The Lost White Tribes of Australia Part Two: ‘Individuals of an Alien White Race.’ Second Edition A4 full colour 236 pages.
New evidence was uncovered regarding the survivors of both the Vergulde Draeck and the Zuytdorp. Artifacts were found including two with dates: 1807 and 1829. These were discovered in the Kennedy Ranges in WA and were the result of the descendants of the Zuytdorp survivors some of whom travelled inland. The first English explorer to arrive in the Kennedy Ranges was Francis Gregory in 1858. The first English settlers arrived in Western Australia in 1829.
In 1838, Lieutenant George Grey led the first land based expedition into northern Australia where he discovered the northern Kimberley cave paintings. Some of the figures in the rock art resembled Europeans. He also came across natives whom he described as ‘Individuals of an Alien White Race.’
During my research, I came across a large number of examples of rock art that resembled Dutch sailors and European women.
In Victoria, I explored the South-western districts especially Lake Condah and stared in wonderment at the stone houses, large dams and weirs, rock walls and canals all built before the arrival of the British. I wondered if there was a possibility that these structures could have been influenced by Dutch shipwrecked sailors. There was a distinctive Dutch feel about it with the intricate canals, stone houses, weirs, eel traps and tradition of smoked eels. Dutch coins were also found in the region.
At the insistent prompting and help of some of the Warrnambool and Port Fairy residents, I researched the well documented Dutch galliot that had sunk in 1767, three years before the arrival of Cook.
Although I had no doubt that two ships had anchored in Port Fairy Bay, I was in shock when I discovered the reason why the ships called in at Port Fairy. Some of the sailors had smallpox and those who were sick were sent ashore to recuperate. One ship left the bay leaving the second ship ready for when the sailors were well enough to resume their voyage. However, two tragedies occurred. The first: ships sunk in a storm. The second: curious Aboriginals investigating the marooned sailors, contracted smallpox. According to Judy Campbell in her book, ’The Silent Invasion’, approximately 40% of the entire Aboriginal populations in Victoria, NSW, and even Queensland contracted smallpox.
She wrote, ‘Smallpox was the first and worst cause of depopulation in Victoria, and it was the second cause as well… the extinct groups on the Hopkins River… would have been its victims… Between 1780 and 1870 smallpox itself was the major single cause of Aboriginal deaths.
Her view is confirmed by the earliest reports Europeans arriving in two ships arriving in February and October 1803. The reports both confirmed the existence of smallpox in Victoria recording Aboriginal faces deeply pitted from the effects of smallpox.
George Augustus Robinson, who was the Chief Protector of Aboriginals, mentioned an extinct group on the Hopkins River which is east of Warrnambool.
’They died about the time the first white man came, There were not killed by whites but died from disease.’
According to the historian Jan Critchett, the chief locations of the small pox was close to Port Fairy at Moyne Lagoon and on the sand. The Moyne Lagoon is exactly opposite the location of the Dutch shipwreck and the most likely landing place.
What happened to the second ship?
The second ship sailed to NSW stopping at Georges River, Balmoral Beach, and Taree where a European skull was found that was dated before the arrival of the British.
It’s interesting to read what the British historian, James Bennett wrote in 1865.
‘…the Dutch…anchored in Botany bay, and, according to their usual custom, fixed a metal plate, with suitable inscription, on a rock or tree there, to commemorate their visit; and it has also been asserted that Captain Cook, or some of his crew, finding the plate in the possession of the natives, when they landed in 1770, and being desirous or having credit of the first discovery, agreed that nothing should be said of the circumstance.’
The most significant evidence he put forth was the existence of a Dutch map by the Dutch geographer Nicolas Struyck. Dalrymple claimed to have seen a Dutch map that showed the east-coast of Australia before the arrival of Cook.
At Balmoral Beach, (Mosman- Sydney), a 1740 coin was found in the 1940s.
Alexander Dalrymple, who was the British Admiralty hydrographer, wrote not long after Cook’s voyage, that “other nations could so clearly claim the right to antecedent discovery of the coastline, including the part most recently made familiar to the British public as a result of captain Cook’s voyage.’