Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

James Porter autobiography, between 1840-1844

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Born in the neighbourhood of London in the Year 1807– my parents moving in a respectable sphere of life – when 6 years old was transferred to the care of my Grandmother by her particular desire. Tho’ not without great reluctance on the part of my affectionate Mother, I remained happy under the care of my Grandmother (going to School regularly until I was 12 years of Age) and whose Kindness you will find in the sequel proved my ruin – but being punished by my Schoolmaster in a severe manner for another boy breaking his Spectacles I took a great dislike to him and all scholastic duties. Continually playing the truant which to my sorrow – I was not sufficiently checked by my indulgent Grandmother and my schoolmaster was too severe beating out one evil spirit and beating in two. I was at last determined to tell my Grandmother that I totally disliked my Schoolmaster and pursuaded her to let me remain at home entirely – time passed merrily on with me then – no one controuled me – playing about with neighbours childeren about my own Age I soon got initiated into vice – took french leave one night went to Drury lane Theatre – plundering my Grandmother to support my villainous extravagances which has caused many a sad and solitary hour to my doating relative and finally hurried her to her grave, this I I saw and had heart then then to sue for pardon declaring I would do so no more nor cause her any more uneasiness – had I then been separated from my acquaintances and sent to sea under good treatment – in a man o’war it would have cured all – things went on well for a short time yet I could not get the thoughts of the theartre of my head and was determined to see it again and how to obtain the means? alas a palpable falsehood – I went to my Grandmother and requested two shillings of her to buy me a new whip it was granted, I then left the house and proceeded towards the Theatre, when I fell in with two of my playfellows they informed me they had stolen a timepiece and were in the act of showing it to me in the open street when the whole of us were apprehended and I was taken to my Grandmother who swooned away, my Parents were sent for and the Gentleman would not prosecute on the account of the respectability of my parents, but

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Persuaded them to send me to sea – every thing was got ready for me that I should require on my passage from London to Gravesend, as my friends had come to a determination that I should go to my Uncle that resided there, having two Vessells of his own a Brig, and Schooner, the day arrived that I embarked, having a good fit out, and in the afternoon at 4 OClock I landed at Gravesend, my relations being there ready to receive me it was the first time I ever saw my Uncle and I do assure you I did not like his Stern features nor the reception I met with – I wish merely to give you an outline of my Uncle’s Character, he was a man inured to hardship at sea, and had lost a smart Vessell by having on board Contraband goods, but being indefatigable in his pursuit of Smuggling he proved fortunate in the long run. And at the time I went to him he was independent, but strange to say, he was so partial to the French Coast were he had accumulated so much wealth that he could not avoid acting the part, (on board his own Schooner) of a Contrabandista. This was the precise Character of the man and Uncle I had to deal with, with his bronzed features and stern Countenance he thus addressed one, well nephew (or rather land Shark) a phrase the seamen have for dishonest people on shore) I find by a letter I have received. you have been making too free with your can hooks, (meaning my hands) in taking that which did not belong to you, and by those means causing the illness of your indulgent Grandmother that watched over you in your cot, however I shall say no more to you about it at present. he said for I mean to send you a Voyage or two in my Brig the Sophia, commanded by a Skipper (a Captn) that will either make a sailor of you, or otherwise an idiot, by giving you a dry starting once or twice a week with a reef point to keep the scurvy out of your bones, my aunt rebuked him for beginning so harsh with me stating it may be the cause of my running away and prove my ruin by this time we reached the dwelling, a very pleasant spot, I had a little conversation the same evening with my Aunt whose kind treatment alleviated that dread and fear which I felt when in the presence of my stern uncle

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she likewise informed me that my Cousin was expected home every day, having Command of the Schooner, in a few days he did return home he was then a man grown. He proved very kind to me at first, until he was acquainted with my dishonesty, for which reason he behaved very distant to me, this was a sore blow to my young heart. I though every person that passed me knew of it, I then made up my mind to run away from my Uncle and return to my afflicted Grandmother, but before I could accomplish my design I was hurried on board the Brig Sophia, bound to Rio de Janeira – a few days after I bid farewell to my relations, and in fact, I was very much pleased with my new situation. In the course of a little time having a favourable breeze we were in blue water, it was not until then that I felt the cruel hand of Captn Lindsey and before I hardly knew what a ship was. I was mast headed on the most trivial occasion, were I was obliged to hold on for my bare life and worse than all we were making bad weather at the time, it was Cruel treatment yet it was the means of making a sharp lad of me – we reached the port of our destination and on a Saturday we brought up before the Town, on a Saturday we brought up before before the Town, on the Saturday evening - I went on shore with the Captn and did not like the place, owing to seeing so many negro slaves and I was determined if possible to run away from the Brig, on account of the Captn’s cruelty towards me, tho he pretended to be Kind to me again. The next day being Sunday, I was walking the deck studying how I could escape knowing that I was an entire Stranger to the language and customs of the people. when one of the sailors Jno Huntington called me to the forecastle, we conversed about the Captn’s treatment to me and he asked me if I did not intend to make a complaint to my Uncle about him. I informed him that it was my opinion my Uncle had given such orders, for which reason I never wish to see the Captn or my Uncle any more he replyed if that is the Case I will endeavour to find a ship for the both of us. I thanked him for his kindness, about an hour after he

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got permission to go on shore. and on or about 4 OClock in the afternoon he came on board, he called me to him and informed me he had a ship for both of us that was bound to Rio Plato and that I must get what clothing I had belonging to me upon deck by 10 oClock at night. for a Jolly Boat would come for us. I was elevated at the thoughts of my escape from a Tyrant, and went down to the Cabin, the Mate was in a state of inebriety I passed unnoticed – brought my Clothing upon Deck and put them in my Cloths Bag I concealed them until night I then wrote a letter to the Captn informing him the Cause of my running away, and also I had made free with 100 Dubloons to support me when on shore, and if he thought proper he could produce the letter to my Uncle if he lived to return, I did not mention this to Huntington I concealed the money about my person – however 9 OClock came, my friend was then keeping Anchor watch, and at 10 we saw the boat coming along side, we immediately got into her and shoved off and I thought it was the happiest moment of my life – a few strokes brought us along side of a Schooner we got on deck in silence and went down the forecastle and by the next morning at 8 OClock we had cleared the outer port and was in a fair wind for our destined port the Captn’s name was Pedro Blanco a kind man had formerly been Captn of a slave ship, my friend being an able Seaman received 16 dollars a Month, and small stores, and he gave me ten, I was Content and remained with him upwards of 12 months, when myself and shipmate left the Schooner- and Shipped in a Barque, the Ann of London homeward bound from Rio - we received very good usage on board it was the latter end of the year 1815 when I left england and when I landed in england again it was the latter end of 1817, I made the rest of my way to London, with my shipmate (who still remained with me) to my Parents whom I found in good health. they were rather surprised at seeing me, for they had mourned me as dead. I gave them an explicit account of my treatment at my uncles also the cruelty practised on me on board the Brig Sophia and that I suspected my Uncle had [indecipherable]

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[indecipherable] to that effect; this Caused words between my father and Uncle and it took a long time before they could be reconciled to each other – being Brothers – but in the course of time all things were amicably settled – I remained at home a few months when I again longed to go to sea, I then shipped on board a whaler named the Sarah for a 3 Years voyage in the sperm fishery, this was in 1818, – I took leave of my parents, sisters and Brothers 14 in number – whom I could not erase from my memory – I was at this time a smart lad on board a ship- we had a good passage until we neared the Horn – Terrific seas and dreadful cold – Icicles and Ice Bergs –. I never experienced any real hardships until then – the cold being almost insupportable – we were compelled to keep man O’war watches for fear of the Ice – several of the crew were injured by the cold and it caused one man’s death - the only serious misfortune that happened – shortly after we doubled Cape Horn we got into fine weather and in a fortnight we came to an anchor in Valperaiso. I did not like the voyage of whaling so I managed to get the principal part of my Clothing on shore and then bid farewell to the Sarah, a Spanish girl secreted me on her father’s premises until she vessell sailed (attending upon me regular day after day,) I then hove in sight to the no small satisfaction of the young Patriot, and her parents when they became acquainted with the affair) her Father’s name was Fernando Martell, the Daughter, Catalina I began to think of marriage by the continual persuation of her friends I considered myself at the time rather too young I was then only 18 years old – I told her father that I would make a voyage or two and then I would consent – this he he agreed to, and I shipped on the Liberta an armed schooner to take troops and land then on different parts of the Coast, this was about the time Lord Cochrane had the

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three vessels fighting on behalf of the South Americans: my wages was 10 Dollars a month, as I was termed a European. There were several of my countrymen on board tho the greater part of the crew were Cholers – a brave race of men very swarthy their fathers were Spanish and mothers native Americans – I remained in the Liberta for twelve months sometimes skirmishing ashore and otherwise giving the Spaniards a round turn from Schooner from our two long toms – it was about 14 months before I returned to my friend Fernando Martell – I now considered myself fit for any hardship – a met with a very kind reception as though I were their own Son – and in a short time Catalina and myself were united in wedlock, now commenced my scene of misery and trouble – after our marriage festival which lasted 3 days – a custom that Country, it was the request of my Father and Mother in Law that I should not go to sea anymore but that I should live on an extension farm which became my own property at the marriage – I agreed to the proposal and myself and wife’s friends went the next day to the farm which was situated 10 miles on the road to St. Iago – I found it a most beautiful spot quite congenial to my feelings. I remained happy in my new situation for upwards of two Years – my wife had a boy and girl during this time – the girl died shortly after its Birth – the country was very much agitated at the time as the Patriots were contending for their independence and Lord Cochrane was very busy along the coast – scarce a man could call his life his own without being on the alert – I again (like Gulliver) felt an inclination to go to sea for a trip or two and I mentioned it to my wife which gave her great uneasiness

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But having seen her parents with great persuasion they Consented, after taking an affectionate leave of my wife an son. I shipped on board a Chilian Brig called the Saint Juan bound to Callao the principal sea port of peru; our Captn was a Swede named Frederick Simpson. as soon as we brought up he went to Lima for a few days – when I found out the Brig was on a Contraband voyage which did not suit me at that time and on that account was determined to leave her and before the Captain returned I took the Jolly Boat and went on shore determined not to return in the Course of a Couple of hours the Military were sent in pursuit of me and found me in a grog shop, the Chief mate being with them pointed me out I being rather elevated with aquadent I would not go with them to the vessel - they drew their Sabres by order of the Chief Mate, I then drew a sling shot out of my pocket (which was fastened to the end of a small line) to defend myself with a regular engagement ensued – the Chief Mate drew one of his own Country knives on me he being a Frenchman – finding I had no other alternative but to fight or lose my life (for I was determined not to go back to the Brig) I let drive my shot and struck the mate at the back of the head – at the very moment he was attempting to stab me with his knife – he fell senseless at my feet: I have no doubt but I should have lost my life had not two Sailors have come to my assistance and rushed upon the military they played their part and knocked down two soldiers out of the three when the other ran away– I received a slight wound in the head and one of the sailors received a severe gash in the arm – however we were Compelled to make our escape as quick as possible for we expected a reinforcement in pursuit of us the two sailors made the best of their way on board of their respective ship and I concealed myself in the bush and in the evening returned by the sea side. I then returned

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to the grog shop where the fray began when I heard some Soliders Carousing: I watched my opportunity and beckoned to a sailor he came to me: I related the whole circumstance to him – he informed me the two sailors that assisted me were his Shipmates belonging to the “Mermaid" Barque and they were to sail the next day for England, I asked him if they were in want of hands – he replied yes and that it would be better for me to Ship as quick as possible – that the man I struck with the shot did not expect to live - his scull being fractured and it was twenty to one if she took me I should be shot for it - I was aware of this and took his advice he called his shipmates out (five in number) and they consented to go on board with me . on our way to the ship I took them to a house were I left my clothing that I brought on shore – I went in for them but they would not give them to me, saying, I was the man that ran away from the Brig – I insisted on having them a dispute ensued when the seamen came in and we rushed into the apartment and Compelled them to give them up against their will, we then made the best of our way on board ship and I went down into the forecastle until the next morning when Captn Kelly willingly shipped me – for I told him the truth and hid nothing of the proceedings from him – that morning at 11 oclock bid farewell to the half moon battery with a stiff breeze in our favour, it was not until next day that I was stung with remorse at the idea of leaving my wife and Child behind me I Knew they were provided for, and I cherished the hope that in a few months I should see them again, never to separate myself from them again Buoyed up with this hope I let nothing trouble me not thinking alas I had taken my leave of them for ever – painful it was to me and ever will be the sad, sad,

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reflection having brought all on myself by being too hasty – my mind will not allow me to comment upon this – after a stormy passage I landed once more upon my native land tho not with that pleasure I formerly had done. I received my wages and made the best of my way to my friends whom I found all well and happy to receive me it being then the latter part of the year 1821. I informed my friends I was married in South America and that I had a Son living and that I should return very shortly never to return unless I brought them with me – they did not say wrong I did but requested me if I did go again to bring my wife and Son with me and settle in England, I consented to their solicitation. I remained at home until 1822 and during this time I very often called to see my Grandmother who at this time was getting very feeble, I also had taken a trip or two to Gravesend (which proved my distruction, two men that I formed an acquaintance with and myself were returning from Gravesend observed a cutter at anchor and preposed to plunder her I must own I gave my Consent, we plundered her of a quantity of Silk’s and arrived safe in london with it I did not know what to do with my part so they gave me what they thought proper which was very trifling one of my Confederates gave some stolen property to a female who was detected with it and immediately informed the Magistrate the name of the person that gave it to her, he of course was apprehended that same day, the next day myself and the other man was taken into Custody, neither of us could be sworn to direct as being the persons, but we were cast for Death on strong Circumstantial evidence, it was my determination not to let my friends know what had befallen me (by my own seeking) but by some means they were acquainted with the whole circumstance. The shock nearly cost my Mother her life – but

