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You can view copies of Newspapers for research at TROVE Australia, a division of the National Library of Australia.
Newspaper articles - R. STOTT  - requires an index and editing into multiple pages but is useful for research.
A.    Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Sat 26 April 1884 p3. "Cruise of the Fleetwing"
B.    Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Sat 24 May 1884 p3 "Law Courts. Police Court - Palmerton"
C.    Northern Territory Times & Gazette
D.    Northern Territory Times & Gazette
E.    Northern Territory Times & Gazette
F.    Northern Territory Times & Gazette
G.    Northern Territory Times & Gazette
H.    Northern Territory Times & Gazette
I.    Northern Territory Times & Gazette
 The articles below need to be put onto individual pages, formated and linked via the article index above.  Perhaps a short synopsis could be added. 

NY Times & Gazette Sat 14 June 1884 p1




(Before T. K. Pater, Esq., S.M).

Beduboo was charged with being drunk in Smith-street.

A. B. Cox, sworn, said: Was on duty on Saturday last; saw defendant in Smith-street ; he was drunk ; I arrested him for being drunk.

Cross examined by Mr. Beresford : He was on the edge of the verandah at Brown's Hotel sitting on the bench ; about a quarter to six in the evening ; his feet were hanging over the verandah ; he was making no noise and was perfectly quiet; took him in custody in consequence of what I heard ; other persons were present sitting on a bench.

James Foster Smith, sworn, said: Was on duty on Saturday at 20 minutes past five.

Constable Stott, sworn, said: Was on duty at the station when defendant was brought in ; he was drunk ; he might have been fit to take care of himself if left alone.

Constable Cox, recalled: Defendant was quiet.

J. T. Ball, storekeeper, sworn, said : I know the prisoner ; saw him Saturday evening about twenty minutes to six ; he was in my store ; he was not drunk ; he walked in his natural way. 

G. Dunbar, diver, sworn, said : I know defendant ; was at Bull's store with him about half-past five ; he was sober I went from the store to Mr. Brown's Hotel ; he   had not drink there, but got a cigar ; he was perfectly quiet ; was present when he was arrested by Cox ; he asked him what boat he belonged to ; he said " the Bulldog;" Cox said "You are drunk." defendant said " I am not ;" he was not drunk.

T. Mathieson, laborer, sworn, said : I was standing on the verandah of Brown's Hotel about ten minutes to six on Saturday evening talking to G. Dunbar ; I saw prisoner get a cigar from Mr. Brown ; he had nothing to drink ; he sat down smoking; Í never heard him open his mouth; Constable Cox came up and seemed to recognise him ; defendant said " I belong to Bulldog ;" Cox said " You had better take care or you will go where that man did ;" defendant said ." No fear,   me no get ever drunk like that man ;" Cox said " I think you are drunk now ;" next saw Cox taking him away.

J. A. V. Brown, sworn, said : Remember last Saturday evening ; about half past five prisoner asked for a cigar ; he was quiet, sober, and capable of taking care of himself.

E. Bowyer, sworn, said : I am a baker ; was within a few yards of Constable Cox ; prisoner was quite sober ; know prisoner by sight ; he always seems to limp.

Antonio Charles, sworn, said : Was at Brown's Hotel about ten minutes to six on Saturday evening I saw prisoner there ; he was quite sober.

Case dismissed.


(Before T. K. Pater, Esq., S.M).

G. Cross was brought up on remand with inflicting grievous bodily harm on C.Fiji.

J. Godet, sworn, said : I am a diver on board the Torquoise ; I went on board the Bulldog on the night of 26th May last with George Dunbar; there was a row between Dunbar and Wilson, and Dunbar knocked Wilson overboard ; I saw a piece of firewood and a tomahawk     descend in the direction of G. Dunbar, and following with my eyes the motion of the tomahawk back, I saw G. Cross holding it in a position as though he was going to deal a second blow ; I jumped in front of him to stop the blow, and before I had a chance of doing anything I received a blow and heard the man use the words "Take that;" the blow staggered me; do not recognise the tiller produced as that used on the occasion.

Cross-examined by Mr. Herbert: Did not see Charlie Fiji receive the cut. 

Prisoner was committed for trial at the Circuit Court to be held in July next.

George Cross was brought up on remand for causing grievous bodily harm to J. Godet.

John Godet, diver on board the lugger Turquoise, sworn, said : On night of 26th May last I went on board my boat Turquoise; when I got there I found my lubra (Poider) was missing ; from what I heard I went on board the Bulldog to bring her away ; I went to the cabin ; I struck a light and saw my lubra and Wilson's wife lying in bed together ; Í spoke to my lubra and told her to come away ; she refused to come ; Wilson's wife took her hand to take her away from me ; I told her I would give her a slap or her husband either if they interfered with my woman ; Wilson's wife called out for her husband ; my woman then consented to go to my boat if I did not whip her ; I said I would not and she went into the dingy ; just as I was about to leave I saw Wilson coming ; I stopped to have a talk with him about my lubra ; when the dingy got alongside I saw Wilson, G. Cross, Charley Fiji, and another man I do not know ; I then asked Wilson what he meant by harbouring my lubra on his boat ; G. Cross told Wilson if he was a man he would take the lubra on board ; I asked Wilson if he meant to take the lubra from me ; he said " Yes ;" Cross then chimed in and said I could go and fetch G. Dunbar if I liked ; I then turned round to him and said I did not know     him and what business had he to meddle     with my private affairs, and that for his insults I would give him a thrashing when I met him ashore ; I then left the Bulldog resolving to come ashore for a policeman , prisoner said, " go for Dunbar" and I went on board the Ruby,     and Dunbar came with me to my own boat ; I there look the woman's bundle, and blew the light out in the cabin ; from there we went to the Bulldog, and went on board ; Dunbar then said, " who is the man that wants me." Wilson answered, "nobody sent for you." Í saw prisoner and said, " here is the man who sent for you " ; prisoner said, " I did not send for you " ; I then stood back against the rigging ; I heard Dunbar say to Wilson, "what do you want with the man's lubra here ; why don't you give her up " ; Wilson said, «I'm damned if I do"; Dunbar then said something to him about his wife's character ; Wilson called Dun bar, a son of whore ; Dunbar then struck Wilson, who fell overboard ; I then saw a tomahawk aimed in the direction of Dunbar's head ; the man was G. Cross who held the tomahawk ; Í said you whore you have a tomahawk ; I then received a blow, and heard the words, " take that " ; the blow staggered me a little ; when I came to my senses, I saw Cross with the tomahawk holding it above me in a threatening attitude about five feet from me ; I then drew the pistol I had and shot prisoner in the left arm ; he yelled and ran forward ; I was still stooping in the same position the blow left me in, when Dunbar took me and said, " we'll go ashore and report the case " ; I said, " we shall have to hurry up, because my brains were knocked out.

By the Court : the pistol produced is the one I used ; I bought it P. R. Allen's ; I was wounded in the forehead ; I was wearing the hat produced ; the cut in the hat was done by the blow ; I should not have used the pistol; if I had not been struck ; I had the pistol with me when I went to the boat ; I went to my boat the second time to get the bundle of my lubra's ; I did not move one step after I was struck, the blood was streaming. 


By Mr. Herbert : I am a British West Indianman ; Poider is a Queensland native ; she has been living with me ; I am not married ; when I came back with Dunbar, Wilson said in answer to me, that Poider could go in the morning if she liked ; I did not threaten to shoot Cross ; did not hear Dunbar use any strong language, he spoke out boldly ; never saw a knuckleduster on board ; cannot say if Dunbar had one ; don't, know where Dunbar struck Wilson; Î did not see Wilson1 thrown into the water a second time ; the pistol was in my pocket when I was struck.

Poider, lubra, cautioned ; I live on board Turquoise ; I come from Johnny's boat, and go on Wilson's boat, and stopped with Wilson's wife ; Johnny come and see me there, he call me come on ; Wilson's wife sing out for Wilson ; Johnny hit me and I sing out; I frightened; Wilson come from ‘nother boat ; I got into Johnny's boat, and another dingy with Wilson come, alongside ; Johnny was taking me away; I wanted to go with him ; Cross say, " come up"; I say, "no" I was pulled up into the cabin ; I heard prisoner say, " supposing he come back, I cut his head.”

By Mr. Herbert : I saw Wilson's wife yesterday in Brown's hotel ; we speak all about case ; Mr. Herbert then asked her the following question, " Did you not say to Mary Wilson at Brown's hotel yester- day, that I tell the court that George cut Johnny on the head, because then he go, and I go along my own country." Miss Poider looked aghast ; but answered not ; she seemed to think that Mr. Herbert was talking some foreign language.

After hearing evidence for the defence, the prisoner was committed for trial at the next Circuit Court.


D. Sullivan was summonsed by Ahmet Jara; for £13 14s. being nine months' wages.

Defendant admitted engagement of plaintiff by Captain Redell, and that he is Redell's agent; Ahmet Jara : said, Í claim £13 14s, for wages ; I have received £1 at Port Darwin, and £3 and tobacco and clothes at Thursday island.R. D. Beresford, sworn : said; I went on board the Dairymaid on the 6th inst. and saw Capt; Sullivan, he said he did not want the man back; as he had engaged another man.

Verdict for plaintiff for £6, and £3 7s. costs;

Moon Wee was charged with keeping a gambling house and Çhe An Ket, Sudo Chong, Ah Chow, A h Loy, Leung C'hung Ah Chung, Ah Fook, Ah Saun, Ah Cheong, Ah Lam, Ah Fong, Ah Hup, Ah Wooi and Ah Haw, were charged with aiding and abetting.






Ah Ket, for prosecution, sworn : said, Moon Wee lives at Fan Tan shop, China- town ; I saw about 14 men playing ; the prisoners were playing ; knew them before ; Ah Wooi was doing nothing ; reported their playing to police ; I went back with police ; the prisoner shut the door and run.

By Mr. Herbert : No one sent me, I go to look myself ; never been inside Moon Wee's shop; have played Fan Tan six months ago ; Ah Tong is a mason ; Ah Chin was banker, and Ah Chow counting ; Ah Chow once put me in goal ; Constable Smith, Stott, Cox, and myself, went to catch the men playing ; about 40 men were present when I went first time ; all the prisoners were there the second time.

To the court : Went into fan tan shop, and saw the men playing before going to the police.

To Mr. Beresford : Ah Wooi was putting money on the table ; Policeman Smith took the counters.

James Foster Smith, Mounted Con- stable, sworn : said, did not send Ah Kit; laid an information about half-past four : arrested three men without a warrant.

The magistrate dismissed the case, and commented strongly on the action of Constable Smith, saying he had committed an illegal action in arresting the three men without a warrant.

NT Times & Gazette Saturday 12 July 1884




(Before His Honor Commissioner Pater and Juries of Six.)


Boon and Serrano were charged with having on the 19th day of June, feloniously assaulted Ah Sam with a revolver, and robbed him of a fishing net, of the value of £10.

Prisoner pleaded not guilty.

Mounted Constable Smith was sworn, in as interpreter for Serrano.





Mr, Herbert prosecuted, and after briefly opening the case, called, Ah Sam, fisherman, living at Port Darwin, who deposed : Knew prisoners ; remembered 4 o'clock on the afternoon 19th June last ; he was fishing ; anchored near Shell Island ; at a little after 5 o'clock ; there were two other men in the boat, Ah Gan and Ah Look ; after he anchored he saw a boat containing prisoners who went to him ; that was at half-past 5 ; Boon spoke to him, but he did not understand ; he took the fishing net produced ; the value of the net was £10 ; he (witness) caught hold of the net and so did Boon ; witness would not let it go, and Boon threatened him with a pistol ; he then let go because he was frightened ; prisoner Serrano assisted prisoner Boon to put the net in the dingy ; they then went away ; when he (witness) arrived in Palmerston he re- ported the matter to the police ; he saw the net next day in Boon's boat.

By Mr. Beresford. He remembered the day before his net was taken; he was not over in his sampan at Shell Island ; when prisoner Boon went alongside he said something, but witness did not understand him ; when prisoner caught hold of the net he said something but witness did not understand him.

By Mr. Herbert : Pistol produced was the one he saw in the hands of Boon, and which was handed to the police by Boon the next morning.

Ah Look corroborated Ah Sam's evidence in every particular.

Ah Gow was called but gave no evidence.  

Police Constable Robert Stott deposed to arresting prisoners on the morning of the 20th, on board the Veronica; charged Boon with stealing the net produced ; cautioned him ; he said, " I sent my crew ashore to cut wood two days ago ; yesterday I sent them for it in the dingy ; they came back ; I was on board another pearl boat drunk ; they told me that some Chinese had taken all the wood away ; I was wild at the time ; I saw a Chinese boat ; I jumped in my dingy and took the net ; I presented pistol at them to frighten them ; it was empty " ; found the net on board the Veronica ; prisoner Boon was diver on board the boat ; the revolver was handed to witness by Boon ;he spoke in English.

Mr. Beresford cross-examined the witness but elicited nothing fresh.

Mounted-Constable J. F. Smith deposed to arresting Serrano on the Veronica ; he said he went with Boon in the dingy the night before because the latter told him to ; Boon took him along-   side some Chinese boats; he said Boon had been drinking heavily, and he (Serrano) did not know what he was going to do ; he went because he was ordered.

The rest of the evidence was à mere recapitulation of the evidence given by prosecutor.





By Mr. Beresford : Serrano afterwards said that he thought Boon took the net because the Chinese had stolen his wood.

Mr. Beresford addressed the jury con- tending, that Boon had taken the net out of reprisals for Chinese having stolen wood which the crew of the Veronica had.

Prisoner Boon made a statement admitting the offence, but stating that he took the net because Chinese had stolen, the wood, but had no intention of stealing, it.

Prisoner Serrano said Boon was his   captain and. he had to do what he was told.

His Honor summed up, strongly against the prisoner Boon, and favourably with, regard to Serrano.

The jury retired for about three-quarters of an hour, and, on returning into Court found a verdict of acquittal with regard to Serrano. In the case of Boon they intimated they could not agree.

They were discharged, the prisoner, to again stand his trial.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 9 August 1884 p3



Füll Jurisdiction.

(Before T. K. Pater, Esq., S.M. only.

By consent).

Ah Wi against Smith, Cox and Stott.

This was an action similar to the one brought by Mon Wee against the police, on July 16th, and settled by the defendants agreeing to pay £10 10s. as damages.

The case was brought by Ah Wi, who claimed from the defendants, the sum of £20 1s., for that the defendants on the 8th day of June, broke into a gambling house in Cavanagh-street, arrested the plaintiff, put handcuffs on him, brought him through the streets, and lodged him in prison.






Mr. Beresford for the plaintiff; Mr. Herbert for Stott and Cox, and Mr.Smith for himself.

Mr. Beresford opened with a brief statement of the facts of the case, after which he called Ah Wi. An interpreter having been sworn, Ah Wi, said : Am a doctor ; remember June 8th ; between 12 and half-past 12 o'clock, was in the gambling house in Cavanagh-street; heard the police coming ; saw all the people rush out, and rushed out at the same time ; a constable caught me when I was out half-way from the premises, and put handcuffs on to me ; I was walking out ; Ha Hop and I were handcuffed together by Constable Smith ; I was then taken to the Police Station and searched by Constable Smith ; I only had five Chinese coins in my pocket ; Smith took purse and coins away from me, and put me in the lock-up ; Constables Cox and Stott were present while I was being searched ; Constable Cox did not stay long; Constable Stott and Cox were present when I was arrested ; was in the lock-up until about 9 o'clock in the evening ; next morning, I was brought before the Magistrate and discharged ; I paid £2 2s. to be bailed out, and am liable for £5 5s.for my defence.

Cross-examined by Mr. Herbert: The Constables came in, Cox from the front, and Smith and Stott through the back ; was in the house looking for a friend ; the owner of the house has gone to China ; have never been in the house before ; live 200 yards from the house ; do not know whether gambling was going on ; as I walked in, the people rushed out, and I came out at the same time ; John Ah Lin bailed me out ; paid £2 2s. to John Ah Liu ; he paid it to the lawyer ; June 8th was on a Sunday.  

Mr. Arthur Hang Gong was sworn in as interpreter.

Cross-examined by Constable Cox : I was arrested in the passage ; I tumbled down over a stick, and was arrested after I got up ; did not know it was a fan tan shop ; did not try to get through the roof ; had no Chinese coins in my hand when arrested ; was not hurt by the Police ; you held me ; did not hurt me ; never complained of being hurt.

J. G. Knight, clerk of Court, Palmerston, was present on 9th June, on hearing of the case against Mon Wee and others ; produced the information against Mon Wee, as occupier of a gaming house, and Ah Wi for aiding and abetting ; took the information in the afternoon about 4 o'clock ; took notes at the hearing of that information ; Constable Smith said he laid the information about half-past four ; he arrested the three men without a warrant ; the information was dismissed on the grounds that the prisoners were arrested without a warrant ; on the hearing of a case, Ah Kit against Mon Wee , on the 16th July, remembered Constable Smith being examined ; he said, " did not arrest Mon Wee on warrant, there was none in existence ; Mr. Beresford told me there was no need for a warrant." I took the information.

R. D. Beresford, solicitor, said : On Sunday, June 8th, between half-past 2 and 3 o'clock, Constable Smith came to me, and told me, he wanted to lay an information against Mon Wee and others for playing fantan; I refused at first, stating, that I thought I could get more out of the case for the defence; he told me it was no use, as Mr. Herbert was retained on the other side ;




I questioned his authority to retain me, but if he got authority, I should be willing to act ; he asked me if Mr. Pater's authority would do, and I said " yes " ; he left me and came back, saying, he was authorised, and shortly after I walked round with him to the station ; I asked for the names of the men he wanted arrested ; on the way down I suggested a summons, but he said a warrant was better, as the men would get out of the way ; I wrote out the information produced ; Ah Kit and Smith supplying the names ; in the evening John Allen came and asked me to bail out some of the men ; I was paid £2 2s. on behalf of Ah Wi ; never knew the names of the three men   until I had given bail ; I knew that some had been arrested ; was not consulted previous to the arrest of Ah Wi, but Mr. Smith saw me in the morning, and said something about going to run some Chinese in ; spoke to Constable Smith after the case, and said, " why didn't you tell me there was no warrant ; he said he didn't think one was necessary, as they had never had one before ; the statement made by Constable Smith, that I said no warrant was necessary, is utterly untrue : I heard the statement during the hearing of the information, Ah Kit v. Mon Wee.

Cross-examined by Mr. Herbert: John Allen paid me £2 2s. each, for obtaining bail ; I referred them to you because I was informed by John Allen that you would not bail the men.

Cross-examined by Constable Smith : Objected to the remarks made by the bench ; I remember the 8th inst., between a quarter-past 11 and quarter-to 12 a.m. ; I did not promise to remain at Hopewell's until you returned ; I did not say no warrant was necessary at that interview ; I never thought anything about it ; when you told me the men were arrested, I thought they were arrested on a warrant ; you said, yes, when I asked you if every- thing was right ; I was given the names of all the men who were arrested, and said, I thought one warrant would do for the lot ; I did not know the three men who were in the cells, were included in the warrant ; I do not remember you   telling Mr. Knight, that the three men mentioned' in that information, were already locked up in the police cells,

Mr. Knight re-examined by Mr. Beresford : I do not remember anything being said about three of the defendants, included in the warrant, being in the lockup.

Leong Kim, storekeeper, Palmerston, said : I paid Mr. Herbert £10 10s. ; £5 5s. for other people, and £5 5s. for Ah Wi.

A long argument took place on this evidence, as to the fact, whether the £5 5s. was charged to Ah Wi or Mon Wee.

A. B. Cox, Police Trooper : Went on June 8th, with Constable Smith to the gambling house ; Constable Stott was there also ; went there to arrest several men.

Cross-examined by Constable Smith : Was present when the information was laid ; remember you mentioning that three men were in the cells ; do not recollect whether Mr. Beresford was present or not ; I remember you accusing Mr. Beresford of getting the police into the mess ; Mr. Beresford said it was a lie ; Constable Smith said Mr. Beresford knew there was no warrant out.




For the defence, Constable Smith said : On Sunday, June 8th, I saw Mr. Beresford at Hopewell's Hotel ; had a long conversation with him ; I told him we had no warrant, and he said, we did not want one, it was all right ; I asked him if he would read up the Act ; he said " yes " ; he promised to remain at Hopewell's until I returned from the raid on the Chinese hut, and I found him there after the raid ; when I told him that three men were already arrested, and I wanted a warrant for those that got away ; Mr. Beresford went to the Police Station, and I went to see Mr. Pater in reference to Mr. Beresford being engaged; after leaving Mr. Pater's, I returned to the quarters ; Mr. Beresford was writing out the information and warrant ; after this was done, I pointed out that three men whose names were mentioned in the warrant, were already in the lock-up ; he said one warrant would do for the lot ; afterwards heard Constable Stott asking the question, and heard Mr. Beresford give the same reply; I afterwards saw Mr. Knight, asked him to hear the information ; told him the case, and that three of the men mentioned, were already locked up ; I signed the information ; did not swear it ; Mr. Knight refused to sign the warrant, on the grounds that nine men were too many to be locked up in the police cells, so I took it to Mr. Pater to be signed ; I believed I was acting legally, because I had lawyer's advice.

Cross-examined by Mr. Beresford : The interview took place at the corner of the verandah ; was talking about a quarter-of an-hour ; I saw Mr. Pater after lunch ; I do not remember you saying anything about not accepting my instructions ; I told you three times that the three men were arrested.

Police Trooper Stott : Remembered the 8th inst. ; when Mr. Beresford was writing the warrant, I mentioned about the three men being under arrest, and he said, one warrant would do ; Mr. Beresford afterwards went with me to see the three men who were locked up.

Mr. Herbert addressed the Bench briefly for the defence of Constables Cox and Stott, and Constable Smith on his own behalf.

Mr. Beresford having addressed the Bench on behalf of the plaintiff, a verdict was given for the plaintiff for £10 10s. damages and costs.

The Northern Territory Times & Gazette Sat 23 Aug 1884 p3



Full Jurisdiction..

Wednesdax, 20th August;






(Before T. K. Pater, Esq.., S.M).

Mon Wee v. Smith and others.

Mr. Beresford appeared for the plaintiff. The case was an unsatisfied judgement summons for £10 10s., a verdict of the Local Court ; entered by consent of the parties, and costs.

Robert Stott, one of the defendants, was placed in the box and examined as to his means. He stated that he had not paid anything of the amount, but had offered his third share to Mr. Beresford ; he admitted that he had the means to pay, but objected to pay the whole amount.

His Worship said that the défendant was liable for the whole amount, even though.it might seem hard upon him.

He would make an order for the amount   to be paid forthwith, but would not allow  the warrant to issue until tomorrow, so as to give the defendant time to settle.

Ah- Wee v. Smith and others, £15.

This was a precisely similar case as the   last, and His Worship made a similar  order against the defendant Stott.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 20 Sept. 1884

Meeting of the Northern Territory Reform Association.

The meeting of the above Association was held at the Town Hall on Monday evening

last, to which public were invited. There were about 70 persons present.

Mr. V. V. Brown, the President of the Association, took the chair.

The Secretary, Mr. H. H. Adcock, read the minutes of the previous meeting, which were confirmed.

The Chairman then explained that as that was a meeting of the Association and the public had been invited to attend they might   speak on the various matters introduced but could not vote.

Messrs. Hughes and Christoe considered that under these circumstances the public had no right there and had, in a way, been called together under false pretences.





Mr. Beresford then proposed that the Reform Association should have their meeting over and then adjourn, and then the public meeting should be held.

Mr. Solomon asked Mr. Beresford not to proceed with his resolution, but to allow him to move that the public be allowed to speak and vote on all subjects brought before the meeting. He was glad, to see such a splendid attendance, and hoped that every matter introduced would be fully discussed, anything affirmed by such a large meeting would carry very great weight.  

Mr. Beresford agreed to allow his proposition to lapse, and seconded Mr. Solomon's.


Mr. Blair asked for information as to the object of the meeting, and whether the business proposed to be submitted came within the limits of the Reform Association.

The Chairman replied " Yes."

The Secretary reported that the allotments in the township of Burrundie would be offered for sale in the Territory in the first instance. That the Government Resident had telegraphed from, Yam Creek as follows:- " Site of Hospital selected by Surgeon. Myself and party walked over whole ground. Consider site admirable. Dr. Wood opposed to summit site on medical grounds."

The Resident has also replied that the question of the appointment of a Board of Health, is receiving attention. That the District Council had replied re Chinese occupation of Park Lands; that the question is at present in hand, and the Council hoped soon to be in a position to deal with with the matter. He also reported that the thanks of the Association bad been telegraphed to the Members for the District for their attention to our interests.

Mr. Blair proposed “That in consequence of the many outrages by natives which have occurred in the Northern Territory during the last few years the Government be desired to take measures by special legislation for the punishment of offenders. That the Members for the District be asked to submit and support the wishes of the Association in providing more salutary punishment than at present obtains." Mr. Blair said we want the Government to grapple with the whole question and not with individual cases. We want to regulate the whole thing to have some enactment whereby we can prevent hordes of armed savages from' trooping through our townships. He had seen enough natives carrying weapons in Palmerston at one time to wipe out the whole of the white population, if they made up their minds to attack them, and took them unawares and unarmed.. He wanted to see some regulation   by which, they could be prevented from bringing their arms within a certain distance of the settlements, or kept out altogether. We want proper police to deal with the trouble.





Mr. Beresford seconded. He believed that the Government now had the matter under consideration with the view of forming a native police force, and of stationing them at certain places for the protection of outlying settlers, in similar mode to that in. vogue in Queensland.

The Chairman said we do not want to suggest modes to the Government, but only to strengthen their hands by an expression of public opinion on the subject. The resolution was put and earned.

Mr. F. B. Dalton moved " That this Association strongly supports the application of the De Lissa Pioneer Sugar Co. for the transfer of the concession of 10,000 acres held by them, from the. Government, on Douglas Peninsula, for sugar cultivation, to the Daly River, or other place suitable for sugar growing, provided that the Company can satisfy the Government of the bona fides of their application. And further, that the Members for Flinders District be asked to support the matter in the interests of sugar growing in the N.T." He was sure that the resolution would commend itself to them without any additions from him. The Company had proved their bona fides in the past, inasmuch as that they have spent some £20,000 or £25,000 in erection of plant, and attempts at similar cultivation at DeLissaville, which was notoriously one of the worst blocks of land in the Territory. The Company now wished to surrender their holding at DeLissaville, and to take up a similar area on the Daly or other suitable place. He thought that ás the country had to a certain extent benefited by the present experiment, while the Company had lost, it was only fair that the public should now do something to assist to put them in a position to retrieve their losses, and while benefiting the Company also benefit the countrv, by proving that it is capable of producing   sugar, and so encourage the introduction of capital and labour amongst us.

Mr. Solomon, in seconding, said he felt sure that if the Government allowed the transfer it would be of the greatest benefit   to the Company, who had shown by the pluck and determination with which they   had struggled against adverse circumstances, that they deserved it, and at the same time   help the country and every person in it.  

He was glad to see Mr. Gray present that evening. We all knew that Mr. Gray was a man of large experience, and also interested in the Da Lissa Company, and we should be glad to hear his opinion on the matter.

Mr. Gray was pleased to see the matter so warmly taken up by the public, and would   like to see some of the shares taken up here, so that a local directorate might be appointed, and also show that they believed in the Territory as a sugar country.

Carried. non. con.

Mr. Christie said "That as this meeting has carried unanimously the proposition in favor    of the Delissaville Sugar Plantation removing   the scene of their operations to more suitable lands than those at present occupied by them, I propose that all other persons who have expended money in a bona fide attempt to produce sugar in our Territory should also be supported by this meeting in





any application for an exchange of sugar plantation sites, whether the parties hold their land under purchase or special concessions as in the case of the D.P.S. Co." He did not see why a powerful Company, who could afford-to spend money, should be placed at an advantage over other persons, who had also proved their bona fides by the expenditure of capital in the attempt to grow sugar.

Mr Beresford seconded.

Mr. Solomon moved an amendment "That the proposal of Mr. Christoe is premature, and that such a proposition would only tend to induce the Government to dismiss the consideration of the application of the DeLissa Pioneer Sugar Co." He was very much afraid that if the resolution was carried it would defeat itself, and also the movement in favour of the DeLissa Co, and open the door to numberless troubles, and complications without end. Mr. DeLissa, years ago, when sugar planting in the Northern Territory was first mooted, obtained the concession now under discussion, and such a rush was made for land that a special act was passed to limit concessions to 100,000.acres. This was greedilv taken up by speculators, Members of Parliament, and capitalists, and of all the lot, the DeLissa Company was the only one that had shown any intention of improving their concession, and spent money in a bona fide way.  

Mr. Alcock seconded, and endorsed Mr. Solomon's remarks. If they ask too much they risked losing all.

The amendment was carried by a large majority.

Mr. J. A. V. Brown moved "That the Government be petitioned by this Association to lose no time in making the appointment of Public Trustee for the Northern Territory, as provided for under the Northern Territory Justice Bill."  

Mr. Beresford seconded with pleasure. He knew from experience the troubles and delays connected with the winding up of Intestate Estates in Adelaide, and could easily imagine the vexatious delays likely to arise through having to do the work by letter.


Mr. Adcock, said it devolved on him to introduce the subject which had caused the large attendance at this meeting, namely, the Judgeship provided for under the N. T. Justice Act. The question had been prominently before the public lately, and in now bringing it forward, he would ask those present to dismiss from their minds all thought of personal animus, as the Association had taken up the question as a public matter, affecting the public good. He would move, " That this meeting is of opinion that the Government, in dealing with the appointment of a Judge for the N.T under the provisions of the N.T. Justice Act, should not consider themselves bound by any promise given by a previous Government and in appointing a gentleman to the office newly constituted under the Act referred to, should exercise the utmost care so that the purposes of




Justices may be properly served. Further, that if it is proposed to appoint the gentleman (Mr. Pater) now administering justice in the N T. to a Judgeship, a strict enquiry should be held as to the charges made by the Press against his fitness for the office." Mr. Adcock said there had been a great amount of dissatisfaction expressed in reference to Mr. Pater's conduct, and he only thought it fair, that a thorough enquiry should be held.

Mr. Heydn seconded.

Mr. Beresford supported Mr. Adcock's resolution as far as the latter portion in reference to an enquiry was concerned, and was sure no one desired it more than Mr. Pater himself.

A Voice - What charges are made against him?

A Voice - He is charged with being a liar, and has not refuted it.

Mr. Smith, spoke as to the charge of falsehood made against Mr. Pater. He admitted having spoken to Mr. Galbraith in reference to the case of the police and Beresford, and he believed, had given him at different times, three drinks ; if he had in any way been to blame, Mr. Foelsche, Waters, and Stott, were all as deep in the mire ; they were all frightened of Galbraith's scurrilous pen, and they refrained from locking him up, no matter how drunk he was ; he had seen Mr. Foelsche speaking to Galbraith near Pickford's, when he was drunk enough for any man to be locked up ; but they feared him, and feared an enquiry, although he (Smith) had asked t>r one. As to the papers, the N. T. Times had said he was a scoundrel, and an unclean thing, and a liar ; but the articles were written, because Mr. Solomon wanted to pose as a Cicero ; but the public would not be ruled by the N. T. Times, a Solomon, or a Galbraith.

Mr. Solomon, said he was glad that Smith had spoken, as it gave him an opportunity to prove to the meeting, that he was what   the papers had termed him, a scoundrel, and a liar. Smith had just stated, that he did not bribe Galbraith with drink, and that the statements made in reference to Beresford and the police, were substantially correct ; now there was a very independent man present at the meeting, to whom, only a few days ago, Smith had stated that he did bribe the reporter with a skinful of drink. He would ask Mr, Wadeson to come forward and verify this statement, and prove, out of Smith's own mouth, that he was what the papers called him.

Mr. Wadeson, said that during a conversation between himself and Smith, up- country, he (Mr. Wadeson) asked about the police bribery question, and Smith distinctly stated, that he and the police did bribe the reporters with a skinful of drink ; he didn't know Mr. Smith, and never saw him before or since, until this evening, and he didn't care if he never saw him again.

Mr. Galbraith claimed the right to reply also, and he did not deny that he occasionally took too much to drink: but one thing he could say, and that was, that he had never taken any bribe in his life, either from Mr Smith, or anyone else, he was glad that Mr.Wadeson had come forward to show the man's true character.




Mr. Christoe, moved amendment, that the first portion of the resolution be struck out, and the latter part, reading as follows, be allowed to stand:-." That if it is proposed, to appoint the gentleman (Mr. Pater) now administering justice in the N.T. to a Judge-   ship, a strict enquiry should be held as to   the charges made by the Press against his fitness for the office."

Mr. Beresford seconded Mr. Christoe's amendment ; he did not see any necessity for the resolution to do more than ask for an enquiry.

Mr. Solomon then moved the second amendment as follows- " That in the opinion of, this meeting it is highly undesirable that the appointment of Judge should be conferred upon Mr. T. K Pater, he having     shown himself to be unfitted for such an 1mportant position owing to his nervous and excitable temperament, hasty temper, impatience, and overbearing conduct upon the Bench " In a lengthy speech he   reviewed Mr. Pater's career here, and the   various charges brought against him ; he forcibly reminded the meeting that if Mr. Pater was once made a Judge, it would take a resolution of both Houses to shift him ; his conduct from first to last had shown him to   be unfit for such an important position as a Judgeship ; he cited the case of the Licensing Bench, where the applicant had been most unfairly treated, and his witnesses insulted ; Moore's case was another, during which, Mr. Pater bad shown himself cruel, cowardly, and heartless ; " many a good soldier made a bad general," and so also, many a clever lawyer proved a failure as a Magistrate or Judge. ln the interests of justice, it was necessary that a Judge should be calm, patient, and painstaking ; Mr. Pater possessed none of these qualifications ;  he was impatient, hasty tempered, over- bearing, and heartless, and the people of the Territory would live to curse the day, if they allowed such a man to be appointed Judge ; it was not a personal question, it was a public one, affecting the best interests of all in the Territory, and every man in the community had a duty to perform to his fellow-men, even though the question did not directly affect himself; some had said, that already Mr. Pater had shown signs of an alteration in his manner, and had become quieter; it was but the calm which pre- cedes the storm : the watchful crouching before the spring ; once let the appointment be made, and they would see how much the alteration in demeanour was worth. As to Mr. Adcock's resolution, it would go for nothing if it was carried ; quite enough had   been said already to force an enquiry in the House ; Mr. Sandover had asked for one, and bad been snubbed for his pains ; the Government say they will do nothing unless grave reasons are brought forward ; the accusations in the Press are not grave enough ; they must have an enquiry, and the affirmation of this meeting, that Mr. Pater is not fit for the position, will force them to make the enquiry they have shirked so far. He concluded by earnestly exhorting the meeting to publicly give voice to the opinions and sentiments which the majority of them had expressed in private. Mr. Lawrie seconded Mr. Solomon's amendment

Mr. Bryden proposed, and Mr. Hughes seconded a further amendment- "That in the opinion of this meeting the choice of Mr. T. K. Pater as Judge of the N.T. is a wise one, and that he is a fit and proper person for the position.

Mr. Beresford was prompted to speak by a desire for fair play. An attack had been made on the S.M., with reference to his conduct since his arrival here, and the speaker considered it most




cowardly to attack a man, who by the Civil Service Act was precluded from attending public meetings, or writing to the Prèss.; it was too much like stabbing a man who was bound hand and foot. Very many censures had appeared in the papers outside the Territory ; but we should bear in mind, from whence they emanated, and that they all represented one side of the question ; the matters referred to, require thorough ventilation and the speaker could answer, that no one would be more pleased than Mr. Pater, if a full enquiry were made. Mr. Solomon in a most able and eloquent speech, had brought certain charges against Mr. Pater, but it appeared, to the speaker, that the whole matter was a squabble between Mr. Pater and the press, arising out of a fancied insult given by Mr. Pater, at a banquet, when he likened Mr. Solomon to a Cicero, and Mr. Knight to Lord Eldon. As far as Mr. Knight was concerned, he (Mr. Beresford) was positive that Mr. Knight was unaware that his name was used in the leading article of Saturday last, and that he never imagined Mr. Pater meant to insult him in any way ; with reference to the charge of heartless jocularity towards prisoners, there was one case, and one only, that could be, and was brought up, that was that of Moore's ; but in this, Mr. Solomon was mistaken ; the words were not spoken to Moore, but to his counsel, Mr. Herbert having said that prisoner was unable to find bail. The S.M. remarked to Mr. Herbert, not in a sneering manner, as stated by Mr. Solomon, but in an ordinary tone, that the prisoner would have to go to the salubrious retreat, Fannie Bay, until he could find it ; as to browbeating   witnesses, he although rarely absent from court, could remember no case, except one, when according to the evidence of the police, and. the witness' own admissions, his conduct almost, if not quite, warranted the S.M.'s strictures ; as one of the so-called bullied counsel, he must admit, that when- ever counsel were interrupted or spoken to, it was for just cause, and in very many cases expected by the offender for a try on to get something to the court, that strictly ought not to be admitted; as the papers had   kindly put it, both counsel were "young and inexperienced," and therefore what else could be expected than that cause was some- times given for interruption, and sometimes censure. The same thing happened sometimes in Adelaide with Judges and leaders of the bar: for his (Mr. Beresford's) own part, he thought Mr. Pater was cruel only to be kind, and thanked him accordingly. With reference to the Licensing Bench case, they must remember that Mr. Pater was acting simply in the interests of the public, and having granted a license, was warning the applicant to be careful how he conducted his business ; the term, bolstering up a case, was intended to refer to the extremely meagre evidence presented by the applicant, and he (Mr. Beresford) was sure Mr. Pater never in any way meant to insult the witnesses. Mr. Solomon had referred to Mr. Pater's conduct at the Circuit Court, in trying to lead the juries in his summing up ; Mr. Pater had had too much experience as a criminal barrister of 20 years standing to err in this matter, and the speaker had heard Judges down South speak much more plainly for or against a prisoner than Mr. Pater had done ; no one would for a moment, accuse Mr. Pater of dishonesty, and the Government had shown their confidence in   his fitness by appointing him, and making the promise of Judgeship they did ; there is no doubt Mr. Pater is the best lawyer that the Territory has ever seen, and not one of the charges brought was sufficient to warrant the present Ministry breaking the pledge given by their predecessors ; the speaker would urge on the meeting, that they should be most careful what was done, as should Mr. Pater leave, it might be only out of the frying pan into the fire ; no other solicitor would come up for the present salary, and the Territory was too important, and the interests at stake were





becoming too great for us to put up with a layman. The speaker would ask the meeting to give the matter their most earnest attention, and not be carried away by the oratory of Mr. Solomon, but remember that they might get a very much worse man than Mr. Pater.

Mr. Solomon, in reply, said the banquet had nothing to do with the present meeting, but as it bad been introduced, he would tell them that Mr. Beresford bad only half quoted the remarks ; the mere calling the speaker a Cicero was nothing, but the insult was contained in the insinuation that the speaker and Mr. Knight had conducted the legal business between them, which, was utterly false. He (the speaker) could easily explain why the matter was brought up after such a long time elapsing. He had passed over the insult at the time because he scarcely thought Mr. Pater could have meant the words to convey the meaning they did ; but when, after months, he found the same sneering insults hurled at everyone who came within his reach. He considered himself quite justified in reviewing the actions of that gentleman from the time of his arrival. As to the re- marks made by Mr. Hughes and Mr. Beresford that it was cowardly to attack Mr. Pater because he was a Civil Servant and could not reply, he was surprised at such remarks being made. It was the duty of the Press to comment freely upon the actions of public men. If the sentiments of these gentlemen were carried out they would soon have a very rotten Civil Service As long as he was connected with the Press he would comment freely upon, all public men's acts, from the highest to the lowest in the service.  

The resolution and amendments were then put to the meeting ---


 Mr. Bryden's amendment 19 / 34

 Mr. Solomon's "                32 / 20

Mr. Christoe's "                 22 / 30

Mr. Adcock' proposition     8 /30  

Mr. Solomon's amendment was therefore declared carried.

Mr. Solomon then proposed and Mr. F. B. Dalton seconded the following resolution " That in the opinion of this meeting it is desirable that the last resolution be forwarded  to the Members for the District, and a further request that a full and complete enquiry be held,'"     Carried.

A hearty vote of thanks to the Chairman for the impartial manner in which he had conducted the meeting concluded the business.





The Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 27 Dec 1884



Friday, December 19th  

Before His Honor Judge Pater and juries.

Mr. J. G. Knight officiated as Crown Prosecutor, and Mr. E. H. Whitelaw as Clerk of Arraigns.  

Afternoon Sittings,


Tommy, Jimmy, Daly, and Ajibbingwagne were charged with having on the 3rd day of September at the Daly Copper mine, wilfully, and with malice aforethought feloniously killed and murdered Johannes Lubrecht Noltenius.

Mr. Beresford having notified that he was instructed to defend Tommy, Jimmy, Daly but not Agibbingwagne

His Honor asked Mr. Beresford to appear for that prisoner also.

Mr. Beresford said that he would be most happy to do so, but was totally unprepared with Ajibbingwagne's defence. He had only just received notice of the additional evidence to be brought forwards against the other prisoner.

His Honor said that if he thought for a moment that any influence had been brought to bear to prevent the prisoner getting a fair trial he would postpone the case. But, without evidence to that effect it must proceed.

The Crown Prosecutor said that of course no such influence had been brought to bear. Mr. Beresford had received notice of the fresh evidence as soon as it was possible to give it him.

The Crown Prosecutor opened the case, most particulars of which are well known, and which are fully disclosed in the following evidence :

Paul Foelsche, Inspector of Police, deposed : From information received, I proceeded to the scene of the outrage on the Daly River, towards the end of September; on the 4th Oct.I arrested three of these prisoners," Tommy, Jimmy, and Daly; they, were all aboriginal natives of Australia ; I




explained to them as well as I could the reason why I arrested them, and I also cautioned them ; Jimmy and Daly made no statement, Tommy said : " Me no kill 'em ;" I have been in the Northern Territory fifteen years and have great experience amongst blacks, as far as my official position is concerned; on the prisoners I found the following articles: on Tommy, I found a silk pocket handkerchief (produced), which has small stars in the pattern, and has the appearance of being old and dirty; on the 1st October, sent Agibbingwagne out shooting; I gave him two gun cartridges; when he returned in the afternoon he handed me back the expended cartridges and amongst them was the cartridge produced, which I had not given him ; the cart- ridges which I gave him had all white wads, without numbers on them; the one produced is marked "chilled shot, No. 2 ;" it is a common description of cartridge; I also produce a photographed plan of the scene of the outrage ; it was photographed by myself ; on the 7th inst. I arrested Agibbingwagne; I explained to him the charge and cautioned him; he understands English; he stated: " Me no killem ; nother fellow Jemmy killem ; sit down long'a bush ;" that is a common expression, which means anywhere in the bush.

By Mr. Beresford: Am a visiting justice of the Palmerston gaol ; Dr. Morice was till recently Protector of Aborigines; I made a communication to the Government Resident of certain facts in connection with the prisoners in reference to the Dalv River tragedy ; I got the additional.. evidence when on the Daly River,, and I returned to Palmerston on the 16th inst., and brought the prisoner Agibbingwagne before Mr. McMinn, on the 17th ; I brought four witnesses with me; one of these four witnesses gave me certain information and went with me to give me assistance;, his name is Karaf, alias Tommy ; got his evidence on the 17th ; Mr. Knight called on me at my office, in consequence of a letter he received lrom Mr. Beresford, which wished to know what further evidence would be produced at the trial; I had at this time seen Tommy Karaf; I had not received Karaf's communication ; I had.then no additional evidence to disclose.

Mr. Beresford was repeating the evidence, and witness said; "I did not say so."

His Honor: Yes, Mr. Beresford, the witness is quite right. He objects to have words put in his mouth which he did not use. I myself have had to similarly object since my residence in Palmerston. (Laughter.)

Examination continued ; Shortly, after my return from the Daly, Blind Solomon and other natives brought Tommy Karaf to me ; don't know that the Government will reward him ; did not tell Blind Solomon what I was going to give him ; I have no doubt they will be rewarded, and will look to me for reward; the reason why I did not go to the Daly was because I couldn't get a suitable boat ; I believe the blacks will do a lot more for me than for Mr. Beresford ; Blind Solomon had no instructions from me; after the return of Corporal Montagu he sent in a report to me, which was forwarded to the Government Resident; I no not know where the report is now, I do not know I cannot say; when on my first visit to the Daly I gave Agibbingwagne a gun and cartridges.

Henry Roberts deposed: Am a miner, and recently resided on the Daly River, near Mount




Hayward-, at a copper mine; remembered the 3rd September last ; I was at work at the copper claim ; Î was sorting ore; Noltenius, Landers, and Schollert were there; Landers and Noltenius were working about ten yards from me; I could see them ; Schollert would be about 60 or 70 yards from me at the kitchen; the large building on the photograph is the general dwelling and store ; had been work- ing at the copper mine since A pril;  Houschildt and myself were partners   in the claim; the- others were employed by us ; on the morning of the 3rd September the blacks made an attack upon us; at about half-past ten; I heard Landers call out, and looked up and saw him swing a hammer at some natives.      

By His Honor: When I saw Landers swing the hammer the natives were just out of his reach and appeared to be getting out of the way.

