The relationship between Australia and the United States has long been cordial and productive. Founded in the same era, both post-colonial democracies and now partners in a 70-year military alliance, we share both our language and our cultural affinities. That relationship has, however, had challenges from its earliest days. In 1804 an Australian sealer, Joseph Murrell, was seized and held captive by a group of Americans who were also hoping to harvest the rich seal colonies of King Island. He described feeling that they were determined “to take such satisfaction of me as should make me dread the sight of an American if I lived”.