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23 August - 23 September 1809
On the 23th. [sic] of August at seven o'clock in the morning we sail'd from this most noble Harbour, and pass'd the narrows at 1/2 past eight o'clock A. M., & stood out to Sea with a very fine favorable wind; Captain Curtis intended sailing for the Cape two days after, his ship sails well, the Hindostan being so very remarkable for the reverse, we all thought the Magecienne [sic] would arrive before us; Capt.. Pritchard whose judgement seems always correct in all matters relating to his Profession, thought as we got what he term'd so good an offing; that we might perhaps be there as soon as her, and indeed the wind was delightfully favorable to us for a great many days. ---[A]bout the end of the month we had a great deal of rain, and on the night of the 31st.. our Cabin was quite in a float; owing to a leak in the Deck. George Tiers having gone to bed, a Carpenter Charles Tonkins was sent to caulk it, I observed as he pass'd me what a very pleasant handsome looking man he was; after doing what he could to the leak he said that for want of materials he could not do it completely that night, but that he should finish it in the morning. --- Poor young man he little knew that that morrow, was to be the last he should ever see in this world. The Soldiers suffer'd much inconvenience from some of the ports taking in water, it was blowing pretty hard, and the Ship was going 9 knots, when Charles Tonkins went over the side of the Ship unattended & unobserved by any person, to caulk in those ports; a service which might have been perform'd with perfect safety if the man had been properly attended, one of the officers in the gun room hear'd a cry, & saw the poor young man fall into the sea [---] he was never seen again ---The Ship was brought to, a boat was sent from this ship, & one from the Hindostan but they could not find him. [T]his melancholy accident shock'd us all very much; next day (as is always the custom on board Ship,) there was a sale of his effects & his papers were examined by the Captain; he found a great many letters from a young woman who was engaged to him, which in my opinion contain'd more pure affection, express'd in a more natural & affecting manner than any I ever read; there were also copies of some of his in return, which were also very interesting -- what her sufferings will be when she hears of this event it is dreadful to think on. ---The man who fell overboard sometime ago might really have lost his life owing to a joke, as when Capt.. P. saw the Ship in confusion, & the men busy lowering the boat, he ask'd what the matter was, & if any one had fallen; the Sailors call'd out Sir, Nobody has fallen overboard; that being the name he went by in the Ship, tho' known to Captn.. P. by his proper name of John Smith. ----

It may naturally be supposed that the cause for our being sent on this unexpected service, & the probable state we should find the Colony in, was very frequently the subject of conversation; we had not the smallest expectation of obtaining any information regarding the state of things till our arrival at the Cape, & even then it was very doubtful that we should; but to our surprise we found that Colonel Johnson, [sic] Mr.. Macarthur, Drs.. Jameson [sic] and Harris, had arrived at Rio shortly before us, Coll.. J., & Mr.. M. having also sail'd for England before we got there. [F]rom these Gentlemen we obtain'd a great deal of information, we found that Govr.. Bligh who we supposed to be still under arrest in his own house, had with the permission of those persons in power embark'd on board the Porpoise, under the promise of sailing for England; but no sooner did he find himself out of their power, than he issued a proclamation pronouncing the New South Wales Corps to be in a state of Mutiny, and Rebellion, now under Coll.. Patersons command, and prohibiting all masters of vessels at their peril taking any persons out of the Colony, who had been connected in the Rebellion; all officers belonging to the N.S.W. Corps, & the following names were particularly specified John Macarthur, Nicolas [sic] Baily [sic], Graham [sic] Blaxcell, Richd.. Atkins, Gregory Blaxland, John Townson, Robert Townson, Robt.. Fitz, Thos. Jameson [sic], Thos. Hobby, Alexr.. Riley, Darcy Wentworth, James Mileham, Thos.. More, and Walter Stevenson Davidson -- this proclamation was address'd to Edwd_ Harrison Master of the Ship Admiral Gambier, who had notwithstanding brought Mr.. Macarthur & the other persons mention'd to Rio. ----

On this proclamation being issued by Govr.. Bligh, Coll.. Paterson publised [sic] another; declaring the Govr.. to have acted in direct violation of his promise on the honor of a Gentleman, of proceeding immediately to England, and prohibiting all persons in the Colony from holding any communication with Govr.. Bligh, or any person belonging to him on board of the Porpoise. ----

We had a good deal of conversation with Dr.. Jameson [sic] regarding the extraordinary events which had taken place in New South Wales, and it appear'd to us that even by their own account the conduct of those persons who had acted against the Govr.. was not to be justified, or even excused; we felt sorry that a Man such as Coll.. Johnson [sic] was described to us, should have committed himself as he has done, by an act of the most open and daring Rebellion, by which in as far as it appears to us, he will probably forfeit a life, which has till this unfortunate period, been spent in the service of his King and Country. Colonel Macquarie felt it quite a relief to him, his having quitted the Colony before his arrival, & by that means having spared him the pain of taking measures which the service required, but which no Officer could feel easy at being obliged to have recourse to, particularly on this occasion; Coll. Johnson [sic] being a man of amiable character, & in their early years an intimate companion of his own. ----

