The History of South Australia, Volume I. (2023)

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Title: The History of South Australia, Volume IAuthor: Edwin Hodder* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *eBook No.: 1302721h.htmlLanguage: EnglishDate first posted: May 2013Date most recently May 2013Produced by: Ned OvertonProject Gutenberg Australia eBooks are created from printed editionswhich are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright noticeis included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particularpaper edition.Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check thecopyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing thisfile.This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictionswhatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the termsof the Project Gutenberg Australia Licence which may be viewed online.

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Production Notes:

Some aspects of the punctuation has been modernised; a small numberof misprints (except names) have been corrected. The two mapsmentioned in the title have not been scanned with Volume I.





The History of South Australia, Volume I. (2)














St. Dunstan's House,

(All rightsreserved.)


It was the lifelong wish of Mr. George Fife Angas, one of theFathers and Founders of South Australia, that a History of theColony of his adoption, and which he was mainly instrumental inestablishing, should be written. To this end he collected a vastnumber of documents from all available sources, and for manyyears employed a secretary to set them in order, hoping some dayto write the History himself. But that day never came, and in1879 Mr. Angas passed away. Among his papers several were foundthat showed how intensely keen his desire was that a full andcomprehensive History, giving the story of the rise and progressof the colony, should be written. His son, the Hon. J.H. Angas,Member of the Legislative Council of South Australia, determinedthat the wish should be fulfilled, and kindly placed in my handsthe whole of the valuable and voluminous papers. Of this materialI have availed myself freely, and I have also drawn from Memoirs,Diaries, Travels, Parliamentary Debates, as well as from theColonial Newspapers.

For the sake of easy reference, I have divided the work intochapters dealing with the successive Administrations of thevarious Governors, and have given fuller detail in the earlierthan in the later chapters.

A special feature is the "Chronological Summary of Events",divided in like manner under the Administration of each Governor;and it is suggested that, after reading a chapter of the History,the corresponding portion of the Summary may be glanced throughwith advantage. It has been impossible to verify every date, thesource from which a fact has been gleaned having perhapscontained only vague phrases, such as "recently" or "a short timesince", in which case an approximate date has been given. Neitherhas it been possible to include every event of interest,and therefore those only have been chosen which appeared to mebest worth recording, as marking progressive stages in thedevelopment of the colony. The Summary cannot fail to prove ofinterest to colonists, as it will keep alive the memory of eventsin which many of them were personally concerned, while theObituary notices will recall the names and deeds of men and womenwho, like themselves, have been the "Makers" of the Colony.

I have to express my very hearty thanks to the Hon. J.H. Angasfor his untiring assistance during the whole period covered inthe preparation of this work. I also gladly acknowledge myindebtedness to the columns of the South AustralianRegister, to the valuable library of the Royal ColonialInstitute, and to the kindness and courtesy of Mr. J.S.O'Halloran, the Secretary to the Institute.





Matthew Flinders and GeorgeBass.—Bass's Straits.—TheInvestigator.—Discoveries ofFlinders.—Lincolnshire Names.—A MissingCutter.—Fate of Thistle and Taylor.—Spencer'sGulf.—Kangaroo Island.—Gulf of St.Vincent.—Encounter Bay.—Le Géographeand M. Baudin.—Le Naturaliste and M.Peron.—Circumnavigation of Australia.—Flinders sailsfor England in Colonial Cutter.—Imprisoned atMauritius.—Conduct of M. Peron.—Death ofFlinders.—Minor Explorers.—Captain Sturt and theMurray River.—Confirms Discoveries ofFlinders.—Suffering and Courage.—CaptainBarker.—Ascent of Mount Lofty.—Murder of CaptainBarker.—The Future Site of Adelaide


How Colonial Questions becamepopular.—Edward Gibbon Wakefield.—New Principles inColonization.—The Colonization Society.—Mr. Gougerand Colonel Torrens draw up a Scheme.—Lord Goderichannihilates it.—The Error of asking too much or toolittle.—Further Schemes.—Official Rebuffs.—TheSouth Australian Association.—Chartered Colony v.Crown Colony.—Leading Features of the South AustralianAct.—Stringent Provisions.—A Difficult Problem andhow it was solved


Mr. George FifeAngas.—Necessity for a Joint Stock Company.—Purchaseof the stipulated £35,000 worth of Land, Raising theGuarantee Sum of £20,000.—Formation of the SouthAustralian Company.—Objects contemplated. Fleet of theSouth Australian Company.—Choice of aGovernor.—Colonel Charles James Napier.—Money andTroops. Captain J. Hindmarsh.—His RemarkableCareer.—First Colonial Officers and theirSalaries.—H.M.S. Buffalo.—Colonel Light andhis Instructions.—The Founders of SouthAustralia


Arrival of PioneerVessels.—"Governor" Walker.—Mr. SamuelStephens.—Kingscote, Kangaroo Island.—Colonel Lightand the Survey Staff.—Examination of St. Vincent's Gulf andSpencer's Gulf.—First Contact with Natives.—HoldfastBay.—Lost in the Bush.—Removal of Settlers fromKangaroo Island.—Captain Light decides against Shores ofPort Lincoln for Site of Capital.—Arrival of GovernorHindmarsh.—Proclamation of the Colony.—First Banquetin South Australia.—The "Makers" of the Colony


The Governor and the ResidentCommissioner.—Site of the Capital—Discussionsthereon.—Appeal to the Board ofCommissioners.—Selections of Land.—First LandBoom.—Removal of Settlers from Kangaroo Island.—HardWork and Poor Pay.—Delay in the Surveys.—Too RapidImmigration and its Consequences.—Harbour proclaimed a FreePort.—First Buildings in Adelaide.—Operations of theSouth Australian Company.—The First Bank.—TheCompany's Land.—Rise of ReligiousInstitutions.—Schools and Schoolmasters.—TheAborigines; Origin, Manners, and Customs.—Protector ofAborigines.—Early Pastoral Pursuits.—OverlandArrivals of Stock.—First General GaolDelivery.—Newspapers.—Recall of CaptainHindmarsh.—Interim Administration of Mr. G.M.Stephens.—Tribute to the Pioneer Colonists


Offices of Governor and ResidentCommissioner combined.—Difficulties of Colonel Gawler'sPosition.—Financial Embarrassments.—Resignation ofColonel Light and the Survey Staff.—Death of ColonelLight.—Rapid Immigration and UnemployedLabour.—Erection of Public Buildings.—SpecialSurveys.—Explorations.—Mr. E.J. Eyre's Attempt toopen up Overland Route to Western Australia.—A Story ofHeroism.—Murder of John Baxter.—Board of SouthAustralian Commissioners disbanded.—Formation of SouthAustralian Society.—The "Company's" Road to thePort.—McLaren Wharf—Bushrangers.—Massacres byNatives.—Treatment and Punishment of CriminalAborigines.—Missionaries.—Question of ColonialChaplains.—Arrival of Germans.—A Story of ReligiousPersecution.—Pastor Kavel.—Fruits andVegetables.—Prosperity.—A Coming Storm.—ColonelGawler's Bills dishonoured.—A Critical Time.—ColonelGawler's Defence.—His Recall.—Universal Bankruptcy inColony


The Financial Crisis.—Views ofMr. G.F. Angas thereon.—South Australia a CrownColony.—The Governor and the ImperialGovernment.—Errors of theCommissioners.—Retrenchment.—UnemployedImmigrants.—Agitation.—Reports of Select Committee ofHouse of Commons.—A Loan guaranteed.—ColonialCreditors.—Outrages by Natives.—Mr. E.J.Eyre.—Native Schools.—A Tide of CommercialMisfortune.—Universal Bankruptcy.—ItsCauses.—Governor Grey's Bills dishonoured.—SeriousConsequences.—New Waste Lands Act.—Act for BetterGovernment of South Australia.—Signs ofImprovement.—Ridley's Reaping Machine.—MineralWealth.—Mr. Mengé.—Kapunda CopperMine.—Explorations.—Captain Sturt.—Mr.Drake.—Ecclesiastical Affairs.—Convictism.—BushFires.—Burra-Burra Copper Mine.—Port Adelaide a FreePort.—Popularity of Sir GeorgeGrey.—Eulogies


Tory of the Tories.—A BadBeginning.—A Royalty on Minerals proposed.—PublicExcitement thereon.—Mr. W.E. Gladstone on the Position ofColonial Governors.—Import Duty on Corn.—Canada andSouth Australia.—Imposition of Royalty onMinerals.—Specimen of South AustralianOratory.—Historical Scene in LegislativeCouncil.—Unpopularity of the Governor.—State Aid toReligion.—Political Dissenters.—League for theMaintenance of Religious Freedom.—State Aidgranted.—Return of Captain Sturt fromInterior.—Theological Observations of theGovernor.—Explorations of Mr. J.A.Horrocks.—Education Bill.—Steam Communication withEngland.—Arrival of Dr. Short, Bishop ofAdelaide


Antecedents.—Suspension ofRoyalties on Minerals.—Irish Orphans.—A Policy ofProgress.—Municipal Corporation for Adelaide.—A NewConstitution.—Federation proposed and rejected.—The"Political Association."—Universal Suffrage and theBallot.—A Lost Constitution.—Elections to NewLegislative Council.—Statistics.—State Aid toReligion permanently abolished.—Education.—City andPort Railway Bill.—Pensions.—CalifornianGold.—Anti-Transportation League.—The VictorianGold-fields.—Exodus from South Australia.—State ofAdelaide and Suburbs.—A Drain on the Banks.—ProposedAssay of Gold into Stamped Ingots.—The BullionAct.—Government Assay Office opened.—Mr. Tolmer andthe Overland Gold Escort.—Exciting Adventures.—Goldat Echunga.—Increased Cost of Living.—Navigation ofthe Murray.—Captain Cadell.—The Governor explores theMurray.—The "Murray Hundreds."—Dreams that never cametrue.—A Parliament for South Australiaproposed.—Opinions on a Nominee Upper House.—A CivilList Bill.—Establishment of District Councils.—Roadsand Railways.—Defence of the Colony.—MilitaryArdour


Antecedents of Sir R.G.MacDonnell.—Unemployed Irish Female Immigrants.—AnAmusing Incident.—The Parliament Bill.—ElectionRiots.—Opening of the New LegislativeCouncil.—Depression in Trade.—Retrenchment and theCivil Service.—-A Mania for SelectCommittees.—Adelaide Waterworks and Drainage.—NewConstitution Act.—Ballot and Universal Suffrage.—TheFirst South Australian Parliament.—A NobleRecord.—Questions of Privilege.—Originating MoneyBills.—Frequent Changes in Ministry.—Torrens' RealProperty Act.—Mr. Justice Boothby.—AustralianFederation.—Poll Tax on Chinese.—Colony attains itsMajority.—Assessment on Stock.—FreeImmigration.—The Political Association.—The DestituteAsylum.—Labour Tests.—The Working Men'sAssociation.—Defences of the Colony.—Wreck of theAdmella.—A Terrible Week.—PoliticalParties.—Ministerial Programmes.—Archdeacon Hale andthe Aborigines.—Poonindie.—Mr. G.F. Angas andMissions to Natives.—The Great Murray RailwayScheme.—Explorations.—Sir R.G. MacDonnell on theMurray.—Mr. B.H. Babbage.—A Fearful Death.—Mr.Stephen Hack.—Major Warburton.—John McDouallStuart.—Journeys to the Interior.—MiningDiscoveries.—Yorke's Peninsula.—Wallaroo andMoonta.—A Mining Mania.—South AustralianWines.—A Review of Six Years


Coming and Departing Guests.—AnIrish Gentleman.—War-likeTimes.—Volunteering.—Explorations.—McKinlay.—Burkeand Wills.—Return of J.M. Stuart after crossing andrecrossing the Continent.—A Great Ovation.—GeologicalSurvey by Mr. Hargreaves.-"No Man's Land."—MinisterialDifficulties.—The English Mail Service.—AnIntercolonial Conference.—"No Confidence"Motions.—Retirement of M.P.'s.—Red Rust inWheat.—Party Spirit.—The Northern Territory.—ATerrible Responsibility.—Waste Lands in NorthAustralia.—A Survey Expedition.—Mr. B.T. FinnissGovernment Resident.—A PioneerExpedition.—Misunderstandings.—Recall of Mr.Finnis.—Mr. G.W. Goyder sent out.—The SquatterQuestion.—Revaluations of Land.—UnprecedentedDrought.—Loss of Stock.—Visit of H.R.H. the Duke ofEdinburgh.—A Round of Gaieties.—AttemptedAssassination of the Duke of Edinburgh at Sydney.—Death ofSir Dominick Daly.—Funeral.—Review of hisAdministration






Matthew Flinders and GeorgeBass.—Bass's Straits.—TheInvestigator.—Discoveries ofFlinders.—Lincolnshire Names.—A MissingCutter.—Fate of Thistle and Taylor.—Spencer'sGulf.—Kangaroo Island.—Gulf of St.Vincent.—Encounter Bay.—Le Géographeand M. Baudin.—Le Naturaliste and M.Peron.—Circumnavigation of Australia.—Flinders sailsfor England in Colonial Cutter.—Imprisoned atMauritius.—Conduct of M. Peron.—Death ofFlinders.—Minor Explorers.—Captain Sturt and theMurray River.—Confirms Discoveries ofFlinders.—Suffering and Courage.—CaptainBarker.—Ascent of Mount Lofty.—Murder of CaptainBarker.—The Future Site of Adelaide.

THE first authenticated discovery of Australiaby a European is believed to have been made by Manoel Godinho deEredia, a Portuguese, in 1601. Five years later, Louis de Torres,a Spaniard, passed through the Straits that still bear his name.In 1609 De Quiros, also a Spaniard, saw the land and is said tohave called it Australia. Then followed several Dutch exploratoryexpeditions, and in 1664 the island-continent was named NewHolland by the Dutch Government. Dampier, in 1686, is supposed tohave been the first Englishman who visited Terra Australis, as itwas also called. In 1770 Captain Cook carefully explored the eastcoast, gave names to several localities, and took possession ofthe country for Great Britain.

Before the commencement of the present century, Bligh,Edwards, Portlock, Bampton, Alt, Vancouver, Furneaux, and othershad visited various parts of the coast, but there were still 250leagues of the Southern and Western seaboard marked on the mapsas the "Unknown Coast". The honour of tilling up this blank inthe chart of the Great South Land is due to Matthew Flinders.

In August, 1794, Captain John Hunter set sail in theReliance for the then newly formed penal settlement atPort Jackson, to succeed the first Governor, Captain Phillip.There were on board the vessel two daring young men panting foradventurous exploration—George Bass, surgeon, and MatthewFlinders, midshipman. Soon after arrival at Sydney some scope wasgiven to their ambition; they launched a little boat, eight feetlong, named the Tom Thumb, and with no other crew than asmall boy they sailed across Botany Bay and ascended twenty milesfurther up George's River than had been previously reached. Atanother time in the same boat they explored the Illawarra coast.After sundry trips, taken together or separately, during one ofwhich Mr. Bass had observed a supposed inlet between Van Diemen'sLand and the mainland, the Governor gave his consent to theproper fitting out of a boat expedition for further explorations;and Flinders and Bass set sail in the Norfolk, adeck-built boat of twenty-five tons, with a crew of eight men. Asa result of this voyage. Van Diemen's Land was proved to be anisland separated from the mainland by a strait ever since knownas Bass's Strait.

In 1800 Flinders returned to England in the Reliance,and so successfully urged upon the Government the importance ofprosecuting the survey of the Unknown Coast, that an expeditionwas at once fitted out, a war-vessel, the Xenophon,renamed the Investigator on account of the service inwhich she was to be employed, being set apart for the purpose,and Flinders was promoted to the rank of Commander. Every carewas taken in the outfit, and besides the provision made byGovernment, the Honourable East India Company gave the sum of£600 for any additional necessities. The crew was composedof picked men; amongst the midshipmen was Mr. (afterwards Sir)John Franklin, the great Arctic navigator, and attached to thescientific staff was Robert Brown, the able botanist, and WilliamWestall, a celebrated landscape painter.*

[* Westall's original sketches are now in thelibrary of the Royal Colonial Institute, London.]

Owing to the war between France and England then in progress,a passport was obtained from the French Government ensuring theexpedition from molestation by any of the armed ships of theenemy.

The Investigator arrived off Cape Leeuwin (or Lioness,so named after a Dutch vessel that had made the headland in 1622)on the 6th of December, 1801, and after proceeding to KingGeorge's Sound to refit, Captain Flinders set forth on his voyageof discovery. The map of South Australia still marks the courseof his route. Fowler's Bay was named after his first lieutenant;Streaky Bay on account of the colour of the water; Smoky Bay fromthe smoke of bush fires; Denial Bay because of its proximity toSt. Peter's Island; Investigator's Group, one of which wascalled Flinders' Island, after the second lieutenant (thecaptain's brother), and Coffin Bay named after Vice-Admiral SirIsaac Coffin.

On the 20th of February, 1802, Flinders arrived at an inletsince known as Sleaford Bay. He was a Lincolnshire man, and thiswas one of a series of places he named after spots in hiswell-loved native county. At Sleaford Bay he found that the coasttook a sudden turn, trending to the north, but that no land wasvisible to the north-east, from which quarter a strong tide wassetting in. This gave rise to many wild conjectures. "Largerivers, deep inlets, inland seas, and passages into the Gulf ofCarpentaria," says Flinders, "were terms frequently used in ourconversations of this evening, and the prospect of making aninteresting discovery inspired new life into every man in theship." Next morning Flinders went on shore, accompanied by Mr.Thistle, the mate, and satisfied himself of the insularity of theland. Soon after this a cutter was sent on shore in charge of Mr.Thistle with a midshipman named Taylor and others, to search foran anchorage and water. It was a fatal voyage. For a long timethe little boat had been watched sailing hither and thither inher search, and towards dusk she was seen returning from theland. Then suddenly she was lost to sight, and Lieutenant Fowlerwent in a boat with a lantern to ascertain the cause. Two hourspassed without any tidings. A gun was then fired, and LieutenantFowler returned soon afterwards, but alone. Near the situationwhere the cutter had been last seen he met with so strong arippling of tide that he himself narrowly escaped being capsized,and there was reason to fear that this was what had actuallyhappened to Mr. Thistle and his companions. Had there beendaylight, some or all of the crew might have been saved, althoughonly two out of the eight were good swimmers. But the tide wasrunning strong, the night was pitchy dark, and hope wasabandoned.

Next morning the missing cutter was found bottom upwards, andalthough most careful and diligent search was made in everydirection, not a trace was ever discovered of any of the crew.The sight of a large number of sharks in the immediateneighbourhood furnished a horrible suggestion of their fate.

Flinders called the island on which he had landed ThistleIsland, and caused an inscription to be engraved on a sheet ofcopper, and set up on a post at the head of the little inlet,which in commemoration of the sad event he named Memory Cove; theadjacent headland he called Cape Catastrophe, and the surroundingislands Grindal, Hopkins, Williams, Taylor, after men lost in thecutter. When all attempts to find any survivor of the missingboat's crew had proved ineffectual, Flinders entered amagnificent harbour, Port Lincoln, where he determined to refitand take in water. Almost every place in this neighbourhood henamed after localities familiar to him in Lincolnshire. Thus thebay, an island, and a point of land bore the name Boston; CapeDonnington commemorated his native village; Louth Bay, SpaldingCove, Kirton Point, Stamford Hill, Reevesby, Sibsey, Grantham andSpilsby Islands, Sleaford Bay and Mere—all memorialize moreor less the county of the fens.

On the 6th of March he left Port Lincoln and proceedednorthwards. A cluster of islands was named after Sir JosephBanks, whose good offices with the Admiralty had procured theequipment of the expedition; Barn Hill, Mount Young, MiddleMount, Point Lowly, Mount Brown, Mount Arden, and other placesfurther marked the course of his explorations, while the wholerange, of which these mountains formed a part, was honoured withthe name of Flinders himself.

The great gulf he was exploring pursued a northerly direction,and Flinders entertained a strong hope that a channel would befound by which he could reach the Gulf of Carpentaria. Soon,however, the land began to lose its bold appearance, andeventually the gulf was found to terminate in desolate mud flats.On the return of the Investigator on the east side of thegulf two capes were named Points Riley and Pearce, after twogentlemen in the Admiralty, and on the 19th of February heentered a bay and named it after the Earl of Hardwicke. On thefollowing day he was again at the head of the gulf namedSpencer's Gulf, after Earl Spencer who was First Lord of theAdmiralty at the time the expedition of the Investigatorwas determined upon. The eastern point of land he called CapeSpencer, and three islands near, the Althorpes.

Land was now seen from south to south-west, but whether it wasan island or part of the continent was as uncertain as whetherthe wide opening seen at the same time was an inlet or a strait.Overtaken in a storm, Flinders stood across to the land, and,after rounding the headland (named Point Marsden, after theSecond Secretary of the Admiralty), a bay was found beyondoffering good shelter, and here they anchored, naming it NepeanBay, after Sir E. Nepean, First Secretary of the Admiralty.

On the 22nd Flinders went ashore, and found a number ofdark-brown kangaroos feeding beside a wood. "It would bedifficult to guess how many kangaroos were seen," he wrote, "butI killed ten; the rest of the party made up the number tothirty-one taken on board in the course of the day, the least ofthem weighing 69 and the largest 125 pounds. . . . I scrambledwith difficulty through the brushwood and over fallen trees toreach the higher land with the surveying instruments, but thethickness and height of the wood prevented anything else frombeing distinguished. There was little doubt, however, that thisextensive piece of land was separated from the continent, for theextraordinary tameness of the kangaroos, and the presence ofseals upon the shore, concurred with the absence of all traces ofmen to show that it was not inhabited. . . . The whole ship'scompany," he adds, "was employed this afternoon in skinning andcleaning the kangaroos, and a delightful regale they affordedafter four months' privation from almost any fresh provisions.Half a hundredweight of heads, forequarters, and tails werestewed down into soup for dinner on this and the succeeding days,and as much steaks given, moreover, to both officers and men asthey could consume by day and by night. In gratitude for soseasonable a supply I named the southern land Kangaroo Island."And here, as we shall presently see, the first settlers in SouthAustralia landed in 1836.

While off Kangaroo island the captain named the nearestheadland Cape Jervis, and the highest land seen to the north-eastMount Lofty. Leaving Kangaroo Island, he stood across for CapeSpencer, naming the straits between, Investigator'sStraits, and on the 29th of February found himself in anothergulf with land right ahead as well as on both sides. A rise atthe head of the gulf he named Hummock Mount, and in honour of theadmiral who presided at the Board of Admiralty when he leftEngland, he called his new discovery the Gulf of St. Vincent; thepeninsula separating the two gulfs he designated Yorke'sPeninsula, after the Right Honourable Charles Philip Yorke, and adangerous shoal at the entrance of Gulf St. Vincent, TroubridgeShoal.

Flinders pronounced the country round the Gulf of St. Vincentto be generally superior to that on the borders of Spencer'sGulf, but the only notice he gives of its eastern side, destinedto become a few years afterwards an important British settlement,was as follows: "The nearest part of the coast was distant threeleagues, mostly low, and composed of sand and rock, with a fewsmall trees scattered over it; but a few miles inland, where theback mountains rise, the country was well clothed with foresttimber, and had a fertile appearance."

The Investigator touched once more at Kangaroo Island,"where not less than thirty emus were seen on shore at one time,"and then proceeded through what Flinders called BackstairsPassage and anchored in Antechamber Bay. The headland at itseastern end, where now a fine lighthouse stands, he named CapeWilloughby. Leaving here, he passed three small islands, ThePages, and soon after a report from aloft announced a white rockahead. "On approaching nearer," says Flinders, "it proved to be aship standing towards us, and we cleared for action in case ofbeing attacked. The stranger was a heavy-looking ship without anytopgallant masts up, and, on colours being hoisted, she showed aFrench ensign, and afterwards an English jack forward, as we dida white flag. At half-past five, the land being then five milesdistant to the north-east, I hove-to, and learned, as thestranger passed to leeward with a fair wind, that it was theFrench national ship Le Géographe, under thecommand of Captain Nicholas Baudin. We veered round as LeGéographe was passing, so as to keep our broadside toher, lest the flag of truce should be a deception, and havingcome to the wind on the other tack, a boat was hoisted out, and Iwent on board the French ship, which had also hove-to." Thepassports of both captains were exchanged and read, and Flinderslearned that his fellow-navigator had parted company from hisconsort-ship Le Naturaliste in a heavy gale in Bass'sStraits, had lost his geographical engineer with the largest boatand its crew, and that he had examined part of Van Diemen's Landand part of the south coast of Australia. The navigatorscommunicated their discoveries to each other, and Flinderspresented Baudin with some charts. In honour of this friendlymeeting Flinders named the locality Encounter Bay, and in passingalong the southern coast adopted the nomenclature of Baudin,except in the case of two headlands discovered by Grant inDecember, 1800, and named respectively Capes Northumberland andBridgewater.

Monsieur Peron, the naturalist to the French expedition,pursued a very different course with regard to the discoveries ofFlinders, not only laying a claim to them on behalf of hisnation, but renaming nearly all of them. Kangaroo Island hecalled L'Isle Décres, Spencer's Gulf Golfe Bonaparte, GulfSt. Vincent Golfe Joséphine, and so on.

This attempt to rob Captain Flinders of the honour so justlydue to him was, as we shall see, afterwards exposed andcondemned.

The first lieutenant of Le Géographe was farmore honourable than Monsieur Peron; on meeting Flinders sometime after at Port Jackson, he said to the English navigator."Captain, if we had not been kept so long picking up shells andcatching butterflies at Van Diemen's Land, you would not havediscovered the South Coast before us."

On the 9th of May, 1802, the Investigator anchored atPort Jackson, where Flinders was heartily welcomed by theGovernor, to whom he communicated the important discoveries hehad made, and also sent an account of them to England by theSouth Sea whaler Speedy.

On the 22nd of July, 1802, he sailed from Port Jackson withthe Investigator and the Lady Nelson, for thepurpose of visiting Torres Straits and the north coast ofAustralia.

During this voyage—with the details of which we shallnot concern ourselves here, although he explored some portions ofthe Northern Territory which in 1863 was added to the province ofSouth Australia—he circumnavigated Australia and returnedto Port Jackson on the 9th of June, 1803. The Investigatorwas now found to be unfit for further service, and as there wasno other vessel in the harbour ready for exploring purposes,Flinders determined to proceed to England and lay his charts andjournals before the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and ifpossible obtain another ship.

A series of disasters now befell the heroic explorer. Soonafter leaving Port Jackson in thePorpoise—accompanied by the Bridgewater andthe Cato—he was wrecked on the Barrier Reef, theCato sharing a similar fate. The Bridgewaterescaped, and proceeded on her voyage to India. The crews of thetwo wrecked vessels contrived to get upon a sandbank, where theyremained while Flinders returned to Sydney, a distance of sevenhundred miles, in one of the ship's boats to procureassistance.

The Governor placed two small ships at his disposal, and withthem he proceeded to the reef, and rescued all his companions.One of the two ships was a colonial cutter, theCumberland, of twenty-nine tons, and on his return toSydney Flinders conceived the idea of proceeding in this frailcraft, only a little larger than a river-boat, to England. Onmaking his plan known to the Governor, it was, strange to say,favourably entertained.

Flinders proposed to put into whatever port lay in his routefor supplies of provisions and water, and seemed to entertain nodoubt of a successful issue to his voyage; but in course of timehis little vessel sprung a leak, and he steered to Mauritius forrepairs. But here, being unprovided with any other passport thanthe one issued for the Investigator, he and his crew weretaken prisoners. By an unlucky chance, LeGéographe, with the members of the French expeditionwho could have established his identity, had sailed fromMauritius on the day before his arrival. Having come fromAustralia, he was asked if he had seen or heard of "Flindera" thenavigator, and the Governor of the island refused to believe hisreply that he was the man, or that any Australian Governor wouldhave sanctioned a voyage to England in such a small and dangerouscraft.

Flinders, therefore, was detained a prisoner, and his paperswere taken from him. For six weary years he sufferedincarceration, and was only set at liberty when, in 1810, theisland was capitulated to the English.

"While Flinders was a prisoner at Mauritius, Monsieur Peron,the naturalist of Baudin's expedition, issued one volume ofvoyages and discoveries in Australia, in which he made theaudacious attempt to deprive Flinders of the honour of hisdiscoveries by giving French names to most of the places theEnglish navigator had already visited and named.

This ungenerous attempt to appropriate the result of thelabours of another was unsuccessful. The account of hisdiscoveries which, owing to his incarceration. Flinders wasunable to publish until 1814, completely set at rest for ever thejustness of his claims, and there is a fine ring in the generouswords of the heroic sailor when, in his published work, "Accountof a Voyage to Terra Australis", he says, "How, then, cameMonsieur Peron to advance what was so contrary to truth? Was he aman destitute of all principle? My answer is, that I believe hiscandour to have been equal to his acknowledged abilities, andthat what he wrote was from an overruling authority, and smotehim to the heart, for he did not live to print his secondvolume."

Flinders died on the 14th of July, 1814, the very day on whichhis book was published. A monument to his memory was erected atPort Lincoln by Sir John Franklin when he was Governor ofTasmania.

From the time that Flinders and Baudin visited and exploredparts of the coast-line of South Australia, several years elapsedbefore any further important discoveries were made. CaptainDillon, the discoverer of the remains of La Pérouse,visited Port Lincoln and Encounter Bay; Captain Sutherland, incommand of a whaler, visited Kangaroo Island, which became inprocess of time partly inhabited by convicts who had escaped fromthe neighbouring penal settlements, and by runaway seamen, andone Captain Jones is said to have discovered the harbour nowknown as Port Adelaide.

In 1830, twenty-eight years after Flinders set forth on hismemorable voyages, a vast addition to the knowledge of Australiangeography in general and of South Australia in particular wasmade by the discoveries of Captain Charles Sturt.

In September, 1829, the Government of New South Wales, beinganxious to trace the flow of the waters of the Murrumbidgee, orof such rivers as might be connected with it, instructed CaptainSturt to make the necessary preparations for a second descentinto the interior for this purpose.

On the 14th of January, 1830, while pursuing the objects ofthe expedition down the Murrumbidgee, he came "suddenly andunexpectedly at the conflux of that river with a noble stream,flowing," as he says, "from east to west at the rate of two and ahalf knots an hour over a clear and sandy bed of a medium widthof from three hundred to four hundred feet."

The river into which the whaleboat and her exploring party hadbeen launched. Captain Sturt named the Murray after Sir GeorgeMurray, who at that time presided over the Colonial Department.Pursuing his onward course down the Murray, which Captain Sturtat first supposed was the Darling—a river he had previouslydiscovered and named after General Darling Governor of New SouthWales—he arrived on the 23rd of January, greatly to hissurprise and satisfaction, at the junction of the Darling withhis new discovery, the Murray.

The Darling at this point was found to be about one hundredyards wide and twelve feet deep, and in 140° 56" of eastlongitude, that is to say, just without the boundary afterwardsfixed for the province of South Australia. In 140° 29" hefound another considerable junction of a river, which he namedthe Lindesay, after the colonel of his regiment. A little lowerdown he passed another, which he named the Rufus, after the redhair of his companion, Mr. (afterwards Sir George) MacLeay.

On the 9th of March, finding the horizon getting clearer tothe south, Captain Sturt landed to survey the country. Referringto this circumstance, he wrote—

"I still retained a strong impression on my mind that somechange was at hand, and on this occasion I was not disappointed;but the view was one for which I was not altogether prepared. Wehad at length arrived at the termination of the Murray.Immediately below me was a beautiful lake which appeared to be afitting reservoir for the noble stream that had led us to it, andwhich was now ruffled by the breeze that swept over it. Theranges were more distinctly visible, stretching from south tonorth, and were certainly distant forty miles. They had aregular, unbroken outline, declining gradually to the south, butterminating abruptly at a lofty mountain northerly. I had nodoubt in my mind of this being the Mount Lofty of CaptainFlinders, or that the range was that immediately to the eastwardof St. Vincent's Gulf. Between us and the ranges a beautifulpromontory shot out into the lake, being a continuation of theright bank of the Murray. Over this promontory the watersstretched to the base of the ranges and formed an extensive bay.To the north-west the country was exceedingly low, but distantpeaks were just visible over it. To the south-west a boldheadland showed itself, beyond which, to the westward, there wasa clear and open sea visible through a strait formed by thisheadland, and a point projecting from the opposite shore. To theeast and south-east the country was low, excepting the left shoreof the lake, which was backed by some minor elevations, crownedwith cypresses. Even while gazing on this fine scene I could notbut regret that the Murray had thus terminated, for I immediatelyforesaw that in all probability we should be disappointed infinding any practicable communication between the lake and theocean, as it was evident that the former was not much influencedby tides."

The Murray at this depôt, and forty miles from itsmouth, was found to be 350 yards wide, and from twenty totwenty-five feet deep. Finding the wind too boisterous to crossthe lake, tents were pitched on a low tract of land thatstretched apparently for many miles to the eastward. It was ofthe richest soil, being a black vegetable deposit. Encouraged bythe appearance of the country. Captain Sturt, accompanied byMacLeay, walked out to examine it from some hills a little to thesouth-east of their camp, and found that the flat extended overabout fifty miles, and was bounded by the elevations thatcontinued easterly from the left bank of the Murray to the north,and by a line of rising ground to the south, the whole beinglightly wooded and covered with grass.

"Thirty-three days had now passed over our heads," saysCaptain Sturt, "since we left the depôt on theMurrumbidgee, twenty-six of which had been passed upon theMurray. We had at length arrived at the grand reservoir of thosewaters whose course and fate had previously been involved in suchobscurity. It remained for us to ascertain whether the extensivesheet of water upon whose bosom we had embarked had anypracticable communication with the ocean, and whether the countryin the neighbourhood of the coast corresponded with thatimmediately behind our camp, or kept up its sandy and sterilecharacter to the very verge of the sea."

In crossing the lake a south-westerly course was pursued,leaving the great expanse of waters to the north-west, and theadjacent country unexplored on the downward voyage. A neck ofland extending several miles into the lake was supposed to be anisland from the indentation which takes place near the presenttownship of Milang. This point, and the one on the oppositeshore, have appropriately been named respectively Point Sturt andPoint MacLeay.

When Sturt reached the shore of Encounter Bay, he found hisstock of provisions so short that he had only just time to visitthe mouth of the Murray and retrace his steps with all possiblespeed. The scarcity of provisions was not the only difficulty theparty had to anticipate; some of the native tribes on the banksof the Murray and down to the sea-coast had shown themselveshostile to the expedition on its downward journey, and it was notto be expected that they would be friendly on its return.

The whole of the voyage back was one protracted course ofsuffering, but courage never flagged.

"The men were indeed so exhausted in strength," wrote CaptainSturt, "and their provisions so much reduced by the time theygained the coast, that I doubted much whether either could holdout to such place as we might hope for relief. Yet reduced as thewhole of us were from previous exertion, beset as our homewardpath was by difficulty and danger, and involved as our eventualsafety was in obscurity and doubt, I could not but deplore thenecessity that obliged me to recross the Lake Alexandrina (as Ihad named it, in honour of the heir-apparent to the BritishCrown), and to relinquish the examination of its western shores.. . . We were borne over its ruffled and agitated surface withsuch rapidity that I had scarcely time to view it as we passed,but, cursory as my glance was, I could not but think I wasleaving behind me the fullest reward of our toil in a countrythat would ultimately render our discoveries valuable, andbenefit the colony for whose interests we were engaged. Hurried,I would repeat, as my view of it was, my eye never fell on acountry of more promising aspect or of more favourable positionthan that which occupies the space between the lake and theranges of St. Vincent's Gulf, and continuing northerly from MountBarker stretches away without any visible boundary."

Exactly six months after their departure, Captain Sturt andhis gallant men were all safely back in Sydney, but in an utterlyexhausted state. They had passed through terrible sufferings, buttheir indomitable courage had prevented them from sinking intodespair, which would have resulted in certain death.

In his report to the Colonial Government of New South Wales,Captain Sturt strongly urged that a further examination of thecoast should be made from the most eastern coast of Encounter Bayto the head of St. Vincent's Gulf, to ascertain with certainty ifthere were any other outlet for the waters of the Murray than theone he had discovered; the large body of water in the north-westpart of the lake leading him to entertain the hope that there wasa channel in that direction.

Governor Darling lost no time in carrying out thisrecommendation, and determined to avail himself of the servicesof Captain Collet Barker, who had been Commandant at Raffles Bay,and more recently had occupied a similar post at the settlementin Western Australia. He was directed to proceed to Cape Jervisand carry on his survey from that point. He was accompanied byDr. Davis, an assistant-surgeon of his regiment (the 39th Foot),and Mr. Kent of the Commissariat.

On the 13th of April, 1831, the expedition arrived off CapeJervis and proceeded up the eastern side of St. Vincent'sGulf.

On the 17th Captain Barker, accompanied by Mr. Kent, hisservant Mills, and two soldiers, went on shore. They entered anarrow inlet at the base of the Mount Lofty ranges and weredelighted with the beauty of the scenery, bearing the appearanceof natural meadows lightly timbered and covered with a variety ofgrasses. Finding a rocky glen at the head of the inlet wherethere was abundance of water, the party bivouacked for the night,and on the following morning, leaving the two soldiers at theresting-place, Captain Barker, Mr. Kent, and the servant keptalong the ridge of the range gradually ascending in the directionof Mount Lofty. In the course of the day they passed round thehead of a deep ravine whose smooth and grassy sides presented abeautiful appearance. A few miles from this ravine the partyencamped for the night, and on the following morning passed overMount Lofty. After sleeping another night on the ranges, theyrejoined the soldiers, who had obtained an abundant supply offish in the mean time. While on Mount Lofty Captain Barker hadobserved an indentation in the coast to the north-west, and nowproceeded to examine it. Little, of course, did he imagine thatthis inlet would, in a few years, become the harbour of thecapital of a flourishing colony, and still less did he supposethat, within the same period, the uninhabited plains he had seenfrom the summit of Mount Lofty would be teeming with a busypopulation, and be skirted with the villa residences of the morewealthy and successful of the colonists. Between the inlet justreferred to, and the one entered by the party on the 17th,Captain Barker discovered a small clear stream to which he gavethe name of the "Sturt", after the gallant discoverer of theMurray.

Captain Barker and his former land-party next went ashore in asmall bay behind Cape Jervis, and found themselves, on landing,in a rich and fertile valley, probably the Rapid Bay of a laterdate. Crossing over the ranges, they obtained a view of EncounterBay, and proceeding still further to the north-east along thesummit of the hill, they saw Lake Alexandrina and the channel ofits communication with the sea. From this they descended towardsthe channel close to the sand hillock upon which Captain Sturthad pitched his tent before his return journey up the Murray, andthen kept along the beach until they reached the sea mouth.Captain Barker judged the breadth of the channel to be a quarterof a mile, and being anxious to take bearings, and to ascertainthe nature of the strand beyond it to the eastward, hedetermined, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his people, toswim across. Unfortunately he was the only one of the party whocould swim well enough for the purpose. He stripped and swamacross with his compass fastened on his head, with difficultygaining the opposite side, and then he was seen to ascend thehillock ** and take several bearings. He then descended on thefurther side—and was never seen again. For a long time hiscomrades waited in anxious suspense; then some of them heard, orthought they heard, a sharp sudden cry. Evening advanced withoutany sign of Captain Barker's return, but when night set in theterrible explanation came. Upon the sandhill the doomed man hadascended, the natives had lighted a chain of small fires, aroundwhich their women were chanting a melancholy dirge. It struckupon the ears of the listeners with an ominous thrill, andassured them of the irreparable loss they had sustained.

[** Now called Barker's Knoll.]

As the only means of ascertaining definitely their leader'sfate, they sought the assistance of the sealers on KangarooIsland, when, for a certain reward, one of the men agreed toaccompany Mr. Kent to the mainland with a native woman who wouldcommunicate with the tribe supposed to have committed the murder.It transpired that the natives, fearful, it was alleged, of theinstrument Captain Barker carried in his hand, closed upon himand speared him to death, afterwards throwing the body into deepwater, where the sea-tide would carry it away.

It was reported that the natives who committed this cruel act"were influenced by no other motive than curiosity to ascertainif they had power to kill a white man." "But," says CaptainSturt, who wrote an account of Captain Barker's expedition andits melancholy termination, "we must be careful in giving creditto this, for it is much more probable that the crueltiesexercised by the sealers towards the blacks along the south coastmay have instigated the latter to take vengeance on the innocentas well as on the guilty." The sandhill on the right side of themouth of the Murray has been appropriately designated Barker'sKnoll, to commemorate the tragic event.

Sad as the termination was, good was effected by theexpedition, and from the account furnished by Mr. Kent, CaptainSturt was able to report—

"It would appear that a spot has at length been found upon thesouth coast of New Holland to which the colonist might venturewith every prospect of success, and in whose valleys the exilemight hope to build for himself and for his family a peaceful andprosperous home. All who have ever landed upon the eastern shoreof St. Vincent's Gulf agree as to the richness of its soil andthe abundance of its pastures. Indeed, if we cast our eyes uponthe chart and examine the natural features of the country behindCape Jervis, we shall no longer wonder at its differing in soiland fertility from the low and sandy tracts that generallyprevail along the shores of Australia."

The account of the discoveries of Sturt and Barker werereceived with enthusiasm in Great Britain, and led to practicalsteps being taken for the formation of a settlement on thesouthern shores of Australia.



How Colonial Questions becamepopular.—Edward Gibbon Wakefield.—New Principles inColonization.—The Colonization Society.—Mr. Gougerand Colonel Torrens draw up a Scheme.—Lord Goderichannihilates it.—The Error of asking too much or toolittle.—Further Schemes.—Official Rebuffs.—TheSouth Australian Association.—Chartered Colony v.Crown Colony.—Leading Features of the South AustralianAct.—Stringent Provisions.—A Difficult Problem andhow it was solved.

THERE are no startling incidents to record inconnection with the early attempts to found a colony in SouthAustralia, although it is a story of protracted struggle againstdifficulties, of indomitable energy and perseverance, and offinal success. The novelty of the scheme of colonizationpropounded, the untried character of the principles upon which itwas proposed to establish the colony, the limited knowledge ofthe territory to be occupied, combined to give the Parliament andthe public an idea that the well-meaning projectors werevisionaries and enthusiasts seeking to establish a Utopiansettlement. Nevertheless the development of the scheme waswatched with interest, even by those who did not believe it wouldissue in success; while the opposition of a few, who had theprosperity of other colonies at heart, only tended to giveimpetus to the labours of the fathers and founders of SouthAustralia.

It is not difficult to trace some of the causes leading to thepopularity of colonial questions in the early part of thiscentury.

The conclusion of the European War in 1815 disposed the mindsof the people to turn from foreign campaigns to the peacefulconcerns of life, and colonization became a topic of generalconversation.

Emphasis was given to it a few years later. The commerce ofthe country had suffered unwonted fluctuations, thousands offamilies were out of employment, population was rapidlyincreasing, trade was in an unsatisfactory state, and many whotook a patriotic and benevolent interest in their fellows wereasking, "What will the future present to the risinggeneration?"

Little was known generally in those days of the expansivenature of trade, which might be created by the lowering of dutiesupon imports and the removal of restrictions, and emigrationappeared the most feasible remedy for the impending dangers. Byremoving the surplus population to some British colony the mothercountry would be relieved, and at the same time new markets wouldbe originated for the manufactures of the parent state.

In course of time New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land beganto attract attention; the climate was fine and salubrious, andparticularly well adapted for pastoral pursuits; many of theearly convicts who had obtained their freedom were making largefortunes by sheep-farming, and found a ready sale for their woolin the English markets. But with all these and other attractions,the fact that these places were penal settlements operatedpowerfully against any attempt to promote a free emigration tothese colonies.

In August, 1829, the colonization of the Swan RiverSettlement, Western Australia, was commenced, and met with greatfavour from the public at the time, so that many respectablefamilies joined the early expeditions there. But the colony wasfounded on a very imperfect basis, and proved a source ofdisappointment to almost all connected with it. Large grants ofland were made to several persons, in one instance to theenormous extent of half a million of acres which the individualwas allowed to select before the expedition sailed. Of course hechose his land in the immediate vicinity of the port, andconsequently the other emigrants had to go beyond this vast tractbefore they could settle. The remainder of the land was sold atthe low price of one shilling and sixpence per acre, enabling allto become purchasers. The consequence was that labourers takenout from England to cultivate the soil soon found that they couldcommand their own prices, broke the engagements with theiremployers, and shortly became landed proprietors themselves. Thusthere was land in abundance, but little capital, andcomparatively no labour. Lacking these first essentials, thecolony progressed so slowly that in 1848, nineteen years afterits formation, the population, which in 1832 was 1540, had onlyincreased to 4622.

A great impetus was given to colonization by Mr. Edward GibbonWakefield, who circulated a new theory as to the causes offailure and success in modern colonies, and laid down theprinciples which he conceived should be observed in theirfoundation and establishment. It was against the system of freegrants and the low price of Crown lands that he grounded hischief objections in his works on colonization,* attributing theslow growth of the early English colonies mainly to thesecauses.

[* "A View of the Art of Colonization" (1829)."England and America: a Comparison of the Social and PoliticalState of both Nations." 2 vols., 8vo. The second volume containeda treatise on colonization, published 1833.]

His argument was the futility of attempting to secure hiredlabour side by side with great cheapness of land; and that theexchange of land for labour was the only method of realizing ajust proportion between land, labour, and capital. He contendedstrenuously for this principle—"the universal sale of landinstead of land-grants, and the exclusive employment of thepurchaser's money to promote emigration."

It was in the same year that the Swan River Settlement wasformed (1829) that Captain Sturt, the Government Surveyor in NewSouth Wales, set forth from Sydney on the exploring expedition totrace the course of the Murrumbidgee River. When his discoverieswere made known in Great Britain, they attracted the attention ofa number of influential men who had long been favourable toemigration, and they determined to take active steps to found anew and free colony in South Australia on the plan put forth byMr. Wakefield, to embrace the following principles: "That no freegrants of land should be made, but that it should be sold at anupset price of not less than twelve shillings per acre nor morethan twenty shillings. The money so obtained should form a fundfor giving free passages to qualified labourers and mechanicswith their wives and families; the colony to bear all its owncharges, and to have the principal management of its ownaffairs." It was thought that the high price of land wouldprevent the purchase of more than was likely to be cultivated,that the supply of labourers would be in proportion to the landbought, and that the population would be concentrated.

The first practical attempt to found a colony on the southernshores of Australia was made by two or three parties of intendingcolonists, who were prepared to purchase a tract of land oncertain conditions similar to those enumerated above. They placedthemselves in communication with Mr. Robert Gouger, who wasinterested in colonization generally, and was an enthusiasticadvocate of the principles laid down by Wakefield. Anxious to seethem practically applied, he succeeded in forming two or threeprovisional committees, but failing to secure either a sufficientsubscribed capital, or the adherence of well-known public men,the Government did not regard his proposals with favour, and thematter dropped for a time.

Little by little, however, attention to the subject grew. In1830 the Colonization Society, formed for the purpose ofcollecting and diffusing information as to the best plans forestablishing colonies, adopted the leading features ofWakefield's scheme as the basis of any operations of a fixed anddefinite character they might undertake, but no attempt to founda colony in South Australia was made by this society as such,although many of its members afterwards identified themselveswith the South Australian Association.

In 1831, when the valuable discoveries of Captain Sturt becamemore fully known in England, a party of intending colonists atonce made proposals to the Government, through the interventionof Major Bacon, for the establishment of a chartered colony inSouth Australia. But Mr. Hay, Under Secretary of State for theColonies, promptly threw cold water on the scheme. It wasunderstood, however, that his successor. Lord Howick,** regardedthe project with favour.

[** Afterwards Earl Grey.]

About this time Mr. Wakefield and Major Bacon sought theco-operation of Colonel Torrens in Parliament. Under theimpression that Lord Howick was favourable. Colonel Torrensentered warmly into the matter, and introduced to Lord Goderich,Secretary of State for the Colonies, a deputation including MajorBacon, Mr. Gouger, and Mr. Graham, when an outline of theproposed scheme was submitted to him, and it was inferred thathis approval was also given. One part of the principle hadalready received the sanction of the Government, and had been putinto operation in New South Wales, where, prior to 1831, thewaste lands were granted free on certain conditions, but hadsince been put up for sale. "To Lord Howick," says ColonelTorrens, in the introduction to his work on "Colonization","belongs the honour of having been the first to give practicaloperation to the principle of selling the colonial lands at thedisposal of the Crown, and of employing the proceeds of the salein conveying voluntary emigrants to the colonies."

In the belief that the Government approved the scheme of theintending colonists, the friends of the movement proceeded tocarry it out, and an advertisement appeared in theSpectator to the effect that the Government had givenits sanction to the plan. But when this advertisement caught theeye of Lord Howick, he issued a memorandum, stating "it was amistake to affirm that the Government had given its sanction tothe plan proposed, and that the terms of approbation in which heexpressed himself individually to Major Bacon ought not to havebeen so construed." He added that he considered it necessary forthe Government to have some guarantee in the shape of asubscription list before the matter could be entertained.

To this end Mr. Gouger, with others, again set to work. Aprovisional committee was formed, and in June, 1832, ColonelTorrens, the chairman, drew up and submitted to Lord Goderich thedraft of a charter. It was much too comprehensive a document,fixing the boundaries of the proposed settlement, the sources ofcapital, the classes of emigrants to be sent out, the powers tobe granted to the company, the form of government, and many otherdetails with regard to the emigration of foreigners, the sale ofland, the raising of a militia, and the levying of a landtax.

Lord Goderich, "having bestowed the most careful attentionupon the various provisions of the instrument," stated in replythat "the transmission of the proposed charter afforded the firstoccasion which had presented itself during the discussions onthis subject for taking a clear and comprehensive view of theplan in all its bearings," and then proceeded to cut the wholescheme to pieces. He objected to the charter on the ground, amongother things, that it would virtually transfer to a company thesovereignty of a vast unexplored territory; that it wouldencroach upon the limits of existing colonies; that the proposalto throw open the settlement to foreigners would give them anequality with British subjects; that the objects of thecorporation were defined with far too much latitude as to theemployment of their capital; that the investiture of the power oflegislation was not sufficiently safeguarded; that they wouldexclude the King from imposing duties of custom; that a freedomof trade was proposed to which the Navigation and Trades Actswere in opposition; that it was proposed to erect within theBritish monarchy a government purely republican; and, finally,that they would be the receivers of large sums of public moneyfor the due application of which they did not propose to give anyspecific security.

Upon Colonel Torrens the task devolved of seeking to removesome of these objections, and of placing matters in a lessobjectionable light; but although a lengthy correspondenceensued, and a willingness was expressed by the colonel, on behalfof the provisional committee, to considerably modify the draftcharter as might be deemed proper and expedient, reserving onlythe principle of land sales, the application of the proceeds toemigration, and the eventual privilege of a legislative assembly,the main gist of Lord Goderich's reply was that "as the committeewere so ready to abandon essential provisions of their scheme, hehad serious misgivings as to the maturity of their knowledge andcounsel on the very important subject which they had submitted tohis consideration."

So ended the negotiations with his Majesty's Government in1832. The error was in asking too much, and then too little, theresult being that they got nothing at all. The provisionalcommittee was broken up, and the intending emigrants took theirdeparture to America and the United States instead of to SouthAustralia.

On the 6th of July, 1833, negotiations with the Governmentwere resumed, and a modified plan for establishing a colony onthe southern coast of Australia was submitted by Mr. W. WoolrychWhitmore, M.P., to Mr. E.G. Stanley, successor to Lord Goderichin the Colonial Office. It contemplated the purchase of land by ajoint stock company, and by private individuals, and with theproceeds arising from such sales to send out the pauper orunemployed population of the United Kingdom; the expense ofestablishing the colony to be borne by the company, and a landtax levied to defray the cost of government, the company havingthe right of pre-emption of one million acres of land at fiveshillings per acre.

It is not necessary to give the whole scheme in detail, whichto a certain extent the Secretary of State received with favour,but suggested so many hard conditions and modifications that thenegotiations were abruptly broken off.

Official rebuffs did not in any way damp the ardour of thepersistent band of men who had the colonization scheme at heart,and they determined, with the assistance of Mr. Gouger, to makerenewed efforts, and enlarge the sphere of their influence.Accordingly, in the early part of 1834, a powerful andinfluential body—at least, so far as names wereconcerned—was formed, under the designation of "The SouthAustralian Association", of which Mr. W.W. Whitmore, M.P., waschairman, George Grote, M.P. (the historian of Greece),treasurer, and Mr. Robert Gouger secretary.

The provisional committee—all of whom were, of course,in sympathy with the movement, although, as is usual in suchcases, the active work devolved upon a few—was composed ofthe following well-known men:—

A. Beauclerk, M.P.Samuel Mills.
Abraham Borradaile, M.P.Sir S.W. Molesworth, Bart., M.P.
Charles Buller, M.P.Jacob Montefiore.
H.L. Bulwer, M.P.George Warde Norman.
J.W. Childers, M.P.G. Poulett Scrope, M.P.
William Clay, M.P.Dr. Southwood Smith.
Raikes Currie.Edward Strutt, M.P.
William Gowan.Colonel Torrens, M.P.
George Grote, M.P.Daniel Wakefield, Jun.
Benjamin Hawes, M.P.Henry Warburton, M.P.
J.H. Hawkins, M.P.Henry G. Ward, M.P.
Rowland Hill.John Wilkes, M.P.
Matthew D. Hill, M.P.Joseph Wilson, M.P.
William Hutt, M.P.John Ashton Yates.
John Melville.

A draft charter of incorporation was very carefully drawn upand submitted to the Colonial Secretary, and then ensued theinevitable correspondence and discussion. One of the points indispute was whether the proposed settlement should be a charteredcolony or a Crown colony, the difference being, according to thedefinition of Mr. Grote, that "a colony founded by charter is anexample of that delegation of authority which, in perpetualsuccession, has for ages been a leading principle of the BritishGovernment,* while a colony founded by the Crown is an example ofthat central authority, acting at whatever distance from the seatof Government, by means of temporary agents, which is a leadingprinciple of the French Government."

[* Cases were cited from the year 1578 to1791.]

The association soon found that there was little hope of theGovernment consenting to the foundation of a chartered colony inSouth Australia, and accordingly they passed a resolution to theeffect that if his Majesty's Government would obtain fromParliament the authority necessary for planting a Crown colonythere, provision being made in the Act for the permanentestablishment of that mode of disposing of waste land, and of thepurchase of such land, which had been recommended by thecommittee, coupled with provision for good government, the SouthAustralian Association should continue its existence as a privateand temporary society for the purpose of promoting the success ofthe measure.

Matters were now on a fair footing, and Mr. Gouger soonafterwards forwarded to the Colonial Secretary a rough draft ofthe proposed Bill. Just as the energetic and persevering friendsof South Australia were, as it appeared, on the eve of success,there was a change of administration in the Colonial Office, Mr.Spring Rice ** succeeding Mr. Stanley as Secretary of State forthe Colonies, and a delay arose.

[** Afterwards Lord Monteagle.]

But it was not for long, and in the end it was notdisadvantageous, for Mr. Spring Rice took up the matterenergetically, and at once expressed his willingness torecommend, on certain unprohibitive conditions, the passing of aBill on the principles laid down by Mr. Gouger in his roughdraft.

The long-looked-for day at length arrived, when "a Bill toerect South Australia into a British province, and to provide forthe colonization and government thereof," was brought before theHouse of Commons by Mr. Whitmore, with the sanction and approvalof the Colonial Secretary. Here it had many friends andsupporters—Lord Howick, Mr. J. Shaw Lefevre, Lord Stanley,and Mr. Spring Rice, together with some of the parliamentarymembers of the provisional committee, doing yeomen's service; andit passed the third reading without any serious hindrance. In theHouse of Lords the Bill was introduced by the Marquis ofNormanby, and was so warmly supported by the Duke of Wellingtonthat the opposition, which at one time threatened to bedangerous, was overcome.* He expressed himself as deeplyinterested in this new experiment in colonization, and desiredthat it might have a fair trial. He also recommended that ColonelLight, his companion in arms, should be the firstsurveyor-general of the new colony.

[* For these good services Wakefield was anxiousthat the capital of the new colony should be named Wellington,but in this he was, as he says, "shabbily frustrated".]

On the 15th of August, 1834, the last day of the session, theBill received the royal assent.

The leading features of the Act (4 & 5 Will. IV. cap. 95)were briefly as follows:—

The territory to extend from the 132nd to the 141st degree ofeast longitude, and from the south coast, including the adjacentislands, northwards to the tropic of Capricorn; the whole of [theterritory within the above limits to be open to settlement byBritish subjects; it was not to be subject to the laws of othercolonies, but only to those expressly enacted for itself; in nocase were convicted felons to be landed on its shores; all publiclands were to be open for purchase by cash, the minimum pricebeing twelve shillings per acre; the sale of such lands to beunder the management of a Board of Commissioners empowered togive a title in fee-simple to each purchaser; the whole of themoney derived from the sale of waste lands to be employed inconveying labourers, natives of Great Britain and Ireland, to thecolony, the labourers so conveyed to be an equal number of bothsexes, preference being given to young married people withoutchildren, so that purchasers of land might obtain labour for itscultivation; the affairs of the colony to be regulated by theCommissioners until a certain population was reached, at whichtime a representative assembly should be entrusted with theduties of government, upon the condition that it undertook todischarge any existing colonial debt.

So far all was smooth sailing. But, carefully sandwichedbetween clauses which could not fail to give satisfaction, theAct further provided that no part of the expense of founding orgoverning the colony should fall on the mother country, and itauthorized the Commissioners to borrow money on security ofthe colony to the extent of £200,000, but £20,000of the money so borrowed was to be invested in exchequer bills inthe names of trustees to be appointed by his Majesty.

The concluding clause of the Act nearly rendered the wholemeasure inoperative; it restrained the Commissioners fromentering upon the exercise of their general powers until they hadinvested the required £20,000 in exchequer bills, and until£35,000 worth of land had been sold.

This was the crux. However desirable the country mightbe considered for emigration, no sane person could be expected toinvest his money in land there until he had the assurance that acolony would be founded and a government established.

A glance at the Act (a rough outline only is given above) willshow that the original propositions of the projectors of thecolony had, in the course of the negotiations and the passage ofthe Bill through Parliament, undergone many important revisions,until almost the only things granted that were at first askedwere the disposal of the waste lands at a uniform price, and theapplication of the proceeds to the purposes of emigration. Someof the features of a chartered colony were retained, but in themain they were those of a Crown colony, the Crown, however,agreeing to delegate almost absolute power and authority to aBoard of Commissioners.

The provisions for the disposal of public lands presented twoor three marked peculiarities. The title in the first instancewas not to be direct from the Crown, but from the Commissioners,to whom the Act gave the power of sale; it was to be infee-simple, and no royalty or reservation whatever was to be madeby the Crown, so that all above and below the soil was to beunreservedly the property of the purchaser.

Although the Act did not in all respects meet the wishes orthe anticipations of the projectors, it nevertheless embodiedcertain admirable and novel principles. It provided for the saleof all public lands at a uniform price, and thepossibility of free grants being thereby precluded, it seemedthat the chief cause of previous failure in planting colonies wasobviated. The colony was never to be subjected to the curse ofconvictism. The settlement of population was to be regulated ingroups, in order to secure the advantages of neighbouringcommunities. To this end lands generally were to be surveyed insmall blocks of eighty acres. The sales were to be by publicauction, so that the evils of large monopolies might, to a greatextent, be avoided.

"In the old colonies," said Mr. John Stephens,** "vast tractsof land were granted to favourites; in South Australia no landwhatever is granted on any other terms than the payment of afixed price per acre. In the old colonies there has always been adeficiency of labourers, and, if capitalists imported them, landwas so cheap that they immediately ceased to work for hire, andwithout adequate capital began to be farmers on their ownaccount; the result of which was, that the largest possiblequantity of land was cultivated in the worst possible manner. Butin South Australia a remedy, at once simple and effectual, hasbeen provided, the whole net proceeds of the sales of land beingappropriated to give a free passage to young and industriousemigrants of both sexes, by which means the capitalists will beensured an adequate supply of labour. Thus the purchaser does notbuy land so much as the facility of obtaining combinedlabour—that which alone makes land valuable. Here, then, isthe first attempt, in the history of colonization, to plant acolony upon correct principles—to ensure to the laboureremployment, and to the capitalist an ample supply of labour."

[** "Rise and Progress of South Australia"(1839).]

Colonel Torrens, expatiating on this grand feature in the newsphere of colonization, a few years later in the House ofCommons, said, as the result of the experiment, "I am not merelyprepared to show that emigration would cost less than maintainingpaupers in their parishes at home, and would thus prove a measureof permanent economy and retrenchment; I am prepared to go muchfurther than this. I am prepared to prove both theoretically andpractically that emigration may be so conducted as to replacewith interest the whole of the expenditure incurred in effectingit, and to aid the finances of the country by opening new and notinconsiderable sources of direct public revenue."

The difficulties of the projectors of the new colony did notcease, as some had been sanguine enough to imagine, with thepassing of the Act.

A Board of Commissioners was duly appointed,*** and at oncethe question arose how the money required to be invested beforeany valid steps could be taken, was to be raised. For six monthsthey met at intervals to discuss the problem, but as they did notcome any nearer to a solution, they availed themselves of achange of ministry at the end of 1834 as a fitting opportunityfor tendering their resignations, although, of course, they wereappointed to give effect to the Act of the Legislature, and theirfunctions as Colonization Commissioners had nothing whatever todo with party politics.

[*** The first Board of Commissioners wascomposed as follows: J.W. Childers, M.P., W. Clay, M.P., G.Grote, M.P., G.W. Norman, Colonel Torrens, M.P., and W.W.Whitmore, M.P., chairman. Mr. Rowland Hill (afterwards SirRowland Hill, who introduced the Penny Postal System) wasappointed secretary to the board.]

On the 5th of May, 1835, the first public act of Lord Glenelg,on taking office as Secretary of State for the Colonies, afterthe change of ministry, was to gazette as ColonizationCommissioners the following: G.F. Angas, E. Barnard *(Agent-General for the Australian colonies), W. Hutt,* John ShawLefevre * (late Under Secretary of State), W.A. Mackinnon, M.P.,S. Mills, Jacob Montefiore, G. Palmer, jun., J. Wright, ColonelTorrens, chairman, and Rowland Hill, secretary.

[* Those gentlemen against whose names anasterisk is placed were nominees of Lord Glenelg.]

The difficulties which their predecessors had regarded asinsurmountable, the new Board faced with courage and resolution.They had to raise the required guarantees before any act oftheirs would be valid. "The difficulty of accomplishing theseobjects," said Colonel Torrens, "will be immediately perceivedwhen it is considered that South Australia was at that period anunexplored wilderness, and that the colony, the revenue of whichwas to be the security for the proposed loan, was not then inexistence. But this was not all. Before they could proceed tosell land in the wilderness, or raise a loan upon the security ofrevenues which remained to be created, it was necessary thatconsiderable expense should be incurred in providing offices,engaging clerks and agents, and in explaining to the public theprinciples and the prospects of the new colony by printed papersand advertisements."

Application was made to the Colonial Department for the use ofoffices and the privilege of free postage, but even these smallrequests were not granted. A loan of £1000 was soon raisedto meet the preliminary expenses, but the graver matter was notso easily disposed of.

The first regulations for the sale of South Australian landswere published by the Commissioners in June, 1835. They had"considered it their duty to attempt realizing a priceconsiderably higher than the minimum of 12s. per acrerequired in the Act of Parliament," and, "after matureconsideration", the price was fixed at 20s. per acre inthe first instance, or for a lot consisting of one town acre, anda country section of 80 acres, £80. Priority of choice withregard to both town acres and country sections was to be given tothe holders of the first 437 land orders secured in England. Inaddition to the 81-acre allotments, any one paying the price of4000 acres of land, or upwards, was to have the right of aspecial survey in any compact district not exceeding 16,000acres, and select his 4000 acres from such district before anyother application would be entertained. Brilliant opportunities!but no one seemed to care to avail himself of them.

For two months the Commissioners exerted all their energies topromote the sale of land, and every effort was made to give theexperiment a fair trial. Circulars were issued with maps andpressing appeals; the best agents were appointed, and it wasproposed to delegate some of the powers and honours of theCommissioners to gentlemen of rank, talent, and influence in thecounties who might form the members of future associations. Butall to no purpose. Not half of the required quantity had beendisposed of when there came a pause; the length of their tetherhad been reached, and it seemed that, as there was nothingfurther they could do, the whole thing must collapse.

It was at this juncture that one of the Commissioners, Mr.George Fife Angas, a wealthy merchant, who had for some yearsbeen quietly working in the interests of the proposed new colony,came forward as leader of the forlorn hope—brought forwardand carried into effect a scheme without which the colonizationof South Australia, under the conditions of the Act ofParliament, would have been utterly impossible.



Mr. George FifeAngas.—Necessity for a Joint Stock Company.—Purchaseof the stipulated £35,000 worth of Land, Raising theGuarantee Sum of £20,000.—Formation of the SouthAustralian Company.—Objects contemplated. Fleet of theSouth Australian Company.—Choice of aGovernor.—Colonel Charles James Napier.—Money andTroops. Captain J. Hindmarsh.—His RemarkableCareer.—First Colonial Officers and theirSalaries.—H.M.S. Buffalo.—Colonel Light andhis Instructions.—The Founders of SouthAustralia.

"WITHOUT some collateral association to assistthe Commissioners," said Mr. George Fife Angas to his colleagueson the Board, "I do not see how the Act is to be carried intoeffect." He then proceeded to unfold a scheme, which was, inbrief, that a joint stock company should be formed withsufficient capital to purchase the requisite quantity of land; totake out its own agents, servants, and other emigrants, andsupply them with provisions while they carried on operations of areproductive and remunerative character; and to provide thecapital for the working of the colonial Government.

At first the Commissioners strongly demurred to the suggestionof Mr. Angas, but when at length they saw that without suchassistance they were powerless to act, and might as well tendertheir resignations, they confessed this happy thought was theonly practical idea that had come before them, and they gavetheir unanimous consent to the effort being made.

Mr. Angas was ready to act on the moment, and, assisted by Mr.Henry Kingscote and Mr. Thomas Smith, at once subscribedsufficient capital to purchase the whole of the unsold land, tobe handed over to the Company, when formed, at cost price, withinterest at five per cent. This purchase was the basis of theoperations of the Company, and, as a matter of fact, of allfuture operations of the Commissioners, and thus the initialdifficulty in founding a colony under the Act was overcome. But aconcession had to be made by the Commissioners to effect it. Theoffer for the purchase of the land was at the reduced rate of12s. per acre, partly because it was evident there were nomore purchasers to be obtained at £1 per acre, and partlybecause this reduced price would be an incentive to capitaliststo invest in the proposed Company. This offer was accepted, and,to avoid clashing with the previous sales, the size of thecountry sections was altered to 134 acres and one town acre,instead of eighty acres and one town acre; hence the differencebetween a "preliminary land order" and one subsequently granted.In addition, the Commissioners resolved to sell at 12s.per acre to any who could give proof that they were prepared totake out adequate capital for the improvement of the colony; butthis price was only available until the 1st of March, 1836, afterwhich date the price was to be £1 per acre, the sections toconsist of eighty acres as at first, and the sales to take placein the colony.

Having disposed, so far, of difficulty number one, the nextquestion was how to raise the required guarantee sum of£20,000 to invest in the names of trustees. Having power toraise £200,000 if they could, the Commissioners threw openfor tender by the public the sum of £80,000, as offeringgreater inducements to capitalists than the smaller sum. Theproposals were well advertised in the London papers and bycircular, but at the end of the time specified, only six tenderswere sent in for a total amount of £13,000, at not lessthan ten per cent. interest, and with conditions that could notpossibly be accepted.

The Commissioners then appealed to Mr. Wright, one of themembers of their Board, to undertake the formation of a list, andafter much trouble he was at length able to offer terms to theCommissioners—not such as they approved, but, as there wasno alternative, they agreed to accept, and on the 19th ofNovember, 1835, the £20,000 was invested in the names ofthree trustees in the three per cent. consols. The two greatdifficulties having now been overcome, the Commissioners at lastsaw a prospect of putting the necessary machinery in motion forfounding the colony.

The origin of the South Australian Company is so intimatelyassociated with the establishment of the colony, that we must nowturn our attention to its operations.

It was no easy matter to start it. The capital was fixed at£500,000, with power to increase it to £1,000,000;but operations were to commence when the subscriptions reached£200,000. No smaller sum would suffice, for Mr. Angas waspersuaded that no capitalists would embark their money in thedistant colony unless the Company engaged to introduce amplecapital and labour; and this, of course, enhanced thedifficulty.

"We had," said Mr. Angas, upon whose shoulders the wholeburden of the undertaking rested—" we had, as it were, togo to the capitalists of this kingdom and say, 'Gentlemen, lendus your money to carry out this scheme, notwithstanding there hasnot yet been an acre of land surveyed, nor a British harbourformed. Advance it to us on the faith of our settled conviction,notwithstanding its difficulties, that the project is quitepracticable; that from the information we possess of the countrywe believe it must succeed; for the Act of Parliament presentsadvantages in the secure title it gives to the property, and theliberal principles of its government, that, under the blessing ofProvidence and the use of proper means, will eventually lead to arich reward for your confidence.' This appeal," he continues, "wehad to make, not only with public opinion adverse to us (a strongprejudice existed against some of the early projectors of the newsystem of colonization, of which we had in some degree to endurethe consequences), the Government at that time lukewarm, and manyof the members of each House of Parliament opposed to the wholeproject, but also a formidable opposition from powerfulindividuals resident in this country, who were deeply interestedin the rival colonies of Western Australia, Van Diemen's Land,and New South Wales, besides the contempt thrown on the plan bythe public press of these colonies themselves, although thewriters should have seen that, if successful, it would ofnecessity become an important element of their own advancement.Above all, we had to meet the prejudices of many who, not havingstudied the principles and plans of our undertaking, concludedthat it was purely Utopian."

In spite of all difficulties, on the 22nd of January, 1836,the South Australian Company was formed, with a subscribedcapital of £200,000. The original directors of the Companywere—George Fife Angas (chairman), Raikes Currie, M.P.,Charles Hindley, M.P., James Hyde, Henry Kingscote, John Pirie(alderman), John Rundle, M.P., Thomas Smith, James Ruddall Todd,and Henry Waymouth.

The objects contemplated by the proprietary were: (1) Theerection upon their town land of wharves, warehouses, anddwelling-houses, and letting the same to the colonists, orotherwise disposing of them. (2) The improvement and cultivationof their country land, and the leasing or sale of part of it ifdeemed expedient. (3) The laying out of farms, the erection ofsuitable buildings thereon, and letting the same to industrioustenants on lease, with the right of purchase before theexpiration of such lease at a price to be fixed at the time ofthe tenant taking possession. (4) The growth of wool for theEuropean markets. (5) The pursuit of whale, seal, and otherfisheries in the gulfs and seas around the colony, and the curingand salting of fish suitable for exportation. (6) The salting andcuring of beef and pork for the stores of ships and for thepurpose of general export. (7) The establishment of a bank orbanks in, or connected with, the colony, making loans on thesecurity of land or produce, and the conducting of such bankingoperations as the directors might think expedient.

Although these were set forth as the primary objects of theCompany, it was soon found that they were not sufficientlycomprehensive. In order to give confidence to intendingshareholders, and to ensure the successful establishment of theinfant settlement, the directors had to consider what tradeswould be imperatively required, so as not to leave their managerwithout needful aid; to select, contract with, and provide therequisite tools for carpenters, brickmakers, lime-burners,blacksmiths, boat-builders, fishermen, and others, and generallyto supply everything that would be needful, from the keels ofwhale-ships to pins and needles.

With the formation of the South Australian Company, as none ofhis Majesty's Commissioners were allowed to have any pecuniaryinterest in the colony they were appointed to establish, Mr.Angas felt it to be his duty at once to tender his resignation asa member of that Board. He was requested, however, to retain hisposition until the end of the year 1835, and was thus able to seeall the preliminary measures required by the Act completed, andwas permitted to nominate his successor, Mr. Josiah Roberts. Mr.Wright also, and on the same grounds, retired from the Board.

Such was the vigour with which the directors of the SouthAustralian Company entered upon their work, that on the 22nd ofFebruary, exactly one month from the formation of the Company,not only had all the preliminaries been successfullyarranged—secretary, clerks for London office, colonialmanager, and overseers for each department appointed, andinstructed in the measures they were to adopt on their arrival inthe colony—but, what is almost incredible, the ship JohnPirie had been chartered, and was under weigh fully laden withgoods, live stock, and twenty-three adult passengers. Two dayslater the Duke of York, freighted with whaling stores andhaving on board forty-two passengers, including the colonialmanager, Mr. S. Stephens, and other officers and servants of theCompany, was also ready for sea, and both vessels immediatelyproceeded on their voyage.

Two other ships, the Lady Mary Pelham and theEmma, freighted with whaling and general stores, andtogether taking out fifty-one passengers, left England in Marchand April respectively.

All the Company's vessels were supplied with provisions equalto one year's consumption, and in the event of accident or losssustained on the voyage or otherwise, the officers were furnishedwith the means of supplying themselves from Van Diemen's Land,and arrangements were also made for a regular supply ofprovisions from Hamburg. Besides the requisites for the voyage,sheep, cattle, pigs, and other live stock were sent out, so thatthe colonists on landing might have an immediate supply of freshfood, without which they would probably have suffered as did theearly settlers in the North American colonies.

The whole of the early proceedings of the Company werecharacterized by great energy, mainly through the zeal andliberality of Mr. Angas, its founder and chairman, who allowedthe necessary business to be carried on in his own offices,placed at its disposal at prime cost several vessels with theirequipments and provisions for employment in the South Seawhale-fishery, handed over at cost price the land which he andhis colleagues had purchased, and in every particular became theprime mover in the whole concern. "He made more sacrifices intime, health, and property," says Mr. John Stephens, in his "Riseand Progress of South Australia", "for the accomplishment of apublic object, than many more wealthy merchants would have madein the prosecution of a hopeful private enterprise."

Meanwhile the Colonization Commissioners, having succeeded bythe aid of the South Australian Company in fulfilling therequirements of the Act as regarded the sale of land, and raisingthe stipulated loan, proceeded to obtain the Orders in Counciland letters patent for establishing the colony, and to this endColonel Torrens, the chairman of the Board, successfullynegotiated with Lord Glenelg, who entered with spirit into thewhole matter, and rendered important service to theCommissioners.

The next steps were to make choice of a Governor and otherofficers, and to provide for their equipment and departure.

The choice of the Commissioners fell upon Colonel CharlesJames Napier (afterwards the hero of Scinde) for the office ofGovernor. In reply to the invitation of the Board, the colonelstated that he could not accept the Governorship of SouthAustralia without troops, and the power to draw upon the BritishGovernment for money in case of need.

With regard to money matters, he observed "that whilesufficient security exists for the supply of labour in thecolony, there does not appear to be any security that the supplyof capital will be sufficient to employ that labour, and if it benot employed the consequences must be disastrous, t thereforedeem it necessary to have the means of meeting this, and otheraccidents which cannot be foreseen, but which inevitably arise inthe execution of all experiments; and the plan of the colony isan experiment."

As to the troops, he wrote, "I will not attempt to govern alarge body of people in a desert, where they must sufferconsiderable inconvenience (if not hardships), without I have aforce to protect what is good against that which is bad; and sucha force is the more necessary which, as in Australia, the supplyof spirituous liquors will be abundant. The colony will be asmall colony without discipline, suffering more or less fromprivation, and with plenty of liquor. Experience has taught mewhat scenes this would produce unless the leader had acontrolling physical force. Such," he concluded, "are my demandsand my motives for making them."

As both these demands were at variance with theself-supporting principle on which the colony was to beestablished, the negotiations with Colonel Napier fell through,and Captain (afterwards Admiral Sir John) Hindmarsh, R.N., wasselected and appointed Governor. His career had been remarkableand adventurous. "He was with Lord Howe on the 1st of June, 1794;with Admiral Cornwallis in his glorious retreat; with Sir JamesSaumarez at Algeciras and in the Straits of Gibraltar; at thecapture of Flushing, of the Isle of France and of Java; with LordCochrane at Basque Roads; and with Nelson both at the Nile and atTrafalgar.

"At the battle of the Nile he was a midshipman on board theBellerophon, and so destructive was the fire of the enemy,that for some time he was the only officer left upon thequarter-deck. He received a wound in the head which deprived himof the sight of one eye, but he did not quit his post. Theenemy's ship, L'Orient, caught fire, and the flamesthreatened to communicate to the Bellerophon, whenHindmarsh, being the only officer on deck, ordered the topsail tobe set and the cable to be cut, and thus saved the ship fromdestruction. He had his proud reward; Nelson himself thanked theyoung hero before the assembled officers and crew, and repeatedthese thanks upon the deck of the Victory when presentinghim with his lieutenant's commission."

The question of salaries to colonial officers was a difficultone for the Commissioners to settle, as they were anxious toobtain the services of the most efficient men at the lowestpossible cost; but eventually it was arranged that the salary ofthe Governor should be £800 per annum, and an allowance of£500 for outfit.

The following gentlemen were appointed to offices in thecolony:—

Resident Commissioner and RegistrarMr. James Hurtle Fisher£400
Colonial SecretaryMr. Robert Gouger400
JudgeSir John William Jeffcott500
Advocate-General and Crown SolicitorMr. Charles Mann300
Naval Officer and Harbour MasterCaptain. Thomas Lipson, R.N.200
Governor's Secretary and Clerk of the CouncilMr. George Stevenson200
Colonial Treasurer, also Collector of Revenue andAccountant-GeneralMr. Osmond Gilles300
Commissioner of Immigration, also Auditor-GeneralMr. John Brown250
Surveyor-GeneralColonel William Light400
Deputy-SurveyorMr. George Strickland Kingston200
Assistant-Surveyors{Mr. Boyle Travers Finniss
{Mr. William Jacob
{Mr. Neale
{Mr. Claughton
{Mr. Pullen
Junior Assistant-Surveyors[Mr. R.G. Symonds
[Mr. John Cannan
[Mr. Alfred Hardy
Colonial StorekeeperMr. Thomas Gilbert100
Colonial SurgeonDr. Cotter100
Survey SurgeonJohn Woodforde

The appointment of colonial chaplain was made subsequently,when the Rev. Charles Beaumont Howard was selected, at a salaryof £250.

The next step of the Commissioners was to apply to LordGlenelg for a vessel of war to convey the Governor and surveyparty to South Australia, and afterwards to be used, for a time,for surveying purposes. But the application was not entertained;whereupon the chairman of the South Australian Company, annoyed,in common with his colleagues, not only at the parsimony of theGovernment, but also at the vexatious delay at a critical time,offered to place one of the Company's pioneer vessels at thedisposal of the Governor and his officers—an offer whichwas, of course, declined, but it had the effect of stirring upthe Colonial Office generally. Meanwhile Captain Hindmarsh hadbeen beforehand, and had obtained the offer of theBuffalo, a heavy transport about to proceed to New Zealandfor spars. But this old tub was totally unfit for surveyingpurposes, and as in the circumstances the Commissionersconsidered it desirable that the survey party should precede theGovernor, the fast-sailing brig Rapid, of a hundred andsixty-two tons, was purchased, and despatched on the 4th of May,under the command of Colonel Light, the surveyor-general. Owingto the indisposition of Colonel Light and other causes, theCygnet, another vessel chartered by the Commissioners foruse in the colony during the progress of the surveys, precededthe Rapid by about six weeks (24th of March), having onboard eighty-four passengers and a division of the surveyparty.

The officers sent out by the Commissioners were furnished withvery explicit instructions how they were to act on reaching theirdestination. Colonel Light was to land two or three gardeners onKangaroo Island, and direct them to bring a small piece of landinto immediate cultivation, stocking it with vegetables for theuse of the colonists generally. He was also to leave the wivesand families of the officers and men with stores and a forcesufficient to protect them from attack.

The colonel was then to make a careful examination of thecoast in the central parts of the colony, excepting only thoseplaces where the previous explorations of Captain Flinders andothers clearly showed that no harbour was to be found. Hisattention was to be particularly directed to Nepean Bay and PortLincoln, but more especially to the line of coast extending fromthe eastern point of Encounter Bay to the northern point of GulfSt. Vincent. An inlet and harbour reported to have beendiscovered by one Captain Jones was to be examined, and LakeAlexandrina was also to be skirted, with a view to finding anoutlet other than that discovered by Captain Sturt. Further, hewas instructed to find out and survey the best sites for townsand settlements, and especially for the site of the capital; sothat on the arrival of the Governor and the first body ofemigrants, the whole machinery of the new colony might be at onceset in motion.

