Your search for 'Africaine' found:


Journal Entries written onboard the: Africaine

Friday 1 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]


On this day, July lst, my son William was taken ill of the scarlet
fever, and my youngest child Helen was so swollen with Oedema, referred to during the nineteenth century as ‘dropsy’. An abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body causing swelling of the soft tissues (usually in the lower legs and feet). dropsy
from the effects of the same disorder, which she and Mary both
had just before we left England, as to be confined to her bed
scarcely able to breathe.

On this day our To navigate difficult stretches of water, ships took pilots on board. Pilots were coastal navigators with knowledge of their local waters and they captained the ship through the channel or harbour. pilot left us and I sent letters to London,
Gosport, and Chalton near Petersfield, Hants.

We had hitherto walked on any part of the deck we pleased
and the mate said nothing to the contrary, but the day before the
captain arrived on board the following notice was posted at the
head of our stairs: ‘The passengers in the Cabins of lesser comfort than those occupied by privileged passengers and intermediate between them and the dormitory accommodation afforded the emigrants. intermediate cabins are
not allowed abaft the A machine used to lift heavy loads or to weigh an anchor. The hauling rope passes in turns around the body of the capstan, which is mounted on a vertical axle and rotated by means of horizontal bars affixed to its head. capstan .’ This produced an altercation
between Mr Thomas and some others with the mate, who was a
Scotchman and possessed a sufficient share of his national pride,
but as far as his duty was concerned was an excellent seaman. He
said it was usual with all passengers who were not in the state
cabins, and he should insist on the order being obeyed, which they
flatly told him they would not – and to show that it was dis-
regarded we went to any part of the deck, the same as before,
without being interfered with by anyone.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 1 July 1836 ]


Saturday 2 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

We again set sail, I having been up all night in
attendance on the children. I went on deck at daylight and saw
the Isle of Wight hills, the last view that I had of my native
country, and the reflection that it would in all possibility be the
last cost me some tears.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 2 July 1836 ]


Sunday 3 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

On Thursday, June 30th at four o’clock Harriet & I joined the Africaine at Gravesend which immediately afterwards moved down with the tide. To those who know my wife’s ardent attachment to her family and their unsurpassed love for her, a description of her anguish at parting and state on embarkation would be superfluous – they can imagine it all; … Fortunately the weather was delightful; the light winds that blew gave hardly any perceptible motion to the ship, and were refreshing in the extreme. Sleep aided to restore her, and by Saturday afternoon when the Africaine anchored off Deal for the reception of the Captain & some of the party, she was in good health and spirits.

In the course of the afternoon Capn Duff and his wife came on board. They had been married but on the previous Thursday; a circumstance which had caused a little delay in the departure of the ship from London; with them Mr & Mrs Hallett arrived. On the following morning Mr & Mrs Brown were received on board, and with them the number of passengers was completed…

The vessel being in disorder in consequence of her this day commencing her voyage, prayers were not read; some books were however distributed among the passengers which had been supplied by my friend Mr Binney for the use of the ship during the voyage, afterwards to be given by me to some public religious institution. On conversing with some of the labouring emigrants, I find they are desirous of establishing a school on board for the instruction of some of the party who are unable to read. When the first trials of the passage are over, this will be a subject for attention. Letters were sent home from Deal to numerous members of our families.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 3 July 1836 ]


Tuesday 4 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

July 4th. Letters were sent from Dungeness to Barkway and Wandsworth Road.

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


Tuesday 5 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

The weather hitherto had been remarkably fine, but
this afternoon some rain fell and the wind rose considerably. The
night passed A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed. squally and I was again up with the invalids in my
cabin, William with the scarlet fever, and Mary with such a
violent pain in her head and neck, and excessive weakness, that I
was afraid to trust her out of my sight. Helen was now better, and
in the next cabin, which was allotted to my three daughters and a
young female whom we brought out with us as assistant. We had
also brought two men as agricultural labourers, and two printers,
one an apprentice, as Mr Thomas intended to issue a newspaper,
as soon as possible, in conjunction with Mr Stevenson, the Governor’s
Secretary, who was to be the editor, and with whom he had
entered into partnership for the purpose. Much of our luggage
on board, of which we had a great quantity, consisted of a printing
press, type, and other materials necessary for the undertaking.
William usually slept in a hammock which was slung near
us in the Cabins of lesser comfort than those occupied by privileged passengers and intermediate between them and the dormitory accommodation afforded the emigrants. intermediate where our cabins were situated, in the
most airy part, for we could not obtain any in the after part of the
vessel. …
We had a surgeon on board (at least one who called himself
such) but as to his medical skill, if he had any, he showed but
little of it with regard to my children. When William was so un-
fortunately taken with the scarlet fever he did not once come to
see him, although he was in the opposite cabin and well aware
of it, till I asked him; and when he said a blister was necessary
for his throat, instead of preparing it – as I expected he would
do, having a medicine chest on board – he went on shore at Deal
and remained the whole day. So I took my own method by
applying a A poultice is a soft moist mass, often heated and medicated, that is spread on cloth over the skin to treat an aching, inflamed, or painful part of the body. poultice , which I afterwards continued, and William
found great relief from it. Fortunately I had also a bottle of saline
mixture and another of the gargle which I had from the doctor
who attended the other children before our departure, which with
some lemons we procured from Deal, enabled me to give him what
was most necessary. At least he was more indebted under Providence
to my nursing for his recovery, than to any medical attendance
on board; as was Helen likewise. The three girls also suffered
severely from seasickness, especially Frances, the eldest, who was
confined to her bed for several days. Mr Thomas suffered but
little from that cause, and for myself, thank God, I was very well,
and though sometimes ill it was soon over…
The young girl we brought with us I found but little use, as she
would not exert herself much for anyone, though well able to do
so. I was five nights without taking my cloaths off, and slept but
little the whole time. I had great reason to be thankful that I bore
it so well, or I know not what others would have done. All the
children continued ill – William just beginning to recover from
the fever, but not out of bed, Helen also confined to her bed, and
the others but little better – unable to procure any comforts for
them which I would have had on land, the ship rolling about so
that nothing would stay in its place, and during the night in total
darkness, as no light was allowed after 9 o’clock, except in the
state cabin, and what we had was only a miserable lamp, the very
shadow of a light, hung up in the centre between the cabins. With
all this it required some resolution to keep up my spirits, and thank
Heaven I did keep them up. Though the hatches were often
closed during the night, for it rained heavily with tremendous
thunder and lightning, I did not feel the least alarm or repent
having undertaken the voyage; my greatest anxiety being to get
the children well.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 5 July 1836 ]


Thursday 7 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Thursday 7th. Up to this day from Deal the weather has been rather variable, but today it was nearly a complete calm. Harriet has suffered much from indisposition, partly attributable to the motion of the ship. Bilious to the last degree, nothing has been found to quiet her stomach, or relieve the pain of sickness. [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 7 July 1836 ]


Sunday 10 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This being Sunday we, for the first time after we
came on board, had Divine Service on deck, amidst the heaving
of the ship, the sea being very rough, and the roar of the waves
sometimes almost drowning the voice of the officiator, the sur-
geon. In the evening we came in sight of the island of Madeira,
and passed it in the night, with a strong breeze blowing.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 10 July 1836 ]


Wednesday 13 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

July 13th .

… Our cabin party besides Capn & Mrs Duff, consists of ourselves, Mr, Mrs & Miss Brown, the Emigration agent, his wife and sister; Mr & Mrs Hallett, a merchant & purchaser of land who settles in the colony and who is in partnership with Duff; Mr Everard & his wife; and Mr Skipper, the son of a solicitor of Norwich who is articled to Mr Mann, the Attorney General of the colony. The first mate also dines in the cuddy; thus we have the unfortunate number of thirteen!

We fare sumptuously every day – Hot rolls for breakfast manufactured by our excellent black steward, eggs, rice, two sorts of cold meat, coffee, & every tolerable tea. At twelve luncheon: bread & cheese, the last of two kinds, both good, with admirable bottled porter, Hodgson’s pale ale wine & spirits. We dine at four; soup of an excellent quality, two joints, and poultry. As a sample: today we had pea soup, salt fish & eggs, haunch of mutton, fowls and pork – occasionally plum pudding. Then beer, porter, wine and spirits as the French say à la volonté, which is being interpreted, as much as you please. Tea at eight, and the grog bottles from nine to ten. This precision on my part is for the especial consideration of Household [?]. It is true the ducks & geese are sometimes worthy the appellation of matrons, but certainly everything is better than I found it at Ibbotson’s Hotel. Harriet gives the soups unequivocal praise, and while I am writing she is having for luncheon a basin of chicken broth, which calls forth a laudation at every mouthful.

The intermediate party (i.e. between the cabin and the steerage) consists of eighteen persons; one intends to keep an hotel in the colony, Mr Thomas and his family (he is the proprietor of the colonial newspaper), my clerk Mr Nantes, and four proprietors of land in South Australia. They fare differently to the cabin passengers, having fresh meat but once a week, and on other days salt fish, pork or beef.

The labourers and their families occupy the next compartment in the ship. Their number is about 50; they are all contented, and have reason to be so; in this place Mr Pollard & his wife are, with our servants. And now for a word about these. Pollard has volunteered to take charge of the poultry, the pigs & sheep, and my goats. He takes excessive pride in them & boasts of their condition daily; moreover he milks the goats, and performs upon the pigs and sheep when occasion requires the kindly offices of the butcher…

… I must however say at any risk that Capn Duff’s conduct in every respect merits the warmest encomiums; he appears to be a thorough sailor, decisive and skilful; he pays equal attention to all the passengers, has no favorites apparently, & therefore is a general favorite.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 13 July 1836 ]


Sunday 17 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Sunday July 17th Harriet’s state of health is still very bad indeed; constant sickness, violent headaches and other symptoms of serious disarrangement of the liver & stomach prevail. She bears up admirably against the disease; though perpetually moaning with pain, she rarely expresses discontent. For the last two days, I also have suffered from headache, and today am unable to attend prayers on deck. Mr Everard again read the service, but in consequence of some remark, passed upon the ommission of the Litany last Sunday, today he read the whole service.

