xi. July-Sept 1835
[note] Rec. June 1836
J.C.S. Handt's Diary from July to Sept. 1835
[1 July 1835]
July, Wednesday, 1. The Blacks who came here yesterday, left again to-day, except one man. The father of the Boy Yurrumbaddi was among them who went, and he endeavoured to persuade his son to go also. The Boy consequently asked leave to go, and told me of his father's desire. But I succeeded in persuading him to the contrary; I do however not think that he will stay much longer.
[2 July 1835]
Thursday, 2. An old man, who left here a few days ago, returned to-day. He is in an ill state of health, but still he thus wanders about.
[3 July 1835]
Friday, 3. Some Blacks visited us to-day, the woman mentioned under date the 30th of last month was one of them. The poor creatures ridiculed all that I could say when talking to them in the camp. I told them that they would not feel inclined to laugh and to ridicule, when the Lord Jesus would come down from heaven, and turn all those into hell who had despised his counsel. An old sick man, who sat by himself, was of a more teachable disposition, and in some degree his behaviour counter-balanced that of the others.
[4 July 1835]
Saturday, 4. A company of the Blacks came this
evening, and joined the party who were here. Saw the woman, who of late destroyed her new-born Infant, carrying a pup in her bosom. I could not help telling her that she seemed more fond of that dog, than she had been of her own offspring.
[5 July 1835]
Sunday, 5. Most of the Blacks, who arrived here last evening, went away again in the course of the day; but not without having heard something of the most important subject - religion. One of them usually called King Bobby, had a little Boy with him, whom I should have liked to stay with us, had he been willing. But both he and his father appeared averse to hear of it.
[7 July 1835]
Tuesday, 7. Some of the Blacks came to-day, who had left here of late. When I asked the Boy Yurrumbaddi; whether he ever talked to his mother, who has been here some time, about the things of God and of his Son Jesus Christ, he replied in the affirmative. He however does not behave so well as he did, nor do the others. I fear they were growing tired of the little restraint we impose on them.
[8 July 1835]
Wednesday, 8. One of the women expressed a desire that I would read to her, which was an encouragement. Indeed I wanted such an excitement; for until then
my mouth was as it were sealed up from dejection of mind, after musing on their wretchedness.
[11 July 1835]
Saturday, 11. The Boys are becoming very careless: I find considerable difficulty in making them attend to instruction, and when under it to excite their attention. After school, they generally go away, and do not show themselves till evening, when they expect their supper. To night they did not come at all, nor where they in the camp. I learnt however that they took up their quarters with one of our neighbours.
[12 July 1835]
Sunday, 12. Found the Blacks tolerably attentive, and I felt comfortable among them on that account. The Boy Yurrumbaddi and Ngalgan, who are staying here, were present; and as they expressed a desire to say their prayers, probably that their mothers, who were there, might hear them; I made them repeat the ten Commandments after me, in their own language. The Blacks gave me to-day several names for wheat, though I had thought they would scarcely have one for it in their own language.
[13 July 1835]
Monday, 13. The Blacks were very friendly; but not much disposed to be talked to about religious matters.
[15 July 1835]
Wednesday, 15. When I went to the camp of the Blacks this afternoon, before I had scarcely arrived there, I
heard a white man uttering a dreadful curse; and looking around me, I saw the fellow standing with another party of Blacks. I went immediately over to him, and recognising him to be the same man that was here at the premises about a fortnight ago, in search of his master's horse; I asked him, whether he was seeking again for it. He replied in the negative, but said that he was on his return from Bathurst. I then seriously reproved him for swearing, reminding him particularly of the consequences of such a wicked life. He was at first offended at my remonstrances, but soon acknowledged the truth of them. I asked him where he would sleep that night, as I suspected that he was going to sleep with the Blacks; but he answered that he would go to Cobolyen, and stay there till morning. I saw that he was making some tea at the Black's fire, and as I did not wish to stay by him, while he was drinking it. I went to another party of Blacks, where I could observe him; and which place I did not leave, till he had taken his departure. The number of Blacks was increased by two, coming in the afternoon.
