Reminiscences Full Text


Our Captains name was Cameron
the ship was named the Caribou
Four-Mates and petty officers
with thirty six men of a Crew
when the ship.s anchor's now were up then a Great hawser was made Fast the Steam Tug Boat then Whistled so we made the start at last'
that was on the third day of July Eighteen hundred and fifty nine
about three Oclock in the afternoon the weather was Calm and fine
now the passangers were Called up and full mustered on the Deck
when the Rules were Read out to them which they must pay Respect
Each got his Bed and Blanket then also Knife Fork Spoon and tin-Ware to use while on the passage out to be Kept Clean and used with Care
we were Formed up in numbers then with Eight or ten to form Each mess they had Each to choose a Captain
to Carry it out with full Success
now I was thereat then Chosen
to look after our own mess Table
and Serve out the Food and Water
as well as I was able
the Food and Water was served out Each morning about Eight Oclock therefore I was always very Careful to be there to receive our Stock
there were Four Hundred Immegrants on Board this Fine new Clipper ship she was one of the Black Ball Liners and Expected to make a very fast Trip


Everyone Seemed to be quite happy
as the ship kept sailing along
under the Towline of the Steamer
with many a merry Song
but when night Came and darkness
then we all went to our Beds
but it proved to be uncertain
which way to lay their Heads
as the Bunks they were Fitted up
on Both sides of the ship in two rows
so you Could lay your head or Feet
to suit the way that the ship goes accordingly next morning on Deck
there were many of them Sea-Sick
and several of yesterdays singers
was so very bad they could.nt speak about midday the Steam Tug left us
and there was now a Gentle Breze
so we were now left to the Caribou
to Carry us across the stormy Seas
I here now Just mention how all
the Passangers here were disposed so
all single Women in the after Part of ship and there no others allowed to go
the married people and the Children
were placed in the middle of the ship
so they Could see any member.s of
their Family daily on the Trip
the Single men were all put Forward
Just under the Sailors sleeping Birth.s
so that they might not there anoy any others through their Jolly mirth
we had some Special Constables appointed to keep order there by day or night
also a ship.s Volunteer Firebrigade
to assist in any Fires to Fight


nearly all of the Emegrants were Irish from the south of the County Donegall many of them could not read nor Write nor speak any English words at all
so for their care a Priest was there
his name was Father Cook
he was a very kind Gentleman
and Great care of them he Took
on the first Sunday Morning that
we had been out now at Sea
we were all mustred up on the Deck and told where Service would be
so all the Protestants were asked
to come and hear the Service read
at Eleven Oclock on the Poop so
our medical Superintendant Said
as it had been aranged so that
the Catholics to bellow would pass
as they were the most numerous
and Father Cook would Say Mass
the first Sunday passed in Peace
but a few were Sea sick still
altho the most were going about
yet some were very ill
on Monday morning orders Came
for all our beds on deck to be
well aired and then Compared
to see they were of vermin Free
we had to keep all uttenchals clean and sweep the mess room every day also Scrape and Holistone our Floor Each Saturday all through the Way
the Captains of Every mess had too see go on Watch in turns of Two at night from Eight oclock until twelve so
to see that Everything was right


during all the Voyage out here
we were Seprate from my mother
as she was in the single womens Place but we could Speak to Each other
my Wife and me had but one Child then our little and only Son
he was then near two years old
and about the Deck could run
he was our daily care Just then
to watch that he did not Slip
with his little panni can full
of milk on Deck of rolling ship
he seemed to know how to go
to keep himself from Falling
as Sailors go on deck you know
and without his mother Calling
now we were all Getting used to
the ways of Life upon the Sea
so we often passed the ti me away with Songs in mirth and Glee
that was Generally in the daytime
but we were sometimes dull at nights the reason was accounted for thus
that we were allowed no Lights
we were not allowed any Matches altho all were allowed to Smoke
as there was plenty of good Tobacco on Board they had a Great stock
the passangers got it very cheap about Two shillings the Pound
so they used it up Plentifully
while the money could be Found during the first week out at Sea
a Sad accident a Sailor Befell
he was out at the Bow of the Ship
from the Martingale then he Fell .


I remember well I was sitting then
on the Top of Foxall head
about six oclock that morning when he passed by me but no word was Said I heard him cry as he fell down
and quick the alarm then I Gave
a Boat was lowered then quickly
and tried the mans Life to Save
the ship was hove to Imediately
by backing of all the Sail -
but all their Efforts were useless
now and proved of no avail
the Boats Crew found his Cap
but no sight of him was Seen
the Boat returned to the ship
after Searching about so Keen
that afternoon his clothes were Sold among the members of the crew
as the Captain Said the man was dead that was the best thing to doo
as the money got for every Lot
would to his Friends be Paid
when the ship again returned home
or if Called for as he Said
the rations were served out to us regularly every day all the way
also one Gallon of fresh Water for
Each man allowed to drink a day
our rations they were plentyfull
no one had reason to complain
but of the Water we had to be Careful as no more Could we then obtain
our mess got a Ten Gallon.s Butt
every morning filled to the Top
but many a day by the afternoon
we had not left a single drop


