The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal/Volume 1/Number 2
By His Honour, Captain in His Majesty's 63rd Regiment of Foot, Lieutenant Governor, Commander in Chief, and Vice Admiral of the Colony of Western Australia and its Dependencies.
WHEREAS His Majesty has been graciously pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the High Court of Admiralty of England, bearing Date the 24th Day of Dec, in the Year of our Lord 1831, to constitute Courts of Vice Admiralty in this Colony. NOW THEREFORE I the Lieutenant Governor in furtherance of the objects of the said Letters Patent, and in Pursuance of the Power, thereby in me vested for that purpose, do hereby Notify that I have deputed the Chairman for the time being of the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace in this Colony, to be (during my Pleasure only,) my Deputy in the Criminal Jurisdiction, and the Commissioner for the Time being of the Civil Court of this Colony, to be (during my Pleasure only,) my Deputy in the Civil Jurisdiction, of my Office of Vice Admiral of this Colony and its Dependencies, and the maritime Parts of the same, and hereto adjoining according to the Powers, duties and extent of the said Jurisdiction conferred andin His Majesty's aforesaid Letters Patent.
- God Save the King!!!
- Given under my Hand and Seal at Perth, this 9th Day of January, 1833.
- (Signed) F. C. Irwin,
- Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief.
- (Signed) F. C. Irwin,
By His Honour's Command
- (Signed) PETER BROWN
- Colonial Secretary.
- (Signed) PETER BROWN
Acts and Ordinances of the Governor and Council of Western Australia, passed during the Administration of His Excellency Captain James Stirling, 1833.
- An Act for establish a Court Civil Judicature.
- An Act to provide a summary remedy for trespasses committed by Cattle and other live Stock.
- An Act for regulating the condition of Juries; and the Office of Bailiff.
- An Act to extend the Jurisdiction to regulate the proceedings of the Court Quarter Sessions.
- An Act to secure the payment of Debts due to the Crown.
- An Act to provide for the Registration of Deeds, Wills, Judgments, and Conveyances, affecting real property.
- An Act to facilitate and simplify the transfer of real property.
- An Act to regulate the Sale of Spirituous and fermented Liquors by Retail.
- An Act for the regulation of Pilotage and Shipping in the Harbours of Western Australia.
- An Act to impose certain duties on imported Spiritous Liquors.
To be had at the Gazette Office Perth, and at the Post Office Fremantle.
WHEREAS on Monday the eleventh day of January instant, I William Marrs, Charterer of the Schooner Governor Rourke, now lying in Gages Roads, Western Australia, did knowingly and maliciously lay an Information against William Akers, Master of the said Schooner, for stealing a certain Bag of Biscuit dust my property ; whereby the said William Akers was brought before the Justices of the Peace at Fremantle, concerning the same (to the great injury of the said William Akers,") and was acquitted of the charge stated in the said information. Now I hereby wish to state publicly, that I did the same with an intention of unjustly, and maliciously injuring the character of William Akers, and that I had no grounds whatever for laying the said Information, before the said Justices. I therefore having seriously, knowingly, and wilfully injured the character and reputation of William Akers, do hereby make a Public Apology to him for having done so, and am exceedingly sorry the above exposure should have taken place. As Witness my hand this eleventh day of January, 1833.
William Marrs. Witness,
- J. B Wittenoom,
- Colonial Chaplain.
I am desired by two of the Creditors of Mr. Clint late of Perth, in the Colony of Western Australia, to request a Meeting of the Creditors of the said Mr. Clint at my Office Perth, on Wednesday the sixteenth day of January instant, for the purpose of taking into consideration the best mode of getting the Property of the said Mr. Clint sold by Auction for the benefit of his Creditors.
- George F. Stone,
- Solicitor Perth.
- George F. Stone,
Perth January 9th, 1833.
THE WHEAT-SHEAF TAVERN.
Jane Barron, respectfully intimates that having renewed her License, she has opened her House No. 1. Murray Street Perth, as The Wheat Sheaf Tavern, where by assiduous attention to the comfort of her guests and from the quality of her Liquors, she hopes for a continuance of the patronage with which she has been hitherto favoured.
J. B. continues her Dairy; and having made arrangements for a regular supply of Flour, she has commenced baking, and will at all times make it her study to supply her customers with the best bread on the most reasonable terms.
*** Breakfasts, Dinners, &c. on the shortest notice.
Perth 5th. January 1833.
STORES, OF THE UNDERSIGNED.
Perth, and Fremantle, Jan. 17th, 1833.
