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3-080 (Original)

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addressee author,male,Simson, Hector Norman,un
Narrative Discourse
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Public Written
Bride, 1898
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In November 1839, I arrived in Melbourne by sea from Sydney, on my way to South Australia, and made a tour through a considerable portion of the Province, and wrote to my brother, who was then collecting a large stock in Maneroo, recommending the Portland Bay District, for which place the stock accordingly started, under the charge of Mr. J. M. Darlot. I may mention that it consisted of 13,000 sheep, 4,000 head of cattle, and 100 horses. When they arrived at Mount Alexander, my brother (who had come by sea to Melbourne) met them, and after exploring to the northward, decided on taking up the country on the Loddon instead of proceeding to Portland Bay - heavy losses from catarrh and scab, and the ewes having commenced to lamb, being the cause of his doing so. In about June 1840 he took up the station now known as Cairn Curran, and in the occupation of Mrs. Bryant and during the year the stations now known as Charlotte Plains, Janevale, Langi-Coorie, and Glenmona, comprising all the country from the range to the west of the Porcupine Mount to the Pyrenees. I returned to Sydney in January 1840, and did not again visit Port Philip till June 1841, when I arrived overland, and shortly afterwards purchased the whole of my brother's stock and stations. [303] On my arrival on the Loddon I found my neighbours were Messrs. Campbell and McKnight on the stations now Mr. Wm. Campbell's, and on which the Forest Creek and Fryer's Creek diggings are; Mr. Lachlan Mackinnon on the station now belonging to Mr. W. M. Hunter; Mr. Colin Mackinnon on the station now Messrs. Joyces'; Mr. Donald Mackinnon on the station now Mr. Bucknall's; Mr. McCallum on his present station; Mr. Jas. Hodgkinson on his present station; Mr. Catto on his present station; and Messrs. Heape and Grice and Mr. Chas. Sherratt on the stations now occupied by Messrs. Gibson and Fenton - all the rest of the country to the northward being unoccupied.
I almost immediately after my purchase sold the station now known as Cairn Curran to Messrs. Cole and Langdon, and shortly afterwards the station of Glenmona to Messrs. McNeill and Hall. In about May 1842 I took up the station now occupied by Mr. Morton, below Mr. Catto, and sold it shortly afterwards to a Mr. Sellars, on which then the lowest permanent water in the Loddon existed. In about twelve months afterwards Messrs. Bear, Booth and Argyle, Brain and Williams, and Thorpe took up extensive stations on the Loddon and Serpentine Creek and the remainder of the Loddon down to its junction with the Murray was taken up in 1845 by Messrs. McCallum, Curlewis, Cowper, and others.' From the time of my arrival on the Loddon the aboriginal natives were concentrated under the charge of Mr. Parker at Jim Crow Hill (Mount Franklin), and with the exception of murdering a Mr. Allan, who had a small cattle station (which I afterwards purchased) between Mr. Catto and me, committed no depredations of any consequence, and were very useful to the settlers in cutting bark and at sheep-washing.
In the latter end of 1842 Messrs. Gibson sold a small station they had taken up below Glenmona on the Fourteen Mile or Bet Bet Creek to Messrs. Foster and Stawell, who shortly afterwards occupied a large scope of country on the east side of the Pyrenees; and Mr. Colin Mackinnon having sold his station on the Loddon, took up a station to the northward of them. [304] In April 1843 I started with some stock from this station with the intention of taking up some new country either on the Avoca or Wimmera. I passed the north end of the Pyrenees, crossing the Avoca, Avon, and Richardson, all of which were completely dry for from 15 to 20 miles to the north of my course; so much so that only for a timely shower I would have had to return. I made the Wimmera abreast of Mount Zero (the north point of the Grampians), and not liking the then parched and dusty Wimmera Plains, I crossed over to the head of the Glenelg, and in June took up the station now known as Glenisla, my nearest neighbour being Mr. Fairbairn, about thirty miles down the river. Mr. Chas. Sherratt, who accompanied me, immediately returned, and in the course of a month or two brought his stock from Mount Alexander and took up the country between me and Mr. Fairbairn. Immediately afterwards Mr. P. D. Rose took up the country between me and the Grampians. At this time the whole of the country on the Avoca, Avon, and Richardson was vacant, as also was the whole of the Wimmera below the Ledcourt Station, then owned by Mr. Benjamin Boyd, now by Mr. Carfrae;" but in a few months, Messrs. Taylor and McPherson, Darlot and McLachlan, Splatt and Pynsent, Wilsons, and Major Firebrace occupied the Wimmera down to Mount Arapiles. In 1844 I left Glenisla in charge of my overseer and returned to the Loddon; consequently from personal knowledge I can't enumerate any further particulars as to the occupying of the country.
During my residence at the Glenelg the aboriginal natives were very troublesome, constantly taking sheep in large lots by force from the shepherds or stealing them from the fold at night. I had to follow them three different times driving my sheep away, but each time overtook them, after several days' harassing tracking, and took from them all the sheep they had not eaten or destroyed; but not without running considerable risk in doing so, and having received several wounds from their spears and boomerangs. [305] The last time in particular they broke the legs of about sixty of my sheep, leaving the poor animals to lie in a heap in a small yard in, of course, the greatest agony; and whilst I was examining them my horse and I were both severely wounded by a discharge of spears from a body of the natives in ambush.
The whole of the country about the Pyrenees that I had passed thus on my way to the Glenelg was, in 1844, taken up by Messrs. Ellis, Elliot and Shore, Mr. James Campbell, Mr. Coutts, and others; and although it has been several times very nearly dry, it has never been completely so as in 1843.
In 1846, having purchased a station near Albury, I took up a large amount of country on the Billabong Creek, about thirty miles north-west of Albury; but finding it impossible to dam the creek sufficiently full to ensure a permanent supply of water, I gave it up to Mr. Charles Huon, who, I believe, now holds it.