we two were talking about who should be first.1
—Patyegarang to Dawes, late 1791(?)
In January 1788 William Dawes came to Botany Bay with the First Fleet Marines. For most of the intervening years until now, he has missed out on close historical attention because his papers were presumed destroyed by family neglect and a hurricane in Antigua during the nineteenth century. But he came back into view in 1972, when a pair of slender ‘language notebooks’—eighty small pages of limber handwriting—were discovered at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.2 In recent times Dawes and the indigenous people he encountered have loomed into brighter awareness, enhanced by the screening of the SBS television series First Australians and the publication of Kate Grenville’s novel The Lieutenant.
The language notebooks are a crucial relic of the first four years of British colonisation in Australia, demonstrating not only Dawes’ intellect but equally the bold wit of the native speakers with whom he conversed. Fragments of an unfinished heuristic, Dawes’ inscriptions have a prismatic quality. They generate multiple insights that reflect and refract in the mind of the reader, giving glimpses into vast philosophical tenets and momentous changes in societies and individuals. Bafflement abides in the notebooks too, affording the reader plenty of wonder.
In a couple of senses, this notion of ‘affordance’ is the motor of my essay. First, the notebooks afford us a means of knowing more about the ideas and emotions that were generated between the incursive and the Indigenous cultures at Sydney Cove. Second, we can work with the notebooks to understand the affordances and insufficiencies of whatever literary genre a writer might use for extracting the richness in the traces that Dawes left behind.
No matter which literary form is chosen—be it a nineteenth-century style of novel, a theatrical performance, a soundscape constructed from recorded voices, or an essay indebted to Michel de Montaigne, for instance—each mode will stimulate a different set of insights and feelings. In particular, my curiosity about the efficacy of various literary modes has strengthened now that two Dawes-inspired novels have been issued—Grenville’s and one from 1995 called Promised Lands by Jane Rogers. After pondering the Dawes material for fifteen years now, and having read the fictions inspired by them in the meantime, I can’t shake the conviction that a well-made novel must obscure the most puzzling and provocative elements in the notebooks. This is because a novelist typically deploys a long narrative arc to bring principal characters into vivid focus and the reader is encouraged to appreciate every character as an entity who is complete and singular in a represented world that tends towards resolution. While a novel can be a marvel in the way it might encourage its readers to empathise with distinctive figures, this special affordance of the form can block out other qualities of existence that are worth knowing too, crucial qualities of the world and its people, including conundrum and character-traits such as indeterminacy, multiplicity and mutability.
Which is not to ban novels as modes for imagining historical experience. How could you ignore Don DeLillo’s Libra, let’s say, as a means to know some nuances of the first Kennedy assassination? Or Herman Melville’s Pierre as a way into the beginnings of existentialism. However, some aspects of consciousness—many of which Dawes witnessed—are not susceptible to representation through novelistic empathy, particularly through the smooth structures of the classically styled novel, which Grenville and Rogers both deploy with aplomb. Their novels catch very well some insights within Dawes’ ken, but not all of them.
Dawes encountered something stranger and stronger than the individualism that was being so forcefully ratified in the bourgeois revolutions of Europe at the end of the eighteenth century, when the novel was also rising to prominence. To account for what Dawes learned, we need a mode of writing—roundabout, relational, a tad unruly—that can bring the reader closer to some more ‘dispersed’ or ‘distributed’ versions of consciousness, to a state of mind that is not biographical or Cartesian. We need a literary mode that affords the reader access to some ‘environmental’ or communal mentalities that reach beyond the bounds of sovereign subjects. The popular-romance form of the novel is not designed for such a stretch.
Might we chase something the novels have missed? Granted, every mode of writing, including my own, will show its specific affordances and insufficiencies, and no one mode will catch the full or final gist of the notebooks. So be it. Dawes’ notes can bear frequent reinterpretation.
Here, then, is one more response to the notebooks, this one in the form of an essay.
During his time at Sydney Cove, William Dawes set himself apart—in character and activity—from the convicts and the rest of the troops. Installed at the astronomer’s observatory that Governor Arthur Phillip had commissioned soon after the First Fleet landed, Dawes worked late into the night, sometimes accompanied by indigenous acquaintances.3 Often his nocturnal work came after a full day of land-survey duties alongside his friend Watkin Tench, the urbane chronicler of the colony’s formative years.4 An isolate by disposition and paradoxical, Dawes was considered aloof by some observers but several acquaintances asserted that he was devout, dependable and special.5 Such endorsements were rare in the snipey prison-town of early Sydney, flush as it was with suspicious newcomers, many of whom were cruel or brutalised.
