“Parish said Capt Donaldson had told his soldiers in his hearing not to spare man, woman or child; not to parley with them. He was vexed at them killing two of his soldiers.”
The Journal of George Augustus Robinson, 9 Nov. 1830
“A respectable colonist, lately deceased in Melbourne, naming many instances of cruelty to the Natives, assured me that he knew of two men who had boasted of killing thirty at one time.”
(John Pascoe Fawkner died September 4, 1869, Collingwood, Melbourne)
Ref: Bonwick, James (1870) The last of the Tasmanians, or, The black war of Van Diemen’s Land, London, Sampson Low, Son & Marston, p.62
Transcriptions of CSO 1/7578/vols. 316-332 (correspondence) will be added below in chronological order. UPDATE: contemporaneous newspaper accounts (newspaper) mentioning Aboriginal people in VDL (Van Diemen’s Land/Tasmania) are being chronologically inserted below between the various correspondences to the Government.
29 March 1817 (newspaper)
No title. (1817, March 29). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 – 1821), p. 2 Supplement: Supplement to the Hobart Town Gazette. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page40505
G. A. MAHON, Ensign 46th Regt. To Major James Stewart, Commandant, &c, &c.
N. B. – On the 13th, having received information that three civilized Black Natives had provided themselves with a few arms and dogs, and commited a robbery on Mr. BEAMONT’S cart at the Green Water Holes, I immediately went in pursuit of them, and succeeded in taking one of them (the other two escaped through the darkness of the night), and sent him into Hobart Town, with the articles I found with him.
12 April 1817 (newspaper)
Hobart Town; SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 1817. (1817, April 12). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 – 1821), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page40509 On Thursday returned to Town a small party of Capt. NAIRN’S Company of the 46th Regt. who were lately sent in quest of the Bush Rangers; the following particulars of their pursuit we lay before our Readers:— After a diligent search in the woods the party at Jericho perceived Michael Howe, accompanied with a Native Black Girl, named Mary Cockerill, with whom Howe cohabited. On the approach of the party Howe darted into a thicket, and effected his escape, after firing at the native girl, who, from fatigue, was unable to keep pace with him in his flight, and was taken. Howe being so closely pursued, threw away his blunderbuss and knapsack. The native girl then led the party to the Shannon River, a distance of 11 miles from Jericho, where they found four huts, which they burnt. While thus employed, they perceived three of the bushrangers (Howe, Septon, & Geary) at the side of a high hill, contiguous to the river. On the appearance of the party, they were not in the least alarmed, for being in an advantageous position on the other side of the river, they by their gesticulations put them at defiance, and afterwards made off. The party then forded the river, and for two days, continued eagerly their pursuit, accompanied by their native guide, till all traces of them were lost; still their exertions were not in vain, for she led them to the discovery of 56 sheep, the property of different individuals which had been driven into the woods by the runaways. From the severe hardships endured by the party in this arduous pursuit, their provisions being all expended, they were compelled to kill two of the sheep for their present substinence, & the remainder with difficulty they brought with them to town; part of which have been since claimed by the owners. The native girl has since been repeatedly examined; and we have no doubt, some important information may be derived regarding the numerous depredations of the bush-rangers.
24 May 1817 (newspaper)
No title. (1817, May 24). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 – 1821), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page40522
On Saturday last, whilst Robert Rosne, overseer to Capt. Jeffrey’s, was searching for sheep strayed from his flock, he promiscuously came upon about fifteen native women and children assembled around a fire, on the Sweet Water Hills. Considering them to be an inoffensive tribe, and his mind dwelling on his pursuit, he carelessly approached them to light his pipe, pleased with his reception; but on leaving this peaceable group, he met with a number of savage native men, whose ferocity had nearly been his death. One of these untutored beings hove a stone at him, which struck him violently on the mouth, and staggered him: but little time was given him to recover from this blow, when an ill-fated volley of stones dislocated his shoulder, and by repeated hostility severely bruised him. Fortunately, however, he was suffered to leave them alive. In admiring His HONOR the LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR’S lenient disposition, in respect to the aborigines, it is wise to remark the old adage, that “charity begins at home.”
27 July 1817 (newspaper)
HOBART TOWN. (1816, July 27). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 – 1821), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page40429
A Party of Natives has lately driven seventeen head of horned Cattle from the herd of Mr. J. Beamont, at the Tea-tree Brush, and have not been since heard of.
1 April 1820 (newspaper)
GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. (1820, April 1). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 – 1821), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4084
GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. GOVERNMENT HOUSE, HOBART TOWN, 1st APRIL, 1820.HIS HONOR the LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR is pleased to direct, that the following. Statement of the Police Fund of Van Diemen’s Land for the Quarter ending December 31st. which has been returned (approved) by His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR IN CHIEF, shall be published for general Information.By Command of His Honor the Lieutenant Governor,Henry Edward Robinson, Secretary: The POLICE FUND of VAN DIEMEN’S LAND, in Account Current with JOHN BEAMONT,Esq. Treasurer, for the Quarter ending December 31st, 1819.
… Mr. Arnold Fisk, for Iron Bark Wood for Cogs of Water Mill. – 5 0 0
Ditto, for Rent of House used by Sick Natives 23 weeks & 5 days. – 11 17 2
22 April 1820 (newspaper)
No title. (1820, April 22). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 – 1821), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page40852
By the Seaflower, returned from the brig Governor Macquarie, which the former had met with on the 14th inst. about 50 miles at sea on the South-west Coast, Ensign Lewis, who had accompanied JOHN OXLEY, Esq. Surveyor General, on the Macquarie for Port Davey and Macquarie Harbour.- We are sorry to learn, that before The Governor Macquarie proceeded to sea one of her seamen was severely wounded in a whale-boat, which was lying about 50 yards off the land, by a native with a spear, which went through his wrist and entered his body; he is, however, in a fair way of recovering. The brig had constant very bad weather during the whole of the time she lay at Port Davey.
c.20 January 1824 (event)
Hobart Town Gazette. (1824, January 23). Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 – 1825), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page123290
-At the farm of G. W. Evans, Esq. Deputy Surveyor General, at Abyssinia, a party of natives appear to have presented themselves last week; and we are sorry to add, that one of the stock-keeperswas killed by them, and Mr. Evans’s hut burnt.
6 June 1824 (newspaper)
11 June 1824 (newspaper record) Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 – 1825), THE SUPREME COURT, MONDAY, JUNE 7. (1824, June 11). p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1090223
John Anderson and John Peck were then placed at the bar; the first charged with having stolen twenty sheep, belonging to John Jones the elder, and twenty sheep, be- longing to John Jones the younger, in the month of March, 1823, at the Big Lagoon, near Jericho, in the county of Buckingham; and the latter with having received the said sheep, knowing them to have been stolen. They pleaded – Not Guilty. The only witness called was John Jones the younger, who deposed, that, in March, 1823, he was a stock-holder, possessing from 800 to 900 sheep; and of this num- ber, about the 20th of that month, he lost between 60 and 70: he immediately afterwards went to the Big Lagoon, in search of them, & there found the prisoner, Anderson, with a person named Wilkinson, and a black girl. Witness asked Anderson if he had any strayed sheep? he answered no; his flock was then examined, but no sheep belonging to the witness was found therein. The witness at that time did not know Peck, and never saw him before he was examined at the Police-office. Ander- son well knew the witness’s flock, and said if ever he saw any of his sheep, they should be driven home to him, or at any rate he should be informed where they might be found. The number of sheep stolen contained some belonging to the witness, and others to his father. Witness’s own sheep were marked with a hole in each ear, and a swallow tail; his father’s were mark- ed with a hole in the right ear, one cut out of the front, and another out of the back of the left ear. All the old ewes were marked on the nose with a “J.” The witness pro- ceeded to state, that 41 or 42 of the said sheep were recovered, and he saw them at chief district constable Luttrell on the 9th of June. Their left ears then had been cut off, and the back part of the each right ear slit down. Among these sheep one ewe was marked on her nose with a J; all the others were not branded.At this period of the examination, the Attorney-General interposed; and, under an impression that the evidence could not precisely affix the criminality alleged, he directly chose to abandon the prosecution.
CSO 1/ 316-332/7578 (TAHO)
Reports of the murders and other outrages committed by the aborigines upon the settlers, and also the reports of the appearance of the natives in the settled districts.
16 June 1824 (correspondence)
Norwood, River Clyde
I beg leave to represent to your Honor that the party of Natives headed by Musquito a black native of Sydney continues to infest the District of Murray and the parts adjacent. In addition to the murder of two men, convicts assigned to Mr Oakes at Abyssinia, within seven miles of my house: to the murder of one convict servant in the employ of Mr Triffett at the Big River: to the maltreatment of two convicts assigned to Mr Hood: In addition to their ill treatment of Capt Hood’s Servants at one of the Great Lakes about 18 miles to the North of the Clyde, where they burned his Stock Hut: I was informed yesterday, that the same party had murdered a Settler of the name of Osborne or at his farm, a short distance from the high road to Launceston in the Jericho district, and that the life of his widow, who at the same time has been speared by them was despaired of.
In the District of Murray which this party particularly infests the Magistrates have only one Constable at their disposal, they are without the means, therefore, of affording their inhabitants the protection,
I being aware of the small Military Force at present on the island, a force totally inadequate to its necessity particularly should measures of coercion towards the convicts be adopted, the propriety and indeed necessity of which is so glaringly apparent I feel hesitation in applying for the subtraction of so small a part of it as would be sufficient to maintain the peace of the District committed partly to my care. But I beg leave respecting to represent to Your Honor, that unless some prompt steps are taken by Government for the purpose of apprehending the leaders of this marauding part of natives, and or conciliating their followers – this counter will add still more Instances of the melancholy catalogue of their depredations and of their murders.
I have the Honor to be
Your most obedient Humble Servant
Sir Charles Rowcroft J.P.
3 August 1824 (newspaper)
Hobart Town Gazette. (1824, August 6). Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 – 1825), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page123402
Last Tuesday two stockkeepers to Mr. James Hobbs came to town from their master’s premises at the Eastern Marshes (where that Gentleman pos- sesses an extensive run for grazing his cattle), bringing intelligence that a tribe of no less than two hundred Natives had made their appearance there, and that they had killed by spear-wounds one of their fellow servants, named James Doyle.-From the information which we have received it appears, that soon after the Natives became visible, the stockmen fired, in the hope that it would not only frighten but deter them from approaching the house. This had not however its desired effect; for, owing to the fire-arms being improperly discharged all at once, and not having time to charge again, the Natives one and all suddenly advanced, thereby compelling the men instantly to retreat, leaving their fallen companion on the ground, as well as the cattle and pre- mises at the mercy of the tribe.-The men are still in town, and such is the fear they entertain, that nothing can persuade them to return to their aban- doned occupation.-All the property that was in the house has been taken by the Natives, who are also supposed to have driven away some of Mr. Hobbs’ milch cows which are missing. Although we cannot help expressing our regret in having to record such lamentable perpetrations as the foregoing, yet it is but justice to the poor untutored. Natives to say, that the mischievous disposition which they have lately shown towards us, is chiefly to be ascribed to’ the unprovoked aggressions that have long since been perpetrated upon them by stock-keepers and others ; of which, it appears to us, they are now becoming sensible, owing perhaps in a great mea- sure to the knowledge which they must have gained from Musquito and other blacks, who have been brought up amongst Europeans, lately joining them. -The many recent unfortunate deaths of stockmen afford the sad example of the imprudence of molesting the Natives, who have always been considered the most harmless race of people in the world; and have consequently never been known to show their revenge until within these last few months.We are credibly informed, that no Natives are now to be observed on any part of the coast, which is in some mea- sure accounted for by the great number seen in the Interior, where it is appre- hended the Aborigines in general have lately formed themselves into one formidable body.-Dogs of the English breed have also been perceived in considerable numbers with the Natives, whose remarkable fondness for them is such, that they have been noticed to carry in their travels the young pups which are unable to walk. That the rapid increase of. these dogs must eventually prove injurious to the Natives as well as the Colony, cannot be denied ; for they must in course of time destroy nearly all these people’s principal staff of life-the game, of which they have already given us a specimen, by killing in several places Kangaroo to an un- known extent. On one spot from 50 to 60 fine large foresters, weighing from 50 to 150 lbs. each, have been disco- vered, lying dead in a heap. – It has like- wise been ascertained, that these dogs have even attacked some tame cattle, while the Natives have speared them. One person has had two or three bullocks killed in this manner. Since writing the above, we have if in our power to state, that another poor fellow has been speared by Musquito at Pitt Water.-The man it seems was enticed from his house by Musquito cooying till he brought him within his reach, when he drove the spear into his back, while returning to get him some bread. The weapon broke in the wound, and the unfortunate man has in consequence suffered much in having it extracted.
21 October 1824 (newspaper)
Hobart Town Gazette. (1824, October 29). Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 – 1825), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page123448
Another Attack. by the Natives,.–We have just credibly informed that on the morning of the 21st instant; about twenty aboriginal blacks approached the house and stock-yard of Mr James Hobbs, situated about 15 miles east of York Plains, at whichplace it will be recollected a large tribe of natives made their appearance some few weeks ago, and that, after some resistance had been made made by firing on them, they killed one of Mr Hobb’s stock- keepers as we announced in our Paper of the 6th of August last. Upon the present occasion it seems, that as soon as, the natives appeared in sight, they were instantly driven back ; on which another party advanced in an opposite direction, and cooed – a signal which was no sooner heard than it was answered by at least 150 more of the same tribe, who armed with spears and waddies and attended by nearly 50 fine kangaroo dogs, sur- rounded the house, Mr Hobb’s two Servants, each haying a musket defended themselves for five hours in the best manner they could, from the spears and stones which were thrown at them until at length the blacks pressed furiously on, and surrounded them with fires,- through which after much struggling, and with considerable hazard the poor fellows (though followed for more than 5 miles), escaped.to Garth’s hut.- On the following day they ventured to return home, when they found that all their provisions, clothes, bedding, and; utensils had been taken away. Now we really think that these depredations are so alarining as to demand the most se- rious attention as in all probability unless they are now checked, their pro- gress will at some future period be attended with more fatal consequences. However, as there doubtlessly are various gentle means of supporting the violence and attacks of these untutored people, we would particularly recommend the necessity of allhuman measures being adopted before, fire-arms be used indiscrimi- nately against them, as cruelty is never lawful -This is the third time within the last three months- that Mr Hobbs has been attacked and had all the property in his stoçk-yard destroyed by the natives. On a prevíous occasion, they dug up two tons of potatoes which they carried away. They beat one of hís men to pieces, and drove off -five-head of cattle;- And the extent of the last loss, although feared to be great, is not yet known as there were about 50 cows with their calves near the house, and many of the calves too young to runout of the way. These facts speak for themselves, and require no false colouring to excite an interest. – ‘They will receive, we feel assured all due attention. We are not however surprised that the Eastern Marshes should be so much infested as; they form the Natives best hunting ground from which of course they are anxious to expel the Settlers, by making attacks on their stockmen and cattle. Mr.Hobbs’s location appears to be on a central spot, between the sea coast and York Plainshaving a road running from it to all the stock-yards east of the Port Dalrymple Road road. Oyster Bay. It is the principal harbour for the blacks; and also,as Mr,Hobbs informs us, a common rendezvous for bush-rangers, because it is near all the stockyards which they can visit in a night’s walk.
7 January 1825 (newspaper)
LAUNCESTON ASSIZES. (1825, January 12). Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser (Launceston, Tas. : 1825), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page8771192
Friday. January 7. — An adjourned Court of Oyer and Terminer and Ge neral Gaol Delivery, was opened this morning by His Honor the Chief Jus tice — when Joseph Brown was arraigned on an indictment charging him with having, in the month of October, 1822, stolen 50 sheep, the property of Mr Richard Dry. — Acquitted. The same prisoner, without having been re moved from the bar, again stood charged with having, on the I5th of March, 1823, stolen one wether lamb, the property of Mr. James Hortle, value 15s. The prisoner having pleaded Not Guilty, William Graves was called, who deposed that he lived servant to Mr. Hortle in March, 1823, at the Retreat, near the Western Tier ; that Mr. Hortle had two or three hundred sheep there, and five or six hundred homed cattle, of which witness had charge ; knows the prisoner at the bar ; saw him, some time in March, 1823, at Mr. Hortle’s stock-yard, at the Retreat; knew him servant to Mr. Naylor, at Hobart Town ; — that while witness was tending his sheep on the plains, in the month of March, on looking towards his hut he perceived a strange white dog, and that upon his going up to see what stranger was there, or who the dog belonged to, with his musket over his shoulder, a man of the name of Dickers presented a gun at him, and told him to come into the hut ; witness then went in, and there saw the prisoner at the bar, a man of the name of Connolly, and another named Gardner, sitting on the side of the bed, having their muskets placed between their knees ; witness knew Dickers while living servant at Mr. Archer’s ; witness having had his musket taken away from him, they then asked him for something to eat, when he told them he had nothing to give them ; that they then took a piece of meat, about 2 lbs. weight, out of a cask and having cooked it, eat it amongst them ; this occurred about twelve or one o’clock; Dickers and Gardner then went away, while prisoner and Connolly stopped still in the hut. In the evening, about five or six o’clock, the prisoner at the bar, and Connolly, asked witness to give them a sheep ; witness told them he could not, as that would be supporting them in the woods ; they now insisted upon having a sheep, asserting that they knew Mr. Hortle would have no objections to their having one. Seeing witness not likely to comply with their inquest, the prisoner and Connolly then forced him out of the hut, and brought him along with them to where the sheep were feeding, about a quarter of a mile from the hut ; that the prisoner then returned to the hut, leaving Connolly and witness to bring the sheep up , Connolly then drove the flock towards the hut, compelling witness to assist him. When near the hut, they were met by the prisoner, who, with Connolly, drove the sheep up into a corner of the yard,and out of the dock caught a weather lamb, about eight months old. Connelly having then placed the lamb upon the shoulders of the prisoner at the oar, he carried it in the gallows at the end of the hut, where the sheep are usually killed; here Connolly stuck the lamb, and the prisoner immediately dressed part of it. Shortly afterwards Dickers and Gardner returned to the hut, when they all supped together ; in the morning, before they went off, they ate some more of it in company, carrying away with them the hind quarter. On all occasions, they either kept their muskets in their hands, or had them laying close alongside of them. Witness asked them, some time in the evening, what had brought them there, when they informed him that they had come for the purpose of shooting a fellow of the name of Winchester, because he had volunteered to go with the military in search of the bushrangers; Winchester was a fellow- servant of witness’s, and lived in the same hut with him. Cross examined by the prisoner.—- Gardner and Dickers were not at the hut when the sheep was killed ; Winchester was not there ; witness sent him word, by a person of the name of Wright, that the bushrangers were at the hut, threatening to shoot him ; a man of the man of John Taylor lived likewise in the same hut with witness ; has never seen him but once since the bush rangers were there; witness does not know wherehe is now ; recollects of buying a dog from one of the military, for which Mr.Hortle paid £2; prisoner coupled it with their own dogs, and took it awav, leaving one instead, which has since been drowned by Mr. Hortle’s orders, being a native dog, and mangey; recollects of a black girl being at his hut, and of seeing spears and waddies there; does not know how they came there, unless brought by the prisoner or some of his party; prisoner was three days, coming and going, about witness’ hut ; slept there two nights ; witness never was at Mr. Hortle’s house while prisoner was about his hut ; never took any wheat in a bag to Mr. Leith’s to get ground ; never went to Mr. Leith’s to see if the military were there and let the bushrangers know; never went hunting with them ; Taylor and witness slept close by the side of the door while prisoner and party were there, who kept watch all night; while witness was even with his sheep, on the plains, could see these four men watching him by the side of the hill. By the Court. — Has known the prisoner a long time; for five or six months has been in the habit of seeing him twice or thrice a-week ; knew him driving Mr. Nailer’s cart and bullocks at Hobart Town ; Mr. Leith’s house is nearest to the hut, being about a mile off; Mr. Dry’s house is next to the nearest ; about 7 miles from it ; no constable in that quarter at all. — The morning that the bushrangers came to wit ness’ hut, Winchester went out to mind the cattle; they always resorted near Mr. Leith’s ; witness met Wright, one of Mr. Leith’s servant, about two o’clock, on the plains, who told wit- ness that Winchester was at their house (mean ing Mr. Leith’s); witness then’ told Wright to inform Winchester of the bushrangers being at tbe hut, and threatening to shoot him ; the bush rangers compelled witness to remain in the hut, from the time he first went in, until two o’clock ; when, making a frivolous excuse, they permitted him to go out ; he then went down to his sheep, when he saw Wright on the Plains.Mr. James Hortle, being sworn, deposed, that he had a sheep and cattle run at the Retreat, in March, 1823 ; Graves reported to witness that four busheangers had been there, and wanted a sheep, but that he would not give them one; that Brown, however, took one killed it, and carried the hind quarter away ; this report was made by Graves as soon as witness came to the run, two or three days afterwards ; witness left his farm, and went to the cattle run, in conse quence of having heard that the bushrangers had been there ; the lamb was worth 15s. or l6s ; has seen and knows all the party by sight ; wit ness never gave any of them permission to call at his stock-yard ; no constable nearer the run than Beames, who is about 14 miles off; never lost any sheep before; Graves, when reporting the circumstance to witness, mentioned none but the prisoner by name, The Jury returned a verdict of Guilty. — Re- manded.
11 January 1825 (newspaper)
THE TASMANIAN. WEDNESDAY, JAN. 19, 1825. (1825, January 19). Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser (Launceston, Tas. : 1825), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84675757
The same body of natives, we have every reason to believe, to which the black woman belonged that was so cruelly treated in the immediate vicinity of Launceston (which circumstance we took occasion to notice in our last), immediately upon quitting Town, bore away in the direction of the Western Tier; with the most resolute and savage determination, no doubt, of avenging upon the first white man, woman or child, that unfortunately came in their way, the injuries sustained by this female attached to their horde. The following account of the miseries entailed upon two men (sawyers), labouring hard for an honest livelihood, and who were no doubt the first that attracted the notice of the savages – together with the providential manner in which they escaped with their lives – occasioned entirely by the bestiality of a villain, not worthy to live, is certainly calculated to inspire us with pity for the sufferings of the poor men; while, at the same time, we cannot traduce, in language sufficiently strong, the conduct of the wretch, who thus makes the innocent to suffer for his crimes. At a place called Lake River, in the direction of the Western Tier, on the morning of the 11th instant, the two men alluded to were at work on the pit, cutting blackwood, about 9 miles from the residence of their master. The saw pit was not above 20 yards, from their bough hut, but not in sight, the spot abounding with the thickest scrub imaginable. One of them on going to the hut, which he had not left above ten minutes, discovered that their musket had been taken away, as well as several buck-shot that were inside a bag containing provisions, and other articles, which was left untouched. Relating this to his companion, on his return to the pit, he treated it as a joke, but soon found it otherwise, on looking in an opposite direction from the hut, and perceiving three or four of these sable gentry, in part concealed, behind different trees. Upon this one of the sawyers immediately retreated towards the hutagain, in the expectation of decamping that way, and saving his clothes, &c. when he found a large body of them in possession, who assailed him with spears in all directions, one of which entered the lower part of his back; and it was with the greatest difficulty he made his escape by flight, to the nearest stock hut, but about two miles off, severely wounded. The other man made in the direction of the trees, where he knew some others were concealed: and when within about 20 yards of them, three or four of them came from their hiding places, and without the smallest menace on his part, as he had no weapon of defence, began a very sharp attack both with their spears and waddies. He was more fortunate, however, than his companion, receiving only one spear through the fleshy part of the arm; and ultimately made good his retreat to the same stock-hut, although pursued sharply by two of them. The owner’s cart was fortunately on the road that morning for a load, and getting assistance at the stock-hut, proceeded to the saw-pit, where they found preparations for committing it, with such of the tools as they could not carry away, to the flames; but the noise of the (p.3)approach of the cart, it is supposed, put then to flight, carrying with them the whole of the men’s bedding and clothing, even to their shoes and hats ; an axe, a wedge, saw files, rule, and pair of com passes, besides the musket and ammunition. The similarity of this attack consists in the excessive cunning of the natives to secure, first of all, the musket and ammunition ; and in the extreme silence with which the movements of so large a body were conducted, as they are repre sented to have been 80 or 100 in number. That their intention was to sacrifice both the men is evident, as those stationed behind the trees, who kept partly showing themselves, could be with no other motive than to drive the sawyers toward the hut, where the main body were then ready to massacre them ; and from whom one of the men had so narrow an escape. We deem it proper to state, in justice to the poor men who have thus suffered only through the misconduct of others that though nearly a mouth at work on the spot, they had not the slightest pre vious intercourse, of any description with the natives ; not so much as having either seen or heard then hunting ; nor had they ever been hunting themselves, having no dogs. By the arrival of the Waterloo we are informed, that at the penal Settlement of Macquarie Harbour, any attempt at es cape is now very rarely made ; or, if tried at all, that, by the activity of the military, immediate detection is the invariable consequence ; one of whom, a short time ago, was drowned, in attempting to swim a river after some bushrangers.- it is, however, with concern we state, that another murder has been committed there, by a runaway killing his comrade. The wretched man has since been sent to Hobart Town, there to take his trial at the next Criminal Sessions.
c.4 February 1825 (newspaper)
Hobart Town. (1825, February 4). Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 – 1825), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page123504
Intelligence has just now reached us that a party of about 30 Natives have attacked the house of Mr. Roberts at Brune Island, where, although some of them had been previously entertained, they returned with increased numbers and stole every knife, fork, hatchet, or other iron implement they could lay their hands on.-Next week we may be able to give further particulars.
11 February 1825 (newspaper) Hobart Town. (1825, February 11). Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 – 1825), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page123508
We are desired to state that there was no truth in the account which was last week inserted respecting a party of natives having attacked the house of Mr. Roberts, on Brune Island.
c.30 March 1825 (newspaper)
LAUNCESTON RACES. (1825, March 30). Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser (Launceston, Tas. : 1825) http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page8771238
A few days ago, two stock -keepers, in the employ of James Cox end Andrew Barclay, Eqr named Arnott and Booth were cruelly massacred by the black natives. When first dis covered, their bodies were found to be in such a shocking state that it was impossible to remove them, or even to convene an inquisition, but were interred on the spot. A short time after wards, the tame body of natives appeared to an armed party of stock keepers, in the same neighbourhood ; and, when pursued, dropped a kangaroo rug and bedtick, the property of the two unhappy men whom they had previously murdered.
18 April 1825 (newspaper)
THE TASMANIAN. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 1825. (1825, April 13). Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser (Launceston, Tas. : 1825), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84675640
A few days ago, as Dr Pearson, of the Elizabeth River, was driving bis own cart in the bush, he fell In with a number of black natives; who, at the distance of only 15 yards, commenced throwing their spears at him from all directions. Being alone, and perceiving the imminent danger he was placed in from these rude barbarians, although without any cause or provocation, a speedy abandonment of his cart, and whatever it might contain, appeared to him as the only means by which he could possibly save his life ; and accordingly made off— the savages in full chase after him, discharging their spears with great rapidity ; but, we are happy to add, without doing any serious injury. One of the horde, apparently more nimble than the rest, and who had nearly got up with the Doctor several times, vociferated, in pretty good English— ‘ I’ll give you pepper;” so that it is evident these wretches are not so ignorant as may be generally believed. We have not beard that the much-dreaded Tegg was one of tbeir number.
31 December 1825 (newspaper)
The Aboriginal Natives. (1826, January 6). Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 – 1827), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page678999
On Friday last, a party of about 150 natives attacked Mr. Stocker’s hut, near the Western Creek, and wounded one of his servants, James Cupid, in three places with spears ; after which he succeeded in driving them all away by firing at them. (JG: Also known as Cubit)
25 February 1826 (newspaper)
GOVERNMENT ORDER. (1826, February 25). Hobart Town Gazette (Tas. : 1825 – 1827), p. 1 Supplement: Supplement to the Hobart Town Gazette. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page679886 GOVERNMENT ORDER Secretary’s Office, Hobart Town, February 20, 1826
HIS EXCELLENCY the LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR has been pleased to direct the following. STATEMENT of the COLONIAL FUND, for the Year ending 31st December, 1825, to be published for general Information:- W. Moore, for attending to the Natives at Kangaroo Point
7 & 10 October 1826 (newspaper)
The Natives. (1826, October 20). Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 – 1827), p. 3.
On Saturday, the 7th instant, three of Mr. Allardice’s men, on the Clyde, were sur- prised by a tribe of Natives, who had pre- viously secured their fire-arms in the hut at a little distance. The Natives immediately commenced an attack upon them, and, while the men were endeavouring to swim the Clyde, in order to escape, one was unfortu- nately Speared, and sunk to rise no more ; his body has not yet been found.
On Tuesday, the 10th instant, a man went to the soldiers at Bothwell, to acquaint them, that, the Natives had attacked their master, Mr. Nicholson’s hut but as there was no Magistrate in the district to grant a warrant, the soldiers could not render them any as- sistance.-On the man’s return to Mr. Nichol- son, he found one of his companions speared, and the other was seen running from the Na- tives, and has not since been heard of ; in fact, there can be no doubt but that he is murdered. The Natives robbed the hut of every thing; and destroyed what they could not take away. They are headed by one black Tom, who was reared by-Mrs. Birch, now. Mrs. Hodgson. The man found speared at Mr. Nicholson’s is not yet dead. During the last week the Natives have robbed many huts in the neighbourhood of the Clyde.
5 Nov 1826 (correspondence)
(Transcript of a1771018)
5th Novr. 1826
Informing me of a horrid crime committed by the Natives near the Shannon
(Transcript of a1771019)
8 November 1826 (correspondence)
My Dear Colonel,
I have this day been honored with your Note of the 7th instant, wherein you allude to a letter of the preceding day, also to an Official from the Secretary, informing me of my appointment to the Magistracy, neither of which has come to hand. I beg leave to assure your Excellency that it shall be my constant endeavour to discharge, to the best of my ability, with fidelity and zeal, the duties of this high office to which you have done me the honor to appoint me. I this day attended an Inquest upon the body of Mr. Scott, the deceased overseer of Mr. Pitcairn: it appears from the clearest evidence that the man was murdered by the natives, who have for some time past manifested a hostile disposition towards the Stock Keeper in the neighbourhood of the Shannon, & particularly to those belonging to Mr. Thomson, whose hut they have repeatedly attacked, more particularly on Thursday last, as will appear from the evidence adduced before the Inquest, which I imagine will be forwarded to you. It appears that this people in their late outrages have been actuated by an opinion that Thomson’s Servants were concerned in detaining a Native woman, whom
(Transcript of a1771020)
Dunn, about six weeks ago, carried captive to their hut, as she was seen among the assailants on Thursday.
Mr. Dalrymple will inform your Excellency what arrangements he has made for the protection of those residents on the other side of the Shannon. As yet no measures have been taken for the apprehension of the leader of this mob of natives, which is formidable in numbers, amounting to about two hundred, among whom are several that speak English; hence your Excellency will perceive the difficulty of securing the leader without injury to some of his less guilty companions, should an attack be made upon them. I shall be most happy to receive Your Excellency; instructions on this Lead: in the Mean time I shall consult with Mr. Dalrymple on the Most eligible mode of affecting this desirable purpose. Beside this large body who usually reside beyond the Big River, there are two or three small parties who are frequently seen wandering between the Clyde & the Shannon.
I have the honor to be,
(Transcript of a1771021)
Captn. Clark, [indecipherable]
8 November 1826 (correspondence)
Respecting the Natives at the Shannon.
28 November 1826
12. Thomas Wells to Private Secretary, 28 Nov 1826
“At this moment when the aborigines of the island are shewing a deportment more mischievous, and alarming to the settlers, than heretofore known, His Excellency the lt. Govenor will doubtless feel interested in the knowledge of any attack or motions of those people, as well as of the conduct of the settlers thereupon I therefore take the liberty of submitting the following extracts from letters received this morning, for His Excellency’s information. I believe His Excellency is aware that the back neighbourhood of Allenvale – the country eastward, northward and n.westward – is much frequented by natives, from affording them cover and support and being peculiarly suited to their wants and habits.
[Extract from letter from Samuel P. Wells, Allenvale, 25.11.1826]
“On Tuesday we were alarmed upon hearing that the natives had been to a hut 4 miles from our house where Mr Riseley had four men at work splitting shingles, +c. The natives asked for bread which was given them. One could speak very good English and asked how many guns were in the hut; the two men inside said they had three or four, although they had none. The natives went away, but in ten minutes after a hundred came down; they first attacked the tow men in the hut, who got away, one of them with a spear in the back of his neck, the other much beaten. The two men then at their work were found next day but they were both dead.
“On Wednesday the natives went to the farm of Downie* (occupied by the farmer). One of the men seeing them approach ran into the house for a gun and as soon as they saw it they all ran away. They were closely pursued the same day, and towards evening were fell in with about a quarter of a mile from Browning’s hut.** they were fired upon and two of them were shot dead on the spot. The rest ran away leaving 24 spears, some knives and tin pots.
