Was Charlotte Badger a Colonial Renegade?
English convict and ship’s mutineer Charlotte Badger is heralded as New Zealand’s first “white” woman settler, who lived with a Māori chief after her arrival in the Bay of Islands in 1806. Almost nothing written about Badger has been correct. The core of her story has been hiding in plain sight in a contemporary newspaper account that has been misinterpreted by generations of historians. Colourful fictions added by two Australian storytellers further clouded the facts. A ship’s passenger list and logbook reveal Badger’s much more prosaic fate and confirm she did not settle in New Zealand after all.
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