Spotlight: Outrages by Morgan (03/01/1865)

Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), Tuesday 3 January 1865, page 3



The ruffian has been at work again this week, and to some tune, as the following account will show:— On Monday morning last the mailman brought in the intelligence that the Albury mail had been stuck-up on the Sunday night, between Kyamba and Ten-mile Creek, by a man with a beard down to his waist, and mounted on apparently a stockman’s horse, with a red blanket rolled up in front of him, at once supposed to be Morgan by those on the coach, and as other circumstances show, correctly so. But this event formed but a portion of his day’s exploits, of which we lay a connected account before our readers as far as the various details have reached us, and which include, as will be seen, the burning of a road contractor’s tent and its contents, bailing-up various passengers, shooting a Chinaman in the arm, and sticking up two mails, a very pretty and complete day’s work, and two of the acts so thoroughly characteristic of this ruffian.

Mr. Adams, the road contractor, having some work in Kyamba, was camped there on Sunday week last with a road party, and about two p.m. a man (Morgan) went up to Adams’ tent, and on getting close to it saw one of the men washing himself, whom he asked if he were Adams, but receiving no answer at first, told him he would soon make him answer. The man then told him Adams was in the tent, upon which he went in, and finding Adams there, at once asked him how he settled with his men. Adams did not seem to understand him, and asked him what he meant, to which he replied by asking how he paid his men. Adams said by cheques, and Morgan then told him to come out and he would give him a cheque. The former became alarmed, and seemed to recognise whom it was he had to deal with, for, addressing him then by name, he asked him to do no harm, and if he wanted money he would give him a cheque for £10, if that would be enough. Morgan’s reply was that he wanted none of his b—y cheques, but ordered him again to come out, and he would give him a cheque he would not forget. Adams accordingly came out by his request to the front of the tent, and was ordered by him to stand back; Morgan then asking the men about the place if they had anything in the tent, and, if so, telling them to take them out, as he was going to burn it. One, stating that he had a pair of boots there, was directed to go and fetch them out, which he did. Morgan then deliberately went to the tent, and, according to one account, struck a match and set fire to it himself, but according to another, made one of the men do it, the result being that the tent and its contents were totally destroyed. Having accomplished this malicious act, he made them cook him some food and make him some tea, which they had to cool for him, and during his repast ordered two of the men to cut down two of the telegraph posts, to stop, as we presume, telegraphic communication. He took a double-barrelled gun of Mr. Adams, and amused himself for a short time by practising with it. While thus engaged, a man travelling with his swag came up, and Morgan entering into conversation with him, finished by giving him a pound note, saying, “If every one you meet gives you as much, you’ll do well.” He stopped at the place several hours, and on leaving threatened the men about with the usual consequence if they left to give information.

On the same day he bailed-up a party of six or seven Chinamen coming from the Black Ranges, and the unfortunate one of these men whom he accosted, replying “No savee,” he said “I’ll no savee you,” and without more ado shot at him. The Chinaman was brought in to the hospital on Tuesday night last, with a bullet wound in his left arm near the shoulder. The ball had passed deeply in, and then ran down the bone, and got lost, the limb remaining too swollen at this time for the probe to find it. His account, as far as it is intelligible, is that Morgan and a mate stuck-up a party of them, six or seven Chinese miners from the Adelong, this man amongst the number, and took £5 of his money from a cousin of his, but a handful of silver they rifled him of they pitched away in the bush as useless. This man, it will be observed, states that Morgan had a mate, and one account states that he had one when he went to the tent, but we are inclined to believe from the general statement that he was alone.

On finally leaving Adams’ place, after the outrage described, he appears to have bailed-up four horsemen, who were going towards the American Roads, but to have offered no violence or attempt at robbing any of them, merely stating that he wanted to strike the road, and they must lead the way for him (although one would imagine he certainly knew it himself and so they travelled together for some ten miles, he made one of them carry the empty double barrelled gun he had taken from Adams’ place, and told them he must do all he could that night with the mail, for the bobbies would be after him. He talked a great deal in his usual style, saying, amongst other things, that the best way to get up the wheat this sea-son was to put a fire-stick in it. While travelling along, he caught sight of two buggies on the road, and saying he must have something out of them, rode up and ordered them to stand. A Mr. Manson was in the one buggy, and happening to put his hand behind him in the act of stopping, as if in the act of feeling for a revolver (whether it was so or no), Morgan, it is said, was all but shooting him, restraining his hand, however, and saying, “Would you lose your life for a few paltry notes?” He made him dismount, and strip to his shirt and on Mr. Manson saying there was a lady in the buggy, he said “Oh, never mind, she need not look this way.” He then asked him for grog, saying he was sure he did not travel without some, and on his producing some, made him drink of it, taking a little of it himself, and handing it over to the others present. He is stated to have taken some £3 from Mr. Manson, and about the same sum from the occupant of the other vehicle. Having detained them some time, he finally left, proceeding, as the subsequent event proves, to near Garry’s place, to carry out his intention of stopping the mail. On the Sydney mail coming up to where he had posted himself, he ordered the mailman to pull up, but offered no violence, and proceeded to rifle the bags. Finding it light, he contemptuously called it “a paper mail,” and pitched the contents back again, suffering the driver to proceed, and even escorting him some distance. He then appears to have met the Albury mail, as stated in the beginning of this account, and making the driver stand at the horses’ heads whilst he proceeded to pull out the bags and search the letters and cheques, then cramming them into the bags again. The mailman says he did not take any cheques, although there were a quantity in the mail, but he could not say whether he got any money. He complained, however, that the mail was a very poor one, and said sticking up was no good on that road now, that it was five or six years back, but that he wasn’t sticking up then. He then permitted the coach to proceed. On Thursday information reached town that two hawkers, named respectively Knight and Stain, were robbed by Morgan on Tuesday morning last, about two miles from Dodd’s, on the Pullitop road. At eight o’clock in teo morning the two men were away some distance from their cart, catching their horses, being about to start on their day’s journey. Morgan rode up to the cart, and taking up two revolvers that were on the foot-board , escorted the men to the cart, and took from them several cheques (which he returned), £10 in notes, and property to the amount of £60, and a horse, saddle, and bridle, with which to convey the booty away. He also took four bottles of gin and two of brandy, and a watch, the latter he returned. Morgan kept the men prisoners till seven o’clock in the evening, chatting freely on different topics, with his gun — a double-barrelled one,out short — at half-cock, but he would not permit them to make a fire, or even have a smoke. They asked him for their revolvers, which he told them they could take after being saturated in a water-hole for a considerable time. Such are the particulars of the week’s work of this ruffian as far as we have been able to gather them, a record to ponder over, and to wonder sorrowfully when it is to end, — Wagga Wagga Express

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