ii. Oct-Dec 1832
[Note] Rec. Dec. 10/33
[Note] Revd W Watson’s Journal from Oct 4 to Decr 31/32
Journal of Rev W Watson, Wellington Valley, from Oct 4th 1832 to December 31st 1832 Inclusive.
[4 October 1832]
Octr 4th Last night as we had not an opportunity of putting up our bed stead, we attempted to sleep on the floor, but the attempt was in vain, we were attacked with such a host of vermin. We have been much disappointed in not finding a supply of wheat here, as we had been inform’d there was a very large quantity. John was therefore under the necessity of seeking out some settler in the neighbourhood who could accommodate us in this respect. He succeeded with Mr W. Scott at Narragaul 12 miles distant, who promised to let us have 2 or 3 Bushels in the course of 10 days if the weather (which is now very rainy) shall prove sufficiently fair to allow him to thrash. Mr Fisher, a free settler and agent to Judge Wild, paid us a visit today and Kindly offered us his services if there was anything he could do for us. He resides at Goboleon about 4 miles distant from this place, from which it is separated by the River Belle. Mr Fisher introduced King Bobby, his brother Prince George, and other Black Natives of the Wellington tribe to us. Sandy, one of the Blacks who came up with us, is exceedingly useful. This evening about 9 O'Clock I heard a loud screaming in the Bush at a short distance from our house. At first I thought it proceeded from some children quarrelling, but when I arrived at the place from which it proceeded I found King Bogin beating his wife in a most cruel manner. He has cut her arm to the bone and lacerated her head and right side very severely. I prevailed on him to cease but he was very angry, and having emptied her bag of the trinkets which they usually carry with them he threw it at her, as he did also some water 3 times (I suppose as a deed of separation) and then told her to go away deeper into the Bush to make a fire for herself, for he would have nothing more to do with her, but the creature could scarcely crawl and it rained
very heavily and was exceedingly dark. It appeared that Bogin was moved by jealousy to treat her in this manner. He had seen some Black fellow speaking to her during his absence. Afterward when he came into the kitchen, I endeavoured to reason with him, but he breathed nothing but vengeance against the Black fellow and said if I would lend him a musket tomorrow, he would shoot him, it was a shame for his gin (wife) to have anything to say to a common Black fellow when he, her husband, was a King. Sandy, who it is said is brother to this woman, had been talking with her, and when he learnt how Bogin had beaten her he dared not to come into the Kitchen to sleep, but has laid down in the covered cart.
[5 October 1832]
Friday 5th Tom, my Bullock driver, and Sandy, the Black fellow, have set off for Bathurst for some Flour, a journey of 200 miles. It was agreed yesterday that Mr Fisher should slay a Bullock and that we should fetch 1/2 of it, but today he has sent me a note saying that the Belle River is so high that it is impassable for a Cart, so he will send me 60 or 70 lbs by the Blacks tomorrow. I have succeeded in effecting a reconciliation between Bogin and his wife, he has even washed her wounds in warm water which attention it is said is unparrallelled in their history. I dressed her bruises and Mrs W gave her some tea, she can scarcely move.
[6 October 1832]
Saturday 6th Oct. Prince George and 2 more Blacks brought us 95 lbs of beef, in two parcels, on their heads from Goboleon (4 Miles). I gave to each of them a pipe and a little tobacco, and they were satisfied. Bogin told John this evening that he should go away in the morning and take his 3 pikkininies with him as I gave more to other Black fellows than to him. However, he was satisfied when I had given him a little tobacco and explained to him how the other Black fellows had brought us Bullock (that is the name which they give to beef). We have succeeded today in clearing a small portion of the Garden so as to put in a few seeds. It is sadly overrun with weeds not having been cultivated for several years, and it will [require] much time and labour to get it into order.
Mrs Watson show'd a doll to Bogin and his children today. They were very much alarmed, one of the boys screamed so loud and long that we thought he would scarcely be pacified. Bogin thought it was a white child and asked "what name". Mrs W. said "Adelaide", that is the name of my (Queen) King's wife where I come from. He has been trying all this day to pronounce it.
[7 October 1832]
Sunday 7th Had Divine service at 11 O'Clock AM at which the military, as well as Mr Fisher and his servants attended. I preached from Luke 15 - 10th verse. In the afternoon I gave some Tracts to the military. Bogin (who has attended morning and evening prayers with us since our arrival as well as when on our journey) says he knows this is Sunday. In the morning he had picked up somewhere an old ragged shirt and a pair of Trowsers with only one slop and was coming to church in that garb, but Mrs W. gave him a new shirt so he put off the old thing. He says that he will throw away all his weapons and sit down like white fellow. Br Handt expounded the 13 Ch. of Zech. at evening service, we had several Blacks present, as well as in the morning, they behaved as well as we could expect.
[8 October 1832]
Monday 8th We have been busy in the garden to day, several Blacks with us. As we are so very late in the season I have engaged 3 of the Military to assist us at the rate of 2/6 per day each. We have had about 15 Natives today. Mrs W. has been very busy cooking for them.
[9 October 1832]
Tuesday 9th About 30 Blacks here to day most of them wild ones from the Bush, several of whom I am told have not been to Wellington before. Major their Chief is a fine, warlike man about 6 feet 3 or 4 inches high and stout in proportion. I am informed that when any of his Tribe offends him he will take the person by the hair of the head and throw him to a considerable
distance and I believe he is well able to do it. We gave them a large iron pot full of boiled rice sweetened, which was a fair treat. They all sat down cross legged on the ground, but those of different tribes [sat] by themselves. They would not all eat together. After dinner I distributed a few pipes and a small quantity of tobacco among them, and sitting down with them all about me in a large circle I asked them several questions respecting the Creation &c, but not one of them appeared to have any knowledge of the Divine Being or of any thing of a religious nature.  I told them that soon I should go into the Bush and look out all Black fellows. They gave me the name of five Stations where "Black fellow sit down". The Deputy Commissary General came today and looked over the articles here belonging to the Government, from which I selected such as I thought would be useful to the mission and purchased them. As the Commissary was coming up to Wellington, a poor man, a Bullock Driver, in attempting to cross the river, was drowned in the presence of several gentlemen who, it appears, could not render him any assistance. I took occasion from this circumstance to urge on those who (having witnessed the scene) the necessity of being ready for death, and heaven. The old Blacksmith whom I saw at Bathurst, and who wished then to be engaged with me, came up today. I engaged him for three months at the rate of 15 [pounds ] per annum, on condition that when he had nothing to do for us at his trade he should assist in anything else. I did this without authority, but I expected the Rev S. Marsden up daily to whom I intended to refer the subject, and therefore I engaged the old man only for 3 months. It appears now beyond all doubt that cannibalism is known and practis’d in the Bush, the Black fellows have told me themselves that formerly they did eat human beings but not now, but that wild Blacks do so even at this time.
