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Killer Cook

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Birddog View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17 May 2013 at 18:13
Today I was teaching a class that was not my own about Captain Cook, going over his first voyage. (The children were 8-9 year olds). One child got very angry because she had been told by her normal classroom teacher and her own mother (who was also a teacher at the school, both who are of aboriginal decent) had told her that Captain Cook used to chase aboriginal women and children off cliff tops. The poor dear had a melt down and I had to send her off for support. However many of her class mates agreed with her, and told me their teacher had taught them the same thing. Captain Cook was a murder of natives.

Now I know that Cook had several clashes with natives (a clash with natives finished him off in the end), but I do no know of any Cook inspired slaughters of indigenous peoples.

If anyone can point me towards cases of Cook wantonly killing the natives he encountered, especially Australian Aboriginals, it would be greatly appreciated.       

Edited by Birddog - 17 May 2013 at 18:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2013 at 09:58
I've never heard anything like that either. And Cook's motivation for wanting to chase people off clifftops seems totally absent. He was on a mission to explore, not open a Fritzl bunker.

Wouldn't these children and women, presumably being fleet of foot hunter gatherers with a very good understanding of their home territory, be able to easily evade such hypothetical depredations? The idea of them being maniacally herded toward and driven off a cliff seems rather cartoonish and unlikely.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2013 at 11:19
I can't find any information about it, but I do vaguely remember a particularly bloody conflict between Cook and a Maori tribe in which the Maoris came off worse. I know Cook wasn't adverse to firing muskets at Aborigines, but I am not aware of a death yet alone any massacre in Australia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2013 at 12:03
Cook wrote at one point about the seeming apathy of Australian natives. When sailing into a bay, he spotted some aboriginals in canoes, who barely looked up, at what must have been a most singular sight for them. This contrasts sharply with the reception he received in New Zealand, and in the end, in Hawaii. The cliff story doesn't seem credible, out side of the PC that seems in vogue today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2013 at 13:37
I believe their teachers got their history from "Quigly Down Under".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2013 at 19:24
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

The cliff story doesn't seem credible, out side of the PC that seems in vogue today.

That is true, I have heard of violence towards native people in Australia, and in the Americas, but no where near to that extent in either case. It is strange though, how things change from what really happened to the views of those who analyze the event long after it occurring. Cook was cruel to the Aborigines people, but I highly doubt he drove them off cliffs, that would be down right insane.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2013 at 02:26
Lao Tse, reference your comment: " It is strange though, how things change from what really happened to the views of those who analyze the event long after it occurring."

I doubt there was any serious analysis. Someone saw the movie "Quigly Down Under" and incorporated that into their 'history'.

Not unlike the "No Dogs or Chinese Allowed" signs that supposedly were up in the Park on the Shanghai Bund. Several Hong Kong movies showed such a sign, as it fit their story line, and some Chinese-Americans watching those movies took them for a fact. Obviously they were ignorant of the English love of dogs in their parks, and the fact that foreigners in Shanghai on those days had Chinese "Amas" (if I remember the word) who cared for their children, and would have accompanied any younger ones to the Park.

Can't blame the movies, whose earnings depend upon never letting facts get in the way of a good story.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2013 at 11:48
Originally posted by Lao Tse Lao Tse wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

The cliff story doesn't seem credible, out side of the PC that seems in vogue today.

That is true, I have heard of violence towards native people in Australia, and in the Americas, but no where near to that extent in either case. It is strange though, how things change from what really happened to the views of those who analyze the event long after it occurring. Cook was cruel to the Aborigines people, but I highly doubt he drove them off cliffs, that would be down right insane.
 
You have said a mouthful there LT. History is not a dry academic subject, but a living entity, one continuously remolded by the living, in accordance with contemporary sentiments. Those that were savages yesterday are saints today, and those heroes yesterday, villians today. It can make one's head spin just keeping up.
 
I think there is little doubt that those such as Cook, Vancouver, and others of that time and place thought themselves as bettering mankind, as they saw it. This is in some contrast to some who came before, who were more frankly self-interested. Cook's time saw the very beginnings of the idea of exploration for science and knowledge, rather than for plunder and rapine benefit.
 
What is central today, I think, often determines historical analysis. For example, environmentalism is front and center today, and so many presently try to relate aboriginal peoples relationship to the land as enviromentally sound, as they certainly appeared to have changed it little, in relation to today. We think about environmental limits, so perhaps they did also. An interesting concept, although of course one with no historical backing. It is a case of projection- the here and now onto yesterday.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Woofer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2013 at 01:46
There is no evdience of any such thing. Nationalistic drivel history
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2014 at 12:19
Originally posted by Woofer Woofer wrote:

There is no evdience of any such thing. Nationalistic drivel history
 
Correct, but hardly nationalistic.
 
I'm disappointed at the fact that the teachers may have been of Aboriginal descent.
 
Some Aborigines are just as racially bigoted as the worst white people, and aren't averse to twisting the historical truth.
 
The time is long overdue for Australian children to be properly educated in Aboriginal culture, and the history of white settlement.
 
 
“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”
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