« EdellinenJatka »
comfort of the prisoners, as also to establish a system of good order, decency, and religious conduct during the voyage, the Surgeon Superintendent has drawn up the following regulations, which must be most strictly observed.
1. The care and management of each mess shall be intrusted to a Monitor, who will be held responsible for any irregularities committed by those under her direction: it is expected that every one will behave respectfully, and be obcuifUt to the Monitor of her particular mess.
2. Cursing and swearing,—obscene and indecent language,—fighting and
3 Handling,—as such practices tend to ishonour God's holy name, and corrupt good manners, will incur the displeasure of the Surgeon Superintendent, and be visited with punishment and disgrace.
3. Cleanliness being essentially necessary to the health, comfort,and wellbeing of every person on board, it is desired that the most scrupulous attention in this respect shall be observed on every occasion.
4. The Monitors are particularly enjoined the utmost vigilance in taking care that nothing disorderly shall appear among the members of their respective messes.
5. Any one convicted of disturbing others whilst engaged in reading the holy Scriptures, or other religious exercise, will incur special animadversion, and such misconduct will be entered in the journal.
6. A proper reserve towards the sailors will be held indispensable, and all intercourse with them must be avoided as much as possible.
7. A daily account will be kept, and a faithful report made to His Excellency the Governor of New South Wales of the conduct of each individual during the voyage," and those who behave well, though they may have come
. here with bad characters, will be represented favourably: the Surgeon Superintendent pledges to use his utmost effort to get every one settled in a comfortable manner whose behaviour shall merit such friendly interference.
N.B. Any breach of the above regulations, or any attempt to deface or destroy this paper, will be punished severely; and the person so offending must not expect to be recommended to the kind notice of the Governor of New South Wales.
Several of those ill-fated creatures
had been capitally respited; twentythree were sentenced to transportation for life ; fifty for fourteen, and fortyeight for seven years.
A LIBERAL ACT.
At 11 A.M. Mrs. Pryor and Mrs. Coventry, accompanied by the solicitor to the Bank of England, came on board. The Solicitor was commissioned by the Bank Company to make a present of five pounds to every woman who had been convicted of uttering forged notes, or of having them in possession. The amount of (he money thus gratuitously expended in favour of the unhappy / women, was two hundred and five pounds sterling, there being forty-one persons at this time sent out of the country for that offence alone.
This donation to the female convicts, —for it is not given to males in the same predicament,—has, I am informed, existed for a considerable time, and doubtless originated in worthy feelings, —to alleviate in some degree the distresses and want brought upon them by their prosecution.
LANDING IN NEW SOUTH WALES.
Four days elapsed before the wind became favourable for conveying the remaining women to Parramatta, a water passage of about twenty miles, where I took occasion to visit them at the Factory on the morning after their arrival. It would indeed be a difficult task to give an adequate notion of the miserable state in which I found them. They all collected around me, and for several minutes not one of them could utter a word; but their streaming eyes and deep sobs sufficiently expressed the state of their feelings. Some of them gave a shocking account of the manner in which the last night had been spent. On their arrival the preceding evening they had not got within the Factory before they were surrounded by hordes of idle fellows, convicts, who came provided with bottles of spirits some, and others \^ith provisions, for the purpose of forming a banquet according to custom, which they assured themselves of enjoying without interruption, as a prelude to excesses which decency forbids to mention. They calculated, it seems, on this security, in consequence of a guilty understanding between themselves and the constables, whom they found little difficulty of reconciling to remissness on such an occasion.
At first I was unwilling to credit the account which these women gave of this strange and disorderly visit of the con
vicls 5 but they soon convinced me by pointing out several of these half-naked half-starved, miserable-looking wretches, who were still lurking around this receptacle of misery,—the well-known theatre of infamous excesses. Several of the women, whose dispositions had been particularly improved on the voyage, and who still retained a strong sense of propriety, exclaimed with tears of anguish, u O God! Sir, we are all sent here to be destroyed." They declared it to be quite impossible to remain virtuous amidst the concentrated immorality, and the various forms in which temptation was presented to them.
MORALS OP SYDNEY.
