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that if the wild hunter or savage state had been the primitive and original state of man, he would have continued a savage to all eternity. Not only is there no instance in any country of the savage ever raising himself, by his own native energies, above his natural condition; he actually resists every effort to effect his elevation in the scale of humanity, when such efforts are made by others. This is doubtless a most important fact in the natural history of man ; especially as it demonstrates the utter vanity of that “philosophy falsely so called,” which sets itself in opposition to the testimony of God.
From the hints I have just given, two things must be obvious to the reader.–First
, that, considering the amazing rapidity with which sheep and cattle increase in all parts of Australia, and the large extent of land occupied by each Squatting Station, the occupation of all the available portion of the vast continental island of New Holland with the flocks and herds of Europeans, will be effected in a comparatively short period of time, under the present Squatting system; and, secondly, that the extension of that system will almost necessarily involve the speedy extinction of the Abo-, riginal race. Even where actual collision does not take place between the white and black races, the latter, like the leaves in autumn, uniformly disappear before the progress of European colonization, at a lamentably rapid rate, which even European vice and European disease are insufficient to account for ;* but when hostile aggression on either side, followed by something like a war of extermination, comes in aid of this natural
* This rapid disappearance of the Aboriginal races of all the British Colonies, even in circumstances much more favourable for their preservation than those in which the Squatting System has unfortunately placed the Aborigines of Australia, is a phenomenon in the science of Ethnology equally lamentable and unaccountable. The following is a case remarkably in point, from the Journal of a distinguished traveller, with whose acquaintance I have been honoured :
decay of the feebler race, the process of extinction is fearfully accelerated. It cannot be denied that such aggression is sometimes commenced by the black na
EXTRACT of the Journal of an Expedition from Pirara to the
Upper Corentyne, and from thence to Demerara, under the command of Sir ROBERT H. SCHOMBURGK. “ Reluctant as I am to despair, the conviction is forced upon tives and without any apparent provocation ; but in by far the greater number of instances it originates with the Europeans. The very prohibition of the Aborigines to “ walk all about,” as they express it themselves in their broken English, in the land and on the spot of their birth—a prohibition, perhaps, enforced with threats, and sometimes even with the dogs and guns of the Squatters and their stockmen-is itself an aggression of the most serious description to the hapless Aborigines; for as the country is all parcelled out among the different tribes of the latter, each having its own well-known boundaries, a tribe which has been driven from its own hunting-grounds
that the Indian race is doomed to extermination. Six years have scarcely passed away since I wandered to this spot, on visiting the sources of the Essequibo. We left the settlement Eischalli Tuna, and passed on our route to the Taruma Indians three villages of Atorais or A torajas, and one of Taurais, the latter containing the remnant of that sister-tribe of the Atorai nation. The villages have vanished ; death has all but extirpated the former inhabitants, and I am informed that of the true Atorais only seven individuals are alive. From the accounts I received in 1837, I estimated the number of Atorais and Taurais at 200, including the descendants of mixed marriages, and of that number about sixty are now left.
66 The measles, so fatal to the Indians, has twice decimated the Atorais; and at the commencement of the present year, the small-pox, brought from the colony to Pirara, ravaged from thence to the southward, so far as these poor people. Their belief in the secret influences of the Kanaima, who has only to breathe upon his victim in anger to send him to an untimely grave, operates as banefully as that species of witchcraft called Obiah, practised among negroes, which, acting upon their superstitious fears, is frequently attended with disease and death. Nor is it the Atorais and Taurais alone whose rapid extinction is thus going forward ; similar causes are operating over the whole Indian population of the colony. The village of Wapisiana Indians called Eischalli Tuna, from which I started in 1837, is no longer in existence, and of its then inhabitants only one female and three children are now alive. Many of my former acquaintances among the Taruma Indians are now buried, and I have already alluded to the rapid decrease of the Macusis. But the most affecting picture that now presented itself among the many Indians assembled around us, was Miaha, the last remnant of the once powerful tribe of Amaripas. Singled out by destiny to be the sole survivor of a nation, she wanders among the living. Parents, brothers, sisters, husband, children, friends, and acquaintances are all gone down to the silent grave ; she alone still lingering, as the last memorial of her tribe, soon to be numbered, judging by her faltering voice and tottering steps, with those of whom tradition alone will record that such a tribe existed. Alas! a similar fate awaits other tribes ; they will disappear from those parts of the earth on 'which Makunaima, the Good Spirit,
placed them, and which, since the arrival of the European, has become the vast cemetery of the original races.
