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Title: History of Australia and New Zealand From 1606 to 1890
Author: Alexander Sutherland and George Sutherland

[Illustration: CAPTAIN COOK.]


* * *

THE HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
FROM 1606 TO 1890
BY
ALEXANDER SUTHERLAND, M.A.
AND
GEORGE SUTHERLAND, M.A.

LONDON
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
AND NEW YORK: 15 EAST 16th STREET

GEORGE ROBERTSON AND CO.
MELBOURNE, SYDNEY, ADELAIDE, AND BRISBANE

1894

* * *

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
[not included in this ebook]

Captain Cook
William Dampier
Rocks, South Heads, Sydney
Town and Cove of Sydney, in 1798
Matthew Flinders
Cook's Monument, Botany Bay
The Explorers' Tree, Katoomba, N.S.W.
Governor Collins
Governor Macquarie
Blue Mountain Scenery, Wentworth Falls, N.S.W.
St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney
Captain Charles Sturt
The First House Built in Victoria
The First Hotel in Victoria
Edward Henty
John Pascoe Fawkner
Governor Latrobe
Collins Street, Melbourne, in 1840
First Settlement at Adelaide, 1836
Governor Hindmarsh
Proclamation Tree, Glenelg
Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney
Edward Hargraves
Perth, Western Australia, in 1838
Perth, 1890
Boomerangs, or Kylies
Parliament House, Brisbane
Victoria Bridge, Brisbane
Government House, Brisbane
Robert O'Hara Burke
William John Wills
Sir John Franklin
Queen Truganina, the last of the Tasmanians
King William Street, Adelaide
George Street, Sydney
The Lithgow Zigzag, the Blue Mountains
The Town Hall, Sydney
Collins Street, Melbourne
Town Hall, Melbourne
Port of Melbourne
A Maori Dwelling
Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand
Rev. S. Marsden, "the Apostle of New Zealand"
Auckland, from the Wharf
Stronghold of the Maoris at Rangiriri
Sir George Grey
Knox Church, Dunedin
Christchurch Cathedral
The Maori King
Rangiriri, from the Waikato
The Cargill Fountain
Victoria Defence Fleet

* * *

CONTENTS.

    I.--The Early Discoverers
   II.--Convict Settlement at Sydney, 1788 to 1890
  III.--Discoveries of Bass and Flinders
   IV.--New South Wales, 1800 to 1808
    V.--Tasmania, 1803 to 1836
   VI.--New South Wales, 1808 to 1837
  VII.--Discoveries in the Interior, 1817 to 1836
 VIII.--Port Phillip, 1800 to 1840
   IX.--South Australia, 1836 to 1841
    X.--New South Wales, 1838 to 1850
   XI.--South Australia, 1841 to 1850
  XII.--The Discovery of Gold
 XIII.--Victoria, 1851 to 1855
  XIV.--New South Wales, 1851 to 1860
   XV.--West Australia, 1829 to 1890
  XVI.--Queensland, 1823 to 1890
 XVII.--Explorations in the Interior, 1840 to 1860
XVIII.--Discoveries in the Interior, 1860 to 1886
  XIX.--Tasmania, 1837 to 1890
   XX.--South Australia, 1850 to 1890
  XXI.--New South Wales, 1860 to 1890
 XXII.--Victoria, 1855 to 1890
XXIII.--The Times of the Maoris
 XXIV.--New Zealand Colonised
  XXV.--White Men and Maoris
 XXVI.--New Zealand, 1843 to 1890

* * *



CHAPTER I. - THE EARLY DISCOVERERS.


#1.# To the people who lived four centuries ago in Europe only a very
small portion of the earth's surface was known. Their geography was
confined to the regions lying immediately around the Mediterranean, and
including Europe, the north of Africa, and the west of Asia. Round these
there was a margin, obscurely and imperfectly described in the reports
of merchants; but by far the greater part of the world was utterly
unknown. Great realms of darkness stretched all beyond, and closely
hemmed in the little circle of light. In these unknown lands our
ancestors loved to picture everything that was strange and mysterious.
They believed that the man who could penetrate far enough would find
countries where inexhaustible riches were to be gathered without toil
from fertile shores, or marvellous valleys; and though wild tales were
told of the dangers supposed to fill these regions, yet to the more
daring and adventurous these only made the visions of boundless wealth
and enchanting loveliness seem more fascinating.

Thus, as the art of navigation improved, and long voyages became
possible, courageous seamen were tempted to venture out into the great
unknown expanse. Columbus carried his trembling sailors over great
tracts of unknown ocean, and discovered the two continents of America;
Vasco di Gama penetrated far to the south, and rounded the Cape of Good
Hope; Magellan, passing through the straits now called by his name, was
the first to enter the Pacific Ocean; and so in the case of a hundred
others, courage and skill carried the hardy seaman over many seas and
into many lands that had lain unknown for ages.

Australia was the last part of the world to be thus visited and
explored. In the year 1600, during the times of Shakespeare, the region
to the south of the East Indies was still as little known as ever; the
rude maps of those days had only a great blank where the islands of
Australia should have been. Most people thought there was nothing but
the ocean in that part of the world; and as the voyage was dangerous and
very long--requiring several years for its completion--scarcely any one
cared to run the risk of exploring it.


#2. De Quiros.#--There was, however, an enthusiastic seaman who firmly
believed that a great continent existed there, and who longed to go in
search of it. This was De Quiros, a Spaniard, who had already sailed
with a famous voyager, and now desired to set out on an expedition of
his own. He spent many years in beseeching the King of Spain to furnish
him with ships and men so that he might seek this southern continent.
King Philip for a long time paid little attention to his entreaties, but
was at last overcome by his perseverance, and told De Quiros that,
though he himself had no money for such purposes, he would order the
Governor of Peru to provide the necessary vessels. De Quiros carried the
king's instructions to Peru, and two ships were soon prepared and filled
with suitable crews--the _Capitana_ and the _Almiranta_, with a smaller
vessel called the _Zabra_ to act as tender. A nobleman named Torres was
appointed second in command, and they set sail from Peru, on a
prosperous voyage across the Pacific, discovering many small islands on
their way, and seeing for the first time the Coral Islands of the South
Seas. At length (1606) they reached a shore which stretched as far as
they could see both north and south, and De Quiros thought he had
discovered the great Southern Continent. He called the place "Tierra
Australis del Espiritu Santo," that is, the "Southern Land of the Holy
Spirit". It is now known that this was not really a continent, but
merely one of the New Hebrides Islands, and more than a thousand miles
away from the mainland. The land was filled by high mountains,
verdure-clad to their summits, and sending down fine streams, which fell
in hoarse-sounding waterfalls from the edges of the rocky shore, or
wandered amid tropical luxuriance of plants down to the golden sands
that lay within the coral barriers. The inhabitants came down to the
edge of the green and shining waters making signs of peace, and twenty
soldiers went ashore, along with an officer, who made friends with them,
exchanging cloth for pigs and fruit. De Quiros coasted along the islands
for a day or two till he entered a fine bay, where his vessels anchored,
and Torres went ashore. A chief came down to meet him, offering him a
present of fruit, and making signs to show that he did not wish the
Spaniards to intrude upon his land. As Torres paid no attention, the
chief drew a line upon the sand, and defied the Spaniards to cross it.
Torres immediately stepped over it, and the natives launched some arrows
at him, which dropped harmlessly from his iron armour. Then the
Spaniards fired their muskets, killing the chief and a number of the
naked savages. The rest stood for a moment, stupefied at the noise and
flash; then turned and ran for the mountains.

The Spaniards spent a few pleasant days among the fruit plantations,
and slept in cool groves of overarching foliage; but subsequently they
had quarrels and combats with the natives, of whom they killed a
considerable number. When the Spaniards had taken on board a sufficient
supply of wood and of fresh water they set sail, but had scarcely got
out to sea when a fever spread among the crew, and became a perfect
plague. They returned and anchored in the bay, where the vessels lay
like so many hospitals. No one died, and after a few days they again put
to sea, this time to be driven back again by bad weather. Torres, with
two ships, safely reached the sheltering bay, but the vessel in which De
Quiros sailed was unable to enter it, and had to stand out to sea and
weather the storm. The sailors then refused to proceed further with the
voyage, and, having risen in mutiny, compelled De Quiros to turn the
vessel's head for Mexico, which they reached after some terrible months
of hunger and thirst.


#3. Torres.#--The other ships waited for a day or two, but no signs being
seen of their consort, they proceeded in search of it. In this voyage
Torres sailed round the land, thus showing that it was no continent, but
only an island. Having satisfied himself that it was useless to seek for
De Quiros, he turned to the west, hoping to reach the Philippine
Islands, where the Spaniards had a colony, at Manila. It was his
singular fortune to sail through that opening which lies between New
Guinea and Australia, to which the name of "Torres Strait" was long
afterwards applied. He probably saw Cape York rising out of the sea to
the south, but thought it only another of those endless little islands
with which the strait is studded. Poor De Quiros spent the rest of his
life in petitioning the King of Spain for ships to make a fresh attempt.
After many years he obtained another order to the Governor of Peru, and
the old weather-beaten mariner once more set out from Spain full of
hope; but at Panama, on his way, death awaited him, and there the
fiery-souled veteran passed away, the last of the great Spanish
navigators. He died in poverty and disappointment, but he is to be
honoured as the first of the long line of Australian discoverers. In
after years, the name he had invented was divided into two parts; the
island he had really discovered being called Espiritu Santo, while the
continent he thought he had discovered was called Terra Australis. This
last name was shortened by another discoverer--Flinders--to the present
term Australia.


#4. The Duyfhen.#--De Quiros and Torres were Spaniards, but the Dutch also
displayed much anxiety to reach the great South Continent. From their
colony at Java they sent out a small vessel, the _Duyfhen_, or _Dove_,
which sailed into the Gulf of Carpentaria, and passed half-way down
along its eastern side. Some sailors landed, but so many of them were
killed by the natives that the captain was glad to embark again and sail
for home, after calling the place of their disaster Cape Keer-weer, or
Turnagain. These Dutch sailors were the first Europeans, as far as can
now be known, who landed on Australian soil; but as they never published
any account of their voyage, it is only by the merest chance that we
know anything of it.


#5. Other Dutch Discoverers.#--During the next twenty years various Dutch
vessels, while sailing to the settlements in the East Indies, met with
the coast of Australia. In 1616 Dirk Hartog landed on the island in
Shark Bay which is now called after him. Two years later Captain Zaachen
is said to have sailed along the north coast, which he called Arnhem
Land. Next year (1619) another captain, called Edel, surveyed the
western shores, which for a long time bore his name. In 1622 a Dutch
ship, the _Leeuwin_, or _Lioness_, sailed along the southern coast, and
its name was given to the south-west cape of Australia. In 1627 Peter
Nuyts entered the Great Australian Bight, and made a rough chart of
some of its shores; in 1628 General Carpenter sailed completely round
the large gulf to the north, which has taken its name from this
circumstance. Thus, by degrees, all the northern and western, together
with part of the southern shores, came to be roughly explored, and the
Dutch even had some idea of colonising this continent.


#6. Tasman.#--During the next fourteen years we hear no more of voyages
to Australia; but in 1642 Antony Van Diemen, the Governor of the Dutch
possessions in the East Indies, sent out his friend Abel Jansen Tasman,
with two ships, to make new discoveries in the South Seas. Tasman first
went to the Island of Bourbon, from which he sailed due south for a
time; but finding no signs of land, he turned to the east, and three
months after setting out he saw a rocky shore in the distance. Stormy
weather coming on, he was driven out to sea, and it was not till a week
later that he was able to reach the coast again. He called the place Van
Diemen's Land, and sent some sailors on shore to examine the country.
These men heard strange noises in the woods, and saw trees of enormous
height, in which notches were cut seven feet apart. These they believed
to be the steps used by the natives in climbing the trees, and they
therefore returned to report that the land was exceedingly beautiful,
but inhabited by men of gigantic size. Tasman, next day, allowed the
carpenter to swim ashore and set up the Dutch flag; but having himself
seen, from his ship, what he thought to be men of extraordinary stature
moving about on the shore, he lost no time in taking up his anchor and
setting sail. Farther to the east he discovered the islands of New
Zealand, and after having made a partial survey of their coasts, he
returned to Batavia. Two years after he was sent on a second voyage of
discovery, and explored the northern and western shores of Australia
itself; but the results do not seem to have been important, and are not
now known. His chief service in the exploration of Australia was the
discovery of Tasmania, as it is now called, after his name. This he did
not know to be an island; he drew it on his maps as if it were a
peninsula belonging to the mainland of Australia.


#7. Dampier.#--The discoveries that had so far been made were very
imperfect, for the sailors generally contented themselves with looking
at the land from a safe distance. They made no surveys such as would
have enabled them to draw correct charts of the coasts; they seldom
landed, and even when they did, they never sought to become acquainted
with the natives, or to learn anything as to the nature of the interior
of the country. The first who took the trouble to obtain information of
this more accurate kind was the Englishman, William Dampier.

[Illustration: WILLIAM DAMPIER.]

When a young man Dampier had gone out to Jamaica to manage a large
estate; but not liking the slave-driving business, he crossed over to
Campeachy, and lived for a time in the woods, cutting the more valuable
kinds of timber. Here he became acquainted with the buccaneers who made
the lonely coves of Campeachy their headquarters. Being persuaded to
join them, he entered upon a life of lawless daring, constantly fighting
and plundering, and meeting with the wildest adventures. He was often
captured by the American natives, still more often by the Spaniards, but
always escaped to enter upon exploits of fresh danger. In 1688 he joined
a company of buccaneers, who proposed to make a voyage round the world
and plunder on their way. It took them more than a year to reach the
East Indies, where they spent a long time, sometimes attacking Spanish
ships or Dutch fortresses, sometimes leading an easy luxurious life
among the natives, often quarrelling among themselves, and even going so
far as to leave their captain with forty men on the island of Mindanao.
But at length the time came when it was necessary to seek some quiet
spot where they should be able to clean and repair the bottoms of their
ships. Accordingly, they landed on the north-west coast of Australia,
and lived for twelve days at the place now called "Buccaneers'
Archipelago". They were the first Europeans who held any communication
with the natives of Australia, and the first to publish a detailed
account of their voyage thither. Growing tired of a lawless life, and
having become wealthy, Dampier bought an estate in England, where he
lived some years in retirement, till his love of adventure led him forth
again. The King of England was anxious to encourage discovery, and
fitted out a vessel called the _Roebuck_, to explore the southern seas.
Dampier was the only man in England who had ever been to Australia, and
to him was given the command of the little vessel, which sailed in the
year 1699. It took a long time to reach Australia, but at last the
_Roebuck_ entered what Dampier called Shark Bay, from an enormous shark
he caught there. He then explored the north-west coast as far as Roebuck
Bay, in all about nine hundred miles; of which he published a full and
fairly accurate account. He was a man of keen observation, and delighted
to describe the habits and manners of the natives, as well as
peculiarities in the plants and animals, of the various places he
visited. During the time he was in Australia he frequently met with the
blacks and became well acquainted with them. He gives this description
of their appearance:--

"The inhabitants are the most miserable wretches in the universe, having
no houses nor garments. They feed upon a few fish, cockles, mussels, and
periwinkles. They are without religion and without government. In figure
they are tall, straight-bodied and thin, with small, long limbs."

The country itself, he says, is low and sandy, with no fresh water and
scarcely any animals except one which looks like a racoon, and jumps
about on its long hind legs. Altogether, his description is not
prepossessing; and he says that the only pleasure he had found in this
part of his voyage was the satisfaction of having discovered the most
barren spot on the face of the earth.

This account is, in most respects, correct, so far as regards the
portion of Australia visited by Dampier. But, unfortunately, he saw only
the most inhospitable part of the whole continent. There are many parts
whose beauty would have enchanted him, but as he had sailed along nearly
a thousand miles without seeing any shore that was not miserable, it is
not to be wondered at that he reported the whole land to be worthless.
He was subsequently engaged in other voyages of discovery, in one of
which he rescued the famous Alexander Selkirk from his lonely island;
but, amid all his subsequent adventures, he never entertained the idea
of returning to Australia.

Dampier published a most interesting account of all his travels in
different parts of the world, and his book was for a long time the
standard book of travels. Defoe used the materials it contained for his
celebrated novel, _Robinson Crusoe_. But it turned away the tide of
discovery from Australia; for those who read of the beautiful islands
and rich countries Dampier had elsewhere visited would never dream of
incurring the labour and expense of a voyage to so dull and barren a
spot as Australia seemed to be from the description in his book. Thus we
hear of no further explorations in this part of the world until nearly a
century after; and, even then, no one thought of sending out ships
specially for the purpose.


#8. Captain Cook.#--But in the year 1770 a series of important discoveries
was indirectly brought about. The Royal Society of London, calculating
that the planet Venus would cross the disc of the sun in 1769, persuaded
the English Government to send out an expedition to the Pacific Ocean
for the purpose of making observations which would enable astronomers to
calculate the distance of the earth from the sun. A small vessel, the
_Endeavour_, was chosen; astronomers with their instruments embarked,
and the whole placed under the charge of James Cook, a sailor whose
admirable character fully merited this distinction. At thirteen he had
been a shopkeeper's assistant, but, preferring the sea, he had become an
apprentice in a coal vessel. After many years of rude life in this
trade, during which he contrived to carry on his education in
mathematics and navigation, he entered the Royal Navy, and by diligence
and honesty rose to the rank of master. He had completed so many
excellent surveys in North America, and, besides, had made himself so
well acquainted with astronomy, that the Government had no hesitation in
making their choice. That it was a wise one, the care and success of
Cook fully showed. He carried the expedition safely to Tahiti, built
fortifications, and erected instruments for the observations, which were
admirably made. Having finished this part of his task, he thought it
would be a pity, with so fine a ship and crew, not to make some
discoveries in these little-known seas. He sailed south for a time
without meeting land; then, turning west, he reached those islands of
New Zealand which had been first seen by Tasman. But Cook made a far
more complete exploration than had been possible to Tasman. For six
months he examined their shores, sailing completely round both islands
and making excellent maps of them.

Then, saying good-bye to these coasts at what he named Cape Farewell, he
sailed westward for three weeks, until his outlook man raised the cry of
"land," and they were close to the shores of Australia at Cape Howe.
Standing to the north-east, he sailed along the coast till he reached a
fine bay, where he anchored for about ten days. On his first landing he
was opposed by two of the natives, who seemed quite ready to encounter
more than forty armed men. Cook endeavoured to gain their good-will, but
without success. A musket fired between them startled, but did not
dismay them; and when some small shot was fired into the legs of one of
them, though he turned and ran into his hut, it was only for the purpose
of putting on a shield and again facing the white men. Cook made many
subsequent attempts to be friendly with the natives, but always without
success. He examined the country for a few miles inland, and two of his
scientific friends--Sir Joseph Banks and Dr. Solander--made splendid
collections of botanical specimens. From this circumstance the place was
called Botany Bay, and its two headlands received the names of Cape
Banks and Cape Solander. It was here that Captain Cook, amid the firing
of cannons and volleys of musketry, took possession of the country on
behalf of His Britannic Majesty, giving it the name, "New South Wales,"
on account of the resemblance of its coasts to the southern shores of
Wales.

Shortly after they had set sail from Botany Bay they observed a small
opening in the land; but Cook did not stay to examine it, merely marking
it on his chart as "Port Jackson," in honour of his friend Sir George
Jackson. The vessel still continued her course northward along the
coast, till they anchored in Moreton Bay. After a short stay, they again
set out towards the north, making a rough chart of the shores they saw.
In this way they had sailed along thirteen hundred miles without serious
mishap, when one night, at about eleven o'clock, they found the sea grow
very shallow; all hands were quickly on deck, but before the ship could
be turned she struck heavily on a sunken rock. No land was to be seen,
and they therefore concluded that it was upon a bank of coral they had
struck. The vessel seemed to rest upon the ridge; but, as the swell of
the ocean rolled past, she bumped very heavily. Most of the cannons and
other heavy articles were thrown overboard, and, the ship being thus
lightened, they tried to float her off at daybreak. This they were
unable to do; but, by working hard all next day, they prepared
everything for a great effort at the evening tide, and had the
satisfaction of seeing the rising waters float the vessel off. But now
the sea was found to be pouring in through the leaks so rapidly that,
even with four pumps constantly going, they could scarcely keep her
afloat. They worked hard day and night, but the ship was slowly sinking,
when, by the ingenious device of passing a sail beneath her and pulling
it tightly, it was found that the leakage was sufficiently decreased to
keep her from foundering. Shortly after, they saw land, which Captain
Cook called "Cape Tribulation". He took the vessel into the mouth of a
small river, which they called the Endeavour, and there careened her. On
examining the bottom, it was found that a great sharp rock had pierced a
hole in her timbers, such as must inevitably have sent her to the bottom
in spite of pumps and sails, had it not been that the piece of coral
had broken off and remained firmly fixed in the vessel's side, thus
itself filling up the greater part of the hole it had caused. The ship
was fully repaired; and, after a delay of two months, they proceeded
northward along the coast to Cape York. They then sailed through Torres
Strait, and made it clear that New Guinea and Australia are not joined.


#9. Subsequent Visits.#--Several ships visited Australia during the next
few years, but their commanders contented themselves with merely viewing
the coasts which had already been discovered, and returned without
adding anything new. In 1772 Marion, a Frenchman, and next year
Furneaux, an Englishman, sailed along the coasts of Van Diemen's Land.
In 1777 Captain Cook, shortly before his death, anchored for a few days
in Adventure Bay, on the east coast of Van Diemen's Land. La Perouse,
Vancouver, and D'Entrecasteaux also visited Australia, and, though they
added nothing of importance, they assisted in filling in the details. By
this time nearly all the coasts had been roughly explored, and the only
great point left unsettled was, whether Van Diemen's Land was an island
or not.




CHAPTER II. - THE CONVICT SETTLEMENT AT SYDNEY, 1788-1800.


#1. Botany Bay.#--The reports brought home by Captain Cook completely
changed the beliefs current in those days with regard to Australia. From
the time of Dampier it had been supposed that the whole of this
continent must be the same flat and miserable desert as the part he
described. Cook's account, on the other hand, represented the eastern
coast as a country full of beauty and promise. Now, it so happened that,
shortly after Cook's return, the English nation had to deal with a great
difficulty in regard to its criminal population. In 1776 the United
States declared their independence, and the English then found they
could no longer send their convicts over to Virginia, as they had
formerly done. In a short time the gaols of England were crowded with
felons. It became necessary to select a new place of transportation;
and, just as this difficulty arose, Captain Cook's voyages called
attention to a land in every way suited for such a purpose, both by
reason of its fertility and of its great distance. Viscount Sydney,
therefore, determined to send out a party to Botany Bay, in order to
found a convict settlement there; and in May, 1787, a fleet was ready to
sail. It consisted of the _Sirius_ war-ship, its tender the _Supply_,
together with six transports for the convicts, and three ships for
carrying the stores. Of the convicts, five hundred and fifty were men
and two hundred and twenty were women. To guard these, there were on
board two hundred soldiers. Captain Phillip was appointed Governor of
the colony, Captain Hunter was second in command, and Mr. Collins went
out as judge-advocate, to preside in the military courts, which it was
intended to establish for the administration of justice. On the 18th,
19th, and 20th of January, 1788, the vessels arrived, one after another,
in Botany Bay, after a voyage of eight months, during which many of the
convicts had died from diseases brought on by so long a confinement.


#2. Port Jackson.#--As soon as the ships had anchored in Botany Bay,
convicts were landed and commenced to clear the timber from a portion of
the land; but a day or two was sufficient to show the unsuitability of
Botany Bay for such a settlement. Its waters were so shallow that the
ships could not enter it properly, and had to lie near the Heads, where
the great waves of the Pacific rolled in on them by night and day.
Governor Phillip, therefore, took three boats, and sailed out to search
for some more convenient harbour. As he passed along the coast he turned
to examine the opening which Captain Cook had called Port Jackson, and
soon found himself in a winding channel of water, with great cliffs
frowning overhead. All at once a magnificent prospect opened on his
eyes. A harbour, which is, perhaps, the most beautiful and perfect in
the world, stretched before him far to the west, till it was lost on the
distant horizon. It seemed a vast maze of winding waters, dotted here
and there with lovely islets; its shores thickly wooded down to the
strips of golden sand which lined the most charming little bays; and its
broad sheets of rippling waters bordered by lines of dusky foliage. The
scene has always been one of surpassing loveliness; but to those who
filled the first boats that ever threw the foam from its surface, who
felt themselves the objects of breathless attention to groups of natives
who stood gazing here and there from the projecting rocks, it must have
had an enchanting effect. To Captain Phillip himself, whose mind had
been filled with anxiety and despondency as to the future prospects of
his charge, it opened out like the vision of a world of new hope and
promise.

[Illustration: ROCKS, SOUTH HEADS, SYDNEY.]

Three days were spent in examining portions of this spacious harbour,
and in exploring a few of its innumerable bays. Captain Phillip
selected, as the place most suitable for the settlement, a small inlet,
which, in honour of the Minister of State, he called Sydney Cove. It was
so deep as to allow vessels to approach to within a yard or two of the
shore, thus avoiding the necessity of spending time and money in
building wharves or piers. After a few days the fleet was brought round
and lay at anchor in this little cove which is now the crowded Circular
Quay. The convicts were landed, and commenced to clear away the trees on
the banks of a small stream which stole silently through a very dense
wood. When an open space had been obtained, a flagstaff was erected near
the present battery on Dawe's Point; the soldiers fired three volleys,
and the Governor read his commission to the assembled company. Then
began a scene of noise and bustle. From dawn to sunset, nothing could be
heard but the sound of axes, hammers, and saws, with the crash of trees
and the shouts of the convict overseers. They lost no time in preparing
their habitations on shore; for the confinement of the overcrowded ships
had become intolerably hateful.


#3. Early Sufferings.#--More than a third of their number were ill with
scurvy and other diseases--sixty-six lay in the little hospital which
had been set up, and many of them never recovered. Those who were well
enough to work began to clear the land for cultivation; but so soon as
everything was ready for the ploughing to begin, the amazing fact was
discovered that no one knew anything of agriculture; and had it not been
that Governor Phillip had with him a servant who had been for a time on
a farm, their labour would have been of little avail. As it was, the
cultivation was of the rudest kind; one man, even if he had been a
highly experienced person, could do very little to instruct so many. The
officers and soldiers were smart enough on parade, but they were useless
on a farm; the convicts, instead of trying to learn, expended all their
ingenuity in picking each other's pockets, or in robbing the stores.
They would do no work unless an armed soldier was standing behind them,
and if he turned away for a moment, they would deliberately destroy the
farm implements in their charge, hide them in the sand or throw them
into the water. Thus, only a trifling amount of food was obtained from
the soil; the provisions they had brought with them were nearly
finished, and when the news came that the _Guardian_ transport, on which
they were depending for fresh supplies, had struck on an iceberg and had
been lost, the little community was filled with the deepest dismay. Soon
after, a ship arrived with a number of fresh convicts, but no
provisions; in great haste the _Sirius_ was sent to the Cape of Good
Hope, and the _Supply_ to Batavia; these vessels brought back as much as
they could get, but it was all used in a month or two. Starvation now
lay before the settlement; every one, including the officers and the
Governor himself, was put on the lowest rations which could keep the
life in a man's body, and yet there was not enough of food, even at
this miserable rate, to last for any length of time. Numbers died of
starvation; the Governor stopped all the works, as the men were too weak
to continue them. The sheep and cattle which they had brought with so
much trouble to become the origin of flocks and herds were all killed
for food, with the exception of two or three which had escaped to the
woods and had been lost from sight.


#4. Norfolk Island.#--Under these circumstances, Governor Phillip sent two
hundred convicts, with about seventy soldiers, to Norfolk Island, where
there was a moderate chance of their being able to support themselves;
for, immediately after his arrival in New South Wales, he had sent
Lieutenant King to take possession of that island, of whose beauty and
fertility Captain Cook had spoken very highly. Twenty-seven convicts and
soldiers had gone along with King, and had cleared away the timber from
the rich brown soil. They had little trouble in raising ample crops, and
were now in the midst of plenty, which their less fortunate companions
came to share. But the _Sirius_, in which they had been carried over,
was wrecked on a coral reef near the island before she could return, and
with her was lost a considerable quantity of provisions.


#5. The Second Fleet.#--The prospects of the colony at Sydney had grown
very black, when a store-ship suddenly appeared off the Heads. Great was
the rejoicing at first; but when a storm arose and drove the vessel
northward among the reefs of Broken Bay, their exultation was changed to
a painful suspense. For some hours her fate was doubtful; but, to the
intense relief of the expectant people on shore, she managed to make
the port and land her supplies. Shortly after, two other store-ships
arrived, and the community was never again so badly in want of
provisions. Matters were growing cheerful, when a fresh gloom was caused
by the arrival of a fleet filled to overflowing with sick and dying
convicts. Seventeen hundred had been embarked, but of these two hundred
had died on the way, and their bodies had been thrown overboard. Several
hundreds were in the last stages of emaciation and exhaustion; scarcely
one of the whole fifteen hundred who landed was fit for a day's work.
This brought fresh misery and trouble, and the deaths were of appalling
frequency.


#6. Escape of Prisoners.#--Many of the convicts sought to escape from
their sufferings by running away; some seized the boats in the harbour
and tried to sail for the Dutch colony in Java; others hid themselves
in the woods, and either perished or else returned, after weeks of
starvation, to give themselves up to the authorities. In 1791 a band of
between forty and fifty set out to walk to China, and penetrated a few
miles into the bush, where their bleached and whitened skeletons some
years after told their fate.


#7. Departure of Governor Phillip.#--Amid these cares and trials the
health of Governor Phillip fairly broke down, and, in 1792, forced him
to resign. He was a man of energy and decision; prompt and skilful, yet
humane and just in his character; his face, though pinched and pale with
ill-health, had a sweet and benevolent expression; no better man could
have been selected to fill the difficult position he held with so much
credit to himself. He received a handsome pension from the British
Government, and retired to spend his life in English society. Major
Grose and Captain Patterson took charge of the colony for the next three
years; but in 1795 Captain Hunter, who, after the loss of his ship, the
_Sirius_, had returned to England, arrived in Sydney to occupy the
position of Governor.


#8. Governor Hunter.#--By this time affairs had passed their crisis, and
were beginning to be favourable. About sixty convicts, whose sentences
had expired, had received grants of land, and, now that they were
working for themselves, had become successful farmers. Governor Hunter
brought out a number of free settlers, to whom he gave land near the
Hawkesbury; and, after a time, more than six thousand acres were covered
with crops of wheat and maize. There was now no fear of famine, and the
settlement grew to be comfortable in most respects. Unfortunately, the
more recent attempts to import cattle with which to stock the farms had
proved more or less unsuccessful; so that the discovery of a fine herd
of sixty wandering through the meadows of the Hawkesbury was hailed with
great delight. These were the descendants of the cattle which had been
lost from Governor Phillip's herd some years before.


#9. State of the Settlement.#--Twelve years after the foundation of
the colony, its population amounted to between six and seven thousand
persons. These were all settled near Sydney, which was a straggling town
with one main street 200 feet wide, running up the valley from Sydney
Cove, while on the slopes at either side the huts of the convicts were
stationed far apart and each in a fenced-in plot of ground. On the
little hills overlooking the cove, a number of big, bare, stone
buildings were the Government quarters and barracks for the soldiers.

[Illustration: TOWN AND COVE OF SYDNEY IN 1798.
(Compare with page 169.)]

Attempts had been made to penetrate to the west, though without success.
The rugged chain of the Blue Mountains was an impassable barrier.
Seventy miles north of Sydney a fine river--the Hunter--had been
discovered by Lieutenant Shortland while in pursuit of some runaway
convicts who had stolen a boat. Signs of coal having been seen near
its mouth, convicts were sent up to open mines, and, these proving
successful, the town of Newcastle rapidly formed. In 1800 Governor
Hunter returned to England on business, intending to come out again; but
he was appointed to the command of a war-ship, and Lieutenant King was
sent out to take his place.




CHAPTER III. - THE DISCOVERIES OF BASS AND FLINDERS.


#1.# No community has ever been more completely isolated than the first
inhabitants of Sydney. They were three thousand miles away from the
nearest white men; before them lay a great ocean, visited only at rare
intervals, and, for the greater part, unexplored; behind them was an
unknown continent, a vast, untrodden waste, in which they formed but a
speck. They were almost completely shut out from intercourse with the
civilised world, and few of them could have any hope of returning to
their native land. This made the colony all the more suitable as a place
of punishment; for people shrank with horror at the idea of being
banished to what seemed like a tomb for living men and women. But, for
all that, it was not desirable that Australia should remain always as
unknown and unexplored as it then was; and, seven years after the first
settlement was made, two men arrived who were determined not to suffer
it so to remain.

When Governor Hunter came in 1795, he brought with him, on board his
ship the _Reliance_, a young surgeon, George Bass, and a midshipman
called Matthew Flinders. They were young men of the most admirable
character, modest and amiable, filled with a generous and manly
affection for one another, and fired by a lofty enthusiasm which
rejoiced in the wide field for discovery and fame that spread all around
them. Within a month after their arrival they purchased a small boat
about eight feet in length, which they christened the _Tom Thumb_. Its
crew consisted of themselves and a boy to assist--truly a poor equipment
with which to face a great and stormy ocean like the Pacific. They
sailed out, and after tossing for some time like a toy on the huge
waves, they succeeded in entering Botany Bay, which they thoroughly
explored, making a chart of its shores and rivers. On their return,
Governor Hunter was so highly pleased with their work, that, shortly
after, he gave them a holiday, which they spent in making a longer
expedition to the south. It was said that a very large river fell into
the sea south of Botany Bay, and they went out to search for its mouth.


#2. Boat Excursion.#--In this trip they met with some adventures which
will serve to illustrate the dangers of such a voyage. On one occasion,
when their boat had been upset on the shore, and their powder was wetted
by the sea-water, about fifty natives gathered round them, evidently
with no friendly intention. Bass spread the powder out on the rocks to
dry, and procured a supply of fresh water from a neighbouring pond. But
they were in expectation every moment of being attacked and speared, and
there was no hope of defending themselves till the powder was ready.
Flinders, knowing the fondness of the natives for the luxury of a shave,
persuaded them to sit down one after another on a rock, and amused them
by clipping their beards with a pair of scissors. As soon as the powder
was dry the explorers loaded their muskets and cautiously retreated to
their boat, which they set right, and pushed off without mishap.

Once more on the Pacific, new dangers awaited them. They had been
carried far to the south by the strong currents, and the wind was
unfavourable. There was therefore no course open to them but to row as
far as they could during the day, and at night throw out the stone which
served as an anchor, and lie as sheltered as they could, in order to
snatch a little sleep. On one of these nights, while they lay thus
asleep, the wind suddenly rose to a gale, and they were roughly wakened
by the splashing of the waves over their boat. They pulled up their
stone anchor and ran before the tempest--Bass holding the sail and
Flinders steering with an oar. As Flinders says: "It required the utmost
care to prevent broaching to; a single wrong movement or a moment's
inattention would have sent us to the bottom. The task of the boy was to
bale out the water, which, in spite of every care, the sea threw in upon
us. The night was perfectly dark, and we knew of no place of shelter,
and the only direction by which we could steer was the roar of the waves
upon the neighbouring cliff's." After an hour spent in this manner, they
found themselves running straight for the breakers. They pulled down
their mast and got out the oars, though without much hope of escape.
They rowed desperately, however, and had the satisfaction of rounding
the long line of boiling surf. Three minutes after they were in smooth
water, under the lee of the rocks, and soon they discovered a
well-sheltered cove, where they anchored for the rest of the night.

It was not till two days later that they found the place they were
seeking. It turned out not to be a river at all, but only the little bay
of Port Hacking, which they examined and minutely described. When they
reached Sydney they gave information which enabled accurate maps to be
constructed of between thirty and forty miles of coast.


#3. Clarke.#--On arriving at Port Jackson, they found that an accident
had indirectly assisted in exploring that very coast on which they had
landed. A vessel called the _Sydney Cove_, on its way to Port Jackson,
had been wrecked on Furneaux Island, to the north of Van Diemen's Land.
A large party, headed by Mr. Clarke, the supercargo, had started in
boats, intending to sail along the coasts and obtain help from Sydney.
They were thrown ashore by a storm at Cape Howe, and had to begin a
dreary walk of three hundred miles through dense and unknown country.
Their small store of provisions was soon used, and they could find no
food and little fresh water on their path. Many dropped down, exhausted
by hunger and fatigue, and had to be abandoned to their fate. Of those
who contrived to approach within thirty miles of Sydney, the greater
part were murdered by the same tribe of blacks from whom Bass and
Flinders had apprehended danger. Clarke and one or two others reached
Port Jackson; their clothes in tatters, their bodies wasted almost to
the bones, and in such a state that, when a boat was brought to carry
them over the bay to Sydney, they had to be lifted on board like
infants. Mr. Clarke, on his recovery, was able to give a very useful
account of a great tract of land not previously explored. The crew of
the _Sydney Cove_ were meanwhile living on one of the Furneaux Group,
and several small ships were sent down from Sydney to rescue the crew
and cargo; these also served to make the coast better known. Flinders
was very anxious to go in one of them, in order to make a chart of the
places he might pass; but his ship, the _Reliance_, sailed for Norfolk
Island, and he had to be a long time absent.


[Illustration: MATTHEW FLINDERS.]

#4. Discovery of Bass Straits.#--His friend Bass was more fortunate; for
Governor Hunter gave him an open whaleboat, together with provisions for
six weeks, and six men to manage the boat. With these he discovered the
harbour and river of Shoalhaven; entered and mapped out Jervis Bay;
discovered Twofold Bay, then rounded Cape Howe, and discovered the
country now called Victoria. After sailing along the Ninety-mile Beach,
he saw high land to the south-west; and, standing out towards it,
discovered the bold headland which was afterwards named Wilson's
Promontory. Bad weather drove him to seek for shelter, and this led to
the discovery of Western Port, where he remained thirteen days. But as
his provisions were running short, he was forced, with a heavy heart, to
turn homeward. He had again to seek shelter, however, from strong head
winds, and in doing so discovered what is called Corner Inlet. In all he
prolonged his voyage to eleven weeks, before he again reached Sydney:
during that time he had explored six hundred miles of coast, and had
discovered four important bays, as well as what is perhaps the most
important cape in Australia. His greatest service, however, was the
proof that Van Diemen's Land is not joined to Australia, but is divided
from it by the wide strait to which Bass's name is now so justly given.
All this, effected in an open whaleboat on a great ocean, may well fill
us with admiration for the courage and skill of the young surgeon.


#5. Flinders.#--When Flinders returned from Norfolk Island, he obtained
leave to join the next vessel that should start for the wreck of the
_Sydney Cove_. Having arrived at Furneaux Island, during the time that
the wreckage and remaining cargo were being gathered, he obtained the
loan of a small boat for five days, and in it made careful surveys of
the islands and straits to the north of Van Diemen's Land. It was in
this trip that he made the first discovery of that peculiar Australian
animal, the wombat.


#6. Circumnavigation of Van Diemen's Land.#--Next year (1798) Governor
Hunter gave to the two ardent young men a small sloop--the _Norfolk_--in
which to prosecute their discoveries. They received three months' leave
of absence, in which time they proposed to sail round Van Diemen's Land.
This they did, and discovered during their voyage the river Tamar and
its estuary, Port Dalrymple. It was not in discovery alone that they
were successful. Flinders made the most beautiful and exact charts of
all the coasts; he sometimes spent whole days in careful and laborious
observations and measurements, in order to have the latitude and
longitude of a single place correctly marked.


#7. Fate of Bass.#--On their return to Sydney Bass met some friends,
who persuaded him to join them in making their fortune by carrying
contraband goods into South America, in spite of the Spaniards. What
became of Bass is not known, but it is supposed that he was captured by
the Spaniards and sent to the silver mines, where he was completely lost
from sight. He who entered those dreary mines was lost for ever to human
knowledge; and Bass may have perished there after years of wearisome and
unknown labour. After all his hardships and adventures, his enthusiasm
and his self-devotion, he passed away from men's eyes, and no one was
curious to know whither he had gone; but Australians of these days have
learnt to honour the memory of the man who first, in company with his
friend, laid the foundation of so much of their geography.


#8. The Publication of Flinders' Charts.#--Flinders remained in His
Majesty's service, and in the following year was raised to the rank of
lieutenant. With his little ship, the _Norfolk_, he examined the coasts
of New South Wales, from Sydney northward as far as Hervey Bay. Next
year (1800) he went to London, where his charts were published,
containing the first exact accounts of the geography of Australia. They
were greatly praised, and the English Government resolved to send out an
expedition to survey all the coasts of Australia in like manner.
Flinders was placed at the head of it; a vessel was given to him, which
he called the _Investigator_; a passport was obtained for him from the
French Government, so that, though England and France were then at war,
he might not be obstructed by French war-ships. Sailing to the south
coast of Australia, he discovered Kangaroo Island and Spencer's Gulf,
and then entered Port Phillip under the impression that he was the
discoverer of that inlet, but afterwards learnt that Lieutenant Murray,
in his ship the _Lady Nelson_, had discovered it ten weeks before.


#9. Baudin.#--As Flinders sailed down towards Bass Strait he met with a
French expedition, under M. Baudin, who had been sent out by Napoleon to
make discoveries in Australia. He had loitered so long on the coast of
Tasmania that Flinders had been able to complete the examination of the
southern coast before he even approached it. Yet Baudin sailed into the
very bays which had already been mapped out, gave them French names, and
took to himself the honour of their discovery. Some months later the two
expeditions met one another again in Port Jackson. Flinders showed his
charts, and the French officers allowed that he had carried off the
honours of nearly all the discoveries on the south coast; but, in spite
of that, a report was published in France in which Flinders' claims
were quite ignored, and Baudin represented as the hero of Australian
discovery. The colonists at Port Jackson, however, treated the French
sailors with much kindness. Many of them were suffering from scurvy, and
these were carried to the Sydney hospital and carefully tended; and
though the colonists had themselves eaten only salt meat for months
before, in order to preserve their cattle, yet they killed these very
cattle to provide fresh meat for the sick sailors. Baudin and his
officers were feasted, and everything was done both by Flinders and the
people of Sydney to make their stay agreeable.


#10. Imprisonment of Flinders.#--Flinders continued his voyage
northwards, rounded Cape York, and examined the northern coasts, making
an excellent chart of Torres Strait; but his vessel becoming too rotten
to be longer used, he was forced to return to Sydney. Desiring to carry
his charts and journals to England, he took his passage in an old
store-ship, but she had not sailed far before she struck on a coral
reef; the crew with difficulty reached a small sandbank, from which they
were not released till two months after. Flinders saved his papers, and
brought them back to Sydney. A small schooner, the _Cumberland_, was
given him in which to sail for England; but she was too leaky, and too
small a vessel to carry food for so long a voyage; so that he was forced
to put into the Mauritius, which then belonged to France. He fancied
that his passport from Napoleon would be his protection; but the
Governor, De Caen, a low and ignorant fellow, seized him, took his
papers from him, and cast him into prison.

[Illustration: COOK'S MONUMENT, BOTANY BAY.]

Baudin soon after called at the Mauritius, and would probably have
procured the release of his brother-mariner had he not died immediately
after his arrival. The charts of Flinders, however, were all sent to
France, where they were published with altered names, as if they were
the work of Frenchmen. Meanwhile, Flinders was spending the weary months
in close confinement at the Mauritius.


#11. Death of Flinders.#--Nearly six years passed away before the approach
of an English fleet compelled the French to release him; and when he
went to England he found that people knew all about those very places
of which he thought he was bringing the first tidings. He commenced,
however, to write his great book, and worked with the utmost pains to
make all his maps scrupulously accurate. After about four years of
incessant labour, the three volumes were ready for the press; but he was
doomed never to see them. So many years of toil, so many nights passed
in open boats or on the wet sands, so many shipwrecks and weeks of
semi-starvation, together with his long and unjust imprisonment, had
utterly destroyed his constitution; and on the very day when his book
was being published, the wife and daughter of Flinders were tending his
last painful hours. He was, perhaps, our greatest maritime discoverer: a
man who worked because his heart was in his work; who sought no reward,
and obtained none; who lived laboriously, and did honourable service to
mankind; yet died, like his friend Bass, almost unknown to those of his
own day, but leaving a name which the world is every year more and more
disposed to honour.




CHAPTER IV. - NEW SOUTH WALES, 1800-1808.


#1. Governor King.#--Governor Hunter, who left Sydney in the year 1800,
was succeeded by Captain King, the young officer who has been already
mentioned as the founder of the settlement at Norfolk Island. He was a
man of much ability, and was both active and industrious; yet so
overwhelming at this time were the difficulties of Governorship in New
South Wales, that his term of office was little more than a distressing
failure. The colony consisted chiefly of convicts, who were--many of
them--the most depraved and hardened villains to be met with in the
history of crime. To keep these in check, and to maintain order, was no
easy task; but to make them work, to convert them into industrious and
well-behaved members of the community, was far beyond any Governor's
power. King made an effort, and did his very best; but after a time he
grew disheartened, and, in his disappointment, complained of the folly
which expected him to make farmers out of pickpockets. His chances of
success would have been much increased had he been properly seconded by
his subordinates. But, unfortunately, circumstances had arisen which
caused the officers and soldiers not only to render him no assistance
whatever, but even to thwart and frustrate his most careful plans.


[Illustration: THE EXPLORERS' TREE, KATOOMBA, N.S.W.]

#2. The New South Wales Corps.#--In 1790 a special corps had been
organised in the British army for service in the colony; it was called
the New South Wales Corps, and was intended to be permanently settled in
Sydney. Very few high-class officers cared to enter this service, so far
from home and in the midst of the lowest criminals. Those who joined it
generally came out with the idea of quickly gathering a small fortune,
then resigning their commissions and returning to England. The favourite
method of making money was to import goods into the settlement and sell
them at high rates of profit; and, in their haste to become rich, many
resorted to unscrupulous devices for obtaining profits. A trade in which
those who commanded were the sellers, whilst the convicts and settlers
under their charge were the purchasers, could hardly fail to ruin
discipline and introduce grave evils, more especially when ardent
spirits began to be the chief article of traffic. It was found that
nothing sold so well among the convicts as rum, their favourite liquor;
and, rather than not make money, the officers began to import large
quantities of that spirit, thus deliberately assisting to demoralise
still further the degraded population which they had been sent to
reform. So enormous were the profits made in this debasing trade that
very few of the officers could refrain from joining it. Soon the New
South Wales Corps became like one great firm of spirit merchants,
engaged in the importing and retailing of rum. The most enterprising
went so far as to introduce stills and commence the manufacture of
spirits in the colony. By an order of the Governor in Council this was
forbidden, but many continued to work their stills in secret. This
system of traffic, demoralising to every one engaged in it, was shared
even by the highest officials in the colony. In the year 1800 the chief
constable was a publican, and the head gaoler sold rum and brandy
opposite the prison gates.


#3. State of the Colony.#--Under these circumstances, drunkenness
became fearfully prevalent; the freed convicts gave themselves up to
unrestrained riot, and, when intoxicated, committed the most brutal
atrocities; the soldiers also sank into the wildest dissipation; and
many of the officers themselves led lives of open and shameless
debauchery. This was the community Governor King had to rule. He made an
effort to effect some change, but failed; and we can hardly wonder at
the feeling of intense disgust which he entertained and freely
expressed.


#4. Mutiny of Convicts.#--Most of the convicts, on their arrival in
the colony, were "assigned"--that is, sent to work as shepherds or
farm-labourers for the free settlers in the country; but prisoners of
the worst class were chained in gangs and employed on the roads, or on
the Government farms. One of these gangs, consisting of three or four
hundred convicts, was stationed at Castlehill, a few miles north of
Parramatta. The prisoners, emboldened by their numbers and inflamed by
the oratory of a number of political exiles, broke out into open
insurrection. They flung away their hoes and spades, removed their
irons, seized about two hundred and fifty muskets, and marched towards
the Hawkesbury, expecting to be there reinforced by so many additional
convicts that they would be able to overpower the military. Major
Johnstone, with twenty-four soldiers of the New South Wales Corps,
pursued them; they halted and turned round to fight, but he charged with
so much determination into their midst that they were quickly routed,
and fled in all directions, leaving several of their number dead on the
spot. Three or four of the ringleaders were caught and hanged; the
remainder returned quickly to their duty.


#5. Origin of Wool-growing.#--During Governor King's term of office a
beginning was made in what is now an industry of momentous importance to
Australia. In the New South Wales Corps there had been an officer named
Macarthur, who had become so disgusted with the service that, shortly
after his arrival in Sydney, he resigned his commission, and, having
obtained a grant of land, became a settler in the country. He quickly
perceived that wool-growing, if properly carried on, would be a source
of much wealth, and obtained a number of sheep from the Dutch colony at
the Cape of Good Hope, with which to make a commencement. These were of
a kind which did not suit the climate, and his first attempt failed; but
in 1803, when he was in England on a visit, he spoke so highly of New
South Wales as a country adapted for wool-growing, that King George III.
was interested in the proposal, and offered his assistance. Now, the
sheep most suitable for Macarthur's purpose were the merino sheep of
Spain; but these were not to be obtained, as the Spaniards, desirous of
keeping the lucrative trade of wool-growing to themselves, had made it a
capital crime to export sheep of this kind from Spain. But it so
happened that, as a special favour, a few had been given to King George,
who was an enthusiastic farmer; and when he heard of Macarthur's idea,
he sent him one or two from his own flock to be carried out to New South
Wales. They were safely landed at Sydney, Governor King made a grant of
ten thousand acres to Mr. Macarthur, at Camden, and the experiment was
begun. It was not long before the most marked success crowned the
effort, and in the course of a few years the meadows at Camden were
covered with great flocks of sheep, whose wool yielded annually a
handsome fortune to their enterprising owner.


#6. Governor Bligh.#--In 1806 Governor King was succeeded by Captain
Bligh, whose previous adventures have made his name so well known. In
his ship, the _Bounty_, he had been sent by the British Government to
the South Sea Islands for a cargo of bread-fruit trees. But his conduct
to his sailors was so tyrannical that they mutinied, put him, along with
eighteen others, into an open boat, then sailed away, and left him in
the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Bligh was a skilful sailor, and the
voyage he thereupon undertook is one of the most remarkable on record.
In an open boat he carried his little party over 3,500 miles of unknown
ocean to the island of Timor, where they found a vessel that took them
home.

In appointing Captain Bligh to rule the colony, the English Government
spoiled an excellent seaman to make a very inefficient Governor. It was
true that New South Wales contained a large convict population, who
required to be ruled with despotic rigour; yet there were many free
settlers who declined to be treated like slaves and felons, and who soon
came to have a thorough dislike to the new Governor. Not that he was
without kindly feeling; his generous treatment of the Hawkesbury
farmers, who were ruined by a flood in 1806, showed him to have been
warm-hearted in his way; he exerted himself to the utmost, both with
time and money, to alleviate their distress, and received the special
thanks of the English Government for his humanity. And yet his arbitrary
and unamiable manners completely obscured all these better qualities. He
caused the convicts to be flogged without mercy for faults which existed
only in his own imagination; he bullied his officers, and, throughout
the colony, repeated the same mistakes which had led to the mutiny of
the _Bounty_. At the same time, he was anxious to do what he conceived
to be his duty to his superiors in England. He had been ordered to put a
stop to the traffic in spirits, and, in spite of the most unscrupulous
opposition on the part of those whose greed was interested, he set
himself to effect this reform by prompt and summary measures, and with a
contemptuous disregard of the hatred he was causing; but, in the end,
the officers were too strong for him, and in the quarrel that ensued the
Governor was completely defeated.


