Collection Item

Collection 18: Letters from the Rev. Richard Johnson to Henry Fricker, 30 May 1787-10 Aug. 1797, with associated items, ca. 1888 1787-1797

By Fricker, Henry

The Rev. Richard Johnson was appointed as the first chaplain to the colony of New South Wales in 1787, an appointment he held until 1800 when he returned with his family and Governor John Hunter on HMS Buffalo. Henry Fricker, Portsmouth, England, was one of a group of Portsmouth and Lymington friends of the Rev. Johnson, and acted as a channel for news once Johnson and his wife Mary had left on the First Fleet convict transport Golden Grove in 1787. Johnson owed his appontment to friends within the London Eclectic Society, notably the Rev. John Newton, the Rev. Henry Foster, William Wilberforce and John and Henry Thornton.

[pro]visions for the settlement. - This supply we hope to receive in about six or seven Months, if it please God no misfortune attends her. - Two Persons are going from hence to England by whom I shall send my Letters. - One of these is the Commissary who will take up more Vessels at the Cape in Case a fleet has not yet touched there. - Such is our state of affairs as a Colony. - As to my family, we are in a thriving way - Mrs. J. has had a second Child. - The first was a Boy, but still Born. - The latter is a Girl, a sweet Babe about five weeks old - Have had baptized already - Had you been here you sd. if you pleased have stood as sponsors. - Have given it the name of Milbah Maria, {Milbah a name amongst the Natives}. - Have a Native Girl under my Care - Have had her now about 11 Months - She was brought in here with three others dreadfully afflicted with the Small Pox. The two men died - Abaroo { the name of the Girl} & a Boy, {Nanbarry} recovered, the latter is with the Surgeon General. - Three more have been brought in by force, one of which died of the above disorder after he had been in the Camp several Months & had become reconciled to the Camp - a second made his escape - & a third O-gul-[..?], or Benelong {for they in general have many names} is still at the Governors & has become very communicative & affable. - Have taken some pains with Abaroo {about 15 Years old} to instruct her in reading, & have no reason to complain of her improvement - she can likewise begin to speak a little English, & is useful in several things about our little Hutt. - 
Have taught her the Lord's Prayer &c - & as she comes better to understand me, endeavour to instruct her respecting a supreme Being &c. - Wish to see these poor heathen brought to the Knowlege of X'tianity, & hope in time to see or hear of the dawnings of that time when these shall be given for our Lord's inheritage, & the uttermost parts of the earth for his Possession.- But little apparent fruit yet amongst the Convicts, &c - Oh that they were wise - but, alass! Nothing seems to alarm or [..?] them. - Trust I have been in some degree faithful, & believe that God's word will not return to him void. - I need not tell you I am in great haste - the scribble & the inaccuracies of the above lines testify it - Have much to do before the Supply sails - On Monday I am appointed to go a fishing, so therefore

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