An account of the manners and customs of the Aborigines, by Edward John Eyre

Chapter VIII.


Some attempts have been made in nearly all the British Settlements of Australia to improve the condition of the aboriginal population; the results have, however, in few cases, met the expectations of the promoters of the various benevolent schemes that have been entered upon for the object; nor have the efforts hitherto made succeeded in arresting that fatal and melancholy effect which contact with civilization seems ever to produce upon a savage people. It has already been stated, that in all the colonies we have hitherto established upon the continent, the Aborigines are gradually decreasing in number, or have already disappeared in proportion to the time their country has been occupied by Europeans, or to the number of settlers who have been located upon it.

Of the blighting and exterminating effects produced upon simple and untutored races, by the advance of civilization upon them, we have many and painful proofs. History records innumerable instances of nations who were once numerous and powerful, decaying and disappearing before this fatal and inexplicable influence; history WILL record, I fear, similar results for the many nations who are now struggling; alas, how vainly, against this desolating cause. Year by year, the melancholy and appalling truth is only the more apparent, and as each new instance multiplies upon us, it becomes too fatally confirmed, until at last we are almost, in spite of ourselves, forced to the conviction, that the first appearance of the white men in any new country, sounds the funeral knell of the children of the soil. In Africa, in the country of the Bushmen, Mr. Moffat says —

“I have traversed those regions, in which, according to the testimony of the farmers, thousands once dwelt, drinking at their own fountains, and killing their own game; but now, alas, scarcely is a family to be seen! It is impossible to look over those now uninhabited plains and mountain glens without feeling the deepest melancholy, whilst the winds moaning in the vale seem to echo back the sound, ‘Where are they?’”

Another author, with reference to the Cape Colony, remarks —

“The number of natives, estimated at the time of the discovery at about 200,000, are stated to have been reduced, or cut off, to the present population of about 32,000, by a continual system of oppression, which once begun, never slackened.”

Catlin gives a feeling and melancholy account of the decrease of the North American Indians, * and similar records might be adduced of the sad fate of almost every uncivilized people, whose country has been colonized by Europeans. In Sydney, which is the longest established of all our possessions in New Holland, it is believed that not a single native of the original tribes belonging to Port Jackson is now left alive. [Note 100.] Advancing from thence towards the interior a miserable family or two may be met with, then a few detached groups of half-starved wretches, dependant upon what they can procure by begging for their daily sustenance. Still further, the scattered and diseased remnants [Note 101.], of once powerful, but now decayed tribes are seen interspersed throughout the country, until at last upon arriving at the more remote regions, where the blighting and annihilating effects of colonization have not yet overtaken them, tribes are yet found flourishing in their natural state, free from that misery and diminution which its presence always brings upon them.

[Note 99: Vide Catlin’s American Indians, vol. i. p. 4 and 5, and vol. ii. p. 238.]

[Note 100: “In the first year of the settlement of New South Wales, 1788, Governor Phillip caused the amount of the population of Port Jackson to be ascertained, by every cove in it being visited by different inspectors at the same time. The number of natives found in this single harbour was 130, and they had 67 boats. At the same time it was known that many were in the woods making new canoes. From this and other data, Governor Phillip estimated the population between Botany Bay and Broken Bay inclusive, at 1500.”— Aboriginal Protection Society’s Report, May 1839, p. 13.

In Report of the same Society for July 1839, page 71, Mr. Threlkeld says —”Of one large tribe in the interior four years ago there were 164 persons — there are now only three individuals alive!!”]

[Note 101: “The whole eastern country, once thickly peopled, may now be said to be entirely abandoned to the whites, with the exception of some scattered families in one part, and of a few straggling individuals in another; and these once so high spirited, so jealous of their independence and liberty, now treated with contempt and ridicule even by the lowest of the Europeans; degraded, subdued, confused, awkward, and distrustful, ill concealing emotions of anger, scorn, and revenge — emaciated and covered with filthy rags; — these native lords of the soil, more like spectres of the past than living men, are dragging on a melancholy existence to a yet more melancholy doom.”— STRZELECHI’S N. S. WALES, p.350.]

It is here that the native should be seen to be appreciated, in his native wilds, where he alone is lord of all around him. To those who have thus come into communication with the Aborigines, and have witnessed the fearless courage and proud demeanour which a life of independence and freedom always inspires, it cannot but be a matter of deep regret to see them gradually dwindling away and disappearing before the presence of Europeans. As the ravages of a flood destroy the country through which it takes its course, and which its deposit ought only to have fertilized, [Note 102.] so the native, who ought to be improved by a contact with Europeans, is overwhelmed and swept away by their approach. In Van Diemen’s Land the same result has been produced as at Sydney, but in a more extended and exterminating manner.[Note 103.] There, instead of a few districts, the whole island is depopulated of its original inhabitants, and only thirty or forty individuals, the banished remnant of a once numerous people, are now existing as exiles at Flinders Island, to tell the tale of their expatriation. [Note 104.] In Western Australia the same process is gradually but certainly going on among the tribes most in contact with the Europeans. In South Australia it is the same; and short as is the time that this province has been occupied as a British Colony, the results upon the Aborigines are but too apparent in their diminished numbers, in the great disproportion that has been produced between the sexes, and in the large preponderance of deaths over births. A miserably diseased condition, and the almost total absence of children, are immediate consequences of this contact with Europeans. The increase or diminution of the tribes can only be ascertained exactly in the different districts, by their being regularly mustered, and lists kept of the numbers and proportion of the sexes, births, deaths, etc.

[Note 102: “Hard indeed is the fate of the children of the soil, and one of the darkest enigmas of life lies in the degradation and decay wrought by the very civilization which should succour, teach, and improve.”— ATHENAEUM.]

[Note 103: “That the Aboriginal Tasmanian was naturally mild and inoffensive in disposition, appears to be beyond doubt. A worm, however, will turn, and the atrocities which were perpetrated against these unoffending creatures may well palliate the indiscriminate, though heart-rending slaughter they entailed. Such was the character of the Tasmanian native before roused by oppression, and ere a continued and systematic hostility had arisen between the races — ere ‘their hand was against every man, and every man’s hand against them.’”— MARTYN’S COLONIAL MAGAZINE, May, 1840.]