Dawes’ devoutness was not conventionally religious. He was austere and idiosyncratic, keen on self-made, repetitive ceremonies. It is tempting to think of him as a secular mystic. There’s no doubt he became enamoured of the country and applied a kind of absorbed attentiveness to it. He was avid to know the dimensions of the land, the potential yields of its animals, vegetables and minerals, the depths and shifting perspectives at the back of the sky, the flukey dynamics of the water and air. Furthermore, as part of his quest to settle into the domain he was inhabiting, Dawes examined the nuances of indigenous culture and the way the local people—called ‘Eora’ in the notebooks—cared for the place that evidently defined them.
Studying the world of the Eora, Dawes strove to overcome the space between himself and his new environs, and in doing so he began to know the place via modes that were partly intellectual, partly emotional, partly spiritual. Despite his surveyor’s vocation, he found New South Wales was more than a typical colonial territory. Not only a geographical tract to be staked out in the middle distance, nor just a property to be apprehended with gridded coordinates, the Sydney Cove terrain was also a space in, of and for his imagination. The notebooks show how Dawes became fascinated by connective scenes—intimate and imaginative—that developed between himself and a cohort of Eora whom he named and respected. These scenes put a bodily dimension into the imperial scale of the New South Wales venture.
In his readiness to learn from the Eora and in the way he sought to incorporate the country, Dawes was an exception to the colonial rule. He used the notebooks to describe spaces that were defined more by consent than conquest, spaces measured not by extensive technologies (guns, sextants, telescopes) but by intensive looks and conversations staged in campsites, observatory rooms, harbourside coves and bathing beaches. These personal-scale spaces were markedly different in dimension and value from the military and agricultural territories that he was charged with securing. The paradox of his role—he was a conquistador as well as a collaborator—was not lost on him. Indeed, as he grew more knowledgeable about indigenous consciousness, his strengthening interest in an immersive, ever-altering mode of knowing people and places would eventually set him at odds with the colonial enterprise worldwide. In the first instance, this tension between the personal and the governmental would alienate him from the systems of power in the Sydney garrison, with the result that he was sent home in December 1791 even though he had petitioned to stay.6 In the longer run, his doubts about the moral authority of colonialism would compel him to spend the last forty years of his life working in anti-slavery contexts in Africa and the West Indies.7
Between 1788 and 1791, the Sydney garrison was engineered by an ideology that Watkin Tench expressed succinctly: ‘confusion’ had to be confronted till it ‘gave place to system’.8 Being a surveyor, Dawes was adept at systematic arraignments, but he grew increasingly attracted to confusion, especially to the complexities he glimpsed as he became better informed about the Eora. For Dawes, ‘confusion’ would not necessarily have been a pejorative word. Unmoored from many standard European prejudices, he took to conducting idiosyncratic investigations and ritual activities, some of them meditative almost to the point of being transcendental, which seemed designed to intensify the mysteries so that he could lose himself in the flux rather than stand to one side dispassionately itemising and analysing the regimented life. For example, he developed the habit of pausing for five intermissions every day, to record the weather conditions. He jotted these meteorological observations in a separate journal, noting special qualities in the shifting wind, describing the sky, the pressured weight of the air, sensing and saying what type of heat or cold was glossing every moment.9 His fieldwork was thus part of an interpretive process that immersed him night and day in a welter of mutable information that prompted him to select, combine and narrate the more telling elements of his unfolding circumstances in such a way that he gradually came to know, from the inside, some organising tendencies or relational grammar in the world he was infiltrating. He began to comprehend the world as a dynamic system rather than as something with hierarchies of status.
