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Original Documents on Aborigines and Law, 1797-1840

Document 62

Original Document 62

             [347] The Queen against Long-Jack an Aborigine

For the murder of his wife.

Sydney May 1st 1838 


I, yesterday, visited Long-Jack in Sydney jail at the request of the Crown Solicitor, in company with M'gill an aborigine through whom I obtained much assistance in obtaining a knowledge of the native language, to assist in obtaining the Prisoner's defence, which is simply as follows:

            Long-Jack says that he carried water for the master of the Public house next to the Court House Maitland; that the Landlord gave a cask that had contained rum to two other blacks in the afternoon, the same being two-thirds high; that the two blacks put half a bucket of water into the cask, and let it remain until the next day; that on the following day himself and four blacks with his wife the deceased drank themselves drunk, they then went up Maitland town, where about the middle of the town, his wife said to him, you go and take another woman , and scattered his flour on the ground, which flour she had obtained   for the sale of fish; that he then beat her, not for spilling the flour [348] but because he was angry with her for telling him to take another woman, and being very drunk, he struck her first and then another Black, when he looked around he found she was dead, then as he walked away the Constable took him; On the next day when he was sober he cried for sorrow that he had really killed her in his drunkenness.

                                                                                    L. E. Threlkeld


[1] We would like to thank volunteer Ron Hulme for his meticulous transcription and presentation of the above document.

Published by the Centre for Comparative Law History and Governance of Macquarie University, and State Records NSW