[16 July 1835]
Thursday, 16. When inquiring to-day of the women after some of their company, whom I missed; I was informed that they had gone away this morning to the station, where the white man is living, who was in the camp yesterday, he having invited them to go there. If he had no other motive in view, than to get them away from here, it would be bad enough; but it is almost certain that it was for far worse purposes, he invited them; and they it appeared were willing to go.
[17 July 1835]
Friday, 17. About 20 Blacks arrived here in the afternoon, but went away towards evening to Naiama, a place about 2 miles from here. They stopped however long enough to afford us an opportunity of talking to them about their spiritual welfare. Most of those who were here before, went with them. The women promised to return to-morrow. They supposed that the men would fight at the above mentioned place, but were not certain of it. Was informed in the evening that 2 of the Boys, Karrundi and Ngalgan had gone away. I suppose they have gone to Naiama to their mothers, and will return with them tomorrow.
A Boy who generally stayed at a neighbouring Stockstation, came here to-day; and said that he would stay with us, and therefore expected a
blanket to be given him immediately. I suspect that he has merely come for a blanket, and on that account have not given him any as yet.
[18 July 1835]
Saturday, 18. The Boy Ngalgan came back this morning, as I had expected; the other however did not. Some other Blacks came to-day; among whom was the Boy Nabinya, who left here about 4 months ago. I went to him, and asked him where he had been so long, and whether he had a desire to stay again with us etc. but he gave me no answer. The Boys said that the Blacks would be fighting this evening, at the place to which they were yesterday resorting, and for that purpose wanted to go there. I went with them; but to my great satisfaction, there was no fighting, nor would there be any at this time, as I was informed. Went around and talked to them, but did not meet with much attention. They were feasting on fresh beef; and as I did not know that it was of a bullock, which had died of itself, I asked whether Mr G., the Overseer of the station close to the place where we were, had killed a bullock, and given them of it. "No", replied one, "the devil has killed this"; meaning that it had died of itself. The Boy Kurrundi, who went away yesterday, was in the camp, and promised soon to return.
Gave a blanket to the Boy, who came yesterday, upon condition that he would remain here.
[19 July 1835]
Sunday, 19. Went this morning early to the camp, and discoursed to them, going from fire to fire, and getting as many together at each time, as I could collect. Some said they would not hear me. I took no notice of what they said, but began to talk to them. Three men, who wear brass plates with their names written on them, and given to them by white men as marks of distinction, refused to come to a neighbouring fire, to which I invited them, because, they said, they were Gentlemen. I took occasion from this to talk to them of the pride of the human heart, and of that Great Being, who loves one as well as the other, and with whom there is no respect of persons.
The Boy who came here the day before yesterday, and received a blanket last night, has gone away to the station, where he came from. Therefore my supposition of his having come merely to obtain one; proved to be correct. Probably the white men of the Station where he was, suggested to him this artful plan. There was a Boy in the camp to-day, whose mother said, when I requested her to let the Boy stay with us for a while, that I should give him a blanket first; probably she thinks
of dealing with us in the same manner. Another Boy was there, whom I wished to stay with us, but his mother would not part with him for the presents. The Blacks changed their place in the afternoon, and went to the Brickfields, as the place is generally called, where I paid them a visit towards evening.
[20 July 1835]
Monday, 20. They left these parts to-day, and the Boy Kurrundi, as I afterwards discovered, had gone with them; I hope however that he will return with the party, with whom he went; and the women who remained here, expect them soon to come back.
[23 July 1835]
Thursday, 23. They have not returned yet, and the women are staying here alone, except two men, who are unwell.
[24 July 1835]
Friday, 24. Have not been favoured as yet with any rain of any consequence, and one of the Yinars told me that there would be none till next winter. What their reason is for saying so, I could not ascertain; probably they speak from experience.
