The Hominins We’ve Been Calling Denisovans Are More Diverse Than Previously Thought, provides a very useful summary of current thinking.
So far the only Denisovan remains that have been found are from a cave in Siberia. But the DNA analysis suggests that their influence was wise spread, with several Denisovan groups.
The significance for New England history and the history of the Australian Aborigines in general is that while we now know that Aboriginal ancestors interacted with the Denisovans we do not know when and where. Had the Denisovans actually reached Sahul, prehistoric Australia, or was the interaction earlier. The second is the current view, in South East Asia.
The further back the dates of human occupation of Sahul are pushed, the more complex the story becomes. At 62,000 years, all things are (I guess) on the table.
Discussions on the history and historiography of Australia's New England
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
May Freame wrote: “Sorry to say the parrots are beginning to pick it too so I don’t know what there will be to harvest when ready." (Sheila Goodyear collection). This is the tenth in a series on Australia's early intelligence activities, the sixth on the life of Harry Freame.
Our understanding of post natal depression is quite recent.
After the birth of their son, May Freame seems to have become quite depressed. Finally, it became imperative for May to return to England and her mother.
Harry pleaded with her to stay, to wait until the following year when he might be able to go with her, but May needed mother and home.
On 2 July 1922 May, along with seven months old baby Harry and mother’s-help Josephine Clarke, sailed for England on board the Benalla. The Freames had found the money to hire Josephine, although it must have been a battle given that they were still trying to establish the farm.
Harry was now alone and would be for the next fourteen months. He missed his family. “I haven’t has the pleasure of watching my little man …. changing out of babyhood to a little boyhood” he wrote to May’s family in England.
Harry threw himself into developing their little 43 acre block. He also continued to play an active role in the developing Kentucky community, trying to build the social infrastructure and facilities necessary for the community to prosper.
This series was triggered by Harry’s colourful life and his role as spy. However, looking at this part of our story, I think that his community life was just as important.
Harry was seeking to establish a stable place for himself and his family, an acceptance as a part Japanese Australian whose own life was complicated, into a new world where he and his family had a secure place.
Despite the sadness that is coming, I think that Harry achieved that.
On 28 August 1923, May sailed from London for Australia, accompanied by Josephine and Harry Jnr. Her mother was worried about her silent moods, although sister Emily though that she was much better.
The party arrived back in Kentucky on 9 October 1923, an event duly recorded in the Uralla Times. Josephine remained with the family as housekeeper.
May seems to have slotted back into the rhythms of life on the Kentucky Settlement.
It had been a bad winter, one that forced some of the settlers off the land. Harry was active on his block and in social, church and Settlement activities. We know this from the Uralla Times whose short Kentucky reports frequently mention Harry.
My fancy was especially tickled by a report (29 November 1923) on a Uralla Cricket Club Social. There we learn that the Kentucky Sausage King (Mr H Freame) won the prize for the most original fancy dress costume!
I wonder what it looked like?
Note to readers: This post appeared as a column in the Armidale Express Extra on 17 April 2019. I am repeating the columns here with a lag because they are not all on line outside subscription. You can see all the Belshaw World and History Revisited/History Matters columns by clicking here for 2009, here for 2010, here for 2011, here for 2012, here for 2013, here for 2014, here for 2015, here for 2016, here 2017, here 2018, here 2019
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Kentucky, May 1922: Possibly Harry Jnrs christening. Reverend George Comie, Miss J. Clark with Harry, May and baby Henry.This is the ninth in a series on Australia's early intelligence activities, the fifth on the life of Harry Freame.
A 1950s older Australian had been through much. They or their parents had experienced the economic crash of the 1890s, the Federation drought, the First World War, the Great Depression and then the Second World War.
Families had been torn apart, hopes destroyed, as brief periods of calm, of prosperity, were followed by further catastrophes. No Australian family, locally born or part of the new post war immigration intake, had been spared.
The 1950s marked the start of the longest period of relative peace and prosperity that Australia had seen in more than sixty years. Perhaps it’s not surprising that many now wrap that time in the haze of nostalgia.