* 3 miles NE of Allenvale House.
** 6 miles E of do–; at this hut the natives killed Browning last year.
[Extract from Mr Webb’s letter. 26.11.1826]
“The poor wounded man reached our house with difficulty in a most deplorable and exhausted state. I applied brandy to his wounds, gave him some warm gruel and had him put to bed. He brought the spear him (sic) with him. Samuel omitted to mention that the natives were close upon Barry who was working in the field* and must have fallen a victim in a few minutes, as the (* at the farm late Browning’s) were coming down to Browning’s spring for water. I have had Barry’s family here ever since, for he durst not go back without a man with him.I am thankful to say we have not yet seen any of the natives here, but I am much agitated, and alarmed at the children going after the stock.
9 February 1827 (newspaper)
The Natives. (1827, February 9). Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 – 1827), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page679236
No tongue can tell with what poignant feelings we are again compelled to take up this distressing subject, and to record in the annals of Tasmania, another outrage commit- ted by these savage people, who, instead of growing more friendly with the whites, are on the contrary every week taking a more formidable position, and assuming a more threatening and terrific aspect. What we have heretofore said respecting the removal of the blacks to King’s or some other Island adjacent, must ultimately be followed, if it is not the wish of the Government to see continual slaughter and bloodshed. We therefore again beg of the Lieutenant Governor not longer to delay the step on which so much of the safety of the Colonists depends. On Tuesday last, Mr. Talbot’s hut, at St. Paul’s Plains, was attacked by a party of the blacks, who speared two of his stock-keepers – one so severely, that little or no hopes are entertained of his recovery; he was taken to the hospital at Launceston, where he still lies in a most dangerous state. The Aborigines then rifled the hut of every article they could carry, taking even the flour and other eatables, in the most daring manner, with which they decamped. We have also just heard, that Mr. THOMSON’s man, who we lately mentioned had been severely wounded, has died of his wounds. We had written the above when we received our letters from Port Dalrymple. On opening the communication from our Agent, the first thing which struck our eye, was a letter which had been enclosed to him, com- plaining most bitterly that the Colonial News- papers took no notice of many of the murders committed by these savages; and communicating the sad tidings of two more men, one Abraham Spence, stock-keeper to Mr. James Hill, jun. of Dunedin, the other, John Fairley, a free man, stock-keeper to Mr. Timothy Daly, a Settler, near Norfolk Plains, on Saturday week last. The bodies had not been found when the post left Launceston, although diligent search had been made every day since the murders. Other letters corrobarate but too fully the melancholy account of the outrage at St. Paul’s Plains, which we have above given. How dreadful! Then it would appear that we do not record the whole of the murders which take place, at least according to a highly respectable Settler’s account, who feels the loss of a good servant most severely. And we are much at a loss to conceive our contemporary’s meaning, when he continually cries out how greatly the virulence of the blacks has abated, and that they are now quite or nearly inoffensive. He surely must be grossly led astray by his Correspondents, or he must most grossly mis-represent the case himself, one of the two; and we are the more inclined to favour the latter idea, because he never thinks of contradicting any of his reports. It would really seem as if the Editor of that highly useful Journal, was the supporter and defender of the Aborigines, instead of the Europeans, by his conduct, and that he would wish to make people believe that we wanted them all annihilated without mercy. How- ever, we will do the Doctor the credit to say, that we do not think what he asserts at all likely to do us any injury; far from it, as every person who knows the transactions and reads the two statements, his and ours, will soon discover which takes the right side of the question, and consequently which is the most beneficial Journal to the People. But we shall not discuss this point at present, but content ourselves with again calling upon the Local Government, in the name of the Colonists, for the more efficient protection of them, from the repeated attacks of the sable tribes. Settlers and servants, notwith- standing the Government Order, are still murdered and ill-treated – their huts are still robbed and their property still destroyed; and the scenes of bloodshed will ever exist while a black Native remains wild and savage in “the bush.”
Saturday 17 March 1827 (correspondence)
At the Estate of E Lord Esq
I beg you will excuse the liberty I am taking, in addressing you with these few lines which is to inform you that yesterday the natives came quietly to my hut and set fire to the thatch before ……… which consumed the house and all the contents thereof except some few things we fortunately saved. Myself and two men were in the Hut at the time then ……… where a small distance off in the back at work, and then ………. with the stock at a distance of two miles from home.
They then soon after made another attempt; and notwithstanding all possible exertions succeeded in taking away some blankets and other articles but fortunately no lives were lost. The natives are still in this immediate neighbourhood and ……….. in ………. bounds to communicate the same to you trusting that you will be pleased to render me some sort of assistance of protection from those Savages in so remote a situation of the Island which is so dreadfully infested with those Savages.
Sir I beg to remain you most obedient servant,
then ………. to E Lord Esq
to Lieut Burton
Sat 23 June 1827 (correspondence)
(CSO 1/316/7578 Pp15-37 and p48)(p 15)
15. Information on oath before P.A. Mulgrave by John Hurling, assigned servant to Thomas Cookson Simpson, at whose stock hut he lived, about 20 miles west of Mr Leith’s farm; William Knight his overseer; 26/6/1827
The information on oath of John Hurling an assigned servant to Thomas? Cookson Simpson Esquire who deposeth and saith, I reside at ? Archer’s? stock Hut, about twenty miles ? westward of Mr Leith’s farm, William Knight was my overseer there.
About noon last Saturday the 23d June (1827), Knight and I had fallen a tree for fire wood about thirty yards from our Hut, and as we were lopping the Branches, I saw a number of the Black native people rush from some tea tree brush upon the banks of a creek in the front of our hut?, towards the hut. Knight and I went towards the hut with our axes? In our hands, to ? our pieces and other property we had left there, as we were going Knight received a spear in his shoulder, thrown by a tall black native man, Knight pulled the spear out of his shoulder, and move his hand to me, I supposed he meant me to run from them
I did so, and Knight followed me slowly bout a hundred yards, also I saw two or three natives knock him down in the plain about twenty of the Black native people followed me across the plain to the forest, one of the natives was within ten or fifteen yards of me, and had a spear in each hand, I three my axe at him and knocked him down, I do not know on what part of the body or head I hit him, I then unlaced my boots and threw them off, I could not run with them on my feet any farther, there were then twenty of the natives within thirty yards of me all armed with spears, several spears were thrown at me as I ran, after I had run three or four hundred yards in the forest, I was tired and not able to run any
Further, I laid myself down alongside of a fallen tree, it was a very large tree, and it had a large limb to it, under which I put my Head and laid upon my face and hands, and put my body as much as possible under the tree. I saw the natives pass both ends of the tree, within fifteen yards of it backwards and forwards, crying Rugga, Rugga, I did not see any Dogs with them, after I had lain there about half an hour, my dog came to me and I immediately got up, fearing the natives might follow my dog, and I ran to Mr Gibson’s Hut, first pulling off my trowsers that I might run more easily.
The grass was high around the tree to the side of which I laid and it rained then and had rained all that morning.
The Boots I threw away were rather too big for me the road I had to run through was very rough, it was a complete forest.
Thomas Baker, Henry Smith, a constable and a soldier, went with me from Gibson’s Hut back to my master’s hut, I saw the body of William Knight lying upon his back about ten yards from the hut his legs were crossed, one arm laid by the side of him, the other arm towards his head, a piece of a dark coloured Handkerchief laid over his face; I did not examine the Body, I resisted to carry it into the Hut, one of the eyes appeared to be knocked into the socket, and some of the supper front teeth were also knocked in, the back part of the head was much cut and bleeding, the handle of an old hoe was laying near it, when I let Knight he wore a flannel under waist coat, a checked shirt, a pair of trowsers, a neck handkerchief and a kangaroo skin cap; when we found his body the kangaroo skin cap was laying near the head.
With blood on it, the neck handkerchief was gone, the flannel waistcoat and checked shirt as well as a pair of Boot were still on the body – The piece of handkerchief that laid over his face he usually carried in his cap.
We left In our Hut that morning two muskets, two pouches with ammunition, two canisters of gunpowder, and ten or twelve pounds of musket and pistol Balls, eight Blankets, two Bed Ticks, four tin pots, four knives, two forks, four spoons, two milk kids, two iron pots a wooden Bucket, a frying pan, two of my shirts, three of Knights, two pair of Trowsers, one pair of Boots, also belonging to Knight and this waistcoat belonging to me, and a blue jacket, there were also eighteen bushels of wheat in Bags, about a peck of flour, thirty pounds of sugar, twelve pounds of tea, three pounds of soap, one tomahawk, one hand saw, two hammers, one spade, one grubbing Hoe, one mortice Tool, and about forty pounds
pounds of salt, belonging to my master also four whips; there was a straw hat and a Handkerchief which belonged to me – when I returned to the Hut the what Bags had been burst, the wheat scattered about the Hut and outside the door, the Bucket, frying pan, two iron pots, the grubbing hoe and the mortising? Tool remained in the Hut, and the salt and two milk kids were standing outside the door of the Hut, all the other articles were gone.
About six months before about twenty of the native people came to the hut and remained in the neighborhood of the Hut the whole of the day. Knight spoke to them in their own language and they went away. Knight told me about three months ago, that he had fallen in with some natives and fired at then, and that three spears which he brought home with him, had been thrown at him.
I saw a kangaroo dog in the Hut when we returned to it on Saturday
Afternoon, it had the mange, the soldier shot it with a pistol. On Friday night our Hut smoked a great deal, when Knight said I wish the natives may come and burn down the bloody hut tomorrow morning.
/signed/ John X Hurling
Sworn before me at Launceston the twenty sixth day of June 1827
The information on oath of Henry Smith, who deposeth and Saith, I am assigned servant to Mr David Gibson and reside at his stock hut seventeen miles to the westward of Mr Leith’s farm, Thomas Baker is my overseer at that Hut and William White my fellow servant Mr TC Simpson Stock Hut is three miles from ours, nearer to the sea, William Knight was Mr Simpson’s overseer there and John Hurling Mr Simpsons’ assigned servant lived with him, Mr Simpson’s is the nearest Hut to ours, Mr Ritchie has a Hut in that neighbourhood five miles from ours and farther from Mr Simpsons about three o clock lat Saturday afternoon, the twenty third day of June, I was at my master’s Hut, with Thomas Baker, William White, Field Police constable Williams and two soldiers when
I heard some person Cooing? Thomas Baker went out the rest followed him to the door, and I saw John Hurling running towards our Hut, as if running from Mr Simpson’s, he had nothing upon him but his shirt and had his trowsers in his hand he ran into the Hut sat down on a stool, and appeared out of breath and exhausted and it was some time before he could speak, he looked pale and frightened, I said to him ‘what is the matter’? he said ‘oh’ my mate is killed, the natives have been and killed my mate along side of me’ I asked him where his mate laid, he said, when he fell he was in the middle of our place”, I asked him how the natives had come upon them, he said ‘we had been falling a tree * we saw some natives coming toward the Hut, Knight and I being armed with hatchets went toward the Hut, for the purpose of driving the natives away, and when within ten
* for fire wood about thirty yards from the hut and as we began to lop the tree.
Yards of it, Knight received a spear in his left shoulder, which he Knight pulled out of the wound from behind him, and made motions with his hands pointing to Gibson’s Hut, I ran towards the Plain and Knight followed me slowly, I saw him drop in the plain, the natives followed me from the plain to the edge of the forest, where I planted myself under a hollow tree, the natives came all round me crying out “rugga, rugga” and passed by me, my dog soon after came up to me and I made the best of my way here.”
Constable Williams, one soldier, Baker, Hurling and I, then went to Mr Simpson’s Hut, about ten yards from the hut I saw the body of William Knight, laying on his back with his legs across one armed under his head, and the other arm under his side, a dark coloured cotton Handkerchief laid over his face, one of the party, I do no know which, lifted it up, one of his eye was bursted in the socket, and three or four of his front teeth knocked into his
Mouth, the back part of his skull on the right side was beaten in, there was a wound in his left shoulder, and there was a black mark round his neck as if he had been strangled, he had trowsers on him, a check shirt and a pair of shoes on his feet, the handle of a grubbing axe lay by the left side of his head, and two very large waddies about ten yards from his head, neither his shirt or trowsers appeared to be tore, there was a wound in his left breast as well as in the back of his left shoulder, they both appeared to have been caused by spears, his body was covered with bruises, he was quite dead, we carried the body into the Hut, there was nothing in the Hut but two iron pots, and a quantity of wheat strewed inside the Hut, and outside the door, and some torn canvas bags, there were a great number of foot marks of naked people and children all around the Hut, and leading from the creek in front of the Hut up to the Hut, from the number
Of footmarks there must have been upwards of thirty persons, they were all over the Garden like the foot prints of so many cattle.
Hurling started with us from our Hut on Sunday morning for Launceston; the Western River we found impassible, and slept at Mr Ritchie’s Hut that night the next day we were able to cross the River about eight o’clock and arrived here this morning.
It is fifty miles from Mr Simpson’s Hut to Launceston, and the road very bad at this season of the year for Carts, which we frequently prevented from crossing the river by floods, which frequently happen; there are only three free people within twenty miles of Mr Simpson’s Hut, except one or two at Mr Leiths which is eighteen miles from it.
Hurling’s shirt was wet when he arrived at our hut on Saturday it rained all the day before he arrived; there were no marks of blood
Upon his shirt or trowsers, there was a dog with him.
When I first went into Mr Simpson’s Hut on Saturday, I saw a light brown coloured kangaroo dog there, it was covered with scabs as dogs generally are which follow the black native people.
Last Tuesday Thomas Baker told me, that in my absence the Sunday before, our Hut had been surrounded by two hundred black native people, that he escaped from them after having killed one of them who pursued him, that he returned from Mr Ritchie’s Hut the next day, and found our Hut stripped of all our bedding, cloaths and six or seven bushels of flour, as well as all our knives, an axe, two pair of sheep shears, a pair of scissors and a tomahawk, and all the tin pots, but left behind them all the dinner forks /fine/ and three spoons, they also carried away thirty or forty kangaroo skins.
/signed/ Henry Smith
his X mark
Sworn before me at Launceston
this 26th day of June 1827
/signed/ P.A. Mulgrave
The information on oath of Thomas Wilkins a constable belonging to the band of Field Police, who deposeth and saith, I was at Mr Gibson’s Hut at the western marshes on Saturday the twenty third instant, about two o clock in the afternoon, John Hurling, Mr Simpson’s assigned servant ran into the Hut, he was pale, appeared much frightened and could hardly speak, some one asked him what was the matter, he replied “oh my mate is killed by the natives” Hurling had nothing upon him but his shirt, and his trowsers slung over his neck, he said that his mate, William Knight, and he, had been falling a tree about twenty yards from their Hut, and had their muskets with them, that it soon afterwards rained, and they took the muskets into the Hut, and returned to the tree, and whilst they were lopping it a number of black native people rushed into the Hut, and took possession of it, that Knight and he went towards the
The Hut, when the natives threw spears at them, one of which struck Knight in the left shoulder, Knight pulled out the spear and they ran across the plain, where some of the natives overtook Knight and knocked him down, that some of them pursued him, Hurling into the Forest, where he hid himself by the side of a fallen tree until the natives had passed, that he threw away his boots before he got into the Forest, and pulled of his trowsers after the natives had passed him, – Thomas Baker and Henry Smith, Mr Gibson’s men, James Lirgan??? A soldier and I, accompanied Hurling to Mr Simpson’s Hut – Hurling pointed out a place upon the plain about two or three hundred yards from Mr Simpson’s Hut, where he said Knight had been knocked down, the plain was ankle deep in water, and no marks of blood could be perceived in any part of it, there was an axe the blade of which was sticking in the ground about forty yard from that place, which Hurling said he had thrown at a native as he ran away, and knocked him down.
About fifteen yards from Mr Simpson’s Hut, I saw the body of William Knight
Laying upon its back, the legs were crossed, the left arm was close by his side, the right hand ?? off towards the head, 1 ? front teeth had been knocked out, the face was ??? about the ???, the back part of the head appeared broken in, there was a wound upon the back of the left shoulder and another upon the left Breast, I did not examine them the body was warm. I did not perceive any bruises upon the body, there was a kangaroo skin cap with blood on it near the head, and the handle of a Hoe near the body with blood upon the end of it, there was a pair of trowsers, Boots, a shirt and a waistcoat upon the body, the shirt was bloody on the back and right arm. Hurling, Baker, and Lirgan? Carried the Body into Mr Simpson’s Hut. There was a quantity of wheat scattered in and about the hut, and a number of flour? Bags, the Hut appeared to have been plundered, there were many ??? of large and sack s ???? which effected to have been recently fallen? About twenty yards from it, there was a black mark round Knight’s neck, and an old handkerchief thrown
Over his face, but no cord or rope near him, Lirgin? Shot a small dog near the Hut. [??]
The next day Corporal Shiners, James Lirgan?, Thomas Baker, William White and I, went in pursuit of the black native people; we saw a smoke near a place called Laycock’ Falls about five miles from Mr Gibson’s Hut, we got within four hundred yards of the place, about as near before sundown; I saw two of the black native men armed with spears near some fires, we hid ourselves until about seven or eight o clock, when we rushed towards the fires a great number of black native people and a number of Dogs ran from us, Corporal Shiners, Lirgin, and William White fired amongst the natives, Baker attempted to fire, but his pistol flashed in the pan; the black native people immediately disappeared amongst some scrub and ferns, the dogs attacked us, and we shot in the ?????? of the night upwards of five and twenty of the dogs – the next morning we saw tracks of blood near the fires, but did not see any of the bodies of the black native people, who did not return to
The fires during the night, there were a number of pieces of blankets, some kangaroo skins, a great number of spears and waddies, a deal of kangaroo meat, salted Beef, some tin pots, some knives, Razors, Scissors and two blades or sheep shears, an axe, a tomahawk, part of a canister of Gun powder, six or seven musket cartridges, some buck shot and one musket were near the fires, and another musket in the hollow of a Gum Tree, about forty yards from the fires.
Thomas Baker said the the axe and Gun Powder had been ‘stolen’ from Mr Gibson’s Hut the preceding Monday, this musket – skern – belonged to William Knight, and this other axe I am informed belongs to Mr Simpson, they were both loaded when we found them, the salted Beef and Kangaroo meat had been roasted and was hanging upon trees, there were some cords made of grass, and the sinews of kangaroo tails near the fires – we remained before the ground until between ten and
And eleven o clock the next morning, but saw nothing more of the black native people. We did not call out to the black native people before we rushed them, Corporal Shiners led the party, I was in the rear when they? Fired. I did not hear any of the black native people cry out as if wounded by the firing, there was only one round fired at them, I am sure that one of the tracks of blood was the blood of a native, I knew?? it was legs of wood and between their legs saw the prints of naked black feet, close to the marks of blood.
Signed Thomas X Williams
His x mark
Sworn before me at Launceston the thirtieth day of June, one thousand eight hundred twenty seven.
/signed/ PA Mulgrave
(p 34)[faded word above text]
The examination of oath of John Shiner a Corporal in the fortieth Regiment who saith, on Sunday the twenty fourth of June? Thomas William?, Thomas Baker, William White and James Lingan? Accompanied me from Mr Gibson’s stockyard in the Western Marshes, in pursuit of some black native people, wh had the preceeding day plundered Mr Simpson’s hut and murdered his overseer. About two o clock on the afternoon of the twenty fourth *we came in sight of some fires near Laycock’s Falls, there were a number of black native people near the fires, we hid ourselves in a large hollow tree until between seven and eight o clock; when we approached the fires gradually until within thirty or forty yards, when we ran towards the fires, there were six fires, three of which were close together, and the other three fourteen or fifteen yards from them, and further apart, I saw thirty of the black
* [margin] native people, and a number of dogs near the first three fires, I do not know how many there were near the other place. I saw a smoke at a place called Laycocks Falls five miles to the westward of Mr Gibson’s Hut an hour before sundown.
Native people, and a number of Dogs near the first three fires, I do not know how many there were near the other place, we did not call out to them before we rushed them, I fired at one of the dogs, and White and Lingan also fired, I do not know that they fired at the black native people, we remained near the fires until about ten o clock the next morning, but saw nothing more of the black native people, we killed between twenty and thirty of their dogs, there were a great many pieces of Blankets, an axe, a Tomahawk, seven case Knives, and two pocket knives, two blades of sheep shears, five tin pots, a canister of Gunpowder ten pounds of Balls cartridges, a tin box with some duck shot and small nails in it near the fires, and a musket about thirteen yards off, and another musket in a Hollow Tree upwards of a hundred yards from the fires, both the muskets were loaded and primed.
The Black native people did not cry out when we rushed the fires
And fired, they immediately disappeared amongst some scrub and ferns near the fires; I did not see the body of a black native the next morning, I do not think that any of them were wounded; we found a quantity of roasted kangaroo and one piece of Roasted Salt Beef, hung upon Trees near the fires – these are the muskets, I have seen this musket in the possession of William Knight whose body I examined in Mr Simpson’s Hut in the Western Marshes last Tuesday the back part of his skull had been beaten in, and a part of his Brains were coming out of the wound; his front teeth had been beaten into his mouth, his left eye was much swelled, there was a wound upon the left shoulder and Breast, and a Black ring round his neck, as if he had been dragged with a Rope or cord.
/signed/ John Shiners
sworn before me at Launceston this thirtieth day of June 1827
signed PA Mulgrave
(p 37 ?)(dsc0087)(2/3)
1 July 1827 (correspondence)
I herein have the honor ?? ??? for the information ?? ?? on the night of the 28th ultimo Corporal Shiners
38. Captain Dalrymple 40th Regt. to Captain Montagu; Launceton, 1/7/1827
“I Have the honor to report to you for the information of the Colonel commanding that on the night of the 28th ult. Corporal Shinners, with a constable and his party proceeded to drive the natives from his neighborhood They hid themselves for about two hours in a hollow tree and during that time discovered them to the number of about 250 or upwards. They were distinctly heard to brag in English of the white men they had killed. Having waited till the middle of the night, the party proceeded to attack them and succeeded in taking two muskets, 50 rounds of ball cartridge, 2 cannisters of gun powder, a great quantity of powder in flasks, a large quantity of bullets and shot, about 300 spears and nearly two cart loads of blankets and other property lately taken from the settlers. The party also succeeded in shooting 42 kangaroo dogs, which would not leave the fires as there were large pieces of beef roasting at the time. All the property which could not be carried away was burnt, and upon inspection of the muskets at the Police office one of them were found to have belonged to a man who had been murdered by the blacks about four days before.
“I consider that great praise is due to Corporal Shinners for the way in which he performed this duty, there being only three besides himself against the natives part of whom were armed with muskets. Mr Mulgrave P.M. has fully investigated this affair, and I have no doubt will give any further information, if required.
Note: This letter is endorsed. “Reporting that Corpl. Skinner had surprised a party of natives, and also that 2 men were killed and 1 wounded by the natives.” (See below)
42. William Bryan to E. Abbott, Commandant L’ton; Glenore. 1/7/1827
“In consequence of some of the aborigines having plundered a Mr Herbert’s stock hut (near this) of flour on Friday, two of his men and one of my splitters pursued them, and came up to their whole arty amounting (as the men report) to two hundred, at daylight on Saturday morning. Each man discharged his gun, then became alarmed at the great number of the natives and retreated being pursued by the whole body for two miles and to within three quarters of a mile of my house, one of Mr Herbert’s men being unable to run fast fell into the hands of his pursuers by whom he has been murdered and the body concealed. As soon as I was apprised of this misfortune I sent for a party of the military to have the country where this scene took place searched in hopes of finding the wretched man’s remains. From the active and desperate pursuit of the natives I can confidently say we have now got an enemy to deal with, who must not be attacked by small bodies of men, and against whom a never ceasing dread (to avoid surprise) should be entertained by those who live as I do, near their haunts on the borders of a desolate and extensive forest, extending itself for miles at the foot of the Western mountains. “I trust the above information, and the unprotected situation of my establishment here, will induce you to order a party of the military to be stationed on my land for some time. I have a good hut and other accommodation for them. Without this protection being afforded the splitters cannot return to their work, not can the shepherds in this neighbourhood attend to their flocks.
“Monday morning 10 o’clock.
“Up to this hour no information has reached me of the body of the deceased having been found, it appears he is assigned servatn to a man by the name of Chapman who runs stock along with Mr. Herberts at the Long Swamp when this affair took place, his name is here unknown.
E.Abbott to John Montagu; Launceston, 2 July 1827
“It is with much concern that I have to report to you, for the information of the Lieutenant Governor, that several murders have recently been committed by the black natives as detailed in the papers which accompany this letter.
“The savages have got bolder and fear less, and spread great alarm among those persons residing at distant places.
Endorsed by Arthur – “The subject of this communication was one of the cases which induced my late journey across the country, I explained to Mr Abbott and to every magistrate with whom I conversed that as the aggressions had been so numerous, and of a nature so serious, it became urgent for the magistrates generally to take prompt and decisive steps, and I consider the necessary measures to repel the violence of these ignorant people will suggests themselves to the civil power in every case which may arise upon the official information which has been already promulgated by the Govt. 18 Augt.
P.A Mulgrave to E. Abbott; Launceston, 2 July 1827
[Sends information concerning death of William Knight; and the attack on the natives by Corporal Shiners and his party].
Lascelles to Emmett; “Police Office, Monday morning”.
[Reports that only hearsay information was available “respecting the conduct of the natives in the late occurrence at Mount Royal”.]
1 July 1827 (correspondence)
To Capt Montagu
Reporting that Corpl Shiners had surprised a party of natives, and also that 2 men were killed & 1 wounded by the natives.
(Page break from p37-47)(p 48)
2 July 1827 (correspondence)
Police Office, Launceston
I have the honour to enclose herewith; informations respecting the death of William Knight killed by the black native people on the 23rd instant, also respecting the/an? Attack made upon the murderers the next night by Corporal Shiners and his party.
I have the honour to be
Your most obedient
[To] The Honorable
Edward Abbott Esquire
6 July 1827 (newspaper)
The Natives. (1827, July 6). Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 – 1827), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page679329
These savages are again at work, carrying slaughter and devastation wherever they go. On Sunday last, a tribe appeared at Quamby’s Bluff, robbed the hut of Mr. WIDSOWSON there, and destroyed every thing which they could not take away. Two men, who had gone out in the morning in quest of their sheep, are supposed to have been murdered by the natives, as no tidings bave since been heard of them, and some of their dogs returned completely speared through, without their masters. This, added to the circumstance of their cries having been heard amid a great uproar of the natives, leaves no hope that these unhappy men could escape the fury of the savages. One was a servant to Mr. Widowson – the other to Mr. Walker. Another of Mr. Widowson’s men, hearing the outcry, went instantly for his gun and ammu- nition, with intent to follow the natives. – A mob shewed themselves at the back of the hut, which he followed, and succeeded in driving them away, but none were killed. While thus engaged in driving one tribe
away, another attacked and plundered the hut, as we have before described. – A most barbarous murder was also committed by this brutal and atrocious race last week, on the person of an old man, a stock-keeper to Mr. SIMPSON, the Magistrate; his body was pierced through and through with spears, and his head beaten flat. The Military instantly pursued the blacks – brought home numerous trophies, such as spears, waddles, tomahawks, muskets, blankets, &c., – killed upwards of thirty dogs, and, as report says, nearly as many natives, but this is not a positive fact. – These murders make six which have been committed near Quamby’s Bluff, within the last month, viz:- Two men of Mr. Brumby’s, one of Mr. Field’s, one of Mr. Simpson’s, one of Mr. Widowson’s, and one of Mr. Walker’s. – The two men, who we last week mentioned as having been attacked by the natives, near Michael Howe’s Marsh, while splitting rails, were servants of Mr. J. A. Eddie. One of them, named John Flood, has since died of his wounds; and the other poor fellow is not expected to recover, having received nine deep spear-wounds in the back, and a dreadful blow with a waddy on the same part. The spear which killed Mr. Simpson’s man, went completely thro’ his body. Another tribe of natives are said to have attacked and robbed the hut of Captain Thomas, at the Great Western Lagoon. One of the men, named Quin, is missing, and it isfeared, killed.We have been favoured with the following extract of a letter from Launceston:- “The people over the second Western Tier, have killed an immense quantity of the blacks this last week, in a consequence of their having murdered Mr. Simpson’s stock-keeper. – They were surrounded whilst sitting round their fires, when the soldiers and others fired at them when about 30 yards distant. They report that there must be about sixty of them killed and wounded ! They found muskets, cartridges, loose balls, and powder, tomahawks, sheep-shears, and an immense number of other articles of various descriptions. The man they murdered was formerly an associate of the blacks at Sydney, althoughhimself a white man”.We are thunderstruck when we consider these murders, at the supineness of the Government, in not instantly removing the blacks. We repeat what we have said ten times before, there never will be an end of such transactions till the natives are re- moved – removed, removed, REMOVED.
3 August 1827 (newspaper)
Supreme Court. (1827, August 3). Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 – 1827), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page67934 The Natives.-These black savages have, been committing further devastation and out- rages. Last week, two of Captain Wilson’s, men, while splitting palings, on his farm at Salt-pan Plains, were attacked by the na- tives, who speared, them both. One of the men, has been brought to town, and the other is supposed to have been murdered, not having since been, heard of.-On Friday last, Mr. Wilkinson’s, stock-hut was attacked and robbed by a tribe. Another Settler was robbed at the Hunting-grounds; and a shepherd, in the employ of Mr. Wilson, of Salt-pan Plains, was founded, and chased by about 50. He only escaped by taking refuge in the tent of Mr. Scott, the Surveyor.A man named Field, was last week attacked at the Broad Marsh by another tribe, who rob- bed him of his fire arms, and nearly murdered him.-
The wounded man, who was in the Hospital, who we lately mentioned as having been speared at the Lake River, when his comrade was killed by the Natives, died on Wednesday. We can only say, again and again, that until the natives are all removed, from the Island, their hostilities will still continue, and no week pass without a record of their violence.
26 September 1827 (correspondence)
Peter Monro to the Principal Superintendent; Birch’s Bay, 26 Sept. 1827.
“I beg to acquaint you that the three men stationed at Mount Royal as signal men informed me on Sunday last that some of the aboriginal natives had been there and plundered them of their provisions, bedding, a Govt. musket and sundry small articles. I was very doubtful at first of their statement being correct thinking probably that is was a scheme to get some extra rations. However I took a boat crew and went down with one of the veterans and found the house nearly empty, it appeared from their statement that the blacks had been there a second time and had taken away a frying pan and some other little articles.
“On coming down to the foot of the hill the two men left in charge of the boat informed me that two of the natives had been there for some tie, that they endeavoured to detail them by giving them some bread but that upon hearing us coming they run off into the scrub we examined the bush but it coming on dark was obliged to give up the search.
“I have sent one of the signal men to town to give in his deposition and Alex. Fullerton who was with me will give you the particulars.
53. Principal Superintendent to Col.Sec.; 28 September 1827.
Enclose report from Mr Monro.
Endorsed by Arthur – “I am sorry to observe this as I always considered the natives to the southward were very harmless. “I wish to see the statement of the man who as been sent to make his deposition. [not found]
20 October 1827 (same event)
COUNTRY POST. (1827, October 20). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 3.http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4226415 St. Peter’s Pass.-On Sunday Mr. Maclanachan and Mr. Clark, of Salt pan plains, and Mr. Bennett, chief district constable of Methven, were attacked by a horde of about 50 of the black natives close to Presnell’s new house near St. Peter’s pass. Mr. Clark received a severe spear wound in the left shoulder, and Mr. Bennett in the back, neither of them however we are happy to say is considered dangerous. They were assisted by Mr. Maclanachan to the house, closely followed by the natives who surrounded it. Mr. Maclanachan however, though provided with only one gun, con- trived to keep them at bay by presenting it towards them as they advanced from behind the trees, until Mrs. Maclanachan seeing the danger to which her husband was exposed, ran to his relief shouldering and presenting a stick in the manner of a firelock, and so intimidated them that they retreated into the woods. Sergeant Little with a party of the 40th went in immediate pursuit of them.
William Bryan to [M L Smith]; Glenore, Western River, 10 November 1827.
“I regret much that you did not comply (when here) with my request to station a party in this immediate neighbourhood for the protection of His Majesty’s subjects resident here.
“The bearer of this brings in a cart, the body of a man murdered by the natives this day – probably tomorrow I will send my cart with another body, of a victim to these savages fury.
“Mr Lyttleton’s man was killed about 3 o clock. At three o’clock I went down to my shepherd’s hut to see my shepherd, who had been ill, a little after my getting there, a body of natives attacked the hut. I was unarmed, yet kept them out for one hour. They succeeded in breaking in the door, one window and set fire to one end of the hut I had ten nothing for it but to dash through them and make the best of my way home for assistance, being obliged to leave the shepherd, an old man, to his fate. On my return I found him severely wounded in four different parts of the head and bleeding profusely and being an old man I have very slender hopes of him; the natives had disappeared. I implore you to send out a party till the pleasure of His Excellency the Lieut. Gov. is known.
