2.2 Reverend Watson's Journals
i. Aug - Oct 1832
[Note] Rec. Dec. 10/33
[Note] Revd Mr Watson’s Journal from Augt 17 to Oct 3/32
Particulars of the Journey of the Missionaries Messrs Rev. Watson and Handt from Paramamatta [sic] to Wellington Valley, Noticed by the Rev. W. Watson.
[17 August 1832]
Friday 17th Augt 1832. Our Bullock Driver with the Dray left Sydney in company with James Meynard, a carrier who was conveying Goods for us to Wellington and to whom I thought it prudent to commit the charge of our Dray, as we are all entire strangers to the road, and there are constantly so many robberies being committed.
[18 August 1832]
Saturday 18th Augt Our man John started with the Cart and two horses accompanied by Br Handt. I had a little business unconcluded, so I took places for us to follow by the Coach which was to start at 4 O'Clock. At 1/4 before 4 we took an affectionate farewel [sic] of our dear and highly respected friends the Rev. Rd and Mrs Hill by whom we had been kindly entertain’d since our arrival on the first of May, and in whose family our souls had been frequently refresh’d and benefited; but the coach had started before its usual time; and left us behind we were therefore under the necessity of returning to our Xtn friends for accommodation during another night. The weather is today as well as has been for some time past extremely stormy.
[19 August 1832]
Sunday 19th Augt Arrived at Paramatta [sic] early and had the pleasure and benefit of hearing the Rev. S Marsden preach at the Church in the morning and at the Factory in the afternoon. At the latter place our minds were deeply affected in seeing so many unfortunate females many of whom were of the lowest grade and of the most abandon’d habits. And yet we could not behold their general deportment &c without breathing out aspirations of praise to our God for disposing our fellow countrymen to form an
establishment so admirably adapted to ameliorate the moral and spiritual condition of these otherwise out-casts of Society. We have spent the day at the house of the Rev. S. Marsden, where we were most kindly entertained.
[20 August 1832]
Monday 20th Sept.[sic] We commenced our journey about 9 O'Clock, the Cart which contained requisites for accommodation in the Bush and in which Br and Sister Handt and Mrs W. rode, was drawn by two horses, Spot and Joe. We had not travelled above a mile before Spot which had been placed in the shafts became very restive and would not proceed. Rev. S. Marsden's man who was with us rode back to ask his master to lend us a horse till we should overtake our Dray. The Rev. Gentleman rode up to us and advised us to place Joe in the shafts, we did so but we soon found ourselves not in the least benefitted by the change. Spot became as unruly as before and it was not without the greatest difficulty that we could proceed. The ladies dared not to ride in the Cart, but two men coming up to us with an empty Dray, accommodated them for a small renumeration. About noon we reached the station known by the name of Yorkshire Dicks. Here we found our Bullock Driver and Dray. In attempting to Yoke one of the Bullocks he made a sudden [movement] and coming down to the ground on his head with great violence broke his neck and was dead in an instant. Here we made a fire of sticks, boiled some water and took tea though it was only dinner time here, and in this manner commenced our living in the Bush. I hope and trust that none of the inconveniences or privations we may be called to endure, will in the least damp our ardour, abate our zeal to give occasion for one murmuring thought. I believe I have long since counted the cost and surely I shall suffer a diminution of faith at the commencement of the campaign. O may the love of Christ constrain, the Grace of God inspire, and the example of that noble champion of the Cross, St Paul stimulate us all to self denial, to personal holiness and to increased energy in the work to which I trust we have been Divinely called. At 8 O'Clock this evening we reached the Station denominated the
Shoemakers. Here Br Handt found that his carpet bag had slipped out of the Cart, several of us went some miles back on the road, but did not succeed in finding it. I took up my Bible this evening in order to read a portion of it, and open’d unintentionally at the 107th Psalm which I took for our meditation, and all who know that beautiful portion of Scripture and consider our present circumstances will allow that scarcely a more inappropriate one could have been selected. We have thus commenced having family worship in the Bush and through Divine assistance I purpose its continuance during the whole of the journey. May the God of all grace make it a means of strengthening and refreshing our own minds and may it prove to the spiritual and eternal interests of those who travel with us.
[21 August 1832]
Tuesday 21st I sat up last night to watch as the road is so much infested with Bush rangers. James Meynard succeeded this morning in finding Br H's Carpet Bag in the possession of an officer of police who had pick’d it up last night on the road. We started about 9 O'clock this morning, which is very fine, and in a Punt crossed the Nepean or Emu ford very well with the assistance of Meynard, for our Bullock driver is not accustom’d to the road and the Bullocks are extremely bad ones. About one O'Clock we arrived at the foot of Lapstone Hill, the first of the Blue Mountains, and as it required a good pull to get up and our Bullocks were tired we agreed to rest here, erect our tent and take up our abode for the night. I have now laid aside every part of my usual clothes, and taken in their stead what I think is more becoming of my present circumstance, viz a suit of Barragon, a pair of strong Boots, a Straw hat and a Black stock, or Cravat. My Coat pockets are furnished with Twine, nails, a Gimblet, a Broadawl, a hammer and Tommahawk. And it is surprising how useful we have already found these articles, as our harness &c being all new is occasionally found to be too short or breaks, and as I am sometimes with the Dray and sometimes with the cart, my pockets seem to afford the most eligible situation for these requisites. Some persons say it is degrading to my official character as a clergyman, they being in the same office, to put my shoulder to the wheel
or to be seen thus equipped. It may be so, but not in my view of the peculiar circumstances and situation of a Missionary to barbarous tribes. After our arrival at this place a man with a Team of Bullocks came up to us. He prophecied [sic] that our Bullocks would never draw up the Dray, but he would assist us for 12/-. The Carrier who was travelling with us seemed to insinuate the same, however I was determined to try and so let the man seek out a readier customer.
[22 August 1832]
Wednesday 22nd Started at 9 O'Clock and succeeded much better than had been anticipated, though we had considerable trouble with Spot. A party of 16 or 18 of the Iron Gang (men who work on the roads in irons) passed us today escorted by a detachment of the Military. It is indeed exceedingly affecting to see rational immortal creatures under the necessity of being chain’d like the wild beast of the forest. Alas are these the descendants of those who were made in the image of God. O Sin, Sin, what hast thou done! I distributed Tracts among them and gave a small quantity of tobacco to each for which they appeared thankful. Having learnt while in Sydney that we should have to pass thousands of these degraded characters on the road I procured two thousand Tracts and purchas’d some tobacco to distribute among them. We arrived at a resting place near the Woolpack Inn about 3 O'Clock and having travelled about 12 miles today we halted for the night. As the weather was unfavourable we thought the ladies had better sleep at the Inn, and so it is, we have all supped there.
