The Argus at KellyGang 19/12/1878
THE MANSFIELD MURDERERS
Mr Donald Cameron, M LA., submitted to the Chief Secretary yesterday the letter he received from Edward Kelly, the leader of the Mansfield murderers Mr Berry read the document carefully, and agreed with Mr Cameron that it would be injudicious to pub lish it at present, as it was clearly written for the purpose of exciting public sympathy for the murderers. As, however, it contained very serious allegations against members of the police force that may require some inves tigation, it was handed over to the Attorney General for his consideration. The terrible threats made by Kelly to tear up rails and sacrifice life on the North Eastern Railway, were noted by Mr Berry, who took steps to bring them under the cognisance of the railway authorities, in order that precautions might be taken immediately.
The determination not to publish the letter in existence at present will be adhered to, but Mr Cameron has felt justified in supplying us with the following outline of its contents: -
Kelly commences with an apology for troubling Mr Cameron, but declares that he felt bound to make his case known, in order that justice might be done to his friends. He then gives a history of his life from the time he went to live at Greta, and details various cases of horse stealing in which, he alleges, he was wrongfully accused by the police. In giving his version of the outrage on Constable Fitzpatrick, he states that when it occurred he was 400 miles away from the place, and that he subsequently learned that it was because the constable was endeavouring to arrest his brother merely on the strength of a telegram, and without any warrant, that he was turned out of their house. He denies that Fitzpatrick was shot m the arm, averring that this was a concocted story, and alleges that a certain publican was a party to the fabrication. His great complaint is that his mother, with her baby, and his two friends, Skillion and Williams, have been wrongfully imprisoned. He, therefore, demands that justice shall be done to them, but asks no mercy for himself, and indicates that he expects none. When he returned home, he found that warrants were out for his arrest, and that a reward was offered for him. Being afraid, he went mining with his brother and some other men. They were under the impression that the country was "woven" with police, and as they had only two small guns, they thought their only chance was in attacking a police camp, securing the police arms, and in then making a rush through the supposed cordon to New South Wales . He then relates how they surprised the camp near Mansfield , and shot Sergeant Kennedy and the two constables. Constable M'Intyre surrendered at once, but Lonigan, instead of bailing up, ran to a “battery,' and "popped up his head "as if he were going to shoot. He (Kelly) thereupon covered him with his rifle, and shot him. Sergeant Kennedy and he (Kelly) fired at each other for some time Kennedy eventually got behind a tree, where he was shot in the arm. He then made a rush out, but turned back again, and threw up his arm. By this time he had dropped his revolver, but he (Kelly) did not observe that he had done so and supposing that he raised his arm to fire again he (Kelly) fired and shot him dead through the chest. He pretends to be sorry for having shot Kennedy and Scanlon, but expresses no regret for the murder of Lonigan. Towards the end of the letter he makes a number of horrible threats the principal of which are against the Railway department, and declares that he will carry them out if justice is not done to his relatives and friends, who he again alleges have been grievously wronged by several members of the police force. He makes a complaint about the police who are in pur suit of the gang not wearing their uniform, and asks why they should not don their regimentals, and fight the matter out in their true colours. As it is, he says they cannot be distinguished from civilians and renders it possible that he may shoot civilians by mistake. If justice is not done to his friends he will "wage a war on all mankind ' He attempts to finish with a verse of original poetry the only two intelligible lines of which are:-
“I don't want shot or powder
To avenge my cause"
He continues- "And so I conclude-Mind your railways-with a sweet goodbye from Edward Kelly, a forced outlaw."
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