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THE ABORIGINES OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
THE subjoined documents relate to an article we published in January last respecting the condition of the Aborigines of South Australia. As we have no desire other than that
accurate information should prevail on the subject, we consider it only right to publish in full what has been officially forwarded to us :
"OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC WORKS,
'Adelaide, March 24, 1876.
Sir,-I am directed by the Honourable J. P. Boucaut, the Premier of South Australia, to forward you a copy of a report which he has obtained from the Sub-Protector of Aborigines in consequence of an article which he read in your magazine of the month of January last.
"I also forward you a map of the colony (attached to a book of Mr. Boucaut's speeches), on which the various aboriginal reserves are marked in pink, and the various depots dotted in blue.
"I am instructed to hope that you will be able to find space in your magazine for some slight editorial note or memorandum qualifying your very unsatisfactory account of our aborigines and our efforts on their behalf, which scarcely does justice to our people or their governments, and which, appearing in the columns of so influential a publication, is calculated to injure our
Extract from Article on Aborigines of South Australia' (vide DUBLIN UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE for January, 1876).
"The efforts of civilization and missionary enterprise amongst these luckless aborigines have, as usual, been almost abortive. What little success has been met with among the Adelaide and Encounter Bay tribes is due almost entirely to the Roman Catholics; but the results have been altogether most discouraging, and the number of converts very, very few.
"Some years since excellent schools were opened in Adelaide for the children of the aborigines; these are now unfortunately closed. Nor were the results of the instruction given satis
Boothby's Almanack," "Schomburgk's Papers," "Chamber of Manu-
factory; such of the children who did authority of the Secretary of State for not return to their old life having
the Colonies, and in 1841 a native proved by no means creditable mem- school was established in Adelaide bers of society.'
under the auspices of Governor Grey, and in charge of Mr. and Mrs. Ross,
who received from the Government a "Memo.
yearly stipend of £80, together with a “My attention has been drawn to house and rations. In 1843 another the above extract from article on Government school was opened at *Aborigines of South Australia' (vide Walkerville, under the superintendence DUBLIN UNIVERSITY Magazine for of Mr. Smith, formerly a draftsman in January, 1876, page 89) containing the Colonial Land Office; and at one statements calculated to convey a very
period there were 107 native children erroneous and imperfect impression under instruction in these institutions, with respect to the results of the steps and making satisfactory progress in taken by the Government and private acquiring the rudiments of education, persons in South Australia to amelio. as also the habits and tastes of civilized rate the condition of its aborigines. life.
“With a view to give a more correct “These schools appear to have been idea as to the nature and extent of the
continued to about 1850, when the diffiofficial and private attempts made for culty experienced in keeping the chilthe protection and support of the dren, owing to the evil influences and aborigines of this province, I beg to prejudices of their parents and the submit the following statement :- wandering tribes who frequented Ade
laide, gave rise to the idea of founding “ Roman Catholios.
an institution in an isolated position, “So far as can be ascertained from to which the children could be removed the records of this office, and inquiries after their preparatory training in these I have made, I believe I am correct in schools. This idea was practically stating that the Roman Catholics have carried out by Archdeacon Hale (now never at any time organized any efforts, Bishop of Brisbane), and a mission either privately or aided by Govern. station formed at Poonindie, near Port ment, on behalf of the aborigines of this
Lincoln, 220 miles from Adelaide, on a province.
reserve of 16,000 acres of land dedicated “ German Missionaries.
by the Government. “ The earliest attempts in this direc- " Appropriation of Money by Governtion were made about 1838, by the
ment. Moravian and Lutheran missionaries, "When South Australia became & Messrs. Meyers, Teiklemann, Schur
Crown colony in 1841, one-tenth of the mann and Kloze, who had mission
proceeds of the sales of all waste lands stations and schools at Encounter Bay, was set aside for the benefit of the Adelaide, and Port Lincoln, towards the aborigines. This was found, as the support of which the Government con- sales of land increased, to be more tributed pecuniary assistance, as well
than suflicient, and thereafter any defi. as rations and blankets.
nite portion ceased to be set aside, but In 1839 Dr. Moorhouse was ap- whatever amount their necessities pointed Protector of Aborigines, under required was drawn from the territorial
revenue ; and this state of things existed trustees—the Lord Bishop of Ade-
* Point McLeay.
"This native station was formed in “ Twosub-protectors' sala
1857 by the • Aborigines Friends' Asries and allowances . £444 sociation,' and is situated on the Lower Provisions, blankets, cloth
Murray, on a Government reserve coning, implements, medical
taining 730 acres, but which is about to attendance, travelling
be increased by an additional block of allowances, defending
three square miles along the Coorong prisoners, transport of
Lake. The Rev. George Taplin, of the stores, and sundries . . £3,750
Congregational Church, is the super
intendent. The natives of this district Grant in aid of Aborigines
number over 500, of whom 154 are on Friends' Association £500
the station. The school is attended by " Mission Stations and Schools nou 40 children, who are making satisexisting.
factory progress and present a very “ Poonindie.
neat and orderly appearance. “Established in 1850, at Port Lin. “ The health of this community has coln, by Archdeacon Hale, on a reserve
been good, no epidemics of any serious set apart by Government, containing
nature having visited them for several about 16,000 acres.