Ale in hogsheads,
Irish Prime Mess Pork,
Snuff in Canisters,
Spades, Pick Axes,
Ladies' and Gentlemen's Gloves,
An assortment of Cotton, and Worsted Stockings,
Men's Strong Shoes
Striped, Cotton for Shirting,
Cart and Waggon Wheels,
Shot, Iron and Steel in Bars,
Tin Mugs, Pickles,
Pitch and Tar,
White, Black, and Green Paint,
Fine and Common Black and Green Teas,
Seeds, Stationery and Account Books,
(From the Hobart Town September 7)
We have great pleasure in presenting the reader with the following account of Swan River, Port Augusta, and King George's sound, from the minutes taken by Mr. Stocker, during his late visit to these settlements. Such an account must be highly satisfactory to all parties, after having been wearied with the conflicting reports, which have all along reached us, and from Mr Stocker's long experience in colonial matters, and his correct judgment as an agriculturist, we do not know any one on the correctness of whose opinion we could more safely depend:—
The crops in Western Australia, (July 1832) looked as promising as any I ever witnessed in Van Diemen's land, of which I am one of the oldest residents. Those on the Swan and Canning rivers. consisting of wheat, barley, oats and potatoes are remarkably luxuriant, and give every promise of abundance. The wheat grown last year, weighed from sixty-four to thirty-six lbs. per bushel, and sold from 25 to 30s. The Messrs. Trimmers over the mountains (so called) but which I could see nothing that was entitled to that name, have this year from 30 to 40 acres, cultivated, looking very healthy and promising. Their sheep and cattle look particularly well, equal to any that I have seen here. The farms on the Swan and Canning, belonging to Messrs. Philips, Youl, Brockman, Bull, Tanner, &c. are well conducted, the crops well got in, and the whole exhibiting a neat and farmer-like appearance—much more in the English style, than the generality of the farms in Van Diemen's land. The land after you pass over the Darling range (or as is called the Mountains, becomes good and capable of feeding extensive numbers of stock, sheep, oxen, or horses, and of growing any kind of grain. Several gentlemen who have proceeded much farther than I did, informed me that the further they travelled into the interior, the better they found the land.
The greatest difficulty the settler has at present to encounter, is the great expense he incurs for provisions for his establishment, and the general bad conduct of his indented servants, brought into the colony with him. And this will be the case until the Magistrates are empowered to compel the indented servants to fulfil their engagements with their masters. Another heavy expense the settler has to contend with, is that for conveyance of goods from Fremantle to the country, either by boats or other means. Fremantle to appearance is certainly a bed of sand, but in most parts of the township, upon the several allotments is found a vein of sandstone, about two feet from the surface, in sufficient plenty to build a cottage on each, and to wall round the same; and I was much astonished, as doubtless all those who have visited that settlement, have been (whilst others would consider it incredible) that the same bed of sand will produce vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, turnips, onions, potatoes, and peas—than which nothing can be finer The radishes are superior to any I have ever seen, cucumbers melons and pumpkins are grown to the greatest perfection, and I am of opinion, that the orange, lemon, and vine would flourish, and be productive at Fremantle and Perth. There is scarcely an allotment in Fremantle fenced in and inhabited), that has not a well of excellent fresh water from five to ten feet deep.
Returning from Swan river to Hobart town, I visited Port Augusta and King George's Sound. The land at Augusta is generally very good and capable of growing almost any thing, the wheat, oats, and potatoes, when I left on the 22d of July, looked well and healthy. The farms of, government resident, Mr. Turner, Messrs. Koller, &c. have been much improved; the land here is very heavily timbered, chiefly with a species of Mahogany, (specimens of which may be seen at Mr. Stacker's Hobart town) and red gum. There is a fine bay, commonly full of whales in the season, but a bad bar harbour
King George's Sound is a beautiful and safe harbour from all winds, there is very little land in cultivation, I saw only a few acres of wheat about 3 miles from the township, formerly the government farm, but now in the possession of Mr. Morley of the Commissariat, the wheat looked very promising the land is very good. In the township there are many fine gardens and plenty of vegetables; the natives are very friendly, I was with them daily during my stay, and took one of them with me on board the cutter, they presented me with spears waddies, &c in return for which I gave them biscuit, at this settlement there are not more than 50 persons, including the military. Doctor Collie, the government resident, Mr. Morley, Commissariat, and a Mr. Chyne. a gentleman establishing himself there as a merchant, from all of whom I received the kindest attention.
Hobart Town, Aug. 30, 1832.
In the hurry of going to Press last week we overlooked many inaccuracies, which has annoyed us, as much as it has amused some of our Readers. We are glad to contribute in any way to so desirable an end, and we trust considering the difficulties we have to contend with we shall not be judged too severely.
