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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 not return to their old life having proved by no means creditable members of society.'
"My attention has been drawn to the above extract from article on 'Aborigines of South Australia' (vide DUBLIN UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE for January, 1876, page 89) containing statements calculated to convey a very erroneous and imperfect impression with respect to the results of the steps taken by the Government and private persons in South Australia to ameliorate the condition of its aborigines.
"With a view to give a more correct idea as to the nature and extent of the official and private attempts made for the protection and support of the aborigines of this province, I beg to submit the following statement :—
"So far as can be ascertained from the records of this office, and inquiries I have made, I believe I am correct in stating that the Roman Catholics have never at any time organized any efforts, either privately or aided by Government, on behalf of the aborigines of this province.
"The earliest attempts in this direction were made about 1838, by the Moravian and Lutheran missionaries, Messrs. Meyers, Teiklemann, Schurmann and Kloze, who had mission stations and schools at Encounter Bay, Adelaide, and Port Lincoln, towards the support of which the Government contributed pecuniary assistance, as well as rations and blankets.
"In 1839 Dr. Moorhouse was appointed Protector of Aborigines, under
authority of the Secretary of State for the Colouies, and in 1841 a native school was established in Adelaide under the auspices of Governor Grey, and in charge of Mr. and Mrs. Ross, who received from the Government a yearly stipend of £80, together with a house and rations. In 1843 another Government school was opened at Walkerville, under the superintendence of Mr. Smith, formerly a draftsman in the Colonial Land Office; and at one period there were 107 native children under instruction in these institutions, and making satisfactory progress in acquiring the rudiments of education, as also the habits and tastes of civilized life.
These schools appear to have been continued to about 1850, when the difficulty experienced in keeping the children, owing to the evil influences and prejudices of their parents and the wandering tribes who frequented Adelaide, gave rise to the idea of founding an institution in an isolated position, to which the children could be removed after their preparatory training in these schools. This idea was practically carried out by Archdeacon Hale (now Bishop of Brisbane), and a mission station formed at Poonindie, near Port Lincoln, 220 miles from Adelaide, on a reserve of 16,000 acres of land dedicated by the Government.
"Appropriation of Money by Govern
"When South Australia became a Crown colony in 1841, one-tenth of the proceeds of the sales of all waste lands was set aside for the benefit of the aborigines. This was found, as the sales of land increased, to be more than sufficient, and thereafter any defi nite portion ceased to be set aside, but whatever amount their necessities required was drawn from the territorial
"Mission Stations and Schools now existing. "Poonindie.
"Established in 1850, at Port Lincoln, by Archdeacon Hale, on a reserve set apart by Government, containing about 16,000 acres. There are now 78 natives resident at this institution, which is under the superintendence of the Rev. R. W. Holden, of the Church of England. The school is attended by 26 children. During the past year 250 acres were cropped, and produced 2,400 bushels of wheat and 60 tons of hay; 900 sheep were depastured, yielding 115 bales of wool; the stock also includes 150 cattle and 30 horses. the natives except two earn their own living and perform all the work on the station, receiving regular wages, the same as paid to European workmen. The people are reported to be cleanly and well behaved, and appear very happy and comfortable.
"This institution is vested in three
trustees-the Lord Bishop of Adelaide (Church of England) and Messrs. S. Davenport and G. W. Hawkes, S.M. Up to 1860 the Government contributed annual grants in aid of this establishment amounting to a total sum of £7,225; from that time it has been entirely self-supporting.
"This native station was formed in 1857 by the Aborigines Friends' Association,' and is situated on the Lower Murray, on a Government reserve containing 730 acres, but which is about to be increased by an additional block of three square miles along the Coorong Lake. The Rev. George Taplin, of the Congregational Church, is the superintendent. The natives of this district number over 500, of whom 154 are on the station. The school is attended by 40 children, who are making satisfactory progress and present a very neat and orderly appearance.
"The health of this community has been good, no epidemics of any serious nature having visited them for several years. During the first year several natives were taught rough masonry and carpentering, and made a road across a lagoon for the speedy transit of produce. Many of the natives have been employed by European settlers in clearing land, raising stone, and shearing; and it is gratifying to note that some of them have been placed in positions where none but trustworthy men would be employed.
"This institution has not yet become self-supporting, owing to the limited area on which its operations have been conducted; it receives assistance from private subscriptions, and an annual grant in aid of £500 from Government. In 1875 a special vote by parliament 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
A reserve of 900 square miles on the boundary line of the northern territory was set apart by the Government in 1875 for the purposes of the Lutheran missionaries, who are forming a station there with a view to carry on pastoral pursuits for the benefit of the natives in that locality, who are reported to be peaceable and well disposed towards Europeans. Some time must necessarily elapse before operations are fairly commenced, and there are results to report.
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.