Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

3 corrections, most recently by bdhurkett - Show corrections

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 1888.

A CENTENNIAL RETROSPECT

OF THE

HISTORY OF NEW SOUTH WALES.

INTRODUCTORY.

HISTORY, according to the dictum of a wise master of eloquent speech, is "Philosophy teaching by experi-   ence." Less epigrammatically, but quite as accurately, it may be defined as a kind of sublimated Biography, for it is simply a prose "epic of action," which records, for   all time, the results of individual efforts operating  

through national channels. The nation is, of course, but the aggregate of the unit ; and, very frequently, a people's History is but the amplified biography of its "choice and master spirits." Both History and Biography possess an enduring fascination for the thinker ; and just as he delights to analyse the lives of notable men who have triumphed over those vicissi- tudes which strengthen the strongest and crush the weakest, he takes pleasure in tracing the origin, growth, achievements, and possibilities of powerful States which seem destined to play a very important role in the

world's history.

To-day, New South Wales stands with her fair face gladdening in the Sunrise ! Freed from her ancient thraldom of darkness and disaster, she, the elder colony of the Australias, looks sunward, from a coign of vantage at once serene and lofty. Just as the expectant heir, when the fitting epoch arrives, gazes with eager and glowing eyes upon his patrimony,—so, our jubilant Colony, from whose radiant borders flashed the first torch of Australasian colonisation, beholds her six prosperous sister colonies, and stands, grave at the remembrance of the past, but exultant at the visions of the future ! The old, dim, black, evil days have been happily relegated to the region of forgetful- ness ; one by one, our undoubted rights have been wrested from reluctant oligarchs ; and, one by one, wise laws and salutary enactments have given us an earnest impetus in the path of Progress ; until now, at the national threshold, with a century of toilsome struggle behind us, and centuries of noble possibilities crying " Onward," the most purblind and lethargic of our countrymen can assuredly discern presaging cer- tainties that the Australasia, of which we form an emulative part, will, in the speedy fulness of time,     take rank as a great World power. This goal is, undoubtedly, assured; and it will be the result of the logic of our Destiny !

HISTORIC RETROSPECT.  

I.

At a time,like this-a pivot-point, so to speak, in our History-it seems proper and pertinent to briefly review the past events which have emphasised them- selves in our national chronicles, and to summon "in the sessions of sweet silent thought," the names of those of our undying dead whose rare courage and un- tiring energy were as towers of strength in the dark and difficult days now gone. The intellectual athletes . of days past were no puny politicians. Many of : them would have shone brilliantly in the Legislative halls of the Mother Land, for they possessed the mental : strength, and large grasp of national questions, which : were imperatively required if the foundations of this

nascent nation were to be laid in broad and permanent fashion. May the memory of their exalted services be

for ever fragrant !

' ? :V IL

The precise, or'even approximate, period when thc existence of a " Great South Land " became known tc the elder nations of the world is a matter of mucl: doubt, and, even if ascertained, would hardly possess much modern valuer for us. Some ingenious writen think it extremely likely that the famous scientific ex pedition of Alexander the Great, which (about B. C. 327 gave Western nations much knowledge of Easter] peoples, may have gathered certain geographical hint of a strange immeasurable Land stretching far awa; there on the remotest rim of the sapphire sea. A any rate, the indefatigable Mr. Bennett has collected, i his extremely laborious work on "Australian Dil covery," references from Strabo (B.C. 50) from Plinj from Ptolemy, from Agathemerus, and others, whic seem to indicate, beyond reasonable doubt, that, fro: the very dawn of the Christian era, the existence < Australia was somethings more than a hazy traditio]

or geographical phantasm.

It was not, however, until after thp» march of mar centuries that this nebulous belief assumed form ar colour. The latter part of the fifteenth century wi nessed the commencement of that extra ordinary ou burst of maritime enthusiasm which seized with tl contagion of a sacred madness upon the world's. leadii seafaring nations. Adventurous spirits amongst t] Dutch, the Portuguese, the French, and the Spaniar engaged in the ardent race of emulation ; and added

the territorial possessions of the civilised world regio; of immense wealth and extent. In .1492, Columbus di covered America, arid the astonishing vista opened o by this navigator's immortal achievement appears to ha kindled many a fiery spirit into a fixed determination

discover, if possible, that other far-distant singular land which had, up to that epoch, eluded maritime detection. Mondana, in 1568, sailed from Peru due west for 4500 miles, and discovered, amongst other groups, the Solomon Islands. Thirty years later, on another voyage, he

met with the Marquesas Islands ; but he does not - appear to have sighted the Australian mainland, although he sailed marvellously close to it. De Quiros, who was originally Mendana's pilot, and, subsequently, the inheritor of his " unfulfilled renown," sailed from Lima in 1605, keeping the three ships of his expedition on a course west by south. In February, 1606, he discovered Tahiti, and, in April following, sighted a land which he called "Tierra Austral del Espiritu Santo" (the South Land of the Holy Spirit) concluding, beyond doubt, that he had grasped the Continent he sought. In this conclusion, he was almost certainly in error ; for the. land observed by him is generally believed to have been one of the islands of the New Hebrides group. Dis- putes and disasters amongst his own crew, however, marred the further success of his expedition. In fact, his officers and men refused to proceed. De Torres, his lieutenant, who commanded the other two vessels, was separated from De Quiros, and continuing his onward course, sailed through the straits which separate Cape York Peninsula from New Guinea. This was in itself a momentous achievement, and has perpetuated the name of De Torres in the geographical nomenclature of Australia. But, of the two, Da Quiros was the greater navigator. He afterwards, long and vainly solicited, from the Court of Spain, funds to equip another expedi- tion, and eventually, it is said, died of those gnawing and cruel disappointments which consumed more than one of the great old dauntless Spanish navigators, who were compelled to lacquey the slow steps of princely

indifference.

But the Spaniards and Portuguese had, by no means, a monopoly of discovery. The Dutch were equally adventurous. The energetic authorities at Bantam, in Java, had, in 1605, despatched a small vessel on an ex- ploring expedition along the coast of New Guinea, and the result was the discovery of the eastern shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria. All authorities seem to con- cur in admitting that the " Duyf hen's " seamen were the first Europeans who set foot on Australian soil.

The French have also advanced a claim to the first

discovery of Australia ; for they affirm, on the authority amongst others, of a map in the War Office at Paris (bearing the date of 1555), that Guillaume le Testu is entitled to whatever distinction fame may award on this score. In any .case,' the honour jlies between the Spanish, the Portuguese, the French, and the Dutch. The English do not appear to have entered the theatre of action until some practical acts were to follow the mere incidents of maritime discovery.

Gravestone discovered ia Bethel . Street, where it had been used as a 1

paving stpnei. ..'

Some further facts maybvell complete' this swift sum- mary of known historic . items. Dirk Hartog, whose name remains as'applied to ari island, near Shark Bay, sailed for many degrees along ,the . Western Australian coast line. Zachari and Jan Edels ooasbed alonsj other portions. In 1627,- the southern shore was .discovered by Peter Nuytz. In 1628, Carpenter explored a large portion of the Gulf of Carpentaria, which, ; since then, has borne his name. His account of the territory was so enthusiastic, that the Dutch Government deter- mined to annex the land. A powerful fleet was sent out, but owing to mutinies and overwhelming disasters by sea, the expedition collapsed. Tb 1642, the illustrious Tasman discovered the island which, after the name of his patron, then Gfovernor-General of Batavia, he called Yan Diemen's Land. His own name, as applied to the discovery, will, no doubt, survive Yan Diemen's. In the same year, this intrepid navigator discovered New Zealand, and called it Staaten Land, a name which 4s now unknown and extinct. In 1644, he made further discoveries along the Australian coast, and it would appear that, in this year, the'name New Holland was first applied, at any rate, to the northern part of our Con- tinent. Tasman was an authentic son of Neptune ; one of those bold, untamable souls in whose nature was implanted the splendid sea-spirit of the Vikings of old.

