The Broader Issues
By looking briefly at a few differences between Diary of Ten Years (1884 and 1978) and The Millendon Memoirs two significant issues emerge: one concerns Moore's character and the other relates to the practice of history. The full record of Moore's writing in The Millendon Memoirs reveals an enormously complex man who thought deeply about his place in the world, who believed that the Aboriginal people had been dispossessed from the land, but who also wanted to prosper economically in the Colony by farming this land and retain his status in colonial society. Furthermore, although not discussed here, as there are numerous differences between Diary of Ten Years and The Millendon Memoirs, and particularly since Diary of Ten Years has been so widely used as an authoritative source for information about George Fletcher Moore and the Swan River Colony, the full significance of the differences between these volumes has not been fully realised. Therefore, some revision of the this period may be required.
Regarding the practice of history, this example shows that wherever possible, it is important for researchers to use original material or to check the accuracy of published material. This is not a new idea, but historians, both amateur and professional, need to constantly remind themselves that although original documents can be hard to read and sometimes difficult to access, it is crucial that they do not take shortcuts. This example also highlights the importance of supporting libraries and archives which can preserve original material and ensure that it is accessible in forms such as microfilm.
Page last updated: Tuesday 18 January 2011 by Illona Tobin Asset ID 38823
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