Examination continued: At about the same time I was struck on the right side of the head, near the temple, with some weapon which I believe was the head of a pickaxe ; there were four natives working near me at the time ; I do not know their names ; I do know them by sight ; none of them are the prisoners; I was rendered insensible by the blow :when I regained consciousness I went to the camp; when I got to the camp I found Schollert dead in the store ; I took notice of the body, which was lying on its back, in the middle of the store, with, the face turned towards the door; I did not at the time observe anything to show the cause of death ; there was a little blood on the forehead but no wound; I found Landers in the camp leaning on one of the bunks; he had a large spear through his body, which entered his back and came out in front about 6 inches in front; it.was a double- barbed spear ; I took the spear out; the wound bled a great deal; Noltenius was there too; he also had a spear through his side ; Noltenius then bound up my head ; the spear in Noltenius had broken off in the body;. I got one portion out; that spear also entered the back; afterwards, Nol tenius and myself got a rifle and double-barrelled gun and, walked, round the camp; before doing that I washed the wounds and took Lander's into the kitchen where he laid down ; Noltenius was in great pain; we afterwards came in and laid down on the bunks: about two hours afterwards a spear was thrown into the camp and struck between my legs as I was lying down ; after this occurrence we made preparations to leave the camp ; we left about 5 o'clock in the evening to go to Fisher and. Lyons' cattle station, which was about 35 miles distant:- we went about 500 yards and camped, Landers being unable to travel: next day, September 4th, Landers was unable to move, and Noltenius and I started about two hours before daylight ; we left Landers a revolver, some cartridges, and some water: it was his wish, we should start to obtain, assistance;, we went about 7 miles that day and then camped : next day we went about, two miles, which took six or seven hours, in consequence of Noltenius being unable to travel, and. on the following day he was unable to travel at all ; the head of the spear was still in the wound ; made provision for his comfort as well, as I could and then started alone for the cattle, station : when I left him Noltenius could not stand ; he was-very weak and could only, manage to crawl on his hands and knees; before I left I made a covering by a water- hole, fixed his mosquito net, and put him inside it ; I left him the revolver and three dogs, which were with us, and started by myself to the cattle station ; on my way I met two black boys with two horses, Hauschildt's riding horse and another saddle horse; took the horses and saddles to the cattle station; I then sent one of the horses with the two blacks back.to Noltenius, with food and blankets.




By His Honor : The blacks knew where to find Noltenius.

Examination continued: On the morning of the attack there were about 40 or 50 blacks within a radius of 50 yards of the camp; there were generally a good many natives about, I can swear that Daly, Ajibbiugwagne, an Tommy were there that morning between seven and half-past ten: they were, all three of them, in the habit of working at the claim ; Tommy bad been away, but was at the claim for about a fortnight before the attack ;. J knew Ajibbingwagne by the name of Jimmy; he was at the claim when we first went there; he was at the claim always called Jimmy.

By His Honor: I have not the slightest doubt ; I swear Daly, Tommy, and Ajibbingwagne were there; the latter, I saw, immediately before the attack, Examination continued : Had some cartridges like the one produced ; we always paid the blacks for game they brought us with tobacco and pipes ; very rarely with flour.

By Mr. Beresford : We may have given flour on one or two occasions to the blacks; never gave them our guns to shoot game; when I went shooting carried my cartridges loose in my pocket or pouch ; it may be that I or my mates may have dropped a cartridge; I don't think I did; we always brought the empty cartridge cases back ; I never remember any having been lost ; I cannot remember what time in the morning I saw Tommy and Daly ; I noticed them because Í have known them a great deal better than others; I cannot give the exact time I saw Daly and Tommv : I saw Ajibbingwagne a few moments before the attack; I can explain where I saw him and the direction he was going on the photograph.

The explanation was made to the jury, by direction of His Honor.

By Mr. Beresford . Tommy was to go that morning with a mail to Sachse's: he did not go because he came too late, and Í had sent two others; I did not row with Tommy for being late: I sent the mail about half past 7.

By His Honor: I do not know there was any particular reason for Tommy to hang about the place that morning, as he was not employed.

Bv Mr. Knight : Daly was often employed by me ; he sometimes brought us fish.

By Mr. Beresford :. Tommy and Daly might have gone away before 8 o'clock; or Í might have seen Daly a few minutes before the attack: I cannot fix any incident by which I could fix the time.

The Court was at this stage adjourned till 7.15 o'clock.

Francis Herbert Sachse, sworn, said : Í am manager of a cattle station for Fisher and Lyons, on the Daly River; remember 7th September last; was at Bridge Creek; received certain information in consequence of which I started for the copper mine, about 65 miles from ßidge Creek ;




travelled about 61 miles that day and camped : next morning went to the claim ; as I approached the claim I noticed a body about 40 or 50 yards from the track ; could not identify it, as it was in a putrid state; I had been directed by Mr. H. Roberts where to find the body and I found it in the position indicated ; one hand and one foot were missing from the body ; Roberts had given me information as to the whereabouts of Landers' body; it appeared to have been moved ; there was a large hole on the right loin; knew a man named Landers; I believe the body was the body of Landers, from the size and color of the hair : I received information about another person ;- after finding Landers' body I went to the camp which I found had been plundered and was in a wrecked state; I expected to find Schellert's body in the store but to my surprise it was not there ; there were no rations there ; I went to the  claim and found a dead body in a putrid state; then started back to find Noltenius; that was on September 8; found him about 9 miles from the copper claim, in a very weak state; he was quite sensible: after giving him a little stimulant, I examined him ; I felt a swelling about three inches to the left of the navel ; l cut the skin, and a point of a spear jumped out ; the spear point produced is the piece; I washed and dressed him ; as I turned him over I observed a large hole just over his left hip Such as would have been made by a spear : I tried to move him, but he asked me to sit him down, which I did, and after a few minutes he suddenly expired; I then buried him; I think the wound over the hip was produced by the spear of which the. piece produced is a portion; he had no other injuries; I believe he died from the injuries he had received; after burying the body, Î camped for the night and next morning I started for home; about 19 miles from the copper camp, I met Corporal Montagu, Dr. Wood, and a trooper; I know three of the prisoners, Tommy, Daly, and Ajibbingwagne; they have often been about the station, which is about 35 miles from the scene of the outrage.

Cross-examined by Mr.Beresford: Tommy sometimes fetched the mail over; it does not come regularly.

Tommy, a native, was then put in the witness-box, and was cautioned to speak nothing but the truth.

Mr. Beresford said that the witnesse's evidence as a native would require to be corroborated.

His Honor said that it was necessary, as a rule, for the jury to be cautious in receiving the evidence of a native unless it was corroborated.

Witness : My name Tommy; live at Rum Jungle ; sometimes stop at the Daly River; I knew Noltenius; see him good while ago long Daly River; he work at the Daly River dig gold ; worked longa copper claim; I know Tommy, Ajibbingwagne, and Daly ; do not know Jemmy ; I knew Jack Landers, Noltenius, Tom the cook, and Harry Roberts ; when whitefellow stop copper claim black- fellow kill 'em whitefellow, because no more give 'em tucker, only tobacco ; blackfellow first time sit down longa camp, talk kill 'em whitefellow to- morrow ; in the morning get up, have em breakfast, talk more kill 'em whitefellow; Tommy take em one spear; Ajibbingwagne one spear; another man named Nango take two spears, then go long copper claim ; all go all about





copper claim ; I see Tommy take one stone spear long kitchen kill em Tom the cook, longa kitchen ; speared: him longa back; stone did not come out ; bamboo came out ; Tom the cook run long big fellow house; lay down inside; Nango take two spears longa Landers ; took one wood spear; spear Landers longa back ; he fell down where grass house was; Ajibbingwagne run after Landers, and speared him in the side; Nango also speared Noltenius, after he came out of a hole, with a white- wood spear in the side; did not see where Noltenius go; Ruberts was working longa stone ; Dable (Daly?) came up and hit him with a hammer on forehead and on neck: Dable run away; think Roberts dead then; blackfellow  go back longa camp; sleep at camp that night; before they went away. Ajibbingwagne threw another spear longa house, where whitefellow were ; next morning come up and look about house ; see Tom the cook lie down inside dead, blackfellow then take em tucker all about ; flour, rice, sugar, tobacco sardine; Ï know the rifle produced; Tommy take it first time from kitchen door standing up ; give it longa Ajibbingwagne ; take em cartridge too.

Witness was here shown a photograph of the scene of the outrage and pointed out the different places where the deceased men were working.

Examination continued : After Tommy give the gun to Ajibbingwagne he play alonga tree; this was on the day after the white men were killed : I found the rifle in black's camp and gave it to Mr. Foelsche ; Ajibbingwagne had one box of gun cartridges-; they were like the one produced."

The foreman of the jury asked that the witness should point out where the different men were working, and the   positions pointed out were corroborated by Mr. Roberts.

Cross-examined by Mr. Beresford : My name Tommy Karaf ; Mr. Foelsche good fellow; him tell me give me plenty tucker me speak good ; I see em before (photograph) ; I go Daly longa Mr. Foelsche; I tell story lot time to Mr. Foelsche, all the same story every time; know Miranda; he went to Daly with me ; come to Palmerston talk longa Court; Miranda tell me plenty tucker, plenty tobacco, plenty pipe ; first time I come Palmerston I come with Sambo and Davy ; they take me to Mr. Foelsche : they told me to go, talk long Mr. Foelsche ; Mr. Foelsche promised me tobacco to smoke ; me say '"Thank you ;" Mr. Foelsche told me no talk long  whitefellow, all about talk longa Mr. Knight; it was a white wood spear Noltenius was speared with ; I have not seen the spear point produced before; it is ironbark, not whitewood ; Daly tell me go longa Mr. Foelsche him give you tucker; Mr. Foelsche tell me go longa him, he go catch blackfellow longa Daly, and to fetch rifle and cartridges.

Re-examined by Crown Prosecutor :  Mr. Foelsche tell me talk longa Mr. Knight ; talk true ; the spear point produced is not whitewood.

Gilby, an aboriginal, deposed : I know Ajibbingwagne ; he camp longa me; tell me he kill em Jack; speared him ; Jack lived longa copper claim ; saw Jack last time longa road longa Howley; saw rifle produced in possession of Ajibbingwagne ; he shoot tree with it; I saw gun cartridges like one produced, plenty.




Cross-examined by Mr. Beresford : Mr. Foelsche give me plenty tucker ; tell me come longa Court ; I speak good long Court Mr. Foelsche give me plenty tucker.

Mr. Knight objected to the imputation on Mr. Foelsche.  

Mr. Beresford said that he had no intention to impute anything to Mr.Foelsche.

Mr. Knight : You seem to harp on the point of Mr. Foelsche promising tucker.

Mr, Beresford said be apologised if he had hurt Mr Foelsche's feelings, but if the cap fitted he couldn't help it.

 Mr. Roberts, recalled: I recognise the rifle produced as one similar to one we had in camp; Ï believe it to be my property ; it was behind the door of the kitchen of the day of the outrage . it was placed there by me ; the positions pointed out by the witness Tommy were correct ; there were cartridges resembling the one marked A in the camp ; also rifle cartridges similar to the one produced.

The Court adjourned for ten minutes so that an interpreter could be obtained.

Charlie, a blackboy in the employ of the O.T. Department, was obtained, but he was unable to understand the language of the Daly River natives.

The officer in charge of jury was sworn to take proper charge of them and not to speak to them except in regard to their wants, and the Court then adjourned till 10 a.m.

Saturday, December 20.

His Honor took his seat at 10.15.

The Court was kept waiting for some little time for an interpreter, and in the meanwhile His Honor said he should like to put a few questions to the native boy Tommy Karaf.

Tommy was accordingly put in the box, and in reply to His Honor, said : I heard blackfellow say killem- white fellow before Noltenius died ; me know Roberts, but did. not tell him ; me no want to tell him; when we went to copper mine me saw Noltenius, Roberts, and Schollert ; me want to see; me knew em want to kill whitefellow.

Mr. Knight wanted to ask the blackfellow what the other blacks would have done to him had he told the whites, but Mr. Beresford objected, and His Honor upheld the objection, saying that   the witness was an accomplice, and he would have to put that fact to the jury.





By His Honor: Me saw Schollert after he was speared ; only stayed piccaninny time and then went to the creek, and laid down and slept a picaninny time and then get up ; then me went to outside kitchen ; went there to look longa blackfellow.

By Mr. Beresford : Schollert first time bin havem. breakfast, then em speared ; me there, outside the. kitchen,all the time.

By the foreman of the jury : Did not tell the whitefellow because blackfellow   tell me no tell em whitefellow.

Jerahmo, otherwise Jimmy, interpreted bv a lubra, Woolwonga Mary, said : Blackfellow sit down longa camp ; Tommy taken spear go longa whitefellow camp ; another blackfellow named Nango takem spear : he saw Tommy spear Tom white fellow : Jimmy and Daly no killem ; Tommy and Ajibbingwagne killem ; Ajibbingwange killem Jack ; at the time of the killing Jimmy and Daly sit down longa house ; blackfellow killem white fellow because no givem flour only tobacco; after talking blackfellow sleep then get up next morning, takem. spear say killem whitefellow because no givem tucker, flour ; blackfellow all about takem spear all longa bush, whitefellow longa bouse ; first time whitefellow bin eatem breakfast ; then go work longa gold, then blackfellow come up killem ; when Tom the cook was killed, Nango and Daly put cm in bolo ; when Nango and Daly put em in hole, Ajibbingwagne carried him too ; Tommy did not carry him ; when he spearem Tom cook Tommy run away longa bush ; prisoner Jimmy no sit down ; he another one camp : he sit down all day longa nother camp, two sleeps away ; Tommy took the rifle away from the whitefellows' camp.

By Mr, Beresford : Saw Tommy kill cook ; he hear blackfellow talk all about killem whitefellow ; he knowem Jack ; knowem Tommy Karaf ; he bin tell em go longa Palmerston to speak to Mr Foelsche.

Here the interpreter got fogged, and Tommy Karaf interpreted.

Cross-examination continued : At the lime of the attack Í was at the house ; I bin have womera : I didn't tell the white fellows because the blackfellows told me not ; I was there all day ; Jimmy was there too, longa house ; Jimmy went to see blackfellow kill whitefellow ; me no savee whitefellow talk first time ; Jimmy was there all the time.

The foreman asked His Honor to look Tommy Karif's evidence and see what he said about the presence of Jimmy.

His Honor did so, and in the evidence   Tommy said he did not know Jimmy.







By Mr. Beresford : When me say Jimmy was at another blackfellow's camp, me gammon.

By Mr. Knight : Me no understand:

His Honor said that after this he did not think they could expect much reliance to be placed on the witness's evidence.

Bertroo, otherwise Tommy, interpreted by Tommy Karaf, said : Me know Daly River.

His Honor said be had the depositions before bim, and this witnesses statement was only heresay, and therefore not evidence. They need not trouble the jury with his evidence..

This closed the case for the Crown.

Mr. Beresford intimated that he had no evidence to call for the defence.

The Crown Prosecutor, addressing the jury, said, that they had a long and tedious trial, in consequence of the difficulty of the witnesses being strangers to the English tongue, and through the trouble which arose from the difficulty of interpreting them, but he submitted that the evidence he had produced had been ample to show that the four prisoners then before them were all, more or less, directly or indirectly concerned in the murder of Noltenius. His Honor had pointed out more than once during the trial that all persons present at the out- rage, aiding even by their presence, were equally liable, and no doubt the learned counsel for the defence would make the most of the fact that the principal witness against the prisoners was an accomplice, present at the massacre,.and that therefore his statements must be unreliable. He (Mr. Knight) was quite prepared to admit that the witnesses the aboriginals - - were present: aiding and abetting, and had never attempted to show otherwise. But they must remember that the Crown had often, to fix the guilt on the perpetrators of crime, to use such evidence, and before casting it aside, they must determine its worthlessness. These men were just as likely to be no better and no worse than the others who took a more active part in this cruel and barbarous murder.. Persons who had lived in the Territory for any length .of time, and were acquainted with the natives, knew what a very curious race they were. Docile as children in the main, the whole study and object of their lives was to supply themselves with food, and there was no doubt that their grievance of not being supplied by the mining party with food, but only pipes and tobacco, was the cause which led them, to conceive their plot of murdering the whites and obtaining what they desired. But this must not be allowed as an excuse for taking the steps they did. He then reviewed the evidence of the witness Karaf, pointing out that it had in the main particulars been corroborated by the circumstances, and argued that the evidence was complete in fixing the guilt   of the four prisoners, who they would be told by the learned Judge, were, whether active agents or aiders and






abettors, all equally guilty in the eyes of the law. He would remind them that this serious event had paralysed, in a great measure, the actions of settlers, and said that it behoved them to mark their sense of the enormity of the crime by returning a verdict such as would result in a terrible punishment, and mark their abhorrence of the brutal murder of these men of poor Noltenius, all of whom he again maintained were equally implicated, and against all of whom he believed they must record a verdict of guilty.

Mr. Beresford said that the learned Crown Prosecutor had made a slight mistake in asking them to mark their abhorrence of the action by returning a verdict of guilty ; he should have said, if they were satisfied of the guilt of the prisoners, they should find them guilty.. However, the gentleman was rather new to the work. He would ask them on the other hand that never mind what strong feelings had been excited by this horrible crime, never mind what their previously formed opinions might have been, to put such aside, and weigh the case by the evidence which had been produced, and by that standard alone. He might mention one or two circumstances in connection with, the case which would, he thought, prove to the jury that he had not had fair play in the conducting of the defence of these men, and that every obstacle had been thrown in the way of their receiving fair play at the trial by the Government, or those that were employed by Government. Some time ago he went out to the gaol in consequence of a communication received from Dr. Morice, and was retained by the blacks for their defence. Shortly afterwards, as the jury would see by the evidence, Inspector Foelsche made a communication to the Government Resident, in consequence of which Dr. Morice was suspended from his office of Protector of Aborigines, and what for? For simply discharging his duty as Protector of Aborigines, and acting as a Christian gentleman should have done. That was   the first count in his indictment against the Government. The second was, that some little time bofore Inspector Foelsche   made his last trip to the Daly River, he had, in the interests of the prisoners, hearing that some new evidence was forthcoming, asked, as counsel for the defence, that particulars of such might be supplied him. In reply he had received an answer that Inspector Foelsche was not in a position to unfold his plans. That was the reply he (the counsel) had received, although it appeared by the evidence that those were not the actual words spoken by the Inspector, still they were to the same effect, and it was certain that, despite Mr. Foelsche's statement that he had not then received the evidence of Tommy Karaf, that he was in possession of the facts on which Ajibbinwagne was committed on the 17th, long before he went to the Daly, and in common fairness to the prisoners he should have supplied their counsel with it. The Government wanted a conviction at all costs, and had thoroughly put away from their minds the first canon of British law that men wore always to be considered innocent until their guilt was proved. He would, in justice, exonerate the Crown Prosecutor from having placed any obstacles in the way of his obtaining the evidence, as he had received such evidence as soon at it came into the hands of that gentleman, some quarter of an hour before the case was called on. And he would ask the jury to consider that evidence. How it was obtained, by whom it was given, what would be its effect, and what was its worth. He then reviewed the statements of Karaf, arguing that the evidence of the whites, beyond being a doubtless truthful and sadly interesting history of the crime, as far as the individual parts the




witnesses played in it, was useless for the purposes of the Crown in fixing the guilt on the prisoners. And what was more likely that after trapping the prisoners in the neat, manner he had, Inspector Foelsche had also prompted this witness a remarkable smart boy, whose story had been evidently told so often that he knew it by rote. What easier than that his statement of the details of the murder was correct in every particular but the names of the real culprits -- that the names of the men who had been arrested should be substituted for those of the real culprits. And the inducement, the promise of plenty of tucker, and nothing else. What reliance was to be placed on the words of men who were swayed by their stomachs ? He had proved by the blacks themselves that they had come in to Inspector Foelsche in consequence of the promises of unlimited tucker made them. The jury must also look at the character of the evidence. The blacks were not on oath, they had not, like other witnesses, any fear of' punishment if they told lies ;they had simply the promise of reward if they repeated their story correctly. Surely the jury would be very careful of such evidence. Might it not be possible, nay was it not extremely probable, that they themselves were the murderers, and to save their neck had substituted the names of the prisoners for their own. And again, they must look at the demeanour of the witness. Look at Tommy Karaf, when replying to .the questions in which he had been un- doubtedly drilled. He could answer Mr. Knight immediately, and to the point. Then look, at the difference when he cross-examined him ; how adroitly he fenced when asked any questions which would go to show the understanding between himself and the inspector. He would put it to the common sense of the jury, and their knowledge of the police and blacks; how much reliance was to be placed on the assertion of Inspector Foelsche that he first got the witness Karaf's statement on the 17th December.

The evidence of Jerahmo they would have to cast aside as unreliable, it was untruthful on the face of it. They would be told by His Honor that the evidence of an accomplice must be corroborated by reliable witnesses before it could be received, and reviewing it, he pointed out that there was not one tittle of evidence against Jimmy except Jerahmo's statement that he was there, which he made after saying immediately before that he was at another camp two sleeps away. And the only corroborative evidence of Karaf's story was by Roberts, that he had seen the prisoner with the unpronounceable name a few moments before the attack. What more likely than Roberts had made a mistake about it being only a few moments, or that even if he had seen him the black had only just come up to the camp, as was their custom, and gone away again. They must remember that Roberts received a heavy blow on the head that day, and he might easily be mistaken. He could not fix any time for seeing the men Tommy and Daly, beyond half-past seven o'clock and half-past ten ; Tommy came there, according to Roberts, to get the mail, and through being a little late did not get it. There was no pretence made that he   stayed at the copper claim afterwards, or that Daly was seen at any particular time on the morning of the outrage. Sachse's evidence was interesting but unimportant. Foelsche's was a deliberate attempt to mislead the jury, and the statement to counsel that he knew of no evidence beyond what was adduced at the first enquiry was untrue. There could be no doubt that he knew every word of Karaf's evidence before he started on the second trip to the Daly. The learned gentleman then alluded to the rifle and  cartridges which, whatever they might have have to do with the charge of robbery, did not effect the present case, and also, as a further proof of the unreliability of Karaf''s evidence, pointed out the inconsistency of his statement that Noltenius was speared with a whitewood spear, which




when produced turned out to be ironbark. With skilful manipulation   his evidence had grown and grown till it exactly fitted the prisoners. The police had only to catch, the men and then gather suitable evidence, by such means as this, to connect the evidence with the men they had been successful in catching. The learned gentleman wound up his address by a strong appeal to the jury to judge solely by the evidence, and not be swayed by their feelings in the matter -- feelings which he knew it would be impossible to be without, but which he was certain they would put aside as much as possible, and fairly judging the men, show that notwithstanding that the mur-   dered men were of their own colour, and the prisoners blackfellows, they could still receive a fair trial without being prejudiced by their colour or the enormity of the crime with which they were charged, and despite the unfair methods which had been employed to sheet the charge home to them.


His Honor took his seat at 2.20 o'clock, and summed up. After the usual preamble he exhorted the jury to abolish from their mind anything that had been said to them, or had been said by them selves, with reference to the case, and to deal with the evidence solely as it had. been presented to them by the Crown. Prosecutor. After calling attention to their grave responsibility in the matter, he spoke of the measures which had been taken by him to secure the prisoners, legal aid. They were strangers not con- versant with our language, and without means, and he should always act in the same manner in murder cases, where the accused were without means, and said that the consequences of his action were that the jury and himself had been saved a great deal of trouble, and what-   ever course the jury might adopt it would   always be a satisfaction to him. (the Judge) that those four savages, for savages they undoubtedly were, had been represented in a British Court of Law by a member of the South Australian Bar. Some unpleasant reflections had been made with reference to the manner in which the Inspector of Police had con- ducted the preliminary stages of the case, but he must, as Judge, exonerate Mr. Foelsche from any improper proceedings.

There was nothing to warrant the imputation that the official had conducted the case improperly. There was no doubt he   had laboured under great dificulties in collecting the evidence, and he (His   Honor) thought that the stress which was   laid by the learned counsel for the defence on the fact that inducetments in the shape of food and tobacco had been held out to the natives was not warranted. They paid Europeans their expenses for attending a Court of Justice, and His Honors thought that Mr. Foelsche was quite   within his rights and acting fair and   aboveboard by adopting the course he did to secure evidence for his case. Did he think.otherwise he would be the first to denounce such conduct.. His .Honor then informed the jury that he had waited after they had retired, and carefully gone through the evidence, and had come to the conclusion, with which conclusion, the learned. Crown Prosecutor, agreed   that there was no evidence to put before them against Jimmy, and he  would, so that their attention might be directed solely to the three prisoners     against whom the evidence pointed, order, that Jimmy sit down. His Honor then   most carefully reviewed the evidence,, calling attention particularly to the fact of Roberts -- a most careful witness -- swearing, to the presence of Tommy,   .Ajibbingwagne, and Daly, on the




morning of the outrage. Had the evidence of Tommy Karaf not been corroborated by Roberts he would not have hesitated to. withdraw it from their consideration, but  when it was born out by Roberts in  some of its most important features, he   had no hesitation in leaving it for their   consideration. He drew the jury's attention to these points of corroboration of both the circumstances and Roberts' evidence; the fact that the attack was deliberately planned and carried out, the   evidence of Karaf tallying exactly with Roberts' statement as to a spear being afterwards thrown in the house which spear Karaf had told them was   thrown by the prisoner Ajibbingwagne, and also to the fact that Roberts had sworn that he left the rifle produced, or   one exactly similar to it, in the place   where Karaf had sworn the prisoner     Tommy took it from, the next morning ; after, the attack in which he had taken   such an active part -- that of killing Tom the cook. The learned Judge next alluded to the unsatisfactory manner in, which the aboriginal witness Jerahmo had given his evidence, saying, that it would be hard to say whether that was the fault of the witness, the fault of the woman who interpreted this evidence, or their fault in comprehending what had been said. But the witness had said in cross-examination that when he made the statement a few moments before that Jimmy was at another camp he "gammon," and His Honor was given to understand that the blacks thoroughly understood the meaning of that word as he did. He must ask them to dispense with that evidence and throw it on one   side. It was the only feature presented; against the prisoner Jimmy and for that reason he had ordered him to sit down   so that their undivided attention might be given to the case as presented against the other prisoners. Of course the verdict would be theirs as connected with all the prisoners.

The learned Judge wound up a most exhaustive and painstaking summing up by telling the jury that they owed a duty to the prisoners, to the country and society, to carefully consider their verdict, returning fearlessly such an one as the evidence and their consciences dictated. They would please consider their verdict.

In reply to His Honor, the foreman, Mr. Adcock, said they did not require the evidence read to them.

After a short retirement, the jury returned into Court with a verdict of Not Guilty against the prisoner Jimmy, and a verdict of Guilty against Tommy, Ajibingwagne, and Daly.

His Honor said he would sentence the : prisoners on Monday morning.

His Honor, addressing the jury, said that no other case would be commenced that day, as he understood the next .would take at least 12 hours on consideration, and thus there would be the necessity of locking them up over Sunday, and such a course, which would keep away from their wives and families he should not adopt.

The Court was then formally adjourned:   till 10 a.m. on Monday






Monday, December 22.

His Honor took, his seat at 10.30 a.m..


Jimmy, Nammy, alias Jacky, and Long Legged Charlie, aboriginal natives, were arraigned for having, on or about the 15th day of August last, at Palm Creek, near Mt. Gilbert, killed and murdered Henry Houschildt.

Prisoners pleaded not guilty, and were defended by Mr. Beresford.

The Crown Prosecutor said the depositions disclosed nothing against Charlie and Jimmy ; absolutely nothing against Charley, and only the possession of a strap belonging to the murdered man against Jimmy ; he could not otherwise connect him with the outrage.

His Honor said that as they had been arraigned, the Crown Prosecutor could withdraw the cases against the two prisoners after they were given in charge of the jury, and could afterwards use them as witnesses.

This was done and a verdict of Not Guilty was returned by the jury against the prisoners Long-legged Charley and Jimmy.

His Honor said that he hoped that these men would receive the same consideration at the hands of the authorities as the aboriginal witnesses who had been brought down against them, and that, like them, they would be returned to their own country. It would be a lasting disgrace to them if after allowing the men a trial they were not protected.

The Crown Prosecutor said he thoroughly agreed with His Honor, and would do his best to see the men were properly treated.

Mr. Beresford asked whether the irons were to be taken off the men.

His Honor said that was a matter which rested entirely at the discretion of the gaoler, who could use irons or not, until he received orders to discharge the men from custody. There might be other charges against them, but if none were preferred before night, he would order their discharge.

The Deputy Sheriff said he, too, was responsible for the safe custody of the prisoners, and he decidedly objected to allowing them to go without irons, much as he disliked to see any human being chained.

The Crown Prosecutor then opened the case against the remaining prisoner and called Henry




Roberts, who deposed : Was one of the owners of the copper claim on the Daly ; knew Houschildt, who was a partner of witness in the claim ; remembered his leaving the claim on the morning of the 15th August last, to go to the Union ; he had business there; he was in good health when he left ; he was accompanied by prisoner, who was in the habit of travelling with Houschildt ; he was known as Houschildt's boy, and he always went by the name of Billy; his native name was Nammy ; had only heard   him called that by natives ; Houschildt had two saddle horses and two pack horses when he left the camp at about 8 o'clock in the morning of the 15th ; he took about a fortnights' provisions; knew the horse ridden by prisoner, which was a bay mare; saw the mare again at the boundary fence of the Daly cattle station ; also saw the saddle horse Houschildt generally rode; both animals were in charge of two blackboys named Bob Patrick and Harry ; knew the bridle Houschildt used, which belonged to Mr. Tennant, of the Twelve Mile ; knew the strap produced, marked 1, which was missing when he got the bridle on the horse; knew the throat strap was used on the morning he left the camp ; the other strap, marked No. 2, was a swag strap, which had been cut ; it belonged to Houschildt and myself; could not say he had that particular strap with him on the 15th, but he took two, and that one was in use ; next saw the swag-strap at that Court on the 21st October, when it was produced by Inspector Foelsche; krew Palm Creek, and Houschildt might travel in that direction to go to the Union ; it was on his way ; Houschildt was on good terms with prisoner, as far as he knew ; when travelling they camped a short distance apart ; deceased had a revolver with him when he left the camp on the 15th August; prisoner had no weapon with him; prisoner did not return to the camp ; saw him first after Heuschildt's murder on the 21st October, in Court.

By His Honor : Palm Creek, he judged to be about 17 or l8 miles from the copper claim.

Cross examined by Mr. Beresford : Houschildt always treated prisoner very kindly ; he always provided food for prisoner ; prisoner had been Hous- childt's boy about two or three months, and had gone on expeditions with him before, so he would know how he would be treated ; was positively certain that the throat strap, No. 1, was on Houschildt's bridle on the morning of the 15th ; could not say who put Houschildt's bridle on, but was positive the throat-strap was in Houschildt's bridle; they had several throat-straps in the camp, but knew the strap by a brand on it 60Z ; that was Tennant's brand: was not aware of knowing it by any other mark : Houschildt always used it.

By His Honor: Had frequently handled the strap.

Cross-examination continued : Could not say he examined the strap the morning Houschildt left ; only knew it by the brand; could not say he saw the brand that morning ; would still swear that it went out with Houschildt's bridle that morning; would not swear Houschildt took out the swag-strap produced. The witness then described the swag-strap which had been formerly tacked round a brandy case which had been broken, and the tack-marks were in it, The strap was shown to the jury.





By Mr. Knight : The ore produced was very like some specimens Houschildt was taking in with him ; believe them to be the same ; the saddle-pouch produced was witness' property ; lent it to Houscbildt the morning he left to carry letters ; the two letters produced had been written by witness and were in Houschildt's possession when he left; knew the compass produced, which belonged to Houscbildt, and which he had on him when he left the claim.

P.T. Allan McDonald deposed : Was one of the party under Corporal Montagu in search of the murderers at the Daly copper claim ; the party was composed of Corporal Montagu, M-C's Luck, Cox, F-C. Stott, and himself; remembered reaching Palm Creek on the 19th Sept. where they found some human remains ; found near the body the two letters, and copper ore produced ; handed them over to Corporal Montagu ; the pocket compass was found on the other side of the creek about thirty yards from the body, by Corporal Montagu, was present when Corporal Montagu examined the body.

By His Honor : Knew Houscbildt   when he was alive, and firmly believe the remains were his ; the skull was that of a long and large head, with some grey hair attached to it.

By Mr. Beresford : Did not examine the skull, but saw a hole in it ; remained out looking for blacks after finding the body ; they came across several mobs.

Mr. Beresford asked whether any blacks were killed.

The Crown Prosecutor objected to the question and His Honor allowed the objection.

Mr. Beresford then asked what were the constables' instructions, and to this the Crown Prosecutor again objected.

His Honor allowed the question, and in reply said his instructions were to arrest certain blacks.

Mr. Beresford : Were your instructions to kill any ?

Witness : No, but I knew my duty. Corporal Montagu corroborated last witness as to the articles produced ; he examined the body which was in an advanced state of decomposition ; found a wound near the left eye , it had the appearance of being made by a revolver bullet ; from the general appearance of the body witness believed it was the body of Henry Houschildt, whom he had known since 1874; they saw two horses which they took into the Daly River cattle station.

By Mr. Beresford : There was a fracture in the skull which witness believed was caused by a bullet wound; as far as he saw there was only one wound on the body, and, he believed, quite sufficient to cause death; the body was buried just under the sand, a few inches ; the sand was loose; it was impossible the wind could have blown the sand over the body, as it was in a sheltered spot; saw a few blacks afterwards, who as a rule ran away ; they were pretty close to




them ; didn't know they were within 100 yards of them ; could not say, of his own knowledge, that any shots were fired at the blacks ; had made a report to Inspector Foelsche ; would include any report of his subordinates, if it was of sufficient importance; one man escaped from them.

Inspector Foelsche deposed : Remembered the 4th October last, when he arrested prisoner Jacky, who was also known by his native name Nammy, and Billy ; arrested him, with four other natives ; for the murder of Landers, Noltenius, and Schollert; found the straps marked 1 and 2 on prisoner ; after arresting him, he and two others gave witness the names of the natives who had murdered Houschildt; witness enquired, in presence of the prisoner, where Houschildt's boy was ; the reply was Houschildt's boy had nothing to do with the murder, he was asleep when Houschildt was killed, and that he ran away into the bush ; after the prisoner was identified in Palmerston by Mr Roberts as being the boy who left, with Houschildt, the copper claim on the morning of the 15th August, witness arrested him on the 18th October on the charge of murdering Houschildt ; he explained to prisoner the charge and cautioned him.

The Court then adjourned till 2 p.m.

Afternoon Sittings.

His Honor took his seat at 2.45.

SENTENCE. [from case above]

Tommy, Ajibbingwagne, otherwise Jimmy, and Daly, found guilty on Saturday last, of the wilful murder of Johannes Lubrecht Noltenius, at the Daly copper mine were brought up for sentence.

In reply to the usual question by the Clerk of Arraigns, Tommy said : " No more tucker only tobacco. Me sit down long creek. First time Nango came up. Whitefellow come up. Nango spear em in back, then Jimmy spear em, then ' Tom cook ' run away me bin kill em."

Jimmy said : " Nango kill em ; me bin kill em more."

Daly said : " Me sit down longa camp.'  

His Honor, addressing the three men, said, you have been found guilty by a jury of the murder of Noltenius, and I believe the jury have arrived at a right conclusion. The law imposes upon me the duty of passing the sentence of death upon you, which is that you be taken to the place from whence you came, thence taken to the place of execution, there to be hanged by the neck till you be dead, and that your bodies be afterwards buried at theplace of execution or some other place   which the Governor may direct, and may God have mercy on your souls.





His Honor intimated to the Deputy Sheriff that in the matter of the execution of aboriginal criminals the Governor could order it to take place at or as near as possible to the place where the crime was committed. The Government Resident and himself both thought that the most advisable place  to execute the men just sentenced would be the scene of the outrage, and most likely that course would be adopted. The Deputy Sheriff would make the necessary arrangements if he received orders to that effect from the Governor; if not the prisoners would be dealt with in the ordinary course, that was to say, they would be hanged at the prison and their bodies buried within its precincts.

The prisoners were then removed, and prisoner Nammy, charged with the murder of Houschildt, again placed in the dock.

Paul Foelsche, Inspector of Police, was cross-examined by Mr. Beresford, but as the cross-examination was sworn by the inspector to having nothing to do with the case before the Court, and was altogether uninteresting to those not mixed up in the Beresford-cum Foelsche dispute, we shall not republish it. It is pretty well explained in Mr Beresford's speech in the case of the murder of Noltenius.

Bob Patrick, aboriginal native, said : Houschildt was killed at a place called Jungle; he was killed at Palm Creek; Houschildt and prisoner come along together, two fellow; when they got round hill they camp; Harry catch em dinner then sleep; it was dark ; prisoner light em fire, then go blackfellow camp ; Walla bringem spear, Yobba Yobba bringem spear, Bowley bringem spear, and prisoner bring spear ; first time Walla killem ; Yobba Yobba next time killem ; next time Bowley killem ; prisoner first time takem revolver; takem away ; blackfellow all about takem tobacco knife, blanket, pack-bag, tomahawk, wood pipe; first time prisoner takem horse ; next time Walla takem ; prisoner ride one horse Walla ride other side; put em tucker pack bag ; blackfellow leave em nother one horse; when me see Harry Roberts come along.

Here it became impossible to make out what the witness was saying.

To His Honor: Me no there; me longa nother one camp ; me hear em .* Bob, Bob ;" then me look out see Nammy ride long horse ; he bin say, " Me got em horse all same Houschildt; me spear em Harry ," meaning Houshildt; then me growl, saying " What for spearem Harry ;" now policeman come up that one growl ; prisoner said nothing.

In cross-examination by Mr. Beresford, witness again said he did not see the murder; prisoner told him.

Tommy Gilby, aboriginal, said : Knew prisoner ; he told him (witness) " me bin spearem Harry ;" that was Houschildt; lot of blackfellow killem ; prisoner Nammy told him.

By Mr. Beresford : Nammy tell me ; not other blackfellow ; Nammy say blackfellow spearem.




Long Legged Charley, aboriginal, who was acquitted in the morning, said : I know prisoner ; he tell me he killem Harry Houschildt; I ask Jacky why he killem and he say " nothing ;'" he say he spearem longa side ; me no tell lie.

By Mr. Beresford : Me no tell em Mr. Foelsche first time that prisoner sleep when Houschildt bin killed ; Mr. Foelsche bin talk longa me since me bin go outside.

Mr. Knight addressed the jury, and argued that the case was proved not only by the fact that he had admitted speariug Houschildt, and that the horses had afterwards been seen in his possession, but more especially by the fact that prisoner was in company with Houschildt.

Mr. Beresford replied, arguing that prisoner was asleep with Houschildt at the time, and was too frightened to return and report it.

The Court then adjourned till 7.45 p.m.

On resuming His Honor summed up most exhaustively, clearly pointing out the facts that prisoner was the last man seen with deceased, was found in pos- session of his horses and straps after the murder, and was proved by the aboriginal witnesses (whose testimony the jury would or would not receive, as they thought fit) to have boasted of the murder. The judge pointed out that if, as the learned counsel for the defence suggested, the prisoner was an innocent victim, and was frightened and ran away, it was a strange thing he did not run either in the direction of the cattle station or the copper claim.

The jury after a short retirement found prisoner Guilty, and His Honor sentenced him in the usual form to death, making similar observations to the Sheriff as to the place of execution, &c, as made after sentencing the other aboriginal prisoners.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 17 January 1885

Robert Stott, police-constable, was charged with assaulting a China boy named Ah Lung, the prosecutor in the first case against Ah Kit. The boy was guilty of using a certain closet in a filthy manner, and the assault consisted of a slight kick (defendant having Chinese slippers on). It was a most trumpery affair altogether, and His Worship took a lenient view of it in consequence. He fined Stott £1 for the assault, £2 2s. counsel's fee, and costs of Court one pound only, £4 2s. in all !

South Australian Register, 16 Jan 1885

THE NORTHERN TERRITORY. [By Telegraph.] Port Darwin. January 15.

The steamer Guthrie arrived yesterday from the South, Passengers — Messrs. Chester, Power,




O'Connor, and Roach. She reports that she lost a propeller blade in the Arafura Sea. The steamer sailed today for Hongkong. Passengers— Captain Stevenson and six Chinese, Exports, 2 1/2 tons of trepang. At the Police Court yesterday Constable Stott was fined one pound and costs, or a total of £1 2s. for striking a Chinese boy who disobeyed orders. Such protection is likely to make the Chinese impudent. Special Chinese legislation is required similar to that in force at Singapore.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 2 February 1885

The only case tried at the Police Court this week was on Wednesday last, when a Chinaman was brought before Mr. Pater, charged with burglariously entering a hut, situated off Smith-street, and occupied by a poor old fellow who is now employed on the Government Relief work. No less than six times during the last fortnight has Dalgleish, the man referred to, been robbed of eatables which he could, of course, very ill afford to lose. On each occasion he has reported the matter to the police, and they, in consequence, have kept a sharp look-out. The thief, however, managed to elude their vigilance until Tuesday morning last, when P.-C. Stott, on going to inspect the hut, found a part of a sheet of bark removed from the back of the hut. By drawing the staples to which the door was padlocked, he effected an entrance and discovered the prisoner flagrante delicto. Mr. Pater committed the prisoner (who gave his name as Ah You) for trial.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 28 February 1885

It must indeed be pleasing when taxpayers find a well paid Government official, who is intrusted with such a serious and responsible duty as presiding over a Court of Law, com- bines a delicious sprinkling of funny satire with his grave duties. Frequently (and notably when reporters are absent from the Court) the presiding magistrate indulges in some of his ill-chosen and cowardly irony at the expense of some poor devil whose duties bring him within the august presence, and whose position prevents him replying to the magistrate's sneers. We do not think the public would feel interested in Mr. Pater's witticisms, so will not publish the particulars; suffice it to state that both Senior-constable Waters and Constable Stott have, during the past week, been favoured with his gnat-like stings, which doubtless His Honor thinks very pleasing to his satellites in Court and very stinging to the Inspector of Police, for whose annoyance the brilliant effusions of this dyspeptic are doubtless designed.

In the Advertiser of 17th January a letter appeared signed by Mr. R. D. Beresford, solicitor, of Palmerston. It is on the old subject, the championing of Dr. Morice (the unfortunate scapegoat of the whole transaction) and abuse of Inspector Foelsche, in connection with the trial of the aboriginals for the Daly River massacre. Of course Mr. Beresford makes himself and his poor black brethren very ill-used persons. Well, we are glad to say that some of them are to be hanged, and it did not matter much if --- As we were about to remark when interrupted, Mr. Beresford facts have been so thoroughly disproved in this town that we do not care about reiterating the contradictions to and arguments against them. We simply recognise the fact that





some of the black scoundrels have been brought to justice, and we care very little whether Mr. Beresford's amour propre has been wounded or not. We wonder at the Advertiser arguing out the case on Mr. Beresford's premises without first becoming acquainted with the both sides of the case.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 2 May 1885

On Monday last information was given to the police by one Ah Sing, a Chinaman owning a sampan engaged in the trepang fishery, that about eight days before, near Port Essington, six Chinese engaged by him, left their camp at about 8 o'clock to go fishing, leaving a mate named Ah Foo, who was sick, together with four " friendly " natives, at the camp. On returning at noon they found poor Ah Foo dead in his hut, his body .covered over with a rice bag, The man had evidently been murdered, as there were two large cuts in the back of his neck, apparently caused by blows with a tomahawk or some similar weapon. The place was thoroughly ransacked, and the blacks, evidently the murderers, had cleared out. The men remained in camp till next morning, buried the deceased, and then came on to Palmerston, where they arrived on Saturday evening. They did not, however, report the matter until Monday. On Tuesday morning the " Larrakeeyah," cutter, with Constable Stott, proceeded to the scene of outrage, but there is a very poor chance, we imagine, of his effecting a capture of the murderers, as they have had plenty of time to escape with their booty to places where, without horses and trackers, it would be impossible to follow them.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 20 June 1885

Constable Stott succeeded in capturing the native Candalamah, accused of murdering the Chinese fisherman Ah Foo, at Bowen Straits, some few months ago. The constable proceeded to Bowen Straits on May 28, and obtained a party of natives, under whose guidance he travelled some 60 miles in the direction of Tor Rock, swimming several large streams on the way. We are pleased to hear that the constable's trip was a successful one, and certainly think his pluck in travelling through the bush single handed, only accompanied by a few strange blacks, and effecting the capture, deserves complimentary mention.

1.      ( the report 26 April 1884 outlines Constable Stott’s earlier voyage on the “Fleetwing” in search of this murderer, the Chinese community of palmerston presented him with a gold watch in thanks for his efforts. LJF)

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 12 Sept 1885

Joseph Abdoolah, a man whose face is extremely familiar to visitors at the Police Court, appeared before T. K. Pater, Esq., S. M., on Monday last, charged with being drunk and using insulting language, and also with resisting the police and damaging Constable Stott's coat. His Worship sentenced Abdoolah to pay a fine of £5, and 10s, damages, or go to goal for three months.