As an example of the care taken by the Commissioners, andparticularly by Colonel Torrens, the chairman, who drew up mostof the instructions, a few details may be inserted here of thedirections given to Colonel Light to assist him in determiningthe choice of a site for the capital: "In the opinion of theCommissioners the best site for the first town would be thatwhich combined in the highest degree the following advantages: Acommodious harbour, safe and accessible at all seasons of theyear; a considerable tract of fertile land immediately adjoining;an abundant supply of fresh water; facilities for internalcommunication and for communication with the port; distance fromthe limit of the colony as a means of avoiding interference fromwithout in the principle of colonization; distance from theneighbourhood of extensive sheepwalks. All the foregoing are tobe considered of primary importance, and the following ofsecondary value: A supply of building material, as timber, stone,or brick, earth, and lime; facilities for draining, andcoal."

In the exercise of the important duties intrusted to him,Colonel Light was to make himself acquainted, as far as possible,with the circumstances which had determined the sites of newtowns in the United States of America, in Canada, and moreespecially in the Australian colonies, and he was to payparticular attention to those which, in the latter colonies, hadled to an actual change, or to the desire for change in the sitesafter their first settlement.

Throughout all his proceedings he was to exercise the utmostcaution to prevent collision with the natives, and with this viewhe was to avoid any unnecessary division of his party, and takecare that each detachment was placed under the charge of anofficer upon whose intelligence, humanity, caution, temper, andcourage he could fully rely. Wild animals were to be consideredthe property of the natives, and, if required for food, to bepurchased. Sporting was accordingly to be discouraged, and in anyparts inhabited by natives prohibited. The colonel was remindedthat not only the safety of his party, but the future security ofthe colonists generally, and the state of feeling which wouldafterwards exist between the two races, would depend largely onthe attention paid to these instructions.

To the Resident Commissioner and other officers theinstructions prepared by the Commissioners were equally full andexplicit, and they display great judgment, foresight, andability.

On the 30th of July, H.M.S. Buffalo, the third vesselsent out by the Commissioners, followed, with Captain Hindmarshand one hundred and seventy-six other passengers on board. Theplace of rendezvous, whither eight vessels in all had precededthe Buffalo, was Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island.

"Colonization", wrote Coleridge in 1834 (the year of hisdeath, and a month after attending the meeting of the BritishAssociation of Science at Cambridge)—"colonization is animperative duty on Great Britain. God seems to hold out Hisfingers to us over the sea. But it must be colonization of hope;not, as has happened, of despair."

And it was so. South Australia was not doomed to the penaltyof land monopoly as in the case of the Swan River Settlement, orto the contamination and curse of being a penal colony like NewSouth Wales and Van Diemen's Land. Prinsep, in his "Letters fromVan Diemen's Land", draws a graphic picture of the moralcontagion to which the family of a right-minded emigrant might besubjected there. "Freemen find so many ways of making money here,that they will not take service, and so the convicts, or, as theyare delicately called, 'the prisoners', supply all demands ofthis nation; and if the histories of every house were madepublic, you would shudder; even in our smallménage, our cook has committed murder, our footmanburglary, and our housemaid bigamy!" **

[** Quoted in Stephens' "Rise and Progress ofSouth Australia" (1839).]

It was also a distinct advantage that the regulations for thegovernment of the new colony rested almost entirely in a Board ofCommissioners, whose whole attention could be given to thesubject, instead of being placed, as was the case in the oldercolonies, under the Colonial Secretary for the timebeing—"a functionary who has upon his hands the destiniesof millions of people of every clime and every race, and whoseoffice, being a political one, is changed with every change ofministry."

Honours are divided among the claimants to be founders ofSouth Australia. Edward Gibbon Wakefield was the first to setforth the principles of the new form of colonization; Mr. Gouger,the secretary of the South Australian Association, took up theidea, and worked it into practical shape; Colonel Torrens broughtexperience and influence to bear to make the scheme popular, andensure its acceptance by the Government; while Mr. George FifeAngas made the working of the Act of Parliament possible.



Arrival of PioneerVessels.—"Governor" Walker.—Mr. SamuelStephens.—Kingscote, Kangaroo Island.—Colonel Lightand the Survey Staff.—Examination of St. Vincent's Gulf andSpencer's Gulf.—First Contact with Natives.—HoldfastBay.—Lost in the Bush.—Removal of Settlers fromKangaroo Island.—Captain Light decides against Shores ofPort Lincoln for Site of Capital.—Arrival of GovernorHindmarsh.—Proclamation of the Colony.—First Banquetin South Australia.—The "Makers" of the Colony.

THE first of the South Australian Company'svessels to arrive at Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, was the Dukeof York, freighted with whaling stores and implements, andhaving on board Mr. Samuel Stephens, colonial manager of theCompany, eight other passengers of independent means, andtwenty-nine labourers.* She dropped anchor in the bay on the 27thof July, 1836. Three days later, another of the Company's fleet,the Lady Mary Pelham, with two settlers and twenty-ninelabourers on board, made her appearance; while the JohnPirie, the first to leave England, laden with twenty-eightlabourers, provisions, and general stores, did not arrive untilthe 16th of August.

[* Mr. Thomas Hudson Beare, second in commandunder the Company; Mrs. Beare and four children; Miss C.H. Beare,afterwards Mrs. Samuel Stephens; Mr. D.H. Schryvogle, clerk;Henry Mitchell, butcher; C. Powell, gardener; Neale, carpenter;Wm. West, labourer—the last four being emigrants. The firstduty performed on setting foot ashore was to read the Church ofEngland Service, in which all joined, the captain (Morgan)concluding with an extempore thanksgiving prayer for theprosperous voyage.]

All three vessels, however, reached the colony before theRapid, the first ship sent out by the Board ofCommissioners. The first colonist to set foot on the island wasMr. Samuel Stephens, whose first act was to select a site, andthen to erect upon it a mud hut, surround it by a small battery,and plant upon the roof the British ensign. But Mr. Stephens andthe first settlers soon found that they were not "monarchs of allthey surveyed," for they were shortly afterwards interviewed bythe lord of the isle, one "Governor" Walker, who had lived therefor many years. His hut stood on a piece of good land somedistance from the shore, in the neighbourhood of fresh water, andwas surrounded with a cleared and well-cultivated piece ofground.** The only other residents on the island were a fewsealers, whalers, and convicts who had escaped from theneighbouring penal settlements.

[** "Governor" Walker continued to reside on theisland for nearly ten years after the first settlers landed, anddied while on a visit to Adelaide, in 1850.]

In the face of many difficulties—such as lack of waternear at hand, tent-life in an inclement winter, salt beef andpork as the only meat obtainable, the proximity of convicts andwhalers, apprehensive imaginations, and uncertainty as to thesite of the chief town—a pleasant picture is given by avisitor to the island shortly after the first colonists landed."Before us," he says, "were the hills, on the slope of which liesthe town 'Kingscote'. These hills are covered entirely with wood,having, from the sea, the appearance of an impenetrable jungle,with here and there a group of dead trees rearing their gaunt andwithered limbs above their fellows. A little patch had beencleared at the slope of one of these hills, and there stood asolitary white cottage, the property of Mr. Samuel Stephens. Onthe brow of the hill, looking down a steep precipice into thesea, were some half-dozen wooden huts of former immigrants. Onthe beach was the skeleton of a storehouse then under erection,around which were four or five huts built of bushes; in one ofthem they were performing Divine service, the summons to attendwhich was given by means of a bell hung up in a tree."

This is a pleasant picture, but, unfortunately, it was soonfound that the settlement on Kangaroo Island was a mistake.Flinders, it will be remembered, had given a flourishing accountof it as an eligible site for a settlement, and this had beenconfirmed in much stronger terms by one Captain Sutherland, whovisited the island in 1819. He described the land and timber asexcellent, and intimated his intention of settling there when thecolony was founded. Flinders spoke chiefly of the number ofkangaroos and other animals he found, and his account of theprodigious number of pelicans on a lagoon of the island inspiredJames Montgomery's imaginative poem, "The Pelican Island".Sutherland, on the other hand, described in glowing terms theinterior, the fertility of the soil, and its beautiful tracts oflevel ground. As a matter of fact, it was little better than adesert island, deficient of every resource, except abundance ofsalt, and in every respect unsuitable for settlement, andincapable of repaying the South Australian Company for its outlayof money. But early lessons had to be learnt by experience, andthe Company, influenced by the favourable reports they hadreceived, could hardly be held responsible for the mistake ofplacing their first colonists on this wretched island. Moreover,they had other motives. At Kangaroo Island was the only port ofthe new province where there were any European settlers; theeastern shore of the Gulf of St. Vincent, which afterwards becamethe great centre of population, was practically unknown. Inaddition to this it was imperative that the first settlers shouldhave a means of livelihood, and the island had long been known asan eligible station for the whale-fishery, a branch of industrywhich the Company intended to largely develop.

It was, however, soon to be demonstrated that with themainland before them, almost boundless in extent, and rich inevery kind of natural wealth, it was a fatal error for thesettlers to remain on Kangaroo Island.

On the 20th of August the brig Rapid, with ColonelLight and the survey staff on board—including LieutenantField, R.N., Mr. J.S. Pullen (afterwards vice-admiral), Messrs.W. Hill, Wm. Jacob, and G. Claughton, surveyors; Dr. Woodforde,and Mr. Alfred Baker, mate—arrived at Nepean Bay. Thecolonel was no ordinary man, and his life had been full ofromantic adventure. He was of mixed race—half European,half Malay—and was born in 1784, at Malacca. His mother wasthe daughter of King Quedah, sovereign of the Malacca territory.Young Light was brought up in England, entered the navy andafterwards the military service as a cavalry officer, and servedin the Peninsular War as lieutenant of the 4th Light Dragoons. Hewas an excellent linguist, and in the Intelligence Department ofthe army rendered important service to Lord Wellesley by histhorough knowledge of French and Spanish. Some of his remarkableadventures are recorded in Napier's "Peninsular "War". He leftthe army soon after the battle of Waterloo, and married thedaughter of the Duke of Richmond. He next accompanied Sir RobertWilton to Spain to aid in the Spanish revolutionary war, andreceived the rank of colonel in the Spanish forces. Later on heaccepted service in the navy of the Pasha of Egypt, where hebecame acquainted with Captain Hindmarsh, Governor-Elect of SouthAustralia.

After examining the South Australian Company's settlement atKingscote, and satisfying himself that it was an impossible placefor colonization, Colonel Light proceeded to a bay which he namedRapid Bay, after his brig, and thence to St. Vincent's Gulf,landing occasionally to ascertain the nature of the coast.Several days were spent in fruitless search for the li arbour,said to have been visited by Captain Jones. He could not identifyit, however, but found one which he considered would be valuableat a future time. After exploring the gulf he returned to RapidBay, where he was met by Mr. (afterwards Sir) John Morphett andMr. Samuel Stephens, who brought the news that the Cygnethad arrived in Nepean Bay. The Rapid was at once sentthither to bring over the assistant-surveyors.

The Cygnet had brought over eighty-four passengers,namely, fifteen cabin and sixty-nine steerage. Mr. (afterwardsSir) G.S. Kingston, deputy-surveyor, was in command of thedivision of the survey party brought out in this vessel, andamong others on board were Mr. B.T. Finniss, assistant-surveyor;Captain Lipson, R.N., harbour-master; Mr. Edward Wright, surgeon;and Messrs. Morphett and Powys, unattached. According toinstructions, the passengers and stores were landed at KingscoteHarbour, but after hearing from Colonel Light that KangarooIsland was totally unfit for colonization, they were reshipped,and the Cygnet proceeded up the gulf and anchored inHoldfast Bay. Here the passengers and stores were landed, and thetents pitched on the beach near the creek. One of the first casesunpacked contained twenty-four muskets, which were distributed,and a watch set to guard against a sudden attack by the natives,whose encampment was known to be at no great distance. Theprecautions were unnecessary, as the natives were very shy, anddid not venture to approach the new-comers, until Mr. W. Williamswent to their encampment, and induced one of them to return withhim to the settlement, where the man remained for four days, andthen suddenly disappeared to tell his tribe of the wonders he hadseen, and to bring them back with him to behold some of thenovelties of civilization. A friendly feeling thus sprung upbetween the sable children of the forest and the new-comers.

The camp of the first settlers at Holdfast Bay, viewed as thenucleus of a nation, was novel and interesting. The dwellings,like those on Kangaroo Island, were frail, tents predominating,but interspersed with huts constructed of reeds, bark, andbranches of trees. Boxes and trunks served for tables and chairs.As there were neither vehicles nor animals, all wood had to becarried, and water conveyed on skids, or sledges; cookingoperations were carried on in the open air, the triangle withhook and chain, the three-legged pot and camp-oven, the hook-potand frying-pan being the utensils most in use.

There was work for everybody to do in providing thenecessaries of life—baking, cooking, hunting, and fishing.Daily discoveries were made of fresh phases in the features andcharacter of the country and its singular inhabitants, and, inthe absence of any newspaper, every one took up his parable andtold of exploits in killing kangaroos, emus, opossums, snakes,lizards, wild dogs, or other animals and reptiles.

Meanwhile Colonel Light was making important explorations andexaminations of the plains on the eastern side of the gulf. Onthe 4th of October he wrote—

"I cannot express my delight at seeing no bounds to a flat offine rich-looking country, with an abundance of fresh-waterlagoons, which, if dry in summer, convinced me that we need notdig a deep well to gain a sufficient supply. The little river,too, was deep, and it struck me that much might hereafter be madeof this little stream." On the 5th Messrs. Claughton and Jacobwere sent on shore to trace the river up, if they could, untilthey found fresh water in it. On their return they reported thatthe river was fresh about four miles from the mouth, and that itwas then a narrow stream bearing to the north-east, and appearedto have its source in the plains. "A circumstance," wrote ColonelLight, "that led me to suppose that more of these lagoons existedin that direction, and as every appearance indicated that theselagoons would be dry in summer, I felt convinced that thetorrents from the mountains would be the fountain from whencethey were now filled. My previous observations at sea, before Isaw this country, were, that all the-vapours from the prevalentsouth-westerly winds would rest on the mountains here, and thatwe should, if we could locate this side the gulf, be never indread of those droughts so often experienced on the eastern coastof Australia. And I was now fully persuaded by the evidence hereshown, as well as the repeated collection of clouds, and by rainfalling on the hills even at this season of the year."

Such were the observations made, and the impressions formed byColonel Light on visiting for the first time the arm of the sea,or salt-water creek, which was destined to become the principalharbour of South Australia. In his further examinations along thecoast, can be traced, from his journals, visits to what are nowknown as Torrens River, the Reedbeds, Holdfast Bay, the creek atGlenelg with the little river Sturt flowing into it, and soon.

A highly favourable opinion of the locality was impressed onhis mind, and, although he had not yet fixed upon any part of itas the site for the capital, his examination of other localitiesconfirmed him in the opinion that the land-locked creek he hadentered on the eastern side of the gulf was the best harbour inthe most suitable locality of any he had seen.

Early in November the Africaine, commanded by CaptainDuff, and having on board, amongst others, Mr. Gouger, thecolonial secretary; Mr. Brown, emigration agent; and Mr. Thomas,printer of the Gazette and Register, arrived off KangarooIsland. Deceived by the glowing language of Captain Sutherland inhis description of the island, six of the passengers landed onits western side, with the intention of proceeding overland tothe new settlement. They took with them two days' provisions, butsoon found that the dense underwood made their progress slowerthan they had expected. With hatchets they chopped their waythrough scrub and bush, until, becoming exhausted, they made forthe beach, hoping to reach the settlement by the sea-coast. Buthere their course was checked by the heavy surf beating againstthe high cliffs, and again they were compelled to force their waythrough the bush. For the first three clays they found freshwater, but not a drop afterwards, and on one occasion they had toquench their thirst with the blood of sea-gulls. After being outfor nine days, four of the party, in an exhausted state, reachedNepean Bay, but the other two (Dr. Slater and Mr. Osborne), beingunable to keep up with their companions, perished in thebush.

On finding that Colonel Light had ordered all the surveyingparty and stores away from Nepean Bay, the Africaineproceeded forthwith to Rapid Bay, where the colonel happened tobe on her arrival. He went on board, and was at once besiegedwith inquiries.

"Mr. Gouger was, of course, very anxious to know where weshould settle—a question I was by no means prepared toanswer; and the only thing I could do was to recommend hisproceeding to Holdfast Bay for the present. This was not at allsatisfactory, every one in such circumstances being anxious notto move again after landing all his embarked property. I couldonly recommend this place as one from which they were the leastlikely to re-embark, but stating strongly, at the same time, thatI could not guarantee permanent settlement there. To make thebest of a doubtful case, both Mr. Gouger and Mr. Brown agreed totake their chance, and Captain Duff having very kindly offered mea passage, I embarked on the 7th of November."

Next day the Africaine arrived at Holdfast Bay, wherethe Rapid was lying at anchor, and, in company withCaptain Duff, Mr. Gouger, and Mr. Brown, Colonel Light set forthto examine, and, if possible, ascertain the mouth of the riverYatala, afterwards called the Torrens, which had been discoveredby Messrs. Field, Kingston, and Morphett. But the river was foundto exhaust itself in the lagoons afterwards known as theReedbeds. As they were returning to their ships they observed theCygnet standing in for the bay, and soon after it blew agale of wind. Referring to this, the colonel wrote in hisjournal, "It is impossible to describe my feelings on thisoccasion, seeing three English vessels on a lee shore, ridingsafely at the roadstead."

Many difficulties were in the way of Colonel Light at thistime. Scurvy was breaking out among the new-comers from longabstinence from fresh food, and he had to enter into arrangementswith Captain Duff to proceed to Hobart Town for a supply of freshprovisions; there were no proper appliances for penetrating intothe interior with stores and baggage, and he had to write fulland urgent letters to the Commissioners for vehicles andanimals.

After more vain searching for Jones' harbour * (which wasprobably identical with Captain Barker's "sixteen mile creek"seen under a different aspect), Colonel Light again visited thelocalities on the eastern coast of Gulf St. Vincent, and becamemore and more confirmed in his opinion as to this being the mosteligible site for the capital. Nevertheless, as the letter of hisinstructions bound him to look at other places before he finallyfixed upon a locality, although, as he said, he felt assured heshould only be losing time, he proceeded on the 25th of Novemberdown the gulf, and after touching at Rapid and Nepean Bays,sailed for Port Lincoln. In a report to the Commissioners, hewrote—

[* From relying on the exaggerated report ofCaptain Jones, Colonel Light twice turned his back upon what wasultimately adopted as Port Adelaide.]

"I am decidedly of opinion that Port Lincoln is no harbour formerchant-ships; looking at it as a port for men-of-war, wellmanned, plenty of boats, etc., it is very well. It is capacious,and there is excellent holding ground, but the strong gusts ofwind shifting all round the compass render the entrance notaltogether so safe as the plan of it on paper would indicate."Later on he added—

"I have been considering much of this gulf (Spencer's), and Ithink it best to give it up entirely for the present, for shouldthere be a good harbour, and good soil higher up, yet the dangersthat surround the entrance are too many for a new colony."

These were wise and sagacious words, and, as we shall see, itwould have been well had they been accepted without question. Onthe 17th of December, Colonel Light returned from his visit toPort Lincoln and the western side of Spencer's Gulf. Hewrote—

"The time now lost in much extra labour, and the arrival ofmany people from England, makes me anxious to find some place tolocate the land purchasers and others, and from every answer tomy inquiries of the sealers, as well as the practical view of thecoast I had to the westward, I felt convinced I should not findanything more eligible than the neighbourhood of Holdfast Bay."And so, on the 24th of December, the colonel returned to HoldfastBay, and went on shore for the purpose of examining the river,and, if possible, of fixing the actual site of the capital.

The crowning moments of excitement in the life of the settlerswere when tidings came of a sail in sight, or the arrival of anEnglish vessel, and many were the visits paid to the highestsandhill in the hope of descrying a visitor. Especially was thisthe case when the arrival of the Governor was anticipated, andhis non-arrival at the expected date greatly increased theexcitement.

It is reported that, one Sunday morning, when Mr. Kingston wasreading prayers with Mr. T. Gilbert for his clerk, a whisper wentround that an English vessel was in sight. Those nearest the doorbegan to quietly move out, followed by others, until at last theofficiating minister was left alone with his assistant, when theformer threw down the book, saying, "Come, Gilbert, it's no useour staying here," and the two went forth to join the throng.

On the same day that Colonel Light returned to Holdfast Bay,H.M.S. Buffalo, with the Governor, Captain Hindmarsh, andthe Resident Commissioner, Mr. J. Hurtle Fisher, on board,entered the magnificent harbour of Port Lincoln, and found theCygnet at anchor in Spalding Cove. Here Captain Lipson,R.N., the harbour-master, came on board, and presented a letterfrom Colonel Light, announcing that the most desirable site forthe capital was to be found on the eastern side of Gulf St.Vincent.

The Governor landed at the head of Spalding Cove, and wasgreatly impressed with the scenery and general aspect of PortLincoln. As, however, it was known that the officers of theGovernment who had preceded him were anxiously awaiting hisarrival on the plains near Mount Lofty, he could not linger inthat earthly paradise, and set sail without delay.

Early in the morning of the 28th the little band of pioneersat Holdfast Bay were gladdened by the sight of the Buffaloand the Cygnet standing across the gulf, and coming toanchor in the roadstead. At two o'clock the excitementculminated, when Captain Hindmarsh and his family, attended byMr. J.H. Fisher, Mr. Stevenson, Mr. Osmond Gilles, and the Rev.C.B. Howard, with their families, proceeded to the shore in threeboats, escorted by a party of marines from theBuffalo.

They were received and cordially welcomed by the settlers onthe Glenelg plains, headed by Messrs. Gouger (colonialsecretary). Brown (emigration agent), Gilbert (storekeeper),Kingston (deputy-surveyor), John Morphett, and RobertThomas,—men who were destined to have their names indeliblyassociated with the annals of the colony.

The Company, or at least all the officials, assembled in Mr.Gouger's hut, when the Governor read aloud the Orders in Councilerecting South Australia into a British province, and appointingthe colonial officers. The commission of Captain Hindmarsh asGovernor and Commander-in-Chief was then read, and the customaryoaths were administered to the Governor, members of council, andother officers present.

But Mr. Gouger's tent was only constructed to hold about adozen persons, and at least two hundred, nearly the entirepopulation, were present. Therefore, as only a very few had heardwhat was passing in the tent, Mr. George Stevenson, theGovernor's private secretary, clerk of the council, and embryoeditor of the South Australian Gazette, assembled thepeople under the shade of an old gum tree, which still remains,though in a state of decay, and read aloud the proclamationestablishing South Australia the only free British province ofNew Holland. The official account of the proceedings, as given inthe South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register of June3, 1837, was as follows: "The commission was afterwards read tothe settlers, of whom about two hundred were present. The BritishHag was displayed under a royal salute. The marines fired afeu de joie, and the Buffalo saluted the Governorwith fifteen guns. A cold collation, provided for the occasion,was laid out in the open air, of which the party partook."

In less stately language, by the same writer, the scene isthus described: "A dozen or so of drunken marines of H.M.S.Buffalo discharged several muskets in honour of theoccasion; a table manufactured impromptu out of boards supportedon barrels, salt beef, salt pork, and an indifferent ham, a fewbottles of porter and ale, and about the same quantity of portand sherry from the crypts of the Buffalo, completed theofficial banquet which graced the advent of British rule to theshores of South Australia. In the evening kind and hospitablehands—alas! now no more—prepared the grateful herb. .. ." **

[** The following is from the diary of Mrs.Robert Thomas:—"December 28th, 1836.—This wasa proud and I hope will prove a happy day for South Australia.Early in the morning it was announced that the Buffalo hadarrived from Port Lincoln, accompanied by the Cygnet,which had gone thither to escort the Governor to Holdfast Bay.This made us all alive; and soon after Mr. Thomas received noticeto attend at the tent of Mr. Gouger, the colonial secretary,where his Excellency the Governor was expected to be at threeo'clock to read his commission and proclaim the colony. Mr.Thomas then went to the Company's store, and soon returned with arequest that he would procure a ham, as Mr. Gilbert was notprovided with one, which was done, and a fine Hampshire ham wasdressed for the occasion. It was also requested that we shouldprepare ourselves to meet the procession, as all who could wereexpected to attend. We went accordingly, and found the largestcompany assembled we had yet seen in the colony—perhaps twohundred persons. The Governor's private secretary read theproclamation under a large gum tree, and a party of marines fromthe Buffalo fired a feu de joie, and loud hurrahssucceeded. A cold collation followed in the open air, of which wepartook. The Governor was very affable, shaking hands with thecolonists, and congratulating them on having such a fine country.After the repast he mounted on a chair, and gave the first toast,'The King', which was received with three times three, andfollowed by the National Anthem, led by Mr. Gilles; but the oldroyal appellation of George is so natural to Englishmen afterfour successive reigns of kings of that name, that it wasforgotten at the moment we have now a William on the throne, andthe first line was sung as formerly—

'God save great George, ourking',

which excited a smile, and yet I believe thatWilliam IV. has not more loyal subjects throughout his widedominions than those who were there assembled to welcome thearrival of the first Governor of South Australia. The health ofhis Excellency was then proposed and drank with loud anduniversal cheering, followed by 'Rule Britannia'. Then 'Mrs.Hindmarsh and the ladies', proposed by Mr. Gilbert, which alsoreceived great applause, as did several other toasts. TheGovernor then gave the following: 'May the present unanimitycontinue as long as South Australia exists', which made the plainring with acclamations; and at about five o'clock his Excellencyand lady departed to the ship, and some officers and othersfollowed in another boat. They all seemed highly delighted withour village, as I may call it, consisting now of about fortytents and huts, though scattered about without any regularity, asevery family fixed their present abode wherever they pleased,knowing it would not be of long duration. We took coffee in Mr.Kingston's hut, and returned home about seven. The evening, aswell as the day and the preceding one, was very hot, and thenight continued so, insomuch that it was impossible to sleep, thethermometer having been sometimes upwards of 100° in thetent, and it seemed that some of the colonists did not even go tobed, for we heard singing and shouting from different parties atintervals till long after daylight. And here I may remark that,from the exceeding stillness of the night, except when the winddisturbs the trees near us, we can distinctly hear almost everysound that occurs, though at a considerable distance."]

So ended an ever-memorable day in the history of the colony.It was the day of small things, although no one would have soregarded it on reading the enthusiastic literature of the time.The South Australian Record, a monthly journal publishedin London, broke forth into singing the praises of the event inthese amusing terms—

"The landing of the little band in their new country recallsthe awful emigration of Noah, and the promise that painted hishorizon, and that of Moses. It reminds us of the Tyrians atCarthage; of Æneas and the dominion of the West, whichtradition tells us was founded by him; of the stout-heartedBritons who built up the great, though still young, nations ofAmerica, and, nearer to the present scene, the colonies ofAustralia, whose errors of constitutions have served as animpressive lesson, while their unexampled prosperity points tothe commercial fortune of the newer settlement."

Apart from all bathos, it was a day long to be remembered. Aband of brave-hearted men and women had staked their fortunes,left home and friends and country, and journeyed to the antipodesto settle in a land almost uninhabited, unsurveyed, with no townlaid out, nor even the site of the intended capital selected.*And amongst the number assembled that day on the Glenelg plainswere men who were to be the "Makers" of the new colony—menwho were to bear the burden and heat of the day, and by theirtoil, judgment, and persistence lay the foundations of healthy,political, social, and religious life in one of the finest landson which the sun ever shone.

[* During the year 1836 fifteen vessels arrivedfrom England, bringing nearly a thousand men, women, andchildren, a large number of whom settled in the first instance atKangaroo Island.]

It is no wonder that to the present day thousands of people goforth on the 28th of December to the old gum tree at Glenelg tocelebrate Foundation Day, or, as it is generally termed,"Proclamation Day".



DECEMBER 28TH, 1836—JULY 14TH, 1838.

The Governor and the ResidentCommissioner.—Site of the Capital—Discussionsthereon.—Appeal to the Board ofCommissioners.—Selections of Land.—First LandBoom.—Removal of Settlers from Kangaroo Island.—HardWork and Poor Pay.—Delay in the Surveys.—Too RapidImmigration and its Consequences.—Harbour proclaimed a FreePort.—First Buildings in Adelaide.—Operations of theSouth Australian Company.—The First Bank.—TheCompany's Land.—Rise of ReligiousInstitutions.—Schools and Schoolmasters.—TheAborigines; Origin, Manners, and Customs.—Protector ofAborigines.—Early Pastoral Pursuits.—OverlandArrivals of Stock.—First General GaolDelivery.—Newspapers.—Recall of CaptainHindmarsh.—Interim Administration of Mr. G.M.Stephens.—Tribute to the Pioneer Colonists.

EXCELLENT as the speeches were on the day ofproclamation, and harmonious as everything seemed to be, it wasunfortunately the fact that the relations between the Governorand the Resident Commissioner were strained, the difficultiesbetween them being as to the exercise of the powers entrusted toeach. The breach, commenced on shipboard, soon widened on shore,and resulted in the formation of a Governor's party and aCommissioner's party, greatly to the hindrance of the generalwelfare.

Matters were further complicated by grievous dissensions withColonel Light, the surveyor-general, regarding the proposed siteof the principal settlement. The selection was left solely tohim, and this duty he was not only authorized but required todischarge, the Commissioners purposely avoiding all minuteinstructions, and desiring that he would consider himself atliberty to deviate even from the more general instructions given,if, in the discharge of his duty, new facts should arise which,in his opinion, justified so strong a measure. Should, however,the Governor arrive sufficiently early in the colony. ColonelLight was instructed to confer with him on the subject, and paydue regard to his opinions and suggestions, but he was warnedagainst yielding to any influence which could have the effect ofdiverting him in any way from the sole responsibility of thedecision.

On the 30th of December the Governor went with Colonel Lightto inspect the proposed site for the capital, and, in common withmany others at that time, expressed dissatisfaction, his groundof objection being that it was too far from the harbour. Thecolonel, therefore, sought a site not so far out; but as therewere evident marks of the river overflowing its banks on theplace fixed upon by the Governor, Colonel Light resolved to goback to the first site. "My instructions from the Commissionerswere peremptory as to the responsibility of this choice devolvingupon myself," he wrote; "for although I was allowed to payrespect to the Governor's opinion, yet my own judgment on thispoint was to be paramount and conclusive." **

[** The following letter from Captain Hindmarshto Mr. G.F. Angas is not without interest:—

"H.M.S. Buffalo, at anchoroff Glenelg Plains,
"January 5, 1837.


"We reached Port Lincoln on the 24th ult., where, accordingto my expectation, I found Captain Lipson waiting for me with aletter from Colonel Light, informing me that he had found a goodharbour and plenty of excellent land on the eastern side of GulfSt. Vincent. I immediately proceeded to join him, hi doing whichI was two nights and two days in beating out of Spencer's Gulf,which I entered without any fear. I should, however, be verysorry to try the same navigation again until that very dangerousgulf is surveyed. Flinders' survey is good as far as it goes; buthis own track is the only thing to be depended upon. Gulf St.Vincent, on the contrary, appears to be perfectly clear, withregular soundings and good anchorage all over it, not one dangerhaving yet been discovered. Each sandy beach, however, seems tohave a small reef running off it, according to Colonel Light'sreport. I am now at anchor off the Mount Lofty of Flinders, aboutthree miles from the shore, in seven fathom. Most of the peoplewho preceded me are located temporarily on the plains abreast ofthe ship, which I have named after Lord Glenelg, and which forquality and beauty are well worthy to bear his lordship'sname.

"Adelaide is to be on the bank of a beautiful stream, withthousands of acres of the richest land I ever saw. Altogether amore beautiful spot can hardly be imagined. . . ."]

Having definitely made up his mind, he spent several days inlooking over the ground, and mentally laying it out according tothe course of the river and the nature of the surroundings.

The site selected is in latitude 34° 57" south, andcomprises a southern and northern elevation, with a small valleyand river between them. The northern rise is the spur of a lowrange of hills, of limestone formation, and the southernelevation is a piece of table-land which, at the time the firstsettlers arrived, was tolerably well wooded.

The country all along that part of the coast presented a mostattractive aspect, resembling English park scenery. The landrequired little clearing, and was fit for immediate occupationfor tillage or sheep-runs, well watered, and covered withluxuriant grass. The ground sloped backwards for several milesfrom the coast, terminating in the Mount Lofty range, behindwhich lay Lake Alexandrina and the country of the Murray. So manycombined advantages decided Colonel Light in fixing upon thisspot as the site of the principal settlement, but it was hardlyto be expected that it should include every requisite, and stillless that it should answer all the expectations of the colonists.One fancied drawback was that it was six miles from the port, andsome urged that the first settlement should be close to it. Butat the port there was no fresh water, and Colonel Light had nohesitation in deciding that it was better to be obliged to carryall necessary commodities from the port to the town, than toconvey all the water required for culinary and other purposesfrom the town to the port; and his wisdom and sagacity were soonjustified.

There were others who still clamoured for the first town to belocated in the neighbourhood of Encounter Bay, one of the chiefadvocates of this situation being the judge, Sir John Jeffcott.But Colonel Light would not yield to this suggestion for amoment; he was satisfied that even if a good harbour could befound, the tremendous rollers at the entrance of the bay wouldrender it comparatively useless. And a tragic confirmation of hiswisdom was soon to be given; one or two wrecks occurred in thedangerous neighbourhood, and Sir John Jeffcott and CaptainBlinkinsopp, in attempting to prove that they were justified intheir opposition, lost their lives by the upsetting of their boatin the turbulent waters.

Having selected the site. Colonel Light was instructed inlaying it out to make the streets of ample width, arranging themwith a due regard to convenience, salubrity, and beauty, and tomake the necessary reserves for squares, public walks, and openspaces. Ten acres were to be reserved as a Government domain, andtwo hundred acres to be appropriated for a public park andgardens. He was also directed to reserve as a public road allland on the coast within a hundred feet of high-water mark, and aroad sixty-six feet wide on each side of every navigableriver.

No sooner had he commenced his task than he was subjected to aseries of interferences from the Governor, his private secretary,and others in different spheres of authority; and, being of asensitive nature, he was hurt that reflections were made in highquarters on his judgment and ability. Nor were matters muchmended when a public meeting of the landowners and othersconcerned was called by the colonial secretary, at the command ofthe Governor, to discuss the proposed site of the capital, a wishhaving been expressed by many to stay any definite action beingtaken until all the coast had been surveyed.

At the meeting a resolution was submitted, "That it is theopinion of this meeting that the site at present selected for thechief town of the colony, being at a considerable distance fromnavigable waters, is not such as they were led to expect would bechosen." Considerable discussion followed, but happily anamendment was proposed: "That this meeting considers that in thesite selected by the surveyor-general for the first town, he hassecured in a most satisfactory manner those advantages which theCommissioners and the first purchasers in England contemplated asessential, namely, a central point in the province, in theneighbourhood of a safe and improvable harbour, abundance offresh water on the spot, and of good land and pasturage in itsvicinity, with a probable easy communication with the Murray,Lake Alexandrina, and the most fertile parts of New South Wales,without fear of any injury to the principles of the colony fromtoo near an approach to the confines of the convict settlement."The voting was, for the amendment, 218; for the original motion,137: giving a majority of 81 in favour of the amendment.

Notwithstanding this, the Governor was not satisfied. He hadcome to the colony with the impression that the capital should besomewhere in the locality of Encounter Bay, and he wasinjudicious enough to appeal to the Commissioners for the removalof the capital to that neighbourhood, and at the same time togive strong expressions of complaint against Colonel Light, whohad only exercised the powers made binding upon him.

The answer received by Captain Hindmarsh was, that "when heapplied for the office of Governor he was distinctly informedthat the right of selecting the capital would be vested solely inthe surveyor-general," and that when he pressed the Board to cedethis right to him, he was "seeking for an extension of powerinconsistent with the principle of the colony; and that aGovernor of South Australia must be content to receive and tohold his appointment subject to the condition of non-interferencewith the officer appointed to execute the surveys, and to disposeof the public land." This was a judicious snub, but it had noabiding effect.

The survey and staking off of the town acres was commenced byColonel Light and his assistants on the 11th of January, and wascompleted on the 10th of March.

(Video) The ultimate chronological South Australian history 1836-1892

On the 23rd of March, the method of drawing by lot having beenfixed upon, and the plan of the town mapped out and exhibited forpublic inspection, those preliminary purchasers who had depositedmoney for land in England to enable the colony to be founded,made their selections. A few days afterwards the remaining acreswere sold by auction. Then came the first land boom, when thoseacres which had cost from £2 2s. to £1414s. each at auction, and those first selected at12s., were selling at from £80 to £100 each,and for those considered to be well situated as much as£250 was demanded, resulting, as most land booms do, indisappointment to the majority, and in the witnessing of theresale, some four or five years afterwards, at prices notreaching more than one-fifth of those rates.

On the 28th of March permission was given to the public "tocut down and grub up trees in the public streets, except thosewithin sixteen feet of the frontage of private property."

The naming of the streets and squares did not take place untilthe 23rd of May, and it was the occasion of a renewal of thosebickerings and misunderstandings that had gone on from the first.Divided authority was the bane of every movement, and of coursethe Governor and the Resident Commissioner both claimed the rightof naming localities and places as well as Colonel Light, thesurveyor-general. Eventually the matter was settled by acombination of "authorities" and landed proprietors, and thenames of those connected with the early history of the colonywere handed down to posterity in the streets, squares, andterraces of Adelaide.

Fortunately there was no dispute, and could be none, as to thename of the capital. King William IV. having requested, beforethe first ships left England, that it should be called after hisroyal consort, Queen Adelaide.

Soon after the site was definitely settled, the emigrants whohad been holding on at Kangaroo Island and elsewhere removed tothe "city", in the hope that they would soon be able to take uptheir country sections. But in this they were disappointed, andmany complications ensued. Amongst them was the question of food.Before the arrival of the Governor, when one of the most pressingwants of the colonists was a supply of fresh provisions, ColonelLight despatched the Cygnet to Van Diemen's Land for eighthundred sheep; but, in consequence of boisterous weather on thereturn journey, very few remained alive when the vessel reachedKangaroo Island. Then the matter was taken up by the Governor andcouncil, and a sum of £5000 was voted for the purchase offlour, horses, bullocks, waggons, barges, etc., and a committeeappointed to select and purchase the same. While in Sydney forthis purpose, Messrs. Barnard and Fisher, two of the committee,made inquiries as to the practicability of conveying stockoverland, when one Mr. Robert Clint offered, for the sum of£10,000, to convey to a given point 2000 young ewes inlamb, 300 mixed cattle, 30 horses, mares, and geldings, and 24true-bred sheepdogs. The offer was not accepted, but, as we shallsee, the transit of cattle overland soon became an accomplishedfact. Meanwhile the vessels chartered by the Commissionerscontinued to bring in supplies of live stock from the Cape ofGood Hope and elsewhere.

After completing the town surveys, Colonel Light directed hisattention to the country lands, but his work was carried on undergreat difficulties. A spirit of disaffection was abroad; owing tothe lack of means for transporting goods, rations often ran low;and the survey vehicles were diverted from their proper use toconvey the luggage of new-comers from Holdfast Bay to Adelaide.The lack of fresh water at the harbour was a great drawback toprogress. As an instance of the cost of conveying it to the bay,it may be mentioned that the Buffalo had twenty tons ofwater conveyed from Adelaide to Glenelg, the charge for which was£100, and nearly half this amount for bringing back theempty water-casks.

Alluding to his men, who were called "two-shilling-a-dayslaves", Colonel Light wrote, "Their complaints had much truth.They had signed in England for twelve shillings a week andrations, the same in quality as allowed in his Majesty's navy,and they were sometimes many days with hardly anything butbiscuit, sometimes not that. Had there been no difficulty withthe men, we could not have detached a party from the town, as nota single working bullock could be had. The tents were all in useby the immigrants as well as by the surveying parties. Therations which came up from Holdfast Bay in small quantities weredelivered almost immediately, not only to those entitled to themby agreement, but also to the immigrants, who had no other meansof sustenance than from the Commissioners' stores, and theremaining part of the twelve months' stores purchased in Englandfor the use of the survey alone were now shared out to all.Humanity required this, but the consequence was a cessation ofwork, and an apparent neglect of duty on the part of thesurveyor-general, for which, of course, there were many quiteready to abuse him."

When the stores were better supplied, surveying recommencedunder more favourable circumstances, and a party was formed underMr. Finniss to commence on the western side of Adelaide, with theTorrens on the right, the range of hills to the left, and the seain front, while Colonel Light began on the right bank of theriver. Still the work was hindered by occasional strikes amongthe men and by bad weather. "During this period," wrote ColonelLight, "I began to feel a very evident change in my health,which, with anxieties of mind, wore me down very much, and I wasobliged to neglect many days' working in consequence."

To the unavoidable delay in the progress of the countrysurveys may be mainly ascribed the overwhelming difficulties anddisasters in the first years of the history of the colony; and,next to this, the error of the Commissioners in permittingemigration to take place to the extent it did before the countryland was ready for selection. By the 25th of May, 1837, not quitea year after the arrival of the first vessel at Kangaroo Island,sixteen vessels from England had landed upwards of a thousandemigrants, and twenty-five vessels had left Sydney and VanDiemen's Land with supplies of provisions and merchandise,besides conveying many settlers. In November of the same year thepopulation was estimated at 2500. All these people flocked to thecity because, although they held land orders, they could not getpossession, and therefore could not enter upon their properbusiness pursuits, or upon any productive labour. As aconsequence there came a state of stagnation. The very implementsrequired for agriculture and the utensils for dairy work sooncrowded the auction-rooms, and were sold at absurdly low prices,that the vendors might support themselves on the proceeds. "Themajority of the settlers were without income, and had to liveupon their capital and by the sale of their town acres. Rentsbeing very high, employment was given to artisans at extravagantwages to erect buildings in the city; but as houses soonincreased and rents diminished, those who had embarked theircapital in buildings had cause to regret making suchinvestments." Provisions were imported at ruinous prices; hardcash intended to be used in "making a fortune" was squandered inidleness; and labourers were employed upon works premature, ifnot unnecessary, for the mere sake of giving them employment.

The Government was largely dependent upon what it could make,and the principal source of its revenue, for emigration purposesonly, was the sale of land, but the sales had not yet commenced;the duties upon spirits and wine licences yielded so small a sumthat the Governor had not sufficient money to pay even thesalaries of its officers. There were no other revenues. The LandFund was sacred; the English Government could not he asked formoney; the Colonial Treasury existed only in name.

On the 25th of May, 1837, the Governor, after much contentionwith the Resident Commissioner on the subject, proclaimed theharbour a legal port, but for some time afterwards it was notmuch used. At this early date there was neither wharf, pier, norjetty at either Holdfast Bay or the harbour, and considerabledamage and loss was sustained in consequence. At the bay heavilyladen boats were sometimes in danger of being swamped, and if thewater was smooth they could not approach near enough to the shorefor the goods to be landed dry without great care. As soon asvehicles were obtained, the bullocks or horses were driven intothe water as near as possible to the boats, but even then asubmerging of the package or case in course of removal was nouncommon thing. A tradition of those days records that, amongother casualties, Mrs. Hindmarsh, soon after her arrival, had themortification of seeing her piano floating ashore at Glenelg.

One of the first public works undertaken at the port at thehead of the creek was the cutting of a small canal to enablelighters to discharge their cargoes on terra firma. Thesilt and mud excavated formed a bank above the reach of ordinarytides, and upon this bank the goods landed were piled untilremoved by carts or drays to their destination.* The cost of thislittle canal, which would receive some six or eight barges, wasabout £800.

[* There were for the first few months so fewvehicles, oxen, and horses, that it was a long time before thecolonists could get their belongings together, and sledges,skids, wheelbarrows, and other impromptu devices were inrequisition to convey luggage from the landing-place toAdelaide.]

The arrival of large numbers of immigrants rendered adepôt for their immediate accommodation necessary, and asite was selected on a part of the western parklands, and woodenbuildings, known as "Immigration Square", were erected. In onepart of the square there was an infirmary and dispensary, andadjacent thereto the office of the immigration agent—afunctionary who had by no means an easy time during the first fewyears of the colony's existence.

Up to the end of 1839 nearly all the large vessels arrivingfrom England came to anchor in Holdfast Bay, and here, therefore,the immigrants were landed. Many were the strange and excitingscenes enacted there. In the absence of jetty or wharfs,passengers, luggage, and merchandise had to be landed in the surfon the beach, unless the bullock-drivers could persuade theirteams to go sufficiently near to the boats to obviate thisnecessity. As a matter of course, the greater number of personslanded had either to be carried ashore, or to wade through thewater. Soon the beach would be thronged with the wondering andinquiring new-comers; a number of bullock teams stood aboutwaiting to convey the women, children, and luggage to the town;and here and there a group of natives would welcome the visitorswith strange grimaces and modest appeals for "biccity", "'bacca",or "black money". Then the procession would move off, bound forImmigration Square.

The city presented a strange appearance in the early days. Thetemporary dwellings of the settlers who had removed from Glenelgwere strewn about the valley, or lined the banks of the river,presenting the appearance of a large gipsy encampment. Some ofthe "buildings" were composed of mud and grass, others ofbrushwood, and some of wooden frames covered with canvas. One ofthe first residences close to the town was "the Vice-regalMansion", as it was jokingly called—a building remarkablefor its want of pretension to either elegance or comfort. It wasbuilt by the sailors of the Buffalo ** and consisted ofthree rooms, the walls being of mud and the roof of thatch.Unfortunately, "Jack" forgot to put in a chimney, which causedmany a joke at his expense. Of stone and brick houses there were,of course, very few in the first instance, and these few wereerected at great expense. But soon a building mania set in;temporary erections gave "way to proper houses, and almost withina year of its foundation Adelaide began to assume thecharacteristics of an established town. Unfortunately, it becamethe great centre of attraction, and, in addition to the mania forsubstantial buildings there, many were building castles in theair, instead of turning their attention to flocks and herds, thegrowth of grain and garden produce, and the development of thenatural resources of the colony.

[** The marines of the Buffalo were leftas a sort of body-guard to the Governor. But they were not a verysober or reliable set. Mr. Osmond Gilles used to tell a story ofone of them who was left to act as guard over theTreasury—at that time only a tent in which was a safe, In'sown private property, lent to the Government. Returning; homelate one night, he passed the tent and found the guard helplesslyintoxicated, his general impression being that ho was on boardthe Buffalo. The treasurer dealt with him gently. "Thetruth is," he said, "as there was only one shilling and sixpencein the safe, a guard might have been spared." At that time theGovernment was completely aground as to cash, and remained sountil the treasurer, from his private purse, brought asupply.]

It was some time before the ordinary machinery of society gotinto proper working order, but the first year of the existence ofthe colony witnessed many interesting events and enterprises,important as being the foundations upon which great things wereto be built in the future. It will be well in this place to seewhat attempts were made to evolve order out of chaos; and we willfirst glance at some of the early operations of the SouthAustralian Company. The Company, as we have shown, was the meansof planting the colony. We have now to inquire how far itsucceeded in fulfilling its further design to make the prosperityof the colonists possible. It will be remembered that the Companyundertook to build and buy ships, to establish whaling fisheriesand stations, to enter into agricultural and stock farming, toembark in pastoral pursuits, to lease land to farming tenants,and assist them to cultivate their holdings by advancing funds.It was pledged to build wharfs and storehouses, shops and houses;to buy and sell produce and manufactured goods; to work mines andquarries, flour and saw mills, and generally to open up all thepossible avenues to prosperity.

On the 22nd of November, 1836, in a letter to GovernorHindmarsh, Mr. Angas mentions the departure of Mr. McLaren, chiefcommercial manager; Mr. Mildred, master ship-builder; Dr.Drescher, overseer of the Germans; Mr. Shepherdson,superintendent schoolmaster; Mr. Germein, master of thetrawl-fishing vessel; Mr. Wright, master of the white fisheries;two vine-dressers; one flax-grower from Germany; with theirrespective families, and others in the Company's service.

Besides the officers already mentioned, Messrs. W. Giles, C.S.Hare, W. Prescott, W.B. Randell, and E. Stephens were among thefirst engaged in various departments of the Company's colonialservice. To Mr. McLaren the directors committed the entiremanagement of the banks, shipping, fisheries, ship-building, andcommercial affairs of the Company, while Mr. S. Stephens had theentire charge of the agricultural department.

The letters of instructions furnished by Mr. Angas, thechairman of the Company, to Messrs. McLaren and Stephens, aremodels of what such documents should be—clear, graphic,explicit, and as complete and comprehensive as if theestablishment of the infant settlement had been entrusted solelyto the South Australian Company. Nothing conducive to theprogress and well-being of the colony was overlooked.

It was patent from the first that a banking establishmentwould be an imperative necessity, and the prospectus of the SouthAustralian Company stated, as one of its objects, "theestablishment of a bank or banks in or connected with the newcolony of South Australia, making loans on land or produce in thecolony, and the conducting of such banking operations as thedirectors may think expedient." But it was equally clear that itshould not form a branch of a commercial company, and therefore,with great wisdom and forethought, it was omitted from theoriginal plan submitted by Mr. Angas to intending shareholders.Negotiations were then opened up with the Bank of Australasia,but they fell through; and as applications were being received bypersons wishing to proceed to the colony to transmit their money,the original £50 shares in the Company were divided intotwo of £25 each, and additional shares were issued at apremium to afford sufficient capital for the commencement of abank or banks in the colony.

Accordingly, a supply of specie and small notes was sent outin one of the first vessels despatched by the Company; and theentire plant of the bank, together with a framed banking-house,iron chests, and so forth, were forwarded by the shipCoromandel, in charge of Mr. Edward Stephens as cashierand accountant. This vessel arrived in South Australia on the12th of January, 1837, a few days after the colony had beenproclaimed a British province, and in March the bank commencedoperations. The notes, which were engraved in London, varied invalue from ten shillings to ten pounds, and represented in theaggregate £10,000.

In a letter of instructions, drawn up by Mr. Angas, Mr.Stephens was advised that the bank was to be one of issue,discount, deposit, and loan, and that it would also undertake thecollection of debts and receipt of moneys by commission; give inexchange for the notes of the bank, bills on England, and open upa system of exchange between the colony and the mother country.Besides the ordinary business of a bank, it was also practicallya savings bank, the smallest deposits, when they reached£1, bearing interest at 5 per cent. Loans were also to beadvanced on the security of property at moderate rates ofinterest, although, when the mania for speculation in town landstook place shortly after the colony was established, the Companygave no encouragement to the proceeding, either in disposing oftheir own property or in making advances to privateindividuals.

To the early settlers, however, these loans were a great boon,and enabled them to commence farming operations and pastoralpursuits which they could not have done without such assistance;while a place of security for their savings was also adesideratum in those days of tents and mud cottages. As soon ascapitalists arrived, these subsidiary operations of the bankceased.

For the first three or four years the rate of discount chargedon bills having three months to run was 10 per cent., and 12 percent. for those of longer periods. Interest at 4 per cent. wasallowed on the daily balance of current accounts, and 7 per cent.on cash deposited.

The bank at once became a medium of exchange between GreatBritain and the colony, and in course of time secured agencies atSydney, Hobart Town, Launceston, Canton, Calcutta, Bombay,Madras, Ceylon, Mauritius, Cape of Good Hope, St. Helena, andHamburg.

It was foreseen from the first that the Government would needthe aid of the bank, and the directors intimated to their agentthat, as the Governor had only taken out £1000 in specie,both he and the Resident Commissioner might require assistance,in which case it was to be given within reasonable limits. Eventssoon justified that anticipation. On one occasion, during theadministration of Governor Hindmarsh, the bank advanced the sumof £5000 when there were no funds whatever in hand. Animportant arrangement was made with the Commissioners that thenotes of the bank should be received in payment for land, and forany taxes to be levied for the support of the Government.

All these facilities for transacting monetary affairs shouldhave been, and, as a matter of fact, were, of great benefit tothe early colonists; but, unfortunately, owing to the openhostility between the Governor's party and the ResidentCommissioner's party, neither the Company nor its bank wereregarded with favour by the authorities in the colony.Nevertheless the bank outlived this petty opposition, and becamea permanent and useful institution. From the first it more thanjustified its existence. During the first year of its operationsmoneys were lodged at the London office of the Company forrepayment in South Australia amounting to upwards of£15,000, while the drafts drawn on England in the colonyamounted to nearly £7000. In 1840 the business of the bankhad increased to nearly a quarter of a million, and was yieldinga profit to the Company of 15 per cent.; but as it was anobstacle in the way of the Company in its efforts to obtain acharter of incorporation, it was in the following yeartransferred from the Company and established upon an independentfooting as "The South Australian Banking Company". Mr. McLaren,the general manager of the South Australian Company, on hisreturn to England in 1841, stated to the shareholders, "I do nothesitate to say that the progress of the colony, and the successof individual colonists, has been more owing to the Bank of SouthAustralia than to any other cause whatever—perhaps I mightsay, than to all other causes put together."

The total quantity of land possessed by the Company in thefirst instance was 102 town acres, 13,770 country acres, and 330acres for the first settlement at Kangaroo Island. At the sale oftown land in March, 1837, sixty-six acres more were purchased inthe "city", making a total of 168 town acres, including six atthe port.

Pastoral pursuits were among the first labours entered into bythe Company in the colony. Pure merino rams and ewes, selectedwith great care and at much expense in Saxony, were early sentout, as well as some pure Leicesters and South Down sheep andCashmere goats. Later on choice stock of various kinds were sentout by the Board in London to improve the breeds in the colony.The number of prizes awarded from time to time to the exhibitorsof the Company's live stock was evidence of the value of theimportations.*

[* In May, 1851, the Company relinquished itspastoral pursuits altogether, and disposed of the whole of itsflocks and herds.]

In horticulture the Company introduced the vine, Zantecurrant, olive and other fruits, but beyond establishing the factthat the soil and climate were suitable for their growth andculture, and the formation of a small nursery, no attempt wasmade to enter into competition with the settlers in theproduction of fruit and vegetables.

The fishery operations of the Company were on an extensivescale, and embraced the sperm, black, and off-shorewhale-fisheries, besides white fishing for home consumption,salting, and exportation. Five of the Company's vessels wereemployed in this industry; off-shore stations were established atEncounter Bay and Thistle Island, the former soon after thelanding of the first settlers, and the latter at an early periodof the Company's existence.

The loss of the South Australian and the stranding ofthe John Pirie in Encounter Bay, and also the loss ofthree other vessels engaged in this service, led to therelinquishing of what had once been a profitable pursuit. Some ofthe produce of the Company's fisheries constituted the firstexport from the colony to the mother country, and as early as the26th of December, 1836 (two days before the colony wasproclaimed), the Company's manager shipped at Kingscote forexportation to Van Diemen's Land three barrels of salted fish,containing 1359 mullets and 605 lbs. of skipjacks. The trade didnot, however, prove profitable, and was soon abandoned.

One of the largest and most beneficial of the earlyundertakings of the Company was the laying out and opening up ofthe New Port, as it was called; the erection of wharfs andwarehouses, and the construction of a good road across the swampto connect the port with the city. The road was formed at a costof about £13,000, and soon after its completion the Companytook in exchange an equivalent in land of the Government at theupset price, so that the road might become available for publicpurposes. This spirited undertaking greatly enhanced the value ofthe Company's property, and was also of incalculable benefit tothe young colony.

The Company in its early days was largely engaged in theerection of buildings; but these operations, like many others,were relinquished in course of time, the idea of the founderbeing that the Company might be compared to a scaffolding,needful to the erection of a large building, but to be taken downwhen the building is completed.

In the early days the Company held a prominent place in theestimation of the first settlers, who were indebted to itsvarious establishments for much of their supplies; hence the"Company's Stores", the "Company's Cattle Station", the"Company's Ship Station", the "Company's Dairy", the "Company'sSteam Flour Mills", the "Company's Buildings", the "Company'sWharf", and the "Company's Bank", were familiar as householdwords. Many of the Company's servants became most usefulcolonists, and attained to wealth and influence.

Enough has been shown here to prove that all the operations ofthe Company were favourable to the advancement of the colony; infact, but for its large capital—vastly beyond any otheravailable for similar objects—employed judiciously ingiving remunerative occupation to the people, and in developingthe resources of the country, there would have been a dead-lockat the outset. Unfortunately little unity of action characterizedthe proceedings of the Commissioners and the Company, and ifthese two bodies could have worked together more harmoniously,beneficial results would even more speedily have followed, andsome serious evils would have been averted. The Company was tooenergetic and expeditious in its movements for the Commissioners,and they, in turn, were too much so for the Colonial Office, andconsequently none acted in concert.

Having glanced thus far at the operations of the SouthAustralian Company, we must turn again to the early settlers, andthe administration of the first Governor.

The history of the rise and progress of religious institutionsin South Australia is of exceptional interest. One of the mainpoints for which the early friends and founders of the colonycontended was that there should be no dominant Church; that noprovision should be made by the State for the promotion ofreligion, but that the voluntary principle should be put fairlyto the test. Nevertheless, there crept into the South AustralianAct of 1834 a clause giving power to persons appointed by thePrivy Council to appoint chaplains and clergymen of theEstablished Churches of England and Scotland, and under this Actthe first colonial chaplain, the Rev. C.B. Howard, was appointedby Lord Glenelg, on the recommendation of the Bishop of Chester.A strong protest was made by the "founders" against theappointment, not on personal grounds, but as being an evasion ofthe non-establishment principle; and in the amended Act, passedshortly afterwards, the clauses relating to such appointmentswere omitted.

Mr. Howard arrived in the Buffalo with the Governor andother Government officers, and being anxious to commence work atonce, religious services were held under a huge sail, borrowedfrom a captain in port, until a temporary building could beerected. To get the sail from the port, some miles away, was a"labour" of love, and it is on record that the worthy clergyman,assisted by Mr. Osmond Gilles, the colonial treasurer,accomplished the task by drawing it on a truck with ropes overtheir shoulders along the dusty track in blazing hot weather.

Better accommodation was, however, in store for theworshippers. An association had been formed in England, inconnection with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, toassist the colonists in providing for themselves the means ofpublic worship and religious instruction, and, subscriptionsamounting to over £800 having been collected, a woodenchurch, capable of accommodating 350 persons, and provided withcommunion plate and books, was sent out in frame, together with aparsonage house. It was soon found that the wooden church did notanswer the purpose, and it was determined to erect a stonestructure. Mr. Pascoe St. Leger Grenfell, having offered a townacre for the erection of a church and parsonage house, acre No.9, at the corner of Morphett Street and North Terrace, wasselected, and on the 26th of January, 1838, the foundation-stoneof "the Church of the Holy Trinity" was laid by the Governor.

Shortly after Mr. Howard's arrival, it was rumoured that theBishop of Sydney regarded the new province as a part of hisdiocese, and had appointed the colonial chaplain as his surrogatefor granting marriage licences, and examining the certificates ofclergymen. This gave rise to the first religious dissension inthe colony; but it was found that the bishop and the colonialchaplain, without any wish to violate the provisions of the SouthAustralian Act, had been under a misapprehension, as the Actdistinctly stipulated that South Australia should not be subjectto any law passed for any other part of Australia, andconsequently the letters patent of the Bishop of Sydney couldhave no force in Adelaide. A frank explanation settled the littlestorm, but a watchful eye was kept for a time upon the movementsof the Church party. It was soon found, however, that Mr. Howardwas a warm-hearted catholic man, whose one object in life was todo good, and he succeeded in winning the confidence andaffections of the colonists of all classes and creeds.

South Australia having been designed as a "Paradise forNonconformists", the various religious denominations were soonwell represented. The Wesleyans were among the first in thefield, and early in 1837 a few individuals set to work to providefunds for a chapel and schools. Through the liberality of Mr. E.Stephens and others, a neat brick building was soon erected inHindley Street, at the back of the South Australian Bank, andhere Mr. D. McLaren, manager of the South Australian Company,conducted service in the morning, and other laymen in theafternoon and evening. But in course of time they felt the needof a regular minister, and early in 1838 one was sent to them ina singular fashion.

The Rev. William Longbottom, Wesleyan minister, sailing in theFanny with his wife and child from Tasmania to fill avacancy in Western Australia, fell in with a gale which increasedin fury, until at midnight the vessel struck on an unknown coast,and they were landed through the surf by means of a rope. Theysuffered for want of a fire, till on the second day of theirescape some friendly natives ventured near them. After afortnight spent in a forlorn condition, and not knowing whitherto turn, a crew of shipwrecked mariners found them. By means of achart they had saved they had travelled a hundred miles, and weregoing fifty more in search of a whaling station. The twocompanies made common cause, and for forty-five days theywandered through the bush, and, reaching the station, they weretaken by sea to Adelaide, where the pastorless society of sixtymembers welcomed the minister, and would not let him go. He lostall his worldly possessions by the disaster, but a subscriptionwas set on foot to recoup him for some of his losses. He sooncommenced his ministrations among the people, and carried them onwith such success, that he may be regarded as the founder ofWesleyan Methodism in South Australia.

The first minister of the Congregationalists—a bodydestined to play a very important part in the political as wellas in the religious history of the colony—was the Rev.Thomas Quentin Stow, for several years pastor of an Independentchapel at Halstead, Essex. He was selected for the colony by theColonial Missionary Society, whose attention had from the outsetbeen directed to the new settlement, with its peculiarconstitution in regard to religion, as an important sphere oflabour for Independents. Until, however, the infant settlementwas in a position to maintain Mr. Stow, the London MissionarySociety agreed to grant him £100 per annum, and Mr. GeorgeFife Angas made himself responsible for his outfit and otherexpenses.

In a letter to friends in the old country, Mr. Stow thusdescribes his early labours in the colony:—

"March, 1838. . . . I am pleased to say the clergyman isevangelical and active. The Methodists, too, I rejoice to add,have a society and are doing good. I have been kindly received byall persons, and hope, by God's grace, to be enabled to dosomething here. Mr. Giles is at Kangaroo Island, where hepreaches, and where his services are much needed.

"Mr. McLaren is sometimes there and sometimes here; he is aBaptist, manager for the Company, and is said to be an excellentpreacher. I am gathering a congregation, though, of course, notvery fast. Our Church has been formed about two months,consisting of thirteen members and two candidates. We have alsobegun a Sunday school, which promises well. The Governor and mostof the officials have been to hear me. It is well you, allowed usa tent, for no house was to be had. I determined, therefore, tobuild on the same acre where my house stands (a most eligiblespot for worship) a temporary place of gum-wood posts, pinerafters, and reed thatch, and the walls, at present, of oldsail-cloth canvas. The size is forty feet by twenty, besides aschoolroom at one end fourteen feet by twelve, and can be openedinto the main building in half an hour, if called for, thusgiving us a building of more than fifty feet in length. To payfor this I sell the tent. It is a good edifice of its kind, andis reported to be the best thatched place in the colony. It wasdone by two Halstead men of my Church there. I worked regularlywith them, felling the pines, cutting the reeds miles from thetown, thatching, etc. . . ."

The first Baptist Church in the colony was under the care ofMr. D. McLaren, the members belonging to various sections of theBaptist body. They met at first for worship in the SchoolSociety's building in the park-lands, but after a time theyremoved to a chapel in Hindley Street, vacated by theWesleyans.

In course of time other religious communities came upon thescene, until scarcely a section of any denomination remainedunrepresented.

In those early days of which we now write, comparativelylittle was done with regard to education, although Mr. GeorgeFife Angas, as representing the South Australian Company, hadfrom the first made it a leading consideration. It will not beuninteresting to "set in order" the story of the introduction ofschools into the new colony.

Among the earliest settlers was a man whose main object inlife was, strange to say, not to make money, but to assist informing the new community on a moral and religious basis. Thiswas Captain Bromley, who for nearly a quarter of a century hadbeen the unsalaried agent of the British and Foreign Bible andSchool Societies, and had in 1813 established the first BritishSchool in British North America. He was living on his littlefreehold property in Boston, Lincolnshire, when he heard of theSouth Australian enterprise, and foreseeing a field for his ownpeculiar benevolent, and to a great extent self-sacrificing,labour, he was among the first to depart for the new settlement.In December, 1836, he commenced his work on Kangaroo Island, andthe following is the first educational report from SouthAustralia:—

"I collected," he says, in a letter home, "all the children Ipossibly could, but the whole number only amounted totwenty-four, and nearly half of these were infants; they were,therefore, taught on the infant-school system, and all exceptone, a mere babe, could either spell or read before I came away.While thus employed I could hardly obtain money enough topurchase bread and cheese, the weekly pay of the children notamounting to more than ten shillings, so that, instead ofbuilding a hut, I was obliged to buy common necessaries to liveupon. I had, therefore, no alternative but to teach the childrenunder the shade of a large and beautiful tree, which would haveaccommodated forty or fifty more." Captain Bromley afterwardscontrived to erect a hut with his own hands, so that, "when achange of weather drove them from the tree, he was able toshelter his little flock from the rain." He left the island forthe mainland in May, 1837, when he was appointed Protector ofAborigines, and in May of the following year was accidentallydrowned in the river Torrens.

Such is the history of the first school and schoolmaster inSouth Australia.

Long before Captain Bromley went to the colony, however, Mr.G.F. Angas had elaborated an educational system for the newsettlement, and had established in England "The South AustralianSchool Society", to create and sustain an interest in educationin that colony. Mr. J.B. Shepherdson was selected to make himselfacquainted with the best school systems in operation in themother country, and at the end of 1830 he set sail for SouthAustralia with strong recommendations to the Governor, and backedby sufficient voluntary contributions to make a good start.

In April, 1838, the school-house, a wooden building in thepark-lands nearly opposite Trinity Church, was opened for thereception of children over five years of age. The schoolcontinued under the management of Mr. Shepherdson until July,1840, when he resigned the appointment.

The cause of education was greatly indebted to the ministersof the various places of worship, who, in addition to organizingSunday schools, night classes, and so forth, undertook in someinstances to teach the higher branches of learning. It should beremembered that all these powerful influences for good were beingexercised at a time when, in the early history of several othercolonies, the thoughts of the settlers were almost exclusivelyengrossed in matters far other than those of a religious andeducational character.

Nor was the welfare of the aborigines overlooked. In the Actof 1834 South Australia was declared to consist of "waste andunoccupied lands", thus failing to recognize the existence of theaborigines. Further than this, the Act declared all the lands ofthe province to be public lands open to purchase by "Britishsubjects", and thus excluding the natives from any possession inor advantage arising from the land.

Nevertheless, from the outset of all negotiations forcolonizing South Australia, the Commissioners made specialprovision for their welfare, while in the plans of the SouthAustralian Company the chairman invariably set the claims of thenatives, and the duty of the servants of the Company in regard tothem, in the forefront.

One of the earliest appointments made by the home Governmentwas that of a "Protector of aborigines", whose duty was to studytheir interests generally, to see that no violence was done tothem by the colonists, that their grievances were, as far aspossible, redressed, and that food, shelter, medical treatment,and education were afforded when necessary. Certain lands werereserved for their use, but, as we shall see, the wild childrenof the forest never took kindly to "eighty-acre sections".

We need not discuss here the many theories that have been putforth as to their origin, or whether they were descended from ahigher or a lower race, but there seems little doubt that all theaboriginal tribes of Australia originally belonged to one and thesame branch of the human family; the root of the language spokenthroughout the entire coast-line of the continent, the personalappearance of the people, their rites and ceremonies, manners andcustoms, all point to a common origin; and all are alike inhaving neither legend nor tradition, scrip nor inscription as tohow, when, or whence they came. Like most other savages, theAustralian looks upon his wife as a slave. To her belongs theduty of collecting and preparing the daily food, of making thecamp or hut for the night, of gathering and bringing in firewood,and of procuring water. She must also attend to the children, andin travelling carry all the movable property, and frequently theweapons of her lord and master. In wet weather she attends to allthe outside work, while he is snugly seated at the fire. If thereis a scarcity of food, it is she who has to endure the pangs ofhunger in addition to ill-treatment and abuse.

The natives, although robust in appearance, do not possessmuscular strength in a proportionate degree. In expertness theywill successfully rival most white men, and even in the case of abrief trial of strength; but they are no match for the white manin long-continued hard labour. Six or eight days' consecutivework generally taxes their endurance to the utmost limit.

When first known they appeared to have been free from anyhereditary diseases, and were comparatively free from those of anepidemic character. In the treatment of their ailments theyresorted to sorcery or witchcraft.

In those days they had ample resources, according to thelocalities they were in, for finding food, which consisted offish, indigenous vegetables, roots, birds, snakes, lizards,luscious grubs, manna, honey, emu and other eggs, kangaroos,opossums, wallabies, pelicans, swans, geese, ducks, and otherfowl. Their dress in their natural condition was very simple,consisting of the skins of the opossum, kangaroo, or wallaby; or,on the sea-coast, if these could not be procured, seaweed andrushes were manufactured into garments. Their dwellingsconsisted, in fine weather, of a few bushes laid one upon theother in the form of a semicircle, as a protection to the headfrom the wind, and in the winter of rough huts supported bybranches, or the protection of projecting or overhanging rocks,caverns, or the hollows of large trees. They were, however,almost always on the move, and their buildings were inconsequence of a very temporary character, intended only for afew weeks' occupation at most.

In their domestic arrangements polygamy was practised to itsfullest extent, and wives were considered the absolute propertyof their husbands. Little real affection existed between them,and in innumerable instances women, children, and old people wereknown to be treated with gross inhumanity, especially whenhelpless and infirm. Few women were to be found free fromfrightful scars upon the head, or marks of spear-wounds about thebody. Infanticide was very common, and was practised solely toget rid of the trouble of rearing children, and to enable thewoman to follow her husband in his wanderings, which shefrequently could not do if encumbered with a child.

The natives had several superstitious ceremonies and customspeculiar to themselves—varying in differentlocalities—relating to circumcision, marriage, death, andburial; but their religious ideas were of the most meagre kind.That they had a notion of immortality may be gathered from thefact that they regarded Europeans as dead blacks resuscitated,and who had changed colour in the process! They had a wholesomedread of evil spirits, believed in sorcery and witchcraft, buthad no knowledge whatever of God, nor had they any specialobjects of adoration or worship.

Dancing was one of their principal amusements, and throughoutthe entire continent there were points of resemblance in themanner of conducting the dances, such as the practice of paintingthe body with white and red ochre, carrying boughs in theirhands, or tying them round their limbs, adorning the head withfeathers or down, beating time upon sticks or folded skins, andin the dance representing the actions of animals, thecircumstances of the chase, of war or of love.

Their songs were of a very rude and unmeaning character,consisting of endless repetitions of one or two meagre ideas. Oneof the most fruitful sources of strife and warfare was themeeting of different tribes, for however friendly they may havebeen in the first instance, they rarely parted without a quarrelor bloodshed.

Such, briefly, were the lords of the soil on whose territorythe all-conquering Europeans had come to live; and one of theearliest questions the friends of the new colony had to considerwas how to civilize and Christianize the natives, and secure tothem the due observance of justice and the preservation of theirrights.

In the first report of the Commissioners, published in 1836,the subject was made one of chief importance, and theirbenevolent intentions with regard to the natives took thisform—to establish asylums for them, consisting ofweather-proof sheds, in which they might at all times obtaingratuitous shelter and lodging; to train them in the use ofEuropean eating and clothing, and in habits of useful industry asassistants to the settlers.

An account of their first contact with "the highercivilization", in the person of the representative of Majesty, isgiven in letters written by Captain Hindmarsh to Mr. G.F. Angas,from which we quote—

"February 15, 1837.

". . . Many natives have visited us, bringing with them theirwomen and children, and altogether exhibiting confidence that isquite pleasing. Instead of being the ugly, stupid race the NewHollanders are generally supposed to be, these are intelligent,active, and handsome people, being far better looking than themajority of Africans; not perhaps so good looking as the EastIndian, but an intermediate between the two. The women exhibit aconsiderable degree of modesty. A party of about twenty, who camedown a few weeks ago, and who brought the first women andchildren I had seen, were placed under the shade of a tree inlittle family groups. When I first came up to them I soon becamewell acquainted with their names, which were musical and pretty,such as Alata, Ateon, Atare, and Melanie."

Later on in the same year he wrote—

"September 3, 1837.

"We have a very grave case now under our consideration. Asailor left Encounter Bay a few weeks ago under the guidance of anative and his two women. At about six miles from Encounter Baythe native murdered the sailor for the sole purpose, it wouldappear, of possessing himself of the poor man's bundle. Themurderer is now a prisoner on board the South Australian.We have not yet decided how to proceed with him, but evidence isbeing collected. It would, however, be worse than useless tobring him before a jury unless there is almost a certainty of hisconviction. To release him under any circumstances (his tribeknowing him to be guilty) would be naturally ascribed by thenatives to fear. We hardly know what evil this may lead to, asthey make a practice of taking the life of one of any tribe whomay have taken one of theirs, and this without regard to right orwrong. I am sorry to tell you that from the examination of thewomen, who have acquired a little English by living with thewhalers, murder appears not to be considered a crime, and doesnot entail any disgrace, but only the retribution of the avengerof blood, whose right to exercise his office is known, and onceexercised no more is thought about it. As to this prisoner, hadthe whites knocked him on the head on discovering his guilt, Ibelieve his relatives would have considered it quite in the wayof business, and then thought no more about it. Not so, I fear,should a regular process condemn him. And yet 'the bull must betaken by the horns.' The colonists must be protected, and we mustdo all that we can to show these poor people that justice isequal between us.

"I have not yet been able to discover that these aborigineshave any notion of a Supreme Being, though it is clear theybelieve in an evil spirit, who they consider the author of ill,and who they fear, but do not worship. Indeed, we know but littleabout their notions on this head. One fact, however, thatoccurred the other day was interesting. A boy who had acquired alittle English was accused of having committed a theft. He deniedit very stoutly, and appealed for a confirmation of his denial tohis father and mother, both of whom are dead."

If the Governor was in doubt how he should deal with anindividual native, it is not to be wondered at that Mr. WilliamWyatt, Protector of Aborigines, should find it difficult to dealwith all the tribes of the province, and his first report isunwittingly amusing. After announcing that twelve huts in theaborigines "location" were nearly ready for habitation, and thatrations of biscuit were distributed twice a day to whomsoevermight apply, the report proceeded—

"Many natives, especially children, are becoming acquaintedwith a great number of English words"—it was proverbialthat they swore like troopers—"and are very eager to learnthe names of everything which attracts their attention. But theirgeneral indifference to whatever is valued by civilized men,whether it be clothing, the luxuries of food and comfortablehabitations, or the more worthy gratifications of the intellect,makes it no easy matter to stimulate them to that degree ofindustry necessary for acquiring such advantages; and thesalubrious climate of their native land predisposes veryconsiderably to this indolent condition of mind and body."

During the administration of Captain Hindmarsh, there were noserious conflicts between the natives and the colonists, nor wereany really practical steps taken to educate the natives withinthat period.

By the end of 1837 the population of the colony had reachedabout 2500, and Adelaide boasted about fifty substantialbuildings and a hundred and fifty inferior houses or huts; therates of wages for mechanics and others had materially risen, andthere were signs of general prosperity.*

[* Mr. Morphett, in a letter home, written inDecember of this year, says, "It is not a twelvemonth since thegovernor proclaimed the province on the plains of Glenelg, andvery little more than that time since the first body of emigrantslanded on the beach at Holdfast Bay—the forlorn hope, as itmight be termed, of a large, wealthy, and intelligent communityof Englishmen, who had fixed upon this country as the scene of anexperiment in colonization. I recollect the disconcerted anddismal look with which most of the party regarded from the deckof the ship the dried and scorched appearance of the plains,which to their English ideas betokened little short ofbarrenness. . . . All this has given way to approval of theplace, confidence in the capabilities of the soil, and fitness ofthe climate, with the most perfect satisfaction at the steps wehave taken, and a full confidence in the ultimate benefits that"will be reaped by those who are pecuniarily interested in ouradventure. . . . The activity which prevails in business ishealthy and likely to last. Business in Adelaide has already beensystematized after the fashion of large towns in England. Atfirst the retail trade was in the hands of half a dozenindividuals, who both sold 'the staff of life' and prepared the'trappings of woe'; now we have butchers, bakers, tailors,shoemakers, dressmakers, and a variety of tradesmen, each classfollowing its own particular calling. There never was a colonywhich, within the same time, had assumed one-tenth of the outwardsigns of an independent community that this now does. Visitorsfrom the sister settlements in Australia are surprised at theforward state of our town, at the evidence of capital which theysee, at the energy and spirit which prevail, at the amount andcharacter of stock, and at the comforts which most have collectedaround them."]

The activity in town presented a striking contrast to thelittle progress made in the country around, due in great measureto delay in the surveys. Unfortunately, Colonel Light, instead ofhaving the assistance of the Governor, appears to haveexperienced much harassing interference and interruption fromhim. An appeal was made, therefore, to the Resident Commissionerto expedite the surveys. Colonel Light having made known hisrequirements, it was decided to report to the Commissioners, andto send Mr. Kingston to procure additional assistance andimplements. He sailed in October, taking with him the firstexports from the colony to the mother country, consisting of oilfrom the fisheries of the South Australian Company.

Meanwhile, the settlers who could not obtain possession oftheir lands were allowed the free use of the Glenelg plains,where they pitched their tents, tended their Hocks and herds, andmade away with the dingo, or wild dog, for which the Governmentoffered a reward of five shillings per head for the male, andseven and sixpence for the female; these prowling depredatorsbeing most audacious in their attacks on sheep, poultry, andother live stock.

When the first settlers landed on the Glenelg plains, gravedoubts were entertained as to the agricultural capabilities ofthe soil. Only two experiments had as yet been made, one by Mr.Mengé at Kangaroo Island, and the other by Captain Light'ssurvey party at Rapid Bay; and as the suburban and countrysections were not surveyed in 1837, the cultivation of the soilwas almost at a standstill. Under these circumstances an attemptwas made to raise a small crop of wheat on one of the SouthAustralian Company's acres on North Terrace, and although thecrop was not a heavy one, the yield was quite sufficient toremove the general impression that the plains around the citywere unsuited to the growth of grain.**

[** Colonel Light never had any doubt on thesubject, and was wont to say to grumblers, "This country will notonly produce cereals, but all the products of Spain andPortugal."]

During the year (1837) the settlers visited the neighbourhoodsof Hurtle, Morphett, and McLaren vales in the south, Mount Barkerin the east, and Lyndoch valley in the north-east and elsewhere,and satisfied themselves that there were large tracts of landadmirably adapted for agricultural pursuits, although the mostsanguine never imagined that in the course of a few years SouthAustralian wheat would carry off the prize in the GreatExhibition of the products of the world.

When the country lands were surveyed and allotted, thesettlers found, in commencing operations, that they had almosteverything to learn, for experience gained in the mother countrywas of comparatively little use in the infant colony. Theclimate, seasons, and soil were quite different; there were nohedges or fences; oxen and horses were very scarce; provisionsand labour were exorbitantly high. The land first occupied, onthe Glenelg, Gilles, and Gawler plains, was but lightly timbered,and as the greater part of it did not bear sufficient forfencing, posts and rails had to be brought from adistance—namely, from the "tiers", as the timbered hillswere called.

In this work the "splitters" from Van Diemen's Land renderedgood service until the labour market became stocked by new-comersfrom Great Britain.*

[* More recently wire fences were very largelyused, horned cattle having become adepts at working out woodenslip-panel rails with their horns—the patience,perseverance, and ingenuity displayed in getting access to afield of standing corn being truly surprising.]

After fencing his land and building his house or hut, the nextprocess was "clearing". If the wood could be sent into Adelaideat a paying price, this was done; if not, the farmer would selectsufficient for his own wants and burn the rest. Then came thegrubbing of the stumps or roots, although those were often leftin the ground until the first crop had been raised. Many withlimited capital depended upon this crop for carrying on futureoperations, and if it proved a failure, or gave but a smallreturn, they were thrown back for years. A "first crop" hasdetermined the whole future of many a colonist.

These small growers, who constituted the majority of theagriculturists of the colony, were rarely freeholders in thefirst instance; they leased a section for three or more yearswith a right of purchase, the rental being so much per cent. perannum on the purchase-money, or so much per acre according toagreement. Every nerve was strained to become possessors of theland; the strictest economy was practised; but if the first cropfailed, there followed, in many instances, the forfeiture of theland through inability to carry out the terms of the agreement.It was for some years a common practice for merchants andstorekeepers in Adelaide to supply these impecunious settlerswith provisions till harvest-time, when wheat would be taken inexchange.

