THE ALBERT RIVER.
(FROM A CORRESPONDENT.)
A SALE of small farms on the Albert River took place at Mr Martin's sale rooms a fort- night ago, when the land sold at very high prices, several of the lots realising £3 per acre.
This little river is a tributary of the Logan, and is navigable for small steamers or sailing
craft for from ten to twelve miles from its con- fluence with that stream. A block of land about a mile square is reserved at and below the confluence of these rivers, on their right bank, for a township, and which will probably be a point of some importance before the lapse of very many years.
This reserve is a fine open piece of land, and is well sheltered on the south by Mount Stapyl- ton -so named in memory of one of the earliest surveyors in the district, who was murdered by the blacks on the Upper Logan, before these lords of the soil had attained the (com- paratively speaking) semi-civilised state in which we now find them. It is also called Yellow-
wood Mountain, having been prolific in that description of timber, and in another sort equally useful known in our coloquial-botanical nomenclature as beech; it is also interesting in a geological point of view. The metamorphic system being more fully developed and exposed here than is usual. We may hope, therefore, that it will yet be interesting in an industrial point of view to the future villagers, who may draw their supplies of stone, lime, marble, and slate therefrom, even if they are not sufficiently fortunate to fall in with the useful or precious metals, nearly all of which have been in one place or other found in this system. The reserve is bounded on the west by the Albert, on the north by the Logan below the junction, and on the cast by moderately open forest land, which is described by the Selector of Agricul- tural Reserves as containing some good land, which may come in at a future time for an agri-
The land on the left bank from the junction, and on the right from the mountain upwards has a point above the head of the navigation, has been taken up, partly in the ordinary way of purchasing country lands at auction or by selec- tion ; one block of 400 acres under the cotton regulations lately in force ; and the remainder under the sugar regulations now in force.
It must be very gratifying to the older settlers on this river, to find that all the land on the left bank, offered some time ago, has been sold, and that the land on the right bank brought such a very good price.
The Messrs Waldron's block was, I believe, the only one scoured under the cotton regula- tions; and these gentlemen still continue to cultivate that useful and valuable plant; but there are no less than seven large blocks selected under the sugar regulations. Messrs Bennett, Warren, Ham, and Goodwin on the left, and Captain Smaile and Messrs Collings and Knight on the right bank, the last named being the smallest and the only one on which operations have not been commenced. The largest, being that of Mr
Warren, 1270 acres, contains a fine piece of rich alluvial land, naturally clear, or nearly so, and on which is now to be soon the tropical sugar-cane, the semi-tropical cotton plant, and maize, and wheat and potatoes of the more temperate regions all in the same patch, and flourishing as well a very dry
weather will admit.
The friends of Mr Bennett, who have lately arrived from the parent isle, and have com- menced operations on the adjoining block, have gone to work with a will, which, if it be in mortals to command success, will do so ; at any rate they deserve it. On another of the blocks several tradesmen have settled, and a ferry, for the use of the more southern settlers, is established -those forming, I presume, the nucleus of a future town. Some three or four
years ago I made my first visit to the Albert, rowing up the placid stream with a friend during the calmness and stillness of a moonlight night. Not a sound to be heard; every leaf was at rest. The monotony was unbroken until we roached the crossing place, than which we could no farther go, and, in whose neighbourhood were located several timber cutters, for this river has heretofore been as celebrated for its indigenous, as it is likely hereafter to be for its exotic vege- table produce.
We rowed down again at daylight in the morning, the same monotonous silence still pre- vailed, but we could now exercise the sense of sight to better purpose, and did not fail to ob- serve the rich and promising dark green foliage of scrub, so gracefully festooned with creepers, relieved occasionally with patches of tolerably clear forest and with a bold range of hills in the background, one to one and a-half mile distant, the whole appearing as if kept on a grand scale in the highest state of the art of the landscape gardener.
But the industry of the Anglo-Saxon and his cousin (German) has taken possession of these
scenes now. The woods echo with the sound of the axe, and reverberate with the sound of the maul and wedges, as the giants of the forest are slain and torn asunder, that they may be ren- dered serviceable to the civilised and civilising influences that are sweeping them down. The lowing kine, the neighing steed, the tinkling bells of working cattle, the bees, fowls, pigs, uphold the creed that " master" has begun life's battle. And toiling early, toiling late, he husbands time, and moans, and health, and soon he owns a good estate, and "just sufficient," which is wealth. He lives in comfort, dies in peace, " regretted much by all who knew him." His battle's o'er, his labours cease, " his works do follow" homeward to him.
The people on the Albert do not appear, however, to make their lives merely an arith- metical calculation, but endeavour to cultivate a friendly feeling and social spirit among them- selves, for on Saturday evening a dinner party was given, at which a goodly number of ladies and gentlemen sat down, and a very pleasant evening was spent in the most approved and orthodox fashion. The room was decorated with the ever-
greens found so plentifully on the banks of the river - a conspicuous ornament being a sample of tolerably well filled and ripe wheat, grown on the plantation. The chair was taken by one of the first and largest proprietors in the neigh- bourhood, and songs and speeches, toasts, and conversation varied and gave a zest to the more material and substantial pleasures of the table.
The company separated at a very respectable hour, not in any way to encroach on the sacred hours of the Sabbath. And I was glad to find on the morning of that hallowed day that there were a few who, in their prosperity, attended to the scriptural injunction, "Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth," and who repaired to the sanctuary to acknowledge Him, so that He might direct their stops. It is gratifying to find such a standard set up; so that while living in and enjoying these oases in the desert physically, there may not be all sterility and bareness moral- ly; and if any gentleman has commenced a sugar plantation, or who owns a sheep or cattle station, or otherwise employs labour in the bush, will take a hint and "go and do likewise," you will not regret inserting these remarks, although generally considered so very much out of place in a newspaper, even by your obedient servant,
P.S. The blacks have mustered here in large numbers for a great fight; they appear to have adopted our territorial divisions, as one party comprises those from Brisbane to Nerang Creek, while the other belligerents are from the Rich- mond district. They repaired to the battle ground yesterday, in all the glory of their arms and accoutrements; and the fortunes of war were to be decided to-day; but us they have no system of telegraphy understood by white fellows, and their William Howard Russell, L.L.D., has not yet returned, I am unable to give you any news from the seat of war.