1846 to 1896.
HALF-A-CENTURY OF NEWS-
A CHEQUERED CAREER.
GENESIS OF A DAILY PAPER.
THE EARLY PRESS OF
OLD "COURIER" FILES.
THE HISTORY OF THE "COURIER."
By J. J. K.
The history of the "Courier" is the history of Queensland, and much be- sides; for its birth was antecedent by many years to that of the colony. In- deed, its yellow, age-stained pages re- cord in many respects quite as much. of the past of this portion of the con- tinent as it is desirable or convenient to remember, if not to know. The "Cou- rier" truly belongs to the ranks of the pioneers who rescued Queensland from a regretted, crime-stained past, and gave it a new start in life; an army whose very existence is sometimes forgotten in the busy present, but whose footprints nevertheless are indelibly stamped on the road of progress. It started out alone, but soon had companion journals, some of whom exist still, but others fell out, and were for ever lost to view. The "Courier" was born fighting, and luckily so, for its early aggressive activity gave it that strength which proved its main- stay in later years. The time-honoured words of John Knox, "I am in the place where I am demanded of conscience to speak the truth," was adopted as its motto. That motto forcibly described its mission. It is not pleasant to pic- ture what might have happened had not this mission been undertaken when it was. But half a decade before its appearance Moreton Bay had been the isolated depot for thrice-convicted felons, with an inhibition placed on free men, which prevented their approaching it nearer than fifty miles. Less than five years after the first issue of the "Courier" witnessed a powerful and in- fluential agitation for the conversion of Moreton Bay again into a convict depot, and valiant attempts were made also to shift the capital of the district. Those attempts only died with separation, and the "Courier," while resisting con- victism, did a great deal to pro- mote Separation. Then and only then was misrepresentation stemmed and the northern corner of Australia made safe. Truly did Arthur Sidney Lyon, the father of the Queensland Press, speak when he wrote : "We commence our labours at a crisis highly interesting and important."
FOUNDATION OF THE PAPER. It is impossible to discern at this late date the actual circumstances which led to the undertaking of the venture. We do know, however, that early in 1846 Mr. Lyon arrived in the Settlement from Sydney, and considerably as- tonished the dozen or more "mer- chants" by inquiring as to what the prospects of a paper would be. Mr. Lyon was one of the most able and most versatile writers of the period, and it also says much for his business acumen that he was able to get that tangible support which warranted him in start- ing the "Courier." Prior to his visit he had enlisted the sympathy of Mr. James Swan, who at that time was in the composing-room of the "Colonist,"' Dr. Lang's paper. Dr. Lang, to whom Mr. Swan owed the fact of his presence in Sydney, Is also said to have advised the establishment of a paper at More- ton Bay, in which place he was deeply interested, and which he may fairly be said to have colonised. Mr. Lyon, as editor, and Mr. Swan, as publisher, came and con- quered. They took upstairs premises, by courtesy designated a room, but in reality only a garret in a building which stood at the corner of Queen and Albert streets. This building was afterwards known to old residents as the North Star Hotel, but may be better described to present day people as the Australian, which latter was bullt in 1868, a disas- trous fire having demolished the North Star hostelry. The first issue was made on the 20th June, 1846, and, as will be
seen from its reproduced pages appear- ing elsewhere, it was really a very creditable production. Its size was what is known to the trade as demy- folio, four pages, and its sixteen columns carried but the one heading on Its first page. The advertisements which ap- peared bore testimony to the opening sentence of the editor, which declared that the paper "had been established in compliance with the almost unanimous wish of every resident of character, pro- perty, and intelligence of this extensive district." Mr. Lyon and Mr. Swan did not pull well together, although the "Moreton Bay Courier" appeared each week with clock-like regularity. At the end of the first year and a-half the pair decided to part company, Mr. Swan, in December, 1847, taking sole control. An inkling of the fact that there had not been complete harmony in working is furnished by Mr. Swan's notification of the change. He wrote, "The paper will be conducted on the same independent and consistent principles which have hitherto distinguished it, and by the same person to whom during the last three or four months its literary man- agement