South Australian Register, 5 October 1885



Sir— To my great astonishment the Minister of Education stated yesterday in the House, in answer to Mr. Rees, that I was dismissed by the late Ministry. on the charge of Mr.Justice Pater, who said on the Bench that I had, by means of drink, influenced a notoriously intemperate reporter to write an article supporting the police in an illegal arrest effected by them. It is not true that I ever gave drink to any reporter (whether notoriously intemperate or not) for the purpose alleged. There was only one notoriously intemperate reporter, and to him I once, and only once, offered a glass of drink, which cost 6d., and that sixpenny glass was not given to induce him to write an article, nor am I aware that it produced that result. The reporter, however, did write an article about an illegal arrest, which was submitted by the reporter to Inspector Foelsche and approved by him in my presence. It was also read out by the reporter to all the police, who approved of it, after which Constable Waters, the second in command, stood drink to the reporter, and all the police drank with him with the exception of myself. But neither before nor after the article was written did I ever conduce to it or ratify it by stimulants administered by the reporter, nor was I in any way interested in upholding the legality of an arrest. There was an illegal arrest of some Chinamen, who were taken without warrants in pursuance of a practice which, according to Inspector Foelsche, had prevailed prior to the advent of Mr. Pater. The arrest was made under the orders of Constable Stott, then in charge of the barracks, by himself and Constable Cox and myself, and Stott put me down on the sheet as arresting con- stable. Inspector Foelsche, in the presence of us all, approved of what Stott had done as being a proper arrest, and said that no Judge but Mr. Pater would have found a judgment against the police. At all events, I, who was the junior of all, and who acted under the orders and in the presence of my senior, incurred no responsibility, and had no in- terest in causing the legality of the arrest to be upheld in the Press. But what perhaps is more important still is that Mr. Pater did not from the Bench make any such charge, nor did he even mention my name in connection with the case. The Minister's statement is a fiction. What Mr. Pater did say was that it was evident to him that the police had a news- paper reporter in their pay for the purpose of misrepresenting their case before the public. He said this on the occasion of an action by one of the arrested Chinamen against the police for an illegal arrest The learned Judge did not in his remarks name any of the police, as may be seen by the newspapers which came out after August 6, when the case was heard. If, however, any name had been chosen by the Government to foist into the report, there are two things which make it strange that mine should ba selected. One is that I was so manifestly entitled to an indemnity from my senior officer that the plaintiff, who obtained judgment, did not even issue execution against me, but went against Stott, my senior. The other is that this action was not treated by Inspector Foelsche as a police case at all, and he told me to take off my uniform and attend in plain clothes for that reason. It seems wonderful to me, therefore, now to find that I was dismissed for some thing the Judge never said about a thing I never did, and in a civil case which the Inspector regarded as concerning me so little as a policeman that I was not even allowed to attend it in




uniform. I have never heard of this ground of dismissal before, nor indeed of any other ground. I was never told that Mr, Pater made such a charge against me, and that I was to report upon it. No one who was present dared say that he made such a charge; but if the Inspector thought so why did he not try to find out whether it was true and ask me to report upon it? I continually asked why I was dismissed, and why did they not tell me? I demanded an enquiry of Mr. Parsons, and why did I not have it ? They threw all the blame on Inspector Peterswald and the Minister of Education, and when I returned to Adelaide Mr. Peterswald knew nothing of the matter and the Minister of Education has been fifteen weeks " carefully considering" the matter without being able to find out the cause of my dismissal. So little did Mr. Pater say against me that the newspapers accused him of being the champion of my cause, and I quote from a letter of his now before me in which he says of me— 'Although he had sent in his resignation prior to this they sacrifice him as the scapegoat and discharge him from the force.' I had sent in my resignation three weeks before my dismissal, and did so on the ground that I was required to advance moneys which I had not got in order to pay for travelling expenses on gold escort. They dismissed me without suspension and without reason assigned or report demanded, and they did so, I believe, as they afterwards tried to do with another constable (Hang gong), in order to blight the character of a man who wished to relinquish the force. In conclusion, I will only say, in justice to Mr. Pater, whose remarks about the police appear strong, that when the enquiry which the public have petitioned Parliament to grant comes about that condemnation will probably be justified. It pretty fairly represented the state of things which I found when I arrived in the Northern Territory, and which I did my best to remedy by being the first after my arrival to arrest the intemperate reporter for drunkenness and obscene language. At all events no one can be said to have contributed less to the pecuniary income or the alcoholic contents of the intemperate reporter than your obedient servant.


Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 17 Oct 1885



Friday, October 9th, 1885,

(Before T. K. Pater, Esq., S.M).

John Muller was brought up on remand before T. K. Pater, Esq., S. M., charged with having in his possession sundry pieces of timber reasonably suspected of being stolen or unlawfully obtained.

The prisoner had been previously convicted of stealing timber from Messrs. Adcock Bros., and sentenced to six months imprisonment. At the request of the prisoner Constable Stott




accompanied him to the place where he lived, in order that he might collect his tools and secure them until his release from gaol. Constable Stott seeing some pieces of timber on the premises which he had reason to suspect to have been unlawfully obtained, called upon the prisoner to give   an account of where he got them from. The prisoner's version not being satisfactory he was charged with the unlawful possession of the timber.

The information was laid under Section 56 of the Police Act, and the S.M. ruled that it could not be maintained, as the Section referred to only applied to persons having or carrying things in the streets, and not to persons having pos- session of things in a house or other building. He quoted the case of Hadley   v. Perks, in support of his decision, and which was in every respect in point. In- formation was, accordingly, dismissed.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 17 Oct 1885



On July 19th, 1884, we took upon ourselves in our position as journalists, to call the attention of the public to the above named cases, and to the peculiar course adopted by Mr.Beresford in first acting for the Police in the prosecution of the Chinese, and afterwards taking the case for the Chinamen against the Police, and mulcting them in damages. It was this article which so nettled Mr. T. K. Pater, when his young friend's professional actions were questioned, that he falsely stated from the Bench that the reporters were in the pay of the Police, and it was upon this statement that the two papers gave His Worship the lie direct, and proved it out of the mouth of his informant, Trooper Smith. We are glad to find that the   result of our calling attention to this case has, although considerably delayed, been what every fair minded man in the community would wish, and that the severest possible rebuke has been administered by the Government upon the whole of the proceedings, by the repayment to Constables Stott and Cox of the full amount of the verdict and costs. It is evident to us that the delay which has occurred has been utilized by thè Government, and probably by thé Law Officers of the Crown, for a careful consideration of the whole case, The result, is in our opinion, a direct censure upon Mr. Beresford's action, and Mr. Pater's open championship of his course of proceeding. We have heard, that the whole case was brought under the notice of the Law Society; if such is   the fact we feel sure that Mr. Beresford's conduct could not have been approved, or the government would scarcely have so promptly recompensed the Police Troopers for their losses. As we have every desire, while dealing with the question, to treat Mr. Beresford fairly, we shall be most happy to publish the decision of the Law Society, if that gentleman will supply us with a copy of it. We heartily congratulate Messrs. Stott and Cox upon the repayment of their money, and can but express our admiration of the spirited manner in which the Commissioner of Police has brought the question before the notice of the Government, and obtained fair play for the Officers of his Department.




Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 24 Oct 1885

The friends of Constable Stott will be pleased to learn that the zeal and intelligence displayed by that officer in the capture of a native for the murder of a Chinaman near Port Essington some few months ago, has been recognized by the Government. The case was brought under the notice of the Commissioner of Police by Inspector Foelsche, and Constable Stott has received a small present from the Department as a recognition of his gallant conduct.

South Australian Register, 28 November 1885



Sir— Although I had the good fortune to escape being one of the pursuit party by being placed on other duty, yet I was told the incidents of the expedition when the men returned from it. I was informed of Corporal Montagu's report, which the men said was true, but I knew that, though it had been sent in to Mr. Parsons, he refrained from publishing it. In consequence of this Mr. Beresford wrote to Mr. Parsons about Corporal Montagu's report, which would have had an important bearing on the trial of the persons accused as tending to show the influences under which the evidence against them was procured. Mr. Beresford's application, however, was in vain. Some of the incidents narrated by the members of the force on their return were as follows :— One day the police came upon a camp of blacks— men, women, and children — unawares. They at once rushed into the scrub, and the police fired upon them, but did not say distinctly with what result. Upon another occasion the police came upon a large party of natives who took refuge in a waterhole. The police at once surrounded it, Corporal Montagu going on one side with the horses, and these commenced carefully firing upon the natives, who were all killed but one. One man escaped up a tree, upon which Trooper MacDonald called upon him three times in the Queen's' name to come down and surrender, and in default shot him, and the native dropped dead from the tree. One of my informants, who prided himself on his shooting, much lamented having missed one old man, who ducked in the water as the trigger was pulled, and the trooper was only partially consoled by shooting him dead as he came up again. Corporal Montagu's position was not free from danger, and one or two bullets whistled past him. I said to one of my informants— "I hope for your sake the police will be able to justify their conduct, but I think you have all been guilty of murder." His answer was—' It is all right ; we only acted under orders." He told me what the orders were. They were to call upon the natives thrice in the Queen's name to surrender, and if they did not surrender, to shoot them. These orders came from Inspector Foelsche. The figures which were given to me as the number of the slain far exceeded the numbers mentioned in Corporal Montagu's report. I will not mention the reckoning that was given to me for fear or being charged with exaggeration, but I will mention one fact from which a very moderate estimate may be framed. Out of five constables whom I know to have been engaged, namely, Montagu, Luck, Cox, Stott, and MacDonald, the latter was regarded as about the worst shot, and he cut fourteen notches on the butt of his carbine, being the tally of those whom he knew he had




himself killed. Assuming that none of the party shot more than MacDonald, we have a total of seventy dead for the five rifles. But it is probable that there were many more, for an average on the level of an inferior marksman is not only improbable, but would hardly justify Corporal Montagu's encomium on the Martini-Henry rifle, the ascertainment of whose merits he appeared to regard as one important result of the expedition. Any comment from me on the barbarity of the massacre or on the mockery of a challenge in the Queen's name to natives who cannot understand it would be superfluous ; but I may point out that the terror excited by these barbarities has an important bearing on the evidence given for the prosecution of the men who were given up. While the massacres were on foot Inspector Foelsche paid a friendly visit in the neighbourhood of the Daly River, and made handsome gifts of food and tobacco, after which he returned to Palmerston with the men who were put upon     their trial. He also brought some wit- nesses with him, and afterwards swore in the witness-box that he had told a false- hood to Mr. Parsons with reference to the evidence which had been obtained, and he had really obtained other evidence which he had concealed from Mr. Parsons. The impression made by this evidence was that what he had told Mr. Parsons originally was the truth, that the Inspector had not at that time obtained all his evidence, and that the additional evidence which at the trial he pretended to have had from the first had been subsequently procured from the natives. Nothing was more probable, as the combined result of the terrorism and of the friendly visits and gifts, than that the natives should have arranged among themselves to furnish the testimony subsequently adduced against the men whom they were prepared to sacrifice. The gist of the matter was that this evidence   had been concealed from Mr. Beresford, and was sprung like a mine upon him at the trial. He had been informed that there was no more evidence than that of the witnesses who had been originally produced, but on the morning of the trial Inspector Foelsche arrived in Palmerston with the additional witnesses, and swore that he had known of them all along, and that Mr. Parsons and Mr. Beresford had been misled. As the circumstances give rise to the well-founded supposition that the evidence for the prosecution was obtained by the conjoint influence of bribery and intimidation, the first trial stands tainted, and the second, if persevered in, will be a blot upon English justice.— I am, Sir, &c,

JAMES FOSTER SMITH, Late Trooper, Northern Territory.

South Australian Register, Wednesday 30 December 1885


[By Telegraph.] Port Darwin. December 29.

The Commission appointed to enquire into the police reprisals for murders by natives at Daly River concluded its sittings today. The Commission examined Troopers McDonald, Luck, and Stott. Ex-trooper Cox refused to answer any questions because the Commission refused to allow counsel to appear for him, No particulars have yet transpired.





Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 19 Dec 1885




His Honor took his seat at 10 a.m.


Nammy alias Jacky was charged with the wilful murder of Henry Houschildt, at Palm Creek, on or about August 15th, 1884.

In this case Mr. Copinger, who appeared for the defence, pleaded that the prisoner had already been tried once for the same crime

The Crown Prosecutor answered with similar arguments to those used in the case of the other natives, and His Honor held that the previous trial was a nullity, reserving the point for consideration of the Judges.

Jury -- Messrs. Hillson, Harwood, Lawrie, Luxton, Pickford and Adcock.

The Crown Prosecutor, after briefly reviewing the case called Henry Roberts, miner, of the Daly River, sworn : I was working at the copper claim on September 3rd, 1884 ; the party consisted of Houschildt, Noltenious, Landers, Schollert, and myself ; I remember Houschildt leaving the claim on August 15th, 1884, to go to the Union; the prisoner accompanied him ; he always went with Houschildt when he travelled in the bush ; on starting Houschildt had two saddle horses, two pack horses, and about two weeks' provisions ; prisoner rode one of the saddle horses, a bay filly ; I afterwards saw the same two horses in the Gap on road to Daly Cattle Station last year, on September 6th ; two natives had charge of the two horses ; they were not riding the horses ; the two letters produced (marked 3 and 4 respectively) are those I gave to Housdiildt to deliver when he started from the copper mine ; I know the strap produced (marked 2 ;) it is the property of Houschildt and myself ; I know the saddle pouch produced ; Houschildt had it with him when he left the copper claim in August ; I also recognise the compass produced ; Houschildt took it with him when he left the copper claim ; I remember some natives coming to the camp about a week before the attack on the copper claim ; Houschildt left to the Southward, across the range close to the junction of the Daly River ; he went in the direction of Palm Creek ; Houschildt always treated the prisoner very kindly, he always slept within 30 or 40 yards of where Houschildt slept ; Houschildt had a revolver with him when he left the copper claim ; I believe the strap produced to be a throat strap belonging to Houschildt's bridle; when Houschildt left the copper claim both horses had throat straps ; when I found the horses, one throat strap was missing ; the bridles had




been broken and tied up with string the natives make them- selves; the bridles were not broken when Houschildt left the claim ; Hauschildt took some copper specimens with him when he left the claim ; they were the same sort as those which I saw produced at the Circuit Court in December, 1884, by Corporal Montagu ; they were specimens from the mine Cross-examined by Mr. Copinger : prisoner had been working at the mine about 4 months ; two blackboys accompanied Houschildt on foot for a few miles; the two boys returned to the camp next morning ; when I met the boys in the Gap on September 6th, told me they were going to take the horses to the copper camp, and that they were sent by Houschildt, who was at Rum Jungle, ill ; don't remember whether I asked after the prisoner ; I am not sure whether the strap produced was in Houschildt's possession on August 14th ; long-legged Charley, Antonio, and some other natives, about 12 in all, came to the copper claim about a week before the 3rd of September.

Allen McDonald, Mounted Constable, sworn : I was one of the party who went with Corporal Montagu in search of the murderers of Houschildt and party ; was at Palm Creek on September 19th last year ; Montagu, Cox, Stott, and Luck were also there ; re- member the remains of a body being found by Constable Luck on September 9th, 1885 ; I saw the letters, produced, near the remains of the body ; there were also copper specimens near the body ; they were the same specimens produced at Circuit Court in December 1884 ; they were handed over to Corporal Montagu ; I have not seen the specimens since that date ; I saw the remains, I believe they were Houschildt's, he had a peculiar shaped skull and grey hair ; there was a round hole over the left eye, and the back of the skull was protruding; the hole appeared to be caused by a bullet.

Cross-examined by Mr. Copinger : did not notice any spear wounds ; the flesh had disappeared ; the body had been partially buried; we disinterred the body, and re-buried it, we looking for Houschildt's body ; Constable Luck found the body first ; I was only at the other side of the Creek close by ; had known Houschildt well for four years ; I examined the specimens closely ; next saw them at Police Court ; the specimens were peculiar, and had some shiny substance with them ; Corporal Montagu found the saddle pouch, produced ; I saw it in his hand ; he was about 20 or 30 yards from the remains at the time they were found.

Charles F. Luck, Mounted Constable, stationed at Yam Creek, I was at Palm Creek on September 19th, with Corporal Montagu's party, who went in search of the murderers of the men at the Daly River Copper Mine; Cox, Stott, McDonald, and Corporal Montagu were also there ; I found a body there; it was buried about l8 inches below the surface, except part of the skull, which was exposed ; the body was wrapped in a mosquito net ; I saw a pick and shovel, two letters, produced, two pack bags, and three copper specimens ; I saw the saddle pouch in Corporal Montagu's possession ; I knew Houschildt well ; I believe the body was Houschildt's ; he had a peculiar shaped head, and the body found, corresponded exactly ; we buried the body.

Cross-examined by Mr. Copinger : We found the body about 15 or 20 miles from the copper claim ; there was a native's camp about 100 yards from where the body was found; saw two horses near where the body was ; they were Houschildt's horses : there was plenty of feed about there ; one horse was hobbled.




Paul Foelsche, Inspector of Police, sworn : I arrested the prisoner on the Daly River in October, 1884, for the murder of Noltenius, Lander, and Schollert ; found strap produced (marked 2) on prisoner, who was wearing it round his waist; the prisoner was in company with two other natives, Tommy and Long-legged Charley ; I arrested them also ; Charley was wearing the strap produced (marked 1) ; when I arrested the prisoner I was not aware he was Househildt's boy, I only found that out after my arrival at Port Darwin ; prisoner said Houschildt's boy named Billy was asleep when Houschildt was killed ; the three natives were talking together, and then talking to me ; could hardly say which made the statement.

Cross-examined by Mr. Copinger : When I arrested him on October 4th, I spoke to him in English ; he tried to convey to me that he was not Houschildt's boy ; he said Houschildt's boy was not one of the party who attacked him ; he and two other natives told me that Houschildt was killed by Waloo, Jabojabo, Doorak, Boola, and Liranda ; they said Houschildt was speared in the head ; none of the natives mentioned have been found.

Gilby, an aboriginal native : I know prisoner ; I see him longa bush ; he came to my camp called Hanbull ; he told me he killem Houschildt ; Waloo, Boola, Yuba Yuba, Chorock, Loweridgee also killed Houschildt too; Waloo threw first spear, prisoner threw second spear ; Loweridgee, Boola, and Yuba Yuba also threw spears ; prisoner said he didn't want to go long way with Houschildt ; it was dark and Houschildt was asleep ; prisoner told me all this ; prisoner did not want to go long way, and went to blacks' camp a little distance and told them to come and spear Houschildt; prisoner slept along blackfellows camp, and afterwards went to Houschildt's camp and killed him.

Cross-examined by Mr. Copinger: No one was present when prisoner told me ; he told me he touched Houschildt with spear after he was dead ; prisoner said they took horse away long bush ; took flour, tea, sugar, boulli and revolver : prisoner told me they all went together to Houschildt's camp; prisoner said Waloo gave him spear; after they killed Houschildt they went longa bush ; prisoner did not go longa bush with other blackfellow.

Another witness was called, but as the interpreter seemed to be putting leading questions to the witness, who was not able to answer questions properly, the jury expressed themselves dissatisfied with the interpretation.

Prisoner made a statement to the effect that he did not go to blackfellows' camp ; Waloo brought lubra to Houschildt's camp ; Houschildt told prisoner to tell Waloo to go away, and let lubra stop there ; after Waloo went away, Houschildt said to prisoner, "You leave lubra long me, I give her to you tomorrow " ; Houschildt and lubra slept together in mosquito net ; prisoner slept little way away ; Houschildt got up and told prisoner to look out long horse ; he did so, and saw the horses were all right ; prisoner then went to sleep ; afterwards Waloo came and woke up lubra, who woke prisoner up ; Waloo went away ; lubra asked him to go with her to blackfellows camp ; when he got there, only one old man there ; while he was at blackfellows camp, Boola came to him and told him Waloo had speared Houschildt ; he went over to see Houschildt's camp, when




Loweridgee speared Houschildt in the head, and Dolby struck Houschildt with a spear in the thigh ; Chorock threw another spear ; prisoner tried to wake Houschildt up after the other blacks went away ; he threw a stone to wake Houschildt up ; he no wake up ; he then struck Houschildt with a small spear in the left arm ; he did not wake up ; prisoner then went to blacks camp and asked Waloo what for he growled at Houschildt ; he said, because Houschildt had taken his lubra; prisoner and Boola made a hole and buried Houschildt; prisoner then looked after horses, and rode to blackfellows, who had gone longa bush ; prisoner then went along copper claim, and saw Tom, the cook, dead in a hole ; Houschildt was killed the first night after he and the prisoner left the copper claim.

This concluded the case for the Crown.

Mr. Copinger called no witnesses for the defence.

The Crown Prosecutor and Mr.Copinger having addressed the Court, His Honor summed up.

After about half-an-hour's retirement, the jury returned to Court, and the foreman, Mr. Hillson, stated that they could not agree upon a verdict. His Honor sent them back to re-consider the verdict until 6 o'clock, and on their still being unable to agree, they were discharged.


His Honor took his seat at 10 o'clock a.m.

NEW TRIAL.                           Murder.

Nammy alias Jacky, was charged with the wilful murder of Henry Houschildt.

Jury. --- Messrs. Bull, Freer, Porter, Harvey, Christoe, and O'Connor.

The prisoner pleaded not guilty.

This case was fully reported in Monday's proceedings, the evidence being almost a repetition of the evidence given on that date.  

After a short retirement the Jury found the prisoner guilty, and His Honor sentenced him to be hanged.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 13 FEB 1886






SATURDAY, 6th February.

(Before T. K. Pater, Esq., S.M.,

Ah Koon was charged with assaulting one Low Ah Koon.

A. Hang Gong acted as interpreter. Low Ali Kon, sworn, said : I have lately been a contractor and live in Palmerston ; I know prisoner, he was working for me on Daly's contract ; I owe him some wages, I saw him yester- day evening between 8 and half past ; he came to where I live in Cavanagh street ; he said : " I want you " ; I walked out into the lane, and when we got there prisoner said, " You have got three shillings to give me," I said, " I have none " ; he put his hand inside his coat and pulled out a rope ; he said, " I'll settle you," and threw the rope over my shoulders ; he passed the rope over one side of my neck and under my arm ; he pulled me along through Cavanagh-street and down within 30 yards of the cutting ; I called out four of five times, and some Europeans came to my assistance ; the rope produced is the one, it had a slip knot ; prisoner said, " Come down and I'll put you in the water " ; I was not hurt.

To the Court : I owe him about one pound.

Joseph Posselt, sworn, said : I am in the employ of Mr. Wishart at the jetty ; I live in Cavanagh-street ; I was at home about half-past seven ; I went out by the hill, and hearing a noise I looked out and saw prisoner pulling Low Ah Koon down the hill with a rope round his neck ; some one took the rope off, and Low Ah Koon was set at liberty ; there were other Chinamen about, but they took no part; the prosecutor was not hurt.

Arthur Hang Gong, sworn, said : I am employed in my father's store in Cavanagh-street ; was at the Police Station last evening about half-past ten ; Constable Stott told me to tell prisoner what he was charged with, and to caution him, he replied, "I went to Low Ah Koon for money, he said he had no money -- ' you can kill me if you like ;' I then put a rope on him and dragged him down the street."

Ah Koon, sworn, said : Since the case between Low Ah Koon and the men he employed, the work has been neglected ; I worked for Low Ah Koon ; he had no money, and I thought it better that we should die together, as I had no money either ; I am 76 years of age.

Defendant was sentenced to two months' hard labour.


Northern Territory Times & Gazette,  20 March 1886

At the Police Court, Palmerston, before T. K. Pater, Esq., S M., on Monday last Berto Anderson, a seaman, and William Hawkins, were charged with being drunk and disorderly. Being their, first




appearance the Magistrate followed his usual rule and let both men off with a caution. Berto Anderson was further charged with resisting the police, and tearing Constable Stott 's singlet, and was ordered to pay five shillings for the damage done.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 17 April 1886




(Before T. K. Pater, Esq., S.M.

Frederick Wealand, labourer, of Palmerston, was charged with killing one sheep, the property of J. W. Johnston, of Southport, with intent to steal the carcass.

J. W. Johnston, telegraph station master at Southport, sworn, deposed : I remember the morning of the 9th inst ; I had 15 sheep then; in the evening of the same day I counted them and found only 14 ; I sent my blackboy Charley to look for the missing sheep ; he returned shortly afterwards, and from statements he made I went a short distance into the bush, where I saw part of the carcass of a sheep; its throat had been cut, and the hind portion skinned and taken away ; it appeared to have been killed four hours ; about 26 yards from the carcass I saw the prisoner rolling up a swag ; I remained with him and sent the blackboy for M.- C. Stott ; I saw M.- C. Stott examine a knife the prisoner had in his possession ; there was fat and traces of wool upon the knife ; the knife produced is the same one ; I also saw the piece of skin produced about the man's swag ; I believe the sheep I saw belonged to me ; the skin produced is that of the carcass I found in the bush ; I value the sheep at £1 ; the prisoner had boots on when I saw him.

Robert Stott, sworn, deposed : I am a police constable stationed at South- port ; I remember the evening of April 9th ; in consequence of what I was told I went to the back of Marker's smith shop in the bush ; Mr, Johnston pointed out half a dead sheep; its throat had been cut ; the hind quarters were missing ; about 26 yards from the carcass I saw the prisoner rolling up his swag ; I went up to him ; the knife produced was in his belt ; I took it out and examined it ; there were stains of fat and some wool on the blade ; it smelt quite fresh ; I then examined his swag, and picked up the piece of wool produced ; it was about a foot away from the swag ; I arrested him on the present charge, and cautioned him ; he replied, " Well I've got nothing to say about it " ; I brought him to Palmerston on Sunday, April 11th; on the way to the station he said, "Well I did not expect to be back in Palmerston so soon, t is the drink that I have to blame for getting me into this trouble ; I'll tell them all straight about it in court " ; prisoner was very drunk on the Thursday, but was not drunk when I arrested him ; he was wearing an old pair of blucher boots,

Charley, a blackboy, said : I work for Mr. Johnston, at Southport ; I remember last Friday Mr.




Johnston sending me to look for a sheep ; I went to the back of Mr. Marker's shop ; I saw the tracks of a man's boots where the sheep had been caught and dragged along the ground ; I saw the wool on the ground, and followed the tracks till I saw half a dead sheep ; I then saw the prisoner laying down on his swag ; he said, " good evening " ; I said, " I've lost a sheep " ; he made no reply ; the prisoner was only a short distance away ; I then went and told Mr. Johnston ; prisoner had boots on.

The prisoner here stated that he killed the sheep, but that he had no boots on.

The prisoner having been asked in the usual form whether he desired to give any evidence, or make any statement, made the following statement :

It happened on Friday; it came on to rain and I lay down on my swag ; I saw some sheep, and said to myself, " I'm going away and have nothing to eat" ; I thought the sheep   were wild ; I did not think they belonged to anyone ; I thought I would be doing no harm in taking one of those wild fellows ; I caught the smallest one I could see, pulled him out, cut his throat, and skinned his hind quarters ; I fetched him down to where my swag was, never thinking I'd done any harm ; a blackfellow and lubra came up and said they were hungry, and I gave them a small leg ; bye-and-bye two more blacks came up and wanted meat ; I said, " No, I want the rest for I am going on the road to-morrow " ; I covered the meat over with my shirt, not wanting to give any more away ; presently I saw Mr. Johnston's Charley ; he asked me about a sheep ; I told him I knew nothing about it ; it then struck me that the sheep must belong to some- body, so I went and hid the other portion in the grass, so that I should know where to find it, then Mr. Johnston and Constable Stott came up and took the knife from me.

The prisoner was committed for trial at the next sessions of the Circuit Court.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 5 June 1886

Circuit Court --- ---- Criminal Sessions

Tuesday. June 1st.

Before His Honor Thomas Kennedy Pater, Esq., Judge of the Northern Territory, and Juries of six.

J. G. Knight, Esq., officiated as Crown Prosecutor, and E. H. White- law, Esq., as Clerk of Arraigns.

His Honor took his seat at 10.30.





Assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Chee, Mareppa, Ahmet, and Charley Seaman, were charged with assaulting one Karl von Overuerst with intent to do grevious bodily harm, on Sunday, January 17th.

Prisoner pleaded not guilty.

Jury. ---- Messrs. Ranford, Hughes, Solomon, Christoe, Hillson, and Jolly.

Mr. Knight prosecuted, Mr. R. D. Beresford defended the prisoner, Seaman.

The Crown Prosecutor having given a brief history of the case, called the prosecutor, Karl von Overuerst, miner, of Palmerston, who deposed : I remember Jan.16th ; was at Johannes' house ; he is a Malay, and lives off Cavanagh-street ; Chee came to the house ; the Malay man who was living with Johannes was not there ; there was another man with Chee ; they were talking together about Thursday Island ; he said my country was no good, and a man could do nothing without asking the Resident ; I asked them why they spoke bad of my country in my presence ; he said he spoke of the country as it was ; I said, "I don't want trouble ; if you want trouble come up " ; I got up and he got up ; I   struck Chee first, I hit him in the face; I then sat down; Chee then took a piece of iron from the ground and struck me on the back, I struck him back ; Chee said to Type, "take a knife ; " he did not do so ; after that I left the place ; after Chee struck me with the piece of iron I took up a stone and sprang back, but did not strike Chee ; next day, Sunday, I was down at the harbour and saw a lot of fish ; I went back to Johannes' house to get my fishing line ; it was about noon ; as I was going down a small track to the house, I passed Chee and another man ; Chee said to me, "here's my friend, perhaps you want any more ; " I told him if he wanted to fight to come to the harbour , he wanted me to go to the bush and he would talk ; I went to Johannes' house and got my fishing line; coming back, I met two men, Chee, and another with a white hat, coming towards me ; the man with a white hat caught hold of me by the shirt, and said, " go back, I want you ; " Chee had his hand under his shirt ; the man with the white hat said, " give it him now," and I was struck with a hammer on the head ; Chee was behind me; I shielded a second blow from the hammer, when I was struck by some one else ; as I

turned round I saw Chee had a ham- mer in his hand ; I believe the man with the white hat struck me, and I saw something like a knife in his hand ; I don't remember whether I was knocked down ; I did not fall at first, but went a few steps and fell on the foot-path ; I don't know how many men attacked me ; Chee, and the man with the white hat were close to me, and a number of others further up the street.

Cross-examined by Mr. Beresford : I heard some one sing out, "stop fighting," after I was knocked down ; I don't know whether I was struck afterwards.

Dr. Percy Moore Wood, sworn, deposed : I am a duly qualified medical practitioner, and reside at Palmerston ; I remember Sunday, Jan. 17th, being called to the Police Station to see a Dutchman




named Overuerst, the prosecutor ; I examined him and found he had incised wound on the left side of his forehead about 1 1/4 inches long ; it was a deep cut, but did not quite reach the bone ; behind that, on the same side, there was a contused bruised wound, which went down to the bone, and at the bottom of that wound, there was a linear fracture of the skull ; still further behind the wound on the same side of the head, there was another contused wound which went down to the bone; the covering membrane of the bone had been broken through ; on the left side behind that there was another contused wound about 1 1/2 inches long which did not reach down to the bone ; on the right side there was another contused wound which did not reach down to the bone ; it was about 1 1/2 inches long ; it was a severe wound, but not dangerous ; there was also a small incised wound on the right side of the chest : he was in the hospital for about 3 weeks ; I think the wound on the chest was from a knife ; a hammer could have produced the wound on the right side of the head ; there was a severe wound on the left foot ; there were a severe blow on the left forearm and another severe wound on the left foot ; there were a number of superficial wounds on his back which might have been done with a sharp instrument, and other parts of the body there were bruises, caused by heavy blows, I don't think the prosecutor is likely to suffer in the future.

Cross-examined by Mr. Beresford : There were five wounds on the head ; that on the forehead was caused by a sharp instrument, the other wounds by a blunt instrument ; I think the boat thimble produced might cause some of the wounds, others would have been caused by a hammer or other blunt instrument.

Pickaninny, sworn, deposed : I am a waterman living in Palmerston ; remember afternoon of Sunday, 17th January ; remember being in a Manila man's house in Cavenagh-street ; know the prosecutor ; saw him near my house on Sunday ; he was coming from Johannes' house towards the sea ; saw prisoners, Choe, and Mareppa meet the prosecutor ; prosecutor wanted to pass them ; saw Chee pull out hammer and hit the prosecutor ; his hat fell off after he was struck ; prosecutor tried to run away, and Ahmet came up and struck him with his fist ; after that Chee hit him with a hammer ; Mareppa had a piece of wood and hit prosecutor again; the prosecutor fell down in the road ; saw Chee hit the prosecutor twice with the hammer ; prosecutor fell down as if dead ; I saw Seaman there, but did not see him hit the prosecutor; he stood about six yards away.

Cross-examined by Mr. Beresford : Saw Chee hit prosecutor three times ;   Mareppa hit the prosecutor several  times with the stick ; there were several men looking on.

Pedrico, sworn, said : I am a sailor on board the " Dawn " ; remember January 17th ; I was at the Manila house in Cavanagh-street after dinner; saw prosecutor coming down the street ; saw Chee and Mareppa meet prosecutor in the street ; saw Chee take out hammer from his clothes and strike prosecutor on the head ; prosecutor tried to get away ; Ahmet met him and struck him with his fist ; prosecutor still ran away across the street, and Chee struck him again with the hammer ; Mareppa hit him with a stick, and Ahmet struck him with his hand ; I saw Chee hit prosecutor






with hammer three times; saw him fall down on the ground ; three prisoners, Chee, Mareppa, and Ahmet struck him after he fell ; saw blood on the road in three places where the prosecutor had been struck ; there were a number of people in my veranda.

Cross-examined by Mr. Beresford : Saw Mareppa hit prosecutor with stick; I saw Charley Seaman that day, and heard him call out, " that will do ; " when the men were fighting he was about ten yards away.

Eliza, a native woman, having been carefully admonished not to tell lies, by the Clerk of Arraigns, said : I live with Pickaninny; I know the prosecutor ; saw him one day near my house with a fishing line in his hand ; saw him come along the street ; saw two Malays, Chee and Mareppa, come along the street ; saw Chee hit prosecutor with hammer ; Mareppa hit the prosecutor with his hand first, and afterwards with a piece a wood ; Ahmet hit the prosecutor with his hand ; I saw nothing in his hand ; Charley Seaman came and hit prosecutor with a sling shot twice ; hit him on the head ; first blow knocked prosecutor down, then Seaman hit him again.

Cross-examined by Mr. Beresford : When I gave my evidence before, three months ago, I said Seaman hit the prosecutor three times ; I say twice now because I forget ; I saw Seaman several times before; I know him.

Harriet, a native woman, having been cautioned, said : I remember the fight; saw the prosecutor; saw Chee and Mareppa, and Ahmet fight with prosecutor ; saw Seaman long road ; saw him fight with prosecutor ; he killed him.

Cross-examined by Mr. Beresford ; gave my evidence before ; I did not say I saw Charley Seaman fight prosecutor, because I forgot. By His Honor : Did not see Seaman hit prosecutor ; I was about 12 yards away. The witness was very much confused in her evidence.

Lorenzo, a boatman, sworn, said: I live at Palmerston ; I remem- ber Sunday, January 17th ; I stop at Manilla man's house that day ; saw the prosecutor come along Chinatown ; lie had a fishing line in his hand ; I saw Chee and Mareppa there ; the prosecutor tried to pass ; I saw Chee hit him with something; the prosecutor ran back ; Chee and Mareppa hit him several times ; saw Ahmet hit the prosecutor also ; I saw a man hit prosecutor with piece of wood and he fell down ; I saw Charley Seaman behind Ahmet ; I did not see Seaman do any thing ; I was in the Manila house veranda ; I saw Eliza, she was close to where the men were fighting ; when prosecutor fell down Charley Seaman   was two or three fathoms away ; I heard Seaman sing out, " that will do.' By His Honor : I saw Seaman all the time. (By a juror :) Did not see prosecutor after he was knocked down ; did not lose sight of Seaman all the time.

Robert Stott, M.- C, Palmerston, sworn, deposed : Ï arrested both     Mareppa and Ahmet on January 17th     charged with assaulting the prosecutor ; I went to Seaman's house to arrest Chee and Mareppa when Seaman said the men had been in bed all day ; Chee jumped out of his bunk





and asked what I wanted him for, as he had been long bed ; Seaman refused to let me take   the men without a warrant ; I had a slight scuffle with Seaman . I got the   three prisoners away ; Chee, Mireppa, and Ahmet, all denied striking the   prosecutor.

This closed the case for the prosecution and the court adjourned at 1.30 until 3 o'clock.

Afternoon Sittings.

Mr. Beresford called no witnesses for the defence.

The Crown Prosecutor then briefly   reviewed the evidence, enlarging upon the serious nature of the crime with

which the prisoners were charged. He farther pointed to the evidence of Dr. Wood as to the nature of the injuries inflicted upon the prosecutor, and submitted that evidence as regarded the three prisoners was uncontradicted and  conclusive.

In reference to the case against Seaman he submitted that the evidence of the lubra clearly pointed out he was actively engaged in the assault and even if he absolutely did not strike a blow he was there throughout the whole affair and should have interfered. He left the case in the hands of the jury

Mr. Beresford for the defence thought the Crown Prosecutor had put the case against Seamen unfairly, there was nothing to show that the .assault was a premeditated affair, and Seamen had no quarrel with the prosecutor ; as far as Chee and Marappa were concerned it had been shown in evidence that they had a row with the prosecutor the day before, but that had nothing to do with Seamen. The day after Chee and Marappa met the prosecutor coming from Johannes' house with a fishing line, there was an altercation between the men, and some blows struck, Seaman then came up and, according to the evidence called upon the men to stop, he had no quarrel with the prosecutor and there could have been no reason for his taking any part in the row. As to the evidence of the lubra Eliza, very little weight could be attached to that, and as natives were not sworn, and did not know the meaning of an oath, the the jury would be careful in taking notice of their evidence. Eliza, at the preliminary hearing, had stated that he only struck him twice ; he laid particular stress upon the number of blows, and cross-examined Dr. Wood carefully upon this point, because the evidence of other witnesses proved that Chee struck three blows with a hammer, and another blow was struck with a sharp instrument ; it was there- fore impossible, as there were only five wounds, that Seaman could have struck   another three blows with a sling shot. Against, the evidence of the lubra, they had to consider the evidence of Pickaninny, that when the prosecutor was knocked down, Seamen was six yards away ; the evidence of the prosecutor himself, who says he did see Seaman at the time he was assaulted, and the evidence of Pedrico, who says Seaman was 6 yards away when the prosecutor was knocked down ; in addition to these they had the evidence of Lorenzo, who said he saw Seaman the whole time, and





that he did not strike the prosecutor. He asked the jury to weigh   the evidence carefully, and al-   though he did not think there was any evidence against Seaman, he re- minded the jury that if there was any doubt, the prisoner was entitled to the benefit of it ; he left the case of the prisoner Seaman to the jury, merely reminding them they had the evidence of six witnesses in Seaman's favour, against the unsupported evidence of Eliza.

His Honor having summed up in his usual concise manner, the jury, after a short retirement, found the prisoners, Chee, Mareppa, and Ahmet, guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and acquitted the prisoner Seaman.

His Honor sentenced the three prisoners, Chee, Marrepa and Ahmet, to three years' imprisonment with hard labour.

                                                   Sheep Stealing.

Frederick Wealand, who was charged with stealing a sheep the property of Mr. J. W. Johnston, of Southport, on April 9th, pleaded guilty, and His Honor sentenced him to 10 months,   imprisonment with hard labour.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 25 September 1886

Palmerston Club Cup for 1839.                       (Rifle shooting)

The following back handicaps have been arranged and carefully compiled from past records by the Handicapping Committee :-W. G. Stretton, 20 ; A. Searcy, 20 ; E. H. Whitelaw, 20 ; P. C. Ward, 20 ; - Green, 16 ; J. H. Servante, 15; N. F: Christoe, 15; G. W. Tindill, 10; T. H. Harwood, 10; J. A. G. Little, 8 ; H. Dennys, 7 ; J. E. Hawes, 5 ; H. A. G. Rundle, 4 ; F. P. Kitchin, 3 ; N Waters, 3 ; J. L. Parsons, 2 ; Rev. T. Ward, 1 ; J. P. Hingston, 0 ; V. L. Solomon, 0 ; R. Stott, 0 ; H. D. Wilson, 0 ; H. W. H Stevens, 0. Cup to be won four times, with an additional back handicap of two points after the first win, three points after the second win, and four points after the third win ; any position ; any rifle. Ties to be decided by Wimbledon rules. The first com petition for this prize will take place at the Butts, on October 2nd, 1886 ; ranges 200 and 300 yards.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 9 October 1886

A man named W. Pietrie, who was working on the railway line at the 32 mile camp, with two mates, left his camp on Saturday morning last to look for water. He stated that he would return in two hours, but after a lot of persuasion, was induced to take a waterbag with him. On Tuesday Mr. Smith returned from the Adelaide River and asked M.-C. Stott to accompany him to the camp, fully expecting that the man had returned, as no report had been sent in to Southport to the contrary. On the arrival of Mr. Smith and Trooper Stott at the camp, they found the man still missing, and search parties were at once sent out to look for him. The man's mates said they did




not go to Southport to give information because they did not know the road. The unfortunate man was tracked to Freds Pass, about 30 miles east of Southport, where his remains were found on Thursday afternoon last. He evidently perished from thirst.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 13 Nov 1886

The contractor for the removal of the Police Station from the Adelaide River to the Katherine will complete his work about the end of the month. P. C's Stott and Newman left here yesterday for the Katherine, and will upon their arrival open the station there.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 10 September 1887

Public Notice.



ON 26th & 27th December next.

Patron.-- Hon. J. L. Parsons.

Judge -- R. Stott, Esq.

Starter -- J. Davies, Esq.

Handicapper - V. V. Brown, Esq.

Clerk of Scales - T. B. .Clapham, Esq.

 Stewards - Messrs. Murray, Kemp.Marsh, Stott, Newman, Giles, and Davies.

PROGRAMME, First Day, Second Day (details not copied LJF)

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 17 Dec 1887


William James Neville was charged with stealing one bay gelding, the property of James C. Muir, on or about the 27th of June last.  

Mr. J. G. Knight proscuted on behalf of the Crown,




Mr. J. J. Symes defended the prisoner.

James Muir, of Yam Creek, drover, deposed: I know the prisoner ; I saw him at the Margaret Crossing, I have seen the bay gelding in the police yard; It is my property ; It was last in my possession on the 27th June ; I lost sight of it at Yam Creek Crossing, and next saw it in the Police Court at Burrundie, a month afterwards ; I never authorised anybody to take the horse ; I value the horse at £25.

By the Court : The horse was hobbled when I let him run ; I hobbled the fore legs, not the hind legs.

By Mr. Symes : I put on the hobbles; the prisoner knew that I was living at Abraham's Billabong.

Robert Stott, mounted-constable, at the Katherine, stated : I remember receiving information of horses being stolen, and on the 3rd of July last I went up to Springvale from the Katherine on the Pine Creek Road ; I picked up fresh horse tracks near the Springvale Crossing ; on the 4th July I picked up similar tracks 6 miles south of the Katherine, on the Queensland road ; I followed them, and on the evening of the 5th, I came upon two men camped upon the Stirling Creek ; from something I was told, I rode off the rode through the bush about half a mile, and saw the prisoner driving four hobbled horses ; I found the brands on them corresponding with marks that I had in my pocket book ; I arrested him, and told him the charge, cautioning him ; he replied " I know nothing about it, they don't belong to me " ; I took the prisoner over to the two men I had previously seen and spoken to ; I asked them in the presence of the prisoner, who had been using the four horses that were with the prisoner previous to my capturing him ; One of the men replied, " He was," pointing to the accused ; prisoner replied, " I am very glad you have asked that question, as there will be no innocent man implicated," when I caught the prisoner the horses were about 160 miles from Yam Creek Crossing ; I searched the prisoner when I found him ; he had £31 17s. 6d. in his pockets, and also two pack and one riding saddle with the horses.

By Mr. Symes : I arrested the prisoner about nine miles from Abraham's Billabong ; I had never seen the priso ner before I captured him ; as far as I know he is an honest man.

Frederick Haines, sworn, said : I am a miner, residing at Mount Todd ; I remember riding with the mail from the Katherine to Pine Creek in July of last year ; I met the prisoner about 10 miles from Pine Creek ; he had six horses with him ; they were together ; I saw him on a Wednesday during the first week in July ; prisoner was riding the bay gelding now in the police yard ; he told me that this horse was one he had brought from Kimberley.

By Mr. Symes : Prisoner told me that he went from Queensland to Kimberley ; he did not tell me what he was doing in the Territory.

Mr. Symes addressed the jury on behalf of the prisoner.




William James Neville, sworn : I have been a miner in Australia since 1851 ; on the 27th of June I left Port Darwin Camp to go to the Macarthur River ; when I left I had two horses, saddle and bridle ; I bought these from Mr. Rose ; when I left Port Darwin Camp I travelled ten miles for the first day, then I camped ; while I was camped in the night I saw horses passing in the direction of Burrundie ; they appeared to have half-broken hobbles about their legs ; on the next day I was going on towards the 12 mile ; I saw a man driving four horses on the main road, going to the Union ; I was not near enough to identify the man ; I camped next night near Pine Creek ; a man came up to my camp in the night, and asked me where I was going ; I said, " to the Macarthur River " ; he went on then ahead of me ; about three or four miles from Jaentz's crushing machine, the same man met me, and asked me to drive his horses with my own, as he had to go back on business ; he said, " your horse seems very heavily packed, you can pack on one of mine if you like ; there's a saddle horse there you can ride if you like " ; I rode a bay gelding, and was doing this when I was arrested. David Bryce, said: I know prisoner; knew him in Queensland, and have always known him to be an honest and respectable man.

This was the case for the defence.

His Honor summed up, and the jury retired to consider their verdict. They returned a verdict of guilty, with a strong recommendation to mercy.

