Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/213

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FOUR OF THE FAMILY.

it not been for the assistance rendered by the adjacent colonies of Victoria and New South Wales, the Wakefield settlement would have been involved in all the horrors of famine. Thus ended this celebrated attempt to found a colony on abstract scientific principles, and without reference to the suggestions of common sense. The Wakefield experiment, like all other socialistic enterprises of the kind that have been once tried, was never repeated.

Consequent on the collapse of the Wakefield scheme, a general exodus ensued, and Adelaide, the city of nine square miles on paper, ceased for a time to have any actual existence. A happy accident, however, saved the place from complete and utter abandonment. This was the discovery of copper, a discovery that caused a revolution in the fortunes of the colony, and served in a great measure as an antidote to the evils of fantastical colonisation. Mine after mine was opened up, and it was soon ascertained that the settlement had permanent mineral resources of great value. The most famous mines are the Burra Burra, the Kapunda, the Wallaroo and the Moonta. From the Burra Burra mine copper to the value of £5,000,000 sterling has been raised, and the quantity of ore obtained from the Wallaroo is represented by a still higher amount. When the excitement that followed the discovery of copper cooled down, a new source of wealth was found in the agricultural resources of the soil, and South Australia has ever since ranked amongst the finest wheat-growing countries on the face of the earth.

On July 7th, 1849, the members of the St. Patrick's Society of South Australia issued an address to their countrymen at home, expressive of gratitude to God for the prosperity with which their labours in the southern land