Australia, its history and present condition - containing an account both of the bush and of the colonies, - with their respective inhabitants
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Australia, its history and present condition - containing an account both of the bush and of the colonies, - with their respective inhabitants

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Australia, its history and present condition, by William Pridden This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Australia, its history and present condition containing an account both of the bush and of the colonies, with their respective inhabitants Author: William Pridden Release Date: December 5, 2009 [EBook #30607] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK AUSTRALIA--HISTORY, CONDITION *** Produced by Nick Wall, Anne Storer, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.) Transcriber’s Notes: 1) Morrumbidgee/Murrumbidgee each used on several occasions and left as in the original. ‘Morrumbidgee’ is the aboriginal name for the Murrumbidgee. 2) Used on numerous occasions, civilisation/civilization; civilised/civilized; civilising/civilizing; uncivilised/uncivilized—left as in the original. 3) Same with variations of colonisation/colonization, and a few other “z” words that should be “s” words in their English form. The XXVI.

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Australia, its history and present condition, by
William Pridden
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Australia, its history and present condition
containing an account both of the bush and of the colonies,
with their respective inhabitants
Author: William Pridden
Release Date: December 5, 2009 [EBook #30607]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK AUSTRALIA--HISTORY, CONDITION ***
Produced by Nick Wall, Anne Storer, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)
Transcriber’s Notes:
1) Morrumbidgee/Murrumbidgee
each used on several occasions and
left as in the original. ‘Morrumbidgee’
is the aboriginal name for the
Murrumbidgee.
2) Used on numerous occasions,
civilisation/civilization;
civilised/civilized; civilising/civilizing;
uncivilised/uncivilized—left as in the
original.
3) Same with variations of
colonisation/colonization, and a few
other “z” words that should be “s”
words in their English form.
TheXXVI.
AUSTRALIA,
ITS HISTORY AND PRESENT CONDITION;

CONTAINING
AN ACCOUNT BOTH OF THE BUSH
AND OF THE COLONIES, WITH
THEIR RESPECTIVE INHABITANTS.

BY THE
REV. W. PRIDDEN, M.A.
VICAR OF BROXTED, ESSEX.

“Truth, in her native calmness and becoming
moderation, shall be the object of our homage
and pursuit; and we will aim at the attainment of
knowledge for the improvement of our reason,
and not for the gratification of a passion for
disputing.”—Address of the Bp of Australia in
1841 to the Church of England Book Society.