The Promise of an abundant Harvest which has been generally anticipated, is, now fully realized; and the Farmers are all actively and profitably employed. The season has proved highly favourable and we have no small gratification in pronouncing, the produce of this years growth equal to 5 months consumption. We state this in order that the reports which will no doubt obtain credence, owing to the success of the Agriculturists, may not be exaggerated; in two or three years we shall be independent (for this article) of any foreign supplies, but it is idle to imagine that we can depend upon our internalat an earlier period. The Farmers are in the highest spirits, and every person we have seen who has visited the different Farms on the Swan and Canning, speaks in raptures of the progress which has been made, and the splendour of the scenery. We shall take an early opportunity of participating in the treat, which all concur, is in store for us.
"I wish every man knew as much law as would enable him to keep himself out of it" Lord Bacon.
It will be a satisfaction to the friends of Mr. Marrs that his legal knowledge during his stay here, has been so much advanced, as it may enable him to keep himself out of Law Courts in future. Whatever Mr. Marrs opinion of our hospitality may be, we certainly Have a very poor opinion of his courtesy, to say the least of it, to charge respectable Gentlemen in Public Court, with being capable of swearing any thing. We must say any want of attention or civility, this person has met with here, he has solely to attribute to his own indiscretion; We have no hesitation in asserting that Mr. Marrs has been mixed up in more private and public broils within the last 3 weeks, than any one Settler for the last 3 years; how can he expect therefore to be looked upon as any other than an enemy to all peace, and social comfort. Mr. Marrs threatens "to stigmatize us on his arrival in Sydney: it is alarming to think what we shall suffer from the stigmas of this God of War!!! Pugnacious as Mr. Marrs may be, neither his clenched fists, nor commanding Crib like attitudes, shall deter us from giving insertion to public occurrences. We never have entered into private broils, nor is it our wish to do so, and we should not have taken so much notice of an obscure individual had he not endeavoured, to bully and threatened us into a compliance with his own wishes.
We are informed the body of the man which was found on the North East side of a Lagoon near Perth, was so far decomposed that there was some difficulty in determining the occasion of his death, it was however the opinion of the Magistrates who visited the spot, as well as that of the Colonial Surgeon Doctor Collie, that he had not met his death from any spear-wounds. We shall endeavour to obtain more minute particulars in time for our next.
We are authorized, by one of the Officer's of the 63rd to state, that the relationship of Mrs. Weavell to Colonel Logan is not such, as might be generally inferred from the wording of the Paragraph in our last, under the head of "Marriages."
On Monday morning last at 5 o'clock a meeting took place between two gentlemen, Inhabitants of Fremantle, a short distance from Perth.
The origin of the misunderstanding was a circumstance of trifling importance, and we are glad to hear has not been productive of any fatal results. Mr. L. we are informed retracted his challenge on the ground, and the affair of honour was settled. We believe great credit is due to the seconds who we are informed used every exertion to bring about a reconciliation on such a footing as would not compromise the honour of either party.
We take this occasion to remark "affairs of honour" as they are termed, have been of frequent occurrence, in this Colony, and in one recent and melancholy instance has proved fatal. We should hope the proper Officers will exercise due diligence to prevent the recurrence of such practices, and we do trust that the false delicacy, or sense of honour, which prevents parties acquainted with contemplated meetings from making a disclosure in the proper quarter will soon be exploded. It must surely be more honourable and gratifying to the feelings of a man, to be the means of saving the life of a fellow being, than tacitly to wink at his destruction.
If we hear, of any repetition of these affrays it shall be our study from henceforth, to hold them up to the contempt they merit, by giving full publicity to the circumstances which in most instances will be found absurd and frivolous.
Monday January 7th, 1833,—Before the Rev. J. B. Wittenoon, and George Leake Esq.
William Lewington was brought up under the charge of having fired a loaded pistol at Robert Maydwell with an intent to do him some bodily harm. It appeared that the Prisoner had lately married Prosecutors daughter, and that in consequence, there were continual quarrels between them. On Saturday evening last about ten o'clock the Prisoner came into Mr. Cooper's public house where the Prosecutor was; who seeing the Prisoner immediately retired to avoid any occasion of quarrelling with him, and went to Mr. Herds: the Prisoner followed him there; the Prosecutor then came back to Mr. Cooper's, and while he was standing at the Bar, Prisoner came up and called for some Liquor and asked the Prosecutor to drink saying come lets shake hands and let all animosities between us drop. They did so. Soon after the Prisoner left the house and went to Mr. Habgood's, who was in bed, and earnestly entreated the loan of a pistol for the purpose of going in pursuit of Booker, who had that day escaped from prison. Habgood gave him one, telling him at the same time that it was loaded. He returned immediately to Mr. Coopers and seeing the Prosecutor he exclaimed; you d—d scoundrel, you have broke my peace of mind, if you are a man come out; to which the Prosecutor replied. You foolish fellow go away about your business, the Prisoner then raised the pistol and took a deliberate aim at the Prosecutor, and said. If you don't come out like a man, here goes, he immediately fired the pistol, the contents of which lodged in the wall a few inches from the Prosecutors head. He ran away directly, but was soon recovered, and conveyed to the Jail. In his defence he said that the Prosecutor had for a long time treated him in the most cruel and unkind manner, and that he only did it to frighten him; as he could easily have shot him dead, if he had had any such intention.
