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3-074 (Original)

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author,male,Snodgrass, Peter,36 addressee
Narrative Discourse
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Public Written
Bride, 1898
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3-074.txt — 2 KB

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I arrived in Port Phillip with stock from the Sydney district in May 1837, in company with Messrs. Hughes, Farquhar McKenzie, Murdock, and Colonel White.
I took up a station on the Muddy Creek and Goulburn River. Mr. Hughes located himself on a creek known as Hughes's. Mr. McKenzie took up a station on the King Parrot Creek. Mr. Murdock occupied the country immediately below me on the Goulburn; and Colonel White formed his station on the Sunday Creek. At that time the only person living on the river was Mr. John Clarke, who was resident at that part known as "the old crossing-place"; he had arrived there in the previous February.
There were no residents to the north of the Goulburn, with the exception of two houses of accommodation at the Murray and Ovens rivers. About two years subsequently Messrs. Colburn and Fletcher took possession of the country above me on the Goulburn, Acheron, and Rubicon rivers. Dr. Patrick first occupied the station now known as Cathkin, in the occupation of Mr. Maxwell, and Messrs. Watson and Hunter occupied the Devil's River.
The first occupants of the Goulburn below Seymour were: - Colonel Anderson, who took the country immediately adjoining; Messrs. Mantons, who occupied both sides of the river, including almost the whole from thence to the Murray; and Mr. Macgregor, who located himself near the junction of the Broken River and Seven Creeks with the Goulburn; Mr. Gideon Stewart occupied the country on the Sunday Creek contiguous to that part now known as the township of Broadford; Dr. Hamlyn, the land around Kilmore; Mr. Archibald Thom, Beveridge's Flat; and Mr. Malcolm, Kinlochewe. [216]
It is beyond my power to state precisely at what time each station was taken up, but the whole of the above parties were in occupation of them in the year 1840.
The number of the aborigines on the Goulburn and its tributaries at the time of my first settling there, was probably about five or six hundred. They were generally scattered about in small tribes in various parts on the rivers and creeks, but occasionally collected in large numbers. At first they killed several of the men in the employment of the settlers, and some of their sheep and cattle; but, by using conciliatory measures, they gradually became well disposed towards the white inhabitants. From the statement of the natives themselves, they seem to have been much more numerous some few years before our arrival amongst them, but they suffered severely from the small-pox, of which disease many of them bore evident marks; in fact, individuals may be seen to this day who have plainly suffered from that malady. From their first acquaintance with the white population, their numbers have diminished from disease and other causes, until there are perhaps scarcely one-fifth of the number above stated, and it seems probable that in a few years they will become extinct.