Journals of Several Expeditions Made in Western Australia, During the Years 1829, 1830, 1831, and 1832/Copy of a Letter from Captain Irvin
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COPY OF A LETTER just received from Capt. Irvin, dated 26th January, and 4th February, 1833.
Henly Park, January 26th, 1833,
My dear Governor,
I have had the pleasure of receiving your Letter of October 7th, by the Cornwallis, and sit down to take advantage of her departure to write by her. My last was despatched to you by H.M.S. Imogene, early last month, Capt. Blackwood having touched here on his way from India to the eastern coast and isles in the Pacific.
We continue to get on quietly here, as I mentioned in my last. The crops have turned out very abundant, but the Van Diemen's Land seed has proved generally indifferent, and has introduced a good deal of smut; the farmers, however, seem well satisfied on the whole. I have directed Morgan to call on them for promissory notes, for the advances of provisions, payable the 1st June; and I have thought it advisable to issue a notice, that the Government consents to take, any time before then, wheat, the growth of the colony, in payment, delivered at 15s. per bushel, which is allowed by the farmers to be a fair remunerating price. Wheat has been selling at 25s. and 30s., but whenever Lennard and Brockman had thrashed, they offered it at their farms at 15s. Stephen Henty arrived a few days since with the Thistle, and a well-assorted cargo, including twenty tons of flour, which he sold for 4½d.; and wheat, I am told, at 8s. per bushel, to M'Dermott both; she goes back immediately for another cargo. The wheat crop is generally rated as under six months' consumption. I have some idea that it will be necessary to order from the company at the Cape fifty tons of flour, by Henderson, but our expenditure in stores has been so heavy that I shall not do so, if I can avoid it. As the expense of the Ellen is £1000 per annum, I think it will be advisable to lay her up after a trip to Augusta, keeping Tolez on as pilot.
I intend not to lose a moment in completing the buoying off of the passage into Cockburn Sound, whenever we can get the chains and anchors. Blackwood expressed great anxiety to effect this for us. We have beacons at present, however, on the Challenger and other rocks, so that it is perfectly safe.
February 4th.—I am now about sending off my despatches by the Cornwallis, which is to sail to-day. I find that Brown has written so voluminously as to render it unnecessary to me to revert to to the arrival of the Cygnet, on our late proceedings in the Executive and Legislative Councils, which I trust will meet with your approbation, on seeing them at the Colonial Office, need not repeat the general anxiety that prevails as to the result of the mission you have undertaken, and the desire for your return after the accomplishment of the object, and I am sure none more so than myself. I hope you will be able to get the sale of lands here deferred for some years, as it is generally supposed to operate strongly against our getting an increase of settlers of late, when such a spirit of emigration has manifested itself at home. With the hope of soon hearing from you from England,
I remain, my dear Governor, yours very faithfully,
H. C. Irvin.
P.S.—I have just had the produce of wheat of this crop at Henly Park tried, and find that upwards of 60 bushels per acre have been yielded by land that last year gave 52. This, I think, you will consider very encouraging.
H. C. I.
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