The prisoner was sentenced to hard labour for a period of 1 year and 6 months.

The Court then adjourned till next day.

                                THURSDAY 15TH.


Lee Sing and Ah Que were charged with stealing one bay mare, valued at £25, one Timor pony, valued at £15, and one foal valued at £5, on the 3rd of October, at Margaret Creek, the property of Wing Fong Lee.

Mr. Symes appeared for the defence. Wing Fong See, called, deposed :-- I am a gardener living at Margaret Creek ; I know the horses in the police yard ; they are my property ; I last saw the horses at the Margaret on the 3rd of October ; next morning I missed them ; I gave nobody permission to take them away ; I next saw the horses on the 17th of November at the   Police Station at Burrundie ; the value of the bay mare is £22 ; the value of the Timor pony is £15, and that of the foal £5 ; I know Lee Sing ; I last saw him at Port Darwin Camp ; I laid an information against him, from some information that I received.

William Byrne, a carrier, residing at the Katherine, stated: I know the prisoners ; I saw them at the Driffield about 24 miles from Pine Creek ; it was early in October ; they had horses with them; they had one bay horse, one cream pony, and a chestnut colt ; the horses in the police yard




are the same as I saw the prisoner with; one of the horses was being ridden by a Chinaman not here ; Lee Sing was, when I saw him, leading the bay mare ; there were four Chinese in the party ; Ah Que was one of the men I saw, the Driffield and Margaret are about 40 miles apart.

Robert Stott, mounted-constable, stationed at the Katherine, said : I was at the Katherine on the 15th of October last ; I then received some information concerning stolen horses, and set out to the Limmen River on the 16th ; I arrived there on the 23rd of October in the afternoon ; I saw the three horses now in the police yard, grazing on the banks of the river ; the bay mare was hobbled, and appeared to be quite knocked up; I noticed recent marks across the backs of the whole of the horses; I went further on and found the remains of a recent Chinese camp ; I then found tracks, followed them; and came across the two prisoners, two other Chinese, and a European ; I arrested the four Chinese ;' they did not say anything when they were arrested.

By Mr. Symes : When I arrested the prisoners they were 10 miles away from the horses.

This was the case for the prosecution.

 Lee Sing, sworn, deposed : In July last I received a communication from Ah Que, asking me if there was any work for him in Port Darwin Camp ; I told Ah Que that I had a brother at the Macarthur River, and I asked him to go and look after my brother's garden ; they started together on foot for the Macarthur ; when we had got some distance on the road two Chinamen overtook us; this was 16 miles the other side of Pine Creek ; these men were on horseback; they had three horses with the foal with them; they asked me where I was going to ; I told them, and asked them where they were going; they said that they were going to the Macarthur ; I asked them to carry the swag for me ; they said " yes," if you pay us a pound each ; we paid them a pound each ; we went together about 10 miles to where there was a big river and we camped. We met a European with a team ; after that we made a fresh start ; about 20 miles from the Katherine, Ah Que got sick; Lu Que, one of the Chinaman who escaped saw that he could hardly walk, and told him to ride the pony ; up to this time Lu Que had ridden the foal him- self ; up to that time neither myself nor Ah Que had had anything to do with the horses ; when we got to the Roper River a European joined our party ; after we got to the Limmen River we lost the horses ; Lu Que had charge of the horses up to that time ; Lu Que and Lu Gee went to look for the horses when they escaped ; they were looking for them the whole day; when they came back they swore at us for laying down, and not looking for the horses ; we then went to look for them for about half an hour ; when we found that we could not find the horses, we started on our journey, carrying our swags, and on the following day we were arrested.

By Mr. Knight :-- When Byrne saw us I was not leading the mare ; I intended to walk right through to the Macarthur. I had £6 worth of rations; when I was arrested I had over 10s. left.

By Mr. Symes : I received instructions concerning the route to take, and the kind of stores to have with me on the road, from my brother.





Ah Que, stated :- - I was out of employment in the month of July last ; I endeavoured to obtain work in Palmerston ; I have been in service with Mr. Pater and Mr. Whitelaw ; Lee Sing made me an offer to go and work in his brother's garden, and I accepted it. We left Port Darwin Camp for the Macarthur (the witness here corroborated the evidence of the previous witness). This was the evidence for the defence.

The jury retired, and in a few minutes returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of Ah Que. As there was no possibility of the jury agreeing concerning the guilt or otherwise of the other prisoners they were discharged.

Northern Territory Times, Saturday June 2 1888


M.-C. Stott reports to the Inspector of .Police that Mr. Dudley Kelsey, who arrived at the Katherine on Thursday, reported that three day» previously six Chinamen had reached the.Elsey Station. from the Roper River, and reported that they had been attacked by natives at Hart's Range, about 30 miles from the Roper, and one of their number had been speared ; they took him to the Roper store, where they left him in a dying state, and returned towards Port Darwin. They also report that five horses belonging to the Roper store have been speared by natives, The Chinese were to leave the Elsey on Wednesday, and are expected here on Saturday. These are the Chinese who passed Abraham's Billabong about a fortnight ago, as reported by Mr. Kirwan.  Mr. Crawford, of Hodgson Downs Station, who was at the Katherine nine days ago, says that the natives on the Roper are very treacherous, and are likely to do much mischief unless steps are taken to prevent them.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday June 23 1888

The police have received the report of M.-C. Stqtt, on the search for, and finding of the body of the late Harry Gosse, at Delamere. It appears that Mr. Giles reported on the 3rd inst. that Mr. Gosse had left the station early on the morning of May 29th, and that although search had been made, he had not been found. Constable Stott, immediately proceeded to the station with two black trackers, and picked up the tracks on the 5th, and followed them till 5.30 p.m. on the 8th, when he found the remains. The tracks led within a few yards of the Flora River, and showed that Gosse had circled round and round, crossing the road several times. It seemed as though he had been out of his senses. His boots, shirt, and hat were found several hundred yards from where the body was found. He seemed to have crawled some distance on his hands and knees before finally succumbing. The body was found about four miles north of the Delamere cattle station, and about 400 yards from the bank of the Flora. It was lying at full length, with the hands under the head ; it was very much decomposed, as though he had been dead about five days, The body was buried, and a fence put around the grave.  





Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Saturday 20 April 1889

Trooper Stott passed here yesterday in charge of Flick, junr., who, I believe, has been interfering with someone else's horses. Stott appears to have had an exciting time of it from all accounts, Flick having, it is stated, tried to escape while the con- stable was unpacking his horses at Mt. McMinn. Stott immediately fol- lowed him on horseback, but owing to the thick scrub, lost sight of him, and as it was dark, the prisoner had every advantage. Stott searched for some hours, and eventually came on him at 9 p.m. Flick started to run again, and Stott, abandoning his horse, started after him on foot, but after going about a mile, found that the prisoner would get away, so he called on him to stop, but Flick would not do so; Stott then fired three shots over his head, and on this failing to stop him, fired directly at him. hitting him in the back. Flick then dropped, saying he was shot. On examination, Stott found that the ball had entered his back,.glanced right round one of his ribs, and remaining just under the skin. Stott then started and walked back to his camp, a dis- tance of five miles, The trooper is deserving of great praise for the plucky manner in whick he stuck to his man.

An Exciting Chase. - Our Katherine correspondent's letter in another column gives particulars of an exciting chase after the prisoner Flick. Mounted - Constable Stott, was bringing the prisoner, who was wanted by the Queensland authorities, down to Palmerston, when he got away from him, and the constable after chasing him for a   considerable distance had at length to shoot him, before he effected his re capture. Flick was remanded until next week, in order to allow of the officer from Queensland arriving with a warrant for his arrest.



Tuesday, April 16th.

(Before T. K. Pater, Esq., S,M)

Joe Flick, an aboriginal half-cast, who on the first day of April, 1888, at Normanton, Queensland, being in custody on a criminal charge, to wit, shooting at with intent to murder one, James Cashman, did unlawfully escape from such legal custody, and that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the said Joe Flick, and that his extradition will be demanded.

Corporal Waters, said -- I produce a telegram marked A received from the Commissioner of Police, in Adelaide, which states the offence, and gives a description of the prisoner ; I also produce the Queensland Police Gazette, stating the offence that he was committed on.

Robert Stott, said -- I am a mounted constable stationed at the Roper, I arrested prisoner on a provisional warrant at Hodgson Downs on the 28th March last; I read the warrant and cautioned




him ; he said -- " I am your prisoner, am I, ?" On the night of the first of April as I was coming to Palmerston, just as I arrived at Mount McMinn, about 6.15 p.m., the prisoner escaped from my custody, and I was obliged to fire on him ; I had two black-trackers and Mounted-Constable Haedge with me.

Corporal Waters asked for a remand of seven days.  Prisoner was remanded until the 23rd inst. Mr. J. J. Symes watched the case on, behalf of the prisoner.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 27 April 1889

Wanted in Queensland. -- The man Flick, who was brought up last week and re-   manded, was again brought before Mr. Justice Pater on Tuesday last when a further remand was applied for, and granted. Flick appears to be a somewhat slippery customer, having escaped from gaol in Queensland, and afterwards given M-C. Stott the slip at Mount McMinn, but the keeper of the Fannie Bay establishment seems determined to keep his gentleman close hobbled, and so prevent any of the guards or troopers indulging in any more revolver practice at moving targets.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 14 September 1889

A SLIPPERY CUSTOMER.-It is rumoured that the half-caste, Joe Flick, who gave such a lot of trouble to the police in Queensland, and was subsequently arrested by Constable Stott in the Territory, and handed over to the Queensland authorities, has again escaped from the gaol at Normanton.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Friday 11 October 1889

They say that Hardy, in charge of Auvergne, has been speared by the natives, while in the act of opening the door and leaving his hut. Taking a rough look at it, after the many complaints ; instance, Scott, Willeroo, speared, and two men murdered at the Gregory, complaints from stations outside asking for protection, it seems queer to see a trooper riding patrol to Maude Creek, looking out for stray dogs, &c. Why on earth do these offi- cers in charge not back up their Inspectors? Stott, at the Roper, has done wonders. Let us hope that the gentleman in charge of the Katherine will do the same, and back up the energy of his senior ; Inspector Foelsche is a first rate man, but he is discounted by the men under him, who do not seem to be able to act without his leadership personally.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 27 December 1889







December 25th  -- S.S. Adelaide, 74 tons, Edwards, master, from McArthur River. Passengers-Messrs. J. Gilbert, T. Mcculloch, J. Moore, P. Bourke, R. Stott, and J. Cooper.                       Cargo --- list hides. (sailed back 5 Jan 1890,  S.S. Chingta.)

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 4 July 1890


(From our own Correspondent.) June 14th.

À most daring attempt was made here by a native a few days ago, single handed, to take the life of Trooper Martin, and although fortunately unsuccessful, it was too near an approach to the reverse to be at all pleasant. The natives have been very troublesome for some time past, and seem determinedly bent on doing mischief, and there is small doubt but that they will eventually succeed in adding another item or two to the long record of bloody outrages to be placed to the credit of the N.T. aboriginals unless the authorities take steps to increase the present inadequate strength of the police force stationed here by the addition of some native troopers. I have been enabled to obtain the following reliable particulars of the occurrence referred to above. I am informed that some days previous to the attack on Martin, viz., on the 5th inst, some natives were seen lurking within a few yards of the back door of the police station. This was about 10 o'clock at night. The tracker who saw them immediately raised the alarm, and Troopers Stott and Martin at once ran out.

They heard a rushing amongst the grass like the sound of natives running away, but failed to catch sight of any. Five days later, on the 10th inst., about 1.30 p.m.. Trooper Martin had occasion to go down to the bank of the river, near the crossing. He was in a sitting posture when a native well known in this district, named Fred, suddenly sprang upon him from the thick scrub and attempted to knock him on the head with a large nullah nullah, but Martin succeeded in grasping the waddy in his hands. The native then caught hold of Martin and made a desperate attempt to drag him into the river, at the same time trying to get possession of Martin's revolver. Martin was greatly handicapped throughout owing to his trousers being unfastened and hanging down about his feet. After a deal of tussling they got within two feet of the water, when Martin succeeded in gaining possession of the butt end of his revolver, the native still having hold of the barrel. Martin fired one shot and missed, but the native let go the revolver and caught Martin by   the throat. Martin then fired again, the bullet striking his assailant in the stomach. The blackfellow then immediately let go his hold, jumped into the river, and commenced swimming, but after making a few strokes threw up his hands and sank. Martin returned to the station, and shortly afterwards, in company with M.- C. Stott and the trackers, searched the river and recovered the native's body. Had the native succeeded in getting Martin into the water, encumbered as the latter was by the state of his clothes, there: is little question the result would' have been all the other way. Within a few yards of where the struggle took place was found a





woomera and a spear with a large iron blade attached. There is no doubt the native came up with the intention to spear Martin, but the scrub being too thick to allow him sufficient scope, he daringly attempted to effect his murderous purpose in the manner above described. The body, which bore only the one bullet wound in the abdomen, was buried by the police.

In connection with the native question as it affects this district, I venture to predict that if something is not done soon to inspire the blacks with a more wholesome respect for the powers of the white man, there will be some curious results. It is an admitted fact by everyone who knows anything about natives, that the aboriginals in this locality are among the most daring in the N.T., and they are becoming daily worse. The police force maintained here is altogether inadequate to control such a large extent of treacherous native country, aud is ridiculously small as compared with other localities in the N.T. which I could instance, where the natives, in comparison, might be termed civilized.

We are indebted to the Inspector of Police for the following confirmation of the above account, being a copy of the official report of the occurrence under date June 12th. forwarded by M.- C. Martin :--

" About 2 p.m. on the 10th inst. I left barracks and went down to the river. As I got near the crossing I walked, into some bushes. I heard a slight noise, and looking up saw a native with a nullah nullah in the act of bringing it down on my head. I caught it as it was coming down with my both hands. The native made for my revolver with one hand, with the other he got me by the throat. I got him down after a desperate straggle and drew my revolver, but could not use it as the native had hold of it with his thumb behind the hammer, thus preventing it from acting. I got him by the throat and he bit me on the wrist. I then got his thumb from behind the hammer and fired, but missed him while struggling. He then tried to get me into the river, and as I was at a disadvantage having my trousers about my feet he had the advantage of me, we were within two feet of the river I again fired the ball striking him in the bowels. He let go and threw himself into the river, swam a short distance, and then sank. I had a very narrow escape and a desperate struggle for my life. The native had every opportunity to get away if he had been disposed to try, but he fought to the last.      

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 13 April 1894

At the Roper River last month a fine specimen of the tribe measuring 14ft. 6in. and weighing, 750lbs. was landed safe and, sound by Mounted Constable Stott by means of a trap the principle of which is very simple. It consists of an upright post, 7ft high, with a lever 21ft. long forked on a pivot on the top of the post. When this is in place the shortest end is fastened down with a piece of wire to a small post with a bait attached. At the extreme end of the lever there is a chain snare set. The alligator goes partly through the snare and takes hold of the bait, and when he pulls the catch comes off and up goes the 'gator. Mr. Stott caught another monster with the trap, but it





broke the snare and got away. On account of the floods, alligators are said to be very plentiful in the Roper just now, and Mr. Farrar has had several horses and cattle taken by them.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 10 August 1894

CIRCUIT ÇOURT Tuesday, August 7 1894

(Before His Honor Mr. Justice Dashwood and Juries.)     


Nynko and Moolooloorun, aboriginal natives of the the Roper River district, were charged with the murder of a Chinaman, name unknown, on a date unknown.            

Mr. Sergeànt Waters, Crown Prosecutor; Mr. J. J. Symes appeared for the prisoners.       The Crown Prosecutor opened the case briefly.

 Jimmy, a Roper River native, testified --- I sit down along Roper River; I know the prisoners, they belong to Wave Hill; I know Duck Ponds; About two months ago I was at a corroboree of Elsie country blacks, but there were also some Roper River country blacks there; the prisoners were there too ; .the black named Terraginny was there; I heard the prisoner Moolooloorun talk at the corroboree ; he said he saw tracks at Mole Hill and following them saw Chinamen along the road; then he said he cut stick all the same nulla and went back to the Chinese and asked them for tobacco, which they would not give him; Mooloolaran said he then hit the Chinaman with the nulla nulla, and the Chinaman fell down and then the other prisoner (Nyanko) said he had killed another Chinaman by hitting him on the back of the head; the Chinaman fell down on the grass close up to the road ; but he afterwards got up and went away into the bush; Nyanko told me he had killed a Chinama; the prisoners then took, blankets, calico, mosquito net, and a few sticks tobacco ; Davy, Jimmy, Tommy, and the prisoners then pulled the Chinamen through the grass; they thëy went to the river and slept, and next day went back tolook for the Chinamen, but found only one there; the blacks agreed to leave the other body in the grass ; Jimmy took the Chinaman's clothes to the camp and burnt them : I saw the pannikan produced in court, Moolooloorun had it; when he showed it he said be had killed a Chinaman I asked him what he killed the Chinaman for, and he growled at me ; I told the blacfellow Billy to go and tell the Roper policeman; the Mole Hill blacks knew that I sent Billy to the Roper.

By Mr. Symes : It was Nyanko that fought the Chinaman that got away, and Mooloolooran fought the Chinaman that died.

Terraginny, another aboriginal, testified in a similar strain.





M-C. Stott, sworn, deposed---- I am a mounted constable stationed on the Roper River : in consequence of something I heard from Billy I went to a flat three miles east of Mole Hill on the 8th July; I saw signs of a struggle and the grass was all beaten down and smeared with something that looked like blood ; I followed a path which went from this place about 20 yards to the north ; it led me off the road,

and I saw the remains of a Chinaman, the body was lying on its back, head to the north ; the legs and arms had been partly eaten away by wild dogs, and the body was much decomposed, looking as if dead about three weeks ; the fore part of the skull was all broken in, and there was a crack from the base of the skull right down; I brought the skull to Palmerston, and handed it over to Dr. O'Flaherty for examination; I afterwards found another spot where there appeared to have been a struggle, about five or six yards north-west from the first place ; the grass there was all tumbled down and smeared over with what appeared to me to be blood; I was' unable to find any tracks leading from the latter place; the grass in the locality is very high and very thick; on 13th July I arrested Nyanko on west side of Red Lily swamp; the blacks were corroboreeing ; they were Mole Hill and Elsey natives; the boy Billy was with me at the time ; Nyanko speaks English; told him the charge and cautioned him ; he made a statement, which I wrote down at the time; he said---- "Me killem, along here (patting the back of head); Moolooloorun and me; sleep one fellow night along Mole Hill; go back along Chinamam; one fellow Chinaman been run away along bush; me blanket, mosquito net, and one fellow tobacco ; Moolooloorun one blanket, shirt, tobacco, money plenty. Prisoner Nyanko was wearing the hat produced when I arrested him; the blanket and calico produced, I f ound in camp where I arrested Nyainko. On the 16th July I was passing the place on the road where there were signs of a struggle, he pointed to it and said, " This man dead" ; he then went to the other place and said, "This one run away along bush.        

On the 27th July, I arrested Moolooloorun in a jungle aboutl three miles west of Crescent  Lagoon ; I told him the charge and I cautioned him ; he speaks English as well as the last witness ; he made a statement to me, as follows-"Tommy and Jimmy and him too much talk along me ; me two fellow bin follow Chinaman and killem along road." On the  evening of 30th, July, I was camped on the Stirling Creek; when prisoner .Moolooloorun made another statement. He said "This blanket and calico belong to 'me ; I bin catchem along dead fellow Chinaman ; this one blanket (referring to the one Nyanko was lying on) bin take from Chinaman that go bush; I bin take dead fellow Chinaman's stick, Nyanko bin take |stick from Chinaman that go along bush ; two fellow stick sit down along river; Chinaman along bush no more got tucker and blanket; him walk nothing ; Chinaman bin too much finish tucker---- only a little me bin tobacco me get em like that (3 sticks) ; Nyanko all the same; blackf'ellow too much talk and Nyanko follow Chinaman's track; he kill em a little bit on the ground-----Nyanko bin kill him the side of the head : two fellow Chinamen been tumble down and me run away frightened : me one fellow sleep ; plenty blacks go back along Chinaman ; me and Nyanko pull dead Chinaman along bush; "Davy  take shirt off them" I had a boy; named Billy with me; on the morning: of 'the 14th July last I got in among some natives on the west side of Red LilySwamp; while I was there the boy Billy showed me a wound in his head; it had been split open and four days afterwards he died ; have





known the prisoners for the last five years ; Moolooloorun is known as the rain maker of the tribe ; he is one of the principal men and leaders; it is usual for the Mole Hill and Roper blacks to corroboree together.            

Mr. Symes, in cross examining, attempted to have M.-C Stott's' evidence thrown out because of the improper way in which the caution had been administered to the prisoner.  It was hardly the style of caution that one would give a blackfellow in so serious a matter. Prisoner might have taken it for anything, even for an invíte to tell his story candidly, so that Mr. Stott might " yabber along plenty whitefellow ‘ in Palmerston.    

His Honor agreed, that a good deal might be said on both sides, but he would not veto the evidence of the constable, as he held that under the circumstances, it was a sufficient caution.


Dr. O'Flaherty, sworn, deposed : I examined on 5th inst. a skull brought to me by M.-C. Stott ; the skull had portions of scalp adherent, also a queue, which with other characteristics proved it to be that of a Chinaman; the lower jaw was with the portion of skull ; the right lateral and lateral portion of the skull were broken ;  there was also a fracture running up left side in 'direction from base to crown ; the bones of face were broken front angle of orbits downwards ; didn't notice any teeth in the skull: should say the damage was caused by blunt instrument---- such as a waddy or heavy stick ; did not notice any marks of a sharp instrument; should say the body to which the skull belonged had been dead over a month.

This finished the case for the Crown.

Mr. Symes called no evidence.

The Crown Prosecutor did not address the jury, and Mr. Symes only did so briefly.  

His Honor spoke at some length before comitting the case to the jury, but the jury, after His Honor had concluded his address, took only a few minutes to decide upon a unanimous verdict of wilful murder against both prisoners who were at once sentenced to death in the usual manner.

Extract from “They of the Never Never” by Peter Forrest. --

On 17 January 1895 the Aboriginal Moolooloorun was hanged at Crescent Lagoon on the station. Moolooloorun was a convicted spearer of white men and cattle, and the execution was ordered to be carried

out publicly as a salutary lesson to other Aborigines. The execution was supervised by Darwin Telegraph official JAG Little, who also held the office of Sheriff. As a demonstration of white








man's justice the spectacle was probably counter productive because even before the execution it became common knowledge that an Aborigine from Queensland who was passing through with overlanders was in fact responsible for the crimes that Moolooloorun had been convicted of.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 14 September1894

On the vexed question of our live cattle export we sometimes get useful hints from unexpected sources. A case in point :-Constable R. Stott,   Inspector of Stock for the Roper River district, in his last report says:--" Re Florida and Lake Costello stations, they were both abandoned during the early part of last year: I am confident had any arrangements been made for the cattle steamer to ship at Roper the latter would not have 'been abandoned. There is no doubt that the Roper river is thé most central place in the Northem Territory for an outlet for cattle; by water, the same being within an easy dístance to bring cattle from almost any part of the tableland; and a fairly good navigable river for   almost fifty miles up for ordinary ocean going boats. The frontage on the Roper, about that distance up is all good grazing country and well watered with lagoons. There is also some good grazing country up the Wilton and Roper, which would no dóubt be all taken up and stocked if settlers could see a market for their stock."      

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 28 December 1894

The Roper Murder.



An intimation has been received from the Government Resident's Office to the effect that the supreme authorities at Adelaide have come to a final decision in the matter of the two aboriginals, Nyanko and Moolooloorun, who, at the Circuit Court in August last, were found guilty of the murder of a Chinaman near the Roper River and were sentenced to death by Mr. ! Justice Dashwood. It has been decided that in the case of the younger prisoner, Nyanko his sentence shall be commuted to imprisonment for life, but that in reference to the other the law must take its course. The date for the execution of Moolooloorun has been fixed at the 17th of January, and arrangements are being made to hang him at Crescent Lagoon, which is situated about nine miles from the scene of the murder.

The Deputy-Sheriff (Mr. J. A. G. Little) and party, with the condemned prisoner, leave Palmerston by today's (Friday's) train, and Mounted Constable Stott is now en route to Crescent Lagoon to assemble as many natives of the tribe as possible to witness the execution.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 5 February 1897

Mounted-Constable Stott, suffering from an injury to the foot, has successfully undergone an operation at the Palmerston Hospital.




South Australian Register, 30 December 1898



The steamer Cygnet, which left Port Darwin on December 14 with Inspector Foelsche and Mounted-Constable Stott in search of the native murderers of Messrs.Moore and McKenzie, buffalo hunters, returned from King River today with two aboriginals, charged with the murder, and two witnesses, who saw the deceased killed. The accused had reached Liver- pool River. The arrests are highly creditable to the police considering the heavy rains and the natives being on the look-out! Only one month has elapsed since the men were murdered.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 1 December 1899

                                    STOTT- DUGGlN.

On Monday afternoon the wedding bells were again set ringing. This time it was our old friend,M.C Stott, who was to be made happy in the possession of a better half. The ceremony was performed in the Wesleyan Church   by the Rev. S. Stephens. The bride, Miss Duggin, is a recent arrival from England, reaching Port Darwin by the ss Airlie on Friday. A good crowd gathered at the church, and after the nuptial knot had been tied the happy couple were treated to showers of rice and cheers, as they left the building. Mr. McPherson gave the bride away, whilst Mr. E. Holmes acted as best man. A large wedding party assembled at the residence of Mr. McPherson, and the health of the bride and bride-groom drunk in 'fizz'. The guests were entertained at a breakfast after which dancing was indulged in until the ' wee sma' oors.' The happy couple left for their home at Burrundie by the train; on Tuesday morning. M.C. Stott is a well-known figure in the Territory, having been connected with the N.T. police force for the last sixteen or seventeen years, and during that time has proved himself an able and efficient officer. We wish both Mr. Stott and his bride nothing but joy, and we are sure the bridegroom's many friends here join us.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, Friday 15 December 1899



                                                On Monday, November 27, at the Wesleyan Church, Palmerston, by the Rev. S. Stephens, Robert, the fourth son of the late James Stott, farmer, Portlethen, Aberdeen, Scotland, to Mary, second daughter of the late Michael Duggan, contractor, Widnes, England.




Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 3 August 1900

The Daly River Outrage.



Mounted constables Stott and Stone arrived in town by Wednesday's train, bringing with them two aboriginals arrested near the mouth of the Daly River, and three native witnesses. By their own confession the two prisoners appear to have committed a deed unique in the annals of outrages perpetrated by natives for the cool boldness exhibited in its accomplishment, and the police are to be congratulated on the clever and prompt manner in which they have succeeded in bringing the offenders to book. The two mounted constables arrived at the Daly Mission Station on the night of the 20th inst, and obtained there the services of four or five natives, some of whom were acquainted with the language of the natives in the neighbourhood of the locality where the outrage was reported as having occurred. They crossed the river the following morning by a sand bar a couple of miles up the river from the station, and after two and a half days' travel arrived in the neighbourhood of a native camp near the sea coast, some little, distance to the south of the river. Great caution was needed in order not to alarm and arouse the suspicion of the natives, and Messrs. Stott and Stone appear to have been equal to the occasion. The blacks accompanying them talked to the natives and represented the policemen as white men searching for good country in which to settle. Making enquiries these natives discovered that two of the tribe had been concerned in the outrage on the launch, of which, apparently, no secret was made, as they gave the mission natives all the details of the affair. The suspicions of the natives   being lulled by the representations made to them they came around the police camp, and Messrs. Stott and   Stone, being covertly enlightened by their own blacks as to the identity of the two men who admitted being implicated in the outrage, these were suddenly seized upon and handcuffed One made a desperate effort to escape, breaking the handcuffs which had been slipped over his wrists, but after a struggle he was effectively secured. Had. it not been for the excessive dryness of the past season, we understand the country towards the mouth of the river would have been impassable for horsemen. As it was some difficulty was experienced, and the party had to keep some distance from the river proper. News was also obtained as to the safety of the launch, but the police could take no steps to locate her whereabouts, and started back direct for Palmers- ton with their two prisoners.

The preliminary examination of the two prisoners took place at the Police-Court, before Mr. Justice Dash- wood on Thursday morning-, and resulted In a remand for a fortnight pending the possible production, of further evidence. The prisoners, named respectively Cammerfor and Munkgum, are two active looking fellows between 25 and 30 years of age. M.-C. Stott gave evidence as to arrest of prisoners on 25th July, and to their having been duly cautioned and charged through the medium of an interpreter. Ellen, a Daly River mission lubra, describing herself as having knowledge of the Bible and prayers, and being a Christian all the same Father




O'Brien, acted as interpreter for the prisoners. Johnny, Charlie, and Ellen gave evidence as to the story told to them by the prisoners each witness giving substantially the same version. The statement of each witness was laboriously repeated to the prisoners through the interpreter, and they signified their comprehension and presumable consent to its correctness by repeated and emphatic nods of the head. This story is substantially as follows:---- The two prisoners, saw the launch, and going down to the shore hailed her. One of the Victoria River blackboys pulled ashore in the dingy and took them on board. When they got on board, they asked the white men for tobacco, which was refused. Cammerfor then took up a stick and struck one of the white men (Ivan), who dived over the side into the water. In coming to the surface again his head struck against the boat; that he then scrambled into the dingy, and pulling a knife from his pocket cut the painter, and aiding by pushing her from the launch with his two hands drifted away. The prisoners tried to cátch him but he was too quick for them. Munkgum then took a stick and struck the other white fellow (Larsen) on the back of the neck. Larsen fired one shot from revolver, but the bullet went into the water. Larsen was again struck in the throat, and fell. One of the prisoners took him by the feet and the other by the head, and threw him over the side. Munkgum then killed the smallest of the Victoria River boys, and a fight ensued between the two prisoners and the two remaining Victoria River natives, which ended in the two latter being killed. All the bodies were then thrown into the water. Thereafter they must have taken the launch to the spot where she is said to be now lying, some distance along shore from the river's mouth, and took from her tobacco, flour, rice, tea, sugar, matches, etc., all of which good things were taken to camp, where " plenty blackfellow sit down." The prisoners state the boat to be undamaged, and lying where they left her. During the examination nothing came out showing at what time the tragedy occurred According to Ivan's statement, the blacks had been on board from about sundown, and the outrage occurred at midnight, which does not ñt in with the story told by the prisoners, who appear to have started to work immediately after going on board.  Just, as we are going to press we have received the following telegram from our special correspondent at   Brock's Creek:---Bradshaw's party found launch, not damaged. All the firearms were taken, and about half the provisions stolen. The launch has now conveyed the police party up to the Mission Station, where she arrived on the 30th ultimo. Expect to get back in a week's time. The Minniehaha is waiting at the mouth of the river. Ivan's story that the painter was cut by somebody on the boat is proved incorrect by the marks of tomahawk cuts on the dingey where painter was fastened. It is probable the Waggites have taken the firearms. If so people will want to keep a strict lookout.'

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 10August 1900

The Daly River Outrage.

Further developments have now taken place in connection with this tragedy, which completely capsizes the supposed solution of the mystery afforded last week by the re- turn of mounted constables Stott and Stone with two prisoners, guilty on their own confession of being the sole perpetrators of the outrage. Later evidence goes to show that the supposed culprits arrested by Messrs. Stott and Stone have either been spinning a fairy tale, or that the three witnesses who





told the tale as told to them by the prisoners Canmerfor and Munkgum, have greviously misunderstood and distorted that which was related to them.The lugger Minniehaha, which left here on the 26th ult. with a search party on board in tow of the Koonookarra, was dropped off Point Blaze at 3 oclock the same afternoon. The following day the party landed at Point Blaze, and walked from there round the coast to Channel Point, coming across several deserted camps on their way, and also tracks of blacks on the sea beach, showing that natives had been there within a few hours, but no natives or signs of the launch were seen. In the meantime the lugger was sailed round by Capt. Mugg, and took the party on board again at Channel Point, proceeding thence and dropping anchor in the mouth of the river that night. Next day (Saturday) a start was made in the dingey from the spot at which the launch was lying when the outrage occurred, and after a little search the missing vessel was found lying high and dry in an inlet or creek north of the mouth of the river. One of the party states that traces of a few spots of dried blood were visible on the decks and on the port bow there were traces of where someone had apparently wiped a bloody hand, the impression of each of the fingers being distinctly visible. The first indication that the scent was getting warm was the finding of an oar sticking in the mud as the party were ascending the creek in the dingey, about three quarters of a mile up, and the launch was found round next bend. The launch was cleaned up and floated at 6 o'clock same evening and brought alongside the Minuiehaha. Tommy, a native who had been left behind on the previous trip of the lugger to the river, was met with by the party shortly after the finding of the launch. He gave important information as to the whereabouts of the two natives who were on board the launch at the time the tragedy occurred, and arrangements were made with him to try and capture these two men, named respectively Fennem and Cockatoo. In order to lull the suspicions of the natives and facilitate the   capture of these men, and also to obtain news of the whereabouts of M.C.'s Stott and Stone, the party left in the launch at 5 a.m. the following (Sunday) morning for the Mission Station, where they arrived about noon on Monday, and heard of the capture of the two first prisoners. One of the party states that the natives all along the river seemed to be aware of the fact that the two men first captured by the police were entirely innocent of any complicity in the affair, and the mistake was the subject for much amusement among them. The party left the Mission on return trip at 4 p.m same day, and got back to where the lugger was lying anchored, off the mouth of the river, at 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning. On arrival they learned that Tommy had succeeded in securing Fennem (one of the men wanted), after a struggle in which the latter is said to have thrown four spears at his would-be captor. It is worthy of note that Ivan at once picked this man out trom a crowd of other natives as being one of the two Daly River natives on board the launch at the time the attack occurred. Tommy stated that the other man had run away. On Thursday morning Mr. Bradshaw left in the launch with Ivan for Palmerston, where he arrived on Friday. The lugger stayed behind with M.C. Merry and Mr A. Pott to endeavour to capture the other man wanted. This was a difficult task, the natives having now been thoroughly scared by the capture of Fennem, but by means of a ruse to the effect that failing the production of Cockatoo certain steps would be taken by the white men at Port Darwin his own tribe them- selves brought the man on board the following day, and directly this was done the lug- ger sailed for Port Darwin, where she arrived on Saturday night last. We under- stand that the native Tommy makes an interesting statement, which has not come out in the evidence, to the effect that following the outrage he personally followed the trail of the three Victoria River natives as far as




big fellow hill near Daly River copper   mine, which would seem to show that these scoundrels are making with ail speed back to their own country, and as nothing has been seen or heard of the firearms taken from the launch, the presumption is that they have these in their possession.

Nearly the whole of Monday last before Mr. Justice Dashwood, and N. Stevenson, J.P.- - was occupied in the examination of Ivan and the two natives brought up in the lugger, whose evidence entirely bears out the account of the affair already given by Ivan, and shows conclusively that the two men first arrested despite their own singular confession could have taken no active part in the tragedy.

In dismissing the information against the prisoners Cammerfor and Munkgum, Mr. Dashwood remarked that this case was a   striking example of the danger which might result from convicting natives on evidence out of their own mouths. The examination just concluded showe that there was not a particle of evidence against these men, but had it not been for the fortuitous fact that this evidence had been forthcoming the prisoners would in all probability have been committed for trial and eventually convicted of a crime of which it was now proved they were entirely innocent. Evidence in cases of this character required sifting with the greatest possible care.

The evidence taken at the examination on Monday is unavoidably held over, but will appear in full in next week's issue.

Summed up this evidence goes to show that the two prisoners, Cammerfor and Munkgum, could not have been on the launch at the time the outrage occurred. Ivan swore he had never previously seen the prisoners, and he was just as positive that the two witnesses, Fennem and Cockatoo, were the two Daly River natives referred to as having been brought on board by Larsen at Channel point. Fennem he immediately recognised on seeing him among several others on board the lugger at Daly River, and Cockatoo was recognised hy him in Court. Both Fennem and Cockatoo's evidence corroborated the details of what occurred on the launch as related by Ivan in every essential particular. And the story of all three as to the dingey having been cut adrift by a person on the launch is corroborated by the end of the cut painter being still in its position on the launch when the boat was discovered by the search party, and also fresh marks of cuts on the tiller showing where the rope had been severed by a tomahawk, thus bearing out the statement of the witness Fennem as to the way in which he cut the dingey adrift after Ivan was knocked overboard. Both the native witnesses were also positive that the two prisoners were never on the launch, but " stop along their own country, a long way from the river." A peculiarity about the examination of both these native witnesses ---Fennem and Cockatoo ---is that neither of them would confess to any knowledge of the movements of the three Victoria River blacks following the occurrence of the out- rage. So far as these two witnesses are concerned the Victoria River natives may have vanished into thin air. As both the wit- nesses appear to have had a finger in the subsequent looting of the launch Cockatoo, as a matter of fact wearing ia Court a pair of trousers recognised by Ivan as being his property this ignorance seems almost too singular to be quite credible. Still another peculiar feature about the case is that the two discharged prisoners, Cammerfor and Munkgum, and the three witnesses through whom the prisoners' confession was




filtered, still adhere to the literal truth of their story. Seemingly, the best thing to do now is to bring about the arrest of the three Victoria River boys as soon as possible, and we believe a warrant has been issued and other steps taken by the police to this end.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette,  7 September 1900

Daly River Outrage.




The launch Wunwulla returned from the Victoria River on Sunday last, with M.C. Stott and two prisoners arrested in the Victoria River district under warrant, charged with being concerned in the murder of a European named John Larsen, employed on Mr. Bradshaw's launch Wunwulla, at the mouth of the Daly River, on the 12th July last. The details of this tragic occurrence will lie still fresh in the minds of our readers. The names of the two prisoners now arrested are George and Jimmie, and these are presumably two of the Victoria River natives who were employed on board the launch at the date of the tragedy. The prisoners appeared at the police Court on Monday, 3rd inst., before .His Honor, Mr. Justice Dashwood, when the following evidence was taken : -

M.-C. Stott, sworn, deposed as follows : I arrested the prisoner Jimmy about midnight on the ISth August in a camp near Mr. Bradshaw's Victoria River Station. I told him the charge and cautioned him. He said " No more, Ivan been killem Georgie. By and bye Jack been say " No good" kill em. By and bye Ivan then been kill em Jack."' On the 26th August, when the prisoner Jimmy was tied up at Bradshaw's station, he voluntarily stated---' Georgie been killem Ivan and Jack, no more me.' I took the boy, George, in charge at same time and place that I arrested the prisoner Jimmy, but on account of his youth I did not tell him the charge until this morning. He then said that George had pushed Ivan into the water; that Jimmy had cut the rope holding the dingey, and had then caught and held Larsen by the neck whilst George shot him in the forehead; that Larsen thereupon fell down, and that Jimmy took a tomahawk and struck him on the neck; that George and Jimmy then threw Larsen's body overboard, and next washed the blood from the deck ; that Jimmy then threw a shot gun, rifle, and revolver into the water. The rifle and revolver produced were handed to me by the prisoner George. When I secured him he, at my request went into the range and brought them to me. There were two cartridges in the revolver, which had not been fired. The other native. George, for whose arrest I had a warrant, was shot whilst trying to evade arrest. He was shot by one of Mr. Bradshaw's station boyss named Dandy, on the 23rd August. On the 22nd August I was camped at a spot about 60 miles north-east of Mr. Bradshaw's station, in the ranges. Mr Palmer, Mr. Bradshaw's head stock man, and Dandy, Larrabi, and a lubra named Judy were with me. There were also five Victoria River natives whose names I do




not know. About 1 p.m I sent these five natives and the two station boys into the ranges to try   and induce George to come to my camp, pretending that I was Mr. Bradshaw, and that I wanted to build a camp. They returned about sun- down with news that they had seen George, with other natives, but that   they were not allowed to get nearer to them than 50 or 60 yards. George told them they were only "gammon ing.'" and that all they wanted was to catch him and tie him up along Mr   Bradshaw's station all the same Jimmy,' and that if they did not immediately go back he and the natives with him would spear them. George then took up a spear and threw it at them, saying, Suppose you strong fellow you come and catchem me now. I no frightened. Suppose anyone come alonga me I kill em.' The other natives who were with George then took up their spears, and the station boys, having no fire arms, retreated On the 23rd August, in company with Mr. Palmer, the station boys, and the five other aborigines, I followed up the tracks of George's mob. After proceeding four miles we came on an abandoned camp. From there we fol-   lowed fresh tracks about a quarter of a mile further down. All at once I saw about 50 or 60 aboriginals all armed with spears, coming towards us I galloped on to them and called out to my party. Dandy said 'There's George!' and went after a single native. We galloped through the natives, who threw spears, and all followed Dandy and the native he was after. After going about three quarters of a mile we abandoned our horses owing to the roughness of the country and continued the chase on foot. We   came to a precipice, and Dandy and the native he was pursuing stopped suddenly. Myself and Mr Palmer were then about thirty yards distant from Dandy. Dandy called out ' Come on, Mr. Stott, I got him.' I then called out to the native 'You stop, Georgie, in the Queen's name. No more run away.' The native then got hold of one of the jagged spears which he was carrying, and tried to spear Dandv, but owing to the rocky and precipitous character of the foothold he could not throw it with any effect. When I was about ten yards distant, George disappeared from view down the face, of the cliff. Dandy then fired and struck George in the thick part of the arm. George thereupon slid down the cliff about 40 feet, and was again making off when Dandy fired a second shot. The bullet struck   George below the shoulder blade on  the right side, and he pitched forward quite dead, but still clutching the four   spears which he had carried throughout his flight. I may say that it was   quite impossible for the party to have  followed him any further, and if he had not been shot he would inevitably have escaped. The body was after- wards identified by Mr. Palmer, and by Dandy, Larrabi, Judy, and the five natives, as being the identical George who was wanted under a warrant for the murder of John Larsen. I after- wards made the natives carry the body   to where I was camped, and in my     presence they buried it. Before he was buried I measured the body of deceased, and found he was six feet high. He was of medium build, and   had slight scraggy whiskers. I also noticed a slight scum growmg over the ball of the right eye. These features tally with the disruption I received previous to leaving for the Victoria. River.

(illegible) (Ivan) was also sworn and gave evidence similar to (illegible) descriptive of the outrage which occurred on 12th Julylast. In reply to further queries witness stated---During the voyage from Palmerston to the Daly River I had no quarrel with any of the natives or with Larsen. On our way to Daly   River, near the lighthouse, the painter   of the dingy broke, and we went about in the launch to pick the boat up. We bent another rope on to the dingy. I did not strike George in any way. Larsen never said to me ' No good   kill 'em." I did not hit Jack Larsen at all that trip. I found some marks on the launch's rudder when she was   recovered on the 28th.




These appeared as if made by a tomahawk. They were where the painter of the dingy, was made fast to the launch. I have  not seen Larsen since the 12th July. He was in good health at that time. The prisoners Jimmy and George were working for me about 9 or 10 days before the occurrence at the Daly River. The prisoners have been working now and then at Mr. Bradshaw's station, but I could not say for how long.

After the hearing of further evidence' on Tuesday, the 4th inst., the two prisoners were committed for trial.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 25 April 1902

A very quiet wedding took place in Palmerston on Monday evening, when Miss Hislop, of Cooktown was united in the holy bonds of matrimony to Mr. Robert Stott a well-known member of the N.T. mounted police force. "The marriage ceremony was celebrated by the Rev. F. Greenwood, and the newly married couple left by Tuesday's train for Burrundie. The ceremony was strictly private, only a few near friends of the parties being present.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 17 Oct 1902

Sly Grog Selling.


(From a Correspondent.)

I have been at some trouble to ascertain the following particulars respecting the recent sly grog selling cases heard at Burrundie, thinking they may be of some interest to your readers as going to show the extent to which this illegal traffic is carried on throughout the Territory. The tactics adopted by the police on this occasion display a consider- able amount of shrewdness and unusually vigorous promptness of action, of which the success which has attended their efforts is the best proof, and it is to be hoped, in the interests of bona fide trades-people who pay heavy license fees and are entitled to every protection at the hands of the authorities, that such skilfully conducted raids will become a more frequent feature in the future than they have been in the past. It is notorious that all over the gold- fields nearly every little humpy is a sly grog shop, and under such conditions it may be taken for granted that a good deal of vile and poisonous trash is disposed of to the prejudice of public health and morals. It is only necessary for five or six men to make a little find to provide a sufficient excuse for the ubiquitous Chinese storekeeper to open a " branch" in the locality, and as a rule even the taking out of a store- keeper's license is not considered necessary. As far as I can ascertain it is over fourteen years now since the police have made a similar raid, and as during all the intervening period the illicit trafficker has had a fairly free hand, I think you will admit that even the severe fines imposed in the present cases are but a fleabite compared with the unlawful profits which must have been made by sly grog sellers as a class during this time.




The cases came on for hearing at Burrundie on the 8th inst, before Messrs. E. C. Playford and R. J. Beckwith, J's.P. The evidence showed that none of the accused held a storekeepers licence. M. C. Stott appears to have applied to R. J. Beckwith, J.P., on the 1st inst., for search warrants, and on the following day (Wednesday) 2nd inst., he and M.-C. Kelly left Burrundie for Yam Creek, meeting M.-C. Dowdy as previously arranged near that place, and camping for the night. Before daybreak the following morning they raided the stores of Quong Lee Cheong and Wing On Wah, at Yam Creek, loaded the liquor seized in a buggy, and started off immediately for Brock's Creek. There each trooper took a store, so that there was no chance of one warning the other. From there, where they procured fresh horses, they hurried on to the Howley, where the same tactics were successfully carried out.

