Before and After 1822: Aboriginal and European people in the Paterson Valley

New book on Aboriginal and European people in the Paterson Valley

Paterson Historical Society has released a new book to recognise and reflect on 200 years since the start of large-scale dispossession of Aboriginal people from their land in the Paterson Valley when the area was thrown open to widespread colonisation via land grants. Titled Before and After 1822 – Aboriginal and European People in the Paterson Valley, the book has been written by historian Dr Brian Walsh.

The book begins long before 1822 as it describes Aboriginal people in the Paterson Valley during the last Ice Age and then early contact between Aboriginal and European people in the Valley from about 1800. Later chapters reveal the pace and scale of dispossession of Aboriginal people from their land as European colonisation of the Valley gained momentum from 1822. This is followed by a discussion of the impact on Aboriginal people and relations between the two cultures as they collided. The final chapter covers the decline, survival and resilience of Aboriginal people of the Paterson Valley into the early 1900s.

It is an uncomfortable history that deserves to be told. The book costs $15 and is available at Paterson Court House Museum on Sundays, or online. It will also be available at MacDonalds Bookstore in Maitland.