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1-011 (Original)

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Private Correspondence
Irvine, 1988
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Sirius Port Jackson 5 June 1788
We Arriv'd at Botany Bay the 20th Jany. Last after a Passage of 10 weeks from the Cape of Good Hope. the Dificulty we find in Getting store houses Erected for Discharging the Transports, Hutting the Troops, Convicts &c has put it out of our power to make any Discoveries in the Interior part of the Country. the only Discovery made is Contiguous to Botany & where we are Settling our Little Colony. its Cal'd in Cooks Voyage Port Jackson. by a Survey of Captain Hunters. it is found to be the Most Commodious perhaps in the World, the Latitude of it is 33.51' South Longitude 151.10 East & is 8 Leagues North of Botany. The Day we sail'd from thence Two French Frigates arriv'd from making Discoverys Round the World. they have been out above 3 Years & put in for Wood and water to build Boats. they have been at Most of the islands that Capt. Cook was at. At one them (Navigation Island) they Lost Two Boats with their Cruis & 8 officers Including Mons De Langle Capt. of the Astrolabe all massacred by the Natives They had 4 Boats on Shore but Luckily 2 Got off at another place they Lost Two Boats with there Cruis not a man Escaping.
We see many of the Natives Dayly with No More Covering Than what Nature Affords them. They Seem Not to be possessed of the Smallest Curiosity or Sensibility Whatever. They take us all for women owing I suppose to our not wearing Beards When we haul the Nett they Assist no Doubt with a View of being Gainers by it Yet Notwithstanding the Time we have been here, they are as Distant as ever with us. they Never come to our Camp Nor Suffer Their Women Near us ... [69] four convicts have been found kil'd by them & 6 or 7 more are Missing who we suppose have Shared the Same fate. The Govr'. has Sent our 2nd Lieut. Mr. King with one Mid. one Surgeons Mate a party of Seamen 7 Men & 6 female Convicts to Settle a Colony at Norfolk Island (which abounds with Firr Trees of an Enormous Size it is about E. N.E. 300 Leagues from Hence & is only 15 Miles in Circumference. We have Great Difficulty in Clearing the Country as we are badly assisted by the Convicts the Govr. has adopted the Most Lenient Means but to no purpose & finds that Nothing but Rigour will bring them to ordr. they are without Exception the most Incorragible Villians Breathing, & the Women the Most Obscene Creatures Imaginable. for Robberies Committed by the men 5 of them have been already hung. flogging has Lost its Effect.
It is a Charming Climate & will no doubt in Time be a fruitful one. the Gangeroo Mention'd by Cook are very Numerous & are the only Quadrupeds we find Worth Mentioning they Correspond with his Discription in Every Respect, Except our finding that the female has a false Belly or pouch Similar to the Opossum in wch. their Young take Shelter when Closely pursued. this we found by Shooting a Dam for as soon as she fell the Young one ran into its Asylum. [70] [71] 
There are a Great Number of Birds & many Like our Game in England of a Most Beautiful Species Of Parroquets. There has been a Bird of Enormous Size kild Something Like the Ostrich but more Resembling the Emu (Described by Goldsmith) a Native of So. America it was 7f 2in high & weigh'd 104 pound.
It is Suggested we are to sail from hence in 2 Months to Explore the Coast & then proceed to Otahaite & the Islands Contiguous. if it Should be so it Will Make the time which begins to be irksome appear Less Tedious as it will be Novelty. We Learn from Lt. Ball of the Supply Arm'd Tender just Arriv'd from Norfolk that on his passage from thence he Discoverd an Island in Lat. 31. 23 wch. he Cald Lord Howe Island. it Abounds in Turtle Many of wch. he has Brought here wild pidgeons Abound there also (if the Expression may be Allow'd & a Fowl very much Resembling the Guinea Hen. As they Suffer themselves to be taken from off the Trees wth.out Attempting to Fly away & the former the men Run Down without any Difficulty.
This brings the Anniversary of H.M.y Birth Day it was Celebrated with Great pomp when the Country was Named Cumberland & the City Albion.
The Buildings will make a formidable Appearance in a Short Time. people are Employ'd in Making Brick &c. & here is Stone as fine as any Portland Stone. the Govr. & Lieut. Govr. are building Magnificently. but more Artificers are wanted An Officer of Marines & myself went a few Days since A Circuit along The Coast. on Landing the Natives Appeared very friendly to us But on our putting off the Boate they threw a Large Spear wch. providentially missed us but Came with Great Violence against the Side of the Boate this would not have happened had we a Musquet in the Boate the Dread of wch. is so Great that with one you might drive a Thousand before you. [72] 
The women are very Dexterous in fishing in their Canoes & their Lines are made of the Bark of Trees & the Hooks of Shells Astonishing what a Length of Line they will continue undr. Water.