#7. Expulsion of Bligh.#--Month after month Bligh became more and more
unpopular; those whom he did not alienate in the course of his duty he
offended by his rudeness, until, at last, there was scarcely any one in
the colony who was his friend. Many were inflamed by so bitter a hatred
that they were ready to do anything for revenge, and affairs seemed to
be in that critical state in which a trifling incident may bring about
serious results.

This determining cause was supplied by a quarrel which took place
between Mr. Macarthur and Mr. Atkin, the new judge-advocate of the
colony. Mr. Macarthur was condemned to pay a heavy fine for neglect, in
having permitted a convict to escape in a vessel of which he was partly
the owner. He refused to pay, and was summoned before the court, of
which Atkin was the president. He declined to appear, on the ground that
Atkin was his personal enemy. Thereupon Atkin caused him to be seized
and put in gaol. Bligh appointed a special court to try him, consisting
of six officers, together with Atkin himself. Macarthur was brought
before it, but protested against being judged by his enemy, stating his
willingness, however, to abide by the decision of the six officers. The
officers supported his protest, and the trial was discontinued. Bligh
was exceedingly angry, and, by declaring he would put the six officers
in gaol, brought matters to a crisis. The officers of the New South
Wales Corps all took part with their comrades; they assisted Mr.
Macarthur to get up a petition, asking Major Johnstone, the military
commander, to depose Governor Bligh, and himself take charge of the
colony. Major Johnstone was only too glad of the opportunity. He held a
council of officers, at which Mr. Macarthur and several others were
present. Their course of action was decided upon, and next morning the
soldiers marched, with colours flying and drums beating, to the gate of
the Governor's house. Here they were met by Bligh's daughter, who
endeavoured to persuade them to retire; but they made her stand aside
and marched up the avenue. Meantime the Governor had hidden himself in
the house; the soldiers entered and searched everywhere for him, till at
length they discovered him behind a bed, where he was seeking to hide
important papers. He was arrested, and sentinels were posted to prevent
his escape. Major Johnstone assumed the Governor's position, and
appointed his friends to the most important offices in the Government
service. He continued to direct affairs for some time, until Colonel
Foveaux superseded him. Foveaux, in his turn, was superseded by Colonel
Patterson, who came over from Tasmania to take charge of the colony
until a new Governor should be sent out from home. Patterson offered
Bligh his liberty if he would promise to go straight to England, and not
seek to raise a disturbance in the colony. This promise was given by
Bligh, and yet no sooner was he free than he began to stir up the
Hawkesbury settlers in his behalf. They declined to assist him, however,
and Bligh went over to Tasmania, where the settlement to be described in
the next chapter had been formed. Here he was received with great
good-will, until the news arrived from Sydney that, according to the
solemn promise he had given, he ought at that time to have been on his
way to England. An attempt was made to capture him, but he escaped to
England, where his adventures in New South Wales were soon forgotten,
and he rose to be an admiral in the English navy. When the news of the
rebellion reached the authorities in England, Major Johnstone was
dismissed from the service, and Major-General Lachlan Macquarie was sent
out to be Governor of the colony. Major Johnstone retired to a farm in
New South Wales, where he lived and prospered till his death in 1817.




CHAPTER V. - TASMANIA, 1803-1836.


#1. First Settlement.#--After the departure of Baudin from Sydney it was
discovered that there was an inclination on the part of the French to
settle in some part of Australia. It was known that the inlet called
Storm Bay, in the island then known as Van Diemen's Land, had especially
attracted their notice, its shores having been so green and leafy. It
was now known that Van Diemen's Land was severed by a broad strait from
the mainland, and the Governor at Sydney thought that if the French
proposed to make a settlement anywhere they would be certain to
appropriate this island, and deny that the English had any claim to it.
He, therefore, prepared an expedition to proceed to Storm Bay and take
possession of its shores. For that purpose he chose Lieutenant John
Bowen, who had recently arrived as an officer of a ship of war, and
appointed him commandant of the proposed settlement. The colonial ship
called the _Lady Nelson_ was chosen as the means of conveying him and
eight soldiers, while a whaling ship called the _Albion_ was chartered
for the purpose of carrying twenty-four convicts and six free persons,
who were to found the new colony. This was a very small number with
which to occupy a large country; but Governor King thought that in the
meantime they would be sufficient to assert a prior claim, and that the
authorities in England could subsequently decide whether the settlement
should be increased or withdrawn.

Governor King saw also another object in founding this new colony. He
had some most unruly convicts in Sydney, who were only a source of
trouble and annoyance to all the rest. It seemed to him an advantage
to be able to send these off to a place by themselves, under specially
severe discipline. In September, 1803, the two ships sailed up Storm Bay
and into the mouth of the river Derwent. Lieutenant Bowen caused them to
anchor on the right side of the estuary, in a little bay called Risdon
Cove. The people were soon on shore, and pitched their tents on a grassy
hill a little back from the water. Bowen went out to survey the country,
while the convicts set to work to build huts for themselves; a little
village soon appeared, and in the long grass that surrounded it a few
sheep and goats were pastured for the use of the rising colony. The
place was named Hobart Town, after Lord Hobart, who was then Secretary
of State for the Colonies. A month later Governor King sent forty-two
convicts and fifteen soldiers to increase the strength of the
settlement; and the little village was beginning to look populous, when,
unexpectedly, there came a great accession from another source.


#2. Collins.#--During this same year, 1803, the British Government, moved
by fears of a French occupation, had resolved to form a settlement on
the shores of Port Phillip. Accordingly David Collins, who had been
judge-advocate at Sydney, but had taken a trip to England, was chosen to
be Lieutenant-Governor of the new colony, and was despatched with 307
convicts, 24 wives of convicts, 51 soldiers, and 13 free settlers, on
board two ships, the _Calcutta_ and the _Ocean_. Collins had made an
effort to form a settlement at Port Phillip, on a sandy shore, near the
site of Sorrento, but had grown disgusted with the place; and early in
1804 he carried off all the people, and resolved to abandon Port Phillip
in favour of the Derwent. He landed at Risdon on the 15th February, and,
after a short examination, came to the conclusion that the situation was
unsuitable. Next day he went in search of a better place, and chose a
little bay on the opposite side, some six miles nearer the mouth of the
estuary, and thither the whole settlement was soon after removed. There,
at the very foot of the lofty Mount Wellington, Hobart Town began to
grow in its new situation. Houses were rapidly erected; most of them
consisted of posts stuck in the ground, interwoven with twigs of wattle
trees, and then daubed over with mud. The chimneys were built of stones
and turf, and the roofs were thatched with grass. Whilst the new town
was growing, a party of convicts and soldiers was still busy on the
little farms at Risdon, and early in May they had a most unfortunate
affray with the natives. A party of two or three hundred blacks, who
were travelling southward, came suddenly in sight of the white men and
their habitations. These were the first Europeans whom they had seen,
and they became much excited at the strange spectacle. While they were
shouting and gesticulating, the Englishmen thought they were preparing
for an attack and fired upon them. The blacks fled and the white men
pursued them, killing about thirty of the unfortunate natives. Thus was
begun a long warfare, which ended only with the complete extinction of
the native races.

[Illustration: GOVERNOR COLLINS.]


#3. Patterson.#--Next year, 1804, the Sydney Government sent another party
of convicts, under Colonel Patterson, to found a colony in the north of
Tasmania. The position selected was near the entrance to Port Dalrymple;
and here, for eight years, a small settlement continued to exist in an
independent state, until, in 1812, it was placed under the charge of the
Governor at Hobart Town.


#4. Death Of Collins.#--The colony at the latter place was meanwhile
slowly establishing itself; and in 1808, when Bligh visited it after his
expulsion from Sydney, he found the little township with quite a settled
and comfortable appearance. In 1810 it lost its amiable and warm-hearted
Governor. While calmly and cheerfully conversing with a friend, Mr.
Collins fell back dead in his chair. He was a man of a good and kindly
nature, a little vain and self-important, but earnest and upright, and
possessed of very fair abilities. The distinguished part he played in
the early colonisation of Australia will always render him a prominent
person in our history.


#5. Governor Davey.#--It took some time for the news of the Governor's
death to reach England, and during the three years that elapsed before
his successor could be sent out, the place was filled in turn by three
gentlemen, named Lord, Murray, and Geils, till, in 1813, the new
Governor, Davey, arrived. He had been a colonel of marines, and had
shown himself a good soldier, but he had few of the qualities of a
Governor. He was rough and excessively coarse in his manners, and
utterly regardless of all decorum. He showed his defiance of all
conventional rules by the manner of his entry. The day being warm, he
took off his coat and waistcoat, and marched into the town in a costume
more easy than dignified; he listened to the address of welcome with
careless indifference, and throughout showed little respect either for
himself or for the people he had come to govern. Yet, under his rule,
the colony made progress. In his first year he opened the port to
ordinary merchant ships; for, previously, as the town was a convict
settlement of the most severe type, no free person was allowed to land
without special permission. From this time commerce began to spring up;
free settlers spread over the country, and cultivated it with such
success that, in 1816, besides supplying all the necessities of their
own community, they were able to export grain to Sydney.


#6. New Norfolk.#--In 1807 the settlement of Norfolk Island had been
abandoned by the British Government, on account of its expense, and the
convicts, of whom many had there grown to be decent, orderly farmers,
were brought to Tasmania. They formed a new settlement on the Derwent,
about fifteen miles above Hobart Town, at a place which they called "New
Norfolk," in affectionate memory of their former island home.


#7. Bushranging.#--About this time the colony began to be greatly annoyed
by bushrangers. From twenty to forty convicts generally escaped every
year and betook themselves to the wild country around the central lakes
of Tasmania. There, among the fastnesses of the western mountains, they
led a desperate and daring life, sometimes living with the natives, whom
they quickly taught all the wickedness they themselves knew. Their
ordinary lives were wretchedly debased; and, in search of booty, or in
revenge for fancied injuries, they often committed the most savage
crimes. They treated their native companions like beasts, to be used for
a while, and then shot or mangled when no longer wanted; and it is not
surprising that the blacks soon became filled with intense hatred of all
the white invaders of their land. Frequently the aboriginal tribes
united to attack the lonely farm-house and murder all its inhabitants.
Hence, every settler in the country districts was well supplied with
arms, and taught all his household to use them; the walls were pierced
here and there with holes, through which a musket might be directed in
safety against an advancing enemy. The fear of bushrangers who might
attack them for the sake of plunder, and of natives who might massacre
them in revenge, kept the scattered settlers in constant terror and
trouble.


#8. Governor Sorell.#--But in 1817, when Governor Davey grew tired of his
position and resigned it, choosing rather to live an easy-going life on
his estate near Hobart Town, than be troubled with the cares of office,
Colonel Sorell, the new Governor, set himself with vigour to suppress
these ruthless marauders. He was to some extent successful, and the
young colony enjoyed an interval of peace. Farming was profitable, and
the exports of wheat began to assume large dimensions. The best breeds
of sheep were brought into the island, and Van Diemen's Land wool, which
at first had been despised in England, and used only for stuffing
mattresses, grew into favour, and was bought by the manufacturers at
high prices. Thus many of the settlers became wealthy, and the estates
from which their wealth was derived began to have a correspondingly
high value, so as to give the colony an assured prosperity which was
certainly remarkable in the sixteenth year from its foundation. Another
industry was added, which indirectly contributed to the wealth of
Tasmania. The captain of a merchant vessel, on his way to Sydney, had
seen a great shoal of whales off the south coast of Tasmania, and, along
with the Governor of New South Wales, secretly formed a scheme to fit
out a whaling expedition. But his crew also had seen the whales, and
soon made the fact widely known; so that, by the time the captain's
party was ready to sail, there were several other whaling vessels on the
point of starting. They were all successful, and very soon a large
number of ships was engaged in whale fishing. Now, as Hobart Town was
the nearest port, the whalers found that it saved time to go thither
with their oil, and to buy their provisions and refit their ships there;
so that the trade and importance of the little city received a very
material impetus in this way.

Much of the progress was due to the sensible management of Governor
Sorell, who spared no effort to reform the convicts, as well as to
elevate and refine the free settlers. Hence it was with great regret
that the colonists saw his term of office expire in 1824. They
petitioned the English Government to allow him to stay for another six
years; and when the reply was given that this could not be done, as
Colonel Sorell was required elsewhere, they presented him with a
handsome testimonial, and settled on him an income of £500 a year from
their own revenues.


#9. Governor Arthur.#--After Colonel Sorell had left, bushranging became
as troublesome as ever. Governor Arthur arrived in 1824, and found the
colony fast relapsing into its former unsettled state. He learnt that,
shortly before, some thirteen or fourteen convicts had succeeded in
escaping from the penal settlement in an open boat, and had landed on a
lonely part of the coast. They were joined by a great crowd of concealed
convicts, and, under the leadership of Crawford and Brady, formed a
dangerous horde of robbers, who, for years, kept the whole colony in
terror. For a while they plundered without hindrance, till a party of
about a dozen attacked the house of an old gentleman named Taylor, who
had the courage to fight and defeat them. With his three sons, his
carpenter, and his servant, he fired upon the advancing ruffians, whilst
his daughters rapidly reloaded the muskets. The robbers retreated,
leaving their leader--Crawford--and two or three others, who had been
wounded, to be captured by Mr. Taylor and sent to Hobart Town, where
they were executed. Brady then became chief leader of the band, and
though his encounter with Mr. Taylor had taken away all his ardour for
fighting, he contrived to plunder and annoy for a long time. Deep in
the woods, along the silent banks of the Shannon, the outlaws lived
securely; for, even when the soldiers ventured to penetrate into these
lonely regions, the outlaws could easily escape to the rugged mountain
sides, where they could hide or defend themselves. Governor Arthur's
task was not an easy one, for Brady could command a powerful force, and
his was not the only one of the kind; the result was that, for a long
time, the country was unsettled and trade was paralysed. Seeing no other
course open, Governor Arthur offered a pardon and a free passage home to
those who surrendered. So many were thus induced to submit peaceably
that, at length, Brady was almost alone; and whilst he wandered in a
secluded valley, without followers, he was surprised by John Batman,
who, several years after, assisted in the settlement of Victoria. Brady
surrendered and was executed; the bushrangers, by degrees, disappeared,
and the colonists once more breathed freely.


#10. Separation.#--Hitherto Tasmania had only been a dependency of New
South Wales, but in 1825 it was made a separate colony, with a Supreme
Court of its own. In 1829 it received its first legislative body,
fifteen gentlemen being appointed to consult with the Governor and make
laws for the colony. For some years after, the history of Tasmania is
simply an account of quiet industry and steady progress. Hobart Town, by
degrees, grew to be a fine city, with handsome buildings and well kept
streets. The country districts were fenced in and well tilled, good
roads and bridges were made, and everything looked smiling and
prosperous. The only serious difficulty was the want of coin for the
ordinary purposes of trade. So great was the scarcity of gold and silver
money that pieces of paper, with promises to pay a certain sum--perhaps
a sixpence or a shilling--were largely used in the colony, in place of
the money itself. At the request of Governor Arthur, coins to the value
of a hundred thousand pounds were sent out from England for the use of
the colonists.

Governor Arthur's period of office expired in 1836, and he left the
colony, greatly to the regret of the colonists, who subscribed £1,500 to
present him with a testimonial. He was succeeded by Sir John Franklin,
the famous voyager, whose history will be related in a subsequent
chapter.




CHAPTER VI. - NEW SOUTH WALES, 1808-1837.


#1. Governor Macquarie.#--In 1808 the English Government held an inquiry
as to the circumstances which had caused the expulsion of Governor
Bligh; and though they cashiered Major Johnstone, and indeed ordered the
whole of the New South Wales Corps to be disbanded, yet, as it was clear
that Bligh had been himself very much to blame, they yielded to the
wishes of the settlers in so far as to appoint a new Governor in his
place, and therefore despatched Major-General Macquarie to take the
position. He was directed to reinstate Bligh for a period of twenty-four
hours, in order to indicate that the authorities in England would not
suffer the colonists to dictate to them in these matters; but that they
reserved completely to themselves the right to appoint and dismiss the
Governors. However, as Bligh had by this time gone to Tasmania,
Macquarie was forced to content himself, on his arrival, with merely
proclaiming what had been his instructions.

[Illustration: GOVERNOR MACQUARIE.]

In the early days of the colonies their destinies were, to a great
extent, moulded by the Governors who had charge of them. Whether for
good or for evil, the influence of the Governor was decisive; and it
was, therefore, a matter of great good fortune to Sydney that, during
the long administration of Governor Lachlan Macquarie, this influence
was almost wholly on the side of good. Not that Macquarie had no faults.
He was a man full of vanity and self-conceit; a man who, instead of
sober despatches to his superiors in England, wrote flowery accounts of
himself and his wonderful doings; a man who, in his egoism, affixed the
names of himself and of his family to nearly every place discovered in
the colony during his term of office. Yet, apart from this weakness,
Macquarie may be characterised as an exemplary man and an admirable
Governor. He devoted himself heartily to his work; his chief thought for
twelve years was how to improve the state of the little colony, and how
to raise the degraded men who had been sent thither. An ardent feeling
of philanthropy gave a kindly tone to his restless activity. Once every
year he made a complete tour of the settled portions of the colony, to
observe their condition and discover what improvements were needed. He
taught the farmers to build for themselves neat houses, in place of the
rude huts they had previously been content with; he encouraged them to
improve their system of farming, sometimes with advice, sometimes with
money, but more often with loans from the Government stores. He built
churches and schools; he took the warmest interest in the progress of
religion and of education; and neglected nothing that could serve to
elevate the moral tone of the little community. Certainly, no community
has ever been in greater need of elevation. The fact that the British
Government thought it necessary to send out 1,100 soldiers to keep order
among a population of only 10,000 indicates very plainly what was the
character of these people, and almost justifies the sweeping assertion
of Macquarie, that the colony consisted of those "who had been
transported, and those who ought to have been". Yet Macquarie uniformly
showed a kindly disposition towards the convicts; he settled great
numbers of them as free men on little farms of their own; and if they
did not succeed as well as they might have done, it was not for want of
advice and assistance from the Governor.


#2. Road over the Blue Mountains.# The most important result of
Macquarie's activity was the opening up of new country. He had quite a
passion for road-making; and though, on his arrival in the colony, he
found only forty-five miles of what were little better than bush tracks,
yet, when he left, there were over three hundred miles of excellent and
substantial roads spreading in all directions from Sydney. He marked out
towns--such as Windsor, Richmond, and Castlereagh--in suitable places;
then, by making roads to them, he encouraged the freed convicts to leave
Sydney and form little communities inland. But his greatest achievement
in the way of road-making was the highway across the Blue Mountains.
This range had for years presented an insurmountable barrier. Many
persons--including the intrepid Bass--had attempted to cross it, but in
vain; the only one who succeeded even in penetrating far into that wild
and rugged country was a gentleman called Caley, who stopped at the
edge of an enormous precipice, where he could see no way of descending.
But in 1813 three gentlemen--named Wentworth, Lawson, and
Blaxland--succeeded in crossing. After laboriously piercing through the
dense timber which covers some of the ranges, they traversed a wild and
desolate country, sometimes crawling along naked precipices, sometimes
fighting their way through wild ravines, but at length emerging on the
beautiful plains to the west. On their return they found that by keeping
constantly on the crest of a long spur, the road could be made much
easier, and Governor Macquarie, stimulated by their report, sent
Surveyor Evans to examine the pass. His opinion was favourable, and
Macquarie lost no time in commencing to construct a road over the
mountains. The difficulties in his way were immense; for fifty miles the
course lay through the most rugged country, where yawning chasms had to
be bridged, and oftentimes the solid rock had to be cut away. Yet, in
less than fifteen months, a good carriage highway stretched from Sydney
across the mountains; and the Governor was able to take Mrs. Macquarie
on a trip to the fine pasture lands beyond, where he founded a town and
named it Bathurst, after Lord Bathurst, the Secretary of State. This was
a measure of great importance to the colony, for the country between the
mountains and the sea was too limited and too much subject to droughts
to maintain the two hundred and fifty thousand sheep which the
prosperous colony now possessed. Many squatters took their flocks along
the road to Bathurst, and settled down in the spacious pasture lands of
the Macquarie and Lachlan Rivers.

[Illustration: BLUE MOUNTAIN SCENERY, WENTWORTH FALLS, NEW SOUTH WALES.]


#3. Governor Brisbane.#--In 1821 Governor Macquarie left for England, much
regretted by the colonists. The only serious mistake of his policy had
been that he had quietly discouraged the introduction of free settlers,
"because," as he said, "the colony is intended for convicts, and
free settlers have no business here". His successor--Sir Thomas
Brisbane--and, afterwards, Sir Ralph Darling--adopted a more liberal
policy, and offered every inducement to free immigrants to make their
homes in the colony. It was never found possible, however, to obtain
many of that class which has been so successful in America, consisting
of men who, having with difficulty gathered sufficient money for their
passages, landed in their adopted country without means and with no
resources beyond the cheerful labour of themselves and of their
families, yet settled down in the deep, untrodden forests, and there
made for themselves happy and prosperous homes. This was not the class
of immigrants who arrived in New South Wales during the times of
Brisbane and Darling. For in 1818 free passages to Australia had been
abolished, and the voyage was so long and so expensive that a poor man
could scarcely hope to accomplish it. Hence, those who arrived in
Sydney were generally young men of good education, who brought with them
a few hundred pounds, and not only were willing to labour themselves,
but were able to employ the labour of others. In America, the "squatter"
was a man who farmed a small piece of land. In Australia, he was one who
bought a flock of sheep and carried them out to the pasture lands,
where, as they increased from year to year, he grew rich with the annual
produce of their wool. Sir Thomas Brisbane was pleased with the advent
of men of this class: he gave them grants of land and assigned to them
as many convicts as they were able to employ. Very speedily the fine
lands of the colony were covered with flocks and herds; and the
applications for convicts became so numerous that, at one time, two
thousand more were demanded than could be supplied. Hence began an
important change in the colony. The costly Government farms were, one
after another, broken up, and the convicts assigned to the squatters.
Then the unremunerative public works were abandoned; for many of these
had been begun only for the purpose of occupying the prisoners. All this
tended for good; as the convicts, when thus scattered, were much more
manageable, and much more likely to reform, than when gathered in large
and corrupting crowds. In Macquarie's time, not one convict in ten could
be usefully employed; seven or eight years after, there was not a
convict in the colony whose services would not be eagerly sought for at
a good price by the squatters.

This important change took place under Governors Brisbane and Darling,
and was in a great measure due to those Governors; yet, strange to say,
neither of them was ever popular. Brisbane, who entered upon office in
1821, was a fine old soldier, a thorough gentleman, honourable and
upright in all his ways. Yet it could not be doubted that he was out of
his proper sphere when conducting the affairs of a young colony, and in
1825 the British Government found it necessary to recall him.


#4. Governor Darling.#--He was succeeded by Sir Ralph Darling, who was
also a soldier, but was, at the same time, a man well adapted for
business. Yet he, too, failed to give satisfaction. He was precise and
methodical, and his habits were painfully careful, exhibiting that sort
of diligence which takes infinite trouble and anxiety over details, to
the neglect of larger and more important matters. His administration
lasted six years, from 1825 to 1831. During this period an association
was formed in England, consisting of merchants and members of
Parliament, who subscribed a capital of one million pounds, and received
from Government a grant of one million acres in New South Wales. They
called themselves the Australian Agricultural Company, and proposed to
improve and cultivate the waste lands of Australia, to import sheep and
cattle for squatting purposes, to open up mines for coal and metals,
and, in general, to avail themselves of the vast resources of the
colony. Sir Edward Parry, the famous Polar navigator, was sent out as
manager. The servants and _employés_ of the association formed quite a
flourishing colony on the Liverpool Plains, at the head of the Darling
River; and though, at first, it caused some confusion in the financial
state of New South Wales, yet, in the end, it proved of great benefit to
the whole colony.


#5. The Legislative Council.#--In 1824 a small Executive Council had been
formed to consult with Governor Brisbane on colonial matters. In 1829
this was enlarged and became the Legislative Council, consisting of
fifteen members, who had power to make laws for the colony. But as their
proceedings were strictly secret, and could be completely reversed by
the Governor whenever he chose, they formed but a very imperfect
substitute for a truly legislative body. Yet this Council was of some
service to the colony: one of its first acts was to introduce the
English jury system, in place of arbitrary trials by Government
officials.


#6. The Newspaper War.#--Governor Darling was never popular. During the
greater part of his period of office intrigues were continually on foot
to obtain his recall; and from this state of feeling there arose what
has been called the newspaper war, which lasted for four years with
great violence. The first Australian newspaper had been established in
1803 by a convict named Howe. It was in a great measure supported by the
patronage of the Government, and the Governors always exercised the
right of forbidding the insertion of what they disliked. Hence this
paper, the _Sydney Gazette_, was considered to be the Government organ,
and, accordingly, its opinions of the Governors and their acts were
greatly distrusted. But, during the time of Brisbane, an independent
newspaper, the _Australian_, was established by Mr. Wentworth and Dr.
Wardell. A second of the same kind soon followed, and was called the
_Monitor_. These papers found it to their advantage, during the
unpopularity of Darling, to criticise severely the acts of that
Governor, who was defended by the _Gazette_ with intemperate zeal. This
altercation had lasted for some time, when, in the third year of
Darling's administration, a very small event was sufficient to set the
whole colony in an uproar.

A dissipated soldier named Sudds persuaded his companion, Thompson, that
their prospects were not hopeful so long as they remained soldiers; but
that, if they became convicts, they had a fair chance of growing rich
and prosperous. Accordingly, they entered a shop and stole a piece of
cloth. They were tried, convicted, and sentenced to be transported to
Tasmania for seven years. This was what they wished; but Governor
Darling, having heard of the scheme they were so successfully carrying
out, took it upon himself to alter the course of the law, and directed
them to be chained together with heavy spiked collars of iron about
their necks, and to be set to labour on the roads. Sudds was suffering
from liver disease; he sank beneath the severity of his punishment, and
in a few days he died--while Thompson, about the same time, became
insane. This was an excellent opportunity for the opposition papers,
which immediately attacked the Governor for what they called his illegal
interference and his brutality. The _Gazette_ filled its columns with
the most fulsome flattery in his defence, and Darling himself was so
imprudent as to mingle in the dispute, and to do what he could to annoy
the editors of the two hostile papers. Very soon the whole colony was
divided into two great classes--the one needlessly extolling the
Governor, the other denouncing him as the most cowardly and brutal of
men. For four years this abusive warfare lasted, till at length the
opponents of Darling won the day; and in 1831 he was recalled by the
English Government.


#7. Governor Bourke.#--Sir Richard Bourke, who succeeded him, was the most
able and the most popular of all the Sydney Governors. He had the talent
and energy of Macquarie; but he had, in addition, a frank and hearty
manner, which insensibly won the hearts of the colonists, who, for years
after his departure, used to talk affectionately of him as the "good old
Governor Bourke". During his term of office the colony continued in a
sober way to make steady progress. In 1833 its population numbered
60,000, of whom 36,000 were free persons. Every year there arrived three
thousand fresh convicts; but as an equal number of free immigrants also
arrived, the colony was benefited by its annual increase of population.

[Illustration: ST. ANDREW'S CATHEDRAL, SYDNEY.]


#8. The Land Question.#--Governor Bourke, on his landing, found that much
discontent existed with reference to what was called the Land Question.
It was understood that any one who applied for land to the Government,
and showed that he would make a good use of it, would receive a suitable
area as a free grant. But many abuses crept in under this system. In
theory, all men had an equal right to obtain the land they required;
but, in practice, it was seldom possible for one who had no friends
among the officials at Sydney to obtain a grant. An immigrant had often
to wait for months, and see his application unheeded; while, meantime, a
few favoured individuals were calling day by day at the Land Office, and
receiving grant after grant of the choicest parts of the colony.
Governor Bourke, under instructions from the English Parliament, made a
new arrangement. There were to be no more free grants. In the settled
districts all land was to be put up for auction; if less than five
shillings an acre was offered, it was not to be sold; when the offers
rose above that price, it was to be given to the highest bidder. This
was regarded as a very fair arrangement; and, as a large sum of money
was annually received from the sale of land, the Government was able to
resume the practice, discontinued in 1818, of assisting poor people to
emigrate from Europe to the colony.


#9. The Squatters.#--Beyond the surveyed districts the land was occupied
by squatters, who settled down where they pleased, but had no legal
right to their "runs," as they were called. With regard to these lands
new regulations were urgently required; for the squatters, who were
liable to be turned off at a moment's notice, felt themselves in a very
precarious position. Besides, as their sheep increased rapidly, and the
flocks of neighbouring squatters interfered with one another, violent
feuds sprang up, and were carried on with much bitterness. To put an end
to these evils Governor Bourke ordered the squatters to apply for the
land they required. He promised to have boundaries marked out; but gave
notice that he would, in future, charge a rent in proportion to the
number of sheep the land could support. In return, he would secure to
each squatter the peaceable occupation of his run until the time came
when it should be required for sale. This regulation did much to secure
the stability of squatting interests in New South Wales.

After ruling well and wisely for six years, Governor Bourke retired in
the year 1837, amid the sincere regrets of the whole colony.




CHAPTER VII. - DISCOVERIES IN THE INTERIOR, 1817-1836.


#1. Oxley.#--After the passage over the Blue Mountains had been
discovered--in 1813--and the beautiful pasture land round Bathurst had
been opened up to the enterprise of the squatters, it was natural that
the colonists should desire to know something of the nature and
capabilities of the land which stretched away to the west. In 1817 they
sent Mr. Oxley, the Surveyor-General, to explore the country towards the
interior, directing him to follow the course of the Lachlan and discover
the ultimate "fate," as they called it, of its waters. Taking with him a
small party, he set out from the settled districts on the Macquarie, and
for many days walked along the banks of the Lachlan, through undulating
districts of woodland and rich meadow. But, after a time, the explorers
could perceive that they were gradually entering upon a region of
totally different aspect; the ground was growing less and less hilly;
the tall mountain trees were giving place to stunted shrubs; and the
fresh green of the grassy slopes was disappearing. At length they
emerged on a great plain, filled with dreary swamps, which stretched as
far as the eye could reach, like one vast dismal sea of waving reeds.
Into this forbidding region they penetrated, forcing their way through
the tangled reeds and over weary miles of oozy mud, into which they sank
almost to the knees at every step. Ere long they had to abandon this
effort to follow the Lachlan throughout its course; they therefore
retraced their steps, and, striking to the south, succeeded in going
round the great swamp which had opposed their progress. Again they
followed the course of the river for some distance, entering, as they
journeyed, into regions of still greater desolation; but again they were
forced to desist by a second swamp of the same kind. The Lachlan here
seemed to lose itself in interminable marshes, and as no trace could be
found of its further course, Oxley concluded that they had reached the
end of the river. As he looked around on the dreary expanse, he
pronounced the country to be "for ever uninhabitable"; and, on his
return to Bathurst, he reported that, in this direction at least, there
was no opening for enterprise. The Lachlan, he said, flows into an
extensive region of swamps, which are perhaps only the margin of a great
inland sea.

Oxley was afterwards sent to explore the course of the Macquarie River,
but was as little successful in this as in his former effort. The river
flowed into a wide marsh, some thirty or forty miles long, and he was
forced to abandon his purpose; he started for the eastern coast, crossed
the New England Range, and descended the long woodland slopes to the
sea, discovering on his way the river Hastings.


#2. Allan Cunningham.#--Several important discoveries were effected by an
enthusiastic botanist named Allan Cunningham, who, in his search for new
plants, succeeded in opening up country which had been previously
unknown. In 1825 he found a passage over the Liverpool Range, through a
wild and picturesque gap, which he called the Pandora Pass; and on the
other side of the mountains he discovered the fine pastoral lands of the
Liverpool Plains and the Darling Downs, which are watered by three
branches of the Upper Darling--the Peel, the Gwydir, and the Dumaresq.
The squatters were quick to take advantage of these discoveries; and,
after a year or two, this district was covered with great flocks of
sheep. It was here that the Australian Agricultural Company formed their
great stations already referred to.


#3. Hume and Hovell.#--The southern coasts of the district now called
Victoria had been carefully explored by Flinders and other sailors, but
the country which lay behind these coasts was quite unknown. In 1824
Governor Brisbane suggested a novel plan of exploration; he proposed to
land a party of convicts at Wilson's Promontory, with instructions to
work their way through the interior to Sydney, where they would receive
their freedom. The charge of the party was offered to Hamilton Hume, a
young native of the colony, and a most expert and intrepid bushman. He
was of an energetic and determined, though somewhat domineering
disposition, and was anxious to distinguish himself in the work of
exploration. He declined to undertake the expedition in the manner
proposed by Governor Brisbane, but offered to conduct a party of
convicts from Sydney to the southern coasts. A sea-captain named Hovell
asked permission to accompany him. With these two as leaders, and six
convict servants to make up the party, they set out from Lake George,
carrying their provisions in two carts, drawn by teams of oxen. As soon
as they met the Murrumbidgee their troubles commenced; the river was so
broad and swift that it was difficult to see how they could carry their
goods across. Hume covered the carts with tarpaulin, so as to make them
serve as punts. Then he swam across the river, carrying the end of a
rope between his teeth; and with this he pulled over the loaded punts.
The men and oxen then swam across, and once more pushed forward. But the
country through which they had now to pass was so rough and woody that
they were obliged to abandon their carts and load the oxen with their
provisions. They journeyed on, through hilly country, beneath the shades
of deep and far-spreading forests; to their left they sometimes caught a
glimpse of the snow-capped peaks of the Australian Alps, and at length
they reached the banks of a clear and rapid stream, which they called
the Hume, but which is now known as the Murray. Their carts being no
longer available, they had to construct boats of wicker-work and cover
them with tarpaulin. Having crossed the river, they entered the lightly
timbered slopes to the north of Victoria, and holding their course
south-west, they discovered first the river Ovens, and then a splendid
stream which they called the Hovell, now known as the Goulburn. Their
great object, however, was to reach the ocean, and every morning when
they left their camping-place they were sustained by the hope of coming,
before evening, in view of the open sea. But day after day passed,
without any prospect of a termination to their journey. Hume and Hovell,
seeing a high peak at some little distance, left the rest of the party
to themselves for a few days, and with incredible labour ascended the
mountain, in the expectation of beholding from its summit the great
Southern Ocean in the distance. Nothing was to be seen, however, but the
waving tops of gum trees rising ridge after ridge away to the south.
Wearily they retraced their steps to the place where the others were
encamped. They called this peak Mount Disappointment. Having altered the
direction of their course a little, in a few days they were rejoiced by
the sight of a great expanse of water. Passing through country which
they declared to resemble, in its freshness and beauty, the well-kept
park of an English nobleman, they reached a bay, which the natives
called Geelong. Here a dispute took place between the leaders, Hovell
asserting that the sheet of water before them was Western Port, Hume
that it was Port Phillip. Hume expressed the utmost contempt for
Hovell's ignorance; Hovell retorted with sarcasms on Hume's dogmatism
and conceit; and the rest of the journey was embittered by so great an
amount of ill-feeling that the two explorers were never again on
friendly terms. Hume's careful and sagacious observations of the route
by which they had come enabled him to lead the party rapidly and safely
back to Sydney, where the leaders were rewarded with grants of land and
the convicts with tickets-of-leave.


[Illustration: CAPTAIN CHARLES STURT.]

#4. Captain Sturt.#--The long drought which occurred between 1826 and 1828
suggested to Governor Darling the idea that, as the swamps which had
impeded Oxley's progress would be then dried up, the exploration of the
river Macquarie would not present the same difficulties as formerly. The
charge of organising an expedition was given to Captain Sturt, who was
to be accompanied by Hume, with a party of two soldiers and eight
convicts. They carried with them portable boats; but when they reached
the Macquarie they found its waters so low as to be incapable of
floating them properly. Trudging on foot along the banks of the river
they reached the place where Oxley had turned back. It was no longer a
marsh; but, with the intense heat, the clay beneath their feet was baked
and hard; there was the same dreary stretch of reeds, now withered and
yellow under the glare of the sun. Sturt endeavoured to penetrate this
solitude, but the physical exertion of pushing their way through the
reeds was too great for them. If they paused to rest, they were almost
suffocated in the hot and pestilent air; the only sound they could hear
was the distant booming of the bittern, and a feeling of the most lonely
wretchedness pervaded the scene. At length they were glad to leave this
dismal region and strike to the west through a flat and monotonous
district where the shells and claws of crayfish told of frequent
inundations. Through this plain there flowed a river, which Sturt called
the Darling, in honour of the Governor. They followed this river for
about ninety miles, and then took their way back to Sydney, Sturt being
now able to prove that the belief in the existence of a great inland sea
was erroneous.


#5. The Murray.#--In 1829, along with a naturalist named Macleay, Sturt
was again sent out to explore the interior, and on this occasion carried
his portable boats to the Murrumbidgee, on which he embarked his party
of eight convicts. They rowed with a will, and soon took the boat down
the river beyond its junction with the Lachlan. The stream then became
narrow, a thick growth of overhanging trees shut out the light from
above, while, beneath, the rushing waters bore them swiftly over
dangerous snags and through whirling rapids, until they were suddenly
shot out into the broad surface of a noble stream which flowed gently
over its smooth bed of sand and pebbles. This river they called the
Murray; but it was afterwards found to be only the lower portion of the
stream which had been crossed by Hume and Hovell several years before.

Sturt's manner of journeying was to row from sunrise to sunset, then
land on the banks of the river and encamp for the night. This exposed
the party to some dangers from the suspicious natives, who often
mustered in crowds of several hundreds; but Sturt's kindly manner and
pleasant smile always converted them into friends, so that the worst
mishap he had to record was the loss of his frying-pan and other
utensils, together with some provisions, which were stolen by the blacks
in the dead of night. After twilight the little encampment was often
swarming with dark figures; but Sturt joined in their sports, and
Macleay especially became a great favourite with them by singing comic
songs, at which the dusky crowds roared with laughter. The natives are
generally good-humoured, if properly managed; and throughout Sturt's
trip the white men and the blacks contrived to spend a very friendly
and sociable time together.

After following the Murray for about two hundred miles below the Lachlan
they reached a place where a large river flowed from the north into the
Murray. This was the mouth of the river Darling, which Sturt himself had
previously discovered and named. He now turned his boat into it, in
order to examine it for a short distance; but after they had rowed a
mile or two they came to a fence of stakes, which the natives had
stretched across the river for the purpose of catching fish. Rather than
break the fence, and so destroy the labours of the blacks, Sturt turned
to sail back. The natives had been concealed on the shore to watch the
motions of the white men, and seeing their considerate conduct, they
came forth upon the bank and gave a loud shout of satisfaction. The
party in the boat unfurled the British flag, and answered with three
hearty cheers, as they slowly drifted down with the current. This humane
disposition was characteristic of Captain Sturt, who, in after life, was
able to say that he had never--either directly or indirectly--caused the
death of a black fellow.

When they again entered on the Murray they were carried gently by the
current--first to the west, then to the south; and, as they went onward,
they found the river grow deeper and wider, until it spread into a broad
sheet of water, which they called Lake Alexandrina, after the name of
our present Queen, who was then the Princess Alexandrina Victoria. On
crossing this lake they found the passage to the ocean blocked up by a
great bar of sand, and were forced to turn their boat round and face the
current, with the prospect of a toilsome journey of a thousand miles
before they could reach home. They had to work hard at their oars, Sturt
taking his turn like the rest. At length they entered the Murrumbidgee;
but their food was now failing, and the labour of pulling against the
stream was proving too great for the men, whose limbs began to grow
feeble and emaciated. Day by day they struggled on, swinging more and
more wearily at their oars, their eyes glassy and sunken with hunger and
toil, and their minds beginning to wander as the intense heat of the
midsummer sun struck on their heads. One man became insane; the others
frequently lay down, declaring that they could not row another stroke,
and were quite willing to die. Sturt animated them, and, with enormous
exertions, he succeeded in bringing the party to the settled districts,
where they were safe. They had made known the greatest river of
Australia and traversed one thousand miles of unknown country, so that
this expedition was by far the most important that had yet been made
into the interior; and Sturt, by land, with Flinders, by sea, stands
first on the roll of Australian discoverers.


#6. Mitchell.#--The next traveller who sought to fill up the blank map of
Australia was Major Mitchell. Having offered, in 1831, to conduct an
expedition to the north-west, he set out with fifteen convicts and
reached the Upper Darling; but two of his men, who had been left behind
to bring up provisions, were speared by the blacks, and the stores
plundered. This disaster forced the company soon after to return. In
1835, when the major renewed his search, he was again unfortunate. The
botanist of the party, Richard Cunningham, brother of the Allan
Cunningham already mentioned, was treacherously killed by the natives;
and, finally, the determined hostility of the blacks brought the
expedition to an ignominious close.

In 1836 Major Mitchell undertook an expedition to the south, and in this
he was much more successful. Taking with him a party of twenty-five
convicts, he followed the Lachlan to its junction with the Murrumbidgee.
Here he stayed for a short time to explore the neighbouring country; but
the party was attacked by hordes of natives, some of whom were shot. The
major then crossed the Murray; and, from a mountain top in the Lodden
district, he looked forth on a land which he declared to be like the
Garden of Eden. On all sides rich expanses of woodland and grassy plains
stretched away to the horizon, watered by abundant streams. They then
passed along the slopes of the Grampians and discovered the river
Glenelg, on which they embarked in the boats which they had carried with
them. The scenery along this stream was magnificent; luxurious festoons
of creepers hung from the banks, trailing downwards in the eddying
current, and partly concealing the most lovely grottos which the current
had wrought out of the pure white banks of limestone. The river wound
round abrupt hills and through verdant valleys, which made the latter
part of their journey to the sea most agreeable and refreshing. Being
stopped by the bar at the mouth of the Glenelg, they followed the shore
for a short distance eastward, and then turned towards home. Portland
Bay now lay on their right, and Mitchell made an excursion to explore
it. What was his surprise to see a neat cottage on the shore, with a
small schooner in front of it at anchor in the bay. This was the lonely
dwelling of the brothers Henty, who had crossed from Tasmania and
founded a whaling station at Portland Bay. On Mitchell's return he had a
glorious view from the summit of Mount Macedon, and what he saw induced
him, on his return to Sydney, to give to the country the name "Australia
Felix". As a reward for his important services he received a vote of one
thousand pounds from the Council at Sydney, and he was shortly
afterwards knighted; so that he is now known as Sir Thomas Mitchell.




CHAPTER VIII. - PORT PHILLIP, 1800-1840.


#1. Discovery of Port Phillip.#--The discovery of Bass Strait in 1798
had rendered it possible for the captains of ships bound for Sydney to
shorten somewhat their voyage thither; and as this was recognised by the
English Government to be a great advantage, a small vessel, the _Lady
Nelson_, was sent out under the command of Lieutenant Grant, in order to
make a thorough exploration of the passage. She reached the Australian
coast at the boundary between the two present colonies of Victoria
and South Australia. Grant called the cape he first met with Cape
Northumberland. He saw and named Cape Nelson, Portland Bay, Cape
Schanck, and other features of the coast. When he arrived in Sydney he
called the attention of Governor King to a small inlet which he had not
been able to examine, although it seemed to him of importance. In 1802
the Governor sent back the _Lady Nelson_, now under the command of
Lieutenant Murray, to explore this inlet. Lieutenant Murray entered
it, and found that a narrow passage led to a broad sheet of water,
thoroughly landlocked, though of very considerable extent. He reported
favourably of the beauty and fertility of its shores, and desired to
name it Port King, in honour of the Governor; but Governor King
requested that this tribute should be paid to the memory of his old
commander, the first Australian Governor, and thus the bay received its
present name, Port Phillip. Only sixty days later Flinders also entered
the bay; but when he arrived, some time afterwards, in Sydney, he was
surprised to find he was not the first discoverer.

It was at this time that the Governor in Sydney was afraid of the
intrusion of the French upon Australian soil, and when he heard how
favourable the appearance of this port was for settlement he resolved to
have it more carefully explored. Accordingly he sent a small schooner,
the _Cumberland_, under the charge of Mr. Robbins, to make the
examination. The vessel carried Charles Grimes, the Surveyor-General of
New South Wales, and his assistant, Meehan; also a surgeon named
M'Callum, and a liberated convict named Flemming, who was to report on
the agricultural capabilities of the district.

[Illustration: THE FIRST HOUSE BUILT IN VICTORIA.]

On arriving at Port Phillip they commenced a systematic survey, Robbins
sounding the bay, and making a careful chart, while the other four were
every morning landed on the shore to examine the country. They walked
ten or fifteen miles each day, and in the evening were again taken on
board the schooner. Thus they walked from the site of Sorrento round by
Brighton till they reached the river Yarra, which they described as a
large fresh-water stream, but without naming it. Then they went round
the bay as far as Geelong. They carried a good chart and several long
reports to the Governor at Sydney, who would probably have sent a party
down to settle by the Yarra, had it not been that an expedition had
already set sail from England for the purpose of occupying the shores of
Port Phillip.


#2. Governor Collins.#--This was the expedition of David Collins, already
mentioned. He brought out nearly 400 persons, of whom over 300 were
convicts. There is good reason to believe that Collins from the first
would have preferred to settle at the Derwent, in Tasmania, but at any
rate he carried out his work at Port Phillip in a very half-hearted
manner. Tuckey chose for the settlement a sandy shore at Sorrento, where
scarcely a drop of fresh water was to be had, and where the blazing sun
of midsummer must have been unusually trying to a crowd of people fresh
from colder climates.

[Illustration: THE FIRST HOTEL IN VICTORIA.]

It soon became apparent that the site selected would never prove
suitable, and Collins sent Lieutenant Tuckey in search of a better
place. That officer seems to have made a very inefficient search. He
found no river, and no stream better than the little one on which the
town of Frankston now stands. Here he was attacked by a great crowd of
blacks, and had a conflict with them sufficiently severe to prevent his
landing again. He was thus debarred from exploration by land, and the
stormy weather prevented him from remaining long in the open bay. Tuckey
therefore returned with a very gloomy report, and increased the
despondency of the little community. Every one was dull and dispirited,
except the two or three children who had been allowed to accompany their
convict parents. Among these, the leader of all their childish sports,
was a little lad named John Pascoe Fawkner, who was destined to be
afterwards of note in the history of Port Phillip. Everybody grew
dispirited under the heat, the want of fresh water, and the general
wretchedness of the situation; and very soon all voices were unanimous
in urging the Governor to remove. Collins then sent a boat, with
letters, to Sydney, and Governor King gave him permission to cross
over to Tasmania. He lost not a moment in doing so, and founded the
settlement at the Derwent, to which reference has already been made.

Before he left, there were four convicts who took advantage of the
confusion to escape into the bush, hoping to make their way to Sydney.
One returned, footsore and weary, just in time to be taken on board; the
other three were not again seen. Two are believed to have perished of
hunger, and thirty-two years passed away before the fate of the third
was discovered.


#3. Western Port.#--When Hume and Hovell returned to Sydney after their
exploring expedition, Hovell insisted that the fine harbour he had seen
was Western Port. He had really been at Geelong Harbour, but was all
that distance astray in his reckoning. Induced by his report, the
Government sent an expedition under Captain Wright to form a settlement
at Western Port. Hovell went with him to give the benefit of his
experience. They landed on Phillip Island; but the want of a stream of
permanent water was a disadvantage, and soon after they crossed to the
mainland on the eastern shore, where they founded a settlement, building
wooden huts and one or two brick cottages. Hovell had now to confess
that the place he had formerly seen was not Western Port, and he went
off in search of the fine country he had previously seen, but came back
disappointed. The settlement struggled onward for about a year, and was
then withdrawn.

It is not easy to explain in a few words why they abandoned their
dwellings and the land they had begun to cultivate. It seems to have
been due to a general discontent. However, there were private settlers
in Tasmania who would have carried out the undertaking with much more
energy. For in Tasmania the sheep had been multiplying at a great rate,
while the amount of clear and grassy land in that island was very
limited. One of the residents in Tasmania, named John Batman, who has
been already mentioned, conceived the idea of forming an association
among the Tasmanian sheep-owners, for the purpose of crossing Bass
Strait and occupying with their flocks the splendid grassy lands which
explorers had seen there.


#4. Batman.#--John Batman was a native of Parramatta, but when he was
about twenty-one years of age he had left his home to seek his fortune
in Tasmania. There he had taken up land and had settled down to the life
of a sheep-farmer in the country around Ben Lomond. But he was fond of a
life of adventure, and found enough of excitement for a time in the
troubled state of the colony. It was he who captured Brady, the leader
of the bushrangers, and he became well known during the struggle with
the natives on account of his success in dealing with them and in
inducing them to surrender peaceably. But when all these troubles were
over, and he had to settle down to the monotonous work of drafting and
driving sheep, he found his land too rocky to support his flocks.
Knowing that others in Tasmania were in the same difficulty, he and his
friend Gellibrand, a lawyer in Hobart, in the year 1827 asked permission
to occupy the grassy lands supposed to be round Western Port, but the
Governor in Sydney refused. In 1834 some of them resolved to go without
permission, and an association of thirteen members resolved to send
sheep over to Port Phillip, which was now known to be the more suitable
harbour.

Before they sent the sheep, they resolved to send some one to explore
and report. John Batman naturally volunteered, and the association
chartered for him a little vessel, the _Rebecca_, in which, after
nineteen days of sea-sickness and miserable tossing in the strait, he
succeeded in entering Port Phillip on the 29th of May, 1835. Next
morning he landed near Geelong and walked to the top of the Barrabool
Hills, wading most of the way through grass knee-deep. On the following
day he went in search of the aboriginals, and met a party of about
twenty women, together with a number of children. With these he soon
contrived to be on friendly terms; and after he had distributed among
them looking-glasses, blankets, handkerchiefs, apples and sugar, he left
them very well satisfied.


#5. The Yarra.# A day or two later the _Rebecca_ anchored in Hobson's Bay,
in front of the ti-tree scrub and the lonely shores where now the
streets of Williamstown extend in all directions. Batman again started
on foot to explore that river whose mouth lay there in front of him.
With fourteen men, all well armed, he passed up the river banks; but,
being on the left side, he naturally turned up that branch which is
called the Saltwater, instead of the main stream. After two days of
walking through open grassy lands, admirably suited for sheep, they
reached the site of Sunbury. From a hill at that place they could see
fires about twenty miles to the south-east; and, as they were anxious to
meet the natives, they bent their steps in that direction till they
overtook a native man, with his wife and three children. To his great
satisfaction, he learnt that these people knew of his friendly meeting
with the women in the Geelong district. They guided him to the banks of
the Merri Creek, to the place where their whole tribe was encamped. He
stayed with them all night, sleeping in a pretty grassy hollow beside
the stream. In the morning he offered to buy a portion of their land,
and gave them a large quantity of goods, consisting of scissors, knives,
blankets, looking-glasses, and articles of this description. In return,
they granted him all the land stretching from the Merri Creek to
Geelong. Batman had the documents drawn up, and on the Northcote Hill,
overlooking the grass-covered flats of Collingwood and the sombre
forests of Carlton and Fitzroy, the natives affixed their marks to the
deeds, by which Batman fancied he was legally put in possession of
600,000 acres. Trees were cut with notches, in order to fix the
boundaries, and in the afternoon Batman took leave of his black friends.
He had not gone far before he was stopped by a large swamp, and so slept
for the night under the great gum trees which then spread their shade
over the ground now covered by the populous streets of West Melbourne.
In the morning he found his way round the swamp, and in trying to reach
the Saltwater came upon a noble stream, which was afterwards called the
Yarra. In the evening he reached his vessel in the bay. Next day he
ascended the Yarra in a boat; and when he came to the Yarra Falls, he
wrote in his diary, "This will be the place for a village," unconscious
that he was gazing upon the site of a great and busy city. Returning to
Indented Head, near the heads of Port Phillip, he left three white men
and his Sydney natives to cultivate the soil and retain possession of
the land he supposed himself to have purchased. Then he set sail for
Tasmania, where he and his associates began to prepare for transporting
their households, their sheep and their cattle, to the new country.


