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John Caesar was 23 when he was sent to Australia for seven years. He sailed on the Alexander, a convict transport shipin the first Fleet, arriving in Botany Bay in January 1788. Caesar was transported for stealing 12 pounds.
Caesar was one of the first black people to arrive in australia. He was a muscular man who became known in the colony for his hard work. He was nicknamed "Black Caesar".
Caesar also had a big appetite. His liking for led him into becoming Australia's first Bushranger. in 1789 he was tried for the theft and he was sentenced to transportation for life. Two weeks later he escaped and remained on the run for about a month. During that time he was forced to steal food to survive. He was captured trying to steal food from the colonies stores. He was sent to Garden Island where he had to work in chains. He was given vegetables for his work. He behaved himself and was allowed to work without the chains.
In December 1789 Caesar escaped again. He took a weeks worth of food and escaped from the island in a canoe. On Christmas day he obtained a musket which he used to frighten Aborigines so he could steal their food, however, he lost his gun and was then attacked and wounded by the Aborigines. So he tured himself into the police.
Caesar was punished again. He was transported to Norfolk Island. He worked to support himself and was issued with a hog. In January 1792 he was given a block of land and ordered to work three days per week. In March that year he had a daughter. In about March 1793 he returned to Sydney. Soon he was stealing again. He was captured and flogged with a nine tail whip. Caesar did not care about his punishment, declaring "All that would not make him better".
In 1795 Caesar became a hero for his role in capturing Pemulwuy, an Aborigine who had been fighting against the colonist.
In December 1795, Black Caesar escaped for the last time. This time he formed a gang with other runaways and became Australia's first bushranger. In January 1796 Governor John Hunter offered a reward of 5 gallons of rum for his capture. Although he stole many times it was not until February 1796 that Caesar was caught. He was shot at Liberty Plains( in the Concord/Strathfied area) Caesar died from his wounds on 15 February 1796.
John Caesar, Black
Born in about 1763 to unknown African parents
Died 15 February 1796
Age about 33
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