Sir James Joseph Casey, A Politician 1873
31.5 x 19 cm
Inscribed in image Masks and Faces, No.4 - A Politician, "He is a Terror to Dummies", The Weekly Times, Nov. 8 1873
'Masks and Faces' was a series of 36 drawings by Durkin, published fortnightly in The Weekly Times between September 1873 and April 1875
Sir James Joseph Casey, born in Ireland, settled in Australian in 1855. Between 1872 and 1875, he was Commissioner of Crown Lands, President of the Board of Land and Works, and Minister of Agriculture. The term ‘Dummying’ referred to the practice of squatting on land for a year…
‘Stawell prosecution’ could refer to: Sir William Stawell, Attorney General during this period, whose ‘strong influence on land policy favoured the squatters’; or/and Casey’s practice of checking the ‘system of 'dummying' by instituting inquiries at Stawell, Benalla and Echuca.’
Melbourne Punch, Nov 20, 1873, page 161: ‘Like Great Mogul, or Big Bashaw, the mighty Casey wields the law; Throned high autocratic state, his nod condemns, his wink is fate; With marionettes grouped right and left, silent as if of life bereft; (Like artfully constructed toys, you pull with strings to make a noise); This grave and potent Turk of Turks, is just “The Board of Land and Works”; Surveyor General – he sits, with thought subdued and tranquil wits’.