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Title: The Frontier
Contributor(s): Roberts, David (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: In 1831-32 the Australian Agricultural Company laid claim to over half a million acres along the Peel River. The squatters it dislodged, and those who came thereafter, climbed the Moonbi Range and fanned out across the New England Tableland. Others arrived from the coastal valleys in the east. These men commandeered great swathes of land, though to begin with they lived in small, dispersed groups, scratching a habitation amidst the unfamiliar. They acted rapidly, entirely on their own initiative and without the support or permission of colonial administrators. In these early years, frontier New England was insecure, contestable and potentially volatile.For the existing inhabitants, the strangers' arrival was not unannounced. Over a generation or more there had been news from the south, and from across the ranges in the east. Curious and valuable objects had reached the Tableland through extensive and ancient trading networks. These were followed by strange beasts, stolen by convict deserters or strayed from southern herds. Great changes were already underway in New England before the first settlers arrived, as Aboriginal society wrestled with new explanatory frameworks to account for the new phenomena. There were also catastrophic smallpox epidemics. Colonists found on the Tableland an Aboriginal society already deeply wounded, and in a state of tumult and transition.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: High Lean Country: Land, people and memory in New England, p. 98-110
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Place of Publication: Crows Nest, Australia
ISBN: 9781741761092
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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