“ The Amaripas inhabited the regions about the Tuarutu mountains, near the river Wampuna ; and as Miaha well recollects when the late Dr. Hancock was at the Upper Rupununi in 1811, I had a fixed point from which to date my inquiries, as to whether the extinction of the Amaripas had been slow or rapid. She told me that at that time their number was not quite so many as two men had fingers and toes, (I concluded she meant about 35 individuals,) and
of that number Miaha alone remained in 1843.
“ The grass of the extensive savannahs which surrounded the dwellings of the Amaripas will no more be trodden by one of the descendants of this tribe, and ere long the deer alone will range over those thousands of square miles of herbage plains, once the bed of a vast inland lake, now the grand burial-place of the Amaripas, the Atorais, the Wapisianas, and Macusis. Let us hope, however, that the poor remnant of these people may be preserved from destruction, and that, instructed in the Christian religion, and relinquishing their unsettled mode of life and superstitious customs, they may become happy and useful members of a Christian community.
“We passed soon after noon the site of the Daurai settlement, where, on my journey to and from the sources of the Essequibo in 1837-38, we had rested. It was now perfectly overgrown with bushes, and the spots where the huts formerly stood could not be reached without using the axe and cutlass. Scarcely six years had elapsed, since I found here a settlement of nearly forty persons ; two grown-up individuals of the number are now ail that are known to be alive.”_Geogr. Society's Journal for 1845.
by European intrusion has no place to retreat to, as the fact of its entrance without permission into the territories of other tribes, is held tantamount by the natives to a declaration of war.
Of the good-feeling and kindly dispositions of a large proportion of the more respectable Squatters towards the Aborigines, there can be no doubt; but very many of their servants, being “old hands,” or Expiree convicts from New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, are thoroughly unprincipled men, and are often guilty of the most unprovoked, wanton, and reckless outrages upon them—robbing them of their jins or wives, setting their dogs upon them, and inflicting blows with little or with no provocation at all. This naturally leads to retaliation, and that retaliation, agreeably to the principles of Aboriginal justice, is unfortunately not visited upon the tual aggressor,
white man or men the infuriated natives happen to fall in with, and are able to overpower. For a considerable time after the discovery and occupation of the country called Gippsland, at the south-eastern angle of Australia, the natives of that part of the territory lived upon the most friendly terms with the Squatters and their stockmen; accompanying them on their journeys, and occasionally giving them important information and assistance. Sometimes, indeed, their friendship was rather troublesome, as they would enter the huts without invitation, just as the white men had entered their country, and help themselves to any thing they took a fancy to. On one occasion two of these natives happened to enter the hut of a Stockman in the service of Lachlan Macalister, Esq., one of the first Squatters in the district, and were making themselves quite at home, in their usual way, when the stockman, annoyed at their familiarity, and at the likelihood of their taking something that did not belong to them, gave one of the natives a violent blow with the butt-end of the musket he happened to have in his hand at the time, which knocked him down. The other native, naturally indignant at the barbarous treatment which his comrade had received from the white man, instantly seized his spear, and was in the act of hurling it at the stockman, when the latter, firing his piece at him, shot him dead upon the spot. The first native, who had only been stunned by the blow, immediately made off, and reported the whole affair to his tribe. It was a considerable time before an opportunity for retaliation presented itself to the natives, and it was hoped by the Europeans who were cognizant of the affair, that the bad impression it must have produced on their untutored minds had worn off. One day, however, when Mr. Macalister, junr., a young gentleman from the Highlands of Scotland who had charge of his uncle's establishment, was riding out alone with a double-barrelled gun on his shoulder, he happened to fall in with two natives, and as they were mutually known to each other, they entered into conversation apparently in the most friendly
In the course of this conversation, however, the natives pretended to be wonderfully taken with the gun, and expressed their desire to see and examine it more closely. With this desire Mr. Macalister unfortunately complied, handing them the gun without the least suspicion of their design; but no sooner had the natives got possession of this object of their fears, than one of them launched his spear at the unfortunate young man, and wounding him fatally, they dragged him from his horse, and speedily despatched him with repeated blows of their clubs. From that period up to the time of my departure from the Colony, there had been no intercourse of any kind between these black natives and the European Squatters of Gippsland; and the probability is, that a war of extermination would
Collisions of a somewhat similar character had taken place between the Europeans and the black natives in the western district of Port Phillip, shortly after the original occupation of that country by the flucks and herds of numerous Squatters, chiefly' from Van Dieman's Land, in the year 1836; and the consequence has been, that from this and the other causes combined