kuringgai, Dharawal and other people lived in the city and surrounding areas.
This was the period when the Eora people were largely avoiding contact with the Europeans and when Governor Phillip finally felt obliged to capture one or two in order to teach them English and thereby gain some information about the resources of the interior.
In short: Bennelong walked in two worlds, and was decisive in convincing the Eora people to 'come in' to the settlement in 1790.
Summing up the tenor of race relations of the first twenty-five years of the colony at New South Wales, Alan Atkinson decides that during Arthur Phillip's governorship, from January 1788 until late 1792, cross-cultural relations achieved its "high-water mark." (23) It is correct that the local Eora people "came in" to the colony at this time (a phrase used to describe a short period distinguished by a mixing of black and white).
Macarthur reassures her English correspondent that "we do not in general encourage them [Indigenous people] to come to our houses, as you may conceive there are some circumstances, which make their company by no means desirable." (45) The question of what it is that Macarthur finds offensive in the behavior of the local Eora people is of secondary importance in this letter; the sentiment's significance lies in its attempt to allay metropolitan anxieties over infringements of both proper domesticity and racial boundaries.
He shows that almost all victims of attacks by Eora people were convicts and this thus reduced military retaliation against the Eora people.
But it is framed by his recent discovery that the very area of New South Wales just north of Sydney where he grew up in Anglo-Celtic, middle-class comfort, and where he has spent some important moments of his adult life, was also the site of the formative years of an Aboriginal academic colleague of the same age, Dennis Foley, who lived a culturally rich but tenuous existence there with his family, members of the Gai-mariagal group who are part of the Eora people. For Read, what was particularly unsettling was not so much the realisation that this area, to which he has developed a deep attachment and towards which he feels a sense of ownership, actually belongs (but in a more intrinsic way) to its Aboriginal custodians.