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A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson
Watkin Tench





PREFACE




When it is recollected how much has been written to describe the Settlement
of New South Wales, it seems necessary if not to offer an apology,
yet to assign a reason, for an additional publication.

The Author embarked in the fleet which sailed to found the establishment
at Botany Bay.  He shortly after published a Narrative of the Proceedings
and State of the Colony, brought up to the beginning of July, 1788,
which was well received, and passed through three editions.  This could not
but inspire both confidence and gratitude; but gratitude, would be
badly manifested were he on the presumption of former favour to lay claim
to present indulgence.  He resumes the subject in the humble hope
of communicating information, and increasing knowledge, of the country,
which he describes.

He resided at Port Jackson nearly four years:  from the 20th of January, 1788,
until the 18th of December, 1791.  To an active and contemplative mind,
a new country is an inexhaustible source of curiosity and speculation.
It was the author's custom not only to note daily occurrences, and to inspect
and record the progression of improvement; but also, when not prevented by
military duties, to penetrate the surrounding country in different directions,
in order to examine its nature, and ascertain its relative geographical
situations.

The greatest part of the work is inevitably composed of those materials which
a journal supplies; but wherever reflections could be introduced without
fastidiousness and parade, he has not scrupled to indulge them, in common with
every other deviation which the strictness of narrative would allow.

When this publication was nearly ready for the press; and when many
of the opinions which it records had been declared, fresh accounts from
Port Jackson were received.  To the state of a country, where so many anxious
trying hours of his life have passed, the author cannot feel indifferent.
If by any sudden revolution of the laws of nature; or by any fortunate
discovery of those on the spot, it has really become that fertile
and prosperous land, which some represent it to be, he begs permission
to add his voice to the general congratulation.  He rejoices at its success:
but it is only justice to himself and those with whom he acted to declare,
that they feel no cause of reproach that so complete and happy an alteration
did not take place at an earlier period.





CHAPTER I.



A Retrospect of the State of the Colony of Port Jackson,
on the Date of my former Narrative, in July, 1788.


Previous to commencing any farther account of the subject, which I am about
to treat, such a retrospection of the circumstances and situation
of the settlement, at the conclusion of my former Narrative, as shall lay
its state before the reader, seems necessary, in order to connect
the present with the past.

The departure of the first fleet of ships for Europe, on the
14th of July, 1788, had been long impatiently expected; and had filled us
with anxiety, to communicate to our friends an account of our situation;
describing the progress of improvement, and the probability of success,
or failure, in our enterprise.  That men should judge very oppositely
on so doubtful and precarious an event, will hardly surprise.

Such relations could contain little besides the sanguineness of hope,
and the enumeration of hardships and difficulties, which former accounts
had not led us to expect.  Since our disembarkation in the preceding January,
the efforts of every one had been unremittingly exerted, to deposit
the public stores in a state of shelter and security, and to erect habitations
for ourselves.  We were eager to escape from tents, where a fold of canvas,
only, interposed to check the vertic beams of the sun in summer,
and the chilling blasts of the south in winter.  A markee pitched,
in our finest season, on an English lawn; or a transient view of those
gay camps, near the metropolis, which so many remember, naturally draws forth
careless and unmeaning exclamations of rapture, which attach ideas
of pleasure only, to this part of a soldier's life.  But an encampment
amidst the rocks and wilds of a new country, aggravated by the miseries
of bad diet, and incessant toil, will find few admirers.

Nor were our exertions less unsuccessful than they were laborious.
Under wretched covers of thatch lay our provisions and stores, exposed to
destruction from every flash of lightning, and every spark of fire.
A few of the convicts had got into huts; but almost all the officers,
and the whole of the soldiery, were still in tents.

In such a situation, where knowledge of the mechanic arts afforded
the surest recommendation to notice, it may be easily conceived,
that attention to the parade duty of the troops, gradually diminished.
Now were to be seen officers and soldiers not "trailing the puissant pike"
but felling the ponderous gum-tree, or breaking the stubborn clod.
And though "the broad falchion did not in a ploughshare end" the possession
of a spade, a wheelbarrow, or a dunghill, was more coveted than the most
refulgent arms in which heroism ever dazzled.  Those hours, which
in other countries are devoted to martial acquirements, were here consumed
in the labours of the sawpit, the forge and the quarry*.


[* "The Swedish prisoners, taken at the battle of Pultowa,
were transported by the Czar Peter to the most remote parts of
Siberia, with a view to civilize the natives of the country, and
teach them the arts the Swedes possessed.  In this hopeless situation,
all traces of discipline and subordination, between the different
ranks, were quickly obliterated.   The soldiers, who were husbandmen
and artificers, found out their superiority, and assumed it:
the officers became their servants." VOLTAIRE.]


Of the two ships of war, the 'Sirius' and 'Supply', the latter was incessantly
employed in transporting troops, convicts, and stores, to Norfolk Island;
and the 'Sirius' in preparing for a voyage to some port, where provisions
for our use might be purchased, the expected supply from England not
having arrived.  It is but justice to the officers and men of both these ships
to add, that, on all occasions, they fully shared every hardship and fatigue
with those on shore.

On the convicts the burden fell yet heavier:  necessity compelled us to allot
to them the most slavish and laborious employments.  Those operations,
which in other countries are performed by the brute creation,
were here effected by the exertions of men:  but this ought not to be
considered a grievance; because they had always been taught to expect it,
as the inevitable consequence of their offences against society.
Severity was rarely exercised on them; and justice was administered
without partiality or discrimination.  Their ration of provisions,
except in being debarred from an allowance of spirits, was equal to that
which the marines received.  Under these circumstances I record with pleasure,
that they behaved better than had been predicted of them--to have expected
sudden and complete reformation of conduct, were romantic and chimerical.

Our cultivation of the land was yet in its infancy.  We had hitherto tried
only the country contiguous to Sydney.  Here the governor had established
a government-farm; at the head of which a competent person of his own household
was placed, with convicts to work under him.  Almost the whole of the officers
likewise accepted of small tracts of ground, for the purpose of raising grain
and vegetables:  but experience proved to us, that the soil would produce
neither without manure; and as this was not to be procured, our vigour
soon slackened; and most of the farms (among which was the one belonging
to government) were successively abandoned.

With the natives we were very little more acquainted than on our arrival
in the country.  Our intercourse with them was neither frequent or cordial.
They seemed studiously to avoid us, either from fear, jealousy, or hatred.
When they met with unarmed stragglers, they sometimes killed, and sometimes
wounded them.  I confess that, in common with many others, I was inclined
to attribute this conduct, to a spirit of malignant levity.  But a farther
acquaintance with them, founded on several instances of their humanity
and generosity, which shall be noticed in their proper places, has entirely
reversed my opinion; and led me to conclude, that the unprovoked outrages
committed upon them, by unprincipled individuals among us, caused the evils
we had experienced.  To prevent them from being plundered of
their fishing-tackle and weapons of war, a proclamation was issued,
forbidding their sale among us; but it was not attended with the good effect
which was hoped for from it.

During this period, notwithstanding the want of fresh provisions
and vegetables, and almost constant exposure to the vicissitudes
of a variable climate, disease rarely attacked us; and the number of deaths,
was too inconsiderable to deserve mention.

Norfolk Island had been taken possession of, by a party detached for that
purpose, early after our arrival.  Few accounts of it had yet reached us.
And here I beg leave to observe, that as I can speak of this island
only from the relations of others, never having myself been there,
I shall in every part of this work mention it as sparingly as possible.
And this more especially, as it seems probable, that some of those gentlemen,
who from accurate knowledge, and long residence on it, are qualified to write
its history, will oblige the world with such a publication.




CHAPTER II.



Transactions of the Colony from the sailing of the First Fleet in July, 1788,
to the Close of that Year.


It was impossible to behold without emotion the departure of the ships.
On their speedy arrival in England perhaps hinged our fate; by hastening
our supplies to us.

On the 20th of July, the 'Supply' sailed for Norfolk Island, and returned to us
on the 26th of August; bringing no material news, except that the soil
was found to suit grain, and other seeds, which had been sown in it, and that
a species of flax-plant was discovered to grow spontaneously on the island.

A survey of the harbour of Port Jackson was now undertaken, in order to compute
the number of canoes, and inhabitants, which it might contain:
sixty-seven canoes, and 147 people were counted.  No estimate, however,
of even tolerable accuracy, can be drawn from so imperfect a datum;
though it was perhaps the best in our power to acquire.

In July and August, we experienced more inclement tempestuous weather
than had been observed at any former period of equal duration.  And yet
it deserves to be remarked, in honour of the climate, that, although our number
of people exceeded 900, not a single death happened in the latter month.

The dread of want in a country destitute of natural resource is ever
peculiarly terrible.  We had long turned our eyes with impatience towards
the sea, cheered by the hope of seeing supplies from England approach.
But none arriving, on the 2d of October the 'Sirius' sailed for the
Cape of Good Hope, with directions to purchase provisions there, for the use
of our garrison.

A new settlement, named by the governor Rose Hill, 16 miles inland,
was established on the 3d of November, the soil here being judged better
than that around Sydney.  A small redoubt was thrown up, and a captain's
detachment posted in it, to protect the convicts who were employed
to cultivate the ground.

The two last of the transports left us for England on the 19th of November,
intending to make their passage by Cape Horn.  There now remained with us
only the 'Supply'.  Sequestered and cut off as we were from the rest
of civilized nature, their absence carried the effect of desolation.
About this time a convict, of the name of Daly, was hanged, for a burglary:
this culprit, who was a notorious thief and impostor, was the author
of a discovery of a gold mine, a few months before:  a composition resembling
ore mingled with earth, which he pretended to have brought from it,
he produced.  After a number of attendant circumstances, too ludicrous
and contemptible to relate, which befell a party, who were sent
under his guidance to explore this second Peru, he at last confessed,
that he had broken up an old pair of buckles, and mixed the pieces with sand
and stone; and on assaying the composition, the brass was detected.
The fate of this fellow I should not deem worth recording, did it not lead
to the following observation, that the utmost circumspection is necessary
to prevent imposition, in those who give accounts of what they see
in unknown countries.  We found the convicts particularly happy in fertility
of invention, and exaggerated descriptions.  Hence large fresh water rivers,
valuable ores, and quarries of limestone, chalk, and marble, were daily
proclaimed soon after we had landed.  At first we hearkened with avidity
to such accounts; but perpetual disappointments taught us to listen
with caution, and to believe from demonstration only.

Unabated animosity continued to prevail between the natives and us:
n addition to former losses, a soldier and several convicts suddenly
disappeared, and were never afterwards heard of.  Three convicts were
also wounded, and one killed by them, near Botany Bay:  similar to
the vindictive spirit which Mr. Cook found to exist among their countrymen
at Endeavour River, they more than once attempted to set fire to
combustible matter, in order to annoy us.  Early on the morning of the
18th of December, word was brought that they were assembled in force,
near the brick-kilns, which stand but a mile from the town of Sydney.
The terror of those who brought the first intelligence magnified the number
to two thousand; a second messenger diminished it to four hundred.
A detachment, under the command of an officer was ordered to march immediately,
and reconnoitre them.  The officer soon returned, and reported,
that about fifty Indians had appeared at the brick-kilns; but upon the
convicts, who were at work there, pointing their spades and shovels at them,
in the manner of guns, they had fled into the woods.

Tired of this state of petty warfare and endless uncertainty, the governor
at length determined to adopt a decisive measure, by capturing some of them,
and retaining them by force; which we supposed would either inflame the rest
to signal vengeance, in which case we should know the worst, and provide
accordingly:  or else it would induce an intercourse, by the report
which our prisoners would make of the mildness and indulgence with which
we used them.  And farther, it promised to unveil the cause of their
mysterious conduct, by putting us in possession of their reasons for harassing
and destroying our people, in the manner I have related.  Boats were
accordingly ordered to be got ready, and every preparation made,
which could lead to the attainment of our object.

But as this subject deserves to be particularly detailed, I shall,
notwithstanding its being just within the period of time which this chapter
professes to comprise, allot it a separate place, in the beginning of the next.

Nor can I close this part of my work without congratulating both the reader
and the author.  New matter now presents itself.  A considerable part
of the foregoing chapters had been related before, either by others or myself.
I was however, unavoidably compelled to insert it, in order to preserve
unbroken that chain of detail, and perspicuity of arrangement, at which books
professing to convey information should especially aim.




CHAPTER III.



Transactions of the Colony, from the Commencement of the Year 1789,
until the End of March.


Pursuant to his resolution, the governor on the 31st of December sent
two boats, under the command of Lieutenant Ball of the 'Supply', and
Lieutenant George Johnston of the marines, down the harbour, with directions
to those officers to seize and carry off some of the natives.  The boats
proceeded to Manly Cove, where several Indians were seen standing on the beach,
who were enticed by courteous behaviour and a few presents to enter
into conversation.  A proper opportunity being presented, our people rushed in
among them, and seized two men:  the rest fled; but the cries of the captives
soon brought them back, with many others, to their rescue:  and so desperate
were their struggles, that, in spite of every effort on our side, only one
of them was secured; the other effected his escape.  The boats put off
without delay; and an attack from the shore instantly commenced:
they threw spears, stones, firebrands, and whatever else presented itself,
at the boats; nor did they retreat, agreeable to their former custom,
until many musquets were fired over them.

The prisoner was now fastened by ropes to the thwarts of the boat; and when
he saw himself irretrievably disparted from his countrymen, set up
the most piercing and lamentable cries of distress.  His grief, however,
soon diminished:  he accepted and ate of some broiled fish
which was given to him, and sullenly submitted to his destiny.

When the news of his arrival at Sydney was announced, I went with every other
person to see him:  he appeared to be about thirty years old, not tall,
but robustly made; and of a countenance which, under happier circumstances,
I thought would display manliness and sensibility; his agitation was excessive,
and the clamourous crowds who flocked around him did not contribute
to lessen it.  Curiosity and observation seemed, nevertheless, not to have
wholly deserted him; he shewed the effect of novelty upon ignorance;
he wondered at all he saw:  though broken and interrupted with dismay,
his voice was soft and musical, when its natural tone could be heard;
and he readily pronounced with tolerable accuracy the names of things
which were taught him.  To our ladies he quickly became extraordinarily
courteous, a sure sign that his terror was wearing off.

Every blandishment was used to soothe him, and it had its effect.
As he was entering the governor's house, some one touched a small bell
which hung over the door:  he started with horror and astonishment;
but in a moment after was reconciled to the noise, and laughed at the cause
of his perturbation.  When pictures were shown to him, he knew directly
those which represented the human figure:  among others, a very large handsome
print of her royal highness the Dutchess of Cumberland being produced,
he called out 'woman', a name by which we had just before taught him to call
the female convicts.  Plates of birds and beasts were also laid before him;
and many people were led to believe, that such as he spoke about and pointed to
were known to him.  But this must have been an erroneous conjecture,
for the elephant, rhinoceros, and several others, which we must have discovered
did they exist in the country, were of the number.  Again, on the other hand,
those he did not point out, were equally unknown to him.

His curiosity here being satiated, we took him to a large brick house,
which was building for the governor's residence:  being about to enter,
he cast up his eyes, and seeing some people leaning out of a window
on the first story, he exclaimed aloud, and testified the most extravagant
surprise.  Nothing here was observed to fix his attention so strongly
as some tame fowls, who were feeding near him:  our dogs also he
particularly noticed; but seemed more fearful than fond of them.

He dined at a side-table at the governor's; and ate heartily of fish and ducks,
which he first cooled.  Bread and salt meat he smelled at, but would not taste:
all our liquors he treated in the same manner, and could drink nothing
but water.  On being shown that he was not to wipe his hands on the chair
which he sat upon, he used a towel which was gave to him,
with great cleanliness and decency.

In the afternoon his hair was closely cut, his head combed, and his beard
shaved; but he would not submit to these operations until he had seen them
performed on another person, when he readily acquiesced.  His hair,
as might be supposed, was filled with vermin, whose destruction seemed
to afford him great triumph; nay, either revenge, or pleasure, prompted him
to eat them! but on our expressing disgust and abhorrence he left it off.

To this succeeded his immersion in a tub of water and soap, where he was
completely washed and scrubbed from head to foot; after which a shirt,
a jacket, and a pair of trousers, were put upon him.  Some part
of this ablution I had the honour to perform, in order that I might ascertain
the real colour of the skin of these people.  My observation then was
(and it has since been confirmed in a thousand other instances) that they are
as black as the lighter cast of the African negroes.

Many unsuccessful attempts were made to learn his name; the governor therefore
called him Manly, from the cove in which he was captured:  this cove
had received its name from the manly undaunted behaviour of a party of natives
seen there, on our taking possession of the country.

To prevent his escape, a handcuff with a rope attached to it, was fastened
around his left wrist, which at first highly delighted him; he called it
'bengadee' (or ornament), but his delight changed to rage and hatred
when he discovered its use.  His supper he cooked himself:  some fish
were given to him for this purpose, which, without any previous preparation
whatever, he threw carelessly on the fire, and when they became warm
took them up, and first rubbed off the scales, peeled the outside
with his teeth, and ate it; afterwards he gutted them, and laying them again
on the fire, completed the dressing, and ate them.

A convict was selected to sleep with him, and to attend him wherever
he might go.  When he went with his keeper into his apartment he appeared
very restless and uneasy while a light was kept in; but on its extinction,
he immediately lay down and composed himself.

Sullenness and dejection strongly marked his countenance on the following
morning; to amuse him, he was taken around the camp, and to the observatory:
casting his eyes to the opposite shore from the point where he stood,
and seeing the smoke of fire lighted by his countrymen, he looked earnestly
at it, and sighing deeply two or three times, uttered the word
'gweeun' (fire).

His loss of spirits had not, however, the effect of impairing his appetite;
eight fish, each weighing about a pound, constituted his breakfast,
which he dressed as before.  When he had finished his repast,
he turned his back to the fire in a musing posture, and crept so close to it,
that his shirt was caught by the flame; luckily his keeper soon
extinguished it; but he was so terrified at the accident, that he was
with difficulty persuaded to put on a second.

1st. January, 1789.  To-day being new-year's-day, most of the officers
were invited to the governor's table:  Manly dined heartily on fish
and roasted pork; he was seated on a chest near a window, out of which,
when he had done eating, he would have thrown his plate, had he not
been prevented:  during dinner-time a band of music played in an adjoining
apartment; and after the cloth was removed, one of the company sang
in a very soft and superior style; but the powers of melody were lost on Manly,
which disappointed our expectations, as he had before shown pleasure
and readiness in imitating our tunes.  Stretched out on his chest,
and putting his hat under his head, he fell asleep.

To convince his countrymen that he had received no injury from us,
the governor took him in a boat down the harbour, that they might see
and converse with him:  when the boat arrived, and lay at a little distance
from the beach, several Indians who had retired at her approach,
on seeing Manly, returned:  he was greatly affected, and shed tears.
At length they began to converse.  Our ignorance of the language prevented us
from knowing much of what passed; it was, however, easily understood
that his friends asked him why he did not jump overboard, and rejoin them.
He only sighed, and pointed to the fetter on his leg, by which he was bound.

In going down the harbour he had described the names by which they distinguish
its numerous creeks and headlands:  he was now often heard to repeat
that of 'Weerong' (Sydney Cove), which was doubtless to inform his countrymen
of the place of his captivity; and perhaps invite them to rescue him.
By this time his gloom was chased away, and he parted from his friends
without testifying reluctance.  His vivacity and good humour continued
all the evening, and produced so good an effect on his appetite,
that he ate for supper two kangaroo rats, each of the size of
a moderate rabbit, and in addition not less than three pounds of fish.

Two days after he was taken on a similar excursion; but to our surprise
the natives kept aloof, and would neither approach the shore, or discourse
with their countryman:  we could get no explanation of this difficulty,
which seemed to affect us more than it did him.  Uncourteous as they were,
he performed to them an act of attentive benevolence; seeing a basket
made of bark, used by them to carry water, he conveyed into it two hawks
and another bird, which the people in the boat had shot, and carefully
covering them over, left them as a present to his old friends.  But indeed
the gentleness and humanity of his disposition frequently displayed themselves:
when our children, stimulated by wanton curiosity, used to flock around him,
he never failed to fondle them, and, if he were eating at the time,
constantly offered them the choicest part of his fare.

February, 1789.  His reserve, from want of confidence in us, continued
gradually to wear away:  he told us his name, and Manly gave place
to Arabanoo.  Bread he began to relish; and tea he drank with avidity:
strong liquors he would never taste, turning from them with disgust
and abhorrence.  Our dogs and cats had ceased to be objects of fear,
and were become his greatest pets, and constant companions at table.
One of our chief amusements, after the cloth was removed, was to make him
repeat the names of things in his language, which he never hesitated to do
with the utmost alacrity, correcting our pronunciation when erroneous.
Much information relating to the customs and manners of his country
was also gained from him:  but as this subject will be separately and amply
treated, I shall not anticipate myself by partially touching on it here.

On the 2nd of February died Captain John Shea of the marines,
after a lingering illness:  he was interred on the following day,
with the customary military honours, amidst the regret of all who knew him.
In consequence of his decease, appointments for the promotion of the oldest
officer of each subordinate rank were signed by the major commandant
of the marine battalion, until the pleasure of the lords of the admiralty
should be notified.*

[*These appointments were confirmed by the admiralty.]

On the 17th of February the 'Supply' again sailed for Norfolk Island.
The governor went down the harbour in her, and carried Arabanoo with him,
who was observed to go on board with distrust and reluctance; when he found
she was under sail, every effort was tried without success to exhilarate him;
at length, an opportunity being presented, he plunged overboard, and struck out
for the nearest shore:  believing that those who were left behind would fire
at him, he attempted to dive, at which he was known to be very expert:
but this was attended with a difficulty which he had not foreseen:
his clothes proved so buoyant, that he was unable to get more than his head
under water:  a boat was immediately dispatched after him, and picked him up,
though not without struggles and resistance on his side.  When brought
on board, he appeared neither afraid or ashamed of what he had done,
but sat apart, melancholy and dispirited, and continued so until he saw
the governor and his other friends descend into a boat, and heard himself
called upon to accompany them:  he sprang forward, and his cheerfulness
and alacrity of temper immediately returned, and lasted during the remainder
of the day.  The dread of being carried away, on an element of whose boundary
he could form no conception, joined to the uncertainty of our intention
towards him, unquestionably caused him to act as he did.

One of the principal effects which we had supposed the seizure and captivity
of Arabanoo would produce, seemed yet at as great a distance as ever;
the natives neither manifested signs of increased hostility on his account,
or attempted to ask any explanation of our conduct through the medium
of their countryman who was in our possession, and who they knew was treated
with no farther harshness than in being detained among us.  Their forbearance
of open and determined attack upon can be accounted for only by recollecting
their knowledge of our numbers, and their dread of our fire-arms:
that they wanted not sufficient provocation to do so, will appear from what
I am about to relate.

March, 1789.  Sixteen convicts left their work at the brick-kilns
without leave, and marched to Botany Bay, with a design to attack the natives,
and to plunder them of their fishing-tackle and spears:  they had armed
themselves with their working tools and large clubs.  When they arrived
near the bay, a body of Indians, who had probably seen them set out,
and had penetrated their intention from experience, suddenly fell upon them.
Our heroes were immediately routed, and separately endeavoured to effect
their escape by any means which were left.  In their flight one was killed,
and seven were wounded, for the most part very severely:  those who had
the good fortune to outstrip their comrades and arrive in camp, first gave
the alarm; and a detachment of marines, under an officer, was ordered
to march to their relief.  The officer arrived too late to repel the Indians;
but he brought in the body of the man that was killed, and put an end
to the pursuit.  The governor was justly incensed at what had happened,
and instituted the most rigorous scrutiny into the cause which had produced it.
At first the convicts were unanimous in affirming, that they were
quietly picking sweet-tea*, when they were without provocation assaulted
by the natives, with whom they had no wish to quarrel.  Some of them, however,
more irresolute than the rest, at last disclosed the purpose for which
the expedition had been undertaken; and the whole were ordered to be
severely flogged:  Arabanoo was present at the infliction of the punishment;
and was made to comprehend the cause and the necessity of it; but he displayed
on the occasion symptoms of disgust and terror only.

[*A vegetable creeper found growing on the rocks, which yields,
on infusion in hot water, a sweet astringent taste, whence it derives
its name:  to its virtues the healthy state of the soldiery and convicts
must be greatly attributed.  It was drank universally.]

On the 24th instant the 'Supply' arrived from Norfolk Island,
and Lord Flowe Island, bringing from the latter place three turtles.

An awful and terrible example of justice took place towards the close
of this month, which I record with regret, but which it would be disingenuous
to suppress.  Six marines, the flower of our battalion, were hanged
by the public executioner, on the sentence of a criminal court,
composed entirely of their own officers, for having at various times
robbed the public stores of flour, meat, spirits, tobacco,
and many other articles.




CHAPTER IV.



Transactions of the Colony in April and May, 1789.


An extraordinary calamity was now observed among the natives.  Repeated
accounts brought by our boats of finding bodies of the Indians in all the coves
and inlets of the harbour, caused the gentlemen of our hospital to procure
some of them for the purposes of examination and anatomy.  On inspection,
it appeared that all the parties had died a natural death:  pustules,
similar to those occasioned by the small pox, were thickly spread
on the bodies; but how a disease, to which our former observations had led us
to suppose them strangers, could at once have introduced itself,
and have spread so widely, seemed inexplicable.*  Whatever might be the cause,
the existence of the malady could no longer be doubted.  Intelligence
was brought that an Indian family lay sick in a neighbouring cove:
the governor, attended by Arabanoo, and a surgeon, went in a boat immediately
to the spot.  Here they found an old man stretched before a few lighted sticks,
and a boy of nine or ten years old pouring water on his head, from a shell
which he held in his hand:  near them lay a female child dead,
and a little farther off, its unfortunate mother:  the body of the woman
shewed that famine, superadded to disease, had occasioned her death:
eruptions covered the poor boy from head to foot; and the old man was
so reduced, that he was with difficulty got into the boat.  Their situation
rendered them incapable of escape, and they quietly submitted to be led away.
Arabanoo, contrary to his usual character, seemed at first unwilling
to render them any assistance; but his shyness soon wore off, and he treated
them with the kindest attention.  Nor would he leave the place until
he had buried the corpse of the child:  that of the woman he did not see
from its situation; and as his countrymen did not point it out,
the governor ordered that it should not be shown to him.  He scooped a grave
in the sand with his hands, of no peculiarity of shape, which he lined
completely with grass, and put the body into it, covering it also with grass;
and then he filled up the hole, and raised over it a small mound with the earth
which had been removed.  Here the ceremony ended, unaccompanied
by any invocation to a superior being, or any attendant circumstance
whence an inference of their religious opinions could be deduced.

[*No solution of this difficulty had been given when I left the country,
in December, 1791.  I can, therefore, only propose queries for the ingenuity
of others to exercise itself upon:  is it a disease indigenous to the country?
Did the French ships under Monsieur de Peyrouse introduce it?  Let it be
remembered that they had now been departed more than a year; and we had never
heard of its existence on board of them.  Had it travelled across the continent
from its western shore, where Dampier and other European voyagers
had formerly landed?  Was it introduced by Mr. Cook?  Did we give it birth
here?  No person among us had been afflicted with the disorder
since we had quitted the Cape of Good Hope, seventeen months before.
It is true, that our surgeons had brought out variolous matter in bottles;
but to infer that it was produced from this cause were a supposition
so wild as to be unworthy of consideration.]


An uninhabited house, near the hospital, was allotted for their reception,
and a cradle prepared for each of them.  By the encouragement of Arabanoo,
who assured them of protection, and the soothing behaviour of our medical
gentlemen, they became at once reconciled to us, and looked happy and grateful
at the change of their situation.  Sickness and hunger had, however,
so much exhausted the old man, that little hope was entertained
of his recovery.  As he pointed frequently to his throat, at the instance
of Arabanoo, he tried to wash it with a gargle which was given to him;
but the obstructed, tender state of the part rendered it impracticable.
'Bado, bado' (water), was his cry:  when brought to him, he drank largely
at intervals of it.  He was equally importunate for fire, being seized
with shivering fits; and one was kindled.  Fish were produced, to tempt him
to eat; but he turned away his head, with signs of loathing.
Nanbaree (the boy), on the contrary, no sooner saw them than he leaped
from his cradle, and eagerly seizing them, began to cook them.  A warm bath
being prepared, they were immersed in it; and after being thoroughly cleansed,
they had clean shirts put on them, and were again laid in bed.

The old man lived but a few hours.  He bore the pangs of dissolution
with patient composure; and though he was sensible to the last moment,
expired almost without a groan.  Nanbaree appeared quite unmoved at the event;
and surveyed the corpse of his father without emotion, simply exclaiming,
'boee' (dead).  This surprised us; as the tenderness and anxiety of the old man
about the boy had been very moving.  Although barely able to raise his head,
while so much strength was left to him, he kept looking into
his child's cradle; he patted him gently on the bosom; and, with dying eyes,
seemed to recommend him to our humanity and protection.  Nanbaree was adopted
by Mr. White, surgeon-general of the settlement, and became henceforth
one of his family.

Arabanoo had no sooner heard of the death of his countryman, than he hastened
to inter him.  I was present at the ceremony, in company with the governor,
captain Ball, and two or three other persons.  It differed, by the accounts
of those who were present at the funeral of the girl, in no respect
from what had passed there in the morning, except that the grave was dug
by a convict.  But I was informed, that when intelligence of the death
reached Arabanoo, he expressed himself with doubt whether he should bury,
or burn the body; and seemed solicitous to ascertain which ceremony
would be most gratifying to the governor.

Indeed, Arabanoo's behaviour, during the whole of the transactions of this day,
was so strongly marked by affection to his countryman, and by confidence in us,
that the governor resolved to free him from all farther restraint,
and at once to trust to his generosity, and the impression which our treatment
of him might have made, for his future residence among us:  the fetter
was accordingly taken off his leg.

In the evening, captain Ball and I crossed the harbour, and buried the corpse
of the woman before mentioned.

Distress continued to drive them in upon us.  Two more natives, one of them
a young man, and the other his sister, a girl of fourteen years old,
were brought in by the governor's boat, in a most deplorable state
of wretchedness from the smallpox.  The sympathy and affection of Arabanoo,
which had appeared languid in the instance of Nanbaree and his father,
here manifested themselves immediately.  We conjectured that a difference
of the tribes to which they belonged might cause the preference; but nothing
afterwards happened to strengthen or confirm such a supposition.
The young man died at the end of three days:  the girl recovered,
and was received as an inmate, with great kindness, in the family
of Mrs Johnson, the clergyman's wife.  Her name was Booron; but from
our mistake of pronunciation she acquired that of Abaroo, by which
she was generally known, and by which she will always be called in this work.
She shewed, at the death of her brother more feeling than Nanbaree
had witnessed for the loss of his father.  When she found him dying,
she crept to his side, and lay by him until forced by the cold to retire.
No exclamation, or other sign of grief, however, escaped her
for what had happened.

May 1789.  At sunset, on the evening of the 2d instant, the arrival
the 'Sirius', Captain Hunter, from the Cape of Good Hope, was proclaimed,
and diffused universal joy and congratulation.  The day of famine was at least
procrastinated by the supply of flour and salt provisions she brought us.

The 'Sirius' had made her passage to the Cape of Good Hope, by the route of
Cape Horn, in exactly thirteen weeks.  Her highest latitude was
57 degrees 10 minutes south, where the weather proved intolerably cold.  Ice,
in great quantity, was seen for many days; and in the middle of December
(which is correspondent to the middle of June, in our hemisphere),
water froze in open casks upon deck, in the moderate latitude of 44 degrees.

They were very kindly treated by the Dutch governor, and amply supplied
by the merchants at the Cape, where they remained seven weeks.  Their passage
back was effected by Van Diemen's Land, near which, and close under
Tasman's Head, they were in the utmost peril of being wrecked.

In this long run, which had extended round the circle, they had always
determined their longitude, to the greatest nicety, by distances taken
between the sun and moon, or between the moon and a star.  But it falls
to the lot of very few ships to possess such indefatigable and accurate
observers as Captain Hunter, and Mr. (now Captain) Bradley,
the first lieutenant of the 'Sirius'.

I feel assured, that I have no reader who will not join in regretting
the premature loss of Arabanoo, who died of the smallpox on the 18th instant,
after languishing in it six days.  From some imperfect marks and indents
on his face, we were inclined to believe that he had passed this dreaded
disorder.  Even when the first symptoms of sickness seized him,
we continued willing to hope that they proceeded from a different cause.
But at length the disease burst forth with irresistible fury.
It were superfluous to say, that nothing which medical skill and unremitting
attention could perform, were left unexerted to mitigate his sufferings,
and prolong a life, which humanity and affectionate concern towards
his sick compatriots, unfortunately shortened.

During his sickness he reposed entire confidence in us.  Although a stranger
to medicine, and nauseating the taste of it, he swallowed with patient
submission innumerable drugs,* which the hope of relief induced us
to administer to him.  The governor, who particularly regarded him, caused him
to be buried in his own garden, and attended the funeral in person.

[*Very different had been his conduct on a former occasion of a similar kind.
Soon after he was brought among us he was seized with a diarrhoea,
for which he could by no persuasion be induced to swallow any
of our prescriptions.  After many ineffectual trials to deceive,
or overcome him, it was at length determined to let him pursue his own course,
and to watch if he should apply for relief to any of the productions
of the country.  He was in consequence observed to dig fern-root,
and to chew it.  Whether the disorder had passed its crisis, or whether
the fern-root effected a cure, I know not; but it is certain that he became
speedily well.

**The regard was reciprocal.  His excellency had been ill but a short time
before, when Arabanoo had testified the utmost solicitude for his case
and recovery.  It is probable that he acquired, on this occasion,
just notions of the benefit to be derived from medical assistance.
A doctor is, among them, a person of consequence.  It is certain that he
latterly estimated our professional gentlemen very highly.]

The character of Arabanoo, as far as we had developed it, was distinguished
by a portion of gravity and steadiness, which our subsequent acquaintance
with his countrymen by no means led us to conclude a national characteristic.
In that daring, enterprising frame of mind, which, when combined with genius,
constitutes the leader of a horde of savages, or the ruler of a people,
boasting the power of discrimination and the resistance of ambition,
he was certainly surpassed by some of his successors, who afterwards
lived among us.  His countenance was thoughtful, but not animated:
his fidelity and gratitude, particularly to his friend the governor,
were constant and undeviating, and deserve to be recorded.
Although of a gentle and placable temper, we early discovered that he was
impatient of indignity, and allowed of no superiority on our part.
He knew that he was in our power; but the independence of his mind
never forsook him.  If the slightest insult were offered to him,
he would return it with interest.  At retaliation of merriment he was
often happy; and frequently turned the laugh against his antagonist.
He did not want docility; but either from the difficulty of acquiring
our language, from the unskillfulness of his teachers, or from some
natural defect, his progress in learning it was not equal to what
we had expected.  For the last three or four weeks of his life, hardly any
restraint was laid upon his inclinations:  so that had he meditated escape,
he might easily have effected it.  He was, perhaps, the only native
who was ever attached to us from choice; and who did not prefer
a precarious subsistence among wilds and precipices, to the comforts
of a civilized system.

By his death, the scheme which had invited his capture was utterly defeated.
Of five natives who had been brought among us, three had perished from a cause
which, though unavoidable, it was impossible to explain to a people,
who would condescend to enter into no intercourse with us.  The same
suspicious dread of our approach, and the same scenes of vengeance acted on
unfortunate stragglers, continued to prevail.




CHAPTER V.



Transactions of the Colony until the Close of the Year 1789.


The anniversary of his majesty's birth-day was celebrated, as heretofore,
at the government-house, with loyal festivity.  In the evening, the play
of 'The Recruiting Officer' was performed by a party of convicts,
and honoured by the presence of his excellency, and the officers
of the garrison.  That every opportunity of escape from the dreariness
and dejection of our situation should be eagerly embraced, will not
be wondered at.  The exhilarating effect of a splendid theatre is well known:
and I am not ashamed to confess, that the proper distribution of three or four
yards of stained paper, and a dozen farthing candles stuck around the mud walls
of a convict-hut, failed not to diffuse general complacency on the countenances
of sixty persons, of various descriptions, who were assembled to applaud
the representation.  Some of the actors acquitted themselves with great spirit,
and received the praises of the audience:  a prologue and an epilogue,
written by one of the performers, were also spoken on the occasion; which,
although not worth inserting here, contained some tolerable allusions
to the situation of the parties, and the novelty of a stage-representation
in New South Wales.

Broken Bay, which was supposed to be completely explored, became again
an object of research.  On the sixth instant, the governor, accompanied by
a large party in two boats, proceeded thither.  Here they again wandered
over piles of mis-shapen desolation, contemplating scenes of wild solitude,
whose unvarying appearance renders them incapable of affording either novelty
or gratification.  But when they had given over the hope of farther discovery,
by pursuing the windings of an inlet, which, from its appearance,
was supposed to be a short creek, they suddenly found themselves
at the entrance of a fresh water river, up which they proceeded twenty miles,
in a westerly direction; and would have farther prosecuted their research,
had not a failure of provisions obliged them to return.  This river
they described to be of considerable breadth, and of great depth; but its banks
had hitherto presented nothing better than a counterpart of the rocks
and precipices which surround Broken Bay.

June, 1789.  A second expedition, to ascertain its course, was undertaken
by his excellency, who now penetrated (measuring by the bed of the river)
between 60 and 70 miles, when the farther progress of the boats was stopped
by a fall.  The water in every part was found to be fresh and good.
Of the adjoining country, the opinions of those who had inspected it
(of which number I was not) were so various, that I shall decline
to record them.  Some saw a rich and beautiful country; and others were
so unfortunate as to discover little else than large tracts of low land,
covered with reeds, and rank with the inundations of the stream, by which
they had been recently covered.  All parties, however, agreed, that the rocky,
impenetrable country, seen on the first excursion, had ended nearly about
the place whence the boats had then turned back.  Close to the fall
stands a very beautiful hill, which our adventurers mounted, and enjoyed
from it an extensive prospect.  Potatoes, maize, and garden seeds
of various kinds were put into the earth, by the governor's order,
on different parts of Richmond-hill, which was announced to be its name.
The latitude of Richmond-hill, as observed by captain Hunter, was settled
at 33 degrees 36 minutes south.

Here also the river received the name of Hawkesbury, in honour of
the noble lord who bears that title.

Natives were found on the banks in several parts, many of whom were labouring
under the smallpox.  They did not attempt to commit hostilities
against the boats; but on the contrary shewed every sign of welcome
and friendship to the strangers.

