iv. July-Oct 1833
[Note: This instalment of the Handt Journal is proceeded by a brief, one page account, read in Committee on 14 December1833, apparently all that Handt seems to have been able to prepare at this time. The full quarterly journal was received on 16 August 1834 and is out of place in the manuscript. Furthermore, pages within this section of the manuscript are out of order, and there is some duplication. The correct order has been restored for this edition, so that from this point our transcript page numbers differ from that of the AJCP microfilm. Note that the entry for 4 July is a repeat of the last entry of the previous instalment.]
Journal July to Oct. 1833
My occupations have been during the last quarter from July to October 1833 as follows:
Collecting words and sentences from the Natives as opportunity afforded.
Copying the whole of those words and sentences which I had already obtained, and frequently reading them all over, in order to impress them upon my mind.
Talking on religious subjects with the Natives when I could meet with any.
Working every now and then in the garden to raise some vegetables.
Composing a sermon for every alternate Sunday.
Reading sometimes a little Greek and Hebrew, in order to refresh my memory, or some other books to assist me in the English language.
At intervals engaged in doing little jobs necessary to be done in and about the house etc
Journal 4: July-October 1833, p.2.
Class Mark: C N/O 51/
MS page no: 1-094
[note that the correct location of this page within the manuscript is unclear]
[note] Read in Committee Dec 14/33
[signed] William Watson
J.C.S. Handt's Diary from the 4th of July to the 4th of Oct.1833
[4 July 1833]
July, 4. Many of the Blacks have left these parts at present, and gone in search of the "mial" (strange) Black, mentioned under date May 27 who killed Wesley, in order to kill him in return. May divine grace soon enable and teach them, not to avenge themselves, but to render good from evil.
[8 July 1833]
Monday, 8. A neighbouring tribe of Blacks was said this morning to be coming up to Wellington, which circumstance occasioned great fear among the Blacks here, especially as it was said that they came on purpose to kill one of them who is indeed a very bad man. They had been seen by the Wellington Blacks about 3 or 4 miles from here. Br. Watson and I took a ride in the afternoon to see them, accompanied by the son of the black man whom they were said to intend to kill, and another Black. But when we came to Tea-pot-pinch, about 9 miles from here, where they met some other Blacks of their own tribe, they desisted from going any farther, for fear of being killed. When they had shewed us the direction, we had to take to pursue our way, we left them. One of them however, the son of the intended object of revenge, took courage afterwards, as it proved, for he soon followed us. We rode on then towards the place, where the strange Blacks were supposed to sit down, but could not discover any trace of them, and had to return towards evening without having obtained the object in view.
[10 July 1833]
Wednesday, 10. There are more Blacks here than usual.
Some of them were curious to see our little boy.
Mr Betts from Parramatta, Son in law to the Rev. S. Marsden, paid us a visit to-day. Went with him to the cave, where we found the air, being winter here at present, very warm. Besides the curiosities mentioned under date the 19th of Nov. 1832, we discovered many bats sticking to the rocks, which had taken their shelter in the cave from the cold.
[17 July 1833]
Wednesday, 17. Succeeded in obtaining one of the Blacks to assist me in fetching some wood out of the bush, and carrying it to the garden, where I am building a Shed to keep tools in etc. It has been very dry weather of late. The seeds of the vegetables in the ground cannot well come up on that account; and those vegetables which are out are hindered in their growth. But I hope the Lord will soon send a gracious and refreshing rain for the benefit both of man and beast.
[19 July 1833]
Friday, 19. The white men on the various stock stations up and down the country cause the Blacks to be worse than they formerly were, as they teach them to swear and to curse etc. They prove a great hindrance to Missionary work; although this should not discourage us as the Blacks are the more to pitied on that account, and have a greater claim to be instructed in better things. Have they received the evil things, and should they not partake of the good things?
Spoke to day with some of them about the Saviour, that he died for them etc. but I cannot say what impression it made upon them; for they kept silence, neither making any inquiry, nor giving an answer.
[28 July 1833]
Sunday, 28. Had divine service. Several of the Blacks attended. May the time soon arrive when they shall attend the divine ordinances
[3 August 1833]
Saturday, August 3. A black man, very ill, is staying here in order that he may have some medical assistance. He is called "Coborn" (great) Billy, and has three wives, two of them are also sick. They are indeed a very wretched family, and the cause of their disease proves that they are more so with regard to their souls than their bodies.
