Australia : An appeal to the world on behalf of the younger branch of the family of Shem
|Australia : An appeal to the world on behalf of the younger branch of the family of Shem (1839)
|An Appeal to the World→|
T H E W O R L D
ON BEHALF OF THE
THE FAMILY OF SHEM.
Ἐγὼ εἰς τουτ' ἐκβέβηκ' αλγηδόνος
PRINTED BY J.SPILSBURY, AND J McEACHERN,
LOWER GEORGE STREET.
OBJECT OF THE PUBLICATION.
The moneys arising from the sale of this Work are to be devoted to the support of those who nay be employed in the promulgation of the Gospel among the Aboriginal inhabitants, within and beyond the Australian Colonies. The
therefore to the opulent and liberal minded, will be
To the humbler classes, whose means are more limited, five, ten, or fifteen shillings, as inclination may prompt the donor. In short, to all what they choose to give—to the rich a guinea, to the poor a shilling—that all may shed a tear over the miseries of an interesting people, pray for their salvation, and contribute to the cause of mercy, as their hearts may be moved with love to the Saviour of men and compassion for nations about perish. If I have breathed a heavenly wish, let it inspire every bosom. To Australia—Christianity apart—Britain is under a double obligation. She has received her convicts, she has enriched her people, while she herself is ruined in time and eternity.
Those who feel an interest in rescuing, her from destruction, may render important service to the great work, by purchasing a number of copies for sale or distribution among their families and friends.
Reader how much do you spend annually in visiting the theatre, or in the purchase and reading of novels amusing yourself only for the moment and trifling with an everlasting futurity? Perhaps ten times the amount here solicited. A guinea for a work to promote the salvation of the heathen, will intellectually profit you more, render you more happy in life, and be more grateful to your recollections on your entrance into another world, than thousands expended in scenes of gaity and dissipation, fleeting as the wind and bitter to remembrance.
Reflect, the object is, not merely to evangelize, but to save the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia—one-fifth of the habitable globe—from extermination, and the British name from indelible infamy. Say not, with Cain, "Am I my brother's keeper?"
TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN.
When he whom seraphs adored, was, in compassion to Adam's lost race, about to manifest himself in flesh to redeem them, there was no room for him even at an inn. On the occurrence of that most interesting and extraordinary of all the events that ever happened in time, the virgin that bore the incarnate Deity—the creator of worlds unnumbered—could find no place of repose but a stable. If inspired with divine love, you will probably say, in youthful simplicity, were he to appear on earth again, I would set apart the palace of my ancestors for his reception. The thought and the feelings it indicates, are of celestial origin; but the opportunity of thus entertaining the heavenly guest, is gone, never to return—never will he in like manner visit earth again. On ascending to the primeval abode of his glory—the glory which he had with his father before the world was, and before the morning stars of creation sang together—all the wants of humanity, to which those who loved him while on earth had the privilege of ministering, for ever ceased. Still the Redeemer of men has wants. He still lives in his ministers, who are commissioned to proclaim the object of his death to the world, and to set up a kingdom for him. They, while thus employed, are often hungry, thirsty, cold, and naked; and, like to him in the days of his humiliation, know not sometimes where to lay their heads. To those therefore who for his name' sake minister to their wants, he will say at the last day: "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these—ye did it unto me."
The author of this Appeal, anxious to obtain the means of supporting those who may be employed in erecting the Redeemer's kingdom in the Southern hemisphere, has determined to approach Your Majesty with his humble but important suit. Millions upon millions have been spent in hurrying men into perdition, merely to gain a useless crown or an empty title, while tide paramount concerns of eternity have been banished from the counsels of nations. The salvation of a continent would be the brightest gem that ever adorned the diadem of a sovereign; and its attainment, though it would really cost little, would be worth the expenditure of millions: but who could expect such a thought to be entertained amidst the bustle of human affairs, the din of ambition, and the clashing of worldly interests? Influenced by these reflections, the author, in reliance on Divine providence, is induced to attempt a work hitherto neglected by Christians and disregarded by the government. He asks, however, no part of the revenues of the empire; though a guinea from the Chancellor of the Exchequer for every one of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia, slain by Your Majesty's subjects and those bearing Your Majesty's commission, would, in proper hands and properly managed, form a fund sufficient for the promulgation of Christianity among the innumerable tribes that yet survive within the vast extent of her shores. Were the Princesses Charlotte and Amelia permitted to draw aside the curtain of the invisible world, and to look in upon earth again—were they at liberty to give you the estimate they have now formed of sublunary things, and to set before you the vanity of all the glitter, and pomp, and parade of human life, attired in its gayest dress and gaudiest forms—were they suffered to remind you of the possibility of being cut off, as they were, in the bloom of youth, without doing any thing that would immortalize existence, or bear to be viewed in the light of eternity—were they allowed to disclose to you the reflections that crowd upon princes on passing that "bourne whence no traveller returns"—the dismay, the terror, the remorse that torture their bosoms, when, after having neglected the eternal welfare of the millions intrusted to their care, and every thing that related to the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom, they find themselves ushered into his presence, amidst myriads of attendant angels, and that, no longer clothed with mercy, but in the attributes of power and vengeance, he is to be their judge, the arbiter of their destiny for ever—the writer will not ask what impression such communications would make upon you, or what counsel the disembodied spirits of these princesses would give you. It is not necessary. When he recollects the character of her who cared for you from infancy, and calls to mind that of your father and grandfather, he is more inclined to trust the cause he pleads to the tender feelings of the heiress of the House of Brunswick, than to the dilatory, cold, formal, and often abortive efforts of legislative charity. Nor will his suit on behalf of Him that was born in Bethlehem lessen your domestic comfort, or diminish the means of discharging the duties essential to the dignity of the crown. It extends merely to the purchase of a few thousand copies of this Appeal to distribute among your attendants, the social circles around you, and those with whom they mingle in the different walks of life. Every copy pleading the cause among your subjects, will excite the compassion of others for Australia; and thus many will be induced to follow Your Majesty's example, by interesting themselves in the salvation of the heathen—a charity of a higher and a holier character, than any that are to be found in the catalogue of Christian duties, or within the range of Christian benevolence.
