August 18, 2007

30 January 1807, by Elizabeth Macarthur

Can people develop normally in NS Wales? I ask myself that about my children, for I know others who are raised by convict servants and suffer for it. The servants have been convicts, some of them, but none in the house. Away from the farm though and all differs - Mr. Hunter when Governor informed me that of the 5,000 nearly then in the colony, only 1200 were still under sentence, the remainder expirees, or soldiers, civil and free. We had no arrivals during the War, so I imagine now even more are free and expirees, but they live substantially different lives - from scallywags of the worst kind to Mr. Taylor, our police and the sadly-departed Mr. Barrington, although the violence surprises me still. Even among the military there is too much calling out over the tiniest slights - and every emotion seems magnified. As Hannibal said recently, "a man can be slighted here for much less than at Home and with greater consequences. Personally I didn't speak with more than half of my society, but that wouldn't do here!" He was right to say that - only since returning from England and having sold his commission has John not gone out sworded. I understand Edward has a pistol somewhere on his horse, secreted away, and the hunters go in pairs. And yet so few must cooperate - we have Bligh breathing over our shoulders, stealing our land, claiming it a lease not a grant, while Mr. King the governor granting it is still here on-board! If Mr. Marsden would cooperate, and bring along his supporters the Governor would quail and relent. Unfortunately Mr. Marsden is sailing away, so who knows what the future brings?

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