In the afternoon Madeira was seen, and towards evening it became very distinct. The island is very high above the water, and has more the appearance of a mountainous country than I had supposed. The sun shone upon it brilliantly and thus enabled us to see it clearly though not nearer at any time than five miles. – The weather is still remarkably fine and the wind favourable. This morning it blows in nautical language ‘a stiff breeze’, but there is little motion in the ship. We are passing Madeira at the rate of nearly nine knots an hour.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 17 July 1836 ]


Monday 18 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Monday July 18th The wind fell in the night and for four hours we were absolutely becalmed. This proved exceedingly trying to my poor patient; for the ship no longer being steadied by the wind, & there being much sea, it was tossed about in a very disagreeable manner. …  Having unfortunately left England without a swinging cot & Capn Duff having heard me strongly expressing regret at this circumstance, with the greatest kindness he offered me the use of his sail makers and carpenter to manufacture one for me. Happening to possess some canvas fitted for the purpose, I accepted his offer, and in the evening placed Harriet in a most commodious cot which the industry of the men, stimulated by some tobacco, completed in the course of the day. During the whole of her illness, every attention has been shown her not only by Capn Duff, but by every passenger in the cabin, all having opened their stores to try to find some little luxury which might possibly be palatable to her.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 18 July 1836 ]


Tuesday 19 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

July 19th Today Harriet has been much better. She slept well in the cot, and passed the greater part of the day on deck. In the course of the day we spoke the Mount Stuart Elphinstone on her voyage to Calcutta. In the evening Harriet saw for the first time the phosphorescence of the sea: on the breaking of a wave, or on the water being otherwise agitated, sparkles of great brilliance were abundant. The quantity of light emitted by each is probably equal to that of a glowworm; on a dark night I have seen the ship quite illuminated by this means – the phenomenon was first perceived by us in the Bay of Biscay & I am told that when at the Equator the intensity of the light will be much greater. The cause of this extraordinary appearance is said to be animalculae.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 19 July 1836 ]


Wednesday 20 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

July 20th … Flocks of flying fish have surrounded the vessel today, & have afforded much amusement. The greatest lengths of flights which I have seen is about 100 yards; the manner of flying closely resembling that of starlings. The flock which took wing close to the ship could not have contained fewer than 50 to 60 fish. The size appears to be about that of a small mackerel.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 20 July 1836 ]


Saturday 23 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Saturday the 23rd Harriet is now quite well; for the last two or three days she has enjoyed herself both on the deck and at table; she moreover sleeps well. The complaint she thinks was a bilious attack which might have annoyed her nearly as much if she had been on shore,  but she questions if it would not have been shortened if calomel had been more fully administered at the beginning.

Yesterday we entered the torrid zone; the heat however is not at all oppressive to any of the party. The thermometer in my cabin is generally 78o, but the thorough draft which we manage at almost all times to keep up, renders the temperature agreeable.

Some of the passengers in the intermediate cabin last week manifested discontent, and put up on their hatchway an impertinent notice. Excited by Mr Thomas, the agitator of the ship, one complained of the bread, another of the beef, another of the wine;  indeed each had some one complaint to make, but, rather a subject for marvel, no two agreed on the same complaint. On investigation the bread which was declared unfit for use, was the brown bread which I preferred to the best white biscuit provided for the cabin; the salt provisions I had requested Capn Duff to place constantly upon our table and it was partaken of and enjoyed by all our party; the wine was declared by Brown (a good judge) to be excellent, and the same as we drank in the cabin. On my assuring the gentlemen of these facts, the complaint turned on the price paid for their passage and at length it was insinuated that I had chartered the vessel and was making money out of them. My positive denial of having any greater interest in the ship than any passenger on board appeared to satisfy the malcontents, who now said the cook was to blame – he had been insolent, and so on. This the Captain promised to see into, and thus the grievous matter ended. Mr & Mrs Thomas however still preserve dignified silence, though all the rest appear to have forgotten their fancied wrongs.

Seeing that the ill-humour was produced by idleness or ennui it occurred to me that it would be well to get up some general amusement, and I consequently proposed to enrol a body of volunteers to be drilled. Fortunately I found on board a man who had been a soldier in the peninsular war, Mr Wickham, and after a little persuasion he agreed to spend half an hour a day with us for the purpose. On Wednesday last therefore we commenced the platoon exercise; our first party was eight, the next day twelve and at this number our corps appears for the present likely to remain. It is true, sometimes we do not keep very good step in consequence of the motion of the ship, and sometimes a lurch in marching at ordinary time, causes a double quick movement to the rear; but this is all accounted a good joke, and thus the chief end is attained. I am full private in the corps, and four of the intermediate passengers are also enrolled.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 23 July 1836 ]


Sunday 24 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This morning the sun was vertical, and we are now south of it. Although we shall henceforth be receding from the sun, still if we experience, as is most probable, calms and very light winds about the equator, the heat will be much more oppressive than at present. Today it is 80o in my cabin in the shade & with a thorough draft.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 24 July 1836 ]


Sunday 24 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

A nautilus was seen dancing on the waves with its transparent sails and little shell for a boat; the sight was very beautiful.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 24 July 1836 ]


Tuesday 26 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Diary: Gouger diary - flying fish

This morning the first mate found on the deck a flying fish which although somewhat injured in the tail afforded to our amateur artists an opportunity of trying their skill. The accompanying sketch I copied from a painting by Brown who among his other qualifications now turns out to be a very good artist. [Here follows a coloured drawing of the fish] The scientific name is Dactylopterus volitans. Some idea may be formed of the height the fish sometimes fly by this fish having been found upon the deck which is above the water about twelve feet. They generally however fly within two feet of the surface.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 26 July 1836 ]


Thursday 28 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

The weather the last two days has been very fine but oppressively hot. In my cabin, kept as cool as possible by the ventilator, windows & door being open, the thermometer has nevertheless ranged between 82o and 84o. The length of the evening again is not very pleasant, it being too dark by seven o’clock to read. The brilliant moon however is a great comfort. Harriet remains in excellent health and spirits. Yesterday a large turtle passed us, and in the morning the ship was absolutely surrounded by large fish, there being according to Capn Duff’s computation not fewer than 100 porpoises & bottle-nosed whales around the vessel at one time, some of which are 20 feet long. The mate struck a whale with the harpoon but having hit it on the head, it is supposed, the weapon was blunted & did not take effect. A nautilus also was seen last week sailing by.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 28 July 1836 ]


Friday 29 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This evening we had a specimen for the first time of the usual weather in a tropical climate. The wind during the day had been calm and we made but little progress, but about 7 o’clock that night a sudden squall arose and was immediately succeeded by a tremendous shower of rain such as is [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 29 July 1836 ]


Saturday 30 July 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

The winds are now, as Capn Duff foretold many days ago, very variable, & last night we experienced rather a severe squall. I was first apprized of it by Harriet’s awakening me in consequence, as she said, of the rain blowing in upon her (though swinging in the cot nine feet from the stern windows) [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 30 July 1836 ]


Saturday 6 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Again a rough head wind, which drove us every way but the right, everything and everybody tumbling about. Mr Thomas had hitherto boasted that he could stand upon his feet though others could not, but this day threw him flat on his back. The children had many falls, as did almost everyone. For myself, I [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 6 August 1836 ]


Monday 1 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Warmly did our hearts respond to those of our friends who on the 1st of this month would celebrate at Barkway the anniversary of Harriet’s birthday. How often did we talk over the events which were probably being enacted at the moment of our speaking! And herein we had an advantage over our Barkway friends for knowing the exact difference of time between our position on the globe and theirs, we were able to fix upon the precise moment for dinner, for the usual course of toasts and expressions of kindness & affection, and, last of all, for the striking of the hour of twelve, when we knew Caroline would in her own inimitable style give the crowning glass to the whole – at the same hour the time having been calculated to the minute, Harriet & I joined in ardently wishing every blessing to be the portion of each around her.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 1 August 1836 ]


Tuesday 2 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Who killed my cat? Suppose I tell;
Unless deceived, I know full well;
But you, perhaps, may guess the plot
When I have told you who ‘twas not.
‘Twas not the captain nor the mate,
For they, I’m sure, had no such hate,
But both expressed their deep regret
That Puss with such a fate had met.
‘Twas not the steward; he desired
That she should every day be fed,
And said, ‘I tink dat man so bad
Who dared do wicked act so sad.’
‘Twas not the sailors; one and all
They would apprehend a squall,
And vow that man should drowned be
Who threw a cat into the sea.
‘Twas non who in the steerage dwelt,
For they had more humanely felt,
And all, with Nature’s truth inspired,
Her stripes and beauty much admired.
Who was it, then, who killed my cat?

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 2 August 1836 ]


Friday 5 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

A fine morning after a very rough night but the wind a little lower, though still against us, the sea swelling and foaming tremendously, and the ship leaning so much to leeward that it was almost impossible to stand. We had learned by this time, however, what it is to be at sea.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 5 August 1836 ]


Sunday 7 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This day, being Sunday, and the weather being fine, though the wind was still contrary, we had Divine Service on deck. Three ships were seen in the distance, also two large birds, supposed to be the albatross. This I thought an extraordinary circumstance, as we were then three hundred miles from land, the nearest being the Gold Coast.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 7 August 1836 ]


Wednesday 10 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

August 10 Contrary winds are still blowing, as sailors call it, ‘right in the teeth’, and the ship lurching so much in consequence as to make it exceedingly disagreeable. The sailors are uttering imprecations on the destroyer of the cat, and wishing all sorts of evil may befall him.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 10 August 1836 ]


Thursday 11 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

August 11 We made signals to an American vessel bound for the South Sea fisheries.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 11 August 1836 ]


Friday 12 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Our little community has been again shaken with intestine commotion. One of our servants (Margaret Clark) got into disgrace about the latter end of last month for lightness of conduct towards the sailors, and a few days afterwards, she put on the appearance of mental derangement; the surgeon and some others however attributed her conduct to the effect of spirituous liquors. In consequence of this report of the surgeon, of complaints having been made of the conduct of other females in the steerage arising from the same cause, and of grog having been given by the steerage passengers to the sailors whereby some of them were rendered unable to do their duty, Captain Duff having the opinion of Mr Brown & me, ordered that no spirits should be served out henceforth to the women and children, but that on arrival in the colony, either the quantity of rum which each individual wd have consumed on the voyage should be distributed, or its value given in money. This order occasioned no doubt dismay among the laboring emigrants, but finding the Captain immovable in his determination the malcontents were obliged to put up with their fate, though in some cases with a very bad grace. In particular, Mr Wickham, the person who we had made our drill sergeant, declared his intention of acquainting the Govt of the Cape of Good Hope with the conduct of the Captain, and of procuring redress by legal means. For a time his anger led him to refuse his own allowance of grog, though this had never been interdicted; he soon became tired of this ‘biting-of-his-nose-to-be-revenged-on-his-face’ system, but he has attempted to punish us by not having […] to drill! I was always averse to allowing laboring emigrants spirits on board ship, and am now more than ever convinced that the practice is most injudicious. Very few indeed ever think of helping the sailors by pulling at a rope or of rendering any other assistance; on the contrary, they are generally to be seen rolling on casks or hencoops, enjoying (a new thing for them) idleness with unusually full meals; thus they become unhealthy, & the allowance of spirits makes them vicious. The women, many of whom have perhaps very seldom tasted rum before, and if so in small quantities, now drinking largely, become quarrelsome and the causes of quarrels among the male emigrants. From these considerations, carried out practically as I have seen in several instances, I am thoroughly convinced that no ship containing a large number of poor persons can be other than an arena for discord while spirits are served out as an article of rations, or can be attainable except, in particular cases, by the authority of the Surgeon.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 12 August 1836 ]


Saturday 13 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

August 13 We spoke with a Dutch ship bound for Rio Janeiro. Wind still in the same quarter.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 13 August 1836 ]


Sunday 14 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

The stars also presented a splendid appearance, and we could now see the Southern Cross, that is, five stars in the form of our Saviour’s cross. This is only seen in the Southern Hemisphere. (The cross is assumed as the Australian arms and worn by the Government officers, the emblem being stamped on their buttons.) It likewise frequently happened that a beautiful rainbow was seen at sunrise, which, as it appeared on the edge of the water, was truly magnificent.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 14 August 1836 ]


