1.2 Reverend Handt's Journals
i. Aug-Oct 1832
[note] May 23/33 [ie. date received]
[18 August 1832]
Saturday, August 18, 1832. The affairs of our Mission having being so far settled so as to allow us to proceed to our appointed station, Wellington Valley, I went with our cart in the afternoon to Parramatta, where I arrived 8 o'clock in the evening and met with a kind reception from the Rev. S. Marsden. Our dray went yesterday, and we hope to overtake it next Monday. A black boy called Billy was also sent with our dray. We received him in Sydney from Major Mac Farson,  who left this colony for India.
[19 August 1832]
Sunday, 19. Mr and Mrs Watson and Mrs Handt, having yesterday missed the evening coach, were obliged to come here this morning. They arrived here before divine service had commenced. Mr Marsden preached an experimental and edifying sermon, and Mr Forest did the same in the afternoon.
[20 August 1832]
Monday, 20. We started this morning from Parramatta, but having proceeded half a mile approximately we met with an hindrance. One of our horses before the cart began to prance and to refuse drawing. Mrs Watson and Mrs Handt hastily got out, and were obliged to walk till providentially we met with an empty dray which took them a few miles. It was with difficulty that our horse was made to go on any farther. About 2
o'clock in the afternoon we overtook our dray. They had been waiting for us; and when they were fetching and yoking the oxen, one broke its neck. In the evening we encamped in the open air, and made a fire both to warm ourselves and to make tea. After tea I began to miss my carpet bag. Not being able to find it, I went in search of it on the road, but it was in vain. The next morning I sent our carrier, promising him one pound, if he could find it. He discovered it very providentially in asking the loan of a saddle to lay on the horse he was riding from a constable, who on the previous evening had found the bag. There were several useful things in it necessary on the journey, as well as some money. I thanked God for having recovered it.
[21 August 1832]
Tuesday, 21. We crossed a river to day called "The Nepean", not far from a range of mountains, commonly called "The blue mountains". Near these we pitched our tent for the night, and found it very comfortable. The horse which would not draw yesterday tried to play us the same trick to day.
[22 August 1832]
Wednesday, 22 We ascended the blue mountains. Our carrier's oxen and those of our own dray were yoked together to take up first his dray and then ours. Our obstinate horse was worse than yesterday. Our Wives lodged at an Inn this night, but we ourselves stayed outside at our drays.
[23 August 1832]
Thursday, 23. Our horse behaved worse than ever. Though it had frequently the whip applied to its back, and would have
been able to draw the whole load without the aid of the other, yet did it persevere in his obstinacy. In the afternoon it stopped altogether, so that our cart had to stay on the road till two bullocks belonging to our dray, which had gone before us, were sent to our assistance. Mrs Watson and Mrs Handt not being able to go in the cart, because of the horse, and meeting with an empty dray that was going the same direction, got into it, and were conveyed to the place where we intended to halt for the night, with some inconvenience however, for they had met on that dray with the company of two bad women. In the evening we pitched our tent, and made a fire. We then put on our tea kettle and had our tea, which served both for dinner and supper as is customary with travellers in this country.
[24 August 1832]
Friday, 24. We could not find our oxen this morning before 11 o'clock, and therefore it was late when we started. The oxen are here let loose every evening, in order to seek their food in the bush, and consequently they cannot always be found, when required. We did not use to day our obstinate horse, but only the one which went in the shafts. But as this alone was not able to draw the cart, we chained the cart behind the dray. It was very cold, and in the evening we had snow which fell in such abundance that we were not able to erect our tent, but were glad to draw it only over the cart. Mrs Watson sat in the cart the greater part of the night, wrapped up in a blanket. I spread some branches between the shafts, and made up a bed on the ground as well as I could.
Mr Watson sat near the fire on a chair, wrapped in his cloak. The country is thickly timbered here, and covered with underwood.
[25 August 1832]
Saturday, 25. A clear sky and a fine day. In the afternoon we had to go down a very steep hill, which was about half a mile long. Our ox that went in the shafts fell three times under the load, and the last time it was not able to rise, the load having slipped to the forepart of the dray. We sent a man to our carrier's dray and our cart, which had gone before us, for assistance. In about two hours our carrier came with some oxen to help us down the hill. But it was dark, and too late for going down so steep a place, especially as there was a precipice on the right side. The dray therefore was to be left on the road, and watched till next morning. It was as cold as yesterday.
[26 August 1832]
Sunday, 26. Early in the morning our dray was brought down to the foot of the hill, where we kept the Sabbath.
