Spotlight: Morgan’s Last Exploit (14/11/1864)

Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), Monday 14 November 1864, page 3


MORGAN’S LAST EXPLOIT.

On the subject of Morgan’s last exploit, the Pastoral Times, of the 5th, has the following:

“On Sunday last, Morgan, the murderer, stuck up the Yarrabee Station, on the Yanko. Early in the morning he met two stockmen employed on the station, apprehended them on a charge of horse-stealing, placed them in a hut, and said he should take them to Wagga Wagga. He left the hut for a short time, and on returning, announced himself in his own proper character. In the course of the morning he captured two more prisoners, and keeping the lot in the hut until evening, he marched them down to the home station. Morgan had by this time been joined by a mate, and the two villains then imprisoned every one about the the [sic] station. No violence was committed, but they heated a branding-iron and threatened to brand Mr. Waugh, the Superintendent, and Mr. Apps, the storekeeper. Mrs. Apps, a widow, and daughter-in-law of the storekeeper, offered Morgan jewellery and a £5 note not to carry out his barbarous threat. Morgan declined to receive them, stating he did not come there to rob a poor widow. And this from a murderer! What hypocrisy! He will not rob a widow, but the villain would make one without a moment’s consideration. When he shot McGinnerty did he think of the misery he was inflicting on the sergeant’s family? The shot was fired in cold blood without even an outlaw’s excuse of being in self-defence. The branding, however, was not resorted to, and the only property stolen consisted of two saddles and bridles and clothing out of the store. They burnt all the other saddles and bridles they could find. During the thieves’ stay, one of the station hands asked if he could go; ‘Yes,’ said Morgan, ‘you can if you want to be shot.’ The flaps of Morgan’s saddle were observed to have been cut away, and he stated he had used them for gun wadding. About three o’clock on Monday morning they took their departure, and information was sent to the Urana police. Judging from past experience, the next report in connection with this robbery will be the fact of the police having, in company with a black tracker, followed Morgan until the horses were knocked up, and they were thus forced to abandon the pursuit. This is the stereotyped tale, but the time has come when the public will not longer suffer themselves to be thus befooled. We do not wish to cast blame on the officers and police in the bushrangers’ district, but in the name of the public we demand that the bushrangers shall be hunted down or out of the country. The trackers have often proved their ability to follow a trail, but successful results have failed from horses breaking down. Should such a circumstance stop pursuit? Fresh horses should be borrowed, bought, or impressed and the trail followed at any expense. If the track became effaced, the tracker might make “a cast,” and if found again carry it on. The successful manner in which the Duff children were tracked shows how efficient the natives are, and their ability, if properly supported, to hunt down their quarry. If Morgan and villains of his stamp cannot be caught in this way, they can surely be cleared out of the country, which, under present circumstances, would be a great relief to all residing in the dangerous district.”

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