Our sheep and cattle will all scatter, my improvements here must stop as neither shepherd or bullock driver can attend to their duty; unprotected I can ask no man to do so, for I have been in houses attacked by white savages and I protest most solemnly to you, that the system and fury of these black monsters, exceeded anything I had yet encountered, the house on fire and these furies dancing outside made me imagine I had been suddenly transported to the infernal regions. Pray send me two musquets and some ammunition by Mr Lyttleton’s men till I get some firearms from Launceston.
60. Wm Bryan to M L Smith, Norfolk Plains; Friday
“I send you the corpse of poor Cunningham my late shepherd, who died without a struggle about an hour since his sufferings were apparently but little, from the great quantity of blood he lost.
“One of the men who goes with him (Farrell) was the first who saw him, up to my leaving him you had the particulars in mine of last night, my men visiting the hut this morning found that a bag of flour, blanket or had been taken away wand also a piece of iron which happened to be in the hut covered with blood supposed to be what they murdered him with.
“I again renew my request for assistance and the loan of arms; please send the accompanying note as soon as possible to my mother (as I cannot spare a man) who I fear will hear that I have suffered which my shepherd as such is the report afloat.”
12 November 1827 (correspondence)
64. E. Abbott to Col.Sec.; Launceston, 12 November 1827.
To inform the Lieut. Governor that Mr Lawrence (Launceston) had informed him that “He had just received intelligence from his farm, on the Lake River, that several hundreds (500) of the black natives were there; they had killed one of his stock keepers and destroyed a hundred of his sheep.”
Endorsed by Burnett ; “Acknowledge and state that the active measures adopted by the magistrates it is hoped will put a stop to these very distressing outrages of the aborigines”.
12 November 1827 (correspondence)
66. M.L. Smith P.M. to Col. Sec.; Norfolk Plains, 12 November 1827
“It is with much regret I have to report to you for the information of His Excellency the Lieut. Governor, that the aboriginal natives have again made their appearance in the back parts of this district. On the 10th inst. they visited the stock huts of Mr Lyttleton and Mr. Bryan successively and murdered a free man at each.
“The accompanying notes from the latter gentleman will furnish the particulars of this atrocious, and as far as I can learn, unprovoked aggressions, on the part of the aboriginals. Information was also brought me yesterday afternoon by Dr Landall who dressed the wound that one of Dr Paton’s men had been speared and was not expected to recover. I immediately despatched military parties with field Police guides to the different stations where the outrages were committed, and gave directions that diligent pursuits be made after this audacious band. I am informed they succeeded in carrying away three pieces of two of which were double barrelled, and some ammunition from Dr.Paton’s hut. Several of the party spoke English.
“Mr Bryan it appears does not keep firearms of any description on his premises not does he furnish his men with any.
“The bodies of the two unfortunate men were brought down to this station yesterday afternoon: an inquest will be held on them tomorrow; after which it is my intention to proceed to the western part of this district myself, and I shall report farther on my return. I think it necessary to state that had the military parties been still stationed as formerly, they could not have prevented these attacks which took place at a distance from those stations. Moreover, the mode of attack of the savages is sudden and transitory. I am therefore of opinion, the stock keepers in remote parts must chiefly depend on their own extertions and watchfulness for their safety, as it seems, to me, impossible the Government can furnish two or three soldiers for each stock hot, which Mr Bryan once requested for himself. Indeed unless military are judiciously stationed and commanded, at least, by an intelligent non-commissioned officer and frequented by a superior, I consider detachments or two or three men highly objectionable.
[Endorsed by Arthur] – “State that I anticipate he will make every possible effort to protect the inhabitants from the aggressions of the natives, and that more men of the field police will be added to his station (?) and the officer cmdg. at the punt (?) is instructed to afford any military aid he may require.” 15 November.
12 November 1827 (correspondence)
I have The honour to report to you for the information of The Lieutenant Governor that I received a letter from Mr Lawrence of this Town last Saturday night, stating he had just received intelligence from his Farm, on the Lake River,That several hundreds (500) of the black Natives were there; they had killed one of his stockkeeper’s and destroyed a hundred of his sheep.
I immediately ?????? his letter to Lieut Sergeantson’s
John Burnett Esq
[5? faded words in left margin]
(dsc093) (p 65)
the ??? point from whence any aid could under such circumstances be obtained, and requested he would afford Mr Lawrence what assistance he can
I have the honour to be
Your most Obed Servant
[bottom left margin] Acknowledge and state that the ? measures adopted by the Magistrates it is hoped will put a stop to these very distressing outrages by the Aborigines
[bottom right margin]
Mr Lawrence’s stockkeeper and 100 of his sheep killed by the natives.
24 November 1827 (correspondence)
70. Thomas Archer to Col. Sec. ; Woolmers, 24 November 1827
“I have the honor to enclose herewith a memorial from many of the most respectable landowners i the County of Cornwall to His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, praying that he will be pleased to adopt such measures as may be considered expedient for the purpose of putting a stop to the numerous horrible murders, and outrages, which the black natives here of late committed upon the free inhabitants of this island and their servants : and which memorial I am directed to request you will be pleased to lay before His Excellency at your very earliest convenience.
“I beg to add for the information of His Excellency, that in addition to the many murders, the perpetration of which caused the preparation of the said memorial, I have this moment been informed that one of Mr Dry’s shepherd at the Western River was murdered by these black savages on Thursday last (the day before yesterday) and Mr John Dry, one of Mr Richard Dry’s nephews, was at the same time speared and beaten in such a dreadful manner by them, that when Mr Lyttleton and Mr Ashburner saw him on Thursday afternoon there was little chance of his surviving many hours, one spear having passed through his chest and out at this back and the hinder part of his head being completely crushed in. Those gentlemen also saw the body of the shepherd which was mangled in a horrible manner.
“The urgency of the matter and the anxious desire of the memorialists to avoid delay, has prevented the addition of many names which would otherwise have been attached to the memorial.
“The memorial of the undersigned land, and stock-holders, and free inhabitants of the County of Cornwall. Sheweth.
“That the daring outrages committed by the native blacks who now make their appearance in considerable force, have lately increased to such a degree, as to threaten the lives and property of all those settlers, who from their distance from the towns, and their consequently unprotected state, must be at all ties liable to surprise.
“That the numerous, and atrocious murders which have of late been perpetrated by them with such impunity, and under circumstances of the most horrid barbarity, instances of which have recently occurred in the neighbourhood of Launceston, and Norfolk Plains, have created an alarm which threatens to terminate in the abandonment of such property, as is not in the immediate vicinity of an armed force, and has operated so strongly on the minds of their stock-keepers, as to induce many to refuse to remain in charge of their flocks, and others, to keep them so closely at home, as to render the greater part of their lands perfectly useless, to the evident deterioration of their stock.
“That all attempts to conciliate and civilise these savages, have only tended to render them more daring and systematic in their attacks, as well as desirous or plunder, which has been exemplified in burning the buildings, and destroying such property as could not be carried off.
“That your memorialists most earnestly entreat your Excellency will be pleased to take such steps for their security, and that of their servants and property, as will tend to restore confidence to the unprotected settlers and stock-keepers, and your memorialists will ever pray &c &c &c.
[signed by] – James Cox, Richard Dry, Anthony Cottrell, D.Cameron, J A Youl, Joseph Bonneyy, James Hortle, William Ryan, W.P. Weston, William Paton, John Brumby, David W. Gray, Williams Archer jnr, W. Gray, T.C. Simpson, (per G. Simpson), Andrew Gatenby, G. Hobler, Thomas Scott, Thomas Landale, A. Stewart, Jno. W. Gleadow, James Ash, R.B. Claiborne, Thomas Wales, Matthew Ralston, Thomas Williams, Andrew Barclay, George Hall, Richard Ker? (Kermode?), William Brumby, R.W. Lawrence, G. Simpson, Thomas Archer, Williams Barnes, D. McLeod, W.?. Lawrence, Joseph Archer, Jno. Sinclair, W.H. Gough, G. Ralston, Alex Rose, Richard White, D. Ralston, R.P. Stewart, J.G.Parker, William Urquhart, Thomas Abrahams, William Young, Thomas Fletcher, Robert Corney, W.J. Ruffy, J. Cubbiston Sutherland, Frederick Ruffy, Robert Taylor, David Taylor, George Gatenby, George Taylor, Robert Taylor, David Taylor, James Ried, J.G. Turnbull, Hugh Murray.
Notation by Arthur ; “Inform Mr Archer, in reply, that I have received the information of the aggressions of the natives with the utmost concern and regret – and have been willing to give the utmost attention to the memorial which has been transmitted to me to afford every protection which existing circumstances appear to me to justify.
“26 additional field police men have been appointed, and an addl. strong party of military have been ordered to march for the Western River as an aid to the civil power – but it does appear [to] me that the most effectual and most proper means are already in the hands of the magistrates – the Govt. order of the 29th Nov. It points out the resistance which may be made to the natives, and gives large scope for the exercise of the authority of the magistrates who are thereby relieved from the doubts and apprehensions which they might otherwise have entertained of the lengths to which they would be justified in going to repel the irruptions of the aborigines.” 30 November 1827
26 November 1827 (correspondence)
78. P.A. Mulgrave to Colonial Secretary; Launceston 26.xi.27
“it is with much regret that I have to report the murder of three persons by the black native people during the last week: – on the forenoon of Thursday the 22nd instant, Mr John Dry (a nephew of Mr Richard Dry of Launceston) was putting up a fence upon his uncle’s land on the left bank of the Western River, assisted by an assigned servant John Wrigley, when, without previous intimation, a shower of spears was thrown at them, one of which killed John Wrigley upon the spot, and Mr Dry was surrounded by upwards of sixty armed blacks, who wounded him in many places with spears, and at length thew him down and beat him upon the head with a mallet until he became insensible; three other of Mr Dry’s servants came up at this moment, and the black people immediately fled and escaped; Mr John Dry lived until Saturday morning,, and was perfectly sensible during part of the time; one spear had entered his right side and passed to the left side through the substance of the lungs, it was broken off close to the body between the ribs, and extracted with the greatest difficulty.
“On Saturday, William Welladvice (Wellardyce?), a servant to Mr Archibald Thomson, was missed from his master’s farm, about five miles from Launceston on the left bank of the Tamar, at the time a number of armed black people chased two other of Mr Thomson’s servants, and yesterday morning the body of Welladvice was found murdered, with severl native spears near it. And I have received information that a numerous body of armed black people attacked the house of Mr Bickford at Pleasant Hills on Saturday afternoon, and wounded his assigned servant William Simmonds, it is hoped not dangerously.
“Captain Smith informed me on Saturday, that he had sent a party of military and field police to patrol the left bank of the Western River; and on Saturday afternoon I sent field police men and volunteers on the left bank of the Tamar, with orders to proceed as far as Pleasant Hills, and if necessary from thence to the Western River.
“I have used every means to ascertain if any recent provocation had caused these outrages, but could not discover any palliative circumstances.
Endorsed by Arthur – “Inform him that I much lament the circumstance but that such measures as the occasion requires are adopted and refer him to the govt. notice.” 30 November 1827
12 March 1828 (correspondence)
To J Burnett
However painful it may be to communicate unpleasant intelligence (and it was this consideration that restrained me from writing last week) yet I feel it an in………ation duty to lay before you with as much accuracy as possible the continued outrages committed on the frontier by the aboriginals.
After the murder of Mr Frank’s man the Natives continued their Routes to the Don where they set themselves to watch Captain Wood’s hut, and having seen the men go out, which they very unwisely did without their arms they took possession and once was to remove the three guns which they carried off with a few other articles in the mean time the men returned and finding their hut robbed, commenced intelligence to their master, who sent information to the Police Officer, but it was not believed that the natives had committed the robbery and no party was sent.
Wishing to fain more particular information Mr Wood dispatched a man on horseback who found the hut a second time possessed by the natives and narrowly escaped with his life. They were next heard of at the Great Lake, which after two more days reconnoitring they attacked Mr Lord’s new hut, into which they forced three men to flee for refuge. They then set fire to the hut, and reduced the men to the dreadful attention of remaining to be burnt, or of going out to be speared by the natives at the initial ……… two of their own men, where they …… I also …… was by………….Report 17/5 pp134-135
22 March 1828 (Newspaper)
ROSS RACES. (1828, March 22). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4223567
UPPER CLYDE MARCH 10 1828. -On Friday last Russel’s hut, at the Regent Plains, was robbed of every article, including two muskets, by the blacks. The .men unfortunately were absent at the time, and on their return discovered what had hap- pened. The stock-keepers finding it would be un- safe to remain without fire arms, immediately made off for Dennis town. On Sunday one of them was sent back on horseback, and on his arrival at the farm discovered the hut in the possession of the natives, Who immediately gave him pursuit, and he in consequence came down again to the Clyde to give the in- formation. A military party was despatched on Mon day along with Mr. Russell’s men, but it is very doubtful whether they will get up in time to prevent the blacks destroying the buildings, which arc numerous and substantial ; the barn is shingled, and well filled with oats.The blacks who are supposed to have murdered Mr. Franks’ man, are gone to Abyssinia, and from the want of military Mr. Curtin has not been able to send in pursuit of them, having been obliged to take off his sentry to send all the men he could spare to other quarters. Our magistrate too has had about an acre of his potatoes taken out of the ground by the blacks, a few days ago, although the field is very near his house, which is a great loss where there are many pigs kept.
GREEN PONDS, March 10.-The natives have lately became so dreadfully bold and daring, that unless some decisive step be immediately adopted for the protection of the interior, the sound of murder will ever and anon be ringing in our ear. Many and desperate have been their attacks during the summer, which have never been recorded in your columns. A short time ago a man belonging to Messrs. J. and C. Franks, encountered a party, when a black more courageous than the rest, rushed in and seized his musket. It appeared quite doubtful for some time who would gain the mastery. Had nothing more fatal than this occurred I should not trouble you with the account, as. the man, after boldly defending himself with his back against a tree, for upwards of an hour, escaped unhurt ; not so with the unfortunate man Whose death I am now about to relate.
On Tuesday last Mr. John Franks and his stock keeper, left the lakes, both mounted, with a number of fat steers and sheep for the Cross Marsh Market. Mr. Franks was on first with the cattle, when about five miles from Capt. Wood’s he observed a large par ty of blacks, eight or ten behind him, forming a line across the road to prevent hs retreat ; each of them had his spear uplifted, and a small bundle of spears in his left hand. Mr. F. turned his horse and faced them, when they all as if actuated by the same spring, dropped on one knee, still holding the spear in a threatening attitude over their heads. It appeared to him that they intended to let him pass unmolested but it is quite clear that they were only gaining a little time, and endeavouring to divert his attention until they had completely surrounded him, and thus make their work more sure ; however, he again began driving his cattle, and the moment he cracked his whip, the blacks instantaneously rose with the same precision with which they had dropped, and commenced running towards him in the most exact order. Mr. F. at this instant could not help admiring their discipline, not even yet aware of the imminent danger that threatened him. On looking round they again stopped, to use his own words, ” in the most beautiful style.” It now appeared evident to him that they must have some hidden design for this conduct, and on examining each side of the road he perceived they were gathering round from all quarters. This was the critical moment-one more and he would haveadded to the number of those already sent into eter- nity by this blood-thirsty race, for on his right hand within thirty yards stood a fellow in the very act of delivering a spear, which was, already quivering in the air ; the sport were instantly applied and, most providentially, the rider saved. In consequence of the thickness of the scrub, the exact movements of the natives could not be observed, but it is supposed there were many more close by the one seen by Mr. F. who imagines several spears were then thrown, as the cattle made ‘a rush at the time he galloped off; in all probability some of them were speared, (some have been since seen speared,) at was the case with some of the sheep that were afterwards found. His horse received a spear in the thigh ten feet in length, which brought his hind quarters to the ground. Mr. F. now gave up all hopes of escape, but fortunately the horse recovered, and after two or three more falls ofthe same nature the spear fell from him, he arrived safe at Capt. Wood’s,who with Mr. Russel most hu- manely rendered every assistance, providing both for man and horses, and kindly taking charge of the wounded animal, at whose stable he has since remain ed. He is much injured, but it is likely he will re- cover. Mr F. accompanied hy Mr. Russel, directly set off to protect the man who was bringing down the sheep, and who had been left a long distance from the blacks, but, melancholy to relate, the work of death had been completed before they arrived at the fatal spot. The horse wast found scarcely able to move, having been speared in numerous places: the poor beast died a few hours after. The force with which these weapons are thrown appears almost in- credible. One spear penetrated the flap of the sad- die, and entered above four inches into the body of the hone., The man not being immediately found, they entertained a slight bope that he had escaped on foot, Until a dog barking about three hundred yards distant, led them to a creek, where they found the body of the poor-creature most dreadfully lacerated, Eight spears had- entered the breast, the head was literally beaten to pieces, the flesh of the upper lip en- tirely knocked off, and in every respect presenting most appalling spectacle. I fear you will think me exceedingly prolix, but the subject being of so mo mentous a nature, must plead my excuse. I really cannot fully express my feelings opon this occasion.
When we reflect that a fellow creature has lost his life, whilst engaged in his master’s service, that in the morning he was in perfect health, and a few hours after we behold bim; a cold and lifeless corpse, thrown across a horse’s back, covered with blood ; it certain- ly calls loudly on those witnessing such sights to state every particular connected with so dreadful an occurence in the hope that the proper authorities will give this tubject their most mature consideration.
1 June 1828 (newspaper)
THE COUNTRY POST. (1828, June 7). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 2.http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4222160
JUNE 1, 1828, We have not heard any thing of the blacks for some time, the reason of which most probably is, that they are for the most part on the sea- coast at this season of the year. The last tribe heard of, was at Mr. Urquharts, on the Lake River, where about a fortnight ago they killed some sheep; a native girl 16 or 17 years of age was taken, who spoke English, but who escaped in thc night up the chimney. So many troops are now in the interior, that by a strict observance of the Government orders, and by a spirit of forbearance and reconciliation being inculcated in the minds of the shepherds, there is little doubt but that the measures of Government will be ultimately attended with success. Should it how- ever, turn out otherwise (and the months of September and October will prove it when they begin to bend their course to the westward) other and more energetic measures must be devised. Placing it in this point of view, is it not extremely hard,-that the natives (who, although savages, have souls, affections, appetites and feelings common to the whole human species) should be driven away and shot at and murdered, for approaching the lands they originally possessed, and from which they were accustomed to obtain their means of subsistence. The flocks and herds of settlers have overrun the most fertile parts of the island which have been explored, and the aborigines are in consequence much circumscribed in their hunting grounds, food is now procured by them with much greater difficulty, and in more inhospitable regions than before, which, together with the cruelty they have so often experienced, has engendered a spirit of revenge and hatred. This island has been taken possession of in the name of the King of Great Britain, and of the British Nation. Persons have been encouraged to emigrate, and grants of land have been given them in it. lt therefore becomes a duty incumbent on the Government to protect such persons with their property. The country is now gradually becoming more populated with white inhabitants, the consequences of which, with regard to the aborigines, were probably not contemplated when the settlement of the island was first decided on, nor could their desultory mode of living be known, or any numerical idea be formed of their population. It now therefore becomes an extremely delicate point to determine the wisest line of policy which ought to be pursued with regard to the black natives, consistent with the generous and liberal views of the British Nation. The country is at present in a state of the most profound quiet and security, long may it continue so! but whatever may happen, it is plain to every one, that it will not be for want of activity, on the part of the Local Government, should the measures taken to prevent a recurrence of the late atrocities unhappily prove abortive.
16 August 1828 (newspaper)
(1828, August 16). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page641728
OYSTER BAY. – Whilst Benjamin Varden, who once kept the White Horse, Wellington Bridge, and Thomas Myres were employed at Mr. Meredith’s fishery at Schouten’s, and had gone about 100 yards to gather fire-wood in order to cook their breakfast, they were attacked by some blacks, one of whom thrust a spear through Varden’s body, and severely wounded his head with a waddy, so that the unfortunate man is not expected to live. Captain Hibbert, as soon as he received the intelligence, went in quest of them, bat was not able to overtake them. The Wanstead has not yet arrived, but is daily expected. A large quantity of bark as well as of oil is ready to be put on board.
No date c. 1828
Proclamation? Petition for Government protection from Norfolk Plains (localised 1827-28 attacks) – also pre-Black Line.
To His Excellency George Arthur Esquire, Lieutenant Governor of the Island of Van Diemen’s Land and its dependencies &c &c
The Memorial of the Undersigned Land and Stock Holders, and free inhabitants of the County of Cornwall sheweth.
That the daring outrages committed by the native Blacks, who now make their appearance in considerable force, have lately increased to such a degree, as to threaten the lives and property of all those Settlers, who from their distance from the Towns, and their consequently unprotected state, must be at all times liable to surprise.
That the numerous, and atrocious Murders which have of late been perpetrated by them with impunity, and under circumstances of the most horrid barbarity, instances of which have recently occurred in the neighbourhood of Launceston and Norfolk Plains, have created an alarm, which threatens to terminate in the abandonment of such property as in not in the immediate vicinity of an armed force, and has operated so strongly on the minds of their stock keepers, as to induce many to refuse to remain in charge of their flocks, and others, to keep them so closely at home as to render the greater part of their Lands perfectly useless to the evident deterioration of their stock.
That all attempts to conciliate and civilise these savages, have only tended to render them more daring and systematic in their attacks, as well as desirous of plunder which has been accomplished in burning he Buildings, and destroying such property as could not be carried off.
That your Memorialists most earnestly entreat your Excellency will be pleased to take such steps for their security and that of their servants and Property as will tend to restore confidence to the unprotected Settlers and Stock keepers, and your Memorialists will ever pray &c &c &c
- James Cox
- Richard Dry
- Anthony Cottrell
- D Cameron
- J.A. Youl
- Joseph Bonney
- James Hortel
- W Weston
- William Paton
- John Brumby
- William Archer
- W.N. Gray
- J.C. Simpson per G Simpson
- Andrew Gatenby
- G Hobler
- Thomas Scott
- Thomas Landale (Lansdale)
- W Gleadow
- James Ash
- A Stewart
- R.B. Claiborne (Cleburne)
- Thomas Wales
- Matthew Ralstow
- Thomas Williamson
- Andrew Barclay
- George Hull
- Richard Kirk
- William Brumby
- R.W. Lawrence
- G Simpson
- F Lascelles
- William Lyttleton
- Thomas Reibey
- James H Reibey
- William Barnes
- D McLeod
- W.E. Lawrence
- J Archer
- J Sinclair
- W.H. Gough
- G Ralston
- Alex Rose
- Richard White
- D Ralston
- W unreadable
Inform Mr Archer in reply, that I have received the information of the ………. of the natives with the utmost concern & effort – and have been willing to give the utmost attention to the memorial which has been transmitted to me & to afford every protection which existing circumstances appear to me to justify twenty six additional Field Police now have been appointed, and an additional strong party of military Line ………. ………. to march for the Western River as an aid to the civil power – but it does appear ………. that the most effectual & most proper means are already in the hands of the Magistrates – the Govt order of the 29 Nov 1826 points out the ………. which may be made to the natives & gives large hope for the ………. of the authority of the Magistrates who are ………. from the ………. & apprehensions
Lieutenant Governor George Arthur
15 November 1828 (newspaper)
THE COUNTRY POST. (1828, November 15). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page641825
Benlomond,- The black natives have again com- menced tbeir outrages in this district. About six weeks back they speared a shepherd belonging to Mr. Dark, in sight of that gentlemen’s house. The man das been ever since in the General Hospital, Launceston. About a week after that they robbed Mr. Bonney’s stock hut of blankets, flour, sugar, &.c. Three days after they pursued a shepherd of Mr. Massey’s; the same day they threw a spear at Mr. Sinclair’s shepherd; the spear passed over the man’s shoulder, and through a ewe about ,two rods before him, which the man was driving. The man escaped by running from them. Last Saturday, week they speared and beat with tbeir waddies a man of Mr. Reed’s, near the same spot. Yesterday they attacked a servant of Mr.Sevior’s, whom they endeavoured to surround ; the man saved bis life by discharging his musket two or three times, and retreating every time until he got to his hut where other men were.
5 January 1829 (correspondence)
I have to acquaint you that the natives have, within the last two or three days, appeared at Jone’s River and committed some acts of violence, to repel which I have dispatched two constables and three soldiers, who are placed under the direction of Mr Macpherson J.P. and Mr Clark, Division Constable. I beg to intimate the necessity for the Military force being increased within their district, as about this season, annually, the aborigines intrude in considerable numbers.
I have the honor to be
Your very Obedient Servant
The Colonial Secretary
12 Jan 1829 (correspondence)
I have the honor to state for the information of the Lieut. Governor that a Tribe of aboriginal natives appeared at the hut of Mr Barne’s about 12 o clock on Tuesday the 6th inst. and robbed it of Blankets, and muskets, and some powder and shot.On the same day they robbed Triffitt’s hut on this side of the Ouse of four muskets and some Blankets and speared a man at the hut of Jamieson on the other side of the Ouse and this man is but slightly wounded.
In the afternoon they appeared at the hut of Thomson at the other side of the ……….. Ouse opposite to Hell’s Corner.
I received the information from Mr Young, Division Constable on the Ouse, about nine o clock in the evening. I immediately sent notice to the Division Constable at the Hollow Tree ……… him to form a party and proceed out to ……. the military, and also to Mr A Smith, Special Constable at Mead’s Bottom.
A Police Constable was sent out as a guide to a military party and a small party, other constables and one assigned servant was formed to patrol around the Blue Hill, but I have received no information or intelligence of any kind since Tuesday of the movements of the natives.
In receiving this information from Mr Young I lost no time in communicating it to the Police Magistrate at New Norfolk.
I have the honor to be
31 January 1829 (Newspaper)
WHERE WE ARE. (1829, January 31). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page641910 Some some time ago remarked that the very low price which can be obtained for kangaroo skins in the London market make them an article not worth exporting, and we added we were not displeased to learn this, since we hoped it would put a stop to the abominable carnage, for we can call it by no milder name, of this very interesting and most harmless ani- mal. We regret to learn, however, that notwithstand- ing this, notwithstanding the positive prohibition by a Government Order for stock-keepers to maintain kangaroo dogs, and the neglect and ruin of the pro- perty of their employers when they thus occupy their time in so idle and profitless a pursuit, notwith- standing all this, we grieve to hear that the number of kangaroos killed lately exceeds any thing before known in the island. The stock-keepers, for instance, in tbe employment of Mr. Edward Lord and Sir John Owen, about the Plains of Bashan and St. Patrick have, we are informed, put to death no less than 1800, merely for the sake of the skins, which are not worth two-pence each. We trust this mention of so gross an enormity will suffice to arrest its further progress. Who can pity such men, whose avarice, not content with the food and wages of a liberal mas- ter make them thus abandon their duty, and heedless- ly expose their lives to the spear of the natives, whom they so wantonly rob of subsistence. Our correspon- dent last week justly remarked that these unfortu- nate creatures could scarcely be blamed for attacking us their supposed enemy (and in the instance of these stock-keepers; their real and cruel enemy) by cunning and stratagem, since they could not be sup- posed to meet us under arms in open combat. It appears that Boomer, or Brune island Jack, whose unfortunate death was briefly mentioned in our last, started from Bothwell on the 13th, with Nelson, as guides to a party of 5 soldiers and a constable, in quest of the natives. They had not been out above a day or two when Boomer become sullen, refusing to eat the pork and biscuit with which the par- ty was furnished, and at last at his own request, was permitted to go with Nelson and catch some oppossums. Nelson returned the same night but Boomer did not come back until next morning, and on coming in sight of the soldiers hut on the Big river, they both ran away. The party then separated in hopes to retake them, and Private Maloney first seeing him on a hill, ran round and discovered him in the hollow of a tree. He shook hands with Malony saying that sol diers were very good & would not hurt him, but complained he had lost the woman. Whilst they were looking for her, Boomer suddenly put his leg behind the soldier, and pushed him down, biting him severely in the arm. They both rolled down the side of the hill some distance, until stopped by some very rough ground. Boomer then kicked the soldier, and succeeded in getting possession of his firelook, which he tried to fire at him, but which he was providentially prevented from doing owing to a handkerchief that was tied round the lock, the weather being wet. In struggling to regain his gun, the soldier and he again rolled down a precipice about 20 feet, and the soldier’s arm was so severely hurt by the fall, that he had no longer power to hold Boomer, who eventually ran away. It was on the evening of the same day that Corporal Hares’s party discovered him near the Big river, who being entire strangers to the circumstance of he and Nelson having come out as guides, supposed him to belong to one of those they were in quest of that had lately robbed Mr. Jamison’s and other huts in that neighbourhood. There appears little doubt from the whole of his conduct that Boomer was actuated by a strong feeling of jealousy, and that his object was to abstract himself and Nelson from the party altogether, which ultimately cost him his life. All the parties, however, who are employed in quest of the natives are uniformly ordered by their superiors to spare the lives of the blacks, and if possible to take them alive, in obedience to which, notwithstanding the unfortunate result, it appears, that Corporal Hares and his party did all they could before firing to induce Boomer to accompany them.
23 February 1829 (newspaper)
LAUNCESTON ADVERTISER. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1829. (1829, February 23). Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page8721084
On Tuesday last, a Shepherd of Mr. J. W. Bell was suddenly speared in the side, while in charge of some sheep at Cummings Folly, about five miles from Launceston; he did not see the Natives previous to the spear being thrown. His fellow-servants pursued them, but without success. The man is very dangerously wounded, and now lies in the hospital. The blacks were shortly afterwards seen near Mr, Reibey ‘s by a person flamed Barnett. We have to contradict the statement in our last week’s paper, respecting the blacks being seen near the cataract hills, the report bring wholly without foundation, and its having originated from a drunken servant, in the employ of a gentleman on the opposite side of the river, in order to evade his punishment for leaving his masters farm without permission. On Thursday last, a boy about ten years of age named Morgan, was brought into town, from Pleasant Hills, where the blacks had attacked him near a splitter’s hut. They first threw a spear at him, which he contrived to evade, and then they rushed in and beat him senseless leaving him for dead ; but hopes are entertained of his recovery. We are credibly informed that upon the news arriving of the man being speared at Cumming’s Folly, Captain Donaldson despatched a corporal and four men, with a party of the police, (to act as guides) in search of these infatuated Aborigines, we say infatuated because their own conduct shews they possess a knowledge of our superiority by their generally attacking a lone person, and that too from an ambuscade.
28 February 1829 (newspaper)
THE COUNTRY POST. (1829, February 28). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page641941
THE COUNTRY POST. Launceston, Feb. 23.— I regret to add, that on Tuesday last a party of the black native people lay in ambush near Mr. Bell’s stock but at Cumming’s folly, about seven miles from hence, and as his shepherd was leaving the hut he received a spear in the left side, and now lies dangerously ill at the hospital. Fortunately a man in the hut heard his cries, and immediately rushed out with a gun, when the blacks fled. A party of military was dispatched ini the course of the day, accompanied by one of the best guides on this side of the country, and after searching the bush for three days, returned without falling in with any of [newspaper corner torn off] that the pursuing party nding from n distant hill lacksfwandered near the ere near Pleasant hills, by whom they found by a hut occupied by a party’s child is dreadfully – faint hopes are enter ere that a gallant officer three or four constables, was attacked by a party of the blacks on the west bank of the Tamar on Wednesday last when seven of the latter fell, the chief on receiving a ball from the officer’s fusee jumped twelve feet from the ground, (a tremendous leap truly). This officer describes the engagement as worthy of great praise, and states that much generalship was displayed by him as comman- der of the vanquishing party, but his brother officers of the staff and comrades, (perhaps jealous of the honour of the field) declare that they did not see one of the black people during the whole of their excursion.
1 March 1829 (correspondence)
Lower Clyde River
I try to call your attention to the following particulars, 6 A.M. I left Mr Thomson’s to proceed home, about … A.M. after crossing the Clyde and ascending the Gully opposite Sherwins I met Robert Groves Austin’s Overseer, who informed me that he was certain we were coming at the Natives as his horse would not proceed but that he had neither heard nor seen them. I laughed and told him as I was armed I would give him protection home, we reached Mr Austins and had nearly entered the House before I was called upon by Harry Williams, the Constable that left yesterday with Triffitt’s servants, who told me that he had been pursued by the Natives and that they had been at Newports that is Nicholas’s Hut, I asked him where the woman was, he said he had left her in the bush, I sent a party in search of her and she was found ….. killed, there is another man Clark missing, and Newport’s wife wounded. I have not been able to learn all the particulars, I believe Newport’s wife had taken refuge in the house, as Nicholas’s is adjoining, Mrs Burns I immediately proceeded then with the Military expecting that would be the next place of a attack, and aware that they had no arms. However I found all well, but understand that they have robbed Mr Dixon’s Hut but nobody injured, I have not been off my horse since daylight he is now done up, but I shall proceed immediately in pursuit, but in what direction I am perfectly at a loss. I may send Jorgensen’s party immediately in the direction of Butchers Bottom in haste.
Your most obedient servant
ps: I have only two men as I must send the Constable to execute the warrants you instructed me with.