the Doctor now was very Careful about both the young and old
in his daily round of visits wished
of any sickness Imediately to be Told on the fifth week of our passage out the First Death occur.d on Board
he was a fine young Scotchman
and by all his ship mates was adored his name was Allan Cameron
a miner he was by profession
he was coming out to his Brothers here who had Land here in Posession
a Sister of his was also on Board
for her it must been a Sad display
to se his Body launched in the Sea
at five Oclock afternoon that day
all Clothes belonging to him then were ordered overboard to be Cast
as the Doctor Said it was the Fever his Death was the First and Last
altho many other Cases of Sickness
there were no other fatal Case
all through on our passage out
but Several Births took place
we had for Several day past got
some heavy weather with great Gales so the Sailors they were constantly Kept up aloft among the Sails
but after a few more days Sailing
it now became Calm and Fine
then we were all pleased to hear
we soon would cross the Line
we also heard that King Neptune himself would come on Board
as the Ship.s crew and the officers would Give him their accord


now every day it was warmer
as we came nearer to the Line
one morning Early after Sunrise
the sight was quite Sublime
the Captain show.d us his Telescope across which we fixed a hair Fine
and told us all .0 mark it well
as we now could see the Line
that very night Neptune came on Board and there he shaved all the young men tho Several were only on one Side clean
Shaved but they never know.d When now the Weather was very pleasant but in the Daytime rather warm
they put an awning up on the poop
to protect the young Girls from harm as we were in the Tropics now
the ship was almost standing still there was not the Smallest Breath
of Wind a Single Sail to Fill
the Sea it.s Self then was very Calm only a Gentle ripple here and there
we now first saw the Great Albitross about and other Sea Birds Everywhere as we were now quite Be calmed
and might be so for many days
we all tried to amuse ourselves
in all sorts of different ways
the Captain and all the Officers
at the Flying Bird took shot
but as they only had got Rifles
it was only few Birds they got
I had a shot gun myself down Below likewise a bag of small shot
when I asked to get it up then
it was very quickly now got


they used up all my Small shot
but they Paid me for it very well
by Giving me many little Presents
more numerous than I can here tell
Some Washed out their Bed clothes
and many other dirty things
then hang them up to dry on the
Ship.s rigging fastned there by Strings so many had been Washing up that
the Clothes made quite a Great Display as some hung theirs so very high
that they were blown away
on the afternoon of the third day
that we were crossing oer the Line
there Sprang up a Gentle Breese' which filled the ship Sails Fine
now the Ship was Sailing on again
we all Seemed to be very Glad
as we were Getting used now to
think Life at Sea not so very Bad
the Wind kept on Increasing now
until it Blew in heavy gales
and the Sea became so very rough too that we had to Shorten many Sails
this Storm lasted for Several days
the Ship she rolled so very much
that on Deck you could not Stand
without Something at you.d Clutch while this Storm was now raging
we saw many Flying Fish at night
some were found on deck Each day
the sea.s Foam was Snowy White
after this Storm was all quite over
one day the Mate Mr. Berry told me
if I wished to Send a letter home
he said Tomorrow the Mail Boat we.1 See


I therefore wrote a letter home then and Gave it to him to Send away
so Sure Enough he told the Truth
as we Saw the mail Boat pas next day our ship was hove too to Windward then a Boat was quickly lowered
the mate with a chosen Boat crew took our mail Bag then on Board
the mail Boat stopped her Engines when nearly opposite to our Ship
as the distance was not far a'way
the Boat made a very easy Trip
they stay.d there about half an hour then returned back to our ship
the Boat crew all Seemed very happy and much Enjoyed their Trip
now as we got a fair start again altho I am willing to confess
that Some day.s we had been Sailing did not make our Journey Less
as many the Sailors told us
that we were again Sailing Back
as the Wind was blowing against us therefore were compelld to Tack
the ship kept steady Sailing on
both through the day and night
we often thought to see some Land but never once got the Sight
I remember we were told that we would see'the Island of St. Paul
if it was in daylight we passed it
as it was an Island only Small however I heard we were near to it so I went up on the Foxall head
about four Oclock one morning
I saw it while others lay in Bed


there was a little Incident occured then about which I wish here to Tell
the Cook kept a Great Cask of Slush Fat into which a young man Fell
his name was Charles O.Donell
he climed up there to See the Land
the Covering Boards were very loose
and too Greasy on them to stand
he managed to get out all right
as he was nearly Six Feet high
but he could not walk on Deck
now what ever way he.d Try
he managed to Get down Below
by crawling on hands and Knees thereby he Caused a terrable Mess
by his track of slush and Grease
how the Cook did Curse and Swear about the loosing of all his Fat
he well knew it was 0 Donell
when he found his shoes and Hat
all oer the Deck was Greasy now
where Charley had slid to Bed
as he was completely Covered in slush from his feet up to his Head
we had been about two months at Sea and hundreds of miles from Land
when old mother Carreys Chickens Came those Bird.s I cannot understand
as they flew about the Ship each day from the Early morning till night
I wonder where they rest or Sleep
as they are Constantly on the Flight
we saw many of the Cape pigeons too that round about our Ship did Fly
they Came so very close Sometimes
So to Catch them I would Try


