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The 1789 Smallpox Plague – exhuming the truth

October 13 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


The 1789 Smallpox Plague – exhuming the truth

In April 1789 a smallpox plague suddenly broke out at Sydney Cove. It swept around the entire continent and killed up to 70% of the Indigenous peoples in the Sydney area, but only one colonist. Despite the fact that the First Fleet was well documented, the cause of the pandemic has remained a mystery. However, after years of research, author Jim Poulter believes he has finally cracked the case, and he believes that it was deliberate genocide. Jim says the key to solving the mystery lay in the identity of the one sailor who died in the plague. In his controversial talk and Powerpoint presentation, Jim will take you step by step through his research showing how he believes that the Lieutenant Governor, Major Robert Ross, hatched, executed and concealed his genocidal plot.

Jim Poulter is a history author whose family first settled in the Yarra Valley in 1840 and established enduring relationships with the local Aboriginal community. Jim grew up steeped in local oral history, but it is his professional skill as a forensic investigator that has enabled him put forward a solution to this 230 year old mystery. Jim continues to make a prolific contribution to the sharing of our Aboriginal history and heritage, and is probably best known for making the link in the early 1980’s between the tribal Aboriginal game of Marngrook and the origins of Australian Football.

This event will be delivered by Zoom and is a free event. Zoom details will be sent to all those who register just prior to the event.

Image: Botany Bay. ‘Sirius & convoy going in: Supply & agents division in the bay. 21 Janry 1788.’ William Bradley, watercolour from his journal ‘A Voyage to New South Wales’, 1802+. State Library of New South Wales, [Safe 1 / 14].

THIS IS A HISTORY MONTH EVENT: click on the logo for the full program of events


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October 13
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288