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Foreword

The Kaurna
   Skillogolee Creek
   Before Settlement
   Tribal Organisation
   Population
   Nantowarra
   Sexual Relations
   European Views
   Footnotes

Kudnarto
   Warrawarra
   Birth Date
   Names
   Footnotes

Early Years
   Daily Life
   Child Rearing
   Food
   Food Gathering
   Shelter
   Gatherings
   Education
   Cooking
   Fire
   Tanning
   Games
   Schools
   Footnotes

Marriage
   Puberty
   Ceremony
   Sexual Relations
   Footnotes

Settlement
   John Hill
   Horrocks
   Rape
   Surveying
   Stanley County
   Skillogolee Creek
   Auburn
   Watervale
   Penwortham
   Emu Plains
   Clare
   Bundaleer
   Footnotes

Land Grants
   The Protector
   The Reality
   Early Days
   Land Selection
   Land Holdings
   Land Usage
   Racial Theories
   Footnotes

Shepherds
   Tensions
   Killing
   Double Standards
   More Killing
   Harem Life
   Prostitution
   Ferguson's Place
   Deserting Husbands
   Rape
   Sex and Sheep
   Footnotes

Adams
   Problems
   Adams' Birth
   Humberstone
   The Adams Family
   Ann Mason
   Edward Adams
   Conditions
   Labourer's Life
   Footnotes

Literacy
   Was he literate?
   Writing Skills
   Graphology
   Hale
   Evidence
   School
   Other People
   Adams' Letters
   Footnotes

Childhood
   A Carpenter?
   Birth Information
   Van Dieman's Land
   South Australia
   Port Adelaide
   Emigration Agents
   Sheep
   Labourer's Lot
   Crystal Brook
   Footnotes

Engagement
   Notice
   Reasons
   Feelings
   Minor
   Engagement
   Drinking Problems
   Footnotes

Wedding
   Registry Office
   Established View
   Kudnarto's Dress
   High Fashion
   Wedding Ceremony
   Footnotes

Land
   Land Please
   Lodgement
   I have a dream
   Opposition
   Processing
   Approval
   The Licence
   Notification
   Scams
   Footnotes

Farming
   The House
   Who Gains
   Farming Capital
   Reality sets in
   Tom
   Murray
   Inheritance
   Footnotes

Copper
   Port Henry
   Bullock Drays
   Watering Holes
   Gold
   Skilly Creek
   Footnotes

Murder

The Trial

Skilly Creek
   Money Problems
   Leasing
   Tim
   Eviction
   Problems
   Separation
   Sharefarming
   Footnotes

Death
   Single Life
   Kudnarto's Death
   Loss of Land
   Poonindie
   Footnotes

Land Claim
   Unresolved Issues
   Terra Nullius
   Land Conflict
   Subtext
   Licence
   Promises
   The Facts
   Footnotes

Epilogue
   Significance
   At One

Biographies
   People
   Hotels

Letters
   Adams' Letters
   Replies

Handwriting
   Dissection
   Tabulation
   Analysis

Police Court

Trial Report

The Civilising
   1840
   White Women
   Contact
   Missionary activity
   Footnotes
   Bibliography

1860 Report
   1860
   Report Origins
   Attitudes
   Infanticide
   Sterility
   Promiscuity
   Health
   Gender Imbalance
   Blame the victims
   British Law
   Land Loss
   Social Alienation
   Tokenism
   Conclusions
   Footnotes
   Bibliography

Tom & Tim
   Introduction
   Poonindie
   Footnotes

Bibliography
   Primary Sources
   Secondary Sources

Kudnarto

Appendix 6 ~ The Civilising Project

A common theme for staged photographs in South Australia
The rugged white settler surrounded by his loyal Aboriginal retainers.

1840    White Women    Contact    Missionary activity    Footnotes    Bibliography   

1840

It began on 21 February 1840, when an informant from Penwortham passed the news onto The South Australian Register. Which then alerted to Governor to the fact that the newspaper was about to publish this story. This pre-warning allowed the Governor sufficient time to make a considered response to the news. Consequently, Gouger gave the impression that something was being done by the government before the story broke. The following day, on 22 February 1840, The South Australian Register carried the details of the story.