The unprecedented nature of the request, will perhaps excite a smile. Its singularity is occasioned by an unwillingness to touch any of the funds which those whom you consult may consider indispensable to other objects, But what is there of excellence in the sublunary scenes of the life which man leads in this terrestrial abode that is not singular. The disposition, the life, and the actions of the Saviour of men, as well as those of his apostles, were distinguished by a heaven-born singularity. Nor should it excite our surprise. The common walks of life are all crowded with worldly pursuits and worldly interests, which tend alike to harden the heart, to darken the understanding, and to exclude heavenly things from our consideration, or to clothe them in an earthly garb, and degrade them with worldly associations. Hence, the treading of an unbeaten path, by the followers of the Redeemer in their efforts to save mankind, is as indicative of wisdom and good taste as it is of self-denial. It is impossible for them to act otherwise. In a world abounding with iniquity, singularity has therefore been, and ever will be, the characteristic of the religion of Jesus.
Singular, however, as the means which delicacy prompts for the attainment of an end so great and important, my suit itself is not without an example worthy of Your Majesty's imitation. Between the scene that occurred in the palace of Susan and that now acting in the British cabinet, there are coincidences and contrasts which are deeply interesting. True, I stand not in the same relation to the Queen of England as that of the distinguished Israelite to the Queen of the Persian empire. In this respect the suit of Mordecai and mine differ. Mine! did I say? Not mine, but that of the Redeemer of men. What though I be unrelated and unknown to Your Majesty? "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof;" yet it is not necessary—nor would it answer any end—to know "whence it cometh or whither it goeth." Such sometimes is the bearer of divine communications to a fallen world. I am merely the voice—the message is from heaven. There are in Your Majesty s dominions a people devoted to destruction by the colonizing enactments of your legislature and the avarice of your subjects, as certainly as if an edict had issued from the throne for their extermination. This is an affecting coincidence. The contrast, however, between your situation and that of the Persian queen, is great and striking. Esther, in attempting to save the lives of her people, had to approach the ensign of mercy and vengeance at the risk of her own life: but you wield the sceptre. The means, too, are simple. They involve no burden on your subjects, no injury to their interests, and consequently cannot excite the opposition or disapprobation of any. You have only to command the salvation of Australia, and it is done. May I ask, whether would you wish on the last day to blush, when standing beside the Persian Queen, or receive the grateful smiles and glowing benedictions of innumerable tribes, saved by your benevolence, amidst the plaudits and greetings of admiring worlds? The event will decide and time will tell, whether an interesting race, plundered of their patrimonial inheritance, are also to be proscribed and exterminated; or allowed to live, to sojourn in the land of their fathers, and joyfully triumph in the knowledge of a Redeemer, under British sway.
There may be, even in the court of St. James, those that would ridicule the perusal of such a work as this; but angels will rejoice when they behold the daughter of Japheth in the north, with the diadem of empire upon her head, reading; and, while she reads, dropping a tear over the miseries of the descendents of Shem in the south.
TO THE QUEEN DOWAGER—AND THE ROYAL LINE OF HANOVER.
Madam,To individually address the members of a family whose name has been, for generations, associated with the glorious work of the Reformation, the destinies of the British empire, and the best interests of mankind, in order to interest them in the salvation of a recently discovered world, would be superfluous. The best wine flows from the grape with the gentlest pressure. The finest fruits require no force to gather them. In an appeal to the princes and princesses of the house of Brunswick, in a cause interesting to angels, neither embellishment nor argument is necessary. Australia, terrified at the sight of her species, fleeing before her spoilers, abandoning her very offspring, and bathed in tears, shall therefore herself relate her wrongs and sorrows. Listen to the sad tale. The story of her misfortunes, enough to melt a stone, cannot but command the sympathy of the generous—the feeling heart.
TO THE PEERS OF THE REALM.
Since the day of Runimede, your name has made the tyrant tremble, wherever the British flag was unfurled. Since the day on which the bishops walked to the Tower, at the command of a minion of the court of Rome—because they refused to pioneer the re-establishment of Popery, by proclaiming an act of toleration which they knew to be the forerunner of intolerance, tyranny, and persecution—the British constitution, under the shield of your protection, has been the watchword and the, retreat of the oppressed throughout the world.
Does a sense of whatever is noble, independent, honorable, and humane, still form the distinguishing characteristic of your order? Ye have sanctioned the expenditure of millions to rescue Africa from slavery. Will ye allow Australia to perish? Will ye suffer the British flag to be indelibly stained by the extermination of one of the most interesting races of the human family?
