Unsolved Who was "Philaleth" (friend of truth), the anonymous letter writer of 1833?

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During July and August 1833 a number of letters were published in the Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal by a writers or writers under the pseudonym "Philaleth" (friend of truth).

This thread is about finding out who actually wrote those letters. There are tantalising clues buried in the contents of each of the published letters.

These are the letters that I have discovered so far.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/result?l-publictag=Philaleth+(friend+of+truth)+pseudonym&q=

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Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847), Saturday 13 July 1833, page 111

To the Editor of the Perth Gazette,

Sir,—A learned commentator on the laws of England, in analyzing the title by which individ-uals claim exclusive possession of any portion of the surface or substance of the earth, after shew-ing that it is derived from the natural right arising from prior occupancy, thus proceeds "Upon the same principle was founded the rights of migration, or sending colonies to find out new habitations,

when the mother country was overcharged with inhabitants ; which was practised as well, by the Phoenicians and Greeks, as the Germans, Scythi-ans and other northern people. And, so long as it was confined to the stocking and cultivation of desert uninhabited countries, it kept strictly within

the limits of the law of nature. But how far the seizing on countries already peopled, and driving out or massacring the innocent and defenceless natives, merely because they differed from their invaders in language, in religion, in customs, in government, or in colour ; how far such a conduct was consonant to nature, to reason, or christianity, deserved well to be considered by those, who have rendered their names immortal by thus civilising mankind." The British nation has deservedly acquired a high name for justice and honor in its

national dealings. But the treatment of the origi-nal owners and inhabitants of several countries, which have from time to time been taken possession of under its sway, is singularly at variance with this character, and forms an unfavourable excep-tion against the national honor. In the first attempts at colonising America, the utter dis-regard of the title of the owners of the soil seems a remarkable trait in the character of a people peculiarly jealous of their own property, liberty, rights and privileges. A private individual of an inoffensive yet persecuted sect, "first had the glory (as has been well remarked by a spirited French writer,) to set an example of moderation and justice, which was not so much as thought of before by Europeans." He first regarded the right of the owners of the soil and made a recompense, be that recompense what it may, for the cession of their territory, and Pensylvania now stands the glorious record of his name, and imperishable monument of his equity. "Tis true that this bright example has been tardily followed up at a long distance of time, when lessons of wisdom were learned by a dear bought experience; and that the small and wretched remnant of once powerful tribes, are now at last secured in the unmolested possession of a petty portion of that territory which was rightfully and wholly their own.—Let us now turn to another hemisphere and see what occurred at the first colonising of New South Wales. Here again was no appearance of open and avowed recognition of the rights of the native inhabitants. No preliminary attempt to obtain their consent, or amicable acquiescence in the measure. No preconcerted plan of conciliation. No well-directed efforts for mutual explanation. A large proportion of the population, with whom the natives were likely to come in contact, were the very outcasts from civilised society. Jealousy of intrusion and consciousness of natural right was on the one side, mistrust of intention and haughtly ideas of superiority on the other, so that almost the first meeting was a hostle collision. Feelings of enmity were engendered, and savage animosity was raised in the very outset, which it required years of judicious policy and well sustained mea-sures of conciliation to subdue, and to eradicate. But if we turn our views still nearer to ourselves and look to the history of Van Diemen's Land, what a frightful picture its annals present. Wanton outrage and mutual violence. Hatred almost irreconcileable—revenge as sure as it was deadly, murder in its most appalling form—total insecurity of life and property—plunder, burnings, and

devastation. And were the settlers inactive? Have they been supine?—Wholesale massacre and in-discriminate slaughter have marked the traces of their activity in characters of blood. Yet they profited nothing. We have seen few and feeble steps towards conciliation, many and vigorous attempts at extermination, a simultaneous and universal effort at total expulsion, signally failing,

and when all other means had been found in-effectual, then—then at last we see earnest and hearty endeavours to bring about an amicable un-derstanding, The effect as described seems almost magical.—Now for the first time since the founda-tion of that colony is there firm hope and sure promise of peace, and while we hope that the lesson thus taught may not be thrown away upon us, gladly and readily do we echo back the words and wish of its annalist Esto perpetua."

Sir, much remains to be said on this subject, and I shall resume it with your permission on future occasions. Believing, as I do that the views of our present local Government, are decidedly

friendly to the natives, both upon principle and from motives of sound policy, I trust I am not too sanguine in expressing a hope that the day is not far distant, when they shall be enabled to carry into operation, matured plans of effectual concilia-tion; and that whilst on the one hand, the con-dition of the Aborigines may be ameliorated, on the other, our lives and property may be secure from hazard,—so that their procurement of sub-sistence may be compatible with our enjoyment of

the soil.

I am, Sir, yours,

PHILALETH. ||

When was Rome built? asked an Oxonian of a boy. By night, answered the boy. How was that? this is a new piece of information! No, for my French proverh book says, it was not built in

a day!