[23 August 1832]
Thursday 23rd I watched during the last night. We breakfasted at the Woolback where we learnt that the post-man had been robbed of the mail and most of his clothes, on his way from Bathurst to Sydney. We had a very great deal of trouble with the horses today. Spot would not draw except by sudden jerks; she broke both the Traces, and we spent hours in vainly attempting to make her do better. At last I was under the necessity of speeding after the Drays, which are now a considerable distance in advance, in order to bring back some Bullocks. We turned out the mare and yoked a couple of Bullocks and then were able to proceed.
The ladies could not ride in the cart, but two men with a Dray coming up accommodated them. On the Dray were two female assigned, servants, prisoners who were on their way to situation in the neighbourhood of Bathurst, and their loose and abusive conversation more than overbalanced the advantage which Mrs W and Mrs Handt derived from not having to walk.
We rest this evening in the "Twenty mile hollow" where we have a very scanty supply of water, and that exceedingly thick and muddy; some in the company feel this circumstance as we only have two meals per diem, before we start in the morning and after we have arrived at the place we intend to stop in the evening. I had a long conversation on the subject of religion with the two assigned female servants this evening. They are professedly Roman Catholics. One of them was for a long time during her early years in the house and under the pious instructions of the celebrated Mrs Fry , whose name and worth are well known in the religious and philanthropic world. At the age of eleven she was removed from that Bethesda by her Roman Catholic friends in order that she might be instructed in accordance with their Tenets. She says had she remained with Mrs F she should not have become a slave to those habits and vices which have disgraced her character. She says Mrs F. visited her in prison and would have endeavoured to have got her sentence altered, but having too much reason to believe that under such circumstances she would return to her old habits and associates it was thought by being removed out of the country she might be reclaimed to the path of virtue. Though much degraded I hope she is not lost to moral feeling, for she wept exceedingly while I was speaking on the subject of religion.
[24 August 1832]
Friday 24th. All our Bullocks as well as the Horses were missing this morning, but were found by 10 O'Clock when we commenc’d another day's journey. We passed Pulpit Hill, a rock resembling in a very striking manner a Pulpit and a Reading Desk. Not far from this hill we took up our resting place for the night. The afternoon and evening have been very stormy, a great fall of snow has made it very difficult to make a fire, and rendered it impossible to erect the tent. We have been under the necessity of leaving two Bullocks behind
us today. They were so weak and tired they could not keep up with the Drays.
[25 August 1832]
Saturday 25th I watched during the night as usual; it was very snowy all the time. We have had a very rough journey today. We had to come down the “Big Hill” which descends with an inclination of fifteen degrees. It is rocky and very much broken. On the left hand is a high rock, on the right a tremendously deep gully. Before we dared attempt to descend we were under the necessity of felling trees to fasten behind the Dray as well as of chaining up one of the wheels. One Dray in company with us was thrown over and everything in it thrown to the ground. Our Cart and Meynard's Dray got down very but the Bullock which we had in the shaft for our Dray fell down three different times, and it was with great difficulty that we got him up alive the last time. It was now dark; the place where the Dray was remaining a very dangerous one surrounded by the haunts of Bush Rangers. Nothing was to be done but that some of us should abide by the Dray which was now three quarters of a mile at least behind the cart and the other Dray. I therefore took my fowling piece, an old sword and a Bugle Horn and with two servants made a large fire by the Dray and determined to remain there all night. Two private soldiers and a Corporal, belonging to a Detachment which is employ’d in this immediate neighbourhood for the purpose of securing Bush Rangers, came up and continued a short time with us. The night is exceedingly dark and the roads wet and slippery. In passing from where the Cart and the others Drays are to our Dray I have been sometimes up to my knees in mire.
[26 August 1832]
Sunday 26th Four of our Bullocks are gone into the Bush and cannot be found. As our Dray was placed in so very awkward a situation, I engaged a man with a Team of Bullocks to bring it down, which proved very well as several Drays have come down this evening. We had service in the tent tonight. This has been a very gloomy day to our souls.
[27 August 1832]
Monday 27th The men belonging to the other Drays attended family worship with us this morning. None of the Bullocks found today. A Dray was robbed last night as it was coming down the Big Hill.
[28 August 1832]
Tuesday 28th None of our Bullocks found this morning, however by the help of Meynard's we proceeded on to Collet's Inn where we arrived about 5 O'Clock and erected our Tent nearly opposite to the Inn. We had family worship in Mr Collet's house and had a good assembly. I expounded the 55th Chapt. Isaiah and felt much refreshed.
[29 August 1832]
Wednesday 29th Our Bullocks not being found, John went off early to Mr Smith's, the overseer of the Rev. T. Hassal to accommodate us with the loan of 4 or 6 Bullocks. Mr Smith passed us a few days ago and promised to send us two down to assist us. We were visited today by a Black Native, his wife and a young child at the breast. I asked them to give me the child; the woman seemed to feel all the mother kindling up in her bosom at the question, and clasping the infant to her breast "Bayal Bayal (no no) why me give Piccaninny?" The man had a brass plate on which was his name engraved, as also the title King of Zion (or Lapstom Hill). His title did not fail to affect my mind in a particular manner. O that he was acquainted with the King of Zion and a faithful subject of his Spiritual Kingdom. I thought of Abraham's meeting a stranger, a royal stranger in the person of Melchisaduk, King of Salem (or Zion). I could not help but feel deeply affected while I stood and viewed his noble figure and intelligent countenance, to think that he should live and die ignorant of his Maker and of his Redeemer. I spoke to him about God as the Maker of all things, and respecting what would become of Black Fellow at death. He seemed to have no idea of a Supreme Being or of a future state of existence. It is very much the custom on these roads for persons in the neighbourhood to drive away Bullocks into some deep gully or thick Bush where the owners cannot find
them, and then go to the owners declaring their perfect knowledge of the Run (that is the Bush) and offering for a reward to seek them. It is the general opinion that ours have been "planted", and though I had an abhorrence of countenancing this system my circumstances seemed to leave me no alternative. I therefore offered two dollars to a person if he should find them.
