The Present State and Prospects of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales


THE

PRESENT STATE AND PROSPECTS

OF THE

PORT PHILLIP DISTRICT

OF

NEW SOUTH WALES.



BY

CHARLES GRIFFITH, A.M.



"Lanigeros agitare greges, hirtasque capellas,   
Hic labor, hinc laudem fortes sperate coloni."

Virg. Geor. Lib. III.


DUBLIN
WILLIAM CURRY, JUN. AND COMPANY,

LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, & LONGMANS, LONDON.
FRASER AND CO. EDINBURGH.

1845.



DUBLIN
PRINTED BY J. S. FOLDS AND SON,
6, Bachelor's-Walk.



PREFACE.


The principal object of the writer of the following pages has been to lay before the British public an unbiassed picture of Australia Felix, both as regards its physical and social state, in order to enable them to form a judgment as to its eligibility as a field for emigration. He feels that, at a period like the present, when this subject occupies so much of public attention, and has indeed become a matter of such vital importance to England, it is peculiarly desirable that the fullest information should be afforded. In doing this, he has not attempted to conceal any disadvantages under which the colony may labour, nor has he shrunk from exposing what seem to him (whether right or wrong) the errors of the systems which have been, or are still in force. If, in the performance of this ungracious task, he has inadvertently made use of expressions which may be considered strong, he disclaims, once for all, while finding fault with some of their measures, the intention of attributing to the government, whether home or colonial, any feeling but that of zeal for the welfare of the colony.

Much of what follows was written to divert the solitude of an Australian hut, and possibly, in such a situation, some things may have appeared of an importance to which they are not entitled, and have been treated of with a detail which may prove wearisome to the general reader. Nor is the author vain enough to suppose, that mixing in the same pursuits with the majority of settlers, affected by the same interests, and having in view the same ends, he has escaped those prejudices from which no class is entirely exempt. All that he can say with confidence is, that he has not knowingly either misrepresented or exaggerated. Whether he has succeeded in attaining the end which he has proposed to himself, will be best decided by his brother colonists. Until their verdict be known, the British public must be content to take the work on trust, or at best to judge of its truth by the intrinsic evidence it may contain.

Dublin, 16th November, 1844.



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. PAGE
Town and Neighbourhood of Melbourne—River Yarra—Soil of the Country in general—Division of it into four qualities—Command of Water —Climate—Hot Winds—Salubrity—Meteorological Tables—Comparison with Climate of Madeira, Rome, &c.—Productions 1
CHAPTER II.
Population—Exports and other Statistics—Exports and Revenue of South Australia—Boiling down Sheep—Export of Tallow—Salt Beef—Horses—Mimosa Bark 20
CHAPTER III.
The Squatting System and its Tendencies—Present Prospect of Sheep Farmers and Cattle Holders 33
CHAPTER IV.
Mode of life of Squatters—Bush Fires—Bush Travelling 52
CHAPTER V.
Agriculture—Value of the Colonial Market for Grain—Geelong—Prospects of Emigrants—Classes likely to succeed and the contrary—Colonial Society—Labourin Classes—Old Hands and Emigrants—State of Crime—Tables 6 
CHAPTER VI.
New Legislative Council—Exclusion of the Pastoral Interest from the Exercise of the Elective Franchise—Their Importance—Impossibility of Port Phillip's being adequately represented at Sydney—Universal desire of Separation from Sydney—Statement of the Revenue and Expenditure of Port Phillip—First Session of Legislative Council—Its Legislation and General Demeanour—District Councils—Corporation of Melbourne
CHAPTER VII.
Monetary Confusion—Its Causes—Extracts from Reports of Committees of Legislative Council— Remarks 106
CHAPTER VIII.
Remarks on some Objects of Interest amongst the Natural Features and Productions of the Country 119
CHAPTER IX.
Practical Hints to Emigrants 130
CHAPTER X.
Aborigines 145
CHAPTER XI.
Mode of Dealing with the Aborigines—Their Relations with the White Settlers—Lamentable want of Success of the Missions and Protectorate—Extract from Lord Stanley's Despatch on this Subject 168


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.