Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/42

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


dismay, and terror. Those in the Council who advocated hostilities, now resumed their influence; a price was again set on the head of Yagan; his father Midjegoorong was taken and shot in the midst of the capital; and others were doomed by proclamation to a similar fate.

These sanguinary proceedings, however, though applauded by a certain class, were far from being universally approved. Many were silent; but some of the most respectable of the settlers, loudly expressed their disapprobation. Even the common people showed in their conduct towards Yagan, their sense of the wrongs inflicted upon the Aboriginal inhabitants. The following is far from being a solitary instance. Pursued by the police and the soldiers in his own district, he was compelled to take refuge on the Swan in the district of Weeup. On my saying to one of the servants in a farming establishment, with whom he had passed the preceding day, "Were you not tempted by the government reward of £30, to give information and have him apprehended," he replied: "No; nor would ten times the amount induce me to be accessory to his death."

About this time he paid a visit to a farm on the Swan for the purpose of ascertaining whether his father Midjegoorong was dead or alive. The Gazette thus relates the occurrence:—

"Midjegoorong's wives and children were marked in a peculiar manner about the face, in white and red streaks, 'the humble trappings of their woe;' for the absence or death of their father and chief. they were extremely inquisitive respecting his fate. Their apprehensions, however, were silenced by one of the servants leading them to understand that he was sent to Carnac, in a similar manner to that in which Yagan and other natives were confined a short time ago. They took their departure, visiting the other settlers and exhibiting the fullest confidence in them, in happy ignorance of the steps which had been taken. The blind, however, has since been removed from their eyes. Mr. Shaw of the Upper Swan having imprudently disclosed to Yagan himself on the following day that Midjegoorong had been shot at Perth. His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor, who happened casually to be near the residence of Mr. Shaw, hearing the fact, and sensible of the consequences of such a communication to Yagan, instantly proceeded to inquire into the truth of the report; and, finding it confirmed, hurried down to Perth, where immediate arrangements were made to increase the military force as far as practicable in that neighbourhood."

The following account of an interview with this distinguished chief, is from the pen of the Attorney-General, the Honourable G. F. Moore.