« PreviousContinue »
their interests. The supineness and profligacy of public officers cannot always overcome the amazing energy with which human beings pursue their happiness, nor the sagacity with which they determine on the means by which that end is to be promoted. Be it our care, however, to record, for the future inhabitants of Australasia, the political sufferings of their larcenous forefathers; and let them appreciate, as they ought, that energy which founded a mighty empire in spite of the afflicting blunders and marvellous cacoeconomy of their government.
Botany Bay is situated in a fine climate, rather Asiatic than European, with a great variety of temperature, but favourable on the whole to health and life. It, conjointly with Van Diemen's Land, produces coal in great abundance, fossil salt, slate, lime, plumbago, potter's clay ; iron; white, yellow, and brilliant topazes; alum and copper. These are all the important fossil productions which have been hitherto discovered : but the epidermis of the country has hardly as yet been scratched; and it is most probable that the immense mountains which divide the eastern and western settlements, Bathurst and Sydney, must abound with every species of mineral wealth. The har. bours are admirable ; and the whole world, perhaps, cannot produce two such as those of Port Jackson and Derwent. The former of these is land. locked for fourteen miles in length, and of the most irregular form : its soundings are more than sufficient for the largest ships; and all the navies of the world might ride in safety within it. In the harbour of Derwent there is a roadstead forty-eight miles in length, completely land-locked ; varying in breadth from eight to two miles ;-in depth from thirty to four fathoms, -and affording the best anchorage the whole way.
The mean heat, during the three summer months, December, January, and February, is about 80° at noon. The heat which such a degree of the thermometer would seem to indicate is considerably tempered by the sea-breeze, which blows with considerable force from nine in the morning till seven in the evening. The three autumn months are March, April, and May, in which the thermometer varies from 55° at night to 75o at noon. The three winter months are June, July, and August. During this interval, the mornings and evenings are very chilly, and the nights excessively cold. Hoar. frosts are frequent; ice, half an inch thick, is found twenty miles from the coast; the mean temperature at daylight is from 40° to 45°, and at noon from 550 to 60°. In the three months of spring the thermometer varies from 60° to 70°. The climate to the westward of the mountains is colder. Heavy falls of snow take place during the winter; the frosts are more severe, and the winters of longer duration. All the seasons are much more distinctly marked, and resemble much more those of this country.
Such is the climate of Botany Bay; and, in this remote part of the earth Nature (having made horses, oxen, ducks, geese, oaks, elms, and all regular and useful productions for the rest of the world) seems determined to have a bit of play, and to amuse herself as she pleases. Accordingly, she makes cherries with the stone on the outside; and a monstrous animal, as tall as a grenadier, with the head of a rabbit, a tail as big as a bed-post, hopping along at the rate of five hops to a mile, with three or four young kangaroos looking out of its false uterus, to see what is passing. Then comes a quadruped as big as a large cat, with the eyes, colour, and skin of a mole, and the bill and web-feet of a duck-puzzling Dr. Shaw, and rendering the latter half of his life miserable, from his utter inability to determine whether it was a bird or a beast. Add to this a parrot with the legs of a sea-gull; a skate with the head of a shark ; and a bird of such monstrous dimensions that a side bone of it will dine three real carnivorous Englishmen ;-together with many
other productions that agitate Sir Joseph, and fill him with mingled emotions
17,842 Land in cultivation
20,379 The colony has a bank, with a capital of £20,000 ; a newspaper; and a capital (the town of Sydney) containing about 7,000 persons. There is also a Van Diemen's Land Gazette. The perusal of these newspapers, which are regularly transmitted to England, and may be purchased in London, has afforded us considerable amusement. Nothing can paint in a more lively manner the state of the settlement, its disadvantages and prosperities, and the opinions and manners which prevail there.
“On Friday, Mr. James Squires, settler and brewer, waited on his Excellency at Govern. ment House, with two vines of hops taken from his own grounds, &c.-As a public recompense for the unremitted attention shown by the grower in bringing this valuable plant to such a high degree of perfection, his Excellency has directed a cow to be given to Mr. Squires from the Government herd."-O'llara, p. 255.)