#6. The Henty Brothers.#--But even earlier than this period a quiet
settlement had been made in the western parts of Victoria. There, as
early as 1828, sealers had dwelt at Portland Bay, had built their little
cottages and formed their little gardens. But they were unauthorised,
and could only be regarded by the British Government as intruders,
having no legal right to the land they occupied. In 1834, however, there
came settlers of another class--Edward, Stephen, and Frank Henty. Their
father--a man of some wealth--had in 1828 emigrated with all his family
to Western Australia, carrying with him large quantities of fine stock.
But the settlement at Swan River proving a failure, he had removed to
Tasmania, where his six sons all settled. Very soon they found the
pastoral lands of Tasmania too limited, and as Edward Henty had in one
of his coasting voyages seen the sealers at Portland Bay and noticed how
numerous the whales were in that bay, and how fine the grassy lands that
lay within, he chartered a vessel, the _Thistle_, and crossed in her to
settle at Portland Bay with servants, sheep, cattle, and horses.

[Illustration: EDWARD HENTY.]

The land was all that had been anticipated, and soon Frank, and then
Stephen, arrived, with more stock and more men to tend them. Houses and
stores were put up, and fields were ploughed. Ere long other settlers
followed, and in the course of five or six years all the district lying
inland from Portland Bay was well settled and covered with sheep, while
at Portland Bay itself so many whales were caught that there were not
tanks enough to hold the oil, and much of it was wasted. The English
Government after some delay agreed to sell land to the settlers, and
before 1840 a thriving little town stood on the shores of Portland Bay.


[Illustration: JOHN PASCOE FAWKNER.]

#7. Fawkner.#--John Pascoe Fawkner, who, as a boy, had landed at Sorrento
in 1803, had grown up to manhood in Tasmania through stormy times, and
had at length settled down as an innkeeper in Launceston; with that
business, however, combining the editing and publishing of a small
newspaper. For he was always a busy and active-minded worker, and had
done a great deal to make up for the defective education of his earlier
years. When Batman arrived in Launceston with the news of the fine
pastoral country across the water, Fawkner became quite excited at the
prospects that seemed possible over there. He accordingly began to
agitate for the formation of another association, and five members
joined him. At his expense, the schooner _Enterprise_ was chartered and
loaded with all things necessary for a small settlement. On the 27th
July, 1835, he set sail from Launceston; but the weather was so rough
that, after three days and two nights of inexpressible sickness, Fawkner
found himself still in sight of the Tasmanian coast. He therefore asked
to be put ashore, and left Captain Lancey to manage the trip as he
thought best. The captain took the vessel over to Western Port, as had
been originally arranged; but the land there was not nearly so good as
they understood it to be in the Port Phillip district. So they sailed
round and safely anchored in Hobson's Bay, bringing with them horses and
ploughs, grain, fruit trees, materials for a house, boats, provisions,
and, indeed, everything that a small settlement could want. Getting out
their boat, they entered upon the stream which they saw before them;
but, unfortunately, they turned up the wrong arm, and, after rowing many
miles, were forced to turn back, the water all the way being salt and
unfit for drinking. For this reason they called this stream the
Saltwater; but next morning they started again and tried the other
branch. After pulling for about an hour and a half they reached a basin
in the river whose beauty filled them with exultation and delight. A
rocky ledge over which the river flowed kept the water above it fresh;
the soil was rich, and covered with splendid grass, and they instantly
came to the conclusion to settle in this favoured spot. Next day they
towed the vessel up, and landed where the Custom House now is. At night
they slept beside the falls, where the air was fragrant with the sweet
scent of the wattle trees just bursting into bloom.

They had not been on the river many days before Mr. Wedge--one of
Batman's party--in crossing the country from Indented Head to the Yarra,
was astonished to see the masts of a vessel rising amid the gum trees.
On reaching the river bank, what was his surprise to find, in that
lonely spot, a vessel almost embedded in the woods, and the rocks and
glades echoing to the sound of hammer and saw and the encouraging shouts
of the ploughmen! Wedge informed Fawkner's party that they were
trespassers on land belonging to John Batman and Company. Captain
Lancey, having heard the story of the purchase, declared that such a
transaction could have no value. When Wedge was gone, the settlers laid
their axes to the roots of the trees, and began to clear the land for
extensive cultivation. A fortnight later Wedge brought round all his
party from Indented Head in order to occupy what Batman had marked as
the site for a village, and the two rival parties were encamped side by
side where the western part of Collins Street now stands. A little later
Fawkner arrived with further settlers and with a wooden house, which he
soon erected by the banks of the Yarra, the first regularly built house
of Melbourne. He placed it by the side of the densely wooded stream,
which was afterwards turned into Elizabeth Street. Great crowds of black
and white cockatoos raised their incessant clamour at the first strokes
of the axe; but soon the hillside was clear, and man had taken permanent
possession of the spot.


#8. William Buckley.#--Meanwhile a circumstance had happened which
favoured Batman's party in no small degree. The men left at Indented
Head were surprised one morning to see an extremely tall figure
advancing towards them. His hair was thickly matted; his skin was brown,
but not black, like that of the natives; he was almost naked, and he
carried the ordinary arms of the aborigines. This was William Buckley,
the only survivor of the three convicts who had escaped from Governor
Collins's expedition. He had dwelt for thirty-two years among the
natives. During this long time he had experienced many strange
adventures, but had not exercised the smallest influence for good upon
the natives. He was content to sink at once to their level, and to lead
the purely animal life they led. But when he heard that there was a
party of whites on Indented Head, whom the Geelong tribes proposed to
murder, he crossed to warn them of their danger. Batman's party clothed
him and treated him well, and for a time he acted as interpreter,
smoothing over many of the difficulties that arose with the natives, and
rendering the formation of the settlement much less difficult than it
might have been.


#9. Excitement in Tasmania.#--The news taken over by Batman caused a
commotion in Tasmania. Many settlers crossed in search of the new
country, and, before a year had passed, nearly two hundred persons, with
more than 15,000 sheep, had landed on the shores of Port Phillip. But
they soon spread over a great extent of country--from Geelong to
Sunbury. They were in the midst of numerous black tribes, who now, too
late, began to perceive the nature of Batman's visit, and commenced to
seek revenge. Frequent attacks were made, in one of which a squatter and
his servant were killed beside the Werribee. Their bodies lie buried in
the Flagstaff Gardens.


#10. Governor Bourke.#--These were not the only troubles of the settlers;
for the Sydney Government declared that all purchases of land from
ignorant natives were invalid, and Governor Bourke issued a
proclamation, warning the people at Port Phillip against fixing their
homes there, as the land did not legally belong to them.

Still new settlers flocked over, and a township began to be formed on
the banks of the Yarra. Batman's association found that their claims to
the land granted them by the natives would not be allowed; and, after
some correspondence on the subject with the Home Government, they had
to be content with 28,000 acres, as compensation for the money they had
expended.


#11. Lonsdale.#--Towards the close of 1836 Governor Bourke found himself
compelled to recognise the new settlement, and sent Captain Lonsdale to
act as a magistrate; thirty soldiers accompanied him to maintain order
and protect the settlers. Next year (1837) the Governor himself arrived
at Port Phillip, where he found the settlers now numbering 500. He
planned out the little town, giving names to its streets, and finally
settling that it should be called Melbourne, after Lord Melbourne, who
was then the Prime Minister of England.


#12. Latrobe.#--in 1838 Geelong began to grow into a township, and the
settlers spread west as far as Colac. Next year Mr. Latrobe was sent to
take charge of the whole district of Port Phillip, under the title of
Superintendent, but with almost all the powers of a Governor. The
settlers held a public meeting, in an auction-room at Market Square, for
the purpose of according a hearty welcome to their new Governor, whose
kindliness and upright conduct soon made him a great favourite.

[Illustration: GOVERNOR LATROBE.]

A wattle-and-daub building was put up as a police-office, on the site of
the Western Markets, where it did duty for some time, until one night it
fell; some say because it was undermined by a party of imprisoned
natives; but others, because a bull belonging to Mr. Batman had rushed
against it. A court-house was erected, and four policemen appointed. A
post-office next followed, and, one by one, the various institutions of
a civilised community arose in miniature form. Numerous ships began to
enter the bay, and a lucrative trade sprang up with Tasmania. In 1838
the first newspaper appeared. It was due to the enterprise of Fawkner.
Every Monday morning sheets containing four pages of writing were
distributed to the subscribers, under the title of the _Advertiser_.
After nine issues of this kind had been published, a parcel of old
refuse type was sent over from Tasmania; and a young man being found in
the town who had, in his boyhood, spent a few months in a printing
office, he was pressed into the service, and thenceforward the
_Advertiser_ appeared in a printed form--the pioneer of the press of
Victoria. Mr. Batman had fixed his residence not far from the place now
occupied by the Spencer Street Railway Station. Here, in the year 1839,
he was seized with a violent cold; and, after being carefully nursed by
one of his daughters, died without seeing more than the beginning of
that settlement he had laboured so hard to found. Mr. Fawkner lived to
an advanced age, and saw the city--whose first house he had
built--become a vast metropolis.

[Illustration: COLLINS STREET, MELBOURNE, IN 1840. (Compare with page 177.)]

The year 1839 brought further increase to the population; and before the
beginning of 1840 there were 3,000 persons, with 500 houses and 70
shops, in Melbourne. In 1841, within five years of its foundation, it
contained 11,000 persons and 1,500 houses.




CHAPTER IX. - SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 1836-1841.


#1. Edward Gibbon Wakefield.#--In 1829 a small book was published in
London which attracted a great deal of attention, not only by reason of
its charming style and the liveliness of its manner, but also on account
of the complete originality of the ideas it contained. It purported to
be a letter written from Sydney, and described the annoyances to be
endured by a man of taste and fortune if he emigrated to Australia. He
could have no intellectual society; he could not enjoy the pleasures of
his library or of his picture gallery; he could hope for none of the
delights of easy retirement, seeing that he had to go forth on his land,
and with his own hands labour for his daily food. For, said Mr.
Wakefield, the author of this little book, you cannot long have free
servants in this country; if a free man arrives in the colony, though he
may for a short time work for you as a servant, yet he is sure to save a
little money, and as land is here so excessively cheap, he soon becomes
a landed proprietor. He settles down on his farm, and, though he may
have a year or two of heavy toil, yet he is almost certain to become
both happy and prosperous. Thus, the colony is an excellent place for a
poor man, but it is a wretched abode for a man of means and of culture.
Wakefield therefore proposed to found in Australia another colony, which
should be better adapted to those who had fortunes sufficient to
maintain them and yet desired to emigrate to a new country. His scheme
for effecting this purpose was to charge a high price for the land, and
so to prevent the poorer people from purchasing it; the money received
from the sale of land he proposed to employ in bringing out young men
and women, as servants and farm labourers, for the service of the
wealthier colonists. Now, said Wakefield, on account of the immense
natural resources of these colonies, their splendid soil, their
magnificent pasture lands, their vast wealth in minerals, and their
widespread forests of valuable timber, which stand ready for the axe, a
gentleman possessed of only £20,000 will obtain as large an income from
it as could be procured from £100,000 in England; yet he will be able to
enjoy his learned and cultured leisure, just as he does at home, because
all the work will be done for him by the servants he employs. For three
or four years this agreeable fallacy made quite a stir in England:
famous authors, distinguished soldiers, learned bishops were deceived by
it; noblemen, members of Parliament, bankers and merchants, all combined
to applaud this novel and excellent idea of Mr. Wakefield.


#2. South Australian Association.#--in 1831 the first effort was made to
give a practical turn to these theories, and the southern shores of
Australia were selected as a suitable locality for the proposed colony.
A company was formed; but when it applied to the British Government for
a charter, which would have conceded the complete sovereignty of the
whole southern region of Australia, Lord Goderich, the Secretary of
State, replied that it was asking a great deal too much, and abruptly
closed the negotiation. Two years later the South Australian Association
was formed, and as this company asked for nothing beyond the power to
sell waste lands and apply the proceeds to assist immigration, the
British Government gave its consent, and an Act was passed by the
Imperial Parliament to give the association full power to found a
colony. This Act directed that commissioners should be appointed to
frame laws for the colony, to establish courts, and to nominate its
officers; land was to be thrown open for sale at not less than twelve
shillings an acre, and even this comparatively high price was to be
raised, after a short time, to £1 per acre, in order to keep the land in
the hands of the wealthy. It was expressly stated that no convict would
be allowed to land in the new settlement, which, it was hoped, would
become in every respect a model community. The British Government
declined to incur any expense in establishing or in maintaining the
colony, which was to be purely self-supporting. Eleven commissioners
were appointed, of whom Colonel Torrens was chairman in England, and Mr.
Fisher the representative in Australia, where he was to take charge of
the sale of lands and supervise the affairs of the colony. At the same
time, Captain Hindmarsh was appointed Governor, and Colonel Light was
sent out to survey the waste lands preparatory to their being offered
for sale.

[Illustration: THE FIRST SETTLEMENT AT ADELAIDE, 1836. (Compare with page 167.)]

In May, 1835, during the very month in which Batman was wandering for
the first time on the banks of the Yarra, these appointments for the
foundation of a fourth Australian colony were being published in the
English _Government Gazette_. Thus Victoria and South Australia took
their widely different origins at almost the same time; but while the
first actual settlers landed at Port Phillip towards the end of 1835,
the pioneers of South Australia did not reach that colony until the
middle of 1836.


#3. Adelaide.#--The first emigrants to South Australia landed on Kangaroo
Island, of which Flinders had given a most attractive account; but
though the place was beautifully wooded, and of the most picturesque
aspect, it was found to be in many respects unsuitable for the
foundation of a city; and when Colonel Light shortly afterwards arrived
with his staff of surveyors, he at once decided to remove the settlement
to St. Vincent's Gulf. Here, about six miles from the shores of the
gulf, he selected a broad plain between the sea and the pleasant hills
of the Mount Lofty Range; and on the bank of a small stream, which he
called the Torrens, he marked out the lines of the infant city. Queen
Adelaide was the wife of the reigning King of England, and, as she was
exceedingly popular, the colonists, with enthusiasm, adopted her name
for their capital. A harbour was found seven miles distant from the
city, and on it a town was established, to which the name Port Adelaide
was given.


#4. Governor Hindmarsh.#--In December, 1836, Governor Hindmarsh landed,
and beneath a spreading gum tree near the beach he read his commission
to a small audience of emigrants and officials; but when he proceeded to
examine what had been done, he was filled with disgust and indignation.
The only landing-place for vessels was in the midst of a mangrove swamp
at the mouth of a muddy little creek; and all goods would have to be
carried six or seven miles inland to the city. To a sailor's eye, it
seemed the most reckless folly to make so unusual a choice, and he at
once determined to remove the settlement to Encounter Bay; but neither
Colonel Light nor Mr. Fisher would permit any change to be made, and a
violent quarrel took place. As resident commissioner, Mr. Fisher had
powers equal to those of the Governor, and was thus enabled to prolong
the contest. Of the settlers, some sided with the Governor; others gave
their support to the commissioner, and the colony was quickly divided
into two noisy factions. After fourteen months of constant wrangling,
the English Government interfered. Mr. Fisher was dismissed and Governor
Hindmarsh recalled, while the offices of both were conferred on Colonel
Gawler, who arrived in the colony during the year 1838.

[Illustration: GOVERNOR HINDMARSH.]


#5. Early Failures.#--The Wakefield system could not possibly realise the
hopeful anticipations which had been formed of it; for the foundation of
a new colony and the reclaiming of the lonely forest wilds are not to be
accomplished by merely looking on at the exertions of hired servants.
Ladies and gentlemen who had, in England, paid for land they had never
seen, were, on their arrival, greatly disgusted at the sight of the
toils before them. They had to pull their luggage through the dismal
swamp, for there were neither porters nor cabs in waiting; they had to
settle down in canvas tents, on a grassy plain, which was called a city,
but where a few painted boards here and there, fastened to the trunks of
gum trees, were the only indications of streets. Then, when they went
out to see their estates, and beheld great stretches of rude and
unpromising wilderness--when they considered how many years must pass
away before there could possibly arise the terraces and gardens, the
orchards and grassy lawns, which make an English country-house
delightful--their courage failed them, and, instead of going forth upon
the land, they clustered together in Adelaide. Every one wished to
settle down in the city, and as it was expected that, with the growth of
population, the value of town allotments would rapidly increase, the
idea became prevalent that to buy land in the city and keep it for sale
in future years would be a profitable investment. But there were so many
who entertained the same astute design that, when they all came to put
it in practice, there was little gain to any one; and the only result
was that Adelaide was turned into a scene of reckless speculation and
gambling in land.


#6. Governor Gawler.#--Meantime poorer emigrants were arriving in
expectation of obtaining employment from their wealthier predecessors,
who had been able to pay the high price demanded for land. They found
that those whom they expected to be their employers had abandoned the
idea of going out into the country to cultivate the soil. There was,
therefore, nothing for them to do; they had no money with which to
speculate in town allotments, they had no land on which to commence
farming for themselves, and they were in a wretched plight. Provisions
had rapidly increased in price, so that flour rose from £20 to £80 per
ton; no food was being produced from the land, and nothing whatever was
being done to develop the resources of the colony, whilst the money
which the settlers had brought with them was rapidly being spent in
importing shiploads of provisions from other countries.

In order to give employment to those of the settlers who were really
destitute, Governor Gawler commenced a series of Government works. He
constructed a good road between Adelaide and its port. He formed
wharves, and reclaimed the unwholesome swamp; he built a Custom House,
with warehouses and many other costly buildings, the Government House
alone costing £20,000. Now, these were all in themselves very desirable
things; but it was difficult to see how they were to be paid for.
Colonel Gawler spent nearly the whole of his own private fortune in
paying the wages of the unfortunate persons he employed, but that could
not long support so great a concourse of people. He persuaded merchants
in England to send out provisions and clothing for the famished people;
but the only means he had of paying for these goods was by drafts on the
British Treasury, which were accepted at first as equivalent to money,
for it was believed that, whenever they were presented in London,
payment would immediately be made by the British Government. But this
was a serious mistake: though the first series of drafts were paid
readily enough, yet when the authorities in England found that others,
for larger and larger amounts, continued to pour in, they refused to
pay, and reminded the colony that, by the terms of its charter, it was
to be entirely self-supporting. A series of drafts, to the amount of
£69,000, were therefore dishonoured; and the merchants, finding the
drafts to be worth no more than so much paper, demanded their money from
the Governor; but he had nothing with which to pay, and the colony had
to be declared insolvent, having debts to the amount of about £400,000
which it could not meet.


#7. The Collapse.#--Matters were now in a very gloomy condition. Most of
the colonists became anxious to return to England, and therefore sought
to sell their land. But when nearly all wished to sell, and scarcely any
wished to buy, the price went down to a trifle, and men who had invested
fortunes in town allotments, realised no more than enough to pay their
passage home. In the meantime the English merchants declined to send
out any further supplies, and those who had not the means of leaving
Adelaide seemed in great danger of starving. But as land could now be
bought very cheaply, many industrious people of the poorer class settled
down to clear the country for farming. This was what should have been
done at the very beginning; for no colony can be prosperous, or look for
anything but bankruptcy, until it commences to produce grain, or wool,
or minerals, or some other commodity with which it can purchase from
other lands the goods which they produce. The lands of South Australia
are admirably adapted for the growth of wheat; and, after a time,
success attended the efforts of the farmers, who thus laid the
foundations of future prosperity.

[Illustration: PROCLAMATION TREE, GLENELG.
(The colony of S. Australia proclaimed a British dependency,
28th December, 1836.)]

Another industry was also added about this time. The young squatters of
New South Wales, attracted by the high prices given for sheep in the
early days of Adelaide, had been daring enough, in spite of the blacks
and of the toilsome journey, to drive their flocks overland; and the
new-comers soon gave quite a wool-growing tone to the community. These
"overlanders," as they were called, affected a bandit style of dress; in
their scarlet shirts and broad-brimmed hats, their belts filled with
pistols, and their horses gaily caparisoned, they caused a sensation in
the streets in Adelaide, which rang all evening with their merriment
and dissipation. But as they brought about fifty thousand sheep into the
colony during the course of only a year or so, they were of essential
benefit to it. Many of them settled down and taught the new arrivals how
to manage flocks and prepare the wool, and thus they assisted in raising
Adelaide from the state of despondency and distress into which it had
sunk.


#8. Recall of Governor Gawler.#--The British Government eventually decided
to lend the colony a sufficient sum of money to pay its debts; but it
was resolved to make certain changes. The eleven commissioners were
abolished, Captain George Grey, a young officer, was appointed Governor;
and one day in May, 1841, he walked into the Government House at
Adelaide, presented his commission to Governor Gawler, and at once took
the control of affairs into his own hands. This summary mode of
dismissing Governor Gawler must now be regarded as somewhat harsh; for
he had laboured hard and spent his money freely in trying to benefit the
colony, and the mistakes which were made during his administration were
not so much due to his incapacity as to the impracticable nature of the
theory on which the colony had been founded. In 1841 he sailed for
England, deeply regretted by many who had experienced his kindness and
generosity in their time of trouble.




CHAPTER X. - NEW SOUTH WALES, 1838-1850.


#1. Gipps.#--In 1838, when Governor Bourke left Australia to spend the
remainder of his life in the retirement of his native county in Ireland,
he was succeeded in the government of New South Wales by Sir George
Gipps, an officer who had recently gained distinction by his services in
settling the affairs of Canada. The new Governor was a man of great
ability, generous and well meaning, but of a somewhat arbitrary nature.
No Governor has ever laboured more assiduously for the welfare of his
people, and yet none has ever been more unpopular than Gipps. During his
term of office the colonists were constantly suffering from troubles,
due, in most instances, to themselves, but always attributed to others,
and, as a rule, to the Governor. It is true that the English Government,
though actuated by a sincere desire to benefit and assist the rising
community, often aggravated these troubles by its crude and ill-informed
efforts to alleviate them. And as Sir George Gipps considered it his
chief duty to obey literally and exactly all the orders sent out by his
superiors in England, however much he privately disapproved of them, it
was natural that he should receive much of the odium and derision
attendant on these injudicious attempts; but, on the whole, the troubles
of the colony were due, not so much to any fault of the Governor or to
any error of the English Government, as to the imprudence of the
colonists themselves.


#2. Monetary Crisis.#--During twelve years of unalloyed prosperity, so
many fortunes had been made that the road to wealth seemed securely
opened to all who landed in the colony. Thus it became common for new
arrivals to regard themselves, on their first landing, as already men of
fortune, and, presuming on their anticipated wealth, they often lived in
an expensive and extravagant style, very different from the prudent and
abstemious life which can alone secure to the young colonist the success
he hopes for. In Sydney the most profuse habits prevailed, and in
Melbourne it seemed as if prosperity had turned the heads of the
inhabitants. The most expensive liquors were the ordinary beverages of
waggoners and shepherds; and, on his visit to Port Phillip in 1843,
Governor Gipps found the suburbs of Melbourne thickly strewed with
champagne bottles, which seemed to him to tell a tale of extravagance
and dissipation.


#3. Land Laws.#--Whilst many of the younger merchants were thus on their
way to ruin, and the great bulk of the community were kept impoverished
by their habits, the English Government brought matters to a crisis by
its injudicious interference with the land laws. The early years of
South Australia, and its period of trouble, have been already described.
In 1840 South Australia was on the verge of bankruptcy, and the
Wakefield policy of maintaining the land at a high price had not
produced the results anticipated. Now, many of the greatest men in
England were in favour of the Wakefield theory; and, in particular, the
Secretary of State for the Colonies--that is, the member of the British
Government whose duty it is to attend to colonial affairs was a warm
supporter of the views of Wakefield; so that when the people of South
Australia complained that their scheme could not be successful so
long as the other colonies charged so low a price for their land, he
sympathised with them in their trouble. "Who," they asked, "will pay one
pound an acre for land in South Australia, when, by crossing to Port
Phillip, he can obtain land equally good at five shillings an acre?" To
prevent the total destruction of South Australia, the Secretary of State
ordered the other colonies to charge a higher price for land. New South
Wales was to be divided into three districts. (1) The Middle District,
round Port Jackson, where land was never to be sold for less than twelve
shillings an acre. (2) The Northern District, round Moreton Bay, where
the same price was to be charged. (3) The Southern District, round Port
Phillip, where the land was of superior quality, and was never to be
sold for less than one pound an acre.

A great amount of discontent was caused throughout New South Wales by
this order; but South Australia was saved from absolute ruin, and the
Secretary of State declined to recall the edict. In vain it was urged
that a great part of the land was not worth more than two or three
shillings an acre; the answer was that land was worth whatever people
were willing to pay for it. For a time it seemed as if this view had
been sound, and land was eagerly purchased, even at the advanced prices;
in 1840 the amounts received from land sales were three times as great
as those received in 1838. But this was mostly the result of
speculation, and disastrous effects soon followed; for the prices paid
by the purchasers were far above the real value of the land. If a man
brought a thousand pounds into the colony and paid it to the Government
for a thousand acres of land, he reckoned himself to be still worth a
thousand pounds, and the banks would be willing to lend him nearly a
thousand pounds on the security of his purchase. But if he endeavoured,
after a year or two, to resell it, he would then discover its true
value, and find he was in reality possessed of only two or three hundred
pounds: every purchaser had found the land to be of less value than he
had expected; every one was anxious to sell; and, there being few
buyers, most of it was sold at a ruinous price. Men who had borrowed
money were unable to pay their debts, and became insolvent. The banks,
who had lent them money, were brought to the verge of ruin; and one of
the oldest--the Bank of Australia--became bankrupt in 1843, and
increased the confusion in monetary affairs. In order to pay their
debts, the squatters were now forced to sell their sheep and cattle; but
there was scarcely any one willing to buy, and the market being glutted,
the prices went down to such an extent that sheep, which two years
before had been bought for thirty shillings, were gladly sold for
eighteenpence. Indeed, a large flock was sold in Sydney at sixpence per
head. Fortunately, it was discovered by Mr. O'Brien, a squatter living
at Yass, that about six shillings worth of tallow could be obtained from
each sheep by boiling it down; and, if this operation had not been
extensively begun by many of the sheep-owners, they would, without
doubt, have been completely ruined. So great was the distress that, in
1843, the Governor issued provisions at less than cost price, in order
to prevent the starvation of large numbers of the people.

Yet, the Secretary of State in England knew nothing of all this, and in
1843 he raised the price of land still higher, ordering that, throughout
all Australia, no land should be sold for less than one pound an acre.


#4. Immigration.#--It is not to be imagined, however, that the English
Government ever took to itself any of this land revenue. Every penny was
used for the purpose of bringing immigrants into the colony. Agents in
Europe were appointed to select suitable persons, who received what were
called bounty orders. Any one who possessed an order of this kind
received a free passage to Sydney, all expenses being paid by the
Colonial Government with the money received from the sale of land. The
Governor had the power of giving these orders to persons in New South
Wales, who sent them home to their friends or relatives, or to servants
and labourers, whom they wished to bring to the colonies. Now, Governor
Gipps imagined that the land would continue to bring in as much revenue
every year as it did in 1840, and, in the course of that year and the
next, gave bounty orders to the extent of nearly one million pounds.
But in 1841 the land revenue fell to about one-twentieth of what it had
been in 1840; so that the colony must have become bankrupt had it not
been that more than half of those who received bounty orders, hearing of
the unsettled state of the colony, never made use of the permission
granted. Governor Gipps was blamed by the colonists, and received from
the Secretary of State a letter of sharp rebuke.

As for the immigrants who did arrive in New South Wales, their prospects
were not bright. For a long time many of them found it impossible to
obtain employment. Great numbers landed friendless and penniless in
Sydney, and in a few weeks found themselves obliged to sleep in the
parks, or in the streets, and, but for the friendly exertions of a
benevolent lady, Mrs. Chisholm, who obtained employment at different
times for about two thousand of them, their position would, indeed, have
been wretched.

Mrs. Chisholm founded a home for defenceless and friendless girls,
of whom nearly six hundred were at one time living in Sydney in
destitution, having been sent out from home with bounty orders, under
the impression that employment was certain whenever they might land at
Port Jackson.

Gradually the return of the colonists to habits of prudence and thrift
removed the financial distress which had been the primary cause of all
these troubles. Land ceased to be bought at the ruinously high rates,
and goods returned to their former prices.


#5. Separation.#--But these were not the only cares which pressed upon the
mind of Sir George Gipps. He was entrusted with the management of the
eastern half of Australia, a region stretching from Cape York to
Wilson's Promontory. There were, it is true, but 150,000 inhabitants in
the whole territory. But the people were widely scattered, and there
were in reality two distinct settlements--one consisting of 120,000
people round Sydney, the other of 30,000 round Port Phillip. The latter,
though small, was vigorous, and inclined to be discontented; it was six
hundred miles distant from the capital, and the delays and
inconveniences due to this fact caused it no little annoyance.

There was, indeed, a Superintendent in Melbourne, and to him the control
of the southern district was chiefly entrusted. But Mr. Latrobe was
undecided and feeble. Though personally a most worthy man, yet, as a
ruler, he was much too timid and irresolute. He seldom ventured to take
any step on his own responsibility; no matter how urgent the matter was,
he always waited for instructions from his superior, the Governor.

Under these circumstances, it was natural that the people of Melbourne
should wish for an independent Governor, who would have full power to
settle promptly all local affairs. In 1840 they held a meeting in a room
at the top of the hill in Bourke Street, to petition for separation from
New South Wales. But, next year, the Sydney people held a meeting in the
theatre to protest against it. Here, then, was another source of trouble
to Gipps; for, from this time, the colony was divided into two parties,
eagerly and bitterly disputing on the separation question. Governor
Gipps and Mr. Latrobe were not in favour of separation, and, by their
opposition, they incurred the deep dislike of the people of Port
Phillip. The authorities at home, however, were somewhat inclined to
favour the idea, and as Gipps was necessarily the medium of announcing
their views to the colonists, and carrying them into force, he became
unpopular with the Sydney colonists also. No man has ever occupied a
more trying position; and a somewhat overbearing temperament was not at
all suited for smoothing away its difficulties.


[Illustration: COLONIAL SECRETARY'S OFFICE, SYDNEY.]

#6. Representative Government.#--In 1842 a meeting was held in Sydney to
petition for representative government. The British Parliament saw its
way clear to concede this privilege; and in July, 1843, the first
representatives elected by the people assembled in Sydney. The new
Council consisted of thirty-six members, of whom twelve were either
officials or persons nominated by the Governor, and the other
twenty-four were elective. It was the duty of this body to consult with
the Governor, and to see that the legitimate wishes of the people were
attended to. Six gentlemen were elected for Port Phillip; but residents
of Melbourne found it impossible to leave their business and go to live
in Sydney. The people of Port Phillip were therefore forced to elect
Sydney gentlemen to take charge of their interests. However, these did
their duty excellently. Dr. Lang was especially active in the interests
of his constituents, and in the second session of the Council, during
the year 1844, he moved that a petition should be presented to the
Queen, praying that the Port Phillip district should be separated from
New South Wales, and formed into an independent colony. The Port Phillip
representatives, together with the now famous Robert Lowe, gave their
support to the motion; but there were nineteen votes against it, and
this effort was supposed to have been completely baffled. But Dr. Lang
drew up a petition of his own, which was signed by all the Port Phillip
members and sent to England. Nothing further was heard on the subject
for some time, until Sir George Gipps received a letter from Lord
Stanley, the Secretary of State, directing him to lay the matter before
the Executive Council in Sydney; and stating that, in the opinion of the
English Government, the request of Port Phillip was very fair and
reasonable. An inquiry was held, the Sydney Council sent to England a
report on the subject, and received a reply to the effect that steps
would at once be taken to obtain from the Imperial Parliament the
required Act.

The people of Port Phillip were overjoyed, and in 1846 gave a grand
banquet to Dr. Lang to celebrate the occasion. But they were not
destined to quite so speedy a consummation of their desires. The English
Government which had given so favourable an ear to their petition was
defeated and succeeded by another Government, to whom the whole question
was new. Year after year passed away, and the people of Port Phillip
began to grow impatient, and to complain loudly of their grievances.
First of all, they complained that, although it was a well-recognised
principle that the money received by Government for the waste lands of
any district should be employed in bringing out emigrants to that
district, yet the Sydney Government used much of the money obtained
from the sale of land in Port Phillip for the purpose of bringing out
new colonists--not to Melbourne or Geelong, but to Sydney itself. And
thus, it was said, the people of Sydney were using the money of the Port
Phillip district for their own advantage. And, again, the people of
Melbourne complained that, although they were allowed to elect six
members of the Legislative Council, yet this was merely a mockery,
because none of the Port Phillip residents could afford to live in
Sydney for five months every year and to neglect their own private
business. The former of these accusations seems, so far as we can now
determine, to have been unfounded; the latter was undoubtedly a
practical grievance, though more or less unavoidable in every system of
representation.


#7. Earl Grey.#--For a year or two the English Government forgot all about
the separation question; and, in 1848, the wearied colonists at Port
Phillip determined to call attention to their discontent. Accordingly,
when the elections for that year approached, they determined not to
elect any member, so that the English Government might see of how little
use to them their supposed privilege really was. It was agreed that no
one should come forward for election, and it seemed likely that there
would be no election whatever, when a gentleman named Foster offered
himself as a candidate. This placed the non-election party in a dilemma;
for if they declined to vote at all, and if Mr. Foster could persuade
only two or three of his friends to vote for him, then, since there was
no other candidate, he would be legally elected.

Now, at this time, Earl Grey was Secretary of State for the Colonies;
and when some one proposed to nominate him for election, in opposition
to Mr. Foster, the idea was hailed as a happy one. The non-election
party could then vote for Earl Grey, and he would be returned by a large
majority. But Earl Grey, being an English nobleman and a member of the
British Government, would certainly never go to Sydney to attend a small
Colonial Council; so that there would be, in reality, no member elected.
But the attention of the Secretary of State would be drawn to the
desires of the district. Earl Grey was triumphantly elected, and when
the news went home it caused some merriment. He was jokingly asked in
the House of Lords when he would sail for Sydney. And for several weeks
he underwent so much banter on the subject that his attention was fully
aroused to the long-neglected question. He weighed the matter carefully,
and, resolving to do the people of Port Phillip full justice, sent out
word that he would at once prepare a Bill for the Imperial Parliament,
in order to obtain the necessary powers. At the same time he intimated
that Queen Victoria would be pleased if the new colony should adopt her
name. Nothing could give the colonists more satisfaction, and they
waited with patience until affairs should be properly arranged in
England.


#8. Sir Charles Fitzroy.#--All this agitation, however, had not taken
place without much irritation and contention between the people at Port
Phillip and their Governor at Sydney, from whose authority they wished
to free themselves. Sir George Gipps had much to harass him, and in 1846
he was glad to retire from his troublesome position. He was succeeded by
Sir Charles Fitzroy, a gentleman in every respect his opposite. By no
means clever, yet good-tempered and amiable, he troubled himself very
little with the affairs of the colony. The Sydney Council managed
everything just as it pleased; Sir Charles was glad to be rid of the
trouble, and the colonists were delighted to have their own way. As for
the separation question, he cared very little whether Port Phillip was
erected into a colony or not.

In 1850 the news arrived that Port Phillip was to be separated from New
South Wales, and in the middle of the next year its independence was
declared. Its Superintendent, Latrobe, was raised to the dignity of
Governor, and the new colony received its Constitution, conferring on it
all the legislative and other powers which had previously been possessed
only by New South Wales.


#9. Abolition of Transportation.#--It was during this period that the
English Government resolved on sending no more convicts to Australia. A
committee of the Imperial Parliament held an inquiry into the effects of
transportation, and reported that it would be unwise to continue the
system. From 1842, therefore, there was practically a cessation of
transportation, although the majority of the squatters were averse to
the change. They found that the convicts, when assigned to them, made
good shepherds and stockmen, and that at cheap rates. They subsequently
petitioned for a revival of transportation; but, after some hesitation,
the British Government resolved to adhere to their resolution to send no
more convicts to Sydney. Van Diemen's Land was still unfortunate; it was
to receive, indeed, the full stream of convicts, but from 1842 Australia
itself ceased to be the receptacle for the criminals of Great Britain.




CHAPTER XI. - SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 1841-1850.


#1. Governor Grey.#--The colonists of South Australia had, in 1841,
received a sharp but salutary lesson, and we have seen that they
profited by it. They had discovered that the land was their only source
of wealth, and many, who had sufficient means to purchase farms or
stations, went out into the country, determined to endure a year or two
of hardship in hopes of prosperity to come. Nor had they very long to
wait; in 1844 they were able to export corn to the extent of £40,000,
and in that year the colony possessed 355,000 sheep and 22,000 cattle.

The new Governor, Captain George Grey, took every care to assist the
colonists in returning to more prudent courses. Many changes were
needed; for in 1840, while the colony had a revenue of only £30,000, it
had spent at the rate of £171,000 per annum. Such imprudence could lead
to nothing but ruin, and the first task of the Governor was to reduce
all expenses as far as possible. In the first year the expenditure was
cut down to £90,000; in the next, to £68,000; and in 1843, to £34,000.

Instead of employing the poorer labourers on costly and unnecessary
public works, he persuaded them to take employment in the country with
the farmers and squatters, who were rapidly opening up the interior
parts of the colony. He settled many on small farms or stations of their
own, but in this he was greatly impeded by the high price of land; for
Wakefield's friends in England were not yet convinced that their
favourite scheme was defective--they attributed every mishap to the
incompetence of Governors Hindmarsh and Gawler. "To lower the price,"
said they, "will be to ruin the colony;" and lest such a thing should
happen, they raised the price of all lands, whether good or bad, to one
pound per acre. But many of those who had bought land in the first days
of the settlement had been so anxious to part with it during the crisis
that they had sold it for much less than it cost them; and thus a great
number of the poorer people became possessed of land at very moderate
prices. In 1839 there were but 440 acres under cultivation; three years
afterwards there were 23,000 acres bearing wheat, and 5,000 acres of
other crops. So rich and fertile was the soil that, in 1845, the
colonists not only raised enough of corn to supply their own wants,
but were able to export about 200,000 bushels at cheap rates to the
neighbouring colonies, and even then were left with 150,000 bushels,
which they could neither sell nor use. So rapid a development of
resources and so sudden an accession of prosperity have probably never
occurred in the history of any other country.


#2. Mineral Wealth.#--Such was the success attendant upon careful
industry, exercised with prudence, and under favourable circumstances;
but the colony was to owe yet more to accidental good fortune. During
the year 1841, a carrier, while driving his team of bullocks over the
Mount Lofty Range, had been obliged, by the steepness of the road, to
fasten a log to the back of his waggon in order to steady the load and
prevent its descending too quickly. As the log dragged roughly behind on
the road, it tore great furrows in the soil, and in one of these the
carrier noticed a stone which glanced and glittered like a metal. On
looking more closely, he saw that there were large quantities of the
same substance lying near the surface of the earth in all directions.
Having taken some specimens with him, he made inquiries in Adelaide, and
learned that the substance he had discovered was galena, a mineral in
which sulphur is combined with lead and small quantities of silver. The
land on which this valuable ore had been found was soon purchased, and
mines opened upon it. At first there was a large profit obtained from
the enterprise; and though, in after years, the mines became exhausted,
yet they served to call the attention of the colonists to the
possibility of discovering more permanent and lucrative sources of
mineral wealth.


#3. Copper.#--At the Kapunda Station, about forty miles north-west of
Adelaide, there lived a squatter named Captain Bagot. One day, during
the year 1842, he sent his overseer--Mr. Dutton--to search for a number
of sheep which had strayed into the bush. After spending some time in
fruitless efforts, Mr. Dutton ascended a small hill in order to have a
more extensive view of the country, but still he saw nothing of the lost
sheep. On turning to descend, his attention was attracted by a bright
green rock jutting from the earth. It seemed to him peculiar, so he
broke a small piece off and carried it down to Captain Bagot's house,
where he and the captain examined the specimen, and came to the
conclusion that it consisted of the mineral malachite, containing copper
in combination with water and carbonic dioxide. They let no one know of
the discovery, but proceeded to apply for the land in the usual manner,
without breathing a word as to their purpose. The section of eighty
acres was advertised for a month, and then put up to auction; but as no
one was anxious for this barren piece of ground, they had no
competitors, and the land fell to them for the price of eighty pounds.
As soon as they became possessed of it, they threw off all appearance of
mystery, and commenced operations. During the first year the mines
yielded £4,000; during the next, £10,000; and for several years they
continued to enrich the two proprietors, until each had realised a
handsome fortune, when the land was bought by an English company.


#4. The Burra Mines.#--The discovery of copper at Kapunda caused much
excitement in the colony. Every one who possessed land examined it
carefully for the trace of any minerals it might contain; and soon it
was rumoured that, at a place about one hundred miles north of Adelaide,
a shepherd had found exceedingly rich specimens of copper ore. The land
on which these were discovered had not yet been sold by the Government,
and in great haste a company was formed to purchase it. This company
consisted of the merchants, professional men, and officials of Adelaide;
but a rival company was immediately started, consisting of shopkeepers
and tradesmen, together with the farmers of the country districts. The
former always maintained a haughty air, and soon came to be known
throughout the colony as the "nobs"; while they, in their turn, fixed on
their rivals the nickname of the "snobs". For a week or two the
jealousies of the companies ran high, but they were soon forced to make
a temporary union; for, according to the land laws of the colony, if any
one wished to buy a piece of land, he had to apply for it and have it
advertised for a month; it was then put up for auction, and he who
offered the highest price became the purchaser. But a month was a long
time to wait, and it was rumoured that a number of speculators were on
their way from Sydney to offer a large sum for the land, as soon as it
should be put up to auction. It was, therefore, necessary to take
immediate action. There was another regulation in the land laws,
according to which, if a person applied for 20,000 acres, and paid down
£20,000 in cash, he became at once the proprietor of the land. The
"nobs" determined to avail themselves of this arrangement; but when they
put their money together, they found they had not enough to pay so large
a sum. They therefore asked the "snobs" to join them, on the
understanding that, after the land had been purchased, the two companies
would make a fair division. By uniting their funds they raised the
required amount, and proceeded with great exultation to lodge the money.
But part of it was in the form of bills on the Adelaide banks; and as
the Governor refused to accept anything but cash, the companies were
almost in despair, until a few active members hunted up their friends in
Adelaide, and succeeded in borrowing the number of sovereigns required
to make up the deficiency. The money was paid into the Treasury, the two
companies were the possessors of the land, and the Sydney speculators
arrived a few days too late.

Now came the division of the 20,000 acres. A line was drawn across the
middle; a coin was tossed up to decide which of the two should have the
first choice, and fortune favoured the "snobs," who selected the
northern half, called by the natives Burra Burra. To the southern part
the "nobs" gave the name of "Princess Royal". The companies soon began
operations; but though the two districts appeared on the surface to be
of almost equal promise, yet, on being laid open, the Princess Royal was
soon found to be in reality poor, while the Burra Burra mines provided
fortunes for each of the fortunate "snobs". During the three years after
their discovery they yielded copper to the value of £700,000. Miners
were brought from England, and a town of about 5,000 inhabitants
rapidly sprang into existence. The houses of the Cornish miners were of
a peculiar kind. A creek runs through the district, with high
precipitous banks of solid rock; into the face of these cliffs the
miners cut large chambers to serve for dwellings; holes bored through
the rock, and emerging upon the surface of the ground above, formed the
chimneys, which were capped by small beer barrels instead of
chimney-pots. The fronts of the houses were of weatherboard, in which
doors were left; and for two miles along each side of the stream these
primitive dwellings looked out upon the almost dry bed of the creek,
which formed the main street of the village. Here the miners dwelt for
years, until the waters rose one night into a foaming flood, which
destroyed the houses and swept away several of their inhabitants.

In 1845 Burra Burra was a lonely moor; in 1850 it was bustling with men,
and noisy with the sounds of engines, pumps and forges. Acres of land
were covered with the company's warehouses and offices, and the handsome
residences of its officers; behind these there rose great mounds of
blue, green, and dark-red ores of copper, worth enormous sums of money.
Along the roads eight hundred teams, each consisting of eight bullocks,
passed constantly to and fro, whilst scores of ships were employed in
conveying the ore to England. From this great activity the whole
community could not but derive the utmost benefit, and for a time South
Australia had every prospect of taking the foremost place among the
colonies.


#5. Governor Robe.#--In 1841 Governor Grey had been of the greatest
service to the colony in changing the state of its prospects, but he was
not permitted to see more than the commencement of its great prosperity;
for, in 1845, he was sent to govern New Zealand, where troubles had
arisen similar to those which he had helped to cure in South Australia.
His place was filled by Colonel Robe, a military gentleman, of what is
called the old school, honourable and upright, but inclined to think
that everything ought always to be as it has been. He disliked all
innovation, and did what he could to prevent it, much to the discontent
of the young and thriving colony, which was of necessity the scene of
constant and rapid changes. He passed a very troublous time for three
years, and in 1848 was heartily glad to be recalled.


#6. Governor Young.#--The colony was then placed under the care of Sir
Henry Young, whose policy was completely the reverse. He sought by every
means in his power to encourage the ceaseless activity of the people.
His failing was, perhaps, an injudicious zeal for progress. For
instance, in his desire to open up the river Murray to navigation, he
wasted large sums of money in schemes that proved altogether useless. He
made an effort to remove the bar at the mouth of the river, but fresh
deposits of sand were constantly being brought down by the current, and
lashed up into a new bar by the waves that rolled ceaselessly in from
the Southern Ocean. He spent about £20,000 in trying to construct a
harbour called Port Elliot, near the entrance to the Murray; but there
are now only a few surf-beaten stones to indicate the scene of his
fruitless attempt. He offered a bonus of £4,000 to the first person who
should ascend the Murray in an iron steamer as far as the river Darling.
A gentleman called Cadell made the effort, and succeeded; he obtained
the reward, but it was not enough to pay his heavy expenses, and when he
endeavoured afterwards to carry on a trade, by transporting wool to the
sea in flat-bottomed steamers, he found that the traffic on the river
was not sufficiently great to repay his heavy outlay, and in a short
time he was almost ruined. The attempt was premature; and though, in our
time, the navigation of the Murray is successfully carried on, and is,
undoubtedly, of immense advantage not only to South Australia, but also
to New South Wales and Victoria, yet, at the time when the first efforts
were made, it led to nothing but loss, if not ruin to the pioneers.




CHAPTER XII. - THE DISCOVERY OF GOLD.


#1. Importance of the Year 1851.#--The year 1851 was in many ways an
eventful one to Australia. In that year the colonies received from
the Imperial Parliament the amended Constitutions they had so long
expected. Tasmania, South Australia, Port Phillip, and Western Australia
were now no longer under the absolute control of Governors sent out by
the colonial authorities in England; they could henceforth boast the
dignity of being self-governed communities, for, in 1851, they were
invested with political powers which had previously been possessed by
New South Wales alone. They now had the privilege of electing two-thirds
of the members of a Legislative Council which not only had the power of
making laws each for its own colony, but also of framing any new
constitution for itself according to its own taste and requirements.
Each colony kept its Legislative Council for only a year or two until it
could discuss and establish a regular system of parliamentary government
with two Houses and a Cabinet of responsible Ministers. Again, it was on
the 1st of July in the same year that Port Phillip gained its
independence; from that date onward its prosperous career must be
related under its new title--Victoria.

But the event which made the year 1851 especially memorable in the
annals of Australia was the discovery, near Bathurst, of the first of
those rich goldfields which, for so long a time, changed the prospects
of the colonies. For several years after the date of this occurrence the
history of Australia is little more than the story of the feverish
search for gold, with its hopes, its labour, its turmoil, and its
madness; its scenes of exultation and splendid triumph, and its still
more frequent scenes of bitter and gloomy disappointment.


#2. Early Rumours of Gold.#--For many years there had been rumours that
the Blue Mountains were auriferous. It was said that gold had been seen
by convicts in the days of Macquarie, and, indeed, still earlier; but to
the stories of prisoners, who claimed rewards for alleged discoveries,
the authorities in Sydney always listened with extreme suspicion, more
especially as no pretended discoverer could ever find more than his
first small specimens.

In 1840 a Polish nobleman named Strzelecki, who had been travelling
among the ranges round Mount Kosciusko, stated that, from indications he
had observed, he was firmly persuaded of the existence of gold in these
mountains; but the Governor asked him, as a favour, to make no mention
of a theory which might, perhaps, unsettle the colony, and fill the
easily excited convicts with hopes which, he feared, would prove
delusive. Strzelecki agreed not to publish his belief; but there was
another man of science who was not so easily to be silenced. The Rev. W.
B. Clarke, a clergyman devoted to geology, exhibited specimens in
Sydney, on which he based an opinion that the Blue Mountains would,
eventually, be found to possess goldfields of great extent and value.
Some of these were taken to London by Strzelecki; and in 1844 a great
English scientist, Sir Roderick Murchison, read a paper before the Royal
Geographical Society in which he expressed a theory similar to that of
Mr. Clarke. In 1846 he again called attention to this subject, and
showed that, from the great similarity which existed between the rocks
of the Blue Mountains and those of the Urals, there was every
probability that the one would be found as rich as the other was known
to be in the precious metals. So far as theory could go, the matter had
been well discussed before the year 1851, but no one had ventured to
spend his time and money in making a practical effort to settle the
question.


[Illustration: EDWARD HARGRAVES.]

#3. Edward Hargraves.#--About that, time, however, the rich mines of
California attracted a Bathurst settler, named Edward Hargraves, to seek
his fortune on the banks of the Sacramento; and though, among the great
crowds of struggling and jostling diggers, he met with but little
success, yet he learned the methods by which gold is discovered and
secured, and laid the foundation for adventures in Australia which were
afterwards to bring him both wealth and renown. Whilst he toiled with
increasing disappointment on one of these famous goldfields, the scenery
around him, and the appearance of the rocks, recalled to his memory a
certain secluded valley beyond the Blue Mountains, which he had visited
thirteen years before; the notion floated vaguely through his mind that,
perhaps, in that silent spot, there might lie great treasures, such as
he saw his more fortunate companions from time to time draw forth from
the rocks and soil around him. Day after day the image of that winding
creek among the hills near Bathurst recurred with increasing vividness
to stimulate his imagination and awaken his hopes. At length this
feeling impelled him to seek once more the shores of Australia in order
to examine the spot which had so often been present to his day-dreams.
He lost no time in sailing, and scarcely had he arrived in Sydney ere
he set out on horseback to cross the Blue Mountains. On the 11th of
February, 1851, he spent the night at a little inn a few miles from the
object of his journey, and shortly after dawn he sallied forth on his
ride through the forest, carrying with him a spade and a trowel and a
little tin dish. In the cool air of the morning the scent of the
spreading gum trees braced up his frame as he plunged deeper and deeper
among those lonely hollows and wood-clad hills. In an hour or two he
reached the well-remembered spot--the dry course of a mountain torrent
which, in rainy seasons, finds its way into the Summerhill Creek. He
lost no time in placing a little of the grey-coloured soil into his tin
dish, and at once carried it to the nearest pool, where he dipped the
whole beneath the water. By moving the dish rapidly, as he had learned
to do in California, he washed away the sand and earth; but the
particles of gold, which are more than seven and a half times heavier
than sand, were not so easily to be carried off. They sank to the corner
of the dish, where they lay secure--a few small specks, themselves of
little value, yet telling of hidden treasures that lay scattered in all
the soil around.