[27 August 1832]
Monday, 27. We did not proceed on our journey, because our oxen wanted a good feed, as we some days previously had travelled through a very barren district, where they had not been able to find any thing nourishing. Besides, some of them were missing.
[28 August 1832]
Tuesday, 28. Our lost oxen were again sought for, but they could not be found. We had to take therefore first one dray with all the oxen we had, and then the other. We travelled only about 3 miles, and erected our tent opposite an inn. Though we did not lodge there, the Innkeeper was very obliging to us in letting us have every thing we wanted. He wished to have family prayer in his house in the evening, which request was complied with. The country begins now to be less grown over with underwood.
[29 August 1832]
Wednesday, 29. We thought to find our oxen that were missing,
but the search proved fruitless. It began to rain in the evening, but our tent was a shelter to us from the rain. A black man and woman paid us a visit this morning.
[30 August 1832]
Thursday, 30. It had been raining all night, and continued to do so all day. We proceeded however on our journey, but were not able to go more than about six miles, because the road was very slippery, and led through many swamps, and even steep hills.
[31 August 1832]
Friday, 31. Went only about three or four miles, because the road was very wet, and as boggy as yesterday, by reason of which the oxen became soon tired.
[1 September 1832]
Saturday, September 1. Our oxen were missing in the morning, and could not be found till late in the day, on account of which we could not travel. It was a delightful day. The country here does not seem to be very fertile. It is much covered with underwood.
[2 September 1832]
Sunday, 2. Kept the Sabbath, and had divine services in the wilderness.
[3 September 1832]
Monday, 3. Our way led us through several sloughs difficult to pass. We travelled however about 8 miles.
[4 September 1832]
Tuesday, 4. Some of our carrier's bullocks could not be found, on account of which we were not able to proceed. Some Blacks with their gins (wives) paid us a visit. They got their breakfast, and some pipes and tobacco, in return of which they threw their spears and womeras.
We informed them of our intention to go to Wellington, and to instruct the Blacks there. We invited them also to go with us, but they feared their black brethren there. They are much afraid of a strange tribe, as also Mr Dawson has stated in his account of the Aborigines of this Country. The scenery of the district, we are now in is delightful, valleys and mountains varying the prospect, high trees, underwood and good grass giving an ornament to surface, and the salubrious air refreshing and strengthening the animal frame, and elevating the faculties of the mind. A small limpid stream takes its course from East to West, at a distance of about a quarter of a mile from our tent.
[5 September 1832]
Wednesday, 5. Those of our carrier's bullocks which were lost yesterday, have not yet been found. Some of our own have also gone astray. We have now been on our way nearly three weeks, and have travelled during that time about eighty miles. We did not set out with such expectation, but our thoughts are not the Lord's thoughts and it is not in him that walketh to direct his way.
[6 September 1832]
Thursday, 6. A fine day for travelling, but we could not proceed, our oxen not having yet been found.
The first day of our setting out I bruised my legs severely, which, from eating salt provisions, and having no healing salves to dress them with, have become very troublesome
I have just taken some opening medicine which, I hope, with the blessing of God will prove beneficial.
[7 September 1832]
Friday, 7. We are still stationary here, as several of our bullocks are yet missing. We were visited this morning by a gang of the road party (prisoners who are making the roads of the country) with a constable to whom were given some tracts. Mr Lane, a farmer here in the neighbourhood (about 5 miles from our camp) sent one of his men this morning, requesting Mrs Watson and Mrs Handt to go and stay with them while we were detained in these parts. The man whom they had sent was to assist us in seeking for our oxen.
[8 September 1832]
Saturday, 8. Our oxen were found this morning, but not our carrier's, and therefore we could not yet leave here. In the evening we sent our servant to Mr Lane's for some flour. The low country here is thinly timbered, underwood also is scarce. The high mountains which are here about are grown over with many high trees, and so are nearly all the mountains which I have seen here in this country. This seems to be contrary to those in Europe, for the higher the mountains there are, the fewer in number, & the shorter in size are generally the trees.
[9 September 1832]
Sunday, 9. We kept quiet to day, and celebrated the Sabbath. Had it not been Sunday, we would have started, though some of our carrier's oxen were yet missing. Our black
boy Billy has been very ill to-day. Indeed he has not been well since we left Sydney, but he never was so bad as to day.
[10 September 1832]
Monday, 10. We begun again travelling after having been detained a whole week. A trial for our patience this. It was late before we started, arrived however in good time at the place opposite to Mr Lane's farm where we intended to stay. Mr Lane's farm is about 1 1/2 mile from the road. Their servant who had been assisting us in seeking for our bullocks, being yet with us, was our guide to their farm. These good Christian people very kindly received us for the Lord's sake. And though they had very small accommodations, yet they made room for all of us. Their children look clean and healthy, and are well behaved.
