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Photograph - 'Intercolonial Exhibition 1866', Governor Davey's Proclamation to the Aborigines, circa 1866 Document Reg. No: HT 29740

Sepia coloured 'Intercolonial Exhibition 1866' photographic card, depicting Governor Arthur's circa1830 proclamation to the Aborigines, published by Thomas Ellis & Co., photographers, Melbourne. The card is in excellent condition and was donated with a red ink type-written sheet describing the scenes portrayed in the proclamation's four vignettes.

In 1830, small huon pine proclamation boards were produced in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) to promote the desire for peaceful co-existence between Aboriginals and non-indigenous settlers. The drawings were based on those produced by the Surveyor General George Frankland (1800-1838), and reinforced the 1829 proclamations made by Lieutenant Governor George Arthur (1784-1854) in which he declare a state of martial law and prohibited Aboriginals from entering settled areas. The panels are often incorrectly described as Governor Davey's Proclamation, being attributed to Lieutenant Governor Thomas Davey who served in that role between 1813-1817.

Alongside photographic cards of the proclamations, lithographic posters of the panels were also produced for Melbourne's 1866 Intercolonial Exhibition by the office of the Surveyor-General in Tasmania, as a means of attracting visitors to the Exhibition to the Tasmanian Court. While the original print run of lithographs was for 500, it is suspected that a second print run may have been made, as the lithographs were also used at the 1867 Paris Universal Exhibition. Much like the label adhered to the panel in this card, the lithograph posters were incorrectly titled 'Governor Davey's Proclamation to the Aborigines, 1815'.
Sepia-coloured photographic card depicting the early Tasmanian proclamation panel often incorrectly known as Governor Davey's proclamation to the Aborigines, 1815. On the reverse of the card is the monograph of Thomas Ellis & Co., photographers by appointment to the Commissioners of the 1866 Intercolonial Exhibition. There is the mark on the verso upper right corner from where a staple originally held the card and accompanying typed descriptive sheet together.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Margaret Malseed, 2011
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 123 mm (Height), 82 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: aboriginal depictions, photographers, aboriginal history, aboriginal contact, exhibitions melbourne 1865-1879, exhibitions melbourne intercolonial victorian exhibitions 1860-1869, exhibitions melbourne 1853-1866
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: PUBLIC EVENTS
Secondary Classification: Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition 1866
Tertiary Classification: souvenirs
Inscriptions: Front, printed: INTERCOLONIAL EXHIBITION 1866
Back, printed: THOMAS ELLIS & CO./ Photographers/ BY APPOINTMENT/ TO THE COMMISSIONERS/ of the/ Intercolonial Exhibition/ 1866.
Publisher: Thomas Ellis & Co., photographers, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1866


Peter Gilderdale Posted on 08 Jan 2012 2:00 PM
It would be good if you could correct the terminology used in the description of this item. The pictorial postcard did not exist as a category in 1866. This item would have been bought as a photograph to be put into a scrap album, not used postally. Whilst postcards were at this point just being implemented in Germany, they were not being used in Australia, and postcards with pictures on would not become legal until the 1890's.
Breixo Posted on 14 Mar 2014 5:08 PM
The date on the postcard, or whatever the name, can't be properly read and the subsenquently posters did not use 1815 but 1816. So, is it 1815 or 1816?
Shevaun Posted on 04 Nov 2014 3:38 PM
What is more concerning than the use of incorrect terminology surrounding postcards is the continued promotion of propaganda by an 'historical' institution. As is well known, the 'proclamation' was not intended to 'promote peaceful co-existence between Aboriginals and non-indigenous settlers' but was a form of propaganda, aimed at whitewashing the violent history of Tasmania and (then) continuing eradication of Aboriginal people.

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