[10 October 1832]
Wednesday 10th All the Blacks who were here yesterday have remained and several others come up. I attended a Corrobbera or Indian dance which they have had tonight 2 miles in the Bush, but I cannot describe it
People in WellPro Directory: Marsden, Reverend Samuel
so as to do anything like justice to it. They are all naked except a small band of net work 2 inches round the waist and a small tassel suspended to it before and another behind. As a ground work their bodies are rubbed all over with red ochre, on which is also generally laid a colouring with a kind of yellow stone, and then different designs marked out with softened pipe clay. Their faces are generally well daubed; but there are not 2 marked alike. One of them wears a kind of feathery crown made of white cockatoo's feathers. They have a very large fire by the side of which they perform their maneuvers. The women sit on the ground beating their bags (made of oppossum skins) with both hands, and a number of men at one side beating their Womeras (war instruments of a semicircular shape) to a tune to which they also sing. The men then with 2 womeras and a nella nella (a short bludgeon with a large heavy head) in the left hand and one Womera in the right go through a regular course of running, dancing and (apparently) skirmishing with the greatest order and exactness, though sometimes a stranger would fancy they were about to kill each other.
[11 October 1832]
Thursday 11th Jemmy Buckley, a Black young man, says he will stop will us, his mother is a very good looking female, but his father a most surly looking fellow, however he agreed that Jemmy should remain with us. We gave the young man a shirt. When Mrs W. gave one of the boys a shirt he put it on the bottom upwards and let the sleeves hang down.
[12 October 1832]
Friday 12th The Wellington Blacks (all the others having gone away) were very busy at the stores this morning as Mr Bennet, the assistant Overseer, is cutting up a Bullock and on such occasions he gives them a very large quantity.
[14 October 1832]
Sunday 14th Bogin washed his shirt last night in order that he might have it clean to come to church today; but some one has told him that there are some Black fellows not far off who are "murra coola" (at war with or very angry) with him, so he is very much alarmed. There is some disposition for war between his Tribe and the Wellington Tribe and has been for a long time. Many Blacks came up this morning from Goboleon. I expected that they would come to church but they did not, they sat at the outside. After service when
I asked them why they did not come in they said "why did you not tell me". Indeed I thought they would have come in without invitation. This afternoon Bogin was disposed for going away and he wanted to take the little boy Peter with him whom Sandy had given to me. I was not willing and there I was obliged to stand for a considerable time to prevent him. As first the boy did not want to go but ran away to keep out of Bogin's sight, but Bogin chattered to him in his own language so that the boy would not stop. When the old man saw it was getting late in the evening he gave up the thoughts of going for this night. It is very affecting to see this old man (Bogin) joining the children and learning to pray to God. All the Blacks who came here in the morning have gone over to Kelley's, a Sheep Station belonging to Mr Fisher about 2 miles distant. Jemmy Buckley's father wanted him to go, but I was not willing. It was evident that the boy did not know what to do. He pulled off his shirt and laid it down, but I met him afterwards and persuaded him to return. Young man Bobby also came back with him.
[15 October 1832]
Monday, 15th Octr Mr Bennet, the late Assistant Superintendent here, went away this morning having (according to Orders from His Excellency the Governor) given up the Charge of the place &c to me for the service of the Mission. Bogin set off early this morning and took Peter with him. He has left his own boy and wife behind him.
[16 October 1832]
Tuesday 16th No Black fellows here today except young men Jemmy and Bobby. I have been told that those who went from here yesterday broke into a Shepherd's hut and took away 150 lbs of Beef. Jemmy Buckley caught 3 fine fish today weighing 16 or 18 lbs.
[17 October 1832]
Wednesday 17th Many of the Blacks came back today. We gave them some Ommeny (broth thickened with siftings). They were well pleased with it. We had 4 of the Natives at prayers tonight.
[18 October 1832]
Thursday 18th The body of William Hook, the man who was drowned sometime ago, was brought here to be interred today.
[19 October 1832]
Friday 19th Tom returned from Bathurst today with a supply of Flour, having been just 15 days. He says that Sandy, the Black Native, has been very useful to him. The Blacks held my boards today while I planed the edges of them in the place which I am fitting up for my Study.
[20 October 1832]
Saturday 20th Our horses were all absent this morning. Jemmy
and Bobby said that they had tracked them a considerable distance on the road to Newrea, but it is evident that these fellows are afraid to go in that direction because of some depredations they committed sometime ago. Sandy has gone in search of them. I taught several of the Natives to number as high as 24 by my Carpenters rule as they sat beside me at work today. I also endeavoured to speak to them on the subject of God and religion.
[21 October 1832]
Sunday 21st A large number of Blacks came early this morning and I expected they would come to church but they did not. They appear to be very much afraid of doing so; from what cause I cannot say. Sandy returned today with the horses and brought up with him 2 Black native young men, Tommy and Stumpy. All the other Blacks are gone to Kelley's again. Jimmy wanted very much to go and when I saw that I could not prevail on them to stay I told him he might go, but that he need not come back again for I would have nothing to do with him, then he sat down and remained here apparently contented. I had a long conversation with some of the Blacks today respecting the soul, and I hope some of them understood me, though perhaps very little, it is the work of God alone to teach them Divine truths by his Holy Spirit. O that we might be favoured with his holy influence ourselves and be so happy as to see that he has begun to work with them. They do not like to hear about God, they often say, speak no more about that, I am very frightened.