During the long hours when Dawes wondered in darkness, his sense of space was subjected to extraordinary contractions and expansions. Imagine him gazing up at the southern stars, harking to the night-birds, watching the enormous Port Jackson bats blot the moonlit aperture of his observatory. Consider the flitting rhythm of his scribal work as he looked up, looked down, looked up, and then put intricate calculations into incrementally expanding tallies. From the close space of the page he would have scanned far out past the walls of the trim observatory to the enormity of the sky scintillating above the uncertain colony. This span of space—from the intimate to the cosmic—reconfigured him as he made a bridge in his mind, gathering the measure of vastness in his hand-sized ledger, connecting the stars to this scratched bit of earth, and then projecting himself back out to the revolving planets while he considered what these far-flung worlds represented as integers of abstract space and time in the expansive press of imperial history.
Then the night would thin once more and the circulation of time would bring him back into the next stanza of weather. The new style of meteorology that was developing during the late eighteenth century, as practised by tyros such as Dawes, was only partly a science. As Richard Hamblyn has observed in his startling study The Invention of Clouds, meteorology was also ‘a search for narrative order among events governed not by laws alone, but by the shapeless caprices of the atmosphere … [all of which unfolds while the weather] writes, erases and rewrites itself upon the sky with the endless fluidity of language.’10
Everywhere he turned, Dawes searched out these fluid kinds of grammar. Whenever he walked into native country, for example, he counted every step. Thus he charted a bodily grasp of all the tracts of land he traversed.11 This was procedural mapping, to some extent, but it represented more than standard duty. Dawes was the first European to have an inkling of the Indigenous Australian notion of ‘country’, the utterly local conception of space and time that has filtered slowly into non-indigenous consciousness over the past two centuries. When Dawes went out on his bivouacs, he was involved in minute, pulsing rituals of apprehension, bringing the place into himself—incorporating this place that he was beginning to consider as home, this place that was defining him. When he was out on his surveys, each footfall was a ledger entry and a little acknowledgement, as if he were stomping and chanting himself into the land’s extensive, overlapping spaces, as if he were auguring some psychic and spiritual depths in these southern spaces even while was spanning and analysing them so rationally.
He did the same with time too, being entrusted by Phillip to ensure that the colony’s chronometer was delicately wound and diagnosed daily to guarantee that the fiddly machine never missed a beat out there on the formless edge where this new society was being spawned, for good and for bad, depending on your class, your country, your gender, your freedom, your imagination. Envisaging these scenes, we might hear Kenneth Slessor’s poem ‘Five Bells’ chiming in from the future as Dawes peers into the ‘little fidget wheels’ of the coloniser’s clock while, in his peripheral vision, countless ‘diamond quills’ of aqueous light jitter off the ‘straight enormous glaze’ of the harbour where the Eora have lived through extensive southern time, which is something oceanic, recursive, non-linear—time best construed as a ‘flood that does not flow’.12
Here was Dawes then, night and day, scanning the immensity, gazing at the stars, reckoning by walking, breathing calibrations and muttering the country into his memory. Even as he set himself apart from the colonisers, even while the white people put claims on the country, Dawes drew close to the scenes and people who were being so quickly colonised. Purposefully he did this, I surmise, so that all his methods and presumptions would get discomfited then expanded. He was remarkable in this, how he was ready for alteration, how he put the country into him by putting himself into it.
The most compelling of Dawes’ activities was his investigation of the local language, which he learned in much the same way he learned the weather—in the midst of it but also critically distanced and reflective, narrating its shifts as a participant preparatory to recollecting it in moments of tranquillity, awaiting the emergence of its comprehensible patterns, its tendencies and rules. As Keith Smith observes in his canny study Bennelong: The Coming In of the Eora, the notebooks ‘show Dawes trying to break down the language and cultural barriers between himself and the Eora’.13 And while the language research unfolded, a relationship flourished between Dawes and a young Aboriginal woman known as Patyegarang, or Patye as he sometimes called her less formally in the notebooks. Antipodal as they were, this pair still managed to converse regularly, often intimately, studying each other’s utterances, feeling a trust grow that can fairly be called affection. The relationship was the mainstay of Dawes’ linguistic research.