A few days were spent in a careful examination of the neighbouring
valleys, and when he was absolutely certain that the hopes he had so
warmly indulged would not prove empty, he set out for Sydney, taking
care, however, to breathe no word of what he thought or of what he had
proved. On the 3rd of April he wrote a letter to the Colonial Secretary,
in which he stated that, if the Government were willing to give him
£500, he would point out localities in New South Wales where gold was
abundantly to be found. In reply, the Colonial Secretary announced that
no preliminary reward could be given; but that, if he chose first of all
to point out the localities, he would afterwards be recompensed in
proportion to the results. He accepted these conditions; and Mr.
Stutchbury, the Colonial Geologist, was sent to accompany him to the
Summerhill Creek. On the 8th of May they set to work, and soon obtained
several ounces of grain gold; on the 13th, they discovered a single
piece worth £30, and next day Mr. Stutchbury reported to the Government
that he had seen enough to convince him that the district was rich in
the precious metal. Five days afterwards, the little valley of the
Summerhill contained four hundred persons, all stooping over the creek
in a row about a mile long, each with a dish in his hand, scarcely ever
raising his head, but busily engaged in washing the sand for gold. Lumps
were frequently found of value varying from £5 to £200. A week later,
there were a thousand persons at work on the creek near the formerly
lonely gully.


#4. Rush to the Goldfield.#--The excitement throughout the colony now
became intense: workmen quitted their employment, shepherds deserted
their flocks, shopkeepers closed their stores, and a great tide of
fortune-seekers pressed onward, day by day, to the west. Most of these
had sold everything they possessed, in order to make up a little bundle
of necessary articles. Yet there were very many but ill-provided for a
lengthened stay; they hurried along the road with the fallacious idea
that gold was simply to be shovelled into bags and carted to Sydney. But
when they came upon the scene, and saw that in the case of most of them
it would only be after weeks and months of severe and constant toil that
they could be rich, they grew faint-hearted, lounged for a week or two
on the diggings, and then started for home again; so that, for some
time, there was a counter-current of grumbling and discontented men
passing back to Sydney by the road. These men thought themselves
befooled by Hargraves, and it might, perhaps, have cost him his life had
he fallen into their hands. On his trip to Sydney he was careful to
disguise himself, to avoid their threatened revenge. He received from
Government, however, his preliminary reward of £500, and, in after
years, New South Wales voted him the sum of £10,000, which was
supplemented by a present of £2,381 from Victoria. Other profits also
accrued to Hargraves; so that he was, in the end, recompensed for his
toil and trouble with a handsome competency.

The gloomy reports of returning diggers checked for a time the flow of
people to the west; but in the month of July an aboriginal shepherd on a
station near Bathurst burst in upon his master while seated at dinner,
his eyes glistening with excitement. He was only able to stammer out:
"Oh, massa, white man find little fellow, me find big fellow". When his
master drove him in a buggy through the forest, the shepherd pointed to
where a hundredweight of gold was sticking out from a rock. It was so
heavy that they had to chop it in two with their axes before they could
lift it into the buggy. It was afterwards sold for £4,000. So splendid a
prize, obtained in so easy a manner, was a temptation too dazzling to be
resisted; and the stream of people along the Bathurst road was now
tenfold denser than before.


#5. Government Regulations.#--When the population on the goldfields began
to grow numerous, the Government found it necessary to make arrangements
for the preservation of law and order. A commissioner was appointed, who
was to act as a magistrate; he was to be assisted by a small body of
police, and was to take charge of the gold escorts. As the lands on
which the gold was being found were the public property of the colony,
it was thought to be but just that the community, as a whole, should
participate, to some small extent, in the wealth raised from them; and
the order was, therefore, issued that diggers should in all cases take
out licences before seeking for gold, and should pay for them at the
rate of thirty shillings per month.

New diggings were, from time to time, opened up, and fresh crowds of
eager men constantly pressed towards them, leaving the towns deserted
and the neighbouring colonies greatly reduced in population. For some
months the Turon River was the favourite; at one time it had no less
than ten thousand men upon its banks. At Ophir, and Braidwood, and Maroo
the most industrious and sagacious miners were generally rewarded by
the discovery of fine pieces of gold, for which the Californian name of
"nuggets" now began to be extensively used.


#6. Gold in Victoria.#--When Latrobe was sworn in to fill the office of
Governor of Victoria on the 16th July, 1851, it appeared probable that
he would soon have but a small community to rule over. So great were the
numbers of those who were daily packing up their effects and setting off
for the goldfields of New South Wales that Victoria seemed likely to
sink into a very insignificant place on the list of Australian colonies.
In alarm at this prospect, a number of the leading citizens of Melbourne
on the 9th of June united to form what was called the Gold Discovery
Committee, and offered a reward of £200 to the person who should give
the first intimation of a paying goldfield within two hundred miles of
Melbourne. Many persons set out, each in hopes of being the fortunate
discoverer; and a report having been circulated that signs of gold had
been seen on the Plenty Ranges, there were soon no less than two hundred
persons scouring those hills, though for a long time without success.
The first useful discovery in Victoria seems to have been made on 1st
July, by a Californian digger named Esmond, who, like Hargraves, had
entered on the search with a practical knowledge of the work. His
experience had taught him the general characteristics of a country in
which gold is likely to be found, and he selected Clunes as a favourable
spot. He found the quartz rock of the district richly sprinkled with
gold; and his discovery having been made known, several hundred people
were quickly on the scene. Almost on the same day, gold was discovered
by a party of six men, at Anderson's Creek, only a few miles up the
Yarra from Melbourne. It is thus difficult to determine with certainty
whether or not Esmond was in reality the first discoverer; but, at any
rate, he received honours and emoluments as such; and in after years the
Victorian Parliament presented him with £1,000 for his services.


#7. Ballarat.#--On the 10th of August the Geelong newspapers announced
that deposits of auriferous earth had been discovered at Buninyong, and
very soon the sunny slopes of that peaceful and pastoral district were
swarming with prospecting parties; the quietly browsing sheep were
startled from their favourite solitudes by crowds of men, who hastened
with pick and spade to break up the soil in every direction, each eager
to out-strip the other in the race for wealth. This region, however, did
not realise the expectations that had been formed of it, and many of the
diggers began to move northwards, in the direction of Clunes. But at
Clunes, also, there had been disappointment, for the gold was mostly
embedded in quartz rock, and these early miners were not prepared to
extract it; parties from Clunes were therefore moving southwards to
Buninyong, and the two currents met on the slopes of the Yarrowee, a
streamlet whose banks were afterwards famous as the Ballarat diggings.
The first comers began to work at a bend in the creek, which they called
Golden Point. Here, for a time, each man could easily earn from £20 to
£40 a day, and crowds of people hurried to the scene. Every one selected
a piece of ground, which he called his claim, and set to work to dig a
hole in it; but when the bottom of the sandy layer was reached, and
there seemed to be nothing but pipe-clay below, the claim was supposed
to be worked out, and was straightway abandoned. However, a miner named
Cavanagh determined to try an experiment, and, having entered one of
these deserted claims, he dug through the layer of pipe-clay, when he
had the good fortune to come suddenly upon several large deposits of
grain gold. He had reached what had been in long past ages the bed of
the creek, where, in every little hollow, for century after century, the
flowing waters had gently deposited the gold which they had washed out
of the rocks in the mountains. In many cases these "pockets," as they
were called, were found to contain gold to the value of thousands of
pounds, so that very soon all the claims were carried down a few feet
further, and with such success that, before a month had passed, Ballarat
took rank as the richest goldfield in the world. In October there were
ten thousand men at work on the Yarrowee; acre after acre was covered
with circular heaps of red and yellow sand, each with its shaft in the
middle, in which men were toiling beneath the ground to excavate the
soil and pass it to their companions above, who quickly hurried with it
to the banks of the creek, where twelve hundred "cradles," rocked by
brawny arms, were washing the sand from the gold.


#8. Mount Alexander.#--In the month of September a party, who had gone
about forty miles north-east of Clunes to Mount Alexander, discovered
near the present site of Castlemaine a valuable seam of gold-bearing
earth. The fame of this place soon spread through all the colony; many
left Ballarat to seek it, and crowds of people hastened from Melbourne
and Geelong to share in the glittering prizes. In October, eight
thousand men had gathered in the district; in November, there were not
less than twenty-five thousand diggers at work, and three tons of gold
were waiting in the tent of the commissioner to be carried to Melbourne.
The road to Mount Alexander was crowded with men of all ranks and
conditions, pressing eagerly onward to be in time.


#9. Sandhurst.#--A few weeks later the glories both of Ballarat and of
Mount Alexander were dimmed for a time by the discovery of gold on the
Bendigo Creek, which seemed at first to be the richest of all the
goldfields. In the course of a few months nearly forty thousand persons
were scattered along the banks of the streamlet where the handsome
streets of Bendigo now stand.

In the month of May, 1852, there must have been close upon seventy
thousand men in the country between Buninyong and Bendigo, all engaged
in the same occupation. Melbourne and Geelong were silent and deserted;
for all classes were alike infected with the same excitement--lawyers,
doctors, clerks, merchants, labourers, mechanics, all were to be found
struggling through the miry ruts that served for a highway to Bendigo.
The sailors left the ships in the bay with scarcely a man to take care
of them; even the very policemen deserted, and the warders in the gaols
resigned in a body. The price of labour now became excessive, for no man
was willing to stay away from the diggings unless tempted by the offer
of four or five times the ordinary wage.


#10. Immigration.#--Meanwhile the news of these great discoveries had
travelled to Europe, so that, after the middle of 1852, ships began to
arrive freighted with thousands of men of all nations, who no sooner
landed in Melbourne than they started for the diggings. During this year
nearly one hundred thousand persons were thus brought into the country,
and the population was doubled at a bound. Next year ninety-two thousand
fresh arrivals landed, and Victoria thus became the most populous of
the colonies. During the two following years it received a further
accession of a hundred and fifty thousand; so that, in 1856, it
contained four hundred thousand inhabitants, or about five times the
number it possessed in 1850. The staple industry was, of course, the
mining for gold, of which, in 1852, one hundred and seventy-four tons
were raised, valued at £14,000,000. During the next ten years
£100,000,000 worth of gold was exported from Victoria.

Some of the nuggets that were found are of historic note. The "Sarah
Sands," discovered in 1853, was worth about £6,500. In 1857 the "Blanche
Barkly," worth £7,000, was discovered; and the following year produced
the "Welcome Nugget," which was sold for £10,500, and was the greatest
on record, until, in 1869, the "Welcome Stranger" was dug out, which
proved to be slightly larger.




CHAPTER XIII. - VICTORIA, 1851-1855.


#1. Effects of Gold Excitement.#--For the first few months after the
discovery of gold in Victoria, many shrewd persons believed that the
colony would be ruined by its seeming good fortune. None of the ordinary
industries could be carried on whilst workmen were so scarce and wages
so high. But, happily, these expectations proved fallacious; for, in
1852, when the great stream of people from Europe began to flow into the
colony, every profession and every trade sprang into new and vigorous
life. The vast crowds on the goldfields required to be fed, so the
farmers found ample market for their corn, and the squatters for their
beef and mutton. The miners required to be clothed, and the tailor and
shoemaker must be had, whatever might be the prices they charged.
Mechanics and artisans of every class found their labours in demand, and
handsomely paid for. The merchants, also, found trade both brisk and
lucrative; while the imports in 1850 were worth only three-quarters of a
million, those of three years later were worth about twenty times that
amount. After this enormous increase in population and business, it was
found that there was quite as great an opportunity of gaining riches by
remaining quietly engaged in one's own occupation as by joining the
restless throng upon the goldfields. The public revenue of the colony
was in 1852 six times, and in 1853 twelve times as great as it had been
before the discovery of gold; so that, both as individuals and as a
nation, the people of Victoria had reason to be satisfied with the
change.


#2. Convicts Prevention Act.#--There existed, however, one drawback; for
the attractions of the goldfields had drawn from the neighbouring
colonies, and more especially from Tasmania, great numbers of that class
of convicts who, having served a part of their time, had been liberated
on condition of good behaviour. They crossed over by hundreds, and soon
gave rise to a serious difficulty; for, in the confused and unsettled
state of the colony, they found only too great an opportunity for the
display of their criminal propensities and perverted talents. Being by
no means charmed with the toilsome life of the gold-miner, many of them
became bushrangers. There were, in 1852, several bands of these lawless
ruffians sweeping the country and robbing in all directions. As the gold
was being conveyed from the diggings, escorted by bands of armed
troopers, the bushrangers lurked upon the road, treacherously shot the
troopers, and rifled the chests. On one occasion, their daring rose to
such a height that a band of them boarded the ship _Nelson_ whilst it
lay at anchor in Hobson's Bay, overpowered the crew, and removed gold to
the value of £24,000--remarking, as they handed the boxes over the side
of the vessel, that this was the best goldfield they had ever seen.

To prevent any further introduction of these undesirable immigrants, the
Legislature, in 1852, passed what was called the "Convicts Prevention
Act," declaring that no person who had been convicted, and had not
received an absolutely free pardon, should be allowed to enter the
colony; and that all persons who came from Tasmania should be required
to prove that they were free, before being allowed to land. Any ship
captain who brought a convict into the colony was to be fined £100 for
the offence.


#3. Aspect of Goldfields.#--Meanwhile the goldfields were growing apace.
The discovery of the Eureka, Gravel Pits, and Canadian Leads made
Ballarat once more the favourite; and in 1853 there were about forty
thousand diggers at work on the Yarrowee. Hotels began to be built,
theatres were erected, and here and there a little church rose among the
long line of tents which occupied the slopes above the creek.


#4. Scene on the Goldfields.#--Below, on the flats, the scene was a busy
one. Thousands upon thousands of holes covered the earth, where men
emerged and disappeared like ants, each bearing a bag of sand which he
either threw on a wheelbarrow or slung over his shoulder, and then
carried forward, running nimbly along the thin paths among a multitude
of holes, till he reached the little creek where he delivered the sand
to one of the men who stood shoulder to shoulder, in long rows, for
miles on either bank, all washing the sand and clay into the shallow
current, whose waters were turned to a tint of dirty yellow. Such is the
scene which presents itself by day; but at sunset a gun is fired from
the commissioner's tent and all cease work: then, against the evening
sky, ten thousand fires send up their wreaths of thin blue smoke, and
the diggers prepare their evening meals. Everything is hushed for a
time, except that a dull murmur rises from the little crowds chatting
over their pannikins of tea. But, as the darkness draws closer around,
the noises begin to assume a merrier tone, and, mingling pleasantly in
the evening air, there rise the loud notes of a sailor's song, the merry
jingle of a French political chant, or the rich strains of a German
chorus.

In some tents the miners sit round boxes or stools, while, by the light
of flaming oil-cans, they gamble for match boxes filled with gold-dust;
in others they gather to drink the liquors illicitly sold by the
"sly grog shops". Many of the diggers betake themselves to the
brilliantly-lighted theatres, and make the fragile walls tremble with
their rough and hearty roars of applause: everywhere are heard the
sounds of laughter and good humour. Then, at midnight, all to bed,
except those foolish revellers who have stayed too late at the "grog
shop".

At dawn, again, they are all astir; for the day's supply of water must
be drawn from the stream ere its limpid current begins to assume the
appearance of a clay-stained gutter. Making the allowances proper to
the occasion, the community is both orderly and law-abiding, and the
digger, in the midst of all his toil, enjoys a very agreeable existence.


#5. The Licence Fee.#--He had but one grievance to trouble his life, and
that was the monthly payment of the licence fee. This tax had been
imposed under the erroneous impression that every one who went upon the
goldfields must of necessity earn a fortune. For a long time this
mistake prevailed, because only the most successful diggers were much
heard of. But there was an indistinguishable throng of those who earned
much less than a labourer's wage.

The average monthly earnings throughout the colony were not more than
eight pounds for each man; and of this sum he had to pay thirty
shillings every month for the mere permission to dig. To those who were
fortunate this seemed but a trifle; but for those who earned little or
nothing there was no resource but to evade payment, and many were the
tricks adopted in order to "dodge the commissioners". As there were more
than one-fifth of the total number of diggers who systematically paid no
fees, it was customary for the police to stop any man they met and
demand to see his licence; if he had none, he was at once marched off to
the place that served for a gaol, and there chained to a tree.

The police were in the habit of devoting two days a week to what was
called "digger hunting"; and as they often experienced much trouble and
vexation in doing what was unfortunately their duty, they were sometimes
rough and summary in their proceedings. Hence arose a feeling of
hostility among the diggers, not only to the police, but to all the
officials on the goldfields. The first serious ebullition of the
prevailing discontent took place on the Ovens, where a commissioner who
had been unnecessarily rough to unlicensed diggers was assaulted and
severely injured. But as violence was deprecated by the great body of
miners, they held large meetings, in order to agitate in a more
constitutional manner for the abolition of the fee. At first they sent a
petition to Governor Latrobe, who declined to make any change. It was
then hinted that, possibly, they might be driven to use force; and the
Governor replied that, if they did, he was determined to do his duty.
But in August, 1853, when the agitation was increasing, Latrobe
hurriedly reduced the fee to twenty shillings per month. This appeased
the miners for a time; but the precipitancy with which the Governor had
changed his intention showed too plainly the weakness of the Government,
for there was at that time scarcely a soldier in Victoria to repress an
insurrection, if one should break out. Among the confused crowds on the
goldfields there were numbers of troublesome spirits, many of them
foreigners, who were only too happy to foment dissension. Thousands of
miners had been disappointed in their hopes of wealth, and, being in a
discontented frame of mind, they blamed the Governor for their
misfortunes.

In spite of the concession that had been made to them, a spirit of
dissatisfaction prevailed throughout all the goldfields; mutterings were
heard as of a coming storm, and Latrobe, in alarm, sent to all the
neighbouring colonies to ask for troops. As the Ninety-ninth Regiment
was lying idle in Hobart Town, it was at once despatched to Melbourne.


#6. Governor Hotham.#--While matters were in this state, Governor Latrobe
retired from office; and in June, 1854, Sir Charles Hotham arrived to
fill the position. On his first arrival, he showed that his sympathies
were, to a great extent, with the diggers. But he could scarcely be
expected to make any important change until he had been a few months in
the colony, and had learnt exactly the state of affairs, and, meanwhile,
the discontent on the goldfields was daily increasing. The months of
September and October, in 1854, were exceedingly dry; the creeks were
greatly shrunk in volume, and in many places the diggers could find no
water either for drinking or for gold-washing; and their irritation was
not at all soothed by the manners of the commissioners and police.
Besides this, the Government had thought it necessary to form a camp on
the goldfields, so that a large body of soldiers dwelt constantly in the
midst of the miners. The soldiers and officers, of course, supported the
commissioners, and, like them, soon came to be regarded with the
greatest disfavour.

The goldfield population was in this irritable state when a trifling
incident kindled revolt.


#7. Riot at Ballarat.#--A digger named Scobie, late one evening, knocked
at the door of Bentley's Hotel, at Ballarat. Finding the place closed
for the night, he tried to force an entrance, and continued his clamour
so long that Bentley became angry, and sallied forth to chastise him. A
crowd gathered to see the fight, and, in the darkness, Scobie's head was
split open with a spade. Whose hand it was that aimed the blow no one
could tell; but the diggers universally believed that Bentley was
himself the murderer. He was therefore arrested and tried, but acquitted
by Mr. Dewes, the magistrate, who was said by the diggers to be secretly
his partner in business. A great crowd assembled round the hotel, and a
digger, named Kennedy, addressed the multitude, in vigorous Scottish
accents, pointing out the spot where their companion's blood had been
shed, and asserting that his spirit hovered above and called for
revenge. The authorities sent a few police to protect the place, but
they were only a handful of men in the midst of a great and seething
crowd of over eight thousand powerful diggers. For an hour or two the
mob, though indulging in occasional banter, remained harmless. But a
mischievous boy having thrown a stone, and broken the lamp in front of
the hotel, the police made a movement as if they were about to seize the
offender. This roused the diggers to anger, and in less than a minute
every pane of glass was broken; the police were roughly jostled and cut
by showers of stones; and the doors were broken open. The crowd burst
tumultuously into the hotel, and the rooms were soon swarming with men
drinking the liquors and searching for Bentley, who, however, had
already escaped on a swift horse to the camp. As the noise and disorder
increased, a man placed a handful of paper and rags against the wooden
walls of the bowling alley, deliberately struck a match, and set fire to
the place. The diggers now deserted the hotel and retired to a safe
distance, in order to watch the conflagration. Meanwhile a company of
soldiers had set out from the camp for the scene of the riot, and on
their approach the crowd quietly dispersed; but by this time the hotel
was reduced to a heap of smouldering ruins.


#8. Conviction of Rioters.#--For this outrage three men were apprehended
and taken to Melbourne, where they were tried and sentenced to
imprisonment. But Bentley was also re-arrested and tried, and as his
friend Dewes could on this occasion be of no assistance to him, he was
sentenced to three years of hard labour on the roads. Dewes was
dismissed from the magistracy, and Sir Charles Hotham did everything in
his power to conciliate the diggers. They were not to be thus satisfied,
however, and held a stormy meeting at Ballarat, in which they appointed
a deputation, consisting of Kennedy, Humffray, and Black, to demand from
the Governor the release of the three men condemned for burning
Bentley's Hotel. Hotham received them kindly, but declined to accept
their message, because, he said, the word "demand" was not a suitable
term to use in addressing the representative of Her Majesty. As the
diggers were haughty, and refused to alter the phrase, the Governor
intimated that, under these circumstances, no reply could be given. The
delegates having returned to Ballarat, a great meeting was held, and
Kennedy, Humffray, Black, Lalor, and Vern made inflammatory speeches, in
which they persuaded the diggers to pass a resolution, declaring they
would all burn their licences and pay no more fees.


#9. Insurrection at Ballarat.#--Skirmishes between the soldiers and
diggers now became frequent; and, on the 30th of November, when the last
"digger hunt" took place, the police and soldiers were roughly beaten
off. The diggers, among their tents, set up a flagstaff, and hoisted a
banner of blue, with four silver stars in the corner. Then the leaders
knelt beneath it, and, having sworn to defend one another to the death,
proceeded to enrol the miners and form them into squads ready for
drilling. Meantime the military camp was being rapidly fortified with
trusses of hay, bags of corn, and loads of firewood. The soldiers were
in hourly expectation of an attack, and for four successive nights they
slept fully accoutred, and with their loaded muskets beside them. All
night long lights were seen to move busily backwards and forwards among
the diggers' tents, and the solid tread of great bodies of men could be
heard amid the darkness. Lalor was marshalling his forces on the
slopes of Ballarat, and drilling them to use such arms as they
possessed--whether rifles, or pistols, or merely spikes fastened at the
ends of poles.


#10. The Eureka Stockade.#--Sir Charles Hotham now sent up the remaining
eight hundred soldiers of the Ninety-ninth Regiment, under Sir Robert
Nickle, and to these he added all the marines from the men-of-war and
nearly all the police of the colony. They were several days on the
march, and only arrived when the disturbance was over. The diggers had
formed an entrenchment, called the Eureka Stockade, and had enclosed
about an acre of ground with a high slab fence. In the midst of this
stronghold they proclaimed the "Republic of Victoria"; and here they
were able to carry on their drilling unmolested, under the command of
the two leaders--Vern, a German, and Peter Lalor, the son of an Irish
gentleman. They sent out parties in every direction to gather all the
arms and ammunition they could obtain, and made extensive preparations
for an assault; but, imagining that the soldiers would never dream of
attacking them until the arrival of Sir Robert Nickle, they kept guard
but carelessly. Captain Thomas--who commanded the troops in the
camp--determined to finish the affair by a sudden attack; and, on
Saturday night, whilst the diggers were amusing themselves in fancied
security, he was carefully making his preparations. On Sunday morning,
just after daybreak, when the stockade contained only two hundred men,
Captain Thomas led his troops quietly forth, and succeeded in
approaching within three hundred yards of the stockade without being
observed. The alarm was then given within; the insurgents rushed to
their posts, and poured a heavy volley upon the advancing soldiers, of
whom about twelve fell. The attacking party wavered a moment, but again
became steady, and fired with so calm and correct an aim, that, whenever
a digger showed himself, even for a moment, he was shot. Peter Lalor
rose on a sand heap within the stockade to direct his men, but
immediately fell, pierced in the shoulder by a musket ball. After the
firing had lasted for twenty minutes there was a lull; and the
insurgents could hear the order "Charge!" ring out clearly. Then there
was an ominous rushing sound--the soldiers were for a moment seen above
the palisades, and immediately the conflict became hand-to-hand. The
diggers took refuge in the empty claims, where some were bayoneted and
others captured, whilst the victors set fire to the tents, and soon
afterwards retired with 125 prisoners. A number of half-burnt palisades,
which had fallen on Lalor, concealed him from view; and, after the
departure of the soldiers, he crawled forth, and escaped to the ranges,
where a doctor was found, who amputated his arm. The Government
subsequently offered a reward of £500 for his capture; but his friends
proved true, and preserved him till the trouble was all past.

The number of those who had been wounded was never exactly known, but it
was found that twenty-six of the insurgents had died during the fight,
or shortly afterwards; and in the evening the soldiers returned and
buried such of the dead bodies as were still lying within the stockade.
On the following day, four soldiers who had been killed in the
engagement were buried with military honours. Many of the wounded died
during the course of the following month, and in particular the colony
had to lament the loss of Captain Wise, of the Fortieth Regiment, who
had received his death wound in the conflict.


#11. Trial of the Rioters.#--When the news of the struggle and its issue
was brought to Melbourne, the sympathies of the people were powerfully
roused in favour of the diggers. A meeting, attended by about five
thousand persons, was held near Prince's Bridge, and a motion, proposed
by Mr. David Blair, in favour of the diggers, was carried almost
unanimously. Similar meetings were held at Geelong and Sandhurst, so
that there could be no doubt as to the general feeling against the
Government; and when, at the beginning of 1855, thirteen of the
prisoners were brought up for trial in Melbourne, and each in his turn
was acquitted, crowds of people, both within and without the courts,
greeted them, one after another, with hearty cheers as they stepped out
into the open air, once more free men.


#12. Improvements on the Goldfields.#--The commission appointed by Sir
Charles Hotham commenced its labours shortly after the conclusion of the
riot, and in its report the fact was clearly demonstrated that the
miners had suffered certain grievances. Acting upon the advice of this
commission, the Legislative Council abolished the monthly fee, and
authorised the issue of "Miners' Rights," giving to the holders, on
payment of one pound each per annum, permission to dig for gold in any
part of the colony. New members were to be elected to the Council, in
order to watch over the interests of the miners, two to represent
Sandhurst, two for Ballarat, two for Castlemaine, and one each for the
Ovens and the Avoca Diggings. Any man who held a "Miner's Right" was
thereby qualified to vote in the elections for the Council.

These were very just and desirable reforms, and the Government added to
the general satisfaction by appointing the most prominent of the diggers
to be justices of the peace on the goldfields. Thus the colony very
rapidly returned to its former state of peaceful progress, and the
goldfields were soon distinguished for their orderly and industrious
appearance.




CHAPTER XIV. - NEW SOUTH WALES, 1851-1860.


#1. Effects of Gold Discovery.#--For some years after 1851 the colony of
New South Wales passed through a severe ordeal. The separation of Port
Phillip had reduced her population by one-fourth and decreased her
wealth by fully a third; the discoveries of gold at Ballarat and Bendigo
had deprived her of many of her most desirable colonists. But the
resources of the colony were too vast to allow of more than a merely
temporary check, and, after a year or two, her progress was steady and
marked. The gloomy anticipations with which the gold discoveries had
been regarded by the squatters and employers of labour were by no means
realised; for though men were for a time scarce, and wages exceedingly
high, yet, when the real nature of a gold-digger's life and the
meagreness of the average earnings became apparent, the great majority
of the miners returned to their ordinary employments and the colony
resumed its former career of steady progress, though with this
difference, that the population was greater, and business consequently
brisker than it had ever been before.

Fortune, however, had given to Victoria so great an impetus in 1851,
that the firm prosperity of New South Wales was completely lost sight of
in the brilliant success of its younger neighbour. The yield of gold in
New South Wales was never great as compared with that of Victoria; for,
with the exception of 1852, no year produced more than two million
pounds worth. But the older colony learnt more and more to utilise its
immense area in the growth of wool, an industry which yielded greater
and more permanent wealth than has ever been gained from gold mining.


#2. Governor Denison.#--Governor Fitzroy, who had been appointed in 1847,
remained eight years in office, and thus was present during the events
which made so great a change in the prospects of the colonies. In 1855
he returned to England, and his place was taken by Sir William Denison,
who had previously been Governor of Tasmania. In 1854 great excitement
had been caused in Sydney by the outbreak of the Crimean War, and the
people, in their fear lest they might suddenly receive an unwelcome
visit from Russian cruisers, hastened to complete a system of
fortifications for the harbour. The new Governor, who had in youth been
trained as an officer of the Royal Engineers in England, took a warm
interest in the operations. He built a small fortress on an islet in the
middle of the harbour, and placed batteries of guns at suitable spots
along the shores. The advance of the science of warfare in recent times
has left these little fortifications but sorry defences against modern
ironclads; but they have since been replaced by some of those
improvements in defence which have accompanied the invention of new
methods of attack.


#3. Constitutional Changes.#--The Constitutions which had been framed for
the colonies by the Imperial Parliament in 1850 were not expected to be
more than temporary. The British Government had wisely determined to
allow each of the colonies to frame for itself the Constitution which it
deemed most suitable to its requirements, and had instructed the
Legislative Councils which were elected in 1851 to report as to the
wishes of their respective colonies. In Sydney the Council entrusted the
framing of the new Constitution to a committee, which decided to adopt
the English system of government by two Houses--the one to represent the
people as a whole, the other to watch over the interests of those who,
by their superior wealth, might be supposed to have more than an
ordinary stake in the welfare of the country. It was very quickly
arranged that the popular House should consist of not less than
fifty-four members, to be elected by men who paid a small rental, or
possessed property of a certain annual value. But with regard to the
nature of the Upper House, it was much more difficult to come to a
decision. Wentworth proposed that the Queen should establish a colonial
peerage to form a small House of Lords, holding their seats by
hereditary right; but this idea raised so great an outcry that he made
haste to abandon it. Several of the committee were in favour of the
scheme, afterwards adopted in Victoria, of making the Upper House
elective, while limiting the choice of members to those who possessed at
least £5,000 worth of real property. After much discussion, however, it
was decided to give to the Governor the power of nominating the members
of this chamber, which was to consist of not less than twenty-one
persons.

The Legislative Council adopted this scheme, and sent it to England for
the assent of the Queen; they also requested that their Constitution
might be still further assimilated to that of Great Britain by the
introduction of responsible government, so that the Ministers who
controlled the affairs of the colony should be no longer officials
appointed or dismissed by the Governor and Secretary of State, but
should, in future, be chosen by the Parliament to advise the Governor on
all matters of public interest, and should be liable to dismissal from
office so soon as the Parliament lost confidence in their ability or
prudence. The British Government at once gave its assent to this
Constitution, which was accordingly inaugurated in 1856; and from that
date the political management of New South Wales has been an imitation
of that of the British Empire. In 1858 two small modifications were
introduced: the Lower House was increased in numbers to sixty-eight
members, and the privilege of voting for it was extended to every male
person over twenty-one years of age who had dwelt not less than six
months in the colony.


#4. Floods and Droughts.#--From the very commencement of its existence,
New South Wales has been subject to the two extremes of heavy floods and
dreary periods of drought. The mountains are so near to the coast that
the rivers have but short courses, and the descent is so steep that,
during rainy seasons, the rush of waters deluges the plains near the
sea, causing floods of fatal suddenness. At the same time, the waters
are carried off so rapidly that there are no supplies of moisture left
to serve for those seasons in which but little rain falls. The
districts along the banks of the Hunter, Hawkesbury, and Shoalhaven
Rivers have been especially liable to destructive inundations; and,
from time to time, the people of Sydney have been obliged to send up
lifeboats for the purpose of releasing the unfortunate settlers from the
roofs and chimneys of their houses, where they have been forced to seek
refuge from the rising waters. The Murrumbidgee also used occasionally
to spread out into a great sea, carrying off houses and crops, cattle,
and, oftentimes, the people themselves. In 1852 a flood of this
description completely destroyed the town of Gundagai, and no less than
eighty persons perished, either from drowning or from being exposed to
the storm as they clung to the branches of trees.


#5. The Dunbar.#--A great gloom was cast over the colony in 1857 by the
loss of a fine ship within seven miles of the centre of Sydney. The
_Dunbar_ sailed from Plymouth in that year with about a hundred and
twenty people on board, many of them well-known colonists who had
visited England, and were now on their way homewards. As the vessel
approached the coast, a heavy gale came down from the north-east, and,
ere they could reach the entrance to Port Jackson, night had closed
around them. In the deep and stormy gloom they beat to and fro for some
time, but at length the captain thought it safer to make for Sydney
Heads than to toss about on so wild a sea. He brought the vessel close
in to the shore in order to search for the entrance, and when against
the stormy sky he perceived a break in the black cliff's he steered for
the opening. This, however, was not the entrance, but only a hollow in
the cliffs, called by the Sydney people the "Gap". The vessel was
standing straight in for the rocks, when a mass of boiling surf was
observed in the place where they thought the opening was, and ere she
could be put about she crashed violently upon the foot of a cliff that
frowned ninety feet above; there was a shriek, and then the surf rolled
back the fragments and the drowning men. At daybreak the word was given
that a ship had been wrecked at the Gap, and during the day thousands of
people poured forth from Sydney to view the scene of the disaster. On
the following morning it was discovered that there was a solitary
survivor, who, having been washed into a hollow in the face of the
rock, lay concealed in his place of refuge throughout that dreadful
night and all the succeeding day. A young man was found who volunteered
to let himself down by a rope and rescue the half-dead seaman.

To prevent the repetition of so sad an occurrence, lighthouses were
erected for the guidance of ship captains entering the harbour.

In 1852 the people of Sydney had the satisfaction of inaugurating the
first Australian University--a structure whose noble front, magnificent
halls, and splendid appointments for the furtherance of science will
always do credit to the liberality and high aspirations of the colony.
In 1857 the "Australian Museum" was opened, and formed the nucleus of
the present excellent collection of specimens. During this period
several newspapers sprang into existence, railways began to stretch out
from the metropolis, and lines of telegraph united Sydney with the
leading cities of the other colonies. In August, 1853, the first mail
steamer from England, named the _Chusan_, arrived in Port Jackson, and
helped to make the settlers of Australia feel less exiled, as they now
could have regular news of their friends and of European events little
more than two months old.




CHAPTER XV. - WEST AUSTRALIA, 1829-1890.


#1. King George's Sound.#--In 1825, when Sir Ralph Darling was appointed
Governor of New South Wales, his commission was supposed to extend over
all that part of Australia which lies between the 139th meridian and the
eastern coast. Not that the whole of this country, or even the twentieth
part of it, was occupied by settlers--the region was merely claimed as
British territory. But the remainder of Australia, comprising about
two-thirds of the continent, had not, as yet, been annexed by any
European nation; and when, in 1826, a rumour prevailed that the French
were about to occupy that region, the Sydney people were alarmed lest so
great a territory should thus be lost for ever to the British Empire;
they, therefore, in that year, sent a detachment of soldiers to take
formal possession of the country and to found a settlement at King
George's Sound. From this early effort, however, no practical result
ensued; and, during the few years of its existence, the place continued
to be nothing more than a small military station.


#2. Swan River.#--But, in 1827, an English captain, named Stirling, after
having sailed along the western coast, gave a most favourable account of
a large river he had seen on his voyage. He was not the first discoverer
of this river, which, as early as 1697, had been visited by a Dutch
navigator, named Vlaming, who was sailing in quest of a man-of-war
supposed to have been wrecked on these shores. Vlaming had seen this
stream, and, astonished by the wonderful sight of thousands of jet black
swans on its surface, had given to it the name of Swan River. But it had
remained unthought of till Captain Stirling, by his report, awakened a
warm and hopeful interest in this district.

Shortly afterwards the British Government resolved to found a colony on
the banks of this river, and Captain Fremantle arrived as the pioneer of
the intended settlement. When he landed on the shore, he found that a
nearer view of the country was far from realising the expectations
formed by those who had viewed it merely from the open sea. He began to
have forebodings, but it was now too late--the ships, containing eight
hundred of the first settlers, were already close at hand; and, in the
course of a week or two, after narrowly escaping shipwreck on the reefs
along the shore, they landed Captain Stirling, the first Governor, with
his little band, on the wilderness of Garden Island. Here, in this
temporary abode, the colonists remained for several months--sheltering
themselves in fragile tents, or in brushwood huts, from the rough blasts
and the rains that beat in from the winter storms of the Indian Ocean.
Exploring parties set out from time to time to examine the adjoining
mainland; but, however fair it seemed from a distance, they found it to
be merely a sandy region, covered with dense and scrubby thickets. The
only port was at a place called Fremantle, where there was but little
shelter from the storms of the open ocean; and the only place suitable
for a town was several miles up the Swan River, where the waters expand
into broad but shallow lagoons. Here the colonists determined to build
their city, to which they gave the name of Perth. But the site was not
favourable to enterprise; an impassable bar stretched across the mouth
of the river, which was, therefore, inaccessible to vessels. The goods
of the colonists had to be landed on an exposed beach at Fremantle, and
then carried overland through miles of sand and scrub.

In 1830 about a thousand new immigrants arrived; and towards the end of
this year the colonists succeeded in settling down in their new homes at
Perth.


#3. Land Grants.#--Most of these immigrants were attracted to Western
Australia by the prospect of obtaining large estates; they knew how
valuable land was in the well-settled countries of Europe, and, when
they heard of square miles in Australia to be had for a few pounds, they
were captivated by the notion of so easily becoming great landed
proprietors. But the value of land depends upon surrounding
circumstances, and ten acres in England may be worth more than a whole
wilderness in West Australia. At that time foolish notions were in every
quarter prevalent as to what could be done by means of land. The British
Government thought it possible to make the colony self-supporting by
paying for everything with grants which cost it nothing, but which would
be readily accepted by others as payment. Thus the Governor, instead of
his yearly salary, was to receive a hundred thousand acres, and all the
officials were to be paid in the same manner. The land was distributed
in great quantities to people who had no intention of using it, but who
expected that, by the progress of colonisation, it would increase
enormously in value, and might then be sold for splendid prices.

To induce immigrants to bring with them useful property, the Government
offered a bonus of twenty acres for every three pounds worth of goods
imported; and the colonists--quite unconscious of the future that lay
before them--carried out great numbers of costly, though often
unsuitable, articles, by means of which the desired grants were
obtained. It was found difficult to convey this property to the town,
and much of it was left to rot on the shore, where carriages, pianos,
and articles of rich furniture lay half-buried in sand and exposed to
the alternations of sun and rain.

[Illustration: PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, IN 1838.]

[Illustration: PERTH, 1890.]

Splendid horses and cattle of the finest breed had been brought out, but
they wandered useless in the bush. For, till the country was surveyed,
nothing could be done in the way of agriculture; and, even after the
surveys were completed, owing to a regulation that those whose grants
exceeded a square mile should be allowed the first choice, all the
sections nearest to the town were obtained by officials and wealthy
speculators, who had no intention of using them. Many of these persons
held a district almost as large as an English county, and, therefore,
the lands remaining for selection by farmers and small purchasers were
generally far in the interior. The sections were pointed out on the
maps, but the places themselves had never been trodden by a white man's
foot, and were held by tribes of hostile savages. Some, indeed, tried to
settle upon these distant regions, but they were lonely and isolated,
and many of them perished, either from disease and hunger, or by the
spears of the natives. Yet there were very few who made any attempt at
agriculture, and the costly ploughs and implements that had been
imported lay rusting on the beach. The horses and cattle died off, the
sheep that had been introduced at great expense were almost all killed
through feeding on a poisonous plant, which grew in patches over the
country; and the men themselves were forced to loiter at Perth,
consuming their provisions and chafing at their ruinous inaction.


#4. Mr. Peel.#--There was one gentleman who had spent fifty thousand
pounds in bringing with him to the colony everything that could be
required for farming and sheep-breeding on a magnificent scale. He
brought with him three hundred labourers; but the land was by no means
so fertile as he had imagined, and he had scarcely commenced his farming
operations when he found that his only escape from ruin was to enter,
single-handed, on the self-dependent life of the ordinary settler.


#5. Gloomy Prospects.#--Matters grew worse and worse, and those of the
disappointed colonists who had sufficient prudence to start before their
means were all exhausted either returned to Europe or sought the other
colonies, where several achieved success--notably the brothers Henty,
who settled at Launceston and established at Portland Bay the whaling
station already mentioned. The gloomy reports of those who reached
England prevented any further accession of immigrants, and in 1835 it
was rumoured, though erroneously, that the British Government intended
to abandon the place.

In the following year (1836) the colony of South Australia was founded;
and a great extent of territory previously marked as belonging to West
Australia was assigned to the new settlement. These two colonies, during
their early years, experienced trials and difficulties of the same kind;
but while South Australia, in a short time, emerged to a career of
brilliant prosperity through sturdy determination to make the land
productive, West Australia for forty years never enjoyed more than a
transitory gleam of success.


#6. Introduction of Convicts.#--This little improvement consisted of a
message received from Earl Grey in 1848 asking the settlers if they were
willing to accept convicts in their midst. The other colonies had
refused them, but it was thought not unlikely that West Australia might
be glad to get them. Opinions were divided as to the reply which ought
to be given: while some were averse to the idea, others believed that
the money sent out by the British Government to maintain the convicts
and soldiers would originate a trade which might give to the colony new
life and fresh prospects. These arguments prevailed, and in 1849 the
first shipload of convicts arrived. From time to time new gangs were
received, and the place began to be much more populous than before. The
shopkeepers in Perth became rich, and the farmer squatters of the
surrounding districts found a ready market for their produce. Yet this
success was only partial; and there was nothing which might be said to
constitute general prosperity. In the little town of Fremantle, the few
and scattered houses had still a rural aspect, and the streets echoed to
the sound of no commercial bustle. In Perth the main street was still a
grassy walk, shaded by avenues of trees, and even in the business
quarter the houses stood each in the midst of its spacious garden.


#7. Evils of Convictism.#--West Australia had now to suffer the
consequences of having become a penal settlement. Many of the convicts,
on being liberated, took up their abode in the colony; but their
dispositions were seldom either amiable or virtuous, and from the vices
of these men the whole population began to lose character in the eyes of
other countries. A large number of the prisoners were no sooner
liberated than they set off for the goldfields in the eastern colonies,
which thus began to share in the evils of convictism. These colonies
were not inclined to suffer long in this manner; and, to defend
themselves, they refused admission to any person who came from West
Australia, unless he could show that he had never been a convict. Thus
the colony at Swan River was branded, and held to be contaminated; no
free immigrants sought its shores, and many of its best inhabitants
departed.

This stigma continued to rest on West Australia until the year 1868,
when the transportation of criminals from Great Britain altogether
ceased, and the colony no longer received its periodical supply of
convicts. Since that time it has, in a great measure, retrieved its
character; it is now doing what it can to attract free immigrants, and
offers large tracts of pastoral land at low rentals, while the farming
classes are attracted by free selection at only ten shillings an acre,
with ten years in which to pay it. It has joined Perth to Albany by a
good railway, and several branch railways have been constructed, as well
as a large number of telegraph lines; and at Albany, the town on King
George's Sound, it has established a coaling depôt for the mail steamers
on their way to Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney. But West Australia is
still what it was called twenty years ago, "the giant skeleton of a
colony," consisting of about forty thousand people, scattered over a
hundred thousand square miles of territory, behind which stretches a
vast region of unexplored wilderness. There is every indication,
however, that its progress in the near future will be rapid. Up to 1870
it formed what was called a Crown colony: the people had no voice in
their own government; their affairs were managed for them by the
officers of the English Government. At that date, however, when
transportation was abolished, the colony was promoted to the partial
management of its own affairs, and the people began periodically to
elect a Legislative Council. In 1890 it was still further promoted,
being raised to the full dignity of an independent colony, having, like
the other colonies of Australia, a Parliament of two Houses, with power
to make and unmake its own laws as it pleases. Perth is now rapidly
increasing, and the colony is on the eve of its palmy days.




CHAPTER XVI. - QUEENSLAND, 1823-1890.


#1. Moreton Bay.#--When Captain Cook, in 1770, sailed into the wide
opening of Moreton Bay, several of his friends on board observed the sea
to be paler than usual, and formed the opinion that, if a careful search
were made along the shores, it would be found that a large river fell
into the sea somewhere in the neighbourhood. Cook attached so little
weight to this idea that he did not stay to make any examination; and
when, about twenty years later, Captain Flinders surveyed the same bay,
he saw no trace of a river, though he made special search for one.

But the reports of both these travellers were subsequently found to be
erroneous; for, in 1823, when Governor Brisbane sent the discoverer
Oxley, in the _Mermaid_, to select a place for a new convict station in
the northern district of New South Wales, Moreton Bay was found to
receive the waters of a large and important river. His success was, at
least in part, due to accident. Among the blacks, on the shores of the
bay, was a naked man, who was seen to be white. This man was taken on
board. He had sailed in an open boat from Sydney, with three others,
about a year before, but had been driven by gales out to sea and far to
the north. They had landed and had been well received by the blacks. The
rest had started to walk along the shore to Sydney, but one man, named
Pamphlett, had remained with the natives; and it was he who now was
rescued by Oxley, to whom he gave the information that, when roving
inland with the tribe among whom he was living, he had seen a fine river
of fresh water. Under the guidance of Pamphlett, Oxley left his little
vessel in the bay, and with a boat entered upon the broad current of the
stream. Before sunset he had ascended about twenty miles, and had been
delighted by the richness of the scenery and the magnificence of the
timber. On the following day he proceeded thirty miles farther up, and
throughout the whole distance found the stream to be broad and of
sufficient depth to be navigable for vessels of considerable size. Oxley
was justly proud of his discovery, and wished to penetrate still farther
into the forests that lay beyond; but his boat's crew had been so
exhausted by their long row under a burning sun that he could go no
farther, and found it necessary to turn and glide with the current down
to his vessel, which he reached late on the fourth night. To the stream
he had thus discovered he gave the name of the Brisbane River.


#2. Convict Station.#--On his return he recommended this district as a
suitable position for the new convict station, and during the following
year (1824) he was sent to form the settlement. With a small party,
consisting of convicts and their guards, he landed at Redcliff, now
known as Humpy Bong, a peninsula which juts out into Moreton Bay a few
miles above the mouth of the Brisbane. Here the settlement remained for
a few months, but afterwards it was moved twenty miles up the river to
that pleasant bend which is now occupied by the city of Brisbane. Here,
under Captain Logan, the first permanent commandant of the settlement,
large stone barracks for the soldiers were erected, and lines of gaols
and other buildings for the convicts. And in these for twelve or
fourteen years the lonely community dwelt--about a thousand
twice-convicted prisoners, and a party of soldiers and officials to keep
them in order. No free person was allowed to approach within fifty miles
of the settlement, unless with special permission, which was very
sparingly granted. The place was a convict settlement of the harshest
type; and stern were the measures of that relentless commandant, Captain
Logan, who flogged and hanged the unfortunate people under his charge
until he became hated with a deadly hatred. He was an active explorer,
and did much to open up the interior country, till at length, on a trip
in which he was accompanied only by some convicts, they glutted their
vengeance by spearing him and battering his head with a native tomahawk.


#3. The Squatters.#--For thirteen years the settlement was not affected by
anything that went on in that outside world from which it was so
completely excluded. But in 1840 the onward progress of squatting
enterprise brought free men with sheep and cattle close to Moreton Bay.
That fine district, discovered by Allan Cunningham in 1827, and called
by him the Liverpool Plains, had almost immediately attracted
squatters, who by degrees filled up the whole of the available land,
and those who were either new-comers, or who found their flocks
increasing too fast for the size of their runs, were forced to move
outward, and, as a rule, northward. It was about the year 1840 that
the pioneers entered that fine tableland district called by Allan
Cunningham, in 1829, the Darling Downs, and when the year 1844 was ended
there were at least forty squatters over the Queensland borders, with
nearly 200,000 sheep and 60,000 cattle, and with many hundreds of
shepherds and stockmen to attend them.


#4. A Free Settlement.#--Whilst the squatters were gathering all round, a
change took place at Brisbane itself. We have seen that about 1840 the
English Government had resolved to discontinue transportation, except to
Van Diemen's Land. The word, therefore, went forth that Brisbane was no
longer to be a place of exile for criminals. It was to be the home of
free men and the capital of a new district. In 1841 Governor Sir George
Gipps arrived from Sydney, and laid out the plan of what is now a
handsome city. Blocks of land were offered for sale to free settlers,
and eagerly bought. The Governor also laid out a little town, now called
Ipswich, farther inland. Meanwhile the township of Drayton, and that
which is now much larger, Toowoomba, began to gather round two wayside
inns established for the convenience of travellers. Captain Wickham was
sent up to assume the position of Superintendent of Moreton Bay, which
thus became practically a new colony, just as Port Phillip was in the
south, though both were then regarded as only districts of New South
Wales.


#5. The Natives.#--In these early years the squatters of the district were
scattered, at wide intervals, throughout a great extent of country, and,
being in the midst of native tribes who were not only numerous but of a
peculiarly hostile disposition, they often found themselves in a very
precarious situation. The blacks swarmed on the runs, killing the sheep,
and stealing the property of the squatters, who had many annoyances to
suffer and injuries to guard against. But their retaliation oftentimes
exhibited a ferocity and inhumanity almost incredible in civilised men.

[Illustration: BOOMERANGS, OR KYLIES.]

The Government troopers showed little compunction in destroying scores
of natives, and, strange to say, the most inhuman atrocities were
committed by blacks, who were employed to act as troopers. On one
occasion, after the murder of a white man by two blacks, a band of
troopers, in the dead of night, stealthily surrounded the tribe to which
the murderers belonged, whilst it was holding a corrobboree, and, at a
given signal, fired a volley into the midst of the dancing crowd--a
blind and ruthless revenge, from which, however, the two murderers
escaped. On another occasion the shepherds and hutkeepers out on a
lonely plain had begun to grow afraid of the troublesome tribes in the
neighbourhood, and cunningly made them a present of flour, in which
white arsenic had been mixed. Half a tribe might then have been seen
writhing and howling in the agony of this frightful poison till death
relieved them. On such occasions the black tribes took a terrible
revenge when they could, and so the hatred of black for white and white
for black became stronger and deadlier.


#6. Separation.#--In less than five years after the removal of convicts
the district began to agitate for separation from New South Wales; and,
in 1851, a petition was sent to the Queen, urging the right of Moreton
Bay to receive the same concession as had, in that year, been made to
Port Phillip. On this occasion their request was not granted, but, on
being renewed about three years later, it met with a very favourable
reception; and, in the following year, an Act was passed by the Imperial
Parliament giving to the British Government power to constitute the new
colony. Again, as in the case of Port Phillip, delays occurred; and, in
1856, a change of Ministry caused the matter to be almost forgotten. It
was not until the year 1859 that the territory to the north of the
twenty-ninth parallel of latitude was proclaimed a separate colony,
under the title of QUEENSLAND.

