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3-067 (Text)

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author,male,Manifold, Thomas,44 addressee
Narrative Discourse
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Public Written
Bride, 1898
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3-067-plain.txt — 6 KB

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I first visited it for the purpose of examining it early in February 1836, at which time there were not more than about 2,500 sheep in the whole district, although fully twice that number had been shipped, but from casualties had been reduced to about the number I have named. One of my brothers and myself reached Gellibrand Point early in July, where we heard that a number of gentlemen on a pleasure party had been with the brig Henry into Geelong harbour; and as we wished to settle westward, this at once determined us on attempting to land our sheep at Point Henry, then known by the native name Maloppio. We succeeded in doing this, and I put the first sheep ever landed on the point ashore on the 9th day July 1836. During the same day Mr. John Steiglitz also arrived with stock.
We immediately removed to the Moorabool and occupied both sides of that river from Sutherland's Creek down to the old Racecourse. At this time there were only three stations west of the Werribee, viz., Cowie, Stead, and Steiglitz, at a place on the Moorabool known as the Bell-post; Dr. Thomson's station at the falls on the Barwon; and a Mr. Darke on the Barrabool Hills. These I believe arrived and occupied the country in the order I have named them, having landed their stock either at the Heads or at Gellibrand Point.
We were immediately followed by Mr. Wm. Roadknight, who occupied the country on both sides of the river where the lower vineyards are. In the September following a great influx of stock into the Western District took place by the arrival of Mr. Joseph Sutherland, who settled on the creek now bearing his name; Mr. G. Russell, on account of the Clyde Company, on the Moorabool and Leigh; Mr. David Fisher, on account of the Derwent Company, occupying where Geelong now is, Indented Head, and the country about the junction of the Barwon and Leigh.  A Captain Pollock went on to the Barwon where the upper vineyard is; a Mr. Sharpe, on account of Colonel Kelsall, taking the upper part of Sutherland's Creek, and Mr. John Highett, who remained (moving about) a short time on the Barwon, finally removed into the Melbourne District. The above, to the best of my recollection, arrived during September and October of 1836.
I then, until the commencement of 1839, resided in Van Diemen's Land (with the exception of occasional short visits), and cannot say in what order the country was taken up. In November of 1837, my brothers and self examined the country about Buninyong, Warrenhelp, and Lake Burrumbeet, and encamped one night on the now-celebrated Golden Point, Ballarat, little dreaming of the immense wealth beneath us. At this time there were only two stations on the upper part of the Moorabool, viz., that of Mr. J. N. McLeod, and that of Mr. G. F. Read.
It was in December of 1838 that my brothers first discovered Lake Purrumbete and Mount Leura country; we then abandoned our station on the Moorabool (which became a kind of depot for stock on first arrival), and removed our stock to Purrumbete, which we occupied about the close of January 1839. The Messrs. Bolden had a week or two previously occupied the run on the Pirron Yalloak, which they soon after' sold to Scott and Richardson. The next station formed was at Mount Noorat, by a person named Taylor, on account of Messrs. McKillop and Smith, who sold to Messrs. Niel Black and Co. This was taken up in March 1839. The Mount Shadwell country was now occupied by a Mr. Anderson, who removed from the stations now held by McMillan and Wilson (Wanly Yalloak), with a portion of stock belonging to the Derwent Company, and soon afterwards fell into the hands of Captain Webster. 
Simultaneously with the occupation of Mount Shadwell the Messrs. Watson discovered the Hopkins, and took up the Merang run on the western side, and then sold to Mr. Farie.
The land on the opposite side to Farie's was first taken up by the Messrs. Bolden, in August 1840, and then sold to Mr. G. Rodger.
During the period from August to Christmas 1840, the Messrs. Bolden, by forming various out-stations, occupied on the western side of the Hopkins all the country subsequently held by Messrs. Plummer and Dent, Strong and Foster, Manifold, Ryrie, Carmichael, Good, Mailor, Manning, Eddington, Walker, and Cosgrove; and on the eastern side, the part of the country held by Black, Johnson, Walker, Chisholm, and Allan. I cannot name the precise time when each of these stations was occupied, but believe that Plummer and Dent's (now Joseph Ware's) was occupied about the latter end of 1842 or commencement of 1843; Strong and Foster's about the same time; Ryrie's (the Lake Station) in June 1844; my own (the Grasmere Station) in the month following. The others were respectively portions sliced off the country claimed by the Messrs. Bolden. Allan's station was occupied first in 1841, and Chisholm's (junction of Hopkins and Emu Creek) about the same time.
In reply to your inquiries as to the haunts, numbers, &c., of the aborigines, I am afraid I can give little or no information. Although each tribe has its own district, and each family its portion, I never could perceive that they became in any way attached to a particular spot, or attempted to construct a dwelling having any greater claim to permanency than the common mia mia. Nor have I ever observed the slightest semblance of religion among them. With respect to their number at the time the country was first occupied, it has been, in all accounts I have seen, very much overrated. I come to this conclusion from having counted their mia-mias when congregated, and do not recollect in any instance seeing more than about 30, nor do I think they would average more than from four to five in a hut.  Their manner towards the first settlers had generally the semblance of extreme friendship, but this, I am convinced, did not in reality ever exist; it arose from the mere novelty of the thing, and a desire to gratify their curiosity, which, being satiated, they would, whenever they got a chance, plunder or murder even those from whom they had only a few minutes previously received presents and food. This may seem harsh, but I have known so many instances of it, that I feel justified in speaking thus generally of them.