“To PARENTS AND GUARDIANS. "A person who flatters herself her character will bear the strictest scrutiny, being
sirous of receiving into her charge a proposed number of children of her own sex as Loarders, respectfully acquaints parents and guardians that she is about to situate herself either in Sydney or Paramatta, of which notice will be shortly given. She doubts not, at the same time, that her assiduity in the inculcation of moral principles in the youthful mind, joined to an unremitting attention and polite diction, will ensure to her the much-desired confidence of those who may think proper to favour her with such a charge. Inquiries on the above subject will be answered by G. Howe, at Sydney, who will make known the name of the advertiser.”—(P. 270.) “ (supposed to be on the governor's wharf), two small keys, a tortoise-shell comb, and a packet of papers. Whoever may have found them will, on delivering them to the printer, receive a reward of half a gallon of spirits."-(P. 272.)
“To the PUBLIC. “As we have no certainty of an immediate supply of paper, we cannot promise a publication next week.”-(P. 290.)
“FASHIONABLE INTELLIGENce, Sept. 7TH. “On Tuesday his Excellency the late Governor and Mrs. King arrived in town from Paramatta ; and yesterday Mrs. King returned thither, accompanied by Mrs. Putland."(Ibid.)
“TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE CONTRACT, BY MR. Bevan, “An elegant four-wheeled chariot, with plated mounted harness for four horses complete ; and a handsome lady's side-saddle and bridle. May be viewed on application to Mr. Bevan." (P. 347.)
“FROM THE DERWENT STAR. “Lieutenant Lord, of the Royal Marines, who, after the death of Lieutenant-Governor Collins, succeeded to the command of the settlement at Hobart Town, arrived at Port Jackson in the Hunter, and Yavours us with the perusal of the Ninth Number published of the Derwent Star and Van Diemen's Land Intelligencer; from which we copy the following extracts.”—(P. 353.)
“A CARD. “The Subscribers to the Sydney Race Course are informed that the Stewards have made arrangements for two balls during the race week, viz., on Tuesday and Thursday.-Tickets, at 7s. 6d. each, to be had at Mr. E. Wills's, George Street.-An ordinary for the subscribers and their friends each day of the races, at Mr. Wills's.-Dinner on table at five o'clock."(P. 356.)
“THE LADIES' Cup. “The ladies' cup, which was of very superior workmanship, won by Chase, was presented
to Captain Richie by Mrs. M'Quarie ; who, accompanied by his Excellency, honoured each day's race with her presence, and who, with her usual affability, was pleased to preface the donation with the following short address :- In the name of the Ladies of New South Wales, I have the pleasure to present you with this cup. Give me leave to congratulate you on being the successful candidate for it; and to hope that it is a prelude to future! success, and lasting prosperity.'”—(P. 357.)
BUTCHERS. “Now killing, at Matthew Pimpton's, Cumberland Street, Rocks, beef, mutton, pork, and lamb. By retail, 15. 4d. per lib. `Mutton by the carcass, ís. per lib. sterling, or 14d. currency; warranted to weigh from io lib. to 12 lib. per quarter. Lamb per ditto.-Captains of ships supplied at the wholesale price, and with punctuality.-N.B. Beef, pork, mutton, and lamb, at E. Lamb's, Hunter Street, at the above prices.”—(P. 376.)
“Salt Pork AND FLAIR FROM OTAHEITE. “On Sale, at the warehouse of Mrs. S. Willis, 96, George Street, a large quantity of the above articles, well cured, being the Mercury's last importation from Otaheite. The terms per cask are iod. per lib. sterling, or is. currency. N.B. For the accommodation of families, it will be sold in quantities not less than 112 líb."-(P. 377.)
“PAINTING.-A CARD. “Mr. J. W. Lewin begs leave to inform his friends and the public in general, that he intends opening an academy for painting on the days of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from the hours of 10 to 12 in the forenoon.-Terms, 5s, a lesson; Entrance, 205.-N.B. The evening academy for drawing continued as usual.”—(P. 384.)
“ Sale of RAMS. “Ten rams of the Merino breed, lately sold by auction from the flocks of John M'Arthur, Esq., produced upwards of 200 guineas.”--(P. 388.)
“Mrs. Jones's VACATION BALL, DECEMBER 12TH. “Mrs. Jones, with great respect, informs the parents and guardians of the young ladies intrusted to her tuition that the vacation ball is fixed for Tuesday the 22nd instant, at the seminary, No. 45, Castlereagh Street, Sydney. Tickets, 7s. 6d. each."-(P. 388.)
