The Argus at KellyGang 19/11/1878

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' Apropos of the bushrangers, the Sydney Echo of November 15 says -"It will be interesting to watch the operations of the Victorian police system, and see if it will compare favourably with that of this colony. Here success in effecting the capture of criminals seems to arise from the fact of the police identifying themselves very closely with the habits of the people they move amongst and so close has this course been followed that a sergeant of police, either in the country or the city, is generally an encyclopaedia of biographies of all the people round him. This does not appear the case with the Victorian troopers some of whom are being sent long distances into a strange locality to trap the Kellys and   their confederates. Such a proceeding places them at a greater disadvantage than the police here ever laboured under. They have not yet discovered the trail of the murderers, and a great many efforts appear to be made to prevent their carrying out the ends of justice. Here the police ferreted out Gibson, who shot Sergeant Wallings from amongst his confederates, and had such a chase of 300 miles after him as would have delighted the Victorian police. It is to be hoped success will speedily attend the exertions being made to capture the Kelly gang; and it would be gratifying to know that some of the New South Wales police had a hand in securing the ruffians. This may not be possible, unless the gang cross the border, in which case it may, from former experiences, be imagined they will be speedily run to earth.





BENALLA, MONDAY, 10.30 P.M.    

There have been several movements amongst the troopers in this district to-day. A party of men went out of Benalla that morning, and another party returned late in the afternoon, but no definite information of the movements of the gang has been received from the in- coming party. There are, however, a considerable number of men concentrated at this place as if some important movement was anticipated. No news has been received from Seymour as to the correctness or otherwise of the statement that a store was stuck up last night between Seymour and Murchison, and it is believed by the authorities here that if such was the case the work was not done by any of Kelly's gang but by some others who are taking advantage of the present scare. By the last train from Melbourne this evening some more troopers came to Benalla to strengthen the force here and four troopers were also sent to Mansfield via Longwood to provide for the further protection of that district.


There is nothing new to report about the Kelly gang but no one would be surprised to see them turn up in this district, as it is almost totally unprotected, only one police man being stationed within a radius of 40 miles. Great indignation is expressed that more constables and firearms are not sent to the outlying districts, and the greatest insecurity is felt not alone in Alexandra but on the outside stations and farms. Loss of life as well as loss of property is dreaded. A short time ago a large landowner, residing not far from here, had two horses stolen. A few days after giving information, and making efforts to recover the animals, he found two more of his horses lying in the paddock shot dead. This was intimidation, and further attempts to discover the perpetrators of the crime would probably be met with still worse retaliation. That such a state of affairs should exist in a thickly-peopled district is not very creditable, and it shows at once the urgent necessity of having more police protection in the Mansfield, Jamieson, and Alexandra districts.  

We observe that ‘The Australasian Skecher’ devotes a good deal of space to the scenes and incidents of the late bushranging outrage in the Mansfield Ranges.The artist of the journal visited the district, and obtained views of the scene of the murders and other points associated with the tragedy, and also photographs of the two Kellys and of the four constables these six portraits are given, to- gether with a large engraving of the site of the camp where the murders vvere committed, a view of the township of Mansfield, and one of the Wombat Ringes, the haunt of the Kellys, and other sketches. In view of the strong interest taken in this unprecedented outrage, the opportunity of obtaining authentic and accurate views illustrative of the affair will no doubt be welcome to the public.

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