Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/34

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
14
State of the Swan River Colony Oct., 1830.

exploration may thus be briefly stated. The water which forms the little harbour of Leschenauit receives three rivers; one flowing from the south-east, called the Preston; one from the east named the Collie; and one from the north-east, joining the Collie, to which no name appears to have been given. The banks of all these are composed of rich alluvial soil. The Preston is navigable for the largest boats about five miles from its mouth, and is at that point a running stream of good fresh water. The adjoining country is well clothed with timber trees. The Collie is navigable ten or twelve miles, nearly up to the first range of the hilly country. At first the banks are sandy, but from the junction of the northern stream it improves greatly, and becomes of an excellent description. On the whole, the district around Port Leschenauit appeared so favourable for settlers, that Captain Stirling left the detachment above-mentioned for the protection of those already there, and such others as might be induced to avail themselves of the grants of land which the Lientenant-Governor was prepared to make. The climate is stated to be decidedly cooler than at Swan River, and judging from the quantity of grass and the verdure of the foliage, it appeared to the party that this district was capable of sustaining a dry season better than the country farther to the northward, and that the duration of drought was not so long. It was thought remarkable, that in the whole of their excursions no natives were seen, though traces of them were evident and numerous in several places.

On a second excursion to the southward by the Lieutenant-Governor, accompanied by Captain Curde of the navy, and Lieutenant Roe, the Surveyor-General, they doubled Cape Leuwin, and anchored off the mouth of an inlet communicating with the sea in the north-west comer of the great buy, commencing with the Cape, and extending easterly as far as the Black Point of Flinders. In the charts it is called 'Dangerous Bight,' but can only be said to be dangerous when the southerly winds prevail. This discovery of an inlet and river in this particular spot is just what is anticipated in the former part of this report. Here it was determined to establish a town, to be called 'Augusta,' where a river, which was named the 'Blackwood,' fell into the inlet; and several settlers, to the number of fifty persons, including three heads of families, their servants, and children, disembarked together, with a detachment of troops for their protection. The following is the substance of the Surveyor-General's report:—

'The portion of the southern coat seen during the excursion,
' taken in connexion. with our previous knowledge, leads to the
' belief, that there are three distinct parallel ranges of primitive
' mountains, traversing that part of the territory of Western Aus-