Narional Archives of Australia
CRS F126 Item 23
Disciplinary Cases Correspondence Jay Creek 1939 - 1942
NB The parts marked ....... have been censored in the originals.
Copyright P J Mackett 2007
20. 2.1939 From T G H Strehlow Jay Creek to Chief Protector of Aboriginals
Adelaide South Australia
Full blood Millie Smith being held at Jay Creek. Aged about 40
years. Comes from Anna Creek south of Oodnadatta South Australia.
Came to Alice Springs some years ago as wife of a quadroon named
Walter Smith. Walter Smith deserted her. Has brother Jimmy Fenn
at Anna Creek.
28. 2.1939 From Acting Chief Protector of Aboriginals to T G H Strehlow
Trying to find out if Millie Smith is known in the Anna Creek
27. 3.1939 Signed Walter Smith, witnessed Mrs L Price
This is to certify that I have given orders to Mrs W Smith
to sell all my camels branded near neck Z T S.
11. 4.1939 To Mr Walter Smith at Tennant Creek or the Anningie Tin Field
from the Patrol Officer.
Wife is Millie at Jay Creek.
28. 4.1939 To T G H Strehlow from Chief Protector of Aboriginals
Brother of Millie Smith is Jimmy Fenn at Nilpinna Station.
18. 6.1939 From Arthur L Pope to T G H Strehlow Jay Creek
Wants Millie for wife's domestic help.
9. 7.1939 To Mr A L Pope at Hatches Creek
Millie Smith unable to leave Hatches Creek.
Is Walter Smith at Hatches Creek or has he left.
28. 7.1940 To Mrs Arthur Pope of Hatches Creek
Millie Smith will be able to leave Jay Creek at the end of
9.12.1941 From Half-caste Institution Alice Springs to T G H Strehlow Jay Creek
About Agnes, age about 16 years, lives at Little Flower Mission and
employed as a domestic in casual employment.
'on the 28th November I appeared on behalf of an aboriginal named
'Kenny' charged with assault on the above named female aboriginal.
The facts appeared to be that 'Kenny', a brother of 'Agnes', wanted
her to stop going with soldiers and to go with an aboriginal names
'Long Frank'. This 'Agnes' refused to do and in the ensuing quarrell
'Kenny' struck her a terrific blow on the mouth cutting her lip
through and badly damaging the upper. For this offence 'Kenny'
received three months imprisionment.'
Similar thing happened with an aboriginal names Wallaby.
'I would therefore recommend that 'Agnes' be removed from the township
area of Alice Springs to your Jay Creek Reserve for detention. I might
add that Father Ether has signified his approval of such action
17. 4.1942 From T G H Strehlow to Director Native Affairs Branch Mataranka
Application for Marriage Permit for Mr Michael (Mick) Murphy and
full blooded aboriginal girl Agnes. This letter is reproduced in
Northern Territory Administration
17th April 1942
Native Affairs Branch
Northern Territory Administration
Application for marriage Permit, Murphy - Agnes
An application has reached me from Mr Michael ('Mick') Murphy for
a permit to marry a full-blooded aboriginal girl called Agnes.
Agnes is a good looking girl, who was educated for a while at the
Little Flower Mission, Alice Springs. She got into trouble .........
at Alice Springs on a number of occasions; however it appears that
on at least one of these occasions she had been ..................
..... . She was removed from Alice Springs to the Jay Creek Reserve
as a penal case on January 5th of the present year.
Mr McGarry, of the Little Flower Mission and Father Eather, of
Alice Springs, were of the opinion that Agnes would never settle down with
a native husband; all attempts to do so had failed. I am inclined to
concur with them. Agnes appears to me to be a girl who regards herself
as being superior to all native males. She always keeps herself
spotlessly clean, wears good clothes, usually walks around in high-heeled
shoes, and bears herself like a well-educated town girl. She has given
us no trouble on the Jay Creek Reserve.
Mick Murphy is a single labourer, at present working on good
wages in Alice Springs. He is, like Agnes, a Catholic. He was born in
Ireland, but has spent most of his life in Australia. He was a miner
at Wauchope Creek a few years ago. Since then he has come to Alice
Springs, where he has worked for a contractor C Deacon. At present he is
working in the Railway yard, Alice Springs. He is a good worker, and of
sober habits, and has good references from his employers.
