A person, who absconding from his work had been ordered to labour a certain time in irons, having wrought upon the feelings of one of the magistrates to permit his working without them, and having given strong assurance of future diligence, was no sooner freed from his incumbrances than he took to the woods again. The frequent and unrestrained passing and repassing of idle and disorderly people from one part of the colony to another, and the mischievous correspondence which was kept up by such means, was productive of great evil. To check this as much as possible, all persons, the officers excepted, who were travelling from one district of the settlement to another, were required to furnish themselves with a passport, which, on a proper application, they would obtain without any difficulty. This was to be shown to and inspected by the constables in each district; and if found without it they were to be imprisoned during a month for the first offence, and otherwise punished if it was repeated. But the best local arrangements were set at defiance by those hardened vagabonds, who seemed daily to increase in number and in infamy.
While the governor was endeavouring to guard against the injuries that might be done by these people, the settlers found themselves obliged to assemble for the purpose of repelling the attacks made upon them by the natives. The people at the northern farms had been repeatedly plundered of their provisions and clothing by a large body of savages, who had also recently killed a man and a woman. Exasperated at such cruel and wanton conduct, they armed themselves, and, after pursuing them a whole night, at sun-rise in the morning came up with a party of more than a hundred, who fled immediately on discovering that their pursuers were armed, leaving behind them a quantity of Indian corn, some musket balls, and other things of which the soldiers had been plundered. They continued to follow, and traced them as far as the outskirts of Parramatta. Being fatigued with their march, they entered the town, and in about an hour after were followed by a large body of natives, headed by Pe-mul-wy, a riotous and troublesome savage. These were known by the settlers to be the same who had so frequently annoyed them; and they intended, if possible, to seize upon Pe-mul-wy; who, in a great rage, threatened to spear the first man that dared to approach him, and actually did throw a spear at one of the soldiers. The conflict was now begun; a musket was immediately levelled at the principal, which severely wounded him. Many spears were then thrown, and one man was hit in the arm; upon which the superior effect of our fire-arms was immediately shown them, and five were instantly killed.