THE HISTORY OF VICTORIA.
- ♦ - PRELUDE. The Fatherland of the Australian race must be sought for elsewhere than in Australia itself. For ages the civilised portion of the world sat in complete ignorance of the existence of a great continent in the southern latitudes. True, some vague idea rested in the minds of ancient mariners that land existed somewhere southwards in the traceless solitude of the Pacific Ocean. Such probably was the roman- tic tale of some enterprising navigator of olden times driven by chance and adverse winds widely out of his course far away from inha- bited regions. His adventures in the region of the Unknown would be a theme possessing sin- gular fascination to such of our forefathers' as had acquired the habit of sitting in chimney nook listening to old men's tales. For centuries the spirit of solitude sat brood- ing in silence over the Australian continent. The land was hidden from human ken. Thick clouds alike veiled the fair landscape, the lofty mountain peaks and smiling sunny skies ; clouds which did not roll away and allow a glimpse to be obtained of the great continent until early in the 16th century. Shadowy, too, is the origin of the Aus- tralian race. Hidden from human sight is the secret of the birth of the people who were found on the continent when first discovered by Europeans. It may be that the continent was peopled by natives from Timor, or that the first of the human family who set foot on this sunny land came by way of Torres Straits. It is idle, however, to dwell, upon these pre historic times. No amount of research and intelligence is likely to unravel the secret locked up in the womb of time, and which will probably remain so to all eternity. The myths current amongst the aborigines of Australia shed no light upon the mystery. According to the folk lore the creator of all things was one Pundjel, who is variously reputed to have made both man and woman. But some of their myths do not confer on him the distinction of also being the creator of lovely woman. Yet Pundjel is said to have been blessed with a wife, Boi-Boi by name, whose face he never saw. The natives hold to the belief that the valleys, creeks, rivers and seas were carved out by Pundjel with a sword which he applied in this fashion when in anger with his spouse, showing that even in those remote times matrimonial life was not altogether a placid unruffled existence The Yarra blacks have their own version of the birth of the human race. Pundjel is ad- mitted to be the first man, who made every thing, including the second man, Karween, as well as two wives for the latter. But he foolishly omitted to make a wife for himself, and after a time he set envious eyes upon Karween's black treasures. Notwithstanding that Kunveen watched them jealously, they were both stolen- one night by Pundjel. Subsequently a fight for the women took place at a corrobboree convoked by the crow. Pundjel was the conqueror, and the two women became his wives, and gave birth to many children. After this the jay, who at that time was a man, had a great many bags full of wind, which he opened one day in a fit of anger, and such storm arose that Pundjel and nearly all his family were carried up into the heavens. In many of the legends and myths handed down by the blackfellows there is much re- semblance to the earlier forms of poetic superstitions distinguishing the Aryan race. Birds and beasts figure in the tales, legends and folk lore of the Australian blacks as their gods, The eagle, the crow, the mopoke and the crane especially occupy prominent places. The kangaroo, opossum, emu and other Aus- tralian beasts are set in the sky and appear as bright stars. The legend of how fire was brought on the earth has many dressings, but all agree on one cardinal point, and that is, that the fire was stolen. Each tribe has its own legend. ; The Luko Condah tribe, for instance, hold to the following myth:— A blackfellow threw a spear towards tho clouds; to the spear a string was attached. The man climbed, up with the aid of the string and brought fire to the earth from the sun. It was a tradition amongst the Coranderrk tribe that Kooleen was a man with a tail, who lived underground. He had a great many wives and children. All were very wicked, and Kooleen always laughs at the blackfellow because he had no tail.
A legend exists amongst the blacks of Lake Tyers that there was a time when no water could be found on the face of the earth. A mammoth frog had drunk it all, like the Highlander, celebrated in song, who nearly spoiled the flood by drinking all the water under the belief that it was whisky. At a council of the people it was ascertained that if the greedy frog could be made to laugh the water would run out of his mouth and the famine would be at an end. All kinds of animals tried but failed to make Monsieur Froggy smile. At length an eel began to wriggle and distort himself in such a comic fashion that the frog laughed outright. Water thereupon flowed in such superabundance from his mouth, that a great flood ensued, and numbers were drowned. The human race would have been extinguished but for the timely aid of a pelican, who built a canoe, and sailed away in it with a select few blackfellows and their wives. Many of the legends and myths are fantastic in the extreme. For instance, before the blacks took possession of the earth, birds were the monarchs of the universe, and the eaglehawk
seems to be regarded by the aborigines as the chief ruler. At the beginning of things the sun never set, and only changed its course at the solicitation of the inhabitants of the earth who grew weary of the constant daylight. The noon, before she set in the sky, was supposed to be a very wicked woman, noted for her un- chastity. The Bunyip is the evil spirit or devil of the blacks. It is represented as a creature of terrible aspect and fierceness, and gloating in the destruction of human life. On the other hand the native bear is the sage coun- sellor of the aborigines in all their difficulties. When in danger the blackfellow seeks help from these clumsy creatures, but in what way their opinions are made kuown is nowhere re- corded. However, the natives hold the animal sacred. The kangaroo and wombat were once human beings, and the Murray River was made by a snake that travelled from the bend of the river to its mouth, and as he wriggled along formed the valley and bed of the river. A crow is said to have been disturbed by these opera- tions, and cut the snake into small pieces. The blacks believe in the supernatural powers of priests and sorcerers, and the latter are accredited with inflicting great injuries upon human beings. Some of the tribes do not believe in death or annihilation but that a blackfellow after dissolution re-enters life,
