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1-006 (Original)

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author,male,Philip, Arthur,50 addressee,male
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Government English
Imperial Correspondence
Clark, 1977
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1-006.txt — 4 KB

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As soon as the rains permitted the getting the provisions on shore from the two remaining store-ships, they were cleared, except of the spirits, which are on board of one of them, and which will be landed the end of this month. It was my intention to send the two store-ships away together, and expected they would be ready to sail the first week in October, and the Sirius was ordered to be ready to sail about the same time to the northward, in order to procure live-stock, but it was now found that very little of the English wheat had vegetated, and a very considerable quantity of barley and many seeds had rotted in the ground, having been heated in the passage, and some much injured by the weevil. All the barley and wheat, likewise, which had been put on board the Supply at the Cape were destroyed by the weevil. The ground was, therefore, necessarily sown a second time with the seed which I had saved for the next year, in case the crops in the ground met with any accident. The wheat sent to Norfolk Island had likewise failed, and there did not remain seed to sow one acre. I could not be certain that the ships which are expected would bring any quantity of grain, or, if put on board them, that they would preserve it good by a proper attention to stowage, to the want of which I impute our present loss.
The colony not being in a state to support any considerable quantity of live stock, many being under the necessity at present of frequently killing a part of what they have for want of food to Support them, I should be obliged to kill what the Sirius might procure, and which could not be expected to exceed ten or fourteen days provision for the settlement; and we now have not more than a year's bread in store, having been obliged to furnish the Sirius and Supply with provisions. [57] On these considerations, but more immediately from the fear of not having grain to put into the ground next year, when we shall have a more considerable quantity of ground to sow, I have thought it necessary to order the Sirius to go to the Cape of Good Hope in order to procure grain, and at the same time what quantity of flour and provisions she can receive... .The detachment is now inclosing ground for their gardens, and we have about six acres of wheat, eight of barley, and six acres of other grain, all which, as well as such garden seeds as were not spoiled, promise well; and though the soil is in general a light sandy soil, it is, I believe, as good as what is commonly found near the sea-coast in other parts of the world. The great inconvenience we find is from the rocks and the labour of clearing away the woods which surround us, and which are mostly gum-trees of a very large size, and which are only useful as firewood, though I think that when we can cut them down in the winter and give them time to season they may be made useful in building. [...] 
The climate is equal to the finest in Europe, and we very seldom have any fogs. All the plants and fruit-trees brought from the Brazil and the Cape that did not die in the passage thrive exceeding well; and we do not want vegetables, good in their kind, which are natural to the country. [...].
I have now given up all hopes of recovering the two bulls and four cows that were lost, and one sheep only remains of upwards of seventy which I had purchased at the Cape on my own account and on Government's account. It is the rank grass under the trees which has destroyed them, for those who have only had one or two sheep which have fed about their tents have preserved them.
Flogs and poultry thrive and increase fast. Black cattle will thrive full as well, and as we shall be able in future to guard against their straying, your Lordship will please to determine whether it would not be necessary to order any ship that was coming to the settlement with provisions to purchase at the Cape as many cows as could he conveniently received on board, with a couple of young bulls. But the ship for that purpose should be able to stow them between decks; and I beg leave to observe that a forty or fifty gun ship that brought out provisions and stores, leaving her guns out, would answer the purpose better than any transport, and at once stock this settlement. [...]