Tasmania's 100th Birthday.
THE EARLY SETTLERS.
(By J. J. Hayes— Continued from Yesterday.^
It was in 1811 that the Governor Ueneral, Macquarie, paid two visits to this colony from Sydney, and it was at his instigation that Governor Sorell had the streets laid out and public buildings referred to erected. It wag in Gover nor Arthur's time that the Rvstnm nf n-.
signing out the best behaved' convicts as servants was started' under which these convicts had to serve a certain time, when upon a favorable report from their employers they would get a ticket-of-leave. That is, they were free in the colony only, but ? they had to re port themselves regularly once a month at _ headquarters, or at the nearest police office, failing which they would lose their tickets. This was called muster day. I he employers were supposed to feed and clothe the men, but they got no wages. Some of these men made ex cellent servants under good masters, but there were bail masters who caused the men to absent from fear of punishment for trivial offences, and in some cases led
io nusnranging and crime. When Governor Arthur arrived in 1824 he was Governor-General, and quite independent of Sydney. He made radi cal changes in the highways. It should have been stated that the first macadam ised road was commenced to bo made in Governor Sorell's time. It started just opposite where Westella stands in Eliza beth-street, and was continued to New £-orfolk. The writer of these notes was engaged felling some she-oak trees near by, when, hearing a noise as of picks and shovels and chains, he went through the bush to see what was up, and there inw a chain-gang of convicts at work, with their overseers in charge, and a few ?soldiers on guard. They had commenced to form the road, and there was tho first
''« 'wuc me iiexb was from Old Beach to Bagdad. When Colonel Arthur came, who was supposed to be a civil engineer, he had the roads altered somewhat. The prac tice had been to go straight up a hill and down the other side without refer ence to getting an easy grade, which could be had by making a slight detour. Governor Arthur corrected this fault in some instances, but the same fault is still observed in some of our public roads of the present day. He had the Asylum for the Insane at New Norfolk built, also tie Orphan School at New Town. He also commenced the Bridgewater bridge, by .filling in and making a causeway to deep water. This at the time was thought to be a wonderful Diece of engin
eering skill. Before the bridge was built, all produce, etc., was brought across the river in a punt. Colonel Ar thur also had all the filling-in done to form the present wharves at Hobart, all done by prison labor, as also were many other public works. The number jof prisoners had by this time increased to 400 or 500, as the Home Government kept sending them out Other free settlers had arrived, and continued to come. There was very little money in the early days of the colony, and a i block of
iana in ine centre or. Hobart, which Eliz abeth, Liverpool, Collins and Murray streets would about enclose, was sold for five gallons of rum. Sir John Franklin succeeded Colonel Arthur in 1837, but he did not do nearly so much work with the prison labor at his command. He had the Franklin Dock built. He also introduced the pro bation system, which was considered a very bad system. Under it all the as signed servants were called in and hired out to the settlers at wages of £9 a
year, xne men conld also leave their employers by giving a month's notice. As an employer, I found that the men were more discontented than they were under the assigned system. Some of the mas ters had their men punished for very small faults, such as some slight neglect of dnty, in some cases unavoidable on the part of the man. They would be had up before a migistrate, and ordered 25 lashes, and to return to their work. Fear of such punishment led men to ab scond. Michael Howe and another prisoner escaped to the bush ? from fear of pun ishment for some trifling faults they had been guilty of. Howe was out for many
years, ann was a most daring character. He committed robberies in many places and was ultimately joined by 13 other es caped convicts, which made a strong party, and became a: terror to the colon ists. The Government, sent ont. soldiers and polioe to capture them. The first encounter they had with them was at New Norfolk, when a. few of the sol diers were shot, and only one of the con victs. A reward of £100 for each of their heads was loSered by the Govern ment, which carried with it a free par don if the capturer was a prisoner. Hows
and party knowing this entered into a compact that if any of . them were shot to retain the head of their comrade at all risks, and this they did at New Norfolk. The police, however, recovered the body of the convict shot, and brought it to Hobart Town, and it was gibbeted on Hunter's Island. The next encounter was at Tea Tree, where another bush ranger was shot ; he was also taken to town, but in this instance with his head. In short, all the outlaws were taken one be lone, until only Howe was left A storekeeper near New Norfolk named Slam bo harbored Howe for some years. Another convict escaped, and he, too, was harbored by Slambo, who conspired
niui uiui tu Long uunc, uuu UIV1UO ine reward. Tho convict also would get a free pardon. So that watching for an opportunity, they seived Howe, tied his hands behind him, and Imarched him off for Hobart Town. When near O'Brien's Bridge, Howe complained of the bonds hurting his wrists, and asked them to slacken them, which, out of pity, they did. Then Howe expeditiously drew his hands through siezed a knife which he had secreted about him, stabbed the convict and seized his gun, shot Slambo dead, and iagain escaped. The convict managed to get to town and report ithe occurrence to the authoritina «nrf Diin^in
after died of his wounds. Howe was at large in the Bothwell dis trict for many 3-ears, where there was a cattle station, and being out of ammuni tion he asked the stockkeeper for some, who promised to get him some from
days. He, however, instead laid an infor mation, and a soldier and policeman were sent up, and secreted themselves in the stockkeeper's hut. After a few days Howe came, and standing off about fifty yards, for he was always very cautions, he
vi»awu nu vuuuuvuatuuii| II UOU tllO OUlUlCr rushed out. Howe made off, but the soldier being the fastergrunner, soon over took him, when a desperate struggle ensued. The policeman came up and shot Howe dead. They took his head and left his body to bleach in the woods. This was the end of poor Howe, who, after all, liko many more, only wanted his liberty! There is a fine tract of land in Oatlands district called Mike Howe's marsh.