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of a strong constitution – she recovered – not so with my indulgent Grandmother the shock was more than she could bear – and before the news could reach her that I was reprieved she Died – my name (as I was given to understand by my friends) was the last words that escaped her lips – when I heard this sad news, my heart was read to break knowing I had been the chief cause of hastening her death. my sorrow was too acute to be repeated and need only say in a very short time I was sent to the wretched hulk at woolwich where the usage and my own remorse often caused me to contemplate suicide – and nothing but the hope of soon going to some other land, could induce me to remain in that dreadful place – I was forwarded to Vandiemans Land in the ship Asia with 249 other unfortunates and shortly after getting on board we were favoured with a fine Breeze and in the Course of a few days were out of sight of land the Captn released me out of irons and I helped to work the Ship being allowed the same ration and grog as the seamen on board, nothing of any consequence happened until we reached the Cape of Good Hope where we were taken aback with studding Sails set low and aloft in consequence of the man at the helm nodding – the quick command of the Captn and activity of the Crew soon put all to rights – and from that time every thing went on well and we arrived safe at Vandiemens Land and came to our anchor opposite the Battery of Hobart Town after a voyage of 4 months and 5 days we were detained in harbour a few days were then landed and sent to Gaol – to wait until we were disposed of to our Masters – however I was fortunate to be selected by a Master that lived in town (a great desire of all Prisoners) I was ordered by my master to cut wood and and bring water to the House from the creek every day.

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I gave my master every satisfaction, his name was John Buller I remained with him on or about 6 months when he failed in and became much impoverished, so much so that the poor little children actually wanted food – the children, I was very fond of, and I was determined to exert myself and find them food at any risk – my master nor Mistress did not wish to turn me into government (though they could not find me in provisions) but allowed me on my own hands to do the best I could do for myself, for this kindness I was determined to act with gratitude towards them as far as was in my power – I then went and lived on board of vessels in the Harbour and received sometimes 2 dollars and at other times 3 I took my money home regular and supported the family for upwards of 6 weeks until I found my Master had given himself entirely to drunkness and debauchery upon the money I used to give him to support his family with for which reason the next week I gave it to my Master’s wife the next saturday when in a state of inebriety he came home cruely treated his wife and took every farthing from her – I did return home until monday when to my astonishment I found the unfortunate crying and the children around her – after she informed me of the whole circumstance I was vexed and did not know what to do for the best. and while I was studying for the best my master made his appearance he was then a little the worse for liquor he began to abuse his wife as usual and finding she had no money struck her a violent blow and knocked her down with the Child in her arms. I stooped to pick the child up and while in the act the brute kicked me in the face which staggered me. this irratated me seeing the unfortunate woman bleeding I seized the tongs and struck him a violent blow on the head which brought him sprawling

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at my feet. I as a matter of course was sent to the watchouse and the same day was taken before the Reverent Mr Knopwood, who was the Chief Police Magistrate. my Master appeared aggainst me with his head bound with an Handkerchief he swore very hard against me, when his wife made her appearance and entirely exonerated me of all her huband had sworn against me the Magistrate saw through the whole affair and severely reprimanded my Master for his base ingratitude towards me I was then turned into the Government boats crew and in a week afterwards I was made Coxwain of the Secretary’s Gig and was as comfortable as I could expect in my situation. about 2 months had elapsed – when orders came from the Governor that a whale Boat was to be manned directly to take despatches to Maria Island has no larger vessel was to be procured – and at any time in cases of emergency a Sailing Vessel was uncertain – a whale Boat was manned – I was selected by Captn Welsh to take charge of the whale Boat with strict orders (caution) how I crossed east Bay Neck – owing to the stoney Creek tribe (the most ferocious and daring blacks on the Island) I was allowed to take firearms Cutlasses &c to protect ourselves. I had also a Blunderbuss Captn Welsh gave me (he was Supt. of Govt. Vessells) we took our departure from Hobart Town early in the morning and at dusk the same evening we made East Bay Neck, I could see the blacks’ fires and ordered the crew to land as quiet as possible and we succeeded in hauling the Boat 2/3rds across before we were disturbed, the distance to haul a boat across is nearly a mile. a dog belonging to the blacks was hunting opposums and set up a howl the moment he saw us which alarmed the natives. they came to the spot some with fire Brands and more with their implements of war

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I ordered the men to seize their fire arms – the moment we got our fire arms, they let drive a shower of Spears at us – at random – one of them struck the bowman in the thick part of the arm and caused a dismal wound, we immediately rushed upon them and fired our Pistols at them wounding some of them they all fled – we then got to the Boat and dragged her the remainder part of the way across the neck – but before we could launch her into the water, another shower of spears came among us – we were in such a hurry to get her launced that we did not know that any of us was injured – but I was soon informed that the Bowman (the very same man that was wounded in the arm) was Killed – a spear had went through his intestines, and he never spoke more – this left me a hand short and now was the most difficult part of the Passage – The channel where I was Compelled to tak the through was overhungh by a Bluff Point where the blacks could stand and kill every man of us with Spears and stones – I dare not near the Surf that night which Compelled me to wait till morning – at daylight we pulled for the Sea gate – when we seen a number of Blacks waiting for us – they would have been able to wade to the Boat and surrounded us (as it was low water) I asked the Crew if they were willing to face the surf (as there was no other alternative either to do it or be cruely Tortured) the gave their Consent to the whole of us stript into our trowsers, as we had a heavy Surf to encounter, all was ready and I immediately took the East spit for it – dreadful Surf – but our only chance to escape – as we neared the Surf – the Blacks gave a dismal yell – I cheered the Crew and intreated them to mind their duty – as we were among the surf – we shipped as near as I could guess about 100 Gallons of water – we Cleared our danger and the evening of the same day run into Maria Island with a smart Breeze I then took the dispatches up to the Commandant Major Lord

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took my dead boatmate to the hospital, I informed the Major what happened and that I should require another hand – our fire arms cleaned and more powder swan shot and Ball Cartridge, I got what I wanted, Buried the man – got my dispatches and prepared to take our departure for Hobart town – determined to give the Blacks a warm reception if we were Compelled to go the same passage back – we took our departure at daylight, but the wind blowing at S.W. I could not think of doubling Cape Pillar, so on the evening with our oars muffled – shot her quietly through the sea gate – we experienced so much danger we could see the fires of the Blacks in shore – the darkness of the night sheltered us from their view and in an hour after we entered the se gate we made the spot were we had to drag the Boat across – it was silent as the Grave not a ripple on the water – I ordered the Crew to look to their fire arms, and see that all was ready at a moments notice – we took a gill of grog each for we were determined to pull the Boat across as soon as possible, otherwise to have waited for the morning we should have been surrounded with the blacks and no doubt some of us (if not all) lose our lives – every thing being ready we commenced our dangerous task – we had got the Boat on end as near as possible – when about 200 yards we heard a distant shout – we proceeded about half way across when we observed their fires in our very track – I proposed keeping watch and watch over the Boat during the night in hopes if the Savages did not already see us that they would go off before morning – our hopes were realized for in the morning the blacks went off hunting and fishing – when we got a short distance of the place were we had to launch her across the beach we distinctly heard the barking of dogs – we we lay in ambush for a little time and presently up came a Kangaroo followed by two dogs and shortly after 2 savages – they immediately came to the boat and began to plunder her of every thing portable when we rushed on them with them with our cutlasses and dispatched them (for to have let one escape would

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have been sudden death to us) when we came towards the beach we were astonished to see it almost Covered with the savages – and our hope was to rush the Boat all of a Sudden through them to the water, and so quick was our movements that we got her 2/3rds in the water, before they recovered from their astonishment – we had great difficulty in getting our boat afloat, and it was not without firing at them we succeeded finaly in getting away – they waded after us and several of their spears stuck into our boat – we killed their Chief the last Broadside we gave them – in a few hours after made Elisabeth Island and catching a smart wind from E.S.E we struck out for Hobart Town which we reached in safety – I took the despatches to Governor Arthur – the Boats Crew were promised a Ticket of leave after 6 months good Conduct – and I got charge of the rambler Cutter of 40 Tons and gave every satisfaction, I was earning plenty of money – not been addicted to drinking – when some evil disposed scoundrel (envying me) gave an information that I was going to take the Cutter away – this Caused the first suspicion on my Character and the cause of my Missery – not being looked upon as a man trustworthy – Therefore I was determined to make my escape from the Colony as soon as I could get a Chance – the Elisabeth Brig was lying at Birches Bay 30 miles from Town – when myself and another young man took a big sail out of the sail loft swam to a whale Boat Cut her from her moorings and made our way to the brig and shipped in her – she was bound the Macquarie Islands sea elephanting after the Oil – a very dangerous voyage – the Brig got underweigh but could weather the Point, the wind being scant we brought up again – and that night I was taken prisoner by one Mr Munroe – tried for taking the whale Boat – but in consequence of my good character from Captain Welsh and other gentlemen I was acquitted – and then was reinstated and took charge of a Schooner of 23 Tons – there were two more men attached to the schooner – one of the hands being nearly free stole some government boards to make him a chest to go to sea with and took them on board the schooner without

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my knowledge I was on shore at the time – he was apprehended for it and owing to my having charge of the vessel I was confined also – the man only wanted 14 days of being free of 14 years Servitude he was nearly broken hearted and asked me if there was chance of his being saved, I said there was none whatever except I took the load upon my back – he said if I would, he would lay his life down for me – I felt for him – and finding my Character was blasted for ever I made the agreement with him – if he would get a whale Boat ready for me should I be sent to a Chain Gang – so that I could make my escape to the straights I would be willing to take it upon myself and acquit him he thanked me very heartily and swore upon a Bible he would the time came I acquitted him (though I never stole them) and I received 7 years Transportation added to life – I was not downcast at this for I depended on the man getting the whale Boat ready for me – I went to the Chain Gang – and one of the most dreadful I ever seen – I preferred death to remaining there 3 years – and what was worse the Ungrateful Scoundrel that I sacrificed myself for to save deceived me – I was determined to escape from this scene of wretchedness or perish in the attempt. I wanted to collect a Boat’s Crew I put the Question to them they Consented, and the day appointed arrived that we were to seize the sentinel and Overseers and fly from Slavery – I could find my new associates was all talk as they wished me to risk all and they nothing – I was aware of my situation my irons being cut – so I went up to the sentinel pushed him off of the Bank and ran as quick as possible – my pursers were following I had just sufficient time to plunge into the river and swim towards a place called Bedlam walls I seen a boat coming after me – and went further down the river side and swam back again – when I got on the shore I went into the Town crossed at the back of Government house. I was recognized and a fresh pursuit – night came on and I managed to get to the House of W Mansfield Pilot

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he asked me where I was going. I told him after the rambler Cutter which had sailed without me and I expected to find her at anchor in Sandy Bay – he ordered me supper and to sleep in his house that night – a bed was made for me and his two young sons. I did not get into bed until I thought the Boys were asleep, nor could I pull my trousers off on account of an iron being on each leg, however being weary I went to bed and fell into a sound Sleep when between one and two OClock I was aroused by the Boys who had found out I had irons on, and they had struck a light. I told them the truth confiding in them. They Pitied me and kindly said they would not inform any person of what they knew and requested me to sleep the remainder of the night and they would keep watch, and watch for me, but sleep was an entire stranger to me the remainder of that night – I got up at day dawn and took leave of my two kind young protectors. I then made the best of my way to the Signal mount where there was two men – one of them I knew – he also knew my situation – he wanted to take me prisoner – he took a musket – and before he could bring it to a level at me I rushed upon him and a great struggle ensued, but knowing I was struggling for my life I felt double the strength and overpowered my antagonist, and struck him with the but end of the musket and knocked him down (I do not know what it was that prevented me from dispatching him but I am happy to say I did not) I then left the Hut and took the piece with me – when about half way down the hill I met the other man bringing water to the Hut he looked at me very hard and passed on – went on my journey for Oyster Bay found the musket was an encumbrance to me, placed it in a tree and there left it – I travelled on and lost myself for 3 days in the Bush without a morsel to eat – it was I felt the horrors of famishing – on the fourth morning I was aroused by a dog barking in pursuit of kangaroo not 50 yards from me – I expected to see the owner – but he did not appear – and I had the pleasure of seeing a kangaroo killed close by with two Dogs. I took a hearty meal of the raw flesh and rank some of the blood – it was refreshing though insipid repast – I then started fresh on my journey and towards evening reached the head of the little Oyster Bay where two men were burning lime – I went to the Hut to remain until morning when I found an opportunity of breaking the chains off the rings that was riveted above my ancles, I had scarcely got them