In trying to interest you in their salvation, I am pleading the cause of the Redeemer of Men. Can an appeal be made to you in vain, on behalf of Him who bled upon the cross, whom angels worship, and to whom ye owe your coronets? Impossible.
TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
When I find you wrangling with unprincipled demagogues, neglecting the affairs of the empire, and insulting the Supreme, by contending for the desecration of the Sabbath—that prolific source of every evil that constitutes a nation's shame—I doubt whether I ought to add to the indignities heaped upon Australia by appealing on her behalf to such an assembly. The constitution, in your hands, so far from being the palladium of virtue and freedom, has become the shield of vice and licentiousness. Ye have fallen from your dignity, and lost the estimation of the wise and the good. Instead of guarding the morals and the wealth of the realm, ye spend your time in catering to the vulgar and the vicious. Ye neglected the timely remedying of the evils incident to an increasing population, accumulating riches, and an advancing age, till a flood set in upon you, the waves of which, sporting with your puny efforts to still them, threaten to ingulf the kingdom in revolution. Ye have placed yourselves and the sacred deposit intrusted to your care by preceding generations at the mercy of a licentious mob, who, while they command your obedience, treat you with scorn and contempt. The glory has not yet departed from St. Stephen's; but the sacred cloud, retiring from the defiled interior, appears to be gathering round the dome, ready to take its flight from a people whose multiplying iniquities have almost doomed them to the vengeance of an insulted Deity. It lingers only while the righteous pray. Will nothing teach you wisdom? Are ye bent upon keeping the kingdom in a ferment on domestic concerns, till tranquillity be impossible? Are ye determined, instead of revering the Most High, obeying the oracles of Heaven, and maintaining purity of morals, to court the Roman harlot, to set up the Man of Sin, to nurse superstition, to encourage scepticism, and to sacrifice the rising generation to Moloch—by an unscriptural, atheistical, popish education, which will exercise its evil genius, not in enlightening the understanding, elevating the soul, and imbuing the mind with principles of virtue and useful knowledge, but merely in gilding ignorance, substituting letters for learning, impiety and anarchy for religion and liberty, and deluging the state and its imperial appendages with immorality—till, rampant with infidelity and polluted with vice in every department, the nation ripen for destruction?
This is strong language. But who that wishes Britain's weal can use mild words, when he sees her threatened with convulsion by the conduct of those who might have given her the command of Europe, remodelled her institutions with timely prudence, provided for her moral wants according to the precepts of Divine revelation, and made her—stern in virtue, smiling with grace, and playing with the thunder of her arsenals—a terror to tyranny and a blessing to the world.
The Deity has specially enjoined every human creature to search the Scriptures, without reserve or limit, expressly adding: "Thou shalt teach them to thy children." But the British Parliament say, in their system of education: Thou shalt not teach them, lest—lest what? lest we offend the Pope!—a foreign monk? an arch imposter!—and the interested supporters of his influence and authority in the British isles! O! Ye are men of renown! The friends of religion and liberty wish ye were still in the nursery; while the brainless, the worthless, and the profligate tell us that were we to die wisdom would die with you. Die? It is to be hoped she will live, when nothing of you remains, except the memory of the evils ye have inflicted upon the country by your blunders in legislation. Whence could have originated the maddening fit that sent you to Rome for canons and a rubric for the instruction of the rising generation? Was not Scotland before your eyes with a system of national education worthy of the imitation of all nations? Could ye learn nothing from her example? But I forget. My concern is with Australia and her wrongs.
Some of you, I am aware, blush at deeds which they cannot prevent; and, hoping that symptoms of compunction on the part of others, will indicate a return to better things, before threatening ruin overtake you, I venture one word upon a subject, paramount to the squabbles in which ye waste your time, and to all that ever yet engrossed your attention—if a word from a stranger may be heard, amidst the noise, the clamour, and the heat of party conflict, in which, to the disgrace of yourselves and the empire, ye are everlastingly engaged.
A resolution, proposed some years ago, to allow other states the right of mutual search, in order to induce them to agree to the extinction of the slave trade, passed the House with acclamation; ordering that the flag which waved triumphant on the ocean without a rival, even while the world was in arms, and in the sight of which no enemy dared to appear with impunity, should be lowered in the cause of humanity. Have I gained your attention, gentlemen? The unfurling of that flag in the southern hemisphere for the protection of adventurers, has become the signal for the extermination of nations!
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE SECRETARY
OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES.
There is no compact, no covenant of any kind, between the British Government and the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia. We have taken possession of the country on the simple ground that might is right. When the original owners of the soil, famishing with hunger and driven to desperation by the loss of the fish and the game on which they subsisted, chance in their wanderings to come upon a shepherd with a flock of sheep, being the stronger party, they kill him and help themselves to a little meat to satisfy the cravings of hunger. They are then, when apprehended, shot, or tried by a jury of their enemies and hanged—for what? for following the example we have set them, and acting on the principle that might is right.