Monday 15 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

We had to bewail yesterday the death of one of my Cashmere kids, a beautiful female, and, as usual when a favorite dies, the prettiest of the flock. It had not grown much since its arrival & gradually became weaker until it died. The disease appeared on a post-mortem examination to be an inflammation of the [? intestine] occasioned most probably by confinement and change of food. Two others, a male kid and a young ewe seem also unwell, but as they have now the privilege of running up and down the deck in fine weather, it is possible they may yet survive the voyage.They are fed on grain, paddy, bran, and hay, instead of on oats & chaff as recommended by Mr Tower. We have now but four, 2 males & 2 females…  Our other pets,the dog and the bird are well and contented.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 15 August 1836 ]


Thursday 18 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

A curious creature was drawn up with a pail of water. It was called a glaucus, and was of a dark purple. When the sun shone on it a variety of colours was reflected. It had four appendages about an inch long, with shorter ones again branching from each in different directions. Its length was [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 18 August 1836 ]


Tuesday 16 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

A very curious fish of the class Cephalopoda flewor rather jumped on board today: it is nearly five inches long has two tentaclae about two inches long with which it adheres firmly to any substance offered it, and eight mandibles (for want of a better word) about 1 ½ inches long with which it seizes [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 16 August 1836 ]


Thursday 18 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

… During the night a slight change of wind occurred, affording us the prospect of relief from our lengthened imprisonment. This is doubly agreeable, as the Captain has more than once intimated his intention to go into the Island of Ascension instead of the Cape should this weather continue. We are near [? it] and the detention there while getting water would be much shorter than at the Cape. This is a great temptation, especially now that we have lost everyhope of making a quick passage; but it will be a source of great disappointment to me and most of the passengers, as we have prepared long lists of etceteras to be purchased at the Cape; besides which we have looked upon two or three days sojourn there as a holyday, which could hardly be enjoyed on a volcanic island where nothing can be had but water & turtle. Since the first of this month we have made no more southing than 390 miles.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 18 August 1836 ]


Saturday 20 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Three birds called Cape pigeons have been flying about the vessel. This would seem a trifling occurrence except at sea, where a bird so far from land excites as much notice as any extraordinary animal in the street of London.  

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


Sunday 21 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Thermometer up to 70 degrees.

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


Monday 22 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This day, at about 6 o’clock in the morning, we crossed the Line. I was up and intended being on deck, but was not aware that we were so near it. Now, having cleared the equinox, we got into the trade winds and went at a very good rate, expecting to be at the Cape [...]

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


Tuesday 23 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This day our allowance of water, which had hitherto been three quarts daily to each adult and half or two-thirds to children, according to their age, was reduced to one pint for each person. Generally speaking, we had a sufficiency, though it was sometimes such as no one in England would think of giving to a dog. It was as black as ink, with a thick sediment at the bottom, and smelt worse than a stagnant ditch. Those who go to sea, however, must make up their minds not to be over-nice or over-particular about anything.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 23 August 1836 ]


Wednesday 24 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

I mentioned yesterday that our allowance of water had been reduced, but last night the surgeon, conceiving that it was a scheme to avoid, if possible, stopping at the Cape of Good Hope, which would have been a great disappointment to many of the passengers (ourselves among others, for we were not only desirous of seeing the Cape, but wished to purchase some articles there which might be useful to us), urged the The area of between-decks occupied by steerage passengers, that is, those travelling at the cheapest rate. steerage passengers to send a letter to Mr. Brown, who, being agent for the emigrants sent out by the Commissioners, was bound to see that the terms stipulated by them were strictly fulfilled. One of these was that each person should be supplied with three quarts of water per day per diem. In consequence of this we again had our full quantity. In the state cabin, I believe, there was no restriction, but though all the Cabins of lesser comfort than those occupied by privileged passengers and intermediate between them and the dormitory accommodation afforded the emigrants. intermediate passengers paid handsomely for their passages, our own costing us nearly two hundred pounds, in respect to supplies of every description we were no better off than the The area of between-decks occupied by steerage passengers, that is, those travelling at the cheapest rate. steerage passengers, and even they ought to have had better provisions than were often served to us.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 24 August 1836 ]


Wednesday 24 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

— Yesterday an attempt was made by Captain Duff to decrease the allowance of water to every passenger throughout the ship with the obvious view of avoiding the necessity of putting in at the Cape; this however was resisted by all, and on Mr Brown representing to the Captain that as ‘Agent for Emigration’ he would consider the decrease of allowance of water as a breach of contract with the Commissioners, and would so prevent the payment of the passage money of the steerage passengers, the Captain countermanded his order and the usual allowance of water was today served out. The quantity allowed is six quarts a day for each adult (children have less in proportion to age) and when it is remembered that this is to suffice for washing, cooking, tea and all other uses, it cannot be said to be extravagant.–

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 24 August 1836 ]


Saturday 27 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Several nautili having passed close to the shipwithin the last two or three days which could have been pulled up almost with a bucket, I contrived a bag net of about 3 feet diameter to be hung from one of the boats on the ship’s side, and weighted so as to sink in the water [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 27 August 1836 ]


Sunday 28 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

AUGUST 28.-This morning, at about 8 o’clock, we had a specimen of ship discipline which, however necessary it may be to maintain subordination, was nevertheless disgusting to the passengers. One of the sailors, who happened to be at the helm, received some orders from the chief mate which he swore he would not obey, and made use of some very abusive language, whereupon the mate struck him. Catching hold of the binnacle, the man overturned it and broke the compass, cutting his head at the same time. The captain was then called, and he also struck the man several times. Some sailors having been called up, the captive’s hands were tied behind him, and he was fastened to a hencoop on the deck, where he remained the greater part of the day. But what made the incident appear worse was that it happened to be Sunday, and we had Divine Service with the culprit in full view, the blood streaming down his face. The man was, I believe, often abusive, but yet it was thought by some that the punishment exceeded the offence, especially as it was well known that the mate was, on account of his surly behaviour, by no means a favourite with the crew, or, indeed, with anyone else on board the vessel.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 28 August 1836 ]


Tuesday 30 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

AUGUST 30.-This being Mary’s and my birthday, we managed to make a cake and give a slice of it and a glass of wine to all our young men. I should not have mentioned this, but it also happened to be the birthday of Mr. Hallett, a gentleman in the cabin, and of one or [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 30 August 1836 ]


Wednesday 31 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

… We had now been rather more than two months at sea, and though we were all well stocked with clothes I found it necessary sometimes, as, I believe, most of the passengers did, to wash a few small things such as pocket handkerchiefs, partly to prevent them from getting mouldy, a condition to which I found everything very liable, whether dirty or clean. I mention this to show that our supply of water was sufficient with economy for so doing, but I could not boast of their whiteness when washed in muddy water. Some of the steerage passengers, I understand, washed all their clothes. How they managed it I do not know, but one of the women washed for the surgeon I before mentioned (an Irishman), and, of course, charged an extravagant price, which caused him to make the observation in my hearing that every man while on board of ship ought to be his own washerwoman.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 31 August 1836 ]


Thursday 1 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 1.-We had by this time managed a little better with regard to our cooking, that is, we had made friends with the cabin cook, and by the occasional bribe of a glass of rum he would bake for us whenever he could; sometimes a beef steak pie (salt beef, of course) or a rice pudding (the latter without either eggs or milk) or a dripping cake. Dripping, which in some measure answered the purpose of butter, I purchased from him at a shilling a pound. The wine also was better than at first, whether from the effects of the voyage or not I cannot tell, but we had some of a very fair quality.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 1 September 1836 ]


Thursday 1 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

September 1st The same favorable breeze continues and the ship is running her course delightfully. Yesterday we passed the Martin Vaz rocks, three in number. One is very small, and at the distance at which we were about thirty miles resembled a large boat; another somewhat larger and apparently about 200 feet high; and. the [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 1 September 1836 ]


Saturday 3 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 3.-Several Cape pigeons flying about the vessel. We had now a fair wind, and were going at a good rate.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 3 September 1836 ]


Sunday 4 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4.-The thermometer was now lowered to 70 degrees, and we found it necessary to resume some of the clothing which we were glad to dispense with while passing through the tropics.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 4 September 1836 ]


Sunday 4 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

… Harriet remains in excellent health and as she does not allow an hour to pass unemployed, she is in tolerably good spirits. It cannot be matter of surprize if she finds herself sometimes sighing after absent friends, more especially as she has failed to discern one among the passengers with whom she is likely to form a close intimacy. Her time is spent in needlework, and mine between reading to her, renewing my acquaintance with figures, and amusing myself with my goats. –

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 4 September 1836 ]


Monday 5 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 5.-This morning succeeded the roughest night we had yet experienced. Last evening, at about 6 o’clock. the wind, which had been brisk all day, began to increase. The sky darkened, and rain soon followed. All the passengers were instantly ordered below, at least, all the ladies, but some of the gentlemen chose to remain on deck. The ship, which for the last three weeks had been lying on the The starboard is the right side of a ship or a boat perceived by a person on board facing the bow (front). starboard side, on which our cabins were situated, was now shifted to the other, and leaned so much to 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 during the whole night that it was with difficulty we could keep ourselves in bed. So apprehensive was I that the children in the next cabin would fall out of their berths, as Mary and Helen slept in the upper one, that soon after midnight I got up and dressed myself to be in readiness if anything should occur to require my assistance. Fortunately, nothing of any consequence happened to them, but the doctor, whose cabin was opposite to ours, was called about 2 o’clock to a woman in the steerage, of the name of Paul, who had beena euphamism for childbirth taken ill . This had been expected for some time, and consequently all the men in that part of the vessel were instantly turned out of their berths and sent upon deck for two hours, which in the midst of a cold, dark, and stormy night could not be very agreeable. In the meantime, however, a new passenger made his appearance in the form of a male infant, thus bringing the total number of souls on board to exactly one hundred. The child was born amidst the roaring of the wind, the splashing of the waters, and the incessant rocking of the ship, and was afterwards named James Africaine, in memory of his having been born on that vessel.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 5 September 1836 ]


Tuesday 6 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 6.-The rough weather still continued, and but few of the passengers ventured on deck, not liking to be so exposed to wind and water. Nevertheless, I preferred taking a view of the sea, of which I was always an enthusiastic admirer, and the sight, though awfully grand, was truly beautiful, and what made it [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 6 September 1836 ]


Wednesday 7 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 7.-The weather still rough and wind contrary, sending us back towards London. Thermometer reduced to 61 degrees.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 7 September 1836 ]


Thursday 8 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 8.-A delightful morning and not so cold; very little wind ancl making slow progress.

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


Thursday 8 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

September 8th Margaret Clark is again in disgrace. Yesterday she bit her fellow servant’s arm so as to cause the blood to flow from each indentation of the teeth, and scratched her mercilessly. On the girl’s complaining to me I sent her to the captain and requested him to use his discretion about the punishment to be inflicted. Having heard both parties and finding Clark altogether to blame, he ordered the steward to cut off the hair from one side of her head which was immediately done; the culprit however seemed to treat the matter rather as a good joke, than as a punishment, laughing and talking with the people about her during the whole operation. I cannot but think the girl is deranged; if not, surely there never was so malicious and designing a little a derogatory term applied to women jade in human guise. It is our intention to leave her at the Cape under the protection of the Committee of the The Children’s Friend Society was one of a number of schemes designed to promote child migration as a means of improving public order. It was formed in 1830 as the ‘Society for the Suppression of Juvenile Vagrancy, through the reformation and emigration of children’ and by 1832 had sent children to the Cape of Good Hope and the Swan River Colony. Others were sent to Canada. Children’s Friend Society , in exchange for another girl if one can be procured. The other girl (Vincent) behaves with great propriety and is fast ingratiating herself into the esteem of her mistress.

