Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from John Hunter, with related papers, 1795-1802, 1807
Banks Papers - Series 38

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Sydney in New South Wales
October 12th 1795.
Dear Sir
I did myself the honor of writing you from Rio de Janeiro in May last mer’ly to inform you that we had that far escaped the Enemys Cruisers; I have now the pleasure of writing from hence by another ship which arrived here since I enterd this harbour which after a tedious & stormy passage from Rio Janeiro I effected on the 7 SeptB – I confess Sir Joseph that after the various accounts which from time to time had been circulated of the wretchedness & distress of the people in this Colony since the time of my leaving it, I coud not nor did I expect to see the face of our cleard land wear so fair an aspect on my arrival off the heads of the Harbor, the wind being unfavourable for our sailing immediately in, a Boat came out with several officers to meet me; I of course was Anxious to know their state with respect to provisions, their answers were highly gratifying to my Ear, they assurd me, that notwithstanding there was very little animal food, there was abundance of every other kind, & there was not the smallest appearance of distress, that the greatest part of the Ration at that time Issued was there own growth, that those that had industry enough to endeavour the rearing goats
Augt. 10 [Note in LL margin, different handwriting]

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Goats Sheep, Pigs or Poultry, had abundance for their table every day; this when I landed I found was truly the Case and that the farms of the different officers & diligent & industrious settlers afforded great abundance for the maintenance of their livestock, an article of very great importance to a young Colony, & which did not succeed in the hands of many of the Emancipated Convict Settlers who were no sooner furnishd in the usual proportion of Settlement than they immediately destroyd the little livestock which Government had supplyd them with
I must fairly acknowledge to you Sir Joseph that the live stock thrives much better in the hands of individuals than it does when considerd as Governments, individuals are particularly interested in what they feel their own property and Government will I am of opinion find it more to the advantage of the Colony to encourage industrious individuals in the rearing of live Cattle than by taking much of that business into its own hands. This Store Ship has arrivd fortunately for we had Scarsely a pound of Saltmeat in the Settlement and I feard much for the Effect of that Scarsity upon our Goats & Sheep in the hands of some of the Settlers who are less industrious. I hope that we

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that we may not in the hurry of much other business be forgot, but that salt provisions Cloathing & Tools of all kinds be frequently sent, we shall want little else – Our Corn (Wheat) on the ground now looks as beautifully luxuriant as I ever saw in any part of the World, & setting aside such accidents as all Countrys are liable to, we shall have a very rich & abundant harvest To you Sir who have interested yourself so much in favour of this Colony it must be pleasing to be told by a person who was concernd in its first establishment, & whose opinion at that time of its success were not very sanguine that many of the opinions form’d in the early part of our time here were much too hastily fix’d, we now see & know from pleasing experience that the judgement of many individuals were too precipitately given & upon too limited an examination of the Country. We now know also that there are extensive tracts of rich & fertile Soil; In some of the Wheat fields which I have gone thro’ since I arrivd I have thrust a stick six feet deep without getting to the bottom of a rich black prolifick soil where we formerly supposed cultivation almost impossible, & it was generally believd that water woud be found very diffusent, but that does not now appear to be the case for in almost every deep valley formed by two contiguous hills we find a stream of water sufficient for all the purposes of the Farmer – Some Settlements which have been lately formd on the Banks of the Hawkesbury River are delightfull & promising, & altho’, in the early part of their establishment the heavy rain occasiond

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a swelling of the River, so as to lay some of the Cultivated land near the creeks under water, their Corn so far from suffering by it (it was then but young) it was found to be the most luxuriant thereabouts –
Those freshes or swellings were thought by some an objection to the establishment of Farms here, I am not of that opinion at present, because I think they will never injure but improve the ground & the habitations of the farmers & situation of their livestock may be kept out of its reach – I shall however examine every part of the Banks in this Neighbourhood & you shall hereafter have my sentiments upon it – You will excuse this hurried opinion of our present situation which is founded upon my observations since I arrived, & which I have every reason to think future experience will convince me it is not exaggerated –
I am with very great respect, Dr Sir, Your most Obed & faithfull hble Servant
(signed) Jno Hunter
Sir Joseph Banks Bart, etc etc.

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I had almost forgot to give you a piece of intelligence which I am sure you will be much pleasd to understand, because it will no doubt hereafter be of considerable Convenience & advantage to this Colony
A Convict man who had been employd in shooting for one of the Officers here, having wanderd a considerable distance Westward of Parramatta, by the assistance and information of a Native man who resides much in those Woods, altho he sometimes visits our Settlements, was directed into a fine open Country situated on the border of a Branch of the R. Hawksbury, in which this Native assured him he had frequently seen a Number of Animals such as he had found amongst us (Cowes & Bulls) He led the Convict man to the place in which he had so often mett them – this man having understood that in 1788 We had lost all our cattle (Viz) 5 Cowes & 2 bulls, was so anxious to give the first information of them, He after having satisfied himself of the truth of this discovery hastend back & mentiond the circumstance to his Master who came immediatly with him to me – I in consequence being desirous of ascertaining how far I might rely upon this Story, directed the same Man with two others in whom I had confidence together with a Native who knew

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knew the country in that direction to set out a few days after. The Numbers counted by the first man were 38 some of which were calves, exceedingly Wild & Fierce, so very much so, that he dar’d not to go very near them. This last party were not more than five days absent when they return’d with information that they had seen a Flock of not less than fifty together, & that the natives assurd them there was another flock for they had seen many more, and that they had attempted to spear some of them but had only succeeded in one Calf. I cannot at present fix upon a plan for the recovery of any of them, I shall by & by make an attempt to see them myself –
The Man I sent last is not a Convict but servd with me when I was last in this Country, was a Quarter Master in the Sirius, & was generally Employd in shooting for me, was partial to this Country, is settled here & officiates as Pilot for the Harbor, on his account I am inclined to depend, he very particularly described the Colour & Sizes of many of the Cattle he saw – I have considered the length of time elapsed since we lost the 5 Cowes, & a full grown, & a half grown Bull, the Cowes were

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were with young when they went off and allowing an equall number of Males & females to be produced, the females to be two years old before they breed, & a few to have been killed or destroyd by accidents, the Number will now amount to between Eighty & Ninety, I suppose the Sexes to be nearly equal-
Jno Hunter [Signed]

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Sydney New South Wales 21st Decr 1795
Dear Sir
Having done myself the honor of writing you very lately by a ship bound from hence for China, I had some intention of letting the present opportunity pass without troubling you so very soon again, but recollecting that I had in my last letter mentioned the discovery of our long lost Cattle, & my intention of endeavouring to see them myself in order that I might with more certainty relate this discovery to the Secretary of State; I have by this opportunity written fully to the Duke of Portland upon it – and I will now trespass a little upon your time in mentioning a few particulars –
After the sailing of the last Store Ship I determind (having a little more time on my hands) to make a small party & travel towards that part of the Country where our lost Cows were said to have been discovered. Accordingly on the 17th Novr we set off from Parramatta at daylight in the Morning, the day being Cloudy the Journey was not unpleasant. I shoud have observd that we led with us two horses who carried our provisions, Tent etc. This day we walkd about twenty Miles thro a Country some part of which was certainly very good & others but indifferent, but finely diversified with Hills & Valleys, Woods & Lawns – in the Evening we came to the bank of a Narrow River but determind not to cross it till next Morning here we found it fordable about four feet deep, bottom a quick Sand, stream rapid and by its

[LL Margin in the same hand as above (Sir Joseph Banks Bart)
Followed by, in different handwriting (Jan 14 97.)]

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by its direction I have no doubt falls into the Hawkesbury, this branch is what has been calld the Nepean; next Morning we unloaded our horses, &the Banks being excessively steep we traversd them down the sides & led them thro’ the water without any sort of difficulty – here we had Evident Marks & signs of the astonishing swelling of this little River at least fifty feet above its common level when heavy torrents of rain fall – about a Mile to the Southward of this river, the Country opend considerably, the Trees were tall but fewer in Number, the grass thick and Luxuriant, the hills not steep or abrupt, but of a gentle & beautifull Slope, & at the bottom we frequently found large ponds or rather Lakes of water coverd with Ducks Teal & often Black Swans. On this Second Evening whilst we were pitching our Tent being now near the place where the Cattle had been seen, we intended in this place to keep our head quarters, & go out from thence in different directions – but whilst we were employd in this work we heard the Voice of a Cow, & soon after of Many, we ascended a Hill to prevent being discovered & from that Situation we beheld a Herd of about forty in No feeding in a Beautifull Pasture in the Valley;next day
I was now anxious to ascertain of what breed this herd was

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whether Natives originally of this Country which some might Imagine, or the descendants of our long lost Flock, for this purpose I determined to attempt to shoot a calf the next morning, but in this we were disappointed by being discoverd and attackd most furiously by a large & very fierce Bull this part of the Valley being rather open we could not well shelter ourselves & were consequently oblig’d to fire at him, He was so Strong & Violent that six balls were fird thro’ before anyone dar’d venture near him, we were now satisfied that they were the Cape Breed, & the offspring of those no doubt, which I brought here in the Sirius. (we this morning counted sixty one)
Having been put into some Bodily fear by this fierce fellow we thought there was no impropriety in helping ourselves to a Beefsteak out of one of his thighs for supper, but I was griev’d to leave such a Carcase to be destroyed by Crows & Native Dogs when it would have been so highly acceptable to the settlement. This place I called Cowpasture Plains, & the Hill from which we first discovered them Mount Taurus.
It lays from Sydney in a SW direction from 50 to 55 Mls, & from Parramatta about SSW from 32 to 34 Miles- this part is really a beautifull Country

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We steerd by Compass, & I was attentive to the Course as well as the distance which I measured by a Pedometer an instrument which I had tried by measuring a Mile, & walking that Mile in my usual way which ascertaind the Number of Paces I made in a Mile by the Pedometer, by this Number I divided the Paces in any Distance registerd by the Instrument, in this way I think I had the distance pretty correct in Miles –
Captain Paterson desires to be particularly remembered. He has sufferd from a tedious inflammation in his right Eye, but is recovering its use fast. I will not fatigue you longer but beg to subscribe myself with esteem & respect dear Sir, your most Obed & faithfull, hble Servant
[Signed] Jno Hunter
PS. I have lately issued an order making it fellony in any person to attempt the destruction of this herd which are the property of Government – to recover them to Domestic State would be both difficult & dangerous. I think therefore if allowed to keep their present Situation for ten or twelve years longer, this part of the Country will be almost overrun, they will be a vast resource hereafter

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Sydney New South Wales, Aug 20th 1796
Dear Sir
Notwithstanding I well know that the greatest part of your time is employd on Subjects more interesting than anything I am capable of affording for your perusal, I must however beg leave to say, that I also know you are never inaccessible to those who may have anything to communicate whether it be of much worth or not, that, you are willing to take the chance of – from these considerations I am from time to time led to give you a short account of a Colony in which you have from its first establishment taken a very kind & friendly interest, and as the present opportunity of writing affords a more certain prospect of your receiving our letters than any which have lately offered, I coud not think of letting it slip without saying what we are about in this distant part of His Majestys Dominions: I wish to avoid repetitions as far as possible, but it is now so long since I did myself the honor of writing you, & I have since that time written so much, & have had my Mind so fully employd in a variety of Concerns , that I can scarsely recollect what I have already said to you. I wrote you from Rio de Janeiro, & also on my arrival here, all which had then occur’d or which I judg’d might afford you any amusement; I have now only to inform you that at the proper season (December) we reap’d our Harvest of Wheat which taking the whole together turn’d out abundant; Some of the Farms yielded from twenty to twenty five Bushels an Acre, others from sixteen to twenty a Bushel Weighing from 58 to 64 lbs, on the whole we received I believe about 40,000 Bushells of good Wheat, which ensures us Bread for another year; and that exclusive of Maize of which we have recently gathered a good Crop –
I have been lately upon an excursion to Broken Bay, to which I travelled by land, and with difficulty forded
[Vertically in Left margin ‘July 1 1797,March 1 1799’]

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forded some of those pieces of water mentiond formerly in my Journal, the Sea had made its way thro’ the Beaches & had filld there Lagoons which were become so deep as to render it very difficult to keep our feet thro’: I was desirous of again visiting the Hawkesbury River, and had for this purpose Orderd Boats round to meet us, but contrary winds & Currents had detaind them unknown to us whilst on our March, until we arriv’d there rather fatigued, there we remaind at the lower part of the South Branch (Pitt Water) two nights when our Boats joind us, We caught fish & faird well; We were four days in reaching so high up the River as our Settlements; Here I examind the different farms, and found many of them thriving, no appearance of want or any kind of distress, but that which proceeds from the depredations constantly committing by worthless characters who have absconded from their labor & live as a Banditti – We have had three of those Villians lately shott in the act of robbing the Houses of some of the Settlers, two of whom died on the Spott, the other is recoverd, & has again I am just informd taken to the same life – Even those Serious examples are insufficient for preventing such Robberys, How strong the effect of long habit in a profligate & Abandond Life, extraordinary as it may appear to you Sir, Some of those fellows have actually joind large partys of the Natives, who from being exceedingly fond of our Indian Corn, Come into the fields in the night directed by those Villains, and plunder the Settlers, if oppos’d by them, they have recourse to Violence, & have Speard several who died of their Wounds, in Consequence of these Acts of Hostility, some of the Natives have lost their lives, and we are now oblig’d to Arm the Settlers in their own defence, but under the Strictest regulations for preventing their wantonly shooting at the Natives – Some of the Farms upon this River have been inconsiderately chosen upon

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upon the Margin of a Creek where the Banks are so low that after a heavy fall of rain they were certainly overflown if this happened whilst the crops were very young , twelve or eighteen inches above the ground, it did not destroy them but rather prov’d of service, But those Situations having several times prov’d dangerous to the lives of the Settlers, I have desird they may be abandon’d –
The different Views & Landscapes which appear from the banks of this River are extrem’ly beautiful and would much amuse a good Painter – the Cause of the extraord’y swelling of this River is clearly occasiond by its Serpentine Shape & the Narrowness of its Bed, if you look at a stretch of it, you will observe that the Stream downward must be very much retarded in its progress to the Sea by the short & sudden bending of its various reaches, so that the torrents of water which after a heavy fall of rain must run down the sides of the Neighbouring Mountains, raises the Water within the Banks of the River (which is but narrow where our settlements are) so high as to overflow the Banks & cover much of the cultivated ground - & where those banks are low, as upon the Creek, the dwelling houses of those Settlers have been cover’d, but this Misfortune as I have before said has only happened to farms which have been chosen without attending to those Marks which are sufficiently conspicuous, & clearly indicate those floods – the Soil here is luxurious beyond most other places which we have cleard, probably not unlike the Banks of the Nile in Richness & no Doubt from the same cause – Had the whole extent of the Banks of the Hawkesbury been like that part on which we have establishd some farms, Broken Bay woud then have been the Place for our Head Quarters or Capital… Whilst I was here, I could not resist the desire

