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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

For his behaviour was the height of savage insolence


After

dinner, this couple went away, and the girl who had been desirous of living with the governor's servants, wanted to go along with them, which she was permitted to do. This girl, who might be about eighteen years old, stripped herself before she went away, but kept her night-cap to sleep in, as her head had been shaved when she was first taken into the governor's family: she never had been under any kind of restraint, so that her going away could only proceed from a preference to the manner of life in which she had been brought up, and which is rather surprising, as the women are certainly treated with great cruelty; this, however, the custom of the country seems to have perfectly reconciled them to.

Two colonists, who had been in a boat fishing, returned with a piece of intelligence very little to the credit of Bannelong, who had robbed them of what fish they had caught; and, as they had no arms, and he had several spears in his canoe, along with his wife and sister, they were deterred from making any resistance. In consequence of the fishing-boat being robbed, orders were given that no boat in future should go out of the cove unarmed, and the natives were forbid ever going to the western point of the cove, where they stole the potatoes and threw the fiz-gig.

Three convicts, who went into the woods contrary to orders, were lost for several days; and when found, they were pretty severely punished: this, however,

did not prevent one of these men from going out again, and he had now been so long absent, that there was no doubt but that he perished from hunger: another fell into the brook at Rose-Hill, and was drowned.

The number of deaths this year, 1790, were,

From sickness, 142 Lost in the woods, 4 Executed, 4 Drowned, 6 The total number of deaths, 156

On the 3d of January, 1791, several of the natives came to Governor Phillip's house, and told him that the native who had been fired at on the 28th of December, was wounded and would die; it was explained to them, that the reason of his being fired at, was, his attempting to wound a white man: on this, they did not appear dissatisfied.

Bannelong and his wife came in soon afterwards, and Governor Phillip charged him with taking the fish from the two colonists, which he denied; saying he had been a great way off; but when the two persons were sent for, and he found himself known, he entered into a long conversation, the purport of which was, an endeavour to justify himself; and this he did with an insolence that explained itself very clearly: he frequently mentioned the man who had been wounded, and threatened revenge; but appearing to recollect himself, he offered the governor his hand, which not being accepted, he grew violent, and seemed inclined to make use of his stick. One of the centinels was now called in, as it was much feared he would do some violent act, that would oblige Governor Phillip to order him to be put to death; for his behaviour was the height of savage insolence, and would have been immediately punished in any other person; but this man had so often made use of the word _be-ah-nah_, that they wished to bring him to reason without proceeding to force; especially, as it was suggested by an officer who was in the room, that he might not be understood clearly, and the governor was very unwilling to destroy the confidence Bannelong had for some time placed in him, which the slightest punishment or confinement would have done: he therefore told him to come near, for he was then standing at some distance, but he refused and went away.


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