At this period, I was unluckily invested with the command of the outpost
at Rose Hill, which prevented me from being in the list of discoverers
of the Hawkesbury.  Stimulated, however, by a desire of acquiring
a further knowledge of the country, on the 26th instant, accompanied by
Mr. Arndell, assistant surgeon of the settlement, Mr. Lowes, surgeon's mate
of the 'Sirius', two marines, and a convict, I left the redoubt at day-break,
pointing our march to a hill, distant five miles, in a westerly or inland
direction, which commands a view of the great chain of mountains,
called Carmarthen hills, extending from north to south farther than
the eye can reach.  Here we paused, surveying "the wild abyss;
pondering our voyage." Before us lay the trackless immeasurable desert,
in awful silence.  At length, after consultation, we determined to steer
west and by north, by compass, the make of the land in that quarter indicating
the existence of a river.  We continued to march all day through a country
untrodden before by an European foot.  Save that a melancholy crow now and then
flew croaking over head, or a kangaroo was seen to bound at a distance,
the picture of solitude was complete and undisturbed.  At four o'clock
in the afternoon we halted near a small pond of water, where we took up
our residence for the night, lighted a fire, and prepared to cook our supper:
that was, to broil over a couple of ramrods a few slices of salt pork,
and a crow which we had shot.

At daylight we renewed our peregrination; and in an hour after we found
ourselves on the banks of a river, nearly as broad as the Thames at Putney,
and apparently of great depth, the current running very slowly in
a northerly direction.  Vast flocks of wild ducks were swimming in the stream;
but after being once fired at, they grew so shy that we could not get near them
a second time.  Nothing is more certain than that the sound of a gun
had never before been heard within many miles of this spot.

We proceeded upwards, by a slow pace, through reeds, thickets, and a thousand
other obstacles, which impeded our progress, over coarse sandy ground,
which had been recently inundated, though full forty feet above
the present level of the river.  Traces of the natives appeared at every step,
sometimes in their hunting-huts, which consist of nothing more than
a large piece of bark, bent in the middle, and open at both ends, exactly
resembling two cards, set up to form an acute angle; sometimes in marks
on trees which they had climbed; or in squirrel-traps*; or, which surprised us
more, from being new, in decoys for the purpose of ensnaring birds.
These are formed of underwood and reeds, long and narrow, shaped like
a mound raised over a grave; with a small aperture at one end for admission
of the prey; and a grate made of sticks at the other:  the bird enters
at the aperture, seeing before him the light of the grate, between the bars
of which, he vainly endeavours to thrust himself, until taken.  Most of these
decoys were full of feathers, chiefly those of quails, which shewed
their utility.  We also met with two old damaged canoes hauled up on the beach,
which differed in no wise from those found on the sea coast.

[*A squirrel-trap is a cavity of considerable depth, formed by art,
in the body of a tree.  When the Indians in their hunting parties set fire
to the surrounding country (which is a very common custom) the squirrels,
opossums, and other animals, who live in trees, flee for refuge into these
holes, whence they are easily dislodged and taken.  The natives always
pitch on a part of a tree for this purpose, which has been perforated
by a worm, which indicates that the wood is in an unsound state, and will
readily yield to their efforts.  If the rudeness and imperfection of the tools
with which they work be considered, it must be confessed to be an operation
of great toil and difficulty.]


Having remained out three days, we returned to our quarters at Rose-hill,
with the pleasing intelligence of our discovery.  The country we had passed
through we found tolerably plain, and little encumbered with underwood,
except near the river side.  It is entirely covered with the same sorts
of trees as grow near Sydney; and in some places grass springs up luxuriantly;
other places are quite bare of it.  The soil is various:  in many parts
a stiff and clay, covered with small pebbles; in other places, of a soft
loamy nature:  but invariably, in every part near the river, it is
a coarse sterile sand.  Our observations on it (particularly mine,
from carrying the compass by which we steered) were not so numerous as might
have been wished.  But, certainly, if the qualities of it be such as to deserve
future cultivation, no impediment of surface, but that of cutting down
and burning the trees, exists, to prevent its being tilled.

To this river the governor gave the name of Nepean.  The distance of the part
of the river which we first hit upon from the sea coast, is about 39 miles,
in a direct line almost due west.

A survey of Botany Bay took place in September.  I was of the party,
with several others officers.  We continued nine days in the bay,
during which time, the relative position of every part of it, to the extent
of more than thirty miles, following the windings of the shore,
was ascertained, and laid down on paper, by captain Hunter.

So complete an opportunity of forming a judgment, enables me to speak
decisively of a place, which has often engaged conversation and excited
reflection.  Variety of opinions here disappeared.  I shall, therefore,
transcribe literally what I wrote in my journal, on my return from
the expedition.  "We were unanimously of opinion, that had not the nautical
part of Mr. Cook's description, in which we include the latitude and longitude
of the bay, been so accurately laid down, there would exist the utmost reason
to believe, that those who have described the contiguous country, had never
seen it.  On the sides of the harbour, a line of sea coast more than
thirty miles long, we did not find 200 acres which could be cultivated."

September, 1789.  But all our attention was not directed to explore inlets,
and toll for discovery.  Our internal tranquillity was still more important.
To repress the inroads of depredation; and to secure to honest industry
the reward of its labour, had become matter of the most serious consideration;
hardly a night passing without the commission of robbery.  Many expedients
were devised; and the governor at length determined to select from
the convicts, a certain number of persons, who were meant to be of the fairest
character, for the purpose of being formed into a nightly-watch,
for the preservation of public and private property, under the following
regulations, which, as the first system of police in a colony,
so peculiarly constituted as ours, may perhaps prove not uninteresting.


I.   A night-watch, consisting of 12 persons, divided into four parties,
is appointed, and fully authorized to patrol at all hours in the night;
and to visit such places as may be deemed necessary, for the discovery
of any felony, trespass, or misdemeanor; and for the apprehending and securing
for examination, any person or persons who may appear to them concerned
therein, either by entrance into any suspected hut or dwelling, or by such
other measure as may seem to them expedient.

II.  Those parts in which the convicts reside are to be divided and numbered,
in the following manner.  The convict huts on the eastern side of the stream,
and the public farm, are to be the first division.  Those at the brick-kilns,
and the detached parties in the different private farms in that district,
are to be the second division.  Those on the western side of the stream,
as far as the line which separates the district of the women from the men,
to be the third division.  The huts occupied from that line to the hospital,
and from there to the observatory, to be the fourth division.

III. Each of these districts or divisions is to be under the particular
inspection of one person, who may be judged qualified to inform himself
of the actual residence of each individual in his district; as well as
of his business, connections, and acquaintances.

IV.  Cognizance is to be taken of such convicts as may sell or barter
their slops or provisions; and also of such as are addicted to gaming for
either of the aforesaid articles, who are to be reported to the judge advocate.

V.   Any soldier or seaman found straggling after the beating of the tattoo;
or who may be found in a convict's hut, is to be detained; and information
of him immediately given to the nearest guard.

VI.  Any person who may be robbed during the night, is to give immediate
information thereof to the watch of his district, who, on the instant
of application being made, shall use the most effectual means to trace out the
offender, or offenders, so that he, she, or they, may be brought to justice.

VII. The watch of each district is to be under the direction of one person,
who will be named for that purpose.  All the patrols are placed under
the immediate inspection of Herbert Keeling.  They are never to receive
any fee, gratuity, or reward, from any individual whatever, to engage
their exertions in the execution of the above trust.  Nor will they receive
any stipulated encouragement for the conviction of any offender.
But their diligence and good behaviour will be rewarded by the governor.
And for this purpose their conduct will be strictly attended to, by those
who are placed in authority over them.

VIII. The night-watch is to go out as soon as the tattoo ceases beating:
to return to their huts when the working drum beats in the morning:
and are to make their report to the judge advocate, through Herbert Keeling,
of all robberies and misdemeanors which may have been committed.
Any assistance the patrols may require, will be given to them, on applying
to the officer commanding the nearest guard; and by the civil power,
if necessary; for which last, application is to be made to the provost martial.

IX.  Any negligence on the part of those who shall be employed on this duty,
will be punished with the utmost rigour of the law.

X.   The night-watch is to consist of 12 persons.


Every political code, either from a defect of its constitution, or from
the corruptness of those who are entrusted to execute it, will be found
less perfect in practice than speculation had promised itself.  It were,
however, prejudice to deny, that for some time following the institution
of this patrol, nightly depredations became less frequent and alarming:
the petty villains, at least, were restrained by it.  And to keep even a garden
unravaged was now become a subject of the deepest concern.

For in October our weekly allowance of provisions, which had hitherto been
eight pounds of flour, five pounds of salt pork, three pints of pease,
six ounces of butter, was reduced to five pounds five ounces of flour,
three pounds five ounces of pork, and two pints of pease.

In order to lessen the consumption from the public stores, the 'Supply'
was ordered to touch at Lord Howe Island, in her way from Norfolk Island,
to try if turtle could be procured, for the purpose of being publicly served
in lieu of salt provisions.  But she brought back only three turtles,
which were distributed in the garrison.

December, 1789.  At the request of his excellency, lieutenant Dawes
of the marines, accompanied by lieutenant Johnston and Mr. Lowes,
about this time undertook the attempt to cross the Nepean river,
and to penetrate to Carmarthen mountains.  Having discovered a ford
in the river, they passed it, and proceeded in a westerly direction.
But they found the country so rugged, and the difficulty of walking
so excessive, that in three days they were able to penetrate only
fifteen miles, and were therefore obliged to relinquish their object.
This party, at the time they turned back, were farther inland than any other
persons ever were before or since, being fifty-four miles in a direct line
from the sea coast when on the summit of mount Twiss, a hill so named by them,
and which bounded their peregrination.

Intercourse with the natives, for the purpose of knowing whether or not
the country possessed any resources, by which life might be prolonged*,
as well as on other accounts, becoming every day more desirable,
the governor resolved to make prisoners of two more of them.

[*One of the convicts, a negro, had twice eloped, with an intention
of establishing himself in the society of the natives, with a wish to adopt
their customs and to live with them:  but he was always repulsed by them;
and compelled to return to us from hunger and wretchedness.]


Boats properly provided, under the command of lieutenant Bradley of the
'Sirius', were accordingly dispatched on this service; and completely succeeded
in trepanning and carrying off, without opposition, two fine young men,
who were safely landed among us at Sydney.

Nanbaree and Abaroo welcomed them on shore; calling them immediately
by their names, Baneelon (Bennelong), and Colbee.  But they seemed
little disposed to receive the congratulations, or repose confidence
in the assurances of their friends.  The same scenes of awkward wonder
and impatient constraint, which had attended the introduction of Arabanoo,
succeeded.  Baneelon we judged to be about twenty-six years old,
of good stature, and stoutly made, with a bold intrepid countenance,
which bespoke defiance and revenge.  Colbee was perhaps near thirty,
of a less sullen aspect than his comrade, considerably shorter, and not
so robustly framed, though better fitted for purposes of activity.
They had both evidently had the smallpox; indeed Colbee's face was very
thickly imprinted with the marks of it.

Positive orders were issued by the governor to treat them indulgently,
and guard them strictly; notwithstanding which Colbee contrived to effect
his escape in about a week, with a small iron ring round his leg.
Had those appointed to watch them been a moment later, his companion
would have contrived to accompany him.

But Baneelon, though haughty, knew how to temporize.  He quickly threw off
all reserve; and pretended, nay, at particular moments, perhaps felt
satisfaction in his new state.  Unlike poor Arabanoo, he became at once fond
of our viands, and would drink the strongest liquors, not simply
without reluctance, but with eager marks of delight and enjoyment.
He was the only native we ever knew who immediately shewed a fondness
for spirits:  Colbee would not at first touch them.  Nor was the effect
of wine or brandy upon him more perceptible than an equal quantity
would have produced upon one of us, although fermented liquor was new to him.

In his eating, he was alike compliant.  When a turtle was shown to Arabanoo,
he would not allow it to be a fish, and could not be induced to eat of it.
Baneelon also denied it to be a fish; but no common councilman in Europe
could do more justice than he did to a very fine one, that the 'Supply'
had brought from Lord Howe Island, and which was served up at the governor's
table on Christmas Day.

His powers of mind were certainly far above mediocrity.  He acquired knowledge,
both of our manners and language, faster than his predecessor had done.
He willingly communicated information; sang, danced, and capered, told us
all the customs of his country, and all the details of his family economy.
Love and war seemed his favourite pursuits; in both of which he had suffered
severely.  His head was disfigured by several scars; a spear had passed
through his arm, and another through his leg.  Half of one of his thumbs
was carried away; and the mark of a wound appeared on the back of his hand.
The cause and attendant circumstances of all these disasters, except one,
he related to us.

"But the wound on the back of your hand, Baneelon!  How did you get that?"

He laughed, and owned that it was received in carrying off a lady
of another tribe by force.  "I was dragging her away.  She cried aloud,
and stuck her teeth in me."

"And what did you do then?"

"I knocked her down, and beat her till she was insensible,
and covered with blood.  Then..."

Whenever he recounted his battles, "poised his lance, and showed how fields
were won", the most violent exclamations of rage and vengeance against
his competitors in arms, those of the tribe called Cameeragal in particular,
would burst from him.  And he never failed at such times to solicit
the governor to accompany him, with a body of soldiers, in order that
he might exterminate this hated name.

Although I call him only Baneelon, he had besides several appellations,
and for a while he chose to be distinguished by that of Wolarawaree.
Again, as a mark of affection and respect to the governor, he conferred
on him the name of Wolarawaree, and sometimes called him 'Beenena' (father),
adopting to himself the name of governor.  This interchange we found
is a constant symbol of friendship among them*.  In a word, his temper
seemed pliant, and his relish of our society so great, that hardly any one
judged he would attempt to quit us, were the means of escape put within
his reach.  Nevertheless it was thought proper to continue a watch over him.

[*It is observable that this custom prevails as a pledge of friendship
and kindness all over Asia, and has also been mentioned by Captain Cook
to exist among the natives in the South Sea Islands.]




CHAPTER VI.



Transactions of the Colony, from the Beginning of the Year 1790
until the End of May following.


Our impatience of news from Europe strongly marked the commencement
of the year.  We had now been two years in the country, and thirty-two months
from England, in which long period no supplies, except what had been procured
at the Cape of Good Hope by the 'Sirius', had reached us.  From intelligence
of our friends and connections we had been entirely cut off, no communication
whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th of May 1787,
the day of our departure from Portsmouth.  Famine besides was approaching
with gigantic strides, and gloom and dejection overspread every countenance.
Men abandoned themselves to the most desponding reflections, and adopted
the most extravagant conjectures.

Still we were on the tiptoe of expectation.  If thunder broke at a distance,
or a fowling-piece of louder than ordinary report resounded in the woods,
"a gun from a ship" was echoed on every side, and nothing but hurry
and agitation prevailed.  For eighteen months after we had landed
in the country, a party of marines used to go weekly to Botany Bay,
to see whether any vessel, ignorant of our removal to Port Jackson,
might be arrived there.  But a better plan was now devised, on the suggestion
of captain Hunter.  A party of seamen were fixed on a high bluff,
called the South-head, at the entrance of the harbour, on which a flag
was ordered to be hoisted, whenever a ship might appear, which should serve
as a direction to her, and as a signal of approach to us.  Every officer
stepped forward to volunteer a service which promised to be so replete
with beneficial consequences.  But the zeal and alacrity of captain Hunter,
and our brethren of the 'Sirius', rendered superfluous all assistance
or co-operation.

Here on the summit of the hill, every morning from daylight until the sun sunk,
did we sweep the horizon, in hope of seeing a sail.  At every fleeting speck
which arose from the bosom of the sea, the heart bounded, and the telescope
was lifted to the eye.  If a ship appeared here, we knew she must be bound
to us; for on the shores of this vast ocean (the largest in the world)
we were the only community which possessed the art of navigation,
and languished for intercourse with civilized society.

To say that we were disappointed and shocked, would very inadequately describe
our sensations.  But the misery and horror of such a situation
cannot be imparted, even by those who have suffered under it.

March, 1790.  Vigorous measures were become indispensable.  The governor
therefore, early in February, ordered the 'Sirius' to prepare for a voyage
to China; and a farther retrenchment of our ration, we were given
to understand, would take place on her sailing.

But the 'Sirius' was destined not to reach China.  Previously to her intended
departure on that voyage, she was ordered, in concert with the 'Supply',
to convey Major Ross, with a large detachment of marines, and more than
two hundred convicts, to Norfolk Island, it being hoped that such a division
of our numbers would increase the means of subsistence, by diversified
exertions.  She sailed on the 6th of March.  And on the 27th of the same month,
the following order was issued from headquarters.


Parole--Honour.

Counter sign--Example.

The expected supply of provisions not having arrived,
makes it necessary to reduce the present ration.
And the commissary is directed to issue, from the
1st of April, the under-mentioned allowance, to every
person in the settlement without distinction.

Four pounds of flour, two pounds and a half of salt
pork, and one pound and a half of rice, per week.


On the 5th of April news was brought, that the flag on the South-head
was hoisted.  Less emotion was created by the news than might be expected.
Every one coldly said to his neighbour, "the 'Sirius' and 'Supply' are returned
from Norfolk Island."  To satisfy myself that the flag was really flying,
I went to the observatory, and looked for it through the large astronomical
telescope, when I plainly saw it.  But I was immediately convinced that
it was not to announce the arrival of ships from England; for I could see
nobody near the flagstaff except one solitary being, who kept strolling around,
unmoved by what he saw.  I well knew how different an effect the sight
of strange ships would produce.

April, 1790.  The governor, however, determined to go down the harbour,
and I begged permission to accompany him.  Having turned a point about
half way down, we were surprised to see a boat, which was known to belong to
the 'Supply', rowing towards us.  On nearer approach, I saw captain Ball
make an extraordinary motion with his hand, which too plainly indicated
that something disastrous had happened; and I could not help turning
to the governor, near whom I sat, and saying, "Sir, prepare yourself
for bad news." A few minutes changed doubt into certainty; and to our
unspeakable consternation we learned, that the 'Sirius' had been wrecked
on Norfolk Island, on the 19th of February.  Happily, however, Captain Hunter,
and every other person belonging to her, were saved.

Dismay was painted on every countenance, when the tidings were proclaimed
at Sydney.  The most distracting apprehensions were entertained  All hopes
were now concentred in the little 'Supply'.

At six o'clock in the evening, all the officers of the garrison,
both civil and military, were summoned to meet the governor in council,
when the nature of our situation was fully discussed and an account
of the provisions yet remaining in store laid before the council
by the commissary.  This account stated, that on the present ration*
the public stores contained salt meat sufficient to serve until the
2nd of July, flour until the 20th of August, and rice, or pease in lieu of it,
until the 1st of October.

[*See the ration of the 27th of March, a few pages back.]

Several regulations for the more effectual preservation of gardens,
and other private property, were proposed, and adopted and after some
interchange of opinion, the following ration was decreed to commence
immediately, a vigorous exertion to prolong existence, or the chance of relief,
being all now left to us.


   Two pounds of pork, two pounds and a half of flour,
   two pounds of rice, or a quart of pease, per week,
   to every grown person, and to every child of more
   than eighteen months old.

   To every child under eighteen months old, the same
   quantity of rice and flour, and one pound of pork.**


[**When the age of this provision is recollected, its inadequacy will more
strikingly appear.  The pork and rice were brought with us from England.
The pork had been salted between three and four years, and every grain
of rice was a moving body, from the inhabitants lodged within it.
We soon left off boiling the pork, as it had become so old and dry,
that it shrunk one half in its dimensions when so dressed.  Our usual method
of cooking it was to cut off the daily morsel, and toast it on a fork
before the fire, catching the drops which fell on a slice of bread,
or in a saucer of rice.  Our flour was the remnant of what was brought
from the Cape, by the 'Sirius', and was good.  Instead of baking it,
the soldiers and convicts used to boil it up with greens.]

The immediate departure of the 'Supply', for Batavia, was also determined.

Nor did our zeal stop here.  The governor being resolved to employ
all the boats, public and private, m procuring fish--which was intended
to be served in lieu of salt meat--all the officers, civil and military,
including the clergyman, and the surgeons of the hospital, made the voluntary
offer, in addition to their other duties, to go alternately every night
in these boats, in order to see that every exertion was made, and that all
the fish which might be caught was deposited with the commissary.

The best marksmen of the marines and convicts were also selected,
and put under the command of a trusty sergeant, with directions to range
the woods in search of kangaroos, which were ordered, when brought in,
to be delivered to the commissary.

And as it was judged that the inevitable fatigues of shooting and fishing
could not be supported on the common ration, a small additional quantity
of flour and pork was appropriated to the use of the game-keepers; and each
fisherman, who had been out during the preceding night had, on his return
in the morning, a pound of uncleaned fish allowed for his breakfast.

On the 17th instant, the 'Supply', captain Ball, sailed for Batavia.
We followed her with anxious eyes until she was no longer visible.
Truly did we say to her "In te omnis domus inclinata recumbit."  We were,
however, consoled by reflecting, that every thing which zeal, fortitude,
and seamanship, could produce, was concentred in her commander.

Our bosoms consequently became less perturbed; and all our labour
and attention were turned on one object--the procuring of food.  "Pride,
pomp, and circumstance of glorious war" were no more.

The distress of the lower classes for clothes was almost equal to their
other wants.  The stores had been long exhausted, and winter was at hand.
Nothing more ludicrous can be conceived than the expedients of substituting,
shifting, and patching, which ingenuity devised, to eke out wretchedness,
and preserve the remains of decency.  The superior dexterity of the women
was particularly conspicuous.  Many a guard have I seen mount, in which
the number of soldiers without shoes exceeded that which had yet preserved
remnants of leather.

Nor was another part of our domestic economy less whimsical.  If a lucky man,
who had knocked down a dinner with his gun, or caught a fish by angling
from the rocks, invited a neighbour to dine with him, the invitation
always ran, "bring your own bread."  Even at the governor's table,
this custom was constantly observed.  Every man when he sat down pulled
his bread out of his pocket, and laid it by his plate.

The insufficiency of our ration soon diminished our execution of labour.
Both soldiers and convicts pleaded such loss of strength, as to find themselves
unable to perform their accustomed tasks.  The hours of public work were
accordingly shortened or, rather, every man was ordered to do as much
as his strength would permit, and every other possible indulgence was granted.

May, 1790.  In proportion, however, as lenity and mitigation were extended
to inability and helplessness, inasmuch was the most rigorous justice executed
on disturbers of the public tranquillity.  Persons detected in robbing gardens,
or pilfering provisions, were never screened because, as every man
could possess, by his utmost exertions, but a bare sufficiency to preserve
life*, he who deprived his neighbour of that little, drove him to desperation.
No new laws for the punishment of theft were enacted; but persons of all
descriptions were publicly warned, that the severest penalties,
which the existing law in its greatest latitude would authorise,
should be inflicted on offenders.  The following sentence of a court
of justice, of which I was a member, on a convict detected in a garden
stealing potatoes, will illustrate the subject.  He was ordered to receive
three hundred lashes immediately, to be chained for six months to two
other criminals, who were thus fettered for former offences, and to have
his allowance of flour stopped for six months.  So that during the operation
of the sentence, two pounds of pork, and two pounds of rice (or in lieu
of the latter, a quart of pease) per week, constituted his whole subsistence.
Such was the melancholy length to which we were compelled to stretch
our penal system.

[*Its preservation in some cases was found impracticable.  Three or four
instances of persons who perished from want have been related to me.
One only, however, fell within my own observation.  I was passing
the provision store, when a man, with a wild haggard countenance,
who had just received his daily pittance to carry home, came out.
His faltering gait, and eager devouring eye, led me to watch him,
and he had not proceeded ten steps before he fell.  I ordered him
to be carried to the hospital, where, when he arrived, he was found dead.
On opening the body, the cause of death was pronounced to be inanition.]

Farther to contribute to the detection of villainy, a proclamation,
offering a reward of sixty pounds of flour, more tempting than the ore
of Peru or Potosi, was promised to any one who should apprehend,
and bring to justice, a robber of garden ground.

Our friend Baneelon, during this season of scarcity, was as well taken care of
as our desperate circumstances would allow.  We knew not how to keep him,
and yet were unwilling to part with him.  Had he penetrated our state,
perhaps he might have given his countrymen such a description of our
diminished numbers, and diminished strength, as would have emboldened them
to become more troublesome.  Every expedient was used to keep him in ignorance.
His allowance was regularly received by the governor's servant, like that
of any other person, but the ration of a week was insufficient to have
kept him for a day.  The deficiency was supplied by fish whenever it could be
procured, and a little Indian corn, which had been reserved was ground
and appropriated to his use.  In spite of all these aids, want of food
has been known to make him furious and often melancholy.

There is reason to believe that he had long meditated his escape,
which he effected in the night of the 3rd instant.  About two o'clock
in the morning, he pretended illness, and awaking the servant who lay
in the room with him, begged to go down stairs.  The other attended him
without suspicion of his design; and Baneelon no sooner found himself
in a backyard, than he nimbly leaped over a slight paling, and bade us adieu.

The following public order was issued within the date of this chapter,
and is too pleasing a proof that universal depravity did not prevail
among the convicts, to be omitted.


The governor, in consequence of the unremitted good behaviour
and meritorious conduct of John Irving, is pleased to remit
the remainder of the term for which he was sentenced to
transportation.  He is therefore to be considered as restored
to all those rights and privileges, which had been suspended
in consequence of the sentence of the law.  And as such,
he is hereby appointed to act as an assistant to the surgeon
at Norfolk Island.




CHAPTER VII



Transactions of the Colony in June, July, and August, 1790.


At length the clouds of misfortune began to separate, and on the evening
of the 3rd of June, the joyful cry of "the flag's up" resounded
in every direction.

I was sitting in my hut, musing on our fate, when a confused clamour
in the street drew my attention.  I opened my door, and saw several women
with children in their arms running to and fro with distracted looks,
congratulating each other, and kissing their infants with the most passionate
and extravagant marks of fondness.  I needed no more; but instantly
started out, and ran to a hill, where, by the assistance of a pocket glass,
my hopes were realized.  My next door neighbour, a brother-officer,
was with me, but we could not speak.  We wrung each other by the hand,
with eyes and hearts overflowing.

Finding that the governor intended to go immediately in his boat
down the harbour, I begged to be of his party.

As we proceeded, the object of our hopes soon appeared:  a large ship,
with English colours flying, working in, between the heads which form
the entrance of the harbour.  The tumultuous state of our minds represented her
in danger; and we were in agony.  Soon after, the governor, having ascertained
what she was, left us, and stepped into a fishing boat to return to Sydney.
The weather was wet and tempestuous but the body is delicate only when
the soul is at ease.  We pushed through wind and rain, the anxiety of our
sensations every moment redoubling.  At last we read the word 'London'
on her stern.  "Pull away, my lads!  She is from Old England!  A few strokes
more, and we shall be aboard!  Hurrah for a bellyfull, and news from
our friends!"  Such were our exhortations to the boat's crew.

A few minutes completed our wishes, and we found ourselves on board
the 'Lady Juliana' transport, with two hundred and twenty-five of our
countrywomen whom crime or misfortune had condemned to exile.  We learned
that they had been almost eleven months on their passage, having left Plymouth,
into which port they had put in July, 1789.  We continued to ask a thousand
questions on a breath.  Stimulated by curiosity, they inquired in turn;
but the right of being first answered, we thought, lay on our side.
"Letters, letters!" was the cry.  They were produced, and torn open
in trembling agitation.  News burst upon us like meridian splendor
on a blind man.  We were overwhelmed with it:  public, private, general,
and particular.  Nor was it until some days had elapsed, that we were able
to methodise it, or reduce it into form.  We now heard for the first time
of our sovereign's illness, and his happy restoration to health.
The French revolution of 1789, with all the attendant circumstances
of that wonderful and unexpected event, succeeded to amaze us*.  Now, too,
the disaster which had befallen the 'Guardian', and the liberal and enlarged plan
on which she had been stored and fitted out by government for our use,
was promulged.  It served also, in some measure, to account why we had not
sooner heard from England.  For had not the 'Guardian' struck on an island
of ice, she would probably have reached us three months before, and in this
case have prevented the loss of the 'Sirius', although she had sailed
from England three months after the 'Lady Juliana'.

[*These words bring to my mind an anecdote, which, though rather out of place,
I shall offer no apology for introducing.  Among other inquiries, we were
anxious to learn whether M. de la Peyrouse, with the two ships under
his command, bound on a voyage of discovery, had arrived in France.
We heard with concern, that no accounts of them had been received,
since they had left Botany Bay, in March, 1788.  I remember when they were
at that place, one day conversing with Monsieur de la Peyrouse, about the best
method of treating savage people, "Sir" said he, "I have sometimes been
compelled to commit hostilities upon them, but never without suffering
the most poignant regret; for, independent of my own feelings on the occasion,
his Majesty's (Louis XVI) last words to me, de sa propre bouche, when I took
leave of him at Versailles, were:  'It is my express injunction,
that you always treat the Indian nations with kindness and humanity.
Gratify their wishes, and never, but in a case of the last necessity,
when self-defence requires it, shed human blood.'  Are these the sentiments
of a tyrant, of a sanguinary and perfidious man?"

A general thanksgiving to Almighty God, for his Majesty's recovery,
and happy restoration to his family and subjects, was ordered to be offered up
on the following Wednesday, when all public labour was suspended;
and every person in the settlement attended at church, where a sermon,
suited to an occasion, at once so full of gratitude and solemnity,
was preached by the Reverend Richard Johnson, chaplain of the colony.

All the officers were afterwards entertained at dinner by the governor.
And in the evening, an address to his excellency, expressive of congratulation
and loyalty, was agreed upon; and in two days after was presented,
and very graciously received.

The following invitation to the non-commissioned officers and private soldiers
of the marine battalion, was also about this time published.


In consequence of the assurance that was given to the
non-commissioned officers and men belonging to the
battalion of marines, on their embarking for the service
of this country, that such of them as should behave well,
would be allowed to quit the service, on their return
to England; or be discharged abroad, upon the relief
taking place, and permitted to settle in the country--
His Majesty has been graciously pleased to direct the
following encouragement to be held up to such
non-commissioned officers and privates, as may be
disposed to become settlers in this country, or in any
of the islands comprised within the government of the
continent of New South Wales, on the arrival of the corps
raised and intended for the service of this colony, and
for their relief, viz:

To every non-commissioned officer, an allotment of
one hundred and thirty acres of land, if single, and of
one hundred and fifty acres, if married.  To every
private soldier, an allotment of eighty acres, if single,
and of one hundred acres if married; and also an allotment
of ten acres for every child, whether of a
non-commissioned officer, or of a private soldier.
These allotments will be free of all fines, taxes,
quit-rents, and other acknowledgments, for the space
of ten years; but after the expiration of that period,
will be subject to an annual quit-rent of one shilling
for every fifty acres.

His Majesty has likewise been farther pleased to signify
his royal will and pleasure, that a bounty of three pounds
be offered to each non-commissioned officer and soldier,
who may be disposed to continue in this country, and
enlist in the corps appointed for the service of
New South Wales; with a farther assurance, that in case
of a proper demeanour on their part, they shall, after
a farther service of five years, be entitled to double
the former portion of land, provided they then choose
to become settlers in the country, free of all taxes,
fines, and quit-rents, for the space of fifteen years;
but after that time, to be subject to the beforementioned
annual quit-rent of one shilling for every fifty acres.

And as a farther encouragement to those men who may be
desirous to become settlers, and continue in the country,
his Majesty has been likewise pleased to direct, that
every man shall, on being discharged, receive out of the
public store, a portion of clothing and provisions,
sufficient for his support for one year; together with
a suitable quantity of seeds, grain, etc. for the tillage
of the land; and a portion of tools and implements of
agriculture, proper for their use.  And whenever any man,
who may become a settler, can maintain, feed, and clothe,
such number of convicts as may be judged necessary by
the governor, for the time being, to assist him in
clearing and cultivating the land, the service of such
convicts shall be assigned to him.


We were joyfully surprised on the 20th of the month to see another sail enter
the harbour.  She proved to be the Justinian transport, commanded by
Captain Maitland, and our rapture was doubled on finding that she was laden
entirely with provisions for our use.  Full allowance, and general
congratulation, immediately took place.  This ship had left Falmouth
on the preceding 20th of January, and completed her passage exactly in
five months*.  She had staid at Madeira one day, and four at Sao Tiago,
from which last place she had steered directly for New South Wales,
neglecting Rio de Janeiro on her right, and the Cape of Good Hope on her left;
and notwithstanding the immense tract of ocean she had passed, brought
her crew without sickness into harbour.  When the novelty and boldness
of such an attempt shall be recollected, too much praise, on the spirit
and activity of Mr. Maitland, cannot be bestowed.

[*Accident only prevented her from making it in eighteen days less,
for she was then in sight of the harbour's mouth, when an unpropitious gale
of wind blew her off.  Otherwise she would have reached us one day sooner
than the 'Lady Juliana'.  It is a curious circumstance, that these two ships
had sailed together from the river Thames, one bound to Port Jackson,
and the other bound to Jamaica.  The Justinian carried her cargo to the last
mentioned place, landed it; and loaded afresh with sugars, which she returned
with, and delivered in London.  She was then hired as a transport, reladen,
and sailed for New South Wales.  Let it be remembered, that no material
accident had happened to either vessel.  But what will not zeal
and diligence accomplish!]

Good fortune continued to befriend us.  Before the end of the month,
three more transports, having on board two companies of the
New South Wales corps, arrived to add to our society.  These ships also brought
out a large body of convicts, whose state and sufferings will be best
estimated by the following return.


Names of     No. of people   No. of persons who died   No. landed sick
  Ships         embarked          on the passage       at Port Jackson
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Neptune           530                 163                  269         

Surprise          252                  42                  121         

Scarborough       256                  68                   96         
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
                 1038                 273                  486         
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

N.B. Of those landed sick, one hundred and twenty-four died
in the hospital at Sydney.


On our passage from England, which had lasted more than eight months
and with nearly an equal number of persons, only twenty-four had died,
and not thirty were landed sick.  The difference can be accounted for,
only by comparing the manner in which each fleet was fitted out and conducted.
With us the provisions, served on board, were laid in by a contractor,
who sent a deputy to serve them out; and it became a part of duty for the
officers of the troops to inspect their quality, and to order that every one
received his just proportion.  Whereas, in the fleet now arrived,
the distribution of provisions rested entirely with the masters of the
merchantmen, and the officers were expressly forbidden to interfere
in any shape farther about the convicts than to prevent their escape.

Seventeen pounds, in full of all expense, was the sum paid by the public
for the passage of each person.  And this sum was certainly competent
to afford fair profit to the merchant who contracted.  But there is reason
to believe, that some of those who were employed to act for him, violated
every principle of justice, and rioted on the spoils of misery, for want of
a controlling power to check their enormities.  No doubt can be entertained,
that a humane and liberal government will interpose its authority, to prevent
the repetition of such flagitious conduct.

Although the convicts had landed from these ships with every mark of meagre
misery, yet it was soon seen, that a want of room, in which more conveniences
might have been stowed for their use, had not caused it.  Several of the
masters of the transports immediately opened stores, and exposed large
quantities of goods to sale, which, though at most extortionate prices,
were eagerly bought up.

Such was the weakly state of the new corners, that for several weeks
little real benefit to the colony was derived from so great a nominal addition
to our number.  However, as fast as they recovered, employment was immediately
assigned to them.  The old hours of labour, which had been reduced
in our distress, were re-established, and the most vigorous measures adopted
to give prosperity to the settlement.  New buildings were immediately planned,
and large tracts of ground, at Rose-hill, ordered to be cleared, and prepared
for cultivation.  Some superintendents who had arrived in the fleet,
and were hired by government for the purpose of overlooking and directing
the convicts, were found extremely serviceable in accelerating the progress
of improvement.

July, 1790.  This month was marked by nothing worth communication,
except a melancholy accident which befell a young gentleman of amiable
character (one of the midshipmen lately belonging to the 'Sirius')
and two marines.  He was in a small boat, with three marines, in the harbour,
when a whale was seen near them.  Sensible of their danger, they used
every effort to avoid the cause of it, by rowing in a contrary direction
from that which the fish seemed to take, but the monster suddenly arose
close to them, and nearly filled the boat with water.  By exerting themselves,
they baled her out, and again steered from it.  For some time it was not seen,
and they conceived themselves safe, when, rising immediately under the boat,
it lifted her to the height of many yards on its back, whence slipping off,
she dropped as from a precipice, and immediately filled and sunk.
The midshipman and one of the marines were sucked into the vortex which
the whale had made, and disappeared at once.  The two other marines swam
for the nearest shore, but one only reached it, to recount the fate
of his companions.

August, 1790.  In the beginning of this month, in company with Mr. Dawes
and Mr. Worgan, late surgeon of the 'Sirius', I undertook an expedition
to the southward and westward of Rose Hill, where the country had never
been explored.  We remained out seven days, and penetrated to a considerable
distance in a S.S.W. direction, bounding our course at a remarkable hill,
to which, from its conical shape, we gave the name of Pyramid-hill.
Except the discovery of a river (which is unquestionably the Nepean
near its source) to which we gave the name of the Worgan, in honour of one of
our party, nothing very interesting was remarked.

Towards the end of the month, we made a second excursion to the north-west
of Rose Hill, when we again fell in with the Nepean, and traced it to the spot
where it had been first discovered by the party of which I was a member,
fourteen months before, examining the country as we went along.
Little doubt now subsisted that the Hawkesbury and Nepean were one river.

We undertook a third expedition soon after to Broken Bay, which place we found
had not been exaggerated in description, whether its capacious harbour,
or its desolate incultivable shores, be considered.  On all these excursions
we brought away, in small bags, as many specimens of the soil of the country
we had passed through, as could be conveniently carried, in order that
by analysis its qualities might be ascertained.




CHAPTER VIII.



Transactions of the Colony in the Beginning of September, 1790.


The tremendous monster who had occasioned the unhappy catastrophe
just recorded was fated to be the cause of farther mischief to us.