He was fully committed for trial, at the next Sessions.
The two prisoners Booker and Hinks, who made their escape from Fremantle Jail during the past week were soon apprehended.—Booker was overtaken near Bull s Creek, by Pearce and Woods; he ran for about ½ a mile to avoid them, and when they came up with him, he denied being the man who had escaped from Jail, they however knowing him, secured him, and walked him back. Hinks was taken in Fremantle opposite Steels Hotel by Vincent the Jailor, about 6 o clock, on the same morning he escaped. He was in Liquor, and made a desperate resistance. Hinks declares from the time he commenced scratching his way trough the wall; which he effected with a large spike nail, he was not more than ¾ of an hour before he was at liberty. From the softness of the Stone—the Jail is built of Free Stone,—the Prisoners were enabled to complete their task without the slightest noise being heard by the Jailor.
The number of dogs in the town of Perth and Fremantle are becoming a most alarming nuisance; many instances have come to our knowledge, in which serious injuries have been sustained; it was but a few days ago, we saw a poor man in the street, with his leg dreadfully mangled. We would earnestly recommend some steps being taken to put a stop to this growing evil. There are many dogs which we could point out, as highly dangerous to allow to be at large.
Wm. Marrs v Smith, Lewis, Smythers. Duffield, Lukin, and Herd charged with "conspiring to injure the person and character of the Plaintiff, and for committing an Assault and Battery, Damages £500."
The two latter, it was stated by the other Defendants, Mr. Clarke, (the Plaintiffs Solicitor) had acknowledged, were included in the charge, in order to prevent their being witnesses. It was therefore urged that they should be struck out. Mr. Clarke objecting, the Jury were impanneled.
Mr. Clarke opened the Case. This was a singular, and disgraceful instance of inhospitality to a Stranger, for which he claimed redress from a Jury of Britains. The Plaintiff had been a Chairmaker at Carlisle, and had emigrated to Hobart Town, and Sydney, where he joined a Mr. Charles Smith in Partnership, and the general Cargo of the "Governor Bourke," was one of their Speculations. He knew what a prejudice existed in this Colony against the Penal Settlements, but hoped the example made of the defendants this day, would shew Strangers that any injuries sustained could be redressed.
Daniel Scott sworn.—Remembered a sale on the 24th. December last, at the Union Hotel, was there with the plaintiff. There was an altercation about a lot, and the Plaintiff told me to close the books as he would not buy any more. A scuffle took place between the defendant Smythers, and the plaintiff, Ito prevent a fight, numbers came in and dragged plaintiff out. He afterwards rushed into the parlour and laid hold of a gun threatening to shoot any person who touched him; he was seized and taken out by force. A short time afterwards, he was brought in and carried up stairs. In a few minutes I saw him in the street which surprised me, he had jumped out of the window. The defendant Mr. Lewis told me that he had given him in charge, and he was sorry to see him in that state, and as I was his Agent he thought I had better go and bail him. Followed and saw several persons carrying him. He struggled a good deal but I did not see any blows. This occurred between 2 and 4 o'clock, after tea in the evening he transacted business with me.
Cross examined by Smith, thought the lot being knocked down to Marrs, merely a mistake.
Cross examined by Lukin,—The Plaintiff was not drunk but fresh, remembers his calling for a bottle of wine, and going round the room with it in his hand, offering it to people to drink.
Supposes the bruizes were occasion in the attempt to take him to jail.
By Duffield,—There was no premeditated design. Did not see a blow struck. Plaintiff dragged out in consequence of his taking up the Gun.
By Lukin,—There was a great deal of "Chaffing" or passing jokes on both sides,
By Lewis,—Did not see any violence at all, considers he was taken up stairs to quiet him.
Mr. Dixon, remembers the Sale. Several persons called Mr. Marrs a convict, he thought in Joke. Plaintiff made a grab at Smith's pocket. Smith said "so you can't leave off your old tricks," saw Lewis put his fist in Plaintiffs face, I thought Plaintiff a great coward to put up with it. Heard Lukin say the Plaintiff was a d—d scoundrel. If I had been treated in the same way in a foreign Country, I should have thought myself shamefully used,
By the Commissioner,—The Plaintiff losing his handkerchief the origin of the whole. The joke was carried too far.
Cross examined. He tore off his own clothes; but did not appear disposed to fight. He was so aggravated that at many times he did not know what he was about. My grounds for considering him not sober, are, that he bid higher for things than he would have done.