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when I observed to my astonishment a bush party in pursuit of me. I secreted myself until the next morning as soon as daylight appeared I went to the waterside with the hope of getting a small boat to Convey me across the river to Brunie Island (but Cruel fate was against me) for I came in contact with four Military – I ran and they pursued me when all on a sudden I hove in sight of a sawyers Hut I went into it and the first thing I saw was a Musket. I took and found it was loaded and came out again determined to sell my life as dear as possible – I then made for the water side again in another direction and when I was within a quarter of a mile of a high head land, I heard the report of a piece and the shot directly passing my head, I turned around and saw my enemies – I ran until I got to the head Land in question-faced my pursuers and fired at them and immediately sprung into the river keeping under water as long as I could – the tide took me a great distance from my pursuers though not out the range of their Muskets I could hear the bullets fall into the water very close to me but did not receive any injury from them. I then struck across for Barnes’s Bay hauld myself through a body of Kelp or sea weed and by the time I made the shore I was nearly insensible – I crawled up the beach the best way I could – and lay down entirely exhausted – I remained in this state for length of time exhausted, cold, wet, and Hungry – I then made the best of my way inland and at the musk of the evening see a person I knew very well who was Government man to a Mr Pybass who had recently arrived in the Colony upon speculation – I received very good quarters at his house and recovered my strength also relieving myself of the two shakels that was on my legs – during my stay I found out there was a vessel at an anchor in blubber Bay – taking in oil (for London) I several times endeavoured to swim on Board and was as often repulsed by the surf 9 days had now elapsed since I escaped from the military – and on the tenth evening my friend informed me Ryan and Byron (two uneaqueled villains) were coming towards the house – I took up the fowling piece in my hand and declared I would shoot both of them he persuaded me to go up in the loft (or store room and trust to providence, I did so and they made their appearance and enquired of the man if he had seen me, he answered no - Byron

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said he must search the place for me, and was coming up into the store room were I was. I knelt down on one knee and had my finger upon the trigger, and the piece levelled at his head, but the man telling him, Byron, that he would not be answerable if any things was missing out of the store room prevented him from coming up and glad I was to see it, for it prevented me hurrying him into another world with his enormous crimes upon his head – They took their departure to my great satisfaction – and on or about 10 oclock the same night Mr Pybuss returned home bringing a man with him to lay out his farm, (I was asleep at this time) he reocgnized as being the identical runaway – however they left me there (as they thought) until morning, being apprised of this a little before it was daylight I rushed out of the house when Mr Pybuss and the man that was with him pursued me I got clear of them and once more made my escape – I reached Blithes Point on the other side of the Island and there remained that day and night covered with sheets of Bark – early in the morning I arose half frozen to death and heard the sound of some one pulling a Boat – I considered this my time to escpe off the Island but to my surprise who should it be but Mr Pybuss and two boys in his Gig going with the news to Mr Folly concerning my being on the Island – I suggested a plan for my escape – I halied him – and gave myself up to him I went and sat in the Bow of the Boat – when all of a sudden I snatched the Boathook off the thwart and requested him in a menacint attitude to land me at the Bluff – I saw him looking under the headsheets I sprung to the spot and then I found his fowling piece. he threw himself down in the stern sheets immagining I was going to shoot him – but I soon satisfied him on that head – I drenched his piece overboard saying it is not my intention to do you any harm – and I will take good care you do me no arm – he remonstrated with me, saying he should lose all his Government men if I compelled him to land me – seeing the Tears in his eyes and knowing the kind usage I had received at his house – I could not help saying

[page 20]

at a great risk on my side I will prevent all that – give me in charge to the man in that Cutter you now see close a board of you. I will endeavour to make my escape from her, which will entirely exonerate from everything, he thanked me – and in less than one hour I was a prisoner on board the Cutter – all went on very well until we came opposite 7 mile point (from Hobart Town) when I watched my oppertunity, and at the moment they were putting her about I jumped over the stern, and in the confusion they did not miss me, until I was upon the point of Landing, and when I was on shore I made the best of my way to the harbour in hopes of getting on board some ship homeward bound – I arrived there about 2 in the afternoon and saw a man I knew very well – we had a little conversation concerning how I was circumstanced, when I solicited a favour of him to send a friend of mine to me – he said he would – but alas – instead of my friend he brought 2 Constables upon me for the sake of the reward 50£, I fought until overpowered, and cruely handled, and was ultimately taken prisoner – forwarded to Gaol, committed for trial “for being illegally at large under a second conviction" sentenced Death. The humane Captn. Welsh again interceded on my behalf and saved my life – I was then conveyed on Board the Brig Prince Leopold – for Macquarie Harbour – I arrived there after 16 days dreadful weather – I was landed and taken before the Commandant being the only prisoner sent down in the Brig – found him everything but a Gentleman – a complete Tyrant: he ordered a good suit of clothing I had on to be burned and gave a suit of yellow and sent to work and at night to be sent on an Island in the centre of the river where there was 200 miserable beings, men that he considered would hazard theier lives to make their escape – it was an awful, wretched place for the most common necessaries or comfort – hours before day we were roused and a pint of misserable thin gruel was allowed

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each man – into the Boat was the word – and that we had to remain (in a bleak wind hailing and freezing) until day light when we were mustered sent to our work having nothing whatever to eat until we returned again to the island which would be dark – wet through and not a spark of fire to dry our Clothing – if a man should chance to save a small portion of his bread at night to eat with his gruel in the morning it was ten to one but he would lose his life, for the said small bit of bread – so horrible was the hunger there that I knew 2 men to be executed for knocking a man’s brains out (on this very island in question, for the sake of the bit of bread he had concealed under his head when in bed. and divided it between them, with the blood of their Victim on it (this, my gentle reader will give you a faint idea of the acute sufferings of an unhappy Captive) nothing but misery, flogging and starvation – murders were frequently committed – two or three times a month with a view of ridding themselves of a wretched existance, out of every hundred men 60 would have lacerated backs – in fact so bad was the treatment (that if a man was prepared for a future state) Death was preferable – I was laboring under this dreadful state of things for 12 months, until at last I got a slight chance for Liberty – - so strong was this feeling that I was fully determined to gain my point or perish in the attempt: - the case was this : 20 of us were going over on the main to Kelly’s Bason to get logs on the pit of the sawyers – we made it up to rush the launch (i.e: take her by force) and walk over land to head Quarters (Hobart Town) tho’ we had two great risks to run, the one of being Starved to death as many have been, and the other of being killed by the Natives, the Blacks, as they were very numerous about the S.W Cape, the moment we reached Kellys Bason, myself and two more men, took all the tools out of the boat, to deprive any person who may have felt inclined to resist us, we armed ourselves with a large knife and Tommyhawk each, and ordered very man to sit down in the bottom of the Launch

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and those men that were first to propose it sat down like cowards as they were with the remainder of the men in the bottom of the Launch - we found it was left to the three of us: so we made the best use of our time, we jumped into the launch with Tomahawks – my two companions standing over them while I threw the oars overboard to prevent them getting back to the Settlement to give an alarm – and to give us an oppertunity to get over the sugar loaf mountain – this being done, we got out of the launch and shoved them clear of the landing place. we then started for the mountain, and no sooner had we gained the summit than we could see a boat coming to the assistance of the Launch, we then made for Phillip Island Creek to get there by dark to plunder for provisions to support us through the wild bush – we succeeded without interruption and went from hut to hut and secured them in their beds as we plundered them, we served 52 men in this manner and got a great quantity of provisions – we concealed our Provisions and the same night swam to Phillip Island, made three men get up out of their beds and shew us where their Canoe was they did so – for it was concealed as it was prohibited (they had it expressly for fishing) we took her ashore where our provisions was and conceiled her among the long grass at the edge of the water until next night, daylight being so near at hand but all things were correct – we discovered a whale Boat, Gig and Launch making for the station where we were – they landed and the Tyrant of a commandant being there ordered the whole of the Gang into the Launch and they all returned to the Settlement – leaving 5 of the Military and giving orders if they could get near us to take no trouble with us but shoot us dead – we could hear the whole of these orders – as soon as night came we got into the Canoe and pulled for Gordons river – where if we reached the source of it we would soon arrive at head Quarters (Hobart Town) and have a better chance of our Liberty – it was daybreak when we entered the river and we could see the Settlement from where we then were – we passed unobserved and that night reached Guy Fawke’s creek and being very much fatigued we hove too for the night without being disturbed, the next morning we got underweigh again and in sweeping a deep Bay to clear the current we kept close in shore

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when a Launch with a gang of men going to fall Pine shewed round the Point pulling as hard as they could after us – they got the weather gage of us and rushed our Canoe and us fairly in shore – we had to take to the mountains without a morsel of food being closely pursued – and we would rather famish than go back – the launch returned to the settlement taking the Canoe with them – leaving us in a most wretched condition nothing on but our Shirts and Trousers – and nothing but small fern around us which was of no service to keep us from the inclemency of the weather, two nights and ays we remained sensible to our acute sufferings when at last overcome with fatigue hunger and Cold, we lay down on some wet ferns (it raining incessantly) keeping as close as we could to each other for warmth and what with despair and meditation we fell into a sleep (as it were of death) and knew nothing of what passed until we were roused by the firing of Musketry over our heads by the Military – we could not walk they had to carry us to the Boat – in this wretched state we were brought back to the settlement and in the same state we were ordered (by the Commandant) to a dark cell in the Gaol, and I certainly think we should have died hat it not been for a Sergeant’s wife who brought us some nourishment two or three times in the course of the night – the Docter was equally as the Commandant – the next morning to our great satisfaction we heard the Brig had arrived with another Commandant – we had scarce time to rejoice when we were taken to the office and sentenced 300 lashes (100, every monday for three successive weeks) this being saturday we were tried on – we were being flogged when Major Baily came ashore but was fairly disgusted with the treatment seeing our wretched appearance and enquired into our Case which the Tyrant - altered our time of punishment and we received the remaining 200 next day more dead than alive, this so much enraged Major Baily when we explained our case to him that he took charge sooner than he otherwise would have done and took the power out of his hands – no more sad Countenances, no more lacerated Backs, when Major Baily took charge all was joy beaming in every Countenance – all the prisoners striving to excel each other in good Conduct – the Brig sailed for Hobart Town and left tranquiity on the island – a whale Boat in crossing the Bar capsized and all hands perished

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I was then sent down to the Pilots’ station at the Heads to take charge of the Pilot boat – at this time a Brig called the Frederick was on the stocks, and they were getting very forward with her orders were sent down by Governor Arthur that all prisoners were to be removed to “Port Arthur" – I was with others determined if possible to remain behind and once more chance my life for my liberty – a Captn. was down acting as Pilot and was also to conduct the Brig to Hobart Town when fitted out, I was at this time Coxwain of the Pilot Boat and wishing the Brig was ready – Knowing for certain that Macquarie Harbour was to be abolished I was determined if good conduct would do it to remain behind to assist in working up the Brig – in the Year 1838 two vessels came to Macquarie to convey all the prisoners (to Port Arthur and Hobart Town) with the exception of 10 that was to be left to fit the Brig Frederick out and to return with her to Hobart Town – I was one of the ten – selected by the Major and I was very much pleased with the news – all hands were busy that were going to Port Arthur packing up their things – all was noise and confusion – and in a fortnight – all the prisoners were on board that were going away – our kind Humane Commandant (Major Baily) was leaving us also, I felt as much parting with him as from a Parent, and I cannot help exclaiming may he be blessed with Prosperity in the world and eternal happiness in the next – before going he gave strict injunction to the Captn. to put the whole of us (i.e. the 10 prisoners) on marine rations and a Gill of rum per diem and that when he got to head Quarters he would intercede for a Ticket of leave for the whole of us if we behaved ourselves, we thanked him and bid farewell with three Cheers to that Commandant that alleviated the sufferings of the wretched exiles – they got underweigh and was soon out of sight – we commenced our work with a good heart – these was the names of the men left to work the Brig: J Porter, Wm Shires, John Barker (our Navigator) Jno Fare (formerlyCaptn. of the forecastle of the Genoa 74) James Lesslie, Benjn. Ruben, Jno. Riley and Cheshire and Lyons belonging the race of Judas (of whom I

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shall have much more to speak about in the sequel – there was only 9 ofus determined to take the Brig – Cheshire (the Traitor) did not know of it at first, but merely found it out by accident; the hut he was in was only divided by a thin petition were Lesslie & Russen were conversing about capturing the Brig when Cheshire heard the whole of our plot and informed Barker of it who mentioned it to the whole of us – we did not know what to do aware that he had proved himself a [indecipherable] Villlain on two occasions while on the Island, we at last came to the conclusion to tell him he should go and to keep all a secret, and if he divulged it he should lose his head – he assured us he would – all went on well – and on the 12th Jany, /34 we took our departure from the island of Missery, that evening we made the Heads were we let go our Anchor – the wind setting in from N.W. dead on shore a heavy swell set in and we were forced to turn back to a place named Wellington Head and there came to an anchor. This was on the 12th, at night, all passed on well and in the morning we asked to go on shore to wash our Clothes with a view to have our Pistols* all ready, for we expected a bit of a round turn with them. there being 9 of them and 10 of us, the names of the opposite party were Captn. Taw, Mr Hay (ship Builder) Wm Nichols Steward, Mr Farland Jno Tait Mate, and 4 Soldiers, who slept on the aft deck, the Pistols & Tomahawks we had were made by Barker – Pistols made from old Musket Barels, – we returned on board as soon as possible and went down into the forecastle, we did not wish to shed blood – I hit on a plan to get rid of 2 Soldiers and Mr Farland, by persuading the Sergt. to go and ask the Captn. for the whale boat to go on fishing, it was granted – I feigned sick all of a sudden as an excuse in not going with them they went without me which left 3 short of their number which made a great odds in our favour – I asked the other two remaining soldiers to come down the forecastle to hear some singing, one of them came, the other sat on the windlass and Russin and Lessley wer on deck the remaining eight of us were below. I began to sing (the grand Conversation his under the rose) I could not get on my mind was in such a state – and Shires helped