On the 7th instant, Captain Nepean, of the New South Wales Corps,
and Mr. White, accompanied by little Nanbaree, and a party of men,
went in a boat to Manly Cove, intending to land there, and walk on to
Broken Bay.  On drawing near the shore, a dead whale, in the most disgusting
state of putrefaction, was seen lying on the beach, and at least two hundred
Indians surrounding it, broiling the flesh on different fires, and feasting
on it with the most extravagant marks of greediness and rapture.
As the boat continued to approach, they were observed to fall into confusion
and to pick up their spears, on which our people lay upon their oars
and Nanbaree stepping forward, harangued them for some time, assuring them
that we were friends.  Mr. White now called for Baneelon who, on hearing
his name, came forth, and entered into conversation.  He was greatly emaciated,
and so far disfigured by a long beard, that our people not without difficulty
recognized their old acquaintance.  His answering in broken English,
and inquiring for the governor, however, soon corrected their doubts.
He seemed quite friendly.  And soon after Colbee came up, pointing to his leg,
to show that he had freed himself from the fetter which was upon him,
when he had escaped from us.

When Baneelon was told that the governor was not far off, he expressed
great joy, and declared that he would immediately go in search of him,
and if he found him not, would follow him to Sydney.  "Have you brought
any hatchets with you?" cried he.  Unluckily they had not any which they chose
to spare; but two or three shirts, some handkerchiefs, knives, and
other trifles, were given to them, and seemed to satisfy.  Baneelon,
willing to instruct his countrymen, tried to put on a shirt, but managed it
so awkwardly, that a man of the name of M'Entire, the governor's gamekeeper,
was directed by Mr. White to assist him.  This man, who was well known to him,
he positively forbade to approach, eyeing him ferociously, and with every mark
of horror and resentment.  He was in consequence left to himself,
and the conversation proceeded as before.  The length of his beard seemed
to annoy him much, and he expressed eager wishes to be shaved,
asking repeatedly for a razor.  A pair of scissors was given to him,
and he shewed he had not forgotten how to use such an instrument,
for he forthwith began to clip his hair with it.

During this time, the women and children, to the number of more than fifty,
stood at a distance, and refused all invitations, which could be conveyed
by signs and gestures, to approach nearer.  "Which of them is your old
favourite, Barangaroo, of whom you used to speak so often?"

"Oh," said he, "she is become the wife of Colbee!  But I have got
'bulla muree deein' (two large women) to compensate for her loss."

It was observed that he had received two wounds, in addition to his former
numerous ones, since he had left us; one of them from a spear,
which had passed through the fleshy part of his arm; and the other displayed
itself in a large scar above his left eye.  They were both healed,
and probably were acquired in the conflict wherein he had asserted
his pretensions to the two ladies.

Nanbaree, all this while, though he continued to interrogate his countrymen,
and to interpret on both sides, shewed little desire to return to their
society, and stuck very close to his new friends.  On being asked the cause
of their present meeting, Baneelon pointed to the whale, which stunk
immoderately, and Colbee made signals, that it was common among them
to cat until the stomach was so overladen as to occasion sickness.

Their demand of hatchets being re-iterated, notwithstanding our refusal,
they were asked why they had not brought with them some of their own?
They excused themselves by saying, that on an occasion of the present sort,
they always left them at home, and cut up the whale with the shell
which is affixed to the end of the throwing-stick.

Our party now thought it time to proceed on their original expedition,
and having taken leave of their sable friends, rowed to some distance,
where they landed, and set out for Broken Bay, ordering the coxswain
of the boat, in which they had come down, to go immediately and acquaint
the governor of all that had passed.  When the natives saw that the boat
was about to depart, they crowded around her, and brought down, by way of
present, three or four great junks of the whale, and put them on board of her,
the largest of which, Baneelon expressly requested might be offered,
in his name, to the governor.

It happened that his excellency had this day gone to a landmark,
which was building on the South-head, near the flag-staff, to serve as
a direction to ships at sea, and the boat met him on his return to Sydney.
Immediately on receiving the intelligence, he hastened back to the South-head,
and having procured all the fire-arms which could be mustered there,
consisting of four muskets and a pistol, set out, attended by Mr. Collins
and Lieutenant Waterhouse of the navy.

When the boat reached Manly Cove, the natives were found still busily employed
around the whale.  As they expressed not any consternation on seeing us row
to the beach, governor Phillip stepped out unarmed, and attended by one seaman
only, and called for Baneelon, who appeared, but, notwithstanding his former
eagerness, would not suffer the other to approach him for several minutes.
Gradually, however, he warmed into friendship and frankness, and presently
after Colbee came up.  They discoursed for some time, Baneelon expressing
pleasure to see his old acquaintance, and inquiring by name for every person
whom he could recollect at Sydney; and among others for a French cook,
one of the governor's servants, whom he had constantly made the butt of
his ridicule, by mimicking his voice, gait, and other peculiarities,
all of which he again went through with his wonted exactness and drollery.
He asked also particularly for a lady from whom he had once ventured
to snatch a kiss; and on being told that she was well, by way of proving that
the token was fresh in his remembrance, he kissed Lieutenant Waterhouse,
and laughed aloud.  On his wounds being noticed, he coldly said, that he had
received them at Botany Bay, but went no farther into their history.

Hatchets still continued to be called for with redoubled eagerness,
which rather surprised us, as formerly they had always been accepted
with indifference.  But Baneelon had probably demonstrated to them
their superiority over those of their own manufacturing.  To appease their
importunity, the governor gave them a knife, some bread, pork, and other
articles, and promised that in two days he would return hither,
and bring with him hatchets to be distributed among them, which appeared
to diffuse general satisfaction.

Baneelon's love of wine has been mentioned; and the governor, to try whether
it still subsisted, uncorked a bottle, and poured out a glass of it,
which the other drank off with his former marks of relish and good humour,
giving for a toast, as he had been taught, "The King."

Our party now advanced from the beach but, perceiving many of the Indians
filing off to the right and left, so as in some measure to surround them,
they retreated gently to their old situation, which produced neither alarm
or offence.  The others by degrees also resumed their former position.
A very fine barbed spear of uncommon size being seen by the governor,
he asked for it.  But Baneelon, instead of complying with the request,
took it away, and laid it at some distance, and brought back a throwing-stick,
which he presented to his excellency.

Matters had proceeded in this friendly train for more than half an hour,
when a native, with a spear in his hand, came forward, and stopped
at the distance of between twenty and thirty yards from the place where
the governor, Mr. Collins, Lieutenant Waterhouse, and a seaman stood.
His excellency held out his hand, and called to him, advancing towards him
at the same time, Mr. Collins following close behind.  He appeared to be
a man of middle age, short of stature, sturdy, and well set, seemingly
a stranger, and but little acquainted with Baneelon and Colbee.  The nearer
the governor approached, the greater became the terror and agitation
of the Indian.  To remove his fear, governor Phillip threw down a dirk,
which he wore at his side.  The other, alarmed at the rattle of the dirk,
and probably misconstruing the action, instantly fixed his lance
in his throwing-stick*.

[*Such preparation is equal to what cocking a gun, and directing it
at its object, would be with us.  To launch the spear, or to touch the trigger,
only remains.]

To retreat, his excellency now thought would be more dangerous than to advance.
He therefore cried out to the man, Weeeree, Weeree, (bad; you are doing wrong)
displaying at the same time, every token of amity and confidence.
The words had, however, hardly gone forth, when the Indian, stepping back
with one foot, aimed his lance with such force and dexterity, that striking*
the governor's right shoulder, just above the collar-bone, the point
glancing downward, came out at his back, having made a wound
of many inches long.  The man was observed to keep his eye steadily fixed
on the lance until it struck its object, when he directly dashed into the woods
and was seen no more.

[*His excellency described the shock to me as similar to a violent blow,
with such energy was the weapon thrown.]


Instant confusion on both sides took place.  Baneelon and Colbee disappeared
and several spears were thrown from different quarters, though without effect.
Our party retreated as fast as they could, calling to those who were left
in the boat, to hasten up with firearms.  A situation more distressing
than that of the governor, during the time that this lasted, cannot readily
be conceived:  the pole of the spear, not less than ten feet in length,
sticking out before him, and impeding his flight, the butt frequently striking
the ground, and lacerating the wound.  In vain did Mr. Waterhouse try
to break it; and the barb, which appeared on the other side, forbade
extraction, until that could be performed.  At length it was broken,
and his excellency reached the boat, by which time the seamen with the muskets
had got up, and were endeavouring to fire them, but one only would go off,
and there is no room to believe that it was attended with any execution.

When the governor got home, the wound was examined.  It had bled a good deal
in the boat, and it was doubtful whether the subclavian artery might not
be divided.  On moving the spear, it was found, however, that it might be
safely extracted, which was accordingly performed.

Apprehension for the safety of the party who had gone to Broken Bay,
now took place.  Lieutenant Long, with a detachment of marines,
was immediately sent to escort them back, lest any ambush might be laid
by the natives to cut them off.  When Mr. Long reached Manly Cove,
the sun had set; however, he pursued his way in the dark, scrambling over
rocks and thickets, as well as he could, until two o'clock on the following
morning, when he overtook them at a place where they had halted to sleep,
about half-way between the two harbours.

At day-break they all returned, and were surprised to find tracks in the sand
of the feet of the Indians, almost the whole way from the place where
they had slept to the Cove.  By this it should seem as if these last
had secretly followed them, probably with hostile intentions but,
on discovering their strength, and that they were on their guard,
had abandoned their design.

On reaching Manly Cove, three Indians were observed standing on a rock,
with whom they entered into conversation.  The Indians informed them,
that the man who had wounded the governor belonged to a tribe residing
at Broken Bay, and they seemed highly to condemn what he had done.
Our gentlemen asked them for a spear, which they immediately gave.
The boat's crew said that Baneelon and Colbee had just departed,
after a friendly intercourse.  Like the others, they had pretended highly
to disapprove the conduct of the man who had thrown the spear,
vowing to execute vengeance upon him.

From this time, until the 14th, no communication passed between the natives
and us.  On that day, the chaplain and lieutenant Dawes, having Abaroo
with them in a boat, learned from two Indians that Wileemarin was the name
of the person who had wounded the governor.  These two people inquired kindly
how his excellency did, and seemed pleased to hear that he was likely
to recover.  They said that they were inhabitants of Rose Hill, and expressed
great dissatisfaction at the number of white men who had settled
in their former territories.  In consequence of which declaration,
the detachment at that post was reinforced on the following day.

A hazardous enterprise (but when liberty is the stake, what enterprise
is too hazardous for its attainment!) was undertaken in this month
by five convicts at Rose Hill, who, in the night, seized a small punt there,
and proceeded in her to the South Head, whence they seized and carried off
a boat, appropriated to the use of the lookout house, and put to sea in her,
doubtless with a view of reaching any port they could arrive at, and asserting
their freedom.  They had all come out in the last fleet; and for some time
previous to their elopement, had been collecting fishing tackle,
and hoarding up provisions, to enable them to put their scheme into execution*.

[*They have never since been heard of.  Before they went away, they tried
in vain to procure firearms.  If they were not swallowed by the sea, probably
they were cut off by the natives, on some part of the coast where their
necessities obliged them to land.]




CHAPTER IX.



Transactions of the Colony in part of September and October, 1790.


From so unfavourable an omen as I have just related, who could prognosticate
that an intercourse with the natives was about to commence!  That the
foundation of what neither entreaty, munificence, or humanity, could induce,
should be laid by a deed, which threatened to accumulate scenes of bloodshed
and horror was a consequence which neither speculation could predict,
or hope expect to see accomplished.

On the 15th a fire being seen on the north shore of the harbour, a party
of our people went thither, accompanied by Nanbaree and Abaroo.  They found
there Baneelon, and several other natives, and much civility passed,
which was cemented by a mutual promise to meet in the afternoon at the same
place.  Both sides were punctual to their engagement, and no objection
being made to our landing, a party of us went ashore to them unarmed.
Several little presents, which had been purposely brought, were distributed
among them; and to Baneelon were given a hatchet and a fish.  At a distance
stood some children, who, though at first timorous and unwilling to approach,
were soon persuaded to advance, and join the men.

A bottle of wine was produced, and Baneelon immediately prepared for
the charge.  Bread and beef he called loudly for, which were given to him,
and he began to eat, offering a part of his fare to his countrymen,
two of whom tasted the beef, but none of them would touch the bread.
Having finished his repast, he made a motion to be shaved, and a barber
being present, his request was complied with, to the great admiration
of his countrymen, who laughed and exclaimed at the operation.  They would not,
however, consent to undergo it, but suffered their beards to be clipped
with a pair of scissors.

On being asked where their women were, they pointed to the spot, but seemed
not desirous that we should approach it.  However, in a few minutes,
a female appeared not far off, and Abaroo was dispatched to her.
Baneelon now joined with Abaroo to persuade her to come to us, telling us
she was Barangaroo, and his wife, notwithstanding he had so lately pretended
that she had left him for Colbee.  At length she yielded, and Abaroo,
having first put a petticoat on her, brought her to us.  But this was
the prudery of the wilderness, which her husband joined us to ridicule,
and we soon laughed her out of it.  The petticoat was dropped with hesitation,
and Barangaroo stood "armed cap-a-pee in nakedness."  At the request
of Baneelon, we combed and cut her hair, and she seemed pleased with
the operation.  Wine she would not taste, but turned from it with disgust,
though heartily invited to drink by the example and persuasion of Baneelon.
In short, she behaved so well, and assumed the character of gentleness
and timidity to such advantage, that had our acquaintance ended here,
a very moderate share of the spirit of travelling would have sufficed
to record, that amidst a horde of roaming savages, in the desert wastes
of New South Wales, might be found as much feminine innocence, softness,
and modesty (allowing for inevitable difference of education),
as the most finished system could bestow, or the most polished circle produce.
So little fitted are we to judge of human nature at once!  And yet
on such grounds have countries been described, and nations characterized.
Hence have arisen those speculative and laborious compositions on
the advantages and superiority of a state of nature.  But to resume my subject.

Supposing, that by a private conversation, she might be induced to visit
Sydney, which would be the means of drawing her husband and others thither,
Abaroo was instructed to take her aside, and try if she could persuade her
to comply with our wish.  They wandered away together accordingly,
but it was soon seen, that Barangaroo's arguments to induce Abaroo
to rejoin their society, were more powerful than those of the latter,
to prevail upon her to come among us; for it was not without manifest
reluctance, and often repeated injunctions, that Abaroo would quit
her countrywomen; and when she had done so, she sat in the boat,
in sullen silence, evidently occupied by reflection on the scene she had
left behind, and returning inclination to her former habits of life.

Nor was a circumstance which had happened in the morning interview, perhaps,
wholly unremembered by the girl.   We had hinted to Baneelon to provide
a husband for her, who should be at liberty to pass and repass
to and from Sydney, as he might choose.  There was at the time, a slender
fine looking youth in company, called Imeerawanyee, about sixteen years old.
The lad, on being invited, came immediately up to her, and offered
many blandishments, which proved that he had assumed the 'toga virilis'.
But Abaroo disclaimed his advances, repeating the name of another person,
who we knew was her favourite.  The young lover was not, however,
easily repulsed, but renewed his suit, on our return in the afternoon,
with such warmth of solicitation, as to cause an evident alteration
in the sentiments of the lady.

To heighten the good humour which pervaded both parties, we began to play
and romp with them.  Feats of bodily strength were tried, and their
inferiority was glaring.  One of our party lifted with ease two of them
from the ground, in spite of their efforts to prevent him, whereas in return,
no one of them could move him.  They called him 'murree mulla'
(a large strong man).  Compared with our English labourers, their muscular
power would appear very feeble and inadequate.

Before we parted, Baneelon informed us that his countrymen had lately
been plundered of fish-gigs, spears, a sword, and many other articles,
by some of our people, and expressed a wish that they should be restored,
promising, that if they were, the governor's dirk should be produced
and returned to us to-morrow, if we would meet him here.

Accordingly on the following day we rowed to the spot, carrying with us
the stolen property.  We found here several natives, but not Baneelon.
We asked for him, and were told that he was gone down the harbour
with Barangaroo to fish.  Although disappointed at his breach of promise,
we went on shore, and mingled without distrust among those we found,
acquainting them that we had brought with us the articles of which
they had been plundered.  On hearing this account, they expressed great joy,
and Imeerawanyee darting forward, claimed the sword.  It was given to him,
and he had no sooner grasped it, than he hastened to convince his mistress,
that his prowess in war, was not inferior to his skill in courtship.
Singling out a yellow gum-tree for the foe, he attacked it with great
fierceness, calling to us to look on, and accompanying his onset with all
the gestures and vociferation which they use in battle.  Having conquered
his enemy, he laid aside his fighting face, and joined us with a countenance
which carried in it every mark of youth and good nature.

Whether Abaroo's coyness, and preference of another, had displeased him,
or it was owing to natural fickleness, he paid her no farther attention,
but seemed more delighted with us.  He had no beard, but was highly gratified
in being combed and having his hair clipped.

All the stolen property being brought on shore, an old man came up,
and claimed one of the fish-gigs, singling it from the bundle,
and taking only his own; and this honesty, within the circle of their society,
seemed to characterize them all.

During this time, it was observed, that one of the Indians, instead of mixing
with the rest, stood aloof, in a musing posture, contemplating what passed.
When we offered to approach him, he shunned us not, and willingly shook hands
with all who chose to do so.  He seemed to be between 30 and 40 years old,
was jolly, and had a thoughtful countenance, much marked by the smallpox.
He wore a string of bits of dried reed round his neck, which I asked him
to exchange for a black stock.  He smiled at the proposal, but made no offer
of what I wanted; which our young friend, Imeerawanyee, observing, flew to him,
and taking off the necklace, directly fixed it about my neck.  I feared
he would be enraged, but he bore it with serenity, and suffered a gentleman
present to fasten his black stock upon him, with which he appeared
to be pleased.  To increase his satisfaction, some other trifle
was given to him.

Having remained here an hour we went in quest of Baneelon, agreeably
to the directions which his companions pointed out.  We found him
and Barangaroo shivering over a few lighted sticks, by which they were
dressing small fish, and their canoe hauled up on the beach near them.
On first seeing the boat, they ran into the woods; but on being called by name,
they came back, and consented to our landing.  We carried on shore with us
the remaining part of the fish-gigs and spears which had been stolen,
and restored them to Baneelon.  Among other things, was a net full of
fishing lines and other tackle, which Barangaroo said was her property
and, immediately on receiving it, she slung it around her neck.

Baneelon inquired, with solicitude, about the state of the governor's wound,
but he made no offer of restoring the dirk; and when he was asked for it,
he pretended to know nothing of it, changing the conversation with great art,
and asking for wine, which was given to him.

At parting, we pressed him to appoint a day on which he should come to Sydney,
assuring him, that he would be well received, and kindly treated.  Doubtful,
however, of being permitted to return, he evaded our request, and declared that
the governor must first come and see him, which we promised should be done.

The governor did not hesitate to execute the engagement which we had contracted
for him.  But Baneelon still resisted coming among us, and matters continued
in this fluctuating state until the 8th of October, when a fire,
which they had agreed to light as a signal for us to visit them, was observed.
The eager desire by which we were stimulated to carry our point of effecting
an intercourse had appeared.  Various parties accordingly set out to meet them,
provided with different articles, which we thought would prove acceptable
to them.  We found assembled, Baneelon, Barangaroo, and another young woman,
and six men, all of whom received us with welcome, except the grave looking
gentleman before mentioned, who stood aloof in his former musing posture.
When they saw that we had brought hatchets, and other articles with us,
they produced spears, fish-gigs, and lines, for the purpose of barter,*
which immediately commenced, to the satisfaction of both parties.
I had brought with me an old blunted spear, which wanted repair.  An Indian
immediately undertook to perform the task, and carrying it to a fire,
tore with his teeth a piece of bone from a fish-gig, which he fastened
on the spear with yellow gum, rendered flexible by heat.

[*It had long been our wish to establish a commerce of this sort.  It is
a painful consideration, that every previous addition to the cabinet of the
virtuosi, from this country, had wrung a tear from the plundered Indian.]


October, 1790.  Many of them now consented to be shaved by a barber
whom we had purposely brought over.  As I thought he who could perform
an operation of such importance must be deemed by them an eminent personage,
I bade him ask one of them for a fine barbed spear which he held in his hand;
but all the barber's eloquence was wasted on the Indian, who plainly
gave him to understand that he meant not to part with his spear,
without receiving an equivalent.  Unfortunately, his price was a hatchet,
and the only one which I had brought with me was already disposed of
to the man who had pointed my spear.  In vain did I tempt him with a knife,
a handkerchief, and a hat; nothing but a hatchet seemed to be regarded.
'Bulla mogo parrabugo' (two hatchets to-morrow) I repeatedly cried; but having
probably experienced our insincerity, he rejected the proposal with disdain.
Finding him inflexible, and longing to possess the spear, I told him
at length that I would go to Sydney and fetch what he required.  This seemed
to satisfy, and he accompanied me to my boat, in which I went away,
and as quickly as possible procured what was necessary to conclude the bargain.
On my return, I was surprised to see all our boats rowing towards home,
and with them a canoe, in which sat two Indians paddling.  I pulled to them,
and found that Baneelon, and another Indian, were in one of the boats,
and that the whole formed a party going over to visit the governor.
I now learned, that during my absence, the governor had passed in a boat,
on his return from Rose Hill, near the place where they were standing;
and that finding he would not come to them, although they had called to him
to do so, they had at once determined to venture themselves unreservedly
among us.  One of the men in the canoe was the person to whom I was to give
the hatchet I had been to fetch; and directly as he saw me,
he held up his spear, and the exchange took place, with which, and perhaps
to reward me for the trouble I had taken, he was so delighted
that he presented me with a throwing-stick 'gratis'.

Not seeing Barangaroo of the party, I asked for her, and was informed
that she had violently opposed Baneelon's departure.  When she found
persuasion vain, she had recourse to tears, scolding, and threats,
stamping the ground, and tearing her hair.  But Baneelon continuing determined,
she snatched up in her rage one of his fish-gigs, and dashed it with such fury
on the rocks, that it broke.  To quiet her apprehensions on the score
of her husband's safety, Mr. Johnson, attended by Abaroo, agreed to remain
as a hostage until Baneelon should return.

We landed our four friends opposite the hospital, and set out for the
governor's house.  On hearing of their arrival, such numbers flocked
to view them that we were apprehensive the crowd of persons would alarm them,
but they had left their fears behind, and marched on with boldness
and unconcern.  When we reached the governor's house, Baneelon expressed
honest joy to see his old friend, and appeared pleased to find that he had
recovered of his wound.  The governor asked for Wileemarin, and they said
he was at Broken Bay.  Some bread and beef were distributed among them
but unluckily no fish was to be procured, which we were sorry for,
as a promise of it had been one of the leading temptations by which
they had been allured over.  A hatchet apiece was, however, given to them,
and a couple of petticoats and some fishing tackle sent for Barangaroo,
and the other woman.

The ceremony of introduction being finished, Baneelon seemed to consider
himself quite at home, running from room to room with his companions,
and introducing them to his old friends, the domestics, in the most
familiar manner.  Among these last, he particularly distinguished
the governor's orderly sergeant, whom he kissed with great affection,
and a woman who attended in the kitchen; but the gamekeeper, M'Entire*,
he continued to hold in abhorrence, and would not suffer his approach.

[*Look at the account of the governor being wounded, when his detestation
of this man burst forth.]

Nor was his importance to his countrymen less conspicuous in other respects.
He undertook to explain the use and nature of those things which were new
to them.  Some of his explanations were whimsical enough.  Seeing,
for instance, a pair of snuffers, he told them that they were
"Nuffer* for candle,"--which the others not comprehending, he opened
the snuffers, and holding up the fore-finger of his left hand, to represent
a candle, made the motion of snuffing it.  Finding, that even this sagacious
interpretation failed, he threw down the snuffers in a rage, and reproaching
their stupidity, walked away.

[*The S is a letter which they cannot pronounce, having no sound
in their language similar to it.  When bidden to pronounce sun,
they always say tun; salt, talt, and so of all words wherein it occurs.]

It was observed, that a soft gentle tone of voice, which we had taught him
to use, was forgotten, and his native vociferation returned in full force.
But the tenderness which (like Arabanoo) he had always manifested to children,
he still retained; as appeared by his behaviour to those who were presented
to him.

The first wish they expressed to return, was complied with, in order to banish
all appearance of constraint, the party who had conducted them to Sydney
returning with them.  When we reached the opposite shore, we found Abaroo
and the other woman fishing in a canoe, and Mr. Johnson and Barangaroo sitting
at the fire, the latter employed in manufacturing fish-hooks.  At a little
distance, on an adjoining eminence, sat an Indian, with his spear in his hand,
as if sentinel over the hostages, for the security of his countrymen's return.
During our absence, Barangaroo had never ceased whining, and reproaching
her husband.  Now that he was returned, she met him with unconcern,
and seemed intent on her work only, but this state of repose did not
long continue.  Baneelon, eyeing the broken fish-gig, cast at her a look
of savage fury and began to interrogate her, and it seemed more than probable
that the remaining part would be demolished about her head had we not
interposed to pacify him.  Nor would we quit the place until his forgiveness
was complete, and his good humour restored.  No sooner, however, did she find
her husband's rage subsided, than her hour of triumph commenced.
The alarm and trepidation she had manifested disappeared.  Elated at his
condescension, and emboldened by our presence and the finery in which
we had decked her, she in turn assumed a haughty demeanour, refused to answer
his caresses, and viewed him with a reproaching eye.  Although long absence
from female society had somewhat blunted our recollection, the conduct
of Barangaroo did not appear quite novel to us, nor was our surprise
very violent at finding that it succeeded in subduing Baneelon who,
when we parted, seemed anxious only to please her.

Thus ended a day, the events of which served to complete what an unhappy
accident had begun.  From this time our intercourse with the natives,
though partially interrupted, was never broken off.  We gradually continued,
henceforth, to gain knowledge of their customs and policy, the only knowledge
which can lead to a just estimate of national character.




CHAPTER X.



The arrival of the 'Supply' from Batavia;
the State of the Colony in November, 1790.


Joy sparkled in every countenance to see our old friend the 'Supply'
(I hope no reader will be so captious as to quarrel with the phrase)
enter the harbour from Batavia on the 19th of October.  We had witnessed
her departure with tears; we hailed her return with transport.

Captain Ball was rather more than six months in making this voyage,
and is the first person who ever circumnavigated the continent of New Holland.
On his passage to Batavia, he had discovered several islands, which he gave
names to and, after fighting his way against adverse elements and through
unexplored dangers, safely reached his destined port.  He had well stored
his little bark with every necessary and conveniency which he judged
we should first want, leaving a cargo of rice and salt provisions
to be brought on by a Dutch snow, which he had hired and freighted for the use
of the settlement.  While at Batavia, the 'Supply' had lost many of her people
by sickness, and left several others in the general hospital at that place.

As the arrival of the 'Supply' naturally leads the attention from other subjects
to the state of the colony, I shall here take a review of it by transcribing
a statement drawn from actual observation soon after, exactly as I find it
written in my journal.

Cultivation, on a public scale, has for some time past been given up here,
(Sydney) the crop of last year being so miserable, as to deter from
farther experiment, in consequence of which the government-farm is abandoned,
and the people who were fixed on it have been removed.  Necessary public
buildings advance fast; an excellent storehouse of large dimensions,
built of bricks and covered with tiles, is just completed; and another planned
which will shortly be begun.  Other buildings, among which I heard the governor
mention an hospital and permanent barracks for the troops, may also be
expected to arise soon.  Works of this nature are more expeditiously performed
than heretofore, owing, I apprehend, to the superintendants lately arrived,
who are placed over the convicts and compel them to labour.
The first difficulties of a new country being subdued may also contribute
to this comparative facility.

Vegetables are scarce, although the summer is so far advanced, owing to
want of rain.  I do not think that all the showers of the last four months
put together, would make twenty-four hours rain.  Our farms, what with this
and a poor soil, are in wretched condition.  My winter crop of potatoes,
which I planted in days of despair (March and April last), turned out
very badly when I dug them about two months back.  Wheat returned so poorly
last harvest, that very little, besides Indian corn, has been sown this year.
The governor's wound is quite healed, and he feels no inconveniency whatever
from it.  With the natives we are hand and glove.  They throng the camp
every day, and sometimes by their clamour and importunity for bread and meat
(of which they now all eat greedily) are become very troublesome.  God knows,
we have little enough for ourselves!  Full allowance (if eight pounds of flour
and either seven pounds of beef, or four pounds of pork, served alternately,
per week, without either pease, oatmeal, spirits, butter, or cheese,
can be called so) is yet kept up; but if the Dutch snow does not arrive soon
it must be shortened, as the casks in the storehouse, I observed yesterday,
are woefully decreased.

The convicts continue to behave pretty well; three only have been hanged
since the arrival of the last fleet, in the latter end of June, all of whom
were newcomers.  The number of convicts here diminishes every day;
our principal efforts being wisely made at Rose Hill, where the land
is unquestionably better than about this place.  Except building, sawing
and brickmaking, nothing of consequence is now carried on here.  The account
which I received a few days ago from the brickmakers of their labours,
was as follows.  Wheeler (one of the master brick-makers) with two tile stools
and one brick stool, was tasked to make and burn ready for use 30000 tiles
and bricks per month.  He had twenty-one hands to assist him, who performed
every thing; cut wood, dug clay, etc.  This continued (during the days
of distress excepted, when they did what they could) until June last.
From June, with one brick and two tile stools he has been tasked to make
40000 bricks and tiles monthly (as many of each sort as may be), having
twenty-two men and two boys to assist him, on the same terms of procuring
materials as before.  They fetch the clay of which tiles are made,
two hundred yards; that for bricks is close at hand.  He says that the bricks
are such as would be called in England, moderately good, and he judges
they would have fetched about 24 shillings per thousand at Kingston-upon-Thames
(where he resided) in the year 1784.  Their greatest fault is being
too brittle.  The tiles he thinks not so good as those made about London.
The stuff has a rotten quality, and besides wants the advantage
of being ground, in lieu of which they tread it.

King (another master bricklayer) last year, with the assistance of sixteen men
and two boys, made 11,000 bricks weekly, with two stools.  During short
allowance did what he could.  Resumed his old task when put again
on full allowance and had his number of assistants augmented to twenty men
and two boys, on account of the increased distance of carrying wood
for the kilns.  He worked at Hammersmith, for Mr. Scot, of that place.
He thinks the bricks made here as good as those made near London, and says that
in the year 1784, they would have sold for a guinea per thousand and to have
picked the kiln at thirty shillings.'

Such is my Sydney detail dated the 12th of November, 1790.  Four days
after I went to Rose Hill, and wrote there the subjoined remarks.

November 16th.  Got to Rose Hill in the evening.  Next morning walked round
the whole of the cleared and cultivated land, with the Rev. Mr. Johnson,
who is the best farmer in the country.  Edward Dod, one of the governor's
household, who conducts everything here in the agricultural line,
accompanied us part of the way, and afforded all the information he could.
He estimates the quantity of cleared and cultivated land at 200 acres.
Of these fifty-five are in wheat, barley, and a little oats, thirty in maize,
and the remainder is either just cleared of wood, or is occupied by buildings,
gardens, etc.  Four enclosures of twenty acres each, are planned for
the reception of cattle, which may arrive in the colony, and two of these
are already fenced in.  In the centre of them is to be erected a house,
for a person who will be fixed upon to take care of the cattle.  All these
enclosures are supplied with water; and only a part of the trees which grew in
them being cut down, gives to them a very park-like and beautiful appearance.

Our survey commenced on the north side of the river.  Dod says he expects
this year's crop of wheat and barley from the fifty-five acres to yield
full 400 bushels.  Appearances hitherto hardly indicate so much.  He says
he finds the beginning of May the best time to sow barley,* but that it may
continue to be sown until August.  That sown in May is reaped in December;
that of August in January.  He sowed his wheat, part in June and part in July.
He thinks June the best time, and says that he invariably finds that which is
deepest sown, grows strongest and best, even as deep as three inches
he has put it in, and found it to answer.  The wheat sown in June is now
turning yellow; that of July is more backward.  He has used only the broad-cast
husbandry, and sowed two bushels per acre.  The plough has never yet been
tried here; all the ground is hoed, and (as Dod confesses) very incompetently
turned up.  Each convict labourer was obliged to hoe sixteen rods a day,
so that in some places the earth was but just scratched over.  The ground
was left open for some months, to receive benefit from the sun and air;
and on that newly cleared the trees were burnt, and the ashes dug in.
I do not find that a succession of crops has yet been attempted;
surely it would help to meliorate and improve the soil.  Dod recommends
strongly the culture of potatoes, on a large scale, and says that were they
planted even as late as January they would answer, but this I doubt.
He is more than ever of opinion that without a large supply of cattle nothing
can be done.  They have not at this time either horse, cow, or sheep here.
I asked him how the stock they had was coming on.  The fowls he said
multiplied exceedingly, but the hogs neither thrived or increased in number,
for want of food.  He pointed out to us his best wheat, which looks tolerable,
and may perhaps yield 13 or 14 bushels per acre**.  Next came the oats
which are in ear, though not more than six inches high:  they will not return
as much seed as was sown.  The barley, except one patch in a corner of a field,
little better than the oats.  Crossed the river and inspected the south side.
Found the little patch of wheat at the bottom of the crescent very bad.
Proceeded and examined the large field on the ascent to the westward:
here are about twenty-five acres of wheat, which from its appearance
we guessed would produce perhaps seven bushels an acre.  The next patch
to this is in maize, which looks not unpromising; some of the stems are stout,
and beginning to throw out large broad leaves, the surest sign of vigour.
The view from the top of the wheat field takes in, except a narrow slip,
the whole of the cleared land at Rose Hill.  From not having before seen
an opening of such extent for the last three years, this struck us as grand
and capacious.  The beautiful diversity of the ground (gentle hill and dale)
would certainly be reckoned pretty in any country.  Continued our walk,
and crossed the old field, which is intended to form part of the main street
of the projected town.  The wheat in this field is rather better, but not much,
than in the large field before mentioned.  The next field is maize,
inferior to what we have seen, but not despicable.  An acre of maize,
at the bottom of the marine garden, is equal in luxuriancy of promise to any
I ever saw in any country.

[*The best crop of barley ever produced in New South Wales, was sown by
a private individual, in February 1790, and reaped in the following October.]

[**As all the trees on our cleared ground were cut down, and not grubbed up,
the roots and stumps remain, on which account a tenth part of surface
in every acre must be deducted.  This is slovenly husbandry; but in a country
where immediate subsistence is wanted, it is perhaps necessary.  None of these
stumps, when I left Port Jackson, showed any symptoms of decay, though some
of the trees had been cut down four years.  To the different qualities
of the wood of Norfolk Island and New South Wales, perhaps the difference
of soil may in some measure be traced.  That of Norfolk Island is light
and porous:  it rots and turns into mould in two years.  Besides its hardness
that of Port Jackson abounds with red corrosive gum, which contributes
its share of mischief.]


The main street of the new town is already begun.  It is to be a mile long,
and of such breadth as will make Pall Mall and Portland Place "hide their
diminished heads."  It contains at present thirty-two houses completed,
of twenty-four feet by twelve each, on a ground floor only, built of wattles
plastered with clay, and thatched.  Each house is divided into two rooms,
in one of which is a fire place and a brick chimney.  These houses are designed
for men only; and ten is the number of inhabitants allotted to each;
but some of them now contain twelve or fourteen, for want of better
accommodation.  More are building.  In a cross street stand nine houses
for unmarried women; and exclusive of all these are several small huts
where convict families of good character are allowed to reside.
Of public buildings, besides the old wooden barrack and store, there is
a house of lath and plaster, forty-four feet long by sixteen wide,
for the governor, on a ground floor only, with excellent out-houses
and appurtenances attached to it.  A new brick store house, covered with tiles,
100 feet long by twenty-four wide, is nearly completed, and a house
for the store-keeper.  The first stone of a barrack, 100 feet long
by twenty-four wide, to which are intended to be added wings for the officers,
was laid to-day.  The situation of the barrack is judicious, being close
to the store-house, and within a hundred and fifty yards of the wharf,
where all boats from Sydney unload.  To what I have already enumerated,
must be added an excellent barn, a granary, an inclosed yard to rear stock in,
a commodious blacksmith's shop, and a most wretched hospital, totally destitute
of every conveniency.  Luckily for the gentleman who superintends
this hospital, and still more luckily for those who are doomed in case
of sickness to enter it, the air of Rose Hill has hitherto been
generally healthy.  A tendency to produce slight inflammatory disorders,
from the rapid changes* of the temperature of the air, is most to be dreaded.

[*In the close of the year 1788, when this settlement was established,
the thermometer has been known to stand at 50 degrees a little before sunrise,
and between one and two o' clock in the afternoon at above 100 degrees.]


'The hours of labour for the convicts are the same here as at Sydney.
On Saturdays after ten o'clock in the morning they are allowed to work
in their own gardens.  These gardens are at present, from the long drought
and other causes, in a most deplorable state.  Potatoes, I think,
thrive better than any other vegetable in them.  For the public conveniency
a baker is established here in a good bakehouse, who exchanges with every
person bread for flour, on stipulated terms; but no compulsion exists
for any one to take his bread; it is left entirely to every body's own option
to consume his flour as he pleases.  Divine service is performed here,
morning and afternoon, one Sunday in every month, when all the convicts
are obliged to attend church, under penalty of having a part of their allowance
of provisions stopped, which is done by the chaplain, who is a
justice of the peace.

'For the punishment of offenders, where a criminal court is not judged
necessary, two or more justices, occasionally assemble, and order
the infliction of slight corporal punishment, or short confinement
in a strong room built for this purpose.  The military present here consists
of two subalterns, two sergeants, three corporals, a drummer, and twenty-one
privates.  These have been occasionally augmented and reduced, as circumstances
have been thought to render it necessary.

Brick-kilns are now erected here, and bricks manufactured by a convict
of the name of Becket, who came out in the last fleet, and has fifty-two people
to work under him.  He makes 25,000 bricks weekly.  He says that they are
very good, and would sell at Birmingham, where he worked about eighteen months
ago, at more than 30 shillings per thousand.

Nothing farther of public nature remaining to examine, I next visited
a humble adventurer, who is trying his fortune here.  James Ruse, convict,
was cast for seven years at Bodmin assizes, in August 1782.  He lay five years
in prison and on board the 'Dunkirk' hulk at Plymouth, and then was sent
to this country.  When his term of punishment expired, in August 1789,
he claimed his freedom, and was permitted by the governor, on promising
to settle in the country, to take in December following, an uncleaned piece
of ground, with an assurance that if he would cultivate it, it should not
be taken from him.  Some assistance was given him, to fell the timber,
and he accordingly began.  His present account to me was as follows.


