One of the enduring mysteries of Northcote's early history was the location of the signing of the treaty between John Batman and the Jagga Jagga brothers, representatives of the local Aboriginal tribes. The exact location of this meeting has long been in dispute with claims including the Merri Creek near High Street, Rucker's Hill, Edgars Creek and even the Plenty River. Batman's journal is vague on the location and historians have been arguing its location ever since.
Andrew Lemon, in his book "The Northcote side of the river" believes that the site may even have been in Coburg.
Batman believed that the treaty provided him with 600,000 acres of grazing land. However the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke, immediately disavowed the treaty as Batman was a private citizen not a government representative.
Nevertheless the site of Melbourne was quickly established and in 1837 Governor Bourke authorised the first land sales.
The original treaty and Batman's journal are held by the State Library of Victoria.
Lemon, Andrew (1983). The Northcote Side of the River. North Melbourne: Hargreen.
Swift, William George (1928). The history of Northcote: From its first settlement to a city. Northcote, Vic: Leader Publishing.