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8 corrections, most recently by Maggie.keely - Show corrections

To the Editor of the Moreton Bay Courier.

SIR,-I beg leave to forward you an account of the " Sayings and Doings" at Tenterfield :

Scene-Court of Small Debts. Time-Monday, 1st July, 1850. Cases for hearing-Two only, viz. : Mitchell v. M'Lean, and a second edition of ditto, for the amount of a house sold at Ipswich, and other imaginary claims. Magistrates on the roster-Doctor Frail and Edward Icely, Esq. The worthy son of Esculapius was, however, so far dumfounded or mesmerised on a pre-perusal of the set-off, that he declined to adjudicate, or, in sporting language, come to the scratch ; and as the rules in "this little court" were widely different from those used at Newmarket, the second. J.P. could not walk over the course ; ergo, Mr. M'Lean, who had to travel from Limestone to Tenterfield, a distance of at least 150 miles, to answer a vexatious charge, was compelled to have recourse to the impartial decision of his peers, appointed arbitrators, who, no doubt, gave him greater satisfaction than awaiting the uncertain decision of a Solon, whose triple occupation in an up-country town held out but small hope of a

successful event.

Although, in the mother country, stewards, factors, or agents, being entrusted with property to a large extent, causing their income to exceed in many cases £1,000 per annum, and being themselves, generally speaking, men of pro perty, are appointed to the Commission of the

Peace, yet, in these districts, in fact through- out the colony, circumstances are such, that however advisable it may be to have a medi- cal super, it is undoubtedly injudicious, from the many varied connections which he must form in each separate capacity, to appoint him a conserva- tor of the peace and a protector of the lives and properties of her Mnjesty's liege subjects ; such appointments are, however, but in keeping with   the reckless manner lately evinced in the nomina- tion of Magistrates.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

M. M'L.

NEW LOCAL PAPER.-We have to acknowledge the receipt of the first number of the Moreton Bay Free Press, issued yesterday, and intended to be published on every Tuesday and Friday. The sheet is of demy size, having four columns, chiefly long primer, on each of the four pages. There is a good show of advertisements. The leading ar- ticle is addressed to the readers, and avows the course of argument to be adopted. The interests of the stockholders, agriculturists and townspeople are declared to be identical ; financial separation from Sydney is to be sought ; and the best plan for the introduction of eligible labourers is to he pointed out. The subject of education is to be kept in view, and the editor declares himself favourable to the National system. The matter in the paper is rather scanty, but this may bo attributable to the hurry of publishing a first number. Our contemporary commeences with engaging promises ; we believe that the manag- ing persons have had experience, and the Free Press ought therefore to succeed. In any case we cannot but hail the establishment of a second

newspaper as a proof of increasing prosperity at Moreton Bay.

THE HOSPITAL.-At the last quarterly audit meeting of the Committee of the Moreton Bay General Hospital, held on the 11th instant, there was a balance of £114 18s. 3|d. in the hands of the Treasurer. This valuable institution is now

in a fair way to establish itself as a permanent refuge for the destitute sick, and to extend its operations throughout the northern provinces ; but there is great lack of aid from the country districts, and debts, amounting to more than £110, are due to the hospital, having chiefly ac- crued from evasions of the guarantees given to the hospital committee for payment of charges on

patients treated in the establishment. The num-

ber of bona fide pauper patients is sufficiently large, without the charitable contributions intend- ed for cases of distress being infringed upon by persons who are really able to pay for their treat- ment. Subscribers to the funds of the institution, and others authorized to recommend pauper pa- tients, ought to consider carefully how they exer- cise their rights in those respects. At present, we are informed, the most generous and judicious assistance afforded to the hospital from the country districts has proceeded from the neighbourhood of Canning Downs,-some gentlemen residing near Warwick having shown a warm interest in the prosperity of the institution.

THE GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS.-We observe that some alterations and additions have been made in the Government buildings at North Brisbane, used as a depot for immigrants. It would have been far better if these old structures had been long since razed to the ground, and the land and ma- terials sold. The proceeds of such a sale would have more than covered any expenses incurred in the building of a new Court House and an Immi- grants' Barrack, in more suitable localities, and would also have paid for the introduction of a suf- ficient number ot immigrants to fill the last named building. And besides this, there would have been a chance of improving the appearance and conveniences of the town, by the construction of houses, and the establishment of men of business, in the valuable locality now occupied by those old buildings. The Court House may have served very well for the last assizes, but-it is far from being a suitable building for the convenience of jurymen, witnesses, or the public

HOUSE ROBBERY.-Sometime during Monday    

night or early on Tuesday morning last, the house of a man, named Duffy, at Kangaroo Point, was entered by-the window, and an inner door being opened, a box, the key of which was lying on the table, was unlocked by the thief, and a £1 note and three penny pieces abstracted. It appears that Duffy was absent from Brisbane, and his wife was sleeping at a friend's house, as was customary during the absence of her husband. On returning to her own house in the morning, the robbery was discovered, and information given to the police. The suspicion of District Constable-Murphy fell upon a ticket-of-leave holder by the Mountstuart   Elphinstone, named Isaac Tomlin, and, finding that gentleman at the Police Office, where he was making a modest request to be allowed a pass to remain in Brisbane, Murphy took the liberty of searching him, and found on his person a £1 note, which was positively sworn to by Mrs. Duffy as the one stolen from her house; she identified it   by the peculiar way in which it had been folded, and by some remarkable stains upon it. On comparing the prisoner's boots with the foot-prints near Duffy's house, Murphy found them to agree exactly, and a nail being out of one of the boots, that deficiency appeared also in the track on the soft soil. The prisoner declined saying anything in his defence, and was, last Wednesday, sentenced to be worked in an ironed gang for six months. It was lucky for him that he was not a free man, or he would probably have been tried at the Cir- cuit Court, and sentenced to something much

more serious.


James Williamson has been apprehended in Bris- bane on a warrant from Ipswich, charging him with having stolen property in possession. He has been forwarded to Ipswich to be dealt with.

CHARGE OF STEALING SLABS.- Last Monday, William Fraser, employed in the customs boat's crew, appeared at the Police Office to answer for having in his possession certain timber slabs, sworn to as having been stolen from John Byrne, alias Peter M'Grath. After a lengthened exami- nation, the Magistrates on the Bench were of opinion that there was no case to warrant a com- mittal, and accordingly discharged the defendant. Mr. Little appeared for the defence.


given from the Police Office, that no lately arrived

ticket-of-leave holders were to be allowed to locate themselves in Brisbane, without special permission for that purpose, is likely to have a good effect, by supplying labour iu the interior, where it is most wanted, and by removing idlers from the town, where temptations to bad conduct are but too readily yielded to. Many who applied for passes to remain have been refused, in consequence of their having been frequent visitants at the Police Office ; but men of good character, and who could show fair cause for their claims to stay in Brisbane, have generally been successful in their applications, a just distinction being made between good men and those whose behaviour had been bad. The large number of ticket-of-leave holders now in these districts requires more labour in keep- ing a correct register of them than can now be given, and further clerical assistance ought to be afforded for that purpose.

LECTURE. - A respectable audience attended at the School of Arts on last Thursday even- ing, to hear the Rev. J. Wallace deliver a Lecture on the Denominational System of   Education. The rev. gentleman dwelt with considerable ability and effect upon the various accommodations and omissions perceptible in the National School books, to suit the prejudices and opinions of various classes of religionists ; and this, he contended, made the teaching not Chris- tianity, although it might be called religion something like the religion of the Deists. The lecturer made a good point in reference to the books in use in the respective schools, by pro- ducing one used by the Denominationalists, and which he declared was superior to any of those alluded to by the lecturer on the other side (Mr. Duncan). The book he spoke of was the Bible. In the course of his arguments he urged that the large majority of the clergy were opposed to the   National System ; and, as that system was based on the supposition of co-operation from the clergy, it was idle to try to uphold it in the face of the opposition of those upon whose support its existence depended. Our limits will not permit a lengthened recapitulation of the argu-

ments and illustrations used, nor indeed could it be safely attempted in a report like the present. The lecture was attentively listened to and well received by the company assembled, who mani-. fested their satisfaction by an unanimous vote of thanks to Mr. Wallace for the spirited and inter- esting discourse which he had composed in defence of a system to which, we have no doubt, the ma- jority present were opposed.

TENDER ACCEPTED.-The tender of Mr. John Petrie, for building a parsonage at North Bris- bane, for the resident clergyman of the Church of England, has been accepted.

REMARKABLE METEOR.-A magnificent meteor was observed in England on the 11th February last. We find the following notice of it in a letter in the Illustrated London News :-" It may be interesting to your readers to know that this body, which probably ignited somewhere over the Bristol Channel, exploded at the distance of 23 miles from the earth, being at the time almost over Rugby. The observations I have yet re- ceived do not enable me to determine satisfacto- rily the path, velocity, or magnitude of this body, but which I hope to do upon a careful review of all the particulars I may receive. Its magnitude must have been great to have yielded sufficient light to have fully illuminated every place within

two hundred miles of it. Its explosion was ac-

companied by so great a report, that the detona- tion was heard at places situated at the distance of sixty miles from it."

MORE ABSURDITIES ABOUT AUSTRALIA-We find in the Illustrated London News of the 2nd   of last March, an article, with ample illustrations, headed " Kangaroo Hunting in Australia. " Amongst other blunders dogs something like mongrel mastiff's are shown as chasing the kanga- roo ; but the following mon eau from the article is richer than most things of the kind that we have   seen for some time past :-" The native name for the kangaroo is ' boomer' ; hence the boomerang, the strange-looking angular implement with which the Australians kill the animal." Could anything be more ridiculous? After laughing at this, let   us inform the ignorant. The term " boomer" has been adopted entirely from the whites. It is in fact a cant term, signifying anything large, and is sometimes applied to the larger sized kangaroos. The "strange angular-looking implement" is very rarely indeed-and till more rarely with success-employed against the kangaroo. The weapon used by the wild natives is almost always the spear. The ' implement" alluded to above is only called "boomerang" in some districts : the name varies, as also does that of the kangaroo, in diffèrent parts of even that portion of Australia

that is known.

AN ABORIGINAL THIEF.-On Thursday last an aboriginal lad called' '"Kipper Peter," was ap- prehended by Constable Conroy and lodged in the watch-house, on a charge of having stolen two shillings from the dwelling-house of a person named Ward, at North Brisbane. It appeared that the black had been asked by Mrs. Ward to get some water for her, and she had showed him some money. Afterwards, during the temporary absence of the mistress of the house,"Peter."- got   in by the window, and carried off two shillings from the place where he had seen Mrs. Ward take the silver from. Mrs. Ward, from a distance, saw the prisoner enter and get out of the window, and Constable Conroy also saw him get out. Chase was given, and the thief with some difficulty se- cured. The two shillings were found near the spot where the struggle took place in securing the prisoner; but as they could not be identified, the   Magistrates before whom " Peter " was brought yesterday morning did not seem to think them- selves warranted in proceeding on the charge of robbery, but found the prisoner guilty, under the Vagrancy Act, of being illegally on the premises of Ward, and sentenced him to three months con- finement, with hard labour, in Brisbane gaol. The sentence was the minimum one allowed by law, and Peter appears to have got off very cheaply. His confinement in gaol will be a luxury to him, and we apprehend that the " hard labour " will

not break his heart.

TALLOW PACKAGES.-We have lately seen se- veral samples of tallow packed in sheep's paunches, the produce having been forwarded from parts of the interior country where it was found imprac- ticable to procure casks. The tallow appeared to be of first quality, and perfectly hard and clean, and the process adopted seems to be well calcu- lated to meet a case of necessity. By the last reported sales in Sydney, we find that the highest price obtained for best mutton tallow, in casks, was £28 per ton, and the highest price for mutton tallow in paunches, £26 15s. per ton. The dif- ference of £1 5s. per ton on the samples then sold is great ; hut it may be partly compensated for by the difference in charges of carriage by land and water (the paunches being more compact for stowage than casks), and by the cost of casks where coopers are scarce. We would by no means advise the use of paunches or hides where casks can be obtained, for we have lately shown that the indigenous timber of this part of the colony can be made into casks as sound and secure as any for such, or indeed any ,other, purposes ; and doubtless it would he advisable in all practicable cases to have the produce packed in such a man-

ner as would insure safe transit direct to the

English market, and ready purchasers there ; but where great difficulties oppose themselves to that process, the system of packing in paunches may be adopted with much advantage. Amongst the packages we saw, nearly all were perfectly sound. The process would not answer for a badly got np article, but where care is taken in that respect, the package may be forwarded for hundreds of miles in safety, and their portable size is a great advantage gained.