I was bred a husbandman, near Launcester in Cornwall.
I cleared my land as well as I could, with the help
afforded me.  The exact limit of what ground I am to have,
I do not yet know; but a certain direction has been
pointed out to me, in which I may proceed as fast as I
can cultivate.  I have now an acre and a half in bearded
wheat, half an acre in maize, and a small kitchen garden.
On my wheat land I sowed three bushels of seed, the
produce of this country, broad cast.  I expect to reap
about twelve or thirteen bushels.   I know nothing of
the cultivation of maize, and cannot therefore guess
so well at what I am likely to gather.  I sowed part
of my wheat in May, and part in June.  That sown in May
has thrived best.  My maize I planted in the latter end
of August, and the beginning of September.  My land I
prepared thus:  having burnt the fallen timber off the
ground, I dug in the ashes, and then hoed it up, never
doing more than eight, or perhaps nine, rods in a day,
by which means, it was not like the government farm,
just scratched over, but properly done.  Then I
clod-moulded it, and dug in the grass and weeds.  This
I think almost equal to ploughing.  I then let it lie
as long as I could, exposed to air and sun; and just
before I sowed my seed, turned it all up afresh.  When
I shall have reaped my crop, I purpose to hoe it again,
and harrow it fine, and then sow it with turnip-seed,
which will mellow and prepare it for next year.  My
straw, I mean to bury in pits, and throw in with it
every thing which I think will rot and turn to manure.
I have no person to help me, at present, but my wife,
whom I married in this country;  she is industrious.
The governor, for some time, gave me the help of a
convict man, but he is taken away.  Both my wife and
myself receive our provisions regularly at the store,
like all other people.  My opinion of the soil of my
farm, is, that it is middling, neither good or bad.
I will be bound to make it do with the aid of manure,
but without cattle it will fail.  The greatest check
upon me is, the dishonesty of the convicts who, in
spite of all my vigilance, rob me almost every night.


The annexed return will show the number of persons of all descriptions
at Rose Hill, at this period.  On the morning of the 17th, I went down
to Sydney.

Here terminates the transcription of my diary.  It were vain to suppose,
that it can prove either agreeable or interesting to a majority of readers but
as this work is intended not only for amusement, but information, I considered
it right to present this detail unaltered, either in its style or arrangement.


A return of the number of persons employed at Rose Hill, November 16th, 1790.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How Employed | Troops | Civil dept |     Troops       |      Convicts         |
             |        |            |Wives  |  Children| Men | Women | Children|
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Storekeeper                 1
Surgeon                     1
Carpenters                                              24
Blacksmiths                                              5
Master Bricklayer                                        1
Bricklayers                                             28
Master Brickmaker                                        1
Brickmakers                                             52
Labourers                                              326*
Assistants to the
provision store                                          4
Assistants to the
hospital                                                 3
Officers' servants                                       6
Making Clothing                                                50
Superintendants            4
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total number of
persons   552|  29    |    6       |   1   |      3   | 450 |  50   |    13   |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[*Of these labourers, 16 are sawyers.  The rest are variously employed
in clearing fresh land; in dragging brick and timber carts;
and a great number in making a road of a mile long, through the main street,
to the governor's house.]




CHAPTER XI.



Farther Transactions of the Colony in November, 1790.


During the intervals of duty, our greatest source of entertainment now lay in
cultivating the acquaintance of our new friends, the natives.  Ever liberal
of communication, no difficulty but of understanding each other subsisted
between us.  Inexplicable contradictions arose to bewilder our researches
which no ingenuity could unravel and no credulity reconcile.

Baneelon, from being accustomed to our manners, and understanding a little
English, was the person through whom we wished to prosecute inquiry, but he had
lately become a man of so much dignity and consequence, that it was not always
easy to obtain his company.  Clothes had been given to him at various times,
but he did not always condescend to wear them.  One day he would appear
in them, and the next day he was to be seen carrying them in a net slung
around his neck.  Farther to please him, a brick house of twelve feet square
was built for his use, and for that of such of his countrymen as might choose
to reside in it, on a point of land fixed upon by himself.  A shield,
double cased with tin, to ward off the spears of his enemies, was also
presented to him, by the governor.

Elated by these marks of favour, and sensible that his importance with
his countrymen arose in proportion to our patronage of him, he warmly attached
himself to our society.  But the gratitude of a savage is ever a precarious
tenure.  That of Baneelon was fated to suffer suspension, and had well nigh
been obliterated by the following singular circumstance.

One day the natives were observed to assemble in more than an ordinary number
at their house on the point, and to be full of bustle and agitation,
repeatedly calling on the name of Baneelon, and that of 'deein' (a woman).
Between twelve and one o'clock Baneelon, unattended, came to the governor
at his house, and told him that he was going to put to death a woman
immediately, whom he had brought from Botany Bay.  Having communicated
his intention, he was preparing to go away, seeming not to wish that
the governor should be present at the performance of the ceremony.
But His Excellency was so struck with the fierce gestures, and wild demeanour
of the other, who held in his hand one of our hatchets and frequently tried
the sharpness of it, that he determined to accompany him, taking with him
Mr. Collins and his orderly sergeant.  On the road, Baneelon continued
to talk wildly and incoherently of what he would do, and manifested
such extravagant marks of fury and revenge, that his hatchet was taken away
from him, and a walking-stick substituted for it.

When they reached the house, they found several natives, of both sexes
lying promiscuously before the fire, and among them a young woman, not more
than sixteen years old, who at sight of Baneelon, started, and raised
herself half up.  He no sooner saw her than, snatching a sword of the country,
he ran at her, and gave her two severe wounds on the head and one on
the shoulder, before interference in behalf of the poor wretch could be made.
Our people now rushed in and seized him; but the other Indians continued
quiet spectators of what was passing, either awed by Baneelon's superiority
or deeming it a common case, unworthy of notice and interposition.
In vain did the governor by turns soothe and threaten him.  In vain
did the sergeant point his musquet at him. He seemed dead to every passion
but revenge; forgot his affection to his old friends and, instead of complying
with the request they made, furiously brandished his sword at the governor,
and called aloud for his hatchet to dispatch the unhappy victim of his
barbarity.  Matters now wore a serious aspect.  The other Indians appeared
under the control of Baneelon and had begun to arm and prepare their spears,
as if determined to support him in his violence.

Farther delay might have been attended with danger.  The 'Supply' was therefore
immediately hailed, and an armed boat ordered to be sent on shore.
Luckily, those on board the ship had already observed the commotion
and a boat was ready, into which captain Ball, with several of his people
stepped, armed with musquets, and put off.  It was reasonable to believe
that so powerful a reinforcement would restore tranquillity, but Baneelon
stood unintimidated at disparity of numbers and boldly demanded his prisoner,
whose life, he told the governor, he was determined to sacrifice,
and afterwards to cut off her head.  Everyone was eager to know what could be
the cause of such inveterate inhumanity.  Undaunted, he replied that her father
was his enemy, from whom he had received the wound in his forehead
beforementioned; and that when he was down in battle, and under the lance
of his antagonist, this woman had contributed to assail him.  "She is now,"
added he, "my property:  I have ravished her by force from her tribe:
and I will part with her to no person whatever, until my vengeance
shall be glutted."

Farther remonstrance would have been wasted.  His Excellency therefore ordered
the woman to be taken to the hospital in order that her wounds might
be dressed.  While this was doing, one of the natives, a young man named
Boladeree, came up and supplicated to be taken into the boat also, saying that
he was her husband, which she confirmed and begged that he might be admitted.
He was a fine well grown lad, of nineteen or twenty years old, and was one of
the persons who had been in the house in the scene just described,
which he had in no wise endeavoured to prevent, or to afford assistance
to the poor creature who had a right to his protection.

All our people now quitted the place, leaving the exasperated Baneelon
and his associates to meditate farther schemes of vengeance.  Before
they parted he gave them, however, to understand that he would follow
the object of his resentment to the hospital, and kill her there, a threat
which the governor assured him if he offered to carry into execution
he should be immediately shot.  Even this menace he treated with disdain.

To place the refugees in security, a sentinel was ordered to take post
at the door of the house, in which they were lodged.  Nevertheless
they attempted to get away in the night, either from fear that we were not
able to protect them, or some appprehension of being restrained from future
liberty.  When questioned where they proposed to find shelter, they said
they would go to the Cameragal tribe, with whom they should be safe.
On the following morning, Imeerawanyee* joined them, and expressed strong fears
of Baneelon's resentment.  Soon after a party of natives, known to consist of
Baneelon's chosen friends, with a man of the name of Bigon, at their head,
boldly entered the hospital garden, and tried to carry off all three by force.
They were driven back and threatened, to which their leader only replied
by contemptuous insolence.

[*This good-tempered lively lad, was become a great favourite with us,
and almost constantly lived at the governor's house.  He had clothes made up
for him, and to amuse his mind, he was taught to wait at table.
One day a lady, Mrs. McArthur, wife of an officer of the garrison, dined there,
as did Nanbaree.  This latter, anxious that his countryman should appear
to advantage in his new office, gave him many instructions, strictly charging
him, among other things, to take away the lady's plate, whenever she should
cross her knife and fork, and to give her a clean one.  This Imeerawanyee
executed, not only to Mrs. McArthur, but to several of the other guests.
At last Nanbaree crossed his knife and fork with great gravity, casting
a glance at the other, who looked for a moment with cool indifference
at what he had done, and then turned his head another way.  Stung at this
supercilious treatment, he called in rage, to know why he was not attended to,
as well as the rest of the company.  But Imeerawanyee only laughed; nor could
all the anger and reproaches of the other prevail upon him to do that
for one of his countrymen, which he cheerfully continued to perform
to every other person.]

Baneelon finding he could not succeed, withdrew himself for two days.
At length he made his appearance, attended only by his wife.  Unmindful
of what had so recently happened, he marched singly up to the governor's house,
and on being refused admittance, though unarmed, attempted to force
the sentinel.  The soldier spared him, but the guard was instantly sent for,
and drawn up in front of the house; not that their co-operation was necessary,
but that their appearance might terrify.  His ardour now cooled, and he seemed
willing, by submission, to atone for his misconduct.  His intrepid disregard
of personal risk, nay of life, could not however, but gain admiration;
though it led us to predict, that this Baneelon, whom imagination had
fondly pictured, like a second Omai, the gaze of a court and the scrutiny
of the curious, would perish untimely, the victim of his own temerity.

To encourage his present disposition of mind, and to try if feelings
of compassion towards an enemy, could be exerted by an Indian warrior,
the governor ordered him to be taken to the hospital, that he might see
the victim of his ferocity.  He complied in sullen silence.  When about
to enter the room in which she lay, he appeared to have a momentary struggle
with himself, which ended his resentment.  He spoke to her with kindness,
and professed sorrow for what he had done, and promised her future protection.
Barangaroo, who had accompanied him, now took the alarm:  and as in shunning
one extreme we are ever likely to rush into another, she thought him perhaps
too courteous and tender.  Accordingly she began to revile them both
with great bitterness, threw stones at the girl and attempted to beat her
with a club.

Here terminated this curious history, which I leave to the reader's
speculation.  Whether human sacrifices of prisoners be common among them
is a point which all our future inquiry never completely determined.
It is certain that no second instance of this sort was ever witnessed by us.




CHAPTER XII.



Transactions of the Colony in Part of December, 1790.


On the 9th of the month, a sergeant of marines, with three convicts,
among whom was McEntire, the governor's gamekeeper (the person of whom
Baneelon had, on former occasions, shown so much dread and hatred) went out
on a shooting party.  Having passed the north arm of Botany Bay,
they proceeded to a hut formed of boughs, which had been lately erected
on this peninsula, for the accommodation of sportsmen who wished to continue
by night in the woods; for, as the kangaroos in the day-time, chiefly keep
in the cover, it is customary on these parties to sleep until near sunset,
and watch for the game during the night, and in the early part of the morning.
Accordingly, having lighted a fire, they lay down, without distrust
or suspicion.

About one o'clock, the sergeant was awakened by a rustling noise in the bushes
near him, and supposing it to proceed from a kangaroo, called to his comrades,
who instantly jumped up.  On looking about more narrowly, they saw two natives
with spears in their hands, creeping towards them, and three others a little
farther behind.  As this naturally created alarm, McEntire said,
"don't be afraid, I know them," and immediately laying down his gun,
stepped forward, and spoke to them in their own language.  The Indians,
finding they were discovered, kept slowly retreating, and McEntire
accompanied them about a hundred yards, talking familiarly all the while.

One of them now jumped on a fallen tree and, without giving the least warning
of his intention, launched his spear at McEntire and lodged it in his
left side.  The person who committed this wanton act was described as
a young man with a speck or blemish on his left eye  That he had been lately
among us was evident from his being newly shaved.

The wounded man immediately drew back and, joining his party, cried,
"I am a dead man".  While one broke off the end of the spear, the other two
set out with their guns in pursuit of the natives; but their swiftness of foot
soon convinced our people of the impossibility of reaching them.  It was now
determined to attempt to carry McEntire home, as his death was apprehended
to be near, and he expressed a longing desire not to be left to expire
in the woods.  Being an uncommonly robust muscular man, notwithstanding
a great effusion of blood, he was able, with the assistance of his comrades,
to creep slowly along, and reached Sydney about two o'clock the next morning.
On the wound being examined by the surgeons, it was pronounced mortal.
The poor wretch now began to utter the most dreadful exclamations,
and to accuse himself of the commission of crimes of the deepest dye,
accompanied with such expressions of his despair of God's mercy,
as are too terrible to repeat.

In the course of the day, Colbee, and several more natives came in,
and were taken to the bed where the wounded man lay.  Their behaviour
indicated that they had already heard of the accident, as they repeated twice
or thrice the name of the murderer Pimelwi, saying that he lived at Botany Bay.
To gain knowledge of their treatment of similar wounds, one of the surgeons
made signs of extracting the spear, but this they violently opposed,
and said, if it were done, death would instantly follow.

On the 12th, the extraction of the spear was, however, judged practicable,
and was accordingly performed.  That part of it which had penetrated the body
measured seven inches and a half long, having on it a wooden barb,
and several smaller ones of stone, fastened on with yellow gum, most of which,
owing to the force necessary in extraction, were torn off and lodged
in the patient.  The spear had passed between two ribs, and had wounded
the left lobe of the lungs.  He lingered* until the 20th of January, and then
expired.  On opening the corpse, it was found that the left lung had perished
from suppuration, its remains adhering to the ribs.  Some pieces of stone,
which had dropped from the spear were seen, but no barb of wood.

[*From the aversion uniformly shown by all the natives to this unhappy man,
he had long been suspected by us of having in his excursions, shot and injured
them.  To gain information on this head from him, the moment of contrition
was seized.  On being questioned with great seriousness, he, however,
declared that he had never fired but once on a native, and then had not killed,
but severely wounded him and this in his own defence.  Notwithstanding
this death-bed confession, most people doubted the truth of the relation,
from his general character and other circumstances.]

The governor was at Rose-hill when this accident happened.  On the day after
he returned to Sydney, the following order was issued:


Several tribes of the natives still continuing to throw
spears at any man they meet unarmed, by which several
have been killed, or dangerously wounded, the governor,
in order to deter the natives from such practices in
future, has ordered out a party to search for the man
who wounded the convict McEntire, in so dangerous a
manner on Friday last, though no offence was offered
on his part, in order to make a signal example of that
tribe.  At the same time, the governor strictly forbids,
under penalty of the severest punishment, any soldier
or other person, not expressly ordered out for that
purpose, ever to fire on any native except in his own
defence; or to molest him in any shape, or to bring away
any spears, or other articles which they may find
belonging to those people.  The natives will be made
severe examples of whenever any man is wounded by them;
but this will be done in a manner which may satisfy them
that it is a punishment inflicted on them for their own
bad conduct, and of which they cannot be made sensible
if they are not treated with kindness while they continue
peaceable and quiet.

A party, consisting of two captains, two subalterns,
and forty privates, with a proper number of non-commissioned
officers from the garrison, with three days provisions,
etc. are to be ready to march to-morrow morning at day-light,
in order to bring in six of those natives who reside near
the head of Botany Bay; or, if that should be found
impracticable, to put that number to death.


Just previous to this order being issued, the author of this publication
received a direction to attend the governor at head quarters immediately.
I went, and his excellency informed me that he had pitched upon me to execute
the foregoing command.  He added that the two subalterns who were to be drawn
from the marine corps, should be chosen by myself; that the sergeant
and the two convicts who were with McEntire, should attend as guides;
that we were to proceed to the peninsula at the head of Botany Bay; and thence,
or from any part of the north arm of the bay, we were, if practicable,
to bring away two natives as prisoners; and to put to death ten; that we were
to destroy all weapons of war but nothing else; that no hut was to be burned;
that all women and children were to remain uninjured, not being comprehended
within the scope of the order; that our operations were to be directed
either by surprise or open force; that after we had made any prisoners,
all communication, even with those natives with whom we were in habits
of intercourse, was to be avoided, and none of them suffered to approach us.
That we were to cut off and bring in the heads of the slain; for which purpose
hatchets and bags would be furnished.  And finally, that no signal of amity
or invitation should be used in order to allure them to us; or if made
on their part, to be answered by us:  for that such conduct would be not only
present treachery, but give them reason to distrust every future mark of peace
and friendship on our part.

His excellency was now pleased to enter into the reasons which had induced him
to adopt measures of such severity.  He said that since our arrival
in the country, no less than seventeen of our people had either been killed
or wounded by the natives; that he looked upon the tribe known by the name of
Bideegal, living on the beforementioned peninsula, and chiefly on the north arm
of Botany Bay, to be the principal aggressors;  that against this tribe
he was determined to strike a decisive blow, in order, at once to convince them
of our superiority and to infuse an universal terror, which might operate
to prevent farther mischief.  That his observations on the natives had led him
to conclude that although they did not fear death individually, yet that
the relative weight and importance of the different tribes appeared to be
the highest object of their estimation, as each tribe deemed its strength
and security to consist wholly in its powers, aggregately considered.
That his motive for having so long delayed to use violent measures
had arisen from believing, that in every former instance of hostility,
they had acted either from having received injury, or from misapprehension.

"To the latter of these causes," added he, "I attribute my own wound,
but in this business of McEntire, I am fully persuaded that they were
unprovoked, and the barbarity of their conduct admits of no extenuation;
for I have separately examined the sergeant, of whose veracity I have
the highest opinion, and the two convicts; and their story is short,
simple, and alike.  I have in vain tried to stimulate Baneelon, Colbee,
and the other natives who live among us, to bring in the aggressor.
Yesterday, indeed, they promised me to do it, and actually went away
as if bent on such a design; but Baneelon, instead of directing his steps
to Botany Bay, crossed the harbour in his canoe, in order to draw the foreteeth
of some of the young men; and Colbee, in the room of fulfilling his engagement,
is loitering about the lookout house.  Nay, so far from wishing even
to describe faithfully the person of the man who has thrown the spear,
they pretended that he has a distorted foot, which is a palpable falsehood.
So that we have our efforts only to depend upon; and I am resolved to execute
the prisoners who may be brought in, in the most public and exemplary manner,
in the presence of as many of their countrymen as can be collected,
after having explained the cause of such a punishment; and my fixed
determination to repeat it, whenever any future breach of good conduct
on their side shall render it necessary."

Here the governor stopped, and addressing himself to me, said if I could
propose any alteration of the orders under which I was to act, he would
patiently listen to me.  Encouraged by this condescension, I begged leave
to offer for consideration whether, instead of destroying ten persons,
the capture of six would not better answer all the purposes for which
the expedition was to be undertaken; as out of this number, a part might
be set aside for retaliation; and the rest, at a proper time, liberated,
after having seen the fate of their comrades and being made sensible
of the cause of their own detention.

This scheme, his Excellency was pleased instantly to adopt, adding,
"if six cannot be taken, let this number be shot.  Should you, however,
find it practicable to take so many, I will hang two and send the rest
to Norfolk Island for a certain period, which will cause their countrymen
to believe that we have dispatched them secretly."  The order was accordingly
altered to its present form; and I took my leave to prepare, after being again
cautioned not to deceive by holding signals of amity.

At four o'clock on the morning of the 14th we marched  The detachment
consisted, besides myself, of Captain Hill of the New South Wales Corps,
Lieutenants Poulder and Dawes, of the marines, Mr. Worgan and Mr. Lowes,
surgeons, three sergeants, three corporals, and forty private soldiers,
provided with three days provisions, ropes to bind our prisoners with,
and hatchets and bags to cut off and contain the heads of the slain.
By nine o'clock this terrific procession reached the peninsula at the head
of Botany Bay, but after having walked in various directions until four o'clock
in the afternoon, without seeing a native, we halted for the night.

At daylight on the following morning our search recommenced.  We marched
in an easterly direction, intending to fall in with the south-west arm
of the bay, about three miles above its mouth, which we determined to scour,
and thence passing along the head of the peninsula, to proceed to
the north arm, and complete our Search.  However, by a mistake of our guides,
at half past seven o'clock instead of finding ourselves on the south-west arm,
we came suddenly upon the sea shore, at the head of the peninsula,
about midway between the two arms.  Here we saw five Indians on the beach,
whom we attempted to surround; but they penetrated our design, and before
we could get near enough to effect our purpose, ran off.  We pursued;
but a contest between heavy-armed Europeans, fettered by ligatures,
and naked unencumbered Indians, was too unequal to last long.  They darted
into the wood and disappeared.

The alarm being given, we were sensible that no hope of success remained,
but by a rapid movement to a little village (if five huts deserve the name)
which we knew stood on the nearest point of the north arm, where possibly
someone unapprised of our approach, might yet be found.  Thither we hastened;
but before we could reach it three canoes, filled with Indians,
were seen paddling over in the utmost hurry and trepidation, to the opposite
shore, where universal alarm prevailed.  All we could now do was to search
the huts for weapons of war:  but we found nothing except fish gigs,
which we left untouched.

On our return to our baggage (which we had left behind under a small guard
near the place where the pursuit had begun) we observed a native fishing
in shallow water not higher than his waist, at the distance of 300 yards
from the land.  In such a situation it would not have been easily practicable
either to shoot, or seize him.  I therefore determined to pass without
noticing him, as he seemed either from consciousness of his own security,
or from some other cause, quite unintimidated at our appearance.  At length
he called to several of us by name, and in spite of our formidable array,
drew nearer with unbounded confidence.  Surprised at his behaviour I ordered
a halt, that he might overtake us, fully resolved, whoever he might be,
that he should be suffered to come to us and leave us uninjured.  Presently
we found it to be our friend Colbee; and he joined us at once with his
wonted familiarity and unconcern.  We asked him where Pimelwi was, and found
that he perfectly comprehended the nature of our errand, for he described him
to have fled to the southward; and to be at such a distance, as had we known
the account to be true, would have prevented our going in search of him,
without a fresh supply of provisions.

When we arrived at our baggage, Colbee sat down, ate, drank, and slept with us,
from ten o'clock until past noon.  We asked him several questions about Sydney,
which he had left on the preceding day*; and he told us he had been present
at an operation performed at the hospital, where Mr. White had cut off
a woman's leg.  The agony and cries of the poor sufferer he depicted
in a most lively manner.

[*He had it seems visited the governor about noon, after having gained
information from Nanbaree of our march, and for what purpose it was undertaken.
This he did not scruple to tell to the governor; proclaiming at the same time,
a resolution of going to Botany Bay, which his excellency endeavoured
to dissuade him from by every argument he could devise:  a blanket, a hatchet,
a jacket, or aught else he would ask for, was offered to him in vain,
if he would not go.  At last it was determined to try to eat him down,
by setting before him his favourite food, of which it was hoped he would feed
so voraciously, as to render him incapable of executing his intention.
A large dish of fish was accordingly set before him.  But after devouring
a light horseman, and at least five pounds of beef and bread, even until
the sight of food became disgusting to him, he set out on his journey
with such lightness and gaiety, as plainly shewed him to be a stranger
to the horrors of indigestion.]

At one o'clock we renewed our march, and at three halted near a freshwater
swamp, where we resolved to remain until morning:  that is, after a day
of severe fatigue, to pass a night of restless inquietude, when weariness
is denied repose by swarms of mosquitoes and sandflies, which in the summer
months bite and sting the traveller, without measure or intermission.

Next morning we bent our steps homeward; and, after wading breast-high
through two arms of the sea, as broad as the Thames at Westminster, were glad
to find ourselves at Sydney, between one and two o'clock in the afternoon.

The few remarks which I was able to make on the country through which we
had passed, were such as will not tempt adventurers to visit it on the score
of pleasure or advantage.  The soil of every part of the peninsula,
which we had traversed, is shallow and sandy, and its productions meagre
and wretched.  When forced to quit the sand, we were condemned to drag through
morasses, or to clamber over rocks, unrefreshed by streams, and unmarked
by diversity.  Of the soil I brought away several specimens.

Our first expedition having so totally failed, the governor resolved to try
the fate of a second; and the 'painful pre-eminence' again devolved on me.

The orders under which I was commanded to act differing in no respect
from the last, I resolved to try once more to surprise the village
beforementioned.  And in order to deceive the natives, and prevent them
from again frustrating our design by promulgating it, we feigned that
our preparations were directed against Broken Bay; and that the man who had
wounded the governor was the object of punishment.  It was now also determined,
being full moon, that our operations should be carried on in the night,
both for the sake of secrecy, and for avoiding the extreme heat of the day.

A little before sun-set on the evening of the 22nd, we marched.
Lieutenant Abbot, and ensign Prentice, of the New South Wales corps,
were the two officers under my command, and with three sergeants,
three corporals, and thirty privates, completed the detachment.

We proceeded directly to the fords of the north arm of Botany Bay,
which we had crossed in our last expedition, on the banks of which we were
compelled to wait until a quarter past two in the morning, for the ebb
of the tide.  As these passing-places consist only of narrow slips of ground,
on each side of which are dangerous holes; and as fording rivers in the night
is at all times an unpleasant task, I determined before we entered the water,
to disburthen the men as much as possible; that in case of stepping wrong
every one might be as ready, as circumstances would admit, to recover himself.
The firelock and cartouche-box were all that we carried, the latter tied fast
on the top of the head, to prevent it from being wetted.  The knapsacks,
etc. I left in charge of a sergeant and six men, who from their low stature
and other causes, were most likely to impede our march, the success of which
I knew hinged on our ability, by a rapid movement, to surprise the village
before daybreak.

The two rivers were crossed without any material accident:  and in pursuit
of my resolution, I ordered the guides to conduct us by the nearest route,
without heeding difficulty, or impediment of road.  Having continued to
push along the river-bank very briskly for three quarters of an hour,
we were suddenly stopped by a creek, about sixty yards wide, which extended
to our right, and appeared dry from the tide being out:  I asked if it could
be passed, or whether it would be better to wheel round the head of it.
Our guides answered that it was bad to cross, but might be got over,
which would save us more than a quarter of a mile.  Knowing the value of time,
I directly bade them to push through, and every one began to follow as well
as he could.  They who were foremost had not, however, got above half over
when the difficulty of progress was sensibly experienced.  We were immersed,
nearly to the waist in mud, so thick and tenacious, that it was not without
the most vigorous exertion of every muscle of the body, that the legs
could be disengaged.  When we had reached the middle, our distress became
not only more pressing, but serious, and each succeeding step,
buried us deeper.  At length a sergeant of grenadiers stuck fast, and declared
himself incapable of moving either forward or backward; and just after,
Ensign Prentice and I felt ourselves in a similar predicament, close together.
'I find it impossible to move; I am sinking;' resounded on every side.
What to do I knew not:  every moment brought increase of perplexity,
and augmented danger, as those who could not proceed kept gradually subsiding.
From our misfortunes, however, those in the rear profited.  Warned by what
they saw and heard, they inclined to the right towards the head of the creek,
and thereby contrived to pass over.

Our distress would have terminated fatally, had not a soldier cried out
to those on shore to cut boughs of trees*, and throw them to us--a lucky
thought, which certainly saved many of us from perishing miserably; and even
with this assistance, had we been burdened by our knapsacks, we could not have
emerged; for it employed us near half an hour to disentangle some of
our number.  The sergeant of grenadiers in particular, was sunk to his
breast-bone, and so firmly fixed in that the efforts of many men were required
to extricate him, which was effected in the moment after I had ordered one of
the ropes, destined to bind the captive Indians, to be fastened under his arms.

[*I had often read of this contrivance to facilitate the passage of a morass.
But I confess, that in my confusion I had entirely forgotten it, and probably
should have continued to do so until too late to be of use.]

Having congratulated each other on our escape from this 'Serbonian Bog,'
and wiped our arms (half of which were rendered unserviceable by the mud)
we once more pushed forward to our object, within a few hundred yards of which
we found ourselves about half an hour before sunrise.  Here I formed
the detachment into three divisions, and having enjoined the most perfect
silence, in order, if possible, to deceive Indian vigilance, each division
was directed to take a different route, so as to meet at the village
at the same moment.

We rushed rapidly on, and nothing could succeed more exactly than the arrival
of the several detachments.  To our astonishment, however, we found
not a single native at the huts; nor was a canoe to be seen on any part
of the bay.  I was at first inclined to attribute this to our arriving
half an hour too late, from the numberless impediments we had encountered.
But on closer examination, there appeared room to believe, that many days
had elapsed since an Indian had been on the spot, as no mark of fresh fires,
or fish bones, was to be found.

Disappointed and fatigued, we would willingly have profited by the advantage
of being near water, and have halted to refresh.  But on consultation,
it was found, that unless we reached in an hour the rivers we had so lately
passed, it would be impossible, on account of the tide, to cross to our
baggage, in which case we should be without food until evening.  We therefore
pushed back, and by dint of alternately running and walking, arrived at
the fords, time enough to pass with ease and safety.  So excessive, however,
had been our efforts, and so laborious our progress, that several of the
soldiers, in the course of the last two miles, gave up, and confessed
themselves unable to proceed farther.  All that I could do for these
poor fellows, was to order their comrades to carry their muskets, and to leave
with them a small party of those men who were least exhausted, to assist them
and hurry them on.  In three quarters of an hour after we had crossed
the water, they arrived at it, just time enough to effect a passage.

The necessity of repose, joined to the succeeding heat of the day,
induced us to prolong our halt until four o'clock in the afternoon,
when we recommenced our operations on the opposite side of the north arm
to that we had acted upon in the morning.  Our march ended at sunset,
without our seeing a single native.  We had passed through the country
which the discoverers of Botany Bay extol as 'some of the finest meadows
in the world*.'  These meadows, instead of grass, are covered with high coarse
rushes, growing in a rotten spongy bog, into which we were plunged knee-deep
at every step.

[*The words which are quoted may be found in Mr. Cook's first voyage,
and form part of his description of Botany Bay.  It has often fallen to my lot
to traverse these fabled plains; and many a bitter execration have I heard
poured on those travellers, who could so faithlessly relate what they saw.]

Our final effort was made at half past one o'clock next morning; and after
four hours toil, ended as those preceding it had done, in disappointment
and vexation.  At nine o'clock we returned to Sydney, to report
our fruitless peregrination.

But if we could not retaliate on the murderer of M'Entire, we found
no difficulty in punishing offences committed within our own observation.
Two natives, about this time, were detected in robbing a potato garden.
When seen, they ran away, and a sergeant and a party of soldiers were
dispatched in pursuit of them.  Unluckily it was dark when they overtook them,
with some women at a fire; and the ardour of the soldiers transported them
so far that, instead of capturing the offenders, they fired in among them.
The women were taken, but the two men escaped.

On the following day, blood was traced from the fireplace to the sea-side,
where it seemed probable that those who had lost it, had embarked.
The natives were observed to become immediately shy; but an exact knowledge
of the mischief which had been committed, was not gained until the end
of two days, when they said that a man of the name of Bangai (who was known
to be one of the pilferers) was wounded and dead.  Imeerawanyee, however,
whispered that though he was wounded, he was not dead.  A hope now existed
that his life might be saved; and Mr. White, taking Imeerawanyee, Nanbaree,
and a woman with him, set out for the spot where he was reported to be.
But on their reaching it, they were told by some people who were there
that the man was dead, and that the corpse was deposited in a bay about
a mile off.  Thither they accordingly repaired, and found it as described,
covered--except one leg, which seemed to be designedly left bare--with
green boughs and a fire burning near it.  Those who had performed the funeral
obsequies seemed to have been particularly solicitous for the protection
of the face, which was covered with a thick branch, interwoven with grass
and fern so as to form a complete screen.  Around the neck was a strip
of the bark of which they make fishing lines, and a young strait stick
growing near was stripped of its bark and bent down so as to form an arch
over the body, in which position it was confined by a forked branch
stuck into the earth.

On examining the corpse, it was found to be warm.  Through the shoulder
had passed a musquet ball, which had divided the subclavian artery
and caused death by loss of blood.  No mark of any remedy having been applied
could be discovered.  Possibly the nature of the wound, which even among us
would baffle cure without amputation of the arm at the shoulder, was deemed
so fatal, that they despaired of success, and therefore left it to itself.
Had Mr. White found the man alive, there is little room to think that he could
have been of any use to him; for that an Indian would submit to so formidable
and alarming an operation seems hardly probable.

None of the natives who had come in the boat would touch the body, or even
go near it, saying, the mawn would come; that is literally, 'the spirit of
the deceased would seize them'.  Of the people who died among us,
they had expressed no such apprehension.  But how far the difference
of a natural death, and one effected by violence, may operate on their fears
to induce superstition; and why those who had performed the rites of sepulture
should not experience similar fears and reluctance, I leave to be determined.
Certain it is (as I shall insist upon more hereafter), that they believe
the spirit of the dead not to be extinct with the body.

Baneelon took an odd method of revenging the death of his countryman.
At the head of several of his tribe, he robbed one of the private boats
of fish, threatening the people, who were unarmed, that in case they resisted
he would spear them.  On being taxed by the governor with this outrage,
he at first stoutly denied it; but on being confronted with the people
who were in the boat, he changed his language, and, without deigning even
to palliate his offence, burst into fury and demanded who had killed Bangai.




CHAPTER XIII.



The Transactions of the Colony continued to the End of May, 1791.


December, 1790.  The Dutch snow from Batavia arrived on the 17th of the month,
after a passage of twelve weeks, in which she had lost sixteen of her people.
But death, to a man who has resided at Batavia, is too familiar an object
to excite either terror or regret.  All the people of the 'Supply' who were left
there sick, except one midshipman, had also perished in that fatal climate.

The cargo of the snow consisted chiefly of rice, with a small quantity of beef,
pork, and flour.

A letter was received by this vessel, written by the Shebander at Batavia,
to governor Phillip, acquainting him that war had commenced between England
and Spain.  As this letter was written in the Dutch language we did not
find it easy of translation.  It filled us, however, with anxious perturbation,
and with wishes as impotent, as they were eager, in the cause of our country.
Though far beyond the din of arms, we longed to contribute to her glory,
and to share in her triumphs.

Placed out of the reach of attack, both by remoteness and insignificancy,
our only dread lay lest those supplies intended for our consumption
should be captured.  Not, however, to be found totally unprovided in case
an enemy should appear, a battery was planned near the entrance of Sydney Cove,
and other formidable preparations set on foot.

The commencement of the year 1791, though marked by no circumstances
particularly favourable, beamed far less inauspicious than that of 1790
had done.

January, 1791.  No circumstance, however apparently trivial, which can tend
to throw light on a new country, either in respect of its present situation,
or its future promise, should pass unregarded.  On the 24th of January,
two bunches of grapes were cut in the governor's garden, from cuttings
of vines brought three years before from the Cape of Good Hope.  The bunches
were handsome, the fruit of a moderate size, but well filled out
and the flavour high and delicious.

The first step after unloading the Dutch snow was to dispatch the 'Supply'
to Norfolk Island for captain Hunter, and the crew of the 'Sirius' who had
remained there ever since the loss of that ship.  It had always been
the governor's wish to hire the Dutchman, for the purpose of transporting them
to England.  But the frantic extravagant behaviour of the master of her,
for a long time frustrated the conclusion of a contract.  He was so totally
lost to a sense of reason and propriety, as to ask eleven pounds per ton,
monthly, for her use, until she should arrive from England, at Batavia.
This was treated with proper contempt; and he was at last induced to accept
twenty shillings a ton, per month (rating her at three hundred tons)
until she should arrive in England--being about the twenty-fifth part
of his original demand.  And even at this price she was, perhaps, the dearest
vessel ever hired on a similar service, being totally destitute of every
accommodation and every good quality which could promise to render
so long a voyage either comfortable or expeditious.

February, 1791.  On the 26th, Captain Hunter, his officers and ship's company
joined us; and on the 28th of March the snow sailed with them for England,
intending to make a northern passage by Timor and Batavia, the season being
too far advanced to render the southern route by Cape Horn
practicable*.

[*They did not arrive in England until April, 1792.]

Six days previous to the departure of captain Hunter, the indefatigable 'Supply'
again sailed for Norfolk Island, carrying thither captain Hill and a detachment
of the New South Wales corps.  A little native boy named Bondel, who had long
particularly attached himself to captain Hill, accompanied him, at his own
earnest request.  His father had been killed in battle and his mother bitten
in two by a shark:  so that he was an orphan, dependant on the humanity
of his tribe for protection*.  His disappearance seemed to make no impression
on the rest of his countrymen, who were apprized of his resolution to go.
On the return of the 'Supply' they inquired eagerly for him, and on being told
that the place he was gone to afforded plenty of birds and other good fare,
innumerable volunteers presented themselves to follow him, so great
was their confidence in us and so little hold of them had the amor patriae.

[*I am of opinion that such protection is always extended to children
who may be left destitute.]


March, 1791.  The snow had but just sailed, when a very daring manoeuvre
was carried into execution, with complete success, by a set of convicts,
eleven in number, including a woman, wife of one of the party, and two
little children.  They seized the governor's cutter and putting into her
a seine, fishing-lines, and hooks, firearms, a quadrant, compass,
and some provisions, boldly pushed out to sea, determined to brave
every danger and combat every hardship, rather than remain longer in a captive
state.  Most of these people had been brought out in the first fleet,
and the terms of transportation of some of them were expired.  Among them were
a fisherman, a carpenter, and some competent navigators, so that little doubt
was entertained that a scheme so admirably planned would be adequately
executed*.  When their elopement was discovered, a pursuit was ordered
by the governor.  But the fugitives had made too good an use of the
intermediate time to be even seen by their pursuers.  After the escape
of Captain Bligh, which was well known to us, no length of passage or hazard
of navigation seemed above human accomplishment.  However to prevent future
attempts of a like nature, the governor directed that boats only of stated
dimensions should be built.  Indeed an order of this sort had been issued
on the escape of the first party, and it was now repeated with
additional restrictions.