has been chiefly intrusted." The real trouble between them was a growing sympathy on the part of Mr. Lyon with the squatter party, who at this time were spurring on the trans- portation cause, and an equally increas- ing desire on the part of Mr. Swan, backed up by Dr. Lang, to prevent the consummation of the scheme. As a matter of fact, some of Mr. Lyon's articles, which Mr. Swan either was powerless to stop, or they escaped his notice, have led many into the opinion that the revival of transportation was one of the "Courier's" strongly urged views. Mr. Lyon was not for- gotten by his friends, who, in July, 1850, established him as editor of the "Moreton Bay Free Press," the early issues of which furnished evi- dence of enmity between it and the "Courier." The "Free Press" lived just as long as the agitation which» prompted its establishment; it then died, and, if the truth must be told, it was missed, for, however much the principles it enunciated might be depre- cated, it must be conceded that, con- ducted by men of the Lyon, Sylvester, Doig, and Robert Meston school, it oc- cupied a prominent place In the world
But the "Courier" steadfastly pur- sued the track which had at the outset
been mapped out for it. "Liberty"
"Was Its watchword, and it fought for it. Moreton Bay made rapid strides under its advocacy. Local wants were urged as they appeared with a power as great as it was persistent. It, indeed, placed Itself in the van of progress. The new year of 1848 - exactly twelve months' after Mr. Swan had assumed sole con- trol - saw the "Courier" enlarged to double-crown, still four pages, but con- taining twenty columns. At this it re- mained until December, 1852. No one seems to remember exactly who filled the editorial chair during these years, but whoever he was, the records of his work stamp him as having been a man of marked ability. Anyone who reads through the columns of the "Courier" of this time must be struck with the wonderful perspicuity which character- ised the guiding brain of the "Courier's" destinies. In 1853, however, it is known that that racy writer, William Wilks, was the controlling mind, and it may be noted, in passing, that he possessed amongst other characteristics a pro- nounced aversion to the Church gene- rally, born of a refusal on the part of an Anglican clergy- man to bury his child because the father happened to be a Wesleyan. The paper itself was enlarged to four-page double-demy-half its present size-and so it remained for nearly three decades. But if it was stationary in size, it be- trayed signs of progress in other ways. Five years after this latter enlargement it was issued twice a week instead of weekly, a departure which showed un- bounded faith in Moreton Bay's future. For, let it be remembered, It was still in the throes of battle with the domi- nant party, who just about this time had achieved the greatest amount of success that ever graced their project. Both politically and financially the "Courier's" opponents were strong; the race was in many respects unequal. But the old Liberal spirit imported with Dr. Lang's immigrants, and fanned by the old follower of John Knox himself, was beginning to manifest its potency, and it was doubtless a knowledge of this which encouraged the "Courier" pro- prietary to launch out. The circula- tion, at any rate, had run up from about 200 in 1847 to something like 1000 in 1858, notwithstanding the presence of opposition in the form of the "Free Press," with two "squatocratic" off- shoots in the shape of the "North Aus- tralian" at Ipswich (first published in 1855), and the "Darling Downs Gazette," which first saw the light in June, 1858, and which Arthur Sidney Lyon also edited. William Coote, himself a man of considerable literary talent, writing some years ago, thus describes the Press prior to separation: - "There was only one in Brisbane - the old 'Courier' - whose politics at the time were pro- fessedly Liberal, which meant anti- squattiñg in the district, and of the Manchester school in other respects. It neither meddled, nor assumed to meddle, with literature properly so-called; and, as to ecclesiastical matters, seemed to have inheilted the feeling prevalent
"Oyster women locked their fish up, |
And trudged away to cry, 'No
Mr. Coote could, had he liked, have told us why the "Courier" never unduly meddled in literature. It had not time. Local wants were still many, and had
to be fought for.
As nearly everybody knows, the fight for Separation culminated in its being granted in 1859. To mark its victory, the "Courier" on the first of the new year (1860) entered upon a tri-weekly publication, and its rapid growth in both circulation and Influence brought even a more notable change in April, 1861, when it assumed the dignified mantle of
a daily journal.
