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Making Sense of Law and Disorder

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This article tells the story of a cross-cultural encounter on a beach at King George's Sound in the south west of Australia in 1826, when Major Edmund Lockyer arrived to establish a British military garrison. The account we have of those early encounters come from the pen of Lockyer, and by taking a close reading of his journal this article attempts to reveal the meanings and context of Aboriginal actions. It also analyses how the Aborigines and the British made sense and subsequently responded to the encounter. Whilst this story is not given iconic status in Australian historiography, it is valuable in opening up a porthole into this contact zone at the moment when precarious relationships were being formed.
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Keywords: Aboriginal Law; Cross-Cultural Encounter; Frontier Violence; Historical Method

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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