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per cent, the price of labour was fixed at the rates contained in a general order, dated the 7th of December, 1816.
PRICE OP LAND, PROVISIONS, &C.
The price of land is entirely regulated by its situation and quality. So long as five years back 150 acres of very indifferent ground, about three quarters of a mile from Sydney, were sold by virtue of an execution-, in lots of twelve acres each, and averaged £14 per acre. This, however, is the highest price that has yet been given for land not situated in a town. The general value of unimproved forest land, when it is not heightened by some advantageous locality, as proximity to a town or navigable river, cannot be estimated at more than 10s. per acre. Flooded land will fetch double that sum. But on the banks of the Hawkesbury, as far as that river is navigable, the value of land is considerably greater; that, which is in a state of nature, being worth from £3 to £5 per acre, and that, which is in a state of cultivation, from £8 to £10. The latter description rents from 30s. to 60s. per acre.
The progress which this colony has made in manufactures has, perhaps, never been equalled by any community of such recent origin. It already contains extensive manufactories of coarse woollen cloths, hats, earthenware and pipes, salt, candles, and soap. There are also extensive breweries and tanneries, wheel and plough-wrights, gigmakers, black-smiths, nail-makers, tinmen, rope-makers, saddle and harnessmakers, cabinet-makers, and, indeed, all sorts of mechanics and artificers that could be required in an infant society, where objects of utility are naturally in greater demand than articles of luxury. Many of these have considerable capitals embarked in their several departments, and manufacture to a great extent. Of the precise amount, however, of capital invested in the whole of the colonial manufactories I can give no authentic account; but I should imagine it cannot be far short of £50,000.
VAN Diemen's Land.
Van Diemen's Land is situated between 40° 42', and 43" 43' of south latitude, and between 145° 3V and 148° 22' of east longitude. The honour of the discovery of this island also belongs to the Dutch; but the survey of it has been effected principally by the English.
The aborigines of this country are, if possible, still more barbarous and uncivilized than those of New Holland. They subsist entirely by hunting, and have no knowledge whatever of the art of fishing. Even the rude bark canoe, which their neighbours possess, is quite unknown to them ; and whenever they want to pass any sheet of water, they are compelled to construct a wretched raft for the occasion.
This island is upon the whole mountainous, and consequently abounds in streams. On the summits of many of the mountains there are large lakes, some of which are the sources of considerable rivers. Of these the Dei-went, Huon, and Tamar, rank in the first class.
There is, perhaps, no island in the world of the same size which can boast of so many fine harbours. The best are the Derwent, Port Davy, Macquarie Harbour, Port Dalrymple, and Oyster Bay: the first is on its southern side, the second and third on its western, the fourth on its northern, and the fifth on its eastern; so that it has excellent harbours in every direction.
The principal mineralogical productions of this island are, iron, copper, alum, coals, slate, limestone, asbestus, and basaltes; all of which, with the exception- of copper, are to be had in the greatest abundance.
Hobart Town, which is the seat of the Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land, stands nine miles up the river Derwent. It was founded only fifteen years since; and indeed the rudeness of its appearance sufficiently indicates the recency of its origin. The houses are in general of the meanest description, seldom exceeding one story in height, and being for the most part weather-boarded without, and lathed and plastered within. Even the government house is of very bad construction. The residences, indeed, of many individuals far surpass it. The population may be estimated at about 1000 souls. CLIMATE, &c.
The climate of this island is equally healthy, and much more congenial to the European constitution, than that of Port Jackson. The north-west winds, which are there productive of such violent variations of temperature, are here unknown; and neither the summers nor winters are subject to any great extremes of heat or cold. The frosts, indeed, are much more severe, and of
much much longer duration; and the mountains, with which this island abounds, are covered with snow during the greater part of the year; but in the ■valleys it never lingers on the ground more than a few hours. Upon an average the mean difference of temperature between these settlements and those on New Holland, (I speak of such as are to the eastward of the Blue Mountains, for the country to the westward of them, it has been already stated, is equally cold with any part of Van Diemen's Land,) may be estimated at ten degrees of Fahrenheit at all seasons of the year.
