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1-078 (Original)

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addressee,male author,male,Bowen, John,un
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Government English
Imperial Correspondence
Ward, 1969
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1-078.txt — 3 KB

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Lieutenant Bowen to Governor King
Risdon Cove, 20 September 1803,
After a passage of twelve days we arrived in the Derwent, ourselves all well, but the cattle very indifferent, the effects of a severe gale on the second day we left Port Jackson, which, notwithstanding Captain Bunker did everything in his power, even so far as heaving the ships to for their safety, bruized them so much that we lost one cow, three sheep, and four lambs. Much more stock was lost belonging to myself and the settlers. Upon the whole I have been the greatest sufferer. On the Friday after we sailed, it being calm, Captain Bunker was fortunate enough to kill three sperm whales, and it being light unfavourable weather, we anchored three days successively about Oyster Island, and was baffled with light winds two days in Frederick Henry Bay; however, on Sunday the 12th. to my great satisfaction, I found the Lady Nelson in Risdon Cove, having been fortunate to arrive five days before us.
As I have not had time enough even to form a general plan, I shall only relate my proceedings and opinion of the place since I have been here. There are so many fine spots on the borders of the river that I was a little puzzled to fix upon the best place, but there being a much better stream of fresh water, falling into Risdon Cove than into any of the others, and very extensive valleys laying at the back of it, I judged it the most convenient, and accordingly disembarked all the men and stores, and have been since wholly employed in securing ourselves from the weather. [142] We are situated on a hill commanding a perfect view of the river and the land, with the fresh water at the foot Of it; the land excellent. I have been up the river rather higher than Captain Flinders went and have examined Herdsman's Cove, which I am of opinion will be the best place for the settlers, the Derwent being perfectly fresh all above it. The banks are more like a nobleman's park in England than an uncultivated country. Every part is beautifully green and very little trouble might clear every valley I have seen in a month. There are very few rocky spots except on the high hills, and in many places the plough might be used immediately, but our workmen are very few and very bad. I could with ease employ one hundred men upon the land about us; and with that number, some good men among them, we should soon be a flourishing colony.
The soldiers I have got are very discontented and appear to have had too easy a life for their present employment. I have only one sentry in the day and two at night, which they call very hard duty, and give me some trouble to put them to rights. I should wish, if any more persona come down, to see an officer or a very active sergeant with them, as the present party will be of very little use even with my present establishment.
I have not seen a single native yet, but some of the people found them on our first arrival, but they appeared very shy and have since retired entirely from us. Not apprehending they would be of any use to us I have not made any search after them, thinking myself well off if I never see them again,
Our provisions and stores are pretty correct, except a little damaged sugar and flour before it was landed, which I intend to send back in the Lady Nelson, who will sail from this in about a fortnight, by which time I shall have the returns ready and shall be able to furnish you with a plan of our settlement.
I have, &c.,