The fact that so many of these small growers succeeded andbecame men of position in the colony, after commencing withlittle capital and less experience, speaks well, not only for theproductiveness of the soil, but for their own indomitable energyand perseverance.

A large proportion of those who were termed farmers became, asa matter of fact. Only growers of wheat; instead of improving andextending their homesteads, they aimed mainly at adding sectionafter section of land for wheat-growing purposes, withoutdevoting even a small plot to the production of fruit andvegetables, which when planted recquire very littleattention.

The question of raising stock was one of absorbing interest,and the first beginnings of pastoral pursuits deserve some noticehere.

In 1836 the arrivals of stock from England consisted of half adozen rams of the Merino and Leicester breeds, sent out by theSouth Australian Company, two cows brought out by theAfricaine, and a few goats. With the exception of one cow,these importations were landed at Kangaroo Island, the one cowbeing taken to the mainland, where it was sold for fifty guineas,and calved a few days afterwards. Her progeny, a bull calf, wasactually put to work within a twelvemonth afterwards, and earnedfor its owner, Mr. F. Garden, thirteen pounds per week in drawingwater and building materials.

In the same year seventy sheep were brought over from HobartTown, where they had been purchased at twelve shillings per head;a fine mare for the use of Mr. S. Stephens, first manager of theCompany; and a grey gelding, which was lost in what was thencalled "the bush", the skeleton being found some three yearsafter in Coromandel Valley.

The locality first occupied by the imported stock was theplains near Glenelg and around the embryo city of Adelaide. Herethe emu and the kangaroo gave place to flocks of sheep, while thedingo, or wild dog, found himself "in clover", greatly to theannoyance of the shepherd and to the loss of the importer orowner. For a few years certain localities around Adelaide wereknown as No. 1 Sheep Station, No. 2 Sheep Station, and so on; butthese were destined soon to become the sites of flourishingsuburban townships. In 1837 fresh arrivals of stock were landedfrom Hobart Town, the Cape, and elsewhere, and it was soon foundthat South Australia was eminently suitable for pastoralpursuits. The promoters and founders of the colony gave thesubject of common pasturage early attention, and theCommissioners afforded facilities to those desirous of engagingin such pursuits, by providing for the occupation of land onlease at the rate of ten shillings per square mile, two squaremiles being allowed for each country section.

On the 3rd of April, 1838, Mr. Joseph Hawdon arrived atAdelaide with a party of nine men, and announced the fact that hehad succeeded in bringing overland from New South Wales 325bullocks, cows, heifers, and horses, all in good condition aftera journey of nearly one thousand miles, which had occupied aboutten weeks. The cattle were driven from their station on the Humeto the Port Phillip mail establishment on the Goulburn, at whichplace the drays from Port Phillip, carrying supplies for theparty, joined the expedition. The tracks of Major Mitchell, theexplorer, were next followed for some distance, and then,descending the left bank of the Murrumbidgee and crossing theMurray at the ford near its junction with the Darling, Mr. Hawdondiscovered a lake at the head of the Rufus, which he namedVictoria (after her Majesty), and another which he called LakeBonney, after his friend, Mr. C. Bonney. Four bullocks werekilled on the road by lightning, and many natives were seen, butall were quite friendly.

Mr. Hawdon was the first to open up the overland communicationfor stock; three months later, however Mr. E.J. Eyre, with threehundred head of cattle, arrived in Adelaide, having made thejourney from New South Wales by an almost entirely differentroute. He discovered a lake, and named it Lake Hindmarsh; onleaving it he found no more fresh water, and was for three weeksengaged in attempting to reach the Murray. At length, after manyadventures, he fell in with Mr. Hawdon's tracks, which hefollowed.

A third overland party, under the command of Captain Sturt,arrived in Adelaide in August, with four hundred head of stock.Sturt had fallen in with the tracks of both Hawdon and Eyre, andconsidered that Mr. Hawdon's route was the best that could betaken. In this second visit to South Australia, Captain Sturt wasconfirmed in his first impressions, and gave a glowing report ofthe great pastoral capabilities of the country at the base ofMount Barker, "far exceeding in richness", he says, "any portionof New South Wales that I ever saw."

In addition to these overland arrivals of stock, large numbersof sheep and cattle were sent by ship from Van Diemen's Land andNew South Wales. To further promote such importations, a "JointStock Sheep and Cattle Company" was formed, with a capital of£20,000, and large purchases were made. In October, 1838,it was estimated that there were in the colony 22,500 sheep andlambs, 2175 head of cattle, and 233 horses.

We must now go back a little in the narrative to follow thefortunes of "the dwellers in the city". Although in the veryearly days of the colony those in authority might not always havebeen very loyal to one another, there was never a period whenSouth Australia was not absolutely loyal to the throne.

In 1837 the birthday of King William IV. was celebrated by aball and a supper and other demonstrations, but within a few daysof these rejoicings the King had ceased to be, and the PrincessVictoria had acceded to the throne. On the 19th of October a"Gazette Extraordinary" was issued, informing the colonists ofthe fact, and on the day appointed the members of Council,magistrates, officers of Government, and a number of theprincipal inhabitants of the province assembled in front of"Government House," when the Governor read thefollowing:—

"Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God to call to His mercy ourlate Sovereign Lord King William the Fourth of blessed andglorious memory, by whose decease the Imperial Crown of theUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and all other hislate Majesty's dominions is solely and rightfully come to theHigh and Mighty Princess Alexandrina Victoria, saving the rightof any issue of his late Majesty King William the Fourth whichmay be born of his late Majesty's Consort, we, John Hindmarsh,Knight of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order, Captain in herMajesty's Royal Navy, Governor and Commander-in-chief of theProvince of South Australia, assisted by the Honourable Membersof Council of the said Province, the Magistrates, Officers ofGovernment, and numbers of the principal inhabitants of Adelaide,therefore do now hereby, with our full voice and consent oftongue and heart, publish and proclaim that the High and MightyPrincess Alexandrina Victoria has now, by the death of our lateSovereign of happy and glorious memory, become our only lawfuland rightful liege Sovereign Victoria, by the grace of God, Queenof the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender ofthe Faith, saving as aforesaid. Supreme Lady of her Majesty'sprovince of South Australia and its Dependencies, to whom, savingas aforesaid, we do acknowledge all faith and constant obedience,with all hearty and humble affection, beseeching God, by whomkings and queens do reign, to bless the Royal Princess Victoriawith long and happy years to reign over us. God save theQueen!"

Among the early Bills passed by the Council were thefollowing—"For establishing a Court of General or Quarterand Petty Sessions; For fixing the qualification of jurors; Forthe summary determination of disputes between masters andservants; For granting licences for the sale of wine, beer, andspirituous liquors; For the promotion of good order inpublic-houses; For the establishment of a Court to be called "TheSupreme Court of the Province of South Australia".

The plan adopted for announcing any Bill about to be passedwas to issue a notice that "the said Bill could be inspected atthe office of the Colonial Secretary," and affixing such noticeto a tree opposite "Government Hut".

But this early legislation was not regarded with favour inEngland, and only the last-named Act was permitted to occupy aplace in the statute-book of the colony. Meanwhile the youngcommunity was to be governed by the laws of the mother country sofar as those laws would apply.

Although the early colonists in South Australia were probablythe most reputable that had ever gone forth as pioneers to a newland, in the matter of crime the infant settlement was notentirely free, and on the 13th of May seven prisoners werebrought before the "Court of General Gaol Delivery" for trial. Inaddressing the grand jury the judge. Sir J.W. Jeffcott,said—

"You are aware that in the neighbouring colonies it has beenconsidered inexpedient to concede the full right of trial byjury. The reasons which have been considered as justifying such arestriction elsewhere do not, however, happily prevail here; andI feel no slight degree of satisfaction in being able tocongratulate the free inhabitants of South Australia, not onbeing admitted to, but in being able to claim as their birthrightthe full and unrestricted privileges of the British constitutionamongst which not the least valuable is that which has justlybeen styled the palladium of English liberty, trial by jury, aninstitution which, however it may have been occasionally abused(and no human institution is free from imperfection), has beenproved by the experience of ages in our native land to have welldeserved that appellation. This valuable institution, in thefullest sense of the term—that is. trial by the grand andpetit jury—will from this day—the first on which acourt is held in this province—be in operation, and I againcongratulate you on it."

In continuing his charge to the grand jury, Judge Jeffcottsaid, "I am sorry to find that the vice of drunkenness,notwithstanding the exertions of the Governor and the authoritiesto check it, prevails here to an alarming extent. It must,however, be checked amongst our own population, and if the tineof £2, which the colonial Act directs to be imposed uponevery man who is proved to be drunk, be not sufficient, other andstill more coercive means must be resorted to."

It was easy to talk of more coercive measures, but it wouldhave been very difficult to put them in force. Three monthsearlier than the date of this charge, the Governor had written toMr. G.F. Angas—

"February 15, 1837.

"What I shall do without a small military force I do not know.It is true I can institute a police force, but who am I to makepolicemen? Those of sufficiently respectable character are ableto earn much higher wages than I dare offer, and I am restrictedin the salary to a police magistrate to £100 a year. Whereshall I get a gentleman fit to do such duty who will give up histime for so small a sum? I have suggested to Lord Glenelg that heshould allow me to make it £200. . . ."

About this time, settlers as well as Government officials hadto employ banished men, ex-convicts, who were in many casesskilful splitters, sawyers, fencers, and hut-builders. High wageswere paid to them, but it was considered undesirable to inquiretoo closely whether they were "expirees" or "runaways". As thePort was free and drink abundant, there was much disorderlyconduct at times. On one occasion a serious disturbance occurred,and after the reading of the Riot Act the marines were ordered toload and fire with ball cartridges, when some of the rioters werewounded, and a few taken into custody. Not long after this theGovernment store was broken into, and food, ammunition, and othergoods stolen; the hut of the sheriff, Mr. S. Smart, of Tasmania,was attacked, and a pistol was fired at the sheriff. Volunteerswere at once sworn in as special constables, the delinquents werecaptured, and a man named Magee, who fired the ball, washanged.

It is almost a matter of surprise that, with the bad exampleset at this time by those in authority, there was not morelawlessness among the people. The colonial secretary hadassaulted the colonial treasurer for violent language, and theformer was suspended. The emigration agent had been charged withdisobedience to the Governor's commands, and was suspended. Oneofficial was charged with inciting the people to sedition, andanother with setting the judge at defiance, and so on.

As an illustration of the state of the times, an incident of avisit to Kangaroo Island, made by the Governor in June, 1838, maybe recorded. While he was there a mail arrived, and the captainof H.M.S. Pelorus, in which the Governor had voyaged, wasanxious to know if there were any despatches for him. CaptainHindmarsh, in the presence of an officer, who for the nonce hedubbed postmaster-general, opened the mail. At a meeting atAdelaide, his action was very strongly condemned

Apropos of this, it may be stated that postal irregularitieswere a source of very great trouble to the colonists at thistime, and the following curious advertisement in the SydneyMonitor was intended to give a friendly hint as to where themissing letters went:—"Post office in South Australia. TheGovernor ought to be reminded that owners and masters of vesselstrading to new colonies are deeply interested in destroying allletters between the new colony and the colonies they trade with,and that until a judicious law regulating the mails betweenAdelaide and these colonies be passed and regularly enforced,letters and newspapers will continue to be purloined, as theyhave hitherto been, and now are."

The dissensions in high places were soon to be aggravated bythe freedom of the press. The first number of the first SouthAustralian newspaper was published in London, on the 18th ofJune, 1836, before the first vessel sent out had sighted theshores of the new colony. The newspaper dealt more largely withprobabilities than certainties, but it was the wish of Messrs.Robert Thomas and Co., the proprietors, and Mr. George Stevenson,the editor, "to print the first number of the South AustralianGazette and Colonial Register in the capital of the civilizedworld, and the second number in a city of the wilderness," thesite of which was then unknown.

Printers, presses, type, and paper, identical with that usedin the first number, were shipped to South Australia, and on the3rd of June, 1837, the second number was issued under manydifficulties, the printers and workmen engaged in England having"bettered themselves" in other employments. Moreover, theprinting-office was only a tent. But by degrees all difficultieswere overcome, and the Gazette and Register occupied itswell-earned position.

The first colonial issue, however, was not well received byall, nor indeed could it have been, for the dissensions anddisputes consequent upon the divided authority of the Governorand the Resident Commissioner had, as we have said, led to theformation of two parties, and as the Gazette and Registerstood by the Governor's party, it became necessary to establishanother newspaper, and the Southern Australian, edited byMr. Charles Mann, at that time advocate-general and Crownsolicitor, came into existence, as a party organ on the otherside. Official matters were sufficiently complicated before thepress asserted its liberty—they became more so when the twonewspapers took up their parables, and commenced wordy warfaresnot infrequently in strong language, garnished-withpersonalities.

While such was the state of affairs in South Australia,matters at home were taking a serious turn for some of thecolonists. Reports unfavourable to the administrative conduct ofthe Governor had reached the Commissioners from so many quarters,that they were constrained to lay the matter before Lord Glenelg.The principal complaints were that he had retarded the progressof the surveys by interfering with the surveyor-general; that hehad assumed some of the powers delegated to the ResidentCommissioner; that he had incurred expenses without authority,and that he had suspended and discharged a number of publicofficers without sufficient cause. The letter addressed by theCommissioners to Lord Glenelg concluded by stating that "howevermuch they might respect the rank of Captain Hindmarsh as adistinguished officer of the British navy, they were compelled bya paramount sense of duty respectfully to recommend, on theseveral grounds which they had endeavoured to explain to hislordship, that he might be immediately recalled from thegovernment of South Australia."

Pending a reply, several of the most influential friends ofthe colony met in London to discuss the position, and adeputation waited on the Secretary of State in reference to theappointment of a new Governor.

The choice of the Commissioners fell upon Lieutenant-ColonelGawler, a distinguished officer under the Duke of Wellington inthe Peninsular campaign.

No sooner had the Commissioners completed their arrangementswith regard to the new Governor, than they received a series ofgrave complaints against the Resident Commissioner, and somewhathastily they dismissed him from his office,* and havingexperienced the evils of divided authority in the colony, theBoard submitted that henceforth the office of ResidentCommissioner should be merged in that of the Governor. In thisLord Glenelg concurred, and later on Colonel Gawler was gazettedGovernor and Resident Commissioner.

[* It may here be stated that during theadministration of Captain Grey inquiries were instituted relativeto these charges, resulting in a complete exoneration of theResident Commissioner, communicated to him by Earl Grey,Secretary of State for the Colonies.]

In June, 1838, the news reached the colony of the recall ofCaptain Hindmarsh, and a large number of the colonists at oncepresented him with an address expressing personal attachment, andregretting his loss as "a colonist who had in so many instancesset a bright example of patient self-denial and energeticexercise of manly accomplishments." In the course of his reply tothis address, Captain Hindmarsh read as follows:—

"I receive your expressions of attachment in the samesincerity of feeling with which I believe they are offered, and Iassure you that the regret I feel deeply at this moment isinfluenced less by the political change to which you refer, or bythe reflection that such change has been effected by unworthymeans, than by the necessity I am under of leaving you for a timeto vindicate my public conduct and justify in England myadministration of the government of the province. The share whicha Governor of South Australia possesses in conducting the newexperiment in colonization is so small that under no circumstancecan he be justly responsible for its result. That responsibilityrests with the Colonization Commissioners, to whom the charge ofworking out so peculiar a constitution is entrusted. Theprinciple, though novel, is simple, as I believe it to be sound.Its successful practical application, however, depends, not onthe Colonial Government, but on the integrity and ability of theindividuals entrusted by the Colonial Commissioners with itsdevelopment, and it must be to a deficiency of those qualitiesalone that anything approaching failure ought to be attributed. .. ."

Captain Hindmarsh left the colony on the 14th of July, inH.M.S. Alligator, for Sydney, intending to proceed fromthence to England. It was evident that he anticipated a returnafter he had made his defence in England. Those most opposed tohis administration never doubted that to the best of his judgmenthe had endeavoured to promote the welfare of the community, andwith this conviction he was confident that he could make a fairrepresentation of his proceedings at head-quarters. And there islittle doubt that if he had been so situated as to have been ableto act on his own responsibility and exercise an independentjudgment, he would have proved a much more successfuladministrator of the affairs of the infant colony.

He was appointed Governor of Heligoland in 1840. In 1849 hereceived the war medal and seven clasps, and other honorarydistinctions, for his long and distinguished services in thenavy. In 1851 the honour of knighthood was conferred upon him,and in 1856 he returned to England, where he died, on the 29th ofJuly, 1860, at the advanced age of seventy-eight.


Pending the arrival of the new Governor, the temporaryadministration of affairs was undertaken by Mr. George MilnerStephens, advocate-general, and son-in-law of Captain Hindmarsh.His position was not enviable. In his first address to theCouncil he drew this melancholy picture of affairs: "I have toannounce with regret that there are no funds in the treasury, andthat the quarter's salaries due to the whole of the publicservants on the 30th of June last are unpaid. We have, therefore,to fear that the tempting remuneration held out for the exerciseof ability in private undertakings in this province, added to thedistress which they are beginning to experience from the want ofmoney, will induce many indispensable public officers to leavethe service of the Government. Secondly, by the departure of themarines on H.M.S. Alligator, this province, with apopulation exceeding four thousand persons, is abandoned to theprotection of eighteen policemen, lately embodied by GovernorHindmarsh, while there are now twenty-one prisoners confined inthe weather-boarded building used as a gaol, and perhaps doublethat number of desperate runaway convicts in the neighbourhood ofthe town. At the same time, as I have observed, there are nofunds for the support of the force now constituting our onlyprotection, and the Resident Commissioner is restricted by hisinstructions from providing money for such a purpose. . . . Wehave happily no immediate cause to apprehend hostility from theaborigines, or our situation would indeed be deplorable; but theyhave ere now sacrificed two fellow-creatures, and you have toorecently witnessed the outrages that terminated in a publicexecution, to regard with indifference our present unprotectedstate. . . ."

The brief administration of Mr. G.M. Stephens as actingGovernor was a very successful one, inasmuch as he was the meansof arresting the progress of party spirit and of quelling much ofthe strife that had unfortunately sprung up. From his privatefunds he liberally relieved the treasury from its embarrassmentand effectually re-organized the police force.

It would be unfair to conclude this chapter without somedirect reference to the character, as a whole, of the colonistswho bore the burden and heat of the day at this important timeand in the more exciting times soon to follow, and we cannot dobetter than quote the language of Sir Henry Ayers,K.C.M.G.**—

[** From a lecture on "Pioneer Difficulties inSouth Australia", by Sir Henry Ayers, K.C.M.G., delivered inAdelaide in June, 1891.]

"The early settlers evinced great boldness in coming to thiscountry when they did, for it was no light undertaking for menand women, with their children, to leave the comforts andconveniences of civilization and venture to settle in a countrywhose geographical position was not very generally understood,and of whose productive powers absolutely nothing was known; andit was the possession of like courage, when they were surroundedwith difficulties, which enabled them successfully to withstandthem. I have always urged and am still of opinion that thegreatest factor in overcoming our difficulties was the sterlingqualities of our pioneers.***

[*** According to the classification of colonistsmade by the Old Colonists' Association, "pioneers" included thosewho arrived prior to the 28th of December, 1846, that being thetenth anniversary of the day South Australia was proclaimed aBritish colony, and "old colonists" were those who arrivedbetween December 28th, 1846, and December 28th, 1856.]

"Taking all classes together they were a superior sample ofthe people of the mother country. . . . Our pioneer colonists hadtheir privations, their disappointments, and their losses, whichthey bravely met. Most of them were extremely capable andintelligent, possessed of sturdy endurance and self-reliance,determined to succeed if success were possible. In short, theywere made of the right sort of stuff, and well worthy of thegrand old country whose sons they were. It was these qualitieswhich enabled them to meet and surmount the reverses with whichthey were environed. They were, in numerous instances, young andrecently married, many marriages having been hastened to enablethe young people to cast their lot and try their fortunes in thiscountry. It is then, when men and women leave their homes andhave to found new ones, that even the painfulness of theseverance from their native land to do so is less felt than itwould be after forming a home soon to be broken up again. It is aperiod, too, when men and women feel that they are all the worldto each other, so that as long as they are together the localityof their residence is of less consequence. It is a time when newenterprises may be undertaken with better hope of success, forthey are then possessed of double strength, with twice the amountof hope and exhilaration that they have at any other era of theirexistence, and there is no better period when a man may commencea great and important or an arduous undertaking than when he hasthe enthusiastic help and tender sympathy of a loving wife.

"With the prosperity that followed our adversity I should haveliked to have been able to say that the early settlers, whoworked so diligently and struggled so hard to sustain thesettlement of the colony, met with the good fortune such conductmerited. Alas! it was not so. More fortunes were lost, or missedof making, than had been retained or secured. The coming ofgeneral prosperity was, so far as most of the pioneers wereconcerned, only the renewal of fresh efforts more or lessempty-handed."



OCTOBER 17TH, 1838—MAY 10TH, 1841.

Offices of Governor and ResidentCommissioner combined.—Difficulties of Colonel Gawler'sPosition.—Financial Embarrassments.—Resignation ofColonel Light and the Survey Staff.—Death of ColonelLight.—Rapid Immigration and UnemployedLabour.—Erection of Public Buildings.—SpecialSurveys.—Explorations.—Mr. E.J. Eyre's Attempt toopen up Overland Route to Western Australia.—A Story ofHeroism.—Murder of John Baxter.—Board of SouthAustralian Commissioners disbanded.—Formation of SouthAustralian Society.—The "Company's" Road to thePort.—McLaren Wharf—Bushrangers.—Massacres byNatives.—Treatment and Punishment of CriminalAborigines.—Missionaries.—Question of ColonialChaplains.—Arrival of Germans.—A Story of ReligiousPersecution.—Pastor Kavel.—Fruits andVegetables.—Prosperity.—A Coming Storm.—ColonelGawler's Bills dishonoured.—A Critical Time.—ColonelGawler's Defence.—His Recall.—Universal Bankruptcy inColony.

COLONEL GEORGEGAWLER, the second Governor of South Australia,was a man of great ability, of calm determination, and withal ofintense enthusiasm and vigour. When he arrived in the colony hewas in his forty-second year, the prime of manhood. His previouscareer had been adventurous and notable. Leaving the MilitaryCollege, Great Marlow, at the age of fifteen, he joined the 52ndLight Infantry, and served to the end of the Peninsular campaign.He was present at the battles and sieges of Badajoz, Vittoria,Nives, Nivelles, Orthes, Toulouse, and Waterloo. As ensign he ledthe forlorn hope at the storming of Badajoz, where he was struckin the right knee by grapeshot, and fell from the parapet intothe ditch below. Here he would have perished but for his timelyrescue by a private of his own regiment, who laid down his lifeto serve his officer. At Waterloo Colonel Gawler performed signalservice while commanding the right flank company of the 52ndRegiment during the great charge on the Imperial Guards, forwhich he received the war medal with seven clasps. After this hewas in the Civil Service; then he occupied the post of Governorin one of the North American provinces for a period of threeyears, and subsequently he employed his time in literarypursuits.

When he was selected to supersede Captain Hindmarsh in theimportant office of Governor of South Australia, and to combinein himself the dual position of Governor and ResidentCommissioner, it of course became necessary that new instructionsshould be issued, and these were clear and explicit. Enlargedfinancial powers were given him, but he was reminded that, inprinciple, South Australia was a self-supporting colony;therefore, when the balance in hand upon the revenue fund was notsufficient to pay accounts fully due, he could draw upon theEmigration Fund; and if that fund was not sufficient, he coulddraw a bill or bills of exchange upon the Commissioners; but thatno accounts so drawn were to exceed in the aggregate a total of£2500 per quarter, or £10,000 in the year. At thedate of his appointment the expenses of the authorizedestablishment of the colony amounted to £8322 12s.The power to draw to the extent of £10,000, therefore, theCommissioners reminded him, was in excess of the total fixedexpenses of the colony, and he was requested to "distinctlyunderstand that the right to exceed that expenditure was notthereby in any degree extended."

When intelligence of the appointment of Colonel Gawler reachedSouth Australia, a gleam of hope, almost amounting to exultation,took the place of irritation and despondency. The settlersunderstood that they might be ruled somewhat despotically, butthey welcomed any change from the irritation of being ruledalmost entirely by men sixteen thousand miles away (by ship'scourse), for the most part ignorant of the wants of the colonistsand of the physical capabilities of the country, and unaided bythose improvements in the communication of orders which modernscience has made known. Altogether, the position of the colonistswas one of great difficulty and uneasiness, and when, on the 12thof October, 1838, the ship Pestongee Bomangee, with thenew Governor on board, dropped anchor in Holdfast Bay, there wentup a great sigh of relief, as if their burdens had already begunto roll away.

On the 17th the Governor was publicly received in Adelaide,about a thousand people meeting him on the Bay Road, andescorting him to Government House, or "Hut".* Here a Council washeld, and the Governor took the oaths, which he afterwardsadministered to Mr. G.M. Stephens, on his receiving theappointment of colonial secretary; to Mr. H. Jickling, judge; andto Mr. E. Bernard, acting advocate-general and Crownsolicitor.

[* When Colonel Gawler went to Government House,it was only a temporary erection of one story, with a thatchedroof, the timbers principally of native pine, procured from whatwas then called the "Pine Forest", since known asNailsworth.]

The reception was enthusiastic, everybody hoping that a reignof peace and good-will would set in, now that they had an ableand influential man invested with the powers of Governor andResident Commissioner.

The routine addresses followed, but they were not of theroutine kind. There was an intense desire among the settlers todevelop the wonderful resources of the province, in which eachindividual seemed to take a special pride. They had long sufferedfrom delays, hindrances, and vexations, inevitable in thecircumstances, and they were eager to encourage every action onthe part of the authorities which should throw open the countrymore widely to capitalists and settlers.

The position of Captain Hindmarsh was, as we have seen, anunenviable one, but that of Colonel Gawler was much more so. Thetask before him was one of supreme difficulty. The contentions,if they had not ceased altogether, were at least dormant, butthere was a vast network of financial difficulty before him. As,later on, we shall have to consider the whole matter in detail,it will be well in this place to give the Governor's estimate ofthe situation in his own words, written within a fortnight of hisarrival in the colony:—

"I must, in the strongest manner, solicit the Commissioners'most indulgent consideration. I am about to incur the heaviestresponsibilities, from which I could not shrink withoutendangering the finest prospects of this most beautiful colony,and my duty to the Colonization Commissioners. I find the publicoffices established here much beyond the authorized number andforce furnished to me in England, and yet I am persuaded that,with the consent of the Council, I must not only keep, butprobably increase, the existing establishments. The surveys arealtogether unequal to the demand for land; 21,000 acres ofpreliminary purchases remain unsurveyed, and, of course, thegreat mass of subsequent purchases unprovided for, and greatdisappointment has been experienced. It is my intention, with theconsent of the Council, to put on every surveyor that I canprocure, until the survey comes up, or nearly up, to the demand.The profits of capitalists are great; provisions, wages, andhouse rent are very high; all prosper but the servants ofGovernment. To retain them in their places, it will be absolutelynecessary to increase their salaries, at least of the juniorclasses, to something like a proportionate scale to those ofprivate officers. My instructions permit me to draw on England tothe amount of £10,000 per annum. Within this year (1838),upwards of £12,000 has been already drawn; the thirdquarter's salaries are still due; the treasury is absolutelyempty, and public debts to a considerable amount have beenincurred; urgent demands are made for payment, and the credit ofGovernment is therefore injuriously low. The colony itself ismost flourishing. I have great confidence that a proportionatelylarge revenue may be raised from it, and that in many thingspublic expenditure may be reduced. Care and exertion on my partshall not be spared to accomplish these objects, but, until theyare attained, I must surpass my instructions, and look to Englandfor considerable unauthorized pecuniary assistance."

These words were written, as we have said, within a fortnightof his arrival in the colony. The experience of a few more weeksconvinced him much more strongly that he was involved in mostaggravated and complicated difficulties. He found that the publicoffices were carried on with scarcely a pretension to system;"every man did as he would, and got on as he could." There werescarcely any records of past proceedings, of public accounts, orof issues of stores; innumerable complications had arisen inconsequence of the non-fulfilment of one of the leadingprinciples on which the regulations made for the disposal of landwere based, namely, that "the surveys should be in advance of thedemand," complications which the letter of the law as it stoodcould not by any possibility set right; the survey department wasreduced to three individuals; immigrants were crowding into thetown, and leaving the country districts; the principal businesswas in land-jobbing; capital was flowing out to Sydney and VanDiemen's Land for the necessaries of life, as rapidly as it wasbrought in by fresh arrivals from England; there was a direnecessity for new public buildings of every kind; the gaol,constructed for eight prisoners, always had an average of thirtypersons; in the Government "Hut" there was not tolerablehousehold or office accommodation; the two landing-places,Holdfast Bay and the Old Port, were of the most indifferentdescription; the cost of transport to and from these ports toAdelaide was simply ruinous, and in the midst of all this, thetide of immigration was flowing in with a rapidity which wouldhave taxed the resources of any young colony, however perfect itsorganization might have been.

Colonel Gawler took an intense interest in the "experiment incolonization" under trial, and, in spite of difficulties, hethrew all the strength of his great energy into the attempt tomake the scheme successful. Soon after his arrival his Councilwas formed for the time being, and work began in earnest.

Amongst the first instructions sent out to Colonel Gawler bythe Commissioners, was one giving him authority to reconstructthe survey staff, Colonel Light and his assistants havingresigned their appointments.

It will be remembered that when the dissensions betweenGovernor Hindmarsh and the surveyor-general were at their height,Mr. G.S. Kingston was despatched to England to confer with theCommissioners on the subject of the surveys. The Commissionersinsisted upon the surveys being carried out in a particular way,distasteful to the surveyor-general, and in the event of his notcomplying, Mr. Kingston was to supersede him. On receiving thisultimatum. Colonel Light at once tendered his resignation, andhis example was followed by the whole of the officers of thesurvey staff. For the awkward and unpleasant position in which hefound himself placed Mr. Kingston was in no wise responsible, theaction taken by the Board having been upon their own initiative.A public meeting was held in Adelaide, at which the overwhelmingvote was in favour of the plan pursued by Colonel Light; but thiswas not sufficient to induce him to withdraw his resignation. Heentered into business with Mr. B.T. Finniss, under the title ofLight, Finniss, and Co., but Colonel Light's health had been forsome time failing, and under the irritation of what he felt to beunrequited public services in the colony, hismalady—consumption—soon became fatal, and he diedshortly after Governor Gawler's arrival.**

[** In his last illness his great anxiety was tobe acknowledged as the founder of Adelaide, and he requested thata copper plate, with an inscription to that effect, might beplaced inside his coffin. He was buried in a vault in LightSquare, where an obelisk to his memory was erected, bearing thisinscription—



A more worthy and imposing monument was erectedin 1892.]

On the subject of the reconstruction of the survey staff, theBoard of Commissioners wrote to Colonel Gawler asfollows:—

"The Commissioners are desirous of placing, and do herebyplace, in your hands the fullest and most ample powers toreorganize the surveying staff in whatever manner and to whateverextent may appear to you most expedient, in order to render itefficient, and to remedy, as far as may be practicable, theinterruption and delay in the progress of the surveys which theseresignations have occasioned."

This unrestricted licence became the source of one of ColonelGawler's greatest troubles, and led in no small measure to thedifficulties which culminated in one of the most disastrousepisodes in the history of the colony.

The possession of land, not for use or cultivation, but forspeculation, became a mania, many acting as if the wholepopulation of Great Britain were about to be suddenly transferredto South Australia. As each fresh exploring party found out theexistence of good country, the desire to purchase became almostirresistible. But as, immediately after survey, the deposit forpurchase had to be paid, the capital of the country, instead ofbeing employed in cultivating the land already held and ineffecting improvements, was either sent home to England forexpenditure in emigration purposes, or to the neighbouringcolonies for the purchase of the necessaries of life, and evenfor timber, of which there was abundance in the colony. This wasa double evil in many respects. The Colonization Commissioners,finding their coffers fill so rapidly, despatched emigrant shipsaccordingly,* and the arrival of these in quick succession ledthe Governor to incur expenses which the revenue of the provincewas quite inadequate to meet. For the accommodation of theseimmigrants some thirty or forty wooden houses had been erected tothe westward of the city, and even these were wholly insufficientto afford the necessary shelter. In consequence of thespeculation in land, and a total disregard to its cultivation,there was little employment for the new arrivals, and they,therefore, for the most part were kept in the neighbourhood ofAdelaide; not only their shelter, but their provisions having tobe provided by the Government.

[* In 1838 the total land sold was 47,932 acres,realizing £47,932; and the number of emigrants who leftEngland for South Australia was 3154 souls.]

What to do with this unemployed labour was the problem thegallant colonel at once set himself to solve. Impressed with ananxious desire to improve the colony, and feeling convinced thatthis could only be done by a liberal expenditure of money, hedetermined to embark in a series of enterprises. And truly heentered upon the execution of his plan with wonderful spirit andenergy, and scattered money in a right royal manner. He built anextensive and well-finished Government House, commodious officesfor the various Government departments, a custom house, gaol, andhospital; he remodelled and extended the survey department;enrolled a large police force, both foot and mounted; formedroads, sent out exploring parties, and introduced bold anddecisive measures everywhere and in everything. This kept a largeamount of money afloat, gave employment to numbers of immigrants,and produced what appeared at the time to be a state of generalprosperity. But, unfortunately, the erection of Government workson this extensive scale induced the colonists to launch out intoerecting shops and warehouses, and far-seeing men whispered thatvery soon wages would go up as well as the price of provisions,and that, for all the apparent prosperity, a day of reckoning wasnot far distant.

The bills drawn by Colonel Gawler on the Commissioners, andpresented to them during the first half of the year 1839,amounted to £8560, and during the last half to£10,600.

Besides the erection of public buildings, the Governor tackledthe subject of official salaries, which were absurdly small,**and raised them from the 1st of January, 1839. He added alsolargely to the police force. In all these arrangements theCommissioners appear to have heartily concurred. In theirdespatches during 1839 the following and several similar passagesoccur:—

[** A committee was appointed to inquire andreport on this subject, and one of the documents sent in by them,and afterwards transmitted by the Governor to the Commissioners,was the following statement of the weekly expenses of a singlegentleman and his servant at that time:—

15 lbs. fresh meat @, 1s.0150
14 lbs. bread @ 4½d.053
7 pints of milk @ 4d.024
Vegetables for one week070
Wine and beer110
Minor groceries070
½ lb. tea020
1 lb. loaf sugar @ 1s. 3d., 2 lbs. moist @1s.033
¾ lb. fresh butter @ 3s. 6d.02
1 lb. salt butter @ 2s. 6d.026
3 lbs. soap @ 7d.019
2 lbs. candles @ 1s. 6d., 1 lb. at4s.070
1½ load of wood @ 8s.0120
1½ load of water @ 4s.060
Washing 3½ dozen @ 5s.0176
Per week512
Per annum289210
House rent6000
Man-servant's wages4500
Master's clothes, with economy5000

—If such were the necessary expenses of asingle gentleman and his servant, what must have been those of amarried man with ft family? With the exception of the Governorand the judge, whose salaries at this time were £800 and£500 respectively, the highest were £400 per annum,and only two or three were in receipt of so much, the greaternumber varying from £250 to £100.]

"I am directed to assure you" (wrote the secretary of theboard) "that the Commissioners will do everything in their powerto sustain your proper authority; that so far as theirinformation enables them to judge they fully approve of the stepsyou have hitherto taken, and that you may safely rely on theirefficient co-operation in all measures calculated to promote thewelfare of the colony."


"You will observe that while certain rules are laid down foryour guidance, you are authorized to deviate from them underpeculiar circumstances, and on certain conditions, one of themost important of which is that the grounds for such deviationshall be placed fully and without delay before the Board."

These sanctions and expressions of approval naturally ledColonel Gawler to conclude that his course of action gavesatisfaction, and accordingly, therefore, he went on in the sameway.

While matters in official quarters were thus in progress thecolonists were seized with the same spirit of enterprise, andbroke forth into various new undertakings. For example—

In January, 1839, the first "special survey" of four thousandacres was applied for by Mr. F.H. Dutton on behalf of himself,Mr. D. Macfarlane, and Captain Finniss, colonists of New SouthWales. This was followed by several other applications of asimilar kind, and the race for them became almost as great, insome instances, as it afterwards was for taking up mineralleases. In one case the manager of the South Australian Companyproceeded to Port Lincoln to look out for a good locality, andbefore he returned the one fixed upon had been applied for andtaken, the second best being then selected by the unfortunatemanager. Soon a "rush" was made to Port Lincoln and a newsettlement formed; trading vessels proceeded there withprovisions, passengers, and building materials, and for a time itseemed as if the capital would be supplanted; the Port LincolnHerald was established, and all went well until the bubbleburst, and then people began to return to the capital.

In the times of the land-purchase mania the transactions werenot always on a large scale; purchasers of preliminary oreighty-acre sections split them up into very small buildingallotments, ranging from £3 to £5 and upwards invalue. Besides the usual sales by land agents there was anevening auction in Hindley Street, where fenders and fire-irons,spades and axes, or allotments of building land could bepurchased. As in those days the mart was, with the exception ofthe little theatre and the public-house, the only resort forcolonists when the day's work was done, the clever and wittyauctioneer always kept a large audience in high good humour,besides doing a considerable trade.

Great enterprise was shown in many other directions, notablyin the matter of minor explorations by parties in search ofsuitable localities for special surveys, as well as for sheep andcattle stations. In one instance Messrs. Strangways and Blundendiscovered a fine river in the north, and named it the Gawler,and this gave an impetus to the occupation of the land in thisdirection. Other discoveries were made about the same time byMessrs. Cock and Jamieson, who visited Yorke's Peninsula, andpenetrated into hitherto unknown parts of the country, andsubsequently by Mr. K. Cook in a trip up Spencer's Gulf, where hediscovered three harbours.

In 1839 a considerable knowledge of the south-east part of thecolony was obtained from Mr. Charles Bonney, who opened up a newroute overland from New South Wales, and by Major (afterwardsSir) Thomas Mitchell, the explorer of a large portion of NewSouth Wales and Australia Felix (Victoria), who reached theboundary of the South Australian colony on the Glenelg River,after proving the junction of the Darling, the Lachlan, and theMurrumbidgee with the Murray on its northern side. GovernorGawler made a flying visit to the north-west bend of the riverMurray, accompanied by a young man named Bryan, a visitor atGovernment House. Mr. Bryan's horse gave up, and it was necessarythat he should remain with it while the Governor and hisattendant proceeded to find water for man and beast. The weatherwas fearfully hot. Before the searchers could reach the riverthey were so exhausted that one of the horses was killed and hisblood drunk. On reaching the camp from whence they had started,men and horses were sent on their return tracks with all that wasnecessary to save man and horse. But Mr. Bryan was not to befound. Search was made in all directions for many miles, butalthough, years afterwards, the horse was found alive, "with hishoofs turned up like skates," no trace of the unfortunate visitorto Government House was ever discovered.* The Governor alsovisited that part of the Murray within the boundary of SouthAustralia, and made some valuable geological observations.

[* Mount Bryant, in the locality where he waslost, is named after him.]

But all these exploits sank into insignificance in comparisonwith the heroic attempt of Mr. E.J. Eyre to open up overlandcommunication with Western Australia. The idea had been suggestedby Captain (afterwards Sir) George Grey when on a visit to thenew colony en route to England, and Colonel Gawler warmlyencouraged the fitting out of the expedition. The story has beenmany times and splendidly told, but by no one better than thelate Henry Kingsley.** We can only give a meagre outline of ithere.

[** See Macmillan's Magazine, vol. xii. p.502.]

On the 18th of June, 1840, Mr. Eyre, accompanied by Mr. Scott,a personal friend and travelling companion, John Baxter, anoverseer, Corporal Coles, of the Sappers and Miners, and twonative boys, together with drays, horses, and sheep, started,amid the cheers of the whole populace, to explore the interior ofSouth Australia. But in this he was unsuccessful. He forced hisway for four hundred miles to the north of Adelaide, and got intowhat was then known as the basin of Lake Torrens, a fearfulcountry of alternate mud, brackish water, and sand. Proceedinginto the basin of the lake, he found it coated with an unbrokensheet of salt crust, into which the foot sank at every step.Beaten back from the north at all points, and bitterlydisappointed, he came to the conclusion that he could proceed nofurther in that direction.

"I had one of three alternatives to choose," he wrote at thiscritical juncture, "either to give up the expedition altogether,to cross to the Murray to the east and follow up that river tothe Darling, or, by crossing over to Streaky Bay to the westward,to endeavour to find some opening leading towards the interior inthat direction. After weighing well the advantages anddisadvantages of each (and there were many objections to themall), I determined upon adopting the last."

After many difficulties and dangers, he formed a depôtof his party at Streaky Bay, and spent weary months in trying tofind a way to the westward or northward. His attempts to roundthe head of the Great Bight—a part of the coast describedas "a hideous anomaly, a blot on the face of nature, the sort ofplace one gets into in bad dreams"—were desperate. Waterwas only to be obtained by digging, and then it was generallybrackish; the heat was terrific; the cliffs were parched andbarren; everything along that desolate coast, where for sevenhundred miles no harbour fit to shelter a small boat, and foreleven hundred miles no rill of water so big as a child's finger,are to be found, was forbidding and horrible. After a journey oftwenty-four days in an attempt to round the head of the Bight, hereturned to the camp unsuccessful, but only to start again with adray-load of water, and after making a distance of 138 miles, toreturn again with his task unaccomplished, although within twelvemiles of the Bight. A final effort was made, and he reached thehead of the Bight. The actual distance was only 153 miles, but toreach the goal he had to ride 643 miles and to labour incessantlyfor forty days, while a dray laden with water was drivenbackwards and forwards for 238 miles. . But the Bight was onlyone incident of the expedition. He was convinced he could notpenetrate to the northward in that direction with drays, and hecame to the heroic determination to reduce his followers and gowestward to King George's Sound, the original goal of theexpedition, with packhorses only.

Then came a day when he informed his companion, Mr. Scott,that they must part, as he intended only to take three nativeboys—among whom was one named Wylie, of King George'sSound—as they would be of most service in the country to bepassed over. To Baxter, the overseer, and for some years hisfaithful servant, Mr. Eyre pointed out the extreme peril of theundertaking, in which he was resolved to succeed or perish, andleft it to him to decide whether he would go forward or return.The faithful fellow never hesitated for a moment, but resolved togo forward at all hazards. For some weeks the horses were fed upand rested for the task before them; meanwhile, those of theparty who were to return to Adelaide had long since left in thecutter placed at the service of Eyre by the Government. But onthe 24th of January, 1841, the day when Eyre was making his finalpreparations to leave, he was startled by the report of a gun. Itwas fired by Mr. Scott, who had returned from Adelaide bearingletters and verbal messages innumerable, urging Eyre to abandonhis dangerous task. But he was not to be moved, and on thefollowing day, after bidding a final farewell to Scott, hestarted with Baxter, Wylie, two other natives, nine horses, aTimor pony, and some sheep, on one of the most daring expeditionsever conceived.

Leaving Fowler's Bay, they kept along the coast, and, beyondthe Bight, came upon high cliffs unbroken for many miles by asingle ravine, and here the terrible part of the journey began.On one occasion they were four days without water, and the horsesand sheep with scarcely a particle of food; on another they werereduced to such straits that Eyre found it necessary to cast awayeverything that was not essential to life; sometimes they wererejoicing over a quart or so of water collected by a sponge fromthe dew on the grass. Some of the horses died, some wereabandoned; the sheep failed; two of the natives becamedisaffected and absconded, but, being unable to find food in thedesert, returned apparently repentant.

One day—it was the 29th of April—having made anearly start, and the weather being intensely hot, Baxter pleadedfor an early halt. After some hesitation Eyre consented, andagreed to take the first watch. He saw Baxter and the boys liedown in their respective break-winds, and then went a shortdistance from the camp to look after his horses. It was a wild,cold night; the wind was blowing hard from the south-west, andscud was driving across the moon. Just as Eyre was leading hishorses round, towards the end of his watch, he saw a flash, andheard the report of a gun. Calling out and receiving no answer,he ran towards the spot, and was met by Wylie, crying, "Oh,massa, massa, come here!" To his horror he found Baxter on theground by the camp-fire, weltering in his blood, and in the lastagonies of death. A glance around showed that the place had beenransacked by the two disaffected native boys, who, having arousedBaxter while securing the rifles and other things, had shot himin the breast as they decamped.

Alone in a waterless desert, five hundred miles away from allhuman aid. Eyre covered the body of his faithful friend, gatheredtogether the few things left by the treacherous natives, and withthe boy Wylie proceeded on his lonely journey overwhelmed withunutterable grief.

On the 3rd of May, water was found at a distance of a hundredand thirty miles from the last supply; on the 11th a hill wasdescried, the first properly so called that had been seen formany hundred miles, and then there was a marked change for thebetter in the character of the country; water, became moreabundant, and an occasional kangaroo was killed.

On the 2nd of June, while in Thistle Cove, Eyre, weak andexhausted, but bearing up against despair, beheld a gladsomesight. It was a boat being pulled towards a French whaler, theMississippi. Almost wild with joy, the lonely man stoodon the verge of a wave-worn rock, and made signals to the vessel.A boat was at once put off to take him and the boy on board,where they were treated with great kindness, supplied with astock of clothes, and for twelve days enjoyed rest and boundlesshospitality. Refreshed and invigorated, and furnished with anample supply of provisions, the travellers started again on theirjourney. On the 4th of July some horse tracks showed them theywere approaching the haunts of civilized men, and on the 7th theywere received in the town of Albany with enthusiastic delight."Wylie was in the bosom of his enraptured tribe, and Eyre wasshaking hands with Lady Spencer," after his thousand miles'journey. A week later he left King George's Sound, and on the26th of July, after an absence of little more than, a year, wasonce more in Adelaide, the ideal hero of all classes.

The geographical knowledge gained by this remarkableexpedition extended little beyond a description of the coast-linebetween Streaky Bay and King George's Sound, but the gain toSouth Australia in other respects was nevertheless incalculable.The minds of the settlers were moulded to delight in brave deedsand glorious enterprise; they were all more or less makinghistory, all interested in one way or another in the developmentof the vast territory they had come across the seas to possess,all fired with ambition to do their best in their respectivespheres, and the courage, piety, and self-sacrifice of EdwardJohn Eyre set them an example and taught them a lesson that wasworth the learning.

Leaving this field of stirring adventure, we must now returnto follow the more prosaic course of events in Adelaide.

In January, 1840, in order to satisfy the Commissioners thatthe excessive expenditure during 1839 had been absolutelynecessary, the Governor appointed a board of audit, consisting ofthree colonists not belonging to the Government, to act with theauditor-general. This course, he thought, would relieve him ofsome of the responsibility he felt in sanctioning so manyoverdrafts, and would justify him in entering into furtherengagements of an urgent character.

It was this question of urgency that was at the root of allthe main difficulties of the Governor. He could not consult withany one. Those who held the reins were sixteen thousand milesaway. "The regulations issued by the Commissioners in London, aspublished in their third annual report of April 23, 1839, lookvery complete and ingenious on paper, but they involved an amountof complexity and delay which rendered their observance in a newcountry an impossibility without an absolute stoppage of allgovernment, and these are the extenuating: circumstances withwhich all the financial proceedings of Governor Gawler must beregarded." *

[* "The Constitutional History of SouthAustralia", by B. T Finniss.]

As a means of partial relief the colonists in Aprilmemorialized the Secretary of State for an extension of theLegislative Council, urging only two points as essential to thegood government of the province, namely, that there should be acertain number of non-official members chosen freely by thepeople, and that if any law were unanimously opposed by thenon-official members it should not take effect without thesanction of her Majesty. Nothing, however, came immediately ofthis, and in the mean time South Australian affairs at home wereundergoing considerable change.

In June tidings reached the colony that the Board ofCommissioners had been disbanded, and that a new Commission ofonly three members had been appointed as a Colonial Land andEmigration Board.

Of course the members of the old Board were not very wellpleased with their summary dismissal, especially when, about sixmonths afterwards, they were asked to attach their signatures toa report of their proceedings not even drawn up by themselves.Mr. Jacob Montefiore declined absolutely to sign thedocument.

For five years the Commissioners had given the most faithfuland zealous gratuitous attention to their arduous work, and nowwhen, as it appeared, the colony was approaching a state ofunparalleled prosperity, the action of Lord John Russell indisbanding them immediately an application had been made by someof their number to receive remuneration for their services, wasvery keenly felt.

Colonel Torrens, who had been chairman of the Board ofCommissioners from the first (at a nominal salary of £600per annum), occupied a similar position on the new Board. Notlong after his appointment to the new Commission, he entered intocorrespondence with Lord John Russell on the propriety ofresigning his seat in consequence of having interest in some landin South Australia to the value of £1000. Lord John tookthe same view of this case that Lord Glenelg had taken in thecase of Mr. Angas, already cited, and all that Colonel Torrenscould obtain was permission to hold office temporarily.

On the dismissal of the Board of Commissioners, an associationwas formed in London called "The South Australian Society", themembers of which comprised several of the late Commissioners,directors of the South Australian Company, and other friends ofthe colony, its main object being to guard against anyencroachment on the leading principles contained in the Act ofParliament upon which the province was founded. On many occasionsthis society, as we shall see, rendered the colony essentialservice in the mother-country.

While these matters were going on at home, affairs in thecolony were in a very complicated state. The Governor wasbecoming more and more embarrassed with financial and otherdifficulties; speculators were pushing their schemes withredoubled vigour, as if fearing an approaching crisis; wages ofmechanics and labourers had risen to almost fabulous rates, andthe price of provisions was extravagantly high.

The position of the Governor was as peculiar as it wasdifficult. He had to work out new principles in a colony that hadsprung into existence at a bound, and had advanced with arapidity unequalled in the history of British colonization.Nevertheless, he stood firm to the policy he had initiated at thefirst, and watched the progress of events with alternate feelingsof anxiety and good hope.

The important work undertaken by the South Australian Companyin constructing an admirable road to the port over the old swamp,and in erecting a suitable and much-needed wharf and warehouses,was so far advanced that on the 14th of October, 1840, they werethrown open to the public, the event being celebrated by afitting demonstration, at which the Governor presided. In honourof the manager of the South Australian Company, by whom theseimprovements were projected and successfully carried out, thewharf was named the "McLaren Wharf"—a name it retains tothe present day. At the ceremony some five thousand peopleassembled, and the day's proceedings included a regatta, anovelty in the new settlement.

The apparently flourishing condition of the colony at thistime not only attracted a number of the free population of theneighbouring convict settlements of New South Wales and VanDiemen's Land, but several of the convicts also whose rendezvouswas in that part then known as the "Tiers" on the Mount Barkerroad, where dense forest and almost inaccessible gullies offeredthem a safe retreat. The unwelcome visitors made a large increasein the crime of the infant settlement, and kept the colonists, insome parts of the bush, in a constant state of alarm. And notthere only. Mr. John Hutt, at that time Governor of WesternAustralia, wrote to a gentleman in South Australia asfollows:—

"Perth, Western Australia, July 17th,1840.

"I say nothing of the overland expedition which you vivaciousfolk are threatening us with; we propose offering, I believe, tomeet you with, provisions at some appointed place. Your stockwill be very acceptable to us, but not so your bushrangers, who,I see, have begun their ravages near Adelaide. I wish to keep aswide a gulf as possible between us and them. We have nothing asyet much to tempt them, but this overland route would show themthe way, and we have no police or money to raise a corps. The seais quite sufficient, with common prudence in those who shipstock, for all communication between us; and although, when Mr.Eyre related to me the horrible country he passed over to andbeyond Streaky Bay, I regretted to find that my favouritecolony's fertile boundaries were so circumscribed, yet I-couldnot help secretly rejoicing that you had quite enough to keep youemployed for the present without looking further west, and thatif you did that you would find no encouragement from Nature. I donot doubt that if this passage is to be effected South Australianenergy and determination and eagerness will do it; but long maythe south land flourish and spread its branches and saplings farand wide any way, save to the westward."

Of the state of crime in the colony at this period, Mr.Alexander Tolmer, then sub-inspector of mounted police, says, "Noprecautions had been adopted to prevent the importation ofescaped convicts or ticket-of-leave men from the neighbouringpenal settlements, and the consequence was that the colony wasoverrun with such persons, and the police found constantemployment in hunting and apprehending them. That such was thestate of things by the unchecked importation of this class ofbandits may be gathered from the fact that, out of thirtyprisoners tried at the gaol delivery on the 3rd of March, 1840,there was only one convicted who had come to the colony directfrom England, and among the twenty-five prisoners who wereawaiting their trial for different offences at the next sessions,there were but five English emigrants, the remaining twenty beingeither escaped convicts, ticket-of-leave men, or emancipists fromNew South Wales or Van Diemen's Land. There were no orders issuedto the port police with regard to the crews and passengers ofvessels arriving from the penal settlements, and not theslightest attention was paid to the subject, either at Glenelg orat the port, and a shipload of escaped convicts could at any timebe landed without remark or remonstrance. Again, there was nocheck upon overland parties arriving with stock, and it wasnotorious that some of the worst desperadoes of New South Walesfound their way hither by that route, and after squandering theirmoney in drunkenness and debauchery in town, would retire to the'Tiers' and join others who had preceded them, living in log-hutsbuilt in deep and almost inaccessible gullies and ravines,densely timbered and overgrown with scrub and vegetation. Undercover of dark nights they would thence sally forth, and commitdaring black-faced robberies and burglaries in the city, andagain find shelter in their fastnesses, and 'plant' the plunder,or otherwise be harboured by sympathizers and accomplices intown, creatures of the same type as themselves, some of whom werepublicans."

Many thrilling stories of adventure and misadventure have beentold of this period of lawlessness, and many more prosaic talesof loss, especially by owners of cattle.** The South AustralianCompany were great losers in this respect, and it was anadditional mortification to them to be aware that beastsinnumerable belonging to them were being shot, skinned, thebrands destroyed, and the meat salted and shipped to foreignmarkets.

[** A notorious bushranger, Patrick Murphy,alias Blue Cap, was believed to be in Adelaide, and theGovernment of New South Wales offered £100 for his capture.Mr. Alexander Tolmer was soon on his track, and receivedinformation that a suspicious-looking character had been seen onthe way to the Tiers. How the capture was made may best be toldin Mr. Tolmer's own words. The story gives a glimpse into thestate of the times, and at the iron-nerved men who had to dealwith the desperadoes of that day. "On turning the comer where theStag Inn is now," says Mr. Tolmer. "I descried the individualsome distance ahead on the track across the park-lands leading toGleeson's Hill. On hearing me approach, he suddenly stopped andhalf turned, but, owing to my horse being hard in the mouth andexcitable, I passed him a few paces. The glance I obtained of hisface, however, satisfied me that he was the identical man whosedescription had been received from Sydney a few days before. Themoment he stopped he placed himself in a peculiar attitude, withboth hands under the lapels of his coat, and it struck meforcibly that he had a pistol in each hand. However, withouthesitation, I gently urged my horse nearer the fellow and said,'Why, I know you; you are Patrick Murphy!' to which he replied,'Well, what do you want?' By this time I had managed to approachnear enough to his person, and, quickly leaning forward, seizedhis collar, saying, 'You are my prisoner', which action caused myright spur to touch my horse's side, when he made a sidelongplunge, and as the fellow threw himself back at the same time, Iwas dragged of! the saddle to the ground, and in falling broughtthe prisoner down with me. We then both sprung up together, Istill retaining a firm grip of the collar; he then struck me onthe side of the head with his fist. Being then satisfied he hadno pistols, I at once loosened hold of him and dealt him a heavyblow in the face, which knocked him down. He nimbly got up again,however, when we had a regular set-to, which lasted some minutes.He was no match for me, however, which he soon admitted, andsurrendered, saying, 'Well, now you've got your£100!'"]

Any number of picturesque and amusing stories might be told ofproceedings in the law courts and courts of justice in the earlydays of the colony. Here is one as a specimen. On the 11th ofNovember, 1840, Joseph Stagg, charged with the wilful murder of aman named John Gofton, an escaped prisoner, was brought up fortrial at the Supreme Court—that is to say, at the residenceof his Honour Judge Cooper, in Whitmore Square. "The room used asthe court contained two French windows, which opened into thegarden, the judge's elevated seat being between the two. On thejudge's left hand, along the side wall, were the jury; on hisright, fronting the jury, was the prisoner in the dock, with Mr.Ashton, the governor of the gaol, standing on the left side; andopposite the witness-box immediately under the bench, at a largetable covered with law books, briefs, etc., sat the sheriff, Mr.Newenham, the officers of the court, the advocate-general, Mr.Charles Mann, the counsel for the prisoner. Sir James Fisher,Messrs. Poulden, Nicholls, and others; and on the floor, on theright of the bench, were chairs occupied by ladies.

"Just as Mr. Tolmer of the police, the first witness in thecase, was giving evidence, a sudden sharp report was heard, likethat of a pistol or rifle, followed by repeated cries, 'He's shotat!' In an instant Mr. Tolmer drew his sword; the foreman of thejury, followed by the other eleven, dashed through one openwindow into the garden; judge, lawyers, and ladies rushedpell-mell through the other; the governor of the gaol locked theprisoner's left arm within his, and with the other held a pistolat his head, while Mr. Tolmer stayed beside him with drawnsword."

The general idea was that, as Mr. Tolmer was the principalwitness, some confederate of the prisoner had fired at him toprevent his giving further evidence, but when the excitement andterror had subsided it was found that a defective beam in thefloor, which was over the cellar, had snapped owing to theovercrowded state of the room! In a short time the break was madesafe by means of supports, and the trial proceeded, ending in thedeath sentence on the unhappy man Joseph Stagg.

A startling and terrible episode occurred in July of thisyear. Tidings reached Adelaide that a vessel had been wrecked onthe Coorong beach, near where the Fanny went ashore, andthat ten white men, five women, and seven children had beenbrutally massacred by natives of the Melmenrura, or Big Murray,tribe. Mr. Pullen (afterwards Admiral Pullen) was immediatelydespatched in a whaleboat from Encounter Bay to ascertain thetruth or otherwise of the ghastly rumour. He found the wreckedvessel was the Maria, which had left Port Adelaide a fewweeks previously with a crew of nine persons and fifteenpassengers. He found also several bodies of murdered persons, andhaving interred them he returned to report the case to theGovernment.

The gallant Major T.S. O'Halloran, Commissioner ofPolice—a man whose career was as full of adventure as thatof a hero of romance—and a party of mounted police,accompanied by several colonists, at once set forth to makefurther investigations. Considerable difficulty was experiencedin finding out the perpetrators of the horrible deed, but atlength two were given up by the tribes as the actual murderers.It was deemed expedient to resort at once to some exemplarypunishment in the immediate locality of the murders, and the twonatives were, after a deliberate investigation on the spot,executed—a step that was severely censured in manyquarters. Eventually twenty-three bodies in all were found of thetwenty-four who had embarked in the Maria.

Through the instrumentality of "Peter", a friendly native. Dr.Penny, who visited the scene of the murders some months after thefirst executions, succeeded in obtaining from the aborigineseleven pounds in gold and silver, and a coin valued at fourshillings. In his report to the Government he says, "I questionedthe party, who consisted of two of the Melmenrura tribe andthirteen of the Tenkinyra and Toora tribes, through my natives,as to the murders, which they confessed to have perpetrated, butshowed apparent regret for their crime. I gathered from them thatthey had brought the whole party up a long way, showed themwater, fished, and carried their children for them for aconsiderable time. That when they came to this point, they couldnot take them any further, as their country ends there, and the'Picannini Murray' begins. They then demanded some clothes andblankets for their trouble, but the white people refused to givethem, yet said if they would take them to Adelaide they shouldhave plenty. This they could not do, so they began to helpthemselves, and this being resisted, ended in the murder of thewhole. The white men fought for some time, but the natives broketheir arms with waddies and then speared them. They were alsojealous of the next tribe, into whose territory they would thenhave passed, and who, being in the habit of visiting Adelaide,could have taken them up and have obtained the reward promised tothem."

This native account seemed plausible, but it did not mitigatethe regret felt for the unfortunate individuals, who, havingescaped the dangers of shipwreck, lost their lives under suchmelancholy circumstances. It was the greatest calamity that hadtaken place in the colony, and it was long before the gloom wasdissipated.

The punishment of the natives was considered by many to bealmost as terrible as the crime, and this gave rise to muchcomment and censure in the colony and in the newspaper presseverywhere.

The "Native Question" here, as in other colonies, bristledwith difficulties, and moreover was always cropping up. This wasnot the first occasion when drastic measures had to be taken toprotect the lives and property of the settlers. In the fourthreport of the Commissioners (1839) the first fatal collision ofthe colonists with the natives was recorded. "The province," soran the report, "has been the theatre of one of those appallingtragedies which, occasionally occurring in every region where manis found, bring home the conviction of his imperfect nature," astatement which could not lay claim to any marked originality.But the report continued—

"Three settlers have been murdered by the natives, and twonatives have been tried, convicted, and executed for the crime.The perpetration of such crimes and their expiation by capitalpunishment are events which must, under any circumstances, bedeeply deplored, and which in the present instance cannot becontemplated without exciting the most painful feelings. Tosubject savage tribes to the penalties of laws with which theyare unacquainted, for offences which they may possibly regard asacts of justifiable retaliation for invaded rights, is aproceeding indefensible except under circumstances of urgent andextreme necessity. Such circumstances had unhappily occurred inthe case under consideration. The authorities of South Australiahad no choice but to pursue a course of judicial proceedingsaccording to English law. The murder of the two settlers hadexcited amongst their brethren a violent sentiment of fear, aswell as of anger, towards the aborigines. The prospect of furtherassassinations, in consequence of no punishment being inflictedupon the perpetrators of those which had taken place, would havebeen intolerable. If the murderers had not been tried, convicted,and legally punished, the settlers, unprotected by the governingauthorities, would have been obliged to take the law into theirown hands, and in their fear and rage might have commenced anexterminating warfare against the natives. The necessities of thecase left but a choice of evils, and the authorities chose theleast."

There was a great, outcry in many quarters at the severity ofthe punishment inflicted in both the cases we have cited, and theCommissioners attempted to vindicate the carrying out of theBritish law in these words—

"In establishing a new colony it is one of the first and mostsacred duties of the Government to protect the native races, butto protect the natives against the colonists without at the sametime protecting the colonists against the natives would beimpracticable. The aborigines cannot have the protection ofBritish law without being amenable to British law. To place theEuropean and native races under different codes would be to placethem in hostility to each other. If it be necessary to inflictthe punishment of death for the murder of a native, it is equallynecessary to inflict that punishment for the murder of a settlerby a native."

Unhappily the poor savage, conscious of his inferiority andhis inability to bring those who offended against him topunishment, often had to submit to unkind and even brutaltreatment, for which there was no redress, and, writhing underthe wrongs he endured, he would entertain feelings of resentment,ending sometimes in his taking summary revenge on supposed, aswell as on real, enemies.

"Can it be deemed surprising," asked Mr. Eyre, who knew thenative character as well as any one, "that a rude, uncivilizedbeing, driven from his home, deprived of all his ordinary meansof subsistence, and pressed perhaps by a hostile tribe frombehind, should occasionally be guilty of aggressions or injuriestowards his oppressors? The wonder rather is, not that thesethings do sometimes occur, but that they occur so rarely. Inaddition to the many other inconsistencies in our conduct towardsthe aborigines, not the least extraordinary is that of placingthem, on the plea of protection, under the influence of our laws,and of making them British subjects. Strange anomaly, which bythe former makes them amenable to penalties they are ignorant of,for crimes which they do not consider as such, or which they mayeven have been driven to commit by our own injustice, and by thelatter but mocks them with an empty sound, since the very lawsunder which we profess to place them, by their nature andconstitution, are inoperative in affording redress to theinjured. . . ."

In addition to the official Protector of Aborigines in thecolony, the natives had the sympathy of an association in themother country, established for the express purpose of affordingsuch protection to them as it could. But seeing they wereso far away, and had to rely upon reports not always wellauthenticated, they sometimes condemned actions taken on thespot, and thus, instead of being of any assistance to theaborigines, they unintentionally created a prejudice againstthose whom they were endeavouring to serve.

But the natives had friends nearer at hand, who were zealouslyLabouring for their welfare. The first direct missionary effortson their behalf were made by Messrs. C.G. Teichelmann and C.W.Schürmann, who were sent out by the Lutheran MissionarySociety at Dresden, under the auspices and mainly at the expenseof Mr. G.F. Angas, in 1838. They were followed in 1840 by twoother missionaries from the same society, Messrs. H.A.C. Meyerand Y. Klose.

In 1839 Messrs. Teichelmann and Schürmann, in conjunctionwith Mr. Moorhouse, Protector of Aborigines in succession to Mr.Wyatt, commenced school operations, and soon acquired asufficient knowledge of the language to publish vocabularies. Butalthough some of the children learned to read and to write, andadults came to listen to the gospel preached in their own tongue,it was always discouraging work, as they were constantlymigrating from place to place.

In course of time it was found that teaching in the nativetongue was a mistake, and a complete change in the plan ofprocedure was effected. The objections to imparting instructionin the native tongue were set forth by Mr. Eyre to thiseffect:—1. The length of time and labour required for theinstructor to master the language. 2. The very few natives hecould instruct, almost every tribe speaking a different dialect.3. The sudden stop that would be put to all instruction if thepreceptor became ill or died, as no one could supply his place.4. If the children could not speak in the language ordinarilyspoken by the colonists, they would be debarred from theadvantage of casual instruction or information, and also fromentering upon duties or relations with Europeans amongst whomthey might be living. 5. By adhering to the native language theywould become more deeply confirmed in their original feelings andprejudices, and more thoroughly kept under the influence anddirection of their own people.

Schools were established in several places on this new method,but no great success attended the efforts of the teachers;nevertheless, it is interesting to note that even at this earlyperiod in the history of the colony, when every nerve was beingstrained to increase commercial prosperity, the colonists weredisposed to give time and attention to philanthropic subjects.The Governor watched the progress of the German missionaries withmuch interest, and wrote of them to Mr. Angas in July, 1840,thus:—

"I have very great reason to believe them to be sincere,intelligent, persevering Christian men, and if their efforts hadnot at all succeeded, they, I think, would have been blameless.The change of the aborigines, in any moderate time, even to merecivilization, would be an especial effect of the power of God.The deep-rooted prejudices of a very ancient people, agreeinguniversally throughout the whole island in the leading points ofa very ancient system, are not to be overcome in a few years. TheProtector and missionaries have done much to shake it, but theprogress will be slow, and not very discernible to indifferentspectators."

The Governor was a religious man, and gladly supported allphilanthropic workers, while, as a good Churchman, he naturallytook a strong interest in all Church questions. It will beremembered that in the original South Australian Act of 1834there had crept in a clause giving authority to create colonialchaplains, and the Rev. C.B. Howard had been sent out with thefirst Governor in this official capacity. But the friends of thevoluntary system had from the first made it a sine qua nonthat the new colony should be absolutely and entirely free fromany connection whatever between Church and State, and theyagitated with such effect that on the 31st of July, 1838, anamended South Australian Act passed the British Parliament,partly to set at rest certain doubts as to the powers vested inthe Commissioners, but mainly to repeal that part of the previousAct which related to the appointment by the Crown of chaplainsand clergymen. This was, of course, not regarded with favour bythe Church party, and it became one of the burning questions ofthe day. The Governor's views on the religious outlook are wellgiven in a letter he wrote to Mr. G.F. Angas:—

"July 10th, 1840.

"Many circumstances have arisen to force very strongly upon myattention the religious necessities of the colony. . . . Ourdeficiencies in places of worship and ministers of the gospel arevery great; they do not keep pace with immigration. I lately madea careful calculation, and from it believe that the utmost limitof religious accommodation will not include the means ofattendance for more than eighteen hundred persons; from thesemust be deducted at least one-sixth for the average of absentees,leaving an attendance of fifteen hundred out of a population ofnearly fifteen thousand. Several of the buildings included inthis calculation are private houses, others are very temporaryerections, and some others are very much in debt. . . .

"The current voluntary system, I deliberately andconscientiously believe, will not in any reasonable degree supplythe necessities of the population; it has not nearly done so asyet under most favourable circumstances. I see no probabilitythat it can do so in the future. "Without a colonial chaplain orchaplains there would be to me the insuperable objection that thefundamental doctrines of the gospel would not be acknowledged bythe Government. . . . I do not wish for any corrupt, secularlypolitical connection between the Church and State, but I cannotconceive that any sincere Christian man can be satisfied at beingat the head of a Government which, as a Government, acknowledgesno God and no doctrine.

"I have arrived at a plan which, if it be supported by theGovernment and Commissioners, will, I think, be a solid basis forthe best of blessings to the province. It is in abstractthis:—1. That the provision of the original Act requiringthe appointment of chaplains of the Churches of England andScotland should continue to be carried out, but with greatmoderation, as an acknowledgment on the part of the Government ofthe fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith—doctrinescommon to all really Christian denominations. 2. That for themaintenance of religion and the furtherance of education in thecolony at large, land for religious and educational purposesshould be sold to all applicants at a very low rate (say5s. per acre), the property and proceeds of such land tobe legally secured and applied according to the intentions of thedonors."

Nothing could have been more moderate, but it was opposed tothe principle for which so many of the fathers and founders ofthe colony had zealously contended, and the appeal had no effect.A worse thing, however, was to happen to the Dissenters in thenot far distant future, as we shall presently see.

During the years 1839-40, very few English settlers turnedtheir attention to agricultural pursuits. The high rate of wages,the dearness of provisions, and the disinclination to grapplewith what really amounted to "bush-life", acted as deterrents,and the people still clung tenaciously to the city, the suburbs,and the port, a course which operated most unfavourably againstthe development of the agricultural resources of the country. Butduring these years the colony was greatly indebted to a largenumber of German immigrants, who arrived in the PrinceGeorge in 1838, and at once proceeding to the cultivation ofthe land, produced an abundant supply of vegetables for Adelaide,where there would otherwise have been scarcity.

The story of the circumstances under which these Germansobtained a footing in South Australia is interesting.*

[* For a fuller account see "George Fife Angas,Father and Founder of South Australia", by Edwin Hodder. London,1891.]

In 1817 the union between the Reformed and Lutheran Churchesin Prussia had nearly everywhere been effected; but the Churchritual being different in various places, it was thoughtdesirable to introduce a regulation for uniform worship over thewhole of the evangelical part of the monarchy. Accordingly, in1822, King Frederick William III. issued a new liturgy,introduced it by Cabinet order, caused it to be used in the royalchapel and the garrison churches, and recommended its adoption byall Protestant communities in the State. But as it clashed insome doctrinal particulars with the views of a certain portion ofthe Lutherans, they felt it to be their duty to withstand theinnovation at all costs. So long, however, as the Governmentconfined itself to a simple recommendation, the objections raisedagainst it were not of great importance; but when, in 1825, itwas in contemplation to make the use of the new liturgycompulsory, a strong agitation began. The Church party, withSchleiermacher at its head, fought bravely against Auguste,Marheineche, and others, for the freedom and independence of theChurch, and against the "Agenda" as being the work of theGovernment, without the consent of the respective Churchcommunities.

The quarrel lasted until 1829, when a modified edition of theliturgy was prepared, and the 25th of June, 1830, was fixed asthe date for its universal introduction.

The principle at stake was held by many to remain unaltered,and they combined to resist the innovation. This brought uponthem the royal displeasure, and persecution, fines, andimprisonment followed their disobedience. In Silesia the tyrannywas felt more than elsewhere, and many Lutherans determined, likethe Pilgrim Fathers, to seek some part of the globe where theymight worship God according to the dictates of conscience. Tothis end the Rev. Augustus Kavel, minister of the EvangelicalLutheran Church at Klemzig, having heard of the labours of Mr.G.F. Angas on behalf of the colony of South Australia, waitedupon him to seek his advice. Mr. Angas was a backboneNonconformist, and stood in the front rank of fighters forreligious freedom; his sympathies were at once enlisted, andafter two years of incessant labour, and at an enormous expense,he finally succeeded, despite the reluctance of the PrussianGovernment to grant passports to the emigrants, in sending out toSouth Australia some hundreds of these German Lutherans. Thefirst batch of two hundred, with Pastor Kavel on board, leftPlymouth Sound—the very harbour from which the PilgrimFathers set sail to lay the foundation of the great WesternRepublic—in the Prince George, and arrived in thecolony in November, 1838. They settled upon some land belongingto Mr. Angas on the river Torrens, only a short distance fromAdelaide, to which they gave the name of Klemzig, after theirnative town in Prussia. Vessel after vessel followed rapidly,carrying many hundreds to the new Land of Promise, and in courseof time there sprung up the flourishing townships of Angaston,Blumberg, Greenock, Grünthal, Hahndorf, Lobethal, Lyndoch,Nairne, Nuriootpa, Rosenthal, and Tanunda, where, at the presenttime, many thousands of Germans, as well as English, areresident.

The thrifty, practical, hard-working Germans soon made theirlittle wildernesses blossom as the rose, and there is no doubtthat their success inspired others to turn attention to similaras well as other branches of husbandry and industry.

Activity became the order of the day in every branch oflabour. Wheat, from the ease with which it could be grown, withthe demand there was for it in the Victorian market, and thelarge profits it yielded, led many to embark in its cultivation;some more extensively than their capital warranted, and when badand dry seasons set in, they were overtaken with misfortune, andfound their way into the insolvent court. Many, therefore, beganto look out for other sources of income, and it was found thatthe climate and soil were equally well adapted for the growth andproduction of wine, olive oil, hops, tobacco, and a variety ofother articles required for exportation and home consumption. Asearly as 1840 Mr. Struthers cultivated a small quantity of SeaIsland cotton, as an experiment, and it grew remarkably well.

It was believed that nearly all kinds of tropical plants,trees, fruits, and flowers, as well as those of temperate climes,could be successfully grown, and when the experiment was tried,it was found that the apple and the orange, the pear and thepine-apple, the gooseberry and the fig, the raspberry and theolive, and many other fruits would come to perfection within ashort distance of each other.**

[** Fruits come to perfection and are in seasonin different districts somewhat as follows:—
Strawberries: September to December.
Raspberries: October to December.
Gooseberries, currants, cherries, and almonds: November andDecember.
Figs: December to March.
Mulberries: December and January.
Blackberries: January.
Grapes: January to May.
Nectarines and apricots: December to February.
Plums and peaches: December to April.
Late plums: May and June.
Guavas and granadillas: January and February.
Sweet and water melons: January to April.
Pie-melons: May to August.
Lemons, limes, citrons, and bananas: February and March.
Pomegranates: March.
Apples, pears, and quinces: February to August.
Oranges: nearly all the year.]

Nearly all kinds of vegetables have been successfullycultivated, and have attained to almost incredible sizes andweights, although the raids of insects have always been a sourceof unusual trouble.

The year 1841 opened with all the outward and visible signs ofprosperity. The land sales had reached the enormous figure of299,072 acres (of which, however, only 2503 were undercultivation); the population had reached sixteen thousand (but ofthese an overwhelming percentage were entirely dependent upon theGovernment for food or labour, the wherewithal to get food);immigration was continuing to pour in (although there were manylabourers and few capitalists); Adelaide had thrown off almostevery vestige of her first simplicity. Handsome public buildings,churches, meeting-houses, prisons, macadamized roads, bridges ofmagnificent span connecting the various suburbs of thepicturesquely situated metropolis, custom houses, harbours,quays, gave the appearance of an almost unlimited revenue. It wasas fine a capital and as complete a Government establishment aswould have been the usual proportion of thirty times the numberof population at home. And everything was done on a complete andlordly scale—no jerry-building, no stucco, no veneer. Theprison, "the last of all places in a new colony that some mightsuppose needed elaborate architecture, had its high walls andstrong doors; its angle towers surmounted with cutstoneembattlements, the stone alone costing £2 2s. percube foot to work, while for other services artificers were paidfrom £3 18s. to £4 4s. per week."

It was a grand time; everywhere there was planning andworking, enlarging and improving, demolishing the brick andraising the marble; it was the old story, eating and drinking,marrying and giving in marriage, and then—the deluge!

Rumblings of the coming storm had been heard here and there,but little heed had been taken. The whole matter was in anutshell—immigration was pouring in with every tide; thesupply was unfortunately in excess of the demand; the immigrantscould not be left to starve; to employ them on work evenunnecessary at the time then present would be for the ultimategood of the colony, and as to the responsibility—well, itmust rest on the shoulders of the Commissioners, and if they werenot strong enough to bear it, on those of the ImperialGovernment. This was the dream, from which there was to be a rudeawakening.

Early in February, when Governor Gawler was on a visit to CapeJervis and Kangaroo Island, tidings reached the colony that someof the bills drawn by him on the Commissioners had been returneddishonoured.

The blow, feared and not altogether unexpected, had fallen,and the utter ruin of the colony seemed inevitable.

Colonel Gawler hastened back, and at once summoned theCouncil. They, desperately assuming, or pretending to assume,that the bills were dishonoured merely because the Commissionershad not, at the moment, the needful funds in hand to meet them,and that the whole question was simply a matter of time until thenecessary funds should be forthcoming, recommended, "That thepractice of drawing upon the Colonization Commissioners should becontinued with the precautionary addition of a reference, in caseof need, to the Lords of her Majesty's Treasury."

A little later, and there was another scare. In April a rumourreached Adelaide indirectly, by way of Tasmania, that GovernorGawler had been recalled and his successor appointed. The rumourwas not generally credited, although it produced uneasiness inall quarters.

Shortly after this a despatch was received from theCommissioners, informing Colonel Gawler that the Board had nolonger any funds to meet the bills that had been sent home, andthat he must discontinue to draw upon them. He at once called theCouncil together, and stated that he must adopt one of twocourses, "either at once to reduce the survey, harbour,immigrant, colonial store, and police departments, and confinethe Government expenditure to the mere Government and judicialoffices, customs, and absolute pauper immigrants which therevenue may at present support," or "act as every governor of aBritish colony is authorized by the instructions of the ColonialOffice to do in case of pressing emergency, draw, in thecapacity of Governor, directly on the Lords of the Treasury forthe sums necessary in reason to preserve the colony, during theinterval described, from disorder, ruin, and destitution." Aftergiving the subject the most careful consideration, he determinedto adopt, for the time being, the latter course.

The times were critical in the extreme; every individual inthe colony had a personal interest in the questions at issue, andpublic meetings to discuss the financial position became theorder of the day. Those held by the Chamber of Commerce were ofthe most practical importance, as it was resolved that "shouldhis Excellency the Governor see fife to draw upon her Majesty'sTreasury, they will accept such bills in payment of theirordinary business transactions."

It cannot be denied that the responsibility the Governor hadtaken upon himself throughout was, in a certain sense,unauthorized by the Commissioners, and was maintained contrary totheir wish. But he had unbounded faith in the capabilities of thecolony, and never entertained the shadow of a doubt as to asuccessful issue of his schemes. So long therefore as theCommissioners had funds, they yielded to his pressing demands foradditional monetary help, under the conviction, it would seem,that his confident and sanguine expectations would shortly berealized and that they would be relieved from the constant drainon their finances.

In deference to the opinion expressed at certain publicmeetings and to instructions received from the Commissioners, theGovernor commenced retrenchment as regarded special land surveysand the police department, but he had not proceeded far when, onthe 10th of May, the Lord Glenelg arrived, bringing notonly the recall of Colonel Gawler, but also his successor in theperson of Captain Grey!

This was regarded by the friends of the Governor as anarbitrary and discourteous proceeding, more especially as theCommissioners, who had placed his conduct in the strongest lightbefore the Government, had not in any of their despatchesdirectly censured him, although perfectly aware of theever-increasing expenditure. It is true that under date of the13th of July, 1840, in reply to an application from ColonelGawler for an increase in salary from £1000 to £2000per annum, the Secretary of State (Lord John Russell) had writtenas follows:—

"It was not until I was placed in possession of theCommissioners' report that I was made aware of the actualembarrassments of the colony. Under the circumstances stated bythe Commissioners, it is obviously impossible to make anyincrease in the incomes of the public officers of the colony; andI regret therefore that I cannot recommend to the LordsCommissioners of the Treasury to sanction the grant of the salarywhich you propose." After asking for a report upon the statementsmade by the Commissioners, Lord John concluded, "I cannot butexpress my surprise and concern at the large expense into whichthe colony has been plunged, and I mast earnestly hope that youwill use every endeavour to arrest the difficulties in which itis placed."