The "Courier" had become more and more uncompromising in its attitude
towards "the dominant," or Conserva- tive, party - who, believing the time had arrived for the administering of another check, revived out of the ashes of the now dead "Free Press" a new publica- tion, styled "The Guardian." For several years "The Guardian" proved a formidable rival to the "Courier," which had passed in 1861 out of the hands of Mr. Swan into those of Messrs. Lilley (ex-Chief Justice) and Bell- bridge, and then to Mr. T. B. Stephens, father of the present mem- ber for South Brisbane. The battle was a sharp and decisive one; and from this engagement dates the "Courier's" first great trouble. The fight ended as all others had done, in a supremacy for the "Courier." The proprietors of both journals coalesced, and "The Guardian" and its attendant "Weekly Herald" were swallowed up. Mr. Stephens, of course, retained the lion's share of the interest. To Mr. Stephens may he as- cribed many honours, but perhaps the one he appreciated least was that which
THE FIRST STATE TRIAL
in Queensland. The whole affair was complicated, and beginning as it did in judicial circles, was bound to end there. The story is a long one, but briefly it is this: Mr. Justice Lutwyche had be- come mixed up in an undignified squabble with the powers that be. The "Courier" backed the Judge. One of its editorial onslaughts was directed against the gentlemen of the Legislative Council, who insisted on the "Courier" (being prosecuted for criminal libel. Mr. Ratcliffe Pring, Attorney-General, was perforce compelled to take action, since the Legislative Council by resolution Instructed him to. His indictment of the "Courier" through Theophilus Parsons Pugh, then editor, was a masterpiece of judicial absurdity. It ran something like this: "Ratcliffe Pring, Esq., Attorney-General, comes into the Supreme Court and informs the said court that Theophilus Parsons Pugh, being a wicked, malicious, sedi- tious, and Ill-disposed person, and hav- ing no regard for the laws of this colony, or for the public peace or tranquillity of this colony, and most unlawfully, wickedly, and maliciously devising, con- triving, and intending to asperse, scan- dalise, and vilify the Legislative Council of Queensland, and most vividly and audaciously to represent their proceed- ings in Parliament as corrupt and un- just, and to make it be believed and thought as If the said Legislative Coun- cil were a most wicked, base, and coi rupt set of persons," and so on ad nauseum. Mr. Pugh's heinous offence constituted a statement in effect that the honourable gentlemen did not know their business and did not possess the confidence of the country. Of course Mr. Pugh defended it, and of course, also, the "Courier" was honourably acquitted, the crowded court cheering, and a few loyal supporters subscribing towards the law costs. In later years the "Courier" got into serious trouble in other law cases, the late Mr. Thomas Woodward Hill, the faithful servant of the company for many years, having on one occasion to do durance vile for one night pending the securing of the neces-
CHANGES OF PROPRIETORSHIP.
Unfortunately the management was controlled by a board of directors who, steeped in political antagonism, thought only of party politics. It followed that the paper's policy suffered, while Mr. Stephens's position, to say nothing of that of its unfortunate editors, William O'Carroll, and, later, George Hall . ("Bohemian"), was no sinecure. The divided rule ended In disaster. The "Courier," together with the "Queens- lander (established in 1861), was in 1873 made to suffer the depreciating effect of auction, where it fetched £13,600. The purchaser was Mr. W. Baynes. Mr. Baynes does not appear to have been enamoured with the gutter of journalis- tic distinction, for three or four days afterwards he and his purchase parted company, Mr. Baynes being £2000 to the good. The new masters were Messrs. Gresley Lukin, E. I. C. Browne, and W. Thornton, who styled them- selves the Brisbane Newspaper Com- pany, and selected the first-named as their manager. Mr. Lukin, however, came almost immediately into conflict with his editor (Mr. Hall), because, so it
is said, the latter would not permit the
manager to adopt the title pertaining to the literary chieftainship. This ended in Mr. Hall severing his connection with the "Courier," and transferring his affection, as well as his "Odd Notes," by "A Bohemian," to the
"Telegraph," which had been estab-