Mick Murphy asked me for permission to marry Agnes about a week after
she had been removed to Jay Creek. He has known Agnes for some time, and
she apparently has not gone .................... since he met her. He
was fully informed about her previous history by Mr McGarry; but this
information merely aroused his resentment against Mr McGarry without
lessening his liking for the girl.
I asked Murphy in January to wait for a reply to his application
till May; I wanted to be certain that his love for Agnes was sincere and
not merely an infatuation which would vanish after four months separation
from the girl.
During this interval Murphy interviewed Father Eather about his
marriage. At first Father Eather agreed to marry him to Agnes, and informed
me to this effect. Later, however, Mr McGarry returned from his holidays;
and I was then told that 'Father has decided not to marry Agnes and Murphy
in the Church; but he is agreeable to their being married by a Registrar'.
McGarry's explanation to me was to the effect that marriage being a
sacrament, he did not think it advisable that a church marriage should be
agreed to in this case since love between a white man and a black girl
did not seem feasible to him.
I do not agree with Mr McGarry in this regard. A white man who has
lived in the country for some years amongst the natives can, in my experience,
conceive real love for a black girl. One instance in point is the case of
Mr Pearce, of Lynda Vale Station, who left the proceeds of his whole
station property to his black wife after his death.
From all accounts Murphy is a single respectable man, who in spite
of discouragement from certain quarters has stuck to his intentions to
marry Agnes. Agnes is a girl who, in my opinion, will never settle down
with a black husband; but she would probably make a good and faithful wife
to a white man who cared for her. She has worked in Alice Springs Homes,
and has splendid references from her employers for her neatness and her
I, therefore, recommend thay Murphy's application for a marriage
permit be granted, and forwarded to me so that it can be kept till the
date of the ceremony.
T G H Strehlow
4. 6.1942 Letter from the Constable Jay Creek Reserve to the Deputy
Director of Native Affairs Alice Springs. This is reproduced
Jay Creek Aboriginal Reserve
The Deputy Director of Native Affairs
Proposed Marriage Murphy - Agnes
I refer to correspondence dated 17th April in the shape of
a memo from Patrol Officer Strehlow to the Secretary, Native
Affairs Branch, and a Marriage Permit authorising the marriage of
the two a/n parties, issued by the Deputy Director, (Mr White)
dated April 29th. This Permit has been handed to me by
Rev S O Gross, who was of the opinion that it ought to be filed
in this Office.
The position is that this marriage is postponed indefinite-
ly. Mr M (Mick) Murphy, interviewed by me in the presence of
Rev Gross at Alice Springs, desired such postponement.
Mr Murphy stated that he is working on the Railways such
long hours, that he has practically no opportunity for home
life. Also, (he stated) he has found it impossible to obtain
a house or accomodation for carrying on a married establishment.
Mr Murphy states that his feeling for Agnes have under-
gone no change. He still retains his interest in the girl, and
points his profession by supplying Agnes with a consignment of
rations, etc, regularly each fortnight.
On the other hand, (he states) in the event of Agnes
conceiving an affection for, and desiring to marry another during
this proposed period of waiting, he will not stand in her way nor
object. He asked that Agnes be retained at Jay Creek during the
interim, (a course of action which would have been taken in any
case, in view of the fact that Agnes is a disciplinary case).
I therefore removed Agnes back to Jay Creek on the
3rd of June. The Marriage Permit is filed with correspondence
relating to this matter in this Office.
Officer in Charge
Jay Creek Reserve
22. 5.1942 From T G Strehlow to Dr O Kewish Alice Springs Hospital
This is reproduced in full here.
The Northern Territory Administration
22nd May 1942
Dr O Kewish
Alice Springs Hospital
Since the girl Peggy, kept hitherto as a penal case on the
Jay Creek Reserve, has now married the boy Tarzan employed by you,
and has expressed a desire to live with him at the place of his
employment, leave is hereby given to her to do so.
In view of the assurance kindly given by yourself to me
a few days ago that Peggy would be employed in your household and
thus protected from undesirable outside influences, I hereby give
leave to Peggy to take with her her halfcaste child, aged about two
years, while employed in your household. Should she leave her
employment with you, the child would have to be returned to the
Jay Reserve or some other Institution.
Leave is hereby given to you to employ both Peggy and Tarzan
in the Tennant Creek area.
T G H Strehlow
Deputy Director of Native Affairs