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Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847), Saturday 27 July 1833, page 119

To the Editor of The Perth Gazette..

SIR,—In a former letter, having taken a brief and rapid view of the course of policy pursued by the British Nation with respect to the Aboriginal Inhabitants of several countries colonized by them, and of the consequences of that Policy ; let us

now turn our attention to those settlements with

which we are more immediately connected. At King George's Sound a uniform system of con-ciliation and kindness was adopted at the first, and steadily persevered in, so that a perfect confidence and cordial amity are established with the Natives of that District. One tribe at least, is domestica-ted and attached though not civilized ; and likely to become useful as interpreters between us and

the other tribes in case of desired communication, or serviceable as allies in case of unavoidable

hostility.—Let us look now to that act in which we are all parties concerned ; namely, the Settle-ment of Swan River,—and here though every praise is due to Governor Stirling for his prompt endeavours to guard the persons of the natives from wanton outrage, by a Proclamation nearly contemporaneous with the very foundation of the Colony ; yet does it not strike us all with surprise that such a state of things should have come upon us unawares, that we should have plunged into such a situation without consideration—without

forethought. How few of us deigned to bestow even a thought upon the existence of a people whom we were about to dispossess of their country. Which of us can say that he made a rational cal-culation of the rights of the owners of the soil, of the contemplated violation of those rights, of the probable consequences of that violation, or of our justification of such an act? If perchance at any moment the murmurings of our conscience made themselves heard, were not its faint whisper ings strifled by the bustle of business, or drowned in the din of preparations ? Did we not swim the stream in a state of high wrought excitement, from the novelty of our sensation and the rapidity of our course, without reflecting that this rapidity might be an indication of the vicinity of an awful cataract, towards which we were hurrying in a heedless and blind security ? Did it never occur to us then, that in thus extending the dominion of Great Britain, in thus acquiring a territory for our country whilst seeking a fortune for ourselves, we were about to perpetrate a monstrous piece of injustice, that we were about to dispossess un-ceremoniously the rightful owners of the soil? Did it occur to us then, that in the battles we were about to fight, the war was to be carried on at our own cost ? Did it occur to us then, that in exposing our own lives and property to hazard in thus virtually though not ostensibly conquering a country there were no thanks for our labour, there was no remuneration for our losses, there was no pay tor our services, there was no pension for our wounds ? It did not occur to us then, or sure am I if it had, we should have paused one and all, and instead of that general application— How much land will you give us ? our preliminary cautious inquiry would have been. But what right have you to give the land ? What considera-tion have you given for that right ? How am I sure that I shall not be disturbed in my possession of the grants? But, No! the boon was a gift which we were eager to accept ;—we looked not too scrupulously to the title of the donor ;-we mounted this gift horse and rode proudly away, though at the hazard of being challenged by the real owner for the theft. But what is the scope of these observations ? for what purpose do I dwell upon them ? not surely for the purpose of making an idle clamour about that which has been done and cannot be undone ?—Not surely to make a useless parade of our injustice? but solely with the object of impressing upon the minds of every individual among us, that we owe the Aboriginal Inhabitants of this country a debt which as honest conscientious men we are bound to discharge, and that, not by forbearance alone for petty thefts and trifling injuries, as far as our nature will permit ; but by acts of substantial good—by advantages

equivalent to those of which we have deprived them. And if a state of civilized society be superior to a state of savage barbarism, if a knowledge of the Blessings of the Gosple be better than the grossest darkest ignorance, then I say there are benefits which we have in our power to bestow, there are advantages which we are able to confer, that may make reparation for our injustice, may make amends for the injuries we have inflicted. As we are ever quick in finding out excuses for our-selves, here we are all ready to exclaim,—Why throw the burden of this upon the settlers.—We have already losses enough to bear, and difficulties enough to contend against.—It is the business of the Government.—Why do not the Government take the matter in hand ?—The question is a rea-sonable one, I shall not undertake to answer it, save by reference to a strong hope formerly ex-pressed, that the day is not far distant when such a measure may be effectually carried into execution.

But if the Government should not see fit to do it, or until it shall have been done, I would say to each settler " Tua res agitur " your own cause is at hearing, your own interest is at stake, while you hesitate the opportunity is lost. The native stops not to discriminate between a measure of Government and a private act of an individual. His enmity may not affect the Government. His vengeance may fall upon you. To the Individual I should say-if your circumstances do not war-rant a gratuity to the native, treat him at least with kindness and good humour,-if you can, make him useful to you and remunerate him ac-cordingly. Instances are numerous in the colony of their voluntarily coming at stated periods to perform an appointed task for a stipulated reward. Act always towards him with justice and fairness, and at the same time, with a prudent discretion. What you promise, be careful to perform-never break faith with a savage.- To the Government I should not presume to suggest a course of con-duct, but content myself with saying, that to

domesticate and to attach them at least is not

hopeless-it has been done at Sydney and at King George's Sound ;-but to civilize, nay even to Christianize them, this would indeed be a task worthy of an emanation of the British Government, And let not the epithets, ridiculous and visionary and impracticable be too hastily applied. It is not ridiculous, it is a matter for serious and grave consideration. It is not visionary, it is matter of actual observation and experience. It is not im-

practicable, for such a thing has actually been, done;-To shew Sir, that this experiment has al-ready been tried and crowned with complete suc-cess in a case apparently as hopeless, perhaps even more so, I shall on another occasion trans-

scribe from an authentic source, which may not perhaps be familiar to some of your readers : an

account of the settlement of the tribe of the Mis-

sisaguas in Upper Canada, meantime, I am, Sir,

Yours,

PHILALETH.