* made by Barker as he was overseer of Smiths an a most ingenious man at anything

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helped me out with it – the Signal was given on deck by stamping with the foot – when a Pistol was presented at the soldier in the forecastle who was quiet directly – me, and Shires rushed on deck, I put the hatch on the forescuttle dragging a small kedge anchor to put on it for security when Lesslie came with the other Soldier and Shires with the Mate, I lifted off the Hatch and let the rest of our companions up, and ordered the Mate and Soldier to go below, putting the hatch on and leaving them in charge of Riley, we then crept slowly aft (all the foregoing was done without noise) and sneaked down the Aft Deck got the whole of the arms and ammunition belonging to the Military. The Captn. Carpenter and Steward were drinking in the Cabin (our rum) for they did not give us what they were ordered after the Commandant left, when we had the arms secured we heard a bustle in the Cabin, I pulled the skylight off when we seen Shires struggling with the three of them, each of them endeavouring to take his life (they being nearly drunk) he succeeded in getting on deck before we could render him any assistance – I removed the Compass to a place of safety – we then requested them in the Cabin to come on deck and we would not inujure them but they being groggy they refused to do so – defying the whole of us – now and then presenting their Pistols and Muskets at us, they kept us at bay a long time for we did not wish to injure them, though they were in our Power if we thought proper to have fired upon them and we knew to rush upon drunken men some lives must be lost, at length being tired of persuading them to surrender we were determined to frighten them, the word was given to fire down upon them (with no intention of so doing) when letting fall our Muskets with too much violence upon the coamings of the Cabin hatch the sudden jar caused one of them to go off and the ball knocked a bunch of keys out of Mr Hay’s hand as he was in the act of unlocking an Arm Chest. This had the desired effect and they cried out for Quarters – we ordered them upon deck one by one when we lashed their hands behind them and fired off a Musket as a signal for the boat to return to the Brig, they answered the signal and very soon

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came alon side – the moment they did I jumped into the main Chains and ordered them to make fast the whale boat painter to the main Chains and to get into the jolly boat, that was hanging alongside, they did so, a man was placed as sentinel over them to prevent them coming on board, this being done myself, Barker and Shires went into the cabin with the Captain and Mr Hay, as they requested us to give them some clothing we allowed them to take any things they wanted – they craved very much for a Pistol and some ammunition from us to protect them from the blacks (as they would make us believe) but we begged to be excused (!!) having got what they wanted we returned upon deck, we fastened Captn. Taw’s hands, but not Mr Hay’s owing to his complaining of a bad back, we then ordered the Mate and two Soldiers upon Deck and let them go over the side into the jolly Boat, in fact the whole of them was in the boat but Mr Hay and him we assisted over the side as he Complained of illness, we ordered them to shove off from the Brig lay on their oars and 6 of us then manned the whale Boat (armed) and guarded them ashore, we then requested them to launch the Boat into deep water again to prevent them from rushing on to the whale Boat, we then returned to the brig, we kept a strict watch that night, for we made it death, for any man we found asleep in his watch – at morning daylight we hoisted all the provisions on deck, and there being 9 of them and 10 of us we equally divided it we armed ourselves and went on shore with their share of provisions. we hailed them were they had encamped, they came to us and we gave them the provision, we asked Mr Hay if there was any thing else we could oblige him in – he wished for some Strengthening plaister and bandagesd from his Chest for a pain in the back – the soldiers also wished for their watch coats we took them ashore all they required, we also brought the only 2 bottles of wine we had on board and gave them to Mr Hay, he being indisposed (this was proved on our trial) Mr Hay asked us if we would give up the Brig, and he would swear on a bible never to say a word about the matter we declined any such thing – he said “since I find you will not give her up – I thank you all for your kindness to the whole us, myself

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in particular I know you have but little provision to cross the expanding ocean and likewise a brig that is not seaworthy for such a voyage, and may God prosper you all in your perilous undertaking – we thanked him, and strange to say, pulled off our hats amid the loud Cheers of all on shore but the Captn wishing us a prosperous voyage – I cannot express my feeling at that moment my heart expanded (!) within me and I believe I could not feel happier – we observed Mr Hay wiping his eyes – we felt for him it was all we could do in our situation – we came along side the brig got on board – clapt too and hove the anchor short – others were employed in letting go the Kedge ahead to commence warping her out as we had no wind 3 miles laborious work we had to get her to the sea gate, we succeeded in getting her abreast of two Islands named th Cap and Bonnet – the boat we hung astern and in another hour the tide was running at the rate of seven knots an hour in our favour – we got the whale boat manned sent her ahead to check her now and then when she yawed we got through the sea gate – the current being so strong our helm and boat ahead was no service to her – she heeled round in spite of us – we were fearful of her striking on the north spit – a light air of wind now favoured us we loosed our Sails got steerage way on her – we edged her off clear of all danger – the moment we got outside the reefs the breeze freshened from W.N.W we found we should have no use for the whale boat so we let her go adrift – this was on 14th Jany 1834, when we took our final farewell of Macquarie Harbour heads with light heart – it was then Barker commenced his duty as Navigator – we divided ourselves into two watches their being only 4 Seamen among us the other 6 were landsmen which caused the duty to fall heavy on us 4 men – we also found Mr Hay’s words true for no sooner had we got into seaway – than she leaked to an alarming degree – we got the pumps to work and they were kept going all the passage 5 weeks one Day

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we dare not neglect them 2 hours at a time, the breeze freshened to a heavy Gale by next morning the 15th at 8 oClock from N.W. – we were running 12 knots an hour under a single reefed main Topsail, and foresail in a heavy sea for 9 days and nights she required two of us at the helm. on the 24th the Gale broke and we carried a stiff Topgallant Quaterly breeze for 4 weeks with a heavy range of a sea after us – an inattentive fellow named Lyons – let the main boom jibe on him and carried it away – we fished it and made it as firm as ever but during the time we had this Quarterly wind after 3 weeks running. our Navigator found out we were running too far to the Southward and brought her nearer the wind this gave the sea greater power on the brig and alarmed Lyons that was at the helm and coward like persuaded the watch to square the yards and run before it for the whole of their watch (4 hours) which made scores of miles difference to us and also endeavouring to deceive us – he brought the Brig upon a wind again, but a 12 oClock next day when Barker took the Sun he found out the mistake – when the rascals were taxed with this gross neglect of duty they told the truth, (and we were going to give Lyon’s, the promoter of this occurrence) a short passage over the side – but all ended in peace and it was looked over with an admonition not to do the like again at his peril or he should certainly Die - - we still continued on our way with prosperous gales, we found our provisions getting very scant – and obliged to issue a certain small portion each day – the only vessel we fell in with was a french Whaler running along the Coast – the moment we saw her we got our arms and Amunition upon deck for had she hoisted her ensign we could not have answered her, not having a flag or bit of Bunting on board, and they came alongside and made themselves inquisitive we were determined to run on board of them Capture them or die in the attempt, for we knew if we were brought back – Governor Arthur would hang us to a dead certainty – they however passed us and in a few days after we sighted South America on the 27th of February – after 6 weeks and one day of a passage, and pround we were of it as the Brig was getting the upper hand of us in the leakage – we

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we immediately got to work with the little strength we had remaining – got a purchase on the Main and Fore yard to hoist out one long Boat of 7 tons burthen – the Capenters put on another streak and decked her in Case we should have to quit the Brig – during the time the Brig was thus laying to - I questioned the whole of my Companions the story we should have when we reached the shore as there was no doubt of us being overhauled when we landed – we made up a plausible story but when I came to cross question them I found they were all upon their guard with the exception of the Traitor Cheshire who seemed quite indifferent as to what he should say, I told the remainder of my Companions it was my opinion that if Cheshire as apprehended he would betray the whole of us to escape himself, the whole of them were of my opinion. I took a pistol in my hand and could have found it in my heart to have shot him, when a thought rushed across my mind to land him the first opportunity that offered, we got the long boat out with great difficulty and put what little things we had into her as for provisions we had not more than 4 lbs (bread and meat) we dropped the long Boat astern and Sloop rigged her – we had neglected pumping her ever since we sighted the land, being employed at other things we found the sooner we got out of her the better and it was not until dark that night we could leave her being fairly knocked up with our exertion and little to eat. however we took our leave of the Brig she being hove too with her head in shore which we calculated about 40 miles off – and I never left my Parents with more regret, nor was my feelings harrowed up to such a pitch as when I took the last farewell of the smart little Frederick *– all things being ready up stick and ran in for the land and when we thought we had run a sufficient length of time we hauled our wind and stretched along the land – when daylight appeared we could see the shore close aboard of us covered with a rich verdue we ran along the Coast the best part of that day when we observed a large Bay – getting our oars out we pulled her into it found a lee for our Boat and all of us went ashore and got a great

*The Brig stood to seaward, and in the state she was in water logged and so much dead weight in her for ballast she soon went down

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many shellfish which to us was a luxury: we also brought our domestic cat with us from the Brig – it left us when we got ashore and returned the next morning but shortly left us entirely – at 12 oClock this being the second day since we left the Brig we killed a seal and not finding the cat left his share on a rock and took our departure from the Bay – in three months after we landed we found out the very place where the cat was endeavouring to attract our attention to was where the Rio Beuon emptied itself and had we followed the cat he would have conducted us to the Indian inhabitants and saved us adeal of trouble – we proceded along the coast the remainder of that day and coming on night a smart breeze sprung up when we had great doubts of our little Boat weathering the night – providence befriended in this manner for 6 days when on the 6th night we weathered Tweedle Point so named in the Chart which projects along way out to sea, and in about half an hour after we wethered it we heard a noise on shore like a Bullock or Cow we looked earnestly and to our surprise saw a fire, we made towards it, and soon perceived some humane [indecipherable] about it; we hailed them when they being surprized gave a kind of yell, however we tried what water we had under food and found it was too deep for us so we neared the shore and brought up in 22 fathoms, we remained there until morning and pulled in shore towards some Kelp or seaweed making a line fast to it we then steered in for the shore where the indians were standing each with a scalping knife in his belt – we had our belts on and each man a brace of Pistols in them – the moment the Boat was nigh enough jump out 5 of us jumped on shore the remaining hauling the Boat off to the sea weed where she was fastened, acting with this precaution we considered if we met with a hostile reception it was far better for 5 of us to lose our lives than 10 of us this movement of ours astonished the natives! they brought us to their dwellings which was very clean, I also perceived they understood Agriculture which gave us good hopes of gaining information I enquired for provisions showing them a gold coin but I found they could not or would not understand me, I then enquired for the Port of Valdivia they understood me perfectly well and said it was three leagues off

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being 9 miles, I returned to the boat overjoyed and told my Compainions the news which pleased them much, we gave them a few trinkets and took our departure and the same afternoon reached the port of Valdivia and landed safe hungry enough, when we were within 100 yards of the landing place off the fort several of the inhabitants came down to meet us and pointed to us where to bring our boat in with safety, we went in at high water and when the tide ebbed the boat was left high and dry – five of our number were conducted by the Patriots to their dwelling and remained 4 hours (they taking us for shipwrecked Seamen) amongst them and then returned to the boat, and the other 5 went amongst the inhabitants we found them a very humane race of people – yet some of the lower class showed a great disposition for thieving which made us keep a strict watch on their actions, the whole of us remained with the boat that night and next morning we came to a conclusion that the Tradesmen should go to the town, which was 9 miles up the river, as though they had come from Chiloa, being given to understand the there was a vessel on the stocks and plenty of work to be had. A canoe was immediately hired to conduct them to the town for 9 dollars which we cheerfully gave – we bid them farewell for ever for we never expected to see them again, as we intended to launch our boat the next day and get underweigh for Valperaiso where I knew if my Wife, Child and friends were alive I should remain in Comfort during my life and return thanks to God that I did not founder on the rocks of despair – we endeavoured to launch our boat but we found our endeavours in vain owing to her being high & dry, we were therefore complelled to let her remain till next day in hopes of getting sufficient water under her to float her off - the remainder of that day and night we enjoyed ourselves among the Patriots dancing and singing to the guitar – the next morning we slept overlate, and were roused by military and an officer (sent by the) Intendant, or Governor to conduct us to the Town where our Companions was Confined they seized our long boat launched her into the water manning her with some of the Soldiers, and later that evening we arrived in

