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"As I wished to fend an officer to England who co: give such information as cannot be conveyed by letters, a the detachment was now divided, I replaced the officer w was Superintendent and Commandant at Norfolk Island, Major Ross; the officer I have recalled having been t\ years on the island, is very capable of pointing out the a vantages which may be expected from it, and I think it pr mises to answer v?ry fully the end proposed by making tl settlement; it will be a place of security for the convict where they will som support themselves, and where th< may be advantageously employed in cultivating the fla plant."

"Extracts from Instructions given by Governor Phillip t the Lieutenant Governor, during his command at Norfoll lslnnti, dated 2d March, 1790.

"YOU will cause the convicts to be employed in th« Cultivation of the land, in such manner as shall appear tc •you the best calculated to render that settlement independent, as far as respects the necessaries of life, paying such attention to the cultivation of the flax plant as your situation will admit of, and which is to be the principal object, when the necessaries of life are secured to the settlers.

•f As from the great increase of corn and other vegetable food, which may be expected from a common industry, and in so fertile a soil, after a certain quantity of ground is cleared and in cultivation, as well as fiom the natural increase of swine and other animals, it cannot be expedient that all the convicts lhoul.1 be employed in attending only to the object of provisions, you are to cause the greatest possible nun;tar of these people to be employed in cultivating and dressing the flax plant, as a means of acquiring cloathing for themselves and other persons, who mav hecome settlers, as well as for a variety of maritime purposes, and for which its superior excellence renders it a desirable object in Europe.

"You will, at every opportunity, transmit to me all such remarks or observations as you mav make respecting the nature of the soil on the island, and point out such means as may appear to you the most likely to answer the views of Government in the cultivation of the flax plant, and in rendering that island independent for the necessaries of |itf*. and for the order and government of the settlers thereon, that such information may from me be transmitted to His Majesty's Ministers."




slk Island is situated in the latitude 290 Go', and in itude of 16S0 00' east: its form is nearly an oblong, lœntiins from twelve to fourteen thousand acres. The face of the country is hilly, and some of the vallies sRtokrahly large for the size of the island; many of the Mil arc very steep, and some sew so very perpendicular, that they cannot be cultivated; but where such situations are, fftsj will do very well for fuel; on the tops of the hills are fame extensive flats.

Mount Pitt is the only remarkable high hill in the island, ai is about one hundred and fifty fathoms high. The clifts which surround the island are about forty fathoms high, and perpendicular; the basis of the island is a hard firm clay. The whole island is covered with a thick wood, choaked up Jitn underwood.

The island is vrell supplied with many streams of very sine water; many of which are sufficiently large to turn any Bomber of mills. These springs are full of very large eels.

From the coast to the summit of Mount Pitt, is a continuation of the richest and deepest foil in the world, which Wfies from a rich black mould to a fat red earth; we have log down forty feet, and found the fame soil; the air is very 'bofcsome, and the climate mav be called a very healthy ~ ;there has been no sickness since 1 first landed on the

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• are five kinds of trees on the island, which are good *■» viz. the pine, live oak, a yellow wood, a hard black "wd, and a wood not unlike the English beech. The pine ^ are of a great size, many of which are from 180 to ^feet in height, and from six to nine feet in diameter, 'nose trees which are from IOO to 180 feet in height, are in |enerat found; from the root to the lower branches, there is >&Q to 90 feet of sound timber, the rest is too hard and for use; it sometimes happens, that after cutting off J fe«t from the butt, it becomes rotten or fhakey, for 'reason no dependance can be put in it for large masts wJwils. The timber of the pine is very useful in building, '" very plentiful along the coast; its dispersed situation ■« interior parts of the island, is well calculated for erect 5 such buildings as may be necessary. From what I have j*" of this wood, I think it is very, durable. Two boats Deen built of it, and have answered the purpose fully, she live oak, yellow wood, black wood, and beech, are 11101 a close grain, and are a durable wood. V°i-.XX1X. N The

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the flax plant of New Zealand grows spontaneous!.] many parts of the island, but mostly abounds on the sea era where there is a very great quantity of it; the leave which the flax is made, are, when full grown, six feet and six inches wide; each plant contains seven of those lea a strong woody stalk rises from the centre, which bears flowers; it feeds annually, and the old leaves are forced I by young ones every year. Every method has been trieJ Work it, but I much fear that until a native of New ZeaLfl can be carried to Norfolk Island, that the method of dreffis that valuable commodity will not be known ; and could tB be obtained, I have no doubt but Norfolk Island would vei soon clothe the inhabitants of New South Wales.

There are a great quantity of pigeons, parrots, hawk and other smaller birds, which are now in a wild state.

The ground is much inserted with different kinds of tl grub worm, which are very destructive to the growth of if getables; they are mostly troublesome about the spring. | is to be hoped that when more ground is cleared away, tin this evil will cease.

There is no quadrupede on the island, except the rat which is much smaller than the Norway rat: these vermii Were very troublesome when first we landed, but at presen there are but very few.

The coasts of the island abound with very sine fish. Nc opportunities were ever lost of sending the boat out, which enabled us to make a saving of two pounds of meat, each man, a week.

The coasts of the island are in general steep too, and, excepting at Sydney, Anson, Ball, and Cascade Bays, they are inaccessible, being surrounded by steep perpendicular clifts rising from the sea. Some rocks are scattered about close tt> the shore.

Sydrley Bay, oh the south side of the island, is where the settlement is made. Landing at this place entirely depends On the wind and the Weather; I have seen as good landing as in the Thames, for a fortnight or three weeks together, and I have often seen it impracticable to land for ten or twelve days successively; but it is much oftener good landing than bad.

Anson Bay is a small bay with a sandy beach, where landing is in general good, with an ofF-fhore wind and moderate weather; but as the interior parts of the island are so difficult of access from thence, no ship's boats have ever landed there.

Ball Bay is on the south-east side of the island; the beach is a large loose stone; when landing is bad in Sydney Bay, it is very good here, as it also is in Cascade Bay, on the north fid« of the island.


During the winter months, viz. from April to August, tixjeneraJ winds are the south and south west, with heavy gib it times. In the summer, the south-east wind blows abefcon slant.

The spring is visible in August, but the native trees, and Csij plants in the island, are'in a constant slate of flower>{: the summer is warm, and sometimes the droughts are wygjeat; all the grain and European plants seeded in Decrmber: from February to August may be called the rainy lason, not that I think there is any slated times for rains «i these months, as it is sometimes very fine weather for a fortnight together, but when the rain does fall, it is in tortest*. 1 do not remember above three claps of thunder during the time I was on the island. The winter is very pleaUt, md it never freezes.

The proper time for sowing wheat and barley is from May to August, and is got in in December; that which has been sowed has produced twenty-five fold, and I think the incieise may be greater. Two bushels of barley, sowed in 1789, produced twenty-four bushels of a sound full grain.

The Indian corn produces well, and is, in my opinion, best grain to cultivate in any quantity, on account of tae little trouble attending its growth, and manufacturing Sr eating.

The Rio Janeiro sugar cane grows yery well, and is


Vines and oranges are very thriving; of the former there be a great quantity in a few years.

Potatoes thrive remarkably well, and yield a very great "Ktafe; I think two crops a year of that article may be got *ith great ease.

Every kind of garden vegetable thrives well, and comes to perfection.

The quantity of ground cleared, and in cultivation, beiMging to the Public, was, on the lath March, 1790, from t»enty eight to thirty-two acres, and about eighteen cleared *] free people and convicts for their gardens.



10th, 1791.


An Account of the Number of Convicts which have been fhippe from England for New South Wales, and of the Number intend* to be sent in the Shipi now under Orders for that Service: Mai out pursuant to an Order of the Honourable House of Common dated 9th February, 1791.


Convicts shipped — — 2,029

Convicts intended to be sent in the ships now under orders 1.830

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An Account of the Expence incurred in transporting Convicts to New South Wales, as far as the fame can be made up.

Nature of the Expence-. Amount

Freight of the transport ships, with the expence of £. s. d.

fitting them for the service — — 42>27i O 4

Cloathing, slops, and bedding — 4>939 16 8

Victualling and providing for the convicts and
the marine guard, prior to sailing, as also
on the passage, and for a store there, viz.

C *

Prior to sailing - - 4*324 1 11

On the passage - - 7,310 12 2

For a store at New South Wales 16,205 3 0
Wine, essence of malt, &.c. 381 15 1

.« 28,221 12 2

Handcuffs and irons for securing the convicts - 42 O 1

Stationary for the Commissary of Stores and Provisions,

and for the Commanding Officer of Marines - 63 19 4

Tools, implements of husbandry, &c. — 3>°5^ 8 7

Marquees and camp equipage for marine officers 389 4 1

Portable house for the Governor 130 o o

Medicines, drugs, surgeons'instruments, and necessaries 1,429 15 5 Seed grain — 286 17 4

Carried over - 80,830 14 0

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