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Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847), Saturday 10 August 1833, page 127

To the Editor of the Perth Gazette,

SIR,—The following is Captain Hall's account of the tiibe of the Mississaguas :—

"Till within the last three or four years, those Indians were known in that part of Canada as the most profligate, drunken ; and, it was supposed, irreclaimable of savages. Such indeed was their state of wretchedness, that the total and speedy extinction of the whole tribe seemed inevitable. All this was attributed to other causes than pover-ty ; for the annual distribution of goods to the tribe, either as a bounty from the crown, or as a consideration for lands which they had ceded, was most ample ; whilst their neighbourhood to popu-lous settlements insured them a ready market for their game or fish, if they had been industriously disposed. They owned also a fine tract of land reserved for their exclusive use. But it seems they were lost in a state of continual intoxication, brought on by drinking the vilest kind of spirits, obtained by bartering the clothes, and other articles annually served out to them by Govern-ment. Such a stite of things of course attracted \much attention, and many plans were suggested -ibr ameliorating their condition ; but none suc-

ceeded in reclaiming these miserable objects, till about three or four years ago, Sir Peregrine Mait-land, then Governor of tipper Canada, conceived the idea of domesticating these Indians on the banks of the river Credit. The ground accord-ingly was soon cleared, cemmodious, houses were built, and implements of husbandry, clothes and other things, given to the new settlers. These wretched people were induced to take these chiefly by the influence of a Missionary named Jones : he had acquired a considerable degree of iufluence amongst the tribe in question ; and his own efforts being opportunely seconded by the Government, the result, as far as we could judge, was wonderful. From living more like hogs than men, these Mis3isaguas had acquired, when we saw them, many domestic habits. They had all neat houses, made use of beds, tables and chairs, and were perfectly clean in their persons, instead of being plastered over with paint and grease. They were also tolerably well dressed, and were described as being industrious, orderly, and above all, sober. Most of the children, and a few of the older Indians could read English ; facts which we ascertained by visiting their school, and I have seldom seen anything more curious. The whole tribe profess Christianity, attend divine service regularly, and what is still more to the purpose, their conduct is said to be in character with their profession. Instead of hunting and fishing for a precarious livelihood, they now cultivate the ground ; and in place of spending their earnings in procuring spirits, lay them by to purchase comforts, and to educate and clothe their children ; such at least were the accounts given to us. We examined the village minutely, and had some ^conversation with the schoolmaster, a brother of Mr. Jones, the person to whose exertions so much of -tfjhe success of the experiment is due. The »Amber of Indians at the Credit village is only 215; but the great point gained, is, the fact of reformation being possible. The same feelings .and disposition to improve, are extending rapidly, 1 am told, amongst the other tribes connected with the Missisaguas, and chiefly amongst the

Chippewas of Lake Simcoe, and those of the

Rice Lake."

Every sentence of this account is pregnant with instruction and encouragement to us. Here was a people almost irreclaimable-having the worst vices of civilization superadded to the imper-fections of savage nature.-Devoted to the chase. Inhabiting a country abounding in game-jealous of control-fond of independence-averse to la-bour-and all these in an equal, perhaps a much greater degree than the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Australia. Yet they have been reclaimed. There were many difficulties in the way ; but they were not thought insuperable. There were great ob-stacles ; but they were not considered insurmounta-ble. There were many disappointments ; but they did not induce despair, but rather served as in-centives to renewed efforts, as stimulants to in-creased exertion-Thus far, the policy of con-ciliating the natives, has been considered on the grounds of justice and equity alone, and I am aware that this view of the case, is liable to be, nay in some instances has been encountered with sneers, and assailed by ridicule. These may be found by such as indulge in their use, serviceable as narcotics to lull their consciences into apathetic insensibility; they will not be found to be specifics

to heal the disease. But Sir there is another consideration which affects every individual no matter how callous in other respects ; an argument that comes home to all-that is self interest. It may be easily demonstrated that in whatever light this question may be considered, whether of pecuniary profit or loss,-of personal safety or danger- of security or hazard to property, or in the patriotic light of advancement or ******ation of the colony-it is in every respect the interest of the settlers to be on terms of friendship with the

natives.

I am, Sir, yours, &c,

PHILALETH.



