vi. Oct-Dec 1833
[Note] Rec. June 23/35
Rev Wm Watson's Journal from 1st Oct to 31st Dec 1833 Inclusive
[1 October 1833]
Tuesday 1st Oct. Many Natives have come up today. Several of them came in to say prayers with the children. Goongeen rode over with me to an overseer who had sustained serious injury by a fall from his horse. The youth was very attentive to my instructions as we travelled on the road.
[2 October 1833]
Wednesday 2nd. Goongeen and myself left home in the morning to visit some wild Natives whom we were informed were at a station about 20 miles distant. When we had proceeded about 6 or 7 miles a large number of white cockatoos flew up from the ground and so much frightened the mare on which my Native companion was riding as to make her start considerably to the left and the youth fell down, but through Divine goodness he sustained no injury. This afforded me an opportunity of speaking on the care of God towards us. After experiencing some difficulty we succeeded in catching her, and so proceeded on our journey. On our way Goongeen showed me a place where some boys had been
[2 October 1833 cont.]
sometime ago initiated into the "Order of Young Men" and when there had been a severe fight in which one wild Native had been killed. Two trees were much carved and he was interred between them. When we had proceeded to a distance of 16 or 18 miles we found about 30 Natives with their yeeners and children feasting on fish which they had caught in the McQuarrie [sic], on the banks of which they had fixed their camp. With all these I was well acquainted, they having been much at Wellington. They expressed much pleasure in seeing me. The wild Natives had gone away. Goongeen fetched some water from the river and having boiled it and made tea we found it very refreshing. In the course of conversation with them I had occasion to reprove a young man (Native) for swearing, on which most of the others began speaking so very quick that I could understand but little what they said. He had not been so much with us as several of the others, and so had probably never before been reproved or told that he ought not to swear, but this can not be said of many of the others. The females never congregate with the males, but have a camp to themselves at a short distance. I was very anxious to see Warrahbin, a young yeener belonging to Narrang Jackey, of whom mention has several times been made. I soon discovered her with the other yeeners. But what
[2 October 1833 cont.]
were my feelings when I saw her wrapped up in an old dirty oppossum cloak and a Kan-ney (or long staff) over her shoulders, and contrasted her present wild and savage appearance with that modesty of demeanour which characterised her when, dressed like an English female, she resided with us at the mission house? My bowels yearned over her and that attachment which originated in her being so long a member of our family constrained me, notwithstanding her present circumstances, to view her in a different light from the others. We cannot doubt but it is from our Heavenly father that we feel such strong affection for those Native children who have been much with us. Where souls are the subjects of increasing care, it matters not what is the colour of the body. Goongeen has on several occasions given evidence of his sympathy and affection. When we were at the camp today a sick Native was in the company, and he asked me if he might give him a piece of his cake (which had been made for himself). As the wild Natives had gone into the bush to some distance and we had not taken much provision with us, I thought we might reach home tonight. Narrang Jackey, Warrahbin and her sister, with 3 or 4 young men agreed to accompany us to Goboleon. The sun was nearly down when we started. The
[2 October 1833 cont.]
clouds presently gathered thick and Black and gave every indication of an approaching storm. It soon became so dark as to prevent us seeing any track except by the flashes of lightning which left us in greater darkness. The thunder rolled in most tremendous peals, and the wind, which we heard for some time coming over the mountains before it approached us, was so high and accompanied with such torrents of rain as rendered our situation truly appalling. Though in our voyage to this colony we experienced many storms, in none of them did I feel that chilling horror that on this occasion seemed to pass through every nerve. Previously to the storm's reaching us I had thought it advisable to walk and had my mare. Goongeen kept his seat and the Natives walked after him. As he knew the way, he went first and I was in the rear. When it did attack us it was indeed with indescribable fury, it seemed as if every tree in the forest was being rent to pieces. The saddle on my mare by some means got under her body and she was so affrighted by the hurricane that she ran round several times with such violence that I was compelled to let her go. On account of the roaring of the tempest my Native companions had no opportunity of hearing whether I was following close behind. And now I could only ascertain in what direction they had gone by their answering to my cooing, which it was sometime before they could hear. At this moment I lost sight of that advice
[2 October 1833 cont.]
"Festina lente", for on hastening to overtake my companions I fell over an old stump, and my hat falling off I saw, by a flash of lightening at the instant, it carried away by the wind almost with the swiftness of the eagle's flight. When I came up with the Natives and they had heard of my disaster, one of them came on each side and asked me to take hold of their arms that I might escape falling over any stump or sustaining any injury in passing through creeks &c. And thus we travelled on through the tempest and reached Goboleon where we remained till the weather became fair and calm and the moon arose, after which we proceeded, and through the goodness of our Heavenly Father arrived at Wellington about eleven O'Clock.