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in the town and were confined apart from the other five of our Companions in a place named the Quastele several of the officers visited us when we asked the reason we were confined but they gave us no satisfaction in the course of the night a Sergeant, Iago Orutea, came to us and brought us some Aquadent (a spirituous liquor)I offered him a dollar – but he refused it until I pressed upon him very much, I then questioned him if he knew why we were detained and having a knowledge of Castiliana we could understand each other very well, he informed me one of the first five who came in the Canoe had been drinking with a man called Cockney Tom and he believed he had been saying too much about our Circumstances and that was the cause of our confinement. I told him to wait a few minutes – I wrote a note with pencil – put it into the heart of a loaf and sent it to Barker – it stated that my suspicion fell on Cheshire – I soon got an answer by the said Iago Orutea, in the same manner I sent. Barker thought it was only their Suspicions and could not believe any one would be so mad or villainous - however I was uneasy – we remained in Confinement a week when the very Crew of the French Whaler that crossed our stern a few days before at sea were brought in prinsoners – it appeared they were wrecked – but the Captn shewing his papers they were released – the Governor too had gone on a party of pleasure to the imperial a place were some Civilized Indians resided, in in the course of a fortnight he returned – and a fine noble looking fellow he was – the day after he arrived we were all ordered to the palaza, a palace to be examined – we were ushered into a spacious and elegant apartment a large table in the centre, the Governor sat at one end and a great number of officers were present – an interpreter was then introduced – a Captn. Lawson (a smuggler he commanded a Schooner then on the Coast, we were asked were did we com from or rather sail from – where and when first sprang a leak where was our Captn. and papers &c &c. I was selected to answer the questions – I answered them all as I thought satisfactorily – the Brig’s Glass and brass sheaves of the Blocks we had with us in the Boat were then brought forward

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forward – I accounted for them by stating that the British Government often have a sail of old stores and all things were sold with the government mark on them – and that the owners in the Merchant service would not trouble themselves in taking them out – still there was a something doubtful in the mind of the Governor – he said “call Thomas" when the redoubtable Cockney Tom made his appearance – he was asked by the Govenor if all he had stated privately to him was a fact, he said yes – and retired – which quite astonished us. The Governor was silent for a few minutes and then said “sailors you have come on this coast in a clandestine manner and though you put a good face on your story I have every reason to believe you are Pirates and unless you state the truth between this and 8 oclock tomorrow morning I shall give orders for you all to be shot – take them away - avast there said I a word with you upon the subject – we as sailors shipwrecked and in distress expected when we made this port to be treated in a Christian like manner not as though we were dogs; is this the way you would have treated us 1818 when the british Tars were fighting for your independence and bleeding in your cause against the old Spaniards – and if we were Pirates do you suppose we should be so weak as to cringe to your Tyranny, never (!) I also wish you to understand that if we were shot england will know of it and will be revenged – you will find us in the same mind to morrow we are in now, and should you put your threat into execution to morrow we will teach you Spainiards how to die" – all was quiet for a minute or two – a Lieutt. Day was sent for – he was asked if he had any knowledge of me he said I was only a Boy when on Board ship with Lord Cochrane but though a long time ago I think I have some knowledge of him, when I was asked some questions concerning the Fort at Corrale they seemed satisfied but orders were given for us to return to the Quartell this was about 12 oclock and we were still kept apart; about ½ past 1 oclock news came to us that Cheshire had been absent half an hour

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hour and they did not know where he was, but we soon heard for a fact that he had turned approver and stated the whole facts of the case fearful of what would follow. I stated to my companions there was only one way to baffle Cheshire’s expectations, that if we still denyed being after such convincing proof we should be the means of giving him sufficient room to hang us and escape himself therefore I proposed that if went before the Governor next day we should state the whole truth to him – to do away with Cheshire’s evidence and include him in the number – this was willingly agreed to by the rest, and accordingly the next day we were ushered before the Governor he asked us if we still persisted against the approver- I told him the whole of the circumstance, but also stated that we would rather have died than given him any satisfaction but our motive in so doing was that Cheshire should not escape but share the same fate as us; and as we had stated the facts of the case we hoped he (the Govr.) would not put Cheshire’s name down in his dispatches as the approver he said he would grant us our request, and he should fare as the rest – we all thanked him, the Govr. then turned to Cheshire and said “the whole of your shipmates giving in their true declaration and as you volunteered to give in your Statement without being asked to do so, you must share the same fate with them - (all eyes sparkled with Joy the Govr. And officers perceived it.) he then directed his discourse to us saying: he did not wish to keep us Confined and if we would pass our words that we would not endeavour to make our escape he would allow us to go about on the parole of Honor (!!) as there was plenty of work for the whole of us and that he would get a petition signed by himself and the principal inhabitants and forward it to the Supreme Govr. at Santiago informing him that we had thrown ourselves under the protection of their flag – and he had no doubt of a favourable answer – he then discharged us. Cheshire asked the Govr. to protect him that he was Confident if two or three of us came across him we should take his life for betraying us – we were

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were called by the Govr. who said, “this man Cheshire is afraid of his life therefore I am in duty bound to protect him as well as the rest of you therefore as he represents himself as a carpenter he shall reside near me and when he wants to go abroad one of my orderlies shall go with him and I hope none of you will molest him – we made no answer, we went to the Quartell and brought what things belonged to us away – and there was plenty of the inhabitants ready to receive us with open arms, I fell in with a kind friend name – Don’ – Fernando Lopez, a Merchant had a Wife and Four children, who were very soon fond of me – two days after our reliease the Govr. requested us to attend a ship Launch, which had been 3 years on the stocks, which we did and she went off in a masterly manner he also employed us in fitting at 16 Dollars pr. Month (4 weeks) after this I went to the house of my friend Lopez who would not allow me to work for any person but remain with him and consider myself as one of the family. I thanked him it was I could do at that time. however in the course of a few days Don Lopez informed me he had a great quantity of valuable skins about 50 miles up the river but the whirlpools and rappids were so strong that the Boat became unmanageable, the cargo generally lost and also lives at the same time. I told him if he would get me a small Boat and Crew I would go up the river and have a look at it and then I should be able to judge the better, I went and came back and informed him I would venture to take a launch up and if the Peons (oarsmen) would do as I bid them there would be no fear – he was glad to hear this and said he would accompany me, which caused a great many Ave Maria’s to escape the lips of his wife for our safety – all things being ready we got underweigh with a launch of 16 oars double Bank, as soon as we came to the Rio Primaro (or first river, which was 25 miles the men got some refreshment and started again – we reached shore all safe, got the cargo on Board and prepared to return I found a rudder was no no use I immediately unshipped it got a long oar to act as a steer oar and a strong indian to help me if required. This rather astonished them

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them with great attention I cleared the whirlpools and every other danger and reached home in safety. which was the first time of a cargo returning safe for a length of time (owing to them having no knowledge of a steer oar) all went on well but the dispatches had not yet returned from Santiago, there was a Lady of Don Lopez’s acquaintance called Donna Catalina Ascension, who begged as a favour from Lopez to use his interest in her behalf – in persuading me to go and live at her place during the time the slaves were making Cyder to protect her and her young son and property – The question was asked me if I would go – I felt for her – and Consented not knowing the Spitfire I had to deal with – I took leave of my friends and they parted with me as though I was there own Child, and begged of me to return as soon as the Cyder was completed I said I should – and it was not until dark at night we reached the Segunda Cruz. (or second cross) a half mile from her house, This we had to go by water – it being up the river and late I knew very little about the place, however, the next morning her son came to me (a youth about 11 years of age) and informed me his mama wanted me at breakfast, she called Antionetta a handsome slave girl about 16 years of age to clear the Breakfast things away – she informed me she gave a Cow and hatchet for her to an indian Cacique (or chief) she then came outside and called called all the slaves (23) and gave them to understand they were to obey me, they went to their work in fact everything apparently was in my charge I did not understand the meaning of all this and you must also understand she was a widow – at 12 oclock that day she went visiting. it was then I learned this Lady’s Character from Antionetta which caused me to wish to leave when she came home however I was put upon my guard, and I had been there about a month when she thought I was too kind to the slaves and in particular to Antionetta for which reason having a slight Quarrell with her she she tied her up by the thumbs to a beam with her toes barely touching the ground young Iago her son informed me of this and I went and cut her down, which so enraged her Mistress that she tied her up again

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I again took her down – and the Lady ran to a drawer and rushed at me with a carving – I tript her up, and took the knife out of her hands – she got up in her fiery temper ran into the room and brought another with a determination to do do me an injury I felt enraged at this and I was standing behind a chair and as she made a plunge at me with the knife as I thought to take my life, I lifted the chair of a sudden and struck her on the head leaving her as I supposed dead on the Carpet I felt rather sorry for striking her but when I saw the knife alongside of her I turned away with disgust I went directly got my bag and clothes with an intention to leave – I also went to Antionetta and persuaded her to go with me and I would find her a better Master which was Don – Lopez, she consented and off we went leaving the Boy Diego crying – for us leaving – I went to an Alcaldi (a Magistrate) and informed him of what had happened he said it was what he expected for her cruel disposition was the cause of her Husband, an officer, shooting himself I wished to get a canoe to convey me and the indian girl down the river, he informed me I could not get one until morning – I could remain in his house till then. I thanked him, but in the Course of that day, Ascension came to herself and found out were I was and sent some neighbours to me, and by long persuasion I returned to the house (though at the same time determined to leave) and a sad spectacle she was, but when she recovered she altered for the best and gained the good will of all her neighbours – and when on the point of leaving a second time when an occurrence took place which prevented me – a large party of Military was sent by the Govr. to our village to protect it from a threatened invasion of the Indians there was a small fort and I was sent for to get three guns on their Carriages for which I was taken much notice of, as I volunteered my service to fight one of the guns which the Captain gladly accepted the indians having some knowledge we were prepared for them never made their appearance, another incident happened me three days after which nearly cost me my life: the Military often came to the house of Ascension during the time they were manufactoring the Cyder and one afternoon she was taking a

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a Siesta when a black Sergeant, a Corporal, and two Privates came for the express purpose (being nearly drunk) of plundering the place of the cider, and Aquadent, when the Boy diego screamed, I then ran out and seen them forcing the door I rushed upon the nearest and sent him staggering with a blow from a stick I picked up which broke on his head the other three seeing this drew their Sabres and advanced towards me, I was at the same time slowly retreating backwards expecting every moment to be cut down, when the Boy Diego came up at the same time and put a hunting Spear into my hand – I then advanced to drive them off the premises keeping them in the front of me, when they began to divide themselves with a view to surround me, I then ordered the Boy to bring the horse pistol keeping them at Bay at the same time, the moment he made his appearance, the Sergeant made towards him, to get the pistol from him, I darted at him and wounded him in the breast, he fell, the Corporal made a cut at me, but missed me the brave little Boy Diego presenting the Pistol at them, saved my life, for they immediately ram away, I then went to the Sergeant who was walking away took him into the House bathed and bound up his wound, which had bled profusely, he begged of me not to mention it to the officers, I gave him my word I would not, and he left me satisfied and went to the fort not so with the other three – they found a Peon (a half cast Man) made him half drunk and gave him some money to kill me with his Sealing knife – I took a walk this eveing towards the Magistrate’s house – there was a number of men drinking Cider – when I came opposite to this miscreant with his knife under his Poncho or mantle, he asked me for the loan of my pipe - I did not like to refuse him – I gave it him – and waited a long time to see if he would return it I asked him for it – he threw my pipe on the ground which broke it thinking I would stoop to pick it up and then he would have stabbed me but seeing my pipe broke – my passion arose in a moment and I struck him in the face – the calves of his legs came in contact with a trough they used for making Cider in – it capsized him and on trying to save himself he exposed the open knife, I flew at him and took

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took it forcibly away from him while his companions were gazing at me – Margaretta the Magistrate’s daughter saw the whole of the transaction and begged of me to come into the House but I was so much vexed at the treachery – that I went home determined to quit that place where there was so much villainy, on my return home I met Lieut. Martell in company with Lady Ascension he nodded to me but me being in a passion I did not return it, and when I got home I threw myself upon a strow (or Sofa) to give vent to my feelings when Lieut. Martell came to me and asked me what was the Cause of my passing him in such a sulky mood, I answered him that I had great cause for being so, nor did I wish to state my grievance to him for I did not wish to cause any disturbance, but on the morrow I should take my departure for Vadivia the officer left me apparently in a passion, I then went to a Box for my wearing apparel and was in the act of securing them for my departure in the morning when Lieut. Martell came to me with an hasty step (Patriot like) in a great rage and said he was informed by the Magistrate’s daughter who was a witness to the whole proceedings and [indecipherable] the man that intended to take my life was confined on an Island in the centre of the river by his orders, and he would use his exertions to have him shot on the morrow and before I could give him an answer he made his exit. I now began to study what was to be done to save the Culprit’s Life, when I was aroused from my reverie, by a young woman with an infant in her arms, who thus accosted me, Don Santiago Honnor (my name being at that time James Honnor) I have been given to understand my Husband is very likely to be shot to morrow for attempting your Life, when in a state of inebriety, her sobbing Choaked her utterance, when she presented me the baby, I took it from her and kissed it, when she asked me almost stifled in tears whether I would

