v. Oct 1833-Jan 1834
J.C.S. Handt’s Diary
the 4th of Oct. 1833 to the 14th of January 1834
Read before Com of Cor
J.C.S. Handt's Diary from the 4th of Oct. 1833 to the 14th of January 1834
[4 October 1833]
October, 4. Conversed with a young black man called Tommy, who has several times done some little jobs for me. I asked why he did not stop here always, and work a little every day that he might have his victuals regularly and live like white men. He replied that black men were accustomed to walk in the bush but confessed that it was not so good a mode of living as that of white people. This man, when here at Wellington, is sometimes induced to work a little, in order to get some food; yet he cannot be persuaded to abstain from wandering about in the wilds of the forest.
Another Black, when he saw me, came up and saluted me, as he had just returned from the bush. I told him he looked very thin, after his ramble in the bush. Yes, he replied, and therefore I ought to take him into the room and give him plenty to eat, then he would get fat again. Thus they are cunning enough as regards their stomach, though very indifferent with respect to their souls.
[7 October 1833]
Monday, 7. When talking to the Blacks, one of them asked me, whether God had made the knife which he held in his hand, and which he had borrowed from one of our men, for the purpose of dividing some meat among themselves. When they are in the bush they tear their meat to pieces not having knives to cut it. The sinews and gristle they sometimes cut with a shell.
[14 October 1833]
Monday, 14. Br. Watson left us to day to go to Sydney. Observed this evening that only one Black of those who are at present here, came to family prayer. I went to them therefore afterwards, and inquired the reason: all were silent except one, who replied in a witty manner (as he seemed to think it) that he must have some
tobacco given him, or he would not come: he could not go to prayer without first having a smoke. May they soon learn and experience that, in attending the divine ordinances and in serving the Lord there is to be found great reward and much delight.
[15 October 1833]
Tuesday, 15. One of the Blacks by the name of Nerang Jacky, was very troublesome last night and used threatening language to Mrs Watson.
[16 October 1833]
Wednesday, 16. The Blacks went away this morning, but said they would come back again in a few days. It seems almost impossible for them to stay long at one place.
[21 October 1833]
Monday, 21. Some of the Blacks came back to day from their excursion. They had promised me to cut some bark when they returned; but did not feel the least incentive now to keep their engagement, their idleness being to great to allow them to do so.
[22 October 1833]
Tuesday, 22. It is very discouraging to see these poor creatures, when spoken to about the things which belong to their peace, not give them apparently any consideration. But many of the Europeans are as little concerned for their souls as these poor wretched Blacks, and who knows whether the Lord will yet in his own good time reveal unto them his Son, and give them spiritual light and genuine repentance. It is ours to sow though it be with sighing and tears, but the issue must be left to him who must give the increase, and who has said, "My word shall not return empty." One of them in telling me that he was hungry, used an oath to confirm the truth of it. I reproved him, and told him that he should never say so again, as the great God was displeased at it etc. He seemed to be unconscious of having said anything amiss, but promised not to say so any more. They all went away to-day into the bush in order to make young men of some boys.
People in WellPro Directory: Watson, Mrs
[24 October 1833]
Thursday, 24. Succeeded to-day in persuading the Blacks to cut some bark, which is very useful for covering a shed or cot and for several other purposes.
[25 October 1833]
Friday, 25. The black man, Nerang Jacky, had found honey in the bush, and caught some oppussums besides, so that all of them had plenty to eat. I told them that God was very kind to them in giving them so much food. 'Yes", answered Nerang Jacky, "God that burhery (good) fellow, that gave it mine (my) plenty oppossum."
[27 October 1833]
Sunday, 27. Had divine service, the Blacks who are at present here attended. Nerang Jacky began to be again unruly this evening, owing as the other Blacks said, to the crazy fits he is sometimes subject to. By the aid of providence, however, we prevented him from doing injury to any person till he became more calm.
[31 October 1833]
Thursday, 31. Nerang Jacky went away this evening to fight with another black man by the name of Gentleman Jacky, for a woman, whom each of them called his own. The most singular circumstance is that the women does not live with either; for she has been with white men for some years, and is living with one. Last Monday, Nerang Jacky said he would go to him, and take her away, but when he returned, and I asked him whether he had brought her, he replied, "No, that white fellow mahne it altogedder" (would keep her altogether.)
[1 November 1833]
Friday, November 1. Nerang Jacky returned this morning, but had not been fighting. A party of other Blacks, about 20 in number, visited us and are yet staying here. They received 36 lb of meat, which they consumed in a very short time; and when I afterwards asked one whether they had had a good meal, he answered, a small one. I endeavoured to speak with them about the great Giver of all good, and wish that it may have proved beneficial to their souls.
Brother Watson returned this evening from Sydney.
[2 November 1833]
Saturday, 2. Some more Blacks came to-day, so that there were together with the others, about thirty. Their craving appetites were appeased with fresh meat, an ox having been killed yesterday. Some women also were here, among whom was she, whom I mentioned in my diary under date the first of February, as having been delivered of a half-caste male child. She had the little boy on her back. This child's life, it appeared, had been spared by the mother, which is indeed a rare case among the Blacks of these quarters. For, in general, they kill the half-bred children as you will remember from several instances, recorded in our journals.
[3 November 1833]
Sunday, 3. Some of the Blacks attended divine service, and conducted themselves in a quiet manner, as they usually do. May we soon have the satisfaction of stating that they hear the word of life with attention and devotion.
[4 November 1833]
Monday, 4. The Blacks had been fighting last night, and one of them had his arm severely wounded. The occasion of the quarrel was, that one of them had been neglected in dividing
the meat which they had received in common for their dinner. Thus in the morning they had been attending divine service (some of them at least) and in the evening a combat took place among them. It was, however, pleasing to observe that one, who is frequently here, one who has not gone with the others, expressed his disapprobation of the conduct of his country-men in fighting, especially on Sunday.
