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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

But this was the only inconvenience


The

situation of Port Jackson, between two harbours, so that if a ship fall in with the coast in bad weather, a few miles either to the northward or to the southward, she can find immediate shelter, is a great advantage; and it perhaps will be found hereafter, that the seat of government has not been improperly placed. Governor Phillip observes, that they, as first settlers, laboured under some inconvenience from not being able to employ the convicts in agriculture on the spot where the provisions and stores were landed; but this was the only inconvenience, as having the convicts at some distance from the military was attended with many advantages.

When the governor first arrived, he had little time to look round him, as his instructions particularly pointed out, that he was not to delay the disembarking of the people, with a view of searching for a better situation than what Botany-Bay might afford. He was obliged to look farther, but did not think himself at liberty to continue his searches after he had been Sydney-Cove.

Had he seen the country near the head of the harbour, he might have been induced to have made the settlement there, but nothing was known of that part of the country, until the creek which runs up to Rose-hill was discovered, in a journey that the governor made to the westward, three months after they landed; and although he was then fully satisfied of the goodness of the soil, and saw the advantages

of that situation, most of the stores and provisions were landed, and it required some little time to do away the general opinion, that such a situation could not be healthy, and that he was inclined to think himself, until he had examined the country for some miles round, and was satisfied that there was a free circulation of air, in the goodness of which, few places equal it. The numbers of people, who had been settled at Rose-Hill, on an average for eighteen months, exceeded one hundred; and during that time they had only two deaths: a woman, who had been subject to a dropsy, and a marine, who had been there but a very short time before he died.

It is in that part of the country, that the governor proposed employing the convicts in agriculture, and in the neighbourhood of which, he proposed fixing the first settlers who might be sent out.

The impossibility of conveying stores and provisions for any distance inland obliged the governor to mark out the first township near Rose-Hill, where there is a considerable extent of good land: the sea-coast does not offer any situation within their reach at present, which is calculated for a town, whose inhabitants are to be employed in agriculture.

In order to know in what time a man might be able to cultivate a sufficient quantity of ground to support himself, the governor, in November, 1789, ordered a hut to be built in a good situation, an acre of ground to be cleared, and once turned up: it was then put into the possession of a very industrious convict, who was told, if he behaved well, he should have thirty acres. This man had said, that the time for which he had been sentenced was expired, and he wished to settle: he has been industrious, has received some little assistance, and in June, 1790, informed the governor, that if one acre more were cleared for him, he would be able to support himself after next January: this was much doubted, but it was thought he would do tolerably well, after being supported for eighteen months. Others may prove more intelligent, though they cannot well be more industrious.


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