Sunday 2 P.M.
I have to inform you that upon searching Mr Sherwin’s farm I found the natives had left about 11 A.M.
I went from there to the farm of Lieut. Lord …..
I had not been long before a report received from the Constable stationed at the Hollow Tree stating that the Natives had robbed the hut of Mr ….. on the Clyde and when on their way from ….. to the Hut of a …. …….. named Clarke they ………….. the female servant belonging to Mr Thomas Triffett who left Bothwell …… for ….. murdered the woman. The next place they attacked was Clarke’s Hut, ….. ….. they speared a woman and set fire to the Hut in which Clarke was ……. after leaving Clarke they went to the Hut of …. ……. which they plundered and speared one of the men.
The next place they showed themselves was at my farm at the Hollow Tree but upon the Constable and one of my men ………ting firearms at them they went off from there they went to a ……….. Hut belong to Mr Sibley* which they set fire to but upon Sibley and two others making their appearance they left in the direction off Blackmans ……
your very obed. servant
Mr Williams Esq
Or his …….
*Thanks to Mark for this correction and update (“[William Sibley, who lived next to Adam Thomson, in the vicinity of Blackman’s Hill].”) April 2017
The party arrived last night at about 12. This morning about 4, my man Stephen Hammond came from my cart leaving them at Cockatoo Valley. It seems the Natives speared yesterday James Barnes betwixt Triffitt’s and Torlesse’s, I..send one or two back here until my cart arrives.
I hope this Sir will shew the evil consequences of …..storing, had also my men been about and W Thomson not removed, should have been …….. than eve.. was. I hope if possible you will spare me a man or two until I can get my house shingled – I now think they will again visit us – in haste.
Your most obedient servant
21 March 1829 (newspaper)
THE COUNTRY POST. (1829, March 21). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page641964
Launceston, March 20.—I know you wish to hear the news from this quarter: I have some of an awful description to tell you about those cruel and merciless savages the Blacks. After they had spear- ed Mr. Bell’s man a few weeks ago, they gave chase to Mr. Charles Dry, who escaped them by the speed of his horse ; they, however, a day or two afterwards surrounded his hut, near the Western river, and al- though there were four men in it with arms and am- munition, they blockaded the huts from 11 o’clock in the forenoon until sun-down, when they disappeared. During this interval the white people fired several times through holes they made in the roof, but with- out doing any execution. One of Mr. Dry’s men was induced to go out of the hut with a loaf of bread, intending to throw it towards the Blacks, when he received a spear in his right knee from an artful boy who was crawling by the side of a tree near the hut. As the poor fellow was wounded, the Blacks gave a great shout. Many of them spoke good English, but their words were extremely indecent. OnTuesday last they made their appearance near Launceston, and robbed one or two huts near the Cataract, and on Friday they were seen on the North Esk river, a short distance from Launceston, when they robbed three or four farm houses, and killed a woman and two men at the farm of a man named Mellor. They also spear- ed a man in his master’s barn, and another who was on the road to Patterson’s plains with a hag of flour upon his back ; both those persons are badly wound- ed, and are now in the Hospital. Two stock-keepers are also missing, and are supposed to have been killed by the Blacks in the same neighbourhood. Several parties have been sent in pursuit, but the soldiers and constabulary were unsuccessful. Yesterday morning a party of volunteers came up with the mur- derers about 12 miles from hence, at a place called Bullock’s hunting gronnd, where four men, a woman, and a child of the Black people were killed. One of the men that were shot had on a red coat which was stolen from the Commandant’s stock-keeper, in a hut near the Cataract hills. I am told there is a wo- man amongst them who formerly lived at Launceston for several months. Ibid:’ The black natives on Friday about mid-day went to the farm of a settler named Miller, and killed Mrs. Miller, and two men named James Hales and Thomas Johnson. Miller came up to the house whilst the blacks were there, and made his escape by running. The blacks then went to the farm of a settler named Russel, and severely wounded two men. There are also two stockkeepers missing, one of them [servant to Mr Towers, the other to Mr. David Williams. Several small parties went after them. One party overtook them and killed five. The blacks. then took post on a hill, (it is said to the number of about 150) and set the party at defiance. Finding them make so formidable an appearance, and having broken one of their muskets, they were compelled to retire. Some fresh parties have since gone in quest of them. Miller’s house is only about 2 miles from Launceston, but on the furthur side of the South Esk.
6 April 1829 (correspondence)
I have the honor to state for the information of the Lieut. Governor that the Aboriginal Natives made their appearance at Mr Swan’s grant opposite Hell’s Corner on the western Bank of the River Ouse on the 28th ……… and speared one of Mr Swan’s men.
Mr Young, Division Constable at Ouse, went in pursuit in one direction and sent a Police Constable with some assigned servants in another. The latter fell in with the natives on Monday morning and finding it impossible to apprehend any his party fired, and I regret to say a woman received a slug in her back and was taken. She has been removed to the Hospital at New Norfolk be order of Mr McPherson, which caused some delay in a communication being made to me, and in the forwarding of my report.
I understand the wound is not dangerous, and the man who was speared is expected to recover.
One of the Parties of crown prisoners under the directions of Mr G Robertson, having two natives as guides proceeded in pursuit on the morning of the 3rd instant.
I am in hopes with the assistance of this party, and the Military party with which Thomas Standing is asking as guides, that some of the natives will soon be apprehended.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient, humble servant
10 April 1829 (correspondence)
I have to acquaint you for the information of the Lieutenant Governor that on the 3rd instant a part of about fifty natives attacked three men in the service of Mr Evans while at breakfast in the hut on their master’s land, on the western side of the Ouse, and speared one of them slightly in the back. The natives retreated and escaped. A day or two previously, they had appeared a few miles lower down, on the farm of Mr Samuel Clark, and were fired at by one of the men. I regret to find that a woman was thereby badly wounded in the spine. She had been brought to New Norfolk, and had received every attention from District Assistant Surgeon Officer. Soon as she is able to be removed, I will cause her to be conveyed to the hospital at Hobart Town.
I have the honor to be,
Your very obedient servant
Report 16/2 p239
5 June 1829 (newspaper)
Black Natives. (1829, June 5). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page666535
We noticed in our last the outrages and murders committed at Prosser’s Plains by the Black Natives. The attention of the Authorities has no doubt been called to this transaction and we trust they will take measures to protect the peaceable Settlers from any further aggressions of this kind, or all hn_ provementt must cense in those thinly inhabited parts, It is absolutely weakness and mistaken clemency to suffer these people to wander at large, and murder the King’s subjects. If one of our own people went upon the highway and robbed would he not be instantly taken, tried, and hanged ! even without committing murder ? Still this puny race of savages are keeping the country in a state of terror, and commit murders with impunity. The King’s subjects in this Colony have a positive right to be protected; else, what is our immense revenue raised for? Those people therefore should be placed in a se- cure spot, as we have years ago advised, and prevented from committing those crimes, for which our own people would suffer deserved death. It appears by a letter from Camp- bell-town, that two persons were also killed in that neigh bourhood, one of whom, Moses Garcia, a Jew, had his head beat quite flat, and three spear wounds ; the other bad twenty – one spear wounds in, different parts of his body. It is high time that the whole force, of the Colony, Police, Volunteers &c. should be employed in capturing these people, who might (or at least their children) be made useful to themselves and the Colonists hereafter by proper management. Scarcely any circumstance has tended more to check emigration, than the unprotected state in which Settlers residing in distant and lonely parts of the Island are left at the mercy of those sava- ges, the reports of their atrocities being greatly magnified by the time they reach England.
18 July 1829 (newspaper)
THE HOBART-TOWN COURIER. (1829, July 18). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4215492
Morven.-The natives still continue in this quar- ter. They lately robbed the shepherd’s hut of Mr. Batman, Benlomond, of every moveable, and the fol- lowing day, they speared a large bullock belonging to the same gentleman, driving the spear 9 inches in- to the beast’s shoulder. Three men armed met a par- ty of them soon after, but they did not stop or at- tempt to catch any of them, though the natives did not run from them. They also chased a shepherd in the employment of Mr. Massey, wbo narrowly escap- ed with his life, the soldiers are almost continually out, but have not yet succeeded in apprehending tbem.
28 August 1829 (newspaper)
The Black Natives. (1829, August 28). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page666584
The Black Natives – We were last week misinformed in stating, that the natives had visited the dwelling-house of Mrs. Smith, at the Tea Tree Brush, and that they had carried off an infant, belonging to Mrs. Roberts, but had not injured it. It appears, however, upon information in which we can place reliance, that they had attacked the house of a settler, named Thomas Howard, at that settlement. Upon the approach of the tribe, a woman, who was living in the house, which is situated within a mile of Mrs. Smith’s residence, deserted the house from fright, and alarmed the neighbours. When she returned with the people, she found the house plundered of a bag of sugar, and other articles, and one of the black natives carrying away in his arms the child, which, upon one of the men hallowing to him, he dropped. We are exceedingly glad to find this marked instance of humanity, in this savage race of Aborigines, who had an opportunity of destroying the infant, if so in- clined, during the space they occupied the house, which could not be less than half an hour.The natives have also been visiting some other parts throughout the interior, and speared a settler’s servant in twenty-four different parts of his body, but hopes are enter tained of his recovery. We also find by a contemporary print, that a stone-mason, named Thomas Tucker, while at work for Mr. Lord, at Benlomond, has been speared to death, and that several persons had been speared in the same neigh- bourhood. The public are already aware that there are seve- ral parties under the command of active intelligent men, in pursuit of the natives, to endeavour to capture them, and bring them into Hobart Town ; among the number is Mr. Batman, a settler, near Launceston. This gentleman has taken with him ten Crown prisoners well armed, and two of the Aborigines of the Sister Colony, who are more likely to succeed either in capturing or inducing them to surrender, than our own blacks. We understand that the Lieutenant Governor has given instruc- tions to the commanders of the parties, that either Tickets of Leave or Emancipations will be bestowed upon such of the Crown prisoners, as may succeed, without bloodshed, in cap turing a certain portion of the natives. If this information be correct, we highly approve of such measures, as it is horrid to hear of the excesses committed by this barbarous and use- less tribe. To comment upon this subject at present, would occupy more of our time and space, than we can now devote to it; but satisfied we are, that their frequent incursions amongst the settled districts, prevent many settlers from taking their locations, from the dread of having their servantsspeared.
31 August 1829 (correspondence)
The statement of Charles Chadwick
I am an assigned servant to Captain Hood and have been for ……….. time back stationed at a hut of Captain Hood’s on the River Jordan.
About ½ past 9 o clock on the morning of Thursday the 25th instant I was about 400 yards from the hut getting wood. The shepherd …….. at the blacks …. ….. ….. in the garden digging the ground.
I went from the hut door to the place where I have been cutting wood and when I got to the place I heard the shepherd’s dog bark and looking round then saw a native woman standing at the hut door pushing a firestick into the thatch. I called out to the old man the shepherd, that the natives were at the hut. He ran away.
I then saw a mob of the natives coming across the marsh to the hut, moving in the form of a crescent. I was going to run away when three native sprung up from some brushwood about three yards from me, they lifted their spears in the attitude of throwing them, and one ran from his ……….. the quantity of paint on his face and body appeared to be the chief, called to me in English to come. I did so. The chief spoke in his own language to the other two men who instantly ran after the shepherd. The chief held one by the arm, dragged one on to the shepherd, and desired me to give him the dog. I did so, the two men who had pursued the shepherd returned, not having been able to catch him and I stood with the chief.
The chief asked me for my jacket which I gave him. One of the five men asked for my waistcoat which I gave him, the other wished for my cap and I also gave him that. The man to whom I had given my waistcoat wished for my shirt, and I gave it after resisting it for a little.
The whole mob then came out of the hut having plundered it, and stood round me, laughing at me and rubbing my naked shoulders with their hands. The chief said something and made a sign with his arm and all the natives left him but three. One of whom asked me to go to the hut and give him tobacco and …….. I went into the hut, and found it was stripped of many things. The chief went away and I saw no more of him. After he went away, two of the natives went outside leaving me in the hut, who stood in such a manner in the doorway I could not pass him. I thought they were going to murder me in the hut and I think they intended to do so. I pushed by the man who was standing in the door way. When I got outside, one stood in front of me, one on each side, they were laughing at one another. One of them took a waddy in his right hand and held it behind his back. The one of my left did asked me again for tobacco, and when I turned to answer the other who held the waddy behind him struck me on the head. I fell.
The other natives then beat me very savagely, they left me and one returned in about a minute and turned me over with his foot from my right side on my belly. He then ran a spear into my arm and went away. As soon as I thought I could escape I got up and ran to the present hut which was half a mile away.
His X mark
Taken by me at Ormiston this 31st day of August 1829
Lieut. 40th Regiment
To William Espie
18 September 1829 (newspaper)
The Natives. (1829, September 18). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 3.
The natives.We omitted last week to notice that Mr. Batman, and the party under his orders fell in with a tribe, comprising 70 in number, of the Native Blacks, at Benlomond. The sable tribe had no less than 40 dogs.’.whose barking alarmed the party – The natives, so formidable in point of numbers, made the first attack with their spears. By their cunning, thev succeeded in creeping down within 20 yards of the party, when thev were obliged in their own defence to fire and rush forward, when a complete route of the blacks ensued ; about 15 were killed and wounded, and several taken, among whom, were one or two most notorious Chiefs, with many ornaments about their bodies. The party succeeded in killing upwards of twenty of their large dogs, and taking a great number. Of their spears, waddles, blankets, rugs, knives, &c. ; and also fell in with upwards of 80 huts in different directions. We now almost despair of seeing any number of these miserable, uncultivated,human being taken-alive, in order to their civilization, from the formidable position they, take of attacking an armed, party of Europeans, Without making any serious reflections on the enormities they have committed on the Stock-keepers and other Settlers’ servants from time to time; we trust that no effort will be left untried by the numerous parties in pursuit of them to capture the whole; and we hope that the persons at the head of the parties will always keep humanity in their, minds, while on this very, unpleasant duty. Accounts have just been received, stating that the Natives have been very troublesome at Great Swan Port, wherethey have speared several persons.
18 September 1829 (newspaper – continued)
The Natives. (1829, September 18). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 4.
The Natives Extract of a letter from Great Swan Port .- “The blacks are playing old gooseberry with as in this district.- On the 25th ult.., they killed, in a most barbarous manner, a free man, named Wells, in the service of Mr. Hart -, and, on the 31st, they speared a Settler, named Castles, at his own hut. About a month back, they speared three men at Mr. Callon’s farm, and literally passed within about a mile of this station went to Mr. Meredith’s, nnd speared the blacksmith by night ! They have also appeared within this month, at Mr. King’s, Mr. Gatehouse’s, and Mr. Webber’s ; but did no damage there. Parties have been out in all directions, but without success. They are really the most surpising creatures in the world. On one occasion, – I saw one, and, while in the act of levelling my gun at him, he disappeared as if by magic, and I conld see no more of him.”
22 September 1829 (newspaper)
The Natives. (1829, September 25). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page666600
The Natives. We have been favoured with the following Communication, dated Sorell, Sept. 22, from a very respectable individual, residing in that Town for many year« :I beg leave to inform you that another most atrocious mur- der was perpetrated by the Aborigines on Friday forenoon last, the 18th instant, at the house of Thomas Coffin, about four miles from this place. It appears, that Coffin, with his two assigned servants, had left the premises, leaving his wife, Emma Coffin, and a child about four years old, in the house. Mrs. Coffin was rather indisposed, and had gone to bed , previous to which, she had fastened the doors. From what could be understood from the little boy, the blacks entered the house by a window ; that Mrs. Coffin got out of bed, and faint- ed ; that one of the blacks then thrust a spear into her right and left breasts while she lay senseless on the floor that the wound on the right breast proved mortal, ahd she expired on the spot. By the child’s account, one ot the blacks told him not to make a noise, or he would spear him. They then plun- dered the honse of 10 blankets, 6 sheets, 2 sacks flour, 13 lbs. tea, sugar, and a quantity of wearing apparel A man, named Joseph Germain, a neighbour of Coffin’s, called to borrow a flour seive ; when he went to the doors, he found them both fastened, and the child crying inside ; he repeatedly called out, but no person answered except the child, who said his mother was dead ; upon which, Genam burst open the door, and perceived Mrs. Coffin lying bleeding on the floor. He immediately took np the child and walked oft. When he was a few yards from the house, the child cried out, ” Joe, there is the blacks, that killed mamma.” He turned half round with the little boy on his arm, and saw four of them standing a little distance off ; he ran with the child to Mr. John Billet’s , the nearest house, and told him what had happened, upon, which, Mr. Billett, much to his credit, immediately mounted his horse, and proceeded to Sorell, to inform Mr. Laing, the Chief District Constable, of what had occurred. Mr. Laing immediately proceeded to Mr. Downard’s mail, thinking to intercept the natives there, as it was a very likely course tor them to lake; and, on his way, he called on Captain Glover, The Magistrate, who had just been apprised of the circumstance by Genam, who had reached his house a few minutes previously to Mr. Laing. When Mr. Laing reached Mr. Downward’s, he informed Mr. Laing that the natives had been seen 300 yards from his premises, about 20 minutes, be tore he arrived,, and that one of Mr. S Gatehouse’s servants had rode up to them ; upon which they had started through the scrub. As Mr. Downward had heard nothing of the death of Mrs. Coffin, Mr. Laing proceeded to her house, to ascertain the facts; when he arrived at the house, which is upwards of a mile from Mr. Downard’s, Captain Glover, Ensign Stubbeman ,63d Regt, and Dr. Garrett had arrived there. The Doctor was examining the body of Mrs. Coffin, which he said was then warm. Mr. Laing remained a few minutes at Coffin’s, and then went back to Mr. Downward’s; with Ensign Stubbeman and found the man who last saw the natives. Two parties were instantly formed, Ensign Stubbeman in charge of one, and Mr. Laing the other. Mr. Laing proceeded round the out-houses of the district, warning every person as he passed what had occurred ; and then went upon the tiers,op- posite Mr. Downward’s mill, and travelled until 12 o’clock on Friday night, but could see no fires. He returned to Sorell, and immediately dispatched a constable to the Carlton, to ap prise Mr. Steele, as that place was a likely course for the blacks to take. Yesterday, while going to Coffin’s, to attend the Inquest, and within a mile of his house, Mr Laing met a man, who informed him that the blacks had just been fired at by some sliingle-splitters, and that one of them was severely wounded, it not killed. When Mr. Laing reached Coffin’s, he learned that Mr. Silas Gatehouse, with others who had been summoned to attend the Inquest, had ran off, in pursuit of the blacks, upon hearing the report from the shingle split ters. Before Mr. Laing left Coffin’s, they had returned from the chase, unfortunately without success. This daring instance of murder and robbery by the Aboriginal Blacks shews how daring these wretches have become, in remaining so long near the place where they committed murder and robbery. The silly letter, signed ” Veritas,” inserted in the Tasmanian of last week, is very easily answered. It certainly could never be the intention of the British Government to send out prisoners to this Island, to be butchered by the uncivilized wretches ; those that emigrated are differently situated ; they came voluntarily and by choice: the others did not, and it is them who were sent that are chiefly the sufferers. It appears strange that the natives did not injure the child at Coffin’s, when they murdered the poor woman. This is a little boy belonging to some person in Hobart Town, kept by Coffin. I have merely giren you an outline of the proceedings of theblacks here ; I do not know what Mr. Robertson is doing, withall his boast.Your Brain Mountain ” Shingle Splitter” was read with great eagerness by every person in this settlement, every one here wishing His Excellency may adopt the plan of bringing Mr. Gordon among us again. There are very few suggestions you make in theTimes but sooner or later are complied with by the Government. You may insert the above in any way you find most suitable to the circumstances of the times, as I think too much light can not be given to the Public, relative to the proceedings of the Aborigines, who have become so dangerous and cunningin their movements.” On Monday last, Mr Batman and his party returned again from the bush. They brought in 12 live natives, shot 17 dogs, | and took a number of other articles from the tribe.
8 Oct 1829 (correspondence)
I had just returned from Hobart Monday at 5 pm when I received a letter from a Private of the 13th Regiment informing me that Aborigines were coming down the Ouse and very numerous (being fatigued with my health from ….. ……….).
I immediately despatched the military and Petty Constable and …….. to intercept them, and …… to Mr Clark to be on the ………
Yesterday I was informed they had robbed Mr Bell’s Hut. I immediately proceeded accompanied by an assigned servant in quest of them, thinking they would make for the Dee. I proceeded ….. ……. this hut on the Native Hut Creek, which I found in great confusion, I was then joined by Mr M Clark and Forbes and 2 more men who found me, they were attracted there by ….. cries of the Hut keeper, we proceeded to search for him, when he returned slightly wounded in the arm, he said he was digging in the garden when he received a spear in the arm, he then found himself in the search of them and ……… presenting his …., we then made for a high line of hills on which we remained all night in hopes of seeing their fires, but could discern none, at first light proceeded in a direction for the ……, crossed the Dee again, ….. …..…. returned without success. The military have also returned and report as follows. They proceeded upwards agreeable to any instance and at Mr Jamieson’s Hut met a party from Maguire’s ….. then proceeding to Mr Br… Hut on Tuesday morning but no intelligence of them in that quarter, proceeded in a direction for Macquarie’s Marsh when we heard a shot in the direction Mr Evan’s, we immediately proceeded in the direction of the sound. Mr Evans then informed us that the natives were in the neighbourhood and that the shot was fired at them, but did not attempt an attack, kept heading about all that day but could see nothing of them. Wednesday morning we …. proceeded to Mr Jamieson’s Hut, but they had not seen them, when about 2 miles from the Hut we heard a shot fired, returned and found that they had attacked Mr Jamieson’s hut and robbed …… ……. ….. Mr Bell’s hut we found it robbed, whilst there a man said the ….. was on fire, went out and saw them all straggled about, when we commenced firing when they dispersed. Alexander has just returned and found the body of ……….. free by servitude late shepherd to James Triffitt …… dreadfully mangled, he had been missing since yesterday, and Alexander ….. soon. I shall forward information immediately to the Governor. I suppose Mr Dumaresque, if I am wrong would you have the goodness to forward information to Mr Anstey if he is the proper person. Excuse any mistakes as I am very fatigued. If a …………. does not arrive immediately how shall I proceed with the body it being in a shocking state.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient servant
To William Espie
9 October 1829 (newspaper)
COLONIAL TIMES. (1829, October 9). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page666607
In our last we noticed the very excellent state of our Field Police, and accounted for it by the very excellent and effi- cient plan adopted by His Excellency of granting emancipations to prisoners of the Crown, who exert themselves in this Highly useful corps. We only wish that the plan was followed more extensively, and that the same indulgence was extended to all prisoners for life, who would volunteer to pursue the black natives, and take the whole or them alive, without bloodshed, for the purpose of civilizing them in Maria Island, or some such place. Then indeed Maria Island might, with some degree of justice, be said to be of some Colonial service ; and we are fully persuaded, the black natives would all be cap- tured in three months — a matter, we need hardly say, of the first consequence to the isolated settlers and stock-keepers in the interior, those unfortunate human creatures have now become quite savage. It is therefore impossible, consistent with the security of life and property, to keep any longer parley with them, but to capture them all forthwith. We present our Readers with the report of one of the excellent parties, consisting of only five persons, and Constable Danvers, dispatched by Mr. ANSTEY, Police Magistrate, from Oatlands under the superintendence of Jorgen Jorgenson, by which they will perceive that the seven runaway prisoners from New Nor- folk who were lately taken by Mr. Chief Constable H0ddle and his party, at Norfolk Plains, were absolutely hunted into the toils prepared for them, by one of the most extraordinary forced marches (considering the nature of the country, and being heavily armed) ever performed, and such as would do credit to a company of Don Cossacks. It is perfectly apparent from this report, that runaway prisoners cannot now exist a week in any part of the Island ; and that, consequently, such a thing as bush-ranging will never again be known in Van Diemen’s Land ! ! ! Nothing but downright insanity, or the most inexcusable, unaccountable folly, could induce any unhappy man to enter into so terrible, so precarious, and perilous a life. It will be recollected that Constable Danvers is the man who about nine months ago fell in with a tribe of natives, ninety strong; of whom he killed ten, wounded ,two and brought in a vast quantity of spears and waddles. This man certainly deserves the particular notice of the Lieutenant Go- vernor, as indeed do all those who accompanied him. The following is the Report of Constable Danvers . Sept. 14.– I left Ellenthorpe Hall early in the morning, and proceeded in a direction for the first Western Tier. We halted about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and took some refreshment. We then made the top of the tier; we had a full view of the east and west for many miles round, but could not see any traces of the natives. We halted there for the night, keeping a sharp look out fof fires. – 15th. We scouted the bush towards Mr. Harrison’s tier, but could not find any tracks of the na- tives or bush-rangers. We then made our way to Sorell Lake, and staid all night on a point of the Lake, looking out for fires. – 16th. We steered our course towards the Table Moun- tain, leaving the Lake on our right. We passed an old hut and stock-yard, formerly occupied by Robert Grant; we again made the tier about two miles northward of the Table Moun- tain, and stopped all night, but could see nothing of the fires. -17th. We proceeded to Mr. Kemp’s stock hut, on the west- side of the Lake, and were informed that the seven bush- rangers had robbed that hut, and went to Captain Wood’s hut, at the Regent Plains, and robbed it likewise. We proceeded immediately to this hut, to obtain information which way they were likely to have taken ; it was late in the evening when we got there, and we halted for the night to bake bread. – 18th. At day-break in the morning the overseer directed us the way they went, when they left the hut ; they went in a straight direction for Arthur’s Lake, crossing a very large tier; on our crossing the tier we saw the tracks of them and their dogs in several places. About two miles on the west side of the tier, we came to a small tea-tree creek ; we found a place where they had been ; it appeared to us they had been there for seve- ral days; we found a shoe and a tin-pot, and a small bag, with a few buck shot in it. They could not have left it long, for their fire was not out. We tracked them to the foot of the Western Tier, in a direction for Norfolk Plains; we immedi- ately made the best of our way to the nearest house or hut in that direction, which was Mr. Parker’s. We were informed they had robbed Mr. Lawrence’s stock-hut, and Mr. Archer’s hut also, that day ; we went to Archer’s hut, and was there informed they had robbed a hut belonging to the Company, and was gone towards the Stringy-bark Forest ; we made the best of our way to the Forest, and stopped in it for the night, keeping a watch ot two men.- 19th. We scoured the bush in the Forest for several miles round, for we were informed that Diton had formerly been splitting there, and was well ac- quainted with some sawyers that were at work there at the present time; we went to the hut where the sawyers were ; they told us the bush-rangers had not been there; we left the hut and went out of sight, and then come round to a small hill, about 300 yards in front of the hut, and watched it very closely during the night, for we fully expected that they would be there that night, but the did not come. – 20th. Early in the morning, we went to Mr. Walker’s hut, but could get no information of them. We then proceeded to the Little Pen- nyroyal Creek, leading to Field’s stock-hut. About three miles down the creek, we again tell in will their tracks, and traced them for several miles, towards Reibey’s Ford. We came to the ford about six o’clock, and were there informed that they were apprehended by a party of Captain Smith’s. We then returned to a shepherd’s hut, belonging to the Company, and stayed all night. – 21st. We came back through the Forest, called at Mr. Walker’s hut to get some provisions, but could not get any. We came on to Mr. Archer’s hut, the party be- ing fatigued, we stopped there all night -22nd. We went to Mr. Parker’s early in the morning, and obtained rations. We cross- ed the tier, and went that day to Arthur’s Lake. We saw no traces of the natives during the day, and stopped close by the Lake that night. – 23rd. We scoured the bush the whole of the day, to the Regent Plains, and stopped tor the night at Cap- tain Wood’s hut. – 24th. We diligently searched all the holes and bottoms between the Regent Plains and Sorell Lake. We ascended a high hill on the north-side of the Lake, and stop- ped there for the night, looking out for the natives’ fires – 25th. We crossed the tier for Eddie’s and Lackey’s; called at both places, and at Mr. Harrison’s, and came to Oatlands in the evening.
12 Oct 1829 (correspondence)
…. Proceedings of the Coroner’s inquest held on view of the body of Robert Watts (F.S) in the service of Mr Triffett of the River Ouse, on the 13th day of October 1829.
A jury of twelve person being duty sworn by the Coroner, Edward Dumaresque Esq., it appeared in evidence before them, on view of the body of the deceased Robert H Watts, that about 10 o clock A.M. on Wednesday the 7th instant, the deceased was employed in Mr Triffett’s Sen. sheep yard, situated on the River Ouse, in company with Henry Smith, James Bird, and William Woodgate, prisoners of the crown; the three former after receiving their sheep, drove them away, the deceased also went, to tend his flock. He ….. …… …… Henry Smith, about noon of the same day, near the spot where the body was found. Smith walked a short distance with the deceased when the deceased went to look for some strayed sheep, and did not return home at night. The next afternoon (of Thursday) William Woodgate, Henry Walters, L. Doran, Nicholas Long and James Alexander (Petty Constable) went in search of him, (suspecting he had been killed by the natives, as they had robbed several Huts the same day, and speared Henry Smith about 6.30 P.M. Woodgate saw the deceased’s dog, running towards another dog belonging to Walter., Woodgate followed the dog about 400 yards, when he saw the body of the deceased lying on his back across some dead timber, the head dreadfully mangled.
When the others came up, they carried the body to Mr Triffitt’s barn, in the same state as it was found.
View of the body. A waddie remained forced in from under the right ear, and comes out behind, another remains thrust in above the left jaw, and into the brain, nose cut from the lower right side in a transverse direction up to the left eye, a part of the tongue, mouth much lacerated, deep wound above the right eye with a blunt instrument, deep cut under the right eye, with a sharp instrument, severe wound with a blunt instrument above left ear. No wounds on the body.
The deceased had no quarrels with any of the neighbouring servants; he was aware that the natives were in the neighbourhood, but could not be persuaded to carry firearms. The wound in his head evidently caused his death, and were inflicted by some of the aborigines with their waddies.
Robert H Watts (F.S) was murdered by a party of the aborigines, who on the same day robbed the Huts of Mr Bell, Mr Jamieson, Mr Marzetti.
12 October 1829 (newspaper)
THE HOBART-TOWN COURIER. (1829, October 17). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4212750 RIVER OUSE, Oct. 12. The inhabitants of the West-side of this River have been in a state of considerable alarm from a daring inroad of the Abori- gines, who appeared in numbers at Macguire’s Marsh the beginning of last week, when they speared some sheep belonging to Mr. Espie, and soon after showed at Mr. Evan’s place, but were kept off. They then made for Mr. Jamieson and Messrs. Bell and Lamb’s huts, and succeeded in rob- bing both. On Wednesday they proceeded to Mr. Marsetti’s on the Native-hut-rivlet, and wounded one of his men – but, he effected his escape. On their way thither they probably fell in with Triffitt’s shepherd (Robert Watts) who was found dead in the bush his pockets were rifled of their contents. Of his apparel nothing, however, was misssing but his hat. A sheep dog, which must have been attached to the unfortunate man in an uncommon degree, re- mained with the body for two days without any vi- sible sustenance, keeping aloof crows and other birds of prey which lodged in the neighbouring trees for the purpose of plunder. He had scraped and smoothed the earth and thus formed a bed on which he had lain at his master’s feet, and led the way to the spot where the remains were found. Jorgenson and his party have for the last fortnight been scouring the country towards the Western lakes in search of the blacks.
13 October 1829 (correspondence)
……….. Office, Bothwell
I regret to have to report for the information of the Lieutenant Governor that another unfortunate man has fallen a victim in this District to the hostility of the Aborigines and natives, and another man slightly wounded during the last week.
I have the honor to …….. for His Excellency, information ……….. Report of Mr Young, Thos. Dumaresque Constable in the Small Division of this District whose activity an ……… appearance of the Natives in his Division has been very ………….antly.
The Natives seem to be very numerous in this District at present, and have appeared in various quarters having heard of them during different days of the week at McGuire’s Marsh and different places on the west bank of the Ouse at Hell’s Corners where they speared one sheep, and towards the Small Lake.
I beg to be informed whether this ……ery would approve of giving indulgences to Prisoners for bringing in any outlaw number of Natives and if so, how many a Prisoner without indulgences would have expected to bring in for a Ticket of Leave – a Prisoner holding a Ticket of Leave for his Conditional Pardon and a Prisoner holding a Conditional Pardon for his Free Pardon, and also if I could let a small party to act in this manner, the Government would need to clothe and supply them with Guns and Ammunition.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient
30 Oct 1829 (correspondence)
Another man murdered one slightly speared by the Natives
The Colonial Secretary
Inform Mr Williams that you have received both his letters of the 13th inst reporting the outrages committed by the Natives – observe that whilst I feel the utmost concern that the settlers should continue to be exposed to such danger that I confidently trust he will by his personal activity and judiciousness arrangements speedily put an end to the cause.