Almost as soon as he began recording the language (probably in November 1790 when the Eora routinely started to come into the garrison in significant numbers), Dawes seemed to lose enthusiasm for the neat nouns-vs-verbs structure that he first planned. Instead of naming things in one list and describing the actions that could be exerted upon them in the other, he began the more complex grammar section (in Notebook B), where his note-taking loosened methodologically as he recorded dozens of intensified dramas in the form of narrative miniatures or event-fragments that were set down, page by page, almost like mosaic shards or elements of montage. Paul Carter has described Dawes’ enterprise astutely: ‘perhaps because he was an astronomer studying the movements of the stars rather than their fixed position, he paid attention to the process of language acquisition’, with that result that ‘the fluid nature of speech patterns, the baffling capacity of sounds to change their meaning from context to context became for him not a frustration but a source of revelation’.14
Dawes was in his mid twenties at this time. Very little is known about him. Patyegarang seems to have been fifteen or so. Even less is known about her. She was most likely from the north-shore Cammeray people. Her name, which was probably not uncommon for young women in the region, refers to the local grey kangaroo. Dawes notes that she carried other names too (Tagaran, Tuba and Kanmangnal),15 and she may well have changed her affiliations to the kangaroo at some later phase of her life.16 Clearly her elders permitted her to associate with Dawes and they may have used her strategically to investigate the motives and plans of the newcomers. This assignment of tasks was similar to how Dawes was authorised by his elders to peer into time and space, to try to understand all prospects and options—physical and metaphysical—there in that moment and that place where the known world was being remade by and for both sets of people, the indigenous and the incursive.
There’s no doubt Patyegarang was remarkable. Young as she was, she seems to have been Dawes’ intellectual equal, and she was not averse to carrying complex political messages to the British, even as she also negotiated the intricacies of her friendship with Dawes. For example, late in the event-grammar notebook there are conversations in which Patyegarang informs Dawes that the Eora have grown angry because it is evident now that the British have settled. Before Dawes can respond to this candour she goes on to lament that fear prevails too, ‘because of the guns’.17 A conversation asserting that anger and fear are on the rise—it sounds like a warning.
Perhaps Patyegarang drew close to Dawes because she was curious. Perhaps she was generous. Perhaps a kind of spy. Perhaps she knew how to use sexual allure in such a mission, to distract Dawes and win secrets from him. Perhaps she worked the friendship for her own entertainment, to escape tedium or to redirect what she could see looming as her constrained destiny. Or perhaps the friendship was feigned to fool Dawes first and then to dupe dozens of commentators, myself included, down the decades. It’s impossible to say much that’s conclusive about Patyegarang. Everyone has to speculate about her.
I speculate that the conversations between Patyegarang and Dawes were inventive, principled and brave, but I cannot assert this conclusively, and I have to be ready to entertain alternative arguments. Examined from almost every possible standpoint (such as sexual politics, linguistics, pedagogy, historiography, or Georgian and subsequent theories of race and culture), their transactions were somehow lawless—not illegal or illicit so much as improvised beyond the guidance of precedents. I imagine they were both in a swirl of needs, fears and desires much larger than their own individual selves. Perhaps it’s better to speak not of desire but of urges, of yearning for connectedness and respect for creativity and animistic flow. These contingencies are difficult now to interpret with the right amount of nuance, not least because everyone who has ever imagined Patyegarang and Dawes conversing has brought his or her own particular urges to the scene and because needs, fears and desires are felt in different ways in different cultures during different phases of history.
What occurred in the physical and psychic space that held Patyegarang and Dawes so close? What was breathed across? The questions pour out of the modest notebooks. What degree of trust was achieved between these two people? What preparedness to risk and alter? And what can be imagined beyond the clichés of popular romance which, contextually considered, do not seem germane to their drama?
Vast issues arose, founded on moral nimbleness and venture. Illustrating the intimate scale of the knowledge he was gaining, for example, Dawes recorded local words signifying the extinguishment of a candle late at night; he learned words meaning ‘to warm one’s hand by the fire and then to squeeze gently the fingers of another person’; he discovered what it meant to wink and to take notice of eyelashes and eyebrows.18 Extrapolating from the notebooks, one can imagine Patyegarang and Dawes as creative people, heroic even, and fallible, likely to succumb to slow disillusionment. My guess is they were erotic people too, but the erotics were part of some vigilant and reverent system of generative proximity governed by rules for giving and receiving, respectful of cosmic powers of increase, immeasurably more complex than the salacious riffs that jolt modern popular culture.19
Everyone who reads the notebooks makes their own decision about this, and I’ve decided it is unlikely the intimacy between Patyegarang and Dawes was principally carnal, though the flesh was part of their relationship, simply because they used their bodies as topics of conversation, to feel the most direct way through to translation. For example, Dawes preserved the verb ‘to embrace … to hug’, and he noted words for skin complexion, eyes, hands, fingernails, snot, hair, sores, wounds, procedures for washing various body parts, and the way fire and the night air affect a naked body.
