A SHORT ACCOUNT ETC. ETC.
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THE Auckland Islands, usually denominated Lord Auckland's Group, are situated in the latitude of 51° south, and longitude of 166° east, about 180 miles south of New Zealand, and 900 south-east from Van Diemen's Land.
They were discovered in the year 1806 by Captain Abram Bristow, whilst in the prosecution of a whaling voyage in the ship Ocean, belonging to the late Samuel Enderby, Esq., the Author's father, in the following year he again visited the islands in the ship Sarah, belonging to the same owner, and on this occasion took formal possession of them, on behalf of the Crown, leaving on shore a quantity of pigs, which have since increased in number to a surprising extent.
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The islands are now much frequented by whaling' vessels for the purposes of the fishery, especially in the months of April and May when the whales come into the bays to calve; they are also found to be desirable places at which to wood and water, and where vessels may heave down to repair.
Nevertheless, very little is known of these Islands beyond what has been communicated in the published accounts of them by Captain Morrell, of the American merchant service, in 1829, and in those by Commodore Wilkes, Admiral D'Urville, and Captain Sir James Clark Ross, of the American, French, and English navies, in the year 1840.
The report of the former is confined to Carnley's Harbour to the south, and refers to the summer season: that of each of the three latter to the Northern Harbour, in the spring and autumn of the year.
The group consists of one large and several smaller islands, viz., Auckland, Adams', Enderby, Disappointment, Rose's, Ewing, Ocean, Shoe, and others. The largest island is estimated to be about 30 miles long, and its extreme breadth about 15 miles; it contains three principal harbours, whose entrances are from the eastward. Carnley's Harbour
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is situated in the south part of Auckland Island; Captain Morrell, and the masters of whaling vessels who have visited the island, describe this harbour as superior even to Laurie's Harbour, highly as the latter is spoken of.
Captain Morrell, writing under date of the 28th December, 1829, says, --"Carnley's Harbour makes in about four miles to the eastward of the South Cape, and the entrance is formed by two bluff points, from which to the head of the lagoon the distance is fifteen miles. The passage is above two miles wide, and entirely free from danger within 25 fathoms of each shore. It runs in first N. N. W. then N. N. E., forming at the head of the lagoon a beautiful basin, with sufficient room for half-a-dozen ships to moor; the least water from the entrance until we come near the anchorage was 25 fathoms mid-channel; we anchored in 4 fathoms clay ground.
"The western side of this island is a perpendicular bluff iron bound coast, with deep water within 100 fathoms of the shore, while the eastern coast is principally lined with a pebbly or sandy beach, 1
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behind which are extensive level plains covered with beautiful grass and refreshing verdure, extending back about five miles and then rising into elevated hills.
"All the hills, except a few of the highest, are thickly covered with lofty trees, flourishing with such extraordinary vigour as to afford a magnificent prospect to the spectator.
"The large trees are principally of two sorts. One of them is of the size of our large firs, and grows nearly in the same manner; its foliage is an excellent substitute for spruce in making that pleasant and wholesome beverage, spruce-beer. The other resembles our maple, and often grows to a great size, but is only fit for ship-building or fuel, being too heavy for masts or spars of any dimensions.
"The quality of the soil in this island is sufficiently indicated by the uniform luxuriance of all its productions. Were the forests cleared' away, very few spots would be found that could not be converted to excellent pasturage or tillage land.
"The valleys, plains, hill-sides, and every spot where the rays of the sun can penetrate, are now
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clothed with a strong, heavy, luxuriant grass, interspersed with many natural specimens of the countless treasures of Nature's vegetable kingdom. This extraordinary strength of vegetation is no doubt greatly assisted by the agreeable temperature of the climate, which is very fine.
"The climate is mild, temperate, and salubrious. I have been told, by men of the first respectability and talent, who have visited the island in the month of July, the dead of winter in this island, corresponding to our January, that the weather was mild as respects cold, as the mercury was never lower than 38° in the valleys, and the trees at the same time retained their verdure as if it was Midsummer. I have no doubt but that the foliage of many of the trees remains until pushed off in the following spring by the new crop of buds and leaves.
"At the time we were there the mercury in the thermometer seldom rose higher than 78°, although it answered to our July. The weather is generally good at all seasons of the year, notwithstanding there are occasional high winds, attended with heavy rains."
Although we have no reason to doubt the accu-
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racy of Captain Morrell's statements, yet, to guard against the possibility of their being overrated, and thus lead to disappointment, it might perhaps be as well to receive some of them with caution. Our object is not to mislead, but to state such facts as we are able to collect from our own officers and others who have visited the islands. Their accounts of them, however, are substantially in accordance with those of Morrell.