[Illustration: PARLIAMENT HOUSE, BRISBANE.]

In the December of that year Sir George F. Bowen, the first Governor,
arrived; and the little town of Brisbane, with its 7,000 inhabitants,
was raised to the dignity of being a capital, the seat of government of
a territory containing more than 670,000 square miles, though inhabited
by only 25,000 persons. A few months later Queensland received its
Constitution, which differed but little from that of New South Wales.
There were established two Houses of Legislature, one consisting of
members nominated by the Governor, and the other elected by the people.


#7. Gold.#--In 1858 it was reported that gold had been discovered far to
the north, on the banks of the Fitzroy River, and in a short time many
vessels arrived in Keppel Bay, their holds and decks crowded with men,
who eagerly landed and hastened to Canoona, a place about sixty or
seventy miles up the river. Ere long there were about fifteen thousand
diggers on the scene; but it was soon discovered that the gold was
confined to a very small area, and by no means plentiful; and those who
had spent all their money in getting to the place were in a wretched
plight. A large population had been hurriedly gathered in an isolated
region, without provisions, or the possibility of obtaining them; their
expectations of the goldfield had been disappointed, and for some time
the Fitzroy River was one great scene of misery and starvation till the
Governments of New South Wales and Victoria sent vessels to convey the
unfortunate diggers away from the place. Some, however, in the extremity
of the famine, had selected portions of the fertile land on the banks of
the river, and had begun to cultivate them as farms. They were pleased
with the district, and, having settled down on their land, founded what
is now the thriving city of Rockhampton.

A great amount of success, however, attended a subsequent effort in
1867. The Government of Queensland offered rewards, varying from two
hundred to a thousand pounds, for the discovery of paying goldfields.
The result was that during the course of the next two or three years
many districts were opened up to the miner. Towards the end of 1867 a
man named Nash, who had been wandering in an idle way over the country,
found an auriferous region of great extent at Gympie, about 130 miles
from Brisbane. He concealed his discovery for a time, and set to work to
collect as much of the gold as possible, before attracting others to the
spot. In the course of a day or two he gathered several hundred pounds
worth of gold, being, however, often disturbed in his operations by the
approach of travellers on the adjacent road, when he had to crouch among
the bushes, until the footsteps died away and he could again pursue his
solitary task. After some time it seemed impossible to avoid discovery;
and lest any one should forestall him in making known the district, he
entered Maryborough, not far away, announced his discovery, and received
the reward. A rush took place to the Gympie, which was found to be
exceedingly rich, and it was not long before a nugget worth about four
thousand pounds was met with close to the surface.

Far to the north, on the Palmer River, a tributary of the Mitchell,
there have been discovered rich goldfields, where, in spite of the great
heat and dangers from the blacks, there are crowds of diggers at work.
Many thousands of Chinamen have settled down in the district, and to
these the natives seem to have a special antipathy, as they spear them
on every possible occasion.

But all the stories which Australia offers of gold-digging romance are
eclipsed by that of the Mount Morgan Mine. Near Rockhampton, and in the
midst of that very district to which the diggers had rushed in 1858, but
in which they had starved through being unable to find gold, a young
squatter bought from the Government of Queensland a selection of 640
acres. It was on a rocky hill, so barren that he considered it useless,
and was glad to sell it for £640 to three brothers of the name of
Morgan. These gentlemen were lucky enough to find out that the dirty
grey rocks of which the hill was composed were very richly mixed with
gold, so that twenty or thirty pounds worth of gold could be got by
crushing and washing every cart-load of rock. They immediately set to
work, and before long showed that they were the possessors of the
richest gold mine in the world. A year or two later the hill was sold at
a price equivalent to eight millions of pounds, and it is now reckoned
that it contains gold to the value of at least double that sum. What a
strange adventure for the man who owned it and reckoned it worth almost
nothing!


#8. Cotton.#--Throughout most of the colony the climate is either tropical
or semi-tropical, and it is therefore, in its more fertile parts, well
suited to the growth of cotton and sugar. About the year 1861 the
cultivation of the cotton plant was commenced on a small scale; but,
although the plantations were found to thrive, yet the high rate of
wages which prevailed in Queensland, and the low price of cotton in
Europe, caused the first attempts to be very unprofitable.

Matters were changed, however, in 1863, for then a great civil war was
raging in America; and as the people of the Southern States were
prevented, by the long chain of blockading vessels stationed by the
Northern States along their coasts, from sending their cotton to Europe,
there was a great scarcity of cotton in England, and its price rose to
be exceedingly high. This was a favourable opportunity for Queensland.
The plantations were, of course, still as expensive as ever, but the
handsome prices obtained for the cotton not only covered this great
expense, but also left considerable profits. The cultivation of the
sugar cane was introduced in 1865, and, after a few years had passed
away, great fields of waving cane were to be seen in various parts of
the country, growing ripe and juicy beneath the tropical sun.


#9. Polynesian Labour.#--The prices of cotton and sugar remained high for
some years; but when the American Civil War was over they fell to their
former rates, and the planters of Queensland found it necessary to
obtain some cheaper substitute for their white labourers. At first it
was proposed to bring over Hindoos from India, but nothing came of this
idea; and afterwards, when Chinese were introduced, they were not found
to give the satisfaction expected. But it happened that one of the
planters, named Robert Towns, was the owner of a number of ships which
traded to the South Sea Islands, and having persuaded a few of the
islanders to cross to Queensland, he employed them on his sugar
plantation. He took some little trouble in teaching them the work he
wished them to do, and found that they soon became expert at it. As the
remuneration they required was very small, they served admirably to
supply the necessary cheap labour.

[Illustration: VICTORIA BRIDGE, BRISBANE.]

The practice of employing these South Sea Islanders, or "Kanakas," as
they were called, soon became general, and parts of Queensland had all
the appearance of the American plantations, where crowds of dusky
figures, decked in the brightest of colours, plied their labours with
laughter and with song, among the tall cane brakes or the bursting pods
of cotton. The "Kanakas" generally worked for a year or two in the
colony, then, having received a bundle of goods--consisting of cloth,
knives, hatchets, beads, and so forth, to the value of about £10--they
were again conveyed to their palm-clad islands. A system of this kind
was apt to give rise to abuses, and it was found that a few of the more
unscrupulous planters, not content with the ordinary profits, stooped
to the shameful meanness of cheating the poor islander out of his
hard-earned reward. They hurried him on board a vessel, and sent after
him a parcel containing a few shillings worth of property; then, when he
reached his home, he found that all his toil and his years of absence
from his friends had procured him only so much trash.

Happily, this was not of very frequent occurrence; but there was another
abuse both common and glaring. As the plantations in Queensland
increased, they required more labourers than were willing to leave their
homes in the South Sea Islands; and, as the captains of vessels were
paid by the planters a certain sum of money for every "Kanaka" they
brought over, there was a strong temptation to carry off the natives by
force, when, by other means, a sufficient number could not be obtained.
There were frequent conflicts between the crews of labour vessels and
the inhabitants of the islands. The white men burnt the native villages,
and carried off crowds of men and women; while, in revenge, the
islanders often surprised a vessel and massacred its crew; and in such
cases the innocent suffered for the guilty. The sailors often had the
baseness to disguise themselves as missionaries, in order the more
easily to effect their purpose; and when the true missionaries,
suspecting nothing, approached the natives on their errand of good will,
they were speared or clubbed to death by the unfortunate islanders. But,
as a rule, the "Kanakas" were themselves the sufferers; the English
vessels pursued their frail canoes, ran them down, and sank them; then,
while struggling in the sea, the men were seized and thrust into the
hold, and the hatches were fastened down. When in this dastardly manner
a sufficient number had been gathered together, and the dark interior of
the ship was filled with a steaming mass of human beings densely
huddled together, the captains set sail for Queensland, where they
landed those of their living cargoes who had escaped the deadly
pestilence which filth and confinement always engendered in such cases.


#10. Polynesian Labourers' Act.#--These were the deeds of a few ruthless
and disreputable seamen; but the people of Queensland, as a whole, had
no sympathy with such barbarities, and in 1868 a law was passed to
regulate the labour traffic. It enacted that no South Sea Islanders were
to be brought into the colony unless the captain of the vessel could
show a document, signed by a missionary or British consul, stating that
they had left the islands of their own free will; Government agents were
to accompany every vessel, in order to see that the "Kanakas" were well
treated on the voyage; and, on leaving the colony, no labourer was to
receive less than six pounds worth of goods for every year he had
worked.

These regulations were of great use, but they were often evaded; for, by
giving a present to the king of an island, the sailors could bribe him
to force his people to express their willingness before the missionary.
The trembling men were brought forward, and, under the fear of their
chief's revenge, declared their perfect readiness to sail. Sometimes the
Government agents on board the vessels were bribed not to report the
misdeeds of the sailors; and in the case of the _Jason_, on which the
agent was too honest to be so bribed, he was chained below by the
captain, on the pretence that he was mad. When the ship arrived in
Queensland, the unfortunate man was found in a most miserable state of
filth and starvation. For this offence the captain was arrested, tried,
and imprisoned. Whatever regulations may be made, a traffic of this sort
will occasionally have its dark and ugly features, yet it may be truly
enough said that while the "Kanakas" have been of great service to
Queensland, the colony has also been of service to them. The islanders
are generally glad to be taken; they have better food and easier lives
on the plantations than they have in their homes; they gather a trunkful
of property such as passes for great wealth in the islands, and when
they are sent home, after two years' absence, to their palms and coral
shores, it is in full costume, generally in excellent spirits, and
always more or less civilised. Sometimes, poor fellows, they are
stripped and plundered by their naked relatives, but at any rate they
help, by what they have learnt, to improve the style of life in those
native groves, so sunny but so full of superstition and barbarous rites.


#11. Present State of the Colony.#--In 1868 Sir George Bowen was sent to
govern New Zealand, and Governor Blackall took charge of affairs in
Queensland. He was a man of fine talents, and amiable character, and was
greatly respected by the colonists; but he died not long after his
arrival, and was succeeded by the Marquis of Normanby, who, in his turn,
was succeeded, in 1874, by Mr. Cairns. Sir Arthur Kennedy, in 1877, Sir
Anthony Musgrave, in 1883, Sir Arthur Hunter Palmer, in 1888, and
General Sir H. Wylie Norman bring the list of Governors to the present
year (1894).

Queensland possesses magnificent resources, which have only recently
been made known, and are now in process of development. Her exports of
gold exceed two million pounds a year; she produces large quantities of
tin, copper, silver, and other minerals. The wool clipped from her sheep
exceeds one million four hundred thousand pounds in annual value; and
her total exports, including cotton, sugar, and other tropical
productions, amount to about six million pounds per annum. The
population is now about half a million, and immigrants continue to
arrive at the rate of about sixteen thousand a year. Though the youngest
of the Australian colonies, Queensland now ranks fourth on the list, and
appears to have a most promising future before her. Her cotton industry
has almost vanished, and her sugar plantations have passed through
troublous times, but there seem to be good hopes for them in the future.
However, it will be in the raising of sheep and of cattle, as well as in
gold-mining, that the colony will have to look for her most permanent
resources. She has now nearly twenty million sheep and six million
cattle, and sends wool, tallow, hides, and frozen meat to England, while
she supplies prime bullocks for the Melbourne Market.


#12. The Aborigines.#--Australian history practically begins with the
arrival of the white man, for before that time, though tribe fought with
tribe and there were many doings of savage men, there is nothing that
could be told as a general story. Each tribe of from twenty to a couple
of hundred dusky forms wandered over the land, seeking animals to hunt
and fresh water to drink. They were very thinly spread, not more than
one person to ten square miles, yet every little tribe was at deadly
feud with its neighbour.

[Illustration: GOVERNMENT HOUSE, BRISBANE.]

The tribe wandered over the grassy and park-like lands, the men stalking
ahead with spears and boomerang in hand; the women trudging behind
loaded with babies, and utensils. At evening they camp and the men put
up frail break-winds, consisting of a few branches and leafy tufts;
behind this on the sheltered side a few leaves made a bed. Meantime the
fire was lit close by, and soon a dozen little columns of blue smoke
curl up among the trees. The opossum, or duck, or wallaby is soon cooked
or half-cooked; the men devour as much as they want and pass on the
remains to the women and children. A frog or two and a lizard, or a few
grubs taken out of decayed timber, or perhaps a few roots that have been
dug up on the march by the women, form a sort of dessert. After dusk
there is the sound of chatter round the fires; then all retire to rest,
with the glowing embers of the fires to give them warmth. At daybreak
all are awake. If there is food at hand they may stay in the same camp
for weeks together, but if not they journey on.

Each man had as many wives as he could obtain. He did not support them,
but they supported him, and when children became too numerous he
lessened his family by killing off a few. More than half the children
were thus destroyed. Their enjoyments consisted of games with a kind of
ball, and mock-fights, but especially in a wild dance they called the
corrobboree. They were in general good-humoured when things went
pleasantly; but a man would spear his wife through the leg or dash his
child's brains out readily enough when things were not to his taste, and
nobody would think any the worse of him for it.




CHAPTER XVII. - EXPLORATIONS IN THE INTERIOR, 1840-1860.


#1. Progress of Exploration.#--The coasts of Australia had all been
examined before the year 1815. From that date those who wished to make
fresh discoveries were obliged to penetrate into the interior; and we
have already seen that, previous to the year 1836, explorers were busy
in opening up the south-east portion of the continent. Oxley had made
known the northern districts of New South Wales, and Allan Cunningham
the southern part of what is now the colony of Queensland. Hume and
Hovell, Sturt and Mitchell, had traversed the southern districts of New
South Wales and the territory now occupied by Victoria. Following
closely in the footsteps of these intrepid discoverers, the squatters
had entered all these districts, and, wherever the land was suitable,
had settled down with their flocks; so that, ere long, all that corner
of Australia which would be cut off by drawing a straight line from
Brisbane to Adelaide was fully surveyed. But there still remained to be
explored about seven-eighths of the continent; and from this date onward
there was an unbroken succession of adventurous travellers, who entered
the vast central territory for the purpose of making known its nature
and capacities. But the manner of conducting an expedition was now very
different from what it had been. Previous explorers had been provided
with parties of convicts, and had traversed lands for the greater part
grassy and well watered. These expeditions had their dangers, arising
chiefly from the hostility of the blacks; and Allan Cunningham, his
brother Richard, with many others, sacrificed their lives in their
ardour for discovery. But subsequent travellers had to encounter, in
addition, the pangs of hunger and thirst in that dry and desolate
country which occupies so great a portion of Central Australia.


#2. Eyre.#--The first on this roll of gallant discoverers was Edward John
Eyre, who, in 1840, offered to conduct an expedition to the interior. He
himself provided about half the money required, the South Australian
Government--which was then in difficulties--gave a hundred pounds, and a
number of Eyre's personal friends made up the remainder. With five
Europeans, three natives, and thirteen horses, and with forty sheep to
serve as food on the way, he set out from Adelaide and travelled to the
head of Spencer's Gulf, where a small vessel lay waiting to supply them
with provisions sufficient for three months. Having traversed forty or
fifty miles of desert land, he turned to the west, and came in sight of
what he called Lake Torrens. It was now dried up, so that in place of a
sheet of water twenty miles broad, he saw only a dreary region covered
with glittering salt. When he entered upon it the thin crust of salt
broke, and a thick black mud oozed up. The party plunged onward for
about six miles, the mud becoming always deeper and deeper, till at
length it half covered the saddles of their horses. He was then forced
to turn back, and to seek a passage round this lake of mud; but, having
followed its shores for many miles, there seemed to be so little
prospect of reaching the end of the obstacle, that he turned his course
again, from west to north. After travelling about two hundred miles
through a very desolate country, he was once more arrested by coming
upon a similar sheet of salt-encrusted mud, which he called Lake Eyre.
Again there appeared no hope of either crossing the lake or going round
it; no water was to be found, and his supplies were fast failing, so
that he was forced to hasten back a long distance to the nearest stream.
Setting out once more, he twice attempted to penetrate westward into the
interior, but, on each occasion, the salt lakes barred his progress, and
as a last effort he urged his failing party towards the north-east. Here
the country was the most barren and desolate that can be imagined. It
was not always so, but after a period of drought, when the grass is
burnt to the roots and not a drop of fresh water to be seen in a hundred
miles, it has all the appearance of a desert. His supplies of water ran
short, and frequently the explorers were on the point of perishing. When
they approached the Frome River--a creek which flows northwards into
Lake Eyre--they were inexpressibly delighted to view from afar the
winding current; but its waters were found to be as salt as the ocean.
After a long and dreary journey, Eyre ascended a hill, in order to see
if there was any hope of finding better country; but the view was only a
great and barren level, stretching far away to the horizon on every
side. He had now no water, and his only course was to turn back; so,
leaving this place--which he called Mount Hopeless--he retraced his
steps to the head of Spencer's Gulf.


#3. Australian Bight.#--Here he changed the object of his journey, and
made efforts to go along the shores of the Great Australian Bight, in
order to reach West Australia. Three times he rounded Streaky Bay; but
in that bare and desert land the want of water was an insuperable
obstacle, and each time he was forced to retreat to less desolate
country. Governor Gawler now sent word to him to return to Adelaide, as
it seemed madness to make further efforts; but Eyre replied that to go
back without having accomplished anything would be a disgrace he could
never endure. Seeing that his only chance of reaching West Australia was
to push rapidly forward with a simple and light equipment, he sent back
the whole of his party except Mr. Baxter, his black servant Wylie, and
the other two natives; and taking with him a few horses, carrying a
supply of water and provisions for several weeks, he set out to follow
the coast along the Great Australian Bight. His party had to scramble
along the tops of rough cliffs which everywhere frowned from three
hundred to six hundred feet above the sea; and if they left the coast to
travel inland they had to traverse great stretches of moving sands,
which filled their eyes and ears, covered them when asleep, and, when
they sat at meals, made their food unpleasant. But they suffered most
from want of water; for often they were obliged to walk day after day
beneath a broiling sun when all their water was gone, and not a drop to
be seen on the burning soil beneath them. On one occasion, after they
had thus travelled 110 miles, the horses fell down from exhaustion, and
could not be induced to move. Eyre and a native hastened forward; but,
though they wandered for more than eighteen miles, they saw no sign of
water, and when darkness came on they lay down, with lips parched and
burning, and tossed in feverish slumber till morning. At early dawn they
perceived a ridge of sand-hills not far away, and making for them they
found a number of little wells--places where the natives had dug into
the sand for six or eight feet, and so had reached fresh water. Here
Eyre and his black companion drank a delicious draught, and hastened
back with the precious beverage to revive the horses. The whole party
was then able to go forward; and there, around these little waterholes,
Eyre halted for a week to refresh his men and animals before attempting
another stretch of similar country. They saw some natives, who told them
that there was plenty of water farther on, and when Eyre set out again
he carried very little with him, so as not to overburden the horses. But
after sixty miles of the desert had been traversed without meeting any
place in which water was to be found, he became alarmed, and sent back
Mr. Baxter with the horses to bring up a better supply, whilst he
himself remained to take charge of the baggage. When Baxter returned
they all set forward again, and reached a sandy beach, where they had
great difficulty in preventing the horses from drinking the sea-water,
which would certainly have made them mad. As it was, two of them lay
down to die, and part of the provisions had to be abandoned. Baxter now
grew despondent, and wished to return; but Eyre was determined not yet
to give up. Onward they toiled through the dreary wilderness, and two
more horses fell exhausted; 126 miles from the last halting-place, and
still no signs of water. Still onward, and the horses continued to drop
by the way, Baxter constantly entreating Eyre to return. It was only
after a journey of 160 miles that they came to a place where, by
digging, they could obtain fresh water in very small quantities.
They were now forced to eke out their failing provisions by eating
horseflesh. Baxter was altogether disheartened; and, if to return had
not been as dangerous as to go forward, Eyre would himself have
abandoned the attempt. The three natives, however, were still as
light-hearted and merry as ever; whilst the food lasted they were
always full of frolic and laughter.


#4. Death of Baxter.#--Each evening Eyre formed a little camp, loaded the
muskets, and laid them down ready for use in case of an attack by the
blacks; the horses were hobbled, and set free to gather the little
vegetation they could find. But this forced Eyre and Baxter to keep
watch by turns, lest they should stray so far as to be lost. One evening
when Eyre had taken the first watch, the horses, in their search for
grass, had wandered about a quarter of a mile from the camp. He had
followed them, and was sitting on a stone beneath the moonlight, musing
on his gloomy prospects, when he was startled by a flash and a report.
Hastening to the camp, he was met by Wylie, who was speechless with
terror, and could only wring his hands and cry: "Oh, massa". When he
entered, he saw Baxter lying on his face, whilst the baggage was broken
open, and scattered in all directions. He raised the wounded man in his
arms, but only in time to support him as his head fell back in death.
Then placing the body on the ground, and looking around him, he
perceived that two of his natives had plundered the provisions, shot Mr.
Baxter as he rose to remonstrate with them, and had then escaped. The
moon became obscured, and in the deep gloom, beside the dead body of his
friend, Eyre passed a fearful night, peering into the darkness lest the
miscreants might be lurking near to shoot him also. He says, in his
diary: "Ages can never efface the horrors of that single night, nor
would the wealth of the world ever tempt me to go through a similar
one". The slowly-spreading dawn revealed the bleeding corpse, the
plundered bags, and the crouching form of Wylie, who was still
faithful. The ground at this place consisted of a great hard sheet of
rock, and there was no chance of digging a grave; so Eyre could only
wrap the body in a blanket, leave it lying on the surface, and thus take
farewell of his friend's remains.


#5. Arrival at King George's Sound.#--Then he and Wylie set out together
on their mournful journey. They had very little water, and seven days
elapsed before they reached a place where more was to be obtained. At
intervals they could see the murderers stealthily following their
footsteps, and Eyre was afraid to lie down lest his sleep should prove
to have no awaking; and thus, with parching thirst by day, and hours of
watchfulness by night, he slowly made his way towards King George's
Sound. After a time the country became better; he saw and shot two
kangaroos, and once more approached the coast. His surprise was great
on seeing two boats some distance out at sea. He shouted and fired his
rifle, without attracting the attention of the crews. But, on rounding a
small cape, he found the vessel to which these boats belonged. It was a
French whaling ship; and the two men, having been taken on board, were
hospitably entertained for eleven days. Captain Rossiter gave them new
clothes and abundance of food; and when they were thoroughly refreshed,
they landed to pursue their journey. The country was not now so
inhospitable; and three weeks afterwards they stood on the brow of a
hill overlooking the little town of Albany, at King George's Sound. Here
they sat down to rest; but the people, hearing who they were, came out
to escort them triumphantly into the town, where they were received with
the utmost kindness. They remained for eleven days, and then set sail
for Adelaide, which they reached after an absence of one year and
twenty-six days.

This expedition was, unfortunately, through so barren a country that it
had but little practical effect beyond the additions it made to our
geography; but the perseverance and skill with which it was conducted
are worthy of all honour, and Eyre is to be remembered as the first
explorer who braved the dangers of the Australian desert.


#6. Sturt.#--Two years after the return of Eyre, Captain Sturt, the famous
discoverer of the Darling and Murray, wrote to Lord Stanley offering to
conduct an expedition into the heart of Australia. His offer was
accepted; and in May, 1844, a well-equipped party of sixteen persons was
ready to start from the banks of the Darling River. Places which Sturt
had explored sixteen years before, when they were a deep and unknown
solitude, were now covered with flocks and cattle; and he could use, as
the starting-place of this expedition, the farthest point he had reached
in that of 1828. Mr. Poole went with him as surveyor, Mr. Browne as
surgeon, and the draughtsman was Mr. J. M'Douall Stuart, who, in this
expedition, received a splendid training for his own great discoveries
of subsequent years. Following the Darling, they reached Laidley's
Ponds, passed near Lake Cawndilla, and then struck northward for the
interior. The country was very bare--one dead level of cheerless desert;
and when they reached a few hills which they called Stanley Range, now
better known as Barrier Range, Sturt, who ascended to one of the
summits, could see nothing hopeful in the prospect. How little did he
dream that the hills beneath him were full of silver, and that one day a
populous city of miners should occupy the waterless plain in front of
him! In this region he had to be very careful how he advanced, for he
had with him eleven horses, thirty bullocks, and two hundred sheep, and
water for so great a multitude could with difficulty be procured. He had
always to ride forward and find a creek or pond of sufficient size, as
the next place of encampment, before allowing the expedition to move on;
and, as water was often very difficult to find, his progress was but
slow. Fortunately for the party, it was the winter season, and a few of
the little creeks had a moderate supply of water. But after they had
reached a chain of hills, which Sturt called the Grey Range, the warm
season was already upon them. The summer of 1844 was one of the most
intense on record; and in these vast interior plains of sand, under the
fiery glare of the sun, the earth seemed to burn like plates of metal:
it split the hoofs of the horses; it scorched the shoes and the feet of
the men; it dried up the water from the creeks and pools, and left all
the country parched and full of cracks. Sturt spent a time of great
anxiety, for the streams around were rapidly disappearing; and, when all
the water had been dried up, the prospects of his party would, indeed,
be gloomy. His relief was therefore great when Mr. Poole found a creek
in a rocky basin, whose waters seemed to have a perennial flow. Sturt
moved forward, and formed his depôt beside the stream; and here he was
forced to remain for six weeks. For it appeared as though he had entered
a trap; the country before him was absolutely without water, so that he
could not advance; while the creeks behind him were now only dry
courses, and it was hopeless to think of returning. He made many
attempts to escape, and struck out into the country in all directions.
In one of his efforts, if he had gone only thirty miles farther, he
would have found the fine stream of Cooper's Creek, in which there was
sufficient water for the party; but hunger and thirst forced him to
return to the depôt. He followed down the creek on which they were
encamped, but found that, after a course of twenty-nine miles, it lost
itself in the sand.

Meantime the travellers passed a summer such as few men have ever
experienced. The heat was sometimes as high as 130 deg. in the shade,
and in the sun it was altogether intolerable. They were unable to write,
as the ink dried at once on their pens; their combs split; their nails
became brittle and readily broke, and if they touched a piece of metal
it blistered their fingers. In their extremity they dug an underground
room, deep enough to be beyond the dreadful furnace-glow above. Here
they spent many a long day, as month after month passed without a shower
of rain. Sometimes they watched the clouds gather, and they could hear
the distant roll of thunder, but there fell not a drop to refresh the
dry and dusty desert. The party began to grow thin and weak; Mr. Poole
became ill with scurvy, and from day to day he sank rapidly. At length,
when winter was again approaching, a gentle shower moistened the plain;
and, as the only chance of saving the life of Poole, half of the party
was sent to carry him quickly back to the Darling. They had been gone
only a few hours when a messenger rode back with the news that he was
already dead. The mournful cavalcade returned, bearing his remains, and
a grave was dug in the wilderness. A tree close by, on which his
initials were cut, formed the only memorial of the hapless explorer.


#7. Journey to the Centre.#--Shortly afterwards there came a succession of
wet days, and, as there was now an abundance of water, the whole party
once more set off; having travelled north-west for sixty-one miles
farther, they formed a new depôt, and made excursions to explore the
country in the neighbourhood. M'Douall Stuart crossed over to Lake
Torrens; while Sturt, with Dr. Browne and three men, pushing to the
north, discovered the Strzelecki Creek, a stream which flows through
very agreeable country. But as they proceeded farther to the north their
troubles began again; they came upon a region covered with hill after
hill of fiery red sand, amid which lay lagoons of salt and bitter water.
They toiled over this weary country in hopes that a change for the
better might soon appear; but when they reached the last hill, they had
the mortification to see a great plain, barren, monotonous and dreary,
stretching with a purple glare as far as the eye could reach on every
side. This plain was called by Sturt the "Stony Desert," for, on
descending, he found it covered with innumerable pieces of quartz and
sandstone, among which the horses wearily stumbled. Sturt wished to
penetrate as far as the tropic of Capricorn; but summer was again at
hand, their water was failing, and they could find neither stream nor
pool. When the madness of any farther advance became apparent, Sturt,
with his head buried in his hands, sat for an hour in bitter
disappointment. After toiling so far, and reaching within 150 miles of
his destination, to be turned back for the want of a little water was a
misfortune very hard to bear, and, but for his companions, he would have
still gone forward and perished. As they hastened back their water was
exhausted, and they were often in danger of being buried by moving hills
of sand; but at length they reached the depôt, having traversed 800
miles during the eight weeks of their absence.

It was not long before Sturt started again, taking with him M'Douall
Stuart as his companion. On this trip he suffered the same hardships,
but had the satisfaction of discovering a magnificent stream, which he
called Cooper's Creek. On crossing this creek he again entered the Stony
Desert, and was once more compelled reluctantly to retrace his steps.
When he reached the depôt he was utterly worn out. He lay in bed for a
long time, tenderly nursed by his companions; and, when the whole party
set out on its return to the settled districts, he had to be lifted in
and out of the dray in which he was carried. As they neared their homes
his sight began to fail. The glare of the burning sands had destroyed
his eyes, and he passed the remainder of his days in darkness. His
reports of the arid country gave rise to the opinion that the whole
interior of Australia was a desert; but this was afterwards found to be
far from correct.


#8. Leichardt.#--Allan Cunningham's discoveries extended over the northern
parts of New South Wales and the southern districts of Queensland. But
all the north-eastern parts of the continent were left unexplored until
1844, when an intrepid young German botanist, named Ludwig Leichardt,
made known this rich and fertile country. With five men he started from
Sydney, and, passing through splendid forests and magnificent pasture
lands, he made his way to the Gulf of Carpentaria, discovering and
following up many large rivers--the Fitzroy, with its tributaries--the
Dawson, the Isaacs and the Mackenzie; the Burdekin, with several of its
branches; then the Mitchell; and, lastly, the Gilbert. He also crossed
the Flinders and Albert, without knowing that, a short time previously,
these rivers had been discovered and named by Captain Stokes, who was
exploring the coasts in a British war-ship. Having rounded the gulf, he
discovered the Roper, and followed the Alligator River down to Van
Diemen's Gulf, where a vessel was waiting to receive his party. On his
return to Sydney the utmost enthusiasm prevailed; for Leichardt had made
known a wide stretch of most valuable country. The people of Sydney
raised a subscription of £1,500, and the Government rewarded his
services with £1,000. Leichardt was of too ardent a nature to remain
content with what he had already done; and, in 1847, he again set out to
make further explorations in the north of Queensland. On this occasion,
however, he was not so successful. He had taken with him great flocks of
sheep and goats, and they impeded his progress so much that, after
wandering over the Fitzroy Downs for about seven months, he was forced
to return. In 1848 he organised a third expedition, to cross the whole
country from east to west. He proposed to start from Moreton Bay, and to
take two years in traversing the centre of the continent, so as to
reach the Swan River settlement. He set out with a large party, and soon
reached the Cogoon River, a tributary of the Condamine. From this point
he sent to a friend in Sydney a letter, in which he described himself
as in good spirits, and full of hope that the expedition would be a
success. He then started into the wilderness, and was lost for ever from
men's view. For many years parties were, from time to time, sent out to
rescue the missing explorers, if perchance they might still be wandering
with the blacks in the interior; but no traces of the lost company have
ever been brought to light.


#9. Mitchell.#--Whilst Leichardt was absent on his first journey, Sir
Thomas Mitchell--the discoverer of the Glenelg--had prepared an
expedition for the exploration of Queensland. Having waited till the
return of Leichardt, in order not to go over the same ground, he set out
towards the north, and, after discovering the Culgoa and Warrego--two
important tributaries of the Darling--he turned to the west. He
travelled over a great extent of level country, and then came upon a
river which somewhat puzzled him. He followed the current for 150 miles,
and it seemed to flow steadily towards the heart of the continent. He
thought that its waters must eventually find their way to the sea, and
would, therefore, after a time, flow north to the Indian Ocean. If that
were the case, the river--which the natives called the Barcoo--must be
the largest stream on the northern coast, and he concluded that it was
identical with the Victoria, whose mouth had been discovered about nine
years before by Captain Stokes. He, therefore, provisionally gave it the
name of the Victoria River.


#10. Kennedy.#--On the return of Mitchell, the further
prosecution of exploration in these districts was left to his
assistant-surveyor--Edmund Kennedy--who, having been sent to trace the
course of the supposed Victoria River, followed its banks for 150 miles
below the place where Mitchell had left it. He was then forced to return
through want of provisions; but he had gone far enough, however, to show
that this stream was only the higher part of Cooper's Creek, discovered
not long before by Captain Sturt. This river has a course of about 1,200
miles; and it is, therefore, the largest of Central Australia. But its
waters spread out into the broad marshes of Lake Eyre, and are there
lost by evaporation.

In 1848 Kennedy was sent to explore Cape York Peninsula. He was landed
with a party of twelve men at Rockingham Bay, and, striking inland to
the north-west, travelled towards Cape York, where a small schooner was
to wait for him. The difficulties met by the explorers were immense;
for, in these tropical regions, dense jungles of prickly shrubs impeded
their course and lacerated their flesh, while vast swamps often made
their journey tedious and unexpectedly long. Thinking there was no
necessity for all to endure these hardships, he left eight of his
companions at Weymouth Bay, intending to call for them on his way back
in the schooner. He was courageously pushing through the jungle towards
the north with three men and his black servant Jackey, when one of the
party accidentally received a severe gunshot wound, which made it
impossible for him to proceed. Kennedy was now only a few miles distant
from Cape York; and, leaving the wounded man under the care of the two
remaining whites, he started--accompanied by Jackey--to reach the cape
and obtain assistance from the schooner. They had not gone far, and were
on the banks of the Escape River, when they perceived that their steps
were being closely followed by a tribe of natives, whose swarthy bodies,
from time to time, appeared among the trees. Kennedy now proceeded
warily, keeping watch all around; but a spear, urged by an unseen hand
from among the leaves, suddenly pierced his body from behind, and he
fell. The blacks rushed forward, but Jackey fired, and at the report
they hastily fled. Jackey held up his master's head for a short time,
weeping bitterly. Kennedy knew he was dying, and he gave his faithful
servant instructions as to the papers he was to carry, and the course he
must follow. Not long after this he breathed his last, and Jackey, with
his tomahawk, dug a shallow grave for him in the forest. He spread his
coat and shirt in the hollow, laid the body tenderly upon them, and
covered it with leaves and branches. Then, packing up the journals, he
plunged into the creek, along which he walked, with only his head above
the surface, until he neared the shore. Hastily making for the north,
he reached the cape, where he was taken on board the schooner. This
expedition was one of the most disastrous of the inland explorations.
The wounded man, and the two who had been left with him, were never
afterwards heard of--in all probability they were slaughtered by the
natives; whilst the party of eight, who had been left at Weymouth Bay,
after constant struggles with the natives, had been reduced, by
starvation and disease, to only two ere the expected relief arrived.


#11. Gregory.#--In 1856 A. C. Gregory went in search of Leichardt, and,
thinking he might possibly have reached the north-west coast, took a
small party to Cambridge Gulf. Travelling along the banks of the
Victoria River, he crossed a low range of hills and discovered a stream,
to which he gave the name of "Sturt Creek". By following this, he was
led into a region covered with long ridges of glaring red sand,
resembling those which had baffled Captain Sturt, except that in this
desert there grew the scattered blades of the spinifex grass, which cut
like daggers into the hoofs of the horses. The creek was lost in marshes
and salt lakes, and Gregory was forced to retrace his steps till he
reached the great bend in the Victoria River; then, striking to the
east, he skirted the Gulf of Carpentaria about fifty miles from the
shore; and, after a long journey, arrived at Moreton Bay, but without
any news regarding Leichardt and his party. His expedition, however, had
explored a great extent of country, and had mapped out the courses of
two large rivers--the Victoria and the Roper.




CHAPTER XVIII. - DISCOVERIES IN THE INTERIOR, 1860-1886.


#1. Burke and Wills.#--In the year 1860 a merchant of Melbourne offered
£1,000 for the furtherance of discovery in Australia; the Royal Society
of Victoria undertook to organise an expedition for the purpose of
crossing the continent, and collected subscriptions to the amount of
£3,400; the Victorian Government voted £6,000, and spent an additional
sum of £3,000 in bringing twenty-six camels from Arabia. Under an
energetic committee of the Royal Society, the most complete
arrangements were made. Robert O'Hara Burke was chosen as leader;
Landells was second in command, with special charge of the camels,
for which three Hindoo drivers were also provided; W. J. Wills, an
accomplished young astronomer, was sent to take charge of the costly
instruments and make all the scientific observations. There were two
other scientific men and eleven subordinates, with twenty-eight horses
to assist in transporting the baggage. On the 20th August, 1860, the
long train of laden camels and horses set out from the Royal Park of
Melbourne, Burke heading the procession on a little grey horse. The
mayor made a short speech, wishing him God-speed; the explorers shook
hands with their friends, and, amid the ringing cheers of thousands of
spectators, the long and picturesque line moved forward.

[Illustration: ROBERT O'HARA BURKE.]

The journey, as far as the Murrumbidgee, lay through settled country,
and was without incident; but, on the banks of that river, quarrelling
began among the party, and Burke dismissed the foreman; Landells then
resigned, and Wills was promoted to be second in command. Burke
committed a great error in his choice of a man to take charge of the
camels in place of Landells. On a sheep station he met with a man named
Wright, who made himself very agreeable; the two were soon great
friends, and Burke, whose generosity was unchecked by any prudence,
gave to this utterly unqualified person an important charge in the
expedition.

On leaving the Murrumbidgee they ascended the Darling, till they reached
Menindie--the place from which Sturt had set out sixteen years before.
Here Burke left Wright with half the expedition, intending himself to
push on rapidly, and to be followed up more leisurely by Wright.

Burke and Wills, with six men and half the camels and horses, set off
through a very miserable country--not altogether barren, but covered
with a kind of pea, which poisoned the horses. A rapid journey brought
them to the banks of Cooper's Creek, where they found fine pastures and
plenty of water. Here they formed a depôt and lived for some time,
waiting for Wright, who, however, did not appear. The horses and camels,
by this rest, improved greatly in condition, and the party were in
capital quarters. But Burke grew tired of waiting, and, as he was now
near the centre of Australia, he determined to make a bold dash across
to the Gulf of Carpentaria. He left one of his men, called Brahe, and
three assistants, with six camels and twelve horses, giving them
instructions to remain for three months; and if within that time he did
not return, they might consider him lost, and would then be at liberty
to return to Menindie. On the 16th December Burke and Wills, along with
two men, named King and Gray, started on their perilous journey, taking
with them six camels and one horse, which carried provisions to last for
three months.

[Illustration: WILLIAM JOHN WILLS.]


#2. Rapid Journey to Gulf of Carpentaria.#--They followed the broad
current of Cooper's Creek for some distance, and then struck off to the
north, till they reached a stream, which they called Eyre Creek. From
this they obtained abundant supplies of water, and, therefore, kept
along its banks till it turned to the eastward; then abandoning it, they
marched due north, keeping along the 140th meridian, through forests of
boxwood, alternating with plains well watered and richly covered with
grass. Six weeks after leaving Cooper's Creek they came upon a fine
stream, flowing north, to which they gave the name "Cloncurry," and, by
following its course, they found that it entered a large river, on whose
banks they were delighted to perceive the most luxuriant vegetation and
frequent clusters of palm trees. They felt certain that its waters
flowed into the Gulf of Carpentaria, and therefore, by keeping close to
it, they had nothing to fear. But they had brought only three months'
provisions with them; more than half of that time had now elapsed, and
they were still 150 miles from the sea. Burke now lost no time, but
hurried on so fast that, one after another, the camels sank exhausted;
and, when they had all succumbed, Burke and Wills took their only horse
to carry a small quantity of provisions, and, leaving Gray and King
behind, set out by themselves on foot. They had to cross several patches
of swampy ground; and the horse, becoming inextricably bogged, was
unable to go farther. But still Burke and Wills hurried on by themselves
till they reached a narrow inlet on the Gulf of Carpentaria, and found
that the river they had been following was the Flinders, whose mouth had
been discovered by Captain Stokes in 1842. They were very anxious to
view the open sea; but this would have required another couple of days,
and their provisions were already exhausted; they were, therefore,
obliged to hasten back as quickly as possible. The pangs of hunger
overtook them before they could reach the place where King and Gray had
remained with the provisions. Burke killed a snake, and ate a part of
it, but he felt very ill immediately after; and when, at length, they
reached the provisions, he was not able to go forward so quickly as it
was necessary to do, if they wished to be safe. However, they recovered
the horse and camels, which had been greatly refreshed by their rest;
and, by taking easy stages, they managed to move south towards home. But
their hurried journey to the north, in which they had traversed, beneath
a tropical sun, about 140 miles every week, had told severely on their
constitutions; Gray became ill, and it was now necessary to be so
careful with the provisions that he had little chance of regaining his
lost strength. One evening, after they had come to a halt, he was found
sitting behind a tree, eating a little mixture he had made for himself
of flour and water. Burke said he was stealing the provisions, fell upon
him, and gave him a severe thrashing. He seems after this never to have
rallied; whilst the party moved forward he was slowly sinking. Towards
the end of March their provisions began to fail; they killed a camel,
dried its flesh, and then went forward. At the beginning of April this
was gone, and they killed their horse. Gray now lay down, saying he
could not go on; Burke said he was "shamming," and left him. However,
the gentler counsel of Wills prevailed; they returned and brought him
forward. But he could only go a little farther; the poor fellow breathed
his last a day or two after, and was buried in the wilderness. Burke now
regretted his harshness, all the more as he himself was quickly sinking.
All three, indeed, were utterly worn out; they were thin and haggard,
and so weak that they tottered rather than walked along. The last few
miles were very, very weary; but, at last, on the 21st of April, they
came in sight of the depôt, four months and a half after leaving it.
Great was their alarm on seeing no sign of people about the place; and,
as they staggered forward to the spot at sunset, their hearts sank
within them when they saw a notice, stating that Brahe had left that
very morning. He would be then only seven hours' march away. The three
men looked at one another in blank dismay; but they were so worn out
that they could not possibly move forward with any hope of overtaking
the fresh camels of Brahe's party. On looking round, however, they saw
the word "dig" cut on a neighbouring tree; and, when they turned up the
soil, they found a small supply of provisions.

Brahe had remained a month and a half longer than he had been told to
wait; and as his own provisions were fast diminishing, and there seemed,
as yet, to be no signs of Wright with the remainder of the expedition,
he thought it unsafe to delay his return any longer. This man Wright was
the cause of all the disasters that ensued. Instead of following closely
on Burke, he had loitered at Menindie for no less than three months and
one week, amusing himself with his friends; and, when he did set out, he
took things so leisurely that Brahe was half-way back to the Darling
before they met.


#3. Sufferings.#--On the evening when they entered the depôt, Burke,
Wills, and King made a hearty supper; then, for a couple of days, they
stretched their stiff and weary limbs at rest. But inaction was
dangerous, for, even with the greatest expedition, their provisions
would only serve to take them safely to the Darling. They now began to
deliberate as to their future course. Burke wished to go to Adelaide,
because, at Mount Hopeless--where Eyre had been forced to turn back in
1840--there was now a large sheep station, and he thought it could not
be more than 150 miles away. Wills was strongly averse to this proposal.
"It is true," he said, "Menindie is 350 miles away, but then we know the
road, and are sure of water all the way." But Burke was not to be
persuaded, and they set out for Mount Hopeless. Following Cooper's Creek
for many miles, they entered a region of frightful barrenness. Here, as
one of the camels became too weak to go farther, they were forced to
kill it and to dry its flesh. Still they followed the creek, till at
last it spread itself into marshy thickets and was lost; they then made
a halt, and found they had scarcely any provisions left, while their
clothes were rotten and falling to pieces. Their only chance was to
reach Mount Hopeless speedily; they shot their last camel, and, whilst
Burke and King were drying its flesh, Wills struck out to find Mount
Hopeless; but no one knew which way to look for it, and Wills, after
laboriously traversing the dry and barren wastes in all directions, came
back unsuccessful. A short rest was taken, and then the whole party
turned southward, determined this time to reach the mount. But they were
too weak to travel fast; day after day over these dreary plains, and
still no sign of a hill; till at length, when they were within fifty
miles of Mount Hopeless, they gave in. Had they only gone but a little
farther, they would have seen the summit of the mountain rising upon the
horizon; but just at this point they lost hope and turned to go back.
After a weary journey, they once more reached the fresh water and the
grassy banks of Cooper's Creek, but now with provisions for only a day
or two. They sat down to consider their position, and Burke said he had
heard that the natives of Cooper's Creek lived chiefly on the seed of a
plant which they called nardoo; so that, if they could only find a
native tribe, they might, perhaps, learn to find sufficient subsistence
from the soil around them. Accordingly, Burke and King set out to seek a
native encampment; and, having found one, they were kindly received by
the blacks, who very willingly showed them how to gather the little
black seeds from a kind of grass which grows close to the ground.

With this information they returned to Wills; and, as the nardoo seed
was abundant, they began at once to gather it; but they found that,
through want of skill, they could scarcely obtain enough for two meals a
day by working from morning till night; and, when evening came, they had
to clean, roast, and grind it; and, besides this, whatever it might have
been to the blacks, to them it was by no means nutritious--it made them
sick, and gave them no strength.

Whilst they were thus dwelling on the lower part of Cooper's Creek,
several miles away from the depôt, Brahe had returned to find them and
bring them relief. On his way home he had met with Wright leisurely
coming up, and had hastened back with him to the depôt; but when
they reached it they saw no signs of Burke and Wills, although the
unfortunate explorers had been there only a few days before. Brahe,
therefore, concluded that they were dead, and once more set out for
home. Meanwhile Burke thought it possible that a relief party might in
this way have reached the creek, and Wills volunteered to go to the
depôt to see if any one was there. He set out by himself, and after
journeying three or four days reached the place; but only to find it
still and deserted. He examined it carefully, but could see no trace of
its having been recently visited; there could be no advantage in
remaining, and he turned back to share the doom of his companions. He
now began to endure fearful pangs from hunger. One evening he entered an
encampment that had just been abandoned by the natives, and around the
fire there were some fish bones, which he greedily picked. Next day he
saw two small fish floating dead upon a pool, and they made a delicious
feast; but, in spite of these stray morsels, he was rapidly sinking from
hunger, when suddenly he was met by a native tribe. The black men were
exceedingly kind; one carried his bundle for him, another supported his
feeble frame, and gently they led the gaunt and emaciated white man to
their camp. They made him sit down and gave him a little food. Whilst he
was eating he saw a great quantity of fish on the fire. For a few
minutes he wondered if all these could possibly be for him, till at
length they were cooked and the plentiful repast was placed before him.
The natives then gathered round and clapped their hands with delight
when they saw him eat heartily. He stayed with them for four days, and
then set out to bring his friends to enjoy likewise this simple
hospitality. It took him some days to reach the place where he had left
them; but when they heard his good news they lost no time in seeking
their native benefactors. Yet, on account of their weakness, they
travelled very slowly, and when they reached the encampment it was
deserted. They had no idea whither the natives had gone. They struggled
a short distance farther; their feebleness overcame them, and they were
forced to sink down in despair. All day they toiled hard to prepare
nardoo seed; but their small strength could not provide enough to
support them. Once or twice they shot a crow, but such slight repasts
served only to prolong their sufferings. Wills, throughout all his
journeyings, had kept a diary, but now the entries became very short; in
the struggle for life there was no time for such duties, and the grim
fight with starvation required all their strength.

At this time Wills records that he cannot understand why his legs are so
weak; he has bathed them in the stream, but finds them no better, and he
can hardly crawl out of the hut. His next entry is, that unless relief
comes shortly he cannot last more than a fortnight. After this his mind
seems to have begun to wander; he makes frequent and unusual blunders in
his diary. The last words he wrote were that he was waiting, like Mr.
Micawber, for something to turn up, and that, though starving on nardoo
seed was by no means unpleasant, yet he would prefer to have a little
fat and sugar mixed with it.


#4. Death of Burke and Wills.#--Burke now thought that their only chance
was to find the blacks, and proposed that he and King should set out for
that purpose. They were very loath to leave Wills, but, under the
circumstances, no other course was possible. They laid him softly within
the hut, and placed at his head enough of nardoo to last him for eight
days. Wills asked Burke to take his watch, and a letter he had written
for his father; the two men pressed his hands, smoothed his couch
tenderly for the last time, and set out. There, in the utter silence of
the wilderness, the dying man lay for a day or two: no ear heard his
last sigh, but his end was as gentle as his life had been free from
reproach.

Burke and King walked out on their desperate errand. On the first day
they traversed a fair distance; but, on the second, they had not
proceeded two miles when Burke lay down, saying he could go no farther.
King entreated him to make another effort, and so he dragged himself to
a little clump of bushes, where he stretched his limbs very wearily. An
hour or two afterwards he was stiff and unable to move. He asked King to
take his watch and pocket-book, and, if possible, to give them to his
friends in Melbourne; then he begged of him not to depart till he was
quite dead: he knew he should not live long, and he should like some one
to be near him to the last. He spoke with difficulty, but directed King
not to bury him, but to let him lie above the ground, with a pistol in
his right hand. They passed a weary and lonesome night; and in the
morning, at eight o'clock, Burke's restless life was ended. King
wandered for some time forlorn, but, by good fortune, he stumbled upon
an abandoned encampment, where, by neglect, the blacks had left a bag of
nardoo, sufficient to last him a fortnight; and, with this, he hastened
back to the hut where Wills had been laid. All he could do now, however,
was to dig a grave for his body in the sand, and, having performed that
last sad duty, he set out once more on his search, and found a tribe,
differing from that which he had already seen. They were very kind, but
not anxious to keep him, until, having shot some birds and cured their
chief of a malady, he was found to be of some use, and soon became a
great favourite with them. They made a trip to the body of Burke, but,
respecting his last wishes, they did not seek to bury it, and merely
covered it gently with a layer of leafy boughs.


#5. Relief Parties.#--When Wright and Brahe returned to Victoria with the
news that, though it was more than five months since Burke and Wills had
left Cooper's Creek, there were no signs of them at the depôt, all the
colonies showed their solicitude by organising parties to go to the
relief of the explorers, if, perchance, they should be still alive.
Victoria was the first in the field, and the Royal Society equipped a
small party, under Mr. A. W. Howitt, to examine the banks of Cooper's
Creek. Queensland offered five hundred pounds to assist in the search,
and with this sum, an expedition was sent to examine the Gulf of
Carpentaria. Landsborough, its leader, was conveyed in the Victoria
steamer to the gulf, and followed the Albert almost to its source, in
hopes that Burke and Wills might be dwelling with the natives on that
stream. Walker was sent to cross from Rockhampton to the Gulf of
Carpentaria; he succeeded in reaching the Flinders River, where Burke
and Wills had been; but, of course, he saw nothing of them. M'Kinlay was
sent by South Australia to advance in the direction of Lake Torrens and
reach Cooper's Creek. These various expeditions were all eager in
prosecuting the search, but it was to Mr. Howitt's party that success
fell. In following the course of Cooper's Creek downward from the depôt
he saw the tracks of camels, and by these he was led to the district in
which Burke and Wills had died.

Several natives, whom he met, brought him to the place where, beneath a
native hut, King was sitting, pale, haggard, and wasted to a shadow. He
was so weak that it was with difficulty Howitt could catch the feeble
whispers that fell from his lips; but a day or two of European food
served slightly to restore his strength. Howitt then proceeded to the
spot where the body of Wills was lying partly buried, and, after reading
over it a short service, he interred it decently. Then he sought the
thicket where the bones of Burke lay with the rusted pistol beside them,
and, having wrapped a union jack around them, he dug a grave for them
hard by.