[4 August 1833]
Sunday, 4. Another Sabbath is ended. The duties and services of the day have been performed in the usual manner. Went in the afternoon to see the family of the Blacks above mentioned. The man sat by a small fire boiling a handful of wheat in a pot. Two of his wives lay almost buried in dust and ashes, one of them was embracing and kissing a half-starved dog, and the other was asleep. The third, an elderly woman, had two interesting little boys sitting beside her. She and her children are not sick, but as dirty as the rest. More pitiable objects than this diseased and filthy family, were perhaps scarcely ever beheld. May he whose bowels melt with tenderness, and who alone can relieve them, speedily appear for their help.
[14 August 1833]
Wednesday, 14. A black man, called Coborn Neddy, came to-day for medical assistance, being much diseased of their usual abominable disorder. To be cured of this malady is an inducement for them to come here. But as soon as they are returned to health, and even frequently before they have recovered, they creep into the bush again, and turn to their former habits, as the dog to his own vomit.
[15 August 1833]
Thursday, 15. Coborn Neddy, who came yesterday, went away again. This is their manner. They come to be cured, but seldom wait till this effected, their patience being very soon exhausted.
[21 August 1833]
Wednesday, 21. Took some cabbage to Coborn Billy and his three wives, and at the same time endeavoured to converse with them about religion and the Saviour; but as far as I could judge they paid no serious attention to it. The cabbage they eat raw, being too idle to dress it.
[24 August 1833]
Saturday, 24. A large party of the Blacks came here this morning, both men and women. Their design for visiting us was to get some blankets. I talked to them about God and Jesus Christ. upon which they asked me for some bread, though they had already received a quantity of meat for their dinner. They seldom boil this meat, but throw it on the fire and roast it a little, except they receive some salt meat from white people, and have a pot lent to them. They have no property, nor do they care about it. Their whole riches consist in a short cloak made of oppossum skins, sewed together so as to form nearly a square. Not every one however is possessed of one, and if they can get a blanket, they are sure not to trouble themselves so far as to make an oppossum skin cloak. though they might easily do it, considering the many oppossums they kill. Besides this cloak they have some spears, womeras and clubs. If one has a wife, she is generally obliged to carry these weapons, at least some of them. The wealth of the female sex is a cloak of the same description, or a blanket, a stick, which they use to dig up roots for their sustenance, and generally a drinking vessel, the excrescence of a tree, prepared for that purpose, about the size of a man’s head. Besides these things, they carry a little bag on their backs in which they have some trifles, perhaps some remaining food and some pipe clay, with which the men paint themselves when they
have a "Corobera" (dance). Both sexes generally wear a headband, and the males wear also a girdle, from which hangs down in the front and behind a small bunch of various strips of the skin of the oppossum.
[26 August 1833]
Monday, 26. Spoke with the Blacks about religion; they made one inquiry only, and I could not discover that my conversation made any serious impression upon their minds. We must sow weeping, and leave the event to the Lord, who may perhaps grant a joyful harvest, though we may not be permitted to see it.
[27 August 1833]
Tuesday, 27. Took a ride to a Stockstation, to see a white man, who was said to retain a blacks man's wife, who had been (as the common expression is) lent to him. He denied that he had kept her back; but said he had sent her away a few days ago, and told her, not to come near his hut any more because she had endeavoured to take his cloak. I spoke very seriously to him about his soul and his conduct, as he is a notoriously wicked character. He confessed that he was a wicked man, and seemed to be a little moved. I did however not give much credit to his sincerity of being sorry about his conduct, for there is a great deal of duplicity in him. Notwithstanding as he expressed a desire to have a New Testament, and I happened to have one in my pocket, I thought it my duty to part with it.
[31 August 1833]
Saturday, 31. Have been talking several times with the Blacks, and I trust that the Lord will cause our conversations with them to produce a good effect. But alas they are apparently insensible and indifferent with regard to spiritual things. Reflection and gratitude do not seem to enter their minds. With regard to sympathy they are far from it. To see them, and to witness their habits and
conduct, indeed is quite sufficient to sink one's heart. But however degraded, however wretched, however equal to the brute beasts they are in many respects, it is not impossible for the Almighty to change them. May he do so speedily.
