To the Editors of the Sydney Herald.
GENTLEMEN,- I am a Settler in the district of Brisbane Water, and feel grateful for the liberal force of armed men sent there by command of His Excellency Governor Bourke, to subdue the outrageous conduct of the blacks in that quarter. If I am correctly informed, a great portion of the above force is stationed at Mr. Hely's farm, on the edge of the Brisbane Water nearest to Syd- ney, whilst in the interior of the district, on two
remote farms, where the greatest mischief and robberies have prevailed, only six men are sta- tioned, who, being under the command of an able
Officer, assisted by a worthy Magistrate from another quarter, I am in great hopes that the crops may be secured, but the loss of cattle speared, pigs and fowls killed and eat, and other property, will be found considerable; nor have I any hope of the blacks being defeated. I have herewith sent a letter from the scene of action, which you may insert, or make extracts from, and will proceed to observe, that on the landing of the soldiers, the main body of the blacks re- treated generally to their own districts, viz. the Hunter's River, Wollombi, Newcastle, and Port Stephens, whilst the straggling few, belonging to
Brisbane Water, disposed of themselves in various parts, catrying on the same warfare, in companies of eight, nine, or ten, and by such a mode, I am persuaded they will keep up the like annoyance so the remote settlers, destroying their property, and setting fire to their crops and grass.
It may be regretted that the Officer and men did not follow the retreating blacks, or main body,
to the Hunter's River and Wollombi, rather than remain in warfare with the few stated. About two miles from the Principal Superintendent's farm, seven or eight of the blacks were watched, one of which climbed up a tree for honey, then it was that a party thought it a good time to take the black up the tree; not willing to come down, however, the black was wounded in his legs, taken prisoner, and brought to the Sydney gaol, where he may be seen. This is the only real action as yet between the soldiers and the blacks.
In the present stage of this very uncertain con- test, carried on at great expense to our govern- ment, loss, and total cessation of all farming pur- suits, I would suggest to the respectable settlers on the Hunter's River, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Wollombi, and the district of Brisbane Water, to unite in some plan calculated to make these Aborigines sensible of their errors, in the presence of the Officer and men under his command, and the Magistrates in the respective districts, for no- thing can be made of, or with them, without this powerful civil and military array to bring them to a proper sense of their real situation. With respect to their rights by prescription, few will doubt, that some consideration for which is there- fore due to the Aborigines. I have already in- formed His Excellency the Governor, that our districts, before stated, are nearly in the same troubled state as that of the Sister Colony in 1829 and 1830, as regards the blacks ; that in order to save the shedding of blood in a warfare so preca- rious, their pollution by our assigned servants, which fills them with disease, and almost con- stantly at the hospital, or totally unfit for labour, if not attended with the most fatal consequences. It is distressing to see the wretched blacks in Sydney generally in an intoxicated state, by their odd pence, at the rum-drinking shops they resort to, not unfrequently rioting or murdering each other ; that it would be a most humane act to do with them as in Van Diemen's Land, remove them from the above much injured districts to some remote island or distant land, where they can dwell in peace, follow their various pursuits of hunting or fishing, and what is of more value to them, with uncontrolled liberty, which they know more of than many of the inhabitants of this Colony.
To effect this good purpose, I would suggest to His Excellency, that the annual grant, up- wards of £1,000 per annum, said to be for the tuition and better management of the Aborigines, but literally thrown away, or no satisfactory ac- count rendered to the publio of good done ; in confirmation of this assertion, I need no better proof than the subject I am writing upon. By appropriating this grant for the present year, to the final removal of the blacks to some peaceable island, or settlement, would not only be a saving in future of any such grants, but add to the safety, prosperity, comfort, and hap- piness, of our pillaged districts.
I have the honor to remain,
Your faithful obedient Servant,
A DREADFUL SUFFERER.
Sydney, 14th Nov. 1834.