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The O’Loghlen Letter

Ned Kelly

Sir,

I take the liberty in addressing you with respect to the matter of myself, my brother and my two friends, Hart and Byrne. And I take this opportunity to declare most positively, that we did not kill the policemen in cold blood, as has been stated by that rascal McIntyre. We only fired on them to save ourselves, and we are not the cold-blooded murderers, which people presume us to be. Circumstances have forced us to become what we are – outcasts and outlaws – and bad as we are, we are not so bad as we are supposed to be.

But my chief reason for writing this is to tell you that you are committing a manifest injustice in imprisoning so many innocent people, just because they are supposed to be friendly to us. There is not the least foundation for the charge of aiding and abetting us against any of them, and you may know this is correct, or we would not be obtaining our food as usual, since they have been arrested.

Your policemen are cowards, every one of them. I have been with one party two hours while riding in the ranges, and they did not know me.

I will show you that we are determined men, and I warn you that within a week we will leave your Colony, but we will not leave it, until we have made the country ring with the name of Kelly and taken terrible revenge for the injustice and oppression we have been subjected to. Beware, for we are now desperate men.

Edward Kelly.