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


Sunday 11 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 11.-For the last two days the wind has been blowing right astern, which, though it sent us on at a rapid rate, caused the vessel to rock from side to side in a manner that was very unpleasant.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 11 September 1836 ]


Tuesday 13 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 13.-Going at ten and a half knots an hour.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 13 September 1836 ]


Tuesday 13 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

September 13th I have been very unwell for three or four days – splitting headache & rheumatism. Today however being quite recovered, I wrote or rather finished a letter to my Mother. The wind has been still favorable, and we now confidently expect to spend next Sunday at the Cape. The number of persons on [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 13 September 1836 ]


Saturday 17 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

I have purposely avoided making a memorandum of the conveniences of our cabin until I should have had time to test them practically; it is now more than ten weeks since we came on board, and considering the time sufficient to enable me to ascertain their relative worth, with a view to the guidance of others who may follow my steps, I shall now describe them and the cabin itself. The cabin I occupy is the larboard stern cabin, besides the two stern windows, there is a ventilator on the deck about three feet in diameter which however is divided between mine and the adjacent cabin. Thus I have a sufficiency of air and light for all purposes. But there is an advantage in the possession of a stern cabin far beyond that of ventilation or even abundance of light: viz. the power of abstracting oneself from the company of the rest of the passengers. In our case, the companion ladder is between the stern cabin and the cuddy, so that when the door is shut, it is impossible to hear the never ceasing conversation in which some of the party are sure to be engaged. To be alone is the greatest luxury which we enjoy on board; were I the occupant of a cabin adjacent to the cuddy, I verily believe, that instead of passing my time agreeably, I should be suffering from a brain fever caused by the continual din and noise of my worthy fellow passengers…

In the list of ‘cabin comforts’ a filter stands preeminent. The water on board the Africaine is I should think as good as is generally found in ships; but I, who however am to a great extent a water drinker, should much feel the want of this little machine. Mine was purchased of James in the Poultry, and filters very brightly. By way of protection it is enclosed in the wickerwork.—I have two cabin lamps, and one candlestick: they are all useful. The candle is enclosed in the candlestick, and is forced up to the socket with a spring, and the whole has a universal joint to accommodate itself to the motion of the ship. By this I write andread. The night lanthorn was bought of Miller in Piccadilly, and is convertible into a variety of purposes: it is a dark lanthorn, a hand lanthorn, a chaise lamp, & a night lamp. The other is a nursery lamp upon Davy’s principle, with a kettle and saucepans to fix on the top: this afforded Harriet during her illness at the commencement of the voyage excessive comfort; by its means in about fifteen minutes I have been able to supply her in the course of the night with a cup of tea or arrow root, things which could not have been obtained by any other means… at all events I would recommend a few things to be procured for use in the cabin, amongst which I would name the following articles: — half a dozen bottles of brandy of the best quality in case of sickness; some dried fruits (such as figs, almonds & raisins, prunes) by way of dessert, a luxury which of course the ship does not provide, but which becomes almost a necessary to health if the voyage is undertaken at a time of the year when potatoes will not keep; some of Gamble’s preserved provisions, especially mutton broth and vegetables in the smallest canisters; some of [?Lemsan’s] biscuits in tins; and one each of sago, arrow root, and prepared groats for gruel…

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


Sunday 18 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

We are now within 400 miles of the Cape of Good Hope, the
passengers are all expectation…
You ask me to describe my chum Mr Williams
- well then – he is middle sized – wears a black wig – has red
eye lashes – he is very kind to me indeed as well as to everybody
else – in the next cabin is Mr Thomas though a very goodnatured
man, is nevertheless very hot-tempered; though I have never felt
his wrath he does not appear to be liked very well by the Mediterranean
Passengers (as the steerage folks call us). Mr Everard and
family come next. Mr Everard is a very nice quiet man,- but his
wife just the contrary – the next is Mr and Mrs Lewis they are
very quiet, but Mrs Lewis does not appear to be very respectable
- the next is a Mr Ward and Mr Deacon – Mr Ward is a very
goodnatured, humorous man of about 30 years of age rather
corpulent – he is a lawyer – Mr Deacon is a rather old man very
changeable and fidgetty – Mr Nantes and Mr Skipper are the
next. Mr Nantes is a quiet young man – Mr Skipper is a person
I don’t know very much about on account of his taking his meals
in the 1 st Cabin.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 18 September 1836 ]


Monday 19 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 19.-A tremendous sea, though but little wind, which is usual in these parts. This evening there was a faint glimmering of the Cape of Good Hope. It appeared like a cloud at a great distance, and none but those who had been to sea before would have taken it for land.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 19 September 1836 ]


Monday 19 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

19th Septr Mr Slater, I have found him to be very kind to
me he has taught me many useful things – he and Mr Williams
I think are my greatest friends – he is so very much liked by our
cabin passengers that he sleeps and very often takes his meals in
our cabin – he is a very different kind of person to what he was
when I saw him at Gravesend, he has always a pleasant word for
everybody – I am invited every Thursday (by Captn Duff &
Wife) to dine in the 1 st cabin – an honour which very few are
allowed…
We manage to make bread now though we
have to make the yeast – there are several ways of making it;
but Mr Williams’ proves to be the best. We have five messes in
the second cabin for I am sorry to say they very much disagree.
Give my love to all dear friends – I should have written to Kate,
but I am pressed for time – how is she and how is the baby – has
it been christened yet – by the by there has been a child born
on board by a Mrs Parcel a steerage passenger. Mrs Brown was
proposing that something should be done for him and I think so
too…

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 19 September 1836 ]


Tuesday 20 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 20.-This morning the cliffs of Simon’s Bay were distinctly visible, and gradually increased on the sight. A lofty range of mountains stretched on each side of us, and formed a grand spectacle, and, of course, an agreeable one to all on board, it being exactly twelve weeks since we left London.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 20 September 1836 ]


Tuesday 20 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

20th Septr
We had no shaving on crossing the line – We
passed it in the night at about 12 o’clock – Some of the most
learned affirm they felt the shiver on its entry to the Southern
Hemisphere. All the lights in the ship except the Ships were equipped with magnetic compasses that were kept on deck in a binnacle that could be illuminated at night by means of a lamp. Binnacle lamp ,
are all put out at ten o’clock at night…

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 20 September 1836 ]


Wednesday 21 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 21.-This day, Wednesday, about noon, we anchored in Simon’s Bay. A gentleman and lady in the cabin of the name of Hallett, with their family of three children and a servant, joined us in a boat, as they preferred going on shore with us rather than with the cabin party, on account of their family. Some black natives came alongside, and we engaged one of their boats. When we reached shallow water, there being no jetty, we were carried on shore in the arms of the men, to our no small amusement, and my daughter Mary was the first of our party to set foot on Africa.

There is a small town here, as they call it, which consisted entirely of one street, or, rather, of one row of houses at the base of tremendous hills and facing the water. The whole much resembled a newly-founded watering-place in England. The inhabitants were chiefly English, with some Dutch, but we saw a great many of the native Africans, quite black, with woolly hair. They took much notice of us, and seemed to be well a ware that we had just arrived from England.

We went to the Anchor Inn, kept by an Englishman; others to different inns and lodgings, of which there were several in the town. We partook of lunch as soon as we arrived, of bread and cheese and butter, with bottled ale, all of which were excellent. Never did I relish anything so much, after being so long confined to ship diet, and this seemed to be the case with everyone. We then took a walk, as the weather was very fine, and returned to dinner at 4 o’clock. This consisted of a boiled leg of mutton and rump steaks, with potatoes and cabbage, followed by a bread pudding and excellent pastry. Four bottles of Cape wine were also placed on the table, and everything seemed to be in a style which we did not expect from the appearance of the place, especially as the Anchor was not the principal inn, which was called the Clarence, and where we first went. Some of the cabin party having taken possession of the latter house, the landlady turned us out rather unceremoniously, at which we were not a little surprised, considering our number – fourteen in all. However, we immediately went to the Anchor, and there remained till Friday afternoon, and most likely were the better customers, as all the cabin party set off the same night for Cape Town, about twenty miles distant…

There was not much to he had at Simon’s Bay besides fruit as the shops, or stores, as they were called, contained but little stock…

A sort of caravan, resembling a London omnibus, drawn by six horses and driven by a Malay with a tremendously long whip, brought the captain and party from Cape Town. I heard one gentleman say that he rode in one drawn by fourteen horses, but they are invariably small, and would bear no comparison with those of England. We likewise saw a light wagon, to which were attached eighteen bullocks.

The oranges are very fine. I bought a hundred for three-and-sixpence, also a hundred of a smaller sort, called snatches, for a shilling. Mr. Thomas purchased a box of raisins, containing twenty-eight pounds, for four shillings. They were very sweet and without stalks. There was also a great quantity of dried fruit, such as apples, pears, and apricots, but we were too early for grapes and melons, as we arrived in the spring…

Mr. Thomas purchased some potatoes for seed, and a roll of canvas for a tent to supplement a large one which we had on board…I bought a quart bottle of genuine cayenne pepper for seven-and-sixpence, some of which I have to this day.

I mention these things to apprise those who may have forgotten to provide themselves with some such necessary articles, and are fortunate enough to put in at the Cape of Good Hope, that they may be obtained at Simon’s Bay on reasonable terms, and I believe still cheaper at Cape Town. No doubt, in the lapse of time since we were there (nearly twenty-eight years) everything has been greatly improved and the stores are supplied with a greater variety.

On the whole we enjoyed ourselves very much, and so well satisfied was our landlord that before we parted he insisted upon our partaking of a bottle of champagne, and wished us a good voyage and prosperity in our new settlement. We had some difficulty in making him understand where it was to be, for at first he imagined that we were bound for Van Diemen’s Land, South Australia being then a new name for the colony, and I believe not till we arrived at the Cape had the inhabitants heard of such an intended settlement.