The following list of the names of the accused, who all pleaded guilty, with the quantities of liquor seized, will give you readers some idea of the extent to which this illegal retail traffic is being carried on in the country districts. I believe the fines have been paid in every instance

YAM CREEK--Wing On Wah, 43 bottles porter, 11 do brandy, 11 do whisky, 4 do champagne, 25 do lager beer, 1 do port wine. Fined £15.  Quong Lee Cheong, 51 bottles beer, 25 do porter, 8 do claret, 1 do port wine. Fined £15.

HOWLEY--Jack Knee, 27 bottles whiskey, 9 do port wine, 62 do porter, 4 do beer. Fined £15. Quong Loong Cheong, 3 cases beer, 1 case and 1 cask porter, 27 bottles gin, 31 do whiskey, 3 do wine, 40 do Walkerville beer, 4 do lager beer, 63 do porter. Fined £15.

BROCK'S CREEK--Jin Kee Chan, 90 bottles porter, 7 do beer, 1 case lager beer. 11 bottles square, and two partially emptied bottles of whiskey and gin. Fined £20. Ah Quee, 11 1/2 bottles gin, 2 do beer, 1 do port wine, Fined £21. Wing Woh Chong, no liquor found. Fined £30.

In each of the above cases the fines--which amount to a total of £131--include costs. In each case, also, all the liquor seized was ordered to be confiscated.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 5 February 1904

M.-C. Stott proceeds to Borroloola by the next steamer to take up the appointment recently vacated by the departure of Corporal Power on sick leave, and M.-C. Kelly, who is temporarily in charge there, will be a passenger on the return trip of the steamer. M.-C. Kelly, we believe, is to take charge of Brock's Creek Station. M.-C. Stott will be accompanied by his wife and family.

 Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 12 February 1904

     The coastal contract mail steamer Waihoi sailed for Borroloola at about 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning, taking several passengers and from 50 to 60 tons of cargo. The passengers were Mr. and Mrs. Stott and child. Miss Hislop, and Mr. J. Christian. Mr. Stott assumes charge of the Borroloola Police Station and a multiplicity of other official duties connected therewith, and takes




with him all his lares et penates, including a number of fowls, with a view to an extended occupancy of this lonely but somewhat regal position. Mr. J. Christian is returning to his station, Walhalla Downs, after taking a brief holiday tour south. (lares et penates = household gods. LJF)

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 29 April 1904 

March 24th, 1904.

HIS Excellency the Governor in Council: has been pleased to appoint Mounted Constable Robert Stott to be Keeper of the Borroloola Gaol, vice Kelly, transferred.

By command,

J. G. Jenkins Chief Secretary.

Chief Secretary's Office, Adelaide,

March 16th, 1904. .

HIS Excellency, the Governor in Council has been pleased to appoint Mounted Constable Robert Stott to, be Warden of Goldfields for Gold Mining District B. Northern Territory, vice Power, deceased.

By command.

J. G. Jenkins, Chief Secretary.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 13 May 1904

 Chief Secretary's Office, Adelaide, April 6th, 1904.

HIS Excellency the Governor in Council has been pleased to appoint Mounted Constable Robert Stott, Clerk and Bailiff of the Local Court of Borroloola, to be a Com missioner for taking Affidavits in the Su preme Court so long as he remains Clerk of a Local Court.

By command


Chief Secretary.





Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 23 June 1905


 THE coastal mail steamer, Waihoi arrived from Borroloola on Friday last, and brings further details of the supposed murder of a white traveller at Top Springs, situated within some 120 miles of Borroloola, to which some reference was made a week or two ago M. C. Stott, Messrs. McCauley, Biondi and C. Dyer, and five natives, were passengers by the Waihoi. One of these natives is charged with the alleged murder, the other natives and Europeans named, being witnesses in the case.  

The facts, so far as can be learned are as follows :- The murdered man, James Mildwater, is supposed to be a native of Woolahra, Sydney, where he has relatives. He appears, to have been camped at Top Springs, is supposed to have been murdered on or about April 30th. The deceased left Anthony's Lagoon on April 22 for Borroloola, and he was last seen alive by the, mailman, Biondi, at 1 o'clock on the afternoon of April 30. He was at that time camped at Top Springs and had with him a native who is shown to be identical with the aboriginal who now stands charged with the murder.  

About 1 p.m on the afternoon of May 1st a traveller named Charles Dyer passed Top Springs on his way to Borroloola. He noticed a bridle hanging on a bush, and his curiosity being excited he made further search and found a pair of spurs lying on a freshly made grass bed. On examining these he recognised them as belonging to Mildwater. Dyer also found gruesome   traces of a tragedy in the shape of blood stains on the grass bedding, and also found some hobbled horses grazing near by. Search failing to reveal any trace of Mildwater, Dyer rode on to Borroloola, where he immediately reported the facts above related to the police.   

M. C. Stott and black trackers reached Top Springs on May 8, and found the body of the unfortunate   Mildwater floating in one of the billabongs, and also found packsaddle bags and other of deceased's effects in   the same waterhole. Examination of deceased's body showed a large bruise   on the back of the neck, and the skull appeared to be fractured. After   burying the body, the trackers succeeded in cutting the tracks of a native leading from the camp. This trail was followed up, and on the 13th May, the police overtook and arrested a native named Bouramulla, at Williams' Creek. Most of the deceased man's wearing apparel and other effects were found in this man's possession. Accused was subsequently brought before H. Coop, Esq., J.P. and committed for trial at the forth- coming Circuit Court at Palmerston.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 21 July 1905

Circuit Coast.





(Before His Honor Judge Herbert and Juries.)

Monday, July 10.


Benamulla,an aboriginal, was charged with that he did on 30th. April last, at Top Springs, feloniously, wilfully, and of malice aforethought kill and murder one James Mildwater.

Mr. Shierlaw, who appeared for the prisoner, pleaded on his behalf not guilty.

Jury--Messrs. O. C. Witherden, T. Worgan, F. Godfrey, M. Myles, J. J. Shanahan, G. Goodman, B. J. Foster, G. F. Wedd, W. J. Barnes. L. Helleman, R. P. Noble, and J. Roberts.

The facts in this case were briefly set out by the Crown Prosecutor, and were similar to those published a few weeks ago. The deceased man, James Mildwntor, left Anthony's Lagoon on April 22 for Borroloola, and was last seen alive by the mailman Biondi, at 1 o'clock on the afternoon of April 30, when deceased was camped at Top Springs, having in his company a native subsequently identified as the prisoner in the dock, Benamulla. On the after- noon of the day following (May 1) a man named Charles Dyer passed Top Springs on his way to Borroloola, and coming on certain traces leading to the conclusion that a gruesome tragedy had been perpetrated, he made all haste to Borroloola and reported the circum- stances to the police. M.-C. Stott and black trackers arrived at Top Springs on May 8, and found deceased's body, also pack-saddles and other of his effects, in one of the chain of waterholes from which the locality takes its name. Examination showed that deceased had apparently been killed by a blow on the back of the neck, which had fractured the skull. The remains were buried, and the trackers succeeded soon after in cutting the tracks of a native leading from the camp. These were followed, and on the 13th May the prisoner was arrested at a place named Williams Creek. Wearing apparel and several other of the murdered man's effects were found in the prisoner's possession. Witnesses examined for the prosecu tion were M.-C. Stott, Messrs. McCau- lay, Biondi, and Dyer, and several natives.

No witnesses were called for the defence, but Benamulla was put in the box by his counsel, and made a statement to the following effect ---

He remembered meeting three white men at the Kilgour. They gave him supper and tobacco, and then asked him if he had a lubra. He replied " Yes, alonga ridge." They asked him to bring her to the camp, which he did.   He had breakfast at the white men's camp next morning, after which the white men went away towards Anthony's Lagoon and he went away into the bush with his lubra. Some time after, at Top Springs, he met the dedeceased, James Mildwater. At deceased's request he cut grass to make a bed, while his lubra washed some clothes and dishes for the deceased. The white man gave him a small piece of tobacco and two matches. While his lubra was washing witness went away fishing. He came back and had   tea with the whiteman. After tea the white man told him to go to his camp and leave the lubra with him. Benamulla told his lubra to stay




with the white man, which she did. They went under the mosquito net together, and Benamulla, taking his little girl with him, went to his own camp. But the child cried, and he got up to take the picaninny to the mosquito net to its mother. He said to the lubra -- " What for you no more come and catch em picaninny. She cry, cry, cry-- close up die !" The lubra replied ---" I cannot come, because I am tied !" (Witness here described in pantomime the manner in which the woman's wrists were tied together.) The white man said ---- " Get out of this ! What are you doing here! Mind your own business!"

Bennmulla then went back to his own camp and got his nulla-nulla, and returned to the white man's camp, keeping the stick close to his leg. The white man saw him and raised his gun. Benamulla struck at the gun with his waddy as it went off, and the shot missed him. As the white man attempted to get up, Benamulla struck him a blow on the back of the head with the nulla nulla. He then broke the string with which the lubra's hands were tied. Witness then described how he put Mildwater's body and some of the deceased's effects into the water hole, and taking the rifle, tomahawk, and other of the dead man's property cleared away into the bush, Mr. Shierlaw, in his address to the Jury, contended that they had only circumstantial evidence to connect the prisoner with the murder of the deceased. The prisoner, however, had frankly admitted the act. He had told them the circumstances under which the act had been committed. They had no reason to doubt the prisoner's story which was substantially corroborated by the evidence for the prosecution ; and if they believed that story they were quite justified in returning a verdict of justifiable homicide.

His Honor summed up very carefully, his remarks on the whole being in favour of a verdict of manslaughter. He regretted the fact to which it was impossible to close his eyes -- that white men were in the habit of tampering with the lubras of the blacks. If the   Jury believed the whole of the prisoner's   statement they would be justified in law in finding him guilty of man- slaughter, or even in acquitting him.

The Jury then retired, returning in about 3/4 of an hour with a verdict of murder, with a strong recommendation to mercy.    

His Honor then formally sentenced  the prisoner to death.  

The case lasted throughout the whole of Monday and Tuesday.  

This case concluded the sittings.  

Northern Territory Times & Gazette,  23 April 1909







                                                THE MURDER TRIAL.

THE re-trial of Tom Hume (an old white man 67 years of age) and of Paddy Ball (a young half-caste) charged with the murder of a half-caste named Alick, some time in October, 1908, on Mr. Coop's Tarumbirini Station, about 120 miles from Borroloola, in the McArtbur River district, has occupied the attention of the adjourned sittings of the Circuit Court during the greater part of the present week. The trial began at 10 a.m. on the 20th inst., before His Honor Judge   Herbert and Jury, and was not concluded   up to 6 p.m. on Thursday. The case for   the Crown was completed by Wednesday afternoon, the witnesses and the evidence being practically identical with that produced at the first trial, a synopsis of which   appeared in our issue of 9th inst. On Wednesday afternoon, after briefly addressing the Jury, the counsel for the defence (Mr.E. P. G. Little) placed the prisoner Hume in the witness box.              

The statement made by Hume was to the effect that he had been working on Mr. Coop's Tarumbirini Station for the past 15 years off and on as stockman and in other capacities. He was 67 years of age and had been in the Territory over 30 years, during which time he had been employed on the above station and on Creswell Downs and other stations. He had never previously been called upon to give evidence, nor been charged with an offence, in any Court. He had been camped for about two years past, with his partner Tom Williams---engaged in mustering cattle for Mr. Coop ---at   a place known as Horse Creek, about 20 miles from Tarumbirini home station. He   knew the deceased boy Alick, who had been   working for him for the past three or four years. He remembered leaving his camp at Horse Creek early in September last, accompanied by Paddy,Bull and his son Tom Hume for the home station. On the morning after arrival at Mr. Coop's he saw a horse in the paddock which he recognised as one usually ridden by the half-caste Alick, and which had heen at Horse Camp when the party left there; and the same night Paddy Bull and Tom brought in a saddle and bridle belonging to him, and which he recognised as those used by Alick, the half-caste On the following day he and Paddy Bull and his son left for Borroloola for supply of rations. As they were starting a lubra named Lucy came up and told him that the half-caste Alick was in the blacks' camp, and stated that he had left Horse Creek because Tom Williams had growled at him. Witness thereupon sent a message to Alick by the lubra Lucy, asking Alick to meet the party at a camping place on the road about 20 miles from the station, where he would supply him with tucker and make other arrangements for his transfer back to his own country, some distance   along the coast. The party then proceeded on their way to Borroloola and returned to Tarumbirini Station with stores, after an absence of about 16 days. On returning to station witness first heard the story of an alleged ontrage perpetrated by Alick at Horse Creek. Going on to Horse Creek the following day this story was corroborated   by the young lubra, Mary---the victim of the assault. Thereafter w itness states that he spoke to his son young Tom Hume, ask- ing him to catch Alick if he could for the purpose of handing him over to the police. Several weeks' passed, and the party were back at the home station, when one evening after dark Paddy Bull came to witness and asked him for his rifle, stating that he was going down to the blacks' camp to get news of some missing station horses, and giving as his reason for taking the rifle that the blacks had thrown spears at him some little time previously when he was down the creek horse hunting. Witness gave him the rifle and some cartridges. Witness saw no more of




Paddy Bull that night. Next morning, when at breakfast in the station saddle room, Paddy Ball told witness that he had: ‘shot Alick.’ Witness asked--" What did you shoot him for ? " and Paddy Bull replied ---" For taking spears to me along the camp." Paddy Bull then proceeded to describe to witness what had taken place in the camp, the gist of the story being that Alick had wanted Paddy Bull to give him the rifle, which Paddy Bull had declined to do ; and that after an unsuccessful attempt to snatch and make off with the weapon, Alick had got angry and started to throw spears, whereupon Paddy Bull had shot him. After breakfast witness, Paddy Bull, and young Tom Hume proceeded to the blacks' camp taking with them a draught horse harnessed. Alick was lying on his back with a hole in his breast. He was naked and covered only with a small piece of paper bark. There was no blood on his body or face and no wound in the head. Witness removed the body beneath the shade of a tree, and he and the boys covered it with branches. Three wild dogs were seen prowling near by as they approached the camp, and ants were crawling over the body. Paddy and Young Tom then went up the creek with the horse to do some work, and witness walked down the creek to look for the blacks. He did dot find any. He then, visited the camp of some white men, told them what had occurred, and asked their advice as to the disposal of Alick's body. They advised burning, and about 2 o'clock he returned to the blacks' camp and built a fire over the deceased's body. His main reason for doing this was because the ground was too stony for burial, and because it is the practice among the aborigines in that district to burn their dead after a time. Witness then worked on at the station until his subsequent arrest by the police. Witness denied having any recollection of using the words attributed to him by M -C. Higgs when arrested.

Prisoner was cross-examined at some length by the Crown Prosecutor and His Honor.

The Protector of Aborigines then intimated that the half-caste prisoner Paddy Bull would make a statement from the dock, Paddy Bull's statement was in all its main features corroborative of the story told by the Prisoner Warne as to what took place on the' night Alick was killed and on the visit to the blacks' camp the following morning. It was delivered connectedly and. without any apparent hesitation or confusion, and in good English. The prisoner concluded his statement by describing his arrest by Mr. Stott, and the subsequent separation of the two prisoners, and his (prisoner's) journey to Bauhinia Downs with Mr. Stott. On reaching a certain place on   the road prisoner states that Mr. Stott asked him to have a drink, which he (prisoner) declined, stating that he did not drink. Prisoner's statement then proceeded --"Mr. Stott then said---'I will tell you what to do, Paddy.' Mr. Stott then told me what to tell Mr. Higgs, and asked me not to tell Mr. Waters, in Port Darwin, that he had told me; nor Mr. Stretton, nor M -C. Higgs. That is all I can say."

The Crown Prosecutor briefly addressed the Jury.

Mr. E. P G. Little addressed the Jury on behalf of the prisoner Hume in a speech lasting 1 1/4 hours, in which he laboriously cited contradictions in the testimony of the various native witnesses for the Crown and dwelt on the character of the statement made by prisoner Hume in the Box, which he claimed had been practically unshaken in cross-examination. Counsel also





commented strongly on the suggestion contained in the prisoner Paddy's statement from the dock to the effect that undue influence had been used by M.-C. Stott, in inducing him to make the statement to M.-C. Higgs which had been put in as evidence, in concluding he asked the Jury to believe the testimony of the prisoner Home, given on oath in his own defence, and to return a verdict of not guilty.

The Protector of Aborigines also briefly addressed the Jury in tbe interests of the half-caste prisoner. He protested against the grossly unfair suggestion by the Crown   Prosecutor that the half-caste prisoner's statement had been got up for the occasion, and pointed out in refutation of this that he had not known that Paddy Bull would make a statement until after the prisoner Hume had been placed in the box. In conclusion he appealed to the Jury to give due consideration in weighing the evidence to the invidious position in which the unfortunate halfcaste class were placed socially and morally.

His Honor commenced summing up at 3.40 p.m, and had not concluded when we went to press.

The Advertiser, (Adelaide), Thursday 27 Jan 1910




Mr. R. Stott, who is in charge of the police-station at Borroloola, in the Northern Territory, has sent to Professor Stirling. C.M.G., the director of the Museum, a valuable and an interesting collection of native curiosities. The aboriginal tribes are fast dying out, and many of the old customs and implements associated with their uncivilised life are disappearing, so that the professor has established agencies in all parts of tropical Australia, indeed in all quarters of the continent where the blacks make their homes, for the purpose of acquiring every article he can lay hands on to assist in completing the extensive collection representative of the native inhabitants in the possession of the Museum authorities. So successful has Professor Stirling been during the many years he has been gathering specimens that the collection of native weapons, drawings, canoes, garments, fishing equipment, and the hundred and one other things made by the natives now in his safe keeping at the Museum, is second to none in the Commonwealth, and consequently it is by far the best in the world.

New Treasures.

The latest addition forwarded by Mr. Stott, who acts as one of the professor's agents, includes





two native coffins, a bark canoe, 15 ft. in length, and a spear 16 ft. long, which is used for capturing the Dugong, a large aquatic herbivorous mammal, which inhabits the Indian Ocean and the waters of the Philippines, and often finds its way down to the northern coast of Australia.

Lubra's Coffins.

The coffins are by far the most valuable items of the consignment. They are pieces of hollow logs, standing about 5 ft. in height, and are decorated with birds' down, which has been stuck on the wood with some gum- like material. The ground work of the decoration consists of down, which has been whitened by the application of pulverised chalk or pipe clay, and from top to bottom there is a serpentine band of red colored down, representing the totem of the deceased lubra. Each contains the body of a lubra. The custom of the natives is to remove the bodies from their elevated resting places in the trees a long time after death and place them in the coffins, which are then stood erect in the ground, the end being sunk about a foot deep. The two specimens are perfect in every respect, and Mr. Stott has placed the Museum, and incidentally the public, under a great obligation to him.

The bark canoe is a beautiful example of the skill of the natives in boat building, and it will be accorded a prominent position in the new building.

The spear also is a highly valuable specimen, but it has one defect -- the point is made of iron wire instead of flint or some other substance such as the natives used before the spread of civilisation furnished them with modern articles such as wire.

Native Art.

Amongst other things sent down by Mr. Stott were a number of original drawings on wood by the natives, such as birds, animals, reptiles, turtles, fish, lizards, and insects. Unfortunately the public will have no opportunity of seeing any of these specimens until the new wing of the Museum block is open, and for the purpose of safety nearly the whole of the goods were   on Wednesday placed in zinc-lined cases, in which they will be kept until space is made available for them.

The Advertiser (Adelaide), Tuesday 1 Feb 1910




                                                THE HOLLOW LOG COFFINS.





It was stated last week in "The Advertiser" that Professor Stirling had received a valuable consignment of aboriginal specimens from Mr. R. Stott, of Borroloola, in the Northern Territory, for the Museum. The most treasured articles of the collecon are two hollow log coffins, which actually contain the skeletons of two lubras, and as the diameter of the logs is only 0nly 6 or 7 in. the skulls had to be divided in order to force them into the primitive caskets with the rest of the bones. A good deal of curiosity was aroused by the reference to the native coffins and the manner in which some of the tribes deal with the bodies of deceased members has formed the subject of many exchanges of opinions. Few men are better acquainted with the habits and customs of the natives of Central and Northern Australia than Professor Baldwin Spencer and Mr. F. J. Gillen, who, in order to complete their records and investigations, made a special journey to the Northern Territory in order to witness ceremonies, take photographs, and collect information respecting many of the tribes which inhabit country not much frequented by white people. Soon after their return to the south they collaborated in the production of a book entitled "The Northern Tribes of Central Australia," which is recognised as the most authoritative work of its kind in existence.            

A Cannibal Feast.

In the chapter relating to the customs of the natives in regard to death and burial the authors say: "In the Bingabinga tribe the body immediately after death is cut up by men who belong to the opposite side of the tribe. The head is cut off, the liver taken out, and all the joints are dismembered. A fire is made in a hole in the ground, stones are heated, and the different parts of the body are laid on them to cook. They are then covered with green boughs and earth is heaped over until the cooking is complete, when the gruesome meal is partaken of by the men. No woman is allowed to take human flesh, but the men appear to be by no means averse to it. The women gave as an explanation of their abstention that they are too sorry to touch the flesh, but the real reason is that they are not allowed to do so, or indeed to go anywhere near the spot at which this part of the funeral rite is carried out. In the Mara and Anula tribes very much the same ceremony takes place, only here those who may eat the flesh are representatives of both moieties of the tribe. In the case of an Anula woman whose body was eaten a short time ago the following took place:--The woman belonged to the Wailia, division of the tribe and her body was disembowelled by a Roumburia man. Those present during the rite, and participating in it were four in number. Two of them were her tribal fathers, belonging therefore to the Wialia group, that is to her own moiety of the tribe; the other two were her mother's brothers, and therefore Roumburia men, belonging to the half or the tribe to which she did not belong.

                                                Collecting the Bones.

"Taking the case of a man, after the flesh has been eaten, the bones are carefully col-   lected, wrapped in paper bark, and taken by the mother's brother to the camp of the dead man's father, who must watch over them until the time of the final ceremony. The man comes up to where the father and mother are seated with their heads bowed down, and places in front of them the parcel containing the bones. For a short time the latter are spread out upon a small platform until they are quite dry, when they are again wrapped up in paper bark and the parcel is fixed into the fork




of a stout stick standing upright in the ground. 'This is placed in the centre of a little cleared space outlined by a raised circle of sand, in which an opening is left at one side. Within the circle a small fire is made and kept continuously burning. It has to be specially lighted by rubbing two sticks together, and may be approached by the father and mother of the dead person only. No one else may touch or go near it and no firestick may be taken away from it. To this special fire the name of koaka is given. The spirit is supposed to come and hover over the bones and fire, and at times may be seen by the father and mother standing beside the little fire. There is no attempt to conceal the bones. In one case we saw the forked stick with its little surrounding mound of sand placed right in the middle of a camp of Binbinga natives, whose whurleys were dotted about all round it amongst the trees on the steep banks of the MacArthur River.

                                                Tribal Invitation.

"After the bones have been brought in the father takes one of the arm bones, red ochres it, and ties it tightly round with fur-string, which he coats over with pipeclay This object, which is called kallana, he gives after the lapse of a consider- able time ---perhaps a year or more---to a man who acts as a messenger to summon distant groups to take part in the final ceremonies. Sometimes the messenger carries the kallana only, but in addition in the Binbinga tribe he may take with him tbe ni-irra, or packet containing the dead man's hair, and in the anula, a wiairpi, or sacred stick."

                                                The Hollow Log.Produced.

After describing the return of the messenger, accompanied by the groups of natives, and the ceremony of receiving them, the authors say:--"Early the next morning the purnka (mothers, brothers, son) of the dead man, brings up a hollow log called lalanga, which he has painted with the design of the dead man's totem. This at first is placed on a small cleared space to one side of the ground. The tribal fathers, but not the actual father, and the tribal sons of tne dead man are painted with designs of the totem. When it is dark the purnka man brings the hollow log and sets it upright in the ground close to where the father sits, beside the bones, still wrapped in paper bark. (After a night of dancing round the bones.) Just before dawn the father calls up the eldest purnka man and hands the parcel of bones to him. telling lim at the same time to put them in the log. This he at once does, filling up both ends with paper bark and tying strips of this tightly round outside, so that no design can be seen.

                                                Return to the Father's Camp.

"Then the whole party set off towards the father's camp, the purnka man carrying the log in the middle, and one man in advance carrying bushes, which he beats together. The lubras have previously made a cleared space with a hole in the middle, into which the log is placed. The men then retire, and the lubras come up, weep and wail over the log, and cut themselves with kangaroo bones, after which they return to their camp.

                                                The Last Resting Place.  




"Afterwards the purnka men take the log and place it in the boughs of a tree by the side of a waterhole, fixing it so that if possible it overhangs the water. There the bones of the dead man remain until such time as the log with its totemic design rots, and they fall into the water or are perhaps carried miles away by some great flood and buried deep in the bed of the river."

Advertiser (Adelaide SA), Tuesday 11 October 1910



At the Port Darwin Circuit Court, before his Honor Judge Mitchell and juries, several murder charges were heard. The sessions began on September 12, and Mr. R. T. D. Mallam was Crown Prosecutor. [ I have only included two of the cases from this Court hearing. LJF]

                                                Murder at Robinson River.

On September 13 Pupelee, an aboriginal native, was charged that he did on or about April, 1909, at the Robinson River, kill and murder one white man name unknown.

Mr. Kelly appeared for the accused, who pleaded not guilty.

The chief witness for the Crown, and the only eyewitness of the crime, was Nana, a lubra. Tippo another of the Crown witnesses, acted as interpreter. Other Crown witnesses were Keetunga. Loobinajarrie (now dead). Dr. Strangman, and Mounted Constable Stott. A long array of exhibits some of a rather ghastly character (says the Northern Territory "Times"), were put in as evidence, including a fearsome-looking skull and other portions of the human anatomy alleged to be remains of the dead man. Among the exhibits were the two stone spear heads (one broken) with which the crime was perpetrated, and a portion of vertebrae with a piece of one of the spear heads embedded in it. A boot, fished from the water- hole (with other relics) into which the body of the murdered man was thrown, contained a number of the small bones of the foot. There was also a saddle, pack- saddle, rug, mosquito net, fly, singlet, hat, pocket-book, shaving case, razor, strop. spoon, hopple straps, &c., found by the police some time subsequent to the perpetration of the crime, the circumstances attending their recovery being strong links in the chain of circumstantial evidence.

The case for the Crown being closed, Mr. Mallam addressed the jury, reviewing fairly and calmly the various points suggesting the guilt of the prisoner.






Mr. Kelly made a strong speech in defence of the prisoner, in which he forcibly emphasised the general unreliability of native evidence, and suggested, in the absence of any apparent motive for the crime adduced in the evidence for the Crown, that something must have occurred which justified the killing.

His Honor, in reviewing the evidence, paid a high compliment to the graphic and. apparently truthful way in which the witness Nana (the only person directly connecting the prisoner with the crime) had given her testimony. The jury returned a verdict of guilty.

Asked if he had anything to say before sentence of death was pronounced upon him, the prisoner a middle-aged aboriginal with an evil cast of countenance---looked up and around the court for the first time throughout his trial, and uttered some sounds resembling the words "Chirrie- chirrie!" The interpreter was brought into court, and the question being repeated, the prisoner was interpreted as saying, after two or three unavailing attempts to speak. "I bin spear him for nothing---I bin spear him for nothing."

His Honor---Pupelee, you have been found guilty of the crime of murder. You have had a very careful trial, and if anything could publish to the world the earnest desire of British justice to deal fairly by the black man and the white man alike, it would be the treatment you have had during this and your previous trial. If you were a white man there is much that I would like to say to you regarding the horror I feel at the treatment meted out by you to this poor unfortunate white man whom you so cruelly did to death. But I know that you would not understand.

His Honor then pronounced with great solemnity the words of the death sentence, and the prisoner was removed.

                                                Murder of W. D. Ward.

The whole of September 14 from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. was occupied in trial of two young Victoria River natives charged with the murder of William Day Ward, a white man more commonly known as "Brigelow Bill" at the Humbert River, some time in November, 1909. The crime was apparently unprovoked and cold-blooded, chiefly concocted by a lubra named Judy and a native known as Gordon. As a preliminary to the murder Ward's only firearm was cunningly stolen by the lubra Judy, and by her handed to her fellow conspirator, Gordon, leaving their intended victim practically at their mercy. A number of natives including the prisoners Mudgella and Wolgorora surrounded Ward as he was engaged in burning off grass near his hut, and chasing the doomed man, speared him near the door of his house as they would a kangaroo. The jury returned a verdict of guilty, with a recommendation to mercy against both the prisoners, upon whom his Honor then passed the death sentence.

                                                                Rewarding a Constable.

Before the court rose, Mr. Mallam addressed his Honor suggesting that under section 393 of the




Criminal Law Consolidation Act some action should be taken in the direction of substantially recognising the exceptional intelligence, persistence and determination displayed by Mounted Constables Stott and Holland, under great difficulties, in securing evidence and making arrests in connection with both these murder cases. His Honor heartily agreed with the commendatory remarks of the Crown Prosecutor, and promised that the suggestion should be considered.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 27 May 1910

Palmerston Shipping arrivals -

May 21-The coastal contract mail steamer “Nelson”, from Borroloola.  Passengers Messrs. S. Green, McFeat, Mrs. Stott and 4 children, 2 natives. Cargo-10 bags trepang and sundries.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 11 November 1910

SAILED.from Palmerston)

Nov. 5-The Royal Packet ss Van Heemskerk for southern Ports. Passengers - Mrs. Stott and 4 children, Miss Heaslop, Messrs P. R. Allen, H. Soden, O. Colvin, 15 Gapt'. Julian Smith, N. H. Dewhirst, J.H. Kelly, Kemp

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 8 September 1911


AMONG the passengers from Borroloola, by the coastal steamer Nelson is Corporal Stott, who has for many years past had charge of the police and other official work in the Mc Arthur River district, and. who is now en route for the South on leave of absence. Cor poral Stott has always borne the reputation of being a fearless and zealous police officer, and. probably no man in the N.T. police force has had more experience of natives and native cases. It is therefore not much matter for surprise that immediately prior to his departure from the district in which he has dwelt for so many years, that residents, and visitors to Borroloola, should have united in giving him a hearty farewell send-off. We are indebted.to a correspondent for the following brief note re this pleasant little social function, viz.:---" A large number of residents in and visitors to Borroloola assembled at the Police Station on the evening of the 13th ult. to bid farewell to Corporal Stott, who for many years has been in charge of the Police Department at Borroloola.Mr. McLeod, in proposing Corporal Stott's health, spoke in terms of warm praise of the good services he had rendered, frequently under most difficult and trying, circumstances, in preserving law and order in the McArthur River district; The health of Mr. Stott and his family was drunk enthusiastically, and Mr.Stott briefly responded to the kind expression of public feeling."      

We understand that Corporal Stott will shortly assume charge at Alice Springs.




Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 8 December 1911

Extract from article on wheat growing in the Northern Territory:-

“As a sequel to the above experiments severa1 samples of wheat grown down at Borroloola were received in Darwin on the 1ast return trip of the coastal steamer Nelson-comprising in all about 14 different varieties. This was planted by Mr, Stott some time before he left the McArthur River district, in some good black alluvial soil on the bank of a creek. We have received no details as to the methods of cultivation, but understand that the wheat received no particular attention, and was not; irrigated. The seed comprised several different varieties of wheat successfully cultivated at Pusa and other experimental stations in India---both bearded and unbearded varieties---also some oat seed. The result, as exhibited on a long table in one of the Residency verandahs this week, was good enough to inspire the most hopeless and abandoned pessimist with a more sanguine outlook as to the future agricultural possibilities of this Territory. There were in all some 14 small sheaves of wheat and one of oats, and among the lot we did not see one that could be fairly described as a bad sample. On the contrary, in every instance the straw looked clean and free from blemish of any kind, and the heads plump and well filled; In some of the sheaves the straw was much heavier, and the heads larger and better filled than in others, but this was only a natural divergence, and a difference in degree only to be expected« if (as we are told) each sheaf represented the product of a differing variety of Indian seed.”

(nb - SA State Library have several photos showing Bob Stott standing amongst the growing crops in 1911. LJF)

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 21 August 1913

Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages.


Darwin, August 16th, 191 3. G.N 137.13

MR. ROBERT STOTT, of Alice Springs, Senior Constable of Police, has been enrolled as Officiating Registrar of Marriages for the District of Alice Springs, with power to grant Licences for Marriages, and to perform the ceremony of Marriage within the meaning of the Marriage Acts.


Registrar-General of Births,

'Deaths, and Marriages.




Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 18 Feb 1915

Darwin Red Cross Fund.  

Further donations for Red Cross Fund:--

The Totalizator M'Donnell Range Racing Club, £3 14s.

Mr. A. .Draper £1 1s.

Babies Scott and Hayes 10s.

Mrs. John Hayes, Undoola Sta tion, £4.

Mrs. Stanley, school teacher, and children of Alice Springs public school, £12.

Ah Hong, Chinese Gardener, Alice Springs £2 2s.

Mrs. E. Hayes, Mary Vale Station, £1.

S. Adams, Mary Vale Station, £1. M.. E. Hayes (Stakes Patriotic Race) £6 15s.

K. E. MacDonald and Mrs. J. Hayes £1 10s.

Bullock, presented by Mr. W. Hayes, Mary Vale, ,£6.

Sheep presented by Hayes and Son, Undoola, £3 2s.

Sheep, presented by R. Stott, £2 2S.

Horse, presented by M. F. Dowdy, Arltunga, £9.

Cow, presented' by Hayes and Son, Undoolya, £5 los.

Sundries (presented by Mesdames Stott and Hayes, and Messrs. F. B. Wallis and Co., Baker, Carige, Tipping, Crook, Morris, M'Kay, Bloomfield, Cleary, Buck, M'Donald, R. Stott, M. Stott, G. Stott, and C. Stott realised £22 9s.

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 8 July 1915

G.N. 121-15.





Promotions - Sergeant Francis George Burt to be Senior Sergeant; Senior Constable Robert Stott and Charles Andrew Dempsey to be Sergeants from the 1st instant inclusive.

Transfer-Robert Wood from Gaol Department to Police from the 15th ultimo inclusive.  



Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 28 October 1924

Lady Overlander.

A Remarkable Journey.

Miss Phillippa Bridges, sister of Sir Tom Bridges, Governor of South Australia, arrived at Darwin on Saturday having travelled overland from Adelaide. Miss Bridges left Adelaide on August 14th, spent a few days with Mrs Shanahan at Oodnadatta and Mrs Kempe at Macumba Station, and started off on August 24th with a blackboy and his lubra and four camels for Alice Springs, arriving Sept 9th, stayed a few days with Mrs Stott, and continued north. ……

The Advertiser (Adelaide), Saturday 13 December 1924


BIRTLES' STATEMENTS DENIED. Melbourne, December 12.

Mr. Francis Birtles' statements concerning Northern Territory aboriginals being in a state of starvation are false, according to a statement by Sergeant Stott and Acting Chief Protector Stretton, through the Administration of the Northern Territory and announced by the Prime Minister to-night. Supplies for aboriginals, it is said are sent out by the police at Brock's Creek and Pine Creek, the Katherine, Marranboy, and Newcastle Waters. Sergeant  Stott denies Mr. Birtles' statement that half-caste girls at Alice Springs are ill-treated.  

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 27 March 1928

Robert Stott, Commissioner of Police and Chief Protector of Abos. for Central Australia is commencing his final leave on 1st April next. Com. Stott joined, the South Australian Police 1/8/1882 and was detailed for duty in the N.T. which was then part of S.A. He was stationed at Burrundie during the construction of the Darwin-Pine Creek Railway and subsequently at Roper River and Borroloola. He was transferred to Alice Springs in 1911 and was in charge of Police there when the Northern Australia Act was proclaimed 1/3/27. Commissioner Stott is a recognised authority on Central Australian problems and his place will be hard to fill. It is understood that Mounted Constable Noblett will take over from Commmissicner Stott for the present.

[The Centralian Advocate didn’t commence in Alice Springs until the 1940’s so no newpaper reports are available re Robert Stott’s policing activities in this posting. LJF)

Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 8 May 1928


Adelaide. Sgt. Robert Stott lately Commissioner of Police for Central Australia was run over by a train at Wayville on Friday evening. He was seriously injured and died on Saturday morning.

The Adelaide Advertiser, Adelaide, Monday, May 7, 1928 -


DEATH NOTICE - The Adelaide Advertiser, Adelaide, Monday, May 7, 1928 -

STOTT -  On the 5th May, at Adelaide, Robert, beloved husband of Agnes Stott, and father of Malcolm, Gordon, Cameron, and Agnes and Mavis, aged 69 years, (result of accident).


Report (same paper)


Sequel to Railway Accident


Sergeant Robert Stott, of the Commonwealth Police Force, of Clarke-Street, Wayville, who was struck by a Glenelg train at Wayville on Friday night, died in the Adelaide Hospital early on Saturday morning without having regained consciousness.

The accident occurred while he was walking over the railway level crossing at Park Terrace shortly before 6 o'clock on Friday night. He was taken to the Adelaide Hospital suffering from severe head injuries, including a fractured skull. Sergeant Stott started his long leave about a fortnight ago, prior to his retirement from the Commonwealth Police Force, and with his wife and some members of his family came to Adelaide, and had been living at Wayville.

Sergeant Stott, who was appointed Commissioner of Police for Central Australia about a year ago, was a native of Aberdeen, where he was born in 1859. He became a member of the Lancashire constabulary. With four friends, one of whom, (Mr Donald Nicholson of North Adelaide) had been in the Lancashire constabulary with him., Sergeant Stott came to Australia in 1882. When they landed in South Australia, they possessed one pound in cash between them. Three joined the South Australian Police Force. Mr Nicholson retired recently as sub-inspector, and the third, Mr. McCrimmen retired from the New South Wales force, to which he had transferred about fifteen years ago. Sergeant Stott went to the Northern Territory about a year after he joined the South Australian police, and spent 46 years in that area, first with the State police, and then with the Commonwealth force, the headquarters of which, for the past 11 years have been at Alice Springs. He had been stationed at Burrundie, Victoria River, and Borroloola prior to his transfer to Alice Springs, and had under his charge approximately200,000  square miles of country.

His knowledge of the Northern Territory was wide, and with the assistance of the four or five men under him, he kept himself well posted with events throughout the territory. He was a great horseman and covered thousands of miles in the course of his duties. He was known to all station managers and hands, and respected wherever he went. On ore than one occasion his life was in danger. An instance was when he set out to track a native accused of the murder of his sister and brother. After a long hunt he came suddenly upon the native, who was in the act of hurling a spear at him. He arrested the native, who was escorted 1,200 miles from Alice Springs to Darwin by Sergeant Stott and a tracker.

The sergeant kept himself well informed regarding the condition of the stock routes, and gave valuable details concerning the supply of water and fodder. Had he lived it is probable that he would have gone in for sheep farming. According to his son, Mr. Malcolm Stott, of Wentworth, who motored to Adelaide on hearing of the accident to his father, Sergeant Stott proposed to visit Wentworth and purchase land.

Before leaving Alice Springs for Adelaide, Sergeant Stott received the following telegram from Sergeant Stretton of Darwin :- "On the eve of your retirement, and on behalf of the members of the Northern Australian Police, I desire to express our high appreciation of the services rendered by you during 45 years service. Your devotion and attention to duty have been an inspiration to younger members of the force. You have faithfully and efficiently discharged important duties in connection with the development of the North and Central Australia."

Inspector M J Murphy, who is in charge of the Port Pirie district, and knew Sergeant Stott for 23 years, said Sergeant Stott was a man of wonderful character.

He had been highly spoken of by various Governors who had accepted his hospitality whilst in the North.

A widow, four sons and two daughters survive. The children are Messrs Malcolm Stott, ( Wentworth), Gordon Stott (Barkly Tableland), Cameron Stott (Adelaide), and Malvern Stott (Adelaide) and Misses Agnes Stott (Port Augusta) and Mavis Stott (Adelaide).