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Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847), Saturday 10 August 1833, page 126

THE

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN

JOURNAL

THE general uncertainty which pre-vails with respect to the views of the Home Government towards this Colony, has checked our operations for a time, and rendered our Editorial duties, as the Chroniclers of events, a perfect sinecure. In the course of a few days, we may fully expect to be relieved by an arrival from England, from this unsatisfactory, and

dreaming existence.

The communications of our corres-

pondent " Philaleth," upon the subject of the Aborigines of this Country, are particularly deserving of attention, and at this period, during an intermission of hostilities, the question cannot be too generally canvased, or too deeply con-sidered ; we can now regard it calmly and dispassionately ; and we do most sincerely trust that the sentiments and opinions of " Philaleth," will be univer-sally inculcated. The recent possessors of our acquired territory, have an indis-putable right to our consideration ; we term them British subjects, and condemn them by our laws, — surely they may demand the protection and immunities of the country to which they are allied ! — Let us bestir ourselves in the good work of civilization before our refinements up-on depravity have reached them ; — the ground is ready to be tilled but the seed is wanting.



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Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847), Saturday 31 August 1833, page 139

CORRESPONDENCE:

To the Editor of the Perth Gazette,

MR. EDITOR,-With reference to the establish ment of-u The Native village " alluded to in your last paper, it may be well to look to how such matters are arranged, and managed on a some-what more extensive scale, in British North Ame-rica, and in the United States. Before we do so, however, I beg to subscribe fully to the sentiments so well expressed by your valuable correspondent Philaleth. Of his humanity, and mental ability, no one can fonn a doubt, even for one moment, -but his opinions on this question, appear to be founded upon reading, and general information, and his conclusions therefore, are drawn from these sources only, and the dictates of his own

heart.

Mine are derived from a personal intercourse of several years with the tribes, whose rapid civiliza- tion he so ably describes, and a knowledge ofthat country, to which there is, in my opinion, none equal upon earth.

It is pleasant to me, Mr. Editor, to look back to those days-probably the very happiest of my Hie, although surrounded by savages, and more than 1000 miles from the ocean, and if I can make the recollection of them useful, it will he still more gratifying; but to the point: in North America, there is a branch of the public service, especially charged with the superintendence of u the Native tribes." It is there called " the indian Depart-^

ment."-This consists of a number of civilians

holding colonial commissions, as Captains, Lieu- tenants, and Ensigns, five of whom, viz, one Captain, two Lieutenants, and two Ensigns, are

stationed in each district, from Quebec to Mic-, hilimackinac, about 1,200 miles from the gulph of St. Laurence, towards the South Pacific Ocean,! and in the interior of America,-in fact, wherever

there are settlers, and wherever settlers require protection from the Aborigines of the country, | through the medium of the " indian Department."

When the local Governments of that country decide on throwing open a new distant district for location, one of the first measures connected with it is, the appointing the Officers of the Indian Department, it is their duty to secure by every means in their power, a friendly intercourse

with the tribes partially settled in the neighbour- hood, or who may occasionally use that portion of the American forest as their hunting ground.

These Officers are invariably taken from the

class of persons most likely to effect the purpose for which they are employed, and for the mainten- ance of whom such an expense is incurred ; viz, from those who are more or less acquainted with the inland trade of North America, its vast regions of forest and water, its great variety of climate, its local advantages and difficulties, and its ex- traordinary natural resources. Persons who have been in some way connected with the fur trade, or who have been brought up in the wilderness, a few hundred miles in the bush, which in America

is " neither here or there," are those generally

selected for the service, and well indeed, do they generally perform its duties. They rank, next after the regular militia of the country, and they receive the same pay, and allowances as the offi-cers of the British Infantry.

No sooner are they stationed, and settled in extended order, on the new line of emigration than they become known to the Indian tribes, and in order to ensure a good understanding, through them, no man there thinks of interfering with them in their duties ; consequently, the Indian tribes soon hok upon the Indian officers as their firm friends and authorized protectors.

The Captain of the Indian Department, of the district, has discretional powers to order the na-tives occasional supplies of bread, blankets, am-munition, &c., from the public stores; and also, medical attendance in cases of disease, or accident; and when disputes arise between the settlers and the aborigines, the Indian officer arbitrates the difference. After a very short time, he has the able, and effective assistance in these matters, of the most influential of the tribes, who sit as solemnly over such discussions, as many of "their worships" in other parts of the world.