[*It was my fate to fall in again with part of this little band of adventurers.
In March 1792, when I arrived in the Gorgon, at the Cape of Good Hope,
six of these people, including the woman and one child, were put on board
of us to be carried to England.  four had died, and one had jumped overboard
at Batavia.  The particulars of their voyage were briefly as follows.
They coasted the shore of New Holland, putting occasionally into different
harbours which they found in going along.  One of these harbours, in the
latitude of 30 degrees south, they described to be of superior excellence
and capacity.  Here they hauled their bark ashore, paid her seams with tallow,
and repaired her.  But it was with difficulty they could keep off the attacks
of the Indians.  These people continued to harras them so much that they
quitted the mainland and retreated to a small island in the harbour,
where they completed their design.  Between the latitude of 26 degrees and
27 degrees, they were driven by a current 30 leagues from the shore,
among some islands, where they found plenty of large turtles.  Soon after
they closed again with the continent, when the boat got entangled in the surf
and was driven on shore, and they had all well nigh perished.  They passed
rough the straits of Endeavour and, beyond the gulf of Carpentaria, found a
large freshwater river, which they entered, and filled from it their
empty casks.

Until they reached the gulf of Carpentaria, they saw no natives or canoes
differing from those about Port Jackson.  But now they were chased by
large canoes, jitted with sails and fighting stages, and capable of holding
thirty men each.  They escaped by dint of rowing to windward.  On the
5th of June 1791 they reached Timor, and pretended that they had belonged
to a ship which, on her passage from Port Jackson to India, had foundered;
and that they only had escaped.  The Dutch received them with kindness
and treated them with hospitality.  But their behaviour giving rise
to suspicion, they were watched; and one of them at last, in a moment
of intoxication, betrayed the secret.  They were immediately secured
and committed to prison.  Soon after Captain Edwards of the Pandora,
who had been wrecked near Endeavour straits, arrived at Timor, and they were
delivered up to him, by which means they became passengers in the Gorgon.

I confess that I never looked at these people without pity and astonishment.
They had miscarried in a heroic struggle for liberty after having combated
every hardship and conquered every difficulty.

The woman, and one of the men, had gone out to Port Jackson in the ship
which had transported me thither.  They had both of them been always
distinguished for good behaviour.  And I could not but reflect with admiration
at the strange combination of circumstances which had again brought us
together, to baffle human foresight and confound human speculation.]


April, 1791.  Notwithstanding the supplies which had recently arrived
from Batavia, short allowance was again proclaimed on the 2nd of April,
on which day we were reduced to the following ration:

Three pounds of rice, three pounds of flour and three pounds of pork per week.

It was singularly unfortunate that these retrenchments should always happen
when the gardens were most destitute of vegetables.  A long drought had nearly
exhausted them.  The hardships which we in consequence suffered were great,
but not comparable to what had been formerly experienced.  Besides,
now we made sure of ships arriving soon to dispel our distress.  Whereas,
heretofore, from having never heard from England, the hearts of men sunk
and many had begun to doubt whether it had not been resolved to try how long
misery might be endured with resignation.

Notwithstanding the incompetency of so diminished a pittance, the daily task
of the soldier and convict continued unaltered.  I never contemplated
the labours of these men without finding abundant cause of reflection
on the miseries which our nature can overcome.  Let me for a moment quit
the cold track of narrative.  Let me not fritter away by servile adaptation
those reflections and the feelings they gave birth to.  Let me transcribe them
fresh as they arose, ardent and generous, though hopeless and romantic.
I every day see wretches pale with disease and wasted with famine,
struggle against the horror's of their situation.  How striking is the effect
of subordination; how dreadful is the fear of punishment!  The allotted task
is still performed, even on the present reduced subsistence.  The blacksmith
sweats at the sultry forge, the sawyer labours pent-up in his pit and
the husbandman turns up the sterile glebe.  Shall I again hear arguments
multiplied to violate truth, and insult humanity!  Shall I again be told
that the sufferings of the wretched Africans are indispensable for the culture
of our sugar colonies;  that white men are incapable of sustaining the heat
of the climate!  I have been in the West Indies.  I have lived there.
I know that it is a rare instance for the mercury in the thermometer
to mount there above 90 degrees; and here I scarcely pass a week in summer
without seeing it rise to 100 degrees; sometimes to 105; nay, beyond even that
burning altitude.

But toil cannot be long supported without adequate refreshment.  The first step
in every community which wishes to preserve honesty should be to set the people
above want.  The throes of hunger will ever prove too powerful for integrity
to withstand.  Hence arose a repetition of petty delinquencies, which no
vigilance could detect, and no justice reach.  Gardens were plundered,
provisions pilfered, and the Indian corn stolen from the fields where it grew
for public use.  Various were the measures adopted to check this depredatory
spirit.  Criminal courts, either from the tediousness of their process,
or from the frequent escape of culprits from their decision, were seldomer
convened than formerly.  The governor ordered convict offenders either
to be chained together or to wear singly a large iron collar with two spikes
projecting from it, which effectually hindered the party from concealing it
under his shirt; and thus shackled, they were compelled to perform
their quota of work.

May, 1791.  Had their marauding career terminated here, humanity would have
been anxious to plead in their defence; but the natives continued to complain
of being robbed of spears and fishing tackle.  A convict was at length taken
in the fact of stealing fishing-tackle from Daringa, the wife of Colbee.
The governor ordered that he should be severely flogged in the presence of
as many natives as could be assembled, to whom the cause of punishment
should be explained.  Many of them, of both sexes, accordingly attended.
Arabanoo's aversion to a similar sight has been noticed; and if the behaviour
of those now collected be found to correspond with it, it is, I think,
fair to conclude that these people are not of a sanguinary and implacable
temper.  Quick indeed of resentment, but not unforgiving of injury.
There was not one of them that did not testify strong abhorrence
of the punishment and equal sympathy with the sufferer.  The women
were particularly affected; Daringa shed tears, and Barangaroo, kindling
into anger, snatched a stick and menaced the executioner.  The conduct
of these women, on this occasion, was exactly descriptive of their characters.
The former was ever meek and feminine, the latter fierce and unsubmissive.

On the first of May, many allotments of ground were parcelled out
by the governor to convicts whose periods of transportation were expired,
and who voluntarily offered to become settlers in the country.  The terms
on which they settled, and their progress in agriculture, will be
hereafter set forth.




CHAPTER XIV.



Travelling Diaries in New South Wales.


From among my numerous travelling journals into the interior parts
of the country, I select the following to present to the reader, as equally
important in their object, and more amusing in their detail, than any other.

In April 1791 an expedition was undertaken, in order to ascertain
whether or not the Hawkesbury and the Nepean, were the same river.
With this view, we proposed to fall in a little above Richmond Hill*,
and trace down to it; and if the weather should prove fine to cross
at the ford, and go a short distance westward, then to repass the river
and trace it upward until we should either arrive at some spot which we knew
to be the Nepean, or should determine by its course that the Hawkesbury
was a different stream.

[*Look at the map for the situation of this place (Unfortunately, there is
no map accompanying this etext. Ed.)]


Our party was strong and numerous.  It consisted of twenty-one persons,
viz. the governor, Mr. Collins and his servant, Mr. White, Mr. Dawes,
the author, three gamekeepers, two sergeants, eight privates, and our friends
Colbee and Boladeree.  These two last were volunteers on the occasion,
on being assured that we should not stay out many days and that we should
carry plenty of provisions.  Baneelon wished to go, but his wife would not
permit it.  Colbee on the other hand, would listen to no objections.
He only stipulated (with great care and consideration) that, during his absence,
his wife and child should remain at Sydney under our protection,
and be supplied with provisions.

But before we set out, let me describe our equipment, and try to convey
to those who have rolled along on turnpike roads only, an account of those
preparations which are required in traversing the wilderness.  Every man
(the governor excepted) carried his own knapsack, which contained provisions
for ten days.  If to this be added a gun, a blanket, and a canteen,
the weight will fall nothing short of forty pounds.  Slung to the knapsack
are the cooking kettle and the hatchet, with which the wood to kindle
the nightly fire and build the nightly hut is to be cut down.  Garbed to drag
through morasses, tear through thickets, ford rivers and scale rocks,
our autumnal heroes, who annually seek the hills in pursuit of grouse
and black game, afford but an imperfect representation of the picture.

Thus encumbered, the march begins at sunrise, and with occasional halts
continues until about an hour and a half before sunset.  It is necessary
to stop thus early to prepare for passing the night, for toil here ends not
with the march.  Instead of the cheering blaze, the welcoming landlord,
and the long bill of fare, the traveller has now to collect his fuel,
to erect his wigwam, to fetch water, and to broil his morsel of salt pork.
Let him then lie down, and if it be summer, try whether the effect of fatigue
is sufficiently powerful to overcome the bites and stings of the myriads
of sandflies and mosquitoes which buzz around him.

Monday, April 11, 1791.  At twenty minutes before seven o'clock, we started
from the governor's house at Rose Hill and steered* for a short time
nearly in a north-east direction, after which we turned to north 34 degrees
west, and steadily pursued that course until a quarter before four o'clock,
when we halted for the night.  The country for the first two miles,
while we walked to the northeast, was good, full of grass and without rock
or underwood.
Afterwards it grew very bad, being full of steep, barren rocks, over which
we were compelled to clamber for seven miles, when it changed to
a plain country apparently very sterile, and with very little grass in it,
which rendered walking easy.  Our fatigue in the morning had, however,
been so oppressive that one of the party knocked up.  And had not a soldier,
as strong as a pack-horse, undertaken to carry his knapsack in addition
to his own, we must either have sent him back, or have stopped at a place
for the night which did not afford water.  Our two natives carried each
his pack, but its weight was inconsiderable, most of their provisions
being in the knapsacks of the soldiers and gamekeepers.  We expected
to have derived from them much information relating to the country, as no one
doubted that they were acquainted with every part of it between the sea coast
and the river Hawkesbury.  We hoped also to have witnessed their manner
of living in the woods, and the resources they rely upon in their journeys.
Nothing, however, of this sort had yet occurred, except their examining
some trees to see if they could discover on the bark any marks of the claws
of squirrels and opossums, which they said would show whether any of those
animals were hidden among the leaves and branches.  They walked stoutly,
appeared but little fatigued, and maintained their spirits admirably,
laughing to excess when any of us either tripped or stumbled, misfortunes
which much seldomer fell to their lot than to ours.

[*Our method, on these expeditions, was to steer by compass, noting
the different courses as we proceeded; and counting the number of paces,
of which two thousand two hundred, on good ground, were allowed to be a mile.
At night when we halted, all these courses were separately cast up,
and worked by a traverse table, in the manner a ship's reckoning is kept,
so that by observing this precaution, we always knew exactly where we were,
and how far from home; an unspeakable advantage in a new country,
where one hill, and one tree, is so like another that fatal wanderings
would ensue without it.  This arduous task was always allotted to Mr. Dawes
who, from habit and superior skill, performed it almost without a stop,
or an interruption of conversation:  to any other man, on such terms,
it would have been impracticable.]

At a very short distance from Rose Hill, we found that they were in a country
unknown to them, so that the farther they went the more dependent on us
they became, being absolute strangers inland.  To convey to their
understandings the intention of our journey was impossible.  For, perhaps,
no words could unfold to an Indian the motives of curiosity which induce men
to encounter labour, fatigue and pain, when they might remain in repose
at home, with a sufficiency of food.  We asked Colbee the name of the people
who live inland, and he called them Boorooberongal; and said they were bad,
whence we conjectured that they sometimes war with those on the sea coast,
by whom they were undoubtedly driven up the country from the fishing ground,
that it might not be overstocked; the weaker here, as in every other country,
giving way to the stronger.

We asked how they lived.  He said, on birds and animals, having no fish.
Their laziness appeared strongly when we halted, for they refused to draw
water or to cleave wood to make a fire; but as soon as it was kindled
(having first well stuffed themselves), they lay down before it and
fell asleep.  About an hour after sunset, as we were chatting by the fire side
and preparing to go to rest, we heard voices at a little distance in the wood.
Our natives caught the sound instantaneously and, bidding us be silent,
listened attentively to the quarter whence it had proceeded.  In a few minutes
we heard the voices plainly; and, wishing exceedingly to open a communication
with this tribe, we begged our natives to call to them, and bid them to come
to us, to assure them of good treatment, and that they should have something
given them to eat.  Colbee no longer hesitated, but gave them the signal
of invitation, in a loud hollow cry.  After some whooping and shouting
on both sides, a man with a lighted stick in his hand advanced near enough
to converse with us.  The first words which we could distinctly understand
were, 'I am Colbee, of the tribe of Cadigal.'  The stranger replied,
'I am Bereewan, of the tribe of Boorooberongal.'  Boladeree informed him also
of his name and that we were white men and friends, who would give him
something to eat.  Still he seemed irresolute.  Colbee therefore advanced
to him, took him by the hand and led him to us.  By the light of the moon,
we were introduced to this gentleman, all our names being repeated in form
by our two masters of the ceremonies, who said that we were Englishmen
and 'budyeeree' (good), that we came from the sea coast, and that we were
travelling inland.

Bereewan seemed to be a man about thirty years old, differing in no respect
from his countrymen with whom we were acquainted.  He came to us unarmed,
having left his spears at a little distance.  After a long conversation
with his countrymen, and having received some provisions, he departed
highly satisfied.

Tuesday, April 12th, 1791.  Started this morning at half past six o'clock,
and in two hours reached the river.  The whole of the country we passed
was poor, and the soil within a mile of the river changed to a coarse
deep sand, which I have invariably found to compose its banks in every part
without exception that I ever saw.  The stream at this place is about
350 feet wide; the water pure and excellent to the taste.  The banks
are about twenty feet high and covered with trees, many of which had been
evidently bent by the force of the current in the direction which it runs,
and some of them contained rubbish and drift wood in their branches
at least forty-five feet above the level of the stream.  We saw many ducks,
and killed one, which Colbee swam for.  No new production among the shrubs
growing here was found.  we were acquainted with them all.  Our natives
had evidently never seen this river before.  They stared at it with surprise,
and talked to each other.  Their total ignorance of the country, and of
the direction in which they had walked, appeared when they were asked
which way Rose Hill lay; for they pointed almost oppositely to it.
Of our compass they had taken early notice, and had talked much to each other
about it.  They comprehended its use, and called it 'naamoro,' literally,
"to see the way"; a more significant or expressive term cannot be found.

Supposing ourselves to be higher on the stream than Richmond Hill, we agreed
to trace downward, or to the right hand.  In tracing, we kept as close
to the bank of the river as the innumerable impediments to walking which grow
upon it would allow.  We found the country low and swampy; came to a native
fireplace, at which were some small fish-bones; soon after we saw a native,
but he ran away immediately.  Having walked nearly three miles we were stopped
by a creek which we could neither ford, or fall a tree across.  We were
therefore obliged to coast it, in hope to find a passing place or to reach
its head.  At four o'clock we halted for the night on the bank of the creek.
Our natives continued to hold out stoutly.  The hindrances to walking
by the river side which plagued and entangled us so much, seemed not to be
heeded by them, and they wound through them with case; but to us they were
intolerably tiresome.  Our perplexities afforded them an inexhaustible fund
of merriment and derision:  Did the sufferer, stung at once with nettles
and ridicule, and shaken nigh to death by his fall, use any angry expression
to them, they retorted in a moment, by calling him by every opprobrious name*
which their language affords.

Boladeree destroyed a native hut today very wantonly before we could
prevent him.  On being asked why he did so, he answered that the inhabitants
inland were bad; though no longer since than last night, when Bereewan
had departed, they were loud in their praise.  But now they had reverted to
their first opinion; so fickle and transient are their motives of love
and hatred.

[*Their general favourite term of reproach is 'goninpatta', which signifies
'an eater of human excrement'.  Our language would admit a very concise
and familiar translation.  They have, besides this, innumerable others
which they often salute their enemies with.]


Wednesday, April 13th, 1791.  We did not set out this morning until past
seven o'clock, when we continued to trace the creek.  The country which we
passed through yesterday was good and desirable to what was now presented
to us.  It was in general high and universally rocky.  'Toiling our uncouth
way', we mounted a hill, and surveyed the contiguous country.
To the northward and eastward, the ground was still higher than that
we were upon; but in a south-west direction we saw about four miles.
The view consisted of nothing but trees growing on precipices; not an acre
of it could be cultivated.  Saw a tree on fire here, and several other
vestiges of the natives.  To comprehend the reasons which induce an Indian
to perform many of the offices of life is difficult;  to pronounce that which
could lead him to wander amidst these dreary wilds baffles penetration.
About two o'clock we reached the head of the creek, passed it and scrambled
with infinite toil and difficulty to the top of a neighbouring mountain,
whence we saw the adjacent country in almost every direction, for many miles.
I record with regret that this extended view presented not a single gleam
of change which could encourage hope or stimulate industry, to attempt
its culture.  We had, however, the satisfaction to discover plainly the object
of our pursuit, Richmond Hill, distant about eight miles, in a contrary
direction from what we had been proceeding upon.  It was readily known
to those who had been up the Hawkesbury in the boats, by a remarkable cleft
or notch which distinguishes it.  It was now determined that we should go back
to the head of the creek and pass the night there; and in the morning
cut across the country to that part of the river which we had first hit upon
yesterday, and thence to trace upward, or to the left.  But before I descend,
I must not forget to relate that to this pile of desolation on which,
like the fallen angel on the top of Niphates, we stood contemplating
our nether Eden, His Excellency was pleased to give the name
of Tench's Prospect Mount.

Our fatigue to-day had been excessive; but our two sable companions seemed
rather enlivened than exhausted by it.  We had no sooner halted and given them
something to eat than they began to play ten thousand tricks and gambols.
They imitated the leaping of the kangaroo; sang, danced, poised the spear
and met in mock encounter.  But their principal source of merriment was again
derived from our misfortunes, in tumbling amidst nettles, and sliding down
precipices, which they mimicked with inimitable drollery.  They had become,
however, very urgent in their inquiries about the time of our return,
nd we pacified them as well as we could by saying it would be soon,
but avoided naming how many days.

Their method of testifying dislike to any place is singular:  they point to
the spot they are upon, and all around it, crying 'weeree, weeree' (bad)
and immediately after mention the name of any other place to which
they are attached (Rose Hill or Sydney for instance), adding to it
'budyeree, budyeree' (good).  Nor was their preference in the present case
the result of caprice, for they assigned very substantial reasons
for such predilection:  "At Rose Hill," said they, "are potatoes, cabbages,
pumpkins, turnips, fish and wine; here are nothing but rocks and water."
These comparisons constantly ended with the question of "Where's Rose Hill?
Where?" on which they would throw up their hands and utter a sound to denote
distance, which it is impossible to convey an idea of upon paper.

Thursday, April 14th, 1791.  We started early and reached the river in about
two hours and a half.  The intermediate country, except for the last half mile,
was a continued bed of stones, which were in some places so thick and
close together that they looked like a pavement formed by art.  When we got off
the stones, we came upon the coarse river sand beforementioned.

Here we began to trace upward.  We had not proceeded far when we saw
several canoes on the river.  Our natives made us immediately lie down
among the reeds, while they gave their countrymen the signal of approach.
After much calling, finding that they did not come, we continued our progress
until it was again interrupted by a creek, over which we threw a tree
and passed upon it.  While this was doing, a native, from his canoe,
entered into conversation with us, and immediately after paddled to us
with a frankness and confidence which surprised every one.  He was a man
of middle age, with an open cheerful countenance, marked with the small pox,
and distinguished by a nose of uncommon magnitude and dignity.  He seemed
to be neither astonished or terrified at our appearance and number.
Two stone hatchets, and two spears he took from his canoe, and presented
to the governor, who in return for his courteous generosity, gave him two
of our hatchets and some bread, which was new to him, for he knew not its use,
but kept looking at it, until Colbee shewed him what to do, when he eat it
without hesitation.  We pursued our course, and to accommodate us,
our new acquaintance pointed out a path and walked at the head of us.  A canoe,
also with a man and a boy in it, kept gently paddling up abreast of us.
We halted for the night at our usual hour, on the bank of the river.
Immediately that we had stopped, our friend (who had already told us his name)
Gombeeree, introduced the man and the boy from the canoe to us.  The former
was named Yellomundee, the latter Deeimba.  The ease with which these people
behaved among strangers was as conspicuous, as unexpected.  They seated
themselves at our fire, partook of our biscuit and pork, drank from
our canteens, and heard our guns going off around them without betraying
any symptom of fear, distrust or surprise.  On the opposite bank of the river
they had left their wives and several children, with whom they frequently
discoursed; and we observed that these last manifested neither suspicion
or uneasiness of our designs towards their friends.

Having refreshed ourselves, we found leisure to enter into conversation
with them.  It could not be expected that they should differ materially
from the tribes with whom we were acquainted.  The same manners and pursuits,
the same amusements, the same levity and fickleness, undoubtedly characterised
them.  What we were able to learn from them was that they depend but little
on fish, as the river yields only mullets, and that their principal support
is derived from small animals which they kill, and some roots (a species
of wild yam chiefly) which they dig out of the earth.  If we rightly
understood them, each man possesses two wives.  Whence can arise
this superabundance of females?  Neither of the men had suffered the extraction
of a front tooth.  We were eager to know whether or not this custom obtained
among them.  But neither Colbee nor Boladeree would put the question for us;
and on the contrary, showed every desire to wave the subject.
The uneasiness which they testified, whenever we renewed it, rather served
to confirm a suspicion which we had long entertained, that this is a mark
of subjection imposed by the tribe of Cameragal, (who are certainly
the most powerful community in the country) on the weaker tribes around them.
Whether the women cut off a joint of one of the little fingers, like those
on the sea coast, we had no opportunity of observing.  These are petty remarks.
But one variety struck us more forcibly.  Although our natives and
the strangers conversed on a par and understood each other perfectly,
yet they spoke different dialects of the same language; many of the most common
and necessary words used in life bearing no similitude, and others
being slightly different.


------------------------------------------------------------
English     Name on the sea coast     Name at the Hawkesbury
------------------------------------------------------------

The Moon           Yeneeda                Condoen
The Ear            Gooree                 Benna
The Forehead       Nullo                  Narran
The Belly          Barang                 Bindee
The Navel          Muneero                Boombong
The Buttocks       Boong                  Baylee
The Neck           Calang                 Ganga
The Thigh          Tara                   Dara
The Hair           Deewara                Keewara
-------------------------------------------------------------


That these diversities arise from want of intercourse with the people
on the coast can hardly be imagined, as the distance inland is but
thirty-eight miles; and from Rose Hill not more than twenty, where the dialect
of the sea coast is spoken.  It deserves notice that all the different terms
seemed to be familiar to both parties, though each in speaking preferred
its own*.

[*How easily people, unused to speak the same language, mistake each other,
everyone knows.  We had lived almost three years at Port Jackson
(for more than half of which period natives had resided with us) before we knew
that the word 'beeal', signified 'no', and not 'good', in which latter sense
we had always used it without suspecting that we were wrong; and even without
being corrected by those with whom we talked daily.  The cause of our error
was this.  The epithet 'weeree', signifying 'bad', we knew; and as the use
of this word and its opposite afford the most simple form of denoting consent
or disapprobation to uninstructed Indians, in order to find out their word
for 'good', when Arabanoo was first brought among us, we used jokingly to say
that any thing, which he liked was 'weeree', in order to provoke him to tell us
that it was good.  When we said 'weeree', he answered 'beeal',
which we translated and adopted for 'good'; whereas he meant no more than
simply to deny our inference, and say 'no'--it is not bad.  After this,
it cannot be thought extraordinary that the little vocabulary inserted in
Mr. Cook's account of this part of the world should appear defective--
even were we not to take in the great probability of the dialects at
Endeavour River and Van Diemen's land differing from that spoken
at Port Jackson.  And it remains to be proved that the animal called here
'patagaram' is not there called 'kangaroo'.]

Stretched out at ease before our fire, all sides continued to chat
and entertain each other.  Gombeeree shewed us the mark of a wound
which he had received in his side from a spear.  It was large, appeared
to have passed to a considerable depth, and must certainly have been attended
with imminent danger.  By whom it had been inflicted, and on what occasion,
he explained to Colbee; and afterwards (as we understood) he entered into
a detail of the wars, and, as effects lead to causes, probably of the
gallantries of the district, for the word which signifies a woman
was often repeated.  Colbee, in return for his communication, informed him
who we were; of our numbers at Sydney and Rose Hill, of the stores
we possessed and, above all, of the good things which were to be found
among us, enumerating potatoes, cabbages, turnips, pumpkins, and many other
names which were perfectly unintelligible to the person who heard them,
but which he nevertheless listened to with profound attention.

Perhaps the relation given by Gombeeree, of the cure of his wound,
now gave rise to the following superstitious ceremony.  While they were
talking, Colbee turned suddenly round and asked for some water.  I gave him
a cupful, which he presented with great seriousness to Yellomundee,
as I supposed to drink.  This last indeed took the cup and filled his mouth
with water, but instead of swallowing it, threw his head into Colbee's bosom,
spit the water upon him and, immediately after, began to suck strongly
at his breast, just below the nipple.  I concluded that the man was sick;
and called to the governor to observe the strange place which he had chosen
to exonerate his stomach.  The silent attention observed by the other natives,
however, soon convinced us that something more than merely the accommodation
of Yellomundee, was intended.  The ceremony was again performed; and,
after having sucked the part for a considerable time, the operator pretended
to receive something in his mouth, which was drawn from the breast.
With this he retired a few paces, put his hand to his lips and threw
into the river a stone, which I had observed him to pick up slily, and secrete.
When he returned to the fireside, Colbee assured us that he had received
signal benefit from the operation; and that this second Machaon had extracted
from his breast two splinters of a spear by which he had been formerly wounded.
We examined the part, but it was smooth and whole, so that to the force
of imagination alone must be imputed both the wound and its cure.
Colbee himself seemed nevertheless firmly persuaded that he had received
relief, and assured us that Yellomundee was a 'caradyee', or
'Doctor of renown'.  And Boladeree added that not only he but all the rest
of his tribe were 'caradyee' of especial note and skill.

The Doctors remained with us all night, sleeping before the fire in the
fullness of good faith and security.  The little boy slept in his father's
arms, and we observed that whenever the man was inclined to shift his position,
he first put over the child, with great care, and then turned round to him.

Friday, April 15th, 1791.  The return of light aroused us to the repetition
of toil.  Our friends breakfasted with us, and previous to starting Gombeeree
gave a specimen of their manner of climbing trees in quest of animals.
He asked for a hatchet and one of ours was offered to him, but he preferred
one of their own making.  With this tool he cut a small notch in the tree
he intended to climb, about two feet and a half above the ground, in which
he fixed the great toe of his left foot, and sprung upwards, at the same time
embracing the tree with his left arm.  In an instant he had cut a second notch
for his right toe on the other side of the tree into which he sprung,
and thus, alternately cutting on each side, he mounted to the height
of twenty feet in nearly as short a space as if he had ascended by a ladder,
although the bark of the tree was quite smooth and slippery and the trunk
four feet in diameter and perfectly strait.  To us it was a matter
of astonishment, but to him it was sport; for while employed thus he kept
talking to those below and laughing immoderately.  He descended with as much
ease and agility as he had raised himself.  Even our natives allowed that
he was a capital performer, against whom they dared not to enter the lists;
for as they subsist chiefly by fishing they are less expert at climbing
on the coast than those who daily practice it.

Soon after they bade us adieu, in unabated friendship and good humour.
Colbee and Boladeree parted from them with a slight nod of the head,
the usual salutation of the country; and we shook them by the hand,
which they returned lustily.

At the time we started the tide was flowing up the river, a decisive proof
that we were below Richmond Hill.  We had continued our march but a short time
when we were again stopped by a creek, which baffled all our endeavours
to cross it, and seemed to predict that the object of our attainment,
though but a very few miles distant, would take us yet a considerable
time to reach, which threw a damp on our hopes.  We traced the creek
until four o'clock, when we halted for the night.  The country, on both sides,
we thought in general unpromising; but it is certainly very superior
to that which we had seen on the former creek.  In many places it might be
cultivated, provided the inundations of the stream can be repelled.

In passing along we shot some ducks, which Boladeree refused to swim for
when requested, and told us in a surly tone that they swam for what was killed,
and had the trouble of fetching it ashore, only for the white men to eat it.
This reproof was, I fear, too justly founded; for of the few ducks we had been
so fortunate as to procure, little had fallen to their share except the offals,
and now and then a half-picked bone.  True, indeed, all the crows and hawks
which had been shot were given to them; but they plainly told us that
the taste of ducks was more agreeable to their palates, and begged they might
hereafter partake of them.  We observed that they were thoroughly sick
of the journey, and wished heartily for its conclusion:  the exclamation of
"Where's Rose Hill, where?" was incessantly repeated, with many inquiries
about when we should return to it.

Saturday April 16th, 1791.  It was this morning resolved to abandon
our pursuit and to return home; at hearing of which our natives expressed
great joy.  We started early; and reached Rose Hill about three o'clock,
just as a boat was about to be sent down to Sydney.  Colbee and Boladeree
would not wait for us until the following morning, but insisted on going down
immediately to communicate to Baneelon and the rest of their countrymen
the novelties they had seen.

The country we passed through was, for the most part, very indifferent,
according to our universal opinion.  It is in general badly watered.
For eight miles and a half on one line we did not find a drop of water.

RICHMOND HILL

Having eluded our last search, Mr. Dawes and myself, accompanied by a sergeant
of marines and a private soldier, determined on another attempt,
to ascertain whether it lay on the Hawkesbury or Nepean.  We set out
on this expedition on the 24th of May, 1791; and having reached the opposite
side of the mouth of the creek which had in our last journey prevented
our progress, we proceeded from there up to Richmond Hill by the river side;
mounted it; slept at its foot; and on the following day penetrated some miles
westward or inland of it until we were stopped by a mountainous country,
which our scarcity of provisions, joined to the terror of a river at our back,
whose sudden rising is almost beyond computation, hindered us from exploring.
To the elevation which bounded our research we gave the name of Knight Hill,
in honour of the trusty sergeant who had been the faithful indefatigable
companion of all our travels.

This excursion completely settled the long contested point about
the Hawkesbury and Nepean.  We found them to be one river.  Without knowing it,
Mr. Dawes and myself had passed Richmond Hill almost a year before
(in August 1790), and from there walked on the bank of the river to the spot
where my discovery of the Nepean happened, in June 1789.  Our ignorance
arose from having never before seen the hill, and from the erroneous position
assigned to it by those who had been in the boats up the river.

Except the behaviour of some natives whom we met on the river, which
it would be ingratitude to pass in silence, nothing particularly worthy
of notice occurred on this expedition.

When we had reached within two miles of Richmond Hill, we heard a native call.
We directly answered him and conversed across the river for some time.
At length he launched his canoe and crossed to us without distrust
or hesitation.  We had never seen him before; but he appeared to know
our friend Gombeeree, of whom he often spoke.  He said his name was Deedora.
He presented us with two spears and a throwing-stick, and in return
we gave him some bread and beef.  Finding that our route lay up the river,
he offered to accompany us and, getting into his canoe, paddled up
abreast of us.  When we arrived at Richmond Hill it became necessary
to cross the river; but the question was, how this should be effected?
Deedora immediately offered his canoe.  We accepted of it and, Mr. Dawes
and the soldier putting their clothes into it, pushed it before them,
and by alternately wading and swimming, soon passed.  On the opposite shore
sat several natives, to whom Deedora called, by which precaution the arrival
of the strangers produced no alarm.  On the contrary, they received them
with every mark of benevolence.  Deedora, in the meanwhile, sat talking
with the sergeant and me.  Soon after, another native, named Morunga,
brought back the canoe, and now came our turn to cross.  The sergeant
(from a foolish trick which had been played upon him when he was a boy)
was excessively timorous of water, and could not swim.  Morunga offered
to conduct him, and they got into the canoe together; but, his fears returning,
he jumped out and refused to proceed.  I endeavoured to animate him,
and Morunga ridiculed his apprehensions, making signs of the ease and dispatch
with which he would land him; but he resolved to paddle over by himself,
which, by dint of good management and keeping his position very steadily,
he performed.  It was now become necessary to bring over the canoe
a third time for my accommodation, which was instantly done, and I entered it
with Deedora.  But, like the sergeant, I was so disordered at seeing the water
within a hair's breadth of the level of our skiff (which brought
to my remembrance a former disaster I had experienced on this river)
that I jumped out, about knee-deep, and determined to swim over,
which I effected.  My clothes, half our knapsacks, and three of our guns
yet remained to be transported across.  These I recommended to the care
of our grim ferrymen, who instantaneously loaded their boat with them
and delivered them on the opposite bank, without damage or diminution.

During this long trial of their patience and courtesy--in the latter part
of which I was entirely in their power, from their having possession
of our arms--they had manifested no ungenerous sign of taking advantage
of the helplessness and dependance of our situation; no rude curiosity
to pry into the packages with which they were entrusted; or no sordid desire
to possess the contents of them; although among them were articles
exposed to view, of which it afterwards appeared they knew the use,
and longed for the benefit.  Let the banks of those rivers, "known to song",
let him whose travels have lain among polished nations produce me
a brighter example of disinterested urbanity than was shown by these denizens
of a barbarous clime to a set of destitute wanderers on the side
of the Hawkesbury.

On the top of Richmond Hill we shot a hawk, which fell in a tree.
Deedora offered to climb for it and we lent him a hatchet, the effect of which
delighted him so much that he begged for it.  As it was required to chop wood
for our evening fire, it could not be conveniently spared; but we promised him
that if he would visit us on the following morning, it should be given to him.
Not a murmur was heard; no suspicion of our insincerity; no mention
of benefits conferred; no reproach of ingratitude.  His good humour
and cheerfulness were not clouded for a moment.  Punctual to our appointment,
he came to us at daylight next morning and the hatchet was given to him,
the only token of gratitude and respect in our power to bestow.  Neither
of these men had lost his front tooth.

THE LAST EXPEDITION

Which I ever undertook in the country I am describing was in July 1791,
when Mr. Dawes and myself went in search of a large river which was said
to exist a few miles to the southward of Rose Hill.  We went to the place
described, and found this second Nile or Ganges to be nothing but
a saltwater creek communicating with Botany Bay, on whose banks we passed
a miserable night from want of a drop of water to quench our thirst,
for as we believed that we were going to a river we thought it needless
to march with full canteens.

On this expedition we carried with us a thermometer which (in unison
with our feelings) shewed so extraordinary a degree of cold for the latitude
of the place that I think myself bound to transcribe it.

Monday, 18th July 1791.  The sun arose in unclouded splendor and presented
to our sight a novel and picturesque view.  The contiguous country as white
as if covered with snow, contrasted with the foliage of trees flourishing
in the verdure of tropical luxuriancy*.  Even the exhalation which steamed
from the lake beneath contributed to heighten the beauty of the scene.
Wind SSW.  Thermorneter at sunrise 25degrees.  The following night
was still colder.  At sunset the thermometer stood at 45 degrees;
at a quarter before four in the morning, it was at 26degrees;
at a quarter before six at 24 degrees; at a quarter before seven, at
23 degrees; at seven o'clock, 22.7 degrees; at sunrise, 23 degrees, after which
it continued gradually to mount, and between one and two o'clock,
stood at 59.6 degrees in the shade.  Wind SSW.  The horizon perfectly clear
all day, not the smallest speck to be seen.  Nothing but demonstration
could have convinced me that so severe a degree of cold ever existed
in this low latitude.  Drops of water on a tin pot, not altogether out of
the influence of the fire, were frozen into solid ice in less than
twelve minutes.  Part of a leg of kangaroo which we had roasted for supper
was frozen quite hard, all the juices of it being converted into ice.
On those ponds which were near the surface of the earth, the covering of ice
was very thick; but on those which were lower down it was found to be less so,
in proportion to their depression; and wherever the water was twelve feet
below the surface (which happened to be the case close to us)
it was uncongealed.  It remains to be observed that the cold of both
these nights, at Rose Hill and Sydney, was judged to be greater than had
ever before been felt.

[*All the trees of New South Wales, may I apprehend, be termed evergreen.
For after such weather as this journal records, I did not observe either
that the leaves had dropped off, or that they had assumed that sickly
autumnal tint, which marks English trees in corresponding circumstances.]




CHAPTER XV.



Transactions of the Colony to the end of November, 1791.


The extreme dryness of the preceding summer has been noticed.  It had operated
so far in the beginning of June that we dreaded a want of water for
common consumption most of the little reservoirs in the neighbourhood
of Sydney being dried up.  The small stream near the town was so nearly
exhausted (being only the drain of a morass) that a ship could not have
watered at it, and the 'Supply' was preparing to sink casks in a swamp
when rain fell and banished our apprehensions.

June, 1791.  On the second instant, the name of the settlement, at the head
of the harbour (Rose Hill) was changed, by order of the governor,
to that of Parramatta, the native name of it.  As Rose Hill has, however,
occurred so often in this book, I beg leave, to avoid confusion,
still to continue the appellation in all future mention of it.

Our travelling friend Boladeree, who makes so conspicuous a figure
in the last chapter, about this time committed an offence which we were
obliged to notice.  He threw a spear at a convict in the woods,
and wounded him.  The truth was, some mischievous person belonging to us
had wantonly destroyed his canoe, and he revenged the injury on the first
of our people whom he met unarmed.  He now seemed to think the matter
adjusted; and probably such is the custom they observe in their own society
in similar cases.  Hearing, however, that an order was issued to seize him,
or in case that could not be effected, to shoot him, he prudently dropped
all connection with us and was for a long time not seen.

But if they sometimes injured us, to compensate they were often
of signal benefit to those who needed their assistance:  two instances
of which had recently occurred.  A boat was overset in the harbour
Baneelon and some other natives, who saw the accident happen, immediately
plunged in, and saved all the people.  When they had brought them on shore,
they undressed them, kindled a fire and dried their clothes, gave them
fish to eat and conducted them to Sydney.

The other instance was of a soldier lost in the woods, when he met a party
of natives.  He at first knew not whether to flee from them, or to implore
their assistance.  Seeing among them one whom he knew, he determined
to communicate his distress to him and to rely on his generosity.
The Indian told him that he had wandered a long way from home, but that
he would conduct him thither, on the single condition of his delivering up
a gun which he held in his hand, promising to carry it for him and to
restore it to him at parting.  The soldier felt little inclination
to surrender his arms, by which he would be put entirely in their power.
But seeing no alternative, he at last consented; on which the whole party
laid down their spears and faithfully escorted him to the nearest part
of the settlement, where the gun was given up, and they took their leave
without asking for any remuneration, or even seeming to expect it.

