An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 388 pages of information about An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 2.

The history of these people might well be supposed to end here; but their restless dispositions were not calculated to remain long in peace.

It will be seen, on recurring to the transactions of the month of October last, that a boat belonging to a settler had been carried off in the night, by some people who were supposed to have taken her out to sea, where, from the weakness of the boat, they must soon have perished:  but they were now heard of again.  Owen Cavanagh, a free man, had a boat which he employed in transporting grain from the Hawkesbury to Sydney.  On the 10th of this month, he informed the governor, that, a short time before, his boat had been boarded in the night, off Mullett Island, by the very people who had stolen the one from the settler, and carried her off, with another containing fifty bushels of grain which some other person was bringing to Sydney.  One man, who had, against his wish, been concerned in the first seizure, now left them, and returned with Cavanagh; and from him the following account of their proceedings was obtained.  Having effected the capture, they proceeded to the southward, with the intention of reaching the wreck of the ship Sydney Cove.  For their guide, they had a pocket compass, of which scarcely one man of the fourteen who composed the party knew the use.  In this boat they were twice thrown on shore, and at last reached an island, where, had they not fortunately found many birds and seals, they must inevitably have perished.  From the inconceivable hardships they underwent, they would to a man have gladly returned, could they have hoped that their punishment would have been any thing short of death.  Finding it impossible for such a number of discontented beings to continue of one mind, or to be able to furnish food in their miserable situation for so many, they judged it necessary, from a motive of self-preservation, that one half should deceive the other half; and while these were asleep, those who were prepared took away the boat, leaving their seven wretched and unsuspecting companions upon the desolate island, the situation of which this man could not describe so as to enable the governor at any time to find it.  Their number now being reduced to seven, and thinking themselves in danger near this port, they had been lurking for some time about Broken Bay, with a view of capturing a better boat loaded with grain from the Hawkesbury; which they effected, first by taking the boat of Owen Cavanagh, the support of whose wife and children it had long been.  After securing him, they took possession of a smaller boat, containing upwards of fifty bushels of wheat; and, finding Cavanagh’s the largest and best of the two, they ran out about three or four leagues from the land, when they shifted their prisoners into the smaller boat, and stood off to the Northward; where it was very probable they would lose their boat, she being of such a size, that if they should get her on shore by any accident, they would not be able to launch her again, and must finally perish.

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An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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