There are now 78 years. During the first year several natives resident at this institution, which natives were taught rough masonry is under the superintendence of the and carpentering, and made a road Rev. R. W. Holden, of the Church of across a lagoon for the speedy transit England. The school is attended by of produce. Many of the natives have 26 children. During the past year
been employed by European settlers 250 acres were cropped, and produced in clearing land, raising stone, and 2,400 bushels of wheat and 60 tons of shearing; and it is gratifying to note hay; 900 sheep were depastured, yield. that some of them have been placed in ing 115 bales of wool; the stock also positions where none but trustworthy includes 150 cattle and 30 horses. All men would be employed. the natives except two earn their own “This institution has not yet become living and perform all the work on the self-supporting, owing to the limited station, receiving regular wages, the area on which its operations have been same as paid to European workmen. conducted; it receives assistance from The people are reported to be cleanly private subscriptions, and an annual and well behaved, and appear very grant in aid of £500 from Government. happy and comfortable.
In 1875 a special vote by parliament ". This institution is vested in three of £700 was received to defray liabilities
of previous years caused by failure of crops from red rust.
"This institution was founded in 1866, on the West Coast of York's Peninsula, by a private society in connection with the Congregational Church, on a Government reserve of eight square miles, subsequently increased by an additional block of land of 20 square miles for pastoral purposes. The average number of natives on the station is 45, who are regularly and usefully employed in shearing, fencing, and other farm work; 32 acres are under cultivation, and the stock includes 2,800 sheep. The general health and conduct of the natives is said to be good, the married couples living in cottages keep them in good order, and seem to appreciate the additional comfort to their previous wretched wurley
The able-bodied receive wages for their work on the station, and spend their earnings usefully at the Mission Store in rations and clothing, which are supplied at cost price. The scholars at the school make fair progress, and the girls attend to washing, cooking, baking, mending, and always make their own clothes.
"This station is partly supported by private subscriptions, the Government contributing rations and blankets for the relief of the old, sick, and infirm aborigines.
"Kopperamanna, Far North.
"A mission station and school were formed in this locality about ten years ago by the Moravian missionaries, who
Love's Trilogy. By Thomas Sinclair, M.A. Trübner and Co.According to Horace, poets wish either to profit or delight their readers; Mr. Sinclair's object seems rather to be to puzzle and amaze them. His book is a riddle, which simple folk will find it no easy matter to solve. We have always thought a trilogy was a series of three dramas, but here we have "Love's Trilogy, a Poem." The first division of the work is entitled," Palaces: Lyric ideal of single, doubled and immortal love;" sub-divided into chapters, with the headings," His," "Hers," "Theirs." The second division bears the title, "Sola: Dramatic dream of three worlds;" and the third, that of "Vivmor: Epical longing for the triune world; "with five subdivisions, headed, "Division," "Pride," "The Belt," "Victory," "Coronation." So cabalistic a bill of fare does not promise much profit or delight for readers who have not plenty of spare time, and a fondness for conundrums. We can only say that, puzzling as this programme may be, it is not more so than the work it professes to describe. Again and again we have tried hard to make out what the author is driving at. Now and then we caught a glimpse of light, and began to hope we had at last got hold of a clue to his meaning; but a few steps farther on, instead of extricating us from the labyrinth, only plunged us into deeper intricacy. As for pretending to form any distinct conception of the purpose, plan, and argument of the poem, we abandon the attempt in despair. The utmost we can presume to aspire to is to put some sort of interpretation on passages here and there. Even this is a task of no slight difficulty, not so much on account of any originality, profundity, or subtlety of thought, as from violence and confusion of metaphor, forced and unnatural expression, sometimes amounting to positive incorrectness, and the omission of words necessary to complete the sense.
The author mistakes strangeness for originality, and violence for strength. He belongs to the mystico-spasmodic school. He professes to have a great mission for the regeneration of society by love and poetry, instead of faith and religion, which have been tried and found wanting. Yet he delivers his message of good tidings in such a way as to excite the suspicion that he is not altogether forgetful of his own glorification. He plays wondrous tricks with words, as if he were more anxious to attract attention to the performer, than to impart any advantage or satisfaction by the performance. If he simply desired his readers to understand and practise his teaching, he would surely have taken care to express it in a more intelligible form. Is his thought so recondite, so far-reaching, so ethereal, that the English language is not flexible, powerful, and delicate enough to express it? In that case, why trouble himself and the public with any attempt at an impossibility? It would almost seem as if he shrouded his meaning in mystery to hide it from the profanum vulgus. If that were his object, he might have accomplished it more effectually by saying nothing.