But something more profound than self-indulgence is being documented. Many entries in the notebooks suggest an awareness of some forceful influence that builds when one concentrates on relations between interdependent elements. This is borne out strongly in the sections that track the phenomenon I’m calling ‘event-grammar’, where Dawes recorded his growing realisation that there was a function in the language that called for particular pronouns to be wrapped around with subtle parsing, depending on how many people (and perhaps which particular people from which rank or totemic alliance) were included in any scene of utterance. For example, there were different ways of speaking in the first-person plural, depending on whether the speaker was referring to ‘we two’ or to ‘we all’. And the laws were strict, demanding that the speaker invoke the collectivity in exactly the right way. To emphasise this point, at one stage Patyegarang took pains to adjust the record of her speech, when she has realised that she had not noticed that someone extra (an Eora named Pundul) had been in the scene when she had been talking earlier.20
This reminds me of a remarkable lecture that I attended in 1995 at the Museum of Sydney, in which Bundjalung elder Gerry Bostock interpreted several First Fleet sketches and paintings by concentrating on the relative spatial and postural arrangements of groups of indigenous figures portrayed in the scenes. Imagining subjectivity in such a collective and integrative manner, one senses responsibility coursing forcefully among all objects and subjects in space and time.
Nouns and verbs in the Sydney language appear less self-contained and solid than in English. Jeremy Macdonald Steele notes that ‘stem-forming suffixes’ probably organised most verbs, which transformed and integrated everything around them, depending on the natural, social and linguistic influences prevailing from moment to moment.21 Just as Patyegarang was the name of a person who was somehow also a kangaroo, just as Bennelong was several people with several other names in different moments and situations, so the notebooks register a world of shifting valency. Dawes did take note of a world made up of named things (hence the vocabulary), but he was also attentive to how these things changed their qualities and sometimes changed their very names depending on their relationship to everything else in the lively world (hence the event-grammar). Here was a world always transmogrifying, always seeking form as people and things amalgamated and separated within the larger, flowing influence of an ever-integrating grammar of existence.22
Over time, marine lieutenant Dawes sensed himself drifting. He slipped his conquistador’s purpose and began to comprehend how the forces pushing through his harbourside observatory place can relate and interfuse and realign in space and time. Tracking this flow of influence, neither of the language notebooks makes much sense without the other. In their inseparable involvement, the vocabulary and event-grammar conjure an undulating world. All that he might have once presumed solid seemed able, finally, to move like the air.
To conclude with an example that gives some nuance to this abstract proposition, let me draw on the work of the linguist Jakelin Troy, who has sifted the notebooks and several other partial wordlists to tally at least fifteen different utterances for the shifty phenomenon that in English is called ‘wind’. Among these terms are expressions referring to: something in the air coming from the sun; something with a strong smell; something cold; something associated with a special island; or something emanating from a particular time of year when certain botanical or zoological factors prevail.23 In this quick world, each named thing is no entirely separate entity; rather each thing exists within a system of intervalent elements interacting with one another in ways that challenge notions of solid physics and unsettle trigonometric space even while a surveyor walks out and stakes coordinates for cadastral registration.
Imagine a European scientist—a student of matter and fundamental ratios—dropping into such a shape-shifting world. Imagine him sensing some fellow-feeling with this world. Then, to finish but also to start again, imagine Patyegarang figuring so cannily how to lead him into this world and what to do with him once he was there. Imagine how, after some time, Patyegarang and Dawes took each other to a place where she could say to him, in Notebook B, p. 28, l. 11: ‘My friend, he sings about you.’
It’s a place that’s been engulfed now by a history of wailing. But it might be a new start, at last, to listen through all the noise, to conduct a national conversation about what Dawes was learning, in his hesitant manner, before he was sent away.
- A statement by Patyegarang to William Dawes, Notebook B, p. 33, l. 12.
- The original notebooks remain in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Microfiche copies are held by the Mitchell Library in Sydney. The SOAS is negotiating to post the complete facsimile of the notebooks online as soon as possible.