[23 October 1832]
Tuesday 23rd A man came from Newrea to say that Thos Rogers, the Government Stock Keeper had been brought in out of the Bush nearly Killed that he was not able either to speak or move, attempts have been made to bleed him without effect. I gave the man some medicine and some lotion, it not being convenient for me to go over and see him. He had been in the Bush looking out for cattle, his horse it appears had fallen for it was very much bruised, and having got up again dragged him on the ground with such violence that the earth seemed as if it hath been plowed. In a state of perfect insensibility he was found by a man who was also looking out for cattle. He could not tell whether Rogers was dead or alive, however having got a little water he washed his face which brought forth some signs of life, the man then laid him across his horse, as he had no other means of conveying him, and took him to the 3 rivers where he remained in that state all night, and the next day was brought home upon a Dray.
[24 October 1832]
Wednesday 24th Rogers is better. He has sent me word that the lotion has been of great service to him, but that he believes his collar bone is broken and that he is very much bruised internally. All the Blacks have returned.
[25 October 1832]
Thursday 25th One of the married Military went to Newrea today to endeavour to get Rogers up here to be under my care. He came on horseback as slowly as the horse could be made to move, but the pain he has endured he says is most
excruciating. We could scarcely get him off horseback. He seems almost dash'd to pieces, he has no use whatever of his left shoulder and arm. His collar bone is very much sprung in the middle and all his surrounding part very much swollen. I dressed it twice today and gave him some medicine, but it is very questionable whether he will ever have the use of it again. I engaged some of the Blacks for the promise of a blanket to work 3 or 4 days with the hoe in clearing a small portion of ground in which to plant some maize. They worked very well and got their wages with which I apprehend they were pleased. We had left our plough and Harrows at O'Connel's Plains but Mr Fisher had the kindness to accommodate us. And he even lent us Bullocks and a man, for our's not having been trained to the work the men could not make act at all.
[26 October 1832]
Friday 26th Rogers suffers much from inward pain. I have given him some medicine. Some of the Blacks and myself have been very busy today filling up a Cellar (6 feet deep) under one of our rooms. The Sleepers were rotten and the floor broken in. We worked hard and got it filled up with earth and gravel. I conversed with them, while at work, on the subject of God and religion. One of them in reply to some remark I had made on the subject, said "Bayal Gammon that I believe Massa" (That is not untrue I believe). O that our God may teach us to adopt such plans as he will be pleased to own and bless to his own glory.
[27 October 1832]
Saturday 27th Rogers has a good deal of fever today and no appetite, but much less pain than yesterday. The swelling of his shoulder and arm considerably abated. The Blacks were very much amused today by looking at each others face [in] my bullseye glass which is in a frame. Indeed it does make them appear very horrible. They shouted and laughed at an amazing rate.
[28 October 1832]
Sunday October 28th Mr Fisher brought 6 or 8 Black children with him to church. Some persons have come 12 miles to Divine Service today. We had also several Blacks, so that our house was full. I Baptized a child of one of the Military this morning. As far as any person in the neighbourhood can tell this is the first white child born or Baptized here. Its name is Wellington Fowler. May God make him an heir of Glory and prepare the way for the Spiritual Baptism of many both Blacks and whites here.
[29 October 1832]
Monday 29th I promised the Blacks to day each a Blanket if they would procure me a good quantity of Bark, so they are very busy. Several of the Black children that were here
yesterday, and to whom I showed some pictures, came today bringing others with them to look at books and pictures. I rode over to Goboleon to see some Black fellows that are ill. A young Black female, the wife of Prince George, was so severely beaten by him a short time ago that she is not able to move from the place, and now the sinews of one knee are so contracted that she will be a cripple all her days. The Blacks finished their work of cutting bark and received each of them a small blanket. Rogers is recovering fast as it regards general health, but no signs appear of the arm getting better.
[30 October 1832]
Tuesday 30th. Several Blacks in at prayers this morning. More engaged cutting bark today. It is really surprising what very large sheets they cut down. My study faces the north-west, and Mr Fisher says if I have not a verandah before it all my books will be spoiled. For this purpose then I want the bark.
[3 November 1832]
Saturday Nov 3rd. Prince George brought us up some plants from Goboleon, otherwise we have had none of them here since they received their blankets.
[4 November 1832]
Sunday Nov 4th. Laurie, a young Black fellow, was brought 3 or 4 miles this morning to have his legs and feet dressed. It appears that while he was sleeping last night in a hut, by some means a pot of boiling water was thrown over which scalded his legs and feet in a very severe manner. I have given him some opening medicine and dressed them several times with a cooling lotion. He suffers a very great deal of pain in them. Mr Fisher brought up several Black children again to church. Mrs. Watson gave a shimie [sic] to a little girl a short time ago, and her father, a very stout old man, instead of letting her come to church in it tried to put it on himself and thus tore it all to pieces.
[5 November 1832]
Monday Nov 5th. Having put shelves round my study for the books, and made a closet in it (all by my own self) for medicine, today we put up a verandah all the length of the front and 8 1/2 feet wider. Laurie's legs a little better.
[7 November 1832]
Wednesday 7th. Bad as Laurie's legs still are he has gone away on the back of Prince George. Mr Fisher has been killing a Bullock at Goboleon and at such times he is very liberal to the Blacks, and it is almost impossible to keep them away though they may be getting all their wants supplied elsewhere.
[10 November 1832]
Saturday 10th. Several Blacks came today. Some of them brought me some pipe clay (as I intend to make pipes by and by). Most of them went back once they had got something to eat. Prince George remained here. I asked him towards evening if he was going to Goboleon tonight. He said no, narrang corroborrah tonight (family worship) and Cobohn Corroborrah tomorrow Sunday I believe. I said yes. I was pleased to hear him talk in this manner, for at many of the stations the white men have no Sundays. They make no distinction between one day and another. Surely the establishment of the means of grace here will be advantage to others as well as the Blacks.
[11 November 1832]
Sunday 11th November. Many Blacks at church this morning. I preached from 1 Cor. V. 7.8 and afterwards administered the Sacrament of the Lord's supper to 5 or 6 communicants. Alas how little love do I feel towards him whose sufferings and death are set forth in such a striking manner in these emblems. What are ordinances but empty channels when the Spirit of God is absent, when the love of X't is not felt or his glory seen. How ill qualified surely must I be for recommending the love of X't to others, while I am destitute of it myself.
[12 November 1832]
Monday 12th. Mr Fisher has gone to some of his cattle stations in the Bush. I would have accompanied him for the sake of seeing the Blacks, but expecting Rev S Marsden I thought it advisable not to leave home, so Br Handt has gone instead of me.
