Skip to content

The Museum is temporarily closed. See Plan your visit

Property manager Augustus Glissan sent Oscar’s completed sketchbook with this accompanying letter to an old family friend, Dr Charles Bage, in 1899

AH Glisson letter.

[top left hand corner]
Stamp of Australian Institute of Anatomy
[written notation]
Recd June 5, 1899
Charles Bage

March 30th 1899

My dear Dr
Just a few lines to tell you I am posting you a book, of drawings executed by one of my boys named “Oscar”, this boy I got at Cooktown in 1887 & he has been with me ever since & when I got him he was a thorough Myall — could not speak many words of English & had never crossed a horse, he was somewhere about 9 or 10 years of age then — but could not be certain to a year or two, the police got him for me and brought him on board the Steamer and I did not know that the boy was a cripple till I went to put him in the saddle, when I found he had been severely burnt, as a child, and he could not open his legs sufficiently wide to enable him to cross the saddle, he was also very asthmatic and poor boy had a bad time riding 240 miles However constant riding has stretched the Sinews and he rides well now. Ever since the boy came here he has had a liking for drawing & some of his Etchings (performances) on stone with charcoal & chalk etc were so really well done, that I thought some day I would get him a book & some colored pencils & let him have a good try at it. I now enclose you the book under separate cover & I am sure you will all have a good laugh over the pictures
I tried to make him keep the book as clean as I could, but the result was only so so. The index will give you all the information, this the boy gave me in his own way & I have put it as well as I saw — I am pleased to see the travellers have returned to your home, & I believe are in great form. I wish I was there to hear all about their trip, it would be very interesting to me, I have written to Arthur and Alice. Did you and the wife go to Adelaide to meet them? I believe by Alice’s [?] the Barbarossa is a magnificent ship —
I received the Argus today, sent to me by Arthur & notice in which, he met some old friends at Melbourne & they gave him a welcome back — We have had some good rains, but it has not been general, very patchy, we want much more to ensure a good year —
Give my love to the wife and Alice & very kind regards to the Widow Sister, & be sure and show her children the book. I am sure they will enjoy it immensely
Tell Jessie and Alice that Uncle Gus does not forget them & to get Uncle Arthur to give them plenty Paddywhack
With best wishes to yourself
I remain dear Dr ever yours Sincerly
AH Glissan

Return to Top