LONDON:
JAMES BURNS, 17, PORTMAN STREET,
PORTMAN SQUARE.
1843.
LONDON:
PRINTED BY R. CLAY, BREAD STREET HILL.
[missing illustration: Map of Australia]PREFACE.
A few words by way of Preface are requisite, in order that the objects of the
present Work may be stated to the reader, and that he may also be made
acquainted with the sources whence the information here communicated is
derived, and from consulting which he may still further inform himself
concerning Australia. The aim of the writer of the following pages has been,—
while furnishing a description of some of the most flourishing and interesting
settlements belonging to the British Crown, which, at the same time, exhibit in
contrast to each other the two extremes of savage and civilised life;—to call the
attention of his countrymen, both at home and in the colonies, to the evils which
have arisen from the absence of moral restraint and religious instruction in
colonies of civilised and (nominally) christian men. And although it must in
many ways be a disadvantage that the person professing to describe a
particular country should have gained all his knowledge of it from the report of
others, without ever having himself set foot upon its shores; yet, in one respect
at least, this may operate advantageously. He is less likely to have party
prejudices or private interests to serve in his account of the land to which he is
a total stranger. In consequence, probably, of his being an indifferent and
impartial observer, not one of our Australian colonies wears in his eye the
appearance of a perfect paradise; but then, on the other hand, there is not one
of those fine settlements which prejudice urges him to condemn, as though it
were barren and dreary as the Great Sahara itself. And the same circumstance
—his never having breathed the close unwholesome air of colonial party-
politics—will render it less likely that his judgment respecting persons and
disputed opinions should be unduly biassed. There will be more probability of
his judging upon right principles, and although his facts may (in some
instances, unavoidably) be less minutely accurate than an inhabitant of the
country would have given, yet they may be less coloured and less partially
stated. Instead of giving his own observations as an eye-witness, fraught with
his own particular views, he can calmly weigh the opposite statements of men
of different opinions, and between the two he is more likely to arrive at the truth.
With regard to the present Work, however impartial the author has endeavoured
to be, however free he may be from colonial passions and interests, he does
not wish to deceive the reader by professing a total freedom from all prejudice.
If this were desirable, it is impossible; it is a qualification which no writer, or
reader either, possesses. But thus much may be stated, that all his prejudices
are in favour of those institutions with which it has pleased God to bless his
native land. In a volume that is intended to form part of a series called “The
Englishman’s Library,” it may be permitted, surely, to acknowledge a strong and
influencing attachment to the Sovereign, the Church, and the Constitution of
England.
The object and principles of the present volume being thus plainly set forth, it
remains only to mention some of the sources whence the information contained
in it is derived. To the Travels of Captain Grey on the western coast of New
Holland, and to those of Major Mitchell in the interior, the first portion of this
Work is deeply indebted, and every person interested in the state of the natives,
or fond of perusing travels in a wild and unknown region, may be referred to
these four volumes,[1] where they will find that the extracts here given are but a
specimen of the stores of amusement and information which they contain.
Captain Sturt’s “Expeditions” and Mr. Oxley’s “Journal” are both interesting
works, but they point rather to the progress of discovery in New Holland than to
the actual state of our local knowledge of it. Dr. Lang’s two volumes upon Newthe actual state of our local knowledge of it. Dr. Lang’s two volumes upon New
South Wales are full of information from one who has lived there many years,
and his faults are sufficiently obvious for any intelligent reader to guard against.
Mr. Montgomery Martin’s little book is a very useful compendium, and those that
desire to know more particulars concerning the origin of the first English colony
in New Holland may be referred to Collins’s account of it. Various interesting
particulars respecting the religious state of the colonies in Australia have been
derived from the correspondence in the possession of the Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, free access to which was allowed
through the kind introduction of the Rev. C. B. Dalton. Many other sources of
information have been consulted, among which the Reports of the
Parliamentary Committee upon Transportation, in 1837 and 1838; and that of
the Committee upon South Australia, in 1841, must not be left unnoticed.
Neither may the work of Judge Burton upon Religion and Education in New
South Wales be passed over in silence; for, whatever imperfections may be
found in his book,[2] the facts there set forth are valuable, and, for the most part,
incontrovertible, and the principles it exhibits are excellent. From the works just
mentioned the reader may, should he feel inclined, verify for himself the facts
stated in the ensuing pages, or pursue his inquiries further. In the meantime, he
cannot do better than join the author of the little book which he holds in his
hand, in an humble and earnest prayer to Almighty God, that, in this and in
every other instance, whatever may be the feebleness and imperfection of
human efforts, all things may be made to work together for good towards
promoting the glory of God, the extension of Christ’s kingdom, and the salvation
of mankind.

INTRODUCTION.
[Page 1.]
Subject of the Work—Discovery and Situation of
New Holland—Its Interior little known—Blue
Mountains—Conjectures respecting the Interior
—Van Diemen’s Land, or Tasmania.

CHAPTER I.
[Page 8.]
The Bush described—Remains of it near Sydney—
North-western Coast of New Holland—Sandy
Columns and Fragments—Recollections of
Home—Gouty Stem Tree—Green Ants—Fine
Volcanic District—Cure for Cold—Travelling in
the Rainy Season—Rich sequestered Valleys
—Plains near the Lachlan—Falls of the Apsley
—Beauties of Nature enjoyed by Explorers—
Aid afforded by Religion—Trials of Travellers in
the Bush—Thirst—A Christian’s Consolations
—Plains of Kolaina, or Deceit—Bernier Island
—Frederic Smith—A Commander’s Cares—
Dried Streams—Return from a Journey in theBush—Outsettlers—Islands on the Australian
Coast—Kangaroo Island—Coral Reefs and
Islets.

CHAPTER II.
[Page 42.]
Forbidding aspect of coast no argument against
inland beauty and fertility—River Darling—The
Murray—Other Rivers of New Holland—
Contrasts in Australia—The Lachlan, Regent’s
Lake, &c.—Sturt’s Descent down the Murray—
His Return—Woods—Difficulties and Dangers
of Bush travelling—Wellington Valley—
Australia Felix—Conclusion.

CHAPTER III.
[Page 72.]
Comparative advantages of Europeans over
Savages—Degraded condition of Natives of
New Holland—Total absence of Clothing—
Love of Ornaments—Peculiar Rites—
Ceremony of knocking out a Tooth—Hardships
of Savage Life—Revengeful Spirit—Effect of
Native Songs in exciting Anger—Cruelty—
Courage—Indifference to accounts of Civilized
Life—Contempt of its ways—Treatment of
Women—Family Names, and Crests—
Language—Music.

