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Aborigines attacking a sailorThe arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788 was an historic moment in itself. The collection also records a number of other events which are today commemorated in place names or which could have had a profound effect on subsequent developments.

The drawings give us an important historic record but they also raise many questions. It is interesting to speculate how much of what we see is a faithful record as was attempted in recording the specimens and how much reflects the imperfection of memory or motive when trying to portray an event.