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My object, however, is rather the present than the past ; and, having been in no part of the continent except Australia Proper or New South Wales, I shall merely refer, as briefly as possible, to the other settlements belonging to Great Britain, confining my details entirely to what I have myself seen or heard in that part with which I am acquainted.

When Captain Cook first sailed along the shores of Australia, he discovered the large inlet to which he gave the name of Botany Bay (from the beauty of the various plants he saw there), and Brocken Bay, a large arm of the sea to the northward, into which the noble river Hawkesbury pours its waters. One of his sailors named Jackson, descried from the topmast those tremendous Heads, a mile and a quarter apart, through which the ocean winds inwards into the interior for twenty-four miles, in a series of beautiful bays, and forming one of the finest harbours in the world. Cook, however, thought there was no anchorage there, and that it was only a boat harbour ; and, bestowing upon it the name of the sailor who first observed it, passed onward. The orders given to the first expedition under Captain Hunter, consisting of the six hundred male and two hundred and fifty female convicts and their guards, who first peopled Australia, were that the settlement should be formed at Botany Bay, in consequence of the favourable description given of it by Captain Cook. But, on arriving there, Governor Philips, who accompanied the expedition, and Captain Hunter, finding that the anchorage was unsafe, and the soil around poor, resolved to deviate from their instructions, and to seek at some other part of the coast a more eligible situation. On their way to the northward, in search of Brocken Bay, which was laid down in Captain Cook's chart as an exten

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sive arm of the sea, they discovered Port Jackson to be, not a boat harbour, but a safe and beautiful haven, where the whole British navy might ride in security. On the 26th January, 1788, the first tents and huts were placed by the side of the little creek or rivulet, called the Tank, that runs in a rocky bed into the cove.

On the west side of the creek, some of these slab huts are still to be seen, in strange contrast with the spacious erections of modern times that surround them. It is said that some of the earlier inhabitants of this settlement are still living, and that they well remember having been accustomed to fish from their windows in this stream, and that the sport was excellent. There is now merely a rocky channel, without any stream in its bed, except during a flood, which soon leaves no trace behind.

Such was the commencement of this great colony, such the materials of which that nucleus was formed; which, by the accumulation of other delinquents, and the importation of free settlers, has expanded itself into a population of one hundred and thirty thousand souls, thirty thousand of whom have “ sat down” by the shores of this beautiful cove.

The first offshoot of any great consequence from this, the mother settlement, was established at Port Philip, on the southern shores of this continent. One or two individuals from Van Diemen's Land were the first to settle with their flocks and herds at this place. But capital soon flowed in from Sydney, and for a time its prosperity was extraordinary. It is still a part of Australia Proper. Its capital, Melbourne, contains several thousand inhabitants; and its rapid increase, both in population and trade, has been quite as wonderful as that of Sydney itself. But it lacks three important advantages possessed by the


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latter, a good harbour, good water, and extent of available pasture country. The soil, however, around the town is considered of first-rate excellence; and has already, for the most part, become private property.

By the sale of town allotments, large sums were realized by some of the earlier speculators; and, for a time, this portion of Australia obtained a name that sounded in the ear of the emigrant scarcely, if at all, less invitingly than that of its parent settlement.

Port Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, is distant westward from Port Philip, about four hundred miles, and is separated from Australia Felix, as the Port Philippians, with some vanity, call their district, by an imagi

A better boundary would have been the great river Murray, which flows into Lake Alexandrina, and is entirely within the territory of the South Australians. Port Adelaide has been the scene of the new principle of colonization, under the fostering wing of the Torrens and Wakefield association. Its struggles, and trials, and difficulties, have been very great ; but though under heavy pecuniary embarrassment, were intercourse easier by land betwixt it and the old settlements, it might still possibly succeed. But there is a tide in the affairs and success of nations and colonies, as of individuals; and those that sailed with the first tide to Adelaide, and left it again before the ebb, will, I conceive, have reason to consider themselves fortunate indeed.

As regards the settlement at Cape Lewin, on the south

• It is based upon the plan adopted by the United States of America, of a minimum price, (which is there one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre,) and open sale, and the produce of the land sales being exclusively expended on emigration and the support of the settlement.



west corner of Australia, called Swan River, with its principal town, Perth, if report might be trusted, one would be inclined to suppose, that, cut off as it is from the first settlement by 1,600 miles, and overwhelmed as it originally was by an unexampled series of misfortunes, springing from mismanagement and local circumstances, the Swan River colony is now holding its head as high above the troubled times as its sisters on these shores, or even higher. Other accounts, however, represent it as almost ruined, and scarce able to maintain its own existence ; reports also have been circulated of the destruction of several of the settlers by the natives; and many persons express the opinion that the sooner it is deserted the better. But the truth is, that as little is correctly known of the true state of the monetary situation of this distant people in Sydney, as in London. Each and all of thesePort Philip, Adelaide, and Swan River—have their interested supporters. Where the treasure is, the heart will be also, and, with some, the “ praise and preference” too, until they succeed in persuading some young and inexperienced speculator to step into their shoes and avail himself of all the beauties and advantages they so highly extol.

These are the only British settlements on the southern coast, -St. George's Sound and Portland Bay, are, properly speaking, merely names of districts; and no foreign power has any settlement from Cape Lewin to Torres Straits. On the eastern side of Australia, Moreton Bay, up to the present time a penal settlement, is about to have that stigma taken from it, and to be thrown open for purchase and settlement; and I entertain a strong conviction that its climate, navigable river, and tolerably safe anchorage in the bay, as well as the excellence of its



soil and plentiful extent of river frontages, will secure its success, and that it will soon rise into very great importance. The mulberry, the cocoa, and the tobacco plant, would all thrive there ; and I predict, with confidence, that this will ere long be the field of enterprise of future emigrants to New South Wales

Sydney, 30th Oct.I have already mentioned my first impressions of the singular beauty of the situation of Sydney; and, instead of feeling that circumstances and the willingness to be pleased had lent additional attraction to the region, the more I see of it, and its neighbourhood, the more I am delighted with it: its fine ascent from the noblest harbour in the world ; its bays, its coves, its gardens, its gentlemen's seats, its forests of masts reflected on the glassy waters,—the governmenthouse and its beautiful domains : Wooloomooloo, with its villas and windmills, and the whole scenery around! I do not think that the imagination of man can form a combination more pleasing.

The town—as an episcopal see it ought, I suppose, to be called the city-of Sydney lies partly along what is termed the cove, a pretty piece of water forming a bay into which the little creek I have mentioned formerly emptied itself; partly along a ridge rising from the harbour, and sloping for two miles to the southward, and then down to another bay called Darling Harbour, on the opposite side of the ridge.

Vessels of large tonnage can anchor close to the wharfs on all these waters; and some idea of the amount of shipping and traffic may be conceived, when I state that at this moment there are eighty-five vessels lying around and before me, with numberless boats of all descriptions ; and great as this proof of traffic is, I am told it is as

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