I must here mention the wine called Constantia, which, as our landlord told us, can only be produced in two or three vineyards within a small district where the soil is favourable to the growth of a particular grape from which it is made. It is very rich in flavour, and was indeed a treat to us. It sold at two shillings per bottle. The ordinary Cape wine was sold at a penny per glass. Mr. Hallett’s and our men were on shore drinking it as they did beer in England. It got the better of them, and they continued drinking and smoking nearly all night, making such an intolerable noise that we could not sleep. However, they seemed to enjoy themselves, like their masters, and the next day we treated them to a good breakfast and dinner, with sufficient wine to make them comfortable without being tipsy. They returned to the ship highly gratified.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 21 September 1836 ]


Friday 23 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

At about 5 o’clock on Friday evening we also returned to the vessel, and the following morning again set sail for Australia…

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 23 September 1836 ]


Sunday 25 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 25.-Wet and stormy, but while we were on shore the weather was remarkably fine, the sky being cloudless in the daytime and at night the moon shining with peculiar brightness.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 25 September 1836 ]


Wednesday 28 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Wednesday Septr 28th The wind now subsided into a calm, which enabled us to speak with a A schooner is a vessel with two masts, the main mast is taller than the forward mast and the largest sail on each mast is a fore and aft sail. schooner on her way to Swan River. Her cargo contained amongst other things spirits of various kinds, equal in quantity to 100 puncheons which the Capt regarded as his most profitable investment. One 100 puncheons to a of 1600 persons! [sic] One puncheon to 16 persons – men, women & children! The cost of this importation would suffice to pay the passage of 100 labourers to the Colony, or thereabouts: a mode of expenditure infinitely more profitable to the Colony, seeing that the main cause of difficulty there, is the want of labourers. Capt Tobin, the commander of this A schooner is a vessel with two masts, the main mast is taller than the forward mast and the largest sail on each mast is a fore and aft sail. schooner has resided in the Colony 4 years & says that the chief bane of the Colony is Drunkenness – to this he attributes greater political evils than the scarcity of labour for, he says, “the labourers we have there: from intoxication will scarcely ever perform three days work together”!

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


Wednesday 28 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

28 September, 1836 840 mile east of the Cape; still very fine. Shot two Blrds 10½  feet from extremity of Wings they were skinned for preservation – have taken 5 tons of Fish in a few hours and intend touching at St Pauls to take more.

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


Thursday 29 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 29.-This was Michaelmas Day, and the roughest we had yet seen since we had been on board. Not that there was much wind, but a tremendous sea burst over the decks and poured down the hatchways like a river, completely drenching all that came in its way. Our opposite neighbour, intending to go on deck, had just left his cabin when a wave came down over his head and gave him so complete a shower-bath that he was obliged to return and change his clothes; yet we had the satisfaction of knowing that the wind was fair and that we were proceeding at a rapid rate.

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


Friday 30 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SEPTEMBER 30.-Last night exceedingly rough weather, and this morning the sea still running mountains high, but indescribably beautiful. Well did the psalmist say, “They that go down to the sea in ships and occupy their business in great waters, these men see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep.”

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


Tuesday 4 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 4.-A strong wind after a rough night, which was now increased to a complete gale. The sails had been all furled but two, and the ship rocked so much that everything which was not securely lashed was overturned and out of its place. The waves so incessantly broke over the vessel that it was almost impossible to stand on the deck. I ventured up for a few minutes to take a view of the raging sea, with its towering hills of water covered with foam, but grand beyond all description. I could have stood for hours to look at it, for I had now become too much accustomed to it to feel alarm. Although it inspired me with awe, it filled me with wonder and admiration.

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


Friday 7 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 7.-The wind calmer, but the ship still going briskly on, making an average about two hundred miles in twenty-four hours. These scraps of nautical information I obtained chiefly from the captain, whom I did not scruple to question respecting anything that I thought worth recording, and as many of the passengers were aware that I kept a diary, they were usually willing to give me any information that lay in their power. Some of them did the same thing, I believe, but they were not so accurate in dates and many other circumstances, for I was applied to more than once after we arrived in Australia for information on several matters by our former shipmates, who confessed that they could not depend upon their own records.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 7 October 1836 ]


Sunday 9 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9.-The wind still fair, but the sea not so rough. It was remarkable that, with two exceptions (one of which was after we left the Cape, when the weather was too boisterous to admit of Divine Service on deck), Sundays have been very fine and generally calm, as if the winds and waves [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 9 October 1836 ]


Tuesday 11 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 11.-A fine morning after a very rough night. I did not undress.

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


Wednesday 12 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 12.-Although several times we had had very high winds and rough weather we had not as yet had anything that could be called a storm, but this day and the following night we were destined to experience such a one as the oldest sailor on board had not seen for many years, and in which they declared many a vessel would have foundered and gone down. In the morning there was nothing more than a stiff breeze, but about noon it rose considerably, and continued to increase till it became a complete hurricane. The vessel plunged and rolled from side to side in such a manner that those who had never been to sea can have no idea of, and the waves dashed over the ship with fearful violence. The captain, mates, and crew were upon the deck the whole night. For myself, I neither undressed nor lay down, but continued sitting at my cabin door, listening to and watching the progress of the storm, which from 9 to 12 o’clock was truly awful. The wind then lowered a little for about an hour, when it again rose with redoubled fury, and so continued till daylight. Then it ceased blowing with violence, but the agitation of the sea continued unabated for several hours.

Fortunately our lamp, which hung midway between the cabins, and which was usually extinguished at 10 o’clock, was on this occasion suffered to burn the whole night. I was very glad of such a companion, as I was sitting alone, being, I believe, the only passenger who was so foolish, it may be called, as to sit up. But I could not be satisfied otherwise, for had an accident occurred we would have been instantly overflowed, as, notwithstanding the hatches were close shut, the water frequently came over the decks with such force as to pour through the crevices in torrents. About midnight a sailor came down with a pail and a mop to soak it up, and again at 6 o’clock in the morning, when, as I thought, the storm being over, we would have no more for that time. I followed with a cloth, and made the floor as dry as I could, but had scarcely finished when a tremendous wave dashed through a square hole which had been left open, and not only completely deluged the part which the sailor and I had been so industriously endeavouring to dry, but also overflowed my own cabin, which till then had escaped such a disaster.

I could not help laughing, though I was well drenched myself, to see our work so quickly undone, but the only remedy was to do it again, which I did without the help of the sailor, who probably was not aware of what had happened.

I have often said that I would like to witness a storm at sea, but then I meant myself to be on dry land and only a spectator of the warring elements, for little did I conceive the terrors of such an awful scene. Yet, as it pleased God to bring us safely through the danger, I am not now sorry that I have heard the terrific roar of the winds and the rush of the mighty waters, though I candidly confess that I do not wish to hear them in like manner again. We had one satisfaction, however, and that was that the wind, though violent, was still in our favour, and sent us swiftly on.

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


Friday 14 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Octr 14th The morning of the 12th opened  brightly, but about 11 o’clk it blew so heavily that we were  placed under double-reefed topsails, & the wind increasing the Capt ordered the Carpenter to put in the dead lights at our windows. The wind still increased till 2 o’clk the next morning when it blew – to use the Capts words “a very severe gale”. The sea broke over the ship, with a shock like that of thunder, & when I went on deck about midnight I found the Capt anxious as to the safety of the ship – not so much from the effect of the gale, as from the violence of the sea, which was, to use a hackneyed phrase “running mountains high”. Towards morning the wind abated, & yesterday the good ship “Africaine” was again persueing her course without having sustained any injury beyond the loss of main-top sail, which was torn into shreds. Capt Duff informs me that he never saw the sea higher, or had so severe a gale. This morning we passed the singular little Island of St Paul’s. It had been the Capts intention to stay here for a few hours to procure fish, but the wind was blowing so favourably that the prosecution of the voyage was too tempting for delay.

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


Saturday 15 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 15.-This day it was so cold that a slight shower of snow fell.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 15 October 1836 ]


Sunday 16 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 16.-Still going on rapidly. During the last six days we have sailed no less than fourteen hundred miles, which the captain told me was the most he had ever made in the same space of time.

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


Thursday 20 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 20.-This day the thermometer was reduced to freezing-point.

When we left London we had on board a young man of the name of Constable, who acted as second mate, but for some reason, which I do not know, he was left at the Cape of Good Hope… The absence of this young man from among the officers of the ship was regretted by many of the passengers, as he was very civil and obliging. The chief mate was just the contrary, and seemed to take a delight in annoying the intermediate passengers whenever he had an opportunity to do so… Among other instances in which he displayed his authority was that of removing the step-ladder, preventing us from going on deck, or occasionally keeping us there during his pleasure when we wished to return to our cabins. It so happened that the trapdoor by which access was obtained to that part of the hold where the ship’s stores were kept was on a level with the floor of my cabin, and only a few feet from it. The ladder by which we ascended to the deck rested on it, and was consequently removed and generally drawn up whenever the storekeeper had occasion to descend to the hold for supplies… It so happened that whenever the aforesaid store was opened we were almost sure to be half-smothered with dust. Moreover, ·a considerable quantity of straw and chaff were generally left for anyone to clear away who chose to do so, but being nearer to us than to any of the others, of course it fell to our share to dispose of it in the best way we could. This we did for a long time without complaint, but one day, a larger quantity of rubbish than usual being deposited close to our cabin door, and seeing no reason why those who left it there should not clear it away or cause it to be done, I went on deck with the intention of asking one of the sailors to remove it. Meeting Mr. Smith, I drew his attention to it, and requested that he should send someone with a broom for that purpose. Not only did he peremptorily refuse to send anyone, but replied to my request with the most insulting language, insomuch that I threatened if he behaved to me in that manner again I would complain to the captain. He told me I was welcome to do that, and, pointing to the quarter-deck, said, “There is the captain. Tell him what you please.” But the captain was not there at the time, or I would have applied to him immediately. Determined, however, to put a stop, if possible, to the mate’s insolence, I resolved to take his advice and appeal to the captain as the only way. Accordingly, the next day I addressed the following letter to Captain Duff:-