lished in 1872. The blow was not un- felt by Mr. Lukin, for the "Bohemian" had become quite an institution, and his removal, if only across the way, had an effect on the subscription list. However, Mr. Lukin found a way out in the engagement of W. H. Traill, who proved a decided acquisition to the staff, and who adopted for his notes the title of "Specialties," which formed a feature of the "Queenslander." Mr. Traill thus made one of his first hits In journalism. "Specialties" were some years later corrupted into "Moot Points," " Moot Points" in turn being rechristened "Stonograms," in which form the notes now appear In the "Queenslander." Typhoid fever had twelve months after the birth of "Specialties" to be reckoned with, for, suffering a severe attack, Traill was laid low for a considerable period, during which substitutes had to be found. Lukin's hunt for them resulted in the introduction to "Specialties" of Marcus Clarke, Nehemiah Bartley, Brunton Stephens, John Douglas, and last, but not least, the ever-kind, amiable, and able Carl Feilberg, who, years after- wards, was elevated to the editorial chair, and filled it until Death carried him off. It was at this period of change in the "Courier's" proprietary that William O'Carroll again became editor of the "Courier," suc- ceeding George Hall, and carrying on the paper on the independent lines laid down by Mr. Lukin. The "Courier" had not that fascination for Mr. Lukin which one would naturally expect to find. Apparently he preferred to bend his stoutest energies to the task of moulding the "Queenslander," and mak- ing it both in literary excellence and general get-up one of the best and most influential weekly newspapers in the Southern Hemisphere. Lukin it was who promoted the "Queenslander" transcontinental expedition in 1879, which was headed by Ernest Favenc.
In 1881 Mr. Lukin's interest was pur- chased by Mr. Charles Hardie Buzacott, whose connection not only with the "Courier," but with the Press of Queensland in Maryborough, Clermont, and Rockhampton, has secured for him a prominent place in the annals of journalism, and has made him one of the best-known of living litterateurs in this colony. A change was at once ap- parent in the "Courier." Himself a practical printer, Mr. Buzacott was able to detect and remedy technical defect, and his managerial experience had taught him that the price of the paper, then 3d., was beyond the reach of many would-be readers. Any alteration in this latter respect was a matter of some moment, however, involving, as it probably would, a serious shrink- age in the revenue of the com- pany. But desperate diseases call for desperate remedies, and after two years he decided not only to reduce the price to 2d., but to increase its size to eight pages, as at present. New premises, too, were erected in Queen-street (the present site of Messrs. King and King's auction rooms), and the company's papers re- moved thence from the offices that had been so long occupied at the corner of George and Charlotte streets. In 1886 Mr. R. Gailey purchased the share held by the Hon. W. Thornton (one of those who formed the board of directors on the decease of the "Guardian"), and re- tained it until 1894. In the year 1887 the present fine buildings of the com- pany were first occupied,
There is little more to add, for this brings us to quite modern history. Per- haps the two outstanding events since 1882 have been the ac- quirement of the "Evening Ob- server" by the Brisbane Newspaper Company, and the erection of the prä- sent fine building, which admittedly forms one of the finest newspaper blocks in the world. It should also be noted that early in 1893, the price of the "Courier" was again reduced, and it became one of the first penny morning dailies in Australia. The "Observer" had, in- deed, a chequered career. It was born in Ipswich, where it almost expired a vic- tim to political fickleness and partisan- ship. Its earliest days form a valuable object lesson, as showing the effect of change upon party politics. It was, in fact, the party organ of the then Ministry, but came to grief, and was removed to Brisbane by Mr. Mellifont, who held on to it until 1880, when It passed into the hands of the Hons. M'llwraith, More- head, and P. Perkins. They sold to a limited liability company, who con- ducted it as a morning paper in the in- terests of the Conservative party, until 1883. The opposition offered by the "Courier" was, however, too great, and the losses having been heavy, a change was again tried, and it was converted into an evening journal. But its day of usefulness had been, spent in its then form, and a few months saw it submitted to the inevitable auction. By this means its market value was ascertained to be £1010, at which figure Mr. Buzacott bought. His intention was to utilise the type and machinery for the better pro- duction of the "Courier" and "Queens- lander," but an examination of the books suggested that the case of the "Ob- server" was not altogether hopeless. He at any rate resolved to maintain the publication of it. Eight months' trial disclosed the fact that the right step had been taken, for the success achieved warranted Mr. Buzacott in enlarging the "Observer" to double its size. Thus he established the first eight-page evening paper published in Queensland, a paper which now lives to testify to the careful nurture received at the hands of a foster parent.
Reverting In conclusion to the earliest days of the "Courier," it may be of interest to state that the paper was so named by Colin John Mackenzie, of Warra Warra (or Cobble Cobble, as it was called in those days). It seems that Lyon met Mackenzie, and having told him of his intention to start
paper, asked him if he could suggest a name for It. Mackenzie, thinking
moment, replied, "Why not call it the 'Moreton Bay Courier?' " Lyon was impressed with the name, and so the "Courier" was christened. It is a note- worthy fact that the press on which
the "Courier" was printed was the
second one manufactured in the colo- nies, the first one being used for the printing of the old Sydney "Australian," established in 1824. The whole of the type, too, was of colonial manufacture,
Mr. Alex. Thomson, of Sydney, being
the typefounder. As a matter of fact, the "Courier" office was the first one established in the Southern Hemisphere
entirely of colonial material. The com-
parison 'between the "Moreton Bay
Courier" of 1846, as illustrated on an- other page, and the "Brisbane Courier"
of 1896, as furnished by the issue oí to- day, speaks with more eloquence than anything that can be written of the de- velopment of the Press in the metropo- lis of Queensland. The contents of the two papers further indicate the growth of the colony under civilising influences, and the genius of man. This contrast might be deemed as sufficient by some. Still a brief outline of the career of the oldest newspaper in the youngest colony may also have an interest to many; at all events, what has been written will serve to illustrate, if nothing else, the old truism which declares that perfec- tion and success often come through
the medium of vicissitude.
AN OLD "COURIER" FILE SOME CURIOUS RELICS.
WRECK OF THE SOVEREIGN
THE CURRENCY QUE'STIO'N.
AN EARLY LAND SALE.
TRICES OF PRODUCE.
And now let us glance through the first bound volume of the "Moreton Bay Courier." and see what the world was doing fifty years ago. Starting at home, we find the "Courier" raising its first agitation. Its desires were ex- pressed in the 'headline, " We Want a Bank !" and its views prefaced by a quotation from Adam Smith's " Wealth of Nations." It must be confessed that it is somewhat surprising to read the declaration that at that early period of our history money-lenders flourished ; men who, unlike SIgnor Antonio, did
" Lend out money gratis ; and bring
The rate of usance lhere with us in
There was thus early a dog nuisance, a few incorrigibles whose vagaries brought them into unpleasant acquaint- anceship with the "police, and actually an agitation for a Land Bill that would be fair to pastoral tenants. This latter fact may prove some consolation to Mr. Foxton, for -whose special benefit it is stated that there is a wonderful similarity in the grievances of to-day and those of lialf it century back ! Labour was a thorn in tho flesh, too, and Governor 'Gipps, who Iliad become celebrated for his "squeezing" pro- pensities, had been, brought into con- flict with his Ministers by reason ol' the latter's refusal to agree to the Crown Lands and Border Police Bills. Just about this time a census had been taken of the County of «Stanley and the Darling Down?. This is extremely Interesting, since it gives U9 au idea of the extent of our importance at the period w'hen we were starting out as a free community. The total popula- tion of the County of Stanley was given in this as 1399 persons, 470 of whom were females, while there were 203 finished houses and 50 in an un finislied state. Darling Downs was re- turned with a population of G3S per- sons. ¡Reviewing these returns some weeks later, the " Courier" remarked : --" Wihen Ave reflect that this district was opened for location by free set- tlers at a time when the colonists were labouring under great commercial de- pression, it is not surprising that the progress of population has- not been more rapid. Among many other things useful-nay, indispensable-to its ac- celerated progress Is the reduction of the price of land, fixity of tenure for the squatters, and the extension of agri- cultural farms- throughout the district. These objects «ince attained will be the means of attracting capitalists io our shores. The little one will then be- come a thousand, the small one a strong nation, and the wilderness blossom as the rose." 'How greatly similar are our present wants ; indeed, it is remarkable how much ol' the old daj7 «dvocacy fits in with present-day requirements.
Among the other mattere of colonial interest vigorously discussed was the proposal to resume transportation, and an agitation promoted by " upwards of three hundred and fifty persons of the greatest respectability" for a recog- nition of the long-lost Leichhardt'» claims for compensation for Ibis Port Essington Expedition ; and ¡travelling across the herring-pond we find four month-old mail news recording Sir Robert Peel's action in respect to the Corn Laws. And regarding Dr. Leich- hardt'« operations, it is interesting to und reports of his lectures delivered in the old Sydney School of Arts. Indeed, Jiis views and description of the flora and fauna of Central and Northern Australia are of the most valuable nature, indicating, as they do, the thoroughness with which the ex- plorer did his work.
If one may judge by the records of the advertising mau, there were in the new community a plenteousness of new- born luxuries and comforts which speak volumes for the enterprising character of its 'business folk. One reads on the first page of the " Courier" of the advent of billiards, for instance, at the old Sovereign Hotel (some years later burnt down), of special consign- ments of brandy and rum, and of a supply of turtle soup at the Victoria Hotel, "at 1 p.m. to-day precisely, at very reasonable prices ;" while an ad- vertisement notifying that Clark Irving ¡had been appointed official assignee in the estate of a Kangaroo Point man, whose name has been handed down to posterity in the titular distinction of cue of its streets, iudicated that even so long ago there was a haven of shelter for the impecunious 'neath the wings of the friendly insolvency law. Cleve- land Point, too. was just springing into prominence, and vieing with Brisbane and Ipswich for supremacy. But even Cleveland was lost sight of in the anxi- ety which manifested itself in an effort to establish a convict colony in what is now North Queensland. The story of Colonel 'Barney, who had the mission in hand, has already been told, and it does not therefore appear necessary to go into detail here as to the scheme. It is sufficient to mention Qiere that while the gallant colonel was preparing to
land with that ceremony which marks I most military events, his vessel, the Lord Auckland, struck a sandbank, and with an ebbing tide was left straining and rolling 'heavily, and ¡his Honour landed ingloriously on Facing Island ; the fine things having ,been "hurriedly thrust aside, and all attempts to render " ¡honour to whom honour is due," as the copy-books have it, were frustrated. So also were the proposals of the promoters of the scheme, for which the anti transportationists offered much praise.
The early issues of the " Courier" demonstrate that energy was one of the leading characteristics of the resi- dents. Theyx formed a Moreton Bay District Association, the object of which was to " advance all the interests of the district," and it is significant that a Benevolent Society had been in full hlast two years. Private enter- prise was directed, too, to the work
of exploration, as the following adver- tisement-one of many-will show :
THE ubeno Sum is ready to bo given to the Party
wlio will find, maik, ami point out to tbe satis- faction of two competent judges, a good, practical Line of Eo.id for wool teams, horn Ferriter ami Uhr's Cattle Station, on the Btlsunno River, over D'Actjui lar's Banco, into North Brisbane.
For «articulais, apply to
Vf. KENT. July 23,13JC.
-This offer was no1 long in exciting re- plies, for in less than a mouth "the two competent judges" were called upon to decide the claims of several persons. By the time half of the year 1S46 had boen spent Ipswich had risen to the dignity of 'a town which had been 'invaded by the first steamer-the Ex- periment-that tad ever plied the waters of the (Brisbane, the port of Moreton Bay had been defined and a survey thereof ordered, uvnd arrange- ments had been entered into for postal communication between North '.and South Brisbane. The " Courier" pro- moted all, and much more. Not un- mindful of the " naked wanderers of the wilds" who had been superseded by civilised man, it instituted correspon- dence ou the true position and the na- tural rights of the aborigines of the colony. It demanded justice for the natives, but it is to be regretted that no record is to be found of it ever being
Established as it was so soon after the throwing open ol' the place to free settlement, it is astonishing to find so few references in the " Courier" to the earlier times -of the place. Here and there, however, is a peg on which the picture of history may be hung. Most of these «re in the advertising pages, where rewards are offered for the dis- covery of so-and-so, a ticket-of-leave man, or iu the local intelligence column, .which records the castigation of some convict for insubordination. The fol- lowing paragraph tells its own tale :
" Discovery of Human Bones.-A few days since, as one of the labourers em- ployed by Mr. 'Sftvfiry in building his new house was digging in the garden a't the back of the premises, he dis- covered part of a human skeleton, with irons on the legs similar to those worn by the prisoners during the time this place was a penal settlement. It is conjectured H'hat the bones are the remains of some poor wretch who had in all probability been murdered by a fellow prisoner and afterwards placed by him under the sod to escape de- tection. It is well known that murders among the prisoners were not infre- quent, and that many of them com- mitted the most diabolical crimes in order that they might be deprived of an existence which had become hate- ful as well as burdensome on account of the severity of their punishment."
By way of change, let the reader cast his eye over the following advertise- ment, and imagine, of he cari, the feel- ings of the man whose picture was not " rescued" from the sale :
IF JOHN Q-, who airivefl in this district, per
schooner William, about 12 months (¡ince, docs not retire his promiasoiy-noto for ¡86 given for his passago money, his picture, left as collateral security, will be sold in 14 days from tbis date and irumediato stepstaken to lecover the balance (if any) due.
Commission Agent, Brisbane.
In September, 1S-16, the " Courier" felt justified in flapping its wings and crowing the following :-" Tbe time we trust 3s not far distant when the venerable gentleman who ds nominally the representative of the great elec- toral district of Gloucester, Macquarie, and Stanley, will mark his sense of duty to his adopted country "by tendering ¡his resignation.Thanks to our magnificent district, thanks to the wealth and energy of an enterprising
and intelligent community, our fran-
chisal claims are no longer insignif- cant. Prom the small number of 12
votes given by the electors of Stanley at the time of Mr. M'Leay's return to the Legislative Council the electoral roll prepared by the Chief Constable in April last showed that there were
then resident in the county 57 persons entitled to a voice 'in our colonial As- sembly." These fifty-seven privileged
persons were-Thomas Adams, David K. Bollon, Arthur Binstead, David Bow, John Burgess, John Boyland, David Bunton, Kersay Cannon, Jno. Camp hell, Richard G. Coley, W. -M. Dorsey, Robert Davidson, Robert Dix, George Edmonstone, Andrew Graham, John Gregor, T. H. Green, Jacob Goode, John Harris, Thomas Horsman, W. Iland cock, James Hill, Henry G. Isaac, John Kelly, E. Lord, Benjamin Lee, Henry Lynch, Patrick Leslie, G. Little, L. F.
Layan!, John M'Connel. D. M'Connel, i Thomas Mooro, John Ocock, Richard F. Phelarj, David Peattie, Andrew Petrie, Daniel Petersen, W. Pickering, J. Richardson, R. Rowland, John Shep- herd, W. Sheehan, M. Sheehan, D. Sky- ring, G. M. Slade, John Smith, George Thorn, W". II. Thomson, Henry Wade, J. C. Wickham, Alexander Wright, James Warren, and John Williams.
Some idea of the value of labour is got from a paragraph which records the engagement of twenty-six men, who arrived from the South. The shep- herds were employed at a wage of £25 per annum, hut keepers demanding £22 with " good rations." These twenty-six men were part of a parcel engaged in Sydney through the medium ol' Mr. A. Graham, who Iliad been appointed 'agent for the squatters, and had at his disposal a labour fund subscribed hy tho pastoral lessees. Incidentally it may be remarked that quite a fueil
-existed between those in the country land those in the settlement in conse- quence of the latter engaging men who
had been .introduced through the ]
agency of the former.
A land sale held on the 24th October i gave the " Courier" an opportunity of j reviewing the relative merits of Bris- bane and Ipswich. iRecording the re- sults of the sale, which Avas satisfactory to Ipswich, the " Courier" said : " There
(was a good deal of competition for several of the lots, particularly for the Ipswich ones, which fetched high prices. There was no offer for tin» land du _\Torth Brisbane, which is to he attributed to the incorrect ?and injudicious statement of the Colonial Secretary in the Legis- lative Assembly to the effect lint Brisbane could not long be the commercial town for this district, in consequence of the bar which pro vented vessels ol' any size cominsr up tlie river. The Colonial Secretary also stated that the police magistrate was at present engaged in fixing the site for the new town." It is to be feared tliat the Colonial Secretary was not much of a prophet. At the same time, while such statements as his may excite merriment now, the effect then might have been serious enough.
Commercial men and squatters may toe interested in the prices current to- wards the end of 1S-1G. A herd of 330 head of cattle were submitted and sold at £1 a head, with calves given in, out of which price it is to be feared those managing tlie estate of the vendor (E. E. Dalrymple) derived very little con- solation. Van Dieman's Land hay sold at £7 a ton, wool in the grease fetched at Mort's, in Sydney, from Gd. to 7Vjd. per lb., sheepskins from ."x1, to r>y2d. per lb., maize fetched 4s. 3d. per bushel, hides from Ss. 2d. to 8s. Gd. each, and bppf tallow £29 10s. to £29 «12s. Gd. per ton. Very little faith was placed in horse flesh, if one may judge from the transaction in which an
entire horse changed hands at £27. These prices furnish striking evidence ol' the state of the pastoral industry. If anything further were required ii would doubtless be found in the fol- lowing paragraph :-" This (Maneroo) district, for the want of rain, has suffered very much, and the mortality amongst the »heep and cattle is dread- ful. Thousands of sheep have died of catarrh, and are still dying on some stations, several sheepholders having lost upwards of 5000. The cattle are also dying by hundreds. The water- holes are nearly dried up and choked with cattle. The plains literally stink from the carcasses. . . . The dis- trict is in the most lawless state, there being as many cattle - stealers as licensed settlers. . . . All the gullies and corners in the ranges are occupied by these vagabonds."
The most startling event of 1S4.7 was the loss of the steamer Sovereign, and forty-six lives, which occurred on tlie 11th Mareil. The steamer's engines broke down while crossing the Bar, and both she and her boats were smashed a few minutes after striking the spit. Only ten persons were saved. Among the best-kno'wn of those lost were Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gore, their two children, and Mr. II. Dennis, of Darling Downs. This accident, for which Captain Cape was held to be re- sponsible (though the majority of people thought otherwise), resulted in the pilot station being removed from Amity Point to Cape Moreton-for which tlie residents had long been agitating.
What with the demand for labour and the difficulty attaching lo monetary transactions, to say nothing ol' minor requirements and the watchful eye that had to be directed to Cleveland Point, the "Courier" was able to keep the pot ol' agitation on the simmer. As bearing on currency question, the following two notifications are eu lertaining ¡-"Repeated inquiries hav- ing been made of the undersigned re- specting the I O' U's, signed ' It. n.,' oifered for sale by him on advantageous terms, to prevent unnecessary trouble he begs leave to refer all parties who are, anxious to obtain information re- garding these lucrative investments to Mr. Renn Hampden, New Store, South Brisbane, the party from whom he re- ceived them.-Thomas Rickett." Then comes a notice by the " Courier'.' in these terms :-" Calabashes.-We are almost tired of requesting our country friends not to inflict upon us the receipt ol' these worthless bits of dirty paper by way of remittances, but-owing prob-
ably to the absence of the true 'circulât- I iug medium' or the want of a post j
office order system-the cry is 'Still they come !' Among others received within the last few days, we had two made payable ' one day after sight' at the ' Callandoon Store,' and hearing the illustrious signature of the distinguished ¡M.P, whose chief ambition seems to be to ' accept office.' We should recom- mend the party to whom they were re- turned to present them with all possible celerity, inasmuch as the paper on which they are printed will not bear much more handling, and the last holder will probably have to content himself wltïi the ' illustrious auto- graph !' "
Many other interesting items might be extracted from the first bound volume ol' the " Courier," if space and time permitted. Sufficient has, how- ever, boen given, we think, to indicate the character of both people and place, and some of the questions which agi- tated the public mind in those early
The Archbishop of Canterbury has two chairs considerably over 1000 years