Three days later the blacks were summoned, and their eyes brightened at
the sight of knives, tomahawks, necklaces, looking-glasses, and so
forth, which were bestowed upon them in return for their kindness to
King. Gay pieces of ribbon were fastened round the black heads of the
children, and the whole tribe moved away rejoicing in the possession of
fifty pounds of sugar, which had been divided among them.

When Howitt and King returned, and the sad story of the expedition was
related, the Victorian Government sent a party to bring the remains of
Burke and Wills to Melbourne, where they received the melancholy honours
of a public funeral amid the general mourning of the whole colony. In
after years, a statue was raised to perpetuate their heroism and testify
to the esteem with which the nation regarded their memory.


#6. M'Douall Stuart.#--Burke and Wills were the first who ever crossed
the Australian Continent; but, for several years before they set out,
another traveller had, with wonderful perseverance, repeatedly attempted
this feat. John M'Douall Stuart had served as draughtsman in Sturt's
expedition to the Stony Desert, and he had been well trained in that
school of adversity and sufferings. He was employed, in 1859, by a
number of squatters, who wished him to explore for them new lands in
South Australia, and having found a passage between Lake Eyre and Lake
Torrens, he discovered, beyond the deserts which had so much
disheartened Eyre, a broad district of fine pastoral land.

Next year the South Australian Government offered £2,000 as a reward to
the first person who should succeed in crossing Australia from south to
north; and Stuart set out from Adelaide to attempt the exploit. With
only two men he travelled to the north, towards Van Diemen's Gulf, and
penetrated much farther than Sturt had done in 1844. Indeed, he was only
400 miles from the other side of Australia, when the hostility of the
blacks forced him to return: he succeeded, however, in planting a flag
in the centre of the continent, at a place called by him Central Mount
Stuart. Next year he was again in the field, and following exactly the
same course, approached very near to Van Diemen's Gulf; being no more
than 250 miles distant from its shores, when want of provisions forced
him once more to return. The report of this expedition was sent to Burke
and Wills, just before they set out from Cooper's Creek on their fatal
trip to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

It was not until the following year, 1862, that Stuart succeeded in his
purpose. He had the perseverance to start a third time, and follow his
former route; and on this occasion he was successful in reaching Van
Diemen's Gulf, and returned safely, after having endured many sufferings
and hardships.

His triumphal entry into Adelaide took place on the very day when
Howitt's mournful party entered that city, bearing the remains of Burke
and Wills, on their way to Melbourne. Stuart then learnt that these
brave explorers had anticipated him in crossing the continent, for they
had reached the Gulf of Carpentaria in February, 1861; whilst he did not
arrive at Van Diemen's Gulf until July, 1862. However, Stuart had shown
so great a courage, and had been twice before so near the completion of
his task, that every one was pleased when the South Australian
Government gave him the well-merited reward.


#7. Warburton.#--In a subsequent chapter it will be told how a line of
telegraph was, in 1872, constructed along the track followed by Stuart;
and as the stations connected with this line are numerous, it is now an
easy matter to cross the continent from south to north. But in recent
years a desire has arisen among the adventurous to journey overland from
east to west. Warburton, in 1873, made a successful trip of this kind.
With his son, two men, and two Afghans to act as drivers of his
seventeen camels, he started from Alice Springs, a station on the
telegraph line close to the tropic of Capricorn.

The country immediately round Alice Springs was very beautiful, but a
journey of only a few days served to bring the expedition into a dry and
barren plain, so desolate that Warburton declared it could never be
traversed without the assistance of camels. After travelling about four
hundred miles, he reached those formidable ridges of fiery red sand in
which the waters of Sturt's Creek are lost, and where A. C. Gregory was
in 1856 compelled to turn back. In traversing this district, the party
suffered many hardships; only two out of seventeen camels survived, and
the men were themselves frequently on the verge of destruction. It was
only by exercising the greatest care and prudence that Warburton
succeeded in bringing his party to the Oakover River, on the north-west
coast, and when he arrived once more in Adelaide it was found that he
had completely lost the sight of one eye.


#8. Giles and Forrest.#--Towards the close of the same year, 1873, a young
Victorian named Giles started on a similar trip, intending to cross from
the middle of the telegraph line to West Australia. He held his course
courageously to the west, but the country was of such appalling
barrenness that, after penetrating half-way to the western coast, he
was forced to abandon the attempt and return. But when three years
afterwards he renewed his efforts, he succeeded, after suffering much
and making long marches without water. He had more than one encounter
with the natives, but he had the satisfaction of crossing from the
telegraph line to the West Australian coast, through country never
before traversed by the foot of civilised man. In 1874 this region
was successfully crossed by Forrest, a Government surveyor of West
Australia, who started from Geraldton, to the south of Shark Bay, and,
after a journey of twelve hundred miles almost due east, succeeded in
reaching the telegraph line. His entry into Adelaide was like a
triumphal march, so great were the crowds that went out to escort him to
the city. Forrest was then a young man, but a most skilful and sagacious
traveller. Lightly equipped, and accompanied by only one or two
companions, he has on several occasions performed long journeys through
the most formidable country with a celerity and success that are indeed
surprising.

His brother, Alexander Forrest, and a long list of bold and skilful
bushmen, have succeeded in traversing the continent in every direction.
It is not all desert. They have found fine tracts of land in the course
of their journeys. Indeed, more than half of the recently explored
regions are suitable for sheep and cattle, but there are other great
districts which are miserable and forbidding. However, thanks to the
heroic men whose names have been mentioned, and to such others as the
Jardine Brothers, Ernest Favenc, Gosse, and the Baron von Mueller,
almost the whole of Australia is now explored. Only a small part of
South Australia and the central part of West Australia remain unknown.
We all of us owe a great debt of gratitude to the men who endured so
much to make known to the world the capabilities of our continent.




CHAPTER XIX. - TASMANIA, 1837-1890.


#1. Governor Franklin.#--Sir John Franklin, the great Arctic explorer,
arrived in 1837 to assume the Governorship of Tasmania. He had been a
midshipman, under Flinders, during the survey of the Australian coasts,
and for many years had been engaged in the British Navy in the cause of
science. He now expected to enjoy, as Governor of a small colony, that
ease and retirement which he had so laboriously earned. But his hopes
were doomed to disappointment. Although his bluff and hearty manner
secured to him the good-will of the people, yet censures on his
administration were both frequent and severe; for during his rule
commenced that astonishing decline of the colony which continued, with
scarcely any interruption, for nearly thirty years.

[Illustration: SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.]


#2. Flood of Convicts.#--After the cessation of transportation to New
South Wales, in 1840, hopes were entertained that Tasmania would
likewise cease to be a penal settlement; and, under this impression,
great numbers of immigrants arrived in the colony. But, ere long, it
became known that Tasmania was not only to continue, as before, a
receptacle for British felons, but was, in fact, to be made the _only_
convict settlement, and was destined to receive the full stream of
criminals, that had formerly been distributed over several colonies.
The result was immediately disastrous to the free settlers, for convict
labour could be obtained at very little cost, and wages therefore fell
to a rate so miserable that free labourers, not being able to earn
enough for the support of their families, were forced to leave the
island. Thus, in 1844, whilst the arrival of energetic and hard-working
immigrants was adding greatly to the prosperity of the other colonies,
Tasmania was losing its free population, and was sinking more and more
into the degraded position of a mere convict station.

Lord Stanley, the British Colonial Secretary, in 1842, proposed a new
plan for the treatment of convicts, according to which they were to pass
through various stages, from a condition of absolute confinement to one
of comparative freedom; and, again, instead of being all collected into
one town, it was arranged that they should be scattered throughout the
colony in small gangs. By this system it was intended that the prisoners
should pass through several periods of probation before they were set at
liberty; and it was, therefore, called the Probation Scheme. The great
objection to it was that the men could scarcely be superintended with
due precaution when they were scattered in so many separate groups, and
many of them escaped, either to the bush or to the adjacent colonies.


#3. Franklin's Difficulties.#--The feelings of personal respect with which
the people of Van Diemen's Land regarded Sir John Franklin were greatly
increased by the amiable and high-spirited character of his wife. Lady
Franklin possessed, in her own right, a large private fortune, which she
employed in the most generous and kindly manner; her counsel and her
wealth were ever ready to promote prosperity and alleviate sufferings.
And yet, in spite of all this personal esteem, the experience of the new
Governor among the colonists was far from being agreeable.

Before the arrival of Sir John Franklin, two nephews of Governor Arthur
had been raised to very high positions. One of them, Mr. Montagu, was
the Chief Secretary. During his uncle's government he had contrived to
appropriate to himself so great a share of power that Franklin, on
assuming office, was forced to occupy quite a secondary position. By
some of the colonists the Governor was blamed for permitting the
arbitrary acts of the Chief Secretary; while, on the other hand, he was
bitterly denounced as an intermeddler by the numerous friends of the
ambitious Montagu, who, himself, lost no opportunity of bringing the
Governor's authority into contempt. At length Montagu went so far as to
write him a letter containing--amid biting-sarcasm and mock courtesy--a
statement equivalent to a charge of falsehood. In consequence of this he
was dismissed; but Sir John Franklin, who considered Montagu to be a
man of ability, magnanimously gave him a letter to Lord Stanley,
recommending him for employment in some other important position. This
letter, being conveyed to Lord Stanley, was adduced by Montagu as a
confession from the Governor of the superior ability and special fitness
of the Chief Secretary for his post. Lord Stanley ordered his salary to
be paid from the date of his dismissal; and Franklin, shortly after this
insult to his authority, suddenly found himself superseded by Sir
Eardley Wilmot, without having received the previous notice which, as a
matter of courtesy, he might have expected. In 1843 he returned to
England, followed by the regrets of nearly all the Tasmanians.

Two years afterwards he sailed with the ships _Erebus_ and _Terror_ to
search for a passage into the Pacific Ocean through the Arctic regions
of North America. He entered the ice-bound regions of the north, and for
many years no intelligence regarding his fate could be obtained. Lady
Franklin prosecuted the search with a wife's devotion, long after others
had given up hope; and, at last, the discovery of some papers and ruined
huts proved that the whole party had perished in those frozen wastes.


#4. Governor Wilmot.#--Sir Eardley Wilmot had gained distinction as a
debater in the British Parliament. Like Governors Bligh and Gipps, in
New South Wales, Wilmot found that to govern at the same time a convict
population and a colony of free settlers was a most ungrateful task. A
large proportion of the convicts, after being liberated, renewed their
former courses: police had to be employed to watch them, judges and
courts appointed to try them, gaols built to receive them, and
provisions supplied to maintain them. If a prisoner was arrested and
again convicted for a crime committed in Tasmania, then the colony was
obliged to bear all the expense of supporting him, and amid so large a
population of criminals these expenses became intolerably burdensome. It
is true that colonists had to some extent a compensating advantage in
receiving, free of charge, a plentiful supply of convict labour for
their public works. But when Lord Stanley ordered that they should in
future pay for all such labour received, they loudly complained of their
grievances. "Was it not enough," they asked, "to send out the felons of
Great Britain to become Tasmanian bushrangers, without forcing the free
settlers to feed and clothe them throughout their lives, after the
completion of their original sentences?" To all such remonstrances Lord
Stanley's answer was that Tasmania had always been a convict colony; and
that the free settlers had no right to expect that their interests would
be specially consulted in the management of its affairs. Sir Eardley
Wilmot found it impossible to obtain the large sums required for the
maintenance of the necessary police and gaols, and he proposed to the
Legislative Council to borrow money for this purpose. Those of the
Council who were Government officials were afraid to vote in opposition
to the wishes of the Governor, who, therefore, had a majority at his
command. But the other members, six in number, denounced the proposed
scheme as injurious to the colony; and when they found that the Governor
was determined to carry it out, they all resigned their seats. For this
action they were honoured with the title of the "Patriotic Six".

About this time Mr. Gladstone succeeded Lord Stanley in England as the
Secretary of State for the Colonies; and as he had shortly afterwards to
complain that, in reporting on these and other important matters, Sir
Eardley had sent home vague statements for the purpose of deceiving the
Imperial authorities, the Governor was recalled. But he was destined
never to leave the scene of his troubles; for, two or three months after
his recall, he became ill and died in the colony.


#5. Denison and the Transportation Question.#--On the arrival of the
next Governor, Sir William Denison, in 1847, the Queen reinstated the
"Patriotic Six"; and the colonists, encouraged by this concession,
vigorously set to work to obtain their two great desires--namely,
government by elective parliaments, and the abolition of transportation.
It was found that, between the years 1846 and 1850, more than 25,000
convicts had been brought into Tasmania; free immigration had ceased,
and the number of convicts in the colony was nearly double the number of
free men. In all parts of the world, if it became known that a man had
come from Tasmania, he was looked upon with the utmost distrust and
suspicion, and was shunned as contaminated. On behalf of the colonists,
a gentleman named M'Lachlan went to London for the purpose of laying
before Mr. Gladstone the grievances under which they suffered; at the
same time, within the colony, Mr. Pitcairn strenuously exerted himself
to prepare petitions against transportation, and to forward them to the
Imperial authorities. These representations were favourably entertained,
and, in a short time, Sir W. Denison received orders to inquire
whether it was the unanimous desire of the people of Tasmania that
transportation should cease entirely. The question was put to all the
magistrates of the colony, who submitted it to the people in public
meetings. The discussion was warm, and party feeling ran high. There
were some who had been benefited by the trade and the English subsidies
which convicts brought to the colony, and there were others who desired,
at all hazards, to retain the cheap labour of the liberated convicts.
These exerted themselves to maintain the system of transportation; but
the great body of the people were determined on its abolition, and the
answer returned by every meeting expressed the same unhesitating
sentiment--Transportation ought to be abolished entirely. Accordingly,
it was not long before the Tasmanians were informed by the Governor that
transportation should, in a short time, be discontinued. But Earl Grey
was now preparing another scheme for the treatment of convicts: they
were to be kept for a time in English prisons; after they had served a
part of their sentence, if they had been well conducted, the British
Government would take them out to the colonies and land them there as
free men, so as to give them a chance of starting an honourable career
in a new country. It was a scheme of kind intention for the reformation
of criminals that were not utterly bad, while the English Government
would keep all the worst prisoners at home under lock and key. But the
colonies had no desire to receive even the better half of the prisoners.
They were afraid that cunning criminals would sham a great deal of
reformation in order to be set free, and would then revert to their
former ways whenever they were let loose in the colonies. But Earl Grey
was resolved to give the criminal a fair chance. Ships filled with
convicts were sent out to the various colonies, but the prisoners were
not allowed to land. In 1849 the _Randolph_ appeared at Port Phillip
Heads; but the people of Melbourne forbade the captain to enter. He paid
no attention to the order, and sailed up the bay to Williamstown. But
when he was preparing to land the convicts, he perceived among the
colonists signs of resistance so stern and resolute that he was glad to
take the advice of Mr. Latrobe and sail for Sydney. But in Sydney also
the arrival of the convicts was viewed with the most intense disgust.
The inhabitants held a meeting on the Circular Quay, in which they
protested very vigorously against the renewal of transportation to New
South Wales. West Australia alone accepted its share of the convicts;
and we have seen how the reputation of that colony suffered in
consequence.


#6. The Anti-Transportation League.#--The vigorous protest of the other
colonies had procured their immunity from this evil in its direct form;
but many of the "ticket-of-leave men" found their way to Victoria and
New South Wales, which were, therefore, all the more inclined to
assist Tasmania in likewise throwing off the burden. A grand
Anti-Transportation League was formed in 1851; and the inhabitants
of all the colonies banded themselves together to induce the Home
Government to emancipate Tasmania. Immediately after this, the discovery
of gold greatly assisted the efforts of the league, because the British
Government perceived that prisoners could never be confined in Tasmania,
when, by escaping from the colony, and mixing with the crowds on the
goldfields, they might not only escape notice but also make their
fortunes; and there was now reason to suppose that banishment to
Australia would be rather sought than shunned by the thieves and
criminals of England.


#7. End of Transportation.#--In 1850 Tasmania, like the other colonies,
received its Legislative Council; and when the people proceeded to elect
_their_ share of the members, no candidate had the slightest hope of
success who was not an adherent of the Anti-Transportation League.
After this new and unmistakable expression of opinion, the English
authorities no longer hesitated, and the new Secretary of State, the
Duke of Newcastle, directed that, from the year 1853, transportation to
Tasmania should cease.

Up to this time the island had been called Van Diemen's Land. But the
name was now so intimately associated with ideas of crime and villainy,
that it was gladly abandoned by the colonists, who adopted, from the
name of its discoverer, the present title of the colony.

Sir Henry Young, formerly Governor of South Australia, was appointed to
Tasmania in 1855, and held office till 1861. During this period
responsible government was introduced. When the Legislative Council
undertook the task of drawing up the new Constitution, it was arranged
that the nominee element, which had now become extremely distasteful,
should be entirely abolished, and that both of the legislative bodies
should be elected by the people.

After Sir Henry Young, the next three Governors were Colonel Browne, Mr.
Du Cane, and Mr. Weld--all men of ability, and very popular among the
Tasmanians. After the initiation of responsible government in 1856,
various reforms were introduced. By a very liberal Land Act of 1863,
inducements were offered to industrious men to become farmers in the
colony. For the purpose of opening up the country by means of railways,
great facilities were given to companies who undertook to construct
lines through the country districts; and active search was made for gold
and other metals. But, in spite of these reforms, the population was
steadily decreasing, owing to the attractions of the gold-producing
colonies. No great amount of land was occupied for farming purposes, and
even the squatters on the island were contented with smaller runs than
those in the other colonies. They reared stock on the English system,
and their domains were sheep-farms rather than stations. Indeed, the
whole of Tasmania wore rather the quiet aspect of rural England than the
bustling appearance of an Australian colony. But the efforts to throw
off the taint of convictism were crowned with marked success; and, from
being a gaol for the worst of criminals, Tasmania has become one of the
most moral and respectable of the colonies.

Of late years Tasmania has made great advances. Her population has risen
to about 150,000, and her resources have been enormously increased by
the rapid development of her mineral enterprise. Tin mines of great
value are now widely spread over the west of the island, and gold mines
of promising appearance are giving employment to many persons who
formerly could find little to do. There is room for a very great further
development of the resources of Tasmania; but the colony is now on the
right track, and her future is certain to be prosperous.

[Illustration: QUEEN TRUGANINA, THE LAST OF THE TASMANIANS.]

The Tasmanian natives were of a different type from those of Australia,
having more of the negro in them. They were even ruder and less advanced
in their habits, although not without qualities of simplicity and
good-humour that were attractive. When white men first landed in their
island there were about 7,000 of them roving through the forest and
living upon opossums. But by the year 1869 all were gone but a man and
three women. In that year, the man died, and one by one the women
disappeared, till at last with the death of Truganina in 1877 the race
became extinct.




CHAPTER XX. - SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 1850-1890.


#1. Temporary Decline.#--In 1851 the prosperity of South Australia was
somewhat dimmed by the discovery of gold in Victoria; for, before the
middle of the following year, the colony was deserted by a very large
proportion of its male inhabitants. The copper mines were with
difficulty worked, for want of men; the fields were uncultivated, the
sheep untended, and the colony experienced a short period of rapid
decline. However, the results obtained on the goldfields by most of
these fortune-seekers were hardly to be compared with the steady yield
of the fertile cornfields and rich copper mines of South Australia; and
the majority of those who had thus abandoned the colony returned in a
short time to their families and their former employments.

Governor Young adroitly turned the discovery of gold to the advantage of
his own colony by establishing an escort between Bendigo and Adelaide;
and, as this was remarkably well equipped, many of the diggers sent
their gold by this route rather than to Melbourne, thus giving to South
Australia some of the advantages of a gold-producing country. The crowds
of people rushing to the goldfields had carried with them nearly all the
coins of the colony; and the banks, although they had plenty of rough
gold, were yet unable, from scarcity of coined money, to meet the
demands upon them. In this emergency, Sir Henry Young took the extreme
and somewhat illegal step of instituting a new currency, consisting of
gold cast into small bars or ingots; and, although afterwards mildly
censured by the Home Government for exceeding his powers, yet he could
justly assert that this measure had saved the colony from serious
commercial disaster.

But South Australia was still more benefited by the great market opened
for its flour and wheat among the vast crowds on the goldfields; and,
when the first period of excitement was over, it was found that the
colony was, at any rate, not a loser by the success of its neighbours.


#2. The Real Property Act.#--In 1858 South Australia took the lead in a
reform which is now being adopted by nearly all the civilised nations of
the world. According to English law, each time an estate was transferred
from one person to another, a deed had to be made out for the purpose;
and if changes in its ownership had been frequent, it would be held by
the last purchaser in virtue of a long series of documents. Now, if any
one wished to buy a piece of land, he was obliged for safety to examine
all the preceding deeds in order to be quite certain that they were
valid; even then, if he bought the land, and another person, for any
reason whatever, laid claim to it, the owner had to prove the validity
of each of a long series of documents, going back, perhaps, for
centuries. A flaw in any one of these would give rise to a contest which
could be settled only after a very tedious investigation; and thus arose
the long and ruinous Chancery suits which were the disgrace of English
law. When a man's title to his estate was disputed, it often happened
that he had to spend a fortune and waste half a lifetime in protracted
litigation before all the antecedent deeds could be proved correct.

Mr. R. Torrens had his attention drawn to this very unsatisfactory state
of things by the ruin of one of his relatives in a Chancery suit. He
thought long and carefully over a scheme to prevent the occurrence of
such injustice, and drafted a bill for a new method of transferring
property. He proposed to lay this before the South Australian
Parliament, but his friends discouraged him by declaring it was
impossible to make so sweeping a change; and the lawyers actively
opposed any innovation. But Torrens brought forward the bill; its
simplicity and justice commended themselves to the people and to the
House of Assembly, and it was carried by a large majority. According to
the new scheme, all transferences of land were to be registered in a
public office called the Lands Titles Office, the purchaser's name was
to be recorded, and a certificate of title given to him; after this
his right to the property was indisputable. If his possession was
challenged, he had simply to go to the Lands Titles Office and produce
his certificate to the officer in charge, who could turn to the register
and at once decide the question of ownership. After this, no dispute was
possible. If he sold his land, his name was cancelled in the public
register, and the buyer's name was inserted instead, when he became
the undisputed owner. Mr. Torrens was appointed to be registrar of the
office, and soon made the new system a great success; it was adopted
one after another in all the colonies of Australia, and must become
eventually the law of all progressive nations.


#3. The Northern Territory.#--In 1864 the Northern Territory was added
to the dominion of South Australia, and from Adelaide an expedition was
despatched by sea to the shores of Van Diemen's Gulf, in order to form a
new settlement. After many difficulties, caused chiefly by the disputes
between the first Government Resident, or Superintendent, and the
officers under him, a branch colony was successfully founded at Port
Darwin, opposite to Melville Island. This settlement has become a
prosperous one: all the fruits and grains of tropical countries flourish
and thrive to perfection; gold has been discovered; and it is asserted
that there exist in the neighbourhood rich mines of other metals, which
will, in the future, yield great wealth, while the stations that are now
being formed are peculiarly favourable to the rearing of cattle and of
horses. Yet the number of people who settle there continues small on
account of the very hot climate; Palmerston, the capital, is as yet a
town of only a few hundred inhabitants, and all the really hard work of
the district is done by Chinese.


#4. Overland Telegraph.#--In a previous chapter it has been described how
M'Douall Stuart, after two unsuccessful efforts, managed to cross the
continent from Adelaide to Van Diemen's Gulf. Along the route which he
then took, the people of South Australia resolved to construct a
telegraph line. A gentleman named Charles Todd had frequently urged the
desirability of such a line, and in 1869 his representations led to the
formation of the British Australian Telegraph Company, which engaged to
lay a submarine cable from Singapore to Van Diemen's Gulf, whilst the
South Australian Government pledged itself to connect Port Darwin with
Adelaide by an overland line, and undertook to have the work finished by
the 1st of January, 1872. Mr. Todd was appointed superintendent, and
divided the whole length into three sections, reserving the central
portion for his own immediate direction, and entrusting the sections at
the two ends to contractors. It was a daring undertaking for so young a
colony. For thirteen hundred miles the line would have to be carried
through country which never before had been traversed by any white men
but Stuart's party. Great tracts of this land were utterly destitute of
trees, and all the posts required for the line had to be carted through
rocky deserts and over treacherous sand-hills. Todd had, with wonderful
skill and energy, completed his difficult portion of the task, and the
part nearest to Adelaide had also been finished before the time agreed
upon; but it fared differently with those who had undertaken to
construct the northern section. Their horses died, their provisions
failed, and the whole attempt proved a miserable collapse. The
Government sent a party to the north, in order to make a fresh effort.
Wells were dug, at intervals, along the route, and great teams of
bullocks were employed to carry the necessary provisions and materials
to the stations; and yet, in spite of every precaution, the result was a
failure. Meanwhile the cable had been laid, and the first message sent
from Port Darwin to England announced that the overland telegraph was
not nearly finished. The 1st of January, 1872, being now close at hand,
Mr. Todd was hastily sent to complete the work. But the time agreed upon
had expired before he had even made a commencement, and the company
threatened to sue the South Australian Government for damages, on
account of the losses sustained by its failure to perform its share of
the contract. For the next eight months the work was energetically
carried forward; Mr. Todd rode all along the line to see that its
construction was satisfactory throughout. He was at Central Mount Stuart
in the month of August, when the two ends of the wire were joined, and
the first telegraphic message flashed across the Australian Continent.
But, meantime, a flaw had occurred in the submarine cable, and it was
not until October that communication was established with England. On
the second day of that month, the Lord Mayor of London, standing at one
end of the line, sent his hearty congratulations through twelve thousand
five hundred miles of wire to the Mayor of Adelaide, who conversed
with him at the other extremity. The whole work was undertaken and
accomplished within two years; and already not only South Australia,
but all the colonies, are reaping the greatest benefits from this
enterprising effort. Another undertaking of a similar character has been
completed by the efforts of both South and West Australia; along the
barren coast on which Eyre so nearly perished there stretches a long
line of posts, which carries a telegraph wire from Perth to Adelaide.

[Illustration: KING WILLIAM STREET, ADELAIDE.]

A period of depression began in South Australia after 1882. For a time
everything was against the colony. Long droughts killed its sheep and
ruined its crops; while the copper mines were found to be worked out.
But fortune began to smile again after a few years of dull times, and
when in 1887 an exhibition was held in Adelaide to commemorate the
jubilee of the colony, it was also the commemoration of the return of
brighter prospects. In the growth of wheat and fruits as well as in the
making of wine South Australia has great openings for future prosperity.




CHAPTER XXI. - NEW SOUTH WALES, 1860-1890.


#1. The Land Act.#--Sir John Young became Governor of New South Wales in
1861. He was a man of great talent; but, at this stage of the colony's
history, the ability of the Governor made very little difference in the
general progress of affairs. The political power was now chiefly in the
hands of responsible Ministers, and without their advice the Governor
could do nothing. The Ministry of the period--headed by Charles Cowper
and John Robertson--prepared a bill to alter the regulations for the
sale of land, and to give to the poor man an opportunity of obtaining a
small farm on easy terms. Any person who declared his readiness to live
on his land, and to cultivate it, was to be allowed to select a portion,
not exceeding a certain size, in any part of the colony which he thought
most convenient. The land was not to be given gratuitously; but,
although the selector was to pay for it at the rate of one pound per
acre, yet he was not expected to give more than a quarter of the price
on taking possession. Three years afterwards he had the option of either
paying at once for the remaining three-quarters, or, if this were beyond
his means, of continuing to hold the land at a yearly rental of one
shilling an acre. This was an excellent scheme for the poorer class of
farmers; but it was not looked upon with favour by the squatters, whose
runs were only rented from the State, and were, therefore, liable, under
this new Act, to be invaded by selectors, who would pick out all the
more fertile portions, break up the runs in an awkward manner, and cause
many annoyances.

[Illustration: GEORGE STREET, SYDNEY.]

Hence, though the Legislative Assembly passed the bill, the Upper House,
whose members were mostly squatters, very promptly rejected it; and upon
this there arose a struggle, the Ministry being determined to carry the
bill, and the Council quite as resolute never to pass it. Acting on the
advice of his Ministers, Sir John Young entreated the Upper House to
give way; but it was deaf to all persuasions, and the Ministers
determined to coerce it by adopting extreme measures. Its members had
been nominated by a previous Governor for a period of five years, as a
preliminary trial before the nominations for life; the term of their
appointment was now drawing to a close, and Sir John Young, by waiting
some little time, might easily have appointed a new Council of his own
way of thinking. But the Ministers were impatient to have their measure
passed, and, instead of waiting, they advised the Governor to nominate
twenty-one new members of Council, who, being all supporters of the
bill, would give them a majority in the Upper House; so that, on the
very last night of its existence, it would be obliged to pass the
measure and make it law. But when the opponents of the bill saw the
trick which was being played upon them, they rose from their seats and
resigned in a body. The President himself vacated his chair; and as no
business could then be carried on, the Land Bill was delayed until the
Council came to an end, and the Ministers thus found themselves
outwitted. They were able, somewhat later, to effect their purpose; but
this little episode in responsible government caused considerable stir
at the time, and Sir John subsequently received a rebuke from the
Colonial Secretary for his share in it.


#2. Prince Alfred.#--In 1868 Lord Belmore became Governor of New South
Wales, and during his term of office all the colonies passed through a
period of excitement on the occasion of a visit from the Queen's second
son, Prince Alfred. He was the first of the Royal Family who had ever
visited Australia, and the people gave to him a hearty and enthusiastic
reception. As he entered the cities flower-decked arches spanned the
streets; crowds of people gathered by day to welcome him, and at night
the houses and public buildings were brilliantly illuminated in his
honour. But during the height of the festivities at Sydney a
circumstance occurred which cast a gloom over the whole of Australia.
The Prince had accepted an invitation to a picnic at Clontarf, and was
walking quietly on the sands to view the various sports of the
holiday-makers, when a young man named O'Farrell rushed forward and
discharged a pistol at him. The ball entered his back, and he fell
dangerously wounded. For a day or two his life trembled in the balance,
and the colonists awaited the result with the greatest excitement, until
it was made known that the crisis was past. No reason was alleged for
the crime except a blind dislike to the Royal Family; and O'Farrell was
subsequently tried and executed.


[Illustration: THE LITHGOW ZIGZAG, THE BLUE MOUNTAINS.]

#3. Railway Construction.#--New South Wales has three main lines of
railway with many branches. One starts from Sydney, and passes through
Goulburn to Albury on its way to Melbourne; one goes north to Newcastle,
then through the New England district, and so to Brisbane; and the third
runs from Sydney over the Blue Mountains to Bathurst, and away to
Bourke, on the Darling River. Those rugged heights, which so long
opposed the westward progress of the early colonists, have proved no
insuperable barrier to the engineer; and the locomotive now slowly
puffs up the steep inclines and drags its long line of heavily-laden
trucks where Macquarie's road, with so much trouble, was carried in
1815. The first difficulty which had to be encountered was at a long
valley named Knapsack Gully. Here the rails had to be laid on a great
viaduct, where the trains run above the tops of the tallest trees. The
engineers had next to undertake the formidable task of conducting the
line up a steep and rocky incline, seven hundred feet in height. This
was effected by cutting a "zigzag" in the rock; the trains run first to
the left, rising upon a slight incline; then, reversing, they go to the
right, still mounting slightly upwards; then, again, to the left; and so
on till the summit is reached. By these means the short distance is
rendered long, but the abrupt steepness of the hill is reduced to a
gentle inclination. The trains afterwards run along the top of the
ridge, gradually rising, till, at the highest point, they are three
thousand five hundred feet above the level of the Sydney station. The
passengers look down from the mountain tops on the forest-clad valleys
far below; they speed along vast embankments or dash through passages
cut in the solid rock, whose sides tower above them to the height of an
ordinary steeple. In some places long tunnels were bored, so that the
trains now enter a hill at one side and emerge from the other.

One of these tunnels was thought to be unsafe; the immense mass of rock
above it seemed likely to crush downwards upon the passage, and the
engineers thought that their best course would be to remove the hill
from above it. Three and a half tons of gunpowder were placed at
intervals in the tunnel, and connected by wires with a galvanic battery
placed a long distance off. The operation of firing the mine was made a
public occasion, and Lady Belmore agreed to go up to the mountains and
perform the ceremony of removing the hill. When all was ready, she
touched the knob which brought the two ends of the wire together. A dull
and rumbling sound was heard, the solid rock heaved slowly upward, and
then settled back to its place, broken in a thousand pieces, and covered
with rolling clouds of dust and smoke. All that the workmen had then to
do was to carry away the immense pile of stone, and the course was clear
for laying the rails.

When the line reached the other side of the Blue Mountains there were
great difficulties in the descent, and here the engineers had to lay out
zigzags of greater extent than the former. By these the trains now
descend easily and safely from the tops of the mountains down into the
Lithgow Valley far below.

[Illustration: THE TOWN HALL, SYDNEY.]

By the southern railway to Albury, crowds of people are daily whirled in
a few hours to places which, forty years ago, were reached by Sturt, and
Hume, and Mitchell, only after weeks of patient toil, through unknown
lands that were far removed from civilisation.


#4. Sydney Exhibition.#--So on every hand the colony made progress. Her
railways expanded in scores of branches; her telegraph lines stretched
out their arms in every direction; her sheep increased so that now there
are nearly sixty millions of them; her wheat and maize extended to more
than half a million of acres; her orangeries and vineyards and orchards,
her mines of coal and tin, and her varied and extensive manufactures,
make her people, now numbering a million, one of the most prosperous on
the face of the earth. Her pride was pardonable when, in 1879, she held
an international exhibition to compare her industries side by side with
those of other lands, so as to show how much she had done and to
discover how much she had yet to learn. A frail, but wonderfully pretty
building rapidly arose on the brow of the hill between Sydney Cove and
Farm Cove; and that place, the scene of so much squalor and misery a
hundred years before, became gay with all that decorative art could do,
and busy with daily throngs of gratified visitors. The place had a most
distinguished appearance; seen from the harbour, its dome and fluttering
flags rose up from among the luxuriant foliage of the Botanic Gardens,
as if boldly to proclaim that New South Wales had completed the period
of her infancy and was prepared to take her place among the nations as
one grown to full and comely proportions. When the building had served
its purpose, the people were too fond and too proud of it to dismantle
and destroy it, but unfortunately it was not long after swept away by an
accidental fire.

In 1885, the colony was stirred by a great wave of enthusiasm when it
was known that its Government had sent to England the offer of a
regiment of soldiers to fight in the Soudan side by side with British
troops. The offer was accepted, and some seven or eight hundred
soldiers, well equipped and full of high hopes, sailed for Africa. The
war was too soon over for them to have any chance of displaying what
an Australian force may be like upon a battle-field. There were many
persons who held that the whole expedition was a mistake. But it had
one good effect; for it showed that, for the present at least, the
Australian colonies are proud of their mother-country; that their eyes
are fondly turned to her, to follow all her destinies in that great
career which she has to accomplish as the leading nation of the earth;
and that if ever she needed their help, assistance would flow
spontaneously from the fulness of loving hearts. The idea of this
expedition and its execution belonged principally to C. B. Dalley. But
the great leader of New South Wales during the last quarter of a
century, and the most zealous worker for its welfare and prosperity,
has been the veteran statesman Sir Henry Parkes.




CHAPTER XXII. - VICTORIA, 1855-1890.


#1. Responsible Government.#--In 1855, when each of the colonies was
engaged in framing for itself its own form of government, Victoria,
like all the others, chose the English system of two Houses of
Legislature. At first it was resolved that the Lower House, called the
Legislative Assembly, should consist of only sixty members; but by
subsequent additions, the number has been increased to eighty-six: in
1857 the right of voting was conferred upon every man who had resided a
sufficient length of time in the colony. With regard to the Upper House
Victoria found the same difficulty as had been experienced in New South
Wales; but, instead of introducing the system of nomination by the
Government, it decided that its Legislative Council should be elected by
the people. In order, however, that this body might not be identical in
form and opinion with the Lower House, it was arranged that no one
should be eligible for election to it who did not possess at least five
thousand pounds worth of real property, and that the privilege of voting
should be confined to the wealthier part of the community.

Along with this new Constitution responsible government was introduced;
and Mr. Haines, being sent for by the Governor, formed the first
Ministry. Before the close of the year, the first contest under the new
system took place. Mr. Nicholson, a member of the Assembly, moved that
the voting for elections should in future be carried on in secret, by
means of the ballot-box, so that every man might be able to give his
opinion undeterred by any external pressure, such as the fear of
displeasing his employer or of disobliging a friend. The Government of
Mr. Haines refused its assent to this proposal, which was, nevertheless,
carried by the Assembly. Now, the system of responsible government
required that, in such a case, Mr. Haines and his fellow-Ministers,
being averse to such a law and declining to carry it out, should resign
and leave the government to those who were willing and able to
inaugurate the newly-appointed system. Accordingly they gave in their
resignations, and the Governor asked Mr. Nicholson to form a new
Ministry; but, though many members had voted for his proposal, they were
not prepared to follow him as their leader. He could obtain very few
associates, and was thus unable to form a Ministry; so that there
appeared some likelihood of a total failure of responsible government
before it had been six months in existence. In the midst of this crisis
Sir Charles Hotham was taken ill. He had been present at a prolonged
ceremony--the opening of the first gasworks in Melbourne--and a cold
south wind had given him a dangerous chill. He lay for a day or two in
great danger; but the crisis seemed past, and he had begun to recover,
when news was brought to him of Mr. Nicholson's failure. He lay brooding
over these difficulties, which pressed so much upon his mind that he was
unable to rally, and on the last day of the year 1855 he died. This was
a great shock to the colonists, who had learnt highly to respect him.
The vacant position was for a year assumed by Major-General Macarthur,
who invited Mr. Haines and his Ministry to return. They did so, and the
course of responsible government began again from the beginning. At the
end of 1856 another Governor--Sir Henry Barkly--arrived; and during the
seven years of his stay the new system worked smoothly enough, the only
peculiarity being the rapid changes in the Government. Some of the
Ministries lasted only six weeks, and very few protracted their
existence to a year.

[Illustration: COLLINS STREET, MELBOURNE.]


#2. The Deadlock.#--Sir Henry Barkly left the colony in 1863, and his
place was immediately filled by Sir Charles Darling, nephew of Sir Ralph
Darling, who, forty years before, had been Governor of New South Wales.
Sir Charles was destined to troublous times; for he had not been long in
the colony ere a most vexatious hitch took place in the working of
constitutional government. It arose out of a straggle with regard to
what is called "Protection to Native Industry".

The colony was filled with vigorous and enterprising men, who had come
to it for the purpose of digging for gold. For four or five years gold
digging had been on the average a fairly remunerative occupation. But
when all the surface gold had been gathered, and it became necessary to
dig shafts many hundreds of feet into the earth, and even then in many
cases only to get quartz, from which the gold had to be extracted by
crushing and careful washing, then the ordinary worker, who had no
command of capital, had to take employment with the wealthier people,
who could afford to sink shafts and wait for years before the gold
appeared. These men, therefore, had to take small wages for toiling at a
most laborious occupation. But most of them had learnt trades of some
sort in Europe; and the idea sprang up that if the colony prevented
boots from coming into it from outside there would be plenty of work
for the bootmakers; if it stopped the importation of engines there would
no longer be any reason why engineers should work like navvies at the
bottom of gold mines--they would be wanted to make the engines of the
colony. After a long agitation, therefore, James M'Culloch, the Premier
of the colony, in 1864 brought a bill into the Victorian Legislative
Assembly according to which taxes were to be placed on all goods coming
into the colony if they were of a sort that might be made within the
colony. M'Culloch proposed to make this change because it was ardently
desired by the working men of the colony, and these could by their votes
control the action of the Legislative Assembly. But the Upper House,
called the Legislative Council, composed of wealthy men, who had been
elected by the wealthier part of the community, thought, after careful
decision, that any such plan would ruin the commerce of the colony
without much benefiting its industries. They therefore rejected the
proposed bill.

M'Culloch tried to persuade them to pass it, but they were obstinate. He
then resorted to a trick which is in itself objectionable, but which is
perhaps excusable when the great body of the people wish a certain thing
and a small body like the Legislative Council are resolved to thwart
them. It is part of our constitutional law that all bills dealing with
money matters must be prepared in the Lower House; the Upper House can
then accept them or reject them as they stand, but is not allowed to
alter them.

Now, once a year Parliament has to pass a bill called the Appropriation
Act, by which authority is given to the Government to spend the public
money in the various ways that Parliament directs. In 1865 M'Culloch put
the whole of the Protective Tariff Bill into the Appropriation Act as if
it were a part of that Act, though really it had nothing to do with it.
The Legislative Assembly passed the Appropriation Act with this
insertion. The Legislative Council now found itself in a most unlucky
position. If it passed the Appropriation Act it would also pass the
Protective Tariff Bill, which it detested. But if it rejected the
Appropriation Act, then the Government would have no authority to pay
away any money, and so all the officers of the State, the civil
servants and the policemen, the teachers, the gaolers, the surveyors
and the tide-waiters, would all have to go on for a year without any
salaries. There was no middle course open, for the Council could not
alter the Appropriation Act and then pass it.

Whether was it to pass the Act and make the protective tariff the law of
the land; or reject it, and run the risk of making a number of innocent
people starve? It chose the latter alternative, and threw out the bill.
The whole country became immensely excited, and seemed like one debating
club, where men argued warmly either for or against the Council.

Matters were becoming serious, when the Ministry discovered an ingenious
device for obtaining money. According to British law, if a man is unable
to obtain from the Government what it owes him, he sues for it in the
Supreme Court; and then, if this Court decides in his favour, it orders
the money to be paid, quite independently of any Appropriation Act, out
of the sums that may be lying in the Treasury. In their emergency, the
Ministry applied to the banks for a loan of money; five of them refused,
but the sixth agreed to lend forty thousand pounds. With this the
Government servants were paid, and then the bank demanded its money from
the Government; but the Government had no authority from Parliament to
pay any money, and could not legally pay it. The bank then brought its
action at law. The Supreme Court gave its order, and the money was paid
to the bank out of the Treasury. Thus a means had been discovered of
obtaining all the money that was required without asking the consent of
Parliament. Throughout the year 1865 the salaries of officers were
obtained in this way; but in 1866 the Upper House, seeing that it was
being beaten, offered to hold a conference. Each House made concessions
to the other, the Tariff Bill was passed, with some alterations, the
Appropriation Bill was then agreed to in the ordinary way, and the
"Deadlock" came to an end.


#3. The Darling Grant.#--But, in its train, other troubles followed; for
the English authorities were displeased with Sir Charles Darling for
allowing the Government to act as it did. They showed how he might have
prevented it, and, to mark their dissatisfaction, they recalled him in
1866. He bitterly complained of this harsh treatment; and the Assembly,
regarding him as, in some measure, a martyr to the cause of the people,
determined to recompense him for his loss of salary. In the
Appropriation Act of 1867 they therefore passed a grant of £20,000 to
Lady Darling, intending it for the use of her husband. The Upper House
owed no debt of gratitude to Sir Charles, and, accordingly, it once more
threw out the Appropriation Bill. Again there was the same bitter
dispute, and again the public creditors were obliged to sue for their
money in the Supreme Court. In a short time four thousand five hundred
such pretended actions were laid, the Government making no defence, and
the order being given in each case that the money should be paid.

In 1866 the new Governor--Viscount Canterbury--arrived; but the struggle
was still continued, till, in 1868, Sir Charles Darling informed
M'Culloch that Lady Darling would decline to receive the money, as he
was receiving instead five thousand pounds as arrears of salary and a
lucrative position in England. The Upper House then passed the
Appropriation Bill, and the contest came to an end.


#4. Payment of Members.#--But they had other things to quarrel about. The
working men of the colony thought that they never would get fair
treatment in regard to the laws until working men were themselves in
Parliament. But that could not be, so long as they had to leave their
trades and spend their time in making laws while getting nothing for it.
Hence they were resolved on having all members of Parliament paid, and
they elected persons to the Lower House who were in favour of that
principle. But the better-off people sent persons into the Upper House
who were against it. Thus for twenty years a struggle took place, but in
the end the working men carried their point; and it was settled that
every member of Parliament should receive three hundred pounds a year.
The two Houses also quarrelled about the manner in which the land was
to be sold; the Lower House being anxious to put it into the hands of
industrious people who were likely to work on it as farmers, even though
they could pay very little for it; the Upper House preferring that it
should be sold to the people who offered the most money for it. On this
and other questions in dispute the Lower House gained the victory.


#5. Exhibitions.#--It was not till the year 1880 that all these
contentions were set at rest, but from that time the colony passed into
a period of peace, during which it made the most astonishing progress in
all directions. That progress was indicated in a most decided way by the
exhibitions held in the colony. It had from time to time in previous
years held inter-colonial exhibitions at which all the colonies had met
in friendly competition. But in 1880, and again in 1888, Victoria
invited all the world to exhibit their products at her show. A
magnificent building was erected in one of the parks of Melbourne, and
behind it were placed acres of temporary wooden erections, and the whole
was filled with twenty acres of exhibits. A similar show, held in 1888,
was much larger, and helped, by its fine collection of pictures, its
grand displays of machinery, its educational courts, its fine orchestral
music, and so on, in a hundred ways to stimulate and develop the minds
of the people. During recent years Victoria has been very busy in
social legislation. While enjoying peace under the direction of a
coalition Government with Mr. Duncan Gillies and Mr. Alfred Deakin at
its head, the colony has tried experiments in regulating the liquor
traffic; in closing shops at an early hour; in irrigating the waterless
plains of the north-west, and in educating farmers and others into the
most approved methods of managing their businesses. What is to be the
eventual result no one can as yet very definitely prophesy. But the eyes
of many thoughtful persons throughout the world are at present turned to
Victoria to see how those schemes are working which have been so
zealously undertaken for the good of the people.

[Illustration: THE TOWN HALL, MELBOURNE.]

[Illustration: THE PORT OF MELBOURNE.]

Up till 1890 the progress of the colony was astonishing. Its central
half forms a network of railways. Its agriculture and its trades have
doubled themselves every few years; and though a period of restless
activity and progress was in 1890 followed by a time of severe
depression, the community, like all the other Australian colonies,
has great times of prosperity in store for it.




CHAPTER XXIII. - THE TIMES OF THE MAORIS.


#1. The Maoris.#--So far as we know, the original inhabitants of New
Zealand were a dark-skinned race called Maoris, a people lithe and
handsome of body, though generally plain of features: open, frank and
happy in youth, grave and often melancholy in their older years.

They numbered forty thousand in the North Island, where the warmth of
the climate suited them, but in the South Island there were only two
thousand. They were divided into tribes, who fought fiercely with one
another; cooked and ate the bodies of the slain, and carried off the
vanquished to be slaves. They dwelt in houses sometimes neatly built of
wooden slabs, more often of upright poles with broad grass leaves woven
between them. The roofs were of grass, plaited and thatched.

To these abodes the entrances were only some two or three feet high, and
after crawling through, the visitor who entered at night would see the
master of the house, his wives, his children, his slaves, indeed all his
household, to the number of twenty or thirty, lying on mats in rows down
either side, with their heads to the walls and their feet to the centre,
leaving a path down the middle. In these rooms they slept, with a fire
burning all night, till, what with the smoke and the breaths of so many
people, the place was stifling. The roofs were only four feet higher
than the ground outside, but, then, inside, the earth was hollowed a
foot or two to make the floor so that a man could just stand upright.

These houses were gathered in little villages, often pleasantly situated
beside a stream, or on the sea-shore; but sometimes for defence they
were placed on a hill and surrounded by high fences with ditches and
earthen walls so as to make a great stronghold of the kind they called
a "pah". The trenches were sometimes twenty or thirty feet deep; but
generally the pah was built so that a rapid river or high precipices
would defend two or three sides of it, while only the sides not so
guarded by nature were secured by ditches and a double row of palisades.
Within these enclosures stages were erected behind the palisades so that
the fighting men could hurl stones and spears and defy an attacking
party.

[Illustration: A MAORI DWELLING.]


#2. Maori Customs.#--Round their villages and pahs they dug up the soil
and planted the sweet potato, and the taro, which is the root of a kind
of arum lily; they also grew the gourd called calabash, from whose hard
rind they made pots and bowls and dishes. When the crops of sweet potato
and taro were over they went out into the forest and gathered the roots
of certain sorts of ferns, which they dried and kept for their winter
food. They netted fish and eels; they caught sharks with hook and line
and dried their flesh in the sun. To enjoy these meals in comfort they
had a broad verandah round their houses which formed an open and
generally pleasant dining-room, where they gathered in family circles
bound by much affection for one another. The girls especially were sweet
and pretty; their mild manners, their soft and musical voices, the long
lashes of their drooping eyes, with the gloss of their olive-tinted
skins made them perfect types of dusky beauty. Grown a little older they
were by no means so attractive, and then when married they deeply scored
their faces by the process of tattooing.

The men had their faces, hips, and thighs tattooed, that is, all carved
in wavy lines which were arranged in intricate patterns. The women
tattooed only their lips, chins, and eyelids, but often smeared their
faces with red ochre, and soaked their hair with oil. Men and women wore
round the waist a kilt of beautifully woven flax, and over the shoulders
a mat of the same material. They were expert sailors, and built
themselves large canoes which thirty or forty men would drive forward,
keeping time with their paddles. Their large war canoes were sixty and
seventy feet long, and would carry 100 men.

Thus they were by no means uncivilised, but their condition was in some
respects most barbarous. In person they were dirty, and in manners proud
and arrogant. They were easily offended, and never forgave what they
considered as an injury or insult. This readiness to take offence and to
avenge themselves caused the neighbouring tribes to be for ever at war.
They fought with great bravery, slaughtered each other fiercely, and ate
the bodies. Sometimes they killed their captives or slaves in order to
hold a cannibal feast.

According to their own traditions they had not been always in these
islands. Their ancestors came from afar, and each tribe had its own
legendary account. But they all agreed that they came from an island
away to the north in the Pacific, which they called Hawaiki, and there
is little doubt but that some hundreds of years ago their forefathers
must in truth have emigrated from some of the South Sea Islands. Whether
they found natives on the islands and killed them all, we cannot now
discover. There are no traces of any earlier people, but the Maoris in
their traditions say that people were found on the islands and slain
and eaten by the invaders.

One tribe declared that long ago in far-off Hawaiki a chief hated
another, but was too weak to do him harm. He fitted out a canoe for a
long voyage, and suddenly murdered the son of his enemy. He then escaped
on board the canoe with his followers and sailed away for ever from his
home. This legend declared how after many adventures he at length
reached New Zealand. Another legend relates that in Hawaiki the people
were fighting, and a tribe being beaten was forced to leave the island.
Sorrowfully it embarked in two canoes and sailed away out upon the
tossing ocean, till, directed by the voice of their god sounding from
the depths below them, they landed on the shores of New Zealand.

How many centuries they lived and multiplied there it is impossible to
say, as they had no means of writing and recording their history.