Sir-As I presume you will not knowingly suffer anyone on board this vessel to be in any way ill-treated, I consider myself justified in stating to you the particulars of an occurrence which happened a few days ago, in which I was grossly insulted by Mr. Smith, the chief mate, and which likewise led to an altercation last night on the deck, the circumstances of which I think you ought to be acquainted with. But before I proceed I beg leave to state that the complaint I am now about to make has no allusion whatever on my part to anything that passed on a former occasion, nor did I give Mr. Smith the slightest provocation to treat me in the manner he did, but I cannot, in justice to myself and my family, tamely submit to such repeated insults as we have experienced from him since we have been on board this vessel. You must be well aware that all those in the intermediate cabins, ourselves in particular, are greatly annoyed by the frequent opening of the hatchway leading to the hold, and that at all hours of the day, by which our ingress and egress are not only often prevented, but we must also put up with the dust and litter proceeding from the stores, with many other inconveniences, to which even the steerage passengers are not subjected, but all this we should not complain of, knowing it is unavoidable, if we could meet with that civility and attention which, as respectable persons, we think ourselves entitled to, for in this respect I speak in the name of all concerned, though the ungentlemanly behaviour it produced from the chief mate was directed to me alone. It happened, then, a few mornings since that the storekeeper had left a more than usual quantity of dust and dirt, which, as usual, was left for us to clear away, and, being opposite to my cabin, it was not very pleasing or agreeable. Mr. Thomas, therefore, sent a message to the mate requesting a broom and mop to enable us to clean it, but his answer was that he had neither, and if Mr. Thomas wanted them he might fetch them himself. This passed, and we took no further notice, being compelled to let the litter remain till a short time after, when I went on deck, and seeing Mr. Smith close by I pointed down the steps and requested that he would send someone to sweep away the dirt there, to which, with a scornful air, he replied, “Pray, Mrs. Thomas, who do you expect to clean it?” I said it certainly was not my place to do it, nor did I suppose that anyone there considered it their place to do so, that if we swept our own cabins it was surely sufficient without cleaning after the ship’s crew. He then asked me where our servants were, saying that we had too many servants, and if I expected anyone on board the vessel to be my servant or to do anything for me I was mistaken, to which I replied that it was not my servants’ place any more than mine to clean after his men, and supposing that we had brought no servants on board, how was it to be done then? “Done,” says he; “why, do it yourselves, to be sure.” This was his precise answer, to which I replied that I would not be insulted by anyone, and that if he behaved to me in that manner again I would complain to the captain. “There is the captain,” said he, “on the quarter-deck. Go and complain to him.” If you, Sir, had been there at the time, I would certainly then have made you acquainted with his conduct, as I cannot suppose that you or any gentleman in the cabin would suffer his wife to be insulted. Of course, I related what had passed to Mr. Thomas, and in consequence of Mr. Smith’s refusing to allow such a trifling request as mine to be complied with he forbade his men to assist the crew in any way whatever, which before they had done on all occasions, not only with his sanction, but particular desire, and he always felt a pleasure whenever their services were available in any way. Yesterday morning the same annoyance again occurred from the stores, when a quantity of chaff and straw was left and the same neglect ensued as before with regard to clearing it away. Therefore, when Mr. Thomas saw his men pulling the rope (for it seems Mr. Smith had asked them if they meant to mind what that foolish man said), he again forbade them, which he would not have done, notwithstanding his previous orders, could we be treated with common civility. But Mr. Smith has taken every opportunity to annoy and insult the passengers in this part of the vessel from the day we embarked to the present time. As another instance of his discourteous behaviour last night he prohibited the cook from baking any more bread for the intermediate berths, a luxury which we have seldom enjoyed since we came on board, but there being two loaves in the oven at the time, one belonging to me and the other to Mrs. Lewis, he compelled the cook to turn them out half-baked, and, of course, spoiled; but as there can be no reason why others should suffer on my account, and as I consider myself more especially the party aggrieved, I have taken upon myself to state these particulars, and now appeal to your justice as commander of this vessel and to your generosity as a man whether you will suffer such conduct to pass unnoticed. I am, Sir, your obedient servant, MARY THOMAS.

This letter was politely answered by Captain Duff assuring me that I did him justice in assuming that he would not knowingly suffer anyone on board the vessel to be uncivilly treated while he had the command of it, and that he would take care that there would be no cause for complaint in future. Whether Mr. Smith received a reprimand or not I do not know, but the next morning, to my surprise, he inquired if I wished first to go on deck, and added that the ladder would be replaced as soon as possible. From that day his churlishness seemed in a great measure to have left him, at least as far as the passengers were concerned, for I am not aware of anything unpleasant occurring afterwards to the end of the voyage.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 20 October 1836 ]


Friday 21 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 21.-The long boat repaired and painted, and preparation commenced for going on shore.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 21 October 1836 ]


Friday 21 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Octr 21st During the last week the weather has been squally & cold, sometimes 42E on the deck; several times the ship having been under reef-top sails, and our windows furnished with A strong shutter or plate fastened over a ship’s porthole or cabin window in stormy weather. dead lights. The distance however these winds have driven us is remarkable; during the last 6 days we have sailed in a direct line to the Colony 1221 miles! a run exceeding any which Capt Duff states he has ever before had.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 21 October 1836 ]


Saturday 22 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 22.-It was now four weeks since we left Simon’s Bay, and the wind, having been for the most part favourable, everyone was elated with the hope that another week would terminate the voyage.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 22 October 1836 ]


Sunday 23 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 23.-The wind much calmer. At 2 o’clock we came abreast Cape Leeuwin, the first pomt of New Holland, having passed Swan River, but the land being a hundred and fifty miles distant, of course we saw nothing of it.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 23 October 1836 ]


Monday 24 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 24.-Again a delightful morning and very mild, but showery in the afternoon; not making much progress. This evening the sun set with remarkable brilliancy, and at 9 o’clock there was an eclipse of the moon, of which we had a distinct view.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 24 October 1836 ]


Monday 24 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Oct. 24 Nothing particular happened, save that one night we had a perfect gale, which would have driven an old ship to pieces -the last seven days we have sailed 1,500 miles, and are now 150 miles from New Holland and all in good spirits at the idea of landing, laid too 3 days, landed [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 24 October 1836 ]


Friday 28 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 28.-We had for several days been going on so steadily, and yet making good way, that had it not been for a little occasional motion we might almost have fancied ourselves on land; at least, those of us who were below and at work, as I was; but this evening the wind rose suddenly, [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 28 October 1836 ]


Saturday 29 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 29.-This day it was still squally. Several whales seen; one came alongside and passed under the bow of the ship, spouting up water.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 29 October 1836 ]


Sunday 30 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Octr 30th This morning brought us within sight of land, about noon the First officer directly coming under the command of the captain. Ships’ Mates were responsible for supervising watches, crew, navigation and safety equipment, and sometimes even served as the ship’s doctor. first mate saw from the mast-head Cape Wiles & the land towards Thistles Island, all which at length became evident from the deck, appearing to be 35 miles distant. The near approach to land has caused considerable excitement on board.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 30 October 1836 ]


Sunday 30 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 30.-This day, Sunday, at about 2 o’clock, land was seen from the masthead, and in the evening it was distinctly seen from deck.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 30 October 1836 ]


Monday 31 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

OCTOBER 31.-This morning the point of Spencer’s Gulf was clearly visible. As the wind was contrary we could not make towards it, but steered away from it, and in a few hours it was again lost to sight

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 31 October 1836 ]


Tuesday 1 November 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

…The weather has been delightful. A great number of Porpoises & not less than 20 whales were observed from the Ship some of the latter came within 15 yds of us; they were generally of the spermaciti kind and as usual infested with barnacles!

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 1 November 1836 ]


Tuesday 1 November 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

NOVEMBER 1.- At 4 o’clock this morning there was a beautiful view of Kangaroo Island, about ten miles distant. I was on deck at 6 o’clock. The sun had just risen with great splendour, and its rays then wholly obscured any sight of land, At 8 o’clock land again became visible, and at about noon was plainly observed.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 1 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 2 November 1836

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

Novr 2nd To-day the wind blew from the N.E. which enabled us to make some advance. As in course of 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. tacking we frequently went within 2 or 3 miles of Kangaroo Island & as the weather seemed peculiarly inviting some of the young men of our party expressed a desire to land & walk across the Island by Capt Sutherland’s track. (The men resident in the Island assert that Sutherland never was across the island at all). Their wish being communicated to Capt Duff, he at once gave his consent, & a boat was lowered to convey them to the shore. Finding it impracticable to land at the gully discovered by Dillon, on the western coast, they pulled round to Cape Borda were [sic] the pedestrians were put ashore. In the evening the boat party returned bringing with them a rock-fish of most splendid colours, a pied shag, a boatswain, & an oyster-catcher! In the evening the wind freshened from the west giving us the anticipation of a speedy conclusion to our voyage.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 2 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 2 November 1836

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

NOVEMBER 2.-This morning most of the passengers were up at 5 o’clock to take a view of Althorpe Island as we passed it. It appeared like a huge rock. It is supposed to be only an eruption in the sea. At about 10 o’clock we entered Nepean Bay. The flag was hoisted and the guns were fired to announce our approach. Soon after a boat with the mate and four sailors went on shore, and immediately returned with another boat, in which was a gentleman of the name of Stephens, who came out in a vessel called the Duke of York, and which was rowed by four men. One of them, Nathaniel Thomas, had been a resident on the island many years, but his appearance, I thought, was more like that of a savage than an Englishman. This man, by some mischance, fell overboard, and as the tide was running strong at the time he was carried some distance from the vessel before assistance could be rendered. Although he could swim well enough, he was watched by those on board with considerable anxiety on account of the sharks, which were known to be numerous. An oar, however, was thrown to him, on which he got astride till the boat reached him, and when he came again on the deck he shook himself as a dog does when just out of the water, and took no more notice of the matter.

At about 2 o’clock this day a party of six, including two of our young men engaged as printers, set off in a boat for the shore, furnished with four days’ provisions, to walk across the island (about fifty miles) and meet the ship on the other side, whither we were going.

At 4 o’clock we came within a mile of the shore; and soundings were taken-twenty-six fathoms and a fine, gravelly bottom. The day was fine and the sea calm. The boat did not return till nearly 9 o’clock, in consequence of the passengers not being able for a long time to find a landing-place on that side of the island; but when it began to grow dark their prolonged stay excited alarm, especially as there were five gentlemen in the boat (three of them married) besides the mate of the vessel, who went to see them safely on shore. At about 8 o’clock, therefore, the captain ordered a gun to be fired and a light in the shrouds was hoisted as a signal and guide. The crew also gave three cheers, and the echo of the cannon and the cheers of the men resounded from the opposite shore and gave additional effect to the beauty of the scene, for although the moon had not risen the evening was remarkably clear and serene, and the stars glittered over our heads in millions. At length our fears were relieved by the flash and report of a gun, and soon after another, and at last we discovered the boat approaching the vessel with all those safe who meant to return and one of the adventurers, whose heart failed him when they reached the unknown shore. The other six, all young men, were left to proceed on their way as they best could. Their names were:- Slater, a surgeon; Osborne, a well-educated young man apprenticed to Mr. Thomas as a printer; Fisher, engaged as a journeyman printer; Nantes, attached to Mr. Gouger (the Colonial Secretary) ; and Warren and Biggs, engaged by Mr. Hallett. We were naturally anxious, and could not help feeling somewhat uneasy at their setting out on such a romantic expedition, especially on account of Osborne, who was an amiable young man and a general favourite, and whose father, residing in London, had consigned him to our care. They had agreed to take their guns, expecting to find some game, and Osborne having a double-barrelled gun which was rather heavy, asked me to exchange it for the time for our single-barrelled one, and I did so accordingly. He and Slater were sworn friends, and the latter having the gun in his hands just as they were going to step into the boat, I said to him, half in jest,
“Don’t you lose that gun, Mr. Slater.”
“Ah, Madam,” said he in his hasty way (he was an Irishman), ” I will lose my life first.”
“Oh,” said I, laughing, ” I did not mean that. I only intended to caution you against laying it down under bushes, where you might not find it again.”

