xi. 12 September 1842
Aboriginal Mission Apsley Wellington,
New South Wales Septr12-1842.
Reverend and Dear Sir
I have repeatedly written to you since the Church Missionary Society were pleased to dissolve their connexion with me, but as yet have never been favoured with a reply. I cannot bring myself to imagine that your silence is from any disrespect. The Society may have been displeased at my retaining the Aboriginal children which during eight years I had collected and instructed in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, but be assured, dear sir, what I then did was neither out of bad feeling towards Mr Gunther or from any spirit of revenge to the Society. I knew Mr Gunther too well to consider him careful of the morals of the natives. I am well persuaded that had I in 1840 transferred the fourteen Aboriginal females which were living under my roof, to Mr Gunther’s charge, they would have been ruined before they had been there a week. The conduct of the two Aboriginal girls that he had, both from me, I think is enough to establish this fact. A Native girl who was with us three years and who, during that period, never manifested any desire to have connexion with Europeans or Native men, was decoyed away to live with Cochrane, a Native youth, at the Mission House in Febry 1841, that girl’s frequent elopements from the Mission House - her having borne an half caste child before she had been twelve months under Mr Gunther’s charge as well as other circumstances prove, as Mr Porter has so repeatedly stated, that neither Mr nor Mrs Gunther were fit for the missionary work. This is moreover corroborated by the circumstance that they are under the necessity of paying wages to Aborigines (although they have about twelve paid European servants) to induce them to remain with them. However, the object of my writing at present is to request information as to which of my communications to the Parent Committee you refer to in your letter of 26 January 1840 in which you state that you are led to infer that all have had much to suffer from me. Be assured,
my dear sir, that I have the cause of the heathen too much at heart to allow the Society’s treatment of me to [cause me to] sink into oblivion. The Society may prefer German Lutherans to English Episcopalians - and all their labourers may eventually be from Basle: Yet while other missionary societies can find a sufficiency of English candidates, it argues something faulty in the Church Missionary Society that more than half its labourers are foreigners who consider it hard that they must submit to episcopal ordination. As soon as I can leave my mission in the hands of persons who are devoted to the cause we shall proceed to England in order to plead the cause of these Aborigines - and I shall have a tale to tell.
I am my Dear Sir
Yours very affectionately
[Addressed to] Reverend William Jowett &c &c &c
[Noted] Apsley Wellington
Sept. 12/ 42
Rev. W. Watson