[27 July 1835]
Monday, 27. Several of the Blacks, who left here last Monday, returned to-day, severely complaining of hunger.
[28 July 1835]
Tuesday, 28. A man, who was complaining of a pain in his head, said this evening that books
(meaning the instructions we give from them) were killing the Blacks. I replied that I should have died long since, if books killed a person; for I had had them always about me, and that my health was, in general, better than that of the Blacks. He then appeared to see the futility of his opinion; and when his wife, who sat near him, began to laugh, he could not avoid joining her. At another fire there was a sick woman, who said she supposed she should die. I advised her to pray to Jesus the Saviour, to take her soul to heaven when she died etc. When I spoke of my own hope that the Redeemer would take my soul at my departure, she replied, that she did not think that I should die. This answer gave me occasion to speak more fully of the death of the body, and of its rising again at the last day. She listened with attention, and seemed to feel interested in what was said to her.
[29 July 1835]
Wednesday, 29. Read a translation of the first part of the 2nd Chp. of St. Luke's Gospel to the Natives, and made a few remarks upon it. Three other women came in the afternoon.
[30 July 1835]
Thursday, 30. Two of the Boys told me about noon, that the third had gone away after School. I replied that I did not think he had gone far, and that
he would probably return in the course of the day; but they insisted upon his having gone away entirely. In the afternoon I told the two others to fetch the horse up, but they would not be persuaded to do so. A little while after one of them, named Yurrumbaddi, came and told me that he would go to a place, a few miles distant, but would return tomorrow. I endeavoured to dissuade him from his purpose; but when I saw that it was of no use, he being determined to go, I consented, upon the condition that he should return tomorrow. The young men told me afterwards that he would not come back. Thus two Boys, who had been treated kindly, and fed well, went away, one in a sly and the other in an artful manner. Several adults also went away to-day.
[31 July 1835]
Friday, 31. The Boy Yurrumbaddi has not returned to-day.
[1 August 1835]
Saturday, August, 1. Went in search of him to a place a few miles distant, where he was said to be. After having found the camp, I met with a few men only, who told me that he had gone to catch Oppossums; but it was very likely that he had hid himself. I requested them to tell him to return to me, as I very much wanted him.
[3 August 1835]
Monday, 3. When I asked the Boy Mabinya this morning to grind a little wheat for his
breakfast, he refused to do so. I told him that he could have no breakfast then: he replied that he did not care about it. He also refused to say his lesson. I thought best to leave him alone for the present, and to see whether he would grind in the afternoon; for it is very difficult to deal with them in this respect, as they are as independent, as the Kangaroos in the bush. In the afternoon I told him again to grind, when he did so, but would not say his lesson.
[5 August 1835]
Wednesday, 5. Went for the Boy Yurrumbaddi, in order to bring him back, if I should meet with him. But when I came to the place, where I supposed him to be, I did not see a single Black, and had to return alone.
[9 August 1835]
Sunday, 9. Read this morning the Confession and a short discourse to the Boy who is staying here, and afterwards to some women. One man and his wife refused to hear me.
[13 August 1835]
Thursday, 13. This evening I saw a fire in the bush, and supposing that it was a sign of the arrival of some Blacks, I went towards it, and found two young men. They made particular inquiry after a young woman, who, as far as I know, is living with a white man about 14 miles distant. I took occasion from this to speak to them about the
impropriety of such conduct, and showed them that it was tending to the extirpation of their own nation. They appeared to coincide with my views; but laughed, when I told them that idleness was the principle cause of all these evils. When I inquired whether there were no more Blacks coming up, they informed me that those belonging to this district were all sitting down at Yumbi, a place 26 miles from here, and that they would not return very soon.
[16 August 1835]
Sunday, 16. Thanks be to God for having sent us a little rain to-day, and I hope we shall soon have more. The weather has been so dry that both cattle and sheep are dying in all parts of the Colony.
