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Original Documents on Aborigines and Law, 1797-1840

Document 55

Original Document 55

R Scott, Esq., Col. Sec. - document on natives at Gwydir complaining that they are hostile.

                                                                                    [306] Sydney 28th Novr 1837 [1]


            I have the honor to lay before you for the information of the Govenor that I have received information of the aboriginal natives having become extremely hostile on the Gwydir River and its neighbourhood being about 200 miles NW from Invermain[?].

            For some time past the blacks have been killing Cattle - & in my own case they are reported to have destroyed 22 - beside most serously [sic] injuring a valuable bull - other herds have suffered as well as mine.

            Some time ago two men in the service of Mr George Bowman of Richmond were killed & now two men belonging to Mr Cobb have been very recently murdered by the natives.

            These hostilities are being committed by the same people who were so troublesome a [2] few months since. The leading men are well known.

            The inhabitants are much alarmed, [3] [307] & I have thought it my duty to bring in [4] the disturbed state of that country under H.E.s consideration that he may adopt such measures as in his wisdom he may deem necessary for the protection of the lives & properties of the persons interested.

                                                                                    I have the honor

                                                                                    &c. &

                                                                                    signed Robt Scott


[1] Thanks to volunteer Ron Hulme for his transcription of this difficult document. 

[2] Crossed out: short.

[3] Lines of text crossed out: & I would respectfully urge upon His Excellency the necessity of affording them protection, lest by being driven to desparation they take up arms in their own defence, & under [307] excited feelings, these undisciplined men proceed to lengths, that would probably be found unnecessary, & avoided by responsible and unprejudiced persons.

[4] Crossed out: excesses committed by the black population

Published by the Centre for Comparative Law History and Governance of Macquarie University, and State Records NSW