Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/33

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13
State of the Swan River Colony Oct., 1830.

on every other, coast of Australia, which measures in the whole extent from six to seven thousand geographical miles.


Since the date of the preceding remarks another report has been received from Captain Stirling, brought down to the end of October, 1830. In this report he observes that 'the progress of the settlement during the present year, although not unopposed by many adverse circumstances, has been as rapid as could have been expected or desired.' He says, indeed, 'that a greater increase than that which has taken place of ships, persons, and property, would probably have been disadvantageous to the welfare of the settlement while struggling in its infancy;' and he adds, 'that although individuals may have suffered in the undertaking, the settlement is now securely established, and its future prosperity no longer doubtful. Much has yet to be accomplished for its advancement, and there will probably be much individual disappointment and distress; but with a healthy climate, abundance of good land, an advantageous position for trade, and some valuable indigenous products, I trust the issue of the undertaking will not disappoint public expectation.'

In order to make himself acquainted with the nature of the country to the southward, the Lieutenant-Governor embarked with the Surveyor-General and some others on board a schooner; examined Geography Bay throughout its whole extent, and explored the interior to some little distance; the surface was uneven, rising into high granitic hills, most of them rugged or sandy on their summits, but the valleys contained a considerable quantity of excellent land.

The Vasse River was the next point examined, to the distance of three or four miles from the coast, but the result was not satisfactory, the soil being too light and sandy; but the straight and vigorous growth of the trees seemed to contradict the apparent poverty of the soil. Fresh water was abundant in this district.

They next anchored off the bar of Port Leschenault, where the country presented so favourable an appearance, that a detachment of the sixty-third regiment was landed, together with stores and provisions for the better support of the settlers; and such were the facilities for these troops housing themselves, from the abundance of building materials, that in a very few days the party was comfortably lodged, and were protected against the approaching winter.

From hence a party set out and explored the country in every direction, as far as the summits of the Darling range. The whole of this range, consisting of well-wooded hills and fertile valleys, continued to bear the character of great productiveness as far as the eye could reach to the eastward. The general result of these