AFFRAY WITH THE NATIVES

During the last weeks information was received that a shepherd at Mr Horrocks' station on the Hutt had been nearly murdered by certain natives, and a policeman was sent out to make enquiries into the circumstances, and if possible secure the guilty individual. Intelligence reached town last night that in endeavouring to secure the suspected party, the policeman was resisted and would have been certainly murdered, had not Mr Horrocks' shepherd shot the native while thus engaged. We have before remarked on the imprudence of settlers in the far bush allowing natives to approach their stations at all. No amount of forbearance can stand out against the annoyance they inflict, and fatal collisions under such a system cannot be avoided. [1]

Three items in this report that summarise the feelings of the settlers towards the indigenous land owners at the time.

The first item was the settlers perceived right to apprehend indigenous people at whim. They used the brute force to undertake the arrest of a person without any respect of British or Kaurna law. Nothing in this story indicates that indigenous people had a right to their land or have sovereignty over the land. The police acted in the role of occupying forces carrying out orders without regard of any established international legal principles of occupation.

Next there is no mention as to either the gender of the "native" nor the circumstances for the arrest of the "native". The tenor of the article suggests that this issue is of no importance since the "natives" are likened to vermin and their rights dissmissed out of hand with the phrase: "No amount of forbearance can stand out against the annoyance they inflict".

Finally, there is the moralising aspect of the article. The reporter states with sanctimonious piety that: "We have before remarked on the imprudence of settlers in the far bush allowing natives to approach their stations at all."

There was only one reason why the indigenous people and the shepherds came together at all. It was to trade. Each had an abundance of items the other desired. The shepherds had food which replaced that which was chased away or destroyed by the grazing of the sheep. In exchange, the Kaurna had women.

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White Women

European women rarely wished to share the squalor of the shepherds' life. Thus, only indigenous women were available. The attitude of the Kaurna towards sexual intercourse ensured that there was no moral dilemma arising from this transaction. This prostitution was generally the fate of most Kaurna women. Moorhouse, a former Protector of the Aborigines, betrays a sadness at the waste of the lives of the girls. In 1860, [2] he made the following observations about the lot of the girls from his school in testimony:

Question Number Question Moorhouse's Answer
2494 And the girls went as lubras? The went to the men, and they were generally found handy about the house. They frequently became bad, however.
2495 Couldn’t they, by being properly placed, receive any benefit? Perhaps, by being among European women. They generally become common, however; and consequently, would not breed. They became, in fact, prostitutes. This was one reason of the natives dying off so rapidly.

To cover himself from any ramifications of this action and the questions that might be raised, Robert Gouger wrote to Horrocks on 21 February 1840 [3] requesting further information about this incident. He was more concerned about accounting for the death than undertaking any process of justice. At no stage is there any request for an arrest warrant for the crime of murder. There is not any serious attempt to examine the matter. The shepherd was only required to make a statutory declaration before a magistrate to clear up the matter. In view of the two hangings of Kaurna men the year before for murder, this action seems extremely lenient and biased.

The final outrage in this whole matter is the person who was murdered. It was the woman who was promised food. She is the victim in this whole affair. Her family was cheated. On good faith, she prostituted herself to satisfy the desires of the shepherd. In return for these sexual favours she was to be rewarded with a sheep. The shepherd sent her away from his hut empty handed. This led her family to seek compensation that was only natural under Kaurna law. In accordance with Kaurna law, they exacted recompense. To end the argument, the shepherd saw a good opportunity to kill the woman he had abused the day before. At no stage in the above two reports that there is any concern for the woman. No one cared. As an object for sexual gratification, she was desired but as a human, she was considered to be vermin and only fit for destruction. Such was the nature of British culture and justice.

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Contact

In reflection about this situation of shepherds and the rape of indigenous women, Wyatt, a former Protector of the Aborigines, stated in testimony before the Select Committee on Aborigines in 1860 [4] when he said:

Question Number Question Wyatt's Answer
You have alluded to some evil influence which accrues from their contact with the outlying stations. I suppose you allude to hutkeepers in the employ of the settlers? Of course there can be but on evil influence to allude to.
You mean the stockkeepers or shepherds? Yes; persons who live in solitary positions, and who come in contact with a few natives.
Do you suppose they have criminal intercourse with the lubras? Yes.

It was upon the sheep’s back that the wealth of Australia grew. European men and women jointly benefited from the results. Consequently, there was a gender coalition and conspiracy to remove the indigenous people from the land through fair or foul means.