[13 November 1832]
Tuesday 13th. Major Croker, the Commandant, and Captain Steel of the Mounted Police, arrived today from Bathurst
and took up their quarters at our house.
[14 November 1832]
Wednesday 14th. Made some arrangement with the Commandant relative to the military. My having to ration them is a tedious and unpleasant circumstance. Previous to my arrival the Superintendent allowed them always to pick their meat and any that they refused was given to the Blacks. Since I began to supply them I have had but one plan for ourselves and for them, that is to serve out the meat as it rises in the cask, as I have to purchase the meat (not having stock at [our] command as the late Superintendent had). The mission cannot afford to treat them as they have been accustomed to and this renders them very much dissatisfied. Last night the Major told me that they might be supplied with cured provisions from the Commissariat at Bathurst. Today he says that sooner than that plan would be adopted the detachment would withdraw! The climate here is so hot that everybody says we shall not be able to cure meat at all during the summer season, that meat never was and never will be cured here in the summer, that whole casks of beef have been condemned and burnt on this settlement. Taking this circumstance in in connexion with the niceness observed by the Military I feel unpleasantly situated.
[15 November 1832]
Thursday 15th. The gentlemen left us early this morning, and this evening a Black boy brought us a fine large wild turkey which the Major had shot and sent us a distance of 8 miles.
[17 November 1832]
Saturday 17th. This evening about 5 O'Clock we were very agreeably surprised by the arrival of our dear and valuable friend the Rev S Marsden. He in company with his son-in-law, Mr Tho's Marsden and Captain Jacobs of the East India Company Artillery and a member of the Committee of the Church Missionary Society (on the Bombay Establishment I believe) had left Molong in the morning, but lost their horses on the way. The Rev gentlemen set off to walk but providentially borrow'd [sic] a horse about 8 miles from this place. The other gentlemen arrived shortly afterwards.
People in WellPro Directory: Marsden, Reverend Samuel
[18 November 1832]
Sunday 18th. Our Rev friends addressed us this morning on the subject of David's fall and gracious recovery. O may we learn from this solemn circumstance to watch and pray to guard every avenue, that sin may not enter to separate us from our God. May we constantly, with becoming fervour, breathe out our souls in that important prayer "Hold thou me up and I shall be safe." Several Blacks here today.
[19 November 1832]
Monday 19th. We held a committee meeting to night at which the circumstances of the mission &c were taken into consideration.
[20 November 1832]
Tuesday 20th. All the company started about 7 O'Clock in the morning. Br Handt and I accompanied them 8 miles on the road. I should have been very happy if they would have remained longer with us, but no arguments could prevail with our Rev Friend.
[21 November 1832]
Wednesday 21st. A good many Blacks here today. I hope I have succeeded in teaching them part of the alphabet. But though I have spoken much with them on the subject of religion, I fear they have not learnt anything of the first rudiments. May the Divine spirit prepare them for learning and guide us in teaching, then our labour will not be in vain.
[25 November 1832]
Sunday 25th. Several Blacks here today. A Myole (or wild Black boy) about 9 years of age is with us. He knows very little English. But as is the case with all the Blacks he has learnt to swear in an awful manner. We have named him Sammy Marsden after dear and Rev friend. Samuel and Thomas &c the Blacks do not understand, but Sammy, Thommy, Billy &c are names common among them.
[26 November 1832]
Monday 26th. Mr Fisher has gone down to the stations again. I could not accompany him but intend (D.V.) to follow him tomorrow morning. As an evidence how rude my poor wild Sammy is in his manners, tonight when he came into the room to prayers when all were assembled except Mr and Mrs H, he turned round and made water in the middle of the room and then sat down as unconcerned as possible. However he appears willing to learn anything that we attempt to teach him. He articulates his prayers much
better than could be expected.
[27 November 1832]
Tuesday 27th. Last night I packed in my portmanteau such things as I thought would be useful for my journey. A little tea, sugar and bread, 2 pint tins, 2 bugle horns, a small quantity of such medicines as it was probable I should want among the Blacks, a little tobacco and a few pipes to distribute amongst any wild Blacks whom I might find in the Bush, and apparatus for procuring a light should I have to sleep in the open air. I intended to commence my journey about 4 O'Clock this morning, but Spot, the mare on which Jimmy Buckley (my Black young man who was to accompany me) was to ride and could not be caught before 7. After prayer we started. Jimmy had fastened a pair of old stirrups to a piece of rope and thrown it across the back of the mare. We had not, however, proceeded above a mile before Jimmy and his stirrups were on the ground and Spot making the best of her way homewards. I rode after her, sounding my bugle which brought the servant men out who soon caught her. We found Jimmy laid on the ground where he had been thrown, but having sustained no injury he immediately mounted again but would not have the stirrups. We arrived at Goboleon about 9 and proceeded to another station belonging to the Judge under the superintendence of Mr Fisher. Here we found several Black Natives, some gins (wives) and some children. As the sun was very hot we rested, gave our horses in charge to two of the gins to hold, but I was under the necessity of sending them to some distance before I could get Jimmy to come up. The Black fellows have a law among them which prohibits young men coming within a certain limit of a Black gin. Here one of the Black fellows fetched some water from a neighbouring brook while another kindled up a fire. We sat down with them, took some tea of which we gave them also a share and talked to them about God and their souls. But alas, little did they comprehend the meaning of my words I fear. One of them, a very old man with no hair on his head, ripe for death, on the verge of eternity,
altogether ignorant of every moral and religious truth, no idea of the existence of a principle within him that must outlive the havoc of death, no knowledge even that their is such a being a God. What heart but must pity, what bowels but must yearn over, what eye but must shed tears at such a scene as this. For one of the human race to be in this condition is lamentable beyond description, but it is not the case with one alone, it is the state of families, tribes, yea doubtless of all the Black Natives of this colony. O that the Lord would not arise and have mercy upon us. O that the time to visit these dark abodes of sin and death with the light and knowledge of salvation were now come. Having rested 2 1/2 hours we remounted and proceeded on our journey through the bush. We arrived at Murrumbirdgere, another stock station where [there] were 4 or 5 Black Natives whom I had not seen before. I gave a little tobacco among them. I do not approve or practice giving it to those whom we know, at a distance from home. That, I apprehend, would not have a tendency to draw them to Wellington, which we are anxious to do. But on our first visit I think trifles of this nature may tend to make a favourable impression on their minds. It was about 5 O'Clock in the evening when we arrived at this station, and having 16 miles further to travel before we should reach the place where we intended to rest, we did not halt, but proceeded onward. No sooner had the sun sank below the horizon than poor Jimmy began to be much alarmed (as they are when travelling in the dark). He was continually looking around as if he expected every moment to become the prey of some infuriated beast of the forest. I said, Jemmy you are very frightened. He said, "I believe so, very much indeed". I took occasion from his timidity to speak of the protection that is afforded to good men by God and of the confidence they have in him, so that they are not afraid to travel in the dark or to lie down alone in the Bush. I told him,
that if he learnt to read the Bible and pray to God, this would be the case with him. During the former part of our journey I had endeavoured to instruct him respecting the existence of God, the order of the creation, the fall of man, the love of God displayed in giving his son to die for us. He was very attentive, but whether he comprehended what I said I cannot tell. Surely[,] I sometimes say[,] all that I have said to him at different times on these subjects will not fall to the ground. A handful of corn sown upon the tops of the mountains will by the Divine blessing have its fruit to shake like Lebanon. And of a truth imparting instruction of a religious nature to these people is like sowing corn on the mountain tops. But he that giveth seed to the sower and bread to the eater will, I trust, according to his promise give us the former and the latter rain.