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save the child’s Father by forgiving him, or leave him to perish; herself would then be a widow, and the infant fatherless in the wide world, my heart ached for her and I told her frankly to make herself easy on that point that save him I would in hopes that he would never commit a Treacherous of the same kind again, she would have fallen on her knees but I sternly prevented her, she took the Child from me, made a curtesy but apparently her heart was too full with Gratitude to make any further reply, she then left the room, I felt somewhat relieved after this interview and was happy to think it was in my power to save a fellow man from an ignominious Death and also alleviating the acute anguish of a Wife and Mother, however, early the next morning Sergeant Orutea, came for me by order of the Captn. of the fort, I made my appearance when I saw the Captn. and several officers also the Alcaldi or Magistrate, and some of the respectable inhabitants, and in about five minutes the Sealer made his appearance with only a pair of Trowsers and Shirt on shivering with cold, he appeared to be very much alarmed, the Captain then informed him of his proceedings towards me and asked him what he had to say he said he was in liquor and that he knew nothing whatever of the proceedings, this would not Clear him, I plainly Could see the result if I did not put a stop to it, when I thus addressed the gentlemen, it is true I am an englishman the only one among you, yet I look with the same degree of pleasure on all around me as though it were my native Soil I stand on, Gratitude, for the kindness and protection I have received since my arrival on this land from the Cavaliers residing in the province of Valdivia Compells me to express my feelings that I consider myself thus far a true Patriot, that I am ready at any moment when required to fight under the Patriot flag and rather than flinch expire under it, all was silent and every eye upon me, I took an advantage of this and at the same

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same time said I wished them to grant me one favour that I was upon the point of soliciting, the answer was, they could not deny me, then, as I freely forgive yon mad brained sealer striving to take my life when in a state of intoxication I hope Gentlemen you will Coincide with my feelings, and Acquit him for this time for the sake of his Wife and infant Child, They all appeared to be amazed when at last the Captn. spoke (directing his discourse to the trembling Sealer) here is a contrast of great magnitude, only yesterday you were Contriving to take this Generous englishman’s life, and now he his supplicating to save your’s, for shame of you, and from this moment never, never forget the villainy, on your side and the compassion of the english Sailor on the other, at the same time I regret very much to think you are to escape so easy, go, quit my sight, and ever bear in mind, it is to this generous foreigner you are indebted for your Life, it took great impression on the Culprit and with eyes full of tears, he bowed gave a glance at me that I shall never forget, and then went out to his Wife who was happy to receive him. Thus the whole of the affair ended, and I returned home very much annoyed by their Continual thanks for what I had done, thus time rolled on for upwards of 4 months from the day of our arrival, when news was spread that a Friggate was at the heads and one of her boats endeavoured to pass the outer Fort when they fired a 32 pounder across her bows which caused her to return to the Ship (the Blond Friggate, Commanded by Commodore Mason) she stood out to sea again and at night made her appearance again. The Governor hearing this ordered the Military to go to where the englishmen were living and bring them to the guard house for the night, they did so, which caused my companions to be very uneasy particularly when they heard an English man of war was at the heads, between the hour of 11 and 12, the Governor made his appearance, and thus addressed my Companions, no doubt you were alarmed at my ordering you to be confined, my reason for it was I though when you heard a

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a Friggate was at the Heads you would run in the forest and the whole of you would be killed by the indians, the Commodore wishes you all to go on Board to give an account of yourselves, is it your wish to Comply with his request, no, was the answer, very well then he replied I shall send the Commodore a letter stating I will send a boat for him and he shall be conducted to my palace were he can have an interview with you. but I will not allow a second person to accompany him and he further said if they forced their way up I will send you all away into the interior, and let the Sea Lions find you) a term they give the english sailors) if they can, I have promised to protect you all, until the dispatches arrives from Santiago, and I will do so at the hazard of my life; you will find though a Foreign Officer, as firm and Humane a heart within this breast) placing his hand upon it( as any english officer that ever drew the breath of life; and as he said, so we found him, in every respect. Commodore Mason, being aware he could not get us on Board by fair means or foul, he up helm and bore away for Valparaiso, when the Governor received the news he released the whole of them to their great satisfaction, months past on without any further interruption, until such time we heard from the Governor that the Courier was detained by the Indians on his return from the Supreme Governor at Santiago, this we was very sorry to hear as we were very anxious to know the result of the dispatches, this news came to me in the interior while I was residing in the house of the Lady Ascension, I now considered I had been a long time from my first friend Don Lopez, I came to a resolution to return, and on the next day being monday. Three horses were got ready for Ascension her son and myself and we were soon on the road for the house of my friend; on Tuesday at 12 oclock we arrived safe and Senora Lopez received me with that joy as though I were here son, when her husband called me on one side and said there was a Vessel at the heads with a Governor on board to relieve Governor Sanchos and in a few days he landed, a complete Venro which we soon found out to our sorrow, the old Governor turned us over to him in a very humane manner requesting him to be kind to us for he had no doubt the return from Santiago would be greatly in our favour, we thanked him at the same time requesting him to allow us to pull him on board the vessel that was at anchor 9 miles down the river, he granted it

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the next day we arrived safe on board the Brig with the Governor his Wife and family, and before we took our departure he informed us that should he reach Santiago in safety I shall represent everything to the Supreme Governor strongly in your favour and do you all the good I can, we gave him three Cheers and left him, he had not been gone passing three days when we found out he had left us to the disposal of a Tyrant . his first Commencement was, that the whole of us should make our appearance every evening at six to the officer of the guard, for every person that passed to gaze at us, this looked so much like Macquarie harbour discipline, that we were determined the first opportunity we had to escape we would embrace it and sail clear of him with that intention I went on Board a Country Barque to help fit her out, which rather astonished my friend Lopez as he never wished me to soil my hands, I made an excuse that I did not like to live in idleness. this satisfied him, but I was rather astonished when on board to find soldiers placed there to watch my actions, this grieved me to the heart, and on the sunday I came to town to ask the advice of my friend Lopez, he advised me to remain quiet for a time and no doubt things would go better than anticipated I took his advice, and the same day went to one of my Companions John Barker who at this time was Married and asked him what he intended to do, he said two of our Carpenters were going to build a Whale Boat for the Governor and at the same time they meant to make their escape in her and to hold myself in readiness, this I was very glad to hear, but during the time they were building her an occurrence took place which we thought would afford us a good retreat, a very large Brig named the Ocean ! arrived and Contraband goods being found on board she was to be sold which would have ruined Captain West who was both Captn. and owner, he brought a Brace of splendid Pistols to John Barker to repair, expecting he would be ruined he was determined to blow the informers brains out Barker put the question to him if he would not like his Brig back again by fair or foul means he said he would but he thought she was passed recovery, Barker informed him he could find eight determined companions of his who would take her from

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under the Battery or perish in the attempt, he thanked him and said that will do, if I cannot compromise matters with them, it shall be as you say and I will lead your Companions, with this he bid Barker farewell who informed us of the whole of the proceedings which made our hearts leap with joy, at the idea of another chance, though in an affair of this description no quarter would be shewn on either side, two days past we heard nothing from Captn West which made us think it would come to a Crisis, one way or the other, very Shortly, but to our sad misfortune the Captain got two merchants as Bondsmen for him at £1000 each, when he was at liberty to sail when he pleased on the Sunday night, as he was to sail on the monday 6 of us took a small dingy to go down in the middle of the night and get on board of her ready to sail in the morning, but cruel fate had decreed it otherwise, we got on the bar in the middle of the night among a foaming surf and had to pull before it for our bare lives which was the means of our not being able to get on board of the Brig, and at daylight to our grief we saw her get underweigh and three of our companions that was working on board a cutter swam to her and got clean away, leaving 7 of us behind out if it, we returned to town the next day, and I went on Board the Barque to my usual labour, fatigued and vexed. I had very little heart to work, - a few more tedious days past and my Companions were getting on very rapid with the Whale Boat and in a Short time they completed her which done Sunday was the day appointed to start, but owing to some Circumstances or other they took their leave on the Saturday Lessley, Barker, Russen , and the second Mate of the Brig Liberta, myself not expecting them that night turned into my bunk in expectation of it being my last night, but what was my surprise the next morning at 9 oclock a boat of Military came to demand me and I was then conveyed to the Quartell were I saw Wm Shires Lyons and the Traitor Cheshire Confined, we were then the only four that was remaining out of 10, I then gave up all hope of ever regaining my liberty, we had been Confined above 7 months Chained two and two like dogs, when I was informed

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informed by a messenger from my friend Lopez that a vessell belonging to the english was expected hourly to convey us back from whence we came, this aroused my feelings and I was determined to make a bold push for it I got Shires to complain of sickness so that we should be seperated, this had the desired effect, they put me on a pair of Bar irons, the Bar placed across my instep so that I could not stride or step more than 4 or 6 inches at a time, this I endured for seven weeks until I found an opportunity one day Antionetta came in to see me, and asked me if I was ever coming out again Crying very much at my unfortunate situation. I requested her to Cease Crying and at the same time asked her if I dare trust her with a Secret to assist me in making my escape – I could see her dark penetrating eyes sparkle again at the base recital, she quickly answered yes. Then go immediately and bring me a thin knife and file and do not let a soul know your intentions, she soon made her exit and when she was gone I thought it was hard to trust a female with such an important affair, (but I found it was only a saying among my own sex for in my travels, and by experience, I have proved them to be as firm, and true, as my own sex) however she returned sooner than I anticipated with the file secreted in her long black hair and the knife in the sleeve of her gown, she gave them to me as private as possible, and with tears in her eyes ejaculated Sancta Maria protect you from the sabre of the soliders, I thanked her it was all I could do situated as I then was, she left me with a mournful Countenance afraid, as she said, that I should fail, the moment she was gone I went into the Closet notched the knife with the file, and in about three quarters of an hour I could take my irons off at a moment’s notice, the night was fast advancing. the hour of 8 approaching, when I was determined to make a fair wind out of irons or face the Sabres of my foes; I was sitting by the fire surrounded by the Cassadores (or horse soldiers), that constituted the guard giving them a few sketches of the english Navy, merely to divert them, my three fellow prisoners were there, Wm Shires being the only man that new my intentions, when I heard the clock strike eight a signal for me to be moving, as I past Shires my Companion, I squeesed his

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his hand. he retained it with a farewell shake. I then passed on to the door which led into the back square, the sentinal stopped me I told him that the Sergeant allowed me to go. he let me pass, (for I had made it a regular practise for several days previous to this of going out at eight oclock as they were relieving and coming back correct to there was very little notice taking of me) the moment I got into the yard, I shook off my irons, amd reared a plank against the wall, I had no shoes on, I went back about 21 yards and on looking behind me saw the door open. I made a spring and ran to the top of the plank and with a sudden spring catched hold of the top of the wall; haul’d myself up, ran down a veranda on the other side and jumped off, being 12 feet from the ground, strange to say I only strunned my feet picked myself up and made all the head way I could, The night was very dark and I was dessed all in white, which was not altogether in my favour, on going around the corner of a street a woman was standing with a lanthern in her hand which gave a spendid light. I walked deliberately up to her and kicked it out of her hand she screamed, I cared not. we were all in darkness, that was all I wanted. I could hear them in chace after me, I passed a street and then turned short round and took the turning I passed merely to defeat the vigilance of my active pursuers. I soon found myself in a swamp when I bedaubed my white clothes with black soil to prevent my pursuers seeing me so plain in the dark, which done, I hastened on my journey crossed a farm or two and made the road, at that very moment, I heard some one approaching on horseback. I soon found out they were the Soldiers in pursuit of me. I couched down and let them pass, which done I hastened across the road and went through the bush and soon reached the river side, when I saw a fisherman’s hut and a Canoe on the beach, I then went and had great difficulty in launching her, I left her merely hardened on the beach by the stem, and went in search of a paddle, I found one and when in the act of picking up, the casement flew open and a lump of a Spaniard thrust his head out I made a blow at him and struck the Casement which frightened him to that degree that I would venture

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venture to say he did not put his head out again until daylight, I then Crossed the river in a dismal fog. My Clothing covered with mud from which the cold was almost insupportable and I thought catched with the Cramp as I was, all my troubles were coming to a Close, and I should never again see the rising sun, I could then hear the soldiers bawling out Sentinela Alerte, this aroused me from my reverie, I struggled with all the strength I had which Circulated my blood and I soon reached the opposite shore, I then launched the canoe adrift to prevent them knowing for a certainty where I landed, I then made the best of my way into the interior, all that I had about me was a knife in a sheath a half pound of Tobaccoa, and 5 dollars of money, but nothing whatever to eat, I experienced a pureing Cold night and early the next morning I saw a Boy driving some cows and in looking ahead I saw a farm house, I made my may up to the house in question, when an elderly female requested me to come in. I did so and sat down, when in a short time she placed before me a very good breakfast, this to me was a treat for I was both hungry and fatigued - after I had satisfied the cravings of nature, my kind hostess asked me where I escaped from, I informed her I was a run away frenchman from a whaler then at anchor at the Heads, she smiled and made answer, you cannot deceive me Santiago do you not know Carmaletta Rey, I replied yes, that his my daughter she is married to an englishman called Cockney Tom she see me start at the name, when she said do not be alarmed for I do not allow him near my premises, and it is my wish for you to stop here, and I will was your Clothing and you can start early in the morning Clean and Comfortable, I was very thankful for her kindness and consented to stop, and found myself greatly refreshed the next morning, (I offered her half the money I had about me. she would not except of it) I then took my departure and proceeded on my journey. I walked the whole of that day, when towards evening I threw myself down beneath an apple tree and very soon fell into a sound repose I did not wake until the middle of the night wet through with dew, I rose

