THE Telegram :: Genealogy
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THE Telegram

Journal by janilye

There's very little I can say about this shocking 1907 telegram which was sent by a Charles MORGAN from the Broome Station to Henry PRINCEP, who at the time was, Chief Protector of Aborigines for Western Australia, and based in Perth.

I do not know who Charles MORGAN was. I suppose I could find out, but then I don't really want to know.

Henry PRINCEP, recieved many such requests. What his replies were, I don't know. But he did file them away, perhaps for us to reflect and be ashamed.

For those who have trouble reading the telegram, it reads:-


20 JUL 07

TELEGRAM from Broome Station
Addressed to H. Princep Esq,
prot. of aborigines

Send cask arsenic exterminate aborigines letter will follow

Chas Morgan

Viewed: 2041 times
by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-03-12 17:28:13

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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by edmondsallan on 2011-03-12 17:34:04

interesting - ? regards

by janilye on 2011-03-12 18:30:13

Thank you. You are unique edmondsallan of the hundreds of people who have seen that telegram that's the first time I've heard the response 'Interesting'

by janilye on 2011-03-13 00:03:46

Following the arrival of British settlers in the 18th century, Australia's indigenous population were slowly faced with disease, loss of land, stolen generations and general violence. Sadly, the introduction of arsenic to their water and flour supplies wasn't uncommon.

by andrewsm on 2011-03-18 04:22:13

omg that's horrendous.

by samjacobs on 2011-03-18 08:28:14

Wow Jan. That is just beyond words.

by Scott_J on 2011-03-18 08:47:32

That's just Incredible. Most shocking of all is that it happened only 100 years ago.

I guess we can only hope that Mr. Morgan and his counterparts somehow got their due.

I must admit total ignorance to the plights of the Aborigines. Jan, how long did this "extermination" activity persist? Was there some event that stopped this atrocious activity?

by janilye on 2011-03-18 19:31:46

Aboriginal Australians had to wait until as late as 1965 to be given the vote at both a federal and state level, and in 1967 a referendum was overwhelmingly passed supporting their inclusion in the census, ending years of discrimination in which they were classified under the Flora and Fauna other words not people.
As late as the 1970s the Western Australian premier was discussing with a mining magnate ways of putting something in the water to sterilise the aborigine.
Between 1879 and 1969 the government stole there half caste children
put them in homes and raised them as white. "The Stolen Generation"

Not until 2008 did our government say SORRY.

by 1bobbylee on 2011-03-20 17:51:35

I drop my head in grief and sadness when I think how terrible the Aboriginal Australians were treated. Their heart can break in sorrow, the pain of rejection. I pray that our world can move forward in respect and love for the less fortunate. Our Native Americans in the US experienced similar treatment. Men, women, and children, how could we stand up under the horrific mental pain of being cast aside? Instead of reaching down with a helping hand, these original settlers were treated as non humans. My great grandmother had native american blood in her. She looked and dressed native american. She was born around 1867. I shudder when I think how she may have been treated by society. My grandmother says she remembers her mother as loving, caring, and a wealth of knowledge about nature. She knew so many herbs, roots, leaves, tree barks that were used for medicinal purposes. How many of us can boast of such knowledge and experience. I know, I can't. The Bible says that GOD loved the "Whole" world. That takes in everything. Black, White, any color that you can come up with.

by lola126 on 2011-12-03 15:52:26

I can't see for what perpose this is on a genology site. Like a lot of your journals janilye it has nothing to do with finding relatives. I think it is offensive and you should take it off.

by Scott_J on 2011-12-03 16:07:28

Janilye, while lola126 is certainly entitled to her opinion, I sincerely hope you don't take her comment to heart.

by 1bobbylee on 2011-12-03 16:49:00

I too am entitled to my opinion. No matter how sad and tragic this article was (The telegram explicitely sending cask of arsenic "extermination" aboriginese) is proof in the pudding,so to speak. To me this was a truthful and extemely cruel act perpetrated on the original natives of Australia. To me, truthful and well documented historical journals is an asset to FTC. I have read historical stories abut a member's grandfather, father, mother, etc that can indirectly and directly provide light to a member's search for an ancestor. If members would look more carefully at Janilye's journals or her comments in helping so many people find their ancestors,they would see that she is a true professional. I have seen in her comments that she will thoroughly investigate an ancestor's name and family. She will take that family centuries into the past. She is one of the best! She is an intelligent and well educated historian and meticulous researcher. How many of us can say the same thing? I sure can't. Janilye, thank you for coming to me and helping me find my ancestors who lived in the 1740;s - 50's. I was hitting a brick wall and she came to my rescue. I'm sure she gets tired,but she will spend hours researching for a member. You're great Janilye! I'm sure there are many members out there who appreciates her. I'm sure I am not the only one. I am "cupping" my ears members.

by 1bobbylee on 2011-12-03 17:14:22

Janilye, Do not take this journal off. It is factual history. Everyone should have the freedom of reading it. How tragic it would be, and to come, if free human beings cannot express themselves. Propaganda we do not need. The truth, Yes!!

by janilye on 2011-12-03 20:20:03

Dear lola126, Thank you for your comment. I found not the article offensive but the act itself.
Offensive is a positive emotion but I expect readers to also feel regret, shame and even horror. As for it being published in here! Whether we like it or not it is part of our history. I know you want names and dates but without history you will never really know your ancestors.
If I recall correctly lola126, it was I who found your ancestors. The terms oppression, racism and bigotry if I recall are not foreign to you in your own ancestry and the article above no more shocking.
If you wish to discuss the article above further I welcome it. If you want to discuss my motives and to save you further embarrassment please email me.

by Tony58 on 2016-02-05 20:02:08

Poisoning Aborigines was legally murder in Western Australia. Men were hanged for killing Aborigines before and after 1907. Others got life sentences. Would you send a telegram which would be seen, at the very least, by the sending and receiving telegraph operators, in which you implicated yourself in planned murders? There is good reason to believe that the modern interpretation of that telegram is wrong.
If you look closely, the telegram does not read "Send cask arsenic, exterminate aborigines, letter will follow" or "Send cask arsenic, exterminate aborigines. Letter will follow" There is no punctuation in it except that it is in 2 lines. (New lines were designated by the telegraph operator sending “AA” to signify a line break. AA was not written on the telegram.)
The first word “Send” is capitalised however, as telegrams were sent in Morse code without distinguishing between upper or lower case letters, that is probably just habit on the part of the receiving operator. The telegram actually reads:

send cask arsenic exterminate

aborigines letter will follow

There is reason to believe that these 2 lines are in fact referring to 2 different subjects. Henry Prinsep was Chief Protector of Aborigines for Western Australia and would naturally make inquiries about the Aborigines. Prinsep was also, privately, a landlord and there is evidence that Charles Morgan had been his tenant. Broome was then plagued by termites. 2 government buildings, the Customs House and the Bond Store, had collapsed from termite damage in 1904. The public hospital was infested and severely damaged.
So the 1st line “send cask arsenic exterminate” may have been a brief (because you paid for each word) response to an letter from Prinsep asking whether Morgan needed Prinsep to supply something to exterminate termites (supplies of such chemicals rapidly sold out in Broome). Arsenic powder was commonly used for exterminating termites.
The 2nd line “aborigines letter will follow” may indicate that Prinsep had also asked Morgan to supply him with some information regarding Aborigines in the Broome area. Because Prinsep had known him for over 30 years, he may have asked Morgan in confidence: “Is the local Protector doing his job, distributing rations to starving Aborigines as needed and seeing that employers abide by the regulations governing the employment of Aborigines?" Morgan's response was to follow in a letter.

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