Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/212

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It may, doubtless, be urged, in reference to these suggestions, that two attempts have already been made within the last twelve years to colonize the north coast of New Holland; viz. at Melville Island and Raffles Bay; both of which, however, proved unsuccessful. But the former of these settlements was not more injudiciously formed than the latter was injudiciously abandoned. Melville Island—a low, swampy, and unhealthy situation, covered with thick jungle, surrounded by hostile natives, and withal quite out of the usual track of Malay vessels—proved to be quite unfit for the purposes contemplated; and the settlement was accordingly transferred eventually to Raffles Bay, on the eastern side of the Coburg peninsula, and within a few miles of the splendid harbour of Port Essington. In that locality the usual difficulties of a first settlement had already been happily surmounted; the salubrity of the climate and the adaptation of the soil for all tropical productions had been incontestably established; the surrounding tribes of natives, who were at first hostile, in consequence of acts of unwarrantable aggression, had been conciliated; a friendly intercourse had been opened with the Malay vessels that frequent the coast; and the prospects of the settlement generally were in the highest degree favourable; when orders from home, dic-