then I went to the Sailmaker now
and from him got a hank of Twine
as I had got no sort of fishing hooks
I fixed Bent Pins along my Line
then let the line out at Stern of ship
as my line was so very light
a piece of meat was on for Bait
to attract them in their Flight sometimes they would strike my lines but if they struck among the Pins
the line being light it soon got Tight
and fastened around their Wings
the first day I tried I had.nt Luck
but the Second day I Caught Two
so now I kept on daily Fishing
then as I had little Else to do
now it was in the month of September we were on the Indian Ocean
the Wind it blew in heavy Gales
made the Sea in Great Commotion
on the Eight day of this month
I have to tell about another matter
my Wife was put to bed that day
and Confined of another Daughter
my Fishing them was stopped awhile until she again got fairly Well
as my mother came to nurse her then
I am very pleased to Tell
the Doctor was very kind and Careful and Every day he regularly Inquired
of mother Who was nursing her if
there was anything she required
about Ten days after her Confinment my Wife had got Just about out of Bed the Sea was very rough and Stormy when a Great Wave came right overhead


it was about four Oclock one Morning this Wave Broke over on the Deck
it Smashed our Main hatch Covering and made a Terrable Wreck
about four feet deep of Water
was now in the Berths Below
I climbed up to the main deck
to let the officer on Watch to know when the officers Came to Look
it was really a terrable Plight
to see the Beds and things floating about and the people in Such Fright Imediatly all hands were Called up the Sailors were up to their Waiste now Buckets full of the Water were handed up on the deck with Haste the passangers in the Lower Berths were completly all washed out particularly thos on the Lee Side were the Greatest put about Likewise the Single Women.s Berths were also flooded very Bad
to hear them all loud Screaming
it was Something really Sad
after about an hours hard Working the Water was nearly all got out
then the Doctor Called the Captain and asked him for all to Shout
now the Ship.s Steward was told then to bring a keg of Rum down Bellow and serve it liberally to all the men
as they have worked hard we know after all the Water was got out Below our Beds were removed to Deck Everyone was cut open then for the Superintendant to Inspect


as the Flock in the Beds was wet
it had to be Shook out to Dry
and all our Blankets and Bedclothes
were hung up in the rigging high
it was for all on Board the Ship
Indeed a real bussey workday
to Get all our wet Clothes dry
and the Beds filled and put away
the Single men were better off
as they all in hammacks Slept
they were Sent to do the Work
for the Women and at it Kept
by a few days hard Working
we got things nearly all right
as the weather was fine in daytime
but very Cold through the night
as we now were near Cape Lewin
there was Sometimes heavy Gales
that made the ship roll very much
and blew away some of our Sails
we had a man called Jimy Ducks
on Board in charge of Fowls and Pigs
he had to Feed and keep them Clean
and see they Played no riggs
one day one his pigs was missed so
it must gone through the Scupper holes
as it nowhere could be Found but sometime after was found among the Coals about three weeks after the pig was Lost the Cooks Mate went to get Some Coal he got a Terrable Fright and said
he Saw the Devil down the hole
then a Search was quickly made
when the missing pig was found
it was very Wild and rather thin
but otherwise well and Sound


now Jimy Ducks was very Glad
as he was very much afraid
that he would loose his job
and his Wages not be Paid
but now as Every thing came right
Poor Jimy was full of mirth and Glee
as he Said his wages would be paid
in Sydney he could have a Spree
as we kept Sailing on day by day
we were all now Getting Weary
as it was the Same sights we Seen
and the Brighest only dreary
Sometimes I tried to catch the Birds
again to pass the time away
I had the luck to catch a Few
Sometimes four or five in a day
all I Caught were always used we
had them made Generally in a pie
and Got the Cook to Bake them for us
then they tasted very high
one day when fishing for them
the Captain was there looking on
an Albitross Swooped down on the meat Bait fastened on the line it broke he was Gone he called me to his cabin where he
then Gave me long strong Taking Line
also a good fishing Set of Hooks
to Encourage me in my Pastime
I had no Pins now in my Line but
had two Small hooks with bits of meat
as Bait for Either Fish or fowls now
I left them then for my Dinner to Eat
it must been over an hour Since
that I had made fast my Line
when I went up to have a Look at it
there was Fast a Bird this Time


I tried to pull in the Line then but
to my Surprise it went up in the air altho I pulled on it very Steady yet
still it flew around me Everywhere
I Could not pull it in by myself
until it Flew up above the Deck
then a man helped to Get it down
one hook was through its neck
it was a very large Bird they Said
and by all was much admired
but to me it was quite us less
so from the Bird fishing I retired
next thing to amuse us was a Shark that appeared by the Ship.s Side
the Sailors tried to harpoon it but
the Lance by it would only Glide
as it appeared for Several days about so they got a line with a chain and hook now after feeding it Several times
with meat at last the Bait it Took
there was a Great Commotion When we Saw the shark to the line was Fast when its head Came above the Water
another strong line over it was cast then a Block and Tackle was reved
and to the main yard made Fast
now the Shark was hoisted on Board for Exhibition of us all at last
it was a very large and heavy fish
the Sailors Called it a Blue Peter
they all agreed in Saying it was
a regular deamon or Man Eater
I may here tell you the crew were told when they signed to Join the ship there was to be no Grog allowed them all throughout the Entire Trip