In the afternoon the Govonor Returned found Port Jackson to be an excellent harbour, got everything in readiness to Proceed there 24th Saw Two Ships in the offing Working up for the Bay but the Wind being to the N.W. & a Strong Current setting to the Southward they were soon out of sight 25th [January 1788] The Supply with the Govonor on board Sailed for Port Jackson where he intends to make the Settlement 26th the two fr Ships which were seen in the offing on the 24th Arrived this morning. they proved to be the Boussole & L'Astrolabe two French Ships on Discoveries they were commanded when they left France by Monsieur De La Perouse & Monsieur De Langle, the latter of whom was killed by the Natives of one of the Navigators [an island] with 12 men, 8 of whom were officers. They were on Shore in two of their Boats for Water their ships were under weigh & had dropt out of the Bay.
The Natives before had been very friendly to them and at this time one of the Boats was a ground and when they came down to murder them the French Supposed their intent was to assist them in launching the Boat that was a ground. it was supposed upwards of 500 Stones was thrown in the first Shower, The French immediately discharged a Volley of Small Arms at them & it is Supposed above 20 of the Natives must have been killed - Several of the French were also Wounded. those who escaped Swam off to their other Boat which lay off at a small distance the reason of this we could not learn. the French at first say'd they supposed it must have been done for the sake of keeping the Boats but afterwards some hints dropt that it was one of their Sailors had behaved very ill to some of the Natives. [73] 
Monsieur Clunard was afterward given the Command of the Astrolabe M. Pérouse on being asked what discoveries he had made paid Capt. Cook a very great Compliment by saying he had left nothing undone which was very handsome of him.. he (La Perouse) commanded the Squadron that destroyed our Settlements in Hudsons Bay. at 11 We got under Weigh & worked out of the Bay with all the Convoy. Stood for Port Jackson, in going from B. Bay to Port Jackson You Pass seven bluff heads. The entrance of Port Jackson is narrow but you may pass within 100 yards of South head. The North head projects out near a Mile to the Eastward of the South head which is quite Perpendicular from the Waters Edge. in Working in [sic] saw several of the Natives who called to us but as we approached the shore they retired to the bush. at 5 we anchored in a Small Cove where we found the Supply laying. all the Convoy by sunset were all at Anchor within us. here you are intirely Land Locked and it is impossible for any Wind to do you the least damage. the next day got on Shore some tents & Landed some of the Convicts & some of the shore division of Marines who were employed clearing Ground. 28 Capt. Hunter, Mr Bradley & other proper officers were employed Surveying the Harbour. Landed the remainder of the Convicts & Marines the former of whom were employed clearing the Ground the Latter pitching the encampment. the convicts were constantly employed in clearing & enclosing Ground. [74] 
30 [Jan] Land all the Cattle which was 5 Cowes 2 Bulls 6 Horses which came from the Cape in the Lady Penrhyn, Several Sheep & Hogs. Sunday February 3d Divine Service was performed on Shore for the first time. There has been a great deal of Thunder Lightning & heavy rain since our first Arrival here. on the night of the 6th Several trees were shivered with Lightning one in Particular which had several very Large Branches broke entirely off and several Sheep which were in a Pen under the Tree were killed. The next Day the Govonors Commission and Code of Laws for the Colony were read, in which he is Stiled Captain General & Govonor in chief of the Settlement in New South Wales & all the Adjacent Islands in the South Seas. he afterwards had a cold Dinner for the Officers at which I was. several Bumper Toasts was afterwards drank and we immediately broke up - 8th Capt Hunter finished the survey of the harbour. he says it contains a Number of very good Coves fit for any Vessel to Anchor in with the greatest safety. indeed he says it is the finest harbour in the known world. the Cove in which we are is called Sydney Cove. none of the rest is yet named. the Chart of the Harbour is kept very secret for fear it may get into some persons hands who might have it Publish'd in England before the Chart that is going to the Admiralty but as soon as it is made Publick I shall get a Plan of it. 9th Mon. Clunard came round in a boat from Botany Bay with their dispatches which are to go to Europe with ours. he returned the same Night, he would by no means go on Shore altho the Govonor rather pressed him. 12 Some People went to Botany Bay by land but the French Ships were gone while they lay in the Bay they buried one of their Abbeys over the Place where he was intered was a Latin Inscripsion Painted on Board this very luckily was taken off in a Pocket Book by one of the officers who went over there but in a few days after the Natives took it down. here the Govr. had an opportunity of returning Mon. Clunard's civility, by having a Sheet of Copper with the same Inscripsion engraved on it. as was painted on the Board the