A small boat belonging to Mr. White, which had been sent out with a seine, was lost this month somewhere about Middle Head. She had five convicts in her; and, from the reports of the natives who were witnesses of the accident, it was supposed they had crossed the harbour’s mouth, and, having hauled the seine in Hunter’s Bay, were returning loaded, when, getting in too close with the rocks and the surf under Middle Head, she filled and went down. The first information that any accident had happened was given by the natives, who had secured the rudder, mast, an oar, and other parts of the boat, which they had fixed in such situations as were likely to render them conspicuous to any boat passing that way. Mr. White and some other gentlemen, going down directly, found their information too true. One of the bodies was lying dead on the beach; with the assistance of Cole-be and the other natives he recovered the seine which was entangled in the rocks, and brought away the parts of his boat which they had secured.
This appeared to be a striking instance of the good effect of the intercourse which had been opened with these people; and there seemed only to be a good understanding between us and them wanting to establish an harmony which would have been productive of the best consequences, and might have been the means of preventing many of the unfortunate accidents that had happened. The governor, however, thought it necessary to direct, that offensive weapons should not be given to these people in exchange for any of their articles; being apprehensive that they might use them among themselves, and not wishing by any means to arm them against each other.
At Rose Hill a storehouse was begun and finished during the month, without any rain; its dimensions were one hundred feet by twenty-four feet. The bricks there, either from some error in the process, or defect in the clay, were not so good in quality as those made at Sydney. In their colour they were of a deep red when burned, but did not appear to be durable.
At Sydney, a good landing-place on the east side was completed; and two small brick huts, one for a cutler’s shop, and another for the purpose of boiling oil or melting tallow, were built on the same side. A wharf was also marked out on the west side, which was to be carried far enough out into deep water to admit of the loaded hoy coming along-side at any time of tide. The hut, a brick one twelve feet square and covered with tiles, was finished for Bennillong, and taken possession of by him about the middle of the month.
Notwithstanding the accidents which had happened to many who had strayed imprudently beyond the known limits of the different settlements, two soldiers of the New South Wales corps, who had had every necessary caution given them on the arrival of their detachment at Rose Hill, strayed into the woods, and were missing for four or five days, in which time they had suffered severely from anxiety and hunger.