« ПредишнаНапред »
VOL. XVIII.- No. 1.
AUSTRALIA, AND ITS COLONIAL CONFEDERATION. AUSTRALIA is growing into nationhood. Scattered somewhat this powerful English-speaking state, destined provinces scarcely noticed by the busy world a genera- | to wield a powerful influence on the Pacific. tion ago are now gathering close the bonds that unite! The fertile lands in Australia soon attracted the pasthem, and feel that they must soon be a nation with des- toral population in the Old Country, and a steady current tinies and a future of their own. With a territory equal of emigration was directed to its coasts. The verdant to that of the United States, with a population derived plains were speedily converted into grazing-fields, and almost exclusively from one country, inheriting one lan- flocks and herds soon roamed over the aborigines' huntguage, one set of governmental ideas, great commercial, ing ground. The miserable brush huts of the native agricultural and mechanical tendencies, Australia has ele- blacks were replaced by the statelier mansions of the Engments for greatness which make it worth while to study I lish herder and agriculturalist. Thousands of convicts
1. Fon. J. W. Downer. Attorney General, South Australia. 2. Hon. WB Dalley Attornar.Ganaral v
lley, Attorney-General, N. S. Wales. 3. Hon. W. R. Giblin, Premier, Tasmania. 4. Hon. Malcolm Fraser, C. M, G., Colonlal Secretary, Western Australia. 5. Hon. X. J. Brown, Minister for Lands, Tasmania. 6. Hon. G. B. Kerferd, Attorney-General, Victoria. 7. Hon. J. C. Bray, Premier, South Australia. 8. Hop. H. A. Atkinson, Premier, New Zealand. 9. Hon. Graham Berry, Chief Secretary, Victoria. 10. Hon. James Service, Premier, Victoria.
11. His Excellency Sir G.W. Des Voux, Governor, Fiji Islands. 12. Hon Alex. Stuart, Colonial Secretary, N. S. Wales. 23. Hon. 1. F. Garrick. Postmaster-General, Queensland. 14. Hon. S. W. Grifith, Premier, Queensland, 15. Hou, Frederick Whitaker.
New Zealand. 16. Hon. G. R. Dibbs, Colonial Treasurer, N. S. Wales.
were leased out as slaves to the Australian squatters. Labor was cheap and plentiful. Population increased, farms multiplied, vineyards covered the hillsides, villages grew up on the plains, settlements extended on the border, the blacks were crowded back on the frontiers; the white man claimed Australia as his own, and took possession of its virgin soil as the heritage of civilization. The discovery of gold on the western plains stimulated the tide of emigration into Australia, and a rush of colonists flocked to its shores. A city (Sydney) sprang up at Port Jackson, near Botany Bay. The English Crown formed the Colony of New South Wales, and over it appointed a Colonial Government. Sydney was made the colonial capital ard the residence of the Governor. The city is situated on the wooded shores of a beautiful bay. Twenty-eight days' sail from San Francisco landed me at its wharves. The harbor is one of the finest and most picturesque in the world. It is rivaled only by the Port of Rio Janeiro, and the Bay of Naples. Coves and inlets indent the shores, dwellings crown the hill-tops, and shrub-covered yards extend down to the water-side. Embrazured forts and mounted batteries command the ocean entrance. Ships from half the world lie along the piers. The convict-barracks have been removed, and a family of municipalities, containing 70,000 people, erected. The streets are narrow, and many of them crooked as the alleys of a Mexican Pueblo. Pitt and George Streets, the main commercial arteries, stretch their shop-walled pavements for two miles through the city. The architecture is the early English style. The mercantile buildings are large and clumsy, and of heavy masonry. The public edifices are of brown-stone. The Post Office is a shapely granite structure, of convenient design. The new City Hall is of modern edificial beauty. The Public Library is of commendable dimensions and reasonable seating capacity. The City Museum holds a large wealth of fossils. The Opera House and theatres are plain, and of no external pretensions. The Parliament House is stately, but of unattractive outline. The Government House, residence of his Excellency, is a castlelike structure, topped with towers and mounted with an observatory, situated on the bay side, surrounded with groves and turfy grounds. The churches are numerous, and of various style and size. The different denominations have huge sanctuaries, which generally crown the hill-tops, so that a forest of spires rise over the city. The Law Courts are a conspicuous building, tall and turreted, with expansive length of frontage. The hotels are of the English family boarding-house style. Some of them are comfortable, but of ancient structure, and inconvenient design. The railway depots are in advance of all colonial improvements in the tidiness of their arrangements. The cars are of the English box-pattern. A few American ‘oaches run on some of the railways. Cabs and omnibuses monopolize the street traffic. Cariages and buggies are seldom seen on the thoroughfares. The city has magnificent parks and gardens. Hyde Park covers a plaza of forty acres with groves of evergreen. Itows of gas-jets and wooden seats extend along the shaded walks. The park has a commanding elevation, and enjoys the full breeze of the sea, and a fine view over the bay. At all hours may be found crowds of Australians sniffing the cool air from the ocean, and lolling under the branches of the trees. Nursemaids and babies romp on the sward, and lines of cabs front gateways. Groups of