But this is not all. Thousands and tens of thousands, the proceeds of the sale of Australian lands, are annually remitted to England, while the interests and the well-being of the Aboriginal inhabitants, whose property is thus seized and exclusively appropriated to the benefit of a strange people, are totally overlooked and forgotten. In plain English, it has been determined by the spoilers of a defenceless race, that the surplus of the spoil shall be annually set apart to enable swarm after swarm of adventurers from the shores of Britain to join the gang, for the purpose of carrying on the work of plunder. By what other term can the policy pursued towards Australia be designated? The sarcasm of the Roman, is but too applicable to those both at home and abroad who have enriched themselves by our colonial possessions in the Pacific, that, "if every man were to have his own, they would be obliged to return to the straw-built habitations of their forefathers." The very dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master's table; but not a crumb is allowed to the Australian. Of the thousands and tens of thousands, the annual proceeds of the sale of his lands, and the hundreds of thousands that are annually accumulating in private fortunes from the agriculture and the commerce of his country, not a single pound is appropriated to the improvement of his state in this world or his prospects in another. Robbed and wounded by the thieves among whom he has fallen, he is left bleeding in the bush and abandoned to his fate, unless by chance some Samaritan, wandering through the forest, should be moved with compassion at the sight of his misfortunes.
Throw aside for a moment, My Lord, the dispatches, letters, and papers which, from the colonial empire over which you preside, are, I am aware, continually pouring in upon you—a mountain of trash under which the table in Downing Street groans—reflect upon the sad condition of the Australian—it is a case of paramount importance—and think, whether a few thousand pounds out of the proceeds of the sales made by the Crown, might not in each colony, be annually set apart to ameliorate and improve the condition of a people whose lands are thus seized and sold for the benefit of others. This will not touch the revenues of the empire, nor the pockets of those who are ever ready to exclaim against taxation for any thing but their own selfish interest, or their whims. It will be a trifle, and but a trifle, from funds which belong to neither the Chancellor of the Exchequer nor the people; and which Her Majesty can, by a single word, reserve for the rightful owners, out of whose inheritance so much has been already taken to enrich Her Majesty's subjects.
Let it not be imagined for a moment that I am opposed to conquest, when justly provoked; or to colonization, when it can be carried into effect without injury to the original occupiers of the soil. British sway, notwithstanding the mal- administration with which it is sometimes accompanied, is, when absolute and properly administered, fraught with blessings great and many. The English standard is, to every country over which it waves, the ensign of deliverance from tyranny, injustice, and cruelty. As the friends of the human race, therefore, our conquests ought never to be relinquished; and the happiness, temporal and eternal, of the conquered or adopted nations, though it cannot be expected to be the primary, ought to be the ruling motive of all our colonizing proceedings. Nor is it necessary to the attainment of this grand object, or our own interests, to seize their uncultivated lands. We have no more right to do this, than the Sovereign has to take possession of the untilled lands of the nobility and gentry of the United Kingdom.
It is cruel to add to the misfortunes of the wretched. Savages are men, and therefore possessed of all the privileges that belong to man. To disregard these privileges, is to insult the supremacy of the Creator, from whom they emanate, and who never authorised any nation to invade those of another. When governments, therefore, or adventurers sanctioned by them, possess themselves of the patrimonial inheritance of the savage by force, and for no other reason than that of his inability to defend it, they rob their fellow-creature with a wantonness of cruelty which shows how little influence Christianity has yet gained, at the end of nearly two thousand years, over either the private or the national character of its European professors. When they take advantage of his ignorance and his necessities, acquire possession at a price far beneath its value, expose him thus defrauded to vice, and then leave him to perish by famine—a practice extensively acted upon I fear at this moment in New Zealand, to which adventurers are flocking like vultures to carrion—they commit an act of duplicity so infamous, that it is difficult to find in language a term sufficiently appropriate to its designation. Such aggressions, too, on nations who never invaded the inheritance of others, is the more reprehensible when we reflect that the difficulty of accomplishing all the good we wish to them and to ourselves, is easily surmounted. The Aboriginal inhabitants are ever ready to enter into treaty, and will readily part with their lands for a consideration, which, not bearing the stamp of swindling, but that of an honourable and a generous disposition, ought to be ample and sacredly reserved for the purpose of communicating to them a knowledge of revelation. Nor, to those who are influenced by no higher consideration, ought it to appear a light argument in favour of such a mode of proceeding, that it is as cheap as it is just and dignified. It is a thousand times less expensive than that which is marked by deceit and rapine, which, generating a deep sense of injury and a bitter desire of revenge, require an armed force to secure the ill-gotten wealth, and effect either the conquest or extermination of a people driven to madness by wrong and oppression.
