Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/28

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8
State of the Swan River Colony 1st Jan., 1830.

themselves in the construction of boats for the conveyance of their goods on the rivers. The number of these in the settlement were not less than forty. Some of the settlers employ themselves profitably in fishing; and Captain Stirling has reason to believe that the settlement will be able speedily to export cured fish to Java. Whales are abundant on the coast, and attention has been drawn to the establishment of a whale-fishery, that can hardly fail of success. Cockburn Sound is a safe and extensive anchorage: it has been made easy of access now by buoying off the channel leading into it; and no place could be better situated for a marine establishment than the eastern shore of Buache or Garden Island, where careening wharfs may be constructed at a trifling expense.

The favourable position which this part of the coast of New Holland occupies, with reference to the trade of the Eastern seas, Captain Stirling observes, has been shown in some measure by the arrival of ships from various parts of the world, to the number of more than thirty, in the seven months of the first year of the establishment of the colony. Some of those from England landed all their cargoes there; but the greater part merely called, and after landing passengers and part of their cargoes, proceeded on their routes. Two vessels had been sent to the Malay islands; and Captain Stirling understood that four small vessels were intended to be employed in that and other lines of trade, diverging from Swan River as a centre. By means of these, it will soon be determined whether this position will prove favourable for the disposal of British manufactures among the easternmost of the Malay islands.

In the formation of all new colonies, there will necessarily be found a large portion of the early adventurers giving vent to feelings of discontent and disappointment. It always happens that many of such adventurers are men unsettled in their views, inordinate in their expectations, and wholly unfitted to encounter the difficulties which are inevitable in the infancy of a colony; and that such persons should be disappointed, discontented, and their ruin completed, is quite in the nature of things. Accordingly, among the numerous settlers who have flocked to Swan River were not a few whose minds and bodies were but ill-suited to encounter the struggles and distresses which are the unavoidable concomitants of a new settlement. ' Many, if not all,' says Captain Stirling, ' have accordingly been more or less disap-
' pointed on their arrival, either with the state of things here, or
' their own want of energy to surmount the difficulties pressing
' around them—not greater, however, than such as must neces-
' sarily be experienced in the beginning of every new colony;' and it may be added, far less severe than those which the American colonists had to encounter, or those who first established