Natives took down and having the Copper Screwed to a tree. Mon Clunard when at Kamscatksa erected a very fine Monument over the remains of Capt. Clark and took down some Remains of an old one that Capt. Cook built. he likewise got the Natives to promise not to let any person take it down. While in the Bay they (The French) built two boats, dug & sowed a very good garden in hopes it might be of some service to us. this they could not get the Natives to promise not to pull down for I was over there a few days after they sailed & found it all the fence tore in Pekes and the Ground trampled all over. so we may expect but very little good from it. 14th Lt. King. Mr Jemeison Surgeon's Mate & Mr Cunningham, Masters Mate with 4 seamen, 2 Marines & 12 Convicts went on board the Supply to go to Norfolk Island & make a Settlement there which is to Supply this Colony with Pine as no light wood can be got here. Sent with them 6 Months Provisions A Boat equipt with every Necessary Article, A Sceine, Tools of all sorts. it is likewise expected to find flax there so a Weaver & a Loom was sent. Richard Widdicombe was one of the men Mr King chose to take with him so I took the opportunity of mention him to Mr King. one day at the Govonors they both spoke very much in his favour and I dont doubt but he will do well if he pleases. the next day the Supply sailed. so things went joging on till the 25 when Richard Bennet one of the Convicts must steal some provisions for which he was hung. the Convicts were constantly employed clearing Ground, building Store houses for the Reception of Provisions &c. which were built by putting trees about 2 feet in the ground so as to touch each other & thatched over with rushes. there are likewise a number of hovels built of Cabbage Tree for the officers & the Batallion. they are chiefly thatched with rushes but some are covered with Wooden tiles. the wood of which these tiles are made of Splits something like the Ash but in any other respect is not the least like it. [75] [76] 
Some of our People were employed in making a Garden on an Island which was Named Garden Island. On the 20th of March the Supply returned they found much difficulty in Landing Mr King & his Party as the surf ran so very high. in most places the Rocks are perpendicular, they at last landed in a small inlet that a reef of rocks surrounds the mouth of. only here & there a small passage for boats which as soon as you are past you get in Smoothe Water & Land on a Sandy beach. within these rocks some Turtle were seen. 
Norfolk Island abounds with great Quantities of Pine some of which were measured to be 45 feet from the bottom of the Trunk to the top of the tree and about 40 feet of which had not a knot. the diameter was from 8 to 10 feet I have heard some people say they are 170 feet in height & 100 feet clear of knots but that I think is quite out of all reason the Island is Situated in Latd.. 29.02 S Longitude 168.16 East of Greenwich. on their Passage there & on the 17 of Febry. At day Light in the morning they discovered what they thought to be two Islands bearing ESE Stood towards them all day but it proving little wind did not near them much. on the Evening the Breze freshned they kept a press of sail directly for them till Midnight & then Shortned sail till day light expecting to be near them. as the day broke saw the Land which was seen indistinctly during the night & at the same time saw a high Pyrimidical Rock which as they had not seen it before it seem'd very near them made it prudent for them to lay to till the day was a little advanced They then made all sail possible and it was not before Noon they were able to get to the Northward of this Island so as to secure a good Meridional observation which however was obtained & they had every reason to beleive they were the first Navigators who had ever seen this Island. Lieutenant Ball named it Lord Howe Island in honour of the Present first Lord of the Admiralty. It is situated in Latitude 31.36 South and Longd. 159' 02" East of Greenwich It lays in the form of a half moon its convex side towards the NE. The two Supposed Islands that were first seen proved to be two high mountains on the SE end of the Island the Southermost of which is called Mount Gower the other Mount Lidgbird between which is a deep Valley called Eskine Vale The SE point Is called Point King, the N.W Point Philip these two points form the concave side of the Island facing S.W and is lined with a Sandy Beach. on the Island which is guarded against the Sea by a reef of corral rocks at the Distance of about half a Mile from the Beach. through this reef there are several small openings for Boats but it is much to be regreted that the depth of water within this reef does not exceed any where more than 4 Feet [78] Innumerable Quantity of very fine Turtle frequent this Island in the Summer Months but they all retire to the Northward during the Winter Season there was not the Least difficulty found in taking them nor would they quit their intention, of Landing on the Beach tho they [the seamen] were busily employed in Turning & carrying into the boats as many as they could stow On the Shore are many of Gannets There are found here A dusky brown bird with a long bill & feet like a Chicken are remarkable fat & very good food but rather tough Many Pidgeons which are very Large, a white fowl something like the Guinea hen with a very Strong Red thick & Sharp pointed Bill legs like a Stout barn door fowl. they are thought Carniverous. they hold their food between their hind claw & the Bottom of their foot & lift it to their mouth without stooping so much as a Parrot does. [77] 
