Saturday 31 December 1836

My wife taken seriously ill with symptoms of fever!

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Saturday 31 December 1836

Moderate. & fine. S.W. Morphett rode,
Strangways & I walked up to the intended city of
Adelaide. Walked back again: got on board at 9.30.P.M.

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Saturday 31 December 1836

DECEMBER 31.- This morning we received intimation that the Governor had ordered ten men from the Buffalo to assist in getting our luggage from the shore. Accordingly they came, and, with their help, the men harnessing themselves to the trucks, all the heavy cases of goods and printing material were brought up. The latter was [...]

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Friday 30 December 1836

Friday, Decr 30. Fresh breezes & cloudy. S.W. Had no inter- -course with the shore today. Let go the larbd anchor.

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Friday 30 December 1836

The Mare was searchd for Yestdy
again in vain, but this Forenoon I accompd by 2 of our
Men found her in an excellent pasture about 6 Miles
from this place, by the bottom of the Mountains, and
improved in her condition   ___   During this Eveng our
Colnl Manager, Sml Stephens Esqr, arrd here from
Kangaroo Island & acompd by a Mr Stewart  ____

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Friday 30 December 1836

Wife & child both going on well. —  A meeting of the legislature was held in my tent, at which two acts were passed – one establishing Courts of general & petty sessions, & another fixing the qualification of Jurors. Some Magistrates were also appointed at the meeting.

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Thursday 29 December 1836

The commission had hardly left my tent yesterday when the doctor was called in attendance upon my wife, who this morning at 6 o’clk gave the New Province a son! I say “gave the Province a son” for he is claimed by the Governor as his God-son, as being the first child born in the Colony, after the Establishment of the Government.

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Thursday 29 December 1836

I have been out twice after a flock of “Cape Barron” geese which have been in our neighbourhood this morning, but it appears they have learnt a wholesome fear of man as it was impossible to get within shot of them. We killed a sheep last night which turned out better than the first. We had the leg roasted today and a better dinner I have not made since I left England. Our garden produced us an excellent salad which with a dish of tolerable potatoes made us one of those feasts which come “few and far between”.

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Thursday 29 December 1836

Thursday, Decr 29. Light winds – a little rain. Hoist- -               ed out the launch, & sent the mules on shore the Governor intending to ride over to the intended site of the town. Went ashore with two boats to haul the nets caught several sting rays, & a few other fish. Came on to [...]

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Wednesday 28 December 1836

l left the ship and pitched my tent near Mr Kingston’s at the side of the river. I heard of the Governor’s arrival, but having much to do, had not time to go to Holdfast Bay and meet him.

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Wednesday 28 December 1836

Our conjectures with regard to the ship yesterday were strengthened this morning by hearing distant guns, as of a salute given and returned in the direction of the settlement, and we have come to the conclusion that the Governor is safely arrived and that his salute was returned by the land battery brought by the “Tam O’ Shanter”. I have been shooting all day and have killed nearly five brace of quails which is considered as excellent sport, but in my opinion the best of the sport is in the eating. Our life here is exceedingly monotonous and uninteresting as we are completely debarred from news. We are all very anxious to remove to Holdfast Bay.

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Wednesday 28 December 1836

I have been Out all this Day looking
for the Mare, accompd by 3 of our own Men, and 2 other
Persons who volunteer’d, we went in two different directions
towards the foot of the Mountains, but have not been success-
-ful  —  During last Night one of our white Sows
litterd 8 Pigs, and the So Down Ewe brought forth
a fine strong Ewe lamb, all of which are doing well —
About Noon of this Day the Ship Buffalo anchor’d
in Hold fast Bay. She has on board “Capt Hindmarsh”
Governor &c, &c, &c.   _____________

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Wednesday 28 December 1836

Mode & fine. 7. Sent a boat on shore
to the settlement in Holdfast bay. 10. Anchor’d
in Holdfast bay in 7 A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fms . Noon. Light winds & fine.
P.M. Do Wr. At 2 His Excellency Governor Hindmarsh
accompanied by the Colonial & Naval Officers land-
-ed. The Ship was dressed in all her colours, & fired
a royal salute, & His Majesty’s commission to
the Governor having been read, a A rifle salute. In French means “fire of joy”. feu-de-joie was
fired by the Marine guard of Honour, when the
English Ensign of St George was hoisted. The
Governor’s Proclamation was then read, after which
His Majesty’s & His Excellency’s healths were drunk
with great enthusiasm. The sailors then began
to get pretty drunk, so that we had great dif-
-iculty to get on board, many staying behind.
The natives set fire to the woods, which burnt grandly.

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Wednesday 28 December 1836

The following was published in The Observer, January 2, 1858, on the occasion of the colony having attained its majority. A festival was held at Glenelg on December 18, 1857, to commemorate the event:-

From the diary of Mrs. Robert Thomas, written the day after the Proclamation, December 28, 1836 :-

This was a proud and, I hope, will be a happy day for South Australia. Early in the morning it was announced that the Buffalo had arrived from Port Lincoln, accompanied by the Cygnet, which had gone thither to escort the Governor, Captain Hindmarsh, to Holdfast Bay. This made us all alive, and soon after Mr. Thomas received notice to attend at the tent of Mr. Gouger, the Colonial Secretary, where His Excellency the Governor was expected to be at 3 o’clock to read his Commission and Note: Mary is not correct in this. The colony was created in England by the Letters Patent and the South Australian Act. proclaim the colony. Mr. Thomas then went to the Company’s store and soon returned with a request that he would procure a ham, as Mr. Gilbert was not provided with one, which was done, and a fine Hampshire ham was dressed for the occasion. It was also requested that we would prepare ourselves to meet the procession, as all who could were expected to attend. We went accordingly, and found assembled the largest company we had yet seen in the colony, probably two hundred persons.

The Governor’s Private Secretary read the Proclamation under a huge gumtree, a flag was hoisted, a party of marines from the Buffalo fired a A rifle salute. In French means “fire of joy”. feu-de-joie, and loud hurrahs succeeded. A cold collation, of which we partook, followed in the open air.

The Governor was very affable, shaking hands with the colonists and congratulating them on having such a fine country. After the repast he mounted on a chair and gave the first toast, “The King,” which was received with three times three, and followed by the National Anthem, led by Mr. Gilles. The old royal appellation of “George ” was so natural to Englishmen, after four successive reigns of Kings of that name, that it was forgotten at the moment that a “William” was now on the throne, and the first line was sung as formerly, “God save great George, our King,” which excited a smile. Yet I believe that William the Fourth has not more loyal subjects throughout his wide dominions than those who were there assembled to welcome the arrival of the first Governor of South Australia. The health of His Excellency was then proposed and drunk with loud and universal cheering, followed by “Rule, Britannia.” Then “Mrs. Hindmarsh and the Ladies ” was proposed by Mr. Gilbert, and also received great applause, as did several other toasts.

The Governor then gave the following:- “May the present unanimity continue as long as South Australia exists,” which made the plain ring with acclamations. At about 5 o’clock His Excellency and lady departed to the ship, and some officers and others followed in another boat. They all seemed highly delighted with our village, as I may call it, consisting now of about forty tents and huts, though scattered about without any regularity. Everyone fixed his present abode wherever he wished, knowing it would not be of long duration. We took coffee in Mr. Kingston’s hut, and returned home about 7 o’clock.

The evening, as well as the day and the preceding one, was very hot, and the night continued so, insomuch that it was impossible to sleep, the thermometer having been sometimes upwards of 100 degrees in the tent. It seemed as if some of the colonists did not even go to bed, for we heard singing and shouting from different parties at intervals till long after daylight. Here I may remark that from the exceeding stillness of the night, except when the wind disturbed the trees near us, we could distinctly hear almost every sound that occurred, though at a considerable distance.

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Wednesday 28 December 1836

The wind continued favorable during the night, &
this morning we came to an anchor in Holdfast Bay, lying due west of Mount
Lofty & now about thirteen miles to the southward of the intended harbour.
Mr Gouger came on board with a Mr Kingston one of the surveyors & gladdened
us with the intelligence of splendid land, plenty of fresh water, & the prospect
of an excellent location….
It was determined to go ashore to day & read
the Governor’s Commission &c, & preparations to land were made. At
½ past one we left the Buffalo – the Governor, Fisher, myself & our families
in one boat, the Treasurer, Chaplain & others in a second, & about 20 marines
in a third besides the officers of the ship. The Council met in Gouger’s tent,
where the orders in Council & Commission were read & the oaths to the
Governor & members of Council were administered. The Commission
was afterwards read by me to the settlers of whom about 200 were present.
A royal salute to the British Flag was fired & a A rifle salute. In French means “fire of joy”. feu-de-joie by the marines.
Afterwards the Buffalo saluted the Governor with 15 guns. A cold collation
was prepared in the open air of which the party partook; & all might have
gone off very well had not our Treasurer got brutishly drunk and
conducted himself in his usual disgraceful fashion towards every
lady & gentleman with whom he came in contact. We were all delighted
with the aspect of the country & the rich soil of Holdfast Plains: Mount
Lofty & the hills before us are wooded to the very summits 1500 feet at
least above the level of the sea. On the plains there are numerous splendid
trees of the eucalyptus species: the Banksia  rosa marinafolia was in
great beauty. We found the pea, butter cup, the camomile daisy, and
geranium, the flax plant, the kangaroo grass in great abundance.
The parrots & parroquets were very numerous. In a short walk we started
several covies of quail, & from a specimen shot there does not appear any
difference between it & the European variety. Nothing in fact can be
richer than the soil: I have seen the Pickaway plains of Ohio & traversed the
Prairies of Illinois & Indiana, but the best of them are not to be compared
to the richness of Holdfast Plains . . .

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Wednesday 28 December 1836

This morning, on going as usual to let out my goats, I saw 2 large Ships entering the Bay, which proved to be the “Buffalo” (bringing the Governor & other officers) & the “Cygnet” from Port Lincoln. Before 8 o’clk a messenger arrived at my tent requiring my attendance on board. I found His Excellency & the whole party in good health & spirits, & full of hope & ardour to commence their Colonial career. After some consultation it was decided that the Governor & emigrants should land here at once, & that in the course of the day, the necessary oaths should be taken & the Governor’s commission read. At 3 o’clk the Marines from the “Buffalo” were drawn up in a line, & the whole of the Colonists assembled in front of my tent. Before however reading the commission in public, I took the necessary oaths of office, & as senior Member of Council present, I administered to the Governor the oaths of office. We then held a Council in my tent for the purpose of agreeing upon a Proclamation requiring all to obey the laws & declaring the Aborigines to have equal rights & an equal claim upon the protection of the Government with the white Colonists. The Commission was then read in public, a A rifle salute. In French means “fire of joy”. “feu-de-joie” was fired by the Marines, the white ensign hoisted, & a salute fired by the ships. The Proclamation having been read, the meeting adjourned to Mr Kingston’s tent, where a cold dinner was provided for such as chose to partake of it, & the festivities were kept up unto a late hour. Rapidly as my heart beat on this occasion – an occasion to which, during the years I had devoted to the prosecution of the enterprise, I sometimes dared to anticipate and rejoice in; I was not suffered long to bestow even one thought upon it.

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Tuesday 27 December 1836

Tuesday, 27th December. As yesterday I have remained at home today. This afternoon we heard guns firing in the offing and on looking out we descried a large ship about ten miles off sailing up the Gulf in the direction of Holdfast Bay. We are all of the opinion that it is the “Buffalo”.

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Tuesday 27 December 1836

This Morng our large black Sow, was
found dead near the Tents, She had been shot in the
left shoulder apparently with a Ball, by some Person
unknown, this Sow was heavy in young, there being 8 fine
Pigs nearly full grown, found inside of the poor Animal, —
Likewise One of our white Sows has recd a severe wound
behind the left shoulder during the Forenoon, which has been
done by a Spear or other Weapon of that Sort  _______
All the Swine were housed last Night, except the black Sow,
which we could not find.

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Tuesday 27 December 1836

Sunday last was Christmas Day! What a temperature to regale on plum-pudding! nevertheless we did so! In the morning we attended prayers read by Mr Kingston, with a sermon on “The Birth of Christ”, but the congregation did not exceed 30 persons! Yesterday was oppressively hot: in the hut the thermometer stood at 86E – in the tent, under the inner covering 104E & under the outer covering 116E.

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Tuesday 27 December 1836

Tuesday, Decr 27. Variable winds. The Cygnet sent a boat to the fire on shore, but could not land. 5. A fresh breeze from Westwd. Noon. Light breezes and fine. P.M. Fresh breezes & fine. Heard three guns fired in Ne- -pean bay – answered with two guns. Cygnet in company. 8. Shortened sail, & [...]

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Tuesday 27 December 1836

We have been beating between Althorp & Kangaroo
Islands for the last two days without making much progress; but the
wind this morning became fair & we are now proceeding. There was a great
fire made on the shores of Kangaroo Island yesterday evening, & it
occurred to me that if the poor fellows reported lost from the Africaine had
really made the coast, this might be a signal from them. I mentioned this
to the Captain whose humane answer was “Oh they are dead long ago!”
Mr Lipson however, seems to have coincided with me, for during the
night he put off from the Cygnet to endeavour to ascertain what it
was; but unfortunately he could not land owing to it having fallen
calm. His opinion is that as there are no natives on the island it may
have been the unfortunate persons alluded to; & that it would be
desirable to take the first opportunity to explore the spot. Why this was
not done at once, I leave the Captain to explain. The chance of saving
the lives of two human beings was surely as well worth losing time for,
as the delay to pick up a cur overboard, or getting a lathe finished
or a dressing table made.

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Sunday 25 December 1836

This being Christmas Day and Sunday, Divine Service was held for the first time in the rush hut of the principal surveyor, a short distance from our tents. We attended, taking our seats with us, the signal for assembling being the firing of a gun. The congregation numbered twenty-five persons, including the two gentlemen who conducted the service. The thermometer stood at 100 degrees, and most of those assembled were in the open air.

In the afternoon we took a walk round the lagoon, and saw a large iguana basking in the sun. It was about three feet long, in form like a lizard, with a long pointed tail and of a beautiful light brown, in some parts approaching to gold colour. It observed us, but made no attempt to escape, and seemed perfectly harmless. This was the first reptile of any kind we had seen since our landing, but an iguana and some other smaller animals of the kind were brought on board the Africaine. A man told me that he had killed a black snake four feet in length. I also heard of another having been seen, but they did not appear to be numerous.

We kept up the old custom of Christmas as far as having a plum pudding for dinner, likewise a ham and a parrot pie, but one of our neighbours, as we afterwards found, had a large piece of roast beef, though we were not aware at the time that any fresh meat was to be had in the colony, and that, I believe, was partly salted. The fact was, when we landed at Glenelg, one of the passengers of the Africaine took charge of Captain Duff’s cow and calf, and the former, which had been tied to a tree near the lagoon, got over the bank and fell in, being so much injured that it was found expedient to kill her. Thus some of the colonists were supplied with their Christmas beef.

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Monday 26 December 1836

This day was extremely hot. The thermometer rose to 120 degrees, the highest point we had yet seen it attain, and that in the shade, at least, in the tent, where it was generally hot, but I afterwards saw it at 150 degrees, exposed to the sun.

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Sunday 25 December 1836

Christmas Day, clear, cloudless & beautiful; with the
thermometer at 68 Thoroughly disgusted with the conduct of the Governor
to-day. Such violence & ruffianism are without parallel, & his profane &
abominable oaths have driven all but his own & Mr Howard’s family
from the deck to seek refuge from the outrageous profanity in their own cabins.
Waiting for the Cygnet to come alongside with Capt Lipson’s family to
dinner. This is pushing on with a vengeance! The jaw of a remarkably
large shark brought on board It measured when extended six feet four
inches in circumference. The length of the animal was 19 feet. Its
liver alone yielded 25 gallons of oil & the weight altogether was estimated
at little less than five tons: it was taken in Nepean Bay.

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Sunday 25 December 1836

Sunday Dec 25th During last Night, our Mare broke her tethering Rope and stray’d away unperceived by those on Watch (Chandler and Palmer) and has not been seen by any Person all this Day   _______

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Sunday 25 December 1836

Light winds & fine. S.E. Working to windwd
between Wedge isle & Thistle isle. Performed Di-
-vine Service on deck. P.M. Do Wr. Wind South. At 2
Captn Lipson & family came to dine with the Governor.
Light winds & fine. Working to the N.E. end of Wedge island.

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Sunday 25 December 1836

Christmas Day. Reminds us of Old England and our friends warming their knees by a rousing fire, with all other Christmas comforts. Here we are broiling under a sun nearly vertical and half of us nearly blind with An infectious inflammation of the eye. Also called Trachoma or Egyptian Ophthalmia. Opthalmia which I hear from the Sealers who visit this Coast always prevails during the Summer months. It is very distressing and of the purulent kind. The small flies, which when living in the tents were maddening, are, I am happy to say, much less troublesome in the huts, but the large disgusting blow-fly is very active, actually depositing living maggots on the plate you are eating off and making no distinction between fresh meat and the salt ship provisions. One of our sheep, the first, was killed last night after sunset and my ration which was served out at 6 this morning altho’ carefully wrapped in a towel was actually crawling by 10 and it has taken me nearly an hour to wash it. Nothing worthy of mention has occurred this last week with the exception of the days when I brave the heat and sally forth with my gun. My time is passed principally within my hut reading etc. The whale-boat left here by Captain Light which was to have been such a source of comfort, has, on the contrary, created disappointment, as we have had no success whatever among the finny tribe. Our dinner today (that is Jacob’s and mine) will consist of the above named piece of mutton, some parrots and pigeons, killed, plucked and cleaned by me and a plum pudding made by Jacob, and all I have to say is that I sincerely hope my dear friends at home are spending a Merrier Christmas than we are here. If not, I pity them.

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Monday 26 December 1836

Monday, Decr 26. Light winds & fine. E.N.E. Working between Cape Spencer & Wedge island. Tacked occasionly. Noon. Mode & fine. Working along between Kangaroo island & Althorp island. Observed a large fire on shore. Wind Easterly. Calms & variable airs at times. 12. Mode breeze.

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Monday 26 December 1836

Mr Lipson has made a very unfavorable report of
the conduct of Mr Stephens who is said to drink to excess. He has it seems
married at sea the sister of a Carpenter in the Company’s employ! This
was a most injudicious step inasmuch as it must necessarily connect him too
closely with a servant under his control & therefore injure his status in
society as Manager; but if he turns out a drunkard all is over with
him. How our good friend Mr Angas has been deceived in his estimate
of this young man! He prepared me to expect some peculiarities, but was
convinced of his steadiness & good intentions. That there have been many
quarrels between him & his men is too true. It is said he has established a
public house, & cannot get the man to whom he gave the direction out
of it since he has displeased him. I had suggested that Mr Stephens
name should be in the Commission of Peace, which was intended. It
is now to be withheld till the truth of all this is known.

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Saturday 24 December 1836

Light winds & fine. Running up towards
Port Lincoln. 8. To ‘heave to’ is to reduce a ship’s sails and adjust them so they counteract each other and stop the ship making progress. It is a safety measure used to deal with strong winds. Hove to, Boston island, N.W. 2 miles.
8.30. Filled, working into Spalding Cove. Saw the Cygnet
at anchor there. Captn Lipson came on board us at 10.
Captn Hindmarsh went to the Cygnet & on shore. Stood off
to sea. Fresh breezes & fine. Having run about 16200 miles.
P.M. Mode & fine. South. Captain H. came on board. Soon after
Cygnet joined company. 9. A fine clear night. We were
nearly ashore on a small low island not down in the
chart. Employed working between the various islands.

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Saturday 24 December 1836

Walked over the plain to that part of the river where Mr Kingston had pitched his tent, with a small party of the surveying labourers. My first opinions with regard to this place became still more confirmed by this trip; having traversed over nearly six miles of a beautiful flat, I arrived at the river, and saw from this a continuation of the same plain for at least six miles more to the foot of the hills under Mount Lofty, which heights trending to the sea in a south-westerly direction were there terminated about four or five miles south of the camp ground at Holdfast Bay, affording an immense plain of level and advantageous ground for occupation. Having settled some matters for future proceedings with Mr Kingston, I left him and returned to the brig at six p.m., to make arrangements for finally leaving the ship.

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Saturday 24 December 1836

At ½ past 4 this morning we were off Cape Donnington;
& at 9 perceived the Cygnet at anchor in Spalding Cove. Capt. Lipson
came on board & announced that Jones’s Harbour in the Gulph of
St. Vincent is considered a desirable spot for our metropolis. Colonel
Light’s letter speaks in glowing terms of the place, & of the whole eastern shore
of the Gulph, which he compares to Devonshire. All the vessels that preceded
us but the Tam o’Shanter have arrived safe & well. The only accident reported
has happened to the surgeon & another young man in the Africaine, who
are said to have perished, at least they have been lost in a mad attempt
to walk from the western shore of Kangaroo Island to Nepean Bay on
the north eastern side. Heard rather bad accounts of the proceedings of
Mr Stephens the Company’s Manager at Nepean Bay, who has
been involved in some quarrels with his people. This we hope is exaggerated;
if not, the circumstance is deeply to be lamented, as on the prudent
management of the Company’s affairs here depends in a great
measure the success of the Colony. We are told that supplies are already
abundant from Van Diemen’s Land. Landed with the Governor,
Fisher & Lipson at the head of Spalding Cove. The land does not
appear good; it is covered with scrubby wood, & there is no water to
be found. Picked up some specimens of lime-stone & feld spar. The
rocks were chiefly a conglomerate stone in which there is a difference in colour between the pebbles and the matrix pudding stone; the tea-tree of New Holland
growing in great abundance & a variety of the
samphire plant. The shells were very numerous, & the cuttle fish in
great plenty. It was determined to take the Cygnet with us to
show us our way & the Captain accordingly ordered her to follow us, which
she did; so Port Lincoln has been left without any one to warn the
Other ships had already left England bringing more immigrants, bound for South Australia ships expected from England where to go should they arrive in Spalding
Cove ere a boat’s crew can be sent back to keep a look out, & give
information to all comers of our ultimate locality. This arrangement
is quite of a piece with all the others.

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Friday 23 December 1836

Fresh breezes & fine. Wind Easterly variable.
1.30. Ships could not sail directly into the wind, but they could sail across it at an angle. So, to move forward in the direction of the wind they set a zigzag course, sailing across the wind at alternating angles. That procedure was called tacking. Tacked . 6.40. Tacked. 8. Mode & fine. Miles run,
100 + 16075 = 16175. Latitude is the distance of a point north or south of the equator as measured in degrees. The poles are at 90 degrees north and south. Late 35E21′ So. Longitude is the distance, measured in degrees, of the meridian on which a point lies to the meridian of Greenwich. On the other side of the earth to Greenwich is a point with a longitude of both 180 degrees east and 180 degrees west. Longe 135E45′. Et.
P.M. Light winds & fine. 1. Tacked. 3. Wind ESE.
Set Studding sails were set outside the square sails in fine weather and with a fair wind. Their head was fastened to a short yard hoisted to the end of the upper yard and their foot extended by a boom slid out from the lower yard. They took their name, such as main topmast studding sail, from the adjacent sail. studg sails . 6.30. To reduce sail by taking it in. Shortened sail . Wind very light. Sent
a boat ahead to The action or process of measuring the depth of water with a sounding line, a line marked at intervals of fathoms and weighted at one end. A fathom is a unit of length equal to 6 feet (1.83 metres). sound , running to the No between Williams’s
island & Thistle island. 10. Passed Williams’s island. A fine
moonlight night. Standing up towards Port Lincoln: Going
about 1 knot. Struck a porpoise with the harpoon, & haul-
-ed him in. Ate a piece of him (not bad.) 12. Light airs.

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Friday 23 December 1836

For the last three evenings we have neared the land
just in time to be too late to proceed; & we have regularly Ships could not sail directly into the wind, but they could sail across it at an angle. So, to move forward in the direction of the wind they set a zigzag course, sailing across the wind at alternating angles. That procedure was called tacking. tacked &
stood out to sea a sufficient distance to occupy the whole day in returning.
The breeze however is a little fresher this evening & we shall probably
go on. Our worthy captain has been openly bragging of having imposed
upon the Commissioners by telling them of a 90 or 100 days passage;
while he says that he knew all along, & in fact told Mrs Hindmarsh,
at Portsmouth, that we should not be at Port Lincoln before
December 22 (yesterday) “For,” said he, (I record the words) “If I had
said a longer time to them, I should not have been able to get the
Buffalo” !! So our precious Governor feels no scruple in telling, & no
shame in avowing that he has told a gross falsehood on a point of the
last importance to the welfare of the Colony! What may we not expect in
the way of imposition after this?

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Thursday 22 December 1836

Out shooting again with similar success. The 2 natives who were brought into the settlement on Decr 1st by Mr Williams remained with him about a week performing a variety of work & conducting themselves in a satisfactory manner, but suddenly left without assigning any reason. They however returned last Sunday bringing with them 4 others. They visited the different huts, receiving from each presents of sugar, biscuits etc. At night they had a “corrobboree” or native dance, but I was not so fortunate to witness this. The custom of these natives appear to differ from those of N. S. Wales, for instance the ceremony of knocking out a front tooth on the attainment of manhood is not enforced here, not one of the natives who have visited us having undergone the operation. Presents of clothes were given them, which they much valued & wore all day, but removed dust & dirt from them at night & (though lying in the open air) folded them up for a pillow!

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Thursday 22 December 1836

Thursday, Decr 22. Light winds & fine. Wind variable contrary. 2.30. Tacked. 4. Tacked. 8.50. Tacked. 12. Tacked. Miles run, 68 + 16007 = 16075. Lat. 35E8′ So. Longe 135E25′ Et. P.M. Light winds & fine. 3. Tacked. 8.50. Tacked. 12. Fresh winds.

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Wednesday 21 December 1836

Wednesday, Decr 21. Light winds & fine. 2.30. Filled & stood off. 7.40. Tacked. N.N.W. Water on board, 35 tuns. Noon. Do Wr. Miles run, 59 + 15948 = 16007. Lat. 35E16′ So. Longe 135E36′ Et. Cape Wiles, N.½E. 16 miles. Therm 64 o. P.M. Light winds. Making long tacks, & gaining no ground.

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Wednesday 21 December 1836

Both Yestdy and to Day have been employ’d
Shearing the Wedder Sheep, and afterwards rubbing them
as likewise all the others with boil’d Tobacco, they being very
much affected with the Scab   ______

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Wednesday 21 December 1836

Yesterday we made Cape Wiles; & find it to be to
the Windward is the direction from which the wind is coming. Leeward is the opposite direction, away from the wind. leeward of our course to Port Lincoln. All accounts agree that
the easterly & south easterly winds prevail in this quarter during
the months of December, January & February. To have kept out therefore
with the westerly wind we had before making land, till we were to the
eastward of our haven was what any experienced seaman would
have done; but the turning lathe & carpenters work for his house
are yet unfinished – so we have got right into the south-east wind
where we are likely to be for a week or two. Our Captain does not like
the name of Cape Catastrophe the leading point for Port Lincoln,
he has been endeavouring to pick out a less fearful one, & I have
suggested Cape Flinders after the name of the discoverer of South
Australia who with the modesty of true genius, bestowed his own
name only on a small rock I believe to the westward. Our Governor
intends to immortalize many of our most glorious naval victories
such as Aboukir, Trafalgar, Camperdown, the Nile, &c, by naming
places in S. Australia after them. He has also selected the names of
several admirals & Captains who are likewise to be held in ever-
-lasting remembrance by the same means – Nelson, Duncan,
Newcombe, & Hindmarsh are among the number – We lay to at
about seven leagues from the shore instead of standing in for a
start in the morning so that there is no chance of doing any thing
unless the breeze should freshen. A far more magnificent & glorious sky
to-night than ever we saw or conceived. A double rainbow with the full
moon rising in the centre; clouds of violet & silver: on the opposite side
the sun setting in majesty mid clouds of every hue, from darkest
masses to the scarcely perceptible shade. “These are thy works Parent of Good”.

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Tuesday 20 December 1836

Being tired of salt meat & hearing constantly of the success of my neighbours in shooting, I determined to sally forth in search of game, & succeeded beyond my most sanguine expectations. I brought home after about 4 hours shooting yesterday 17 parrots & to-day after 2 hours walking bagged – no not bagged but suspended to a cord round my neck 12 parrots & parrokeets which proved excellent eating. The plumage of some of these birds is of extraordinary beauty & would have fetched a very high price in England. I never saw such plumage before.

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Tuesday 20 December 1836

Tuesday, Decr 20. Light winds & fine. Head E.N.E. Wind S.W. Miles run, 121 + 15827 = 15948. Lat. 35E22′ So Longe 135E3′ Et. P.M. Do Wr. 0.45. Saw land on the larbd beam. 5.30. Sounded in 55 fms. 7.30. Cape Wiles, N.N.E. 15 miles. 8. Light airs & fine, Wind Southerly. 9. Hove to. [...]

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Tuesday 20 December 1836

This day William, then a boy of fifteen, completed an oven which he made of iron hoops fixed in the ground in a half-circle and covered with a thick coating of clay, afterwards burned. It answered exceedingly well and we not only baked bread in it but pies and puddings, and occasionally fresh meat, when we could get it, but that was seldom. This oven was the first constructed in the colony, and remained in its primitive state, as I was told, long after we quitted Glenelg.

About this time we also built a rush hut a short distance from our tents for the better accommodation of part of our family, but they had not long occupied it before everything was suddenly ordered to be cleared out to make room for the printing-press, in order to print the Proclamation of the Colony. In this place, about twelve feet square, the first printing in South Australia was produced…

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Monday 19 December 1836

Monday, Decr 19. Moderate & fine. Head E.N.E. Wind W.S.W. Surveyed chain cables. Noon. Miles run, 139 + 15688 = 15827. Late 36E14′ So. Longe 132E55′ Et. Cape Wiles, dist 144 miles. P.M. Mode & fine. Head E.N.E. 8. Light winds & fine.

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Sunday 18 December 1836

Capt Light arrived here to-day in the “Rapid” from Kangaroo Island. It is impossible for him to speak in more depreciating tones than he does of the land adjacent to Port Lincoln, & of the entrance to the harbour. This being the case he considers the position for the site of the chief town as determined, & has therefore returned to Gulf St Vincent with the full intention of making an accurate survey of the harbor & river 8 miles north of Holdfast Bay. The “Tam O’Shanter” left behind her a considerable quantity of excellent porter. This, with other goods, supplied the first store in the Colony, opened by Mr Thomas. I have not had time for making a garden, but some of my brother Colonists have been disposed thus to work, & have planted potatoes, & a variety of early vegetable seeds, thus in most cases succeed well, & afford the promise of a good crop. We have had good supplies of potatoes from Van Dieman’s Land, & have also eaten a vegetable found by the sea-side which I am told is the “Kelp” from which Manilla is manufactured. The leaves & young shoots, well washed & boiled are excellent eating, somewhat resembling the English Spinach. Another plant (which we have not yet tried) is also said to be palatable & nutritious.

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Sunday 18 December 1836

Moderate & fine. Made sail. Head E.N.E.
Wind S.Wly. Performed Divine Service, & christened
Henry Walker, born on board…

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Monday 19 December 1836

Early this Morng and during Palmers
Watch all our Sheep got out from the Park netting,
but were found during the Day scattered about in every
direction and 3 of them were dead, which no doubt have
been killed by the wild Dogs…

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Sunday 18 December 1836

At half past nine got under way for the harbour; at six we entered the first reach and came to anchor, and the Tam O’Shanter got under way for the harbour; about eleven she struck on the edge of the western sand spit, after passing the shallowest part, not being sufficiently to windward… On the 22nd, about four p.m. she was hove off, and both ships made sail for the higher part of the harbour, [I] preceding both ships in my A class of net fishing boats used on the Thames estuary. The Rapid’s boat was built specially for the Colonization Commissioners by W.T. Gulliver of Wapping. hatch-boat . It was really beautiful to look back and see two British ships for the first time sailing up between the mangroves, in fine smooth water, in a creek that had never before borne the construction of the marine architect, and which at some future period might be the channel of import and export of a great commercial capital. We anchored for the night about six p.m.; the Tam O’Shanter having taken the mud laid till about midnight, when the flood tide having floated her off, she passed us and brought up till daylight. Having now got both ships up the harbour, I shall leave my narrative of the maritime part of this expedition, and proceed to my work on shore.

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Saturday 17 December 1836

Saturday, Decr 17. Fresh breezes with rain. Head East. Wind N.N.E.
Made sail. Noon. Light winds. Miles run, 116 +
15427 = 15543. Latitude is the distance of a point north or south of the equator as measured in degrees. The poles are at 90 degrees north and south. Lat. 38E15′ So. Longitude is the distance, measured in degrees, of the meridian on which a point lies to the meridian of Greenwich. On the other side of the earth to Greenwich is a point with a longitude of both 180 degrees east and 180 degrees west. Longe 127E20′ Et. Thermr 61E.
P.M. Moderate & fine. Trimmed sails. Wind S.W. Midt. Do Wr.

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Saturday 17 December 1836

After breakfast I went off in the whale-boat left by Captain Light, to catch fish, but not knowing the ground we were unsuccessful, catching only three snappers and one rock-fish. After dinner I started with my gun, but was equally unsuccessful. So we stand a good chance of having Slang, meaning salted beef or pork. salt junk for Sunday’s dinner.

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Saturday 17 December 1836

17 December-At daylight, Mount Lofty and the range of hills seen, fine weather, made all sail for Holdfast Bay, and at ten came to an anchor and went on shore to see our party, and hear from Mr Kingston if he had made any interesting discovery during my absence. That I may not appear to wish to conceal any part of my operations or my reasons for them, I here again insert a short extract from my letter to the Commissioners, dated this day:

The time now lost in much extra labour, and the arrival of many people from England, makes me anxious to find some place to locate the land purchasers and others; and from every answer to my enquiries of the sealers, as well as the practical view of the coast I had to the westward, I felt convinced I should never find anything more eligible than the neighbourhood of Holdfast Bay, I therefore steered at once for it, and at ten a.m. came to an anchor.

As for Encounter Bay I resolved on leaving that to a future period for the following reason. As much as Encounter Bay and Lake Alexandrina had been talked of in England, I never could fancy for one moment that any navigable entrance from the sea into the Lake could possibly exist, on looking at Flinders’ chart, and considering the exposed situation of that coast, open to the whole southern ocean, great danger must always attend the approaching it with fresh breezes; moreover the very circumstance of so large a Lake being there was a convincing proof to me that the Murray could not have a passage sufficiently deep or wide to discharge its waters into the sea. These ideas I mentioned in England, and often during our passage, but when I saw the sandy shore to the eastward of Encounter Bay from the Rapid as we stood over, beating against strong northerly winds, and seeing that this shore of sand was open to several thousand miles of the southern ocean, where S.W. winds prevailed during eight or nine months of the year, I was more than before convinced that no good and accessible harbour could exist, contrary to the general laws of nature. Deep and fine harbours, with good entrances on the sea coast, are only found where the shore is high, hard, or rocky; in other cases such harbours must be in large rivers or gulfs; sand alone can never preserve a clear channel against the scud of the sea, and particularly such as must inevitably be thrown on the coast about Encounter Bay. I was quite certain that even should such a thing as a harbour be there, contrary (as I said before) to the general laws of nature, yet no ship could make it exactly, and if she missed it there is no trifling on such a coast, and with a strong breeze from the southward or westward no one would dare to approach it. What then must ships do? They must go to Nepean Bay and wait for favourable weather to enter this harbour, in doing which a ship may lose two months of her time. I was also sure that on a low, sandy shore like that, there must be a bar and tremendous surf. When I reached Nepean Bay this idea was fully confirmed by the reports of the sealers, and some said there was no such thing as a harbour along the coast; I therefore thought I should be throwing away valuable time in examining there, and besides this, had I wished it, the frequent westerly winds would have prevented me.

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Friday 16 December 1836

16 December-At eleven a.m., having embarked everything, we got under way and stood over to the western side of the Gulf. At six, made the land out distinctly ahead, and on the The old term for the left hand side of a ship looking forward. The right hand side is starboard. To avoid mis-hearing an order, it is now referred to as ‘port’. larboard beam; but an opening between gave me hopes that some harbour might exist there, although all the information I had before collected from my man Cooper and others was contrary to any such thing, and very soon after we saw low barren-looking land connecting the two points before observed.

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Friday 16 December 1836

Decr 16th The Tam O’Shanter has to-day worked into the Bay, & will discharge her cargo at the harbour 8 miles from us. We now find that no doubt remains as to the fate of Slater & Osborne, the Islanders having given up their search as hopeless. Their loss is much regretted by all who witnessed their quiet, unassuming demeanour on board. We have been fortunate in obtaining other servants from this ship.

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Friday 16 December 1836

On Monday last, the Wind blew so very strong
that not an Article could be landed, but during Tuesday it
abated considerably when part of our Stores were landed
and have got every thing on Shore this Day, except 2 Pork
Barrels, that are either lost, or have not been put on board
at Kingscote as we can only get two instead of four
which are mention’d in the Invoice   _____
While bringing the Sheep ashore on Wednesday last
one of the Wedders unfortunately got his leg broken
& was therefore kill’d and sold by Capt Martin —
The grey Mare was deliver’d up to Mr Gilbert, who
will take charge of her, untill Mr Morfit arrives

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Friday 16 December 1836

Friday, Decr 16. Moderate breezes. Head E.b S. Wind E.N.Ely. Made sail. Noon. Miles run, 111 + 15316 = 15427. Lat. 37E36′ So. Longe 125E4′ Et. P.M. Fresh breezes. Head E.b S. Midt. Light winds.

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Friday 16 December 1836

Friday, 16th December. The Brig started about mid-day and I have been busy making my hut comfortable, putting up bookshelves etc.

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Thursday 15 December 1836

Thursday, Decr 15. Calms & light airs. Noon. Head S.E. Wind E.N.E. Miles run, 42 + 15274= 15316. Lat 36E30′ So. Longe 123E11′ Et. P.M. Fresh breezes. Shortened sail. Wind E.N.E.

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Thursday 15 December 1836

During the last three days we had royals displayed
for the first time for many weeks. It was calm which accounts for it, but a
favorable breeze springing up they were instantly lowered & a double-
reef taken in on the top sails. The murmurs on board are loud as well
as deep. Reason good that they should be so.

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Thursday 15 December 1836

The “Rapid” arrived last night from Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln, but it being late nobody landed till this morning. The “Buffalo” is not yet arrived with the governor, but Captain Light gives a most unfavourable report on Port Lincoln. The harbour when once gained is very fine, but it is extremely difficult of access and the land has a most forbidding aspect consisting of little else than stones and totally unfit for agriculture. They searched unsuccessfully for the Tablet in Memory’s Cove raised by Flinders to the memory of the Boat’s Crew lost there. Holdfast Bay is at length fixed upon for the seat of the Capital and a more advantageous spot it is impossible to select, both from its vicinity to a beautiful harbour and the fineness of the soil, with abundance of fresh water. Captain Light makes a start tomorrow for the settlement, but as he intends stretching over to the Western side of this Gulf he will probably be some days on the way. On the return of the “Africaine” which he has sent to Hobart Town for stock etc., it is Captain Light’s intention to remove us all to the Town where he has offered to renew my Engagement as a shore going Surgeon. My former one on board the “Rapid” being ended on the 31st. inst. of the present month (Dec. 1836). I was delighted to find that Captain Light had letters for me brought by the “Tam O’Shanter”. One from my Mother, another from Harriet and the third from my good friend – Major – the latter enclosing one to Mr. Neale which I have given to Captain Light to deliver to him at Holdfast Bay. My dear Mother and Sister wish me to return, but as I think there is a chance of my bettering myself here, I think it is right to make a trial.

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Thursday 15 December 1836

15 December-Employed on shore, and sending things on board.

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Wednesday 14 December 1836

Wednesday, Decr 14. Calms & light airs. Head Easterly. Trimd sails occly. Noon. Miles run, 23 + 15251 = 15274. Lat. 36E28′ So. Longe 122E5′ Et. P.M. Calms & light airs.

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Wednesday 14 December 1836

We had now been here a month, and certainly enjoyed the freedom of the open air and our spacious tent, which was oblong and large enough to divide into two apartments, in preference to the confinement inseparable from a ship’s cabin. But we were not destined to have these conveniences without alloy. Fleas, flies, and mosquitoes were innumerable. One or the other annoyed us incessantly, the first both day and night, which, perhaps, may partly be accounted for by our being so near a sandhill. The flies tormented us to such a degree that when I wrote my letters to England I was obliged to be constantly fighting with one hand while I wrote with the other, and no sooner had these retired from the contest than in the evening the mosquitoes came in such swarms as sometimes literally to cover the inside of the tent. We were obliged to have recourse to burning them out by burning some dry grass in a baking-pot; but this was not all, for the place was also infested with rats, whether native or imported I cannot say. They certainly were there before we arrived, for we frequently found their holes. They were different from the native kangaroo rat, were generally of a large size, and so bold that they seemed disposed to cultivate our acquaintance with rather more freedom than was desirable, often appearing in open daylight. They would scarcely be driven away. I had sufficient proof that they paid us nightly visits as well, for once I felt one run over my face. Having no means of keeping them out of the tent, I endeavoured to keep out other intruders (at least, at night) by pinning the canvas door to opposite sides and then placing a pail of water near it, so that if anyone attempted to enter they might have a chance of falling over it. Though this never happened, not infrequently in the morning I found a drowned rat in the pail. On one occasion, also, when I awoke, two of these animals were quietly seated on a chest of drawers, which stood at the foot of my bed, apparently watching me, and without attempting to move till I drove them away.

About this time our eyes became affected with An infectious inflammation of the eye. Also called Trachoma or Egyptian Ophthalmia. ophthalmia, which was then so prevalent that I believe very few of the settlers entirely escaped it. Many of the natives had it, and even the dogs suffered. My son William became totally blind one Sunday while attending Divine Service in the open air, and was led back to the tent by his brother. For myself I was nearly so for three days, and could scarcely find my way about. We had a skilful physician, however, in Doctor Wright, who came out with his wife and family in the Cygnet, and was at that time the only medical practitioner in the colony. Excepting this disease, which was extremely painful while it lasted, we were generally in good health.

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Wednesday 14 December 1836

14 December-At eight a.m. got under way, the Tam O’Shanter in company; at six a.m., the Tam O’Shanter shaped her course for Holdfast Bay, and we stood in for Rapid Bay, to embark all things previous to running over to the western side.

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Wednesday 14 December 1836

Decr 14th The last fortnight has been devoted to the building of my hut, which nearly adjoins the tent, & is 12 ft wide by 21 ft long. Only 6 nails were used in its construction; the uprights, crosspieces, beams & joists being all tied together with cordage. The wood was cut in a copse about a mile distant, & the thatch, which consists of a kind of reed 10 ft long with long wide leaves, was drawn by the portable truck before alluded to. I look forward to the hut when finished as being cooler & far more agreeable during the heat of the day than the tent. I have also built a shed for my goats to sleep in; in the upper part of which the fowls have taken up their abode. The latter reward my care by laying eggs plentifully. The Cashmere goats thrive admirably, but my two kids from the Cape have died. We originally supplied ourselves with 5 servants (male & female) before leaving England, but of this Alfred Young is the only one who preserves his loyalty, though assailed by Evil Advisers. I have however been fortunate in securing the services of Coltman & his wife till the site of the chief town shall be fixed upon. We, together with most of our fellow Colonists have suffered from quite a plague of flies and other insects. The inflammation caused by their attacking the eye became so serious as closely resembling the An infectious inflammation of the eye. Also called Trachoma or Ophthalmia. Egyptian opthalmia. Fortunately Dr Wright’s arrival reduced our sufferings in this respect. Mr Brown’s selection of a sand-hill for a residence fulfilled my predictions for they have suffered more than many.

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Wednesday 14 December 1836

Wednesday Decr 14. To make Cape Chatham we have come out of our
way nearly 300 miles; & all to find what every man in the ship
believed, that our watches were right. It has been calm yesterday &
to-day – rather annoying now when within 700 miles of our haven,
& when we consider that had ordinary advantage been taken of the
winds we have been favored with we should have been on shore three
weeks ago. Margaret had a conversation with a settler from Fife
on board; the same individual whose attention to the education of
his children has been so praiseworthy about Australia. “He had
just been devouring a’ the buiks he could get on the subject of
Australia; & he was vera happy to hear frae Maister Stevenson
that a gentleman was to be appointed to tak care o’ the natives.
Puir things! he was like rather to see gude done to them than harm,
& he thocht they might be brought to other & better things, especially as
their powers o’ mimicry were sae extraordinar – & then, ye ken, if they
can mimic fules, they can mimic better things”. Sound reasoning & delivered
with a feeling rarely indeed to be heard from an English peasant of the same
class.

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Tuesday 13 December 1836

DECEMBER 13.-This evening another tent, not far from our encampment, was accidentally burnt down, but, I believe, without any material damage otherwise. A similar accident had also occurred at Kangaroo Island, where some property was destroyed.

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Tuesday 13 December 1836

Tuesday, Decr 13. Light winds & cloudy. Head E.b S.½S. Wind So. Noon. Miles run, 67 + 15184 = 15251. Lat. 36E16′ So. Longe 121E44′ Et. P.M. Head E.b S. Calms & variable airs.

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Tuesday 13 December 1836

13 December-Blowing a gale of wind all day.

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Sunday 11 December 1836

Decr 11th Prayers were read to-day in Mr Kingston’s tent by Mr Gilbert, & a sermon was to have been read also, but information arrived that a large ship was sailing into the Bay, & the anxiety was so great that the greater part of the congregation separated and went to the beach, expecting it might be the Governor. It proved, however, to be the “Emma” from Kangaroo Island bringing the Company’s livestock, etc etc I returned to my dinner (consisting of a fine cockatoo, which proved good) and we had hardly finished when 2 gentlemen made their appearance. They proved to be the Capt of the “Emma” & Capt Nelson of the “John Pirie” who brought us letters from England. Our first enquiry was of the fate of the 6 poor fellows, who it will be remembered landed on the Western Shore of Kangaroo Island intending to walk across it by “Capt Sutherland’s Track”. Of these only 4 have been found (Mr Nantes, a clerk in the office of the Colonial Secretary, & 3 labourers). Mr Slater (a surgeon) & Mr Osborne (printer) are it is feared lost. Mr Nantes states that after being out 9 days, Osborne was unable to proceed, & that Slater with his characteristic generosity, said he would stay with him, while the rest of the party pushed on, in the hope of sending relief to the two left behind. Two days after this Nantes & his party were found by a fishing boat, & were conveyed to the settlement, not having tasted food for 4 days, but are now recovering & are in tolerably good health. Parties sent in search of Slater & Osborne say they have the tracks of but one person, & as he appears to walk in circles, or backwards & forwards, they fear he is out of his mind. This doubtless was Slater – Osborne most probably has perished. Search parties were however still out when the “Emma” left, though no hope remains of finding either alive. Thus to Capt Sutherland’s very erroneous account of the Interior of the Island, it is to be feared 2 gallant & educated young men have fallen victims!

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Sunday 11 December 1836

DECEMBER 11.-This day, about noon, a report prevailed that a ship was in sight, and that it might be the Tam o’Shanter, the arrival of which we were anxiously awaiting. We sent the boys to the beach to inquire, and they soon returned with the news that the Emma, a vessel that came out before the Africaine, in the service of the South Australian Company, I believe, had returned from Kangaroo Island, whither she had been sent with stores, and that she had on board two of the young men who had been so long wandering on the island, Nantes and Fisher, our printer. This proved to be true, but the latter did not come on shore that day. Four of them at length returned with vague and rather contradictory statements that they had left Slater and Osborne near a lagoon, unable to proceed any further, but that they would do so as soon as they had somewhat recovered from their fatigue; that they had plenty of provisions with them, thus keeping up our hopes of their final safety. They never returned, however, nor could we learn anything with certainty as to their fate, though we made constant inquiry and questioned everyone in the least likely to afford information…

This melancholy affair distressed us all very much, and it was some time before we could settle to our ordinary occupationsavocations

From some casual words spoken by those who returned I began to suspect that some disagreement had occurred while they were on the island, especially as allusions were made to “that hot-headed Irishman.” Mr. Slater was, as far as I could observe, a kind-hearted man of gentlemanly manners, and generally on good terms with his fellow-passengers, but sometimes he showed unmistakable proofs of a fiery temperament, which on one occasion caused me some uneasiness. It so happened that something had occurred, I do not know what, that gave him great offence, and after giving vent to furious passion he shut himself in his cabin with a loaded pistol in his hand, declaring that he would shoot the first man who dared to enter it; but as he was the sole occupant of the cabin, of course no one had the right to enter it without his permission, and under those circumstances few cared even to pass the door. Nor would his irritated humour have given me much concern but that his cabin was situated next to one occupied by my children, and I could not help being apprehensive lest the pistol should go off, perhaps by accident, or otherwise. Either incident would have caused considerable alarm.

Osborne, however, went to him notwithstanding his threats, and not only induced hime to lay aside the pistol, but reasoned him into a calmer mood. This was not the only instance in which he succeeded, by his judicious arguments, in allaying the ruffled temper of Mr. Slater.

Whether anything of the kind had occurred or not during their route across Kangaroo Island I cannot tell, but that some dispute did arise I have reason to believe from hints which were occasionally thrown out by those who returned, and by which it appeared that they could not agree as to the course they should pursue, some of the party wishing to go one way and the rest another. How it was settled, of course, I had no means of ascertaining, except that Osborne, as usual, adhered to his friend, and they parted company with the rest. All my endeavours to obtain a satisfactory explanation for their absence failed, and though I repeatedly questioned all those who returned, and Fisher in particular, I could get no other answer than that they were on their way and would soon arrive.

As I said before, we never saw them again, and when all hope was gone the painful task devolved on me to convey the melancholy tidings to Osborne’s father. As the best means of doing so, I wrote to our agent in London, Mr. Leonard Baugh, and gave him a full account, as far as I was able, of the whole affair, requesting him to go to Mr. Osborne and break the sad news to him by degrees, and likewise to get it published in “The Spectator,” lest the people of England should think that the two unfortunate young men had been murdered by the natives. There was none on Kangaroo Island at that time, except a few women, and they were employed by the white residents.

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Sunday 11 December 1836

Having remaind at Anchor all Friday
Night in Rapid Bay, we weighd again early Yestdy
Morng, and arrd at our destination Hold fast Bay
this Eveng, thus making 4 Days Works of a 4 Hours passage
and have every prospect of a heavy Gale of Wind, to keep us
on board a Day or two longer   __________

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Sunday 11 December 1836

Sunday, Decr 11. Mode & cloudy. Made all sail. Head ENE. Wind S.W. 5.30. Saw Cape Chatham in Western Australia bearing N.N.E. Performed Divine Service in the Wardroom. Noon. Do Wr. Land about 7 miles off. Miles run 155 + 14861 = 15016. Lat. 35E10′ So. Longe 117E9′ Et. Barr 30.3. Therm 62E. P.M. Mode [...]

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Monday 12 December 1836

12 December-Blowing very fresh; at half past four a.m. the wind increasing and weather looking bad, I did not like running for Rapid Bay, therefore made sail for Nepean Bay. At six, being off the end of the sand, hauled the wind, and began working in, and after hard beating, anchored off Kingscote at thirty minutes p.m. Found here the John Pirie and the Tam O’Shanter, the latter lately from England. At one, Mr Finke came on board, and brought us letters.

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Sunday 11 December 1836

The last days I have been employed on alternate days shooting and working at my hut, which I had the extreme facility of removing to last night. On one of my shooting excursions I shot aold name for a brolga, so named because they were observed in pairs native companion weighing 14 pounds. This bird much resembles a heron in the shape with the exception of the legs which like the emu’s are armed with three toes. The plumage on the back is speckled, not unlike the guinea-fowl and is white on the breast. The “Emu” called here on Friday on her way up the Gulf, having on board stock etc. brought by the “John Pirie” to Kangaroo Island. She left us yesterday at daybreak. We learnt from the Officers that of the six landed on Kangaroo Island to find their way on foot to Nepean Bay, four only have been found, and they were nearly exhausted by fatigue and famine. The two others, one of whom was a surgeon (Mr. Slater) have in all human probability perished. The weather during the week has been variable, having had two very sultry days with the hot northerly wind.

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Sunday 11 December 1836

Turned out at 8 bells in vulgar English 4 o’clock in
the morning; & had the satisfaction to be the first in the ship to make
out the coast of New Holland; it was Cape Chatham; & our chronometers
were found to be right by observation to less than a mile – so all the
fears & fuss about St. Paul’s & the probable errors of these instruments
received a just though silent commentary. A vast number of porpoises
about the ship frolicking & leaping in all directions….

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Sunday 11 December 1836

11 December First part strong breezes with vivid lightning to the westward; at five a.m. more moderate; got under way; at eight passed the rock off Thistle Island, and we discovered an extensive reef running from Grindall’s Island in a north easterly direction, not laid down in Flinders’ chart, and reaching across the very course I had intended to steer had we been driven from our anchorage in the night; we must all [have] perished had that happened, but Providence kept us safe in Memory Cove.

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Monday 12 December 1836

Monday, Decr 12. Fresh breezes & rainy. Head S.E.b E. Wind S.W. 5.30. Made sail. 8. Mode & fine. Altered course to E.b S. Noon. Water, 44 tuns. Miles run, 168 + 15016 = 15184. Lat. 36o 11′ So. Longe 120E20′ Et. Cape Wiles N.84EE. 764 miles. P.M. Light winds & fine. Wind South. Midnight. [...]

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Saturday 10 December 1836

10 December-Calm and cloudy; at eight got under way with light variable winds, and not being able to fetch to the northward we stood for the southern channel, but the wind baffling so much, and seeing there was no chance of getting through before dark, perceiving also a long way in the offing rollers extending [...]

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Saturday 10 December 1836

Saturday, Decr 10. Fresh breezes & fine. Head E.b N. Wind West
Employed cleaning ship: bent The old term for the left hand side of a ship looking forward. The right hand side is starboard. To avoid mis-hearing an order, it is now referred to as ‘port’. larboard chain cable.
Miles run, 181 + 14680 = 14861. Latitude is the distance of a point north or south of the equator as measured in degrees. The poles are at 90 degrees north and south. Lat. 36E5′ So. Longitude is the distance, measured in degrees, of the meridian on which a point lies to the meridian of Greenwich. On the other side of the earth to Greenwich is a point with a longitude of both 180 degrees east and 180 degrees west. Longe 114E25′ Et.
P.M. Mode & cloudy. No bottom 100 fms of line at 11.30.

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Saturday 10 December 1836

Received back from his Excellency the legislation acts
I had prepared, with his amendments in pencil. They are more
curious than numerous & I hope some of them may survive that the
higher powers may see what a clever fellow the Governor is. One
instance of his ability in the science will suffice. To maintain as
much as possible the faith of contracts with labourers, I had laid
a heavy penalty upon any one employing a servant knowingly,
during the unexpired period of his engagement with another. The
Governor had interpolated the words “or hiring” and forgot that
he had done so I presume, as he found mighty fault with the
clause & proceeded at great length to expound the gross injustice of
punishing any man for hiring a servant under such circum-
-stances. I agreed with him entirely; but remarked that no such
provision existed in the measure as I had prepared it. He main-
-tained that it did, & though satisfying him that the interpolation
was in his own hand-writing settled the dispute, he had the
candour – not to acknowledge his error – oh no! he never dreams of
being wrong even in his most outrageous absurdities – but to say
that it was a point that for the moment slipt his memory on which
his principal objection to the clause rested. He would however retain
the draft till he remembered it. He did so; & I have this evening
had it returned with the words “or hiring” carefully rubbed out! The
“principal objection” remains in abeyance.

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Friday 9 December 1836

This morning Mr Fisher & I had a characteristic
scene with the Governor. The latter has always impressed upon me that
it was his right to fix the site of the Capital, & till I saw Colonel Light’s
instructions I believed this to be the case. Undeceived, I was determined
not to be played upon with impunity & accordingly I told the Governor
in Mr Fisher’s presence that  he had misled me, and was himself al-
-together mistaken; that I had read the Commissioners Instructions to
the Surveyor General, & the fact was that it rested solely & exclusively
upon Col. Light’s responsibility to fix the site of Adelaide. The polite &
dignified remark in answer was that “he did not care a — for any
order of the Commissioners & he would fix the seat of Government
where he pleased. It was only his private confidence in Col. Light’s
discretion that would lead him to submit to his decision: he had
Lord Glenelg’s authority for all this, & for setting the Commissioners
at defiance”. I doubt this; & indeed have no further confidence
in the truth of any thing he says But for the consideration my family
& their interests demand I should not remain an hour in my present
position. It seems more & more desirable that the Governor’s powers
should be defined strictly, or some strange antics we shall have; –
but it is far more to be wished that in selecting an individual for
the high office he fills, care had been taken to find a gentleman of
common sense who had little occasion for other brains than his own
& who would despise to lay his own follies entirely upon the shoulders
of honorable men. On the Technically called a stern deck, the poop is an exposed partial deck on the stern (rear) of a ship. It forms the roof of the stern or ‘poop’ cabin. poop watching the sun going down, the
Captain observing to Margaret “They that go down to the sea in ships”
she, unintentionally perhaps but not inappropriately continued the
quotation “they reel to & fro & stagger like a drunken man & are at
their wit’s end”. He replied “You may be at your wit’s end, Mrs S,
but it will not do for me to be at mine, I shall have employment
enough for them!” Margaret thought of Wordsworth I suppose for she
quoted half-aside, “Good help thee silly one!”.

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Friday 9 December 1836

Friday, Decr 9. Fresh breezes & cloudy. Head E.b No. Wind N.N.W. Made all sail. Current in two days S.74EEt 32 miles. Noon. Water remg 48 tuns. Miles run, 182 + 14498 = 14680. Lat 37E00′ So. Longe 110E45′ Et. Cape Chatham N.67EEt 300 miles. P.M. Fresh breezes & squally. Shortened sail. Midnight. Do Wr.

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Friday 9 December 1836

9 December–Moderate and cloudy… At ten we got under way, and meeting with almost as much trouble in getting out as we did in coming in, we were at last drifted so far to the southward as to oblige us to run for an anchorage under Taylor’s Island. (I insert here a short extract from my letter written this evening to the Commissioners.)

Got under way to return to Gulf Saint Vincent and prosecute my survey there, for I have been considering much of this Gulf, and think it best to give it up entirely for the present, for should there be a good harbour and good soil higher up, yet the dangers that surround the entrance are too many for a new colony, if any other equally good can be found, and the prospects on the eastern side of Gulf Saint Vincent are so promising that I do not like losing more time here.

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Friday 9 December 1836

We left Kingscote early Yestdy Morng and
arrd in Rapid Bay this Eveng, at which place 9 Wedder
Sheep were landed for Colnel Light. One of the Leicester
Ewes died Yestdy and a Merino Ewe is uncommonly Weak

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Thursday 8 December 1836

Thursday, Decr 8. Fresh breezes & fine. Head E.b S. Wind N.N.E. Miles run, 140 + 14358 = 14498. Lat. 38E7′ So Longe 106E33′ Et. P.M. Fresh breezes & fine. Head E.b N. Wind Northerly. Sunset. Shortened sail. Midnight. Fresh breezes & cloudy.

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Thursday 8 December 1836

8 December-Blowing very strong; at half past four more moderate, sent a boat on shore to search for fresh water, but none was found.

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Wednesday 7 December 1836

Wednesday Dec 7th We got all the Stock and Stores from the Salt Lagoon Station safely on board of Ship last Eveng except 1 Wether Sheep, &1 Black Sow, both of which got away from the Sailors that were taking them to the Beach also a little Boar that had been missing for some time [...]

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Wednesday 7 December 1836

Wednesday, Decr 7. Calm & fine. Head E.b S. Miles run, 86 + 14272 = 14358. Late 38E3′ So. Longe 103E35 Et. Noon. Calm & fine. P.M. Light airs & fine. Head E.b S. Wind Northly. 12. Mode & cloudy.

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Wednesday 7 December 1836

7 December-It was my intention to have gone on shore this day and examine the other side of the port, but after looking attentively with a good glass and comparing the appearance of the country on both sides, I found them so exactly of the same nature that I determined on running for Spalding Cove, and search for fresh water. No settlement of any extent could be formed here for many years; the hills sloping down to the water’s edge, and the want of fresh water, are impediments that could not be got over without ruining the first settlers…

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Tuesday 6 December 1836

…Unfortunately 2 of our So Down
Ewes, and 1 Leicester Ewe died this Morng, which I can
attribute to no other cause but the want of substantial Food,
for the Grass they have been living upon since Thursday last
is so Dry & burnt by the Sun, that very little nourishment
indeed, can be obtain’d from it, and several of our Sheep
have become uncommonly Weak in consequence of being so
long confined on such miserable stuff, as we hourly expect
the Boats arrival ever since that Day, to take them from
this place of starvation.

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Tuesday 6 December 1836

Tuesday, Decr 6. Moderate breezes & cloudy. Course. E.b S. Wind S.b W. 6. Set tgt sails & out 2nd reefs of top- sails. Noon. Moderate & fine. Miles run, 156 + 14116 = 14272. Late 38E24′ So. Longe 101E44′ Et. Thermometer 50E.

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Tuesday 6 December 1836

6 December-Went on shore with Captain Lipson, Mr Morphett, and Mr Pullen; Captain Lipson had before told me the land here was rich and abundant. We landed at the S.E. end of the port, and walked in a southerly direction for some distance, until we could plainly see the ocean; but I was much disappointed at finding nothing but hard rocks and she-oak. After looking about for some time, we descended into the plain at the head of the Gulf, and here we found some tolerable land, but only in small patches, and some pools of fresh water-high hills surrounding the plain, which might be about four miles in circumference, but in which I do not suppose there were a thousand acres of tolerable land; at the bight a sand runs out a long way, and on the southern side a bed of flat stone extends into the harbour for nearly half a mile. I was much disappointed altogether with the place; at five p.m. we returned on board. I must decidedly say it cannot be thought of as a first settlement; some years hence it may be made a valuable sea port, but can only be after the colony has increased considerably.

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Sunday 4 December 1836

This day, about noon, a labourer a short distance from us accidentally set fire to the grass while lighting his own fire. The flames approached us so rapidly that we were all employed with boughs and water to keep them off our tents, or they would certainly have been burnt down. A bush at the back of the largest, where a hen was sitting, actually caught fire, and the bird’s tail was singed. I saved her, however, by throwing a pail of water over her, and notwithstanding her drenching the hen remained quietly on her nest. The flames then ran along the grass to a neighbour’s hut, and all our united efforts were required to prevent it becoming a prey to the devouring element. This was really no joke, and a few days after a tent not far distant was accidentally burnt down, but, I believe, without the fire doing any material damage otherwise.

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Monday 5 December 1836

Mr Beare accomp’d by a lot of People, arrd
this Morng to take away the Stock &c, but on Acct of the very
high Wind that was then blowing, they only took away a few
Stores, this leaving the Sheep to hunger another Day.

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Monday 5 December 1836

Monday, Decr 5. Fresh breezes & cloudy. Wind N.W. Hd E.b S. Noon. Rainy. Miles run, 193 + 14023 = 14116. Late 38E34′ So. Longe 98E27 Et. Cape Chatham 896 miles. P.M. Fresh breezes & rainy. Wind N.W. West & S.W.

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Sunday 4 December 1836

Sunday, Decr 4. Moderate and fine. Head E.b S. Wind S.W. then N.N.E. Made sail. No prayers: Revd Mr Howard being unwell. 10.30. Mustered by Divisions. Noon. Rainy. Miles run, 143 + 13880 = 14023. Late 38E57′ So. Longe 94E20′ Et. P.M. Fresh breezes & cloudy. 5.30. Shortened sail. Wind W.N.W.

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Sunday 4 December 1836

The heat is again oppressive having had yesterday and today one of the hot northerly winds which appear to be very frequent. A sealing cutter anchored in our Bay and disposed of a ton and a half of potatoes to us with chease (Colonial) and mutton and bird’s eggs which are very fine. I have today recommended a distribution of potatoes to the labourers as they are showing a disposition to scurvy. We were alarmed last night by observing a light in the offing which had the appearance of a vessel on fire, but which from not altering its bearing we were happily convinced was a conflagration on the opposite side of the Gulf. For the last week we have had fires on all sides of us, it being the season at which the natives set fire to the grass.

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Sunday 4 December 1836

4 December-After many shifts of wind, sudden gusts, and a great deal of trouble, we came to an anchor at ten a.m. in seven fathoms water, under Grantham’s Island; the Cygnet was seen at anchor in the bight of the Harbour; at eleven Captain Lipson came on board and remained with us about an hour; he spoke most highly of this harbour and the land, and thought there could be no doubt of its being the best situation for the capital. I certainly was much pleased to find we had so many good places in this part of the world, for should this prove the fittest place for the capital, still the eastern shore of Gulf Saint Vincent would always be an extensive corn and grazing country; however, it was determined we should go on shore together and examine it; we had strong gusts of wind with occasional rain all the afternoon. I will now insert a copy of my letter the Commissioners:
Brig Rapid, Port Lincoln,
5 December, 1836.
Gentlemen…
The necessity of getting fresh provisions increases daily: at Rapid Valley nine labourers out of fifteen are hardly able to do any thing from caused by scurvy scorbutic sores on their feet and ankles; another has a finger which I fear must eventually come off having pricked it with a fish bone; one of my boat’s crew on 26 November hurt his fingers between two pigs of ballast, and his hand is now so bad that I much fear he will suffer some months; and out of a small ship’s company there are five with swelled feet and ankles, besides a number at Holdfast Plain suffering from the same cause. These cases will, I hope, convince the Commissioners that I have only acted for the best in sending for fresh stock from Hobart Town.

The Cygnet had been sent here from Gulf Saint Vincent with Captain Lipson, to await the arrival of the Governor, and I was sorry on our arrival yesterday at seeing the Cygnet at anchor alone, for I was full of hopes that by this time the Governor had arrived. It is very odd that every time I write I have to report the bad state of the weather; it has been blowing hard occasionally since 26 November, and now a perfect gale, with thick rainy weather. I am decidedly of opinion that Port Lincoln is no harbour for merchant ships; looking at it as a port for men of war well-manned, plenty of boats, &c. it is very well; it is capacious, and there is excellent holding ground, but the strong gusts of wind shifting all round compass renders the entrance not altogether so safe as the plan of it on paper would indicate. When Captain Lipson came here in the Cygnet, they had fine light easterly breezes all the way; we, however, found that coming into this harbour was more troublesome than anything we have met with since our arrival in South Australia.

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Sunday 4 December 1836

Our chaplain ill – worried to death by the proceedings
of our gentlemanly mess towards his wife & family. In consequence
we had no service. The sermon of good Dr Wilson Soder and Man is a diocese of the Church of England (Sodor & Man) edified
us in the morning & one of Jeremy Taylor in the evening – so that
except in the public observance of the sabbath which is here a
mockery, we were no losers…

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Monday 5 December 1836

5 December-At eight a.m. we reached in between Boston Island and Cape Donington; at this moment the gusts of wind were so strong we were obliged To [take] in The topgallant mast (pronounced and sometimes written t’gallant) is the mast immediately above the topmast, or an extension of the topmast. See ships’ rigging for further discussion.top-gallant sails, lower the topsails on the caps, up courses, and downA triangular sail carried on a rope stay running between the foremast and the jib boom, an extension of the bowsprit. jib. A merchant vessel bound for this port not expecting anything like this after a long passage, may here have her rigging rather slack and not think it necessary to set it up before coming into so fine an harbour; a ship thus situated would have most certainly been dismasted, gone on shore, and on a rocky coast. Trading vessels coming here must anchor at least one mile from the shore, and then landing goods is by no means easy. I much doubt the safety of Gulf Spencer altogether, whether the season of the year was better when Flinders and the French navigators were here I cannot say, but from the little I have seen I think if this be the principal port many ships will be lost.

I will now compare the two Gulfs:

GULF SPENCER
1st.The mouth of the Gulf has many obstructions by rocky Islands and Reefs, and during the prevalence of the westerly gales a most tremendous sea must be thrown there if we may judge by the high swell we had in crossing it in fine weather.
2nd. (Query) Can a strange ship, making Thistle Island, Wedge Island, or any other part just before dark, and a gale coming on, with thick weather, shape her course and run without danger into the Gulf? I say no, for the winds may, and most likely would shift from one direction to another baffle at the most critical part, that is, between two Islands; her safest plan therefore would be to run for Investigator’s Straits if she could fetch it, if not, she must lay to, and the flood tide in such case being much stronger, she might be drifted into a very unsafe situation. If unfortunately she should be driven upon any of the rocks or shoals it would be destruction to all.
3rd. Port Lincoln is certainly a fine capacious harbour, but a great part of it is open to the N.E. and the mouth of it is surrounded, as the chart will show, by islands and reefs, and if we had so much trouble in getting in, and sudden shifting gusts of winds at this season of the year, what may we expect in winter. The westerly gales that would bring a ship up to its mouth would prevent its getting in, when there, and she runs, as I said before, great risk of carrying away her masts.
4th. Merchant vessels after getting in must land their cargoes at a distance of one or two miles from the ships; and in blowing weather, would not be able to land them at all-and I believe it blows hard full half the year round. From what I have seen these two days here, nothing could have been landed even if lighters were prepared, therefore I have reason to say that in this port many days in the year would be entirely lost to trading vessels.

GULF SAINT VINCENT
1st. There are no obstructions whatever, and it is certainly much more sheltered from westerly winds than Gulf Spencer.
2nd. If a ship be bound to Gulf Saint Vincent she would make the land at the S.W. end of Kangaroo Island, or go the other passage, in either case a westerly gale coming on she is soon out of danger and under shelter. In the next place should the vessel be at the mouth of Gulf Saint Vincent when a gale comes on, she may steer right up the Gulf even in the night by compass, and the farther she goes the less sea she will have, and finally may let go her anchor in seven, six, five, four, or three A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms water, where, if well found in ground tackle she will most likely ride out well (I speak this from experience), and should even the last disaster happen of going ashore, lives and property would be saved, and most likely the ship herself.
3rd. The harbour in Gulf Saint Vincent is long and more like a river, and sheltered from every wind. The heaviest gale from any quarter can never hurt; and when the entrance is properly buoyed down there is no difficulty whatever; but the material point in favour of this harbour is that in Gulf Saint Vincent there is no fear from any winds except westerly from N.W. to S.W., and these are all fair to run into the harbour with, the only fault is that ships must wait for the tide; but with two of the mud vessels for deepening channels, the shallow parts could easily be made free for ships drawing from 16 to 18 feet water, as they extend but a short distance, and over these shallow parts there is now three A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms at high water, spring tides.
4th. In the harbour above Holdfast Bay a ship once in may lay alongside a wharf when it is erected, and until that time land her cargo in boats in perfectly smooth water, in the heaviest gale, and not one day lost in any season of the year.

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Saturday 3 December 1836

The Men were employ’d the beginning of
this Week, in diging 3 Wells of 6 or 7 Feet each in depth
but got nothing except salt Water in all of them —
On Wednesday I recd orders from Sml Stephens Esqr
C.M. to get the Stock together in readyness for departing
to the Main Land, by the Brig Emma, Capt Nelson,
who would take them on board the following Day or Friday
at latest. We therefore on Thursday drove all the Ewes
and a Ram lamb of the So Down breed, but which was exceed-
-ingly ill, and died within an Hour after being brought Home
the cause of his Death in my opinion, is from being for a length of time
obliged to live upon very unwholesome Food, and brackh Water, as seve-
-ral of the full grown Sheep have likewise been very unwell during
the last Week, and all of them are greatly falling off in condition
for the Grass is so dry and burnt by the Sun that they will
not eat it, but prefer the green Leaves & Twigs of the same
kinds of Trees & Shrubs, which are growing in the Woods about this
place, and have no doubt that many of them are of a poison-
-ous Nature. …
We have all the Pigs, except a little Boar which has been mis-
-sing for the last Fortnight, and a large black Sow that stops
almost continually at North Cape  _________
There has been very little Fodder at this Station for a
Week past, and we are now without any whatever, so that
the poor Sheep have nothing to subsist upon while confined
(waiting for the Boats coming from Kingscote, to take them
away) except the poor dried Grass that can be collected
about the place, which is miserable fare indeed.

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Saturday 3 December 1836

Saturday, Decr 3. Fresh breezes & cloudy. Head E.S.E. Wind W.N.W.
Set Studding sails were set outside the square sails in fine weather and with a fair wind. Their head was fastened to a short yard hoisted to the end of the upper yard and their foot extended by a boom slid out from the lower yard. They took their name, such as main topmast studding sail, from the adjacent sail. studg sails sails. Noon. Miles run, 149 + 13731 =
13880. Latitude is the distance of a point north or south of the equator as measured in degrees. The poles are at 90 degrees north and south. Late 39E16′ So. Longitude is the distance, measured in degrees, of the meridian on which a point lies to the meridian of Greenwich. On the other side of the earth to Greenwich is a point with a longitude of both 180 degrees east and 180 degrees west. Longe 91E14′ Et. Water remg 55 tuns.
P.M. Mode & fine. Head E.b S. Wind Westly. 12. Light winds.

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Saturday 3 December 1836

3 December-At four a.m. made sail; at eight passed Wedge Island, with moderate breezes and fine weather, but a very great swell from the southward; at noon nearly calm, off Thistle Island; at three p.m. light baffling airs, and a very unpleasant swell; at five a breeze again from the eastward, which gave us hopes of getting in before dark, as the entrance to Port Lincoln was now quite apparent, and we were drawing the land At or towards the stern or rear of a ship. aft very fast, the bearings were Point Donington N .W., and the dangerous reef N.E. by E.; at six we were again baffled, and soon after the breeze died away; at seven we found we were going To be any distance behind a vessel. astern ; at eight the flood began to make, and we made a little progress; very light and variable winds all night.

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Friday 2 December 1836

…Today I am again at work at my hut which progresses slowly, having lost the services of the native men who have taken it into their heads to leave us for a while, leaving their women behind. I enlisted three of the latter on Wednesday and found them very useful in carrying reeds for my thatch. The first dish of green pease was gathered yesterday from our garden. They relished exceedingly with a brace of wild fowl (red-bills) I killed the evening before. The temperature has been very moderate since my last notes on the thermometer.

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Friday 2 December 1836

2 December-Calm; at eight fresh breezes and fine; got under way and proceeded for Port Lincoln, at five p.m.; at eight p.m. ditto and cold; at eleven passed Althorpe Islands; at midnight hove to.

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Friday 2 December 1836

Friday, Decr 2. Strong breezes. 8. Calm with rain. Head E.S.E. Noon. Miles run, 124 + 13607 = 13731. Lat 39E22′ S. Longe 88E3′ Et. P.M. Fresh breezes. Wind W.N.W, Head E.S.E.

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Thursday 1 December 1836

To-day we are by reckoning 1460 miles from Cape Chatham;
but we have not had a glimpse of the sun since the 27th. Poor Mr Fisher
had another epileptic fit, the second public one since he came on board.
He cut himself very severely over the right eye brow by his fall, & in
fact his escape appears to have been a very narrow one. This is a most
melancholy affection, & from the state of constant excitement in which he
is kept by the brutality of the Governors’s conduct & proceedings it may
turn out serious. I hope sincerely he will be able to weather the voyage.
He passed the evening in our cabin & was a good deal more cheerful
than we expected. His view & expressed opinions of the Capt. are altogether
in unison with & quite as strong as our own.

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Thursday 1 December 1836

1 December-Light breezes and fine; at half past five got under way and worked up to Kingscote; the wind being still against us I resolved on getting some things we were in want of from the John Pirie. All the afternoon blowing fresh with very cold air.

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Thursday 1 December 1836

Thursday, December 1. Fresh breezes & rainy. Wind Westly. Head E.S.E. Set mtgt sail. Noon. Mode & cloudy. Miles run, 170 + 13437 = 13607. Late 39E16′ So. Longe 85E19′ Et. Cape Chatham N.80EE. 1488 miles. P.M. Fresh breezes.

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Thursday 1 December 1836

This day we saw two of the natives, a man and a boy, for the first time in this part – the mainland… I showed them several things which greatly astonished them, particularly a telescope, which they took to be a gun. They thought it would make a noise, but when I drew it out and with some difficulty induced them to look through it, for they seemed to be afraid of it, they exclaimed, “Mawny! Mawny!” which is their word for anything wonderful. But a A Friction match – a kind of match tipped with a compound that ignites by friction. lucifer match surprised them still more, for they could not imagine how fire could be so instantaneously produced, while they were at considerable trouble to obtain it by rubbing two sticks together. When they move from one place to another they carry lighted sticks with them, and with dry leaves and by blowing with their breath they generally succeed in soon having a good fire.

Of course, these natives did not understand English any more than we did their dialect, but they pronounced our language by repeating whatever was said to them with an accuracy that was surprising and with a far superior accent to that of many Europeans not English, though they may have studied it for years. Afterwards we found that we were comparatively no strangers to them, though they were to us, for they had seen and observed our landing, but kept aloof. Subsequently they paid us several visits, but never annoyed us. On more than one occasion they proved very serviceable by helping to extinguish the fires, which sometimes came so near to us as to be extremely dangerous, beating them out with boughs from the trees or treading them out with their naked feet.

Likewise, on one occasion I could not get my fire to burn, for not having been accustomed to cook out of doors I did not understand exactly how to place the wood. Two or three of them, who were standing near, laughed at my deficiency in such useful knowledge, and, taking it to pieces, reconstructed it after their own fashion. The fire then burned brightly, verifying a saying I had often heard when a girl, that “None are so ignorant but you may learn something of them.”

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Wednesday 30 November 1836

Novr 30th I have now seen what I have so heard & read of – a country on fire! Perhaps some imaginations might realise it from the American novels; mine never could. The fire was lighted by order of Mr Kingston that he might with greater readiness survey to the N. & E. The wind blowing strongly the fire rapidly spread in the direction of the wind, being chiefly supported by dry grass of a most luxurious growth, but occasionally lighting upon an old gum-tree; a fallen branch of which acted as conductor to its parent stock. When this happened the fire, which at other times remained of a height nearly equable, burst up in a thick volume, & looked like a blazing town, until its branches fell away with a loud crack. The next day the fire was lighted to the S. and came up to us. I had however had a trench dug about 20 yds around me, which in case of fire, would I hoped effectively stop its march. This precautions have kept me & my enclosure safe, while all beyond is black & desert. One decided advantage has been gained by this conflagration – viz. the destruction of myriads of insects, etc.

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Wednesday 30 November 1836

This evening the fires again began in different directions on the farther side of the lagoon, but the wind suddenly shifting, which is frequently the case, they advanced on us so rapidly on all sides that I could not retire to rest till they were extinguished, which was not till 3 o’clock in the morning. One fire ran along on the opposite side of the lagoon, destroying everything in its way with the utmost fury. I walked down to the lagoon alone (for everyone else had retired to bed), and saw the fire ascend a tree, which made me apprehensive lest it might be communicated to the trees on our side, as they nearly met. If such had been the case the consequences might have been dreadful, as the fire in all probability would have advanced to our tents in a few minutes. Thank God, it burnt to the water’s edge and then went out.

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Wednesday 30 November 1836

Wednesday, Novr 30. Strong breezes. Head S.E.b E.½E. Wind N.N.W. Noon. Miles run, 187 + 13250 = 13437. Late 39E9′ So. Longe 81E40′ Et. P.M. Strong breezes & rainy. Head E.S.E. and wind, W.S.W. Trimmed sails occly. Midnight. Do Wr.

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Wednesday 30 November 1836

30 November-Ditto.

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Tuesday 29 November 1836

Tuesday Nov. 29. A fresh breeze & noon we were by our reckoning 12 miles south east i.e. past the Island of St Pauls. Our Captain in a sad frame because the haze prevented his seeing it, but in order to give one instance more of his anxiety to reach his destination with the utmost [...]

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Tuesday 29 November 1836

This evening several fires were lighted for the purpose of burning the grass, and some of them came so near to us that I began to be alarmed, for the wind drove the flames with amazing rapidity, and the grass being perfectly dry, the fires burnt with such fury as is scarcely credible.

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Tuesday 29 November 1836

Tuesday, Novr 29. Fresh breezes & hazy. Wind W.b N. Course S.E.b E.½E. Walker’s wife brought him a boy at 8.30. Noon. Strong breezes. Miles run, 175 + 13075 = 13250. Late 39E3′ So. Longe 77E59′ Et. St Paul’s isle N.11EW, 17 miles. Hauled up to N.N.E. for 3 hours to look for St Paul’s [...]

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Tuesday 29 November 1836

29 November-Remained at Nepean Bay weatherbound; our hatch-boat with Messrs Pullen and Morphett joined.

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Monday 28 November 1836

Monday, Novr 28. Fresh breezes & fine. Wind N.W. Hd S.E.b E.½E. Miles run, 155 + 12920 = 13075. Late 38E42′ So. Longe 74E23′ Et. P.M. Mode & fine. Shortened sail. 12. Squally.

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Sunday 27 November 1836

Novr 27th The “Africaine”, “Rapid”, & “Cygnit” left us this morning; the first to Van Dieman’s Land for supplies, the “Rapid” up the Gulf, & the “Cygnit” to Port Lincoln to await the arrival of the Governor.

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Monday 28 November 1836

28 November-We could not get under way before two p.m. on account of the calm; at nine came to anchor in Nepean Bay, blowing very fresh.

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Sunday 27 November 1836

The Captain out of dignified spite to Mr Howard because
he demonstrated to the satisfaction of every body on board that we had passed
the “Slot van Capelle” before we Ships could not sail directly into the wind, but they could sail across it at an angle. So, to move forward in the direction of the wind they set a zigzag course, sailing across the wind at alternating angles. That procedure was called tacking. tacked to avoid it, and with whose
prerogatives therefore he is as determined to interfere as Mr Howard is to
resist him, again deprived the Sailors of the benefit of Clergy & we had
Service in the ward-room. Mr H’s preaching is not improving certainly,
… The Sunday School is now
totally neglected abandoned, & the poor children are left to shift for themselves.

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Sunday 27 November 1836

Sunday, Novr 27. Moderate & fine. Head S.E.½S. Wind N.W. Prayers & a sermon read in the wardroom owing to the unfavourable state of the weather on deck. Noon. Do Wr. Miles run, 125 + 12795 = 12920. Late 38E6′ So. Long. 71E00′ Et. P.M. Do Wr. Shortened sail. Ran against a whale, which gave [...]

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Monday 28 November 1836

Drew up this morning the first sketch of a law for
preventing unnecessary litigation & for the amicable settlement of all
disputes by arbitration. I mentioned the subject to the Governor in London,
& stated my opinion if we could find means to support a court of
arbitration that it would be well to adopt it in Australia. He had never
heard of the Danish practice; but said he liked the suggestion very much
– so much indeed it appears to have taken his fancy that on my reading
the act to him this forenoon, I had the pleasure of being told that he
had determined to introduce the Danish law into the province
long before he knew me!! He said also that he had consulted Lord
Glenelg & Mr Stephen on the subject – both of whom approved of his
intention – the latter especially was “in extasy” at his being “no lawyer”,
& therefore more fitted to make laws without any regard to form
or legality. Mr Stephen, I suspect, must have amused himself with
slyly quizzing the Governor, but I am quite certain that if either
Lord Glenelg or he had ever seriously listened to him for half an
hour they would have pronounced him wholly unfit for the great
trust confided to his hands, The facts I record here however prove the
quality & the moral honesty of the man.

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Sunday 27 November 1836

My birthday. Piping hot. Most of the “Rapid’s” on shore. I accompanied Captain Light and Mr. Finnis on a walk up to the hills after dinner and finished the evening at the hut of the Surveyors with which I was invited to take tea and cake – the latter made and sent by Mrs. Lisson [Lipson?].

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Sunday 27 November 1836

27 November-Employed landing bread, and I took the opportunity of accompanying Mr Finniss as far as the third range of hills, to examine that part of the country he was then surveying; I was delighted to find the tops of the highest hills composed of excellent rich soil, and quite moist.

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Monday 28 November 1836

Monday 28th November. The “Rapid” started at noon for Kangaroo Island to pick up Pullen who had gone with despatches for the “Africaine” bound to Van Dieman’s Land. The Brig then proceeds to Port Lincoln and is expected back in three weeks.

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Saturday 26 November 1836

Saturday, Novr 26. Light winds & fine. Head S.E.½S. Wind S.W.
Made all sail. Noon. Mode & fine. The allowance of
water reduced this day to two quarts a head Latin, per day. per diem , half
of which is consumed in cooking, & the other quart is all
I am allowed for washing & drinking during the day.
Miles run, 754 + 12720 = 12795. Latitude is the distance of a point north or south of the equator as measured in degrees. The poles are at 90 degrees north and south. Late 37E6′ So. Longitude is the distance, measured in degrees, of the meridian on which a point lies to the meridian of Greenwich. On the other side of the earth to Greenwich is a point with a longitude of both 180 degrees east and 180 degrees west. Longe 68E41′ Et.
P.M. Moderate & fine. St Paul’s isle S.77EEt, 444 miles.

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Saturday 26 November 1836

Saturday Nov 26th One of our wretched wether Sheep
was found dead, on Monday Morng last, and the other Six
were stray’d into the Bush, since which time Chandler
has been engaged looking for them & a little Boar that
had also gone astray      since Thursday he has been assisted
by Powell (who only commenced work on the Day)
They succeeded in finding all the Sheep but 2 out of the 6
were dead, and the remaining 4 are the picture of misery —
While searching the Beach on Thursday they also
found our large white Sow lieing dead with 2 small
pigs that She had litter’d — This Sow has been in the habit
of going between here and North Cape, for a Month past, and
had it appears had brought forth young in the Bush, about 20 yds
from the Beach leading to that place — I am very
sorry we had not the means of confining here, for want of
Hog Troughs, untill it was over late.

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Saturday 26 November 1836

The “Rapid” hove in sight at 7 a.m. this morning and came to anchor at 3 p.m. Captain Light, Pullen and Claughton came on shore to dinner and informed us that there is every probability of the Capital being formed at Holdfast Bay, as, during the last cruize, many paramount advantages have been found, viz. the creek higher up forms a most splendid harbour ending in fresh water streams, one of which having from two to four A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms in it. It extends to within six miles of [the] Capital.

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Saturday 26 November 1836

26 November-Working to windward all the first part; at two p.m. came to an anchor in Rapid Bay; at six the hatch-boat left the ship with dispatches for England to go by the Africaine, now in Nepean Bay. Blowing strong all night from the eastward.

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Saturday 26 November 1836

Saturday Nov. 26. The Governor’s mules, pigs, cow, geese, turkeys, & dogs
must have their full allowance of water, & that they may not suffer,
another pint is this day struck off our allowance in addition to the
pint at Rio. It is impossible to repeat what is said in all quarters of
such conduct. Every thing is sacrificed to his own selfish purposes.
The The mainsail is the lowest sail on the mainmast, as is the fore-sail on the foremast. mainsail has been kept single Reducing sails. reefed now for a month in order
that his cow & mules in the long boat may not suffer by the draught of
wind. Of what importance is making sail to their health or
safety!

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Friday 25 November 1836

Novr 25th Though the “Africaine” anchored here on the 9th ult for the purpose of discharging cargo, I have been obliged to neglect my journal in consequence of the many calls upon my time, therefore the accounts which follow may not be given in chronological order. On landing with Col. Light on the 10th we were informed by Mr Field (the 1st officer of the “Rapid”) that a river had been recently discovered running apparently into the Creek, known by the name of “16-miles Creek” – that he had seen it, & said it was of important magnitude. This being the case it became a question whether or not the “Africaine” should at once commence the discharge of her passengers & cargo, or wait the report of the Colonel. With a view to the settlement of this question, Col. Light, accompanied by Capt Duff, Mr Brown, & myself, started the next day upon a walking expedition to the River. At a distance of about 5 miles we came within sight of it; it ran through a low swampy country covered with most luxuriant grass, & skirting a range of beautiful well wooded hills, from the centre of which line rose Mount Lofty. We did not prolong our excursion, as the Col. felt satisfied that the river would be found to run to the Creek…

The next day therefore saw the ship’s boat busily employed in landing passengers & Cargo. The question now was, where to pitch our tent & build our hut. Mr Kingston (the deputy Surveyor-General), with his men were located about a mile from the beach, but I at once determined to go further in search of a place for my temporary abode. I at length determined on a spot shaded by large gum trees, in the middle of a meadow covered with pasture of a richness hardly to be surpassed, and more within the precincts of the Surveyors’ tents. The next day therefore saw the tent struck and erected on the newly chosen site. Mr Brown chose the side of a sand-hill, being allured by the shade of a large tea-tree. The first thing to be done in my case was to transport my packages from the beach to the tent, a distance of little more than a mile (but not of British turnpike road, nor with the aid of waggon & horses)…

Three journeys from the beach to the tent with laden truck were a good day’s work. The heat was sometimes very oppressive, & the mosquitos troublesome; but the flies are afflicting! Nothing can equal their cruel perseverance. They settle upon the face in myriads, & tickle tormentingly but their chief delight is the eye. At length protection was sought by wearing veils & thus accoutred we “wended our weary way”. While these toils were going on, Harriet had the refuge of the ship, to which also I  returned every evening, not however without being obliged to wade breast-high in the sea to reach the boat, which, except at particular times of the tide, could not get over a sand bank about 20 yds from the beach. At length the time arrived when H.’s affectionate impatience to aid me would not be restrained, and on Saturday Nov.19th we left the “Africaine” and took up our residence in the tent. Troops of Mosquitos entertained us with their music, & we, in return, entertained them with a full repast, & in the morning we were well nigh in a fever from their visitation. It is not however from these insects alone that annoyance has been felt, as scarcely a day passes without something turning up to excite surprise if not apprehension. Within 2 yards of the tent, 5 Centipedes of about 5 inches long have been caught – one actually in the tent, & one night I put my hand within an inch of a large scorpion. Enormous ants and very small frogs abound also in our tent, but the first of these is harmless, & the others cause us no disturbance. Were I at the present moment obliged to record an opinion of the climate of S. Australia I should certainly speak in its dispraise. We have had frequent gales of wind, & the changes from heat to cold have been somewhat extraordinary; in one instance, within 12 hours the thermometer ranged between 105E & 50E, both in the shade. It would however be premature to pronounce an opinion, and I endeavour to console myself and others with the assurance that when the clearing of land & cultivation shall have commenced, many of the annoyances will no longer exist. Some of the emigrants brought with them tents, & those generally are insufficient habitations for day or night, in consequence of their being single. My own tent, being double, is in comparison with any in the Colony, a very comfortable residence – the outside being of draped cloth, not one drop of rain has entered. Two of my friends tried to sleep in my tent one rainy night while holding umbrellas over them – so little does a single tent avail. Mine also has a verandah which serves as a store-room, thereby keeping the interior in excellent order & neatness, & a boarded floor which I have laid down is a luxury of much importance. It is however the only one yet in the Colony, though nearly 50 habitations of various kinds have been erected. Those who did not provide tents have built huts, for which every facility exists, there being a little forest of straight poles about a mile off, & plenty of long sedge-grass wherewith to thatch them. Game is in great abundance on the plain; it is almost impossible to walk 200 yds without putting up quails, wild ducks, & other water fowl are to be met with constantly on the river & in the lagoons. White cockatoos, parrots, & parroquets of splendid plumage are to be found on almost every other tree. These, & a peculiar kind of plover are excellent eating. Kangaroos are plentiful – one fine fellow (nearly as large as a jackass) with his mate, bounded by within 20 yds of my tent yesterday while I was carpentering, but had passed out of reach before I could get my rifle – though loaded in the tent. Fish are also numerous, but few have been taken.

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Friday 25 November 1836

The whole of this day I have been busy with the men at my hut and have now some hopes of getting it finished and not before it is wanted as we are all of us more or less sufferers from An inflammation of the eye. opthalmia , occasioned as I believe by the intense heat and glare of the tents in the day and the sudden cold in the evening.

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Friday 25 November 1836

Friday, Novr 25th. Light airs & cloudy. 1.30. Wore Ship, head S.E. 8. Made all sail. Noon. Light airs & fine. Miles run, 48 + 12672 = 12720. Lat. 36E36′ So. Longe 67E8′ Et. Water, 63 tons. P.M. Do Wr. Wind S.W.b S. 6. In royals, studg sails, & down jib.

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Friday 25 November 1836

Friday Nov. 25. After four days contrary wind we had the pleasure
of seeing the ship once more on her right course; & at ½ past 5 we were going
between 6 & 7 The speed of ship or wind in nautical miles per hour. knots, when in order to maintain the Captain’s favorite
proposition that ships go faster in proportion as they have less canvas
spread, sail was shortened, & we wot not how many Seafarers reduce sails in strong winds so that ships can move more safely and comfortably. Sails are made with rows of small ropes attached to them and these are tied around spars to reduce the amount of sail exposed to the wind. The amount of sail taken in by securing one set of ropes is called a reef. The action of reducing sails is called reefing and the knot that is used to tie the ropes is called a reef knot. reefs taken in.
Everybody loud in dissatisfaction.

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Friday 25 November 1836

25 November-We could not get under way this morning before eight o’clock, being calm. On reckoning up the quantity of bread left on shore at Rapid Bay, Mr Field calculates on their only having five days consumption of that article left, therefore I must go there and land some more for the party, and I [...]

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Thursday 24 November 1836

…Tuesday I felt very poorly and in the night was seized with a violent bowel complaint of which I have only now recovered, consequently yesterday was again a blank. Understand that Captain Light wished for the spot I had fixed upon for my hut, which is finished all but the thatch. I immediately gave it up to him with the frame and today I have three labourers getting under weigh with all speed. We have had for dinner today a mass of beautiful French beans. The first vegetables with the exception of radishes and cress grown in our garden. We shall soon be able to have green pease, and everything else looks very promising. We are still planting potatoes, but merely for seed, as the season is too far advanced for them to reach their full growth.

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Thursday 24 November 1836

Thursday Nov. 24. This morning a whale that had been playing about at some distance came alongside the ship & after surveying it with much deliberation, quietly returned to two companions who were spouting further off: we suppose that he reported us not worth the trouble of coming to see, as they all continued their [...]

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Thursday 24 November 1836

At half past two, Messrs Kingston and Brown came on board, and I am, thank God, at last repaid for my former anxieties by finding the first impressions made on my mind of the plains and harbour so far realized. I cannot say how much I suffered (although I was determined not to allow individual feeling to hurt the future prospects of the colony) from the evident discontent experienced by all parties on my insisting on landing stores and all here; but I find now they have changed their minds, and think this is the place for the capital of a flourishing colony. I herewith enclose you Mr Kingston’s report:

Holdfast Bay,
24 November, 1836.
My Dear Sir – It affords me much sincere pleasure to be enabled to report to you that the branch of the harbour which we went up on Monday last, proves to be the embouchure of the fresh water river which I discovered the day after we had landed here, and which, as far as I have been able to see it, I am induced to believe, rises at the foot of Mount Lofty. I landed on Tuesday from the A class of net fishing boats used on the Thames estuary. The Rapid’s boat was built specially for the Colonization Commissioners by W.T. Gulliver of Wapping. hatch-boat , about a mile further north than we did the day previous, and proceeded as close to the banks as the mangroves would allow. About a quarter of a mile from where I landed, we crossed a creek from the eastward about fifteen yards wide and three feet deep; in the course of the day we crossed several other small ones, in all of which the water was salt. After proceeding on nearly a due southerly course, I found the water in the middle of the river nearly fresh (we had used much worse at Nepean Bay), and about a mile further perfectly so. Mount Lofty bearing E.50 S. I kept along the banks of the river, still running from the south, about two miles-when I think it had its source in the marshes, in which I found the river before alluded to, losing itself… [H]aving first crossed the river running down from Mount Lofty, my road for about six miles was across a plain of exceedingly fine land; I again traced the plain and then kept on its edge, being all along able to trace the course of the river through the reeds, until I found it again running through a regular bed. The river, although in parts shallow and much obstructed by fallen tea trees, would be navigable for flat-bottomed boats as far as the marshes, through which a regular communication with the upper part of it can easily be made. A very large body of water must come down the river in the winter, as in the upper part where the banks are thirty feet deep, there are evident marks of the floods reaching the top. I now feel assured that we have obtained sufficient information to convince the most sceptical of the great value and eligibility of these plains-possessing as they do, abundance of fresh water, an excellent harbour, with at least one river into it, which can easily be made eligible as a mode of communication between it and the plains.

Believe me, Sir,

Yours, most sincerely,

G. S. Kingston.

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Thursday 24 November 1836

Thursday, Novr 24. Light winds & cloudy. Head S.W. Wd Vble 4. Tacked. Head East. Made sail. Noon. Light winds & fine. Miles run, 68 + 12604 = 12672. Lat. 36E36′ So. Longe 65E55′ Et. P.M. Lt winds & fine. 9.45. Wore Ship, head W.S.W. Midt. Light airs.

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Wednesday 23 November 1836

November 23rd Please inform Mr Angas the Governor had
not arrived and no water has been found near the Settlement; no
ship arrived from England since the Africaine which returned
here from Holdfast Bay on 22nd inst. where she left all the
Government passengers I hear they have plenty of fresh water,
and plenty of mosquitoes, every man being obliged to wear a
veil to keep them off. I hope we shall get water by some means
and soon receive the malt hops from the Company and begin to
brew. I, this day, paid 15d. for a bottle of Beer. I must conclude
by saying I was never better in my life, compliments to Mr Angas
Mr Wheeler, and all enquiring friends.

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Wednesday 23 November 1836

Wednesday, Novr 23. Strong breezes & cloudy. Wind S.S.E. Head E.b N. 10. Made sail. 11. Set tgt sails. Noon. Moderate & fine. Miles run, 122 + 12482 = 12604. Lat. 36E58′ So. Longe 65E 46′ Et. P.M. Moderate & cloudy. St Paul’s isle S.79EE. 572′. 5.30. Tacked. Head S.W. 12. Light airs inclining to [...]

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Wednesday 23 November 1836

23 November-I have this day been taking more angles on shore to ascertain the direction of the harbour, but find they differ so little from the first that it is not worthwhile altering until an accurate trigonometrical survey commences. You are, I hope, aware that all my plans hitherto have been done from hasty angles by A precision instrument for measuring angles in the horizontal and vertical planes. theodolites , bearings by pocket compass, and in many cases estimated distances, for I have done them frequently alone and with interruption of bad weather; but I am quite sure they are more than sufficiently accurate to give you a better idea of the coast than any former chart, and quite enough for any ship to sail by. While employed on shore, I requested Mr Field to lay down a buoy at the end of each spit forming the mouth of this harbour-and I hope in a short time to be able to take all ships coming here into as beautiful and safe a harbour as the world can produce. We want a mud boat also to deepen the channel for large ships drawing more than seventeen feet water. If we consider these channels to have remained with three A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms at high water for ages with the natural drainings from the land, a little human industry may render these parts as deep as the rest, particularly as they extend but a short distance. There is another and a stronger reason than all for this idea-I have observed the ebb tide runs much stronger than the flood, a proof that the harbour is supplied from more than the flowing of the sea. Yesterday in the gale, with twenty A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms of cable, the ship rode to the tide the whole time with the wind right up.

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Tuesday 22 November 1836

22 November-The harbour.

Gentlemen-I sent you my last report by the Africaine, on the 20th inst. I am now in hopes of seeing Captain Duff in Nepean Bay, before she sails for Hobart Town, that I may send this also. I could not leave this coast without looking once more at this harbour; the first impressions with regard to its being connected with the fresh waters grew stronger on my mind daily, therefore on leaving Holdfast Bay on the 20th inst. we steered at once for this beautiful anchorage, and ran the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig in, where we now lie at single anchor, with only twenty fathoms of chain out, in smooth water, although it is blowing a gale of wind from the S.W., with thick rainy weather.

…Mr Kingston accompanied me in the surveying boat to examine that creek taking a southerly direction which I had not had time before to look at carefully…

We were more than delighted to find it running into the plain at such a distance, and I am now more than ever persuaded that it is connected with the fresh water lakes; if not, it extends to within a couple of miles of them, and one of the finest little harbours I ever saw is now fairly known; we had, as you will see, three A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms water, and very often four at dead low water, at five or six miles from where the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig was at anchor.

In the rough plan I send you I have put down all my views as to the Harbour and plain, and although my duty obliges me to look at other places first before I fix on the capital, yet I feel assured, as I did from the first, that I shall only be losing time. The eastern coast of Gulf Saint Vincent is the most eligible, if a harbour could be found that harbour is now found-more extensive, safe, and beautiful, than we could even have hoped for…I have never seen a harbour so well supplied with little creeks that would answer for ship building as this. We want some small craft sadly, from forty, fifty, sixty, or even one hundred tons; they would soon pay for themselves as the colony increases. A few horses are much wanted vehicles are absolutely necessary, work cannot go on without them.

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Tuesday 22 November 1836

Tuesday, Novr 22. Moderate & cloudy. Head E.b S. Wind S.b E. Water, 68 tuns. Noon. Miles run, 111 + 12371 = 12482. Late 38E22′ So. Longe 63E45′ Et. P.M. Strong winds & cloudy. Reefed topsails. Wind S.S,E. Midnight. Do Wr.

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Sunday 20 November 1836

Sunday, Novr 20. Moderate & fine. Head E.S.E. Wind S.S.W. Made sail. Divine Service performed in the Wardroom. Noon. Do Wr. Miles run, 177 + 12083 = 12260. Lat. 39E24′ So. Longe 59E20′ Et. P.M. Modte & fine. Nothing.

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Monday 21 November 1836

Yesterday was passed in a quiet peaceable kind of way, none of us leaving our home. The heat exceeded anything we have as yet felt. The mosquitoes made their appearance at Rapid Bay and were very numerous. The thermometer in the tents was 1230 at mid-day and below 600 in the evening. This morning at daybreak I rose to join the Surveyors who were going to take a long [way?] round but being of straying habits I lost them before I had been away an hour and pursued my course with my gun for a companion. I shot a great many birds chiefly of the Parrot tribe which are very good eating – Being very much fatigued about mid-day, and thirsty in proportion to the heat, I was lothe to leave a stream that I found between N.W. High Bluff and Cape Jervis and consequently determined on shooting my way along it to a small beach where it emptied itself. The cliffs each side were so perpendicular that I was obliged to walk in the bed of the stream for more than a mile knee deep in mud and water. I was weary and well nigh exhausted and just had the little beach with the fresh sea breeze within my grasp where I intended resting until the cool of the evening when lo I found the very haven of my repose occupied by a tribe of strange natives. Being Latin, meaning alone. solus and not at all inclined to be eaten I quickly retraced my steps and as good luck would have it, unperceived by the black gentry who, I have learnt from our Sealer, belong to Encounter Bay. I arrived at our camp at 4 p.m. more dead than alive but am now considerably [refreshed?] by my tea of which I have swallowed six cups.

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Sunday 20 November 1836

NOVEMBER 20.-This day the Africaine sailed for Van Diemen’s Land; the Cygnet and Rapid had also departed, so that we were left without any protection either by sea or land. This we thought was not right, especially as the Africaine was bound to remain a month after she had cast anchor. Consequently she ought to have been stationary till December 2. Moreover, we had heard nothing of the unfortunate young men who were still on Kangaroo Island, and for whose ultimate fate we were now seriously apprehensive. We were still hoping that the peculiar capacity of the black woman for tracing in the bush would enable the search party to discover the wanderers, though probably in an exhausted state. This was a sorrowful beginning, and greatly damped our spirits. but we could not give them up for lost.

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Monday 21 November 1836

Monday. Novr 21. Moderate & fine. Wind Vble. Head Eastly. Made sail. Noon. Light airs. Miles run, 111 + 12260 = 12371. Lat. 38E58′ So. Longe 61E59′ Et. P.M. Light winds & cloudy. Wind Variable. Head N.E. S.S.W. & E.b S. 8. Tacked. Reefed top sails.

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