It is true the Captain was at a different part of the island from the other authorities hereafter quoted, and also that his visit was at the height of summer, and that he only remained eight days; whilst Sir James Ross remained there twenty-two days at a period corresponding to our May, and Admiral D'Urville and Commodore Wilkes were there, the former nine and the latter three days, at a period corresponding to our October.
Captain Morrell further states that the coast abounds with fish of many varieties.
Auckland (the chief) Island contains about 100,000 acres of land, and the smaller islands together about 20,000 acres; the whole are of volcanic formation, composed of basalt and greenstone, and have a picturesque and wild appearance.
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The highest hill is estimated at about 1,350 feet above the level of the sea.
Rendezvous Harbour and the north part of the island are thus described in a narrative of the United States' exploring expedition in the ship Porpoise, dated 7th March, 1840:--
"On the 7th we anchored in the harbour of Sarah's Bosom in 12-fathom water. During our brief stay here all were actively employed wooding and watering, for which this harbour affords a fine opportunity. Assistant-Surgeon Holmes made several excursions on the largest island, of which he gives the following account:--
"'I found it very thickly covered with trees in its less elevated parts. As few of them were of any size, I found no small difficulty in penetrating and making my way through them; in many places it was absolutely impossible. It was only after a long and fatiguing walk that I succeeded in reaching the summit of that part of the island near which the brig was anchored, when I found the trees less numerous.
"'A thick growth of underwood and dwarf bushes, intermixed with ferns, concealed the surface, rendering it difficult to walk. Even in the
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places apparently most level the ground was very unequal, and a single step would sometimes send me nearly up to the neck into a hollow filled with large fern-fronds.
"'On the highest parts the small level spots were covered only with moss and a description of tall grass, and in places also a kind of grain grew abundantly; the ground was dry every where, all the water being found in the streams, which were numerous and pure.
"'Near the summit the ground was perforated in all directions, probably by birds who rear their young in these holes. Many of the birds, principally procellaria, were sitting on the ground; they made no effort to escape, but suffered themselves to be taken without any attempt at resistance.
"'The forest was full of small birds of three or four different species, which were perfectly fearless; one little fellow alighted on my cap as I was sitting under a tree, and sang long and melodiously; another, and still smaller species, of a black colour, spotted with yellow, was numerous, and sang very sweetly; its notes were varied, but approximated more nearly to the song of our blackbird; occasionally a note or two resembled the lark's. Hawks,
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too, are numerous, and might be seen in almost all the dead trees in pairs.
"'Along the sea-coast were to be seen the marks of their ravages upon the smaller birds. The seabirds were very numerous on the opposite side of the island, sitting upon the cliffs or hovering over the islet. On the western side of Auckland Island the underbush and young trees were exceedingly thick.'
Dr. Holmes remarks, that he was occupied fully an hour in making his way for 100 yards where to all appearance a human step had never before trodden. There was not a vestige of a track; old trees were strewn about irregularly; sometimes kept erect by the pressure from all sides. Some trees were seen upwards of seventy feet in height, although they were generally from fifteen to twenty. Every part of the island was densely covered with vegetation. The soil, from the decomposition of vegetable matter, had acquired considerable richness. Specimens of all the plants were collected; some resembling the tropical plants were found here.
"These islands have in many places the appearance of having been raised directly from the sea; they are the resort of whalers for the purpose of refitting
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and waiting the whaling season, which occurs here in the months of April and May. Near the watering place a commodious hut has been erected by a French whaler. Near by there was another in ruins, and close to it the grave of a French sailor, whose name was inscribed on a wooden cross erected over it. Some attempts at forming a garden were observed at one of the points of Sarah's Bosom, and turnips, cabbages, and potatoes were growing finely, which, if left undisturbed, will soon cover this portion of the island; to these a few onions were added.
"Many of the small islands in this group were visited; they closely resemble the larger one. The cliffs consist of basalt, and are generally from fifty to ninety feet perpendicular.
"These islands have a picturesque, wild, steep, and basaltic appearance; the highest peak was estimated to be 800 feet; the smaller has a less elevation. The general aspect of the land resembles the region round Cape Horn.
"The harbour of Sarah's Bosom is not the most secure; that of Laurie's is protected from all winds, and has a large and fine streamlet of water at its head. The rocks are covered with limpets, and
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small fish of many varieties are caught in quantities among the kelp. The crew enjoyed themselves on chowders and fries. No geese were seen; and the only game observed were a few grey ducks, snipes, cormorants, and the common shag. The land birds are excellent eating, especially the hawks. On the whole it is a very desirable place in which to refit."