statuary tower amongst the groves, and a fine statue of Captain Cook stands on a sunny hill-slope, midway in the park. The Botanical Gardens contain the greatest profusion of floral beauty found at the antipodes. Sydney is proud of her Botanical Gardens, and surpasses all the Australian cities in the extent of her collections, the variety of her flowers, and the plenitude of her plants. The Gardens front the bay-shore, and extend or ling undulations over the surrounding hill-sides. The grounds are spacious, and green as emerald. The turi is of redundant growth. Norfolk Island pines tower like cedars of Lebanon. Trees from all the climes of the world are here congregated. Wines and shrubs, and blossoms from the various zones of the earth, and from the different mountain chains across its continents, and from the many islands studding its oceans, bloom and breathe and grow around the limpid lakes beneath showery fountains. Birds of gorgeous plumage and many colors carol in the aviaries. Fowls of rare species stalk the cages. Animals from the four corners of the globe saunter in wired pens. Sanded drives lead along the bay, and rustic seats and viney bowers dot the water-side. Lady Macquarie's Chair, from a cluster of rocky boulders, commands a splendid outlook over the sea, and is the favorite resort, From the arbors the loiterer looks out on the spot where Prince Arthur, in 1868, was shot by a Fenian. A music pavilion sits on a hill-slope, and on Saturday evenings pours out its melodies to the ten thousand Sydneyites gathered in the Garden-grounds. The most happy feature of colonial life is seen and enjoyed at the Garden concerts. Shops and offices are closed at Saturday noon. Youth and beauty, age and childhood, are then given up to outdoor recreation. The fine color, the healthy complexions, the shapely forms, bright eyes, and pleasing countenances, show that their pastimes have their reward. The Australians have preserved and expanded the English love of holiday enjoyment and rural sports. Anniversaries and gala-days crowd each other in healthful succession. Business is suspended, and factories and stores are shut up by official proclamation on the more noted anniversaries of the births, etc., of the royal scions, and the population turn out to amuse themselves. Boats loaded with all ages and sexes ply the bay waters. Picnics gather on the harbor coves. The shores of Pearl and Manly Beach—Sydney's Coney Island—and the sands of Botany Bay, are made the scenes of dancing, feasting, beer-drinking, and general jollification. Trains loaded with excursionists from the interior villages and the distant plains bring in the rural population and swell the city's festivities. Hundreds betake themselves to the mountains to “brace up” on the pure air of the ranges, and climb the peaks capping the timbered chains. Every stage line has its steeds in motion ; every pike is a procession of rolling wheels and passing vehicles; and riotous mirth sounds in every nook and valley, by sea and mountain. The average Colonial has more holidays in one year than many Americans get in a lifetime. The Australians have also nurtured the British delight in racing, regattas, and athletic sports. English customs prevaii in Sydney with faithful reflex of the Old Country. The traveler may easily conceive that he is in an English town of 300 years ago. The city presents as complete a picture of British character as could have been found centuries since in the interior of England. No feature is wanting to make the Englishman at home ; no innovations have encroached on its home life; no new departures changed its commercial operations, and few foreign inventions invaded its industrial activities. The people of Sydney are slow and backward. They are loyal to the institutions of the home land, and look with disdain upon the introduction of newfangled implements, and hold in disfavor the intrusion of modern and foreign mechanism upon the age-honored English relics of olden times. The mechanical notions and inventive feats of America are held in special distrust. The goods, wares and people are almost entirely British. But few foreigners are seen. I have stood on the street-corners for an hour without noticing a foreign face to break the monotony of red English beards passing by. The diversity of America's cosmopolitän population is not known. Though the city is slow, it is sure. It tries no experiments, takes no chances, runs no risks, and suffers but few losses. Financial crashes and bankruptcies are seldom heard of, and are chiefly the handiwork of newcomers, with modern ideas about commercial strategy. Sydney merchants are usually honest in their dealings. Business is conducted on a safe basis, and its ebb and flow can be depended on. A great deal of wealth has been accumulated here. It is the richest and most solid mercantile city in the Australias. An extensive and productive colony absorbs its trade, and commerce has been opened with the Fiji, Tonga and Samoan Islands, New Caledonia and the South Sea Archipelagos. Many people have risen from poverty to affluence, and ape those to the manner born. From obscurity men have gained positions df prominence. Conditions and combinations of circumstances have made and unmade fortunes. Some are the creations of accidents, others are the product of their own energies. The equable temperature of Sydney makes outdoor life pleasant nearly all the year. The climate is the most delightful in Australia. Strong seawinds prevail throughout the Summer. Excessive heat is unknown. The Winters are mild, and snow is never seen, only on the mountain ranges. The hot winds are limited to a two or three days' blow. The colony is the largest and wealthiest on the continent. It is called the mother colony. Coal-beds of