Remark, that it is only ………. that the more respectable class of settlers, who can afford it, should in some degree provide for the servants and protection of their own family, and that is would be well for him to ascertain how far this is attended to then ……….. his District – not that it should in any way abate the activity of the military. Observe that Mr Anstey has been requested to send him the aid of one of the roving parties but that there would be so objection to his employing a small Party of Prisoners if he can m…t with well conducted ones, and that a Ticket will be provided to any such man or Man ……. be ……… or intelligence from zeal or ……
Mr N: Have the goodness to prepare for Mr W G very full minutes x send them up with any others for signatures I am delayed in Council.
30 Oct 1829 (correspondence)
2 November 1829 (corrsspondence)
Bark Hut Creek
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 30th inst. and regret exceedingly that I did not make myself sufficiently understood. My intention was simply to submit for His Excellency’s information that the natives have been much in my neighbourhood lately, that they had been twice chased from my premises during the last month; and that they had attacked the two houses next to mine, one of which they robbed and speared one of the men; and that I as a Magistrate, had not the assistance of a Constable or other Police man to repel any outrages attempted by the people in my immediate neighbourhood – and if His Excellency does not consider it necessary that I should have such assistance I bow with deference to his decision.
I make this representation from a sense of duty and from a desire to be useful to my art of the Country, and I feel confident that His Excellency will not upon mature reflection consider it a very unreasonable thing that a Magistrate in a remote situation beset by hostile natives, daily becoming more and more bold, should have one Police man or Constable at hand to conduct a party towards whom he may consider it necessary to despatch with prompt assistance to any one who may be attacked, and that the representation of the want of such persons should not have been answered by any thing like …….. expressions. I never supposed it possible that His Excellency could place a protection force in every Settler’s dwelling. Such is our situation here that my servants will not go out about their ordinary occupation without arms, and when they are absent it does not appear to me extraordinary that I should not have at home more than one stand of arms to lend to the assistance of another person.
Time was when the aborigines would fly from the presence of an armed man but now they ….. I ….. even the Soldiers ….. in pursuit of them; one of whom they ….. in a skirmish the other day: and robbed Mr Thomson’s Hut, and wounded one of his men, in the face of the Soldier sent to protect it. If then the natives can affect these outrages, at noon day, in presence of the Soldiers what must any unprejudiced person ….. … the vigilance of my establishment, who ….. in the dead of the night, chased the natives from my premises, and once from that of my neighbour, without the assistance of either the military or Constabulary force of the district. Such conduct I did think merit commendation rather than implied censure but we cannot always guard against the insidious attacks of this people: and I should not consider it owing to a want of due presentation on my part should …. at no distant period, set fire to my stock yard and Barn.
I beg to ……. you that if seems ……. real ….. to differ in opinion, on any subject, from His Excellency the Lt Governor, to when I consider myself under many weighty obligations.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedienthumble servant
To John Burnett Esq.
2 Nov 1829 (correspondence)
Mr Thomson who is now here and just about to start for Bothwell will inform you of the proceedings of the natives on this farm and close to this house today.
Having so little protection at home and being so situated as not to be able to be one hundred yards from the door, I am under the necessity of calling in my people from the Hollow Tree, with the Cattle and Sheep.
If some means cannot be adopted for the suppression of the enormities which are now being perpetrated, the lives of many of the settlers must be the consequence.
I am dear sir
2 Nov 1829 (correspondence)
Requesting assistance on account of natives
6 Nov 1829 (correspondence)
Be so good as to return me Capt Clark’s former letter that this may …… by this …… past6
6 Nov 1829 (correspondence)
Mr Emmett will be pleased immediately to send up the ……….. letter with this, and some both to Mr Parramore as quickly as possible.
6 Nov 1829 (correspondence)
I have the Honor to transmit for the information of His Excellency the Lt Governor the accompanying…
7 Nov 1829 (correspondence)
I have the honor to transmit for the information of His Excellency the Lieut. Governor the accompanying copy of the Proceedings of the Coroner’s Inquest held on view of the bodies of Thomas Clark and Mary Roberts lately murdered
by the natives.
I have the honor to be
Sir your most obedient humble servant
ps: 7 P.M. The natives were seen late last Evening going towards the Dromedary Mountain.
J Burnett Esq
7 November 1829 (newspaper)
Tasmanian News. (1829, December 3). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page498084
Macquarie plains Nov. 7, 1829.-I am sorry to say the natives have speared one of Mr. Cawthorn’s servants at the Bluff on Thursday last. They had a number of large dogs, and although a, party came up to their fires the same evening they escaped. On Friday a tribe of them appeared at Mr. Abel’s, sen. who was at work in his garden. With difficulty he gained his house, but succeeded in keeping them off. They then robbed a stock hut, and proceeded towards The hills behind Lieutenant Fry’s house, and there speared a stock-keeper in a dangerous manner. Lieutenant Fry, having promptly gone out with a party of soldiers in pursuit, the natives in his absence came down to his house, and a soldier stationed there fired upon them, but they rushed on him and demolishing the windows, doors, etc. with an axe, entered the house in all directions and plundered it of every thing they had time to carry off . They escaped notwithstanding a party of soldiers quickly arrived from the gully. I must observe, that Lieut. Fry’s house is a substantial stone building close to the side of the main road, and within a quarter of a mile of the strong military party at the deep gully. The greatest promptitude was shown by every settler in the district on the first alarm. No less than ten different parties, well armed, have been scouring the bush.
7 November 1829 (newspaper)
THE HOBART-TOWN COURIER. (1829, November 14). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4212121 Macquarie plains, Nov. 7, 1829.-I um sorry to say the natives have speared one of Mr. Cawthorn’s ser- vants at the Bluff on Thursday last. They had a numher of large dogs, and although a party came np to their fires the same evening they escaped. On Friday a tribe of them appeared at Mr. Abel’s, sen. who was at work in his garden. Willi difficulty he gained his house, but succeeded in keeping them off. They then robbed a stock hut, and proceeded towards the hills behind Lieut Fry’s house, and there speared a stock-keeper in a dangerous manner. Lieutenant Fry having promptly gone out with a party of soldiers in pursuit, the natives in his absence came down to his house, and a soldier stationed there fired upon them, but they rushed on him and demolishing the window«, doors, etc. with an axe, entered the house In all directions and plundered it of everything they had time to carry off. Thcy escaped notwithstanding a party of soldiers quickly arrived from the Gully. I must observe, that Lieut. Fry’s home is a substantial stone building close to the side of the main road, and within a quarter or a mile of the strong military party at the deep Gully. The greatest promptitude was shewn by every settler in the district on the first alarm. No less than ten different parties, well armed, have been scouring the bush. Benlomond, Nov. 4.-Since the last capture of the natives by Mr Batman, on the 18th September, he has not, as I hear, been able to fall in with tbem, al- though he has been constantly in tbe pursuit, and not a native has been seen in this neighbourhood since that time, during which Mr. Batman has ranged all along the east and west side of the Tamar and Laun- ceston. They have not committed any outrages in this district or near it within the last three months. The two tribes that Mr. Batman fell in with were probably the natives that committed so many robbe- ries last season. The shepherds and slockkeepers I am sorry to say, begin to travel the bush after the stock without guns, thinking themselves quite safe, but they cannot be too much on the alert, and ought never to go out unarmed, t trust you will not hear of many murders or robberies from this side, t think they have returned to their privileged ground and the sea coast. Mr. Batman has just returned with his party for supplies, and is again setting out to the eastward. In his late journeys he found several tracts of good land, but none very extensive. He found also a forest entirely composed of mimosa or wattle tree, at least 10 miles in extent. The trees stand very thick together, and are in height from 60 to 70 feet and from two feet through. They are of the kind called by some the silver or white wattle. He discovered also a singular strip or tract of trees not before met with, to the east of Benlomond. The strip is not more than 150 or 200 yards wide, but extends several miles in length. The trees are from 4 to5 feet througb, and the leaf is not larger than the nail or the little finger. They are tall, being, from 30 to 50 feet high; these forests I found to the eastward, and I enclose you a small piece of the wood. I think nothing yet in the island has been met with that has so fine a grain.-The specimen is visible at the Courier office. The Tree Brush.-I am sorry to say that almost! all the early sown wheats in this neighbourhood that1 arc now in bloom, appear white and blighted at the top, and when you come, to examine them with the hand, the vegetable process is lound to be complete-, ly at a stand, and but very little prospect of a crop remains.
13 November 1829 (newspaper)
The Black Natives. (1829, November 13). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page666628
The Black Natives.
Mr. Editor,-I request you will allow me to correct an error in your statement of the outrages committed by the Natives in your last paper. Neither my dwelling at the Clyde nor that at the Hunting Ground was attacked. An attempt indeed was made by the Aborigines to rob a neighbouring house at the Clyde. The Natives wished to carry their object by stratagem ; they watched the man and his servant in to dinner, and then set fire to a bush-fence, in order to draw the inmates from the house, while some of their party should slip in, and plunder the dwelling. This in part had the desired effect, and while the people stood wondering who could have made the fire, the wife suggested that it might be the Natives, and that they would rob the house during their absence. They instantly returned, and saw the Natives close to the house. An alarm was given, assistance immediately rendered, and the Natives fled ; and, although they were pursued for two 0r three hours, they could not be overtaken.I owe the preservation of my hut at the Hunting Ground chiefly to its position, which could not easily be surprised ; and I think if Settlers in general paid more attention to the site of their stock-keepers’ huts, it would tend materially to lessen the number of outrages committed by the Natives.They should never be placed at the foot of a scrubby hill ; and all the trees and underwood (particularly the tea-tree, which affords the best shelter for the Natives), should be cut down, to the distance of two or three hundred yards, and to- gether with all the dead wood, so as not to leave any cover, under which the Natives could make their approach ; and if the remote stock-huts, in which there are seldom more than two men, were surrounded by a slight stockade, it would guard the inmates from surprise. This might be ur.ected by the stock-keepers themselves with little trouble, and no ex- pense. Let a sufficient number of spars, of about ten feet in length, and pointed at the top, be set up as close us possible, all round the building, and the earth rammed well about them ; then a piece of black wattle, something thicker than a man’s thumb, bound all along near the top of the spars, with a piece of bullock-hide, would keep all tight, and afford the inmates of the but an effectual guard against surprise from the Na- tives. Two or three men, well armed, need never fear an open attack from them, howeyer, numerous ; and if the feuce were made to form small circles, about four feet in diameter, having an opening to the inside, at any two of the opposite angles, they would form flanks, which would completely rake four sides of the stockade, and prevent any approach. The fence should be far enough from the building to prevent the Natives from throwing a fire-brand upon the thatch, and a finall wicket, fastened with a bullock chain and padlock, would afford the hut some protection when the stock-keepers are necessarily absent. I have known this kind of fence,use- ful in other countries ; for we are not the only people, that meet with annoyance from Aborigines-those in this Islandare not formidable ; the chief thing to be guarded against is surprise.
-I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,
W. Clark. Clyde, November 3, 1829.
16 November 1829 (correspondence)
It is not necessary to send any further answer to Captain Clark – but if there is a new Police Magistrate he will perhaps use the occasion to afford protection to Capt. Clark which He considers he has not received from Mr Williams or Mr Cur….
20 November 1829 (Newspaper)
The Black Natives. (1829, November 20). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 3.
The Black Natives.
In our last number, in reporting that some natives had at- tacked and plundered the house of Mr. BROOK’S, at New Norfolk, we stated that Lieut. FRY was in the house at the time, and that he had left behind him in the flight, sixteen sovereigns, which were afterwards found scattered on the floor by the natives. This information, communicated to us by a respectable individual, so far as it related to Lieut. Fry, we have since been credibly informed, is erroneous ; for, in- stead of that officer being in the house at the time, he was in pursuit of (and had been so for 36 hours) the natives ; and it was only upon his return to the Settlement of New Norfolk that he discovered, that the natives had been at Mr. Brook’s house.
On Monday morning, a tribe of about ten natives robbed the house of Mr. JOHN HAYES, at the foot of Constitution Hill, within a few hundred yards of the Swan Inn. Their visit having been pretty generally made known to the neigh- bouring settlers, an armed party was formed, which went in pursuit, in the direction it was supposed the blacks had taken, towards the hill in the rear of the Swan Inn. The party soon fell in with and almost stumbled over a part of the tribe lying down, waiting an opportunity to rob a sawyer’s hut; but, owing to all the pursuers pieces missing fire, the blacks escaped. A poor fellow, named Seymour, residing at the Hunting Ground, has been speared, but not dangerously ; and a settler of the name of Lancaster in that neighbourhood has been repeatedly robbed by the natives.
Wednesday 4 December 1829 (correspondence)
Green Valley River Clyde
Proceedings of the Coroners Inquest held on view of the bodies of Mary Roberts, assigned servant to Mr Thomas Triffitt Junr., and Thomas Clark (F.S).
1 George Dixon
2 Peter Keefe
3 James Dodds
4 John McKay
5 James Burns
6 William West
7 Charles Pinkett
8 John Smith
9 John Campbell
10 Owen Boyle
11 John Connor
12 William Hardcastle
G. Newport, states, On Sunday mmorning I was ay Mr Marzetti’s when Mr Young’s assigned servant came in and told me that the natives had been at my hut, where I and my wife lived together with the deceased Thomas Clark. I immediately enquired after my wife, and the deceased Thomas Clark, but he could give me no information. I went to Mr Marzetti and asked him to lend me some firearms and as I was going towards home, I met my wife, who told me that the natives had come to our Hut, and as she was scouring a stool had speared her through the breast. She immediately turned towards the deceased Thomas Clark saying “O Clark here’s the natives’. He got up and shut the window, and fastened the door. Soon after they perceived the hut was on fire. My Wife (Ann Newport) remained in the hut as long as she could, but her cap and clothes being in a flame, and her arms dreadfully scorched, she exclaimed , “O Clark, I can remain no longer” and went out. Directly after, she saw a “Black” going to spear her, but she went up to him imploring mercy, he then lowered his spear, and lifting up his hand, spoke to the other, who were also coming on to spear her, but at his command the “Black” (Apparently the chief) took hold of her hand, and put the fire out, first on her head and then down her back. He took her by the hand and shaking it in a kind manner looked at her; he must have perceived she was very large with child, and seemed very sorry she had been hurt. She then motioned him to go to the hut and get flour or something to eat, and as she turned round, she saw the deceased Thomas Clark coming out at the door. The Blackimmediately left her, and lifting his spear ran at him, saying “O you white B_____r”, the other Blacks following him in like manner. She saw no more, but walked away, led by Clark’s sheep dog fawning upon her and showing the way; her husband had gone toward Mr Marzettis, along with James Dodds about an hour before. My wife while the hut was burning looking out through a crack of the shutter, and saw the deceased Mary Roberts coming towards the hut with Henry Williams, she exclaimed “O Clark, I see a white man and woman coming, we shall be saved”, but directly after, she heard the deceased Mary Roberts screaming “Murder” “murder”!
Thomas Walker sworn, states, about the middle of the day on Sunday last, I was going after some sheep, when I saw Clark’s Hut on fire. I was going to see how it had happened, when I came close by the body of the deceased Mary Roberts, who was lying dead. I immediately knew it was the natives had killed her, and ran home. About an hour after, I saw Henry Williams the Constable, who had been with the deceased mary Roberts, bring in charge of her. He told me that as they were going down the hill towards Clark’s hut, the deceased Mary Roberts first saw the natives and screamed out Williams looked and seeing them running to attack them, quivering their spears, he turned and ran off, leaving the deceased behind him.
Robert Groves, sworn, states:
On Sunday morning I was riding through the “bush” about four miles from Clark’s and as I was going up a gulley, my horse began to snort, and my dog to crouch with his tail between his legs. I suspected that the natives must be near, and turned towards Mr Sherwin’s, being in sight of his house, when I met Mr Young. We went together to Mr Austin’s, afterwards, I went with Williams (who had escaped from the natives to Austin’s place), and two other men to the deceased (Clark’s) hut. It was then nearly burned to the ground. We went to look for the woman Mary Robert, we found her lying dead, not far from where Williams had left her, when the natives were coming on with their spears.
View of the bodies of Mary Roberts and Thomas Clark.
Mary Roberts – a spear wound in the back of the head, and two in the back, one of which below the shoulder blade appeared sufficient alone to have caused her death.
Thomas Clark – nearly burned to ashes, only the trunk of the body remaining without the head and limbs, which would not be found among the remains of the Hut.
Mary Roberts and Thomas Clark were feloniously murdered by a party of the black natives, who burned Thomas Clark’s and George Newport’s hut on Sunday last.
- Edward Dumaresque
- George Dixon
- Peter Keefe
- Owen Boyle
- John McKay
- James Dodds
- John Connor
- John Smyth
- Wm West
- William Hardcastle
- Charles Pinkett
- James Burns
31 December 1829 (correspondence)
I regret strongly that is becomes my painful duty again to report for the information of the L’t Governor the continued outrages of the Aboriginal Natives in this District by which many lives have been lost and endangered.
About 1 o clock yesterday I received information that the Natives had attacked Mr Sherwin’s premises about 7 miles from Bothwell and murdered one man – and I immediately sent all the force I could muster in different directions to endeavour to intercept them – and the chief Constable went on horseback to Mr Sherwin’s to procure current intelligence.
About 5 o clock I received the accompanying communications marked – 1 – from Mr Young, the Division Constable at the Ouse, who having been on duty at Bothwell, left it for his own house yesterday morning and also gives the distressing report that an unfortunate women Mary Roberts “Borneo” assigned servant to Mr J Triffitt had fallen a victim to the ferocity of the Natives. This women has been under punishment in Bothwell Gaol for 10 days and was placed under a change of a constable from New Norfolk District to be conveyed to her master’s house where she was proceeding when unfortunately the Natives encountered them she fell and the Constable escaped.
Last night at 10 o clock I received the enclosed communication marked – 2 – from Chief Constable Thomson – by which it appears the Natives are acting with more perservering and daring hostility, that they have ever yet shown.
Having ordered out on the first information all the forces I could collect of the civil and military power, I sent small parties in a direction which in some measure provided for the latest information, I was not able to make any further arrangement than ….ly to give notice to different stations to be on their guard – to communicate with Mr Anstey – and request ….. to send parties to Charles Opening and the Table Mountain which I think is the direction they will next likely take, if they do not cross the high road and proceed again into the Pittwater District.
When the Natives first appeared this season in this District, I stated my opinion, that having discovered the number of parties in pursuit of them to be less numerous than formerly, they would remain in the District and commit many outrages – The lives that have been lost since last, and the daring….
5 Jan 1830 (correspondence)
I have the honor to acquaint you for the information of his Excellency that on the first of this month, the Natives killed a man named William Smith, holding Ticket of Leave in the employment of Mr Triffit Jun near the River Ouse.
During the last week reports have been made to me that they have been seen on the High Plains and on the Shannon, one party have also been hovering about the neighbourhood of Bothwell but tho’ every exertion has been made, the have hitherto baffledall attempts to come up with them.
I have not heard of any injury committed by the Aborigines except what I have above enlarged.
Have the Honor
Your Obed. Servt.
12 February 1830 (correspondence)
Rec. 13th Feby
I have the Honor to state to you for the information of His Excellency that this morning I received an account from Mr Young, Division Constable, River Ouse, stating that the Natives on Tuesday last robbed Mr Marzetti’s hut and mortally wounded a free man named Lawrence During a servant to Mr Bell, (During died on Thursday morning). In the early part of this day the natives set fire to the thatched dwelling House of Mr Howell’s Division constable at the Shannon, while Mr Howell and his men were employed in the fields, it was with much difficulty that Mrs Howell and her children escaped from the flames, the House with every article of furniture and wearing apparel was entirely consumed, and there being no other building or other property, they are now actually ho……
The knowledge the natives have of the defenceless state of a house is really astonishing, as they have invariably made their attack on the departure of the means of defence, Jorgenseon having only this morning left Mrs Howells for Lake Fergus, they …. appeared to the number of 40 or 50 at Mr Torlesses a day or two after the soldiers were removed from that station.
East of the Division Constable’s house a field constable stationed with tem but the man stationed at Mr Howells was summoned to the Supreme Court with several others.
I have the honor
Your Obed. Serv.
13 February 1830 (correspondence)
Mr Betts to Mr Burnett
Reports an attack by the Natives on his establishment at the Jordan Lagoon on the 11th inst.. One man speared in the thigh. A man (Hoply) found murdered about a mile from the house another man missing supposed to the be murdered.
15 Feb 1830 (correspondence)
I have been honored with your communication of the 10th instant, and beg to appease you that it will afford me the most small satisfaction if I can be in ……….., be instrumental in conciliating the aboriginals in the question that I fear that their apprehensions of punishment will render any attempt to come at an interview with them extremely difficult, unless some chance recurrence, such as that which happened at my house last week, should bring it about I will however, seek every opportunity of affecting so desirable an object.
Two of ……… people made their appearance at my Barn on Saturday last, and as there were but two and these two without arms, I have no doubt they came for the sugar that was promised them it was all ready in a bag, and some bread prepared for them but one or two unt….. circumstance, prevented an interview, of the appearance of my men with arms frightened them off. The women went in search of them, but, instead of one or two, she sound the whole tribe, consisting of a hundred persons, by and little, sixty in a gully near my house, on finding themselves discovered they moved off and were seen by all my people skirting along the hills.
I have the &c &c
I have now sent all my men to work in the fields, and will remain at home myself for the whole of this week to receive them should they again me seen about my premises.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient
16-19 February 1830 (newspaper)
Black Natives. (1830, February 19). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page666686
Extracts from the communications of Correspondents : SHANNON, FEB.16 .-It is really painful to record so dreadful an occurrence – the whole of Mr. HOWELL’S premises and pro- perty burned to the ground before his eyes. About two o’clock on Friday last, while Mr. Howell was in bis own paddock, wa- tering his horses, he saw a party of the Natives hovering at a small distance from his house. The strength of the gang might be about (60 or 70, of whom only 19 or 20 presented themselves behind the house, which most unfortunately was thatched. One of them, having the appearance of a Chief, cleared the brush fence like a deer, bearing in his hand a fire-brand, which he excited to flame by several revolutions in the air, and instautly dashed it on the roof, which was devoured in the flames in a few minutes. The lapidity of conflagration was such, that Mrs. Howell and three small children escaped with difficulty from suffocation and destruction. The house consisted of four rooms and a kitchen, which was instantly levelled to the ground. The family are now living under a break-wind, without a single article except what they then wore. All that was saved were two muskets. The youth, who promised.to carry the blankets, Mr. VICARY was kind enough to send, had not delivered them on Monday. While writing this, a messenger from Mr. SHERWIN informs us that that Gentleman was yes- terday suffering in a similar way by a mob of black Natives firing the house, which has been burned to the ground. The . above accounts are very unfavourable omens of friendly terms with the blacks, and instead of opening an amicable alliance, in presenting them with sugar and sugar cakes, we would re- commend more severe measures than has hitherto been adopted.
GREEN PONDS, FEB. 17- The.Natives bave just visited this neighbourhood, within a mile of Mr. POOL’S house, and killed two men, one a mau of color named Philip, the other named Blackaby. The sable tribe were seen in the middle (! !) of the night walking along the side of the hills at the back of Mr. JOSEPH JOHNSON’S house, opposite the Royal Oak Inn, with lighted torches in their hands. A party of seven men are now in pursuit of the blacks, who are supposed to have been overtaken, as the report of several guns has been heard in the direction they bad taken.
– On Thursday last Mr. WILLIAM HOPLEY, (son of the late Doctor HOPLEY) met his death by the spearing of the Black Natives, at the Eastern Marshes. This native bom youth was interred on Wednesday.
We understand the overseer to Mr. REED, of the Clyde, and one or two more persons, have been killed by the Na- tives, in that direction.
COMMITTEE ROOM, Feb. 15, 1830. SIR—The Members of the Committee on the Aborigines, have the honour to acknowledge your letter of the 3rd instant, and beg leave to return you their sincere thanks for the sugges- tions therein contained, and the humane interest you so lauda- bly take in the fate of these our wretched fellow creatures. They furthermore are induced to express their sentiments thus publicly in the hope of prevailing on other resident settlers of similar humane feelings to follow your example, and commu- nicate to the Committee all incidents and information which may come within their knowledge. The Committee avail them- selves ot this opportunity of calling on all as Christians and as men lo prevent by every possible means, the hostile attacks of their servants, and to compel them to adhere to a system of self-defence and not of wanton aggression, and in all cases of confidence or surrender to treat them with every kindness and preserve towards them the most inviolable good faith; Many instances have occurred, which clearly demonstrate that they can and do discriminate between their friends and their foes ; thus leading to the gratifying hope of future conciliation and,mutual good will.
WILLIAM BEDFORD, Chaplain.
JOCELYN THOMAS, Colonial Treasurer.
P. A. MULGRAVE, Chief Police Magistrate.
JAMES SCOTT, Principal Colonial Surgeon.
SAMUEL HILL, Port Officer.
To ARTHUR DAVIES, Esq. J. P., the Laws.
22 Feb 1830 (correspondence)
I regret to say that the week has passed …….. without an opportunity presenting itself of holding any communication with the Aborigines, altho’ they are still again about the quarter.
Besides having been seen every day during the week, they were about my premises in the night of Saturday and Sunday last.
It has long been doubted if the black natives of this island travel at night, but I can pledge myself that they have been about my house, not only in moon light nights, but also at night when the moon did not shine. There was no moon on Sunday night, and the sky was cloudy, yet they were all round my house, and that in considerable numbers so judging from the number of impressions made by their naked feet and heels I saw next morning. I cannot imagine what their object in coming about my house so………………. at night, if it was to fire my premises nothing would prevent their doing so, …… altho’ our dogs warn us of them afterwards, and we get up, yet there is sufficient times they have accomplished this, if they were so desired: and they are ….. shy there is no possibility of holding any converse with them until confidence is in some measure restored, and …………. the natural distrust which has so long subsisted.
John Burnett Esq
23 February 1830 (correspondence)
Mr Sherwin, a settler residing on the Clyde states that on Sunday the 21st of Feby 1830 about 3 o clock pm… I was sitting in the front room when the servant called out “Fire, fire, the natives”, I immediately ran for water, and to alarm the men who were in the Hut at the time – soon after which a fire broke out from the back of the men’s hut, I was then so determined to save the house, but, seeing this was impossible, so began to get what things we could from the house during this time. I never saw a native with the exception of the one who set fire to the house after which he immediately ran away. Soon after this I saw a smoke……..
26 February 1830 (newspaper)
Black Natives. (1830, February 26). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page666690
Black Natives. MR. EDlTOR,—Your desire for information respecting the Aborigines has induced me to state what I conceive to be a proper view of the matter. In our neighbourhood every day affords some proof of their determination to destroy, and their declaration to war with the whites. Whenever an op- portunity presents itself they have invaded our district in almost almost every direction, during the last eight months, with con- siderable success as respects their hostile attacks, particularly in taking the lives of several individuals, and in having ac- complished the ruin of whole families. It appears that the only use the native hunting parties can be of in this service, (if their number were sufficiently augmented), is to keep a vigilant watch, and chase after the Natives, when once the party have fallen in with the track of their retreat, and the pursuing party should harass and follow them well up, and give such daily information of the retreat and the direction it is in to any of the Military advance posts they may ap- proach in the pursuit, which are eight in number, and con- sist of three rank and file at each station, viz.—Mr Thom- son’s, Shannon ; Mr Patterson’s, ditto ; Mr. Young’s, Ouse ; Mr Torlesse’s ; Mr. Nicholas’s, M’Guire’s Marsh ; Mr. Smith, Mead’s Bottom ; Mr. Mood’s, Abyssinia ; and Mrs. Burn’s, Ellen Gowen. These stations constitute, as it were, the frontiers of the inhabited portions of the district, and I think, that by the moving parties keeping a constant pursuit of the Natives, and driving them from their fires and their half-dressed kangaroo, a speedy notice of their anticipated approach in any direction might be given, and the Settlers thus prepared, could afford them a warm reception. To tra- vel after the blacks without the scent of them is of no use, they are so very subtile. The gangs in this quarter can speak Colonial English with tolerable fluency. They told Mr. Sherwin, when burning his dwelling-house and dancing be- fore it, to go away, and that he was not game to fire on them ; on the other hand it should be observed, that a party might be of great service in checking their approaches from one divi- sion of the country to the other, by being stationed in am- bush at the common passes where they make their appearance on their route to and from their resorts. The inhabitants of stock runs, and those parts where they are most likely to go, might be supplied with three or four men from the Public Works, in charge of one soldier well armed, and let them be strictly careful to keep withindoors, and avoid all appearances of a hostile nature, and let no one but one man go out of the hut in the same dress, and I will be answerable that many gangs of the Natives may be taken in this way, and let the rewards or in- dulgences for the Crown prisoner on this service be in pro- portion to the number of blacks captured, and you will very soon see an alteration. The Natives sneak upon the lone hut in small advance parties, reserving their force and the formi- dable appearance of their numbers until the damage is done, or the murder accomplished. To present the blacks with British luxuries, and to entice them to partake of our com- forts, is the very way to induce them to plunder the Settlers for these very comforts, we have sought them to regard as essentials to life. Blankets and sugar, and all such presents are mere stuff ; no overtures of mercy or conciliatory promises will ever tame or soften the incorrigible heart of the Van Diemen’s Land savage ; he never felt the struggles of a con- scientious remonstrance after the commission of a horrid deed, but his contemptuous ignoinnce laughs a hideous grin al the dying victim, as he lingers in the jaws of a cruel death. These observations, I trust, will excite the notice of the Authorities, by distributing parties of Crown prisoners under the orders of the Military, in the quarters most liable to be invaded by the savages.—I beg to remain, Mr Editor, your most obedient servant,
River Clyde, Feb 22, 1830.Since the last, the particulars of the outrages at Mr. Sherwin’s have been fully made known. It appears that on the Sunday afternoon bout three o clock, the woman servant was alarmed by a crackling noise, and upon running out discovered the roof of the house, which was thatched, to be on fire, the family followed her, and perceived at some disance a mob of ten or a dozen Natives, with their hands upraised, hallooing with shouts of delight. One of them had succeeded in throwing a lighted stick into the thatch, which caused their merriment, and the house to be burnt down in a few minutes, allowing time only to remove a few articles of wearing apparel and bedding. In order to protect the stacks of wheat, the family could not pursue the Blacks, which give the latter time to set fire, in several places, to about 1000 feet of American fenre, and then to make off. This has been a sad visitation to Mr Sherwin, much useful property, amongst which were his cheese vats and dairy utensils having been destroyed and Mr Sherwin now believes that the burning of his barn about twelve months ago, was by the Natives. His Excellency the Lieutenaut Governor, with much humane feeling, has gene rously afforded private assistance lo Mr. Sherwin, and, we understand has promised on the public account, that if one of Mr. Sherwin’s sons and young Doran, whose father was lately speared, will each head parties and bring in a mob of Natives alive, they shall have liberal grants of land. We have no doubt that this principle will be acted upon to some extent, it has already been recommended by us, as one of the most promising plans, and there are doubtless many spirited youths in the Colony who would give their aid, under a certainty of such encouragement.On Wednesday evening information was received by ex- press, that the barn of Captain CLARKE, at the Upper Clyde, containing 1000 bushels of wheat, was burnt on Monday last, supposed to have been by the same mob of Natives that fired Mr Sherwin’s premises. On the same day, a boy named Plaistow, ten years of age, was speared to death, near the Swan Inn, Constitution Hill, upon which a number of the neighbour’s armed themselves and joined in pursuit of the aggressors. On the preceding Sa- turday, a party of the Natives were within a mile of Bothwell, and broke into Mr McRa’s house, carried away his boxes, and opened several of his trunks, and not knowing glass to be tangible, pushed their hands through the win- dows. We understand, also, that a stack of wheat at the Green Ponds has been set fire to. We forbear any further comments the present week, upon this important subject, it is one that interests every Settler in the Island, and is capable of almost endless remarks, but we trust that the attention so generally excited towards it now, may spare us, at least for a season, after our unwea- ried labours in reference thereto for so long a period.
28 February 1830 (correspondence continued)
7578 401 Page 154
E. W. Hodgson
Volunteers his services to go among the Natives
To the Honl
Black Mans River Feby 28th 1830
To the Honble Thos. Anstey P.M.
&c &c &c
His Excellency having been pleased to offer an indulgence to any prisoner that may be so fortunate as to gain a reconciliation between the Aboriginals and White people of this Colony, I beg to offer my servises as I am most willing and anxious to risk my life in endeavouring to form that reconciliation with those unfortunate beings. I am of so strong an opinion that if proper steps are taken success will be the ultimate result. Should I be thought a fit person for such an undertaking I should wish to have two men with me of whose habits I am well acquainted and in whom I know the greatest confidence can be placed. My first object would be to look out for their fires by night and when so done lay by till day break then make towards them; and give my fire arms to the men who I should wish to remain in the rear, and then if possible go amongst them and leave my fate to him above who is always ready to assist in a good and just case. I should then by motions, signs, and little trifling presents endeavour to gain their friendship and make them understand that no harm was meant towards them and try by all means in my power to bring them in.
