Report from Murray River

The Sydney Morning Herald

5 February 1844

January 27.

Having promised to communicate anything that might occur in this neighbourhood during my residence here, as soon as possible to you, I beg to inform you that a very shocking murder was committed on a man named John Daly, watchman at a sheep station of Messrs. Hay and Chalmers, on Tuesday, the l6th of the month, and the body of the unfortunate man found in a creek near which the hut is built.

Mr. Commissioner Bingham was engaged on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th, in investigating the affair, which has led to the committal of the shepherd to whom Daly was hutkeeper, whose name is Henry Aitkin, lately become free: he declares he is perfectly innocent of it; but from his having made different statements, and being the only shepherd at the place, with the fact of their having quarrelled a short time before, he is not believed.

The crops in this neighbourhood have suffered much from the late rains; but it has certainly caused an abundance of grass, which is very acceptable.

I believe there has been some sharp work on the lower part of the river with the blacks; but as the particulars are not known, I forbear giving you the different reports, especially as it is one of those subjects on which so much might be said for both sides.