Due to essential network maintenance, access to some online services including the viewing of digital images will be temporarily unavailable between 5 pm and 8 pm AEST on Sunday, 22 September 2019. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
State Library of NSW
Collection 10: George Bouchier Worgan - letter written to his brother Richard Worgan, 12 - 18 June 1788. Includes journal fragment kept by George on a voyage to New South Wales with the First Fleet on board HMS Sirius, 20 January 1788 - 11 July 1788
Sirius, Sydney Cove, Port Jackson - June 12M 1788. De/ur Richard.
I think I hear You saying, "Where the D—ce is Sydney Cove Port Jackson"? and see You whirling the Letter about to find out the the Name of the Scribe: Perhaps You have taken up Salmons Gazetteer, if so, pray spare your Labour, and attend to Me for half an Hour
- We sailed from the Cape of Good Hope on the 12th of November 1787- As that was the last civilized Country We should touch at, in our Passage to Botany Bay We provided ourselves with every Article, necessary for the forming a civilized Colony, Live Stock, consisting of Bulls, Cows, Horses Mares, Colts, Sheep, Hogs, Goats Fowls and other living Creatures by Pairs. We likewise, procured a vast Number of Plants, Seeds & other Garden articles, such, as Orange, Lime, Lemon, Quince Apple, Pear Trees, in a Word, every Vegetable Production that the Cape afforded. Thus Equipped, each Ship like another Noah's Ark, away we steered for Botany Bay, and after a tolerably pleasant Voyage of 10 Weeks & 2 Days Governour Phillip, had the Satisfaction to see the whole of his little Fleet safe at Anchor in the said Bay.
As we were sailing in We saw 8 or 10 of the Natives, sitting on the Rocks on the South Shore, and as the Ships bordered pretty near thereto, we could hear them hollow, and observe them talking to one another very earnestly, at the same time pointing towards the Ships; they were of a black reddish sooty Colour, entirely naked, walked very upright, and each of them had long Spears and a short Stick in their hands, soon after the Ships had anchored, the Indians went up into the Wood, lit a Fire, and sat Around about it, as unconcerned (apparently,) as tho' nothing had occurred to them. Two Boats from the Sirius.were now Manned and armed, and the Governor, accompanied by Capt Hunter, and several other Officers, went towards the Shore, where they had seen the Natives, who perceiving the Boats making towards the Beach, came out of the Wood, and walked along, some distance from the Water-side, but immediately on the Boats landing, they scampered up into the Woods again, with great Precipitation.
On this, the Governor, advised, that we should seem quite indifferent about them, and this apparent Indifference had a good Effect, for they very soon appeared in sight of Us, When, the Governor held up some Beads, Red Cloth & other Bawbles and made signs for them to advance, but they still were exceedingly shy & timid, and would not be enticed by our allurements; which the Governor perceiving, He shewed them his Musket, then laid it on the Ground, advancing singly towards them, they now seeing that He had nothing in his Hands like a Weapon one of y oldest of the Natives gave his Spears to a younger, and approached to meet the Governor, but not without discovering manifest tokens of Fear, and distrust, making signs for the things to be laid on the Ground which, the Governor complying with, He advanced, tooke them up, and went back to his Companions; Another, came forth and wanted some of the same kind of Presents, which, were given to Him by the same Method, at length, after various Methods to impress them