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This division takes its name from the Malays, who are the principal inhabitants, and includes the archipelago immediately adjoining the south-eastern coasts of Asia, perhaps more generally known as the East India Islands. It lies between latitude 12° 40' south and 20° north, and longitude 95° and 134° east; and consists of minor clusters and chains, intersected by straits and channels, the intricacy of which would render the navigation dangerous, were not the seas distinguished beyond all others by their pacific character, and by the uniformity of the prevailing winds and currents. The whole of Malaysia lies within the tropics; and there is, accordingly, a great uniformity of climate, of animal and vegetable productions, and in the character of the people. The islands are, throughout, of a mountainous nature-the highest point being Mount Ophir in Sumatra, 13,050 feet; and the Archipelago is traversed by several lines of volcanic action, which exhibits itself in the burning craters of Luzon, Java, &c. There are few extensive plains, abundance of jungle and unhealthy swamp, but no arid deserts; and where not cultivated, the better land is generally covered with forests of stupendous trees.
The natural products may be gathered from a detail of the chief exports, which are, in the vegetable kingdom-nutmegs, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, rice, sago, indigo, cotton, sugar, flax, tobacco, camphor, cassava, maize, gums, gutta-percha, turpentine, betel, cocoa, ginger, canes, rattans, areca nuts, bamboo, breadfruit, teak, sandalwood, and other timber for building and cabinet-making; in the animal-ivory, wool, hides, horses, furs, pearls, edible birds'-nests, tortoiseshell, whale oil, sharks'-fins, ambergris, &c.; and in the mineral-gold-dust, tin, antimony, copper, iron, coal, diamonds, and other precious stones. Malaysia is rich in every species of tropical produce, and, under a better system of rule, might be made one of the finest and most desirable regions in the globe.
The inhabitants belong to the Malay variety of the human species, but break into two or three races, having different depths of colour, straight, crisp, or woolly hair, and features less or more approaching those of the negro. They are generally arranged, according to their languages, into-Malays Proper, Javanese, Battaks, Bugis, Dyaks, Macassars, Sooloos, and other minor tribes. The foreigners or non-aborigines are chiefly Chinese, with a few Siamese, Hindoos, &c. from the
mainland of Asia. The religion professed by the Ma- | delightful-but liable to somewhat sudden changes, lays, Javanese, &c. is that of Islamism; Buddhism and and occasionally to destructive droughts. Brahminism by the Chinese and Hindoos; Catholicism is practised by the Spanish and Portuguese subjects in the Philippines and Timor; Calvinism in the Dutch settlements; and polytheistic idolatry by almost all the independent tribes. There is nothing like education, and little deserving the name of civilisation in any part. Industrially, the growing of rice, cotton, coffee, &c. the gathering of raw produce, fishing, navigation, and, we may add, piracy, are the main employ-introduced by the British colonists have flourished ments in most of the islands.
As to government, the only civilised powers having possessions in Malaysia are the Dutch, Spaniards, and Portuguese. The Dutch possess or domineer over the whole of Java; the greater part of Sumatra, where they are continually extending their dominions; the Moluccas, or Spice Isles; and generally exercise a predominating influence over all the southern portion of the Archipelago. The Spaniards possess Luzon, and the greater part of the Philippine group; and the Portuguese retain only a portion of the island of Timor. During the last war, the British deprived the Dutch of Java and their possessions; but the whole were restored at the peace of 1815; and in 1825, Bencoolen, and the other British settlements in Sumatra, were exchanged with the Dutch for Malacca. Recently (December 1846) the small but apparently valuable island of Labuan, off Borneo, has been ceded to Britain, as a station for the India and China steamers; and important results are likely to arise from the procedure of Sir James Brooke at Sarawak in Borneo.
Britain has thus no direct political sway in Malaysia -a fact to be regretted, considering how little the European powers above-mentioned have done for the development-industrial or social-of these fine and fertile islands. Had they been retained in 1815, and the policy of Sir Stamford Raffles zealously carried out, this region would have now ranked next in importance to Hindoostan; for though less extensive, and more distant, it is equally fertile in every species of tropical produce, while its territories would have been preserved and governed with comparative little trouble or expenditure. It is true that Sincapore is the great entrepôt for the produce of the surrounding islands, and thus in some measure British influence may be felt where it is not avowed; but until our merchants and traders have effected an absolute location, as is likely soon to be in Borneo, and until the machinery of a superior civilisation be brought to bear upon the natural capabilities of the soil, as well as upon the character of the natives, it is impossible to regard even the finest of these islands as other than misappropriated and neglected wastes.