The Men in my rear would be able to render me assistance immediately if required. It appears to me from what ever I have heard that on the arrival of the Europeans in this Colony they evinced the greatest friendship and such might have been the tranquility of this Colony to this day had it not been for the horrid murders and outrages committed by the lower order of the White people towards this unfortunate race.
I remain Sir
Your Obt. Humble Srvt
Edward Wilson Hodgson
(Ship Wm. Miles)
Edward Hodgson is one of the best behaved convicts that I have met with in this Colony. He has been a Sub-Overseer in Mr Nottman’s Road Party ever since his arrival here. I shall be very sorry if the poor man’s life should be forfeited by his temerity, _ and I lay this Letter before Mr Burnett without any further remark.
3 March 1830
It will be most advisable for Mr Anstey to see this man, hear what He says, make any suggestion that occurs to him, & then send Him on to Hobart
5 March 1830
Forward this Letter to Mr Anstey
JB 5 March 1830
I entirely approve of the proposition. Let this man be informed that if He succeeds He shall have a Pardon and forthwith give the necessary orders for carrying his proposition into effect under any arrangement which shall be approved by the Police Magistrate of Oatlands.
4 March 1830
The best situation for making the attempt wd. probably be at Capt. Clarke’s at the Clyde GA
Forwarded for the information and guidance of Mr Anstey who will have the goodness to return this letter when he can inform me of the arrangements which he has entered into.
JB 4 March
Mr Anstey is in Town [?] JB
Mr Anstey has returned this paper to me but he does not appear to have seen or entered into any arrangement with E W Hodgson.
[ ] I again return it with a request that He will let me know the agreement which he [ ] into in order that I may give the necessary instructions for carrying it into effect
JB 5 March
I have ordered Hodgson to come to Hobarton, instantly, to get furnished with the Beads, Trinkets &c &c &c necessary for his Mission; and , if I am not in Town, then to apply to Mr Chas. Arthur, at the Aboriginal Committee Room, for instructions. TA
[above entry: Memorial by Edward Wilson Hodgson 28 Feb – 5 March 1830 kindly provided by/thanks to Sally Steel]
undated: c.mid 1830 ? (correspondence)
………… Captain Clark’s and round by the Blue Hills, a military party was ordered out to the Den Hill ….. ……….. with the military parties.
I proceeded to the spot where they had been heard hunting which I reached in two hours and a half with a small party of three ……. and one constable. Originally ………… one of the settlers being …… and the other three ……….. ……………. out till late at night without meeting the Natives.
A communication was made to the Division Constable at the Hollow Tree and Shannon to watch the different passes, and a military party sent out to patrol up the Clyde, at the place where the natives are supposed to cross from one side to the other. On Thursday evening I received information that a man named William Doly overseer to Mr Pitt on the Clyde near the Lake had been speared seriously but not dangerously, the evening before by four natives under the following circumstances. This man went out as a guide to the military Party at The Quoin on Tuesday and remained with them till Wednesday morning.
When leaving the hut to go out he placed the Blankets and other things in a hollow tree near the hut.
At his return on Wednesday evening, he went up to the tree and three natives started from behind it, threw their spears at him, one of which wounded him in the shoulder. A constable who is well acquainted with that part of the district has been sent to …… alternately with the Regent Plains and Quoin military parties.
I have not been able to discover any mode of opening a friendly communication with the natives. The only way I can think of to open an intercourse is to take some of them prisoners, which the parties have orders to do.
I have the honor to be
Your most Obedient Humble Servant
This is the only report which has this week reached me from any of the Police Magistrates and I am rather inclined to agree with Robinson that little good …[can be ?]… effected by the military.
January – March? 1830
1 Jan 1830 William Smith while in the employ of Triffit jr killed near the River Ouse
nd: Piper’s huts at Bark Hut Plain ……… often and plundered of a musket, blankets, sugar &c
nd: Capt. Clark’s hut at Bark Hut Plains robbed – I have on this occasion that a party took …….. …….. the Natives and a female servant of Capt. Clark.
dated 12 and 13 Feby from Capt. Vicary and …………. detailed atrocities …… suffered …….. the ……. on the 17 Feby …… and ………… appeared to have been …….. to the ………..
22 Feby 1830: Capt Clark’s Barn and ….. Huts ….. as is through by the Aborigines Blacks.
20 Feb?: Mr Mc Ra’s near Bothwell plundered of a ………… of flour and two Pi……ble rifles
21 Feb? Mr Sherwin’s ……….. hut and Servant’s Hut razed to the ground – his fences ………. ………….. too
2 Mar: Hut at Davis’s marsh robbed (………………….)
10 Mar: Piper’s Marsh Bark Hut Plains, set fire to and partly destroyed
17 March 1830: McGinnis Hut Brim Creek (Richardson ……) Plundered of 2 musekts, 2 cannisters of gunpowder and 14 ………..
24 May 1830 (newspaper)
The Courier. (1830, May 29). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page642424
LAUNCESTON, MAY 24, 1830 – On Thursday last three women, a child, and two youths of the black native people were brought to this place. The Women and children are part of those set at liberty by Mr. Batman a few weeks ago. They have been taken at Mr. Gee’s hut at Piper’s River, where they had no doubt gone to procure provisions, believing their brass passports would have protected them from violence, and induced the white people to supply their wants. They complain of being met with a different reception to what they expected, and that the white man took away their passes, pipes, and tobacco , killed their dogs and made them prisoners. The two youths were taken at Port Sorell by Mr. Thomas’s overseer, who treated them kindly, and supplied them with food and clothing; they are the finest lads of the sable race I have seen in this colo- ny, one of them is supposed to be a chief’s son; his hair is besmeared with red ochre, and hangs in grace- ful ringlets down to his shoulders. I understand they were alone and without food of any sort when captured. About three o’clock on Wednesday last a party of armed blacks entered the hut of Mr. Froggett, on the first Western River, during the temporary absence of one of his men, who was gone to the river for water, and notwithstanding Mr. Froggett and two others, his servants, were at plough in sight of the hut, the savages succeeded in robbing it of nearly all its moveables; one of them ran from the hut up a hill with a bag of sugar, weighing about 1501b., with surprising swiftness. They selected and took took away one loaded gun from three others which were unloaded but which they took care to examine-, as the pans were found thrown up. I have just learn- ed that the same party have robbed Mr. Dry’s stock but, on the same side of the river. I know at no part of this district where so many robberies and murders have been committed with impunity by the black native people, as the north side of the Western River.
Blue Hills. 25th. May, 1830. The Aborigines are daily commuting depreda- tions and outrages on the eastern side of the district of Oatlands, George James, one of the Oatlands Field Police constables, at the head of a party of black rangers, accompanied by Jack, a black na- tive, as guide, fell in with a tribe of Aborigines, on the 14th, instant, about a mile distant from the Blue Hill Bluff. The party first heard the noise of dogs, and then the natives rising from their fires. Jack instantly pointed out the route the tribe would take, when the party moved on rapidly to cut them off. The noise made by the nativess in the act of hunting, was heard the whole way, by the party, who were, after four miles walking, placed in ambush behind a large fallen tree. The dogs came up to the spot, and the moment thev saw- the white men, they begin to bark, and all traces were lost of the natives for that time. The party again came on the natives, on the 11th, as they were hunt- ing in Mac Hellie’s Marsh, their appearance was so sudden, that they had no time to keep out of sight, one was not more than fifty yards off; and the mo- ment he saw the party, he called aloud to his country men, and they all fled. A race now began which lasted a considerable time , the natives were now so hard pressed, that they were obliged to drop a number of blankets, pots, knives, tinder box and steeI, tobacco, waddies, spears, &c. The native dogs kept round the party barking and annoying the men all the time. Thirteen were killed. The natives now disappeared. Jack now began to haloo, after the manner the natives do, when any of them are lost. In less than five minutes he was answered by a woman and boy, who came directly to the spot, where the party was; but they must have smelled the while men ; for all at once they took to their heels. They could not see the party where it was concealed. The party pursued them into a ravine, and saw them drop behind a log ; but, strange to say, they could not be found.
Ben Lomond, 24th. May.– The report in the Colonial Times respecting the natives plundering Mr. Bostock’s shepherd, and also, of their having been seen near Mr. John White’s is entirely false; and I am sorry to say similar falsehoods are daily spread, which oftentimes lead the parties astray,who are in pursuit of the blacks. Not a black has been seen in this quarter for months past. The women that left Mr Batman’s farm on the 7thof April last, were brought into Launceston last week, from Piper’s River. One out of the five, had died, another had been shot, and the three that came in had been very shamefully treated. During the whole of this time these poor creatures could not meet with a single individual of their own tribe. (We feel much pain at the above ddistressing narrative,, which if corro borated bv our correspondent at Launceston, and we sincerely hope that the cruel aggressors will be brought to account. Had these women been kindly and hospitably treated by the whites wherever they went, as they had been at Mr. Batman’s, should they happen again to have fraternised with their own people, they would have given a favourable account, and perhaps have prevailed on them to act peaceably to the stockkeepers and the generally- But when they have been thus inhumanly used, what are we to expect will be the result, should the treatment they have met with come to the knowledge of their friends and relations yet in the bush? The dictates of our own breast must answer the question.
THE HOBART-TOWN COURIER. (1829, May 30). The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4216336
The blacks have now become so cunning and hostile that there appears no alternative but open warfare or capture. If the establishment for their amelioration at Brune island prosper, and answer the end of its benevolent projector, it will do more to commemorate the present administration, we are bold to say, than almost any other possible achievement consequence of the plan, if successful, in the present feeling of the blacks, the whole of the tribes now at large must necessarily be caught and civilized or must perish in the oonflict. The lives of, our fellow crea- tures, we mean our own lives, must, be preserved. The common law of self preservation now calls aloud for justice, and with our correspondent at Ben lomond, we reiterate our call on all, civil and military, to unite and accomplish the object, by forming a circle round them on the hills and fixing them at once. Govern- ment has already done all in its power, unaided by the people generally. Let us one and all (the magis- trates should lead the way) come forth and do it at once. They speared a boy within little more than a mile of Launceston last week. We must not, because they do not come so near Hobart town, wait for the meeting of the agricultural and commercial associa- tion, though it will be doubtless one of their first considerations, the subject must not be delayed. The personal safety of the proposed members must first be consulted.3 August 1830 (correspondence)
(Transcript of a1771043) [Blank page]
(SLNSW: Transcript of a1771044)
Mr G.A.Anstey [T.A. ?]
3 Augt. 1830
Expressing his acknowledgment for the Lieut. Governor’s manner of noticing his exertions in capturing some Natives.
25 September 1830 (newspaper)
Notice 6 No. 11.
Colonial Secretary’s Office
1. THE Community being called upon to act en masse on the 7th Oct. next, for the purpose of capturing those hostile Tribes of the Natives which are daily committing renewed atrocities upon the Settlers; the following outline of the arrangements which the Lieutenant Governor has determined upon, is published, in order that every person may know the principle on which he is required to act, and the part which he is to take individually in this important transaction.
6 November 1830 (Newspaper)
Hobart Town Courier 6 November 1830, p. 2
As the expedition advances and the critical moment approaches, the interest generally felt becomes daily more and more acute. In the course of this day or tomorrow it is probable that some important news as to the result will have reached town. In the meantime as the best information we can give must be supplied from the favours of our Correspondents, we again avail ourselves of their obliging communications on the subject: Oct, 31.-I am not aware of your having yet published any account of the capture of 2 natives by Mr. Walpole. The particulars as reported here are as follows:- Mr. Walpole had charge of a roving party of 10 men, and been sent inside of the line to scour the country, along the sea coast, to the southward of Prosser’s bay. On the evening of Monday the 25th inst. he discovered the natives hunting, and watched them making their fires and forming an encampment for the night in a deep scrubby ravine, to the south of the Sandspit river, opposite the south end of Maria island. The dogs of the savages made a great noise, howling nearly the whole of the night, while Mr. Walpole and his party were concealed at a short distance, not wishing to attempt taking any of the tribe until morning. No noise being heard near daylight, it was supposed the natives had taken the alarm and gone in the night, and, in consequence Mr. Walpole advanced to the first hut where he very unexpectedly saw 5 blacks all fast asleep, under some blankets with their dogs. He seized hold of one of the largest of the feet, which awakening the party, they endeavoured to make their escape. The man whose foot he had hold of made violent effort to escape, and darted through the back of the hut, carrying Mr. Walpole with him into the gully or creek behind – here he again tried to make his escape by twisting his legs and biting, and would have succeeded had Mr. Walpole not drawn a small dagger from his belt and inflicted a slight wound, which so frightened him that he was secured. The other taken, was a boy of about 15 years of age, and appears to be the son of a chief from the ornaments upon his body, cut with flints or some sharp instrument into the skin. Two others were shot by the party in making their escape in to the scrub, on the edge of which their hut was placed. This hut had been used as a vidette or outpost to a very [?] [?] tribe encamped in the scrub, also took the alarm on the firing and made a precipitate retreat, leaving a great number of spears and waddies behind, and baskets of their women. It is supposed that the tribe amounted in all to near 70 individuals. The boy, when taken, wished them to let him go, as he said there were ‘plenty more black fellow in the scrub,’ pointing to it.
None of them have yet succeeded in forcing their way across the line, although many attempts have now been made upon the cordon in various places, in all which they have been repulsed and driven back. In one of these attempts the sentry was speared in two places, and they again tried to force their way yesterday at the same spot, which is a favourite crossing place of the blacks over the Prosser’s river.
What is called the line, is a chain of posts placed along an extent of country from the mouth of Prosser’s river to Sorell, a distance of nearly 35 miles. The men are disposed in parties of 3 in each hut, at distances from 150 to 200 yards apart, excepting on the right towards Sorell, where they are closer together, keeping each a sentry day and night and numerous fires between along the line of posts.
The hill called ‘The Thumbs,’ situated about 5 miles S.W. of Prosser’s bay, is a great place of resort for the tribe now enclosed, and it is principally on the ranges leading from this hill that they are endeavouring to force their way north. From the top of the hill is a most delightful prospect of the whole of Oyster bay and Maria island, and at the same time from one spot can be seen Tasman’s Peninsula, Mount Nelson, Mount Wellington, the Table Mountain, Jericho, and Ben Lomond, near Launceston.
Nov. 2.-Captain Donaldson having arrived from the northward with the Launceston forces, took his station on the right of the line from Sorell to the Cherry Tree Opening, on the 1st, yesterday. The whole of the parties in consequence had to move to the left to fill up the vacancies left open by the different scouring parties. By ten o’clock to day the line had completed this movement and is again in an excellent position, every post being as well guarded as the nature of the ground would admit of. Several places where the natives are known to be in the habit of crossing, and where they have made repeated attempts to pass and force their way through, have been strengthened by taking them from the country less exposed to danger.
The force brought into the field by Capt. Donaldson from the Lakes was about 300 men, soldiers and civilians, of whom about 60 were soldiers; and by 12 o’clock to-day the roving parties were dispatched inside of the line, each with four days provisions, in which time they are expected to have examined the country as far to the south as East Bay Neck, a distance of 30 miles. The number who have already set out on this duty amounts to near 40 parties of 7 men each, stationed at equal distances along the line, each party set out from a fixed point, at the proper distance in the line, having directions how to march and those who did not know the country furnished with guides.
Besides these 40 parties there are several others constantly ranging over the country immediately in front of the line, to intercept any of the savages who may endeavour to hover in front, and by watching an opportunity slip through. Something will be done towards capturing them it is now expected in a very few days. When disturbed inside they will naturally fly towards the line of posts, and endeavour to force their way. We have the pleasure to lay before our readers the following Memorandum.
Camp, Sorell Rivulet, Oct. 31, 1830. The expected arrival of Capt Donaldson’s force this day, now enabling the Colonel commanding to make the final movement for the capture of the tribes within the lines, the following arrangements will immediately take place. Major Douglas will form 22 parties of 7 men each including leaders, and early on Monday morning they will take post 50 paces in front of the line according to the following order from the left, namely, and in front of Lieut. Aubin’s corps, will be placed at equal distances 4 parties, viz – Messrs. Walpole, Pearce, Thomas Massey and H. Batman. In front of Lieut Oven’s, 2 parties, namely Mr. Myers with half of Mr. H. Batman’s party and Mr. M. Fortom. In front of Lieut. Groves, 3 parties, namely Messrs. G. Robertson, E. Blinkworth and J. Moriarty. In front of Catp. Baylee, 3 parties, namely Messrs. G. Scott, Layman and Jemott In front of Capt. McPherson, 4 parties, namely Messrs. Allison, Cox, Heleuslie and Russel. In front of Capt. Mahon, 2 parties, viz. Mr. Doran, (Peter Scott will be attached either to this party or to Mr. Evans’s), and Mr. Thomas. In front of Lt. Pedder, 4 parties, viz. Messrs. Evans, Harrison, Flexmore and Jack Jones, all 4 under the joint direction of Mr. Franks.
Capt. Wentworth will also immediately form 16 parties of 7 men each including leaders, and on Monday morning they will likewise take post 50 paces in front of the line in the following order.:-
In front of Lt. Croly’s, 4 parties, namely, Messrs. Paterson, Brodribb, Emmett and Sherwin. In front of Capt. Clark (Richmond force) Messrs. Kimberley, Espie and Lackey. In front of Lt. Champ, 2 parties, viz. Messrs. Stanfield, jun. and Cassidy. In front of Lt. Murray, 3 parties, viz. Mr. Proctor (if he shall not have returned Stacey) Mr. Steel and Mr. Synnott. In front of Lt. Barrow, 3 parties, viz. Messrs. Cawthone, Mills and Shone. Unattached, Messrs. Lloyd and Kirby. As soon as the advance parties shall have been posted in marching order, and with 5 days rations, the vacancies in the line which their advance will have caused will be filled up by the whole remaining force closing to the left, and Capt. Donaldson’s force will take up the ground which has been heretofore occupied by Lt. Barrow, Lt. Murray, and by a portion of Lt. Champ’s corps. This movement regulated by the right must be made with the utmost possible care under the superintendence of Major Douglas, Capt. Wentworth and Lieut Aubin, so as to prevent the possibility of any gaps in the line. By this movement, which should be possible be effected by 12 o’clock on Monday, the line will remain of its original strength, and the scouting parties will be in readiness to advance, which they will do as soon as the vacancies have been closed. These parties will then advance towards the South-east, driving the natives in that direction of capturing them, and on the 4th day will reach East bay neck where they will receive further orders.
The investing line which remains in position must during these four decisive days put forth every effort to prevent the possibility of the natives passing through them, as the Tribes will naturally redouble their attempts to pass when they are disturbed in the interior.
(Signed) GEO ARTHUR.
Camp, Sorell Rivulet,
Oct. 31, 1830.
(Circular) To the Commanders of Corps. The Colonel commanding requests that the commanders of corps will inform every leader under their orders that the advance of Capt. Donaldson’s division will, it is hoped, enable the final and decisive movement to commence tomorrow. That His Excellency fully aware of the great privations and inconvenience which the leaders, as well as those serving with them, have been suffering by so protracted a separation from their families and homes, has observed with real satisfaction the cheerful and praiseworthy alacrity which has animated them in striving to accomplish the present important undertaking.
The delay consequent on waiting for reinforcements has been unavoidable, for, to have advanced the whole force from its present position would have assuredly risked the loss of the great advantage which the labours of the community have obtained in so successfully enclosing the two most dangerous tribes.
A few more days must now terminate the great work in the most satisfactory manner, and His Excellency earnestly hopes that the leaders will for the remaining short period continue to show the excellent spirit which has all along been so conspicuous in their parties, for they will perceive that the advance of the scouting parties will render redoubled vigilance necessary on the part of those who guard the line, as the natives when disturbed in the interior will undoubtedly increase their efforts to burst through the position.
(Signed) Geo. ARTHUR.
Our readers will recollect the circumstance we lately mentioned of the three women belonging to the tribe of Blacks generally roving about Cape Portland and the north eastern parts of the island having returned lately to Mr. Batman’s with the ten surviving members of their tribe. They came back voluntarily, and as we stated, took up their abode at the farm, and seemed quite at home, enjoying every comfort and attention that they stood in need of Mr. Batman, who had joined the expedition, had been sent back by his Excellency to receive them, and to inure them as much as possible, to friendly habits with the Whites. Great was his astonishment to find on the morning of the 24th that they had all decamped during the night, taking with them also fine young Black who had followed Mr. Batman, as an attendant or companion for the last twelve-months, in all 15 in number, viz:- eleven stout men, three women, and one child. They took with them five dogs and about twenty knives and tomahawks.
The men are described as being very much like the natives of New Zealand, and strong and active. Three or four of them had learned the use of a musket, and as might be expected from the keen unerring eye of these savages, were excellent shots. We do not however agree with those who apprehend additional danger to the White inhabitants from this circumstance. On the contrary, we think, if they should be induced, from this knowledge, to put faith in fire-arms in preference to their murderous spears, it will be a great means of betraying them into the hands of the Whites. A firelock in the hands of a savage man, though he may fully comprehend its management, we conceive, is but a harmless weapon. It will be almost impossible for him to obtain a supply of powder and shot, or to keep the former dry if he should get it, and his gun, exposed to all weathers, would soon become rusty and unserviceable. The present fact, however, proves, most impressively, how little reliance is to be placed in them, and how absolutely necessary it will be to guard them securely and not to allow them a single chance to escape when once captured.
A dispatch arrived, we learn, front the Lieutenant Governor on Thursday evening, to the Colonial Secretary, requiting as much additional force as could possibly be obtained to be sent down, in order to enable His Excellency to strengthen the advance line of scouring parties. In consequence, a large body of volunteers, and as many troops and, others, as could be obtained, left town, last night to the amount of eighty. If it had not indeed been for the untimely, and as it appears to us, unnecessary relieving of the Gaol Guard, by the interference of the Sheriff, these latter reinforcements would probably not have been required, as the troops that would have gone down last week would have enabled His Excellency to have put a more speedy conclusion to the campaign, instead of waiting, as has since been the case, and keeping a body of men unused to the patience and fatigue of military duty, on the stretch of exertion and vigilance necessary in repelling the frequent attempts of the Blacks to escape through the line.
Much to the credit of all concerned, in every attempt as yet, they have been instantly and completely repulsed, and the securing parties in following them up invariably come on the prints of shoes, generally with nails in them, like stock-keepers’ boots. From the scrubby and barren nature of the ground in which the Blacks are now enclosed, and no means that we know has yet been discovered so effectual as hunger for taming and reducing savages, either man or beast to subjection. As the line is now constituted, together with the most laudable vigilance of the sentries, and the close line of fires contantly kept up, it is next to impossible that a single Black can escape through it.
There is no earthly good without its alloy of evil, as on the other hand there is no human calamity without some alleviating circumstance. Thus while the greatest praise is due to the whole of the forces both civil and military now in the field against the blacks, it would be too much to expect that in so large a flock there would not be one single black sheep. In the general call of His Excellency upon the ticket of leave men, to come forward upon this occasion, it was to be expected that some of them who had been industrious and successful, had become householders, with families perhaps, or otherwise had rendered themselves so useful to their employers that they could not be spared from their occupation without serious injury to their own or their masters interests. In such cases the Government allowed them to act by substitute, and several we believe are now in the field serving under this character. One of them named Thomas Grant, a free man it appears, had hired himself to Mr. Hugh Ross, to serve as substitute for his servant John Ambrook, holding a ticket of leave, whose employment was of such a nature as did not admit of its being interrupted. Grant had accordingly entered into a regular agreement with Mr. Ross to act for Ambrook, was equipped with a musket, &c. paid a certain sum as wages in advance, and received his appointment from the Chief Police Magistrate. He was subsequently placed under the orders of Lieut. Murray, with whose party he remained a short time and then deserted. His absence was reported to the Police, but nothing was heard of him for 10 days, until he was accidentally found in the streets of Hobart town. Mr. Mulgrave having heard the case, aggravated as it was by desertion at the very time the man’s services were most required, sentenced him to hard labour in the House of Correction, (Penitentiary) for ten weeks. We can scarcely conceive conduct more despicable and dastardly than that which this man Grant has been guilty of. We can easily imagine his circumstances to have been so low that although enjoying the privileges of the country and the protection of the law, it was an object to him to obtain mercenary remuneration for a duty which the rest of the community were performing voluntarily for the common cause; but having once embarked he was bound to keep his post, and his unmanly conduct stamps his wickedness, for besides deserting his duty he applied the money he had received for performing it to other purposes, and even sold or pawned the gun with which he had been furnished.
Jacob’s Sugar Loaf, Nov. 2.-Under the head of Blackman’s river, Oct. 26, 1830, in the Courier of the 30th ult. I perceive it stated, that a large mob of natives were seen near old York’s and the Green Creek. My neighbour York is quite indignant at being called ‘OLD YORK,’- Mr. if you please! I have to request that you will contradict the paragraph, for no natives have been seen in this neighbourhood since my valiant neighbour Mr. Connell drove them away.
Thursday 12 November 1830 (correspondence)
Copy (SLNSW: Transcript of a1771086: Gilbert Robinson to GA Arthur: papers – from: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/_transcript/2007/D00007/a1771.html )
After I wrote you from the Shannon, I crossed the Ouse, and searched the Country from that River to Lake Echo, and the Dee – finding nothing of the natives in that quarter, I called for information at Mr. Young’s the Division Constable on the Ouse – by his recommendation, I sent a party to search, between the Dee
Thomas Anstey Esqre
&c &c &c
(Transcript of a1771087)
Dee, and the Derwent, back to Black Bobs River, While I went with Mr Young, to search the opposite side of the Ouse, between Hells Corner and Hamilton, – while engaged in the search, I heard of the Blacks, having robbed the quarters of Lieutenant Fry, at the Deep Gully, and being seen about the settlement of the New Norfolk, close to the Township on this side the Derwent – expecting from what I could hear of their motions that they
(Transcript of a1771088)
that they were likely to take a course through the Hunting Ground to the Country laying east of the Port Dalrymple Road – finding many parties in all directions, about the Clyde District, and not aware of any being in this quarter, I left the Ouse, Wednesday morning and coming through Hells Corner’s Lagoon bottom, Spring Hill Marsh, the Hollow Tree Bottom, Beachman’s Valley, and Aby Pines Forest to Mr Pitts, at the Hunting Ground
(Transcript of a1771089)
Ground, I heard that the Blacks had robbed Stanfield’s at the Broad Marsh on Tuesday – this information made me suppose that they must be still about the Dromedary or Mangalore Hills, and made me alter my intention of making for the Oatlands by the Table Mountain. I came by Langfords, and having warned them of the probable approach of the Blacks, I made for the usual crossing places, on Constitution Hill – I do not think they are gone across the road, I will take Jack, and the only two
(Transcript of a1771090)
only two men, whom I have got that are able to travel, and search well about the Mangalore Hills to day, I expect they will cross between Brighton, and Constitution Hill, unless they happen to see us, in which case they will either return back to the Ouse and Shannon, or go across under the Table Mountain, and probably join the mob of Port Dalrymple Blacks, whom I suspect to be still hovering under the Western Tier from Blackman’s River to Mr O Connor’s – there is so little dependence to be placed
(Transcript of a1771091)
placed on the reports, as to the numbers of natives seen at the different places that
it is impossible to judge, whether the Oyster Bay mob is with, Mon [indecipherable] in the Clyde, and New Norfolk Districts – if not, I expect to hear dreadful news from Oyster Bay, or the Eastern Marshes, but from many circumstances, I am led to hope that two Tribes are together – all their motions to the eastward confirm the truth of the information, which I received from Wna Dranidally, the wife of the Chief, who was shot by
(Transcript of a1771092)
shot by Mr Bateman, and who was to have been the principle leader in the hostilities against the Settlers this Summer – from some cause the general meting of the Tribes, which was to have taken place near Norfolk Plains was held further to the eastward, probably the approach of some party broke up the assembly about a fortnight sooner than I was led to expect, which deprives me of the pleasure of being present at their deliberations – I shall
(Transcript of a1771093)
I should have communicated this to you before I went to the westward, but I had not much confidence in a Mrs W Dranidally’s report, nor could I correctly understand my interpreter (Eumarra) and I feared that I might only mislead the other parties had I been fortunate enough to have hit the proper time and had Eumarra and Jack proved faithful, I have no doubt but by the blessing of God, I would have been able to put an end to the horrid scenes which keep the Colony on continual alarm – had they proved
(Transcript of a1771094)
proved treacherous, they would of course have escaped, and my life must have fallen in their hand and paid the penalty of my misplaced confidence – I had weighed the chances well, and was fully persuaded that the chance of success together with the importance of the object to be gained, was more than equal to the risk, as I would have exposed no life but my own and had I failed, no one would have an opportunity of upbraiding me for my error – I do not know what to do, for I have no hopes of their being captured and I have no doubt, but the parties
(Transcript of a1771095)
parties sent out in pursuit of them have driven them in upon the settled districts – I send this on to Constable Flaxmore by one of the Richmond Field Police, who is stationed here – I have directed him ( and one of my own party who is to meet him in the evening) to patrol the road on Constitution Hill until dark to give me the earliest notice if they should cross in that direction – I must remain in this quarter until I ascertain that the Blacks have gone away, my only hope is to be able to prevent them murdering the people at remote stations – I cannot
(Transcript of a1771096)
I cannot meet Grant, or the party at Mr Eddies on the 18th, as I promised, nor do I know what orders to send them – if I do not hear any thing of the blacks before Monday I will leave this party, (which is knocked up) to protect the Jerusalem District and I will endeavour to join Grants Party on the 19th at Ross or Campbell Town – Grants party are all picked men, and better able to endure the fatigue which we must encounter, if we have to go into the Swan Port District – if you have a Constable to spare, I think it would
(Transcript of a1771097)
it would be well to warn the people about the Eastern Marshes that the Blacks are coming back, for all the people to the east of the Port Dalrymple Road, were very secure in the belief that the Oyster Bay Tribe was gone to the westward for the summer. Ten of my party will be entitled to their Tickets of Leave on the first of January. I hope you will recommend Grant for his emancipation – he will be glad if his health can stand it to serve an additional period for his free pardon – I am sure there is not a fitter man to have charge of a party – my time will be up on the first
(Transcript of a1771098)
first of January and if my constitution could endure another years service in the bush, I am convinced that my services are not by any means worth on this employment, what they cost Government – it will be necessary for the protection of the inhabitants, to have local parties stationed in the several districts and their range ought to be limited to a distance not exceeding 10 miles each way – should the Government adopt this plan I will be happy to do every thing in my power to make it effective and without any reward – I will gladly take charge
(Transcript of a1771099)
charge of all the parties that may be stationed to the east of Port Dalrymple Road, as far as the Macquarie River – the experience which I have acquired this year and the attention which I have paid to the movement of the natives will enable me to make my services more useful than if I were continually with a party – I will write you very fully on this subject before I give up my charge, but at this moment my mind is so warn out with disappointment, vexation, and anxiety, that I can hardly write common sense, I cannot [indecipherable]
(Transcript of a1771100)
cannot however forebear to bring under your notice and through you under the notice of the Government the useless description of men that have been sent to join the parties and against the natives – many of them are incapable of any sort of exertion, except eating and indeed fit for no purpose connected with this service, unless it be to devour food and retard the movement of the parties
I have the honor to be Sir Your very obedt. Servant
(Signed) Gilbert Robertson
A true copy
(Transcript of a1771101)
This letter which I received from the Post Office Messenger on the 14th November, I now send to Mr Burnett, that His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor may see what Mr Robertson recommends etc.
Jorgenson was really insane many days last week – Mr Robertson too, is evidently mad, but with this difference, that there is method in Robertson’s madness.
(signed) T. Anstey
16 November 1830 (correspondence)
A true copy
(Transcript from: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/_transcript/2007/D00007/a1771.html )
20 November 1830 (correspondence)
(Transcript of a1771045)
Sorell Camp: [indecipherable]
20th Novr. 30
The increasing boldness of the Natives Tribes and the frequency of their insidious attacks upon the more isolated Settlements having caused great loss of life and a general panic amongst the Residents in the Interior, and related loss of life it became necessary to adopt a strong measure in order to restore the security which the Inhabitants of the Country daily saw themselves losing –
The experience of years has shown that any attempt to conciliate and reform the aboriginal Inhabitants while totally cut off from all but hostile intercourse with the White Residents, and while living in a [indecipherable] of habits so utterly incompatible with the interests and customs of Civilized Man, would be vain and hopeless – and it was evident that nothing but capturing and forcibly detaining these unfortunate savages, until they, or at least their children, should be raised from their original rude barbarianism to a more domestic state – could now prevent arrest a long series term of rapine and bloodshed – already commenced -, the a great decline in the prosperity of the Colony, and the eventual extirpation of the aboriginal race itself.
(Transcript of a1771046)
The mode which had, for the last two years, been adopted for capturing the natives them by means of a few trusties who were made to rove incessantly in the District where they were likely to be found, had proved quite [indecipherable] as a general security. The total want of information as to the situation of the tribes at any particular time – the facility and rapidity with which they moved to some secret hiding place after committing some atrocity which they had only attempted when sure of success, rendered pursuit on such occasions, in most instances fruitless; for the rugged and woody nature of the country in which they always took refuge was sure to baffle any attempt to trace them in their course.