prodigious deposits underlie the eastern coast. New Castle, a coastal mining town of several thousand people, ships coals to the ports of half the Australias, and supplies the steamers to America and the Old Country. New South Wales is a free-trade colony, and admits English goods free of duty. The colony has made large expenditures in constructing railroads to its frontier settlements, in harbor, fortial and building improvements, but the colonial treasury carries a large surplus fund in its boxes. Delicious fruits and oranges of great size grow on the coast groves. A timbered chain—the Blue Mountains—extends through the colony, fronting the sea, for many miles. The range is cloven into valleys, and from their gorges streams course their way out to the ocean. Vineyards spread along many of the winding torrents, and wine of superior quality is largely manufactured. The Australian wines are preferred to those of California, and often excel the French vintages in pursty and flavor. A great body of this wine annually finds its way to the English markets. The Blue Mountains are scaled by a railway, in a zigzag that is a marvel of engineering skill. (The Colonial Government owns and operates both its telegraph and railroad lines.) Beyond the mountains lie the great plains,
stretching away toward sunset, until lost on the borderline of the interior. Wheat-fields cover its broad acres, and farmhouses and villages dot its level bosom. Grass of prolific growth mantles the plains. Herds of cattle, flocks of sheep by the hundred thousand, graze on the turf-clad prairies. Ranches and herders' cots speck the landscape far out on the frontiers, to the very confines of the Great Desert that covers the Australian interior in a winding shroud of sands, on whose arid desolation no squatter cares to camp, but on whose naked barrens and waterless wilds many thirsty travelers and parched cattle have lain down and died. The firmament's open vaults only brood over the blinking sands. No wing flutters through the airnor life moves on the ground. Eternity's palsied tongue has stricken dead the motion of both earth and sky. On the dreary wastes death's stilling mandate has set the seal of silence. This blistering desert is the breeding-place of the hot winds whose enervating breath scorches up the Australias, and its blazing solitudes are the torrid furnaces that afflict the plains with burning droughts. Dry seasons often prevail on the frontiers, and sheep and cattle die by the million. Many wealthy ranchers are reduced to poverty in a single year. Droughts are the greatest enemy of the squatter, and water is his most valued treasure. Nothwithstanding the dry years, New South Wales ships vast cargoes of wool to the looms of the Old Country; and her supply of beef and hides is enorinous. River barges and stern-wheel steamers, on the Darling and Murray, convey the woolly clips to coast ports. The Australian plains are roved over by thousands of sheep-shearers, and “swag men,” who wander on foot— as tramping vagrants—from year to year, sleeping in haystacks and foraging on the frontier settler for meals. The Bathurst gold-fields drew a miscellaneous collection of rare specimens of humanity to these plains. Since the exhaustion of the mines, the more daring diggers have periodically taken to the highway as bushrangers. Marauding road-agents have frequently plagued the colony with exploits of pillage. Harry Powers headed the most notorious gang of outlaws, and long preyed on the squatters, and carried terror to the border villages. Our American visitors—grasshoppers—sometimes make excursions across the prairies, like cyclones, and divest the fields of every blade of green, cutting a strip of nakedness over the plains, and are as objectionable a class of robbers as the highwaymen. When the colony became embarked on a tide of prosperity, its Parliament made an annual appropriation for the importation of immigration from the Old Country. Agencies were established at the English centres of population, and immigration-ships conveyed, passage free, many thousand colonists to New South Wales. For years the over-crowded Britons of the Old World were diverted into Australia. Population rapidly accumulated ; colonial resources were steadily developed; settlement expanded its boundaries on the frontiers; the cities enlarged their dimensions, and new towns rose on the prairies. Many of the early convicts—sent out for trivial offenses —at the expiration of their penalties engaged in industrial pursuits, acquired great wealth in flocks, herds and lands, and have attained prominent positions in the Colonial Government, and rank as leading citizens of the colony. A large penal element permeates the colonial population, but the great body of colonists are of England's best people. Many of the enterprising and propertied exiles are sensitive on their “early citizenship,” and
all the world were laid under contribution for miners to Australia.
The Colonies of Tasmania and New South Wales emptied their colonists into the new gold land. Shepherds forsook their flocks, herders abandoned their cattle, ranchers left their plows in unfinished furrows, and gathered to the gold-diggings. Mining camps sprang up over many hillsides; streams were whitened with canvas tents ; fires blazed in forest depths; gulches swarmed with diggers ; the rattle of spades and clink of picks were heard in the mountain torrents ; red mounds and naked scars torn on the earth marked the onward march of the prospector's shovel ; trails were cut through the jungles and roads opened through the wilderness ; mining towns appeared
RL BAY, SUMMER RESORT OF THE PEOPLE OF SYDNEY,