[File note:-

Buried at West Terrace Cemetery with wife Agnes. Large headstone and inscription. Row 11 (East) road 2. (R1S,11,W,57). Tall brown granite obelisk and white tiled double grave. Inscription " (under the Freemason logo). Born 1858, Robert Stott, late Commissioner of Police, Central Australia, husband of Agnes, accidentally killed 5 May 1928 in his 70th year."  The record shows "exhumed remains" for Robert Stott, so presumably his remains were moved to this plot from their initial location EYN path 9N when the SA Govt. provided the memorial site. LJF]



Advertiser & Register (Adelaide, SA) Thursday 31 July 1931 p10

Out among the People By Rufus

Fine Fellows of the Outback

JOHN D. O'DONNELL, Elliston, West Coast, writes:—"Dear Rufus—The letter of Percy Jones re old hands of the nor'-west, brings back memories of happy days spent with some of them and many others between Oodnadatta and Darwin. About twelve years ago I was staying at the Grand Coffee Palace in Hindley Street, and as I walked into the smoking lounge after dinner, a gentleman sitting by the fire said to me, "Do you know a man by the name of R. McDill?' I said "Yes; but he lives nearly a thousand miles from here.' He said, 'As I walked in just now I picked up a cheque on the floor drawn in favor of that name, and handed it to me. Some hours after- wards I heard Bob McDill's voice. He sat down with his back towards me, and I walked over and clapped him on the back. He was quite surprised to see me, but more so when I handed him the cheque. Jack McDonald was managing Allandale for the late Geo. Bennet, and there never was a finer fellow or better stockman in the nor' - west. I never forget one occasion when we hid three bottles of his whisky about three hundred yards from the homestead in the sandhills. Jack got wind of this somehow, and it was the fun of Cork to see him and a black gin with a lantern at midnight tracking us up. They found the plant. The Great Never Never was full of fine fellows in those times. Johnnie Francis was on Erldunda, and there were Allan Breaden of Henbury. Bob Buck, of Idracowra. and Gus Elliott, of Horseshoe Bend—all jolly fine fellows. Jimmie Lynch carried the mails on pack horses between Alice Springs and Powell's Creek, a distance of about 800 miles a fortnight, there and back. I was camped on the Frew River one night, when a buggy with four horses rolled up at my camp. The two occupants were the late Sergeant Stott, of Alice Springs, and Tom Playford, who was Mines Warden at Darwin at the time. Tom was just learning to use a typewriter, and the sergeant and I hardly knew how to keep a straight face while he manipulated it. I often wonder if he ever became an expert."
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Saturday 17 June 1905 p 7
M.C. Stott, who arrived by the Waihoi today, was in charge of the aboriginal prisoner Binmullah, who was committed for trial for the murder of James Mildwater on the night of April 30, at Top Springs, 40 miles from Welhallow Station and 70 miles from McArthur River. The victim's skull was fractured from the base to the crown by a blow from a nulla nulla. News was taken to the Borroloola police by a drover named Dyres. MC. Stott pursued and captured the prisoner near Clyde River, about 50 miles east of the scene of the tragedy. The body and the saddles had been thrown into the springs. It is sup posed that the motive of the crime was the desire for weapons and provisions. The prisoner was of bad repute among the natives, and had lived alone for some months. Mildwater was a station hand, late of New South Wales.
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Thursday 3 December 1914  p19
A Dusky Queen, Discourses.
Up in this Tropic land of ours, 
The land of sunshine and of showers,
A land of' which, to say the most, There's little known beyond the coast.
This land of rivers and lagoons,
Of thunder-storms and fierce monsoons.
This land of swamp and billabong, Where hurrying rivers rush along
To add their volume to the sea, And there are lost ingloriously.
This Tropic land, I might explain, Was once the colored man's domain. His fathers and forbears had set
Some district lines, on which they hold yet.
Wherein each tribe its tribal laws Enforced on all who gave it cause. But, since the white dominion came, These to the blacks are not the same
Not being accustomed much to change,
They find the white man's customs strange,   
For if one black should kill another, White hunts 'em up and kills the other. 
These things I learned and many more   
From one much versed in native lore,
And all the things so strange and true ,
She told to me, I'll tell to you.
 One evening as I aimless strayed Beneath the cypress' kindly shade,
There, wandering by the riverside, A black-skin damsel I espied.
She startled, turned, as if to go; I raised my hand and said "Hello!"
My courteous mien her fears dispelled,  And she with me some converse held.
 She, told me that, in by gone day, Her people here held rule and sway.
She told me her old man had been
The King, and that her Ma was Queen
Until some white men came and found
Some yellow specks hid in the ground,
And that these white men, with their guns,
Made black men scarce as married nuns,
And, from this maid of ancient race, I've learnt of much that's since took
And that its lesson all may reach I render it in the maiden's speech.
Long time ago, when me bin small,   Befo white pheller come at all,
Dere plenty kangaroo and yam, Black Pheller he no care a dam, 
But now dat de white pheller come Dere no more yam, dere no more
But dat not all, white pheller bring
The Pongs, and a lot more bad tings,
And when Pong come he diggit hole, Him say he lookit out for gol'.
Him wearum tail big pheller long, Blackboy t'row spear, down go'em
Him make big pheller hulla-baloo,  More dan big pheller Kangaroo.
And den the preacher man he come. Him bringit Jesus Christ and rum;
And in em mouth the pipe he place An' make it smoke come up from face.
All dese bad tings the preacher bring Dem do more harm dan anyting.
De land dey off the black man strip, And by-um-by big pheller ship
Which bring big pheller Excellency.
Now me no more bin Queen you see,
Him take my job, him and his push,
So now me walk alonga bush.
Him no more walk when him go far,
Him go in debil-debil car.
Him just sit down, it say "toot toot", An' way the plurry ting it scoot.
At Bachelor him make it farm
And dere dey plant bannana palm,
Dey plough the ground and seed dey sow
And killit yam, but not'in grow
'Cept one sick little pheller tree, Him grout longa ground you see.
 By-m-by it makeit fruit or sumthin', Mine think white pheller call it pump-
I noticed not how time had went, I was on listening so intent,
And, when I raised my eyes at last The shades of night were falling fast.
 I rose and bade the maid "Adieu" , And then came home to write to you,
 And after penning this romance
I send these lines to take their 'chance.
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Thursday 15 July 1915 p20
G.N. 121-.15.
Promotions - Sergeant Francis George Burt to be Senior Sergeant ;  Senior Constable Robert Stott and Charles Andrew Dempsey to be Sergeants from the 1st instant inclusive.
Transfer - Robert Wood from Gaol Department to Police from the 15th ultimo inclusive.
Administrator. 2:7:'15.
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927 Thursday 28 September 1916 p14
G.N. 428.16
HENRY Ernest Carey to be Commonwealth Returning Officer for  the Northern Territory, in connection with the above Act. The appointment to date from the 19th September, 1916.
Robert Stott to be a Deputy Commonwealth Returning Officer for the Alice Springs district in connection with the above Act. The appointment to date from 19th September, 1916.
Darwin, 21st September, 1916.
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Thursday 2 November 1916  p11
G.N 452.16
I JOHN ANDERSON GILRUTH Administrator of the Northern Territory, in pursuance of the powers conferred upon me by Section 8 of the Northern Territory Government Ordinance 1911, do hereby appoint in accordance with the provisions of   Section eighty-four of the Northern Territory Mining Act 1903, Robert Stott as Warden of Mining District C in the Northern Territory.
Dated this 31st day of October, 1916.   
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Thursday 28 June 1917 p12
NEWS & NOTES ( extract) …….
Mrs. Stott, wife of Serg. Stott, of Alice Springs, recently made a record trip from this place to Oodnadatta in 5 days and 6 hours with a child suffering from serious eye troubles. On reaching Adelaide the child recovered under medical care. The following residents in the interior kindly and actively assisted Mrs. Stott in this emergency : Messrs. Hayes and Sons (Maryvale Station), Mr. Elliott (Horseshoe Bend), Mr. Breadon (Todmorden), and Mr. Kemp (Macumba), -- by providing horses buggies and motor cars. Further, Mr. Breaden, has asked Serg. Stott to let Central Australians know that he will willingly meet any conveyance with his motor car in cases of serious illness or accident. This is the right spirit -- generous, kindly, and helpful.
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Thursday 1 November 1917 p12
The Hon. Secretary of the Darwin " Australia Day" Patriotic Fund (Mr C. F. Lawlor) advises that he has received the sum of £42 9s 6d through Sergeant Stott, of Alice Springs. This money was collected from residents of Alice Springs, Tennants Creek, Hanbury Station, Mary Vale and adjacent stations. Sergt. Stott also advises that he has received many additional promises and will forward the balance of donations as soon as possible. The committee of the "Australia Day" fund (which has been established for the relief of returned wounded soldiers and their dependents) desire to thank the donors for their generous assistance, which forms a welcome addition to a fund in connection with which there has lately been a steady drain, but comparatively little revenue received, Lack of space, it is regretted, prevents the individual amounts being acknowledged
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Saturday 14 September 1918 p12
Outback Motoring.
The Director of Mines (Mr. T. G. Oliver) and the Chief Warden (Mr. E. Copley Playford) returned to Darwin on Wednesday evening last after a visit to Central Australia per motor car, the primary object of the long journey belng the inspection of the Hatches Creek and Wauchope Creek Wolfram fields. It will be remembered that the full party left Darwin on July 15th. The Administrator and the Director of Lands (Mr. Trower) travelling from Katherine in the Talbot car and Messrs. Oliver and Playford in the Overland car, which latter had already done good service in a journey to Tanami at the beginning of' last year. Owing to car troubles occurring at No 2 Well to the Talbot the Administrator proceeded to Barrow Creek with Messrs. Oliver and Playford, Mr. Trower doing the journey later with horses and rejoining the main party after its arrival at Hatches Creek. Mr. Oliver, when seen after his return, stated that they had had a fairly good run right down the Iine, Wauchope Creek being reached on August 3rd. About 22 men were found working on the field, and all of them appeared to be satisfied with their prospects. Wauchope Creek was left on the following day and Barrow Creek reached on August 6th. After necessary, repairs another start was made from Barrow Creek on the 9th, en route for Hatches Creek. The motor car was taken as far as the Divide, a distance of about 10 miles from Taylor's Crossing Well, and the rest of the trip to the wolfram field was done with the plant and horses of Sergeant Stott, who was awaiting their arrival. The party pulled into the Bean Tree Waterhole on Hatches Creek on the evening of 10th Aug.
A week was spent in a close inspection of the field and Mr. Oliver found that mining developments there were satisfactory. Men to the number of 33 were at work, and all of them expressed themselves as being very pleased with the prospects, and   most of them appeared to be doing well. It was found that good consignments of wolfram have been re- cently going via the Queensland border as well as down south via Alice Springs. There is a large percentage of Queensland miners on the field.
The return journey to Barrow Creek was started on the 17th Aug. the party arriving there on the 19th. Although the country was fairly dry there was fair feed and water, es- pecially when away from the O.T. line, along which it was found necessary to depend on the wells, all surface waters, unlike outside water- holes, having given out.
A start on the long homeward run was made from Barrow Creek on the 2oth August, the Administrator and Mr. Trower having in the meantime proceeded to Lake Nash per cam- els. Wauchope Creek was reached on the 21st August and an inspection of the field occupied Mr. Oliver until the 27th, when the northern track was again taken. Mr. Oliver states that excepting the ordinary set backs incidental to outback motoring nothing happened to the car, although by its appearance on its arrival in Darwîn very rough country in places had had to be traversed. A feature of the journey was the intense cold and the keen wind which, when the party was proceeding south, made things particularly uncomfortable. 
The total distance travelled per motor car was 1,500 miles.
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Saturday 17 January 1920 p12
G.N. 20-20.
I, MILES STANIFORTH CATER SMITH, Acting-Administrator of the Northern Territory, in pursuance of the powers conferred upon me by Section 8 of the Northern Territory Government Ordinance No. 1. of 1911, do hereby appoint in accordance with the pro- visions of Section 84 of the Northern Territory Mining Act of 1903, CHARLES HERBERT NOBLET, mounted constable of Alice Springs, to be Warden of Mining District "C" of the Northern Territory, during the absence on leave of Robert Stott.
Dated this .fourteenth day of January 1920
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Tuesday 3 February 1920 p1
North-South Railway
Mr. Norris G. Bell is alleged to have said something to the effect that the interior of Australia is not worth opening up. 
.Most people would take that to mean that it is practically an uninhabited region with no possibilities. But such a view is far from the truth. A recent issue of the "Mining Review" gives details of the Hatches Creek and Wauchope Creek Wolfram fields (discovered about 1914 and 1916 respectively), and says that the total wolfram output of the Territory for 1918 was 229 tons, the bulk of which was obtained from these two fields. Suppose that only 120 tons came from these fields, That at £170 per ton is £20,400  obtained wholly without use of machinery.   These fields are classed by the "Mining Review" as being among 'the leading producers in the Commonwealth at present and give promise of permanency. Wauchope Creek is only about 10 miles due East of the Telegraph Line, but ts 75 miles north-east of Barrow Creek. Hatches Creek lies further East, and is 125 miles east-north-east of Barrow Creek. Both of these fields would re- main as they are for all that Mr. Bell's Queensland railway would do for them, but then he thinks them "not worth developing." The discovery of these two fields so close comparatively to the O.T. line is undoubtedly an extra justification for the straight line from Katherine to Oodnadatta.
A little to the North of these fields gold has been discovered, but not in sufficient quantities to pay, as things are. Copper ores are also said to exist. Going southwards, wolfram has been found at other places, but whether these are important or otherwise, it proves that the mineral exists. From Barrow Creek to the Macdonnell Ranges is excellent pastoral country, and given railway communication, the Burt Plains --- rich loamy plains having an area of 5000 square miles and a 12 inch rain- fall -- just north of the Macdonnell Ranges themselves have great, and unique possibilities in the pastoral way. These   ranges rise to a height of 2000 feet above the plain, and stretch like a huge wall across the Territory about 400 miles from East to West. This huge natural barrier seems to affect the monsoonal storms, and in the past when drought ruled in the Southern States, these ranges had caught the rains, and had more food than the stock could eat. With a railway, advantage could be taken of such a happening. In the valleys of these ranges at Alice Springs, vegetables and dates are growing, and Sergeant Stott, when in Darwin last, told how remarkably well his grape vines were doing.
It is not intended, however, to urge the pastoral industry as justifying the railway any more than was done in connection with the Queensland railway, but only to show that the Davenport and Macdonnell Ranges have enormous possibilities, and are just as fertile as the Barclay Tablelands. But the Macdonnell Ranges do not stop there, In a portion of them known as Hart's Range, much mica exists, in such quantities that mica on the hill sides in this range can be seen glittering for miles. The mica, in the reefs below the sur- face is of large size and good quality, and single blocks containing 120 cubic feet have been obtained. But '400 miles of camel carriage to Oodnadatta smashed it so that it was practically worthless on arrival in Adelaide, and when a Company did get to work and shipped 'the mica in properly constructed boxes, the war put an 'end to their operations. It is understood that a few mica shows are held at present. But in the present age of electricity and internal combustion engines, mica is becoming increasingly valuable both for its transparent and  insulating qualities.
Then gold has been proved to exist over a very large area and has been worked at White Range and Tiaraville near Arltunga, and 30 miles away at Winnecke's Depot. At White Range enormous gold-bearing formations occur besides many smaller and richer ones. These fields have yielded over 6000 ounces of battery gold, and are not worked out, but as working expenses increased in depth, shows were abandoned, and the fields are now practically deserted.   
But what with rich wolfram lodes, large mica deposits, and a large proved, but unexhausted gold-field all along the track of the proposed straight railway, there seems no justification for the remark that the centre of Australia isn't worth developing, and it would be helped one iota by the proposed Queensland transcontinental railway. The Barclay tablelands seem to be only pastoral, and would yield an uncertain revenue, for if it suits the owners, the cattle would be driven alongside the railway.  But the wolfram, mica and gold from Central Australia must always be carried, as also must the vast quant- ities of stores needed by busy mining populations, and these mining fields have little hope without that railway..
The Territory has been promised that; in a short time it shall have a representative in the Senate, and that Senator will have a voice when this railway matter is discussed. It would seem that national interests, Territory interests, and South Australian interests are identical, and it is up to Territorians now to take an intelligent interest in this matter so that when the time of the election comes, each one will know his or her own mind upon this important question.    
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889-1931) Saturday 16 June 1923 p13
His Excellency the Governor (Sir Tom Bridges and the Premier (Sir Henry Barwell), accompanied by Mr. N. G. Bell (Commonwealth Commissioner of Railways), Mr. N. A. Webb (Chief Commissioner of South Australian Rail ways), left Adelaide at 10 a-m. on Friday by train for Oodnadatta, whence they will travel by motor cars to Alice Springs;. T'he party also included Mr. Murray Aunger, The Hon. T. McCallum, and Dr. H. Base- dow, each of whom will pilot one of the three Dort cars, which will be used on the     inland part of the journey north of Oodnadatta. Captain Hambleton was in   attendance upon his Excellency. The party   had an enthusiastic farewell at the railway station, among those present to say good-bye, and to wish the tourists a pleasant trip, being the Chief Justice (Sir George Murray), the Chief Secretary (Sir John Bice), the Railways Commissioner (Mr. J. McGuire), the general traffic manager (Mr. A. N. Day), the secretary to the Railways Commissioners (Mr. C. J. Boykett), and members of Parliament. 
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Tuesday 26 June 1923 p2
Adelaide, Tuesday
The vice-regal party who are on a visit to the interior returned to Alice Springs on Monday from Central Mt Sturt. The Premier telegraphed that Burt Plains are in excellent condition. The members of the party could not understand why such wonderfully grassed tracks were unoccupied. The party leave to-day for Arltunga and surrounding districts.
Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888-1954 Tuesday 26 June 1923 p1
Adelaide, Tuesday. 
General Sir Tom Bridges, the Governor, Sir Henry Barwell, the Premier, and party returned to Alice Springs yesterday. They attended a big corroboree of the Arunta tribes in the evening. (Continued from Page 1)
Adelaide, Wednesday.
Sir Tom Bridges, the Governor, and  party will travel by a Special train from Oodnadatta arriving in Adelaide at 8 p.m. on Friday. 
Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888-1954) Thursday 28 June 1923 p1
Adelaide, Thursday.
Sir Tom Bridges, the Governor, returned to Alice Springs yesterday after a 200 miles tour over rugged mountain country. At Arltunga he planted a tree. Another corroboree was held at Alice Springs last night. The return journey to Adelaide begins to-day, via Hermanshurg and Horseshoe Bend, to Oodnadatta.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954) Saturday 7 July 1923 p29
Aelaide, Friday. - The Governor (Sir Tom Bridges), the State Premier (Sir Henry Barwell), the Federal Railways  Commissioner (Mr. Bell), the Chiet Railways C'ommissioner (Mr. W. A. Webb), and other members of the partv, who made a three weeks' journey to Macdonnell Ranges fiom Oodnadatta and back in motor cars, reached Adelaide by special train this afternoon. Sir Tom Bridges had nothing to say about the trip, but Sir Henry Barwell said that it had been a wonderful one. More than 1,400 miles of country was covered, and the areas passed through were considerably better than the party had expected to find them. No   portion could be described as desert.   It was practically all pastoral country. All that was required to develope it was railway communication and a water service. 
( Stott descendants have a photograph of  the Governor Sir Tom Bridges who visited & stayed at the home of Sgt. Robert Stott in Alice Springs on this trip.LJF)
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Friday 6 June 1924 p4
Money for Territory Roads
Senator Pearce is endeavouring to have a substantial sum placed on the Federal estimates, this year for improvements of tracks and river crossings in the Northern Territory, particularly between Oodnadatta and Alice Springs He mentioned yesterday that he had   received word from Commonwealth Police Officer Sergt. Stott that a deviation round the sandhills had been completed making the route ten miles longer but much easier to tackle.
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Tuesday 5 August 1924 p1
500 Miles With Cattle.
We delivered the tail end of our cattle at Undoolya Station, 12 miles east of Alice Springs. Undoolya Station belongs to the Hayes Bros., an old pioneering family. There is no surface water at the homestead; a soak with some troughing on it waters some stock, and a well on top of the bank, the garden and homestead. The water is carried to the homestead in pipes. The homestead is a very comfortable homely building, with every convenience, and best of all four sturdy little Aussies who looked a picture of health. There are also two cars and Mr. Hayes, better known as " Ted," ran us in and out of town in good time. Alice Springs is the telegraph and post office ; Stuart-town is the township, about 1 1/2 miles from the post office. There is no surface water at the township, but a good water supply is procurable at about 20ft. There is sufficient at this depth to water a city. We left Stuart-town on June 17th, pulled out five miles and camped at Wigalee on surface water. On the 18th came 30 miles to Birt's Well. This well has a 300 gallon per day supply and had been rented to some sheep men for a month, with the result that drovers with big mobs were unable to water their cattle. June 19th came 22 miles to Connor's Well. This well has a fairly good supply but there are about 900 cattle watering there. The sons of our old friend, Mr. Sam Nicker, the lessee are pulling water. Mr. Grainger was watering his bullocks, 1000 head, just as we arrived. When watering cattle out of troughs you cut off a mob of about 80, let them have a drink, push them on one side, then let in another mob, until they are all watered. Mr. Grainger had just let in a mob and let them have about half a drink then pushed them away. I asked him the reason for doing this. He replied -- " If I let them have all they want I won't get my tail a drink. I only got 11 bolts at Ryan's well and some of them are pretty dry." Tanks are measured by the bolts running up the side of the tank, A 10,000 gallon tank contains 28 bolts. Most of the wells on this route have 10,000 gallon tanks on them. They are all too small ; they should be 20,000 at the least. June 20th came 19 miles, Ryan's Well or Glen Maggie, the home of an old pioneering family, Mr Sam Nicker. Its a dry well about 400 gallons per day. This is the best bit of sheep country in central Aussie. Salt bush, cotton bush, Mitchell grass and splendidly timbered with mulga, bloodwood, gum and several other timbers. June 21st we arrived at Woodford Well. This well is equipped with a windlass, consequently cattle cannot water there -- very small supply. This well needs a few sets of timber badly, the old timber is all decayed away and the whole lot will soon be at the bottom of the well. This well has about 8 sets of timber in her towards the top. Below this timber the shaft runs through rock. Two well sinkers are at work sinking another shaft about 50 feet from the old well. They struck a little brackish water at the depth of 48 feet. The timbering of the new shaft is a credit to the men. It is the neatest bit of work I have ever seen. To look down the well you would take it for sawn timber, but it is only blood-wood logs cut out of the forest and trimmed with axe and adze. At Wycliffe Well we gave our horses a days spell ; they needed it after their 83 miles of sandy, heavy road. Professor Ewartes, from Melbourne and Captain Bishop assisted by Sergeant Stott are experimenting with poison plants. The Professor is in his glory. He informed us that this is one of the richest spots in plant life, there are about 130 different kinds of plants and he expects to add about 20 to the N. T. Flora. He said "If you only had another 10 inch rainfall, all you would have to do, is put in the seeds." Mr Bishop has 10 bead of cattle, but they are bush cattle and not at all suitable for the work, became when, you put them în an inclosure and isolate them they will fret and not feed for days. What they really need are a few poddies that will feed out of your hand. They are conducting their experiments on as near droving conditions as possible. At   present they are experimenting on 3 different kinds of poison bush. The emu bush, the indigo and the fuchsia or sage bush. The professor informed us that the indigo plant is a deadly poison and is supposed to have killed 1,000 bullocks in W.A. They are tailing their cattle and yarding them at night, but could not get them to eat the shrubs in the yard. So they got the shrubs and pound them up with the back of a tommyhawk and soak them in water, then drench a beast with the extract, one with the emu, one with the sage and the other with the indigo. The one that had the indigo shrub was a very sick beast. In the morning we had to push on. The boys had sent a wire "All surface waters bung". We would like to have stayed and witnessed the results. We are of the opinion, that the two most able men are on the job, and we would have learned quite a lot. It would. have been quite an education for us, but the lazy old rain god put a stop to it, and we had to give the boy a hand to pump water for the stock.
The outlook is bad.
Darn Central Australia! Darn the   bridle pad which leads there ! Darn the heavy dusty track ! Darn the dry wells ! Gol Darn Central Aussie altogether ! When I get the walker- bouts again I'm going North.
We reached home on June 26th just 20 days from Alice Springs, distant about 450 miles. We travelled 270 miles without seeing a waterhole of any kind.
Helen Springs June 30.
(between 1924 & 1935 “Little Bush Maid” daughter of Jack Bohning contributed numerous articles to the NT Times & Gazette which can be easily accessed at “Trove” newspaper site. LJF)
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Tuesday 28 October 1924 p2
A Remarkable Journey.
Miss Phillippa Bridges, sister of Sir Tom Bridges, Governor of South Australia, arrived at Darwin on Saturday having travelled overland from Adelaide. Miss Bridges left Adelaide on August 14th, spent a few days with Mrs Shanahan at Oodnadatta and Mrs Kempe at Macumba Station, and started off on August 24th with a blackboy and his lubra and four camels for Alice Springs, arriving Sept 9th, stayed a few days with Mrs Stott, and continued north. Had an anxious time going through the poison belt, on account of the gastrolobium, but no mishap occurred. Round Taylor's Well came upon some fifteen hundred carcases of cattle poisoned by indigo bush and sage bush. The country is terribly dry and horses and cattle are suffering greatly. Stayed at Tennant's Creek Telegraph Station and continued journey by the mail to Powell Creek. Here Mr Peacock kindly sent a car from Newcastle Waters. Continued the journey from there by the northern mail to Ironstone, where Mr Morris, engineer of the new bridge at Emungalan motored the traveller to Marranboy, where she stayed with the sisters at the hostel, the first white women she had seen for ten days. Miss Bridges then rejoined the mail to Katherine River, and took the train for Darwin. Miss Bridges says "I consider the journey quite worthwhile. It is full of interest, I have been making what observations I could upon the bird life of the country and have a long list of birds seen by the way. I also saw emus and plenty of kangaroo, and turkeys which helped out the larder. I met very few people on the road ; two white men droving, two teamsters ; one traveller on foot and one man on the car. Camel strings with Afghan drivers were numerous south of Tennant's Creek, but north of this point the transport is by horse and donkey on account of the iron wood tree which poison camels."
Miss Bridges found the journey full of interest and frequently full of incident. There were no hardships and not a great deal of discomfort, except during dust storms. The people were most hospitable and kind, and helped her in every way possible. Miss Bridges travelled 650 miles on camels, and arrived at Darwin in excellent health and spirits She will continue her journey via Java and Singapore.
Miss Bridges is a fine type of English women, quite unostentatious, and with a kindly genial nature which immediately creates good friends among all classes of people. She is fond of travel, and has been all over a considerable part of Australia, and the great overland trip appeared to her' as the one thing needed to complete her Australian experiences,
Miss Bridges is a guest at the Victoria Hotel.
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Friday 2 January 1925 p2
GN 330,24
[Extract from Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 87, dated 20th November, 1924.]'
The Northern Territory of Australia
Establishment of a Public Pound at Alice Springs ; the Appointment of a Poundkeeper ; and the Variation of Fees and Charges
Australia to wit Forster Governor-General
By His Excellency the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
BY virtue of the provisions of the Northern Territory Acceptance  Act 1910, the Impounding Act 1858 (No 8) of the State of South Australia, and the Impounding Act Amendment Act 1895 (No 625) of the said State, both of which said State Acts are in force in the Northern Territory, I, Henry William Baron Forster, the Governor General aforesaid, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, do hereby :-
1, Establish a Pound at Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, such Pound to consist of twelve (12) square miles of land : Commencing at the northern end of the fence on the range at the western side of Heavitree Gap; thence northwesterly, westerly and south- westerly following along the summit of the range for about five miles to the northern end of the fence commencing at the western end of the said range. thence southerly and south-easterly, following along such fence, for about two and - three quarter miles to its southern end at the western end of a range; thence easterly following along the summit of that range for about one hundred and thirty chains to the western end of the fence at the western side of the gap in such range; thence easterly along the fence for about ten chains to its eastern end at the eastern side of the gap aforesaid; thence in a north easterly direction following along the summit of the range for about two hundred chains to the southern end of the fence first mentioned; thence northerly along that fence for about one mile thirty chains to the point of commencement.
2. Appoint Robert Stott, of the   Police Station, Alice Springs, to be Poundkeeper of the said Public Pound
3. Vary the daily fees for poundage set out in Schedule "A" of the Impounding Act 1858 in respect of every mare, gelding, colt, filly, foal, mule, ass, and camel, from 6d to 1s.
4. Vary the rates set out in Schedule "B" of the Impounding Act 1858 to be charged in respect of trespass by any horse, mare, gelding, filly, ass, mule, ox, steer, heifer, cow, bull, calf, colt, foal, camel or deer as follows:- 
(a) In the case of trespass on any unenclosed land from 1/2d to 1s.
(b) In the case of trespass on any enclosed land from 1s to 1s 6d.
5. Vary the daily sustenance charge set out in Schedule "B" to the Impounding Act 1858 to be charged in respect of any horse, mare, gelding, filly, ass, mule, bull, ox, steer, heifer, cow, calf, colt, foal, camel or deer, while impounded, from 9d to 1s 6d.
Given under my Hand and the Seal of the Commonwealth this nineteenth day of November, One thousand nine hundred and twenty four, and in the fifteenth year of His Majesty's reign.
By His Excellency's Command!,
for Minister of  State for Home and Territories.
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Friday 13 February 1925 p9
Alleged Starving Blacks
Birtle's Yarn Denied
Sgt, G Stott, from the Territory, has been in Adelaide a few days. He expressed an emphatic denial of the statements recently made by Francis Birtles and by M Ellis, of Sydney Daily Telegraph, that aborigines in the Territory were starving. After Birtles left Alice Springs there was nearly a ton of flour in stock. Birtles did not remain there long enough to find out the actual position and his stay at Powell Creek and Charlotte Waters was equally brief. Stott made  enquiries from officers concerned and they informed him that they had given Birtles no information. Stott said he had made the position plain to the Federal Government. Similar   statements, he said, had been made by Ellis in Sydney papers. They also were absolutely without foundation
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Wednesday 20 May 1925 p9
Exceptionally Wet Experiences. Alice Springs Reached.
By a Special Reporter.
At last we are again able to let the world know of our whereabouts. We are   running behind our programme, and it looks as if our itinerary must, perforce, be amended if we are to get back to Adelaide on June 1, as arranged. Since leaving Blood's Creek our progress has been somewhat slow. We shall not forget the memorable night at that station. As already stated, it outrivalled the best 'movie storm' seen on a screen. Some of the party reclined on stretchers and   others on the ground for our first night in the open. Lightning, thunder, and rain occurred, the like of which we had not before experienced. Suffice it to write that we heard more than we saw. Anyhow, those who superficially describe this journey as 'a political picnic' would be quickly disillusioned were they with us. 'Pull, and pull together— and some times push': has been our motto in its broadest interpretation, and, since leaving Charlotte Waters on Saturday we have had ample opportunity to fulfil it  in more ways than one. We are workers all, and none more energetic in sharing duty than the Premier, Sir Henry Barwell, and Sir David Gordon. Camp on the Finke. On the way, up we halted at the New Crown Point homestead, a comfortable iron bungalow, just completed, where the manager (Mr. Tom King) and' his wife gave us a typical welcome. We pushed forward, and pitched camp on Saturday night on the majestic, gum-lined Finke, at Yellow Cliff, not far from Old Crown Point. Knowing that we had several sandy crossings to negotiate, we fixed reveille for 6 on Sunday morning, and there were causes for our delayed progress. Within a distance of five miles three crossings accounted for several hours in all. M.C. Mackay and blackboys were met at the Crown Point crossing, where they had laid a track of grass across the Finke. We missed Horseshoe Bend, and took the new track to the west to avoid Depot Sandhills. This, however, did not relieve us of plenty of exercise, for, when we came to our fourth crossing for the day, one car was rendered inoperative through breaking the differential gear, and our motor lorry remained in the centre of the sandy river bed for the night. We earned a good night's rest. On Sunday we did only between 30 and 40 miles. - Cars and Crossings.   On Monday morning the lightest of breakfasts served to suffice us in order to push on. We got all the cars over safely, and at 9 o'clock started on a 30-mile run over a good track. We had a good luncheon bv the side of refreshing waterhole in Tarapinta Creek. Two miles further down we came across Douglas McCarthur's survey camp in connection with the Kingoonya-Alice Springs route. It was interesting to note that among the men engaged were several newcomers from the United Kingdom. One man informed me that quite a number of men from the other side of the world are engaged on this par ticular work in the interior. They will certainly be publicity agents through the medium of their letters to the homeland. the camp water supply is obtained from a soakage sunk 3 ft. in the bed of the creek, and a beautiful liquid it is. Fortune favoured us at this crossing, for the welcome presence of rolls of matting facilitated our rapid progress across. A word of praise is due to Mr. Gordon Robertson, the survey motor driver, who has been a tower of strength to us in his untiring assistance at difficult sandy stages. In his Dodge lorry he flew across most formidable soft patches, and then returned to give   our pilots the benefits of his first-class knowledge of the treacherous country so far as motors are concerned. Our own pilots have worked untiringly day and night Welcome to Alice Springs. At Maryvale, after leaving the survey camp, we travelled through much better country. On the west we could see Chambers' Pillar in the far distance. We crossed without difficulty and arrived at Maryvale at dusk. We camped in front of the  old homestead and the manager supplied us with fresh beef which we ate with relish. We left Maryvale after breakfast this morning and had a good run to Deep Well where Mrs. Johannsen entertained us at morning tea. Another spurt of 50 miles took place. We were delighted with the sight of Alice Springs nestling in majestic ranges at Heavitree Gap. A wag posted a sign 'beware of the train.' Sergeant Stott gave us a hearty welcome. The townspeople also prepared a camp bearing the words 'welcome to Alice Springs.' A large number of natives have arrived to perform a corroboree. (Continued on P 13.)
Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Wednesday 20 May 1925 p13
PARLIAMENTARY TOUR Continued from Page 9.
            Barrow Creek Trlp Abandoned . 
The residents, with typical hospitality, did their utmost to give the party the best of good times. The Premier was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Allchurch at the telegraph station, while Sir Henry Barwell stayed with Sgt.and Mrs. Stott.   The natives rehearsed for several hours in the afternoon, and when the ''star turn' came on they entered into the fun with tremendous zest. It has been necessary to alter the programme. The Barrow Creek trip has been abandoned. The Premier handed the native children from the bungalow lollies after they had sung several hymns. We met Mr. Crosby,   M.P., his brother Fred, and party in .the front stalls at the performance. . - .
The Register (Adelaide, SA; 1901-1929, Thursday 21 May 1925 p 8
. We also met Mr. Crosby, M .P. and party. They arrived here (Alice Springs) on Friday last, and had just returned after an interesting trip to the Hermannsburg Mission, where they heard a Sunday sermon delivered to the aborigines in the Arunta language. 'The  visitors were impressed by the productivity  of the mission, for in the garden there were tomato plants 10 ft. in height, and Indian corn of the same height, in addition of all classes of vegetables. . Mr. C. L. DuBois was also in the township to-day.
 'King of Australia.’
' Apropos of the aborigines, ' Sir Henry Barwell tells a good story. Half caste children at the Bungalow in the township were asked who was the King of England? An intelligent youngster promptly supplied the correct answer. 'Who is the King of Australia?' was the next query, “ Sgt. Stott,” was the amusing reply.
At last, something has been, done in connection with improved conditions for these half-castes. An area of 25 miles of country, not far distant, will be set aside for their use. Sgt. Stott. says that the home for them and other conveniences will not be ready for 12 months. Whether this move will be beneficial time alone will tell. Some people contend that it would be better to let the boys be trained on stations as stockmen, colt breakers, and in other useful work, and send the girls to well guarded institutions, where they could  be trained for domestic service. However, it is a question which those who live in this country, and know the habits of these people best, .should be allowed to solve.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Monday 1 June 1925 p 11
Describing his trip into the interior to Oodnadatta and beyond, Mr. Crosby M.P., who returned from the railhead last week, mentioned that the trip for his party was arranged before that of the Parliamentary party, which has just concluded its tour.
'Primarily,' he said, 'I set out for a holiday with the object of seeing something of the great interior, the charms of which I had heard so much from other visitors; secondly, because as a Member of Parliament I was anxious to get some firsthand information in regard to the proposed railway; and thirdly because, as a member of the Advisory Council of Aborigines, I desired to learn if something more could, be done to promote the welfare and conditions of the native inhabitants.
.A Minor Accident.
 'On May 7 we left Adelaide by train for Oodnadatta, where we picked up our Reo 24 h.p. motor car, which accommodated all our passengers, who comprised Miss Mary Crosby, Mr. Fred Crosby, Mr. J. F. Williams, and Miss Williams. The trip from the time of leaving Adelaide until our return to the city, occupied exactly, three weeks. One ton of luggage and petrol supplies was carried on a motor lorry owned by Mr. E. Horwood. who is engaged on a contract for the Commonwealth in sinking an artesian bore 12 miles south of Alice Springs. The lorry did good work. 'We left Oodnadatta on Sunday morning and made our first call at Oorarin Station held by Mr. Odgers on the banks of the Alberga. Eight miles beyond one of our passengers had the misfortune to sustain a nasty gash on the nose through striking the hood stick of the car as we were passing .over a big bump. As a result   we returned the 45 miles to Oodnadatta where the wound was stitched up by Sisters of the Presbyterian Hostel. These sisters are doing fine work in attending to the sick in the district.
 Striking Drought Country.
 'On Monday morning we again left Oodnadatta for Blood's Creek. We halted for luncheon at 1 o'clock at the Hamilton bore, where we received our indications of the drought-stricken nature  of the country at the present time.   Around the bore there were hundreds of cattle, which have to travel very long distances for water, with the consequence that the feed en route is eaten out. Many were too weak to get back to the pastures. We saw numbers of carcasses and noticed other animals apparently too weak to stand up much longer. A fortnight later we again saw the same country, after a heavy thunderstorm had fallen, and this had enabled the cattle to move out again. On this account there were not more than half a dozen head round the bore. Water from this bore is hot to the touch, but the flow is regular.
 Impressed With the Country
 'We reached Blood's Creek late, in the afternoon, and were cordially welcomed by Mrs. Roper and her daughters. We stopped there for the night. The next day we passed the Charlotte Waters Telegraph Station, where we had a chat for an hour with the operators, and overtook an over-landing party to Darwin, comprising Messrs. Ford, Forrester, and Hearn. These pilgrims were repairing cars. Mr. Forrester, who has pastoral interests out from Orroroo, and knows outback conditions very well, said he had been favourably  impressed with the potential qualities of the country in good seasons.
Aboriginal Carvings.
 'An hour or so later we called in at New Crown Station, the property of Sir Sydney Kidman. The manager there and his wife (Mr. and Mrs. T. King} welcomed us cor- dially. Mr. King showed us a number of quaint carvings, the work of a full-blooded aboriginal named Jim Kite. They were carved out of a peculiar stone, as white as alabaster, and one specimen which I brought back with me is surmounted by a carven image of a carpet snake coloured artistically with ochres found in the district.
  'Shortly after leaving New Crown we made our first crossing of the River Finke, which presented no difficulties to our car. The bed at this stage was dry sand. A few miles further on we again crossed the Finke and camped for the night at the old Crown Point Station. We were astir early the next morning as we had three more difficult crossings of the Finke before us. Reaching Horseshoe Bend we met with warm hospitality from Mr. and Mrs. Elliott. Here we were delayed for four hours waiting for the lorry, which had met with tyre punctures. Pushing on, we camped for the night on the southern side of the Finke at Dinny White's crossing. Striking camp next morning, we started soon after 7 o'clock to make the crossing before breakfast. Having successfully negotiated the river, we were delighted to accept the generous invitation of the Government survey camp to breakfast, of which, the chief item on the menu was fried beef and eggs. Proceeding, we made the final crossing of the river, and on the Thursday passed through Maryvale and Deep Well stations, crossing the sandy bed of the river en route, and reaching Alice Springs about 5 pm. Here we received a warm welcome from Sgt. and Mrs. Stott and others — typical of the wholehearted hospitality of the residents of Central Australia.      
 Famous Palm Gorge.   
'We next visited the Hermannsburg Mission station, and viewed the famous palm gorge in the Krichauff Ranges. The journey from Hermannsburg to the gorge was made on horseback by some, while others were passengers in a five horse express wagon. It took us four and a half hours travel along the bed to cover the eight miles to the camping ground. Palm Gorge is noted for its natural beauties, and although the journey was very wearying (a lot of ground had to be traversed on foot), we felt amply repaid at the end by the scene of grandeur and beauty. At Hermannsburg we found Mr. Hein rich and his wife in charge of the religious and educational work of the' mission, about which so much has been written, devoting themselves in a self-sacrificing way to the welfare of the natives. There are more than 200 natives at the mission at present, nearly all being full-blooded. The number of half-castes was few, and they had mainly come in from outside. An effort is being made to provide work for the able bodied native boys and the lubras. Education is given both in the Arunta language and in English. Aged and infirm natives are provided and cared for by the mission.
 Sunday Services.
   'We attended a Sunday morning religious service conducted, entirely by a full blooded aboriginal, trained at the station, who spoke in the native language with apparent eloquence. The congregation listened attentively to a 40-minutes sermon. There were more than 200 present. In the evening a semi- sacred conference was held in the open air, when pictures were thrown upon the screen, and the native choir sang well known hymns, the rendering of "Nearer. my God to Thee'' being exceptionally good. 'The long, long trail," and other favourite songs were also impressive, and those privileged to hear them will never forget the scene.
'Within three-quartets of a mile of the mission house Mr. Heinrich has a fine garden irrigated from a well. We saw ordinary tomato plants growing to a height of nine feet, and thickly covered with fruit, with flavour equal to, if not superior than, anything produced in the south. 'We saw sweet corn 8 ft. high, and vegetables of many kinds. There was also a grand display of flowers, including roses and other favourites, and in bloom marigolds, chrysanthemums, zinnias, and stocks. It is peculiar that in this country, on account of the ravages of white ants, citrus are the only fruits which can be successfully grown. At Alice Springs we saw large oranges of very fine flavour, but lacking in some degree the juiciness of those produced in the south. After giving all the native children a ride on the lorry, which, by the way, they thoroughly enjoyed, we returned to Alice Springs in the evening, where we met   the Parliamentary party at a corroboree arranged in its honour.
 Education at Alice Springs.
 'At Alice Springs we visited the school conducted by Mrs. Standley, who was for many years a teacher at Gawler River. She is giving herself whole-heartedly to the work, as may be gauged from the fact that a morning school for white children is held from 8.30 am. to 1 p.m., and an afternoon session from 3 to 4.30 pm. is devoted to half-castes and native scholars. In addition, she has charge of the bungalow where the latter children are housed and cared for. The treatment of the half caste children in the territory is one of the most difficult the administration has to face, and although I made diligent enquiries in all directions I was unable to find any one who has a solution of the problem. ''The bungalow at Alice Springs, concerning which a very serious protest was made recently through the columns of the press by the National Council of Women, is to my mind most unfortunately situated, and although the children seem happy enough, and those in charge are labouring incessantly to care for them, the decision, made only a fortnight ago by the Commonwealth Government, to move it out 23 miles to Jay's Gap, seems to me to be a wise one. Many of the half caste girls, after training, are being sent out to domestic service in the State, and from reports received appear to be doing well. The problem does not cease there, and is likely to be accentuated when they reach the marriageable age. I was also impressed with the number' of children living in the bungalow at Alice. Springs, whose skins were almost white. Indeed, if they lived in the city no one would suspect they had a strain of aboriginal blood in their veins.  The future of these boys and girls is one. for which the white race is responsible, and which presents a very hard problem.
Suitable for Sheep.
 'The country around Alice Springs, south and west as we saw it—and to the north also as we were informed — is good grazing land. We were told on good authority that it would be suitable for stocking with sheep if better water supplies were available. Without posing as an authority on outback areas with which I am little acquainted, I must con fess that in my judgment one of the prime duties of the State and Federal Governments is to take steps by means of tapping artesian and sub-artesian basins, to provide water supplies, not only along the stock routes, but also on the stations. It would surely be pos-sible to provide sufficient water, by further boring or retrailation (sic), to cope with the difficulty and meet the stock needs in dry periods. Cattle in drought time, having to walk 10 and even 20 miles to water, become too weak to return to feed, and perish by hundreds and even thousands. The provision of quick transport to the market so that cattle may reach the Abattoirs in prime condition is another essential. I found that the cattle owners suffered heavily pecuniarily through the loss of condition caused by the long tedious journey; stock deteriorating from prime to poor, with the result that there is serious depreciation in values.
 Opinions of Rail Routes.
 'The people of Alice Springs .are very keen on the railway  being extended to their centre, and they have abounding faith in the potentialities of the MacDonnell Ranges.  While a railway could not be justified on a gamble on the possibilities of mineral wealth, there is no doubt the construction of a railway would lead to a new era of prospecting for minerals in those sections. As a matter of fact there are already several parties in the field, and we met some of them. The question of route is one which has aroused a diversity of  . opinion, and a good deal will depend upon the report on the Kingyoona, route, and also upon the possibilities or otherwise of obtaining reliable water supplies. One great argument in favour of Kingyoona route is the fact that it be a 4 ft.- 8 in. gauge, and would be the most 'likely to solve the difficulty of getting stock to the market in prime condition.  I noticed in the paper the other day that the Federal Manager for Railways (Mr. Hill) and the Commonwealth Engineer (Mr. Hobler) were reported to have said that South Australia ought to be satisfied with a rail way to Alice. Springs, and that the Trans -continental line should branch at Marree to Birdsvillc, thence through Queensland territory to Camooweal before going back to Darwin. This proposition, in my opinion, should meet with the most strenuous opposition from the South Australian public. Evidence taken by the South Australian Railway’s Standing Committee, discounted the Marree to Birdsville connection, and showed there would be encountered great engineering difficulties in crossing the Cooper and Diamentina Rivers. Further, I feel that unless the route to Alice Springs is to be part of a national line to Darwin its construction would be hard to justify at the tremendous cost which must be incurred.
 Lure of the Out-Back.
 'On the return journey we branched off at Hamilton Bore, and visited Macumba Station, owned by Sir Sidney Kidman, where we were hospitably entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Kempe. We spent a happy time at the homestead, where the girls thoroughly enjoyed the experiences of riding excursions both on camels and horse back. There are thousands of horses in the Territory, and many are to be shot, as they have become a thorough pest. One owner informed me that this year he intended to shoot at least 1,500.
 The trip all through was one of infinite pleasure, interest, and instruction, and one cannot but pay a very warm tribute to the generous people pioneering in these vast spaces: One now feels something of the lure of the great heart of the continent, and if the opportunity presents itself again I shall be delighted to repeat such a happy and enjoyable holiday.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Thursday 18 June 1925 p8
A letter has been received from the   Rev. J. H. Sexton, who is visiting the interior of Australia in behalf of the British and Foreign Bible Society and the Aborigines Friends Association. Mr. Sexton, writing from Alice Springs, states that he has been able to visit, with Sgt. Stott, the present site at Jay Creek, for the bungalow to be erected for the benefit of the half-caste children. He has had a great reception from full-blooded natives and members of the local tribes, most of whom speak the Aranda language, many natives having come long distances to see him.   At the time of writing he was about to   leave for Hermannsburg, where he expects to remain a fortnight or so.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Wednesday 15 July 1925 p13
Impressions of the Rev. J. H. Sexton,
After spending several weeks in Central Australia, as a representative of the Aborigines Friends Association and the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Rev. J. H. Sexton returned to Adelaide a few days ago, and in an interview gave a few impressions of his trip. He stated that a great deal had been said concerning, the   bungalow at Alice Springs, for half-caste children, and many viewed it from a wrong standpoint. The bungalow came into existence through the benevolence, of the Government, and in the first instance eight children were cared for. There had since been a gradual increase in that number. The wisdom as to the choice of the site at the rear of the hotel had been questioned, but many of the inmates had turned out well. They were under the   wing of the Protector of Aborigines. One of the boys, now had a camel team, one was a good stockman, another a carpenter, and so on, while some of the girls had proved intelligent and capable domestics. The bungalow was regarded as the first step up from the wurlies, and it was hoped to continue the improvement by shortly building another bungalow at Jay Creek, about 25 miles beyond Alice Springs. He had inspected the site and thought it was a happy choice by the Government, being surrounded by hills. Nearby was the creek: fringed by gum trees, and the sandy soil was comfortable for the feet of the natives. The chief need was water, and a well was being sunk on the bank of the creek. It was far removed from the King's highway. The. scheme would provide accommodation for 100 children.
                                         Problem of the Aged.  