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desire I had of revisiting the head of the River, or where it divides into a NW & SW branch, here I passd a day in looking over our former discoverys, I also ascended the Hill which was Nam’d after His Grace of Richmond, and recognis’d several places which I had markd Seven years ago, there has not been any New discovery made in this neighbourhood with an account of which you coud be much entertaind. In the NW branch at the head of this River (which has been nam’d I believe by Capt. Paterson the Grose)there has been some pieces of a Black Honey substance found in its bed, which upon a particular examination proves to be a kind of Coal & burns very well, from this circumstance it would appear it would appearthat there may be a considerable quantity of this substance in the Body of some of the Neighbouring Hills – I know not whether Capt. Paterson may have written to you on this subject, I think he inform’d me he intended sending you a Specimen of the Coal, but lest anything shoud have prevented him, I will send by the Gentleman who will have the case of this, a Specimen of that Coal Mark’d Hawkesbury river, and a piece of another, & I think a better kind, found by my Fishing Boat Crew a little to the southward of Port Stephens in a small Bay where they had occasion to land, & where they assured me they could have loaded the Boat, it lay above the surface in loose pieces, and considerable quantity* If there be much Coal hereabouts the Strata cannot be very far from the Surface & therefore easily obtained if wanted, it appears that it has been long above the earth by its being so much Worn by time. After hav’g gone thro the different farms on the Banks
[Foot note]
*I confess that I am a little doubtfull at present of this last Coal, the fellows are so full of tricks & deception that until I have some further proof of the truth of this Discovery, I shall not give it perfect credit

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the Banks of the Hawkesbury with some of which I was much pleased, and earnestly wish more of them had been placed in the hands of more industrious & deserving people; I walkd from there to Parramatta, & with my Pedometer which I generally on such occasions carry with me, measured the distance pretty accurately to be 19 2/3 Miles in a NW & SE direction nearly, but that you may have a more correct Idea of my Perambulations as well as the Situation of our Cultivated Lands, I will endeavour to project a Chart, which will be founded upon my former Survey of the three harbours and on which such excursions as I have lately made will be Mark’d. If possible, you shall have one by this Conveyance.
Having nothing farther material to communicate at present, I shall beg leave for such particulars as you may wish to have, to refer you to the Gentleman who will have the care of this, Captain David Collins of the Marine Corps,who has been our Judge Advocate here ever since the establishment of the Colony, & is well acquainted with all its concerns, he has assurd me that he will have the honor of waiting upon you. I shall therefore only observe generally that the Colony is in a fair & thriving way, & woud certainly make rapid progress in improvement were a few alterations which might be pointed out, to take place –"that the farther we search the more beautiful we find the Country & more luxuriant the Soil, that the Rearing of Live Stock is now much attended to, that it is chiefly in the hands of those who know its value & therefore in no danger of being destroy’d as was formerly the case but too frequently; Short allowance of Animal food for never so short a time generally occasiond the destruction of much of the Live Stock amongst the Settlers, it is therefore highly material that government shoud never reduce us to that situation, but if possible keep up our stock of Salt Meat

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meat, we shall want little else in the article of food; we now see many Flocks of Sheep & Goats of four or five hundred together, every Officer who has a Farm & most of them have, have also their Cowes & a horse or two upon it all thriving; In short Sir those who have been out of this Colony for three or four years cannot possibly form any correct judgement about it , I wish therefore that the opinion of Government should not be too much influenc’d by opinions so very liable to error, but rather trust to the accounts transmitted from time to time for the information of His Majesty & Ministers. I sincerely hope you may enjoy long & perfect health, being with the highest Esteem & respect – Dear Sir, Your most Obedt & faithfull hu’ble servant
[Signed] Jno Hunter
I am just returned from another excursion after our Wild Cattle thinking it highly material that the People at large shoud know I am anxious for their preservation; When we came near the ground where we had formerly seen them, we in the Night heard them lowing distinctly, but having divided ourselves in the search it fell only to the lot of two of the party who were together to see them, they concealed themselves behind a large tree where they unperceived lay & counted the Herd as they passd thro’ a valley & numbered 93, I only fell in with one Bull who

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I believe would have attacked us had it not been for a few Dogs we had with us, they surprisd & annoyd him so much as to occasion his running off, He was a noble formidable looking Animal – Capt. Paterson whose ill health occasions his return to England will take the Case of the Chart which I send you, it is a very rough performance but it will answer the end I had in view, that of giving you a more perfect idea of the Situation of our Chief Cultivation, than any other manner of description. I have sent one to the Duke of Portland & to Lord Sydney.

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Soho Square, March 30 1797
My dear Sir,
I congratulate you on the state in which you found your Colony & I felt infinite satisfaction in reading your account of it, I know it will prove an incentive to you to press forward the improvements, the Climate & Soil are in my own opinion superior to most which have yet been settled by Europeans, I have always maintaind that assertion based on my own experience, but have been uniformly contradicted, except by Govr. Philips, till your last favors have taken away all doubts from the minds of those who have been permitted to peruse them.
You have a prospect before you of no small interest to the feeling mind a Colony just emerging from the miseries to which new Colonists are uniformly subjected, to your abilities it is left to model the rising state into a happy Nation & I have no doubt you will effect your purpose - Here matters are different, we have of late seen too many symptoms of declining prosperity not to feel an anxious wish for better times. I keep up my spirits & those of my Family as well as I am able, but in truth my dear Sir could it be done by Fortunatus’s wishing cap, I have no doubt that I should this day remove myself & Family to your quarters & ask for a grant of Lands on the banks of the Hawksbury, my next I hope will state better hopes.
The recovery of your Cattle, for I consider them to be recoverd tho they are not caught, is a matter of no inconsiderable importance to you I see the future prospect of Empires & Dominions which now

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cannot be disappointed who knows but that England may revive in New South Wales when it has sunk in Europe.
Whenever prosperity returns I shall sollicit the King to establish a Botanist with you, the Plants we have receivd which are now tolerably numerous make a most elegant addition to the Gardens I trust good Sir that when you make your excursions or when you send parties into new districts, you will not forget that Kew Garden is the first in Europe & that its Royal Master & Mistress never fail to receive personal satisfaction from every Plant introduced there from foreign parts when it comes to perfection.
Respecting the Political State of things here it is nearly the same as when you left it Pit rules Fox grumbles the French beat all whom they attack & the King of Prussia threatens all who assist the Emperor; the chief change is made by the death of the Empress of Russia, the new Emperor seems honestly inclined to peace, the best hope we have however is that he will keep the King of Prussia in some check, from aPrussia however peace is to come last for he is the power situate near the seat of War who is not exhausted, as soon as it comes you shall hear from me I am a bird of peace my business as an encourager of the transport of Plants from one Country to another is suspended during war and then as I am no politician I am the least employd when all other people are in hurry & bustle.
Accept my best thanks for the favour of your correspondence be assurd I put a due value upon the continuance of your friendship & believe me as I in truth am with real regard & esteem, Your faithfull hble Servant
[Signed] Jos. Banks

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Sydney New South Wales, March 30th 1797
Dear Sir
By the ship Britannia which saild from hence directly for England 29th Septr last , I did myself the honor of writing you all I coud think ofwhich might afford you any new information relative to our Concerns here; I sent also by that conveyance a small Box of fresh Seeds with dried Specimens of the Plants; I informd you of the discovery of our long lost Cattle, and my having twice Visited the part of the Country to which they had retird, and to which it is my intention if I keep my health, to make a Journey every Winter, that I may have an opportunity of Marking their increase. This last Summer has been intensely hott & dry with much thunder & lightning, by which on the same day both our Flagstaff at South head & that at Sydney were Rent to pieces & scatterd about. The Country has been in a continual Blaze for some time past, & much mischief has been done by those extensive & dreadfull Conflagrations; a considerable quantity of Wheat, both of Public & private property has been consumed, & some of the dwelling Houses & Barns of Settlers intirely distroy’d, such has been the rapidity with which in fresh Winds the flames ran over the parched grounds & communicated to the very tops of lofty Woods, and afforded a prospect beautifully awful; the Grass or Pasture has been so much destroy’d, that we are now oblig’d to feed our Live cattle on Corn, this you will say is no bad Sign when we afford to do that without any

[Sir Joseph Banks, (KB) same hand as main letter
In L margin, different hand- July 9 1798 March 1 99]

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any reduction of the Ration; the young Grass will soon be up again so that our expence on this account will not be very great…
In the beginning of Feby it began to rain which servd very much to extinguish the living Embers which were so generally scatterd thro’ the Woods, & also contributed much to the recovery of the Crops of Maize which were then likely to disappoint us.
The Wheat harvest speaking generally has turnd out tolerably good, and I doubt not, that when we have opend the Country more we shall be less liable to so much fire – our livestock are thriving & encreasing fast, and our Land were it in good hands would be much more productive, for the Worthless & abandond Characters who have been permitted in such numbers to become Settlers in different parts of the Country, do not make the most of it, and give me Much trouble; those sent as free Settlers from England are many of them impositions upon Government, they have no turn for farming in this Country, where much labour & diligence is requird, they amuse themselves in speculations of some other kind not of any benefit to the Colony, & are a dead Weight on the Shoulder of Government.
Allow me Sir Joseph to assure you, that from the time I arriv’d here, up to the present day, and a probability of its continuing for some time longer, My task has been & still is the most arduous & difficult I ever was engagd in; the duty of my predecessor & Brother Officer Gov. Phillip was a pleasure, a mere amusement, compar’d with mine, and had the common regulations Establishd at first been permitted to continue with such

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with such alterations & amendments as existing circumstances might from time to time have renderd necessary, I could with ease have gone on, but instead of that, I findhe was no sooner out of the harbour on his return to England, than there was the most indelicate & mark’d disapprobation shewn of all his measures, & upon their ruins another System as opposite as possible immediately establish’d, & of which I now feel the inconvenience, for observing many of the New regulations not exactly consistent with His Majestys Instructions to the Gov.; nor agreeable to the Plan Establishd by Parliament for our Government, I considerd it my duty to lay them aside and to reistablish the Civil Magistrate who had been long laid by, and to direct that all Culprits for inferior crimes be examind & punishd by the Authority of the Civil Power. This you may suppose wou’d draw upon the Censure of such of the Military as found their Authority over the Civil Concern of the Colony reduc’d by those Changes I was about to make, & which I felt it my duty as a public Concern to make. In short, Sir, I could wish you had the perusal of my correspondence with the Duke of Portland upon this Subject, you wou’d then discover a part of the difficultys which the Changes made since Gov Phillips time have given me to contend with. I say part, because I have not mentiond half to his Grace of what I might have done, nor complaindso much of the difficultys I have had to struggle with as their frequency & magnitude would have Warranted & justified – it woud have been far easier for me to have planted a New Colony, than to have attempted the recovery of one so shamefully plungd in Profligacy & Licentiousness

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Licentiousness… I have however informed His Grace that being now enterd upon my duty no difficulty whatever shall arrest progress, or relax my endeavours to recover this Colony, (which I must declare to be at this time, a mere sink of every species of infamy)to some kind of order & discipline – you will naturally ask, What has occasiond its being so much Worse now in this respect than it was formerly ? I must answer in truth, a Spirit for traffic has been encouraged since G Phillip left the Country, and that traffic has absorbd the whole attention of those concerned, so that the Public duty is only a secondary Consideration – And this trade is of the most ominous & destructive kind, Spiritous Liquors have been a chief article upon which much mischief have arisen – Speculators from the East Indies have been here, and who knowing how valuable an article Spirit was, have not fails to bring considerable quantitys, had this been discouragd at first as it ought to have been, it would have been less frequent since, but it was purchasd generally by the Officers, & sold to Settlers for the produce of their Farms, & to the Complete ruin of many of them. Of this destructive article of trade, I refusd permission for Landing more than the Officers might require for their own familys use, and have always put a Guard on board to prevent Smugling it on shore. But what can you expect from a Soldier who when he ought to look to the Right, shall feel it his interest to look to the Left, in short Sir the Governor has so little assistance, that if he possessd the Eyes of Argus in his own person, he could not prevent this smuggling

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Smugling – Whole cargos have been put on shore in direct disobedience of Public Orders, if you could get from Mr King a sight of the Public Orders which I have Issued, a Copy of which I sent home in order that His Majestys Minister might see what my principal objects had been since my arrival; you woud there observe repeated Orders on the subject of Spirits, but which those concerned in such traffic paid little or no attention to; and it was difficult for me without peoples assistance to bring the Charge of disobedience home to individuals. If I coud have done that by Legal aproof they shoud have found I was determind to be decisive…
At the time I landed at Sydney we coud not get together more Men for any public labor at this place than sufficient to unload a Longboat, it was at the same time known there were three or four hundred who ought to have been Employed on the Public account, but they had been sufferd to separate & smuggle themselves away, & were conceald & employd by private persons, whilst maintaind at the Public Expenses
These shamefull impositions were permitted, you may believe only until I coud be made acquainted with them, for I did not find any person in this Colony inclind to open my Eyes, when they discovered that I was disposd to look Narrowly into the Public Concerns; I have however, Examind in the most scrupulous manner & have recoverd to the public about 250 laboring people, with whom we now make some progress in those concerns which had been long standing still, whilst private individuals were inriching themselves, by the labor of those who were fed & cloathd at the Public

