Return of Mr. Batman

The Hobart Town Courier

26 June 1835

The return of Mr. Batman from his expedition to Port Phillip with the favourable result of his interview with the aborigines there, has, we learn, induced above a dozen of our most wealthy and influential capitalists both here and at Launceston to join him in the enterprise.

As far as placing sheep on that fine pastoral country, and bringing it for the first time into a productive state, and of which this colony will mainly reap the benefit, we cannot but applaud the measure.

The spirited individuals who embark in it will not only explore and bring into use the resources of a hitherto almost unknown country, but the compact which Mr. Batman has so wisely made with the original owners of the soil must to a great extent, if fairly observed by the whites, have the most happy effect in maintaining an amicable intercourse between the graziers and their black associates.

Happy had it been for Van Diemen's Land if the same step had been taken with the aborigines of it on its first settlement by the English.

But how far this arrangement will guarantee the ultimate possession of the soil to Mr. Batman & his partners is a question on which we do not wish for the present, at least, to offer an opinion.

At all events, if the crown, upon forming any establishment there, should assert its right, and insist on a return for ensuring the quiet possession of the country under the enjoyment of British law, rights, and privileges, it will of necessity, at the same time, recognise its right and bounden duty to protect and preserve the aborigines of the same territory, and will not fail to do what has never yet been done, open the coffers of the Home Treasury, in the blessed work of teaching, civilising, and supporting them.