[Note 104: “At the epoch of their deportation, in 1835, the number of the natives amounted to 210. Visited by me in 1842, that is, after the interval of seven years, they mustered only fifty-four individuals.”— STRZELECKI’S NEW SOUTH WALES, p. 352

Respecting the Aborigines of Van Diemen’s Land, who were thus forcibly removed, Mr. Chief Protector Robinson (who removed them) observes (Parliamentary Report, p. 198), “When the natives were all assembled at Flinders Island, in 1835, I took charge of them, and have continued to do so ever since. I did not find them retaining that ferocious character which they displayed in their own country; they shewed no hostility, nor even hostile recollection towards the whites. Unquestionably these natives assembled on the island were the same who had been engaged in the outrages I have spoken of; many of them, before they were removed, pointed out to me the spots where murders and other acts of violence had been committed; they made no secret of acknowledging their participation in such acts, and only considered them a just retaliation for wrongs done to them or their progenitors. On removal to the island they appeared to forget all these facts; they could not of course fail to remember them, but they never recurred to them.”]

In April, 1843, or only six and a half years after South Australia had first been occupied, the Protector of the Aborigines in Adelaide ascertained that the tribes, properly belonging to that neighbourhood, consisted of 150 individuals, in the following proportions, namely, 70 men, 39 women, and 41 children. Now, at the Murray, among a large number of natives who, until 1842, were comparatively isolated from Europeans, and among whom are frequently many different tribes, I found by an accurate muster every month at Moorunde for a period of three years, that the women, on an average, were equally numerous with the men, from which I infer that such is usually the case in their original and natural state. Taking this for granted, and comparing it with the proportions of the Adelaide tribe, as given above, we shall find that in six years and a half the females had diminished from an equality with the males, to from 70 to 80 per cent. less, and of course the tribe must have sustained also a corresponding diminution with respect to children.

[Note 105: This result seems to be generally borne out by the few accurate returns that have hitherto been made on the subject. In Mr. Protector Parker’s report for his district, to the north-west of Port Phillip (for January, 1843), that gentleman gives a census of 375 male natives, and 295 female, which gives an excess of about 26 per cent. of males over females. In 1834 Mr. Commissioner Lambie gives a census, for the district of Manero, of 416 males and 321 females, or an excess of the former over the latter of nearly 45 per cent. It would appear that the disproportion of the sexes increases in a ratio corresponding to the length of time a district has been occupied by settlers and their stock, and to the density of the European population residing in it. Official returns for four divisions of the Colony of New South Wales, give a decrease of the proportion of females to males of fifteen per cent. in two years. Vide Aborigines Protection Society Report, July, 1839, p. 69. In the same Report, p. 70, Mr. Threlkeld states, that the Official Report for one district gives only two women to 28 men, two boys, and no girls.]

Again, in 1844, the Protector ascertained from the records he had kept that, in the same tribe, there were, in four years, twenty-seven births and FIFTY deaths, which shews, beyond all doubt, the gradual but certain destruction that was going on among the tribe. If no means can be adopted to check the evil, it must eventually lead to their total extermination.

By comparing the twenty-seven births in four years with the number of women, thirty-nine, it appears that there would be annually only one child born among every six women: a result as unnatural as it is evidently attributable to the increased prostitution that has taken place, with regard both to Europeans and other native tribes, whom curiosity has attracted to the town, but whom the Adelaide tribe were not in the habit of meeting at all, or, at least, not in such familiar intercourse prior to the arrival of the white people. This single cause, with the diseases and miseries which it entails upon the Aborigines, is quite sufficient to account for the paucity of births, and the additional number of deaths that now occur among them.

In the Moorunde statistics, given Chapter VI., the very small number of infants compared with the number of women is still more strongly illustrated; but in this case only those infants that lived and were brought up by their mothers to the monthly musters were marked down; many other births had, doubtless, taken place, where the children had died, or been killed, but of which no notice is taken, as it would have been impossible under the circumstances of such a mixture of tribes, and their constantly changing their localities, to have obtained an accurate account of all.

Under the circumstances of our intercourse with the Aborigines as at present constituted, the same causes which produced so exterminating an effect in Sydney and other places, are still going on in all parts of Australia occupied by Europeans, and must eventually lead to the same result, if no controlling measures can be adopted to prevent it.

Many attempts, upon a limited scale, have already been made in all the colonies, but none have in the least degree tended to check the gradual but certain extinction that is menacing this ill-fated people; nor is it in my recollection that throughout the whole length and breadth of New Holland, a single real or permanent convert to Christianity has yet been made amongst them, by any of the missionaries engaged in their instruction, many of whom have been labouring hopelessly for many years.

In New South Wales, one of the oldest and longest established missions in Australia was given up by the Rev. Mr. Threlkeld, after the fruitless devotion of many years of toil. [Note 106.] Neither have the efforts hitherto made to improve the physical circumstances or social relations of the Aborigines been attended with any better success. None have yet been induced permanently to adopt our customs, or completely to give up their wandering habits, or to settle down fixedly in one place, and by cultivating the ground, supply themselves with the comforts and luxuries of life. It is not that the New Hollander is not as apt and intelligent as the men of any other race, or that his capacity for receiving instruction, or appreciating enjoyment is less; on the contrary, we have the fullest and most ample testimony from all who have been brought much into contact with this people that the very contrary is the case: a testimony that is completely borne out by the many instances on record, of the quickness with which natives have learned our language, or the facility with which temporarily they have accommodated themselves to our habits and customs.

[Note 106: Vide Parliamentary Reports on Australian Aborigines, 9th of August, 1844, pages 160 and 161. —”In submitting to this decision, it is impossible not to feel considerable disappointment to the expectations formerly hoped to be realized in the conversion of some at least of the Aborigines in this part of the colony, and not to express concern that so many years of constant attention appear to have been fruitlessly expended. It is however, perfectly apparent that the termination of the mission has arisen solely from the Aborigines becoming extinct in these districts, and the very few that remain elsewhere are so scattered, that it is impossible to congregate them for instruction; and when seen in the towns, they are generally unfit to engage in profitable conversation. The thousands of Aborigines, if ever they did exist in these parts, decreased to hundreds, the hundreds have lessened to tens, and the tens will dwindle to units before a very few years will have passed away.”

“This mission to the Aborigines has ceased to exist, not from want of support from the British Government, nor from the inclination of the agent, but purely from the Aborigines themselves becoming extinct in these parts; and in leaving this scene of much solitariness, privation, and trial, it is earnestly hoped that He who fixes the bounds of our habitation, apparently in Sydney for a season, will guide our feet through life to his glory, and provide support for a numerous family, so that the ‘ministry be not blamed.’”]