[11 September 1832]
Tuesday, 11. As our carrier was yet seeking for the oxen he lost at the last place we encamped, we did not proceed. We feel quite at home at dear Mr Lane's, and thankful to God for having found such true Christian friends in the wilderness.
[12 September 1832]
Wednesday, 12. Our carrier having borrowed some other oxen instead of those which he lost, we started. In the evening we arrived at the Revd. T. Hassall’s farm, and took up our lodgings there at Mr Smith's, his overseer. The Revd. T.H. has his Parish in the Cowpastures. Our black boy Billy is very sick.
[13 September 1832]
Thursday, 13. All of us took a walk in the afternoon with Mr and Mrs Smith to a hill, where we had a commanding view of the plains below. Mr Smith showed us also an enclosed spot of ground which he has set apart as a site for a place of worship. Billy is getting worse.
[14 September 1832]
Friday, 14. Mr Smith showed us a place on Mr Hassall’s farm, at the bank of the fish-river,  where a black native had been buried, who had been wounded in one of their native wars. He had died a lingering death on that spot, during which time he had been attended by Mr Hassall’s men. He would not allow them to take him into the house, which otherwise would have been done, but preferred lying out of doors near a fire. Poor Billy is expected to die, his throat is very much swollen.
[16 September 1832]
Sunday, 16. Mrs Handt is unwell. Had divine service to day. Some neighbouring farmers and servants attended, and filled the room.
[18 September 1832]
Tuesday, 18. Poor Billy is supposed to be at the point of death. I hope he will die in the Lord. He said always his prayers very devoutly, and although he was sometimes confined to his couch nearly the whole day, yet would he say his prayers before he fell asleep.
[19 September 1832]
Wednesday, 19. The spirit of Billy is gone, and I trust to God, where all trouble ceases, and joy never ends.
People in WellPro Directory: Handt, Mary
As we wish to proceed to morrow to Bathurst he was buried to day, near his country man before mentioned. We are taking another black boy from this place, who has been living on Mr Hassall’s farm. His name is Jimmy.
[20 September 1832]
Thursday, 20. Left this place, called O'Conner Plains, where we had been detained 8 days, and travelled through a country quite different to any we had before seen on our journey, the greater part being a complete plain without a single tree to diversify the prospect. Bathurst is about 12 miles from the latter place, we reached it about 3 o'clock and according to a previous invitation, we all took up our lodgings at Parson Kean's, and experienced the greatest possible kindness both from Mr and Mrs Kean. The parsonage is situated upon a hill, and affords an extensive view, not only of the town, but of the surrounding country. Mr Kean preaches not only at Bathurst, but also on the neighbouring farms. Mrs Kean is a meek and sincere Christian.
[21 September 1832]
Friday, 21. Left Bathurst at noon. Mr Kean supplied us with many little comforts gratis. Our carrier having taken offence, deserted us, and we, not knowing the right way lost it, and about 4 o'clock were so deep sunk in a slough about 6 miles from Bathurst, that the dray could not possibly be got out. We were obliged to take up our lodging for the night, not knowing where we were, till next morning.
People in WellPro Directory: Keane, Reverend John Epsy
[22 September 1832]
Saturday, 22. We were informed by a person passing that we were on the wrong road. The dray was here unloaded, and drawn out of the mire after an immense deal of trouble. It was then reloaded, and we made another attempt to cross the bog as we were obliged to go over, though we were some miles above the proper place. We met however with the same fate as the night before, got bogged again, and it was so late before we got the dray out, though on the same side, that we were obliged to erect our tent, and remain till Monday.
[24 September 1832]
Monday, 24. As it was feared that our oxen would not draw us to Wellington, a man was sent to Bathurst to the Commandant for the loan of two from Government. We began in the mean time to move towards the right road, where we waited till the man with the two oxen arrived. We travelled about 9 miles, and pitched our tent at the foot of a rock. It was a warm day, such as we had not experienced before, whilst on our journey.
[25 September 1832]
Tuesday, 25. We could not find our horses. Having however sufficient bullocks both for our dray and cart, we resolved to proceed without the horses, leaving a man to search for them.
[26 September 1832]
Wednesday, 26. A man driving cattle came up to us this morning, just as we were about to start.
