Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/147

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of these documents were published in the journals of the day, and to every impartial mind the disclosures which they make in reference to the atrocities which had been for some time committed against the aborigines afford a satisfactory elucidation of the causes which led to the retaliatory warfare which the latter subsequently waged. An Assistant-Protector thus writes to Mr. Robinson, the chief of the Protectorate:—"On the 9th March (1841) I proceeded to the Pyrenees (Victoria) to investigate the circumstances connected with the slaughter of several aborigines by a Mr. F—. On the 9th and 10th I fell in with several parties of natives. From one of these I obtained some distressing statements as to the slaughter of the blacks. They gave me the names of seven individuals shot by Mr. F— within the last six months. I found, however, no legal evidence attainable." The Chief Protector himself writes, in reference to the Port Phillip blacks: —

"The aboriginal natives of Portland Bay and Western Port districts are rapidly decreasing. Appalling collisions have already happened between the white and aboriginal inhabitants; and, although instances may have transpired where natives have been the aggressors, yet it will be found that the majority originated with Europeans. The aboriginal natives known to have been destroyed are many; and if the testimony of natives be admissible, the amount would be great indeed." An Assistant-Protector, writing under date 26th February, 1842, says:—"I have the