Suffer no man, My Lord, to persuade you that indifference to this momentous subject will end auspiciously. Let Spain, now suffering for the cruelties she practised on the American branch of the family whose cause I plead—Spain, groaning under the deadly fruits of her inquisition, and bleeding at every pore during thirty years of internal war and revolution,—once, one of the most rich, powerful, and respected—now the most impoverished, weak, and contemptible of European nations, possessing not a remnant of her former grandeur and glory—nothing but her pride, her ignorance, depopulated cities and desolated fields—still cursed, too, with the infatuation of clinging to Rome, the promptness of her misdeeds and the authress of all her misfortunes—scowled by Heaven, become herself her own tormentor, writhing under the agonies of amputation in the loss of her colonial possessions, and presenting a picture—not yet indeed a full and perfect similitude, but one sufficiently admonitory to other states—of the misery she inflicted on the people she found beyond the Atlantic—let Spain, avaricious, cruel, and blood-thirsty Spain, with these bitter reminiscences of Mexico and Peru, her Corteses and her Pizarros, be a warning to the British ministry and the British people. Nations may, for a time, recklessly pursue schemes of spoliation, flattering themselves that they will escape consequences; but they indulge a vain hope. The eye of the Eternal is upon them. And though Justice, at the intercession of Mercy, may pause, till they have deliberately taken their iniquitous resolves, steeled their hearts against remonstrance, and committed themselves in their mad career, it will neither linger nor relent in the infliction of punishment; for the Omniscient has sternly and irrevocably decreed—it is the law of eternity—that as reward is the never-failing accompaniment of virtue, so certainly shall punishment follow in the wake of crime, even without the intervention of human tribunals. They who prefer the shedding of blood to a trifling expenditure in money, will ultimately find an ocean of the one and a mountain of the other insufficient to extricate them from the difficulties and troubles ever attendant on such a line of conduct. The mines of the Western world could not shield the spoilers from Divine displeasure. A violent policy cost Van Dieman's Land, in the course of a few months, at one period alone, nearly ₤30,000; and that under one of the best and ablest men that ever represented a sovereign. To remedy the error of his predecessors—in other words, to protect the settlers from being daily cut off by a people exasperated to revenge, and to save even a remnant of the natives from extermination—was found to be almost impossible. A kind and gentle policy, with one-fifth of the amount, not expended, but merely invested, and the proceeds annually applied to ameliorate the condition of those who had been plundered of their patrimonial inheritance, would have not only prevented that expense, but those scenes of murder which, continuing for years, have left an indelible stain on the annals of the early history of the colony.
The United States of North America acknowledge the right of the Aboriginal inhabitants to the soil; and, therefore, when they wish to enlarge their boundaries, they invariably acquire the additional territory by purchase; and, if I mistake not, at the same time make provision for the moral improvement of its original owners; thus conferring on them a double benefit. What a contrast to the policy of the British, who act the part of the assassin, and possess themselves of the lands they require by powder and ball. Bankrupt, as republican governments generally are, in benevolence, gratitude, morals, and public virtue, republicanism, in this instance, puts monarchy to the blush.
TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR OF NEW SOUTH WALES.
Her Majesty's colonies in these parts are at present all ruled by men of the most excellent disposition; but their time and talents are so occupied with the secular concerns of the people they govern, that a subject of the most momentous concern, imperatively enjoined by Christian duty, and deeply affecting our moral character as a nation, is almost entirely neglected. The report of your humanity, and your determination to protect the aboriginal inhabitants, so far as the laws of the empire permit, induce me to submit the following work to your perusal, in hope that it will rouse the energies of a mind so constituted, and that your government may be distinguished by some measure that will rise above the common puerilities of benevolence, with which men soothe their consciences and flatter their vanity—some measure fraught with mercy and kindness, suitable to the magnitude and the exingencies of the case—some measure that will make reparation to the insulted laws of heaven for our first violating the rights, and then trampling on the interests, of a deeply injured race, that will apply a prompt, decisive, and effectual remedy to the evils we have inflicted upon them, and that will bear inspection on that day when the conduct of princes and rulers will pass in review before the penetrating eyes of Deity amidst assembled worlds. Our brother's blood is upon our heads; and expiation ought to begin where the British flag was first stained with the guilt of a crime all but unpardonable, and committed against a people whose unprotected and sad condition, ought, instead of exciting our cupidity, to have commanded our commiseration.
Trusting that the name of the first Bishop of Australia will be associated with the salvation of its Aboriginal inhabitants, I take the liberty to calling your attention to this appeal on their behalf. I am an utter stranger to Your Lordship; but the zeal you have already shown in the cause of the heathen, is a proof that nothing is wanting on your part, but means, to effect every thing that scriptural duty enjoins and Christian love would suggest, for this large and set portion of your diocese.
TO THE PEOPLE OF NEW SOUTH WALES.
On committing this appeal to the press, I learn that a beginning has been made in the work of mercy to Australia; and that about £4000 is now set apart for the protection of the Aboriginal inhabitants. It is gratifying to witness the manifestation of a disposition so humane on the part of His Excellency and the Bishop of the Diocese, with whom I believe an attempt to ameliorate their condition was made prior to His Excellency's arrival. Far be it from me to undervalue a boon originating in the best of motives, and granted with the best intentions. But, knowing that little efforts in the cause of humanity, whether made by ourselves or others, often lull the conscience to sleep, and gender a self complacency which, clogging the wheels of benevolence, relaxes our for the objects of our charity, at the very time when their condition calls for our most strenuous exertions, I venture one or two remarks.
At length, then, after the lapse of half a century, when one generation, despised, neglected, and trampled upon, has passed away, and part of another been slain, a crumb is allowed to fall from the richly-furnished table of the colonists to the Aboriginal inhabitants. The colonists, did I say? I am in error. It falls, not from their board, but from that of Her Majesty's Treasury—a table annually spread, not to feast the poor, ousted, famishing owners of the soil whence its dainties spring, but the colonists themselves, rolling in wealth and affluence at their expense, through the nursing indulgence of the parent state.