It may be well to remark, that these differences, in most cases arise , from the grasping nature of the commonly called civilized "christian," who after settling himself comfortably down on the hunting grounds of " the savage," begins to de-fraud him of the fair reward of his daily, and

nightly toil, and to derive from his barter of skins

for bad rum, damaged gunpowder, and muskets, "made for sale," an iniquitous profit, of a fewhundred per cent above the accustomed established prices of the colony, and the-frir-trade.- Against this, and all other injuries, it is the duty of the Indian officers to protect the natives, as far as they have it in their power to do so ; and on the other hand, in the event of an outrage being com-mitted upon a settler or vovageur, the influence of the Indian officers with the chiefs, is invariably sufficient to ensure immediate punishment, and the prevention of a similar occurrence. The expense of this branch of the local service of North Ameri-ca I do not precisely remember, but I believe, with the value of the blankets, arms, and ammunition, periodically given in the principal towns, it must considerably exceed 4,000/. per annum. But what is this, and u hat is the good derived from such an outlay ? These questions are answered in a very few words,-security from personal injury, and perfect security from all pecuniary loss,- in fact instecd of the latter, a security for a great pe-cuniary good, and such advantages as I need not attempt to describe in detail.

This 4,000/. is repaid more than ten fold to the colony, and the mother country, from the peaceful

agricultural labour it ensures, and the peaceful profitable traffic carried on, and these advantages " being known to all, the expense is uever thought

of, or, if ever considered ; it is with feelings of satisfaction, and gratitude to the government for such advantages, and such an effectual protection. Mr. Editor, I have seen the good effect, and the

working of this system, and agree with Philaleth that it is good.

How far it can be made to apply to the aborigines of this country, I must leave him and others, and those in power, who are better acquainted with such matters, than I am to decide. Before however I leave the subject, I beg to state, that I have many times been in such Native villages in America as Philaleth describes, particularly Saint Regis in the State of New York, a town equal to any in this colony, and where the only inhabitant not an Indian, is its excellent Catholic Priest,

about one of the best men, and certainly the very best missionary I ever met with in that country.

The principal Inn, which is also equal in every respect to either of those we have here, is kept by a native-born Indian, who formerly hunted for his scanty, and uncertain meal, or exchanged his deer skins for the "very good" of his more civilized neighbour, with whom however he now stands, upon at least an intellectual equality. There is a small village also opposite Upper Lachine, just above the rapids, about six miles from Montreal, I forget its name, similarly inhabited. In its neighbourhood may be constantly seen, many families of natives gardening, thrashing, and going through all the moves of agricultural life, with ploughs, barrows, horses, and oxen, working away for the support of their families, and the supply of the Montreal market.

ÍIn the United States, this order of things is carried still farther. One of the native tribes, or nations, have a Gazette, edited and published by a native, and a very respectable paper it is, the alternate columns being printed like the Cape Journals in two languages-the Cherchée and English.

I am aware Mr. Editor, that the mental capabi-lities of the savage is now beginning to be better un-derstood all over the world, and I also believe, that we civilized beings, generally speaking, do not now-fancy ourselves to be such very superior beings, as our worthy forefathers under Drake, Anson and others, who cruized about amongst these savages, seeking whom they might devour, considered themselves to be, in their day ; I there-fore express myself more unreservedly on the sub-ject, but I will not now intrude myself farther than to ask two questions, which perhaps may

lead to useful consideration ;

First, Whether if the Colonial Revenue of this Colony upon spirits, and licenses amounts, as I understand it does, to at least 1,500/. per annum, it would, or would not be well, to appropriate 8 or 900/. of this sum to the support of such a system, as has been practised with such excellent results in North America, instead of applying the whole to the making of public roads ? And second-ly, If it would not be more conducive to the pub-lic good, supposing such an appropriation of a part of the crown revenues to be approved by the local Government, to establish a native settlement on Rottenest Island, in the same manner as the Van Diemen's land Government have adopted for

the aborigines of that country, to the establishing '* the Native village at the head of the Swan ?"

JL. VERITAS.

Perth August 2b, 1833. ~

Having noticed for some time, that the Bricks made use of at Perth, in most instances, are of inferior description, we have been induced to make the following extract from " Nicholson," in order, that if it should arise from ignorance, this excuse may no longer be available ; and more especially to direct the atten-tion of our correspondents, who are con-versant with these matters, to the good which may be effected by imparting fur-ther information. Our clay is of the finest description,-if we persist there-fore in producing bricks, which it is requisite to plaster over as soon as they are laid, it will be-not a lasting , al-though a continued disgrace to us.

BRICKS,

The earth best adapted for the manufacture of brick is of a clayey loam, neither containing too much argillaceous matter, which causes it to shrink in the drying, nor too much sand, which has a tendency to render the ware both heavy and brittle. It should be dug two or three years be-fore it is wrought, that it may, by an exposure to the action of the atmostrophere, lose its extra-neous matter of which it is possessed when first drawn from its bed; or, at least, should be allow- ed to remain one winter, that the frost may mel-low and pulverize it sufficiently to facilitate the operation of tempering. As the quality of the brick is greatly dependent upon the tempering of the clay, great care should be taken to have this part of the procsss well done. Formerly the man-ner of performing it consisted in throwing the clay into shallow pits, and subjecting it to the tread of men and oxen ; but this method has of late been superseded by the clay or pug mill, which is a very eligible, though simple machine.

