It cannot be claimed for these papers that they are infallible records of our early history in every point, but they do contain the first impressions of those who had ample opportunities of learning at the fountain head what could be learnt amid the hardships of early colonial days. My stock-keeper was drowned at Fyans' Ford, and the cattle remained in the sole charge of Bill for a couple of days, until assistance was sent to him. There are traditions of portions of the body, usually hands or fingers, being observed in the lubras' bags, but of doubtful authenticity, I think. The overseer mustered the men, and the sheep were regained within an hour. At Boyd's station (Ledcourt) the natives stole during the winter about 800 sheep. Baillie's present station (Polkemet) in a gum scrub. During January Major Firebrace brought up 6,000 sheep, and claimed the run occupied by Messrs. Wilson were compelled to move lower down the river, where Mr. Orr's special survey, cannot, for the same reason, be other than a small village.
Their aggressions, however, whether avenged or not, were not infrequent. I could neither see nor walk, and was carried back to the Hume on a dray. They murdered one of my servants and burned my huts and stores, and all my wheat.
I think it may be a little early to make unrestricted use of the contents of these letters. They are not generally very much wanted on a cattle station, and I seldom encouraged their advances. The squatters, or rather their men, should be in fairness freed from the imputation cast upon them by the Protectors and Missionaries of corrupting the native women. Many squatters, who in their earlier operations had become indebted to the merchants, were obliged to surrender their stations, and were left penniless. There have been none of their former whole- sale slaughterings, and no murders of white men since then. I have lost fifteen years of the best period of my life. Wishing Your Excellency a pleasant and agreeable voyage, I have the honour to be, Your most obedient servant, WILLIAM TAYLOR. Boyd, Esq., occupied the eastern branch of the Wimmera for ten miles above and below where the township of Glenorchy is DOW fixed. We saw no natives till we were on the station two months.
ON the 29th July 1853 His Excellency Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe addressed a circular letter to a number of early settlers, nearly all of whom have now passed away, request- ing information as to the time and circumstances of the first occupation of various parts of the colony. Russell compelled by attacks of natives to vacate the Leigh. In October 1846 takes up a station on the South Australian boundary, on the border of the mallee scrub. I had a horse which till his death would never go near a tree, my stock-keeper having been attacked by the blacks from behind one. There was at that time no station occupied between Barnawartha, on the Hume (now G. Tea was worth at that time in Melbourne 20 per chest, and flour 100 per ton. There were certain hangers-on at stations (Tulloh at the Grange, for instance) who boasted of such encounters ; but it was generally believed that those who talked most knew least of such scenes. As soon as the necessity for exertion ceased, I was seized with cedematous swelling of the legs and eyelids. In May 1840, 21 of them, all armed with guns, besides their native weapons, attacked my station in my absence.Edited for the Trustees of the Public Library BY THOMAS FEANCIS BRIDE, LL. The day may come, how- ever, when it may be considered of too great interest to be lost, and I therefore propose that the parcel should be deposited somewhere where it will be accessible when that day comes, say the Public Library or other public archives. settlers took the law into their own hands on such occasions. The country north of this river had been frequently explored before, but was called the " barren plains," and supposed to be without water. Hutton was then the furthest out to the north-west, and it is pretty well known that several white men, getting lost in the bush, were cut off by the natives, as they were never heard of afterwards. In these years there was a great depression of the pastoral and agricultural interests. The whole drift of their inquiries seemed to me to be an attempt to prove that the cause of attack upon my station by the blacks was an improper treat- ment of the native women by my servants.D., During his period of office as LIBRARIAN OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY OF VICTORIA. On this point perhaps you will consult those who ought to be consulted. Whether it was fear or a better acquaintance with us which worked upon them, it is difficult to say ; but about 1843-4 wo heard no more of sheep-stealing in the neighbourhood, and the blacks, who had always fought very shy of my station where "Cranky Jem," my hut-keeper, had the reputation of being a good rifle shot, which was clearly proved by the holes in all the trees round, where bullets had been cut out commenced to come about, and offer to strip bark and make themselves useful. The head of the Loddon present aboriginal station was first occupied by A. At any rate the shepherds felt, or pretended so much alarm, that, at the request of the settlers about and beyond Mount Alexander, a small party of the 28th Regiment was stationed on the Campaspe during 18, to protect both whites and blacks. Yet the colony continued to advance slowly in point of comfort and property, although there was but little money. This was shown to be totally without foundation, for the natives had no women with them, and it was their first visit to the station. I followed them for eighteen months, and apprehended seventeen of them, and, though they were discharged from Melbourne gaol almost as soon as they entered it, yet their capture had such a good effect that their depredations have since been confined to a few cattle for food. SIR, I have the honour to forward to Your Excellency the enclosed information, and trust that, although late, it may still be of some use. Brodie and Cruikshank, passed our station about the 20th March with 3,000 sheep, and 190 Letters from Victorian Pioneers, occupied the station now held by Mr. This was the second flock of sheep that passed into the country beyond Ledcourt ours being the first.
The bulk of the work has been in print for some years, but for various reasons its publication has been delayed until the present time. These papers remained in the possession of His Excel- lency until 1872, when, writing, on the 19th March, to the Honorable James Graham, M. C., he said " I have this day addressed a small parcel of some interest to be forwarded to you when occasion offers. We extracted them, and she lived and fattened, and was eventually sold fat in Melbourne. The aborigines in our neighbourhood (afterwards known as the "Jim Crow" tribe) were from the first peaceable. The rest were recovered, at such an expenditure of money and of personal energy, as have left me an invalid for life, and to this day comparatively a poor man. My demand for compensation was treated with contempt by the Governor of New South Wales ; he said I had voluntarily placed myself beyond the boundaries of police, and must take the consequences, although I was then paying an assessment upon stock for the very purpose of securing police protection beyond the boundaries.
Bride during the period in which he held office as Public Librarian. La Trobe, who at the time con- templated writing a history of the Colony. Explores the country around Lakes Colac and Corangamite. I recollect a cow being brought into the stockyard stuck all over with spears, like a porcupine. Parker occupied our station on Loddon as a reserve for the aborigines, and, settling there, attempted to carry out the Exeter Hall views for their civilization, with but slight success, as was to be expected. I went with sheep to the River Avoca in February 1842, and occupied the country immediately north of Button, Simson, and Darlot, who arrived very early from New South Wales with sheep and cattle. One hundred and eighty head exclusive of those found dead were totally lost.