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Public Expence… The State of Profligacy at which the lower orders of the People were arrivd is far, very far beyond my description, it appeard to me that it coud not possibly be Worse; it was certainly arrivd at a pitch which was disgracefull to the Country under whose protection we live. Such Steps as appeard in my judgement to be necessary for getting the better of our confusd & abandond state have been gradually adopted, and by the Establishment of a Police the good office of which is already apparent, we are now improving into a State of Civilisation , for we wre certainly of late far worse than the Natives, Murders, Rapes, Forging, thefts Robberys & threats to oppose all authority, & to enjoy that perfection of Liberty which must have ended in the destruction of each other, have been amongst our Crimes, but I trust we have convincd those who were disposd to set all order at defiance, that we were not to be effected in our endeavours to Establish that necessary order & obedience by threats. *
Our Public Stores have repeatedly, but lately, been Rob’d at Sydney & the Hawkesbury, this Sir you will think rather Extraordinary because they are Guarded, but I must inform you that the Centinels were principals & have since sufferd. Since October last our Criminal Court has Condemnd to Death Eleven or twelve Men of whom Six were Executed, the rest Pardond but transported for Life.
I have found it necessary to increase our number of Constables, & to Establish watchmen who call hour of the Night. The Towns of Sydney & Parramatta are portion’d

[The following para is written sideways in the LH margin] :-
* I have now a Voluntary deposition in my possession wherein it is disclosd that a Military Officer was heard to harangue a Number of Turbulent & refractory Irish Offenders, instigating them to disobedience of a Public order whereby they were calld in from the Work of Private persons to their public duty, & informing them that he had not yet begun with the Governer, but when he did, he woud tell him what he woud not like. This was so extraordinary a piece of Conduct, that I did not incline to believe it – I however expected a visit from this Officer, & was prepaird to receive him in any way he might have come, As however he did not, I sent for him, & he denied the whole…

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Portion’d out into Divisions, the Houses Numberd & their Inhabitants registerd, this measure has put a stop to private Robbings in the Night, which was so Common, that when I arriv’d we were Scarsely a Night without Alarms, & the cries of Murder; I had a Specimen of this Nocturnal Robbing a few nights after I came on Shore, for my House was Robb’d with two Centinels before it – We are now perfectly free from such Alarms, & Blackguards who us’d to travel from place to place, and who had their correspondants & Associates in every District of the Colony for the purpose of Planting or Concealing stolen goods, cannot now travel so much at their Ease, the Country Constables annoy them much, for they must shew a passport from the place of their residence, under the hand of a Magistrate, otherwise they are secur’d –
April. We are at present so Weak in Public laborors that if Free people or those off the Stores happen to fall under the lash of the Law, are frequently Convict Corporal Punishmt :into Public labor for a certain time, according to the Magnitude of the Offence; by this means, we sometimes have the Work of a Carpenter or a Blacksmith for the Public without Wages, who might otherwise have been hired by an Individual, this you will allow Sir is turning the Crimes of such people to the Public advantage & the Criminal feels the punishment much more severe.
Were I, Sir Joseph, to enumerate the various difficultys which have stood in the way of the Public Concerns of the Colony and which I trust I am daily getting the better of, they would

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would fill a Volume; I have not said all I might on this Subject to the Duke of Portland, but I believe I may have said enough to satisfy His Grace, that I am not yet a very pleasing correspondent, I trust however, that the endeavours I am using to restore order & regularity (for we were certainly more regular six years ago,) will be felt by whomever may Command here after me as a Comfort - But here I must beg to observe, that to Establish permanently a Military Corps for this Country will never in my opinion be an Advantage to it in any way, the less time the Soldier Continues amongst the Dregs of our Native Country, the less probability of his being corrupted & rendered unfit for the trust we must repose in him, the frequents Robberys Committed upon the Public Store under their immediate Care are Sufficient Proofs of the Justice of this observation, they are too intimate & too muc connected with the Convict, it woud therefore be an advantage were a relief to take place at certain stated periods –
June. We are at this time about finishing the Cropping of the Wheat Grounds, & in thrashing out the produce of last Harvest, this is a labor which being Manual would be highly reliev’d if Gov’ woud send us out a few of the Horse thrashing machines Invented & us’d in Scotland, they are very expeditious in this Operation – We have finish’d a WindMill at Sydney since Novr. Last with a strong Stone tower, it is the first ever Erected in this Country & will last long, it is now at work, it was begun & finishd under all our difficultys

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difficultys in less than five months, We are preparing materials for another at Parramatta Even this usefull Machine whilst it was actually Employ’d for the very people who were attending it, they took an opportunity in the absence of the Miller, & stole away part of the Sails from the Vanes & occasiond it to stop.
We have also erected a Granary at Sydney which will contain ten or twelve thousand Bushels of Wheat, a Building so necessary that it should have been up five years ago. Were I to mention the number of Public Buildings which are & have long been wanting, You would really Sir be supris’d that such indispensable Works should have been Neglected, they certainly shd have kept pace with the Extent of Cultivation & increase of Live Stock; I have given a List of such wants to the Sec’y of State, to shew the impossibility of my doing anything under such Circumstances in Agriculture for the Want of Strength. I hope I shall not be censur’d for saying that these Embarrassments have long appeard to me to have been artfully contrivd, for it appears that the information that this Colony was to continue a Naval Government was ill relishd here by Many, not of the Civil department, but I shall Surmount all these inconveniences sooner than might have been expected; My chief concern is, the Expence which this such means have been occasiond to Government, & of which both the Duke of Portland & Lord of the Treasury Complain, but I have in reply to these Observations requested that His Grace will recur to the Original Cause of those Expencesm & to let the censure

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Censure shoud any be thought Merited, fall where it may be considerd due, for it is not the Work of a day nor a year to destroy such Effect, and which I am using every means in my power to Correct
I have been this last Summer to Broken Bay & up the Hawkesbury, and I am lately returnd from Botany Bay, whither I went to Explore a River which I had not been to the head of. It runs Westward about 25 Miles from the Bay, it is a branch of that River I had formerly been in, but had not examind this part; Near the head it divides into several Creeks, chiefly ShoalWater, but navigable for large Boats, those Creeks generally terminate in a Chain of Ponds of fresh water. The Banks of these branches are in general Rich good ground and are not more across the land from Parramatta than from five to six Miles in a NNE & SSW direction, which I have walk’d, & much of the way thru’ a thick Shrubbery or Brush Wood, the Ground is excellent Here I propose whenever I have strength, to Clear Ground for Government, if it is resolvd to Farm extensively on the Public account; if this is the Case, Speculating Merchants, Farmers & Settlers will be completely undone, because they can have no Market for what they may raise, & without a Market they must certainly go Naked. You can have no Idea of the Jealousy which has been Occasiond by the use to which I have applied a part of those Men whom I have lately recoverd to

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to Public labor, in having prepard & Sown with Wheat 300 Acres on Government Account. You may be assurd Sir Joseph, had those servants of the public who had been sufferd to disperse themselves in the manner they had, been kept together & Employd on the Public Account, Govt woud not have had occasion to purchase Bread for their Servants, they woud have rais’d it themselves, & thereby savd about £ 15,000 pr.An: this I am determind to do as soon as I have Men enough unless I shoud have fresh instructions, the Convicts now Arrivd I shall begin with. I have Submitted all these Considerations to His Majesty Minister. At any rate, & any way which Government May determine, I am already from what I have seen Convincd, that this Colony is by proper Management, Capable of arriving at a State of Comfort to its inhabitants & respectability & advantage to its Mother Country. We are certainly conveniently situated in the present Political State of Europe, We have at all times been sufficiently acquainted with the intimacy & connection between the French & Spaniards, [indecipherable] to have dependence of the professions of the latter. I might say either, & it is now supposd that Spain our Friend & Ally the other day, will Espouse the Cause of the French against us – a Squadron of light Active Ships of War coud rendezvous here & be ready to direct their operations against either the West Coast of America or cooperate with a Force from the East Indies in annoying their Phillipean Islands

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We shoud be able here to afford them Bread & frequently a little fresh Meat particularly for the Sick, we coud supply them with fruit & a variety of Vegitables, We coud recruit their Compliments if Weaken’d, & send them at all times in perfect health to Sea; and shoud My Nautical Knowledge in these Seas be thought Worth Acceptance, I woud most readily afford it in any way, for thank God I am yet Capable of taking a part in the line of my profession.
I fear the length of this letter will make it fatiguing to you, but not having had any time to write a private Journal, I am writing in this way to say all I can. I will Just Observe, that in the now Extended state of this Colony, it is not possible for the Gov.r however active he might be, to attend to every part of it as often as may be requisite, He certainly shoud have some assistance; Government shoud indeed Create some respectable appointment, & give it to a Man of Sense & Education, & one who may have a knowledge of agriculture, Such a person shoud be Capable of bearing some fatigue, as he shoud be frequently passing from one District to another, this woud be a vast check to the Licentiousness of the People, & a very Considerable Spur to industry; Such a Man woud also be Convenient, if he were what I have above describd, for the Govenor to consult with as frequently as he might have occasion for more opinions than his own judgement. The Lieu.t Govenor is probably

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is probably considerd when on the spot a sufficient assistant, but I am sorry to say that I never coud discover that he afforded any. He is the Commandant of the troops & probably finds that sufficient to occupy his time ! there is another circumstance which often operates against that aid we might derive from so high a situation; being of different professions, the Gov.r & Lieu.t Governor too often have different & distinct intrest & opinions; this is particularly unfortunate on Public service, but it is too true, & I have no doubt you have observd it. Were the Lieu.t Governor a Civilian we shoud derive much advantage from his presence here.
The Little Chart which I sent you by the last ship which left us (the Britannia, Raven) will I trust give you a more Clear & perfect knowledge of our different Districts, and the fatigue which the Gov.r must encounter, when he has no person to take a little Share of the trouble off his hands, were that L’Gov.r a Civil Appointment the fatigue coud be divided & every part of the Colony better look’d after, frequent Visits were never so necessary as they now are, since the people became so dissipated & Licentious; it has given me so much Anxiety & Concern that I have during the very hot Weather, done more than a Strong & Good Constitution on which I depended, was able to bear; and I am but very lately recoverd from a severe & dangerous fever, which after a few days of uncertainty respecting its ditermination , fell suddenly

[NOTE: the next paragraph is written down the LH side of the page]

Our two Ships have returnd from the Cape & land’d: 66 head of Young Cowes & some 120 Sheep in better health than from a turbulent & stormy passage coud have been expected – We shall I think in a very few Years make a respectable figure in the Article of large Cattle, Sheep & Goats. Hogs are very expensive in feeding Grazing animals are fittest for this Country.

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suddenly into my left Leg, which probably was the Cause of saving my Life, but it left me a Criple for a time; I am however so well recoverd, that I have been upon a Pedestrian Excursion since, in search of some good ground to settle the old Marines upon, whose tour of duty in this Corps is expird, & I have found abundance of excellent Land between Parramatta & the River I was lately at; All these discoverys flatly contradict the accuracy of the Observations given in a Chart constructed by Mr Dawes & Published in My Journal by Mr stockdale, for in that there is scarsely a Spot of tollerable Land near our Situation. I must now conclude whilst I have room to assure you that I am with highest respect & Esteem
Dear Sir, Your Obed.t & faithfull h’ble servant
[Signed] Jno. Hunter
I have so much to write that I must apologise for the roughness & carelessness of this letter for I really cannot undertake to write it fair or more Correct.
I believe I have not in the Course of this long letter acknowledged the honor of having recievd your obliging Letter by the Prince of Wales storeship.

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Sydney N.S.Wales 1st August 1797
Dear Sir
Altho I have written you pretty fully on many of our Concerns here, Yet a Circumstance which has lately happend has disposd me to trepass a litlle farther upon your time. A Ship Named the Sydney Cove was in the latter part of last year, loaded with a Cargo upon Speculation from the Port of Calcutta for this place, but in consequence of a very dangerous Leake which she sprung at Sea, was just able to get round the South Cape, & had ran a few leagues to the Northward of it, when they discoverd that it would be impossible to keep the Ship above Water so long as might be necessary for reaching this Port: they were therefore compelld (the wind being at SE) to put her before the wind & to push with every sail they coud set for the nearest Land, which they with great difficulty reachd & landed the Ship when she was already sunk down to the Fore Channels – they went on shore upon an Island which from its Latitude (40º..37’ La) I take to be what Capt. Furneax has calld Schutens – upon this Island they landed apart of their Cargo; & fitted out thier Longboat in which they embark’d 17 People under direction of the first Mate, who was to make the best of his way to

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to Port Jackson for such assistance as is [indecipherable] possible to procure there – But this Boat was from bad weather wreckd between C: Howes & Port Hicks - & the unfortunate crew who all got on shore made the best of their way Northward along the Sea Coast; Their Journey was attended with so many fatiguing difficultys, that they were not capable for want of an Equal Share of Strength of keeping together; Many of the Number perished thru fatigue & want of Food, whilst others strugled hard to preserve life & to get Northward, but were often annoyd by the Savage Barbarity of the Natives that their Number decreasd to five, & latterly to three, who got so near us that a small Boat being out catching fish a little to the Southw. of Botany Bay & close in shore, saw 3 People Crawling along the Rocky shore & frequently waving to the Boat: they went on shore & pickd up these three Men, in a most Wretched & Worn out Condition;One was [indecipherable] Supercargo, one White Seaman, & a Lascar, they were immediatly brought hither & properly taken care of; they gave an Account of their having parted Company with the first Mate & the Carpenter the day before,& at no great distance from where they had found the fishing Boat: in consequence of this information, I orderdMy own Whale Boat to be immediatly dispatchd with a good Crew & to take this fisher Man with them; Blankets, Clothing & such kind of Nourishing food as might be necessary for People in their weakly

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Weakly state were put into the Boat; but when they arrived at the place nothing coud be discoverd of those helpless people except a few trifling things they had with them, part of which being coverd with Blood, gave us reason to suppose they had been destroyd by the Natives; the Boat was two days in search but in Vain – The Supercargo informed me that they had occasion to cross several Rivers on this Journey which they did upon Logs of timber, & that a few nights before they were taken off, when they had occasion for a fire to lay by, they found a very considerable quantity of Coal, so much upon the Surface of the Earth that they found no difficulty in getting enough for a large fire the whole time they stayed on that spot – Our small Colonial Schonner of about 40 tons burthen being at this time in Port; I had her immediatly filled & sent her to the Southward in search of the Wreck & to take off the remaining survivors of the Crew; they found her in the Lat: already mentiond, Many of the People had died on the Island but there were still a considerable Number left some of whom were much troubled with large Scorbutic Swellings; the Commander of the Ship (Wm. Hamilton) was the only surviving European the rest were Lascars.
On interrogating Wm. Hamilton relative to the Situation he had so long been confind to, he informd me they were Wreckd in the Middle of Feby. – the Supercargo arrivd here on the 17 May, the Colonial Schooner returnd on the 5th. July so that he had been 6 months in this Melancholy Situation

