The Semiramis arrives from Rhode Island
The church at Sydney burnt
Some vessels sail; the Norfolk for Van Dieman’s Land;
The Francis for Norfolk Island
Another fire in the town
A ship arrives from the Cape with cattle
Works in hand
The governor’s steward destroys himself
An order respecting the women
A battery erected
State of the harvest
The Francis returns; and the Nautilus
The Eliza from Sea
One good character recorded
Returns of stock, and land in cultivation
October.] Another adventurer entered the port on the 1st of this month, viz the Semiramis from Rhode Island, bound to China. She made her passage in three months and nine days. The master reported, that when he left the States, they were thought to be on the eve of a rupture with France.
Between seven and eight o’clock in the evening of this day, the church on the east side of the cove was discovered to be on fire. Every assistance, as far as numbers could be useful, was given, but ineffectually; for the building being covered with thatch, which was at this time exceedingly dry and combustible, it was completely consumed in an hour.
This was a great loss, for during the working days of the week the building was used as a school, in which from 150 to 200 children were educated, under the immediate inspection of Mr. Johnson, the clergyman. As it stood entirely alone, and no person was suffered to remain in it after the school hours, there was not any doubt that this atrocious act was the effect of design, and the consequence of the late order which had been given out and had been rigidly executed, enforcing attendance on divine service; and in the view of rendering, by the destruction of the building, the Sabbath a day of as little decency and sobriety as any other in the week. The perpetrators of this mischief were, however, disappointed in their expectation; for the governor, justly deeming this to have been the motive, and highly irritated at such a shameful act, resolved, if no convenient place could immediately be found for the performance of public worship, that, instead of Sunday being employed as each should propose to himself, the whole of the labouring gangs should be employed on that day in erecting another building for the purpose; it happened, however, that a large storehouse was just at that time finished; and, not being immediately wanted, it was fitted up as a church; and thus not a single Sunday was lost by this wicked design.
For the discovery of the offender a reward of L30 was offered, together with absolute emancipation to the informer if a convict, and a recommendation to the master of any ship to take him or her from the colony. But it was seen with concern, that rewards and punishments alike failed in their effect.