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ACR204 - Crime, Media & Justice
Transcript of ACR204 - Crime, Media & Justice
The Myall Creek Massacre. Note the rope binding the Aboriginal people together and the little child on the back of her mother on the far right. Published in The Chronicles of Crime, 1841.
Myall Creek Massacre
occurred on the 10th of June 1838 near Myall Creek Station in northern New South Wales, near Bingara.
Ten white Europeans and one black African were involved in the murder of 28 Aboriginal men, women and children.
After two short trials, seven of
the 11 defendants involved in the killings were found guilty of murder and hanged.
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Tuesday 4 December 1838, page 2
The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), Saturday 8 December 1838, page 2
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 1 December 1838, page 2, 3
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Thursday 29 November 1838, page 2, 3
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Tuesday 11 December 1838, page 2
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Thursday 20 December 1838, page 2
The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), Wednesday 26 December 1838, page 2
The Australian (Sydney, NSW 1824 - 1848), Saturday 8 December 1838, page 2
The Colonist (Sydney, NSW 1835 - 1840), Wednesday 5 December 1838, page 2, 3
The Colonist (Sydney, NSW 1835 - 1840), Wednesday 12 December 1838, page 2
The Hobart Town Courier (Tas_ 1827 - 1839), Friday 21 December 1838, page 2
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW 1803 - 1842), Saturday 1 December 1838, page 2, 3
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW 1803 - 1842), Saturday 16 February 1839, page 3
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW 1803 - 1842), Thursday 20 December 1838, page 2
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW 1803 - 1842), Thursday 29 November 1838, page 2, 3
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW 1803 - 1842), Tuesday 4 December 1838, page 2
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW 1803 - 1842), Tuesday 11 December 1838, page 2
The Sydney Herald (NSW 1831 - 1842), Wednesday 26 December 1838, page 2
In terms of the editors view,
" Sworn to no Master, of no Sect am I."
'The men acquitted by one jury, but convicted by another-the men who, whether 'guilty or innocent (and upon either contingency we offer no opinion), who were twice tried for the same offence, in defiance of every principle of British law and British justice-have been hanged. The lives of these men-the lives of all who have been slain in contests between the blacks and the whites, might not have been sacrificed, but for the successive Governments of this Colony, who have hitherto refused protection to the settlers, by means of an effective armed force ; and by this refusal given rise, in all probability, to a war of extermination'.
In terms of the editors view 'ON Tuesday morning the seven convicted murderers of the blacks, at Liver- pool Plains, paid with their lives the last earthly penalty of their crimes, and have now gone to meet the award of an Almighty God. Unhappily, on this occasion, men holding the very first rank in our colonial society have united with the very dregs of that society in the attempt to justify and uphold the murderers, and to protect them from the just consequence of the law. During the examination of the troops in garrison before Sir Maurice O'Connell, on Tues- day morning, a conversation was over- heard between two gentlemen, the one a resident in Sydney, and the other a settler from the interior, of which the following is a literal transcript. After the usual
Countryman : Well, have they hanged these men this morning ?
Citizen : Yes, I understand they have. Countryman : It is a damn shame ; but we have fallen on a safer game in our part of the country.
Citizen : Indeed, pray what is it ?
Countryman : Oh, we poison them. Citizen : Good God ! poison them ?
Countryman: Yes, we have done so with a good many already, and served them right too'.
This article follows on your the last story and discusses the comments made by that jury member as it was a poor reflection the Jury System and the views that were held by most of the community at the time. This article repeats those same views, however does not support them
In terms of the editors view 'A cor- respondent of The Australian of Saturday reports the following as the speech of one of the jurymen in reference to the case, subsequently to the trial--and although the report is not authenticated by the name of its author, the fact that it remains uncontradicted, taken in connexion with the evident impress of truth it bears, leaves no doubt whatever on our minds of its being perfectly correct :--" I look on the " blacks," said the enlightened and phi- lanthropic juror, "as a set of monkeys, and " I think the earlier they are exterminated from the face of the earth the better. I knew well they were guilty of the murder, but I, for one, would never consent to see a white man suffer for shooting a black one."
To the Editor of The Australian.
In terms of the editors view
'SIR — As the late unparallelled slaughter of the Aborigines has created great excitement in the Colony, so when the news shall have reached England, a like excitement will be felt there among the moral and religious classes of every denomination. The question will naturally be asked there — what are the feelings of the people of New South Wales on the subject ? In order that the feelings of some portion of the inhabitants may be known and duly appreciated, perhaps you will favour me with the insertion of the following sentiments expressed by one of the jury who tried and acquitted the men on the first trial. 'I look on the blacks (said this enlightened and philanthropic juror) as a set of monkies, and the earlier they are exterminated from the face of the earth the better. I would never consent to hang a white man for a black one. I knew well they were guilty of the murder, but I, for one, would never see a white man suffer for shooting a black.'
Up to the close of the first trial the prisoners were viewed as defenseless and innocent men and that were were not guilty and that they have been accused wrongly. Excuses were used to excuse the men from their guilt. They were in the wrong place wrong time, they were protecting property.
In terms of the editors view ' When, however, we found that protection continued even after it had become apparent to the whole community that so large a number of defenseless human beings had been slaughtered by the inhuman wretches in cold blood, our opinion became changed, and we could look upon the continuance of that protection in no other light than as, if not arguing a previous knowledge of the foul deed, of at least betokening on the part of the members an approbation and encouragement of a crime so atrocious that the mere mention of it is sufficient to produce a shudder'.
The Attorney General deserves the highest credit for the manner in which he has acquitted himself in this matter.
Seven of the men Charles Kilmaister, James Oates, Edward Fo- ley, John Johnston, John Russell, William Haw- kins, and James Parry, were acquitted of the charges brought against them, at the trial for the murder of the aboriginal women,kids and men.
There was a delay with the progression of the second trial as had to place some affidavits before the court relative to some paragraphs which had appeared in some of the public papers. He feared that those articles would place undue influence on the jurors and this might endanger the delivery of true justice.
There was also some ambiguity regarding the charges before the court as and the defense sought clarification because the
prisoners might plead guilty to the murder of a male child, and on that concession be found guilty of the murder of a female. The issue of the murder was somewhat lost as the focus shifted to clarification of gender.
At the time about 50 Aboriginal people had moved to Myall Creek Station at the invitation of a stockman employed there. Ten of them, all able bodied males, were working on a neighbouring station, 50kms away, when they learned that a group of armed stockmen planned to go onto Myall Creek Station. They walked back as fast as they could, but it was already too late.
The stockmen, led by John Fleming, were already galloping towards the huts of Myall Creek Station where the remaining Aboriginal people were preparing their evening meal. It was reported that the stockmen herded the defenceless Aboriginal people together and tied their hands together with a long rope. Only two young boys escaped.
Two days after the Myall Creek Massacre the murderers returned and burned the bodies of their victims.
Map of Myall creek - https://www.google.com.au/search?q=map+of+the+myall+creek
Background image - Retrieved from http://gallery.records.nsw.gov.au/index.php/galleries/50-years-at-state-records-nsw/2-10/
The Myall Creek Massacre 18th December 1838
ACR204 - Crime, Media & Justice - ID: 212075319
Images of Aboriginal people period 1838 -https://www.google.com.au/search?