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Early Tasmania by James Backhouse Walker, read before the Royal Society of Tasmania during the Years 1888 to 1899. The story of the first settlement of Tasmania, and of Lieutenant Bowen's little colony at Risdon Cove, has never yet been told, so far as I can discover. West, Fenton, and other authors give meagre, inaccurate, and contradictory particulars. No writer records even the date of Bowen's landing. Mr. Bonwick's researches now, for the first time, enable us to give this missing first chapter of Tasmanian history. James Backhouse Walker (1841-1899), solicitor and historian, was born on 14 October 1841 in Hobart Town, son of George Washington Walker, shopkeeper, and his wife Sarah Benson, daughter of Robert Mather. Educated at the High School, Government Domain, Hobart, and at the Friends School, York, England, he was first employed as junior clerk in the office of T. D. Chapman and later in his father's Hobart Savings Bank.
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