some of them which are supposed to be the Male have some blue feathers thinly interspersed on the Wing the Tail & Slope of the rump very much resemble the Guinea fowl. here is also a Species of Webfooted fowl in general of a deep blue with a bill of about 2 inches Long Strait but suddenly bent downwards at the end & very Sharp & Strong, a fine eye like a dove. its wings do not seemed formed for a long flight having only 6 long feathers in each Wing. its breast is covered with a very thick long down from the breast bone to the Lower part of the Belly. & what is very extrodianary [sic] this down proceeds from the tips of very strong feathers with witch the whole Brest & Belly is covered. its length from the tip of the bill to the extremity of the tail is about 22 Inches & Breadth from the tips of the Wings 25 inches. they were found & took burrowing in holes like Rabbits. there is also the Jay of the Long bill kind with a few white feathers intermixed in the Wings & tail. The Sandy Beach before Mentioned forms three distinct Bays the Northermost of which is called Callum Bay. in Respect to the Surgeon of the Supply the Middle one is Named Hunters Bay the other is Named Prince Willm. Hen Bay, which begins at Mount Gower & ends at Blackburne Island which stands about 2 Miles from the Shore near which there is not above 4 feet Water. The Island itself is Rockey, but abounds in Cabbage Palms, Mangroves & Mangenele Trees to the very tops of the Mountains. There was not seen the least sign or mark of any Quadruped whatever. The Island may be from 2 Miles to 2 1/2 miles in Breadth and about 7 or 8 in Length the Soil Sandy & rockey abounding in great Quantity of underwood. but it is supposed the Island can be of no use in respect to Agriculture but it may be a Valuable Acquisition in the Summer Months to this Settlement [Sydney Cove] for Turtle, fowl, & Fish. The Anchoring Ground on the North Side is but indifferent being a hard Rockey Bottom & if your Ship drives you must immediately cut your cable should the Wind be on the Shore.. There is no danger in Approaching the Island from the Sea. [79] The Pyrimidical Rock may be seen at the Distance of 20 Leagues. it lays about 4 Mile to the Northwd. of Lord Howe Island through Which is a Passage for any Ship. to the Northward of the Pyrimid lays 5 Distinct Rocks which are called the Admiralty Rocks This Discripsion of Lord Howe Island I got from one of the Gentlemen of the Supply who is going to England by whom I shall a Short Letter which he has promised to deliver himself to my Brother James. 
The Natives passed the ship [the Sirius anchored in Sydney Cove] daily but never came close to her. we could often see them strike fish. I have often gone to them & given them things which they readily axcept but will never part with anything, particular their fish which is their only Subsistance & I beleive they have little enough for themselves. 
On the 11 of April the Govonor & Capt Hunter went down the harbour to have a Conference with the Natives. in one of the Coves they found out a small Narrow Channel of about 100 yards [the Spit?] which led up to a Large Arm. they did not that day go to the head of it this new discovery took up his attention so much that he paid very little attention to the Natives. he returned the same Night. 15th The Govonor accompanied by several officers went from the New Discovered Arm into the Country for a few Days.. they returned on the 19th [April] having found a very fine country when he was about 3 Miles from the waterside, but near the water it was very rockey [Middle Harbour and its environs?] 21st [April 1788] Capt. Hunter employed Surveying the New Discovered Arm. 23rd The Govonor with several other officers & a Party of Marines went from the head of the harbour to Travel in Land. they Took with them 6 Days Provisions some Tents & some Hatches. 25 Capt. Hunter finished the Survey. he found it very Spacious but at some places very shoal. the Cove it runs out of is rather Shoal just at its entrance having at low water only 2 Fath at some places. but when you pass this which is not very broad you have 10 Fathom Water. 28 saw the Govr. who went further up the harbour in a boat to examine A River they had found out at the head of which was a Slate Rock. found it Navigable to within about 2 Mile of the Head. he Supposed he had been about 40 mile in Land & that it was all the Way like a Park with Trees about 20 yards Distance from each other. the country in General quite a Plain. the Grass about 3 feet high & pathes all the Way that Natives had made. [80] 
at about the distance of about 20 Miles from them when furthest in Land they saw Mountains, the very tops of them can be seen in a clear day from the head of the harbour. Water in Land is in great Plenty. they saw Several Ponds. some of them 200 Yards wide & several Widgeon in them. the soil in land they found very good.