Some officers of the French expedition under Admiral D'Urville made a boat excursion to Laurie's Harbour; they thus speak of that part of the east coast lying between the two harbours:--
"These banks are very full of fish; the bottom is very regular, varying from fifteen to twenty fathoms; the coast is indented with numerous creeks, surrounded by basaltic rocks, where boats can easily approach."
A marked difference was perceived between the west and east coasts of the island; the former presenting towards the sea a line of bluff perpendicular cliffs; whereas the latter, as described by D'Urville himself, exhibited "here and there a fine sandy beach, upon which the sea scarcely broke, and intersected by numerous streams and inlets."
"If ever," says M. Dubouzet, one of the French
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officers, in his journal, "the fine harbours of these islands should attract colonists thither, Laurie's Harbour would be the most suitable point for the site of a town."
Another, M. Jacquinot, says, "the vast bay is encircled every where by elevated land, clothed with trees from the seaboard to the summit; the soil, of volcanic formation, is covered with a thick layer of vegetable debris, producing a vigorous growth of large ferns."
Sir James Clark Ross, in his voyage of discovery and research in the southern and antarctic regions, has recorded his opinion of the Auckland Islands as follows:--
"The group consists of one large and several smaller islands, separated by narrow channels. The largest island is about thirty miles long, and its extreme breadth is about fifteen miles. It contains two principal harbours, whose entrances are both from the eastward, and whose heads or terminations reach within two or three miles of the western coast, and only five or six miles from each other.
"Rendezvous Harbour, 2 which is at the north
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extreme of the island, contains several secure anchorages. The outermost of these, though convenient for stopping at a short time only, is a small sandy bay on the south side of Enderby Island, and about a mile and a half from its north-east cape.
"It is well protected from all winds except those from the south-eastward, and the holding ground is a good tenacious clay. It is probable that there may be found good anchorage also to the west of Enderby Island. After passing Ocean and Rose's Islands, a ship may anchor in perfect safety in any part, but the most convenient will be found to be between those islands and Erebus Cove, where abundance of wood and water may be obtained, as also at Terror Cove. The upper end of the inlet called Laurie Harbour is the most suitable for ships wanting to heave down, or to undergo any extensive repairs. It is perfectly land-locked, and the steep beach on the southern shore affords the greatest facility for clearing and reloading the vessel.
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"I was so struck with the many advantages this place possesses for a penal settlement over every other I had heard named, to which to remove convicts from the now free colonies of New South Wales, New Zealand, and Van Diemen's Land, that I addressed a letter on the subject to Sir John Franklin on my return to Hobart Town, recommending its adoption. This letter was forwarded to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, but I believe Chatham Island, as being seated in a milder climate, has been preferred, although I am not aware of any other advantage it possesses; whilst the want of good harbours will be found a great drawback, and the two tribes of New Zealanders from Port Nicholson, who took possession of it in 1835, after eating one half of the aborigines they found there, and making slaves of the other half, will prove a difficult people to dispossess of the land they have gained by conquest.
"The southern harbour of Auckland Island is said to be capacious, but the water too deep over the greater part of it for anchoring. There are several coves on either side of it where good. anchorage may be found and well protected; but as we did not visit that inlet, I cannot answer for the
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accuracy of these statements, which I received from masters of whalers.
"Laurie Harbour is well calculated for the location of an establishment for the prosecution of the whale fishery; many black and several sperm whales came into the harbour whilst we were there, and from such a situation the fishery might be pursued with very great advantage.
"We arrived there in the spring of the year, November being equivalent to April of the northern latitudes; and although less than eight degrees to the southward of the latitude of Hobart Town, we found a very great difference in the temperature, amounting to about ten degrees of the thermometer, but still greater to our feelings owing to the increased humidity of the atmosphere, the temperature of the dew point being nearly the same in both places, notwithstanding so great a difference of temperature.
"It cannot, however, be considered severe when we remember that in England, which is very nearly in the same latitude, the mean temperature for April, the corresponding month, is 46°. 3 Our
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stay was too short to justify any further remarks on the climate of these islands, but a series of well-conducted observations continued for two or three years could not fail to prove highly interesting and important to the advancement of meteorological science."
Dr. Hooker, who has published, separately, a very elaborate account of his observations on the vegetable productions of these islands under the title of "Flora Antarctica," remarks that, "perhaps no place in the course of our projected voyage in the southern ocean promised more novelty to the botanist than Auckland Islands. Situated in the midst of a boisterous ocean in a very high latitude for that hemisphere, and far removed from any tract of land but the islands of New Zealand, it proved, as was expected, to contain amongst many new species some of peculiar interest.
