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Hard Men #3: The King Island Girls

HARD MEN:
Sealers and Whalers 1800-1850

The King Island Girls

1. The sealer 

Hobart Town Gazette, March 25, 1826
"It is evident that the Legislative Government must enact a law to prevent the fishery for seals at improper seasons; else this most valuable source of colonial export will soon be lost. There are two species of seals in these seas. The early kind brings forth its young from 25th November, to the latter end of December, and the reefs and banks should be left undisturbed until May following, when the increase will be grown up, and the skins well furred. The black seal, which is the most valuable, is a month later. The unthinking sealers, harass these useful animals at all seasons, and the consequence is, that many reefs are deserted, and inferior skins have been procured from animals too young, and imposed on the merchants.
John Scott, who has long been an inhabitant of the Straits, and has cohabited there with a black woman, by whom he has three children, declares that he ha…