Several of the settlers having last year had occasion, from the failure of the preceding crop, to borrow seed for sowing their ground again with wheat, an order was issued on the 21st, reminding those settlers who had received this assistance from government, that it was expected they would, out of their first crops, pay this debt, and take up the receipts which they had given. That if any evasion should be attempted, or any delay made in the payment, such steps as the law pointed out would be taken against them, and the defaulters marked as undeserving of the aid of government on any future occasion; and, what was calculated to meet a trick which some of them had played, they were finally informed, that if any among them, in contemplation of getting rid of the debt, had sold their farms since receiving the grain from government, the land would still be considered as the debtor, and the purchaser responsible for the payment.
The savage inhabitants of the country, instead of losing any part of their native ferocity of manners by an intercourse with the Europeans among whom they dwelt, seemed rather to delight in exhibiting themselves as monsters of the greatest cruelty, devoid of reason, and guided solely by the impulse of the worst passions.
Toward the latter end of the month, the governor received information, that a little native girl, between six and seven years of age, who for some time had lived at the governor’s house, had been most inhumanly murdered by two of her savage countrymen. The father and mother of this child belonged to a party of natives who had committed so many depredations upon the settlers at the Hawkesbury, attended with such acts of cruelty as to render them extremely formidable: insomuch that it became necessary to send an armed party in pursuit of them. They were soon found, and, being fired upon, the father and mother of this little female were among those who fell. She was with them at the time, and readily accompanied our people to the settlement, where she was received; and, being a well disposed child, soon became a great favourite with her protectors. This, and her being a native of the country near Broken Bay, excited the jealousy of some of the natives who lived at and about Sydney, which manifested itself in their putting her to death in the most cruel manner. The body was found in the woods near the governor’s house, speared in several places, and with both the arms cut off; whence it was brought in and buried.
No other conjecture could be formed of this atrocious act than what has been already mentioned. As she belonged to a tribe of natives that was hostile to the Sydney people, they could not admit of her partaking in those pleasures and comforts which they derived from their residence among the colonists, and therefore inhumanly put her out of the way. The governor was very much incensed at this proceeding; and, could he have found the offenders, would have most severely punished them; but they had immediately withdrawn into the woods.