We travelled through deep Bush rendered particularly dreary by either being burnt or now in flames around us. Having my portmanteau to hold before me I was very tired. I asked Jemmy several times if we were almost at the place. He has no idea of miles, and all the information I could receive from him was given in these words, yahn (go) yahn, yahn, through Bush, then come nanang (little) river; then yahn cobohn (large) plain, then yahn, yahn, yahn, through Bush, then come to Berdjere. When I supposed we were within a mile or two we blew our horns which brought the stockmen out to meet us, Mr Fisher having told them that we were coming up. They had been in bed, but on hearing the bugles they arose. They made us a fire and having refreshed ourselves with a tin pint of tea and having had prayers, Jemmy spread his blanket in the open air, I did the same and wrapping myself up in my cloak with my portmanteau for a pillow I was very thankful for such a resting place.
[28 November 1832]
Wednesday 28th. We were beset with hosts of mosquitoes last night, although the men had made a fire near to us to keep them off. About one O'Clock I was awoke by Jemmy calling out "Parson, Parson,
People in WellPro Directory: Fisher, Thomas
Wallo (rain) wallo tumble down, cloak get all wet". We immediately arose and went into the hut, for the rain descended in torrents accompanied with thunder and lightening. In the hut we could scarcely sleeps for fleas. We arose about 5, had family prayers and again commenced our journey about 6 O'Clock. When we were within one mile of Munore, the station to which we were going, we met 2 Black Natives proceeding to Berdjere with beef upon their heads for Mr Fisher's men. It is remarkable that these persons, Idle as they are, to a proverb would carry a heavy load 10 miles without receiving any other renumeration than a small quantity of meat or a little tobacco. We arrived at Munore about 8 O'Clock. I took up my abode in Mr Fisher's tent. A short time ago while chopping some wood the adze slipped and cut my ankle, the wound was very slight but the next day a small boil appeared on the other side of the ankle which has been succeeded by many others and I am still suffering extreme pain from them. This prevented me from going about deeper into the Bush, as I could wish. There were not more than 14 Blacks here besides their gins, the others are all in the Bush. This is the farthest station on this side, and a short way further the Blacks are all wild. I showed those who were here some pictures with the sight of which they were very much amused. I asked them what made Major, their chief, die, they said "Dibble Dibble" (the Devil) . I was exceedingly affected a few days ago when one of the Wellington Blacks told me that Major (the very tall, slant chief of whom I have before spoken) was dead. It appears that he was taken with a violent pain in his bowels, his body swelled to an amazing size, and no medical aid being at hand he died in a very short time at a white man's hut. Previously to his death he would have all the white men in the neighbourhood brought into his room. What can be the reason for this I am not able to say, but it appears to be a fact that when they are about to die they wish to have white men about them. They attribute all their misfortunes and afflictions to the Devil. And there are certain persons among them who profess the "healing art" by conjuring the devil out of the sick man. They have different methods of attempting this. If near to a river they make a circle on the ground with their woomera and after repeating something they cast a stone into the water and say that is the devil. When not near to any river or pond they make a circle on the ground and conjure the devil down there they say. How it is that they should have a belief in the existence of the devil (and they have 2 or 3 names in
People in WellPro Directory: Fisher, Thomas
their language for him) and know nothing of God I cannot say. None of them whom I have asked could ever tell me what the devil is, but they are afraid of him in the dark, that is the reason they will not travel by night. I asked them where all Black fellows came from. Who made all Black fellows? Who made the sun, tree kangaroos &c &c? Bayal me know (I don't know) was the general answer. I then told them that some long time ago there was no Black man, no white man, no sun, no trees &c &c but that the great God who lives above made everything. I then told them what God made the first day, second day &c. They paid particular attention to what I said, frequently exclaiming "Hye Hye". I cannot say they understood me. It is a remarkable circumstance that in our conversation with these people respecting God &c they very rarely indeed ask any questions. But as the Rev D Wilson used to say before he ascended the pulpit, "May God be the preacher, then all the people will be hearers". So I say may God the Holy Ghost be the teacher then all the people will be learners. I suppose the other Blacks are perhaps engaged in war for there is a general stir among all the tribes in the neighbourhood on this account. I had heard before I commenced my journey that one of the Blacks, more cunning than the rest, since the death of Major "had made a light (discovered) a cobohn (large) Black fellow sit down in the moon" but notwithstanding I made the strictest enquires. I could not learn anything from any of them here on the subject, but they have a great deal of secrecy and mystery in some of their movements, so were this report correct they might be unwilling to tell me. I succeeded in obtaining a Black boy about 8 years of age who is very bad of the venereal, as also the promise of a blind girl who is not here at present. We left Munore about 4 O'Clock and arrived at Berdjere about 6. I took up my abode in Mr Fisher's tent and being very lame did not go out any more during the evening.
