Invasion Day

With Matthew Flinders in the news and Australia Day again raising discussion of colonial history, I'm reminded of the advice proffered by the French Commodore Baudin

As he set sail to also circumnavigate our continent, he wrote to Governor King in 1802 and used fairly strong diplomatic language:

"If you would reflect on the conduct of the natives since you first settled on their territory, you will see that the distance they keep from you and from your customs was brought about by the idea they formed of the men who wished to live with them. In spite of your precautions and the punishments you dealt out to those who mistreated them, they were able to discern your future projects, but, being too weak to resist you, the fear of your weapons has made them leave their land, so that the hope of seeing them mix among you is lost, and you will soon be left the peaceful possessors of their birthright, as the small number of them living around you will not last for long."