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5 corrections, most recently by Dicomley - Show corrections

NORTHERN TERRITORY.

Subjoined are Mr. Manton's latest reports, as   laid on the table of the House of Assembly :— Escape Cliffs Camp, N.T., August 11, 1866.   Sir— I have the honour to report from dute of my

last.communicaton, also upon one or two matters that should have appeared in that document. Fust the landing of cattle at fort Darwin, as permission given in your despatch 471. Although, perhaps, that is the most eligible spot to be found anywhere round the north-west coast of this terri tory for the capital of the first settlement, but as I bad no positive instructions to land stock there I thought it more prudent to keep all the party together; for, even with the small augmentation to the party I have under my command, it would not be over strong if the natives we know at present and with whom we are on friendly terms; but if anything should . happen to enrage the savage breast and they were to form an amalga mation with the neighbouring tribes and come down upon us after tbe Beatrice has entirely left these shores, we might come to sad grief conse quent on the party being divided into two camps of ty. or sixty miles apart As regards Mr. Mchdnla-'s party, or .his move ments or intentions, 1 am entirely ignorant of,, and therefore cannot look for any assistance from that quarter. It will be seen by the requisitions and correspondence sent down by thess mails that 1 have continued to supply him with stores and render him all the assistance in my power, although I cannot see what benefit or further information can be gaiued by mere boating excur sions along the coast, for it nas been already well examined by the Beatrice. With respect to littiug out any exploring or survey party from the resources now at my command would be utterly out of all reason, »nd to attempt such a thing I think it would be very imprudent indeed, and likely to jeopardize the lives of those sent out *b well as those left to take care ot the stores at head camp, without my beneficial results being expected; for if every every hewe and bullock we have were packed and taken out with a light party of eight or 10 men, they could sot carry more than enough provisions to last them to the limits of Ibe country that has been already txplored, and it b pretty well known that the land » entirely unsuitable for the purpose st being surveyed for agricultural pursuits; and Mr. McKinlay bas given me notice that be will require the five rmres and all the bullocks sent out by the Ellen Lewis-therefore, it will be impossible Tor me to do anything more tkan keep peace and 3rder, and strictly gtwrd against being taken by surprise with the native?, and at the same time auploy the hands in (Kttimr. all the loose things that we do not require lor immediate use packed up in convenient cases end packages foi shipment, bo as to be put on board with as little delay as pos sible if the Government should decide to tfeift the settlement to some other place. The Ellen Lewis arrived here on the 13th July as already reported, but I omitted giving particulars respecting her whilst at Adam Bay. After getting through the straits between the Vernon Islands, Captain Hellon anchored his ship in the bay, four and & half miles from the shore, and sent a note giving notice that he was at his anchorage, and ready to discharge the cargo consigned to me ; and as I had received a copy of the charter-party by which I saw we had to take everything from thr ship's tackle, and only having one boat to do it with, of which Captain Hellon was' fully aware, and his anchoring the vessel in such a ridiculous position and so far from the shore, looked very much like trying to take the advantage of me if he could, for he had been in the bay before, and knew the anchorage as well as I did myself, which is perfectly safe about a mile from the shore; and in order to deal with him very cau- tiously, I fixed tbe position of his ship from a base line on shore, and then went off to him to make arrangements for bringing his ship to a convenient anchorage, and also to try and make an agreement with him for the use of the ship's boats fot landing stock and cargo. The cows and bullocks were in a very weak state owing to the very long passage, and it was very doubtful whether they would be able to swim ashore or not, therefore I thought it better to make the arrangement as per voucher No. 2 A., rather than to risk the lives of the cattle ; and, in addition to that I agrecd to put him 1,200 gallons of fresh water on boar, with our own boat without any assistance from the ship's crew. The cargo was all landed, and the water put on board the 23rd July, when only half the lay-days allowed by the charter party had expired. However, the mail being ready, and Captain Hellon intimated his wish to sail on the following morning at daylight, I thought it best to put the mails on board at once, as the tides   happened to serve at noon and midnight: so it was taken off by tfc&OPostmastsr at about 11 a.m. I went off myself at the same time to sign the ship's papers. in order to let him get away immediately if he thought proper to do so. But, for what I intended as a kindness in trying to get him off as soon as possible, I was abused most shamefully by Captain Hellon, and he would not receive the mails on board until the following morning a little before daylight;. so I had to send the boats off again by the midnight-tide, and wait alongside the ship until he chose to take the mails on board. But after all he did not sail until the 25th, owing   to one of his men leaving the ship and stowing himself away. I told Dr. Milner (as a Magistrate) to render Captain Hellman all the assistance in his power to find the man and have him sent on board; I also gave notice amongst the men under my command that I would dismiss any man whom I knew to assist or harbour him in any way what ever, and that the man might not expect to be em- ployed by me if he remained on shore after the ship left the Bay. However, the ship sailed with- out him, and the day after her departure the man made his appearance, and Mr. McKinlay set him on to work at 6s. a day immediately. The Beatrice returned to Adam Bay on the 31st July from the Liverpool River, where she had been in search of Mr. McKinlay's party ; but Mr. Howard happening to hear of them by the natives, which enabled him to be back again a fortnight earlier than he expected when he left us; and I believe he has been waiting here up to the present time for Mr. McKinlay's return from a boating excursion along the coast towards Anson Bay, but has now decided to sail Adelaide to-morrow morning. Mr. McKinlay left here on the 27th July, with 11 persons of his original party and five new hands he has taken on since he returned to Escape Cliffs, viz. R. C. Barton, Owen Morris, David Johnson. John Cleland. and the runaway sailor from the Ellen Lewis, which leaves me now under my command 25 persons, including officers and men. I have,&b;. J. T. MANTON, Acting Government Resident, N.T., S.A. - Supplementary ^spatch^Nei. 132. Escap«rClifl» Caiuft. August 13, 1866. Sir— I have thoehbnour--to itport the return of ihe Government boat Julian/with Mr. McKiiilay'a party from their xiaatinR tri^ from Escape Cliffs to Anson Bay. 6be«aiua in «ebt off the V-rnoD. Islands about sundown on. Saturday evening, after we had put our mail f on- Adelaide on board the: Beatrice. Mr. McKinlay-and somecf his party landcll about 8 o'clock ; but from winU I have heard therac is no more information gained respecting the nature of the country, thaa was known before,, excepting they !sllo«edi up the Daly Kiver about 40 miles from. Anson- Bar. and substantially) confirm Mr. LifeafUW's. autements, as quoksd, in Colonel Fizxtias's* despatch, dated on boar4u the Beatrice, lati September 1805, as re gards the riv£S.not baiag navigable, exceptisa for small boats, ,c»inK. to. auumerous sandbanks &ud submersed roda; unidtl am told that the Julia wag well nigh comisw t« eria£ vpon one of those rc«ii. With refcresce.ta- the qasditycf the land done the banks of kbsuiver, I have endeavoured tc^get what informotioa I-coukl from those that wenfein. the boit; an£ih»Kenerai opinion is that the land s much better, than w.Lat it is in the Adsliida iiver Distri«ir,bu4 they *d not go very far inland from the rivtr- stdtt.thtseiore could not juti£e~of- the back country. Anson Baft jaj a port Jor the capital town oi'ihi*. territory, ii genorallf spoken against by ajkiost every one thu has- vJsital it since we haw been, lere. PprfeDarwin-.ea the contrary, in awoken of in the hi^-aet teim&and is said to be searcelf inferior to«jd*ey. hasbour. The Bunplementaty mail will close to-day, tA, noon, amLLsunposfc the Beatrice sails this- After- noon wiHii passengers from Escape CILSfc,, viiu» Mr. McKloW..Mx. Jfdmunds, Mr. Glen.Mr. March, and K. C. Jurton; and 1 have been informed; tbafc the renuining.poition of Mr. McKinlay.'s. party » to be Iktff at Escape Cliffs in chargs-oi Thonass Uilbar&s, This i» all I know of Mr. McKinlaj's arrangaments^ eiber directly or indincily, esccit ing what the correspondence betweeu Mr. McK»-- lay aadi myaetf conveys, which 1 iwve alr»dy posted. froobMr. EdHmnda, with referenc* to. his comina do«a,to Adelaide by the Beatrice Ukewijsa copy of M^roply to his letter. I have, &c., J. T. Ma^tOS. Acting Government Uesj&ot,. K.T^ S. A. Scorn aa earlier letter of Mr/, Mantoa'a we ex kiaat the following particulara^ Escape Cliffs Crop.. Jv&j 21, 1868. Sk— I have the honour to taport for the infor ;rnation. of the Government that the barque Ellen I Lewis arrived here on the 13th instant, and let go her anchor at 4 o'clock p.m. We commenced I laodiog the sheep and tattle 00 the following morning, and on the nexk day they were all landed, and I am happy to say without a mishap of any kind, although we had; not the use of the punt sent out by the Government, for the boat carpen ter, John Deslandesv tnlrt me it would take nun three weeks to put it together, and he was ill al the time, and has beea. on th« sick-list ever since. On Wednesday, the 6th December, all the men and stores were removed down from the Survey Camp, Adelaide Rifrgr, and joined the main cam?, at Escape Cliffs; the men ill well, and the stow quite safe and ia good: order. The natives behavid exceedingly weH after I left the camp; and Mr. Packard reported that at the time of the fearful hurricane which, they hod there, the natives, who were about ike camp at the time appeared to be very much eoBceraed about the safety of cm goods, as all the te&ts were blown dowo, and a greaJ) many thinjn carried a hundred yards across th* plains by theviolense of the wind, and the natrm assisted ourmen w collet-ting them together again, and lam told tbak they did not attempt to steal anything at the tiaje. However, too much confidence must not be placed in their honesty, for steal they will if they can only get the opportunity. I therefore thuk it advisable to keep them entirely outside onr camp, and at tbe same time to keep all oor tbicKft inside aud under cover as much as possible, so as not to excite their curiosity or their pro pensity to purloin. When the Survey Camp wan removed the natives also came to the neiRhboui-hood of Escape Cliffs, but did not come to eamp until the 25th 0 December; after this the men continued to visi our camp almost every day until the 8th 0 February, when they brought their women ant children, and pitched their camp a short distance from ours, and so far as we can understand them this appears to be their e-*soii at Escape Cliffs for fishing and e?g-jrathenng, for they bring them into camp in bucketiuis at a time, of which we tret a good supply for oui damaged flour. Theecgsare pnncipa'ly geese ei(jtf, which they collect frorr the numerous ewamps about here, but from places where it would not be safe for our men to ro at this time of the year, owinjt to the quantity 0 water and the softness «f the mad. As to fish, the natives can pet 10 times »s many as our people; they catch them by spearing and diving. Our mode of fishing with nets, hooka and lines, &c, the natives do not appear to thii.k very highly of. for the fishhooks we have given them they appear to care very little about, and I have not heard of their ever making use of them to fish with. On the 2Sth December the Beatrice returned from Timor, and let go her anchor in Adam Bay at 6 0 clock p.m. A short time after the departure of the Ellen Lewis from Adam Bay, I noticed that the men were evidently getting more intoxicating drink

than was served out to them as ration grog, but was at a loss to know for some time where they were getting it from, as I knew there was none in camp when the Ellen Lewis arrived, excepting what was in the Government Store; and I also knew that the vessel was not allowed to bring any for the officers and men in the expedition, nor for any private persons. However, I found out that Mr. Bauer had managed to purchase two or three barrels of spirits from the Ellen Lewis, and was selling it to the men under my command in this expedition, and likewise to Mr. McKinlay's men, and thereby causing a great deal of annoyance in camp. I therefore determined to put a stop to it at once, and if I could not do it in any other way, to seize the spirits by authority under Act No. 9 of 1863, clause 76. But before having recourse to such an extreme measure, I thought it better, perhaps, to suggest to Mr. Bauer the advisableness of placing   in the Government Store all the intoxicating liquor then in his possession, which he did, with the understanding that I would allow him to have a little of it every week for his own private use, and to send the bulk back to Adelaide by the first opportunity. If I have erred in making this arrangement I respectfully request the Government to send in structions for my guidance in similar cases. On the 11th December, A. J. Todd. J. Cleland, and C. Schmidt refused to work in the boat at their usual rate of pay, and said they were willing to work ashore at 5s., but would not work in the boats unless I promised to give them 6s. per diem. How ever, I did not consider myself justified either in allowing them to choose their own particular work or to increase their pay, and more especially so at   this particular time. I therefore immediately dis- missed them, although very much wanting their services at the time, as we were using the boats for carrying water from Escape Cliffs to the Nar rows for Mr. McKinlay's cattle ; but I am happy to say that the work was not at all retarded by the steps I took, as Mr. Packard. Mr. Watson, and Mr, Hood took their places in the boat. On the 18th December the above-named three men dismissed applied to me to bo taken on to work again, and said if I would do so they would work willingly, either in the boats or anywhere else I might think proper to send them; and taking into consideration the time they would have, in all probability, to remain here before they could get away, and some of them having half-pay drawn in Adelaide, I thought it better to take them on again on those terns, as I have not too many men to keep watch, attend to the cattle and camp work, and more so owing to the bad condition I found everything in at the head camp.

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