“I went towards them with five Soldiers, their appearance and numbers I thought very far from friendly. During this time I was informed that a party of them was beating Birt, the Settler, at his farm. I then dispatched Two Soldiers to his assistance. But by this time, a great party was in Camp, and on a proposal from Mr Mountgarrett to fire one of the Carronades to intimidate them, they dispersed.” The key figure in the events was Moore. He had authorized his soldiers to fire, thereby making himself responsible for killing and injuring the Aborigines.
“Risdon Cove – 3rd May 1804” – John Owen
“Tasmanian Aborigines” – Lyndall Ryan
"White Lies - Scott Seymour
I recently received an email from someone who wished to express an alternative view. They have asked that I publish their email as written on the condition I dont reveal their names. I, too, have heard of a similar version so in the interest of both versions of events, I include the text of this email below. I recommend that you, the visitor to this page, do your own research and develop your own views as there are so many unanswered questions about this incident so it's worth checking out as much information as you can find.
“Let me say I served 13.5 years in the Army. I was qualified as an "Expert Marksman" for both rifle and pistol. I have been shooting since I was a boy, up until 2001. More than three decades of shooting experience. I even made my own ammunition and studied ballistics, during that time.
OK, so let us consider the 3 May 1804 incident from the perspective of a soldier. Lieutenant William Moore was a very young man, in his early twenties. Thus, we could conclude he was not very experienced, in life nor military service. Without any proof, we could easily guess the fifteen soldiers, he commanded, were various ages, various levels of military and weapons training, various levels of discipline, various levels of soldierly experience, various levels of marksmanship ability, various abilities to remain calm in crisis. No different from soldiers in armies around the world.
Next consider a modern Remington bolt-action .30-06 rifle, versus the typical Brown Bess musket used by anyone of the 15 soldiers.
A modern rifle has an adjustable sight at the rear of the rifle and a front sight. The modern bolt-action rifle the brass cartridge and bullet can be loaded into the chamber to be fairly reliably discharged. The modern rifle uses an aerodynamically shaped bullet of a specific weight giving a specific trajectory over a specified distance, that would be reasonably repeatable, the bullet travels down a spirally-fluted barrel (lands and grooves) that causes the bullet to spin to give it stability over a great distance, the gunpowder used is specially formulated and exact weight or amount grains would be contained within each brass cartridge. It takes about 4 seconds to load and shoot a modern bolt-action rifle. All of this would make the modern rifle very accurate over a very long distance, maybe 600 yards. The modern rifle weighs not much more than 3.3kg.
The muskets used by the soldiers posted to Risdon Cove, under young Lieutenant William Moore shared none of the features I have described for a modern rifle, thus not very accurate, certainly not out to 600 yards, and were heavier at 4.8kg and took 20 seconds to load and fire.
The musket was not easy to handle nor carry very far, especially running in uneven, hilly forested terrain, especially with its very long barrel.
Considering all that aforementioned information . . . from about 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. when the carronade was heard at Sullivans cove, assume a three hour long battle, between 300 to 600 Aborigines and fifteen soldiers. I am guessing based upon the inaccuracy of the musket, two to four shots would have to be fired to hit a target to wound or possibly kill, if lucky.
Let's consider the mathematics of this. Fifteen soldiers, shooting every twenty seconds for three hours. How many musket balls would that be? Well that would be 10,800 seconds. Divide that by 20 seconds (reloading and firing time for a musket). That would equal 540 discharges per soldier. Multiply that number by 15 soldiers. That would be 8,100 musket balls all over the Risdon Cove area, embedded in trees, laying in and on the ground to be found today. Where is any archaeological evidence supporting this? There is none!
In fact, and in truth, there is no evidence of ten, twenty-five, fifty, one hundred, Aborigines being killed. The only information that can be found is three, Aboriginals, which hardly constitutes a (gasp) "massacre".
The only testimony revisionists rely upon is from Edward White, who claims he witnessed the events, yet there are absolutely no records of him being sent to Tasmania, as a convict. Tasmanian convict records are readily available and verifiable.
The very basis of handing back Tasmania's first settlement is based upon a lie that revisionists base their PhDs and scholarly writings upon, mostly referring to each other, without actually doing any real research or independent thinking.
Where is the evidence of a massacre, 3 May 1804?”
(Name Supplied – Anonymity Requested)
I will leave the end result of what did or did not happen on that day for you, the reader, to investigate and research for yourself.