Friday, May 12, 2006

Australia's first bushranger (outlaw)

Australia was settled by Europeans in 1788. Our history books usually neglect to mention the fact that there were also people who were not white who came to Australia on the First Fleet.

There were slaves from the West Indies who upon becoming free men in Britain, resorted to stealing. In those days, theft was a serious crime, and those convicted were shipped off to penal colonies like Australia.

One of these men was John Caesar (Black Caesar) who was a petty thief and pickpocket. He was a big black man with a larger appetite than the meager rations provided (there was also a food shortage in the Port Jackson settlement, now Sydney).

He escaped from custody and kept on stealing food (amongst catching fish and game). Eventually he was shot and killed by a free settler for a five gallon rum reward.

As stealing food was a hanging offence, the killing of Black Caesar was not even murder.

You can hear more about Australia's first bushranger from
- Cassandra Pybus in The Book Show, ABC Radio National, 11 May 2006

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I had a boring day by myself today. Thank goodness my human is home tonight. I plan for lots of lap time over the weekend.


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