[3 October 1833]
Thursday 4th Oct. [sic] This morning Goongeen and one of the servants went and found my hat, handkerchief and, indeed, everything except the bridle. Nine Natives came up today, some of them sick.
[4 October 1833]
Friday 5th. [sic] Seven Natives at work for us today in digging a trench. One of the youths uttered a very vulgar word (the same whom I reproved the other day). Some of the others immediately cried out "Carrea yalla" (don't speak that way) "Wirri murrumbahng " (no good that). Oorimbildwally said that he often spoke to his Native brethren on the
[4 October 1833 cont]
impropriety of their conduct, but that he was now tired of it and he would do so no more "because they too much say don't care for God, don't care". He addressed me to forbear saying any more to them about God, as they were so very stupid. I told him that both he and myself must continue reproving them &c hoping that by and by they would care for and think much about God. They are to have a corrobera this evening respecting Thannah Thannah (the small pox). They say it will never come here again. While working, some of them said repeatedly "good many white fellows Mr Watson get work it now" meaning themselves. Whether they thought it disgraceful to work like Europeans or it arose merely from pleasantry I cannot say. I was much affected (as I frequently am) on looking at them and thinking here are immortal souls, and which of them shall become acquainted with God his Saviour, or shall they all like so many of their ancestors live and die altogether destitute of the blessings of salvation. We sometimes hope there is a breaking in the clouds, and indeed we must say that notwithstanding continual and numerous discouragements we have some pleasing circumstances to cheer our minds. We cannot but believe that some who occasionally leave us for a season do say their prayers and grace in the bush or they would not remember them so perfectly when they return.
[5 October 1833]
Saturday Oct 5th. Three of the Natives returned from the Corrobera last night about 11 O'Clock and several more today. It appeared that on their way last evening one of our boys reproved a Native for swearing and was severely beaten by the aggressor for this act of X'n kindness, for so I think I may term it.
[6 October 1833]
Sunday 6th. Several Natives at church who behaved very well. It is remarkable that the Native men cannot conceive why we should want Native females to reside with us except for the same improper purpose as the Europeans. We have repeatedly told them that we are desirous of having old and young, male and female, to teach them all respecting God, to read &c (but they listen to what the missionaries of Satan teach in preference to our instructions, and those labourers are far more successful in their labours than we are in ours). I am often sick while I am dressing the wounds of their emaciated bodies, and my heart is frequently overwhelmed within me when I think of their diseased souls and observe their general indifference to the appointed means of cure.
Monday 7th. 15 Natives now remaining with us. We would hope that Warrahbin feels a conviction of the sinfulness of adultery, as we have learnt that during her absence she has been much teazed by stockmen, but she repelled them saying that "the Great God who sits down in Heaven and all about will see and will be angry". Narrang Jackey was very angry this evening because I would not give him a blanket. I told him that I had given him one a very short time before and he parted with it almost immediately. He said "O never you mind that, all about blankets Governor sent for Black fellow
don't belong at all to Parson, white fellow all about say so".
[8 October 1833]
Tuesday 8th Oct. Mrs Watson prevailed on Narrang Jackey to leave Warrahbin again for a season. She gave him a shirt and he went away, apparently satisfied. In the space of 2 or 3 hours he returned saying "there was a plate in a box for him at a neighbouring station, that the master was coming up and he wanted to see Warrahbin, yeener belonging to him". And besides, "White fellow tell him Mr Watson want to take yeeners all about down Sydney, put them into jail and send them over to another country". That "Mrs Watson had sent away father and mother belonging to Dickey Marshall (a Native boy given to us by the Rev T Hassal) and that he had fired balls at Dickey's head which made it bad". (The boy had always been affected with a scarred head). He was in a high rage and said "he would take Warrahbin away". He believed that I was a very poor man, "that I had not got many clothes for I did not give Blackfellow all about clothes". He laid down his pipe, then took it, drew a little, knocked out the tobacco and laid down the pipe. Hastily he resumed it, smoking and resting while he paced the hut with hurried step, and ultimately went into the room to Mrs Watson who succeeded in talking him into a calm and quiet frame. He afterwards came in to family worship. 14 Natives here now.