With regard to all matters relating to the Country and climate, these Gentlemen gave us the most favorable accounts; and they shew'd us a number of views which were very beautiful; one of them was a drawing of Mr.. Harris's House which is situated in a park about a mile from Sydney, -- the Park is stock'd with Deer, and it look'd altogether to be in much higher style than any thing we expected to find in the new world. I observed the words Ultimo Place the Seat &c. at the bottom of the drawing. I was struck with the oddity of the name, and ask'd what that could mean, on which the Dr.. with an air of utmost importance strutted up to me & said, I can explain that to you Madam, I was once summon'd to attend a Court Martial, the Gentleman in reading the charge happen'd to say this Court being commenced on the 12th.. Ultimo, instead of instant; they were not clasical, [sic] but I Madam being clasical [sic] immediately perceived the mistake; I ridiculed them, and wrote verses on the subject then; & afterwards call'd my house Ultimo Place. ---This Gentleman came to wait on Colonel Macquarie dressed in a new uniform Coat, & seem'd indeed to think himself a very great man, & to wish that other persons should think the same; Mr.. Bent named him Major Sturgeon, in consequence of his resemblance to that character; one day when he had been in our Ship in the morning in his usual grand style, some of the Gentlemen on board were greatly surprised at meeting him a few hours after dress'd like a Jew, in a shabby little Shop making merchandise of some precious stones he had brought for sale from New Holland; it was also discover'd by chance, that Dr.. Jameson [sic] had brought a venture of Shoes and Stockings, and various other articles of traffic, which he disposed of at Rio; it appear'd strange to us that the Surgeon General of a Colony should be concern'd in such matters, tho' highly respectable to those to whose province it belongs. ----

The usual track of Ships going from Rio Janeiro to the Cape of Good Hope is farther to the Southward than that we came, and by not pursuing that far Southwardly course, we made the best passage that has been made by two heavy Ships for sometime, indeed this voyage was a very pleasant one to us, we had very favorable weather during most part of it, & we were consatantly accompanied by a vast number of Birds of different kinds; I think there are several Islands in this Ocean still undiscover'd, for sometimes the Birds were quite in flocks, and at those times quite noisy & lively, as if they had lately left the place of their abode. I sometimes thought that we might possibly run on a Rock in the middle of the night, but if we were near any such danger, it pleased the Almighty to save us from even the knowledge of it. ---On the 8th.. of Septr.. having been several days without being able to take an observation, the Commodore thought himself farther to the Southward than we we really were, and sent us to look out for Tristan de Acuna [sic] when we were twenty leagues to the Northward of it. The weather was extremely thick, and there were we full sail with a strong Breeze, flying in quest of an Island which I presume is but little known; it appear'd to me a foolish and dangerous undertaking, as I conceive that near any Islands or land there must always be some sunk Rocks or shoals, and many such there might be near a place so little known; however if it is so, it was not our fate to find them; from the superior sailing of this Ship to the Hindostan we soon lost sight of her, the Commodore having us mind to part company, fired a Signal of recall; and there ended the only hope we ever had, or probably ever shall have, of seeing this out of the way Island for which at the time I was not sorry, but now that we are out of the danger, I think with some regret of not having seen it. [F]or several days after this we were becalmed, & every person got out of temper, & out of patience with Commodore, thinking that from taking us the course he did, we had got out of the track of the trade wind, so after finding twenty faults with this poor Man, none of which he perhaps deserved, and scolding and complaining to each other, at last a fair wind sprung up, which put us all into good humour again. Captain Pritchard was wonderfully correct in telling us when we should arrive, or more properly speaking, in his calculation regarding our distance. On the 23rd.. of Septr.. at five o'clock in the morning we discover'd land, agreeing to a mile with Captn.. P.[']s reckoning, and at 11 o'clock we came to anchor in Table Bay, being exactly a month from Rio Janeiro. [O]ur first anxiety was to know if the Magicienne had arrived before us, which we fully expected she would have done, but to our surprise she had not, nor were there any tidings of her during our stay at the Cape, tho' we remain'd there for three weeks; there was much apprehension felt for her safety, it will be long before we shall hear what has become of her; it was now quite a comfort to Coll.. Macquarie that Captain Curtis had been averse to taking any of the Soldiers on board, the change of climate and the care that had been taken of them at Rio, had restored them to health; to have sail'd from the Cape leaving part of them behind, even admitting that they were safe, would have been a most unpleasant business. ---At 2 o'clock P.M. Colonel Macquarie went on shore to wait on the Governor, Lord Caledon, Lt.. Govr.. Grey the Comr.. in chief, and Vice Admiral Bertie Comr.. the Naval Force; he promised to return on board in an hour, but did not come till five o'clock, it blew extremely hard, and there were several excessive heavy showers -- my anxiety & impatience were great, but at length happily releived [sic] by his safe return. Table Bay is a most dangerous place for Ships to ride in, very frequently it is impossible for them to have any communication with the shore, and their situation is most dangerous when the wind blows towards the shore, the ground being either loose chingle, [sic] which does not hold, or Rock which injures the Cables very much; while we were there a very violent gale came on, & during the time it lasted the Ships were certainly in danger, one vessel the East India Packet from St Helena drove from her anchors, and came very near the breakers before she brought up. ----

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