Women were even more vigorous in suppressing the indigenous people. This stemmed from the competition of gender resources. The lack of European women within these areas ensured the popularity of indigenous women as consorts for the men. To reduce this competition, European women worked hard to segregate the indigenous people from the broader community through the use of native reserves.

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Missionary activity

In South Australia, the various missionary societies tried hard to remove the indigenous people from the land. The missionary societies were composed mainly of women. In contrast to the men who were happy with the prevailing circumstances, the missionary societies were desperate to stamp out the rampant immorality provoked by the indigenous women. One attempt was to remove the indigenous people to Kangaroo Island. Another more successful effort was to create a holding facility at Poonindie. Other places for collecting the indigenous people were created at Point Pearce and Port McLeay.

Both European men and women had their reasons for suppressing the indigenous people. Each worked in harmony to decimate the prevailing indigenous culture and population. The suppression of the indigenous people was not a gender related issue but an action of common cultural purpose with the stated objective of removing one group of people from their land and replacing them by a stronger group. This is a repetitious historical theme which is still being played out today in Bosnia- Hercagovinia, Cyprus, Rwanda, Israel, Iraq and Indonesia to name just a few places. The perpetrators are no better, no worse than those in the other lands. When the European "boat people" see their actions within this historical paradigm, then the resolutions of the resource conflict will become ever so much easier.

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Footnotes

1. The South Australian Register, 22 February 1840, p. 4D.  Return to text

2. The Legislative Council Select Committee, (1860) Report on the Aborigines, Paper 167, SA Govt Printer, qq. 2494 - 2495, p. 95.  Return to text

3. Letter dated 21 February 1840, GRG 24/4, D224, No. 39.  Return to text

4. The Legislative Council Select Committee, (1860) Report on the Aborigines, Paper 167, SA Govt Printer, qq. 636 - 638, p. 28.  Return to text

 

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Austin, T., '"A Chance to be Decent" N.T. "Half Caste" Girls in service in SA 1916 1939', Labour History (60), May 1991, pp. 51 - 65.

Edwards, C., ‘Is the Ward Clean', Gammage, B., & Markus, A., (eds.) All That Dirt, History Project Incorporated, Canberra,1982.

Evans, R., 'Don't you remember Black Alice, Sam Holt, Aboriginal Women in Queensland History' Hecate, Vol. 8(2) 1982.

Godden, I., 'Women Settlers and Aborigines in the 19th century', Armidale District Historical Society. Journal and Proceedings, Vol. 18. 1975.

Goodall, H, 'Assimilation begins at home', Australian Historical Studies, No.106, April 1996.

Grimshaw, P., et. al., Creating a Nation, Penguin Books, Melbourne, 1994.

Holland, A., 'Feminism, Colonialism and Aboriginal Workers: Anti Slavery Crusade’, Aboriginal Workers, Labour History, No. 69, 1995.

Initial Conference of Commonwealth and State Aboriginal authorities, held at Canberra, 21st to 23rd April, 1937, 'In the Place of Parents' in Gammage, B., & Markus, A., (eds.) All That Dirt, History Project Incorporated, Canberra,1982.

Letter dated 21 February 1840, GRG 24/4, D224, No. 39.

McGrath, A., 'Aboriginal Women Workers in the N.T. 1911-1939', Hecate. July 1978.

McGrath, A., 'Black Velvet', Daniels, K., (ed.) All That Hard Work.

McGrath, Ann et al (eds) 'Aboriginal Workers', Labour History No. 69, pp. 75 - 101.

Ryan, L., 'Aboriginal women and agency in the process of conquest: A review of some recent work', Australian Feminist Studies (2), Autumn 1986. pp. 35 - 43.

Saunders, K., & Evans, R., (ed.) Gender Relations in Australia: Domination and Negotiation, Harcourt Brace, Sydney, 1992.

Scanlon, T., 'Pure and Clean and True to Christ: Black Women and White Missionaries in the North'. Hecate. Vol. 12. No. 1/2, 1986. pp. 82 - 105.

The Legislative Council Select Committee, (1860) Report on the Aborigines, Paper 167, SA Govt Printer.

The South Australian Register, 22 February 1840.

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Skillogolee Creek
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Skillogolee Creek