On the natural intelligence of the native children, Mr. Moorhouse remarks, after several years practical experience:—

“They are as apt as European children so far as they have been tried, but they have not been put to abstract reasoning. Their perceptive powers are large, as they are much exercised in procuring food, etc. Anything requiring perception only is readily mastered, the alphabet will be known in a few lessons; figures are soon recognised, and the quantities they represent, but addition from figures alone always presents difficulties for a while, but in a little time, however, it is understood.”

Upon the same subject, Captain Grey remarks, vol. ii. p. 374.

“They are as apt and intelligent as any other race of men I am acquainted with; they are subject to the same affections, appetites, and passions as other men.”

Innumerable cases might be adduced, where native boys, or young men, and sometimes even females, have been taken into the employment of the settlers, and have lived with them as active and useful servants for many months, and occasionally even years. Unfortunately, however, in all such cases, they have eventually returned again to their savage life, and given up the customs and habits they had assumed. The same result has occurred among the many children who have been educated at the various schools established for their instruction, in the different Colonies. Numerous examples might be given of the great degree of proficiency made; and often, of many of the scholars being in such a state of forwardness and improvement, as reasonably to sanction the expectation, that they might one day become useful and intelligent members of the community: this hope has, however, hitherto, in almost every instance, been sooner or later disappointed, and they have again descended from the civilized to the savage state. What can be the causes then, that have operated to produce such unfavourable results?

If we admit, and it is admitted by all whose experience best qualifies them to give an opinion, that the Australian is fully equal in natural powers and intelligence, to the generality of mankind; it is very evident, that where so little success has hitherto attended any attempts to improve him, either morally or socially, there must either be some radical defects in the systems adopted, or some strongly counteracting causes to destroy their efficiency. I believe, that to both these circumstances, may be traced the results produced.

The following remarks, by Captain Grey, upon this subject, point out some of the evils to which the natives are subject, and in a great degree, account for the preference they appear to give to their own wild life and habits. (Vol. 2. pp. 367 to 371.) He says:—

“If we inquire into the causes which tend to detain them in their present depressed condition, we shall find that the chief one is —’prejudice’ The Australians have been most unfairly represented as a very inferior race, in fact as one occupying a scale in the creation which nearly places them on a level with the brutes, and some years must elapse, ere a prejudice so firmly rooted as this can be altogether eradicated, but certainly a more unfounded one never had possession of the public mind.

“Amongst the evils which the natives suffer in their present position, one is an uncertain and irregular demand for their labour, that is to say, they may one day have plenty of means for exerting their industry afforded them by the settlers, and the next their services are not required; so that they are necessarily compelled to have recourse to their former irregular and wandering habits.

“Another is the very insufficient reward for the services they render. As an example of this kind, I will state the instance of a man who worked during the whole season, as hard and as well as any white man, at getting in the harvest for some setlers, and who only received bread, and sixpence a day, whilst the ordinary labourers would earn at least fifteen shillings. In many instances, they only receive a scanty allowance of food, so much so, that some settlers have told me that the natives left them because they had not enough to eat.

“The evil consequence of this is, that a native finding he can gain as much by the combined methods of hunting and begging, as he can by working, naturally prefers the former and much more attractive mode of procuring subsistence, to the latter one.

“Many of the natives have not only a good idea of the value of money, but even hoard it up for some particular purpose; several of them have shewn me their little treasure of a few shillings, and have told me it was their intention to save more until they had enough to buy a horse, a gun, or some wished-for article, but their improvidence has always got the better of their thriftiness, and this sum has eventually been spent in treating their friends to bread and rice.

“Another evil is the very extraordinary position in which they are placed with regard to two distinct sets of laws; that is they are allowed to exercise their own laws upon one another, and are again held amenable to British law where British subjects are concerned. Thus no protection is afforded them by the British law against the violence or cruelty of one of their own race, and the law has only been hitherto known to them as the means of punishment, but never as a code from which they can claim protection or benefit.

“The following instances will prove my assertion: In the month of October 1838, I saw early one morning some natives in the public street in Perth, in the act of murdering a native woman, close to the store of the Messrs. Habgood: many Europeans were present, amongst others a constable; but there was no interference on their part until eventually the life of the woman was saved by the courage of Mr. Brown, a gardener in Perth, who rushed in amongst the natives, and knocked down the man who was holding her; she then escaped into the house of the Messrs. Habgood, who treated the poor creature with the utmost humanity. She was, however, wounded in several places in the most severe and ghastly manner.

“A letter I received from Mr. A. Bussel, (a settler in the southern part of the colony,) in May, 1839, shews that the same scenes are enacted all over it. In this case, their cow-keeper, (the native whose burial is narrated at p. 330,) was speared by the others. He was at the time the hired servant of Europeans, performing daily a stated service for them; yet they slew him in open day-light, without any cause of provocation being given by him.

“Again, in October, 1838, the sister of a settler in the northern district, told me that shortly before this period, she had, as a female servant, a most interesting little native girl, not more than ten or eleven years of age. This girl had just learned all the duties belonging to her employment, and was regarded in the family as a most useful servant, when some native, from a spirit of revenge, murdered this inoffensive child in the most barbarous manner, close to the house; her screams were actually heard by the Europeans under whose protection, and in whose service she was living, but they were not in time to save her life. This same native had been guilty of many other barbarous murders, one of which he had committed in the district of the Upper Swan, in the actual presence of Europeans. In June, 1839, he was still at large, unmolested, even occasionally visiting Perth.

“Their fondness for the bush and the habits of savage life, is fixed and perpetuated by the immense boundary placed by circumstances between themselves and the whites, which no exertions on their part can overpass, and they consequently relapse into a state of hopeless passive indifference.

“I will state a remarkable instance of this:— The officers of the Beagle took away with them a native of the name of Miago, who remained absent with them for several months. I saw him on the North-west coast, on board the Beagle, apparently perfectly civilized; he waited at the gun-room mess, was temperate (never tasting spirits), attentive, cheerful, and remarkably clean in his person. The next time I saw him was at Swan River, where he had been left on the return of the Beagle. He was then again a savage, almost naked, painted all over, and had been concerned in several murders. Several persons here told me — ”you see the taste for a savage life was strong in him, and he took to the bush again directly.” Let us pause for a moment and consider.

