Arabanoo Was Present At The Infliction Of The Punishment;
And Was Made To Comprehend The Cause And The Necessity Of It; But He Displayed
On The Occasion Symptoms Of Disgust And Terror Only.
[*A vegetable creeper found growing on the rocks, which yields,
on infusion in hot water, a sweet astringent taste, whence it derives
To its virtues the healthy state of the soldiery and convicts
must be greatly attributed. It was drank universally.]
On the 24th instant the 'Supply' arrived from Norfolk Island,
and Lord Howe Island, bringing from the latter place three turtles.
An awful and terrible example of justice took place towards the close
of this month, which I record with regret, but which it would be disingenuous
to suppress. Six marines, the flower of our battalion, were hanged
by the public executioner, on the sentence of a criminal court,
composed entirely of their own officers, for having at various times
robbed the public stores of flour, meat, spirits, tobacco,
and many other articles.
Transactions of the Colony in April and May, 1789.
An extraordinary calamity was now observed among the natives. Repeated
accounts brought by our boats of finding bodies of the Indians in all the coves
and inlets of the harbour, caused the gentlemen of our hospital to procure
some of them for the purposes of examination and anatomy. On inspection,
it appeared that all the parties had died a natural death: pustules,
similar to those occasioned by the small pox, were thickly spread
on the bodies; but how a disease, to which our former observations had led us
to suppose them strangers, could at once have introduced itself,
and have spread so widely, seemed inexplicable.* Whatever might be the cause,
the existence of the malady could no longer be doubted.
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