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1-011 (Text)

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addressee,family author,male,Fowell, Newton,23
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Irvine, 1988
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1-011-plain.txt — 5 KB

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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 ...  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.  
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.  
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