South Australia

We have received the first annual Report of new colony of South Australia, a Parliamentary paper presented in June last. The site selected for the colony is a part of the south coast of New Holland, extending two or three hundred miles on each side of Spencer’s Gulf, and about 600 miles into the interior. It was anticipated that the best central station would be Port Lincoln at the entrance of Spencer’s Gulf, on the west side, or Nepean Bay, on the north coast of Kangaroo Isle. Port Lincoln is in latitude 35, and east longitude 136, about 700 miles right west from Sydney, the same distance north-west from Van Diemen’s Land, and about 1000 miles eastward of the colony at King George’s Sound. Nepean Bay is about 100 miles east from Port Lincoln. The colony is established under Parliamentary Commissioners, as an experiment, we believe, to try whether it may not be possible to execute an extensive plan of emigration without any charge to the country, by selling lots of land at such a price as would defray the expense of conveying the emigrants from England. The plan adopted is, to send out preferably young married persons under thirty, and to admit no slaves or convicts into the colony. A company has embarked t35,000 in the enterprise. A surveying vessel was sent out in March to examine the coast carefully, that the best site might be chosen at first, and the necessity of removal avoided. Six vessels altogether had sailed down to the 1st May, carrying out 152 male labourers with 37 females, and 26 male and 10 females of a superior class. These numbers include 26 children. The Commissioners attempted at first to get 20s. per acre for the land ; but finding it impossible, they reduced the price to 12s. By selling at this price 437 lots, consisting each of a country section of 134 acres, and a town section of one acre, they had raised the t35,000 required by the act of Parliament as the condition of the grant of land. We give these few details to put our readers in a condition to understand the notices which appear from time to time in the papers respecting the colony. We hope the Commissioners or the adventurers will give the country a distinctive name. The title of “South Australia” is bad any way, and even positively absurd ; since Australia ( quasi Australasia,) originally intended for New Holland, has already begun to be monopolised by Van Diemen’s Land. The district at Spencer’s Gulf, if it is to participated in the general denomination, should be termed “North” rather than “South” Australia. By the way, most of our colonies in that quarter of the world have ridiculous names, as is instantly perceived when we coin a nationa term for the people out of them. What can be worse than a “Van Diemen-lander ;” a “New South-Wales-ian ;” a “Swan River-ite ;” or a “King-George’s Soundian ! !”

Citation: Scotsman (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), 07 December 1836, available at the Scissors and Paste Database,