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4 corrections, most recently by MJMelbourne - Show corrections


AT our own request, the gentleman who signs himself " Veritas" and who was an eye-witness of what he describes, has kindly furnished us with the follow ing. At this time, it is more important, as from what this letter states, as also from what we have elsewhere heard, there is strong presumptive evidence

that the natives who surrounded Mr.

Giles's tent, were part and parcel of the same tribe by whom the murders at Encounter Bay were perpetrated. From a comparison of dates, however, it is clear that they must have left the scene of the late murders before Major O'Halloran's party arrived. Thus, exempted from the benefit of the recent example made of the murderers, they were prepared for fresh aggressions; but the knowledge of this latter fact, which cannot long be concealed from them, will, we have no doubt, teach them an important salutarymoral lesson.

To the Editor of the Southern Australian.

Adelaide, Sept. 12, 1840.

SIR-As some erroneous reports are in circula- tion respecting the attempt made by a large body of Blacks on the Survey camp, in Lyndoch Val- ley, I send you an account which I trust will set the conjectures and fears of the colonists located in this district at rest. On Saturday morning last, the 5th of September, the camp was surrounded by about 270 Blacks, and in this number there

were not more than 12 women and children. The first demonstration of their intentions was made in

demanding flour, rice, meat. &c., and upon being refused; they threatened to spear the survey officer, Mr Giles, his wife, and children. Up to this

time no fire-arms had been exhibited. It fortunately happened, that Mr Giles had a man on his party who was well acquainted with the manners of the Blacks, and who acted in the capacity of inter- preter; much is owing to the persuasion of this   man in dispersing them. The number of the Blacks appeared to increase from all quarters, and nothing else was expected but a general slaughter. It was now considered prudent to load the guns, which was instantly done, and a guard stationed at each tent ; this movement had a good effect, as it caused the Natives to draw off to the distance of a quarter of a mile, where they halted, and after a long consultation, their lubras and children were sent off, and the men appeared preparing for   action, by trying the points of their spears, and  

by yelling and threatening gestures. The little band of armed men, (only six in number) behaved well, and were most obedient to every order, and would not have flinched from anything in this trying situation, but all were determined to hold out to the last however, tbe advantage was now well understood by the Blacks, and they retreated still further, where they again consulted the old men in the Tribe, and it would appear that their  

fears to return to the camp were predominant, as  

they -drew off again to their wurleys. At 5 o'clock P. M. on the 5th of September, Mr Tooth, of   Gawler Town, Mr Beane, and Mr Jones arrived,  

and proceeded to the wurleys, for the purpose of ascertaining what were their intentions, but the Natives denied having been at the camp ; however, three of them were brought up to the camp, and upon their arrival, they immediately—and with -surprising dexterity-slipped off their garments and escaped ; but one of them was again captured, and kept confined until the next day, for the pur- pose of eliciting from him what Tribe they were, and what they wanted ; nothing however could be done in .this way, as the stubbornness of the fellow was unconquerable. On the following morning, the wurleys were again visited by the above -named gentlemen, and each of them were attacked by the Blacks ; Mr Tooth had a blow on his head, which was given with a very large-firebrand,and nearly fel led him from his horse; M Beane met with a similar reception, by getting a severe blow on the back of the neck. In consequence of these hostile acts,   a rout was commenced, and they appeared to rise from the wurleys in endless succession. The Tribe was supposed to consist of about 500 men, and was, from appearances, the "Big Murray Tribe." Nothing from this time was seen of them, but a report is prevalent, that they are in the Murray   Scrub. From all that has transpired, there can be no doubt that these Blacks have been driven from the south, and are concerned in the atrocious murders lately committed there. Several articles taken from the wurleys are sufficient evidence that they were connected with one of the worst Tribes, which was making its way into the interior for safety.

Thank God, no loss of life has occurred, and that no second attempt may be made, is the fervent hope of those who were so few in number as to be utterly incapable of contending against so large a body of Blacks, but it is not improbable that they may be induced to attack some of the stations to the north, where they are so badly protected.