“Miago, when he was landed, had amongst the white people none who would be truly friends of his — they would give him scraps from their table, but the very outcasts of the whites would not have treated him as an equal — they had no sympathy with him — he could not have married a white woman — he had no certain means of subsistence open to him — he never could have been either a husband or a father, if he had lived apart from his own people; — where, amongst the whites, was he to find one who would have filled for him the place of his black mother, whom he is much attached to? — what white man would have been his brother? — what white woman his sister? He had two courses left open to him — he could either have renounced all natural ties, and have led a hopeless, joyless life amongst the whites — ever a servant — ever an inferior being; — or he could renounce civilization, and return to the friends of his childhood, and to the habits of his youth. He chose the latter course, and I think that I should have done the same.”

Such are a few of the disadvantages the natives have to contend with, if they try to assimilate in their life and habits to Europeans, nor is there one here enumerated, of which repeated instances have not come under my own observation. If to these be added, the natural ties of consanguinity, the authority of parents, the influence of the example of relatives and friends, and the seducing attraction which their own habits and customs hold out to the young of both sexes; first, by their offering a life of idleness and freedom, to a people naturally indolent and impatient of restraint; and secondly, by their pandering to their natural passions: we shall no longer wonder that so little has been effected towards ameliorating their condition, or inducing them to adopt habits and customs that deprive them of those indulgences.

In New South Wales and Port Phillip, the Government have made many efforts in behalf of the Aborigines; for a series of years past, and at present, the sum of about ten thousand pounds, is annually placed upon the estimates, towards defraying the salaries of a Chief Protector, and several subordinate ones, and for other expenses connected with the natives.

[Note: Not included in thei eBook, Table on pages 428–9: ABSTRACT OF EXPENDITURE IN N.S.W ON ACCOUNT OF THE ABORIGINES FROM 1821 TO 1842 INCLUSIVE.]

In Western Australia a sum of money is also devoted annually towards defraying the salaries of two Protectors, and other expenses connected with the department.

I am not, however, personally aware, what the particular arrangements may be that have latterly been adopted in either of these colonies, for the benefit of the Aborigines, or the degree of success which may have attended them. I believe, however, that in both places, more has been attempted, within the last three or four years, than had ever been the case before. What the eventual result may be it is impossible to tell, but with the past experience before me, I cannot persuade myself, that any real or permanent good will ever be effected, until the influence exercised over the young by the adults be destroyed, and they are freed from the contagious effects of their example, and until means are afforded them of supporting themselves in a new condition, and of forming those social ties and connections in an improved state, which they must otherwise be driven to seek for among the savage hordes, from which it is attempted to reclaim them.

In South Australia many efforts have been made in behalf of the Aborigines, and an anxious desire for their welfare has frequently been exhibited on the part of the Government, and of many of the colonists. For the year 1845 the sum of 820 pounds is noted in the estimates for the Aboriginal Department. This sum is distributed as follows:—

Salary of Protector £300
Master of Native School at Walkerville 100
Matron of School at Native Location 20
Provisions 150
Donation to Lutheran Mission 100
Miscellaneous 150
Total £820

There are three native schools established in the province. The first is that at the native location in the town of Adelaide, commenced in December, 1839, by Mr. Klose, one of the Dresden missionaries. The average attendance of children has been about sixteen, all of whom have latterly been lodged as well as fed at the school. The progress made by the children may be stated to have been as follows: on the 16th February, 1844 —

14 were able to read polysyllables. 2 were able to read monosyllables. 2 could repeat the cardinal numbers. 14 were in addition. 3 in subtraction. 9 in multiplication. 2 in division.

Most of the children could repeat the Lord’s Prayer and Commandments, and they were able to narrate the history of the Creation, the fall of our first parents, and other portions of the Old and New Testament. A few were able to write these subjects to dictation. In geography many of the scholars knew the ordinary divisions of the earth, its shape, diameter, circumference, and the names of the continents, oceans, seas, gulfs, etc. etc. together with the general description of the inhabitants of each part, as to colour, etc. Of the girls, fourteen had been taught to sew, and have made upwards of fifty garments for themselves, besides several shirts for Europeans.

Mr. Klose receives as salary 33 pounds per annum from the Government, and a remittance from his society at Dresden. The matron of the establishment also receives 20 pounds from the Government. The average expense of provisions for each child per week, amounts to two shillings and ten pence. The cost of clothing each child per year is 2 pounds. Until very recently this school was taught in the native language; but English is now adopted, except in lecturing from Scripture, when the native language is still retained.

At Walkerville, about one mile from North Adelaide, another school has been established under the superintendence of Mr. Smith, since May, 1844. Up to October of the same year the average attendance of children had been sixty-three. In that short time the progress had been very satisfactory; all the children had passed from the alphabetical to the monosyllabic class, and most had mastered the multiplication table; eighteen could write upon the slate, and six upon paper; twelve girls had commenced sewing, and were making satisfactory progress.

They go four times in the week to the council chamber to be instructed by gratuitous teachers. On Sunday evening service is performed according to the Church of England by Mr. Fleming, and the children are said to be attentive and well-behaved. The Methodists of the New Connection have them also under spiritual instruction in the morning and afternoon of each Sabbath, assisted by persons of other religious denominations.

All instruction is given in English; their food is cooked by the elder children, (who also provide the firewood,) and distributed by themselves under the master’s eye The cook is said to take good care of himself, and certainly his appearance does not belie the insinuation, for he is by far the fattest boy in the lot. The school building is a plain, low cottage, containing a school-room, a sleeping-room for the male children, another for the female, and apartments for the master and mistress. There is also an old out-building attached, where the children perform their ablutions in wet weather. Mr. and Mrs. Smith receive 100 pounds. per annum from the Colonial Government for their services. The children of this school have not yet been generally provided with other clothing than a small blanket each. The third school was only just commenced at Encounter Bay, where it has been established through the influence and exertions of Mr. Meyer, one of the missionaries. The Government give 20 pounds per annum, and the settlers of the neighbourhood 100 bushels of wheat, and some mutton. Six or eight children are expected to be lodged and boarded at this school, with the means at present existing.

