Dr John Woodforde's Diaries

Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), Friday 13 July 1894, page 4


We have been favored by Mr J. Woodforde of Port Augusta, with an inspection of a diary kept by his father, the late Mr. John Woodford, M.R.S., and L.A.H., surgeon to Colonel Light's surveying party, by whom the site on which Adelaide now stands was selected as the spot on which the future metropolis should be built. The diary was sent to England by the late Mr Woodforde for the perusal of his friends and it is a copy, written in 1867, of the original volume that we have been shown. There are breaks in the story owing to leaves having been lost from the original diary and portions are of a private nature, but for all that it contains much of public interest, more especially as we understand extracts from it have never before been published.

By way of preface we may remind our readers that South Australia was first colonized in 1836 by bodies of migrants from Great Britain, sent out under the auspices of the "South Australian Colonization Association," who had obtained a grant of land from the Imperial Government on various conditions. The first ship dispatched was the Cygnet, with survey officers—among whom was the late Sir George Strickland Kingston—and stores. Soon after an additional surveying staff under the command of Colonel Light left England in the brig Rapid in 1836, and it was in this vessel and on that occasion that the late Mr Woodforde came to South Australia. The diary opens with a description of the voyage: Mr Woodforde writes :—

" On Sunday, May 1,1836, the Rapid left the City Canal, Blackwall, and was towed down the river by the Nelson steamer to the Nore, where a contrary wind compelled us to anchor at 7 a.m. The breeze freshened and at 8 increased Tuesday when We again weighed and made fast to the steamer. We finally cast off from her at the North Foreland on the 4th at 1 p.m., and made sail with a moderate and fair breeze down Channel, taking our departure from the Lizard on the following Sunday. On 9th and 10th we passed many fragments of wrecks, some covered with barnacles and others of a recent date. From this time nothing worth noting occurred till Sunday 15th when at 5 a.m. we made the Island of Madeira, which we passed about six leagues to the westward. The weather was beautiful but the distance was too great to observe any feature of the island, except its extreme height, the summit appearing far above the clouds."

Some other islands are also mentioned as having been subsequently sighted and it is stated that on June 3 the ship Zenobia, from Calcutta, was sighted and it being calm the captain and several of the officers of the Zenobia dined on board the Rapid.

" On Wednesday, June 8," says Mr Woodforde, " we crossed the Equator and the usual absurd ceremony was performed on all the uninitiated, except myself—my state of health, for I was reduced to a perfect skeleton by seasickness, and giving the ship's company a sovereign, exempted me. We rounded the Cape of Good Hope on July 12. On approaching the latitude of the Cape we were attended by hundreds of albatrosses and Cape pigeons. I succeeded in taking several of the latter with a hook and line but the former were too wary. These birds were our constant companions till within two days of our arrival at Kangaroo Island. At this time several of a very delicate species of gull flew on board as if to welcome us to their shores. They were perfectly tame, one of them actually alighting on my arm, thus showing that they are strangers as yet to the treachery of man."

It is recorded that on Friday, July 29, they saw "the island of Amsterdam bearing E.N.E., distant four leagues. This is a volcanic island of extreme height and remarkable from its having a boiling fresh water spring so close to the margin of the sea that the sealers who, frequent the place boil their fish without taking it from the hook. This was the last land we saw till Wednesday, August 17, when we made Kangaroo Island. It was very indistinct and the weather being thick and squally we lost sight of it until the following day when at 8 a.m. we saw the whole of the south side of the island. The weather was very fine so we stood in to within eight miles of the shore along which we were obliged to beat this day and the next the wind being very light and against us."

" August 19-—At 7 p.m. we dropped anchor in 32 fathoms just inside the western point of Antichamber Bay and rather closer to the shore than was pleasant." Some leaves are here missing from the original diary but we may state that according to the records the Rapid anchored at what is now known as Nepean Bay. It may also be stated that the first emigrants were landed at Kangaroo Island until the site of the future settlement had been decided on. The diary states that "a river opened into the Bay about its centre. I went on shore after breakfast and started to explore it with my gun on my shoulder. The walk to it was longer than I had anticipated and its banks were swampy and covered with low brushwood so that being extremely fatigued I did not proceed more than a mile along the right. bank. Here the water was very brackish, probably owing to its being high water. The soil seems very poor and sandy at the month of the river but gradually improved as I proceeded up so that we may expect better land in the interior. I have had tolerable sport, shooting sufficient seafowl for the mess dinner to-morrow. I returned on board at 5 p.m."

" Friday, August 26.—I again went on shore this morning with Jacob, a young surveyor, for the purpose of shooting on a salt lagoon about eight miles along the shore and a more unpleasant and fatiguing walk I never remember. The heat was excessive and our pocket pistols were soon exhausted. We made a diligent but ineffectual search for water, but I was determined to proceed to the lagoon which we reached about midday. Here we were very much disappointed finding instead of a fine sheet of water covered with wild fowl, a miserable swamp, merely an inlet of the Bay with nothing on it but screeching curlews and these so wary that we had no chance of killing any. Kangaroo Island even at this season swarms with mosqitoes and today they have bitten me most unmercifully, giving me rather an unpleasant idea of the pleasures of the summer season. On returning from the swamp we penetrated a little way into the bush. The clematis grown in great abundance and together with a species of mimosa having very much the smell of may, imparts a delightful fragrance to the air. This, however, does not compensate for the want of water, which is very distressing, the wells that have been dug near the tents producing after much labor nothing but salt water. I hope to God we shall find better cheer when we reach the mainland. This is dreary enough and I begin to sigh for Old England with all her faults and the dear friends I have left there."

" Saturday, August 27,—Some of the settlers"—presumably whalers and sealers who lived on the island prior to the arrival of the Rapid—"came on board this morning bringing with them for sale two of a small species of opossum called by them 'wallabies.' These animals are anything but tempting to the sight having much the appearance of an enormous rat. They —like the opossum and kangaroo—are provided with a pouch for the reception of their young and it is a curious fact that most of the quadrupeds of this country have the same appendage. Disgusting as these animals were to our eyes they were excessively grateful to the palate after having lived so long on ship fare. There must have been great mortality among the kangaroos on this island since Flinders' time or he must have mistaken the wallaby for them as we have not seen one and the sealers say there are none." The Rapid was evidently not the only vessel at this time in Nepean Bay for Mr Woodforde speaks of breakfasting on board the Duke of York off hot rolls and ham so that "I have come off sumptuously in the provender line and stand well in the way of doing so tomorrow as Hill and myself with a boat's crew have just caught two superb fish in a seine net." Another vessel in the Bay was the John Pirie, with reference to which the diary contains the following entry :—

" Sunday, August 28.—The Bay presented to-day a singular scene of bustle and merriment, the occasion being a wedding on board the John Pirie. The ceremony was performed by the captain after which the happy pair proceeded to the tents where the marriage dinner was prepared. Our crew were invited to the feast which was wound up with one or two amiable fights amongst which the bride and bridegroom were conspicuous."