CHAPTER IV.
[Page 97.]
Means of Subsistence—A Whale Feast—Hunting
the Kangaroo—Australian Cookery—Fish—
Seal Catching—Turtles—Finding Opossums—
Birds—Pursuit of the Emu or Cassowary—
Disgusting Food of the Natives—Vegetables
—By-yu Nuts—Evils of European Settlements
in cutting off the native supply of Food—Native
Property in Land—Inhabitants of Van Diemen’s
Land—A word of Advice to Christian Colonists.

CHAPTER V.
[Page 120.]
First Shyness of Natives natural—Their perplexity
between European Customs and their own—
Health and Longevity—Old Age—Funereal
Rites—Belief in Sorcery—The Boyl-yas—Rites—Belief in Sorcery—The Boyl-yas—
Various modes of Interment—Tombs—Riches
of a Native—Bodily Excellences—Secrecy—
Quickness of Sight, &c.—Kaiber and the Watch
—The Warran Ground—Various Superstitions
—Mischief of bad Example, for which the
British nation is responsible—The Church, the
right Instrument, and the only one that will be
found successful, for civilising the Australian
Tribes, if they are ever to be civilised.

CHAPTER VI.
[Page 149.]
Bennillong—Barangaroo’s Funeral—The Spitting
Tribe—Mulligo’s Death—The Corrobory—
Peerat and his Wives—Woga’s Captivity—
Ballooderry and the Convicts—Native
Hospitality and Philosophy—The Widow and
her Child—Miago.

CHAPTER VII.
[Page 186.]
Infancy of New South Wales an interesting subject
to Englishmen—Arrival, in 1788, of the Sirius,
and the Supply at Botany Bay—Settlement
commenced in the Harbour of Port Jackson—
Character of the Convicts—Influence of
Religion—Particulars respecting the Chaplain
—His peculiar situation and efforts—A Gold
Mine pretended to be found—Supply of Food
precarious—Farming—Failure of Provisions—
Erection of a Flag-staff at the entrance of Port
Jackson—Activity of Governor Phillip—
Emigration to Norfolk Island—Loss of the Sirius
—Departure of the Supply for Batavia—Arrivals
from England—Cruel treatment of Convicts on
board—Paramatta founded—Arrival of the
Second Fleet—State of Agriculture—The
Chaplain’s bounty abused—Attendance at
Divine Service—A Church built—Its
subsequent fate—Scarcity of Provisions, and
great Mortality—Profligacy of Convicts—
Harvest of 1792—Departure of Governor Phillip
—Major Grose’s government—Captain
Paterson’s—Various occurrences—
Drunkenness—Love of Money—Spirit of
Gambling.

CHAPTER VIII.
[Page 216.]Arrival of Governor Hunter—His efforts for
reformation—Advancement of the Colony
towards supplying its own wants—Wild Cattle
found—Coal discovered—Governor’s
regulations—Incendiarism—Natives
troublesome—Difficulties in governing New
South Wales—Crimes common—Laxity of
public opinion—The gaols at Sydney and
Paramatta purposely set on fire—Departure of
Governor Hunter—Captain King succeeds him
—Norfolk Island abandoned—Sketch of Norfolk
Island—Settlement of Van Diemen’s Land—
Free Settlers—Philip Schoeffer—The
Presbyterian Settlers at Portland Head—
Resignation of Governor King—Captain Bligh
his successor—Great Flood of the Hawkesbury
—Unpopularity of the Governor—Seizure of his
person—Rebellion—Usurpation—Arrival of a
new Governor, Colonel Macquarie—
Improvements in his time—Road-making—
Passage across the Blue Mountains—Public
Buildings—Patronage of Emancipists—
Discoveries in the Interior, and Extension of the
Colony—Continued neglect of the spiritual
need of the Colonists—Governor Macquarie’s
Departure—His own statement of the progress
of the Settlement under his administration.

CHAPTER IX.
[Page 243.]
Subject stated—Day-dreams of Colonization—
Local divisions of New South Wales—Its
Counties—Cumberland—Camden—Illawarra
and the Cow Pastures—Argyle—Bathurst—
Northumberland—Coal Pits—Hunter’s River—
Remaining Counties—Sydney—Port Jackson
—Buildings, &c. of Sydney—Commerce—
Public Press—Paramatta—Windsor—Liverpool
—Conclusion.

