Accidental shooting of Annie by Mingo

State Records Archive
Consignment: 430
Item: 1889/1745
Title:
Report re accidental shooting of Aboriginal Native woman Annie, by her man Mingo, whilst kangaroo hunting.

[Report]

15.12.1889

Southern District Vasse

Sub-district Hamelin Station

Corpl Hogan

I have to report for the information of Sub Inspr Back that in accordance with instructions from you to accompany P C Sutton to make enquiries as to the shooting of Aboriginal native woman Annie by her man Aboriginal native Mingo about 4 weeks ago near the mouth of the Warren River.

Myself and P C Sutton left the Hameling Station at 9.30am on the 8th Dec 1889 and arrived at Mr Scott’s on the 10th. The native woman Coriann who made the report was not at Scotts. On the morning of the 11th we left for the Donnelly River accompanied by Mr William Scott to try and find Coriann. We found her about 2 miles the other side of Fly Brook in company of her daughter Clara and Comical and two Aboriginal females. I got the following statement from Coriann, who is an intelligent Aboriginal native woman and can speak good English.

I am Comical’s sister and the deceased woman Annie was our aunt. About four weeks ago on a Saturday myself, my daughter Clara, Mingo, Annie, Noble and an old deaf native named Coryann were kangarooing. The latter two split out from us and was a long way off. Mingo kept shouting for Noble to come on Annie told him not to shout so or he would drop dead as the day was so hot. She said he ought to shoot a kangaroo. A short time after this we saw a kangaroo. I sent the dogs after it – they rounded it up in the direction of us. We were standing as follows Mingo about 30 yards from Annie and myself and Clara about 50 yds from Mingo. The kangaroo ran between Mingo and Annie and as it came nearly opposite to Annie Mingo fired. He should have waited until the kangaroo passed Annie and then fired. I heard the report of the gun and heard Annie scream and saw her fall. She was shot under the left breast and the blood was coming out of her mouth. Mingo threw down his gun and ran to her crying. I ran to her also but Mingo was there before me. He said he was sorry and did not mean to shoot Annie. Some time after Annie was shot Noble and the old deaf man came up. Noble said he thought one of his dogs was shot as he heard the report of the gun and heard them crying. I did not see Mingo raise his gun to fire but I saw him in this position (Here Coriann took Mr William Scott’s gun and held it in what is called the caping position; ie. against the right hip). The reason I could not see him fire was because my attention was engaged on the dogs and kangaroo. I am certain no other natives were about at the time of the occurence except Noble and the old native Coryan and they were about half a mile off. The shots were swan drops made in a mould of Mr Brockman’s. I cannot say why Mingo shot Annie but I think he must have aimed at the kangaroo and shot Annie instead. I do not think he meant to shoot her. Myself and my daughter, Noble, Polly, and Mingo buried Annie near the mouth of the Warren River on the same evening. We told my brother Comical that his aunt was bitten by a snake as we were afraid he would shoot or spear Mingo. Annie and Mingo are very old people (about 60 years old) and lived together many years. They have often quarrelled the same as the natives.

From inquiries made by P C Carroll from settlers and natives Mingo had took to using a gun only about six or seven months and was not a very good shot. The following is a sketch of the position of the natives at the time of the occurrence as described to me and roughly pencilled by the female Corian.

[Memo]

17.12.1889

Forwarded to Sub Inspr Back

I have reported this to the Resident Magistrate who will authorise no action to be taken until he receives a reply from the Aborigines Protector Board to which he is making a full report of the matter.

Corpl John Hogan

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