At night we saw so large a fire on the island that it reminded me of the burning of the Parliament Houses, which took place in October the year before. We were told that it was the brushwood, to which the islanders often set fire in order to clear the ground.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 2 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 2 November 1836

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

All landed safe at Nepean Bay, November 2nd. Beautiful
country, but sandy, plenty of wood, but as hard as iron, no fruit
to be seen, but currants growing on a large tree. All is mutiny
among our labourers, the greatest dissatisfaction prevails, only one
store erected, that a Booth from the Crown and Anchor tavern,
and part of another. Provisions enormous and just risen. Flour
quite musty, no water near our settlement. 5 men go daily to fetch
it, and that only to the extent of 2 quarts each person daily – have
bored and dug for water without success, if rough weather comes
on, we shall die of thirst. Captain Nelson, having introduced
spirits, men are continually drunk, and will not be spoken to on
business. Not a drop of Beer under 16d. per Bottle – salt Beef &
pork 6 ½  & 7 ½  p. lb – Tea 5/- – Treacle 4 ½  - no sugar – Flour
3d Butter ¼  - fir or pine board Deal Board 6d per foot … The ground is a
complete sandbank I fear nothing will grow – not a blade of grass
to be seen, not a Kangaroo on the Island. The natives are very
peaceable on the main land and do anything for a biscuit, except
at Port Lincoln, where they seem very ferocious.
All the vessels sent out arrived safe, but with loss of nearly all
cattle and livestock.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 2 November 1836 ]


Thursday 3 November 1836

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

Novr 3rd The favourable breeze continuing, about 4 o’clk this morng I rose & went on Deck to watch the appearance of the shore of Kangaroo Island, & Yorke’s Peninsular [sic] at the South…

As I watched the changing shore & reflected on the years of anxiety & labour which I had devoted to this enterprise, the alternations of hope & chagrin, which I had suffered as the prospect of its accomplishment appeared near or distant, the degree of success which had at length been attained, & withal the Providential protection which “He who holds the waters in the hollow of His Hand” had been pleased to extend to us, my varied emotions almost subdued me, and I was by no means sorry to retreat to a part of the ship, where undisturbed I cd watch the progress of the vessel. About 11 o’clk Nepean Bay opened to us, and all eyes were directed to the shore in the expectation of seeing our fellow-Colonists. At length we observed 3 vessels at anchor in the Bay: upon which, signals were hoisted & the guns fired. These were answered from the ships, & the shore, and presently a boat put off which in due time brought to us Mr Samuel Stephens, the Company’s Colonial Manager. He had not been on board many minutes when an accident happened, which might have ended calamitously. One of his boat’s crew (a valuable man named Thomas) who had resided in the Island some years, fell overboard & rapidly drifted To be any distance behind a vessel. astern! Fortunately he was an excellent swimmer, & having an oar in his hand, with great care he supported himself in the water; a few minutes sufficed to lower a boat & in less than 5 minutes he was safely in it. On congratulating him on the favourable termination of his accident he feared nothing for the water, but his dread was of sharks, which infest the Bay, & which are larger here than any I have before heard of – it is not uncommon to catch them of a length from 16 to 18 ft —  Before deciding where to take up our temporary residence, until the arrival of the Governor, Brown & I thought it expedient to see Col Light, who was then surveying at Cape Jervis. We accordingly sent for Capt Lipson (the Harbour Master) & who we understood was in the Colonel’s confidence, & in the evening he rowed from the “Cygnit” to us. From him we learned that a most enchanting country had been discovered at Cape Jervis, with which Col Light was so much pleased as to be almost fixed in its favour, but that its superior advantages to Kangaroo Island were not the only cause of the removal of the depôt from the Island; the conduct of Mr Stephens being his chief motive.

Everything which I have observed, & the report received from others not connected with Mr S. goes to prove that Kangaroo Island may be made a flourishing settlement. The harbour of Nepean Bay may be said to be perfect – secure from all winds and will allow of the entrance of vessels much larger than the “Africaine”, requiring the expenditure of but little money or labour to make excellent landing places. Capt Duff speaks in the very highest terms of the anchorage (sand & mud) & is so much pleased with the facilities afforded for shipping that as a S. Australian land proprietor, he says he would be content to have his section placed adjacent to this Bay. The land is so thickly wooded that the clearing of it would require a deal of labour & cost a considerable sum. The timber is not large, & is serviceable therefore only for rafters, for roofs, fencing, & purposes of that kind.

…In wandering with Harriet H. among the partially cleared brushwood, we one day fell upon a Hut – one room of about 12 ft square, inhabited by 2 men & a woman – a native of Van Dieman’s Land, of most forbidding appearance. The men were run-away Sailors, who had never approached the Company’s settlement with a view to obtaining employment. One of them sternly ordered the woman to get some tea & make it. She accordingly cut off a branch of the tree, and put it into the pot, thus obeying the mandate of her lord. The taste of this decoction was not disagreeable.

…No birds have been procured, though we saw black swans, pelicans & a beautiful blue bird, name unknown. Kangaroos are not to be procured but there is opossum of a small kind, also a small species of Kangaroo (called Walibi). The emigrants landed from the “Africaine” have been busy putting up their tents, no place of any kind having been prepared for their reception. No religious service has been performed on the Island since the landing of the first expedition – now nearly 3 months. The opinion which the sealers (Stephen & Lipson) give of the pedestrian party succeeding in reaching the settlement are very discouraging – nay, fearful! All agree in saying it is impossible but that they should be lost in the woods & unless very fortunate in finding water, would be starved to death. With a degree of folly hardly to be imagined they refused to take from the boats fresh water which had been provided for them, thus they wd in a few hours be suffering from thirst to be quenched only in such pools as might be left from the winter rains. On hearing this statement we thought it advisable to send after them, & an agreement was made with 3 sealers & a native woman to go in search of them, & they immediately started on their expedition. Reliance is chiefly placed on the sagacity of the native woman, who is distinguished for her skill in tracking.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 3 November 1836 ]


Thursday 3 November 1836

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

NOVEMBER 3.-This morning a boat containing some white men and one black woman, an aboriginal native, arrived to concert measures for discovering the ramblers. From the different accounts which we heard we really began to be very uneasy about them, but these people seemed to be under no apprehension as to their final safety. They said that the journey across the island which they proposed was utterly impossible, as the brushwood would so completely entangle them that they would lose their way and might never be found again, either alive or dead. But before I proceed any further I must give some account of the black woman, who, being the first native we had seen, excited our curiosity. Her clothing consisted of a red woollen cap, such as sailors often wear, and a shirt of the same material under a coat of thick leather, such as in England is used for harness and to cover trunks. Her countenance was pleasing, though perfectly black, and her hair not woolly, like that of African natives, but long and straight on the forehead. Her legs and feet were bare, and round her neck hung several rows of glass beads. Her chin was also ornamented with a kind of beard, and whiskers grew at the sides of her face. But what most surprised us was her musical voice, and the pleasing intonation with which she spoke the English language, for what she said she uttered with a proper accent and almost with fluency. Her height was about five feet six inches, and her age apparently about twenty-five years, but on being asked how old she was she replied, ” I cannot tell,” and this is the case with them all. She was taken into the steerage and regaled with biscuit and beef, which she seemed to relish exceedingly. She talked with great confidence as to being able to trace the young men, as she knew every part of the island. She added that there was no fear of their perishing, especially as they were provided with guns.

As soon, therefore, as it had been pointed out by the map on what part of the island the missing passengers had landed, the men, with the black woman, departed in the boat and Mr. Thomas accompanied them. He went to arrange with Mr. Hallett, who, with his family, had landed on the island and erected a tent there, as to what remuneration should be given for the search and how it should be conducted. At length it was agreed that four men and two women should set out immediately, with a sufficient supply of provisions and water, in a boat to that part where the young men had landed and follow them through the bush until they came up with them. For this service they were to receive six pounds. Accordingly they set off.

Mr. Thomas returned on board, and we then learnt that royalty itself had condescended to pay us a visit in the person of the black woman, for she was no other than the Princess Con, daughter of King Con, a chief of one of the native tribes. Her father was at that time on Kangaroo Island.

In the evening the sky was again illuminated by the burning brushwood.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 3 November 1836 ]


Sunday 6 November 1836

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

NOVEMBER 6.-This afternoon we set sail for the mainland, which we reached about 4 o’clock. We anchored in Rapid Bay, in front of the most beautiful prospect imaginable. We could see some tents on shore belonging to the surveying party. Colonel Light, commander of the Rapid, was stationed there, and soon afterwards came on board. A party from the vessel went on shore, and on their return gave a most enchanting account of the country which everywhere resembled a gentleman’s park – grass growing in the greatest luxuriance, the most beautiful flowers in abundance, and the birds of splendid plumage. They saw several of the natives, who the surveyors said were of great service to them. They introduced themselves by the names which had been given them, as Peter and Tom, and most of them spoke English. We all seemed to wish this part to be fixed on for the seat of government, but it was said that the anchorage was not good, and we must proceed to Holdfast Bay, about forty miles further. Accordingly, the next morning we left this delightful spot and sailed for Holdfast Bay.

But my greatest regret was in leaving Kangaroo Island before we had heard something respecting the young men, for whom we began now to be seriously alarmed, especially as we had ourselves made a slight experiment of the difficulties of travelling in the bush, which sufficiently convinced us that our fears were not without reason. We had all spent a day on Kangaroo Island, and during a walk which I took with my husband we entered the scrub, as it is called, and incautiously proceeded till we were so completely bewildered that we began to be uneasy lest we should not find our way out of the labyrinth, which seemed on all sides to be interminable, for nothing could be seen but the sky above us and the bushes around us. Nor could we tell which way to retrace our steps, as no path which we had passed through was discernible. At length, however, after advancing, as far as we could judge, about half a mile, we fortunately caught through a small opening in the brushwood a glimpse of the sea, and immediately made towards it, forcing our way through the bushes down a step hill till we reached the shore. But for this providential escape our adventure possibly might have terminated as fatally for us as for the young men who attempted to accomplish the rash undertaking of traversing what was, at least to them, an unknown country…

Now that this part of New Holland was to be made a British colony, the South Australian Company had a station on the island, including a large tent containing stores and provisions. This was situated near the shore, and all beyond the immediate vicinity was a wilderness as far as the eye could reach, thickly overgrown with trees and bushes. According to report, this was the general character of the island, and a passage through was extremely difficult, even to those accustomed to such travelling, and doubly so to inexperienced young men. That nothing might be omitted which was likely to apprise them of their danger and make them aware that others were on their track, large fires were kept burning on the highest eminences for several nights as signals which they might see at a distance. Guns were fired at intervals, which it was hoped they would hear, but it was all of no avail, and we were reluctantly obliged to quit the shores of Kangaroo Island without any information respecting them.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 6 November 1836 ]


Monday 7 November 1836

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

Novr 7th This morning the “Africaine” left Nepean Bay, and in a few hours reached Cape Jarvis; following the direction of Capt Lipson, we sailed slowly along the shore, and anchored in a Bay where we discerned the “Rapid” & on an adjacent hill, some tents. A boat, which put off on our approach brought us Col Light, who piloted the ship into Rapid Bay. Having dined a party of us accompanied Col Light on shore, being desirous of seeing as much as we could of the land now, in case we should have to move onwards with the ship. Now we found that the accounts we had heard at Kangaroo Island of the beauty of the mainland, glowing as they were, were not exaggerated, for it is impossible to imagine a more lovely valley than that which skirts the Bay. The soil produces an abundant crop of the finest grass – it is watered by a rivulet containing a number of fresh water fish, & trees of a very large size are found at a distance of perhaps from 30 to 50 yds asunder. The surface is hilly, but not mountainous, & the splendid description of country extends inland to Cape [Lake?] Alexandrina. Delighted as we were with the spot we determined on the recommendation of Col Light to proceed higher up the gulf, where he discovered there was at all times fresh water, & a fine harbour for shipping of which advantage Rapid Bay is destitute. At Cape Jarvis the Colonel (through the medium of a sealer & his native woman) has contrived to conciliate the  natives, about 30 of whom are now resident in Rapid Bay. From them he has selected a few strong & well disposed men, whom he has clothed, & employed in a variety of work & dignified with the title of “Marines”. They are content with a piece of biscuit as a recompense. They are honest & obliging, & to each the Col has given an English name of which they are remarkably proud. A garden has been made which flourishes well, all seeds being far more advanced than any I had seen at Kangaroo Island.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 7 November 1836 ]