The clay or pug mill consists of a large vertical cone, having strong knives with a spiral arrange-

ment and inclination fixed on its internal surface.

Passing through the centre, and terminating in a pivot at the bottom, is a strong perpendicular shaft with similar radiating knives, so that the knives by the revolution of the shaft, cut, separate, and purify the clay, till it is reduced to a homoge-neous paste, which passes through an orific at the bottom into a receiver placed for that purpose. The clay is taken from the receiver to the mould-er's bench, and is, either by a lad, or a woman, cut into pieces somewhat larger than the mould, and passed on to the moulder, who works it into a mould, previously dipped in sand, and strikes off the superfluous parts with a flat smooth piece of wood. In this country the mould used is about ten inches in length, and five inches in breadth,

and the bricks when burnt are about nine inches

long, four and a half inches broad, and two and a half inches thick. The degree of shrinking, how-ever, is various, according to the temper and purity of the clay, and the degree of heat attained in the burning. A handy moulder is calculated to mould from about 5000 to 7000 per day. From the moulder's bench the bricks are carried to the

hack, and arranged somewhat diagonally, one above the other, and two edgewise accross, with a passage between the heads of each for the ad-mission of air, till they be eight bricks in height. They are then left to dry. The time they take ere they require shifting depends entirely upon the weather, which when fine will be but a few days : they are then turned and re-set wider apart, and in six or eight days are ready for the clamp or

kiln.

Clamps are generally used in the vicinity of London. They are made of the bricks to be burnt, and are commonly of a oblong form. The founda-

tion is made either with the driest of the bricks

just made, or with the commonest kind of brick, called place bricks. The bricks to be burnt are arranged tier upon tier as high as the clamp is in-tended to be; and a stratum of breeze or cinders to the depth of two or three inches is strewed between each layer of bricks, and the whole is finally covered with a thick stratum of breeze. At the west end of the clamp a perpendicular fire

place of about three feet in height is constructed, and flues are formed by arching the bricks over so as to leave a space of about a brick in width. The flues run straight through the clamp, and are fflled with a mixture of coals, wood, and breeze, which are pressed closely together. If the bricks are re-quired to be burnt off quickly, which can be ac-complished in the space of from twenty to thirty days according to the state of the weather, the flues must not exceed six feet distance apart ; but if there is no urgent demand, the flues need not be nearer than nine feet, and the clamp may be allowed to bum slowly.



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The proceeding are downloads from trove of the text of each letter and one response from the editor. There will be a number of transcription errors caused by the optical character recognition software used to create the texts.

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petedavo

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I'll nominate Dr Alexander Collie as my first candidate for being the anonymous letter writer.
He was well educated, and travelled.
He once worked in North America.
He lived in both the King George Sound colony and the Swan River colony.
He explored the South West and would've had extensive interaction with indigenous inhabitants throughout.
And he died unexpectedly in 1835
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/collie-alexander-1911

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petedavo

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A clue that Dr Alexander Collie might well be the anonymous letter writer appears in another biography

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mokare-13106

Extract»
In the early letters of Alexander Collie, the resident magistrate, Nakina and Mokare were named as his house guests, and the latter as interpreter and guide during an expedition to the Porongorups in April 1831. The brothers were Collie's informants for an essay on the Aborigines of King George Sound published in the Perth Gazette in July-August 1834. The article described the illness of Mokare and his death on 26 June 1831. The Aborigines and Europeans had assembled at Collie's house and walked to a site selected by Nakina where the Europeans dug a grave to Nakina's specifications. Mokare was laid to rest; his cloak and personal artefacts adorned the grave as those assembled cried and wailed. A short time later, the Aborigines left the settlement for a period of mourning. When Collie was dying in 1835, he asked to be buried alongside Mokare. The graves were disturbed during construction of Albany Town Hall in the twentieth century and some remains, presumed to be Collie's, were interred in the pioneers' cemetery, Albany. What happened to Mokare’s remains after the exhumation is unclear, but there is no evidence to suggest that they were treated with the respect afforded those of Collie. A memorial on Mount Barker commemorates Collie's 1831 expedition and Mokare's role in it.

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Badge666

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Bit of an intellectual question from you there four eyes.. like it refreshing change..... very good ..just the Badgers Easter cup of tea, indeed.
O.K .....MY Money is on C .Y. O' Connor- .keen letter writer...liked to get on the rotgut whisky and write letters to the editor of an evening after finishing work on the Goldfields Pipeline....(.little known fact ,you read it first here.)
I believe that it was a fit of pique at not winning "letter of the week" under his pseudonym " Philaleth" that eventually tipped him over the edge and led to him saddling up Trigger and ridding into the Cottesloe Surf with a pistol to his ear. Sad really.
 

petedavo

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Bit of an intellectual question from you there four eyes.. like it refreshing change..... very good ..just the Badgers Easter cup of tea, indeed.
O.K .....MY Money is on C .Y. O' Connor- .keen letter writer...liked to get on the rotgut whisky and write letters to the editor of an evening after finishing work on the Goldfields Pipeline....(.little known fact ,you read it first here.)
I believe that it was a fit of pique at not winning "letter of the week" under his pseudonym " Philaleth" that eventually tipped him over the edge and led to him saddling up Trigger and ridding into the Cottesloe Surf with a pistol to his ear. Sad really.
I don't believe that the timeline fits for CY O'Connor, as he wasn't born until ten years after the anonymous letters were published.

