Page:The Condition and Resources of New South Wales.djvu/11

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But let us descend from the region of hypothesis to plain facts and figures. I will ask you to go back with me at present no further than the year 1860, because we then start fair with New South Wales in geographical limits, as it exists at the present time. If I were to go further back, I should involve you in perplexity, and expose my figures to doubts and questions as to the effect which the separation and erection of the northern districts into a separate colony ought to have upon them, and I have no wish to enter upon the domain of the Queensland statistician. It is enough for our purpose to know that at the end of the year 1859, New South Wales was deprived of the larger portion of her territory, and with it of some 23,000 of her inhabitants, some two and a half to three millions of sheep, besides cattle and horses, and that on the 1st December of that year, from these comparatively small beginnings, there has risen up on our Northern frontier a vigorous and thriving community—supported, it is true, in great part, by Sydney capital, and going ahead, as young people are apt to do, a little too fast—which challenges comparison in its progress and development with that of any of the colonies forming the Australian group. We will take, therefore, a review of the last six years (1860 to 1865 both inclusive), and endeavour to arrive at some approximate idea as to the progress we have made during that period.