CHAPTER X.
[Page 266.]
Description of Van Diemen’s Land—Its local
Divisions—Its general Character and Aspect—
Hobart Town—Launceston—Other Australian
Colonies—Port Phillip—South Australia—
Adelaide—Western Australia—Its Towns—
North Australia.

CHAPTER XI.[Page 286.]
Climate of Australia—Drought—Agriculture—Flocks
and Herds—Government of the Colonies—
Discontent—Means of National Improvement—
Bishopric of Australia—Tribute of Thanks justly
due to the Whig Government—Effects of a
Bishop being resident in New South Wales—
Educational provision made by George the
Fourth—Dr. Lang’s Account of it—Judge
Burton’s—Church and School Corporation,
established in 1826; suspended in 1829;
dissolved in 1833—Causes of this change of
Policy—Conclusion.

CHAPTER XII.
[Page 307.]
Inhabitants of Australian Colonies—What seed has
been there sown—Elements of Society in the
Penal Colonies—Convicts—System of
Assignment—Public Gangs—Mr. Potter
Macqueen’s Establishment—Norfolk Island
and its horrors—These have been mitigated of
late years—Means of reforming Convicts—
Prevalence of Vice among them—The class of
Convicts called specials described.

CHAPTER XIII.
[Page 325.]
Emancipists—Their general Character—Their
conduct in the Jurors’ Box no argument in
favour of bestowing upon them a
Representative Government—Free Population
—Ancient Nobility of Botany Bay—Prevailing
taste in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s
Land—Love of Gain—Land Sharks—Squatters
—Overlanders.

CHAPTER XIV.
[Page 338.]
Importance of Religion—The Lord’s Day—Habits of
duly observing it nearly lost among many of the
inhabitants of our Australian Colonies—
Opposition to Improvement—Religious strife
prevails where religious union is needed—Sir
R. Bourke’s novel system of religious
Establishments—Its practical working—Efforts
of the Church coldly seconded or else
opposed, by Government—Petty Persecutions
—Similar opposition to National Religious—Similar opposition to National Religious
Education as to National Church—Blunders
respecting the Irish System of Education in
1836—Attempt in 1840 to banish the Creed
and Catechism from Protestant Schools having
Government support—Schools of a higher rank
in New South Wales—King’s School,
Paramatta—Sydney College—The Australian
College—The Normal Institution—Proposed
College at Liverpool—Other Schools—
Population of New South Wales in 1841—
Emigration—Conclusion.
page
Map of Australia Frontispiece
Reduced Map of Van Diemen’s Land 1
Travellers in the Bush 8
Explorers finding the Bed of a dried-up River 42
Opossum Hunting 97
Natives of the Murray Islands in Boats 120
Sydney in its Infancy—View from the South 186
North View of Sydney 243
Hobart Town 266
Cape Pillar, near the Entrance of the Derwent, Van Diemen’s 286
Land
Conveying Cattle over the Murray, near Lake Alexandria 325van diemen’s land.
INTRODUCTION.
The vast tract of country which it is the object of the present volume to describe
in its leading features, both moral and natural, may be said to consist of two
islands, besides many small islets and coral reefs, which lie scattered around
the coasts of these principal divisions. The larger island of the two, which from
its size may well deserve the appellation of a continent, is called New Holland,
or Australia; and is supposed to be not less than three-fourths of the extent of
the whole of Europe. The smaller island, so well known by the names of Van
Diemen’s Land, or Tasmania, (from those of the discoverer, Tasman, and the
Dutch governor of Batavia, Van Diemen) is not to be compared in size to the
other, being about equal in magnitude to Ireland, and, like that island,
abounding in fine and excellent harbours. Although, strictly speaking, the name
of Australia is confined to the former of these two islands, yet it may be
understood to include the smaller island also; and under this name it is
proposed to make the reader familiar with the chief objects of curiosity in the
natural world, and likewise with the state of human society, whether savage or
civilised, in the two islands of New Holland and Van Diemen’s Land, so far as
both of these have been hitherto known and explored.
It is by no means certain what nation may justly lay claim to the honour of the
discovery of New Holland, the coasts of which were probably seen by the
Spaniards, Quiros or Torres, in 1606, and are by some supposed to have been
known to the Spanish and Portuguese yet earlier than this date, but were not
regularly discovered until the Dutch, between the years 1616 and 1627,
explored a considerable portion of the northern and western shores of that vast
island, to which they gave the name of their own country, Holland. To the