One night, Paddy Byrne told Jack Sherritt, “Joe has been home and got some clothes, and cleared out; is not he a bloody smart fellow?” The next morning, according to Jack, “I met two of the cave party—Alexander and Armstrong—and I told them about Byrne being home last night, and they seemed like as if … Continue reading The Cunning of Aaron Sherritt
On the 6th of November 1879, finding Joe has failed to meet him at Thompson’s farm, Jack mounts his horse and begins his ride back through the Warby Ranges. As he comes to the foot of a hilly track, the rustle of scrub sounds from behind him. Turning in the saddle, he spots Joe, standing … Continue reading A Meeting in the Ranges
On the night of the 3rd of December 1879, Joe and Aaron visited Ye Fang’s store in Sebastopol, where they purchased a bottle of gin, tobacco and opium.During Jack’s evidence at the Royal Commission in 1881 he stated, “I saw the Chinaman at the Chinese store, Ye Fang, I was in there one day. I … Continue reading Tobacco and Gin
On the 1st of September 1879, Joe rode to the Sherritt selection at Sheepstation Creek with a ‘threatening letter’ he had written, addressed to Detective Ward. He found Jack busy harrowing and told him he had a letter he wanted posting and that it would be requiring a stamp. Jack was hesitant, but agreed when … Continue reading A Threatening Letter
Q1 Anita Condon – I love reading your writing, research and posts. What made you start on this journey? A – Thank you Anita, I appreciate your support and I’m glad that the question you posed allows me explain how An Outlaw’s Journal came about. For a number of years, I had toyed with the … Continue reading Questions and Answers (June 2020)
'We have received from an anonymous correspondent who is evidently a sympathiser with, and a near associate of the Kellys and their companions, a long but rambling statement of the case as it is put by the outlaws. The document, which contains sixteen pages, came by post simply addressed to "The editor of the Herald newspaper, Melbourne." It is evidently written by an illiterate person, the orthography being defective, the calligraphy in some portions almost undecipherable, and the composition rambling and sometimes unintelligible. Sufficient can be gathered, however, to show that there is a very bitter feeling of animosity among the sympathisers of the outlaws against the police, and reasons are stated why they should exist. An inquiry is anxiously demanded, and as the statements made are of a serious character, and the demand for an inquiry apparently a justifiable one, we give some particulars from the citation of our anonymous correspondent, who, for aught we know, may be one of the gang.
Dear Sir, You think yourself to be very high and mighty for the work you are doing in hunting for the Kelly Gang. But I must inform you that your days are truly numbered unless you stop bothering yourself about Beechworth and the surrounding districts. The Kellys are informed of your every move and you cannot visit Sebastopol without someone watching. You are a brave cove, I’ll grant you that, for it is only foolishness to believe your life will continue to be spared. The great boasting you have done at the Hibernian Hotel about being the only cove to ever gaol Joe Byrne has made it to the ears of the outlaws and as you can well imagine, they are itching to get their hands on you. I must warn you Detective, you and your great chum Mullane are now wanted men. A reward of £8000 has been issued for your apprehension and delivery up into the ranges. I trust you fully consider the peril you gentlemen now find yourselves in. There is great mischief to come, so prepare yourself for your latter end.
“Dear Aaron I write these few stolen lines to you to let you know that I am still living…” On the 26th of June 1879, a desperate Joe Byrne pens a letter to his lifelong friend, Aaron Sherritt, asking him to join the gang, “a short life and a jolly one” Joe asserted. However, within the span of a year, on the night of June 26th 1880, Joe, accompanied by Dan Kelly, would shoot and kill Aaron at his hut in the Woolshed. “You will not blow now what you do with us anymore”, Joe declared, looking down on the blood soaked face of his once most trusted friend….