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COLONIAL SKETCHES:

OR,

FIVE YEARS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA,

WITH

HINTS TO CAPITALISTS AND EMIGRANTS.

BY

ROBERT HARRISON.

“ Castigat ridendo mores."

London:
HALL, VIRTUE, & Co., 25, PATERNOSTER ROW

Newcastle-on-Tyne :
WILLIAM KAYE, 14, BLACKETT STREET.

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PREFACE.

The present intercourse between Great Britain and Australia is on such an extensive scale, and the question of emigration so interesting to many of our countrymen, that a publication, tending to give true information of the climate, mortality, resources, and prospects of one of the Australian Colonies, must possess some interest to the British public.

The object of the writer of the following sketches is vo-fold :—in the first place, to give a dissection of the manners and customs of our antipodal friends, and also to impart practical information to the various classes of society, without being compiled in the dry manner generally found in books professing to be guides to emigrants; where the interested inquirer often finds every information except what he wants; and also obtains deceptive ideas, respecting the climate, scenery, and magnificent re, sources of the country described.

A residence of five years, from 1856 to 1861, in South Australia, has given the Author every opportunity of testing the effects of the climate ; hearing the revelations of the colonists, and inquiring into the history and resources of the colony. Amongst the number of compilations on the subject of Australia, some have been written by parties to uphold a class interest, and others have been composed on the principle of imagination, by persons whose talents are best developed by describing places they have never seen, and retailing facts they have never investigated.

The writer of the present volume is happy to say he has •no class interests to support, or selfish objects to assert in publishing; and he has expressed his disinterested views on South Australia and all the facts he has brought forward are taken from the highest authorities the colony can produce.

I think it may not be out of place to mention, that I was offered some time before leaving South Australia, strong inducements to write a history of that virtuous territory which should be palatable to certain classes of a small community ; but as I had no high opinion of either the colony or the principles on which it was founded, or its subsequent career, I could not be the partisan, at any price, of a locality which I cou!d not conscientiously recommend as a suitable field of emigration for any class of my fellow-country-men.

I wish to add, that after travelling over many countries I visited South Australia in 1856, and not knowing the nature of the climate at that period, I entered into business obligations for a considerable term, which induced me to remain in the colony much longer than I intended, after experiencing the pleasure of being half suffocated by its salubrious climate; and therefore I have to explain that I do not write in the spirit of a disappointed emigrant, but as one who has calmly inquired into all particulars connected with South Australia, without being the victim of its commercial depression or unfortunate speculations of any kind whatever.

In conclusion, I take this opportunity to remember the following friends, who have exercised towards me urbanity in business and other avocations, and sympathy in social life, and I wish

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