perhaps in the form of a white man. A strong resemblance will be found between the native legend of the origin of evil and the Biblical amount of the Fall. According to the legend the first created woman was standing near a certain tree on which a sacred bat lived who was not to be disturbed. The woman disobeyed the law and went to gather firewood near the tree. Thereupon the bat flew away and death, who had been un- known before, came on the earth. Looking at the aboriginal of half a century ago he will be found to be a good natured savage strongly disliking work of any kind, but fond of hunting. He lived under the blue canopy of heaven, and wandered about from valley to mountain side, and from mountain side down to the valley with no higher aim than to exist. He is not without a certain sort of courage when opposed to an enemy belonging to another tribe, but is prostrated by fear in the darkness of the night, when he believes wicked spirits are on the wing. There is a strange contradiction in his nature. He will half murder a girl to
possess her for his wife, and afterwards love her when she resigns herself to his will. Women are the workers amongst the blacks; the man acts like the real 'lord of creation.' The mother has to carry her infant as well as the household goods; the man when on the march only condescending to carry his spear and other weapons. The lubra usually carries her child in an opossum rug which is hung at the back as a kind of bag. She is the slave of her husband, who compels her to carry heavy loads whenever the tribe is on the march. She has to find food and to build her husband's mia mia, fetch water, and in short provide for every want of her husband, who in return acts as her pro- tector. When a young aboriginal wants to join the ranks of the warriors of his tribe he is sub- jected to most heartless treatment. He is beaten soundly and two of his front teeth are knocked out with a piece of wood. He has also to suffer cold and hunger for days and nights, and if he does not die under the treat- ment he may afterwards look out for a wife. As a rule, he must steal a girl or elope with her, or exchange some girl over whom he has control as brother, uncle or relative for a girl in a neighboring tribe. Members of a tribe cannot intermarry. A wife must be secured from a neighboring tribe either by consort,
barter or theft. Women are regarded as so much chattels that can be exchanged. Spirits or the ghosts of dead men are believed to hover for a time near the spot where they lived before passing away into the silent shadow land. To satisfy the shades of warriors it is a practice to murder some of the people of a neighboring tribe. What a contrast this horrible superstition presents to tho teaching of Christianity, which holds a light beyond the grave to dispel the gloom of death. A corrobboree is to the aboriginal what a great ball is to the whites in a European city. The males paint themselves in a ghastly manner, and dance, in front of a fire, while the women sing and beat time. But, altogether, the life of the ' noble savage ' is not a happy one. He is either very hungry or has eaten too much. He is either shivering with cold or suffer ing from the scorching sun rays. He is never sure of his life, which may be taken from him by an enemy lurking behind a bush. A sor- cerer may be plucking out some of his hair in the dark hours of the night, or an unforgiving foe may be arranging measures for securing, his kidney fat— that morceau delicat prized above all other things by the savage. His nights are troubled and his days
cheerless; and to complete his cup of woe he has wives that give him trouble, and children who look to him for guidance. Yet, despite all these things, he is a cheerful fellow, and keeps a light heart. A low opinion has been formed of the natives and of their intellects. Cultivation of the soil is unknown to them, and they would starve if the streams did not yield a supply of fish and the forests did not contain animal food. Cannibalism prevailed at one time throughout the whole tribes of Australia. The bodies of children and warriors slain in battles were eaten; but the custom died out early. It was observed chiefly under the belief that the person eating human flesh thereby acquired the courage and strength of the dead. THE EARLY NAVIGATORS. Tho continent of Australia, the Greater Britain of tho future, was unknown to the civilised world at the beginning of the 16th century. For centuries the geography of Europe was limited to a small circle lying im- mediately around the Mediterranean. As the art of navigation improved this .circle was widened; but to our ancestors many of the sunny lands known to us to-day were clouded in mist. Vague traditions were afloat in the minds of some that continents existed across the traceless ocean; but few were venturesome enough, even among the bold ancient mariners, to head their tiny vessels into the unknown and unexplored seas. The marvel- lous stories of the sea have from the infancy of the human race possessed an irresistible charm. Ocean life is steeped in romance. It is not strange therefore to read,
in the old half-forgotten chronicles, tales of the adventures of courageous seamen in regions which then were believed to be the abode of enchantment and all that is wonderful. A Greek tradition existed of a Great South Land, and this tradition lived long in tho minds of the old sea kings, many of whom doubtless embarked in their frail crafts for this wonderland, and so vanished from human sight, engulphed in the merciless ocean. Or perhaps some of these, hardy mari- ners, after braving the dangers of the mighty deep and sighted land, fell a prey to some wild native race, and were butchered for a purpose akin to the "Roman holiday" festivals celebrated for the amusement of the satiated Roman world. Many gallant vessels doubtless sailed from the old ports of tho old world in search of new oceans and new worlds, and were heard of no more. Between the ports of Warrnambool and Belfast, on the southern shores of Victoria, the wreck of a ship was long visible to the early settlers, but is now buried beneath acres of drifting sand. This was doubtless the sole remaining trace of some long forgotten expedi- tion despatched, in search of the new world since founded upon the great continent of Australia. De Quiros, a Spaniard, is the first navigator of whom history speaks in connection with the discovery of land in the Southern Ocean. He sailed from Peru, and in the year 1606 sighted land, which, he called Terra Australis, Del Espiritu Santo, thinking it the great southern continent he was in search of. It proved to be only a large island in the New Hebrides group, and was then 1000 miles away from the mainland. De Quiros was unfortunate. The crew of his vessel mutinied after sighting land, and forced the bold navigator to sail for homeagain without again examining the shores he had discovered. Torres, a Spanish noble- man, who now joined Do Quiros in another
