- MOORHOUSE, Matthew (c. 1812-1876)
- pioneerwas born either in 1812 or 1813. He was educated for the medical profession, obtained the degree of M.R.C.S., came to South Australia in 1839, and about the end of that year was appointed protector of aborigines. He endeavoured to guard their rights and interests, and in doing so sometimes came in conflict both with the authorities and the press. An attempt to teach the children in their native language was not successful, but his interest in this led Moorhouse to prepare A Vocabulary and Outline of the Grammatical Structure of the Murray River Language, which was published at Adelaide in 1846. In January 1849 he was a member of the provisional committee in connexion with the projected South Australian colonial railway. He was a member of parliament in 1861 and for a few days in October of that year was commissioner of crown lands and immigration in the first Waterhouse (q.v.) ministry. Having resigned the position of protector of aborigines he became a successful pastoralist in the northern district for several years, only practising his profession when there was urgent need of his services. He died on his station near Melrose on 29 March 1876, leaving a widow, two sons and a daughter.The South Australian Advertiser and the South Australian Register, 31 March 1876; J. W. Bull, Early Experiences of Life in South Australia, p. 64; E. Hodder, The History of South Australia, vol. I, p. 134; J. Blacket, The Early History of South Australia, p. 368.
Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. Angus and Robertson. 1949.
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