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2-012 (Text)

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addressee author,male,Broadside,un
Newspaper Article
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Plaint Text :
Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Ingleton, 1988
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2-012-plain.txt — 4 KB

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Apprehension of the MONSTER JEFFERIES.
The Tasmanian monster Jefferies we rejoice in stating has been secured. His earthly career shall soon be terminated, when he will enter into the presence of the Judge Eternal to answer for crimes of the most awful and revolting complexion. The celebrated Michael Howe of Tasmanian celebrity is in no way comparable to this wretch, for Jefferies stands confessed in our opinion, the greatest monster that ever cursed the earth. It is with much satisfaction we communicate the following authentic particulars of the providential capture of this worst of monsters in human shape.
"On the 22nd instant, about 8 o'clock in the morning, three parties had met at Mr Davies's hut, where they were breakfasting, when Jefferies made his appearance. He was first discovered by a boy belonging to Mr Cox, of the aboriginal tribe, who immediately exclaimed - 'There is Jefferies!'
"The parties remained concealed till he was within reach of a musket ball, when one of Mr Davies's men and one of Mr Wedges's party rushed out. As soon as Jefferies perceived them he got behind a tree, and observing several others, he asked if there was any quarter, and was answered in the affirmative by Mr Wedges's man, who was just going to fire, saying - 'Yes, lay down your arms.' With this he readily complied, and was taken, and brought to Mr Cox's, where Mr Batman received the following most horrid particulars from his mouth: - "On Christmas day he fell in with the two men on Mr Sutherland's grazing farm, one of whom ran away, but the other exchanged a few shots. He was at last wounded by Jefferies in the thigh, and his brains blown out by one of the party.
"About a week after this he went to Mr Tibb's house, and led captive Mr and Mrs Tibbs, their child, and a stock-keeper a few miles into the woods, when one of Jefferies' associates shot the stock-keeper, and the other fired at Mr Tibbs, who instantly fell and was expected to have been mortally wounded. Mrs Tibbs was obliged to proceed with them further into the woods, but not walking fast enough as Jefferies wished, in order to lighten her load he took the child, which was but five months old, from her and dashed out its brains on a tree-trunk.
"The next barbarous murder he committed was that of Constable Baker, of whom he compelled to carry his knapsack, and whom he deliberately shot as he was proceeding with it on his back. They were then twelve miles from George Town.
"Some time after this they fell short of provisions, and cast lots who should die. The lot fell upon Russell, but he did not believe his companions to be in earnest; and, therefore, in a convenient place, lay down and composed himself to sleep. Jefferies took advantage of his defenceless condition and shot him through the head, and he and his remaining associate lived on his flesh for four days. When they arrived at a stock-keeper's hut, where they killed two sheep, they had about five pounds of his flesh remaining.
"The monster arrived in Launceston a few minutes before nine o'clock on Sunday Evening. The Town was almost emptied of its inhabitants to meet the inhuman wretch. Several attempts were made by the people to take him out of the cart that they might wreak their vengeance upon him, and it became necessary to send to Town for a stronger guard to prevent his immediate despatch. He entered the Town and gaol amidst the curses of every person whomsoever.
"This morning I had the opportunity of seeing him, and a more awful spectacle you cannot conceive. He appeared very anxious to die, and is confessing all his sins in writing down his life with the intention of having it published. He is a painter by trade, aged 34, having been born in the City of Bristol in the year 1791 He writes a legible and clear hand; his story reads tolerably well; but the orthography is indifferent, as might be expected from a creature that has passed his life in the most foul and bloody career ever narrated. He has made some drawings, in which he has pourtrayed himself in various circumstances, but still keeping in view the demoniac cast, which stamps him a very fiend."