[19 August 1835]
Wednesday, 19. The Boy Nyalgan who went away of late returned to-day, and an old man, the Father of the Boy who is staying here, came with him. He told me that his mother would come to-morrow.
[21 August 1835]
Friday, 21. A few other Blacks came to-day, one of them has sore eyes. He told me that they had been injured a few days ago by a chip flying into them, when he had climbed a tree, and was chopping a hole in it, in order to fetch an Oppossum out of its hollow parts.
[23 August 1835]
Sunday, 23. Discoursed to the Blacks this morning, and asked them several questions. They seemed
to pay tolerable attention, both to the prayer and discourse. Their number is increased by a few others, coming in the course of the day.
[25 August 1835]
Tuesday, 25. Two of the Black women had been fishing to-day, and returned with a large supply; they seemed to be very proud of their success. A man and his two wives left here to-day, and went to Cobolyen.
[26 August 1835]
Wednesday, 26. Found the Blacks a little more attentive, than they seemed to have been for some time. May the Lord give them ears to hear, and a heart to understand the things belonging to their peace!
[28 August 1835]
Friday, 28. Had nearly been bitten by a dog belonging to the Blacks, but by the protection of Providence I escaped unhurt. For I had neither a stone nor a stick in my hand to defend myself, not being aware that it was a female which had recently puppies; and the Blacks seemed to be so stupefied, that they did not check the dog for a considerable time.
[30 August 1835]
Sunday, 30. Some of the Blacks were very quiet, when I discoursed to them, while others seemed to pay no attention; and as far as I could observe afterwards, it had made no impression, either upon those who had been silent, or on those who had behaved in a contrary manner. Two women and a
child came here this morning, but went away again in the afternoon.
[31 August 1835]
Monday, 31. An old man of the Blacks, generally called Grandfather, is reported to have recently died. They seem in general to go down to the grave very fast.
Found a white man in the Blacks' camp this afternoon; who, when questioned, informed me that he belonged to Cobolyen, and was seeking for his bullocks. When he had gone, however, one of the Blacks told me that he belonged to another station, nor was he seeking for bullocks; but had been at Br Watson's for some medicine. And the reason that he had come to them was, that he had desired to have one of his wives.
[2 September 1835]
Wednesday, Sep. 2. Two Boys, who went away on the 6th of May, returned last night. I asked them this morning, whether they had come back, in order to stay with us for a while; but they made no reply.
[3 September 1835]
Thursday, 3. On going to the camp this morning, I heard some women making a mourning noise at a short distance; and when I inquired why they did so, I was informed that a Black, who had been ill for some time, had just expired. I went to the spot; and took occasion from this circumstance before me
to speak of the general Resurrection; but they seemed to be averse to hearing me talk on the subject. Soon afterwards they buried the body beyond the Bell River, in a manner similar to that in which they buried the body of the women, mentioned under date Dec. 27/34. They made a round hole of about three feet deep, put a few small branches and some dry grass into it, afterwards a few rags belonging to the deceased; upon which the bended corpse, tied up in a blanket, was deposited; but the body, though bent together, being rather too large for the hole, they twisted the head to one side, and pressed it down. They then laid small branches upon the corpse, and afterwards pieces of wood upon them; and at last covered the whole with earth, raising it in a mound. They did not put his clubs etc. into the grave, as I expected, but marked two trees near the spot, by cutting serpentine stripes in them after having stripped them partly of their bark. 
[4 September 1835]
Friday, 4. To-day an old black man came from a place, called Mumbal, to pay us a visit.
[5 September 1835]
Saturday, 5. The Blacks were feasting to-day on a dead cow, which had been drowned in the Bell River, and they will probably not be satisfied, till they have finished it.
[6 September 1835]
Sunday, 6. A black young man came this morning to us, but soon went away again. Several others, who were staying here before, left also. Discoursed in the afternoon to the women who remain.
