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each family of the interior of New South Wales, uncontaminated by contact with the whites, swarms
order to entice the Indian into his snares. It was thus that in the month of April in the present year, 160 Indian chiefs were, under the guarantee of the most pacific assurances, enticed within the Fort del Souce, south of Cordova, Rio Quarto, and were there massacred in cold Wood. It was thus also that the 110, who were assassinated in the Retiro, fell the victims of their credulity and misplaced confidence.
It is difficult to conceive, in this age of a civilisation in which the philanthropic opinion and spirit of legislation is on all sides labouring to avoid or to render less severe the infliction of punishment, that there are still every where to be met with, men who, with a wolf-like thirst for blood, command other monsters to execute deeds of useless murder, which these latter undertake and perform with the utmost sang froid. The further we examine into the history of this part of the world, the more we shall feel ashamed to meet an Indian, and almost wish that we could appear black in his eyes.
These scenes of crime and calamity are mournful objects for the traveller who examines them on the spot, and describes them in his journal. Their distance from Europe is far from diminishing the pity and sympathy which they demand from civilisation; they will find an echo in the heart of every charitable man, and will perhaps some day find an eloquent pen which shall, with all the energy of a just indignation, consign to public execration their authors and abettors.
Governments even, however tardily, begin to arouse themselves from their indifference to distant calamities. The English, that moral people, who are ever the first to connect themselves with those lofty and generous ideas which beautify the political complexion of the century, have given us a striking instance of the progress of moral principle in their government. This act, which philosophy, seated at the foot of the throne, dictated, by its organ, Lord Glenelg (Charles Grant), deserves to be written in letters of gold — to be published and republished in honour of the humanity and civilisation of the nineteenth century.
In 1834, the Caffres, to the number of 15,000 men, burst upon the peaceful colony of the Cape of Good Hope. Their invasion was marked by the most savage barbarities; and the colony, by this disastrous event, became burdened with the maintenance of 8370 unhappy fugitives, at the same time that it was despoiled of 51,000 head of cattle, 2339 horses, and 118,l;j5 sheep, besides 369 houses being burnt, and 26l pillaged. The Government of the colony, it is true, promptly and effectively repulsed these Caffres, and punished their temerity. The account rendered by the local authority to the English minister relates that —
"In the course of the commissioner's progress in the 'census of the tribes of Gaika and Lambie, it was ascertained that their loss, during our operations against them, amounted to 4000 of their warriors, or fighting men, and among them many captains. Ours, fortunately, has not in the whole amounted to 100, and of these only two officers.
with children, those of Flinders Island had, during eight years, an accession of only fourteen in number! Amidst the wrecks of schemes, efforts, and attempts to christianise, civilise, utilise*, and preserve the aboriginal race, there remains yet to be adopted one measure, worthy of the liberality of the English Government,—viz., to listen and attend to the last wishes of the departed, and to the voice of the remaining few: — " Leave us to our habits and customs; do not embitter the days which are in store for us, by constraining us to obey yours; nor reproach us with apathy to that civilisation Avhich is not destined for us; and if you can still be generous to the conquered, relieve the hunger which drives us in despair to slaughter your flocks and the men who guard them. Our fields and forests, which once furnished us with abundance of vegetable and animal food, now yield us no more; they and their produce are yours. You prosper on our native soil, and we are famishing!"
There have been taken from them also, besides the conquest and alienation of their country, about 60,000 head of cattle, and almost all their goats. Their habitations have everywhere been destroyed, and their gardens and corn-fields laid waste. They have, therefore, been chastised, not extremely, but sufficiently."
Lord Glenelg, Secretary for the Colonies, expresses himself to Sir Benjamin D'Urban, Governor of the Cape, upon the above passage, in the following terms: —
"I am bound to record the very deep regret with which I have perused this passage. In a conflict between regular troops and hordes of barbarous men, it is almost a matter of course that there should exist an enormous disproportion between the loss of life on either side; but to consign an entire country to desolation, a whole people to famine, is an aggravation of the necessary horrors of war, so repugnant to every just feeling, and so totally at variance with the habits of civilised nations, that I should not be justified in receiving such a statement without calling upon you for further explanations. The honour of the British name is deeply interested in obtaining and giving publicity to the proofs that the King's subjects really demanded so fearful an exercise of the irresistible power of His Majesty's forces."
Never did a government express itself with greater humanity, greater political wisdom, on a victory which so much flattered its people's spirit of vanity as well as of vengeance. Public opinion applauded the reproof of Lord Glenelg; and the victorious colony sanctioned it, by abstaining from illuminations and similar barbarous manifestations of joy, often called forth by deeds not less barbarous.—MS. Journal of the Author.
* Those who have contemplated their transformation so far as to propose making them servants of the whites, have studied neither their instincts nor habits. From what has been observed of the two races, one may affirm, without dread of contradiction, that it will be easier to bring the whites down to the level of the blacks, than to raise the latter to the ideas and habits of our race.
In the preceding pages it will have been seen how greatly the marine and land surveys of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land assisted the carrying out of the geological inquiry which followed; how greatly, again, the geological investigation was instrumental to the study and appreciation of the climatic agencies, and the explanation of many of their obscure phenomena; and, finally, how effectually the combined facts, thus obtained, assisted in the farther inquiry relative to plants and animals, and the moral and physical condition of the aborigines.
The subject of Agriculture will appropriately form the present or concluding section of this work, because no branch of science is more dependent and more consequent upon other branches of physical inquiry; appearing, in even all its most important facts, as a mere result of previously-acquired studies.
From this admirable connection and wholesome concurrence of the positive sciences in the promotion of one which embraces all the most important and vital interests of human industry, it follows necessarily, that the delineation of the agricultural character of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, including both the general and specific character of soils, and their adaptation either to indigenous or exotic plants, will involve an unavoidable repetition of facts and observations already contained in the preceding sections.
To this will be added an inquiry into the state of agriculture, as it is actually practised in the two colonies, and also a survey of their pastoral operations.
The practical application of science will come next, not only to point out and correct mistakes and prejudices, if such are found to be entertained amongst farmers, but also to suggest the speediest, cheapest, and most attainable means by which the actual mode of farming or grazing may be improved, the forces and vitality of agricultural and pastoral lands preserved or exalted, and the crown or other unoccupied lands rendered available to industry.
AGRICULTURAL CHARACTER OF SOILS, ETC.
In the description of the configuration of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, the dividing mountain-range running from N. E. to S. W. was pointed out as the main and characteristic feature of that configuration, and around which all the phenomena connected with the geology of both the colonies had been found grouped.
In New South Wales, its average height was estimated at 3,500 feet above the level of the sea, and its average distance from the eastern coast at seventytwo miles.
The average fall of those eastern rivers, the sources of which may be traced to the crowning points of the ridge, would be therefore forty-eight feet to every mile; the average fall or slope of the land, however, intersected, as it is, by transverse mountain spurs, may be taken as double that of the rivers, even on the under-rated assumption, that the breadth of the