The native vegetation presents few features of interest the most valuable being the auracaria or Norfolk pine; various species of eucalyptus, known as ironbark, blue-gum, butted-gum, stringy-bark, &c.; the cedar and turpentine tree; varieties of causurina, as forest-oak, swamp-oak, &c.; the sassafras; curragong or cordage-tree; and others yielding gums, balsams, and manna. All the culinary vegetables and fruits amazingly, and the settlements now enjoy every species of produce, from the vine, olive, pine-apple, &c. down to the humble gooseberry and raspberry of England. The original Fauna of the island is altogether anomalous: with the exception of the native dog or dingo, and a species of bat, all the quadrupeds are marsupial, or carry their young in pouches-the common forms being the kangaroo, wombat, opossum, &c. The ornithorhyncus is another of its peculiar forms; as also the emu, lyre-pheasant, gigantic crane, black swan, bowerbird, and others. Reptiles are numerous, and some of them poisonous; fishes are rife along the coasts, as also whales and seals; shellfish, of beautiful colours and elegant forms, are everywhere to be found; and insects are prolific to a nuisance, the most useful being the native bees, which are stingless. All the common domesticated animals have been introduced; and these, especially sheep and oxen, have thriven amazingly. The geology of the country is very little known; but limestone, marble, bituminous coal, pottery-clay, iron, lead, and copper- the latter metal in particular-seem to be abundant in certain localities.
The aborigines appear to be a deteriorated offshoot from the Malay variety of our species; are in a state of utter barbarism; and seem destined to disappear before the white settlers, who are almost wholly British, with a sprinkling of Jews and Germans. The only European power having possessions in Australasia is Britain, to which belong Australia, Van Diemen's Land, New Zealand, and the penal settlement of Norfolk Island. The other islands are very little known, and wholly in the occupation of the native dark-coloured races.
The settlements or colonies are those of New South Wales, established in 1788; Western Australia in 1828; South Australia in 1834; and North Australia in 1838. The adjacent island of Tasmania, or Van Diemen's Land (which occupies 24,000 square miles, or somewhat less than Ireland), is the seat of another British colony, planted in 1824, and is altogether a thriving settlement
NEW SOUTH WALES.
being more hilly and better watered than Australia. New Zealand, composed of three contiguous islands, ranging from 1100 miles in length, with a breadth varying from 5 to 200, is also the seat of a British colony planted in 1840. The soil is fertile, and capable of yielding every species of cultivated produce; the cliAustralasia, the central and largest section of Oceania, mate mild and equable; and the vegetable and mineral is situated between the equator and 47° south, and longi- resources of prime importance. It is to these settletude 112° and 180° east, and includes Australia or Newments that we would now specially direct attention:Holland, Van Diemen's Land, New Zealand, Papua or New Guinea, New Britain and New Ireland, Solomon's Islands, New Hebrides, and New Caledonia. Australia is the chief island in the group, measuring 2400 miles from east to west, and 1700 from north to south. The physical character of this vast island or minor continent, so far as yet explored, seems very peculiar: with the exception of some hill-ranges, it is generally flat, or but slightly undulating; and in many places the inclination is inward instead of outwards to the sea. There being a general absence of high grounds, clouds are not attracted over the land, and there is thus a deficiency of rain; the rivers are for the most part a series of standing brackish pools, and of no value whatever as a means of internal communication. The plains or grassy flats are of vast extent, and being but partially studded with trees, afford the finest sheep-pasture in the world, when not parched by a long-continued dry season. The climate in the north is strictly tropical; in the southern colonised districts it is said to be
This colony includes a large portion of the east side of Australia; the settled portions chiefly embracing the district within 200 miles of the east coast between Port Macquarrie in latitude 31° 27′ south, and the Muroo River in 36°; and the Port Philip district on the south coast. The general appearance of the east coast from the sea is far from being inviting, presenting immediately on the shore a continuous front of bold cliffs and mural precipices, unbroken for many miles together; behind these, again, and running generally parallel with them, at an average distance of about forty miles, rises a chain of rocky, precipitous, and almost impassable mountains, extending along the whole eastern coast. These are called the Blue Mountains, The unpromising appearance of the shores of New South Wales is not removed upon landing. For five or six miles interiorly the land continues barren and rocky, presenting few other signs of vegetation besides
some thinly-scattered stunted shrubs and dwarf under- [ wood. At this distance inward a marked change begins to take place; the soil improves, and begins now to be encumbered with tall and stately trees, which soon again thicken into a dense but magnificent forest, indicating, indeed, a more luxuriant soil than that passed, but scarcely less discouraging to the settler. Advancing inwards, however, from six to nine miles farther, another change takes place. You have cleared the forest, and the promised land lies before you, improving with every step you advance; now presenting an endless variety of hill and dale, covered with the most luxuriant vegetation; now extensive plains, resembling the finest parks in England-a resemblance which is made the more striking from their being similarly interspersed with magnificent trees, just numerous enough to add beauty to the land without encumbering it. The Port Philip district-the Australia Felix of Major Mitchell, who explored it in 1836-is altogether a finer country, less arid, more varied, and better wooded, but not so much so as materially to impede cultivation.
the vineyards of the colony, excellent wine might be produced, if anything like good management were exercised. From the peaches of New South Wales the finest brandy is distilled: so superior is this article that, if it were allowed to be imported into Great Britain, it would speedily supersede the use of the brandies of France and other high-priced spirits. Silk (from the abundance of the mulberry) and dried fruits, with other useful and valuable articles, as opium and indigo, for the growth of which the climate is favourable, will doubtless by degrees be produced. At a short distance from Sydney, a large orange grove has been formed, from which upwards of 100,000 dozens of oranges have been sent into the market there in a year; and an immense quantity of fine grapes are sent by a steamer from Hunter's River every day in the season to the Sydney market. The only articles of food in general use not produced in the colony, are tea and sugar; but these are largely imported, and sold at perhaps not the third of their price in this country. In the advertisements in the Sydney newspapers, we see the same kinds of articles announced for sale by tradesmen as are seen everywhere in the wealthiest establishments in Britain.
The government of New South Wales is conducted by a governor and a legislative and executive council: both of the two last, as well as the governor, are appointed by the ministry at home. The legislative council is composed principally of persons holding official situations, and these chiefly residing in the government towns. The executive council, again, is composed of persons filling the highest government appointments. There are, besides, a class of functionaries called police magistrates, distributed throughout the colony, and who take especial cognisance of offences committed by convicts, whom they have a power to punish by flogging or condemning to work in irons. Sydney is the chief seat of the colonial government, comprehending the supreme court, and the heads of all the civil and military establishments of the country. Being a colony-would place it on a level with the best growths of of Great Britain, the laws by which New South Wales is governed are the same in their leading features with those of England, differing only in instances where such difference was found necessary to adapt them to the peculiarities of the country. Population, 190,000.
The external and domestic trade of New South Wales has scarcely yet emerged from a state of infancy; but it is fast gaining strength; and if no unforeseen circumstances should arise to check its prosperity, it will one day become, if it is not so even now, one of the most important of British settlements. Its leading export articles are wool, and seal and whale-oils; a great part of the latter is of that valuable kind called sperm-oil, produced by a description of whale found in the South Seas only. (See No. 44, Vol. I.) In the article of oil, which has only very lately become an object of serious consideration to the colonists, the improvement has been remarkably rapid, there being recently upwards of forty vessels, averaging a tonnage of nearly 10,000, belonging to, and sailing out of, Port Jackson alone, exclusively engaged in the whale-fishing. A striking evidence of the increasing prosperity of the colony, is the circumstance of its having in four years in some instances nearly, and in others more than doubled, the amount of its property in cattle and sheep, and also in the extent of its cultivated land.
The production of wool has for some time back been a primary consideration with the settlers, and they have of late begun to pay more attention to the quality than they did formerly, quantity alone having been at one time all they aimed at. From the improvement which has taken place in the breed of sheep, as well as in the mode of preparing the wool for the market, Australian wool has now become an object of much interest to the dealers and woollen manufacturers in England, where it is greatly prized for the peculiar softness of the cloth produced from it, and which, if combined with a little higher degree of fineness-a result that must soon follow the care and attention that is now bestowed on it other countries, and consequently direct an inexhaustible stream of wealth into the colony; and there are two important considerations at this moment operating to produce this effect. The first of these is the readiness of the market, and the remunerating price which the settler obtains for his wool; the next, the necessity which the distance of the interior settlements from towns imposes on their occupants, of directing their whole attention to the rearing of cattle and sheep in preference to agricultural produce, for which there is neither facility of conveyance nor market.
