Sunday 6 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

6 November-At four p.m. the Africaine, Captain Duff, arrived with Mr Gouger the Colonial Secretary, Mr Brown the Emigration Agent, and many other passengers. I went on board and found that the ship had touched at Nepean Bay, where hearing that I had ordered all the surveying party and stores to this part of the Gulf, they followed, imagining some very urgent reasons had induced me to take such a step, contrary to the instructions given in England, which were for the stores to remain at Nepean Bay. My reasons were sent home to the Commissioners very soon after. Mr Gouger was of course very anxious to know where we should settle – a question I was by no means prepared to answer; and the only thing I could do was to recommend his proceeding to Holdfast Bay for the present. This was not at all satisfactory, everyone in such circumstances being anxious not to move again after landing all his embarked property; I could only recommend this place as one from which they were the least likely to re-embark – stating strongly at the same time, that I could not guarantee permanent settlement there. To make the best of a doubtful case, both Mr Gouger and Mr Brown agreed to take their chance; and Captain Duff having very kindly offered me a passage, I embarked at ten a.m., on the 7th. After beating against northerly winds, we came to at six p.m. the following day (8 November), at Holdfast Bay, where we saw the Rapid at anchor. Mr Field and Mr Morphett came down to meet us before we anchored; the accounts given by these gentlemen, did not cheer the spirits of our newcomers although they were anything but unfavourable. I had to undergo a little torment, which I kept to myself, being still persuaded that the connection of these plains with the creek, their immense extent to the N.E., consequently towards the Murray, and the certain conviction in my own mind of the existence of plenty of rich soil, would, after a month or two of dissatisfaction, fully quiet any apprehensions now entertained by these gentlemen. And these surmises were more strongly impressed by the trip Messrs Field, Kingston, and Morphett had made a few miles inland, during which they had come to a fresh water river, much larger than any we had yet seen.

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