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Frauenfeld Diary | Incident at Sikyana | Sydney Chronology | Appendicies
| Lissa 1866 | Ferdinand Maximillian

Journal of Dr Karl Scherzer, 1858

{Transcribed by Mrs Dymphna Clark, January-February 1995}

Dr. Karl Scherzer (German lithograph circa 1857)

Introduction

The following transcript of the manuscript diary / journal of Dr Karl Scherzer aboard the Novara begins with the entry for Friday, 5 November 1858, at Sydney, Australia. The previous journal entry was dated 19 October. This later entry of 5 November covers the interim period, with Scherzer including reference to the tremendous storms encountered by the Novara on 26-7 October, prior to reaching Sydney. As a result of these, and rough seas as far as Port Jackson, the Novara incurred damage to its hull and rigging which required urgent repairs, which were carried out in part in the FitzRoy Dock, Sydney Harbour. Within this transcript of Dr Scherzer's manuscript, numbers in brackets thus [....] refer to original Journal pages. The original Journal is located in the collection of the Mitchel Library, State Library of New South Wales - for a detailed description see below the transcription.


[42] Friday 5 November [1858]

For weeks we had had unfavourable weather - dead calm or contrary winds. Yesterday there appeared to be some improvement at last, so that we made a steady 8 - 10 knots.

In the night of 26 to 27 October we again had to contend with a violent gale. The ship's hull creaked and groaned and crashed as though it were about to shiver into 1000 fragments. The whistle and roar of the wind, the raging and howling of the wind, the mighty crash of the waves against the hull, the noise and clatter of the pump working to pump the water out of the leak in the frigate's hull were terrifying. But in the end there was calm after even this storm, which almost forced us to run into Moreton Bay. We passed Brampton shoal by night and were in considerable trepidation as, according to the charts, we were directly over the shoal.

We badly need to reach a safe harbour soon, for every day the repairs to the leak in the ship become more urgent. We are shipping .... gallons of water per day.

At about 12 o'clock we came within sight of Port Jackson and if only the wind holds for a few more hours we should make port by evening. I sent for Davis in order to obtain from him some more information about the inhabitants of the Steward's Islands, among whom he lived for 5 months, and took down the following notes:

The natives are supposed to have come from the South Island (130 miles west of Steward's Island) from where, by means of the services of these natives, the whalers [43] made their catches. When they were no longer needed they were marooned along with their women and children. A few sailors, who were also occasionally left behind on the island (either because of their poor health or due to a dispute with the captain or because they were no longer required etc.), have contributed to produce a strange mixture. The custom of leaving natives of the South Sea Islands behind on any old island, as soon as they are no longer needed, is said to be very common among American and British whalers. They learned to play cards (Odd fourth) and draughts from an Englishman who stayed on the island for 5 months to catch trepang.

They don't want any missionaries because they [the missionaries] say all their Kai-Kai (food) belongs to them. (Who can fail to be reminded of the Acabados "gallinas''?) When their king dies, they elect the oldest of their number as his successor. For their funeral rites they paint their faces red (with the seed of Bisan Orellan). At their feasts they sing monotonous tunes in chorus and blow through shells as an accompaniment.

Their staple food is Tarro, peas, coconut palm, Dawa (pandanus fruit), occasionally pork. Pigs and fowls are kept mainly for trading with the whalers. They make their nets of treebark. The girdle which they wear round their loins is also made of treebark and is called schit in the native language. They have a few textile cloths, which they got from whalers.

At about 5 o'clock we anchored in the magnificent harbour of Port Jackson, which is not so much one harbour as a number of small harbours, in 10 fathoms of water near Garden Island. I went ashore immediately to collect our mail, but the Post Office was already shut and the counters closed off so I came aboard with only a few letters for the Commodore, for me and for Dr Hochstetter, which had been addressed by Herr Haidinger [44] to the Governor, Sir William Denison. They are most satisfactory in many respects, and in particular the warm interest and consideration consistently shown by Haidinger towards the Novara expedition and its members is most gratifying.

Saturday, 6th November

Today once again we found only a few letters, and not of recent date (end of May). Together with the Commodore and the Commandant I called on the Governor, who received us cordially and promised all manner of support. Due to the death of two children, whom he lost quite recently, his family is in deep mourning and for this reason he is unable to throw open his house to celebrate the joy and jubilation at the arrival of the first German warship to reach Australia! The Governor's brother and private secretary, Mr Alfred Denison, has a very fine aviary - a collection of living birds including the rarest species of Australia, New Zealand and the South Sea Islands.