The state of society in New South Wales has been to a considerable extent affected by the transportation thither of convicts from the United Kingdom, and on that account is less agreeable than that of colonies free from this moral stain. The most unhappy circumstance connected with the state of general society is, that the emancipated convicts and their descendants, however well behaved, are held as a degraded or inferior class by the free settlers; and thus two factions have sprung up in the colony, who virulently persecute each other, and cause dispeace in what would be otherwise an agreeable condition of affairs. As the settlement of convicts as labourers is abandoned as a practice unworthy of an enlightened government, it is to be hoped that the line of distinction between the two We need not particularise the great and miscellaneous classes of inhabitants will gradually disappear. import and export trade of the colony, but confine our- Sydney, where society both bad and good equally selves to a few leading facts as an evidence of general flourishes, there are many hundreds of families of the prosperity. The imports, which amounted to £280,000 highest respectability, enjoying all the elegancies of in 1826, had increased to £2,462,858 in 1841; whilst refined life, exchanging its courtesies, and cultivating the exports from the colony, including the produce of its amusements and pleasures; splendid equipages are the fisheries, had increased from £106,600 in the for- to be seen rolling along its streets; its public dancing mer year, to £2,004,385 in 1840. In 1824 the exports and assembly rooms blazing with light, and filled, as of wool amounted to 275,560 lbs.; in 1840 they were our newspapers would say, with beauty and fashion;' 9,668,960 lbs. In the Savings' Bank of New South music parties and theatricals filling up the measure Wales, the deposits increased from £24,469 in Decem- of the happiness of a Sydney life. The population ber 1835 to £127,000 in August 1840. In 1837 the re- of Sydney in 1841 was about 30,000; and, as a comvenue was £226,000; in 1841 it exceeded £270,000. mercial port, the exports exceeded £1,250,000. Next A large and profitable trade cannot fail to be ulti-to Sydney, Bathurst has probably the highest pretenmately established in wine, from vines which have been introduced as exotics. Already, from grapes grown in
sions to a superiority in the general character of its society. Melbourne, a few miles from Port Philip, is
also rapidly rising into importance. In 1842 its exports exceeded £140,000 (including about 2,000,000 lbs. wool), and its imports £336,000.
In New South Wales there are several infant schools, and about forty parochial schools; and also two government schools. An orphan hospital has been established at Sydney, capable of rearing and educating 125 children. The male children of this institution are apprenticed out as they come of age, and the females receive a small sum when married. The Australian College was established in 1831, and is now in a flourishing condition. By means of a large and regular import of English literature, the tone of feeling and general intellect of the colony cannot fail to advance in a yearly increasing ratio. With respect to the means adopted for sustaining religious and moral culture, we may mention that there is no lack of churches and chapels where they are required.
abound with good pasturage, and the country around is well adapted for agricultural operations.
Much has been written upon the soil of South Australia. On the one hand, it has been lauded as the finest spot in the world, and on the other decried as not worth the trouble of cultivation. From the best authorities we have been able to consult, there appears to be very little of what can be called really barren land. The principal part of it is frt for grazing sheep and cattle, and there are many parts which would yield an abundant return of grain if subjected to the plough. From the want of mountains, the country is very free from rains; even the rivers become comparatively dry during summer. These deficiencies are, in fact, the grand drawbacks upon this otherwise fine colony, which is directed by a governor and council, much in the same way as New South Wales. The usual course of trade is similar to that at Port Philip; the population in 1842 was estimated at 16,000; the imports from Britain at £23,000; and the exports at £34,000. The whole of the purchase-money of public and waste lands being expended on the immigration of free labourers, and no convict labour permitted, South Australia offers certain advantages above New South Wales.
South Australia is a large district of country, lying on the southern shore of the Australian continent, between the Swan River settlement or Western Australia on the west, and New South Wales on the east. It is contained within the 26th and 36th degrees of south latitude, and forms a territory of nearly 300,000 square miles, or 192,000,000 acres, being nearly double the This colony, which is entirely distinct from New dimensions of the British isles. It is penetrated from South Wales, includes the settlements at Swan River, the sea by Spencer's Gulf and Gulf St Vincent, at the King George's Sound, and Port Grey. Swan River entrance of which lies Kangaroo Island. The country settlement takes its name, as is obvious, from the river from the eastern side of Gulf St Vincent is very pic-in whose vicinity it is. This river is situated on the turesque; being in general well wooded, with consider-south-west coast of Australia, a little way north of the able spaces of open country. This renders it admirably most extreme southern point, on the west side of the adapted for sheep-farming, and in many places the land is ready for the plough. About ten or twelve miles inland runs a range of hills, most of which are good soil to the top, and afford abundance of food for cattle. The highest of these is Mount Lofty, about 2400 feet above the level of the sea.
island. Its neighbourhood was first proposed as a place of settlement in the year 1828, when Captain Stirling was appointed lieutenant-governor.