Brown, When the Poney was pulled back, which the Plaintiff was about to mount, to try it; his hat fell off, and his Handkerchief dropped out. The hat was given back, but not the Handkerchief. Plaintiff looked Smythers hard in the face and asked him for it, he denied having it, this raised the Plaintiffs Passion. I offered the handkerchief 2 or 3 times to the Plaintiff, but he ran "round and round crying out "where's my property. I thought him in such a rage that he did not know what he was about. He was taken up stairs to take care of him. Vincent the Jailor took him afterwards in custody at Lewis and Smiths request, when they had carried him a short distance Smith cryed out "let him go" when he came back he took up another stone, Lewis ran up to him, and said "will you throw it?" and shook his fist in his face. Plantiff dropped the stone, and picked up his shirt. He afterwards took up a stone, and a broken bottle, and cautioned the people not to go near him, Smith and Lewis said they would not have the place disturbed in that way, and he should go to jail, Smith often requested him not to be so riotous. His being taken up stairs arose from a friendly feeling.
Richard Morrell, saw the plaintiff in the street, lying on the ground, he made use of a great deal of abusive language. When I saw him going across the swamp after he was discharged, I thought him drunk from the manner in which he walked.
A. Curtis, heard no irritating language used, I was near Smythers when plaintiff came up, and snatching at a Handkerchief in Smythers's pocket said "that's my property," they scuffled together; cannot say who turned him (plantiff) out of the house. He took his shirt off for 3 hours afterwards. The man (plaintiff) was very outrageous, quite drunk before the Sale was half over. I thought him so from his frequently saying "I'll give you so many pounds of stinking Beef, or Pigs Cheeks, and by his violent strutting about, and treading on peoples toes.
Cross examined, The plaintiffs conduct repeatedly put a stop to the sale.
By Duffield. No person intended to inquire the plaintiffs person or character.
Mr Manning was called by the plaintiff to speak as to his knowledge of him in England: but nothing was elicited further than that witness remembered seeing the plaintiff frequently in his fathers shop in Holborn, and believed him to be a Carpenter, could not say whether he was a Master or a Journey-man.
The Plaintiff stated, that a great deal of ill feeling existed in the other Colonies against this place, owing to the treatment strangers had met with here "and when I go back how can I say I have been treated, (a general laugh) The defendants here severally addressed the Jury.
James Mac Dermott sworn—I was at the sale, Plaintiff was bidding high, he was in a state of intoxication. The plaintiff and defendants appeared very intimate together and were joking, I saw the plaintiff take off his shirt, and challenge any person present. He tore Smythers's Waistcoat; Plaintiff asked Smythers for his handkerchief, he said in a jocular way, "you shant have it." I saw the plaintiff in the evening. He complained of ill treatment, I told him he had only himself to blame.
J. Bateman.—Saw the whole of the affray. The first thing which led to it, was the plaintiffs rushing upon Smythers. Did not hear any provoking language. The Plaintiffs conduct was riotous and calculated to occasion a breach of the peace, it was the effort of every person there, to quiet him. The sale was completely stopped by the uproar. It was necessary to take him away to restore peace.
Examined by Lewis.—I saw no provocation, recollect Lewis's trying to pacify him. His (Plaintiffs) language and conduct were abusive and violent.
Cross examined.—He took all the jokes on good part for some time. The handkerchief being withheld was not a sufficient provocation for the disturbance. He was intoxicated. His conduct was ridiculous when he was shewing off the horse.
J. Weavell's testimony was merely a repetition of the former evidence.
The Commissioner read over his notes of the evidence, and considered it unnecessary to make any comment. He would leave it entirely to the Jury. A conspiracy was not in any way proved, they must dismiss that entirely from their minds, and confine themselves to the Assault, and Battery.
The Jury retired for ten minutes and returned a Verdict for the defendants which the Commissioner adjudged, entitled them to costs.
The two other trials in which Mr. Marrs was Plaintiff, both of which were decided against him, as well as the further proceedings in the Court, will be published in our next.
At the opening of the Court on Thursday Morning, Mr. Clarke begged to claim the attention of the Commissioner for a few minutes. He had been informed that during his (Mr. Clarkes) absence Mr. Charles Smith in his defence, had made personal allusions to the advice Mr Clarke had given the Plaintiff. He treated the remark with profound contempt, but he could not avoid noticing that he was unfortunately put forward as a Principal, where he was only acting as Agent.
The Commissioner, observed that it was noticed at the time, and checked; indeed it was always his desire to restrain parties within proper bounds, and in this instance he had noticed the observation as irrelevant to the subject.
The conversation dropped.
COLONEL HANSON'S PAMPHLET
We have great pleasure in laying before our Readers the following extract from a Printed Pamphlet, by , the Quarter Master General at Madras.
The interest it has excited here will we trust plead our excuse with the Colonel for rendering Public, that which he intended merely for Private distribution.
