James Ossian McPHERSON
10 May, 1882 - 13 February, 1911


James Ossian McPHERSON was born at Hughenden, Queensland, first- born son and second child of James McPHERSON, known as the "Wild Scotchman", Queensland's only authentic bushranger, and Elizabeth Ann HORSZFELDT. James was one of seven children. James McPHERSON, the bushranger, had served eight years of a twenty- five year jail term, when he was pardoned, and released, and went on to marry and raise a family.

It is interesting that the father, James McPHERSON, was only 13 years of age, when his family left Inverness, to make a new life in Australia.

James must have learned about another James McPHERSON, and the Ossianic poems, before he left Scotland, and was impressed enough to name his first-born son Ossian.

James McPHERSON, the Wild Scotchman, wrote a large amount of poetry, while he was in prison on St. Helena Island in Moreton Bay, near Brisbane.

James Ossian McPHERSON was only 29 years of age, when he met his untimely death. I will quote from a newspaper report of the times:--

"The eldest son of James McPHERSON, - James Ossian McPHERSON, was killed by an aboriginee, on Coolbana Station, near Cooktown, on 13 February, 1911, at the age of 29.

Seems an aboriginee girl walked down from the Alice River to Cooktown, making her way to the Mission folk, at the dictates of the Northern Officials, and when she left the river country, she also left behind a distressed black lover, whose passion for her overruled his reason.

The "myall boy" was consumed with wrath at the departure of his unresponsive ideal, and determined he would not be foiled in this matter of the heart.

In the course of time, the coloured girl reached Coolbana Station, where she learned that the myall boy was following her down the coast. She related her discovery to James Ossian McPHERSON, and the Manager of the station. The two men rode out to scare the myall boy away.

But, he showed fight, and in order to frighten him, McPHERSON fired a revolver into the air. At the report of the gun, instead of frightening the abo, it scared the young horse McPHERSON was riding, and it bolted. While horse and rider were flying over the ground at a terrific pace, the "boy" darted out fom behind a tree, and with that amazing accuracy of his race, threw a spear at the flying horseman.

The spear hissed through the air and found it's mark. McPherson was spitted through the back, and died in Cooktown Hospital. The "boy" was caught, and committed to lifelong captivity."

McPHERSON's Inquest Report states cause of death as:--

"Spear thrust to right chest. Haemorrhage to right lung".

James Ossian McPHERSON is buried in Cooktown Cemetery, in far north Queensland, in Grave No. E S78, in the Church of England section. His occupation is listed as Shoe Maker. He was not married.

("Myall" means wild or bad.)