To this despatch, which was not received till December, 1840,Colonel Gawler made a lengthy and energetic reply, in which henot only endeavoured to justify his own position, but threw uponthe shoulders of the Commissioners whatever blame was due. "TheCommissioners," he wrote, "were desirous to form a fine colony,and abstractly they were willing to authorize the measuresnecessary to accomplish this end; but I must respectfully say, inmy own defence, that they did not calculate the cost of them, norhad they any adequate conception of the difficulties arising fromthe state and requirements of a new and large community suddenlycollected and planted in an unexplored wilderness."

Again:—"In all the documents and communications issuedby the Commissioners from the date of my appointment to officeuntil the report which your lordship has enclosed to me, therenever was the slightest censure passed on any portion of theexpenditure which I had directed. On the contrary, I wasjustified by the Commissioners in the greatest items ofexpenditure which I had incurred on my ownresponsibility—items which embrace almost all theextraordinary expenditure of the colony. Therefore I am in nowise guilty of the heavy charge which the Commissioners have madeagainst me of 'setting their instructions at naught', but that Isimply stand on my own responsibility for correctness of judgmentas to whether or not the cases referred to were really cases ofemergency. In no other matter have I ever intended in any of myformer official statements to confess responsibility. In speakingof unauthorized expenditure, I have always supposed it would bedistinctly understood to mean expenditure unauthorized bydetailed instructions. I came to this colony to conduct a greatand first experiment. An experiment of necessity involves thepossibility not only of success but of failure without blame tothose who conduct it faithfully. The experiment in SouthAustralia embraced two great considerations: (1) the success ofthe self-supporting system, and (2) the safety of the colony. Inever doubted but that the safety of the colony was the point tobe first maintained, and until the receipt of a semi-officialletter from Colonel Torrens, dated 17th of June, 1840, and of thereport of your lordship of the 7th of July, 1840, theinstructions and correspondence of the Commissioners with regardto emergencies gave me the fullest reason to believe that theirview and mine coincided. . . .

"I considered it emergency when the survey department couldnot keep pace with the demand; when the police force was notsufficient to suppress bushrangers and other lawless characters,to control the natives, and to check contraband trade; emergency,when public officers of value were leaving their situations onaccount of the insufficiency of their salaries, or were tradingand really plundering the Government on what they calledauthorized principle; emergency, when the survey and land officesbeing burnt down, there was not a public office belonging to theGovernment in Adelaide, and none of reasonable permanentsuitableness to be hired; emergency, when, with an immensepressure of business and harassment of all kinds upon me, I, mywife, family, secretary, office, and servants, were limitedduring the day to a mud cottage, fifty feet by twenty-seven inextreme dimensions; and emergency, when, with a really beautifulnatural port, commerce was suffering almost indescribablehindrances from the difficulty of landing in a broad, triangularswamp. . . . These, in addition to immigrant sickness anddestitution, are the great and leading objects which have been tomy fullest conviction emergencies, and which have absorbed thegreater part of the extraordinary expenditure."

Such were some of the lines of Colonel Gawler's defence, andwhatever estimate may be put upon them, no one will deny that heacted, from a high sense of the responsibilities attaching to hisoffice.

"Governor Gawler," says Mr. B.T. Finniss, "did what Imperiallegislation afterwards recognized as a valid employment of theland fund; that is, he promoted public works, and provided forthe maintenance of the labour, which every Government is bound todo to guard against destitution. But in doing so, he violated hisinstructions and paid the penalty in removal from office with allits attendant consequences. Whether he was right or wrong, it maybe asserted that the colonists of that period and of the presentowe him a debt of gratitude for saving the colony from anarchy,and for the improvements in its condition which must haveresulted from an expenditure not wastefully incurred, but spreadamongst the community in the shape of wages for useful purposes.Governor Gawler was impelled by circumstances to act as he did.Moreover, his action led to a more practical system of landlegislation, and struck a deathblow to the principle of applyingall the proceeds of all the lands sold and alienated from theCrown to the introduction of labour." *

[* "Constitutional History of SouthAustralia."]

The exact amount of the excess of Colonel Gawler's expenditureover the revenue and the amount of bills drawn by him upon theCommissioners was stated to be £291,861 3s.5½d. The total debt due in England on the 1st ofMay, 1841, and chargeable on the revenue of the colony, was£305,328 2s. 7d.!

When the news was received in the colony that the bills weredishonoured, there was a panic among the merchants who hadpurchased the Government paper to a large amount as remittancesto their correspondents in England, and tradesmen and others whohad been working for or supplying articles to the Governmentfound themselves involved. The distress became general and wasshared by all classes.

"Universal bankruptcy and great distress then prevailedthroughout all Australia, such as had never occurred before orhave been since experienced. The severe fall in land, stock, andall other property would appear at the present time as almostincredible. A song was composed and nightly sung, which wasespecially applicable to the then circumstances of New SouthWales in describing the troubles of the period, which it did inthe personal lamentations of a luckless individual named 'BillyBarlow', amongst whose terrible misfortunes was 'the sale of hissheep at sixpence per head with the run given in'—a stateof things not so very far from the truth. Emigration from othercountries had ceased. The privations of the settlers were severe,and everything seemed to be at its lowest. The loss of capitalincurred in founding the colony cannot be estimated, but it musthave been very considerable, inasmuch as nearly all those engagedin the importation and distribution of merchandise, with manyothers, were ruined. A number of persons were in prison for debt,for whom there were no means of relief. It was found that theBritish bankruptcy and insolvency laws did not apply to SouthAustralia, and so these unfortunate debtors continued in gaoluntil the Act for giving relief to insolvent debtors was passedon the 22nd of June, 1841, and an Insolvent Court wasestablished, when there soon after followed what might be termeda 'general gaol delivery' for debtors." **

[** Sir Henry Ayers, K.C.M.G.]

Much sympathy was felt for Colonel Gawler, and addresses,testimonials, and other marks of respect and good feeling pouredin upon him from many quarters. When, on the 18th of June, hetook his departure from the colony, he left behind him a memorywhich was treasured by many even of those who had suffered mostfrom the policy he had pursued. Of the wisdom of that policy henever entertained a moment's doubt. Five years after he had leftSouth Australia, he wrote to his old friend, Mr. G.F. Angas, inthese terms:—

"June 4th, 1846.

"I laid, in the face of immense difficulties, the foundationof the finest colony, in proportion to its duration, that hasappeared in modern times. I did so with full purpose andforesight of beneficial results, and without running the recklessrisks that are attributed to me, and in England have obtained, asto my policy, nothing but reproaches. It is moreover, I believe,one of the cheapest, if not the very cheapest of the distantcolonies that England has had. . . . I carried out with fullforesight of results the 'self-supporting system' as far as itwas possible to do it . . . at a cost less than even its originaldevisers calculated, for they thought of £375,000 for thepolitical expenses of foundation (see Wakefield, vol. ii. p.119), while the net cost of South Australia up to this moment isshort of £300,000. Not, however, that I should desire that£300,000 to be laid upon the colony. I think it was theruining error of the original plan that such a thing should everhave been contemplated. A parent State ought to pay for hercolonies as a parent does for his children, or as States dothemselves for their lines of battle ships; it is a beggarlyspirit of penury alone which can lead them to fume and grumble asthey have done about South Australia.

"You justly ask, 'Could not the effects have been produced fora less sum?' I would say not, in reasonable consideration andunder the circumstances of the case and time. A novel system; anunknown climate; an unexplored country; public officers utterlyinexperienced (some, from ill health or other causes, reallyuseless—I mean men in the highest stations); populationflowing in and land selling with fearful rapidity and a rapiditythat the Commissioners were pledged to meet. I was theirrepresentative, a Commissioner under the same sign manual likethemselves, and bound before God and man to maintain in goodfaith their engagements. I really laboured most continually andanxiously for economy, and Mr. Hall and I nearly destroyedourselves with unceasing labour."

It was anticipated by many that after he had defended hisactions "at home", Colonel Gawler would be reinstated in hisoffice in South Australia. But this was not to be, and heremained an injured and unjustly treated man.

Of the immediate circumstances connected with his recall, andof the action of the Imperial Government in averting the utterruin of the colony, threatened by their returning the bills drawnupon the Commissioners and the Lords of the Treasury dishonoured,we shall write more fully in the next chapter.



MAY 10TH, 1841—OCTOBER 26TH, 1845.

(Video) Old film history 1910 - 1960 of Adelaide Australia. Pt 1

The Financial Crisis.—Views ofMr. G.F. Angas thereon.—South Australia a CrownColony.—The Governor and the ImperialGovernment.—Errors of theCommissioners.—Retrenchment.—UnemployedImmigrants.—Agitation.—Reports of Select Committee ofHouse of Commons.—A Loan guaranteed.—ColonialCreditors.—Outrages by Natives.—Mr. E.J.Eyre.—Native Schools.—A Tide of CommercialMisfortune.—Universal Bankruptcy.—ItsCauses.—Governor Grey's Bills dishonoured.—SeriousConsequences.—New Waste Lands Act.—Act for BetterGovernment of South Australia.—Signs ofImprovement.—Ridley's Reaping Machine.—MineralWealth.—Mr. Mengé.—Kapunda CopperMine.—Explorations.—Captain Sturt.—Mr.Drake.—Ecclesiastical Affairs.—Convictism.—BushFires.—Burra-Burra Copper Mine.—Port Adelaide a FreePort.—Popularity of Sir GeorgeGrey.—Eulogies.

WHEN it became known to the friends of SouthAustralia in England that the bills drawn by Colonel Gawler hadbeen dishonoured, the greatest consternation prevailed. Ruin,irretrievable ruin as it seemed, stared the insolvent colony inthe face. The Commissioners and the directors of the SouthAustralian Company were alike terror-stricken. The blow hadfallen with sudden and startling force.

One of the first to take action on behalf of the colony wasMr. G.F. Angas, the chairman of the South Australian Company, whowrote to Lord John Russell, Secretary for the Colonies, astirring letter, from which the following is anextract:—

"October 24, 1840.

" . . . It is impossible for me to feel otherwise than greatlyalarmed at the present dangerous position of the new colony, andthe destruction that awaits it when the dishonoured drafts of theGovernor, now under protest for non-acceptance, shall reachAdelaide in utter disgrace, with twenty per cent. damages fornon-payment. From whatever causes, that colony is at this momentin a state of advancement and completeness in the fourth year ofits existence, without a parallel in the history of the Empire,and if it should not continue to progress, the cause of itsobstruction cannot be chargeable upon its inhabitants, or uponthe professed friends of the colony in this country, who havenobly done their duty in the furtherance of this importantexperiment in colonization. Neither in the measures of theGovernment nor in the application of the finances have they hadany power whatever, and they cannot understand how it is thatwith an unappropriated emigration fund of about £80,000,and the power given to Her Majesty's Commissioners by the SouthAustralian Act to raise a loan of £200,000, of which£120,000 remain untouched, that the Governor's draftsshould have been refused acceptance. Thus, in an instant, thepublic credit of the colony has been destroyed, and, if notrestored by a timely interposition of the Government, must end inanarchy, confusion, and ruin.

"Most happily, the interval between the first presentation ofthe drafts and their maturity will afford time for yourlordship's intervention, and the awful consequences of a generalbankruptcy may be averted. Here is a colony, raised up withinfour years without trouble or expense to the mother country, witha population of 16,000 persons, whose seaports have, during thepast few years, admitted about two hundred merchant ships, andwhere more than a million of British capital has been embarked,even at a distance of 14,000 miles. The celebrated colony ofPennsylvania, at one-third the distance, could not in seven yearsnumber half the population, or a fourth of its commerce."

This, and similar appeals, moved the Government to action. Itwas decided to guarantee a loan, and to recommend its adoption byParliament, and orders were given to the Commissioners to makearrangements to meet the dishonoured drafts. A parliamentaryinquiry upon the whole of the affairs of South Australia was tofollow.

Meanwhile, punishment was to be meted out to the Governorwhose lavish expenditure, it was said, had brought about all themischief, and it was done in a manner as unpleasant as it wasunjust.

Colonel Gawler's recall, dated Downing Street, December 26,1840, and signed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, wasin these terms:—

"In consequence of the reports which have been made to herMajesty's Government by the Colonization Commissioners for SouthAustralia, respecting the amount of the bills which you havedrawn on the Commissioners in excess of the authority which youhad received from them for that purpose, it has become myunwelcome duty to advise her Majesty to relieve you from theoffice of Governor and her Majesty's Resident Commissioner inthat province. The Queen, having been pleased to approve of thatadvice, has appointed as your successor Captain Grey, who willproceed to South Australia in the vessel that carries thisdespatch."

The first official intimation received by Colonel Gawler ofany direct censure of his policy by the Commissioners, or ofdissatisfaction on the part of the Colonial Office, was this curtrecall, and the appearance of Captain Grey at Government House ashis successor!

Upon the appointment of Captain Grey, the management of thecolony by the South Australian Commissioners in Londonpractically ceased, the home Government taking it entirely intotheir own hands.

Apart from the objectionable manner in which it was done, itis questionable whether any better man could possibly have beenselected than Captain Grey. He was the son of Colonel Grey,killed at the taking of Badajoz, and was born in Lisbon,Portugal, on the 14th of April, 1812. Educated at Sandhurst, heentered the army in 1829, but retired from his profession. From1837 to 1840, he was employed in exploring the coast of WesternAustralia and tracing the sources of the Glenelg River. Duringhis travels he received a severe spear-wound, which for manyyears was a cause of suffering to him. His "Journals ofDiscovery" give the romance of Australian exploration, and in anunobtrusive way reveal his character for courage, perseverance,and endurance under privation.*

[* "Explorations in Western and North-WesternAustralia", publisher] 1841.]

Before assuming the reins of office, under "the most difficultand unpopular of all conditions, namely, the necessity of rigidretrenchment and the task of creating a revenue by the impositionof increased duties of customs," he determined to have a clearunderstanding as to the course he was to pursue generally, andthe support he would receive from the Imperial Government, and heat once addressed a lengthy minute to the Secretary of State forthe Colonies, his inquiries plainly showing that he was opposedto the policy of his predecessor, and was resolved to grapplewith the financial difficulties sternly and resolutely. He wishedto be informed whether official correspondence was to beaddressed to the Commissioners, or to the Colonial Secretary;what was to be the mode of dealing with the different departmentsengaged in the receipt and issue of public moneys; what provisionwas to be made for paying the interest of the public debt;whether the system of special surveys was to be continued, and,if so, upon what principle; whether the public buildings incourse of erection should be completed or not; whether, as theGovernment House was far too vast for his residence "withoutextreme imprudence", he would be at liberty to appropriate it tosome public object, and hire a smaller house as a residence; andthen followed a string of queries as to salaries of Governmentofficers (his own included), the creation of corporate bodies,and the employment of troops to do public duty, and to relievethe colony of this heavy item of expenditure.

To many of the inquiries Lord John Russell was unable to givedirect replies; on others, however, he was definite and explicit.Thus: "It will be proper that you should address yourself to theSecretary of State on all questions relating to the legislativeand executive duties of your Government; and, further, that underthe existing circumstances of the colony, and until you receivefurther instructions, you shall communicate directly with megenerally on all questions of finance. I will then make suchcommunications as may be necessary on the subject of yourdespatches to the Colonization Commissioners." No objection wasraised to the sale or letting of public buildings not actuallyrequired for the real exigencies of the public service, due carebeing taken not to alienate any buildings which might in the nearfuture be required for such service, but all public outlay onbuildings in course of erection was to be suspended, except in sofar as might be necessary to prevent dilapidations. The hire of asmaller house for the Governor could only be allowed ifaccommodation could not be obtained in such of the publicbuildings as were to be retained and could not be disposed of. Inreply to another query, Lord John said, "I entirely approve ofthe measure which you propose of creating corporate bodies,whether municipal or otherwise, and of investing them with thepower of imposing rates and assessments, of levying wharfage andother duties with the view of relieving the public revenues, andof devolving, as far as possible, on the inhabitants of the townsand of the rural districts, the management and the charge oftheir concerns; "and, finally, the Lords of the Treasuryconcurred with Lord John Russell, that "no prospect of increaseto the rate of salary at present assigned for the government ofSouth Australia could be held out to Captain Grey."

The Commissioners being still a constituted body, possessingcertain powers conferred by Act of Parliament, were allowed tohave their say in reply to these inquiries, but foreseeing thattheir days were numbered, and that the colony would soon beplaced under the entire care and control of the Crown, they didnot press for their rights and privileges in the matter ofofficial correspondence, while all questions relating to financethey were only too glad to leave to "my lords". With regard toGovernment House, if Lord John thought the Governor should notretain it for his residence, they suggested "that it mightperhaps be expedient to dispose of the house to the Corporationof Adelaide for a Court House or Town Hall, should it be suitablefor that purpose," adding, "it is not impossible that theCorporation might offer such a price as would cover the expenseof the erection of the house."

This was only one of innumerable instances in which the utterincompetency of Commissioners in England to arrange and settleaffairs in the distant colonies was shown. Little did those goodgentlemen, seated in their armchairs in a snug board-room,imagine when they made their suggestion that the Corporation ofAdelaide would soon be found in a state of insolvency, and thatthe messenger would seize the few chairs and tables belonging tothat august body in part payment of his salary!

On the 10th of May, 1841, when as yet Colonel Gawler hadreceived no official intimation of his recall. Captain Greyarrived in the Lord Glenelg, having been gazetted asGovernor and Resident Commissioner on the previous 18th ofDecember.**

[** "Thus at the early age of twenty-eight," sayshis biographer, "George Grey left England as the ruler of heryoungest colony, himself the youngest Governor ever appointed toa similar position."]

Captain Grey, on his arrival in the colony, was kindlyentertained by Colonel Gawler, and on the 15th of May took theoaths of office in front of Government House.

He began his career in the colony without any ostentation, asone who knew well that he had difficulties and annoyances of noordinary kind to grapple with, and who had determined to exercisethe strictest possible economy compatible with the efficiency ofthe public service and the state of the colony. From the firsthis trumpet gave no uncertain sound. He was opposed to any kindof extravagance in an infant settlement, and of course,therefore, he deprecated the policy of his predecessor. Hemaintained that in the early stage of a colony, as there were noproducers either of the necessaries of life or of articles ofexport, a large outlay upon extensive public buildings and townimprovements was of no further benefit to the colony than thatthose buildings and improvements were obtained, and that thewhole of the money expended in labour was carried out of thecolony to purchase food and clothing.

Moreover, as the colony was thus altogether dependent uponimports, and as the Government was monopolizing the labourmarket, the country settlers stood no chance of carrying onagricultural operations, their capital being eaten up by the highprice of wages and of the necessaries of life. Disappointedagriculturists were, therefore, compelled to abandon theirlegitimate occupations and betake themselves to speculation inland and buildings, and instead of assisting the generalprosperity, only hastened the inevitable ruin.

These facts had been fully and lamentably illustrated in theexperience of South Australia, and the task of evolving order outof the universal chaos was the herculean task of Captain Grey.His first step was directed to obtaining exact information as toall claims upon the colonial Government and the ColonizationCommissioners, in the hope that "he would shortly receiveinstructions from the Secretary of State, which would enable himto make the necessary arrangements for their liquidation."Meanwhile, the question how to procure funds for carrying on theGovernment was a burning one.

The estimated expenditure for the first quarter of hisadministration was £32,000, to which had to be added nearly£3000 due for Colonel Gawler's last quarter in office.Towards meeting this sum there was only £700 in the handsof the treasurer, and with the revenue decreasing and the landsales falling off considerably, there seemed little prospect ofraising anything like a revenue to meet even the ordinaryexpenditure, to say nothing of a further sum of about£35,000, the amount of the outstanding claims. Nor, owingto the state of the times, was there, as Captain Grey had hoped,any chance of selling the elaborate new premises built for theGovernment by Colonel Gawler.

In his extremity Captain Grey applied to the bank for a loan,but as he was only offered £10,000, and that at twelve percent. interest on his personal security, he resolved not toattempt the liquidation of any debts contracted by hispredecessor until the result of the parliamentary inquiry intothe affairs of the colony should be announced.

Meanwhile retrenchment must be made at once, but it wasdifficult to know where to begin, and the task was in any case anunpleasant one. The Great Eastern Road through Glen Osmond * wasthen in course of formation, and he proposed to stop the works;but against this step there was an instant remonstrance in theform of a memorial and the inevitable public meeting.

[* Named after Mr. Osmond Gilles.]

The discontinuance of the signals on West Terrace was anothergrievance; so was the increased rate on postage, and a tax of apenny on newspapers; but the most formidable discontent was onthe part of the labouring classes. The Governor had addressed aletter to the bench of magistrates, asking them to take intoconsideration the position of such immigrants as were unable toobtain work other than that which the Government was obliged toprovide for them, and to give their opinion as to theremuneration to be given to those immigrants with whom astipulation had been made, that in the event of their beingunable to obtain work elsewhere, the Government would employ themat reduced wages.

The magistrates met and passed a series of resolutions inwhich the practice of inducing the labouring population to hoverin and about the town was deprecated on the one hand, while onthe other the magistrates considered that the Government wasbound to afford them such means of subsistence as would put themabove want. They recommended, as an adequate Governmentallowance, seven shillings a week for a single man, ten andsixpence for a man arid his wife, and for every unemployed childin the family, up to three inclusive, two and sixpence each perweek; that all immigrants employed by the Government should beobliged to work daily, including Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.,deducting one hour for breakfast and another for dinner. Duringthe winter months—May, June, July, and August—thehours to be from seven to five o'clock. It was furtherrecommended that, in the event of any immigrant refusing from asettler employment at the rate of £20 per annum andrations, or any man and his wife refusing £30 and rations,they should be struck off from Government employment and not betaken on again.

These recommendations the Governor adopted, and the usualoutcry arose, followed by public meetings, memorials, anddeputations. To these succeeded the formation of organizationsfor self-protection, and a resolute determination not to acceptthe terms of the Government. But while the agitation was beingkept up, the resources of the people were steadily going down,and distress, at the worst season of the year, became verygeneral. In proportion as the Governor remained firm thedissatisfaction of the people increased, until on more than oneoccasion an outbreak was anticipated, which, in the absence ofany military force, might have been serious. At one time severalhundred men, in an organized body, marched to Government Houseand threatened the Governor with personal violence, but hisfirmness and coolness had the effect of quelling thedisturbance.

Captain Grey had an advantage over his predecessor in thisrespect, that he was instructed to act, in all matters connectedwith the revenue and expenditure of the colony, in concert withthe members of the Legislative Council, who were to share withhim the responsibility of their action.

About the middle of July intelligence was received in thecolony that a Select Committee of the House of Commons had beenappointed, upon the motion of Lord John Russell, to consider theActs relating to South Australia and the actual state of thecolony. The committee was composed as follows:—Lord Howick,Lord Stanley, Sir George Grey, Mr. W.E. Gladstone, Mr. G.W. Wood,Lord Mahon, Mr. J. Parker, Lord Eliot, Mr. Ward, Captain A'Court,Mr. Vernon Smith, Mr. Raikes Currie, Mr. Sotheron, Lord Fitzalan,Mr. George Hope, and Sir William Molesworth.

The first report of the committee was brought up in March, andit was recommended that "provision ought to be made to meet theactual engagements incurred under the authority of the ResidentCommissioner and the Commissioners appointed under the Act 4Will. IV. c. 95, and to repay the sums due to the EmigrationFund; and that such provision should not be delayed until afterthis committee shall have completed the inquiry in which it isengaged into the South Australian Acts and the general state andprospects of the colony."

A few days later the further news reached the colony that theBritish Parliament had, upon the motion of Lord John Russell,voted the sum of £155,000 for South Australia, and that itwas henceforth to be considered and treated as a Crowncolony.

In moving this vote Lord John said—

"In proposing that Parliament should relieve the colony fromits present financial embarrassments it was not perhaps necessarythat he should state his opinions as to the manner in which thecolony should be in future governed, but he had no hesitation instating that he thought the principles of government which wereapplied to the other colonies should be applied to the colony ofSouth Australia. That, making what provisions they thought properwith respect to the sale of land and the application of moneyderived therefrom, the provisions which placed the government ofthe colony in the hands of Commissioners, and directed that thewhole of the expenses of the colony should be defrayed by theirorders, and not by the Treasury, should be repealed so as tobring the colony into the same state as other colonies withregard to its government; that if the Crown was to do anythingfor the colony, the responsible ministers of the Crown shouldhave a more direct control; that the Governor appointed by theCrown should correspond, not with the Commissioners, but with theSecretary of State and the Government; and with respect to thefinancial question, that when the Governor should write home, hisapplication should be referred to the Treasury, and that theiropinion, as well as that of the Secretary of State, should betaken before the directions of the Government were sent out. Forhimself he could see no good—indeed, he could see nothingbut mischief—in that anomalous kind of government in whichthe Crown had a nominal direction, yet, in fact, left everythingto the Commissioners, whilst the Commissioners felt bound by theAct of Parliament, so that neither could be considered asresponsible. If the committee thought it proper that the colonyof South Australia should govern itself, and that the personsthere should have a representative constitution, although heconfessed that that was not his opinion, he should feel noinsuperable objection to it. He should feel that it would intime, though perhaps not until after a considerable time hadelapsed, struggle through its difficulties and obtainconsiderable prosperity."

The second report of the Select Committee of the House ofCommons reached South Australia in November. In it the committeecalled attention to certain fundamental defects in the SouthAustralian Act, namely—

1. That the provisions of the Act were to be carried intoeffect by a Board of Commissioners, the members of which were tobe appointed and removed by the Crown, but over whose movementsthe responsible members of the Crown could exercise no adequatecontrol. 2. The inconvenient division of authority. "While onedepartment," it was said, "was made responsible for the paymentof the colonial debt, another had the management of the fund outof which it was to be paid, and whilst one was responsible forconducting the public service the money by means of which it wasto be conducted was placed under the control of another. If therevenues of the colony were mismanaged by the local Governmentthe Commissioners could not satisfy the public creditor; if thefunds raised on the security of those revenues were mismanaged bythe Commissioners the Government could not conduct the publicservice," and so on. 3. The uncertainty of the mode prescribed bythe Act for obtaining the supplies on which the colony in itsearlier years was entirely to depend. 4. The inadequate provisionfor securing the mother country against any loss which mighteventually arise.

With regard to the administration of affairs by ColonelGawler, the committee were of opinion that "the condition of thecolony on his arrival made it absolutely necessary that he shouldassume a large responsibility in deviating from hisinstructions," and they "entertain no doubt that Colonel Gawlerwas actuated in the course which he pursued by the most earnestdesire to advance the interests and promote the prosperity of thecountry, nor can they undertake to state to what extent he mayhave been justified by imperative necessity in involving thecolony in an expenditure so far exceeding his authority." "But,"continued the report, "it is due to Colonel Gawler to observethat the general character of his administration has been spokenof in terms of strong approval, even by those who have censuredhis expenditure as excessive, and that, among the witnessesexamined, even those who have pronounced this censure mostdecidedly have been unable to point out any specific items bywhich it could have been considerably reduced without greatpublic inconvenience."

The committee considered that the arrangements of the lateBoard of Commissioners had proved in many material pointsdefective; that their instructions as to expenditure, "thoughminutely and elaborately drawn up, appear to have been framedwithout any clear foresight of the necessities of such acommunity placed in such circumstances, and on an estimate of thecharges to be incurred and the objects to be provided for totallyinadequate and bearing no proportion to the reality."

It was, however, distinctly stated in the report that thecommittee would be "doing injustice to the individuals upon whomthe responsibility for the management of these affairs had fallendid they not add their opinion that the chief and original errorwas committed in the Act itself."

The gracefulness of this encomium was considerably discountedby a subsequent remark: "That the Commissioners have beenunsuccessful in the execution of their charge is less a matter ofsurprise than that they should have entertained no apprehensionof the result which has taken place, and that up to thetermination of their official connection with the colony in 1840they should have apparently conceived that the experiment wasadvancing to a successful issue."

Many of the measures recommended by the committee weresubsequently embodied in a Bill passed on the 15th of July, 1842,entitled, "An Act for the Better Government of the Province ofSouth Australia."

Under the impression that the recommendations of the SelectCommittee would be speedily carried into effect, Captain Greyfelt confident himself, and endeavoured to inspire confidence inthe colonists, that all claims would in the near future besettled. In addition to those due in England, he had found thatthere were considerable sums due in the colony, and he felt it tobe his duty to commence paying off these, so that Governmentcreditors in the colony might not be worse off there thanelsewhere—a step cordially approved, not only by theCouncil, but also by the Chamber of Commerce. Accordingly, andwithout express authority, he drew bills upon her Majesty'sTreasury, and in a despatch to Lord John Russell justified hisactions in these words:—

"November 14th, 1841.

" . . . A great deal of distress necessarily resulted from thenon-payment of these bills, and this was more severely felt fromthe limited nature of the mercantile community in this province.The situation of these Government creditors was also peculiar.They had seen the supplies furnished by them appropriated to theuses of the Government; a pledge had been given to them whichneither the late Governor nor myself had yet fulfilled, and theywere not even in so good a position as the holders of the bills;if they had been so their claims would have been settled at thesame time as those of the other creditors in England. When,therefore, I ascertained that all the bills drawn by ColonelGawler were in course of payment in England, and found that hadColonel Gawler drawn bills for these precisely similar claimsremaining unpaid in the colony, that then the creditors herewould have been placed in the same position as those elsewhere;when also I saw the distress which the non-payment of thoseaccounts was creating, I felt that I should be no longerjustified in refraining from putting all the Government creditorsupon an equal footing. I, accordingly, have commenced drawingdrafts upon the Lords of the Treasury for the payment of theseoutstanding claims, and I trust that the line of policy I havepursued may meet with the approbation of her Majesty'sGovernment."

But "my lords" did not approve, as we shall see later on.

Apart from financial matters, there were many notable eventsto claim the serious attention of Governor Grey during the firstyear of his administration.

On the 21st of April news reached Adelaide that a ferociousattack had been made by about 300 to 400 natives on an overlandparty, led by Mr. Inman, about forty miles from Lake. Bonney. Itwas stated that the leader of the party and two shepherds hadbeen speared and the sheep scattered. Major O'Halloran, thecommissioner of police, was at once despatched to the scene ofthe affray with a body of mounted police, and accompanied by asurgeon to render assistance if necessary. Happily, there hadbeen no loss of life, and the party had escaped to the neareststation.

On his return to Adelaide, Major O'Halloran left a corporaland four mounted troopers near the Great Bend for the protectionof a party shortly expected overland, who had started from Mr.Dutton's station for the purpose of rescuing, if possible, thesheep belonging to Mr. Inman's party. They soon fell in with thenatives, who approached to within fifty yards of them, when oneof the leaders gave the signal of attack, by striking a spearinto the ground and waving his hand. In an instant the war-crywas raised and the affray began. "The first man who threw a spearI shot through the head," says one of the party, "and gave theorder to fire, hoping that when they saw two or three of thenatives fall they would have retreated; but they did not appearin the slightest degree intimidated, but still advanced in theform of a crescent in a body of at least two hundred, while manymore were partially seen in the thick part of the scrub. At thistime, Mr. George Hawker called out to me that they wereencircling us, and seeing that they were advancing both wingswhile the centre was engaged, a large lagoon being in our rear, Iordered the party to follow me and outflank them on the right.While effecting this, Mr. G. Hawker's horse fell over a tree, andhe was dismounted; we wheeled round to protect him, and aboutthis time Mr. John Jacob's horse received a second spear-woundand was soon unable to carry him further. He dismounted, and wewere all engaged in covering his retreat, at the same time movingtowards a dry creek, on the further side of which was risingground. We succeeded in reaching this, and formed in line whileMr. Jacob mounted behind Mr. Edward Bagot. The affray had nowlasted more than half an hour, and I directed the party toretreat in order. There were very few shots fired without effect,and the last man shot was one of their chiefs. Had not thegentlemen of the party displayed much steadiness and coolness Mr.Jacob must have fallen, as it was by frequently coming to the'present', but reserving our fire, that we kept the headmost menback, as on these occasions they adroitly double themselves upinto the smallest possible compass, holding a shield before theirheads. In covering Mr. Jacob's retreat a spear struck me in thefore part of the head, but as it passed through a thick tarpaulinhat, the wound was but slight; but the mare on which I rode wasspeared through the shoulder. When I was struck the natives gavea yell of triumph, as they did on every occasion when theadvantage appeared to be on their side. Having retreated about amile, we were obliged to halt to sew up the wound in my mare'sshoulder, or she must soon have dropped from loss of blood; then,choosing the clearest ground, we joined our cart on the followingday. I felt convinced that the sheep remaining were not fardistant, and that the natives had assembled for the purpose ofdefending them; and it is my opinion that it would take a verylarge party to subdue them without loss of life, as their greatactivity and courage, combined with their numbers and thedifficult character of that part of the country for horseattacks, render them a much more formidable enemy than thecolonists have any idea of."

This report, typical of many, caused some stir in Adelaide.Another party being expected overland, Major O'Halloran, with abody of troopers, was again sent out to the locality. A largenumber of gentlemen volunteered their services and were sworn inas special constables, the funds of the local Government beingaltogether inadequate to pay for the protection of overlandparties. They started, sixty-eight in all, on the 31st of May,and soon after their arrival at the Murray fell in with theexpected overlanders. And a sorry lot they were. Only two daysbefore, they had been attacked by the natives; four of theirnumber bad been killed and two wounded out of a party of sixteen,twenty head of cattle had been dispersed, others killed, and alltheir property and supplies filched. Meanwhile, the natives hadcleared off; carcases of about a thousand slain sheep were lyingabout in heaps, but no living sheep could be found.

At one place a striking incident occurred. Some of the partycame upon the body of a man with his faithful dog standing besidehim, which, as the party approached, set up a pitiful wail. Thepoor animal itself was found to have been speared in two places,and it was concluded that it had bravely attacked the natives inthe affray. The body of the unfortunate man, over whom thewounded dog had faithfully kept guard for two days, was found tobe in a dreadfully mangled and lacerated condition, and the wholescene where the conflict had taken place was described by MajorO'Halloran as a horrifying one.

All efforts to capture the natives were, owing to thefacilities for escape offered by the nature of the country, foundto be unavailing, but the expedition had nevertheless beenfruitful; fifty-three out of seventy head of cattle wererecovered, and seven hundred and ten saved from loss, whiletwelve men were rescued from inevitable death.

On several other occasions during the year outrages werecommitted by the natives, each fresh instance giving rise toincreased uneasiness. In one of the attacks between thirty andforty of the natives were killed, and this led to a carefulconsideration by a full bench of magistrates of the wholesubject. They recommended that an armed force should be placed atthe ferry near to which the attacks were made, for the protectionof overland parties. This was agreed to, and shortly afterwards apermanent police station was established at Morrundee, on theMurray, and Mr. E.J. Eyre, the experienced traveller, wasappointed resident magistrate. To him was entrusted the difficulttask of conciliating the natives, and of establishing, ifpossible, friendly relations between them and the intrudingEuropeans. He was furnished by the Government with, provisionsand blankets for distribution, and these were given once a monthto the most deserving. For three years he resided at Morrundee,and during this time not a single case of serious aggression,either on the persons or property of the Europeans, occurred. Hevisited alone the most distant and hostile tribes, where, but ashort time previously, large and well-armed bodies of Europeanscould not pass uninterruptedly or in safety; and in manyinstances the natives showed him considerable kindness andattention, accompanying him as guides and interpreters,introducing him from one tribe to another, and explaining theamicable relations he wished to establish. Influence amounting toauthority was obtained by treating them with uniform kindness,and this was demonstrated on one occasion in Adelaide, when alarge body of the Murray natives collected to fight those fromEncounter Bay. The Government directed Mr. Eyre to use hisinfluence to prevent the affray, and he at once proceeded totheir wurleys ** and requested them to leave withoutdelay, and return to their own district, ninety miles away. Inthe course of a few hours, not a native was left in Adelaide, andthe encounter was averted.

[** Native name for bush-huts.]

It was much to be regretted that in 1844, owing to amisapprehension by the Government of the wish of Mr. Eyre, he wasreleased from an office he had so ably fulfilled, and that thesuccessful experiment at Morrundee was abandoned, and the postmade little better than a mere police-station.

Meanwhile, the native schools established by the Government inthe park-lands at Adelaide and at Walkerville were making someprogress; the children were apt to learn, took kindly to theirtrousers and shirts, or grey woollen frocks, and, so long as theycould be kept away from the huts or wurleys of their elders, wereteachable and contented. But the natural desire for a wanderingand savage life could not be eradicated, and as the childrenadvanced in years, they broke away from the restraints of schoollife, and plunged once again into the depths of the forest.

A typical case was that of "Nancy", who, after receivinginstruction in the three R's, resided for several years atGovernment House in the capacity of a servant. She was alwayswell dressed, spoke English fluently, and regularly attended aplace of worship. But, after enjoying the comforts of civilizedlife, and the confidence and society of all in the establishment,she suddenly, without any apparent or sufficient reason, left hersituation, returned to her tribe and, to a great extent, to herprimitive mode of life.

It was mainly for the purpose of overcoming this tendency torevert to barbarism that Archdeacon Hale (afterwards Bishop ofPerth, Western Australia) resolved to attempt the establishmentof a native institution in some locality situated as far aspossible from the centres of European population, and also at adistance from the usual haunts of the aborigines; but there wasno practical outcome of this scheme until some years later.

Up to 1844 the general results of the previous experiments inteaching native children may be summed up as follows:—(1)That they possessed capacity for learning not inferior to thebest class of European children to be found anywhere in a mixedcommunity; (2) that they were eager to be instructed, and wereeasily kept at their school work except when parental influencewas brought to bear upon predisposing inclinations; (3) that,apart from this influence, there was the probability that theirvagrant habits might be overcome, and that they would cheerfullyand voluntarily engage in industrial pursuits; (4) that aninteresting field for religious instruction had been opened,which would amply repay the labours of zealous missionaries.

One event, trifling in itself, but interesting to SouthAustralians, as it became a standard topic of conversation formany years, occurred in the early part of Captain Grey'sadministration, and may be mentioned here in passing.

On Sunday morning, the 24th of February, a large number ofpersons assembled at the port in a state of considerableexcitement, a rumour having gone abroad that an expedition wasbeing fitted out for the seizure of a French vessel in St.Vincent's Gulf. The vessel in question was the Ville deBordeaux, which a few days previously had arrived in HoldfastBay, the captain reporting that he had come from King George'sSound to take in sheep, but declined to produce satisfactorypapers to Mr. Anthony, the boarding officer at Glenelg, or to Mr.Torrens, the collector of customs. It was, therefore, determinednot to allow the sheep to be taken, and Mr. Anthony was sent onboard for this purpose. The captain, after abusing andthreatening him, set sail, boarding officer and all, across thegulf. The collector at once determined to start in pursuit, andthe steamer Courier, the only one in the harbour, wasrequisitioned. As there was no coal at hand, shingles, palings,anything that would serve for fuel, was thrown on board to enablethe little vessel to get up steam with all possible speed, andamid great excitement and not a little consternation, theCourier, with the collector on board, left the wharf onwhat appeared to be a very hazardous mission.

A war with France had for some time been thought probable, andif the French vessel in the gulf were really captured, acollision between France and England was deemed by the excitedcolonists inevitable.

But the sailing of the "Shingle Expedition", as it wasafterwards called, was only a three days' wonder. The crew of theFrenchman refused to obey the captain's orders, took the shipinto their own hands, squared the yards, and stood back up thegulf, bringing the vessel safely to anchor in Holdfast Baywithout the intervention of the Courier. But the matterdid not end here. As the officers of customs had been obstructedin the execution of their duty, and the cost of the expeditionwas £800, a criminal information was laid against thecaptain of the Frenchman. The trial extended over two or threedays, and resulted in a verdict justifying the collector ofcustoms in holding the ship as a condemned vessel, the ownersbeing permitted to come into court and try the legality of theforfeiture and condemnation. This was done in the following year,and after various applications, trials, hearings, and a referenceto the Court of Appeals, the vessel was finally ordered to beforfeited.

For many years this fine ship lay quietly moored in the streamin charge of a custom-house officer, but was subsequentlyappropriated to the purposes of a lightship at the outer entranceof the harbour.

The year 1841 will ever remain memorable in the history ofSouth Australia. It witnessed the greatest reverses it was almostpossible for the colony to experience. At its commencement nearlyevery branch of industry, trade, and commerce appeared to be in aflourishing condition. Companies, societies, and institutionssprang rapidly into existence; exports of colonial produce andsamples of minerals had been sent to Britain; great progress hadbeen made in agriculture and horticulture; the country districtsround about the capital had received many settlers; a fairly goodharvest had been gathered in. Notwithstanding all these and manyother signs of progress and prosperity, at a stroke the conditionof the colony became one of absolute insolvency. As the tide ofmisfortune set in, bankruptcy became a matter of frequentoccurrence, and brought to light, in a few cases, some veryreckless and fraudulent transactions, with which the non-paymentof the Governor's bills had nothing to do except to reveal them.The almost unlimited and indiscriminate credit given bymerchants, who in their turn were mostly agents for Englishhouses, presented a fine opening for adepts at fraud, and evengave novices an unusual chance of success. These cases quiteperplexed the officers of the Insolvent Court, as well as theunfortunate creditors, inasmuch as several of the defaulters,seeing that the end of their palmy days was at hand, hadcarefully laid aside certain assets for contingencies, includingthe necessary funds for a bolt to Sydney or elsewhere by afavourite clipper, the Dorset. So successful were thesebolters that few of them were captured, and, in fact, few effortswere put forth for that purpose.

Although the Governor had given his confident assurance thatthe debts of the colony would ultimately be paid, and hadafforded temporary relief through the bills drawn upon herMajesty's Treasury, many leading merchants were completelyparalyzed by the sudden check which trade and commerce hadsustained. Large numbers of the working classes, dissatisfiedwith the low rate of wages obtainable, either left the colony orfell back upon the Government alternative in preference toseeking employment in the country districts. Several tradesmenand mechanics, who had sufficient means left to pay theirpassage-money, proceeded to the then recently established colonyof Kew Zealand. As early as May, sixteen prisoners for debtpetitioned the Governor to have a Bill prepared for their relief,some of them having suffered from protracted incarceration, andthere being at that time no Act for regulating the imprisonmentof insolvent debtors. A Bill was accordingly prepared, and duringthe first six months after it came into operation thirty-sixinsolvent debtors availed themselves of the benefit of theAct.

The widespread prevalence of distress and destitution led somebenevolent colonists to establish a society to assist inrelieving the wants of those suddenly overtaken by misfortune,and "The South Australian Philanthropic Association" wasinstrumental in effecting much good, especially in cases whereGovernment aid was greatly needed, but had not been sought.

Towards the end of the year, nearly two thousand men, women,and children in destitute circumstances were being supported atthe expense of the Government.

But with all the distress there was peace, and the publicpress of the colony even grew jocular over misfortunes, for whenFoundation Day (28th of December) came round one of the journalssaid—

"Considering our present state, and the improvidence which ouruseless consumption of gunpowder would involve, perhaps thenoisier modes of celebration were wisely omitted, while those sopeculiarly appropriate at the present moment—the closing ofthe banks and public offices—were as widely retained."

The year 1842 was, from beginning to end, a year of trial anddiscontent. Of the four newspapers in existence at the beginningof the year, only one was in any way favourable to the Governorand his administration. Despondency was the prevailing tone. Onewriter, in drawing a comparison between the 1st of January, 1841,and the corresponding date in 1842, said—

"Then bankruptcy and insolvency were almost unknown—theywere rare exceptions to the rule of prosperity; now they arethemselves the rule and their opposite the exception; then theplough and the spade were busy in all directions; the merchantwas a man of business, not of leisure; the counter of thestorekeeper was thronged, and able-bodied labourers were for themost part employed. Now, 'the ruin, destitution, and dispersion',apparently foreseen by Governor Gawler, are here and in fullactivity."

In another despairing journal the question "Shall were-emigrate?" was fully discussed; but the conclusion arrived atwas that it was better for the colonists to bear the ills theyhad than fly to others that they knew not of. Certainly vexationsarose in every conceivable quarter. Such progress had been madein the survey department, under the able superintendence ofCaptain Frome, that all the special surveys claimed—namely,thirty-six of four thousand acres each—had been completed,and the quantity of land open for selection amounted to upwardsof three hundred thousand acres; but just when thislong-waited-for land was ready for sale there were few who hadeither money to buy or confidence to invest in it. Unquestionablythe times were bad in other respects, and the spirit ofdiscontent and dissatisfaction was so great that, in the absenceof business and more profitable employment, public meetings andother demonstrations for the ventilation of grievances became theorder of the day, the Chamber of Commerce taking the lead inthese gatherings and inviting the colonists to meet anddeliberate upon the financial position of the colony.

There was a curious misapprehension in some quarters as to thereal cause of the embarrassment. The case was simply this: therapid expenditure in the early days suddenly ceased at the verymoment when the colony was most in need of such support. Sinceits foundation, five years previously, the local Government hadexpended between £400,000 and £500,000; the SouthAustralian Company had invested an equal amount; the colonistshad imported and expended upwards of a million; and the whole ofthis rapid and enormous expenditure stopped at the end of 1840.Capitalists ceased to come to the colony, and, worst of all, thecolony lost its credit with the mother country. Hence thedisastrous position. Depression in every article of merchandiseand every kind of colonial property followed, and sixteenthousand persons were plunged in more or less of distress, whichcould be alleviated only by assistance from without, that is tosay, the importation of capital into the colony.

In the press, and at public meetings, it was stated that theoperations of agriculture were clogged almost to cessation; that,the merchants only existed by sufferance of the banks and largecompanies; that the profitless pursuits of tradesmen were dailyterminating in insolvency; that labourers were seeking othershores, or were sunk into the condition of pauperism; and thathundreds of families, not belonging to either of thebefore-mentioned classes, found that they had exchanged wholesomeabundance in England for a bare and precarious subsistence in thecolony.

And yet there was scarcely any step taken by the Governor andhis Council for the improvement of affairs that did not meet withthe opposition of the colonists! To increase the revenue, billswere passed imposing additional dues on the shipping visiting theport, and to protect the customs duties by preventing privatedistillation. There could be no doubt that it was desirable todiscountenance as far as possible the import of those thingswhich the colony could itself produce, but it was questionablewhether it was wise to levy such high charges as wouldpractically prohibit the importation of merchandise.* A meetingto protest was held in the Queen's Theatre, when it was statedthat whereas formerly the charges on a vessel of live hundredtons were £10, under the new dues they were raised to£50. The imposition of high duties on spirits was alsoconsidered "to be opposed to the public interests."

[* It was however, very much a matter of"Hobson's choice", and the duties were temporarily imposed as theonly available means of obtaining ready money.]

Soon after this a reduction was made in the port charges, butnot enough to satisfy those connected with the shipping interest;and later in the year the City Council took the unconstitutionalcourse of drawing up a petition to her Majesty, for presentationthrough the Governor, praying for a disallowance of the Actsimposing the obnoxious rates and taxes. At the same time, amemorial was presented to the Governor, praying him to suspendthe operation of those Acts until her Majesty's pleasure becameknown.

To the latter request Captain Grey replied—

"I have been in no slight degree surprised to find that theCorporation, who have shown themselves so jealous for thepreservation of the British constitution, should have solicitedme to suspend certain laws, and thereby set all the principles ofthat constitution at defiance. A moment's consideration shouldhave sufficed to show the Corporation that a Governor has nopower to suspend the operation of the laws. . . ."

Throughout the year the Governor had been incurring greatresponsibilities by drawing on the Treasury for such sums as heconsidered necessary, without knowing what the consequences mightbe. These responsibilities were largely increased in August. Hereceived instructions from the Colonial Office that, in thepresent critical state of affairs, all the unemployed labourersin the colony were to be sent forthwith to Sydney. This wasregarded, not only by the Governor, but by nine-tenths of thepeople, as impolitic to the last degree; and, on the receipt of anumerously signed memorial praying him to prevent this great lossto the colony, he at once took upon himself the responsibility ofdisregarding the instruction, and also of continuing to draw onthe British Treasury. With the example and fate of hispredecessor before his eyes, this was even a bolder stroke thanhis unauthorized payment of the claims upon the local Government,and a general feeling of uneasiness took possession of men'sminds. Colonel Gawler throughout all his dashing career carriedthe people with him and enjoyed their confidence and sympathy,but Captain Grey had not this advantage; his policy was unpopularin all quarters. Every step he took, therefore, was watched withsuspicion; and even those who urged him on in the most perilouscourse of all that he had taken were foremost among those who,when the bolt fell, attacked him for the consequences of hisaction.

The storm that had been gathering through all the earliermonths of the year broke in October, when tidings reached thecolony that drafts drawn by Captain Grey on the British Treasuryhad been dishonoured. Unfortunately, no official despatchesreached the Governor at the same time, and he was left in a mostdifficult and unenviable position—"naked to his enemies",as it were, every claimant holding him personally responsible.For the time his credit was totally destroyed; the banks refusedto negotiate any more of his drafts, and he had to fall back uponthe commissariat chest for £1800 to meet urgent currentexpenses of government.

It was not until Christmas Eve that the long-looked-fordespatches arrived, and then there was a plentiful and importantsupply. They announced the passing of "An Act for the BetterGovernment of South Australia", and "An Act for regulating theSale of Waste Lands in the Australian Colonies and in NewZealand", and they also explained the reason why Captain Grey'sbills, amounting to about £14,000, had beendishonoured.

The whole of the bills drawn for the current service of thecolony would, it was intimated, be accepted, but those drawn inpart payment of outstanding claims the Lords of the Treasurydeclined to accept, and directed the Governor to issue debenturesto the holders in exchange for their bills, such debentures tobear interest at five per cent. from the date at which the billsbecame due.

In the despatch to Captain Grey making these intimations. LordStanley said—

"The justification which you have urged for the course takenby you is in substance this—that you understand that allthe bills drawn by your predecessor were to be accepted and paid,and that the claims, in satisfaction of which you were about todraw those bills, were similar to those on account of whichGovernor Gawler drew his bills. It is true that, in order tosustain the credit of the colonial Government, the homeGovernment ultimately consented to provide for the payment ofGovernor Gawler's bills, but you appear to have overlooked thefact that Governor Gawler's conduct in drawing those bills wasstrongly disapproved of, and that it formed one of the principalgrounds of his recall. You were warned not to draw any billswithout having previously received authority to do so, and not totake any measures on your own authority for the settlement of thedebt."

This was strong and somewhat unjust, as Lord Stanley failed totake into consideration the fact that the bills drawn by CaptainGrey were not for debts contracted by him but by his predecessor,and were, in fact, mainly for the fulfilment of contracts enteredinto before Colonel Gawler received positive instructions not toincur further liabilities or draw any more bills. There was,therefore, as Lord Stanley very well knew, no more reason for therejection of these claims than those recognized and provided for,and in a private despatch, dated June 21, 1843, Captain Grey hadthe satisfaction, such as it was, of receiving from Lord Stanleyan acknowledgment of this. "It would, indeed, be an ill return,"he wrote, "for the essential and most effective services whichyou have rendered in reducing the expenditure and re-establishingthe finances of South Australia if you should be left todischarge from your own private fortune a debt originallycontracted, not by yourself, but by your predecessor, for thepublic service of that colony."

The consequences of the rejection of the bills were veryserious. In the first place, the colonists concerned had beenkept waiting for eighteen months before they had any settlementat all; their claims were then arranged by the Governor's billson the Lords of the Treasury, to get which cashed they wereobliged to pay the bank five per cent. discount. The bills weresent to England and refused acceptance; then the lawyers got holdof them and, in addition to the expense of noting protest, therewas the charge of twenty per cent. for re-exchange, which,according to the commercial laws of the colony, every endorser ofa bill on England was liable for if that bill was not paid. Thelawyers in the colony were then instructed by the banks torequest an early reimbursement from the unfortunate endorsers,who were powerless to do more than to hand over the debenturesbearing five per cent. interest, whilst the current rate of bankinterest in the colony was at that time from ten to twelve percent. "A child," says Mr. Dutton in his work on SouthAustralia,** "might guess the consequences to nine out of ten ofthe holders of these bills—the expenses on the returnedbills, being nearly half the amount of the bills themselves, arefinally settled by an advertisement of the sheriff in the publicpapers announcing the property of A., B., or C. for peremptorysale!"

[** "South Australia and its Mines", by FrancisDutton. 1846.]

Of course there was a great outcry against Captain Grey, andhe was made the scapegoat to bear all the responsibility and allthe difficulty of the position. How he came through theembarrassment we shall see later on. Meanwhile attention wasdiverted by the publication of the two important Acts passed bythe Imperial Legislature and the despatches accompanyingthem.

The "Act for regulating the Sale of Waste Lands in theAustralian Colonies and New Zealand" was passed on the 22nd ofJune, and made, as suggested by the Select Committee of the Houseof Commons, an important alteration in the mode of applying theproceeds arising from the sale of lands. By the original Act itwas provided that all lands should be disposed of at the uniformprice of £1 per acre, and the entire proceeds be applied toemigration. The new Act provided that all waste lands, exceptblocks of 20,000 acres, should be put up to public auction at theminimum price of £1 per acre, and that only one-half of theproceeds should be applied to the purposes of emigration, theother half being applicable to local improvements, theaborigines, and so forth.

Under the new Act the power of sale and conveyance was vestedin the Governor, who was authorized to divide the colony into anynumber of territorial districts not exceeding four, in the eventof its being deemed expedient to adopt different sumsrespectively as the minimum for the upset price of land indifferent parts.

The most important despatch was that conveying a copy of theAct passed on the 15th of July, entitled "An Act for the BetterGovernment of South Australia." Its first section repealedaltogether the two former Acts, and with them the authority underwhich the Board of South Australian Commissioners and theResident Commissioner exercised their functions; the fifthsection empowered her Majesty to establish a form of legislaturesimilar to that previously in force in all the other Australiancolonies, and instructions were sent to the Governor, under theroyal sign manual, constituting such a Council as being, at leastfor the present, best suited to the wants and conditions of thecolony, the hope being held out that at an early period it mightbe expedient to grant to the inhabitants of the colony a certaindegree of control over its resources and expenditure by means ofpopular representation in the local Legislature.

A few days previous to the passing of this Act—whichtransferred the colony from the Commissioners into the hands ofthe Crown—Lord Stanley laid a statement of the financialaffairs of the colony before the House of Commons, embracing notonly the main items of the debt, in a classified form, but themanner in which he intended to dispose of the several sums. Thetotal amount of liabilities was stated to be £405,433. Ofthe first item, namely, the Parliamentary grant of £155,000advanced the previous year, he asked the House to forego thepayment. Colonel Gawler's remaining unpaid bills, amounting to£27,290, and Captain Grey's bills on account of emigrants'maintenance, amounting to £17,646, he recommended should bepaid. The £85,000 borrowed by the Commissioners, bearinginterest at from six to ten per cent., to remain outstanding atthree and a half per cent. interest, the bondholders beingguaranteed payment by the British Treasury out of theConsolidated Fund. The £35,000 outstanding debts of ColonelGawler, and the £84,697 borrowed from the Land andEmigration. Fund, were not at present to be made good, but, as wehave seen. Captain Grey was instructed to issue debentures in thecolony at interest not exceeding five per cent. Lord Stanleyfurther signified his intention of moving for the sum of£15,000 to be placed upon the estimates for carrying on thegovernment, and with that amount he thought the colony would bein a healthy and prosperous condition.

Despite all drawbacks, by the end of the year (1842) CaptainGrey had succeeded in getting the machinery of his Government ingood working order, and many important measures had been taken inthe interest of the colony. A Board of Audit was appointed, andall public accounts were submitted to their careful scrutiny; anEmigration Board had been established for hearing and judgingcases requiring relief; the road across the swamp to the port waspurchased from the South Australian Company for 12,000 acres ofland, in lieu of the £13,000 paid by the Company for itsconstruction; new roads had been made and streets repaired,37,814 acres of land had been surveyed for selection, and largetracts of fresh land had been discovered in the north; the raidsof the natives upon overland traders had been checked by theappointment of Mr. Eyre as resident magistrate at Morrundee, andfriendly intercourse to some extent established; a system oftender had been adopted for the supply of everything required forthe public service; provision had been made for the regularfortnightly transmission of an overland mail between Sydney,Melbourne and Adelaide, the service to be performed by mountedpolice, who would gather up intermediate intelligence along theline of route, and extend some protection to settlers on theoverland track; and other arrangements and improvements had beeneffected. As a set off, there were the dishonoured bills drawn byCaptain Grey; but had he not drawn those bills, the numerousGovernment creditors who hung about Adelaide would never havedispersed into the country. As it was, the country districtsbecame the chief scenes of activity and progress; 19,641 acres ofland were brought under cultivation during the year, owned by 873proprietors. When harvest came, rich and bountiful, there wassome difficulty in gathering it in, so large a number of the malepopulation having left the colony; but the military werepermitted to give their assistance, and the tradesmen of Adelaideand many gentlemen not otherwise occupied lent a helping hand,and so it was garnered.

While, however, the country districts were enjoying a smalldegree of prosperity, the city was suffering most severely, notonly from the withdrawal of its population, but also from want ofcapital. At the end of the year, 642 out of 1915 houses werevacant, and 216 more were neglected, or had fallen into decay.During the year no less than 136 writs for the recovery of debtshad passed through the hands of the sheriff, and 37 fiats ofinsolvency had been issued. Money in most cases had ceased topass as a circulating medium for the purchase of the necessariesof life, and a system of barter and "truck" was almost universal.The various trading and commercial interests had become curiouslyinterwoven with one another to enable the "order" system to becarried out extensively and with facility. Tradesmen had "orders"upon merchants, and servants upon tradesmen, and as the holdershad to take the article supplied, however inferior, there was aperpetual murmuring and dissatisfaction.

Depressing as these things were, there could be little doubtthat at the close of 1842 the financial crisis was practicallyover, and that the colony had passed through its greatest trial.But there was no room for boasting; the clouds still hung heavyin the horizon, and it was evident that neither the troubles ofthe Governor nor those of the people were at an end.

It was discouraging to read in the newspapers statements likethe following:—"Property is now selling by auction inAdelaide and the neighbourhood, in many cases for less than thetitle-deeds cost two years ago. Houses are gladly let torespectable persons rent free, and notwithstanding this, nearlyhalf the tenements are empty and falling to pieces. . . ." Andagain: "The Countess of Durham will take back a largenumber of persons to England, and as many as twenty passages havebeen paid for in that vessel. Every ship that leaves for theother colonies takes from fifteen to twenty passengers, whilstthe arrivals are nil" There were glints of sunshinethrough the gloom, and the same newspapers were able to report atthe same time: "The rural districts of the province present apleasing contrast to the town. There everything is activity, andfarms are spreading almost like the work of enchantment over theland, raised up by the industry of our settlers."

On the 4th of January the Governor called his Counciltogether, and submitted to them the accounts of the last year:receipts from all sources, £81,813 19s. 5d.;expenditure, £84,531 16s. 10d., of which£18,069 10s. 5d. had been spent in theimmigration department, the greater part for the maintenance ofdestitute persons, and £26,013 had been paid in liquidationof outstanding claims; these two items making more than half thetotal expenditure, while the entire proceeds of the land had beenincluded in the total revenue.

Expenditure being still in excess of receipts, the Governordetermined to still further cut down expenses in everypracticable quarter. It is a curious illustration of the state ofthe times to find reductions in the salaries of public servantsto the amount of £4000, and that even the master of thesignal station at West Terrace was to be dismissed unless thepublic provided the necessary funds by subscription, in whichcase "the Government would allow the use of house, staff, andsignals." During the time of the suspension of the signal master,Messrs. Thomas and Co., the proprietors of the Register,signalled the arrival of vessels from the flag-staff erected ontheir premises in Hindley Street.

Even more significant were the notices that tenders would bereceived for leasing to the public the Government wharf at theport, and that the leases of premises held by the Government forbonded stores, for the building used by the Supreme Court inWhitmore Street, and for the house used for the residentmagistrates' court in Currie Street, would each be abandoned! Butthe crowning humiliation was perhaps the announcement that, "inconsequence of the reduction in the post-office department, theservices of the letter-carrier to North Adelaide would bedispensed with!" A "cheese-paring" policy is always hateful tothe majority, and it was so in South Australia.

On the 20th of February, 1843, the "Act for the BetterGovernment of the Australian Colonies" came into force, but inthe midst of somewhat troublous times. The Examiner openeda heavy fire upon the Governor, alleging in strong language thatall the disasters of the colony were attributable to him and hispolicy. The inflammatory articles worked upon those who hadsuffered in the crisis and others, and as one result a "monsterindignation meeting" was called, and, on the 16th of March, inthe Queen's Theatre, a crowded assembly of malcontents moved"total want of confidence in the administration of his ExcellencyCaptain Grey," and a petition to her Majesty was drawn up, humblypraying "that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to take thecase into your most gracious consideration, and either recall hisExcellency the Governor, or issue directions for such an amendedmode of administering the Government of the province as shall toyour Majesty seem meet."

Captain Grey was well aware of the odium that was being castupon him in so many quarters, and he had the good sense to takeit calmly. He knew that the majority of the colonists wereinterested in the maintenance of a lavish Government expenditure.During the twelve months preceding his arrival, about£150,000 had been distributed, in the form of salaries,allowances, and lucrative contracts, amongst a population of14,061 people, who only contributed £30,000 towards theirown support; in other words, the British Treasury had paid toevery man, woman, and child in the province upwards of £10per head per annum, or, if only the males of twenty-one years andupwards were considered, more than £12 each per annum waspaid by Great Britain for the support of themselves and theirfamilies.

No wonder that, when this liberal annual contribution waswithdrawn, the people should break forth into lamentation attheir indignation meeting!

Even the natives took the cue and were wont to say, "No good,Gubner Grey, berry good Gubner Gawler—plenty tuck out."

It was not until the 20th of June that the new Council wascalled together. It consisted of eight members, four official(including the Governor) and four non-official.* In his inauguraladdress the Governor announced that, in order to give the publicthe greatest facility for becoming acquainted with the minutestdetails of the financial arrangements of the Government, and ofincreasing their knowledge of its legislative measures, hesanctioned the admission of strangers to the Council chamber tohear the debates.

[* The following were the first members of thenew Legislative Council:—A.M. Mundy (colonial secretary),W. Smillie (Advocate-general), C. Sturt (colonial treasurer),T.S. O'Halloran, T. Williams, J. Morphett, and G.F. Dashwood. Mr.Williams resigned shortly afterwards, and Mr. Jacob Hagan wasnominated to fill the vacancy.]

This formal meeting was mainly for the purpose ofadministering the oaths to the members who had been gazetted, andof hearing a lengthy address from the Governor. But on the 10thof October the Legislative Council met for the transaction ofbusiness in the new building in North Terrace erected for theiruse, the gallery and also the body of the house being crowded bystrangers, it being the first time that the public had ever beenadmitted to the privilege of hearing the deliberations of theCouncil, and the first time that non-official members had takenpart in its proceedings.

During the session which came to a close on the 14th ofNovember, sixteen Bills embracing some important and usefulmeasures were passed, including "An Ordinance for avoidingUnnecessary Repetitions in the Ordinances of the Governor and theLegislative Council"; "An Ordinance to facilitate the Adoption ofthe Laws of England in the Administration of Justice"; "AnOrdinance to avoid Trifling and Frivolous Suits at Law"; "AnOrdinance to regulate the Profession of the Law"; "An Ordinancefor the Limitation of Actions and Suits relating to RealProperty, and for simplifying the Remedies for trying the Plightsthereto," and so on.

By the end of the year 1843 it was becoming evident that,despite all the struggle it had gone through, the colony was inreality in a healthier and more flourishing condition than it hadbeen since its foundation. For one thing, it had become agrain-exporting instead of a grain-importing country, owing tothe fact that thirteen hundred proprietors were now settled upontheir properties in the country districts. Other sources ofwealth and prosperity were opening up on every hand. The year wasremarkable, to an extraordinary degree, for colonial inventionsand improvements in machinery, and for the introduction of newmanufactures. During the time of enforced leisure, while thegeneral depression lasted, many of the colonists had been turningtheir attention to the invention of machinery to facilitate workwhen the prosperous days should return. The offer of a premiumfor the best reaping-machine resulted in the production of aboutfifteen models and designs, and, ultimately, to the generaladoption of Mr. John Ridley's celebrated machine, which gave anunprecedented impetus to agriculture. Mr. Ridley was a miller atHindmarsh, and erected there one of the first steam flour-millsthat had been put up in the colony. He was not a competitor forthe premium, but mechanism was a hobby with him, and although hisknowledge was self-acquired, he was successful in introducing animplement which revolutionized the agricultural interests of thecolony.**

[** "The greatest invention ever produced for theagriculturists of South Australia is Ridley's reaping machine,which reaps and thrashes the wheat by one simple process. Amachine of this kind could be used only where the climate is dry,and where the grain is allowed to ripen and harden in the ear. Insome of the Australian colonies the machine cannot be used inconsequence of the moisture in the air. In South Australia,however, as soon as the crop is fully ripe, the machine is putinto the field and the wheat is reaped and thrashed with amazingrapidity, and at a very small expenditure. It may safely be saidthat the cost of farming has been reduced to the minimum in SouthAustralia."—Harcus's "South Australia", p. 61.]

His invention sinks all others into insignificance, but atabout the same period Mr. Pettit invented an extraordinaryplough; Messrs. Swingler and Dent were on the track for findingout a new motive power; Mr. Pitaway discovered a new method forpropelling boats; Messrs. Harding and Bankhead produced excellentmodels of an aërial machine (the subject being then muchunder discussion in England); many colonists followed the exampleof their neighbours in New South Wales by boiling down sheep andcattle for the sake of the tallow; Messrs. Owen and Warnercommenced the manufacture of blacking; Dr. Davey succeeded inmanufacturing starch equal, if not superior, to any imported. Itwas an era of progress and enterprise, and all these attempts todevelop the talent and resources of the colony had a beneficialeffect.

But there was another source of wealth which had beengradually developing, and was destined to be one of the mostpotent factors in the continuous prosperity of the colony.

One of the early arrivals at Kangaroo Island in 1836 was"Professor" Mengé, an experienced German geologist andmineralogist, who, finding no scope in the settlement for hisparticular studies, commenced the cultivation of a plot of land,and became so engrossed in it as to be oblivious to everythingelse. His little garden was his study, and, notwithstanding theravages of the wallaby and other wild animals, he tended it withan enthusiasm incomprehensible to his fellows.

But in 1837 Mr. Mengé, with most of the other settlers,was obliged to remove to the mainland, and he at once turned hisattention to those studies to which he had devoted the greaterpart of his life. He made an investigation of the ranges fromCape Jervis upwards to the Barossa, and was delighted with theindications he discovered of the existence of gold, silver,copper, lead, iron, and nearly every variety of precious stones.In a short time he had collected 100 specimens of rocks andminerals, which he arranged and classified. But the fact of hisnot opening up a single mine led most people to doubt hisassertions that the colony possessed great mineral wealth. Thisfact can, however, be easily accounted for; he was a mineralogistand not a miner, a collector rather than a trader, and it wouldhave afforded him more pleasure to discover a variety ofspecimens than to have come upon one or two rich mines.

He was an eccentric individual, and took his own line in lifewithout reference to others. He made no important practicaldiscoveries, but he earned for himself the title of "Father ofMineralogy" in the colony, as there is no doubt that he was thefirst to arouse inquiry into its mineral resources.*

[* On the first day Mr. Mengé set foot inthe colony he said that copper and gold abounded—" thehills are full of them."

To him belongs the honour of having proved to a demonstrationthat precious stones abound in the colony, and in the course ofhis residence there he discovered the following:—


Specimens of these were sent to the GreatExhibition of 1851, and attracted considerable attention.]

The first undoubted indication of the existence of silver-leadore was made in 1838, on a section belonging to Mr. OsmondGilles, at the foot of the hills near Adelaide, but no attemptwas made at that time to open up the mine; while the trade inland, scarcity of labour, the want of means of transit, divertedattention from copper, afterwards to become one of the chiefsources of wealth to the colony.

But in 1841 public attention was, for the first time in apractical manner, directed to mining operations by the formationof the South Australian Mining Association to work the WhealGawler Silver and Lead Mine, which had just then been discoveredby some practical miners near Glen Osmond. A few tons of the orewere sent to England in the Cygnet as a sample, and anassay made in the colony resulted in giving 12,526 ounces ofsilver to the ton of ore and 75 per cent. of lead.** Mr. J.B.Neales was an active worker in the mining association.

[** It is recorded that the first piece of silverdiscovered in this mine was applied to the similar use ofstopping the tooth of a member of the Bar in the colony.]

Much about the same time, a lode of copper was discovered onthe banks of the Onkaparinga, near Noarlunga, in a sectionbelonging to the South Australian Company, and shortly afterwardsthe Wheal Watkins Lead Mine.

But the great discovery of this period—the valuableKapunda Copper Mine—was made in the latter part of 1842,first by Mr. C.S. Bagot, youngest son of Captain C.H. Bagot,whilst gathering some wild flowers, and shortly afterwards by Mr.F.S. Dutton, who, in his work on the mines of South Australia,thus describes his part of the discovery. A flock of sheep hadbeen dispersed in a thunderstorm, and Mr. Dutton while searchingfor them rode to the top of a hillock to view the surroundingcountry. "After being out nearly the whole day in drenchingrain," says Mr. Dutton, "I ascended this little hill prior toreturning home, for one last view of the surrounding country. Thevery spot I pulled the horse up at was beside a large protrudingmass of clay-slate, strongly tinged and impregnated with thegreen carbonate of copper. My first impression was that the rockwas covered with a beautiful green moss, but on getting off thehorse I quickly found, by breaking off a piece from it, that thetinge was as bright in the fracture as on the surface. Myacquaintance with mineralogy was not sufficient to enable me topronounce on the precise character of the rock, but I had littledoubt that it was tinged with copper from the close resemblanceof the colour to verdigris."

The steps taken by Mr. Dutton to secure the land containingthe newly discovered mineral led to a curious coincidence. Hesays, "To Captain Bagot, with whom I had long been on intimateterms, I confided my discovery, when he also produced a specimenwhich was found by his son, and on a subsequent visit to theplace we found that the two spots were in close proximity,although at first, from the one being on a hill and the other ina plain, we thought they were two different places. To make along story short, we soon ascertained that the specimens wereundoubtedly copper ores; the discovery was of course kept secret;we got eighty acres surveyed; all the forms as laid down by theold land-sales regulations were complied with; the section wasadvertised for a whole month in the Government Gazette,and we became the purchasers of it at the fixed Government pricefor waste lands of £1 per acre."

Having secured the services of a few Cornish miners, aconsiderable quantity of rich ore was raised,* and it soon becameevident that the mine was of unusual value.

[* Previous to the erection of smelting works andthe construction of a railway to Kapunda, the ore was carted tothe Port on drays holding two tons each, and drawn in dry weatherby six bullocks and in wet by eight. They reached Gawler Town(eighteen miles) on the first night, the Dry Creek (eighteenmiles more) on the next night, and arrived at the Port early onthe following morning. The convoys consisted of eight or tenteams, and made the journey with ease once every ten days,besides carrying up to the mines on their return all suppliesrequired there.]

In purchasing the eighty acres Mr. Dutton thought he had takenin all the copper deposit, but some other out-croppings wereobserved, not only by his own miners, but by other people. Whenthe next section of one hundred acres was put up to auction inApril, 1845, it was bought by Captain Bagot for the large sum of£2210, so keen was the competition.

While excitement was still running high on the subject of theKapunda mines, the Montacute Mine, in the Mount Lofty Range, tenmiles from Adelaide and sixteen from the Port, was discovered byone Andrew Henderson, overseer of Mr. Fortnum, when searching fora bullock which had strayed. Mr. Fortnum was a chemist andmineralogist, and he at once pronounced the specimen shown him byhis overseer to be copper ore of a rich quality. Instead ofkeeping his own counsel, the secret was divulged, first to one,then to another, until it reached the survey office, and thechance of securing the land without the competition of a publicsale was lost. It was brought to the hammer on the 16th ofFebruary, 1844, when the new regulations had come into operation.Mr. Baker was deputed by a small syndicate to bid as high as£4000 for the eighty-acre section, but at that time littlewas known about the value of the Kapunda ores, and the biddingwas not very high, and when the price reached £1550 it wasknocked down to Mr. Baker for that sum. Within a few hours, thesyndicate resold thirty hundred parts for £5000, and theproperty became merged into the Montacute Mining Company.

Several other mines were discovered and partially worked aboutthis time, such as the Yattagolinga, the Onkaparinga, and others;but all these were practically abandoned when, in 1845, the greatdiscovery of the Burra-Burra Mine was made, which threw all theother mines into insignificance, and gave an enormous impetus tothe mining interests of the colony.

Notwithstanding the abuse poured upon Sir George Grey, hepursued the even tenor of his course, and many felt no littlesurprise that he never alluded to the stinging articles whichwere constantly issuing from the local press. The explanation isto be found in a letter addressed to an old friend in England,Mr. George Fife Angas.

"With regard to the articles in the ——, to whichyou allude," he says, "I have never read them, and am sometimesquite surprised, when I receive papers from England, to find whatabuse has been heaped upon me here. If I had not pursued thiscourse I could hardly have avoided being annoyed."

How chagrined those editors would have felt if they had onlyknown this, and what a flood of light it throws upon the quiet,self-contained man, upon whom so much responsibilityrested.**

[** "He ever maintained," says his biographer,"that it was the duty of a servant of the Crown to go on in theperformance of the public service without devoting time andenergy to the refutation of attacks made upon him. He held thatsuch attacks would always be made when public duties werefaithfully performed, and that they would meet with adequate andproper judgment when time had afforded the evidence upon whichpublic opinion could be fully expressed. And he considered thatthe energies of those to whom had been committed greatresponsibilities, were too valuable to be wasted in uselessapologies or lengthened arguments, and should be appliedexclusively to useful and beneficial purposes."]

The year 1844 opened with great activity in business andindustrial concerns generally. The depression was now so far overas to enable all classes of the community to breathe more freely;Governor Grey was no longer regarded by the majority as the enemyof the colony, and the opposite conviction was strengthened byone of his first acts at the beginning of the year, namely, areduction of the heavy port charges—a concession whichcrave general satisfaction.

With the comparative leisure consequent upon a partialcessation of hostilities, he was able to give attention to manymatters which had hitherto been impossible. His well-knownadvocacy of the rights of the aborigines found expression in hisopening address to the Legislative Council, when he announced hisintention to bring in a Bill for the reception of the evidence ofaborigines without oath. In urging the necessity of endeavouringto remedy their disabilities he said—

"One of the most distinguishing features of moderncolonization is the anxiety manifested by the immigrants torender their occupation of 'the ancient territory of theaborigines productive of the blessings of Christianity andcivilization to the people whose country they enter, and thesettlers in this colony have ever lent the Government a zealousaid in the promotion of any plans having for their object thecivilization and welfare of the native population. It isobviously one of the most important duties of the Legislature ofa country circumstanced as this is, to promote this feeling byevery means in their power, and to endeavour to induce eachmember of the community to perform, within the sphere of hisindividual influence, those duties towards, the aborigines forthe fulfilment of which he rendered himself morally responsiblewhen he entered the territory. No prouder or brighter distinctioncould adorn the history of South Australia than the fact of itsfirst European occupants bequeathing to their children aterritory unsullied by deeds of violence and crime, and I relyupon your bestowing the most careful consideration upon themeasures I am about to introduce into the Council with the objectof giving increased means of ameliorating the condition of theaborigines, both to the Government and to the settlers, uponwhose Christian and benevolent sentiments towards them thewelfare of the scattered and wandering native population mustmainly depend."

In addition to the bill for the reception of evidence withoutoath, another was brought in for the care of the orphans ofaborigines. In recommending it. Governor Grey said he consideredthat the care of such orphans afforded the best chance ofcivilizing the race, by educating the children and attaching themto our customs. It was a plan that had been tried at Swan Riverwith satisfactory results.

It was a sign of the improvement of the times that attentionwas once more seriously directed towards exploration. In Aprilthe Governor was able to accomplish a long-cherished wish ofvisiting the south-eastern districts and that part of theoverland route to Port Phillip lying within the boundary of thecolony. Accompanied by Mr. Charles Bonney, commissioner of Crownlands, Mr. Burr, deputy surveyor-general, Mr. George FrenchAngas, and Mr. Gisborne, the Governor set forth on his travels.The results of the journey were very satisfactory, as it wasascertained that by keeping near the sea-coast, instead ofpursuing the line of route previously traversed, there was analmost uninterrupted tract of good country between the riversMurray and Glenelg, widening as it approached the boundaries ofNew South Wales, until it formed one of the most extensive andcontinuous tracts of good country at that time known to existwithin the limits of South Australia. Moreover, the south-easternportion of the province was as fertile as any other part of it,capable of easy communication in all directions by drays, andwith good bays on the coast for the shipment of produce.

Another expedition, under the command of Captain Sturt, wasfitted out this year with the object of obtaining some knowledgeof the interior of the continent. Captain Sturt was one of theidols of the people, the discoverer of their province, the fatherof South Australian exploration, a fellow-settler, and withal aman whose courage, energy, and scientific attainments won theadmiration of all. He started on the 10th of August, whenbusiness was suspended in the city to do honour to the leader andhis adventurous band. Among the objects of the expedition was thediscovery of a supposed chain of mountains lying parallel withthe Darling and running north-west, with rivers rising from them.Great preparations had been made for the expedition, and when thecavalcade set forth down King William Street towards the Torrens,escorted by over a hundred horsemen, who accompanied the party asfar as Dry Creek, it seemed that all the city and the regionsround about had assembled to do honour to the occasion. At GermanPass, where now the township of Angaston stands, the travellerswere hospitably entertained by Mr. J.H. Angas.

Despatches were received from time to time, detailing howCaptain Sturt had found that "the flats of the Darling exceededin luxuriant verdure those of the Murray"; how, on the way to thehills, the wind blew with the constancy and intensity of a hotblast from a furnace, insomuch that they had great difficulty inbreathing so rarefied an atmosphere; how scurvy broke out, andillness set in; and how, in one part of the journey, thethermometer, fixed in the shade of a large tree four feet fromthe ground, stationary at 135° Fahr., at 2.30 p.m. rose inthe direct rays of the sun to 157°. The travellers proceededas far northward as water was known to exist, and then had tocarry forward a supply. On the 13th of February Captain Sturtreported: "I was then nearly abreast of Moreton Bay in point oflatitude, more than two hundred miles to the westward of theDarling, and in longitude 141° 22' as near as I could judge;and yet, as I looked around, and from the top of a smallsand-hill I had ascended, I could see no change in the terribledesert into which I had penetrated. The horizon was unbroken by asingle mound from north round to north again, and it was as levelas the ocean. . . ."

"I returned from this excursion," he continues later, "withthe full conviction on my mind that I had twice been withinfifty, perhaps thirty, miles of an inland sea. It was, in truth,impossible that such a country, from which the very birds of theair shrank away, should continue much further; but whether suchreally was the case remains yet to be ascertained."

He determined to make another attempt to reach the north ornorth-western interior as soon as the rains would enable him todo so; but on account of the shortness of provisions he deemed itexpedient to send back a third of his men in charge of Mr. Poole,his chief assistant, who had suffered much from scurvy. The partyleft the depôt on the 13th of June, 1845; and on thefollowing day Mr. Poole suddenly expired, from internalhemorrhage, and his place was supplied by Mr. Piesse, thestorekeeper.

After their departure, Captain Sturt again and again madeexcursions, in the hope of finding a practicable route to thenorth, but was each time driven back from some uncontrollablecause. On the last occasion he rode eight hundred and forty-threemiles in five weeks, and for twelve weeks was exposed to theperils of excessive heat, insufficient food, and loathsome water,which resulted in a severe attack of scurvy and a painfulaffection of the eyes. At the end of January, 1846, he arrived inAdelaide. The results of the expedition may be summed up asfollows:—Knowledge was gained of an immense stony desert inthe interior, which it was found impossible to penetrate or evento skirt sufficiently to ascertain its extent in any directionattempted at that time; a large creek was discovered (named byCaptain Sturt "Cooper's Creek", in honour of Sir Charles Cooper,the Chief Justice), and which was afterwards found to be acontinuation of the Victoria of Mitchell. It was satisfactoryalso for South Australians to know that most of the good countryseen while out on this expedition was within the boundary oftheir own country.

In the same month of the same year that Captain Sturt startedto explore the interior (namely, August, 1844), anotherexpedition, the result of private enterprise, under theleadership of Mr. Darke, set forth from Port Lincoln andproceeded in the direction of Fowler's Bay, from whence a reporthad come, brought by runaway sailors, that good country was to befound. The explorers penetrated for about three hundred milesinto the interior and found excellent country, but on the returnjourney their leader, Mr. Darke, was killed by the natives.