"Tuesday, August 30.—Started at daybreak with Field and Jacob to shoot along the banks of the river and see something of the interior of the island. After the first two miles we were gratified by finding a flat of very superior soil to any we had seen, extending many miles on each side of the stream It is covered with rich natural grass and is free from trees but here and there are clumps of luxuriant shrubs, giving it somewhat the appearance of a plantation. The perfume from the mimosa was delicious and we are much pleased with the agreeable contrast this part of the country presents to the sterile and sandy soil of the coast. It was late this evening when we returned but we are in excellent spirits not a little heightened by the sport we have had, killing between us five brace of teal, a wild duck, and a very curious kind of plover, having a hood of yellow skin projecting on the top and on each side of the head as far as the bill, leaving a small place for the eyes. Its wings are armed at the large joint with a spur of tough horn about an inch long projecting forwards and apparently meant for defence rather than offence, as the nature of the plover is exceedingly timid. The plumage of the bird was not striking being a mixture of black and white."

"Wednesday, August 31. — The sealers again visited us this evening bringing with them two native men and a woman belonging to the mainland. The men are brothers and one of them is the father of the woman. She lives with the sealers on this island. They are much better looking than we had expected and probably are good specimens of their tribe. Their stature is about 5ft. 6in. and their limbs are very small. Their complexion is of a dark copper color and their features are coarse but exceedingly good humored and they occasionally give way to immoderate fits of laughter, especially when we gave them brandy and tobacco, of which they seemed very fond. They have large flat noses and exceedingly long beards. Their hair is not woolly. They are a very ignorant and indolent set of men, depending entirely on their women for their means of subsistence, which are very uncertain and which probably accounts for their emaciated appearance."

"Thursday, September 1.—Repeated my visit to the river and have had excellent sport but was hurried on board by the appearance of a ship in the offing, which we took to be the long-expected Cygnet but found on her showing her number that it was the Pelham [Lady Mary Pelham] that had put to sea two days before. We hear there has been another row."

The entries for the following few days chiefly refer to patients whom the surgeon had on the ships and on shore. The Duke of York left on 5th September for Van Dieman's Land, and Mr Woodforde records with gratification that he sent by her to the hospital at Hobart Town two of the sick, one of whom was suffering from a severe attack of rheumatism, and "was lying in one of the tents in a most miserable plight with a wet bed under him and devoured by mosquitoes. The other is in rapid consumption, and is not long for this world." Some alarm was felt with respect to the Pelham, which "behaves with much mystery, not having communicated with any of the other ships since her return. We fear all is not right on board. "This mystery was cleared up on Tuesday, 6th September, when Captain Ross, of the Pelham, came to beg Mr Woodforde to visit his mate, who was suffering from a complication of disorders brought on by exposure and drinking. " I was happy," says the surgeon, " to find that no fresh disturbance had occurred on board, but that they had put back from stress of weather.

Colonel Light by this had decided to leave for Gulf St. Vincent, so preparations for departure were in progress on board the Rapid, and Mr Woodforde mentions having caught "26 fine salmon, so that we shall have a capital dinner to begin our new cruise upon. We have, "continues he, "hired one of the sealers and his two native woman to go to the mainland with us, and as they have capital kangaroo dogs they will answer a double purpose, that is providing fresh food, and by means of the women conciliating the natives should they prove hostile." The sealers living at this time, on Kangaroo Island are described as Englishmen, " some of them having deserted their ships to settle here, and others being runaway convicts from Sydney. We were given to understand that they were little better than pirates, but were agreeably surprised to find them a civil set of men, and they will be of much use in forming a colony here. For their honesty I cannot answer as we do not put temptation in their way. Some of these men have whale boats in which they frequently cross over to Cape Jervis, from which place they have at different times stolen the women who now live with them. These women are very clever at snaring game and fish for their keepers whilst the men remain at their little farms. One of these, of the name of Walland, has a farm about seven miles up the river, which does him great credit as he has several acres of flourishing wheat and most of the English vegetables. He has been 14 years on the Island, and is called "The Governor.'"

" Wednesday, September 7.—We left Nepean Bay at 9 this morning to proceed to Gulf St. Vincent, but at 3 p.m. it fell so calm that we were obliged to drop our anchor about half way across the passage. Before leaving Stevens sent word that he had heard guns at sea fired at intervals of four minutes during the night, but as none of the vessels have heard them we suppose he must have been mistaken, and I pray God he has. We have repeatedly sent a man to the masthead, but nothing has been discovered. The Cygnet has now been six months at sea and even should she be safe I pity the poor females who have been cooped up in her so long, as being very crowded they must have suffered many hardships."

" Thursday, 8th Sept.—Weighed at day-break, and after a very pleasant sail came to at 1 p.m. just under the western side of Cape Jervis, in a bay affording good shelter except from northwest winds. The land from the ship had a very promising appearance, and when we landed, which a party of us did after dinner, we were all highly gratified by the superiority of it to Kangaroo Island. The Cape, as far as we have seen, consists of beautiful vales and corresponding hills. The soil is very good, and grass is growing in its natural state in abundance. The valley in which we landed is just inside Flinders North-West High Bluff, and has a stream of delicious water running through it. The trees and plants are various and numerous. Of the former the gum grows to an immense size, rivalling in splendour our English oak. The land not being thickly wooded may be cultivated with very little trouble, and there are many spots that appear to me to be particularly eligible for a settling farmer, as the pasturage even in its present state would fatten stock of any description. We intend to run in nearer to the shore to-morrow and then land and pitch tents for Colonel Light and his surveying party. My station is on board the ship, but as we must remain here some days I shall take every opportunity of landing on this beautiful spot. The native women we brought with us have been landed and have set off with their dogs in search of kangaroos. They were to have returned to the beach by sunset, but as they did not make their appearance we put off without them, and returned on board to sup off porpoise fry, which is excellent similar to pig's fry. We harpooned a very fine one this morning, and hope to make many good meals of it. We are all in good spirits, and prognosticate great things for the colony." (To be Continued.)

Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), Friday 20 July 1894, page 4



Friday, 9th September, 1836 - The Rapid weighed anchor at daybreak, and ran in a mile nearer the beach. After breakfast, Hill and I, with the jolly boat's crew, took the seine and our guns on shore, but were unsuccessful with both. We, however, had more time for examining the country, and the more we see of it the more we are pleased, and wonder that the place was not before colonised. The fragrance that is wafted to the ship by the land breeze is delightful, and I discovered to-day that not a little of it is derived from the geranium, which abounds just above high water mark. When we landed we found our two native women, who had returned from their hunt without success, but after eating a hearty meal they again started, apparently not in the least fatigued. The activity of these women is astonishing, as not one of our party was able to keep up with them for more than a mile.