[8 September 1835]
Tuesday, 8. When I was about to come away from the Blacks to-day, one of the women asked, whether I had said enough. I was surprised at the question; but immediately proposed one to her, asking, whether she would hear any more. She replied in the affirmative, and I felt great pleasure in complying with her desire. The poor women is unwell, and is the same mentioned under date August 28th, in the latter period of what is written relative to that day.
[9 September 1835]
Wednesday, 9. One of the women told me that she had dreamed last night, that her husband had died, who is at present absent with his other wife.
[13 September 1835]
Sunday, 13. A neighbour of ours, not having come to divine service to-day, one of our Boys observed to me, that he thought he was a devil. A women, who is sick, told me, in the afternoon, that the devil had bitten her, meaning that he was the cause of her sickness. I replied that Jesus Christ had come down from heaven to deliver men from Satan and his power; and directed her to pray to him.
[14 September 1835]
Monday, 14. A woman with a child increased the number of our visitors, the Blacks. An old woman is very ill. I urged again the necessity of her calling upon God and his Son, to take her soul to heaven, if she should die.
[16 September 1835]
Wednesday, 16. Br. Watson went this morning on a journey among the Blacks towards a district, where they have been very troublesome of late, killing and destroying cattle, and putting some of the Stockmen in bodily fear.
Several Blacks, who have been away for a few weeks, returned to-day, and brought some of the flesh of a dead sheep with them. Many of those animals are dying in every direction of the Colony for the want of rain. The same may be said with regard to horned cattle. On this account provisions are daily rising in price throughout the Colony.
[18 September 1835]
Friday, 18. Two Black men refused to hear me on religious subjects, and the women said they would hear me only a little.
[19 September 1835]
Saturday, 19. Nearly all the Blacks, who are here, left to-day.
James Backhouse and George Walker paid us a visit to-day. They are members of the Society of Friends in England; and are sent out to visit
various Missions, and to do good amongst the Prison Populations, and wherever they can. They are travelling in this part of the Colony at present for this purpose.
[20 September 1835]
Sunday, 20. Had divine service. After the Prayers were read; John Backhouse addressed this Assembly to the edification, I hope, of all who were present.
[21 September 1835]
Monday, 21. One of the Boys wanted me to give him a pipe, but I refused to comply with his request, as I had given him one the day before yesterday. He expressed dissatisfaction, and was sulky. In the afternoon I learnt that he had gone away, and taken the other two Boys with him. He had probably done so, in order to revenge himself for not having received what he had desired. Two Blacks paid us a visit this morning, but soon went away again.
[22 September 1835]
Tuesday, 22. The above mentioned Boy returned to-day, but not the other two. A women, who was some weeks ago taken or stolen from her husband by another Black, came to us to-day.
[24 September 1835]
Thursday, 24. Took a walk to the Cave with James Backhouse and George Walker, our visitors. Met
with several Blacks, and talked to them: fell in also with one of the Boys, who went away on the 21st instant, and brought him back. The old sick woman, mentioned under date the 8th, was worse this evening: Mr Backhouse prepared her some medicine, which, being sweetened, she took without reluctance. She is more susceptible, when spoken to about spiritual things, than I have found many of the men.
[25 September 1835]
Friday, 25. She is much better to-day, as she says; but I do not think that she will recover altogether. A man with his two women and two children, who left a few weeks ago, returned to-day.
[27 September 1835]
Sunday, 27. One of the Boys called Minya, asked me several questions about the heavenly state, whether there were trees, cattle, rivers etc.; and I was glad to inform him on the subject, endeavouring to direct his mind to the spiritual delights of heaven.
The Adults left us after dinner, except one man and one women, who are sick. Br. Watson arrived in the afternoon from his excursion among the Blacks.
People in WellPro Directory: Backhouse, James
[29 September 1835]
Tuesday, 29. Our Christian visitors, James Backhouse and George Walker left us to-day, and I accompanied them on their way for about eight miles. They are travelling on foot.
[note] Read in Committee Oct 28th 1835
[signed] W. Watson
Rev. J.C.S. Handt’s Journal
July to Sept. 1835