One of the black women belonging to the Wellington tribe, who had been lent by her husband to a white man, and been staying with him a considerable time, was delivered of a child by him a few days ago; and she is said to have burnt the infant as soon as she had given birth to it. O what will be the end of these things, but the diminution of the poor aborigines. May the Lord speedily make bare his saving arm unto them!
[6 November 1833]
Wednesday, 6. A few Blacks came to day, but they could not be induced to stay, but went away again shortly after their arrival. I endeavoured to talk to them about religion, they paid however no great attention. The chief thought which seemed to occupy their minds, was that they might get something to eat. One women however said, "You pialle burhery" (speak good things.)
[8 November 1833]
Friday, 8. Two very interesting young black men, who were strangers here, visited us together with several others who had been here before. They said they were brothers and farther to explain themselves they said "Like you and Mr Watson you know", taking it for granted that we also were related, and seeming to suppose that
we could not then misunderstand them.
[10 November 1833]
Sunday, 10. The services were performed as usual. Some of the Blacks also attended.
[16 November 1833]
Saturday, 16. Again a week has past and I fear I have done very little in promoting our Saviour's kingdom. O that he would speedily appear in his saving strength, that we may not spend or time in vain, and that these poor Blacks no longer remain in darkness.
[17 November 1833]
Sunday, 17. One of the Blacks called, and desired to speak with me after service. When I asked him what his desire was, he explained that he was hungry, and he wished me to give him something to eat. I thought he had perhaps noticed something in the prayers or in the sermon, but upon inquiring I found he had not paid the least attention to either. May the Lord Jesus for his own sake, give them of his spirit, to attend to his word, and to become his people.
We were last week employed in altering and repairing part of a house, at the back of this, to use as a Church as the room which we now use is inconvenient, and sometimes too small for the congregation.
[28 November 1833]
Thursday, 28. Nothing new, or interesting has happened with regard to the Blacks. May the Lord increase our faith, zeal and love, lest we suffer in our minds, when we find that our endeavours are apparently fruitless. May he also make these poor people sensible of our desire to do them good!
[2 December 1833]
Monday, December 2. It has been exceedingly dry this season. Our wheat is dried up on the ground, before it came to any perfection: all the labour in ploughing and sowing the ground has been in vain. The cattle are wandering about for food, and can find but little. The vegetables in the garden are withered, so that we have none to eat. There has been rain at several places in our neighbourhood of late, but we were not favoured with any. Something more has been done last week towards the Church. The floor is paved, and the rail, pulpit, and reading desk are erected.
[7 December 1833]
Saturday, 7. We have had several showers of rain since the last date. The forest and the fields begin now to look green again to the comfort and support of man and beast. Thanks be unto God who again begins to smile upon us by his providence. The Blacks are going and moving to and fro, and we endeavour to speak with them as often as we have an opportunity. I could wish to write something more pleasant and encouraging about them but we are as it were groping in the dark, not seeing much prosperity in our work. No journal of any other Missionary labouring in another field can scarcely be more uninteresting than mine. But though the prospect be dark now, the clouds might be gradually dispersed.
[11 December 1833]
Wednesday, 11. Few Blacks here at present. Their roving disposition does not allow them to stay long at one place. O that the Lord would pity them in their low and most wretched state; and appear with help out of Zion in their behalf!
[17 December 1833]
Tuesday, 17. Left for Sydney with Mrs Handt and the little one.  Went about 40 miles to day, to Mr Marsden’s station called Molong. There were several Blacks at a small distance from here, to whom I went conversed. One of them, called King Bogen, had accompanied us with his family from the place at Wellington, when we first went there, but since that time he has never visited us. I asked him the reason of his staying away. He replied that he was afraid of the Wellington Blacks, and thought they would kill him, if he went there again. One of his wives, being sick, he desired me to cure her.
[18 December 1833]
Wednesday, 18. King Bogen came this morning to fetch the tobacco which I had promised him last night. Several other Blacks also came, to whom I talked, till we were about to start. I found them extremely ignorant, which circumstance convinced me, that though we may have done but little with regard to the Wellington Blacks, we have, at least, been the means of enlightening their minds in some degree. Did not meet with any Blacks on the road to day.
[20 December 1833]
Friday, 20. Met with two Blacks, who it seemed had learned something of the value of money for they asked us for a copper shilling.
[6 January 1833]
Monday, January 6. Set out on our return for Wellington.
[9 January 1833]
Thursday, 9. Met with some Blacks on the road, who complained of hunger. We happened to have some bread with us, but not sufficient for all. One of the women said she was very tired. May they soon feel a hunger after the bread of life, and a desire for him who invites the weary to come unto him that they may find rest.
[12 January 1833]
Sunday, 12. Stayed with some X'n friends on the way to enjoy the Sabbath.
[14 January 1833]
Tuesday, 14. Reached Wellington in health and safety, and without having been attacked by Bushrangers, though there are, at present, many in the bush, who have recently escaped from parties working on the road. It is reported that several of them have horses, arms and ammunition. The day before our arrival at Wellington, when we were travelling after sunset, our man, indeed, observed a person not far from the road, whom he at first mistook for a stump, but when he afterwards saw the mistaken stump moving behind a tree, he exclaimed, I see a man, and at the same time he bid me drive on. He then rode up to the man, and inquired what business he had there. “It is nobody that wants you”: was the answer. Our man then left him, and followed us. This happened about half a mile from Molong, where we intended to stay for the night; and by the protecting hand of the Almighty we reached it without any further annoyance
[signed] J.C.S. Handt.
[signed] W. Watson