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Situation from which he says he had no hope of being relievd, for it is a part of the Coast near which no ship woud venture; he says it is an intire Archipelago with innumerable shoals: that he endeavourd to get to the Main land in his 4 oard boat, but found, what he took for the Main was another Island, and the tides were strong, running sometimes 4 knots, its direction nearly East & West, this account seems to indicate what I havve long suspected, that there is a strait thro this part of the Coast & that Van Diemens land is an Island -
I earnestly wish Government woud send a Maritime Surveyer here with fit [skills ?] & have this Coast Examind; I am much inclind to think many useful discoverys woud be made: We have much Ore in the land beside Iron at least I think so; this woud be good amusement for a Minerologist but we are such an Abandond set, that my time is wholly taken up in looking after the Public Concerns & in endeavouring to establish some decency & order: I have not a Moment to bestow on many things which I delight in, & which might well desire my attention –
I am concernd to say that a deckd long boat which accompanied

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accompanied the Schooner to the wreck, has not been heard of ; the Master of the Supply undertook the Navigation of this Boat, so they coud be at no loss to know where they were; a very heavy Gale having blown the day after they left Schouten Isles, I fear she has founderd, & this poor man from a desire of being usefull, has beggard a Family of Small Children, thro’ his unfortunate fate.
You will receive by the Ship Britannia, Mr Dennet Master who sails from hence to China, a small Box of Seeds with Specimens of the Plants dryd – You see Sir how impossible it is with any degree of certainty to send any plants in tubs; all the Ships which are sent here having a long circuitous Voyage to perform after they leave us, renders it next to an impossibility they should be taken care of this is the reason we cannot send you the Warata so much desird-
I must not Omit to mention that we have discoverd on the Banks of the Hawkesbury a tree of about from 10 to 18 Inches diameter & which grows to 60 or 70 feet high & appears to be of rapid growth, the Bark of which I think far superior

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superior to the Norfolk Island Flax for Cordage, we have tried its strength & find it much greater than anything of the same size made from the flax - it spins well into Yarn, & makes good painters & grapling ropes for Boats – I willtake the first opportunity of getting Specimens prepard & sent home, & I will endeavour to have some of the Seed provided, also a Specimen of the timber & some of its leaves You are now, Sir, in possession of all the information which I can at present afford you, except what relates to our increase of Live Stock, I will therefore inclose a copy of last return, that you may form some judgement of our Riches in that Concern
I have lately made an attempt to render travelling from one District to another more easy than it has been, by directing a few of Government People, together with an assessment made on Officers & Settlers & others who have farms to give or hire some help on this necessary work; it is now nearly completed and as soon after

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after as possible it is my intention to travel to the Southward & if possible get sight of our Wild Herd which I think must be very considerably increasd
I have the honor to be with the greatest respect & Esteem, Dear Sir, Your most Obed. & faithfull hble Servant
[Signed] Jno Hunter

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Sydney New South Wales, 15th August 1797
Dear Sir

I really ought to apologise for having occupied so much of your time; I think at the same time that whilst I have any new information to give, you will readily forgive the trouble I give you.
Having heard so much of the Coal discoverd a little to the Southward of us, I had some desire to send a Boat thither & to land her near the place – Mr Bass the surgeon of the Reliance an ingenious Young Man, offerd himself to make the Search, & the Supercargo of the Wreckd Ship, Mr [indecipherable], being thoroughly recoverd, together with the Lascar who had travell\d hither with him, offerd to accompany Mr bass – I gave them my Whale boat well Mannd & Armd; they returnd in Eight days, & brought with them a Considerable quantity of the Coal, Specimens of which I send by this ship addressd to you in a box containing 3 divisions, as there appears to be

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three kinds of this Coal – Mr Bass informd me that they found it about 20 miles to the Southward of Botany Bay in the face of a steep Cliff, that the Strata was about six feet broad & extended Eight miles farther South, that there were many other Strata of Narrower limits, & that large patches were found on the hills & in the Valleys, that he (Mr B.) is of opinion it may extend to much greater length than he had an opportunity of observing – that which was brought here was broke off from the face of the Cliff by the Boats Crew – In short Sir Joseph it appears that that part of the Country abounds with Coal, & probably other usefull matter – So I propose in the Course of a fortnight or three Weeks to go to the Southward & endeavour to discover our Wild Herd, I shall if I find myself equal to the attempt Strike down toward the Sea Coast & see this Coal Country myself; I have by the account given by Mr Bass Computed this place to be from the Cowpasture

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pasture about E or E b S 20 miles, but this I shall be better able to ascertain by observation for the Latitude, as upon these excursions in the Winter when the suns altitd is not too great to be measurd by a Sextant & Artificial Horizon, I generally Carry those instruments with me
I have just mentiond this Coal discovery in a Postscript of one of my letters to the Duke of Portland -
I am most respectfully, Dr Sir, Your Obed. & faithfull humble Servant
Jno Hunter
I had almost forgot to say that the persons who went to search for the Coal, were led by a Native to the place where lay the remains of the two men whom I had sent after on the Arrival of the first people, one had his scull much fracturd – no doubt by the Natives -

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[Original page in Tabular format]
Account of Live Stock & Ground under Crop in New South Wales, 19th August 1797

Mares; Government, 15, Inhabitants, 43, Total, 58
Horses; Government, 3, Inhabitants, 23, Total, 26
Cows; Government, 118, Inhabitants, 77, Total, 195
Bulls & Oxen; Government, 104, Inhabitants, 28, Total, 743 [132]
Sheep, male, Government, 158, Inhabitants, 585, Total, 743
Sheep, female; Government, 225, Inhabitants, 1479, Total, 1704
Goats, male; Government, 54, Inhabitants, 727, Total, 781
Goats, female; Government, 80, Inhabitants, 1415, Total, 1495
Swine; Government, 41, Inhabitants, 4206, Total, 4247

Acres in Wheat; Government, 340, Inhabitants, 3021.5, Total, 3361.5
Acres in Barley; Government, 0, Inhabitants, 26.5, Total, 26.5
Acres of Potatoes; Government, 0, Inhabitants, 11, Total, 11
Acres of Vines; Government, 0, Inhabitants, 8.5, Total, 8.5
Acres for Maize; Government, 150, Inhabitants, 1377, Total, 1527

NB a considerable quantity of Ground Cleard exclusive of the above but not yet prepard for Cropping

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Sydney New South Wales, March 12th 1798
Dear Sir
It was not my intention to have fatigued you with any letter by this conveyance, having been probably more full than satisfactory in my last, which went from hence in the Ship Britannia (Dennet) Via Canton, & which was dated 30th March last 1797, altho that Ship did not leave us untill August – but as other circumstances occurd between those dates of which I wishd to give you some account, you woud receive them in separate letters at the same time –
Your influence, Sir Joseph in such matters as relate to this Colony, I am cinvinc’d will ever be considerable possessing best knowledge – your advice will consequently be resorted to in various matters which may concern it. Having myself been at the first planting it, I feel an Anxious wish for its prosperity & the happiness of its Inhabitants, but feeling myself at same time responsible to His Majestys Ministers for such of its Concerns as are immediatly under my discretion, I have seen it necessary from time to time to be very candid & explicit in my representations to the Duke of Portland, that His Grace may thereby be the better enabled to furnish me with the requisite Instructions: from these considerations I have had recent occasion to mention to His Grace, how very much I regretted that any necessity shoud have occur’d to occasion the sending to this Colony so large a proportion of the Irish Convicts; they are in general so very turbulent

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turbulent a set of transports, and such infamous Characters in other respects, that you really Sir cannot Imagine the Mischief they do; Those whom we have latterly receiv’d have poisond the Minds of the other Convicts, whom I was gradually bringing back to a State of Order & Obedience & to a more favorable opinion of their Situation in this Country, but since the last arrivals we have had Robberys of the most Cruel & Wanton kind committed; it is really distressing to observe how frequently our Industry is disappointed; such decent Characters as may be inclind to exert themselves for their own & familys Comfort, are so disappointed by their field or Garden being plunderd [indecipherable] contents unfit for use & their little Stock [indecipherable] of the Sty or from the Roost, so that they are seldom allowd to reap the frits of their labours
The two last Cargo’s must have been really & truly of the very worst description, when the Nation in time of such a War coud not furnish proper employment for them – It appears to me Sir Joseph, who may be ignorant of the Motives for filling this Country with such Characters, that it is rather an impolitic step & dangerous to the prosperity of an infant Colony to have it wholly made of a People whom nothing but the Cat can prompt to any kind of labour – were the Colony to be dependent upon a Voluntary industry from them we must inivitably perish; had the first System of discipline been constantly adherd to & I am sure

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sure it was neither Cruel nor oppressive we shoud have found less occasion for any Severity now, but in our present State, it would really require a person of Authority & much Severity, to watch over & direct the labour of every four or five Convicts.
I hope Sir that you may have some opportunitys of intimating your opinion of the Evil Consequences of sending None but the worst Characters to this Colony, it clearly must retard its progress in every respect – if I felt myself indifferent to the prosperity, or careless what opinions might be held of my endeavours to forward that prosperity, I might make myself easy & indifferent about its Concerns, & let Chance or accident contribute what it coud to its reformation without distressing myself about it, but it is not in my nature to be indifferent to any duty with the direction of which His Majesty may have honored me; I am therefore made the more uneasy in finding my best exertions frustrated by too large a proportion of Characters whom no encouragement can stimulate to honesty & industry, no example however Severe will dtere from the practise of Crimes of the darkest Complexion – Some of those incorrigble fellows last arrivd, before they coud have had time to become acquainted with their Situation here, grew tir’d, & in order to change it they contrivd to carry off two of our Boats, the one belongd to Government & was seizd by a part of her Crew who landed the Coxswain & three others at Broken Bay, the other belongd to a settler – I sent two armd Boats

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Boats having no other Vessel to pursue, the one went 60 miles along the Coast Northward, the other 40 miles Southward, but without success. The Boat which went Northward made discovery of a River about 20 miles on the South side of Port Stephens into which they went & had 3 fm. water in its Entrance, which is coverd from the view of a Vessel going along the Coast, by an Island laying close in; in this River a considerable quantity of Coal was found, Specimens of which was brought here & which was exactly the same as that found to the Southward of which I sent you a Box – this discovery as soon as the [indecipherable] of Concern which occupy my time at present will admit, I shall take a Whale Boat & go thither to examine, it is about 60 miles to the northward of this Port.
Our last Harvest has turnd out one of the best we have had in this Country. I am not at all knowing in Agriculture or any thing that may relate to Farming, but I must assure you Sir, that as far as my own observation has gone since here, I consider this Country a good Grain Country, it is wonderfull to see how Idle & Slovenly some of the Settlers are, & yet how good their Crops in general turn out, year after year they sow their ground, & it has been known that at the Hawkesbury they have sometimes thrown down the seed upon the old stuble without hoeing up the ground, otherwise than by skimming over the surface with a hoe to cover the Seed & have had good Crops

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Crops, this may serve to Shew what good farmers woud have done with such land. Our last crops & increase of Stock I will send you a copy of – By an extraordinary exertion in picking up our Scatterd Men I was enabled to put the Hills at Toongabbe (which it had been attempted to make me believe were good for Nothing) into cultivation this last year & I never saw in any Country of a Crop of that extent (about 300 acres)more heavy & luxuriant, I trust I shall by that exertion & some other Ground which was cropt on the Public Account, have sav’d to Govt. £4000:- this season.
For the prevention of any attempt to being made upon our Valuable Herd of Wild Cattle, I have lately made an excursion to the Southward, & I was fortunate in falling in with a stock of 67, but having formerly seen more together, I conjecture that they sometimes separate into different herds, being too numerous to keep the whole together. A few Officers soon after my return having signified a desire to Visit that part of the Country, I sent with them as a guide a Man who generally attends me thither, and they at the foot of a Mountain met with probably the whole Stock, they coud not distinctly count them, but were of opinion they were about 150, this is probable.
Two of my last party traveld down from Mount Taurus to the Sea Coast, where I had orderd a Boat shoud meet them & which they found very conveniently, as I now send you a Chart corrected from my last Journey & many observations for the Latitude

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Latitude. You will observe their Road markd & the Country describd, it was a very fatiguing Journey from the number of rugged Mountains they had to ascend.
The Chart I formerly sent you it will be proper to destroy & substitute this in lieu, for altho the Harbours are the same nearly, the interior is not equally Correct. I send one of the last Officially to the Duke of Portland.
I also send you a Chart which will go near to prove what I have long believd to be the Case,(Viz) that Van diemans land is a group of broken Islands laying off the Southern Extremity of this Country, which does not extend farther South than Latitude 39° ’00 Ld. Mr Bass the Surgeon of the Reliance Coasted in a Whale Boat from hence round this Southern point, from which the Land trends away NW he went about 60 miles beyond in that direction & at that distance discoverd a good Harbour formd between the Mainland & a Large Island. Mr B was twelve weeks on his exploring Voyage, & says in his Journal(which you will hereafter see) that after he had doubled in his Boat this So. point he had occasion to stretch to the SW, until he was overtaken by a Gale of wind from that quarter, which obligd him to put before it & return to the Land, that this Gale raisd so Mountainous a Sea

[Page 52]

that he was convincd there coud be no land to the Westward of him, he reachd the land with difficulty. I have since had occasion to send the Colonial Schooner to the Southward to take from an Island the remaining Crew & Effects of a Ship Wreckd there, I sent in the Schooner the Second Lt. of the Reliance (Mr Flinders) with directions to make such observartions amongst the Islands as he coud, such sketches as he had an opportunity of making assisted by those of Mr Hamilton the Master of the Wreckd Ship, a sensible well informd Man, who I am Concernd to say died
[indecipherable, ab 2 sentences, looks like water damage]
think leaves very little doubt of the Strait I have formerly mentiond – a Copy of this Chart I send to the Duke of Portland, one to the Admiralty & one to Mr Dalrymple.
Mr Bass enterd every inlet from hence Southward of Botany Bay, except a Bay Namd by the first Ship (a Whaler) who enterd it, Jervis Bay, and is Certainly the Long Nose Bay of C. Cook, it is but an indifferent harbour open to the SE Winds. Altho this letter as assigned by

[Page 53]

by this date has being some time written to you, yet it goes by the Barwell (via Canton) I will if possible enclose an account of our Live Stock & land under Wheat at this time, July 25th, as well as what is prepard for Maize – I really wish Sir Joseph that Government woud determine how so large a stock as we shall soon have on the Public Account is to be taken Care of, We have none but worthless Convicts to look after them, & it is not possible that the Governor can see them so often as to prevent tricks & impositions of some Magnitude amongst them, I am already convincd we lose many Lambs & Kids – The flocks are divided, we have one at Toongabbe of Cowes, we have another at Parramatta Cowes, one of Sheep D°: & one of Goats beside a few Hogs, all the valuable Animals are under care of Convicts, who woud require the whole time of a Person of Authority to look after them
I am with the utmost respect & highest Esteem, Dear Sir, Your most Humble & most Obedient Servant
[signed] Jno Hunter
PS. I wish Sir, you woud advise Govt. to Instruct me what to do with the Stock, for it Grieves me to see them so ill attended to – woud it not be well to hand to every decent Settler a Cow, & to receive for a Certain Number of years half the produce? Or to Sell them to the Settlers but I think the first would be the best Plan because it woud keep up a stock both for the Public & the Private individual, & the cattle woud be better lookd after.

