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Collins, 1798
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May. The mortality in the last month had been extremely great. Distressing as it was, however, to see the poor wretches daily dropping into the grave, it was far more afflicting to observe the countenances and emaciated persons of many that remained soon to follow their miserable companions.  Every step was taken that could be deviled to save them; a fishery was established at the South-head, exclusively for the use of the sick, under the direction of one Barton, who had been formerly a pilot, and who, in addition to this duty, was to board all ships coming into the harbour and pilot them to the settlement. The different people who were employed by individuals to kill game were given up for the use of the hospital; and to stimulate them to exertion, two pounds of flour in addition to the ration were ordered for every kangooroo that they should bring, beside the head, one fore-quarter, and the pluck of the animal.
The weakest of the convicts were excused from any kind of hard labour; but it was not hard labour that destroyed them; it was an entire want of strength in the constitution to receive nourishment, to throw off the debility that pervaded their whole system, or to perform any fort of labour whatever.
This dreadful mortality was chiefly confined to the convicts who had arrived in the last year; of one hundred and twenty-two male convicts who came out in the Queen transport from Ireland, fifty only were living at the beginning of this month. The different robberies which were committed were also confined to this class of the convicts, and the wretches who were concerned in the commission of them were in general too weak to receive a punishment adequate to their crimes. Their universal plea was hunger; but it was a plea that in the then situation of the colony could not be so much attended to as it certainly would have been in a country of greater plenty.
The quantity of Indian corn stolen and destroyed this season was not ascertained, but was supposed to have been at least one Sixth of what was railed. The people employed in bringing it in daily reported that they found immense piles of the hulks and stalks concealed in the midst of what was standing, having been there shelled and taken off at different times. This was a very serious loss, and became an object of immediate consideration in Such a scarcity as the colony then experienced; most anxiously it expected supplies from England, which did not arrive, though the time had elapsed in which they should have appeared had their departure taken place at the period mentioned by the secretary of state (the autumn of last year). His excellency therefore thought it prudent still farther to abridge the ration of flour which was then issued; and on the 9th of the month directed the commissary to Serve weekly, until further orders, one pound and an half of flour with four pounds of maize to each man; and one pound and an half of flour with three pounds of maize to each woman, and to every child ten years of age; but made no alteration in the ration of salt provisions.  
This ration was to take place on Saturday the 12th ; and as maize or Indian corn was now necessarily become the principal part of each person's subsistence, hand-mills and querns were set to work to grind it coarse for every person both at Sydney and at Parramatta; and at this latter place, wooden mortars, with a lever and a pestle, were also used to break the corn, and these pounded it much finer than it could be ground by the hand-mills; but it was effected with great labour.
On comparing this ration with that issued in the month of April 1790, it will appear that the allowance then received from the public store was in most respects better than that now ordered. We then received, in addition to two pounds and a half of flour, two pounds of rice, which taken together yielded more nutritive substance than the four pounds of maize and one pound and a half of flour; for the maize when perfectly ground, sifted, and divested of the unwholesome and unprofitable part, the hulk, would not give more than three pounds of good meal; and the rice was used by the convicts in a much greater variety of modes than it was possible to prepare the maize in.
As at this period the flour in store was reduced to a very inconsiderable quantity, twenty-four days at the new ration, (one pound and a half per week,) and the salt provisions at the present ration not affording a Supply for a longer time than three months, it became a melancholy, although natural reflection, that had not such numbers died, both in the passage and Since the landing of those who survived the voyage, we should not at this moment have had any thing to receive from the public stores; thus strangely did we derive a benefit from the miseries of our fellow - creatures!
Several of the settlers who had farms at or near Parramatta, notwithstanding the extreme drought of the season preceding the laying of their corn, had such crops that they found themselves enabled to take off from the public store, some one, and others two convicts, to assist in preparing their grounds for the next season.  The salt provisions with which they supplied them they procured by bartering their corn for that article, reserving a sufficiency for the support of themselves and families, and for feed. Mr. Schaffer from a Small patch of ground got in about two hundred bushels of Indian corn; and with the assistance of four convicts expected to have thirty acres in cultivation the next season. But others of the settlers, inattentive to their own interests, and more desirous of acquiring for the present what they deemed comforts, than studious to provide for the future, not only neglected the cultivation of their lands, but sold the breeding flock with which they had been Supplied by order of the governor. Two settlers of the former description having clearly forfeited their grants, and it being understood. that they did not intend to proceed to cultivation any further than to save appearances till they could get away, their grants were taken from them, and other settlers placed on the grounds. But exclusive of the idle people, of which there were but few, the settlers were found in general to be doing very well, their farms promising to place them shortly in a state of independence on the public stores in the articles of provisions and grain; and it must not be omitted in this account, that they had to combat with the bad effects of a short and reduced ration nearly the whole of the time that they had been employed in cultivating ground on their own account.
Many complaints having been made by the Settlers, of depredations committed on their Indian corn by some of the convicts, it was ordered, that every convict residing at Parramatta, who should be fully convicted before a magistrate of stealing Indian corn, should, in addition to such corporal punishment as he might think it necessary to adjudge, be sent from Parramatta to the New Grounds, there to be employed in cultivation. Mr. Richard Atkins, who came out in the Pitt, and who had been sworn a justice of the peace, went up to Parramatta to reside there, the constant presence of a magistrate being deemed by the governor indispensable at that settlement.
It was soon perceived, that the punishment of being sent from Parramatta was more dreaded by the convicts than any corporal correction, however Severe, that could have been inflicted on them. The being deprived of a comfortable hut and garden, and quitting a place whence the communication with Sydney was frequent, particularly when shipping were in the cove, operated so powerfully with one offender, who was ordered out to the 'New Grounds, that he chose rather to make an attempt to destroy himself than be sent thither; and had very nearly effected his purpose, having made an incision in his neck of such depth as to lay bare the carotid artery.  
In addition to the depredations of our own people, the natives had for some time been suspected of stealing the corn at the settlements beyond Parramatta. On the 18th a party of the tribe inhabiting the woods, to the number of fifteen or sixteen, was observed coming out of a hut at the middle settlement, dressed in such clothing as they found there, and taking with them a quantity of corn in nets. The person who saw them imagined at first from their appearance that they were convicts; but perceiving one of them preparing to throw a spear at him, he levelled his piece, which was loaded with Small shot, and fired at him. The native instantly dropped his spear, and the whole party ran away, leaving behind them the nets with the corn, some blankets, and one or two spears. It was supposed that the native was wounded; for in a few days information was received from Parramatta, that a convict who was employed in well-digging at Prospect Hill, having come in from thence to receive some flops which were issued, was on his return met midway and murdered, or rather butchered by some of the natives. When the body was found, it was not quite cold, and had at least thirty Spear wounds in it. The head was cut in several places, and most of the teeth were knocked out. They had taken his clothing and provisions, and the provisions of another man which he was carrying out to him. The natives with whom we had intercourse said, that this murder was committed by some of the people who inhabited the woods, and was done probably in revenge for the shot that was fired at the natives who Some time before were stripping the hut.
Toward the end of the month the corn was all got in and housed at Parramatta. As the grounds were cleared of the stalks, the depredations which had been committed became visible; and several of the convicts were detected by the night-watch in bringing in large quantities of shelled corn which had been stolen, buried or concealed in the woods, and shelled as they could find opportunity.  Seven bushels were recovered in one night by the vigilance of the watch; and as different quantities were found from time to time in the huts, the people who resided in them were all ordered to the New Grounds.
The works during this month, both at Sydney and at Parramatta, went on but slowly. At Sydney a tank that would contain about seven thousand nine hundred and ninety-six gallons of water, with a well in the centre fifteen feet deep, was finished, and the water let into it. Brick huts were in hand for the convicts in room of the miserable hovels occupied by many, which had been put up at their first landing, and in room of others which, from having been erected on such ground as was then cleared, were now found to interfere with the direction of the streets which the governor was laying out. People were also employed in cutting paling for fencing in their gardens. At Parramatta and the New Grounds, during the greatest part of the month, the people were employed in getting in the maize and sowing wheat. A foundation for an hospital was laid, a house built for the master carpenter, and roofs prepared for the different huts either building, or to be built in future.
