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The Daily News of the 21st March thus refers to the death of Mrs Watson, the heroine of Lizard Island :—“ The dreadful story of the death of Mrs Watson, to which we referred yesterday, is well worth the attention of everyone interested in the relations between civilised and uncivilised races. This is an instance which illustrates the insuperable difficulty, the impossibility of finding a modus vivtndi between border settlers and the tribes in their neighborhood. It is the story of the backwoodsmen and Apaches over again. Our restless race encroaches on the hunting grounds of Murri or Thlinkeets or Maoris. Adventurers push beyond civilisation, and establish relations for themselves with the Natives and owners of a country. There is usually, to say the least, a want of tact and consideration on our side, a want of honesty among the savages. Sheep are stolen, violent and indiscriminate reprisals are taken. Shooting and spearing begin. Queensland has a bad fame (well deserved or not) for ferocious assaults on the blacks. The natives in their turn grow desperate, and fail, very likely, on isolated settlers who have always treated them well. Then we have such sufferings as those of the heroic Mrs Watson, whose name should never be forgotten among those of brave English women. In Mr Kingsley’s song of the Longbeards, Odin asks, if the women be so brave,

‘ What must the men be ?’ Our race is not degenerate if Mrs Watson is a fair example of English women. But what is the result of such a fate as Mrs Watson’s ? Simply and naturally an inextinguishable and exterminating thirst for reprisals. Honest Englishmen relapse into tire condition of vindictive Highlanders of the seventeenth century. Nothing can sate their great revenge. Blacks in Queensland will soon be as extinct as the moa.” And a very good thing too, we should say.-

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Bibliographic details

THE LIZARD ISLAND TRAGEDY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 644, 24 May 1882

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THE LIZARD ISLAND TRAGEDY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 644, 24 May 1882

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