[9 October 1833]
Wednesday 9th. Jackey appears satisfied, he has been working all the day. He came in to family prayers but did not remain to say with the young men and boys. Afterwards, when Mrs Watson went into the hut to teach the girls, she told Jackey to kneel down
and pray to God with the children, but he continued smoking his pipe as if he did not hear. He was again requested to kneel down, he replied "I cannot say prayers, I have been a long time in the bush, I am very stupid now". Mrs W told him that he could repeat after her. He said "I want to smoke now, I have smoked very little today". He was told he could smoke afterwards. He answered "I will say prayers tomorrow". He was reminded that he might not be alive on the morrow. He then said "well well you Mrs Watson come and kneel down here beside me", on which being done he repeated with the children. Nineteen Natives here now, most of whom not only attend family prayer but also attend with the children afterwards and repeat what they are taught.
[13 October 1833]
Sunday 13th. Several of our Natives went this afternoon to a station about 2 1/2 miles distant. In the evening I spoke to them on the impropriety of so doing, but they have no moral feeling.
[14 October 1833]
Monday 14th. Goongeen, one of our servant men and myself left home for Sydney, having several important circumstances to lay before the Committee. Goongeen was very anxious to go to Sydney and I believe that if I had not taken him with me he would have gone in company with some of the neighbouring stockkeepers or Bullock drivers who probably would
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[19 October 1833]
Saturday 19th Oct. Reached Sydney through the care of our gracious God in health and safety.
[28 October 1833]
Monday 28th Oct. Left Sydney about 4 O'Clock in the morning.
[1 November 1833]
Friday 1st Nov. Arrived in safety at Wellington Valley and found our friends in health and peace. Of the Lord's mercy we have been preserved and bless'd on our journey homeward and were brought in safety a distance of 240 miles in five days.
[7 November 1833]
Thursday 7th. About 30 Natives came up today, not to hear or learn anything relative to their soul's salvation, but to beg pipes, tobacco &c &c. May the Lord have pity upon them, vain and fruitless are all our efforts without his aid.
[8 November 1833]
Friday 8th. Ten Natives at family worship and saying prayers with the children. Spent a great part of the day in teaching and instructing all the Natives who are here. They listened with apparent interest. May the Holy Spirit seal instruction in their minds.
[9 November 1833]
Saturday 9th. Very many Natives here today, several of whom have been at work. I reproved one for swearing, on which another remarked "Long time I make a light no good swear".
[10 November 1833]
Sunday 10. Twenty Natives here today, most of whom attended Church and family worship.
[11 November 1833]
Monday 11th. After prayers this evening I spoke to an old Native who seldom comes into family worship, he promises to come
tomorrow. He is a very wicked person and is the father of one of our boys.
[13 November 1833]
Wednesday 13th. Eight Natives at family worship today. Was very much affected with the expression of our Lord (which came on to be read in one of the children's lessons), "I receive not honour from men". A lesson for humility.
[17 November 1833]
Sunday 17th. Eleven Natives at church today. Sometime ago we had a servant whose hair had been lost through disease. The Natives gave him the name of Gunagal Bob. Gunagal is the Native term for a plain. This evening I was surprised at hearing one of the boys tell the other Natives that it was wicked to say "Gunagal Bob". It appeared that he was led to say so from having learnt that hymn of Dr Watts respecting the prophet. "Go up thou bald head" &c. In the afternoon some of the children were missing and we could not find them. At length Mrs Watson discovered them in the church looking at some pictures. They said they wanted to see Jesus. Did they indeed feel a desire to see or become acquainted with the Saviour that would be a most happy circumstance.
[19 November 1833]
19. This morning several of the boys refused to grind the wheat which had been given for themselves. They were not satisfied with having beef for their breakfast and so they went away from the mission house, but returned in the evening and were standing on the outside near to the window when the children were at their prayers, and they repeated after them. They afterwards came to the lodging room window and said several times "give us this day, all day, our daily bread: and forgive
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us our trespasses". This circumstance proves that they understand some part of what they are taught. They take advantage of our evident desire to keep them with us, which in connexion with their vagrant habits renders them very little subject to order and very impatient of control. Our patience is indeed continually put to the test. Engaged today in planting maize corn.
[21 November 1833]
Nov.21. Six Natives at family worship. Engaged in preparing and fixing the alter rails in our new church.
[22 November 1833]
22. Thirteen Natives here. Seven attended family worship. Engaged in making a pulpit. Goongeen talked a great deal today about preaching, but I am afraid that he understands little and feels less on religious subjects.
[24 November 1833]
Sund 24. Ten Natives at Church today.
[25 November 1833]
Mond 25th. Some of our boys went away yesterday without any known reason. At work in making the pulpit.
