Soon after he landed with the First Fleet in 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip decided he ought to get to know his neighbours, the Aborigines.
He liked the look of the ones he’d seen around North Head. He’d even named the area Manly, after the manly specimens of the species that camped there. So Phillip kidnapped a gentleman called Arabanoo and took him back to Sydney Cove. It was the sort of thing governors did in the days before pesky human rights commissions made it all more complicated.
All went swimmingly for a while. Arabanoo learned English and taught the new arrivals some of his Cadigal language. But a year later Arabanoo died in a smallpox outbreak, and Phillip himself was speared (not fatally) at Spring Cove, just round the corner from Manly. Continue reading