The soil appears, and really is, until you have gone about fifteen or twenty miles inland, extremely poor and barren. At this distance from the coast, however, Gulf St Vincent is described as without an island, it greatly improves, exhibiting many beautiful and ferrock, reef, or sandbank, and almost any part of it is tile tracts, and bearing some of the most magnificent perfectly safe anchorage all the year round. Spencer's trees in the world. Here, also, is the same profusion Gulf runs nearly 300 miles into the interior, becoming of those gorgeous flowers which form so remarkable a quite narrow and shallow at the top. It abounds with feature of the natural vegetable productions of New flat fish; but the country around is deficient in fresh South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. Its animal water, and but a small portion of the soil is capable of productions are entirely similar to those of the two cultivation. The great want of this colony is rivers, by former colonies, and it is equally free from any that which an intercourse with the interior could be effected. are dangerous to man. The heat, however, would The largest river is the Murray, which is described by appear to be more oppressive than in either of the Mr James as being, for the last 200 miles of its course, places just named. The climate, however, is exceednearly as broad as the Thames at London Bridge. On ingly salubrious. Not only have no complaints of any the banks of this river are several fine alluvial flats, kind whatever, attributable to the country, appeared at present covered with reeds, but which are capable amongst the colonists, but they are enabled to hear exof being made to yield abundant crops of grain. These posures with impunity, which, in most other climates, flats are nearly on a level with the river, and could be might be attended with the most serious consequences. irrigated at any season. The Murray delivers its waters The best land, indeed the only land, yet discovered into Lake Alexandrina, which also receives the waters sufficiently near the settlement worth cultivating, is on of the Hindmarsh, and from thence to the sea the river the banks of the Swan River, and on those of an adis broad and deep. The next river is the Torrens, on joining river called the Canning; but even there it the banks of which stands the town of Adelaide, the rarely extends on either side more than two miles from capital of the colony. The site of the town is well the stream, and not often so far, and all this land has chosen as to the healthiness of the situation, but labours been already located. There is, however, reason to beunder the disadvantage of being six miles from the har-lieve that good tracts of country are to be found in the bour, betwixt which and the town the carriage of goods is very expensive. The harbour is perfectly safe for shipping, but there is a bar at the entrance which prevents very large ships from entering. The great objection to the site of the town is the want of good water, which can only be obtained by boring to the depth of about forty feet, or taking it from the Torrens, which degenerates into almost stagnant pools in the dry season. The town of Adelaide has several good stone and brick houses, and the churches and public offices are described as handsome buildings. The river Glenelg, at the eastern boundary of the colony, is of considerable size during the winter months, but is almost dry in summer. Lake Victoria is a sheet of water about 20 miles long and 7 broad, communicating with the Murray River by a stream called the Rufus. Its banks
interior. The pressure of emigration, and more leisure on the part of those already there, will no doubt very soon extend the dependencies of the settlement, and lead to some valuable acquisitions of country.
There are already several thriving little towns in the colony, amongst these Freemantle and Perth; the former the port, being built at the mouth of the Swan River, and the latter the capital. The site of Perth is represented as happily chosen. It is situated on a picturesque spot on the north bank of the river, about twelve or fifteen miles above Freemantle. At King George's Sound on the south coast are the lesser townships of Albany and Augusta. Latest statistics give the population at 4500; live-stock, 46,000; official value of imports about £1500; of exports, £24,000; revenue upwards of £10,000.
As to North Australia, whose only settlement is in the neighbourhood of Port Essington, too little has as yet been accomplished to afford ground for any definite opinion. As already remarked, the northern section of Australia is almost strictly tropical, thus presenting products and capabilities totally different from those to which our countrymen have been accustomed either at home or in the other colonies of the mother country.
VAN DIEMEN'S LAND.