The following were the prices of grain and other articles, as they were sold during this month at Sydney, and at the market-place at Parramatta.  
June. With infinite satisfaction it was observed at the beginning of the month, that the mortality and sickness among the people had very much decreased. This was attributed by the medical gentlemen to the quantities of fresh meat which had been obtained at Parramatta by the people who were employed to shoot for the hospital; a sufficiency having been brought in at one time to supply the sick with fresh meat for a week; and for the remainder of the month in the proportion of twice or three times a week. Great quantities of vegetables had also been given to those who were in health, as well as to the sick, both from the public ground at the farther settlement, (which had been sown, and produced some most excellent turnips,) and from the governor's garden.
4th. The anniversary of his Majesty's birth-day was observed with as much distinction as was in our power. The governor always wished to celebrate that day in the year in a manner that should render it welcome to all descriptions of people in the different settlements. Heretofore on the same occasion he had increased the ration of provisions; but the situation of the public stores not admitting of such increase at the present, the commissary was directed to issue on that day half a pint of rum to each person of the civil and military department, and a quarter of a pint of rum to each female in the settlement. At noon the New South Wales corps fired three vollies, and the governor received the compliments of the day; after which the officers of each department were entertained by his Excellency at dinner at government-house. Bonfires were made at night, and the day concluded joyfully, without any interruption to the peace of the settlement.
The small allowance of spirits which was given for the day to the convalescents, and to such sick in the hospital as the surgeon judged proper, being found of infinite service to them, the governor directed that the surgeon should receive a certain quantity, and at his discretion issue it from time to time to such sick under his care as he thought would derive benefit from it; the remainder was ordered to be reserved for the use of the sloop when it might be necessary to send her to sea.  The spirits at this time in the colony were the surplus of what had been sent out for his majesty's ship Sirius, and the Supply armed tender.
As it had been customary too, on this day, to grant a pardon to such offenders as might be in custody or under sentence of corporal punishment, his Excellency was pleased a few days after to release such convicts as were sentenced to work in irons for a limited time at Parramatta and the New Grounds, and who were not very notorious offenders. This lenity was the rather shewn at this time, as the convicts were in general giving proofs of a greater disposition to honesty than had for some time been visible among them. The convicts at the New Grounds being assembled for this purpose, the governor acquainted them, "that the state of the colony requiring a still farther reduction in the ration, it would very shortly take place; but that "he hoped soon to have it in his power to augment it". The deficiencies in the established ration, he informed them, should at a future " period be made up; but in the meantime he expected that every " man would continue to exert himself and get the corn into the " ground to insure support for the next year." Indeed these exertions became every day more necessary. On the 6th of this month there was only a sufficiency of flour in store to serve till the 2d of July, and salt provisions till the 6th of August following, at the ration then issued; and neither the Atlantic storeship from Calcutta, nor the expected supplies from England, had arrived.
Notwithstanding the mortality and sickness which had prevailed among the convicts who came out in the last ships, much labour had been performed at the New Grounds by those who were capable of handling the hoe and the spade. At this time the quantity of ground in wheat, and cleared and broken up for maize, there and at Parramatta, was such as (if not visited again by a dry season) would at least, computing the produce even at what it was the last year, yield a sufficiency of grain for all our numbers for a twelvemonth. But every one doubted the possibility of getting all the corn into the ground within the proper time, unless the colony should be very speedily relieved from its distresses, as the reduction in the ration would inevitably be followed by a diminution of the daily labour.  
On the 20th however, to the inexpressible joy of all ranks of people in the settlements, the Atlantic storeship anchored safely in the cove, with a cargo of rice, soujee, and dholl, from Calcutta, having been much longer performing her voyage than was expected, owing to some delays at Calcutta, in settling and arranging the contract for the supply of provisions which had been required. The merchants who, in the year 1790, had made a tender to supply this colony with certain articles at a stipulated price, were, from several concurring circumstances, unable to furnish what was required by Lieutenant Bowen, agreeable to the prices then stipulated; it was therefore determined by the members of the council at Calcutta, to whom Lieutenant Bowen delivered his letters and instructions, (Earl Cornwallis, who had, several months previous to his arrival, been desired by the secretary of state to direct any supplies which might be required for this settlement, being absent with the army,) to invite offers for supplying the different articles which were required by contract. Lieutenant Bowen arrived at Calcutta on the 4th of February, and it was not till the 27th of the following month that the business was finally arranged, and a contract entered into by the house of Lambert, Ross, and Co. satisfactory to the council and to Lieutenant Bowen.
It appearing that the flour of Bengal, unless it was dressed for the purpose, which would have taken a great deal of time, was not of a quality to keep even for the voyage from Calcutta to this country, a large proportion of rice, of that sort which was laid to be the fittest for preservation, was purchased. A small quantity of flour too was put on board, but merely for the purpose of experiment. It was called soujee by the natives, but was much inferior in quality to the flour prepared in Europe, and more difficult to make into bread.
The Atlantic left Calcutta the 28th of March, and on her passage met with much bad weather, and some heavy gales of wind. She brought two bulls and a cow of the Bengal breed, together with twenty sheep and twenty goats; but these were of so diminutive a species, that, unless the breed could be considerably improved by that already in the country, very little benefit was for a length of time to be expected from their importation.  Various feeds and plants also were received from the company's botanical garden; and much commendation was due to Colonel Kydd, the gentleman who superintended the selection and arrangement of them for the voyage; as well as to Lieutenant Bowen, for his care, and for the accommodation which he gave up, both to them and to the cattle, in the cabin of the ship.
Information was received by the Calcutta papers of the loss of his Majesty's ship Pandora, Captain Edwards, who had been among the Friendly Islands in search of Christian and his piratical crew, fourteen of whom he had secured, and was returning with the purpose of surveying Endeavour Straits pursuant to his instructions, when he unfortunately struck upon a reef in latitude 23° S. eleven degrees only to the northward of this port. By his boats he providentially reached Timor with ninety-nine of his officers and people, being the whole of his ship's company which were saved. At Timor, on his arrival, he found Bryant and his companions, who made their escape from this place in the fishing cutter in the night of the 28th of March 1791. These people had framed and told a plausible tale of distress, of their having been cast away at lea ; and this for a time was believed; but they soon, by their language to each other, and by practising the tricks of their former profession, gave room for suspicion; and being taken up, their true characters and the circumstances of their escape were divulged. The Dutch governor of Timor delivered them to Captain Edwards, who took them on with him to Batavia, whence he was to proceed to England. The circumstance of these people having reached Timor confirmed what was suggested immediately after their departure, that the master of the snow Waaksamheyd had furnished Bryant with instructions how to proceed, and with every thing he stood in need of for his voyage; and it must be remembered, that though this man, during his stay in this port, had constantly laid that every fort of refreshment was to be procured at Timor, yet when Captain Hunter, while at lea, proposed to steer for that island, he declared that nothing was to be got there, and so prevented that officer from going thither. There cannot be a doubt that, expecting to find his friends at Timor, he did not choose either to endanger them, or risk a discovery of the part he had acted in aiding their escape.  
Had it not been for the fortunate discovery and subsequent delivery of these people to a captain of a British man of war, the evident practicability of reaching Timor in an open boat might have operated with others to make the attempt, and to carry off boats from the settlements; which, during the absence of the king's ships belonging to the station, was never difficult; and it was now hoped, that the certainty of every boat which should reach that or any other Dutch settlement under similar circumstances being suspected and received accordingly, would have its due effect here.
The supply of provisions received by the Atlantic being confined to grain, it became necessary to reduce the ration of salt meat. It was therefore ordered on the 21st, that after the Friday following only two pounds of pork should be issued in lieu of four. The allowance of one pound and a half of flour and four pounds of maize was continued, but one pound of rice and one quart of pease were added.
The general order given out on this occasion stated, "That the arrival of ships with further supplies of provisions might be daily looked for; but as it was possible that some unforeseen accident might have happened to the ships which were expected to have sailed from England shortly after the departure of the Pitt, it became necessary to reduce the ration of provisions then issued, in order that the quantity in store might hold out till the arrival of those ships, which might be supposed to have sailed for this country about the months of January or February last; it having been the intention of government that ships should fail from England for this colony twice in every year. And as all deficiencies in the ration were to be made good hereafter, the following extract from the instructions which fixed the ration for the colony was inserted, viz. Ration for each marine and male convict for seven days successively: 7 pounds of bread, or in lieu thereof 7 pounds of flour; 7 pounds of beef, or in lieu thereof 4 pounds of pork; 3 pints of pease; 6 ounces of butter; 1 pound of flour, or in lieu thereof 1/2 a pound of rice: Being the same as are allowed his Majesty's troops serving in the West-India Islands, excepting only the allowance of spirits.  
And two thirds of the above ration were directed to be issued to each woman in the settlement. So far the general order.
As, however, a sufficient quantity of rice could not be landed in time to issue on the Saturday, one pound of maize was issued in lieu of the same quantity of rice.
At this ration the rice and flour or soujee were calculated to last five months; and the pease or dholl for nearly a twelvemonth. But if the Atlantic had not arrived, the prospect in the colony would have been truly dreary and distressing; as it was intended to have issued only one pound and a half of flour, three pounds of maize, and two pounds of pork per week, on Saturday the 23d; a ration that would have derived very little assistance from vegetables, as at that season of the year the gardens had scarcely any thing in them. Gloomy and unpromising, however, as was the situation of the settlements before her arrival, that event, which happened the very day on which, two years before, the colony had been relieved by the arrival of the Justinian storeship, cast a gleam of sunshine which penetrated every one capable of reflection, and, by effecting a sudden change in the ideas, operated so powerfully on the mind, that we all felt alike, and found it impossible to fit for one minute seriously down to any business or accustomed pursuit.
A black, the same who had secreted himself on board the Supply when she went to Batavia, having found means to conceal himself on board the Atlantic on her departure for Calcutta, and to remain concealed until she had left Norfolk Island, was brought back again to the settlement, notwithstanding he endeavoured to escape from the ship in the Ganges. As it appeared that he had served the term for which he was sentenced to be transported even before he got off on board the Atlantic, (of which Lieutenant Bowen had only his assertion,) no punishment was inflicted upon him, and he was left at liberty to get away in any ship that would receive him on board.
The little live stock that was received by the Atlantic was landed at Parramatta directly after her arrival, and placed in an inclosure separated from the others.  
About two hundred and fifty gallons of Bengal rum having been received, the governor directed, that in consequence of the ration being reduced, that quantity, together with what was in store, and had been intended for the use of the sloop at a future time, should be issued to the civil and military, reserving a proportion for those at Norfolk Island.
The flag-staff which had been erected at the South Head under the direction of Captain Hunter, in the month of January 1790, being found too short to skew the signal at any great distance, a new one was taken down the harbour, and erected the day the Atlantic arrived, within a few feet of the other; its height above ground was sixty feet.
It was not found that the return of the Atlantic had caused any diminution in the price of grain or flock, either at Parramatta or at Sydney. At this latter place a market had been established for the sale of grain, fish, or poultry, similar to that at Parramatta; a clerk being appointed to superintend it, and take account of the different articles brought for Sale, to prevent the barter of goods stolen by the convicts.
On the last day of the month, some natives residing at the South shore of Botany Bay, whether from a hope of reward, or from actually having seen some ships at a distance, informed the governor that a few days before they had perceived four or five sail, one of which they described to be larger than the others, standing off the land, with a westerly wind. Little credit was however given to their report.
July. As the merchants who supplied the provisions received by the Atlantic were only to be paid for such part of the cargo as was actually landed, and found to be in a merchantable condition, it became necessary to weigh and survey the whole of the cargo; for which purpose two Surveyors were appointed by the governor. This of course proved a very tedious business, from the weakness of the gangs at Sydney. Seldom more than four hundred bags, each bag containing one hundred and sixty-four pounds, were at first landed in a day; latterly, this number was by great exertions got up to Somewhat more than five hundred in a day. It was nor, however, till the 21st of the month that she was cleared.
Having discharged her cargo, she began the serious labour of ballasting, and it being wished to expedite her preparations for Norfolk Island, her ship's company were assisted with twelve convicts from the settlement, and the occasional use of Such boats as could be spared to convey the ballast to the ship.  The governor was anxious to learn the state of that dependency, not having heard from it since the return of the Queen transport early in the last December.
The maize being all got in, it was hoped that the convicts would not find any new object for their depredations, and that order and tranquillity would for a time at least be restored among them. But the houses of individuals soon became their prey, and three or four daring burglaries were committed this month: I say daring burglaries, as the houses which were broken into were either within the view of a centinel, or within the round of a watchman. This, however, must not be otherwise understood than as a proof of the perseverance and cunning of these people, who could find means to elude any vigilance that was opposed to their designs. An attempt to steal some of the sheep at Parramatta was also made by two notorious offenders, who, from being deemed incorrigible, were not included in the pardon which the governor granted to the wretches in irons after his Majesty's birth-day, but were ordered to be chained together for Some longer time. Being fortunately overheard by the person who lived in the inclosure, and had the care of the Rock, he Snapped a piece at them, and, finding it miss fire, gave an alarm to the watch, by whose activity they were apprehended two miles from the place. They were provided with every thing necessary for their design, such as a tomahawk, an iron kettle, knives, Spoons, platters, and a quantity of vegetables. It was found, that with the assistance of the tomahawk they had divided the chain that linked them together, and had secured round the leg the iron that remained with each, so as not to be heard when they moved.
The different species of provisions which had been received from Calcutta were not much esteemed by the people. The flour or soujee, from our not knowing the proper mode of preparing it for bread, soon became sour, particularly if not assisted with Some other grain; the dholl, or pease, were complained of as boiling hard, and not breaking, though kept on the fire for a greater length of time than the impatience of those who were to use it would in general admit of; and the rice, though termed the best of the cargo, was found to be full of husks, and ill dressed.  Some pork also, of which eight casks had been lent as an experiment, was, on being issued, found to be for the most part putrid, and, in the language of surveyors of provisions, not fit for men to eat. These circumstances, together with the extreme minuteness of the Bengal breed of cattle, excited a general hope, that these settlements would not have to depend upon that country for supplies. To the parent country every one anxiously looked for a speedy and substantial assistance; and day after day used to pass in a fruitless hope that the morrow would come accompanied with, the long wished-for arrival of ships.
The natives who lived among us assured us from time to time, that the report formerly propagated of ships having been Seen on the coast had a foundation in reality; and as every one remembered that the Justinian, after making the heads of Port Jackson, had been kept at sea for three weeks, a fond hope was cherished that the sun had shone upon the whitened sails of some approaching vessel, which had been discovered by the penetrating eyes of our Savage neighbours at Botany Bay. In this anxiety and expectation we remained till the 26th, when the long-wished-for signal was made, and in a few hours after the Britannia store-ship, Mr. William Raven master, anchored in the cove, after a passage of twenty-three weeks from Falmouth, having failed from thence on the 15th of last February, the day after the arrival of the Pitt in this country.
The Britannia was the first of three ships that were to be dispatched hither, having on board twelve months clothing for the convicts, four months flour, and eight months beef and pork for every description of persons in the Settlements, at full allowance, calculating their numbers at four thousand six hundred and thirty-nine, which it was at home Supposed they might amount to after the arrival of the Pitt. It was still a matter of uncertainty in England, even at the departure of the Britannia, whether the merchants of Calcutta had supplied this country with provisions; and under the idea that some circumstance might have prevented them, this supply was ordered to be forwarded. The Kitty transport, one of the three ships which were to contain these Supplies, had sailed from Deptford, at the time the Britannia passed through the Downs; her arrival therefore might be daily expected - and in her, or on board of the other ship, it was imagined that fifteen families of Quakers, who had made proposals to government to be received in this country as settlers, were to take their passage.  
It was with great pleasure heard in the colony, that some steps had been taken toward prosecuting Donald Trail, the master of the Neptune transport, for his treatment of the convicts with which he failed from England for this settlement in the year 1790. The sickness and mortality which prevailed among them excited a suspicion that they had been improperly treated; and information upon oath was soon procured of many acts of neglect, ill usage, and cruelty toward them.
In consequence of the arrival of the Britannia, the commissary was on the following day directed to issue, until further orders, the following weekly ration; viz.
To each man 4 pounds of maize,
3 pounds of soujee,
7 pounds of beef, or in lieu thereof 4 lbs. of pork,
3 pints of pease or dholl, and
1/2 a pound of rice.
Two thirds of the man's ration was directed to be issued to each woman and to every child above ten years of age; one half of the man's ration to each child above two, and under ten years of age; and one fourth of the man's ration to each child under two years of age.
Thus happily was the colony once more put upon something like a full ration of provisions; a change in our situation that gave universal satisfaction, as at the hour of the arrival of the Britannia there were in the public store only twenty-four days salt provisions for the settlement at the ration then issued. A delay of a month in her voyage would have placed the colony in a state that must have excited the commiseration of its greatest enemies; a vast body of hard-working people depending for their Support upon one pound and a half of soujee, or bad Bengal flour, four pounds of maize, one pound of rice, and one quart of pease for one man per week, without one ounce of meat! But with this new ration all entertained new hopes, and trusted that their future labours would be crowned with success, and that the necessity of sending out supplies from the mother country until the colony could support itself without assistance would have become so evident from the frequency of our distresses and the reduction of the ration, that the journalist would no longer have occasion to fill his page with comparisons between what we might have been and what we were; to lament the non-arrival of supplies; nor to paint the miseries and wretchedness which ensued; but might adopt a language to which he might truly be said to have been hitherto a stranger, and paint the glowing prospects of a golden harvest, the triumph of a well-filled store, and the increasing and consequent prosperity of the settlements.  
His excellency this month thought fit to exercise the power vested in him by act of parliament, and by his Majesty's commission under the great seal, of remitting either wholly, or in part, the term for which felons might be transported, by granting an absolute remission of the term for which Elizabeth Perry had been sentenced. This woman came out in the Neptune in 1790, and had married James Ruse a settler. The good conduct of the wife, and the industry of the husband, who had for Some time Supported himself, his wife, a child, and two convicts, independent of the public store, were the reasons assigned in the instrument which restored her to her rights and privileges as a free woman, for extending to her the hand of forgiveness.
This power, So pleasing to the feelings of its possessor, had hitherto been very sparingly exercised; and those persons who had felt its influence were not found to have been undeserving. I speak only of such convicts as had been deemed proper objects of this favour by the governor himself; the convicts, however, who came out in the Guardian were emancipated by the King's command, and of these by far the greater part conducted themselves with propriety.
Preparing roofs for new barracks, bringing in bricks to the spot appointed for their construction, and discharging the Atlantic and the Britannia, were the principal works in hand at Sydney during the month. - At the settlements beyond Parramatta (which had lately obtained and were in future to be distinguished by the name of Toongab-be) the convicts were employed in preparing the ground for the reception of next year's crop of maize. At and near Parramatta, the chief business was erecting two houses on allotments of land which belonged to Mr. Arndell the assistant surgeon, and to John Irving, (one of those persons whose exemplary conduct and meritorious behaviour both in this country and on the passage to it had been rewarded with unconditional freedom by the governor,) each of whom had been put in possession, the former of sixty and the latter of thirty acres of land on the creek leading to Parramatta; erecting chimnies for the different settlers at the ponds, preparing roofs for various buildings, sawing timber, cutting posts and railing for inclosures, and hoeing and preparing ground for maize.  

August. The Britannia was cleared, and discharged from government employs on the 17th of this month. A deficiency appearing in the weight of the salt provisions delivered from that ship, a survey was immediately ordered; and it appeared from the report of the persons employed to conduct it, (and who from their situations were well qualified to judge, Mr. Bowen, a lieutenant in the navy, and Mr. Raven, the commander of the Britannia and a master of a man of war,) that the casks of beef were deficient, on an average, thirty-six pounds and one-third, and the tierces twenty-one pounds and one-third. It also appeared that the meat was lean, coarse, and boney, and worse than they had ever seen issued in his Majesty's service.  A deception of this nature would be more severely felt in this country, as its inhabitants had but lately experienced a change from a very short ration of salt provisions; and every ounce lost here was of importance, as the supply had been calculated on a Supposition of each cask containing its full weight.
It having been covenanted, as already mentioned, by Messrs., Lamberr, Ross, and Company, that only such part of the cargo as on its arrival here should be found to be in a merchantable state should be paid for, the following quantity, having been deemed merchantable by the persons appointed to take the survey, was received into the store; viz.  
Eight casks of pork, (as an experiment,) from Lambert and Company; and two casks of rum containing one hundred and twenty-six gallons, supplied at 3s. per gallon. Four casks of flour, and four casks of soujee from Mr. Cockraine, (sent likewise as an experiment,) were also received into the store.
The unmerchantable articles, consisting of soujee, dholl, and rice, were sold at public auction; and though wholly unfit for men to eat, yet being not too bad for stock, were quickly purchased, and in general went off at a great price. Several lots, consisting of five bags of the soujee, each bag containing about one hundred and fourteen pounds, sold for 41. 14s. The whole quantity of damaged grain which was thus disposed of amounted to nine hundred and ninety-one bags, and sold for 3731. 9S. making a most desirable and acceptable provision for the private stock in the colony.  
Such as should be desirous of returning to England were informed, that no obstacle would be thrown in their way, they being at liberty to ship themselves on board of such vessels as would give them a passage. And those who preferred labouring for the public, and receiving in return such ration as should be issued from the public stores, were to give in their names to the commissary, who would victual and clothe them as long as their services might be required.
Of those, here and at Parramatta, who had fulfilled the Centence of the law, by far the greater part signified their intention of returning to England by the first opportunity; but the getting away from the colony was now a matter of some difficulty, as it was understood that a clause was to be inserted in all future contracts for shipping for this country, subjecting the masters to certain penalties, on certificates being received of their having brought away any convicts or other persons from this settlement without the governor's permission; and as it was not probable that many of them would, on their return, refrain from the vices or avoid the society of those companions who had been the causes of their transportation to this country, not many could hope to obtain the sanction of the governor for their return.
With very few exceptions, however, the uniform good behaviour of the convicts was still to be noted and commended.
September. The month of September was ushered in with rain, and storms of wind, thunder, and lightning. At Parramatta and Toongabbe too, as well as at Sydney, much rain fell for several days. On the return of fine weather, it was seen with general satisfaction, that the wheat sown at the latter settlement looked and promised well, and had not suffered from the rain.
Early in the month the criminal court was assembled for the trial of Benjamin Ingram, a man who had served the term for which he was ordered to be transported. He had broken into a house belonging to a female convict, in which he was detected packing up her property for removal. Being found guilty he received sentence of death; but, on the recommendation of the court, the governor was induced to grant him a pardon, upon condition of his residing for life on Norfolk Island. With this extension of mercy the culprit was not made acquainted till that moment had arrived which he thought was to separate him from this world for ever.  Upon the ladder, and expecting to be turned off, the condition on which his life was spared was communicated to him; and with gratitude both to God and the governor, he received the welcome tidings. He afterwards confessed, that he had for some time past been in the habit of committing burglaries and other depredations; for, having taken himself off the stores to avoid working for the public, he was frequently distressed for food, and was thus compelled to support himself at the expence perhaps of the honest and industrious. He readily found a rascal to receive what property he could procure for sale, and for a long time escaped detection. This depraved man had two brothers in the colony; one who came out with him in the first fleet, and who had been for some time a sober, hard-working, industrious settler, having also served the term of his transportation; the other brother came out in the last year, and bore the character of a well-behaved man. There was also a fourth brother; but he was executed in England. It was said, that these unfortunate men had honest and industrious people for their parents; they could not, however, have paid much attention to the morals of their family; or, out of four, Come might surely have laid claim to the character of the parents.
The criminal court was again assembled on the 20th of this month, for the trial of William Godfrey, who was taken up on a suspicion of having seized the opportunity of some festivity on board of the Britannia, then nearly ready for sea, and taken half a barrel of powder out of the gun-room, about nine o'clock at night. Proof however was not brought home to him; although many circumstances induced every one to suppose he was the guilty person.
This month was fixed for beginning the new barracks. For the private soldiers there were to be five buildings, each one hundred feet by twenty four in front, and connected by a flight brick wall. At each end were to be two apartments for officers, seventy-five feet by eighteen; each apartment containing four rooms for their accommodation, with a passage of sixteen feet. Of these barracks, one at each end was to be constructed at right angles with the front, forming a wing to the centre buildings. Kitchens were to be built, with other convenient offices, in the rear, and garden ground was to be laid out at the back.  Their situation promised to be healthy, and it was certainly pleasant, being nearly on the summit of the high ground at the head of the cove, overlooking the town of Sydney, and the shipping in the cove, and commanding a view down the harbour, as well of the fine piece of water forming Long Cove, as that branching off to the westward at the back of the lieutenant governor's farm.
The foundation of one of the buildings designed for an officer's barrack having been dug, and all the necessary materials brought together on the spot, the walls of it were got up, and the whole building roofed and covered in, in eleven days.
Their situation being directly in the neighbourhood of the ground appropriated to the burial of the dead, it became necessary to choose another spot for the latter purpose; and the governor, in company with the Rev. Mr. Johnson, set apart the ground formerly cultivated by the late Captain Shea of the marines.
Several thefts were committed at Sydney and at Parramatta, from which latter place three male convicts absconded, taking with them the provisions of their huts, intending, it was supposed, to get on board the Britannia. Rewards being offered, Some of them were taken in the woods. It had been found, that the masters of ships would give passages to such people as could afford to pay them from ten to twenty pounds for the same, and the perpetrators of Some of the thefts which were committed appeared to have had that circumstance in view, as one or two huts, whose proprietors were well known to have amassed large sums of money for people in their situations, were broken into; and in one instance they succeeded. On the night of the 22d the hut of Mary Burne, widow of a man who had been employed as a game-killer, was robbed of dollars to the amount of eleven pounds; with which the pillagers got off undiscovered.
On the 3rd the Britannia left the cove, dropping down below Bradley's Point, preparatory to failing on her intended voyage to Dusky Bay in New Zealand; and while every one was remarking, that the cove (being left without a ship) again looked solitary and uncomfortable, the signal was made at the South Head, and at ten o'clock at night the Atlantic anchored in the cove from Norfolk Island, where, we had the satisfaction to learn, the large cargo which the had on board was landed in safety, although at one time the ship was in great danger of running ashore at Cascade Bay.  We now learned that the expectations which had been formed of the crops at Norfolk Island had been too Sanguine; but their salt provisions lasted very well. Governor King, however, wrote that the crops then in the ground promised favourably, although he would not venture to speak decidedly, as they were very much annoyed by the grub. This was an enemy produced by the extreme richness of the soil; and it was remarked, that as the land was opened and cleared, it was found to be exposed to the blighting winds which infest the island.
The great havoc and destruction which the reduced ration had occasioned among the birds frequenting Mount Pitt had so thinned their numbers, that they were no longer to be depended upon as a resource. The convicts, senseless and improvident, not only destroyed the bird, its young, and its egg, but the hole in which it burrowed; a circumstance that ought most cautiously to have been guarded against; as nothing appeared more likely to make them forsake the island.
The stock in the settlement was plentiful, but, from being fed chiefly on sow thistle during the general deficiency of hard food, the animals looked ill, and were as badly tasted. The Pitt, however, took from the island a great quantity of stock; barrow pigs and fowls, pumkins and other vegetables; for which Captain Manning and his officers paid the owners with many articles of comfort to which they had long been strangers.
The convicts in general wore a very unhealthy cadaverous appearance, owing, it was supposed, not only to spare diet, but to the fatigue consequent on their traversing the woods to Mount Pitt, by night, for the purpose of procuring some slender addition to their ration, instead of reposing after the labours of the day. They had committed many depredations on the settlers, and one was shot by a person of that description in the act of robbing his farm.
Governor King, having discovered that the island abounded with that valuable article lime-stone, was building a convenient house for his own residence, and turning his attention to the construction of permanent storehouses, barracks for the military, and other necessary buildings.  
The weather had been for some time past very bad, much rain having fallen accompanied with storms of wind, thunder, and lightning. In some of these storms the wreck of his Majesty's ship Sirius went to pieces and disappeared, no part of that unfortunate ship being left together, except what was confined by the iron ballast in her bottom.
On board of the Atlantic came sixty-two persons from Norfolk Island, among whom were several whose terms of transportation had expired; thirteen offenders; and nine of the marine settlers, who had given up the hoe and the spade, returned to this place to embrace once more a life to which they certainly were, from long habit, better adapted than to that of independent settlers. They gave up their estates, and came here to enter as soldiers in the New South Wales corps.
Mr. Charles Grimes, the deputy-surveyor, arrived in the Atlantic, being sent by Mr. King to state to the governor the situation of the settlers late belonging to the Sirius, whose grounds had, on a careful survey by Mr. Grimes, been found to intersect each other. They had been originally laid down without the assistance of proper instruments, and being situated on the side of the Cascade Stream, which takes several windings in its course, the different allotments, being close together, naturally interfered with each other when they came to be carried back. The settlers themselves Saw how disadvantageously they were situated, and how utterly impossible it was for every one to possess a distinct allotment of sixty acres, unless they came to some agreement which had their mutual accommodation in view; but this, with an obstinacy proportioned to their ignorance, they all declined: as their grounds were marked out So would they keep them, not giving an inch in one place, though certain of possessing it with advantage in another. These people proved but indifferent settlers; sailors and soldiers, seldom bred in the habits of industry, but ill brooked the personal labour which they found was required from them day after day, and month after month. Men who from their infancy had been accustomed to have their daily subsistence found them were but ill calculated to procure it by the sweat of their brows, and must very unwillingly find that without great bodily exertions they could not provide it at all.  A few months experience convinced them of the truth of these observations, and they grew discontented; as a proof of which they wrote a letter to the judge-advocate, to be submitted to the governor, stating, as a subject of complaint among other grievances, that the officers of the settlement bred stock for their own use, and requesting that they might be directed to discontinue that practice, and purchase stock of them.
Very few of the convicts at Norfolk Island whole terms of transportation had expired were found desirous of becoming permanent settlers; the sole object with the major part appearing to be, that of taking ground for the purpose of raising by the sale of the produce a sum Sufficient to enable them to pay for their passages to England. The settler to benefit this colony, the bona fide settler, who should be a man of some property, must come from England. He is not to be looked for among discharged soldiers, shipwrecked seamen, or quondam convicts.
Governor King finding, after trying every process that came within his knowledge for preparing and dressing the flax-plant, that unless some other means were devised, it never would be brought to the perfection necessary to make the canvas produced from it an object of importance, either as an article of clothing for the convicts or for maritime purposes, proposed to Mr. Ebor Bunker, the master of the William and Ann, who had some thoughts of touching at Dusky Bay in New Zealand, to procure him two natives of that country, if they could be prevailed on to embark with him, and promised him one hundred pounds if he succeeded, hoping from their perfect knowledge of the flax-plant, and the process necessary to manufacture it into cloth, that he might one day render it a valuable and beneficial article to his colony; but Captain Bunker had never returned.
Norfolk Island had been visited by all the whalers which Sailed from this port on that fishery. The Admiral Barrington and Pitt left with Mr. King eleven men and two female convicts, who had secreted themselves at this port on board of those ships.  
October. The Britannia, which had quitted the cove on the last day of September, preparatory to her departure on a fishing voyage, (a licence for which had been granted by the East-India Company for the space of three years,) returned to the cove on the third of this month for the purpose of fitting for the Cape of Good Hope, the officers of the New South Wales corps having engaged the master to proceed thither and return on their account with a freight of cattle, and such articles as would tend to the comfort of themselves and the Soldiers of the corps, and which were not to be found in the public stores. Mr. Raven, the master, let his ship for the sum of 2000l.; and eleven shares of 2001. each were subscribed to purchase the stock and other articles. The ship was well calculated for bringing cattle, having a very good between-decks; and artificers from the corps were immediately employed to fit her with stalls proper for the reception and accommodation of cows, horses, &c. A quantity of hay was put on board Sufficient to lessen considerably the expence of that article at the Cape; and she was ready for Sea by the middle of the month. Previous to her departure, on the 7th, the Royal Admiral East-Indiaman, commanded by Captain Essex Henry Bond, anchored in the cove from England, whence she had failed on the 30th of May last. Her passage from the Cape of Good Hope was the most rapid that had ever been made, being only five weeks and three days from port to port.
On board of the Royal Admiral came stores and provisions for the colony; one serjeant, one corporal, and nineteen privates, belonging to the New South Wales corps; a person to be employed in the cultivation of the country; another as a master miller; and a third as a master carpenter; together with two hundred and eighty-nine male and forty-Seven female convicts. She brought in with her a fever, which had been much abated by the extreme attention paid by Captain Bond and his officers to cleanliness, that great preservative of health on board of ships, and to providing those who were ill with comforts and necessaries beyond what were allowed for their use during the passage. Of three hundred male convicts which she received on board, ten only died, and one made his escape from the hospital at False Bay; in return for whom, however, Captain Bond brought on with him Thomas Watling, a male convict, who found means to get on shore from the Pitt when at that port in December last, and who had been confined by the Dutch at the Cape town from her departure until this opportunity offered of sending him hither.  
We had the satisfaction of hearing that the Supply armed tender made good her passage to England in somewhat less than five months, arriving at Plymouth on the 21st of April last. It was, however, matter of much concern to all who were acquainted with him, to learn at the same time, that Captain Hunter, who failed from this port in March 1791, in the Dutch Snow Waaksamheyd, and who had anxiously desired to make a Speedy passage, had been thirteen months in that vessel striving to reach England, where he at last let go his anchor a day after the termination of Lieutenant Ball's more successful voyage in the Supply, arriving at Spithead on the evening of the 22d of April last. His Majesty's ship Gorgon had been at the Cape of Good Hope, but had not arrived in England when the Royal Admiral left that country.
We were also informed, that the Kitty transport had failed with provisions and a few convicts from England some weeks before the Royal Admiral; and Captain Bond left at False Bay an American brig, freighted on speculation with provisions for this colony, and whole master intended putting to sea immediately after him.
The sick, to the number of eighty, were all immediately disembarked from the Indiaman; the remainder of her convicts were sent up to be employed at Parramatta and the adjoining settlement. At these places was to be performed the great labour of clearing and cultivating the country; and thither the governor judged it necessary at once to send such convicts as should arrive in future, without permitting them to disembark at Sydney, which town (from the circumstance of its being the only place where shipping anchored) possessed all the evils and allurements of a Sea port of some standing, and from which, if once they got into huts, they would be with difficulty removed when wanted; they pleaded the acquirement of comforts, of which, in fact, it would be painful though absolutely necessary to deprive them. At once to do away therefore the possibility of any attachment to this part of the colony, the governor gave directions for their being immediately Sent from the ship to the place of their future residence and employment; and, having no other thoughts, they went with cheerfulness.  
There arrived in the Royal Admiral as a superintendant charged with the care of the convicts, Mr. Richard Alley, who formerly belonged to the Lady Juliana transport, in quality of surgeon, in the memorable voyage of that ship to this colony; a voyage that could never be thought on by any inhabitant of it without exciting a most painful Sensation. This gentleman went to England in the Snow with Captain Hunter, whither the comforts of long voyages seemed to accompany him. Immediately on his arrival there, he was appointed by the commissioners of the navy to come out in the Royal Admiral as surgeon and superintendant of the convicts embarked in that ship, with an allowance of twelve shillings and sixpence per diem until his arrival in England, exclusive of his half pay as surgeon of the navy.
It had always been an object of the first consequence, that the people employed about the stores, if not free, should at least have been so situated as to have found it their interest to resist temptation. This had never hitherto been accomplished; capital and other exemplary punishments did not effect it; the stores were constantly robbed, although carefully watched, and as well secured as bolts, locks, and iron fastenings could make them. The governor therefore now adopted a plan which was suggested to him; and, discharging all the convicts employed at the provision-store, replaced them by others, to whom he promised absolute emancipation at the end of a certain number of years, to be computed from the dates of their respective arrivals in this country.
If any thing could produce the integrity so much to be desired, this measure seemed the best calculated for the purpose; an interest was created superior to any reward that could have been held out, a certain salary, an increase of ration, a greater proportion of cloathing, or even emancipation itself, if given at the time. To those who had no other prospect but that of passing their lives in this country, how cheering, how grateful must have been the hope of returning to their families at no very distant period, if not prevented by their own misconduct! There were two in this situation among those placed at the stores, Samuel Burt and William Sutton, both of whom had conducted themselves with the greatest propriety since their conviction, and who beheld with joy the probability that appeared of their being again considered and ranked in the class of honest men and good members of society; estimations that depended wholly upon themselves.  
As a store-keeper was a person on whom much dependence must necessarily be placed, (it being his duty to be constantly present whenever the stores were opened, and with a vigilant eye to observe the conduct of the inferior servants,) at the strong recommendation of the officers under whom he had Served, Serjeant Thomas Smyth was discharged from the marine detachment, and placed upon the list of superintendants of convicts as a store-keeper. This appointment gave general Satisfaction; and the commissary now felt himself, under all these arrangements, more at ease respecting the safety of the stores and provisions under his charge.
On the night of the 10th a daring burglary was committed. Mr. Raven, the master of the Britannia, occupied a hut on shore, which was broken open and entered about midnight, and from the room in which he was lying asleep, and close to his bedside, his watch and a pair of knee-buckles were stolen; a box was forced open, in which was a valuable time-piece and Some money belonging to Mr. Raven, who, fortunately waking in the very moment that the thief was taking it out at the door, prevented his carrying it off. Assistance from the guard came immediately, but too late - the man had got off unseen. In a day or two afterwards, however, Charles Williams, a settler, gave information that a convict named Richard Sutton, the morning after the burglary, had told him that he had stolen and se-cured the property, which he estimated at sixty pounds, and which he offered to put into his possession for the purpose of sale, first binding him by a horrid ceremony and oath not to betray him. Williams, on receiving the watch, which proved a metal one, worth only about ten pounds, (and the disproportion of which to the value he had expected, probably had induced him to make the discovery,) immediately caused him to be taken into custody, and delivered the property to a magistrate, giving at the same time an account how he came by them.  All these circumstances were produced in evidence before a criminal court; but the prisoner, proving an alibi that was satisfactory to the court, was acquitted. With the evidence that he produced in his defence it was impossible to convict him; but the court and the auditors were in their consciences persuaded that the prisoner had committed the burglary and theft, and that he intended to have employed Williams to dispose of the property; which the latter had undertaken, and would have performed, had the watch proved to have been a timepiece which the prisoner imagined he had been lucky enough to secure. Williams, had he been put to prove where he was at the very time the house was entered, had people ready to depose that he was on his way by water to his farm near Parramatta. This man had formerly been remarkable for propriety of conduct; but, after he became a settler, gave himself up to idleness and dissipation, and went away from the court in which he had been giving his testimony, much degraded in the opinion of every man who heard him.
The Britannia failed on the 24th for the Cape of Good Hope, Mr. Raven taking with him Governor Philip's dispatches for England, (in which was contained a specific demand for twelve months provisions for the colony,) and the wishes as well of those whom he considered as his employers, as of those who were not, for the safe and speedy execution of his commission; as his return to the colony would introduce many articles of comfort which were not to be found in the public stores among the articles issued by government.
At Sydney and at Parramatta shops were opened for the sale of the articles of private trade brought out in the Royal Admiral. A licence was given for the sale of porter; but, under the cover of this, spirits found their way among the people, and much intoxication was the consequence. Several of the settlers, breaking out from the restraint to which they had been subject, conducted themselves with the greatest impropriety, beating their wives, destroying their stock, trampling on and injuring their crops in the ground, and destroying each other's property. One woman, having claimed the protection of the magistrates, the party complained of, a settler, was bound over to the good behaviour for two years, himself in twenty pounds, and to find two sureties in ten pounds each.  Another settler was at the same time set an hour in the stocks for drunkenness. The indulgence which was intended by the governor for their benefit was most shamefully abused; and what he suffered them to purchase with a view to their future comfort, was retailed among themselves at a scandalous profit; several of the settlers houses being at this time literally nothing else but porter-houses, where rioting and drunkenness prevailed as long as the means remained, it was much to be regretted that these people were so blind to their own advantage, most of them sacrificing to the dissipation of the moment what would have afforded them much comfort and convenience, if reserved for refreshment after the fatigue of the day.
The only addition made to the weekly ration in consequence of the arrival of the Royal Admiral was an allowance of six ounces of oil to each person; a large quantity, nine thousand two hundred and seventy-eight gallons, having been put on board that ship and the Kitty transport, to be issued in lieu of butter; as an equivalent for which it certainly would have answered well, had it arrived in the state in which it was reported to have been put on board; but it grew rancid on the passage, and was in general made more use of to burn as a substitute for candles, than for any other purposes to which oil might have been applied.
Toward the latter end of the month, the convicts received a general serving of clothing, and other necessary articles. To each male were issued two frocks made of coarse and unsubstantial osnaburgs, in which there were seldom found more than three weeks wear; two pairs of trowsers made of the same flight materials as the frocks, and open to the same observation as to wear; one pair of yarn stockings; one hat; one pair of shoes; one pound of soap; three needles; a quarter of a pound of thread, and one comb.
The females received each one cloth petticoat; one coarse shift ; one pair of shoes; one pair of yarn stockings; one pound of soap; a quarter of a pound of thread; two ounces of pins ; six needles; one thimble, and one pair of scissars.
These articles were supplied by commission; and Mr. Davison, the person employed by government, was limited in the price of each article, which was fixed too low to admit of his furnishing them of the quality absolutely necessary for people who were to labour in this country.  The osnaburgs in particular had always been complained of; for it was a fact, that the frocks and trowsers made of them were oftener known to have been worn out within a fortnight, than to have lasted three weeks.
The month closed with a circumstance that excited no small degree of concern in the settlement: Governor Philip signified a determination of quitting his government, and returning to England in the Atlantic. To this he was induced by perceiving that his health hourly grew worse, and hoping that a change of air might contribute to his recovery. His Excellency had the satisfaction, at the moment that he came to this resolution, of seeing the public grounds wear every appearance of a productive harvest. At Toongabbe, forty-two acres of wheat, sown about the middle of last March, looked as promising as could be wished; the remainder of the wheat, from being sown six weeks later, did not look so fine and abundant, but still held out hopes of an ample return. The Indian corn was all got into the ground, and such of it as was up looked remarkably well.

November. On the 1st of November, about eleven o'clock at night, the Philadelphia brigantine, Mr. Thomas Patrickson master, anchored in the cove from Philadelphia. Lieutenant-governor King, on his passage to this country in the Gorgon in the month of July 1791, had seen Mr. Patrickson at the Cape of Good Hope, and learning at that time from the Lady Juliana and Neptune transports, which had just arrived there from China, that the colony was in great distress for provisions, suggested to him the advantage that might attend his bringing a cargo to this country on speculation.  On this hint Captain Patrickson went to England, and thence to Philadelphia, from which place he sailed the beginning of last April with a cargo consisting chiefly of American beef, wine, rum, gin, some tobacco, pitch, and tar. He sailed from Philadelphia with thirteen hands; but, in some very bad weather which he met with after leaving the African shore, his second mate was washed overboard and lost, it blowing too hard to attempt saving him.
The governor directed the commissary to purchase such part of the Philadelphia's cargo as he thought was immediately wanting in the Colony; and five hundred and sixty-nine barrels of American cured beef, each barrel containing one hundred and ninety-three pounds, and twenty-seven barrels of pitch and tar, were taken into store; the expence of which amounted to £2829 s11.
Notwithstanding the great length of time Captain Patrickson had been on his voyage, (from the beginning of April to November,) his speculation did not prove very disadvantageous to him. A great part of his cargo, that was not taken by government, was disposed of among the officers and others of the settlement; and the governor hired his vessel to take provisions to Norfolk Island, giving him 150£ for the run. Captain Patrickson had formed some expectation of disposing of his vessel in this country; but the governor, having received intimation that the Kitty might be detained in the service as long as he found it necessary after her arrival, did not judge it expedient to purchase the vessel.
On the 3d of the month three warrants of emancipation passed the seal of the territory: one to John Trace, a convict who came out in the first fleet; having but three months of his term of transportation remaining, that portion of it was given up to him, that he might become a settler. The second was granted to Thomas Restil, (alias Crowder,) on the recommendation of the lieutenant-governor of Norfolk Island, on condition that he should not return to England during the term of his natural life, his sentence of transportation being durante vitae.  The third warrant was made out in favour of one who, whatever might have been his conduct when at large in society, had here not only demeaned himself with the strictest propriety, but had rendered essential services to the colony - George Barrington. He came out in the Active; on his arrival the governor employed him at Toongabbe, and in a situation which was likely to attract the envy and hatred of the convicts, in proportion as he might be vigilant and inflexible. He was first placed as a subordinate, and shortly after as a principal watch-man; in which situation he was diligent, sober, and impartial; and had rendered himself so eminently serviceable, that the governor resolved to draw him from the line of convicts; and, with the instrument of his emancipation, he received a grant of thirty acres of land in an eligible situation near Parramatta. Here was not only a reward for past good conduct, but an incitement to a continuance of it; and Barrington found himself, through the governor's liberality, though not so absolutely free as to return to England at his own pleasure, yet enjoying the immunities of a free man, a settler, and a civil officer, in whose integrity much confidence was placed.
On the 13th the Royal Admiral failed for Canton. Of the private speculation brought out in this ship, they sold at this place and at Parramatta to the amount of £3600 and left articles to be sold on commission to the amount of £750 more.
Captain Bond was obliged to leave behind him one of his quartermasters and six sailors, who ran away from the ship. The quartermaster had served in the same capacity on board of the Sirius, and immediately after his arrival in England (in the snow) engaged himself with Captain Bond for the whole of the voyage; but a few days before the departure of the ship from this port, he found means to Leave her, and, assisted by some of the settlers, concealed himself in the woods until concealment was no longer necessary. On giving himself up, he entered on board the Atlantic; but on his declaring that he did not intend returning to England, the governor ordered him into confinement.  The Sailors were put into one of the Longboats, to be employed between this place and Parramatta, until they could be put on board a ship that might convey them hence.
It was never desirable that seamen should receive encouragement to run from their ships; they became public nuisances here; the masters of such ships would find themselves obliged to procure convicts at any rate to supply their places; indeed, so many might be shipped or secreted on board, as might render the safety of the vessel very precarious; and as the governor determined to represent the conduct of any master who carried away convicts without his approbation, so he resolved never to deprive them of their Seamen. Under this idea, a hut, in which a seaman from the Royal Admiral was found concealed, was pulled down, and two convicts who had been secreted on board that ship were sent up to Toongabbe, as a punishment, as well as to be out of the way of another attempt.
On the 18th the Kitty transport anchored in the Cove from England, after a circuitous passage of thirty-three weeks, round by the Rio de Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope. She twice failed from England. On her first departure, which was in March last, the had on board thirty female and ten male Convicts; but being obliged to put back to Spithead, to stop a leak which the sprung in her raft port, eight of her ten male convicts found means to make their escape. This was an unfortunate accident; for they had been particularly Selected as men who might be useful in the colony. Of the two who did remain, the one was a brick-maker and the other a joiner.
When her cargo was landing, it was found to have Suffered considerably by the bad weather the had experienced; the flour in particular, an article which could at no time bear any diminution in this country, was much damaged. The convicts had for a long time been nearly as much distressed for utensils to dress their provisions, as they had been for provisions; and we had now the mortification to find, that of the small supply of iron pots which had been put on board, a great part were either broken or cracked, having been literally stowed among the provision casks in the hold.  
There arrived in this ship two chests, containing three thousand eight hundred and seventy ounces of silver, in dollars, amounting to £1001. This remittance was sent out for the purpose of paying such sums as were due to the different artificers who had been employed in this country. It was also applied to the payment of the wages due to the superintendants, who had experienced much inconvenience from not receiving their salaries here; and indeed the want of public money had been very much felt by every one in the colony. When the marines, who became settlers before and at the relief of the detachment, were discharged for that purpose, they would have suffered great difficulties from the want of public money to pay what was due to them, had not the commissary taken their respective powers of attorney, and given them notes on himself, payable either in cash, or in articles which might be the means of rendering them comfortable, and of which he had procured a large Supply from Calcutta. These notes passed through various hands in traffic among the people of the description they were intended to serve, and became a species of currency which was found very convenient to them.
The female convicts who arrived in the Kitty, twenty-seven in number, were immediately Sent up to Parramatta.
Government had put on board the Kitty a naval agent, Lieutenant Daniel Woodriff, for the purpose of seeing that no unnecessary delays were made in the voyage, and that the convicts on board were not oppressed by the master or his people. This officer, on his arrival, stated to the governor his opinion that the master had not made the best of his way, and that he had remained longer in the port of Rio de Janeiro than there could possibly be occasion for. He likewise stated several disagreements which had occurred between him and the master, and in which the latter Seemed to think very lightly of the authority of a naval agent on board his ship. There was also on board this ship, on the part of the crown, a medical gentleman who was appointed for the express purpose of attending to such convicts as might be ill during the voyage; so extremely solicitous were the members of Administration to guard against the evils which had befallen the convicts in former passages to this country.  
At Parramatta a brick hospital, consisting of two wards, was finished this month; and the sick were immediately removed into it. The Spot chosen for this building was at some distance from the principal street of the town, and convenient to the water; and, to prevent any improper communication with the other convicts, a space was to be inclosed and paled in round the hospital, in which the sick would have every necessary benefit from air and exercise.
At the other settlement they had begun to reap the wheat which was (own in April last; and for want of a granary at that place it was put into stacks. From not being immediately thrashed out, there was no knowing with certainty what the produce of it was; but it had every appearance of turning out well. The ear was long and full, and the straw remarkably good.
December. On the 3d of this month, the governor, as one of his last acts in the settlement, ordered one pound of flour to be added to the weekly ration, which, by means of this addition, stood on his departure at
3 pounds of flour;
5 pounds of rice;
4 pounds of pork, or 7 pounds of beef;
3 pounds of dholl; and
6 ounces of oil.
On the 7th the Philadelphia sailed for Norfolk Island, having on board for that settlement Mr. Grimes, the deputy surveyor; Mr. Jamieson, who was to Superintend the convicts employed there in cultivation; Mr. Peat, the master-carpenter (there being a person in that situation here of much ability); a convict who came out in the Royal Admiral, to be employed as a master-taylor; two convicts sawyers, and one convict carpenter, the same who came out with his family in the Kitty; together with some provisions and stores. His excellency had always attended to this little colony with a parental care; often declaring, that from the peculiarity of its situation he would rather that want should be felt in his own government than in that dependency; and as they would be generally eight or ten weeks later than this colony in receiving their supplies, by reason of the time which the ships necessarily required to refit after coming in from sea, he purposed furnishing them with a proportion of provisions for three months longer than the provisions in store at this place would last:  
and his excellency took leave of that settlement, by completing, as fully as he was able, this design.
He was now about taking leave of his own government. The accommodations for his excellency and the officers who were going home in the Atlantic being completed, the detachment of marines under the command of Lieutenant Poulden embarked on the 5th, and at six o'clock in the evening of Monday the 10th Governor Phillip quitted the charge with which he had been entrusted by his Sovereign, and in the execution of which he had manifested a zeal and perseverance that alone could have enabled him to Surmount the natural and artificial obstacles which the country and its inhabitants had thrown in his way.
The colony had now been established within a few weeks of five years; and a review of what had been done in cultivation under his excellency's direction in that time cannot more properly be introduced than at the close of his government.
Previous to the failing of the Britannia on the 24th of last October, an accurate Survey of the whole ground in cultivation, both on account of the crown, and in the possession of individuals, was taken by the surveyor-general, and transmitted to England by that ship; and from the return which he then made, the following particulars were extracted.  
Of the sixty-seven settlers above enumerated, one, James Rule, who had a grant of thirty acres at Parramatta, went upon his farm the latter end of November 1789; but none of the others began to cultivate ground upon their own accounts earlier than the middle of July 1791; but many of them at a much later date. The eight marine Settlers at the Field of Mars took possession of their allotments at the beginning of February 1792. The conditions held out to settlers were, to be victualled and clothed from the public store for eighteen months from the term of their becoming Settlers; to be furnished with tools and implements of husbandry; grain to sow their grounds, and such stock as could be Spared from the public.  They were likewise to have assigned them the services of such a number of convicts as the governor should think proper, on their making it appear that they could employ, feed, and clothe them. Every man had a hut erected on his farm at the public expence. At the time of the governor's departure, many of them, by their own industry-, and the assistance he had afforded them, were enabled to have one or two convicts off the store, and employed by them at their farms; and Such as were not married were allowed a convict hutkeeper. In general they were not idle, and the major part were comfortably situated.
At this time the quantity of land which had passed to settlers in this territory under the Seal of the colony amounted to three thousand four hundred and Seventy acres; of which quantity four hundred and seventeen acres and a half were in cultivation, and the timber cleared from one hundred more, ready for sowing, which, compared with the total of the public ground in cultivation, (one thousand and twelve acres and three quarters,) will be found to be by eleven acres more than equal to one half of it A striking proof of what Some settlers had themselves declared, on its being hinted to them that they had not always been so diligent when labouring for the whole - "We are now working for ourselves". One material good was, however, to be expected from a tract of land of that extent being cultivated by individuals, if at any time an accident should happen to the crop on the public ground, they might be a resource, though an inconsiderable one. Fortunately, no misfortune of that nature had ever fallen upon the colony; but it had been, at the beginning of this month, very near experiencing a calamity that would have blasted all the prospects of the next season, and in one moment have rendered ineffectual the labour of many hands and of many months. Two days after the wheat had been reaped, and got off the ground at Toongabbe, the whole of the stubble was burnt. The day on which this happened had been unusually hot, and the country was every where on fire. 
Had it befallen us while the wheat was upon the ground, nothing could have saved the whole from being destroyed. From this circumstance, however, one good resulted; precautions against a similar accident were immediately taken, by clearing the timber for a certain distance round the cultivated land.  
The flock belonging to the public was kept at Parramatta. It consisted of three bulls, two bull calves, fifteen cows, three calves, five stallions, six mares, one hundred and five sheep, and forty-three hogs.
Of the sheep, the governor gave to each of the married Settlers from the convicts, and to each settler from the marines, and from the Sirius, one ewe for the purpose of breeding; and to others he gave Such female goats as could be Spared. This stock had been procured at much expence; and his excellency hoped that the people among whom he left it would see the advantage it might prove to them, and cherish it accordingly.
His excellency, at embarking on board the Atlantic, was received near the wharf on the east-side, (where his boat was lying,) by Major Grose, at the head of the New South Wales corps, who paid him, as he passed, the honors due to his rank and situation in the colony. He was attended by the officers of the civil department, and the three marine officers who were to accompany him to England.
At daylight on the morning of the 11th, the Atlantic was got under way, and by eight o'clock was clear of the Heads, standing to the E. S. E. with a fresh breeze at south. By twelve o'clock the had gained a considerable offing.