[29 November 1832]
Thursday 29th. The two Blacks who brought the beef from Munore collected me about 3 pounds of gum (from the Black wattle) which though not equal to Arabic will make a good substitute. I gave them a few fish hooks with which they were highly pleased. We having had prayers started between 7 and 8 O'Clock and arrived at Murrumbirdjere about 12 where we found several of our Wellington Blacks. Here we rested for a short time and took some tea. Commenced our journey again
People in WellPro Directory: Wilson, Reverend Daniel
about 1 and arrived at Gobolion [sic] about 4 O'Clock. After taking tea with Mr Fisher we proceeded homewards and arrived at Wellington about 1/2 past 6 O'Clock where through Divine goodness we found all in peace, safe and well. Though I have suffered much pain in my ankles and feet during this journey, I thank God that he inclined me to undertake and enabled me to perform it. As it regards the result of it in reference to those for whose sake it was undertaken, I must humbly leave it with him whose prerogative alone it is to use what instruments he pleases and to give that degree of success to labours of his servants which is in accordance with his infinite wisdom and grace.
[1 December 1832]
Saturday Dec 1st. The sergeant having complained of the beef this morning (to John who always serves it out) and said that he must report it to the proper quarter, I sent over for Mr Fisher, and when he came sent for the sergeant to come up and hear Mr Fisher's opinion concerning it. It appears that the meat is perfectly sweet and good, and the Sergeant denies in toto having made any complaints. But I believe my Servant for he is a very worthy, upright and, I hope, a religious young man. The military have a picque against him because he will not let them pick the meat which I would not allow even for ourselves under any circumstances.
[2 December 1832]
Sunday Dec 2nd. Many Blacks here today. My congregation amounted to 40. I preached from 25 Is. 5.6., Br H from "hallowed be thy name". I endeavoured to instruct the Black children who come over every Sunday with Mr Fisher. Have had many applications for medicine today from stockmen in the neighbourhood and some of the military here. This has been anything but a day of rest, however I trust that even this is the work of him that sent me, and that it is my duty to labour like my great master to do good to both the bodies and souls of men. But alas how difficult it is to do all with a single eye to the Glory of God.
[3 December 1832]
Monday 3rd Dec. A good many Blacks here today. Talked to them about religion. O that a door of entrance for the truths of God were given to them from above. Our
People in WellPro Directory: Fisher, Thomas
plan with these must be constant repetition. But we know that palaces and temples are not always destroy'd [sic] by tempests and earthquakes, the constant dripping of water will wear away the stones, as well as the gently moving air and softly descending dew will in the course of time moulder into dust or tumble to the ground the most stupendous buildings. O may we have grace to persevere diligently sowing the seeds of Divine truth.
[4 December 1832]
Tuesday 4 Dec. Br H has gone with Mr Fisher to a near station. Several Black children came from Goboleon today. I taught them letters by marking them out with pipeclay on a board, let each of them have a slate and a piece of pipeclay to make letters themselves. They were much entertained with looking at my pictures. I hope all their fear of us is now removed, for the emissaries of Satan had told them previously to our arrival that we should "put them all in prison". They come over every Sunday and occasionally during the week. It is a great treat to them to sit down in my study and look at the books. Scarcely anything surprises the Blacks more than to see my library. They never saw so many books together before. Sammy, the wild boy, settles very well. Dickey Marshal, a Black Native boy about 6 or 7 years of age given to me by the Rev T Hassal [sic], on whose farm at O'Connel plains he had been for 3 years, is quite a changed character as to morals. Mr Smith on the farm is a pious man, but the boy used generally to be with some of the men who laboured much to corrupt his mind, and they taught him to swear in a most awful manner. I believe that he never says a wicked word now. And he did not know the letters of the alphabet when he came up with us, now he can read short words. We have also a gin (only about 11 years of age) belonging to Narrang Jackey. She is ill of the common disease. Her name is Narrang Nancy. Jackey has left her with us for a season. He has another gin who has borne 3 children to white men which she murdered as soon as born. Jackey is a very remarkably sharp and active fellow. One evening as Mr and Mrs Fisher were returning home from Wellington in the gig, Jackey ran along side for a good distance and then said "Fisher Bayal you be my brother". Mr Fisher asked why not? What is the matter with you Jackey? "Why", he said
"you ride, ride, ride, me yahn mandowhey (on foot), bayal you ask me to ride, I believe by and by me yahn Sydney get cohbohn coach bayal like yours, bulla (two) gallopers and me get clothes all over, then me come up make all Black fellows look about, bayal me then ask you to ride". Well well, said Mr Fisher, get up Jackey. When they arrived at Goboleon he said "you be cohbohn brother now, when me get coach then me let you ride." This shows that there is intellectual acuteness enough in them. Indeed I have never found any deficiency of it in reference to things with which they are acquainted, so far is the charge of idiotism preferred against them wide off the truth. The period may be distant, but I have no doubt it will come, when it shall please God to change their hearts when they will equal if not outvie some of the now civilised and polished nations of Europe. The weather is extremely hot here. Thermometer yesterday 94 in the shade. In the sun 120.
[5 December 1832]
Wednesday Dec 5th. About 50 Blacks with their gins and children. One whose little girl I was anxious to get on my late journey has given me his son Jemmy, about 10 years of age. He is from a tribe of wild Blacks at Bogin (there are two places of this name in the neighbourhood) but he has been much among white persons. I have got also another boy about the same age named Billy. The Blacks received some provisions, a little tobacco and some pipes. There were several whom I saw on my journey who have not been here since my arrival before today. There are also some wild Blacks who have come as spies to see whether Wellington is indeed budgery (good). I again endeavoured to converse with them on the great truths of God, but have no pleasing results to record.