#3. Tasman.#--The earliest we know of them for certain is in the journal
of Tasman, who writes under the date of 13th December, 1642, that he had
that day seen shores never before beheld by white men. He was then
holding eastward after his visit to Tasmania, and the shore he saw was
the mountainous land in the North Island. He rounded what we now call
Cape Farewell, and anchored in a fine bay, whose green and pleasant
shores were backed by high snow-capped mountains. Several canoes came
off from the beach filled by Maoris, who lay about a stone's throw
distant and sounded their war trumpets. The Dutch replied by a flourish
of their horns. For several days the Maoris would come no nearer, but on
the sixth they paddled out with seven canoes and surrounded both
vessels. Tasman noticed that they were crowding in a somewhat
threatening manner round one of his ships, the _Heemskirk_, and he sent
a small boat with seven men to warn the captain to be on his guard. When
the Maoris saw these seven men without weapons sailing past their canoes
they fell on them, instantly killed three and began to drag away their
bodies; no doubt to be eaten. The other four Dutchmen, by diving and
swimming, escaped and reached the ship half dead with fright. Then with
shouts the whole line of Maori canoes advanced to attack the ships; but
a broadside startled them. They were stupefied for a moment at the
flash and roar of the cannon and the crash of the wood-work of their
canoes; then they turned and fled, carrying with them, however, one of
the bodies. Tasman sailed down into Cook Strait, which he very naturally
took to be a bay, the weather being too thick for him to see the passage
to the south-east. He then returned and coasted northwards to the
extreme point of New Zealand, which he called Cape Maria Van Diemen,
probably after the wife of that Governor of Batavia who had sent out the
expedition. Tasman called the lands he had thus discovered "New
Zealand," after that province of Holland which is called Zealand, or the
Sea-land. The bay in which he had anchored was called Murderers' or
Massacre Bay.


#4. Captain Cook.#--For more than a hundred years New Zealand had no white
men as visitors. It was in 1769 that Captain Cook, on his way home from
Tahiti, steering to the south-west in the hope of discovering new lands,
saw the distant hills of New Zealand. Two days later he landed on the
east coast of the North Island, a little north of Hawke Bay. There lay
the little ship the _Endeavour_ at anchor, with its bulging sides afloat
on a quiet bay, in front a fertile but steeply sloping shore with a pah
on the crown of a hill, and a few neat little houses by the side of a
rapid stream. In the evening Cook, Banks, and other gentlemen took the
pinnace and rowed up the streamlet. They landed, leaving some boys in
charge of the boat, and advanced towards a crowd of Maoris, making
friendly signs as they approached. The Maoris ran away, but some of them
seeing their chance made a dash at the boys in the boat and tried to
kill them. The boys pushed off, and dropped down the stream; the Maoris
chased them, determined on mischief. Four of them being very murderous,
the coxswain fired a musket over their heads. They were startled, but
continued to strike at the boys with wooden spears. Seeing the danger
the coxswain levelled his musket and shot one of the Maoris dead on the
spot. The others fled, and Cook, hearing the report of the gun, hurried
back and at once returned to the ship.

Over and over again Cook did everything he could devise to secure the
friendship of these people; but they always seemed to have only one
desire, and that was to kill and eat the white visitors. One day five
canoes came out to chase the _Endeavour_ as she was sailing along the
coast. Another time nine canoes densely filled with men sailed after
her, paddling with all their might to board the vessel. In these and
many other cases cannon had to be fired over their heads to frighten
them before they would desist from their attempt to capture the ship. At
one bay, the Maoris made friends and went on board the _Endeavour_ to
sell provisions, but when all was going forward peaceably they suddenly
seized a boy and pulled him into their canoe. They were paddling away
with him when some musket shots frightened them, and in the confusion
the boy dived and swam back.

Cook sailed completely round the North Island, charting the shores with
great care, often landing, sometimes finding tribes who made friends,
more often finding tribes whose insolence or treachery led to the
necessity of firing upon them with small shot. If he had only known the
customs of these people he would have understood that to be friendly
with one tribe meant that the next tribe would murder and eat them for
revenge. He then sailed round the South Island, landing less frequently,
however, till at length he took his leave of New Zealand at what he
called Cape Farewell, and sailed away to Australia. He had been nearly
six months exploring the coasts of these islands, and that in a very
small vessel. During this time he had left pigs and goats, fowls and
geese to increase in the forests, where they soon multiplied, especially
the pigs. Potatoes and turnips were left with many tribes, who quickly
learnt how to grow them, so that after ten or twelve years had passed
away these vegetables became the chief food of all the Maoris.


#5. French Visitors.#--Whilst Cook was sailing round the North Island, a
French vessel anchored in a bay of that island in search of fresh water.
The Ngapuhi tribe received them with pleasure and gave them all the
assistance in their power, but some of them stole a boat. The captain,
named De Surville, then seized one of the chiefs and put him in irons.
The boat not being given up, he burnt a village and sailed to South
America, the chief dying on the road.

Three years later in 1772 came another Frenchman, Marion du Fresne, with
two ships; this time for the express purpose of making discoveries. He
sailed up the west coast, rounded the North Cape and anchored in the Bay
of Islands. He landed and made friends with the Ngapuhi tribe and took
his sick sailors ashore. The Maoris brought him plenty of fish, and Du
Fresne made them presents in return. For a month the most pleasant
relations continued, the Maoris often sleeping on board and the French
officers spending the night in the Maori houses. One day Captain Marion
went ashore with sixteen others to enjoy some fishing. At night they did
not return. Captain Crozet, who was second in command, thought they had
chosen to sleep ashore, but the next day he sent a boat with twelve men
to find where they were. These men were scattering carelessly through
the woods when suddenly a dense crowd of Maoris, who had concealed
themselves, attacked and killed all the Frenchmen but one. He who
escaped was hidden behind some bushes, and he saw his comrades brained
one after another; then he saw the fierce savages cut their bodies in
pieces, and carry them away in baskets to be eaten. When the Maoris were
gone he crept along the shore and swam to the ship, which he reached
half dead with terror. Crozet landed sixty men, and the natives gathered
for a fight; but the Frenchmen merely fired volley after volley into a
solid mass of Maori warriors, who, stupefied at the flash and roar, were
simply slaughtered as they stood. Crozet burnt both the Maori villages
and sailed away. In later times the Maoris explained that the French had
desecrated their religious places by taking the carved ornaments out of
them for firewood.


#6. Cook's Later Visits.#--In his second voyage Cook twice visited New
Zealand in 1773 and 1774. He had two vessels, one of them under the
command of Captain Furneaux. While this latter vessel was waiting in
Queen Charlotte Sound, a bay opening out of Cook Strait, Captain
Furneaux sent a boat with nine men who were to go on shore and gather
green stuff for food. A crowd of Maoris surrounded them, and one offered
to sell a stone hatchet to a sailor, who took it; but to tease the
native, in silly sailor fashion, this sailor would neither give anything
for it nor hand it back. The Maori in a rage seized some bread and fish
which the sailors were spreading for their lunch. The sailors closed to
prevent their touching the victuals; a confused struggle took place,
during which the English fired and killed two natives, but before they
could load again they were all knocked on the head with the green stone
axes of the Maoris. An officer sent ashore later on with a strong force
found several baskets of human limbs, and in one of them a head which he
recognised as that of a sailor belonging to the party. The officer
attacked some hundreds of the Maoris as they were seated at their
cannibal feast, and drove them away from the half-gnawed bones.

[Illustration: MILFORD SOUND, SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND.]

Cook again touched at New Zealand in the course of his third voyage, and
this time succeeded in maintaining friendly relations with the Maoris
during a short visit. But when the story of Cook's voyage was published
in later years the people of Europe conceived a deep horror of these
fierce man-eating savages.


#7. The Whalers.#--For ten or twelve years New Zealand was not visited by
white men, but the foundation of a town at Sydney, in 1788, brought
ships out much more often into these waters, and before long it was
found that the seas round New Zealand were well stocked with whales.
Vessels came out to carry on the profitable business of catching them
and taking their oil to Europe. For fresh water and for fuel for their
stoves they called at the shores of New Zealand, chiefly at Queen
Charlotte Sound, at Dusky Bay on the west coast of South Island, but
especially at the Bay of Islands near the extreme north of North Island.
There they not only got fresh water but bought fish and pork and
potatoes from the friendly tribes of natives, paying for them with
knives and blankets; and although quarrels sometimes occurred and deaths
took place on both sides, the whalers continued more and more to
frequent these places. Sometimes the sailors, attracted by the good
looks of the Maori girls, took them as wives and lived in New Zealand.
These men generally acted as sealers. They caught the seals that
abounded on some parts of the coast, and gathered their skins until the
ships called back, when the captain would give them tobacco and rum,
guns and powder in exchange for their seal-skins. These the sealers
generally shared with the Maoris, who therefore began to find out that
it was good to have a white man to be dwelling near them: he brought
ships to trade, and the ships brought articles that the Maoris began to
value.


#8. Maoris visit Sydney.#--In 1793, Governor Hunter at Sydney directed
that the convicts at Norfolk Island should be set to weave the fine flax
that grew wild in that island. They tried, but could make no cloth so
fine and soft as that made by the Maoris out of very much the same sort
of plant. A ship was sent to try and persuade some Maoris to come over
and teach the art. The captain of the ship, being lazy or impatient, did
not trouble to persuade; he seized two Maoris and carried them off. They
were kept for six months at Norfolk Island, but Captain King treated
them very well, and sent them back with ten sows, two boars, a supply of
maize-seed and other good things to pay them for their time. When King
became Governor of New South Wales he sent further presents over to Te
Pehi, chief of the tribe to which these young men belonged, and hence Te
Pehi longed to see the sender of these things. He and his four sons
ventured to go in an English vessel to Sydney, where they were
astonished at all they saw. On his return Te Pehi induced a sailor named
George Bruce, who had been kind to him when he was sick on board ship,
to settle in the tribe; the young Englishman married Te Pehi's most
charming daughter, and was tattooed and became the first of the Pakeha
Maoris, or white men who lived in Maori fashion. Pleased by Te Pehi's
account of what he had seen, other Maoris took occasional trips to
Sydney, working their passages in whaling ships.


#9. Friendly Relations.#--Meanwhile English vessels more and more
frequently visited New Zealand for pork and flax and kauri pine, or else
to catch seals, or merely to take a rest after a long whaling trip. The
Bay of Islands became the chief anchorage for that purpose, and thither
the Maoris gathered to profit by the trade. Some of the more
adventurous, when they found that the English did them no harm, shipped
as sailors for a voyage on board the whalers; but though they made good
seamen they were sometimes sulky and revengeful, and rarely continued at
it more than two or three years.

In 1805 a Maori went with an English surgeon all the way to England, and
returned with the most astounding tales of London and English wonders.
During the next four or five years several other Maoris went to England,
while, on the other hand, a few very respectable white men began to
settle down in New Zealand. They were far superior to the rough sailors
and liberated convicts of Sydney, who so far had been the most frequent
visitors, so that mutual good-will seemed to be established, as the
Maoris found that there was much they could gain by the visits of the
white men. But all this friendliness was marred by an unfortunate
occurrence.


#10. The Boyd Massacre.#--In 1809 a ship named the _Boyd_ sailed from
Sydney to go to England round Cape Horn. She had on board seventy white
people, including some children of officers at Sydney who were on their
way to England to be educated. As she was to call at New Zealand to get
some kauri spars, five Maoris went with her, working their passage over.
One of these Maoris, named Tarra, was directed during the voyage to do
something which he refused to do. The captain caused him to be twice
flogged. When the ship anchored in a bay a little to the north of the
Bay of Islands, Tarra went ashore, and showed to his tribe his back all
scarred with the lash. Revenge was agreed on. The captain was enticed
ashore with a few men; and they were suddenly attacked and all killed.
Then the Maoris quietly got alongside the ship, rushed on board and
commenced the work of massacre among men, women and children, who were
all unarmed. Some of the children fell and clasped the feet of Tarra,
begging him to save them, but the young savage brained them without
mercy. All were slain except a woman and two children who hid themselves
during the heat of the massacre, and a boy who was spared because he had
been kind to Tarra. All the bodies were taken ashore and eaten. One of
the chiefs while curiously examining a barrel of gunpowder caused it to
explode, blowing himself and a dozen others to pieces.

Te Pehi, the head chief of the Ngapuhi, was extremely vexed when he
heard of this occurrence, and took some trouble to rescue the four
survivors, but five whaling vessels gathered for revenge; they landed
their crews, who shot thirty Maoris whether belonging to Tarra's tribe
or not, and in their blind fury burnt Te Pehi's village, severely
wounding the chief himself. This outrage stopped all friendly
intercourse for a long time. The whalers shot the Maoris whenever they
saw them, about a hundred being killed in the next three years, while
the Maoris killed and ate any white people they could catch. Thus in
1816 the _Agnes_, an American brig, happened to be wrecked on their
shores. They killed and ate everybody on board, except one man, who was
tattooed and kept for a slave during twelve years.


#11. The Missionaries.#--In spite of all these atrocities a band of
missionaries had the courage to settle in New Zealand and begin the work
of civilising these Maori tribes. This enterprise was the work of a
notable man named Samuel Marsden, who had in early life been a
blacksmith in England, but had devoted himself with rare energy to the
laborious task of passing the examinations needed to make him a
clergyman. He was sent out to be the chaplain to the convicts at Sydney,
and his zeal, his faith in the work he had to do, and his roughly
eloquent style, made him successful where more cultured clergymen would
have failed. For fourteen years he toiled to reform convicts, soldiers,
and officers in Sydney; and when Governor King went home to England in
1807, after his term was expired, Marsden went with him on a visit to
his friends. While in London, Marsden brought before the Mission Society
the question of doing something to Christianise these fierce but
intelligent people, and the society not only agreed, but employed two
missionaries named Hall and King to undertake the work.

[Illustration: THE REV. SAMUEL MARSDEN, "THE APOSTLE OF NEW ZEALAND".]

When Marsden, along with these two courageous men, started back to
Sydney in the _Ann_ convict ship, in 1809, there was on board, strangely
enough, a Maori chief called Ruatara. This young fellow was a nephew of
Hongi, the powerful head chief of the Ngapuhi tribe. Four years before,
being anxious to see something of the wonders of civilised life, he had
shipped as a sailor on board a whaler. He had twice been to Sydney and
had voyaged up and down all the Pacific. At length, in 1809, he had gone
to London, where he was lost in surprise at all he saw. The climate,
however, tried him severely, and he was sick and miserable on the voyage
back to Sydney. Marsden was kind to him and gave him a home in his own
house. Ruatara had many troubles and dangers to meet, through many
months, before he was at last settled among his own people.

Meantime, the new Governor of Sydney refused to allow the missionaries
to go to New Zealand. The massacre of the sixty-six people of the _Boyd_
had roused a feeling of horror, and it seemed a wicked waste of life to
try to live among savages so fierce. The missionaries were therefore
employed in Sydney. In 1813 Governor Macquarie directed that every
vessel leaving for New Zealand should give bonds to the extent of a
thousand pounds to guarantee that the white men should not carry off
the natives or interfere with their sacred places. Then the trouble
between the two races quieted down a little, and in 1814 the
missionaries thought they might at least make further inquiries. A brig
called the _Active_ of 100 tons was bought; and on board it went Hall
with another missionary called Kendall (grandfather of the poet) who had
lately come out. They reached the Bay of Islands, taking with them
abundance of presents. They saw Ruatara, and persuaded him with his
uncle, Hongi, and other chiefs to go to Sydney in the _Active_, and
there discuss the question of a mission station. They went, and Hongi
guaranteed the protection of his tribe, the Ngapuhi, if the missionaries
would settle in their territory.


#12. The Mission Station.#--It was in November, 1814, that the _Active_
sailed with the mission colony, consisting of Kendall, King, and Hall,
their wives and five children and a number of mechanics; in all
twenty-five Europeans, together with eight Maoris. They took three
horses, a bull, two cows, and other live stock, and after a quick
passage anchored near the north of the North Island. Marsden was with
them as a visitor, to see the place fairly started. He was troubled on
landing to find that the Ngapuhi were at war with their near neighbours,
the Wangaroans, and he saw that little progress would be made till these
tribes were reconciled. Marsden fearlessly entered with only one
companion into the heart of the hostile tribe; met Tarra, the instigator
of the _Boyd_ massacre, and slept that night in the very midst of the
Wangaroans. Wrapt up in his greatcoat, he lay close by Tarra, surrounded
by the sleeping forms of men and women who, only a few years before, had
gathered to the horrid feast. Surprised at this friendly trust, the
Wangaroans were fascinated, and subsequently were led by him like
children. They were soon induced to rub noses with the chiefs of Ngapuhi
as a sign of reconciliation, and were then all invited on board the
_Active_, where a merry breakfast brought old enemies together in
friendly intercourse.

The missionaries with twelve axes bought 200 acres of land on the shore
of the Bay of Islands. Half an acre was soon enclosed by a fence; a few
rough houses were built and a pole set up, upon which floated a white
flag with a cross and a dove and the words "Good tidings"; Ruatara made
a pulpit out of an old canoe, covered it with cloth, and put seats round
it. There, on Christmas Day, 1814, Marsden preached the first sermon in
New Zealand to a crowded Maori audience, who understood not one word of
what was said, but who, perhaps, were benefited by the general
impressiveness of the scene.

In the following February, Marsden returned to Sydney, thinking the
mission in a fair way of success. But all was not to be so harmonious as
he dreamt; the liberated convicts, who formed the bulk of the crews of
sealing and whaling vessels, treated the natives with coarseness and
arrogance; the Maoris were quick to revenge themselves, and the murders,
thefts, and quarrels along all the shore did more harm than the handful
of missionaries could do good. Three or four times they wished to leave,
and as often did Marsden return and persuade them to stay. Their lives
at least were safe; for Hongi, the Ngapuhi chief, found that they were
useful in the way of bringing trade about, but he was dissatisfied
because they would not allow guns and powder to be sold by the white men
to him and his people.


#13. Tribal Wars.#--Hongi saw that the tribe which possessed most guns was
sure to get the upper hand of all the others. He therefore contrived in
another way to secure these wonderful weapons. For in 1820 when Kendall
went home to England for a trip Hongi went with him, and saw with
constant wonder the marvels of the great city. The sight of the fine
English regiments, the arsenals, the theatres, the big elephant at
Exeter Change Menagerie, all impressed deeply the Maori from New Zealand
forests. He stayed for a while at Cambridge, assisting a professor to
compile a dictionary of the Maori language, and going to church
regularly all the time. Then he had an audience from George IV., who
gave him many presents, and among others a complete suit of ancient
armour. For a whole season, Hongi was a sort of lion among London
society. People crowded to see a chief who had eaten dozens of men, and
so many presents were given him that when he came back to Sydney he was
a rich man. He sold everything, however, except his suit of armour, and
with the money he bought 300 muskets and plenty of powder, which he took
with him to New Zealand. Having reached his home he informed his tribe
of the career of conquest he proposed; with these muskets he was going
to destroy every enemy. "There is but one king in England," he said;
"there shall be only one among the Maoris." He soon had a force of a
thousand warriors, whom he embarked on board a fleet of canoes, and took
to the southern shores of the Hauraki Gulf, where the Ngatimaru lived,
ancient enemies of the Ngapuhi, who, however, felt secure in their
numbers and in the strength of their great pah Totara. But Hongi
captured the pah, and slew five hundred of the unfortunate inmates. The
Ngatimaru tribe then retreated south into the valley of the Waikato
River, and summoned their men and all their friends; a total of over
three thousand were arrayed on that fatal battle-field. Hongi with his
muskets gained a complete victory. He shot the hostile chief with his
own gun, and tearing out his eyes, swallowed them on the field of
battle. Over a thousand were killed, and Hongi and his men feasted on
the spot for some days till three hundred bodies had been eaten. The
victors then returned, bearing in their canoes another thousand
captives, of whom many were slain and cooked to provide a share of the
horrid feast to the women of the tribe.

In his bloodthirsty wars Hongi showed great skill and energy. During the
two following years he defeated, slaughtered, and ate large numbers of
the surrounding tribes, and when a number of these unfortunate people
withdrew to a pah of enormous strength, nearly surrounded by a bend of
the Waikato River, he dragged his canoes over to that river, ascended
it, dashed at the steep cliffs, the ditches and palisades, and once more
the muskets won the day. A thousand fell in the fight; then the women
and children were slaughtered in heaps. The strong tribe of the Arawa
further south had their chief pah on an island in the middle of Lake
Rotorua. Hongi with great labour carried his canoes over to the lake.
The spear-armed Maoris could do nothing in defence while he shot at them
from the lake; and when he assaulted the island, though they came down
to the water's edge to repel him, again there was victory for the
muskets. Thus did Hongi conquer till the whole North Island owned his
ascendancy. But in 1827 his career came to an end, for having quarrelled
with his former friends, the tribe of which Tarra was chief, he killed
them all but twenty, but in the fight was himself shot through the
lungs; for that tribe had now many muskets also, and a ball fired when
the massacre was nearly over passed through Hongi's chest, leaving a
hole which, though temporarily healed, caused his death a few months
later. Pomaré succeeded him as chief of the Ngapuhi, and made that tribe
still the terror of the island. At one pah Pomaré killed 400 men; and he
had his own way for a time in all his fights. But the other tribes now
began to see that they could not possibly save themselves except by
getting muskets also, and as they offered ten times their value for them
in pork and flax and other produce, English vessels brought them over in
plenty. The remnant of the Waikato tribe having become well armed and
well exercised in shooting under Te Whero Whero, they laid an ambush for
Pomaré and killed him with almost the whole of the 500 men who were with
him. The other tribes joined Te Whero Whero, and in successive battles
ruined the Ngapuhi. Te Whero Whero held the leadership for a time,
during which he almost exterminated the Taranaki tribe. He was
practically lord of all the North Island till he met his match in
Rauparaha, the most determined and wily of all the Maori leaders. He was
the chief of a tribe living in the south of the North Island, and he
gathered a wild fighting band out of the ruined tribes of his own and
the surrounding districts. Many battles were fought between him and Te
Whero Whero, in which sometimes as many as a thousand muskets were in
use on each side. Rauparaha was at length overcome, and with difficulty
escaped across the strait to the South Island, while Te Whero Whero
massacred and enslaved all over the North Island, cooking as many as 200
bodies after a single fight. And yet the evil was in a way its own cure,
for, through strenuous endeavours, by this time every tribe had a
certain proportion of its men well armed with muskets; and thus no
single tribe ever afterwards got the same cruel ascendancy that was
obtained first by the Ngapuhi and then by the Waikato tribe. But fights
and ambushes, slaughters, the eating of prisoners and all the horrid
scenes of Maori war went on from week to week all over the North
Island.




CHAPTER XXIV. - NEW ZEALAND COLONISED.


#1. Kororarika.#--All this fighting of the Maori tribes made them more
dependent on the trade they had with white men. They could neither make
guns nor powder for themselves, and the tribe that could purchase none
of the white man's weapons was sure to be slaughtered and eaten by other
tribes. Hence white men were more eagerly welcomed, and in course of
time nearly two hundred of them were living Maori fashion with the
tribes. But it was at the Bay of Islands that the chief trading was
carried on. For it was there that the kauri timber grew; it was there
that the pigs were most plentiful and the cargoes of flax most easily
obtained; and when a man named Turner set up a grog-shop on the shores
of the bay all the whaling ships made this their usual place for resting
and refitting. Behind the beach the hills rise steeply, and on these
hills a number of white men built themselves homes securely fenced, and
defended, sometimes even by a cannon or two. But down on the little
green flat next to the beach, rude houses were more numerous. In the
year 1838 there were about 500 persons resident in the little town,
which was now called Kororarika, but at times there were nearly double
that number of people resident in it for months together. A wild and
reckless place it was, for sailors reckoned themselves there to be
beyond the reach of English law.

At one time as many as thirty-six ships lay off the town of Kororarika,
and in a single year 150 ships visited the bay; generally staying a
month or more at anchor. The little church and the Catholic mission
station up on the hill did less good to the natives than these rough
sailors did harm, and at length the more respectable white men could
stand the disorder no longer. They formed an association to maintain
decency. They seized, tried, fined or sometimes locked up for a time the
worst offenders, and twice they stripped the ruffians naked, gave them a
coat of tar, stuck them all over with white down from a native plant,
and when they were thus decorated, expelled them from the town, with a
promise of the same treatment if ever they were seen back in it.


#2. Hokianga.#--Long before this the capacities of New Zealand and the
chances of making wealth there became well known in England, and in 1825
an association was formed to colonise the country. It sent out an agent,
who reported that Hokianga, a deep estuary on the west coast, just
opposite to Kororarika, and only thirty miles away from it, was a
charming place for a settlement. The agent bought a square mile of land
from the Maoris and also two little islands in the harbour. The company
fitted out a ship the _Rosanna_, and sixty colonists sailed out in her
to form the pioneers of the new colony. They landed, and liked the look
of the place, but they were timid by reason of the tales they had heard
of Maori ferocity. Now at this time the Ngapuhis were at war with the
Arawas, and the latter were getting up a war dance, which the settlers
were just in time to see. Five or six hundred men stood in four long
rows, stamping in time to a chant of their leader. It was night, a fire
lit up their quivering limbs and their rolling eyes; they joined in a
chorus, and when they came to particular words they hissed like a
thousand serpents; they went through the performance of killing their
enemies, cutting up their bodies and eating them. The settlers fell into
deep meditation and departed. Not half a dozen remained in New Zealand,
the others went to Sydney, and so after an expense of £20,000 this
association, which had been formed for the kindly purpose of putting
people in lands less crowded than their own, failed and was disbanded.


#3. Settled Government.#--Between 1825 and 1835 the Maoris of the North
Island were in a miserable state. Wars and massacres and cannibal feasts
made the country wretched, and though the missionaries were respected
they could not secure peace. But they persuaded the chiefs of some of
the weaker tribes to appeal to England for protection against the
conquering warriors who oppressed and destroyed their people. It was in
1831 that this petition was sent to King William, and about the same
time the white men at Kororarika, terrified at the violence with which
the Waikato men were ravaging the surrounding lands, asked the Governor
at Sydney to interfere. The result was that although the English would
not regularly take possession of New Zealand, they chose Mr. Busby, a
gentleman well known in New South Wales, to be the Resident there, his
business being, so far as possible, to keep order. How he was to keep
order without men or force to make his commands obeyed it is hard to
see; but he was expected to do whatever could be done by persuasion, and
to send for a British war-ship if ever he thought it was needed.

The first war-ship that thus came over did more harm than good. Its
visit was caused by a disastrous wreck. The whaling barque _Harriet_,
under the command of a man named Guard, a low fellow who had formerly
been a convict, was trading among the islands when she was wrecked off
the coast of Taranaki. The Maoris attacked the stranded ship, but the
crew stayed on her and fired into the assailants, and it was not till
after quite a siege, in which twelve seamen were killed, that the rest
fled from the wreck, leaving Mrs. Guard and her two children in the
hands of the Taranaki tribe. Guard and twelve seamen, however, though
they escaped for a time were caught by a neighbouring tribe, to whom he
promised a cask of gunpowder if they would help him to reach an English
ship. This they did, and Guard reached Sydney, where he begged Sir
Richard Bourke to send a vessel for the rescue of his wife and children.
Bourke sent the _Alligator_, with a company of soldiers, who landed and
demanded the captive seamen. These were given up, but the captain of the
ship supported Guard in breaking his promise and refusing to give the
powder, under the plea that it was a bad thing for natives. The
_Alligator_ then went round to Taranaki for the woman and children. The
chief of the tribe came down to the beach and said they would be given
up for a ransom. The white men seized him, dragged him into their boat
to be a hostage, but he jumped out of the boat and was speared with
bayonets. He was taken to the ship nearly dead. Then the natives gave up
the woman and one child in return for their chief. After some parley a
native came down to the beach with the other child on his shoulders. He
said he would give it up if a proper ransom was paid. The English said
they would give no ransom, and when the man turned to go away again,
they shot him through the back, quite dead. The child was recovered,
but Mrs. Guard and the children testified that this native had been a
good friend to them when in captivity. Nevertheless, his head was cut
off and tumbled about on the beach. The _Alligator_ then bombarded the
native pah, destroyed all its houses to the number of 200, with all the
provisions they contained, killing from twenty to thirty men in the
process. This scarcely agreed with the letter which Mr. Busby had just
received, in which he was directed to express to the Maori chiefs the
regret which the King of England felt at the injuries committed by white
men against Maoris.


#4. Captain Hobson.#--But there were many difficulties in securing justice
between fickle savages and white men who were in general so ruffianly as
those who then dwelt in New Zealand. The atrocities of the _Harriet_
episode did some good, however, for along with other circumstances they
stirred up the English Government to make some inquiries into the manner
in which Englishmen treated the natives of uncivilised countries. These
inquiries showed much injustice and sometimes wanton cruelty, and when a
petition came from the respectable people of Kororarika, asking that
some check should be put upon the licence of the low white men who
frequented that port, the English Government resolved to annex New
Zealand if the Maoris were willing to be received into the British
Empire. For that purpose they chose Captain Hobson, a worthy and upright
sea-captain, who in his ship of war, the _Rattlesnake_, had seen much of
Australia and New Zealand. It was he who had taken Sir Richard Bourke to
Port Phillip in 1837, and Hobson's Bay was named in his honour. After
that he had been sent by Bourke to the Bay of Islands to inquire into
the condition of things there, and when he had gone home to England he
had given evidence as to the disorder which prevailed in New Zealand. He
was sent in a war-ship, the _Druid_, with instructions to keep the white
men in order, and to ask the natives if they would like to become
subjects of Queen Victoria and live under her protection. If they agreed
to do so, he was to form New Zealand into an English colony and he was
to be its Lieutenant-Governor under the general control of the Governor
of New South Wales.

Hobson reached Sydney at the end of 1839 and conferred with Governor
Gipps, who helped him to draw up proclamations and regulations for the
work to be done. On leaving Sydney, Hobson took with him a treasurer and
a collector of customs for the new colony, a sergeant of police and four
mounted troopers of the New South Wales force, together with a police
magistrate to try offenders, and two clerks to assist in the work of
government. It was the 29th of January, 1840, when he landed at the Bay
of Islands. Next day, on the beach, he read several proclamations, one
of which asserted that all British subjects, even though resident in New
Zealand, were still bound to obey British laws; and another declared
that as white men were tricking the Maoris into selling vast tracts of
land for goods of little value, all such bargains made after that date
would be illegal, while all made before that date would be inquired into
before being allowed. It was declared that if the Maoris in future
wished to sell their land the Governor would buy it and pay a fair price
for it. All white men who wished for land could then buy from the
Governor. Three days later the respectable white men of Kororarika
waited on Captain Hobson to congratulate him on his arrival and to
promise him their obedience and assistance.


#5. Treaty of Waitangi.#--Meantime Hobson had asked the missionaries to
send word round to all the neighbouring chiefs that he would like to see
them, and on the 5th of February, 1840, a famous meeting took place on
the shore of the Bay of Islands near the mouth of the pretty river
Waitangi. There on a little platform on a chair of state sat the new
Governor, with the officers of the ship in their uniform, and a guard of
mariners and sailors; while beside the platform stood the leading white
men of Kororarika. Flags fluttered all round the spot. At noon, when
Hobson took his seat, there were over five hundred Maoris, of whom fifty
were chiefs, in front of the platform. Then one of the missionaries rose
and in the Maori tongue explained what the Queen of England proposed.
First, that the Maoris, of their own accord, should allow their country
to be joined to the British Empire. Second, that the Queen would protect
them in their right to their land and all their property, and see that
no white men interfered with them in it, but that if they chose to sell
any of their land, then the Governor would buy it from them. Third,
that the Queen would extend to the Maoris, if they so desired, all the
rights and privileges of British subjects and the protection of British
law.

When these proposals had been fully explained the Maoris were asked to
say what they thought of them. Twenty-six chiefs spoke in favour of
accepting, and so bringing about peace and order in the land. Six spoke
against them, declaring that thus would the Maoris be made slaves. The
natives seemed very undecided, when Waka Nene arose and in an eloquent
address showed the miseries of the land now that fire-arms had been
introduced, and begged his countrymen to place themselves under the rule
of a queen who was able and willing to make the country quiet and happy.
The Maoris were greatly excited, and Hobson therefore gave them a day to
think over the matter. There was much discussion all night long among
the neighbouring pahs and villages; but the next day when the Maoris
gathered, forty-six chiefs put their marks to the parchment now always
known as the treaty of Waitangi.

This treaty was taken by missionaries and officers from tribe to tribe,
and in the course of two or three months over five hundred chiefs had
signed it. On the 21st May, Hobson proclaimed that the islands of New
Zealand were duly added to the British Empire, and that he would assume
the rule of the new colony as Lieutenant-Governor. Meantime houses
had been built at Kororarika for the Governor and his officers; a
custom-house had been set up, and taxes were levied on all goods landed,
so as to provide a revenue with which to pay these and other Government
expenses.


#6. Auckland.#--But the people at Kororarika had bought from the natives
all the level land in the place, and thinking their town would soon be a
great city, and the capital of an important colony, they would not sell
it except at very high prices. Now Captain Hobson had seen at the head
of the Hauraki Gulf a place which seemed to him to be more suitable for
the capital of the future colony. To this lovely spot he changed his
residence. He bought from the natives about thirty thousand acres, and
on an arm of the gulf, where the Waitemata harbour spreads its shining
waters, he caused a town to be surveyed and streets to be laid out. In
April, 1841, after he had reserved sufficient land for Government
offices, parks and other public purposes, he caused the rest to be
offered in allotments for sale by auction. There was a general belief
that now, when the islands were formally annexed to the British Empire,
New Zealand would be a most prosperous colony, and that land in its
capital would go up rapidly in value. Many speculators came over from
Sydney. The bidding was brisk, and the allotments were sold at the rate
of about six hundred pounds per acre. A few months later a sale was held
of lands in the suburbs and of farming lands a little way out from the
town. This was again successful. Houses began to spring up, most of them
slender in structure, but with a few of solid appearance. Next year
ships arrived from England with 560 immigrants, who rapidly settled on
the land, and before long a thriving colony was formed. The little town
was very pretty, with green hills behind the branching harbour that lay
in front, dotted with volcanic islets. The whole district was green; and
the figures of Maoris in the grassy streets, their canoes bringing in
vegetables to market, their pahs seen far off on the neighbouring hills,
gave the scene a charming touch of the romantic. A company of six
soldiers with four officers came from Sydney to defend the settlers, and
barracks were built for them. The name chosen for the city was Auckland,
after a gentleman named Eden, who had taken for half a century a deep
interest in colonising experiments, and who had been raised to the
peerage with the title of Lord Auckland.

[Illustration: AUCKLAND FROM THE WHARF.]


#7. New Zealand Company.#--Meantime another part of New Zealand had been
colonised under very different circumstances. The English association,
which in 1825 attempted to form a settlement at Hokianga and failed, had
consisted of very influential men. They had not given up their plans
altogether, and in 1837 they formed a new association called the New
Zealand Company. That restless theorist Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who had
already sent out the settlers who had just founded Adelaide, joined this
association, and impressed the members with his own idea already
described on page 67. It was arranged that a colony should be sent out
to New Zealand on the plan of a complete little community. There were
to be gentlemen and clergymen and teachers; so many farmers, so many
carpenters, so many blacksmiths; every trade was to be represented so
that everybody would have something to do, and there would be none too
many of any one kind. A bill was brought before Parliament for the
purpose of establishing a colony after this fashion, and at first
Parliament was inclined to favour the bill. But the missionaries in New
Zealand were hostile to the proposal. They were steadily converting the
Maoris to Christianity. They hoped to turn them into quiet, industrious
and prosperous people, if white men did not come and take away their
land from them. Parliament, therefore, refused to pass the bill. But the
company had gone too far to retreat. It had already arranged with many
settlers to take them and their families out to New Zealand, and had
begun to sell land at so much an acre, nobody knew where except that it
was to be in New Zealand. They therefore quietly purchased and fitted
out a vessel named the _Tory_ to go to New Zealand and make
arrangements. The party was under the charge of Colonel Wakefield,
brother of Edward Gibbon Wakefield; and he took with him surveyors to
lay out the land, farming experts to judge of the soil, and a scientific
man to report on the natural products. This vessel sailed away quietly
in May, 1839, hoping to reach New Zealand unnoticed. The English
Government heard of it however, informed the company that its action was
illegal, and immediately afterwards sent off Captain Hobson in the
_Druid_, as has been already described, to take possession on behalf of
the British nation. The New Zealand Company then apologised; said that
they would direct their agents who had gone out to New Zealand to obey
the Governor in all things, and promised that the new settlement should
abide by the law.


#8. Wellington.#--Meantime the _Tory_ was ploughing the deep on her way to
New Zealand. Her passengers first saw the new country on the west coast
of the South Island. They were then very much disappointed, for the
shore was high and wild, the mountains were close behind it, and their
lofty sides were gloomy and savage. The whole scene was grand, but did
not promise much land that would be suitable for farming. They turned
into Cook Strait, and anchored in Queen Charlotte Sound, a lovely
harbour, but surrounded by high hills clothed in dark and heavy forests.
When they landed, they were amazed at the depth and richness of the
black soil and the immense size to which the trees grew. Such a soil
could grow all sorts of produce in rich abundance, but it would cost
forty pounds an acre to clear it for ploughing. Boats were got out,
however, and parties rowed up into all the branches of the beautiful
harbour, but without seeing any sufficient extent of level or open land.
Then they crossed the strait, and sailing in by a narrow entrance,
viewed all the wide expanse of Port Nicholson. It was a great harbour
with a little wooded island in its middle; it opened out into quiet arms
all fringed with shelly beaches, and behind these rose range after range
of majestic mountains. The trouble was that here too the land which was
fairly level was too limited in extent to satisfy the colony's needs;
for already in England the company had sold 100,000 acres of farming
land, and the purchasers would soon be on their way to occupy it. After
examining the shores with care they chose the beach of the east side as
the site for their town. Behind it stretched the beautiful valley of the
Hutt River, enclosed by mountains, but with broad grassy meadows lying
between. Here they started to build a town which they called Britannia,
and they made friends with the Maoris of the district. A Pakeha Maori
named Barrett acted as interpreter. The natives went on board the
_Tory_, were shown 239 muskets, 300 blankets, 160 tomahawks and axes,
276 shirts, together with a quantity of looking-glasses, scissors,
razors, jackets, pots, and scores of other things, with eighty-one kegs
of gunpowder, two casks of cartridges and more than a ton of tobacco.
They were asked if they would sell all the land that could be seen from
the ship in return for these things. They agreed, signed some papers and
took the goods on shore, where they at once began to use the muskets in
a grand fight among themselves for the division of the property. It was
soon discovered that the site of the town was too much exposed to
westerly gales, and the majority of the settlers crossed Port Nicholson
to a narrow strip of grassy land between a pretty beach and some steep
hills. Here was founded the town called Wellington, after the famous
duke.

By this time the settlers were arriving thick and fast. The first came
in the _Aurora_, which reached the settlement on 22nd January, 1840;
other ships came at short intervals, till there were twelve at anchor in
Port Nicholson. The settlers were pleased with the country; they landed
in good spirits and set to work to make themselves houses. All was
activity--surveyors, carpenters, bricklayers, blacksmiths, every one
busy, and rapidly a smart little town of some hundred houses rose behind
the beach. The Maoris came and helped in the work, getting three or four
shillings a day for their services, and proving themselves very handy in
many ways. All were in sanguine spirits, when word came from Governor
Hobson at Auckland that, in accordance with his proclamation, all
purchases of land from the natives were illegal, he having come to
protect the Maoris from imposition.


#9. The Land Question.#--Now Colonel Wakefield had fancied that he had
bought 20,000,000 acres for less than £9,000 worth of goods, and he was
assigning it as fast as he could to people who had paid £1 an acre to
the company in England. Here was a sad fix. The Governor sent down his
chief officer, Mr. Shortland, who rode across the island with the
mounted police, and told the settlers not to fancy the land theirs, as
he would ere long have to turn them off. Disputes arose, for it seemed
absurd that fifty-eight Maori chiefs should sell the land on which many
thousands of people dwelt, the majority of these people never having so
much as heard of the bargain. The settlers talked of starting for South
America and forming a colony in Chili, but more kept on coming, so that
they had not ships enough to take them across. And, besides, they had
paid a pound an acre to the company and demanded their land. Colonel
Wakefield went off to Auckland to talk the matter over with Governor
Hobson, who left the difficulty to be settled by his superior, Governor
Gipps, at Sydney.

Wakefield then went to Sydney to see Governor Gipps, who said that the
whole thing was irregular, but that he would allow the settlers to
occupy the land, supposing that every Maori who had a proper claim to
any part of it got due compensation, and if twenty acres of the central
part of Wellington were reserved for public buildings. These conditions
Wakefield agreed to, and, very glad to have got out of a serious
difficulty, he returned with the good tidings. Shortly afterwards
Governor Hobson himself visited Wellington, but was very coldly received
by the settlers there.

In the next two years 350 ships arrived at Wellington, bringing out over
4,000 settlers. Of these about 1,000 went up into the valleys and made
farms; but 3,000 stayed in and around Wellington, which then grew to be
a substantial little town, with four good piers, about 200 houses of
wood or brick and about 250 houses of more slender construction. More
than 200 Maoris could be seen in its streets clad in the European
clothes given as payment for the land. In all there were about 700
Maoris in the district, and for their use the company set apart 11,000
acres of farm lands, and 110 acres in the town. Roads were being made
into the fertile valleys, where eight or ten thousand acres were
occupied as farms and being rapidly cleared and tilled. Parties were
organised to go exploring across the mountains. They brought back word
that inland the soil was splendid, sometimes covered with forests,
sometimes with meadows of long grass or New Zealand flax, but always
watered by beautiful rivers and under a lovely climate. The Maoris were
everywhere friendly throughout their journey.


#10. Taranaki.#--In the beginning of the year 1840, an emigration society
had been formed in the south-west of England to enable the farm
labourers and miners of Cornwall, Devon, and Dorset to settle in less
crowded lands. The Earl of Devon was its president, and Plymouth its
headquarters. They chose New Zealand for the site of their colony, and
understanding that the New Zealand Company had bought half of the North
Island they gave that company £10,000 for the right to select 60,000
acres of it. It was in March, 1841, that the pioneers of this new colony
arrived at Wellington under the guidance of Mr. Carrington, a surveyor
in the ship _William Bryant_. The exploring party had just come back,
and its report of the Taranaki land was very tempting. Immediately after
receiving that report Colonel Wakefield had gone off to purchase it. He
found a few natives left there, the remnant of the tribes whom Te Whero
Whero had either destroyed or carried into slavery. These few people had
taken refuge up in the awful solitudes of the giant Mount Egmont, but
had come back to dwell, a sorrow-stricken handful, in the homes of their
fathers. Barrett was left to arrange a bargain with them, and in return
for a quantity of goods they sold all the land along sixty miles of
coast with a depth of fifteen miles inland. This was the land which
Wakefield recommended for the new settlers, and he lent them a ship to
take them round. There they landed, and in spite of their disappointment
at the want of a safe harbour, they set to work and built up their
little town, which they called New Plymouth.

In September of the same year the main body of settlers arrived for this
new colony, and were landed at Taranaki, when they immediately scattered
out over the country, as fast as Carrington could survey it for them.
But there was now a difficulty. For Te Whero Whero and his tribe had
released many hundreds of the Taranaki natives who had been carried off
as slaves. Whether it was because they had now become Christians or
because the slaves were more in number than they could use, it was not
easy to determine; but at any rate, in that very month of September when
hundreds of white men were arriving to occupy the land, hundreds of
Maoris were coming back to re-occupy it. They begged the settlers not to
fell their big trees, but were very mild in their conduct. They chose
places not yet claimed by the white men, and there fenced in the land on
which to grow their sweet potatoes.

Meanwhile there was another complication. By Maori custom a warrior had
the ownership of the lands he conquered. Governor Hobson therefore
regarded Te Whero Whero as the owner of the Taranaki land, and gave him
£400 for his right to it. Hobson declared that the Auckland Government
was the owner of this land, and that all settlers must buy it from him.
Eventually the trouble was cleared up for the time being, when Hobson
allowed the company to keep ten miles of coast running back five or six
miles, the rest to belong to the Government, which would set aside a
certain part for the use of the Maoris. In December, 1842, a settler
claimed a piece of land which a Maori had fenced in; he pulled down the
fence; the Maoris put it up again. The settler assisted by an officer
pulled it down once more. A young chief who brandished a tomahawk and
threatened mischief was arrested, and carried into New Plymouth where a
magistrate liberated him, and declared the action of the settler
illegal. Matters for a time kept in this unfriendly state, ominously
hinting the desperate war that was to follow.


#11. Wanganui.#--Meanwhile the settlers in the Wellington district were
finding that by crossing difficult mountains they could get sufficient
level land for their purpose, and at the close of 1840 two hundred of
them sailed 150 miles north to where the river Wanganui falls into Cook
Strait. The land was rich and the district beautiful. Colonel Wakefield
supposed that he had bought the whole of it, though the natives
afterwards proved that they sold only a part on the north side of the
river. Here, about four miles from the mouth of the stream, the settlers
formed a little town which they called Petre, but which is now known as
Wanganui. The natives were numerous; on the river banks their villages
were frequent, and up on the hills, that rose all around like an
amphitheatre, the palisades of their fortified pahs were easily visible.
But the fine black soil of the district, in places grassy, in places
with patches of fine timber, proved very attractive to the settlers, and
soon there came half a dozen ships with more colonists direct from
England. The natives were friendly to white men, and gave them a cordial
welcome. Down the river came their canoes laden with pigs, potatoes,
melons, and gourds for sale in the market of the little town. All was
good-will until the Maoris found that the white men had come not merely
to settle among them, but to appropriate all the best of the land. Then
their tempers grew sour and the prospect steadily grew more unpleasant.


#12. Nelson.#--The emigration spirit was at this time strong in England;
for it was in the year 1840 to 1841 that free settlers chiefly colonised
both Victoria and South Australia. New Zealand was as much a favourite
as any, and when the New Zealand Company proposed in 1841 to form a new
colony somewhere in that country to be called Nelson, nearly 100,000
acres were sold at thirty shillings an acre to men who did not know even
in which island of New Zealand the land was to be situated. In April of
the same year the pioneers of the new settlement started in the ships
_Whitby_ and _Will Watch_, with about eighty settlers, their wives,
families and servants. Captain Arthur Wakefield was the leader, and he
took the ships to Wellington, where they waited while he went out to
search for a suitable site. He chose a place at the head of Tasman Bay,
where, in a green hollow fringed by a beautiful beach and embosomed deep
in majestic hills, the settlers soon gathered in the pretty little town
of Nelson. The soil was black earth resting on great boulders; out of it
grew low bushes easily cleared away, and here and there stood a few
clumps of trees to give a grateful shade. The place was shut in by the
hills so as to be completely sheltered from the boisterous gales of Cook
Strait, and altogether it was a place of dreamy loveliness. Its
possession was claimed by Rauparaha, the warrior, on the ground of
conquest. With him and other chiefs the settlers had a conference, the
result of which was that a certain specified area round the head of the
bay was purchased. But the white men regarded themselves as having the
right of superior beings to go where they wished and do with the land
what they wished. Finding a seam of good coal at a place outside their
purchase they did not in any way scruple to send a vessel to carry it
off, in spite of the protests of the Maoris.


#13. Death of Governor Hobson.#--These things hinted at troubles which
were to come, but in 1842 all things looked promising for the colonies
of New Zealand. There were altogether about 12,000 white persons, most
of them being men who wore blue shirts and lived on pork and potatoes.
Auckland the capital had 3,000 but, Wellington was the largest town with
4,000 people. Next to that came Nelson with 2,500; New Plymouth and
Wanganui were much smaller but yet thriving places. They had no less
than nine newspapers, most of them little primitive sheets, but
wonderful in communities so young. In October, 1841, Dr. George Selwyn
was appointed to be Bishop of New Zealand; and he left England with a
number of clergymen who settled in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, and New
Plymouth. Churches began to spring up, and schools not only for white
children, but also for Maoris. An immense change for the better had
appeared among the Maoris. The last case of cannibalism took place about
this time; and though they still fought among one another, it was not
with the same awful bloodshed that had characterised the previous twenty
years.

On the 16th November, 1840, the Queen declared New Zealand an
independent colony. Hobson was then no longer Lieutenant-Governor
merely, and subject to the Governor at Sydney. He was Governor Hobson,
and of equal rank with all the other Governors. He now had a
Legislative Council to assist him in making for New Zealand such laws as
might be needed in her peculiar circumstances. In that council the Chief
Justice, the Colonial Secretary, the Surveyor-General, the
Attorney-General and the Protector of the Maoris had seats. But Hobson
did not long enjoy his new dignity. He had had a difficult task to
perform, and his duty had led him into conflict with many people who
wished to purchase their land from the natives at ridiculous prices. In
the midst of his worries he had several strokes of paralysis, of which
the last killed him in September, 1842; and he was buried in the
cemetery at Auckland. He had lived, however, to see New Zealand
colonised, and had died much liked by the Maoris, without seeing any of
that bitter struggle between the two races which was soon to shed so
much blood and waste so much treasure.




CHAPTER XXV. - WHITE MEN AND MAORIS.


#1. Govenor Fitzroy.#--When Governor Hobson died, his place was taken by
his friend Lieutenant Shortland until a new Governor could be sent out.
The English people were at this time very anxious to see that the
natives of new lands which they colonised should be fairly treated, and
for that purpose they chose Captain Fitzroy to be the new Governor. Up
to this time he had been the captain of a ship and had made himself
famous in surveying and mapping little known shores in his ship the
_Beagle_, in which he had visited New Zealand on a trip round the world,
and he was therefore called to give evidence as to its condition before
the Committee of the House of Lords in 1838. He was well known to have
shown much consideration to native tribes, and his strong wish to deal
justly by them had often been shown. This was the main reason for his
appointment. He landed in November, 1843, and found the colony in a
state of great depression, the public treasury being not only empty but
in debt. For many officials had been appointed, judges, magistrates,
policemen, customs receivers and so on; and to pay the salaries of these
every one had relied on the continued sale of land.

But in 1841 there had come out the first Land Commissioner, William
Spain, who began to inquire into the disputes about land which had
arisen between white men and Maoris. Out of every ten acres the white
men said they had bought he allowed them to keep only one. This was but
fair to the Maoris, who had been induced very often to make most foolish
bargains; but the settlers ceased to buy land when they were not certain
of keeping it. Hence the land sales stopped; the Governor owed £20,000
more than he could pay, and so he was confronted with troubles from his
very first arrival.


#2. Wairau Massacre.#--Just before he came an incident had happened which
deepened the trouble of the colony. At the north of the South Island,
not far from Nelson, there was a fine valley watered by the stream
Wairau, which Colonel Wakefield claimed, alleging that it was part of
the land he had bought with the Nelson district. Rauparaha and his
son-in-law, Rangihaeata, claimed it by right of conquest, and they had a
couple of hundred stout warriors at their back, all well armed with
muskets. Mr. Spain sent word that he was coming to settle the dispute,
but, in spite of that, Captain Wakefield sent surveyors to measure out
the land for occupation by the settlers. The surveyors were turned off
by Rauparaha, who carried their instruments and other property carefully
off the land and then burnt the huts they had put up. The Maoris did no
violence, and were courteous though determined. The surveyors returned
to Nelson, and Captain Wakefield induced the local magistrates to issue
a warrant for the arrest of Rauparaha and Rangihaeata. To execute this
warrant Mr. Thompson, the police magistrate, himself went in a small
vessel, and with him went Captain Wakefield, seven other gentlemen, and
forty labourers, in all a party of forty-nine, of whom thirty-five were
armed with guns.

