Reimagining unsettlement as a ‘true crime’: Rachel Franks, ‘A True Crime Tale: Re-imagining Governor Arthur’s Proclamation to the Aborigines’, M/C Journal, 18, 6, 2015
Excerpt: Approximately 100 Proclamation Boards (the Board) were introduced by the Lieutenant Governor of the day, George Arthur (after whom Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula is named). The purpose of these Boards was to communicate, via a four-strip pictogram, to the Indigenous peoples of the island colony that all people—black and white—were considered equal under the law. “British Justice would protect” everyone (Morris 84). This is reflected in the narrative of the Boards. The first image presents Indigenous peoples and colonists living peacefully together. The second, and central, image shows “a conciliatory handshake between the British governor and an Aboriginal ‘chief’, highly reminiscent of images found in North America on treaty medals and anti-slavery tokens” (Darian-Smith and Edmonds 4). The third and fourth images depict the repercussions for committing murder, with an Indigenous man hanged for spearing a colonist and a European man also hanged for shooting an Aborigine. Both men executed under “gubernatorial supervision” (Turnbull 53).
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