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Last edited:

petedavo

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https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/rendition/nla.news-article641423

Could this be Philaleth (friend of truth) pseudonym?

Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847), Saturday 5 July 1834, page 315

ANECDOTES AND REMARKS

RELATIVE TO THE ABORIGINES AT KING GEORGES

SOUND.

" A salutary regulation was in existence on my arrival at King George's Sound forbidding the

Natives taking their spears into the Settlement,: yet this, although still enforced, did not prevent ooccasional squabbles and some skirmishing among themselves, and trivial irritations and misunder-standings with us. The origin of their own quar-rels was difficult to be ascertained, but it was clearly seen they were quick and violent in resent-ing conceived insults from one another, and suffi-ciently sensible of maltreatment from us. Nor was the full appreciation of the value of our friendship enough to make them cover their tem-porary umbrage at supposed affronts, although it powerfully and soon operated to dispel the ill-humour that had been engendered.

All ages and sexes were among our visitors, or perhaps with more propriety our posts, as we certainly had come into their country and set our-selves down at, if not in, their homes and upon

their territories The male part of the Natives

extended their stay in the Settlement often till after dark, especially if biscuit and tea were held out to them to join in the native dance (Toortung-gur), or, as it is more frequently called, Korro-boré, from the Sydney name. The women almost invariably left before night-fall, and, with the old men and young children, chiefly occupied the more distant bivouac ; whilst the young men and those who had left their families at a distance, betook themselves only to the adjoining grove.

The moral principle and christian injunction of honesty is rarely found to predominate in the savage breast, and the Aborigines of New Hol-land have never been quoted as an exception. It will only then be surprising that so few and trifling thefts should have been committed by the tribe when articles of food and other things highly useful to them were often improperly left open to their temptation. The grown-up natives took credit to themselves for never stealing, and certain-ly they were only young boys and lads who were detected ; but they in laying the blame on the

fuller grown for advising to the act, implicated them without clearing themselves, and shewed what credit was due to the former for their boasted honesty. The penalty for theft was expulsion

from the Settlement.

One robbery more daring then the rest took place at the farm, and was perpetrated by one arrived at the years of discretion. The opportuni-ty of two men who lived there being at work in the Settlement was seized, to attempt a buglary in their hut, but the actor was unskilled in his profession that he had wasted much time and trouble in removing the brass plate of the key-hole, and neglected to force the lock, which was very insecurely fastened. He had, however, suc-ceeded in reaching and carrying off' some peas without obtaining admission for more than his hand and arm. He visited and left the impression of his footsteps in the garden where he had pulled up some vegetables, but looked in vain for bulbous or tuberous roots, most probably the objects of his search, as at that time there were few or none in the ground. Mokkaré, whom I sent next day to examine the traces which remained, attributed

the damage and the trespass to a man at the time in disgrace with the tribe, who was named Win-nawar, or Erawarré The suspicion was grounded on the very small footsteps corresponding to his very small foot, and that he lived in the neigh-bourhood of the farm.I desired Mokkaré to im-press the natives with the manner in which we viewed such acts, and the punishment that awaited them in case of detection. This, however, did not prevent a similar attempt to procure food by pulling up vegetables in July by some other natives who were supposed to have committed the depredation in the night time by moonlight, when the gardeners were at home. My suspicion fell on Toolunggurtwallé, from the foot mark and from his being a companion of Winnawar. A musket was supplied to the head gardener, and , I gave it out that he would in future shoot any black whom he should see in the garden, and this seemed to have the desired effect, as no more at-tempts at similar depredations were made for some time. In the fine weather of May one of the settlers, employed, for several days, a number of' the natives bringing in spars from Mount Melville at the cheap rate of the value of a meal or two of rice and sugar and tea. They were perfectly satisfied with their hire, and originated the hope that they might be made constantly available for such labour; but a very few days undeceived us ; for, on the 24th of May, after some rain had fallen, and in the commencement of Mokkar, (winter, or the rainy season,) and after holding, of their own free will and pleasure, without reward, emolument or countenance, a very grand korro-baré in the Settlement, they took their departure from the coast, and even to a boy proceeded in-land for the purpose of spearing kangaroo — the season for that species of hunting commencing at that time. Mokkaré asked and obtained leave to accompany his fellow countrymen for two or three days, but did not return for twelve or fourteen, and excused his breach of promise, which I shewed him was improper, by adducing the entreaties of the other natives to remain with them — entreaties which, in every probability, were strongly backed by his success in killing kangaroo, and consequent abundance of a favourite food ; for, although the stated meals of biscuit, beef, (salt,) cabbage and rice with tea may be very acceptable to the uncul-tivated palates of the savage, still there can be no marvel excited by the wish to gratify their old habits by gorging on fresh kangaroo.

