The crops of Indian corn in general turned out very productive. An officer who held an allotment of an hundred acres near Parramatta, from each acre of nineteen, on a light sandy soil, gathered fifty bushels of shelled corn; and a patch of Caffre corn, growing in the like soil, produced the same quantity per acre. This grain had been introduced into our settlement from the Cape of Good Hope by Captain Paterson, and was found to answer well for fattening of stock. No one having attempted to separate the farinaceous part of the grain from the husk, which was of an astringent quality, no judgment had been formed of its utility as a flour; but some who had ground it and mixed the whole together into a paste pronounced it to be equal to any preparation of oatmeal
Wilkinson’s grinding machine was set in motion this month. It was a walking mill, upon a larger construction than that at Parramatta. The diameter of the wheel in which the men walked was twenty-two feet, and it required six people to work it. Those who had been in both mills (this and Buffin’s, which was worked by capstan-bars and nine men) gave the preference to the latter; and in a few days it was found to merit it; for, from the variety and number of the wheels in Wilkinson’s machinery, something was constantly wrong about it. Finding, after a fair trial, that it was imperfect, it was taken to pieces; and Buffin was employed to replace it by another mill upon the same principle as that which he had himself constructed; and Wilkinson returned to Parramatta.
An inflammation of the eyes appeared to be a disorder generally prevalent among all descriptions of people at this time. It raged at first among children; but when got into a house, hardly any person in it escaped the complaint. It was accounted for by the variable and unsettled weather which we had during this month.
The William sails
Excursion in search of a river
A storeship arrives
The Britannia, Speedy, and Halcyon arrive
The Indispensable and Halcyon sail
The Fanny arrives from Bombay
Two convicts executed
The Hope sails
May.] Early in this month the William sailed on her fishing voyage to the coast of Peru. Mr. Folger, her master, purposed trying what success might be met with on this coast for a few weeks, it being the wish of his owners in consequence of the reports brought home by some of the whaling ships which were here in 1792. If he should be at all fortunate, he intended to return to this port with the account; it being the anxious wish of every officer in the colony to hear of any thing that was likely to make a return to the mother country for the immense sums which must annually have been expended on this settlement.