Thursday 15 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

9 p.m. Thursday, 15th Sept.

After we had turned in last night Captain Martin came on board on his way to Kangaroo Island from his trip up the Gulf. He gave us a very favourable account of the country and the few natives he met with were peaceable – but as we are going the same road in a day or two we shall be able to judge for ourselves. After breakfast Martin, Hill and myself went on shore to the tents and had not long been there before our Sealer returned from Encounter Bay bringing with him eight of the natives who promised to take care of our garden. These men are much the same in appearance and belong to the same tribe as the two we saw on the Island. There were no women with them except those belonging to the Sealers. It appears that the small-pox commits great ravages against them as three of them were deeply pitted and one has lost an eye from the same disease. Two of them had congenital malformations – the most singular – of the arm, there being in the place of that useful member a shrivelled stump not more than ten inches in length with three small appendages the rudiments of fingers at the end of it. They are all more or less tattooed in a very rude way, the principal incisions being on the back and two very large ones of a similar shape over each blade-bone. Their faces are free from these mutilations which are made with pieces of flint. This tribe is a very small one – a great number being carried off yearly by disease and a still greater number being put to death shortly after their birth. They hold a …[pages torn from journal]

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