Among the public works in hand during this month must be mentioned, the laying of the last stone of the wind-mill tower at Sydney on the 21st; and on the following day the workmen began to get up the wood work of the top.
On the 24th there was a general issue of clothing, and the 26th was observed as Christmas Day.
The weather in the first and middle parts of the month had been very bad, heavy rains (which much retarded the getting in of the harvest) prevailing, with thunder and lightning, and winds strong at east. The latter part being moderate, the Colonial schooner took the opportunity to go round to the Hawkesbury for a cargo of wheat.
The governor visits Richmond-Hill
His transactions there
A stack of wheat burnt
Price of labour regulated
General character of the settlers
The clergyman’s attention to the children
Criminal court assembled
The governor goes to Botany Bay
Lightning and its effects
1797.] January.] The governor, always anxious to promote the good of the settlement by every means in his power, having determined to visit at this season that part of it which was situated on the banks of the Hawkesbury, set off at the latter end of the last month, with a party of officers, by land to Broken Bay, where they got on board the Colonial schooner, and continued in her for two days, sailing up that pleasant river; but, finding her progress too slow, they quitted her for some boats which had accompanied them; and, by the first of this month, had reached as high up as some farms which had lately been evacuated in consequence of the depredations that the owners of them had been exposed to from numerous parties of natives. The ground hereabout was carefully examined, to see if it would admit such a number of settlers as might be sufficient for the purpose of mutual protection; but it was found inadequate to that end, the limits of it on the banks of the river, where the soil was excellent, being much too narrow.
On the first of the month the governor had reached the principal settlement, having occasionally landed to examine into the state of the different farms, as well as to settle disputes relative to property, and differences between the settlers and their hired servants.
Having had previous notice, a general muster of these people now took place; which being compared with one taken some time since, many impositions were detected and rectified. After the muster, they were reminded that several of them were considerably indebted to government for the seed from which their present abundant crops had been produced, and directed forthwith to return into the store a quantity equal to that which they had borrowed for the purpose. This it was absolutely necessary to point out and insist upon, as there were but few among them who would have been found with principle enough to have returned it of themselves.