[Page 54]

Sydney New South Wales, 5th August 1798
Dear Sir
Having lately met with an Animal found upon that Island on which the Ship Sydney Cove was Wreckd and which appears to me to be quite a New Animal, I have preservd it in Spirits, & send it to the Literary & Philosophical Society lately establishd at Newcastle upon Tyne, who did me the honor to Elect me a Corresponding Member before I left England; this is the only Opportunity I have had of picking up any thing worth the Notice of the Gentlemen of that Society, & I have taken the liberty of addressing it to you, that you might have an Opportunity of Examining it, I have made a little drawing of it whilst it was alive, which I send with it, & also a drawing of an Amphibious Animal lately found in the fresh water lakes, a skin of this little creature which is of the Mole kind is in the Case containing the Wombach which is the name the Natives of the Mountains give to the above
(Sent 19) (Sir Jos Banks (BB)

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above Animal, they have been seen in the interior of this Country & are said to be delicate meat – you will also receive Sir a Box in which is Containd a Skin of the Wombach & the Bones of the Head – together with two Birds Skins Male & Female, lately discoverd here in the interior of the Country, they appear to me to be a Species of the Bird of Paradise
I have attempted to describe the Wombach for the further information of the Society, but being wholly unqualified for such description, I must leave the Gentm. to their own Observations upon it in its present State – I leave this letter to the Secretary of the Society open for your perusal & in it you will find my description – In the Box are the two little drawings which you will please to forward with the preservd Animal, the Articles in the Box are designd to be at your disposal, shoud you think fit for any of the Museums, or any other Collection, do me the favor to give them

[Page 56]

I will not apologise for the liberty I take with you Sir, because I think you will most readily forgive it –
I have the honor to be most respectfully, dear sir, Your Obed. & faithfull hble Serv.
[Signed] Jno Hunter
An Egg of the Bird of Paradise is in the Box

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An Animal found upon an Island on the Coast of New South Wales in Latitude 40° 36´ S. where considerable numbers were caught by the Company of a ship which had been wreckd there on the Voyage from Bengal to Port Jackson - & as it appears to be an unknown creature I have preservd it in Spirits for the inspection of the learned Members of the Literary & Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne.
I receivd this Animal alive by a Vessel which I had sent to the relief of the Sufferers – It was exceedingly weak when it arrivd, having during its confinement on board, refusd any kind of sustenance, except a small quantity of boild rice which they forcd down its throat – I had it frequently taken out of its Cage of Box in which it was kept, & exposd it in a small place enclosd, where it receivd in the day time, the benefit of the warmth of the Sun, which however it did not seem to enjoy, but whenever it could shelter itself under a shrub, there it would continue & sleep – It refusd every kind of food on shore, as it had done on board, but we could see it sometimes nibble a little of the roots of Bushes or Grass; this kind of provision was not sufficient for prolonging its existence, I saw that it would inevitably die soon if we could find no particular food which it would voluntarily swallow – it grew weaker every day, was exeedingly harmless & would allow any person to carry it about. After having livd we may say without any kind of food about six weeks, it died; On opening the body to see if any thing new was to be seen in the construction of its intestines, no new discovery worth notice was made; the Brain was taken out of the head & the Intestines removd, & the body immersd in spirits.
I feel myself unequal to a nice[?] & correct description of the Living state of this uncommon Animal – But shall observe that its size was nearly that of a Badger, a species of which we supposd it

[Page 58]

to be by the dexterity with which it would bury itself in the Earth by means of its fore paws, but on watching its general motions, it struck me as having much of the manner & motions of a Bear – Its head is large – particularly the forehead above the Eyes where its breadth appeard uncommon for a creature of that size & tapers to the nose which is a hard grissly substance as if usd for removing the Earth when burrowing – Its teeth are, in each jaw forward, two cutters, long & sharp, like those of the Kangaroo- then a space of an inch of naked gum, from which the grinders begin & are strong & well set; but has no appearance of being a carnivorous Animal as far as I can judge from its teeth.
Its Eyes are small & black, its Ears short & pointed, its Paws are something like the bear, & all its motions partake of that Animal,it is not so swift, but a Man can overtake it, for it gallops exactly in the awkward manner in which a Bear runs; there is something uncommon in the make of its hind parts, from the hip joint the posteriors do not round off like most other Animals, but fall suddenly down quite flat in a sloping direction, commencing from the Hip joint & descending with this flat shape to the Knee joint of the hind legs, from this Joint to the Toes it appears to tread flat upon the ground; Its Tail is so very short that it is scarcely discoverable in its common state, its colour is a light or cream colourd brown intermixd with course black hairs – This animal has lately been discoverd to be an Inhabitant of the interior of this Country also, its flesh is delicate meat – the Mountain Natives call it Wombach this one is a female & has the false belly for the security of its young
I judge the weight of this creature to be about 40lb.

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An Amphibious Animal of the Mole kind found in the fresh water Lakes, its size is about that of a small Cat, or larger very considerably than the Land Mole; it inhabits the banks of these Lakes, it has exactly the Bill of a Duck, & probably feeds in muddy places in the same way, its Eyes are very small, it has four legs & they are short, the fore ones from the Claws being shorter than those of the kind, & the Web of them spreading considerably beyond, is evidently their principal assistance in swimming – the hind Legs are also Webd but the Claws are long & sharp, they are frequently seen on the surface of the Water, upon which they rise & blow like a Turtle, their Tail is thick short & very fat. The Natives say they sometimes see them of a very large size.J. Hunter

[Page 60]

[Original in Tabular Format]
Account of Live Stock also Ground now Cropped with Wheat & Barley & what is [indecipherable] for Maize this Season in the Settlement of New South Wales, together with the increase & [indecipherable] of Animals within the last Six Month, & of Acres in Cultivation since last Season.
August 23rd 1790
Mares; Government, 16; Inhabitants, 57; Total 73
Increase last 6 months, 3; Decrease last 6 months, 0
Horses; Government, 4; Inhabitants, 40; Total 44
Increase last 6 months, 15; Decrease last 6 months, 0
Cows; Government, 140; Inhabitants, 110; Total 250
Increase last 6 months, 15; Decrease last 6 months, 0
Bulls & Oxen; Government, 118; Inhabitants, 45; Total 163
Increase last 6 months, 27; Decrease last 6 months, 0
Male; Government, 147; Inhabitants, 1312; Total 1459
Increase last 6 months, 262; Decrease last 6 months, 0
Female; Government, 259; Inhabitants, 2184; Total 2443
Increase last 6 months, 517; Decrease last 6 months, 0
Male; Government, 37; Inhabitants, 750; Total 787
Increase last 6 months, 0; Decrease last 6 months, 20
Female; Government, 86; Inhabitants, 1794; Total 1880
Increase last 6 months, 379; Decrease last 6 months, 0
Swine; Government, 44; Inhabitants, 2823; Total 2867
Increase last 6 months, 131; Decrease last 6 months, 0
Acres in Wheat; Government, 450; Inhabitants, 4209; Total, 4659
Increase since last year; 1298
Acres in Barley; Government, 0; Inhabitants, 576; Total, 576
Increase since last year; 31
Acres in Potatoes; Government, 0; Inhabitants, 14; Total, 14
Increase since last year; 3
Acres in Vines; Government, 0; Inhabitants, 9; Total, 9
Increase since last year; 1
Acres for Maize; Government, 150; Inhabitants, 1303; Total, 1453
Increase since last year; 74

[Page 61]

Dear Sir 10 December 1798
Allow me to recommend the bearer George Caley to your notice & good offices he is a young man well versd in practical botany & full of zeal to make usefull discoveries I mean what are likely to be usefull to the Colony & the mother Country
I have [indecipherable] sending a person of this description to one of a more liberal description because I think that one as he is will do more on account of the hardiness of his constitution & his being inurd to Fatigue & also will give much less trouble to my friends in the Colony it is however but very seldom that a person of a little education is found so well qualified for a [?] literary pursuit
The Government have been so kind to me as to allow him Rations out of the Public Stores & such other indulgences as their servants receive at the Public expense I myself defray his wages which are fixed according to his previous situation in life at 15/ a week or £40 a year as money is in your Colony so cheep a commodity that I apprehend no one makes use of it I have not furnishd him with much on account of the incredible [indecipherable] with which money goes to market with you if however he has occasion for any things not in the Kings stores that can be procurd for him I shall consider myself as much obligd to you if you will furnish him with them & draw upon me for the amount which I shall thankfully honor
He will from time to time have matters to send home to me not of curiosity only but such things also as he thinks likely to be usefull or [indecipherable] for [indecipherable] I shall most [indecipherable] good help & provide him with packages the cost of which I will most thankfull repay
To Govn. Hunter

[Page 62]

[Letter from Banks to Hunter]
Soho Square, Feby. 1 1799
My dear Sir
I have to thank you for innumerable marks of your attention for which I beg you to be assurd that I am very gratefull. I have receivd Seeds & Specimens by Capt. Neven & since by another Ship the former of which were sent to the Royal Gardens as a present from you the latter I keep in my own collection.
You have been very friendly in writing to me the very particular account I have receivd from you of the state of things in your Colony I greivd to observe that matters go on so ill & am mortified that so little has been done towards putting you more at your [ blank space] but be assurd that the situation of Europe is at present so critical & his Majesties Ministers so fully employd in business of the deepest importance that it is scarce possible to gain a moments audience on any subject but those which stand foremost in their minds & Colonies of all kinds you may be assurd are now put into the background.
Persevere however my good Sir in the manly honest & open conduct you have hitherto held & you must in time prevail Your Colony is already a most valuable appendage to Great Britain & I flatter myself we shall before it is long see her Ministers made sensible of its real value rest assurd in the mean time that no opportunity will be lost by me of impressing them with just ideas of the probable importance to which it is likely before long to attain & to urge them to pay to it that degree of attention which it clearly deserves at their hands.

[Page 63]

I have recommended to you by a separate letter a young man whom I have sent out to assist in investigating the produce of your Country he is hardy & bold his skill in Botany is much beyond what his appearance promises & he has some smattering in other Sciences the Duke has been pleasd also to recommend him to your good Offices & I hope & trust he will not prove unworthy of the Patronage I trust you will afford him or disgrace the recommendation I have venturd to give him.
With Capt. King you will receive I hope a considerable supply of Plants likely to be usefull to your growing Colony if the bitter frost which has now vexd us for near a month while the Ship has been out of my reach has not destroyd them You will have grapes of most of the sorts from whence the valuable wines of Europe are made These I hope will encourage you to Plant Vineyards & some of them surely will produce marketable wine.
Allow me to recommend the person who has been employd to attend to those Plants & carry them out he has had no pay from Government but has undertaken this task merely on condition of being allowd to go out as a settler he is an honest hard working industrious & ingenious Lad he wishes to settle as a Market Gardiner & carries out with him a good assortment of seeds if he pleases you & you can be so good to him as to settle him in some low spot of good land convenient for water Carriage to transport his Goods to your Town I think I may venture to promise that he will thrive you will find him honest & trusty so that I hope he may in other matters make himself usefull to you.
I have one more favor to beg of you There are among the Convicts who proceeded in the Hillsborough

[Page 64]

two Brothers of the name of Wilkinson who come from the town of Consby in my neighbourhood in Lincolnshire they were convicted of maiming a Cow & transported for that Offence I do not mean to vindicate the act but I really do think it a menial crime when compard to Robbery Burglary & most of those which your subjects have been guilty of These young men must make their Country amends by working with you for the Public all I have to request is that if you find them as I hope they are not ill disposd & if they conduct themselves as Lads whose Morals have not been quite destroyd ought to do that you will now & then give them a cheering word & tell them that by continuing a good conduct they may sometime revisit their Country & their Friends

[Page 65]

An Account of Livestock and Ground under Cultivation in His Majesty’s Settlement in New South Wales in August 1799
[Original document is in tabular form]

Horses; Government 5, Officers in general 32, Settlers 10, Total 47;
Mares; Government 17, Officers in general 59, Settlers 15, Total 91;
Horned cattle;
Bulls & Oxen; Government 122, Officers in general 66, Settlers 4, Total 192;
Cows; Government 360, Officers in general 152, Settlers 5, Total 517;
Sheep; Male; Government 169, Officers in general 1577, Settlers 270, Total 2016;
Sheep; Female; Government 339, Officers in general 2266, Settlers 482, Total 3087;
Goats; Male; Government 23, Officers in general 341, Settlers 548, Total 912;
Goats; Female; Government 28, Officers in general 762, Settlers 1061, Total 1851;
Hogs; Government 50, Officers in general 513, Settlers 2916, Total 3459;
Acres in Wheat; Government 200, Officers in general 873, Settlers 5052, Total 6125;
Acres in Barley; Government 0, Officers in general 67, Settlers 15, Total 82;
Acres in Maize; Government 80, Officers in general 296, Settlers 2156, Total 2532;
Acres in Oats; Government 0, Officers in general 3 1/2, Settlers 4, Total 7 1/2;
Acres in Potatoes; Government 0, Officers in general 4, Settlers 0, Total 4;
[To be transcribed]
[Signed] J Hunter

[Page 66]