[27 November 1833]
Wed 27. Eight Natives at family worship. At family worship this evening I had been reading on account of Missy Proceedings amongst the Negroes on one of the West Indie Islands. I afterwards enquired of the Natives if they heard what I read. They said yes, and then repeated some part of it. Working at the Reading Desk.
[28 November 1833]
Thurs 28. Had a long conversation this evening with a Native who did not attend family worship. He would acknowledge that he believed he should ever die. How can we speak to them respecting their souls without referring to death, and that is only another name for terror to them. So true
it is, that through fear of death hey are all their lifetime subject to bondage. Eight Natives at family worship. Some of them employ'd in wheeling bricks, mortar &c for the Church. The boys who went away on Monday have returned.
[30 November 1833]
Sat Nov 30th Oorimbildwally came up this evening bringing his clean shirt with him that he might be ready for Church tomorrow. Our children are now frequently speaking of the Rev R Hill, Sydney, since Goongeen was with me at that place, who has told them much about what he saw and heard. If they see a portrait of a clergyman, they are sure to ask is that Mr Hill. Today one of the boys asked if I intended to send the pulpit (which I was making) to Sydney for Mr Hill, and immediately "O no, I believe he has got one larger than this."
[1 December 1833]
Sund Dec. 1st Eight Natives at church today. In the afternoon some of them told me that they were going to bathe. I endeavoured to dissuade them but could not succeed. Shortly afterwards I perceived them going towards a neighbouring sheep station. I then sounded the bugle which caused them to stop for a short time and then they proceeded more quickly than before. These are painful circumstances.
[2 December 1833]
Mond 2nd None of the Natives have returned, but some more came up. I asked one why he went away on Sunday morning and did not come to Church. He only gave me a smile for an answer.
[4 December 1833]
Wednes. 4th Had a providential escape today. While riding on my mare with my Native boy Dickey Marshall behind me
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she took fright at a Black stump in the bush and threw us both on the ground. Through Divine goodness we sustained no injury. Only four Natives here now. Those who went away on Sunday have been several times at the barracks since, but did not come to us. They will now be ashamed and afraid to return.
[6 December 1833]
Friday 6th. Very much pleased with the conversation of our children respecting the future state of existence. All the wanderers came up today, and several others with them. Engaged in making windows for the Church.
[8 December 1833]
Sund 8. Five Natives at Church. Many others in the immediate neighbourhood. Spent the whole of the afternoon in speaking to them on religious subjects, but without any apparent good.
[12 December 1833]
Thursday 12th. Five Natives at family worship.
[22 December 1833]
Sunday 22. Six Natives at Church.
[29 December 1833]
Sunday 29th. Six Natives at Church. Oombeedyoong, one of our boys got into the pulpit. I told him that before he could properly occupy that place, the great God must change his heart. Another of the boys then enquired if "where God sits down is a very large place". Oorimbildwally tells me that on Christmas day he was at a station in the bush, that he remembered it was Kobohn Sunday (a great Sunday) and that he said his prayers. A Native boy about 14 years of age was passing through the
[29 December 1833 cont.]
settlement about a fortnight ago. I succeeded in persuading him to remain with us. He learns to read &c but like the rest of his brethren he has no desire to learn. There is much jealously in the mind of Goongeen towards others remaining here, and I have had many reasons to suspect that he has been the occasion of boys leaving us. Under such circumstances we are much at a loss how to act. I have spoken to him on the subject but he does not acknowledge it. I cannot dismiss him. He never leaves us for any length of time. Since our return from Sydney he frequently speaks of the New Zealand Blacks whom he saw there, and whom I told him (at least very many of them) learnt to read and to pray to God. He was much delighted when in Sydney with the large Church (St James) and with the organ, as well as with an organ at the Rev W Cowpers on which that gentleman was pleased to play several times for Goongeen's amusement.
In conclusion we have nothing of an interesting nature to record. Our trials and disappointments continue. We have indeed two children, a boy and a girl, who make considerable improvement. They are generally reading beside me when I am in the house or beside
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[29 December 1833 cont.]
Mrs Watson. In reference to the Natives generally we can only observe that, instructed by the history of Greenland mission, we have not confined ourselves (in addressing them) to the nature and perfections of God, the Creation, Providence &c, but have also spoken to them on all the doctrines of Xty. If we should be enabled to master this most difficult language so as to have it in our power to preach to them in their own dialect, humanly speaking we shall have more hope of success. Our hopes are that both ourselves and our arduous undertaking are constantly borne up before the Throne of Grace by our Xn friends at home, that our spiritual state may be invigorated and that the blessing of the most high may descend and rest upon our labours.
[Signed] W. Watson
[Signed] J.C.S. Handt
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