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THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO.
IN commenting in last week's issue up- on the death of the late lamented Hon. V. L. Solomon, we remarked that the first issue of the N.T. Times was not printed until some six mouths sub- sequent to Mr. Solomon's first arrival in the country. Since then we are in- debted to the kindness of Mrs. F. R.. Finniss for the gift of a file of the first, twelve months issue of the local.paper,
which has been kept all these years by. her late husband, who had been, resid- ing in Palmerston for about two years prior to the institution of the local paper. Despite the long lapse of years the file is in a very good state of pre- servation-except that the once white paper has taken on a certain faded yellowness of. tinge-and to any one who has lived long in this disappoint- ing land a perusalof these early num- bers is an experience of more than ord- inary interest. We do not know of
more than one or two instances in
which complete files of the local paper have been kept since its inauguration, and the paper has passed through so many hands and endured so many vicissitudes since its birthtime 35 years ago, that the earlier office files have all been either lost or destroyed. In any case, this is the first occasion on which the present editor and proprietor has ever had the opportunity of gl-incing through these first numbers, and (possilily largely owing to his personal connection with the papet) they possess, for him, a most unique interest. See- ing that the present issue is only one day short of being the exact 35t.h an- niversary of the paper's first appear-
ance in public, it has occurred to us ! that a few brief references to the con- tents of t!ie first, number moy i.e not altogether devoid of interest to at least
some of onr readers*
The settlement had not long been in existence. Good gold hid heen found in many localities,, and fresh discoveries
were being reported daily. Hope was in the air and money faiily plentiful, and although even in these early days the difficulties attending the develop- ment of a new country were bring ex- perienced, courage ran high, and if any one had had the ability to look 35 years ahead and predicted at that time what has actually since occurred, he would have been regarded, most pro hably«, as being a tit ard proper person
for incarceration in the nearest lunatic
asylum. Still, all was not colour de rose; many people in Adelaide'had been swindled earlier in the year by the flotation of wild-cat companies ; ex- aggerated reports of the country's auriferous wealth had drawn many men luther who, on arrival, were disgusted with the climate and the prospects; and in this first issue there is the re- port of an ebullition of this discontent in a public meeting in Palmerston, convened hy Mr. 3. Skelton, at which several of the speakers indulged in some drastic criticisms of the N.T. and the swindling methods by which it was being boomed. But crushing plants had just been introduced and erected in the face of great difficulties, and the advent of the wet season and the re- sult of the first crushings was being awaited in a more or less sanguine spirit.
The first issue made its appearance on Friday, November 7, 1873, on a half sheet of piper, the reason for which is stated in the following intro- ductory editorial, viz :
The Northern Territory Times, which ia the first newspaper ever published on this side of the Australian continent, makes- ita. appearance to-day, though not in the com- plete form and size which it will assume next week. But we have thought it wiser to issue two pages, in time for the mail, which is now leaving, than to wait for four pages, and so lose the opportunity oi send- ing the earliest possible news to the other eolonies. Even as, it .. is, the difficulty of getting out a paper in this remote settle- ment, without plenty of time to do it in, has been very great We have had only five clear days in which to land our machinery, type, etc., and to get every thing ready for the issue- of this first paper-, and that, too, during the hottest period in the year of a tropical climate. .AU sorts of little obstructions and difficulties have had to be met, and if it had not been for our good luck in obtaining the use of a corner in a Government store, until our own wooden office is er«"Cted, it would have been im- possible to publish even a part of a news- paper in time for the present mail, We therefore consider ourselves fortunate, and though in this first issue we labour under the disadvantage of being " sent into the world half made up," yet, we have the cordial assurauce of almost every one in the place that we are thoroughly welcome, and that every support will be given to us by the public so long as we continue to deserve it.
Another paiagraph in this first issue is of interest in connection with the comment upon the career oftherlate Hon. V. L. Solomon appearing last \\ eek, viz :
One of the discoveries made this season is the Woolwonga Reef, situated on the east branch of the Adelaide River, or what is being known as the Margaret. It is about seven miles south of the North Point Claims, at Yam Creek, ami 10 miles E.N.E. of the liritannia. The discoverers and present holders are Messrs. W. Stow, J. F. Roberts, G. S. Aldridge, J. H. Servante, and Mr. Strettou's party, the Adelaide Prospecting Venture. Mr. Robert», and Mr. V. L So'o mon, of the hitter party, are returning'* by the Gothenburg, and take with them several specimens for exhibition, as well as a quantity of stone which it is their intention to ha.e crushed. We understand that the reef, which rens in a N.W. direction, an 1 is well defined throughout, the claim, has been ope ed out on the prospecting claim to a depth of six feet, where it shows about 7 feet wide, with gold well disseminated, and with gold bearing leaders.
The issue contains many other items of interest, dpc.- Douglas, the first Govt. Resident, had just been super- seded hy G, B. Scott, Esq , S M«, who had arrived with his family hy the ss Gothenburg on Nov. 1, and the paper prints the copy of a flittering testi- monial tendered by the passengers to C'ipt. Pearce of that vessel. This is signed by 47 passengers, many of
whose names are familiar.
In the shipping column there are quite a fleet of boats advertised as running to Southport, the great depot for goods and passengers en route for the mining fields, viz.-the screw steamer Pioneer, the paddle steamer Annie, the schooner Analgista. the fast sailing doit Gothenburg, the ditto Dot (Jemmy Burton, master) and the cutter Lepanto ; the St. Magnus was sailing for-Newcastle or Adelaide, and had room for a limited number of pissengers ; the sch. Twins, the Nerio, and the brig Prospero had just left the harbour for Guam, in 'hallast.
Among the business announcements
are the names of Clarke and Wills
shipping agents, etc. ; J. Y. Barclay, customs, shipping, and commission agent, etc. ; Abbott and Jones, shipping, mining, and general agents, etc. ; Sinclair and Reynold.**, auc- tioneers, etc. ; John Lindsay, mer- chant, etc. ; Luhing and Hart, im- porters, etc ; T. Reynolds, land, min- ing, and general agent, etc ; H. J. Whyte, auctioneer, etc; George Minzi, Govt, auctioneer, etc; Caldwell and Co., provision merchants ; Miller and Richards, storekeepers, etc., (Yam Creek and Southport) ; Slocombe and Mander, carpenters, builders, etc.; Joseph Skelton, storekeeper, etc. ; W. O'Connor, saddler and harness maker ; S, K. Ellison, surgeon ; Runge and Asher, chemists and druggists, etc. ; A. Ross, veterinary surgeon ; Jas. J. Brown, general blacksmith (South- port) ; C. Kilian, bootmaker ; W. E. Adcock, storekeeper, etc. ; King, Blyth and Co., house and lind agents, etc. ; William Whitfield, accountant, etc. Among the hotels advertised are The Northern Territory Hotel, Civenagh-street, kept hy FI. Williams; Esplanade (late Temperance) Hotel, kept by W. II, Carson ; Telegraph Hotel, corner of Mitchell and Ben neit-streets, kept hy Win. Rumble, Royal Hotel (Southport), kept by E. Marker; also Edwards Dining Room, Mitchell-street, which the proprietor proudly announces as being " the best ! Restaurant in North Australi-i." I Einest Bieber also notifies his inten I tion to open the Roj"il Hotel, in I Mitchell «.treet, on the 8th December; j Crawford and Boyd are common I Ure we i s and manufacturers of cordials; 1 Sumner and Frith (from Melbourne),
are just opening a genenl store at
Southport ; W. J. Clark has com- menced business at Southport as saddler and harness m »ker ; H. J. Whyte, auctioneer, has for private sale at Southport all kinds of provisions ; and besides the above there are many advertisements by Adeliide firms
anxious to establish busiiuss connec- tions with the new el dorado.
From tlie local news items we clip» the following, viz :-" Dr. Ellison, lite of the Adelaide Hospital, has com- menced private practice here in addi- tion to his practice as G.M.O.
Mails per Gothenburg will close at 103 o'clock on Sunday evening. . .
Business in the telegraph department is increasing every day, and' next year ¡fe. will he necessary to erect another wire lotween Palmerston and the Goldfields^ Three additional operators arrived hy- the Gothenburg, and the following, changes have taken place in the staff; Messrs. Murray and Byrne stationed at Southport ; Messrs. Randall aud7 Kelsey, transferred to Port Darwin ^
Mr. Harris remains at Poit D»rwim. Dming the present month a temporaryv station has been opened at Pine Creek, in the charge of Mr. Whitelaw. Mr^ Stapleton has been removed to Barrow, Creek in the place of Mr. Watson ; andu Mr. Johnstone» from Powell's Creek will succeed Mr. Stapleton. < Thing», in general are of course in a primitive state here. What Local Court, for instance* sits under the front rarandSah of the Government Resident's house in
any other British colony t Or ia whafr.
other settlement of the same extent a&
this is the metrical officer obliged to-, wander about day after doy* seekrog; in vain for a pi ice in, which, to lay his.
head or set up his mosquito curtain... But the fact is tkece ace se few tenements here in proportion to- the number of Government officers, that as soon as anything in the-shape ol a hub is vacated by one official, two or three others make a dash at it. They are always on the took out,. like so many hermit crabs waiting to take possession., of other people's shells. . The out door-^public meeting reported in an-
other column shows that there is much,
discontent here. Many men are goingo back by the Gothenburg,, and some are thoroughly disgusted with tiwi country because there is no large alluvial gold- field yet found and because they are not prepared to try their luck 0*1 the reefs. Many of these men have never
been oft the reefs. They came here- with mistaken notions, and were de-
termined to go back almost as soon, as they arrived. The question of the value of the reefs remains just where it was. Very little h »s hi en done to.. develop them, and on this point the m'en aie no doubt right when they speak of t the frightful manner in. . whbh some of the companies' affaira have been managed. . A heavy squall swept over the town and har- bour on Thursday, doing considerable damage to small tenements and dis- masting two boats-the Dot, with mails on board, and Gore's boat which had just started for Southport.. Two tons of iron, belonging to the N.T. Piospecting Party, - hhd ,to~be thrown oveiboaid f 10111 Gore's boat_
The necessity of a hospital at Palmerston or Southport is shown by.
the case of John Ryan, who died OIL. Mojiday at the Temperance Hotels This poor ni in was brought down from Pine Creek on Sund »y in an. extremely exhaust« d state after an.
attack of fever and diarrhoea. The
journey was a very rough One, and: when at last he reached P.D. he was. placed on a truck, «xpösed to the full heat of a broiling sun, and conveyed, through the town to the Temperance Hotel. But that pbice was full, like all other houses of the sort, and therefore he was put down under the verandah, and.allowed to remain there.. Next day the .poor fellow died. .
The amounts of Customs revenue re-
ceived at Port Darwin during the past few months have been as. follows:-June, £500 Is 6d; July,. £36 16s 7d; August, £985 lls6d;; September, £470 18s 9d ; October, £1,833 16s 7d. At present there are considerable stocks of wine, beer," spirits, and tobacco in the bonded, store."