"Possessing no mountains rising to the limits of perpetual snow, and few rocks or precipices, the whole land seemed covered with vegetation. A low forest skirts all the shores, succeeded by a broad belt of brushwood, above which, to the summit of the hills, extend grassy slopes. On a closer inspection of the forest, it is found to be
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composed of a dense thicket of stag-headed trees, so gnarled and stunted by the violence of the gales, as to afford an excellent shelter for a luxuriant under-growth of bright green feathery ferns, and several gay-flowered herbs.
"With much to delight the eye, and an extraordinary amount of new species to occupy the mind, there is here a want of any of those trees or shrubs to which the voyager has been accustomed in the north; and one cannot help feeling how much greater the pleasure would be to find new kinds of the pine, the birch, willow, or the oak, than those remarkable trees which have no allies in the northern hemisphere, and the mention of which suggesting no familiar form to compare them with at home, can interest few but the professed botanist.
"Eighty flowering plants were found, a small number, but consisting of species more remarkable for their beauty and novelty than the flora of any other country can show, no less than fifty-six being hitherto undescribed, and one-half of the whole peculiar to this group, as far as is at present known."
Respecting the zoology of these islands, Mr. M'Cormick observes, "There is no species of land-animal,
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with the exception of the domestic pig, introduced several years ago in the island by Capt. Bristow." Their food consists of the 'Arabia polaris,' described by Dr. Hooker, as "one of the most beautiful and singular of the vegetable productions of the island it inhabits: growing in large orbicular masses in rocks and banks near the sea, or amongst the dense and gloomy vegetation of the woods, its copious bright green foliage and large umbels of waxy flowers have a most striking appearance." 4
"The whole plant," he adds, "has a heavy and rather disagreeable smell common to many of its natural order; but it is nevertheless greedily eaten by goats, pigs, and rabbits. It is so abundant in the marshy spots that these animals frequently live entirely amongst it, particularly where it grows near the margins of the woods, where they form broad tracks through the patches, grubbing up the roots to a great extent, and, by trampling down the soft stems and leaves, make soft and warm places for themselves to litter in."
One of these animals was shot by Mr. Hallett, and, although in poor condition, its flesh was con-
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sidered well-flavoured, though by no means equal to that of our own well-fed pigs.
Dr. Hooker also mentions two valuable kinds of grasses--one, the Festuca foliosa, as "a grass of large growth, and very leafy, affording a rich and nutritious food for animals;" the other, the Poa ramosissima, as forming "a copious, soft, green herbage."
The Quarterly Review for June 1847 alludes to the Auckland Islands in the following terms:-- "This little group is singularly adapted, by position and other natural features, to assist the revival of a most important, though at present to all appearances moribund, department of British industry, the southern whale fishery. We believe that few speculations will be found more sound, more profitable, and more congenial to our national habits than that suggested by the present grantee of the Auckland Islands."
In consideration of the Auckland Islands having been discovered by the captain of a vessel belonging to the author's father, and of other services rendered by the latter to the country, as also for the more recent discoveries of the southern continent by Capt. Biscoe whilst in the employment of the
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author and his brothers, Her Majesty's Government has been graciously pleased to grant these islands to them on very advantageous terms for the purposes of the whale fishery, as a station at which to discharge the cargoes and refit the vessels.
The Government was desirous that some other site, in an established colony, should have been selected from whence to prosecute the fishery; but on maturely weighing all the circumstances, it was found that none offered the same advantages as the islands in question.
A royal charter of incorporation having been obtained for the purpose of enabling a Company to carry on the fishery and colonize the islands, without the shareholders incurring any risk beyond the amount of their respective subscriptions, the author and his brothers have consented to surrender to the Company their title to the lands on terms which have been considered liberal: the author is, therefore, no longer restrained by motives of delicacy from entering into such details of the advantages to be anticipated from the colonization of the islands as might otherwise have appeared to be the result of interested motives.
Before entering, however, into any statement
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relative to the proposed settlement at the Auckland Islands, it will be proper to make a few general observations on the subject of colonization.
All measures of colonization should have some more definite object than that of merely getting rid of superabundant population: they should be based on the principle of selecting a position for a colony from whence some product at least can be obtained as good as, and at a cheaper rate than elsewhere, and the inducement for the colonist should be to produce that article which is in demand by the mother country.
A recent publication, by E. G. Wakefield, Esq., entitled "A View of the Art of Colonization," although containing much valuable information, is deficient on this part of the subject, which is scarcely noticed.
In Chapters XIX. and XX. of that work, it will be seen that the author locates the emigrant and assumes that he will find a demand from England for his productions at remunerating prices; but experience, that great test of principles, unfortunately proves the very reverse.
Who, for instance, would suggest the propriety of colonizing a country for the purpose of producing
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sugar for the English market, when it could be obtained in sufficient quantities from Cuba and the Brazils at a less price than would remunerate the colonists who might be disposed to engage in the undertaking?