Soil, &c. In this island, as in New Holland, there is every diversity of soil, but certainly in proportion to the surface of the two countries, this contains, comparatively, much less of an indifferent quality. Large tracts of land perfectly free from timber or underwood, and covered with the most luxuriant herbage, are to be found in all directions; but more particularly in the environs of Port Dalrymple. Result of a Muster taken in New South Wales and its Dependencies in November, 1818. Number of souls . . 25,050
Acres of wheat . . . 20,100
of maize . 8,435
of barley . . . 1,140
of oats . . . 292
of pease and beans . 432
of potatoes . . . 730
—— of garden and orchard 995
——- of cleared ground . 49,600
Total held . . 290,600
Number of horses . . . 3,675
of horned cattle . 55,450
of sheep . . . 201,240
of hogs . . . 24,822
Bushels of wheat . 15,240
of maize . . 41,916
FORM OP GOVERNMENT.
It must be almost superfluous tostate, that, when this colony was formed, it was composed, with the exception of its civil and military establishments, entirely of convicts. It was consequently impossible that a body of meu, who were all under the sentence of the law, and had been condemned for their crimes to suffer either a temporary suspension, or total deprivation of the. civil rights of citizens, could be admitted to exercise one of the most important among the whole of them—the elective franchise; and to have vested this privilege in the civil and military
authorities, both of whom then, as at present, were subject to martial law, and were besides at that time without landed property, the only standard I conceive, by which the right either of electing, or being elected, can in any country be properly regulated, would have been equally improper and absurd.
Until, therefore, the free inhabitants of the colony had increased to a sufficient number to exercise the elective franchise, and until its productive powers had outstripped its consumptive, and it became necessary either to create new markets for its produce within, or to direct a portion of its strength to the raising of articles for exportation to other countries, the establishment of a free representative government would not have been expedient had it even been practicable.
On the expediency of appointing a council, His Majesty's ministers are,-1 believe, themselves agreed; and I will not, therefore, enter at great length on the subject. The arbitrary and revolting acts which the want of a controlling body of this nature has already occasioned, furnish the most convincing proof of its necessity. No power, in fact, could be established, which would, at one, and the same time, prove so firm a defence to the subject, and so stable a support to the executive. A council in the colonies bears many points of resemblance to the House of Lords in this country. Itforms that just equipoise between the democratic and supreme powers of the state, which has been found necessary not less to repress the licentiousness of the one, than to curb the tyranny of the other. Besides, it at all times provides a remedy for the inexperience or ignorance of governors; and is a sort of nucleus, round which all new bodies may easily agglomerate.
The last measure, which I consider necessary to the prosperity of this co lony, is a radical reform in the courts of justice. It has long since been noticed, that at the principal settlement and its dependencies there are five courts,—one of criminal—and the other four of civil judicature, viz. the criminal court, the governor's court, the supreme court, the court of vice admiralty, the high court of appeals, all of which are held in Sydney, and the lieutenant governor's court, which is held in Hobart Town.
THE winter and spring months of the year 1821, were somewhat drier than the average of these seasons in this climate; but little snow fell in this division of the kingdom. The temperature, though not severe in the early months, continued lower than usual until the month of August, when the greatest degree of heat was 83° Fahrenheit. February proved the coldest month, when the thermometer sunk to 6° below freezing point. May and June were ungenhil, and frequently gloomy, fostering unfavourable opinions of the approaching harvest and fruit seasons. These proved moderate in their produce, but later in their maturity than has occurred here for several seasons.
Notwithstanding many showery days in the early part of September, great quantities of grain were secured in good condition. January proved by far the driest month—December experienced the greatest rains; among the phenomena of the latter month, is the unusual sinking of the mercury in the barometrical tube, attended by tremendous storms. I find accounts from various quarters yield similar reports. The solar orb has exhibited very few macula; orfeculac this year; nothing of the kind worth recording has passed under my observation; indeed the atmosphere has rarely been favourable to astronomical observations.
W. H. Weekes.
General Remarks on the Weather, us observed at Carlisle during the year 1821. JANUARY—The weal her during this month, was, on the whole* very pleasant for the season: the first five days were severe frost; on the 4th, the thermometer was as low as 12°; it afterwards was dry, with intervals of moderate frost, till about (lie middleof the month. The whole of the remainder was remarkably mild, when (lie diurnal average of (he thermometer was at times above 50°.