The climate of swan River in the Winter Season is as favourable to health as can well be imagined. I am told however that the heat of summer is nearly equal to the heat of India, and tho' less debilitating to the constitution it is frequently very oppressive. The great draw-back to this settlement is the present intricate Navigation into the Harbour. Reefs of Rocks extend Seaward from Rottenest Island, Pulo Carnac, &c. &c. and although there is a safe channel into Cockburn Sound, yet the passage requires a Pilot, and in the event of a Westerly Gale, the Ship would be obliged to beat off a dead lee Shore. For the six summer months however, from October until April, there is no difficulty of access whatever. Land and Sea breezes prevail regularly during this Season, and Gages Roads tho open to North West winds, affords a safe and secure anchorage—the Town of Fremantle is yet in its infancy. The site is chosen on the South Bank of the Swan River, which here disembogues itself into the Sea. There is a troublesome bar at its entrance, requiring skill and attention to cross, but there is a thoroughly sheltered Bay in it's immediate vicinity, where all passengers should land in the first instance, and take a favorable opportunity for sending their loaded boats into the River. The first impression of a stranger is certainly unfavorable—he sees nothing but an apparently poor soil, upon which the Town of Fremantle is building, and until he is shown the actual produce of "Mother Earth," it will be difficult for him to imagine that it is capable of giving any sort of vegetation. When he does see however, that this apparent sand produces the finest Vegetables in the world, he cannot permit himself to remain any longer in doubt. There was an excellent little Inn established when I was there, the "Stirling Arms," at which the comforts were fair and the charges moderate. Several good Stone and Brick Houses were in progress, the property of respectable Settlers, and indeed all classes seemed to be governed by the same praise-worthy spirit of industry and good feeling towards each other. The distance by water from Fremantle to Perth, I should calculate to be about twelve miles, but the land road is much shorter, and upon it half way, there is an Inn, at which the Traveller can obtain refreshment.
The Town of Perth is at present the capital of the Colony, and the site of it is well chosen—it is situated on the North bank of the Swan river, having a picturesque little mountain at it's Western extremity, named Mount Eliza, upon which at some future period, it is proposed to build a Government House. I may say that the Society of the place is hospitality personified; for though their means are somewhat limited, yet they share them with the kindest "good will." Stone and Brick Houses are here also in rapid progress—one of the latter, the property of Captain Irwin the Commandant, was nearly finished when I came away, and a most excellent House I am certain it will prove to be. Stock of all kinds thrive and multiply at a prodigious ratio. Poultry is becoming very abundant, and pigs were running wild in the jungle. Goats would appear to like the climate vastly, for they are so exceedingly prolific that they seldom produce less than three at a birth. The materials for building are excellent. Capital bricks are made at Perth, and the lime Stone is of the first quality. There is also a quarry of Free Stone at Mount Eliza, from which anSettler Mr. Jeckes had nearly completed an excellent Cottage on the South East face of the Hill, where he was rearing vines with every prospect of success., The Canning river joins the Swan immediately below Perth, and I regret much, that I did not visit the locations there. At a short distance above the Town, there are shoals in the River called "the Flats," over which a loaded Boat would have difficulty to pass except at high water. I crossed my Gig however, at all periods of the tide, the Crew merely shoving her over the sand for a distance of about one hundred yards.
I write from memory, but I think the first thriving farm on the North bank, above Perth, is called the "Yorkshire farm," from a number of Agriculturists, Natives of that County in England having congregated there, though I believe each man's property is separate and distinct. Here the soil may be said to assume quite a new character. The sand so much complained of by a parcel of prejudiced visitors, is but partially seen, and there were certainly as fine crops of Wheat and other Grain in the ground when I was there, as could be found in any part of the world—proceeding up the River you arrive at Captain Byrne's, 's, Captain Currie's of the Navy, 's and various other properties below Guildford.
I regret to say that the names of the numerous proprietors have escaped my memory, but this I can say with perfect confidence, that they are all of them happy and flourishing, notwithstanding the squibs you have heard in India respecting their destitute condition &c. &c. Curries place does him the greatest credit—his garden is full of the very finest vegetables, and he has built a most comfortable little brick House, where I was much indebted both to Mrs. Currie and Himself, for comfort, kindness and hospitality, during my various voyages up and down the River. The township of Guildford on the South bank is fast assuming a very respectable appearance. The Governor has built a little Cottage Orné in it's immediate vicinity, and it is difficult to imagine a more beautiful situation.
The House is considerably elevated above the general level of the Country. The site is chosen at a turn of the River, commanding a view along two extensive reaches, and the land in front of it being all meadow land, very beautifully studded with forest trees, you may without much effort of imagination, conceive yourself placed in the midst of a Gentleman's park at home.