[30 August 1832]
Thursday 30th As our Bullocks had now been lost five days and could not be found, though several men have been seeking them all the time, I have been induced to purchase four fresh ones. The rain fell heavily last night and most of this day which has made travelling on these roads both unpleasant and unsafe. This has been indeed an exceedingly toilsome and fatiguing day. I was drench’d in rain all the journey and we had to pass over some very rugged road, and through swamps and creeks so difficult that the Bullocks could scarcely draw out one Dray. Three Drays have been overturn’d today near to u but through the goodness of God no accident hath happened to us, we have abundant reason to be thankful, for the Drays were often up to the axle tree in a swamp or bog and we ourselves above the knees in trying to get them out. Mr Smith's man came this evening with the two Bullocks which he was so kind as to promise us, so gracious is our heavenly Father and so kind to raise us up friends in our difficulties. John arrived soon afterwards with four more, so that with the Divine blessing I hope we shall now succeed better than we have hitherto done. My poor Black boy is very ill and has been getting worse I apprehend since we left Sydney. I was exceedingly pained tonight because one of the party, whose sympathies ought to have been exercised on the occasion, chose to sleep in the cart and would not allow the poor creature to remain in it so he was under the necessity of sleeping on the cold damp ground. We stopt tonight at the station called the "Ten mile flat".
[31 August 1832]
Friday 31st The road very heavy and rugged, a team was thrown over just before us at Monathon’s Downfall. When we had proceeded about four miles our Carrier's Bullocks
were knocked up, so that though we could have travelled much farther we stopt about a mile beyond Monathon’s downfall.
[1 September 1832]
Saturday Sept. 1st A very heavy fall of rain last night and this morning. I had almost ever since we commenced our journey advised the Bullocks being watched but could not prevail, however tonight it was agreed on all hands that they should be watched. The men agreed among themselves to divide the night into three watches, so taking a loaded fowling piece, for we are surrounded here on all hands by Road parties and Iron gangs, they made a fire for their comfort for it is extremely cold.
[2 September 1832]
Sunday 2nd Sept. This morning being exceedingly fine, all the Bullocks at hand and having lost so much time already I was prompted on all sides (except by Mrs W) to proceed, and I must confess that I felt these circumstances operating as arguments and was almost tempted to yield. However the apostles' declaration "what is not of faith is sin" came to my mind and it set the question at rest with me immediately. I determined to rest on the sabbath according to the scriptures. On Br Handt refusing to officiate, I preached in the tent to all our company in the forenoon from 1 Tim 1.15. This is a faithful saying. After dinner I proposed to a young man, clerk to Mr Thos Marsden, who was travelling with us that he and myself should go and look out some of the thousands of poor prisoners that are in this neighbourhood. He was agreeable and having furnished ourselves with a couple of good substantial walking sticks, a little small quantity of tobacco, a few Testaments and a good number of Tracts we commenced our journey about half past one O'Clock. At the distance
People in WellPro Directory: Watson, Mrs
of a few miles we found the hut of the General Superintendent of the Road gangs. I told him my errand and he immediately offered to accompany us to a camp of prisoners about two miles distant. I preached in the open air to a large company from 15th Luke 10th There is joy &c  Some were deeply affected and shed copious showers of tears; others appear’d as unmoved as walls of solid Brass. Their appearance was truly affecting, ragged and wretched and miserable in the extreme. I distributed among them the Tobacco, Tracts and Testaments which I had brought for that purpose. It is truly a most lamentable fact that there are many thousands of prisoners engaged on the roads who scarcely ever see a copy of the Scriptures or any other religious book, punishment adapted only to savage tribes. When will they adopt measures calculated to correct, reform and elevate the morals of prisoners? My soul has often sank within me at the very many thousands of British prisoners, British subjects in this colony, that never hear a Sermon, have never any means of instruction. We arrived at our camp about 6 O'Clock and spent the evening in singing, reading and prayer.
[3 September 1832]
Monday 3rd Sept. The night has been dark and exceedingly stormy, we had great apprehension that our Tent would be blown over. We commenced our day's journey about 9 O'Clock amidst torrents of rain which continued till two O'Clock. We had very bad road today, so exceedingly swampy; we had 15 Bullocks to the Dray sometimes, and even then could scarcely draw it out. Once today we had 17 Bullocks yoked and 7 men engaged, and it was till we had laboured up to our knees in mire and water for nearly three hours that we succeeded in getting it out. Our Bullocks being tired and night coming on, though we had travelled only 7
miles we rested at a place called "Sod Wall Hut" where we have plenty of good water and fine pasturage. The night is very stormy, but our Tent being secured it affords us a hiding place from the wind and a covert from the Tempest, and reminds us of that divinely appointed mediator who is such a place of security from the Temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. Today I had a providential escape. I was standing doing something with my back towards one of the Bullocks that is very wild. I had no thoughts of his naughty tricks when he just took me up between his horns and gave me a turn over. All the men said it was all over with me and Mrs W almost fainted from fear, however I sustained no injury. May I by grace, improve this circumstance.
[4 September 1832]
Tuesday 4th Sept. A most delightful morning, but four of Meynard's Bullocks being absent we cannot proceed. Billy is very ill today. He has eaten very little lately, he often speaks about fresh meat. Today we shot a Kangaroo rat, a duck and a crane. The first fell to Billy's lot and exceedingly glad he was. The second was to be eaten in common but it was soon found that Roasted Duck in the Bush is not like Roasted Duck at home, and after the ladies had exercised their skill in cooking, I heard them still complain that it was very dry.