Sydney New South Wales
15th January 1800
Dear Sir
The Reliance being intirely worne out, I find it proper to send her home whilst she is capable of returning; and altho’ Situated as I am without a Secretary to assist me in my Official Correspondence & have been for so long a time, I am nevertheless extrem’ly unwilling she shoud depart without a line for you.
Were I to attempt to run thro’ the vast variety of [indecipherable] in which I am Constantly & unremittingly engagd, which it is altogether impossible I shoud have time for you coud receive no sort of pleasure in the perusal
You know Sir I have complaind of the introduction of large quantities of Spiritous Liquor into this Colony, and you may have heard of the Shamefull Monopoly which have been made of that, as well as of less dangerous Articles – you will therefore not wonder at the arrival of a small Vessel in this Port from Bengal charterd I find by the Officers here thro’ the means of an agent whom they had sent from hence for that purpose, and without any intimation to me of their design – She has brought many useful & much wanted Articles, but she has also brought 900[0] Gallons of Rum, and which the Officers inform me is designd for their own use upon their farms & this I believe to be the Case with those whose share of the Cargo is but Small, but I conceive it very differently with others whose proportion is Considerable
You see Sir how extremly irksome those things must render my Situation without proper Officers to carry my Orders upon such matters into execution; to prevent its being landed is not possible and the Chief of the Cargo being usefull Articles, we are unwilling

[Page 67]

unwilling to order the whole [indecipherable] out of the Port to return again to India – On the same day arrivd a Ship (the Minerva) with Convicts from Ireland, and on board of her there is Wine, Spirit, Beer, and many other things much wanted; the Cargo of the Small Vessel being the sole property of the Chief Officers; the Middling people, Superintendants and Settlers, have been offerd what Spirits or other things they want at a very Moderate Price out of the Minerva, if I refuse them permission to purchase what they requird, I shall with Justice be accusd of incouraging Monopoly on the part of the Officers, a partiality to where they can have no right to look for from me; thus situate I see it necessary to permit both to be accommodated.
But Sir suffer me to observe, how great an advantage Government might derive from this very inconvenience which we cannot possibly prevent, by the establishment of certain dutys upon particular Articles imported here from the East Indies, North America, Cape Good Hope, Rio Janeiro & I am convincd that the Liquors of different kinds which are brought hither by Adventurers were the dutys such as I am sure woud never be felt by the Consumer, it wd. defray the expenses of the whole Civil Establishment & this exclusive of what might be raisd upon other Articles; Permit me therefore Sir to Submit to your Consideration the Public Advantages of a Colonial duty, which woud scarcely be known or felt by the inhabitants of this Settlement, who at present pay so heavily for all they want, & which no duty which might be imposd woud increase the price of; were this to take place it might be thought no longer necessary to lay on any other restriction upon importation, by which means the quantities

[Page 68]

of the Settlement, as well as to shew what have been my general Objects, are upon this occasion demanded of me, when they have been laying in the proper Office these three & a half years, & a continuation of them regularly transmitted for the information of His Majestys Ministers. You will see Sir that I can scarcely suppose from this that they have ever been seen Nor lookd into or in any way considerd; in Short, Sir Joseph you will not be suprisd at my saying that I strongly Suspect some artfull & indirect means have been usd by unknown Persons, perhaps thro’ the Channel of an Anonimous writer, to implicate the Governor in those mean & disgracefull concerns probably from an Idea that a delicacy towards him might smother or set aside any inquiry into those Mal[indecipherable] in this Colony so much Spoken of elsewhere or to incline him thro’ vexation to desert his Post & leave the field open; but Sir in my Judgement the higher the office in which any thing like a disgracefull transaction shall take place the more it is an object for investigation.
I will only take the liberty Sir Joseph to assure you as I value my Character far above any other Consideration upon Earth, that coud I have known the change which had taken place in this Colony between the time of my leaving it formerly and my return to it again; no Consideration whatever but my regard for & the duty I owe to the Public Service coud have inducd or incouragd me to have undertaken it; and when I look back upon the difficultys I have had to struggle with, I have much reason to be thankfull for the Strength and good state of health I have injoyd, without that blessing I must have sunk under the pressure and fatigues of my

[Page 70]

of my duty. The perseverance of my disposition under difficult situations is pretty well known in the Service I have been bred in, & therefore I will continue to say that every attempt to induce me by Artfull means & Studied Embarrassments to quit my Station will be found ineffectual, altho God knows the miserable Saving I can possible make from my Salary in this Expensive Country, and that is all my advantages, can be no Object for desiring to continue in it a Moment longer, but I cannot Submit to be driven by studied difficulty that is not the way to incline me to Vacate my appointment irksome as it has long been from the Neglect I have experiencd, yet if it is regally desird, it will only bee necessary to give me information & the reason why it is wishd and I will be found all Obedience, in our present circumstances I have not a moment of Comfort or enjoyment. We are now receiving a considerable recruit of Convicts of the very worst description but I hear not a word of any Ship with Salt Provisions & we are now reducd as low as five Months for the People we had before their Arrival. Much has been said & seems to be expected from our Stock of Live Cattle which are Certainly in a very thriving way what they are it is not possible Gov. can be unacquainted, because returns have been made but if it is expected that when our Slat meat is out, we shoud fall upon our Valuable Stock the whole both Public & Private will be destroyd in less than one year and the Colony will be thrown back so far from a Prospect of independence that I can scarcely Calculate the time of its recovery or the Expenses it will create, in short, Sir Joseph I have great & just Cause to feel much hurt at the little Notice which [indecipherable]

[Page 69]

quantities which might be introducd woud have the Effect of reducing the general Price, & the Eagerness with which the laboring People avail themselves of such opportunitys as offer for laying out the earnings of their industry woud immediatly cease, because they woud at all times be able to procure what they might want. I took the liberty of hinting this to Government three & half years ago, but I know not whether it was noticd or not –
The Mean & infamous attacks made upon my reputation, which I defy the World to prove was ever yet staind by one base or disgracefull Action I shall ever hold in the Contempt they Merit, I well know they proceed from my Uniform opposition to the self interested Objects of those engagd in the trade so much and so Justly reprobated at Home – but Sir you will admit that feelings upon re[indecipherable]ing to my Public Correspondence of so many Years are Naturally most Sensibly affected, when I see the information Conveyd by a despicable & Worthless Character(an Anonimous Writer) great part of which is founded in the most diabolical & Studied falsehood, listend to with Considerable attention by Government, whilst that [hommillee ?] upon the same Subject by the [indecipherable]ible Officer is not at all Noticd; Surely Sir there is a wide difference between the two different Authoritys. I cannot suppose from these circumstances that my Letters have been receivd or I must conclude that if they have, I have unfortunately been incapable of making myself understood.
My Public Order & regulations given out from time to time for the Public good & for the general advantage of

[Page 71]

goodness for Pardoning the liberty I take in pointing out these grievances to you – I have endeavord to the utmost of my power, I have considerd it my duty to shew the cause why we are not yet able to feed this settlement wholly upon Swine flesh, we are about 4,500 people of which Numbers are about 1500 independent of Government but they must live & they alone consume more fresh Pork than twice the whole number upon Norfolk Island do, & this is independent of what quantity has been receivd at the Public Store from this truth you will judge of the general ? quantity; coud we have sent out of the Colony all those who have completed their term of transportation, then our fresh provisions woud have made some figure in the Victualling Accounts, our late Misfortune I am sorry to say has greatly reducd our Number of Swine – I will no longer take up your time, but request you will allow me the honor of assuring you of the high respect & esteem with which I am, Dear Sir, Your most Obedient and faithfull hble Servant
[Signed] Jno Hunter
Col. Paterson is just gone over land to the Hawkesbury River, to try the Bank which we call the Terrace a little below Richmond Hill, whether it Contains any Coal, as has generally been believd.

[Page 72]
[Original in Tabular Format]
An Account of Live Stock, and an Estimate of wheat in His Majestys Settlement in New South Wales February 1800
Department, Cattle, Mares Government 16, Officers in general 75, Settlers 8, Total 99
Horses, Government 5, Officers in general 48, Settlers 6, Total 59
Cows, Government 387, Officers in general 197, Total 584
Bulls & Oxen, Government 149, Officers in general 96, Total 245
Sheep, Male, Government 186 Officers in general 2379, Settlers 159, Total 2724
Sheep, Female, Government 357 Officers in general 2266, Settlers 329, Total 2952
Goats, Male, Government 15 Officers in general 718, Settlers 591, Total 1324
Goats, Female, Government 8 Officers in general 843, Settlers 943, Total 1764
Swine, Male, Government 10 Officers in general 190, Settlers 1200, Total 1400
Swine, Female, Government 11 Officers in general 234, Settlers 745, Total 990
Grain, Wheat in bushels, Government 2280 Officers in general 11,590, Settlers 42,757, Total 56,627

[Page 73]
[Original in Tabular Format]
Account of Live Stock belonging to the Crown in His Majesty’s Colony of New South Wales & the Stock keepers Returns, and that belonging to Settlers, and other Individuals, with the Quantity of Ground under Cultivation, as Accounted for at the general Muster from the 17th day of July to the 15th day of August 1800

[Tables giving numbers of cattle and horses, sheep, goats and swine; and acres of ground of wheat and maize, at Government farms and at Capt Johnson’s and ‘Individuals’ – not transcribed]

[Page 74]

1st July 1801
Captain Hunter presents his most respectfull Comps. to Sir Jos. Banks, & informs him he has written to Portsmouth respecting the things which were Supposd to be on board the Buffalo for Sir Joseph, but he fears that some of the Letters giving information of such Articles being shipd, may have been written before such packages were sent on board, & that they may have been delayd putting on bd. until it became too late – Capt. hunter begs to inform Sir Joseph, that he has had brought up from Portsmouth, one of the Lilly Stalks with the Root attached to it – the Stalk is about Ten feet long, and the top which has been separated from it, has the Seed Pods appended to it – If Sir Joseph will try the experiment whether it will Vegetate again or not, & will take the trouble to send a Man to No. 40 Cornhill in Capt. Hunters Name it will be deliverd
Capt. Hunter will as soon as he can fall on his

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on his Memorandums transmit to Sir Joseph the information he receivd from the three People whom he had sent to the SW of Parramatta to search for a Passage Westward through the Mountains – All he can say at present is, that they got thro’ but with much difficulty. The Natives who inhabit the back Country, & who are extremely thinly scatterd, say there are better passages to be found, but from our own excursions, & the Native Account, it woud appear that our Wild Cattle will find some difficulty in getting far into the interior

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29th July 1801, No. 17 Nottingham Place
Dear Sir
I have searchd for & found the account of the Journeys which were made into the interior of New South Wales by my direction, & I have Considerd it better for enabling you to form your own Judgement, to send you the Journals which I had directed might be kept & markd daily, in the language of those who kept them; I wish I had been fortunate enough to have had Officers in the Colony who would have Volunteerd such Excursions, but sorry I am to say that too many of them were Employd in a way less to the advantage of the Public Service – Old as I am, I was then both able & Willing to make such Journey, but I was too much anoyd with various matters of less real importance than such Journeys & the information they might have afforded were. Yet had I continued for a year or two longer, I was determind to have attempted it at all risque –
You will discover that the Course or direction by Compass, is markd on the beginning of each day & the Miles traveld during the day at the End – altho we may suppose both to be a little incorrect we are notwithstanding able to discover that they have been more than 100 Miles to the SW or SW b W. Even if we deduct ¼ from the distance
Yours faithfully & respectfully
[Signed] Jno Hunter
July 30
Sir J Banks (KB)

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17 Notting.m. Place 21 Augt 1801
Captain Hunter presents his respectfull Compliments to Sir J> Banks, & returns the Journal which he meant Sir Joseph shoud keep – The only way by which the truth of the Remarks it Contains can be ascertaind, will be by an Examination of one of the Journalists who is now with Capt. Hunter, and shall be sent to Sir Joseph at any time he will appoint – This Young Man went out with Capt. H – a boy & one of his Servants, as he grew up in that Country, & became pleasd with traveling thro’ the Woods he solicited permission to go upon the excursion then intended, & as he coud write he was instructed to Enter in a Paper the Observations which their Journy might Suggest He is an intelligent Lad -

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Sir Joseph Banks (BB)

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Journal of Barracks*
Govn Hunter’s Journal
This is not Gov Hunters Journal [indecipherable] of his letter dated July 29 1801

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This good account which they say the Natives gave them of the Place they were in Search of, alludes to a report which some as I felt Villain in the Colony had propagated amongst the Irish Convicts lately arrivd, "That there was a Colony of White People at no very great distance in the Back Country, 150 or 200 miles, where there was abundance of every sort of Provision without the Majority of so much labor – The Ignorance of those Irishmen induc’d several to make an attempt to reach this Paradice, the Consequence was that they Perishd in the Wood, not being capable of finding their way back – This Circumstance was fully related by me in a letter to the D. of Portland

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[Obliquely in the margin]
By Govn Hunter

Journey into the interior of the Country New South Wales.
January 24th 1798 Course SSW
Left Mount Hunter for about 12 Miles, till we fell in with the Nepean River where the Rocks run so steep it was with great difficulty we crost them, the rest of the Ground run very scrubby We saw nothing strange except a few Rock Kangaroos with long black brush Tails & two Pheasants which we could not get a shot at [indecipherable]
distance 18 Miles
[ditto] 25th. Course SSW
The Country seems very open good black Soil, we saw a great many Kangaroos & Emus we fell in with a party of Natives, which gave a very good account of the place we were in search of, that there was a great deal of Corn & Potatoes, and that the People were very friendly, we hearken’d to their advice. we altered our Course according to their instructions, one of them promised that he would take us to a party of Natives which had been there, but he not coming according to his promise, proceeded on our Journey as he had directed us, in the course of this way we found a great deal of Salt distance 6 Miles

[Page 20]

January 26th Course WSW
The Ground run very Rocky & Brushey so that we could scarce pass, we cross’d one small River the Banks of which were so Rockey & Steep that we could scarce pass it, we saw no signs of any Natives about it, but we saw several sorts of Dung of different animals, one of which Wilson called a Whom-Batt which is an Animal about 20 Inches High with short legs and a thick Body forwards with a large Head, round Ears & very small eyes, is very fat & has much the appearance of a Badger, there is another Animal which the Natives call a Callowine which much resembles the [indecipherable] in America, here I shot a Bird about the size of a Pheasant, but the tail of it very much resembles a Peacock with two large long Feathers, which are white, orange & lead & [indecipherable] & black at the ends; its Body betwixt a Brown & Green Cream under his Neck & Black upon his Head, Black legs & very long Claws. distance 16 miles
[ditto] 27th Course WSW
The Ground still runs very Rockey & Scrubby for about 6? Miles, when we came to a fine open Country, but very mountainous, we cross’d one small River where we saw plenty of Coal and [indecipherable], and the Banks of the River on the other side

