Howitt and Fison Papers

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tip70-10-41-5 Gould to Fison

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Port Walcott W A1st Octr 1873

Dear Sir

I must apologise for not answering your lettersof the 25th April + 5th May inst before now but youwill not be surprised when I tell you that I onlyreceived them on the 17th July last + after thevessel I received them by returned to Fremantle onthe 22nd Augt I was unfortunately away + unable towrite + since then we have had no communicationwith the rest of the world so that you willperceive that the means of communication inWest Australia are considerably behind what they are with you in Victoria

Situated as I am I am not able to havemuch constant intercourse with the Natives besidesI have not the intimate acquaintance with theirlanguage which many longer residents in thecountry have. I have therefore given two of yourschedules to two of the squatters in this districtto get filled up + will return them to you assoon as possible after I receive them.

It is rather unfortunate that as a rule here thosebest acquainted with the language + customs of the Aborigines are uneducated + illiterate persons + whowould of themselves take no interest in the subjectof your researches or even know the meaning of theterm Ethnology.

Last edit 6 months ago by ALourie
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28th OctrI am rather unexpectedly on the point ofleaving here for Fremantle immediately. I have thoughwritten Mr A. McRae + Mr Viveash to whom I gavetwo of your schedules to forward them eitherdirect to you or to myself at the Revd GeoBastocks The Parsonage, Fremantle + Mr Harperwill probably write you with the one I have sent him as soon after he gets it as he can get itaccurately filled up.

I will endeavour whilst in Slacks Bay onmy to [sic] Fremantle to gather some informationas to the Natives of that locality.

All the Natives about here have more or less beencannabalistic in their habits until the Districtwas settled by whites about nine years agoI have heard men + even quite small boysfrom Exemouth Gulf admit having eaten humanflesh.

As you go inland up the rivers from the coast you find the Natives all circumcised but afteryou get past the De Grey the coast tribe isso also beyond that little or nothing in Personof the Natives either inland or on the coastthe next settlement beign Port Darwin

Regretting that I should be unable to forward your Schedules this mail

I remain Dear SirVery truly yoursLionel H L Gould

Last edit 12 months ago by ALourie
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