    Questioned as to the condition of the aborigines outside, Mr. Sexton said he had visited a number of camps, and was much distressed by the signs of neglect. There were many sick, aged, and blind natives, who were not receiving necessary attention, and fresh organization was necessary. Under the present method of rationing, able-bodied natives who would not work, hung round the camps, and according to communal law they had the right to share in the food. The result was that the old natives did not receive an adequate share, and were in an emaciated condition. They should be assembled in camps wherever possible, and placed under proper supervision, and the food supplies could, be rationed out daily by the local missioner. The services of the native boys could be used in helping to build wurlies, and in   hunting for kangaroo, iguanas, and other food. As an alternative he suggested the issue of supplementary rations, which could be left in charge of white women at different stations, who understood the condition of the natives. Unless they were capable of being employed usefully, it would be better to allow those people to remain in their former haunts. The scarcity of water was a frequent cause for the breaking up of camps, and if that need were supplied a sanctuary could be made for them. There were large rock holes at different localities, and by building those up with masonry they would prove good catchments. 'He instanced a   place called Ooraminna, about 25 miles from Alice Springs. It was about four miles off the main stock route. It was a beautiful locality, and game abounded. That place could be used as a native reserve, for it had a suitable rockhole. That would not interfere with the supply of fresh water for stock, as a bore was being put down 12 miles from Alice Springs. Another was to be sunk on the direct stock route, nine miles from Ooraminna. There was also a stock watering place at Deep Well, and a well was being sunk three miles further along the route. Professor Spencer when visiting this part, had advocated Ooraminna as a reserve for the natives, and the Government was going to enlarge and protect the rockhole. Mr. Sexton added that a new ordinance dealing with leases in the Northern Territory made it compulsory for lessees to reserve certain watering places for natives, as those poor denizens had not the foresight to provide for themselves in that respect against times of drought, and it was there- for only right to have the wisdom of the white man to help them.
                                             Cruel Tribal Rites.
Dealing with the question of tribal rites, Mr. Sexton said he had knowledge of many cases of cruelty brought under his notice, perpetrated by the blacks in conformity with their customs. Three cases of the premature burial of aged, sick natives had occurred recently, in spite of the efforts of the missioner to give them medical treatment. The mutilation of young men, which accompanied their formal introduction to manhood, was a danger to the half- castes from the bungalow whenever they left the shelter of civilization, which was necessarily frequent. Until more humane laws were enforced, the instincts and passions of primitive communities would continue to find expression. The solution of the half-caste problem largely rested with the white woman. The trouble was that she had not been able to take her place as man's helpmate in those remote places of the bush, with the result that her darker sister was largely playing the part as companion to the man. Every woman in the city who wished to help in a solution of the problem should advocate facilities whereby the white man could have proper companionship. The construction of a railway to Alice Springs would largely help to bring about that desirable condition of affairs, which would give a new social uplift and assist in building up a purer race.
                                                An Influential Protector.
 A tribute was paid to the work of Sgt. Stott at Alice Springs, who was the chief protector of the full-blooded blacks and half-castes. He was a dour Scot, and held many positions. He had the gift of leadership, and when he was convinced that a certain course of action was right, nothing would prevent him from carrying it out. Many matters affecting Government referred to him. He prevented people administration in Central Australia were from (sic) milking the Government cow, and saw that contracts were faithfully carried out. He rendered every facility to Mr. Sexton in carrying out his investigations.
                                          Crossing the Finke.
 There were good workers among the natives in the Northern Territory. A large number were employed in the new road making scheme, which was a great success. The new road at Old Crown Bend had obviated crossing the Finke River three times. That left only one crossing of the river this side of Horseshoe Bend. Other crossings, between that place and Alice Springs were also under consideration. Motorists were full of praise for the, scheme, in which large quantities of porcupine grass and sand had been used. In the Territory there was a vast amount of native labour which might be used to advantage in the future development of the country. The two main tribes were the Aruntas and the Luritjas. The former were divided into four sections, and spoke slightly different dialects. Their country extended from the north of the Mac Donnell Ranges to Oodnadatta. Those in touch with civilization were employed as goat shepherds, well sinkers, and road makers. They were mostly addressed in pidgin English. The Luritjas occupied country from the Erenberg Range in the Territory to the Murgrave and Evarard Ranges, and were still uncivilized, and semi-cannibal habits existed. The native children in Central Australia appeared to be of very good stamina. The treatment of native prisoners by the authorities was very humane.   Samples of native implements and articles of diet were brought back by the traveller. Those included shoes made of feathers, native hair, and twine; a stone knife beautifully cut and sharpened; wicheries (a pine grub, which is much relished); figs, onion seeds; and mulga sugar left by the honey ants; and pressed seeds for making   flour. He also had some fine navel oranges grown at Alice Springs, thin skinned and large.       
(John Henry Sexton 1863-1954 born Callington SA, Baptist clergyman, married Mary Anne daughter of Thomas Playford in 1886. Travelled overseas, worked with SA Ngarrindjeri people, was on SA Aboriginal Council and between 1925 and 1935 made official visits to the NT.)
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929 Wednesday 15 July 1925 p14
Motorists in particular will appreciate the announcement that the track to Alice Springs is undergoing improvement. Sgt. Stott has a gang busily engaged constructing crossings over the sandy bed of the Finke River. So far, satisfactory tracks have been completed over the Todd River. At present the men are at Denny White's Crossing on the Finke, which place will live long in the memories of the members of the recent Parliamentary expedition.   The method being adopted is to put porcupine grass 3 ft. deep into a trench; and then cover over with sand. This course will be foIIowed where necessary on the sandhill country between Deep Well and Old Crown Point, on the new deviation overland route.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Wednesday 9 June 1926 p12
The Minister for Home and Territories (Senator Pearce) has received a box of oranges from Sgt. Stott, Alice Springs.   The oranges, which are of the navel variety, are particularly large, and have a most pleasant flavour. Senator Pearce thinks that the fruit, which has been grown by Sgt. Stott, constitutes a good advertisement for the productivity of the soil at Alice Springs, which will be the administrative centre of Central Australia under the Northern Australia Act.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Monday 28 June 1926 p11
Australian Inland Mission. Alice Springs Nursing Hostel. ALICE SPRINGS. Sundav.
The Adelaide Home Nursing Hostel was officially opened at Alice Springs on Saturday by the Right Rev. J. Crookston, MA. (Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia), assisted by the Right Rev. David Chapman (Moderator of the South Australian Assembly), the Rev. J. A. Barber, M.A. (convener of the A.I.M. Council in Victoria), the Rev. R. Mitchell (of Adelaide), and the Rev. J.  Flynn (superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission). Other speakers were Messrs. Nelson, M.H.R. (N.T.), Stewart, M.H.R. (V.), and Jackson, M.H.R. (T.), and Sgt. Stott, who spoke, on' behalf of the resident of Alice Springs. Among numerous telegrams of congratulations   were the following:-   The Prime Minister desires to convey to all concerned hearty congratulations upon the opening of the hospital at Alice Springs, and on the good work done by the inland mission in the Territory generally.   Sir Thomas Glasgow (Minister for Home and Territories): — The Minister desires to extend to the Australian Inland Mission and to all who have been associated with the work of erecting the hospital at Alice Springs his heartiest congratulations on the success which has attended their labours in adding this, yet another monument, to the noble service which is being rendered by the mission to dwellers in isolated parts of the Commonwealth. The hospitals already established by the mission in the Territory at Marranboy and Victoria Downs have rendered splendid service, and it is most gratifying to the Government and to the Territory that the mission, in pursuance of its wise and beneficent policy, has decided to also extend its ministrations to Alice Springs. The hospital which now opens its charit- able doors will be a boon and a blessing to those who are pioneering in this remote district, and who can now feel that they are no longer that far off from medical comforts afforded to those living in more settled districts, and is likely to prove a valuable aid in promoting further settlement. The Minister is aware of the difficulties which have been met in the establishment of this hospital, and of the trying labours it has entailed, and wishes to express the great appreciation of the Commonwealth Government of the efforts of those associated in such a splendid enterprise, who were prepared to fight on until their efforts were crowned with success.. He hopes and believes that the future efforts of the mission in this new field will be rewarded with the success it so richly deserves and which has characterized its work in other parts of the Commonwealth. The Government is aware that in establishing and maintaining this hospital considerable, expense has been and will be entailed and the mission may rest assured that the Government will at all times be prepared to give the most sympathetic consideration to any   proposals for financial assistance towards the splendid work which the mission is undertaking in the great outback.     Senator Newlands (Chairman of committees) — Congratulations all concerned, and hope that the opening will be a great success, and I know that the district will appreciate such a splendid institution.   Kind remembrances to all.       Sir Neville Howse (Minister for Defence and Health)— The Government is appreciative of the high standard of equipment   and personnel as set by the A.I.M. and it is on these lines that the Government will continue to operate for some time to come. I wish the present enterprise every success.   Local voluntary gifts amounting to nearly £40 were handed in at the close of the ceremony. A party of visitors is leaving for Adelaide on Monday by way of the. opal fields, Tarcoola, and Port Augusta. 
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Thursday 8 July 1926 p11
Institution at Alice Springs.
On Wednesday the leading clergy of the Presbyterian Church and the laymen who accompanied them to take part in the ceremony of opening the Australian Inland Mission's Hospital at Alice Springs,  returned to Adelaide. The party had an enjoyable and educative journey, and returned in good health. The travellers consisted of the following: — The Right Rev. J. Crookston, the Right Rev. David Chapman (Moderator of the South Australian Assembly), the Rev. J. A. Barber, and Messrs. T. McClellaud (Victoria), C. Godfrey, J. A. Rinder, L. F. Axford. P. Manuel, E. Tweeddale, and A.G. Pritchard, of Adelaide.       Mr. Crookston stated that the motor trip was made possible by the kindness of Messrs. J. A. Rinder, L. F. Axford, and half a dozen other business men of Adelaide. The party left Adelaide by motor on. June 15, and. on reaching Marree, put the cars on the train for conveyance to William Creek, where the motors were used again for the remainder of the journey to Alice Springs. The party had no serious mishap. A hearty welcome was  received at Alice Springs, which was reached oh June 25. Sgt. Stott had flags flying at the Police station to mark the occasion. The inhabitants of Alice Springs had made arrangements for the accommodation of the party, and the members appreciated the hospitality extended to them during their stay. The hospital, stated Mr. Crookston, was opened on June 26. It would be a handsome and commodious building when completed, with refrigerator and electric light. The opening ceremony was attended by all the white residents of Alice Springs and a large number of aborigines. Mr. Crook- ston's impression of the interior was that it had become most important to provide, hospital accommodation 'for the inlanders.' In many cases, patients travelled hundreds of miles to obtain treatment, and he had seen a man who was brought from Coober Pedy to Alice Springs, about 500 miles, with both legs broken. Sometimes even the most elementary first aid could, not be obtained without making a tremendous journey. The hospital at Alice Springs would be the centre of a district with a radius of about 400 miles, continued Mr. Crookston. Sisters Pope and Small, both trained nurses, had charge of the institution. The hospital nearest to Alice Springs was that at Oodnadatta, of which Sisters- McNeill and Sinclair (two fine women from Melbourne) were in charge.   Arrangements were made for the party to visit the Coober Pedy (Stuart Range) opal fields. The miners seemed a superior class of men, and they lived in dugouts. There was not a house on the field. It was learned that the literature supplied by the Australian Inland Mission was   greatly appreciated by the miners, one of whom stated that life would be intolerable without it. When asked whether they would prefer a different class of literature the miners stated that the kind sent was that they appreciated most, and they desired no change. Mr. Crookston added that he was impressed with the confidence expressed in the inland mission at all the centres  visited, and especially with the high re- gard in which the people held the missioner, the Rev. J. Flynn. The visit of the party should be a great help to the Australian Inland Mission, and the work should receive an impetus when the re ports were .sent to the various churches. 
Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873-1927) Friday 30 July 1926 p4
GN 196,26
IN pursuance of the powers conferred upon me by Ordinance No. 1 of 1911 and all other powers me thereunto enabling, I, Edward Copley Playford Acting Administrator of the Northern Territory of Australia do hereby in the name of the Governor General appoint
an Inspector of Licensed premises for the Licensing District of the Northern Territory, as from the date hereof.
Dated at Darwin this twenty-fourth day of July 1926.
Acting Administrator
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Wednesday 1 September 1926 p9
WONDERFUL VIEW GAINED. Copyright: Australian Press Association. ALICE SPRINGS. Tuesday
Yesterday we left Adelaide, and this afternoon we landed in the centre of Australia at Alice Springs, where we discovered, just beyond the MacDonnell Mountains a perfect aerodrome, with boundaries marked out with white spots, and Sgt. Stott waiting to greet us on landing. After, taking off from Oodnadatta we flew along the telegraph route, and, on landing at Alice Springs, had covered 340 miles in three hours and 10 minutes. A flight such as this creates a wonderful impression on an aviator's mind, and I am more convinced than ever that the only way to get a true conception of a country is to fly over it. After leaving Adelaide we encountered one rainstorm after another, but we ex- perienced no difficulty, as the visibility was very good, and we had a wonderful view of great wheat areas stretching for scores of miles on every side. We flew very low to avoid a head wind, and passed over dozens of homesteads, to the inhabitants of which we waved our arms in return to their salutations. After passing over Port Augusta the weather cleared, and finally we hit the railway line at Copley, and later landed at Marree for extra fuel. The joy of flying in Australia is that, generally speaking it is possible to land almost anywhere one wishes. 'Having spent a happy night at Oodnadatta we flew on north to-day. In a calm atmosphere, with a visibility of from 70 to 80 miles, and at 2,000 ft. above ground, one gets the real idea of the great open spaces. The traveller on the ground can see as far as the next ridge only, but the traveller in an aeroplane has a perpetual panoramic view of the river beds creeks, and tracks laid out beneath him like a gigantic map, and can get a better geographic conception in one flight than he could in a dozen trips on the ground. I was never more impressed with the vastness of Australia and its open spaces than today. 'Finally the MacDonnell Ranges came into view, and soon we were circling over those mountains, which possibly are the oldest rock formations in the world. Ward and Capel were busy with cine and still cameras taking pictures until we landed on the 'drome. To-morrow I will fly on to Newcastle Waters and Katherine.'— Cobham.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Thursday 2 September 1926 p9
Cobham at the Katherine. Copyright, Australian Press Association.
 EMUNGALEN, Wednesday. 
At 4:40 p.m. to-day we landed at Katherine River after having flown from Alice Springs since breakfast, landing at Banka Banka and Newcastle Waters en route. At 8 o'clock we took off amid the charming scenery of the MacDonnell Ranges and the delightful surroundings of Alice Springs, having said good-bye to our wonderful host and hostess, Mr. and Mrs. Stott. After to-day's flight I am more convinced than ever that the future de- velopment of the back country can be speeded up and enlightened by the advent, of the aeroplane. To-day's flight was a proof of the possibilities of flying for the private owner of an aeroplane; for we covered nearly 800 miles of country through the heart of Australia that would have taken weeks by old-fashioned methods of transport. Surely aeroplanes would be a boon to the medical service, and possibly the Inland Mission; for, with an aeroplane service handy, womenfolk would not hesitate to go into the out regions. We landed at Banka to deliver spare parts' for Capt. Bagot's car, which had broken down near-by. We then carried on to Newcastle Waters, and after re-fuelling flew on to Katherine for the night. All along the route it would have been possible to land at any homestead or station; so I feel sure that there is a happy future for young men in the outcountry by means of light aeroplanes such as the DH Moth type, which the Aero Clubs of Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide are using, giving flying aspirants in Australia the opportunity to learn to fly their own aeroplane. . To-morrow we are flying on to Darwin, where we shall change over to floats for the homeward dash.— Cobham.  
ALICE SPRINGS,  Wednesday. At a few minutes to 8 this morning Mr. A. J. Cobham ascended from the Alice Springs flying field to fly to the Katherine River, approximately 800 miles. He expected to reach Banka Banka (300 miles) in two hours. The weather was perfect, with not a breath of wind. Mr. Cobham' also intended to land at New castle Waters (450 miles from here).
(Sir A J Cobham – Alan John Cobham was born in London in 1894. He become one of the outstanding figures in British aviation, and was knighted at the age of 32 (some consider him to be the Father of British aviation).  Won awards for major long distance flights (including the 1926 trip above which was part of Rochester UK to Melbourne & return, 24,000km in 94 days. LJF)
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Friday 21 January 1927 p10
Recent Scientific Expedition. Returned from Central Australia.
The Adelaide University party, consisting of Drs. T. D. Campbell,   J. B. Cleland, W. Kay, E. H. Davies, and Messrs C. J: Hackett and P. Jeffery, which recently visited Central Australia to carry out anthropological work on the natives there, returned to Adelaide on Wednesday.   The work of Spencer and Gillen on the sociology and customs of the Central   Australian natives has become classic, and it was the aim of the recent expedition to initiate a physical survey of these natives along the lines required by modern anthropological research; also to make a study of the possibilities and scope of this field for future work. Observations were made at Ross Waterhole on Macumba Sta- tion (N.E. of Oodnadatta) and Alice Springs.
 Team Work Employed.
Detailed observations were made on more than 50 full blood aborigines. General and descriptive, notes were made, and many body measurements were taken by Dr. Campbell and Mr. Hackett. Dr. Ray carried out various physiological tests and compiled numerous notes on the pathological conditions presented. Professor Cleland conducted blood grouping tests, an important work, by means of which an idea is obtained of the blood relationships existing between white and coloured races. Mr. Jeffery secured portraits from two aspects of each individual examined, in addition to photographing many interesting physical conditions. By employing this "team work" method of attack, a large mass of data was collected by workers, who had each had special training in his particular line of work; and the resultant compilation and correlation of the results, led to much valuable information being gained. So much has been recorded on this trip that, considerable further work will be necessary before the results can be published.
Aboriginal Music.
 A unique feature of this expedition was the inclusion in the personnel of a musical expert, specially equipped to investigate aboriginal music. Dr. Davies has on this trip made probably many more phonograph records of Australian native songs than have ever been secured hither to. In addition, he has manuscript notation of many other songs and numerous notes on various aspects of native musical art. His observations will undoubtedly form a valuable contribution to scientific and musical knowledge. The expedition was made possible through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, which afforded funds for anthropological research through the medium of the National Research Council of Australia. Through the generosity of Mr. E. W. Holden, B.Sc, further funds were available, so that it was possible for Mr. Jeffery to make cinematographic records as well as the large amount of still photography secured by the party. Detailed motion picture records were made of various native crafts, and as the party was fortunate in witnessing ceremonies lasting over several days in connection with an initiation rite, some of the motion pictures should form unique ethnological records.
 Northern Hospitality
For capably carrying out excellent transport arrangements the representatives of Messrs. Wallis Foggarty, of Oodnadatta and Alice Springs, were congratulated by the party, which expressed indebtedness to Mr. Ernest Kempe (manager of Sir Sidney Kidman's Macumba Station) and his wife for their hospitality and assistance, Sgt. and Mrs. Stott also gave of that help and hospitality for which they are very well known, and assured the success of the work at Alice Springs. Drs. Ray and Cleland paid special attention to the subject of needs for medical aid in Central Australia, both to the white and aboriginal population, and have collected much useful and important information. All 'the party were impressed with the proverbial hospitality of the far northern and central regions, and believed that any one would be an unworthy individual who was not readily welcomed by every one there. They were also interested to learn from daily reports at Alice Springs, that while folk in Adelaide were sweltering from a heat wave, quite pleasantly warm conditions were being experienced in their far northern location.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Friday 8 July 1927 p8
The Federal Minister of Works and Railways (Hon. W. C. Hill) on Thursday expressed his appreciation of the valuable assistance that Commissioner Stott at Alice Springs had rendered to the Works and Railways Department in connection with the construction of roads extending into the Northern Territory.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Monday 22 August 1927 p10
By Our Special Reporter. 
From Horseshoe Bend, Bond's Central  Australia party proceeded to Alice Springs,   the centre of administration for Central  Australia.  Campfire smoke hung heavily over the   settlement as we left Horseshoe Bend early on Monday, August 1. Outside the Bend the track was the worst of the trip. We were joined at this stage by the mail man, Mr. S. Irving, and the four cars safely negotiated the three crossings of the Finke, and the five miles of alternating sand holes and hard ridges before reaching the plains again. Another 30 miles through sandhills, an off-shoot of the Depot sandhills, which, can be crossed only after rain has hardened the surface, brought us to the desolate white  waste of the "Tragic Mile", in sight of Chambers Pillar, and leading to Dinny White's, on the Hugh Creek. The "tragic mile" halted many motors before it was 'corded' with spinifex, and is a dreary stretch of heavy white sand, lacklng even the clumps of spinifex so prolific in the surrounding areas. Dinny White's, the last sand creek, on the way ' to Alice Springs, is marked by a superb row of gums, and fresh water can always be obtained by scraping out a soak in the sandy bed. This country produces the parakilya plant, and upon its fleshy leaf cattle can live for weeks without going  to water. After leaving Dinny White's we passed through Hayes & Sons' Maryvale Station, on to Deep Well, the station run by Mr. G. A. Johannsen. Kurt Johannsen came down from the house to greet us. If a model of refined bearing and cultured speech were required to be produced for the back country, this   boy would serve admirably. A splendid home training and diligent application to his schooling, by correspondence, were revealed in every word he spoke. Mr. Johannson runs 2,000 cattle and 200 sheep on his property. Outside Deep Well, which is a Government stock route well, 110 ft. deep, we ascended a high plateau and began the run down to the foot of the MacDonnell Ranges through a fine growth of ironbark. On the way we passed a mob of cattle, from the Bond Spring Station, north of the ranges, being worked down to Oodnadatta to be trucked to Adelaide. A solitary native on a camel sat watching a flock of sheep as we crossed the plateau, and the sun sank behind the  range throwing the low mountain peaks into deep blue relief. We descended to the bed of the River Todd and passed through, the gorge of Heavitree Gap, in time to catch the dying rays of the sun on the run across the plain to Alice Springs. 'The township, officially known as Stuart town, but popularly called the Alice, is set within a ring of mountains, and in good seasons the surrounding plain sprouts like a wheatfield.
                              Central Australia.
 The Government of Central Australia is now administered from Alice Springs. The centre of Australia has had a varied political experience. Until 1911 it was controlled by South Australia from Ade- aide. When the Northern Territory was handed over to the Federal Government, Melbourne became the seat of Government, and Darwin the centre of administration   and on the proclamation of the new State of Central Australia from March 31, 1927 the administration was transferred 'to Alice Springs. Central Australia consists of that part of the old Northern Territory between the South Australian border and the 20th parallel, more than 100   miles north of Barrow Creek, an area   of about 200,000 square miles, and a white   population of about 2,000. Although so much concern has been officially devoted to the seat of the government of this country, the residents generally remain indifferent. The few who take an interest in politics, and, I only met one who really cared anything about the administration, strongly urge a return to South Australia. All their interests lie directly south, and despite the changes wrought under Federal administration they claim that the country received more sympathetic and beneficial treatment when it was attached to South Australia. A Government Resident (Mr. J. C. Cawood) is stationed at Alice Springs, and he, with his secretary, and their wives are quartered at the hotel pending the erection of official residences and administrative offices. Plans have been prepared for a block or buildings, consisting of two residences and a council chamber and general offices, the whole to cost about £1300. Already the official circle is being widened under small State  administration, and where the position  does not warrant the appointment of even a minor official, the title is conferred upon  a local resident. 'The exercise of new  found authority, in some instances, has caused considerable amusement, and one Government servant, who before the new regime was known as a road-maker and lacked official distinction, was elevated to the position of superintendent of roads. Other humorous situations have arisen, and although criticism should really be withheld until the new order has had time to prove itself, local residents are dubious about the success of the experiment. Too much officialdom near home   can often be more annoying than too little far away. In any case, there can be little doubt that the new administration will be costly, and Centralians feel that the country cannot bear additional taxation to meet the extra expense, even with the compensation of more satisfactory government, which has yet to be proved. And this is another point urged in favour of returning to South Australia, whereby the creation of additional machinery would have been unnecessary. Soon after the creation of the State the wine and spirit licences expired, and it was found that there was no power to renew them. Special arrangements had to be made with the Licensing Court at Darwin and it cost one store- keeper £7 in telegraphing to renew his licence. Now action is bemg taken to form a Licensing Bench at Alice Springs to deal with three licences! In addition to the Government Resident and his secretary, a stock and well inspector has been appointed and Sgt. R. Stott, who formerly was, in effect, an administrator, has risen in status to Commissioner of Police controlling six constables at various out stations. The sergeant, by the way, still retains the popular title, of King of Australia, which was bestowed upon, him in all good faith by one of the local school children. While we were at Alice Springs he was visited by one of his officers, Con stable Noblett, who is stationed at Arltunga, 100 miles east of Alice, and who is a brother to Inspector Noblett, of Port  Adelaide.       
Picturesque Alice Springs.
Alice Springs is a most picturesque township, and one of its most remarkable features is its perpetuation of the names of the family of Sir Charles Todd, who as superintendent of telegraphs, built the overland telegraph line 55 years ago. The telegraph station has transmitted the name of his daughter to the township, which stands on the bank of the River Todd, just below the junction of the Charles and the Todd, and not far south is Alice Well. The township is built a short distance from the white dry bed of the river, and stands on a great plain, containing an aeroplane landing ground and two racecourses. The settlement is shaded with fine specimens of gum trees, paticularly of the sacred white cabbage gum, which grow side by side with   fronded date palms. The water supply is peculiar inasmuch as plentiful supplies can be tapped by wells, but only in a narrow strip of land running parallel with the river. The land is exceptionally fertile, and in their gardens the res dents have grown all kinds of fruit and vegetables. Sergt. Stott is particularly proud of his Washington navel oranges, and Mr. G. H. Wilkinson can tell of fine fresh vegetables. But we did not see the Alice under favourable conditions. Like the rest of the country, it has suffered from the lack of rain, and during the last three seasons has received only half the usual average of 10 inches.   There is no doubt, however, that this particular region can be most fertile when it rains. Some of the stories told us were as picturesque as the country. In the bush truth is often treated lightly, especially for the benefit of strangers, and the best tale I heard, and it was not from the man who admitted that the pastime of the country was telling lies, was from a swarthy old camel driver, who with intense gravity, told of a hectic week at the Catherine, when 14 men gathered for a spree. "'At the finish," he said, "only me and me mate were left. All the rest were dead!" One of the first of the local identities we met, and one of the most interesting. was Sam Lynch, who until motors beat his horses for the contract, was mail man from Alice Springs to  Powell's Creek. The mail is sent north every six weeks, and during the eight years Sam held the contract he travelled 55,000 miles on horseback, carrying the mails on pack horse, and he was never late. The journey of 500 miles occupied 16 1/2 days. Now the motor truck covers the same distance in four days.
 'Shin Plasters.'
 'Shin plasters' was a term heard all along the track, which was not satisfactorily explained until we reached Alice Springs. Very little cash is used in the interior, and until recent years they have almost done without silver. Silver cannot be conveyed through the post, and the only silver in the country is taken there by visitors. Even at present the supply of small change is limited. To overcome the difficulty the storekeepers, Wallis, Fogarty, Limited, issue orders on their business, payable on demand, for sums of 5/, 10/, 15/, and £1. In the old days they were hand-written, now they are printed, but are gradually going out of use. They pass as good currency throughout the far north, and many a good story is told about them. Baking 'shin plasters' was the favourite trick, and Mr. G. Ware, a member of our party, told how he was caught. He was on the Birdsville track in 1914, when 'shin plasters' were in universal use, and in a certain business transaction received a handful of these orders as change from a £5 note. Not knowing that they were good currency, he demurred, but when their value was explained, he accepted them in good faith. Next morning he put his hand in his pocket— but all that was left of his change was a handful of dust. The 'plasters' had been baked. The practice of baking became so prevalent that the storekeepers eventually came to accept even the fragment bearing the proper number as a sign that its possessor was entitled to payment.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Saturday 10 September 1927 p3
LOCAL.         (Before Mr. I. H. Haslam, S.M.)
    A claim for £375 was made by Robert Stott, police sergeant, of Alice Spring, against     William Hartley James, land and estate agent, of; Adelaide. Plaintiff alleged misrepresentation in connection with cottages at Henley Beach, which  defendant was alleged to have induced plaintiff to buy.    
Defendant pleaded not indebted, and was  represented. by Mr. R. Badger. Mr. G. C. Ligertwood appeared for plaintiff. After hearing evidence judgment for f225 to plaintiff was recorded.     
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Friday 9 December 1927 p11
By C. T. Madigan, Lecturer on Geology and Mineralogy. University of Adelaide.
The writer, in company with Sir Douglas Mawson, recently had the opportunity, long sought, of spending a month in the interior. Having had some experience as a Government official in the Sudan, a country geographically similar, being continental and in equal though northern latitude, and having camel-trekked that country from end to end, engaged principally In locating, sites for wells, he ventures to add to the list of published Impressions.
First of all, there is no longer any Northern Territory. In March of this year the Commonwealth proclaimed two new States — North Australia, with the capital at Darwin; and Central Australia, with its capital at Alice Springs. Central Australia lies between the 20th and 28th parallels of south latitude. The white population of Alice Springs is 40, and of Central Australia 200. We spent over a week of enforced idleness at the hotel in Alice Springs, and had nothing to do between meals but remove the tough goat meat from our teeth, and listen to the conversation of these 40. Of one or two it was said by their less charitable friends, in the picturesque metaphor of the country, that they had teen inoculated with a gramophone needle. Be that as it may, we certainly heard their opinions on all matters of common interest expressed with remarkable freedom and forcefulness.
                                         Federal Officialdom.
The destinies of these two States are controlled by commissioners, who sit in Canberra, or some other place — no one seemed quite certain where. At present there are four Government officials for Central Australia stationed in Alice Springs— the Government Resident (Mr. Carwood), who arrived from New South Wales for Proclamation Day in March; his assistant (Mr. Carrington); the Stock Inspector (Mr. Campbell), with many years' experience in the old Northern Territory; and Mr. Commissioner Stott, for 16 years in charge of the police, and now about to retire. The administration is in a state of flux, and the new officials have hardly had time to get their bearings. The Resident was absent on a long trip to Camooweal during most of our stay. If you ask the half-caste children at the school who rules Australia, they reply 'The King;' and if you ask who the King is, they answer 'Sergeant Stott.' The old order takes some time to change.
                                         Scenes of Desolation.
 Our visit was in November, and at the end — or, we hope, the end— of a five years' drought. Mr. Campbell said half the cattle died last year, and more will go this year. Already we saw many dead and others dying, some down for the last time, some standing but unable to move, with that, dreadful expression of hopelessness only seen in the eyes of dumb animals, and dingoes boldly standing about and waiting. These beasts had either been left behind by drovers as too weak to travel, or had strayed too far from water and were unable to get back. When we asked why the drovers did not put them out of their misery before leaving them, we were told that it was meant well, to give them a chance, as it might rain next day. Curiously, it did rain the day after our enquiry, but scarcely enough to prolong their misery unless they happened to be near clay pans and could still move. This was the state of things in November. Only goat meat was available at the hotel. Rabbits were almost extinct. Their deserted warrens were frequently seen. They soon breed up again when good seasons come, however. No visitor, not even a cattle man from the south, is competent to express an opinion on the stock carrying capacity of the country. The grass and herbage are unfamiliar and the country is absolutely different in different seasons and years. When there are hard-headed men who have battled along for 40 years with cattle in the country to be consulted, it is absurd to listen to any one else. We were told that the country round Oodnadatta was looking well, when we were thinking we had never seen anything more ghastly. There have been some rains during the latter part of the year, and in depressions where water had collected could be seen on closer inspection the withered remains of grass and the very small species of saltbush. The view as far as the eye could see in every direction is a waste of stony plain, with low rises of gypseous clay, some barren cliffs at the edge of a plateau remnant to the north-east, and not a bush or tree in sight.
                                             Pastoral Questions.
At present the country is reckoned to carry on the average one beast to the square mile. There are no boundaries or fences in Central Australia. The leases are reckoned in hundreds of square miles, where we of the south would speak of acres, and a man refers to his country, not his land. His country is duly ruled off the map and labelled, but is in no way defined on the ground. Most of them are not quite sure themselves within a few miles where their country ends. There are very few sheep in Central Australia. We only saw them at one   place Woodford's Well, some hundred miles north of the Alice. One reason for this is that they have to be shepherded and guarded every night on account of the wild dogs, and another is that they cannot stand drought as well as the cattle, and cannot feed out so far from water. Two factors govern stock-carrying capacity—feed and water. In the great artesian basin, which extends in South Australia from Hergott Springs to Charlotte Waters (just inside Central Australia), and covers the whole area to the east of this line and a considerable loop to the west, the feed is the deciding factor. Given the capital, enough water can be had anywhere by boring for it, but stock cannot live on water alone. The water supply is far in excess of the feed. This area is mostly included in the Lake Eyre Basin. The rainfall is about five inches, and the country is a desert. There are worse deserts in the world, but not much worse. It is unfortunate for South Australia that the artesian water is only available in such poor country. This is not so in New South Wales and Queensland. It is hardly necessary to say that, though some bores will supply a million gallons a day, it is not practicable to irrigate on any scale with it. The quantity is insufficient, and even for vegetable growing, a small patch of ground soon becomes too saline for use. The artesian basin only extends for a short distance into Central Australia, and the Charlotte, a pump well, is the most northerly bore in it.  The position is reversed in North Australia, where the feed is in excess of the water. The rainfall improves as we go north from Charlotte Waters, where it is five inches. At Alice Springs it is 10 inches. The trees and herbage become steadily better, with large gums in the water courses, and desert oak and blood wood plentiful in the more sandy regions, mulga and spinifex everywhere. Saltbush almost disappears at the MacDonnells, and to the north of them tall grasses such as Mitchell grass come in. Much of the best country seen was between Alice Springs and Barrow's Creek, our most northerly point. Beyond the Barrow and as far as Tennant's Creek the country is said to fall off badly again, to improve out of all comparison as the northern part of North Australia is reached.
 Getting Water.
The water problem is simple but costly inside the artesian basin. In Central Australia it is much more difficult. There is plenty of underground water, but it   requires an expert to choose favourable localities and minimise the risk of sinking costly and unsuccessful wells, which may so discourage the landholder as to prevent him from trying again. As an instance of the want of advice one may quote a man who declared that if he did not strike water in his country at 20 ft., it was no use going further down. He was convinced of this beyond all argument.   There are good wells all along the telegraph line at about 30-mile stages. They   were located more from consideration of where they were wanted than of specially favourable localities. They are all, from 50' to 100 ft. deep only. The water is shallow and of much better quality than artesian -water. The well system could   be greatly extended in Central Australia and the stock-carrying capacity of the country increased, chiefly by preventing the enormous losses sustained in dry   seasons. At present the tendency, is to depend on a few good wells only, and while we were there urgent requests were being made to be allowed to bring stock in to the Government wells, supposed only to be used for travelling stock. Every landholder could have several equally   good wells in his own country. Many of them realize this, but have not the capital to sink wells, and in a few cases only, not the energy, and always there is the fear of much expensive and wasted labour. Again, there is the idea that a small well is useless. This has been fostered by the custom of watering big mobs at good wells, and the influence of flowing bores. In the north-west of Western Australia the country is dotted with shallow wells with automatic windmills, tanks, and troughs with ballcocks, and this plan is being followed in the Laverton district. The cattle can be broken up into smaller groups, and watered separately. This is the one critical suggestion the writer ventures to make, namely, that the 50,000 gallon a day well should no longer be regarded as essential, but its place taken by several smaller wells.
                        Permanent Geologist Wanted.
 To make this possible, of course, capital and labour are required, but, above all, in our opinion, the Government staff in Alice Springs should be supplemented by a permanent geologist, who could make a thorough study of this most interesting region, and thus be in a position to advise with confidence on well sinking. The saving to the Government and the people would provide a whole geological department. In addition, the mineral resources of the country alone warrant such an appointment.
  The railway from Oodnadatta to Alice Springs is proceeding apace. About 30 miles is completed, and work is in hand up to 80 miles out. The line has just reached the Alberga River, which is being bridged. This is the usual wide stretch of sand and gravel, which may or may not carry a torrent once a year. About 300 men are employed. It seemed to us that there would be little to be gained in carrying the railway beyond Alice Springs. The road is much better beyond this point, in fact, motors can travel for long stretches at 50 miles an hour. The troubles, of overlanding motorists cease at Alice Springs, and up to there they consist only of the Finke crossings and the 'Tragic Mile.' The Depot sandhills have been circumvented, by a new track. There is some heavy sandy going, but any car can do it, properly handled.
  The present freight on ordinary merchandise from Adelaide to Alice Springs is £55 a ton, £25 on the railway and; £30 by motor truck from Oodnardatta Ihe motor- truck takes two days. Camel transport can be had as low as £12 10/ a ton, reducing the cost to £37 10/ a ton, but the time taken is three weeks, and the damage to goods is considerable. When the railway is through, on the same basis as to Oodnadatta, the freight will be about £38 a ton. The railway will help to alleviate the lot of the inhabitants, but any immediate magic metamorphosis of the interior is not to be looked for. It is bound to be a heavy loss for many years, but at least its construction shows a spirit of progress and a determi- nation to wrest what we can from, our great unused areas. At present Central Australia appears to be cattle country only. With increase in water supply, an increase in stock is possible, but the benefit from this is not as easily and quickly obtained as might at first appear. Markets must be arranged and economic difficulties overcome. The fate of  Vesteys in North Australia, and the Carnarvon Meat Works in Western Australia is not encouraging. A railway is not essential for moving cattle. It will allow favourable oppor- tunities of selling to be taken quickly, but such a long rail journey has great dis- advantages. It is said in the country that certain cattle men will never use the railway. Then, again, large areas to the east and west, are no nearer to Alice Springs than they are to Oodnadatta.
                    Mining Country.
 As to mineral resources, there are possibilities here. The railway to Alice Springs will stimulate prospecting. None of the known mineral lodes are within a hundred miles of Alice Springs, so that the railway does not altogether solve their transport problems. Substantial railway concessions would need to be made to make it profitable to shovel pure lead on to trucks at Alice Springs. At present only mica is profitably mined. There is a lot of highly mineralized country, and another Kalgoorlie or Broken Hill is more possible than an oil gusher in Australia. Only such a discovery would bring thousands into Central Australia, a mining field that would support a railway and a city.
                        An Unexplored Desert.
 An entirely, unexplored area lies for 300 miles to the south-east of Alice Springs, down into the corner of the State, the corner occupied by the artesian basin. No white man has crossed it and the natives deny any knowledge of it. It is evidently waterless. Mr. J. O'Neill, one of the discoverers of the Stuart's Range Opal Fields, did a 10-day 'perish' in the area with camels, but had to turn back for want of water. The Todd and Hall rivers disappear in that direction. O'Neill saw nothing but low sandhills covered with dead spinifex. and described it as the most desolate area he has ever entered up there. There are trees and bushes in the watercourses even in the Lake Eyre basin, but in that area there are none. Unlike the deserts of Upper Egypt, we saw no places where you could not get enough wood within a few miles to boil a billy. Such areas apparently exist, in some of the Queensland grasslands, however. We were told by one old battler that he found himself without wood on one occasion, so he started a grass fire. The grass was thin and dry, and burnt quickly, so he had to run with the billy to keep it over the fire. He ran for nearly three miles before the water was boiling, and when it did boil he was darned if he  hadn't left the blanky tea behind. We heard some good ones, up there, but we are old travellers .in many climes our selves.
                           A Reserve for Aboriginals.  
The only natives we saw were those employed on the stations, and those who have congregated round Alice Springs, attracted by the issue of rations, but we heard from several men recently returned, including one of the officials, that there were, plenty of blacks out west in the region of Mount Olga and Lake Amadeus,and the aboriginal reserve, fine healthy people, breeding rapidly. We saw none as far as 120 miles west. The general opinion up there, to which we heartily subscribed, was that the reserve was the only thing for the natives, and that an issue, of rations and clothing was simply their undoing, as they at once give up their natural life and hunting, and stay around, the settlements, and are soon reduced, to the wretched specimens seen about the Alice. The ration is nominally only for the aged and infirm, but the whole family comes in and attempts to live on one ration. Once they have any contact with the white man they are lost. The half-castes are mostly brought up by their black mothers, in "the Bungalow" at Alice Springs, and go to school for an hour and a half a day, where they eventually learn to read and write, under the kind care of Mrs. Standley, but owing to their upbringing they are more black than white in their instincts, and it is wrong to take them, and even more so, the full bloods, away from their natural environment in Central Australia. The   girls will go to any length to get back to the 'Bungalow' from Adelaide, and there is one easy way that many of them take. These children are as happy as they can be at the 'Bungalow,' laughing and playing all day without a care in the world. They love it as their home, and they know no better. There is no doubt that the half-castes, apart from the ethi- cal standpoint, are a great asset to the country. It would be almost impossible to get along without them. The women do all the domestic work, the climate is natural to them, and they never want to leave. The men do a big share of the stock and station work.
                                A Great Task.
 In 1888 Mr.(now Dr.). Charles Chewings wrote an excellent account of a large portion of Central Australia, under the title, "'The Sources of the Finke River." It was published, with a map by the author, by W. K. Thomas & Co., reprinted from The Adelaide Observer. It contains a fine tribute to Stuart, and an eloquent appeal on behalf of Central Australia, and was the result of 14 months' continuous travelling. From the mention of stations then existing the melancholy conclusion must be drawn that the country has not advanced during the 40 intervening years. Let us hope that Dr. Chewings, who has stuck out those 40 years in the country he championed, and has only recently retired to the city, the man whom the writer would place as the foremost authority on Central Australia will live to see his dreams of great future development come true. While civilization and the mode of living are as we know them, any idea of a large population in Central Australia is as fantastic as Stefansson's propaganda on the 'Friendly Arctic,' and the closer settlement of the arctic regions. Science has gradually extended the confines of the useful and habitable portions of the earth, and in time no doubt even the recognised deserts of the globe will be occupied, under conditions we cannot now foretell, evolved under the urge of the will to live. We need not wait for those distant times before utilizing Central Australia to its fullest for our present gain, and, more important still, studying its problems and advancing the researches into the questions of the adaptation to this unfriendly region of present methods of utilizing land, or on the other hand, of finding new uses for country so forbidding to the agriculturist of normal regions.
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889-1931) Saturday 5 May 1928 p13
At a level crossing at Wayville last night an elderly man was hit by a train and seriously Injured. When crossing over the level railway crossing at Park-terrace, Wayville, on Fri- day evening, Mr. R. Stott 69y., of Clark street, Wayville, was struck by the engine of a Glenelg train. He was thrown to the side of the permanent way, and the train, which had left South-terrace station at 5.46 was immediately brought to a stand- still. Mr. Stott was taken to the Adelaide Hospital unconscious and suffering from severe head injuries, including fracture of the skull. At a late hour his condition was regarded as critical. Mr. Stott, who recently retired from the Commonwealth Police Force as a sergeant, had been stationed at a number of northern country districts, including Alice Springs. With his family he has been living in Adelaide for only a short time. He had been out visiting friends yesterday, and was returning home when the accident happened.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929 Saturday 5 May 1928 p11
Ex-Police Commissioner Injured.
Wayville Crossing Accident.
Sgt. Robert Stott, lately Commissioner of Police for Central   Australia, was run over by a train   at the Wavville crossing on Friday evening and seriously injured.   Sgt. Stott was attempting to cross the footway over the South Terrace Glenelg Railway line, shortly before 6 o'clock, when he was struck by a train bound for Glenelg. He was hit by the engine and thrown to the side of the track. When picked up, Sgt. Stott was unconscious. He was taken in the police ambulance to the Adelaide Hospital, where his condition was found to be critical. He had sustained a fractured skull and other serious injuries.   Since his recent retirement from the service, Sgt. Stott has been residing at Clark street, Wayville. He is one of the best-known identities of Central Australia, where he is popularly known as 'the king of Australia.' He is noted for his wonderful knowledge and humane treatment of the aborigines. Sgt. Stott spent 10 years in the Roper River country when ' blacks were wild and the 'cattle-duffer' had free scope. A further period of 10 years was spent south of Borrolooloo, and when the Commonwealth took over the Northern Territory, he was transferred to the Federal service, with headquarters at Alice Springs. In the course, of an adventurous career, he has had several exciting chases after criminals, and one of his most noted escapades was his chase after the famous Flick, a half caste escapee from Queensland, who was charged with shooting with intent to murder. Flick led his pursuer over many miles of the Territory, and through many difficult situations. Among residents of the Territory he has an enviable, reputation for his fine work, and is particularly endeared to the aborigines. With Mrs. Stott he has always entertained travellers passing through Alice Springs, and nearly all the big official parties in Central Australia have been his guests. He has four sons and two daughters.
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889-1931) Monday 7 May 1928 p17
