Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/25

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11
A SURVEY OF THE SOUTH.

which during the progress of his industrial prosperity he opened a little shop for the good woman. His decent thrift was as remarkable as his industry, so that in homely phrase he 'got the name of having a little dry money always by him;' and at the period in question he was beset by importunate neighbours and friends, imploring him, as he intended remaining, to purchase their town allotments at his own price. In some cases he yielded, not so much with the view of benefiting himself as of helping a few friends on the road to fortune, and much against his own will or conviction he secured, for some £450, property which in less than fifteen months he sold for £15,000, and which was resold within the subsequent year for nearly three times that amount. Had my humble countryman purchased to the full amount of his means and held over like other stay-at-home townsmen, he might now be side by side in the Legislative Council of Victoria with another Sligo man who came to Port Phillip without any capital but his brains and his hands, but who is reputed at present as possessed of property worth half-a-million sterling."

I have now before me the official list of purchasers of land at the first government sale in Melbourne, and, as might have been expected, Ireland is well represented. Amongst the principal buyers I find the names of Michael Pender, Michael Connolly, John Roach, James Connell, John McNamara, F. R. D'Arcy, Patrick Cussen, Patrick Murphy and E. D. O'Reilly.

In 1841 the revenue derived from the Port Phillip district had increased to £31,799, and, consequent on increasing prosperity, the colonists became dissatisfied with their political position. They had a nominal representation in the New South Wales Parliament, the Port Phillip district being