Ned Kelly's The Jerilderie Letter, Edwin Walter De Vivo B.Sc.
Edwin Walter De Vivo B.Sc.

Ned Kelly's The Jerilderie Letter

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Named after Jerilderie in the colony New South Wales, the letter that later became known as the Jerilderie Letter is one of the most valuable and significant documents in Colonial Australian History. The original 56 page hand written letter is Ned Kelly's fascinating account of how and why he became the most infamous bushranger in Australian Colonial History. It is believed the original 56 page hand written letter was first penned in December 1878 and Ned dictated the letter to fellow gang member of the Kelly Gang, Joe Byrne. The intention of the letter was to have it published and the bank hold up at Jerilderie in February 1879 was only part of the reason Jerilderie was chosen as Jerilderie had a printing press. It was intended to give the letter to Samuel Gill the Editor but Gill absconded when suspicious on hearing there were more police in the town. The letter was presented to a teller who promised to forward it to Donald Cameron MP but instead it ended up at the Crown Law Office in Melbourne and did not reappear until the 1930's. Ned wanted the letter published in the papersnot only to give his own account of his actions and the reasons that lay behind him becoming a bushranger but also in the vain hope thet he and his gang would gain community support and sympathy.
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