therefore it was hard on Some of them Sometimes we must all Consider
as they had always been used to Get their Grog during stormy Weather however a Great row Got up one day among the Sailors in their Bunk
when the mate went to Inquire he found one of the crew very Drunk
he was Imediately put in Irons fast
and locked up in the Ship.s Cell
then Examined by the Captain but
not a word would he Tell
he was kept there in Confinment
for the space of very near a week
but one morning he was missing
they everywhere for him did Seek
after Several days Searching for him the mate had put him in the Log
as dissapeared at Sea through the Broaching of the Captains Grog
his name was Mathew Callaghan
but better known as old Matt
we were all very Sorrow for him
but what Signified all that
on the first Sunday morning after
he had dissapeared from on Board
to Everybodys Great Satisfaction
he was again to light Restored
it appears he.d got some assistance
to get stowed down among the Coal
as it was from there he appeared
when the Doctor Called our Roll
we were every Sunday morning regularly Examined up on the Main deck
to See that we were clean and tidy and to the Church Service pay due respect


when old Matt now appeared again
he Gave Some a terrable Fright
as he was as Black as a Chimney Sweep and his Clothes torn in such a Sight when the Captain now was told that Matt was found again alive and well
he said he would forgive him but
could not perswade him yet to tell
the Ship.s Steward was Indian Negro by the name of Black Sam was Known
it was him released Matt they Say.d
but he would not to that own
as the days were Getting longer now and the Weather fine and Warm
we realy thought every day to See something new to breack the charm
as the time passed away so wearily
the Same Sights day after day
but as a Change a ship was Seen
one afternoon but very far away
now we began to think that we
must Soon be Seeing Some Land
so everyone was looking out
daily you can easly understand
one day as the Stores was Getting up from the Ship by the-main hatch
among the medical comforts a Cask of Porter that a bold man did Snatch
it was a Small Ten Gallon keg that
daily with other Stores Came on deck by the Sailors below as they were told by the Mate to do for him there to check now on this day it had so dissapeared quite unknown to the Mate then
who wanted to know why so careless of his orders Given were the men


they told him it was sent up
while he was down Below
but as there he could not find it
so he therefor could not know
as the Man who picked it up now
had it quickly well concealed
and many others assisted to drink it
but no one ever a word revealed
now it was Carefully Served among us
as all the lot of us were well aware
that it must not be found out so
everyone got his own fair share
the Cask had to be got rid of now
so we all soon did quite agree
that after darkness of night Came
it should be Slipped over in the Sea
that was carried out Sucessfully
Just according to the Plan
so Ended the Cask of medical Comforts
to the Great Satisfaction of Everyone
now it was near the end of September month
the voyage was now very nearly Ended
so I wished to have our child christned on
Sunday Next so my Wife and me Intended
there were Several other Children Born on the voyage out but all the others were Boys
so the Captain Said he would like if we Could
Give ours the Ships name by his Choise
therefore our Daughter was duly christned on
Sunday in presence of the officers and crew
by the medical Superintendant to register
her name Mary Welsh Steel Caribou
one morning there was Great commotion about Something that we all Could See they Said it was a floating Iceberg
and a dangerous place for us to be


altho we Saw it quite clearly then
between the Sea and clear blue sky
we all thought it must be the Land
as it appeared to be so very high
however we had all to be Satisfied
and listen to the old Sailors tale
as on another day we Saw Something
that they Said was a Sperm Whale
it resembled more a Boat upside down
as it appeared floating on the water
but as we were a long way of it then
we Could not well decide this matter however things began to change now
as we were told we soon would Land
so the Great Cable Chains were got up
on Deck to be ready there at hand
one afternoon we heard the Sailors Say that Land was Seen from of the Mast
then Everyone was ancious Looking out
now to Get a sight of the Land at Last next morning we were told that there was the Signal up for the Pilot now
now so Everyone Seemed to be quite happy altho they could not tell you how
very Soon now we all could clearly See
a Sailing Boat it to us all appeared
but it was the Pilots Boat and crew
as it now for our ship was Steered
when the Pilots Boat was made fast
them him with his crew Came on Board the Captain and chief officer met them and gave then the best they could afford
then all the ship.s crew were called up
and told that him they must obey
as he now had full charge of the ship until they would at anchor Lay


now he Called all the ships crew up
and saw every man Served out his Grog altho the Captain spok about Temperance the Pilot Said I always keep my own Log now all went as merry as a Marriage Bell when we got within the Sight if Land
we were now all so very much Excited
that we would neither sit nor stand
on that afternoon the anchors were dropp.d
in a place they Called Farm Cove
now all the crew were kept Bussey
Getting all the Sails furled up above
the health officers came on Board now
to See if all our health.s were well
then the Immegration officers came to
ask if any had complaints to Tell
then all the Single Women went away
by a Steamer to the Immegrants Depot there to find Employment if desired
or with their Friends who wished to go
many of the Single young men were Engaged here on their own accord
but most all the married couples stayed
for Several days longer still on board
as the ship was going to a Berth Soon
the whole of her Cargo to Discharge
now to McNamarras Wharf we moved where the Immegrants were set at Large
on the Forth day of the month October
it was three months almost to a day
we had been on the passage out here
until we in Sydney harbour Lay
the first day the Ship lay at anchor
the Captain.s Boat was going ashore
I asked him as a favour to allow me
with them as I only was one man more