Not only was returning prosperity shown in the matter ofexploration, but in various other departments there were signs ofprogress, probably in none more than in ecclesiastical affairs.Large accessions were made to the ministerial staff of thevarious religious bodies. The Church of Scotland had erected anew place of worship in Grenfell Street, and theCongregationalists an auxiliary one in Franklin Street. Themembers of the Church of Rome had welcomed their bishop, andcommenced the erection of a place of worship on West Terrace. TheMethodist New Connexion had re-opened the chapel in HindleyStreet, and opened another in the village of Walkerville; thePrimitive Methodists had received two new ministers; and otherdenominations either commenced operations or extended thosealready begun.

A picture of early days and scenes in a country Nonconformistchapel is graphically drawn up by an early settlerthus:—

"It was in the very wet winter of 1849 that we first attendedthe little church at McLaren Vale. No place of worship in allChristendom could have been more bare or unadorned than that. Abarn-like building, the thatch the only ceiling, broad squarewindows letting in the sunshine to waken sleepers, and a veryshaky deal structure called a pulpit.

"There were two square pews with doors, which were thoughtmuch of by the two families who sat in them; two benches witharms and backs occupied by families next in honour, whileordinary folk sat on slabs of wood propped up on bricks. At onetime a sofa-bedstead, and at another a chest of drawers with asaddle on the top, were kept in the church.

"But if the place was primitive, the people were also. Thedrone of the singing, the waving of the peppermint-gum branchesto keep away the flies, the minister's little boy on thepulpit-step catching flies by the dozen by that slow movement ofthe hand peculiar to the young colonial, the old-fashionedtoilets, and the dogs! Very cheerful chat used to go on outsidethe door before and after service, and sometimes dinner was takenthere, so as to be ready for school in the afternoon. Thechildren were marvels of unknowing freshness. A teacher showing apicture to a little boy in the Sunday school, of a man cuttingdown a tree, the child examined it with the keenest interest, andthen said, 'I reckon he'll have it down by next Sunday.'" *

[* Quoted in "Jubilee Record ofCongregationalism", by Rev. F.W. Cox.]

The affairs of the Church of England had not, prior to thisyear (1845), been in so flourishing a condition as might havebeen expected. The Rev. C.B. Howard had laboured alone till 1840,when the Rev. James Farrell arrived to share in the work, whichhad largely increased. In addition to the Church of the HolyTrinity, there was by that time St. John's, in the eastern partof the city, and shortly afterwards places of worship wereerected at the Port and on the Sturt, and these two clergymenperformed the services at the two city churches regularly, and atthe other two occasionally.

In 1840 the South Australian Church Building Society wasformed for the purpose of aiding in the erection of churches andSunday schools. Mr. Howard worked very arduously and earnestly inthis cause, and his death in July, 1843, at the early age ofthirty-six, was attributed in large measure to anxiety withregard to the responsibility he had undertaken as a trustee inthis matter. On the 23rd of July he was buried. The Governmentoffices were closed; the Governor and most of the officials, thesoldiery, police, ministers of all denominations, citizens, andSunday-school children, formed part of the imposing funeralcortége, and it is scarcely an exaggeration to saythat his loss was mourned by every man, woman, and child in theplace. After the death of Mr. Howard, the Rev. J. Farrell was theonly clergyman in the colony, and remained so for two or threeyears. By his energy in raising funds, Trinity Church, which hadbecome heavily encumbered by debt, was saved from being disposedof as a granary or store, or from falling into the hands of theRoman Catholics—both dangers being imminent.

The year 1845 was one of marked tranquillity, although notwithout alarms of various kinds. On two occasions the colonistswere greatly agitated on the question of convictism. Early in theyear, it was announced that the home Government intended to sendout a shipment of the Parkhurst prison boys. This was regarded asa gross infraction of the principles upon which the colony wasfounded, and at once a large meeting was called, which pledgeditself to resist by all lawful means the introduction of suchcharacters into the province. A memorial to Lord Stanley wasdrawn up, and in the end the memorialists carried the day.

Later in the year (September), there was another scare, andthis time the threatened danger was the proposed introduction ofconditionally pardoned men from Van Diemen's Land.

The following notice had been published in the Tasmaniannewspapers:—"Notice is hereby given to all holders ofconditional pardons who may be desirous of having such pardonsextended to the limits of the Australian colonies and NewZealand, that upon making their application for the saidextension of indulgence to this office, they will be laid beforethe Lieutenant-General in order that those approved of by hisExcellency may be immediately granted."

The ordeal of trial by public meeting was again resorted to,and a vigorous protest was made with good effect; theconditionally pardoned men never came to the colony.

Another source of anxiety was the extraordinary prevalence ofbush-fires. They generally occurred on the Mount Lofty ranges,and in the height of summer presented a scene of great grandeur.They had a singular effect on the atmosphere, sometimesreproducing an Etna or a Vesuvius, at others extending for aconsiderable distance along the sides or tops of the hills,causing a lurid glare, and sending up dense volumes of smoke. Inproportion as population increased, great damage was done toproperty, and active steps were taken to prevent these tires; buttheir origin was always involved in doubt, many ascribing them toignition by friction of the long dry grass, to the firing of thecountry by the natives in order the more readily to obtain wildanimals, to the carelessness of travellers who did not properlystamp out their camp-fires, or to smokers scattering the liveashes of their pipes on the dry grass or other inflammablesubstances.

The greatest event of the year had to do, not with fears andalarms, but with a discovery which was to prove a source ofincalculable wealth and prosperity to the colony.

Towards the middle of June, it was reported that in the farnorth a shepherd had accidentally stumbled on a lump of copperore, of almost incredible richness and purity, cropping out ofthe surface, and that he had brought specimens into Adelaide. Itwas further stated that the deposit of copper was traceable forfifteen miles, and was visible for a breadth of from fifteen totwenty feet. There was so much secrecy kept as to the localitythat many pretended to regard the affair as a hoax; those in thesecret assured themselves, however, of the correctness of theshepherd's report, and an application was forthwith made to theGovernor for a special survey of twenty thousand acres in oneblock, in accordance with the Crown lands regulations. CaptainGrey was willing enough to further the object, but a monetarydifficulty arose. How was the requisite £20,000 to beraised? The colony was only beginning to recover from itsfinancial embarrassments, and hard cash was a very scarcecommodity, the banks collectively having at that time only about£25,000 in coin and bullion, and neither bank-notes,promissory notes, nor anything short of gold, silver, or coppercoin was accepted at the Treasury in payment for land. There wasno time to be lost, for if the news of the discovery reachedEngland, or even one or more of the other colonies, the prizemight pass out of the hands of South Australians altogether.

As the first applicants were unable to raise the necessaryfunds, one or two other parties combined and made the attempt,but were also unsuccessful. The first applicants, as might besupposed, entered their protest against the second party, and asneither could succeed, war waged between them. Those twoorganised parties were known familiarly as the "Nobs" and the"Snobs", the former being leading capitalists, and the latter,for the most part, tradesmen. Mr. William Giles, the manager ofthe South Australian Company, might be considered as a thirdparty, he having offered to advance £10,000, leaving theNobs, or capitalists, to make up the remainder. But even this wasnot forthcoming, and the tradesmen tried to coalesce with Mr.Giles. As, however, their offer was not accepted, they determinedto prevent the other side from entering the field by withdrawingfrom the bank the amount of their united funds in specie!

At this stage the Governor, seeing there was so wide adivision in the camp, postponed for a few days the time forreceiving tenders for the coveted block of land, and this gavethe rival parties an opportunity to mature their plans—noeasy matter, while excitement remained at white heat and suspensealmost unbearable. Previous to the Governor's determinationbecoming known, Mr. Giles and his party had offered £12,000in sovereigns and the cheque of the bank for the remaining£8000. Another party followed with a somewhat similaroffer, having raised the sum of £10,000 by the sale ofproperty and the payment of exorbitant premiums for money, thebank having refused to discount their bills, or make them anyadvance for the projected speculation.

Ultimately Mr. Giles withdrew from the contest, leaving thetwo rival parties in possession of the field, and as neithercould separately obtain the prize, they agreed to become jointpurchasers and participators in the coveted treasure. Theirapplication for the twenty thousand acres at Burra Creek waslodged with the Governor on the 18th of August, only two daysprior to the limit of time allowed by the Government forcompleting the purchase, and the £20,000 in specie was dulypaid into the Treasury.

Although the two parties agreed to unite for the purchase ofthe land, they did not intend to work the mine in concert, andarrangements were therefore made for a division of the propertyinto northern and southern blocks, the possession to be decidedby lot. The northern and richest half fell to the "Snobs", ortradesmen's party, who were henceforth known as the SouthAustralian Mining Association, and their mine as the Burra, whilethe southern half was called the Princess Royal Mine.**

[** "The effect of the combination to purchasethe Burra-Burra mines was," says the biographer of Sir GeorgeGrey, "that the ownership was thus distributed amongst a verylarge number of deserving people, who, with their families,enjoyed considerable benefits from these rich mines for manyyears. This effort to spread as widely as possible the advantagesarising from the ownership of lands or mines, or, indeed, any ofthe forces of Nature, was typical of Captain Grey's lifelongdesire."]

The Burra Mine is situated about a hundred miles fromAdelaide, the road being for the most part over level or gentlyundulating ground. The hills in the mineral district rangegenerally north and south, and vary from 2000 to 2500 feet abovethe sea-level.

In the course of two or three years the £5 shares becameworth £220, a fact in the history of mining at that timeprobably unparalleled. For the first six years the produce of themines amounted to nearly 80,000 tons of copper ore, and theprofit obtained on the working for that period was no less than£438,552, or nearly half a million. These results werearrived at under several disadvantages, but chiefly from theabsence of machinery, the amount of unskilled labour, and thedistance the ore had to be conveyed over unmade roads.

When at the end of June, 1845, and shortly after the discoveryof the Burra Mine, Captain Grey called the Legislative Counciltogether for the despatch of public business, his opening addresswas of a highly gratifying character. He was able to announcethat the finances of the colony were in a very satisfactorystate; the Government was able to make prompt payment of allobligations it had contracted, and rapid progress was being madein the general wealth and prosperity. One of the most importantmeasures brought forward in the Legislative Council in this yearby the Governor, was a Bill for the repeal of the pilotage,tonnage, wharfage, and all other port and harbour dues andcharges, thus opening Port Adelaide and all other ports withinthe province to ships of all nations, free of expense inentering, remaining, and departing. To make up for any monetarydeficiency certain judicious customs duties were imposed. It wasa measure that not only created great surprise, but gaveunqualified satisfaction, and a public meeting was held to accordthe thanks of all classes of the community to the Governor, andto pledge themselves to give him their support. As a matter offact he stood in the proud position of being the first in theAustralian colonies to follow the enlightened policy originallyadopted by Sir Stamford Raffles at Singapore. Besides theincrease of trade and traffic that would ensue, it would alsoensure a sufficient supply of shipping to convey the exportproduce of the colony to the British or other markets. During theprevious export season there had been some 6000 tons of colonialproduce for shipment, and there was only the prospect ofsufficient shipping to convey 3000 tons, while the want ofhundreds of tons of shipping was actually experienced.

It was a curious fact that whereas during the period of thefinancial crisis the colonists could not say anything severeenough with regard to the administration of the Governor, in1844-45, when it was found that he had successfully tided themover their difficulties, they were equally at a loss to findadequate words of praise.

At the close of the session, the members of the Councilthanked him for his kind bearing to them individually andcollectively, and expressed their conviction that "the urbanityof his manners to them, and the courteous attention he had givento their opinions and suggestions, had conduced to that perfectfreedom of discussion which was necessary to the efficiency ofthe Council as a legislative body, and so essential to itsobtaining the confidence of the whole community."

Alas! that the recognition of merit came so late in this caseas in so many others. Only two months later, and the rumour ranthrough the colony that Captain Grey had been appointed to theGovernorship of New Zealand, on the ground of his peculiarqualifications for dealing with the natives, who were in adisturbed state, and that Major Robe was to succeed him.

A forensic mania had set in. The English newspapers brought anaccount of the addresses in the Imperial Parliament on theappointment; how Lord John Russell, in an excellent speech, hadsaid that, in giving Captain Grey the government of SouthAustralia, he had given him as difficult a problem in colonialadministration as could be committed to any man, "And I mustsay," added Lord John, "that, after four or five years'experience of his administration there, he has solved thatproblem with a degree of energy and success which I could hardlyhave expected from any one. He has extricated the colony andgained the good will both of settlers and aborigines."

Not less flattering was the testimony borne by Sir Robert Peelto the character and efficient services of Captain Grey.

When, therefore, on the 20th of October, he announced to theLegislative Council that so soon as the Elphinstone wouldbe ready to proceed to sea he would, in pursuance of herMajesty's commands, hand over the administration of theGovernment to the officer who had been sent out to relieve him,the voice of the whole people was heard in lamentation for theirloss and praise for the leader they had so little appreciated,and all the intervening days of his sojourn in Adelaide werespent in receiving and replying to addresses.

On Sunday, the 26th of October, the Elphinstoneweighed anchor and proceeded on her voyage with Captain Grey onboard, bound for the scene of his new, but at that time not verypromising field of labour, and bearing with him the respect, goodwill, and good wishes of almost every settler in SouthAustralia.

He had lived down incessant, flagrant, and altogetherunmerited abuse and opposition, conscious that he was in theright and that his motives were pure; he had proceeded from firstto last in a straight line of policy, with judgment, decision,and firmness, and his reward was in the fact that he had savedthe colony from a chaotic state, and placed it on a sound andsolid basis, and had proved himself one of the foremost politicaland financial reformers of his day.

From the day when Captain Grey received the first inkling ofhis appointment to the Governorship of South Australia, to theday when he quitted it to take office in New Zealand, he wasgreatly indebted to the wisdom, experience, and sagacity of Mr.George Fife Angas, who probably knew more of the actual conditionof the colony than any other man then living. A series ofvaluable letters, many of which are preserved in the publiclibrary at Auckland, New Zealand,* were written by him, and wereextremely helpful to the Governor throughout hisadministration.

[* This voluminous correspondence, and certifiedcopies of the letters in the Auckland library, are in the presentpossession of the writer, but instead of quoting it, an extractfrom the "Life of Sir George Grey" is given in preference.]

"The friendship of these two men," says the biographer of SirGeorge Grey, "commenced when the young explorer was in England,in 1840. Anxious to learn the views of a man so interested andexperienced in questions of colonization, on the Governmentproject of founding a colony on the north coast of Australia,Grey sought and obtained an interview with Mr. Angas. The latterstrenuously opposed the plan, foreseeing many difficulties anddisasters. Years afterwards, he raised his voice in theLegislative Council of South Australia against the proposedsettlement being made, except as a purely tropical colony, withaid from Calcutta and London.

"Mr. G.F. Angas was one of the most sincere and untiringfriends a young colony ever had. A director of the Company underwhose auspices South Australia was founded, he lost noopportunity of doing it a service, sparing neither time, money,nor personal effort in its cause. At the same time, he stronglydisapproved of the extravagance which characterized the newcommunity. No words can be more decided than those he used onthis subject in writing to Captain Grey, in 1843:—

"'You know my views as to the absolute necessity of settlersin a new colony adopting the most rigid economy in all theirestablishments and expenditure. A neglect of this has been thecurse of South Australia, and the ruin of its best interests, andnothing has made it greater enemies at home and abroad.'

"These letters are remarkably interesting. They contain anaccount of the formation of the South Australian Society, and itsfirst prospectus. They form a record of what was done by this oneman during the term of Captain Grey's Governorship and residenceat Adelaide. He was indeed helped and cheered by the co-operationand sympathy of the Governor, who furnished him with statisticsand other information concerning the colony; but, in the detailsof his work, he was practically single-handed.

"He wrote pamphlets, publishing and circulating them at hisown expense; he obtained interviews with Cabinet Ministers andother leaders of public opinion; he delivered lectures in everytown through which he passed in travelling about Great Britain;he appointed agents, who were, he wrote, 'men of influence anddevoted to South Australia', to perform the same duties; he keptup an active correspondence for over three years with the ownersof six or seven hundred American ships engaged in the South Seawhale-fisheries, with the object of inducing them to put intoSouth Australia for their supplies.

"He was in constant communication with European States, withcommercial houses in China, Mauritius, and Bombay, and with thevarious missionary societies; approaching the latter with a planfor establishing colleges in Adelaide, at which young men mightreceive a suitable training for future work amongst the heathenof the Pacific islands.

"In every direction from which prosperity might flow to thecolony, Mr. Angas thus laboriously made a channel for itspassage, turning up the sods of ignorance and apathy. He met withdiscouragements which would have caused one who had the realinterests of the young community and of humanity less at heart,to give up the weary struggle in despair. But, foiled at onepoint, Mr. Angas only turned with fresh energy to another.

"Thus he wrote: 'When I found our Government resolved upondoing nothing for us, I commenced an active correspondence withthe Continent, and I do confidently expect that we shall get outone hundred Germans this spring to Adelaide. Often enough, myspirit sinks under my incessant labour, on the one hand from theshameful, cruel, and ungrateful treatment I have met with frommany persons in the colony, who have thereby amply repaid me forhaving been their best and most generous friend, and on the otherhand from the utter apathy which universally exists in thiscountry towards the colony. Still, I will never abandon the workas long as God enables me to continue it. I began it with thebest of intentions, and I shall not leave it in thisextremity.'

"In February, 1844, he wrote that if his resources had notbeen crippled by the dishonesty of agents in South Australia, hewould have been able to send out from one to two thousand Germansas settlers. 'But,' he added, 'beaten down as I am with all mytroubles, I will not rest until you have emigration renewed fromthis country.'

"Mr. Angas was successful in his introduction of Germancolonists, and, at his own expense, settled large tracts ofagricultural country. Many of these communities still retaintheir Teutonic character. This experiment worked so well thatyears afterwards Sir George Grey, when Governor of Cape Colony,carried it out on a larger scale, under somewhat differentconditions, and with still more marked success. . . .

"It is a mournful criticism upon the justice of human judgmentto find that after the lapse of a quarter of a century, when Mr.Angas was upwards of eighty years of age, his claims to thegratitude of South Australia and the South Australians weretreated with contempt, his long years of faithful servicedepreciated, and his lavish expenditure of money and zeal turnedinto derision.

"In 1869 Sir George Grey himself, smarting under unmeritedcoldness and neglect, received from his old fellow-worker inSouth Australia a pathetic letter claiming his sympathy, andasking Sir George Grey to bear testimony to the unselfishness ofhis efforts for the well-being of the colony, for which, in yearslong gone by, they had worked so zealously together. The answergiven must have done much to soothe the wounded feelings of Mr.Angas, and to vindicate his undoubted services to the colony.

"The instability of human affairs was thus strikinglyexemplified. Mr. Angas had served the people with a loyal andunswerving faith, and the people had forsaken him. Sir GeorgeGrey had served the Government of Great Britain with unexampledvigour and success, and, as a reward, was dismissedcontemptuously. Yet history will record the deeds andachievements of both when the names of their detractors areforgotten."**

[** "Life and Times of Sir George Grey, K.C.B.",by W.L. Rees and L. Rees. London: 1892.]

Of the subsequent brilliant career of Sir George Grey wecannot concern ourselves in detail here. After settling the NewZealand difficulty, and bringing the war to a successfultermination, he was made a baronet and a D.C.L. of the OxfordUniversity. He was appointed Governor of Cape Colony, and someyears later, by special request of the Colonial Office, againbecame Governor of New Zealand, when the long Maori War atTaranaki was raging. Eventually he took up his residence in NewZealand as a private citizen, accepted an office and a seat inthe colonial Legislature, an instance probably without a parallelof a statesman entering the political arena in the very colonywhere he had himself been twice the Governor.



OCTOBER 25TH, 1845—AUGUST 12TH, 1848.

Tory of the Tories.—A BadBeginning.—A Royalty on Minerals proposed.—PublicExcitement thereon.—Mr. W.E. Gladstone on the Position ofColonial Governors.—Import Duty on Corn.—Canada andSouth Australia.—Imposition of Royalty onMinerals.—Specimen of South AustralianOratory.—Historical Scene in LegislativeCouncil.—Unpopularity of the Governor.—State Aid toReligion.—Political Dissenters.—League for theMaintenance of Religious Freedom.—State Aidgranted.—Return of Captain Sturt fromInterior.—Theological Observations of theGovernor.—Explorations of Mr. J.A.Horrocks.—Education Bill.—Steam Communication withEngland.—Arrival of Dr. Short, Bishop ofAdelaide.

ON the 14th of October, 1845, all conjecturesas to the successor of Captain Grey were set at rest by thearrival in the colony of Major Frederick Holt Robe, of the 87thRoyal Irish Fusiliers, who had been appointed by her Majesty tothe Governorship of South Australia. He had at one time held theoffice of military secretary at Mauritius, under Major-GeneralSir William Nicolay, and at the date of his appointment to SouthAustralia he was holding a similar office at Gibraltar. In orderto obtain the services of Captain Grey in New Zealand as quicklyas possible—for affairs were in a disturbed and criticalstate there—Major Robe was instructed to proceed directfrom Gibraltar, viâ Alexandria and the Isthmus ofSuez, to Bombay, where the Elphinstone was in readinessto convey him to South Australia, the vessel then to proceedforthwith to New Zealand with Captain Grey.

Major Robe was in almost every respect a startling contrast tohis predecessor. He was a blunt, honest soldier, well versed inhis profession, but his manners were not prepossessing, nor hadhe those gifts and graces which tend to make men popular. He knewnothing of the art of public speaking, and this in itself createda prejudice against him in many quarters; he was unfortunately abachelor, and this, from a social point of view, was a greatdrawback, as a lady should always accompany a Governor, and takeher place as leader of society; he was a Tory of the Tories, andproclaimed from the housetop his "aversion to populartendencies"; he was an undisguised advocate of High Churchprinciples, and took no pains whatever to conceal his abhorrenceof Nonconformity.

There are many things in heaven and on earth and in theColonial Office which are not dreamed of in the philosophy ofordinary mortals, and how Major Robe could have been selected tofill the office of Governor in "the Paradise of Dissent" willprobably ever remain a mystery. It is only just to add in thisplace that he was an honourable, upright man, greatly respectedin the limited sphere of his personal friendships, and true assteel to his Sovereign and to the political party whose views hewas determined, if it lay in his power, should predominatethroughout the colony.

For prudential reasons Major Robe was gazettedLieutenant-Governor, the object being to protect CaptainGrey from any proceedings that might be taken against him by theholders of certain dishonoured bills drawn upon the BritishGovernment, and for which the parties refused to take debentures.So long, therefore, as Captain Grey retained official connectionwith the colony as "Governor", he was entitled to the protectionwhich pertained to that office.

Shortly after Major Robe assumed the government of theprovince a notice appeared in the Gazette informing allwho had claims upon the Government that debentures would be madeand issued with the interest due thereon to the 31st of March,1846, that they could be obtained on application, and that nofurther interest would be allowed after that date. Thisintimation was satisfactory enough for those whose claims wereadmitted, but its obligatory character did not prevent thosewhose accounts were disputed from subsequently obtaining thewhole or a portion of the amount due to them.

One of his first acts was to rescind certain resolutions,issued shortly before by his predecessor, for regulating thedisposal of waste lands, on the ground that in most cases theregulations had operated disadvantageously to the colonialinterests. He claimed the right to submit any lands that hadpassed the hammer, but had acquired a higher value than the upsetprice first put upon them, a second time to public auction,instead of allowing them to be selected by private contract. Thismeasure, as a matter of course, met with considerabledisapprobation, the Observer dubbing the new Governor as"principal Land-jobber and Auctioneer-in-chief (by appointment)to her Majesty."

This was a bad beginning, but it was no fault of theGovernor—it was simply his misfortune. He was a militaryman of the old school, and had been accustomed to rule and to beobeyed; he was totally unable to realize the genius of a risingcolony or to sympathize with the liberal views and sturdyindependence of the men over whom he was officially placed, andthus it was that from first to last he was continually "in hotwater", and aroused the controversial spirit among the coloniststo its highest degree.

In November news was received that Lord Stanley had made anattempt to introduce a new Waste Lands Bill into the ImperialParliament, containing clauses imposing a royalty or reservationon the minerals raised, in violation of an Act previously passedand which had been in operation some years. The Bill was statedto have been defeated by Lords Lansdowne and Monteagle, who thuslaid the colony under a deep obligation. But the matter did notrest here. Lord Stanley prepared an altered measure, submitted itto members during the recess, and in the mean time obtained theopinion of the law officers of the Crown, who considered that theexisting Act would bear the construction that a royalty on, orreservation of, minerals might be admitted; whereupon he sent adespatch to the Lieutenant-Governor advising the imposition,forwarding at the same time the text of the legal opinion.

The colonists were up in arms, and at once a public meetingwas called to express regret that such a Bill as the one LordStanley had brought forward should ever have been devised; thatit was an uncalled-for interference with the proper duties of theLegislative Council as it related to the internal government ofthe province; that it was a breach of public faith under whichmost of the colonists had emigrated to South Australia, and that,if any such alteration as that proposed of the perfect tenureunder which the waste lands had hitherto been purchased werecarried into effect, it would discourage all further introductionand investment of capital, and in other respects be fatal to theinterests and prosperity of the colony. It was resolved thatappeal should be made to her Majesty for protection, and that,until the Queen's action should be made known, the Governorshould be strongly entreated to suspend or defer the operation ofthe measure.*

[* It may be noted in passing that at thismeeting Mr. John Baker, destined to take a leading part hereafterin the Legislature, made his maiden speech in public.]

A little glimpse into the mental attitudes of Governor andpeople may be obtained from the speeches made when the petitionto her Majesty, signed by seven hundred colonists, was presented,with a memorial to the Governor, by a deputation consisting of anumber of members of the Legislature, justices of the peace, andleading colonists. Major O'Halloran was the spokesman on behalfof the deputation, and in concluding his speech he said—"Weyield to none in attachment to our Sovereign and her Crown, butwe are not prepared to bow the knee to the present or any otherminister who may be disposed to trample on our rights or tamperwith our interests."

Then uprose the Governor, cold and stern, and said—

"Your memorial stigmatizes as oppressive certain proposedmeasures of the Queen's Government having reference to herMajesty's waste lands in this part of her dominions, and youentreat me, in the event of those measures having actually passedthe Houses of Parliament, to interpose such authority as may beconfided to me in order to frustrate for a period the intentionsof the Queen and of the Parliament. It is barely consistent withcommon sense to imagine that such large discretion would in anycase be confided to a local governor of so distant a possessionof the Crown, and you make this request at a time when it is amatter of public notoriety that the measures of which youcomplain have not met the sanction of the Imperial Parliament.Under these circumstances you will not be surprised at mydeclining to give any other reply to your memorial than anassurance that I will at all times feel pleasure in being madethe medium of transmitting, for presentation to the Queen, thedutiful and loyal petitions and addresses which her Majesty'ssubjects in this province may desire to have laid at the foot ofthe throne."

A traveller once said of Niagara, "No picture can give you anytrue idea of it; you may paint the Falls, but you cannot paintthe roar of the waters!" In like manner, type may give thewords of Major Robe, but it is impossible to reproduce theaustere tone and the irritating style in which his simplestutterances were given. As a matter of fact, in the instance undernotice the colonists were premature; the measure did not receivethe sanction of the Imperial Parliament, and the Bill of LordStanley was thrown out. So ended the first skirmish on theroyalty question. The great battle was to be fought at a futureperiod.

In December, Mr. W. Giles, on behalf of the South AustralianCompany, brought an action against the Lieutenant-Governor forrefusing to allow him (Mr. Giles) to exercise certain preliminaryland orders in the selection of some mineral sections near theMontacute Mine. The judge refused to allow the action to proceed,alleging that the Company had not used due diligence afterCaptain Grey's proclamation to the holders of land orders inwhich the time was fixed for making the selection.

At that time Mr. Gladstone was Secretary of State for theColonies, and as soon as he became aware that an action had beenbrought against the Governor, he forwarded a despatch to himexpressing strong disapprobation of the course pursued. Advertingto the refusal of the Court to grant the injunction, hesaid—

"It is fortunate that such was the decision of the Court. Anopposite judgment might have raised many embarrassingdifficulties. But," he added, "I cannot sanction the course whichyou followed in this case. By appearing, or permitting anyofficer of the Crown to appear, in defence of such a suit, youvirtually acknowledged that the head of the local Government wasamenable to the jurisdiction of the courts of the colony which hegoverns. It does not follow that because the question ofjurisdiction was not discussed on this occasion, it was thereforenot decided or compromised. On the contrary, the absence of anysuch discussion, resulting as it did from the absence on yourpart of any such objection, was a clear though tacitacknowledgment that the asserted jurisdiction really existed. Iobject to that acknowledgment, not on any ground of mere dignity,or usage, or precedent, but because thus to break down thebarriers which separate the judicial and administrativeauthorities must result in great practical evils. The immunitiesof the Sovereign in this country, and the correspondingimmunities of a Governor in the colony he rules, exist for thegood of the people at large. If it were admitted that you, asGovernor of South Australia, were amenable to the courts of thecolony, you would of course be liable to fine, to distress, andimprisonment at their bidding."

The despatch concluded—

"I must therefore desire that the precedent which has beenestablished in this case be avoided in all future cases, and thatno act be done (except with the express previous sanction of herMajesty's Government) from which it could be inferred that youare amenable to the jurisdiction of any court in South Australiaso long as you retain her Majesty's commission for theadministration of the government of that colony."

It is somewhat singular that Major Robe, who had assumed thetitle of Lieutenant-Governor expressly for the protection of hispredecessor, should have overlooked the position which theGovernor of the colony is generally supposed to occupy, and ofwhich his own case furnished such a striking illustration.

Towards the end of the year intelligence arrived that theImperial Parliament had taken some action upon certain memorialssent home from the Australian colonies generally, praying for theremoval of import duty on their corn. In the debate Lord Howickpointed out the injustice of admitting corn from Canada free ofduty, characterizing the concession as a bribe to secure the goodwill of that colony towards Britain, but admitting that the boonwas a conditional one requiring the Canadians to levy a duty onAmerican corn, so that the United States should not send theirproduce to Britain through Canada. He urged that there need be noapprehension of foreign grain reaching Britain through theAustralian colonies, as Chili, the nearest country from whichthese colonies could obtain a supply, was too far off to admit ofany such traffic being carried on profitably.

In the course of a very able speech Lord Howicksaid—

"I maintain that by refusing this concession to Australia youare teaching Canada that it has nothing to be grateful for. Youteach it that what you have done has not been from a sense ofjustice, or for the common advantage of the Empire, but that itwas a bribe for acquiescing in the continuance of yourGovernment. It is like the money given by the Roman Empire in itsdecline to the barbarians who were threatening at thegates—it is sure to purchase only further demands. On theother hand, if you now act to Australia, from which you havenothing to fear, as you have acted towards Canada, you areshowing to your colonies generally that you are acting on theprinciple of a large and liberal policy and a desire to promotetheir welfare as integral portions of the British Empire."

It was certainly a hard case that Canada, near to the UnitedStates, dissatisfied and rebellious, should have the duty on hercorn reduced, while Australia, patient and loyal, with nodangerous neighbour, had no relief or indulgence. Lord Howick hadshot his arrows at the right mark. If the colonies were integralparts of the Empire, and not mere excrescences, what need wasthere for any commercial restrictions? And the Australians feltand complained that whilst they had soil and climate for theample growth of corn, they were checked by Britain denying them amarket, and they reasonably urged that if such a market wereallowed it would enable the settlers to consume Britishmanufactured goods—their chief article of import—to agreatly enlarged extent.**

[** "The singularity of the necessity for such anAct is only equalled by the novelty of the measure itself, whichis probably without precedent, in delegating to an officer,irresponsible to the people, the power of taxation, without limitas to the amount or time, on the export of any article enumeratedin the Act. And one can hardly realize in the present day that acountry that was reduced to such an extremity should, after alapse of a few years, become for the number of its people thegreatest exporters of wheat and flour in the world."—SirHenry Ayers.]

It must always be borne in mind that South Australia was wellrepresented in England by able men deeply interested ineverything that concerned her welfare, and in many casesfinancially pledged to her prosperity, so that questionsdiscussed in the colony were more or less re-echoed in the mothercountry, and vice versa. The South Australian Association, too,was still in existence, and its members were active both in andout of Parliament on her behalf, and through the perseveringlabours of these combined forces the obnoxious tax on corn, aswell as many other well-founded grievances, was in process oftime removed.

The year 1846 opened prosperously with a balance in hand of£50,000 applicable to the purposes of immigration, localimprovements, and the satisfaction of outstanding claims. Onematter that gave rise to mingled hope and apprehension was theever-increasing yield of mineral wealth. In itself this wasencouraging, but many colonial interests seemed likely to sufferfrom the investment of much capital in unproductive mines, andfrom the withdrawal of labour of various kinds to the newpursuit.

The question of royalties on minerals was revived on the 5thof March by the publication in the Government Gazette of aminute from the Governor informing the public of the rules thathad been established for the future disposal of the waste landsof the Crown in South Australia, by which it was intended tosecure a royalty of one-fifteenth upon all minerals raised fromlands alienated from the Crown. Major Robe stated that thecorrespondence handed to him by his predecessor showed that themineral wealth of the colony had attracted the attention ofcapitalists in England to a considerable extent, and a company inLondon had proposed to the Secretary of State for the Colonies totreat with the Government for a monopoly of all mines in SouthAustralia belonging to the Crown, upon the basis of a lease, withrights of mining upon payment of a seignorage or royalty upon theproduce of those mines. Lord Stanley rejected this proposal, butthe question of reservation of royalties with a view to theulterior benefit of the colony was submitted for theconsideration of her Majesty's Commissioners of Woods andForests, and to the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners,as well as to one of the first geologists in England, andsubsequently to her Majesty's law advisers. No objection wasraised by any of these to the proposed imposition, and asregarded the colonists themselves, Major Robe said in a minute tothe home authorities:—

"I do not anticipate that there will be much difference ofopinion amongst the colonists upon the question of the expediencyof reserving a moderate royalty on metallic minerals when it isdeclared, under authority, that the proceeds thereof, afterdeducting the cost of collection, will be applied to the samepurposes as the gross proceeds of the sale of the waste lands ofthe Crown under the Act 5 & 6 Vict. c. 36. Instead of largepresent receipts, founded, perhaps, on gambling speculation as tothe chances or probabilities of future results (which receiptswill cease as soon as all the mineral land has been selected),there will be provided in aid of a constant stream of emigrationfrom the United Kingdom, a growing income proportioned to theadvancing wealth of the colony. Such is the view taken by theCommissioners and by her Majesty's advisers, and in that view Ientirely concur."

But the colonists did not, nor did they agree with the "fewshort rules based upon the principle of a royalty ofone-fifteenth of the produce" which the Governor had drawnup.*

[* The published regulations stipulated for aright of free access to all mines by duly appointed servants ofthe Crown; a right to select, for free occupancy, a portion ofland not exceeding a quarter of an acre, near the mouth of anymine, fur a residence or store "for the person or personsappointed to receive the Queen's dish or dues"; the right ofcommuting from time to time, for periods not exceeding twelvemonths, the Queen's fifteenth in kind for payments in money; theright of recovering such money by distress; the reference of allquestions to the Governor in Executive Council, for decision; thesale of land, as heretofore, with the exception of thereservation stated; the reservation on lands open for selectionwithout competition; the leasing of mineral lands for periods notexceeding twenty-one years, such leases to be subject tocompetition at public auction; the forfeiture of the leases fornon-payment, underletting without license, etc.; theappropriation of the proceeds from sale or lease of lands androyalties; the fees payable for deeds, leases, andregistration.]

Nor did they agree with the law officers of the Crown, whogave it as their opinion that there was nothing incompatible withthe provisions of the Act in the plan proposed. "The waste landsof the Crown," they said, "if alienated and conveyed, must beconveyed in the manner prescribed by the Act, but there isnothing in its provisions restrictive of the right which theCrown possesses to reserve to itself any portion of its propertyor interests, or which makes it compulsory to part withthem."

The publication of the Governor's minute, together with theregulations for carrying it out and the opinion of the lawofficers of the Crown thereon, was the signal for a greatdemonstration against the measure. On a vacant acre at the cornerof King William Street and North Terrace a platform, or hustings,was erected, which was crowded with members of Council, justicesof the peace, and some of the most influential colonists, who,surrounded by a large and excited audience, characterized theaction of the Government as "illegal, unjust, and impolitic, and,if persevered in, highly injurious to the best interests of thecolony, as it would check the industry and exertions of thesettlers, and discourage emigrants from Great Britain."

They argued that it was illegal, inasmuch as it set at naughtthe guarantees of the Act of Parliament, and unjust, as it was indirect contravention of the original tenure upon which the wastelands were alienated from the Crown and thereby gave to thecolony one of its peculiar features.

One of the resolutions moved at the meeting by Mr. E.Stephens, J.P., and seconded by Mr. J. Baker, J.P., set forththat "the repeated attempts of the Colonial Office to set atnaught in this colony the stipulations and solemn engagementsguaranteed to the colonists by Acts of the Imperial Parliamentare subversive of that confidence and respect which the settlersever have entertained, and are desirous of continuing toentertain towards the parent State."

A short and typical specimen of South Australian oratory inthose early days may not be out of place here. In moving thisresolution Mr. E. Stephens said—

"Her Majesty never had under that flag"—pointing to theroyal ensign waving from the flagstaff at GovernmentHouse—"a more devoted and loyal people than she has inSouth Australia. Under every infliction and every injury theirloyalty has been unquestioned. But there were points at whichthey felt they could endure no longer, and no reckless andruthless hand should destroy their rights or involve theirprivileges with impunity, and if such attempts were sanctioned bytheir rulers, nay, if they were not discountenanced by them,their loyalty and their devotedness were indeed endangered. Itwas true they had left the home of their fathers, but they wereBritons still. They had left their native soil, but not for aforeign land; they had come hither to perpetuate herinstitutions, to introduce her laws, to share her privileges, tobe governed by her wisdom, to link their destinies to hers; butthey came also to enjoy her freedom. They came forth alone andunaided by the parent State to a land whose existence was almostunknown, to extend the boundaries of her empire, and by theirenergies, their industry, and their capital to add anotherflourishing province to her dominions. And did England out of hertreasury assist them? Did she give to their departure pomp andcircumstance? No. They crossed the wide waste of waters inhumility, but with fixity of purpose, to make for themselves ahome, and to found an empire in the wilderness. Not one shillingdid England contribute. Nay, more, let it never be forgotten thatbefore she suffered them to quit her shores she compelled them toleave behind twenty thousand pledges in the shape of so manypounds sterling, that they should be no burden to the parentState. These recent attempts by the Home Government to departfrom the terms of the Act constituting the colony could belikened to so many nibbles at the seal of the bond entered intoby the mother country and the colonists, and this royaltyimposition was the last and most flagrant and most unjustifiableattempt to rob the colony of one of its guaranteed and peculiarfeatures."

The ringing cheers that greeted this speech proved not onlythe spirit of sturdy independence in the colonists, but also thefutility of sending as their Governor such a man as Major Robe.Petitions to both Houses of the Imperial Parliament were verynumerously signed, and so this stage of the oppositionclosed.

The next step was taken in the Legislative Council on the 30thof September, when the New Waste Lands Bill was introduced by theadvocate-general. The second reading was opposed by Mr. J.Morphett, who moved as an amendment that the Bill be read thatday six months. This was seconded by Major O'Halloran, andsupported by Messrs. Bagot and Davenport; but, upon a division,the amendment was lost, and the original motion carried.

Thereupon a scene ensued—one of the historic scenes ofthe colonial Legislature. Mr. J. Morphett rose from his seat,and, followed at once by Major O'Halloran and Messrs. Bagot andDavenport, left the council chamber, and by so doing left theaugust and astonished body without a quorum. The audience in thestrangers' gallery shouted "Bravo!" while the Governor and hisexecutive stood dumfounded. When silence was restored Major Robedeclared the Council adjourned.

A week later the Council reassembled, and the Governorexpressed in mild terms his disapproval of the unconstitutionalmode of opposing the Government pursued by the non-officialmembers; but the recalcitrant members justified their conduct,and retorted that it was the only course left open to them, as"his Excellency invariably neutralized the votes of independentmembers in every case when the votes were equal, and on everymeasure resisted by the non-officials."

On the motion for going into committee on the Bill, therecusant members proposed, seconded, and supported an amendmentthat it was inexpedient to do so until the fate of the measureproposed to be introduced into the English House of Commonsbecame known. When the Council divided, the Governor againexercised his casting vote, and in announcing the result of thedivision said—

"Having vindicated the dignity of the Crown and asserted itsright to insist on the presence of members, he had no hesitationin saying that he should, in deference to the strongly expressedopinion of all the non-official members, and in compliance withthe earnest appeal of their senior (Major O'Halloran), authorizethe withdrawal of the Bill."

Notwithstanding the unpopularity of the Governor, he took nosteps whatever to mend his ways. On the contrary, he recklesslyplunged into a fresh sea of controversy on a subject concerningwhich men are more tenacious of their opinions than on anyother.

While the royalties question was still the topic of the day,the members and adherents of the Church of England called apublic meeting to memorialize the Governor to make a grant in aidof religion from the public funds. Of course this stirred theDissenters to action, and they attended the meeting in such forcethat when the first resolution was proposed by the Church party,affirming that such a grant was desirable, an amendment was movedby the Dissenters, and was carried by an overwhelming majority.The meeting being then in their hands, they passed resolutionscondemning State aid to religion, and adopted a memorial to theGovernor, urging him not to give effect to the views of theChurch party. A deputation of leading men was appointed topresent the memorial to the Governor, and in due course theywaited upon him. The document having been read, they waitedanxiously for his reply. It came in these terms: "I have noremarks to make, gentlemen"; and, bowing, he dismissed thedeputation. Whether the discourtesy were intentional or not, itwas, to say the least, irritating.

While feeling was still running high on this subject, and inthe same session in which the royalties question had been sowarmly discussed. Major Robe threw down the gauntlet for apitched battle with the religious sects, by introducing thequestion of State aid to religion into the Council. He did so inthese words: "The provisions heretofore made from the revenues ofthe province for purposes of religion and religious instructionare quite inadequate. Judging from returns lately laid beforeParliament, it would appear that South Australia is one of themost backward of all the-colonies of the British Empire inproviding from its public resources for the means of worshippingthat Being to whom we owe our existence and all the blessings weenjoy. This should not be; it is not in accordance with thespirit of the colonists themselves. Let it no longer be areproach upon the Government and the legislative body of theprovince having control over the public finances. The members ofthe Church of England, forming more than half of the entirepopulation, have lately received the benefit of two additionalclergymen sent among them, but for these we are mainly indebtedto the pious zeal of our friends in England. The due apportioningof Government aid among the different sects of professingChristians is a question of some difficulty, but it is not, Itrust, unsurmountable."

In this speech Major Robe, more explicitly, perhaps, than inhis other oracular utterances, showed his total incapacity tograsp an idea of the principles on which the colony was founded.A Tory of the Tories, relying on the vote of the officials in theLegislative Chamber and his own casting vote, and undulyprejudiced in favour of his own opinions, he had set his mind oncarrying a measure which the most bigoted would have been readyto acknowledge was diametrically opposed to the ideas of thefathers and founders of the colony, to the Act of Parliamentestablishing it, and to the wishes of the large majority of thecolonists.

The history of this principle of disassociation of Church andState is one of the most interesting in colonial annals. Let usnow follow the present phase of it.

On the second day of the session Mr. J. Morphett, destinedhereafter to take a high place in the councils of the province,presented a petition, couched almost in the identical words ofthe Governor, praying for Government aid to religion andeducation. It added that the petitioners could not close theirminds to the fact that the voluntary principle had hithertoproved utterly inadequate to supply the needs of the colony, andthat they considered the true interests of every Government werebest consulted by promoting the moral and religious well-being ofthe community.

There were hundreds of men who, on the strength of thevoluntary principle being the law of the land, had emigrated toSouth Australia, and this was the signal for them to be up anddoing. They held a meeting at the "Company's" offices in NorthTerrace to discuss measures for the defence and maintenance ofreligious freedom, and set forth in an elaborate memorial a longarray of all the stock arguments against the proposal of theGovernor—arguments too well known to need specifying indetail—and concluded with the prayer "that everydenomination should stand on its own basis, without Stateinterference, favour, or support, and that no legislativeenactment might be passed, or grant made, for support of religionin South Australia."

Despite motions in the Legislative Council by Mr. (afterwardsSir Samuel) Davenport and Captain Bagot, urging delay, and apetition from the advocates of voluntaryism, got up and signed intwenty-four hours by two hundred persons, including manyministers of religion, also urging delay, on the 16th of July Mr.J. Morphett moved in the Council "that his Excellency berequested to introduce with the estimates for the financial year1847, a sum of money for religious and educational purposes, tobe apportioned among the different denominations of Christians inthe province in the rate of their numbers according to the latecensus returns, and to be applied by their respective bodieseither in building places of public worship, the support ofministers of religion, the erection of school-houses, or themaintenance of schoolmasters or schoolmistresses; the sums, asapportioned, to be paid to, and appropriated by, a limited numberof individuals in the nature of trustees to be nominated by therespective bodies; the trustees to furnish a report to hisExcellency the Governor of the appropriation, accompanied by aproper statement of accounts to be laid before the Council."

The speciousness of this motion will be seen as we proceed.Amendments were moved against it, but were lost, and, the votehaving been taken, the matter was allowed to rest for a time sofar as the action of the Government was concerned.

Meanwhile, meetings were held, and the discussion of"political religion" became the order of the day. Deputationswere sent to the Governor conveying memorials, the burden ofwhich was in many cases that the vote of the Legislative Councilin aid of religion without regard to its truth or error was aviolation of the rights of conscience, by compelling individualsto contribute to the support of modes of worship or forms ofdoctrine which they believed to be unscriptural and erroneous;that it was a misappropriation of the public funds, a directbreach of the public pledges given at the foundation of thecolony, and not justified by the then present circumstances ofthe province; and that it was, consequently, a measureinexpedient and unjust.

In the suddenness of its introduction, and the haste in whichthe vote had been passed, the advocates of voluntaryism had beentaken at a disadvantage. True, there had been, during theadministration of Captain Grey, a skirmish on the subject, but itwas conceived that the ghost of a "State-aided Church" had beenlaid. Now it was determined that, whether on the present issuethey lost or won, such steps should be taken that, when anotheropportunity arose, they would be in a position to tight thequestion to its bitter end. Accordingly, a society was formed,called "The South Australian League for the Maintenance ofReligious Freedom in the Province", its object being not only tooppose the present grant so far as it was still possible, but toadopt such measures as should prevent the perpetuity of any suchaction in the colony.

In a young colony, where the settlers are bent on makingprovision for their wives and families, and of seeing them incomfortable circumstances before the bread-winners shall beovertaken by illness or old age; where the restraints of themother country are to a great extent thrown off, and every onefeels himself to be his own master; when the old religious tieshave to some degree been broken and the enthusiasm of Christianwork has received a check by the breaking up of old associations,it is a good thing to see large bodies of men, at greatself-sacrifice, take up with enthusiasm a question of this kind.If the moral history of South Australia were to be written thisepisode which we now chronicle would probably be represented asthe sowing time of the great harvest of moral and spiritual goodwhich was developed in later years.

One of the first steps undertaken by the League was to publishan address setting forth the position they proposed to occupy."In all political matters we know that obedience is due to theGovernment. We may doubt the expediency or even the justice oftheir measures, but we are still bound to obey them, except inthose rare cases which we may hope will never arise in thiscolony. But in religion we owe no obedience to the State. This isa matter beyond the control of Government and in which theycannot rightfully interfere. If the State should overstep itslegislative boundaries in this matter, resistance is always theright, and may often be the duty, of every individual. It is apoint upon which there can be no concession and no compromise,and at all times and under all circumstances we are bound toprotest against, and, so far as may be done by lawful andpeaceful means, to impede the execution of laws which violatethese our highest and most essential rights. We are ready to'render unto Cæsar the things that are Caesar's', but werender to God, and to God only, the things that are God's."

It was maintained, and maintained truly, that this principlewas recognized in the Act of Parliament, and by the Commissionersoriginally appointed to carry it into execution; that in allprinted statements this was set forth as an inducement toemigration, and that they were justified in requiring afulfilment of the pledge which induced so many of them toemigrate.

The machinery of the League was soon in working order,information was disseminated, memorials to Queen and Parliamentprepared, and it was soon apparent that the members were actuatedby a purpose, and would shortly become the most able and activeorganization ever formed in the colony.

Meanwhile numerous petitions were presented in the CouncilChamber for and against religious endowments, until, on the 19thof August, the question of a grant was formally introduced, whenMr. Morphett moved that the sum of £1110 10s. beplaced upon the Supplementary Estimates for 1846, to beappropriated in accordance with the terms of his previous motion,with the addition that the trustees should be appointed in suchmanner as the Governor might by proclamation direct, subject tothe proviso that such trustees should, on the 31st of March,1847, make a report to the Governor, to be laid before theLegislative Council, of the manner in which the moneys had beenapplied.

An amendment was moved, but it was found that the mover andseconder were the only opponents to the grant.

It must be admitted that the sum was not a large one, althoughon a question of principle, of course, this was immaterial. Theproportion for the Jews, who had petitioned to be included, wasfound to be £2 18s. per annum!

Less than a month later the conduct of the Lieutenant-Governorand of the Legislative Council in voting this money in oppositionto the declared sentiments of the great majority of the colonistswas the subject of an appeal to her Majesty and to the ImperialParliament for protection, the memorial to the Queen being signedby 2530 persons.

Eventually good came out of the apparent evil. The carrying ofsuch a question in opposition to the wishes of the large majorityraised at once the desire for a more popular system ofrepresentation, and zealous efforts were forthwith inaugurated tothis end.

Before the year closed the Governor, who had been the cause ofall the strife, had grown weary of his office, for which it musthave been obvious to himself, as it was to everybody else, thathe was unfit, and had appealed to the Home Government to relievehim of his responsibilities.

Notwithstanding the fact that the year 1846 was a year ofcontroversy and political discontent, in other respects it wasmarked by progress and prosperity. On the 14th of January, 1846,the announcement was made of Captain Sturt's return from theinterior, after an unsuccessful attempt to proceed beyondlatitude 24° 30' and longitude 138° to the north-west andlatitude 25° 45', longitude 139° 13' northwards. Both heand his party had suffered greatly from scurvy.

The arrival of the party at Adelaide was an event of deepinterest, especially to those who had witnessed its outfit andstart some eighteen months previously. The procession was asnovel as it was interesting—the long beards of the bravefellows almost hid their faces, and, on account of the exposureto which they had been subjected, they appeared more like a raceof beings from the regions into which they had penetrated thanEuropeans. The wheels of the drays were caulked and stopped upwith whatever materials could be spared to fill up gaps andcracks to keep them together; the woodwork of the drays showedthat every particle of oil and turpentine had been extracted bythe heat of the sun. But the most singular object of attractionwas the remainder of the flock of sheep following, from habit,the last of the drays, as quietly and regularly as a rear guardof infantry. As the expedition moved slowly up Rundle Street andKing William Street, the spectacle appeared too impressive andsuggestive to excite shouts or greetings, but many and heartywere the welcomes given when the party halted in VictoriaSquare.

In the early part of the year (1846) the Governor, accompaniedby his private secretary and Mr. Burr, deputy surveyor-general,proceeded in the Government cutter, which on this occasion wascommanded by Captain Lipson, R.N., harbour-master, for thepurpose of examining the bays on the south-east coast of thecolony, of which little was then known. The Governor reportedfavourably of Lacepede Bay and of Guichen Bay, at which atownship had been laid out and was about to be offered for sale.During his six weeks' trip, in which he traversed about fourhundred miles by land and as much by sea, he gained and impartedso much valuable scientific information, that towards the end ofthe year he was induced to take another trip, this time toSpencer's Gulf, to inspect the ports and inlets along the coast.On his return he officially reported the results of his visit,and in the course of his geological observations remarked that onthe western side of the head of Spencer's Gulf the hills were ofred sandstone, in strata nearly horizontal. "In other parts ofthe globe," he said, "coal is very frequently associated withthis formation." At Lipson's Cove he observed that the rocks seenwere gneiss and hornblende schist, nearly vertical and having ageneral course north and south. "This formation," he wrote, "is,in other countries, frequently rich in metallic ores." If MajorRobe could only have made known how rich and extensive, themineral deposits on Yorke's Peninsula were, he would have madehis name immortal. But the great discovery was not made untilfifteen years later.

The only other attempt at exploration this year was undertakenin July by Mr. J.A. Horrocks, who, with a small party and acamel, set forth to explore the then unknown country north-westof the ranges of Mount Arden. Progress was reported from time totime, but in September came the sad tidings that by theaccidental discharge of a gun Mr. Horrocks had been shot;mortification set in, and he died. The expedition, therefore,returned to Adelaide.

Wealth and prosperity, by the end of 1846, had now fairlytaken the place of previous depression. Agricultural operationshad been extensively increased, large land sales effected, vastmineral treasures developed, and trade and shipping considerablyaugmented. The result of this commercial revival was therecommencement of immigration.**

[** Four vessels arrived from England in one day,and 655 persons landed in one week.]

The new year (1847) opened auspiciously. Intelligence wasreceived that Lord John Russell had succeeded Lord Stanley asSecretary of State for the Colonies, and that one of the firstacts of the new Secretary had been to expunge the royalty clausefrom the imperial Waste Lands' Bill. In this direction,therefore, the horizon appeared clearer, but in another theclouds of religious dissensions were still gatheringblackness.

In April the Governor submitted to the Legislative Council thereports of the trustees, showing how the grants in aid ofreligion and education had been distributed. A discussion ensued,in the course of which the Governor said he considered the planadopted in New South Wales for the distribution of money in aidof religion and education was preferable to the one being carriedout in South Australia, the principle of the former being toassist voluntary efforts in the proportion of half or equal theamount so raised; and a few days later he laid before the Council"A Bill to promote the Building of Churches and Places of Worshipand to provide for the Maintenance of Ministers of Religion." Itproposed that whenever a sum of not less than £150 had beenraised by private contribution towards a church or chapel, agrant in aid should be allowed of any sum not exceeding theamount of the private contribution, provided that no grant shouldexceed the sum of £300. As regarded ministers' stipends,when one hundred persons residing within a reasonable distance ofa proposed place of worship subscribed to a declaration settingforth their desire to attend the same, the sum of £100 perannum would be granted towards the minister's stipend; when twohundred persons subscribed, the sum of £150 would begranted; and when five hundred subscribed, £200, which wasto be the maximum rate in aid of stipends. Various other scalesfor a lesser number than one hundred subscribers were introducedinto the Bill, together with elaborate clauses relating to theduties and obligations of trustees.

This Bill (which was designated by the Observer "alegislative curiosity") set the members of the League for theMaintenance of Religious Freedom to work in earnest, as itpreserved all the objectionable features of the one it wasintended to supersede and would infallibly perpetuate and augmentthe dissatisfaction, strife, and alienation caused by the formermeasure, more especially as this was framed on a model to suitthe exigencies of a penal settlement.

On the second reading of the Bill the advocate-generalundertook the defence of the measure, and a warm discussionfollowed. When the Council was in committee on the Bill manyamusing views were propounded and some curious theologicalarguments adduced. Thus, one member (Mr. Hagen) was of opinionthat the word "Christian" should precede "worship", and read"places of Christian worship". Major O'Halloran objected, on theground that all those who contributed should benefit, whetherChinese, Hindoos, or New Zealanders, and by the proposed titlethe Jews would be excluded; to which the Governor replied, "Heonly understood the Council was legislating for the Christianreligion—the Bill for the promotion of Mahommedanism wasnot yet before them!"

Meantime the League was busy in pulpit, press, and platform,all over the province, while Mr. George Fife Angas, to whom thepetition for aid in the mother country had been sent, was usingevery endeavour to bring the matter under the notice of membersof Parliament and others in Great Britain interested in thequestion. But, notwithstanding all this, the Bill was read athird time and was carried.

During the session of the Council an elaborate financialstatement was made, showing that the land sales had enabled theGovernor to appropriate the sum of £160,000 to immigrationpurposes, and that arrangements had been made for the despatchfrom England of one vessel per month. A large sum was alsoavailable for public works and buildings. In the matter ofeducation a Bill was introduced fixing the payment of teachers asfollows:—Minimum rate for twenty scholars, £26, andmaximum rate for fifty scholars and upwards, £50; for everyadvanced pupil, teachers should receive £1 per headadditional. A Board of Education was constituted to carry out theprovisions of the Bill.

On the 5th of October the Governor laid important despatcheson the table from the Secretary of State, relative to (1) theCorporation of the city of Adelaide, advising the Council tobring in a Bill to establish it, if the colonists thought fit;(2) the threatened combination of the Land League, which EarlGrey regretted, as if the price of land were kept down by thismeans the flow of immigration would be checked; and (3) anacknowledgment of the petition to the Queen against State supportto religion. It ran thus: "You will acquaint the petitioners thatI have not been able to advise the Queen to assent to therequest; on the contrary, it has been my duty humbly to submit toher Majesty my opinion that the course pursued by the localLegislature in applying some part of the local revenue towardsthe promotion of religion, knowledge, and education in the colonymerits her Majesty's entire approbation, and it is not in anyrespect at variance with the terms of the Act of Parliament underwhich the colony was originally founded. The Queen has beengraciously pleased to adopt and sanction that opinion."

A further despatch informed Major Robe that the Government hadacceded to his request by removing him from the civil to themilitary service, and that Sir H.E.F. Young had been appointed ashis successor in the government of the province. It soontranspired that Major Robe had been appointed to the rank oflieutenant-colonel in the army, and that his future work would bethat of deputy quartermaster-general at Mauritius.

On the 5th of October the Council was adjourned sinedie, but was called together again on the 9th of November toconsider an important despatch on the subject of steamcommunication with the mother country, proposals for theconveyance of mails having been received by the Secretary ofState from the Peninsular and Oriental Company and the Indian andAustralian Company.

(Video) History of Australia and New Zealand from 1696 to 1890 by George SUTHERLAND Part 1/2 | Audio Book

The estimated amount of postage charged upon letters andnewspapers conveyed between the United Kingdom and the Australiancolonies for the year ending October, 1847, was £14,79914s. 4d. Preference was given to the Cape route asbest for South Australia, and £3000 was agreed upon as theshare of that colony towards the subsidy.

It was thought that this would be the last session in whichMajor Robe would take part, but unforeseen circumstances arose todelay his departure, and when, on the 2nd of June, 1848, theLegislative Council was opened, he was ready with the annualestimates—a duty that he had little anticipated woulddevolve upon him again. During that long interval there had beena comparative cessation from strife; no startling episodes hadoccurred, the stream of prosperity had been gliding alongsmoothly, and the foundation and development of new enterpriseshad not been neglected.*

[* See "Chronological Summary of Events" at endof work].

Only one set of circumstances demands any detailed noticehere, as it bears upon the "great controversy" of that day and ofa greater one looming in the distance.

In religious circles in the mother country there was a greatrevival of zeal on behalf of the missionary and colonial work ofthe Church, and the Baroness (then Miss) Burdett-Coutts hadoffered an endowment of £800 a year each for the foundationof four colonial dioceses, that of Adelaide being among thenumber. The preferment to the latter see fell to the Rev.Augustus Short, D.D., who, with the three other bishops, wasconsecrated in Westminster Abbey on the 29th of June, 1847, theoccasion being one of unusual solemnity, the ceremony lastingover four hours. In December of that year Dr. Short arrived inAdelaide, and was formally inducted at Trinity Church, when herMajesty's letters patent were read, constituting South Australiaa diocese, and "appointing Dr. Short to be the bishop thereof,under the style and title of Lord Bishop of Adelaide."

He arrived in critical times, while the Church and State stormwas raging, and of course every step he took was watched witheager and jealous eyes. Before he had been long in Adelaide, thebishop, acting upon advice given to him before leaving England,and furnished with a formal land grant under the hand and seal ofthe Governor, proceeded to claim an acre of ground in VictoriaSquare as a site for a cathedral. But he had reckoned without hishost. The local authorities declared that the document wasultra vires, and legal proceedings were commenced. Foryears the case dragged its weary length along, and it was notuntil 1855 that the Supreme Court decreed that Dr. Short couldnot enforce his claim, it being held that, though the Governorcould grant waste lands, he could not interfere with the publicreserves, of which Victoria Square was one.

On the 2nd of August, 1848, Colonel Robe took leave of theLegislative Council, and in concluding his speech said, "Inrelinquishing the duties which have devolved upon me under theappointment of her Majesty, I look to my Sovereign alone for anyexpression of approbation."

This was highly characteristic of the man. As an officer inthe army he had learnt to obey orders to the letter, and expectedprompt and submissive obedience from those over whom he wasplaced in authority. But he had found that the free subjects of afree colony would not submit to be treated as subalterns in thearmy, and, this being the case, he had wisely altered his mannerand plans of procedure long before his removal from the colony.Although from his previous habits the position of Governor wasnot congenial, the knowledge and experience which length ofresidence gave him, both of the country and people, led him tobecome greatly attached to both, and his despatches for some timeprevious to his departure manifested the warm interest he took inthe rise and progress of South Australia.

With all his official faults he was a man of sterninflexibility of character, and of a high sense of duty; a masterin official routine, and a prince in hospitality.

Not a few, both in the colony and at home, would have liked tosee Colonel Gawler restored to the post from which he had been sohastily and ungenerously recalled. Mr. G. Fife Angas was one ofthese, and in a letter to Earl Grey, under date 2nd of June,1847, he says—

"If Major Robe is about to remove to the Mauritius, it wouldafford a gracious opportunity to restore Colonel Gawler to SouthAustralia. His noble and distinguished conduct there, by which helaid the foundation of its future prosperity under the judiciousgovernment of Governor Grey, has not been well understood in thiscountry, and thereby great injustice has been done to thatupright and sensible officer. He would be sure to meet with apopular reception, the more so were he to be the bearer of aConstitution founded on simple, practical, and liberalprinciples. . . .

"The colonists justly complain," added Mr. Angas, "of thefrequent change of their Governors as being very injurious. Nosooner does one become acquainted with the localities and thepeople, and they with him, and a cordial feeling has sprung up onboth sides, than he is removed—a system which, if pursuedin principle by a great mercantile house in the management of itsforeign establishments, would involve it in confusion andruin."

The wish for Colonel Gawler to be reinstated was notgratified, but in the successor to Major Robe the colonists foundan ideal Governor and a man after their own hearts.



AUGUST, 1848—DECEMBER, 1854.

Antecedents.—Suspension ofRoyalties on Minerals.—Irish Orphans.—A Policy ofProgress.—Municipal Corporation for Adelaide.—A NewConstitution.—Federation proposed and rejected.—The"Political Association."—Universal Suffrage and theBallot.—A Lost Constitution.—Elections to NewLegislative Council.—Statistics.—State Aid toReligion permanently abolished.—Education.—City andPort Railway Bill.—Pensions.—CalifornianGold.—Anti-Transportation League.—The VictorianGold-fields.—Exodus from South Australia.—State ofAdelaide and Suburbs.—A Drain on the Banks.—ProposedAssay of Gold into Stamped Ingots.—The BullionAct.—Government Assay Office opened.—Mr. Tolmer andthe Overland Gold Escort.—Exciting Adventures.—Goldat Echunga.—Increased Cost of Living.—Navigation ofthe Murray.—Captain Cadell.—The Governor explores theMurray.—The "Murray Hundreds."—Dreams that never cametrue.—A Parliament for South Australiaproposed.—Opinions on a Nominee Upper House.—A CivilList Bill.—Establishment of District Councils.—Roadsand Railways.—Defence of the Colony.—MilitaryArdour.

THE emigrant ship Forfarshire arrivedoff the lightship on the 1st of August, 1848, with Sir HenryEdward Fox Young and Lady Young on board. Unfortunately, throughinadvertence, no pilot was in readiness to board the ship, not aGovernment boat was at hand, nor a solitary head of anyGovernment department present to receive the new Governor. Onarriving at Government House there was, through anothernegligence, neither guard of honour to receive him, nor anymembers of the Executive to bid him welcome. It was a coldreception, but it was amply atoned for afterwards.

Sir Henry Edward Fox Young was the son of Colonel Sir AretasWilliam Young, and was born at Brabourne, near Ashford, Kent, onthe 23rd of April, 1810, being named after his godfather, GeneralEdward Henry Fox, brother of the Whig statesman, the celebratedrival of Pitt.

Sir Henry was educated at Dean's School, Bromley, Middlesex,and was intended for the Bar, but on quitting school he joinedhis father at Trinidad, and received an appointment in thecolonial treasury in that island. This, rapidly followed by othercolonial promotions, prevented him from being called to the Bar.At Demerara he served under Sir Benjamin D'Urban as aide-de-camp,and was then promoted to St. Lucia, where for a time he filledthe several offices of secretary, treasurer, and puisne judge ofthe Supreme Court of Justice. He was then transferred back againto Demerara, and later on, was appointed Lieutenant-Governor ofthe eastern districts of the Cape of Good Hope, whither, a fewweeks before, Sir Henry Pottinger had been despatched as Governorand High Commissioner for the settlement of Kaffraria. The KaffirWar was unexpectedly renewed a few weeks after his embarkationfrom England, and the Home Government, under the impression thata civil Lieutenant-Governor could not under these circumstancesbe required, removed Sir Henry Young to South Australia withoutwaiting for the report of Sir Henry Pottinger from the seat ofwar, whose despatches endeavoured to frustrate any intention toremove Sir Henry Young, and recommended that, notwithstanding thebreaking out of war, the services of the civilLieutenant-Governor should be continued, as his services had beenvery valuable at Grahamstown during the brief period (some eightmonths) in which he had remained in that position.

A fortnight before leaving England, Sir Henry married AugustaSophia, daughter of Mr. Charles Marryat, and niece of CaptainMarryat, R.N., the well-known novelist and author of the code ofsignals bearing his name.

The day after his arrival, Sir Henry Young was introduced tothe members of Council, and received an address of welcome andcongratulation from the colonists. In his reply he pointed outthat the sphere of official government was wisely limited, andthat the numerous methods of social advancement in all freecountries should derive their origin, maintenance, and progressfrom the energies and resources of private individuals. In thisconnection he spoke of the importance of diffusing scientificinformation applicable to agriculture, wool-growing, andsuch-like industries, more particularly calling attention to themining interests, which would be enhanced by the formation ofself-supporting voluntary associations to receive, record, andarrange any accounts and specimens transmitted to them of miningoperations, and thus preserve valuable facts that might otherwisebe lost to practical science. It was evident from the first that"progress" was the key-note of his administration.

On the 9th of August the Legislative Council assembled to hearand act upon a despatch from Lord Grey, calling attention to theinsufficient salary attached to the office of Governor, and"strongly recommending that an increase of £500 per annumshould be made to the salary of the present Lieutenant-Governor,raising it to £2000 per annum." A Bill was brought inaccordingly, which passed through its several stages on the 15thof August, and secured the much-needed addition.

The first public step of the new Governor was a bold andpolitic one. It was no less than a notification in the GovernmentGazette that, pending the further signification of herMajesty's pleasure, the imposition of royalties on mineral landswould be suspended, and not inserted in future land-grants. Thisgratifying information gave the most profound satisfaction, andSir Henry was overwhelmed with the thanks of the colonists.

The formal authorization of the step by the Secretary of Statewas not officially announced until July of the following year,and if, as is supposed, the relinquishment of the royalty dueswas taken on the Governor's own initiative, it was a step almostunprecedented in its boldness.

One of the early questions demanding his attention was aproposal from the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners,approved by the Secretary of State, to receive "certain classesof orphans of both sexes in Ireland, between the ages of fourteenand eighteen." The Commissioners and Lord Grey considered thatthese orphans, at that time maintained in Irish work-houses,would keep up the supply of labour required in the colony. Littledid the colonists imagine the extent to which the plan proposedwould be carried out, nor were they desirous that any immigrationof the kind should be confined to the Irish. But, as there wereno valid objections to urge, they assented, and a committee wasappointed for the protection and guardianship of the orphans. Thecommittee included Dr. Short, Bishop of Adelaide, Dr. Murphy,Roman Catholic Bishop, and representatives of the Nonconformistbodies. It was unfortunate that at about this time there was alarge addition to the population of the colony. In one week inDecember no fewer than 1131 persons arrived, about 600 of whomhad paid their own passages, the remainder being Governmentemigrants. To assist newly arrived immigrants and others inobtaining employment, the Colonial Labour Office was opened earlyin the following year (1849), under the direction of a committee,and was supported in the first instance by subscriptions, as nofees were charged for arranging engagements. It was found a greataccommodation to both employers and employed.

This rapid influx of immigrants was the beginning of what wasto be hereafter a source of considerable trouble. Owing to theunsuitable class of persons sent out, it soon became necessary tofind relief for the destitute poor, and a Board was appointed totake the matter up. The first shipload of Irish orphan girlsarrived in June, 1849. They were kindly received and accommodatedwith lodgings in the Native School location on the North ParkLands, and were visited by a committee of ladies who advised themas to their future.

When, in November, 1848, the Governor opened the LegislativeCouncil, hopes were entertained that he would have made someimportant revelation with regard to a new Constitution for thecolony, but instead he stated it to be merely his intention toforward certain Bills left undisposed of by his predecessor, andto introduce a Bill for the guardianship and apprenticeship oforphan immigrants. But he made a statement in which heforeshadowed his whole policy:—

"It only remains for me, on the first occasion of transactingordinary business with the Council," he said, "to give my sincereassurance that whether the lapse of time that may occur beforerepresentative institutions be conceded to South Australia belong or short, and my wish is that it may be but brief, I amcordially desirous, as far as my power extends, to join with thisCouncil as now constituted only in such legislation as shall bein unison with the general opinion of the colonists"—apolicy in direct opposition to that of his predecessor.

The real work of the Legislative Council under the newGovernor did not commence until the 4th of July, 1849. In openingthe Council the Governor read an elaborate minute of a verysatisfactory character, in which he announced the payment to theemigration fund of £56,746 from the Crown reserved moietyof the land fund, thus extinguishing a long-standing technicalclaim.

The estimated expenditure for the following year (1850) wasstated to be £108,555.

From the item of imports and exports it appeared that, for thefirst time since the foundation of the colony, the exportsexceeded the imports, the latter being valued at £471,556,and the former at £485,951 (including sixteen thousand tonsof ore).

In the early part of the previous year the citizens hadpetitioned for a resuscitation of the Corporation, and it wasanticipated that this would be the main business of the session.In introducing it the Governor said, "The Bill to constitute amunicipal Corporation for the city of Adelaide, and the Bill toprovide a general board for the care and maintenance of the linesof roads, with local election boards for the management of thedistrict or cross roads, are framed on so popular a basis as tobe fit precursors of that more general system of representativegovernment, the concession of which has been usually preceded bysome experience of the working of civic, or parochial, ordistrict municipalities."

Sir Henry Young, unlike his predecessor, knew exactly how tosecure popularity. From the date of his first public utteranceshe laid it down as a matter of duty as well as of inclination toadhere to that line of policy which should frame all legislationin unison with the deliberate opinion of the majority of thecolonists.

In concluding his speech on this occasion he reiterated thatpolicy, and added, "Let us, then, whose mission it is, as aLegislature, to nurse this infant community in its advancetowards the rank of a nation, so act for the permanent interestsof present and future time, that our successors shall not be ableto associate our proceedings with the origin of any short-sightedor illiberal measures. In this honourable and responsible aim itwill be my pride cordially to afford you my bestco-operation."

On the 24th of September the long-looked-for new Constitution,for the Australian colonies generally, arrived in theGrecian, and supplied plenty of work for the Legislatureand the public.

The Bill first provided for the separation of the district ofPort Phillip from the colony of New South Wales, and the boundaryof the new colony of Victoria. The Legislative Councils to beestablished in each colony were next determined. These bodieswere limited to twenty-four members, two-thirds of whom were tobe elected, and the remaining third nominated. Power was thengiven to make laws, to raise taxes and appropriate public money,and to establish district councils after the formation ofLegislative Councils. Further power was given to establish aGeneral Assembly for the Australian colonies; and, lastly, withthe assent of her Majesty in Council, to alter the constitutionof the respective Legislative Councils, if necessary.

The most important features of this Bill were, of course, thegrand federal idea set forth in the clauses for the establishmentand guidance of the General Assembly, and the power to alter theconstitution of the Legislative Councils. In regard to the latterthe Bill provided that it should be lawful for the Governor andLegislative Council of each colony, after the establishment ofthe Legislative Council stipulated for by the Bill, to alter fromtime to time, by any Act or Acts, "the provisions or laws forthe-time being in force under this Act, or otherwise concerningthe election of the elective members of such Legislative Councilsrespectively, the qualification of electors and elective members,and generally to vary in any manner not hereinbefore authorizedthe constitution of such Legislative Councils respectively, or toestablish in the said colonies respectively, instead of theLegislative Councils, a Council and a House of Representatives orother separate legislative houses, to consist respectively ofsuch members to be appointed or elected respectively by suchpersons and in such manner as by such Act or Acts shall bedetermined, and to vest in such Council and House ofRepresentatives or other separate legislative houses the powersand functions of the legislative Council for which the same maybe substituted, provided always that every Bill which shall bepassed by the Council in any of the said colonies, for any ofsuch purposes, shall be reserved for the signification of herMajesty's pleasure thereon; and a copy of such Bill shall be laidbefore both Houses of Parliament for the space of thirty days atthe least before her Majesty's pleasure thereon shall besignified."

We have given this prosy quotation in full, as it sets forthin exact terms the "case" on which, in the near future, tenthousand arguments were to be founded.

The clause providing for the establishment of the GeneralAssembly set forth that it should be lawful for theGovernor-General "to convene, at such time or times and at suchplace within any of the said colonies as such Governor-Generalshall from time to time think fit to appoint, a General Assemblyfor all the said colonies, to be called 'The General Assembly ofAustralia', which said General Assembly shall consist of suchGovernor-General and a House of Delegates, and such House ofDelegates shall consist of members to be elected by therespective Legislative Councils of the said colonies of New SouthWales, Victoria, Van Diemen's Land, and South Australia in theproportion following; that is to say, two members from each ofthe said colonies for every 15,000 inhabitants thereof, thenumber of the inhabitants being calculated according to lastauthentic enumeration at the date of the election, and suchmembers shall be elected and all laws to be made and enacted bysuch Assembly shall be made and enacted and the business of suchAssembly shall be conducted in such manner and form, and subjectto such rules and conditions, as her Majesty by Order in Councilshall direct, provided always that the first convocation of suchAssembly shall have received from the Legislative Councilsestablished under the said firstly recited Act of the sixth yearof her Majesty, or this Act, of two or more of the said colonies,addresses requesting such Governor-General to convene suchAssembly."

Other powers and provisions followed, which it is notnecessary to record here.

Long before the colonists were called upon to give expressionto their opinions on this federal scheme, Mr. G.F. Angas, in aletter to Earl Grey, of which the following is an extract, hadvery fairly represented their views:—

"2, Jeffrey's Square, St. Mary Axe, 4thof July, 1849.

"Time does not press with the federal government questionbecause the habits, disposition, social condition, andproductions of each colony are so diverse, the distances sogreat, and the means of conveyance so few and inconvenient, whilethe aggregate population is so small, that for twenty years tocome it will be quite impracticable to work out the scheme of aGeneral Assembly. Until the three or four young colonies becomemore advanced in population, wealth, and social progress, and getexperience in the working of their separate politicalinstitutions, it is not very improbable that the attempt to forma General Assembly would embroil the whole of them in discord anddissatisfaction with each other, and with the parent State. Thefour new colonies would be swamped by the two older penal ones,and, as public opinion at present exists, they could not agreeupon the locality and measures required by a GeneralAssembly."

The first to take action in the colony on the new Constitutionwas Mr. J. Morphett, who submitted to the Governor a series ofresolutions which were published in the GovernmentGazette, as the Council was not then sitting. Theseresolutions affirmed that "it is essential to the welfare of thiscolony that the Imperial Parliament should, in framing aConstitution for South Australia, adopt the principle ofmunicipal government, adhering, as far as the different ages ofthe two places would admit of it, to the form and system of theGovernment of Great Britain"; that is, a Governor and twochambers, one in the nature of an Upper Chamber with hereditarymembers nominated by her Majesty, and a Second Chamber to consistof members elected by the people.

These resolutions were added to and amended in a committee ofthe Legislative Council, and at the same time emphatic motionswere passed against the proposed federal scheme, on the groundthat it was inexpedient, inasmuch as there was a greatdissimilarity in the pursuits and interests of the severalprovinces, that the overwhelming preponderance the largerprovinces would have in the Assembly would be greatly injuriousto the lesser, and that there was no point, so far as could beseen, upon which benefit would accrue to any of the provinces bythe establishment of such an Assembly.

Out of doors the views of the colonists took this form. Theywere grateful to Earl Grey, Mr. Hawes, Lord John Russell, Mr.Labouchere, and the members of the House of Commons who hadbrought in the Bill, and so far as the concession of arepresentative government for South Australia was concerned theyhailed it as a wise, liberal, and comprehensive measure. But theydrew the line there, and protested vigorously against a GeneralAssembly of the Australian colonies, or a federal union, asunconstitutional and endangering colonial independence, andmaintained that, as they were prepared to bear the whole expensesof their civil government, they had a constitutional right toregulate, by means of their representatives in council, the modeof raising and appropriating the colonial revenue, free from allcontrol of her Majesty's Treasury.

The discussions on the formation of a Constitution were variedby lengthy debates on roads and road-making, as a Road Billpassed through the Legislature at this time, and a Central Boardwas appointed for carrying it into effect. We shall not, however,concern ourselves with details of the ordinary course oflegislation in this place, but proceed to tell the whole story ofthe new Constitution.

The rule of Sir Henry Young was an era of progression.Settlers were now more or less settled—prosperity had setin—and the colonists, losing sight of their own immediateand personal interests, were now directing their attention morethan they had ever done before to the good of the colony as awhole, and to the duty of "making a nation". They could not havehad a better leader than Sir Henry Young—a man of broadmind, liberal views, great intellectual capacity, and withal athorough friend to free institutions.

The somewhat unpopular rule of his predecessor, Major Robe,had not been an unmitigated evil. It aroused in the colonists adetermination to stand together and fight for their politicalrights, and it awakened, even in the most indifferent, a spiritof sturdy independence. The times were ripe for action, and withthe Hour came the Man.

Ideas were developing apace. As the time drew near to electrepresentative members for the new Legislative Council, theadvocates of popular, or democratic, principles strained everynerve to obtain as large an infusion as possible into the newbody of the element they considered most essential to their ownwelfare. An "Elective Franchise Association" was formed, withthis astounding platform—universal suffrage, vote byballot, annual elections, no property qualification forrepresentatives, and no nominee members! Later on in the year the"South Australian Political Association" was formed, and in ashort time it had branches in various parts of the colony, itsprogramme being mainly the advocacy of universal suffrage and theballot. The formation of the association marked an epoch in thepolitical history of the colony. From the first it excited apowerful influence, which increased as the years went on, andmany elections in some of the most important constituencies weredecided by its action, the conservative element being threatened,if not with extinction, at least with paralysis of its power.

The year 1851 opened with active preparations for popularrepresentative government, and the Ascendant, the vesselthat was to bring out the new Constitution, was awaited withfeverish anxiety. A curious story attaches to this episode. Inthat same vessel Mr. George Fife Angas, one of the fathers andfounders of the colony, and the originator of the SouthAustralian Company, left England to take up his residence on hislarge estates in the Barossa District. It had been an ambition ofhis to be the personal bearer to the colony of the official copyof the New Constitution Act, and application was made to theColonial Office to this end; but it was found to be contrary toprecedent and red-tape triumphed, the important document beingsent from the Colonial Office in charge of a clerk, who wasinstructed to take it on board the Ascendant and deliverit into the hands of the captain. But he had gone ashore, and asthe ship was on the point of sailing, the clerk, either throughnegligence or from not understanding the importance of the paperswith which he was entrusted, gave the package to a steward, who,being very busy, thrust it into the nearest place of safety. Theship sailed, and if the captain gave a thought to the matter atall, he merely supposed that there had been some delay or fresharrangements had been made. On arrival in Adelaide, the properauthorities came on board to demand their Constitution andreceive it with due honour, for advices from England had informedthem that it would arrive in the Ascendant. The captain,of course, protested that he had seen nothing of it, and therewas a great hue and cry for the lost Constitution, until one dayshortly after, in turning out the captain's soiled linen for thelaundress, it was found, to the great amusement of every one, atthe bottom of the bag, where the steward had hurriedly placed itfor security! **

[** Quoted in "Life of George Fife Angas."]