Dampier was probably the first Englishman who placed foot on Australian Bhores. He made two visits : one in 1688, and the other in 1699 ; and his description of the country and its aboriginals is of the most unpro- mising nature imaginable. For much more than fifty years after this, our Continent seems to have lapsed into a slumbrous lethargy, and remained almost as undis- turbed as during its earliest pre-historic days.

III.

It was on the 26th August, 1768, ihat Captain James Cook was. co».missioned by the Britith Admiralty to take the command of the " Endeavour," a ship of 370 tons, and proceed forthwith towards Australasian waters to determine, if poBBible, two questions. The first a matter of minor moment to us now-was connected with an approaching transit of Venue, and was success- fully accomplished at Tahiti. The secoLd problem which awaited solution had reference to the insular character ¡of Australia; for, although much of these coasts had ¡been explored, the idea was held by many that the entire territory was connected with one of the continental mainlands.' On the 19th April, 1770, Cook sighted a promontory, which he named, from its first observer, Point Hicks ; and on the 28th, discovered a sheltered harbour, which premised;;good anchorage ; and to which, from the botanical wealth subsequently noticed by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander (two dis- tinguished naturalists wh.çhad accompanied the expedi tion.frcm motives of unselfieh scientific love),' he gave the name of Botany Bay. The natives were;'wild, un- approachable, and naked; and Cook records in his ' journal the admiration iwith which he regarded the

¡fearlessness of some of: the ¿Botany champions, who valiantly faced the armed European intruders.

On the 6th May, the "'Endeavour," after a stay of nine days at Botany Bay, proceeded northward on her way, and at noon passed a "bay or harbour," which Cook called " Port Jackson," in remembrance of ,his friend Sir George Jackson, Secretary to the Admiralty. It is not neceeeaiy to accompany the distinguished navigator further, other than to note the fact that, by the 21st August, he had coasted from the latitude of 38° S. to 104° S. ; and that, on reaching the northern. most point of Cape York Peninsula, he took possession " of the whole of the eastern coast in the right of his Majesty King. George the Third, by the name of New South Wales, with all the bays, harbours, rivers, and ÎBlajidB situated upon it. We then," he continues, "firjed threevolleysof small arms, which were answered by the same number from the ship. " The 21st of August, 1770, should, not be forgotten by us. It is one of the fairest red-letter days in our Australian Calendar.

IV.

The issue of that monstrous and unhappy contest which afflicted the ill-advised' Motherland by bloodily wresting from her the North American Colonies, caused the Imperial« authorities to enlarge their outlook. Piercing past the Atlantic, their eyes beheld, beyond the barred American gates, sparkling like a great jewel upon the broad breast of the vast Pacific, that Bilent term incoghita where Cook and British territorial rights had posed '< so prominently a few years before. The time was very opportune. Draconian laws were too operative iii Britain in these days. For a very small offence, pr^oners, political or otherwise, were haled off to the American tobacco plantations, and actually sold ?

to the planters for Buch sums as their services and the fl periods of! their sentences were held commercially worth. Ai great wave of humanity has passed over the English-speaking people since then, and many of the present generation can hardly credit the fact of this parliamentary slave-traffic oi the past. Nevertheless it is true ; and it has been calculated that for Borne years previous to the American struggle, two thousand offenders were annually sold at an average rate of £20 each. Of course, by the uprising of the "Thirteen Colonies," this traffic was abolished, and after an

experiment " on the " West Coast of Africa," which waa almost as fatal in its effects upon the ostracised wrong-doers* as if they had been directly guillotined, the system was abandoned. Something, however, was necessary, and the conception of the Penal Settlement at Botany Bay was the result.

S Let no . one, however, think so erroneously as to . imagine that the British Government proposed to establish an exclusively Penal Colony. Quite the reverse. A few years had. wrought a great change in the mind of the nation. The American war had stimu- lated thought, and aroused regret. Hence, whilst this Boheme was designed to rid the Home prisons of their human overplus-much of which, be it observed, was more sinned against than sinning-it was also intended to work the progressive reformation of the offenders, and to beneficially quicken their strides towards good citizenship by the fine social example of free and self reliant emigrants. Whether the plan were thoroughly practicable, or whether it ever achieved a succeas, par- tial or complete, need not, in this place, be discussed. The fact already recorded remains ; and it should always be remembered, whenever this early plague-Bpot in our history is exhibited, that New South Wales was never intended as a purely Penal Colony, but rather as a reformatory ; and that the social necessity for the immigration of resolute, enterprising freemen, whose overflowing energies longed for " ample room and verge enough," was, from the very first,, distinctly postulated.

In the month of March, 1787, the historic harbour of Portsmouth witnessed a spectacle unique in its naval annals. The singular feature of the affair was not the mere massing of a fleet of eleven sail, for in Portsmouth this was a small matter. It arose, rather, from the reasons which had brought the squadron and its accom- panying transports together. For the cluster of vessels formed the " First Fleet." It consisted of his Majesty's ship " Sirius," the armed tender " Supply," six transports, and three Btoreships. Commanding the expedition was

CAPTAIN ARTHUR PHILLIP,

the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the territojy of New South Wales, ,a Colony which, by the King's Commission (subsequently read to the whole of the Colonists on the 7th February, 1788, at Dawes' Point), was declared to extend frcm Cape York, in latitude 10° 37' to South Cape, in Tasmania, in latitude 43° 29', and inland, westward, to the 135th degree of east

longitude. Tasmania, it may be remarked parentheti- cally, was, until. Bass, in 1798, discovered the straits which bear his name, supposed to be connected with

the mainland of Australia.

"The First Fleet" housed more than a thousand persons. Two hundred and twelve of these were marines and their officers ; and forty women (with their children) were considerately allowed to accompany their husbands. Déportés formed the human balance, a ' species of living ballast rueful to contemplate.

Let us pass onward, cúrrente, cálamo. After a passage of eight months-by no means an abnormal experience in those days-the destination was attained ; and, on the 18th, 19th, and 20th January, 1788, the disembarka- tion waB accomplished. But Botany Bay was at once found to be wholly unsuitable and defective for the purposes Arthur Phillip had in view! He, therefore, on the 22nd, manned three boats, and, taking certain officers, proceeded to "the bay or harbour" which Captain Cook, thinking it might afford " good anchorage," had named Port Jackson.

Of course, the magnificence of the panorama which burst, upon him after he had passed the frowning portals ' speedily obliterated every feeling but that of admira-

tion. The harbour's noble reaches, its perfectly land- locked character, its beauty, its depth, its splendid com- modiousness, rose like a revelation before the vision of the astonished party. ! A small cove, six miles from the Heads, was speedily selected as the site of the future settlement. A fine stream of water was observed to . run into this bay ; and the place, in honor of Viscount

Sydney, was dubbed Sydney Cove.,

On the 26th January, 1788 — our Anniversary Day — the formal foundation of the young colony was cele- brated on a space cleared for the purpose. The British flag was hoisted ; the health of King George III. was toasted with loyal effusiveness in this Ultima Thule of his Majesty's, and a speech saturated with prophetic eloquence was delivered by Arthur Phillip. Roderick Flanagan (whose early death was a grievous loss to Australian history) has elaborately recorded the utter- ance of our first Governor, and, whether the report be accurate or not, the expressed sentiments are eminently just and the diction dignified and strong.

The position of Arthur Phillip was no sinecure. The early settlers were continually confronted by perils from

which we are entirely free. Dependent, as they were, upon stores from Home, famine frequently looked them . in the face ; and it was only by the exercise of energy,

forethought and promptitude on the part of their chief that they were enabled to survive initial difficulties which at times seemed insurmountable. The blacks,

too, peaceful at first, occasioned much trouble from time ?/ to time ; and, as may readily be supposed, the lawless nature of many of the more violent prisoners was such as to need continual vigilance on the part of the authorities to prevent surprise and disaster.

In February, 1788, Lieutenant P. G. King was sent to colonise Norfolk Island, which had been discovered by Captain Cook ; and in June, 1789, the Governor, while making an excursion to Broken Bay, discovered the Hawkesbury, and traced it to the place where Windsor now Btands. This was a most important ? advantage, opening out, as it did, large tracts of super-

latively fertile land to the early settlers. An instance , of the ever ready determination of Arthur Phillip waa

seen in January, 1798 ; when, scarcity having menaced . the colony, the "Sirius" was sent for supplies to the

Cape of Good Hope. She returned, five months after, with the necessary provisions-curious and significant facts assuredly to record in this bright and fortunate

Centennial Year.

On the 11th December, 1792, Phillip sailed for England. He had ruled the infant State for five years. His servicea during that time were very great. Although vested with an official authority which was practically limitless, he was one of those rare spirits on whom the possession of absolute power does not graft the smallest growth of tyranny. Firm, when necessity demanded, even to a severe degree, and possessed of the fortiter in re in a marked measure, he was, nevertheless, the very " sensitive plant" of humanity when softer occasions arose. Such was this man ; and ingratitude should be affixed like a stigma to the forehead of the colony should we ever become oblivious to the services of such a heroic soul as our first ruler-Arthur Phillip

Governor Phillip was succeeded by

CAPTAIN JOHN HUNTER,

whose services, whilst in command of the " Sirius," as well as in other colonial capacities, were considered [to

Continued'pn^age G. )

't.

SYDNILÍ FROM WATSON'S BAT, AND AN EMIGRANT VESSEL OF THE EARLY DAYS.

(Continued from page 3.)

qualify him for the position of Governor. As, how- ever, he did not arrive until 1795, the government, during the interim, devolved upon Major Grose and Captain Paberson, who were officers of the New. South Wales Corps, a regiment which was subsequently destined to be associated with a very important crisis in the affairs of the Colony. This historic corps was raised in England for service in the Colony ; and, during no 'nconsidorable portion of our earliest days, it possessed phenomenal power in the community. It is, however, unnecessary, in this brief review, to refer to a military body, some of the members of which would appear, from iontemporary evidence, to have possessed objectionable . «ocial traitB, as well as a huckstering spirit which was

at least as strongly defined as their military ardor. With the exception, therefore, of one essential future reference, no further allusion to the corps need be made other than the remark that, with respect to some of its members, Junius's severe criticism would well apply, for their " conduct could only escape without censure when it passed without commons. "

In 1793, a number of free settlers arrived, to whom special privileges and grants were given. They settled ñrst at Liberty PlainB, but eventually found the Hawkesbury a more promising field for agricultural pursuits. About this time, too, the very valuable grazing district near the Nepean, known as the Cow pastures, was discovered by the accidental circumstance

of some cattle straying far away from the main settle-

ment.

During the five years of Captain Hunter's administra- tion, the Colony made many material advances, despite jthe fact that droughts and floods harrassed and hampered

, OLD PITT STKKET AND THE TANK STREAM. (From a photograph kindly Uni by Mr. 0. J,. Montefiore.)

- the struggling settlers very severely. It was during

this period that the courageous surgeon, Géorgë Bass, proved the insularity of Tasmania. Various further ? accessions to geographical knowledge were made at this

period ; âtid among other distinctive gains the river Hunter was discovered and named after the Governor. A printing office was also established at this time, the first Government Printer being George Howe, < CAPTAIN PHILIP GIDLEY KING

was the third Governor of New South Wales, and took ,? office in September, 1800. He was not without local ; experience, for he had worked with Phillip, and his

services in founding the subsidiary settlement of Norfolk 1 Island had been very valuable. Curiously enough, one

of the features of his administration was a strong recom- mendation to the Imperial authorities to abandon the Norfolk Island settlement, a proposal which was, in due time, carried into effect. But, without doubt, the' most important event which distinguished Captain King's tenure of office was the introduction by Captain John Macarthur of the wool-growing in- dustry. It is to this gentleman that the foundation pf ; the enormous pastoral interest, without which thje colony would be a mere shadow of itself, is.attributable. He saw its pastoral possibilities, and launching his great energies into the enterprise, became the first producer, and left his name indelibly associated with that staple product which is the basis of the colony's prosperity. Other important events were-the establishment, in 1803, of the first Sydney newspaper, " The Sydney Gazette"; the colonization of Tasmania : and the occurrence of a terrible flood in the Hawkes- bury in March, 1806. Captain King gave place to

CAPTAIN WILLIAM BLIGH,

a gentleman whose famous connection with the memor- able-mutiny of the "Bounty" was destined to be eclipsed by his association with a still more notable act of deposition. Bligh was a singular man, and one by no means lacking in the elements of greatness. The remarkable ability and dauntlessness of spirit shown by him after his dangerous " Bounty" experience, indicate no ordinary man. His worst faults appear to have bee a those of temper and manner, and certainly not of heart. Amongst many sections of the community he was distinctly popular ; and, considered altogether, his checked career is, in the absence of any very positive or visible shortcomings, a very inexplicable one. The story of his compulsory abdication of the Governor- ship, an event which excited the most frenzied interest in the colony, can here be recalled very concisely. Mr. John Macarthur, who was originally a Captain in the New South Wales Corps, but more recently a settler and grazier, found himself involved in several commer- cial quarrels with the Governor. In one case he had a suit against a settler on account of a breach of some wheat agreement ; and, on the matter being referred to the Court of Appeal, the Governor decided against him ; very inequitably, as Mr. Mac ir thur thought. There was, subsequently, another dispute about a still, in connection with which case Mr. Macarthur held him- self deeply aggrieved by the Governor. A third mis- understanding was connected with the seizure of a schooner of which Mr. Macarthur was part owner. The result of these quarrels was a state of things which was capped by the arrest of the litigious grazier, and his committal for high misdemeanours. The officers of the New South Wales Corps vehemently espoused the cause

of Mr. Macarthur, and memorialised the Governor foi the appointment of a new Judge-Advocate. The friction on each side gradually intensified, until, on Anniversary Day, 1808, Major Johnston, who-was in charge of the 0 >rps, owing to the absence of Colonel Patterson and Lieutenant-Colonel Foveaux, was per- suaded, by some excited sympathisers, to place the Governor under arrest-a mo3t extraordinary pro- ceeding. The Major then assumed the- provisional government of the colony ; and Mr. Macarthur became, for the nonce, Colonial Secretary. After being kept under restraint for twelve months, Governor Bligh was allowed to embark on board the " Porpoise," ostensibly to proceed to England. He remained, however, at Tasmania for some time, and did not leave for England until the 12th May, 1810. In May, 1811, Major John- ston was tried in England by Court-martiat for his participation in this mutiny, and removed from the service. Mr. Macarthur was also exiled from the colony for eight years. Bligh was, moreover, promoted immediately to the rank of Rear-Admiral.

Governor Bligh had, of course, very little oppor- tunity to prove his value as an Administrator. But it is difficult to see what charges can be reasonably levelled at him pr his Government. His interest in the settler

population-then arr important" section* of the comm- munity-made him immensely popular amongst them ; and it is, perhaps, safe to say that, but for the hostility he awakened amongst a powerful section-an animosity, perhaps intensified by a certain hardness- and an appearance of overbearing assumption, his tenure of office might have been as valuable as it was disappointing. He was succeeded, on the 1st January,

1810, by

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL LACHLAN MACQUARIE.

Governor Macquarie swayed the destinies of our infant State until the 1st December, 1821- a space of twelve years. Daring this lengthened period his occu-

pancy of ,the supreme post materially promoted the v progress of the Settlement. His every effort was \ directed to the development of the country's resources ; and of the future which awaited the colony, he, like Arthur Phillip, was enthusiastically confident. By Royal command, his first duty was to reinstate the recently-deposed Governor in the position from which he had been flagitiously ousted ; a course which the Imperial Authorities deemed worthy of adoption, by way of vindicating their power, and showing their marked condemnation of the recent mutinous occur- rences. At the end of twenty-four hours of this restored rule, he was instructed to take the oath as the formal successor of Bligh. Bligh, however, was in Tasmania, so that the first portion of the Royal instruc- tions was fulfilled by proclamation only.

Fortunately for the welfare of the Colony, the New South Wales Corps, which had menaced and marred the real advancement of the State, was at this juncture ordered home, and Macquarie, consequently, was not hampered on that side. Entrusted with enormous administrative powers-with a people emerging from pupilage, and dimly conscious of their first faint . strivings towards a National goal-the new ruler had

an ample chance of a distinguished record ; and it is but simple justice to affirm that his stewardship was admirably carried out. E ado wed with great firmness and sagacity, and blessed with many of those gifts and graces which add lustre to a lofty position, he devoted his powers to the solution of the most pressing problema

of the time. Just before his arrival, the floods in the vicinity of Windsor had been particularly calamitous, and wide-spread destitution had deeply affected many of the settlers. He made personal-tours throughout these devastated districts, and issued several important regulations which facilitated pastoral and agricultural enterprise, and improved the position and prospects of the classes immediately affected. He also established Windsor, Richmond, and several other country towns, and did very much to arouse the emulative spirit of the local farmers, so that the quality of their stock and the results of their tillage might be as perfect as possible. His achievements in road-making-a mo3t important work in those days-were not less noteworthy. Went- worth, Blaxland, and Lawson (the reader will note the year is 1813), had just penetrated the mystery of the Blue Mountains ; had footed its ravines, and scaled those almost inaccessible hills which had bafflad every effort since 1788 ; and the discovery of the noble Bathurst plains, and the illimitable tracts stretching

toward« the sunset, were the immediate results. X I road was formed across the range within fifteen months, and many settlers reaped immediate advantage from

this great feat of Wentworth and his colleagues. Roads , wore also constructed by Governor Macquarie in; , t -different parts of the colony, "aïid" it is ëstiniated thal""" during his administration nearly three hundred miles of these important works were constructed. In the matter of public buildings, the Governor's energy was marvellous. Veracious chroniclers affirm that, during his tenure of office, no fewer than two hundred and fifty buildings were erected by him-a sufficiently formidable total, whether the period is or is not considered. In fact, this pecu- liarity of his amounted almost to a virtuous mania.

The Colony made a very distinct advance during Macquarie's term of office. The machinery of Justice was greatly improved by the creation of two Courts the Governor's and the Supreme Court. Social ques- tions were touched with a strong remedial hand, and the Governor regarded with particular favour that class of Colonist who were termed " Emancipists ;" that is, emancipated prisoners who had developed into law abiding and reputable citizens. Nor was the work of exploration forgotten. The Lachlan, the Macquarie, the Hastings, and the Manning were traced or dis- covered by Mr. John Oxley ; and Mr. Hamilton Hume explored an immense tract of fine pastoral land watered by the lower Murrumbidgee. Altogether, Macquarie's administration was as eventful as it was beneficial. Not without ample justification did he claim, in a letter

to Earl Bathurst, written after his return to England,

in 1822:

GEORGE STREET 30 YEARS AGO. (From a Photograph)

I formel- the colony barely emerging from infantine im- becility, and suffering from various privations and disabilities ; the country impenetrable beyond 40 miles from Sydney: agriculture in a yet languishing statê ; commerce at its early dawn ; revenue unknown ; threatened with famine ; distracted, by factions ; the public buildings in a state of dilapidation, and mouldering to decay ; the population in general depressed by poverty ; no public work, nor private confidence ; the-.morals of the great mass of., the population in the lowest state" of debase- ment, and religious worship almost totally neglected/'. Such was the state of New South Wales when I took charge as its Adminis- trator on 1st January, 1810. I left it, in February last, reaping incalculable advantages from my extensive and important dis- coveries in all directions, including the supposed insurmountable barrier called the Blue Mountains, to the westward of which is situated the fertile plains of Bathurst ; and in all respects enjoying a state of private comfort and public prosperity."

Governor Lachlan Macquarie fwas succeeded, on the 1st December, 1821, by

MAJOR-GENERAL SIR THOMAS BRISBANE,

a gentleman who came to the colony accredited not merely as a brave soldier, but a scientist of proven ability. As a ruler, however, history has not styled him a conspicuous, success. He seems to have lacked the administrative power which one or two of his pre- decessors possessed in such marked measure. He remained in office only four years, retiring by recall on the 1st December, 1825. The most momentous events which marked his term of power will bear brief men- tion. First in importance, perhaps, is the impetus which, about this time, was given to immigration, Numbers of a very desirable class of colonists were induced to emigrate to our shores, their intention being stimulated by grants of land. Discoveries, too, did not leave exploration idle. In 1823, Captain Stirling and a colleague tracked the fruitful Monaro Plains ; in the same year the Brisbane River was found by Mr. Oxley. In 1824, Howell and Hume journeyed overland to Port Phillip, and beheld in their pilgrimage the splen- did intervening country ; and Allan Cunningham made Borne discoveries of hardly less importance.

By a despatch dated the 19th January, 1824, the intelligence was received that his Majesty, had granted the Colony a Legislative Council of five members. It is worth while re-chronicling their names : William Stewart, Francis Forbes, Frederick Goulburn, James Bowman, and John Oxley. By a subsequent warrant Mr. Oxley's name was omitted, and Archdeacon Scott's inserted. The Council enacted various laws of general advantage to the community. In 1824, trial by jury was granted, and in the same year, certain restrictions which had affected the freedom of the press were removed. In the same year, Mr. Francis Forbes was appointed the Colony's first Chief Justice ; and, in the sphere of business enterprise, it may be noted that the year 1825 saw the establishment of the enormously wealthy Australian Agricultural Company.

On Sir Thomas Brisbane's recall, the Viceregal seat was taken by

LIEUT.-GENERAL SIR RALPH DARLING,

who assumed office on the 19th December, 1825.

The position of chief of this colony was, in those ?days, hardly a bed of roses. In the earlier times, when the Governor could practically have said with Louis XIV., "L'Etat c'est, moi "-"The State? I am the State !"-there was none to say him nay ! But a distinct and very positive party, who were inimical to any

encroachments upon what they considered the liberties of thepeeple, had grown up with the growth-of the* colony and strengthened with its strength ; and Governor Darling eventually discovered this, to the notable jeopardy of his peace of mind !

During the administration upon which we now briefly comment, the Colony suffered some singular experiences, socially and materially. One was the remarkable madness which seemed to seize the community in con- nection with the agricultural interest. It was a kind of " South Sea Bubble " mania, and is supposed to have originated from the operations of tho Australian Agri- cultural Company, which was now commencing business upon an imposing scale. Everyone, for a time, seemed "bitten by the tarantula." All were anxious to make rapid fortunes by " sheep and cattle " speculations. When the excitement reached its zenith, another evil occurred. A terrible drought visited the colony ; and this calamity, concurrent, as it was, with so much feverish and unhealthy speculation, caused a harrowing financial collapse. A third experience of interest was the manner in which the Governor strove to coerce two of the leading newspapers of the day, whose strictures had made him wince. But his eflbrts ended, as is common in such cases, by recoiling against himself.

The Sudds-Thompson episode excited extraordinary agitation. These two soldiers, fancying the life of a felon was preferable to the military state, agreed to commit a ïelony in order to escape military servitude. They were found guilty and sentenced to transportation ; but the Governor, wishing to make an example of them, intervened, and punished them in such a way that Sudds died. The most remarkable outburst of public indignation followed. Wentworth formally impeached Governor Darling, and, in the vehemence of his ani- mosity, averred that he would follow him to the scaffold. It is but fair, at the same time, to remember that when, in 1835, the Imperial Parliament considered the case, Darling was exonerated.

Legislation, during the period now noticed, did not result in much that was momentous. It should, how- ever, be remembered that the Botany water supply was first adapted, for metropolitan wants, at this era ; and that Tasmania, in 1825, became a separate Colony. The services of Dr. Lang, also, in the cause of free emigration, merit mention and praise.

Interior exploration still continued to reward adven- turous souls. The assiduity of Captain Sturt was followed by the discovery of the Darling, and the nobler Murray ; and other districts were revealed by the labours of such dauntless men as Allan Cunningham.

When General Darling received his conge, the public regret, it need hardly be said, was not accentuated. If he ever ppesessed more than a scintilla of popularity he had completely outlived it," and when he left the colony on the 22nd October, 1831, no sorrow was ex- pressed-a lamentable truth to chronicle. This result was partly attributable to the feverish transition period at which he ruled ; but still more, it must be confessed, to the fact that Nature had negatived his 'possession of those administrative qualities which build up success- ful governments. *

On the 2nd December, 1831,

Sm RICHARD BOURKE arrived as his succesEor,

The circumstances which signalised Sir Richard's accession to his high office were eminently conducive tc the welfare of the Colony. The new chief assumed the gubernatorial reins amidst the- most happy auguries. The late Governor's many foes and few friends joined ir their felicitations at the appearance of the rising planet, and indulged in the most radiant hopes. Their antici- pations were rightly formed. Bourke's abilities were oJ a statesmanlike and an uncommon order. Thoroughly swayed by constitutional principles, versed in constitu- tional methods, and possessed of a cultured mind oi great and penetrating power, it was, perhaps, a mis

fortune that, in his earlier days, he had sacrificed the . law for the military profession. But doubtless his

intellect, by the dual training it had received in the arts of law and arms, became more finely developed for the administrative work to which he consecrated his maturer y ears.

One of the most important innovations which came in with Bourke was the complete change in the system of alienating Crown lands. Up to this time, the Gover- nors had been possessed practically of limitless power in the disposal of the public estate. Their prerogative was, it is true, Bubject to certain restrictions, but the conditions had merely a paper existence, for the Gover- nor's privileges virtually authorized him to grant tracts of land to such persons as were selected according to his own sweet will and fancy. Very naturally, this power had been, from the first, a persistent generator of friction ; for selfishness and jealousy, ever Argus-eyed

KING STREET 30 YEARS AGO. (From a Photograph.) j

and unsleeping, were always clamouring' from their thousand throats at the imaginary or real detection of acts of ofñcial favouritism. In 1831, this system of grants became defunct ; and Crown lands were alienable thenceforth by public auction only. The alteration was, of course, à good one ; and, whilst distinctly indicating

a progressive ? epoch, relieved the Government of a / powër which, almost of necessity, produced, invidious . reSUltSi ...

But, indeed,- from the time Bourke*: met his first .Legislative Council, on the 19th January, 1832, ufitil the termination of his official tenure, solid arideubstian tial progress was made by the Colony; Bills were passed which placed upon a more humane and philo- sophic basis the laws relating tb assigned servants ; a series of regulations which were radically required, as many employers had been guilty of diabolical cruelty to their convict servants. Measures relating generally to improvements in the administration of justice were enacted ; schemes for the introduction of a désir- able class of immigrants were sanctioned ; and the great questions of education and religion were placed upon a footing of so satisfactory a character as to give a decided and visible impetus to the enduring interests of ¡the colony. It is, inter alia, to the immortal glory, of Bourke's administration that some religious disabilities,

' ' . ' (Continued onpage 10.J .''j' Í

ll' . Í

MODERN PITT STREET.

(Continued from page 7.)

which tended to exalt the Established Church at the expense of the other Churches (especially the Church of Home), were removed, and thus a blur and scandal were obliterated from the brightening pages of the 1 colony's history.

WM. CHAS. WENTWORTH

In 1832, the Imperial Parliament was moved to enquire into " the best means of providing a Legislative Assembly for the inhabitants of the thriving and exten- sive Colony of New South Wales. " After an animated , speech from the proposer,-Lord Howick, on behalf of

his Government, reluctantly opposed the proposition, . on the ground (solid and substantial enough, although

unpleasing to free colonists), that the extreme tension which existed between the a emancipists" and ordinary colonists, would interpose radical obstacles against a proper solution of the colonial difficulty. The " eman- cipists '' were, at this j uncture, largely in excess of the free population ; and unfettered powers of local legisla- tion* meant, therefore, a possible menace to the best interests of the Colony ; for where was the social guarantee ? To place the franchise in the hands of the free colonists only would be not less objectionable ; for, under .the circumstances, it would be inequitable to let the voting minority control the voteless majority.

On being submitted to the House, the motion was lost. Such was the fate which befel the first energetic attempt to confer upon our infant state the unequivocal blessings of representation.

The issue need not be regretted. The effort was, in- contestably, premature. In a very few years, the bene- ficial operation of a wise national policy was, happily, , destined to reverse this abnormal criminal prepon-

derance, and fit the fruitful social soil for the reception of the Parliamentary seed. And, in the meantime, the eloquent agitation of Wentworth and his colleagues, bj keeping the question most prominently in the light precipitated the speedy result.

Year by year during Bourke's administration, th< prosperity of the colony steadily increased. Th» outlook with regard to revenue, population, socia affairs, and legislation, was undoubtedly gratifying and in 1835, Sir Thomas Mitchell capped his many ex ploratory services by tracing the Darling, and there after discovering a magnificent tr?"ct of country which h .called "AustraliaFelix.'1 This territory became, subse quently, the. Colony of Victoria. It is also wort noting, en passant, that, in 1836, a special committe recommended that a circular wharf be formed at Sydne .Cove from shore to shore, so that facilities might be prc vided for the enormous expansion which was visible i the shipping trade. The final result was the preser

Circular Quay.

In 3836-7, the district of Port Phillip was mac available for settlement ; and in a very short time,

thriving, self-reliant body of pastoralists, with larç nocks and herds, were in possession of this land <

promise.

But the time was approaching when Sir Richai Bourke was to relinquish his charge. In 1835, owing 1 reasons which he deemed all-sufficient, Bourke ha superseded the existing Colonial Treasurer, Mr. C. I Riddell. In informing the Imperial Government, 1 notified that, if his action were not upheld, he desire to resign. The Home authorities, whilst of the opinic that Mr. Riddell'* deprivation of office for a year w sufficient penalty, would not hear of Bourke's resign tion ; but the Governor persisted in his intention.

Bourke left the Colony on the 5th December, 1831 but, before he departed, the Colonists decided, at a pub] meeting, on the instigation of Wentworth, to erect statue to commemorate the signal services rendered 1 their departing chief.

The commission was duly executed in bronze 1 Mr. Westmacott, and was placed, amid general rejo ings, on its granite pedestal at the Macquarie Stre Domain entrance. The day of celebration was the ll April, 1842 ; it was declared a public holiday ; and

SIR GEORGE GIPPS,

who was Bourke's successor, delivered a most encomiastic address, in the course of which lie stated that his esti- mate of Bourke's greatness was best indicated by the fact that his own policy had been based upon the pre- cise lines of his predecessor.

Thus was the memory of the rare merits of Bourke

enshrined in imperishable bronze.

The 24th February, 1838, was the initial day of the rule of Governor Gipps, and he remained in office more than eight years. Although possessed of large natural powers, improved by diligent cultivation, the impartial, historian must aver that he did not quite continue the traditions of Bourke's popularity. Perhaps this was not entirely his fault. Rulers, no less than meaner men, are often the products, and not the masters, of their environ- ments ; and the era of Gipps was in many respects dissimilar from the period which had preceded it. Per- sonally, he possessed some pecu- liarities which were not likely to conciliate many of those whom busi- ness or necessity brought before him. His temper was subject to certain arbitrary slips which did not act like mollifying oil upon all and sundry, and the result was, from several quarters, an amount of acrimony which, at -this distance of time, we note with an impartial regret.

An extensive influx of persons desirous of settling in the colony was now occurring. The discovery of rich pastoral and agricultural tracts, the commercial vitality of the country, and the rare prospects visible to those who, like Kent, de- sired to shape their "old course in a country new," were producing expected results. Land, especially in the Port Phillip district, was

eagerly sought in the way of pur-

chase, and Sir George Gipps, with his mind fixed upon replenished public coffers, adoptod the expedient cf offering areas ridiculously inadequate to the demand. The price of land, of course, immediately rose : its purchase was practically compulsory upon the settlers ; and the issue was that much of the capital, which should have reproduced itself with profit to all persons con- cerned, was buried in the ground.

Meanwhile, British money flowed in. Large banks and, monetary institutions were established. The Government had been previously satisfied with moderate interest upon their deposits ; but Gipps demanded the extravagant rate of seven-and-a-half per cent. To these terma the competing monetary institutions were obliged to agree ; and, in order to meet the increased demand from the State, they enlarged their sphere of operations, and overstepped the safe line of banking.

And now, a speculative mania arose in full fury. A rage for purchasing property of all kinds transformed the community as completely aa though it had u eaten of the insane root that takes the reason prisoner." We need not particularize or enlarge upon the phenomenon. The expected crisis came at last. Speculators " went under" in shoals ; firms collapsed; and the Bank of Australia (the highest institution of the kind in the colony) became ruined.

Gipps also incurred great odium on account of an unwise interference with the squatting interest-having imposed upon squatters a Regulation which compelled them to purchase, annually, certain quantities of land. The " Pastoral Association of New South Wales," and much personal unpopularity, so far as the Governor was

concerned, were the outcome of this.

In 1840, an incident occurred which earned . for the Governor the uncompromising hosti- lity of a most powerful section, geueralled by that remarkable and versatile genius, W. 0. Wentworth. Wentworth' had obtained, by ."purchase" from the Maori chieftains, an enormous territory in the Middle Island, which Sir George Gipps, in his speech on the 9fch, July,. 1840, declared to contain twenty millions of acres. Gipps introduced a measure to negative, for all time, this system of acquiring land; and indulged in severe invectives upon Wentworth and his col- leagues. The Governor triumphed : the Bill was passed ; and, thenceforward, the opposi- tion of Wentworth was a large factor with

which the Governor had to deal.

A few remarks will now be pertinent with respect to the political progress of the colony.

On the 30th July, 1839, a message was . received from Her Majesty's Government,

approving of the discontinuance of theassign ment of male convicts. This meant an aboli- tion of the whole transportation system at the earliest date practicable. On the 7 th October, 1840, Mr. Macarthur moved in the Council, that the Crown be memorialised to abolish transportation to these shores. The motion was withdrawn ; but it was obvious that the end of the curse was approaching. The chief political advances made at thie

time were in the direction of immigration and

education.

On the 24th January, 1843, the Governoi announced that the Council which he ther addressed was in its last stage of existence, as the Imperial Government-had transmitted to him a measure for the " Better Govern ment of New South Wales and Van Diemen't Land," which provided for the introductior

of the elective principle. The House was to comprise six Government officers; six Crown nominees, eighteen elective members for New South Wales, and six for Port Phillip. The Bill, which provided the machinery of legislation, having been passed on the 23rd February, 1843, the old Council was extinguished.

THOS. SUTCLIFFE MORT.

The new Council met on the 1st August, 1843, and Mr. Alexander Macleay was elected the first Speaker. The first few Sessions were mainly occupied in passing measures and discussing matters of more or less local interest-, and it soon became abundantly obvious that the introduction of the modicum of representation was an unmixed good, although there was an independent element about the new system which gave the Queen's

Representative more trouble than he had previously

known.

Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt is imperishably associated with this portion of our history, lt was on the 1st October, 1844, that he started from Moreton Bay for the purpose of exploring the intervening region which stretched to Port Essington. His party consisted of nine individuals, and, after incredible hardships, reached their destination, having made valuable dis- coveries, on the 17th December, 1845; just fourteen months and sixteen days after their departure from Moreton Bay. On arriving at Sydney on the 29th March, 1846, Leichhardt received distinguished honours, besides money gifts of two thousand five hundred pounds. It should, in this connection, be noted that Lèiehhardt's last expedition started from Canning Downs on the 28th February, 1848, and comprised a party of six, of whom two were aboriginals. Their fate is one of the mysteries of the vast interior. How far they penetrated towards their goal-Swan River-it is impossible to say. But it is not difficult to surmise that Leichhardts admirer, Lynd, was prophetically right when he beautifully apostrophised the " finders " of the relics of his " murdered friend "; and that the tragedy by which Gilbert, the naturalist, perished in ttiat

Jons DUNMORE.; LANG, D.r

famous Port Essington trip, waa repeated. To hostile blacks,, rather than to any operation of natural causes, the disappearance of the party is fairly attributable.

The exploratory achievements of Sir Thomas Mitchell, Captain Sturt, and Mr. Eyre also memorably mark the governorship of Sir George Gipps. It is to be regretted that, during the last months of his adminis- tration, the friction which had existed between him- self and the Council increased. Finally, the Council, on the preposition of Wentworth, determined that no more legislative work should be undertaken until the 21st July. On the 11th of that month Gipps left the colony, leaving behind him a public verdict of a remarkably perplexing kind. If his foes were not more numerous than his friends, they were, at least, more energetic. Dr. Lang's appraisement of him is most undeservedly severe ; but, perhaps, as that fine but most positive old divine was " an excellent hater," no more favourable verdict could be expected. Gipps muBt, we apprehend, at least, be conceded this merit. He ruled honorably and vigorously through a most difficult epoch of transition, and not a little of his unpopularity with some powerful sections arose bepause he studied patriotic duty, first, and held private interests as a mere secondary consideration. Dying a few months after his arrival in England, very little, if any, doubt exists that the virulence exhibited by his powerful opponents

materially shortened his life.

SIB CHARLES FITZROY,

who assumed office on the 2nd August, 1846, was nephew to the Duke of Grafton-the peer whom Junius, in the most vitriolic of his masterly letters, selects for special literary crucifixion.

One of the first questions which engaged the attention of the incoming chief was a despatch from the Eight Hon. W. E. Gladstone (then Secretary of State for the Colonies) which, in a very ingenious, but unmistakable manner, proposed to restore transportation. The colony was instantly aflame. Many meetings were held ; the chairman, at the first, being Charles Cowper. In the House, certainly, a party seemed to agree with the Crown proposal ; but, outside, the feeling of opposition was unanimous. The climax was reached when, after delays and despatches had passed (for Downjng Street was very remote in those days) the folks of the metropolis quivered with excitement one morning in the " merry month of June," 1849, to find that the "Hashemy" had arrived, with two hundred and twelve male convicts on board-a gift from the paternal Government at Home. An immense crowd assembled at the Circular Quay to prevent the disembarkation. This was not actually done, but the moral effect of the emphatic protests was very great. The Legislative Council (which had been criminally careless in the matter) adjourned before a proposition to memorialise the Imperial authorities could be discussed. A petition, signed by 36,589 persons Boon indicated what must needs be done ; the " Order in Council " was revoked, and this danger abolished for ever.

During Fitzroy's term some most important regula- tions were legalized in connection with the " Occupation of the Waste Lands of the Colony." Space will not allow of their mention, other than to note that by these "Orders in Council" the Colony was separated into three divisions, the "Settled," the "Intermediate," and the " Unsettled." Each was specially regulated as the different nature of the tenures demanded.

In the 1848 session - on the 21st March-the desirableness of forming the settlement, of Port Phillip into a separate dependency was considered ; and, during the same session, Select Committees were appointed to consider the practicability of introducing the railway system, and also of establishing rapid steam communica-

tion with Great Britain.

In this Separation Movement Dr. Lang had taken a leading part, and very reasonably so. The disabilities which annoyed the distant settlers at Port Phillip were undoubted, and their complaints were heavy and manifold. But it was not until 1850-1 that their indubitable wrongs were righted by the Imperial authorities allowing them to Bet up house for Them-

selves.

Another momentous undertaking was carefully fostered by Wentworth : we refer to the establishment of the Sydney University. A Bill to incorporate this institu- tion was assented to on the 1st October, 1850. But, indeed, the activity of the Legislature of the time was very great, and it is impossible to read the debates without acknowledging "there were giants in those days."

The year 1851 was rendered notable by reason of the gold discoveries. The original finder would appear to have been Mr. Hargraves, although rumours had been .frequently in existence concerning the presence of the precious metal. But, in a few months, the. yellow god was discovered in a dozen places, and the usual frenzy occurred. In October the presence of gold was abun- dantly visible in Victoria. We know to what colossal

results these discoveries have led.

On the 16th June, 1852, Mr. Wentworth moved for a Select Committee in connection with the preparation of à Constitution for the colony-a work which has assisted to place his name in the very fore-front of our statesmen. The Committee brought up their report on the 17th September, and the names of the Members who were concerned in this Bacred nationalworkwere-Wentworth, Stuart A. Donaldson, Charles Cowper, E. DeaB-Thom son, Dr. Douglas. James Macarthur, Terence Aubrey Murray, John Lamb, James Martin, and John Hubert Plunkett, lt is unnecessary to refer to the provisions of the report. The document- an extremely able one is well known ; but one curious (in fact, the only Birigular) recommendation contained in it was the intended establishment of an hereditary aristocracy ; a proposal which met with a strenuous opposition from the public, led by Mr. (now Sir Henry) Parkes, Messrs. Deniehy, Johnson, Archdeacon McEncroe and others. After the display of much eloquence, both inside and

outside the ! Senate, this measure (" The Constitution Act '^-incontestably the most valuable work ever per- formed by our Legislature-passed on the 21st December, 1853. On the 19th December, 1855, having been Royally assented to, and the assent notified to the Colonial Council, it became the law of the land, amid general jubilation. "Wentworth's handling of the whole matter was most masterly. And anyone who will read the debate on the Second Reading (preserved by Sil- vester) must admit the extraordinary merit of the speeches. Wentworth's, in particular, as one of his eulogists rightly affirms, vindicated his reputation as one of the first of living orators.

It was on the 9th May, 1864, that Mr. (now Sir Henry) ParkeB took his seat as ene of the Members for Sydney, having been elected in the place of William Charles Wentworth, who, with E. Deas-Themson, had been entrusted with the advocacy in England of certain matters connected with the Constitution Act. On the 7th July, Mr. Parkes moved some important resolutions touching on immigration ; and on the 30th November brought up a report of the Select Committee on" Asiatic Labour. Committees on Education, Crown Lands, and several other BubjectB furnished valuable work ; and various progressive measures saw the light.

Sir Charles Fitzroy retired from the Government on the 17th January, 1855 ; but, before he did so, Dr. Lang ineffectually strove to carry a resolution in the Council censuring him in most vehement terms. On the 28th the Governor embarked, amid much regret ; being, it may be gladly noted, munificently testi monialised aB he departed.' His era was an extremely important one, and was distinguished by some of the most remarkable advances the colony had.known. The public appraisement of his services was, on the whole, very favourable.

Sra WILLIAM DENISON,

formerly Governor of Yan Diemen's Land, entered upon his administration on the 20th January, 1855. One of the first duties he was sum- moned to perform was to preside at a very large meeting of patriotic sympathy with the widows and orphans of those who were killed in the Crimean War.

THE EIGHT ECK. Vf. B. DALLEY.

The "Patriotic Fuid" was the result ; and the colonists responded with that generous heartiness which they were never known to lack. In his opening speech to the Council, the Governor emphasised the importance of an ampler system of education, and a more perfect scheme of immigration. The questions of defence and public health, as well as subjects of a less imperative nature, were referred to ; and the utterance revealed a mind fully conscious of pressing colonial wants, and an anxiety to see them remedied.

Various useful measures were enacted by the Council during the remainder of its brief existence. On the 22nd January, 1856, Stuart Alexander Donaldson was charged with the formation of the first Ministry ; and the initial Parliament met on. the 22nd May, 1856. On the 22nd August, following, the Premier informed the House that, owing to the Ministry not commanding a sufficient majority for practical work, it had determined to resign. On the 26th August the formation of a new Ministry, with Mr. Cowper as Premier, was announced. On the 17th September, on a motion by Mr. Hay, the Ministry was defeated, and a coalition Cabinet was the reBult. Towards the end of the year, a rumour gained ground with respect to a revival of transportation ; and, ? on Mr. Parkes' motion, a respectful and emphatic protest was transmitted Home.

The second session commenced on the 11th August, 1857, and, on the 4th September, Mr. Parker, having been defeated, resigned ; and Mr. Cowper formed a new Ministry.

We have, of course, no space to chronicle the various changes of Ministry which now occurred from time to time, but rather propose, in very brief fashion, to note a few of the landmarks of legislation which stand visibly forth during the period of Denison's rule. With the advent of responsible government, the power of the Governor,. of course, had been modified very much. He was hardly the important and shaping spirit he had been in the past, but became rather the social and viceregal link which connected this colony with the

mother-landi

Various useful enactments date from this period. Reforms in the electoral laws (which needed much expansion) ; laws relating to Chinese immigration, the

postal service, the railways, the pastoral -interest, the land interest, education, and other necessary subjects, -

were introduced ; and one of the most important labours undertaken was the appointment, on Mr. Parkes'

motion, of a Select Committee to " enquire into the . condition of the working classes." A report was sufe^P mitted on the 18th April, 1859, and a series of resolutions were moved by Mr. Parkes on the 22nd May, embodying the valuable reBults of the enquiry.

lt is worth remembering that, in 1858, Mr. Charles Ledger introduced about 280 llamas from South America.

They were purchased by the State, but did not fulfiî the, material expectations formed ,of them. An item also worthy of remembrance is that Sir William Denison wished to send New South Wales troops to India to assist the forces of the mother land during the Mutiny, thus practically anticipating the Soudan episode. But the House, on the motion of Mr. Thornton, refused to sanction the departure.

On the 22nd January, 1861, Sir William Denison left for India, having been appointed Governor of Madras. During his administration, the railway to Parramatta and the first telegraphic lines were opened, initial efforts which have since then been grandly sequelled. He also witnessed the four colonies joined by the electric wire. The task of exploration, too, was brilliantly carried on in his time by Gregory, Stuart, and Burke and Wills. In 1855, Sir Thomas Mitchell died, leaving the Colony a debtor for many great services it could never repay. A remarkable man was Mitchell, and á gopd one, withal.

SIR JOHN YOUNG

reached Sydney on the 22nd March, 1861. He was a characteristically amiable man-and, during the whole of his stay, it is extremely doubtful whether he made one public enemy.

The chief measures passed during Sir John Young s ' tenure of office were all urgently required. On the 16th January, Mr. (now Sir John) Robertson introduced his two famous Land Bills, which were expressly framed for the purpose of facilitating the settlement of the all important land problem. They were endorsed by the Assembly and transmitted incontinently to the Council. That higher body made certain amendments in them, which were promptly rejected by the Assembly. The appointment of twenty one members to the Council waa then tried as a " short and easy method " of enforcing acquiescence. Mr. Cowper, in this year, introduced a " Bill to Amend the Constitution of the Legislative Council." The Bill was passed in the elective Chamber, but could not surmount the nominee barriers. Bills were also passed for the "Regulation of Coal Fields and Collieries" ; for dealing with the "Church and School Lands"; for Regulating the Police"; for dealing with the " Murray River Customs ;" for pro- hibiting future " Grants of Public Money in aid of Public Worship"; for the imposition of "Stamp Duties " ; for the Apprehension of Felons " ; for the better "Management of Fisheries" ; for "Public Education"; for the regulation of the "Volunteer Force," and many other subjects of minor importance.

Certain events of interest bearing more or less directly on legislation occurred, and were incorporated at this time with the history of the Colony. One was the visit by Messrs. Parkes and Dalley to England as Emi- gration Commissioners ; another, the celebrated Lamb- ing Fiat riots ; a third was the Intercolonial Conference, which sat from the 13th March to the 27th April, 1863,

and produced very satisfactory fruit ; anda fourth was the íeturn of Wentworth to his native Colony. He was greeted here with enthusiasm.

Much material progress marked New South Wales during Sir John Young's stay. Public works were pushed forward with great energy, and railways and good roads were seen to be swiftly reticulating the country in all directions. The colony was fairly free from calamitous visitations, and when the Governor, on the 24th December, 3867, retired from the government of the Colony, he had not, like some of his predecessors, any heart-burnings or bitternesses to carry with him.

His successor,

THE EARL OF BELMORE, .

assumed office on the 8th January, 3868. About this time the Duke of Edinburgh was visiting the colonies, and one of the most painful early experiences whicr the mild-mannered aristocrat who occupied the vice regal chair was compelled to endure was connected with the dastardly attempt at assassination by the mad- man O'Farrell-an attempt which Mas almost miracu- lously frustrated.

Measures to amend the Stamp Duties Act ; the Military Contribution Act ; and an Act to Prevent the Supply of Intoxicating Liquors to Aboriginals, were at this time passed; aB well as many others of less general interest.

Another Intercolonial Conference was held at Mel- bourne in June and July, 1870, and the results indicated the value, in a Federal sense, which these deliberations possess. A few of the points upon which the Con- ference decided to take' united action were :-Naval Protection, Telegraphic Communication ; Ocean, Postal, and Passenger Service ; and the Fiji Protectorate mattérs which materially affected the whole of the

group.

Lord Belmore kept very much to himself at Govern- ment House. He did not seem to care for the "mutable many-headed public " ; and that was probably the reason why, although he was not unpopular (being, indeed, too inoffensive for that) the majority of the people looked upon him with indifference. Considering his personal amiability, his departure was not regretted

at all intensely.

SIR HERCULES G. R. ROBINSON,

a much abler man, followed. He acquired office on the 3rd June, 1872, and almost ^immediately, by virtue of

(Continued on page U.)

(Continued from pag ll.)'

that personal kindliness and bonhomie which he pos- sessed, or knew so well how to assume, -he., became extremely popular. First . to patronise warmly any sports or pastimes, he was equally in the vari when any

GOVERNOR BLIGH'S HOUSE.

intellectual effort was necessary. Some of his speeches, which have been reproduced in a permanent form, attest his mental grip, breadth, and progressiveness. In all respects he was a model Administrator ; equally at home, whether witnessing the Randwick Cup, or delivering a scholarly oration at the University on Commemoration Day.

Shortly before his arrival, a change of Ministry had occurred, Sir James Martin's Administration making way^ for one led by Mr. Parkes. The good task of legis- lation, however, fortunately proceeded onward. The Legislative Council having proved obdurate in opposing the Premier's "Border Duties Bill," Mr. Parkes threatened to reconstruct the Council upon an elective basis ; but, notwithstanding many anticipations and attempts to that effect, the Constitution of the House is still unaltered. The time has not yet opportunely arrived for a change which would, no doubt, be far more in consonance with the character of Responsible Government than the nominee system, no matter how admirable and able the legislators may be.

The chief measures sanctioned by Parliament during the popular era of Sir Hercules were-Public Works Loan Bills, Amended Land Acts, a Bill to Abolish Rates on Newspapers, a Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Bill, a Bill to Suppress Betting Houses, a Border Duties Bill, a Railway Loan Bill, a Chinese Immigration Bill, and the Matrimonial Causes Bill.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, 188S.J

Some further Conferences were arranged, during this period, between the different Governments. The first met at Sydney in January and February, 1873. It was presided over by the Hon. Henry Parkes. Another was held in Sydney in January, 1877, on the subject of

the duplication of the cable between Australasia and Europe, and a third on the same subject in Melbourne on the 9th May, 1878.

In 1877, Sir John Robertson and Sir Henry Parkes received the well merited distinction of the Order of K.C.M.G.

On the 7th May, 1872, intelligence was received of Wentworth's death, and it was unanimously decided to award him the distinguished honor of a public funeral. On the arrival of his remains, this was done ; and the event was a lasting, graceful,, and national tribute to a man whose genius and patriotism were of the most

exalted type.

Sir Hercules Robinson was relieved from the Govern-

ment of the Colony on the 19th March, 1879, and was, wafted away on the valedictory wings of the warmest remembrances and regards.

LOED AUGUSTUS LOFTUS,

his successor, was inducted into his high office on the 4th August, 1879. Lord Loftus, although an old and highly valued Imperial officer, knew nothing of the novel and peculiar conditions which prevailed here. However, during the six years he remained in office, he did not give the slightest indication of any want of comprehension of the essentially free character, of this community, although its marked contrast with the con- tinental systems amidst which he had Bpent his life must have surprised him.

The moat valuable product of this period was Sir Henry Parkes' Educational Bill of 1880, which repealed the Public Schools Act of 1866, established a Minister for Education, and made more ample provision for primary instruction. It annihilated State aid to denomi- national education, and, at the same time, offered every facility for religious teaching. Compulsory in ita provisions, it was at once firm and tender, and is rapidly abolishing that illiteracy which is a fruitful 'source of

the crime of a country.

Sir Henry also introduced an Electoral fBill which repealed the anomalies perpetuated by the Electoral Act of 1858, and provided for tho voting expansion of the constituencies. An equally important measure was likewise introduced by the Premier to apply the pro- ceeds of Church and School Lands'to the benefit of Public Instruction. The magnificence of this educational idea is best understood by those who know the enormous value of the land in question.

Yery justifiably did his' Excellency, in proroguing Parliament on the 13th July,' 1880, draw attention^ the important work of. the session just completed. Pew, if any, Parliaments, could show an ampler record.

Another Intercolonial Conference commenced its

sittings in Melbourne on the 26th November, 1880 ; and on the 3rd December, 1880, adjourned till the 13th January, 1881. It then resumed. Matters of important inter- colonial legislation were carefully considered.

Various other items of useful legislation were about this period incorporated with the laws of the land, and, on the 0th November, 1885, Lord Loftus bade adieu to a post which, owing to private embarrassments (contracted when Ambassador on the Continent) was latterly anything but a bed of roses. He was succeeded on the 12th December, 1885, by the present occupant of the position,

LORD CHARLES ROBERT CARRINGTON.

To review what has occurred legislatively since Lord Carrington's arrival would be a work of supererogation. It is familiar in our mouths as " household words." We well know every step of the progress achieved. We know our fortunate position. What have we to regret ? Our finances are certainly, at present, affected by a temporary financial blight, bu¡fc n'importe ! Compared with our resources, the deficit is like a gnat on the circle of the sun.

Despite the pessimip1 's shrill shriek and the grumbler's cackle, we believe, too, that patriotic legislation is just as vital and potent as ever it was. We can very well afford to vegetate until the Centennial junketings are over. This fine celebration can only happen once, and nothing should be spared to ensure its unparalleled success.

EPILOGUE.

Is there need to gather up these scattered threads ? or articulate any valedictory phrase? We trow not. The Centennial comes in very happy time. Only¡ a few-years since, huge masses of this island continent were untraveled, ungirdled, unknown. Now there is scarcely a region of any extent which the gaze of the white man has not pierced, and across which his march- ing adventurous foot has not wandered. The old baseless hypothesis of a menacing central desert of great magnitude has been consigned to the limbo of Nox and Erebus. Arid interspaces, bleak cruel breadths, there are in places ; but, with all these continental peculiarities, we (born and bred here, or Australians by adoption) triumphantly ask-'4 What land is like Australia ? What continent possesses her potentialities 1 " goniç

P. J. HOLDSWORTH.

Zoom

plus
thumb
minus
left
thumb
right
up
thumb
down