Open Access Repository

Notes on the last living Aboriginal of Tasmania


Downloads per month over past year

Barnard, James (1889) Notes on the last living Aboriginal of Tasmania. Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. pp. 60-64.

barnard-notes-l...pdf | Download (295kB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


Some doubts have been cast in Parliament and elsewhere
upon the claim of Fanny (to keep to her pre-nuptial and first
Christian name) to be of the pure blood of her personal
ancestors, but after searching the records, and upon her own
testimony, and from other evidence, there seems to be little
reason to doubt the fact.
It appears, then, that Fanny was born at Flinders Island
in 1834 or 1835, and is now about 55 years of age. Sarah
was the name of her mother, and Eugene that of her father,
and both were undeniably aboriginals. Sarah first lived with
a sealer, and became the mother of four half-caste children;
and was subsequently married to Eugene (native name,
Nicomanie), one of her own people, and had three children,
of whom Fanny is the sole survivor and representative of
the race.
Mr, Stephens asked the writer of the paper not to press
the matter too strongly on the Society. While Parliament
was free to act at its discretion in entertaining a claim, the
Royal Society would not be justified in showing any amiable
weakness in the same direction. If, however, he threw out
a challenge to ethnologists, he ran the risk of depriving
Fanny Smith of what she now enjoyed. He was certain the
paper would be well received, and the writer must not
attribute any failure to discuss it on its merits to any lack
of appreciation.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, Van Diemens Land, VDL, Hobart Town, natural sciences, proceedings, records
Journal or Publication Title: Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 60-64
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Additional Information:

In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania.

Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2012 03:08
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 01:07
Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page