20 February, 2008

Palm Valley

In 1834 an English newspaper (Leeds Mercury) reported that a secret English expedition had set off from the north coast of Australia heading southward towards Central Australia in 1832. It said that explorers found there a small colony descended from Dutchmen shipwrecked on Australia’s west coast in the early eighteenth century.

Badly as he spoke Dutch, yet I gathered from him a few particulars of a most extraordinary nature; namely, that he belonged to a small community, all as white as himself, he said about three hundred; that they lived in houses enclosed all together within a great wall to defend them from black men; that their fathers came there about one hundred and seventy years ago, as they said, from a distant land across the great sea; and that their ship broke, and eighty men and ten of their sisters (female passengers?) with many things were saved on shore."


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