Shadrach Livingstone James: scholar, orator, man’s man

Shadrach James was no bookish flake. A proud man who wasn't afraid of a fight.

Shadrach James was no bookish flake. A proud man who wasn’t afraid of a fight.

The article published in the Riverine Herald on January 13, 1915, states the case as follows:
A BUSH FIGHT DIFFERENCES SETLED IN THE RING At the Nathalia Police Court on Mon- day, Messers F. Furza and M. Muntz, J’s.P., on tho Bench, Shadrach James was charged with unlawfully assaulting Arthur Nelson 26th December last. Senior-Constable Brown prosecuted, and Mr. Frank C. Mueller, of Eucheca, defended. Senior-Constable deposed that he arrested the accused on Saturday afternoon at Barmah. Accused admitted having had a fight with Nelson. William Wilkonson, overseer as Cum- moragunja Mission Station, gave evidence that on Boxing Day hew was at the station and saw James and Nelson fighting on the Victorian side of the river. Both were, stripped to the waist. The fight lasted for three or four rounds. There were about about a score of spectators. Mera Nabby Dux, a Hindu, stated that he saw the fight, which was an organised affair, with referee, timekeeper, and other officials. The men shook hands before starting, and the fight lasted three rounds, when Nelson “threw up the sponge.”

By Mr. Mueller–It was a fair fight. The spectators formed a ring, and the referee said the men were not to be inter- fered with. The fight took place in a secluded spot in the bend of the river. After the fight Nelson shook hands with James and admitted being beaten. For the defence Mr. Mueller called the accused, Shadrach James, who stated that on Christmas Day Nelson had come to his house at the Mission, and made serious allegations against James and his parents. On the following morning James went to Nelson and demanded an apology, which Nelson refused to give, and repeat- ed his insults. The result was a that they agreed to cross the river and “have it out.” This they did, as described by the previous witnesses. Mr Mueller contended that the whole circumstances disclosed that James was the aggrieved party and that as the men had agreed to settle their differences by a resort to fisticuffs no offence had been committed. He complained of the action of the police in arresting James, who was a well-known resident of Cummeragunga, instead of proceeding against him by summons. As a result James had been de- tained in custody since Saturday evening. The Bench considered that an illegal act had been committed, and imposed a fine of 20/ with the option of seven days in gaol. the costs amounted to £1/4/6.


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