Jerilderie Letter - Public Record Office Victoria - Public Record Office Victoria (State Archives of Victoria, Australia)
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Creator: Public Record Office Victoria
Provenance: VPRS 4966 P0 Unit 1 Item 5
Transcript: to gallop away but the horse would not go & as quick as thought fired at me with the rifle without unslinging it & was in the act of firing again when I had to shoot him & he fell from his horse. I could have shot them without speaking but their lives was no good to me. McIntyre jumped on Kennedy's horse & I allowed him to go as I did not like to shoot him after he surrendered or I would have shot him as he was between me & Kennedy therefore I could not shoot Kennedy without shooting him first. Kennedy kept firing from behind the tree my brother Dan advanced & Kennedy ran I followed him he stopped behind another tree and fired again. I shot him in the arm pit & he dropped his revolver & ran I fired again with the gun as he slewed around to surrender I did not know he had dropped his revolver. the bullet passed through the right side of his chest & he could not live or I would have let him go had they been my own brothers I could not help shooting there or else let them shoot me which they would have done had their bullets been directed as they intended them. But as for handcuffing Kennedy to a tree or cutting his ear off or brutally treating any of them, is a falsehood, if Kennedy's ear was cut off it was not done by me and none of my mates was near him after he was shot I put his cloak over him and left him as well as I could & were they my own brothers I could not have been more sorry for them this cannot be called willful murder for I was compelled to shoot them, or lie down & let them shoot me it would not be willful murder if they packed our remains in, shattered into a mass of animated gore to Mansfield, they would have got great praise & credit as well as promotion but I am reconed a horrid brute because I had not been cowardly enough to lie down for them under such trying circumstances & insults to my people certainly their wives & children are to be pitied but they must remember those men came into the bush with the intention of scattering pieces of me & my brother all over the bush & yet they know & acknowledge I have been wronged & my mother and four or five men lagged innocent and is my brothers & sisters and my mother not to be pitied also who has no alternative only to put up with the brutal & cowardly conduct of a parcel of big ugly fat-necked wombat headed big bellied magpie legged narrow hipped splaw-footed sons of Irish Bailiffs or english landlords which is better known as Officers of Justice or Victorian Police who some calls honest gentlemen but I