It therefore appeared that the only remaining means of remedying the evil with a due [indecipherable] to Humanity towards the Natives was to drive them to a Peninsular in which they could be contained by a small force occupying its Isthmus, and then to induce them to surrender themselves without bloodshed – To effect this would be necessary to beat the bush in a systematic manner, enclosing and gradually surging on towards Forrestiers and Tasman’s Peninsulas
(Transcript of a1771047)
those Tribes which infested the Central and the South-eastern portions of the Colony, leaving those on the North for after operations which could not, with so small a force, be undertaken simultaneously
As the strength in Troops was quite unequal to the undertaking on so extended a scale, it became necessary to call the Inhabitants to rise “en masse” and to enroll themselves for this particular service under Leaders which the Govt. should nominate. The call was answered indeed, it had long been denied by the Public with the most zealous and cheerful alacrity – and a large proportion of the Inhabitants – of all classes came forward – The Settlers brought their as many of their convict Servants as they could without great loss, spare from their farms. Prisoners holding tickets of leave were called into the Field to perform the [indecipherable] or were obliged to furnish substitutes and the whole [indecipherable] mustered by the Police Magistrates of the respective Districts. The total Force amounted to about 2200 men, 550 of whom were Troops of the 63d – 57th & 17th Regts – and they were formed into three Divisions under the orders of Major Douglas of
(Transcript of a1771048)
68th Regt – Capt Wentworth of the [indecipherable] Regt and Capt Donaldson of the 57th Regt These divisions were subdivided into Corps which wereagain placed placed under the command of Military Officers, and which were again told off in parties of ten men, each of which had its leader – The whole was commanded by the Lt Gov in person. The mode of advancing was in extended order – each party keeping its proper course & distance from its neighbours as well as the Nature of the country would admit – in which they were assisted on the advance by the discharge of Musketry, by bugles, and by every party repeatedly calling out its Number, by which the adjoining parties knew whether they were relatively in proper position. The offrs. of the Survey Detachment superintended the direction of this and the provisioning of the Troops
In the early parts of the operations as the line occupied by the Forces was 120 miles in extent, the advance was extremely difficult to be effected with uniformity, but the excellent spirit of the parties, and the attention which they paid to the orders which they received rendered the movements much better executed than could have been anticipated.
On the 7th of Oct – which was the day fixed for the commencement of operations – a chain of posts extending
(Transcript of a1771049)
[Margin notes: indecipherable]
from St Patrick’s Head, on the Eastern Coast, along the River St Pauls – [indecipherable], Macquarie Lake, and [indecipherable] – and another series of detachments extending from the Derwent above New Norfolk, up the course of the River Dee to the Lakes – advanced the former towards the South – the latter towards the East and on the 12th Oct the whole Force occupied the positions as shown by the plans [indecipherable][indecipherable][indecipherable] extending from Waterloo Point to the Clyde – Capt Wentworth’s from the latter point where Maj Douglas’s left Right rested – to Hamilton on the same River, and thence across the Dromedary to [indecipherable] on the Jordan. This latter last forward position of his Right having him keeping in order to cut off the natives from retreating to the more inhospitable summits of the Dromedary
From this position the forces advanced on the 14th Oct and as they have now in a somewhat connected line, they were enabled to command the ground across which they moved, so as to prevent the natives from passing through the cordon undiscovered. On the 24th they took up a position of about 30 miles in extent from Prosser Bay to the village of Sorell
(Transcript of a1771050)
where the Right rested, and as the country in front was of a very difficult description it was not judged prudent to risk the escape through the line, of the Tribes which had been successfully enclosed – a risk which would certainly be increased should the Troops whole Force advance any further through forests so tangled as to prevent the parties from keeping up their connection It was therefore determined to continue in that position and to send within the circle a sufficient force, in roving parties to discover and capture the natives who lurked in those haunts – To effect this without too much weakening the posts it became necessary to call Capt Donaldson’s Division down from the Lakes and that force joined the Camp on the 1st Novr. During the interval the natives made repeated efforts to burst through the line – and on one occasion they speared a sentry and twice they their weapons pierced the caps of men who had advanced a few hundred yards in front of the formation
The greatest vigilance was observed both night and day to prevent
[Margin note: Two natives were taken & 2 killed
(Transcript of a1771051)
the escape of the crafty foe – a double line of enormous fires was kept up – and every third man was on sentry while the remainder stood to their arms several times in the course of each night as the alarms caused by the natives hovering near the line was repeated.
The arrival of the Reinforcement enabled 400 men to scour the country down to the Isthmus – this occupied from the 2nd to the 5th Nov. The weather was most unfavourable and no single party discovered any trace of the Natives – but shortly afterwards an assemblage of their huts was discovered in the midst of an almost impervious thicket – The Roving parties were again sent in – and they searched these thickets as carefully as possible but still without success – a [indecipherable] party Strong Parties with axes were now sent into the Interior of the circle and under the direction of the officers of the Survey Department – new lines through the forests were opened out for the Forces to halt on during the general and final advance
(Transcript of a1771052)
which became necessary – for the Roving parties had proved quite insufficient to discover the retreats of the savages, and as the great loss and inconvenience which the volunteers began to sustain by so protracted an absence from their homes, rendered it impossible to keep the Force together any longer, it was determined to move the whole Body in the same order as before, down to the Isthmus, with the additional precaution of moving the Roving Parties, which was now formed into a distinct Corps and placed under the orders of Capt Moriarty RN – over the ground across which the general line was to advance – the direction of march of the one, being perpendicular to that of the other, and the movement of the Light Corps, preceding by some hours, the advance of the line – by which means, all parts of the country would be cross scoured
About this time a general [indecipherable] took place from the circumstances of no natives having been for some days seen in front
(Transcript of a1771053)
which induced the belief that they had escaped through the sentries unobserved
Intelligence was at the same time received that a Tribe had made its appearance on the “Ouse”, and that several attacks on huts had been made by a small party of natives near the rear of the forces. This intelligence seemed to confirm the belief which many entertained of the natives having escaped – Just at this [indecipherable] they suddenly reappeared at several points within the Lines – and were traced with great facility by one of the two blacks who had been recently captured.
The Forces are now therefore moving forward in full hopes of success and they will reach the Isthmus on Thursday next.
20 November 1830 (correspondence)
(Transcript of a1771054)
That the advance of the Force had effectively hemmed in the two worst Tribes which had infected the Settled Districts, about this time, satisfactorily shown by the circumstance of a small party, under Mr Walpole, while examining the country to the Front, having fallen in with a large body of Natives who were hunting – He watched them until they hutted themselves for the night, and in the morning he and his party rushed in after them, capturing two and in the scuffle shooting two others – The remainders about forty or fifty – immediately saved themselves by flight into the thickets whither it was impossible to follow them – one of the Captives belonging to the Big river Mob, as it is termed – and the other to the Oyster bay Mob – and they declared that those two Tribes – which have always shown themselves to be the most blood-thirsty – had coalesced and were then united. It was most unfortunate that so good an opportunity of surrounding and seizing these Natives should in this manner have been missed as the spot where they were discovered was satisfactorily near the lines as to have admitted of a large force being that night marched upon the point where the natives lay encamped in fancied security
(Transcript of a1771055)
22 December 1830 (correspondence)
(SLNSW Call No.: A 2188: CY 1025)
His Excellency Colonel George Arthur
Lieut. Governor of the Island of Van Diemens Land, and its Dependencies.
The Address of the Land proprietors and others of the Police District of Campbell Town assembled at that place this 22nd day of December 1830, in accordance with a requisition to that effect.
We respectfully beg leave to approach Your Excellency for the purpose of expressing our high sense of your fraternal care for the welfare of the whole of His Majesty’s subjects in the Colony, and we assure Your Excellency that we shall ever remember with gratitude the great personal exertions and privations which you encountered during the late operations for the capture of those hostile Aborigines whose incursions and repeated Murders perpetrated on the white population rendered unsafe our remote Stock huts and flocks, and who had even threatened and plundered respectable establishments.
While we thus offer to Your Excellency our gratitude for your earnest and increasing endeavours to arrest the depredations and atrocities of the Aborigines, we in common with Your Excellency lament that the plans for carrying that important object into effect have been in a great measure frustrated from unforseen obstacles. But from the experience we have had of Your Excellency’s administration we earnestly beg to assure you, that, placing the most perfect confidence in the measures which you shall think fit in future to adopt for the safety of the Inhabitants, and the necessary subjugation of the Aboriginal Natives we shall be ready at all times to come forward at the call of Your Excellency for so just and patriotic a purpose.
- (sd.) Ben Horne
- (sd.) William Hill
- Hugh Murray
- Temple Pearson
- I.C. Sutherland
- William Young
- Henry Jellicoe
- George Alston
- E.D. Wedge
- Robert Taylor
- David Murray
- G.B. Skardon
- [indecipherable] Wedge
- T.C. Crowley
- Thomas Thain
- James Simpson
- Robert Corrie
- William Hoad
- [indecipherable] Wedge Jnr
- Reg. Harrison
- F.M. Turnbull
- Harvey Wellman
- Daniel O’Connor
- [indecipherable] Mackersy
- [indecipherable] Foster
- Alexander Jackson
- Robert Taylor
- Charles Wedge
- Adam Robertson
- George Parramore
- George Stewart
- Thomas Parramore
- Arthur Binst
- W.I. Ruffy
- James Aitkin
- John Taylor
- Walter Davidson
- William Headlam
- Hugh Robertson
- George Craig
- James Mackersy
- R:C: Foster (sd.)
- Robert Bostock, (sd.)
- Fras. Allison
- David Shirring
- George Atkinson
- John Cox
- Rd. Willis
- Tim Nowlan
- R:Harper Willis
- John McLeod
- David Taylor
- John Leake
- Claudius Thomson
- Thomas Hughes
- P. Watson
- M. Trenney
- Charles McLachlan
- W.I.T. Clarke
- Evan Williams
- William Robertson
- Gavin Hogg
- Saml. Horton
- W Broad
- Samuel Hill
- E. I. Leake
- Adam Turnbull
- W.B. Leake
- R Hepburn
This address was presented to the Lieutenant Governor by Messrs. Hugh Murray and John Leake, the deputation appointed by the Public Meeting. – Reply
11 January 1831 (correspondence)
His Excellency Colonel George Arthur Lieutenant Governor of the Island of Van Diemens Land and its dependencies
The Address of the Landed proprietors and others, resident in the Police District of New Norfolk, assembled agreeably to a requisition to that effect, the 1st day of January 1831
We beg most respectfully to approach Your Excellency for the purpose of expressing the lively sense we entertain of the intense interest and anxiety which Your Excellency has on all occasions shown to protect the lives and property of the Inhabitants of this Island, and particularly for the very great exertions Your Excellency has personally made during the recent operation to capture the hostile
(Transcript of a1771057)
Whilst we, in common with Your Excellency, agree that the recent admirable demonstration of the security and power of the Government and people of the Colony has not had the success anticipated, we are at the same time sensible that it has had the effect of impressing the Aborigines with an adequate sense of their danger, and we most earnestly entreat Your Excellency not to desist from your purpose, until personal security shall have been restored to the Inhabitants and particularly to the more defenceless portion of them.
We beg to assure Your Excellency that we are impressed with a very deep sense of the importance of the present crisis, and that we shall on all occasions feel it to be a duty most imperative upon us, to come forward and render Your Excellency every
(Transcript of a1771058)
every assistance in our power in the execution of whatever measures Your Excellency may deem proper for the full and final accomplishment of the object in view –
- Arthur Davies – Chairman
- George Thomson (sd)
- F. Bell
- M. Fenton
- Harriet Humphry
- R. Officer
- John [indecipherable]
- David Jamieson
- George Raynor
- Charles Baker
- SP. Wills
- W: Macqueen
- John Sharland
- William King
- Oscar David
- D: Thomson
- Thomas Stephenson
- Thomas [indecipherable]
- H R: Robinson
- Edward [indecipherable]
- Anthony Geiss
- John Geiss
- John Terry
- J H Cawthorn
- George Brooks
- J Turnbull
- Hugh Clarke
- Thos Shone
- Alexander Macpherson
- William Abell
- William Roadnight
- J Triffett
- Andrew Downie
- William Bradshaw
- Samuel Haywood
- Adam Thomson
- J Marshall
- D: Ballantine
- W:B: Wilson
(Transcript of a1771059)
- (sd) Wm Dean
- (sd) George Lowe
- James Glover
- Neills Basstian
- Samuel Gay
This address was presented to the Lieutenant Governor by Mr Jamieson and Mr Atkinson on the 11th January 1831 –
I feel very highly gratified by the Address with which you have presented me. The Landed proprietors and others of the district of New Norfolk do me but justice in believing that the protection of the lives and property of His Majesty’s subjects has always been a matter of the deepest interest and anxiety to me, and consequently, the outrage of the Natives have caused me most painful concern, but the result of the unity existing between
(Transcript of a1771060)
between the Government and the Inhabitants of the Colony, will, I have no doubt, at an early period bring this only drawback to the peaceful prosperity of the Colony to a successful termination
(sd) Geo: Arthur
(Transcript of a1771061)
Address of the Landed Proprietors and others of the Police District of New Norfolk.
12 January 1831 (correspondence)
District of Great Swan Port
His Excellency, Colonel George Arthur
Lieut Governor of the Island of Van Diemen’s Land, and its dependencies.
The Address of the Landed Proprietors and others of the District of Great Swan Port.
We the Land holders and others of this District having viewed with the greatest anxiety the late measures adopted by Your Excellency for the purpose of freeing ourselves, our families, and Servants, from the outrages and Murders, so frequently committed against the which population by the Aboriginal Inhabitants, dangers to which we in this district are more particularly subjected, from the well known hostile disposition of the Tribe that infests it, do gladly embrace this opportunity opportunity of expressing our most earnest thanks to Your Excellency for your individual personal exertions, and for your watchful care & concern in superintending those operations.
We beg earnestly to solicit Your Excellency still to continue your humane and generous exertions, not only to protect our lives and properties from these savage and inhuman people, but also to adopt such measures as may be deemed expedient to bring them from their state of pitiable barbarism, to enjoy some of the benefits of civilized life.
Although we have to regret that the late operations did not succeed to the extent that might have been anticipated, we have the satisfaction of informing Your Excellency that they have not been altogether lost in benefit to this district, its Inhabitants never having…
- Francis Cotton (sd)
- George Fordyce Storey
- Edwin Allen
- George Webber
- Joseph Allen
- Thomas Watson Snr.
- Patrick Duffey (Duffy)
- Thomas Watson Jnr
- William Lyne
- John Lyne
- William Lyne Jnr
- William Leard
- James Amos
- John Amos
- Adam Amos
- James Amos Jnr
- Alexander Reid
- George Meredith
- Thomas Buxton
- John Buxton
- J.D. Harte
- John Hawkins
- P. Maclaine
I am highly gratified with the Address from the Landed proprietors and other Inhabitants of the District of Great Swan Port.
That the peace of your district in common with the Colony at large, has not recently been disturbed by the hostile Natives, leaves no doubt on my mind that they were greatly dismayed by the late late operations against them, and I trust they will now be disposed to accept the offers of conciliation which the Government have, by every possible means, held out to them, and is still most anxious to proffer. If, however, it should unhappily be necessary to continue the measures for protecting the Settlers against their aggression, I shall gladly avail myself of the assistance which the Inhabitants of your district have so handsomely offered –
(sd) Geo: Arthur
Tasmanian (UTAS) version (to be transcribed) held at:
1 February 1831 (correspondence)
(SLNSW: Transcript of a1771063 [Richmond])
To His Excellency Colonel George Arthur Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land
The respectful address of the Inhabitants of the Police District of Richmond, in public assembled –
May in please Your Excellency
We the Landed Proprietors and other inhabitants of the Police District of Richmond, having long observed the unwearied and devoted attention of Your Excellency to the faithful discharge of the duties of your high office, and your care for the welfare and security of every class of His Majesty’s subjects entrusted to your Government, and many of us having had recent opportunity of observing the great personal privations which Your Excellency endured, and the incessant exertion
(Transcript of a1771064)
exertion of which you set the example, in the late attempt to capture the hostile Aborigines.
We cannot let the present occasion pass without addressing Your Excellency, to express our esteem and our gratitude for your exertion on every occasion for the protection of our persons and Property, and the advancement of our prosperity.
While we regret that natural obstacles have hitherto defeated every attempt for the capture or subjugation of the Aborigines, our last experience of your measures gives us every assurance that Your Excellency will not relax your exertions in this cause until by the blessing of providence you have exceeded in the accomplishment of your humane intentions towards them, and in the meantime we are confident that Your Excellency will make every necessary provision for the protection of the people who are exposed to their
(Transcript of a1771065)
their attacks; And we beg leave to assure you that we will always be ready to render every assistance which Your Excellency may require from us, in carrying into effect whatever measures you may see proper to be adopted, for that purpose.
We most sincerely congratulate Your Excellency on the success which has attended your endeavours for the reformation of the Prisoner population, and on the happy moral change which has taken place in the Colony during Your Excellency’s Administration of the Government. We are thankful to Your Excellency for the very efficient system of Police which you have established for our protection whereby we enjoy a degree of security that is scarcely known amongst the Inhabitants of the Mother Country.
Feeling a deep interest in whatever concerns the welfare of the rising
(Transcript of a1771066)
rising generation, we fully estimate the importance of the benevolent provision which Your Excellency has made for the education of orphans and destitute children.
We already begin to feel the advantage of the Townships which it has been Your Excellency’s care to establish in different parts of this District, and generally throughout the Colony, and we trust, under the fostering hand of Your Excellency, to see them in a short time fully inhabited by industrious Mechanics, the want of whom is most grievously felt at present.
We rejoice that by an undeviating adherence to those principles of justice and integrity which have marked Your Excellency’s Administration you have succeeded in uniting the whole Colony in an unanimous expression of respect and gratitude for your paternal regard to our interests. We
(Transcript of a1771067)
We sincerely pray that Your Excellency may long continue happily to administer the Government of this Island , that we, His Majesty’s faithful and loyal subjects may continue to enjoyis Majesty’s faithful and loyal subjects may continue to enjoy the advantages of the knowledge which the advantages of the knowledge which Your Excellency, by experience, has acquired of the circumstances of the Country, and the character and interests of the Colonists, and that Your Excellency may have the satisfaction of witnessing the accomplishment of your plans for the good of the Colony and the happy result which we anticipate from an adherence to your wise and upright measures for its Government.
- James Gordon
- (sd) William G: Elliston
- John Ogle Gage
- R: W: Murdoch
- Daniel Stanfield
- G: L: Percival
- George Burn
- R: Dodsworth
- William Kimberly
- Rd: Downward
- John Espie
- J:W: Downward
- George Armitage
- George Wray
- William Jarritt [Jarratt]
- J: W: Allanby
- (sd) John Jewell
(Transcript of a1771068)
- (sd) Silas Gatehouse
- J:E:C: Coy
- Alexander Laing
- Gilbert Robertson
- David Reynolds
- G: Marshall
- M: Lackey
- John Hall
- John Wise
- Clement Gatehouse
- William Wise
- David Wise
- Robert Crocker
- William Wilson
- Andrew Whiteheart
- J: Spottiswood (Spotswood)
- Samuel Thorne
- George Tennent (Tennant)
- Robert Thorne
- C: Hector
- John Cassidy
- John Aldridge
- Hugh Cassidy
- William Kearney
- William [indecipherable]
- Thomas Kearney
- John Hall
- Roger [indecipherable]
- John Till
- John Wade
- J: E: Blinkworth
- A:J: Deane
- J: Blinkworth
- John Boucher
- Philip Ries
- John Crocker
- James Drummond
- John Thomson
- William Ross
- Thomas Stanfield
- William Burgess
- William Stanfield
- Thomas Bonney
- Rd: Allwright
- James Bonney
- Henry Thrupp
- Chris: Benney (Bonney ?)
- Henry Glover
- Andrew Tolmey
- W:L: Handley
- Ralph Dodge
- John Handley
- Barnard Quinton
(Transcript of a1771069)
- (sd) John McGuiness
- (sd) George Kirby
- Hugh McGuiness Snr
- John Billett
- Hugh McGuiness Jnr
- James Billett
- Henry Leigh
- James Bingham
- David McKie
- Robert Guard
- J Hayton
- John Prestage
- Thomas Mc Asrie (?)
- George Hobbert
- John [indecipherable]
- David Lane
- Andrew Counsel
- Hugh Coggins
- John Laing
- William Patterson
- Richard Strachan
- Josep Patterson
- T: B: Watson
- John Mauley
- John Morrisby
- Thomas Austen
- Henry Morrisby
- William Woolley
- William P. Wild
- William Gangell
- Henry Batten
- Thomas Riley
- John Birchall
- John Rollins
- George Guilford
- John Ibbett
- Daniel Long
- John Worthey
- John Wood
- Robert Dickinson
- William Currie
- Arthur Connelly
- John Clapison
- Joseph Plaston
- W: H: Fisher
- N: Lusty
- Catherine Wade
- James Correll
- Robert Docter
- William Butcher
- N: G: Ward
- J: Thomas
- John Willis
- John Sutton
(Transcript of a1771070)
- (sd) John Conliffe
- (sd) Edward Chaplin
- Robert Greenhalgh
- John Brown
- Robert Espie
- James Brown
- William Espie
- Francis Cox Snr.
- Joseph Roberts
- Francis Cox Jnr.
- James Riley
- Jane Cox
- John Parry
- John Clark
- Thomas Hayes
- Alfred Thrupp
- Thomas Giles Hayes
- William Johnson
- William Hayes
- William Waterson
- Rd. Lucas
- Henry Ball
- William Roberts
- William Nichols
- P: McCabe
- George Mundy
- Edward Whitehouse Snr.
- Robert Evans
- Edward Whitehouse Jnr.
- Hugh Germaine
- John Hayes
- George Aylwyn
- Thomas Peters
- John Easy
- R: Peters
- Richard Larsome
- John Staples
- Francis Barnes
- George Kearley
- James Ratcliffe
- Robert Hall
- Peregrine Clark
- Price Pritchard
The above Address was presented to His Excellency by a deputation consisting
(Transcript of a1771071)
consisting of the following Gentlemen –
1st February 1831
The Address of the Inhabitants of the district of Richmond, I receive with peculiar satisfaction, not because I feel the very gratifying expression of your sentiments a tribute due to my exertions in the Administration of this prosperous Colony for a period of nearly seven years, but (however much you have overrated my services) because your expressions evidently flow warmly
(Transcript of a1771072)
warmly from the heart, and convey a lively assurance that I have gained your esteem and confidence.
The flattering testimony which your Address conveys that much has been done for the welfare of the Colony is a very high reward for the labours and anxiety which I have undergone; but, with unaffected sincerity I can assure you that my daily regret is that I have not done much more in a situation wherein almost every measure may prove beneficial or injurious to the present or future welfare of the community.
(sd) Geo: Arthur
(Transcript of a1771073)
Address from the inhabitants of the district of Richmond January 1831.
(Transcript of a1771074)
“The original of this address cannot be found. This is taken from a manuscript copy which was put up in the Colonial Department office with the reply in the hand writing of Colonel Arthur”.
To His Excellency, Colonel Arthur, Lieut. Governor of Van Diemens Land.
We the Landholders, Merchants, and Colonists of Van Diemens Land assembled in public Meeting (duly convened by the Sheriff of this Island) beg leave to offer your Excellency our most sincere thanks for the zealous endeavours of Your Excellency to secure our lives and properties from the attacks of the Aborigines whose dreadful atrocities have so alarmingly increased as to cause the most serious apprehensions to all whose residence in the Interior exposes them to their ferocious attacks and which are beyond the reach of individual efforts
(Transcript of a1771075)
efforts to suppress.
The unwearied exertions of Your Excellency so conspicuously displayed upon the late expedition to capture the most savage Tribes of the Aborigines demand from us every expression of gratitude. We therefore beg of Your Excellency to accept our most cordial thanks for the proof you have thus given us of your earnest desire to protect our dearest interest.
We anxiously hope that Your Excellency will not cease to follow up the measures you have so laudably undertaken by such others in continuance as in Your Excellency’s judgment you may consider best calculated to ensure success, pledging ourselves to support Your Excellency therein by every practicable means within our power.
Saturday 24 September 1831 (newspaper)
Hobart Town Courier p.1
GOVERNMENT NOTICE, [No. 19a.] Colonial
Secretary’s Office, Sept. 29, 1831.
His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor though still most desirous, that every possible means should be pursued, and persevered in, to conciliate the Aborigines, bring fully aware of the disastrous con- sequences, which, in many instances have ensued, from the apprehension which is usually manifested on the approach of the Native, has directed the following letter from Captain Moriarty JP., detailing the successful resistance of a single female to their attacks, to be published, in order to shew how easily these wretched people may be intimidated and driven off when they are opposed with coolness, presense of mind and determined resolution.
Dunorlan August 25th. 1831.
I have the honor to acquaint you for his Excellency’s information that an Aboriginal Tribe attacked the stock hut of Mr. Stocker on Monday the 22nd instant, and speared a female child five years of age; and on Tuesday the 23rd speared James Cubitt at the run of Mr Gibson; this is the ninth time this unfortunate man has been speared, and he would certainly have been murdered in this instance, but for the promptitude, and good conduct of Peter McGuire a convict for 14 years, who arrived by the Ship Bengal Merchant. The circumstances connected with the former out- rage seem to merit more particular mention, evidencing as they do how much can be effected, even by female resolution. There was no person in the hut when the natives first appeared but a woman named Dalrymple Briggs with her two female children, who hearing some little noise outside, sent the elder child to see what was the matter and hearing her shriek, went out herself with a musket; on reaching the door she found the poor child had been speared; the spear entered close up in the inner part of the thigh, and had been driven so far through as to create a momentary difficulty in securing the child from its catching against either door post:- having effected this object, she barricaded the door and windows, and availed herself of every opportunity to fire at the assailants, but as they kept very close either to the chimney, or the stumps around the hut, and she had nothing but duck shot, with little effect, though she imagines she did hit one of them. Their plan was evidently to pull down the chimney and thus effect an entrance, but they were intimidated by her resolution. Finding this fail, they went off and returned again in about an hour; this interval had been employed by them in procuring materials and forming faggots, which on their return, they kept lighting and throwing on the roof (to windward) with a view to burn her out; she however shook them off as fast as they threw them on, and maintained her position with admirable composure, till the return of Thomas Johnson, the stock-keeper, pointed out to them the necessity of a retreat. When His Excellency learns that they were altogether six hours engaged in this attack, and had got even to the chimney before they were discovered, he will be able to appreciate the intrepidity and presence of mind which this women has displayed. She reports that there were eight men at the hut, and that she saw a small mob going across the plain besides;- Cubitt states that he saw about twenty – their number does not probably exceed this amount. As their track directed towards the locations higher up, on the first intimation I despatched the Detachment stationed here, for the purpose of putting the settlers in that quarter on their guard, and, as I had not heard of any further mischief, I trust in sufficient time to do so.
His Excellency will be pleased to learn that there is no apprehension for either of the Sufferers, both of whom I have seen, and I have the
Honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant,
The document below was transcribed on 8 June 2007 in Canberra by Julie Gough while undertaking a Manning Clark House and CAL [Copyright Agency Limited] Fellowship in Canberra. See footnote 1 at end for a reference to where one section of this manuscript was published in 2009.
National Library of Australia
MS 3311 Emmett
Reminiscences of the Black War in Tasmania by Henry James Emmett
(one of the Leaders)
nb: (Opposite this typed fontispiece is a carte de visite of Emmett full beard and moustache, black leather gloves on left had on back of chair, side only visible with repeated cotton spool like side) The manuscript is a foolscap lined, bound document, written in copperplate black ink.
[this section is a page typed by the collector/donor of this manuscript to the NLA]
Note within the Manuscript: In the course of a tour in Tasmania in search of Australiana (January 1916) I received a letter from Mrs . M.E Emmett of “Corona” 9 Domain St Hobart inviting me to inspect a Ms. “History of the Black War” waged by Governor Arthur upon the Aboriginals. Mrs. Emmett, a lady between 70 and 80 years of age, stated that her husband, a brother of Henry James Emmett, one of the leaders in the Black War, had taken down the Ms. From the lips of the said Henry James Emmett about the year 1870. The fact that H.J. Emmett acted as a party leader is referred to in Fenton’s History of Tasmania.
I purchased the Ms. (which contains many new and curious particulars as to this ill-starred expedition) from Mrs. Emmett. And procured her to write a short account of Henry James Emmett and his family, which is prefixed herein to the “History”.
She also handed me the photograph of Henry James Emmett accompanying these Mss
Mrs. Emmett had been in her youth a keen collector and painter of Tasmanian Orchids and other wild flowers, and showed me several drawing books filled with her work. Many of the flowers had been named by her friend and the botanist Gunn of Launceston, one of the founders of the Royal Society of Tasmania; others by Baron Ferdinard Von Mueller. She stated that many of the orchids in her collection of paintings had since become extinct in Tasmania.
[signed] John A. Ferguson
167 Phillip st
25th Feb 1916.
Reminiscences of the Black War by a Leader – Period 1830
The following notes of the “Black War’ of Tasmania having recently fallen into my hands, I have deemed the subject of sufficient interest to the peoples especially the old colonists, to rewrite them and to add to the reminiscences from personal recollections so as to render the narrative less fragmentary; the notes having been written in 1873 by the late Henry James Emmett one of the Leaders of the Expedition. It is now just 43 years (1873) since the expedition took place in pursuit of the Black or Aborigines of Tasmania 1st of October 1830 since which period the country has become settled and of course greatly altered in every respect. There were scarcely any roads or bridges, and nearly the whole colony except Hobart and Launceston, was unknown unless to a few bushmen looking after wild cattle; the country was greatly disturbed at that time by the bushrangers and subsequently by the natives. It is now, I can safely state the safest and most healthy of the whole of Australasia.
At the period of the “Black War” the population was considerably under 20000 [added later] individuals including the greater number at Hobart and Launceston, and the few country districts. The colony for years before the operations commenced to attempted to capture the Blacks, had been kept in a constant state of alarm by the depredations of the bushrangers, who infested the country from one end to the other, committing robberies and murders ion the settlers; at one period two parties of marauders sixteen or seventeen strong
were mounted on horseback, it was impossible for the settlers to offer any resistance, but they were obliged in most instances to quietly submit to the distruction [sic] of property and the carrying off of whatever was thought proper. It took years of anxious determination of the Government with the strong arm of the law finally to put down the acts of those lawless men. Pp Colonel – afterwards Sir George Arthur arrived in the colony in 1824 and found the Island in the deplorable state I have represented; perhaps no better man could have been selected to reduce to order the state into which society had fallen; accustomed to an active military life, his ideas were of strict and prompt obedience to rule, and he was devoted to the interests of the colony; in carrying out his orders from the Home Government bearing reference to the state of things depicted he quickly and completely altered the tone which had prevailed under the genial rule of his predecessor. He was not a man for pleasure and gave but small encouragement to the frequenters of Government House to intrude upon his private avocations, and he soon caused it to be known and felt that he was Governor of the Colony, and desired to be respected as such! This caused him to be unpopular.
No sooner on the island being cleared of the bushrangers than the blacks began their depredations and so Bonwick says (added later) racuarous (treacherous?) was the hatred of the natives against the whites that every expedient was adopted by them to carry out their malevolent purpose with an indian refinement of cruelty, the most fearful atrocities were perpetrated upon some victims bodies in order to exhibit their deadly animosity against the Europeans for the treatment of their women and was a terrible retaliation for similar cruelties practiced upon
the male blacks in previous years. No other cause could be assigned for the warlike character of the natives becoming so marked a feature as at one time they used to appear at all hours in the sheets of Hobart visiting from cottage to cottage in the most friendly manner, begging for bread – about 70 visited the school I was at (kept by James Thompson Melville St) and were shown over the school by him, this party of 300 was headed by a Sydney black named Mosquito, that desperate and dangerous character, and who had been banished from Sydney (in 1813) for murder – he was subsequently caught and executed (25 July 1825) at Hobart with another for a similar deed.
