Kangaroo Island in 1837

Here's an interesting snippet. It seems people were prefering to go to the mainland in 1837, but the islanders desperately wanted them to stay:


To the Editor of the South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register.

SIR,—Permit me through your columns, to inform the public of the disgraceful conduct of certain persons at Kangaroo Island, who make a practice on Ships arriving there, to come on board and utter a tissue of falsehood and malice with respect to this place [Adelaide]. I was told that at Adelaide water was scarce, the land bad, provisions dear, and no work to be got, whereas I find every thing is the contrary. A few were induced, by this misrepresentation, to stay at Kangaroo Island, and the others were very much disheartened at the prospect of coming here. Guess what must have been our surprise and pleasure at seeing the beauty of the country, the abundance of grass, and the richness of the land. In fact, every thing has exceeded our expectation, except in finding that we cannot get our land for some time.

I am, Sir, Your most obedient Servant, A NEWCOMER

Nothing can be more disreputable than the course of systematic mis-representation pursued by certain individuals in the employment of the South Australian Company, at Kangaroo Island, regarding Adelaide, the Harbour, and the community at both these settlements. We are quite certain that such conduct will meet with most severe reprehension from the Directors in England, and we are rather surprised that no effectual measures have been taken by the Company's Managers at the Island, to check the scandalous proceedings that the arrival there of every Ship from England is sure to originate. — Editors of Gazette.

PROCEEDINGS AT KINGSCOTE. (1837, November 11).South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register (Adelaide, SA : 1836 - 1839), p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31749735 

Handwritten entry by David McLaren, second Manager SA Company, into a "Lady's Journal" owned by Emily Elizabeth Giles.

Copyright: Images SAGHS, Transcription PASA; courtesy of Giles descendant, Michael Stokes.


Thoughts suggested, by the arrival of Mr & Mrs Giles, and family, at Kangaroo Island.

What is life?  A journey, a voyage, a pilgrimage.  With these figures, so applied, we are familiar, but this very circumstance tends to prevent that interest, which they might otherwise excite, and that improvement which they might otherwise impart.

We get familiar with the word, – we lose sight if the idea.  The ear is pleased, but the mind is not exercised; or rather, the ear is operated upon, the imagination is pleased, with the mere figure; but the heart is unaffected, and the mind, in operative. – the Moral is unhindered – unperceived perhaps, would be disliked.

The habit of paʃsing from words, to ideas – of acting, on the well known, elementary truth, that the former, are signs of the latter, is a most important step, to mental improvement; and yet, how frequently, is this truth repeated, and not over mental faculty in exercise, except the memory; and words, mere words, the object, as to which, this solitary faculty is exercised.

When will – I do not say – young miʃses and school boys – but – full grown men, and women, habituate themselves, to the practice, of paʃsing from words, to ideas?

 Sometimes, we are placed in circumstances, favourable for appreciating the propriety, of particular figurative expreʃsions, and profiting by them.

Your arrival on this shore, far distant from the land of our fathers, has I doubt not, been followed, by the offering up, of “the sacrifice” “of praise, giving thanks unto his name” who rules in the raging of the sea, and who holds the Wind, in his fist. – may I suggest, that that event, may be improved, as a means of impreʃsing our minds, with the propriety of these figures – the journey – the voyage, of life, and of good old Jacob’s comparison.

We are on the Road to Eternity – we have embarked on a voyage, characterised by viciʃsitudes, more numerous than those to which the sea itself, (the emblem of change) is subject.  No pilgrim in ancient days, when pilgrimages were in fashion, ever traveled, half so far, as we have done. In our circumstances, how natural the reflection, that, as we have removed, from our part of the world, to another. - another far, far distant from the scenes of youth, and early life; the period will soon come, when we remove from One World, to another - from that world, which was the scene of the Youth of our existence, to that, prepared for our maturity. How important the transition!

In the heavenly Canaan, the pilgrims Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have long since arrived - their track is marked – they traveled thither, by faith (faith in God, and specially in the Meʃsiah) let us follow, in the footsteps of their faith, and patience, and we shall “sit down,” with them, and enjoy eternal rest.

Then, shall the viʃsicitudes of the journey of life, - the dangers of the voyage, and the inconveniences of the pilgrimage, be, as a dream, when one awakes.

David McLaren

Kingscote, Kangaroo Island

14th December 1837.

Reflections by Anthea Taylor:
seems to be a bit philosophical and pondering on life.  Is it possible that these were notes for a eulogy?  It is dated Kingscote 14 December.  On 28-29 November McLaren was at Encounter Bay with Sir J W Jeffcott who acted as Coroner for the inquest into the death of Jeremiah Calnan on 28 November.  Jeffcott was drowned at the Murray mouth on 12 December.  His body was never recovered but I wonder whether they had some sort of service?  Or was McLaren moved to ponder on the meaning of life after this loss? - Anthea Taylor.

Handwritten by Charles Mann, Advocate General, arr. Coromandel Jan 1837. Written into the "Lady's Journal" owned by Emily Elizabeth Giles, and referred to in "A Family Life in South Australia". 

Copyright: Image SAGHS, Transcription PASA; courtesy of Giles descendant Michael Stokes.

Suggested by the perusal
-Mr N Hailes’ Eʃsay
“on change”

Yes, Change is natures law; as night and day
So joy and sorrow hold alternate sway –
And life but guides the finger of decay. –
Christmas may come with merriment and cheer,
And the red holly deck the waning year,
Yet who would dare, with curious eye, to scan
The scroll which marks the future fate of man. –
We live – we die – a few brief moments oer –
Silent we stand on the eternal shore
And lifes poor pageantries – deceive no more. –
Trust not this changing world – it is a screen
Veiling from vision glories yet unseen
Trust not the world – but let each moment spring
Upwards to heavn on faiths untiring wing –
So shall the star of Bethlem rise on thee, -
And guide thee on through this Gethsemane,
Till, - natures struggle oer, - each conflict past,
Eternal Christmas dawn on thee at last. –

C M – Decr 1837 -