he Said I could go if the Doctor Gave
me leave of six hours from the ship
the Doctor Gave me his full Permission
to Enjoy this fine Pleasure Trip
when the Boat was lowered and man.d
by the third Mate and six of a Crew
I was told to sit near to the Bow as
the Doctor was going with the Captain Too the Boat was landed near some steps they called it the circular queay
the officers now all went of ashore
and left me with the Boats crew Free now we agreed to have a walk about but one man must to the Boat attend so we all promised to be careful
but we had very little cash to Spend
I mind we Got a Supply of new clay pipes as all we had on Board were now Broke therefore it was with Great pleasure
we now could Enjoy a good hearty Smoke we got some Fruit and oranges to Eat also a Glass or two of real Good Rum then we returned to the Boat now
to wait there for the officers to Come
we were all sitting down in the Boat when the Captain and the Doctor apeared they Said they were both satisfied
we had behaved better than they feared the Boat now returned to the Ship where we arived all Safe and well
as I had been ashore all that day my ship mates wanted me to them Tell about Sydney and the people there
also what I had Seen while ashore
when I had told them all I knew
still they asked me Something more


there were now plenty of fresh Vegetables also fresh Beef and Bread came every day and Boats with Employers daily Came to Engage the men and take them right away the first Sunday we lay in the stream
a Friend of mine came to see us in his Boat and asked us to go with him home to
Pyrmont in the Boat he had Brought
so my Wife and me with our two children most gladely agreed to go there at once to See his Wife and their Family then
as this was now our only chance
we found Mrs. Anderson and Family well we quite Enjoyed this little Trip
the Weather now was really Beautiful that day when we Sailed from the ship
we passed that day most Pleasantly
in Speaking of old Friends at home
as they had been here Several years before they heard we were to Come
as James and me were old School mates and when Boys we Played Together
he was a ship Carpenter by Trade therefore we Seldom met one another
he was out here Employed at Work
for the Company who brought him out from Scotland by Signd agreement Satisfactory for Each no doubt
we returned to the ship again at night with out days pleasure well Satisfied and by many of our shipmates now
we really were then much Envied
on Monday morning the Order was Given to have the anchors up without delay
as the Steam Tug was comming down to take the Ship up straight away


now all were bussey cleaning up
as we were now about to Land
to have Everything all in readyness
so that we could Easly put our hand
the Steamer brought us to the Wharf now then the customs officers came on board to see what was the General Cargo
and to find where it was all stored
when the ship Sailed from Birkenhead the Water line stood at twenty five feet now she is only drawing nineteen Showing how very much we did Eat
Early next morning we were all up on deck when Each had to claim their things
as the Sailors sent them from Below
to the main deck now with Slings
as Each person that claimed them
his name was cheked in a Book
as the medical Superintendent Said
to see they were their own they Took
as all were then now about to Land
and take all their luggage then away
I received a letter from my Father
to Inform me about his then Delay
the Captain told me to stay on Board until I wished to leave the ship
therefore this Suited me very well
to go on shore now daily for a Trip
this lasted for about a weeks time now when at work I thought to Get a Job therefore I went at first as a Labourer
my daily pay then was only Eight Bob
it was at the A.S.N. Companys works in Prymont that I was first Employed
so now we got a good dwelling house
to live in so the change we all Enjoyed


there was a steamboat laying there then
to Get her Engines thoroughly overhauled
I was sent with an Engineer on Board
to assist him there I was installed
when the Cylinder Cover was taken of
and the Great Piston then got out
it is something very remarkable how
Strange things often come about
as inside of this Great Cylinder was
a very large patch of Brass plate
there was great remarks passed about it
but all agreed it was done firstrate
I mentioned that I once had seen before
one cylinder that it was done upon
when I was in my apprenticship that
was for a Steamer Called the London
now the Engineer laughed and to me
why this is that very Same Boat
altho I had been two days working there
about her name I had never thought
it seemed to me most wonderfull
however the London here Could be
as she was a regular passanger Boat
between London and Dundee
one day the Foreman spoke to me and
asked if I would now agree to Stop
and do all their Brass Castings there
if they fitted up for me a proper shop
he also Said it would be good me
as he would Garntee that my Pay
would be as good as in the City was then
at the rate of fourteen Shillings a Day
I agreed to do the Work they wanted
when everything Suitable was fitted
they got a Furnice Built there very good
and other fittings done well the time that Permitted


but circumstances often alter Cases
as here now I will let you know
my Father was down now in Sydney
for us all with him home to go
therefore I had to Give my notice in that
in a Fortnight I wished to leave
as that was rules of all the Workmen there then to Give or to Receive
the Foreman Said he was very Sorry that
I so Soon should think of going away
and tried all he could to perswade me to Change my mind for to longer stay
but as now we had our minds made up
to Get our things prepaired to start
the three hundred and ten miles Journey for the Murrumbidgee soon to Depart
it may appear to be remarkable when
I went to Sydney my Father first to meet that we passed by Each other there
on Brickfield hill in George Street
as an Omnibuss had turned over there
a Great crowd gathered around to See
as I was there looking on then myself at it
he told me afterwards also so was he
but it is not so very wonderfull as so
many years had passed Since we had met as I was only a Child when he left home there was plenty of time for us to forget however we met now by appointment
at the house of a Scottish Family we knew where we were now first brought Together
again our aquaintince to renew
when Father Came down from the Country he brought with him a Bank Cross.d Cheque as at that time Travelling with money
was rather a dangerous kind of Spect


at that time this Colony was over run
by Bands of bad and lawless men
going about through all the Country
robbing and murdering every now and then
now as Father wanted his cheque Cashed
we went to find Mr. William McLeay
who was then the member of Parliment
and he Lived out at Elizabeth Bay
we started to walk out to his home
and met him Just as he left his Gate
as he was going to Parliment house now he
would Cash it if till tomorrow we could wait
he drew some notes from his pocket and his Card and Gave them to Father until tomorrow
then told us to go up to his house and rest
he could not be with us he was Sorrow
we went as he desired us to Call there and
was kindly treated both to Eat and drink
and told to meet Mr. McLeay tomorrow at
McQuarrie Street at three Oclock destink
we went there next day as agreed upon
and had not there very long to wait
when we saw Mr. McLeay coming now
Just near the Sydney Hostpital Gate
as the Cheque was found to be corect my
Father in notes got his money Paid
as we had now to attend to other Business and Several purchases now we made
we then went to Get my Boxes Stored
as they were to go up in a Bullock Dray
and we could not Stop to load them as
we wanted ourselves now to Get away
I may tell you at that time that the
Railway from Sydney was only Just Begun
as the distance the rail was laid down
then only to Campbell Town did Run


about the way to do the Journey up we thought to buy a horse and Cart
but Father Said the roads was to bad
so then we agreed on Foot to start
we bought a good Tent and Fittings
to Camp in regularly on the Way
so we could travell at our Leasure
any distance to suit us every Day
Father carried the Tent and Blankets
I carried a Swag but Smaller than That
as I had to carry my Little Boy as well then with his legs around my neck he Sat
we left Sydney Early one morning it was November month on the very last Day
we were all very ancious about the Journey how long we would be on the Way
we passed through Parramatta Township
which is a very old and Settled Place
then we passed through Liverpool now
but had Razorback Mountain to Trace
when climbing up this mountain we all wanted Water but could not find a single drop
but my Father said there was plenty up higher when we reached up nearer to the Top
and sure Enough there was fine cool water there dripping from the Rocks so clear
now we rested here for an hour or Two then to Boil the Billy and have Dinner here
this Mountain took many hours to cross
as the weather was really very Warm
when we arrived at the Foot the Sun was low so to Camp there now would be no harm next morning we had Breackfast Early
and things all packed up for the Roads
it was our Intention then only to go as far Each days Journey according to our Loads


some days we travelled over Twenty miles
a Day but many Days we done much Less
just according to the state the road was in
as the Loads we Carried did us opress
we Bought Supplies of Food almost Daily
as we came to any Town or Country Store
and always looked for a Camping place
where Some Camps had been Before
as the Weather was very dry and really hot
and Water was then Scarsely to be had
as it was dried up in all the waterholes
so what remained then was very Bad
we always had to Boil it first as Tea
then let it cool to carry along to Drink
otherwise it could not have been used
as many a time really it did Stink
I mind when we reached to Goulbourne
there is a River at the foot of Governors hill
it was quite a pleasure now to Get a Drink
I myself almost drank a Billy Full
we called at McAlisters Hotel there where Father had left his Dog being foot sore
he Called now to take it home with us but
it had slipped its collar some weeks Before
we travelled on then till night to Camp as
next day through Gunning we would pass
then in two more days travelling we Came to the old Established Township of Yass
here we Bought a few things we Wanted
and of Bread and meat a Good Supply
then we started on again from Bowning
and crossed the Yass River now almost Dry
we passed through Bowning Early that Day
and Camped that night near to Bogalong
that place then was only a Public house or
Camping place on the Road to Jugiong'.,


when we got near the Creek at Jugiong
my Boy for a drink commenced to cry
I went over to a house we were passing then and got some good milk to Buy
very soon we Saw the Murrumbidgee River with a Sandy Beach and the Water so Clear we Soon made a fire to boil the Billy
for Dinner and made our Camp here
we passed through Jugiong next morning
it was a miserable looking little place
a Blacksmiths shop a store and a Hotel with the Cemetary also looking in your Face
after Climbing over the hill at Jugiong
we had miles of a fairly level Track
then we came to some hills and creeks as we came near to Mrs. Hanleys at Coolac
next morning we started to go on the road we met an old Friend of Father.s on the Way he asked us to go with him to his home
and there to rest until the fowling Day
we agreed to accep his kind Invetation as it would be for all of us a very good Spell
I myself was very glad of this opertunity as at that time I felt rather not too Well
it was then the Harvest time about there and they were bussey now reaping Wheat so here we saw the first harvesters at Work how they did with one another so Compete as Each was paid for what work he done and for Every Acre reaped he a Pound was Paid and found in all their rations too so
in harvest time then money could be made we left there on the Second day again
and now on the road went for Gundagia
as we knew we could not reach there that night we Camped so we did not Try


