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OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS
IN CONNECTION WITH
PRINTED FOR JOHN FAIRFAX AND SONS,
SIDNEY, 26TH JANUARY,
GIBBS, SHALLARD, AND CO., PRINTERS, SYDNEY.
HE following account of “The Origin and Progress of Australian Settlement"
was published as a Centennial Supplement to the Sydney Morning Herald, on January 24th, 1888. The issue met with such general approbation and acceptance that the proprietors of the Herald have been induced to publish, in permanent form, this statement of the progress and view of the national conditions of Australia. The objects for doing so are to furnish the coming generation with information about their country, which it might be difficult for them to procure for themselves, and to supply visitors to Australia with facts regarding it, which they are so often at a loss to know how to acquire. Wrong impressions have been often carried away by distinguished men whose means of obtaining information were limited, and occasionally to the detriment of the country, This record is, therefore, placed at the disposal of the public in convenient form, with the hope that it may be of
general and lasting use.
In the pages following “The Centennial Supplement,” are reprinted the Herald's reports of the principal events in connection with the celebration of
the Centennial Year of Australian settlement.
(Sydney Morning Herald Leader, January 24, 1888.) We publish to-day, in our Centennial supplement a re
doubtedly favoured the occupation of the country; but on view of the origin and progress of Australian settlement, the other hand the dryness of the climate and the scarcity of the growth of Australian interests, and the development
of water-courses have been sources of peril. But we hav of Australian resources. Indulgence in periodical retro
had a hardy race of explorers, whom neither danger could spect is a habit of civilised human nature. It is followed
daunt nor hardship baffle, and the explorers have been well by individuals, by societies, by nations. We have wit
followed up by men of practical enterprise. nessed the celebration of the Centenary of the United States, the rejoicings at the jubilee of her Majesty's reign, and
In like manner we may point to Australian political hisnow, at the close our own first centennium, we are
tory. It is difficult for us now to form a vivid conception compelled, by the very force of instinct, to look back upon
of the state of things that prevailed in the days of absothe past, to compare its small beginnings with the facts
lute Crown Government. The publication of some docuaround us, and 10 look forward with somewhat of wistful.
ments lately has recalled attention to the dispute between ness but more of hope to what the future shall bring forth.
Governor Bligh and the military party. It is hard in these The intention of the Supplement is to help our readers both
days to form a clear notion of the conditions in which such here and elsewhere to make this survey and comparison, by
revolutionary proceedings were possible. But we can defining our present position and tracing the steps which
trace the growing influence of a love of liberty and a desire
for free government in the persistent struggles which prehave led up to it. The history of Australian progress is a narrative of per
coded each successive step in the course of reform. The
who bore the pressure in those times sovering industry and almost incessant struggle. In glancing over the pages of our supplement illustrations of
were characterised by an elasticity of spirit which this will be found under almost every head. The early
could not be suppressed. Had the colony been years had difficulties of their own, absorbing all the
founded by men of a feebler race there would neither have energies of the first settlers, whilst the rate of progress
been the reclamation of the territory nor the gradual prowas slow indeed. But from the time when the way into
gress upwards from the personal rule of a Crown colony to the interior was first opened, and men began to perceivo
the establishment of the free institutions under which we the capabilities of the land, there has, notwithstanding
now live. It was well for the struggling settlement, and temporary fluctuations of fortune, and checks administered
well for the interests of the Empire, that the Imperial by adverse seasons, been an almost uninterrupted process
authorities, taught by the sharp lessons of the American of exploration and discovery and reclamation of the
conflict, adopted a policy of concession. Had another immense territory for the use of man. Certainly the policy prevailed, inay take it for granted that pioneers of Australian settlement have encountered less
the first centennium of the colony's foundation would danger from a hostile native population than the early
have closed amidst circumstances widely different from
those we see around us now. settlers in North America or Southern Africa did; but many of them, nevertheless, were always conscious that In the development of our material interests generally they carried their lives in their hands, and if personal we have had to fight against difficulties particularly our records of the early tinies were published, they would
There is little doubt that the choice of Australia by contain many thrilling narratives of adventure and conflict. the Iinperial authorities for the original purposes of the The remarkable freedom of the Australian plains and first settlement was part determined by the length of the forests from beasts of prey formidable to man has un. voyage. We can well imagine that this was considered a