Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/179

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166 THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA.

advancement of colonization, whether in the capacity of native police, or as stockmen, shepherds, and hutkeepers.

Now, taking the estimated population of New South Wales at the period of the foundation of the colony as the basis of our calculations, and dividing the entire country into divisions of an area similar to that of New South Wales, allowing to each division an amount of population equal to that of the same colony, the result of our calculations would be about half a million of inhabitants for the whole territory of New Holland. The population has been estimated at infinitely less than this, but if reliance is to be placed on the early historians of the colony, and on the reports of those at present officially interested in the question in the neighbouring colonies, there is no reason why we should not take the number above given as a very near approximation to the truth. When we reflect that the experience of each day tends to show that the country possesses the means of affording all the means of sustenance, to an extent before unthought of, and when we consider that there is no reason for doubting that those regions still untrod by Europeans are among the most prolific of all Australia—prolific, at all events, in the necessaries of aboriginal life—the conclusion becomes established, beyond doubt, that each hundred square miles of New Holland supports as many sable inhabitants as any equal extent of country yet explored. If this be admitted, to set down the aboriginal