[5 September 1832]
Wednesday 5th Five Black Natives and three of their wives came up this morning when we were at breakfast. One of them had his face daubed all over with pipe clay, which I am informed is the custom when they have a corrobbera [sic] or native dance. They had with them a number of kangaroo dogs nearly starved to death. We asked them to accompany us to Wellington, they said Wellington Black fellow "no good" they would Kill them we had better sit down there. Mrs W gave them some buiscuit [sic] and Tea, but we could not persuade them to give any to their wives, who were at some distance by themselves, not being allow’d to come near us. I ask'd them who made all the things which we saw around us. They said that they could not tell. I ask'd what would become of them when they died; they appeared thoughtful and made no answer. On the same question being put a second time they said they did not know, nothing they believed. If such lamentable ignorance
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of eternal things as this will not awaken Christian sympathy and excite to Christian energy I cannot tell what will. This day has been spent in fruitless seeking for Meynard's Bullocks. A short time ago some Bullocks were lost here, and the Dray to which they belonged was detained 9 days on that account, and they were ultimately found at a distance of 30 miles from the place where they had been unyoked. 5 more teams have passed us tonight, they are going to stop at a short distance from us. Some of the men are acquainted with Meynard who says they know every foot of the Bush for many miles round, they have engaged to find Meynard's Bullocks for 2 dollars. Poor Billy very sick and ill today. I said to him this evening, Billy you are very ill you had better go to bed. He replied "no prayer tonight Massa?" and I could not persuade him to go to bed before we had family prayers.
[6 September 1832]
Thursday 6th Meynard's Bullocks not found and the men engaged to find them have lost their own. Our horses also strayed away in the night and have not been seen. Every person with whom we speak on the subject says there never was known such a year for losing Bullocks as the present. A Black Snake 7 foot long was killed by our men today.
[7 September 1832]
Friday 7th Our horses found this morning, but not Meynard's Bullocks. A Mr Lane, of whom I had never before heard, who lives about 8 miles distant from this place sent his Stock man over to assist us in seeking our Bullocks with express orders not to return till they were found, he was also to press us very much to call at his master's where we should find a hearty welcome. Thus has our heavenly Father raised us up friends in the wilderness. 12 or 14 government prisoners in the custody of a constable called at our camp this morning on their way to Bathurst to different masters to whom they had been assigned. I gave them
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about forty Tracts and a small quantity of tobacco. My heart was melted with the gratitude some of them expressed and the manner in which they conversed on the subject of religion. I know that some people are ready to remark "These fellows can say anything", perhaps they may, but we would hope though there is much base coin that there is also some good. These men's testimony tend to corroborate all that I have heard on the subject, namely, that there is not a religious book of any kind to be found among the many thousands of prisoners on the roads. Poor Billy spoke in so simple and so feeling a manner respecting religion that I could scarcely refrain from tears. He said he should like to go to heaven. He is very low and his cough is violent. He often says, turning up his shirt, look at my poor legs and arms, how small they are.
[8 September 1832]
Saturday 8th None of Meynard's Bullocks found today. A man belonging to a Dray about half a mile distant has lost his Bullocks for sometime. Billy very poorly but he relis’ed a crane very much which was shot for him today. John rode over to Mr Lane's this evening for some flour which he brought, as also a cake which was very acceptable especially to the ladies.
[9 September 1832]
Sunday 9th I felt very much undecided this morning whether to yoke up and go to Mr Lane's and there preach to the people or remain where we are. My unwillingness to travel on a Sunday, as well as my desire not to leave my goods on Meynard's Dray behind me induced me to remain. I had a long and I hope not an unprofitable conversation with our men this morning, in which I endeavoured to lay before them the deep declension and degeneracy of man by nature his ruinous state and his helpless condition the suitability of the salvation provided to man's condition the notion of Xtn experience, the assurance of believers and the advantage as well as pleasantness of a life devoted to God and religion. Some of them were much affected. O that these expressions may not be
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transient as the morning cloud &c. Br H addressed us this evening from Hebrews 3.1. Consider the apostle and High Priest &c.
[10 September 1832]
Monday Sept. 10th Meynards Bullocks not found, however we yoked and having passed through some deep gullies and marshes we arrived at Red Bank near to the Fish River, about 4 miles from Mr Lane's. Our Bullocks that were yoked in the Cart were so awkward today that one of the shafts was broken, we were however able to repair it in such a manner as to proceed on the journey. We left the camp about 4 or 5 O'Clock and proceeded through the Bush towards Mr Lane's. When we came in sight of the house Stockyard &c everything had so much of English about it that, our feelings mingled as they were, it is impossible to describe. This fond remembrance of our native country, of homely and early scenes was kindled at the view. Mr Lane and children, meeting us in the yard to give us a kindly welcome, heightened up the scene. A good fire, a comfortable cup of tea (pleasanter [sic] than drinking out of tins in the Bush) and Xn conversation put new life and vigour into us, or brightened up the languid flame, and made us forget the inconveniences of the journey. Mr Lane is from Devonshire. There he officiated among the Wesleyans as a lay preacher, he is a man of talent and possesses a good share of general information. Mrs Lane appears to be very pious, as also Mrs Davey, a maiden lady who accompanied them from England and has resided with them ever since their arrival. As Br H declined taking the service, for as an elder Br in the ministry I invariably feel it my duty to submit to him on such occasions, I took it and expounded the 46th Psalm. We had several persons belonging to different Drays, as well as the servants of the family. We had some good singing and enjoyed the presence of our Divine Master. This is drinking of the brook by the way. As I did not consider it well to leave the Dray, all night after service I returned to the camp and had family worship there, leaving Mrs W. and Mr and Mrs H to enjoy the society of our
pious friends. I sent John to invite some men, who were with a Dray a short distance from us, to join us in family worship, but they refused, one of them cursed both me and my prayers. I expounded a Psalm and prayed, and it is well known to my friends that my voice is never very low in devotional exercises (this is my constitutional failing), so though they would not unite with us, unless they stopt their ears they could not fail to hear.
[11 September 1832]
Tuesday 11th Three men who it is said are well acquainted with the Bush in this neighbourhood have been out on horseback for many miles round looking for James Meynard's Bullocks, but in vain. Br H and Mr Lane came to the camp about 12 O'Clock. I returned with them about two and remained during the evening. Br Handt addressed us from 11th Matthew 28th, come unto me &c. After service I returned to the camp and had family worship, the men who refused to join us last night came tonight.
[12 September 1832]
Wednesday 12th I slept very comfortably in the Cart, last night, and rose this morning much refresh’d in body and with a disposition to send up songs of praises to my gracious God for his boundless goodness vouchsafed to me, the unworthiest and weakest of all his rational family. I went over to Mr Lane's and after prayer we took our leave of this very Kind family. They were extremely Kind to us. May the Lord grant them a sevenfold return of spiritual blessings. I gave the children a few books, and left a number of Tracts for the use of the servants. Mr Lane kindly gave us some fruit trees, nor would he receive payment for the flour which he had sent us on the preceding Saturday evening. We passed over the Fish River very well. We arrived at the Rev. Thos Hassal's Farm about 6 O'Clock. Mr and Mrs Smith welcomed us very kindly. Poor Billy exceedingly ill tonight.