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arose and walked about for I found my limbs benumbed which cause me to travel on until morning daylight, when I observed some beautiful indian corn. I walked through about 100 acres of it, the moment I reached the extremity of the Corn I saw a farm house and necessity compelled me to steal from there a Poncho or Mantle to shelter me from the inclemency of the weather in the night, I then struck in towards the mountains with my prize, when about 2 oclock in the day I made the mountain struck into a path traveled on with all possible speed and to my sorrow late in the evening I found I had struck into a beaten path occasioned by Cattle passing which brought me to the same spot I started from, fatigued with walking and vexed at the disappointment I threw myself down on the grass, not even concealing myself from the view of any person that may accidently pass that way, I gathered the poncho around me, and very soon fell into a sound sleep. I awakened in the middle of the night arose and shook the dew off the mantle and walked about for an hour or so, and then retired beneath the large branches of a sassifax tree and towards morning fell asleep but to my astonishment a little after daylight I felt something tugging at the mantle that Covered me I immediately sprang upon my feet when I saw a young man of a robust appearance standing before me with a knife in his hand, and demanded the mantle as is father’s property, I gave it him in hopes he would depart satisfied, but he was not Content, he said I must go with him a Prisoner, this aroused me. I knew he was too Clever with a knife for me so I parlyed with him until I got a lump of a stick, which he perceiving made a rush at me, and fortunately I struck him a blow on the head which staggered him, I followed him up and another blow brought him to the ground, I took the knife and poncho from him again and when he came to himself I made him pilot me over the mountain as nigh as I can judge about 4 oclock we came to the cross roads he informed me one led to the imperial, and the other to Conception, he begged very hard of me to return his knife I at last consented I threw it from me a considerable distance and ordered him to go and pick it up and if he came in pursuit of me again I would show him no quarters if I got the best of him

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him. he thanked me for his knife and made his exit, thus far I got rid of a troublesome customer without sustaining any injury. I then traveled with all possible speed for Concepcion a beautiful little village, I traveled to that excess up a hill (expecting my pursuers would soon be after me) that when I gained the summit I was completely exhausted. I went and sat down on a bank and had not been there more than a quarter of an hour, when five Cassadores, or horse soldiers, galloped from a bridle path alongside of me before I knew where I was quivering their Sabres over my head, and had it not have been for the interference of the Sergeant no doubt I should have lost my life, for th Tyrant of a governor had given them orders to take no trouble with me for I should answer him as well dead as a live: but the Sergeant ordered me to be put on a horse back and my feet lashed under the animal’s belly with a lassoe, or cord, in this state they conveyed me to the first village, and to add to my misery I had a sharp touch of the dissentry, they certainly behaved very kind to me, for they expected when I reached my place of destination that I was to be shot I expected it myself, however we reached the village at night and I had some provision placed before me and also had a very good bed for the night, with a soldier inside the same apartment with me doing duty being relieved every two hours, Thus the night past daylight made its appearance, when I arose and at that early hour breakfast was prepared for me, but I was that much indisposed that I could not eat a morsel only Craving after drink, There was a number of females looking at me, and sympathised with me in my truly unfortunate situation, however we took our departure between 8 and 9 oclock in the morning and on account of my illness I was not lashed to the horse, we rode on until on or about 4 oclock in the afternoon (and I had occasion several times to alight during this short stage) we arrived at a farm House alongside of the river were we had some refreshment The canoe was then in readiness to convey us across the river the five soldiers got into her with all their horses (gear

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gear, and the horses standing in the water ready to start with the canoe, all things being ready I was standing on the Bank about seven feet above the Canoe when I was ordered to come into the canoe I jumped from the bank of the river on the gunwale with the reviving hope of Capsizing her, not caring at the time if we all perished together, or have a chance of escape by swimming, but all was in vain, nor did any of them have the slightest suspicion of my design, we very soon reached the opposite shore, and mounted again, and at dusk that evening we reached another farm house were a large pair of stocks were kept I had some nourishment brought me, and to work it off I was placed in the Stocks, I had not been confined passing half an hour when the Cholas that were sentinals over me made a fire which being so near my feet it put me in great pain, I requested them to remove it, they gave me no answer, being enraged by their cruelty I took the stone from under my head and threw it with all the violence I could among the three of them and knocked one of them down. The alarm was given they rushed upon me and confined as I was entirely helpless they belaboured me with the broad part of their sabres until I was black and blue, Their cruelty did not cease here, they fastened a cord above the ankle of each leg and then hauled them as far through the stocks as they could get them passed the cords over a beam above their heads making them fast, leaving me in the most excrutiating agony – I remained in this torture until daylight sleep was an entire stranger to me that night, and I thought during the night my heart must surly break at such treatment, revenge was my chief study the whole of that night, and when they cast me loose I had no use of my limbs, I had not been loose many minutes when the sergeant came to me and asked me if I was getting better, I looked at him and made answer better ? how

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how could you expect me to be better or even alive after the cruel torture you placed me in the whole of the night. he was struck with astonishment, when I related the whole circumstance he ordered the three Cholers and the four Soldiers to be forwarded to Valdivia there to be confined for cruelty until he returned to make his appearance against them, I could not travel that day being so much bruised by their cruelty, however I was sufficiently recovered the next day to proceed on my journey upon horse back, a Choler of Confidence had me in Charge to Conduct me to Valdivia, we rode on until we came to a very long mountain, neither of us offered to alight until we nearly reached the Summit our horses followed us like dogs, the place where the horses and mules was so much worn away that our horses were up tot heir knees every step they took, the pass was not more than three feet and a half wide, so that when the horse was walking in the centre he had very little room on either side of him, but outside of hose holes close to the precipice of more than 300 feet of a fall, there was a made path for the travelers to walk on, and the choler to exhibit his courage in my sight actualy rode his horse on this said Critical path all went on very well and in theCourse of time we reached the plains on the other side of the mountain, and there we fell in with Lieutenant Diez and six soldiers that had been in pursuit of me, he said he was very sorry for me which was all the Consolation he could give me, we proceeded on our Journey and towards evening was ushered into the Governors Palace where he was lolling in an easy Chair surrounded with his officers, the question he put to me, was, what caused you to run away sir (my answer was precisely this) two reasons I had for so doing, first, the cruel treatment and oppressioin of a Tyrant; secondly the reviving hope of obtaining my liberty the Governor made Answer, take him to the blacksmiths shop and see that a pair of bar irons is secured on his legs, and tomorrow I shall give orders for him to be shot in the public Square, I was quite indifferent as to his putting his threat into execution (for to speak Candid) I was tired of my wretched Life; I was then conveyed to the blacksmith’s shop and ordered to stand upon a large Anvil the irons were put upon me and a peice of red hot iron

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a peice of red hot iron hissing from the fire was placed in the end of the bar and actualy welded on to prevent the bar from slipping through, there were many young people both male and female gazing at me and numbers of them crying at the idea that I were to be shot the next day. I was then conducted back to the Quartel or prison, and that night several of the inhabitants came to console me in my unfortunate situation but I needed none., I was quite resigned to my fate, for I expected the Governor was inflexible – however towards morning Padre, Rosa, came to me (and knowing I was a protestant he was aware it was no use for him to talk to me about Absolution) he said, himself and several of his Brotherhood and also several females of distinction had been to the Governor pleading in my behalf and they found him a long time inflexible when at last by their earnest solicitations he consented to spare your life, and requested me to be the bearer of the news which I relate with great pleasure, and during your Confinement here I shall send your meals regular from my table, I returned him my sincere thanks and also those who had used their influence in my behalf – he passed his Benediction on me, shook hand with me and took his leave, Padre Rosa was as good as his word he sent me a comfortable breakfast, but I could not eat for my appetite had entirely deserted me on or about the same time the Tyrant of a Governor made his appearance and informed me I had to thank my numerous friends for being then alive as I richly merited death for making my escape, I informed him I have thanked them in the strongest manner my greatfull feelings would allow me, but as for you (addressing the Governor) according to your own declaration, I have nothing to thank you for, nor could I thank you under any Circumstances yourself being the Chief cause of my heartfelt misery: by your cruel oppression and Tyrany; he cast a fierce glance at me, and then left me to myself, thus weeks and months rolled on, close confined, when at last orders came for me and my Confederates were to be removed down the river to be lodged on board the Basilisk Schooner tender to the Blond Friggate, this took place when the inhabitants was taking their siesta in the afternoon so that the military should not be anoyed by them, we reached the vessel at dark that evening and the first person I recognized on board was the Governor whose oppression had been the chief cause of my misery; I unshipt a belaying made of Copper and struck at him in the heat of my passion with an intention of having revenge for the past Cruelties he had practised upon me, the blow glided from his head and struck him on the collar bone which caused him to shrink and before I could repeat the blow my arm was arrested by the Quartermaster, and the belaying pin taken from me. I should have been dispatched there and then, by the spanish Guard, had it not have been for the timely interference of the Commander and British seamen on board

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the four of us were then ordered below and the next morning the vessel got underweigh and in three days and nights brought up in Valperaiso the commander of the Basilisk heard on his arrival that the Blond Friggate had sailed for Callao the capital sea port of Peru on this account the next day day we got underweigh, and shaped our Course for Calloa, we called in at Concepcion a small Sea port remained there three days and then got underweigh again for our place of destination, which we reached in safety, and I have further to state, that the Officers and Seamen of the Schooner treated us with Humanity and kindness, pitying our unfortunate Situation, for which we returned them our most greatfull thanks, we were then drafted on board the Friggate ordered between decks and put into shackles, or bar irons. between two guns opposite the gun room on the Starboard side of the deck we only had one enemy on board the said friggate which was the first Lieutenant, but the Humanity of the second Lieutenant made up for it and I had the good fortune to find too seamen on board that had been shipmates with me in the Merchant Service, and they relieved me in every sense of the word (fullfilling the old proverb, that a Sailors heart is alway open to a shipmate in distress) we remained in Callao some few days and then got underweigh to return to Valparaiso on our return we put into the port of Concepcion, and there I contrived to effect my escape, I made it known to my Companion Wm Shires who was to be depended on, but he could not swim which discouraged him, there was another obstacle to my disadvantage, it being impossible for me to get off the shackels without the knowledge of the Traitor Cheshire and his companion and I was determined not to entrust them with such a secret, but my companion Shires did speak to them on the subject and they Consented to go, and on saturday night was the time appointed to put the trial into execution, on the afternoon of saturday I contrived to oval the whole of their irons so that we could slip them at a moments’ notice, they agreed with Shires to help get him to the shore as he could not swim, when Wm Shires came to me and said I should be sorry Jimmy of being the means of preventing you of getting your liberty I care not for the other two so I am aware they are Villians of the worst cast yet you could not do it without their knowledge therefore there being no dependence to be placed on them when I am overboard they may swim away and desert us, and I should be too heavy for you which would endanger our lives and liberty and they would get clear off, therefore I will remain where I am my only request is should you be fortunate you will not forget to see my Wife and little Son Bernado, and be a friend to them. I shall never see them more – he then turned away from me (with his eyes filled with tears) before I could make him an answer, this

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this touched me to the quick. however when he came to me again I me myself declared should I effect my escape I would be a friend to his Wife and a father to his young Son he shook hands with me and said I am now quite content and I hope and trust you will succeed, however night came on and scarce a ripple on the water the moon spreading its lustre around which occasioned the night to be as light as day, which was to my disadvantage, I was eagerly watching my opportunity when i put my hand upon Lyons, the Cowardly rascal began to groan and was very near the means of my being detected the Traitor Cheshire was very quiet yet I am certain he was awake at the time, finding neither of them was inclined to risk it, I took hold of my Companion Wm Shires hand and took, as I thought, a last farewell shake while he was asleep, I then placed my pea jacket along the bed to make it appear should the sentinal look over that I was asleep with my head under the cloths, which done I looked around me and found the marine that was keeping watch. over me was washing on the other side of the Gun, I then crawled away upon my hands and knees and arrived safe to the midship port, removed some things that was in my way and got safe into the main Chains. I was compelled to keep myself close to the Friggate’s side as I could see the shade and hear distinctly the voice of the sentinal conversing with the Quarter Master on deck. I cautiously crawled along until I reached the mizen Chains in safety I had not been there many seconds when a marine presented a pistol to my head and ordered me to come in board as a matter of course I obeyed him for there were two boats hanging by the guess warp along side had I jupmed overboard I would have been taken, it being as light as day, however I returned to my bed in a state of despair when a little before daylight I was aroused by a sailor (who formerly had been my Shipmate) informing me I was detected by reason of one of my fellow prisoners shaking the irons which attracted the sentinal’s attention he looked over and found I was missing. I thought at the time one of them may have turned in his sleep and shook them by accident, in the morning the four of us were ordered upon deck and questioned one at the time Cheshire declared he knew nothing about it whatever and Lyons the same, but when Wm Shires was questioned he said he was equaly guilty with me and willing to share the punishment with me and that the two seringing villians that denied any knowledge of it also knew about it,and said they would go, but their cowardly hearts would not allow them they were ordered to stand on one side when the first Lieutenant asked me the reason I attempted to make my escape, I said I considered that I had been prisoner long enough and that I had an undoubted right to escape if i could, and he may give orders to the sentinal if he saw me away from the Gun were I was confined to stand for no repairs but shoot me, and by the same rate if I catch the sentinal off his guard I would go overboard in spite of fate