May 1 Willm Bennet was hung for thieving. 4th went among some of the Natives. they seemed very friendly. all of them have long beards which is very troublesome to them. one of the Party Shaved one of them with a Penknife which must have been very painful to him yet he was very glad to get rid of it. [81] 
5th. Sailed the Supply for Lord Howe Island & the Lady Penrhyn for China. it is Supposed she is going to Kamscatksa for furs which she means to dispose of at China should She get clear of the Coast, for the Russians have Ships Cruizing here the same as Ships on the English Coast looking after Smuglers. She [supply] is deemd as such by them as the fur trade is a Counterband (contre?) Trade & as she has cleared out from this port [Sydney Cove] for China She may be made a prize to any Man of War that should happen to fall in with her of what Nation soever.. I should not have the least objection to fall in with her as she would be a very good prize when Loaded. 6th The Charlotte & Scarborough sailed for China 19 Another Store house being finished began clearing the remainder of the Ships. 24th For the first time 2 Natives in Canoes came alongside the Ship they were as usual very noisy & Seemed Surprized at many things he saw. they had some fish given them & after Staying near an hour they went on Shore. Could not perswade them to come on board. [82] [83] 
and I think what enticed them to come Alongside was some fish' some of the People showed them. it is their only food & they have very little of it particular in the Winter Months. they have been sometimes seen chewing the root of a ferne which they have roasted over a fire till it was so smoaky it might be smelt a Mile. 25th the Supply Arrived from Ld. Howe Island. she had been caught in a Gale of Wind when at Anchor and very near driven on the reef of Rocks (which I have before discribed laying half a Mile from the Shore) and was obliged to cut her Cable & proceed for sea as fast as possible. The Three Transports which were bound for China touched at the Island but the Turtle were all gone to the Northwd. this being the Winter Season. but the Birds were as usual. 30th Three Natives came alongside in their Canoes & Stayed near two hours. they were very much Surprized at the Ships head which is an Image.
In the Afternoon two Convicts who were sent to cut rushes were found murdered by the Natives who had thrown Several spears in them. one of them had a large peice of Scull cut out of his forehead Supposed to have been done with an Axe which they [convicts] carried with them to build a Hutt. The next Day the Govonor went up the Harbour attended by some of the Officers & some Marines to try & find out the Natives who had Murdered the Convicts. this might be very easily known as they [the natives] took from them [the murdered duo] An Axe, 2 Bill Hooks & 2 Sithes. and of course the people who are found with these tools are undoubtedly the Murderers Several Scouting parties were sent out wherever any Natives were seen to see if they have any of these tools. [84] 
June 1st
the Govr. Returned, said he had seen a party of Armed Natives to the Number of 211. he immediately Advanced towards them & one of them seeing him unarmed gave his Spear to another and met the Govonor. after a few Motions on both sides a Man presented himself who had a Deep cut on his Shoulder which must have been either from an axe or Sword. they at last parted very good friends. indeed the Natives are a very quiet sort of people when a Gun is near them for one Gun will frighten 40 of them. if you are not armed they will take the advantage of it for tho they are described as a set of people without the least curiosity they have a great deal of Cunning. 
on the 4 [June] being the Kings birthday we fired 3 Royal Salutes & a Dinner was given by the Govonor to all the officers. he than Named the intended Town Albion. the County Cumberland which extends from the Head of Botany Bay to the Head of Broken Bay which lays about 7 Mile to the Northward of this & as far in the Country as the Mountains which I before mentioned. that part of them which is nearest Botany are Named Lansdown Hills the other part is called Carmathan Mountains, very Large Bonfires were made on Shore by the Convicts & several of the Officers Mar were Robed. one man was taken in the fact. another as soon as he heard he was found out disappeared. the same day all the Cows that was brought out in this ship were lost & it was Supposed he had driven them off Several scouting Parties were sent out with orders to Shoot him if he attempted to run away. he held out till the 26 when he was taken within 2 Miles of the Encampment. at the same time the other Man lay under Sentence of Death he was immediately tryed & condemned & the next day they were both executed.
