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21 January - John Batman, Australian Explorer

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21 January - John Batman, Australian Explorer

Unread postby Max ADU » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:06 pm

Australian Birthday Today - John Batman, born 21 January 1801, Rosehill NSW – died 6 May 1839, Melbourne Vic,as an Australian grazier, businessman and explorer.

      John Batman.jpg
    Batman was interested in opening up new pastureland and promoting the growth of the colonies, who is best known for his role in the founding of a settlement which became Melbourne and the colony of Victoria.

    In 1821 John (aged 20 years) and brother Henry journeyed to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) to settle on land in the north-east near Ben Lomond.

    December 1825, or early 1826, Batman captured the notorious bushranger called Matthew Brady, resulting in an additional grant of land by the government and became a grazier and also was involved in the slaughter of a Tasmanian Aborigine family group r numbering 60–70 men, women and children in 1829

    He applied for land in the Westernport Bay area of southern Australia, now Victoria, but was not granted any.

    In May 1835, he led a syndicate calling themselves the 'Port Phillip Association' sailed for the mainland in the schooner Rebecca and explored much of .Port Phillip Bay, looking for suitable sites for a settlement.

    On 6 June 1835, he signed a 'treaty' with the Aborigines, giving him free access to almost 250,000 hectares of land for an annual payment of 40 blankets, 30 axes, 100 knives, 50 scissors, 30 mirrors, 200 handkerchiefs, 100 pounds of flour and 6 shirts.

    In August that year, Governor Bourke declared Batman's treaties invalid, and issued a proclamation warning off him and his syndicate as trespassers on crown land.

    Despite the attempts at government intervention, the foundling settlement of Melbourne remained, and flourished.

Batman's place in Australian history is unique for several reasons.
  • He was the first 19th century white to acknowledge that Aborigines owned land.

  • He set out to undertake an annual rental for what was then a reasonable amount of food and goods, rather than buy it from them for a pittance.
  • Further, he is the only native-born Australian to have founded a state capital city.

    Batman and his family settled at what became known as Batman's Hill

    Batman's health quickly declined after 1835 as syphilis had disfigured and crippled him, and he became estranged from his wife and in his last months of his life, Batman was cared for by the local Aborigines
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