"SPORTING INTELLIGENCE. "A fine hunt took place the 8th instant at the Nepean, of which the following is the account given by a gentleman present. "Having cast off by the government hut on the Nepean, and drawn the cover in that neighbourhood for a native dog unsuccessfully, we tried the forest ground for a kangaroo, which we soon found. It went off in excellent style along the sands by the river side, and crossed to the Cow-pasture Plains, running a circle of about two miles; then re-crossed, taking a direction for Mr. Campbell's stock-yard, and from thence at the back of Badge Allen Hill to the head of Boorroobaham Creek, where he was headed; from thence he took the main range of hills between the Badge Allen and Badge Allenabinjee, in a straight direction for Mr. Throsbey's farm, where the hounds ran in to him: and he was killed, after a good run of about two hours,'-The weight of the animal was upwards of 120 lib."-(P. 380.)
Of the town of Sydney Mr. Wentworth observes that there are in it many public buildings, as well as houses of individuals, that would not disgrace the best parts of London ; but this description we must take the liberty to consider as more patriotic than true. We rather suspect it was penned before Mr. Wentworth was in London ; for he is (be it said to his honour) a native of Botany Bay. The value of lands (in the same spirit he adds) is half as great in Sydney as in the best situations in London, and is daily increasing. The proof of this which Mr. Wentworth gives is that it is not a commodious house which can be rented for £100 per annum, unfurnished.” The town of Sydney contains two good public schools, for the education of 224 children of both sexes. There are establishments also for the diffusion of education in every populous district throughout the colony; the masters of these schools are allowed stipulated salaries from the Orphans' Fund. Mr. Wentworth states that one eighth part of the whole revenue of the colony is appropriated to the purposes of education ;—this eighth he computes at £2,500. Independent of these institutions, there are an Auxiliary Bible Society, a Sunday School, and several good private schools. This is all as it
should be: the education of the poor, important everywhere, is indispensable at Botany Bay. Nothing but the earliest attention to the habits of children can restrain the erratic finger from the contiguous scrip, or prevent the hereditary tendency to larcenous abstraction. The American arrangements respecting the education of the lower orders is excellent. Their unsold lands are surveyed, and divided into districts. In the centre of every district, an ample and well selected lot is provided for the support of future schools. We wish this had been imitated in New Holland ; for we are of opinion that the elevated nobleman, Lord Sidmouth, should imitate what is good and wise, even if the Americans are his teachers. Mr. Wentworth talks of 15,000 acres set apart for the support of the Female Orphan Schools; which certainly does sound a little extravagant : but then 50 or 100 acres of this reserve are given as a portion to each female orphan; so that all this pious tract of ground will be soon married away. This dotation of women, in a place where they are scarce, is amiable and foolish enough. There is a school also for the education and civilisation of the natives; we hope not to the exclusion of the children of convicts, who have clearly a prior claim upon public charity.
Great exertions have been made in public roads and bridges. The present Governor has wisely established toll-gates in all the principal roads. No tax can be more equitable, and no money more beneficially employed. The herds of wild cattle have either perished through the long droughts or been destroyed by the remote settlers. They have nearly disappeared ; and their extinction is a good rather than an evil. A very good horse for cart or plough may now be bought for £ 5 to £10; working oxen for the same price; fine young breeding ewes from £i to £3, according to the quality of the fleece. So lately as 1808, a cow and calf were sold by public auction for £ 105; and the price of middling cattle was from £80 to £1oo. A breeding mare was, at the same period, worth from 150 to 200 guineas; and ewes from £10 to £20. The inhabitants of New South Wales have now 2,000 years before them of cheap beef and mutton. The price of land is, of course, regulated by its situation and quality. Four years past an hundred and fifty acres of very indifferent ground, about three quarters of a mile from Sydney, were sold, by virtue of an execution, in lots of 12 acres each, and averaged £ 14 per acre. This is the highest price given for land not situated in a town. The general average of unimprived land is £5 per acre. In years when the crops have not suffered from food or drought, wheat sells for gs. per bushel ; maize for 35. 6d. ; barley for 55.; oats for 45. 6d. ; potatoes for 6s. per cwt. By the last accounts received from the colony, mutton and beef were 6d. per lib. ; veal, 8d; pork, 9d. Wheat, 8s. 8d. per bushel ; oats, 45. ; and barley, 5s. per ditto. Fowls, 45. 6d. per couple ; ducks, 6s. per ditto ; geese, 55. each ; turkeys, 75. 6d. each ; eggs, 25. 6d. per dozen ; butter, 2s. 6d. per lib.—There are manufactures of coarse woollen cloths, hats, earthenware, pipes, salt, candles, soap. There are extensive breweries and tanneries ; and all sorts of mechanics and artificers necessary for an infant colony. Carpenters, stonemasons, bricklayers, wheel and ploughwrights, and all the most useful descriptions of artificers, can earn from 8s. to 1os. per day. Great attention has been paid to the improvement of wool; and it is becoming a very considerable article of export to this country.
