Alexander Pearce: A Full Belly is prerequisite to all manner of good. Without that, no man knows, what hunger will make him do.
Philip Conolly: Whatever has been said and continues to be said about him, this much is true. Alexander Pearce, an Irish convict incarcerated on Sarah Island, twice managed the inconceivable, the unforgiveable and escaped.
Philip Conolly: Let the wicked forsake his way, the unrighteous man his thoughts, return unto the Lord and He will have mercy.
Philip Conolly: The world is always easier understood held at a distance, with tales of monsters and the like. This is how Alexander is remembered, not as a man. Yet few truer, words have been spoken; a full belly is prerequisite to all manner of good. Without that, no man knows what hunger will make him do.
Philip Conolly: Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. Die condemned on earth, but acceptable to God...
Philip Conolly: Alexander Pearce, this is the last Lord's day which you can expect to spend on earth. When another Sabbath morn shall dawn you will be numbered with the dead; you will be where you can no longer repent, nor seek salvation. You will then be either saved or lost; in Christian Paradise, or unending torment...
Philip Conolly: The ignominious results of disobedience to law and humanity cannot be ignored. Blood must atone blood, society requires it. Pearce's crimes are confirmed and systematic. They can't be met with leniency. Indeed they should be pursued with vengeance and made good with his death. Yet what I have seen is dreadful suffering often drives desperate men to horrific acts. This man, I prepare for the gallows, arrived here depraved, already proficient in distilling lawless habits, but here in Van Dieman's Land took succor amongst the most unprincipled people in the universe. A wicked and perverse generation addicted to adultery, blasphemy, idleness, malice, dishonesty and drunkenness. A recalcitrant amongst reprobates, Pearce was sent to Sarah Island, a place of secondary punishment. If flogging can school a man, Pearce should be principled for two thousand lashes were applied to his back, more than any man before or since. Instead he absconded. He witnessed murders, murdered himself, escaped and murdered again. He has eaten human flesh. He is a beast made mad by beatings. He will die here, in a strange land, alone, caged, having learnt nothing but pain, piss, shit, blood and death. It's inhuman from start to finish. I'm sickened by it. But yes I offer him comfort as he awaits death at His Majesty's pleasure. I do it for fear Mrs Brown.
Philip Conolly: We're Irish, We were born hungry. God spare this colony the famines of Ireland. A whole country's crops failing. Absentee landlords without a degree of mercy. Orphans. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. But hunger's never been a reason to eat another man.
Alexander Pearce: Try to kill a man, he'll either die, or put up fight. That's how it is. That's what happened.
Alexander Pearce: When it came time there was only panic. We took our bread but it was baked to rot. I had the thought we'd forage but God never put down food out there, no animals, nor anything in the ground. This is a hollow land. That's what we walked into, eight of us...
Alexander Pearce: And once Greenhill said what he said, the very idea crept like water 'til that's all there was. Be done with it and eat.
Alexander Pearce: They turned back true enough, but besides taking our pots, they took their portion of Dalton. They ate what we ate.