[13 September 1832]
Thursday 13th As Meynard has some business to transact in Bathurst we cannot proceed on our journey before Monday.
[14 September 1832]
Friday 14th Poor Billy is much worse, he is scarcely able to walk. A Black fellow who came up gave him part of an opossum  which he relished very much.
[15 September 1832]
Saturday 15th Billy no better this morning though his blister had risen very well. I let him bleed, and such blood I never saw before. It was one coagulated solid mass throughout. He groaned heavily this morning, every person thought he was dying except myself. He revived a little towards evening and when I talked to him about God and religion he expressed himself in a very pleasing and simple manner. Among other things he said he wished to go to heaven, but not yet. He did not like to leave Mr Watson behind, he would be a long time before he came. He said he should cry if he was going to die, he did not want to leave Mrs W. "She was a goody Missis to him". He talked a good deal about Mr Hill and Mr Watson praying with him.
[16 September 1832]
Sunday 16th I preached at Mr Smith's at 12 O'Clock and at 7 in the evening. We thought most of the day that Billy was dying, but I never gave him up, against hope I believed in hope. I attempted to bleed him but could not succeed. I had applied a blister to his back. This had not taken any effect so I put another on his chest. The old man in whose hut he sleeps says that he attempted to say his prayers more than ten times during the night.
[17 September 1832]
Monday 17th As Billy is not capable of travelling I am anxious to wait to see how he will be in a day or two. Mr Smith and I rode over to Bathurst. I waited on the Commandant to whom His Excellency the Governor had been so kind as to favour me with a letter of introduction. I was very kindly received by the major who promised to do everything in his power to serve me and the cause in which I was embarked at Wellington. I also received a very cordial welcome from Rev. M. Kean, Chaplain at Bathurst. On our way home we were overtaken by a violent thunder storm attended with a very heavy shower of rain, but this is a trifle to one who is engaged to Keep the field during his natural life.
[18 September 1832]
Tuesday 18th Two of our Bullocks have been missing since Friday last, it is believed that they have been planted. Billy was rather more lively at times today, and some hopes were entertained of his recovery. He has been quite sensible and as far as he was able to articulate always expressed thanks for anything that was given to him or done for him. Mrs Smith has been exceedingly attentive to him, rendering him every comfort and assistance of which she was capable. He is much worse tonight, his throat seems to be nearly closed. I would sit up with him but this measure is opposed as there is a person sleeping in the hut with him.
[19 September 1832]
Wednesday 19th I was very much affected and shocked at 6 O'Clock this morning when I was told that Billy had died at half past 4. I sat up till near 2 and particularly requested the man to call me if he thought anything was the matter, which he promised but failed to perform. When I first saw him this morning I could scarcely believe he was dead, he lay on his right side with his hand under his head as he usually slept and his countenance was so placid and tranquil. I now felt thankful that I had babtiz’d him, especially as he deserved it. As we intended starting today I was desirous of seeing Billy decently interr’d previously to my departure. He was therefore closely folded up in a sheet of strong bark and interred in a deep grave near the bank of the Fish River close to a Black ative who had died here sometime ago. I with very great difficulty to my feelings read over him the beautiful and affecting burial service of our church. Had he been my own brother I could not have felt more anxious solicitude for his welfare. Indeed, during our journey up my heart was often much pained at the conduct manifested towards him. He was very often charged with idleness and deceit because he was unable to run about, and I was frequently told that I spoiled him with Kindness, that a horsewhip would more become him than medicine. Yet Billy bore all this with patience. I had almost said, and why shall I not say, Xtn patience, for I doubt not he is now in glory chanting Alleluias to his Redeemer.
[20 September 1832]
Thursday 20th We recommenced our journey about 10 O'Clock. Mr Smith accompanied us for about four miles on the road. We arrived at the Rev. M. Kean's, Bathurst, about 4 O'Clock where we were kindly entertained. Several Black natives were there waiting for us and had been since early in the morn. There is a great stir made among the Blacks by our arrival. I don't know what their ideas are on the subject. When we were sitting at tea one of the Blacks said Three parsons (meaning Mr K. Br H. and myself) and three misses parsons.
[21 September 1832]
Friday 21st We after much difficulty got our Bullocks yoked and commenced our journey from Bathurst towards Wellington. In crossing the river we stuck fast and it was not without some difficulty that we got out. James Meynard had gone on before us and as we were entirely ignorant of the way we endeavour’d to follow a track which we supposed was his. We passed over some bad road for about 8 miles, when we came to a wide creek, over which the cart went very well, but the Dray sunk into the mire up to the axletree, and night coming on we were under the necessity of leaving it there.
[22 September 1832]
Saturday 22nd We succeeded in getting the Dray out of the Bog, repack’d it and attempted to cross in another part pointed out to us by a Stockman who lives near, as being shallower and having a better bottom. However if it had been better for others in times past, it was not so for us today, for we had not got half way over before the Dray sunk in deeper than it had done before, and all our exertions to make the Bullocks draw it out were ineffectual. We were therefore under the necessity of unloading it and carrying the various articles in our hands nearly up to our waists in water. We were now informed that we had come a wrong road. I thought my Bullock Driver was deficient in the Knowledge of his art so I sent to Mr Smiths on Rev. T. Hassal's farm  to solicit the loan of
[a] Bullock Driver. About 5 O'Clock this evening a Seargeant of the mounted police rode up to our camp bringing a letter from Major Croker, Commandant at Bathurst, in which that officer kindly offer’d the Seargant's services in directing us in the way to Wellington and in rendering us any other assistance in his power, as he was instructed to accompany us to Summer Hill where he was to be relieved by one of the detachment who was to proceed with us. But as I expected Mr Smith would send me a Bullock Driver who knows something of the road, I politely and gratefully declined accepting the offer. I had another reason for not accepting the services of the Seargeant. Our stock of provisions is very small, most of them are on Meynard's Dray which has gone forward and now it is very questionable whether we shall overtake him before we arrive at Wellington. Several men belonging to different Drays came to the camp tonight, among were those who had been up to Wellington with the Dray load of goods for us. They gave a most appalling account of the road we had still to travel. Here for the first time my heart seemed to sink within me at the representation given, they said we should have to travel over a swamp ten miles across where the Drays would be up to the axletree all the way, and that in one place we should see nothing but broken wheels and shafts &c &c belonging to Drays that had been broken to pieces. But I thank God this despondency was transient. My courage sprung up and I said, well, if it be even worse than has been represented we must try it. Others have travelled it and we have the Lord on our side, what shall we fear. We have been inform’d tonight that Meynard broke his axletree and was under the necessity of returning to Bathurst to have it repaired.