It way at first view appear strange, but the fact is indisputable, that the public houses in Sydney, although fortunately reduced recently from sixtyseven to twenty-five, still evidently too numerous in proportion to the population, are as much frequented as almost any of those in the British metropolis. A notion of the customary run of those houses may be formed from the gains of the persons who keep them being sometimes so enormous, as to enable them to accumulate in about three years' time what they consider a fortune. How the persons frequenting those houses obtain money to purchase beer and spirits, both of the worst kind, at a price vastly beyond the London rates, is a matter of astonishment; yet so constant among the convicts is the habit of drinking, that one can scarcely pass through the streets of Sydney without meeting some of them in a state of intoxication. They are, it is true, under the watchfulness of a police said to be extremely active,— . and in many respects this representation is correct; but the fact is as above stated; 1 have seen women in a state of inebriety too shocking to describe, and this occurring at almost every hour of the day.
This account has reference to the respectable parts of the town of Sydney; but there are other divisions of that place which would be difficult of description. In those portions designated the. Rocks, scenes of drunkenness, shameless debauchery, and open profligacy are so frequent and disgusting, that they cannot be seen without abhorrence; and such is the absolute want of common decency, that even in the day time a person of respectable appearance is there liable to be abused and Monthlt Mag. No. 363.
maltreated; but at night it would be extremely imprudent to attempt passing through even the extreme parts of this fortress of iniquity, as there is a hazard, or rather a certainty of being stripped and plundered. The luffians treat one another in the same manner; hence broils and boxing-matches are perpetually occurring in that quarter. The low public-houses, many of which are permitted in those purlieus, present a ready way of converting the plunder 'into means of intemperate jollity; whilst the occasion is commonly heigh tened by the presence of one or more of those degraded females, who minister to the mischief of the moment, and are thereabouts constantly resident in great numbers.
TREATMENT OF CONVICTS.
Having inspected the condition of the prisoners, and redressed their complaints, if any, His Excellency gives them all a salutary and solemn admonition. He assures them, that no application in their favour from home or elsewhere will be attended to, unless ■ their own behaviour in the colony be correct; that they must now consider themselves in a new world, where their lives are, as it were, beginning; and that their future prosperity, or misery, will depend upon themselves.
It occasionally happens that ill-fated individuals arrive in the colony, as convicts, who have been brought up as gentlemen, and in whose cases there may appear, perhaps, more of misfortune than moral delinquency: such persons are generally indulged by His Excellency with tickets of leave, and opportunities allowed them to do well. The number of persons, however, to whom tickets of leave are granted on their arrival, is by no means so great as has been represented.
The convicts are now transferred to the care of the principal Superintendent, to whom all persons who want servants must apply. Some demur re*
farding the assignment of the indiviual for whom the application is made, not unfrequently occurs in this quarter. ■Persons of the first respectability, well informed regarding matters of thiskind, have assured me, that the settlers have frequently complained of the difficulty they experienced in obtaining the acquiescence of the Superintendent of convicts to allow them servants of their own particular choice, and that there was under such circumstances, only one way of procuring what they desired. 4 M Having Having no personal knowledge of thc manner in which this extraordinary agency Li effected, I do not pledge myself for the correctness of the statement; but I am well aware lhat the difficulty complained of does exist. Every settler to whom a convict servant is assigned, is required, by authority of the local Government, to pay as wages ten pounds sterling per annum to a male, and seven pounds to a female, besides board and lodging.
The male convicts not disposed of as servants, or by tickets of leave, arc formed into gangs, which are stationed in different parts of the country in Government employ, such as making and repairing roads, and various other public works, and are maintained from (he stores. Those employed at Sydney and its vicinity are lodged in a barrack, which has lately been erected, and is fitted for the accommodation of about eight hundred persons. There is another building of the same kind, at Emu Plains, but on a smaller scale, which want of time prevented me from visiting. The barrack at Sydney is spacious and lofty, erected in a healthy and appropriate situation; it is thoroughly ventilated, is kept exceedingly clean, and has many other advantages. Various means have been adopted to restrain thc irregularities of convicts, and punishments of a summary kind are frequently inflicted. Of these, the most severe next to that of death is transportation to the Coal River, which is ordered usually by His Honour the Judge Advocate, or a Bench of Magistrates, for a term of years, or for fife, as the enormity of the offence may require. Convicts dread this mode of punishment very much, because they are there compelled to work in chains from sun-rise till sun-set, and are subject also to other restrictions of a highly penal description. The rigour of this sentence is, however, frequently relaxed in degree, as the criminal shows signs of amendment; and in very few cases is it found necessary to subject any of the convicts to a repetition of that sentence. Punishment by flogging is sometimes resorted to, and the infliction, which may be ordered by any Magistrate on conviction, seldom exceeds twenty-five lashes.
