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his claim to any farther share of the public provision. As a
The convicts whose terms of transportation had expired were now collected, and by the authority of the governor informed, that such of them as wished to become settlers in this country should receive every encouragement ; that those who did not, were to labour for their provisions, stipulating to work for twelve or eighteen months certain ; and that in the way of such as preferred returning to England no obstacles would be thrown, provided they could procure passages from the masters of such ships as might arrive; but that they were not to expect any assistance on the part of government to that end. The wish to return to their friends appeared to be the prevailing idea, a few only giving in their names as settlers, and none engaging to work for a certain time.'
That the wish to return home was strong indeed, and paramount to all other feelings, was evinced in a very melancholy instance some time before. A convict, an elderly man, was found dead in the woods, near the settlement; who, on being opened, it appeared had died from want of nourishment; and it was found that he was accustomed to deny himself even what was absolutely necessary to his existence, abstaining from his provisions, and selling them for money, which he was reserving, and had somewhere concealed, in order to purchase his passage to England when his time should terminate!
Of some convicts whose terms of transportation had expired, the governor established a new settlement in August 1791' at a place which he called Prospect Hill, about twenty miles distant from Sydney Cove; and another residence was formed at the Ponds within three or four miles of the former. This made the fourth settlement in the colony, exclusively of that at Norfolk Island,
About this time, the governor received from England a public seal for the colony: on the obverse of which were the king's arms and royal titles; and on the reverse, emblematic figures suited to the situation of the people for whose use it was designed. The motto was “ Sic fortis Etruria crevit;" and in the margin were the words “ Sigillum Nov. Camb. Auft. A commission also arrived, empowering him to remit absolutely, or conditionally, the whole or any part of the term for which the felons sent to the colony Inight be transported. By this power, he was enabled to bestow on superior honesty and industry the most valuable reward which, in such circumstances, they could receive.
In addition to the calamities under which the settlement had so often laboured from being reduced to very short allowance
of of provisions, and the frequency of the ordinary diseases which were to be expected among a people so situated, a new malady of a very alarming nature was perceived about April 1792. Several convicts were seized with insanity; and, as the major part of those who were visited by this calamity were females, who, on account of their sex, were not harassed with hard labour, and who in general shared largely of such little comforts as were to be procured in the settlement, it was difficult to assign a cause for this disorder. We hear no more of its progress, however, during the remainder of the period which this account comprehends.
The colony had at this time assumed somewhat of an established form :
Brick huts were in hand for the convicts in room of the miser. able hove!s occupied by many, which had been put up at their first landing, and ia room of others which, from having been erected on such ground as was then cleared, were now found to interfere with the direction of the streets which the governor was laying out. People were also employed in cutting paling for fencing in their gardens. At Parramatta and the New Grounds, during the greatest part of the month, (May 1792,) the people were employed in getting in the maize and sowing wheat. A foundation for an hospital was laid, a house built for the master carpenter, and roofs prepared for the different huts either building, or to be built in futurę.
In December 1792, when Capt. Phillip resigned the government, nearly five years from the foundation of the colony, there were in cultivation at the different settlements 1429 acres, of which 417 belonged to settlers; that is, sixty-seven settlers, for there were no more, cultivated nearly half as much ground as was cultivated by the public labour of all the convicts ;-a striking proof of the superior zeal and diligence with which men exert themselves when they have an interest in their labour. Of free settlers, whose exertions promised so fairly to promote the interests of the colony, several arrived from England in January 1793, and fixed themselves in a situation which they called “ Liberty Plains.” To one of these, Thomas Rose, a farmer from Dorsetshire, and his family of a wife and four children, 120 acres were allotted. The conditions under which these people agreed to settle were, « to have their passage provided by government *; an assortment of tools and implements to be given to them out of the stores; that they should be supplied with two years' provisions; that their lands should be granted free of expence; the service of
* Government paid for the passage of each person above ten years of age, 81. 8s. and one sluilling per day for victualling them.
conyicts also to be assigned to them free of expence; and that those convicts should be supplied with two years' rations and one year's clothing."
Among the great difficulties with which this infant estaba lishment had to struggle, not the least was that of procuring cattle. Of those which were embarked in England and other places for the colony, a very small proportion only arrived ; for of 15 bulls and 119 cows, which had been embarked for Botany Bay, only 3 bulls and 28 cows were landed at the setțlement. It was not until the arrival of the Endeavour, Capt. Bampton, in 1795, that the mode of conveying cattle to the colony without material loss was discovered. In that yessel, out of one hundred and thirty head which he embarked at Bom. bay, one cow only died on the passage, and that, too, on the day before his arrival. The mode of managing them during the yoyage Mr. Collins describes very minutely, in the hope that it may be adopted by other ships that have a similar cargo.
« On visiting the ship, the sight was truly gratifying ; the cattle were ranged on each side of the gun-deck, fore and aft, and not confined in separate stalls; but so conveniently stowed, that they were a support to each other. They were well provided with mats, and were constantly cleaned ; and when the ship tacked, the cattle which were to leeward were regularly laid with their heads to windward, by people (twenty in number) particularly appointed to look after them, independent of any duty in the ship. The grain which was their food was, together with their water, regularly given to them, and the deck they stood on was well aired, by scuttles in the sides, and by wind sails *.?
The scarcity of cattle naturally raised their price. Even after this last importation, an English cow in calf sold for sol.
