12th - 15th February 1836

I had been introduced [to] Mr Frankland, the Surveyor General, & during these days I was much in his Society. — He took me two very pleasant rides & I passed at his house the most agreeable evening since leaving England. There appears to be a good deal of Society here: I heard of a Fancy Ball, at which 113 were present in costumes! I suspect also the Society is much pleasanter than that of Sydney. — They enjoy an advantage in there being no wealthy Convicts. — If I was obliged to emigrate I certainly should prefer this place: the climate & aspect of the country almost alone would determine me. — The Colony moreover is well governed; in this convict population, there certainly is not more, if not less, crimes, than in England.

Syms Covington Journal
Steam ferry-boats cross the river Derwent almost every hour of the day; that is from Hobart Town to Kangaroo Point, which is nearly opposite. Sixpence the fare; we went there during our stay though the ferries, made in the colony, crossed the river frequently.

A lighthouse IS situated on a small island in the river between the entrance and the place for shipping.

Hobart town now has 15,000 free subjects. Colonel G. Arthur superseded, Colonel William Sorell as Governor in May 1824, a post which he retains at this period. Van Diemen's Land, was in the first place, a penal colony for the Sister Colony, or New South Wales, in 1803 -- or a large jail, as it was termed -- until 1817 when Colonel William Sorell was appointed governor by our home government. On his arrival the population amounted to about 2000 souls, and depended on themselves and the Mother Country alone for every article of food and clothing. Under him every thing thrived in the island. At the close of his governorship, which was about seven years, the exports were large and valuable. Under him free emigration was greatly forwarded, under which policy he found the colony quickly thrived -- as before nearly all the population were convicts.

No comments: