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Briefly about the William Pullen:

William John Pullen was born in about 1813 and spent some years in the navy, before resigning and joining the South Australian Company as an officer and assistant-surveyor.  He sailed on the Rapid with Colonel William Light. His diary reveals him to be a well-educated and thoughtful young man, who clearly enjoyed the adventure of [...]

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Journal Entries written by: William Pullen

Friday 19 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

After a pleasant passage of three months
and 19 days from the time we left the city
canal anchored in Antechamber Bay, Kang-
-aroo island.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 19 August 1836 ]


Saturday 20 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Next day weighed proceeded further westward anchored off Pt Morrison. __

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 20 August 1836 ]


Sunday 21 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Next day Sunday Mr S. Stevens of S.A. Company and Captn Martin of John Pirie came on board from Nepean Bay. From them we learnt that three vessels had arrived all belonging to the S.A. Company

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 21 August 1836 ]


Monday 22 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Nepean Bay. Here we found Mr S. Stevens Manager of
S.A. Company had taken up his quarters The people who had arrived
in the three vessels York, Pelham & Pirie were chiefly
officers & labourers of the said company all busy on shore getting
tents & huts erected and what had for centuries a
wilderness was now teeming with animation and life. The spot
chosen on was about one of the best, but bad is the best no water
to be had except at the well about 5 miles distant in
a Westerly direction near Pt Marsden, the soil very light
and sandy & country at the back of where the location
had been fixed on was densely covered with a species of
tree termed tea tree the decoction of which leaves make
a beverage not at all bad & a good substitute for tea
On the Island were several Sealers runaway Sailors
from the coasting vessels of the other colonies. They told us
there were several good spots on the Island where they
were established living on the produce of their gardens
and a native animal of the size of a rabbat called
waloby, in fact a miniture Kangaroo. These waloby
were caught by their wives (native women, who had
been brought from the Main land
some of them I believe by force, however they seemed to be
contented with their lonely life and from what
I could learn comfortably off as far as house and
provision went all from their own labour. __The Bay is
a fine and extensive anchorage well sheltered from the
severest Gales which generally commence at N.W. hauling
round to the S.S.W. by the Westward. They may be generally
expected at the change of moon. __ we remained here about a fortnight for
the purpose of making a few examinations of the bay and rig the
Hatch boat brought out on purpose for the Survey and placed under
my charge.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 22 August 1836 ]


Thursday 8 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Before leaving [Kangaroo Island] the Colonel engaged a man by the name of Cooper
& his family, a sealer & had been about 7 years on the Island he was to
act as Pilot his wives (two native women) and Kangaroo dogs
were to supply us with fresh meat. When all ready started for Gulf
St Vincent the distance across from Nepean Bay to Cape Jervis
the East pt of the Gulf being about 25 miles we reached it that
evening. Many & various were the opinions given on the near
approach to the land, it was indeed beautiful presenting
more the appearance of a park than land that had
been for centuries trodden by uncultivated savages. How
anxious were we to get on shore, no sooner was the anchor down
& sails furled than off we started appearances had
not indeed deceived us we were delighted & many castles
built and conjectures on prosperity likely to arise
out of such a scene as was presented to us, Nothing
but luxuriant foliage & oh! a thick sward of many
and various flowers what was to expected from the
act of man when such was the state of the place while
in a Nature’s garden. Cooper was sent off with
his women to bring in the tribe of the place while we were
busily employed getting tents & provisions on shore for the
Colonel & surveying party it being the intention to remain
here a few days. A garden was made & stocked with seeds
we had brought with us The Bay and valley examined to
satisfaction & named after the brig being the first vessel
ever having anchored there

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 8 September 1836 ]


Thursday 15 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

At last Cooper returned with
about a dozen of the tribe some of them fine looking
fellows & made themselves very useful there was given
them biscuit & Soldiers old clothes of which they were very
proud & in the evening by way of expressing their joy
at the white mans arrival they danced a corrobory. __
Ye ladies could you see a corrobory you’d blush
but now in the colony it is gone out of fashion
So I shall imagine I’m speaking to the Colonial
Cadet & give a brief but imperfect sketch of
the above dance. The men some supplied with a
couple of sticks are ranged near a few small embers
which is sparingly fed by one of the women who are
seated on the ground with their legs tucked under them [something?]
All’a Tuck resting on their Knees a skin (of some sort
chiefly Kangaroo)which they beat with their hands. It commences
with a low monotonous chant beating the stick’s the
dancers at the same time moving in slow
& [keeping?] very regular time at last it becomes loud and furious
but with every regularity maintained The contortions
of the body are numerous and all being in Natures only
dress, with the dull blaze emitted from the few embers
the noise to a New comer it exites almost a degree of terror & might
imagine a few of the inhabitens of Pandemonium
had broken loose. In some case they work themselves
up to such a state of exitement that the countenance
is truly terrific, but yet how soon they calm down the
next moment you’d not imagine the being before
you was the same.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 15 September 1836 ]


Saturday 17 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

From Rapid Bay we proceeded to a spot about nine
miles to the Northwd (up the Gulf) where we remained 4 days the
native name was Yankalila which the Colonel retained.
We were equally pleased with this spot as Rapid Bay. The
country presenting a park like appearance in rather disorder
from want of attention many spots completely ready for any agri-
-cultural purpose. We remained here but a short time the Colonel
being anxious to complete his examination. The first anchorage
after Yankalila we were greatly deceived in the appearance of
the country on a close examination which gave rise to the name
it now retains (Deception Bay)…

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 17 September 1836 ]


Tuesday 27 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

__      Jany 7th 1842 on looking over some papers to day I picked up an old memorandum book with the occurences at the time we were in search of the harbour and the morning when the incidents I have above related took place I really thought all had been lost in the unfortunate fire of [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 27 September 1836 ]


Wednesday 28 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Wednesday 28th Sept At ½ past 6 Claughton
4 men & myself with 3 days provisions left the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Brig
and stood in for the shore…
About 2 o clock by following the shore close
found ourselves in a deep bight formed by the main…
After pulling about a
mile I found the flood which was now making
in a contrary direction to the one I wished to go
I was fully convinced of there being another outlet, we
pulled on, but the men were beginning to flag when
on rounding a point to our great joy at a considerable
distance a boat was seen under sail. This circumstance gave
me great pleasure as my conjecture on first
entering this channel was fully proved…
Now was prepared for supper could not go on shore to make a fire
so lit one in an iron pot, spread our awning (not unlike the tilt of a
waggon) and prepared to make ourselves snug. After getting some
tea (the greatest luxury a man can have after fatigue which I have
often proved) we now began to prick for the softest plank which necessary
being accomplished we lay down to sleep and awoke next mor-
-ning as much refreshed as if we had slept in the softest of beds.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 28 September 1836 ]


Thursday 29 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

29th Sept 1836 Directly I awoke wrote this imagine to your- -selves me sitting in the stern sheets of a boat, Claughton laying alongside me half asleep three men at our feet (but not in the streightest of positions in as comfortable a house as you could wish one man outside preparing breakfast which when [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 29 September 1836 ]


Friday 30 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

30th This morning the Colonel with 4 men & myself left the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Brig
with 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 & proceed to the sands. The depth of water we got
in the sea reach was quite enough for any purpose, at the extreme
of the second (a long & splendid reach) we bore away through
the channel I came though yesterday (now styled North
channel & eventually likely to become the chief anchorage) and
followed a large creek diverging from it towards the Hills
We carried good water for a considerable distance, at last
were effectually stopped by the shoals there being no good
landing or appearance of Fresh water determined on returning
& renew the examination after visiting Port Lincoln. __

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 30 September 1836 ]


Saturday 1 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

we immediately weighed & stood down the Gulf about 4 we anchored off the mouth of stream with Mt Lofty bearing about E. by S. On landing found the stream small and salt water at least as far as we traced it being a distance of not above a mile from the shortness of time [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 1 October 1836 ]


Sunday 2 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

2nd Octr On waking this morning blowing hard a terrible hubbub on deck & heavy thumping under our quarter It was the Hatch Boat which had been anchored astern of the Brig and on veering got close to her damaged enough to give the Carpenter a week’s work. Field and Hill from the Mast head [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 2 October 1836 ]


Monday 3 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Monday 3rd Octr Moderate the Colonel with a party of us landed to walk to the River seen yesterday while the Brig proceeded keeping at a same time look out on us & to send a boat when a signal was made. After a long & heavy walk in deep sand with no appearance of [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 3 October 1836 ]


Tuesday 4 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Tuesday 4th…The party returned about 3 o
clock reporting well of the country We now for the first time saw
the Native fires so they cannot be far off, it is reported by the
women accompanying us they are rather a fierce set about
here.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 4 October 1836 ]


Thursday 6 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Thursday 6th Weighed & stood down the Gulf about
[blank] miles below the last anchorage from the Mast head was
observed a stream apparently issuing from the hills and
discharging a little below us into the sea. I was immediately
despatched & found it to be small at the mouth but inc-
-reasing in size inland & apparently deep water which
I could not ascertain there being a heavy surf on could
not get the boat in it is now called the Onkaparinga
With every appearance of a Gale apparently not good
anchorage so as soon as I reached the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Brig the Colonel
bore up for the last anchorage & there rode out a heavy
gale not the first one which we had rode out here
From the good holding ground it was named Holdfast
Bay which it now retains.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 6 October 1836 ]


Tuesday 11 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

On the Gale moderating which it did not until Monday 11th weighed & procee- -ded down the Gulf abreast of Yankalila we saw a boat standing out from under the land it turned out to be Mr Stevens C. Manager & Mr Morphett a gent- -leman arrived in Cygnet now lying at Nepean Bay & [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 11 October 1836 ]


Wednesday 12 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Wednesday 12th The Colonel has determined on remaining here for some time in the mean time the Brig to proceed to Nepean Bay for the remainder of the Surveying party & stores. Commenced immediately landing the camp equipment & stores. On returning to the Brig in the evening heavy surf upon the beach for the [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 12 October 1836 ]


Friday 14 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Thursday 14th Visited by the Natives dist-
-ributed amongst them a few red jackets &
trousers old ordnance stores which we were furn-
-ished with for that purpose, they were very
much pleased by them.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 14 October 1836 ]


Sunday 16 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Sunday 16th Brig weighed for Kangaroo Isle.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 16 October 1836 ]


Monday 17 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Monday 17th The Whale boat with Mr Stevens & Morphett arrived having been detained at Yankalila by bad weather they were much pleased with the country the next day they left us for Kangaroo Isle.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 17 October 1836 ]


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