Again, what security have the colonists that England will require the corn they may produce, since the markets of the world are now open to her? England may not require corn from the colonies, but the colonies, if depending on the sale of corn for supplies of clothing, would, in the event of a failure of demand, be reduced to a state of great distress.
Any country producing wool equal in quality, sufficient in quantity, and at a cheaper rate than from the Australian colonies, would at once reduce these extensive settlements to the condition in which the West India colonies now are; but the Australian colonies have nothing to fear from competition. Spain and Saxony have been taught to know that their wools are kept under control by those from Australia, and we feel assured that the sheep-walks of these colonies will for ever constitute the best market from whence the world will obtain supplies of this valuable commodity.
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In the measure which we are about to advocate, it will be seen that we first settle a trade in an article of general consumption, (oil,) and then propose a measure of colonization, in the full confidence that they possess the elements of national as well as individual prosperity.
The colonies of Australia, Van Diemen's Land, and New Zealand, have, within a comparatively short space of time, sprung into great importance, and are not only of inestimable value to the mother country, but yield in most instances rich harvests to settlers.
Each of them in its turn, from the time of the first settlement at Botany Bay, has had to contend with difficulties and been subjected to the jealousies and attacks of persons interested in other rival colonies.
Any proposition to form a new settlement is met by observations from settlers in the older ones, to the effect that every thing to be desired can be obtained from the latter, whilst the former ought to be avoided as not possessing any recommendations.
This has been the course of proceeding in almost every instance, and the proposition to form a Whale Fishery Company at the Auckland Islands has already encountered similar objections.
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Had it been intended to colonize, for agricultural purposes only, so insignificant a spot of land as the Auckland Islands, containing but 120,000 acres, we should doubtless have been allowed to pursue our course free from the usual attacks.
Again, if the islands had been for a long time occupied as a whale fishing station, they would have been looked upon in the same light as Newfoundland is by the Canadas, and deemed valuable neighbours; but when the subject of forming a new settlement for the purpose of prosecuting the whale fisheries is mooted, then all at once some new light breaks in upon the settlers of the adjacent colonies, and they, for the first time, perceive how much it would tend to their own benefit if such a fishery could be established where they happen to be located.
Not satisfied with the advantages which each of these colonies may reasonably anticipate from the introduction of such a neighbour, they covet the possession of the "goose" as well as "the golden egg," being well aware that where such a whaling establishment as that indicated is formed it must tend immensely to the benefit of the colony.
What stronger evidence is required to prove, that
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shipping colonies are of all others the most valuable, than the fact that the mere occasional visits of whaling vessels to New Zealand, the Marquesas, and Friendly Islands, &c. &c., and particularly the Sandwich Islands, have caused those places to spring into importance?
If then the mere visits of whaling vessels to these various islands (when the expenditure of each, including advances to seamen, does not exceed £100) confer great benefits on them, how much more advantageous must it be to a colony when such vessels make it their permanent station, and when the expenditure will probably exceed £1500 each?
The various Australian settlements, rightly estimating the benefits which result from the frequent visits of the American whalers to their ports, take every opportunity of encouraging such visits; so likewise do the authorities at Manilla, for they are so keenly alive to their interest, that they have lately directed all tonnage dues on whaling ships visiting that place, and all export duties on the stores supplied to them, to be suppressed for the space of three years, by way of experiment, in order to encourage such vessels to repair thither.
Again, if we turn to the message of the President
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of the United States of America, dated 4th of December last, we find the following remarks: "The depot of the vast commerce which must exist on the Pacific will probably be at some point in the bay of San Francisco, and will occupy the same relation to the whole western coast of that ocean as New Orleans does to the valley of the Mississippi and the gulf of Mexico. To this depot our numerous whale-ships will resort with their cargoes to trade, refit, and obtain supplies. This of itself will largely contribute to build up a city, which would soon become the centre of a great and rapidly increasing commerce."
As the Americans already have a most extensive whale fishery, the President did not refer to the trade for the purpose of proving that San Francisco would advantage the fishery, but that the mere visits of the whaling ships "would of itself largely contribute to build up a city at San Francisco."
The great advantage to commercial enterprize possessed by whaling stations has been overlooked, although such wonderful results have hitherto come to pass, for to the communications made by masters of whaling ships are to be attributed the whole of the trade possessed both by England and the United
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States of America in the Pacific Ocean, as well as the formation of the whole of the colonies of Australia, Van Diemens Land, New Zealand, and in other smaller islands.
Similar advantages will be permanently enjoyed by the settlers at the proposed station, as they will obtain from the masters of the whaling fleet who will visit every part of the world, but be precluded from trading for themselves, accounts of new markets opened, old markets ill or short supplied, and new products of various kinds.
