What Did John Caesar Do to Make Him Famous?


Quick Answer

According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Caesar gained fame by becoming the first Australian bushranger. His conflict with Aboriginal warriors also contributed to his fame.

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Full Answer

John Caesar was frequently charged with theft. He was charged with stealing 12 pounds from a dwelling house in England and sentenced to the Australian penal colony Botany Bay. Two years later, another theft conviction earned him a life sentence in the colony. The Biography writes that he later stole weapons and escaped into the Australian bush,beginning his legend as a clever and stubborn enemy of authorities. While in custody, his colony was attacked by legendary Aboriginal warrior Pemulwuy, and Ceasar personally wounded him. He was in and out of custody many times over the years and made his final escape in 1795. He became the leader of other runaways and vagabonds who stole food, supplies, and weapons in the Port Jackson area. This made him the first bushranger, and the Biography notes that every theft in the area was soon attributed to Caesar and his gang. Soon, the governor offered a reward of five gallons of alcoholic spirits for his capture. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, "Black Caesar" was fatally shot by John Wimbrow in 1796.

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