The distressful state of the colony for provisions continued gradually
to augment until the 9th of July, when the Mary Anne transport arrived
from England.  This ship had sailed from the Downs so lately as
the 25th of February, having been only four months and twelve days
on her passage.  She brought out convicts, by contract, at a specific sum
for each person.  But to demonstrate the effect of humanity and justice,
of 144 female convicts embarked on board only three had died, and the rest
were landed in perfect health, all loud in praise of their conductor.
The master's name was Munro; and his ship, after fulfilling her engagement
with government, was bound on the southern fishery.  The reader must not
conclude that I sacrifice to dull detail, when he finds such benevolent
conduct minutely narrated.  The advocates of humanity are not yet become
too numerous:  but those who practise its divine precepts, however humble
and unnoticed be their station, ought not to sink into obscurity,
unrecorded and unpraised, with the vile monsters who deride misery
and fatten on calamity.

July, 1791.  If, however, the good people of this ship delighted us
with their benevolence, here gratification ended.  I was of a party
who had rowed in a boat six miles out to sea, beyond the harbour's mouth,
to meet them; and what was our disappointment, on getting aboard,
to find that they had not brought a letter (a few official ones
for the governor excepted) to any person in the colony!  Nor had they
a single newspaper or magazine in their possession; nor could they
conceive that any person wished to hear news; being as ignorant
of everything which had passed in Europe for the last two years
as ourselves, at the distance of half the circle.  "No war--the fleet's
dismantled," was the whole that we could learn.  When I asked whether
a new parliament had been called, they stared at me in stupid wonder,
not seeming to comprehend that such a body either suffered renovation
or needed it.

"Have the French settled their government?"

"As to that matter I can't say; I never heard; but, damn them,
they were ready enough to join the Spaniards against us."

"Are Russia and Turkey at peace?"

"That you see does not lie in my way; I have heard talk about it,
but don't remember what passed."

"For heaven's sake, why did you not bring out a bundle of newspapers?
You might have procured a file at any coffee house, which would have
amused you, and instructed us?"

"Why, really, I never thought about the matter until we were off
the Cape of Good Hope, when we spoke a man of war, who asked us
the same question, and then I wished I had."

To have prosecuted inquiry farther would have only served to increase
disappointment and chagrin.  We therefore quitted the ship, wondering
and lamenting that so large a portion of plain undisguised honesty
should be so totally unconnected with a common share of intelligence,
and acquaintance with the feelings and habits of other men.

By the governor's letters we learned that a large fleet of transports,
with convicts on board, and His Majesty's ship Gorgon, (Captain Parker)
might soon be expected to arrive.  The following intelligence
which they contained, was also made public.


That such convicts as had served their period of transportation,
were not to be compelled to remain in the colony; but that no
temptation should be offered to induce them to quit it, as there
existed but too much reason to believe, that they would return
to former practices; that those who might choose to settle in the
country should have portions of land, subject to stipulated
restrictions, and a portion of provisions assigned to them on
signifying their inclinations; and that it was expected, that
those convicts who might be possessed of means to transport
themselves from the country, would leave it free of all
incumbrances of a public nature.


The rest of the fleet continued to drop in, in this and the two
succeeding months.  The state of the convicts whom they brought out,
though infinitely preferable to what the fleet of last year had landed,
was not unexceptionable.  Three of the ships had naval agents on board
to control them.  Consequently, if complaint had existed there,
it would have been immediately redressed.  Exclusive of these, the
'Salamander', (Captain Nichols) who, of 155 men lost only five; and the
'William and Anne' (Captain Buncker) who of 187 men lost only seven,
I find most worthy of honourable mention.  In the list of convicts brought out
was Barrington, of famous memory.

Two of these ships also added to our geographic knowledge of the country.
The 'Atlantic', under the direction of Lieutenant Bowen, a naval agent,
ran into a harbour between Van Diemen's land, and Port Jackson,
in latitude 35 degrees 12 minutes south, longitude 151 degrees east, to which,
in honour of Sir John Jervis, Knight of the Bath, Mr. Bowen gave the name
of Port Jervis.  Here was found good anchoring ground with a fine depth
of water, within a harbour about a mile and a quarter broad at its entrance,
which afterwards opens into a basin five miles wide and of considerable
length.  They found no fresh water, but as their want of this article
was not urgent, they did not make sufficient researches to pronounce
that none existed there.*  They saw, during the short time they stayed,
two kangaroos and many traces of inhabitants.  The country at a little distance
to the southward of the harbour is hilly, but that contiguous to the sea
is flat.  On comparing what they had found here afterwards,
with the native produce of Port Jackson, they saw no reason to think
that they differed in any respect.

[*Just before I left the country, word was brought by a ship which had
put into Port Jervis, that a large fresh water brook was found there.]


The second discovery was made by Captain Wetherhead, of the 'Matilda' transport,
which was obligingly described to me, as follows, by that gentleman,
on my putting to him the underwritten questions.

"When did you make your discovery?"

"On the 27th of July, 1791."

"In what latitude and longitude does it lie?"

"In 42 degrees 15 minutes south by observation, and in 148 1/2 east
by reckoning"

"Is it on the mainland or is it an island?"

"It is an island, distant from the mainland about eight miles."

"Did you anchor?"

"Yes; and found good anchorage in a bay open about six points."

"Did you see any other harbour or bay in the island?"

"None."

"Does the channel between the island and the main appear to afford
good shelter for shipping?"

"Yes, like Spithead."

"Did you find any water on the island?"

"Yes, in plenty."

"Of what size does the island appear to be?"

"It is narrow and long; I cannot say how long.  Its breadth is inconsiderable."

"Did you make any observations on the soil?"

"It is sandy; and many places are full of craggy rocks."

"Do you judge the productions which you saw on the island to be similar
to those around Port Jackson?"

"I do not think they differ in any respect."

"Did you see any animals?"

"I saw three kangaroos."

"Did you see any natives, or any marks of them?"

"I saw no natives, but I saw a fire, and several huts like those
at Port Jackson, in one of which lay a spear."

"What name did you give to your discovery?"

"I called it, in honour of my ship, Matilda Bay."

November, 1791.  A very extraordinary instance of folly stimulated
to desperation occurred in the beginning of this month among the convicts
at Rose Hill.  Twenty men and a pregnant woman, part of those who had arrived
in the last fleet, suddenly disappeared with their clothes, working tools,
bedding, and their provisions, for the ensuing week, which had been
just issued to them.  The first intelligence heard of them, was from
some convict settlers, who said they had seen them pass, and had enquired
whither they were bound.  To which they had received for answer, "to China."
The extravagance and infatuation of such an attempt was explained to them
by the settlers; but neither derision, nor demonstration could avert them
from pursuing their purpose.  It was observed by those who brought in
the account that they had general idea enough of the point of the compass
in which China lies from Port Jackson, to keep in a northerly direction.

An officer with a detachment of troops, was sent in pursuit of them;
but after a harassing march returned without success.  In the course
of a week the greatest part of them were either brought back by
different parties who had fallen in with them, or were driven in by famine.
Upon being questioned about the cause of their elopement, those whom hunger
had forced back, did not hesitate to confess that they had been
so grossly deceived as to believe that China might easily be reached,
being not more than 100 miles distant, and separated only by a river.
The others, however, ashamed of the merriment excited at their expense,
said that their reason for running away was on account of being overworked
and harshly treated, and that they preferred a solitary and precarious
existence in the woods to a return to the misery they were compelled
to undergo.  One or two of the party had certainly perished by the hands
of the natives, who had also wounded several others.

I trust that no man would feel more reluctant than myself to cast
an illiberal national reflection, particularly on a people whom I regard
in an aggregate sense as brethren and fellow-citizens; and among whom,
I have the honour to number many of the most cordial and endearing intimacies
which a life passed on service could generate.  But it is certain
that all these people were Irish.




CHAPTER XVI



Transactions of the colony until 18th of December 1791,
when I quitted it, with an Account of its state at that time.


The Gorgon had arrived on the 21st of September, and the hour of departure
to England, for the marine battalion, drew nigh.  If I be allowed to speak
from my own feelings on the occasion, I will not say that we contemplated
its approach with mingled sensations:  we hailed it with rapture
and exultation.

The 'Supply', ever the harbinger of welcome and glad tidings, proclaimed
by her own departure, that ours was at hand.  On the 26th of November
she sailed for England.  It was impossible to view our separation
with insensibility:  the little ship which had so often agitated our hopes
and fears, which from long acquaintance we had learned to regard as part
of ourselves, whose doors of hospitality had been ever thrown open
to relieve our accumulated wants, and chase our solitary gloom!

In consequence of the offers made to the non-commissioned officers
and privates of the marine battalion to remain in the country as settlers
or to enter into the New South Wales corps, three corporals, one drummer
and 59 privates accepted of grants of land, to settle at Norfolk Island
and Rose Hill.  Of these men, several were undoubtedly possessed
of sufficient skill and industry, by the assistance of the pay which was due
to them from the date of their embarkation, in the beginning of the year
1787, to the day on which they were discharged, to set out with reasonable
hopes of being able to procure a maintenance.  But the only apparent reason
to which the behaviour of a majority of them could be ascribed was from
infatuated affection to female convicts, whose characters and habits of life,
I am sorry to say, promise from a connection neither honour nor tranquillity.

The narrative part of this work will, I conceive, be best brought to
a termination by a description of the existing state of the colony,
as taken by myself a few days previous to my embarkation in the Gorgon,
to sail for England.

December 2nd, 1791.  Went up to Rose Hill.  Public buildings here
have not greatly multiplied since my last survey.  The storehouse
and barrack have been long completed; also apartments for the chaplain
of the regiment, and for the judge-advocate, in which last,
criminal courts, when necessary, are held; but these are petty erections.
In a colony which contains only a few hundred hovels built of twigs and mud,
we feel consequential enough already to talk of a treasury, an admiralty,
a public library and many other similar edifices, which are to form
part of a magnificent square.  The great road from near the landing place
to the governor's house is finished, and a very noble one it is,
being of great breadth, and a mile long, in a strait line.  In many places
it is carried over gullies of considerable depth, which have been filled up
with trunks of trees covered with earth.  All the sawyers, carpenters
and blacksmiths will soon be concentred under the direction of
a very adequate person of the governor's household.  This plan is already
so far advanced as to contain nine covered sawpits, which change of weather
cannot disturb the operations of, an excellent workshed for the carpenters
and a large new shop for the blacksmiths.  It certainly promises to be
of great public benefit.  A new hospital has been talked of for the last
two years, but is not yet begun.  Two long sheds, built in the form of a tent
and thatched, are however finished, and capable of holding 200 patients.
The sick list of today contains 382 names.  Rose Hill is less healthy
than it used to be.  The prevailing disorder is a dysentery, which often
terminates fatally.  There was lately one very violent putrid fever which,
by timely removal of the patient, was prevented from spreading.
Twenty-five men and two children died here in the month of November.

When at the hospital I saw and conversed with some of the 'Chinese
travellers'; four of them lay here, wounded by the natives.  I asked these men
if they really supposed it possible to reach China.  They answered
that they were certainly made to believe (they knew not how) that
at a considerable distance to northward existed a large river,
which separated this country from the back part of China; and that when
it should be crossed (which was practicable) they would find themselves
among a copper-coloured people, who would receive and treat them kindly.
They added, that on the third day of their elopement, one of the party
died of fatigue; another they saw butchered by the natives who,
finding them unarmed, attacked them and put them to flight.  This happened
near Broken Bay, which harbour stopped their progress to the northward
and forced them to turn to the right hand, by which means they soon after
found themselves on the sea shore, where they wandered about in a destitute
condition, picking up shellfish to allay hunger.  Deeming the farther
prosecution of their scheme impracticable, several of them agreed to return
to Rose Hill, which with difficulty they accomplished, arriving
almost famished.  On their road back they met six fresh adventurers
sallying forth to join them, to whom they related what had passed
and persuaded them to relinquish their intention.  There are at this time
not less than thirty-eight convict men missing, who live in the woods by day,
and at night enter the different farms and plunder for subsistence.

December 3rd, 1791.  Began my survey of the cultivated land belonging to
the public.  The harvest has commenced.  They are reaping both wheat
and barley.  The field between the barrack and the governor's house
contains wheat and maize, both very bad, but the former particularly so.
In passing through the main street I was pleased to observe the gardens
of the convicts look better than I had expected to find them.
The vegetables in general are but mean, but the stalks of maize,
with which they are interspersed, appear green and flourishing.
The semicircular hill, which sweeps from the overseer of the cattle's house
to the governor's house, is planted with maize, which, I am told,
is the best here.  It certainly looks in most parts very good--
stout thick stalks with large spreading leaves--but I am surprised
to find it so backward.  It is at least a month later than that in the gardens
at Sydney.  Behind the maize is a field of wheat, which looks tolerably
for this part of the world.  It will, I reckon, yield about twelve bushels
an acre.  Continued my walk and looked at a little patch of wheat
in the governor's garden, which was sown in drills, the ground
being first mixed with a clay which its discoverers pretended was marle.
Whatever it be, this experiment bespeaks not much in favour of
its enriching qualities; for the corn looks miserably, and is far exceeded
by some neighbouring spots on which no such advantage has been bestowed.
Went round the crescent at the bottom of the garden, which certainly
in beauty of form and situation is unrivalled in New South Wales.
Here are eight thousand vines planted, all of which in another season
are expected to bear grapes.  Besides the vines are several small fruit trees,
which were brought in the Gorgon from the Cape, and look lively;
on one of them are half a dozen apples as big as nutmegs.  Although the soil
of the crescent be poor, its aspect and circular figure, so advantageous
for receiving and retaining the rays of the sun, eminently fit it
for a vineyard.  Passed the rivulet and looked at the corn land
on its northern side.  On the western side of Clarke's* house the wheat
and maize are bad, but on the eastern side is a field supposed to be
the best in the colony.  I thought it of good height, and the ears well filled,
but it is far from thick.

[*Dod, who is mentioned in my former journal of this place, had died
some months ago.  And Mr. Clarke, who was put in his room, is one of
the superintendants, sent out by government, on a salary of forty pounds
per annum.  He was bred to husbandry, under his father at Lewes in Sussex;
and is, I conceive, competent to his office of principal conductor
of the agriculture of Rose Hill.]

While I was looking at it, Clarke came up.  I told him I thought
he would reap fifteen or sixteen bushels an acre; he seemed to think
seventeen or eighteen.  I have now inspected all the European corn.
A man of so little experience of these matters as myself cannot speak
with much confidence.  Perhaps the produce may average ten bushels an acre,
or twelve at the outside.  Allowance should, however, be made in estimating
the quality of the soil, for the space occupied by roots of trees,
for inadequate culture, and in some measure to want of rain.  Less has fallen
than was wished, but this spring was by no means so dry as the last.
I find that the wheat grown at Rose Hill last year weighed fifty-seven
pounds and a half per bushel.  My next visit was to the cattle,
which consists of two stallions, six mares, and two colts; besides
sixteen cows, two cow-calves, and one bull-calf, which were brought out
by the Gorgon.  Two bulls which were on board died on the passage, so that
on the young gentleman just mentioned depends the stocking of the colony.

The period of the inhabitants of New South Wales being supplied with
animal food of their own raising is too remote for a prudent man to calculate.
The cattle look in good condition, and I was surprised to hear that
neither corn nor fodder is given to them.  The enclosures in which
they are confined furnish hardly a blade of grass at present.  There are
people appointed to tend them who have been used to this way of life,
and who seem to execute it very well.

Sunday, December 4th, 1791.  Divine service is now performed here
every Sunday, either by the chaplain of the settlement or the chaplain
of the regiment.  I went to church today.  Several hundred convicts
were present, the majority of whom I thought looked the most miserable
beings in the shape of humanity I ever beheld.  They appeared to be
worn down with fatigue.

December, 5th.  Made excursions this day to view the public settlements.
Reached the first, which is about a mile in a north-west direction
from the governor's house.  This settlement contains, by admeasurement,
134 acres, a part of which is planted with maize, very backward,
but in general tolerably good, and beautifully green.  Thirteen large huts,
built in the form of a tent, are erected for the convicts who work here;
but I could not learn the number of these last, being unable to find
a superintendant or any person who could give me information.
Ponds of water here sufficient to supply a thousand persons.

Walked on to the second settlement, about two miles farther, through
an uncleared country.  Here met Daveney, the person who planned
and now superintends all the operations carried on here.  He told me
that he estimated the quantity of cleared ground here at 300 acres.
He certainly over-rates it one-third, by the judgment of every other person.
Six weeks ago this was a forest.  it has been cleared, and the wood
nearly burnt off the ground by 500 men, in the before-mentioned period,
or rather in thirty days, for only that number have the convicts worked.
He said it was too late to plant maize, and therefore he should sow turnips,
which would help to meliorate and prepare it for next year.  On examining
the soil, I thought it in general light, though in some places loamy
to the touch.  He means to try the Rose Hill 'marle' upon it, with which
he thinks it will incorporate well.  I hope it will succeed better
than the experiment in the governor's garden.  I wished to know
whether he had chosen this ground simply from the conveniency of its situation
to Rose Hill, and its easy form for tillage, and having water,
or from any marks which he had thought indicated good soil.  He said that
what I had mentioned no doubt weighed with him, and that he judged the soil
to be good, from the limbs of many of the trees growing on it being
covered with moss.

"Are," said I, "your 500 men still complete?"

"No; this day's muster gave only 460.  The rest are either sick
and removed to the hospital, or are run away in the woods."

"How much is each labourer's daily task?"

"Seven rods.  It was eight, but on their representing to the governor
that it was beyond their strength to execute, he took off one."

Thirteen large huts, similar to those beforementioned, contain
all the people here.  To every hut are appointed two men, as hutkeepers,
whose only employment is to watch the huts in working hours to prevent them
from being robbed.  This has somewhat checked depredations, and those endless
complaints of the convicts that they could not work because they had nothing
to eat, their allowance being stolen.  The working hours at this season
(summer) are from five o'clock in the morning until ten; rest from ten to two;
return to work at two; and continue till sunset.  This surely cannot be called
very severe toil; but on the other hand must be remembered the inadequacy
of a ration of salt provisions, with few vegetables, and unassisted by
any liquor but water.

Here finished my remarks on every thing of a public nature at Rose Hill.
But having sufficient time, I determined to visit all the private settlers
to inspect their labours, and learn from them their schemes, their hopes
and expectations.

In pursuance of my resolution, I crossed the country to Prospect Hill,
at the bottom of which live the following thirteen convicts, who have accepted
allotments of ground, and are become settlers.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Men's names.                      |  Trades. | Number of     | Number of acres
                                  |          | acres in each | in cultivation.
                                  |          | allotment.    |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John Silverthorne                   Weaver       40                 1 3/4
Thomas Martin                         "          40                 1 1/2
John Nichols                        Gardener     40                 2
William Butler*, and his wife       Seaman       50 )
---- Lisk*                          Watchmaker   40 )               4
William Parish, wife, and a child   Seaman       60                 2 3/4
William Kilby, and his wife         Husbandman   60                 1 1/4
Edward Pugh, wife, and two children Carpenter    70                 2 1/2
Samuel Griffith
John Herbertt**
James Castle
Joseph Marlow***
John Williams, and his wife
------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[*In partnership.[Butler and Lisk]

[**Not out of his time; but allowed to work here at his leisure hours,
as he has declared his intention of settling.]

[***In a similar predicament with Herbert.]

The terms on which these allotments have been granted are:
that the estates shall be fully ceded for ever to all who shall continue
to cultivate for five years, or more; that they shall be free of all taxes
for the first ten years; but after that period to pay an annual quit-rent
of one shilling.  The penalty on non-performance of any of these articles
is forfeiture of the estate, and all the labour which may have been
bestowed upon it.  These people are to receive provisions,
(the same quantity as the working convicts), clothes, and medicinal assistance,
for eighteen months from the day on which they settled.

To clear and cultivate the land, a hatchet, a tomahawk, two hoes, a spade
and a shovel, are given to each person, whether man or woman; and a certain
number of cross-cut saws among the whole.  To stock their farms, two sow pigs
were promised to each settler, but they almost all say they have not yet
received any, of which they complain loudly.  They all received grain
to sow and plant for the first year.  They settled here in July and
August last.  Most of them were obliged to build their own houses;
and wretched hovels three-fourths of them are.  Should any of them fall sick,
the rest are bound to assist the sick person two days in a month,
provided the sickness lasts not longer than two months; four days labour
in each year, from every person, being all that he is entitled to.
To give protection to this settlement, a corporal and two soldiers
are encamped in the centre of the farms, as the natives once attacked
the settlers and burnt one of their houses.  These guards are, however,
inevitably at such a distance from some of the farms as to be unable
to afford them any assistance in case of another attack.

With all these people I conversed and inspected their labours.
Some I found tranquil and determined to persevere, provided encouragement
should be given.  Others were in a state of despondency, and predicted
that they should starve unless the period of eighteen months
during which they are to be clothed and fed, should be extended to three years.
Their cultivation is yet in its infancy, and therefore opinions should
not be hastily formed of what it may arrive at, with moderate skill
and industry.  They have at present little in the ground besides maize,
and that looks not very promising.  Some small patches of wheat which I saw
are miserable indeed.  The greatest part of the land I think but indifferent,
being light and stoney.  Of the thirteen farms ten are unprovided with water;
and at some of them they are obliged to fetch this necessary article
from the distance of a mile and a half.  All the settlers complain sadly
of being frequently robbed by the runaway convicts, who plunder them
incessantly.

December 6th.  Visited the settlements to the northward of the rivulet.
The nearest of them lies about a mile due north of Mr. Clarke's house.
Here are only the undernamed five settlers.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Men's names.                      |  Trades. | Number of     | Number of acres
                                  |          | acres in each | in cultivation.
                                  |          | allotment.    |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas Brown*, wife, and child       ---           60 )
William Bradbury*                    ---           30 )              3 1/2
William Mold*                        ---           30 )
Simon Burne, and wife               Hosier         50                3
----Parr, and wife              Merchant's clerk   50                3 1/2
------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[*These three cultivate in partnership.(Brown, Bradbury, Mold.)]

These settlers are placed on the same footing in every respect
which concerns their tenure and the assistance to be granted to them
as those at Prospect Hill.  Near them is water.  Parr and Burne are men
of great industry.  They have both good houses which they hired people
to build for them.  Parr told me that he had expended thirteen guineas
on his land, which nevertheless he does not seem pleased with.
Of the three poor fellows who work in partnership, one (Bradbury) is run away.
This man had been allowed to settle, on a belief, from his own assurance,
that his term of transportation was expired; but it was afterwards discovered
that he had been cast for life.  Hereupon he grew desperate, and declared
he would rather perish at once than remain as a convict.  He disappeared
a week ago and has never since been heard of.  Were I compelled to settle
in New South Wales, I should fix my residence here, both from the appearance
of the soil, and its proximity to Rose Hill.  A corporal and two privates
are encamped here to guard this settlement, as at Prospect.

Proceeded to the settlement called the Ponds, a name which I suppose
it derived from several ponds of water which are near the farms.
Here reside the fourteen following settlers.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Men's names.                      |  Trades. | Number of     | Number of acres
                                  |          | acres in each | in cultivation.
                                  |          | allotment.    |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas Kelly                      Servant             30          1 1/2
William Hubbard, and wife         Plasterer           50          2 1/4
Curtis Brand, and wife            Carpenter           50          3
John Ramsay, and wife             Seaman              50          3 1/2
William Field                     ---                 30          2 1/2
John Richards*                    Stone-cutter        30 )        4 1/2
John Summers*                     Husbandman          30 )
----Varnell                       ---                 30          1
Anthony Rope**, and wife, and
two children                      Bricklayer          70          1
Joseph Bishop, and wife           None                50          1 1/2
Mathew Everingham, and wife       Attorney's clerk    50          2
John Anderson, and wife           ---                 50          2
Edward Elliot***                  Husbandman          30 )        2
Joseph Marshall***                Weaver              30 )
------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[*They (Richards and Summers) cultivate in partnership.]
[**A convict who means to settle here; and is permitted to work
in his leisure hours.]
[***They (Elliot and Marshall) cultivate in partnership.]

The Prospect Hill terms of settlement extend to this place.  My private
remarks were not many.  Some spots which I passed over I thought desirable,
particularly Ramsay's farm; and he deserves a good spot, for he is a civil,
sober, industrious man.  Besides his corn land, he has a well laid out
little garden, in which I found him and his wife busily at work.
He praised her industry to me; and said he did not doubt of succeeding.
It is not often seen that sailors make good farmers; but this man I think
bids fair to contradict the observation.  The gentleman of no trade
(his own words to me) will, I apprehend, at the conclusion of the time
when victualling from the store is to cease, have the honour of returning
to drag a timber or brick cart for his maintenance.  The little maize
he has planted is done in so slovenly a style as to promise a very poor crop.
He who looks forward to eat grapes from his own vine, and to sit
under the shade of his own fig-tree, must labour in every country.
He must exert more than ordinary activity.  The attorney's clerk
I also thought out of his province.  I dare believe that he finds cultivating
his own land not half so easy a task as he formerly found that of
stringing together volumes of tautology to encumber, or convey away,
that of his neighbour.  Hubbard's farm, and Kelly's also, deserve regard,
from being better managed than most of the others.  The people here
complain sadly of a destructive grub which destroys the young plants of maize.
Many of the settlers have been obliged to plant twice, nay thrice,
on the same land, from the depredations of these reptiles.  There is
the same guard here as at the other settlements.

Nothing now remains for inspection but the farms on the river side.

December 7th.  Went to Scheffer's farm.  I found him at home, conversed
with him, and walked with him over all his cultivated ground.  He had
140 acres granted to him, fourteen of which are in cultivation,
twelve in maize, one in wheat and one in vines and tobacco.  He has besides
twenty-three acres on which the trees are cut down but not burnt off the land.
He resigned his appointment and began his farm last May, and had at first
five convicts to assist him; he has now four.  All his maize,
except three acres, is mean.  This he thinks may be attributed to three causes:
a middling soil; too dry a spring; and from the ground not being
sufficiently pulverized before the seed was put into it.  The wheat is thin
and poor:  he does not reckon its produce at more than eight or nine bushels.
His vines, 900 in number, are flourishing, and will, he supposes, bear fruit
next year.  His tobacco plants are not very luxuriant:  to these two
last articles he means principally to direct his exertions.  He says
(and truly) that they will always be saleable and profitable.  On one
of the boundaries of his land is plenty of water.  A very good brick house
is nearly completed for his use, by the governor; and in the meantime
he lives in a very decent one, which was built for him on his settling here.
He is to be supplied with provisions from the public store, and with
medical assistance for eighteen months, reckoning from last May.
At the expiration of this period he is bound to support himself
and the four convicts are to be withdrawn.  But if he shall then,
or at any future period, declare himself able to maintain a moderate number
of these people for their labour, they will be assigned to him.

Mr. Scheffer is a man of industry and respectable character.  He came out
to this country as superintendant of convicts, at a salary of forty pounds
per annum, and brought with him a daughter of twelve years old.  He is
by birth a Hessian, and served in America, in a corps of Yaghers,
with the rank of lieutenant.  He never was professionally, in any part of life,
a farmer, but he told me, that his father owned a small estate on the banks
of the Rhine, on which he resided, and that he had always been fond
of looking at and assisting in his labours, particularly in the vineyard.
In walking along, he more than once shook his head and made some
mortifying observations on the soil of his present domain, compared with
the banks of his native stream.  He assured me that (exclusive of the sacrifice
of his salary) he has expended more than forty pounds in advancing his ground
to the state in which I saw it.  Of the probability of success
in his undertaking, he spoke with moderation and good sense.  Sometimes
he said he had almost despaired, and had often balanced about relinquishing it;
but had as often been checked by recollecting that hardly any difficulty
can arise which vigour and perseverance will not overcome.  I asked him
what was the tenure on which he held his estate.  He offered to show
the written document, saying that it was exactly the same as Ruse's.
I therefore declined to trouble him, and took my leave with wishes
for his success and prosperity.

Near Mr. Scheffer's farm is a small patch of land cleared by Lieutenant Townson
of the New South Wales corps, about two acres of which are in maize and wheat,
both looking very bad.

Proceeded to the farm of Mr. Arndell, one of the assistant surgeons.
This gentleman has six acres in cultivation as follows:  rather more than four
in maize, one in wheat, and the remainder in oats and barley.  The wheat
looks tolerably good, rather thin but of a good height, and the ears
well filled.  His farming servant guesses the produce will be twelve bushels,*
and I do not think he over-rates it.  The maize he guesses at thirty bushels,
which from appearances it may yield, but not more.  The oats and barley
are not contemptible.  This ground has been turned up but once  The aspect
of it is nearly south, on a declivity of the river, or arm of the sea,
on which Rose Hill stands.  It was cleared of wood about nine months ago,
and sown this year for the first time.

[*I have received a letter from Port Jackson, dated in April 1792,
which states that the crop of wheat turned out fifteen bushels,
and the maize rather more than forty bushels.]

December 8th.  Went this morning to the farm of Christopher Magee,
a convict settler, nearly opposite to that of Mr. Scheffen.  The situation
of this farm is very eligible, provided the river in floods does not
inundate it, which I think doubtful.  This man was bred to husbandry,
and lived eight years in America; he has no less than eight acres
in cultivation, five and a half in maize, one in wheat, and one and a half
in tobacco.  From the wheat he does not expect more than ten bushels,
but he is extravagant enough to rate the produce of maize at 100 bushels
(perhaps he may get fifty); on tobacco he means to go largely hereafter.
He began to clear this ground in April, but did not settle until last July.
I asked by what means he had been able to accomplish so much?  He answered,
"By industry, and by hiring all the convicts I could get to work
in their leisure hours, besides some little assistance which the governor
has occasionally thrown in."  His greatest impediment is want of water,
being obliged to fetch all he uses more than half a mile.  He sunk a well,
and found water, but it was brackish and not fit to drink.  If this man
shall continue in habits of industry and sobriety, I think him sure
of succeeding.

Reached Ruse's farm,* and begged to look at his grant, the material part
of which runs thus:  "A lot of thirty acres, to be called Experiment Farm;
the said lot to be holden, free of all taxes, quit-rents, &c.  for ten years,
provided that the occupier, his heirs or assigns, shall reside within the same,
and proceed to the improvement thereof; reserving, however, for the use
of the crown, all timber now growing, or which hereafter shall grow,
fit for naval purposes.  At the expiration of ten years, an annual quit-rent
of one shilling shall be paid by the occupier in acknowledgment."

[*See the state of this farm in my former Rose Hill journal
of November 1790, thirteen months before.]

Ruse now lives in a comfortable brick house, built for him by the governor.
He has eleven acres and a half in cultivation, and several more
which have been cleared by convicts in their leisure hours, on condition
of receiving the first year's crop.  He means to cultivate little
besides maize; wheat is so much less productive.  Of the culture of vineyards
and tobacco he is ignorant; and, with great good sense, he declared
that he would not quit the path he knew, for an uncertainty.
His livestock consists of four breeding sows and thirty fowls.
He has been taken from the store (that is, has supplied himself
with provisions) for some months past; and his wife is to be taken off
at Christmas, at which time, if he deems himself able to maintain
a convict labourer, one is to be given to him.

Crossed the river in a boat to Robert Webb's farm.  This man was one of
the seamen of the 'Sirius', and has taken, in conjunction with his brother
(also a seaman of the same ship) a grant of sixty acres, on the same terms
as Ruse, save that the annual quit-rent is to commence at the expiration
of five years, instead of ten.  The brother is gone to England to receive
the wages due to them both for their services, which money is to be expended
by him in whatever he judges will be most conducive to the success
of their plan.  Webb expects to do well; talks as a man should talk
who has just set out on a doubtful enterprise which he is bound to pursue.
He is sanguine in hope, and looks only at the bright side of the prospect.
He has received great encouragement and assistance from the governor.
He has five acres cleared and planted with maize, which looks thriving,
and promises to yield a decent crop.  His house and a small one adjoining
for pigs and poultry were built for him by the governor, who also gave him
two sows and seven fowls, to which he adds a little stock of his own acquiring.

Near Webb is placed William Read, another seaman of the 'Sirius',
on the same terms, and to whom equal encouragement has been granted.

My survey of Rose Hill is now closed.  I have inspected every piece of ground
in cultivation here, both public and private, and have written from
actual examination only.

But before I bade adieu to Rose Hill, in all probability for the last time
of my life, it struck me that there yet remained one object of consideration
not to be slighted:  Barrington had been in the settlement between two
and three months, and I had not seen him.

I saw him with curiosity.  He is tall, approaching to six feet, slender,
and his gait and manner, bespeak liveliness and activity.  Of that elegance
and fashion, with which my imagination had decked him (I know not why),
I could distinguish no trace.  Great allowance should, however, be made
for depression and unavoidable deficiency of dress.  His face is thoughtful
and intelligent; to a strong cast of countenance he adds a penetrating eye,
and a prominent forehead.  His whole demeanour is humble, not servile.
Both on his passage from England, and since his arrival here, his conduct
has been irreproachable.  He is appointed high-constable of the settlement
of Rose Hill, a post of some respectability, and certainly one of importance
to those who live here.  His knowledge of men, particularly of that part
of them into whose morals, manners and behaviour he is ordered
especially to inspect, eminently fit him for the office.

I cannot quit him without bearing my testimony that his talents promise to be
directed in future to make reparation to society for the offences he has
heretofore committed against it.

The number of persons of all descriptions at Rose Hill at this period
will be seen in the following return.


A return of the number of persons at Rose Hill, 3rd of December 1791

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quality.             |Men.|Women.|                Children                    
                     |    |      |  of 10 years  | of 2 years  | under 2 years
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Convicts*             1336   133         0              9             17
Troops                  94     9         1              5              2
Civil Department         7     0         0              0              0
Seamen Settlers          3     0         0              0              0
Free Persons             0     7         2              1              2
Total number of
persons               1440   149         3             15             21
------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[*The convicts who are become settlers, are included in this number.]

Of my Sydney journal, I find no part sufficiently interesting to
be worth extraction.  This place had long been considered only as a depot
for stores.  It exhibited nothing but a few old scattered huts and some
sterile gardens.  Cultivation of the ground was abandoned, and all our strength
transferred to Rose Hill.  Sydney, nevertheless, continued to be the place
of the governor's residence, and consequently the headquarters of the colony.
No public building of note, except a storehouse, had been erected since
my last statement.  The barracks, so long talked of, so long promised,
for the accommodation and discipline of the troops, were not even begun
when I left the country; and instead of a new hospital, the old one
was patched up and, with the assistance of one brought ready-framed
from England, served to contain the sick.

The employment of the male convicts here, as at Rose Hill,
was the public labour.  Of the women, the majority were compelled
to make shirts, trousers and other necessary parts of dress for the men,
from materials delivered to them from the stores, into which they returned
every Saturday night the produce of their labour, a stipulated weekly task
being assigned to them.  In a more early stage, government sent out
all articles of clothing ready made; but, by adopting the present
judicious plan, not only a public saving is effected, but employment
of a suitable nature created for those who would otherwise consume leisure
in idle pursuits only.

On the 26th of November 1791, the number of persons, of all descriptions,
at Sydney, was 1259, to which, if 1628 at Rose Hill and 1172 at Norfolk Island
be added, the total number of persons in New South Wales and its dependency
will be found to amount to 4059.*

[*A very considerable addition to this number has been made since I quitted
the settlement, by fresh troops and convicts sent thither from England.]

On the 13th of December 1791, the marine battalion embarked on board
His Majesty's ship Gorgon, and on the 18th sailed for England.




CHAPTER XVII.



Miscellaneous Remarks on the country.  On its vegetable productions.
On its climate.  On its animal productions.  On its natives, etc.


The journals contained in the body of this publication, illustrated by
the map which accompanies it (unfortunately, there is no map accompanying
this etext), are, I conceive, so descriptive of every part of the country
known to us, that little remains to be added beyond a few general observations.

The first impression made on a stranger is certainly favourable.
He sees gently swelling hills connected by vales which possess every beauty
that verdure of trees, and form, simply considered in itself, can produce;
but he looks in vain for those murmuring rills and refreshing springs
which fructify and embellish more happy lands.  Nothing like those
tributary streams which feed rivers in other countries are here seen;
for when I speak of the stream at Sydney, I mean only the drain of a morass;
and the river at Rose Hill is a creek of the harbour, which above
high water mark would not in England be called even a brook.  Whence
the Hawkesbury, the only fresh water river known to exist in the country,
derives its supplies, would puzzle a transient observer.  He sees nothing
but torpid unmeaning ponds (often stagnant and always still, unless agitated
by heavy rains) which communicate with it.  Doubtless the springs which arise
in Carmarthen mountains may be said to constitute its source.
To cultivate its banks within many miles of the bed of the stream
(except on some elevated detached spots) will be found impracticable,
unless some method be devised of erecting a mound, sufficient to repel
the encroachments of a torrent which sometimes rises fifty feet above
its ordinary level, inundating the surrounding country in every direction.

The country between the Hawkesbury and Rose Hill is that which I have hitherto
spoken of.  When the river is crossed, this prospect soon gives place
to a very different one.  The green vales and moderate hills disappear
at the distance of about three miles from the river side, and from Knight Hill,
and Mount Twiss,* the limits which terminate our researches,
nothing but precipices, wilds and deserts, are to be seen.  Even these steeps
fail to produce streams.  The difficulty of penetrating this country,
joined to the dread of a sudden rise of the Hawkesbury, forbidding all return,
has hitherto prevented our reaching Carmarthen mountains.

[*Look at the Map. (There is no map accompanying this etext)]

Let the reader now cast his eye on the relative situation of Port Jackson.
He will see it cut off from communication with the northward by Broken Bay,
and with the southward by Botany Bay; and what is worse, the whole space
of intervening country yet explored, (except a narrow strip called
the Kangaroo Ground) in both directions, is so bad as to preclude cultivation.

The course of the Hawkesbury will next attract his attention.
To the southward of every part of Botany Bay we have traced this river;
but how much farther in that line it extends we know not.  Hence its channel
takes a northerly direction, and finishes its course in Broken Bay,
running at the back of Port Jackson in such a manner as to form
the latter into a peninsula.

The principal question then remaining is, what is the distance between
the head of Botany Bay and the part of the Hawkesbury nearest to it?
And is the intermediate country a good one, or does it lead to one
which appearances indicate to be good?  To future adventurers who shall meet
with more encouragement to persevere and discover than I and my fellow
wanderer[s] did, I resign the answer.  In the meantime the reader is desired
to look at the remarks on the map (there is no map accompanying this etext),
which were made in the beginning of August 1790, from Pyramid Hill,
which bounded our progress on the southern expedition; when, and when only,
this part of the country has been seen.