February. The three first days were inild and showery, and rather stormy; the remainder was veiy dry and calm, with moderate frost in the nights; the average of the barometer 30-247 this month, is the highest since April, 1817.
March.—Was in general very wet and gloomy, and the temperature remarkably uniform; the average of the barometer 29-56 is near 7-tenths of an inch lower than that of the preceding month. During the whole of the winter months the ground in this district has never been quite covered with snow, some trifling showers which fell were speedily dissolved.
April.—The weather continued cold, wet, and ungenial till the 20th; during this time the surrounding mountains were generally covered with snow; the remaining eleven days were extremely sultry, with much vivid lightning, and very loud peals of thunder, particularly on the 25th, when-it was accompanied with torrents of rain; on the 26th the thermometer was as high as 71°.
May.—The average temperature of this month, 47°, is extremely low for the season; very little rain fell, the small quantity in the table, 1-26, is chiefly dissolved hail and snow—ice of considerable thickness was at times observed in the mornings; loud thunder and vivid lightning frequently occurred, accompanied with very heavy showers of large hail, particularly during the latter half of the month, when the mountains were often covered with snow.
June.—Was a succession of most unseasonable cold weather, the. trifling rain which fell in the former part of the month, was generally mixed with hail, when snow was observed on some of the mountains; on the 9th, we had some thunder, after which the weather was extremely droughty, with invariable parching easterly winds; the nights were generally inclined to frosf, when white rime was frequently seen in the mornings.
July.—The weather continued cold, and extremely droughty till the 20th, when the earth in many places was most dreadfully parched, and the crops very materially injured; the rivers here were never known to be so low, and many springs in this distiict were quite dry; the remaining twelve days were showery, but rather cold for the season.
August.—The former half of this month was temperate and pleasant, with genial showers; the latter half was dry, and at times most oppres
nvcly sively hot,—on the 24th, the thermometer was as high as 78o, and the average 69°. In the beginning of the month, thunder was frequently heard at a distance, accompanied with vivid lightning.
September.—The weather was on the whole very wet, and extremely moist and sultry; we seldom experienced more unfavourable weather than the present for securing the harvest; the rain was seldom heavy, but generally light and drizzling, and the weather almost uniformly sultry, moist, and gloomy.
October.—Was unseasonably mild, and remarkably wet and unpleasant, the quantity of rain, 4*67 inches, is nearly double our monthly average; in the nights, on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd, we had much lightning, with thunder and heavy showers of large hail. *
November.—Was a succession of the same unseasonable, mild, and extremely wet weather, which was experienced during the preceding month. On the morning of the 4th, ice was observed on the ponds in this neighbourhood, which soon disappeared; at this time much snow was observed on the surrounding mountains, and the weather, excepting this instance, was uniformly mild, the thermometer being seldom below 40°, but frequently 50<>, and upwards; the quantity of rain, 4-7 inches, exceeds that of the preceding month; the rivers often overflowed their banks; some violent hurricanes occurred, particularly in the latter part
of the month; in the evening of the 26tb, an aurora borealis was observed here, the sky being rather hazy at the time, therefore not brilliant or interesting.
December.—This month, like the two last, was unseasonably mild, and extremely wet, and stormy; we were frequently visited with dreadful hurricanes, accompanied with torrents of rain, but the most remarkable meteorological occurrence, in this season of the year, was a tremendous thunderstorm. On the 18th, in the former part of the day, much lightning was observed, with distant thunder ; in the afternoon it increased to a most violent storm, and appeared to pass direct over this city; the peals of thunder were dreadfully loud and appalling, the lightning which was of an azure colour, was extremely dense and vivid, and was accompanied with torrents of hail and rain. The fall of rain, &c. these three last months, amounts to 14 inches, and of six former months, viz., Jan., Feb., and the four summer months, only 8 inches; some trifling hoar-frost occurred in the mornings, which were often succeeded by storms of wind and rain; snow was frequently observed on the surrounding mountains. The very high average of the thermometer 42-1, is probably unprecedented in the same month in this climate. The average of the barometer, 29-32 inches, was never so low during the period of this re gister.
Carlisle, 2nd Jan. 1822. W. Pitt.
END OP THB FIFTY-SECOND VOLUME.
LIST OF PLATES.
Fac-simile of the hand-writing of George the Third Page 331
Sketch of the Battle of Aboukir 526