The ports in the Auckland Islands will be free and open to the visits of all vessels, when every accommodation will be afforded them to refit and refresh. The colonization of the islands will be contingent on the success of the fishery, and every acre of land will be put in requisition for supplies for the ships of the Company and others touching at the island; consequently, the Company will carefully reject all offers to purchase land coming from persons who do not engage to bring it into immediate use for the required purposes.
The prosperity of the Auckland Island settlement will greatly benefit all the adjacent colonies, since it
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will, at least for some time to come, be in a great measure dependent upon them for cattle, timber, &c., &c., &c., in the purchase of which payment will be made in money, an article of no small value in those colonies, especially in New Zealand; for, if we except the remittances the latter is enabled to realize through the means of Treasury bills to meet the heavy expenditure of the local government, which expenditure constitutes an important item in its finances, the colonists would be entirely dependent upon an indirect and at present very limited trade for what money they might have on the island.
It must not be inferred from what is above stated that there are any doubts as to the capabilities of New Zealand, or of its importance as a colony; or that the settlers will not be amongst the most thriving of any; but we must repeat what we have before stated, that, at any rate for some years to come, the islands will have to depend more upon an indirect than a direct interchange of commodities, not only with England but with all other countries.
Persons intending to emigrate should make themselves acquainted with the facilities which
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each colony presents in respect of climate, soil, natural productions, rivers, roads, &c. They should ascertain how the markets, at which they may have to buy or sell, are situated. They should also take into consideration the expenses they will incur in the conveyance, not only of themselves, but also of their families and goods to such colony, and afterwards to its inland stations.
Let us suppose a person with a family and small capital emigrating to Australia. He commences his expenses by paying a sum of money for his passage and the conveyance of his goods, sufficient to remunerate the shipowner, and has in addition to defray the charge for victualling.
A ship of 500 tons could scarcely be chartered to Australia for less than from £1500 to £2000, irrespective of the necessary victualling stores. The emigrant therefore pays, though indirectly, his portion of this charge. Having arrived at his destination it may be assumed that he lands in a flourishing town, with a large and thriving population, where, if he remain but for a short period, he will be relieved of much of his disposable cash; he consequently determines on immediately taking a farm, but cannot obtain one, unless at an exorbitant price, at a less
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distance perhaps than 100 miles from the town or from any port.
To and from his new location he has to convey everything by waggons, drawn by oxen or horses, over miserable roads, for the rivers are not generally navigable, and he soon discovers that although he enjoys a delightful climate, yet his advantages would be greater if he could occasionally attend a market and dispose of timber, hay, &c.; but the distance being too far to admit of the expense of carriage, the colonist has to confine himself to the production of wool, tallow, and hides, which are the only remunerative articles he can dispose of; but how much better would be his position if he could find near home a market where he could dispose of his fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, poultry, eggs, fresh butter, &c., of which he has so great an abundance?
Thus situated, it is with him as with other settlers in Australia, Van Diemen's Land, and New Zealand; his cattle and sheep stray in search of fresh pasture, for every sheep requires there three acres of land to feed it; this poverty in the land for grazing purposes is the source of another great evil, since it necessarily occasions farms to be so extensive that the popula-
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tion must be thinly scattered, added to which every man must be his own banker, unless he pursue the truck system.
These remarks are not intended to exaggerate the difficulties of Australian emigration nor to discourage enterprise in that direction, the inducements thereto being found, as experience has shewn, quite large enough to overcome and reward them. But they serve to prove that emigration to the Auckland Islands of the nature of that proposed is beset with fewer difficulties, and has more available advantages at hand, than emigration generally to Australia.
We have observed that little more is as yet known of the Auckland Islands than what we have already stated. They are subject to high winds and much rain, but they are exceedingly healthy; they are covered with wood and have a very rich virgin soil, capable of feeding on one acre of land as many sheep as can be fed on six acres in Australia; the land is equally suitable for feeding cattle, horses, &c.; it is also capable of growing all such products as are usually grown in England.
The streams of water are numerous and pure, and as they take their source from the hills, they afford opportunities for those who may be desirous of
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obtaining motive power to avail themselves of the streams for grinding corn, sawing timber, &c.
The accompanying chart, shewing the formation of these islands, will enable those desirous to become settlers to perceive that there is scarcely a spot which is not within five miles of the east coast or bays, where they can without risk ship their products, which may be transported from thence to any part of the coast or to any of the neighbouring islands. It may be important to observe that the rise and fall of the tide does not exceed four feet.
