J W Beattie Correspondence

Scope and Content

Beattie's letters particularly relate to Fanny Cochrane Smith (1834-1905), and her status as an Aboriginal Tasmanian. Beattie's brother had obtained photographs of Smith and a lock of her hair, which Roth used for his paper "Mrs Fanny Cochrane Smith not a 'last living Aboriginal of Tasmania'" Journal of the Anthropological Institute February 1898. All Beattie's letters are dated at Hobart, Tasmania.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Watt Beattie (1859-1930) was an antiquarian and photographer, renowned for his photographic studies of Tasmania. He was appointed Tasmania's official photographer in 1896. Beattie also established a museum of Tasmanian art and artefacts, which included much Aboriginal material. In 1927 the Launceston Corporation paid £4500 for much of this collection, which remains in the Queen Victoria Museum.

Beattie supplied photographs to Roth of Aboriginal quarries, stone implements held at Tasmanian Museum and provided copies of photographs of the Aboriginal Tasmanians, Wapperty and Bessy Clark (facing p.9), Patty and William Lanne (facing p.1) taken by Charles Alfred Woolley. He also helped procure photographs of Fanny Cochrane Smith through his brother.