William Wiseman Letter 1855
April 17th 1855
Chief Commissioner of Crown Lands,
In accordance with your instructions I do myself the honour to transmit to you a plan by which communication may reach me or by which a mail may be brought to the place where I at present reside and where probably the Commissioner’s residence be for some time fixed.
The Overland Mail from Gayndah to Gladstone proceeds by way of Raglan and is carried by Aboriginal Troopers. The letters and correspondence directed to me might thence be brought direct from Raglan here a distance of 130 miles with only one station in the interlude or be sent on to Gladstone and thence hither. In both cases the expense would be the same but in the first case the mail would arrive 3 days sooner. This advantage is not so valuable probably, at all events not in my estimation as that conferred by the mail going to Gladstone hither, in as much as we should have the advantage of obtaining letters which come by sea as well as procuring the means of communication with Gladstone the nearest Township.
I would therefore propose for your consideration the plan that the mail be conveyed hither from Gladstone twice a month and that it be carried by Aboriginal Native Troopers.
No single white man would carry the mail, nor do I think it would be safe to entrust it to him were one to be found willing. I likewise doubt whether a Contractor could be found to undertake such a contract unless at a much greater expense than as proposed by me.
The road is very unsafe. There are no Stations on it nor is it likely that there will be one for many years owing to the tenure by which alone land can be depastured in the Port Curtis District. The Postman would have to camp out two nights thus being subject to an Attack by the Aborigines and to losing his horses. There is not so much danger to Native Troopers. Two would be required. These might be placed under the Commissioner’s control acting as Postmaster or under that of the resident officer of the Native Police should there be one near the Commissioner as there is at present. The men however should not be drafted from the force usually composing his Section but supernumeraries paid by another Department. I transmit herewith an Estimate of what I conceive will be the probable expense.
I have etc.
Commissioner of Crown Lands
(Langevad, G., Queale, A. and Queensland Department of Community Services, Guide to the Letterbook (1855-1860) of William Wiseman, Commissioner of Crown Lands for the pastoral district of Leichhardt/compiled from a bound photo-copy of the original prepared by the late Alan Queale by Gerry Langevad, Department of Community Services, Brisbane, 1986, pp.55 & 56)