[6 December 1832]
Thursday Dec 6th. Having made some provision for teaching on the "Infant School System" I commended this morning. But being in the Bush, and but a poor carpenter, I was glad to make as good a substitute for the necessary apparatus as
People in WellPro Directory: Fisher, Thomas
was in my power. I procured a log of wood 18 inches high and 24 broad. Into this I drove 2 square jointed staples to receive an upright of about 7 ft 6 inches in length. I then prepared a board about 26 inches square into the back of this. I drove 2 staples (corresponding with those in the log) to receive the top part of the upright that it might be raised or lowered at pleasure. I am thankful it answers so well. Provided then with this board a piece of pipeclay and a sponge, I commenced by chalking out the letters of the alphabet on the board (which I had painted Black). And surely never were human means better adapted to teach the aborigines of New Holland. The pleasing and amusing manner in which instruction is presented to them makes it rather desirable than a task. The clapping of hands, marching &c falls in so much with their Native habits of corrobborowing [sic] that the Black children are quite delighted with it. The Blacks had a corrobbera behind our house last night. They asked us to go, and I feel thankful that we did. Our Jimmy Buckley, the Black young man who has been with us since our arrival here, would not go near but stood at a distance for a short time and then went home to bed. Another young man who had been dancing was laid down by the fire. I went to ascertain who it was, but when he saw me approaching he wrapped his head up in his blanket apparently ashamed. I found it was young man Bobby who had been a good deal with us. I thought much about the conduct of Jimmy Buckley in this instance, as the corrobbora is the greatest amusement they have, and even very old men will go a great many miles to one. Moreover, Jimmy's mother and father were both there. I know that persons may say with propriety than an anxious mind is too apt to magnify trifles. But may we not from these circumstances see reason for encouragement. We may be disappointed, but is that a reason that we should let pass unnoticed, at least in our own minds, circumstances of this nature. When we came home Jimmy said corrobborra in house (family prayers) is much better than that. This young man, though naturally of a
volatile disposition, is always so solemn and apparently devout when he says his prayers and hymns that Mrs Watson has often remarked to me how much her mind has been affected while witnessing him. It is so different to what he used to be, formerly he never came in to this duty but he laughed and trifled. All the children say their prayers and hymns to Mrs Watson morning and evening, nor do they like to say them to anyone else or when any one else is present. My heart has often been melted while from another room I have heard them repeat their prayers and hymns as with one voice. Read a letter today from Rev R Hill, Sydney, which has been laid at Bathurst a long time. The contents of it much cheers our minds as it gave us assurance that our X'n friends sympathised with us when they learnt how tedious a journey we had up. Thank God for suggesting to man the art of writing, without which we should not have rec'd this cup of consolation. I rode over to a station today and succeeded in obtaining a Black boy of the name Bushuparte. He is about ten years of age and nearly wild. At this station I saw Rachael [sic], the gin to Bobby King of Wellington, who expects every hour to be delivered. She was in the hut and attended by a Black female and an old man whom they name the Doctor. She was here a short time ago and I warned her not to kill the child when it should be born, she promised me that she would not. The man at the hut informs me that several Blacks (whether male or female I cannot say) persuaded her to go into the Bush that the child might be destroyed as soon as it made its appearance, that she refused, saying parson "tell her not tumble it down, he be murra cooley (very angry) if she did". He says they threatened to spear her if she would not, and so they prevailed. That he went and brought her back again, by force, he says also that King Bobby knew of her going and was willing.
[7 December 1832]
Friday 7th. All the Blacks except our own have gone to the station where Rachael is, for what purpose I know not. Young man Neddy, who is generally with us and a remarkably quiet man, got a shirt and a pair of my old small clothes on this evening and stretched about the room looking at himself in the glass, as pleased and as proud as any prince on being crowned a sovereign. I often think did but our friends in England know
how pleased our Black neighbours are with old cast off garments we should have almost a cargo forwarded to us. And I verily believe that this would be a powerful inducement to them to remain. For when they leave us to go into the Bush they assume a kind of superiority over their naked brethren. There are occasions when every young man is summoned and he must obey.
[8 December 1832]
Saturday Dec 8th. Two Black gins came over from Kelley's very early this morning, but not before I had heard that Rachael had murdered her child. I asked them about it, they enquired who told me, but that I was not disposed to answer. They acknowledged that the child had been murdered and they said that too by Kelley. I have been told today what I fear is too true, that Kelley pays to King Bobby a certain portion of handkerchiefs &c for the loan of Rachael, and this child was his. The gins say it was narang (little), white narrang Black. My soul is completely horrified at this conduct, and alas it is very common. Towney a Black Native boy about 14 years of age came on Monday but went back again. He came today and says he shall sit down with me. He is a sharp boy but very wicked. He had been much amongst the stockkeepers.
[9 December 1832]
Sunday Dec 9th. A very large congregation at the church this morning. Several stockmen from the lower stations. I preached from 1 Rom. 16., I am not ashamed &c with peculiar liberty. In conclusion I was led (I trust by the spirit of God) to remark on the great guilt and condemnation that must eternally be attached to those persons who, baptised into the name of X't and educated in the X'n religion, if, when cast among these poor Black Natives who know nothing of God, of X't, of salvation, they sink them deeper in degradation and make them more the children of the devil than they were before, by introducing among them vices to which they had before been strangers. The propriety of these remarks were acknowledged by some to whom they applied. The Lord grant that they may feel them, see the error of their ways and turn to him by sincere repentance. I asked some of the Blacks this
People in WellPro Directory: Kelley (or Kelly?), P.
evening why they did not come to church in the morning, they said that they were too much sleepy. I ask'd them what would become of them when they died &c &c but to such questions they mad no reply. We have 9 Black children and young men under instructions daily. Besides several Black men and sometimes gins also come in and say their prayers.
[10 December 1832]
Monday Dec 10th. A Black Native named Oxley came in today from Narragaul, 12 miles from Wellington on the Bathurst Road. He has not been here since my arrival before. He has been diseased with the venereal for 4 years, he is extremely bad of it. He speaks the English language very well. A Black Native young man has gone with our Bullock driver (and the dray) to Bathurst to assist him.
[11 December 1832]
Tuesday Dec 11th. Jimmy Buckley has been [on] a journey of 24 miles for me today, he performed this errand punctually. I had heard a whisper today that our Black boys had been concerting a scheme to discamp in the evening or rather at night when all the family would be asleep. I took no notice of it till after they had said their prayers. Then I went into the room and said some of you boys wish to go into the Bush, if that one is so disposed will give me his blanket he may go. They all denied it. But it was true and I know that Towney was the suggester of the plan. He is very wicked.