Such a situation must be of incalculable advantage to a settler, since, however distant he may take up his residence from the site of the town, he will have facilities of communication without the heavy expense of constructing or keeping up roads; he will also be free from aborigines or wild animals, there being none on the island.
We quote the following extract from the fourth volume of the "Geographical Society's Journal," being a copy from the remark book kept by Captain Blanckley, R. N., on board Her Majesty's ship Pylades, off the Island of Chiloe in 1834, because that island resembles in many respects the Auck-
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land Islands, although not so far to the south by 480 miles.
"The whole island is mountainous, and covered with wood (the underwood so thick as not to be penetrated), chiefly a bastard cedar, but so durable that it is exported in great quantities to Peru and Chili, where it is used in building, being from its hardness not liable to rot and well adapted for beams and rafters; it is also used in building vessels on the island.
"The sheep are bred and kept solely for the sake of their coats, and nothing could induce the inhabitants to part with these animals or their lambs. Tobacco is in great request, but as it is a monopoly of Government, its price is too high for all classes to purchase; consequently on our arrival a few leaves of this plant were invaluable. Money when offered was rejected from its value not being known, but for a pound of tobacco I actually purchased twelve fowls, three bags of potatoes, four dozen eggs, and half a boat load of oysters; candles also were in great request.
"As to the temperature and climate of the province of Chiloe, nothing certain can be said from our limited stay in it, but from the statement of
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those who have been residents for many years, it may be thought rigorous, not from excess of cold (for water scarcely ever freezes, and what might be called a fall of snow is not known), but from damp and rains, as, on an average, ten months out of the twelve may be called rainy; it is also subject to heavy gales from the N. W.; yet though rigorous, the climate is far from unhealthy, and there are no peculiar diseases. The people in appearance are like northern Europeans, fine, manly, athletic, robust, and fresh-coloured. On landing, a stranger is struck, indeed, with the fair and very good-looking complexions of the inhabitants, particularly of the women, with whom light hair is the prevailing colour.
"What speaks much, both as to the healthiness of the climate and the integrity of the inhabitants, is the circumstance that among the whole community (4147) there is neither a medical man nor a lawyer.
"Vast quantities of plank are exported, both of bastard cedar and a species of fir, of which planks two feet wide are sent out to the amount annually of 232,777.
"Near the coast small trees are also found, which
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make good spars for masting small vessels. The soil is rich, though never manured; it consists of dark mould and fine loam upon chalk.
"The principal beverage is cider made from good apples, and when bottled and kept a short time it is so strong, that a stranger must be careful how he indulges in it. It is like champagne, but stronger, and of a very fattening quality. I am informed that the healthy appearance of the natives was attributed both to the climate and cider. Spirits are not known to the lower orders, and seldom can be purchased; wine is never seen. Chiloe is famed in South America for its hams, which are certainly of fine quality and high flavoured, and would be more so were not so much economy necessary in that scarce and valuable article, salt."
The annual expenditure of the Southern Whale Fishery Company at the Auckland Islands, for an establishment and for the re-equipment of thirty vessels for the fishery, cannot fall much short of £40,000. This sum will embrace the salaries to the Company's officers and servants, and wages to sundry mechanics and labourers employed in laying out roads, constructing wharves, storehouses,
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houses, cottages, &c.; together with the expenses incidental to the fishery, such as for the capture of whales coming into the bays, boiling out the oil, discharging the cargoes of the ships, storing, filling up, searching, and coopering the oil, cleansing the whalebone, and re-shipping the whole on board freighting vessels; setting up and coopering the casks intended to replace those filled; repairing, when necessary, the hull, masts, rigging, and sails of the whaling ships, and also the stores; purchasing 900 tierces of beef and pork, 150 tons of potatoes, 100 tons of biscuit, 50 tons of flour and other stores, fresh meat, poultry, vegetables, grocery, cheese, butter, &c. The above expenses may be estimated at £20,000, and if we add the wages of 700 seamen, estimated at £20,000 per annum more, the amount will be, as before stated, £40,000, the whole or greater part of which will probably be expended on the island. Such a colony must hold out a reasonable expectation to settlers that they will find there an extensive and profitable demand for their labour and produce.
To allay any apprehension that such expenditure will be at the cost and to the prejudice of the Company, it will only be necessary to refer to the Com-
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pany's prospectus and to a pamphlet on the fishery published by the author some months since, in which it will be found that nearly double the sum in question has already been calculated as likely to be expended by the Company in the re-equipment of the vessels and payment of the crews.
A ship of 250 tons at £20 per ton, including all expenses of the voyage and insurance..
Two years' interest at 5 per cent..
Returns on two voyages of one year each.
340 tuns of common oil, at £22 per tun..
30 tuns of sperm oil, at £70 per tun..
14 tons of whalebone, at L130 per ton..
