Reproduction of the original journal of John Batman from the time he left Van Diemen's Land and signed the Melbourne treaty. The squiggly lines at the bottom of the page are similar to marks on the treaty which Batman claimed were the signatures of Indigneous 'chiefs' legitimising the contract and land sale. These similarities have lead historians to believe that Batman may have forged the signatures himself.
It's also interesting to note that the fact that Batman thought it necessary to 'buy' the land from the Wurundjeri in fact acknowledges their ownership, something the colonial government never did.
Created by John Batman, circa 1835. Manuscript.
Accession number: MS13181
From the State Library of Victoria's Australian Manuscripts Collection.