[2 September 1833]
Monday, September 2. Went to see Coborn Billy, mentioned under the 21st of last month. As he was sick and seemingly in want of food, I returned and brought him some meat. When he was eating one of his wives, who had been seeking grass roots for food, returned from the bush. The reason of their privation is because they are too lazy to grind wheat for themselves. She was extremely weak and sickly, and as it appeared almost starved. I told him he should give her some of the meat, which he did in a reluctant manner. They are unfeeling even towards their nearest relation, and envy each other of a mouthful of food. If this women had been his favourite wife, he might perhaps have given her willingly some of his meat, but unhappily she did not happen to be the person. I saw him however sitting with some other Blacks a few days ago, and feasting with them on a warm cake, baked in the coals, while his three wives were sitting hungry at a distance, not having received a bit of it. And when I asked him and his comrades, why they did not give any to those poor women, who had no food at all, he, as well as the others laughed at me. That was all the sympathy showed by them. May divine grace teach and incline them to do to their neighbours as they wish that they should behave towards them.
[5 September 1833]
Thursday, 5. Have been several times conversing with the Blacks, wishing to impart to them some knowledge of divine things and to make at the same time some progress in the language. But they like better to hear about "patter" (food) than anything else; and are constantly complaining that they are hungry. The oppossums, which they are catching at this time, are generally very young. They have, as far as I have seen, one or two, which they carry in a bag with which providence has furnished them. In this bag there are also the teats, which are sucked by their young. It is singular to see the
little creatures moving in the bag after the mother is dead; and to see them creep in again, when they have been taken out, seemingly unconscious of their parents death.
[6 September 1833]
Friday, 6. Spoke to Coborn Billy, who is yet sick, and told him to pray God to make him better; for he could do so; but if God did not restore him, he would never be well again.
[7 September 1833]
Saturday, 7. When speaking with the Blacks to day, I was asked for some bread. I replied that we had very little of it at present. Upon which they said that they supposed when the wheat was ripe we should have plenty to give them. I answered, we should, but that they should pray God to make the wheat grow, that we might have a plentiful harvest.
[9 September 1833]
Monday, 9. Spoke with a black woman, called Poll. When I asked her, who made her, she replied, “A black man”. From this answer I took occasion to tell her more about God. I received this answer several times when asking them this question but I refrained from mentioning it.
[11 September 1833]
Wednesday, 11. When conversing with a black man, he asked me whether God was a "Diribany" (old man). May the Lord enlighten his mind to a further inquiry about these things.
[12 September 1833]
Thursday, 12. Last evening Colonel Despard and two Officers arrived here on a visit. The Col. accepted of a lodging at the Mission house. He was very agreeable in his conversation and appeared well inclined towards religion. 
[14 September 1833]
Saturday, 14. The Blacks, who were staying here, suddenly took their departure this afternoon, as they intend to have a grand Corobera. On these occasions, remonstrances are of no avail, and those who before appeared almost civilised, will go with the party and unite with them in all their heathenish customs, with great avidity.
[15 September 1833]
Sunday, 15. A melancholy accident happened not far from here
last week. A little black boy, called Wellington, was sitting upon the top of a loaded dray, which unexpectedly upset and crushed him to death.
[30 September 1833]
Monday, 30. A few Blacks, who had been frequently here before returned to day from the place where they had been to Corobera. Thus their wandering disposition often brings them here; and though they will not remain here, they never, I believe, go away again without hearing something of religion. May God over-rule this evil for their everlasting good and his glory.
[3 October 1833]
Thursday, 3. Have been talking to the Blacks, as opportunity afforded itself; and my prayer is that it may be for their spiritual benefit.
A year of our being here is ended. We have not been able to give flourishing accounts of the success of our labour; but not withstanding, we have great cause for thankfulness to God for all the mercies enjoyed, and for having been supported and preserved thus far. We have been sowing in tears, may we ere long reap in joy!
[note] Read in Committee Dec. 4/33
[note] Rev. J.C.S. Handt’s Journal
July 4 to Oct 4/33
Journal 4: July-October 1833, p.11.
Class Mark: C N/O 51/
MS page no: 1-103
[note that the correct location of this page within the manuscript is unclear]
[note] Ab: Mission
JCS Handt, Sep