[23 September 1832]
Sunday 23rd We rested today in the same place. Br H. performed divine service. We were well supplied with milk today from a station belonging to Colonel Stewart. This evening old Smith, the Bullock Driver belonging to the estate of the Rev. Thos Hassal, came according to my request.
[24 September 1832]
Monday 24th. A very pleasant morning. We began to pack the Dray again and apprehending that as we had lost our two leading Bullocks, we should experience much difficulty
in travelling, so I sent a man off with a letter to the Commandant requesting the loan of two Government leaders which he was so kind as to send off immediately. During the man's absence we got yoked and attempted to cross the creek in another part, there we fell into the same situation that we had been in twice before and we could not by any means get the Dray over. This was the fault of our own men, for we had waded the creek in several places the other night and set up a way mark where it was fordable; but the men unwilling to go so far attempted to cross here and were unable. The Dray was drawn back on the same side and proceeded to the place where the way marks were. Having experienced so many disappointments, no sooner were the wheels descending into the river than an involuntary ejaculation for divine help burst through my lips and that help was not denied for the Bullocks and the Dray went over without the least apparent difficulty. I went on very slowly behind the cavalcade blowing my bugle, that the man who had gone to Bathurst might be directed by its sound to where we were and not go round to the place where he had left us encamped. The man heard it at two miles distant according to his own account and crossed over, thereby saving himself the time as well as the thought of going several miles. There is scarcely an article I brought out with me that has been of more use than my old bugle. When the men have been out in different directions seeking the horses or the Bullocks, when one of them had succeeded the others were brought home by the sound of the bugle. A man who came up to us this morning directed us into a nearer and better road than that by which Meynard had gone, by which we also avoided that very bad swamp where he broke his axletree. It appears that we had gone ten miles out of our road. Br and Sister Handt and Mrs W all poorly today. "Disappointments sink the heart of man but the renewal of hope gives
People in WellPro Directory: Handt, Mary (nee Crook)
consolation". Mr Charles Booth, who lives ten miles farther on the road passed us tonight on his way home.
[25 September 1832]
Tuesday 25th. This morning our horses had all made their exit into the deep Bush or elsewhere, for though one or two of them were tethered, they had broken loose and could not be found. We thought they had followed Mr Booth's horse. At half past two the men returned without having found them, but some of them said they had tracked them a good way down the road which Mr Booth went. We had for some time yoked Joe in the shafts of the cart and two leading Bullocks before him. We were now under the necessity of trying a strange one in the shafts. The one which we thought most likely, after he was harnessed lay down and all the means we could use for a long time did not make him stir; but as soon as he was unharnessed he jumped up and ran away with the greatest possible speed. We attempted to yoke another, he play'd the same trick, however we ultimately succeeded and left the place of our encampment about two O'Clock. We were all walking this afternoon and got completely drenched by a heavy fall of rain. We left John behind to look for the horses, but he came to the camp tonight without having found them. He would not have returned but he did not possess any facilities for procuring a light to make a fire to sleep by in the Bush. The place where we rest tonight is a very pleasant one and we are favoured with a fine spring of water. We passed over very rugged road today but nothing has happened to us, so gracious is the Lord toward us.
[26 September 1832]
Wednesday 26th John went off between 5 and 6 O'Clock in the morning to ascertain whether the horses had wandered in the direction that Mr Chas Booth had gone. Most of us went out in different directions to endeavour to find the Bullocks which were all missing this morning. I travelled 5 or 6 miles through the Bush fancying the footsteps of Bullocks which I was following up were from their track. But not finding them I thought these must be the marks of others, so I endeavoured to find my way back by the course of the sun. However the
People in WellPro Directory: Booth, Charles
sound of the bugle which someone at the camp was blowing set me right and directed me for what particular point to aim. The Bullocks had been found and the company were afraid that I was lost in the Bush. John returned without the horses, having walked 14 or 16 miles. He took a small quantity of provisions with him and went back into the Bush to seek them. We started about 12 O'Clock. Mr Williams, the overseer of Mr Lane's estate at Summer Hill came up this morning and informed us that his master and mistress desired them to render us all the services in his power. He told us that the place where we had rested the last night was a very dangerous one for bushrangers. I left between 30 and 40 tracts with Mr Booth. The Black natives destroy'd more than 30 head of cattle belonging to Mr B. four years ago and long sought to kill him.
[27 September 1832]
Thursday 27th We have had a very severe frost during the night, everything was white as snow. Having as usual committed ourselves to the divine guidance and protection, we started about 9 O'Clock. The Dray which broke down a tall gum tree which fell between the driver and the Bullocks but providentially did no harm, only startled the Bullocks which soon recovered from their fright. We passed over, or rather through the swamp five miles across and which it was told us we should never manage. Indeed all this day's journey has lain through swamps, gullies and creeks. Many times we had fearful apprehensions that the Dray would be overturned. But the Lord being our helper we done [sic] very well, we who travelled on foot suffering nothing more than (what has become common to us now) being up to the knees and sometimes higher in water or in mire. Sometimes two thirds of the wheels were in the water, but our Bullocks have drawn very well. We arrived at Summer Hill about 1/2 past 3 P.M. Two privates of the 17th Regt of foot are station’d here, to one of which I had a letter from the Commandant at Bathurst, requesting him to assist us in anything that we might want. They were very Kind and attentive. The Rev Mr Thom (once a Wesleyan Minister I am informed) and Mrs Thom sent their Xtn regards to us, requesting us to rest at
their house, 3 or 4 miles in the Bush from this place, if convenient. Mrs Thom sent the Ladies a very good cake, which to those who had been living on biscuit during the journey was very acceptable.