vessel, was more fortunate. He passed through the Straits now bearing his name dividing Australia from New Guinea, and skirted the mainland at the north. De Quiros died in poverty and disappointment, having failed to procure new ships from the King of Spain for the continuance of his discovery. Some Dutch adventurers at the same time displayed activity to reach the great southern continent, and sailed from Java in a small vessel, called the Little Dove. They reached the Gulf of Carpentaria, and some of the crow landed. The natives, however, proved very hostile, and killed several of the sailors. These were tho first Europeans, as far as can be known, who landed on Australian soil. The state- ments brought to Holland by the survivors awakened a desire for farther information, and an expedition was sent out to found a colony. It is uncertain whero the second landing was effected; but the territory was soon abandoned, owing to the hostility of the blacks. The land was reported to be rich with gold; but tho statement gained no credence, though repeated attempts were subsequently made to obtain particulars of this unknown land. Dirk Hartog, in 1616, fell in with the north-west coast, and examined it from lat. 19 dog to 1st. 25 deg. S. John Edels, in 1619, coasted along the shore as far as 29 deg. S., and gave his name to a portion of the present colony of Western Australia. In 1622 the south-western extremity of Australia was dis- covered by a Dutch ship, named the Liones, and in the same year Francis Pelsart, in a ship called the Batavia, was wrecked on a reef of rocks about 30 miles off the west coast of Aus- tralia. In 1642, Abel Jensen Tasman dis- covered Van Diemen's Land, now called Tasmania, which, for long afterwards was believed to be part of the Australian continent, and subsequently the islands of New Zealand. In 1664 the Dutch Government named the mainland New Holland, and for many years Dutch navigators attempted
explorations of the north-western and western coasts. Australia, the fifth continent, after the United States the greatest heritage of the Anglo-Saxon race, was in fact discovered and its coasts partly explored by the Portuguese, Spaniards and Dutch. Great Britain had no part therein until in 1688 William Dampier, in his vessel the Cygnet, made the shores of New Holland, and was the first Englishman who trod Australian soil. William Dampier was a bold seaman and a gentleman adventurer of the type of Francis Drake. When a young man he went to Jamaica to manage an estate ; but slave driving was not to his taste. For a time he lived in the woods at Campeechy, cutting timber. In the lonely caves at that place, the headquarters of a daring band of buccaneers, he met a law- less set of companions, with whom ho subse- quently went to sea. The band proposed to make a voyage round the world, plundering and fighting en route. It took them a year to reach the East Indies, where they for a time led an easy life among the natives, to which a little excitement was given by occasionul attacks upon Spanish, ships or Dutch fortresses. Some sequestered bay had, after a time, to be found in which they would be undisturbed while overhauling their vessels. The band cruised about for a time, and finally landed on tho north-west coast of Australia. For 12 days they lived at a place to which the name of Buc- caneer's Archipelago has been given. Dampier grew tired of his wild life and, moreover, wished to enjoy at case tho riches he had accumulated. He returned to England and bought an estate, upon which he lived for a time. But his restless spirit and love of adven- ture left him no peace. He sought and obtained permission from the English Government to go on a voyage of discovery to the great unexplored land of Australia. The Roebuck, a small vessel belonging to the British Govern- ment, was placed under his charge in 1609, and he started upon his voyage, exploring the
west coast from Shark's Bay to Dampier's Archi- pelago, and north west as far as Roebuck Bay. He was a man of keen observation and pub- lished an interesting narrative of his dis- coveries. Dampier made many subsequent voyages, and was engaged in numerous other adventures ; but he never returned to Australia, which he regarded as the "most barren spot on earth" and the natives as "the most miserable wretches in the universe." Defoe is said to have hd Dampier's book of travels under con- tribution when writing his entertaining story of Robinson Crusoe. The doleful account which Dampier gave of Australia's inhospitable shores turned away the tide of discovery. Nearly a century elapsed before any further
attempt was made to lift the veil from this part of the world. THE FIRST SETTLEMENT. Captain Cook is enshrined iu history as the real discoverer of Australia. In 1769 he was placed by the British Government in command of an expedition sent to the Pacific Ocean for the purpose of making observations when the planet Venus should cross the disc of the sun. A small vessel, the Endeavor, was chosen and placed under the command of Captain Cook. The early life of the great navigator is not without instruction. At 13 he had been a shopkeeper's assistant, but the counter pos- sessed no attractions for him, and he became an apprentice in a coal vessel. He spent many years at sea, during which he never relaxed his determination to improve his mind, despite the rude surroundings of his daily life. He studied mathematics and navigation, and afterwards entered the royal navy, in which he rose to tho rank of master. He car- ried the scientific party in safety to Otaheite, built fortifications, and erected the astronomi- cal instruments. When he had completed this work he set sail to make discoveries. He visited New Zealand, and reached the coast of Australia a little south of Cape Howe. Shortly afterwards Cook landed on the eastern shore of the continent, at a spot which, from its luxuriant herbage, was named Botany Bay. Further observation showed the surrounding country to be fertile, and Cook, giving to the land he had explored the name of New South Wales, took possession of it in the name of the British Crown, made a chart of a portion of the coast, and returned home. His report led the Government to consider tho opportunity afforded England of enlarging her empire. In 1776, eight years after tho first voyage of Captain Cook, tho English nation had to deal with a great difficulty in regard to the criminal population. In that year the United States do clared their independence, nnd Great Britain could no longer, as had been the custom, banish persons convicted of offences against the law to the possessions which she. once held in America. These convicts were employed by the American colonists as laborers. In a short time the gaols of England became crowded with wrongdoers of a class which experience had shown could not only be themselves reformed, but during the process of reformation be made useful to those who undertook the task. As this difficulty arose Captain Cook's voyages called attention to a land admirably suited for a new convict settlement. On tho 13th May, 1787, a fleet set sail for the shores of the new colony, determined to be established at Botany Bay. There were 11 ships, carrying supplies for two years, and having on board 1044 persons, of whom 696 were prisoners. Captain Arthur Phillip, a man in every way qualified for the post, was commander of the fleet. As soon as the ships had anchored in Botany Bay, convicts were landed and clearing commenced. But the unsuitability of the bay for such a settlement was speedily discovered. The defects of the harbor led to the selection of another spot for the foundation of the colony. Port Jackson was chosen. It was so named by Captain Phillips after the seaman who first discovered it. Sydney Cove was the name given to the new site of the colony. The natives were found to be so frank and courageous in their bearing that the commander named in their honor one of the inlets Manly Bay. It is so called to this day. As the fleet was preparing for re-
HU5II5 AND UOVELL CROSSING THE MURRAY. IN 1825.
HU5II5 AND UOVELL CROSSING THE MURRAY. IN 1825.
HEXTY'S HOUSE AT PORTLAND IN 1836.
HEXTY'S HOUSE AT PORTLAND IN 1836.
moval to Sydney Cove, on tho morning of the 24th January, 1788, some alarm was caused by the appearance of two ships flying the French flag. The strangers were the Bous- sole and the Astrolabe, under the command of M. de la Perouse, a navigator scarcely less famous than Captain Cook. The French intended to take possession of the country, and , were only prevented from doing so by the earlier arrival of Captain Phillip. The fate of La Perouse is a romance of the sea. He was never heard of again. His vessel was wrecked off the coast of New Guinea. The British flag was hoisted on the shore of Australia two days afterwards, and on the 7th February witnessed the ceremony of the estab- lishment of a regular form of government. On a space cleared for the purpose the whole colony was assembled. The Governor's com- mission and the Act of Parliament establishing a court of judicature were read, to the echo of a triple volley of musketry. In the address which Governor Phillip delivered on the occa- sion, he uttered a prophecy which is being fast fulfilled. He said they had come to found a new empire. That which Frobisher, Raleigh, Delaware and Gates had done for America was then being done for Australia. 'The sons" he continued, ''of this exiled troop would be the first to explore its remote regions, to discover its rivers and inland water, to subdue its forests, to render accessible its mountains, to make pathways through its deserts, to throw open this highly favored land to the occupation of mankind. To the first settler belonged the privilege of transmitting to a great nation a country pos- sessing fertile plains, tempting only the slight- est labors of the husbandman to produce in abundance the fairest and richest fruits; a country owning interminable pastures, the future home of flocks and herds innumerable; a country, hiding in its bosom mineral wealth already known to be so great as to rival those treasures which fiction loves to describe." Read by the light of the marvellous progress which Australia has made during tho first century of its existence as a nation, the utterance of Governor Philiip sounds indeed prophetic. COLONISATION A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. The history of the early colonisation of New South Wales is a page of sufferings and heroic endeavor. Scurvy attacked the settlers, more than a third of whom were prostrated by the disease. Provisions were short, and the colony was threatened with starvation. This impend- ing calamity was averted by the arrival of store ships. The convicts suffered terrible privations, and deaths were of appalling frequency. Many of these wretched beings sought escape from their sufferings by running away. Some tried to reach the Dutch colony in Java in open boats ; others took to the woods, there to die of starvation. The work
"THE ADVERTISER," THE FIRST NEWSPAPER IN VICTORIA.
"THE ADVERTISER," THE FIRST NEWSPAPER IN VICTORIA.
SETTLING NEW COUNTRY,
SETTLING NEW COUNTRY,
of settlement, however, progressed. Grants of land were made to deserving persons. Several prisoners were set free, and obtained 2 acres of cleared land, with house erected thereon, built at the Government expense. At the end of 1791, when the settlement had been established 4 years, the public live stock consisted of 1 aged stallion, 1 mare, 2 young stallions, 2 colts, 16 cows, 2 calves, 1 ram, 50 ewes, 6 lambs, 1 boar, 14 sows and 22 pigs. The cultivated ground at Sydney and Parramatta amounted to nearly 1000 acres, of which 300 acres were under maize, '40 of wheat, 60 of barley, 1 of oats, 4 of vines, and 86 of. garden ground, besides 17 under cultivation by the soldiers of the colonial troops. A curious comparison may be made as to the prices of stock in the colony at this time. A cow cost £80 ; horse, £90 ; sheep of the Cape breed, £7 10s. ; breeding sow, £5 ; geese and turkeys, £1 1s. each; ducks, 10s. per pair; mutton, 2s. per lb.; goats' flesh, Is. 6d. per lb. ; butter, 3s, per lb.; wheat, 17s. a bushel; barley, 10s. ; green tea, 16s. per lb. ; sugar, 1s. 6d. per lb. ; soap, 2s. per bar. At a public auction in 1798 22s. were paid for a common cup and saucer. For some years after the foundation of the colony the whole of its population still re- mained settled around Sydney. Vain attempts had been made to penetrate the country lying west. The rugged chain of the Blue Moun- tains was then found an impassable barrier, but is to-day climbed by the locomotive. As time advanced, the interior was more and more ex- plored, and its river system mastered. Coal was discovered at an early period at New- castle, and the first mines opened up were worked by convict labor. The health of Go- vernor Phillips was broken down amidst the cares and trials inseparable from his position, and he resigned and returned to England. He left a long line of successors, some men of sterling merit, and all of them zealous officers, who labored patiently in this isolated community, so many thousands of' miles away from Euro- pean civilisation, building up the future great ness of the Australian nation. DISCOVERY OF VICTORIA. Important marine discoveries were made between 1796 and 1799 by two adventurous ami daring young men, Matthew Flinders, midshipman, and George Bass, surgeon of the H.M.S. Reliance. Both were eager to explore the unknown seas and lands about them. The first exploit of Bass was an attempt to climb the Blue Mountains, in which he failed. Bass and Flinders afterwards put to sea in a boat 8 feet, long named the Tom Thumb, in search of adventure, of which they were not disap- pointed. The crew consisted of themselves and a boy to assist, and thus equipped they faced the stormy Pacific Ocean. The first European who trod Victorian soil is believed to have been Mr. Clarke, the supercargo, and some of the crew of the Sydney Cove, a vessel wrecked in 1779, on Furneaux Island, to the north of Van Dieman's Land. Mr. Clarke, together with the chief and 15 of the crew, determined to try and reach Sydney in the longboat. They were wrecked on the mainland, south of Cape Howe, and thus were fated to be the first Europeans to land on Vic- torian shores. Great hardships and privations were suffered by the party during their long and weary tramp of 300 miles through unknown country to Sydney. Clarke, with one sailor and a Lascar, alone reached Fort Jackson, their clothes in tatters, their bodies wasted almost to the bones. Those of their companions who did not die by the way were murdered by natives when within 30 miles of Sydney. Some months afterwards, the remainder of the crew were rescued by a schooner sent down to Furneaux Island from Port Jackson. Bass, in an open whale boat, furnished with six weeks' provisions and six seamen, started from Fort Jackson, rounded Cape Howo, and sailed along the Ninety Mile Beach, and put in at Western Port Bay. After an absence of 11 weeks he returned to Sydney, having made important discoveries and solved the question then in doubt whether Tasmania formed part of the Australian continent. The end of Bass and Flinders, whose sole monu- ment for posterity to recognise them by is their names which are imprinted upon Australian geography, was unhappy. Bass perished in captivity in the silver mines of Peru, whither after his explorations with Flinders, he went voyaging from Sydney on adventurous busi- ness of his own. Flinders was scarcely more fortunate. The English Government hearing of his success, and recognising his talents in 1801, placed him in command of the sloop of war Investigator for further Australian dis- coveries. He was the first to circumnavigate
the Australian continent. After several years of important work, Flinders ardeutly wished to return to England. The vessel in which he took his passage was wrecked on the Barrier Reef. After returning to Sydney and rescuing his companions, he obtained from the Governor a schooner of 29 tons burthen, and in this little vessel proposed to make the voyage to Eng- land. At Mauritius he was taken prisoner by the French, and detained for more than six years. In the meantime, Baudin, a French navigator whom Flinders, fell in with at Encounter Bay, and with whom he exchanged information, had published at Paris a book of his voyage in which he took credit of the dis- covery Flinders had made of the south coast of Australia from Wilson's Promontory to Cape Leuwin. Posterity has since done justice to Flinders. He returned to England and spent four years in writing an account of his dis- coveries, and died at the age of 40, the day on which his volumes were published. He was Australia's greatest maritime discoverer. The first white man to sight the south western district of Victoria was Lieutenant Commander James Grant, of H.M.S. Nelson. In 1800 this gallant sailor navigated the southern shores of our continent in a vessel of 60 tons. He, like his great predecessor, Cap- tain Cook, had a penchant for nomenclature. Capes Schanck, Otway, and Nelson and Julia Percy Island were named by him. The only
European who had before sailed through the Straits was Bass. In 1801 Grant took the Lady Nelson into Western Port, where he landed at Phillip Island. Lieutenant Grant
returned to England, and was succeeded in command of the Lady Nelson by Lieutenant John Murray, who on the 5th January, 1802, first discovered Port Phillip Bay, 10 weeks before the visit of Flinders. Murray hoisted the British flag and took pos- session of the port in the name of the King of England, George III. The hill on the eastern side of the Bay was named Arthur's Seat by a Scotch naval officer after the eminence above Edinburgh. After the receipt of the reports of Murray and Flinders, the Governor of New South Wales was induced to despatch Mr. Charles Grimes, Surveyor-General of the colony to make a thorough examination of the newly discovered bay. Mr. Grimes left Sydney in November, 1802, in the schooner Cumberland, 29 tons. The craft was under the command of Lieutenant C. Bobbins, of H.M.S. Buffalo, who carried despatches to warn off the French commodore Baudin, who was known to be on the coast, with tho vessels Geographe and Naturaliste under his command, and to be meditating the annexation of the south coast of Australia for the French Govern- ment. After being a few days at sea, the Cumberland fell in with Commodore Baudin at Sea Elephant Bay, on the east coast of King's Island, and the despatches were there and then delivered. King's Island was explored, and the Cumberland then proceeded on her voyage. She entered Port Phillip Bay ou the 20th January, 1803. According to the journal of Mr. Grimes's exploration, kept by Mr. James Fleming, the greater portion of the coast line of Port Phillip was explored by Mr. Grimes and his party. The Yarra was ascended on the 2nd February, 1803, and Mr. Grimes subsequently explored the stream as far as Dight's Fulls. The Yarra was then called Freshwater River, and was by Mr. Grimes considered "the most eligible place for a settlement. In several places there are small tracts of good land, but they are without wood and water. The country in general is excellent pasture and thin of timber,
which is mostly low and crooked.' In the same year Lieutenant-Colonel Col- lins, who was judge advocate in Captain Phil- lip's expedition, which colonised New South
J. P. FAWKNER
J. P. FAWKNER
Wales, was sent out from England with a small armed force and a party of convicts to form a settlement on the shores of Port Phillip, similar to that at Sydney Cove. The expedi- tion consisted in all of 402 souls, and com prised 15 Government officials, 9 officers of marines, 2 drummers and 39 privates, 5 soldiers' wives and a child, 307 convicts with 12 of their wives and a child, carried in H.M. ship Calcutta, 50 guns, 1200 tons, and the tender Ocean, 481 tons. They sailed from Spithead on 24th April, 1803, and arrived on the 7th October. A landing was made on a part of the southern side of the Bay, 8 miles from the Heads, near the present site of the popular watering place, Sorrento. Fortunately for the future colony of Vic- toria, the result of several explorations made
, into the country was the creation of a belief in the unsuitability of the locality for a settle- ment. The first inter- views with the natives were friendly, but a disposition was subse- quently shown to at- tack the settlers, and the chief of the tribe was shot dead. No fresh water could be found, and on the 27th January, 1804, Collins abandoned such an ap- parently sterile and in- hospitable spot, after a sojourn of a little over three months, for the more fertile shores of Tasmania. The people and stores were embark- ed at daylight on the 30th of January, 1804, and the vessels sailed for Tasmania, where Collins selected a spot at Sullivan's Cove, on the banks of ihe Der- went, 10 miles from the settlement founded in the previous year by Lieutenant Bowen, nnd now the site of Hobart Town. Collins in his official reports alludes to Port Phillip us an 'unpromising and un- productive country,' and adds that 'when all the disadvantages at tending this bay are publicly known it can not be supposed that commercial people will be very desirous of visiting Port Phillip.' Another officer (Lieu- tenant Tuckey) records the fact of the depar- ture by the following note of exultation: ' The kangaroo seems to reign undisturbed lord of the soil ; a do- minion which, by the evacuation of Port Phil lip, he is likely to re- tain for ages.' One result of Colonel Collins's attempt at settlement in Victoria has been that the Syd- ney authorities thor- oughly despised the ter- ritory, a feeling which apparently has some lingering traces left even to this day: But the stay in Port Phillip, short as it was, of Colo-
nel Collins, proved long enough for the celebra- tion of three important events, which embrace almost the whole story of man's life, a marriage was solemnised, a white child born, and a death occurred in the settlement. It is reported that some of the officers of the Calcutta found in the sandy bed of a stream near Port Phillip grains of a sparkling substance which some thought to be gold, but the majority declared to be mica. To what trifles some men owe either fortune or the missing of it. Before the expedition sailed for Tasmania, three convicts, one of whom was William Buckley, escaped, and were believed to have died in the bush. Not so. Buckley lived for 32 years amongst the blacks — the sole white man in Victoria! He was one of those impli- cated in the conspiracy among the soldiers at
Gibraltar to assassinate the Duke of Kent. In 1835 Buckley was found by the first permanent settlers, having lost his language and sunk to the level of a savage. His hair , was thickly matted, his skin was brown, but not black, like that of the natives ; he was almost naked, and he carried the ordinary arms of the aborigines. This was as Buckley, the only survivor of the three escaped convicts, presented himself to Batman's party after a lapse of 32 years! Buckley some times joined the natives in their encamp ments, but more frequently lived by himself in a cave near Queenscliff. This cave is now a favorite picnic spot with the fashionable visitors to this popular watering place, and ladies daintily attired now sip wine and munch chicken sandwiches sitting upon the old sand
stones of the cave which was Buckley's home for 32 long and dreary years, during which period he was as much cut off from civilisation as though he had been in the grave. He had many strange adventures during this long interval, but had not the smallest in fluence for good, upon the aborigines, to whose level he sank and led a purely animal life. When he heard that the Geelong tribes intended to murder Batman and his party, he warned them of their danger. Buckley was clothed and cared for by Batman, and for a time acted as interpreter, in which capacity he was very useful to the white colo- nists. He died at Hobart in 1856. DISCOVERY OP THE MURRAY RIVER. Between 1804 and 1835 Victorian territory received no more attention from the first colo-
nists, in whose eyes the place was eternally damned. But during this period a fringe of territory around Sydney had prospered. Flocks and herds had increased and multiplied, and fresh pastures were eagerly sought for. The early pioneers who settled on the fertile country between the sea coast and the Blue Mountains had an idea that there was either a navigable river or an inland sea on the other side of the then impenetrable boundary. In 1817, Messrs. Wentworth and Blaxland scaled the Blue Mountains to the head waters of the Macquarie River. John Evans followed these as far as the present productive Bathurst Plains. About the same time, the explorer Oxley made journeys along the Macquarie and Lachlan, proving the existence of a watershed to the south-west and the probability of
a large river. Hamilton Hume and W. C. Hovell, two stockmen, were the first Europeans to sight the Murray River. In honor of the father of one of the explorers, the river was first called the Hume. The Ovens and Goul- burn were discovered afterwards and named the Hovell. After crossing these streams, and travelling over 400 miles, Hume and Hovell reached Corio Bay, near the present site of Geelong. They had been 16 weeks on the journey, and returned to Sydney without mak- ing any attempt at settlement. Hume was afterwards second in command to Captain Charles Sturt, one of tho bravest and most intrepid explorers the world has been. Hume, who was a native of Sydney, died in 1873, at Yass. Hovell was two years afterwards attached to an expedition, dispatched
from Sydney to forestall a supposed design of the French to occupy some portion of the southern coast. Sturt in 1829, explored the Murray River in a boat for many hundred miles. No trouble was experienced with the natives, owing to the humane disposition of Captain Sturt, of whom it is said that he neither directly nor indirectly caused the death of a blackfellow. The good terms upon which he stood with the aborigines may in a measure be due to the geniality of his companion, Macleay, a naturalist, who made himself a great favorite by singing comic songs to them, at which the dark faces went into fits of laughter! The Australian blackfellow is not a ferocious being, and generally proved himself good-natured. The navigability of the Murray as far as Swan Hill was proved by
Captain Cadell in 1858. The boat in which Ca- dell made, his voyage is to be exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition, FIRSTPERMANENT SETTLEMENT IN VICTORIA. The coast of Victoria was visited by whalers and sealers from Tas- mania after Hume and Hovell's explorations, ' but no settlement was attempted until 1827, in which year Wishart, the master of a small cutter, was driven into a bay, which he named Port Fairy, after his vessel. In 1829, a Mr. Dutton built a house at Whaler's Point, Port- land Bay, which he oc- cupied for some months while engaged in seal- ing, in 1831. He formed a whaling station there on the following year, and was engaged in this pursuit when, in July, 1833, Mr. Ed- ward Henty, the eldest son of a family of settlers at Launceston, in Tasmania, sailed for Spencer 's Gulf, and stayed there two months examining the country. He secured a passage back to Launceston in the Thistle. Bad weather drove the vessel to take refuge in Portland Bay. Struck with the natural capacities of the coun- try, Mr. Henty deter mined to settle in it. Upon returning to Tas- mania he was fitted out with stock, farm imple- ments, fruit trees and vegetable seeds by his father, Thomas Henty, who had been a banker and landowner in Sus- sex, and who, with his sons, emigrated to Launceston in 1831. Edward Henty, accom- panied by his brother Francis, returned in No- vember, 1834, to Port land Bay with stock, whaling gear and boats, and formed the first permanent settlement in Victoria. When Thomas Mitchell, in 1836, made his celebrated journey overland from Sydney, traversing a consider-
able portion of the as yet unknown territory which he named Australia Felix, ho was astoni- shed when he arrived at Portland to find ships and houses. The Hentys were thus the real founders of the colony. Edward Henty only died ten years ago, after living to see Victoria grow to nearly its present great dimensions in such a short interval of time as a man's lifetime. What would now be called a syndicate was formed in Tasmania, in 1835, to colonise Port Phillip. John Batman, native of Parramatta, New South Wales, was at the head of the organisation. He sailed on the 12th May, in a small schooner, and entered Port Phillip on the 29th, landing on the west side of the Bay. He ascended the You Yangs, and surveyed tho beautiful downs in the neigh- borhood of Geelong, which had so charmed the
ESMOND DISCOVERING GOLD AT CLUNES, 1851.
ESMOND DISCOVERING GOLD AT CLUNES, 1851.
hearts of Hume and Hovell. He explored the country, followed the Saltwater Creek for some distance, ascended the Freshwater River, which he renamed the Yarra Yarra, said to he the native for "ever flowing." He had several interviews with the natives, and entered into a simple arrangement with eight of the chiefs for a transfer to him and his heirs for ever of some 800,000 acres — an area which included the land whereon now stands Geelong, Melbourne and its suburbs. The natives were to receive 20 shirts, 50 blankets, 30 tomahawks, 100 knives, 30 looking glasses, 30 necklaces, 100 cwt. of flour and ½ ton of pork! This bargain was not recognised by the Government, but ultimately the Batman association was allowed £7000 compensation by the Governor of New South Wales "in recognition of the services which the company had rendered by assisting in the colonisation of the new country."
In the same year another party came over from Tasmania. This party was organised by John Pascoe Fawkner, and sailed from Georgetown on the 27th July. At the end of August, the vessel sailed up the Yarra and was moored by its captain, John Lancey, to a forest tree growing on the river bank. The provisions and live stock, consisting of two horses, two pigs, three kangaroo dogs and a cat, were landed, and, the foundation of Melbourne laid. Fawkner was the father of Melbourne. He died on the 4th September, 1839. Batman died on the 6th May, 1839, and lies buried in the old cemetery on Flagstaff Hill. In 1852 an obelisk of dressed bluestone, raised by pub- lic subscription, was placed over his grave. Other pioneers from Tasmania soon followed Batman and Fawkner. But the settlement was viewed with disfavor by the Governor (Bourke) of New South Wales, who went the length of proclaiming that settlers would be considered as trespassers, liable to be dealt with as other intruders on vacant lands of the Crown. A township soon began to be formed on the banks of the Yarra, and ' towards the close of 1836 the Sydney authorities found themselves compelled to recog- nise the new settlement, and sent Captain W Lonsdale, of the 4th Regiment, to assume
the position of magistrate. He selected the present site of Melbourne for that of the future city, and when Sir Richard Bourke, Governor of New South Wales, visited the new settle- ment in the following year he approved of the selection. Mr. R Hoddle, surveyor, who accompanied the Governor, laid out the town of Melbourne, named after the then Prime Minister of Great Britain. Even the early settlers were not unfamiliar with the 'land boom, 'which has in fact con- tinued unto this hour. The first land sale was held in Melbourne in June, 1837, and the average price realised for each half acre allotment was £35. Portions of this land are now selling at £2000 a foot! A Quaker missionary, James Baker, de- scribes the hamlet of Melbourne in 1837 in the following terms:— "The town of Mel- bourne, though scarcely more than 15 months old, consists of about 100 houses, amongst
which are stores, inns, a gaol, a barracks and a schoolhouse. Some of the dwelling houses are tolerable structures of brick. A few of the inhabitants are living in tents or in hovels resembling thatched roofs till they can pro- vide themselves with better accommodation. There is much bustle and traffic in the place and gangs of prisoners are employed in levelling the streets. The town allotments (half-acre) were put up here a short time since at £5 each, the surveyor thinking £7 too much for them. But the fineness of the country has excited such a mania for settling here that they sold for from £25 to £100 each." One by one the various institutions of a civilised community arose in miniature form. The Bank of Australasia was started in 1838, and the first newspaper, the Advertiser, made its appearance in the same year. The first nine issues were in manuscript. Ship loads of the destitute Scottish Highlanders and Islanders
numbering upwards of 4000 individuals, were brought out at the expense of the New South Wales Government, and scattered over the colony as shepherds and small farmers. To the north and west, and far beyond Corio Bay, most fertile land was discovered by the pioneers from Tasmania. The town of Geelong, with its good harbor of Corio Bay, sprang into existence through the fertility of the western pastures. For a time Geelong was a rival to Melbourne. The "intelligent foreigner" sauntering down the well paved streets of Melbourne will hardly be able to realise that half a century ago the present fashionable promenade of Collins-street was marked by a line of gum tree stumps, deep ruts and reservoirs of mud ; that a piece of board, nailed to a tree, bore the inscription, "This is Bourke-street;" that a waggon and a train of horses were absolutely swallowed up in Elizabeth-street ; and that at one time the
settlers seriously talked of using stilts! The site of the present Treasury was then a cabbage garden and Emerald Hill (South Melbourne) a sheep walk. Tho only lawyer in Melbourne in those days— happy community! — kept a butcher's shop. The vigor and enterprise of the pioneers soon brought the settlement into prominence. Mr. Charles Joseph Latrobe was appointed superintendent of Port Phillip in September, 1839, and afterwards became its first lieutenant governor, from which position he retired in 1854. No other colonial administrator has had the lot to witness such marvellous changes. Colonists owe to him the fine parks and public reserves which surround Melbourne, and the initiation of the Yan Yean waterworks. As the nominee of Governor Gipps, he held himself accountable to the central authority in Sydney, and his actions there- fore constantly ran counter to the wishes of
the colonists in Port Phillip, who never ceased protesting against the moneys of their surveys, post offices and Customs being managed for them by subordinates responsible to the chief departments in Sydney. This feeling found strong vent after a year or two, when separa- tion was demanded. AGITATION FOR SEPARATION. Sir George Gipps, Governor of New South Wiles, had entrusted to him the management of the eastern half of Australia, a territory lying between Capo York and Port Phillip. Around Sydney there was a population of 120,000 in 1842, and some 30,000 people were scattered around Port Phillip. The people of Melbourne soon wished for an in dependent Governor with full power to settle promptly all local affairs. A citizens' meeting was held in 1840, in Bourke-street, to petition the home Government for separation
from New South Wales. Both Governor Gipps and Mr. Latrobe discountenanced separation and became very unpopular in Melbourne. The aspirations of colonists found more farvor with the English authorities. Representative Government was granted by the British Parliament to New South Wales in 1843, and the province of Port Phillip was entitled to elect six representatives to the Legislative Council. Residents of Melbourne found it impossible to leave their business and attend to legislative work in Sydney. The people of Port Phillip were forced to elect Sydney representatives. They found an energetic representative in the Rev. Dr. Lang, who heartily supported the colonists in their demand for separation and to be formed into an independent colony. A petition was sent to England, and in 1846
the people of Port Phillip were overjoyed to learn that the English Government promised to obtain from the Imperial Parliament an act authorising separation. But the Government was defeated, and their successors delayed taking the question in hand. Thereupon the agitation assumed an intensified form in Melbourne, by whom it was complained that the Sydney Government used much of the money obtained from the sale of land in Port Phillip to their own advantage, and for the purpose of bringing out new colonists to Sydney. Upwards of £180,000 are said to have been applied in this manner. A further grievance was that Port Phillip was practically unrepresented in the Legislative Council which sat at Sydney, as none of the residents of Melbourne could afford to live in Sydney for five months every year attending to legislative duties and neglect their own private business. Much bitterness of
OX THE ROAD TO THE DIGGINGS. DESERTED SHIPS IN HOBSON'S BAY IN 1852.
OX THE ROAD TO THE DIGGINGS. DESERTED SHIPS IN HOBSON'S BAY IN 1852.
feeling was thrown into the agitation in subsequent years. It was at one time proposed by the Melbourne electors not to elect any member, in order to show the English Government how little use to them their supposed privilege really was. But a gentleman named Foster offered himself as a candidate, and in this dilemma the colonists nominated the then Secretary of State, Earl Grey, and he was elected by a large majority. By this action the attention of the Secretary of State was drawn to the desires of the district, and he promised that full justice should be done. The Queen intimated her pleasure that the new colony should adopt her name, and in 1851 the news arrived that
Port Phillip was to be separated from New South Wales. In the middle of that year its independence was declared. Mr. Latrobe was raised to the dignity of Governor. The Legislative Council established by this act of separation consisted of 30 members, 10 of whom were to be Government nominees, the rest being elected by the people. Responsible government was not introduced until 1855. The present constitution is moulded on those of the United Kingdom and the American States. The two Houses of Legislature made laws subject to the assent of the Crown, as represented by the Governor of the colony. Both Houses are elective. Voters for the Legislative Council must possess a property, qualification. For the Legislative Assembly a residential qualification is all that is needed.