Besides the establishment of schools, there is a Protector resident in Adelaide to take the management of the aboriginal department, to afford medical assistance and provisions to such of the aged or diseased as choose to apply for them, and to remunerate any natives who may render services to the Government, or the Protectorate. At Moorunde, upon the Murray, the natives are mustered once a month by the Resident magistrate, and two pounds and a half of flour issued to each native who chooses to attend. This is occasionally done at Port Lincoln, and has had a very beneficial effect. Once in the year, on the Queen’s birthday, a few blankets are distributed to some of the Aborigines at Adelaide, Moorunde, Encounter Bay, and Port Lincoln, amounting in all to about 300. Four natives are also provisioned by the Government as attaches to the police force at different out-stations, and are in many respects very useful.

Exclusive of the Government exertions in behalf of the Aborigines, there are in the province four missionaries from the Lutheran Missionary Society at Dresden, two of whom landed in October 1838, and two in August 1840. Of these one is stationed at the native location, and (as has already been stated) acts as schoolmaster. A second is living twelve miles from Adelaide, upon a section of land, bought by the Dresden Society, with the object of endeavouring to settle the natives, and inducing them to build houses upon the property, but the plan seems altogether a failure. It was commenced in November 1842, but up to November 1844 natives had only been four months at the place; and on one occasion a period of nine months elapsed, without their ever visiting it at all, although frequently located at other places in the neighbourhood.

A third missionary is stationed at Encounter Bay, and is now conducting a school, mainly established through his own exertions and influence.

The fourth is stationed at Port Lincoln. All the four missionaries have learned the dialects of the tribes where they are stationed, and three have published vocabularies and grammars as the proof of their industry.

Such is the general outline of the efforts that have hitherto been made in South Australia, and the progress made. It may be well to inquire, what are likely to be the results eventually under the existing arrangements. From the first establishment of the schools, until June 1843, the children were only instructed at the location, their food was given to them to take to the native encampments to cook, and they were allowed to sleep there at night. The natural consequence was, that the provisions intended for the sonolars were shared by the other natives, whilst the evil influence of example, and the jeers of their companions, did away with any good impression produced by their instruction. I have myself, upon going round the encampments in Adelaide by night, seen the school-children ridiculed by the elder boys, and induced to join them in making a jest of what they had been taught during the day to look upon as sacred.

A still more serious evil, resulting from this system was, that the children were more completely brought into the power, and under the influence of the parents, and thus their natural taste for an indolent and rambling life, was constantly kept up. The boys naturally became anxious to participate and excel in the sports, ceremonies, or pursuits of their equals, and the girls were compelled to yield to the customs of their tribe, and break through every lesson of decency or morality, which had been inculcated.

Since June, 1843, the system has so far been altered, that the children, whilst under instruction, are boarded and lodged at the school houses, and as far as practicable, the boys and girls are kept separate. There are still, however, many evils attending the present practice, most of which arise from the inadequacy of the funds, applicable to the Aborigines, and which must be removed before any permanent good can be expected from the instruction given. The first of these, and perhaps one of the greatest, is that the adult natives make their encampments immediately in the neighbourhood of the schools, whilst the children, when out of school, roam in a great measure at will, or are often employed collecting firewood, etc. about the park lands, a place almost constantly occupied by the grown up natives, there is consequently nearly as much intercourse between the school children and the other natives, and as great an influence exercised over them by the parents and elders, as if they were still allowed to frequent the camps.

Another evil is, that no inducement is held out to the parents, to put their children to school, or to allow them to remain there. They cannot comprehend the advantage of having their children clothed, fed, or educated, whilst they lose their services; on the contrary, they find that all the instruction, advice, or influence of the European, tends to undermine among the children their own customs and authority, and that when compelled to enforce these upon them, they themselves incur the odium of the white men. Independently, however, of this consideration, and of the natural desire of a parent to have his family about him, he is in reality a loser by their absence, for in many of the methods adopted for hunting, fishing, or similar pursuits, the services even of young children are often very important. For the deprivation of these, which he suffers when his children are at school, he receives no equivalent, and it is no wonder therefore, that by far the great majority of natives would prefer keeping their children to travel with them, and assist in hunting or fishing. It is a rare occurrence, for parents to send, or even willingly [Note 107.] to permit their children to go to school, and the masters have consequently to go round the native encampments to collect and bring away the children against their wishes. This is tacitly submitted to at the time, but whenever the parents remove to another locality, the children are informed of it, and at once run away to join them; so that the good that has been done in school, is much more rapidly undone at the native camp. I have often heard the parents complain indignantly of their children being thus taken; and one old man who had been so treated, but whose children had run away and joined him again, used vehemently to declare, that if taken any more, he would steal some European children instead, and take them into the bush to teach them; he said he could learn them something useful, to make weapons and nets, to hunt, or to fish, but what good did the Europeans communicate to his children?

[Note 107: “Mr. Gunter expressed very decidedly his opinion, that the blacks do not like Mr. Watson, and that they especially do not like him, SINCE HE HAS TAKEN CHILDREN FROM THEM BY FORCE: he would himself like to have some children under his care, IF HE COULD PROCURE THEM BY PROPER MEANS.”— Memorandum respecting Wellington Valley, by Sir G. Gipps, November 1840.]

A third, and a very great evil, is that, after a native boy or girl has been educated and brought up at the school, no future provision is made for either, nor have they the means of following any useful occupation, or the opportunity of settling themselves in life, or of forming any domestic ties or connections whatever, save by falling back again upon the rude and savage life from which it was hoped education would have weaned them. It is unnatural, therefore, to suppose that under existing circumstances they should ever do other than relapse into their former state; we cannot expect that individuals should isolate themselves completely from their kind, when by so doing they give up for ever all hope of forming any of those domestic ties that can render their lives happy.

Such being the very limited, and perhaps somewhat equivocal advantages we offer the Aborigines, we can hardly expect that much or permanent benefit can accrue to them; and ought not to be disappointed if such is not the case. [Note 108.] At present it is difficult to say what are the advantages held out to the natives by the schools, since they have no opportunity of turning their instruction to account, and must from necessity relapse again to the condition of savages, when they leave school. Taken as children from their parents, against the wishes of the latter, there are not means sufficient at the schools for keeping them away from the ill effects of the example and society of the most abandoned of the natives around. They are not protected from the power or influence of their parents and relatives, who are always encouraging them to leave, or to practise what they have been taught not to do. The good that is instilled one day is the next obliterated by evil example or influence. They have no future openings in life which might lead them to become creditable and useful members of society; and however well disposed a child may be, there is but one sad and melancholy resource for it at last, that of again joining its tribe, and becoming such as they are. Neither is there that disinclination on the part of the elder children to resume their former mode of life and customs that might perhaps have been expected; for whilst still at school they see and participate enough in the sports, pleasures, or charms of savage life to prevent their acquiring a distaste to it; and when the time arrives for their departure, they are generally willing and anxious to enter upon the career before them, and take their part in the pursuits or duties of their tribe. Boys usually leave school about fourteen, to join in the chase, or learn the practice of war. Girls are compelled to leave about twelve, through the joint influence of parents and husbands, to join the latter; and those only who have been acquainted with the life of slavery and degradation a native female is subject to, can at all form an opinion of the wretched prospect before her.

