Making Off

Charles FRASER, an old friend of John OXLEY, arrived at Point Amity in June 1828 to ‘make off’ with things from the Quandamooka in the company of Alan CUNNINGHAM and Patrick LOGAN.  FRASER, OXLEY and CUNNINGHAM were able to ignore their own ‘desire to possess’, and to ‘make off’ with things, while judging Traditional Owners to be thieves.

 

‘I had no desire to hold communication with them, having had full proof of their desire to possess everything they see and making off with what they can secure without the ceremony of asking leave’

[Oxley’s 1824 field notes]

Here are a few quotes from John Oxley’s 1823 visit to Quandamooka and Maiwar (which he re-named the Brisbane River).

The wood will probably prove a valuable acquisition to the colony, it being well calculated for ship’s spars

Found plenty of cypress of large and useful dimensions

Specimens of two new species we procured

The country on either side (of the river) of a A very Superior description and equally well adapted for cultivation or grazing,  the timber abundant and fit for all the purposes of domestic use or exportation.

 The Pine trees, if they should prove of good quality, were of a Scantling (i.e. size) Sufficient for the topmasts of large ships…

The River, which, out of respect to His Excellency the Governor under whose orders this Bay was examined, was now honoured with the name of Brisbane River

We sanguinely anticipated the most beneficial consequences as likely to result to the Colony by the formation of a Settlement on its Banks.

 There is plenty of fresh water in the Vicinity of Point Skirmish close to the beach;

 Although the soil is poor and Sandy, the country is covered in good timber…It may be procured of considerable size, readily shipped, and appears well adapted to most of the purposes connected with building.

 Should it be deemed expedient to establish a Settlement in Moreton Bay, the Country in the vicinity of Red Cliff Point offers the best Site for an establishment

 The Country on the Banks appeared to be good and abounded in useful timber

Oxley’s words provide an apt description of his own desire to possess everything he could see – Quandamooka Country, Jaggera and Turrabul Country.

I had no desire to communicate, having had full proof of their desire to possess everything they see and making off with what they can secure without the ceremony of asking leave

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