It then follows that from Rose Hill to within such a distance
of the Hawkesbury as is protected from its inundations, is the only tract
of land we yet know of, in which cultivation can be carried on
for many years to come.  To aim at forming a computation of the distance
of time, of the labour and of the expense, which would attend
forming distinct convict settlements, beyond the bounds I have delineated;
or of the difficulty which would attend a system of communication
between such establishments and Port Jackson, is not intended here.

Until that period shall arrive, the progress of cultivation,
when it shall have once passed Prospect Hill, will probably steal along
to the southward, in preference to the northward, from the superior nature
of the country in that direction, as the remarks inserted in the map
will testify.

Such is my statement of a plan which I deem inevitably entailed on
the settlement at Port Jackson.  In sketching this outline of it
let it not be objected that I suppose the reader as well acquainted with
the respective names and boundaries of the country as long residence
and unwearied journeying among them, have made the author.  To have subjoined
perpetual explanations would have been tedious and disgusting.  Familiarity
with the relative positions of a country can neither be imparted,
or acquired, but by constant recurrence to geographic delineations.

On the policy of settling, with convicts only, a country at once so remote
and extensive, I shall offer no remarks.  Whenever I have heard this question
agitated, since my return to England, the cry of, "What can we do with them!
Where else can they be sent!"  has always silenced me.

Of the soil, opinions have not differed widely.  A spot eminently fruitful
has never been discovered.  That there are many spots cursed with everlasting
and unconquerable sterility no one who has seen the country will deny.
At the same time I am decidedly of opinion that many large tracts of land
between Rose Hill and the Hawkesbury, even now, are of a nature
sufficiently favourable to produce moderate crops of whatever may be sown
in them.  And provided a sufficient number of cattle* be imported
to afford manure for dressing the ground, no doubt can exist that subsistence
for a limited number of inhabitants may be drawn from it.  To imperfect
husbandry, and dry seasons, must indubitably be attributed part
of the deficiency of former years.  Hitherto all our endeavours to derive
advantage from mixing the different soils have proved fruitless,
though possibly only from want of skill on our side.

[*In my former narrative I have particularly noticed the sudden disappearance
of the cattle, which we had brought with us into the country.  Not a trace
of them has ever since been observed.  Their fate is a riddle, so difficult
of solution that I shall not attempt it.  Surely had they strayed inland,
in some of our numerous excursions, marks of them must have been found.
It is equally impossible to believe that either the convicts or natives
killed and ate them, without some sign of detection ensuing.]

The spontaneous productions of the soil will be soon recounted.
Every part of the country is a forest:  of the quality of the wood
take the following instance.  The 'Supply' wanted wood for a mast,
and more than forty of the choicest young trees were cut down before
as much wood as would make it could be procured, the trees being either rotten
at the heart or riven by the gum which abounds in them.  This gum
runs not always in a longitudinal direction in the body of the tree,
but is found in it in circles, like a scroll.  There is however, a species
of light wood which is found excellent for boat building, but it is scarce
and hardly ever found of large size.

To find limestone many of our researches were directed.  But after repeated
assays with fire and chemical preparations on all the different sorts of stone
to be picked up, it is still a desideratum.  Nor did my experiments
with a magnet induce me to think that any of the stones I tried contained iron.
I have, however, heard other people report very differently on this head.

The list of esculent vegetables, and wild fruits is too contemptible
to deserve notice, if the 'sweet tea' whose virtues have been already recorded,
and the common orchis root be excepted.  That species of palm tree
which produces the mountain cabbage is also found in most of the freshwater
swamps, within six or seven miles of the coast.  But is rarely seen
farther inland.  Even the banks of the Hawkesbury are unprovided with it.
The inner part of the trunk of this tree was greedily eaten by our hogs,
and formed their principal support.  The grass, as has been remarked
in former publications, does not overspread the land in a continued sward,
but arises in small detached tufts, growing every way about three inches apart,
the intermediate space being bare; though the heads of the grass are often
so luxuriant as to hide all deficiency on the surface.  The rare
and beautiful flowering shrubs, which abound in every part, deserve
the highest admiration and panegyric.

Of the vegetable productions transplanted from other climes, maize flourishes
beyond any other grain.  And as it affords a strong and nutritive article
of food, its propagation will, I think, altogether supersede that
of wheat and barley.

Horticulture has been attended in some places with tolerable success.
At Rose Hill I have seen gardens which, without the assistance of manure,
have continued for a short time to produce well grown vegetables.
But at Sydney, without constantly dressing the ground, it was in vain
to expect them; and with it a supply of common vegetables might be procured
by diligence in all seasons.  Vines of every sort seem to flourish.
Melons, cucumbers and pumpkins run with unbounded luxuriancy,
and I am convinced that the grapes of New South Wales will, in a few years,
equal those of any other country.  'That their juice will probably
hereafter furnish an indispensable article of luxury at European tables',
has already been predicted in the vehemence of speculation.  Other fruits
are yet in their infancy; but oranges, lemons and figs, (of which last
indeed I have eaten very good ones) will, I dare believe, in a few years
become plentiful.  Apples and the fruits of colder climes also promise
to gratify expectation.  The banana-tree has been introduced
from Norfolk Island, where it grows spontaneously.

Nor will this surprise, if the genial influence of the climate be considered.
Placed in a latitude where the beams of the sun in the dreariest season
are sufficiently powerful for many hours of the day to dispense warmth
and nutrition, the progress of vegetation never is at a stand.
The different temperatures of Rose Hill and Sydney in winter, though only
twelve miles apart, afford, however, curious matter of speculation.
Of a well attested instance of ice being seen at the latter place,
I never heard.  At the former place its production is common, and once
a few flakes of snow fell.  The difference can be accounted for
only by supposing that the woods stop the warm vapours of the sea
from reaching Rose Hill, which is at the distance of sixteen miles inland;
whereas Sydney is but four.*  Again, the heats of summer are more violent
at the former place than at the latter, and the variations
incomparably quicker.  The thermometer has been known to alter at Rose Hill,
in the course of nine hours, more than 50 degrees; standing a little before
sunrise at 50 degrees, and between one and two at more than 100 degrees.
To convey an idea of the climate in summer, I shall transcribe
from my meteorological journal, accounts of two particular days
which were the hottest we ever suffered under at Sydney.

[*Look at the journal which describes the expedition in search of the river,
said to exist to the southward of Rose Hill.  At the time we felt
that extraordinary degree of cold were not more than six miles south west
of Rose Hill, and about nineteen miles from the the sea coast.
When I mentioned this circumstance to colonel Gordon, at the Cape of Good Hope,
he wondered at it; and owned, that, in his excursions into the interior parts
of Africa, he had never experienced anything to match it:  he attributed
its production to large beds of nitre, which he said must exist
in the neighbourhood.]

December 27th 1790.  Wind NNW; it felt like the blast of a heated oven,
and in proportion as it increased the heat was found to be more intense,
the sky hazy, the sun gleaming through at intervals.


At 9 a.m.                  85 degrees
At noon                   104
Half past twelve          107 1/2
From one p.m. until 20
minutes past two          108 1/2
At 20 minutes past two    109
At Sunset                  89
At 11 p.m.                 78 1/2

[By a large Thermometer made by Ramsden, and graduated on Fahrenheit's scale.]

December 28th.

At 8 a.m.                  86
10 a.m.                    93
11 a.m.                   101
At noon                   103 1/2
Half an hour past noon    104 1/2
At one p.m.               102
At 5 p.m.                  73
At sunset                  69 1/2

[At a quarter past one, it stood at only 89 degrees, having,
from a sudden shift of wind, fallen 13 degrees in 15 minutes.]


My observations on this extreme heat, succeeded by so rapid a change,
were that of all animals, man seemed to bear it best.  Our dogs, pigs
and fowls, lay panting in the shade, or were rushing into the water.
I remarked that a hen belonging to me, which had sat for a fortnight,
frequently quitted her eggs, and shewed great uneasiness,
but never remained from them many minutes at one absence; taught by instinct
that the wonderful power in the animal body of generating cold in air
heated beyond a certain degree, was best calculated for the production
of her young.  The gardens suffered considerably.  All the plants
which had not taken deep root were withered by the power of the sun.
No lasting ill effects, however, arose to the human constitution.
A temporary sickness at the stomach, accompanied with lassitude and headache,
attacked many, but they were removed generally in twenty-four hours
by an emetic, followed by an anodyne.  During the time it lasted,
we invariably found that the house was cooler than the open air, and that
in proportion as the wind was excluded, was comfort augmented.

But even this heat was judged to be far exceeded in the latter end
of the following February, when the north-west wind again set in,
and blew with great violence for three days.  At Sydney, it fell short
by one degree of what I have just recorded:  but at Rose Hill, it was allowed,
by every person, to surpass all that they had before felt, either there
or in any other part of the world.  Unluckily they had no thermometer
to ascertain its precise height.  It must, however, have been intense,
from the effects it produced.  An immense flight of bats driven before
the wind, covered all the trees around the settlement, whence they every moment
dropped dead or in a dying state, unable longer to endure the burning state
of the atmosphere.  Nor did the 'perroquettes', though tropical birds,
bear it better.  The ground was strewn with them in the same condition
as the bats.

Were I asked the cause of this intolerable heat, I should not hesitate
to pronounce that it was occasioned by the wind blowing over immense deserts,
which, I doubt not, exist in a north-west direction from Port Jackson,
and not from fires kindled by the natives.  This remark I feel necessary,
as there were methods used by some persons in the colony, both for estimating
the degree of heat and for ascertaining the cause of its production,
which I deem equally unfair and unphilosophical.  The thermometer,
whence my observations were constantly made, was hung in the open air
in a southern aspect, never reached by the rays of the sun, at the distance
of several feet above the ground.

My other remarks on the climate will be short.  It is changeable
beyond any other I ever heard of; but no phenomena sufficiently accurate
to reckon upon, are found to indicate the approach of alteration.
Indeed, for the first eighteen months that we lived in the country,
changes were supposed to take place more commonly at the quartering
of the moon than at other times.  But lunar empire afterwards lost its credit.
For the last two years and a half of our residing at Port Jackson,
its influence was unperceived.  Three days together seldom passed
without a necessity occurring for lighting a fire in an evening.
A 'habit d'ete', or a 'habit de demi saison', would be in the highest degree
absurd.  Clouds, storms and sunshine pass in rapid succession.  Of rain,
we found in general not a sufficiency, but torrents of water sometimes fall.
Thunder storms, in summer, are common and very tremendous,
but they have ceased to alarm, from rarely causing mischief.  Sometimes
they happen in winter.  I have often seen large hailstones fall.
Frequent strong breezes from the westward purge the air.  These are almost
invariably attended with a hard clear sky.  The easterly winds,
by setting in from the sea, bring thick weather and rain, except in summer,
when they become regular sea-breezes.  The 'aurora australis'
is sometimes seen, but is not distinguished by superior brilliancy.

To sum up:  notwithstanding the inconveniences which I have enumerated,
I will venture to assert in few words, that no climate hitherto known
is more generally salubrious*, or affords more days on which those pleasures
which depend on the state of the atmosphere can be enjoyed,
than that of New South Wales.  The winter season is particularly delightful.

[*To this cause, I ascribe the great number of births which happened,
considering the age and other circumstances, of many of the mothers.
Women who certainly would never have bred in any other climate here produced
as fine children as ever were born.]

The leading animal production is well known to be the kangaroo.
The natural history of this animal will, probably, be written
from observations made upon it in England, as several living ones
of both sexes, have been brought home.  Until such an account shall appear,
probably the following desultory observation may prove acceptable.

The genus in which the kangaroo is to be classed I leave to better naturalists
than myself to determine.  How it copulates, those who pretend to have seen
disagree in their accounts:  nor do we know how long the period
of gestation lasts.  Prolific it cannot be termed, bringing forth
only one at a birth, which the dam carries in her pouch wherever she goes
until the young one be enabled to provide for itself; and even then,
in the moment of alarm, she will stop to receive and protect it.
We have killed she-kangaroos whose pouches contained young ones
completely covered with fur and of more than fifteen pounds weight,
which had ceased to suck and afterwards were reared by us.  In what space
of time it reaches such a growth as to be abandoned entirely by the mother,
we are ignorant.  It is born blind, totally bald, the orifice of the ear
closed and only just the centre of the mouth open, but a black score,
denoting what is hereafter to form the dimension of the mouth,
is marked very distinctly on each side of the opening.  At its birth,
the kangaroo (notwithstanding it weighs when full grown 200 pounds)
is not so large as a half-grown mouse.  I brought some with me to England
even less, which I took from the pouches of the old ones.
This phenomenon is so striking and so contrary to the general laws of nature,
that an opinion has been started that the animal is brought forth
not by the pudenda, but descends from the belly into the pouch
by one of the teats, which are there deposited.  On this difficulty
as I can throw no light, I shall hazard no conjecture.  It may, however,
be necessary to observe that the teats are several inches long
and capable of great dilatation.  And here I beg leave to correct an error
which crept into my former publication wherein I asserted that,
"the teats of the kangaroo never exceed two in number."  They sometimes,
though rarely, amount to four.  There is great reason to believe
that they are slow of growth and live many years.  This animal has a clavicle,
or collar-bone, similar to that of the human body.  The general colour
of the kangaroo is very like that of the ass, but varieties exist.
Its shape and figure are well known by the plates which have been given of it.
The elegance of the ear is particularly deserving of admiration.
This far exceeds the ear of the hare in quickness of sense and is so flexible
as to admit of being turned by the animal nearly quite round the head,
doubtless for the purpose of informing the creature of the approach
of its enemies, as it is of a timid nature, and poorly furnished
with means of defence; though when compelled to resist, it tears
furiously with its forepaws, and strikes forward very hard with its hind legs.
Notwithstanding its unfavourable conformation for such a purpose,
its swims strongly; but never takes to the water unless so hard pressed
by its pursuers as to be left without all other refuge.  The noise
they make is a faint bleat, querulous, but not easy to describe.
They are sociable animals and unite in droves, sometimes to the number
of fifty or sixty together; when they are seen playful and feeding on grass,
which alone forms their food.  At such time they move gently about
like all other quadrupeds, on all fours; but at the slightest noise
they spring up on their hind legs and sit erect, listening to what
it may proceed from, and if it increases they bound off on those legs only,
the fore ones at the same time being carried close to the breast
like the paws of a monkey; and the tail stretched out, acts as a rudder
on a ship.  In drinking, the kangaroo laps.  It is remarkable
that they are never found in a fat state, being invariably lean.
Of the flesh we always eat with avidity, but in Europe it would not
be reckoned a delicacy.  A rank flavour forms the principal objection to it.
The tail is accounted the most delicious part, when stewed.

Hitherto I have spoken only of the large, or grey kangaroo, to which
the natives give the name of 'patagaran'.*  But there are
(besides the kangaroo-rat) two other sorts.  One of them we called
the red kangaroo, from the colour of its fur, which is like that of a hare,
and sometimes is mingled with a large portion of black:  the natives
call it 'bagaray'.  It rarely attains to more than forty pounds weight.
The third sort is very rare, and in the formation of its head resembles
the opossum.  The kangaroo-rat is a small animal, never reaching,
at its utmost growth, more than fourteen or fifteen pounds,
and its usual size is not above seven or eight pounds.  It joins to the head
and bristles of a rat the leading distinctions of a kangaroo, by running
when pursued on its hind legs only, and the female having a pouch.
Unlike the kangaroo, who appears to have no fixed place of residence,
this little animal constructs for itself a nest of grass, on the ground,
of a circular figure, about ten inches in diameter, with a hole on one side
for the creature to enter at; the inside being lined with a finer sort
of grass, very soft and downy.  But its manner of carrying the materials
with which it builds the nest is the greatest curiosity:  by entwining
its tail (which, like that of all the kangaroo tribe, is long, flexible
and muscular) around whatever it wants to remove, and thus dragging along
the load behind it.  This animal is good to eat; but whether it be
more prolific at a birth than the kangaroo, I know not.

[*kangaroo was a name unknown to them for any animal, until we introduced it.
When I showed Colbee the cows brought out in the Gorgon, he asked me
if they were kangaroos.]

The Indians sometimes kill the kangaroo; but their greatest destroyer
is the wild dog,* who feeds on them.  Immediately on hearing or seeing
this formidable enemy, the kangaroo flies to the thickest cover, in which,
if he can involve himself, he generally escapes.  In running to the cover,
they always, if possible, keep in paths of their own forming, to avoid
the high grass and stumps of trees which might be sticking up among it
to wound them and impede their course.

[*I once found in the woods the greatest part of a kangaroo
just killed by the dogs, which afforded to three of us a most welcome repast.
Marks of its turns and struggles on the ground were very visible.
This happened in the evening, and the dogs probably had seen us approach
and had run away.  At daylight next morning they saluted us
with most dreadful howling for the loss of their prey.]

Our methods of killing them were but two; either we shot them, or hunted them
with greyhounds.  We were never able to ensnare them.  Those sportsmen
who relied on the gun seldom met with success, unless they slept near covers,
into which the kangaroos were wont to retire at night, and watched
with great caution and vigilance when the game, in the morning,
sallied forth to feed.  They were, however, sometimes stolen in upon
in the day-time and that fascination of the eye, which has been
by some authors so much insisted upon, so far acts on the kangaroo
that if he fixes his eye upon any one, and no other object move at the same
time, he will often continue motionless, in stupid gaze, while the sportsman
advances with measured step, towards him, until within reach of his gun.
The greyhounds for a long time were incapable of taking them; but with a brace
of dogs, if not near cover a kangaroo almost always falls, since the greyhounds
have acquired by practice the proper method of fastening upon them.
Nevertheless the dogs are often miserably torn by them.  The rough wiry
greyhound suffers least in the conflict, and is most prized by the hunters.

Other quadrupeds, besides the wild dog, consist only of the flying squirrel,
of three kinds of opossums and some minute animals, usually marked
by the distinction which so peculiarly characterizes the opossum tribe.
The rats, soon after our landing, became not only numerous but formidable,
from the destruction they occasioned in the stores.  Latterly they had
almost disappeared, though to account for their absence were not easy.
The first time Colbee saw a monkey, he called 'wurra' (a rat);
but on examining its paws he exclaimed with astonishment and affright,
'mulla' (a man).

At the head of the birds the cassowary or emu, stands conspicuous.
The print of it which has already been given to the public is so accurate
for the most part, that it would be malignant criticism in a work
of this kind to point out a few trifling defects.

Here again naturalists must look forward to that information which longer
and more intimate knowledge of the feathered tribe than I can supply,
shall appear.  I have nevertheless had the good fortune to see
what was never seen but once, in the country I am describing, by Europeans-
-a hatch, or flock, of young cassowaries with the old bird.  I counted ten,
but others said there were twelve.  We came suddenly upon them,
and they ran up a hill exactly like a flock of turkeys, but so fast
that we could not get a shot at them.  The largest cassowary ever killed
in the settlement, weighed ninety-four pounds.  Three young ones,
which had been by accident separated from the dam, were once taken
and presented to the governor.  They were not larger than so many pullets,
although at first sight they appeared to be so from the length of their necks
and legs.  They were very beautifully striped, and from their tender state
were judged to be not more than three or four days old.  They lived
only a few days.

A single egg, the production of a cassowary, was picked up in a desert place,
dropped on the sand, without covering or protection of any kind.
Its form was nearly a perfect ellipsis; and the colour of the shell
a dark green, full of little indents on its surface.  It measured eleven inches
and a half in circumference, five inches and a quarter in height,
and weighed a pound and a quarter.  Afterwards we had the good fortune
to take a nest.  It was found by a soldier in a sequestered solitary situation,
made in a patch of lofty fern about three feet in diameter,
rather of an oblong shape and composed of dry leaves and tops of fern stalks,
very inartificially put together.  The hollow in which lay the eggs,
twelve in number, seemed made solely by the pressure of the bird.
The eggs were regularly placed in the following position.


         O
     O   O   O
 O   O   O   O   O
 O       O       O


The soldier, instead of greedily plundering his prize, communicated
the discovery to an officer, who immediately set out for the spot.
When they had arrived there they continued for a long time to search in vain
for their object, and the soldier was just about to be stigmatized
with ignorance, credulity or imposture, when suddenly up started the old bird
and the treasure was found at their feet.

The food of the cassowary is either grass, or a yellow bell-flower
growing in the swamps.  It deserves remark, that the natives deny
the cassowary to be a bird, because it does not fly.

Of other birds the varieties are very numerous.  Of the parrot tribe alone
I could, while I am writing, count up from memory fourteen different sorts.
Hawks are very numerous, so are quails.  A single snipe has been shot.
Ducks, geese and other aquatic birds are often seen in large flocks,
but are universally so shy, that it is found difficult to shoot them.
Some of the smaller birds are very beautiful, but they are not remarkable
for either sweetness, or variety of notes.  To one of them, not bigger
than a tomtit, we have given the name of coach-whip, from its note
exactly resembling the smack of a whip.  The country, I am of opinion,
would abound with birds did not the natives, by perpetually setting fire
to the grass and bushes, destroy the greater part of the nests; a cause
which also contributes to render small quadrupeds scarce.  They are besides
ravenously fond of eggs and eat them wherever they find them.  They call
the roe of a fish and a bird's egg by one name.

So much has been said of the abundance in which fish are found in the harbours
of New South Wales that it looks like detraction to oppose a contradiction.
Some share of knowledge may, however, be supposed to belong to experience.
Many a night have I toiled (in the times of distress) on the public service,
from four o'clock in the afternoon until eight o'clock next morning,
hauling the seine in every part of the harbour of Port Jackson:  and after
a circuit of many miles and between twenty and thirty hauls, seldom more
than a hundred pounds of fish were taken.  However, it sometimes happens
that a glut enters the harbour, and for a few days they sufficiently abound.
But the universal voice of all professed fishermen is that they never fished
in a country where success was so precarious and uncertain.

I shall not pretend to enumerate the variety of fish which are found.
They are seen from a whale to a gudgeon.  In the intermediate classes
may be reckoned sharks of a monstrous size, skait, rock-cod, grey-mullet,
bream, horse-mackarel, now and then a sole and john dory, and innumerable
others unknown in Europe, many of which are extremely delicious,
and many highly beautiful.  At the top of the list, as an article of food,
stands a fish, which we named light-horseman.  The relish of this
excellent fish was increased by our natives, who pointed out to us
its delicacies.  No epicure in England could pick a head with more glee
and dexterity than they do that of a light-horseman.

Reptiles in the swamps and covers are numerous.  Of snakes there are two
or three sorts:  but whether the bite of any of them be mortal,
or even venomous, is somewhat doubtful.  I know but of one well attested
instance of a bite being received from a snake.  A soldier was bitten
so as to draw blood, and the wound healed as a simple incision usually does
without shewing any symptom of malignity.  A dog was reported to be bitten
by a snake, and the animal swelled and died in great agony.  But I will
by no means affirm that the cause of his death was fairly ascertained.
It is, however, certain that the natives show, on all occasions,
the utmost horror of the snake, and will not eat it, although they esteem
lizards, goannas, and many other reptiles delicious fare.  On this occasion
they always observe that if the snake bites them, they become lame,
but whether by this they mean temporary or lasting lameness I do not pretend
to determine.   I have often eaten snakes and always found them palatable
and nutritive, though it was difficult to stew them to a tender state.

Summer here, as in all other countries, brings with it a long list of insects.
In the neighborhood of rivers and morasses, mosquitoes and sandflies
are never wanting at any season, but at Sydney they are seldom numerous
or troublesome.  The most nauseous and destructive of all the insects
is a fly which blows not eggs but large living maggots, and if the body
of the fly be opened it is found full of them.  Of ants there are
several sorts, one of which bites very severely.  The white ant
is sometimes seen.  Spiders are large and numerous.  Their webs
are not only the strongest, but the finest, and most silky I ever felt.
I have often thought their labour might be turned to advantage.  It has,
I believe, been proved that spiders, were it not for their quarrelsome
disposition which irritates them to attack and destroy each other,
might be employed more profitably than silk-worms.

The hardiness of some of the insects deserves to be mentioned.  A beetle
was immersed in proof spirits for four hours, and when taken out crawled away
almost immediately.  It was a second time immersed, and continued in a glass
of rum for a day and a night, at the expiration of which period
it still showed symptoms of life.  Perhaps, however, what I from ignorance
deem wonderful is common.


*****


The last but the most important production yet remains to be considered.
Whether plodding in London, reeking with human blood in Paris or wandering
amidst the solitary wilds of New South Wales--Man is ever an object
of interest, curiosity and reflection.

The natives around Port Jackson are in person rather more diminutive
and slighter made, especially about the thighs and legs, than the Europeans.
It is doubtful whether their society contained a person of six feet high.
The tallest I ever measured, reached five feet eleven inches, and men
of his height were rarely seen.  Baneelon, who towered above the majority
of his countrymen, stood barely five feet eight inches high.  His other
principal dimensions were as follows:


Girth of the Chest.              2 feet 10 inches
Girth of the Belly.              2 feet 6 1/2 inches
Girth of the Thigh.              18 1/8 inches
Girth of the Leg at the Calf.    12 1/8 inches
Girth of the Leg at the Small.   10 inches
Girth of arm half way between
the shoulder and elbow.          9 inches


Instances of natural deformity are scarce, nor did we ever see one
of them left-handed.  They are, indeed, nearly ambidexter; but the sword,
the spear and the fish-gig are always used with the right hand.
Their muscular force is not great; but the pliancy of their limbs
renders them very active.  "Give to civilized man all his machines,
and he is superior to the savage; but without these, how inferior is he found
on opposition, even more so than the savage in the first instance."
These are the words of Rousseau, and like many more of his positions
must be received with limitation.  Were an unarmed Englishman and an unarmed
New Hollander to engage, the latter, I think, would fall.

Mr. Cook seems inclined to believe the covering of their heads to be wool.
But this is erroneous.  It is certainly hair, which when regularly combed
becomes soon nearly as flexible and docile as our own.  Their teeth
are not so white and good as those generally found in Indian nations,
except in the children, but the inferiority originates in themselves.
hey bite sticks, stones, shells and all other hard substances, indiscriminately
with them, which quickly destroys the enamel and gives them a jagged
and uneven appearance.  A high forehead, with prominent overhanging eyebrows,
is their leading characteristic, and when it does not operate to destroy
all openness of countenance gives an air of resolute dignity to the aspect,
which recommends, in spite of a true negro nose, thick lips, and a wide mouth.
The prominent shin bone, so invariably found in the Africans, is not,
however, seen.  But in another particular they are more alike.  The rank
offensive smell which disgusts so much in the negro, prevails strongly
among them when they are in their native state, but it wears off in those
who have resided with us and have been taught habits of cleanliness.
Their hands and feet are small*, especially the former.

[*I mentioned this, among other circumstances, to colonel Gordon when I was
at the Cape, and he told me that it indicated poverty and inadequacy of living.
He instanced to me the Hottentots and Caffres.  The former fare poorly,
and have small hands and feet.  The Caffres, their neighbours,
live plenteously and have very large ones.  This remark cannot be applied
to civilized nations, where so many factitious causes operate.]

Their eyes are full, black and piercing, but the almost perpetual strain
in which the optic nerve is kept, by looking out for prey, renders
their sight weak at an earlier age than we in general find ours affected.
These large black eyes are universally shaded by the long thick sweepy eyelash,
so much prized in appreciating beauty, that, perhaps hardly any face
is so homely which this aid cannot in some degree render interesting;
and hardly any so lovely which, without it, bears not some trace of insipidity.
Their tone of voice is loud, but not harsh.  I have in some of them
found it very pleasing.

Longevity, I think, is seldom attained by them.  Unceasing agitation
wears out the animal frame and is unfriendly to length of days.  We have seen
them grey with age, but not old; perhaps never beyond sixty years.
But it may be said, the American Indian, in his undebauched state, lives
to an advanced period.  True, but he has his seasons of repose.  He reaps
his little harvest of maize and continues in idleness while it lasts.
He kills the roebuck or the moose-deer, which maintains him and his family
for many days, during which cessation the muscles regain their spring
and fit him for fresh toils.  Whereas every sun awakes the native
of New South Wales (unless a whale be thrown upon the coast) to a renewal
of labour, to provide subsistence for the present day.

The women are proportionally smaller than the men.  I never measured
but two of them, who were both, I think, about the medium height.
One of them, a sister of Baneelon, stood exactly five feet two inches high.
The other, named Gooreedeeana, was shorter by a quarter of an inch.

But I cannot break from Gooreedeeana so abruptly.  She belonged to the tribe
of Cameragal, and rarely came among us.  One day, however, she entered
my house to complain of hunger.  She excelled in beauty all their females
I ever saw.  Her age about eighteen, the firmness, the symmetry
and the luxuriancy of her bosom might have tempted painting to copy its charms.
Her mouth was small and her teeth, though exposed to all the destructive
purposes to which they apply them, were white, sound and unbroken.
Her countenance, though marked by some of the characteristics
of her native land, was distinguished by a softness and sensibility
unequalled in the rest of her countrywomen, and I was willing to believe
that these traits indicated the disposition of her mind.  I had never before
seen this elegant timid female, of whom I had often heard; but the interest
I took in her led me to question her about her husband and family.
She answered me by repeating a name which I have now forgotten, and told me
she had no children.  I was seized with a strong propensity to learn
whether the attractions of Gooreedeeana were sufficiently powerful
to secure her from the brutal violence with which the women are treated,
and as I found my question either ill understood or reluctantly answered,
I proceeded to examine her head, the part on which the husband's vengeance
generally alights.  With grief I found it covered by contusions
and mangled by scars.  The poor creature, grown by this time more confident
from perceiving that I pitied her, pointed out a wound just above
her left knee which she told me was received from a spear, thrown at her
by a man who had lately dragged her by force from her home to gratify his lust.
I afterwards observed that this wound had caused a slight lameness
and that she limped in walking.  I could only compassionate her wrongs
and sympathize in her misfortunes.  To alleviate her present sense of them,
when she took her leave I gave her, however, all the bread and salt pork
which my little stock afforded.

After this I never saw her but once, when I happened to be near
the harbour's mouth in a boat, with captain Ball.  We met her in a canoe
with several more of her sex.  She was painted for a ball, with broad stripes
of white earth, from head to foot, so that she no longer looked like
the same Gooreedeeana.  We offered her several presents, all of which
she readily accepted; but finding our eagerness and solicitude to inspect her,
she managed her canoe with such address as to elude our too near approach,
and acted the coquet to admiration.

To return from this digression to my subject, I have only farther to observe
that the estimation of female beauty among the natives (the men at least)
is in this country the same as in most others.  Were a New Hollander
to portray his mistress, he would draw her the 'Venus aux belles fesses'.
Whenever Baneelon described to us his favourite fair, he always painted her
in this, and another particular, as eminently luxuriant.

Unsatisfied, however, with natural beauty (like the people of all other
countries) they strive by adscititious embellishments to heighten attraction,
and often with as little success.  Hence the naked savage of New South Wales
pierces the septum of his nose, through which he runs a stick or a bone,
and scarifies his body, the charms of which increase in proportion
to the number and magnitude of seams by which it is distinguished.
The operation is performed by making two longitudinal incisions
with a sharpened shell, and afterwards pinching up with the nails
the intermediate space of skin and flesh, which thereby becomes considerably
elevated and forms a prominence as thick as a man's finger.  No doubt but pain
must be severely felt until the wound be healed.  But the love of ornament
defies weaker considerations, and no English beau can bear more stoutly
the extraction of his teeth to make room for a fresh set from
a chimney sweeper, or a fair one suffer her tender ears to be perforated,
with more heroism than the grisly nymphs on the banks of Port Jackson,
submit their sable shoulders to the remorseless lancet.

That these scarifications are intended solely to increase personal allurement
I will not, however, positively affirm.  Similar, perhaps, to the cause
of an excision of part of the little finger of the left hand in the women,
and of a front tooth in the men;* or probably after all our conjectures,
superstitious ceremonies by which they hope either to avert evil
or to propagate good, are intended.  The colours with which they besmear
the bodies of both sexes possibly date from the same common origin.
White paint is strictly appropriate to the dance.  Red seems to be used
on numberless occasions, and is considered as a colour of less consequence.
It may be remarked that they translate the epithet white when they speak
of us, not by the name which they assign to this white earth, but by that
with which they distinguish the palms of their hands.


[*It is to be observed that neither of these ceremonies is universal,
but nearly so.  Why there should exist exemptions I cannot resolve.
The manner of executing them is as follows.  The finger is taken off
by means of a ligature (generally a sinew of a kangaroo) tied so tight
as to stop the circulation of the blood, which induces mortification
and the part drops off.  I remember to have seen Colbee's child, when about
a month old, on whom this operation had been just performed by her mother.
The little wretch seemed in pain, and her hand was greatly swelled.
But this was deemed too trifling a consideration to deserve regard
in a case of so much importance.

The tooth intended to be taken out is loosened by the gum being scarified
on both sides with a sharp shell.  The end of a stick is then applied
to the tooth, which is struck gently several times with a stone, until it
becomes easily moveable, when the 'coup de grace' is given by a smart stroke.
Notwithstanding these precautions, I have seen a considerable degree
of swelling and inflammation follow the extraction.  Imeerawanyee, I remember,
suffered severely.  But he boasted the firmness and hardihood with which
he had endured it.  It is seldom performed on those who are under sixteen
years old.]


As this leads to an important subject I shall at once discuss it.
"Have these people any religion:  any knowledge of, or belief in a deity?--
any conception of the immortality of the soul?" are questions which have been
often put to me since my arrival in England:  I shall endeavour to answer them
with candour and seriousness.

Until belief be enlightened by revelation and chastened by reason,
religion and superstition, are terms of equal import.  One of our earliest
impressions is the consciousness of a superior power.  The various forms
under which this impression has manifested itself are objects
of the most curious speculation.

The native of New South Wales believes that particular aspects and appearances
of the heavenly bodies predict good or evil consequences to himself
and his friends.  He oftentimes calls the sun and moon 'weeree,' that is,
malignant, pernicious.  Should he see the leading fixed stars
(many of which he can call by name) obscured by vapours, he sometimes
disregards the omen, and sometimes draws from it the most dreary conclusions.
I remember Abaroo running into a room where a company was assembled,
and uttering frightful exclamations of impending mischiefs about to light
on her and her countrymen.  When questioned on the cause of such agitation
she went to the door and pointed to the skies, saying that whenever
the stars wore that appearance, misfortunes to the natives always followed.
The night was cloudy and the air disturbed by meteors.  I have heard
many more of them testify similar apprehensions.

However involved in darkness and disfigured by error such a belief be,
no one will, I presume, deny that it conveys a direct implication
of superior agency; of a power independent of and uncontrolled by
those who are the objects of its vengeance.  But proof stops not here.
When they hear the thunder roll and view the livid glare, they flee them not,
but rush out and deprecate destruction.  They have a dance and a song
appropriated to this awful occasion, which consist of the wildest
and most uncouth noises and gestures.  Would they act such a ceremony
did they not conceive that either the thunder itself, or he who directs
the thunder, might be propitiated by its performance?  That a living
intellectual principle exists, capable of comprehending their petition
and of either granting or denying it?  They never address prayers
to bodies which they know to be inanimate, either to implore their protection
or avert their wrath.  When the gum-tree in a tempest nods over them;
or the rock overhanging the cavern in which they sleep threatens by its fall
to crush them, they calculate (as far as their knowledge extends)
on physical principles, like other men, the nearness and magnitude
of the danger, and flee it accordingly.  And yet there is reason to believe
that from accidents of this nature they suffer more than from lightning.
Baneelon once showed us a cave, the top of which had fallen in and buried
under its ruins, seven people who were sleeping under it.

To descend; is not even the ridiculous superstition of Colbee related
in one of our journies to the Hawkesbury?  And again the following instance.
Abaroo was sick.  To cure her, one of her own sex slightly cut her
on the forehead, in a perpendicular direction with an oyster shell,
so as just to fetch blood.  She then put one end of a string to the wound
and, beginning to sing, held the other end to her own gums, which she rubbed
until they bled copiously.  This blood she contended was the blood
of the patient, flowing through the string, and that she would thereby
soon recover.  Abaroo became well, and firmly believed that she owed
her cure to the treatment she had received.  Are not these, I say, links,
subordinate ones indeed, of the same golden chain?  He who believes in magic
confesses supernatural agency, and a belief of this sort extends farther
in many persons than they are willing to allow.  There have lived men
so inconsistent with their own principles as to deny the existence of a God,
who have nevertheless turned pale at the tricks of a mountebank.

But not to multiply arguments on a subject where demonstration
(at least to me) is incontestable, I shall close by expressing my firm belief
that the Indians of New South Wales acknowledge the existence
of a superintending deity.  Of their ideas of the origin and duration
of his existence; of his power and capacity; of his benignity or maleficence;
or of their own emanation from him, I pretend not to speak.  I have often,
in common with others, tried to gain information from them on this head;
but we were always repulsed by obstacles which we could neither pass by
or surmount.  Mr. Dawes attempted to teach Abaroo some of our notions
of religion, and hoped that she would thereby be induced to communicate hers
in return.  But her levity and love of play in a great measure defeated
his efforts, although every thing he did learn from her served to confirm
what is here advanced.  It may be remarked, that when they attended at church
with us (which was a common practice) they always preserved profound silence
and decency, as if conscious that some religious ceremony on our side
was performing.

The question of, whether they believe in the immortality of the soul
will take up very little time to answer.  They are universally fearful
of spirits.*  They call a spirit 'mawn'.  They often scruple to approach
a corpse, saying that the 'mawn' will seize them and that it fastens upon them
in the night when asleep.**  When asked where their deceased friends are
they always point to the skies.  To believe in after existence is to confess
the immortality of some part of being.  To enquire whether they assign
a 'limited' period to such future state would be superfluous.  This is one
of the subtleties of speculation which a savage may be supposed not to have
considered, without impeachment either of his sagacity or happiness.

[* "It is remarkable," says Cicero, "that there is no nation, whether
barbarous or civilized, that does not believe in the existence of spirits".]

[**As they often eat to satiety, even to produce sickness, may not this be
the effect of an overloaded stomach:  the nightmare?]



Their manner of interring the dead has been amply described.  It is certain
that instead of burying they sometimes burn the corpse; but the cause
of distinction we know not.  A dead body, covered by a canoe, at whose side
a sword and shield were placed in state, was once discovered.  All that
we could learn about this important personage was that he was a 'Gweeagal'
(one of the tribe of Gweea) and a celebrated warrior.

To appreciate their general powers of mind is difficult.  Ignorance,
prejudice, the force of habit, continually interfere to prevent dispassionate
judgment.  I have heard men so unreasonable as to exclaim at the stupidity
of these people for not comprehending what a small share of reflection
would have taught them they ought not to have expected.  And others again
I have heard so sanguine in their admiration as to extol for proofs
of elevated genius what the commonest abilities were capable of executing.

If they be considered as a nation whose general advancement and acquisitions
are to be weighed, they certainly rank very low, even in the scale of savages.
They may perhaps dispute the right of precedence with the Hottentots
or the shivering tribes who inhabit the shores of Magellan.  But how inferior
do they show when compared with the subtle African; the patient watchful
American; or the elegant timid islander of the South Seas.  Though suffering
from the vicissitudes of their climate, strangers to clothing, though feeling
the sharpness of hunger and knowing the precariousness of supply from that
element on whose stores they principally depend, ignorant of cultivating
the earth--a less enlightened state we shall exclaim can hardly exist.

But if from general view we descend to particular inspection, and examine
individually the persons who compose this community, they will certainly rise
in estimation.  In the narrative part of this work, I have endeavoured
rather to detail information than to deduce conclusions, leaving to the reader
the exercise of his own judgment.  The behaviour of Arabanoo, of Baneelon,
of Colbee and many others is copiously described, and assuredly he who shall
make just allowance for uninstructed nature will hardly accuse
any of those persons of stupidity or deficiency of apprehension.

To offer my own opinion on the subject, I do not hesitate to declare
that the natives of New South Wales possess a considerable portion
of that acumen, or sharpness of intellect, which bespeaks genius.
All savages hate toil and place happiness in inaction, and neither the arts
of civilized life can be practised or the advantages of it felt without
application and labour.  Hence they resist knowledge and the adoption
of manners and customs differing from their own.  The progress of reason
is not only slow, but mechanical.  "De toutes les Instructions propres
a l'homme, celle qu'il acquiert le plus tard, et le plus difficilement,
est la raison meme."  The tranquil indifference and uninquiring eye
with which they surveyed our works of art have often, in my hearing,
been stigmatized as proofs of stupidity, and want of reflection.  But surely
we should discriminate between ignorance and defect of understanding.
The truth was, they often neither comprehended the design nor conceived
the utility of such works, but on subjects in any degree familiarised
to their ideas, they generally testified not only acuteness of discernment
but a large portion of good sense.  I have always thought that the distinctions
they shewed in their estimate of us, on first entering into our society,
strongly displayed the latter quality:  when they were led into our respective
houses, at once to be astonished and awed by our superiority, their attention
was directly turned to objects with which they were acquainted.
They passed without rapture or emotion our numerous artifices and contrivances,
but when they saw a collection of weapons of war or of the skins of animals
and birds, they never failed to exclaim, and to confer with each other
on the subject.  The master of that house became the object of their regard,
as they concluded he must be either a renowned warrior, or an expert hunter.
Our surgeons grew into their esteem from a like cause.  In a very early stage
of intercourse, several natives were present at the amputation of a leg.
When they first penetrated the intention of the operator,
they were confounded, not believing it possible that such an operation
could be performed without loss of life, and they called aloud to him
to desist; but when they saw the torrent of blood stopped, the vessels
taken up and the stump dressed, their horror and alarm yielded to astonishment
and admiration, which they expressed by the loudest tokens.  If these
instances bespeak not nature and good sense, I have yet to learn
the meaning of the terms.

If it be asked why the same intelligent spirit which led them to contemplate
and applaud the success of the sportsman and the skill of the surgeon,
did not equally excite them to meditate on the labours of the builder
and the ploughman, I can only answer that what we see in its remote cause
is always more feebly felt than that which presents to our immediate grasp
both its origin and effect.

Their leading good and bad qualities I shall concisely touch upon.
Of their intrepidity no doubt can exist.  Their levity, their fickleness,
their passionate extravagance of character, cannot be defended.
They are indeed sudden and quick in quarrel; but if their resentment
be easily roused, their thirst of revenge is not implacable.  Their honesty,
when tempted by novelty, is not unimpeachable, but in their own society
there is good reason to believe that few breaches of it occur.
It were well if similar praise could be given to their veracity:  but truth
they neither prize nor practice.  When they wish to deceive they scruple not
to utter the grossest and most hardened lies.*  Their attachment and gratitude
to those among us whom they have professed to love have always remained
inviolable, unless effaced by resentment, from sudden provocation:  then,
like all other Indians, the impulse of the moment is alone regarded by them.

[*This may serve to account for the contradictions of many of their
accounts to us.]

Some of their manufactures display ingenuity, when the rude tools with which
they work, and their celerity of execution are considered.  The canoes,
fish-gigs, swords, shields, spears, throwing sticks, clubs, and hatchets,
are made by the men.  To the women are committed the fishing-lines, hooks
and nets.  As very ample collections of all these articles are to be found
in many museums in England, I shall only briefly describe the way in which
the most remarkable of them are made.  The fish-gigs and spears are commonly
(but not universally) made of the long spiral shoot which arises from the top
of the yellow gum-tree, and bears the flower.  The former have several prongs,
barbed with the bone of kangaroo.  The latter are sometimes barbed
with the same substance, or with the prickle of the sting-ray, or with stone
or hardened gum, and sometimes simply pointed.  Dexterity in throwing
and parrying the spear is considered as the highest acquirement.  The children
of both sexes practice from the time that they are able to throw a rush;
their first essay.  It forms their constant recreation.  They afterwards heave
at each other with pointed twigs.  He who acts on the defensive holds a piece
of new soft bark in the left hand, to represent a shield, in which he receives
the darts of the assailant, the points sticking in it.  Now commences
his turn.  He extracts the twigs and darts them back at the first thrower,
who catches them similarly.  In warding off the spear they never present
their front, but always turn their side, their head at the same time
just clear of the shield, to watch the flight of the weapon;
and the body covered.  If a spear drop from them when thus engaged,
they do not stoop to pick it up, but hook it between the toes and so lift it
until it meet the hand.  Thus the eye is never diverted from its object,
the foe.  If they wish to break a spear or any wooden substance, they lay it
not across the thigh or the body, but upon the head, and press down the ends
until it snap.  Their shields are of two sorts.  That called 'illemon'
is nothing but a piece of bark with a handle fixed in the inside of it.
The other, dug out of solid wood, is called 'aragoon', and is made as follows,
with great labour.  On the bark of a tree they mark the size of the shield,
then dig the outline as deep as possible in the wood with hatchets,
and lastly flake it off as thick as they can, by driving in wedges.
The sword is a large heavy piece of wood, shaped like a sabre, and capable
of inflicting a mortal wound.  In using it they do not strike with the convex
side, but with the concave one, and strive to hook in their antagonists
so as to have them under their blows.  The fishing-lines are made of the bark
of a shrub.  The women roll shreds of this on the inside of the thigh,
so as to twist it together, carefully inserting the ends of every fresh piece
into the last made.  They are not as strong as lines of equal size
formed of hemp.  The fish-hooks are chopped with a stone out of a particular
shell, and afterwards rubbed until they become smooth.  They are
very much curved, and not barbed.  Considering the quickness with which
they are finished, the excellence of the work, if it be inspected,
is admirable.  In all these manufactures the sole of the foot is used
both by men and women as a work-board.  They chop a piece of wood,
or aught else upon it, even with an iron tool, without hurting themselves.
It is indeed nearly as hard as the hoof of an ox.

Their method of procuring fire is this.  They take a reed and shave one side
of the surface flat.  In this they make a small incision to reach the pith,
and introducing a stick, purposely blunted at the end, into it, turn it round
between the hands (as chocolate is milled) as swiftly as possible,
until flame be produced.  As this operation is not only laborious,
but the effect tedious, they frequently relieve each other at the exercise.
And to avoid being often reduced to the necessity of putting it in practice,
they always, if possible, carry a lighted stick with them, whether
in their canoes or moving from place to place on land.

Their treatment of wounds must not be omitted.  A doctor is, with them,
a person of importance and esteem, but his province seems rather to charm away
occult diseases than to act the surgeon's part, which, as a subordinate
science, is exercised indiscriminately.  Their excellent habit of body*,
the effect of drinking water only, speedily heals wounds without an exterior
application which with us would take weeks or months to close.
They are, nevertheless, sadly tormented by a cutaneous eruption,
but we never found it contagious.  After receiving a contusion,
if the part swell they fasten a ligature very tightly above it, so as to stop
all circulation.  Whether to this application, or to their undebauched habit,
it be attributable, I know not, but it is certain that a disabled limb
among them is rarely seen, although violent inflammations from bruises,
which in us would bring on a gangrene, daily happen.  If they get burned,
either from rolling into the fire when asleep, or from the flame catching
the grass on which they lie (both of which are common accidents)
they cover the part with a thin paste of kneaded clay, which excludes the air
and adheres to the wound until it be cured, and the eschar falls off.

[*Their native hardiness of constitution is great.  I saw a woman on the day
she was brought to bed, carry her new-born infant from Botany Bay
to Port Jackson, a distance of six miles, and afterwards light a fire
and dress fish.]

Their form of government, and the detail of domestic life, yet remain untold.
The former cannot occupy much space.  Without distinctions of rank,
except those which youth and vigour confer, theirs is strictly a system
of 'equality' attended with only one inconvenience--the strong triumph
over the weak.  Whether any laws exist among them for the punishment
of offences committed against society; or whether the injured party
in all cases seeks for relief in private revenge, I will not positively affirm;
though I am strongly inclined to believe that only the latter method prevails.
I have already said that they are divided into tribes; but what constitutes
the right of being enrolled in a tribe, or where exclusion begins and ends,
I am ignorant.  The tribe of Cameragal is of all the most numerous
and powerful.  Their superiority probably arose from possessing
the best fishing ground, and perhaps from their having suffered less
from the ravages of the smallpox.

In the domestic detail there may be novelty, but variety is unattainable.
One day must be very like another in the life of a savage.  Summoned by
the calls of hunger and the returning light, he starts from his beloved
indolence, and snatching up the remaining brand of his fire, hastens
with his wife to the strand to commence their daily task.  In general
the canoe is assigned to her, into which she puts the fire and pushes off
into deep water, to fish with hook and line, this being the province
of the women.  If she have a child at the breast, she takes it with her.
And thus in her skiff, a piece of bark tied at both ends with vines,
and the edge of it but just above the surface of the water, she pushes out
regardless of the elements, if they be but commonly agitated.
While she paddles to the fishing-bank, and while employed there, the child
is placed on her shoulders, entwining its little legs around her neck
and closely grasping her hair with its hands.  To its first cries
she remains insensible, as she believes them to arise only from
the inconvenience of a situation, to which she knows it must be inured.
But if its plaints continue, and she supposes it to be in want of food,
she ceases her fishing and clasps it to her breast.  An European spectator
is struck with horror and astonishment at their perilous situation,
but accidents seldom happen.  The management of the canoe alone appears
a work of unsurmountable difficulty, its breadth is so inadequate
to its length.  The Indians, aware of its ticklish formation, practise
from infancy to move in it without risk.  Use only could reconcile them
to the painful position in which they sit in it.  They drop in the middle
of the canoe upon their knees, and resting the buttocks on the heels,
extend the knees to the sides, against which they press strongly,
so as to form a poise sufficient to retain the body in its situation,
and relieve the weight which would otherwise fall wholly upon the toes.
Either in this position or cautiously moving in the centre of the vessel,
the mother tends her child, keeps up her fire (which is laid on a small patch
of earth), paddles her boat, broils fish and provides in part the subsistence
of the day.  Their favourite bait for fish is a cockle.

The husband in the mean time warily moves to some rock, over which he can peep
into unruffled water to look for fish.  For this purpose he always chooses
a weather shore, and the various windings of the numerous creeks and indents
always afford one.  Silent and watchful, he chews a cockle and spits it
into the water.  Allured by the bait, the fish appear from beneath the rock.
He prepares his fish-gig, and pointing it downward, moves it gently
towards the object, always trying to approach it as near as possible
to the fish before the stroke be given.  At last he deems himself
sufficiently advanced and plunges it at his prey.  If he has hit his mark,
he continues his efforts and endeavours to transpierce it or so to entangle
the barbs in the flesh as to prevent its escape.  When he finds it secure
he drops the instrument, and the fish, fastened on the prongs,
rises to the surface, floated by the buoyancy of the staff.  Nothing now
remains to be done but to haul it to him, with either a long stick
or another fish-gig (for an Indian, if he can help it, never goes into the
water on these occasions) to disengage it, and to look out for fresh sport.

But sometimes the fish have either deserted the rocks for deeper water,
or are too shy to suffer approach.  He then launches his canoe, and leaving
the shore behind, watches the rise of prey out of the water, and darts
his gig at them to the distance of many yards.  Large fish he seldom procures
by this method; but among shoals of mullets, which are either pursued
by enemies, or leap at objects on the surface, he is often successful.
Baneelon has been seen to kill more than twenty fish by this method
in an afternoon.  The women sometimes use the gig, and always carry one
in each canoe to strike large fish which may be hooked and thereby facilitate
the capture.  But generally speaking, this instrument is appropriate
to the men, who are never seen fishing with the line, and would indeed
consider it as a degradation of their pre-eminence.

When prevented by tempestuous weather or any other cause, from fishing,
these people suffer severely.  They have then no resource but to pick up
shellfish, which may happen to cling to the rocks, and be cast on the beach,
to hunt particular reptiles and small animals, which are scarce, to dig
fern root in the swamps or to gather a few berries, destitute of flavour
and nutrition, which the woods afford.  To alleviate the sensation of hunger,
they tie a ligature tightly around the belly, as I have often seen
our soldiers do from the same cause.

Let us, however, suppose them successful in procuring fish.  The wife returns
to land with her booty, and the husband quitting the rock joins his stock
to hers; and they repair either to some neighbouring cavern or to their hut.
This last is composed of pieces of bark, very rudely piled together,
in shape as like a soldier's tent as any known image to which I can compare it:
too low to admit the lord of it to stand upright, but long and wide enough
to admit three or four persons to lie under it.  "Here shelters himself
a being, born with all those powers which education expands, and all those
sensations which culture refines."  With a lighted stick brought from
the canoe they now kindle a small fire at the mouth of the hut and prepare
to dress their meal.  They begin by throwing the fish exactly in the state
in which it came from the water, on the fire.  When it has become
a little warmed they take it off, rub away the scales, and then peal off
with their teeth the surface, which they find done and eat.  Now,
and not before, they gut it; but if the fish be a mullet or any other
which has a fatty substance about the intestines, they carefully guard
that part and esteem it a delicacy.  The cooking is now completed
by the remaining part being laid on the fire until it be sufficiently done.
A bird, a lizard, a rat, or any other animal, they treat in the same manner.
The feathers of the one and the fur of the other, they thus get rid of.*

[*They broil indiscriminately all substances which they eat.  Though they boil
water in small quantities in oyster shells for particular purposes,
they never conceived it possible until shown by us, to dress meat
by this method, having no vessel capable of containing a fish or a bird
which would stand fire.  Two of them once stole twelve pounds of rice
and carried it off.  They knew how we cooked it, and by way of putting it
in practice they spread the rice on the ground before a fire,
and as it grew hot continued to throw water on it.  Their ingenuity was
however very ill rewarded, for the rice became so mingled with the dirt
and sand on which it was laid, that even they could not eat it,
and the whole was spoiled.]

Unless summoned away by irresistable necessity, sleep always follows the
repast.  They would gladly prolong it until the following day; but the
canoe wants repair, the fish-gig must be barbed afresh, new lines must be
twisted, and new hooks chopped out.  they depart to their respective
tasks, which end only with the light.

Such is the general life of an Indian.  But even he has his hours of
relaxation, in seasons of success, when fish abounds.  Wanton with plenty,
he now meditates an attack upon the chastity of some neighbouring fair
one; and watching his opportunity he seizes her and drags her away
to complete his purpose.  The signal of war is lighted; her lover,
her father, her brothers, her tribe, assemble, and vow revenge on the
spoiler.  He tells his story to his tribe.  They judge the case to be
a common one and agree to support him.  Battle ensues; they discharge
their spears at each other, and legs and arms are transpierced.
When the spears are expended the combatants close and every species
of violence is practiced.  They seize their antagonist and snap like
enraged dogs, they wield the sword and club, the bone shatters beneath
their fall and they drop the prey of unsparing vengeance.

Too justly, as my observations teach me has Hobbes defined a state of
nature to be a state of war.  In the method of waging it among these
people, one thing should not, however, escape notice.  Unlike all other
Indians, they never carry on operations in the night, or seek to destroy
by ambush and surprise.  Their ardent fearless character, seeks fair
and open combat only.

But enmity has its moments of pause.  Then they assemble to sing and dance.
We always found their songs disagreeable from their monotony.  They are
numerous, and vary both in measure and time.  They have songs of war,
of hunting, of fishing, for the rise and set of the sun, for rain,
for thunder and for many other occasions.  One of these songs, which may
be termed a speaking pantomime, recites the courtship between the sexes
and is accompanied with acting highly expressive.  I once heard and saw
Nanbaree and Abaroo perform it.  After a few preparatory motions she
gently sunk on the ground, as if in a fainting fit.  Nanbaree applying his
mouth to her ear, began to whisper in it, and baring her bosom, breathed
on it several times.  At length, the period of the swoon having expired,
with returning animation she gradually raised herself.  She now began
to relate what she had seen in her vision, mentioning several of her
countrymen by name, whom we knew to be dead; mixed with other strange
incoherent matter, equally new and inexplicable, though all tending to one
leading point--the sacrifice of her charms to her lover.

At their dances I have often been present; but I confess myself unable
to convey in description an accurate account of them.  Like their songs,
they are conceived to represent the progress of the passions and the
occupations of life.  Full of seeming confusion, yet regular and systematic,
their wild gesticulations, and frantic distortions of body are calculated
rather to terrify, than delight, a spectator.  These dances consist of
short parts, or acts, accompanied with frequent vociferations, and a kind
of hissing, or whizzing noise.  They commonly end with a loud rapid shout,
and after a short respite are renewed.  While the dance lasts, one of them
(usually a person of note and estimation) beats time with a stick on a
wooden instrument held in the left hand, accompanying the music with his
voice; and the dancers sometimes sing in concert.

I have already mentioned that white is the colour appropriated to the
dance, but the style of painting is left to every one's fancy.  Some are
streaked with waving lines from head to foot; others marked by broad
cross-bars, on the breast, back, and thighs, or encircled with spiral
lines, or regularly striped like a zebra.  Of these ornaments, the face
never wants its share, and it is hard to conceive any thing in the shape
of humanity more hideous and terrific than they appear to a stranger--seen,
perhaps, through the livid gleam of a fire, the eyes surrounded by large
white circles, in contrast with the black ground, the hair stuck full
of pieces of bone and in the hand a grasped club, which they occasionally
brandish with the greatest fierceness and agility.  Some dances are
performed by men only, some by women only, and in others the sexes mingle.
In one of them I have seen the men drop on their hands and knees and kiss
the earth with the greatest fervor, between the kisses looking up to
Heaven.  They also frequently throw up their arms, exactly in the manner
in which the dancers of the Friendly Islands are depicted in one of the
plates of Mr. Cook's last voyage.

Courtship here, as in other countries, is generally promoted by this
exercise, where every one tries to recommend himself to attention and
applause.  Dancing not only proves an incentive, but offers an opportunity
in its intervals.  The first advances are made by the men, who strive
to render themselves agreeable to their favourites by presents of
fishing-tackle and other articles which they know will prove acceptable.
Generally speaking, a man has but one wife, but infidelity on the side
of the husband, with the unmarried girls, is very frequent.  For the most
part, perhaps, they intermarry in their respective tribes.  This rule is
not, however, constantly observed, and there is reason to think that a
more than ordinary share of courtship and presents, on the part of the
man, is required in this case.  Such difficulty seldom operates to
extinguish desire, and nothing is more common than for the unsuccessful
suitor to ravish by force that which he cannot accomplish by entreaty.
I do not believe that very near connections by blood ever cohabit.
We knew of no instance of it.

But indeed the women are in all respects treated with savage barbarity
Condemned not only to carry the children but all other burthens, they meet
in return for submission only with blows, kicks and every other mark
of brutality.  When an Indian is provoked by a woman, he either spears her
or knocks her down on the spot.  On this occasion he always strikes
on the head, using indiscriminately a hatchet, a club or any other weapon
which may chance to be in his hand.  The heads of the women are always
consequently seen in the state which I found that of Gooreedeeana.
Colbee, who was certainly, in other respects a good tempered merry fellow,
made no scruple of treating Daringa, who was a gentle creature, thus.
Baneelon did the same to Barangaroo, but she was a scold and a vixen,
and nobody pitied her.  It must nevertheless be confessed that the women
often artfully study to irritate and inflame the passions of the men,
although sensible that the consequence will alight on themselves.

Many a matrimonial scene of this sort have I witnessed.  Lady Mary Wortley
Montague, in her sprightly letters from Turkey, longs for some of the
advocates for passive obedience and unconditional submission then existing
in England to be present at the sights exhibited in a despotic government.
A thousand times, in like manner, have I wished that those European
philosophers whose closet speculations exalt a state of nature above
a state of civilization, could survey the phantom which their heated
imaginations have raised.  Possibly they might then learn that a state
of nature is, of all others, least adapted to promote the happiness of
a being capable of sublime research and unending ratiocination.  That a
savage roaming for prey amidst his native deserts is a creature deformed
by all those passions which afflict and degrade our nature, unsoftened by
the influence of religion, philosophy and legal restriction:  and that the
more men unite their talents, the more closely the bands of society are
drawn and civilization advanced, inasmuch is human felicity augmented,
and man fitted for his unalienable station in the universe.

Of the language of New South Wales I once hoped to have subjoined to this
work such an exposition as should have attracted public notice, and have
excited public esteem.  But the abrupt departure of Mr. Dawes, who,
stimulated equally by curiosity and philanthropy, had hardly set foot
on his native country when he again quitted it to encounter new perils
in the service of the Sierra Leona company, precludes me from executing
this part of my original intention, in which he had promised to co-operate
with me; and in which he had advanced his researches beyond the reach
of competition.  The few remarks which I can offer shall be concisely
detailed.

We were at first inclined to stigmatised this language as harsh and
barbarous in its sounds. Their combinations of words in the manner they
utter them, frequently convey such an effect.  But if not only their
proper names of men and places, but many of their phrases and a majority
of their words, be simply and unconnectedly considered, they will be found
to abound with vowels and to produce sounds sometimes mellifluous and
sometimes sonorous.  What ear can object to the names of Colbee,
(pronounced exactly as Colby is with us) Bereewan, Bondel, Imeerawanyee,
Deedora, Wolarawaree, or Baneelon, among the men; or to Wereeweea,
Gooreedeeana, Milba*, or Matilba, among the women.  Parramatta, Gweea,
Cameera, Cadi, and Memel, are names of places.  The tribes derive their
appellations from the places they inhabit.  Thus Cemeeragal, means the men
who reside in the bay of Cameera; Cedigal, those who reside in the bay
of Cadi; and so of the others.  The women of the tribe are denoted by
adding 'eean' to any of the foregoing words.  A Cadigaleean imports a woman
living at Cadi, or of the tribe of Cadigal.  These words, as the reader
will observe, are accented either on the first syllable or the penultima.
In general, however, they are partial to the emphasis being laid as near
the beginning of the word as possible.

[*Mrs. Johnson, wife of the chaplain of the settlement, was so pleased
with this name that she christened her little girl, born in Port Jackson,
Milba Maria Johnson.]

Of compound words they seem fond.  Two very striking ones appear in the
journal to the Hawkesbury.  Their translations of our words into their
language are always apposite, comprehensive, and drawn from images
familiar to them.  A gun, for instance, they call 'gooroobeera', that is,
a stick of fire.  Sometimes also, by a licence of language, they call
those who carry guns by the same name.  But the appellation by which they
generally distinguished us was that of 'bereewolgal', meaning men come from
afar.  When they salute any one they call him 'dameeli', or namesake, a term
which not only implies courtesy and good-will, but a certain degree of
affection in the speaker.  An interchange of names with any one is also
a symbol of friendship.  Each person has several names; one of which,
there is reason to believe, is always derived from the first fish
or animal which the child, in accompanying its father to the chase or a
fishing, may chance to kill.

Not only their combinations, but some of their simple sounds, were
difficult of pronunciation to mouths purely English.  Diphthongs often
occur.  One of the most common is that of 'ae', or perhaps, 'ai',
pronounced not unlike those letters in the French verb 'hair', to hate.
The letter 'y' frequently follows 'd' in the same syllable.  Thus the word
which signifies a woman is 'dyin'; although the structure of our language
requires us to spell it 'deein'.

But if they sometimes put us to difficulty, many of our words were to them
unutterable.  The letters 's' and 'v' they never could pronounce.  The
latter became invariably 'w', and the former mocked all their efforts,
which in the instance of Baneelon has been noticed; and a more unfortunate
defect in learning our language could not easily be pointed out.

They use the ellipsis in speaking very freely; always omitting as many
words as they possibly can, consistent with being understood.  They
inflect both their nouns and verbs regularly; and denote the cases of the
former and the tenses of the latter, not like the English by auxiliary
words, but like the Latins by change of termination.  Their nouns, whether
substantive or adjective, seem to admit of no plural.  I have heard
Mr. Dawes hint his belief of their using a dual number, similar to the
Greeks, but I confess that I never could remark aught to confirm it.
The method by which they answer a question that they cannot resolve is
similar to what we sometimes use.  Let for example the following question
be put: 'Waw Colbee yagoono?'--Where is Colbee to-day?  'Waw, baw!'--Where,
indeed! would be the reply.  They use a direct and positive negative,
but express the affirmative by a nod of the head or an inclination
of the body.

Opinions have greatly differed, whether or not their language be copious.
In one particular it is notoriously defective.  They cannot count with
precision more than four.  However as far as ten, by holding up the
fingers, they can both comprehend others and explain themselves.  Beyond
four every number is called great; and should it happen to be very large,
great great, which is an Italian idiom also.  This occasions their
computations of time and space to be very confused and incorrect.  Of the
former they have no measure but the visible diurnal motion of the sun
or the monthly revolution of the moon.

To conclude the history of a people for whom I cannot but feel some share
of affection.  Let those who have been born in more favoured lands and who
have profited by more enlightened systems, compassionate, but not despise
their destitute and obscure situation.  Children of the same omniscient
paternal care, let them recollect that by the fortuitous advantage
of birth alone they possess superiority:  that untaught, unaccommodated
man is the same in Pall Mall as in the wilderness of New South Wales.
And ultimately let them hope and trust that the progress of reason and the
splendor of revelation will in their proper and allotted season
be permitted to illumine and transfuse into these desert regions,
knowledge, virtue and happiness.




CHAPTER XVIII.



Observations on the Convicts.


A short account of that class of men for whose disposal and advantage
the colony was principally, if not totally, founded, seems necessary.

If it be recollected how large a body of these people are now congregated
in the settlement of Port Jackson and at Norfolk Island, it will, I think,
not only excite surprise but afford satisfaction, to learn, that in a
period of four years few crimes of a deep dye or of a hardened nature
have been perpetrated.  Murder and unnatural sins rank not hitherto in the
catalogue of their enormities, and one suicide only has been committed.

To the honour of the female part of our community let it be recorded
that only one woman has suffered capital punishment.  On her condemnation
she pleaded pregnancy, and a jury of venerable matrons was impanneled
on the spot, to examine and pronounce her state, which the forewoman,
a grave personage between sixty and seventy years old, did, by this short
address to the court; 'Gentlemen! she is as much with child as I am.'
Sentence was accordingly passed, and she was executed.

Besides the instance of Irving, two other male convicts, William
Bloodsworth, of Kingston upon Thames, and John Arscott, of Truro,
in Cornwall, were both emancipated for their good conduct, in the years
1790 and 1791.  Several men whose terms of transportation had expired,
and against whom no legal impediment existed to prevent their departure,
have been permitted to enter in merchant ships wanting hands:  and
as my Rose Hill journals testify, many others have had grants of land
assigned to them, and are become settlers in the country.

In so numerous a community many persons of perverted genius and of
mechanical ingenuity could not but be assembled.  Let me produce the
following example.  Frazer was an iron manufacturer, bred at Sheffield,
of whose abilities as a workman we had witnessed many proofs.  The
governor had written to England for a set of locks to be sent out for the
security of the public stores, which were to be so constructed as to be
incapable of being picked.  On their arrival his excellency sent for
Frazer and bade him examine them telling him at the same time that they
could not be picked.  Frazer laughed and asked for a crooked nail only,
to open them all.  A nail was brought, and in an instant he verified his
assertion.  Astonished at his dexterity, a gentleman present determined
to put it to farther proof.  He was sent for in a hurry, some days after,
to the hospital, where a lock of still superior intricacy and expense to
the others had been provided.  He was told that the key was lost and that
the lock must be immediately picked.  He examined it attentively, remarked
that it was the production of a workman, and demanded ten minutes to make
an instrument 'to speak with it.'  Without carrying the lock with him,
he went directly to his shop, and at the expiration of his term returned,
applied his instrument, and open flew the lock.  But it was not only in
this part of his business that he excelled:  he executed every branch
of it in superior style.  Had not his villainy been still more notorious
than his skill, he would have proved an invaluable possession to a new
country.  He had passed through innumerable scenes in life, and had played
many parts.  When too lazy to work at his trade he had turned thief in
fifty different shapes, was a receiver of stolen goods, a soldier and a
travelling conjurer.  He once confessed to me that he had made a set of
tools, for a gang of coiners, every man of whom was hanged.

Were the nature of the subject worthy of farther illustration, many
similar proofs of misapplied talents might be adduced.

Their love of the marvellous has been recorded in an early part of this
work.  The imposture of the gold finder, however prominent and glaring,
nevertheless contributed to awaken attention and to create merriment.
He enjoyed the reputation of a discoverer, until experiment detected the
imposition.  But others were less successful to acquire even momentary
admiration.  The execution of forgery seems to demand at least neatness
of imitation and dexterity of address.  On arrival of the first fleet
of ships from England, several convicts brought out recommendatory letters
from different friends.  Of these some were genuine, and many owed their
birth to the ingenuity of the bearers.  But these last were all such
bungling performances as to produce only instant detection and succeeding
contempt.  One of them addressed to the governor, with the name of
Baron Hotham affixed to it, began 'Honored Sir!'

A leading distinction, which marked the convicts on their outset in the
colony, was an use of what is called the 'flash', or 'kiddy' language.
In some of our early courts of justice an interpreter was frequently
necessary to translate the deposition of the witness and the defence of
the prisoner.  This language has many dialects.  The sly dexterity of the
pickpocket, the brutal ferocity of the footpad, the more elevated career
of the highwayman and the deadly purpose of the midnight ruffian is each
strictly appropriate in the terms which distinguish and characterize it.
I have ever been of opinion that an abolition of this unnatural jargon
would open the path to reformation.  And my observations on these people
have constantly instructed me that indulgence in this infatuating cant
is more deeply associated with depravity and continuance in vice than is
generally supposed.  I recollect hardly one instance of a return to honest
pursuits, and habits of industry, where this miserable perversion of our
noblest and peculiar faculty was not previously conquered.

Those persons to whom the inspection and management of our numerous
and extensive prisons in England are committed will perform a service
to society by attending to the foregoing observation.  Let us always keep
in view, that punishment, when not directed to promote reformation,
is arbitrary, and unauthorised.




CHAPTER XIX.



Facts relating to the probability of establishing a whale fishery
on the coast of New South Wales, with Thoughts on the same.


In every former part of this publication I have studiously avoided
mentioning a whale fishery, as the information relating to it will,
I conceive, be more acceptably received in this form, by those to whom it
is addressed, than if mingled with other matter.

Previous to entering on this detail, it must be observed that several of
the last fleet of ships which had arrived from England with convicts,
were fitted out with implements for whale fishing, and were intended to
sail for the coast of Brazil to pursue the fishery, immediately on having
landed the convicts.

On the 14th of October, 1791, the 'Britannia', Captain Melville, one of
these ships, arrived at Sydney.  In her passage between Van Diemen's Land
and Port Jackson, the master reported that he had seen a large shoal
of spermaceti whales.  His words were, 'I saw more whales at one time
around my ship than in the whole of six years which I have fished on the
coast of Brazil.'

This intelligence was no sooner communicated than all the whalers were
eager to push to sea.  Melville himself was among the most early; and on
the 10th of November, returned to Port Jackson, more confident of success
than before.  He assured me that in the fourteen days which he had been
out, he had seen more spermaced whales than in all his former life.
They amounted, he said to many thousands, most of them of enormous
magnitude; and had he not met with bad weather he could have killed
as many as he pleased.  Seven he did kill, but owing to the stormy
agitated state of the water, he could not get any of them aboard.  In one
however, which in a momentary interval of calm, was killed and secured
by a ship in company, he shared.  The oil and head matter of this fish,
he extolled as of an extraordinary fine quality.  He was of opinion the
former would fetch ten pounds per ton more in London than that procured
on the Brazil coast.  He had not gone farther south than 37 degrees;
and described the latitude of 35 degrees to be the place where the whales
most abounded, just on the edge of soundings, which here extends about
fifteen leagues from the shore; though perhaps, on other parts of the
coast the bank will be found to run hardly so far off.

On the following day (November 11th) the 'Mary Anne', Captain Munro,
another of the whalers, returned into port, after having been out sixteen
days.  She had gone as far south as 41 degrees but saw not a whale,
and had met with tremendously bad weather, in which she had shipped a sea
that had set her boiling coppers afloat and had nearly carried them
overboard.

November 22d.  The 'William and Anne', Captain Buncker, returned after
having been more than three weeks out, and putting into Broken Bay.
This is the ship that had killed the fish in which Melville shared.
Buncker had met with no farther success, owing, he said, entirely, to
gales of wind; for he had seen several immense shoals and was of opinion
that he should have secured fifty tons of oil, had the weather been
tolerably moderate.  I asked him whether he thought the whales he had seen
were fish of passage.  "No" he answered, "they were going on every point
of the compass, and were evidently on feeding ground, which I saw no
reason to doubt that they frequent."  Melville afterwards confirmed to me
this observation.  December 3rd, the 'Mary Anne' and 'Matilda' again
returned.  The former had gone to the southward, and off Port Jervis
had fallen in with two shoals of whales, nine of which were killed, but
owing to bad weather, part of five only were got on board.  As much,
the master computed, as would yield thirty barrels of oil.  He said the
whales were the least shy of any he had ever seen, "not having been
cut up".  The latter had gone to the northward, and had seen no whales
but a few fin-backs.

On the 5th of December, both these ships sailed again; and on the 16th
and 17th of the month (just before the author sailed for England) they
and the 'Britannia' and 'William and Anne' returned to Port Jackson
without success having experienced a continuation of the bad weather
and seen very few fish.  They all said that their intention was to give
the coast one more trial, and if it miscarried to quit it and steer
to the northward in search of less tempestuous seas.

The only remark which I have to offer to adventurers on the above subject,
is not to suffer discouragement by concluding that bad weather only is
to be found on the coast of New South Wales, where the whales have
hitherto been seen.  Tempests happen sometimes there, as in other seas,
but let them feel assured that there are in every month of the year
many days in which the whale fishery may be safely carried on.
The evidence of the abundance in which spermaceti whales are sometimes
seen is incontrovertible:  that which speaks to their being 'not fish
of passage' is at least respectable and hitherto uncontradicted.
The prospect merits attention--may it stimulate to enterprise.

The two discoveries of Port Jervis and Matilda Bay (which are to be found
in the foregoing sheets) may yet be wanting in the maps of the coast.
My account of their geographic situation, except possibly in the exact
longitude of the latter (a point not very material) may be safely depended
upon.  A knowledge of Oyster Bay, discovered and laid down by the 'Mercury'
store-ship, in the year 1789, would also be desirable.  But this I am
incapable of furnishing.

Here terminates my subject.  Content with the humble province of detailing
facts and connecting events by undisturbed narration, I leave to others
the task of anticipating glorious, or gloomy, consequences, from the
establishment of a colony, which unquestionably demands serious
investigation, ere either its prosecution or abandonment be determined.

But doubtless not only those who planned, but those who have been
delegated to execute, an enterprise of such magnitude, have deeply
revolved, that "great national expense does not imply the necessity
of national suffering.  While revenue is employed with success to some
valuable end, the profits of every adventure being more than sufficient
to repay its costs, the public should gain, and its resources should
continue to multiply.  But an expense whether sustained at home or abroad;
whether a waste of the present, or an anticipation of the future, revenue,
if it bring no adequate return, is to be reckoned among the causes
of national ruin."*

[*Ferguson's Essay on the History of Civil Society.]



A list of the Civil and Military Establishments in New South Wales

Governor and Commander in Chief, His Excellency Arthur Phillip, Esq.

Lieutenant Governor, Robert Ross, Esq.

Judge of the Admiralty Court, Robert Ross, Esq.

Chaplain of the Settlement, the Rev. Richard Johnson.

Judge Advocate of the Settlement, David Collins, Esq.

Secretary to the Governor, David Collins, Esq.

Surveyor General, Augustus Alt, Esq.

Commissary of Stores and Provisions, Andrew Miller, Esq.

Assistant Commissary, Mr. Zechariah Clarke.

Provost Martial, who acts as Sheriff of Cumberland County, Mr. Henry Brewer.

Peace Officer, Mr. James Smith.


MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT.

His Majesty's Ship 'Sirius', John Hunter, Esq. Commander.
Lieutenants, Bradley, King, Maxwell.

His Majesty's armed Brig, 'Supply', Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball, Commander.


FOUR COMPANIES OF MARINES

 Major Robert Ross, Commandant.


CAPTAINS COMMANDING COMPANIES

James Campbell, John Shea, Captain Lieutenants, James Meredith, Watkin Tench.


FIRST LIEUTENANTS

George Johnson, John Johnson, John Creswell, James Maltland Shairp,
Robert Nellow, Thomas Davey, James Furzer, Thomas Timins, John Poulden.


SECOND LIEUTENANTS

Ralph Clarke, John Long, William Dawes, William Feddy.

Adjutant, John Long.

Quarter Master, James Furzer.

Aide de Camp to the Governor, George Johnson.

Officer of Engineers and Artillery, William Dawes.


HOSPITAL ESTABLISHMENT.

Surgeon General of the Settlement, John White, Esq.

First Assistant, Mr. Dennis Considen.

Second Assistant, Mr. Thomas Arndell.

Third Assistant, Mr. William Balmain.



The End






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