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side, runs very steep and a very high Mountain and within about two Miles of the top seems very scrubby, Intermixed with many Vines and particularly at the very top & on the other side we saw a very fine Meadow, flat Country with many Kangaroos & Emus the Timber runs very thick & short and scarce ten trees on an Acre
Distance 16 Miles
January 28th Course WSW
The land seems much the same, the timber there with a good many stringey Bark trees, and a little futher we saw a number of Meadows and a Hundred Acres of land without a tree upon it, here we saw a party of Natives. Wilson soon caught one of them, a Girl thinking to learn something from them, but her language was so different from that one which we had with us that we could not understand her, We kept her all night but she cried & fretted so much that the next Morning we gave her a Tomahawk & sent her to the rest of the Natives, which were covered with large skins which reached down to their Heels. here we came to the top of a fine Hill in the middle of the day, and took a View of the Country, we saw no thing very promising, the land runs open few trees , we saw to the Southward, a few high Mountains, but good land towards them, to the Westward we saw a Brook down the Country

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Country which we supposed to be a River which seemed to run NW from SE, the land seemed very high to the Southward but still an open Country.
distance 20 Miles
January 29th. Course WSW
We steered our course for about 4 Miles, but the Country did not turn out to our expectation, for we here fell in with the Heads of Creeks which seemed to run towards the River which we saw from the Hill before mentioned, the ground run Rockey & Scrubby, & we saw falls of Water in the Heads of the Creeks, one about forty feet high, and two more about 20 feet high, here we altered our Course to the North for about 12 miles thinking to cut of the heads of the Creeks but we fell in with more, so we came to the resolution of Steering our former Course WSW but finding the Country to run Rockey & Scrubby, here we saw another sort of timber, the leaves are lighter than a Powder Blue, the tree is low much like an Apple tree, the Bark much like a Mahogany, we here saw in the Creeks many Pheasants & Rock Kangaroos, like wise Dung of Animals as large as Horse Dung, but cou’d not see any of them, we had nothing to eat for two days but one Rat, about the Size of a small kitten, I myself was

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was very sick, and wished myself at home again, the other man was sick like me for he had hurt his Leg & was not able to walk. Wilson was well & Hearty. distance 24 Miles
January 30th, course WSW
The Country still Rockey & Scrubby we fell in with the Head of a River, very near as large as the Hawkesbury River, which seemed to run from NW to SE, the banks were so steep we could not get down them, the other side seemed open, but the banks very steep. Wilson proposed making a Canoe, but the other man & myself were so faint & tired, having nothing to eat but two small Birds each, we were afeared to venture on the other side of the River for fear we should not be able to procure any thing to subsist on, likewise our Shoes was gone & our feet were very much bruised with the Rocks so that we asked Wilson to return. distance 16 Miles
February 1st. Course SE b E
About 7 Miles back we fell in with many Meadows with scarce any trees upon them, for near two Hundred Acres together, the Hills also very thin of Timber

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Timber and very light, the Ground good except on the tops of the Hills which was Stoney, we were very weak we could not get anything to eat but a few small Birds, we fell in with two Birds, which Wilson said he had never seen before in the Country, and we was fortunate enough to shoot the Cock & Hen in one of the Meadows. They appear to be something like a Cockatoo intermixed with a Green White & Lead colour, the Cock with a Scarlet Head
distance 20 Miles
February 2nd. Course ENE
The Country still runs very fine full of large Meadows and some thousands of Acres of Land without any timber upon it except here & there one tree and some very large Lakes of Water, some three Miles long, but saw no Birds of any kind about them, this day we had a view from a high Hill which made us better judges of the Country which was Rockey & Scrubby [indecipherable] was clear and open land from S to SW, the land appeared high & good and to the SW we saw two large ranges of Mountains, with two Heads with the appearance of the entrance of a River betwixt them, which we supposed to be the Sea Coast; here we found that the Country which appeared low & dark was that which is Rockey & Scrubby, & that which appeared light & Hilly is the most

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most easy to travel in being the Forest, we saw to the Northward & Westward many Hills of those which appeared Rockey, but to all appearance more open to the Northward, in the latter part of the day after we had got over the first [indecipherable] of Mountains, we fell in with a vast Number of Kangaroos, here we were fortunate again for Wilson killed one of them which was a great refreshment to us. The next Morning about Sun rise, I myself heard [indecipherable] Guns fire which sounded to the SE. I was not certain that it was a Gun until Wilson said do you hear that Gun fire, I said I did. I then took up my Gun & fired again, but we could get no Answer altho’ we fired five different times. We here cam to a resolution of returning for Wilson here came to a part of the Country which he knew, and a very barren one, for we could not get anything to eat but a few [indecipherable] & [indecipherable] they very scarce. Indeed I thought that we must all have perished with Hunger, which certainly would have been the case had it not been for the indefatigable zeal of Wilson to supply us with as much as would support Life, for we travell’d six days successively over Hills & Vallies full of Creeks & no appearance of any Animals or Birds of any size, so that we had no hopes of ever reaching back again being so Weak that Roe & myself were scarce able to travel, but on the sixth day we got through the Rocks & made the Forest Land

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land, about [indecipherable] Miles from Prospect, which very much enlivened our spirits for we were all but Starved & were oblig’d to cut up all our clothing to cover our feet which was cut with the Rocks enlivened as we were at getting good ground to travel on and being cheered up by Wilson who said we should soon make Prospect we then proceeded on our Journey with all the Spirit & Strength we were Master of and to our great Joy we reached the desired place a little before Sun down
distance 16 miles

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2nd. Journey
Friday, March 9th. Course SSw
Left Prospect Hill and took the above Course making particular [indecipherable]-sired this way, we travell’d till dark and stopp’d the night on the Road. distance [indecipherable] Miles
Saturday 10th Course SSW
Continued our Journey & made Nepean river about 9 OClock, were we found a great fresh in the River, which took us best part of the day to get our things over, we left the River 4 O’Clock, steered a little farther & stopp’d all night
distance 4 Miles
Sunday 11th. Course SW b S
We steered the above Course 12 Miles, when we fell in with the Cattle in a fine open Country having a pleasant sight of them, we counted a Hundred & Seventy, but was not able to make out how many Calves. Wilson then alter’d his Course to S b W, and walked about a Mile, & fell in with the Nepean river, but finding so much fresh in the River it was impossible for us to get over our things that Night. distance 13 Miles

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Monday March 12th, Course SSW
Hacking & Wilson swam over the River with their Cloaths on the top of their Heads to find the Salt, & left me to take care of the Provisions, walked about 5 Miles & fell in with the River again & was oblig’d to swim over again, & then fell in with the Salt, there is Salt Rock in great abundance but it is intire mixed with a little sand, the Vain of salt is about 8 foot thick, we were determined to come down the West side of the River again to Collins, in walking about a Mile NW we fell in with another Branch that came into the Nepean, were we found a much larger Vain of Salt. The Vain was about 12 feet deep. The Rocks of this River & the Branch above mentioned is about a quarter of a Mile perpendicular, we fell in with three more deep Cliffs, which having reason to believe they run a great way to the Westward, it was about 5 O Clock when we came back to Collins
Tuesday 13th. Course SW
We had not walked above 4 or 5 Miles before we fell in with a large Creek, that was impossible for anyone to get over with a Load at their Back. Wilson inform’d us that there was many more, so we concluded that it was of no use for us to go any farther to the SW, for we could not get

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get much farther than were Wilson had been before, so we agreed to over all these dry Creeks, Wilson & Hacking went, they left me to take care of the Provisions, Wilson went up the Creek & Hacking down & discovered a much finer Vaine of Salt than he had seen before, Wilson saw nothing particular, but one short Rock Kangaroo: came back to Collins & stoppd all night
Wednesday 14th. Course E
Having plenty of Provisions, Wilson concluded to go to the Eastward to see if he could get some skins of Birds & Animals. Collins went with him to keep him Company. Hacking leaving us to return to Sydney. Wilson asked me if I was willing to go to the SW part of the Country for 9 or 10 days, I told him I was willing to go to any part he thought proper, then we altered our course & steered SW we had a fine open Country for 7 or 8 Miles, we saw the dung & Marks of the Cattles feet all the way till we came to a Rockey Creek, then we had a nasty Scrubby stoney Country for the Remainder of that day, we crossd three deep Vallies with large ponds of Water, in each of the Vallies we also crossd one deep Gully, we then came too for the night. distance 13 Miles

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Thursday 15th March Course SW
We continued our course, with very bad travelling for the Mountains was so steep we could scarcely pass. we crossd 3 deep Gullies & one run of Water where we stopp’e all that night. distance 12 Miles
Friday 16th Course SW
Kept the same Course, the travelling much the same as yesterday. Off the two this day’s is the worse, in the Course of our Journey Wilson saw some salt. distance 10 Miles
Saturday 17th Course SW
Still the same Course, we saw an Exceeding high Mountain, we agreed to go to it for Wilson told me that it was the highest Mountain in all the Country, in going to it we crossd a small River running through the Mountains bearing NNW to SSE, the day being so far advanced, we could not get up & down while day light, so we stoppd under the Hill till Morning, the Ground is covered with lime stone & a kind of a Marble stone, we gathered some of them which we put in our Bags distance 7 Miles

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Sunday 18th
We got at the Top of this high Mountain, which I believe to be the largest Hill in the Country, here we had an excellent view of the whole Mountain, we took a View to the N & NW which is nothing but exceeding high Mountains, on a rise one above another so that the Clouds is lost. we likewise saw a River bearing NNE to SSW, Wilson told me that this River rums into Tenches or Nepean River for he was well acquainted with it, we saw that the River that we had crosst before came into it & discovered a Brook which runs through the Mountains to the Hawkesbury, the land to the NE looks to be a level Country for we could hardly discover Mount Hunter or any other Hill towards home, but to the E we saw a Scrubby Rockey Country full of deep Gullies, to the SE much the same, we saw a large Gap about SSE, we supposed that there was a River which runs into the Sea, but to the E. the Country is very mountainious, but fine green Hills, some of them are Brushey & full of Vines with good black soil, we likewise saw to

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to the W and SW that the Country seems to be level & a good one, then we came off the Hill to refresh ourselves, & to proceed on our Journey, it was about 2 in the day when we left this Hill, we named it Mount Wilson, after our refreshment we steered our Course SW & crosst some swampey Meadows & two fine grass meadows, with scarce a Tree upon them, came too for the Night distance 8 Miles
Monday 19th March
As soon as it was day light we counted our Biscuits & found we had 30 a piece, we allotted that 2 biscuits should be our days allowance, we then started on our Journey, we had not walked above 4 or 5 Miles SW Course before we fell in with a large Creek, were was many more here altered our Course to S to head the Creeks, walked about 9 Miles when we fell in with a fine Run of Water, here we saw a great many Ducks, but did not like to waist our Powder & Shot about the,. Wilson saw a large green yellow & Black snake, he directly run & caught it by the Head, which made us an excellent dinner. we saw an exceedingly high Hill about 5 Miles from us, we concluded

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to go and see how the Country seemed to look towards the SW this Hill bore SE b S from us we walked about a Mile, when we came into a most beautifull Country being nothing but fine large Meadows with Ponds of Water in them, fine Green Hills, but very thin of Timber, we got to the top of this Hill where we had a most delightfull prospect of the Country and in my opinion one of the finest in the known World it certainly must be a pleasure to any man to view so fine a Country. we found by altering our Course as we did that we had mist all the Creeks that we met with when we was going our SW Course, we likewise saw to the S a most beautifull Country, more particular to the SE it is not in my power to lay it down fine Enough, to the E it is Mountainious, but fine Green Hills to the Northd we saw the Mountains and Mount Wilson, for we brought it to bare due N from us, we likewise saw to the Wd & SW a good level & low Country, we perceived the River that Wilson & Price was at before, and all the Creeks that we met with runs into the River, being satisfied from our view from off the Hills, we gave it the Name of Mount Pleasant, leaving it to your Excellency to name it as you

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you think most proper, we fell in with the Kangaroos, but could not get a Shot at them, so we took our lodging for the Night distance 18 Miles
Tuesday 20th March Course SW
We had a fine open Meadow Country with fine green Hills, but the forest ground is not so good as I could wish it to be for the Soil is a Ruddy Yellow look & brushey, we have not seen a Native since we left Sydney, we saw Numbers of Kangaroos, but never was so fortunate as to get a Shot at any of them, as we fell in with some Creeks, they all seem to run to the River, that Wilson was at before, came too for the Night distance 22 Miles
Wednesday 21st Course SW
Continued our Course for about 2 or 3 Miles when we came into a Scrubby Barren Stoney Country but good walking, Wilson shot a wood Duck the grownd is still Barren & scrubby during our days Journey distance 20 Miles
Thurday 22nd Course SW

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The same Course as yesterday, met with many Creeks, seemed to run from the SE down towards the Wd. Wilson shot a Pheasant in one of the Creeks, here we had some Rain, saw some high Hills, we agreed to go to the top of the Highest we could see, for we was resolute to get farther to the SW if it was possible. we concluded to bring to for the Night distance 1[indecipherable] Miles
Friday 23rd Course SW
Came to the top of a high Hill, on purpose to see how the Country looked towards the SW, and found it to be a Stoney, Barren Country, saw some Mountains about 11 miles from us. we came to them and got up one of them to satisfy ourselves, with a view to get farther into the Country if a good one, we found to the SW that it was a Scrubby, Hilly Country & nothing to be got so we concluded to return back for fear that we should not have Biscuits enough to bring us back, for if we could have got any thing to eat we sho’d not have returned towards home yet awhile, having had no sign of a Kangaroo for three days and we - really believed that there never was a native in this part of the Country. we saw from the Mountain a River that seemed to run away to the Nd. Steered our course Nd to get ti it, we found it