_ For females, it is considered sufficiently severe to confine them for a limited time to constant labour in the Factory at Parrainatta: but enough has been said on that subject to satisfy
that they can benefit but very little from such a discipline. The restraint produced by those punishments generally has some effect in preventing crime; but that of sending offenders to the Coal River, to which punishment females as well as males are liable, appears the most dreaded, and crimes are evidently less frequent than might be expected in a population composed of such mischievous materials.
Statistical, Historical, and Political
NEW SOUTH WALES,
VAN DIE MEN'S LAND:
With a particular enumeration of the advantage* which these Colonies offer for Emigration, a demonstration of their superiority in many respect* over those possessed by the United States of America; and a word of advice to Emigrants.
THE SECOND EDITION,
Considerably enlarged,and embellished with a View
of the Town of Sydney, and a Map.
BT W. C. WEHTWORTH, ESQ.
A Native of the Colony.
[This, in every respect, is a very superior book to the preceding. The author is a man of sense, and he conveys to his readers much valuable information without appealing to their passions or superstitious feelings. It is, in a word, the best account of these remote settlements that has appeared, and from his reports of the colony tens of thousands now starving in England would be happy in being transported to them if it were not under the ignominious name of convicts, with a liability to be preached at and manacled during the voyage. The new discoveries in the interior are faithfully described, and seem likely to call for changes in oar maps of this vast region. The author's observations on the state and defects of the colonial government call for the early attention of both Houses of Parliament.
ASPECT OP THE COUNTRY.
If a judgment were formed of this island from the general aspect of the country bordering the sea, it would be pronounced one of the most barren spots on the face of the globe. Experience, however, has proved that such an opinion would be exactly the reverse of truth;, since, in as far as thc interior has been explored, its general fertility amply compensates for the extreme sterility of the coast.
The greater part of this country is covered with timber of a gigantic
growth, growth, but of an entirely different description from the timber of Europe. It is, however, very durable, and well adapted to all the purposes of human industry.
The only metal yet discovered is iron. It abounds in every part of the country, and in some places the ore is remarkably rich.- Coals are found in many situations of the best quality. There is also abundance of slate, limestone, and granite, though not in the immediate vicinity of Port Jackson. Sand-stone, quartz, and free-stone are found every where.
The aborigines of this country occupy the lowest place in the gradatory scale of the human species. They have neither houses nor clothing; they are entirely unacquainted with the arts of agriculture; and even the arms, which the several tribes have, to protect themselves from the aggressions of their neighbours, and the hunting and fishing implements, with which they administer to their support, are of the rudest contrivance and workmanship,
Thirty years intercourse with Europeans has not effected the slightest change in their habits; and even those who have most intermixed with the colonists have never been prevailed upon to practise one of the arts of civilized life. Disdaining all restraint, their happiness is still centered in their original pursuits; and they seem to consider the superior enjoyments to be derived from civilization, (for they are very far from being insensible to them) but a poor compensation for the sacrifice of any portion of their natural liberty. The colour of these people is a dark chocolate; their features bear a strong resemblance to the African negro ; they have the same flat nose, large nostrils, wide mouth, and thick lips: but their hair is not woolly, except in Van Diemen's Land, where they nave this further characteristic of the negro.
Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, is situated in 33° 55' of south latitude, and 151° 25' of east longitude. It is about seven miles distant from the lieads of Port Jackson, and stands principally on two hilly necks of land and the intervening valley, which together form Sydney Cove. The western side of uie town extends to the water's edge, and occupies, with the exception of the small space reserved around Dawe's Battery, the whole of
the neck of land which separa tes Sydney Cove from Lane Cove, and extends a considerable distance back into the country besides.
This part of the town, it may, therefore, be perceived, forms a little peninsula; and what is of still greater importance, the water is in general of sufficient depth in both these coves lo allow the approach of vessels of the largest burden to the very sides of the rock.
Tiie appearance of the town is rude and irregular. Until the administration of Governor Macquarie, little or no attention had been paid to the laying out of the streets, and each proprietor was left to build on bis lease, where and how his caprice inclined him. He, however, has at length succeeded in establishing a perfect regularity in most of the streets, and has reduced to a degree of uniformity, what would have, been deemed absolutely impracticable, even the most confused portion of that chaos of building, which is still known by the name of "The Rocks;" and which, from the ruggedness of its surface, the difficulty of access to it, and the total absence of order in its houses, was for many years more like the abode of a horde of .savages than the residence of a civilized community.