Four thousand pounds, a crumb! Yes. Out of a fund amounting to nearly half a million annually, it is but a crumb, and a very little crumb. If levied by cessment, it would not amount to sixpence each person, in a community most of whom are worth thousands, tens, and hundreds of thousands. The registered transactions in mercantile affairs alone, at only four of the Banks of the capital, amount, according to the official quarterly returns, to upwards of ten millions per annum; independently of nearly half a million of specie lying dormant. Here I cannot be in error; but the remarkable—to some perhaps incredible—fact is confirmed by additional evidence. If the revenue of a country, especially when lightly taxed, be any criterion of its prosperity, the British, since their arrival in Australia, have amassed riches to the amount of hundreds of millions. The sum total of their possessions in houses, lands, stock, shipping, fisheries, and commerce, justly estimated, will certainly equal—probably exceed—that of the national debt, forming a distinct creation of property in addition to the wealth of the empire. Four thousand pounds out of millions! Not one farthing of the sum, however, is from the colonists. Taken out of moneys arising almost entirely from the sale of land and a duty on imported spirits—that pestilent commodity of pure unmingled poison to the morals of a community—it comes out of neither their current income, nor the wealth they have acquired, great as it is, but from funds which are a mere index of its vast and progressive accumulation. Even if it did, ₤4000 out of millions, the produce of the lands of which ye have dispossessed the Aboriginal inhabitants, thrown to them at the end of half a century, to protect them from being murdered by your own servants, would afford you but little ground for boasting of your liberality. Say, does not the very thought make you blush? especially when placed beside the immense sums expended on yourselves, or hoarded up to effect perhaps the moral ruin of your offspring? Fulness of bread was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Still, better this than nothing; and better late than never. It is highly honourable to His Excellency, as well as the members of the Council who seconded the benevolent wishes of Bishop Broughton; and I record the fact with pleasure. At the same time it must be remembered that this sum will go but a very little way towards the protection, and still less towards the moral improvement of the Aboriginal inhabitants within the colony. What then is to become of the innumerable and yet unknown tribes of the interior? Are they, sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, to be neglected till, surprised by the striding march of colonization, they perish by the blast of European morals, or be exterminated by the powder and ball of unprincipled adventurers, aided perhaps by the police, the military, and those bearing Her Majesty's commission. To suppose, whatever may be the disposition of the representatives of the Sovereign, that colonial governments, hampered as they are between orders from home on the one hand, and clamour in the colonies on the other, will ever grant funds adequate either to the urgency or the magnitude of the object, would betray great ignorance of human nature. The cause, however, is that of the Most High; and he will yet say to Australia, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come." Nor are the means difficult of attainment. There is a way in which funds may be raised in abundance, independently of any charge whatever on the revenues of the State. The Government, too, without being at any expense, can furnish facilities of the greatest importance; for which those who have the salvation of the southern hemisphere at heart, will feel deeply grateful. Assistance in such a cause, kindly, promptly, and liberally rendered, will command the benedictions of generations yet unborn.
Sydney, July 30, 1839.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES.
The following is the leading article in The Herald of this morning, one of the most widely circulated, and, in other respects, one of the best conducted papers in the colony.
Should the principles it maintains and the policy it urges upon the community, be acted upon, the work of extermination will be neither slow nor doubtful; and Australia, bereaved of her children, may sit down in silent sorrow till the sun, announcing the approach of the Judge of quick and dead, put on habiliments of mourning, and set to rise no more on a guilty world.
Sydney, September 18, 1839.
"By a letter in another column our readers will be made acquainted with still further facts in corroboration of the opinion which every sane man holds—namely, that nothing but the strong hand will prove effectual in subduing the murderous black cannibals of this country. Grown still more daring and reckless, from impunity, they are, it seems, becoming a terror to the settlers and their servants in distant parts of the colony. The Government must do something more than merely conciliate, or the settlers must do it. Supposing that a gang of bushrangers was to attack the house of a settler, put him and his family in fear, and destroy or carry off his property—would not such settler be fully justified in killing the ruffians if he could? Of course he would. Then upon what principle is it that black savages, committing similar offences, may not be treated after a similar fashion? 'Answer that,' ye canting hypocrites, who are virtually the instigators, because ye are actually the defenders of savage outrage; not only in this, but also in other colonies. At the Cape, these pests abetted the savages until the colonists were driven from their homes—until life and property, on the borders of the colony have become not worth a 'pin's fee.' Do their worthy compeers in New South Wales desire to 'do likewise?' The shepherd, the stockman, or the settlers' property is not safe for an instant; and yet, the Government, instead of arming the settlers and their servants, send a cargo of tomahawks and blankets, as presents to the murderous savages! Let the settlers—aye, and their assigned servants, too—rise up as one man in determined opposition to such a system. With respect to the servants, no magistrate would dare to order a man to be punished for refusing to be placed in a situation, in which he would be in momentary danger of losing his life from the blow of a club, or the thrust of a spear. No master could justly complain of a servant for such refusal; because the men, even if armed, fear to fire upon the savages, in dread of being hanged for protecting their own lives or their masters' property. Here is a pretty state of things! In May last, Lord John Russell wrote to the magistrates of the English counties, acquainting them that the Government was willing to supply arms to all peaceably disposed persons, desirous of arming themselves into associations for mutual protection against the designs of the mad-brained anarchists who are endeavouring to excite a revolution in England. When that offer was nade, no overt act had been committed by the disturbers of the public peace; yet, in this colony—where the most treacherous murders and robberies are daily committed by savages, the Government not only does not arm the settlers and their servants, but deals out threats of vengeance to them, and tomahawks and blankets to the blacks! We say that the settlers ought not, and will not endure this. Then, with respect to those humbug appointments—the black Protectors—what effect have they had in suppressing the outrages of their interesting protegés? What have they done? What are they doing? We said, from the first, that the creation of such officers as 'Protectors of Blacks' was nothing but a Whig job the only effect of which would be that of imposing additional expense upon the colony. The result has shown that we were right. These 'Protectors' have not only proved inefficient, but they have, also, in some instances, proved mischievous. One of them, at the southward, is doing nothing whatever, except—as we are well informed—granting pernission to convicts to be at large for their own benefit. Of course, these favours are not undeserved by the recipients; but as the public do not comprehend the right of a 'Protector of the Blacks' to grant tickets-of-leave, it would be as well if this matter was explained. Another 'Protector,' to the northward, appears to be ingeniously attempting to make the outrages of the blacks a source of individual gain; by intimidating the settlers at a distance with reports of these outrages, and then offering to purchase their cattle? That is certainly, a very ingenious device; but we apprehend it is not for the exercise of such ingenuity that the settlers are to pay the salaries of 'Protectors of the Blacks'—some of whom do not even try to do any good, as they are constantly absent from their respective stations, at Sydney or elsewhere. The Government must do something in this matter, or the settlers will."
