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Frances Samuel

In their own words

Frances Samuel
Audio: 2 minutes

I was at the bathing house in the Domain with my mother, my aunt and my brother.

After we had bathed and returned to the dressing room, I remarked that there was a disagreeable smell in the place, which caused us to open the door. There was a woman sitting outside. My aunt observed that it must be a dog that was there, but which I did not see before my aunt mentioned it.

We left the bathing house, and when we had got to the road, we perceived the woman we saw at the bathing house, and the man, Jordan, standing together at the fence. The woman said to Jordan, ‘There she is’, whereupon the man came up to us and used exceedingly bad language towards me and struck me two blows with a switch. The prisoner also struck me with his fists, and knocked me down and then kicked at me. He said he would jump my inside out. When my brother, who was with my mother in the carriage, came up to us, the man and woman went away, and we, and my aunt, followed them to their home in Phillip Street. Jordan made use of the most disgusting language towards us through the streets. The bonnet produced is the one I wore on the occasion. The mutilations about it were caused by the kicks of Jordan, aimed at my face when I was lying on the ground.

The woman, who I understand is the wife of the defendant, owned the dog as hers. She did not say she would turn it out of the room if its presence was offensive, nor did she attempt to. I did not call the woman a convict, nor make use of any other opprobrious expression towards her. I did not speak to either Jordan or his wife during the whole affair, I was too much agitated to do so, had I the inclination. I did not attempt to touch the man until he endeavoured to throw my brother over the precipice between the road and the bathing house, when I took hold of his collar.

Acknowledgements

Samuel, Frances (1837) Court case transcript published in The Australian, 6 January 1837, Sydney

Attribution

Voiced by Natasha Vickery

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Frances Samuel

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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