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Colonel Sorell distinguished his term of office by engaging in various futile efforts for the amelioration of the condition of the aborigines ; but the resources at his command were far from sufficient to enable him to cope effectively with the ditficulty, so that by the time he left office little, if any, progress had been made in this direction.

Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur was appointed to the administration of the colony in succession to Sorell in 1824, and entered upon his duties on the 15th May. From the outset his rule appears to have been extremely unpopular, though, under the conditions of settlement then existing in Van Diemen's Land, it would hardly have been possible for a Governor to have done his duty and achieved popularity. About eighteen months after his arrival in Van Diemen's Land, the colony was proclaimed an independent province, and the Imperial Parliament presented the inhabitants with a Constitution of the colonial type of the period, which provided for an Executive and a Legislative Council, with certain circumscribed functions, mainly advisory. The new system was felt by the Governor as a clog upon his government, and he made no pretensions that it was acceptable to him, nor did he in any way modify his methods of ruling. Governor Arthur had no idea of conciliation. He dismissed a popular Attorney-General who opposed him, and adopted extreme measures towards the Press, the liberty of which he strained every nerve to destroy. These actions intensitied his already sufficient unpopularity. To the best of his marked ability, however, he strove to promote the interests of religion and education in the colony, and while he directed the Government many churches were built, and many schools were established ; the public finances were adjusted to expenditure in a satisfactory manner; and, after providing for the disbursement of some £50,000 per annum, he was able to carry forward a surplus.

Governor Arthur also turned his attention to the Department of Justice, and for the better administration of the law he divided the island into police districts, with a Stipendiary Magistrate for each district; yet his severity in the enforcement of the laws undoubtedly was the means of manufacturing criminals of the deepest dye. Many convicts who had been transported from England on trivial charges had their better natures crushed and were completely brutalised by the harsh treatment meted out to them for the smallest misdemeanours. A year after Governor Arthur's appointment to the administration of the island, no fewer than a hundred armed convicts were at large throughout the country districts. The reign of terror, which had been such a distinguishingly infamous characteristic of the days of Governor Davey, was revived and re-established. When night fell, every house that stood by itself in the bush or in the cultivated areas was strongly barred and barricaded, and the safety of the sleeping family was entrusted to one or two of the household, who watched throughout the hours of darkness with firelocks in readiness. One desperado named Brady, whose Sugarloaf and Look-out have already been mentioned, and whose lawless deeds are still a tradition, at the head of a gang of armed

convicts, was at large throughout the country, ravaging and pillaging in all directions. On one occasion this bushranging captain, with a mounted band of outlaws, swept down on the North Coast and captured the town of Sorell ; seizing the gaol, they locked the soldiers guarding the place in one of the cells, and liberated the whole of the prisoners. Matters now began to grow desperate. Authority in the island was divided between Colonel Arthur and Captain Brady and other bushranging magnates. The struggle was one of law against lawlessness, and constituted power did not always get the better of the conflict. Governor Arthur determined to make a strenuous effort to assert the supremacy of the law. He placed himself at the head of a strong force of military and settlers and hunted down the gangs of outlaws. No fewer than 103 persons suffered capital punishment during the years 1825 and 1826, and organised highway robbery once more ceased to be a reproach to the colony.

The distinguishing feature of Arthur's governorship was, however, the military campaign which he conducted against the aborigines. Governors Collins, Davey, and Sorell had done their utmost to protect the natives against the outrages and illtreatment of the free whites; but all their efforts to put an end to the frightful state of things that prerailed in this relation had proved in vain. On November 1st, 1828, Governor Arthur proclaimed martial law, and offered a reward of £5 for every adult and £2 for every child captured and brought to head-quarters without suffering any injury. Search parties were at once got together and set forth on the quest. Many captures of aborigines were made by these parties; but, unfortunately, not without fatal conflicts. At this juncture came the gigantic fiasco of the whole enterprise. The scheme was Governor Arthur's own, and cost the Imperial Government the sum of £30,000. This master-stroke of tactics was an attempt to imprison the natives in an ever-narrowing circle. To this end Governor Arthur ordered a military cordon to be drawn across, the island of Tasmania from east to west. Quite a large force was. pressed into the work. There were 800 soldiers, the police of the colony, upwards of 700 convict servants, and a number of civilians. It was confidently expected that this force was sufficient to drive the aborigines into Tasman's Peninsula simply by advancing against them. There must have been somewhere a hitch in the proceedings, for after the expenditure of the large sum mentioned, the campaign resulted in the capture of a man and a boy, the remainder of the natives having silently slipped through the lines.