The following narrative of a scene which recently occurred on the Orawaldo, will form a fair comment on the foregoing article. The account, which, it appears, has found its way beyond the shores of Australia, I copy from a re-publication of the revolting deed in The Monitor of this morning. For what reason it is re-published, does not appear; but, having caught my eye, it shall occupy a place in the page of history, where it will remain an indelible stain on the memory of every British ministry intrusted with the administration of affairs since we began to lay the foundation of sovereign command in the South; and who, whether Tory, Whig, or Radical, seem to keep to the one policy of restoring the Church of Rome to life and animation out of the sweepings of our jails, pampering her into wealth and power by donations and stipends, and permitting an interesting people to be immolated to make room for the establishment of her dominion and the spread of her abominations in a new world. Thinking the blessing of one Ireland not enough for the empire, they seem anxious to create another in every one of our colonial possessions. The emissaries of Papal influence therefore throughout the kingdom, taking advantage of the policy of our simpleton legislators, cannot do better than fill the jails with the millions they have demoralized as fast as these receptacles of crime can be emptied. The British government engage, at the expense of the British people, to find them a free passage to one of the finest countries upon earth, and then provide salaries for as many priests as His Holiness—to use the appellation by which he is blasphemously designated—chooses to appoint, and over whom they dare not exercise the least control. Do they not deserve the rank of Cardinals and the honour of canonization! The jails of Britain are thus converted into colleges —excellent and effective auxiliaries of that at Rome! And for this England is to pay and Australia to bleed! The innocent and unoffending children of the latter, placed at the mercy, are to fall by the hands of our very criminals. Admirable philanthropy! Splendid legislation!
And this is the policy of a wise, a humane, and an enlightened people! Could the most unprincipled democrat exhibit more folly? Could the most barbarian despot practise greater cruelty? Verily the British cabinet, in every administration, must be Solons.
Sydney, September 30, 1839.
ATROCIOUS MASSACRE OF THIRTY NATIVES OF NEW SOUTH WALES.
"Letters and papers which have just arrived, furnish us with accounts of a series of as cold-blooded and heartless murders as ever stained the annals of crime in any country, however barbarous. What renders these offences still more revolting, is, that they were perpetrated by twelve or thirteen of our own countrymen, and, apparently without the least provocation. The names of seven of these monsters in human shape were Chas. Kilmaister, Wm. Hawkins, James Perry, Edward Foley, Jas. Cates, John Russell, and John Johnson, all convicts. They had been assigned as stockmen or shepherds to some of the settlers in the interior. In the month of June last these ruffians, influenced or induced by what motive has not been discovered, beyond a determination to extirpate the unhappy natives, set out on horseback, in pursuit of their hapless victims. They were traced in their progress, inquiring after blacks, and at last arrived at a hut near the Orawaldo, commonly called the Big River, beyond Liverpool Plains, accompanied by Kilmaister. Here they discovered a little tribe of about thirty natives, men, women, and children, including babes at their mothers' breasts,congregated in the bush unsuspicious of danger and unconscious of offence. This was on Sunday. They immediately approached their victims, who, terrified at their manner, ran into Kilmaister's hut crying for protection; but they appealed to hearts of stone, who, having caught them as it were in a trap, dismounted, followed them into the hut, and, despite of their entreaties, tied them together with a rope. When all were thus secured, one end of the rope was tied round the body of the foremost of the murderers, who, having mounted his horse, led the way, dragging the terrified group after him, while his infamous companions guarded them on all sides. Onward they were dragged till a fitting place in the bush was reached, when the work of slaughter commenced, and, unresisting, were these hapless wretches, one after the other, brutally butchered. Fathers, and mothers, and children, fell before the previously sharpened swords of these self-appointed executioners, till all lay a lifeless mass in death, clinging to each other with the throes of natural affection. But one shot was fired, so that it was presumed one only perished by fire-arms. The precise number thus immolated has not been accurately ascertained, but it is computed that not less than thirty lay stretched on the ensanguined earth. The demon butchers then placed the bodies in a heap, kindled an immense fire over them, and thus endeavoured to destroy the evidence of their unheard-of brutality. The eye of providence, however, was not to be thus thwarted; and, although for a time these miscreants imagined they had effectually disguised their horrible work, circumstances led to their detection and apprehension. Birds of prey were seen hovering about the spot where the unconsumed remains yet existed. Stockmen in search of their strayed cattle were attracted to the locality, supposing they should find their carcasses. In this way it was that the ribs, jaw-bones, half-burnt skulls, and other portions of human skeletons were found, while symptoms of the conflagration in the vicinity were likewise detected. This led to inquiry, and ultimately to a discovery of the horrible truth. The place was fifty miles from the nearest police station. The whole of the villains were apprehended, and their own admissions, and conduct previous and subsequent to the horrid work, added to a chain of circumstantial evidence, left no doubt of their guilt. It chanced, too, that on the night previous to the murders a heavy rain had fallen, and traces were thus discovered of horses' feet, as well as of the naked feet of the wretched natives on the way to the field of death. Every possible pains were taken to save these monsters from condign punishment—subscriptions were made for their defence, and counsel retained, but in vain. Their guilt was established beyond a doubt, and Sir George Gipps suffered the law to take its course.
