In the evening of the 18th his Majesty’s ship Supply returned from Norfolk Island, having been absent only three weeks and four days, the quickest passage that had yet been made to and from that island. At night word was sent up from the Look-out, that another vessel was off, and on the following evening the snow Susan arrived from Rhode Island, having been at sea two hundred and thirty-one days, not touching any where on her passage.
The Americans were observed to make these kind of voyages from motives of frugality, sailing direct for this port; but they were at the same time observed to bring in their people extremely healthy. On our enquiring what methods they took so to secure the health of their seamen, they told us that in general they found exercise the best preventive against the scurvy, and considered idleness as the surest means of introducing it. In addition to exercise, however, they made frequent use of acids in the diet of their seamen, and of fumigations from tobacco in their between-decks. Certain it was that none of our ships, which touched in their way out at other ports, arrived so generally healthy.
A Mr. Trotter was the master of this vessel. He was an Irishman by birth, but but had for some time been a citizen of the United States. Strong currents and foul winds had been his enemies in the late voyage. His cargo consisted of spirits, broad-cloth, and a variety of useful and desirable articles, adapted to the necessities of this country.
On the last day of this month the Indispensable transport arrived from England, with one hundred and thirty-one female convicts, and a small quantity of provisions on board for their consumption.
Mr. Wilkinson, who commanded this ship, we found, to our great regret, had not touched at the Cape of Good Hope; he had stopped only at the port of Rio de Janeiro. This was unfortunate, as it was intended that the king’s ships should sail early in the ensuing month of September for that part of the world. That the war still raged in Europe we heard with concern, feeling as every humane mind must do for the sufferings of its fellow-creatures; but it was in the highest degree gratifying to us to know that our situation was not wholly forgotten at home, proof enough of which we experienced in the late frequent arrivals of ships from England.
At a criminal court which was held in this month four prisoners were tried for forging, and uttering with a forged endorsement, the note which had been passed at Mr. Hogan’s store in February last, when James McCarthy was convicted of the same, and received sentence of death; the others who were tried with him were acquitted. This trial had been delayed some time, McCarthy having found means to break out of the cells, and remain for some weeks sheltered at the Hawkesbury, the refuge of all the Sydney rogues when in danger of being apprehended.
Three prisoners were tried for stealing some articles out of the store at the river, one of whom was found guilty, viz James Ashford, a young lad who had been formerly drummed out of the New South Wales corps. He was sentenced to seven years labour at Norfolk Island. One soldier was accused by an old man, a settler at the river, of an unnatural crime, but acquitted.