Sergent Robert Stott, of the Commonwealth Police Force, of Clark-street, Wayville, who was struck by a Glenelg train at Wayville on Friday night, died in the Adelaide Hospital early on Saturday morning without having regained consciousness. The accident occurred while he was walking over the railway level crossing at Park-terrace shortly before 6 o'clock Friday night, he was taken to the Adelaide Hospital suffering from severe head injuries, including a fractured skull. Sergeant Stott started his long leave just a fortnight ago prior to his retirement from the Commonwealth Police Force, and with his wife and some members of the family came to Adelaide, and had been living at Wayville.   Sergeant Stott, who was appointed Commissioner of Police for Central Australia about a year ago, was a native of Aberdeen, where he was born 1858, he became a member of the Lancashire constabulary. With four friends, one of whom  **Mr. Donald Nicholson, of North Adelaide had been in the Lancashire constabulary with him. Sergeant Stott came to Australia in 1882, when they landed in South Australia they possessed 4 pounds in cash between them. Three joined the South Australian Police Force. Mr. Nicholson retired recently as sub-inspector, and the third, Mr. McCrimmen, retired from the New South Wales force, to which he had transferred about 15 years ago. Sergeant Stott went to the Northern Territory about a year after he joined the South Australian police, and spent 46 years in that area, first with the State police, and then with the Commonwealth force, the headquarters of which for the past 11 years have been at Alice Springs, He had been stationed at Burrundie, Victoria River, and Borroloola, prior to his transfer to Alice Springs, and had under his charge approximately 100,000 square miles of country. His knowledgs of the Northern Territory was wide, and with the assistance of the four or five men under him, he kept himself well posted with events throughout the territory. He was a great horseman, and covered thousands of miles in the course of his duties. He was known to all station managers and hands, and respected wherever he went. On more than one occasion his life was in danger. An instance was when he set out to track a native accused of the murder of his sister and brother. After a long hunt he came suddenly across the native, who was in the act of hurling a spear at him. He arrested the native, who was escorted 1,200 miles from Alice Springs to Darwin by Sergeant Stott and a tracker. The sergeant kept himself well informed regarding the condition of the stock routes, and gave valuable details concerning the supply of water and fodder. Had he lived it is probable that he would have gone in for sheep farming. According to his son, Mr. Malcolm Stott of Wentworth, who motored to Adelaide on hearing of the accident to his father, Sergeant Stott proposed to visit Wentworth and purchase land. Before leaving Alice Springs for Adeaide, Sergeant Stott received the following telegram from Sergeant Stretton of Darwin:—"On the eve of your retirement, and on behalf of the members of the northern Australian police, I desire to express our high appreciation of the services rendered by you during 46 years service. Your devotion and attention to duty have been an inspiration to younger members of the force. You have faithfully and efficiently discharged important duties in connection with the development of the North and Central Australia."   Inspector M. J. Murphy, who is in charge of the Port Pirie district, and knew   Servant Stott for 23 years, said Sergeant: Stott was a man of wonderful character.   He had been highly -spoken of by various Governors who had accepted his hospitality while in the north. A widow, four sons, and two daughters survive. The children are Messrs. Malcolm Stott (Wentworth), Gordon Stott (Barkly Tableland), Cameron Stott (Adelaide), and Malvern Stott (Adelaide), and Misses Agnes Stott  (Port Augusta), and Mavis Stott (Adelaide).
 The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Saturday 29 September 1906 p7
Mr. D. Nicholson arrived in South Australia in December, 1881. In May of the following year he received an appointment in the Police Department, and shortly afterwards was transferred to the plain clothes department. In April, 1884, he was appointed to his present, position as clerk and receiver of permit fees in Metropolitan Police Office. In 1891, with the present Acting Commissioner of Police, the late Inspector Sullivan, ex-Inspector Hunt, and Mr. J. A. Roland (now stationed at Mount Gambier), Mr. Nicholson framed the rules and established the present police widows and orphans' fund, which has paid away over £8,000 since its inception. He was appointed a member of the board of management, and acted as secretary since the fund was established. Mr. Nicholson took a prominent part in restoring the police compensation fund, and as a mark of appreciation of his services the members of the Police Department presented him with a handsome gold chain, medal, and sovereign case, and also a purse of sovereigns. A keen interest is taken by Mr. Nicholson in all matters that tend to the welfare of the department and his fellow officers. He represents the Police Department on the Council of the Public Service Association. Recently, on the resignation of Mr. G. L. Reed as departmental secretary, Mr. Nicholson was unanimously elected his successor. During the last six months he has increased the roll of members of the association by 30, and declares, in his characteristic manner, 'There are more to follow."— Public Service Review.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Monday 7 May 1928  p8
STOTT.— On the 5th May, at Adelaide, Robert, beloved husband of Agnes Stott, and father of Malcolm, Gordon, Cameron, Agnes, and Mavis, aged 69 years. Result of accident.
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929) Monday 7 May 1928  p2
Funeral Notices
STOTT.— The Friends of, the late Mr. ROBERT STOTT, of Clarke street, Wayville, are respectfully informed that his Funeral will leave 212 Pulteney street, City, on MONDAY, at 2 p.m., for the West Terrace Cemetery (motor funeral).
 R. T. WALLMAN & SON, Undertakers, 212 Pul teney street, City; Goodwood road, Millswood. Phones Central 769, and Unley 26
Northern Standard (Darwin, NT : 1921-1955) Tuesday 8 May 1928 p5
Adelaide. Monday
Sergeant Robert Stott, of the Commonwealth Police Force, who was stationed in the Northern Territory for many years was fatally injured at Glenelg, where he was struck by a train at a level crossing. He was on long leave, preparatory to retirement, after serving 46 years in the police force, his headquarters for the last eleven years having   been at Alice Springs. It was his intention to spend the remainder of his days sheep farming. He left a widow and four sons and two daughters.
Northern Standard (Darwin, NT : 1921-1955) Tuesday 8 May 1928 p6
Robert Stott, Commissioner of Police, Central Australia, who commenced his final leave of absence about a fortnight ago, met with an accident at Wayville, South Australia, on Friday night and passed away on Saturday morning. Information, to hand is very vague at present but from private advices received by Sergeant Stretton it would appear as though the deceased was run down by a train near his home in Wayville, South Australia. De- ceased was 70 years of age and had 46 years service in the Northern Territory police force to his credit. It is reported that lately the deceased had been rather hard of hearing and possibly he did not hear the train coming.
THE REGISTER (Adelaide SA: 1901-1929) 9 May 1928  p5
THE LATE SGT. STOTT. Mr. McGilp's Tribute.
Mr. J. Neil McGilp (president of the Stockowners' Association) paid a tribute on Tuesday to the late Sgt. Stott. who was killed last week in a railwav accident at Wayville. Sgt. Stott was well known   not only at Alice Springs, but also through out the far north, Mr. McGilp remarked. "He was a valuable man for the country, and everybody— both black and white — spoke well of him. Men with whom he   had dealt in his official capacity said that they were very sorry to hear of his death. Three weeks ago I travelled down in the train from Copley with him, " Mr. Mc Gilp went on, "'and he discussed with me the possibilities of starting one of his sons on the land in Western Australia,   to which State, he was contemplating' a   visit. He had a wonderful knowledge of the aborigines, and it is a great pity that a man with his experience has been- lost to the State, especially in view of the agitation for the creation of an aboriginal State, which proposal he described to me as ridiculous." Sgt: Stott cited a case where he took a blackfellow from out near the Western Australian border up to Darwin. He thought the man was in jail. However, he had been allowed to ramble about, and he got away. He was   back in his old haunts almost as soon as the police who had taken him to Darwin. "We had a man working for us on Moolawatana some time ago, and he said he once went into Alice Springs and got on the spree. The result was that he was arrested and fined. Being unable to pay the fine, he was ordered imprisonment. What did Sgt. Stott do? He paid the fine and let him out. That man told me that he was sure Sgt. Stott had done so to help him, and so far as I know he has never had an intoxicating drink since.   I asked Sgt. Stott on the train if in his spare time he would write an account of his life, and he said he hoped to do so. How remarkably interesting it would have been!'
      "King of Australia."         Sir Henry Barwell tells a good story about the ill-fated police officer. On one of his visits to Alice Springs the half caste children at the famous bungalow were asked who was the King of England. An intelligent youngster supplied the correct answer." Who is the King of Australia?" was the next query. "Sgt. Stott" was the amusing reply.
John Neil McGilp OBE (30 October 1881-1963) was a South Australian pastoralist and amateur ornitholgistt. He was a foundation member of the Royal Australasian Ornitholgists Union (RAOU), and served as President of the organisation in 1938-1939. He was also the founding President of the Adelaide Ornitholgiss in 1960. A keen zoologist he presented the South Australian Museum with his comprehensive collection of some 2500 clutches of the eggs of Australian birds, also Chairman SA Land Board
The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929)  19 May 1928 p10
STOTT.— Mrs. STOTT and FAMILY desire to THANK all kind Friends for telegrams,   letters, cards, floral tributes, and personal expressions of sympathy in sad loss of their husband and father. Special thanks to Doctors and Nurses of the Adelaide Hospital for great kindness shown, also Mr. and, Mrs. Day and family. Mr. and Mrs. Harris. Mr. and Mrs. Nicholson, Mr. Swanson, Mrs. Cock, and the Rev.  Floyd Shannon.
MRS. R. STOTT and Family desire to Thank all kind Friends and Relatives for letters,   telegrams, and personal expressions of sympathy in their' recent sad bereavement; especially do they Thank Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Day and Familv Mr. and Mrs. D. Nicholson, Hon. T.and  Mr.D.  McCallum, Mr. and Mrs. Cocks, Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Harris, Mr. J. Swanson, and Rev. T Shannon.         
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889-1931) Monday 2 July 1928 p10
The Mercantile Trade Protection Association reports that probate has been granted in the following estate:—
Robert Stott, Wayville. £13,323.
Northern Standard (Darwin, NT : 1921-1955)  Friday 7 December 1928 p3
In the shooting of the natives and two lubras in Central Australia recently, one cannot but notice that the alleged trouble with natives in that part has only occurred since the departure of Late Commissioner R. Stott. There appeared to have been no trouble while he was in Control. If there is an inquiry, as there should be, it would be as well to inquire as to the management, etc., of the police force of Central Australia.
In North Australia there has been appointed a young officer, with 18 years service as Inspector, not to say that he is not able, but when it is remembered that late Inspector Waters and Ex-Inspector Burt, had over 30 years to their credit, as well as service in South Australia, before they were appointed as Inspectors, and there are officers in other States have years and years of service and are still not in rank as Inspectors,, surely this could be inquired into as well.
Then there was the recent gazetted notice of vacancies for two  sergeants. By the reading of this notice anyone could have applied, as well as young constables just left - one may as well say - school, with very few years service. The latter would have a greater chance of reading, spelling and arithmetic, etc., than the senior men.
The four senior constables could have been asked to sit for examination, and not young juniors included.
It is little matters like these that cause trouble. They certainly provoke it.   
Northern Standard (Darwin, NT : 1921-1955) Friday 8 March 1929 p4
"Rationalist" writes: - Without any desire to elaborate in condemnation of the shooting of the 17 aboriginals in Central Australia, my sympathy for the under-dog certainly impels me to strong condemnation of what to me appears to have been unnecessary slaughter. No one can suppose that, had the late Police Commissioner Stott been in charge of the Central Australia police at the time a single life would have been forfeited, and, possibly had the so-called protectors (?) of aborigines reported any food shortage, Frederick Brooks would not have died an unnatural death. Despite all official assurances to the contrary, the exceptionally dry season must have most undoubtedly produced a food shortage.  Portion of a lengthy poem, "The Old Squatter's Soliloquy," by J. K. McDougall, is not inappropriate:
“A lubra fled with her screaming child, through the line of pitiless rifles,
And I galloped away to kill the two for their lives to me were trifles;
As my horse strode after the dusky pair, like beasts, I could hear them panting,
But I shot them both as they fell fatigued, 'neath a light wood gently slanting.
We dug a trench in the golden sand, where the wattles skirted the river.
And we buried the slaughtered side by side and left them to rest forever;
And those were the blacks who had speared my sheep and maimed and destroyed my cattle,
And I reckon we slew them as fair that day as soldiers are slain in battle.
But in tortured dreams, when I fall asleep, I can hear the lubras weeping,
And spectral blacks through spectral woods are always towards me creeping;
And ever and ever they beckon me on to strange and mysterious places,
Where, in fancy, I see their comrades lie with the blood on their ghastly faces.
Like the miserly men who oppress their kind to make heavier still their purses,
I walk through life a detested thing, and a mark for a thousand curses;
And, although I feast on ambrosial fare and imbibe my winy nectars,
I'll be hunted down to my grave at last by horrible shapes and spectres.”
(*** see note below re Coniston massacre LJF)
Northern Standard (Darwin, NT : 1921-1955) Friday 2 July 1937 p9
Mr. Cameron Stott, son of the late Sgt. Stott, who was at Alice Springs for many years, is visiting Adelaide. He has Maryvale station, 75 miles from Alice Springs, on which he is breeding, cattle for the Adelaide market. He says that the foxes are increasing in numbers on his property. Mr. Stott had a cow with him that had the habit of kicking out wildly when being milked. It was brought in one afternoon, tied to a post by a lubra, and leg-roped. Her husband look on while, she milked. They had quárrelled during the day, and peace had not yet been restored. The cow managed to get a leg loose, and giving the woman a hefty kick, sent her sprawling. The abo, was amused. "That saves me kicking you" he said. (Mr. Gordon Stott, of the N.T. Police Force, at present stationed in Darwin, is a brother).
 Northern Standard (Darwin, NT : 1921-1955) Friday 1 March 1935 p9
In Central Australia many years ago, the late Inspector Robert Stott kept his subordinate constables busy at times at such arduous jobs as fencing, and well-sinking.
[*** Gordon Briscoe’s “Racial Folly” published Feb 2010 is available for electronic download online from the ANU Library E Press, subject to copyright conditions. Gordon was at St Francis House along with Charlie Perkins & others: in Chapter 1 he gives the aboriginal background to history & events mentioned above, particularly on the “Coniston Massacre” which is referred to in the extract from The Northern Standard, Friday 8 March 1929 p4, (the 17 mentioned are the number Sgt Murray actually  admitted killing, apparently the total number killed ove r several months was  4 or 5 times more, but official enquiries held nobody reponsible!)
 Briscoe’s 1st chapter includes references to Maryvale, Horseshoe Bend, Sgt Stott etc. LJF]
Racial Folly: A twentieth-century Aboriginal family
 Gordon Briscoe
Chapter 1
My family background, 1890 to 1941
My first encounter with my grandmother Kanaki was during the early 1950s. She would travel into Alice Springs every fortnight in the white station manager’s truck from Maryvale cattle station along with other family members to collect her pension money. Maryvale is a place Mardu people call Titjikala (meaning land of the eagle). The station truck would collect stores and generally stay one or two days in Alice Springs for weekend recreation of one kind or another. The bush camp was in an area west of the Rainbow-town cottages and south of Connellan’s airstrip, close to the MacDonnell Ranges. Every fortnight Kanaki would bring in bags of mingulpa, or native tobacco, from out-bush, for my mother. What sticks in my mind is that, during these visits, she would tell me stories about her past.
Kanaki told me that her father, a Marduntjara man was born at Kulkara (called Kulgera by Europeans) at a time when only a few Europeans had passed through the region. Kanaki was born some distance west of Kulkara at a water hole called, Puntu tjapa (or ground lizard) a native well north of Uluru; an important location on the southern part of the Gibson Desert. As a young girl in the early 1890s, my grandmother moved around the western deserts, then east to her father’s birthplace at Kulkara. This was about the time the Horn Expedition went through the region and she remembered Spencer’s trek through the Mardu lands to Uluru and Kata Tjuta. At the age of about four or five, she remembered the story of a small group of white men with a policeman called Cowle from Illamurta, on McMinn’s Creek, travelling through Mardu and Arrernte lands from Illamurta to Uluru, returning then to Glen Helen Gorge.[1] They made the trek, there and back, on horseback and went up through King’s Canyon, crossing Lake Amadeus, the southern part of the Gibson Desert, the Petermann Ranges and then returning to Hermannsburg through to Glen Helen Station.[2]
Kanaki grew up migrating around Mardu lands. In doing so, Kanaki participated in traditional ceremonies, foraged in favoured food collection grounds as well as engaging in meeting obligations made to others. Such commitments meant attending funerals of relatives as well as keeping meeting arrangements made with both close and distant relatives. She attended initiation ceremonies that included fulfilling obligations made many years before and acted as cultural custodian to younger brothers and sisters. In later years the small bush family travelled east to Lilla Creek (Lil means in Mardu, place where the water disappears and the suffix -la indicates the adverb), for ceremonial reasons and Kanaki stayed with relatives while her traditional husband (Wati Kunmanara, meaning dead man) went to ceremony at Ooraminna. At the time camels were the main form of trade-transportation and Lilla Creek, a tributary to the Finke River, became one of the most reliable watering depots. While at Lilla Creek Kanaki conceived my mother; her biological father was a white man named William (Billy) Briscoe.
It was around October of 1918 that my mother was born. Kanaki named her Eileen. They were inseparable as they travelled as far south to Aprawatatja and Puntu Tjapa, the birthplace of Kanaki. They travelled together with other family around the edges of the Western, Gibson and Great Victoria deserts for ceremonial reasons. This region stretched from the edge of the Simpson Desert to Lilla Creek, north to Illamurta, and as far south as Oodnadatta west to Aprawatatja, deep into Yunguntjatjara and Pitjantjatjara country. This is a huge area, and relates more to traditional relationships rather than land ownership in the European sense.
Billy Briscoe was a rouseabout and acted as a station manager on short term arrangements, he also worked for Afghan cameleers as a camel transport shepherd. Later in the 1920s, Briscoe moved north to manage Randal Stafford’s Coniston lease. Fredrick Brooks who was later speared by ‘Bullfrog’ Japanunga as ‘payback’ also worked for Stafford.[3] All these white men knew each other from their pastoral, dogging and transport activities around the western side of Lake Eyre.[4] Stafford and Brooks also knew Briscoe from his days camel shepherding from Oodnadatta to Stuart (now Alice Springs). The route from Oodnadatta to Lilla Creek is mainly dry mesa country with sand hills, saltpans, gibber, low growing desert flora and sparsely littered desert oak trees (in Mardu language kulka or karlka).
Mardu lands, likewise, are distinguished by weathered mesa, low lying hills of mulga scrub, kulka and sandy desert on the western side of the Finke River. This is land belonging to Marduntjara peoples. The country begins in an area called Larapinta, and goes south to Apatula and north to Illamurta, then across the southern part of the Gibson Desert westwards of the Petermann Ranges. It then goes west, taking in lands shared by Yunguntjatjara, and Pitjantjatjara peoples, including the Pintubi, Antekerintja and Arrernte peoples. Bush people were attracted to Lilla Creek by railway-building activities and the convenience of the many waterholes along the camel transport route. Lilla Creek was also on a ceremonial migratory route from Uluru to Ooraminna, and its permanent water made it a guaranteed camping site.
The itinerant European, Afghan and Chinese men – who were cameleers, rail workers, pastoral labourers, telegraph station workers and casual tourists – came with alcohol and often left leaving the women pregnant and their children destitute. Some Mardu women were very young and left their children in the camps. Others were either already burdened with too many children or had left to meet ceremonial obligations in distant communities. In many instances Aboriginal women were raped thus exacerbating the population explosion of unwanted children of mixed descent, most of whom were abandoned by their white fathers. The workers like the cameleers would leave the camps and return in 12 months only to see their mixed blood offspring as babies in the camps. Many Mardu people were killed by pastoralists and brutal marauding police. Some Aborigines were killed at will and others for spearing for food cattle and sheep that crossed their traditional hunting lands. In particular, the struggle was over water resources on the Aboriginal side and killing and disturbing stock on the European pastoralist’s side.[5] Equally Mardu peoples had to cope with European population influxes that meant conceding to the ravages of stock that took over waterholes dispersing native game. Moreover, Mardu people were forced into conceding their land through the influx of stock, as well as their culture because antiquarian collectors removed sacred objects from ceremonial grounds, mostly never to be returned. For me, the history of Aboriginal politics begins in central Australia, and, as many Aborigines will discover as they research their historic past, it appears that concessions were made in only one direction: a direction favouring colonists.
The cultural implications in this upheaval also meant that Mardu peoples were forced to leave their traditional lands that had become occupied by strange animals such as cattle and sheep; their waterholes were poisoned; bush women were being lured to telegraph stations; and bush men were dislodged from their ceremonial obligations and practices. The culture, seemingly unchanged for millennia, crumbled in mostly material ways because of the imposition of a new mode of production. Cultural practices that had continued for 1000 or more years were lost. Animal game, so much a staple diet of hunter-gatherers, was soon changed as sheep and cattle meat entered the Mardu diet. What began as a strange phenomenon ended up as everlasting death or perdition.
From our grandmothers, who lived through this brutal past, and from our mothers, who were born of it, we learned that most of the white men, who ventured into the Tywerentye, Western MacDonnell Ranges, and the river regions of Leratupa and Umbarntuwa, came alone, without wives. They came to build and operate the telegraph stations, the pastoral leases, the small stores and the railway stations. Slowly, between the 1890s and 1914, a few white women began migrating from South Australia and other colonies, and many learnt that their white husbands had black children whom they had abandoned to Aboriginal camps. As the half-caste population grew, the small number of white women residing in the service towns dotted along the arterial route from Oodnadatta to what is now Darwin began to panic. They panicked not only because they saw the presence of half-caste children in the same classrooms as disadvantaging their white children, but also because their white husbands had sired these same children.
The increasing presence of half-caste children aroused deep-seated fears and anxieties in the settler women. Their men were equally intent on denying the existence of these offspring. Each morning when these men washed their faces and looked out across the creeks in service towns, they would see their abandoned children in the Aboriginal fringe camps running around before their very eyes, barely existing. Meanwhile, the children themselves were forced to rely on these same belligerent, brutal and racist males, their fathers, for food, occasionally supplemented by bush food, although for the most part government rations were their only form of economic support.
Horseshoe Bend was a pastoral lease owned by consecutive white owners: the first owners were a British company, followed by a man named Breaden who purchased the lease from British pastoralists following the severe droughts of the 1890s. The next was Gus Elliott who came up from the Flinders Ranges to work in the burgeoning pastoral industry.[6] Both these latter white men had numerous Aboriginal female sexual partners who produced many children of mixed descent. In 1926, at the age of about seven, Eileen and Kanaki left Lilla Creek for Horseshoe Bend, where Eileen went to her first school lessons conducted by Gus Elliot’s European wife Ruby.
Gus Elliot fathered at least four children of mixed descent from Mardu and Arrernte women, like Lil. One of the children was Michael Gus Elliott who was raised at Hermannsburg, the other three Bert, Sonny and Jim had their names changed from Elliott to Swan when Elliott married the European woman, Ruby, whom he brought to the station.[7] Lil was a Marduntjara woman and sister to my grandmother Kanaki. My mother Eileen became a sister to Lil and her offspring who in turn became a sister to my mother’s two traditional brothers, Intji and Percy Summerfield, who were born in the early 1930s.[8] Traditional relationships were complex between the Swan and Briscoe families and were made more so as Europeans moved into the region.
Kanaki and Eileen both stayed at Horseshoe Bend before moving, in 1927, to New Crown Station. During that year an Aboriginal census was taken across what might now be called the settled pastoral areas of the Northern Territory.[9] Eileen was identified as a young person to be removed by Mounted Constable Sergeant Stott of the Northern Territory Police, and was about nine when taken. There were about ten other girls, of roughly the same age in this group, who were moved with my mother via Illamurta to the native ration depot at Alice Springs.
It is difficult to determine the exact ages of these girls because it took nearly 20 years to register all Aboriginal half-caste births, a long time after the Commonwealth’s takeover in 1910. Aboriginal and half-caste births were not routinely registered until the Territory began funding Native Institutions in the late 1920s and 1930s. Even then registration was never fully completed in the Territory, until well after the Second World War.
I discuss briefly the journey from Crown Point cattle property to Alice Springs following my mother’s removal by Sergeant Stott. The protector’s party travelled from Larapinta to Urapitchira, on to Hermannsburg to deliver the mail, then to Alice Springs, a distance of over 300 kilometres by camel. The country was as hazardous then as it is now with its mountainous terrain; trekking was arduous along the dry sandy river beds, and through rocky gullies and canyons. My mother’s journey by camel took about six days because during the trip up from Larapinta, the older Breaden girls from Itikawara, escaped and the progress of the camel caravan was halted for about 48 hours. What may have appeared then as a relatively uninteresting family group travelling to Alice Springs was in reality a sinister exercise of removing children from their blood relatives. For example, my mother’s traditional grandfather, Kanaki’s brother Paddy Stuart (father of Rupert Max Stuart) and his wife Nada were part of the contingent. Paddy was employed by Sergeant Stott as a ‘police tracker’ tracking cattle spearers. Like most employed Aboriginal people Paddy also tended the police stock of camels and horses, as well as goats, donkeys, pigs and cows. Paddy’s wife Nada went with him to cook for the whole group. It was often the case that girls escaped the camel trains for the bush and trackers were necessary to help police hunt down the ‘fleeing youths’.
In Alice Springs my mother became an inmate under the control of Sergeant Stott and Ida Standley. Standley’s role was that of matron, appointed by both police and other whites. Her teaching appointment was through the South Australian Education Department. The Aboriginal girls were taken to the police ration depot, also called ‘The Bungalow’ and the surname Briscoe was added soon after arriving. Because my mother’s first language was Marduntjara she was unable to say who her father was. However, other older girls informed the Matron that her father’s name was Billy Briscoe. So after 1928 Eileen became Eileen Briscoe in all the institutional records. Ida Standley adopted the custom that if children were unable to either remember or answer questions put by her, the children were simply named after the place from which they were removed if no other information was available. Most children were given European names; for example, those who came from Tennant Creek were given the name Tennant. Those who came from either the Plenty or the Palmer River were registered as Plenty or Palmer.
At first my mother was confined in a collection of tin sheds located at the rear of the Stuart Arms Hotel in Todd Street. After about two years older males and females, including my mother, were moved 40 kilometres west to Jay Creek, to a second ‘Bungalow’. The sleeping quarters were not rooms but a large concrete slab covered with a second hand galvanised iron roof. Throughout the period my mother was there this structure was without walls: rain, hail or shine.
The Native Institutions were originally created because of what was perceived as the growing ‘half-caste problem’. The population explosion was mainly the result of enforced and sometimes casual sexual relationships between European, Asian and Afghan men and Aboriginal women of all ages. Many of these transport camps created around freshwater were without governance and the children and women suffered throughout their lives as a result of living in places where there was no ‘rule of law’. Specific events such as the coming of pastoralists into Central Australia and the railway from Oodnadatta during the period 1880-1929, greatly exacerbated the problem. Some Afghan cameleers did care for their children, by giving money to their mothers or older siblings. To meet their responsibilities some Afghan fathers took their partners and children to the harem-like camps at Marree. The exploding half-caste population, in turn, put pressure on camel depots like Lilla Creek, telegraph stations like Charlotte Waters and rail depots such as Rumbalara, as well as the fringe camps on route to Alice Springs.
Whatever the morally legal and illegal practices of those responsible, Ida Standley moved the children from Mbartuwarintja, Alice Springs to Iwaputarka (Jay Creek), in December of 1929. Illnesses caused by exposure and sedentary living in filth and squalor followed the children to Jay Creek. This shameful situation was highlighted by the Reverend W Morley of the Association for the Protection of Native Races of Australia and Polynesia who wrote to the Minister for Home Affairs Arthur Blakeley about the conditions that the half-caste children lived under. Morley wrote in November 1929 of
The … bad conditions … at the temporary hostel for Half-caste children at [Jay Creek]’. Ida Standley had left for Sydney three months earlier and as: [d]isgraceful as are the conditions under which Mr and Mrs Thorne have had to exist [nothing compares] with the conditions under which the fifty or so Half-caste children have to exist.[10]
Morley’s report was written in such a way that he tried to articulate the pain and suffering of the children. It must be remembered, however, that Morley’s report captured only the moral and political aspects of what he observed. For a man of religion like Morley, his interests were admirable but he and the Thornes were there to do the bidding of the Protestant Church. Nevertheless, Morley was interested in conveying the Thornes’ most important role, which was to keep the children within the boundaries of the institution. Morley believed the Thornes were doing Christian acts, but in keeping with the Department of Native Affairs’ edicts. It behoves the historian, however, to put himself in the skins of those children as well as to glean Morley’s unspoken feelings.
How did these children cope with the deplorable situation in which they found themselves? There were 48 boys and girls ranging in age from one to 16 years, sleeping in the one room, 24 by 50 feet. To verbalise the answer to this question was impossible for my mother beyond saying: ‘that it was a terrible place’. Similarly, many of the older children who had to cope with these conditions were unable to articulate their pain and suffering in later life. The children were prevented from speaking their own languages and were forced to learn English. This meant that most of the younger girls could only communicate by speaking ‘pidgin’ while the older ones spoke in broken English.
The children had no power at all, apart from Morley’s and the press’s interest, to resist what was happening to them. Morley pointed to the appalling conditions by reporting that the children slept on burnt lime floors, in buildings of rough wooden frames with dilapidated sheets of corrugated iron for the roof, and suffered exposure at night. Children were issued with only two blankets each, meaning they slept on one while using the other as cover. The food was extremely poor so the children killed wild game and stored it close to the camp, out of sight of staff. Similarly, while hunting for wood they were able to collect wild honey and yams to supplement their meagre diets. After dark two hurricane lamps were the only lighting provided and as such the girls’ security was threatened by desperate men. During the day school lessons were equally chaotic with no text books or school supplies. This farrago of shifting the children so far out of town in such poor circumstances was premised on the need to protect half-caste girls from marauding rail and pastoral workers.[11]
The children’s plight was exacerbated by the loss of their association with relatives; this alienation in turn affected the children’s capacity even more to manage their everyday lives. The children’s isolation from their relatives was made worse because relatives were forbidden by law to determine what could or would happen to their children – the basic right that their European overlords enjoyed. Some reservations had been exercised by Dr Cecil Cook[12] over what Davies and Morley had written to Minister Blakeley. Nevertheless he acted positively and instead of being over critical of these two missionaries he tended to use them as a way of finding out the children’s health conditions while at the same time gaining everyone’s confidence. Minister Blakeley ordered Cook to carry out a medical survey in 1928 at the Bungalow hovel operated by Ida Standley. After the children had been at the Jay for a few years, Davies and Morley complained once more, which prompted Cook to carry out an additional medical survey around these new claims of mistreatment. In this new report Cook recorded that my mother Eileen Briscoe was listed as being treated for an unnamed complaint. I suspect that most of the children suffered from either mild or more serious sexually transmitted infections. Moreover, the survey noted a total of 48 children, 26 girls and 22 boys.
Cook reported on the children’s health after reading Davies’s article and Morley’s letter of complaint, and produced a still more damning health report than either of them.[13]Cook described to the Minister in a more technical way what Davies and Morley had written, yet at the same time, covered up the missionaries’ criticisms by claiming that they had made ‘careless statements’.[14] Cook was mindful of the poor conditions under which the children lived and supported the government’s intention to renovate the old telegraph station as a half-caste institution. In 1933, Eileen along with the other inmates was moved to the renovated ‘Old Telegraph Station’, the third of the Bungalows. This Bungalow in Alice Springs acted as a holding place for babies and new arrivals, while the Jay Creek institution was mainly for older boys, pregnant women and pubescent girls.
In spite of the moral outrage by the Church and institutions like the press, the white administration held the upper hand everywhere along the arterial route from Port Augusta to Darwin. It erected a system of control to benefit and reward itself socially, politically and financially. The white population was only a fraction of the combined Aboriginal and part-Aboriginal populations, yet they dominated daily lives and built racial barriers. What this meant was that the children’s culture was changed to that of a new European set of beliefs, practices and behaviour by institutional control and education. The ‘caste system’ was more damaging because the children were segregated from their relatives and forced only to be with their teachers. This caste system left behind by the British was easily adapted and intensified by European civil society established in ‘the centre’. This brutal and inhuman class structure had worked in all the colonies since first contact. Europeans held the positions of control, they managed the food, they held the leased lands and they also controlled the water, and regulated the transport system through Afghans and Asians. Finally, these colonists worked closely with the police and co-operated with them to remove as many of the half-caste children as possible thus exonerating themselves from crimes against the laws of the land and the inhumanity they had heaped upon Aboriginal women and children, for the term of their lives. Many Aboriginal women tried desperately to hide or rub charcoal on their babies to make them darker but even this failed to save many from removal.
Thus the design of this system excommunicated half-castes, quarter-castes, quadroons and lastly, ‘near-whites’. But what was the origin of this monstrous conspiracy? At Federation in 1901 the Commonwealth government was able to legally by-pass the federal constitutional constraints regarding Aborigines; putting all power over them in the hands of the Northern Territory administration.[15] Special laws were created to allow the Northern Territory to be directly governed by the Governor General. This method of governance meant that delegated responsibilities allowed the Northern Territory administrator to create ‘ordinances for wards’. All people governed under these Ordinances (whether black, near-white or white) could be regarded as wards, if declared as such. Legislators were then able to omit the word ‘Aborigines’ enabling the Commonwealth to legally manage the daily lives of ‘wards’.
The application of the ‘removal policy’ centred on the three Bungalows, as everyone called them. The bungalow system, essentially holding-institutions, allowed white pastoralists and town people across the Northern Territory to either illegally remove or detain Aborigines as they thought fit. By 1918, the Ordinance was renewed, redefining Aborigines and giving,
the Chief Protector [powers] to undertake the care, custody or control of any Aboriginal or half-caste, if in his opinion, it [was] necessary or desirable in the interests of the Aboriginal or half-caste for him to do so.[16]
In reality the term ‘in the interest of the Aboriginal or half-caste’ meant removing children whom the state preferred to refer to as ‘unwanted’. What made it easier for white people in the Northern Territory to carry this policy to its ultimate conclusion was that it was administratively divided into two regions, north and south. After 1918 administrators in collaboration with leaseholders began incarcerating half-castes at greater distances from towns. White people have always argued they acted out of moral imperative. To me it was blatant barbarianism.
By April of 1932, as I explained earlier, the Commonwealth Treasury approved the renovations of the Old Telegraph Station for use as a half-caste institution.[17] The changes were soon completed and the children were moved once more to the renovated ‘Native Institution’. More changes followed by June of the same year as the Thornes were replaced by other managers. The storm of criticism continued. The strategy of changing the children’s culture, ethics, thinking and daily behaviour did not totally pass without notice and comment. Aborigines across Australia suffered from these kinds of colonial policies and as control fell into the hands of Australian rather than British administrators, the practice continued with greater insensitivities. Church bodies took over without legal sanction and without transparent government control. The total absence of any form of reporting system as well as the complete lack of political action in civil society, revealed the nation-wide indifference. In the 1920s and 1930s Ernestine Hill, a white journalist and adventurer, told readers across Australia that libertarianism had become an ‘art form’ in the hands of ‘white male trash’ imperialising the Northern Territory under Commonwealth control.[18]
Some of these white people were related by blood to me but I reluctantly discuss my European biological forbears because they, for the most part, rejected and despised Aborigines. I never knew until much later in my life that my father was a white man named Ron Price. Price was the son of a white telegraph station manager and a female pastoralist. The Northern Territory press reported his death in early November 1938, a few days before I was born. As a young person I did sometimes see Alf Price, Ron’s brother, who lived with an Aboriginal woman named Annie. Much later Annie’s son Desmond and I were at St Francis House together. Yet at the time I never really appreciated, or knew, just how close a relative Desmond was to me. It was to be many years later that I learnt that he was my first blood cousin! However, I have been able to learn something of the pasts of the Price family. Billy Briscoe and Ron Price’s mother Isabella were both involved in the events surrounding the Coniston massacre. I feel obliged to discuss the event and the parts they played in this racial conflict after setting the scene of what was happening on the labour front.
At this time my mother was at the half-caste institution under Ida Standley’s care. By now the workings of the Aboriginal Ordinance1918 (Cth) was in full flight as pastoral capitalism expanded. The most noticeable change was that there was a shift of control from the police and ‘civil society’, to that of the Northern Territory administration and the Commonwealth. The ‘Resident Administrator’ coordinated policy and political activity although Chief Protector Cook had direct every-day control. Interest from Canberra came in the form of more visits from federal ministers mainly due to ultimate Commonwealth financial control.[19] Capitalism by this time was developing at full pace even though profits were low and labour force skills were in short supply: colonial subsidies were used to maintain European white society by providing a cheap untrained black labour workforce. The idea of training half-caste labour was becoming more prevalent.
To remind the reader, land was still totally controlled by the Commonwealth from 1911 until after the Second World War and during this time small pastoralists were prevented from expanding their leaseholds. However, pastoralists at the same time had numbers of Aborigines living on their leases for which they were supposed to provide rations collected from the Police Protector. The pastoralists believed they owned the land, not just leased it, and were angered at Aborigines hunting and moving through the properties. Because of their deep-seated racism white lease-holders saw Aborigines in an ambivalent way, on the one hand, they saw them as ‘the devil incarnate’ while on the other hand, they saw them as useful free labour; particularly the young women. European attitudes at the time were that if half-castes could be trained by the Commonwealth, then limited payment in kind was acceptable to European employers. Aborigines suffered because they were without leadership or political support; sometimes only having a sympathetic Church and a cynical press.
The watershed came about largely as a result of the political turmoil created by the state-based daily press reporting rumours of killings of Aborigines by white people. The white population felt they had the right to plunder lands, force Aborigines to cease using their own languages and prevent them from crossing their leased property, feeding off their stock and spooking their cattle at water-holes. This coercive action by pastoralists was no more than continuing colonial plunder and in turn caused increasing Aboriginal poverty. The Rumbalara railhead with its European, Afghan and Asian workforce was moving ever closer to Alice Springs and as such was an increasing sexual threat to young Aboriginal women. This was one problem and others were cattle spearing and conflict over Aborigines crossing pastoral leases and these two events came together at the Coniston lease that was temporarily managed by Billy Briscoe.
So I come to the Coniston massacre in which all sides of my family were involved. The Board of Inquiry into the 1928 Coniston massacre began in late 1929 and my European relatives gave evidence. What I now know is that on the 7 August 1928, as the half-caste children were about to be relocated some distance from Alice Springs, a man called Frederick Brooks, a dingo trapper, was speared and buried in a rabbit warren at a water hole 22 kilometres west of the Coniston Station homestead.[20] In 1928 Brooks had asked Stafford if he could trap dingoes on the Coniston Station lease, some 250 kilometres from Alice Springs; Stafford agreed. At the time Brooks was cohabiting with a Warlpiri woman. Stafford warned Brooks not to disrespect the bush women and their lore because ‘Myalls’[21] to the west had threatened the Aboriginal woman, Alice, for breaking kin rules.[22] Nevertheless, Brooks went to Coniston Station to kill dingos and asked a Walpiri man, Bullfrog Japanunga, if his wife Marungardi could wash his clothes in exchange for tobacco and food.[23] Brooks attempted to keep Marungardi at the station and when she returned to Japanunga without food or tobacco he attacked Brooks and killed him at what is now known as Brooks’ soak. That was the Aboriginal account of events, but Stafford, like many white people in the region, believed Brooks died for nothing and that the subsequent murder of many Aborigines, 17 by the conservative official count, was justified.
In retribution a party of men, including my mother’s white father Billy Briscoe, formed a punitive expedition to the site of the killing. At the time Billy Briscoe was also employed by Randall Stafford at Coniston Station lease and knew Brooks from when they both worked in the Lake Eyre region. It was not long after the retribution killings that news came to my mother, at Iwaputarka, that Billy Briscoe was implicated in Mounted Constable Murray’s punitive raiding party. These events were significant to the children in the half-caste institution, including my mother as I learned much later, because many Warlpiri were ‘mown down summarily’ by members of the white and Aboriginal punitive party. Many of the half-caste children were direct blood relatives to those Aborigines killed and many were also blood relatives to the killers.
Documentation shows that Murray proceeded to Coniston Station on 12 August 1928. On 16 August he gathered up an illegal posse comprised of Aboriginal stockman Alick Wilson together with Randall Stafford, John Saxby, Billy Briscoe, three Aboriginal trackers, Paddy, Major and Dodger, together with two prisoners Padigay and Woolingar, who had agreed to show Murray where the nearby Aboriginal bush camp was.[24] Nearing five o’clock in the afternoon the posse came across a party of 23 Aborigines and in true military style Murray moved into the camp ordering them to disarm. Other members testified to the Board that the Aboriginal men and women had no notion of what was being said. Murray attacked them and in what followed: ‘four Warlpiri were killed outright, including one woman, and another was wounded and died within four hours, bringing the total killed then to five’.[25]
On 19 August Stafford stayed at the station and the posse went north towards the Tanami where a party of six young warriors were engaged and asked to disarm. Murray claims he was peppered with sticks and boomerangs to within an inch of his life, and he retaliated with his revolver, killing three men and wounding three others. By 22 August the posse had returned to Coniston where two more Warlpiri were killed, together with a young boy who was running away. On 30 August Murray again returned to Coniston where Wooligar died of wounds received around 12 August. The massacre extended into the Tanami desert when Bill Morton, a leaseholder at Broadmeadow Station, shot and killed more Warlpiri.
Briscoe claimed to be innocent of shooting anyone; nevertheless, the Aboriginal perspective has always been that Briscoe was guilty by implication. Stafford admitted shooting someone escaping the scene and discovering that one of the dead persons was a young woman. On 7 September Murray was sent to gather evidence following Morton’s report to the Board.[26] The Darwin papers reported in January 1929 that 17 Aborigines had been killed over a period of time during the massacre. Of these, 15 were men and two were women. By May of the same year, the Sydney Morning Herald had put the total figure at 33.[27] Supporters, missionaries, protectors and researchers claimed the total deaths could be as high as possibly 300 Walpari people. This number was further substantiated by comments from the Australian Board of Mission.[28]
The Department of Home Affairs conceded that the killing of 17 Aborigines had occurred. The Report criticised Murray for failing to follow proper reporting procedures laid down by the department when reporting events to the minister. Cawood’s report was equally spurious because it meant that ‘Murray was on the spot, and could have been interrogated by the Government Resident [but was not]’. Similarly it was alleged that Cawood had corrupted the whole process and should have been gaoled for doing so. In addition, the Secretary’s memo states that:
The reports by Constable Murray in regards to the shooting of a native by Tilmouth and in regard to the shooting of aboriginals by the police in connection with the arrest of those implicated in the attack on Morton were also merely forwarded for the Minister’s information and without any comment by the Government Resident.[29]
What this implies is that Europeans applied whatever powers were necessary to protect their own interests, whether corrupt or not. It is evident that in many respects the Commonwealth Board of Enquiry was farcical because Cawood was not only the Central Australian Government Resident and a Police Commissioner Board member but also the superior officer of Mounted Constable Murray. In addition, neither followed due process because the pastoral labourers and trackers were never sworn in as ‘Special Constables’ by Murray.[30] Cawood too, openly expressed his prejudice against Aborigines. The Board was stacked against a fair hearing by the appointment of too many police representatives such as a Queensland police magistrate as chairperson, and a South Australian police Inspector, ensuring a predetermined outcome. Both these men were bound to find in favour of Murray. Wilson and O’Brien argued that a further set of complications affected the case: ‘conflicts over land use, the effects of drought and [as already mentioned] the demise of Frederick Brooks’.[31]
Other irregularities and false accusations against Aborigines can be read in the transcripts of the inquiry.[32] It is hard to believe the level of hatred against Aborigines and half-castes by the Europeans. Impressions and some evidence of 30 witnesses were taken, but here I am only interested in the submissions by Mounted Constable WG Murray, Randall Stafford, Billy Briscoe and Isabella Violet Price. And, according to Stafford, Murray possessed a character that oozed with ‘bad faith’ towards Aborigines.[33] Murray was normally attached to the Alice Springs police station but at the time of Brooks’ death in August 1928 was in charge of the Barrow Creek police station. Murray was an unreliable witness, who lied to Inspector Giles. In his report he said that he had ‘no police experience’ prior to joining the Central Australian Police, and had ‘not undergone any course of instruction in Police duties’. In the same paragraph he stated that ‘Sergeant Stretton gave him instruction in the art of making a police report. He was very exact and wanted everything explained’.[34]
In addition to police instruction, Murray’s real skills were in applying military force, as Wilson and O’Brien attested. They wrote that:
Murray was a military man, a Light Horse veteran of World War I who had also served over seven years in the Victorian Mounted Rifles militia prior to 1914 [Murray served in] the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force with B Squadron of the 4th Light Horse on 20 May 1915 [He landed] at Gallipoli on 24 May 1915 [And he was wounded] on the Western Front … at Messines Ridge on 7 June 1917.[35]
In the same way Cawood used Isabella Price’s submission to denigrate the Aboriginal perspective of the event. Mrs Isabella Violet Price (nee Hesketh) was born in England on 25 April 1877. She was the widow of Frederick Price (1867-1924) who was at one time a manager of the Alice Springs Telegraph Station.[36] On 7 January 1929 she gave evidence to the board of inquiry on the Coniston massacre. The reason I highlight Isabella Price’s submission is that her younger son Ronald Price was my biological father. Although I explain about my mother’s relationship with Ron Price in more detail later, I find it hard to understand why Isabella Price was asked to give a statement to the Board of Enquiry. Coniston Station was 250 kilometres north-west of the Stuart highway, whereas Woolla Downs, Isabella’s property, was in the opposite direction approximately 240 kilometres east, in the Sandover, or Utopia, region. Woolla Downs was a long way from Coniston Station and I believe none of what she said had any bearing on the events covered by the inquiry. The only possible conclusion that can be drawn is that Cawood wanted to influence the other two members of the Board in demonstrating how Aboriginal employees, as well as bush people, frightened whites on the periphery of pastoral expansion. What is more, all that Price could say was that she was growing more afraid of both the Aborigines who worked for her and of those passing through her lease. As she said ‘we are always having trouble with them about losing the goats and [bush people] being cheeky’.[37]
According to her transcript, Isabella Price had never shot or killed any Aborigines. However, she did recount times when her daughter Pearl[38] shot at both her Aboriginal shepherds and people in the camp a kilometre away. She added that: ‘the blacks [meaning bush people] never came to my house because we keep them at a distance’. What was damning about the statements was that if the Price family used fire-arms to control the Aborigines who worked for them they were hardly the kind of people who would reveal if they shot bush people or not.
Presumably bush people passed through the area, as they did in hunting parties, and trekked to places as far away as Walmatjirri country, over the Western Australian border. From there they would either travel to Warlpiri country in the opposite direction for fire ceremonies or go further on to Urapuntja.[39] Based on Isabella Price’s statement it would appear that it was Aborigines who were condemned rather than the marauding police party. It is not difficult, therefore, to understand why Price was asked to make a submission as a way of demonising Aborigines.
The terror of the Coniston killings resonated throughout Alice Springs, as well as the distant Native Institution at Jay Creek. Nor did the events and follow-up inquiry escape the notice of Reverend Davies of the Anglican Church, a representative on the Australian Board of Missions. My mother remembered the European women in town in their long black dresses asking questions about Wati Kudaitja nga wankapie? — which in Mardu to the young half-caste girls meant talking about Aboriginal men in ceremonial killings — and the recent massacre. The terror of the Coniston killings permeated the temporary half-caste institution at Jay Creek, and I distinctly remember my mother telling me that all the children were terrified of the kuthi (for the Arrernte inmates) or kurdaitja (for the Arrabuna and Marduntjara inmates)[40] coming in the night to ‘sing’ them.[41] At night the children were terrified and, by day, fell into the misery of losing their inheritance because of the influx of the European population into the Alice Springs region.[42]
The Coniston massacre was more extensive, in area and in numbers, than has ever been acknowledged in the 150 or so years of colonial occupation. It may be argued that Aborigines initiated many killings, but the Aborigines suffered more. Normally Aborigines exacted those killings due to some form of agreement that had been broken. Coniston was such a situation treated with contempt by Fred Brooks, a perspective never accepted by Australian courts. Following this incident greater legal controls were put in place controlling the movement not just of half-castes but bush people. Greater protection from the conflicts was given to colonists, but never to Aborigines no matter whether they were of full- or mixed descent. These aspects of race policies created to control people of full- and mixed descent are important in understanding the circumstances into which my mother was raised and into which I was born in November 1938.
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