Less freight and charges for 384 tons, at £6 per ton, £2,304; and the crew's share, £2,000
Add value of the ship at the end of the two years..
Deduct cost of equipment..
From the preceding statement it will be seen that the sum of £2000 for two years, or £1000 for one
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year, has been charged against each vessel for the share or wages to seamen, and that each vessel has been subjected to a reduction in value of one-half, say £2500 or £1250 per annum. If, then, we estimate the re-equipment of each vessel at only £1000 we shall have a total expenditure in the wages of seamen and the re-equipment of thirty vessels, of £60,000 per annum; a sum which, if not expended, would be of course so much added to the profits of the fishery, already estimated at 25 per cent, per annum at the least. Nevertheless, of this £60,000 it is assumed that only £40,000 may be expended on the island.
The foregoing, it is presumed, will be sufficient to dispel any doubts on the part of those who may become shareholders in the Company that a large expenditure on the island will operate to their prejudice. On the contrary, such expenditure will be a result and an indication of the success of the undertaking itself.
As the establishment of the whale fishery will render it necessary for numerous vessels, for freighting and other purposes, to visit the islands, such visits will naturally occasion a further outlay of capital for the advantage of the colonist.
The benefits above enumerated are wholly irre-
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spective of any local expenditure by settlers, incidental to all colonies, in the purchase of productions, which will necessarily become of increasing consumption in the island.
If, then, it be borne in mind that whaling vessels proceed to the fishery in ballast, and that they have, consequently, the means of conveying emigrants and their stores free from all charge beyond that of provisions for the voyage, and also that all commodities to or from Europe, Asia, or America can, in like manner, be conveyed at a comparatively small charge for freight in the Company's whaling vessels, it is tolerably clear there must be a fair prospect of success for those who may seek to settle at the Auckland Islands. It is only necessary that an emigrant should surrender for a time the political and social ties of the mother country, in order to enter upon a new field such as that in question in which his small capital may be improved, and in which, by energetic efforts, he may not only secure an independence for himself, but with ordinary care a patrimony for his children.
In the foregoing pages we have attempted to lay before the public a plain statement of facts, and we feel assured that no field holds out a better prospect
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of success for a profitable return on capital embarked for the purposes of trade and agriculture than the Auckland Islands, connected as they will be with the whale fishery.
As the islands possess a very great and varied description of land trenching upon the sea, it will be impossible for the Company to adhere to the system pursued by other colonies in fixing an uniform price for such portions of it as they may sell or lease.
The recent terms for the disposal of land in Vancouver's Island are as follow:-- Sections of 20 acres at £1 per acre, the purchaser paying his own passage to the island: this will not cost less than £20, irrespective of his wife and children; consequently the land will cost him £2 per acre. If 100 acres of land be purchased, the same price per acre is to be paid for it; and, in addition, the purchaser of every 100 acres is to carry out eleven grown persons at his own cost, which at £20 each will make the price of the land upwards of £3 per acre.
Parties who may be desirous of leasing or purchasing land at the Auckland Islands will not be subject to similar conditions, but will have to state the quantity of land they require, and its precise locality, before any price can be fixed; nor can
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the time be far distant when the wants of the settlement will make it neccessary for vessels to be constantly running to Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand for cattle, sheep, &c., added to which, timber, and probably also coals and lime, will be wanted. Persons embarking in this carrying trade will require such water-side premises as will admit of their vessels coming alongside of the wharf or anchoring at the shortest possible distance from it. Fishermen will require beaches on which to land and cure their fish: ship and boat-builders sites for slips or docks.
We have stated thus much to shew that a shipping colony such as is here contemplated cannot be governed by the same rules and regulations in respect to the disposal of land as are laid down in other colonies.
We are not disposed to advocate that the Company should, unless unavoidable, undertake more than the ordinary repairs of their vessels, such as the ship's carpenter can accomplish; nor build their own boats, make their own casks, cure their own provisions, graze their own cattle, &c.; as all these pursuits would furnish scope for the enterprise of settlers.
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It would not be very difficult to prove that in this country the Government works, particularly those connected with the building, repairing, and equipping men-of-war, could be as efficiently performed, and at a less cost, by contract than as at present.
If, then, individuals should be willing to undertake any particular branch of business on their own account, the proposition would undoubtedly meet with every attention from the Company.
In conclusion, it can scarcely be necessary to remind those who either already are, or may become, shareholders in the Southern Whale Fishery Company, that as joint proprietors of the Auckland Islands with the Crown grantees, they have a double interest in the undertaking, and will be entitled to participate in any profits resulting from the colonization of the islands, over and above those accruing from the Fishery, as shewn in the Company's Prospectus, which is annexed.