The tents are pitched, and Colonel Light, and his surveying party sleep on shore tonight for the first time. They seem very comfortable, and their little encampment, consisting of four tents with the ensign flying and a glorious fire, in as beautiful a valley as was ever made by nature's hands, is cheering and picturesque in the extreme. We have as yet seen none of the natives, although I walked more than two miles inland in pursuit of game. Captain Martin left us early this morning to make a tour of Gulf St. Vincent in his tiny whale boat. He may like it. For my part I feel much more comfortable on board the Rapid."

"Saturday, -10th September.—Remained on board all day as the weather was not tempting, and l felt fatigued with yesterday's walk. The women returned this morning with a fine kangaroo, part of which Hill and myself dined off; all the rest of the officers dined on shore at the tents. They have been busy digging up a piece of ground and putting in seeds for a supply of vegetables which will be very acceptable to all hands. It is blowing hard from the eastward, and as we have not good holding ground, we have just close reefed the topsail, and made all ready for shipping should the wind shift round to the westward during the night."

"Sunday, 11th September.—Our sealer and his women were dispatched this morning to Encounter Bay to endeavor to engage some of the natives to take care of our garden during our cruise. The.weather is again fine, the wind having moderated."

"Monday, 12th September.—This morning Field and I started with the jolly boat after breakfast to try our luck with the hook and line, and in the course of two hours we caught sufficient fish for all hands. Among them were the bream, rock cod and a very curious looking fish called by our people "parrot-fish." This is a brown fish striped with yellow and sky-blue, in shape resembling the bream, with a skin as rough as that of the dog fish. These fish have teeth very much like cat's teeth, of which they make very good use, one of them having bitten a piece out of one of the fingers of a member of our crew. We have not eaten of the last named fish, for I fear from their brilliant colors and strong smell they are not wholesome. The others proved excellent. After dinner we went on shore to pay a visit to our surveying party."

Nothing new is recorded by Surgeon Woodforde as having taken place the following day. Further fishing successes are referred to, and it is stated that the "parrot-fish" was eaten by some of the crew, and proved wholesome.

" Wednesday, 14th September. — This morning, the weather being beautiful, Field and I started after breakfast with our guns, and penetrated nearly three miles into the interior, which, owing to the height of the hills, was a very long and fatiguing walk. We met with no sport, but the views from the tops of the hills were beautiful. The soil in the valleys is excellent, but that on the hills is shallow and mixed with rock and stones of many kinds, viz., limestone, coarse slate and an inferior kind of marble. We found some fine cypress and cedar trees, likewise daisies similar to those found in English meadows. Flinders mentions a peculiar feature of the country, which we found very striking in to-day's excursion. I allude to the combustion which a great part of the trees have undergone, and which I can only attribute to the passage of electric fluid, and not, as some have said, to the burning of the bush by the natives. My reasons for coming to this conclusion are, first that the same phenomenon exists at Kangaroo Island where there are no natives, and secondly that the trees thus found are for the most part isolated, there being no traces of combustion around them. Indeed, I have in many instances found a large tree reduced almost to charcoal surrounded by and close to a cluster of others in a state of vigorous health. There are many speculations on this subject which will be, I doubt not, soon set at rest. If lightning has been the cause we shall probably see its most recent effects in the summer, and our intercourse with the natives will, satisfy us as to its being their handiwork or not."

"Thursday, 15tb September —After we had turned in last night Captain Martin came on board on his way to Kangaroo Island from his trip up the Gulf. He gives us a very favorable account of the country, and the few natives he met with were peaceable, but as we are going the same road in a day or two we shall be able to judge for ourselves. After breakfast Martin, Hill, and myself went on shore to the tents, and had not long been there before our sealer returned, bringing with him eight of the natives who promised to take care of our garden. These men are much the same in appearance and belong to the same tribe as the two we saw on Kangaroo Island. There were no women with them except the two belonging to the sealers. It appears that small-pox commits great ravages amongst them as three of them were deeply pitted, and one of them had lost an eye from the same disease. Two of them had congenital malformations—one of the leg and the other, which was the more singular, of the arm, there being in the place of that useful member a shrivelled stump not more than ten inches in length with three small appendages, the rudiments of fingers, at the end. They are all more or less tatooed in a very rude way, the principal incisions being on the back, and two very large ones of semilunar shape over each blade bone. Their faces are free from these mutilations, which are made with pieces of flint. This tribe is a very small one, a great number being carried off yearly by disease, and a still greater number being put to death shortly after their birth."

The place where the Rapid, which it may be stated was but 131 tons, was at this time lying is now known as Rapid Bay or Yankalilla. Several leaves are missing here from the journal, the account of ten days proceedings being lost, but we may state that in the meantime the Rapid left Rapid Bay with the object of proceeding along the coast of Gulf St. Vincent to find a place suitable for the establishment of a large settlement on the banks, if possible, of a good river. On the page of the diary following those missing, it is stated that the Rapid had that day ran at a distance of from three to five miles from the shore, and that their soundings varied from three to seven fathoms. An opening having been observed that looked like a river, and Colonel Light not liking to take the brig nearer without knowing the depth dispatched the gig to investigate, but the latter returned without having found a passage to the mouth of the supposed river. The Rapid, however, let down her anchor, and Colonel Light determined that a further search should be made the following day.

" Sunday, 25th September.—Both boats went away this morning to find the mouth of the river but have been so far baffled in their search. A deep channel was seen this afternoon taking a circuitous course nearly parallel with the shore, and Field, who took the jolly boat to sound it, believes it to be that of a river. He does not, however, think there is depth enough in it for the brig as in some parts he only found five feet at low water. What the rise and fall is we have not ascertained. Colonel Light intends to made an early start to-morrow, and I hope he will be more successful as it is far from pleasant lying at so great a distance from the land without being able to get a run on shore. Our boatswain has been discharged from duty to-day for insolence to the first mate. This is the first rumpus we have had since we left England."

" Monday, 26th September.—Colonel Light has at length found the mouth of the river, which is of considerable size, but he is of opinion that there is a larger one higher up the Gulf described by Captain Jones, and as it would detain us two or three weeks to survey this one properly, he proposes taking it on his return, consequently we proceed in search of the other to-morrow. The mouth of this river is latitude 34-44."

" Tuesday, 27th September.—We have had another run of about ten miles up the coast. A calm prevented our starting before 11 a.m., and we came to at 3 p.m. about four miles from the shore. We are now very near the head of the Gulf, and can plainly see it from the mast-head, but the water is too shallow to permit us to go higher up. Field took the jolly boat this evening a few miles along tbe nearest shore but he discovered no stream, and could scarcely effect a landing owing to the shallows and swampy ground, mangroves growing down to the water's edge. Colonel Light is of opinion that we have passed all the rivers on this side of the Gulf, and that the one he went to yesterday is that described by Captain Jones. He intends to retrace his steps and while the brig keeps at a safe distance, the surveying boat will run close in so that nothing in the shape of a river can thus escape us. We are now lying in very shallow water, having only three fathoms at half-flood, although at so great a distance from the shore. I have been a prisoner some days owing to our being so far off, and consequently I have seen nothing of the country except from the ship. However, from what I can see from the distance and from tbe description the surveying party give I have lost nothing."

