Page:Last of the tasmanians.djvu/147

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120
THE LAST OF THE TASMANIANS.
adult aboriginal native, and two pounds for every child, who shall be captured and delivered at any of the Police Stations.

"It surely is not too much to expect, that in every district the most respectable inhabitants will forthwith confer together upon the measures most desirable for their common security, and that they will act up to them with vigour and perseverance.

"His Excellency will, within a limited period, make a tour through the districts, to ascertain personally the individual effort which is made to give full effect to the measures which he now expects to be universally adopted.

"The repeated orders which have been put forth by this Government must convey the idea out of the colony that there exists a horde of savages in Van Diemen's Land, whose prowess is equal to their revengeful feelings, whereas every settler must be conscious that his foe consists of an inconsiderable number of a very feeble race, not possessing physical strength, and quite undistinguishable by personal courage, but who are undoubtedly more and more formidable from the success which has hitherto attended their unexpected and sudden attacks upon unarmed persons, almost defenceless.

"The Lieutenant-Governor feels assured that it is not necessary to repeat the strong injunction which the Government has invariably pressed upon the community generally, as well as upon the parties employed, more particularly, that every degree of humanity should be exercised toward the aboriginal natives, which is consistent with the overruling necessity of expelling them from the settled districts.

"By His Excellency's command,

"J. Burnett."

The murder of Captain Thomas and his overseer, Mr. Parker, excited much interest in 1831. Captain Thomas was agent for the Van Diemen's Land Company's Establishment, and was well known to the Port Sorell tribe of his neighbourhood. The bodies of both gentlemen were found about a fortnight after they had been speared to death. The jury, at the inquest, returned this verdict: "We find that Bartholomew Boyle, Thomas and James Parker have been treacherously murdered by the three black Natives now in custody, aided and assisted by the residue of the tribe to which they belonged, known by the name of the Big River tribe, during the most friendly intercourse, whilst endeavouring to carry into effect the conciliatory measures recommended by the Government." The only evidence procured was that of a native woman, who professed to have been present at the murder.