An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 866 pages of information about An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Volume 1.

Of the convicts the period of whose sentences of transportation had expired, and of whom mention was made in the transactions of July last, one, who signified a wish of becoming a settler, had been sent up to Rose Hill by the governor; where his excellency, having only waited to learn with certainty that he had become a free man before he gave him a grant of land, caused two acres of ground to be cleared of the timber which stood on them, and a small hut to be built for him.  This man had been bred to the business of a farmer, and during his residence in this country had shown a strong inclination to be industrious, and to return to honest habits and pursuits.  Rewarding him, therefore, was but holding out encouragement to such good dispositions.  The governor had, however, another object in view, beside a wish to hold him up as a deserving character:  he was desirous of trying, by his means, in what time an industrious active man, with certain assistance, would be enabled to support himself in this country as a settler; and for that purpose, in addition to what he caused to be done for him at first, he furnished him with the tools and implements of husbandry necessary for cultivating his ground, with a proportion of grain to sow it, and a small quantity of live stock to begin with.  He took possession of his ground the 21st of November 1789, and under some disadvantages.  An opinion had prevailed, and had been pretty generally disseminated, that a man could not live in this country; and in addition to this discouragement, although he still received a ration from the public store, yet it was not a ration that bore any proportion to the labour which his situation required from him.  The man himself, however, resolved to be industrious, and to surmount as well as he was able whatever difficulties might lie in his way.

The flour which had been brought from England did not serve much beyond the beginning of this month, and that imported from the Cape now supplied its place.  Every one began to look forward with much anxiety to the arrival of supplies from England; and as it was reasonable to conclude that every day might bring them on the coast, Captain Hunter, accompanied by Mr. Worgan, the surgeon of the Sirius, and Mr. White, with six or eight seamen, having chosen a spot proper for their purpose, erected a flagstaff on the South Head of this harbour, whence, on the appearance of a ship in the offing, a signal might be made, as well to convey the wished-for information to the settlement, as to serve as a mark for the stranger.  An hut was built for their accommodation, and this little establishment was of such importance, that our walks were daily directed to a spot whence it could be seen; thus fondly indulging the delusion, that the very circumstance of looking out for a sail would bring one into view.

A sufficient quantity of fish having been taken one night in this month, to admit the serving of two pounds to each man, woman, and child belonging to the detachment, the governor directed, that a boat should in future be employed three times in the week to fish for the public; and that the whole quantity caught should be issued at the above rate to every person in turn.  This allowance was in addition to the ration of provisions; and was received with much satisfaction several times during the month.

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