[28 September 1832]
Friday 28th. We have had another very severe frost this last night. The soldiers attended family worship last night and this morning. I gave them some Tracts. Mr Williams brought us some hung beef and some vegetables this morning. We arrived at Kangaroo Bay about 3 O'Clock with abundant reasons to thank our God for the assistance and protection afforded to us this day. We had some very rugged road and some very severe pinches but through Divine help we came through all very well. When we had got about half way through our journey today we found a tree on the right hand side of the road with Mrs W.['s] Maiden name cut out in Capital Letters at full length. This appeared a rather remarkable circumstance so far in the Bush.
[29 September 1832]
Saturday 29th A delightful morning. All hands up by 5 O'Clock, breakfasted, had prayers, and then started about 8. Lilly the Shaft Bullock in the Dray fell down or laid himself down when we had travell’d about 4 miles this morning, and it was with great difficulty that we got him up again. We tried him again, and he travell’d about 2 miles farther, but when going a steep hill he fell down again and the shafts upon him so that we were under the necessity of cutting the harness in order to let him out, for we had some fears that he was dead, however having got him up he was able to travel alone, that is unharnessed. As I pass'd by a Station today, an Overseer told me that we were going to Wellington on a very needless errand, for the Blacks would
only laugh at us. I made answer to him. Is that any new thing? Is it strange to find persons dispos’d to laugh at religion and sacred things? Are there not many persons in England and many white persons in this country who have been babtiz’d into the name and faith of Xt that laugh at religion? Did you never laugh at the things that belong to your soul's eternal welfare? The man said no more. I thank God that he does not permit my courage to fail notwithstanding all that men say against the policy of this measure or respecting the entire fruitlessness of all our endeavours. May it please the Divine Being to bless us with faith, zeal, patience, perseverance, constancy, an abiding sense of his sacred presence and every qualification necessary for our arduous undertaking. "Who art thou O great Mountain, before Zerubabel thou shalt become a plain". We arrived at Molong, near to a station belonging to the Rev. S. Marsden about 4 O'Clock, having travelled 14 miles today. John arrived at the camp about 1/2 past seven O'Clock, having found the horses 28 miles from the place where they had been tethered. John reports that he came up to a camp of about 100 Black Natives who are going to war with a neighbouring tribe. Blessed be God he brought us thus far on our journey in health and peace. Not a bone of us has been broken no injury has been sustained worthy of record, either in our persons or property. We may gratefully [p]raise our Ebenezer, and from our hearts exclaim hitherto hath the Lord helped us.
[30 September 1832]
Sunday 30th Sept. Meynard the Carrier sent Thommy Raine (a Black Native) King of Bogin from Lauries Lake 8 miles distant to say that he had been waiting for us
4 days. We were very glad to have come so near to him as our stock of Tea and sugar was exhausted and the men complai’d much though we had sacrificed our own comfort to supply their wants. Tea and sugar are principal requisites in the Bush. We therefore yoked and travelled through a very heavy rain, till we came to Lauries Lake. King Bogin's gin (wife) and three children Peter, Lumby and Maria joined us on the road. When we arrived at Lauries Lake and had got a fire several Blacks came up, among whom was one who is generally called "Sandy". He has been very much at Wellington and appears to be the most intelligent of any we have yet seen. They had been told that we were coming up with Blankets for all Black fellows, and they have been anxiously waiting and looking out for us a long time, continually enquiring "When Misshinir come up" "When cobohn Wheelbarrow come up" (great Dray). The agents of Satan had been preaching to them long before we had opportunity, telling them that Missionaries would make Black fellow work very hard and put all the "Pikinnies" in jail. They were rather shy but the hope of receiving Blankets overcame their fear. They soon cut down for us a large quantity of bark on which to lay our beds, for the rain was continuing and the ground exceedingly wet. They cut notches in the tree, in which they placed their great toes and ran up like cats. They also fetched us a supply of water. We gave them some meat and bread and tea and a few pipes, but they would not allow the gins, wives, to come near to us, nor would they give them anything to eat themselves. The married men left us about 7 O'Clock but the young men remained by us. When we knelt down to prayers they appear’d to be at a loss what to think or how to act, however they all sat still cross legged, and their hands clasped. After prayers
we sang O'er the gloomy hills of darkness &c (set to the tune "Calcutta") come let us join our cheerful songs &c and There is a land of pure delight &c. The singing of the females seem'd to delight them much. I asked them where Black Fellow would go to when he should die? Sandy answered up there I believe pointing to the skies. I asked him who sits down there? He said Cobohn (great) King. Budjeree (good) fellows go there I believe. Sandy begged John to tell me to give Blankets out tonight. I told them that all the Blankets were at Wellington. A Black native boy about 7 years of age which we have brought with us from the Rev. T. Hassal's farm (Dickey) is quite at home with them. They all lay round the fire on the ground as happy as possible to all appearance. They say they will go to Wellington with us.
[1 October 1832]
Monday Octr 1st All the cavalcade moved forward at 1/2 past 9 O'Clock. Two Drays, One Cart, 3 Horses, 8 White persons, 7 Black native men besides women and children. The men had each of them 2 or more spears 12 or 14 foot long 3 or 4 Womeras in their Belt and a shield, and a Nella Nella or club stick with a large head at the end. We passed over the rivers very well though they were deep and are often impassable, we were not able to go above 4 miles farther, the rugged road has knocked up all the Bullocks. We rested on very marshy ground to night, but we were induced to do so, on account of our Bullocks being tired, and there being good water in that place.
[2 October 1832]
Tuesday 2nd It has been very rainy all the night and all this morning, we travelled through torrents of it, and had an exceedingly uncomfortable journey, it was with great difficulty
People in WellPro Directory: Hassall, Reverend Thomas
that the Bullocks kept their feet the road is so very slippery. We rested at Rebecca's Swamp tonight, and made a very large fire for our Tent was very wet, as well as everything about us. Mrs W persuaded two of the Black natives to bring up their wives to get some victuals they came up and I can scarcely ever forget the astonishment they manifested at the dress of the ladies. They pointed at them and laughed and chattered away surprisingly. And they seemed to be much alarmed at my watch. Mrs W. gave her the lining of an old bonnet and she was as proud of it as ever a Monarch was of his royal Diadem. Sandy told me tonight that Peter is not King Bogin's child, nor has he the care of him, but he is his (Sandy's) nephew, and under his care, and he has given him to me.