I mention this now because the story we are exploring of the development of Australia’s intelligence services in general, the story of Harry Freame in particular, was bookended by two great wars with a depression in the middle.
In April 1921, May Freame wrote to her bother in sister-in-law in Failsworth in the UK. It’s a long newsy letter, full of local Kentucky detail.
The couple seemed happy. Henry (the family always called Harry Henry) was working hard, as indeed he would do all his life.
While the potato price had been low for the latest crop, Henry had avoided going into debt as so many of the Settler families had had to do. He was worried that he would not be able to pay for May to go home for a visit as promised.
“I tell him not to worry”, May wrote, “we cannot order things just as we would like.” She went on: “I consider there is still hope & will not worry about it. I have only been here two years & the promise was in five years.”
In the midst of local activities, May is clearly missing some of the routines of home and especially church.
Since Minister Comie left they had not even had the regular monthly church services. Still, another minister had been given the Call and May hoped that he might accept.
It is clear from May’s letter and the irregular reports in the Uralla Times that Harry was building a life not just for his family but for the local community and his family in that community.
In December 1921, May gave birth to their son, Henry Wykeham Freame, always known as Harry within the family. This happy event marked the start of a new set of troubles.
Note to readers: This post appeared as a column in the Armidale Express Extra on 10 April 2019. I am repeating the columns here with a lag because they are not all on line outside subscription. You can see all the Belshaw World and History Revisited/History Matters columns by clicking here for 2009, here for 2010, here for 2011, here for 2012, here for 2013, here for 2014, here for 2015, here for 2016, here 2017, here 2018, here 2019
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Kentucky Soldier Settlement block: Settlers had to build homes and develop their blocks with limited resources.This is the eighth in a series on Australia's early intelligence activities, the fourth on the life of Harry Freame.
The idea of soldier settlement, the settling of returned soldiers on the land, emerged quite early during World War One. It was a way of rewarding returned soldiers that fitted with the desire for closer settlement.
South Australia acted first, passing legislation in 1915. In February 1916, Australian Governments agreed to establish a national scheme under which the Commonwealth would select and acquire land, while the States would process applications and grant land allotments.
Later in 1916, NSW passed the Returned Soldiers Settlement Act in 1916.
Land was to be made available to the soldiers on affordable terms and they could receive advances of money to make improvements to the land, which was often in poor condition. They could also use the money for equipment, plants, stock and seeds.
It was quite a complex process. Land had to be acquired, broken into blocks and then allocated. The blocks were generally small with the intention of creating smaller scale farming such as horticulture, poultry, dairying or piggeries.
Many of the new farmers had no direct experience and little capital. They had to build houses, develop their land and create new communities.
Government managers were appointed to coordinate the process, organize facilities and training. Government stores and post offices were created to support the settler endeavours.
By July 1924, there were 6,448 farms covering 8.1 million acres. Half of the new settlers would fail, driven down by work and debt.
Harry Freame was an early applicant for the scheme. On 20 November 1916, the day he was officially discharged from the Army, he was awarded a 40 acre block.
Development of the Kentucky Soldier Settlement began in 1918 on land acquired from Kentucky Station. As with other settlements, everything had to be created from scratch.
It is not clear when Harry actually moved to Kentucky, although late 1919 or early 1920 seems the most likely date. There he became Government storekeeper and postmaster. This gave him an income at the same time as he began development of his block.
Around April 1919, May joined her husband in Australia.
They had married in July 1906 but had never really lived together. First Harry was away at sea and then came the War. During this time May seems to have lived at home with her family.
Now after almost thirteen years of marriage, they were creating their first household in what was, for May, a strange place far away from home.
Note to readers: This post appeared as a column in the Armidale Express Extra on 3 April 2019. I am repeating the columns here with a lag because they are not all on line outside subscription. You can see all the Belshaw World and History Revisited/History Matters columns by clicking here for 2009, here for 2010, here for 2011, here for 2012, here for 2013, here for 2014, here for 2015, here for 2016, here 2017, here 2018, here 2019