Macq (OUR land people stories)

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Macquarie’s diaries. The breakdown of a leader.

Text adapted from the Diaries of Macquarie

Macq’s Diary

The aborigines or native

blacks of this country

having for the last

three years manifested

a strong and sanguinary

hostile spirit in repeated

instances of murders

outrages and deprivations

of all descriptions against the

settlers and other white

inhabitants residing in the interior

Voice echoes

discontinue their hostile


and treated on all these

occasions with the greatest

kindness and forbearance

by government

and having frequently secretly

committed several cruel

and most barbarous murders

on the settlers and

their families and servants,

killed their cattle and robbed

them of their grain and

other property

to considerable amount

it becomes absolutely

necessary to put a stop to

these outrages and disturbances

and to adopt the strongest

and most coercive measures

to prevent a recurrance of them

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I therefore, though very unwillingly,

felt myself compelled from

a paramount sense of public duty

to come to the painful resolution

of chastising these hostile tribes

and to inflict terrible and

exemplary punishments upon

them without further loss of time,

as they might construe

any further forbearance or lenity

on the part of this government

into fear and cowardice

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I have this day ordered three

military detachments

to march into the interior and

remote parts of the colony

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to apprehend the natives who

have committed the late murders

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with the view of keeping

them as hostages

until the real guilty ones have

surrendered themselves

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the officers commanding the

military parties have been

authorised to fire on them to

compel them to surrender

hanging up on trees the bodies

of such natives as may be killed

on such occasions

in order to strike the greater

terror into the survivors

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of Europeans and friendly natives

ammunition, provisions etc etc

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of Windsor, Liverpool and

the cow pastures

exploring and scouring the

whole of the country

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and drive the natives from the

settlements of the white inhabitants

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executed the several parts of

their instructions entirely to my satisfaction

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having inflicted exemplary

Punishments on the

hostile natives

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to each of the three black guides

and a blanket for each of

their gins

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Breast plate with the usual

indulgences granted to free settlers