The most interesting circumstance in the accounts lately received from Botany Bay is the discovery of the magnificent river on the western side of the Blue Mountains. The public are aware that a fine road has been made from Sydney to Bathurst, and a new town founded at the foot of the western side of these mountains, a distance of 140 miles. The country in the neigh.
bourhood of Bathurst has been described as beautiful, fertile, open, and eminently fit for all the purposes of a settlement. The object was to find a river; and such an one has been found, the description of which it is impossible to read without the most lively interest. The intelligence is contained in a despatch from Mr. Oxley, Surveyor-General of the settlement, to the Governor, dated 30th August, 1817.
“On the 19th, we were gratified by falling in with a river running through a most beau. tiful country, and which I would have been well contented to have believed the river we were in search of. Accident led us down the stream about a mile, when we were surprised by its junction with a river coming from the south, of such width and magnitude as to dispel all doubts as to this last being the river we had so long anxiously looked for Short as our resources were, we could not resist the temptation this beautiful country offered us to remain two days on the junction of the river, for the purpose of examining the vicinity to as great an extent as possible.
"Our examination increased the satisfaction we had previously felt. As far as the eye could reach in every direction a rich and picturesque country extended, abounding in limestone, slate, good timber, and every other requisite that could render an uncultivated country desirable. The soil cannot be excelled; whilst a noble river of the first magnitude affords the means of conveying its productions from one part to the other. Where I quitted it its course was northerly; and we were then north of the parallel of Port Stevens, being in latitude 33° 45' south, and 148° 58' east longitude.
"It appeared to me that the Macquarrie had taken a north-north-west course from Bathurst, and that it must have received immense accessions of water in its course from that place. We viewed it at a period best calculated to form an accurate judgment of its importance, when it was neither swelled by floods beyond its natural and usual height nor contracted within its limits by summer droughts. Of its magnitude when it should have received the streams we had crossed, independent of any it may receive from the east, which from the boldness and height of the country, I presume, must be at least as many, some idea may be formed, when at this point it exceeded, in breadth and apparent depth, the Hawkesbury at Windsor. Many of the branches were of grander and more extended proportion than the admired one on the Nepean River from the Warragambia to Emu Plains.
«Resolving to keep as near the river as possible during the remainder of our course to Bathurst, and endeavour to ascertain, at least on the west side, what waters fell into it, on the 22nd we proceeded up the river, and, between the point quitted and Bathurst, crossed the sources of numberless streams, all running into the Macquarrie. Two of them were nearly as large as that river itself at Bathurst. The country from whence all these streams derive their source was mountainous and irregular, and appeared equally so on the east side of the Macquarrie. This description of country extended to the immediate vicinity of Bathurst: but to the west of those lofty ranges the country was broken into low grassy hills and fine valleys, watered by rivulets rising on the west side of the mountains, which, on their eastern side, pour their waters directly into the Macquarrie.
“'These westerly streams appeared to me to join that which I had at first sight taken for the Macquarrie ; and, when united, fall into it at the point at which it was first discovered on the 19th instant,
“We reached this place last evening, without a single accident having occurred during the whole progress of the expedition, which from this point has encircled, with the parallels of 34° 30' south and 32° south, and between the meridians of 149° 43' and 143° 40' east, a space of nearly one thousand miles.'” (Wentworth, pp. 72–75.)
The nearest distance from the point at which Mr. Oxley left off to any part of the western coast is very little short of 2,000 miles. The Hawkesbury, at Windsor (to which he compares his new river in magnitude), is 250 yards in breadth, and of sufficient depth to float a 74-gun ship. At this point it has 2,000 miles in a straight line to reach the ocean ; and if it wind, as rivers commonly do wind, it has a space to flow over of between 5,000 and 6,000 miles. The course and direction of the river has since become the object of two expeditions, one by land, under Mr. Oxley ; the other by sea, under Lieutenant King, to the results of which we look forward with great interest. Enough of the country on the western side of the Blue Mountains has been discovered to show that the settlement has been made on the wrong side. The space between the Mountains and the Eastern Sea is not above 40 miles in breadth, and the five or six miles nearest the coast are of very barren land. The country on the other side is boundless, fertile, well-watered, and of