Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Send cask arsenic exterminate aborigines

This 1907 telegram was sent by a Charles Morgan to Henry Prinsep, a man seemingly based 2200km away in Perth who at the time was Chief Protector of Aborigines for Western Australia. 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.

Edited to add: This was sent to, not by, Henry Prinsep. There is no suggestion that Prinsep complied with the request.

Transcript follows. Many thanks to Vivienne.



Transcript
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
POSTMASTER-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

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