Smallpox among the natives
Captain Hunter in the Sirius returns with supplies from the Cape of
Middleton Island discovered
Danger of wandering in the forests of an unknown country
The King’s birthday kept
Convicts perform a play
A reinforcement under Lieutenant Cresswell sent to Norfolk Island
Governor Phillip makes an excursion of discovery
Hawkesbury River discovered
Progress at Rose Hill
Important papers left behind in England
April.] The governor thinking it probable that foreign ships might again visit this coast, and perhaps run into this harbour for the purpose of procuring refreshments, directed Mr. Blackburn to survey a large bay on the north shore, contiguous to this cove; and a sufficient depth of water being found, his excellency inserted in the port orders, that all foreign ships coming into this harbour should anchor in this bay, which he named Neutral Bay, bringing Rock Island to bear SSE and the hospital on the west side of Sydney Cove to bear SW by W.
Early in the month, and throughout its continuance, the people whose business called them down the harbour daily reported, that they found, either in excavations of the rock, or lying upon the beaches and points of the different coves which they had been in, the bodies of many of the wretched natives of this country. The cause of this mortality remained unknown until a family was brought up, and the disorder pronounced to have been the smallpox. It was not a desirable circumstance to introduce a disorder into the colony which was raging with such fatal violence among the natives of the country; but the saving the lives of any of these people was an object of no small importance, as the knowledge of our humanity, and the benefits which we might render them, would, it was hoped, do away the evil impressions they had received of us. Two elderly men, a boy, and a girl were brought up, and placed in a separate hut at the hospital. The men were too far overcome by the disease to get the better of it; but the children did well from the moment of their coming among us. From the native who resided with us we understood that many families had been swept off by this scourge, and that others, to avoid it, had fled into the interior parts of the country. Whether it had ever appeared among them before could not be discovered, either from him or from the children; but it was certain that they gave it a name (gal-gal-la); a circumstance which seemed to indicate a preacquaintance with it.
The convicts, among other public works, were now employed in forming a convenient road on the west side from the hospital and landing-place to the storehouses; and in constructing a stable at Farm Cove, with some convenient out-houses for stock.
May.] Of the native boy and girl who had been brought up in the last month, on their recovery from the smallpox, the latter was taken to live with the clergyman’s wife, and the boy with Mr. White, the surgeon, to whom, for his attention during the cure, he seemed to be much attached.