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it to be about the size of the Nepean River, with a great run of Water, found that all the Creeks that we met with before comes into it, to the Southward it runs to a open Country at a great distance, the tops of the Hills looks to be very thin of Timber. hear we had much Rain, came too for the Night distance 14 Miles
Saturday 24th March Course NE
We did not see any better way back – Wilson shot a Rock Kangaroo, so we saved a days allowance of Biscuits very dull & rainy Weather, stopped all Night distance 16 Miles
Sunday 25th Course NE
Continued the same course, the Ground as before, the timber is of a white Gum & a short stringy Bark, still keeps raining, went to rest for the Night distance 14 Miles
Monday 26th Course NE
Weather very bad, we walked as fast as we could to get into a better Country, during this days journey Wilson shot a strange Bird, long while before we could find a place to sleep in this night distance 24 Miles

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Tuesday 27th Course NE
We had proceeded on for about one Mile when we fell in with a fine open Country, Wilson had the good fortune to shoot a Kangaroo, by that means saved our Biscuits for we made a good dinner off him, we steered our Course ESE to see how that part of the Country would turn out; we came to a fine open Meadow Country, but the Skin of the Pheasant and the strange Bird was spoiled, for we had so much Rain that it was impossible for to have saved them, here we had a great deal of Thunder & Lightning. part of the tail of the Pheasant was saved by keeping it in Bark of Tree, came too for the night distance 18 Miles
Wednesday 28th Course E
The above Course, we had a most delightfull Country, indeed I am not able to lay down the Situation of it, we saw Hundreds of Kangaroos, one of them was shot by Collins, which still preserves our Biscuits, the Weather very dull with frequent showers of Rain. came too for the Night distance 21 Miles
Thursday 29th Course E

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We soon came to the top a fine Hill, were we found that we had kept the outside of the Country for to the E & SE is a Scrubby, Stoney & Rockey Country, we found in coming to this Hill that we had cross’d the head of a river that seems to run to the Southward. we Altered our course N to come to the Mountains. during our days Journey we saw some Emus & many Kangaroos, one of the latter Wilson shot. the Country still very fine till we came to the Mountains. Stopped under them for the Night distance 19 Miles
Friday 30th March Course N b E
In this Course, wilson shot a Pheasant, the travelling much the same – as I have before mentioned in going over the Mountains the first time, Miles we could not guess at.
Saturday 31st Course N b E
In this days Journey we were very fortunate for we came along the Top of Hill all the day
Sunday 1st April Course N b E
We kept the above Course, in which Wilson shot

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Shot another Pheasant – we cleared the Mountains and came on the low Pastures
Monday 2nd
Saw the Cattle about 4 Miles nearer than we saw them the first time – made the Nepean and found a great fresh in it, Wilson saw Numbers of Ducks, some of which he shot, which made us an excellent supper having eat two a piece – Cross’d the Nepean and set off by Moonlight on purpose to save the Ducks, and made Prospect about 4 OClock on Tuesday the 3rd.

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No 17 Nottingham Place 15th Jany 1802
Dear Sir
On my Voyage from New South Wales to England, when the weather woud admit of my committing my Sentiments on the Cause of Expence of that Colony to Paper, I enterd roughly such observations as I had made on the Spot, many of which have long ago been Noticd in my Public Correspondence with the Secretary of State.
Since I arrivd I have in vain Solicited an Enquiry into the various concerns of that Settlement during my administration of its Government, in order that I might have an opportunity of shewing the injustice of that treatment which I have Experiencd, foundede I dare assert, on false, Artfull & Anonimous informations, and at same time to point out the Cruel Neglect I felt during the past four years of my authority; I had then Evidence of respectability here on the Spot, some of whom had been in that Settlement from its first Establishment were men of observation and thoroughly acquainted with all its Concerns; but my request was neither attended to nor any reply or reason given why it coud not-
It is probable, Sir, had I thought of Soliciting your interference I might have obtaind my Wish, because you have not only upon every occasion shewn your anxiety for the Prosperity of that Colony, but your particular attentions to those who have been Employd in its service; but, Sir, as I conceivd I was requiring that which I had a right to Consider no more than an Act of Common Justice, I doubted not I shoud need it.
In the interview I have had with Lords [indecipherable] & Hobart

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I mentiond to those Noblemen that I had a few observations to lay before them relating to the Cause of some of the Colonial Expences, and that I had venturd a few hints for the reduction of such Expence and for Correcting the prevailing abuses there – But on finding much difficulty in obtaing a sufficient Number of Manuscript Copys in time, I came to the determination of having a few privately printed and I have now the honor to send you One inclosd. You will allow, Sir, for its faults when I assure you that ever since my return, my feelings have been such as not to admit my taking any pains to correct the rough Copy written at Sea. Had I known some time ago it was suspected that my office was wanted for the accommodation of any other interest, I shoud have felt no difficulty in resigning it, where such resignation did not effect my Character as an old Officer whose Integrity was never yet doubted, but whilst laboring under the most perplexing difficulty & the want of Support & the neglect I experiencd from hence I still had firmness enough to do my duty, to keep the Colony under proper discipline & order with Justice & Moderation & to forward its prosperity as far as such Neglect woud allow me altho’ it had no Charms, no allurements for me, but the honor of my appointment & a desire to forward His Majestys Service, I was not to be driven or Frightened by Artfull difficultys to abandon my Post.
I shall be truly gratified Sir Joseph if any of my ideas shall

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shall be approvd by you – Permit me the honor of assuring you that I am with the highest Esteem and respect, Dear sir, Your Obedient & faithfull hble Servant
Jno Hunter
PS as some part of the Causes of Colonial Expences may be found to be tedius in the perusal I had at the end added an Abstract or recapitulation of such expence – which will shew at one view to what they are atributed

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No. 40 Cornhill, 22 Feby 1802
Dear sir
After a tedious residence in London since my return from New South Wales of near Nine Months, in which whenever admitted to an Audience of those under whose direction the concerns of that remote Settlement has been plac’d, I have endeavourd to offer such suggestions as I trusted might prove of advantage to that promissing (altho of late unfortunate) Colony, and have notwithstanding the unmerited treatment I have experiencd, Signify’d my readiness to undertake any Voyage or Service which coud be performd by any of His Majestys Ships for its advancement.
Yet, Sir, in my endeavours to obtain some consideration from the Crown for my future subsistence after so long fatiguing a duty as both formerly and latterly fell to my lot on the Service of that territory, I find myself shut out from such Consideration by the Duke of Portlands last letter commanding my return – had that letter been the effect of any appearance of indifference on my part to the real interest of the Colony, or any iniquitous Conduct or Malpractices in the Administration of its Government, I shoud most probably have been inclind to shrink from that investigation I so earnestly on my return Solicited – But, Sir under the Neglect and want of

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want of Support which I experiencd from Home, and under the dangerous Conduct of individuals there, dangerous to the Authority of the Executive Power in the Colony, in Support of which I stood up alone, I resolvd that no Faction, however Numerous shoud snatch that power from my hands whilst I continued to hold His Majs. Commission as Governor of that Country.
I have been Satisfied on a retrospect of my whole Conduct in that arduous Situation, that I have most Consciensously dischargd the various dutys of my Office, & have Merited & expected a very different treatment to that which I have experiencd – The Vile endeavours of a Number of Artfull individuals whose Speculations have plungd in ruin, those whose labour shoud & woud have proved the prop & support of our infant Colony, have been attended to here; and my official Complaints against their Plans and general Conduct Neglected, a Conduct which it was not possible I coud punish on the Spot without Manifest danger to the Public Service, this advantage they were not insensible of & exulted in – Those difficultys I pointed out but without effect, I coud not even obtain instructions what steps to pursud
Had I, Sir Joseph an interview with you of Sufficient length, I coud I am confident Convince you, how much my care & attention

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attention have Contributed to forward that Colony and how much the prosperity it exhibited the last two years of my Command, were the effect of the Measures I pursued under innumerable difficultys and distresses.
I need scarcely say Sir, that the design of this is only to remind you of the Conversation I had the honor of having with you when I was last in Soho Square – your influence with the Duke of Portland may serve to set aside any difficulty which Lord Hobart may officially see in the way of Complying with the hope I have expressd in a letter which I sometime past wrote him on this Subject; I am well satisfied that his Lordships objections to moving in that Matter are wholly official & occasiond by the letter aluded to.
In Conversing with some of my private friends on my particular Circumstances – I have had occasion to observe that some of them found difficulty in retaining in their mind some part of what I have frequently occasion to mention – I therefore saw it Necessary to have a sheet containing a few of the heads privately printed, and I take the liberty of enclosing one to you-
I will

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I will no longer fatigue you but beg permission to say that I am with the greatest respect & Esteem – Dear Sir, Your most Obed & faithfull hble Servant
Jno Hunter

Sir Jos B. presents his C to Capt H & thanks him for his letter & the Master Sheet contend in it he takes however the liberty to suggest that he doubts whether the terms in which the conduct of the Department of Government from which the charge of the Colony of NSW [indecipherable]is likely to cinciliate the goodwill of the chief of it or indear him to [indecipherable][indecipherable] Hunter may depend his friends to sollicit on his behalf
Feb 23

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No 40 Cornhill 25th Feby 1802
Particularly anxious as I have ever been Sir Joseph that my Conduct shoud at all times stand fair in your opinion, I cannot but feel great Concern & regret that the Sheet which I took the liberty of sending to you the other day, shoud have been considerd by you as improper, i am sure it must be so as you are of that opinion; I shall only say Sir that the Steps which have appeared for a length of time to have been taken to my injury, had operated so powerfully upon my Mind, and had effected my Character as an honest & Consciencious Man; & my integrity as an old Officer to such a degree that I conceivd there might be no impropriety in fairly stating my Case to some of my friends and acquaintance, for no other purpose whatever, than to vindicate my own Conduct & endeavours upon the Service of that Colony to those friends, some of whom were of opinion that my Character did certainly stand in a suspected point of view from the manner in which I had been calld home; the little Notice taken of my Complaints from that country, & of my own request since my return, had justify’d an opinion that some unfair steps had been taken here for bringing about my removal, and at the very time too when I was suffering for the sake of that Service, all the Anxiety which the Mind of Man

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Man is capable of bearing. Be assurd Sir Joseph that whatever my fellings may have been, I never have conceivd a thought disrespectfull to the Nobleman holding the office of Chief in the department under which I was Serving – It is & will be allowed to be a Cruel case, whatever Causes might have occasiond the Neglect I have mentiond, that I shoud become the Sacrifice- I have Solicited in the strongest manner since I arrivd an investigation of my Conduct, and at a time when there were many well informd Evidences on the Spot – but Sir my hopes were not allowd that gratification, & if I had been one of the Meanest characters in His Majestys Service I coud not have been treated with more Contempt, I never coud receive any reply or information why I coud not be indulgd, this seemd to bring then a Suspicion in some of my acquaintance, that I must have conceald from them some Cause or ground on my part for this most extraordinary treatment; I coud not therefore fall upon any way of demonstrating to them how unmerited this treatment had been, but by a fair state of those facts which had cost me so much pain & Anxiety; Still, Sir Joseph I beg leave to repeat my declaration, that in defending my own Conduct to my friends, I never had the most

[Page 112]

distant intention to appear in any degree deficient in that respect which is due to the D. of P.- whatever my future Situation or Circumstances may be, I hope I shal submit to them with fortitude & resignation, and I shall at all times most Earnestly wish that every officer whose fortune it may be to hold so honorable an Office as I lately filld, may act his part with no less attention to the Public interest than I have done, & may enjoy a Conscience as pure & unpolluted as I at this moment feel mine.
Your goodness,Sir induces me to send for your perusal the inclosd rough Copy of my letter to His Grace in reply to an Anonimous Letter which been receivd at that office, and on the Authority of which too much faith appeard to be placd; you will see from my answer, what a Melancholy situation an officer serving at so great a distance is placd in, if his character is to be branded with Acts which woud disgrace the Meanest servant under the Crown, & not receive the pleasure of knowing that his defence had been considerd as Satisfactory, which is strictly the case in this instance – I know pretty well who this Anonimous attack was made by, the Ostensible Author is one of the Seditionists sent out from hence; but I had strong grounds for believing that some

[Page 113]

some of the higher Ranks of those distructive dealers had been the Chief Prompters – If when you have had the trouble of perusing the inclosd, you will do me the favor to return it, you will add to the kind intentions already receivd by Sir, Your much obligd & very respectfull servant, Jno Hunter

Dear Sir
I return with this the copy of your letter to the D. of P. which you have been so good as to enclose to me I confess I [indecipherable] I never have yet believd that his grace gave any credit to the anonymous information you are at so much pains to disprove
nothing in my letter I am sure expressd an opinion that the terms of your printed sheets are [indecipherable] as to the [indecipherable] of them I do not think myself a competent judge I confess however that I think this immodest & I believe that if you [indecipherable]with [indecipherable] Howe of whose judgement in all matters of discretion I have the highest opinion you will [find his sentiments] coincide very nearly with mine

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Extracts [in different handwriting] from Hunter’s memorandum printed 1802
Govr. Hunter states when he left the Colony was musterd by government his bullocks were charged at £87 each if sold for meat they could have fetched £88 a head I suspect that purchasers at that price could not easily have been found Capt M’arthur proposes to Government to purchase his stock as below & will if they agree to do so give them into the Bargain his arable farm of 300 acres of cleard land & his grass farms of 1000 acres 100 of which are cleard and all his farming buildings
50 Head of Hornd Cattle at - £37 ......1850.0.0
10 Horses at £65 ....£650.0.0
600 sheep at 2.10.....£1500.0.0
Total £4000.0.0

Population of the Colony
Civil & military, men, 476 women 16, children 20
Settlers & holding lands, men 388, women 14, children 0
Free people & convicts, men 2171, women 941, children 916
Total; men 3035, women 971, children 936
Grand total 4942

Rates & wages
For clearing 1 acre of Land - £5.3.0
Reaping wheat per acre at Paramatta – 13.11
[ditto] at Hawkesby - £2.11.6
Sawing plank per 100 feet – 1.1.3
Days wages with board – 0.5.0

Prices of various articles of importation
Bohea Tea per lb – from 1.10.0 to £2.6.0
Sugar – 0.2.1 – 0.2.8
Soap – 0 4 2 – 06.0

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Tobacco – 0.10.4 – 0.13.3
Spirits per wine bottle – 0.10.0 – 1.0.0
Mens shoes per pair 1.6.0 – 1.10.0

Prices of produce
Wheat per Bushel - £0.8.0
Maize do do. – 0.4.0
Pork per lb – 0.0.6
Spirits & wines imported from Nov to May 31
Spirits gallons – 36,590
Wines – 22,224

[Transcribed by Jan Thomas for the State Library of New South Wales]