Page:Last of the tasmanians.djvu/115

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THE LAST OF THE TASMANIANS.

Perhaps many people were not surprised that, within, five weeks of the pacific and agreeable notice, one so opposite in principle and feeling should be issued, giving the first announcement of the intention of Government to raise the whole of the white inhabitants against the sanguinary tribes!

It was as a sort of counter-proclamation, that an address from the Clyde District was, in March 1830, presented to the Lieut.-Governor, acknowledging the recent Order, and its reference to humane feelings. The colonists therein announce it as their opinion that "any attempt to seek the friendship of the Blacks, in their present too evidently hostile bearing, will be construed by them, in their ignorance, to the want of power on the part of the Whites to compel submission, and consequently will encourage them to become every day more audacious, and embolden them not to attack the solitary and helpless individual only, but, in formidable bodies, to march into the populous settlements with their firebrands in one hand and their unerring and deadly weapons of warfare in the other.

"We do not yield to any set of men our innate feelings of humanity, and to none would it impart more heartfelt joy to see the Aborigines brought into terms of friendly intercourse than to us. But, situated as we are in the interior, and having had the opportunity, either personally or through the medium of others, of knowing the treacherous disposition of these Natives, and of experiencing by their daily atrocities their deep-rooted enmity towards us colonists, viewing us as intruders, we altogether despair of their being induced to receive our offers of friendship."

The address concludes with a request for more Government assistance, and an appeal for the removal of the tax on dogs, because of their utility at the present crisis.

In this document we have a just view of the sentiments of the colonial settlers. They felt the burden, and cried out. Whatever the cause of the war, they were the immediate sufferers. While plans were suggested, and Government Orders issued, their homesteads were in hourly danger, and their very lives in jeopardy. It was natural for them to deride a little bitterly the philosophical calmness of the dweller in town, and sneer at the philanthropic gazette of authority. Whatever hope of conciliation might be cherished by Government, they