[Note 108: The importance of a change in the system and policy adopted towards the Aborigines, and the urgent necessity for placing the schools upon a different and better footing, appears from the following extract from a despatch from Governor Hutt to Lord Stanley, 21st January, 1843, in which the difficulties and failure attending the present system are stated. Mr. Hutt says (Parliamentary Reports, p. 416). “It is to the schools, of course, that we must look for any lasting benefit to be wrought amongst the natives, and I regret most deeply the total failure of the school instituted at York, and the partial failure of that at Guilford, both of which at FIRST promised so well. The fickle disposition of these people, in youth as in older years, incapacitate them from any long continued exertions, whether of learning or labour, whilst from the roving lives of the parents in search of food, the children, if received into the schools, must be entirely supported at the public expense. This limits the sphere of our operations, by restricting the number of the scholars who can thus be taken charge of. Through the kindly co-operation of the Wesleyan Society at Perth, and the zealous pastoral exertions of the Rev. Mr. King at Fremantle, the schools at both these places have been efficiently maintained; but in the country, and apart from the large towns, to which the Aborigines have an interest in resorting in large numbers for food and money, the formation of schools of a lasting character will be for some time a work of doubt and of difficulty.”]

There are two other points connected with the natives to which I will briefly advert: the one, relative to the language in which the school children are taught, the other, the policy, or otherwise, of having establishments for the natives in the immediate vicinity of a town, or of a numerous European population.

With respect to the first, I may premise, that for the first four years the school at the location in Adelaide was conducted entirely in the native tongue. To this there are many objections.

First, the length of time and labour required for the instructor to master the language he has to teach in.

Secondly, the very few natives to whom he can impart the advantages of instruction, as an additional school, and another teacher would be required for every tribe speaking a different dialect.

Thirdly, the sudden stop that would be put to all instruction if the preceptor became ill, or died, as no one would be found able to supply his place in a country where, from the number, and great differences of the various dialects, there is no inducement to the public to learn any of them.

Fourthly, that by the children being taught in any other tongue than that generally spoken by the colonists, they are debarred from the advantage of any casual instruction or information which they might receive from others than their own teachers, and from entering upon duties or relations of any kind with the Europeans among whom they are living, but whose language they cannot speak.

Fifthly, that, by adhering to the native language, the children are more deeply confirmed in their original feelings and prejudices, and more thoroughly kept under the influence and direction of their own people.

Among the colonists themselves there have scarcely been two opinions upon the subject, and almost all have felt, that the system originally adopted was essentially wrong. It has recently been changed, and the English is now adopted instead of the native language. I should not have named this subject at all, had I not been aware that the missionaries themselves still retain their former impressions, and that although they have yielded to public opinion on this point, they have not done so from a conviction of its utility.

The second point to which I referred — the policy, or otherwise, of having native establishments near a populous European settlement, is a much more comprehensive question, and one which might admit, perhaps, of some reasons on both sides, although, upon the whole, those against it greatly preponderate.

The following are the reasons I have usually heard argued for proximity to town.

1st. It is said that the children sooner acquire the English language by mixing among the towns people. This, however, to say the least, is a very negative advantage, for in such a contact it is far more probable that they will learn evil than good; besides, if means were available to enable the masters to keep their scholars under proper restrictions, there would no longer be even the opportunity for enjoying this very equivocal advantage.

2nd. It is stated that the natives are sooner compelled to give up their wandering habits, as there is no game near a town. This might be well enough if they followed any better employment, but the contrary is the case; and with respect to the school-children, the restriction would be the correction of a bad habit, which they ought never to be allowed to indulge in, and one which might soon be done away with entirely if sufficient inducement were held out to the parents to put their children to school, and allow them to remain there.

3rd. It is thought that a greater number of children can be collected in the vicinity of a town than elsewhere. This may perhaps be the case at present, but would not continue so if means were used to congregate the natives in their own proper districts.

4th. It is said that provisions and clothing are cheaper in town and more easily procured than elsewhere. This is the only apparently valid reason of the whole, but it is very questionable whether it is sufficient to counterbalance the many evils which may result from too close a contiguity to town, and especially so as far as the adults are concerned. With respect to the children, if kept within proper bounds, and under proper discipline, it is of little importance where they may be located, and perhaps a town may for such purposes be sometimes the best. With the older natives however it is far different, and the evils resulting to them from too close contact with a large European population, are most plainly apparent; in —

1st. The immorality, which great as it is among savages in their natural state, is increased in a tenfold degree when encouraged and countenanced by Europeans, and but little opening is left for the exercise of missionary influence or exertions.

2nd. The dreadful state of disease which is superinduced, and which tends, in conjunction with other causes as before stated, to bring about the gradual extinction of the race.

3rd. The encouragement a town affords to idleness, and the opportunities to acquire bad habits, such as begging, pilfering, drinking, etc. the effects of which must also have a very bad moral tendency upon the children.

The town of Adelaide appears capable of supporting about six hundred natives on an average. Many of these obtain their food by going errands, by carrying wood or water, or by performing other light work of a similar kind. Many are supported by the offal of a place where so much animal food is consumed; but by far the greater number are dependent upon charity, and some few even extort their subsistence from women or children by threats, if they have the opportunity of doing so without fear of detection.

The number of natives usually frequenting the town of Adelaide averages perhaps 300, but occasionally there are even as many as 800. These do not belong to the neighbourhood of the town itself, for the Adelaide tribe properly so called only embraces about 150 individuals. The others come in detached parties from almost all parts of the colony. Some from the neighbourhood of Bonney’s Well, or 120 miles south; some from the Broughton, or 120 miles north; some from the upper part of the Murray, or nearly 200 miles east. Thus are assembled at one spot sometimes portions of tribes the most distant from each other, and whose languages, customs and ceremonies are quite dissimilar. If any proof were wanted to shew the power of European influence in removing prejudices or effecting a total revulsion of their former habits and customs, a stronger one could scarcely be given than this motley assembly of “all nations and languages.” In their primitive state such a meeting could never take place; the distant tribes would never have dreamt of attempting to pass through the country of the intermediate ones, nor would the latter have allowed a passage if it had been attempted.