On Sunday the 22d Three distinct shocks of an earthquake were felt by several people I was on board one of the Transports & felt two of them very forcibly the other was rather fainter. it did not the least damage. it happened about 4 OClock in the Afternoon wch was & had been for some time very fine. when I told it to some on board this ship for it was not felt by any person here they supposed I must have mistook it for something else as earthquakes always happens when the weather is very bad. it was exactly like a Ship running on shore. [85] 
I forgot to mention in the proper place that when the man was taken he denied ever seeing the Cowes even to the last & we have not seen them since, nor do we ever expect to hear of them again. this is a very great loss to the Colony as we must go a long way before we can replace them. either to the Cape of Good Hope or the Philipine Islands"; I am of opinion the Natives have killed them as once before they threw a spear at one of them calling them Kangooroo at the same time.
These animals are peculiar to this Country none of them is found in any other place, their head very much resembles that of a fox. their fore legs very Short with a hand like a Monkeys its hind Legs are remarkable Long having only two Claws on each them, they have very large Tails. some [tails] have measured 18 Inches Circumference & Weighed 140 Pounds.
They have likewise a false belly. this is no more than a Bag that inside their Skin in which they serene their Young either from the Cold or the Game Keeper. they sit on their Breech & jump forward without their forefeet toutching the Ground about 3 Yards at each jump. I am of opinion their tail must be of great service to them in the Spring. [86] 
They are very shy that it is very hard to get a Shot at them, so hard that I have not been able to get any their Colour is a fine Grey over the Back, the Belly quite white their fur very fine & not above an Inch long. they are very good food & taste like a Deer & to give you a better idea of it have sent you a sketch of it.
The other sort of Quadrupeds ate the Opossum. these are the same or nearly as the Mongoose in the East Indies they have likewise the false belly are of a brown colour. their head something resembling the Kangooroo in Shape & are about the size of a Rabbit. their Tail Long by which they can hang round a Branch of a Tree. they are very good food not much unlike a Hare. there are I beleive several different sorts of them they mostly live in Trees & feed on the Leaves or any small Berry they can get. there is likewise several different sorts of Squirrels Particular the Flying Squirrel. these are in every respect like the English Squirrel but have Square Wings which reach from the shoulder to the Hind Leg & when shut lay close along the Belly & are very like the wing of a Bat they cannot fly above 60 Yards at a time & then they descend very much. very few of those have been taken.
There are several Guanas just the same as them in the west Indies. of Birds there are vast Numbers & of various Sorts but the Bird that we look on as the Greatest Curiosity is the Emew of which there has been only one Shot. it in every respect answers the discripsion of an Ostrich but in the Feathers of which two Grow from the same Quill the Quill is as small as the quill of a Small bird. the feather is very fine about 8 Inches long & very small. I had not an opportunity of seeing it as it was put in Spirits as soon as it was brought in the Camp. I beleive [sic] it is going home in one of the Transpts.. several of them (emus) have been seen since. they do not fly but run faster than any Greyhound whatever. they are not very plenty but are mostly found near Swamps this Weighed 104 Pounds & when it stood upright was about 7 feet. there are hawks, Kites, Crows, Wild Ducks & Widgeon, the same as in England. there are some Black swans but they are rather Scarce only one of them have yet been shot. The handsomest Birds here are the Loreyquets they are of different Colours but the Plumage of them are very Brilliant so much so that Paint cannot discribe their Brilliancy. however I have sent one of them Stuffed to give you an Idea of it. There are different sorts of them but all of them are very handsome. there are the Green Parroquets which are common on the Coast of Guinea & are very often brought to England, but the Lorey I never heard of in England. there is the quail exactly the same & in England & a Bird about the size of the Thrush and not much unlike them. they feed on Berries and are very good food as are most birds here. there are several small birds one in particular very like a Goldfinch. the rest are unknown to me. [87] 
Of Reptiles there are Several different sorts of Snakes but none I beleive venimous. they have been caught 9 feet Long are very beautiful Colours & scaled like a fish.
Of Trees there are many sorts the Sanguis Draconis I have already described & can say no more of them than that they are very Large in general they are mostly decayed in the heart & if the Sun gets on any of the Boards they immediately Warp & is very short Grained. another sort that looks very like the Fir Tree when Growing but the Grain is like Ash to look at but very Short. a kind of Mohoganay is to be found but not very plenty The Cabbage Tree is plenty wherever there is a run of fresh Water & good soil These are in Circumference about 26 Inches & grow to be about 20 or 25 feet high I have seen some 40 feet but these are not very common. [88] [89] [90] their Cabbage is at the top where some broad leaves spring out and the cutting off the Cabbage effectually ruins the tree for you can get but one Cabbage from one Tree the Cabbage is very good eating either as a Sallad or just as it comes out of the Tree & I beleive very good for the Scurvey there are several other sort of trees. the wood of them are not worth much as the Grain is so very short they snap with a very little Weight most of the Trees have been burnt about the root & some are quite hollow that you might stow half a Dozen hogsheads inside them there is a small Tree from the Top of which grows a light Stick about 6 or 8 feet Long with which the Natives make their Spears these Trees are about 4 feet high & are all burnt from these the Natives get their Gum with which they join their Spearhandle together when it is quite hot & Boiling out of the Tree. I have often seen two Trees grafted together & very often two sorts of wood proceed from the same root. of underwood there is a great Variety but I am not Botanist enough to distinguish one from the other except a Bush on which grows some small green Berries or currents of So. Wales which have a very pleasant strong tartness & are very good for the Scurvey. they grow in great Quantities make very good tarts but destroy a great deal of Sugar another sort is very like the furze in every other respect but it has no thorns & does not grow quite so thick but higher. there are a great many other sorts which I can give no account of.
Now I will attempt to give some Accounts of the Natives, they are in General about five feet seven or eight are very lean especially about the Arms & Legs. their hair is always kept Short & is not very Coarse. They have fish bones claws of Birds or a Dog's tail tied to their hair & gumed that it might not come off. Their Colour is dark brown but they appear quite black as their skin is constantly covered with Gum. in other respects they are like the East Indian Blacks. They go quite Naked and I beleive have no proper place of abode they all have Canoes which is just the bark of a Tree with both ends tied up & spread open with 2 or 3 Sticks in the Middle. They have a small paddle in each hand with which they paddle their Canoes which will not carry above 3 People they (the canoes) sometimes are to be seen 18 feet but their Genl. run is from 12 to 14 feet & about 2 feet Wide in these canoes their whole Subsistance depends they are always fishing. their lines are made of part of the Cabbage Tree & their hooks of some shell & I beleive in the Summer they catch a great Number - they are all given to theiving that if you lay any down & turn your head it is off if any of them are near [92] [93]. one day when our boat was hauling the Sceine A kettle was taken by one of the men to boil some fish for his breakfast. a Native observed him put the fish in the Kettle as soon as his back was turned A Native wipt both his hands in the kettle (not having any idea of boiling Water) to steal the fish but before he got his hands to the fish was glad to take them away again, & walk off with himself. [91] 
They shelter in Cavities in the Rocks & make a large fire. But about Botany Bay there are none of these Cavities so they get the Bark of a Tree about 10 feet tong, bend it in the middle & place the two ends of it on the Ground at about 6 Feet Distance & filling up one of the entrances, this makes them a hutt.
They have a number of Dogs belonging to them which they call Tingo. they do not bark like our Dogs but howl. the Govonor has one of them that he intends Sending home in one of the Transports. they are the Wolf Dog - are the Colour of a fox & have a brush tail. at first would eat nothing but fish that being his constant food. [94] 
Several of the Natives have one of their teeth out of the Upper Jaw. what this means I could never find out but they are respected by the rest & seem to have some authority over them. some people say it denotes their being Married which gives them this Authority. As for their Spears I have sent you a scetch of them with a Discripsion & use of each they have some of them a bone go across their Nose through the Middle part of it which parts the two Nostrils - about 6 Inches Long they look on it as a great Ornament. some of them paint themselves about the face, are very fond of painting round their Eyes White. they have a Number of Scars about their Breast & Shoulders, they at our first Arrival seemed to wish very much for our hats which plainly shows the sun hurts their head. None of them ever came in the encampment to Stay any time & I think it will be a long time before they will be of any Service in the Colony.
The Climate is exceeding fine & healthy much more so than I expected for since the Landing we have lost only 39 Convicts, 3 of the Marines, one Man from the Supply & one from us. at the first Landing most people had a Slight touch of the flux but that soon Wore off. it was owing to the confinement some of the Convicts had as they have lain in a Gaol some 3 some 4 Years.. they are at present prety healthy. in respect to Vegetables we have here are very few. there is a Plant very like the Spinage in England which afford us a most excellent repast with a piece of - I was going to say Pork, but will call it Bacon. there is a sort of beans which are very good but not very plenty. Samphire here is in great Quantities the only thing Wanted is Ingredients to Pickel them with. there is likewise a sort of Kidney Bean which grows on the Rocks which are very good Pickled but no other way. 
So much will I say for the Country, Birds, Beasts &c & now for myself On Mr King's going to Norfolk I was appointed to act as Junior Lieutenant until further orders. Now you most likely will know my fate before I shall myself that is whether they will continue Mr King as Govonor of Norfolk or no. Some People must constantly be kept there for the Pine which is a very great Acquisition to this Colony as no wood here is fit to build any vessal of that I have seen. it is so very short grained it will break off very short. if Mr King continues I shall be confirmed if not I must wait for another opportunity at all events I think it will be for my good to Stay out till something is done for me, now I wish your opinion on that head. [95] 
I am very well off for all sorts of Clothes except Shoes of which I have only 2 Pair left & what I shall do till you can send some out I dont know However I should be very much obliged to you to send me a Dozen & a half pair of Shoes & some of them of the Shooting Sort just such as I left behind me, another sort thick & a few pair thin. I beleive my foot has grown much since the last shoes were made me so pray tell Huskin they were rather stinted in the upper Leather. the length of my foot at present is 10 Inches so he is may make them in every way Proportionable. 
When I was at the Cape of Good Hope I was rather in want of Money & drew a Bill on Mr Coombes to the Amount of Ten Pounds. I wrote a short Letter which I left unsealed with the Person who gave me the Money. for that as well as the good fitting out I got in England I again return you my thanks & hope I shall not be any more expence to you for at least 5 or 6 Year, except for a very few articles such as Shoes. I should likewise be very thankful for a Couple pair of buckles and a few Pocket Handkerchiefs & some soap, of which I brough about a Half Hundred Weight from England but that will be out I am afraid before you will be able to assist me. some Towels very coarse, and some large table cloths I shall want very bad, if they are sent out in the Peice I can get them made here.
The Govonor Continues his kindness for me & I dont doubt but he will do all in his power to get me Confirmed. There are two young men come out of Merchant ships that have passed but I beleive they will not stand so good a chance as the Gentlemen who came out of England in the ship. One of them is Son to the Agent of transports.
I dare say you must remember Mr Collins who was at Brent & quarreled with Mr Aymeatt. he is going to England & is to carry this Letter. he promised to deliver it himself which I have taken Very kind of him & likewise that it will be a great Satisfaction to you to see a person who came immediately from me. He has been very ill since he has been here & finds the Climate or the Living not to agree with him. The Latter I think is as bad as any person need live having only Salt Provisions. Now the Winter Months are Set in very few fish to be got. [96] 
all the Transports are not going home now as there are not Store houses enough to receive their Cargo but I hope soon we shall have Brick houses as Bricks are making very Fast & a good Brick Kiln built & they have burnt several Thousand. The Agent Lieut Shortland is to carry home the Dispatches & I dare say will be home about March (1789). you will know that before me so I might have saved myself the Trouble of Mentioning that. The Reason of my giving the Different Variations of the Compass is that if any of my Acquaintance Should come out in the next fleet they will be of some service to him. I forgot to mention among the birds the Cockatoo. they are about the size of a large owl. quite as white as Milk all over except a few Yellow feathers on the top of their head which have a pretty effect. they are very indifferent food & make a disagreeable Noise so the only handsome thing belonging to them is their Plumage. 
I dare say the News Papers have lost us in many Gales of Wind & have been Split on many Rocks,, Run away with by the convicts Several Times & many other ways Destroyed.. I should be glad if you would take notice of all these Reports & send me an an Account of it. I fancy I must now Conclude by desiring my Respectful Compliments to Capt. & Mrs Ourry & Palmer, Dr & Mrs Birdwood & to make Short all my friends near & about the South Hams, my Love to my Brothers, My Duty to my Mother & Aunts Pauncefort & Digby I hope my Cousin Henry is now in the West Indies or in Some Smart Cruizing Frigate and I dont doubt but he will make a good Seaman if I might guess by what little I could see of him when at Portsmouth. I must again remind you how very Short I am of Shoes & then Subscribe myself as
Your dutiful Son
Newton Fowell.
Sydney Cove in
Port Jackson
July 12. 1788
The Ships Sail the 16th 1788