The "Act for the Better Government of her Majesty's AustralianColonies" was received with elaborate explanatory despatches,followed, a short time afterwards, by an announcement of theappointment by her Majesty of Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy,knight, to be Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of SouthAustralia, and of Sir Henry Young to be Lieutenant-Governor, atitle he had held throughout, but which was now to be held upon adifferent tenure. It will be remembered that it was assumed byMajor Robe for prudential reasons, namely, to prevent hispredecessor, Captain Grey, from becoming liable for any of hisdishonoured bills; now it was to be held in prospect of thefederal scheme which had been propounded. As, however, theAustralian colonies were not ripe for this movement, no furthersteps were taken, and Sir Charles Fitzroy never attempted toexercise any control over his lieutenant or over the colony.

A Gazette Extraordinary was issued proclaiming the newConstitution, and immediately afterwards the first candidate forlegislative honours (Mr. F.S. Dutton) entered the field, followedby several other leading and influential men. Meanwhile theCouncil was called together, and the "Bill to establish theLegislative Council of South Australia, and to provide for theElection of Members to serve in the same," was passed on the 21stof February. The new Legislative Council was to be composed oftwenty-four members instead of eight as heretofore, of whom eightwere to be nominated by the Crown, and sixteen members were to beelected by electoral bodies. And this, it was hinted, was by nomeans a final measure of reform.

In the course of his valedictory address to the old Council,the Governor said:—

"As there is no probability of this Council being againassembled, I cannot refrain from making one observation before weseparate. Your successors, gentlemen, will have a field ofuniversal extent and of universal responsibility, . . . yet thecolonial annals cannot fail to record that the prosperity which,with the continuance of the Divine blessing, it may be the happyprivilege of a new legislation to preserve, to develop, and toaugment, took its rise and acquired a character of stabilityunder the sway of the present Council. This is a distinction anda satisfaction of which you can never be deprived.

"It is permanently useful, too, as affording an incentive toyour successors to take care that the public resources receive attheir hands, not only no detriment, but universalproductiveness."

Up to the time of the elections the Political Association, theBallot Association, and the League for the Maintenance ofReligious Freedom displayed great activity, holding meetings invarious parts of the colony, with a view to securerepresentatives favourable to their claims. Without doubt, thesesocieties exercised a considerable influence on the elections. Acommittee was formed, by whom the following questions wereprepared and submitted to every candidate:—

1. "Are you in favour of, and would you vote for, the adoptionof the ballot at elections?"

2. "Are you in favour of State grants for the support ofreligion, or would you strenuously oppose such a measure?"

3. "In the event of your being returned as our representative,how far would you extend the suffrage?"

4 "Would you use your utmost endeavours to obtain theconstitution of an Assembly strictly representative, as opposedto nomination?"

5. "As to the duration of Legislative Councils, would youlimit them to three years, or what are your views on thishead?"

These questions were the means of eliciting considerableinformation from the candidates to whom they were addressed,placed the constituencies in a good position as to their men, andregulated mainly their course of action.

The League, in a large measure, acted independently, directingthe full force of its energy to securing candidates pledged tooppose, tooth and nail, any State grant in aid of religion. Somerecent events in Church circles had been favourable to theleaguers. While the lawsuit with regard to the site of thecathedral was still pending, popular feeling was further excitedin consequence of the bishop having met the other colonialprelates and attached his signature to a minute affirming thedoctrine of baptismal regeneration, which the Bishop of Melbournehad refused to sign. A great public demonstration by members ofthe Church of England followed, when the course pursued by BishopShort was almost unanimously condemned in the strongest language.Before the storm had died away, the elections came on, andcapital was made out of the conduct of the Bishop.

After innumerable meetings in nearly every part of the colony,the elections began on the 2nd of July, when the most profoundinterest in the proceedings was displayed, eager crowds throngingthe gaily decorated polling booths, while more active partisansparaded the streets with banners, trumpets, and shawms.

To show how successful the League had been in these elections,it may be stated that, out of sixteen districts, only fourcandidates were returned favourable to Government support toreligion.

The question next in importance was, of course, with regard tothe Constitution to be framed by the new Council, or, at anyrate, to be initiated by it.

When, on the 28th of August, the new Council * met in the newCourt House in Victoria Square, an eager throng of spectatorscrowded the approaches, to witness as much as possible of theinauguration of the new Legislature.

[* The following were the first members electedfor the new Council:—

East Adelaide....Mr. F.S. Dutton.
West Adelaide....Mr. A.L. Elder.
North Adelaide....Mr. J.B. Neales.
Yatala....Mr. R.D. Hanson.
East Torrens....Mr. G.M. Waterhouse.
West Torrens....Mr. C.S. Hare.
Port Adelaide....Captain Hall.
Mount Barker....Mr. J. Baker.
Hindmarsh....Mr. R. Davenport.
Noarlunga....Mr. W. Peacock.
Barossa....Mr. G.F. Angas.
Victoria....Captain John Hart.
Light....Captain C.H. Bagot.
Stanley and Gawler....Mr. Younghusband.
Kooringa....Mr. G.S. Kingston.
Flinders....Mr. J. Ellis.

The eight gentlemen nominated by the Governor tooccupy seats in the new Legislative Council were:—

Mr. Charles Sturt....Colonial Secretary.
Mr. T.B. Finniss....Registrar-General.
Mr. R.D. Hanson....Advocate-General.
Mr. R.R. Torrens....Collector of Customs.

The non-official nominees were:—

Mr. John Morphett.Mr. E.C. Gwynne.
Mr. J. Grainger.Major Norman Campbell.

It was confessedly only an experiment, and the ImperialGovernment, in its wisdom, had placed in the hands of the membersthe power of introducing such modifications as might benecessary, although, as the Governor in his opening addressobserved, it was desirable that such a trial of the presentConstitution should be given as would show that any modificationsto be proposed hereafter should be to remedy "provedinconveniences and not merely theoretical requirements."

The Governor was able to report to the new Council that thegeneral condition of the colony was in all respects satisfactory.The population was 63,700, exclusive of 3730 aborigines. Theexcess of immigration over emigration during the year was 6137.The imports were in value £887,423, or about £1318s. per head; the exports, £571,348, or more than£8 19s. per head. There were 102 places of worshipin the colony, and 115 schools; 174,000 acres of land wereinclosed, and 15,000 square miles of Crown land occupied bysquatters and depastured by sheep and cattle. The export of woolwas 3,289,232 lbs., and the export of copper metal 44,594 cwt.,and of copper ore 8784 tons. The sum of £140,000 was namedin the estimates as the amount required for public works. Draftsof various laws were laid before the members, priority beinggiven to the question of the continuance of aid from the publictreasury to the erection of Christian churches and to the supportof Christian ministers, the enactment for it having terminated onthe previous 31st of March, after a three years' trial.

An Education Bill, as well as measures for giving enlargedpowers to district boards, was also in the programme for thesession, whose subsequent meetings, by the way, were held in theCouncil Chamber on North Terrace.

On the 29th of August the hour arrived for which the largemajority of colonists had anxiously waited for more than threeyears—that is to say, ever since the date of the ill-judgedaction of Major Robe—when Mr. Gwynne rose to move the firstreading of a Bill to continue "an Ordinance to promote theBuilding of Churches and Chapels for Christian Worship, and toprovide for the Maintenance of Ministers of the ChristianReligion." This was the signal for the great battle of thesession to commence; but the opponents of the grant weredetermined to make the contest as brief and decisive as possible,and moved, as an amendment to its first reading, that "it be readthat day six months."

This was carried by a majority of three, there being thirteenfor the amendment and ten against it, the votes of all themembers, with one exception, having been recorded on thisimportant question. The arguments of the victorious party werebriefly these:—

That all mankind have a natural and indefeasible right toworship Almighty God according to the dictates of their ownconsciences, and no man can, of right, be compelled to attend,erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain anyministry against his consent; that no human authority can, in anycase whatever, control or interfere with the rights ofconscience; that no preference shall ever be given by law to anyreligious establishment or modes of worship; that no part of therevenue from the colony of South Australia, from whatever sourceit may arise, and that no part of the land and emigration funds,can be made applicable to the support of ministers or teachers ofany religion or to the erection or repairing of any place ofworship.

To supply the place of the Government stipends, it wasnecessary that some new machinery should be invented, and to thisend the Bishop addressed a minute to the Church Society. In replyhe received a report projecting and recommending a constitutionfor the Church, to consist of a diocesan assembly, composedpartly of clergymen and partly of lay representatives chosen bythe various Churches. This plan was adopted, but it was foundalmost as difficult to frame a constitution for the Church as theLegislature found it to be for the colony. When at length itwas framed, the next aim of the Bishop was to obtain forit the force of law; but in this he signally failed, and thewhole project fell through, notwithstanding the fact that a freshnewspaper, the Adelaide Morning Chronicle, was called intoexistence to advocate the claims of the friends of State aid toreligion.

So decisive was the blow struck in that ever-to-be-rememberedCouncil of 1851, that no attempt has again been made to introduceinto the colonial Parliament the question of State aid toreligion, and through the long years that have passed it has beenfound that the voluntary principle then adopted was best suitedto the genius of the people. Amazing efforts were made by alldenominations to supply the religious wants of their respectivecommunities; the colony became remarkable for the number of itsplaces of worship in proportion to the population; the Church ofEngland, which, of all other Churches, deprecated the voluntaryprinciple, found, on giving it a fair trial, that sufficientfunds could be raised from private sources to build theirchurches and pay their ministers.

With the discontinuance of the Government grant in aid ofreligion came a measure for the promotion of education, providingfor stipends to teachers, assistance in the erection ofschool-houses, and other regulations, the whole of which were tobe under the control and management of a Board of Education.

One clause of the Bill provided that no minister of religionshould be a member of this Board—a clause of which theGovernor so highly disapproved that he sent a message to theCouncil urging that it should be rescinded. This interference theCouncil resented, and carried the Bill as previously passed by amajority of six.

Soon after this Education Bill was passed, the SouthAustralian Preceptors' Association was formed, its object beingto elevate the standard of education by the improvement of theeducator, and to obtain a higher social grade for the teacher, sothat the scholastic profession should have as recognized aposition as the clerical, legal, and medical professions.

This first session of the Legislative Council under the newConstitution was perhaps the most important in the history of thecolony, as it set at rest for ever the question of Church andState, and it inaugurated a system of public education which,with necessary modifications to suit the exigencies of the times,has continued almost to the present day. Among the less importantitems of the session were the City and Port Railway Bill, whichwas passed on the 25th of September; and the offering of apremium for any steamer or sailing vessel landing mails andpassengers within sixty-seven days from Britain = £250 iflanded at Nepean Bay, and £400 if landed at Port Adelaide;the total amount not to exceed £5000 in any one year.

An important discussion also took place on the question ofannuities or pensions to Government officials. In consequence ofCaptain Sturt, the great explorer, who was also the colonialsecretary, wishing to retire from public life, it was moved thata sum should be placed on the estimates as a suitable testimonialfor the important services he had rendered by the discovery ofthe colony, and to provide for his comfortable retirement frompublic life.

Mr. G.F. Angas moved an amendment to the effect that a Bill beintroduced "for the purpose of granting an annuity for life tothe Hon. Captain Sturt, and that the proposed Bill have a clauseinserted in it declaring that it is not to be considered as aprecedent for retiring pensions to official persons in SouthAustralia"—a system, said Mr. Angas, "servile in itself andcalculated to induce improvidence." The amendment was carried bya majority of ten to six, and eventually the sum of £600per annum was secured to the gallant captain—an act ofliberality honourable to the colony, and bestowed upon one wellworthy of such a token of regard.

While these things were going on in the Legislature there werematters out of doors which threatened mischief. The winter hadbeen long and inclement; great distress existed among the workingclasses; the prices of provisions were unusually high, and fewpublic works were in hand, the estimates having been longdelayed. Moreover events were pending unprecedented in theworld's history, and destined to affect the whole future of theAustralian colonies.

In 1849 an emigration of the male adult population had beenthreatened, when the news arrived of gold being discovered inlarge quantities in California; but the first vessel laid on atAdelaide (the Mazeppa) only took about twenty passengers.The exodus was renewed in January, 1850, when two ships clearedout for California, followed by others in February and March, andconveying five hundred and seventy passengers in all. Happilythese departures relieved the colony of many who could well bespared. From all the Australian colonies large numbers ofdoubtful characters were drained off to the Californian diggings,and this led the people of Van Diemen's Land to seize theopportunity and take steps to enlist the sympathies of theAustralian colonies generally to save them from the furthertransportation of felons to their shores. An Anti-TransportationLeague was established in Tasmania, and South Australia, with NewSouth Wales and Victoria, were invited to join and co-operate.The South Australians were quite ready and willing to do this,and at once sent some of their picked men to represent them inthe League.

This League may be regarded as the first great federal actionof the colonies named. One other colony, Western Australia, notonly held aloof, but, while the four other colonies were strivingto be relieved from the galling burden of convictism, she hadservilely petitioned for the yoke, and the first shipload hadbeen actually landed on her shores in answer to her prayers. InSeptember, 1851, the delegates from the "Australian Conferencefor the Discontinuance of Transportation" arrived in Adelaide. Acrowded meeting was held for their reception, and the colonistspledged themselves not to employ any persons thenceforth whomight arrive in the province under sentence of transportation forcrime committed in Europe; to prevent by all lawful means theestablishment of English prisons or penal settlements; not onlyto refuse assent to any projects to facilitate the administrationof such penal settlements, but to seek the repeal of allregulations and establishments for the purpose; and, finally, tosupport by countenance, advice, and money, all who might sufferin the promotion of this cause.

The feeling had become strong and fairly general that thetotal cessation of transportation to the colonies was essentialto their honour, happiness, and prosperity, and that to securethis desideratum it was necessary that the Australian coloniesshould join in one great confederation to obtain deliverance fromthis curse of civilization, and, as we shall see, it was not longbefore this great end was practically obtained. Of course, havingtaken this important step. South Australia could not with anyshow of consistency continue to transport its own felons to VanDiemen's Land, and a measure was therefore adopted for theemployment of convicts within the province, who should henceforthbe sentenced to hard labour instead of "transportation beyond theseas". This led to the establishment of a stockade at Cox'sCreek, and, subsequently, of the Labour Prison at the DryCreek.

While these matters were going on, while excitement wasrunning high on the questions brought forward in the newLegislative Council, already chronicled in this chapter, newsreached the colony of the increasing richness of the golddiscoveries in New South Wales, and of the still greater yield ofthe more recently found gold-fields in Victoria. At once therewas a stampede of such working men in South Australia as couldraise sufficient money for their passage and outfit, and theyleft for Victoria, at first by fifties, then by hundreds, and atlast by thousands.

Soon after the exodus commenced, Mr. J.M. Solomon advocatedfollowing the example of Victoria and offering a reward for thediscovery of a workable and paying gold-field in South Australia,and £300 was guaranteed by private subscription; while theLegislative Council not only determined to permit licences to beissued for the search for gold on unsold waste lands, and also toappropriate a sum of money for a geological survey of the colony,but offered £1000 for the discovery of a gold-field in thecolony, the produce of which in two months should amount to£10,000. To this there was a poor response—a bird inthe hand, like the Victoria fields, was considered to be betterthan half a dozen in the bush—and the exodus continued. "Itis perhaps no exaggeration to say," said the report of theChamber of Commerce for 1851, "that at least 15,000 to 20,000individuals left South Australia during the prevalence of thegold mania," and this included the greater part of the mostuseful labourers, involving a cessation of almost all industrialproduction.

On the 27th of November a notice appeared in the AdelaideTimes, stating that after the next issue it would bepublished weekly instead of daily, "in consequence of the fallingoff of business and the departures for the diggings." One by onethe other papers were stopped, until the Register,Observer, Times, and Morning Chronicle wereleft the sole representatives of the press.

In 1852 came a crisis in the history of the colony. Anabundant harvest had been gathered in with some difficulty, owingto the scarcity of labour; and hundreds of gold-diggers hadreturned with their rich gains and findings. But, with a surfeitof wealth, it could not be put into circulation. The banks hadbeen drained of coin by the numbers who had left the colony, andwith the absorption of a medium of circulation there came astagnation of trade, and with it the discharge of nearly allthose employed who had not voluntarily left their occupations andpursuits to proceed to the diggings. It thus happened that therewas not in many instances sufficient business to occupy the timeof even the former employer of labour, and one after anothershops were closed, business suspended, and they too followed inthe general wake and went to the gold-fields. Shepherds lefttheir flocks in the sheep-yards; stockmen deserted thecattle-stations; farm labourers abandoned their teams andploughs; dairy cows were left to run untended in the bush, andservants of all classes left their employers. The hands employedat the Burra-Burra mines were reduced from 1042 to 366, andsubsequently to 100 Pumping engines were stopped, and dry levelsonly worked.

Rapidly and extraordinarily the contagion spread. In one weekin January, 1852, no fewer than thirteen Government officers, andagain in one week in February seventeen others, sent in theirresignations. So many persons were leaving the colony in debtthat a Bill was hastily passed to obtain summary payment of smalldebts, but it was rendered almost nugatory by the discharge ofofficers from the local court.

A great part of the police force resigned, and those who wereleft were in a state of disorganization, so that grave fears wereentertained that in distant and unprotected stations the nativeswould commit depredations and otherwise become troublesome. Forthe city no fears were felt, as the thieves and bad charactersgenerally had made their way to the diggings, a more lucrativefield for their operations.

But for the intervention of the Chamber of Commerce, many ofthe letter-carriers would have been dismissed, at a time, too,when the business of the post-office was largely increased by thenumber of letters passing between the absentees and theirfamilies. Several of the minor departments were left without anyclerical assistance whatever. The Labour Office was removed tothe Port, as if ready to take its departure with those for whoseuse it was established. The relieving officer and health officerwere discharged. The Destitute Board, finding that the asylum waslikely to be filled to overflowing with deserted wives andfamilies, advertised that such as were left behind by men who hadproceeded to the diggings would not be supported. The citysurveyor, the inspector of weights and measures, and many otherswere under notice that their services would probably soon bedispensed with.

The city and suburbs presented a most desolate and forsakenappearance. Some fifty or sixty shops were closed in HindleyStreet and Rundle Street alone.** Many private houses weredeserted in consequence of the occupants having left the colony,or, in a great number of cases, because they had joined someother family, left without its male members, for company andprotection. Sixty women and several families were thrown upon theasylum despite the notice of the Destitute Board. The Port wasleft with only one water-carrier, and Thebarton with only oneman!

[** On one of these deserted houses the followingfacetious notice was posted up for the information of thetax-gatherer: "Mr. Collector, gone to the diggings, hope to payyou when I return."]

The great difficulty, putting all others in the shade, was,however, the want of cash. It was calculated that "each man musthave taken with him on an average ten pounds in specie, to payhis travelling expenses and provide the necessaries of life untilhis labour at the diggings should be productive. This amounted toa drain of gold sovereigns from the bank vaults. Every bank-notein the possession of the intending emigrant would be convertedinto coin, as the only circulating medium on which he could relyover the border. Taking the lowest estimate of fifteen thousandemigrants, this would imply a drain on the banks of£150,000. Such a drain as this involved the necessity onthe part of the banks of restricting their note circulation, andof diminishing their discounts of commercial bills, which had theeffect of paralyzing trade, and left the already glutted marketswithout purchasers for their commodities." ***

[*** Finniss's "Constitutional History of SouthAustralia", p. 71.]

Several plans were proposed, such as allowing the banks anextended circulation; the issue of Government notes having twelvemonths' currency; the transmission of gold to England forconversion into sovereigns, and the assay of gold in thecolony.

The Governor was memorialized to establish the latter, but hedeclined to do so, and urged a forbearance of creditors todebtors as the best remedy for the evil. The managers of theSouth Australian Company adopted the plan of taking wheat forrent, and some few tradesmen took gold-dust for goods, although,if this system of barter had become universal, the ruin of thecolony, at least for a time, would have been inevitable. As itwas, large numbers were continuing to leave the colony, who wouldhave remained if there had been trade and employment inproportion to the gold lying useless.

It cannot be denied that the attractions of the gold-fieldswere very great, the news from Forest Creek being to the effectthat five Adelaide men had procured no less than 250 lbs. weightof gold, which, at 60s. per ounce (the price then given inAdelaide), was worth about £9000. On receipt of this newsthirteen out of the twenty-two vessels in harbour were laid onfor Melbourne.

A letter from a well-known colonist,* written about this time,gives a graphic picture of the state of affairs:—

[* Mrs. Evans, of Evandale, daughter of Mr.George Fife Angas.]

"February 25th, 1852.

"What changes have taken place in this colony since Christmas!The discovery of gold has turned our little world upside down;thousands have left the settlement for the diggings. . . . InAdelaide windows are bricked up, and outside is written, 'Gone tothe diggings.' Vessels are crowded with passengers to Melbourne,and the road to the Port is like a fair—ministers,shopkeepers, policemen, masons, carpenters, clerks, councillors,labourers, farmers, doctors, lawyers, boys, and even some women,have gone either by sea or land to try their fortunes at thediggings. . . . Somewhere about £16,000 worth of gold hasin less than two weeks found its way here. Many have doneuncommonly well, earning £200 perhaps, or more, in a week,while some have not earned enough to pay for their food. . . . Itis quite ludicrous to see how these labourers spend their gold.One man bought six silk dresses and six bonnets for his'missus.'"

Early in the year (1852) one or two far-seeing men, foremostamong whom was Mr. George Tinline, manager of the Bank of SouthAustralia, became convinced that the assay of gold into stampedingots of a fixed value was the only immediate and effectual wayout of the financial difficulty. Again the Governor wasmemorialized by the Chamber of Commerce, and also by themerchants and traders of Port Adelaide, on the subject.

Long, elaborate and ingenious replies were returned, arguingthe position but declining to entertain the proposition. Thefollowing, read in the light of subsequent events, is anextremely interesting specimen. The Governor directed thecolonial secretary to—"Acknowledge the receipt of thememorial urging the local Government to receive, assay, and coin,that is, stamp gold, as a measure calculated to relieve thedepression of the mercantile and trading community. Say that thedepression under which the colony is labouring is not owing to aninsufficient circulating medium, or to a want of bankingaccommodation. Remotely the depression is owing to credit havingbeen obtained far beyond the value of the article on which thatcredit was given. More immediately the depression is owing to agreat diminution or total cessation of the demand for property ormerchandise of any kind resulting from the migration of thepopulation to the gold diggings. Assaying and stamping gold wouldput the metal in a convenient and desirable shape for themerchants to purchase, and the banks to advance upon, but itwould not relieve the commercial pressure. The discoverer of goldis no more entitled to claim a mint, or an assay office to give acirculating fixed value to his gold, than the wool-producer candemand a manufactory for his raw produce. To give a fixed andcirculating value to gold-dust would make money more plentiful,but investments of money would not be made here in the absence ofpopulation, or during a drain of it from the colony. Thegold-dust to which additional value is proposed to be given byaffixing to it the character of a circulating medium, wouldcirculate back again for re-investment in gold-dust, to be againraised in value by the assay office in Adelaide, during the shortperiod in which, under these circumstances, an assay office inthe adjacent colonies should be non-existent. Whilst thisadditional value was received by gold-dust, and the trade in itconsequently increased, all other kinds of property would stillremain unattractive as investments; for, in the absence ofpopulation, or during the drain of it from the colony, otherinvestments would yield no current income or profit. In short, ifeven sovereigns, instead of gold-dust, were extracted from thebowels of the earth of the adjacent colonies, these coins wouldnot be invested in South Australia, because they could be moreprofitably invested where the capital would be more productivethan it is at present in this colony, owing to the drain of thepopulation and the consequent stagnation of all industrialpursuits. Capital would follow labour. Under presentcircumstances, gold brought here is brought by mistake, and mustinevitably go back again. The amount of the currency is fixed orregulated, not by legislative enactments, but by the natural lawor course of business. In a colony in which trade is conductedupon an extensive system of credit, every temporary diminution ofcapital or wealth has the effect of lessening or annihilating thedemand for, and the consequent value of property, and must beinevitably followed by a proportionate extent of temporary loss.The banks have it not in their power to deal with anything morethan the temporarily diminished capital of the community. Nosupport which they can attempt to afford to the trade in goldwill prevent individual members of the community fromparticipating in the loss which the colony at large has sufferedby the migration of the population and the temporary stagnationof trade."

Excellent as, in many respects, the arguments of the Governorwere, he was wise enough to know that the opinions of men betterversed than himself in practical business might be more valuablethan his own, and he never at any time put himself in directantagonism to such opinions. Immediately on receipt of thecommunication we have quoted above, the Chamber of Commerce againurged the absolute importance of immediate steps being taken tomeet the crisis which threatened the doom of the colony. Thearguments used were so conclusive, the scheme for carrying outthe proposal so well digested, that a special session of theLegislative Council was summoned to meet at an early date, "inorder to the enactment of such a measure as may be bestcalculated to meet the present emergency."

On the 28th of January the Council met to discuss a Bill toenable the banks, temporarily, in addition to the notes issued bythem and then in circulation within the province, to issue notesin exchange for, or to the amount of, any gold bullion purchasedor acquired by the banks, at a fixed rate; to enable persons todemand from the banks notes in exchange for bullion at a fixedvalue; and to make the notes of the banks a legal tender, exceptat the banks, so long as the notes were paid on demand in specieor in bullion. The Bill further provided for the establishment ofan assay office, in order, on payment of the cost of assay, tofacilitate to the banks and other buyers and sellers of bullion,the ascertaining of the weight and fineness of bullion sent themfor assay, and to constitute such assayed gold, when stamped, alegal tender.

It was remarkable that the Governor, who had shown so muchshrewdness and capacity on almost every other matter broughtbefore him for the good of the colony, was still opposed to thissomewhat daring scheme, and in his address to the Council hestated:—

"The banking, commercial, trading:, and other moneyed classesof the community, and also my official advisers in Council,concur in the utility of the specific measure now introduced.Whilst my unaltered views, as already published in replies to thememorials that have been presented to me, do not coincide withthe common expectations that legislation can be made, or willprove, a means of speedy and general relief to the existingdepression, my judgment is nevertheless entirely satisfied thatthe present measure is alike safe and innocuous, and confers onthe colonists of South Australia only an approximation to theadvantages, as regards the possession of bullion, which holdersof that commodity would obtain on application at the BritishMint."

After the address the Council at once proceeded to the soleand important business of the special session, and the BullionBill was read a first, second, and third time, passed, andassented to, on the same day!

Of course in assenting to this Bill the Governor took uponhimself an enormous responsibility, and ran the chance of animmediate recall, but he was not the first Governor who hadexercised discretionary power at a critical time, and, as weshall see, his action met with the warm approval of the HomeGovernment.

"The responsibility assumed by Sir Henry Young, in assentingto the Act," says Mr. Anthony Forster,** "was far greater thanthat assumed by Colonel Gawler in drawing upon the Lords of theTreasury, for it subverted the currency laws of the Empire, andwas clearly repugnant to Imperial statutes. To make it obligatoryupon the subjects of her Majesty to accept, as money, gold whichdid not bear the Imperial effigy; and, worse still, to obligethem to receive, as equal in value to the Queen's sterlingsovereigns, the promissory notes of any or of all the banks ofthe colony, was such an interference with the circulating mediumas had seldom before been attempted."

[** "South Australia: its Progress andProsperity." London: 1866.]

The Government Assay Office was opened on the 10th ofFebruary, and Mr. B.H. Babbage (son of Mr. Babbage, thecelebrated inventor of the calculating machine), and Dr. Davywere appointed Government assayer and assistant assayerrespectively. Success set in at once. On the first day of openingthe office, gold to the value of upwards of £10,000 wasdeposited by twenty-nine persons, and day after day it continuedto pour in to an extent beyond the most sanguine expectations, sothat premises had to be enlarged almost at once, and the staffincreased.

No doubt the inducements held out to depositors of gold-dustwere great, the value given to the ingots and proportionately tocrude gold being far in excess of the ruling price in Melbourne,where, at the time of passing the Bullion Act, it was from58s. to 60s. per ounce, whereas the standard valueof assayed gold fixed by the Act in South Australia was72s. This price, of course, became the great attraction toowners and traders to bring their gold-dust or nuggets to SouthAustralia, while the high price there fixed—in comparisonwith the Melbourne quotations—still left a sufficientmargin of profit to make the traffic in gold a profitable trade.Almost everybody dabbled in it, and a walk through the streets ofAdelaide left the impression that the city was transformed intoEl Dorado, shop windows being placarded all along the line ofstreets, "Gold bought", "Cash for gold", "Advances on gold","Highest price given for gold", and so forth.

Shortly after the passing of the Bullion Act and the openingof the Assay Office, large quantities of gold began to arrive byvessels from Melbourne, one bringing £11,000 worth, andanother £25,000 worth. These importations were not so muchthe property of the South Australian diggers as they wereprofitable purchases on the part of merchants and traders. A planwas, however, soon devised to reach these diggers direct by meansof an overland escort, and with praiseworthy promptitude the planwas put into execution, Mr. Tolmer, commissioner of police, beingentrusted with the important undertaking. As this route was beinglargely used by parties going to the diggings—the journeywith bullock drays sometimes occupying from six weeks to twomonths—and as small farmers found it more profitable tosell their wheat ground into flour at £40 per ton on thediggings rather than at £12 10s. in Adelaide, theroad was put into order. During the month of February no lessthan 1234 passengers, 1266 horses and bullocks, and 164 vehiclesof all descriptions had crossed the Murray by the WellingtonFerry. The arrival of the first overland gold escort, aspring-cart drawn by four horses and laden with over a quarter ofa ton of gold, was witnessed by multitudes of excited people. Tobe exact, the first escort brought gold valued at £18,4569s., which had been sent by three hundred diggers. Mr.Tolmer, who was some time afterwards made the recipient of ahandsome testimonial for his public services, reported havingaccomplished the distance (338 miles) between Adelaide and MountAlexander in eight days. Arrangements were made for the escort torun monthly so long as it continued to be of benefit to the SouthAustralian diggers, and a Commissioner was appointed to receiveand take charge of deposits of gold and direct postalcommunication on the gold-fields.

The second overland gold escort arrived at Adelaide on the 4thof May, with 1620 lbs. weight of gold, valued at £70,000,sent by 851 diggers, together with 1350 letters, and was welcomedby some thousands of people, who proceeded to the eastern part ofthe city to get the first glimpse of the cavalcade, which wasgreeted with thundering cheers and the strains of music.*

Valued at
[Third arrival, May 5th, with 28,206¼ ozs£100,13100
Fourth arrival, August 10th, with gold85,20000
Fifth arrival, September 10th189,88440
Sixth arrival, October 9th199,17023
Seventh arrival, November 20th154,75860]

Many stories of extraordinary adventure have been told of thetimes of which we now write, but few are more interesting thanthose in connection with the overland gold escort. One incident,as a specimen of many, may be recorded here. During a season ofpitiless rain Mr. Tolmer made his arrangements to leave thegold-fields with 28,000 ounces of the precious metal, consignedto 1021 families. Through storm and tempest, and under the eyesof a notorious gang who endeavoured to steal his horses and thuscripple his means to resist an attack, he reached Forest Creek.Then, when he was about to make his homeward start, in crossingan alluvial flat the horses plunged a good deal on account of thesoft nature of the ground; but when the heavily laden cart camequickly down the hill and reached the level ground, down it wentinto a perfect bog. The wheels cut into the soil and sank untilthey could go no deeper, the flat bottom of the cart resting onthe surface, and the horses plunging the while, but unable tomove their load. Many men had prophesied that the escort wouldnever reach Adelaide, and Mr. Tolmer was greeted with loudlaughter from some of the spectators and entreaties from othersnot to proceed, while those who had bet champagne that he wouldnot accomplish his journey suggested that he should pay for thechampagne before he started. But the ex-commissioner of policewas a man of resource, and how he dealt with the difficulty maybest be told in his own words:—

"I took no heed of their sarcasm," he says, "but coolly, as ifon parade, gave the order 'Halt front! Dress! Prepare todismount! Dismount!' I then dismounted myself, unlocked the twostrong boxes fixed by bolts to the bottom of the cart in whichthe gold was packed, quickly seized No. 1 bag, which I quietlyplaced across my saddle, and then gave the word 'Left files, takeyour bags!' In a moment, like as many ants, each trooper securedhis own particular bag, threw it across his saddle, and thenstood to his horse. Then followed the right files, who did thesame, and, lastly, the men who had the charge of led horses gottheir bags and secured them on their respective packs. The wholeproceeding did not occupy ten minutes. Having remounted the men Iagain gave the order 'Files right! March!'

"As we moved on, Rowe gave the horses a touch of the whipwhich made them bound forward, causing the lightened vehicle tospring up like a Jack-in-the-box, and then quickly continue itsway. I then doffed my cap, saying, 'Good-bye, gentlemen. I'llcome back and drink your champagne, be assured!' Whereupon theycheered lustily. Some of them then mounted their horses andaccompanied us as far as the Lodden, where we parted. . . .

"After crossing the river, which was much swollen, the waterreaching above the saddle-flaps, I selected a spot and encampedfor the night in some thickly timbered country. It rainedincessantly all night, and while the storm howled through theforest, it threatened to occasion serious impediments to ourprogress. Early next morning we made a start, and on the road metsome teamsters who assured me that the Deep Creek, near Mr.Bucknall's, was fordable, and that they had crossed with theirdrays that morning. On arriving at the creek, however, I found itgreatly swollen, and to satisfy 'myself of its practicability Iwent across in the first instance and then returned, and quicklygave directions to the men to take possession of their respectivebags; then, taking the lead across the ford, I gave strict ordersto each trooper to follow closely my own horse, whilst Rowe wasto remain on the bank with the cart. During the time occupied inthe removal of each bag of gold from the cart, and making themsecurely fast on the led horses, the water rose rapidly,nevertheless a safe crossing was effected. The bags, of course,got thoroughly soaked in the crossing, as we were up to ourwaists in water, and had it not been for the dead weight eachhorse carried, the whole cavalcade would have been swept away bythe torrent. As the last led horse reached the bank, I called outto the driver, Rowe, not to lose a moment, but to drive the cart(in which six bags of gold remained, also the mail, provisions,etc.) and quickly cross the ford; which he attempted to do, butthe animal in the shafts was unable to arrest the impetus of thevehicle, which rushed down the declivity and became fixed in aflooded hollow at the bottom. Rowe then endeavoured to urge thehorses on, but the two leaders plunged into deeper water, andwere there held by the traces, whilst the force of the currentbore the shaft horse down and prevented him from rising. Seeingthis mischance, I threw aside my cloak and sword, and dashinginto the water, swam my horse across to the drowning animal, laidhold of the reins, and assisted it to regain its footing andreach a less dangerous part of the creek. Rowe was afraid toventure further in the attempt to get it across the creek, andurged fairly enough that, as he could not swim, the task was toogreat. Mr. Bucknall, jun., who was amongst the persons attractedto the spot, volunteered to take Rowe's place, which offer Igratefully accepted; and, having removed the bags of gold bydropping them into the water, and saved the mail, I mounted oneof the leading horses and headed him to the ford. The water had,however, still risen while the cart was being unloaded, and itwas necessary to swim the horses over. In attempting to do so Ihad a very narrow escape of being drowned, for when the currentwas strongest the horse on which I was mounted lost itsequipoise, turned over, and plunged out into the turbid torrent,that had now formed itself into a river of considerablemagnitude. I had very great difficulty in extricating myself fromthe dangerous position I was placed in by this untoward event;and, to add to my embarrassment, the top of one of my largeriding-boots was turned down by the action of the water, and myspurs became entangled in the straps. My presence of mind didnot, however, forsake me at this juncture, and, having freed mylimbs by adjusting my dress I struck out and was about to makefor the bank, when I perceived the current was carrying thehorses and cart down the course of the stream. Although greatlyexhausted, I made another effort, and succeeded in laying hold ofthe reins to turn the horses towards a landing-place, and cut thetraces of the two leaders, which, upon being freed, were sweptdown the stream and managed to scramble ashore on the oppositebank. The cart, in which were the provisions of the party, andother matters, and the shaft horse were then carried away andlost. There were from thirty to forty persons witnessing theseexhausting efforts, and, with the exception of Mr. Bucknall, noone volunteered to assist me. One man indeed, acting under agenerous impulse, threw off his coat, but the bystandersdissuaded him from 'risking his life to save a horse.'

"After recovering myself somewhat by sitting on the bank andresting my back against a gum tree, I set about to recover thesix bags of gold, which were then in a deep part of the creek andabout six or eight yards from the bank, which I succeeded indoing by diving, each time seizing a bag, with which I reachedthe bank by taking a few long strides. The next momentous task,attended with difficulty and risk of life, was swimming my horsebackwards and forwards across the swollen torrent with the gold,which I likewise successfully accomplished; but on returningagain for the fourteenth time, bringing over the mail, on accountof the exhausted condition of both the horse and myself, we wereswiftly carried down the stream, and, had it not been for Mr.Bucknall and one or two others, we must have been drowned; forabout a quarter of a mile below the ford, there was a ricketywooden bridge, submerged at both ends, with a space of about sixinches between the under part of the arch and level of the water,against which the horse and myself were jammed. One momentlonger, without the help before mentioned, we must both have beenforced under the bridge by the strength of the current, and ofcourse lost our lives.

"The horse which performed this almost incredible feat was asplendid animal, very powerful, and stood about sixteen handshigh; as a fencer there was not his equal in the colony."

Referring to this incident a few years later in a petition tothe House of Assembly, Mr. Tolmer gave a summary of the events,thus: "Your petitioner suggested and brought into activeoperation the gold escort, and was for several months engaged intravelling therewith, on one occasion swimming his horse nineteentimes across the overflowed Deep Creek in Victoria, recoveringnine bags, containing £30,000 worth of gold, which were inimminent danger of being swept away by the torrent, inconsequence of one of the horses harnessed to the cart containingthe gold being drowned and the cart itself lost; for whichlast-mentioned services the Legislature addressed his ExcellencySir H.E.F. Young, then Governor of this province, requesting himto award your petitioner as a gratuity £100; which gratuityyour petitioner unfortunately never received, inasmuch as hisExcellency did not accede to the prayer of the said address."**

[** There appears to be some discrepancy here,but we quote verbatim from "Reminiscences of an Adventurous andChequered Career", by Alexander Tolmer, vol. ii. p. 245.]

The Bullion Act not only saved the mercantile community fromimpending ruin, and the colony from general disaster, but itsecured the speedy return of the colonists who had left at a timewhen the absence of such an inducement might have led to theirpermanent removal. As early as the month of March, unsuccessfulgold-diggers returned in hundreds, and the vacant offices in thevarious departments of the public service began to be filled up.In the months of April and May the arrivals exceeded thedepartures, and in June eleven vessels arrived in Adelaide,bringing 687 passengers from Victoria.

As the season drew near for ploughing and sowing many of thesuccessful as well as the unsuccessful diggers returned to put intheir crops, and things in general began to assume their ordinaryaspect, with the addition of an abundance of wealth, and of a farmore than ordinary amount of business. The first to benefitextensively by the reaction were the drapers and clothiers. Thewives of fortunate diggers seemed determined to welcome theirhusbands in a way commensurate with their suddenly acquiredwealth, and many ludicrous instances of absurd and unbecoming:extravagance in dress occurred.

When the land sales were resumed a large number wiselyinvested their savings in land and house property. A greatimpetus was also given to the wheat and flour trade, largequantities of which were exported every week to Melbourne, and inconsequence the price went up in Adelaide from £12 per tonto £37, while other provisions rose proportionately as therate of wages increased.

Owing to the increased cost of living, which for some timepast had exceeded on the average one hundred and fifty per cent.on the cost of corresponding items when official salaries werefixed, an increase of salary to all Government officers claimedthe attention of the Legislature in 1853, persons in the publicservice being the only class either deriving no advantage, orsuffering loss from circumstances which had been so favourable tothe condition of the large majority of the colonists. Moreover,official duties had become permanently more extended and moreonerous by reason of the enlarged political and social station towhich the colony had attained.

In August (1852) the dwellers in South Australia were againthrown into a state of great excitement by the reported discoveryof a gold-field of their own at Echunga, about eighteen to twentymiles from Adelaide. A commissioner was appointed, Governmentofficials and mounted police were despatched to the scene ofaction, huts were erected, the Register andObserver sent special reporters, all requisite machinerywas soon in working order, and in a few weeks a thousand licenceswere issued. It was thought that a second Ballarat or MountAlexander had been discovered, but soon the excitement quieteddown, and though many continued at the diggings, earning a fair,and in some instances a very good, rate of wages, the existingstate of things in the colony was not seriously disarranged,although the state of the labour market was such that many publicworks sanctioned by the Legislature could not be commenced.

When the Council met again in September (1852) the Governorannounced the extinction of the bond debt of £85,800, whichhad been hanging as a millstone round the neck of the ExchequerDepartment, and referring to the operation of the Bullion Act, hesaid—

"This Act, by which the requisite increase of the currency ofthe bank-notes was regulated on a basis of present convertibilityinto assayed and stamped bullion, and of eventual convertibility,at no distant date, into coin of the realm, has, up to thepresent time, in its practical results, almost compensated forthe absence of a Mint, has surpassed the expectations of the mostsanguine, and has completely vindicated the prudence and sagacityof the Legislature of South Australia."

The Bullion Act was assented to by the Queen, and herMajesty's Government communicated to the Lieutenant-Governor"their disposition not to interfere with the discretion of thelocal authorities, who have exercised so much ability in theirmode of dealing with this subject."

Early in 1853 a handsome testimonial was presented to Mr. G.Tinline, manager of the South Australian Banking Company, for theimportant part he had taken in furthering the objects of theBullion Act.

It should be mentioned that no sooner had the mass of diggersreturned to resume their various avocations, and had gathered inthe harvest of 1852-53, than another exodus was threatened byreports of extensive and astounding gold discoveries in Victoria.The nuggets found were said to weigh respectively 76 lbs., 85lbs., 120 lbs., and 134 lbs. Hundreds sped away at once, but themore sober-minded were deterred by the fact that very few out ofthe many thousands at the diggings were successful.

The overland escort continued to run throughout the year(1853), but was discontinued in December, the gold diggingshaving spread over a much larger extent of country, rendering itmore difficult to collect the gold, and in consequence greatlyincreasing the cost of the escort. Arrangements were then madewith the Victoria Government for the transmission of gold by thevessels running between Adelaide and Melbourne; but, gold havingrisen considerably in value in Victoria, there was not the sameinducement to send it to Adelaide.

Great service was rendered to the colony throughout the wholeperiod of the gold rush by the Register andObserver newspapers. When the North Eastern mails werestopped, this establishment undertook the transmission of aweekly mail to Houghton, Gumeracha, Chain of Ponds, and otherplaces. A "Diggers' Edition" of the Observer was alsoregularly forwarded to the gold-fields, by which communicationwas kept up between the South Australian diggers and theirfriends at home, numbers of personal messages being sent throughits columns, and, having a special correspondent at the diggings,authentic information was conveyed from time to time of thesuccess or otherwise of the South Australian diggers.

Another important series of events, with which the name of SirHenry Young will always be intimately associated, was inconnection with the navigation and opening up of the riverMurray.

In 1849 a committee was appointed to inquire into thepracticability and cost of establishing places of shipment at theheads of St. Vincent's and Spencer's Gulf, and at theOnkaparinga, and of opening up a communication from the riverMurray to Encounter Bay, to report on the capabilities of theselocalities and of their requirements to make them available asshipping places for colonial traffic.

Also (it was an age of progress, and it was carrying out theideas propounded in the first speech of the Governor), they wereto report on the shoals, reefs, sunken rocks, soundings, extentof anchorage, winds and range of exposure, height of waves,currents, and all kindred matters touching the safety ofshipping.

In opening the session of 1850, on the 23rd of May, theGovernor called attention to the difficulty of a directcommunication from the sea mouth of the river Murray—adifficulty which had hitherto baffled and disappointed the hopesand enterprise of the friends of South Australia, both Europeanand colonial, and still remained insuperable. But, aided by thegood services of Captain Lipson, R.N., and Mr. Richard T. Hill,C.E., he was satisfied that the long-coveted desideratum waspracticable by the construction of a railway entirely over Crownlands, along the sea-board of Encounter Bay, connecting theMurray at Goolwa with Port Elliot. He argued that if his projectwere carried out it would not only immediately and directlybenefit the province, but eventually would be of great value tothe whole of Australia. There was not a ready response to thisscheme, an undertaking nearer home—that is to say, the Cityand Port Railway—being considered of more importance.Nevertheless the larger scheme was destined to be the first to becarried on and completed.

On the 6th of June, 1850, Captain Bagot moved that a sum of£4000 should be placed upon the estimates of 1851 for thepurpose of granting a bonus of £2000 each for the first andsecond iron steamers of not less than forty horse-power, and notexceeding in draught two feet of water when loaded, that shouldsuccessfully navigate the waters of the river Murray from theGoolwa to, at least, the junction of the Darling. In August thebonus of £4000 was duly advertised.

On the 10th of September Sir Henry and Lady Young, accompaniedby Mr. (afterwards Sir Arthur) Freeling and Mrs. Freeling, Mr.and Mrs. Torrens, and Mr. W.S.M. Hutton, started from Adelaidefor the purpose of proceeding some distance up the Murray, toascertain from personal observation, by taking soundings invarious parts, the practicability of navigating the river. Thegentlemen proceeded on horseback, and the ladies were conveyed ina carriage to the Rufus, two whale-boats having been sent up fromWellington for the use of the party. They started on the 25thfrom the Rufus, and reached the Darling on the 29th, thussatisfying themselves that, so far, the river could besuccessfully navigated. On the return trip they proceeded bywater to the Goolwa, with two other boats in company. In crossingLake Alexandrina they experienced a little rough weather. Onarrival at Port Elliot the Yatala was in waiting to convey theparty to Port Adelaide, where they arrived after an absence ofabout two months.

Soon after this, a marvellous exploit was performed by CaptainFrancis Cadell, who had arrived in Australia a few years before,and was as enthusiastic about the navigation of the Murray as SirHenry Young was himself. Leaving Melbourne with a canvas boatcarried on the back of a pack-horse, he arrived at length at SwanHill Station on the Upper Murray, launched his frail craft, and,with four diggers he had chanced to meet, descended the stream toLake Victoria, a distance of thirteen hundred miles. On hisarrival in Adelaide, he announced the important result of hisobservations, namely, that the river could be safely navigated bysteamers of shallow draught. The matter was taken up with greatenthusiasm: the Murray Steam Navigation Company was formed,principally through the efforts of Captain Cadell and Mr. WilliamYounghusband, for some time Chief Secretary of the Colony; and asteamer, the Lady Augusta, so named after the wife of theGovernor, was soon placed by the company upon the river.

On the first voyage (in 1853) she was commanded by CaptainCadell, who was accompanied by Sir Henry and Lady Young, aspecial party of ladies and gentlemen, and two representatives ofthe press. At Swan Hill, thirteen hundred miles from the sea, theGovernor addressed a despatch to the Duke of Newcastle, Secretaryof State for the Colonies, acquainting him with the success ofsteam navigation on the Murray. The following is an extract fromthe despatch:—

"I have the honour and gratification of acquainting your Gracethat the project of the steam navigation of the river Murray, thepromotion of which has never ceased to engage my attention sincemy arrival in South Australia, has thus far been prosecuted withperfect success. The distance from the river Murray terminus nearthe sea at the Goolwa, in South Australia, to as far up as thisplace, is now ascertained to be an easily navigable course ofthirteen hundred miles. The wool, with which this vessel is nowabout to be laden, is only the commencement of a large futurecarrying trade, beneficial to the greater part of the extensivecontinent of Australia. Under these circumstances I beg leave tomake known to your Grace the conclusions at which I have arrivedafter personal observation in regard to the further measures itwould be politic to adopt in order to promote the colonization ofthe vast basin of the Murray. . . . As respects measures actuallyprogressing towards completion, I have briefly to state that theconnection of the river Murray terminus, styled the Goolwa (adesignation applied to it by the aborigines at Encounter Bay)with the sea at Port Elliot will immediately be effected by ananimal-power iron tramway of only seven miles in length. Thetramway connects the river at the Goolwa with Port Elliot, and islaid on jetties at both places. At Port Elliot there are means ofsupplying fresh water to the shipping, and the anchorage isfurnished with moorings for large ships. These improvements willhave cost the Government £23,000, in addition to£6500, which will probably become payable from the samesource, as premiums for the introduction of river steamers. . .."

After describing the extensive tracts of land on the banks ofthe river, the Governor continued:—

"Considering, therefore, the importance of facilitating thelocation on its banks of persons whose industrial pursuits wouldbe promoted in connection with the carrying trade of wool, andthe return supplies to the stockowners; considering, too, mostespecially, the probability that large numbers of Britishemigrants, whether intending in future to settle in Victoria, NewSouth Wales, or South Australia, are likely to be attracted tothe vast basin of the Murray when its navigability by steamersshall become known, and it is found to be a most convenient routeto the gold-fields—I have come to the determination at onceto submit to my Executive Council, on my return to Adelaide, theexpediency of proclaiming the lands on both banks of the riverwithin the bounds of South Australia to the extent of two miles,to be the 'Hundreds of the Murray in South Australia.' Surveys ofvillages will be made in select spots, as traffic and populationrequire, and roads leading to and from the river will be reservedfor public use and as a means of access to the back lands, whilstthe alluvial flats, subject, at present, to periodicalinundation, may, by embankment, be rendered perfectly available.. . ."

The return journey was successfully accomplished, and thearrival of the explorers in Adelaide was the occasion of greatpopular festivities. The promised Government bonus was presentedto Captain Cadell; the Legislature directed a gold medal to bestruck to commemorate the event; several other steamers were soonplaced upon the river, not only by the Murray River NavigationCompany, but also by enterprising colonists; popular opinion, atone time dead against the expenditure of so much money on thescheme, turned in its favour, and the Legislature which hadstoutly opposed it, gave a grand banquet in the Council Chamberto celebrate "the unparalleled triumph".

However much the community generally approved, the squatters,who wished to remain the sole and undisturbed occupiers of thevast tracts of pastoral country adjacent to the Murray river,were by no means pleased. The Murray Hundreds, when declared,became for years a subject for the discussion and animadversionof those who considered that their rights and territory had beenunnecessarily invaded and encroached upon, by reserving the wholeof the water frontages for hundreds of miles on both side of theriver, while the back country was destitute of water.

No one rejoiced more sincerely in the successful opening up ofthe Murray than Sir Henry Young. It had been his pet scheme fromthe commencement of his administration. He foresaw thedevelopment of a great water-way for the commerce of theadjoining colonies; he foresaw the valley of the Murray teemingwith a wealthy industrial population; he prophesied that PortElliot would soon be "the New Orleans of the AustralianMississippi".

It is painful to record that the dreams of the Governor nevercame true, and the sequel to the story we have briefly told hereis a melancholy and disappointing one. Port Elliot was an utterfailure, owing to its insecurity and want of accommodation. Over£20,000, in addition to the initial cost, was "thrown intothe sea", in a vain attempt to construct a breakwater and soimprove the port, which resulted in its silting up, and at lengthit was abandoned. An enormous sum was also spent upon PortVictor, seven miles away, which then became the port of theMurray. Almost every one who speculated in the Murray trade cameto grief, some to utter ruin, and amongst them the gallantCaptain Cadell; the Murray Steam Navigation Company wasdissolved, and the whole scheme was threatened with totalcollapse. In process of time, however, as we shall see later onin this history, the Murray river trade got into other hands andmet with varying success, but the sanguine hopes of Sir HenryYoung have never yet been fully realized.

One subject on which there was considerable discussion in1852, and great diversity of opinion, was the abolition of grandjuries. Under the rule of Sir George Grey the first attempt wasmade to abolish them. It was then enacted in the colony "that inorder to dispense with the attendance of the grand jury, andotherwise to expedite the business of sessions of the peace, allcriminal proceedings before any such court of general sessionsshall be by information in the name of her Majesty'sAdvocate-General." The ordinance was disallowed by Lord Stanley,"but the local authorities," says Mr. Rusden in his "History ofAustralia", "persevered. In 1843 they pushed aside, withoutabolishing, grand juries by an Ordinance . . . which ordered that'no person should be put upon trial . . . unless the bill shallfirst have been presented to a grand jury on the prosecution ofher Majesty's Attorney or Advocate-General and shall have beenreturned by them a true bill, reserving always, nevertheless, toher Majesty's Attorney or Advocate-General the right of tilinginformations ex officio, and to the Supreme Court theright of permitting informations to be filed.' This Ordinance wasallowed; and, the path being smoothed, the work of repudiating agreat social duty was consummated in 1852 by another (when SirHenry F. Young was Governor and Mr. E.D. Hanson the principal lawofficer), which declared that 'from and after the passing of thisAct no person shall be summoned or liable to serve on any grandjury,' repealed the section of the Ordinance of 1843 above cited,and made presentment 'in the name and by the authority of aprosecuting officer sufficient when the lives of her Majesty'ssubjects were imperilled. The motive of departmental conveniencewas thus allowed to prevail, although some colonists were ofopinion that the grand jury system had worked well."

In 1853 there were matters pending in the Legislative Councilwhich were to influence the whole of the future of the colony,and to impress the name of the Governor indelibly upon itsannals.

As the time drew near for the sitting of the LegislativeCouncil, every man in the colony was more or less on his mettle.The great question of a new Constitution, which it was hopedwould secure responsible government and free politicalinstitutions from that time forth and for evermore, was to bediscussed, and meetings were held in various parts of the colonyto have a "first say" in moulding opinion.

When the Legislative Council met on the 21st of July,despatches were read intimating the royal pleasure, upon certainconditions, to grant to the Legislature of the province thecomplete control of its internal affairs and the entiremanagement and revenue of the Waste Lands of the Crown.

Two Bills were therefore introduced, one for constituting aParliament consisting of a Legislative Council and Assembly, andthe other for granting a Civil List to her Majesty.

"In framing the Bill for constituting a Parliament," said theGovernor in his opening address to the Council, "a principalobject has been to continue the advantages of a popularGovernment with those which result from the existence of anindependent body, identified with the permanent interests of thecolony, and forming a security against hasty or partiallegislation. With this view, the number of members of the Houseof Assembly is proposed to be increased, the elective franchiseto be extended, the duration of the Assembly to be reduced fromfive to three years, and a more simple and, it is believed,efficacious plan of registration has been devised. It has beenprovided that the Assembly thus constituted shall have the samecontrol over the revenue and expenditure which is possessed bythe Commons House of Parliament in England, while the LegislativeCouncil will consist of persons summoned by the Crown, who willhold their seats for life, and thus be independent both of theGovernment and of the people. Her Majesty's Government, afterfull consideration, has deemed it most accordant with theprinciples of the British constitution that the selection ofmembers for the Upper Chamber should be vested in the Crown.Experience has shown that, where the principle of responsiblegovernment exists, no permanent opposition can be maintainedagainst the deliberate and repeated will of the community asexpressed through their representatives; and if these reasonableexpectations should be disappointed, a power is reserved to theunited Legislature of introducing such further amendments in theConstitution as may suffice to bring it into harmony with thecircumstances and wants of the colony."

The idea of a nominee Upper House was distasteful to themajority of the colonists, and the newspapers had but recentlyinformed them how it had been ridiculed in the BritishParliament. In a debate upon the Australian Colonies Bill, theDuke of Newcastle had said:—

"The theory of a nominee Upper House arose from the old notionof Imperial government, and from an idea that it was necessary tobind the colonies and the mother country together by some meansother than those of mutual interest; that while it may bedesirable to give the colonists a representative body to attendto their interests, they must at the same time appoint anominated body to attend to the interests of the mother country.Now, it appeared to him that in following this old-fashionednotion, the Government were in this instance and in others, sincetheir accession to power, pursuing the shadow instead of thesubstance of a conservative principle."

He continued: "Let them in any way provide for the superiorinfluence of the members of an elective Upper Chamber; let theminsist upon a higher qualification, either of elected orelectors; let them give them a longer tenure of their seats, ormake the areas of representation more extensive; but let them notengraft upon this measure of freedom and contentment to thecolony a scheme which must end in disappointment and be the causeof future quarrel."

Earl Grey, in alluding to the want of analogy between anominee Upper Chamber and the House of Lords, remarked "on theperfect absurdity of talking of a nominee Legislative Council asan imitation of that House. It had not," he said, "the mostdistant or faint resemblance to the House of Lords, which was aninstitution altogether peculiar to this country, and whichParliament could no more create than they could create afull-grown oak. It had grown up as part of our institutions fromthe earliest times, and was like no other body in any country inthe world, and no imitation of which had ever been in theslightest degree successful."

Not only was the idea of a nominee Upper House distasteful tothe outside public in the colony, but it was also to the electivemembers of the Legislature, who, at a meeting held to discuss thesituation, agreed to oppose it. The next important step was takenby Mr. J.H. Fisher, who moved for a call of the House on thesecond reading of the Bill. Before the second reading came on,Mr. Dutton brought forward the following motion:—"That inthe proposed Bill for constituting a Parliament for SouthAustralia, this Council is of opinion that the Upper House shouldbe elective."

The debate on this motion lasted for three days, and on adivision was lost by a majority of eight, in consequence ofseveral members, who admitted the principle, having entered intoa compromise with the Government to the effect that "a nominatedUpper Chamber should be accepted by the House, on condition thatthe Constitution should be amended after a period of nine years,should such be deemed expedient by two-thirds of the members ofthe Lower House, and whose wishes to that effect should beexpressed in two consecutive sessions, with a dissolution of theAssembly between."

The second and third readings of the Bill were carried, eachby a majority of five. During the progress of the Bill throughits different stages, the House divided no fewer than eleventimes.

Considerable discussion also attended the passing of the CivilList Bill, which went through the ordeal of a select committee.The sums suggested by it, however, were not adopted, much largeramounts being substituted by the Council.

The debate on the Parliament Bill of 1853 was, perhaps, thevery best in the history of the South Australian Legislature.Every man was in earnest, and seemed imbued with the idea that inthe part he was taking he was assisting to make the whole futureof the colony. Many of the speeches might rank among the finestspecimens of oratory of the English-speaking peoples. Although,as we shall see later on, their Bill was defeated, not receivingthe royal assent, the victory was morally complete. Itsprovisions laid down the principles, and created and shaped thepublic opinion which in three years' time was to carry everythingbefore it with overwhelming force; and to the Legislative Councilof 1853 every colonist in South Australia, now and for all time,owes a debt of deep gratitude, as they were undoubtedly thefathers and founders of the most free political institutionscompatible with the sovereignty of the mother country.

Another important event that marked the successfuladministration of Sir Henry Young was the establishment ofDistrict Councils. In every new colony the question of roads androad-making is a burning one, and dwellers in old-establishedcities can form no conception of the wild enthusiasm, the fieryoratory, the impassioned earnestness displayed over a discussionon road-making. It had been a leading topic for many years inSouth Australia, during which time the central Government hadundertaken the formation and repair of the main lines of road outof the land revenue. But as the country became opened up in alldirections, it was found that the expense of making andmaintaining roads in the various districts could not be bornefrom the same fund. On the 25th of November, 1852, therefore, "AnAct to appoint District Councils, and to define the powerthereof," passed the Legislative Council, and gave to the variousdistricts power to tax themselves for the making and management(if their own particular roads, bridges, and public buildings; togrant timber, publicans', depasturing, and slaughtering licences,to establish pounds for the impounding of stray cattle, and soforth. Long before Adelaide had a Corporation, municipalarrangements and a measure of local self-government were extendedto the country districts.

"District Councils," says Mr. Finniss, "as they areestablished in this colony, are but incipient stages of a moreperfect organization, which time and enlarged population willproduce. They certainly, by their adoption, relieved the centralGovernment of much odium, responsibility, and administrativework. It would have been impossible to manage the expenditurerequired under the head of roads, streets, and bridges, to whichthe Crown moiety, as it was called, of the land sales fund wasapplicable, without local advice and assistance, so as to avoidthe reality, or at least the imputation, of favouritism andcorruption. Local taxation, which was included in the powersgiven to the local bodies, and was eventually to supply the placeof the subsidies from the general revenues, could not have beenresorted to without the intervention of local elective bodies andabsolute local self-control. It would have been invidious, if notabsolutely unconstitutional, to have taxed a particular districtfor the erection of a bridge, or any other requisite publicbuildings, whereas there could be no objection to leave it in thepower of a properly constituted district authority to taxthemselves for such purpose where the benefit would be chieflylocal."

Closely allied to the question of roads is that of railways,and to Sir Henry Young has been given the complimentary title of"Father of the Railway System of South Australia". So early asFebruary, 1850, a measure was proposed by him, and carriedthrough the Legislative Council, entitled, "An Ordinance formaking a Railway from the City to the Port of Adelaide, withBranches to the North Arm; "and, a month later, a privateordinance guaranteed to the Adelaide City and Port RailwayCompany certain divisible profits in the concern. But the timeswere not ripe for the scheme to be floated, and there was muchsquabbling among wharf proprietors and others with localinterests to protect, so that neither of these ordinances was putinto operation. In the enlarged and partly elective LegislativeCouncil of 1851, afresh scheme was submitted and carried, namely,"An Act to authorize the Appointment of Undertakers for theConstruction of the City and Port Railway," and from time to timefunds were voted and placed in the hands of the executive bodyappointed under this Act.

On the 16th of December, 1854, almost the last act of theGovernor before leaving the colony was to give his assent to aBill authorizing the formation of the Adelaide and Gawler TownRailway, and to provide for raising the money required for thatpurpose.

Although, while Sir Henry Young was in the colony, there wasnot a mile of railroad opened to the public, the great battle ofLocomotive v. Tramway was fought out by him; the sum of£400,000 was authorized under his administration forrailway purposes, together with a further sum of £100,000for deepening and improving the harbour, and so increasing theprospects of prosperity for the Port Railway. These sumsinitiated the national debt of South Australia.

The question of the defence of South Australia had happily notbeen necessary to discuss until the year 1854, when the startlingnews reached the colony that England, in alliance with France,had declared war against Russia. Hitherto no sense of danger hadbeen felt; the sergeant's guard of Royal Marines (the bodyguardof Captain Hindmarsh, the first Governor) had given place tosmall detachments of troops—generally a couple of companiesunder one field officer—furnished by the regimentsstationed in the older colonies. Spasmodic efforts were made, inthe time of Governor Gawler and subsequently, to establish avolunteer force, but without much effect, and in the year 1846there was supposed to be in existence "the Royal South AustralianMilitia Force". But this, according to a facetious member of theLegislative Council, "consisted of officers only and no troops."It was added that the standing army of South Australia had beenfor some years a standing joke, and that on one occasion, whenthe force was called out for exercise, the drill-sergeant, withgreat dignity and authority, gave the word of command to thethree privates who occupied the field, "to form a square!"

But in 1854, when the population of the colony had risen tonearly 100,000, and when the peace of Europe had been suddenlyand rudely disturbed, it was considered time to take some seriousaction in case of surprise by an enemy's privateer or man-of-war.Accordingly, a Board was appointed to inquire into and reportupon the measures of defence requisite for the public safety incase of—nobody knew exactly what. Of course the committeerecommended as much protection as would have been practicable ifRussia had declared war against South Australia, but out of itcame some tangible results. An armed body of volunteers wasenrolled; £15,000 was voted for defensive preparations; aMilitia Bill was passed; excitement ran as high as fever heat,and the Colonial Secretary (Mr. B.T. Finniss), who was appointed"lieutenant-colonel of the staff and inspecting field officer,"was able to report thus:—

"Leading colonists joined the military movement; men whoafterwards became members of Parliament and of Ministries, men ofsubstance, proprietors of the principal trading establishments inthe city, served as privates in the first muster of a SouthAustralian armed force, and of their zeal, enthusiasm, andmartial ardour there could be no doubt in the minds of those whowitnessed the first passage of arms and who saw the suburbancompanies cheerfully submitting to the rule ofdrill-masters."

Happily, in this first passage of arms, the (sham) enemy wasonly butchered to make a South Australian holiday; the MilitiaAct remained in abeyance; the volunteers, with their good oldBrown Besses, had some fine exercise, and were paid for eachday's attendance; and the seventeen thousand odd pounds spent wasa good investment, inasmuch as it was the means of giving peaceof mind to every timid colonist. Eventually, as we shall see inthe course of this history, an efficient military establishmentwas formed, but not until many years had elapsed.

On the 20th of December, 1854, the successful administrationof Sir Henry Young came to an end, and he left the colony on thatday to assume the Government of Tasmania, bearing with him thegratitude and the good wishes of the whole population of SouthAustralia.

Pending the arrival of the new Governor, Mr. Boyle TraversFinniss, one of the earliest settlers, who came to the colonywith the surveying party in the Cygnet, was appointedacting Governor. He had from the first held many importantoffices, and commanded the respect of all parties in the colony.There were no events of any importance to mark the term of hisoffice, but the quiet, business-like, and unostentatious mannerin which he conducted the routine of public affairs won for himuniversal approval.



JUNE, 1855—MARCH, 1862.

Antecedents of Sir R.G.MacDonnell.—Unemployed Irish Female Immigrants.—AnAmusing Incident.—The Parliament Bill.—ElectionRiots.—Opening of the New LegislativeCouncil.—Depression in Trade.—Retrenchment and theCivil Service.—-A Mania for SelectCommittees.—Adelaide Waterworks and Drainage.—NewConstitution Act.—Ballot and Universal Suffrage.—TheFirst South Australian Parliament.—A NobleRecord.—Questions of Privilege.—Originating MoneyBills.—Frequent Changes in Ministry.—Torrens' RealProperty Act.—Mr. Justice Boothby.—AustralianFederation.—Poll Tax on Chinese.—Colony attains itsMajority.—Assessment on Stock.—FreeImmigration.—The Political Association.—The DestituteAsylum.—Labour Tests.—The Working Men'sAssociation.—Defences of the Colony.—Wreck of theAdmella.—A Terrible Week.—PoliticalParties.—Ministerial Programmes.—Archdeacon Hale andthe Aborigines.—Poonindie.—Mr. G.F. Angas andMissions to Natives.—The Great Murray RailwayScheme.—Explorations.—Sir R.G. MacDonnell on theMurray.—Mr. B.H. Babbage.—A Fearful Death.—Mr.Stephen Hack.—Major Warburton.—John McDouallStuart.—Journeys to the Interior.—MiningDiscoveries.—Yorke's Peninsula.—Wallaroo andMoonta.—A Mining Mania.—South AustralianWines.—A Review of Six Years.

AFTER a stormy and perilous voyage of unusuallength, the steamship Burra-Burra, with Sir Richard andLady MacDonnell on board, arrived at Port Adelaide on the 7th ofJune, 1855.

Next morning the vessels in the harbour and the publicbuildings on shore displayed their bunting, and, under a saluteof seventeen guns, the new Governor landed and was driven, withLady MacDonnell, in a carriage and four to Adelaide, amid theenthusiastic cheers of some thousands of the populace who linedthe streets.

Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell, a son of the Rev. Dr.MacDonnell, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, was born in 1815,entered Trinity College in 1830, took his degree of M.A. in 1839,and Doctor of Laws by special honorary degree in 1844. He wascalled to the English Bar in 1841, but two years later heaccepted the office, then created, of Chief Justice of theBritish possessions at the Gambia, where he performed useful workin consolidating the laws of that colony, and also found time tomake extensive and adventurous travels into the interior ofAfrica. Afterwards he twice visited North America, when hetravelled over Canada and a great portion of the United States.He returned to England in 1847, and tendered the resignation ofhis office with a view to settling down at the English Bar. ButEarl Grey having offered him the governorship of the GambiaSettlements, he returned there, and ably filled the difficultoffice for three years. When visiting one of the native kings hefell into an ambush treacherously laid for him, and was within anace of being assassinated. Such an outrage on the representativeof England could not be allowed to go unpunished, and fourhundred men under Major Hill, including Sir Richard, acting ascaptain of a volunteer company, marched into the country of theenemy, and inflicted summary chastisement. Several explorationsby the Governor into the interior of the country resulted inextending the limits of British commerce. In 1852 he was gazettedto the Government of St. Lucia in the West Indies, and afterwardsto St. Vincent. He was knighted by the Queen in February, 1855,and soon afterwards—the appointment of the Hon. Mr. Lawleyto the Government of South Australia having beencancelled—Sir Richard set sail from England to succeed SirHenry Young in the Governorship of that province.

One of the first subjects to engage the attention of the newGovernor was the large number of unemployed Irish femaleimmigrants in the colony. Some hundreds were in the depôts,and it was not known how many more were on their way out. By thislarge, and in some respects unsuitable supply, the EmigrationCommissioners posed as benefactors to the colonists, but the boonthreatened to become a bane of no small magnitude. This kind oflabour was only suitable for the country, and even there it was adrug in the market. But circulars were sent to the stipendiaryand resident magistrates and chairmen of district councils with aview of ascertaining how many immigrants would be likely to meetwith engagements in each district, and the result was moresuccessful than had been anticipated—until an unlooked-forcontingency arose. Many of these Irishwomen preferred a town lifeto a country life, and returned to the Adelaide depôt onthe slightest pretext, or without any pretext at all.

Many schemes were proposed to meet the difficulty; among themone by Mr. E. Stephens, who suggested that respectable settlersshould be found to employ them in any fair and suitable work forsix months, the employer to provide them with board and lodging,and five shillings per week to be paid from the colonialtreasury. But this suggestion was not carried out.

A remedy for excessive immigration was most urgently needed.During the first eight months of the year (1855), 2800 adultsingle females were landed at Adelaide, of whom 2047 were Irish,or nearly treble the total number of English and Scotch females.It was feared that the seeds of permanent pauperism were beingsown. Despite every effort made by the Government and by themagistrates and district councils throughout the colony to obtainemployment for them, there were, on the day the LegislativeCouncil met, 800 Irish female immigrants lodged and rationed,either in the rural depôts or in town, as against only 27English and 18 Scotch. At other times there had been as many as1100.

Additional accommodation had to be provided, and the expenseof this, with maintenance, reached nearly £25,000 in oneyear, "an amount", said the Governor, "which I propose to chargeagainst the immigration moiety of the land fund, on the groundthat all expenses and rations of an immigrant from the time heleaves England, till his absorption in the general population,are as justly chargeable against this fund as the cost of hisrations on board the vessel which conveys him to these shores."Special representations were made to the Home Government, urgingthe necessity of a total discontinuance, for a considerable time,of Irish female immigration.

There was no ill feeling on the question of nationality,although it was determined in some quarters not to give anyencouragement to immigrants from Ireland, which was not equallyextended to natives of England, Wales, and Scotland. There wasample room for all who could work as agricultural labourers,miners, mechanics, or in any kind of industry, and it was asimple matter of fact that, although 9111 immigrants were landedin the first three quarters of the year, scarcely any of themremained unemployed except the women from Ireland.

It was some years before the matter was settled. The ColonialCommissioners in England paid very little regard in those days toremonstrances from the colony, and as the land fund had beenprolific, the Commissioners continued to pour thousands of Irishimmigrants into the colony. A select committee, appointed toreport on excessive female immigration, stated that the totalexcess of females over males in 1853 was 679; in 1854, 1604; in1855, 2829. Of the adult single females who arrived in 1855, 851were English, 217 were Scotch, and 2981 were Irish!

It was a curious fact that at this time, although there weremany hundreds of women out of employment, the greatest difficultywas experienced in obtaining a really good domestic servant.

Eventually a check was put upon the undue supply of Irishfemale labour, and an agent, with a salary of £500 a year,was appointed by the colonial Legislature to assist theCommissioners in the selection of suitable emigrants.

An amusing incident in connection with this subject wasnarrated by Sir Richard MacDonnell some years later in a speechdelivered by him at the Royal Colonial Institute. Referring tothe fact that in one year the Emigration Commissioners in Englandsent out 12,000 emigrants, he said "his hearers might fancy howmuch the difficulty of the position was augmented when he toldthem that of the above number no fewer than 4004 wereable-bodied, single ladies. He questioned whether any other manthan he ever had previously such a number of single women thrustupon him. He confessed that he had never been so embarrassed. Hedid what he could for them; built them barracks, offered to paytheir fare, and all expenses to any employers willing to takethem off his hands, for he was sorry to have to add that theywere occasionally very unruly. Now, as women in a state ofrebellion are not so easily dealt with as men, he might mentionthat by a happy thought they were on one occasion reduced toobedience by the cooling effects of water from a fire engine."*

[* "Proceedings of the Royal Colonial Institute",1875-76, vol. xii. p. 203.]

One of the greatest series of events under the importantadministration of Sir Richard MacDonnell was in connection withthe framing and passing the Parliament Bill. On the 11th ofAugust, 1855, a Gazette Extraordinary was issuedcontaining a despatch from Lord John Russell with reference tothe South Australian Parliament Bill, from which it appeared thatSir Henry Young and his advisers had misconceived the intentionsof her Majesty's Government in granting certain enlarged powersto the local Legislature. The Bill, therefore, was not taken asan expression of the wishes of the majority, and as it wassupposed that the colonists, if allowed the opportunity ofarriving at a free and independent decision as to what theyconsidered the best form of constitution for the colony, wouldreconsider and amend the Bill, it was recommended that suchopportunity should be given by the dissolution of the electiveportion of the then existing Council.

Four days later the dissolution of the Legislative Council wasannounced. "The incubus of nomineeism," said the Register,"had pressed heavily on the natural energies of the people'srepresentatives, and the elaborate and positive misinterpretationof Imperial despatches on the part of the Executive had proved afatal snare to an inexperienced Assembly."

The first Representative Council was no more, and the peoplewere now called upon to reconstitute the Legislature underdifferent auspices and for greater purposes than before. Thefuture welfare of the colony depended upon their action. Theywere not called upon to make an ordinary law, but to elect men tomake a Constitution which should more or less determine thenature of all laws to be subsequently enacted.

"We are laying the foundations," continued theRegister, "of a new political and social state. We aredeciding whether public opinion shall be taken as the source oflegislative authority, or whether the people are yet to be heldin the leading-strings of Imperial domination."

The Government put forth an elaborate outline of aConstitution Bill for the consideration of the next LegislativeCouncil, but the proposed measure was not received with anydegree of approval, and it was evident that it was the result ofhasty or ill-advised consideration. Sir Richard did not press hismeasure, and expressed the hope that when the new Council metthey would hit upon the form of Constitution best suited to thecountry.

The writs for the election of members for the new Council wereissued on the 17th of August, and from that time forth meetingswere held in all parts of the colony to hear the opinions of thecandidates for legislative honours.

Excitement culminated on the 20th and 21st of September, thedays fixed for the election in most of the districts, and, as ifto demonstrate the need for the ballot, scenes were enacted atsome of the polling booths, such as few would desire to seerepeated. West Adelaide took the lead in this unenviableparticular. When from the balcony of the Exchange Hotel it wasannounced that Mr. Forster was at the head of the poll, thepartisans of Mr. Fisher rushed to the balcony, with a yell,pulled down the flags and tore them to shreds, and then descendedand charged the crowd. Police on foot failing to scatter therioters, "mounted troopers, led by the commissioner of police,galloped with drawn swords into the thickest of the fight, andthe admirable and determined movements of this body had a verysalutary effect upon the infuriated partisans, several of whomwere captured" (vide local paper).

On the 1st of November the opening of the new LegislativeCouncil took place, on which occasion the new Council Chamber,handsome and well furnished, was occupied for the first time forthe transaction of the business of the country.

In his introductory speech, the Governor alluded to thegratifying acknowledgment by her Majesty's Government of therapid growth of the colony, as shown by its recent separationfrom the control of the New South Wales Government, and modestlymentioned the fact that the Governor of South Australia was nolonger merely Lieutenant-Governor, but held the commission of"Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of South Australia",formerly held by the Governor-General at Sydney.

It still remained the special privilege, however, of theGovernor-General to originate measures applicable to the whole ofthe Australian colonies—all measures, in short, requiringas it were federal action for the promotion of great objectscommon to all the Australian colonies.

When the all-absorbing question of a new Constitution camebefore the Legislature, the Governor, notwithstanding the rebuffhe had received in the rejection of his first proposals, informedthe Council that he still retained the preference he had avowedfor a single Chamber only during the youthful stage of thecolony's progress, although aware that the proposition would notmeet with many supporters. But whatever inconvenience might arisefrom a double Chamber, he felt it was better and wiser to adoptthose inconveniences, if supported by public opinion andsympathy, than to strive for the most ideal form of government inopposition to the feelings of the community—sentimentswhich even Lord Chesterfield would have been justified in settingbefore his son.

The Governor then gave the full outlines of the newConstitution Bill, but it soon became evident that the Councilwas not very favourable to the proposed Government measure. Toavoid the rejection of it altogether, the Government suggested acompromise, namely, that if its second reading were carried, theCouncil would not be pledged to any of its clauses, and with thisunderstanding the Council agreed to go into committee on themeasure.

The Bill, as altered and amended in committee, provided fortwo Chambers, both elective—one of eighteen members, to beelected by the whole colony as one constituency; the other ofthirty-six members, to be chosen by a certain number of districtsequally arranged, and divided on the basis of population. In theLegislative Council, or Upper House, six members were to retireevery four years, and for the House of Assembly the electionswere to be triennial. The qualification of voters for the formerwas to be a freehold of £50 clear value, a leasehold of£10 per annum with three years to run, a right of purchase,or a tenancy of the value of £25. For the latter a manhoodsuffrage, with six months' registration, was all that wasrequired. All voting to be by ballot. Responsible government wasto be secured by requiring ministers to be elected by theconstituencies, and when elected only to sit and vote in theirown Chamber. All money Bills to originate in the House ofAssembly. All official appointments and dismissals to be in thepower of the ministry, and no Governor's warrant for the paymentof money to be valid unless countersigned by the ChiefSecretary.

As regarded the civil list, it was provided that instead of abonus for the risk of loss of office by non-election, a moderateannual allowance was to be made to the Colonial Secretary,Treasurer, Advocate-General, and Commissioner of Crown Lands inthe event of actual loss of office.

After passing through a severe ordeal, the third reading ofthe Constitution Bill in its altered and amended form took placeon the 2nd of January, 1856, and the Bill was passed.

The year 1855 had been characterized by great depression intrade, consequent mainly upon the dry seasons that prevailedduring the year and the one preceding it, causing a verydeficient harvest; this reacted on all branches of industry, andgave a decided check to the rapid progress the colony had beenmaking for two or three years previously. With the quantity ofgrain and flour exported, and the shortness of the supply, fearswere entertained whether a sufficient stock had been kept in thecolony to last till the harvest; fears that happily provedgroundless.

The impetus given to trade by the large quantities of goldsent and brought from Victoria in 1852-53 had raised the price ofalmost everything. Land had reached a fictitious value both intown and country; wages had increased to such an extent as torender it impossible to employ labour except for indispensableand very remunerative undertakings; and, as provisions were stillhigh in price, there was a strong disinclination to lower therates in the labour market notwithstanding the excessivesupply.

During this and several subsequent years, all classes of thecommunity were slow to believe that, as the extraordinary influxof gold had ceased, prices must approximate to something neartheir normal rates before the colony could again be in a stable,healthy, and really prosperous condition. The suddenness ofwealth had induced habits of extravagance which were not so easyto break off as to contract, and the absolute necessity forretrenchment in affairs public and private produced a generalfeeling of dissatisfaction.

After passing the Constitution Bill, the Council might verygracefully have retired upon its honours; but there were stillcertain pressing interests of the colony to be protected, and,with a view to retrenchment, the next business of the Council wasto institute a searching examination into the public departmentsand accounts. The public service had to a certain extent becomedisarranged from the same causes which had produced so great aneffect on the community at large—the influx of capital fromthe gold-fields. An Estimate Committee was appointed on theprevious 13th of November (1855), and during its sittings fiveseveral reports were laid before the House, all of which wereadopted or received by the Council. The committee satseventy-five days, examined forty-nine officials and otherwitnesses, and elicited answers to 6193 questions.

The investigations of the committee ** excited almost as muchinterest as the discussion of the Constitution. Every departmentwas overhauled; every item of expenditure was checked; and theestimates for the year were reduced to the tune of some£40,000. Of course, retrenchment began in the CivilService, as it always does everywhere; and a manly protest by theGovernor, transmitted in a memorandum to the Legislative Council,will be read with interest by every Civil Servant, in bothhemispheres, who may chance to see it:—

[** The committee (appointed by ballot) was madeup as follows:—Mr. B.T. Finniss, Colonial Secretary,Messrs. Baker, Dutton. Forster, Kingston, Reynolds, andYounghusband.]