There are in the whole upwards of a thousand houses; and, although they arc for the most part small, and of mean appearance, there are many public buildings, as well as houses of individuals, which would not disgrace this great metropolis. Of the former class the public stores, the general hospital, and the barracks, are perhaps the more conspicuous; of the latter the houses of Messrs. Lord, Riley, Howe, Underwood, and Nichols.
Land in this town is in many places worth at the rate of £1000 per acre, and is daily increasing in value. Rents are in consequence exorbitantly high. It is very far from being a commodious house that can be had for JCIOO a year unfurnished.
Here is a very good market, although it is of very recent date. It was established by Governor Macquarie, in the year 1813, and is very well supplied with grain, vegetables, poultry, butter, eggs and frail.
Here also is a Bank, called " The Bank of New South Wales," which was established in the year ISI7, aud promises to be of great and permanent
beat-it to the colony in general. Its capital ik £2H>JIU), divided ialo two hundred share*. It has a regular charter of incorporatioa, and is under the eootroul of a president and six directors, who arc annually chosen by ll.e proprietors. The paper of 'lib bank is now (he principal circulating medium of the colony. They discount bills of a short date, and also advance money on mortgage securities. They are aflowe-i to receive in return an interest of ten per cent, per annum.
This town also contains two verygood public schools, for the education of children of both sexes. One is a day school for boys, and is, of course, only intended to impart gratuitous instruction ;—the other is designed both for the education and support of poor and helpless female orphans. This institution was founded by Governor King, as long back as the year ISOO, and contains about sixty children, who arc taught reading, writing, arithmetic, sewing, and the various arts of domestic economy.
Besides these two public schools in the town of Sydney, which together contained, by the last accounts received from the colony, two hundred and twenty-four children, there are establishments for the gratuitous diffusion of education in every populous district throughout the colony.
Independently of these laudable institutions thus supported at the expense of the government, there are two private ones intended for the dissemination of religions knowledge, which are wholly maintained by voluntary contribution. One is termed " The Auxiliary Bible Society of New South Wales," and its object is to co-operate with the British and Foreign Bible Society, and to distribute the holy Scriptures cither at prime cost, or gratis, to needy and deserving applicants. The other is called "The New South Wales Sunday School Institution," and was established with a view to teach well-disposed persons of all ageshowto read the sacred volume. These societies were instituted in the year 1817, and are under the direction of a general committee, aided by a secretary and treasurer.
There are in this town, and other parts of the colony, several good private seminaries for the board and education of the children of opulent parents. The best is in the district of Castlereagh,
which is about forty miles distent, and is kept by the eb-rgymaa at that district, the Rev. Henry Fulton, a gentleman peculiarly qualified both from his character and acquirement* for conducting so responsible and important an undertaking. The boys in this seminary receive a regular classical education, and the terms are as reasonable as those of similar establishments in this country.
HARBOCR i\D SCEXERY.
The harbour of Port Jackson is perhaps exceeded by none in the world except the Derwent in point of size and safety; and in this latter particular I rather think it has the advantage. It is navigable for vessels of any burden for about seven miles above the town, i. e. about fifteen from the entrance. It possesses the best anchorage the whole way, and is perfectly sheltered from every wind that can blow. It is said, and I believe with truth, to hare a hundred coves, and is capable of containing all the shipping in the world. There can be no doubt, therefore, that in the course of a few years, the town of Sydney, from the excellence of its situation alone, must become a place of considerable importance.
The views from the heights of the town are bold, varied, and beautiful. The strange irregular appearance of the town itself, the numerous coves and islets both above and below it, the towering forests and projecting rocks, combined with the infinite diversity of hill and dale on each side of the harbour, form altogether a coup d'seil. of which it may be safely asserted that few towns can boast a parallel.
The town of Pan a mat ta is situated at the head of Port Jackson Harbour, at the distance of about eighteen miles by water, and fifteen by land, from Sydney.
The town itself Is far behind Sydney in respect of its buildings; but it nevertheless contains many of a good and substantial construction. These, with the church, the government house, the new Orphan House, and some gentlemen's seats, which are situated on the surrounding eminences, give it, upon the whole, a very respectable appearance.
The population is principally composed of inferior traders, publicans, artificers, and labourers, and may he estimated, inclusive of a compan