During Arthur's term of office the Van Diemen's Land Company obtained its charter of incorporation from the Imperial Parliament, and received grants of land in various parts of the colony amounting to upwards of 400,000 acres, of which 150,000 were situated at Woolnorth, the extreme north-west corner of the Island ; 10,000 at Robbin's and Trefoil Islands ; 10,000 at Middlesex Plains ; 20,000 at Circular Head (now well known for its potato crops) ; 10,000 at

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Hampshire Hills ; 150,000 at Surrey Hills; and 20,000 at Emu Bay, besides areas in other different districts. For these concessions the Company was to pay an annual quit-rent of £468 16s., with the option of redemption at twenty years' purchase. During Arthur's rule, banks were established in Hobart Town and Launceston. In 1828 the first land-sales in the island took place, but so low were the prices obtained, that 70,000 acres enriched the Treasury by only £20,000. In the month of January, 1831, the system of issuing free grants of land was abolished. In the year 1835 the district of Port Phillip (now the Colony of Victoria) was settled from Van Diemen's Land-practically from Launceston--a movement that reacted most beneficially upon the prosperity of the northern part of the island. At the same time the development of the internal commerce and industry of the little colony was greatly advanced by the construction, through the medium of convict labour, of roads, bridges, wharves, and other public works. Instead of a fortnightly, there was, in 1835, a bi-weekly mail running between Hobart Town and Launceston, the period of transit having been reduced from seven days to nineteen hours. The penal settlement at Macquarie Harbour had also been given up, and the convicts removed to l'asman's Peninsula. There had also been considerable amelioration in the lot of the victims of the Transportation System, through the introduction of more humane methods.

The Government of Van Diemen's Land was administered by Colonel Arthur for over thirteen years ; he assumed office on the 14th May, 1823, and retired on the 31st October, 1836. From the date of his accession to power in the Island until the 3rd December, 1825, he was merely the subordinate officer of the Governor of New South Vales. On the date last mentioned, the Governor-in-Chief, Lieutenant-General Ralph Darling, visited Van Diemen's Land and formally proclaimed its independence. On the 6th of the month Arthur resumed the administration of the colony. An Executive and a Legislative Council were called into existence, the latter being on the same model as that introduced into the other colonies at the earliest stages of their progress. One of the Members of the first Legislature in Van Diemen's Land (1825) was Edward Curr, who formed the settlement at Circular Head for the Agricultural Company to which the Government of George IV had granted the great territorial concessions already alluded to.

From the date of Colonel Arthur's relinquishment of authority, October 30th, 1836, till January 5th, 1837, the colony was administered by Lieutenant-Colonel Snodgrass as Acting Lieutenant-Governor. On the date last mentioned there arrived in the colony the new LieutenantGovernor, Captain Sir John Franklin, R.N., K.H. Sir John Franklin remained in office till the 21st August, 1843, a period of six years and seven months.

Franklin had, happily, one less of the troubles that afflicted bis predecessors. He was worried by no native difficulty. After Governor Arthur's failure to drive the aborigines into Tasman's Peninsula, a

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humble bricklayer in Hobart Town, named George Augustus Robinson, by unaided effort, achieved all that force and authority had been powerless to perform. Animated by a splendid enthusiasm for the ill-used natives, he made a spontaneous offer to the Government to undertake the task of supervising the efforts made for their welfare, if the authorities would guarantee him a bare

support. In

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to this generous proposition he was specially appointed Protector of the black natives of Van Diemen's Land at a salary of £100 per annum He thereupon set out on a series of journeys throughout the Island. Unarmed and unattended, he travelled among his aboriginal charges throughout the length and breadth of the colony, exhibiting a courage almost sublime in circumstances of extreme danger, and winning the love, the confidence, and the esteem of the most belligerent of the people whom he was authorised by the Government to safeguard. After travelling on foot some_4,000 miles over the wildest and roughest parts of Van Diemen's Land, and without shedding a single drop of native or European blood, he brought the timid natives, who had once held the colony in a state of permanent alarm, into a haven of peace and safety. Ultimately he managed to place on Flinders Island upwards of 200 aborigines. The native settlement at Flinders Island was formed in 1835. In 1847, only twelve years afterwards, the number had dwindled down to 44 persons. These survivors were eventually deported to Oyster Cove, on the main Island; but on the 3rd March, 1869, Guillaume Linné, the last male of his race, died at Hobart Town, aged 34 years.

One of Franklin's first official acts was the giving of publicity to the proceedings of the Legislative Council. He also endeavoured to bring about agreeable relations between the various parties in the community by his personal influence, his tact, his geniality, and his hearty and conciliatory manners. In all his efforts to ameliorate the social conditions of the colony he was ably seconded by his zealous and talented wife. Sir John Franklin's term of office expired on the 21st August, 1843, and he returned to England. He was immediately succeeded by Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, whose administration forms one of the most unfortunate phases in the annals of the colony. In 1845 there were some two thousand convicts in the settlement at Norfolk Island, controlled by Superintendent John Price. This man's administration of affairs was particularly cruel and merciless, and instead of checking the degraded instincts of his charges, served to aggravate them to fresh deeds of fiendish depravity. The settlement was a pandemonium, and matters went from bad to worse, till at last rumours reached the ears of the Home Authorities. Governor Eardley. Wilmot thereupon received instructions to break up the penitentiary at Norfolk Island, and transfer the establishment to Port Arthur. Although this was carried into effect, the Governor still permitted Commandant Price to retain his office of superintendent. It was not long before Port Arthur carned for itself a name as sinister as that ever possessed by Norfolk Island, or Macquarie Harbour. The horrors of the “ system,” as practised there, were so awful that many o the convicts gladly welcomed execution as a relief from them. At an inquiry before à Select Committee it was elicited that in some instances prisoners murdered their comrades with no other motive than to earn a respite by death from their hideous surroundings.

For some little time a feeling had been growing in the colony in favour of the abolition of the “system” and the transfer of the Norfolk Island “irreclaimables” to Van Diemen's Land served still further to accentuate it. There were, of course, as in other countries used as penal settlements, great financial difficulties in the way of reform. The expenditure by the Imperial Government on the maintenance of the penitential establishments was something like £300,000 per annum ; but the Secretary of State for the Colonies was resolved upon cutting down this sum, and making the penal stations self-supporting as far as it could possibly be managed. In pursuance of this new policy a stoppage was made in the building of roads, wharfs, and other public works such as had hitherto been carried on at Imperial expense ; and the convict labour thus liberated was applied to the clearing of land and the cultivation of crops. The produce thus raised was consumed by the prisoners themselves, and if a surplus remained over it was sold in the open market, to the financial injury of the farmers, who were not only deprived of their ordinary avenues of trade, but were subjected also to an inevitable and ruinous competition. This course of action on the part of the Imperial Authorities gave a severe blow to the agricultural industry, which necessarily reacted on the tradespeople of the colony. As another consequence, the revenue from the sale of Crown lands fell off almost to nothing, the colony drifted deeper and deeper into debt, and fresh sources of revenue from taxation had consequently to be found.

At that time the Legislative Council was in part composed of nominee Members, and six of them-known to history as the “ Patriotic Six”-resigned their seats rather than acquiesce in the imposition of fresh burdens upon the people under an irresponsible system cf government, and as an emphatic protest against the unconstitutional conduct of the Governor himself in borrowing money from the banks, and spending it without the authorisation of the Legislature. This action on the part of the so-called “ Patriotic Six” took place in the month of October, 1845, and in the following year Sir John EardleyWilmot received a message from the Hon. W. E. Gladstone, recalling him from the Government of Van Diemen's Land. This course explained to the unfortunate gentleman to have been taken, “not on account of any errors committed by the Governor in his official capacity, but because rumours reflecting upon his moral character had reached the Colonial Office." Mr. Gladstone, moreover, augmented the harshness of this utterance by refusing to give Sir John the names of his traducers, and thus to enable him to clear himself of the charges laid

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