Thursday 15 December 1836

[, on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

Thursday, 15th December.

The “Rapid” arrived last night from Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln, but it being late nobody landed till this morning. The “Buffalo” is not yet arrived with the governor, but Captain Light gives a most unfavourable report on Port Lincoln. The harbour when once gained is very fine, but it is extremely difficult of access and the land has a most forbidding aspect consisting of little else than stones and totally unfit for agriculture. They searched unsuccessfully for the Tablet in Memory’s Cove raised by Flinders to the memory of the Boat’s Crew lost there. Holdfast Bay is at length fixed upon for the seat of the Capital and a more advantageous spot it is impossible to select, both from its vicinity to a beautiful harbour and the fineness of the soil, with abundance of fresh water. Captain Light makes a start tomorrow for the settlement, but as he intends stretching over to the Western side of this Gulf he will probably be some days on the way. On the return of the “Africaine” which he has sent to Hobart Town for stock etc., it is Captain Light’s intention to remove us all to the Town where he has offered to renew my Engagement as a shore going Surgeon. My former one on board the “Rapid” being ended on the 31st. inst. of the present month (Dec. 1836). I was delighted to find that Captain Light had letters for me brought by the “Tam O’Shanter”. One from my Mother, another from Harriet and the third from my good friend – Major – the latter enclosing one to Mr. Neale which I have given to Captain Light to deliver to him at Holdfast Bay. My dear Mother and Sister wish me to return, but as I think there is a chance of my bettering myself here, I think it is right to make a trial.

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