Van Diemen's Land, as already stated, is an island lying off the southern extremity of the mainland of Australia, from which it is separated by a channel 120 miles broad, called Bass's Strait. Its situation is between latitude 41° and 44° south, and between longitude 144° 40′ and 148° 20′ east. The length of the island is about 210 miles, and its breadth 150. It was first discovered in the year 1642 by Abel Jansen Tasman, a celebrated Dutch navigator, and was by him called Van Diemen's Land, in honour of Anthony Van Diemen, at that time governor-general of the Dutch possessions in the East Indies. Nothing, however, immediately resulted from this discovery, and for upwards of a hundred years the island was lost sight of. In 1773 it was visited by Captain Furneau, the first English navigator who had ever touched at it; after this it was visited from time to time by several celebrated navigators, and amongst these by Captain Cook, in the year 1777. It was not, however, until 1803 that any settlement was made upon the island; in that year it was formally taken possession of by Lieutenant Bowers, as a receptacle for convicts, with a party from Port Jackson, in New South Wales, where a penal establishment had been already fixed; and to this purpose Van Diemen's Land was exclusively devoted until 1819, when it was thrown open to free settlers.
turage. The extent of really available land throughout
The island possesses a considerable variety of trees and shrubs. The gum-tree is the largest; and there are numerous others well adapted for ship and house building. The trees are all tall and straight, branching only at the top, and they are nearly all evergreens. All the vegetables and fruits known and cultivated in England and Scotland are raised without difficultyThe continent of Australia and Van Diemen's Land apples, pears, plums, gooseberries, &c. to which the are totally different in character, the one being flat and warmer temperature of Australia is unfavourable, are ill-watered, so as to be suitable chiefly for pasturing, produced here in great abundance, and of excellent while the other is mountainous, and more resembling quality. Both the climate and the soil are sufficiently Ireland or Scotland. The appearance of Van Diemen's favourable to the production of most descriptions of Land from the sea is exceedingly picturesque, present- grain; wheat is found to thrive remarkably well; ing an endless succession of lofty mountains, covered potatoes are in general a good crop, and of excellent to their summits with wood; while tall rocks and pre-quality. The island is altogether, in short, fit for all cipices, glens and hills, contribute to increase the the purposes of agriculture aimed at in this country, interest of this romantic island. Nor does a nearer being neither more nor less favourable to them, but in inspection materially alter this general character of the all respects nearly the same; its climate being ours, scene. On traversing the island, it is found to present only somewhat modified, and its soil in general not a constant alternation of hill and dale, with occasional materially differing in quality. In July, August, and flats or plains; but these are comparatively few in September, which are the spring months, the farmer number, though some of them are of great extent, con- sows his grain; in October he prepares the land for sisting in several instances of not less than from 8000 Swedish turnips; in November he gets in his potato to 10,000 acres, and one in particular is said to be 6 and turnip crops; December is the height of his hay miles in length, and from 2 to 3 in breadth. These harvest; at about the middle of January his wheat plains are in general exceedingly fertile, and being harvest commences, and continues through February; often but thinly interspersed with trees, present a in March he pays attention to his fallowing and husmost delightful appearance. There are some of them, bandry; in April he gathers his second crop of potatoes; again, very poor, presenting a cold thin soil of little in May he lays down his grasses; and in June he convalue. Van Diemen's Land, though it cannot be called tinues his ploughing and harrowing. He has thus a a well-watered country, is yet much superior in this continual round of pleasurable occupation in his fields. respect to New South Wales.
In another important particular this island is peculiarly fortunate that is, in the number and capacity of its harbours, no place of similar extent in the world probably being equal to it in this respect. The principal harbours are the Derwent on its southern side, Port Davey and Macquarrie Harbour on the western, Port Sorrel and Port Dalrymple on the northern, and Oyster Bay and Great Swan Port on the eastern coast. Besides these, there are many other harbours, bays, and creeks, distributed all alongst its shores. The coast is in general high and rocky, particularly on the south, east, and western sides of the island on the north, however, it presents a line of low alternate sandy beaches, on which the surf rolls with great impetuosity during the prevalence of northerly winds. From the extremely hilly nature of the country, there is but a comparatively small proportion of it adapted for the plough, though presenting abundance of excellent pas
Till the year 1825, Van Diemen's Land was a dependency of the colony of New South Wales, but in that year it received a government of its own. The internal policy of the island is now conducted by a lieutenantgovernor, and an executive and legislative council. There are also here a chief-justice, attorney-general, and all the other appendages of a supreme court of judicature, courts of requests, attorneys, barristers, solicitors, proctors, sheriffs, justices of the peace, and the whole paraphernalia of civil and criminal jurisprudence known in this country. There are, besides, as in New South Wales, a number of police magistrates, each having a separate district under his judicial authority; these are, as in the former case, stipendiary. The laws are the same with those in England, in as far as the circumstances of the colony will admit.
Society in Van Diemen's Land, like that of New South Wales, is made up of free settlers who have emigrated from this country, and of convicts. There