Notebook: 'XVII Aborigines of Tasmania, Various MSS. H. Ling Roth'

Scope and Content

Notebook titled 'XVII Aborigines of Tasmania, Various MSS. H. Ling Roth'

pp.3-13, are James Backhouse Walker's notes of James Bonwick's Daily life of Tasmanians (1870).

pp.15-21, Walker's notes offering his opinions on those who have written about the Aboriginal Tasmanians including George Augustus Robinson, Robert Thirkell, R H Davies, James Scott, George Lloyd, Joseph Milligan , Thomas Dove, James Calder, James Kelly, James Backhouse, James Bonwick, Hugh Munro Hull and the "French navigators"

p.23 Notes on bibliographic sources and various drawings of Tasmania.

p.25, 27, 29 Copy letter to J B Walker 21 Sep [1897] concerning Beattie's letter about Aboriginal uses of round stones; Roth also comments unfavourably on Bonwick's work.

p.31 Letters from James Bonwick to Roth, 18 Sep 1897 and 4 Feb 1898.

p.33 Letter from Herman Ritz to Roth, 10 Dec 1909 concerning research on the Tasmanian and Australian aboriginal languages; not yet ready to publish; his view is Tasmanian is characteristic of the most primitive languages. He has also been translating Fanny Smith's songs. Considers his options for publishing.

p.35 Extract from J W Beattie's diary, 29 August 1896, "Stone implements", reports a manuscript describing an aboriginal attack on a shepherd's hut in 1834. Rayner's report of an attack near Hamilton, and the report of Plenty quarry. [see HLR/2/6]

p.36 Rushing stone implements.

p.37 Letter from William Bidgood to Roth 14 Nov 1899, describing the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society's collection of Tasmanian stone implements.

p.39 Copy letter to Sir John Evans 21 Sep 1897, concerning James Bonwick, and his unreliable claims that Tasmanians had sacred stones [annotated "no reply received"].

p.41 Copy of a letter from G I Rayner to J B Walker, 20 April 1898, concerning Aboriginal uses of stones (Rayner was an associate of Walker and Beattie, see HLR/1/2/9 and 1/2/10).

p.43 Letter from W F Petterd to Roth, 19 Jun 1899, providing further information on Aboriginal methods of making fire using "fire sticks".

p.45 J Henry Balfour, notes on firesticks and kelp baskets, dated 1898 [Balfour 1863-1939 was curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford].