“Your unhappy dying Son,
After this nothing occurred with which I think it necessary to trouble the reader. The contents of the following chapters could not, I conceive, be so properly interwoven in the body of the work; I have, therefore, assigned them a place by themselves, with a view that the conclusions adopted in them may be more strongly enforced on the minds of those, to whom they are more particularly addressed.
The Face of the Country; its Productions, Climate, &c.
To the geographical knowledge of this country, supplied by Captain Cook, and Captain Furneaux, we are able to add nothing. The latter explored the coast from Van Diemen’s land to the latitude of 39 deg south; and Cook from Point Hicks, which lies in 37 deg 58 min, to Endeavour Streights. The intermediate space between the end of Furneaux’s discovery and Point Hicks, is, therefore, the only part of the south-east coast unknown, and it so happened on our passage thither, owing to the weather, which forbade any part of the ships engaging with the shore, that we are unable to pronounce whether, or not, a streight intersects the continent hereabouts: though I beg leave to say, that I have been informed by a naval friend, that when the fleet was off this part of the coast, a strong set-off shore was plainly felt.
At the distance of 60 miles inland, a prodigious chain of lofty mountains runs nearly in a north and south direction, further than the eye can trace them. Should nothing intervene to prevent it, the Governor intends, shortly, to explore their summits: and, I think there can be little doubt, that his curiosity will not go unrewarded. If large rivers do exist in the country, which some of us are almost sceptical enough to doubt, their sources must arise amidst these hills; and the direction they run in, for a considerable distance, must be either due north, or due south. For it is strikingly singular that three such noble harbours as Botany Bay, Port Jackson, and Broken Bay, alike end in shallows and swamps, filled with mangroves.