chapter  11
17 Pages

“An Echo of That Other Cry”

Re-Enacting Captain Cook’s First Landing as Conciliation Event
WithMaria Nugent

This chapter provides a close reading of two elaborate historical reenactments of the first landing of Lieutenant James Cook on Australia's east coast in 1770. The second is a history painting by the Australian artist E. Phillips Fox titled The Landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay 1770. On 7 January 1901 Captain Cook's landing was re-enacted for the first time at the place where he had originally stepped ashore in late April 1770 as part of the weeklong 'Federation festivities' being held in Sydney to mark the Federation of the Australian colonies. Phillips Fox received the commission to produce a history painting on the theme of Captain Cook in Australia from the National Gallery in Melbourne towards the end of 1900. As with the staged re-enactment, the discussion that surrounds this painted re-enactment of the past in the present provides some sense of the debates about what that past meant for the national present.