I have remarked that in Adelaide many of the natives support themselves by light easy work, or going errands; there are also a dozen, or fourteen young men employed regularly as porters to storekeepers with whom they spend two-thirds of their time, and make themselves very useful. At harvest time many natives assist the settlers. At Encounter Bay during 1843, from 70 to 100 acres of wheat or barley, were reaped by them; at Adelaide from 50 to 60 acres, and at Lynedoch Valley they aided in cutting and getting in 200 acres. Other natives have occasionally employed themselves usefully in a variety of ways, and one party of young men collected and delivered to a firm in town five tons of mimosa bark up to December 1843. At the native location during the year 1842, three families of natives assisted by the school-children, had dug with the spade the ground, and had planted and reaped more than one acre of maize, one acre of potatoes, and half an acre of melons, besides preparing ground for the ensuing year. On the Murray River native shepherds and stock-keepers have hitherto been employed almost exclusively, and have been found to answer well. Most of the settlers in that district have one or more native youths constantly living at their houses.

In concluding an account of the present state and prospects of the Aborigines and of the efforts hitherto made on their behalf, I may state that I am fully sensible that to put the schools upon a proper footing and to do away with the serious disadvantages I have pointed out as at present attending them, or to adopt effective means for assembling, feeding, or instructing the natives in their own respective districts would involve a much greater expenditure than South Australia has hitherto been able to afford from her own resources; and I have therefore called attention to the subject, not for the purpose of censuring what it is impossible to remedy without means; but in the sincere and earnest hope that an interest in behalf of a people who are generally much misrepresented, and who are certainly in justice entitled to expect at our hands much more than they receive, will be excited in the breasts of the British public, who are especially their debtors on many accounts.

I am aware that the subject of the Aborigines is one of a very difficult and embarrassing nature in many respects, and I know that evils and imperfections will occasionally occur, in spite of the utmost efforts to prevent them. No system of policy can be made to suit all circumstances connected with a subject so varied and perplexing, and especially so, where every new arrangement and all benevolent intentions are restrained or limited, by the deficiency of pecuniary means to carry out the object in a proper manner. Already the subject of apprenticing the natives, or teaching them a trade, has been under the consideration of the Government, but has been delayed from being brought into operation by the want of funds sufficient to carry the object into effect. It is intended, I believe, to make the experiment as soon as means are available for that purpose.

My duties as an officer of the Government having been principally connected with the more numerous, but distant tribes of the interior, I can bear testimony to the anxious desire of the Government to promote the welfare of the natives.

I have equal pleasure in recording the great interest that prevails on their behalf among their numerous friends in the colonies, and the general kindness and good feeling that have been exhibited towards them on the part of a large proportion of the colonists of Australia. It is in the hope that this good feeling may be promoted and strengthened that I have been led to enter into the details of the preceding pages. In bringing before the public instances of a contrary conduct or feeling, I by no means wish to lead to the impression that such are now of very frequent or general occurrence, and I trust my motives may not be misunderstood. My sole, my only wish has been to bring about an improvement in the terms of intercourse, which subsists between the settlers and the Aborigines. Whilst advocating the cause of the latter, I am not insensible to the claims of the former, who leaving their native country and their friends, cheerfully encounter the inconveniences, toils, privations, and dangers which are necessarily attendant upon founding new homes in the remote and trackless wilds of other climes. Strongly impressed with the advantages, and the necessity of colonization, I am only anxious to mitigate its concomitant evils, and by effecting an amelioration in the treatment and circumstances of the Aborigines, point out the means of rendering the residence or pursuits of the settler among an uncivilized community, less precarious, and less hazardous than they have been. My object has been to shew the result, I may almost say, the necessary result of the system at present in force, when taking possession of and occupying a country where there are indigenous races. By shewing the complete failure of all efforts hitherto made, to prevent the oppression and eventual extinction of these unfortunate people, I would demonstrate the necessity of remodelling the arrangements made on their behalf, and of adopting a more equitable and liberal system than any we have yet attempted.

I believe that by far the greater majority of the settlers in all the Australian Colonies would hail with real pleasure, the adoption of any measures calculated to remove the difficulties, which at present beset our relations with the Aborigines; but to be effectual, these measures, at the same time that they afford, in some degree, compensation and support to the dispossessed and starving native — must equally hold out to the settler and the stockholder that security and protection, which he does not now possess, but which he is fairly entitled to expect, under the implied guarantee given to him by the Government, when selling to him his land, or authorizing him to locate in the more remote districts of the country.

From a long experience, and an attentive observation of what has been going on around me, I am perfectly satisfied, that unless some great change be made in our system, things will go on exactly as they have done, and in a few years more not a native will be left to tell the tale of the wrongs and sufferings of his unhappy race. I am equally convinced that all one-sided legislation — all measures having reference solely to the natives must fail. The complete want of success attending the protecting system, and all other past measures, clearly shew, that unless the interests of the two classes can be so interwoven and combined, that both may prosper together; no real good can be hoped for from our best efforts to ameliorate the condition of the savage. In all future plans it is evident that the native must have the inducements and provocations to crime destroyed or counteracted, as far as it may be practicable to effect this, and the settler must be convinced that it is his interest to treat the native with kindness and consideration, and must be able to feel that he is no longer exposed to risk of life or property for injuries or aggressions, which, as an individual, he has not induced.

I have now nearly discharged the duty I have undertaken — a duty which my long experience among the natives, and an intimate acquaintance with their peculiarities, habits, and customs, has in a measure almost forced upon me. In fulfilling it, I have been obliged to enter at some length upon the subject, to give as succinct an account as I could of the unfavourable impressions that have often, but unjustly, been entertained of the New Hollanders: of the difficulties and disadvantages they have laboured under, of the various relations that have subsisted, or now subsist between them and the colonists, of the different steps that have been adopted by the Government or others, to ameliorate their condition, and of the degree of success or otherwise that has attended these efforts. I have stated, that from the result of my own experience and observation, for a long series of years past, from a practical acquaintance with the character and peculiarities of the Aborigines, and after a deliberate and attentive consideration of the measures that have been hitherto pursued, I have unwillingly been forced to the conviction, that some great and radical defect has been common to all; that we have not hitherto accomplished one single, useful, or permanent result; and that unless a complete change in our system of policy be adopted for the future, there is not the slightest hope of our efforts being more successful in times to come, than they have been in times past. That I am not alone or singular in the view which I take on this subject, may be shewn from various sources, but most forcibly from the opinions or statements of those, who from being upon the spot, and personally acquainted with the real facts of the case, may be supposed to be most competent to form just conclusions, and most worthy of having weight attached to their opinions. The impression on the public mind in the colonies, with respect to the general effect of the measures that have heretofore been adopted, may be gathered from the many opinions or quotations to which I have already referred in my remarks; many others might be adduced, if necessary, but one or two will suffice.