The breed of horned Cattle introduced into the Colony is I am told very valuable. I confess myself to be ignorant upon this subject; but the sixty head I saw at the Governor's Farm appeared to me splendid animals. The horses imported are also of the finest blood.
A splendid farm adjoins the Governor's Estate, the property of Sir James Hume, and the land as I proceeded up the River was as fine as any land in the world. I not only speak from my own observation but I speak from the testimony of a first rate Gentleman farmer Mr. Brockman, whose produce this year will fully justify the praise I am bestowing upon it. His fields of wheat, and indeed grain of every description, were as rich and productive as in any part of the world; and both the Mutton and Beef from his Estate were equal in my opinion to well fed Meat in England.
possesses a location still higher on the Swan, which for variety and beauty of prospect, surpasses every thing I saw below it; but Mr Brown the Colonial Secretary (who is the most distant settler) from being nearer the Mountains, will I think bye and bye have more capabilities at his command.
We pursued our journey about six miles beyond the most distant farm—that of Mr. Brown already mentioned, until we reached the foot of the Darling range of Mountains, having passed over three or four miles of extensive meadowland, covered with the richest grass, and with scarcely a single tree to interrupt the prospect.
The pasture upon Mr. Brown's property is so exceedingly rich, that I am told his flocks were many of them getting blind from sheer fatness, and I beg it to be understood, that in stating this fact, I am stating nothing very marvellous, as such is the common result of overfeeding, and I can safely declare that in my life, I never tasted finer mutton than was produced from his grass.
The Natives of the Country offer the only interruption to the settlers perfect comfort, and they certainly have in many instances proved themselves exceedingly treacherous. Before however they are wholly condemned, for what may appear to us a vindictive and revengeful character, it should be stated that the better part of Society are ignorant what provocation these poor wretches receive. The lower orders on the Swan hold the life of a Native at no value, and there was one young man, the Son of a Gentleman, who shocked me by saying that he had been out all the morning and had had but one shot at a black!!—Governor Stirling is exerting ever power he possesses to correct this evil; but the Governor cannot be every where, and when these poor devils find that they are shot like wild beasts, it is natural to suppose that human beings in so savage a state will seek for some means of gratifying their revenge. Their ideas upon this subject are very peculiar—they attach criminality generally to the place where the injury has been received, and not to the individual who has inflicted it. This renders the atonement more distressing for they watch near the spot like a Cat for it's prey and the first person who may appear is quite certain of being assaulted—theyone or two spears, and whether they kill wound or even miss their object I am told they consider the atonement sufficient, as I hear it has been satisfactorily proved that they seldom attempt any farther violence.
Their idea of personal property, must be also founded on very savage notions. They naturally consider us to be foreign intruders, and when they see their Kangaroos, upon which they chiefly depend for food, destroyed by our people, it will be difficult to imagine that the crime of helping themselves to a little of our Kangaroo (mutton) can be considered by them a veryoffence. They would certainly appear to have some redeeming qualities, in situations where they have not been treated with unkindness. They are sad thieves though and cannot be trusted, within arms length of food. Their tribes however, have been frequently met by our gentlemen, singly in the jungle, and upon these occasions they have been invariably civil and good natured. Two of the most eminent explorers in the country, had but recently returned from a very interesting excursion, into the interior, to trace the course of a River, beyond the Darling Range of mountains, and these Gentlemen, Mr. Moore and informed me, that they were twice in the power of considerable tribes, and that once they even slept together on the same spot, without the slightest appearance of hostility having been evinced. On the contrary, they were extremely kind and good natured, and after having been together for twenty four hours, they parted the very best of friends.