" Wednesday, 28th September. — We weighed at 9 a.m. and returned to our last anchorage, where we came to at 1 p.m. The surveying boat kept close to the shore, but has discovered nothing new. There is a great doubt after all as to there being a river here, as what was taken for the mouth of one has been made out to be a channel running between the mainland and a low sandy island covered with mangroves. Pullen remains on shore to-night with the surveying boat and gig to examine the channel more minutely, and ascertain whether a river opens into it. There is a large shoal running out from the island, inside of which there is an excellent harbor, and in the channel at high water there is from two to four fathoms."

"Thursday, 29th September.—I went, after breakfast, with Field and Jacob to the island between us and the mainland, to try and discover fresh water, which Captain Jones describes to be plentiful. We were not there long, but did not find any. Pullen has returned with the surveying boat, but is not certain as to the non-existence of a river, having seen a deep and wide creek which he did not examine. Colonel Light intends going himself to-morrow. They brought on board four black swans which they rowed down, it being their moulting season. It has been warmer than we have yet felt it. The thermometer in the cabin has been at 68.

" Saturday, 1st October.—Colonel Light and Pullen, who left yesterday, returned early this morning without having discovered any river, but there are many creeks running inland from the channel, in some of which the water is brackish. We weighed immediately and ran back along the coast to the last stream we had passed on our passage up the Gulf. We come to within a quarter of a mile of it at about 4 p.m. Pullen and I went on shore in the gig—it was half flood, and we crossed the bar and went about a quarter of a mile up, but the evening coming on and the wind freshening from the southwest with a heavy swell, we made all haste on board."

" Sunday, 2nd October.—The wind during the night increased to a strong gale, and as it was right on shore we let go another anchor, and veered away so much cable that this morning we ran foul of the surveying boat that was anchored astern of us, and carried away her mast and otherwise damaged her."

" Monday, 3rd October.—The wind has moderated; and some of our officers having imagined they saw the mouth of a larger river about two miles to the southward, we weighed anchor after breakfast and the brig proceeded in the direction indicated, while another party, which I joined, walked along the shore a distance of six miles without finding a stream of any kind. Finding we were deceived we returned to the anchorage we left in the morning, and we shall probably remain here some days, as there will be work of much interest to the surveyors. The stream or river is a very fine one, boats of ten tons being able to enter it at high water, and at low it is perfectly fresh within a mile of the mouth. There is on the southern side of it a most beautiful and level plain about eight miles in length and four miles from the shore to the foot of the hills, the soil being sandy near the former but gradually improving as we approach the latter."

" Tuesday, 4th October.—Colonel Light has been four miles up the river with which he is much pleased. The water is very good, and abounds with teal and other wild fowl. On the plain to the right of it he discovered several fresh water lagoons, some of which were nearly a mile in length. The mouth of the stream is in latitude 34-59."

" Wednesday, 5th. — Claughton and Jacob, who took their guns up the river this morning, have returned with two brace and a half of teal—the second fresh meal that we have fallen in with this week. This is worth recording, as fresh meals come few and far between, and I am sorry to say some of the men are beginning to suffer for the want of them."

The following day the Rapid started for Yankalilla where the party intended to take in water, but the weather becoming very thick and threatening they had to put back. "About seven miles to the southward of where we lay," writes Surgeon Woodforde, " seeing a very pretty little bay, having a stream running into it, the vessel was hove to while Pullen landed to examine it. He describes it as a beautiful valley with a fine stream which, however, communicates with the sea only by filtering through sand and stones. The water, as far as he went up, which was no more than two cables length from the shore was brackish."

" Friday, 7th.—The wind has freshened into a gale and a second anchor has been dropped. We landed our women the day before yesterday to hunt, and this evening they made their appearance on the beach. Four volunteers started in the gig to bring them off but from the height of the rollers were unable to reach the shore. We fear the poor women may be suffering from hunger as they were but scantily provided with provisions. We were to have picked them up at Yankalilla. If they have been successful in hunting, which I hope to God they have, they will not be be so badly off, always having the means of kindling a fire."

" Saturday, 8th.—The wind having gone town, a boat was sent off for the women. They had caught no game as both they and the dogs were too hungry to hunt. A few roots was the only food they had. After breakfast Claughton, Jacob, Pullen and myself landed with our guns and went up the banks of the river in search of wild fowl, with which it was actually swarming, but the birds were so wary that we were very unsuccessful, only having killed between us a duck and a brace of teal. There are several lagoons, or what we should call marshes in England, in the neighborhood of the rivers, In these the wild fowl resort to breed. While returning to the boat we shot a brace of quail and a beautiful rail, resembling our landrail in all but the plumage, which was much finer. We likewise saw two bitterns, but could not get near them, and the black swan, which abound wherever there is fresh water and whose flight may be found a good guide, were equally watchful. Near the mouth of the river are to be seen a great variety of sea gulls, one of which, called the makerel gull, is a very delicate looking bird. Divers, cormorants and hawks similar to those on our coast are numerous, but not fit to eat. We returned on board to dinner at 3 p.m., and found all in " statu quo." (To be Continued.)

Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), Friday 3 August 1894, page 4



" Rapid Bay, Thursday, 17th November, 1836.—I have just shot a native dog that I have been watching several nights. Two of them have been for some time in our vicinity committing nightly depredations on the poultry, &c. A young cygnet, a general pet belonging to Colonel Light, was carried off a few nights since, from which time we have kept a good look out, and it is the bitch we have killed. I think we stand a good chance at getting a shot at the gentleman—that is if he is at all inquisitive after the fate of his lady love."

"Saturday, 19th November.—Poor Jacob, a good-hearted but rather unsophisticated companion of ours, is in a peck of trouble today, having met with a chapter of accidents in the night. About 1 a.m., he came in his shirt and night-cap to my tent to borrow a loaded gun to shoot the other native dog which he said had been several times into his tent. Hardy, who was sleeping in my tent, happened to have his gun loaded, and lent it to him. We shortly heard a report, and soon after poor Jacob, muttering to himself, made his appearance quite broken-hearted, for instead of the native dog he had killed a favorite little bitch, heavy with pup, belonging to Hardy, and to make things worst had broken the borrowed gun. He has therefore been obliged to purchase it.

But his misfortunes did not end here, for in his flurry he tumbled over or through a chair belonging to another officer. The ghost of Hamlet is a fool to the figure long pale Jacob cut on entering our tent in the above-named costume with the moon shining on his white visage, and huge naked sword preceding him at arm's length all ready for assault and battery. He is now more composed but still in low spirits."

Surgeon Woodforde mentions that on Monday, 21st November, the thermometer in the tents was at 128 at mid-day and below 60 in the evening. He adds ;

'—At daybreak I rose to join the surveyors, who were going to take a long round, but being of straying habits I lost them before I had been away an hour and pursued my course with my gun for a companion. I shot a great

many birds, chiefly of the parrot tribe, which are very good eating. Being very much fatigued about mid-day and thirsty in proportion to the heat I was loath to leave a stream that I found between N. W. High Bluff and Cape Jervis, and consequently determined on shooting my way along it to a small beach where it emptied itself into the sea. The cliffs on each side were so perpendicular that I was obliged to walk in the bed of the stream for more than a mile knee deep in mud and water. I was weary and well-nigh exhausted, and just had the little beach with the fresh sea-breeze within my grasp where I intended resting until the cool of the evening, when I found the very haven of my repose occupied by a tribe of strange natives. Being solus, and not at all inclined to be eaten, I quickly retraced my steps, and, as good luck would have it, unperceived by the black gentry who, I have since learned, belong to Encounter Bay. I arrived at our camp at 4 p.m. more dead than alive, but have been rendered considerably better by my tea, of which I swallowed six cupfuls."

" Thursday, 24th November.—Having, in accordance with Colonel Light's wishes, given the frame of my hut up to him, three laborers are now engaged on it, and it is finished all but the thatch. We have had for dinner to-day a mess of beautiful French beans—the first vegetables, with the exception of radishes and cress, grown in our garden. We shall soon be able to have green pease, and everything else looks very promising. We are still planting potatoes, but merely as seed as the season is too far advanced for them to come to their full growth,"

"Friday, 25th November. — The whole of this day I have been busy with the men at my hut, and have now some hopes of getting it finished, and not before it is wanted, as we are all of us more or less sufferers from opthalmia, occasioned, as I believe, by the intense heat and glare of the tents in the day and the sudden cold in the evening."

" Saturday, 26th November.—The Rapid hove in sight at seven this morning and came to anchor at 3 p.m. Colonel Light, Pullen, and Claughton came on shore, and informed us that there is every probability of the capital being formed at Holdfast Bay, as during the last cruise many paramount advantages had been found, viz., the creek higher up forms a most splendid harbor, ending in fresh water streams, one of which has from two to four fathoms in it extending to within six miles of the capital."

" Monday, 28th November.—The Rapid started for Kangaroo Island to pick up Pullen, who had gone with dispatches for the Africaine, bound to Van Dieman's Land. The brig then proceeds to Port Lincoln, and is expected back in three weeks."

" Friday, 2nd December.—Yesterday, being in want of fresh provisions, I made on early start with my gun and returned at sunset with my pockets well filled with game. Jacob accompanied me. We fell in with the surveying party, with whom we kept company all day. We travelled further inland then I had been before. The country, especially on the hills, is much more wooded than in our immediate neighborhood. The gum trees are of an immense size, and would make abundance of fine timber. The common diameter of the full grown tree is from three to four feet. The soil on these hills is bad, being very dry and filled with stones, most of which are strongly impregnated with iron. We found much limestone, apparently of a good quality, and Hardy, who strayed away from the party, brought us a beautiful specimen of quartz, of which he found a large quarry. To day I am again at work at my hut, which progresses slowly, having lost the services of the native men who have taken it into their heads to leave us for a while, leaving their women behind. I enlisted three of the latter on Wednesday, and found them very useful in carrying reeds for my thatch. The first dish of green pease was gathered yesterday from our garden and was relished exceedingly."

"Sunday, 4th December.—A sealing cutter anchored in our Bay and disposed of a ton and a half of potatoes to us, with cheese (colonial) and mutton and birds' eggs, which are very fine. I have to-day recommended a distribution of potatoes to the laborers as they are showing a disposition to scurvy. We were alarmed last night by observing a light in the offing, which had the appearance of a vessel on fire, but which from not altering its bearing we were happily convinced was a conflagration on the opposite side of the golf. For the last week we have had fires on all sides of us, it being the season at which the natives set fire to the grass."

"Sunday, 11th December.—I had the extreme felicity of removing to my hut last night. The Emu called here on Friday on her way up the Gulf, having on board stock, &c., brought by the John Pirie to Kangaroo Island. She left us yesterday at daybreak. We learned from the officers that of the six landed on Kangaroo Island to find their way on foot to Nepean Bay, four only have been found and they were neatly exhausted by fatigue and famine. The two others, one of whom was a surgeon, Mr Slater, have in all human probability perished."

"Thursday, 15th December.—The Rapid arrived last night from Kangaroo Island. The Buffalo has not yet arrived with the Governor, Captain Hindmarsh. Colonel Light gives a most unfavorable report of Port Lincoln. The harbor, when once gained, is very fine but it is extremely difficult of access and the land has a most forbidding aspect, consisting of little else than stones, and totally unfit for agriculture. They searched unsuccessfully for the tablet in Memory's Cave, raised by Flinders to the memory of the boat's crew he lost there. Holdfast Bay is consequently at last fixed upon for the seat of the capital and a more advantageous spot it is impossible to select, both from its vicinity to a beautiful harbor and the fineness of the soil with abundance of fresh water. Colonel Light makes a start to-morrow for the settlement. On the return of the Africaine, which he has sent to Hobart for stock, &c., he intends to remove us all to the town. He has offered to renew my engagement as a shore going surgeon, my former one on board the Rapid being ended on 31st inst."

" Sunday, 25th December—Christmas Day reminds us of Old England and our friends warming their knees by a roaring fire with all other Christmas comforts. Here we are broiling under a sun nearly vertical and half of us nearly blind with opthalmia. One of our sheep, the first, was killed last night after sunset and my ration, which was served out at six this morning, although carefully wrapped in a towel, was actually crawling by 10 o'clock, owing to blow flies, which are very numerous. It took me nearly an hour to wash it. A whale boat left here by Colonel Light, which was to have been such a source of comfort has, on the contrary, created disappointment as we have had little or no success among the finny tribe. Our dinner to-day, that is Jacob's and mine will consist of the above named piece of mutton, some parrots and pigeons killed, plucked, and cleaned by me and a plum pudding made by Jacob. All I have to say is that I sincerely hope my dear friends at home are spending a merrier Christmas than we are here—if not I pity them."

" Tuesday, 27th December—This afternoon we heard guns firing in the offing and on looking out we descried a large ship about ten miles off sailing up the Gulf in the direction of Holdfast Bay. We are all of opinion that it is the Buffalo."

" Wednesday, 28th December,—Our conjectures with regard to the ship we saw yesterday were strengthened this morning by hearing distant guns as of a salute given and returned in the direction of the settlement and we have come to the conclusion that his salute was returned by the land battery brought by the Tam o' Shanter. I have to-day shot five brace of quail, which is considered excellent sport, but in my opinion the best of the sport is in the eating. Life here is exceedingly monotonous and uninteresting as we are completely debarred from news. We are all very anxious to remove to Holdfast Bay."

" Thursday, 29th December.—We killed a sheep-last night, which turned out better than the first. We had the

leg roasted today and a better dinner I have not made since I left England. Our garden produced us an excellent salad, which, with a dish of tolerable potatoes, made us one of those feasts which come few and far between."

"Tuesday, 3rd January, 1837.— One of the Kangaroo Island sealers. Walker, arrived here this afternoon in his whale boat on his way up the Gulf to try and engage with Colonel Light. I sent a letter to Colonel Light, informing him of the welfare of my little flock."

" Sunday, 8th January.—Yesterday the Cygnet hove in sight from Holdfast Bay. She came into our bay on her way to Kangaroo Island with three magistrates, who are going to settle some disturbances at Stevens' settlement. She did not anchor but fired a gun and hove to Mr Finness and I went on board in the whale boat and received dispatches from Colonel Light, announcing the arrival of the Governor and informing us that on her return from the Island she would receive on board such of our party as are ready to proceed to the town, which, we were given to understand, is called "Adelaide" by the special desire of the King. I will not consent to Mrs Finness, who on Monday was safely delivered of a girl [Fanny Lipson FINNISS b. 02 Jan 1837 Rapid Bay, SA] , taking the journey for at least eight days more, consequently we shall probably form two parties. Of course I remain till the last."

"Thursday, 12th January. — The Cygnet arrived from the Island at 7 o'clock while a boat came on shore bringing a letter from Mr Stevenson, one of the magistrates pro term, stating that if our party was ready to embark before 8 he would take us on board but that he would wait no longer. The thing being impossible and ridiculous in the extreme Mr Finness sent off an official letter to retain her but she disappeared in the dark and is probably on her way to head quarters. Jenolin, who came came on shore, has given us very unpleasant news of the proceedings up the Gulf. He says that there are great dissensions and that the landed proprietors are going to institute an enquiry into the conduct of Colonel Light and his party, whom they reproach with indolence for not having yet divided the sections. God knows that these gentlemen little deserve any reproach as I can fully testify that far from having been idle they have worked like slaves, sacrificing their personal comforts in every shape to the public weal and of course have met with public ingratitude as their reward." (To be continued in our next issue).

Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), Friday 10 August 1894, page 4



"Rapid Bay, Friday, 13th January, 1837.—I started soon after breakfast this morning, taking three of the natives with me to hunt for oppossums, which they do very cleverly. These animals, with a small species known as the wongo, are found in the hollow branches of gum trees, and the manner in which they are taken deserves a little notice. The native, when he sees a likely tree, strikes at the trunk with the point of his waddy (a short club of hard wood, used both in war and the chase) and listens intently to hear for any answering sounds to indicate the presence of an oppossum. He also examines the bark to see if any marks have been made on it by the claws of these animals. He is seen pretty certain whether or not the tree contains one, and he seldom mounts in vain. They are very good climbers, making their way up tee trunk by means of notches, which they cut with the end of the waddy. In these notches they place their feet, and they draw themselves up by means of a pointed stick, which they thrust with great violence into the bark. Our success was but moderate, as we only caught six, which is not considered a good days sport. The females are very good eating, but the males are strong and require much disguising to render them palatable. After dinner a whaleboat came round the point from Kangaroo Island. It contained our old boatswain, Bradley and two others, who have quarrelled with little Stephens and are on their way to seek employment at head quarters."

" Tuesday, 17th January.— accompanied Mr Finness and party on an exploring walk towards Cape Jervis. We have had a very fagging walk, but have been repaid by the splendid views we enjoyed from the high land above Cape Jervis, particularly the one of Kangaroo Island, which was remarkably fine. The country in this direction is well-wooded, but the soil appears to me to be rather inferior to that in our neighborhood."

"Thursday 19th January.—To-day and yesterday I again spent out with my gun, to which I am entirely indebted for fresh meat, as we have no more mutton, and the blacks very seldom bring home any kangaroo. On my return I found that a ship had been in sight all this afternoon, but making little progress owing to a strong land breeze. We suspect she is the Cygnet, come at last to remove us to Adelaide."

"Friday, 20th January.—The Cygnet anchored in our roads at 8 am., and we have been all bustle, for we embark our stores to-morrow. We shall also get the private stores on board, and if possible sail in the evening. Captain Rolls brought me a very kind letter from Colonel Light in answer to mine of the 3rd. The Africaine passed from Hobart Town on her way to Holdfast Bay."

" Saturday, 21st January. — The whole of this day has been employed in embarking. "

" Sunday, 22nd January.—At 9 a.m Finch, one of our men who had left the camp to shoot without leave, returned after having been lost three days. He has been a great sufferer both from want of food and an accident, his powder having exploded while attempting to make a fire, and dreadfully burnt the poor fellow's face and arms. We were all embarked by 1 o'clock in the afternoon, and at six shipped our anchor and made sail for Holdfast Bay. The wind is light and the weather fine."

"Monday, 28rd January.—After a very fine, though slow, passage we anchored in Holdfast Bay at 1 o'clock this afternoon; had a hasty dinner and went on shore. The settlement here is named ' Glenelg,' and finding that Colonel Light and all my old mess-mates were at Adelaide, I returned on board with a full determination to make an early start to-morrow."

"Tuesday, 24th January - I succeeded in getting my boxes on shore this morning and my tent pitched, I then left Glenelg and started for Adelaide to pay my respects and report myself to Colonel Light. The journey being successfully accomplished I took dinner with Colonel Light, from whom I met with as much kindness and attention as ever. In the evening I visited such of my old mess-mates as are encamped at Adelaide, and returned by moonlight to Glenelg, where I arrived at 1 a.m. In the selection of the site for the town Colonel Light has shewn in my opinion, great judgment and firmness. There are many discontented who are impelled with envy to find fault with the choice. It appears to me that there is nothing to wish for in the selection, as the soil is excellent and the pasture fine, while there is abundance of splendid water from the lagoons and river, and in addition water may be be obtained anywhere by digging six or eight feet. The town is on a gentle eminence in the middle of the beautiful plain I described when writing of Holdfast Bay and its neighborhood. The country is moderately wooded principally with the gum tree, which averages the size of the oak. Our prospects are very cheering, and I am very confident they will continue so under the able guidance of Colonel Light. We are roughing it at present; we are very badly provisioned, but we have some excellent stock which, though very poor on landing, have convinced us of the goodness of the pasture by the astonishing rapidity with which they fatten. The stock consists principally of sheep, 700 of which the Africaine brought from Hobart Town. Some working bullocks were likewise brought. The settlers were at first deprived of the services of these animals by their running wild, but they were after a time re-captured and are now steadily at work. There is so much for them to do at present that I fear I shall not be able to get my luggage to Adelaide for some time."

"Sunday, 29th January.—This week has been one of bustle and confusion, the work of disembarking our luggage and stores being proceeded with. I have not been able to repeat my visit to Adelaide, as do not like to be absent long from Mrs Finnis, who is unwell. I have occasionally sauntered out with my gun with which I manage to get a meal now and then. I thank God that I have health to do so, as I am thoroughly disgusted with ration fare. Holdfast Bay has presented a scene of lively industry during the week. We have had six vessels lying in our roads, vis., Buffalo, Coromandel, Cygnet, Africaine, William Hut and the Company's cutter William. The Africaine and William Hut left for the harbor on Friday, and there is a report that the latter touched on the bar. If so, I am convinced it was through mismanagement, as was the case with the Tam O'Shanter. The above mentioned vessels have been discharging their cargo and passengers, and we have here now not far short of a thousand souls, most of them happy and big with life. I am sorry to say the seeds of discomfort are being industriously spread by a few, amongst who shines a Mr Stevens, brother of the Stevens well-known at King's Court. I dined to-day with Mr and Mrs Neale."

" Monday, 30th January.—Mr Finnis's party proceed to Adelaide to-day to assist Colonel Light in his labors. Mr. Finnis will follow to-morrow, and I remain here till Mrs. Finnis can be removed. Mr Stevens has addressed a printed circular to landholders begging them to call a meeting to alter the site of the town. Both he and his effusion are too insignificant to notice, and I trust will meet with the contempt they merit. Nothing else new has occurred."

" Tuesday, 31st January.—I rose at daybreak and went out to shoot a dinner. I succeeded, with a few I killed last night, in killing six brace of quails besides a great number of parrots. These I sent to the baker who made me two pies, finding all materials, and charged two shillings for each, which we do not consider exhorbitant for a new colony. Mr Finnis and my old mess-mate Hill have just partaken of them with me, and we are all three going to walk to Adelaide."

" Wednesday, 1st February.—I arrived at Adelaide just in time to take a glass with Colonel Light, who kindly gave me a couple of blankets in his tent for the night. I breakfasted with him this morning, bathed in the river, and then returned to Holdfast Bay to dinner. I was much pleased with my visit, having met several old messmates, one of whom I was particularly glad to see. It was Field who came out as first mate of the Rapid, and is now in command of her. Now as I am speaking to this best-of-fellows, I must say that the brig could not have fallen into better hands." Here several pages of Surgeon Woodforde's journal are missing, the next entry being as follows :—

" Friday, 24th February.— After dinner I was sent for to see the surgeon of the Buffalo (Mr Jackson), whom I found, on examination, to be suffering from a determination of blood to the head, bled him largely, and remained with him till midnight at the Rev. Mr Howard's, at whose hut he was when taken ill."

" Saturday, 25th February.—I galled my foot so badly yesterday that I am scarcely able to walk. I have received an invitation to dine at Colonel Light's to-morrow. I have been reading and smoking all the afternoon in my bower, which I find a great comfort. I make it my surgery, and see my patients there from 9 till 10 every morning, almost despair of being able to get a hut up before the wet season, as the laborers are all engaged, and I have nearly come to the resolution of renting at £13 a year one of the wooden houses which Mr Fisher intends putting up as soon as the land is allotted. As they will have but two rooms each, I am doubtful as to the propriety of dividing the expense and living with my present chum, Jacob. I am afraid I must have a room I can call my own, as patients will not bear a second person. We have messed together ever since we have been in the colony, and I shall be sorry to part, as he is an excellent young man, although of so bad a temper. No one can manage him half as well as I can, which I do by humoring him in his whims. He is a kind-hearted fellow, simple, bashful, and sensitive in the extreme. I really begin to think my own temper much improved, as I find I seldom quarrel with anybody."

" Sunday, 26th February.—Did not rise till 8 this morning, from which time until 1 p.m. it took me to dress, owing to my game foot and the confusion of a tent. I then repaired with Jacob to Colonel Light's, where we found dinner on the table. We spent a pleasant and sociable afternoon. We had an apple pudding—the first apples I had seen since leaving England. They were brought from Sydney, and were a great treat as were also some fine onions and cheese. These are not everyday luxuries."

" Monday, 27th February.—My foot is all the worse for yesterday's exercise. I am completely tied by the leg, I received a visit from Jackson this morning. He brought with him two officers of the Buffalo, and was very warm in his thanks for my attendance on him, and kindly offered to do duty for me if I wished to absent myself at any time. He is a very gentlemanly fellow, and I am happy to make his acquaintance."

" Wednesday, 1st March.—My foot is much better. After visiting my patients I took my gun and was so successful that in about an hour Simons and I killed sufficient for five hungry men. Hardy, Cannon, and Finnis dined with us in my arbor. Poor Jacob is confined to his tent unwell."

" Wednesday, 8th March.—My time has been pretty well taken up this week with my patients, who increase daily, and should money be forthcoming I am not at all dissatisfied with my beginning. Fresh provisions are very scarce yet as Mr Fisher, the Colonial Commissioner, is loth to kill the sheep until they are in better order. On Sunday last we had a heavy gale during the night. The company's brig Emma got ashore owing to taking a berth too near in. She is now hard and fast, and low water is nearly high and dry, but has not, I believe, sustained much damage. I have just paid a visit to Colonel Light, who informs me that the allotment of town land will take place on 16th inst. I had yesterday the satisfaction of shooting another native dog. These animals commit great ravages among the sheep and poultry, and their howling around the tents at night is truly hideous."

" Friday, 17th March.—We have had three deaths this week, viz., Mrs Gouger, a child, and Mr White who came out to establish a brewery. The latter was a patient of mine, and died of exhaustion succeeding a severe attack of pneumonia on a broken constitution. My practice is still on the increase. The town acres are all completed, and the first meeting relative to the choice of land took place on Wednesday. A second meeting takes place to-day, and on Monday next the lots will be drawn. Everything went on smoothly at Wednesday's meeting till the latter end when some wrangling took place between the Governor and Samuel Stevens. The latter very politely told the former that he was no gentleman, upon which His Excellency threatened to put him in custody. Surely these two gentle do not understand the duties of their respective situations."

"Tuesday, 21st March.—The natives are showing a disposition to mischief, they having this week carried off some sheep before the shepherd's face and threatened him. Last night we perceived extensive fires along the hills towards Mt. Lofty. It was feared that they would make an attack in the night but as yet all has been quiet. The reason of my not writing up my journal daily is the horrid inconvenience of a tent into which two of us are thrust with all my baggage. We are almost choked with dust but Mr Fisher has promised to get my house up as soon as possible, so we live in hope and filth."

" Thursday, 23rd March.—After dinner I was taking a stroll when I saw a number of men hurrying along, led by Mr Mann, the Attorney General, and Hill, my old messmate, who has been sworn in Constable. Upon my going up to the latter and enquiring the cause of the row he very civilly pressed me in the King's name to assist in taking into custody some seamen of the Buffalo who had been guilty ol a disturbance. I should state that these men have been on shore building a house for the Governor. I accordingly joined them " nolens volens" and in a few moments had a job cut out for me, for these men being intoxicated had no idea of civil law and treated poor Hill uncivilly by knocking him down with a bludgeon and laying open his temporal artery, have just helped to carry him home, dressed his wound and left him pretty comfortable but not over well pleased with his warlike expedition."

"Monday, 27th March.—The man who wounded Hill is still at large, justice being as yet very slack and there being no prison. Hill is doing well and out of danger. The unselected town acres ou the south side of the river have this day been sold by auction and have fetched enormous prices— some of them 14 guineas. I had intended to purchase an acre or two, but was not inclined to bid so high. The remaining acres on the north side will be sold to-morrow, and if they go at a moderate rate, I intend to purchase one or two. This side is not considered the court side, but offers many advantages from its vicinity to the harbor and the beauty of its situation and picturesque view of the hills."

"Tuesday, 28th March.—Attended the sale this morning and purchased two acres on the north side of the river viz., No. 747 at £5 10s, and No. 900 at £4. The average prices this morning were £6."

" Friday, 31st March.—I this morning visited my acres, and found that one of them is delightfully situated, commanding a fine view of the mountains and at a convenient distance from the water, but No. 900 is very in-different, and I shall sell it if I find a good offer."

"Tuesday, 11th April.—Since I last wrote little worth noting has occurred. Everybody is busy providing shelter for the forthcoming rainy season. I am still confined to a miserable hut, and am likely to be so for some time as Mr Fisher, of whom I have rented wooden house, shows no alacrity in getting it up. My practice goes on increasing, and if I find my bills come in, or a reasonable proportion of them, it will I think scarcely be worth while to remain attached to the survey ; that is if I am required to accompany the party to the country. There are five medical men here, but I am happy to say my name stands as high as any. Mutton, which has been hitherto from 1s 2d to 1s 6d per lb., has been reduced to a standard price of 1s per lb., so that everybody can get an occasional taste of it."

" Friday, 28th April.—I have again turned builder, and have been employed this last week in getting up a hut as I can wait no longer for Mr Fisher's house. I am paying a man 6s a day for labor, and by the time it is finished it will cost about £20. The Rapid arrived last Sunday from Sydney, and is to proceed almost immediately to England whither a passage has been offered me. I have declined it as my prospects here begin to brighten and my practice increases daily. I have just been applied to by a body of laborers to become surgeon to a benefit society and at present can see no objection. The Governor gave his first ball at Government Hut on Monday last. I was there and a very lively party we had, there being present a number of naval officers from the Buffalo and Victor. The latter is a sloop of war stationed on the coast, and arrived here only a few days before the ball. We had plenty of dancing and music but very little supper. On the whole we spent an agreeable evening and all went on smoothly. 1 am invited to a ball at the Colonial Commissioner's next Monday and anticipate much pleasure.

"Monday, 31st April.—I have today got into my hut. I am thoroughly tired and disgusted with the delay and expense I have been put to. I have actually been obliged, such is the independence of the laboring class, to beg them to work for us and that at the exorbitant rate of 6s a day wages. My hut is the prettiest in the colony. The walls are of the pine kind ; the outside, imitation stone work; the roof is a cottage one of reeds, and the whole is 14 feet by 9. Although, however, it attracts much admiration it really is such as a poor laborer in England would refuse to live in. I have purchased plates, dishes, cups, &c. at an enormous rate, to wit:—9s for half a dozen dinner plates and 5s for three cups and saucers. I have a small portable grate which burns in the centre of my hut, the comfort of which 1 am at this moment enjoying. I have no table as yet and am now writing on my knees. The Rapid sails in a-few days for England."


Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), Friday 10 August 1894, page 2

"Paving the Way."

This issue contains the closing portion of the diary of the late Surgeon Woodforde, relating to the early days of this colony, which has been in course of publication in this paper for some weeks. Having never before appeared in print, it has been fresh to our readers, and though long, we hardly think the majority have found it too extended, and to some at least we know it has proved as interesting as a romance. Being, as it is, the first chapter of the history of South Australia and a record kept from day to day by a participator in the proceedings connected with the foundation of the colony, its importance can be readily recognised, and more especially as it is from the pen of a gentleman occupying so important a position as surgeon to the first colonizing party that ever landed in South Australia, for the Rapid, in which vessel Mr Woodforde came from England with Colonel Light and his surveyors, and the first settlers, although leaving the Thames nearly six weeks later than the Cygnet, arrived at Kangaroo Island three weeks before the last mentioned vessel. No one reading Surgeon Woodforde's plain unvarnished account of the journey from England, and the subsequent trials that were encountered and overcome, can fail to be deeply impressed with the indomitable pluck and perseverance that was then displayed, and regard it as a splendid example of the hard work and courage which has invariably distinguished the colonizing efforts of natives of the British Isles, and has raised them to a position of superiority over all other nations, in making homes for themselves by developing the resources of untrodden wilds. Neither of the two pioneer vessels that were dispatched in 1836 by the Association, empowered by an Act of Parliament to establish this colony, were such that the majority would nowadays care about embarking in for a voyage to strange and distant seas, the Rapid being but 131 tons burden and the Cygnet 239. Sailing being the only means of locomotion, the undertaking was not a little hazardous, particularly as towards the end comparatively unknown coasts had to be bounded. The only inhabitants, except blacks, that the party on board the Rapid found in what is now known as South Australia, were a few sealers on Kangaroo Island. They were Englishmen, some of whom had deserted their ships to settle away from civilization in that remote part of the world, and others were runaway convicts from Sydney. "We were" writes Mr Woodforde "given to I understand that they were little better than pirates, bat were agreeably surprised to find them a civil set of men," but he adds that for their honesty he could not answer, as temptation was not put in their way. Much fresh light is thrown on the subsequent proceedings of the colonists and the cruising of the Rapid through Gulf St Vincent in search of a suitable site for a town, and the reason why Colonel Light finally selected the site on which Adelaide now stands, and how bravely those gallant pioneers set to work at the herculean task of clearing the bush and cultivating the virgin soil, of what to them was then a foreign land. We all know how well-deserved success attended their labors, and when it is recollected that some of those mentioned by Mr Woodforde are still in the land of the living, the incidents of which he writes having occurred little more than fifty years ago, all who take an interest in the welfare of the colony must view with satisfaction the progress that has been made. South Australia is not at present all that any of us would wish it to be, for the depression hangs over us heavily, and we all recognise that reformation is needed in many directions politically, but in time, no doubt, many changes will be effected, and sooner or later prosperity will return as certainly as that the darkness of to-night will be dispersed by to-morrow's sun. When we consider how the colony has progressed since the axes of the earliest arrivals first rang in the forests, it may not be out of place to speculate to o. what a splendid position South Australia will have attained if she advances in anything like the same proportion in another half a century.

Echoes from the Past. (1894, July 13). The Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209327754 Echoes from the Past. (1894, July 20). The Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209327768 District Council of Kanyaka. (1894, July 20). The Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209327764 Echoes from the Past. (1894, August 3). The Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209327845 Echoes from the Past. (1894, August 10). The Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209327873“Paving the Way.” (1894, August 10). The Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209327874