we got to Gundagia Early next morning
and Stayed for dinner there that Day
at the Public house then kept by Hyam Phillips who was well known all round that Way
we now went out through Nangus Station where we Intended to Camp that night
when we met old Martin Ryain a shepherd who told us we would be Safe all right
old Martin Came down that night to ask
Father and me up to his hut to Come
and have a talk about old times there as
he had a drop of the real Jamecia Rum
we went up there now for an hour or two and many old tales by them were told
but to me the most wonderful was when he Showed us a Bottle about half full of Gold that was the first pure gold I had Seen in this Country but then I was only a new chum
so I asked him where and how he got it
as I said I would very much like to Get Sum then he told us where and how he got it
he Said when his Sheep were in the Fold
he always went prospection in the Creeks and often got several Grains of Gold
when we left old Martins that night we
promised faithfully to Come some day
and Spend a week or two there ourselves in prospecting but we never went that way next day we got to Owra flats to Camp opposite to Lintotts Cunningdroo Run
we crossed the River there next Morning Early after the rising of the Sun
when we crossed the Murrumbidgee River on foot that morning it was very low
Father and me crossed over first then my Wife and my mother they crossed over also


it was a fine Gravelly Beach to Cross
the Water was clear but running strong
the distance was not far to cross so the
time we took in crossing was not very Long when all were Safely on this Side now we
made a fire and had Breackfast here
while Sitting waiting for the Billy to Boil
Two young Girls then did to us appear
they asked if we would like some milk
for the Children or Wanted Bread or Meat
they told us that their house was near and there was plenty there for us to Eat
we thanked them for their kindness but
told them we wanted at once to go away
as our Journey was now nearly finished
we Expected to End it with the Day
they went away Seemingly dissapointed but soon returned with a Can of milk quite hot
for the Children to drink on the road we
asked them their names both Said Lintott
we now came to the house of John Glover on Gumly Gumly Run near to Kyambia Creek
he was an old neighbour of my Fathers and
many a time about him did he Speak
we had our dinner there that day and also
took a rest as we wanted it you may depend
as we had about five more miles to Travell when our long distance Journey would End
when we left John Glovers house then
it was late in the afternoon
as we did not wish to arrive at home
till about the rising of the moon
as the neighbours Expected us to come
they were looking out for us every day
but they were dissapointed as we Came through the Bush Track another Way


when we came up through the Paddocks
and was up almost to the Dwelling
old Billy the Welshman was looking out as
he Said Somebody him was telling
that we had passed Cunningdroo Station
and would be at home very soon
he Said that the neighbours and himself
had been looking for us all the afternoon
on the Twenty Second day of December
we arrived at Wagga Wagga our Journey.s End
as we were all tired of Travelling now
we wanted a good rest you may Depend after we all had got Supper that night
and a little conversation then we Said
as we were all foot Sore then and weary
we all agreed to retire Early to Bed
I got up next morning early Intending
to have a good look all around
but I could only see a short distance
as trees did so plentyfull abound
the house itself looked strange to me
as the Floor was composed of Clay
and open Square holes for Windows
to admitt in the light of Day
the walls were made of Slabs of Wood
and the Roof covered with stringybark
with a Great big open fireplace
like what Noah had in the Ark
the house was fairly Comfortable
altho the material was very rough
at that time in this Country it was considered to be quite good Enough
the wood Slabs were all dressed well
and put well and close together
any open spaces were plastered up to resist all the very stormy Weather


for the Rich and poor in those old times the houses were all of that one Class
the only Exception at that time was
that some had windows in with Glass
we had visits of Several neighbours this day
who Came over all of us then to See
and Several of them now Invited us
to come over to their house.s for Tea
as it was near to Christmas time then
at night some more would likely come
so Father went to the Town that day
and brought out his Cag of Rum
that night there were Several Friends came out Just after we had our Tea
and everyone Seemed glad to meet us and wished that we would happy be
now there were many strange tales told
about the old Country and this new
they all Seemed to praise this place
but I took a very different View
I said it looked something very queer
to be drinking spirits from a Pint Pot
as to night we were now doing here
as glasses then Could not be Bought
the Carriage so far was the reason
and the danger of breaking in Glass
also all crockeryware was very Scarse
as it the same danger.s must pass
the time passed on quickly that night
all our Friends said they were Glad
to see us so well and so hearty after
all the long Journey we have had
as the night was Getting very late now
it was about time for us to go to Bed now we wished all a Merry Christmas then good night to Each other Said


in all our three weeks Travelling
I never felt like this before
now after those few days resting I
feel all my Bones quite Sore
it must been by leaving my Boy off that I Carried here all the Way
as he Sat on my shoulders always while comming up every day
my Father then had a Sawpit here
as he was a Sawyer by Trade
he also was a fair Bush Carpenter
and many Wood Buildings he made now I often go to work with him
at any Sort of works to be had
we always made fair Wages then
at times things were not so bad
we Built a Joss house for the China men on a portion of their Ground
we Got a Good price for that Building
after everything was found
it was a large Wooden Building of
split slabs and Covered in with Bark
it had Two Doors but no Windows
so when Closed Completley Dark inside was fitted up there for use ten little Bunks for the Chineese
so they could lay and Smoke opium
or go to sleep as they please
I may mention at new year time
we thought of how it use to be
kep there by going out first footing
and going round old Friends to See
but here it is held very differently as
they go out for sport Shooting or Fishing others go Pick nicking all night with
the Compliments of the Season Wishing- 36-