One of the most usual plans of catching kanga-roo in the winter, is, for a few to search the grassy and rushy hollows, proceeding along them in a direction contrary to the wind, (and a high wind is the most favourable,) approaching under cover of the bushes, carefully avoiding the smallest noise, and when near their prey, keeping behind it, stooping in their advance, and remaining fixed in their position immediately the animal betrays any symptom of alarm, and resuming their ad-vance as soon as it renews its feeding or other motions indicative of its suspicion being removed, till either quite close or very near it, when it is the only motion to throw or thrust the spear, and if close, grasp the head, which is instantly beaten with a quoit (or tomahawk) until the animal is the assured victim of the spearsman. Or, if less fortunate in the close approach, throwing the spear with as unerring aim as the huntsman is master of, and pursuing the wounded animal with his utmost

speed, in which he is joined or altogether super-seded by others who have hitherto remained at some distance, anxious spectators of the good or bad fortune of the lethal weapon. When thus employed, they disentangle themselves of their cloaks, heedless, as would seem, of the spot where they drop them. Their practised acuteness in tracing the chase when far out of sight and in retracing their steps to the point of departure, of-ten assure the obtaining of their prey that would otherwise be lost, and guarantee them against the loss of any deposits, cloaks &c (Etc) for example. There are, probably, many reasons why they select the winter, the rainy and windy season for hunting the kangaroo. It is likely that in stormy weather the animals lie closer than in fine. They are less likely amidst the howling of the tempest to hear any inferior noise ; in the pursuit the wet grass and moist surface present so slippery a footing that they cannot bound in running with the same effect were the ground dry and firm. Their tracts too can be more easily perceived by the grass and shrubs shaken of their watery drops. Kangaroos are also obtained by the Natives in great numbers by enclosing or encircling a tract of ground frequented by these animals, and gradual-ly contractihg the enclosue or circle, driving all before them until so closely beset that they make a rush to escape between the enclosutes, and are speared as they approach. Snares and traps are also employed perhaps at different seasons. The first, that of digging deep oblong holes in the form of a grave but much narrower, and which by some explorers have been taken for places of in-terment, in the tracts frequented by kangaroos, wallabes, and such like animals, covering this over with sticks, bushes and grass, so as to make it resemble the other parts of the surface, and pre-

venting the animals suspecting any injury until treading upon them, they fall in, and from the depth and lateral confinement being unable to extricate themselves, are found either dead or alive by the hunter on his revisiting his Narrunge-kurr (the native name of these pits.) The making the kangaroo jump upon pointed stakes is another method of capture. In the banks ot a stream at the customary crossing place of kangaroos there is a fixed row of stakes, a little stronger than spears, very finely pointed and smeared with a very thin

coating of the resin of the glass tree, their sharp-ened ends directed at an angle of about 50. with

the horizon to the opposite bank, where there is a similar row of the same offensive weapons oppos-ing the former in their inclination The native name for this trap is Moglye. Where the meeting of streams forms grassy isthmuses these traps ara numerous as upon the Napice at Kooianip. Here the stakes were five on one side, and three on the other, at an angle of 55.'; the points opposite rows of 18 inches apart : their length 4½ feet, nine inches or a foot being stuck in the ground. But whe-ther the kangaroos impale themselves from time to time through ignorance without being driven to it by their pursuers, or whether it is only in the heat and hurry of escape when closely pursued, or at any particular season, I have not yet learned.

(To be continued)



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PetterdHoisted

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Whoever it was, were their letters eventually making a point you could summarise for us PD?

If that was the prevailing writing style of the day, I would have put a quill into my eye halfway through my first reading of the gazette!
 

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petedavo

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Whoever it was, were their letters eventually making a point you could summarise for us PD?

If that was the prevailing writing style of the day, I would have put a quill into my eye halfway through my first reading of the gazette!
I think that the point of writing anonymous letters to the editor, was most likely due to the views being expressed in them, would of made the writer expect some backlash or impingement of his livelihood if he were to have the letters published in his own name.
One must also consider the hierarchical power structures, events and feelings in the Swan River Colony in 1833.

Especially as the first letter appears only a month after an infamous execution of Midgegooroo.
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article642064

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petedavo

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I think that the point of writing anonymous letters to the editor, was most likely due to the views being expressed in them, would of made the writer expect some backlash or impingement of his livelihood if he were to have the letters published in his own name.
One must also consider the hierarchical power structures, events and feelings in the Swan River Colony in 1833.

Especially as the first letter appears only a month after an infamous execution of Midgegooroo.
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article642064

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And that Dr Alexander Collie had only just been promoted barely 4 months prior to the first anonymous letter.


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