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2-184 (Raw)

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author,male,Broadside,un addressee
Newspaper Article
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Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Ingleton, 1988
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SYDNEY, Wednesday Dec. 19, 1838
Yesterday, at nine o'clock, Kilmaister, Hawkins, Johnson, Parry, Foley, Oates, and Russell, the seven convicted murderers of the blacks at Liverpool Plains, paid with their lives the last earthly penalty of their crimes, and have now gone to meet the award of an Almighty God.
From the time they had received sentence, even up to the morning of their execution, there were many persons who thought it probable that the sentence would not be carried into execution, and attempts were made by petitioning His Excellency to extend mercy to them; but the reply was that the law must be carried into effect.
Very early yesterday morning, the belief that a reprieve would arrive for the unfortunate men, became very strong, when at five A.M, a message was despatched by His Excellency to Mr. Keck, the Governor of the Gaol, to wait upon him. which he did forthwith, and ascertained that his presence was required in order that arrangements might be made to repress any violence, should any be attempted on behalf of the condemned men by the mob. This was deemed not improbable, on account of the degree of excitement which the case had occasioned in the public mind.
About eight o'clock a number of persons began to assemble on the Rocks at the rear of the Gaol, and shortly after a few persons who had made application on the previous day, were admitted within the walls. By orders of the Sheriff all other persons were refused admission into the yard at the time of the execution, and this arrangement no doubt gave offence to many persons who applied for admission, but the good effect was apparent by preventing the rush of the rabble usual on such occasions.
The mob outside was not so great as might have been anticipated from the degree of interest taken in the case, although larger than on any former occasion.
Shortly before nine a guard of eighteen men of the 50th. regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Sheaffe, arrived and immediately afterwards the Sheriff.
The men had been engaged in their religious exercises previously, and when the clock struck nine, the procession began to move. Kilmaister, Hawkins, Johnson, and Parry, Protestants, were attended by the Rev. Mr. Cowper and Mr. Hyndes, of Sussex-street; and Foley, Oates, and Russell, Catholics, by the Rev. F. Murphy, Roman Catholic Priest. They seemed greatly dejected, and Russell was much agitated, that he was obliged to cling to the Priest's coat for support. As soon as they had entered the yard, the High Sheriff read over to them the warrant for their execution, which he said by a letter from His Excellency the Governor, had been appointed to take place that morning.
When the warrant had been read over, Foley the youngest of the culprits, addressed Mr. Macquoid, and requested permission to embrace his unfortunate companions, and the request being complied with, they kissed and shook each others hands, and with eyes streaming with tears, bade each other a last adieu.
They shook hands with Mr. Keck, and embraced Mr. Hibbs, the principal turnkey, and then knelt down, and proceeded with their devotions, at the close of which they mounted the scaffold attended by the clergymen, who continued to exhort them, while the final preparations were being completed.
These done, the Rev. Gentlemen, and the executioners descended the scaffold, and in the short interval that followed previously to the falling of the drop, the cries of the men to God for mercy were distinctly audible, and they were soon launched into eternity. [201]
Reason and experience alike conspire to impress us with the belief that the unhappy beings who have just suffered, if they did not actually act under the orders of some higher and concealed party, were at least persuaded that in doing as they did they were acting in accordance with the wishes of their superiors, whom it was both their interest and desire to please.
We dwell on this case the more particularly because it has given rise already to feelings which, unless we are mistaken, must have a powerful effect on the future peace and welfare of the community. Unhappily, on this occasion, men holding the very first rank in our colonial society have united with the very dregs of that society in the attempt to justify and uphold the murderers, and to protect them from the just consequences of the law.
During the examination of the troops in the garrison before Sir Maurice O'Connell, yesterday morning, a conversation was overhead between two gentlemen, the one resident in Sydney, and the other a settler from the interior, and which considered in conjunction with the ill-suppressed murmurings of the rabble at the execution, over, as they said, the alleged hardships of hanging so many white men for the murder of a few black cannibals, gives food for thought.
After the usual salutations, the countryman asked: - "Have they hanged the men?"
"Yes," replied the citizen. "I understand they have."
"It is a damned shame," said the countryman. "But, we have fallen on a safer game in our part of the country."
"Indeed, pray what is it?"
"Oh! we poison them, and have done so to a good many already," explained the countryman. "Serves them right too."
It is well-known that arsenic is used in great quantities by the shepherds of our interior, in curing scab in sheep. It is kept in every hut at every sheep station in the country.
The hut-keepers make wheaten cakes, and they have only to mingle a portion of arsenic in a particular cake and mark it, and give it to the Blacks as a present. It will despatch them rapidly or lingeringly, according to the quantity infused.
The natives die or they languish a few weeks and then die. There is no Surgeon, no Protector, to report their death, or to examine into the disease which caused it. We can see at no distant date the entire extirmination of our black natives of the interior.
If there be any actual ground for this supposition, and that the unfortunate men, who have just suffered, were urged to the commission of the atrocious deed by parties yet behind the curtain, we trust that no pains will be spared until the whole murderous crew are brought to the bar of justice.