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the the consequence be what it would, Commodore Mason overhearing our discourse made his appearance on deck and said let the men go below it is natural the man would endeavour to make his escape, and it is our duty to prevent him if we can, if they are guilty of the offence they are charged with they are to be treated as men, and if innocent, their case is very hard and aggravating to them, go below men he said, and when the vessel is in port you must remain in irons but when at Sea you can have the range of the deck, a few days after we got underweigh bound for Valparaiso and the second night we were at sea on of the seamen cut the head clew of Cheshire’s hammock and let him down by the run, which I afterwards understood was because he was the person that aroused the sentinal and caused me to be detected I am certain I should have soiled my hands with theVillians blood in the heat of my passion, only for the timely interference of my companion Wm Shires, whom I have to thank while I breathe for his good counsel, however after a smart passage we arnchored in Valparaiso and on the same day was drafted on board the North Star eight and twenty gun ship bound for england, and on the 16th of June 1836, we sailed from Valparaiso and experienced dreadfull weather under close reefed Topsails surrounded with ice berghs - being seven weeks before we could weather Cape Horn, we touched Rio de Janiero, and in the month of October we guarded on board the Leviathen prison Hulk at Portsmouth, the next morning we were conveyed on board the Brittania guard ship and there we were handcuffed from friday afternoon until monday morning two and two, upon two gratins, with two marines over each gratin. and a man for the express purpose of cutting our provisions into small pieces for they would not trust us with a knife on any consideration not one of us were allowed to go to the head of the vessel without a marine being handcuffed to us, on Monday Morning we were placed before Captn Dundas and several officers in the state room and went through a private examination Captn. Dundas appeared willing to release me but said it was out of his power, we were then sent back to the Hulk and went through a complete change with regard to our clothing, shaving, and Hair Cutting, also a great quantity of they termed old Gangers, came to see if they could recognize any of us, also Captains of different Hulks, and not one of them knew any of us, and on the twenty third day of December we embarked on board the Sarah Barque Commaded by Captn White and on the 24th set sail for V. Diemens Land, the moment we got into the Channel nearly all the prisoners were sick, I then exerted myself all I could in assisting them and clean the prison from filth for which I got my irons

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irons taken off, having a loose leg I could go aloft and make myself useful, this passed on in quietude for more than a month, and all hands on board were in good health. when a wretched Conspiracy got up by two foul fiends destroyed all my hopes and made me a wretched object, thus then it was, the Captn and surgeon had received in information that the ship was to be taken, and all were to be put to death with the exception of those who fought for their liberty, I did knot know a word of this, when in the morning the doctor and Captain called me on Quarter Deck and ordered me to be put ion irons, I was surprised at this, for I knew I had not Commited myself, however at eight oclock all hands were called upon deck and the number that was selected out were 60, there was english, irish, Canadians, Spannish, one Italian, and also a poor harmless French Sailor, that belonged to the ship, did not escape the perjured villians the first that was called out for punishment was my Companion Wm Shires, he wanted to know what it was for the doctor would not give him any satisfaction, they gave him 4 Dozen with a log line which nearly killed him, I was the next called and ordered to strip I would not obey them, the doctor asked me what I had to say - in the first place I wished to know what it was for, and in the next place if he did flog me (which he could do if he thought [obscured] would make both him and the Captain sweat for it when we reached our place of destination, my motive for this, was to find out who were those bad minded men that could raise such a plot – when lo and behold who should step out but Lyons and Cheshire and declared I was going to head 12 Canadians to rush the Quarter deck and slaughter all before me, knowing my innocence I stood almost petrified, and before I could recover myself, I was seized by the soldiers lashed to the gratin and a powerfull black fellow flogged me across the back, lines and every other part of the body until my head sank on my breast with exhaustion, as for the quantity of lashes I received I cannot say, for I would not give them the satisfaction to seringe to their cruel torture, until nature gave way and I was senseless – when I came to myself they were casting me loose, I then walked to my Companion in misfortune, the two miscreants were pointing out what men they thought proper, nor did they cease flogging until 7 Bells half past eleven being upwards of 3 hours and a half inflicting inflicting of torture me and my Companion were ordered below and put into one Birth fitted up for the occasion it would scarcely Contain us it being so small, our feet were chained together, our hands lashed behind us, our flesh

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flesh lacuated in a shocking manner bleeding profusely, the heat of the place added to our misery, and what was worse than all the two purjured villains, that were once our Companions, who had plunged us into missery were placed as sentinals over us to see that we received nothing extra in the shape of food – alas who could describe my feelings no person in existence - it was past description, my unfortunate Companion groaning (and as I thought dying along side of me) that was the time my gentle reader I craved for death! to alleviate my tortured feelings – and when describing this part of my narrative I feel as though I now can forgive them – for three weeks we were Confined in this Cruel manner when the surgeon began to be alarmed as he perceived we were fast hastening to the grave – for we had more the appearance of skeletons than living beings) he released us, and our arms fell, as it were useless at our side – Certainly I must allow it was a happy releasement from torture – the surgeon then sent of one and asked me if I still persisted in my innocence, I replied as he considered himself a Judge he ought to have sufficient proof before he tortured me in the manner he had, I then took up the Bible and swore a solemn oath that I neither knew hand act or part of the affair I was accused of – nor did I think anything of the kind was to take place. he said he could not immagine what their motive could be in telling such falsehood - I then explained to him what I considered was their motive for so doing – Cheshire and Lyons have confessed to you they were two fo the men that assisted to capture the Frederick Brig, they also suspect when they reach Hobart Town that they will surely die an ignominious death! for the said offence, they immediately Contrive this plot, to make you, and the whole of the passengers on board believe they have been the means of saving your lives – under this impression – they expect (when) they arrive at Hobart Town, that the whole of you will use your influence in their behalf, and by those means save their lives. this I considered was their ingenous stratagem to save themselves – and a most Cruel one I considered it was – I then took my leave of the surgeon, in deep meditation returned to my Companion got some cold water and washed each others back. at this time they were getting better, I also requested a sheet of paper pen and ink from t he surgeon he willingly granted it to write a letter to my friends. and while meditating upon my truly unfortunate situation I perceived Cheshire and Lyons watching my motions in particular when they observed the pen, ink and paper I had in possession, however I took no

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no particular notice of them, but wrote a letter to my Parents and concluded with those few lines of my own composing, –
How wretched is an exile’s state of mind, When not one gleam of hope on earth remain,
By grief worn down with servile chains confined, And not one friend to sooth his heartfelt pain,
Too true I know that man was made to mourn, A heavy portion’s fallen to my lot,
With anguish full my aching heart is torn, Far from my friends by all the world forgot,
The feathered race with splendid plumage joy, extend their throats with a discordant sound,
With liberty they spring from spray to spray, While I so wretched exile gaze around,
Farewell my Sister, Aged Parents dear, Ere long the sand of life while Cease to run,
In silence deep a sympathetic tear, For your unhappy Exiled ! long lost! Son;
O cease my troubled aching heart to beat, Since happiness so far from thee have fled,
Haste, haste unto your silent cold retreat, In clay cold earth to mingle with the Dead,
I had scarcely finished it, when a Soldier Officer and two of his men rushed upon me snatched the Letter out of my hand exclaiming, I have got you at last, but when he read the contents he waved his hand for the two soldiers to go on deck, he then said did you write the whole of this, I answered yes and also my genuine feelings were summed up in the said few lines – he exclaimed, I feel for you from my heart. I then asked him, why he snatched my letter from me in such an abrupt manner, he said, Cheshire and Lyons had given information to the surgeon, that you were writing on small strips of paper and sending them to different individuals, to persuade the remainder of the prisoners to rush and take the ship, I asked him his opinion of the two men, he said I believe them to be two perjured villians and on that account I will stand your friend, I thanked him, and he went upon deck, taking the letter with him, in a short time after I was sent for in the dispensary before the surgeon the Military officers and Captn and Chief Mate of the ship, several questions were put to me concerning the Capture of the Frederick, I gave them no satisfaction, they also asked me if Cheshire or Lyons were ever my Companions, I denyed having any knowledge of them for certain reasons of my own. The captain said it was very strange they should own me, and I would not own them – I made answer, when we arrive at our place of destination you will find who is right, or who is wrong. It may appear strange to the reader that I persisted in this falsehood. Therefore I will give you one reason, if I confessed to them I was the man those traitors represented me they would look sharp after me and prevented me making any escape, for it was my intention as soon as we made the head land of V. diemens to jump over

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overboard and either drown or make my escape as I knew every creek and corner in it, this then was the principle cause of my persisting in the falsehood. but to proceed, after this interview I was allowed a little more liberty in the vessel still my actions were watched very narrowly – all things went on very well until Cheshire the promoter of all evil was taken before the surgeon and there accused by a man of endeavouring to persuade him to join him in a plot and swear another Conspiracy was in Contemplation, and if he would be staunch he would answer that when he landed in Hobart Town he with others would get their ticket of leave, he asked Cheshire how he was to act, he replied you must declare you overheard Connor (which was the name I went in) and Shires contriving a plan to get through the dispensary force the Bulkhead and get into the cabin assisted by the doctor’s mate, and then the ship would be their own, this was the declaration of the man who would not be biased by the perfidious villain Cheshire, (this man’s statement was supported by two very good characters on board that overheard the conversation). This last act of Cheshire’s entirely overthrew all the good he considered he had done for himself, by the first false information he gave, and was the means of turning all the passengers again him the surgeon ordered him to be placed on a form between decks not allowed to speak to any person and if he disobeyed the man in charge of him was to knock him down, to see the destroyer of my happiness and traitor withall ensnared in his own trap (that he set for me and others) gave me great satisfaction, knowing it would be the means of his sharing the same fate with me, be it life or death – (to exult in a fellow prisoner’s downfall is quite foreign to my nature but pardon me on such an occasion as this, I could not avoid it as he had proved himself a monster in human shape) after this had taken place the surgeon began to suspect he had punished us wrongfully, and also the french Sailor belonging to the Ship, who ever since the first information had been kept in irons and brutally treated by Captn and men, but they dare not take him out of irons afraid he would enter an action again them for cruelty. The captain to save himself was compelled to act with polished villiany to get some of the prisoners (who were bad enough to declare) that the French sailor asked them to assist to

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to assist in taking the ship which would justify the Captain and Surgeon for their Cruelty towards him, and in March 28th, 1837, we came to an anchor in Hobart Town Harbour early in the morning about 12 Oclock Captain Foster the chief Police Magistrate came on board, when to the astonishment of all present I was known as one of the men that assisted in Capturing the Brig Frederick we were then Conveyed on shore the whole of us ironed the unfortunate french sailor being one of the number, I felt for him from my heart his haggard appearance occasioned by fretting Caused him to have a ghastly appearance, he held his his head down the only foreigner among us. I knew he was innocent but at that time I could not assist him at this time the crowd was so great that caused Cheshire to come close along side of me I seized him by the throat and hurled him over my hip and would have throttled him but was prevented by the police, we however soon reached the prison when myself and Companion were put in a cell together The next morning we went to the police office and even Cheshire tried his last effort to save himself but Captain Foster was too shrewd a gentleman to allow him to escape and also informed him an approver was not required and to prepare himself to share the same fate with his Companion I could not avoid ejaculating (thank God Captain Foster asked me my reason for thus expressing myself I replied, because I saw him administering justice by not allowing an approver in the Case. I am guilty and willing to put up with the consiquines and if I die for it, it will not be for a dishonourable crime, we were then fully Committed to take our trial for piracy on his Majesties high sea, and on the 26 day of April I was tried for the said offence. The trial commenced at 10 Oclock in the morning and I was found guilty of piracy at half past 10 at night irons of 25 lb weight were fastened on my legs and then put into a cell with Shires expecting our days were numbered we comforted each other as we could and had not the Colony been Governed by the Humane Captain Franklin I should not now have been alive to write this small naration of my life of misery, woe be to us had the bloodthirsty Arthur have ruled. I was then two years and 4 months confined in Hobart Town Gaol in irons when orders came we were to be forwarded

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Norfolk island wer Tyranny and Cruelty was in its vigour one Major Bumbry was Commandant when I arrived, I saw a specimen of his cruelty when I arrived I had not long been there when Major Ryan arrived, he proved himself to be as much the father of the poor exiles as Bumbry did the brute when at last Captn Maconochie arrived, the gallows that used to stare us in the face was Cut down and burned a sure sign of a good feeling his whole study is been to act as lenient towards us as far as he possible can and by such means as had a good effect upon some of the most refractory Characters that could not be ruled by harsh and Cruel treatment. I speak for myself and six more young men that would rush upon Bayonets to obtain our liberty previous to the arrival of Captn Maconochie, we have given our words neither to abscond with a boat or allow one to be taken under any Circumstances and we have proved to him and all the officers on the island that our Commandant’s Humanity as brought us to a sense of our duty never to lose the only thing an unfortunate doth possess – His Word - wer harsh treatment and Tyranny would drive a man to despair and compel him to break a thousand words to get away from it – thus you find my gentle reader after all my trials and troubles I am now at Norfolk island and live in hopes by my good conduct to become once more a member of good Society – James Porter

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The first cause of my downfall was playing the truant, afterwards breaking the Sabbath, and very shortly afterwards forgot an indulgent aunt


[Transcribed by Tomas Drevikovsky and Robert Williams for the State Library of New South Wales]