He was, as it proved, the overseer of another of Mr Lane's farms. He would have rendered us every possible assistance, if we had been in need of it. As he was travelling the same way, he accompanied us till towards evening, when he had to go another way to the farm. We fixed our tent near Mr Booth's farm, who gave us some milk. A very fine day.
[27 September 1832]
Thursday, 27. A very cold morning. The water I was washing myself in froze in the tin during the time I was cutting a little wood. The afore said overseer of Mr Lane brought us some bread this morning. We travelled through many swamps. It was nearly, as it were, but the continuation of one swamp. The ground is moderately timbered, but underwood is very sparse. We pitched our tent at a place called Summer Hill, a Military station.
[28 September 1832]
Friday, 28. The two soldiers who reside here, were very civil to us. We have been highly favoured of late with regard to fair weather, and have travelled with speed so that we hope soon to be at Wellington. We started about 9 o'clock in the morning, and travelled nearly 12 miles. Our way was better than yesterday, though we have to go through some swamps, and through a creek, called the broken shaft creek, on account of the many shafts that have been broken there. I towards evening saw two cungaroo-rats springing up before me, when I went to the water.
[29 September 1832]
Saturday, 29. A clear and fine morning. We got ready for starting before 9 o'clock. When we had travelled about 5 miles, our shaft bullock laid himself down on the road. He was beaten up, and put in again, but it was of little use, for soon after he repeated the same trick. We had to take him out then, and to put another in the shafts. In the evening we arrived at Molong, the Revd. S. Marsden's station. Our servant, who had been left behind the 25th inst. in order to search for our strayed horses, arrived this evening having the horses with him. He had found them about 22 miles from the place where we had lost them. Molong is a fruitful plain and has a river running through the midst of it.
[30 September 1832]
Sunday, 30. Travelled about five miles. Had we not wanted to overtake our carrier, who had our tea and sugar, of which we stood in need, we should certainly not have moved. Met several Blacks to day, who were waiting for us, having been apprized by the Whites of our coming. They have also been told by them that we had blankets belonging to "black fellows", which they thought would be immediately given to them. Some of the Whites had also told them that we would take their children, and put them into a jail, the idea of which they abhorred. "Bail that not good", they said. We made them understand that we would instruct their children, and made them like white fellows, which explanation satisfied their minds. They had also been
People in WellPro Directory: Marsden, Reverend Samuel
informed that they should be taught to raise their own victuals, at which they laughed, and said: "Bail black fellow that not work." They had three children with them. After they had their supper, they sang for our amusement. They resolved to go with us to Wellington.
[1 October 1832]
October, 1. We had on our way to pass a creek several times on account of its crooked course. The last time we crossed it, we were bogged, and it was with great difficulty that we could get out of the mud. We travelled about eight miles. We had scarcely pitched our tent when it began to rain. There is much timber here, but scarcely any underwood. The Blacks had been accompanying us, and received their supper. Two of them painted themselves afterwards with pipe-clay, and showed by the light of the fire their skill in the native dance.
[2 October 1832]
Tuesday, 2. It had rained in the night, and continued to do so till towards evening. We found a large fire in the evening before our tent - very comfortable. The Blacks told us that we were only about 12 miles from Wellington, which we could scarcely believe; it proved however correct.
[3 October 1832]
Wednesday, 3. The sky began to clear up, and we started as soon as possible. Our way led us through a plain and fruitful country, and we arrived at Wellington about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. It is a fertile spot with few trees, and a
rich pasturage. The fire-wood is to be fetched about 1 1/2 mile from the Settlement. Their are several buildings, one called the Government house, a barrack, and some other cottages, all belonging to Government. The first is given to us to live in, while employed in the Mission.
Two of the children of the Blacks, who travelled with us a few days, have been allowed by their friends to stay with us. He whom we took from O' Conner Plains is also with us.
Great has been the mercy and goodness of God towards us on our way, for he has been the Guide of our path, the Protector and Preserver of our lives and substance, and the Giver of all our mercies and comforts. By his care and providence we have been kept from many dangers, and delivered out of those which surrounded us. No evil accident has befallen us. Our lives have been preserved, not one of our limbs has been broken, and our health has in general, been in a good state. I thank God, the Father of all mercies, through his Son my Redeemer for this new manifestation of his goodness, but above all that his Son died for me on Calvary, and shed his blood for me. O,
may that blood which washed my soul from sin, and sprinkled my heart from an evil conscience, be applied to the hearts of these poor Aborigines, and become the ransom of their souls!
[Signed] J.C.S Handt.
Read Oct 15th, 1832
WW. [ie. William Watson]
Rev. J.C.S. Handt’s Journal,
Aug. to Octr 1832