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they were continually living in a state of warfare ; to this must be added their brutal treatment of their women, who are themselves equally destructive to the measure of population, by the horrid and cruel custom of endeavouring to cause miscarriage; this their female acquaintance effect by pressing the body in such a way, as to destroy the infant in the womb; which violence not unfrequently occasions the death of the unnatural mother also. To this they have recourse, to avoid the trouble of carrying the infant when born, which, when it is very young, or at the breast, is the duty of the woman. The operation for this destructive purpose is termed mee-bra: The burying an infant (when at the breast) with the mother, if she should die, is another shocking cause of the thinness of population among them. .
In 1800, the enterprising captain Flinders visited various parts of this immense island. A play-house was opened, and a gazette was established at Sydney, but the gaol at Parramatta was twice burnt.
After these occurences governor King assumed the command of the settlements, and lieutenant governor Collins was sent to form a settlement at Port Phillip in Van Dieman's land. Most of the settlers at Norfolk island were ordered to join his party.
In 1809, governor Bligh assumed the government, at which time, the total stock of the colony consisted of 411 male horses, 529 female ditto; 118 bulls, 5115 cows; 3771 oxen; 10,807 male sheep, 22,451 female ditto; 936 male goats, 2039 female ditto; 9820 male pigs, and 9548 female ditto.
A manufactory for coarse woollens was also established ; tan-yards, potteries, breweries, and salt-works were erected in different parts. The shops were particularly respectable, and decorated with much taste. Articles of female apparel and ornament were greedily purchased; for the European women in the settlement spared no expense in ornamenting their persons, and in dress each seemed to vie with the other in extravagance.
Spirits were also bought up with astonishing rapidity; and, ; when prohibited, will ever be obtained by some means or other, and have been known to sell as high as thirty shillings
per bottle; the general price by the retailer, however, has been from ten to sixteen shillings per bottle.
The following is to be considered as a full weekly ration, which was issued from the stores whenever there was a suffi ciency without a prospect of want, to those who were in the employ of government :---Seven pounds of salt beef, or four pounds of salt pork; eight pounds of flour or meal, or an addition of a quarter of a pound of wheat to each pound, if it cannot be ground; pease or other pulse three pounds ; six ounces of sugar in lieu of butter. The same quantity was to be given by their employers to those who were indented to settlers, &c.; but as frequent alterations were necessarily made, according to the pressure of circumstances, the deficiency was generally made up with maize.
There were 9356 inhabitants in the settlement, out of which number upwards of 6000 supported themselves, and the rest were victualled and clothed at the expense of the crown. Most men of a trade or profession pursued their calling; and labourers were either employed by settlers to cultivate their lands, and in various occupations, to work in different gangs, where they could be serviceable.
The children born in this colony from European parents, were very robust, comely, and well made; nor was there a solitary instance of one being naturally deformed. They were remarkably quick of apprehension; learned any thing with uncommon rapidity; and greatly improved in good manners, promising to become a fine race of people.
Although the climate is variable, yet it is very healthy, and uncommonly fine for vegetation. Most of the disorders which exist in the settlement are the fruits of intemperance and debauchery, the necessary result of that fatal addiction to decay. Frost is known but little; at least, ice is very seldom seen; and snow has never yet appeared since the establishment of the colony: yet on the highest ridges of the remoter mountains, which has never yet been passed, snow is to be seen for a long time together; and this circumstance is a proof of their elevation. The usual weather in New South Wales is uncommonly bright and clear, and the common weather there,
in spring and autumn, is equal to the finest summer day in England
Governor Bligh’s government proved very unpopular, and at last major Johnson marched at the head of the military to the government-house, and put the governor under arrest, which measure was also supported by the principal inhabitants. This proceeding was resented by the government at home, major Johnson was recalled, tried, and cashiered, and colonel Macquarrie appointed governor. This gentleman has conducted the affairs of the colony with great propriety and firmness. The Blue Mountains, west from the settlements, have been passed, and a fine level and fertile country has been discovered. Indeed, the colony has improved in a rapid manner, and has become a station of considerable importance to the merchants of Great Britain.
We shall close this account of New South Wales, collected from Collins' History and Hunter's Voyage, with the remarks of captain M'Konochie, just published.
There are probably at present, says this writer, not less than 40,000 acres of land in constant cultivation, besides 100,000 acres in pasture. In 1810, the population is generally stated in the parliamentary report at 10,454. At the same rate of increase, it may be deemed now to exceed 20,000, of whom from 15 to 18,000 will probably be free settlers, subsisting by their own industry and exertion, a large proportion of them, indeed, the descendants of convicts, not men who have themselves incurred the penalties of the law.
In 1809, a system of monopoly prevailed to such extent, as to have enabled the merchants, it is said, to demand occasionally as far as 1000 per cent. profit on their European importations; notwithstanding which, such was the general insecurity of property arising from the lawless state of the colony, the domestic manufactures, in spite of every encouragement which was given them, were also in a state of utter inferiority and depression. In 1810, the firmer rule of the present government, general Macquarrie, had already begun to produce some effect; but its operation, together with that of the greater facility subsequently afforded to importation from Europe, has been rather
injurious perhaps to the manufactures, which are still extremely coarse, and consist exclusively of some flannel and linen cloths, the native flax employed in the other being found, however, of most excellent quality; together with the preparation of leather, pottery, and salt, for the domestic market, of kanguroo skins for exportation, and of the coarse machinery, as wind and water mills, &c., used in the agricultural labours of the settlers. In 1810, the commerce was still also very limited indeed, consisting principally of importations from England in the government transports, all other English vessels being excluded, unless under peculiar circumstances, by the terms of the East India company's charter; together with some direct trade with India, and some occasional supplies obtained from an American with an assorted cargo looking for a market, or from a whaler prepared to purchase refreshments wherever she might touch, here as elsewhere, with equivalents suited to the anticipated demands. The articles from England were principally public stores for the use of the colony, with some private ventures of haberdashery, &c., laid in by the crews of the vessels conveying them; those from India were piece goods, spirits, and refuse European wares; while those finally procured from desultory visitors were chiefly articles of luxury, as superior sorts of wearing apparel, wine, sweetmeets, &c. The staple returns were kanguroo skins, whale and seal oil, and wool; together with such articles of naval equipment, as provisions, spars, coal, &c., as the trading vessels themselves might require; to which some trifling and occasional traffic with the islands of the Pacific, added a small uncertain supply of sandal and other cabinet woods, chiefly bought up, together with the kanguroo skins, by the masters of such transports as were subsequently bound to Canton. The whole average value of the trade is nowhere mentioned.
THIS interesting narrative is written by Mr. Bligh, whose
arrest and deposition from the government of New South Wales, was mentioned in the preceding article, and whose crew mutinied, and sent him adrift in an open boat in the South Seas.
'In August, 1787," says Mr. Bligh, ' I was appointed to command the Bounty, a ship of 215 tons burthen, carrying four six-pounders, four swivels, and forty-six men, including myself and every person on board.
We sailed from England in December, 1787, and arrived at Otaheite the 26th of October, 1788. On the 4th of April, 1789, we left Otaheite, with every favourable appearance of completing the object of the voyage, in a manner equal to my most sanguine expectations. We had on board 1015 fine bread-fruit plants, besides many other valuable fruits of that country, which, with unremitting attention, we had been collecting for three and twenty weeks, and which were now in the highest state of perfection.
• On the 11th of April, I discovered an island in latitude 18 deg. and 52 min. S. and longitude 200 deg. 19 min. E., by the natives called Whytootackee. On the 24th we anchored at Annamooka, one of the Friendly islands; from which, after completing our wood and water, I sailed on the 27th, having every reason to expect, from the fine condition of the plants, that they would continue healthy.