Some early Australian Reminiscences

Queanbeyan Age

12 June 1908 

Mrs. M. Johnson (daughter of the recently deceased Mrs. John Byrne, of Spring Valley) writes as follows:-

We see many sketches from time to time about the early days of Australia, and many get much credit for the labour of others; and such is the case with Hamilton Hume.

It was my father who took Hamilton Hume all through the Queanbeyan, Snowy River, and the Murray, and all through that country about Yass, and many other parts of New South Wales.

It was my father who had the cattle station on Lake George when it was dry, as well as another station in the Queanbeyan ere they travelled through.

But Hamilton Hume and his people appear to have been very careful not to make any mention of my father's name in any of the former's writings.

Hume took the credit of my father's labour and enterprise to himself.

My father endured many hardships through that part of the country ere he took his kinsman by marriage with him, and my father's name is omitted from nearly all Australian history; and yet he was one of its greatest heroes.

He was a quiet, retiring man, and did not push himself forward to gain honours.

On one occasion, before I was born, however, a certain man with a few others came up to Lake George and took illegal possession of his sister's (Mrs. Kennedy's) property after her husband's death.

My father gathered a few of the neighbours and proceeded to Lake George to put the intruders out of possession.

They had a shooting match, and my father lost one eye and got a bullet in his back which never could be extracted.

At times he suffered severely, but he, lived to the age of 84 years, strong and hearty, and did all his own farm work till a few weeks before he died; and his death was then caused by stepping into a deep hole and hurting his spine.

Freeman's Journal.


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