"The tone in which the Government service has been alluded tomore than once by the committee; the ever-recurring attempt todrive as hard a bargain as possible with a body of gentlemenwilling to toil hard for the sake of the country—but not tobe thanklessly driven as well as underpaid—the extremeeconomy enforced in extensive departments, such as public worksand the police, in which another but most important class of thecommunity is largely interested—all these and otherconcurring circumstances are fast producing results which, erelong, there may be time to deplore, but not to remedy. There is afeeling gradually springing up that the service, which had been abadge of honour, is being changed into a badge of humiliation,and in these colonies freemen, whether their station be humble orexalted, will not brook to be looked down on by any man or bodyof men whatever. Fairer fields for enterprise and better rewardsfor industry and character are even now being sought out bynumbers who had chosen this colony as their home, and had madeher service their ambition."

The action of the Governor in sending thismemorandum—which took up several other points—wasseverely censured, and a vote was moved and seconded declaring itto be "an irregular and improper interference in theconstitutional action of the House and its committees." Thewording of the resolution was, however, supposed to be toned downby an amendment "that the Governor's memorandum contains matterwhich is offensive to this House, and that the good understandingbetween the Government and the Legislature is not calculated tobe maintained by transmitting such documents to this Council."Happily, the Governor was not puffed into space by this"counterblast", and the incident is amusing mainly as showing thepolitical amenities of that day.

Apart from this little misunderstanding, it was well known andgenerally acknowledged that the main object of the inquiry was tosecure the greatest economy of the public money with a due regardto the maintenance of the public departments in an efficient andadequate manner, and with the least interruption of public worksand matters connected with the general progress of the colony.The Government bore testimony to the value of the labours of thecommittee by largely adopting their suggestions.

The committee was greatly indebted to the efficient servicesof the very able Auditor-General, Captain W.L. O'Halloran, whoaided them in many important particulars, and was mainlyinstrumental, in fact, in making their inquiries possible.

About this time there was a mania for select committees; inaddition to the one we have referred to, others were appointedduring the session on the following subjects:—The colonialagency; the excessive female immigration; the distillation laws;the treatment of lunatics; the discipline and management of thepolice force; and the proposed proclamation of the Sydney coinageas a legal tender in South Australia.

One other measure claiming a notice on account of itsmagnitude and importance was the Adelaide Waterworks and DrainageAct, by which the Colonial Treasurer was empowered to borrow£280,000 on the credit of the general revenue, to 'bear sixper cent. interest, with four per cent. added as a redemptionfund.* The Bill was passed at the close of the session, and it issomewhat remarkable that, considering the sum proposed to beborrowed, and the heavy taxes to which the citizens would besubject, very little notice was taken of the matter by the publicuntil it was too late. It is not impossible that, as the proposalhad been so long pending, and the citizens had seen so manyunsuccessful attempts to bring it to an issue, they took it forgranted the Bill would not be passed.

[* It was required also to set apart£28,000 annually to pay interest and amount of redeemablebonds.]

But the citizens were gainers in the end. The water supply hadalways been sadly deficient in quantity and inferior in quality,and they had ever before their eyes the fear of epidemics and therisk of desolating fires.

The session, opened on the 1st of November, 1855, wasprorogued on the 4th of June, 1856, and, notwithstanding two orthree adjournments, was the longest held in the colony up to thattime. No less than fifty Bills were introduced, of whichthirty-five passed. In his closing address the Governor said,"The session about to close will long be remembered as that inwhich the principles were established and the broad foundationslaid of the Constitution under which South Australia will, Itrust, long continue to extend that prosperity which, underDivine Providence, has hitherto blessed the energy and honourableindustry of her children. I confidently expect that the extendedpolitical power entrusted to the people of this country, and theuniversal suffrage conceded by the new Constitution, will prove,in reality, a safe and conservative measure; and, whilstconferring the utmost possible powers of self-government, willrender stronger and more enduring than ever the cherished ties ofaffection and loyalty which link this province to the throne ofour respected and beloved Sovereign. I have therefore felt muchpleasure in recommending that the New Constitution Bill shouldreceive the royal assent; and in the event of any of its clausesappearing to exceed the powers of this Legislature, that animperial Act should be passed, ratifying the measure as far asmight be judged expedient, in preference to returning the Billfor further amendment."

On the 24th of October, 1856, the Governor received importantdespatches from England, together with the new Constitutionunaltered, which had been assented to by her Majesty at a Cabinetcouncil held in Buckingham Palace on the 24th of June, 1856. Itwas entitled "An Act to establish a Constitution for SouthAustralia, and to grant a Civil List to her Majesty." On the verysame day that the despatches were received in the colony, theGovernor proclaimed the new Constitution and the appointment ofthe new Ministry.** Contemporaneous with the proclamation in thecolony of the New Constitution Act, the new Waste Lands Act wasto have the force of law, transferring to the colonialLegislature the absolute control of the land fund. By this Actthe Crown vested in the colonial Legislature the whole of theunsold and unappropriated territory of the colony, and the poweralso to use the funds arising from the disposal of the said landsin any way that might seem most advisable or desirable.

Chief SecretaryThe Hon.B.T. Finniss.
Attorney-General""R.D. Hanson.
Treasurer""R.R. Torrens.
Commissioner of Public Works""A.H. Freeling.
""Crown Lands and
C. Bonney, Esq.

The civil list provided for the followingsalaries:—

First Judge1500
Second Judge1300
Crown Solicitor and Public Prosecutor600
Chief Secretary1300
Commissioner of Lands and Immigration800
""Public Works800

These salaries, of course, present a strikingcontrast to those fixed in the year 1836.]

The old Council assembled on the 11th of November, and thesession was brought to a close on the 11th of December, havingonly held seventeen sittings. It was the last session of thepartly elective and partly nominee Legislature, but the Councilwas not dissolved till the issue of the writs for the election ofthe new Parliament. During the short time that therepresentatives of the people had been entrusted with the partialcontrol of the affairs of the colony, they had worked with somuch zeal and ability as to entitle them to a foremost positionin the forthcoming elections. The members of the Executive hadwon golden opinions from the working classes, by securing thepartial discontinuance of immigration.

Notwithstanding that so much of the time and thought of peopleand rulers had been taken up in discussing the new Constitution,the year was not barren in results for the general good in otherspheres of action. The harvest had been abundant, and aproportionate exportation of wheat and flour had yielded liberalreturns. The value of wheat and flour exported amounted to theenormous sum of £528,320 13s. 4:d. Greatprogress, too, had been made in public works; the Adelaide Cityand Port Railway had been opened to the public, and the Gawlerline as far as to Salisbury; while "railway extension" was one ofthe main topics of discussion. One of the finest bridges in thecolony, to connect North and South Adelaide, had been constructedat a cost, including its approaches, of about £20,000.Commissioners for carrying out the great waterworks scheme hadbeen appointed and operations had commenced. The lighthouse onTroubridge Shoal had exhibited its warning light for the firsttime, and the necessary sums had been voted for similar beaconson Cape Borda and Cape Northumberland. The number of immigrantswas small in comparison with the previous year, and, owing to thesevere censures passed on the Land and Emigration Commissionersin England, they were of a much better class.

The year 1857 commenced with extensive preparations for theelection of members for the first Parliament of South Australia.Meetings of candidates were held in all parts of the country upto the time of the issue of writs for the several divisions anddistricts, after which time, as prescribed by the Act, no furtheraddresses were permitted. This "gagging" clause was roundlycondemned—more especially by candidates who were late inthe field—as an infraction of liberty of speech, the rightof free-born Englishmen.

Not a few, to whom the words "ballot" and "universal suffrage"suggested ideas of democracy, republicanism, and anarchy, thoughtthat the knell of the colony's ruin had been sounded. As the timefor the elections drew near it was found that to fill thefifty-four seats in the two Houses, namely, eighteen to theLegislative Council and thirty-six in the House of Assembly,there were twenty-seven candidates for the former and sixty-twofor the latter, making a total of eighty-nine. On the day ofnomination the discovery was made that nine candidates wereunopposed.

The 9th of March was the day fixed for the elections, and itwas announced that it would be a public holiday. Those who hadwitnessed the quiet and orderly manner in which the severalcandidates were nominated had no doubt come to the conclusionthat what many considered the glory of an election had departed.There had been no banners and ribbons, no music and orations, noshouting and fighting. The returning-officer had simply openedand read the letters proposing and seconding the variouscandidates, and this, with three cheers for the Queen, concludedthe proceedings.

The Electoral Act provided for the conduct of the elections ina similar quiet and orderly manner. There were to be no hustings,and the booths or polling-places were to be a specified distancefrom a public-house. No wonder, therefore, that on the day ofelection people were seen quietly resorting to the polling-placesas if they were going to exercise a national right and perform animportant duty. This done, there was no inducement to linger atthe spot, as it was provided that there would be no declarationof the state of the poll until the final stage was reached. Itwas a striking contrast to the scenes enacted at the lastelections, and all sober-minded people congratulated themselvesupon the reform.*

[* The result of the elections for the firstSouth Australian Parliament was as follows:—

For the LegislativeCouncil.

G.F. Angas, H. Ayers, C.H. Bagot, T. Baker, S.Davenport, Dr. C. Davies, Dr. C.G. Everard, J.H. Fisher, A.Forster, A.H. Freeling, E.C. Gwynne, G. Hall, Major T.S.O'Halloran, J. Morphett, A. Scott, W. Scott, E. Stirling, and W.Younghusband, = eighteen.

For the House ofAssembly.

City of Adelaide: R.R. Torrens, R.D. Hanson, F.S.Dutton, B.T. Finniss, J.B. Neales, W.H. Burford.
Port Adelaide: J. Hart, J.B. Hughes.
West Torrens: L. Scammell, J.W. Cole.
Yatala: J. Harvey, C.S. Hare.
Gumeracha: A. Blyth, A. Hay.
East Torrens: G.M. Waterhouse, C. Bonney.
The Sturt: T. Reynolds, J. Hallett.
Noarlunga: T. Young, H. Mildred.
Mount Barker: F.E.H.W. Krichauff, J. Dunn.
Onkaparinga: W. Milne, W.B. Dawes.
Encounter Bay: B.H. Babbage, A.F. Lindsay.
Barossa: W. Duffield, H. Dean.
The Murray: D. Wark.
Light: J.H. Bagot, C. Smedley.
Victoria: R.R. Leake.
Burra and Clare: G.S. Kingston, M. Marks, E.J. Peake.
Flinders: M. MacDermott.]

For the election the colony had been divided into "districts"and "divisions", the former electing members for the House ofAssembly, the latter for the Legislative Council. The members forthe latter House were to represent the whole colony, hence thedividing of it for the purpose of facilitating the elections. Themembers of the House of Assembly were to represent the districtswhich elected them, and the number of representatives for eachdistrict was regulated, as far as practicable, on a populationbasis.

By direction of her Majesty the members of the LegislativeCouncil and the Speaker of the House of Assembly were to have thetitle of "Honourable" conferred upon them, and were officially tobe addressed as such while occupying seats in the said Council,and the Speaker while holding office in such capacity. Themembers of the Executive Council (or of the Ministry) were alsoto enjoy a similar privilege or honour.

On the 22nd of April the new Parliament met, about a thousandpersons assembling on North Terrace to witness and cheer thearrival of the members and the Governor.

There is something really amusing, but at the same time verysplendid, in this inauguration of a Parliament for SouthAustralia. Let the reader try and realize it. The wholepopulation of the colony was estimated at 109,000; that is tosay, fewer by some hundreds than are to be found to-day in suchtowns in England as Brighton, Bolton, Portsmouth, Leicester, orCardiff, and considerably less than half the population ofBristol, Nottingham, or Bradford. The territory of the colony, onthe other hand, was nearly three times as large as that of thewhole of Great Britain; that is to say, it comprehended an areaof 300,000 square miles, or 192 millions of acres. Only twentyyears before, the land was practically uninhabited, with here andthere a wattle-and-dab hut, or a canvas tent; population, and acertain amount of wealth, had poured in from all quarters, butruinous reverses had been experienced. Out of these the peoplehad struggled, holding on with tenacity to each success until ithad been made more successful; throwing off one by one theleading-strings of paternal government until they attainedpolitical manhood.

To this handful of people, sixteen thousand miles, by sailingship, away from England, composed of men, not as a rule those whohad made their mark in the old country, or who were acquainted bypractical experience with the usages of the Imperial Parliament,but simply a body of sturdy, loyal, and enterprising Englishmenseeking in one of the rising commonwealths of Greater Britain toperpetuate the institutions of their native land—to themwas committed a system of responsible government involving theprinciples of universal suffrage, vote by ballot, equal electoraldistricts, and triennial Parliaments, together with the absolutecontrol of revenues hitherto under the Crown, namely, theproceeds of the sale and lease of the waste lands within theprovince, and the unfettered management of the public purse,whether in taxation or expenditure. It is equally a wonder thatthe Imperial Government should have had sufficient confidence inthe ability. loyalty, and discretion of the South Australians toentrust them with such a responsibility, as that men should havebeen found prepared and eager to accept it. "It must beconfessed," said the London Times in a somewhat sarcasticarticle, "that it is rather an odd position for a new communityof rising tradesmen, farmers, cattle-breeders, builders,mechanics, with a sprinkling of doctors and attorneys, to findthat it is suddenly called upon to find Prime Ministers,Cabinets, a Ministerial side, an Opposition side, and all theapparatus of a Parliamentary Government—to awake one finemorning and discover that this is no longer a colony, but anation, saddled with all the rules and traditions of thepolitical life of the mother country."

Saddled with cumbersome and costly Government machinery thecolony certainly was, and, in addition, it was subject to abusesto a great extent irremediable. For example, the power ofgoverning was placed, by universal suffrage, in the hands ofthose who not only possessed the smallest stake in the colony,but were the least intelligent. It is amusing to remember thatwhile the Constitution Act was under consideration, an endeavourwas being made to establish an educational test, at least to theextent of reading and writing, as some guarantee of fitness forthe exercise of the franchise; but even this was overruled by thedemocratic element in the Council as constituted at thattime.

Nevertheless, with all the drawbacks, inevitable in thecircumstances, the colonists hailed responsible government withenthusiasm, and after it had been tested by experience, theywould not for any consideration have returned to the old state ofaffairs.

There was much work to be done on that auspicious day when thefirst South Australian Parliament met—the reading of theproclamation for assembling the Parliament, and of the commissionfor taking the usual oaths; the election of President for theLegislative Council (the Hon. J.H. Fisher), and of Speaker forthe House of Assembly (Mr. G.S. Kingston), and to arrange theorder, by lot, in which one-third of the Council should retireevery four years. Then came the opening address, dealing firstwith the financial state of the province and then with themeasures which would claim the attention of Parliament, includinga Bill with regard to waste lands, an Education Bill (leavinguntouched, however, the principle of the existing law), and otherBills relating to public works.

It was not to be expected that all the new machinery, now putinto motion for the first time, would work well and smoothly atthe start off, and it was not long before there was a decided"hitch". The first important disarrangement threatened to producea deadlock. The occasion which brought the two Houses intocollision was an amendment by the "Council" of a Bill passed bythe "Assembly". The alteration made affected the principle of theBill, and went so far as to strike out a clause providing for therepeal of the dues upon shipping. This was considered by theAssembly to be a breach of its privileges, and they passed aresolution calling upon the Council "to reconsider the Bill,inasmuch as it is a breach of privilege for the LegislativeCouncil to modify any money Bill passed by this House."

This resolution was met by another in the Council, that "thepolicy pursued by the Ministry in attempting to legislate byresolution only in one branch of the Legislature is detrimentalto the interests of the colony, subversive of the Constitution,and calculated to bring about a collision between the two Housesof Parliament." This resolution was, however, withdrawn, and thealternative course was—a battle on the question ofprivilege or a peace conference. The former course was chosen,and, after an adjournment for the preparation of the estimates,the matter came on for debate.

It would not interest the general public to follow the longand wearisome discussions that ensued; suffice it to say that fora considerable time public business was delayed; a long-windedopinion of the President, who was learned in the law, wasobtained; much good temper, time, and eloquence were wasted onboth sides, and in the end only a feeble compromise was effected.Still there were some points of interest in the great "PrivilegeQuestion", as it was called, that are worth recording. When itwas found that there would be a deadlock unless some way ofescape could be devised, a conference was agreed upon, andcommittees were appointed by both Houses to draw up "reasons" forthe position taken up on either side. Those of the LegislativeCouncil were to the effect that there was no analogy between theImperial Parliament and the Parliament of South Australia,inasmuch as the British Upper House was hereditary and that ofthe province was elective, and as such was as much a guardian ofthe public purse as the Assembly, and further, that, with theexception of "originating" money Bills, the powers of the twocolonial Chambers were equal. It was contended that the word"originate" should be taken in its sense, and applied only to theintroduction of any money Bill. The Assembly, on the other hand,stood up for the analogy between the powers possessed by theBritish House of Commons and the colonial House of Assembly, andthat, notwithstanding the fact that the term "originate" had notbeen defined by either legislative or judicial interpretation,both Houses must be influenced by reasons drawn from analogy asto the practice and privilege of the Imperial Parliament, andthat, of course, reason and practice were conclusive in favour ofthe view of its privileges taken by the House of Assembly. ThatHouse further contended that as the right of the House of Commonsto originate money Bills was claimed by that House, and hadalways been allowed by the Crown and the Lords as a common-lawright, the claim of the House of Commons of excluding the Houseof Lords from modifying or altering such money Bills was aParliamentary privilege inherent in, and flowing from, thatright; therefore, as the Constitution Act vested in the House ofAssembly the exclusive right of originating money Bills, theright to exclude the Legislative Council from modifying oraltering such Bills was by direct and necessary implication alsoconferred.

Such being the attitude of both parties, public business wasat a standstill until the feeble compromise aforesaid waseffected. Briefly, it was as follows:—That while theAssembly should originate all money Bills, it should be competentfor the Council to suggest alterations; but should thosesuggestions not be heeded, the Bills might be returned by theAssembly for reconsideration, and be either assented to orrejected by the Council. The Council still claimed its right todeal with the monetary affairs of the province, but would notenforce its right to deal with the ordinary details of the annualexpenses of the Government.

These "concessions" were almost unanimously agreed to, and thecrisis was averted for the time being.

Another important feature in this first session of Parliamentwas the frequent changes in the Ministry. The first, consistingprincipally of the Executive members of the former Legislature,held office until the 20th of August, having, after severaldefeats, tendered their resignations on the 10th of that month.The next was known as the Baker Ministry (Hon. John Baker, ChiefSecretary), and held office from the 21st to the 27th, when, on avote of want of confidence moved by Mr. Torrens, they resigned,and the Torrens Ministry came in and held office from the 1st tothe 24th of September, when, Mr. Hanson having moved an adversevote declaring a certain proclamation of the Governor to be"unwarranted and illegal", he was called upon to form the HansonMinistry—and so on.

During this session Mr. (afterwards Sir) R.R. Torrensintroduced his celebrated Bill for the transfer of real property,which has created more interest and brought about a greaterreformation in the law of real estate than any measure everenacted thereon either in England or in the colonies. No seriousobjections were raised against it at the time, and the Billpassed its third reading in the House of Assembly on the 15th ofDecember with a majority of twelve, and in the LegislativeCouncil on the 26th of January, 1858, with a majority offive.

The design of Mr. Torrens was not only to dispense withtransferring real estate in the first instance by deed, but alsoin every subsequent transaction where a deed would have beenconsidered necessary.

"The first great principle of the Act," says Mr. Harcus, "isthe transferring of real property by registration of titleinstead of by deeds; the second is absolute indefeasibility oftitle. The system is very simple and very inexpensive. Thecertificate of title is registered in the official registry atthe Lands' Titles Office, the owner obtaining a duplicatecertificate. All transactions affecting the land appear on theface of the certificate, so that at a glance it may be seenwhether the property is encumbered or any charges are made uponit. If an owner wishes to mortgage his land, he takes hiscertificate to the office and has the transaction marked upon it.If he wants to sell, he passes over the certificate to thepurchaser, and the transaction is registered. Any man of ordinaryintelligence can do all that is necessary for himself, when oncehis property is brought under the Act." **

[** "South Australia: its History and Resources",by W. Harcus.]

The cost was nominal. A percentage of one half-penny in thepenny was paid, when the land was for the first time broughtunder the law, to ensure the soundness of the transaction, andfrom this fund the State guaranteed to protect rightfulproprietors when lands were brought by others under the Act. Itwas satisfactory to know that this provision was almostsuperfluous. When the accrued fund had reached £30,000,only £300 had been required to meet demands.

After accomplishing his arduous task, Mr. Torrens took a tripearly in 1860 to the neighbouring colonies, where he met with aseries of ovations, and was hailed as a general benefactor, eachcolony being anxious to put a similar law into operation. On hisreturn he was appointed to the office of Registrar-General forthe purpose of carrying out the measure. Various honours wereheaped upon him, and he was subsequently knighted. It was not tobe expected that Mr. Torrens would be able to carry everythingbefore him in peace. In 1860 two cases of litigation aroserelating to breaches of contract on the part of purchasers ofland, and resulted in a keen contest between the legal professionand the friends of the Act. The decision of the judges wasadverse to the Act, and it was determined to carry the case tothe Court of Appeal, when Mr. Justice Boothby made the singulardiscovery that under the New Constitution Act no such tribunalexisted!

It was while this case was under judicial consideration thatfourteen members of the legal profession drew up a lengthypetition to the Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of State for theColonies, praying that the Real Property Act might be referred tothe law officers of the Crown for their opinion as to itslegality and validity, before it received the assent of herMajesty.

Several colonial lawyers had, prior to this, addressed aletter to the Attorney-General, in which they expressed theiropinion that the new Act was repugnant to the laws of England,and offered to draw up a fresh Bill, This offer was declined withthanks.

Then occurred a long series of public meetings and debates.The long-winded and utterly wearisome discussions would notinterest anybody if they were reproduced, even in the briefestoutline, here. Like most other reforms, this important andbeneficent one had to encounter and overcome opposition fromnearly all quarters—its advocates in their excess of zealoverstated its strength, while its opponents left nothing undoneto find out its weak points. It was not in human nature thatlawyers who had made small fortunes by their tedious "providedalways" and "and whereas" could sit still and contemplate thesetime-honoured forms, which had been considered indispensable to agood title, being ruthlessly swept away; still less could theygaze upon vanishing six and eightpences and thirteen andfourpences with equanimity. What wonder, therefore, that theyaroused themselves and fought to the death!

But the go-ahead South Australians were neither to bebrowbeaten nor hoodwinked. They saw that the old system ofconveyancing (still adored in some old-fashionedcountries—the mother country, to wit) was costly andcumbrous, and failed to give that security which is the onlyexcuse for costliness, whereas the new system under the RealProperty Act was simple, cheap, and secure. Moreover, it wasspecially adapted to meet the need of a colony where land was acommon possession and a matter of daily bargain, instead of beingthe luxury of the few, and when once possessed was rarely partedwith, except under circumstances of necessity.

Of course, there were imperfections in the system on its firstintroduction, but this is not so much a matter of wonder as thatthese imperfections were so few and were easily remediable, whileits needs of amendment pale into insignificance beside theprotracted legislation which has been found necessary in themother country to bolster up the principles of the old system, toremove its anomalies, and to simplify its procedure.

From these discussions on the Real Property Act, there sprangup another—one of the most painful, and withal notable, inthe annals of the colony. It may be well, perhaps, to tell thestory in this place, although the case dragged its weary lengthalong for years. The facts were briefly these:—

Mr. Justice Boothby having expressed his doubts as to thevalidity of certain Acts passed by the colonial Legislature, onthe ground of their repugnance to the laws of England, renderedhimself obnoxious to the Parliament, the press, and the public,and this was greatly increased when he went so far as toabsolutely decide in the Supreme Court against the validity ofthe Peal Property Act and other Acts which had not then receivedthe royal assent. A motion for the appointment of a SelectCommittee "to examine into the recent decisions and conduct ofHis Honour, Mr. Justice Boothby, and to report thereon" wasopposed by Mr. G.F. Angas on the ground that the whole matterturned upon hearsay and newspaper reports. But the motion wascarried, and Mr. Angas was one of those chosen to act upon thecommittee.

Before this tribunal Mr. Boothby declined to appear; and thisfact, perchance, added to the bitterness of the report of theCommittee, a report from which Mr. Angas very strongly dissented,on the ground that the evidence adduced distinctly proved thatthe colonial judges had power to declare illegal and invalid Actswhich had been passed by the Legislature of the colony, assentedto by the Governor, and left to their operation by her Majesty,which was borne out by various decisions of the Courts of Law inother colonies and in England, and was consistent with therecognized and admitted principles of constitutional law. On thisand on many other grounds, he stood out in defence of Mr. JusticeBoothby, and a storm arose. So great was the outcry that meetingswere held in various parts of the colony for the purpose ofhearing the respective members give an account of the action eachhad taken in the matter.

By-and-by a petition was sent to the Queen, praying her toremove Mr. Justice Boothby from the bench, but it failed in itsobject; and instead of the judge being reprimanded, as someconfidently anticipated, the colonial Legislature received asevere censure from the Home Government.

Not satisfied with this, a second address to the Crown wasforwarded in 1866, to which the Secretary of State for theColonies replied that the ex parte statements against thejudge were insufficient grounds for his removal, and that unlessthe colony would agree to have the question argued before theJudicial Committee of the Privy Council, the local Governmentmust deal with the case themselves.

This they resolved to do, and in June, 1867, a series ofcharges were preferred against Mr. Boothby, who simply protested,but took no steps to defend himself.

The specific charges laid at his door were presented toParliament in the following resolutions:—"(1) That hepersistently refuses to administer laws duly enacted by theParliament of South Australia. (2) That he declines to giveeffect to the Imperial statute known as the Validating Act. (3)That he is accustomed from the Bench to impugn the validity ofthe local Court of Appeals. (4) That he refuses to conform hisjudgment to the decision of the Supreme Court. (5) That heobstructs the course of justice by perversity and habitualdisregard of judicial propriety. (6) That he has deliveredjudgments and dicta not in accordance with law."

The matter was ably and lengthily debated in the LegislativeCouncil, but on the motion for the removal of Mr. Boothby, Mr.Angas seconded an amendment for inquiry and report by a SelectCommittee, which was lost. In his speech he pleaded for justiceand impartiality, for calm and dispassionate inquiry, instead of"presenting to her Majesty's Privy Council mere declarationssought to be proved by newspaper reports, and even by the reportsof the very men who made the allegations."

The Government carried their point, but it was afterwardsgenerally admitted that it would have been better in everyrespect to have acted on the representations of Mr. Angas and thefew others who held the same views.

The whole case was difficult and delicate throughout, and wasdealt with in a manner which did not reflect great credit uponthe chief actors in it, and brought upon them the severe censureof the Imperial Government.

The colonial Parliament took upon itself the graveresponsibility of removing Mr. Boothby from office, and he atonce declared his intention to appeal to the Judicial Committeeof the Privy Council; but illness, brought on by ceaselessvexation and anxiety, supervened, and on the 21st of June, 1868,his death terminated the controversy.*

[* Quoted from the "Life of George Fife Angas",pp. 377-380.]

(Video) South Australian History | Gorge Weir | South Australia | Intrepids

We must now go back to the year 1857, to the close of thefirst session of the first South Australian Parliament. It hadbeen one of peculiar interest and importance, and hadaccomplished an amazing amount of work, notwithstanding itsendless discussions. Twenty-seven select committees had beenappointed, seven by the Legislative Council and twenty by theHouse of Assembly, while forty Bills had been introduced, twentyof which passed both Houses.

During the year the federal movement between the coloniesoccupied much attention out of doors and in Parliament. Itappeared that the Australian Association in England had addressedher Majesty's Government on the subject, and a draft Bill hadbeen prepared, providing for the federative union of thecolonies, to embrace such objects as lighthouses along the coast,railways, navigation of inland rivers, a postal system, and otheraffairs in which the colonies were collectively interested.Select Committees inquired into the subject, and did not reportdead against it; but the idea of federation was altogetherunpalatable to the majority, and the matter was for the timebeing allowed to drop.

One step of a federal character was, however, taken by theParliament this session in levying a tax upon the landing ofChinese in the colony—the Celestials having adopted theplan of disembarking by thousands in South Australia and walkingoverland to avoid the "head money" levied in Victoria on all sucharrivals in that colony by seaboard. Some of these visitorsproceeded up the Murray, but the large majority were landed atRivoli Bay or Guichen Bay, where they obtained guides to conductthem to the Victoria gold diggings. The landing tax wasconsidered by the majority as being mainly for the benefit of thesister colony, but it was denounced as illiberal, and was, aftera time, repealed. It served, however, to illustrate some of thedifficulties that must attend federal action.

On the 28th of December, 1857, the colony attained itsmajority. In many respects it was the most eventful year of itshistory, and it is not a little remarkable that it should, whilein its twenty-first year, have been entrusted with the entiremanagement of its own affairs by the introduction of responsiblegovernment. There were other coincidences of the year. The firstpile had been driven for the erection of a jetty at Glenelg, thefirst landing-place of the early settlers on the mainland; thefirst wire of the intercolonial telegraph for connecting SouthAustralia with the neighbouring colonies had been fixed; therailway had been opened to Gawler, one of the largest countrytowns.

Notwithstanding all the drawbacks of infancy—and theyhad been many and severe—the colony stood in a strong,vigorous, and healthy position at the age of maturity (reckoningaccording to the years of manhood).

The population, in 1857, was estimated at 109,917; the landalienated from the Crown from the foundation of the colony was1,557,740 acres, the purchase money amounting to £2,045,32411s.; the quantity of land in cultivation was 235,965acres; the number of horses, 26,220; of cattle, 310,400; of sheepand lambs, 2,075,805; the value of imports, £1,623,052; ofexports, the produce of the country, and mainly cereals,minerals, and wool, £1,744,184; the number of flour millswas 70; of manufactories, 226; of post-offices, 110; of letterspassed through the post-office, 934,550; of newspapers, 849,946;number of day schools, 167, with 7480 scholars; number of Sundayschools, 192, with 10,576 scholars; places of worship, 300, withaccommodation for 50,000 persons; births, 5183; marriages, 1218;deaths, 1304.

The celebration of Foundation Day was to have been a brilliantaffair, but a drenching rain marred the proceedings, which wereto have included the affixing a plate with a suitable inscriptionon the old gum tree under whose branches the colony wasproclaimed in 1836, the land on which it stood having been givento the Glenelg Corporation by the generous owner, Mr. J. Hector;but the ceremony was dispensed with at that time.

The second session of the first Parliament was somewhat barrenin subjects of general interest. A Bill for levying an assessmenton stock led to the appointment of a Select Committee, whorecommended that the measure should be withdrawn; but,notwithstanding this, the debate on the second reading extendedover seven days, and it finally passed both Houses without adivision. It was estimated that the revenue raised from thissource would amount to between £20,000 and £30,000per annum; but it was found to be a difficult measure to carryinto effect, and created a great deal of dissatisfaction on thepart of the squatters. The annual value of the land held on leaseat the time of passing the Bill was estimated at from£80,000 to £100,000. The distillation question, andtaxation generally, were also referred to a Select Committee, whoreported that, in their opinion, a system of collecting revenueby a duty upon imports possessed advantages over any system ofdirect taxation, and rendered any change inexpedient at thattime. A total repeal of the distillation laws was recommended,and concurrently a reduction of the duty on imported spirits tofour shillings per gallon, and further reductions annually, untila minimum duty of one shilling per gallon was reached. But nodefinite action was then taken.

During the year (1858) a cloud "no bigger than a man's hand"made its appearance, and before long spread far and wide. Amovement was set on foot by the working classes to obtain, ifpossible, a total discontinuance of free immigration, on theground that it was unnecessary while so many in the colony wereout of employment. On the other hand, the view was taken that theprevailing rate of wages rendered the profitable use of capitalimpossible. Certainly a country possessing unlimited resources ofvarious kinds, and growing food for a population considerablylarger than it contained, ought not to have been in the positionin which South Australia then was.

The matter claimed much of the attention of the third sessionof the first Parliament, which was opened in April (1859), muchearlier than usual, consequent upon an alteration in thecommencement of the financial year.**

[** On the fourth day of the session a singularcircumstance occurred in the House of Assembly, which nearlynecessitated another formal reopening of Parliament. After theordinary summons to the members, there was not a quorum in theHouse. The Speaker, without considering that the days of meetinghad not been fixed, adjourned the House until one o'clock nextday; but remembering that he had no power to do this, he recalledthe departing members, and a few more dropping in who had eithernot heard or had disregarded the previous summons, a House wasconstituted.]

In July a "Political Association" was formed, the approachingtermination of the existing Parliament presenting a favourableopportunity to the working classes for ventilating theirgrievances generally, and for making arrangements for the returnof members who would defend their rights and promote theirinterests. The "creed" of the Association was asfollows:—

"(1) We believe the time has now arrived when immigration atthe public expense should cease. (2) We believe that propertyshould never be considered in comparison with manhood; that thehappiness and well-being of the mass is paramount to theaggrandizement of the few. (3) We believe that all citizensshould have equal political rights. (4) We believe that membersof the Legislative Assembly should be paid. (5) We believe thatall lands alienated from the Crown and unimproved should betaxed. (6) We believe in law reform. (7) We believe the pressshould be free and unshackled."

Men are said to be almost always better than their creeds, andthe working men of South Australia, perhaps, did themselves aninjustice in issuing this bald programme. Their object was apolitical crusade against the wealthier classes. Times were bad,there was lack of employment, destitution had ensued;dissatisfaction had laid a firm hold on mechanics and artisans,and everything was ripe for the advent of the social demagoguewho had a panacea for every evil.

Many meetings were held. The first resolution passed at thefirst meeting was in these simple and modest terms: "That hisExcellency would be pleased to remove from his councils thepresent Ministry." Another, at a subsequent meeting, was to theeffect, "The widespread destitution is attributable toabsenteeism, and to the drainage of money from the colony forimmigration; "while another characterized a vote of £2000for the introduction of free immigration as "a policy wanting inhumanity, insulting to the understanding of the meanest capacity,likely to compromise the present peace and order of thecommunity, and opposed to the future prosperity of thecolony."

Memorials to the Governor were drawn up, and deputationsappointed to present them. Sir Richard MacDonnell was a practicalman, and he dealt wisely and well with his democraticpetitioners.

"In my opinion," he said to one deputation, "the want of thecolony is the want most felt by all new countries worthinhabiting, namely, more people to inhabit it and cultivate thesoil. The way to make the country wealthy is not necessarily bystopping the influx of people. I have never known immigration,well conducted, to interfere with legitimate wages; but, on theother hand, an influx of inhabitants, unattended with acorresponding influx of capital, is not, I admit, the way topromote the healthy and prosperous settlement of any country."Then, after urging them to use their political power wisely atthe next general election, he met a complaint that had been madeagainst the Government for not employing more labour in publicworks.

"If you will allow me to offer you advice," he said, "it wouldbe that you should avoid this growing tendency to look toGovernment, instead of to yourselves, and to cling to it in everyreverse or difficulty, rather than to rely on your own willinghearts and strong arms. There is a fair field for the workmanhere, as compared with England; and if the disposition to which Ihave referred is persisted in, it will be a curse to the workingman, and the most serious impediment to the prosperity of thecolony. . . . The necessity for that self-reliance which can seekand make employment is all the more evident because, before long,we cannot calculate upon such large proceeds from the sale ofCrown lands as we have hitherto enjoyed, and you must rememberthat it is from these sales that the principal amounts have beenderived for public works. . . ."

As the rules of the Destitute Asylum did not admit of reliefbeing granted to able-bodied individuals in good health, theGovernment established a labour test to meet the case of thosewho could not obtain work from any other source.* The rate fixedfor taskwork was so arranged as to allow men to earn from threeshillings to five shillings per day, and when they could not beemployed in this way, four shillings per day was to be the rateof payment.

[* The Government adopted a similar plan to thatpursued by Governor Grey in 1841, except that the test rate of1859 was more than double that of 1841.]

This was considered by the men as insufficient, and theinevitable memorial to the Governor, urging that six shillingsshould be the minimum price, was sent in.

Sir Richard, in reply, said he was grieved and disappointed tofind so many workmen in the vicinity of town still looking tolabour tests as a continuous means of obtaining a livelihood,instead of merely using them in the way intended, namely, astemporary makeshifts, whereby the industrious might gain time tolook out for more permanent and congenial employment, plenty ofwhich might be found, if diligently sought for. He justlyconsidered that any man who could earn four shillings, andnevertheless remained idle because he could not earn sixshillings, might be considered as squandering the money herefused to take, and disqualified himself from obtaining thehighest wages accorded to others of his class.

It was these circumstances which led to the formation of theWorking Men's Association, and subsequently the PoliticalAssociation, with its branches in various parts of thecolony—an association which exercised a powerful influencein 'the election of members for the ensuing Parliament byreturning men who were pledged to represent their interest, and,in some cases, theirs only. From the results which followed itwas clear that the other classes of the community had notrealized the power which the ballot and universal suffrage hadplaced in the hands of working men.

The great depression in the labour market at this time couldbe mainly traced to two causes—one a deficiency in thewheat crop for four successive seasons, leading gradually to acrisis, and the other a partial recovery from the disarrangementcaused by the exodus to the gold-fields, and the subsequent highrate of wages obtainable when the influx of gold into the colonytook place, creating a fictitious, superficial, and temporarystate of prosperity, leading in its turn to a large amount ofimprovidence, an erroneous view of the value of money, and othermore serious evils.

Early in July, 1859, news reached the colony that Austria haddeclared war against Sardinia, and that active preparations werebeing made in England, in the event of other European powersbeing so involved as to necessitate Britain taking a part in thecontest. In August came the intelligence that hostilities hadcommenced, that France had joined the Sardinians, and that somedesperate battles had been fought and won by those united Powers.A proclamation by the Queen was forthwith issued by the Governor,declaring the neutrality of Britain and requiring the "strictobservance of this attitude on the part of all the colonies anddependencies of the British Empire."

While South Australia was quite prepared to obey this orderboth in letter and in spirit, it was considered necessary tofollow the example of the mother country in making preparationfor any emergency. France was as much distrusted in Australia asin England, and the existence of a French naval station at NewCaledonia, no great distance from the Australian coast, led thecolonists to be on the alert. A Militia Bill and a VolunteerForce Bill were therefore passed through the Legislature, and theGovernment proceeded to enrol the militia, but it was understoodthat if two thousand volunteers offered their services themilitia would not be called out except in case of absolutenecessity.

Energetic steps were taken to enrol sufficient volunteers, andrifle corps were formed in most of the districts, the Governmentundertaking to provide rifles and ammunition on certainconditions, together with a small sum towards uniform. MajorNelson, of the 14th Regiment, the officer in command of themilitary, was appointed inspecting field officer. By December,sixteen companies were formed, upwards of six hundred volunteersenrolled, rifle butts had been erected on the South Park-lands,ball firing had been regularly practised, and two artillerycompanies had commenced target practice.

Meanwhile Australia had been constituted a separate navalstation, independent of the East India and China station. CaptainLong, of H.M.S. Iris, was appointed commodore of thesecond class; the Iris, Elk, Niger,Cordelia, and Pelorus forming the Australiansquadron.

An event occurred in this year (1859) which will ever beremembered by South Australians as one of the saddest, mosttragic, and most exciting in the annals of the colony.

In 1858 there arrived in the colony a splendid new steamship,the Admella, for the Adelaide and Melbourne trade, hername being a contraction and conjunction of the names of thesetwo cities. On Monday, the 8th of August, 1859, a telegram wasreceived in Adelaide from Mount Gambier, announcing that thekeeper of the lighthouse at Cape Northumberland had reported thetotal wreck of the Admella at some little distance fromthe cape, and the probable loss of nearly all on board. The news,it was stated, had been communicated by two of the crew of theill-fated vessel, who had arrived at the lighthouse in anexhausted condition.

When this startling and melancholy intelligence was circulatedthere was distress and excitement in Adelaide such as had neverbeen witnessed before. It was known that the Admella hadleft Port Adelaide on the 5th with between sixty and seventypassengers on board, most of whom had relations and friends inthe city. The telegraph office was in consequence besieged, andintense excitement prevailed. Unfortunately, no preciseinformation could be obtained, fragments of news only arrived atintervals, and the suspense was painful in the extreme.

Early on Tuesday morning telegrams were received stating thatthe steamer struck on a reef during foggy weather on Saturday andbroke into four pieces, the boats had been washed adrift, andwhen the two men left, bodies were floating around them.Passengers had offered money, jewellery, everything they had, tobe brought ashore, but the raft would only bear the two sailors;the second mate had tried to reach the shore, but was drowned inthe attempt. Only the poop of the vessel was out of water, andthe wreck was at least a mile from the beach and twenty-five fromthe lighthouse. A ray of hope came with the tale of sorrow. Thetwo men who had reached the shore were so bewildered that noreliance was to be placed upon their report as to how many werealive on the wreck.

Meanwhile all that could be done in Adelaide, over two hundredand fifty miles away, was done. The Corio had beendespatched from the Port to render assistance. Then came hoursand days of intensely anxious suspense. Business generally was ata standstill; both Houses of the Legislature met and adjourned(two sons of the President of the Council had taken passage inthe vessel, and their fate was unknown).

Thus Tuesday passed away. Wednesday brought tidings that thoseon the wreck had exchanged signals with those on shore, butneither boat nor steamer was in sight. By the aid of a telescopetwenty persons were seen on the wreck, and a Mr. Rochfort wasrecognized as one of them. A lifeboat had been despatched, butshe could not be got through the surf. Towards evening a steamerthree miles off was seen approaching, but the sea was too roughfor her to attempt a rescue. This was the last news received onthe fifth day that the survivors had been on the wreck, and thethird since the news reached Adelaide. Excitement was at whiteheat, and it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that half thecitizens of Adelaide spent a sleepless night.

Early on Thursday morning the telegraph office was thronged bya pale and anxious crowd. The first telegram announced that theCorio was close by the wreck, that Rochfort, the captain,the first mate, Mr. Magarey, and a woman were recognized, butthat the surf was too strong for any boat to live in it. Later inthe day came other telegrams stating that the survivors werefewer, two having been seen to drop into the sea since daylight;that the Ladybird, despatched from Melbourne, and theAnt from Guichen Bay, were on the alert to renderassistance; that the lifeboat of the Corio had beenlaunched, but could not reach the wreck—it had got insidethe reef and been thrown up on the beach, and the survivorswitnessing the mishap had sent up a despairing shout, distinctlyheard on shore, as if their last hope had gone. The wreck stoodabove high water as high as a man could reach, and, the hullhaving canted over to port, the survivors were sitting or lyingon the starboard bulwark. A reward of £500, it wasreported, had been offered by one gentleman to any person whowould bring a single individual from the wreck alive. Such weresome of the gloomy and disheartening tidings of the day.

Friday brought news of gallant but unsuccessful attempts byshore boats and the Portland lifeboat to reach the wreck, but thesea was running mountains high, and the brave men gave up theirefforts in despair, not, however, until serious injury had beendone to some of their number. As the telegrams broughtinformation of their vigorous but unsuccessful attempts, itseemed to the anxious inquirers at Adelaide that all human helpwas in vain, and when some one proposed a special prayer-meeting,crowds left the telegraph office and proceeded to the Wesley anchapel in Pirie Street.

On Saturday there was very little news; hope deferred had madethe heart of the people sick, but they wandered about thestreets, hardly losing sight of the telegraph office untilevening, when the following telegram was posted up:—

"Glorious news! Twenty-two saved, including Rochfort, HurtleFisher, Captain McEwan, Andrew Fuller, and Thomas Davey. Othernames not known. Nineteen gone on to Portland in theLadybird. Three on shore. The nineteen were rescued by thelifeboat of the Ladybird, and the three by the Portlifeboat in charge of Germain. These taken off the wreck at eighto'clock this morning. . Poor George Fisher drowned. Sufferers allmuch exhausted. . . ."

Further particulars came at intervals, and on Monday the firstmate was sufficiently recovered to give full details, which wereat once wired to Adelaide.

Thus ended a week of the most intense interest, anxiety, andsuspense ever experienced in South Australia. By the calamity atleast eighty lives were lost, under the most heart-rendingcircumstances. Large subscriptions were raised for the rescuers(over £3000), and also for those of the sufferers whoneeded help, and medals were awarded to those who hadconspicuously distinguished themselves for bravery.

On the 1st of March, 1860, the first South AustralianParliament was dissolved by proclamation. When the writs for thenew elections were issued, the Political Association set to workin right good earnest to secure the return of members who shouldmake South Australia the paradise of working men.

The elections took place on the 13th of March, with the resultthat many important changes were made in the new Parliament,insomuch that the Register thus defined the position: "Wecannot enter into any analysis of party gains and losses, for thevery cogent reason that we have had no defined parties.** The oldtitles Whigs and Tories never had significance here, and even theterms Liberal and Conservative fail to convey any definitemeaning. Here, we who wish to maintain the democraticinstitutions we have established are to all intents and purposesConservatives, while the party whose political bias would inBritain be deemed Conservative are, in the very nature of things,Destructives here. The great majority of the people of SouthAustralia are Democratic-Conservatives, and the minority consistsof two factions having nothing in common but their opposition tothe majority."

[** "Parties are divided upon particularsubjects. There is a squatting party and an anti-squatting party;a Government House party, and a party opposed to GovernmentHouse; a religious endowment party and a party unfavourable toreligious endowments; but as to well-defined lines of politicaldemarcation, you might as well look for ink-spots in the moon.This want of party organization has produced a chronic state ofministerial instability. In the nine years of responsiblegovernment in South Australia, there have been fifteen absolutechanges of Ministry, besides several changes in individualoffices. In order to save the country from the expense offrequent elections in the event of ministerial crises, and tofacilitate a speedy readjustment of the Government machinery, itwas provided that a member accepting a responsible office shouldnot be required to go back to his constituents."—A.Forster, 1866.]

The second Parliament of South Australia assembled on the 27thof April, 1860.*** The Governor stated, among other things, that,the volunteer force being sufficiently strong, the militia wouldnot be called out at present, although steps had been taken tohave it in readiness. The number of destitute poor haddiminished, and there were not at that time any able-bodiedlabourers dependent on the Government for employment.

[*** The days of meeting for the Council werethree in each week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; for theHouse of Assembly four, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday;the time of meeting for the House of Assembly being half-pastone.]

Before the reply to the Governor's opening address had passedthe House of Assembly, a serious change in the Ministry wasannounced, originated by the resignation of Mr. Finniss asTreasurer. Other changes followed. The Hanson Cabinet went out,and Mr. T. Reynolds took the reins.

As every young man has his escapades of one sort or another,and has to learn wisdom by experience, so it is with youngGovernments. South Australia was feeling its way, and it had anumber of excellent men pressing to the front, anxious to do goodin their time, and to leave their names inscribed on the scrollof fame. But no new man could then come to the front in politicallife unless he could introduce a bigger programme than hispredecessor, and this is the one Mr. Reynolds set before thecountry:—

(1) Retrenchment, the principal part of the policy of the newMinistry;

(2) Repeal of the ad valorem duties;

(3) Abolition of harbour and light dues, and remodelling ofpilot service;

(4) Amalgamation of Harbour Trust, Trinity Board, and LocalMarine Board into one body, to be called the Marine Board;

(5) Establishment of circuit courts;

(6) Opening up of Northern Country for profitableoccupation;

(7) Such alterations in the mode of disposing of the Crownlands as may be necessitated by the legislation of theneighbouring colonies;

(8) Placing the salaries of all members of boards on theestimates, so as to bring all official expenditure under thecontrol of the Assembly;

(9) Reform of the Civil List for the purpose ofretrenchment;

(10) Reform of the Constitution Act by substituting some layofficer in the Cabinet for the professional one ofAttorney-General;

(11) Amendment of the Real Property Act in accordance with theviews of the Registrar-General, Lands Titles Commissioners, andtheir solicitors;

And eight other items equally sweeping and radical.

With such a programme as this a long sitting of Parliament wasinevitable. At all events, from the composition of the new House,the Ministry saw that the way was clear for many and greatreforms, and the old party that had, comparatively, so longadministered the affairs of the colony, knew by the result of theelections that the constituencies had determined to secure, ifpossible, some radical changes.

The Ministry was decidedly popular, and the two Houses workedtogether much more harmoniously than could have been expected.Moreover, the personal composition of the Parliament at the closeof the session was precisely the same as at thecommencement—a rare circumstance in those days. Itindicated a fixity and settlement in the political condition ofthe province, and showed that the constituencies had not, afterall, made an unwise selection of men to represent them.

In following the story of the settlers we have to some extentlost sight of the aborigines, and we must now go back in theirhistory to the time when Archdeacon Hale conceived an idea which,more than any other previously advanced, seemed to meet the needof the natives. The great difficulty had always been to checktheir vagrant habits, and to overcome this evil the Archdeaconresolved to attempt the establishment of a native institution insome locality as far removed as possible from the centres ofEuropean population, and also at a distance from the usual hauntsof the aborigines. By thus isolating the children of the nativesand forming them into a little colony he concluded that a mutualattachment would grow up between the sexes, and in course oftime, after acquiring a moderate amount of education, combinedwith a knowledge of husbandry and of some of the most usefultrades, they would marry and continue to practise the civilizedhabits they had acquired.

In May, 1850, the plans of Archdeacon Hale were sufficientlymatured to enable him to commence operations. The spot selectedfor his praiseworthy and self-denying experiment was BostonIsland, about three and a half miles in length, of the averagebreadth of one and a half miles, and stretching along the easternside of Boston Bay, thus partly forming the harbour of PortLincoln, from which township it was about four miles distant.

The party at first consisted of eleven persons; eight natives(four of each sex), the Archdeacon, Mr. Minchin, and Mr. Rayner.The only accommodation they had was a tent for the females andanother for the stores, and for the rest a breakwind of wattlebranches and the canopy of heaven for a roof.

"Our object in choosing this locality," said the Archdeacon,"was principally seclusion, that we might be cut off from thesociety of blacks living in a wild state, and protected from theunwelcome intrusion of evil-minded persons amongst the whites.These advantages we set against the formidable disadvantage thatno permanent fresh water had as yet been found upon theisland."

After a fruitless search for water the island was abandoned,and Poonindie, on the mainland in Louth Bay, near the river Tod,was selected as the site for future operations. Mere theArchdeacon and his party forthwith reared three substantial stonehouses and nine log huts; a block of about three thousand acresof surveyed land was rented for the institution, and bypurchasing the sheep depasturing on the surrounding runs the useof about twelve square miles was acquired as a run. In a fewmonths the settlement was formed, many acres were cleared,fenced, and sown, and wells were dug. In all these operations thenatives assisted, being paid at the rate of sixpence a day, whichit is said they never squandered, but expended in clothes forthemselves, or articles for their houses. In process of time thenative school at North Terrace was discontinued, about fiftychildren being drafted from thence to Poonindie. There acapacious chapel and schoolroom were erected, and additional hutswere reared for married couples, of whom there were as many asseven or eight.

The institution grew and flourished, and so long as theArchdeacon had the superintendence of it the expenses ofmanagement were kept under by the services rendered by thenatives.

In 1856 the appointment of Archdeacon Hale to the bishopric ofPerth necessitated his giving up the charge of the institute, andDr. Octavius Hammond became his successor. When the Archdeaconresigned there were sixty individuals maintained and underinstruction, but within the subsequent fifteen months no fewerthan twenty were removed by death, and a period of depression andanxiety set in.

Meanwhile, in 1858, the "Aborigines' Friends Association" wasformed, and the Hon. G.F. Angas was appointed its firstpresident. The object of the association was "the moral,spiritual, and physical well-being of the natives of thisprovince." Under the auspices of this association the PointMacLeay Institution for Natives was inaugurated, Mr. G. Taplinbeing the superintendent. For the first few years it wastolerably well supported by contributions from the Governmenttowards food and clothing, and partly by private contributions.Then came a falling off, due in great measure to the sad fact,applying equally to the Poonindie Institute, that there was agreat mortality amongst the native inmates, and the inferencecould not be overlooked that the confinement of the schools, andthe comparatively close application of the mind to study, had aprejudicial effect upon the health of these children of thebush.

In 1860 a Select Committee of the Legislative Council wasappointed, of which Mr. G.F. Angas was a member, "to inquire intothe appropriation of the funds set aside from time to time forthe use and benefit of the aborigines, and to suggest suchmeasures as were likely to tend to the future and permanentbenefit of the natives and the community at large"—a broadsubject, but it was taken up heartily, especially by Mr. Angas,who had been among the first to care for these poorcreatures.*

[* It will be remembered that the firstsystematic attempt to instruct the natives was made by Messrs.C.G. Teichelmann and W.C. Schürmann, who were sent out fromthe Lutheran Missionary Society at Dresden, under the auspicesand mainly at the expense of Mr. G.F. Angas.]

The recommendations of the committee were excellent, but, inview of the fact that every previous effort to permanentlybenefit the natives had ended more or less in failure, theprospect of these recommendations being carried out was more thandoubtful. Even Mr. Angas, who from the first had been morehopeful than any one for the future of the natives, and had beenprobably the largest contributor to agencies working for theirgood, was forced to arrive at the followingconclusions:—"The committee submit as their strongconviction that permanent benefit to any appreciable extent fromattempts to Christianize the natives can only be expected byseparation of children from their parents and from the evilinfluences of the tribe to which they belong. However harshlythis recommendation may grate on the feelings ofpseudo-philanthropists, it would in reality be a work of mercy tothe rising generation of aborigines." The report concluded withthe old sad story: "All the evidence goes to prove that they havelost much and gained little or nothing by their contact withEuropeans, and hence it becomes a question how far it is in ourpower, or what is the best possible means of compensating themfor the injuries they have sustained, or of mitigating the evilsto which, so far as they are concerned, our forced occupation oftheir country has led."

Among the causes of their rapid decrease in number thefollowing were specified:—(1) From infanticide to a limitedextent. (2) From certain rites performed upon young men impairingtheir physical powers. (3) From the introduction among them byEuropeans of more aggravated forms of disease than were known toexist prior to our occupation of the country. (4) From theintroduction and use of intoxicating liquors, a habit which isprevalent to excess among the natives, who, despite existing lawsto the contrary, are frequently aided by Europeans in obtainingsupplies. (5) From the disproportion of the sexes.

Some idea of the ratio of decrease may be gained from the factthat within an area of 2800 miles, the population, which in 1841numbered 650, was in 1856 only 180.

The first and only reliable census of the aboriginalpopulation was taken in 1861, when it was found that there were2375 males of all ages, and 2022 females, or a grand total of4397.

For several years it was a custom to assemble the natives atAdelaide on the anniversary of the Queen's birthday, and givethem a feast. It was inaugurated by Governor Gawler, who gavethem the good old English fare of roast beef and plum pudding,and he was long remembered by the aborigines as "bery goodGubner", who gave them "plenty tuck out." Blankets were alsogiven on these occasions to the aged and infirm. In the firstyear, 1841, only 283 persons assembled, but the numbers graduallyincreased, till in 1845 about nine hundred presented themselves.This was inconvenient, more especially as quarrelling andfighting generally ensued, and therefore the plan of distributingthe Queen's bounty in the native settlements was adopted. But thenumbers in attendance fell year by year, and in 1856 the customwas discontinued. Alas, and the pity of it! the day was fastapproaching when there would be no aborigines left toassemble.

Although the natives of Australia were not comparable inintelligence to the Maoris of New Zealand, they were not thedegraded set of human animals that some writers have described.They had in them the germs of better things, and in proportion asthey were educated, the better qualities came into play. Amongthese was generosity and a keen sense of humour—phases ofcharacter not generally ascribed to them. An illustration of boththese points may be given in an anecdote of the experience of theRev.—Reid, a zealous clergyman, bent on Christianizing thenatives on the Coorong, and who literally died in their service,as he was capsized in his two-masted open boat when on a missionto them, and was drowned. On one occasion he found some of theseCoorong natives cooking mullet. As they were about to eat, Mr.Reid, wishing to improve the occasion, said, "Who gave you thatfish?" "Me catch'm", was the answer. "No," said the piousminister, "God gave you that fish. God gives black felloweverything." The natives gave some quick, merry glances, and wenton with their meal. Towards the end, as there was food in plentyand Mr. Reid was hungry, he said, "You give me some fish." Atonce the answer came, "What for me give you fish? You ask'm God;Him give you plenty." Whereupon there was a roar of laughter;but, nevertheless, two or three fish were at once thrust into theclergyman's hands.

During the administration of Sir Richard MacDonnell, manyimportant explorations-and discoveries were made and public worksundertaken, which deserve more than a passing notice here. Let usglance at a few of these events in detail.

On closing the session of the Legislative Council in June,1856, the Governor alluded to a project for connecting by railthe capital of the colony with the Murray—that great riverwhich traverses with its navigable stream of two thousand milesthe three extensive British colonies of New South Wales,Victoria, and South Australia, receiving tributaries which intheir turn traverse many hundred miles of valuable country, andafford the cheapest and best of all carriage where obtainable ina new country—namely, internal water carriage.

In strong and vigorous language, the Governor brieflyforeshadowed a scheme for carrying into effect his pet idea. Butpublic opinion was not so strongly in favour of the great MurrayRailway scheme as he was. The public did not relish the idea ofthe enormous debt it was proposed to incur, nor were theyunanimous in considering the undertaking even desirable. By manythe Goolwa and Port Elliot tramway connecting the Murray with theseaboard was considered amply sufficient for the purposes oftraffic, while others recognized the importance of saving timeand distance by direct railway communication between the upperwaters of the river and the capital. The question was also one ofrival northern and southern interests, as the railway in thenorth would, to some extent, affect the trade at the Goolwa endof the southern districts; and so, for a time, the matter wasallowed to lapse. Meanwhile, about the middle of August, 1856,Sir Richard MacDonnell, accompanied by Lady MacDonnell, thePrivate Secretary, Surveyor-General, and Mr. Younghusband,started for a trip up the Murray. They proceeded to Moorundie,and there embarked in the steamer Melbourne, having thebarge Eureka alongside with a cargo of 160 tons,intended principally for Albury. The Melbourne leftMoorundie on the 25th of August, and on the 25th of September theparty disembarked for the purpose of visiting Beechworth. Here,as at all other places visited, the Governor was kindly welcomedwith every mark of respect. On the 30th they left Beechworth andreturned to Goolwa by way of Albury, the distance between thesetwo places being estimated at eighteen hundred miles. The partyreturned to Adelaide on the 23rd of October, after an absence ofover two months. The trip was taken for the purpose of personallyinspecting the capabilities of this great river for traffic andcommerce; but, of course, it did not add much to the sum ofgeographical knowledge. It was, however, only one of manyjourneys taken by the Governor, who was so excellent a travelleras to entitle him to a place among the explorers of SouthAustralia.

From 1857 onwards, a series of explorations was undertaken bythe South Australian Government, and nearly all of them were inthe direction where Eyre and Sturt had previously travelled. Butwhat was then called Lake Torrens presented for a long time animpenetrable barrier to the exploration of the northern interior;nevertheless, as we shall see, each successive attempt helped tomake the great discovery of Mr. J.M. Stuart possible.

In 1856 the Legislative Council voted the sum of £1000to aid in a search for gold, and Mr. B.H. Babbage, Governmentgeologist, who was entrusted with the command of the expedition,set forth northwards in September. He did not find gold, but notfar from Eyre's Mount Hopeless he discovered an extensive creek,which he named MacDonnell, after the Governor, and a fresh-waterlake, which he named Blanchewater, in honour of Lady MacDonnell.The country thus discovered was visited in 1857 by Mr. G.W.Goyder, Deputy Surveyor-General, who was sent out to establish atrigonometrical survey of the neighbourhood. Mr. Goyder reportedthe discovery of a magnificent and extensive fresh-water lake anda creek, to which he gave the name of Freeling. To follow up thisdiscovery, Captain Freeling, the Surveyor-General, organized aparty, and left Adelaide in July by steamer for Port Augusta, andreached the scene of Goyder's supposed discoveries. But,unfortunately, he was not able to confirm Mr. Goyder's report; onthe contrary, he wrote as follows:—

"I much regret that what there is to relate is decidedlyunfavourable to the extension of discoveries in the directionmentioned, and by the means proposed. The extensive baysdescribed in Mr. Goyder's report, the bluff headlands, theseveral islands towards the north and south shores, thevegetation covering them, and their perpendicular cliffs have allteen the result of mirage, and do not in point of fact exist asrepresented." One of Mr. Goyder's party, who accompanied CaptainFreeling, stated that the water had receded half a mile since hisformer visit. The captain and some of the party waded into themud for a considerable distance, and at the farthest pointreached, he described the view as desolate in the extreme, thesame shallow waters, low islands, and mud extending round threeparts of the horizon. So ended a fruitless journey.

In 1856 Mr. B.H. Babbage made certain proposals to theCommissioner of Crown Lands with reference to the outfit of anexpedition to explore Lake Torrens more thoroughly, and, aftercrossing it at a certain point, to proceed to the north-west asfar as possible. The Government, with the sanction of Parliament,was entrusted with the necessary outfit; Mr. Babbage wasappointed leader of the party, and Mr. Harris, of the SurveyOffice, second in command. In February, 1857, the expedition setforth, the route being through the districts occupied by the mostdistant sheep and cattle stations, from whence the movements ofthe explorers were reported—disadvantageously, for Mr.Babbage seemed loth to take a plunge into the wilderness, and thedelay called forth such dissatisfaction from the people that itbecame the subject of inquiry in Parliament, and eventually ofhis recall. Major Warburton, Commissioner of Police, beingappointed in his place. But the whole expedition did not resultin any appreciable advantage to the colony, and ended indisappointment to all concerned, as well as with an expenditureof £5552.

One painful discovery made by Mr. Babbage was that of the deadbody of a gallant explorer. Messrs. W. Coulthard, Brooks, andScott had gone forth on an expedition in search of a good sheepcountry, and when north of Port Augusta announced to somereturning travellers their intention to push forward in thedirection of the Pernatty Lagoon. They were warned of the extremehazard of the undertaking, owing to the intense heat and lack ofwater, but, disregarding the caution, they went their way. Whensearching for water, Coulthard got separated from his companionsand was lost in the bush. Every possible search was made byMessrs. Brooks and Scott, but without avail, and no one ever sawhim again alive. But Mr. Babbage accidentally found his remains,and near to the body a shepherd's tin canteen, on which wasscratched one of the saddest records ever penned. It was asfollows:—

"I never reached water. I do not know how long it is since itis that I left Scott and Brooks, but I think it Monday, bleedingPomp to leive on his blood. I took his black horse to look forwater and the last thing I can rember is puling the saddle offhim and letting him gountil now is not goodlongit may be wether 2 or 3 days I do not knowI am notshureMy Tung is stiking to my mouth and I see what I haverote and know this is the last time I may have of expressingfeeling Blind (?) altho feeling excefor want ofwaterMy ey Dazels my tong burnI can see no wayGod help——."

The earlier words were firmly and clearly marked, but towardsthe end they became almost illegible scratches, made, it isevident, when the poor fellow, blind and half mad, was in theagony of death. To add to the sadness of the story, it was foundthat within half a mile of the bush where Coulthard lay down todie, there was a waterhole with an abundant supply of water.

About this time (1857-8), a number of explorations wereoriginated. Mr. Stephen Hack, accompanied by Mr. Harris of theSurvey Department, tried to penetrate to the north-west, but wasunable to pass the dense scrub. A private party, consisting ofMessrs. D. Thomson, M. Campbell, and C. Swinden, started from thehead of Spencer's Gulf for a trip northwards, and came upon thelarge lagoon called by the natives Pernatty, two remarkable hills(Bonney's Bluff and Bottle Hill), and a creek which they namedthe Elizabeth. They were only away for a few days, as they hadnot much provision with them; but their discoveries wereimportant, although it afterwards transpired that some of thecountry had previously been examined.

Of the two expeditions under Major Warburton, the Commissionerof Police, the one in which he was sent to recall Mr. Babbage wasmost fruitful in results. On his return journey he conceived theidea of crossing the supposed bed of Lake Torrens, and reachingthe settled districts by this entirely new route. The passage wasa complete success, for instead of having to wade through water,or plunge through mud, as indicated in the maps then extant, themajor found good dry land, and no obstacles other than thoseordinarily met with in new and untrodden paths.

Later, Major Warburton and Mr. Samuel Davenport examined someof the country from Streaky Bay to Lake Gairdner, as well as theGawler Range district, but no striking discoveries were made.

Two expeditions made by the Governor, Sir Richard MacDonnell,in the year 1859 deserve some notice here. Of the first he gavean account to the Hon. G.F. Angas, who was at that time on avisit to England, as follows:—

"Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island, Feb. 17,1859.

"I am just returned from a very rapid and successful exploringexpedition up the Darling in Cadell's steamer, the Albury.I regard all these expeditions as an extension of this colony'scommercial boundary, which, after all, is its real boundary formany important purposes. It will interest you to learn that Ionly left Adelaide on the 23rd ult. (January), and havingembarked at Blanche Town on board of the Albury after aride of seventy miles (viâ Angaston) from Gawler through afierce hot wind, I reached the junction on the 26th and slept onMount Murchison, 290 miles by land and 600 by water from thejunction, on the 5th instant, whilst I now write to you fromKangaroo Island on the 17th, having between the 23rd ult. andthis morning steamed on Australian rivers nearly 2400 miles, andridden about 200.

"I have just been telling Sturt how smoothly I have beengliding through scenes of his hardships and disasters. We arecertainly progressing, as you may judge when I tell you that anorder dated from Sydney the 23rd of January to deliver four tonsof goods at a station 400 miles up the Darling, was executed onthe 3rd of February, only eleven days after the order was givenat Sydney. . . ."

The Governor's second journey was made in October of the sameyear, for the purpose of seeing the discoveries of Sturt,Babbage, and Warburton in the north. The farthest point reachedwas a range of hills which he named the Denison Range in honourof the Governor-General. Sir Richard was absent for nearly threemonths, and during that time he rode on horseback 1800 miles,endured the hardships of heat and thirst common to explorers, andproved himself to be an excellent bushman.

But all the explorations of this period, valuable as theywere, pale into insignificance beside those of John McDouallStuart, South Australia's greatest explorer. His achievementshave been so often and so fully told in detail, that it will notbe necessary to give more than the barest outline here.

In April, 1859, Mr. Stuart, the draughtsman of Captain Sturt'sexpedition, went out northwards and travelled through thePernatty country in search of pastoral runs for Messrs. Chambersand Finke. He was accompanied by Mr. Kekwick and one attendant,and was provided with nine horses. On the 17th of July Stuartreturned to Adelaide, and reported that he had succeeded inreaching the then northern boundary of the colony in aboutlatitude 26° south, and that the country traversed consistedmostly of immense plains interspersed with numerous hillocks,from the summit of which springs of water gushed out. Ranges,rivers, and creeks were also met with by this small and intrepidparty; in short, a most fertile and interesting tract of countrywas reported to exist where it was previously supposed that onlyscrub, sand, and saline lakes were to be found. To complete theglowing picture it was rumoured that an auriferous country hadalso been discovered. This rumour was re-echoed some timeafterwards by the Royal Geographical Society, to whom someparticulars of the expedition, not known elsewhere, werecommunicated. So highly did the Society appreciate Stuart'slabours that they awarded him a handsome gold watch.

When Stuart returned to Adelaide Parliament was in session,and in order to encourage him, or some other explorer, to crossthe continent and reach the northern coast a sum of £2000was voted as a reward for the accomplishment of this feat. Mr. A.Tolmer was the first competitor, but before he had got beyond thereach of the settled districts, owing to difficulties with thehorses and dissensions among his men, he gave up the attempt.

Meanwhile, Stuart, with the assistance of Messrs. Chambers andFinke, quietly and unostentatiously made his arrangements forpenetrating as far as possible into the northern interior. As hepreferred travelling by land rather than sea, he applied for avessel to be sent to the northern coast for the purpose of takingsupplies, and of bringing him and his party back in the event oftheir reaching the other side of the continent. Very little wasknown of his movements except that he had started with a smallexpedition for the interior.

About this time, that is to say in August, 1860, the VictorianGovernment, stimulated by the action of South Australia, sentforth an expedition, with the same object in view, under thecommand of Robert O'Hara Burke, with whom was associated Mr. W.J.Wills and others.

On the 7th of October Mr. Stuart and his two companionsreturned to Adelaide. In consequence of scarcity of water, thehostility of natives, and the smallness and weakness of theirparty, the attempt to cross the continent had been unsuccessful.Nevertheless the results of the expedition were of exceptionalinterest. Its promoters, Messrs. Chambers and Finke, in placingMr. Stuart's journal in the hands of the Government, stipulatedthat it should not be published for a certain period, so that thebenefit of the discoveries made should be secured to Mr. Stuart,who was ready to continue his task when opportunity should offer.The publication was deferred until, in a further attempt to crossthe continent, Mr. Stuart had arrived outwards as far asChambers' Creek. No sooner was this valuable document issued thana special messenger was despatched by the Victorians to place Mr.Burke in possession of the information gained by Stuart in theinterior, but scarcity of water prevented the messenger fromaccomplishing his task.

From Stuart's journal it appeared that he left Chambers' Creekon the 2nd of March, and on the 22nd of April reached the centreof the continent, where, on a high mound which he named CentralMount Stuart, he built a cairn of stones, and planted the Britishflag upon it. On the 26th of June, on reaching a large creek, theparty were attacked by a number of powerful natives, and it wasfound necessary to beat a retreat as soon as possible. Some ofhis hairbreadth escapes, and the motives which induced him toabandon his cherished object, are given in a letter to Mr.Chambers, from which we quote:—

"After making the centre I was assailed by that dreadfuldisease, the scurvy, which completely prostrated me and renderedme quite helpless. Still I persevered, and endeavoured to reachthe mouth of the Victoria river on a north-west course, but wasobliged to relinquish the attempt three separate times throughthe want of water. . . .

"I was now forced to go back to the centre. Three miles to thenorth of the centre is a high hill, on which I planted the flag,and named it Central Mount Stuart. From this I could see rangesto the north-east, which gave me a better idea of the country forwater, and I thought I might get an opening that would lead me tothe north-west of Gum and Spinifex Plain. I therefore proceededin that direction to latitude 19° 22', longitude 134°18'. From this I again made another attempt to make the Victoriaon a north-west course, but again I was obliged to retreat fromthe want of water. We were one hundred and eleven hours, withouta drop of water under a burning hot sun and heavy sandy soil totravel on. After this journey I gave up all hope of making theVictoria, and tried for the Gulf of Carpentaria."

But in this attempt dangers, difficulties, and insuperableobstacles beset him at every turn, and finally there was adesperate encounter with the natives.

"I took into consideration," Stuart adds, "the position inwhich I was then placed—my horses tired and weary, three ofthem unable to be longer than one night without water; the mencomplaining six weeks before this of being so weak from want ofsufficient food that they were unable to perform theirduty—their movements were more those of men of a hundredyears old than of young men of twenty-five—and myself beingso unwell that I was unable to sit in the saddle the whole daywithout suffering the most excruciating pain; our provisionsscarcely sufficient to carry us back, and now being in the midstof hostile natives who were wily, bold, and daring, so much sothat I could see at once that my party would be unable to copewith them, although we gained the advantage at first. . . ."

These were among the amply sufficient reasons which inducedMr. J.M. Stuart to return, and it was fortunate he did so atonce, for on his journey back he found many of the water-holesdry, which he calculated would have lasted much longer.

The furthest point reached on this journey was about thenineteenth degree of south latitude, or about 1300 miles fromAdelaide in a straight line, and about 300 miles from thenorth-west coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The fact of this extraordinary feat having been accomplishedwas doubted by many, and even denied by one writer in Victoria,but the publication of the letter, from which we have quotedabove, silenced alike the doubters and deniers.

On the return of his party to Adelaide, a great demonstrationwas made in honour of the intrepid explorers, and the Governmentvoted the sum of £2500 to lit out an expedition to enableMr. Stuart to make another attempt to accomplish the feat ofcrossing the continent.

On the 2nd of November, 1860, Mr. Stuart left Adelaide tofollow up his adventurous task. He was accompanied by Mr.Kekwick, as second in command, F.W. Thring, third officer, and abrave following, namely, E.E. Bayliffe, J.H. Ewart, B. Head, A.J.Lawrence, W. Masters, J.A. Thomas, D. Thompson, J. Wall, and J.Woodforde. On the 1st of January, 1861, they started fromChambers' Creek, and nothing more was heard of them until aboutthe middle of September. Then came the startling report that theparty had actually crossed the continent. But rumour lied, andfrom subsequent intelligence it was found that although they hadreached the latitude of the head of the Gulf of Carpentaria, theyhad not succeeded in getting to the seacoast on the other side ofthe continent. After penetrating some considerable distancebeyond the point previously reached, the first great difficultyarose from meeting with some large plains, which he named Sturt'sPlains, after the great Australian explorer. Stuart concludedthat these plains had been at one time the bed of a largefresh-water lake; they were covered with luxuriant grass, in manyplaces above the horses'' knees, but the ground was very rottenand difficult to travel over. The plains were skirted by animpenetrable scrub and dense forest, which completely arrestedfurther progress, although gallant attempts were made in alldirections. In the neighbourhood of the plains, however, asplendid sheet of water was found, 150 yards wide, nine mileslong, and seventeen feet deep in the middle. This valuablediscovery—named Newcastle Waters in honour of the Secretaryof State—raised the hope that, after all, the progress ofthe party would be possible; but at the end of nine miles thedeep water was succeeded by a chain of ponds, and beyond, scruband forest even denser than those that had before driven themback. Again and again they tried to force their way, but it washopeless, and on the 11th of June Stuart wrote asfollows:—

"Tomkinson's Creek.

"Shoeing horses and repairing saddles and bags to carry ourprovisions back. We have now run out of everything for thatpurpose. We are all nearly naked; the scrub has been so severe onour clothes, one can hardly tell the original colour of a singlegarment—they are so patched; our boots are also gone. It iswith great reluctance I am forced to return without a furthertrial. I should like to go back and try from Newcastle Waters,but my provisions will not allow me. I started with thirty weeks'supply, at seven pounds of flour per week, and have now been outtwenty-six, and it will take me ten weeks before I can reach thefirst station. The men are also failing and showing the effectsof short rations. I only wish I had sufficient to carry me onuntil the rain will fall in next March. I think I would be ableto make both the Victoria and the Gulf. . . ."

Although considerable disappointment was felt and expressed bythe colonists when it became known that Stuart had again failedto cross the continent, a warm reception was given to him and hisbrave companions, and even before the whole of the party arrivedin Adelaide, steps were taken by the Government to once more sendStuart out with a party well equipped in every particular.

In all the explorations up to this time Sir Richard MacDonnellhad taken the most profound interest, and had given the mostcordial assistance. It was a matter of the deepest regret to him,as it was to the colonists generally, that the term of hisadministration ceased before the party, reorganized and sent outin the beginning of December, 1861, returned crowned withvictory. We shall defer the narration of Stuart's finalexploration, therefore, until we come to the story of theadministration of Sir Richard's successor.

Between 1859 and 1861 important mining discoveries were made,which had an altogether exceptional influence upon the materialadvancement of the province. As early as the year 1847 mineralswere known to be in existence on Yorke's Peninsula, although noone was aware of their richness or extent, and it was not until1861 that the two great mines in this locality, the Wallaroo andMoonta mines, attracted public attention. Singular to relate,both these mines, as in the case of the renowned Burra-Burra andothers, were discovered by shepherds. It was in December, 1859,that a shepherd named James Boor, in the employment of Mr.(afterwards Sir) Walter Watson Hughes, picked up some specimenson the sheep run where he followed his flock, and these, uponanalysis, proved to be rich in copper. In February, 1860, lourCornish miners appeared upon the scene, and the result of theirlabours led to a speedy increase of hands and the extensiveapplication of machinery. Mineral leases of the land wereimmediately secured, a company was formed, and success set in.The richness of the Wallaroo Mine may be judged from thefollowing figures: "The ore raised between March, 1860, andDecember, 1884, amounted to 428,333 tons gross weight, of a netvalue of £1,970,533, and represented a production of copperof 41,025 tons, of an estimated net value in the colony of£2,873,121. The mine gave employment, when in full work, toa very large staff, there being at one time as many as 1003 menand boys engaged in the workings." **

[** "South Australia", by John FairfaxConigrave.]

Splendid as these results were, they were eclipsed by those ofthe Moonta Mine, discovered in May, 1861, by a shepherd namedEvan, also in the employment of Mr. W.W. Hughes. The claim ofEvan was disputed by Mr. E.E. Mitford, the editor ofPasquin, a clever satirical writer, who alleged that hehad made the discovery as early as 1848, but had not taken anysteps until public attention was turned to the Peninsula as amining district. Mr. Mitford endeavoured to establish his claim,first through the Crown Lands Department, and next by petition toParliament, where a Select Committee decided against him.

When the shepherd Ryan made the discovery of a valuabledeposit of copper ore at no great distance from his hut, and,like the Wallaroo, only a few miles distant from the sea-coast,he was in a dilemma. The fact was Ryan was not a teetotaller,but, on the contrary, was rather given to too free indulgence in"the cup that cheers, but inebriates," and the friend to whom hefirst confided the news of his discovery was slow to believe him,as "lucky finds" had turned the heads of many much more sobermen. It appears that there was some doubt in Ryan's mind whetherhe would secure the claim for himself and a partner, or allow hisemployer to become the fortunate holder. Whether the latter washis intention or not will probably never be known, but Mr. Hughesand his friends got scent of the matter, and lost no time inlodging a claim for five sections somewhere not very far from thelocality indicated. Meanwhile Ryan took a trip to town andentered into an agreement with Mr. S. Mills to share with him thediscovery, and Mr. Mills proceeded to the Land Office to lodge aclaim. No sooner were the doors of the Land Office opened thanthe rival claimants entered, but the agents of Mr. Hughes beingmore expeditious in filling up the forms of application succeededin first handing in their claim. To tell the whole story of theevents that followed, and all the circumstances connected withthe Tipara Mineral claims—as the Moonta sections were thengenerally designated—would fill a moderately sized volume.The whole matter was finally referred to a Select Committee ofthe House of Assembly, appointed in 1863, who asked and elicitedanswers to upwards of seven thousand questions. Their reportdecided adversely to Mr. Hughes's right to the property, and infavour of Mr. S. Mills, as the party authorized to lodge theclaims by the legitimate discoverer, Ryan, and this decision ofcourse invalidated the claims of Mr. Mitford also, so far as thecommittee was concerned.

But the report of the Select Committee was not adopted by theHouse, the Assembly considering that the case should be relegatedto the limbo of the Law Courts. Mr. Hughes, however, securedthirty sections in the vicinity of the first discovery, andtwelve of these were subsequently leased to the proprietary. Theproperty was at first represented by forty shares, some of whichwere given away in a most liberal manner, and the whole weresubsequently subdivided. The Moonta Mine soon proved to be moreproductive than the famous Wallaroo Mine. "From the opening ofthe Moonta Mine in 1861, to the 28th of February, 1885, the totalquantity of ore raised amounted to 447,969 tons (gross weight) oftwenty-one cwts., of a value in the colony of £4,468,124,representing a total production of refined copper of 85,104 tons,the value of which to the colony may be approximately stated at£5,879,226." *

[* "South Australia", by John FairfaxConigrave.]

In 1861, in consequence of further mineral discoveries on thePeninsula, some hundreds of claims for mineral leases were lodgedat the Crown Lands Office. Mining became a mania; tradesmen andothers left their ordinary occupations to pay a visit to thePeninsula, nearly all of whom found, or thought they had found,"good indications". If two or more hit upon a likely spot itbecame a race which should first reach the Land Office to lodgethe claim.

Several other mining companies were formed, or "miningventures "were entered into, while the mania lasted, the totalcapital of those who advertised amounting to about half a millionsterling; but after the expenditure of much money in prospecting,sinking, and advertising, they were nearly all wound up, leavingthe colonists in general, and the tradesmen in particular, poorerbut wiser men. During the time that the excitement lasted it wasbelieved that a larger sum was realized by the sale and transferof shares than was payable in dividends by all the companies fora year to come. Those who had resided in the colony during themining mania of 1845-46 well knew that, with the exception of theBurra-Burra Mine, the most profitable period in the history ofall other mines had been while there was sufficient enthusiasm toraise the shares to a premium, and those "who knew a thing ortwo", as the vulgar say, managed to feather their own nests.

The large population attracted to the Peninsula by theprosperity of the great mines led the Government to lay out twotownships, one at the shipping place, named Wallaroo, and one afew miles inland, named Kadina. So completely did the mineraldiscoveries change the face of the country that in three or fouryears the land, which had previously been a mere sheep run,possessed two flourishing towns with substantial buildings, and alarge population.