- Although this essay concentrates on the relationship between Dawes and the young woman named Patyegarang, Dawes collaborated closely with more than a dozen named indigenous people during at least two years of active and mostly congenial research.
- See Watkin Tench (edited by Tim Flannery), 1788 comprising A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay and A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 1996 (first published 1789 and 1793 respectively).
- Not only Tench but also Elizabeth Macarthur made specific reference to Dawes’ extraordinary character. Furthermore, John Hunter kept him in mind for many years and requested (unsuccessfully), when he became governor several years after Dawes had left the colony, that Dawes be commissioned in New South Wales for a second tour of duty, this time as chief engineer. And later in Dawes’ career, as governor of Sierra Leone, he prompted the same range of endorsements tempered by caution about his austerity and disciplined correctness. Deirdre Coleman’s Romantic Colonization and British Anti-Slavery (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005, pp. 184–6) has an excellent account of the impression Dawes made on confreres.
- Notoriously, Dawes challenged one of Arthur Phillip’s orders to conduct a punitive military foray among the Eora. After first refusing to take part, he eventually acquiesced and joined an ineffectual (perhaps deliberately ineffectual) mission led by Tench. Brilliant and strategically useful as Dawes obviously was, his standing with Phillip never recovered.
- Coleman’s Romantic Colonization. gives a lucid view into these issues.
- Tench, 1788, p. 43.
- Robert J. McAfee (ed.), Dawes’ Meteorological Journal, Dept of Science and Technology, Canberra, 1981, p. 19. McAfee asserts (p. 1) that Dawes’ weather journal is probably the most comprehensive account of meteorological patterns anywhere in the world at the time. The weather journal was discovered in the library of the Royal Society in London in 1977. Enticing portions of the Dawes legacy keep turning up.
- Richard Hamblyn, The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies, Picador, London, 2001, p. 11.
- Tench, 1788, p. 187.
- Kenneth Slessor, ‘Five Bells’, in Dennis Haskell and Geoffrey Dutton (eds), Kenneth Slessor: Collected Poems, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1994, p. 120.
- Keith Smith, Bennelong: The Coming In of the Eora, Sydney Cove 1788–1792, Kangaroo Press, Sydney, 2001, p. 108.
- Paul Carter, The Calling to Come, MoS Publications, Sydney, 1996, p. 3.
- As part of his MA thesis, Steele (cited above) has compiled a database of all Dawes entries. This database is by far the most authoritative register of all Sydney language citations. With gratitude, I use Steele’s citation method throughout this essay. The alternative names of Patyegarang, for example, can be found in Notebook B, p. 4, l. 6.
- Smith, p. 108.
- See Notebook B, p 33, l.3–l.10. See also Jakelin Troy, The Sydney Language, AIATSIS and Australian Dictionaries Project, Canberra, 1993, p. 14.
- See Notebook B, p. 33, l. 17; p. 21, l. 10; p. 18, l. 13.
- Keith Smith suggests there was an Eora economy of exchange—exchange of words, of goods, perhaps of selves—that registers in spiritual as well as social contexts. Expanding this notion, I would say that when the highly charged exchanges associated with erotics are considered, they have to be understood to be laced with the incursive and predatory power of colonialism, of course; but erotics should also be considered in an indigenous context involving gift-giving, encompassing an ethical system that reveres the powers of yield and productivity that always seem to be pushing through the cosmos. In this regard Smith observes that: linguistic evidence points to the existence of reciprocal gift giving among the Indigenous people of Port Jackson in the late eighteenth century. In the language spoken by the Eora, as understood by those compiling the word lists and language notebooks, wea-je-minga meant ‘relating to giving anything’, a word very close to wyanga or mother Damuna meant exchange and damoly or tamooly was the act of exchanging a name with a friend … the pejorative term damunalung, someone who refused to give, was translated into English by Dawes as ‘a churl’. (Bennelong, p. 149).
- See Notebook B, p. 34, l. 8
- Steele, ‘The Aboriginal Language’, pp. 211–21.
- Dawes was not especially interested in wordlists construed as inventories of dependable commodities. Several of the other First Fleeters—Phillip, King, Tench, Bradley, Watling—made brief lists of words, but none folded themselves inside the systems of the language as Dawes did.
- Troy, The Sydney Language, p. 50.