'The singular transcultural space': networks of ships, mariners, voyagers and 'native' men at sea, 1790-1870

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This chapter examines the lives of three Aboriginal men who joined the international network of whalers. It explores the impact that the travel had on Indigenous peoples and cultures, and offers an alternate reading of the complexity of the processes of colonialism. The chapter aims to create a sense of the lives of these Aboriginal mariners, their motivations and experiences. The settlement of Australia was facilitated, at least in part, by the American War of Independence and the loss of America as a site for the transportation of convicts. The newly federated Australian Government passed into law the 'White Ocean Policy', which stated that no shipping company employing black labour would be permitted to carry Australian mail. Henry Whalley had moved beyond the category half-caste and entered the transnational and transcultural world of the 'mariner'. The transnational crew held a funeral, and a crewman known as a cock-ney of 'Lunnon town' read the burial service.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndigenous Networks
Subtitle of host publicationMobility, Connections and Exchange
EditorsJane Carey, Jane Lydon
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780415730426
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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