however we kept it here as usual
we Sat up till new year came in
and had plenty to Eat and Drink but
for want of Glasses we drank in Tin
one day I went in to look at the Town
that was the first Visit I.d made
as went in by myself on that day I
will find it easy to myself I Said
there was no proper streets then formed
but by a log I crossed the Lagoon
where Nixons Flour Mill was then
I asked where about is the Town
you are in the Town now the man Said
and that is the Australian Hotel
if you go up on the Sand hill there
you will See all the Town as well
when I got on the Sand Hill Top
and had a good look around
it was a very dull looking place
and for years afterwards I found
a Small Building used as Court house
stood opposite the Australian Hotel
also another small Building there
was used as a Lockup or Police Cell
there was one police man Mr. Griffin
also a mounted man Mr. R. Montieth
and the Chief Constable then was
James but better known as Barney O.Keef there were also the Police Magistrate here
Mr. H. Bayliss a good and upright Man
who discharged his duties honestly
and would never favour anyone
the Catholic Chapel was new Built then
near to the old Burial Ground
the Church of England on the Rocky hill stood Just above the old Wagga Cattle Pound


there were Two Good General stores then Mr. F.A. Tompsons Store at Water View and Geo Forsyths store altho much larger still both got plenty Trade to doo
there was an old house used as Hospital over at the back of Mr. Forsyths store
no nurses to attend the Patients then but
a Wards man to attend the three or Four only one medical Doctor was here then a Gentle good and very Skillfull man
his name was Allan Bradley Morgan
and well known all about by every one there was a Chinaman in the Hospital a
bad Case the Dr to the Wards man he Said that he much feared by the next morning that this Patient would be Dead
as the Chinaman must have heard what the
Doctor then did to the Wardsman Tell
for he was absent then next morning
and his bed clothes gone as well
however there was very little trouble taken as he never again Could be Seen
altho as diligent search was made in
every place where he Could have been there were Several Hotels in Town then
for Travellers who wished to Stay
and any amount of Liquors kept there
but a Shilling a drink you must Pay
there was no Bridge to Cross the River by but there was a punt to carry you across working then every day there reguraly
and old Harry Moxhan was the Boss
the Fares was a Sixpence for Every Person and for a horse and Cart or a Bullock Dray when Empty only half price was Charged but loaded five or ten Shillings you must Pay


Bob Morton had a Butchers shop then
but a Bakers shop was unknown
as the people here and round about
had always Baked their own
altho they only used the Camp oven
in every dwelling house and home
you would find it in great mansons
used and every whare you roam'
also there were no Tea kettles used
then Dilly a Tin called a Billy can
which hung all the day on the Fire
to be allways ready for anyone
as it was the good old custom here then that wherever you may chance to be
if passing near a house when Travelling you could alway Get a drink of Tea
there was two Blacksmiths Shops here then but neither Employed any men
as there was only Work Enough to do themselves Generally only now and then Job Blyth he was a Jobing Smith and was a very handy Sort of a man
William Thirtle was a fair Blacksmith
and tried always to please everyone
at that time Bar Iron was very dear as
it cost here Seventy Pounds a Ton therefore any Iron work was costly
when anyone had to get it done
at that time all the horse shoes here
had by the Blacksmith to be made
and all the shoe nails were hand Pointed for a set of shoes then a Pound was paid
and all other work charged in proportion the average about a shilling for each Pound but Sometimes by agreement with the
Blacksmith where you the Iron ground


at that time the principle Work was
in making Bows for Bullock yokes
repairing chains and making the hooks
and sometimes putting' clips on Wheel Spokes there was lots of work from the Bushmen such as wedges to be made and maul Rings also from the Farmers round about to
Get repairs done to many different things the old Swing ploughs of those days wood without wheels were very Strongly made only the plough share.s and Cotters were of Iron and very often had to be Laid Sometimes dray Tyres were to cut or
a dray Axle arms to be Laid
as that was then a very heavy Job
and Generally well for Paid
as all the roads were very bad then everywhere all round about
it was then a very common thing to
see a loaded dray being dug out
as there were no Bridges here then
nor culverts over a Single Creek
altho many complaints were sent to Parliment no Member Seems to Speak
and the Minister for Work never visits
this Part therefore Cannot understand
that this district returns so much money
anually by the Selling of Crown Land
but all the veichels here are very strong
and heavy they are mostly Bullock drays
as they have to do all Sorts of work on
the Bush Tracts in those early days
there were no Buggies nor Carriages here then and only a very few Spring Carts


we got all our Supplies up from Sydney
and that is such a long way from here
it was all brought up by Bullock dray.s
so everything then was very dear
for a Pair of Moleskin Trowsers then
you would have to pay a Pound
and the Same for a pair of Blucher Boots
all other goods in proportion was Found
the Working men wore no fine clothes
in those days only a few wore a Coat
as they mostly wore a Blue Flannel Shirt
or a Jumper or anything they.d got
but there was Seen Exceptions Sometimes
such as a lucky digger with a Silk Sash
and other times occationly you.d meet a
Flash Shearer trying to cut a dash
as after all the shearing time is over
they Generraly come into some Town
to carryon their foolish Jolification
and Get their cheques knocked down
there was a Newspaper printed here weekly every Saturday it was Called the Wagga Wagga Express at that time Edited by Mr. John Bently and Printed by the old Fashoned hand Press
it was well Conducted and fairly patronised
both in the Town and District around
as it was then the only meidum in
this place where any news was found
the price was then a Sixpence each Copy
altho the double Sheet was very Small
it had a very good General circulation
among the Settlers and the Squatters all
there were no News-agents or stationers shops here where papers and Book are sold
so any other papers that Came by post
to us were Generally rather old

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