Notwithstanding the various obstacles which industry had met in the cultivation of this settlement, it yet made considerable advances; for in October 1793, the value of land had so risen, that one settler sold his allotment of 30 acres for as many pounds; and one farm with the house, &c. sold for 1ool. The value of ground, indeed, was considerably enhanced by government agreeing to purchase the redundance of the produce of the settlers at fixed prices. Wheat properly dried and cleansed was received from the settlers, at Sydney, by the commissary, at jos. per bushel. Some cultivators, however, had devised another mode of disposing of their corn. One of them, whose situation was near Parramatta, having obtained a small still
•* These circumstances are mentioned so particularly, in the hope that they may prove useful hints to any persons intending, or who may be in future employed, to convey cattle from India, or any other part of the world, to New South Wales.'
from England, found it more advantageous to draw an ardent diabolical spirit from his wheat, than to send it to the stores. I'rom one bushel of wheat he obiained nearly five quarts of spirit, which he sold or paid in exchange for labour, at the rate of five or six shillings per quart. A better use was made of grain by another settler; who, having a mill, ground it, and procured 44.b. of good flour from a bushel of wheat taken at 591b. This flour he sold at 4d. per lb.
By a return of the number of persons in New South Wales and Norfolk Island in April 1794, it appeared that there were in all 4414, including women and children; the annual expence of whom, to the mother-country, Mr. Collins estimates at 161,1011. Rapid stride's, however, were at that time making towards independence, if not towards an ability of repaying to England a part of what the settlement had cost her. Already the colony lived on grain of its own growth, and an increase of live stock was become almost certain. There were now 4665 acres of ground cleared for cultivation ; more than half of which' had been effected by those who had become settlers, in the course of fifteen months.
To this spirit of improvement, a temporary check was given in September 1794, by government refusing to pay the settlers for wheat proposed to be delivered to the commissary, at the rate formerly fixed, of 10s. per bushel. This stoppage however was but of short duration, and arose from the lieutenantgovernor entertaining a doubt whether, there being a good stock of grain already in the stores, it would be right to continue the purchase from the settlers. Immediately on the arrival of Gov. Hunter, he paid for the corn : but, in the interval, some settlers resigned their farms. · Though several quarrels had occurred between the natives and individuals among the colonists, yet it was supposed that our people were in general the aggressors. The governor had taken much pains to inspire the natives with confidence, and had in great measure succeeded. To theft they were naturally and irresistibly inclined: but they seemed unconscious of the crime, and were seldom deterred by detection from mixing with the colonists. At a settlement which had early been formed at a river called the Hawkesbury, (and at which, cultivation having gone on well, there was, in course, much grain to stimulate to depredation,) the natives assumed a mure formidable appearance.
At that settlement,' says Mr. Collins, an open war seemed about this time to have commenced between the natives and the settlers ; and word was received over-land, that two people were killed by them ; one a settler of the name of Wilson, and the other a free
man, one William Thorp, who had been left behind from the Britannia, and had hired himself to this Wilson as a labourer. The natives appeared in large bodies, men, women, and children, provided with blankets and nets to carry off the corn, of which they appeared as fond as the natives who lived among us, and seemed determined to take it whenever and wherever they could meet with opportunities. In their attacks they conducted themselves with much art ; but where that failed they had recourse to force ; and on the least appearance of resistance made use of their spears or clubs. To check at once, if possible, these dangerous depredators, Captain Paterson directed a party of the corps to be sent from Parramatta, with instructions to destroy as many as they could meet with of the wood tribe (Bè-dia-gal); and, in the hope of striking terror, to erect gibbets in different places, whereon the bodies of all they might kill 'were to be hung. It was reported, that several of these people were killed in consequence of this order ; but none of their bodies being found, (perhaps if any were killed they were carried off by their companions,) the number could not be ascertained. Some prisoners however were taken, and sent to Sydney; one man, (apparently a cripple,) five women, and some children. One of the women, with a child at her breast, had been shot through the shoulder, and the same shot had wounded the babe. They were immediately placed in a hut near our hospital, and every care taken of then that humanity suggested. The man was said, instead of being a cripple, to have been very active about the farms, and instrumental in some of the murders which had been committed. In a short time he found means to escape, and by swimming reached the north shore in safety; whence, no doubt, he got back to his friends. Captain Paterson hoped, by detaining the prisoners and treating them well, that some good effect might result; but finding, after some time, that coercion, not attention, was more likely to answer his ends, he sent the women back. While they were with us, the wounded child died, and one of the women was delivered of a boy, which died immediately. On our withdrawing the party, the natives attacked a farm nearly opposite Richmond Hill, belonging to one William Rowe, and put him and a very fine child to death; the wife, after receiving several wounds, crawled down the bank, and concealed herself among some reeds half immersed in the river, where she remained a considerable time without assistance: being ai length found, this poor creature, after having seen her husband and her child slaughtered before her eyes, was bronght into the hospital at Parramatta, where she recovered, though slowly, of her wounds.
Among the inhabitants of this colony in October 1795, were Mr. Muir the democratic Scottish advocate, and Messrs. Jos. Gerald, Palmer, Skirving, and Margarot, all sentenced to reside here for sedition. Of Mr. Gerald, the author says,
• In this gentleman we saw, that not even elegant manners, (evidently caught from good company,) great abilities, and a happy mode of placing them in the best point of view, the gifts of nature matured by education, could (because he misapplied them) save him