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2-016 (Raw)

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author,female,Brooks, Christiana,41 addressee
Narrative Discourse
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Private Written
Clarke, 1992
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january 7th 1826
The festivities of the season commenced at Denham Court on the second inst. (the first being on Sunday) and were kept up with great spirit by a party of sixteen from Sydney who were met here by all our country neighbours - On Monday we set down at dinner forty in number - sixteen of whom were accommodated with beds in the house, besides fifteen servants in the kitchen and out houses. ...
jany 10
The new Colonial Secretary has arrived, and Major Goulburn has given up to him the cares and duties of an office of great responsibility during the later administration. - 'Nothing can promise more favourably than the energy with which General Darling has commenced his Government - that he is a man of business we have every reason to believe, and that he will cause "everyman to do his duty' we may be allowed to anticipate from the prompt government orders for the reorganization of the several Public Departments. [83]
jany 26
I don't know how some of our great men will relish the late General Orders, but I imagine many of them will be quite unprepared to comply with them...
During the Administration of Sir T B everything was left to the Heads of Department, but when the murmur of discontent rose at the inefficient measures adopted, these petty sovereigns would willingly have shifted the burden from their own shoulders - General D if I mistake not will be Governor in Chief and the Heads of Departments will no longer be allowed to consider themselves as so many Heads of the Colony, whether they be the Accreditted Agents of the British Government "or the trusty and well beloved of George the Fourth", or our own Kings' own "Visitors" all will find themselves subjected to the power of Major General Ralph Darling etc. etc. I confess for my part I would prefer one Tyrant if needs must, to half a score petty usurpers. - 
Feby 20th
The Governor has begun by giving dinner parties to about 20 persons, and seems inclined to be sociable with the better part of the inhabitants: It is said Mrs D is rather gay and is fond of dancing - the young folks will have reason to rejoice should anything like the old times in Governor Macquarie's day be revived.
March 5
This is the anniversary of our landing in this Colony, and 12 years has made such an alteration in everything here that a comparison would be very amusing, say, "Sydney in the year 1816", and "Sydney in the year 1826", or we will take a less period and say 1817 - the year which the Bank of N. S. Wales was established: by the end of this year it is believed there will be three Banks, three newspapers and three steam engines - Bob Howe says ADVANCE AUSTRALIA but this is advancing with rapid strides.
The Governor's Orders appear to be issued without respect to persons, the highest in office, or the meanest subordinate appear to be equally called upon, equally required to do their duty. I for my part admire the prompt measures of General Darling, he requires of every man to do his duty as it is pointed out to him: he does not need any person to tell him what is necessary but appears to be a man of business equally for arranging and carrying into execution. - [84]
March 15
The inhabitants of the country are once more restored to a state of security by the Execution of some, and the capture of almost all that desperate hords of bushrangers which have for many months been the scourge of the country - the efficient and prompt measures adopted by General D on this occasion will lend much to keep alive that respect and veneration for his character which already begin to manifest themselves toward him as Governor.
The School of Industry patronised by Mrs D seems better adapted in its plans as a system for the Orphan Institution, and could be carried with effect without any additional subscription - a plan of so much utility in a new Colony like this as "A School for the Education of Female Servants" will however not want support, I feel convinced, while the F' Ladies are only called upon for their one pound one, and a little of their time, and attention, and whence their names are associated in the same list with those of the polished, the feeling, the benevolent, and the conscientious Mrs A Mrs B Mrs C Mrs D and altho I entertain little hope that in the present generation it will be of much service while the population continues as about [NN] male to one female, yet as the girls will be taught to do something useful, they may transmit their knowledge to their offspring and in time become a superior race to those who lounge over the shop doors in Sydney: A half dressed or over dressed generation - who seem born for no other purpose but to gossip with their male acquaintances. - 
April 6th
We are beginning to have the Australian newspaper now regularly twice a week, and it is expected the newspaper called the Monitor will shortly make its appearance. I hope it will be a weekly paper - while we had but one "Howes Weekly Gazette" we looked for it with great avidity, when two of each weekly papers appeared we read them with great interest, but now we have four each week they frequently lay on the table for days without being perused. I indeed have lost all feeling of interests in the Australian since W has withdrawn his name as Editor.
