Jacky Wyndham returning to his native country Turkey Creek

State Records Archive
Consignment: 652
Item: 1909/0004
Title: Aboriginal Native Jacky Wyndham returning to his native country Turkey Creek

Bringing prisoners to Wyndham for spearing cattle, 1930. (State Library of WA)

Prisoners being taken to Wyndham for spearing cattle, 1930. (State Library of WA)

[Letter]
29.12.08
From Police Station, Narrogin
To Chief Protector of Aborigines
Sir,
I have to report for your information that there is at Narrogin an Abr Native named Jacky Wyndham. This native wishes to return to his country, Turkey Creek near Wyndham. He came down here three years ago with a man named Kelly. He left Kelly two years ago and at present is living with Mr Brown Narrogin. Brown states the native is only stopping with him until the Police send back to Wyndham. Will you kindly make the necessary arrangements to have the native sent back to his country as he has no money.
F B Cunningham
Constable

[Letter]
Jan 13th 1909
From the Chief Protector of Aborigines
To Officer in Charge, Police Dept, Wyndham
I would feel obliged by your ascertaining from you Officer at Turkey Creek, who was responsible for allowing the Ab Nat Jacky Wyndham about 3 years ago to leave without proper recognisance being entered into, with a man named “Kelly” for his safe return to his own country. This native is now adrift at Narrogin, and has to be returned at the expense of the Government. He will probably leave Fremantle by a steamer on the 9th of February for Wyndham. When he arrives please arrange for his return to Turkey Creek.
C F Gale

[Letter]
From the Chief Protector of Aborigines
To Officer in Charge, Police Dept, Wyndham
04.02.09
An Ab. Nat. named “Jack Wyndham” is leaving for his own country Turkey Creek, on the 9th instant, by the steamer to Wyndham. On his arrival please look after him, and do what is necessary to get him to his home.
Chief Protector of Aborigines
[Note at the base of letter]
The Chief Protector of Abos [sic]
This native was sent up to his country on 3rd March 09
? Auckland
17/4/09

[Letter]
13th January 1909
From Chief Protector of Aborigines
To Officer in Charge, Police Dept, Narrogin
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 27th ulto, and to request that you will ask Mr Brown to allow the Ab Nat Jacky Wyndham to remain with him for the present. A steamer I find is leaving for Wyndham on the 9th February. Arrangements can then be made to send the Native by her, and from there by land to Turkey Creek. I will inform you later when to send him to Fremantle.
C F Gale
[Note on bottom of letter]
Mr Gale
Mr Brown will allow Ab Nat Jacky Wyndham to remain with him until 9th February 1909
W S Crowe

[Telegram]
4th February 1909
To Officer in Charge, Police Dept, Narrogin
Steamer leaves for Wyndham day break ninth instant. Please send Jacky direct to Fremantle with a letter to P C Sweeny, who will look after until his departure.
Chief Protector of Aborigines

[Letter]
4/2/09
To Officer in Charge, Police Dept, Fremantle
Please present this letter to the agents of the steamer leaving for Wyndham on the 9th instant, as an authority to provide the Native “Jacky” with a dock passage to Wyndham and charge the Aborigines Department.
Chief Protector of Aborigines

[Letter]
5/2/09
Narrogin Police Station
To Const Sweeney
The bearer Ab Native Jacky is to be forwarded to Wyndham by steamer leaving Fremantle 9th inst. The Chief Protector of Aborigines telegraphed to me yesterday as follows:-
Steamer leaves for Wyndham day break ninth inst. Please send Jacky direct to Fremantle with a letter to P C Sweeney, who will look after him until his departure.
Jacky is a nor-west native and the Ab are returning him to his country.
W S Crowe
Const No 282

[Telegram]
6/2/09
Fremantle Police Stn
Sergt Smyth
The Ab Native Jacky is at present at the Lockup awaiting transit to Wyndham.
J Sweeney

[Telegram]
6/2/09
Sup Hopkins
Please arrange for this native to leave by ? on the 9th inst.
John McKenna
Inspector of Police

[Letter]
Wyndham
19th April 09
To The Chief Protector of Aborigines, Perth
In reply to your letter of 12th ? last re Abo native Jacky Wyndham being taken from Turkey Creek about 2 years ago. I have made enquiries and am informed that this native was taken from Wyndham not Turkey Creek.
Kelly was at one time warder at Wyndham Gaol and I am informed was in partnership with ? Scott in a farm at Narrogin. ? Scott was gaoler here at the time and at present is gaoler at Carnarvon.
He may be able to supply the information required.
? Auckland

Katitjin Notes

Interestingly, this appears to be a case whereby an Aboriginal person who was taken far away from his country – Warnum (Turkey Creek) to Narrogin – but was able to return, at his own request, and at the government’s reluctant expense. It might be that Jacky Wyndham was in the Wyndham gaol in 1906 and taken south, illegally, by the gaolers. Clearly, public servants such as the warders would have been well aware of the protocols and formalities involved in “removing” an Aboriginal person from their country; therefore, there seems to be some secrecy involved in using this person’s labour at their farm. It opens some questions regarding the illegal use of labour: Was this a widespread practice or just something confined to these two gaolers?

Charles Frederick Gale (1860-1928) was Chief Protector of Aborigines from 1907 to 1915. You can read his biography at ADB.

Joseph Herbert Kelly and George J Scott were gaol warders at Wyndham Gaol. They were partners in a farm, Bokerup, near Cranbrook, but Scott is not recorded as living there. Scott was gaoler at Carnarvon Gaol. Kelly remained on the Bokerup property for some years and is mentioned in various newspaper items between 1911 and 1915.

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