State Records Archive
Title: Sgt. Troy report on employment of aborigines by settlers – Derby.
Keywords: Yeeda Station, Lulingui Station, Liveringa Station, Kimberley Pastoral Company, Patrick Troy, Edward Lemon, John Pollard McLarty, William McLarty, Francis Gregory, Augustus Gregory, Robert Fairbairn, George Rose, Munbine, employment
To Sergt Troy
In the report sent in by PC Lemon of his trip up the Fitzroy, no mention is made of the natives employed by the whites. I should like to know how many natives (male and female) of the district are on each station and how they are employed and also whether he saw and conversed with any of the natives on the stations.
R Fairbairn, Govt Resident
To R Fairbairn Esq, Govt Resident
In reply to your memo re the employment of natives by settlers, I beg to state that owing to your not giving any special instructions, the police are not in a position at present to give all the information you required. I am supplying all I can, and what is wanting can be obtained the next time the police visit the Fitzroy.
I may state that hitherto the police have carefully observed how the natives were being treated by their employers, and when they saw anything that ought to be noticed have not failed (to my knowledge) to note and report it.
P Troy, Sergt
To P C Lemon
You will be good enough to supply as fully as possible the information required by the Govt Resident.
P Troy, Sergt
To Sergt Troy
In addition to my journal of this day I have to state that there are about 20 natives employed on the Yeeda River Station and about 10 at Lulingui. These natives are employed as shepherds and general servants. There are no women employed by the managers of either of these stations, but the shepherds have their women with them, and these assist their husbands in looking after the sheep.
I saw two natives on the branch of the Fitzroy who were signed to Mr W McLarty and I believe there are a great many more natives signed by Messrs J P and W McLarty who live entirely in the bush. I saw natives on the above-mentioned stations and conversed with them, they appeared to be well fed and perfectly contented and made no complaints against anyone whatever. Messrs Gregory Brothers employ no natives as yet. I did not visit Messrs Daly Brothers – they having shifted, I followed their track a few miles and as they were going in the direction of Yeeda Station, I summised they were going to that station to shear and dip and therefore I did not follow them any further. I found however on my arrival at the Yeeda that they had not arrived there but had come down within a few miles of it. They however employ one native who has two women.
Edward A Lemon P.C.
Kimberley District, Derby Station
I have to report the following journal for the information of the Superintendent of Police:-
July 9th, 1884
PCs Lemon, McAtter and native assistant Charlie left station at 8.30am for the purpose of visiting settlers on the Fitzroy River and of making enquiries into the alleged cattle-killing by natives near the Fitzroy River a few months ago. Police horses Sentinel, Senator, Soldier and Jarvis.
Arrived at Nobby’s Well at 1.30pm. Left Nobby’s Well at the Yeda River Station at 6pm. Distance 22 miles – no complaints of natives at this station. Mr G Rose, Manager.
Left Yeeda River Station at 7.30am, camped on the Fitzroy River for dinner. Left Fitzroy at 2pm and arrived at the Kimberley Pastoral Company Station at 4.30pm. Distance 15 miles. No complaints of natives at this station. Mr J P McLarty, Manager.
Left K P Company’s station at 7am – met a traveller – Mr J Gregory proceeding to Derby – camped at 11am. Left camp at 2pm and arrived at the station of Messrs Gregory Bros at 6.30pm. Distance 25 miles. No complaints of natives at this station. Messrs Gregory Bros, Managers
Left camp at 7.30am. Arrived at an outstation of the Kimberley Pastoral Company at 11am – distance 12 miles. No complaints of natives. Messrs Logue and Lamb at this camp.
Sunday – remained at camp
Left camp at 7am for a branch of the Fitzroy River for the purpose of obtaining further particulars relative to the alleged killing of cattle by natives a few months ago. Crossed the Fitzroy at 8am and struck the branch about 9am – about 4 miles from its junction with the Fitzroy. Camped at 11am. Left camp at 2pm and followed river until 6pm and camped. Distance 25 miles. Can hear natives shouting on the other side of the river. Will visit them for tomorrow morning. This branch has been running for the last 8 miles.
Left camp at 6am to visit native camp. Found a small party of natives. These natives state that they do not know of any cattle killed. A native named Munbine alias George says he has seen the cattle further on up the river very recently. Followed on the river with the native George. Struck old cattle tracks at 11am. Went on until 2pm – could not see any more natives or any indications of cattle having been killed. There are very recent tracks at this waterhole – probably not more than a week old. These cattle are, I believe, the ones that were supposed to be killed. As I have followed this river for about 40 miles and the tracks here being recent, I do not think it necessary to go on any further. Left camp at 4pm on return track. Camped at 6pm. Distance 22 miles.
Left camp at 7am and camped at 11am for dinner. Left camp at 2pm and arrived at the Fitzroy at 5.30pm. Distance 25 miles
Left camp at 7am for Liberinga [sic]. Arrived at Liberinga at 1pm. Found that Messrs Daly Bros had shifted. Distance 18 miles.
Horses strayed a long way, causing a late start. Left camp at 9am – camped for dinner at 12 noon. Left camp at 2pm and arrived at Lulingui (K P Camp) at 5pm. Distance 15 miles.
Left Lulingui at 7am and arrived at the Yeeda River Station at 1pm. Distance 15 miles. The country around this station is in flames, caused by natives.
Left Yeeda River Station at 9.30am (horses having strayed as all feed is burnt). Arrived at 4.30pm. Distance 22 miles.
Backs of horses sound
Edward A Lemon PC
I also have to state that shearing is going on at the Yeeda River Station and the Kimberley Pastoral Company Station. The scab on both these stations are very bad. The sheep are dipped as they are shorn and removed to clean country. The sheep of Messrs Gregory Bros are clean as also are the sheep belonging to the Kimberley Pastoral Co in charge of Messrs Logue and Lamb. A great many scabby sheep have been lost by shepherds in the employ of Yeeda River Company and if their sheep should eventually find their way among clean sheep, they (clean sheep) would no doubt be again infected. The condition of the sheep that are clean is good. The scabby sheep are more or less in bad condition. The cattle and horses all appear in good condition. The branch of the Fitzroy River which I followed up was through principally pindan country. There was also open country slightly wooded. The pindan country appeared to be very good. The natives state that there are large plains about two days journey further on. About 30 miles up the river there is a deep permanent pool about 5 miles long, evidently supplied by springs as it causes the river to flow for a distance of 15 miles. Further up the river, I saw other pools, some fresh and some very brackish – but they were not permanent. There is a great deal of salt left on places where the water has dried up.
Mr McLarty of the Kimberley Pastoral Company Stn reports the following articles having been stolen from the home station during the latter part of last month. One fleam[??], one gold wedding ring and a portion of a silver watch chain – William Parker suspected. These article were extracted from a box, the property of Mr J P McLarty – Parker, who was cook at the station, left the district in Mary Smith on the 1st inst. Mr J P McLarty had missed the articles prior to this and suspected Parker; in fact, Mr McLarty was at Derby prior to and at the time the Mary Smith sailed and yet failed or neglected to give any information until after the man had left the district.
Edward A Lemon