April 20
We have had almost incessant rain for ten days past, and the roads are nearly impassable, this is a great disappointment to us country folk who have invitations to Government House on 26th inst. and had the weather been favourable it would without doubt have been one of the most crowded partys ever witnessed in this Country - every person of respectability is asked, and all would be anxious to show their loyalty by taking their bow at Government House, not only in honour of His Majesty's Birthday, but to make Courtesys to His Excellency, who is known to be a great stickler for all the forms of Etiquette, of which he is a perfect pattern in his own conduct, never sparing himself where any duty demands his time, his ear or his eye. [85] 
May 12
The Aborigines Natives having assembled in unusual numbers in the County of Argyle in the neighbourhood of Lake George, and having evinced some hostility to the stock keepers of particular stations, the Govr. in his usual prompt manner has despatched a Detachment of the 40th and 57th Regts, with instructions to the Officers in Command to put themselves in communication with the Magistrates of that district. This hostility on the part of the Natives will I have no doubt be found, as it ever has been, to originate in outrages committed on them by the stock keepers, an ignorant and brutal race, who by their interference with the females of the aborigines provoke them to revenge - The Governor's Order upon this occasion is humane and liberal, promising equal justice to all. I doubt not the sight of soldiers will strike a panic in these poor simple creatures, and the Officer in Command is a man of experience, who will fully investigate the cause of their present hostility, and should he find that the stockmen and shepherds have committed any violence, or ill treated any of these inoffensive creatures, he will I earnestly hope, bring them forward that they may receive the punishment due to their cruelty.
May 19th
There are ARCH FIENDS in this place who seek to ruin all in which they are not themselves concerned - the Bank of N. S. Wales has been placed in rather a tottering state by the machinations of those enemys to mankind, but the Champion of Australia has been a match for them, and the impartiality of Government in rendering the Bank prompt assistance has averted for the present the evil apprehended. The Directors will, or ought, to learn prudence. They MUST limit their discounts, or we shall not have a Dollar left in the Country.
May 24
The new Journal the MONITOR made its appearance on the 19th, it appears moderate in its policies but from my own knowledge of the Editor, I know which side he is likely to enlist upon, and it is worthy of remark that the Aristocratic party have no advocates in our journalists - a symptom that this party is not very popular - There was a rumour some months ago of a newspaper to be Edited by a certain great man, and supported by his partisans, nor do I believe the idea is altogether abandoned. [86] 
May 30th
The Council, it would seem, by a General Order in this weeks Gazette, are quite tired of the applications for female servants being addressed to them, and it is now simply specified that families who are in want of female servants may be supplied from the prisoners lately arrived in the Ship Lady Rowena describing what sort of servants are wanted, and which application is to be addressed in writing to the Principal Superintendant of Convicts.
june 9th
The first Amateur Concert on the 7th was as well attended as could reasonably be expected considering it was not set on foot by the quality of Sydney; but as this is an amusement in which taste and science are combined, there is every hope it will be patronised by those who give the tone to fashion. The Subscription list has been augmented by one or two names of great respectability whose families, it is said, intend honouring the next Concert which is fixed for the 21st.
june 21
I had promised to visit the Infant School to see the Gas Light introduced into the Colony by a man named Wilson, and which altho on a small scale at present, is capable of being extended, if he meets with encouragement. I also wished to see the inside of the Scotch Church, which I am told is a very neat and commodious place of Worship, and is to be opened for Public Service very soon, it is a pretty plain but substantial building, and has a most beautiful and commanding situation.
july 29
Much as our present Governor is to be admired for his energy and decision of character, yet there has arisen some discontent lately among the newly arrived emigrants for hitherto General D has not given a single Grant of Land, and consequently those settlers who arrived in the beginning of the year are seeing their finances daily diminish without an immediate prospect of getting on a Farm of their own - It is an old saying "While the grass grows the stead starves". Thus while Commissioners are preparing to start in order to locate and value the lands - while the members of the Land Board are suggesting the best method to apportion grants etc. etc. a poor man with a family, or a young man with little property, is hanging on in expectations of what, when he gets it, he will have no means left to stock, or cultivate. (a farm)
This very serious grievance should be represented to the Governor, for he is possibly ignorant how much this delay costs those who suffer by it. [87]
The Chamber of Commerce (a new institution) will be likely to benefit the Colony very materially, the members being respectable, wealthy and effective, and for the most part free of that party spirit which rages, and has always raged, in this community.
Sept. 10th
I do not quite agree with the Monitor this week in thinking a person with a capital of 750£ can do better for his family by "Renting a farm in England or Scotland" than by getting the Grant of one here because, tho' in the present time the poor settler may have some difficulty to contend with, it is next to impossible they can endure, besides with all the disabilities, the industrious cultivator has many advantages in emigrating here he would look in vain for in almost every other part of the world - The climate and the soil are good - fuel and provisions are cheap and plentiful: and a habitation however simple in construction, is sufficient to shelter him from the effects of heat and cold, and above all, his family will learn from their neighbours to do without any of those things which are at home reckoned necessarys, but which, in fact, are not essential to his happiness.
I know some families who are now, and have been for the last 18 months, living on their grant of land in tents: They are indeed poor, but they are healthy, contented and cheerful: they have HOPE for their prospects, and INDEPENDENCE for their COMFORT, and when they die, what they have lived upon themselves, will descend to their children, and the same HOPES and the same INDEPENDENCE will be a legacy that pays no DUTY.
Sept. 18th
The Aborigines Natives both at Hunters River and in the New Country (Argyle) are still very hostile: several murders have been of late committed by them in the former District, and altho the Mounted Police have been actively engaged in pursuit of them, and have in those affrays shot two or three, yet they seem so far from being intimidated that they become daily more and more daring. . . things indeed now have gone so far that something decisive must be done to stop the progress of this evil, or the Stockmen and shepherds will not readily be persuaded to remain at the distant settlements while exposed to the animosity of a set of untutored savages. As these Natives have never before been known to proceed to such extremeties, there is reason to think some MOTIVE must exist for their present warfare, which if possible should be ascertained, and if six or eight of them could be brought in as prisoners, it is likely we should become acquainted with the cause of their animosity, and probably find it easy of remedy: perhaps our people have been the first aggressors, or possibly want of food may drive them to desperate measures, for it is a fact well known that wherever our stockmen abide, the Kangaroos and Opossums disappear, our dogs destroying them; and thus being driven from the coast, and this usual sustenance destroyed, it is no small evil to these poor simple creatures to be deprived by the invasion of strangers of both food and rainment [sic]. [88]
Sept. 29th
'Bushranging in all its atrocity seems still to prevail instead of being subdued by the numerous executions that have taken place during the last six or eight months, and Housebreaking and Street Robbery was never so frequent in Sydney as during the winter - many reasons are assigned for this, but none of them satisfactorily account for it, as upon all hands it is agreed our Police was never better.
General Darling with all the energy of a powerful mind constantly engaged for the welfare and good government of this people, has not on all occasions shown himself infallible - One error which he has committed which is likely to be an abiding evil: Whoever could persuade His Excellency to bring two hundred of such abandoned bad characters from Port Macquarie might be a friend to humanity but could have thought little about the effect likely to be produced: These men for the most part are notoriously of the worst description, and therefore, if indeed the Prison population were not sufficient to supply the demand for labour, the best that could have been done for the security of the Colonists would have been to work them in Ironed Gangs, till they had given some warranty of their good behaviour.
The delightful rain of yesterday has made everything in the country look refreshed and beautiful: hope may now be entertained that the Epidemic Catarrh which has prevailed in the Colony for the last three weeks or a month will abate - this disorder which is indeed an influenza prevailed to a similar degree about six years ago, it then as it has now, carried off some of the old inhabitants of the Colony the population being now much larger, a greater number of Deaths have taken place. I think I have observed that it has been felt most severely by the native born youth of both sex, but there has been few, if any, deaths from this cause among them - those who have died (about 30) have been old persons with worn out constitutions. [89]
Dec. 26
For my own part I have never had but one opinion, which is that the Govr. will be able to justify his motives to the satisfaction of the British Government, just as I do not believe G_D acted upon his own ideas only in a matter in which the military men were competent judges: secondly I believe he wished to strike terror into the soldiers comprising the Regiment, in Garrison, and that the irons put on the Prisoner were intended only to be used until he was fairly out of sight of his brother soldiers. If indeed G_D had refused to attend to the representations made by the surgeon or surgeons "that Sudds was not in a state of health to bear the irons or undergo the whole punishment" then indeed he would merit the stigma thrown on his character, but we do not hear that any such representations was made, neither do we hear that the Judges or Attorney General made any remonstrance as to the illegality of the sentence, it is said Sudds was in a dropsy before any part of his sentence was carried into execution. What were the Surgeons about that they did not interfere - I do not deny however that the man died of a broken heart but whether such death can be attributed to the harshness of the sentence or to the man's own acute feelings I leave the hair splitting Dr W to convince the public.
That G_D is unpopular as a Governor is very true, but it is equally true that all the Governors who have gone before were as unpopular, and with less reason, for altho' G_D has neither the [faith?] of Governor Mc or of Sir T B, he is as obstinate as the former, and not so easy and mild as the latter, and moreover he makes every man do his duty and I should not hestitate to take a wager that G_D will remain as Governor for the next Eleven Years.
Dec. 27
A most daring robbery was committed almost at our very gate on Saturday evening, a Gentleman going on a visit to a near neighbour of ours, was stopped by two bushrangers who seized the bridle of his horse, but having extricated himself from their grasp, was fired at, the bullet of a Musquit entered the back of his neck behind one of the ears, and came out above the cheek below the eye - believing him to be dead they dragged him into a ditch, and relieved him of his watch and money - he was found in the morning quite insensible, and is now lying dangerously ill at the house of his friend, the great loss of blood he has suffered, and the coolness of the weather, are however favourable. [90] Two suspicious persons have been brought into Liverpool this morning and it is greatly to be hoped if these are not actually the men who committed the atrocious deed, that their detention may lead to that of the gang to which they belong. The Governor with great promptitude came in person to Liverpool to enquire into all the circumstances, and has ordered an additional party of Mounted Patrols on duty in this neighbourhood.