It is difficult to imagine any race of Savages, more degraded in the scale of humanity than the wretched aborigines of Australia—they are hardly one remove from the brute creation, and appear to be totally destitute of any sort of fixed habitation. They live in tribes, and wander about the jungles in search of food, the supply of which it may be easily imagined, is both scanty and precarious. The only skill they display is in throwing their spears, and this they certainly do withprecision—hitting a very small object at the distance of eighty or a hundred yards—with this weapon they spear fish and Kangaroos, but snakes, lizards, and indeed every sort of reptile, is relished by them as excellent food, and when they fail to obtain this disgusting species of nourishment, they subsist on a sort of bulbus root, which is abundant in the forests, and which they find a tolerable substitute for keeping life and soul together. They are perfectly naked, and exhibit the most emaciated, and skeleton like appearance. Their speed and agility are very —they mount like monkies to the tops of the highest trees, with no other assistance, than that which they derive, from small notches, cut as they ascend, with a rude stone hatchet, barely deep enough to admit the points of their toes. The difficulty of either learning their language, or of teaching them ours, is very considerable, and this difficulty arises out of a cause that is nearly ludicrous. Their powers of imitation are very extraordinary, and whatever question you address to them, they immediately repeat. If you say to them "what's the name of this," they instantly reply "what's a name a is"—if you repeat your enquiry, and hold up the article for inspection, they continue to echo every word you say, until you are literally driven out of all patience. They appear to have no system of religion whatever, tho' they are certainly very superstitious, and betray great reluctance to separate from their tribe during the night time. As well as I could understand, from the natives of King George's sound, they think they are haunted, by the ghosts of the dead. Mr Dale discovered something like a religious symbol, during one of his excursions into the interior, but this was the only instance of the kind that came to my knowledge during my stay in Australia—he described an extremely rude figure of the Sun, which was cut in the rocky part of a cave, I think somewhere, near the Town of York—like all Savages they are much addicted to theft, and appear to have no sense of gratitude for any favors that may be conferred upon them. Captain Irwin, who commands the detachment, endeavoured all in his power to attach them to his Soldiers, from a sense of obligation—he fed them liberally from his stores, and treated them with all possible kindness, but the nature of the animal defeated all his exertions, and they were at length dismissed after repeated robberies. Though apparently deficient in general intellect, they are certainly blessed with abundance of cunning—they have become thoroughly acquainted with the nature of our Fire Arms, and fully understand, that the piece must be reloaded, before it can do them a second injury—when they deliver their Spear, they endeavour to distract your attention from themselves, generally by calling out "Kangaroo," and then it is melancholy to say how frequently they succeed in slaying their victims. The men who are most exposed to injury are Shepherds attending their flocks, as they are necessarily alone and since the Savages have tested our Mutton, they are on the constant look out for stray Sheep. On the first formation of the Colony, they were much alarmed at our Dogs; but though they still hold them in great respect, they are not so terrified at them as formerly—if a Shepherd were to wear a sort of defensive Armour, such as a plate of tin, fashioned to the shape of his body, I am quite sure their spears would not penetrate the metal, and if once they found this shield was impervious, they would become less daring in their attacks upon property.
Providence appears to have decreed, that they shall gradually exterminate each other, for they invariably destroy some individual of a neighbouring Tribe, whenever a member of their own has paid the debt of Nature—this practice will of course double their bills of mortality. They bury their dead I understand, in a sort of sitting posture, and I am told they hold the graves of their friends, in the greatest veneration.
To be continued
Perth, January 2nd, 1833
Mr. Editor, Sir.
By inserting the following it will greatly oblige my Brother Colonists and myself, feeling fully confident some of the Gentlemen Officers of His Majesty's 63rd Reg. of Foot, either stationed here or otherwise, will give some Information why they allow or suffer a private of the above named Reg., to reside out of the Barracks, or Barrack Ground of Western Australia, and carry on a very extensive trade to the very great injury of the Settlers, who embarked their little all, left their Friends, and dear Native Country Old England, (not only to avoid the heavy Taxation levied on them there,) but to establish themselves here in some trade or business to gain an honest, industrious, and respectable livelihood for their wives and families in this Colony; but all this is frustrated by a portion of the Privates of the 63rd Reg., who not only reside out of their Barracks but trade in any way they think proper. One of the individuals alluded to drew his Rations of flour for himself, wife, and family, and then made it into Bread and sold it in his shop at the very extortionate price of six Shillings the four pound loaf, when most of the respectable as well as the labouring Settlers did not nor had not knowing the taste of Bread or flour for months, and at the time when starvation stared us full in the facewas pleased to dispatch with all possible speed The Brig "Cornwallis," Captain Henderson, to the Cape of Good Hope for Provisions and flour on account of Government,—on her return here this very Private of the 63rd Reg. has fifteen tons of flour (independent of other articles) bought for him, and only ten tons for Government to distribute amongst the Settlers. This very Private is not only suffered to traffic in this extensive manner, but has a License granted him to Retail Spirituous Liquors, and (not mind you as a Canteen) but as a Public House, and is seen promenading the streets in the costume of a Settler, not as a private Soldier belonging to His Majesty's 63rd Reg. of Foot.
It may be answered thus, it is his wife that carries on the business and the License is granted,—but how is it possible when he is to be seen daily, selling articles and receiving the money, and his wife can neither read or write, and no Clerk or Shopman kept.
I appeal to any Gentleman of this Colony who is atall acquainted with military discipline if such things are suffered in any other British Colony. As for England we all know it dare not be done.
Fearing I am trespassing too much on your Space, I must beg to subscribe myself,
* "A Settler" is under a mistake as regards the Soldiers wives; they have relinquished their rations and consequently have every privilege of a Settler. We deny that starvation approached much less "stared us in the face. The Cornwallis brought 110 casks of flour for Government,—so much for facts!!—Editor.
Edited, Printed, and Published by CHARLES MACFAULL, at the Gazette Office, Perth
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