One great drawback experienced in both townships, as well asat the mines, was the want of water, to supply which distillationwas, in the first instance, resorted to, the salt and brackishwater from the mines being used for this purpose. A high pricehad to be paid for this unpalatable liquid, and housekeepers andteetotallers had a poor time of it. All new buildings, therefore,had the roofs so constructed that they should store every drop ofrain water that fell on them, and this was found to be a greatimprovement upon the distilled water.

About this period another very important branch of industry,destined in the near future to become a staple in the SouthAustralian market, was coming into prominence. In a letter to Mr.G.F. Angas, written in 1860, Sir Richard MacDonnellsaid:—

"I have lately been going through the dozen duplicate samplesof wine which you sent me from Tanunda, and at least eight ofthem are excellent. I have been quite surprised at their quality,but I have no doubt this country will be a good wine-producingcountry. People are setting to work energetically planting vinesin all directions, and in four years I have no doubt we shallobtain a tolerable footing in the English market."

The Governor was not far out in his calculation, but it wasnot until 1871 that any trade of importance was done withEngland. Vines were sent out by the South Australian Company asearly as 1835-36, but the first vineyard proper was planted byMr. John Reynell, on his property at Reynella, about twelve milesfrom Adelaide, in 1840. "in 1846 Mr. Patrick Auld commenced thecelebrated "Auldana" vineyard. In 1863 the justly famous"Tintara" vineyard was planted by Dr. Kelly. It must be confessedthat at first Australian wine was sorry stuff, but year by yearplanting went steadily on. It was found that soil and climatewere suited to the production of every kind of wine, but moreespecially of generous wines of the claret and Burgundy type,while some, such as the "Highercombe", more resemble Chablis. Weshall have more to say about the marvellous development of thewine trade of South Australia later on, but it may give anindication of its enormous growth to state here that in fourmonths ended the 31st of May, 1890, one firm alone (Messrs. P.B.Burgoyne & Co.) imported into England 123,658 gallons! A yearor two later than the date of Sir Richard MacDonnell's letter,from which we have quoted, Mr. Anthony Forster, an old andexperienced colonist, wrote upon the wines and vine culture ofSouth Australia as follows:—

"South Australia has made immense progress in the developmentof agricultural, pastoral, and mineral wealth. These are thethree great staples of the country, to which wine may be added asa fourth. The production of the latter is increasing largelyevery year, and promises to become a considerable source ofincome to the horticulturist, as well as a protection to thecommunity against the excessive use of more stimulatingbeverages. The wine produced is of a light but excellentdescription, well suited to the requirements of a warm climate,and free from the noxious adulterations so frequently discoveredin imported wines."

When Parliament was called together on the 20th of April,1861, the Governor announced, among other things, the receipt ofa despatch from the Duke of Newcastle, stating that her Majestywould be advised to introduce a Bill into the Imperial Parliamentto give her Majesty power to annex to South Australia the tractof land lying between the western boundary of South Australia andthe eastern boundary of Western Australia, and also, at somefuture time, to extend the colony northward.

During the session the Immigration Question gave rise to along and spirited debate, and resulted in the passing ofresolutions in both Houses for the resumption of freeimmigration, leaving it to the Ministry to exercise a certainamount of discretion in the matter.

On the 3rd of December the protracted labours of the sessionwere brought to an end, and as it was the last occasion on whichthe Governor expected to meet the Parliament of South Australia,he delivered an address of more than ordinary length.

In congratulating the members on the aspect of affairs in thecolony, he said, "If there is less excitement than at some formerperiods there is more substantial prosperity and solidadvancement. All classes of the labouring population find readyand remunerative employment, while, owing to the low prices ofprovisions and other necessaries of life, their material comfortsare greater than they have been for many years. Fresh tracts ofcountry are being continually occupied; new sources of mineralwealth are being opened up, and Divine Providence has againfavoured us with abundant crops."

He congratulated them on the boon conferred by the RealProperty Act, providing for increased facilities, cheapness, andsimplicity in all dealings with land; on the volunteer movementand the additional security of the colony; and on generalsubjects connected with the administration.

In looking back on the past six years of the history of thecolony—the period covered by his term of office—hesaid:—

"When I landed here in June, 1855, there was not a mile ofrailway opened in the colony; now there are fifty-seven miles inuse, over which annually rolls a traffic of more than 150,000tons and 320,000 passengers. Your coasts have been lit with threeadditional first-class lights, and three additional harbours havecome into extensive use. Your population has grown from 80,000 tonearly 130,000, whilst the exports of colonial produce have risenfrom less than £691,000 in 1855 to £1,808,000 for theyear ending the 30th of June last. When I landed there werescarcely sixty miles of made road in the colony, whereas now,independent of those in the city, there are over two hundredmiles; and instead of 160,000 acres only in cultivation, therecannot be less now than 460,000—a number greater inproportion to the population than obtains in any other portion ofher Majesty's dominions, or, indeed, in any other part of theworld with which I am acquainted. It is, moreover, since 1855that the first telegraph post was erected in this colony, and yetyou already possess 600 miles of telegraph communication, andnearly 1000 miles of wire, together with twenty-six stations. Itis also since 1855 that the explorations of Mr. Stuart and othershave added so much to our geographical knowledge, filling up thelarge blank spaces which had so long defaced the map of SouthAustralia, and usefully opening up the country to furthersettlement. Above all, it is since my arrival here that the greatexperiment has been tried of entrusting the general mass of thepeople, through their immediate representatives, with power tocontrol completely the taxation and expenditure of the countryand direct its general legislation."

On the day of prorogation valedictory addresses were presentedfrom the members of both Houses to the retiring Governor, andexpressions of regret on their part, no less than on his, werewarmly exchanged.

On the evening of the 23rd of December, a large body of Germancolonists, having resolved to present a valedictory address toSir Richard, formed a torch-light procession, and, preceded by aband of music, and accompanied by the members of the Liedertafel,proceeded to Government House. Some thousands assembled towitness the novel and effective demonstration. Two hundred andfifty torches were lighted, Bengal lights were burnt, and finallya bonfire was made of the torches. The address was signed by 1326German colonists.

The name of Sir Richard MacDonnell will ever remain identifiedwith the most interesting and most important period of SouthAustralian history—the transition of the colony from astate of comparative dependence to the enjoyment of aConstitution which, while it imposed an enormous, weighty, andresponsible trust, involving the almost absolute control of alllocal interests, at the same time gave an independence whichshould endure and carry its blessings with it, through alltime.

So great a favourite was Sir Richard, and so essential to thewelfare of the colony was his presence regarded that a memorialwas drawn up, praying her Majesty to extend his term of service;but, as Sir Richard pointed out to the leaders of this movement,he could not forward a document of the kind in which he himselfmight be regarded as personally interested, and, moreover, atthat time a despatch had been received from the Duke ofNewcastle, stating that Sir Dominick Daly had been appointed hissuccessor.



MARCH, 1862—FEBRUARY, 1868.

Coming and Departing Guests.—AnIrish Gentleman.—War-likeTimes.—Volunteering.—Explorations.—McKinlay.—Burkeand Wills.—Return of J.M. Stuart after crossing andrecrossing the Continent.—A Great Ovation.—GeologicalSurvey by Mr. Hargreaves.-"No Man's Land."—MinisterialDifficulties.—The English Mail Service.—AnIntercolonial Conference.—"No Confidence"Motions.—Retirement of M.P.'s.—Red Rust inWheat.—Party Spirit.—The Northern Territory.—ATerrible Responsibility.—Waste Lands in NorthAustralia.—A Survey Expedition.—Mr. B.T. FinnissGovernment Resident.—A PioneerExpedition.—Misunderstandings.—Recall of Mr.Finnis.—Mr. G.W. Goyder sent out.—The SquatterQuestion.—Revaluations of Land.—UnprecedentedDrought.—Loss of Stock.—Visit of H.R.H. the Duke ofEdinburgh.—A Round of Gaieties.—AttemptedAssassination of the Duke of Edinburgh at Sydney.—Death ofSir Dominick Daly.—Funeral.—Review of hisAdministration.

SIR DOMINICK DALYarrived at Port Adelaide early in the morning of March 4, 1862,so early, in fact, as to disarrange all preconcerted plans forhis reception, and he and his family had to walk to the railwaystation. The ceremony of swearing-in took place at GovernmentHouse the same day, when Sir Richard MacDonnell, "as a privateindividual", delivered a kindly and generous address ofcongratulation.

Later in the day the new Governor, accompanied by Sir Richard,reviewed the volunteer corps (numbering from six hundred to sevenhundred) in the presence of some five or six thousand spectators.It was rather an anomalous demonstration, as it was originallydesigned in honour of Sir Richard, who had taken a livelyinterest in the volunteer movement during the whole period of hisadministration, and it now had to serve a double purpose—to"welcome the coming and speed the parting guest."

It must be admitted that the day of departure of a Governorwho had made himself decidedly and deservedly popular was not themost appropriate day for the arrival and inauguration of hissuccessor, but in the circumstances it could not be arrangedotherwise.

Sir Dominick Daly's antecedents were good. In 1822, at the ageof twenty-four, he left Ireland as private secretary to SirFrancis Burton, who in that year went out as Governor of LowerCanada. In 1827 Mr. Daly received the appointment of ProvincialSecretary of Lower Canada, and upon the union of Upper and LowerCanada in 1840 he was promoted to the Secretaryship of the UnitedProvinces, an office he held until 1848, during which period hebecame not only thoroughly acquainted with the routine work ofcolonial government, but also with the working out of responsiblegovernment.

Sir J.W. Kaye, the biographer of Lord Metcalfe, who wasGovernor of Lower Canada during a portion of this period, says ofMr. Daly:—

"He was an Irishman and a Roman Catholic, and although for thelatter reason his sympathies were strongly with the Frenchpeople, or had been so long as they were oppressed by thedominant race, his feelings, the growth of education and earlyassociation, were of a conservative and aristocratic cast. AllMetcalfe's informants represented him to be a man of high honourand integrity, of polished manners and courteous address—agood specimen of an Irish gentleman. It was added that he waspossessed of judgment and prudence, tact and discretion—inshort, a man to be trusted."

During the four years he was in England he was entrusted withsome important commissions by the Home Government, and in 1852 hewas appointed to his first colonial Governorship, that of Tobago,one of the Windward Islands. In 1854 he was promoted to theGovernment of Prince Edward Island, and occupied that post forsix years. In 1856 he was created a Knight Bachelor, and in 1859returned to England, where he remained until he received theappointment of Governor of South Australia.

The time at which Sir Dominick assumed the office of Governorwas one of some anxiety, reports having reached the colony that awar between England and the United States was not improbable inconsequence of the seizure by a Federal war steamer of twopassengers, Messrs. Slidell and Mason, Confederate commissionersto England and France, on board the English mail steamerTrent in the Bahama Channel. How an apology was demandedby the English Government, and how the United States Governmentsurrendered the "rebels", thereby averting a war between the twocountries, is matter of well-known history. The "great review",which signalized the advent of Sir Dominick Daly, occurring insuch war-like times, was an appropriate demonstration. It sohappened, too, that it was the closing terra of the first reallyimportant volunteer movement in the colony—that is to say,it brought to an end the three years' service of the firstenrolment of unpaid volunteers. Unfortunately, martial zeal was adifficult thing to sustain in the colony, and the unpaidvolunteer system fell somewhat into disfavour, although in thefollowing year a second enrolment was resorted to for a furtherperiod of three years. "In order to continue the renewal of theservices of the trained volunteers they were offered, as aninducement to sign the new roll, the free gift of the rifles andaccoutrements then in their keeping, but it was felt that the daywas gone by when men would continue to attend drill without somecompensation for loss of time, and this disinclination was shownin the gradual falling off in the numbers present on field-days."In 1866, therefore, an Act was passed—subsequently amendedin many important details—which made the volunteer militaryforce a paid body.

The association for rifle practice, originated and warmlysupported by Sir Richard MacDonnell, continued to flourish, anddeveloped into the "South Australian National Rifle Association",recognized by the Government and encouraged by a special Act ofParliament as an Auxiliary Volunteer Military Force.

The question of the defence of the colony was one that wascontinually cropping up, and in the days when the unpaidvolunteer force was in full vigour many imaginary invasions tookplace, and on several occasions, in order to keep the force in astate of preparation, a prearranged signal would rouse thepeaceful colonists from their slumbers to go forth in the dead ofnight to engage in sanguinary conflict with the supposedinvaders.

Sometimes the volunteers rendered important service and gaveto the colonists a sense of security they would not otherwisehave had. For example: in consequence of the urgent necessitythat existed for the presence of all the available troopsstationed in the Australian colonies to assist in suppressing thewar with the Maories in New Zealand, the detachment of the 40thRegiment located at Adelaide was allowed, in October, 1863, toleave the colony for the seat of war.

In April, 1865, a commission, appointed to inquire into thebest means of protecting the coast in the event of invasion, gavein its report and recommended the procuring from England of tenor twelve guns of heavy calibre; the erection of batteries atsuch points of the coast as would most effectually protect theports and townships within range of the enemy's guns from thesea; the purchase of a complete equipment for a full battery ofrifled field artillery to be manned by a local force; themaintenance, under strict military discipline, of a paid force ofseven hundred infantry and two hundred artillery; thatencouragement should be given to the colonists to obtain aknowledge of the use of the rifle and of simple militarymovements with a view to their acting as volunteer auxiliaries tothe paid body; and that a supply of the most approved rifles forat least two thousand men should be procured. Several of theserecommendations were fully carried out.

The absorbing topic in the early days of Sir Dominick Daly'sadministration, and more or less throughout that whole period,was not "rude war's alarms", but the victories of peace,especially those gained by Australia's great explorers. Mr. J.M.Stuart had, as we have seen,** gone forth for the fifth time toattempt the gigantic feat of crossing the continent, and Messrs.Burke and Wills, under the auspices of the Victorian Government,had been sent out upon a similar errand. Unhappily the latterexpedition, although successful in being the first to cross thecontinent, ended in a terrible tragedy.

[** See p. 345.]

Towards the end of 1862 there occurred some of the mostexciting incidents in connection with South Australianexploration. In October information was received that Mr.McKinlay and his party, who had been despatched on an expeditionwith a view to render assistance, if not too late, to the Burkeand Wills party from Victoria, and, if possible, to explore theneighbourhood of Lake Eyre, had returned by quite an unexpectedroute. It appeared that he proceeded direct to Cooper's Creek,where, from the accounts of the natives and the discovery of whatwas supposed to be the body of Gray, one of the missingexplorers, he concluded that the whole of Burke's party had beenmurdered, and, accordingly, he sent messengers to Blanchewaterwith this painful intelligence. Before their return, however, hefound memorials left by Mr. Howitt, who had been sent out by theVictorian Government, recording the terrible fate of Burke andWills. When McKinlay's messengers returned, they brought fullerparticulars of the tragedy, together with information that theVictorian Government intended to despatch a party to convey theremains of the unfortunate explorers to Melbourne. Inendeavouring to carry out his instructions to head Lake Eyre andreturn by the western shores of that lake, Mr. McKinlay wassuddenly surrounded by a heavy flood, and was obliged, with hisparty, to remain for several days upon a sand-hill. It was withthe greatest difficulty he made his escape, as the country wasone vast sheet of water—that same country which had but ashort time previously been a desert, dry, and without a sign ofvegetation. The flood waters ran apparently into a basin so wideand deep that Mr. McKinlay was unable to pass by the head of thelake as instructed, and this led him so far towards the Gulf ofCarpentaria, that he determined to push on there and obtain asupply of provisions from the Victorian steamer, sent to thatgulf to assist any party successful in crossing the continent. Hewas disappointed in the expectation of obtaining supplies, andbeing short of the commonest necessaries, it was imperative thathe should at once take the shortest route to settled districts.He accordingly made for Port Denison, where he obtained theneedful supplies. Although he had departed from his instructionsin making his bold dash to the northward, he had solved the greatproblem, and had succeeded in crossing over to the Gulf ofCarpentaria almost in the footsteps of Burke and Wills.

A handsome public presentation was made to Mr. McKinlay, andthe Legislature also voted the sum of £1000 as anacknowledgment of his valuable services.

But the idol of the people was, without doubt, John McDouallStuart, whose return was awaited with almost feverish anxiety. Inthe mean time, however, and as if to bring home to them withrenewed force the hazards and perils of interior exploration,they were to witness a scene which none who beheld should everforget.

In December, 1862, the remains of the missing explorers,Messrs. Burke and Wills, were brought by Mr. Howitt and his partyto Adelaide, from Cooper's Creek, en route to Melbourne,from whence these gallant but unfortunate men had started with aview to cross the continent. The streets of Adelaide were linedby thousands of sympathetic spectators, who, with uncoveredheads, surrounded by emblems of mourning, and amid the clangourof tolling bells, viewed the mournful procession as it passed onits way from the railway station to the barracks. Much respectwas shown to Mr. Howitt, who, in addition to the objects of hisspecial mission, had made important explorations affecting theinterests of South Australia.

Only a few days after the remains of the daring butunsuccessful explorers, Burke and Wills, had left Adelaide bysteamer for Melbourne, the gratifying intelligence was receivedfrom the far north that Mr. J.M. Stuart and his party hadreturned to the settled districts after successfully crossing andrecrossing the continent. There was not a man in all SouthAustralia whose heart did not swell with gratitude, pride, andsatisfaction, on receiving this news, and every scrap ofinformation was eagerly devoured. The party consisted of J.M.Stuart, W. Kekwick, F.W. Thring, W.P. Auld, S. King, J. Billiatt,J.F. New, H. Nash, J. McGorrerey, J.W. Waterhouse, amongst whomthe Government grant of £3500 was divided.

It appeared that within three months after leaving Chambers'Creek, the party arrived at Newcastle Waters, from whence thework of fresh exploration really commenced. After severalunsuccessful attempts to get beyond the dense forest and scrubalready described, Stuart came upon a succession of ponds.Pushing forward past a permanent sheet of water, named the DalyWaters, in honour of the Governor, he entered upon a fine,well-watered country, and in about 150° of south latitudecame upon the river Strangways, which, in a few days' travel, ledto the river Roper. Mr. Stuart considered the country in theneighbourhood of the Roper the finest he had seen; the soilexcellent, grass rich and abundant, the river banks richly linedwith cabbage trees, cane, bamboo, and other shrubs. Passing tothe northward, they followed down the river for some distance,and then made for the Adelaide river, which they reached on the10th of July. Here, in the midst of lovely scenery and luxuriantvegetation, with birds of splendid plumage, and with aboundingcreeks and watercourses, they lingered for a few days, travellinggently down the river, and every step bringing them nearer to thesea-coast, a fact which Stuart kept from the knowledge of therest of the party, in order to give them a joyous surprise. Thestory of the approach to the sea may best be told in Stuart's ownwords.

"At eight and a half miles came up to a broad valley of blackalluvial soil, covered with long grass; from this I can hear thewash of the sea. On the other side of the valley, which is rathermore than a quarter of a mile wide, is growing a line of thickheavy bushes, very dense, showing that to be the boundary of thebeach. Crossed the valley and entered the scrub, which was acomplete network of vines; stopped the horses to clear the waywhilst I advanced a few yards on to the beach, and was delightedand gratified to behold the waters of the Indian Ocean in VanDiemen's Gulf, before the party with the horses knew anything ofits proximity. Thring, who rode in advance of me, called out,'The sea!' which so took them all by surprise that he had torepeat the call before they fully understood what was meant;hearing which, they gave three long and hearty cheers. The beachis covered with a soft blue mud; it being ebb tide I could seesome distance; found it would be impossible for me to take thehorses along it; I, therefore, kept them where I had halted them,and allowed half the party to come on to the beach and gratifythemselves by a sight of the sea, while the other half waited towatch the horses until their return. I dipped my feet and washedmy face and hands in the sea, as I promised the late Governor,Sir Richard MacDonnell, I would do if I reached it. . . . Ireturned to the valley, where I had my initials cut on a largetree (J.M.D.S.), as I intended putting my flag up at the mouth ofthe Adelaide.

"Thus have I, through the instrumentality of DivineProvidence, been led to accomplish the great object of theexpedition, and take the whole party through as witnesses to thefact, and through one of the finest countries man would wish topass—good to the coast, and with a stream of running waterwithin half a mile of the sea. From Newcastle Waters to thesea-beach the main body of the horses have only been one nightwithout water, and then got it within the next day. If thiscountry is settled, it will be one of the finest colonies underthe Crown, suitable for the growth of any and every thing. What asplendid country for producing cotton! Judging from the number ofthe pathways from the water to the beach, across the valley, thenatives must be very numerous. We have not seen any, although wehave passed many of their recent tracks and encampments. Thecabbage and fan-palm trees have been very plentiful duringto-day's journey down to this valley."

On the next day, Mr. Stuart having determined to recross thecontinent, he had an open space cleared, selected one of thetallest trees, stripped it of its lowest branches, and on itshighest branch fixed the Union Jack with his name sewn in thecentre, amid the cheers of the whole party. A paper, enclosed inan air-tight case, was buried one foot south of the tree, bearingthis inscription:—


"The exploring party under the command of John McDouall Stuartarrived at this spot on the 25th day of July, 1862, havingcrossed the entire continent of Australia, from the Southern tothe Indian Ocean, passing through the centre. They left the cityof Adelaide on the 26th day of October, 1861, and the mostnorthern station of the colony on the 2lst of January, 1862. Tocommemorate this happy event they have raised this flag bearinghis name. All well. God save the Queen!"

The return journey was accomplished with difficulty: first,from the weak state of the horses; next, from the annoyances ofnatives, who set fire to the grass and otherwise hindered theirprogress; and, finally, from the severe sickness of Mr. Stuart.As the party neared the centre he was seized with a violentattack of illness, from which he did not expect to recover. Hehad been suffering from scurvy for some time previously, hiseyesight nearly failed him, and at one time he almost lost thepower of speech. It is sad to read an entry in his journal, underdate of October 31, where, after "thanking Almighty God that, inHis infinite goodness and mercy, He had so far prolonged hislife," he adds—

"What a sad difference there is between what I am now, andwhat I was when the party left Adelaide! My right hand nearlyuseless to me by the accident from the horse; total blindnessafter sunset—although the moon shines bright to others, tome it is total darkness, and nearly blind during the day; mylimbs so weak and painful that I am obliged to be carried about;my body reduced to that of a living skeleton, and my strengththat of infantine weakness—a sad, sad wreck of formerdays."

It is difficult, nay impossible, to estimate the importance ofStuart's great enterprise, not only to the colonies of Australia,but to the world at large. It is equally impossible to findlanguage that shall not appear exaggerated to characterize theheroism and indomitable pluck of this brave and noble man. It istrue he was not the first to cross the continent, although he wasthe first to absolutely complete the route from the southern tothe northern coast, for neither Burke nor McKinlay really saw thenorthern sea; but he was the first who laid down a line of route,describing every step of the way in chart and journal, by whichany one might pass with comparative ease from Adelaide to AdamBay. How his discoveries were utilized we shall tellelsewhere.

A great ovation awaited him on his return toAdelaide—fetes and banquets were given in his honour; theLegislature awarded him the sum of £2000 and proportionalgratuities to all the members of his party. The lease of a largearea of land in the north was also granted to Mr. Stuartrent-free for several years, but his constitution was soshattered by the exposure to which he had been subjected in hisvarious explorations that he did not live long to enjoy hishard-earned honours. In April, 1864, he proceeded to England inthe hope that the voyage and residence in the mother-countrymight to some extent restore his health; but this was not to be,and he gradually sank till death put an end to his short, butuseful, career.

Other explorations undertaken during the administration of SirDominick Daly were useful, but not of startling interest. With aview to ascertain whether a payable gold-field really existed inSouth Australia, which would nut only give employment to many inthe colony, but attract outsiders, the Government secured theservices of Mr. Hargreaves, in 1863, for the purpose of making ageological survey of the settled districts. He started on the31st of October, 1863, and returned to Adelaide on the 18th ofJune, 1864, having examined the country from Cape Jervis, sixtymiles south of Adelaide, to a point 540 miles north of Adelaide.He reported that, although gold existed generally from CapeJervis to Tanunda, and in paying quantities in the beds of theTorrens and the Onkaparinga, he did not consider the preciousmetal would be found anywhere in sufficiently large quantities tojustify a "rush".

In September, 1864, Major Warburton started on an expeditionto explore the country north and west of Mount Margaret, known as"No Man's Land"; but, after being absent about two months, hereturned, finding it impracticable to proceed in the desireddirection.

In June, 1866, he made another attempt to accomplish the sameobject, but was again compelled to abandon it, and returned toAdelaide, after an absence of twenty-one weeks.

During that year the Hon. Thomas Elder imported 121 camelsfrom Kurrachee, which were landed at Port Augusta, and were foundvery useful to explorers in crossing the dry parts of the northcountry.

We do not propose to give in detail the history of legislationduring the administration of Sir Dominick Daly. The constantcrises, the ever-recurring resignations, the splits andcompromises, which had, it may be, an absorbing interest in thepassing hour, would be found of little interest now; nor do wepropose to burden our pages with the names of the members of eachsuccessive Parliament, or even the titles of the multitudinousBills they passed. We shall, however, glance at the generalaction of Parliament during the period under consideration, andthen select for more detailed notice those measures which had aspecial and abiding influence on the colony.

The first meeting of Parliament under Sir Dominick Daly washeld on the 25th of April, and the "vice-regal speech" wasconsidered rather barren, so far as regarded the measurespromised by Government. One of the first Acts of both branches ofthe Legislature was to send addresses of condolence to herMajesty on the irreparable loss she had sustained in the death ofthe Prince Consort.

In July the Ministry resigned on a question of "assimilationof tariffs", but, after explanations, the resignations werewithdrawn.

In September the "Ministry, considering that they had not asufficient majority to carry on the business of the country,"again placed their resignations in the hands of the Governor, butan arrangement was made that the existing Ministry shouldcontinue in office until the prorogation on the 21st ofOctober.

On that occasion Sir Dominick brought under the notice of theHouse of Assembly the necessity that would soon arise forincreasing the revenue of the colony, and expressed the hope thatthe approaching Conference at Melbourne would pave the way "forthe introduction of a uniform tariff throughout the colonies, andfor a mutual interchange, free of duty, of articles of colonialproduce." Referring to the measure known as Sutherland's Act, hisExcellency said it "recognized the sound principle, that increaseof population is necessary alike to occupying fresh country andto imparting additional value thereto."

The Assessment of Stock Act, by freeing from the burden ofassessment lands at present incapable of bearing this impost,would, he considered, do much to promote the occupation andsettlement of that enormous territory made known by theresearches and enterprise of Stuart, McKinlay, and other intrepidexplorers, but which, owing to its distance from an availablemarket, must otherwise have remained valueless.

For many years the English mail service had been a bone ofcontention in the Legislature, and at the same time aninestimable blessing to the editors of the local papers, inasmuchas the subject always made good "copy". The contention was thatthe geographical position of the colony was persistently ignored,and there was only one way of obtaining the mails withoutvexatious delay, namely, by sending a branch steamer for them toKing George's Sound. In September, 1862, the Government acceptedthe tender of the Australian Steam Navigation Company for thisservice at £1300 per month, and for several years theanomaly lasted of the branch steamer arriving at Port Adelaidetwo or three days before the ocean steamer reached Melbourne, bywhich means the English news was telegraphed to the neighbouringcolonies from Adelaide about the same time that the ocean steamerwould be passing within two or three hundred miles ofInvestigator's Straits, on the way to Melbourne. By this absurdand unjust arrangement, South Australia was at the expense of aseparate service, which supplied the earliest intelligence tothose very colonies which placed obstacles in the way ofobtaining the mails from the ocean steamers as they passed withina short distance of a South Australian port.

The first Parliamentary session under Sir Dominick Daly wasnot by any means a barren one; many useful Bills had beenassented to, and one of the measures, that known as Sutherland'sAct, deserves particular mention on account of its subsequenthistory. It provided that one-third of the proceeds arising fromthe sale of waste lands should be appropriated to immigration,another third to the construction of roads, bridges, andsuch-like work, and the remainder to public purposes, or, inother words, to secure the expenditure of moneys arising from thesale of waste lands for those purposes for which they wereoriginally set apart. When the introduction of immigrants at thepublic expense had been discontinued, the one-third reserved forthat purpose had been allowed to accumulate, and, after beingused as a loan, had ultimately become absorbed in the generalrevenue.

During the session of 1862, therefore, the Legislature votedthe sum of £25,000 for immigration, allowing time forSutherland's Act to come into operation.

The first session of the third Parliament * under theConstitution Act of 1856 met for the despatch of business on the27th of February, 1863, and adjourned on the 10th of March to the9th of April, partly for the purpose of enabling the threedelegates to the Intercolonial Conference to attend withoutputting the Legislature to inconvenience. The members selected torepresent South Australia were the Hon. H. Ayers, the Hon. A.Blyth, and Mr. L. Glyde, M.P. The subjects to be discussed at theConference were uniform tariffs, border customs duties, thepostal question, coast lights, an Intercolonial Court of Appeal,and uniform weights and measures.

[* At the general election which took place inNovember, 1862, about two-thirds of the members of the lateParliament were returned.]

The Conference was duly held, and the report of proceedingswas published in June. All the reforms contemplated in theprogramme were recommended, and many others in addition, such asthe discontinuance of transportation to any portion of theAustralian colonies, the encouragement of immigration, theimprovement of navigable rivers, telegraphic communication withEngland, and various questions relating to law. But it is onething to hold a conference, and quite another to carry out itsrecommendations. To wit, the new tariff agreed upon wasintroduced in the South Australian Parliament on the 1st of June,but was withdrawn on the 4th, because the New South WalesGovernment declined to co-operate!

The first session of the new Parliament was anything butpeaceful. On the 30th of June the Ministry resigned and Mr. F.S.Dutton undertook the formation of a new Ministry, and succeeded;but when both Houses met on the 7th of July, the Ministrysustained a defeat in both Chambers, and on the following daysent in their resignations; whereupon Mr. J.T. Bagot was sent forto form a Government, but failing, the task was entrusted to Mr.R.I. Stow, who was also unsuccessful.

It is worthy of remark that, notwithstanding these failures,the extreme step of a dissolution was not so much as suggested.The Hon. H. Ayers came to the rescue and submitted a list ofnames which were approved and duly gazetted.

Soon after, difficulties arose on the question of borrowingmoney for public works, but they were tided over, and on the 12thof November Parliament was prorogued. Up to the very last hour,however, the Ministry was in jeopardy, a member being in the actof moving a vote of censure when the arrival of the Governor toprorogue the Parliament was announced.**

[** The Legislative Council had sat sixty-sixdays, and the House of Assembly 101 days.]

When the second session of the third Parliament was opened onthe 27th of May, 1864, the Governor said, "I believe I amwarranted in saying that at no other period of the colony'shistory have we had greater evidence of substantialprosperity."

Many immigrants had recently arrived from Europe and had foundimmediate employment, and the demand for labour continuingundiminished, the Government anticipated a vote for immigration,and authorized the despatch of three vessels, to sailrespectively in July, August, and September.

Active legislation soon commenced, but the session was markedby an irritating number of no-confidence motions, with theirendless ministerial explanations and discussions, wasting aninordinate amount of time, and threatening serious consequencesto the political welfare of the colony. And the curious part ofit was that the extreme step of a dissolution was again not somuch as suggested.

The outside public summed up the state of affairs in the formof a resolution carried with enthusiasm at a publicdemonstration: "That in the opinion of this meeting the scramblefor office by members of the House of Assembly, regardless ofpublic policy or political consistency, has delayed the businessof the country, and is calculated to bring into contempt ourpresent system of Government."

This had little or no effect. There were further skirmishesbetween the members of both Houses on the Squatting Question, andon the 29th of November such an attack was made on the Governmentthat it was felt at length there was no other course left but toadvise the Governor to dissolve the House, a course he consentedto adopt and carry into effect so soon as the business then onhand was disposed of.

The first session of the fourth Parliament was opened on the31st of March, 1865. The Hon. J. Morphett was elected Presidentof the Council in place of Sir J.H. Fisher, who had retired afterbeing connected with the Legislature for seventeen years. In theHouse of Assembly Mr. G.S. Kingston was elected as Speaker, Mr.G.C. Hawker, who had previously occupied that office, havingretired for a time from parliamentary life.

Among the subjects touched upon in the Governor's openingspeech was the Melbourne Conference, at which Victoria, SouthAustralia, and Tasmania were represented for the purpose oftaking joint action for the absolute termination oftransportation to Western Australia, and his Excellency was happyto state that her Majesty's Government had been pleased todetermine that such transportation should cease after a limitedperiod.

Among the most useful measures of this session may bementioned the Bill for providing for destitute persons in a moresystematic manner than the one previously in operation, provisionalso being made for orphans and children of destitute persons.The erection of a commodious building, known as the Orphanage, atMagill, was one of the results of this Bill.

A marriage Bill introduced by the Ministry for placing allministers of religion on an equality as regarded the celebrationof Holy Matrimony was rejected, not so much on account of theprinciple involved, as on certain defects in its construction. Ameeting of "friends of religious equality" was held in Chalmers'Church, North Terrace, when a committee was appointed to preparea suitable Bill. This Bill was passed in the ensuing session,notwithstanding the strong condemnation of it by Roman Catholicsin and out of Parliament.

In 1866 the ordinary routine of Parliamentary business wasbroken for a while in order to pay a tribute of respect to someof its leading members who were retiring from public life. Thesewere Mr. J.M. Solomon, Mr. S. Davenport, Mr. C. Bonney, and Mr.G.F. Angas.

Special reference was made in the House to the loss the colonywould sustain by these retirements, and men of all shades ofopinion in politics expressed their regret. Notably was this thecase in regard to Mr. G.F. Angas.

Mr. Baker, one of the most influential members, said, "Inconsequence of his early connection with the colony, his positionin society, his experience, his knowledge of mercantile affairs,and everything connected with colonization, Mr. Angas waseminently entitled to their gratitude." Men who differed from Mr.Angas on many points joined in expressing the opinion that noother man had done so much to advance the interests of thecolony.

Said Captain C.H. Bagot, an old antagonist, "I always regardedhim as a deep-thinking, clever man, who never hesitated todeclare what he thought was the right view, and was neveroverawed by popular clamour. This no doubt brought a good deal ofobloquy upon him, but his conduct was always upright andconsistent, and it was a matter of great regret that they hadlost his services."

The verdict of the press coincided with that of theParliament. "Although Mr. Angas," said the leading journal of thecolony, "was not what is known as a popular politician, henevertheless won general esteem by the independence, integrity,and painstaking industry with which his duties as a member weredischarged."

Many years later, one who knew him well * added thistestimony: "I may truly say that no member of the LegislativeCouncil felt greater interest in its proceedings, nor evincedmore ardour in his desire to lay broad and sound the laws foreffecting the healthy development of the colony and the commonprosperity of all classes of its people, than he did. In hisstatesmanlike view, the prosperity of each individual, and ofeach industrial class, was the most logical aim and the surestpath to the attainment of the greatest good of all. To a heartfull of sympathy with the best interests of the colony, hefurther elevated the character of a legislator by his long andextensive business experience, his high moral tone, and theconsequent wisdom and prudence of his counsels. It is, however,as being specially prominent amongst the Fathers and Founders ofthe colony that his name will lastingly claim the gratefulrecognition of all who have, or may, benefit by beingcolonists."

[* Sir Samuel Davenport. K.C.M.G.]

The fourth session of the fourth Parliament was opened on the5th of July, 1867. For once the address in reply to theGovernor's speech was passed in both Houses without adivision,-and the business was proceeded with in a way which musthave greatly gratified the occupants of the Treasury Bench.

In the summer of this year the red rust in wheat was a sourceof much anxiety and loss to the farmers of the colony. It formedthe subject of a debate in the House of Assembly on a motion tothe effect that, as there was reason to fear that the occupiersof large areas of land would be unable to cultivate their landnext season, the Government should obtain all possibleinformation, and take all proper steps to avert so great acalamity. A select committee was therefore appointed to inquireinto the matter and report.

The session was brought to a close on the 19th of December,1867. During its continuance much less party spirit had beenshown than heretofore, and for a time office-seeking seemed tohave dropped out of fashion. The consequence was that there wasmore useful legislation, and a much larger number of Bills passedthan in many previous sessions, while the astounding fact isworthy of special record, that not a single ministerial crisisoccurred during the whole period.

It may not unnaturally be supposed by some readers that, in sosmall a community as Adelaide, the strong words and heateddiscussions in Parliament, the constant throwing over of leaders,the personal attacks on one another, the rivalry anddefiance—all fostered and fanned into flame by thenewspaper press—would give rise to much socialunpleasantness, and tend to destroy personal friendship and goodfellowship. As a matter of fact it did nothing of the kind. Letan old colonist, and an exceptionally well-informed man, tell thereason why. "The bitter rancour of political life, which is seenin some countries," says Mr. William Harcus,** "is comparativelyunknown in South Australia. It is not that our public men do notfeel strongly on political questions, but we are so closely mixedup in social and business life that we cannot afford to allowpolitical asperities to pass beyond the region of politics. Ihave often seen two or more gladiators denouncing each other inthe House in the strongest language allowed by rules ofParliamentary debates meet immediately after in therefreshment-room, when one would smilingly say to the other,'Have a drink?' and the men who a few minutes ago werefiguratively flying at each other's throats are hobnobbing likeold friends, as they probably are. This is one of the pleasantestand most creditable features in a political life."

[** "South Australia; its History, Resources, andProductions."]

Having briefly glanced at the general routine of Parliamentduring the administration of Sir Dominick Daly, we must now turnto some of the burning questions which in that same period wereengaging the attention, not only of the Legislature, but of everyperson interested in the welfare of the colony. The first inimportance was the question of what was to be done with the newlydiscovered Northern Territory. And it is probable that, up tothat date, such a gigantic question was never before in theworld's history discussed and decided by a mere handful of men.Let the reader try, in the first place, to grasp the idea of whatthat Northern Territory, or Alexandra Land, was. To a greatextent it was an unexplored country, save for the tracks made bythe gallant explorers who had crossed the continent, and who hadnecessarily seen but a limited area. It consisted of 231,620square miles of territory, or 35,116,800 acres, bounded on thenorth by the Arafura Sea, on the south by the 26th parallel ofsouth latitude, on the east by the 138th meridian of eastlongitude, and on the west by the 129th meridian of eastlongitude.

Now, as South Australia had been the means of discovering apracticable route across the continent, certain of the coloniststhought they had a claim to at least a portion of the newlyacquired territory, while others were of opinion that the wholeshould be handed over. And those others, as we shall see, carriedthe day. Originally the colony contained 300,000 square miles;then in 1861 "No Man's Land", a strip of land lying between itswestern boundary and the eastern boundary of Western Australia,containing 80,070 acres, was added to it, and finally the wholeof the Northern Territory, thus bringing up the area to 903,690square miles, or 78,361,600 acres, and making it by far thelargest of the Australian colonies, with the exception of WesternAustralia.

When it is borne in mind that the population at this time wasonly about 165,000 souls, that the colony had only been inexistence thirty years, that the art of government was only inits rudimentary stage so far as the colonial legislators wereconcerned, it must at least be conceded that the advocates ofthis enormous increase of territory were a bold and daring set ofmen. Let us now proceed to "set in order" their action in thematter.*

[* For part of our information we are indebted tosome admirable articles published in the Register.]

When Sir Richard MacDonnell was Governor, ho took anenthusiastic interest in exploration, and more particularly inthe adventurous attempts of Mr. J.M. Stuart to cross thecontinent. After Stuart's first exploration. Sir Richard, feelingconfident that the goal would soon be successfully attained,wrote to the Duke of Newcastle, and suggested to the HomeGovernment that it would be only an act of justice to the colonyto extend its territory to those outlets on the northern coastwhich Mr. Stuart had shown would soon be connected by an overlandroute with South Australia. The Duke's reply to this was, that asthe overland route had not really been opened, it was altogetherpremature to think of attaching the northern country to SouthAustralia; besides which, it was certain that, at no distantdate, independent settlements, which could not be governed from adistance, would have to be established on the northern coast.With this answer the subject was allowed to rest for a while.

The further explorations of Stuart, as well as those of Burkeand Wills, McKinlay, and Landsborough having put the question ofan overland route beyond doubt. Sir Charles Nicholson, who hadbeen the first President of the Legislative Council in Queenslandand was at the time Chairman of the Colonial Land and EmigrationCommission, and who was in England when the result of theexploration became known, urged the Duke of Newcastle to lose notime in making provision for the Government of North Australia.He pointed out that the footsteps of the explorers would soon befollowed by the squatters who occupied land on the outskirts ofQueensland, and that unless the control of the new country wereplaced in the hands of some authority, lawlessness and disorderwould prevail throughout the beautiful region which the laboursof Stuart and others had made accessible. "Within a very fewmonths," wrote Sir Charles Nicholson to the Duke, "the desire ofoccupying new country will tempt many persons, with theirservants and flocks and herds, to locate themselves in this newdistrict. The probability also is that many individuals who mayhave made themselves obnoxious to the laws, will, for the purposeof escaping the pursuit of justice, betake themselves in the samedirection."

These and other considerations, such as the necessity ofsecuring the rents of the lands occupied, and the desirability ofencouraging settlement in so valuable a country, led Sir CharlesNicholson to recommend either that a new colony should beestablished, or that the whole of the North and North-westTerritory should be placed under the guardianship—not ofSouth Australia, by whose energy the country had beenexplored—but of Queensland!

Strange to say, the Home Government thought well of the lattersuggestion, and after referring the matter to the EmigrationCommissioners, at once offered the control of the country toQueensland. This was, naturally, more than the South Australianscould stand, and the Government drew up a series of resolutionsin Executive Council, and these were transmitted by Sir DominickDaly to the Duke of Newcastle in December, 1862, with the resultthat in September, 1863, the Governor received a despatch fromthe Duke of Newcastle, placing that portion of the NorthernTerritory bounded by the 129th and 138th meridians of eastlongitude, and beyond the 26th parallel of south latitude to theArafura Sea, under the charge of South Australia, with power "torevoke, alter, or amend the letters patent annexing the saidterritory."

While this concession was the occasion of loud congratulationamong the majority, there were not a few far-seeing men, amongstwhom was Mr. George Fife Angas, who strongly condemned anyattempt to colonize the Northern Territory, predicting losses andfailures as almost inevitable consequences on account of theinadequate means at its disposal for an undertaking of such vastmagnitude. But their counsels did not prevail.

On the 1st of October the Treasurer introduced a Bill toprovide for the disposal of land in North Australia, which wasread a first time in the House of Assembly. It provided that500,000 acres of country land might be sold in two severalquantities of 250,000 acres each, the first lot at seven andsixpence per acre, and the second at twelve shillings per acre,and 1562 town allotments of half an acre each—one-half ofthe said lots to be open for sale and purchase in London, andone-half in the colony. The country sections were to consist of160 acres, with which were to be offered a town allotment of halfan acre. Provision was made in the Bill for the appointment of aGovernment Resident, and all other necessary officers forsecuring the order and good government of the Territory. TheTreasurer, in introducing the Bill, stated that "the accountsrelating to the new country were to be kept distinct from theaccounts proper to South Australia. The object was to guard thiscolony from loss, and to settle the new country at as littleexpense as possible. The only advantage (he added) to be derivedby South Australia was a market for its produce."

The regulations subsequently introduced in connection with theBill reduced the original quantity to be offered in the firstinstance to two lots of 125,000 acres each, and holders ofParliamentary land orders were to be allowed to exercise theirchoice "at any time within five years from the date of thepreliminary land order."

During the passage of the Bill through its various stages Mr.G.F. Angas renewed his protests from time to time, urging that itwas an unwise thing for the colony, already possessing more thanample territory and with a limited population, to saddle itselfwith the responsibility of such an enormous appanage. Hemaintained that it was far beyond the capability of the colony atthat time to manage successfully, and pointed out that settlingthe question of the land without making provision for theintroduction of labour would not lead to the settlement of thecountry. He submitted an alternative scheme to the effect that,instead of planting a colony there, large inducements should beoffered to squatters to take up the land, and that aCompany—somewhat similar to the South AustralianCompany—should be formed and encouraged to attempt thegrowth of purely tropical products. Had his advice been taken thecolony would have been saved enormous expenditure and annoyance.Many who wrote and spoke disparagingly of his views at the timeafterwards acknowledged that they greatly erred in disregardinghis wisdom and foresight.

On the 1st of March, 1864, offices were opened simultaneouslyin London and Adelaide for the sale of land in the NorthernTerritory, and on the 29th of that month the office at Adelaidewas closed with the following result:—455 applicants for118,880 acres of country land, and 743 town allotments of half anacre each, making a total of 119,251½ acres, the purchasemoney for which was £44,719 6s. 3d. The salesin London were materially assisted by the North AustralianCompany, which was formed for the purchase of land in the newterritory, and applied for 25,000 acres.

The proceeds of these land sales were to be devoted in thefirst instance to the cost of surveying and settling the country,and, as there were no other funds available, of course the landsales took place before the surveys had commenced. The Englishbuyers, therefore, speculated in faith; the choice of positionwas to be settled by lot, and the only guarantee they had was thepledge of the Government that within five years the land shouldbe surveyed and ready for selection.

The sale of the land was immediately followed up by the SouthAustralian Government with the outfit of an expedition to surveythe quantity of land required, and to establish order in thenewly acquired settlement. The command of the expedition wasentrusted to Lieutenant-Colonel B.T. Finniss, who received theappointment of Government Resident. The choice was considered anexcellent one. Mr. Finniss was an old and highly respectedcolonist, who had held the office of Treasurer of the colony,and, when Sir Henry Young left Adelaide, was acting Governorpending the arrival of Sir Richard MacDonnell. He was one of thefathers of the volunteer movement, and had a thoroughly practicalknowledge of surveying. It seemed that he was the man tofulfil every requirement, and when a banquet was given before theexpedition started, everybody seemed pleased with everything andwith one another, and the future was seen as in a goldenglory.

On the 29th of April the good ship Henry Ellis, wellequipped in every respect, and amply supplied with stores,instruments, and weapons, set sail from Port Adelaide, having onboard as officers of the expedition Mr. B.T. Finniss, GovernmentResident; J.F. Manton, engineer and surveyor; F.E. Goldsmith,surveyor and protector of aborigines; Ebenezer Ward, clerk incharge and accountant; Stephen King, storekeeper; John Davis,assistant storekeeper and postmaster; W. Pearson, J. Wadham, andA.E. Hamilton, surveyors; E. Watson and J.W.O. Bennett,draughtsmen, together with a strong party of Labourers andseamen—forty-two persons in all, bound for Adam Bay, whereit was thought a suitable site might be found for the first town,although absolute discretion was left to the Resident in thisrespect.

In May the Government schooner Yatala was despatched with aview to rendering any necessary assistance in navigating rivers,etc.

Unhappily, grievous dissensions arose among the party on boardthe Henry Ellis, which increased immediately after theylanded in Adam Bay, and grew to a head when Mr. Finniss, againstthe strong protests and remonstrances of his officers, and therepresentations of the land purchasers, selected EscapeCliffs—one of the most inaccessible and improbable placesimaginable—as the site of the first town.

In October intelligence reached Adelaide thatmisunderstandings of a most serious nature had arisen between theGovernment Resident and his subordinates, and that a collisionhad taken place between the Europeans and the natives, to whomsummary and indiscriminate punishment had been administered. Theposition was a difficult one, and it cast a gloom over theprospects of the promoters of the annexation scheme.Nevertheless, a steamer, the South Australian, wasdespatched at once, with forty passengers to be employed in theGovernment service in place of any who might be desirous ofreturning. This steamer returned to Adelaide on the 1st ofJanuary, 1865, and in consequence of the information brought byher as to the site selected for the capital a meeting ofland-order holders was held, who memorialized the Government notto determine on the site of a capital till the whole country hadbeen examined. This request was acceded to as far ascircumstances would permit, but to make a concession of this kindnecessarily involved a tantalizing delay in the survey of thelaud.

In July, 1865, news reached Adelaide of the totaldisorganization of the survey party under Mr. Finniss. Some ofthe settlers had purchased a small boat, the Forlorn Hope,and, sailing by way of Champion Bay, reached Adelaide in safety,and laid a statement of the condition of affairs before theGovernment. Great indignation was expressed in all quarters, andMr. Finniss was called upon for full and immediate explanation.All this was discouraging to those who had invested capital, andwas embarrassing to the Government. But to meet any emergencythat might arise, as well as to supply a pressing demand forstores and fresh provisions, the Government chartered the barqueEllen Lewis, which sailed for Adam Bay on the 25th ofSeptember, taking with her Messrs. McKinlay and John Davis, Dr.Milner, and ten other passengers, with stores, sheep, andhorses.

The explanations of Mr. Finniss were eminently unsatisfactory,and he was recalled, Mr. Manton, the engineer and surveyor, beingleft in command.

The Ellen Lewis returned from the Territory on the 13thof February, 1866, with Mr. Finniss and a number of passengers onboard. A Court of Inquiry was appointed by the Government toinvestigate the causes of the disagreements in the newsettlement. The extent of the disruption that had taken placebecame painfully apparent by the number of charges andcounter-charges that were brought under the notice of the Court.It was an aggravated repetition of the story of Captain Hindmarshand the early settlers, and with such a warning within the memoryof some who constituted the pioneer party to Adam Bay, it wassomewhat surprising that they should have drifted into theirpresent state of hopeless disorganization.

While the Court was sitting the Ellen Lewis returned tothe Northern Territory with eleven passengers and a good cargo oflive stock. On the 16th of May, 1866, a Special Commission ofInquiry gave in their report condemning Mr. Finniss'administration of affairs at Escape Cliff's, whereby the membersof the expedition had been obstructed in the execution of theirduties; condemning the selection of Escape Cliffs as the site ofthe first town; condemning him for lack of care in protecting thestores, and lack of skill in dealing with his men, and also indealing with the natives with whom the party had come intocollision. On the other hand, it was stated by the Commissionersthat several of the persons comprising the expedition weretotally unsuitable for the work entrusted to them. The inquirywas one of peculiar difficulty, owing to the extremelyacrimonious feeling on both sides, and especially the strongpersonal animosity shown towards Mr. Finniss. The report of theCommissioners was accepted by the Government, and Mr. Finniss,although considering himself hardly dealt with, was removed fromhis position, or, as it appeared, resigned the office ofGovernment Resident, on the 25th of May.

Meanwhile, Mr. Manton was left in charge, and the reports thatcame from time to time were unfavourable to hisadministration.

In September, 1866, Mr. McKinlay returned from an unsuccessfulattempt to explore the country to the east of Adam Bay, anddelay, vexation, and disappointment became the order of the day.Parliament and the Executive had no easy time of it, and aftermuch deliberation it was decided to advertise for tenders for thesurvey of 300,000 acres of land.

On the 10th of December eleven tenders were sent in, and werehanded to Mr. G.W. Goyder, Surveyor-General, to report upon. Onlytwo were capable of serious consideration.

As a preliminary step, before any tender could be accepted,Mr. Goyder recommended that a competent officer should be sent atonce to the Northern Territory, and should be instructed to visitthe lands in the vicinity of the Victoria, and afterwards land atAnson Bay and the north coast of Port Darwin and Escape Cliffs,and, after deciding upon a site for the capital, to return andcall for tenders, stating the actual nature of the country andthe material required to facilitate the carrying out of thecontract. Captain Cadell's services were secured for thispurpose, and with a small party he set sail on the 26th ofFebruary, 1867.

After an absence of fifty weeks he returned and reported uponthe advantages and disadvantages of the places visited. Insteadof accepting any of the tenders, the Government decided to sendMr. Goyder as head of a new survey party (Mr. Manton and severalof the original survey party sent out in 1864 having returned toAdelaide), and on the 27th of December, 1868, he sailed in theMoonta for Port Darwin, that place being considered themost suitable for the capital.

The tenders sent in had varied from £21,000 to£100,000, or from one shilling per acre to four shillingsand ninepence halfpenny. Mr. Goyder's estimate for the work was£25,000, exclusive of cost of transit and of small vesselsfor river and mail services, but including salary and provisionsto officers and men to and from the Northern Territory. Thisamount was also exclusive of a bonus of £3000 to Mr.Goyder, but included a bonus pro rata to the officers andmen of the expedition.

While these arrangements were being made by the ColonialGovernment, the North Australian Land Company in England andseveral of the land-order holders were demanding a return oftheir purchase money, with interest, which tended still furtherto embarrass the Executive, and the impression was beingextensively forced on the minds of many that the vast territory,asked for as a boon, might prove a bane to the colony.

How Mr. Goyder performed his mission, and how order wasevolved out of chaos in tho "white elephant" Territory, will betold in a future chapter.

Throughout the administration of Sir Dominick Daly, the"Squatter Question" was a subject of debate both in and out ofParliament, and not only during that period, but more or lessthroughout the whole history of the colony. The term "squatter",according to Mr. J. Henniker Heaton,** was first applied topersons in the territory of New South Wales, who, about the year1835, without reasonable means of obtaining an honest livelihood,had formed stations in the interior, and then carried onpredatory warfare against the flocks and herds in the vicinity.The term "squatter" is now used to describe one of the mostuseful and important classes of the community, principally thelarge pastoral tenants who rent the land from the Crown forgrazing purposes. This signification was first applied in theyear 1842, and has held its own ever since.

[** "Australian Dictionary of Dates", by J.H.Heaton. London, 1879.]

In the early days of the colony brave and adventurous men witha little capital went off into outlying districts with theirsheep and a few shepherds, a certain amount of food, and thewherewithal of procuring more, and, building their rude huts,settled down to pastoral pursuits. In course of time the dangerswhich beset them in the earlier days from the attacks of nativeswere minimized, and as success attended the labours of thesquatters, their general condition improved. But the tenure ofthe land they occupied was always more or less precarious, thecondition upon which pastoral leases were held being that in theevent of the land being required for agricultural purposes, thesquatter must relinquish his "run" on receiving six months'notice, but would be compensated for the substantial improvementshe had made.

Many of the squatters in a comparatively short time amassedlarge fortunes, while others were much better off financiallythan the dwellers in towns, and the consequence was that manyconsidered it to be a mistake to lease land to them on the lowterms that at one time prevailed. Mr. G.W. Goyder, theSurveyor-General, was therefore entrusted, with the difficulttask of fixing a new valuation on the renewal of the leases.

His valuations were so high that the squatters were at firstdumbfounded, but soon after raised such an outcry as to challengepublic opinion on the whole question. There arose "squatterparties" and "anti-squatter parties" in Parliament. On one sidethe squatters were represented as having all the sweets "ofcolonial life; on the other as poor, oppressed, and strugglingmen, to whom every consideration should be shown.

Strange to say, the re-valuations had scarcely been made, thanthere set in a period of almost unprecedented drought, and itcontinued for two years in succession. The grievances of thesquatters then engaged the careful attention of the Legislature,and a Commission was appointed to inquire into the whole matter.As the position of those in the north was considerably aggravatedby this calamitous drought, it was considered by many that theyhad a reasonable claim upon the sympathy and forbearance of theGovernment; but in consequence of the popular clamour raisedagainst them as a class, it was not easy to obtain any concessionfor them from those who regarded themselves as representatives of"the people".

The facts elicited by the Commissioners were certainlycalculated to turn the tide of popular prejudice which had set inagainst the squatters. But such was not the case. A wide-spreadopinion prevailed that the "people's grass" had been leased tothe squatters at too low a price, and that they were therebyenabled, in good seasons, to become wealthy in a short time. Thesquatters, on the other hand, contended that, as their leasescould not possibly give them a guarantee against drought, it wasunjust that they should pay for feed for their flocks and herdson land which did not yield such pasture.

The report of the Commission, under the head "Loss of stockthrough drought", was startling:—"235,152 sheep haveperished out of 827,706 since the 30th of September, 1804, to thesame date 1805, and 28,850 head of horned cattle out of 53,355.The horse stock has also suffered severely, 903 out of 2145 beingreported lost. These losses do not include last year's increaseof lambs and calves, for, with some trifling exceptions, notworthy of notice, all have perished."

Some of the most severe cases of loss were thusenumerated:—"Out of a herd of cattle of 8000 head two yearsago, and which, according to the ordinary rate of increase,should now number 12,000, only 1600 remain; of 7000 sheepbelonging to the same proprietor, only 800 have been broughtaway, and of 550 horses 520 have died. Another proprietor reportsthe loss of 1500 cattle out of 3000, and he has deserted thestation, it being impossible to get supplies. Unless heavy rainsfall before Christmas, the whole of the herd must die, it beingutterly impossible to muster them, and even could that be done,they would not be able to travel away. Several others have lostthree-fourths, and many half, of their entire stock. These losseshave not arisen so much from want of water as from scarcity offood and length of drought, as in many cases the supply of waterexceeds the feeding capabilities of the run."

In a return made by Mr. Goyder to the House of Assembly,towards the end of December, it was shown that the estimated lossto the revenue by making reasonable concessions to those lesseesof the Crown who had suffered by the drought would be about£40,000.

Eventually a scheme was hit upon, and in closing the sessionof Parliament on the 16th of March, 1866, the Governor alluded toit in these terms: "It is with great satisfaction that I haveassented in her Majesty's name to an Act for extending the termof occupation to the pastoral lessees of the Crown, believingthat, while conferring a great boon on those who elect to takeadvantage of the measure, it will not be detrimental to thegeneral interest of the community; and the subsequent Act, whichallows the lessees the alternative choice of a remission of rentin some proportion to the loss of pasturage, is a wiseconcession, which the unparalleled state of the countrydemanded."

Thus, under very difficult circumstances, the matter wasbrought to a satisfactory result.

Public feeling with regard to the squatters was considerablychanged in 1867, the drought having continued for an unexampledperiod. A series of resolutions were introduced by theCommissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration for affording reliefby allowing them to surrender the leases they held, in exchangefor others to be granted on more liberal terms, and a Bill togive effect to this was passed with very little opposition.Although the times were then so hard to the squatters, and manyof them were unable to tide over their difficulties, some did notsuffer in the end, and they continued in the future, as they hadbeen in the past, among the most prosperous of the colonists.

The imminent wreckage of a Ministry in a peculiar form duringthe rule of Governor Daly deserves a passing notice, as it isamong the historic incidents of the colony's history. On the 13thof April, 1865, Sir Dominick Daly, Sir Henry Ayers, ChiefSecretary, several other Ministers, and a distinguished number ofvisitors, among whom was Lady Charlotte Bacon (the Ianthe ofByron), were being conveyed on the City and PortRailway—the Government speculation, which had cost over£250,000—by express train from Adelaide on a visit toH.M.'s sloop Falcon. Mr. Charles Simeon Hare, manager ofrailways, was in charge of the train, and he gave instructions tothe engine-driver to put on "all speed". The result was a lurch,a crash, and two of tho carriages were overturned and flung offthe line. Happily the chain connecting the engine with the trainbroke on the instant, and the passengers escaped uninjured. ACommission of Inquiry sat for seven days, and the blame havingbeen fixed on Mr. Hare, he was removed from office withcompensation. It is reported that in after years he was wont tomake merry in a subdued fashion on his exploit, and to say that,"though he never held office in a Ministry, he upset a Ministryand a Governor on top of it!"

The most memorable event of a general character which marked,the administration of Sir Dominick Daly was the visit of hisRoyal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in the steam frigateGalatea. The intimation that Port Adelaide would be thefirst port in Australia that the Prince would visit was receivedwith enthusiasm, and the loyal colonists took steps to give himas brilliant a reception as possible.

Towards the end of October (1867), when the arrival of thePrince was hourly expected, beachrangers were watching day andnight on shore, and others in the Gulf, while the Adelaideanskept their eyes on the signal-staffs by day, and watched for thebooming of cannon or the blazing of bonfires on Mount Lofty bynight. But, in spite of all this vigilance, the Galateasteamed quietly up the gulf during the night of the 29th ofOctober, and came to anchor in Holdfast Bay without any pilot,and without any visit from those who were on the look-out tointercept her.

Early next morning the telegraph flashed the news to thecountry districts, and all Adelaide and the suburbs were astir.When the public reception took place on the 31st, it wascalculated that about 35,000 persons were present at differentpoints, to witness or take part in the procession.

Never had Adelaide seen so great a show. Magnificent triumphalarches, miles of bunting, forests of evergreens, acres of red andgold cloth; merry peals ringing from the bells of the AlbertTower; the booming of cannon; the tramp of volunteers, joined bythe members of friendly societies, the corporations of Adelaideand other municipalities, and the German Club; the clangour ofbands of music, the thrilling voices of 4000 children singing theNational Anthem; but, more impressive than all, the ringingcheers and the waving of handkerchiefs, as the first member ofthe Royal House of England passed along on Australian soil. Atnight there was a general illumination—a display ofelectric and magnesium lights and fireworks. Next day the Princeheld a levee at Government House and laid the foundation stone ofthe Victoria Tower of the new post-office, the day's proceedingsterminating with a torchlight procession of 500 Germans. Greatpains had been taken "to render this demonstration in everyrespect national; to include in it every German institution inthe colony; to have every German township represented; and to geteverything done exactly as in the Fatherland." This includedtransparent lanterns, the singing of the Liedertafel, and so on,and the whole thing was well done, and appeared to afford thePrince infinite pleasure.

On the 2nd there was a review of the volunteers and militaryon the North Park-Lands, and a presentation of colours to thePrince Alfred Rifle Volunteers by his Royal Highness. In theafternoon the Adelaide Amateur Athletic Club gave an excellentdisplay of sports, and in the evening there was an amateurperformance at the theatre by the officers of the 50th Regiment.Sunday, the 3rd, was spent by his Royal Highness on board theGalatea, and Monday was an "open day" so far as publiccelebrations were concerned, but steamers were running from theport to the royal frigate, and took from 2000 to 3000 visitors tosee the Galatea.

On the 5th the Royal Duke laid the foundation stone of thePrince Alfred (Wesleyan) College, and in the evening there was asubscription ball in the Town Hall, at which nearly a thousandpeople were present. On the following day Gawler and Kapunda werevisited, and in the evening there was a grand display offireworks on Montefiore Hill, near Adelaide.

From the 7th to the 9th, the Agricultural and HorticulturalSociety held a special exhibition of colonial products andmanufactures, and henceforth the society adopted the prefix of"Royal" to its title. Over 16,000 persons visited theexhibition.

On the 9th, it being the anniversary of the birthday of thePrince of Wales, a civic banquet was given in the Town Hall, atwhich 500 persons were present, and on the 11th the Duke and hissuite left Adelaide for Lakes Alexandrina and Albert for sport,and returned on the 16th. Four days later, the Prince leftGovernment House for the Port, accompanied by the Governor, ofwhose kindness and hospitality the Prince and his party spoke inthe highest terms, and on the 21st the Galatea steameddown the gulf on her way to Melbourne, leaving the colonists tothe reflection that though the visit of her royal captain hadcost the colony between £20,000 and £30,000 suchvisits were likely to be of rare occurrence, and the loyalfeelings they called into existence and fostered were certainlyworth a few thousands, to say nothing of the sights and scenesthey had witnessed and enjoyed during the gay holiday time.*

[* Those who are curious in such matters willfind elaborate details of each day's engagements in "The Cruiseof H.M.S. Galatea", by the Rev. John Milner and O.W.Brierly. London: 1869.]

On the 12th of March, 1868, intelligence reached Adelaide ofthe dastardly attempt of one O'Farrell to assassinate the Duke ofEdinburgh, while attending a picnic near Sydney. The news createda most painful sensation; prayers for his recovery were offeredup at all the churches, indignation meetings were held, and anaddress to the Queen was drawn up and bore 63,689 signatures.

The telegrams announcing the Prince's progress towardsrecovery were awaited with anxiety, and the 3rd of May, goodtidings having been received, was set apart as a day of GeneralThanksgiving for the preservation from assassination and for therestoration to health of the Prince.

The subsequent news of the execution of O'Farrell brought thetragic incident to a close, and by allowing the law to take itscourse, Australians generally felt they had done all that was intheir power to do, to wash their hands of the foul deed for whichthey were in no way responsible.

Throughout the whole period of the preparations and the visitof the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Dominick Daly took an active part,and although it was patent to every one that he was not in goodhealth, he did not in any way relax his labours. On the 19th ofDecember he brought a long and arduous session of Parliament to aclose by the delivery of a brief speech, in which he reminded themembers that the session then closing would probably terminatethe existing Parliament, and that they would shortly be calledupon to appear before their constituents. He congratulated themupon the Royal visit, and on the loyalty of the colonists;thanked the Parliament for the liberal means placed at hisdisposal for the reception and entertainment of His RoyalHighness, and then touched in general and pleasing terms on themeasures that had been passed during the session favourable tothe pastoral, mining, and agricultural interests.

On the 19th of February, 1868, exactly two months afterbringing the session to a close, the tolling of the large muffledbell in the Albert Tower and the half-mast-high flag at theentrance to the Government Domain told the sad tale that theGovernor's earthly career was ended.

For some time previously he had been in a bad state of health;his lack of colour and of physical vigour had been noticed byevery one, and medical men were prepared to hear that anaemia wasthe cause of death.

The end was sudden, and he died literally in harness; not onlyhad arrangements been made a day or two before to hold a meetingof the Executive Council within an hour or two of the time thathe breathed his last, but he was engaged in public businessimmediately before the final seizure.

The funeral took place on the 22nd of February, and, like theday when Sir Dominick arrived in the colony, the heat was almostunbearable. Nevertheless, some 14,000 to 15,000 persons lined theroute to the cemetery, and, as all that was mortal of the lateGovernor was borne along on a gun-carriage and surrounded bymilitary pomp, there was overwhelming evidence that his loss wasdeeply mourned.

An admirable review of Sir Dominick Daly's administration wasgiven in the Register, and it expressed exactly theestimation in which he was held by the colonists from first tolast. "Among the finest traits of an admirable character shouldbe placed the tact and prudence whereby he averted the threatenedcalamity of religious discord. Among the grounds of our regretfor his untimely loss it should not be forgotten what he sufferedin the early part of his career on this point. His personalamiability and political impartiality soon lived it down, butwhile it existed it must have been a painful obstacle to theusefulness he had so sincerely at heart. No other person evertook office under such a serious disadvantage. None gained sosteadily in public favour when he came to be known as he reallywas. There has been no other of whose career it could so truly besaid that he left none but friends behind him. . . . Six yearsago he came to us a stranger, and we received him, not withoutprejudices and misgivings. To-day we can all of us say in ourhearts that we wish he had been spared many years longer to ruleus. In his quiet, modest fashion, he had lived through much,learned much, and done a great deal more than the world gave himcredit for. His career was singularly free from tinsel anddramatic effect, but all who study his biography will find in itthe genuine characteristics of human worth. Remembering, as weought, the peculiar difficulties of his position, we cannot betoo grateful for the peace and prosperity which have attended hisrule."




The History of South Australia, Volume I. (3)

(Video) URBEX ABANDONED NEVER SEEN BEFORE and now demolished. Ssshhhh! South Australian History

This site is full of FREE ebooks - Project Gutenberg Australia


What is the history of South Australia? ›

The South Australia Act, 1834 created the Province of South Australia, built according to the principles of systematic colonisation, with no convict settlers; after the colony nearly went bankrupt, the South Australia Act 1842 gave the British Government full control of South Australia as a Crown Colony.

What is famous about South Australia? ›

South Australia is now considered one of the best areas for winemaking in the entire world. With famous brands nestled within the wine regions, tourists can travel to Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, and Clare Valley, visiting the famous brands known worldwide.

Did South Australia have convicts? ›

South Australia was established as a free settlement in 1836. Unlike the other Australian colonies, there were never any convicts transported from Britain to the shores of South Australia, which appealed to many people.

Who colonized South Australia? ›

In 1834, the South Australian Colonisation Act was passed in the United Kingdom, leading to the British colonisation of land that is now the state of South Australia.

When did slavery end South Australia? ›

Slavery was outlawed in the British Empire, including Australia, by 1833. Unambiguous legislation consolidating these Acts of Parliament and prohibiting slavery was passed in 1873.

What are aboriginals from South Australia called? ›

Kaurna Aboriginal people are the Traditional Owners of the Adelaide plains in South Australia. Kaurna land extends north towards Crystal Brook, down the Adelaide plains, south along the coast to Cape Jervis and is bounded by the Mount Lofty Ranges to the east.

What are South Australian people called? ›

'Crow-eaters' for South Australians is still commonly used, and refers to the magpie on the coat of arms. 'Top Enders' for those from the Northern Territory is heard occasionally. 'Banana Benders', referring to those from Queensland, is simply not heard enough.

What problems did South Australia have? ›

In the early days of settlement, South Australia was plagued with problems attributed to escaped convicts [called bolters] from the penal settlements in the east of the continent. These outlaws saw the colony as a safe haven but had to resort to a life of crime as they were unable to obtain legitimate work.

What makes South Australia different? ›

In South Australia, you will find: a relaxed coastal city of 1.7 million people enjoying a Mediterranean climate. a safe, open and democratic society. internationally regarded universities, research and innovation centres.

Why is it called South Australia? ›

The main idea is that “South Australia” simply sounded better than “Southern Australia.” Believe it or not, the state isn't the southernmost state. Not too many people know that this island state was discovered in 1642 by Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman. This is how the state got its name.

Who was the last person to be hanged in South Australia? ›

Glen Sabre Valance (born Graham Paul Fraser; 11 February 1943 – 24 November 1964) was an Australian murderer. He was the last man executed in South Australia. In 1964, he was hanged in Adelaide Gaol for the murder of his boss, Richard Strang.

Why is Australia called the land of convicts? ›

Between 1788 and 1868 more than 162,000 convicts were transported to Australia. Of these, about 7,000 arrived in 1833 alone. The convicts were transported as punishment for crimes committed in Britain and Ireland. In Australia their lives were hard as they helped build the young colony.

Who was the last convict in Australia? ›

The Last Convict is an historical novel based on the life of Samuel Speed, who believed himself to be – and is widely accepted as – the last transported convict to survive in Australia. He died in November 1938, on the eve of the Second World War and within the lifetime of many people still living.

Why did Germans move to South Australia? ›

After the death of the King of Prussia in June 1840, Germans moved to South Australia more for economic rather than religious reasons, (only five per cent of all German migrants came for religious reasons).

Why did Germans go to South Australia? ›

By 1851 almost 7,000 Germans had come to South Australia. About half of these came as religious communities. The other half came in search of land or a higher standard of living. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s approximately 12 German settlements were established in the Barossa Valley.

Who were the first white settlers in South Australia? ›

First Settlers in South Australia

The ship Duke of York under the command of Captain Robert Clark Morgan (1798-1864) set sail with 42 passengers on February 24. On March 30 the ship Lady Mary Pelham departed London with 29 passengers. The fourth ship was the Emma which left London with 22 passengers on April 21.

Were Aborigines enslaved? ›

Many Aboriginal Australians were also forced into various forms of slavery and unfree labour from colonisation. Some Indigenous Australians performed unpaid labour until the 1970s. Pacific Islanders were kidnapped or coerced to come to Australia and work, in a practice known as blackbirding.

Did indigenous Australians have slaves? ›

Some 62,000 Melanesian people were brought to Australia and enslaved to work in Queensland's sugar plantations between 1863 and 1904. First Nations Australians had a more enduring experience of slavery, originally in the pearling industry in Western Australia and the Torres Strait and then in the cattle industry.

What is the percentage of blacks in Australia? ›

African migrants represent a small but growing population in Australia, with 388,179 recoded in the latest Census (about 1.7 per cent of the total population). In South Australia, there are 20,238 African migrants, 33 per cent of whom were born in South Africa and the remainder coming from 45 different countries.

What race is an Aboriginal? ›

Genetic studies have revealed that Aboriginal Australians largely descended from an Eastern Eurasian population wave, and are most closely related to other Oceanians, such as Melanesians.

Do Australian Aboriginals have Indian DNA? ›

Northern Aboriginal Australians can trace as much as 11% of their genomes to migrants who reached the island around 4,000 years ago from India, a new study suggests. Along with their genes, the migrants also have brought more advanced tool-making techniques and the ancestors of the dingo.

What DNA do Australian Aboriginals have? ›

Some 90% of present-day Australian Aboriginals belong to the Pama-Nyungan linguistic family. This family originated only around 6,000 years ago, but according to the new study the people who speak the Pama-Nyungan languages today started to become genetically differentiated in Australia as early as 31,000 years ago.

What is the South Australian accent? ›

Some language experts believe South Australians sound a bit more British than other Aussies. South Australians are sometimes told they sound a bit posh, or a little more British than other Aussies. It's fairly well-accepted that South Australians speak a little differently to people from other parts of the country.

Why do South Australians have a different accent? ›


The tendency for some /l/ sounds to become vowels (/l/ vocalisation) is more common in South Australia than other states. "Hurled", for example, in South Australia has a semi vocalised /l/, leading to the pronunciation [həːʊ̯d], whereas in other states the /l/ is pronounced as a consonant.

Is South Australia a good place to live? ›

South Australia boasts a world-renowned food and wine culture, is home to a diverse range of cultural and sporting events and offers residents and visitors alike opportunities to experience a variety of cultural and entertainment experiences, for both education and leisure.

Is South Australia cheap to live? ›

Adelaide is up to 14% more affordable to live in than other major Australian cities, and has the lowest average rent in the country. With lower rent, food and public transport costs than most major Australian cities, you'll be able to afford more of the wonderful lifestyle that Australia has to offer.

What happened to the indigenous people in Adelaide? ›

The Kaurna were being decimated by the process of colonisation as new diseases, alcohol, and, underpinning everything else, loss of land and livelihood, took a heavy toll. By the 1850s, few of the remaining Kaurna were in Adelaide.

Why did the Chinese come to South Australia? ›

The sudden flood of Chinese gold diggers to Victoria alarmed the authorities, who imposed a poll tax of £10 on every Chinese person landing at Victorian ports. To bypass this unfair tax, the Chinese arrived in South Australia in large numbers and walked to the goldfields.

Why do Adelaide people sound British? ›

There's a theory that the state's first European inhabitants — who were free settlers, not convicts — may have caused more "proper" or "British" pronunciations to stick around.

How is life in South Australia? ›

South Australia has a climate that brings a Mediterranean mix of long hot summers (25oC to 35oC) and snowless winters with temperatures of around 10-15oC. You won't be worried by the humidity of other Australian cities, yet there are 2500 hours on average of glorious sunshine to soak up each year.

Who controls South Australia? ›

Legislative power rests with the Parliament of South Australia, which consists of the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council, with general elections held every four years.

How old is South Australia? ›

South Australia became a self-governing colony in 1856 and its constitution was one of the most progressive and democratic in the world.

Who found Australia first? ›

Australian Prehistory: Humans are thought to have arrived in Australia about 30,000 years ago. The original inhabitants, who have descendants to this day, are known as aborigines. In the eighteenth century, the aboriginal population was about 300,000.

What did South Australia invent? ›

SA's Austrian immigrant Charles Rothauser invented the plastic cistern for toilets as his answer to Adelaide's corrosive water supply. He moved on to solve another SA problem - lack of water - by developing the dual flush toilet. It is used around the world and made his company, Caroma Industries, very successful.

Is South Australia Beautiful? ›

South Australia has captured the imagination of artists and adventurers for centuries. Sprawling wilderness, a stunning coastline, and stark desert beauty inspire all who visit, and the state capital, Adelaide, sits on the brink of all these natural wonders.

Did you know facts about South Australia? ›

Adelaide is the traditional land of the Kaurna (pronounced Garna) people. In the entirety of South Australia, more than thirty distinct indigenous groups can be found. South Australia is considered to be the driest state in the driest continent. Adelaide is often called the City of Churches.

When did Australia stop hanging people? ›

The last person to be executed in Australia was Ronald Ryan. Ryan was 'hanged by the neck until he was dead' at Pentridge Prison, Victoria in 1967.

When was the last man hanged in the US? ›

Rainey Bethea, executed August 14, 1936 at Owensboro, Kentucky, was the last public execution in America. He was publicly hanged for rape on August 14, 1936 in a parking lot in Owensboro, Kentucky (to avoid damage to the courthouse lawn by thousands of people who were expected to attend).

Who was the youngest person to be hanged? ›

On June 16th, 1944, the state of South Carolina executed George Stinney, Jr. He was fourteen years, six months, and five days old, the youngest person ever executed in the United States in the 20th Century.

How did Australians get their accent? ›

Australian English can be described as a new dialect that developed as a result of contact between people who spoke different, mutually intelligible, varieties of English. The very early form of Australian English would have been first spoken by the children of the colonists born into the early colony in Sydney.

What did female convicts do in Australia? ›

They would be employed in 'factories' (equivalent of the English workhouse) but often had to find their own accommodation, and would be under great pressure to pay for it with sexual services. In this way, all the women convicts tended to be regarded as prostitutes.

What do they call jail in Australia? ›

Indeed the spelling in British English is now jail with gaol as a lowly placed variant. The spelling jail is the most common spelling now in Australian English. This leaves Berrima Gaol and Parramatta Gaol out on a limb. The solution for state governments has been to rename these institutions as correctional centres.

Why did most freed convicts stay in Australia? ›

It offered former convicts free land, tools, seed, livestock, and even food for one year. In addition, the government assigned newly arrived convicts to them to help work the land. As it turned out, most ex-convicts never returned to Britain but stayed in Australia to become landowners or wage workers.

How much of Australia is descended from convicts? ›

Hundreds of thousands of convicts were transported from Britain and Ireland to Australia between 1787 and 1868. Today, it's estimated that 20% of the Australian population are descended from people originally transported as convicts, while around 2 million Britons have transported convict ancestry.

How old was the youngest convict sent to Australia? ›

This is John Hudson, the youngest convict on the First Fleet. At the age of 9 he was convicted of 'breaking and entering' and sentenced to 7 years in Australia, along with 34 other child convicts. Today students in Sydney will be able to put questions to him, in real-time, from the deck of a Virtual First Fleet ship!

Why are there no convicts in South Australia? ›

South Australia was an experimental British colony and the only Australian colony which did not officially take convicts. But naturally some former convicts made their way to South Australia. Men who had completed their sentences came to settle here, usually hiding their convict past if possible.

Why are there so many Germans in South Australia? ›

By the First World War 10% of South Australians were of German descent. As farm workers in particular, the German immigrants were valued for their steady industriousness, and the origins of South Australia's wine industry are credited with individual German families.

Are there any 10 year olds in jail in Australia? ›

Despite pressure to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Australia, a child as young as 10 can still be given a custodial sentence in almost all states and territories. One boy's experience has seen him strip-searched, assaulted and locked up for hours at a time, and it hasn't led to reform.

How were Germans living in Australia treated? ›

The outbreak of World War I changed the lives of more than 100,000 Germans living in Australia. Many were labelled "enemy aliens" and jailed without trial or the ability to appeal against their detention. Most inmates were ultimately deported in 1919 in a Government-backed form of ethnic cleansing.

How did the Germans end up staying in Australia? ›

In the aftermath of World War Two when Germany lay in ruins many refugees and homeless people took the opportunity to start a new life in Australia under the big immigration programs started in the late 1940s by the Australian Government.

Did the Germans fear Australian soldiers? ›

The German soldiers feared and respected the skills of the Australians. In a letter captured and translated by the 7th Australian Infantry Brigade in May 1918, a German soldier wrote to his mother: We are here near ALBERT, I am in the foremost line, about 200 metres opposite the British.

What are people from South Australia called? ›

'Crow-eaters' for South Australians is still commonly used, and refers to the magpie on the coat of arms. 'Top Enders' for those from the Northern Territory is heard occasionally. 'Banana Benders', referring to those from Queensland, is simply not heard enough.

Why is the South Australian accent different? ›

It's more about vocabulary

Far more significant differences in Australian speech can be found in state and territory vocabularies, Professor Sussex suggested. "There are, of course, the differences between swimmers and togs and various other words for the things we go swimming in," he said.

What is it like living in South Australia? ›

South Australia has a climate that brings a Mediterranean mix of long hot summers (25oC to 35oC) and snowless winters with temperatures of around 10-15oC. You won't be worried by the humidity of other Australian cities, yet there are 2500 hours on average of glorious sunshine to soak up each year.


1. History of South Australian + Victorian football rivalry
2. The History of Australia's Attack-class Submarine 2009-2020
(Sub Brief)
3. Scenes from regional South Australia, 1939
(State Library South Australia)
4. Let's Get Physical: Preserving South Australia’s Sporting History
(History Trust of South Australia)
5. South Australian History Sources - the ultimate reference book for historians
(Gould Genealogy & History)
6. History of South Australia's Space Industry


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