I propose to mention a few of the atrocities committed by the natives – a Mr Franks who had been collecting cattle at the lakes with three others on horseback , was driving the cattle along the three mile marsh between the Lakes and Quoin Mountain when they were attacked by the blacks from the inside scrub, one of the men speaker the others escaped by galloping amongst the cattle, They returned form Capt Woods Station near Bothwell with assistance m and found their mater had been so dreadfully beaten by waddies every bone in his body broke, doubled up and put into a water hole. The blacks had of course fled and the cattle were lost – I have visited the place and travelled along the same marsh at Major Gray’s at Avoca four men were engaged putting up a log fence, the blacks came down on the man felling the tree, speared him, and then attached the one driving the bullocks, who experiences the same fate, and then they speared the remaining two, who were at work putting up the fence, the blacks were not satisfied by spearing, but always used their waddies.
in breaking every bone. I have several times visited the spot in question. (Bonwick recounts The following) Josiah Gough going with his wife and two girls in a remote part of the interior, becoming alarmed for the safety of his family, went off to the township to process assistance to remove them to a place of security – while away the natives stolen down the chimney into the hut, speared them brained the poor woman and cruelly waddied the two children; taking what they desired the murderers withdrew; the father soon afterwards arrived and heard the sad tale from the dying lips of his daughter – a farmhouse was attacked under similar circumstances when the master had gone for a military party, the wife, daughter, two sons, a servant and traveller, were in the hut when the barbarians surrounded it with their waddies for blood, the armed inmates defended themselves with much courage and coolness the conduct of one of the boys was quite heroic, the contest continued for some time, where the enraged blacks, set fire to the thatch of the rood to drive out the inmates, that they might be more readily and certainly destroyed, at that critical moment a dozen soldiers appeared through the forest and soon put the tribe to flight – in those days all the outstation hut had portholes cut in several places in order to admit the inmates firing from the inside the attacked by the natives.
The rapid movement of the blacks was remarkable, fifty miles a day must have been traversed by them in the hight of the war, and it was during that period that the settlers noticed the marked decrease of children that arose from the policy of the tribes, who finding themselves hard pressed, and who feared the betrayal of their haunts from the cry of their little ones, resolved upon the destruction of their children. Mothers even were known to
murder their own babes, rather than have themselves fall into the hands of their implacable enemies.
Mr Meredith records two or three sad tales. Some parties in the bush noticed a man, staggering along with arm hanging down, as they neared the object they were shocked to perceive the poor creature with battered head and speared body and the sores swarming with flies, one of his eyes was knocked out and the other totally blind from a blow, in a few words they unhappy man motioned forth his story, he had received a spear in his breach whiles endeavouring to get away from a mob of blacks, another pierced his back and broke short off in the wound. Sickening with pain his steps faltered when the savages reached him several spears were thrust into him, and waddies ploughed heavily about his head, he was left for dead, but recovering somewhat made an effort to reach some settlement, he had been three days in that sad state, he was conveyed to the hospital but death soon released him from his suffering – At Great Swan port at a Mr Hasts hut a party of blacks was rather freely helping themselves to the contents of a basket of tobacco, through an opening made in the side of the hut; formerly all the tobacco used in Tasmania came from the Brazils in baskets wound round a centre stick, like coil of rope – when one of theme suddenly found he had put his arm into a large iron trap and was caught, he however tore his arm off or it was beaten off by the others/ sticks of which a large number were found lying about, and then fled, leaving his hand behind, the trap had been set on purpose. Some years afterwards I saw the man with his one arm having been captured by Mr Robinson – Mr Bonwick in his history of the last of the Tasmanians alludes to this incident, and states it was a flour cask then natives was attempting to plunder, but I believe him to be mistaken, if I had time I could mention man more cases of the cruelties perpetrated
by the blacks in days gone by – a woman living in the interior, during her husband’s absence, sent her little girl a few steps from the door of the hut for firewood when immediately afterwards the mother heard he child scream, she rushed out, caught up the girl, who had a spear sticking in her leg and made for the entrance. The mother wrenched the spear from the girls’ leg. Before she could close the door when 3 spears struck the half closed door one of which penetrated a considerable distance inside and the others broke off?. The woman then got her husband’s musket and succeeded I keeping the natives at bay, who were trying to set fire to the hut with lighted punk, this state of things lasted the whole day until the husband made his appearance in the evening – a grant of land was made to the woman for her heroic deed.
During all this time there were many parties our endeavouring to catch the natives, or to render protection to the outlying settlers. Mr Gilbert Robertson afterwards editor of a newspaper published at Hobart called the True Colonist Jorgen Jorgenson, formerly Governor of Iceland. Alexander MC Kay, GA Robinson, who became eventually Chief Protector of the Aborigines of Victoria, and several others, whose names I do not recollect. It was believed for the considerable time that white men were with the natives, from the daring manner in which they were proceeding, this proved however to be quite incorrect and after all there were only a mere handful of men committing such fearful acts, and keeping the colonists in a terrible state of alarm – Mr Batman who afterwards emigrated to Victoria and who resided near Benlomond was employed by the Governor to obtain a few friendly blacks from NS Wales
whom he thought would aid in their capture, from their wonderful knowledge of tracking, some four (crossed out and 6 put in) I think came from Sydney for that purpose and were attached to Mr batman’s party receiving clothes and rations and I believe 100 acres of land each for their services, These men were too indolent and as long as they could get plenty ???? considered that sufficient work – the natives kept in small parties and were known as the Blue Hill mob, Oyster Bay, lakes and Ben lomond mobs they were a miserable race of beings, flat noses and woolly hair quite short, not at all like the Victorian Aborigines quite fine long hair and beards. I never found any habitations or mia mias belonging to them, they were exceedingly lazy, made very small fires with two or three pieces of wood and when it required putting together they did so with their toes, they were very fond of their dogs, which were a small description of all sorts of breed and always mangy. The blacks and dogs slept together, their food consisted of the opossums, kangaroos and kangaroo rat, fish and shell fish , when near the coast. Numerous proclamation orders and notices (were issued by the Governor) in connection with the unfortunate race, and all endeavours attempted to secure them, or to allot them a part of the island exclusively for themselves so long as the inhabitants would be certain of safety to no purpose; they still proceeded with their atrocities. A Proclamation was at last issued declaring Martial Law against the Aborigines: the Governor tried his utmost for the welfare of the natives, all practicable methods were employed , for communicating and making know the provisions of the Proclamations, to induce them to retire beyond the limits prescribed. Capture without force was to be attempted, and if effected, they were to be treated with eh utmost humanity and compassion, and when force could not be avoided, it was the resorted to and employed with the greatest caution and forbearance.
The governor appointed a Board of Officers called the Committee – consisting of the Archdeacon, the Rec Dr Bedford, Rev W Norman the Colonial treasurer the Col Surgeon and three others – Mr Charles Arthur, lately Police Magistrate at Longford being nominated secretary. These Gentlemen met frequently, all documents and accounts of the acts of the blacks were forwarded to them, who advised with the Governor from time to time; application for protection poured in from all parts of the country almost daily recounting murders and robberies, quite perplexing the Governor what to do for the best, it was thought advisable to strengthen all the police districts, this idea was not carried out and ultimately abandoned when the Governor issued an order dated 9 Sept 1830 which fully sets for the steps contemplated by the title of “Black War”. Proclamation: The colonists were pleased with the decision of the Government and held a public meeting in Hobart to convey the thanks of the community for the movements ??????? I was then serving in the Col Sec? Office and being desirous of seeing the whole country and after consulting with the other joining? Men serving with me, I spoke to the Sol Sec Mr J Burnett and offered my services as a volunteer, as did also another gentleman in the same dept, Mr J L Groom, ,those remaining in our office having to mount guard and to do duty in Hobart. The Governor gladly accepted our offer, and we were ordered to start away on the 10th October – I then made arrangements for my departure and my outfit including double barrel percussion gun costing 20 pounds, I had a complete suit of dark moleskin, believing such would be the best to stand the wear and tear of the bush – it was however the worst possibly have obtained, for when wet it was miserably cold – common cloth would have been much better – I had made
a canvas knapsack, extra pair of stock keeper boots and compass which I always carried myself. The services of several men whom I knew – also saw that they were well supplied outfitted for the expedition one of the men was my assigned servant and another was supplied by my master, making in all with Mr Groom – who declined to take charge of the responsibility of a party) ten in number and with two days provisions in our knapsacks we repaired to the Police Office corner of Elizabeth and Bathurst streets at 6 in the morning of a most lovely day – some 300 in all being collected in the PO Yard, when we formed a square facing inwards, a large number of persons assembled including the merchants, public officers and others, witness our departure for the scene of intended operations all appearing most anxious of the work before them – At 7, ???/??? the Governor and his staff appeared ???? the centre of the square, and addressed us in a most friendly speech of upwards of an hour duration. Carry? This being done in military style – at the conclusion of the speech. His Excellency spoke to me in the most friendly and fatherly? Manner, thanking me for what I had undertaken. He also requested me to take charge of thirty more men as far as New Norfolk. It took several hours before all the preparations were made, names registered and before our final departure for the interior, when we marched off followed by a large number of outsiders for some distance so much interest bring taken in the movement of the expedition – it was only pitiable to observe the sad state of the poor women and children who followed a considerable way sobbing with their aprons to the eyes, and others with plates of food and mugs of tea, as if it was the last meal we should ever partake of, or that we should never meet there again, I of course would not allow the men to fall out of the ranks, and proceeded a couple of miles out of town when I ordered a halt for a few minutes and allowed the men to make an additional farewell of their wives or sweethearts – then proceeded, when a fresh trouble
commenced, viz, to get the men past the public house – The day having been extremely warm, and we were all very tired. I stopped for a short time on the road side and allowed some men to be brought down but dreamed not suffer the men to enter the inn, fearing I might lose some of them, though they tried and begged be permitted to do so. I was however determined not to grant such p……………. I had undertaken a responsibility and intended to carry it out to the best of my ability. It was the additional 30 men that gave me the trouble, all being perfect strangers, men holding tickets of leave and who were compelled to serve – about two miles past the Black Snake Inn beyond Bridgewater, the shades of evening drawing on, we halted in a very pretty valley for the night, made our fires and camped about in small groups without making any cover for shelter, I did not sleep, being constantly on the watch in case of any attempt of the men to get away to the Public House – At Daylight next morning we were all on the move I called over the Muster Roll of the other men (knowing my own) when to my astonishment one had absconded (Paddy something) leaving his musket and knapsack behind, this very much grieved and annoyed me, fearing that I should be blamed – Towards the afternoon we reached New Norfolk, when I very gladly handed over to the Police Magistrate Captn Dumasq the 29 men only and reported the absconding of Mr Paddy. Mr Dumaresq stated he would further report the circumstances to Head Quarters when no doubt the man would have been severely punished as his conduct set a bad example to the others, who were supposed to be activated by one summon desire t0 carry our their duty as the ? military seek – I was to report my arrival to the PM and to confer with him as to my further proceedings. I arranged after crossing the Derwent River and going to the Back River settlement encamp for the night and then to return alone to New Norfolk in the morning and confer with Captr., Dumaresq meeting him at his private residence – It was
 – there is no page 11 and there is NO text missing – pages have been misnumbered
decided that I should proceed the next morning along the Dromedary Tier about half way up keeping the beautiful Macquarie plain in view, and then make my way across the country of the township of Bothwell – the natives had been very troublesome in that quarter, though I did not see any signs of them during my route thither, they had only a dew days ago before killed one of the family at/of the Sloanes? At the Back River and whether I had drawn a few days supplied to last until I reached Bothwell – There were other parties above and below mine though we did not meet – just as I was leaving Capt Dumaresq at New Norfolk my friend Mr Paddy turned up and begged so hard to be forgiven that Capt Dumaresq asked me if I wished to press the charge but the poor fellow appeared so penitent that he was let off and sent to his duty- on reaching the punt to cross the Derwent there? To my astonishment I met my youngest brother George who was a clerk in the Police Office (Mr P A Milgrams?) but had obtained permission to join my force, he had followed after me with another servant of my father’s, and had gone very march? Up to our fires at the Back River, but was informed that my party had gone into the bush before and that the fires were made by some persons burning off timber he was consequently returning for the night to New Norfolk. My party was therefore increased to 12 persons. I must here mention that our rations were to consist of weekly 12 flour, 10 half meat, 1 and half oz sugar, 3 half oz tea, one quarter tobacco and a little soap and salt and each head of a party kept a memo book of the name of each person and signed all receipts – the provisions we drew from the settlers was generally very good, but the commisseriat tea and sugar was abominable, the tea was at once christened posts and rails? Consisting in fact of black sticks an inch long, black tea in those days was not thought of) the sugar was of a dark colour and quite wet like a lump of putty and as regards the tobacco, two of my party and myself were not smokers, but I was compelled to draw it or else the commissariat officer
said it would make confusion in the accounts, therefore the men had 3 pcs more tobacco to distribute amongst them and which was used and no doubt the additional supply tended to their comfort to while away the time. Reaching Bothwell I separated myself to ring? Future Commanding Office Capt Wentworth 63 regt and P Magistrate he was a most gentlemanly man, with whom I got on very pleasantly. Before joining the Line, it was arranged that 300 of us should leave at 4 o clock next morning for Captn. Clarkes (A retired soldier residing at Cluny), who would proceed with us to the foot of the Blue Hills or rather mountains when we were to extend and make one long line each man keeping as far apart as possible then quietly to ascend the mountain, which was a resort of a very savage tribe of natives – we met accordingly at Captn Clarke’s where we partook of a most sumptious breakfast, which Mrs and Miss Clarke had prepared for us – Before we ascended the mountain we crossed a long narrow marsh, pretty, clear, timber except here and there a fallen tree, it was however swarming with large black swans???, I saw between 20 and 30 which H—ly crawled out of the way – I could not stop to kill them, r call our for assistance, as the men were at least 3 o—? distant on each side, they also reported that they had been frightened at the number of large smokes seen – on proceeding for two hours up the sides of the mountain which was a most arduous task, though there was no scrub like that of the NW Coast, only rocks and very large trees we suddenly heard a singular sound, towards the direction which we at once proceeded, thinking it might be made by the natives, but to my astonishment discovered Mr Champ leading a party, he was digging up roster/water?? With his pannikin hence the noise he had accidentally been separated from the rest by proceeding along a gully which branched into two, his mean taking one, which he took the other.
He had neither a blanket or an ounce of food nothing but his tin pot, – I always carried the same as my men, or rather more, with chart, journal, compass &c It was not until close to the evening that we descended accomplishing our ????? task of reaching the summit of the Blue Mountain, which we found quite flat and of considerable extent of fine grazing land swarming with kangaroos but not a shot was fired. It had been a beautiful and warm day, and intending to leave early next morning on our return to Bothwell, made no preparation for shelter during the coming night – very soon after dark a fearful storm of thunder and lightning came on, quite as severe as any hitherto experienced in the colony, with torrents of rain, accompanied by a terrible gale, that stripped the forest all directions of large branches and small limbs but fortunately we all escaped injury though soon such thought? To the shine? I gave Lieut Champ one of our blankets which he pulled around his body and then laid down by the fire, where he remained until daylight, with out the slightest motion, though a stream poured off him during his profound repose – I sat on a log throughout the storm with a rug over my shoulders, and hailed the dawn of a long night with great satisfaction, especially after finding that the weather had cleared up and the storms a thing of the past – amongst the parties who had endured the full …… of the weather on that memorable night – was Mr Thomas Mason PM of Launceston. No signs of natives was observed but I believe that two dead natives had been discovered in a tree – Mr Champ remained with my party until we got back to Bothwell, where he found his men – we crossed the country in a different direction, making for the Big River, another place where the natives had been committing depredations and a favourite resort. We reached a station of Capt Young at noon, he was however absent making a bridge at the Big River.
to cross some soldiers. We required two days rations from him and he immediately sent a man for a flock of sheep and soon killed enough to supply o0ur wants he supplied flour and sugar duly weighted for which I handed Mrs Young a receipt/. During our detention at that place, Mrs Young and servants prepared us a nice dinner for the Leasers, the men were camped outside . The settlers were all ……ly kind to the various parties, feeling that while close to them, they were safe from the attacks of the blacks. At Capt. Young’s we found an order from Head Quarters, to get back to Bothwell with all despatched we were therefore soon on the marsh and kept on until we reached the cottage? Of Mrs Austin at dusk – the men took possession of a large stable for the night and the leaders proceeded to the Residence – a large underfurnished two stories stone house – the cook however was the only one at home and he declined to let us in. The man evidently mistook us for Bushrangers – a very natural inference from our general appearance – Mr Thompson (Brother of G Thompson Bark? of Australian”? ????????????Launceston) replied: Gentlemen we will walk in spite of the cook (???) which we accordingly did but of course used —- our provision. Shortly afterwards the overseer came home, he was much ????? at the sorry treatment we had received and seemed as if he could not do enough for us and even got us a second supper – I must here mention that Mr Thompson was named by our man ”the kangaroo” from his fast walking and endurance – Next day we all reached Bothwell, where we joined the line which extended to the sea coast from the westward – all the parties before we joined had been driving the natives towards the centre, some 3500 men being placed along the line each 320 yards apart – it was astonishing to see the mannerism by which the settlers had turned out with their own servants leaving their homes for an indefinite time. There are not many left now who can recollect the trying occasion.
Mr Bonwick says there were 119 parties but I imagine there were more – the loads each man had to carry was considerable with from 7-10 Days rations, kangaroo rug blankets and small change of clothing, tin mug and ammunition – All being declared ready, orders were given to start and on we went, over plains, mountains an drivers embracing an exceedingly rough country, though ? Very scrubby. We were to march towards the peninsular , on east bay neck, constantly keeping up a discharge of musketry which I assure you was well done – for several days this marsh was carried on and the natives were known to be in front of us. The line was very soon broken however, it could not have been otherwise – each with double the number of men, no? consignment of so many constables/obstacles? In the way of a grain? Progress, gullys and rocky hills were continually met with, rendering the task an rather impossibility – with the precision required In so long a line although it was generally made up to its bits proper state at the halting hour and the Sentries fixed for the night marching up and down the line to the adjoining party in this right and left and every half house or so calling out the number of his party No1 ALLS WELL. Six fires were kept us by each party all night, one in front of each tent and three others fifty yards in front which in some places when search of wood kept the mean well employed. It was an exceedingly pretty sight to see the fires for miles especially on the tops of hills and having the sentries watching coming down the line at intervals helped the effect. Officers were told off to pass along the line once or twice during the night to see that all were attending to their duty letters also were passed from one to another – sometimes the spot
chosen for the nights’ encampment would be on the slope of a steep hill, or at the bottom of a gully or on the top of a mountain – on one occasion my position for the night was on a very large marsh, or kind of swamp, we had to lay logs in the oozey surface to protect our legs from touching the water, it was however convenient in one sense as one could get a drink without rising up – another time it was reported to me that we had encamped on a bed of leeches, that before morning the men stated they would be bled to death, that we had better remove which unfortunately could not be done and the men had to submit – The party suffered during the night from loss of blood and I only escaped by keeping my feet in continual motion at the expense of sleep and were all heartily glad when we removed from that bed of leeches. The line moved on as usual nest day, the natives on several occasions tried to get through at night time, a most unusual thing for them to attempt as they never moved ordinarily after dark. My party was kept up all night. On one occasion to prevent the natives escaping – we even camped on a saddle generally clean country with a gully halved in which the natives were heard moving about though we did not see them. The night was lit up by a full moon, frosty and exceedingly cold, therefore what its effect and the heavy travelling the previous day, we were hardly able to keep awake it was not at all agreeable. On another occasion the natives threw a spear at a sentry who was putting some wood on a fire, but missed him – the Governor finding that the natives were trying to get through the line, and it being impossible when marching to preserve the same distances from each other, on account of the difficulties met with from natives of the country though general made up before accomplishing? Called a hach? . The tents were generally constructed by a blanket pegged
to the ground and otherwise fastened to saplings, whilst it kept us quite dry from the heaviest rain – the day one halted and ??????????caused us to have a long way to go for rations to the farm of a settler, half the party going the Leader had always to be one for such duty on account of his receipt of quantity procured. At the establishment the poor farmer could scarcely deliver the provision fast enough, to so great a number the worst part of it was that some of the sheep nly ??? had 25 les and could be seen through, and the flour just as he got it form the Mill, bran and sharps altogether, which made us all very unwell, we however could not get better and had to submit. There was one circumstance that annoyed the forces concerning? The Line – that big Mr Walpole being allowed the out the whole time as a roving party in front, harassing the NATIVES, thereby giving him every chance of success against ourselves. Why the Governor permitted this, we were at a loss to conjecture. He gave very general dissatisfaction during the detention of the Line at the time a ???? three weeks. One day I heard dogs barking in front of my position, which I thought very unusual. I accordingly with 3 men one from each hut, started up a very pretty grassy valley, when I saw almost minutely at the top of a hill a man who coo=ed that the blacks had ran up the valley 12 in number and threw a spear at him, what actually struck his cap, knocking it off his head and pinning it to the ground. This man was one of Mr Walpole’s, who had been sent down to the Line with a message on proceeding a little further I came upon the natives camp, it seems that they had only just come to evidently watch an opportunity of escape my appearance had started them off, suddenly evidenced, by my finding a fresh kangaroo on a small fire not skinned, a waddy, several native baskets, knives and forks stolen from settlers, several spears and a young puppy, 2 necklaces made of small sea shells and a basket containing christalized gump?for pary wod? – I secured all the
articles and proceeded in the direction they had taken when I picked up another waddy and a second puppy dropt in the hurry of their flight – I returned as soon as possible not being allowed to leave the Line, could I have done so I might have overtaken them – Mr Bonwick in his report says Mr Emmett came up nearly in time for an Aboriginal supper – the articles taken from the natives were duly handed over by me to the Government. Colonel Arthur and Judge Montagu visited me on the next day, and inspected the trophies secured. [see footnote 1.] It will not be out of place my telling you of the doings at Hobart and Launceston – while so many were away in the bush those persons unwilling, or not able, of from other causes to join the Line were called upon to do duty as Volunteer guards of the two cities some forts in Hobart were on duty, 24 hours at a time. The sail, Government House, The Treasury, The Battery and some other places were alternately visited, as well as to patrol the town, and so well did they do the work that not a single robbery was recorded during the term of service. In those days all persons of the Crown were not allowed to be out? Later than 8 PM, and of course?, as the military? Were away there? Came an anxious time for the residents – but the volunteers performed their work so that that not a single robbery was recorded, each night they apprehended several persons out after hours – free and leave it was all the same to them – One Instance I will allude to – a young man on duty at the Treasury hearing a noise inside the building (Opposite Market Place), called out immediately “Guard turn out” The Guard House was ???? hearing (present Telegraph Office) in corner Elizabeth St Some 20 volunteers went down Macquarie St to the Treasury and on going inside, found that a large book had slipped from the desk on to the floor, therefore the gallant men had a bloodless victory – the Sheriff Mr Fereday was very uneasy that the volunteers would let the prisoners escape ???? of the jail about one hundred they confined therein.
for serious offences, and he had no faith in the volunteers. However a ship fortunately arrived with a few soldiers on board, he applied and got them to relieve the volunteers, this offended the gallant defenders – it was fine amusement for the volunteers mounting guard, particularly the young men, and they lived most sumptuously on the best of the land each guard consisted of about 40 men under two Captains. My father having served in the Rifles in England was appointed a captain and my second brother a full private. Returning to the bush forces again – during the halt the Governor sent to Hobart and obtained an additional number of men and strengthened the Line, during the delay we could not make out what was the intention of the Governor and were of course quite ignorant of his movements – We were tired of the monotony of the Line – being kept in one position for 3 weeks. To some there was plenty of work all day collecting firewood for the night fires, doing this, without axe or saw to shorten the labour; I really think that my party must have cleared ten acres of land for one ones benefit, for which we got no reward – At length it vozed? Out that several roving parties were to be told off, to proceed through the bush and East Bay Neck, I accordingly offered my services which were accepted, anything to get away from the Line – The following Government Notice was viewed 31 Oct 1830 “the expected arrival of Capt. Donaldson force this day, now enabling the Colonel commanding to make the final movement for the capture of the blacks? Within/mention? The law? The following arrangements will take place: –
Major Douglas will form 22 parties of 7 men each, including leaders, and early ojn Monday moving? will take past 50 paces in front of the line, according to the following order, form the left, viz, and in front of Aubins Corps, will be placed at equal distances 4 parties viz Messrs Walpole, Pearce, Tho. Massey and H. Batman. In front of Lieutenant Gevers (Groves?), the parties Mr Byers, with half of Mr H Batmans party and Mr H Fordoya (Fordyce?).
In front of Lieut. Groves, 3 parties viz Mr G Robertson, E Blushworth (?) and J (?) Moriarty.
In front/point of leap? Baylee, three parties viz Messrs G Scott, Layman and Lemott ?)
In front of Capt Macpherson 4 parties viz Messrs Allison, Cox, Helmslie and Russel.
In front of Capt Mahon 2 parties vz JM (?) Doran Peter Scott will be attached either to this party or to Mr Evans) and Mr Thomas’s.
In front of Lieut Pedder 4 parties vz Messrs Evans. Harrison, Herman/Sherman, and Jack Jones, all four under the joint direction of Mr Franks.
Capt Wentworth will also form 15 parties of seven men each picking Leaders, and on Monday morning they will likewise taken past (?) fifty paces in front of the line in the following order:
In front of Lieut. Croly four parties vz Messrs Paterson, Brodribb, Emmett and Sherwin.
In front of Lieut Clark (Richmond force) Messrs Kimberley (?), Copie and Lackey.
In front of Lieut Champ, two parties, vz. Mrssrs Stansfield (?), Lumot/Lemot?r (?) and Cassidy.
In front of Lieut Murray, three parties vz, Mr Proctor, Mr Steel and Mr Synnott.
In front of Lieut Barrow three parties vz Mssrs Cawthorne, Mills and Shone (?); unattached Mrssrs Lloyd and Rigby?Kirsty (?), as soon as the advanced parties shall be parted in marching order and with 5 days rations, the vacancies in the line/time (?), which then abandoning? Will have caused will be filled up by the whole remaining force closing to the left and Capt. Donaldson force will take up the ground, which has been here to prove (heretofore?) occupied by Lieut Barron, Lieut Murray and by a portion of Lieut Cahmps Corps. This movement regulated by the right must be made with the utmost possible care under the superintendence of Major Douglas, Capt Wentworth and Lieut Aubin so as to prevent any possibilities of any gaps in the Line. By this movement, which should be possible
be effected by 12 o clock on Monday, the Line will remain at its required strength and the scouting parties will be in readiness (?) as to advance which they will do as and over as the vacancies have been closed; these parties will then advance towards the South East driving the natives in that direction, or capturing them, and on the fourth day, will reach East Bay Neck, where they will receive further orders.
The investing(?) line what will remain in position must during these four days put forth every effort to present the possibility of the natives passing through them, as the tribes will naturally redouble their attempts to pass when they are disturbed in the interior.
The forces when they extended from Sorell to the Lea was fully 30 miles in length – Mr Surgeon (?) Sharland visited the four parties, and he told off from my division, and instructed and in my course (??), I also had an interview with his Excellency and no doubt he soke to all the Leaders of the advanced Guard – He told me to proceed quietly, not to hurry, but to be very careful to watch for the natives, not a shot was fired or a word spoken and we proceeded in as extended a line as possible just in sight of each other. After starting about 24 hours it came on to rain a regular downpour for 48 hours, we were then on the top of very high land, and considered it useless to travel in such weather and from his Excellency’s instructions not to hurry, we remained encamped, looked to our fires, arms &c on the fourth morning we again started, when one of my men suddenly dropped from fatigue which caused a slight detention, until he revived somewhat. I was directed to examine on my journey down to the Neck, the numerous little projections of land in case the natives might have gone into any of them.
which greatly retarded the travelling of my party – when the whole force reached the Neck I was about four miles away, not a native was driven before the line, all had escaped, it was a failure thought ultimately it did a great deal of good it frightened the natives, causing them to break up into parties and taught them the nature of the power they had to oppose. I saw Governor Arthur and Commissary(?) Lempriere on the Peninsular and was informed that most of the parties had arrived, some few hours, whilst others had not reached that place – all the parties returned to Sorell and camped on the creek and the Leaders went into the Township and waited all day waiting for the Commanding Offficer of the rocing parties, Capt. Moriarty RN(?) called by the men Capt. My heady (?) , Mr John Lee Archer and my brother came down in the Civil?Govt (?) Luginers (name of boat?) whale boat with fiven hands to meet the return of the roving parties and to get all the mend, they were upset on the bar, but all escaped safely to the shore, the interest of course as to the results of the Expedition costing so much money was intense (?), we were ordered to return to Sorell, for disbandment, and the same night I was sent to Hobart with despatches and had to walk about 50 miles carrying my gun and light knapsack additional.
Since I have resided at Circular Head poor Neil McDonald was speared by the natives at the Surrey Hills and Mr Kings Hut at Table Cape was robbed. The hut near Duck River built on the 1000 acre marsh was also robbed of four and blankets as well as the Inlet hut near Lee (?) Head – also at Woolnorth when the men gave chase and caught one young woman who was taken to Launceston by W Borrodale – Soon after the remainder of the natives were decoyed by some half casts beyond Woolnorth and captured and were sent to Launceston up from near Circular Head in the Company’s Cutter “IA Gibson”, for which the party who caught them received £100. Some 50 natives who were conveyed to Hobart
were regaled on the lawn at Government House, and the band of the 63 reg. played 4 them at which they were greatly delighted thought timid at first – one the music stopping they threw up their hands and called out with delight, that (?) “Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast” – They were then marched down to the river the (?) boat and the poor fellows conveyed on board a vessel and thus banished to their desolate Home to die, from the most lingering of all deaths ; broken hearts – This was abundantly evidenced by numerous statements of those persons at Flinders Island that on seeing on a clear day the coast of Tasmania and the summit of the snow capped Benlomond shed tears and cried and exclaimed “There my home, there my country”.
I frequently assisted/ensied with natives in the streets of Hobart and upon one occasion, was left in charge of the house on Macquarie Street rofielsh (?) the nsh (?) of the family were dows (?) of Major Abbotts residences (afterwards Macquarie Hotel) when a native made is appearance at the kitchen door which was open, he smilingly asked me for some breadlee which I soon gave him, upon his agreeing to dance and corrobory – this he did with such good humour and then jumped over the fence at the side of the yard to our neighbours Mr Belbin I think this was in 1824 – upon another occasion I met 15 or 20 natives on the beach at Crayfish Point opposite my father’s residence (afterwards called The Retreat) and though several hundreds of yards away from the house the natives did not molest me, this was in 1825 or 26. Some years afterwards a man in my employ at Cir(cular) Head Robert Page informed that he was over at the East Inlet about 5 mils from Stanley on horseback when he saw a woman and child near a teatree forest(?). He galloped towards them(?) with the intention of capturing them, when just as the woman neared the belt of forest she threw a spear a the rider which struck so close to his head that his cap was knocked off . – Page however made off minus his property.
at the same place and about the same date another man a shepherd who lived in a hut on the Sand Banks in sight of the township of Stanley, was in the habit of giving the natives small presents of flour and tobacco; he used to walk a couple of hillocks (?) sands in front of his hut and place the articles on a rock or bush – the natives watching him all the while, and when he retreated, the poor natives came forward to get the provisions – this kind act on the part of the Company Shepherd was carried out for many years, and though the man in charge of the station , was in the habit of counting the sheep everyday he was never molested in any way. A convincing proof that the native tribes of Tasmanians were amenable to kindness. From information derived from Robinson, McKay and others it was considered that the native population numbered 7000 in 1804 – and as about 300 were captured altogether the question arises what became of the odd 6700. There can be but one answer. They have been mercilessly slaughtered in defiance of Government orders, Proclamations or notices by outlying shepherds, splitters and bushrangers and others of a kindred type. A man living at Campbell Town named Brady a sawyer and splitter told me that he was skinning a kangaroo early one morning about 12 miles E(ast) of Douglas Park C(ampbell) Town when a spear glanced past his head just touching his ear, he immediately Grasped his gun lying alongside and looked all round in great fear, but for sometime could not perceive a living being, he went towards a bushy cherry tree and on looking up saw three natives hidden amongst the branches, but before he could use his gun the blacks managed to scramble down and then made off towards the ??? open(?) part of the forest, several others joined the three, he fired just as they approached the forest(?) and shot one in the bask with a bullet – the man – the native bounded up and staggered onwards Brady followed a short distance and saw blood in several places. Brady informs me that he had at various times killed 16.
JE Calder states that in reality only very few natives were killed – that the rapid reduction of their numbers was attributable to disease but we have the most authentic documents to prove the contrary that they were for years systematically shot by the servants of the outlying settlers and that they should retaliate by indiscriminate slaughter of any white person met is not more than could be expected. The teachings of the notorious Mosquito, who was saturated with villainy, helped naturally to influence the hatred of the natives against the robbers of their hunting grounds. – in all the proclamations ????? + ????? + ?????? issued by the successive Governors of the Colony a spirit of conciliation was recommended, as well as by the whole of the public journals of the period – The Colonial Times by Henry Melville, The Courier by Dr Ross and at an earlier date in Bents (?) News, it was strongly urged to their credit be it mentioned that kindness and forbearance were the best means to adopt in making (?) with the natives throughout the island, instead of which, wholesale slaughter was the order of the day, so that in a little over 30 [this ‘30’ is crossed out then 70 written later over this] years the entire population of the original owners of the soil became extinct – As/So (?) we may cover our faces, while the solemn voice from heaven thrills through the heart “where is thy brother”
Gough, Julie & Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (2009) Tayenebe : Tasmanian Aboriginal women’s fibre work Hobart : Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, p.11