The following extract is from a speech by A. Forster, Esq. at a meeting held to celebrate the anniversary of the South Australian Missionary Society, on the 6th September, 1843, and at which the Governor of the Colony presided:—

“This colony had been established for nearly seven years, and during the whole of that time the natives had been permitted to go about the streets in a state of nudity. [Note 109.] This was not only an outrage on decency and propriety, but it was demoralising to the natives themselves. Like Adam, after having come in contact with the tree of knowledge, they had begun to see their own nakedness, and were ashamed of it. If they could give them a nearer approach to humanity by clothing them, if they could make them look like men, they would then, perhaps, begin to think like men. What he complained of was, not that they were in a low and miserable condition, but that no effort had been made to rescue them from that condition.”

[Note 109: And yet a law is passed, subjecting natives, who appear thus, to punishment! — How are they to clothe themselves?]

“The circumstances, too, of the aborigines called upon them for increased exertion. They were wasting away with disease — they were dying on the scaffold — they were being shot down in mistake for native dogs, and their bleeding and ghastly heads had been exhibited on poles, as scare-crows to their fellows.”

The report of the Missionary Society, read on the same occasion, says,

“Though it is undeniable that there is much to discourage in the small results which can yet be reckoned from these efforts, and a variety of secondary means might be brought to bear with great advantage on the condition of the natives, still we must exercise faith in the power of the Spirit of God, over the most savage soul, in subduing the wicked passions and inclining the heart unto wisdom by exalted views of a future state, and of the divine character and will.”

Captain Grey’s opinion of the little good that had ever been accomplished, may be gathered from the following quotation, and which is fully as applicable to the state of the natives in 1844, as it was in 1841. Vol. ii. p. 366, he says,

“I wish not to assert, that the natives have been often treated with wanton cruelty, but I do not hesitate to say, that no real amelioration of their condition has been effected, and that much of negative evil, and indirect injury has been inflicted on them.”

Upon the same subject, the Committee of Management of the Native School at Perth, Swan River, Western Australia, state in their 3rd Annual Report, dated 1844.

“With regard to the physical condition of the native children, and those who are approaching to mature life, it may be observed, that they are somewhat improving, though slowly, we trust surely. We find that to undo is a great work; to disassociate them from their natural ideas, habits, and practices which are characteristic of the bush life, is a greater difficulty, for notwithstanding the provisions of sleeping berths in good rooms, also of tables, etc. for their use, and which are peculiar to civilised life, and with which they are associated, yet they naturally verge towards, and cling to aboriginal education, and hence to squat on the sand to eat, to sleep a night in the bush, to have recourse to a Byly-a-duck man for ease in sickness; these to them seem reliefs and enjoyments from these restraints which civilized life entails upon them.”

“With regard to the mental improvement of the native children, we cannot say much.”

“As to the religious state of the pupils in the institution we have signs, improvements, and encouragements, which say to us, ‘Go on.’”

The following quotation from Count Strzelecki’s work only just published (1845), shews the opinion of that talented and intelligent traveller, after visiting various districts of New South Wales, Port Phillip, Van Diemen’s Land, and Flinders’ Island, and after a personal acquaintance with, and experience among the Aborigines:—

“Thus, in New South Wales, since the time that the fate of the Australasian awoke the sympathies of the public, neither the efforts of the missionary, nor the enactments of the Government, and still less the Protectorate of the “Protectors,” have effected any good. The attempts to civilize and christianize the Aborigines, from which the preservation and elevation of their race was expected to result, HAVE UTTERLY FAILED, though it is consolatory, even while painful, to confess, that NEITHER THE ONE NOR THE OTHER ATTEMPT HAS BEEN CARRIED INTO EXECUTION, WITH THE SPIRIT WHICH ACCORDS WITH ITS PRINCIPLES.”

With such slight encouragement in colonies where the best results are supposed to have been obtained, and with instances of complete failure in others, it is surely worth while to inquire, why there has been such a signal want of success? — and whether or not any means can be devised that may hold out better hopes for the future? I cannot and I would not willingly believe, that the question is a hopeless one. The failure of past measures is no reason that future ones should not be more successful, especially when we consider, that all past efforts on behalf of the Aborigines have entirely overlooked the wrongs and injuries they are suffering under from our mere presence in their country, whilst none have been adapted to meet the exigencies of the peculiar relations they are placed in with regard to the colonists. The grand error of all our past or present systems — the very fons et origo mali appears to me to consist in the fact, that we have not endeavoured to blend the interests of the settlers and Aborigines together; and by making it the interest of both to live on terms of kindness and good feeling with each, bring about and cement that union and harmony which ought ever to subsist between people inhabiting the same country. So far, however, from our measures producing this very desirable tendency, they have hitherto, unfortunately, had only a contrary effect. By our injustice and oppression towards the natives, we have provoked them to retaliation and revenge; whilst by not affording security and protection to the settlers, we have driven them to protect themselves. Mutual distrusts and mutual misunderstandings have been the necessary consequence, and these, as must ever be the case, have but too often terminated in collisions or atrocities at which every right-thinking mind must shudder. To prevent these calamities for the future; to check the frightful rapidity with which the native tribes are being swept away from the earth, and to render their presence amidst our colonists and settlers, not as it too often hitherto has been, a source of dread and danger, but harmless, and to a certain extent, even useful and desirable, is an object of the deepestinterest and importance, both to the politician and to the philanthropist. I have strong hopes, that means may be devised, to bring about, in a great measure, these very desirable results; and I would suggest, that such means only should be tried, as from being just in principle, and equally calculated to promote the interests of both races, may, in their practical adoption, hold out the fairest prospect of efficacy and success.

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