When they landed at the mouth of the Wairau River, Piraha, a Christian
native, met them and begged them not to go on, as Rauparaha was ready to
fight, but they paid no attention, and after marching eight miles up the
pretty valley they saw the Maoris about 100 in number standing behind
the stream, which though only waist-deep had a rushing current of chilly
water. Rauparaha said: "Here am I. What do you want with me?" Mr.
Thompson said he must go to Nelson; and an irritating conversation
ensued. Rangihaeata drew up his tall form, his curly black hair setting
off a face of eagle sharpness, and from his eye there gleamed an angry
light. Behind him stood his wife, the daughter of Rauparaha, and near
them this latter chief himself, short and broad, but strong and
wiry-looking, a man with a cunning face, yet much dignity of manner.
When the handcuffs were produced by Mr. Thompson, Rauparaha warned him
not to be so foolish. The magistrates gave the order to fix bayonets and
advance; as the white men were crossing the stream a shot was fired by
one of them. It struck dead the wife of Rangihaeata. Thereupon the
Maoris fired a volley and the white men hesitated on the brink of the
water; a second volley and a third told upon them with deadly effect,
and the labourers, who carried arms but had neither martial spirit nor
experience, turned and fled.

Five of the gentlemen with four of the labourers stood their ground, and
when the Maoris crossed they surrendered. Rauparaha called out to spare
them; but Rangihaeata, mad at the loss of a wife he loved, brained them
with his tomahawk one after another, while the young men hunted the
labourers through the trees and slew such as they overtook. Twenty-seven
white men reached the shore and were carried quickly in the boats to the
brig, five of them badly wounded. Twenty-two lay dead alongside of five
natives whom the white men had slain.

Rauparaha feared the vengeance of the white man. He had few resources in
the South Island, while the Nelson settlers could send 500 armed men
against him. He crossed in his own war canoes, over a stormy strait in
wild weather; weary and wet with spray, he landed in the south of the
North Island, roused his countrymen by his fervid oratory, to which he
gave a fine effect by jingling before them the handcuff's with which he
was to have been led a prisoner to Nelson. A day or two after the
massacre, a Wesleyan clergyman went out from Nelson to Wairau and
reverently buried those ghastly bodies with the cloven skulls. Not one
had been mangled, far less had there been any cannibalism.


#3. Effects of Wairau Massacre.#--The Maoris were clearly less ferocious
than they had been, and more than half of them had become fervid
Christians after a fashion, but in some respects they were getting their
eyes opened. The missionaries had told them that the white men were
coming for their benefit; yet now they began to see that the white men
were soon to be the lords of the soil, and that the natives must sink
back into the position of servants. If a white man visited a Maori
village he was received as a man of distinction and entertained. If a
Maori chief went to a white man's town, he was allowed to wander in the
street; or if at all accosted it was with the condescension of a
superior race to a race of servants. The Maori blood was firing up. The
story of Wairau made them change their mind about the white man's
courage. The whalers had been hearts of daring; these new-comers had run
and bawled for their lives. The natives were anxious also as to the
result which would happen when all the lands near the shore should have
been occupied by white men, and they themselves hemmed up in the
interior.

A special interest was given to these feelings when in 1844 Te Whero
Whero gave a great feast, only two miles out of Auckland, partly as a
welcome to Governor Fitzroy, and partly as a demonstration in regard to
the land question. He displayed a lavish bounty; 11,000 baskets of
potatoes and 9,000 sharks, with great stores of other provisions, were
distributed. But when the settlers saw a war dance of 1,600 men, all
well armed with muskets, and drilled with wonderful precision, they felt
that their lives were at the mercy of the native tribes. Not one-fourth
of that number of armed men with any training for battle could have been
sent forth from the settlement for its own defence. This gave a
significance to the Wairau massacre that created quite a panic. Fresh
settlers ceased to come; many that were there already now left. Those
who had taken up farms far out in the country abandoned them and
withdrew to the towns.


#4. Honi Heke.#--And yet the great majority of the Maoris seem to have had
no unfriendly purpose. When Governor Fitzroy went down to see Rauparaha
he had no more than twelve white men with him, when he entered an
assemblage of 500 Maoris. He said he had come to inquire about the sad
quarrel at Wairau, and Rauparaha told him his story while others
supported it by their evidence. Fitzroy stated that the Maoris had been
very wrong to kill those who had surrendered, but as the white men had
fired first he would take no vengeance for their death. Indeed, at
Wellington and Nelson, Fitzroy openly said that the magistrates were
wholly misguided in trying to arrest the native chief; and at Nelson he
rebuked all those who had been concerned in the affair. This gave great
offence to the white men. They asked if the blood of their friends and
relatives was thus to be shed and no sort of penalty to be exacted for
the slaughter. Many of the magistrates resigned, and a deep feeling of
irritation was shown towards the Governor, some of the settlers
petitioning the English Government to recall him.

In the August of 1844 a young chief named Honi Heke, who dwelt at the
Bay of Islands, on account of a private quarrel with a rough whaler,
entered the town of Kororarika with a band of armed followers. He
plundered a few shops and cut down a flagstaff on which the Union Jack
floated from a steep hill behind the town. There were then not more than
ninety soldiers in New Zealand, and when Heke threatened to burn
Kororarika, and do the same to Auckland, there was too good reason to
fear that he might be as good as his word, for he had 200 well-armed men
at his back, and a comrade of his, named Kawiti, had nearly as many. A
chief named Waka-Nene with his men kept Heke in check, while Fitzroy
sent to Sydney and received 160 soldiers with two cannon. These landed
at the Bay of Islands, but Waka-Nene begged the Governor not to hurry
into hostilities. He arranged for a friendly meeting. Fitzroy met nine
principal chiefs, who apologised and made Heke send also a written
apology. Fitzroy said he would redress some wrongs the natives said they
suffered, and having obtained from Heke ten muskets by way of fine and
having again set up the flagstaff he returned to Auckland.

But before the year was ended Heke approached the town once more with
100 armed men. He insulted it from the hills, cut down the flagstaff
again, and then withdrew to the forests. Fitzroy published a
proclamation offering £100 for his capture, and Heke replied by offering
£100 for the head of Fitzroy. The Governor now caused a new flagstaff to
be set up, all sheathed with iron at the bottom, and with a strong
wooden house attached to it, in which a score of soldiers were always to
keep guard. A block-house or small wooden fortress was set up at a
little distance down the hill towards Kororarika. Nevertheless, Heke
said he would come and cut down the flagstaff again. Then the
inhabitants of Kororarika began to drill in order to give him a warm
reception if he came. Lieutenant Philpott, the commander of the _Hazard_
ship of war, came ashore to drill them, and to mount one or two cannon.
Yet Heke, lurking among the hills, contrived by a sudden dash to capture
Lieutenant Philpott. However, after dealing courteously with him, he
released him.


#5. Kororarika Burnt.#--On 11th March, 1845, at daylight, Heke with 200
men crept up to the flagstaff, surprised the men in the house attached,
and when twenty men came out of the lower block-house to help their
friends on the top of the hill, he attacked them and drove them down to
the town in the hollow beside the shore. Close to the beach was a little
hill, and on the top of this hill stood a house with a garden surrounded
by a high fence. Behind this the soldiers and all the people of
Kororarika took refuge. From the rocky high ground round about the
Maoris fired down upon them, while the white men fired back, and the
guns of the _Hazard_, which had come close in to the shore, kept up a
constant roar. For three hours this lasted, ten white men being killed
as well as a poor little child, while thirty-four of the natives were
shot dead. The Maoris were preparing to retreat when, by some accident,
the whole of the powder that the white men possessed was exploded. Then
they had to save themselves. The women and children were carried out
boat after boat to the three ships in the harbour. Then the men went
off, and the Maoris, greatly surprised, crept cautiously down into the
deserted town. They danced their war dance; sent off to their parents in
the ships some white children who had been left behind, and then set
fire to the town, destroying property to the value of £50,000.

Heke's fame now spread among the Maoris. When the settlers from
Kororarika were landed at Auckland, homeless, desperate, and haggard, a
panic set in, and some settlers sold their houses and land for a trifle,
and departed. Others with more spirit enrolled themselves as volunteers.
Three hundred men were armed and drilled. Fortifications were thrown up
round the town, and sentries posted on all the roads leading to it. At
Wellington and Nelson also men were drilled and stockades were built for
defence.


#6. First Maori War.#--But Honi Heke was afraid of the soldiers, and when
Colonel Hulme arrived from Sydney with several companies he withdrew to
a strong pah of his, eighteen miles inland. Hulme landed at the nearest
point of the coast, with a force of 400 men; these were joined by 400
friendly allies under Waka-Nene, whose wife led the tribe in a diabolic
war dance, not a little startling to the British soldiers. The road that
was to lead them to Honi Heke was only a track through a dense forest.
Carts could not be taken, but each man carried biscuits for five days
and thirty rounds of ammunition. Under four days of heavy rain they
trudged along in the dripping pathway, all their biscuits wet and much
of their powder ruined. At last on a little plain, between a lake and a
wooded hill, they saw before them the pah of Honi Heke. Two great rows
of tree trunks stuck upright formed a palisade round it. They were more
than a foot thick, and twelve feet high, and they were so close that
only a gun could be thrust between them. Behind these there was a ditch
in which stood 250 Maoris, who could shoot through the palisades in
security.

The British slept that night without tents round fires of kauri gum, but
next morning all was astir for the attack. A rocket was sent whizzing
over the palisades. It fell and burst among the Maoris, frightening
them greatly, but succeeding discharges were failures, and the Maoris
gathered courage to such an extent that a number under Kawiti came out
to fight. The soldiers lowered their bayonets and charged, driving them
back into the pah. During the night while the white men were smoking
round their fires, the sound of the plaintive evening hymn rising in the
still air from the pah suggested how strong was the hold that the new
faith now had on the Maori mind. Next day Colonel Hulme, seeing that a
place defended on all sides by such a strong palisade could not be
captured without artillery, dug the graves of the fourteen soldiers
killed, and marched back carrying with him thirty-nine wounded men.

[Illustration: STRONGHOLD OF THE MAORIS AT RANGIRIRI.]

There was dismay in Auckland when this news arrived. What could be said
when 400 English soldiers retreated from 250 savages? But, on the other
hand, the Maoris had learnt a lesson. They could not fight against
English bayonets in the open, but while taking aim from behind
palisades they were safe. Therefore they began in different places to
strengthen their fortresses, and Honi Heke added new defences to his pah
of Oheawai, which stood in the forest nineteen miles from the coast.


#7. Oheawai.#--More soldiers were sent from Sydney, and with them, to take
the chief command, Colonel Despard, who had seen much fighting against
hill tribes in India. He landed 630 men and six cannons; but these
latter, being ship's cannons on wooden carriages with small wheels,
stuck in the boggy forest roads. The men had to pull the guns, and they
were assisted by 250 friendly Maoris. On the evening of 22nd June, 1845,
they spread out before the pah during the gathering dusk. It was a
strong place. In the midst of a deep and gloomy forest, a square had
been cleared about a third of a mile in length and in breadth. Great
trunks of trees had been set up in the earth, and they stood fifteen
feet high; between their great stems, a foot or eighteen inches thick,
there was just room enough left for firing a musket. Three rows of these
gigantic palings, with a ditch five feet deep between the inner ones,
made the fortress most dangerous to assault; and in the ground within
hollows had been dug where men could sleep secure from shells and
rockets. Two hundred and fifty warriors were there with plenty of
muskets and powder.

On the second morning the British had got their guns planted within a
hundred yards of the palisade, but the small balls they threw did little
harm to such huge timber. The whole expedition would have had to retire
had not a heavier gun come up. This threw shot thirty-two pounds in
weight, and after twenty-six of these had struck the same place, a
breach was seen of a yard or two in width. Colonel Despard ordered 200
men with ropes and hatchets and ladders to be ready for an assault at
daybreak. In the still dawn of a wintry morning, the bugles rang out and
the brave fellows gathered for the deadly duty. They rushed at the
breach, and for ten minutes a wild scene ensued. The place was very
narrow, and it was blocked by resolute Maoris, who shot down exactly
half of the attacking party. Many of the soldiers forced their way
through, but only to find a second and then a third palisade in front of
them. Then they returned, losing men as they fled, and the whole British
force fell back a little way into the forest. That night the groans and
cries of the wounded, lying just outside the pah, were mingled with the
wild shouts of the war dance within. Two days later the Maoris hoisted a
flag of truce, and offered to let the white men carry off the dead and
wounded. Thirty-four bodies lay at the fatal breach, and sixty-six men
were found to have been wounded.

A week later another load of cannon balls for the heavy gun was brought
up, and the palisades were further broken down. A second assault would
have been made, but during the night the Maoris tied up their dogs, and
quietly dropping over the palisades at the rear of the pah, got far away
into the forest before their retreat was known, for the howling of the
dogs all night within the pah kept the officers from suspecting that the
Maoris were escaping. The British destroyed the palisades, and carried
off the stores of potatoes and other provisions which they found inside.


[Illustration: SIR GEORGE GREY.]

#8. Governor Grey.#--Fitzroy was preparing to chase Heke and Kawiti into
their fastnesses, when he was recalled. The English Government thought
he had not acted wisely in some ways and they blamed him for disobeying
their instructions. They had more faith in that young officer, George
Grey, who, after exploring in Western Australia, was now the Governor of
South Australia. He arrived in November, 1845, to take charge of New
Zealand; and at once went to Kororarika, where he found 700 soldiers
waiting for orders. But he did not wish for fighting, if it could be
avoided. He sent out a proclamation that Maoris who wished peace were to
send in their submission by a certain day. If they did, he would see
that the treaty of Waitangi was kept, and that justice was done to them.

Honi Heke sent two letters, but neither of them was satisfactory; and as
more than a year passed without any signs of his submitting, Colonel
Despard was directed to go after him. Heke was at a pah called Ikorangi;
but Kawiti had 500 Maoris at a nearer pah called Ruapekapeka.


#9. Ruapekapeka.#--Despard took his men sixteen miles in boats up a river;
then nine miles through the forest, and on the 31st December he had
1,173 soldiers with 450 friendly natives in a camp 800 yards from the
pah. It was like the other pahs, but bigger and stronger, for behind the
palisades there were earthen walls into which cannon balls would only
plunge without doing any harm. Three heavy guns, however, were mounted,
and when the Maoris sent up their flag, the first shot was so well aimed
as to bring its flagstaff down amid the ringing cheers of the white men.
All New Year's Day was spent in pouring in cannon balls by the hundred,
but they did little harm. Next day the Maoris made a sally, but were
driven back with the bayonet. Meantime, Heke came in one night with men
to help his friend, and heavy firing on both sides was kept up for a
week, after which two small breaches appeared near one of the corners of
the palisades. The next day was Sunday, which the Maoris thought would
be observed as a day of rest, but the soldiers, creeping cautiously up,
pushed their way through the breaches; a number of the Maoris ran to
arms and fired a volley or two, but before the main body could do
anything several hundred soldiers were in the place. A stout fight took
place, during which thirteen white men were killed. The Maoris, now no
longer under cover, were no match for the soldiers, and they fled,
leaving behind them all the provisions that were to have kept them for
a whole season. This discouraged them, and Heke and Kawiti saw their men
scatter out and join themselves to the quieter tribes for the sake of
food. They therefore wrote to Grey asking peace, and promising to give
no further trouble. Grey agreed, but left 200 soldiers at Kororarika in
order to keep the Maoris of the district in check.


#10. Rauparaha.#--During the eighteen months while Heke's war was going
on, troubles had been brewing at Wellington, where Rauparaha and
Rangihaeata kept up an agitation. The latter declared his enmity; he
plundered and sometimes killed the settlers; and when soldiers were sent
round to keep him in order he surprised and killed some of them. But
Rauparaha pretended to be friendly, though the Governor well knew he was
the ringleader in the mischief. Grey quietly sent a ship, which by night
landed 130 soldiers just in front of Rauparaha's house on the shore.
They seized him sleeping in bed, and he was carried round to Auckland,
where for some months he was kept a prisoner, though allowed to go
about. Rangihaeata fled into the wildly wooded mountain ranges of the
interior. Once or twice he made a stand, but was driven from his rocky
positions, with the slaughter of men on both sides. At last he and his
followers scattered out as fugitives into lonely and savage regions into
which they could not be followed.

Thinking that good roads would do much to keep the country quiet, Grey
offered half a crown a day to Maoris who would work at making roads.
Quite a crowd gathered to the task, and for a while white men and Maoris
toiled happily together, making good carriage roads into the heart of
the country. But at Wanganui, in May, 1847, land disputes roused a tribe
to bloodshed. They killed a white woman and her four little children;
they attacked the town, and when the inhabitants withdrew to a stockade
they had made, a fight took place which lasted for five hours, after
which the Maoris burnt the town and retreated, carrying off all the
cattle. Two months later, Governor Grey reached Wanganui, with 500 men.
He chased the Maoris up the valley and fought them, gaining a decisive
victory over them with the loss of two white men killed. He gave them no
rest till the chiefs applied for peace, and early in the next year a
meeting was held, and the principal chiefs of the district promised to
obey the Queen's laws. The war had lasted five years, had cost a million
pounds, and the lives of eighty-five white men, besides those of perhaps
a hundred Maoris.

The English Government withdrew the larger part of the soldiers from New
Zealand; but the colonists, to make themselves safe, enrolled a body
they called the New Zealand Fencibles. They were all old soldiers who
had retired from the British army, and who were offered little farms and
a small payment. Five hundred came out from England on these terms, and
were placed in four settlements round Auckland for the protection of
that town. They were really farmers, who were paid to be ready to fight
if need should arise. With their wives and children they made a
population of 2,000 souls.

In this same year Rauparaha was allowed to go home. He was surprised at
the permission and grateful for it; but he was an old man and died in
the following year. In 1850 Honi Heke died, but Rangihaeata lingered on
till 1856, giving no further trouble.

Governor Grey dealt fairly with the Maoris. He paid them for their
lands. He hung such white men as murdered them. He set up schools to
educate their children, and distributed ploughs and carts, harrows and
horses, and even mills, so that they might grow and prepare for
themselves better and more abundant food than they had ever known
before.




CHAPTER XXVI. - NEW ZEALAND, 1843-1890.


#1. Otago.#--Meantime the New Zealand Company had not been idle, and
E. G. Wakefield's busy brain was filled with fresh schemes. In 1849 an
association had been formed at Glasgow in connection with the Free
Church of Scotland, to send Scottish families out to New Zealand. Not
knowing anything of the country, the new association asked the help of
the New Zealand Company, which was readily given, as the new settlers
proposed to buy land from the company. In 1844 an exploring party was
sent out, and, after some inquiry, chose a place on the east coast of
the South Island, called Otago. With the consent of the Governor 400,000
acres were there bought from the natives, and it seemed as if a new
colony would soon be formed. But the news of the Wairau massacre and the
unsettled state of the natives frightened intending settlers for a time.
It was not till November, 1847, that the _John Wycliff_ and the _Philip
Lang_ sailed from Greenock with the first company of settlers. They
reached their new home in March, 1848, under the guidance of Captain
Cargill, an old soldier, who had been chosen as leader of the new
settlement. At the head of a fine harbour, which they called Port
Chalmers, they laid the foundations of a town, to which they gave the
patriotic name of Dunedin, Gaelic for Edinburgh. It was in a fine
district, troubled by few natives, and it steadily grew. Less than a
year later, it had 745 inhabitants, who could boast of a good jetty, and
a newspaper. The life of pioneers cannot be very easy, but these were of
the right sort and prospered, and more would have joined them but for
two circumstances. First came the news of the rich gold discoveries in
California; and the most adventurous spirits hurried thither. Not only
did this keep settlers from coming to New Zealand, but indeed a thousand
of those she possessed left her shores for the goldfields. Then in this
same year, 1848, a violent earthquake took place, which knocked down
£15,000 worth of buildings in Wellington, and killed a man with his two
children.

[Illustration: KNOX CHURCH, DUNEDIN.]


#2. Canterbury.#--Yet these unlucky accidents only delayed the progress of
the colony by a year or two, and in the year 1850 a new settlement was
formed. Seven years before this, Wakefield had conceived the idea of a
settlement in connection with the Church of England. A number of leading
men took up the notion, and among them was the famous Archbishop
Whately. An association was formed which bought 20,000 acres of the New
Zealand Company's land, to be selected later on. The settlers paid a
high price for this land, but the greater part of the money so received
was to be used for their own benefit, either in bringing out fresh
settlers or in building churches and schools. A bishop and schoolmasters
were to go out; a nobleman and other men of wealth bought land and
prepared to take stock and servants out to the fine free lands of the
south. Wakefield had enlisted in the new scheme a gentleman named John
Robert Godley, who became very ardent, and under his direction three
ships were filled with 600 settlers and their property, and left England
on their long voyage to the Antipodes. They reached their destination,
the east coast of the South Island, on 16th December, 1850, and gladly
felt the soil of a lovely land under their feet. In their enthusiasm
they sang the National Anthem, and scattered out to view their new
homes. A high and rugged hill prevented their seeing inland till they
climbed to its brow, and then they perceived long plains of fertile
soil, watered by numerous streams of bright and rapid water. They
resolved to found their city on the plains, making only a port upon the
sea-shore. Governor Grey and his wife came over from Wellington to
welcome them, and they found that much had been done to make them
comfortable. Large sheds had been put up in which they could find
shelter till they should build their own homes. A pretty spot by a river
named the Avon was chosen for the town, which was laid out in a square;
and a church and schoolroom were built among the first erections. In
keeping with the religious fervour that lay at the basis of the whole
undertaking, the town was called Christchurch; while the name of
Lyttelton was given to the seaport, a road being made between the two
and over the hill.

[Illustration: CHRISTCHURCH CATHEDRAL.]

During the next year 2,600 settlers arrived. Some of these were young
men of birth and fortune, who brought with them everything needed to
transplant to New Zealand the luxuries of England. A large proportion of
the settlers were labouring men of a superior class, who were brought
out as servants at the expense of the wealthy settlers. There was a good
deal of disappointment. Many of the labourers crossed over to Australia,
where the gold discoveries offered every man a chance of fortune, and
where wages were very high. The wealthiest people therefore had to do
their own work, and few of them liked it. The result was that many left
the settlement and never came back to it. But from Australia came
relief. For some of the squatters who had been dislodged by the
inroad of diggers to Victoria, hearing of the great grassy plains of
Canterbury, with never a tree to be cleared from the natural pasturage,
crossed with flocks of sheep, and bought land in the new settlement. In
1853 Canterbury had 5,000 people; it produced £40,000 worth of wool a
year, and seventy vessels reached its seaport. For a place in its third
year such progress was wonderful.


#3. New Zealand Prosperous.#--The natives being at peace, and the price of
land being reduced, settlers streamed steadily into New Zealand. In 1853
there were 31,000 white people in the colony, and they had bought from
the natives 24,000,000 acres of land. They had a million of sheep, and
their exports were over £300,000 in value. The Government was quite
solvent again, having a revenue of £140,000 a year. A very large number
of farms were by this time in full work, those in the North Island being
chiefly used for crops, those in the South Island chiefly for sheep. But
the New Zealand Company had disappeared. In 1850 it was a quarter of a
million pounds in debt, and it was wound up, leaving its shareholders
with heavy losses.

An important event in the history of New Zealand occurred on 30th June,
1852, when the English Parliament gave the colony power to make its own
laws and manage its own affairs, practically without interference from
London. A bill was passed providing that there should be six provinces,
each with its own provincial council, consisting of not less than nine
persons to be chosen to manage local affairs. There was also to be the
General Assembly, consisting of a legislative council, appointed by the
Governor, and a House of Representatives consisting of forty members to
be chosen by the colonists. The Governor, who was now Sir George Grey,
did much to bring these new arrangements into force and to adapt them to
the needs of the settlers. Having ruled well for eight years and brought
the colony into a prosperous condition, and being required to set in
order the affairs of Cape Colony, he left New Zealand on the last day of
1853, much regretted by the Maoris and also by the majority of the
colonists.

[Illustration: THE MAORI KING.]

Colonel Wynyard acted as Governor for the time being, and summoned the
first Parliament of New Zealand to meet in May, 1854. He had much
difficulty in getting the system of Cabinets of responsible Ministers to
work smoothly. The colonists from different provinces had interests
which lay in opposite directions, and political matters did not move
easily. He was glad when the new Governor, Colonel Gore Browne, arrived
in September, 1855. At that time New Zealand had 45,000 white settlers
in it, and the discovery next year of rich goldfields in Otago attracted
many more, and gave a great impetus to Dunedin. Everything promised a
splendid future, when again the Maoris became troublesome.


#4. The King Movement.#--The Waikato tribe had always been averse to the
selling of their land. They said truly enough that the money the white
men gave for it was soon spent, but the land was gone for ever, and the
settlers were fencing in 40,000 additional acres every year. They
called a meeting on the banks of Lake Taupo to discuss the question. A
large number of chiefs were present, and they agreed to form a Land
League, all members of which undertook to sell no more land to white
men. At this time also a new project was formed. The Maoris felt their
weakness whilst divided up into so many tribes. Union would make them
strong. They resolved to select one chief to be king of all the Maoris,
and for that purpose they chose the redoubted Te Whero Whero, who
hoisted the Maori flag. But he was old and inclined to die in peace,
and, dying soon afterwards, was succeeded by his son, a young man of no
ability. Many of the Maoris held aloof from these leagues; they were of
tribes hostile to the Waikatos, or else they were glad to get the white
man's money, and felt that they had still plenty of land for their own
use. But in the heart of the North Island, some 4,000 or 5,000 Maori
warriors nursed a wild project of driving the English out of the
country. They gathered muskets and powder; they strengthened their pahs
and filled them with potatoes and yams. Governor Browne took no steps to
check them, and suffered several thousand muskets to be bought from
English ships along the coasts.


#5. Taranaki War.#--Meantime a quarrel had been going forward which gave
the Maoris a pretext for fighting. In 1859 Governor Browne had visited
Taranaki, and announced that if any of the natives had land to sell he
was ready to buy it. A Maori offered him 600 acres, proving that he was
the owner of the land. The Governor gave him £200 for it; but the chief
of the tribe to which this Maori belonged was one of the Land League,
and refused to let the land be sold. The Governor after inquiry came to
the conclusion that as the rightful owner of the land was willing to
sell it, no one else had a claim to interfere. He sent surveyors up to
measure the land. They were stopped by the chief. The Governor sent some
soldiers to protect the surveyors. The whole of the Taranaki Maoris rose
in arms, and swept the few soldiers down to the coast. They then ravaged
the whole district, burning houses, crops, and fences; and all the
settlers of Taranaki crowded for defence into the town of New Plymouth.
Most of them were ruined, and many of them left for other colonies.
Governor Browne now sent round from Auckland all the soldiers he had;
but, in accordance with their agreement, the Waikato tribes sent
warriors to assist the Taranaki tribe. Their Maori king having no great
influence, these were placed under the command of Te Waharoa, a Maori
chief of much skill and popularity. Many skirmishes took place, in which
the natives, through their quickness and subtle plans, inflicted more
injury than they received. But General Pratt having arrived from Sydney
with fresh soldiers, and prepared to sap the pahs and blow them up, the
Maoris became afraid, and Te Waharoa proposed that peace should be made,
which was done in May, 1861.


#6. Second Maori War.#--Governor Browne then called upon the Waikato
tribes, who were then in arms, to make submission and take the oath of
obedience to the Queen's laws. Very few did so; and when Sir Duncan
Cameron arrived to take the chief command with more troops and big guns,
he stated that he would invade the Waikato territory and punish those
tribes for their disobedience.

But then came news that the English Government, being dissatisfied with
the way in which matters were drifting into war, was going to send back
Sir George Grey. He arrived in September, 1861, to take the place of
Colonel Browne, and after a month or two summoned a great meeting of
the Waikatos to hear him speak. They gathered and discussed the land
question. Grey said that those who did not wish to sell their land could
keep it by the treaty of Waitangi; but that no one must hinder another
man from selling what was his own. The land for which Governor Browne
had given £200 at Taranaki was still in the occupation of armed Maoris,
and it must be given up. Grey reasoned with them, but they were
obstinate. Bishop Selwyn went among them and exhorted them to peace,
but made no impression.

Meanwhile General Cameron set his men at work to make roads, and during
the year and a half while the Governor was trying to bring the Maoris to
reason, he was making good military highways throughout the North
Island.

In October, 1862, the Maoris held another great meeting among themselves
to discuss their position. They had grown confident, and thought that
the Governor's mildness arose from weakness. They resolved to fight. The
Governor sent soldiers to take possession of the land at Taranaki. Te
Waharoa sent word to the Taranaki Maoris to begin shooting, and he would
soon be with them. He was as good as his word, and laid a trap for a
body of English soldiers and killed ten of them.

The Waikatos sent an embassy to all the other tribes, urging them to
join and drive the white men out of the country. Te Waharoa was chosen
to command in a grand attack at Auckland, and for that purpose the
Maoris in two columns moved stealthily through the forest down the
Waikato valley towards the town, threatening to massacre every white man
in it. But General Cameron was there in time to meet them. They fell
back to a line of rifle pits they had formed, and from that shelter did
much damage to the British troops. But at last the Maoris were dislodged
and chased with bayonets up the Waikato, losing fifty of their men. They
had stronger entrenchments farther up, where a thousand men were
encamped with women to cook for them and to make cartridges. So strongly
were they posted that Cameron waited for four months whilst guns and
supplies were being brought up along the roads, which were now good and
well made. By getting round to the side of their camp, and behind it, he
made it necessary for them to fall back again, which they did.


#7. Rangiriri.#--They now made themselves very secure at a place called
Rangiriri, where a narrow road was left between the Waikato River and a
boggy lake. This space they had blocked with a fence of thick trees
twenty feet high, and with two ditches running across the whole length.
In the midst of this strong line they had set up a redoubt, a sort of
square fortress, from the walls of which they could fire down upon the
attackers in any direction. About 500 Maoris well armed took up their
position in this stronghold. Cameron advanced against them with 770 men
and two guns, each throwing shot of forty pounds weight. At the same
time four gunboats with 500 soldiers were sent up the river to take the
Maori position in flank. At half-past four on a July morning the British
bugles sounded the attack, and the fight lasted until the darkness of
night put an end to it. During that fierce day the British charged again
and again, to be met by a murderous fire from behind the palisades and
from the walls of the redoubt. Forty-one soldiers had been killed and
ninety-one wounded, the line of palisades had been captured, but the
Maoris had all gathered safely within the redoubt. During the night the
troops were quartered all round so as to prevent them from escaping, and
a trench was cut to lead to a mine under the redoubt so that it could be
blown up with gunpowder in the morning. The Maoris saw this project and
could not prevent it. In the early dawn, after a night spent in war
dances and hideous yelling, some of them burst out by the side towards
the lake, and rushed past or jumped over the soldiers who were resting
there. A heavy fire, poured into them from their rear, killed a great
many of them. Seeing this, a large party of the Maoris, and among them
Te Waharoa and the Maori king, stayed in the redoubt. But they knew that
they were trapped, and next day they surrendered, in all 183 men with a
few women. Sixty or seventy of the Maoris had been killed, but several
hundreds escaped.

[Illustration: RANGIRIRI, FROM THE WAIKATO.]


#8. Orakau.#--Meantime General Carey, who was next in command to General
Cameron, had been chasing another large body of the Waikato tribe far up
the river more than half way to its source in Lake Taupo. It was a wild
and mountainous district, and the Maoris were sheltered at Orakau, a pah
in a very strong position. Carey spent three days in running a mine
under the walls, while his guns and mortars kept up a perfect storm of
shot and shell. Then he offered to accept their surrender. They refused
to give in. He begged them at least to let the women and children go and
they would be allowed to pass out unhurt. They said that men and women
would fight for ever and ever. Yet when the mines began to burst, and
the guns poured in redoubled showers of death, they found they could
hold the place no longer. They formed a column, and made a sudden rush
to escape. So quick were they and so favourable the ground, that they
would have escaped if the British had not had a body of 300 or 400
cavalry, who rode after them and sabred all who would not surrender.
About 200 were killed, and although several hundreds escaped yet they
were so dispersed that they made no further stand. They left their pahs,
and though a series of skirmishes took place, yet the Waikato rebellion
was ended, and Cameron had only to leave a sufficient number of military
settlers along the Waikato Valley to make certain that peace and order
would be maintained.


#9. The Gate Pah.#--There was a tribe at Tauranga, on the Bay of Plenty,
with whom Governor Grey was displeased, for they had sent men, guns and
food to help the Waikatos, and they showed a warlike disposition. He
demanded their submission, and they refused it. He then sent General
Cameron with 1,500 soldiers to deal with them. This force found the
Tauranga tribe prepared to fight in a strong place called the Gate Pah,
built on a ridge with a swamp at each side. They had 500 men in it, all
well armed. Cameron had three heavy guns placed in position, and during
the night 700 soldiers passed round one of the swamps to get at the rear
of the Maoris. In the morning a terrific fire was opened, and for two
hours the place was swept by shot and shell, but the Maoris had dug
underground shelters for themselves, and were little injured. After that
the guns were used to break a hole in the palisades, and at four o'clock
there was a sufficient breach to admit an attacking party. Three hundred
men were chosen, and put in front of the place. A rocket was sent up as
a signal, and the attacking party dashed at the breach. As they entered
it, not a Maori could be seen, but puffs of smoke all along the earthen
bank showed where they were concealed. The assailants were a dense
crowd, on whom every shot told. All the officers were killed. More men
kept crowding in, only to drop before the murderous fire. Suddenly a
panic seized the men. A rush was made to get out of the breach again,
and while the soldiers were running away volley after volley was fired
into the crowd. General Cameron did not renew the attack, for evening
was falling. There came on a dark wet night; and although surrounded on
all hands, the Maoris contrived to slip gently past the sentries,
leaving some wounded men behind them.


#10. Te Ranga.#--The Maoris fell back a few miles and chose a strong
position at Te Ranga for a new pah. They had only dug the ditches and
made some rifle pits when the British were upon them. The troops carried
the position with a rush, the Maoris standing up against the bayonets
with the coolest courage. A hand-to-hand fight forced the natives out of
the ditches, and then they turned and fled. The horse soldiers pursued
and killed many. Altogether 123 of the Maoris were killed and a large
number captured, while the English lost ten men killed.


#11. Wereroa.#--After this action, though skirmishes were frequent, the
Maoris made no determined stand, and on the English side affairs were
carried on in a slow fashion. General Cameron had under him 10,000
regular soldiers, and nearly 10,000 colonial volunteers. He had nearly a
dozen vessels of different sorts, either on the coasts or up the river,
and he had an abundance of heavy guns. There arose quarrels between him
and the Governor, who thought that with less than 1,000 Maoris under
arms more progress ought to have been made. General Cameron resigned and
departed in the middle of 1865. The Governor wished him before he went
to attack a pah called Wereroa, but the general said he required 2,000
more men to do it, and refused. Yet Sir George Grey, taking himself the
command of the colonial forces, captured the fort without losing a man.
The bulk of the Maoris escaped, and kept up for a time a guerilla
warfare in forests and on mountain sides; but at last the Tauranga
tribes, or the miserable remnant that was left, surrendered to the
Governor. Grey, in admiration of their generous and often noble conduct
and their straightforward mode of fighting, allowed all the prisoners to
go free; and though he punished them by confiscating a quarter of their
land, he did his best to settle them on the other three-fourths in peace
and with such advantages as British help could secure them. So there
came quietness round the Bay of Plenty.


#12. The Hau Hau Religion.#--Meantime new trouble was brewing in the
Taranaki district. There the soldiers were skirmishing with the Maoris,
but had them well in control, when a pair of mad or crafty native
priests set the tribes in wild commotion, by declaring that the Angel
Gabriel had told them in a vision that at the end of the year 1864 all
white men would be driven out of New Zealand, that he himself would
defend the Maoris, and that the Virgin Mary would be always with them;
that the religion of the white men was false, and that legions of angels
would come and teach the Maoris a better religion. In the meantime all
good Maoris who shouted the word Hau Hau as they went into battle would
be victorious, and angels would protect their lives. A body of these
fanatics, deeply impressed with the belief in these and many other
follies, tried their fortunes against the soldiers at Taranaki, but
with small success. Forty of them, in spite of shouting their Hau Hau,
fell before the muskets and guns of the white men. Then 300 of them made
an effort in another direction, and, moving down the river Wanganui,
threatened the little town at its mouth. Wanganui was defended by 300
soldiers; but all the out settlers up the valley were leaving their
farms and hurrying in for shelter, when 300 men of the Wanganui tribe,
who liked the white men and were friendly with them, offered to fight
the Hau Haus. The challenge was accepted; and about 200 of the fanatics
landed on a little island called Moutoa, in the middle of the river.
Though surrounded by a pretty margin of white pebbles, it was covered
with ferns and thick scrub. Through this at daybreak the combatants
crept towards each other, the Hau Haus gesticulating and making queer
sounds. At last they fell to work, and volley after volley was
discharged at only ten yards distance. The friendly natives, having seen
three of their chiefs fall, turned and fled. Many had plunged into the
river, when one of their chiefs made a stand at the end of the island,
and gathering twenty men around him poured in a volley and killed the
Hau Hau leader. This surprised the fanatics and they hesitated; then a
second volley and a charge routed them. Back came the friendly Maoris
who had fled, and chased their enemies into the stream, wherein a heavy
slaughter took place. About seventy of the Hau Haus were slain. The
twelve who fell on the friendly side were buried in Wanganui with
military honours, and a handsome monument now marks the place where
their bones rest.


#13. Conclusion of Maori Wars.#--In 1866 General Chute came to take
command of the troops, in place of General Cameron. A vigorous campaign
crushed the Hau Haus after much skirmishing in different parts of the
Wellington district. But the chief trouble arose from another source.
The 183 prisoners taken at Rangiriri, together with some others taken
afterwards, were detained on board a hulk near Auckland. Sir George Grey
wished to deal in a kindly fashion with them, and proposed to release
them if they gave their word not to give further trouble. The Ministers
of his Cabinet were against this proposal, but agreed that he should
send them to an island near Auckland to live there without any guards.
They gave their promise, but broke it and all but four escaped, Te
Waharoa being among them. They chose the top of a circular hill
thirty-five miles from Auckland and there fortified themselves in a pah
called Omaha. But they did no harm to any one, and as they soon quietly
dispersed they were not meddled with.

A wild outburst of Hau Hau fanaticism on the east coast of the Bay of
Plenty stirred up the fires of discord again, when a worthy old Church
of England missionary named Mr. Volkner was seized, and, after some
savage rites had been performed, was hanged on a willow tree as a
victim. More fighting followed, in which a large share was taken by a
Maori chief named Ropata, who, clad in European uniform and with the
title of Major Ropata, fought stoutly against the Hau Haus, and captured
several pahs.


#14. Te Kooti.#--When the last of these pahs was captured an English
officer declared that one of the friendly chiefs named Te Kooti was
playing false and acting as a spy. Thinking to do as Governor Grey had
done with Rauparaha, this officer seized the chief, who, without trial
of any sort, was sent off to the Chatham Islands, a lonely group 300
miles away, which New Zealand was now using as a penal establishment for
prisoners. This conduct was quite unfair, as Te Kooti, so far as can now
be known, was not a spy, and was friendly to the English.

Nearly 300 Maoris were on the Chatham Islands, most of them Hau Hau
prisoners. They were told that if they behaved well they would be
allowed to return in two years. When two years were past and no signs of
their liberation appeared, Te Kooti planned a bold escape. An armed
schooner, the _Rifleman_, having come in with provisions the Maoris
suddenly overpowered the twelve soldiers who formed their guard, and
seized the vessel. One soldier was killed whilst fighting, but all the
rest were treated gently. The whole of the Maoris went on board and then
the crew were told that unless they agreed to sail the vessel back to
New Zealand they would all be killed. Day and night Maori guards
patrolled the deck during the voyage, and one of them with loaded gun
and drawn sword always stood over the helmsman and compelled him to
steer them home. They reached the shores of New Zealand a little north
of Hawke Bay, and landed, taking with them all the provisions out of
the vessel, but treating the crew in a kindly way. A ship was sent round
with soldiers who attacked the runaways, but they were too few, and too
hastily prepared, so that Te Kooti easily defeated them. Three times was
he attacked by different bodies of troops, and three times did he drive
off his assailants. Cutting a path for himself through the forests, he
forced his way a hundred miles inland to a place of security. But his
people had no farms, and no means of raising food in these wild mountain
regions, and the provisions they had taken from the _Rifleman_ were used
in a few months.


#15. Poverty Bay Massacre.#--Then, roused to madness by hunger, of which
some of them had died, they crept cautiously back to the Poverty Bay
district. Falling at night upon the little village, they slaughtered
men, women, and children, as well as all the quiet Maoris they could
catch. The dawn woke coldly on a silent village, wherein fifty or sixty
bodies lay gashed and mangled in their beds, or at their doors, or upon
their garden paths. An old man and a boy escaped by hiding. After taking
all the provisions out of the place, Te Kooti set fire to the houses and
retreated to the hills, where, on the top of a peak 2,000 feet high, he
had made a pah called Ngatapa, which was defended on every side by
precipices and deep gorges. There was only one narrow approach, and that
had been fortified with immense care. The colonial troops under Colonel
Whitmore, and bodies of friendly Maoris under Ropata, attacked him here.
The work was very difficult, for after climbing those precipitous hills
there were two palisades to be carried, one seven feet high and the
other twelve. But science prevailed. After great exertions and appalling
dangers the place was captured by Ropata, who climbed the cliffs and
gained a corner of the palisades, killing a great number of Te Kooti's
men in the action. During the night the rest escaped from the pah,
sliding from the cliffs by means of ropes. But in the morning they were
chased, and for two days the fugitives were brought back to the pah in
twos and threes. Ropata took it for granted that they were all concerned
in the massacre at Poverty Bay. Each of the captives as he arrived was
stripped, taken to the edge of the cliff, shot dead, and his body thrown
over. About a hundred and twenty were thus slaughtered. But Te Kooti
himself escaped, and for the next two years he lived the life of a
hunted animal, chased through the gloomy forests by the relentless
Ropata. He fought many fights; his twenty Hau Hau followers were often
near to death from starvation; but at length wearied out he threw
himself on the mercy of the white men, was pardoned, sunk into
obscurity, and died in peace.

War was not really at an end till 1871; as up to that date occasional
skirmishes took place. But there never was any fear of a general rising
of the Maoris after 1866.


#16. Progress of New Zealand.#--These wars were confined to the North
Island. Otago, Canterbury, and Nelson felt them only by way of increased
taxes. Otherwise they were left in peace to pursue their quiet progress.
They multiplied their population sixfold; they opened up the country
with good roads; a railway was cut through the mountain to join
Christchurch with its seaport, Lyttelton, by a tunnel half a mile long.
A similar but easier railway was made to join Dunedin to Port Chalmers;
gold was found in various parts, especially in Otago, and on the west
coast round Hokitika. For a time New Zealand sent out gold every year to
the value of two and a half million pounds, and this lucrative pursuit
brought thousands of stout settlers to her shores.

[Illustration: THE CARGILL FOUNTAIN, DUNEDIN.]

In 1864 the New Zealand Parliament chose Wellington to be the capital of
the colony, as being more central than Auckland. In 1868 an Act was
passed to abolish the provinces, and to make New Zealand more completely
a united colony. A great change began in this same year, when the first
Maori chief was elected to be a member of the New Zealand Parliament.
Before long there were six Maoris seated there, two of them being in
the Upper House. These honourable concessions, together with a fairer
treatment in regard to their land, did much to show the Maoris that
their lives and liberties were respected by the white men. They had lost
much land, but what was left was now of more use to them than the whole
had formerly been. Their lives and their property were now safer than
ever, and they learnt that to live as peaceful subjects of Queen
Victoria was the happiest course they could follow. The Government built
schools for them and sent teachers; it built churches for them and cared
for them in many ways. Thus they became well satisfied, even if they
sometimes remembered with regret the freer life of the olden times.

But Sir George Grey, who was the warm friend of the Maori, was no longer
Governor. He had finished his work and his term of office had expired.
Sir George Bowen came out to take his place. Grey after a trip to
England returned to take up his residence in New Zealand, and a few
years later allowed himself to be elected a member of its Parliament.
Subsequently he became its Prime Minister, sinking his own personal
pride in his desire to do good to the country.

From 1870 to 1877 the affairs of the country were chiefly directed by
ministries in which Sir Julius Vogel was the principal figure. He
started and carried out a bold policy of borrowing and spending the
money so obtained in bringing out fresh settlers and in opening up the
land by railways. This plan plunged the colony deeply into debt, but it
changed the look of the place, and although it had its dangers and its
drawbacks, it has done a great deal for the colony. At first the natives
refused to let the railways pass through their districts, but in 1872 a
great meeting of chiefs agreed that it would be good for all to have the
country opened up. Some maintained a dull hostility till 1881, but all
the same the railways were made, until at length 2,000 miles were open
for traffic.

Between 1856 and 1880 nineteen different ministries managed the affairs
of New Zealand, one after the other, the same Prime Minister however
presiding over different ministries. The most notable of these have
been, Sir William Fox, Edward W. Stafford, Major Atkinson, and Sir
Julius Vogel.

In 1880 the colony had increased to 500,000 white people, owning
12,000,000 sheep and exporting nearly £6,000,000 worth of goods. The
Maoris were 44,000, but while the whites were rapidly increasing, the
Maoris were somewhat decreasing. They had 112,000 sheep and nearly
50,000 cattle, with about 100,000 pigs.

The heavy expenditure of the borrowing years from 1870 to 1881 was
followed by a time of depression from 1880 to 1890, during which Sir
Robert Stout and Major Atkinson were Prime Ministers; but at the end
of that period the colony began rapidly to recover. Its population
approached 750,000, with 42,000 Maoris; its sheep were nearly 20,000,000
in number; and its farms produced 20,000,000 bushels of wheat and oats.
It sent £4,000,000 worth of wool to England, and about £1,000,000 worth
of frozen meat. The general history of the last twenty years may be
summed up as consisting of immense progress in all material and social
interests.

[Illustration: VICTORIA DEFENCE FLEET.]


* * *


INDEX.

[Use your 'Search' function to search for index entries in the text]

Abolition of Transportation
_Active_
Adelaide
Agricultural Co., N.S.W.
Albany
Alexander, Mount
Alexandrina, Lake
Alfred, Prince
_Alligator_
Anti-Transportation
Arthur, Governor
Atkin, Judge-Advocate
Auckland
Australia, name given
Australian Bight
Ballarat
Bass
Bathurst
Batman
Baudin
Bentley
Bligh
Blue Mountains
Botany Bay
Bourke
Bowen, Lieutenant
Bowen, Sir George
_Boyd_
Brady
Brisbane, Governor
Brisbane River
Britannia
Browne, Colonel
Browne, Colonel Gere
Buccaneers' Archipelago
Buckley
Burke and Wills
Burra Mines
Busby
Caen, De
Caley's Repulse
Cameron, Sir Duncan
Canterbury
Carpenter, General
Castlemaine
Castlereagh
Chisholm, Mrs.
Christchurch
Clarke
Clarke, Rev. W. B.
Clunes
Collins, Governor
Convicts Prevention Act
Cook's Voyages
Corner Inlet
Cotton Plantations
Cowper, Charles
Crawford
Crozet, Captain
_Cumberland_, vessel
Cunningham, Allan
Dalley
Dalrymple
Dampier
Darling River
Darling, Sir Charles
Darling, Sir Ralph
Davey, Governor
Denison, Governor
D'Entrecasteaux
Despard, Colonel
Du Cane
Du Fresne
_Dunbar_
Dunedin
_Duyfhen_
Edel
_Endeavour_
Esmond
Eureka Stockade
Exhibitions--
  Sydney
  Melbourne
  Adelaide
Eyre, Edward
Fawkner
Fisher
Fitzroy, Governor
Fitzroy, Sir Charles
Flinders
Forrest
Foveaux, Colonel
Franklin, Sir John
Fremantle
Furneaux
Garden Island
Gate Pah
Gawler, Colonel
Geelong
Giles
Gipps, Governor
Glenelg River
Godley, John Robert
Gold, early rumours of
Gold in Queensland
Goldfields, aspect of
Goldfields, rush to
Gregory, A. C.
Grey, Earl
Grey, Governor
Grimes
Grose, Major
Hacking, Port
Haines
Hargraves
Hartog, Dirk
Hau Hau
Hawaiki
Hawkesbury
Henty Bros.
Hervey Bay
Hindmarsh, Governor
Hobart Town
Hobson, Governor
Hokianga
Hongi
Honi Heke
Hotham, Sir Charles
Howe, Cape
Howitt
Hulme, Colonel
Hume and Hovell
Humffray
Hunter, Captain
_Investigator_, vessel
Jackson, Port
Johnstone, Major
Kangaroo Island
Kapunda Mines
Keer-weer, Cape
Kennedy, the explorer
Kennedy, a miner
Kororarika
King, Lieutenant
King George's Sound
Lalor
Lancey, Captain
Land Grants, W.A.
Land Laws, N.S.W.
Land League
Land Question
Landsborough
Lang, Dr.
La Perouse
Latrobe
_Leeuwin_
Legislative Assembly
Legislative Council
Leichardt
Licence Fee
Lonsdale
Lyttelton
Macarthur, John
M'Culloch
M'Kinlay
Macleay
Macquarie, Governor
Macquarie River
Marion
Marsden, Samuel
Melbourne
Merri Creek
Mitchell
Moreton Bay
Murray, Lieutenant
Murray River
Nelson
New Hebrides
New Plymouth
New South Wales Corps
New South Wales named
New Zealand
New Zealand Company
New Zealand Fencibles
Norfolk Island
_Norfolk_, sloop
Nuggets
Nuyts
Oheawai
Orakau
Otago
Ovens River
Oxley
Parkes, Sir H.
Patriotic Six
Patterson, Colonel
Peel, Mr.
Perth
Phillip, Governor
Polynesian Labour
Poole
Portland Bay
Port Chalmers
Port Phillip
Poverty Bay
Queen Charlotte Sound
Queensland
Quiros, De
Railways in N.S.W.
Rangihaeata
Rangiriri
Rauparaha
Ruapekapeka
Ruatara
_Rebecca_, vessel
Redcliff Peninsula
Representative Government
Risdon
Robe, Governor
Robertson, John
Rockhampton
_Roebuck_
Saltwater River
Sandhurst
Selwyn, Dr. George
Separation of Port Phillip
Separation of Queensland
Settled Government
Shoalhaven River
Shortland, Lieutenant
_Sirius_, war-ship
Sorell, Governor
Soudan Expedition
South Australian Association
Spain, William
Spencer's Gulf
Stony Desert
Strzelecki
Stuart, M'Douall
Sturt
_Supply_, war-ship
Surville De
Sydney Cove
Tamar River
Taranaki
Tarra
Tasman
Tasmania named
Taylor
Te Kooti
Telegraph, overland
Te Pehi
Te Ranga
Te Whero Whero
Todd, Charles
_Tom Thumb_, boat
Torrens' Real Property Act
Torrens, Colonel
Torres
Tribulation, Cape
Twofold Bay
University of Sydney
Vancouver
Van Diemen
Vern
Victoria
Vlaming
Wairau
Waitangi
Wakefield, Edward Gibbon
Wakefield Colonel
Walker
Wanganui
Warburton
Weld, Governor
Wellington
Wentworth
Wereroa
Western Port
West Australia
Wilmot, Sir Eardley
Wilson's Promontory
Windsor
Wool-growing
Wynyard, Colonel
Yarra
York, Cape
Young, Sir Henry
Young, Sir John
Zaachen



THE END



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