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Elgin Downs
Mar 19th 1908

A.W. Howitt Esq
Eastwood
Bairnsdale
Victoria

Dear Sir,
Miss M.E.B. Howitt
has written to me on your behalf re: Laws and Customs
of Aborigines. I am sorry indeed to read that
you are so ill and I sincerely trust that before
this, that you are in good health and strength
again.

Re Aborigines: Wakelburra and other tribes
in the years gone by and in the days of their strength
the tribes that I have written about, adhered
ridgily to their laws re wives - but since the aboriginal
became civilised they got careless and lazy, in fact
debased loafers - all tribal laws and customs were [??]
and there was not any ristrictions [sic] as to obtaining wives
I first became acquaint [sic] with the Wakelburra and
tribes near the Belyando + Suttor + Burdekin Rivers
about 1874. Wakelburra at that time
numbered about 250 to 300 people now only about
50 wrecks remain. Chiefly Result of Opium
and contact with debased whites + Chinamen.
Cowan or Owanburra tribe numbered
in 1874 about 100 to 170 souls - to-day only

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