Tuesday 8 November 1836

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

Novr 8th This morning accompanied by Duff & a large party, I again went ashore. We walked about 2 miles over the hills, where as far as the eye could reach the same rich character of land prevails. The grass is now ready to cut – the hay would be of a very superior kind, & Sydney presents a market, where the price obtained is £10 a ton. Having gathered a A small bunch of flowers. nosegay of the most beautiful flowers as a present to H, I went on board; Col Light following almost immediately after, as he was going up the Gulf on another of his exploring expeditions.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 8 November 1836 ]


Thursday 10 November 1836

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

… On the morning of the following day Robert, my eldest son, came on board. He was stationed at Rapid Bay with Mr. Kingston, with whom he came out in the Cygnet attached to the surveying party, arriving here about six weeks before ourselves.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 10 November 1836 ]


Friday 11 November 1836

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

NOVEMBER 11.-This day Mr. Thomas and our two agricultural labourers went on shore with our tents, and the weather being rough they did not return. The next day they were occupied in receiving the luggage as it was landed on the beach, and conveying what was necessary for present use to a site some distance away, where our tents were to be pitched. As everything had to be carried by hand, there being no other mode of conveyance, it was no trifling labour, especially through untrodden paths often full of holes, and with grass three or four feet high.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 11 November 1836 ]


Saturday 12 November 1836

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

Sunday November 12th, Kingscote. 4 of the men who went
on shore north side of the Island came in on Thursday in a dreadful
state having been sent to by the Company who arranged with
the Islanders and their black women to trace them – two now are
missing.
I have planted round my tent half a bushel of potatoes which
cost 6/-. Morning and evening as cold as in England those coming
out should have the thickest cloathing they can buy – Shoes are
12/- per pair, womens 6/-, dutch cheese 1/- per lb. Lamp oil 5/per
Gallon. I am at a loss for an oven, no such thing here, no
prospect for a Coffee House here at present, especially as Spirits
are to be had in any quantity. However I shall endeavour to acquit
myself so as to give satisfaction to my employers in the best way I
can and Mr Stevens has just informed me I am to have his house
and stay on the Island, and that some years must elapse before an
Hotel can be of utility and profit, but small profits will answer at
first I allow. Mr Stevens wants me to take charge of all here and
seems quite pleased with all I do or propose. I sincerely hope when
the Germans arrive we shall be able to weed those labourers we
now have, and render ourselves independent of them.
The weather is now very hot we are subject to heavy showers &
sudden A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed. squalls . Here are immense sharks 17 foot long which come
within 20 yards of shore. Plenty of Salmon if a man could make
it his Business to attend to them. We has Wallabas like a
Kangaroo, but not larger than a Hare, very fine eating, very few
birds here, no oysters except at a great depth; some men who
have lived here 14 years are very good sailors and are now
employed by the Company.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 12 November 1836 ]


Sunday 13 November 1836

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

NOVEMBER 13.-This day the girls and I packed up our bedding and such things as remained in the cabin, and went on shore to the place of our present destination. It is remarkable that we finally set sail on a Sunday and landed on a Sunday. We had two tents, the smaller of which the men had erected, and of which we, with part of our family, that is, our three daughters and the young woman who came out with us as assistant, took possession, gladly enough, though everything was in the roughest fashion imaginable. The two men located themselves in the sandhills, making a circle with packages and furniture and sleeping in the middle.

As for my two sons (for Robert had now joined us for the present) I made up a bed with a thick mattress on the ground in the open air, and as near as I could with safety to a large fire, and saw them asleep before I ventured to retire myself. My anxiety, however, would not suffer me to sleep much for that and many succeeding nights. Towards morning, however, I fell into a slumber out of which I was suddenly startled at about 5 o’clock by the loud crowing of a cock, which, with some hens we brought from the Cape of Good Hope, had roosted in a bush close to the back of the tent. I got up at the summons and, hastily dressing myself, went to see after my boys, both of whom I found fast asleep. The quilt that covered them was so saturated with dew that I could have wrung the water out of it. Yet they took no cold, nor seemed at all the worse for their night’s exposure, although it must have been very cold, as was proved by the following circumstance. A pewter jug had been accidentally left outside the tent in a tin dish containing some water, and on lifting up the jug to my surprise the ·dish came up with it, for the water had frozen to an eighth of an inch in thickness. This astonished me in a country where I did not expect to see such a thing, and yet the thermometer rose that day to About 43 Degrees Celsius. 110 degrees .

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 13 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 16 November 1836

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

November 16th I am sorry to say the two lost Gents have lost
their lives. Some of the ships were 6 months on the Voyage and
when I arrived here, had not unloaded they lost all the cattle
and horses bought at the Cape and had a dreadful passage.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 16 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 16 November 1836

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

NOVEMBER 16.-As we had now obtained the poles belonging to the large tent from the ship, our men proceeded to put it up, and the children and I were busy all day in arranging our luggage and bedding. It was a marquee large enough to divide into two apartments, and gladly we took possession of our new habitation. It was situated near some large gumtrees about half a mile from the shore, and most of the settlers, both from the Cygnet and the Africaine, were within view. The country, as far as we could see, was certainly beautiful, and resembled an English park, with long grass in abundance and fine trees scattered about, but not so many as to make it unpleasant, and no brushwood. We were about a hundred yards from the nearest lagoon, where at that time there was plenty of water and very clear. Nor was it bad-tasted, though not from a running stream. Far from being so good for washing as to get clothes clean without soap, as some accounts represented, it was harder than even the water in London.

The birds here were of beautiful plumage. White and black cockatoos were in abundance, the former with a large yellow or orange coloured crest, sometimes pink. Parrots, or rather parrakeets, as they would be called in England, for they were very small, were of every variety of colour. Also there were wild ducks and flocks of geese, with occasionally a black swan flying. Here was also the mocking-bird, and it was quite amusing to hear him imitate our cock crowing in the morning and the call of the guinea-fowls at a neighbouring tent, which he did with great exactness, but in a more musical tone, for it sounded something like a barrel organ. But when he tried to imitate the laughing jackass it was so exceedingly droll that we could not forbear laughing heartily.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 16 November 1836 ]


Thursday 17 November 1836

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

Novr 17th We have now been some days at Holdfast Bay, so named by Light in consequence of the excellent holding ground afforded here for shipping; and all hands are employed in erecting tents, building huts, and landing goods & cargo – but an account of my residence here does not fall naturally into this paper, for this is a narrative of my voyage to S. Australia, & not of my residence in it. The landing, & first impressions of South Australia as a place of abode is an epoch worthy of another chapter. I may however add in relation to the ship which brought me here that in consequence of the very high character, I, in unison with others of the passengers have given her, & her Captain, that Col Light has engaged her in the first instance to bring sheep & oxen to the Colony for the use of the Surveying party, & afterwards on a monthly charter to assist him in the Survey, & other public service.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 17 November 1836 ]


Sunday 20 November 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 20 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 23 November 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 23 November 1836 ]


Friday 25 November 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 25 November 1836 ]


Sunday 27 November 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 27 November 1836 ]


Tuesday 29 November 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 29 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 30 November 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 30 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 30 November 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 30 November 1836 ]


Thursday 1 November 1836

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

Decr 1st We have long been anxiously expecting a visit from the natives & have been somewhat uneasy at their lengthened absence, more particularly as 2 natives had been sent by land from Rapid Bay to inform the other tribes of our pacific intentions. To-day however two were brought into our settlement. Mr Williams (Mr Ward’s partner) while out shooting saw a man & boy making a fire; their backs being towards him, he got near to them, without their discovering him. When about 20 yds off he made a noise to attract their notice – not however without having previously taken the precaution of putting a bullet into each barrel of his gun. They immediately seized their spears, but as Mr Williams held up a piece of biscuit to them to show his good humour to them, & burst out laughing they put down their weapons & approached him. Patting on the back & other cordialities now commenced, & he at length persuaded them to follow him. On reaching his tent he gave them sugar, biscuit, and tobacco. Being now quite at their ease he brought them on to us, & having had intimation of their approach I went to met them. The man appeared to be about 30 years of age & the boy (who was his son) about 8, both were intelligent looking, and as far as my knowledge of physionomy would carry me – anything but ferocious. As soon as they saw me they laughed, and patted me on the back, which ceremony I of course returned; but wishing to make them comprehend as completely as possible that we were friendly with all the tribe I took a stick & holding it above my head broke it saying “Wambara” “Wambara” “No good” “No good” upon which the man seemed perfectly delighted, & with the greatest earnestness embraced me. The “Wombara” is a weapon used in native warfare. We then went to the Stores & supplied them with a second-hand military coat, hat, & trousers, which wonderfully delighted them, & on a looking-glass being placed before them, they were almost convulsed with laughter. We then introduced a new wonder, a pipe, which was lighted by a burning glass. They looked above & below but seeing nothing but a piece of transparent substance in a wooden frame they seemed rather alarmed. On this I pointed to the Sun, then to the glass & tobacco, but the explanation was hardly complete before the savage patted his chest, in token of comprehension, & looked at each of the party as if impressed with awe at our superior knowledge. We now took them to the tent & introduced them to the ladies of the party. On approaching my tent they were at first struck with the goats, but being anxious they should form a correct idea of the laws of “Meum” & “Tuam” I called the goats & fed them with biscuit, & by signs showed that they belonged to Me & Me alone & ended by giving the natives some biscuit to feed the goats, fowls etc xxxxx If these natives be a fair specimen, there was nothing to fear from a residence amongst them, but having heard much of their ferocity I must be cautious in giving a contrary opinion, as care may be required in dealing with them. At all events great praise is due to Mr Williams in his first treatment of them.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 1 November 1836 ]


Thursday 1 December 1836

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

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.”

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 1 December 1836 ]


Sunday 4 December 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 4 December 1836 ]


Sunday 11 December 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 11 December 1836 ]


Sunday 11 December 1836

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

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!

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 11 December 1836 ]


Tuesday 13 December 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 13 December 1836 ]


Wednesday 14 December 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 14 December 1836 ]


Wednesday 14 December 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 14 December 1836 ]


Friday 16 December 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 16 December 1836 ]


Sunday 18 December 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 18 December 1836 ]


Tuesday 20 December 1836

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

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…

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 20 December 1836 ]


Tuesday 20 December 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 20 December 1836 ]


Thursday 22 December 1836

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

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!

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 22 December 1836 ]


Sunday 25 December 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 25 December 1836 ]


Monday 26 December 1836

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

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.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 26 December 1836 ]


Tuesday 27 December 1836

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

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.

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


Wednesday 28 December 1836

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

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.

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


Wednesday 28 December 1836

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

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.

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


Thursday 29 December 1836

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

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.

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


Friday 30 December 1836

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

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.

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


Saturday 31 December 1836

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

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 [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 31 December 1836 ]


Saturday 31 December 1836

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

My wife taken seriously ill with symptoms of fever!

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 31 December 1836 ]


css.php