His Excellency ARTHUR PHILLIP Esq. Governor in Chief and Captain General in and over the Territory of New South Wales, landed in this Cove with the first Settlers of this Country, the 24th Day of January 1788; and on the 15th Day of May in the same Year, being the 28th of the Reign of His present Majesty GEORGE the THIRD, The First of these Stones was laid.
The large store-house being completed, and a road made to it from the wharf on the west side, the provisions were directed to be landed from the victuallers, and proper gangs of convicts placed to roll them to the store.
Carpenters were now employed in covering in that necessary building the hospital, the shingles for the purpose being all prepared; these were fastened to the roof (which was very strong) by pegs made by the female convicts.
The timber that had been cut down proved in general very unfit or the purpose of building, the trees being for the most part decayed, and when cut down were immediately warped and split by the heat of the sun. A species of pine appeared to be the best, and was chiefly used in the frame-work of houses, and in covering the roofs, the wood splitting easily into shingles.
The Supply returned in the afternoon of the 25th from Lord Howe Island, without having procured any turtle, the weather being much too cold and the season too late to find them so far to the southward.
To the southward and eastward of Lord Howe Island there is a rock, which may be seen at the distance of eighteen leagues, and which from its shape Lieutenant Ball has named Ball Pyramid.
On the 26th a soldier and a sailor were tried by the criminal court of judicature for assaulting and dangerously wounding James McNeal, a seaman. These people belonged to the Sirius, and were employed on the island where the ship’s company had their garden, the seamen in cultivating the ground, and the soldier in protecting them; for which purpose he had his firelock with him. They all lived together in a hut that was built for them, and on the evening preceding the assault had received their week’s allowance of spirits, with which they intoxicated themselves, and quarrelled. They were found guilty of the assault, and, as pecuniary damages were out of the question, were each sentenced to receive five hundred lashes.
Farther and still more unpleasant consequences of the ill-treatment which the natives received from our people were felt during this month. On the evening of the 21st a convict belonging to the farm on the east side was brought into the hospital, very dangerously wounded with a barbed spear, which entered about the depth of three inches into his back, between the shoulders. The account he gave of the transaction was, that having strayed to a cove beyond the farm with another man, who did not return with him, he was suddenly wounded with a spear, not having seen any natives until he received the wound. His companion ran away when the natives came up, who stripped him of all his clothes but his trousers, which they did not take, and then left him to crawl into the camp. A day or two afterwards the clothes of the man that was missing were brought in, torn, bloody, and pierced with spears; so that there was every reason to suppose that the poor wretch had fallen a sacrifice to his own folly and the barbarity of the natives.