Mr. Schaffer, who came out from England as a superintendent of convicts, finding himself, from not speaking the language (being a German) inadequate to the just discharge of that duty, gave up his appointment as a superintendant, and accepted of a grant of land; and an allotment of one hundred and forty acres were marked out for him on the south side of the creek leading to Rose Hill. On the same side of the creek, but nearer to Rose Hill, two allotments of sixty acres each were marked out for two settlers from the Sirius. On the opposite side the governor had placed a convict, Charles Williams, who had recommended himself to his notice by extraordinary propriety of conduct as an overseer, giving him thirty acres, and James Ruse received a grant of the same quantity of land at Rose Hill. These were all the settlers at this time established in New South Wales; but the governor was looking out for some situations in the vicinity of Rose Hill for other settlers, from among the people whose sentences of transportation had expired.
During this month the governor made an excursion to the westward, but he reached no farther than the banks of the Hawkesbury, and returned to Rose Hill on the 6th, without making any discovery of the least importance. At that settlement, the Indian corn was nearly all gathered off the ground; but it could not be said to have been all gathered in, for much of it had been stolen by the convicts. So great a desire for tobacco prevailed among these people, that a man was known to have given the greatest part of his week’s provisions for a small quantity of that article; and it was sold, the produce of the place, for ten and even fifteen shillings per pound. The governor, on being made acquainted with this circumstance, intimated an intention of prohibiting the growth of tobacco, judging it to be more for the true interest of the people to cultivate the necessaries than the luxuries of life.
The public works at Rose Hill consisted in building the officers barracks; a small guardhouse near the governor’s hut; a small house for the judge-advocate (whose occasional presence there as a magistrate was considered necessary by the governor), and for the clergyman; and in getting in the Indian corn.
At Sydney, the house for the surveyor-general was covered in; and the carpenters were employed in finishing that for the clergyman. Bricks were also brought in for a house for the principal surgeon, to be built near the hospital on the west side.
Many thefts, and some of money, were committed during the month at both settlements. A hut belonging to James Davis, employed as a coxswain to the public boats, was broken into; but nothing was stolen, Davis having taken his money with him, and nothing else appearing to have been the object of their search. His hut was situated out of the view of any sentinel, and a night was chosen for the attempt when it was known that he was on duty at Rose Hill.