[3 October 1832]
Wednesday Oct. 3rd A most delightful morning, we started about 9 O'Clock. When we arrived at Newry, Rogers the Government overseer in the Stock Department was so kind as to ride with us about two miles to show us the best place for crossing the river. There are several Blacks at Newry exceedingly useful, the Overseer says that they are as useful as white men. Long before we arrived at Wellington the Blacks pointed it out to us, as well as the Government House which being situated on a hill may be seen at a great distance. We arrived at Wellington about 2 O'Clock. We found only 2 or 3 Blacks. They had been so often disappointed in reference to our coming that they had lost all confidence in reports. Agreeably with the Kind offer of His Excellency the Governor, we took possession of the Government house which is finely situated upon a hill and commmands a beautiful view for several miles round, but the view is limited by deep Bush and very high mountains all of which are grown over with trees. Br Handt has taken possession of one wing, and we of the other, the body room is large and is to be used in common, and as a church. I never anticipated having such a house as this in the Bush. I always expected to have no house but what would be raised by my own hands
Thus in 46 days we have completed our journey of about 240 miles, during the whole of which we have been favoured by our Heavenly Father with blessings innumerable. We have all of us in general enjoy’d health, and as it regards myself in particular I have abundant cause for gratitude that notwithstanding my almost constant watching by night, and my frequent exposure to taking cold from being so much in water or mire, or wet with the rain I am in the enjoyment of perfect health. I am thankful to my God that during my journey up he favoured me with so many opportunities of speaking a word for him to many who seldom or never hear his name except in the way of profaneness. But I feel, and have very great reason to feel, deeply humbled before him that on such occasions I was not more in earnest, felt more love to my Saviour, and more pity for perishing souls. Blessed Redeemer how is it that while thy love is so great to me, mine in return should be so weak so faint so cold. My soul cleareth to the dust quicken thou me O God. We cannot but express our gratitude to God for raising up to us so many kind and Xtn friends on our journey, who sought us out, as Onesithorus did the apostle Paul, that they might administer to our necessities, and by whom we were indeed much comforted and encouraged on our way. May all the blessings of the New convenant be plenteously bestowed on them and theirs.
There was one circumstance connected with our journey that will make it ever memorable to me, that was the death of Billy Black a Native Black of about 9 or 10 years of age. The first time I saw him was when the Rev. R. Hill and I were passing through the Barrack Yard in Sydney where he was playing. He was then under the care of Major McPherson of the 39th. In the month of July the Major and his Regiment embarked for India. Previously to his embarkation I received a letter from the Honourable the Colonial Secretary intimating that as the Major was about to leave the Colony he thought I had better take
the boy. Accordingly I waited on that officer and it was agreed that on his leaving Sydney the boy should be committed to my care. He informed that about 12 months before when he resided at Bathurst, the tribe to which Billy belonged came up to that place, and that after their departure he was found loitering about the premises and apparently anxious to remain . the Major took him into his family, clothed him, and kindly put him to school (where I have since been informed he was the greatest tyrant to all the other children). Afterwards when the Major came down to Sydney he brought Billy with him, and placed him at the school for the children of the military where he remained up to the time of his coming. He went on board with the soldiers when they embark’d at Sydney, and remained on board all the night which was very cold, (and I believe rainy too) . That night I believe he caught a very severe cold for on his coming to the Rev. R. Hill's who was so kind as to take him to his house, he had a violent cough which he never lost till the day of his death. When he came to us he was exceedingly filthy and dirty, though well clothed. Mrs Watson cut his hair made him wash himself well all over and as the best means of getting him clean she burnt his linen. His habits in the room where he slept were of too dirty a kind to allow of relation. On the day preceding our projected departure from Sydney, I took him with me to the Government Garden to assist me in bringing up some Medical herbs, roots &c which I had selected to take with me; but instead of his being of service to me I was often under the necessity of waiting for him, because he walked so slowly which I thought arose solely from an indolent habit. But which I now think was occasioned by a severe affection of the lungs. On the road he was not able to walk so as to Keep up with the Dray so he rode upon it. I gave him medicine and applied a blister to his chest but all my attempts to remove his complaint were ineffectual. Sometimes he appeared considerably better but he soon experienced a relapse. His
appetite in general got gradually worse, and he would often say to me look at my poor legs and arms, how small they are. But never a murmuring word escaped his lips. I'm sorry to say that he was the butt and ridicule of most of the company, notwithstanding my opposition thereto. It was repeatedly said that a horsewhip was the best medicine for him, and I was very frequently told that I petted him too much, and that even by those who ought to have had more pity, yet he made no improper reply. His remarks on the death of Xt and on Heaven were somewhat truly affecting. He remembered what Mrs Watson had said to him in Sydney when she read the Bible too him and endeavoured to explain it, and he mentioned it to me more than once. Several times when I was absent from the camp when any of the carriers or stockkeepers, who had come up, swore, he told them that God would not love them if they said those bad words, but they would go to hell. One of our company told me that he was surpris’d to hear him talk about religion that he spake like an old man. On one occasion when speaking with a Black native boy that had been some time in a religious family he said you are not a Xtn I am not a Xtn I have not been babtiz’d. One Lord's day his cough was so violent that I thought it were better for him not to come into the tent during Divine Service he expectorated so much. He was sitting at some distance; but no sooner did he hear that we had commenced Service that he came into the tent and laboured by every means to suppress his cough during the whole of the time. The apparent devotion, and reverence which was evident in his saying his prayers, has often affected my mind, his uplifted hands, and eyes appeared to convey the idea that with him it was not a mere form. Whoever has seen the beautiful plate of the Young Catechist, has seen a striking representation of Billy Black at his morning and evening prayers. He was
People in WellPro Directory: Watson, Mrs
very careful of some little books given to him by the Rev R. Hill as rewards at the Sunday School, as well as of a few tickets which he got at the latter place. He always carried them wrapt up in his hat and would always have them under his head or by his pillow when he slept. He suffered a very great deal, with the greatest patience, especially during the last week of his life. When his happy spirit had left the cumbrous clod behind though I felt assured of his felicity I could not forbear weeping and sorrowing exceedingly, for I loved him as a Brother or as a Son and it was with the greatest difficult imaginable that I got through the funeral service over him. The ways of God are mysterious but I am persuaded always in wisdom and mercy. O that Billy Black may be the forerunner of very many of the Aborigines of New Holland to the realms of light.
People in WellPro Directory: Hill, Reverend Richard
[Note] Rev W. Watson’s Journal, Aug 17th to Oct. 3/32