It appears from The Colonial Gazette of the 19th of June, that the public lands in the colonies—meaning I presume those belonging to the Aboriginal inhabitants, for there are no other—have been pronounced by Mr. Ward in the House of Commons, "the birthright of every British subject—an inheritance—a trust which the government is bound to administer for the public good!" When or how did the lands of foreign nations become the birthright and inheritance of the people of the British isles? Never did a more iniquitous declaration issue from the Vatican in the dark ages, when his holiness was in the habit of granting to whomsoever he thought proper, and resuming at pleasure, all countries discovered and undiscovered on the habitable globe. I rejoice that the schoolmaster is abroad; but it will damp my pleasure not a little, if the Pope, Voltaire, and Tom Paine, are to be the professors of the university in which he qualifies himself for office. The march of intellect, is a fine, a captivating expression. It is enough to fire the world with enthusiasm. But if its fruit is to be plunder, it will end not in joy but in sorrow, and prove an illusion fraught wth misery to millions.
The House, it seems, approved of the marauding declaration, differing with the honorable member only as to the mode of disposing of the spoil. One step more and we gain the revolutionary precipice—an equal division of property throughout the empire. Nothing will then be wanted but Robespierres and guillotines to dispose of the lawful proprietors. In this there will be no difficulty. It appears from the papers of this morning that Robespierres in full training are now carrying on the work of murder here and ridding themselves of the rightful owners of the soil the Aboriginal inhabitants, not by the guillotine but by arsenic. After seizing the country, they create a famine by the destruction of the game, and then complete the work of extermination by administering poison to the victims of their avarice. This information I think it also my duty to communicate to your lordship. How infamous is our conduct in the Southern hemisphere. We take forcible possession of Australia and slay her inhabitants. Polynesia, to terminate the horrors of internal war and escape foreign aggression, earnestly solicits the protection of the British flag, and is refused. The interests of our manufactures, shipping, commerce, and the opportunity of establishing an empire in the Pacific, teeming with benefits to mankind, are all disregarded, and the people are either murdered or cruelly exposed to the buccaneering attacks of that Jesuitical production of the French revolution Louis Philip. An upstart who is indebted to England for his life, his crown, and his kingdom, openly insults her with impunity by making war upon her very missions to the heathen. Well did the, Most High say: "By me kings reign, and princes decree justice;" for when left to themselves, or abandoned to the counsel of the wisest of their subjects, they err lamentably. Revelation is set at nought and nations bleed.
Is there to be no end to the wrongs inflicted upon Australia? Is there to be no change in the blundering policy of the British Cabinet? Is the mistress of the ocean, with the empire of India and the destinies of the world in her hand, to be forever doomed to an imbecile ministry?Sydney, Nov. 8, 1839.
You live probably at the rate of £50, £500, or £1000 per annum; or you spend £500, £10,000, or £50,000 per annum. The writer, therefore, in asking you to buy a copy of this appeal, the profits of which are to be devoted to the cause he pleads, is only soliciting one of he least of the crumbs that fall from your table, on behalf of Him who is daily loading it with all the luxuries of life. Perhaps you are heaping up riches to be squandered in dissipation by others when you are gone to another world, to account for the disposition you made of your wealth, as well as your time and every other talent entrusted to your care, in this. In a dying hour or at the day of judgment, you may bitterly repent of the manner in which you now spend your money; but the devoting of a few hundred or a few thousand pounds of it to the service of Him that died to rescue you from endless woe, will form no source of regret to you, either at the close of life or the termination of time—that solemn period that will usher in the interesting, awful, and stirring scenes of eternity.
The writer is determined to live on bread and water till the salvation of Australia be accomplished. Assist him in the great work, if you can; but waste not your time in trying to gratify a vain curiosity by idle conjectures respecting his name. Let it suffice that you hear "The voice of one crying in the 'Australian' wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
- Colonel Arthur.
- I find from the estimates for this year, that the grant, now increased to ₤5000, is entirely from the land fund, and that a small portion of it is appropriated to one or two missions recently attempted within the colony.
Sydney, September 9, 1889.
|This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.|