H O B A R T T O W N.
Sitting Magistrate—Thomas Archer, Esq. Assize of Bread—Wheaten 8d. Household 7d.
SAVAGE MURDER.—We regret we are called again to record another, and not a new act of savage barbarity.
On the 25th of October last a party of five persons, consisting of James Foley, John Sher- berd, Zachariah Chaffey, William Garth, and John Kemp, all young men residing at this Set- tlement, proceeded in an open boat belonging Mr. T.W. Birch to Oyster Bay, distant from
our harbour about 150 miles N.E. in order to procure swan feathers, and kangaroo, seal, and swan skins. Their labours were attended with more than usual success ; having at this place
procured 300lbs. of swan feathers, 60 swan skins 100 kangaroo skins, and 34 live swans ; and at Big Swan Port (commonly called the White Rock), which lies nearly contiguous, they got 150 seal skins. Their labours being thus suc- cessfully terminated, they were inclined to re- turn home ; and in order to arrange for that purpose, on the 13th instant they put into Grindstone Bay (31 miles distant from Oyster
Bay, where from contrary winds they were
detained three days. During their stay at this place, they went a second time to Big Swan Port, for the purpose of increasing their num- ber of seal skins, leaving behind John Kemp in
care of the live swans, 4 kangaroo dogs, 3 mus- kets, some ammunition, sealing knives, and the various skins, &c. they had procured. After having obtained more seal skins, they returned the same day to Grindstone Bay ; and when near the shore, the first object which attracted their sight was the corpse of their unfortunate companion Kemp lying at the water's edge,
cut and mangled in a manner too shocking to relate. Foley instantly jumped out of the boat and had only time to perceive that the greater part of the articles left with the deceased were destroyed or taken away, when the natives, who
were in ambuscade, suddenly appeared on the beach, armed with spears. He made all speed to return, and with the help of Chaffey with the greatest difficulty got the body in the boat ; immediately after which, they moved
off, and fortunately got out of the reach of the natives. On the approach of the boat, two of
the dogs that were at some distance on a rising ground set up a terrible howl, ran to the water, and swam to the boat ; one was also found dead by the body of Kemp, and the other, from the blood, and foot-marks on the sand, is conjectur-
ed to have been killed by the native’s spears. A native girl, who had been some time among
those at present walking about the streets of Hobart Town, accompanied this group, which consisted of nearly 20. She often in an appar-
net friendly, but artful manner entreated the party to return, which they very prudently de- clined, and instantly made sail from the awful scene. Owing to unfavourable winds for four
days and the putrid state of the body, they were reluctantly compelled to put into East Bay,
where they performed the last offices of hu-
manity to their unfortunate fellow creature. It may be regretted that the muskets and am- munition are now in the possession of these na- tives, as their natural fear of fire-arms maybe in some degree removed by the native girl before no- ticed. We have only to hope, that this unhappy circumstance will put persons, who are in the habit of frequenting the woods and islands, on their guard in future not to lose sight for a mo- meant of their arms, or to go any distance with- out them, which would probably in all cases pre- vent disasters of this description, and the neces- sity of proceeding to extremities on either side, so much to be desired.
We are credibly informed by a person who has often visited Oyster Bay, that it is a favorite resort of the natives, no less than 500 having been seen assembled there at once.