The Argus at KellyGang 13/3/1879

From KellyGang
Jump to: navigation, search
(full text transcription)





Thomas Lloyd, jun., and Wm. Tanner, the two men who assaulted the police yesterday, were brought before Standish and Mr M'Bean, JP, this morning, and were sentenced to one week's imprisonment. They were each fined 5s. for damaging the police uniform. Thomas Lloyd, jun., was then charged under the 5th section of the Outlawry Statute with giving information to the Kellys, and was remanded on the application of the police for one week. A young man, who appeared to be not more than 15 years of age, named M'Auliffe, was also charged with giving information to the Kelly's and on the application of Sergeant Whelan was remanded for three days, the sergeant stating that he would bring forward his evidence on that day. The first named prisoners were sent to Beechworth by this evening's train.


A correspondent of the South Australian Advertiser, who has travelled in Queensland, supplies the following information respecting the native police of that colony, a detachment of which is now employed in Victoria in tracking the Kelly gang -

When the northern parts of Queensland became more settled by the squatters, it was found necessary to employ other aboriginals to track the wild blacks to their native fast- nesses, as the ordinary police were powerless to effect their capture. These black trackers formed the nucleus of the Queensland native police, who are composed exclusively of young natives in the prime of life, and generally taken from the southern tribes to be employed against their northern brothers. When the writer was in Cooktown some four years ago, a detachment of native police, under an inspector and white sergeant, and some twelve or fourteen black boys, formed the only protection the diggers on the Palmer had besides their own means of defence; and when the immense extent of country which had to be protected is taken into account – a distance of about 400 or 500 miles – it may easily be imagined that their duties were by no means light.

The headquarters of the police – that is the particular detachment now being dealt with – was at Cooktown, and it was a common occurrence to see Inspector D— riding through the town at the head of his black boys clad in uniform, and with carbines slung across their shoulders. After a few days' spell the "boys" would be suddenly   mustered, and depart, sometimes in the dead of night, for a raid amongst "the niggers,"   their movements being ordered with the utmost secrecy and expedition. A few days afterwards the little band would re- turn, covered with dust and showing evident signs of fatigue, and then even the most inveterate Yankee interviewer would fail to obtain a word of information from the leader of the band beyond the simple formula, "The native police never give information of their doings." One significant fact, however, in connexion with these expeditions was the number of spears and other weapons and "curios" brought back. The instructions given to the inspectors by the Government were simply, "Keep the roads clear of the natives," and as very few questions, if any, were asked by the Government, carte blanche was given to the native police as a body throughout Queensland.

Now and then tidings would reach the port from the interior of some murder or murders having been committed by the blacks, and these tidings would soon be followed by the laconic information that the natives had been dispersed, and the absence of a few hundred niggers from their customary haunts would evoke the expression, "D — and his black demons have been about." The most astonishing thing about these police was the quickness of their movements. One day they would be in Cooktown, a few hours later a small band of adventurers would be surprised in their culinary operations by the appearance of the inspector and his black boys in the neighbourhood of the celebrated   Hell's Gate, 50 or 60 miles from Cooktown.   The next day the Chinamen of Revolver Point, 30 or 40 miles away, would be favoured with a visit, a few hours sufficing for their appearance in almost any given locality, their extraordinary bushcraft enabling them to make short cuts across country, instead of following the circuitous route in ordinary use.


.1. , .2. ,  

 ! The text has been retyped from a microfiche copy of the original.

We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged.

We also apologise for any typographical errors.