[12 December 1832]
Wednesday 12th. Have been busy cutting and branding the cattle today, assisted by 2 overseers who were so kind as to come 8 miles to do this for us. One of them is Rogers who is restored to perfect health but has not got the use of his arm. I am happy to see my Black children improve very fast. And as I teach the children of the military, the religious instructions given and the questions asked daily I trust will be of some advantage to them. I also think it my duty to catechise the children publicly every Sunday at church in the afternoon, by which means I apprehend theirs will also derive benefit. I am more induced to do this by having witnessed the good effects of that plan adopted by the Rev Dan Wilson at Islington. All the Blacks are gone into the Bush to make young men (that is to initiate them into the company and rank of men).
[13 December 1832]
Thursday 13th. Kelley came today to have his eye dressed (as he has done occasionally for a long time). I spoke to him in plain terms in reference to his connexion with Rachael and the very great guilt which must attach to such conduct. I told what I had heard. He denied its being true, he said the child was "still born", however I gave him to understand that I firmly believed what I had heard. I had another circumstance against him, he had been beating in a most severe and cruel manner one of the Black gins who is old. He said that she had been taken away by the wild Blacks into the Bush and he gave such a description of the scene of prostitution that was exhibited that day by a company of 30 Blacks as I dare not record. He said that they would have murdered her husband and two sons had it not been for him and King Bobby who said "parson would be murra cooley (very angry) with them["]. And that it was her husband who beat her, after he (Kelley) had brought her back. The old gin was brought up to me tonight by several others, in order that I might dress her wounds, She is indeed in a most wretched condition. She is very likely to die. They have made a fire near to the door of my study and are to sleep there for the night. What are my feelings at the conduct of these English stockkeepers may be better conceived than described.
[16 December 1832]
Saturday 16th. Preached this morning from Rev.1.10. In the afternoon catechised the children and expounded the 1st Psalm. No Blacks here today except an old man (Jemmy) and his wife. Mrs Watson and myself were deeply affected while talking to this aged pair respecting God and religion. He often comes in and says his prayers with the children. While looking at their entire ignorance of all religious truth we are led to ask, can these dry bones live? As far as human efficiency goes most assuredly not. But God can breathe into them the spirit of life. O that this were the happy time. In the evening expounded part
of the 119th Psalm. We have had 4 services today including family worship (which is rather public than otherwise as several of the military frequently attend) but alas, how small our improvement of those precious and inestimable privileges. I feel well in health of body through Divine goodness, but low in mind. Like many of my brethren at the close of Sabbath services I have to enquire who hath believed our report, and to who is the arm of the Lord revealed? Nor is it indeed anxiety for the eternal interests of others alone that depresses my spirits. I feel so little of the vital principle of religion in my heart. In public and in family worship I often feel what appears to be enlargement of soul, and warmth of devotion. But I fear I have too much reason to suspect it may be only animal excitement. O for that depth of humility, that ardency of love, that spirit of self denial, that willingness to sacrifice all for Xt, that counting all things as dung and dress, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord which inspires and marks the conduct of every child of God.
[20 December 1832]
Thursday Dec 20th. Three of the Blacks have come up from the Bush. More are expected tomorrow.
[22 December 1832]
Saturday Dec 22. Laurie, whose legs were so severely scalded a short time ago, came today, he says to remain with us. Sammy left us one morning and has not returned, he has a brother in the neighbourhood and it is said he has decoyed him away. Our boys went to bathe in the river today, but it appears that Towney and another have had a severe engagement with 2 Black boys from Goboleon. One of the latter has come up to have his head dressed, it is so severely cut.
[23 December 1832]
Sunday 23rd. A good congregation. I baptised a child of one of the military, so I preached from Joshua 24.15. A Scotch settler (William Scott) was at church this morning. He says he was never in an English church before,
People in WellPro Directory: Scott, William
or rather was never present at the service of the Church of England before.
[24 December 1832]
Monday Dec 24th. No Blacks here today except our own. They are afraid of a tribe on the other side of us. I have been told that a few Sundays ago when the Duke of Burrundong was here (the only time since I came) one of the Wellington Blacks challenged him to a fight and he was under the necessity of going away. I shall endeavour to put a stop to such proceedings.
[25 December 1832]
Tuesday Dec 25th. Nativity of our blessed Lord. How unlike the season in which we have been accustomed to celebrate this feast. Instead of severe cold, frost and snow we have the thermometer nearly 90, sometimes 96, in the shade. However, we have greens enough to decorate our church withal and make it so far resemble old times and places. We had 13 Blacks here today besides all the children from Coboleon. They could not tell the reason of 2 Sundays coming nearly together. I endeavoured to explain it to them. Mrs Watson made them a very large pudding for their dinners and gave them tea in the evening. This was a fine treat for them. I abhor the too prevalent custom in X'n countries of celebrating the festivals of the church only by gratifying their appetites. But here I wished to impress the memories of the ignorant Blacks and I thought this was the most likely means of doing it. I spoke to King Bobby today respecting the Wellington Black fellow challenging the Duke of Burrundong when he came here. I told him that Wellington belong to me and that I would on no account whatever allow any Black fellows to fight on my ground. That all who came here from any tribe were under my protection, and whether they were at war or no they should all meet as friends here. He seemed to understand me well. He is quite civilised and very rarely goes into the Bush. He highly approved of what I said, as did others to whom I mentioned it. If I do not take some such measures all our attempts to civilise them will prove abortive.
[26 December 1832]
Wednesday Dec 26th. Our boys are still contemplating another fight. Some of them had gone into the Bush to prepare
People in WellPro Directory: Watson, Mrs
Womeras for that purpose. I told Towney, the ringleader, that if he was determined to fight he should not remain with me. Being a testy youth he immediately threw down his blanket and walked off and Laurie with him. It is a very difficult matter when we have a boy who is likely to corrupt others, it be our duty patiently to bear with him, or, in order to save the rest, to dismiss him. We need Divine direction in all our movements.
[29 December 1832]
Saturday Dec 29th. There is a report abroad that some Bush rangers have been seen in the neighbourhood, 3 of the military have gone out in disguise in order to look out.
[31 December 1832]
Monday Dec 31st. Several Black gins came up today in a most wretched state with the venereal. They have come to be healed. Received today a supply from Sydney in which is included the apparatus for teaching on the Infant School System. Our children shouted and jumped about when they saw the pictures &c. And now by the help of God I shall commence teaching in good earnest.
[Note] Rev W. Watson’s Journal, Oct 3rd to Dec. 31/32