I took up quarters in St Kilda's House, Wooloomooloo, at £5 per week for board and lodging, including drawing-room.

Sunday 7 November

Spent the whole day with Herr Kirchner, Consul for Hamburg and Prussia (and Austrian Consul in `Spe' [Prospective]) who has a very pretty property at Darling Point (Wooloomooloo). The whole property, barely 5 acres in area and with a single-storey house accommodating only one family, cost £8000 (or 80,000 Gulden). For his by no means spacious warehouse and counting-house in town (Wynyard St) Herr Kirchner pays £1600 rent annually! In Vienna you would pay 4-5000 Gulden for the same area.

Herr Kirchner drove with me, first from St Kilda House to the newly-built University, which however is not quite completed. The buildings, plus the maintenance of the professors, are said to be uncommonly expensive. The professors are extraordinarily well paid and have only a few students. The cost to the Government of each student (all expenses included) is said to run to about £400.

[45] The Observatory (under the direction of Mr Scott) is also a very insignificant institution, both as a building and in terms of its operations. On the other hand a visit to the Botanical Garden (Director: Mr Moore, assistants: Kidd and Wilson) is of great and varied interest. They promised to give us all the seeds we required and also herbarium specimens.

Before we returned to Herr Kirchner's residence, we visited some of the most popular beauty spots such as Lover's Walk, Kissing Point, and Lady [Mrs] Macquarie's Chair etc. - a pretty walk with wide views over the harbour. Kirchner told me that he owned a great number of properties on the Clarence River about .... miles from Sydney, on which he had settled German colonists, mostly from Baden and the Rhineland. Several of these, who were quite poor when they came out in 1848-9, are now prosperous farmers, wine growers etc., including a Herr Frauenfelder who left Germany with 11 unmarried daughters of his own and over and above this, prompted by circumstances, married a widow who bore him a twelfth daughter. He is now a wine-grower worth at least £20,000.

In the Clarence River district Herr Kirchner has established a stearin candle factory which is very profitable, if only because on all the goldfields the gold diggers use candlelight. In the year 1856 £600,000 worth of stearin candles were used, in 1857 £400,000 worth.

In the evening, at Herr Kirchner's home, I met a Viennese lady called Amalie Mauthner, the well-known pianist, who, for the past 5 years, has been married to a local merchant called Rawack (born in Silesia). In 1853 Rawack came to Vienna with letters of credit made out to Weissenstein and [46] all the world congratulated the charming, highly educated, but impecunious Fraulein Mauthner when they heard that she was going to marry a rich merchant from the goldmining district of Australia. The young couple departed and by the Overland Mail they quickly reached the land of their hopes and dreams. But now the scene changed. The first to come on board to greet Madame Rawack was her husband's partner, who also brought the news that the firm was bankrupt. Since then Madame Rawack lives a very retired life, maintaining herself and her husband by teaching (piano lessons). She is said to earn between £800 and £1000 a year by this means. However this is hardly more than enough to cover their living expenses and put a little by for emergencies. Herr Rawack is now a broker but only earns a bit occasionally as he is not trusted.

Madame Rawack wants to return to Europe and Vienna as soon as circumstances allow. Although she is an excellent concert-pianist and also charming, attractive - in short, brilliant in appearance - she is not able to make large sums by giving concerts etc. The expenses are apparently inordinately high.

As already mentioned, Herr Kirchner lives in a not very spacious but very charming country vllla. He has a fairly numerous family. His wife (whose appearance does not in the least betray the fact that she has already borne 7 children) is very agreeable and speaks fairly good German, as she has lived in Frankfurt am Main for several years. She is the daughter of a Member of Parliament, Mr Scott, the owner of Ash Island, and her two sisters are very well informed on natural history, especially entomology. At the moment they are working on a major treatise on Coleoptera and Lepidoptera with Mr Walker Scott.

[47] Monday 8 November

Paid several official calls: on Mr Stewart Donaldson, Mr Robertson, Mr Cowper, etc. I live in St Kilda House, Wooloomooloo, a fashionable suburb, where I pay 5 guineas weekly for 1 bedroom and 1 drawing-room on the first floor of a boarding-house, plus board. Bedroom and board alone cost £3 a week.

Tuesday 9 November

Called on Dr R. [George] Bennett, a highly respected physician and naturalist, or rather a patron of the natural sciences. He is one of the trustees of the Museum and, by reason of his acquaintance with the most celebrated scientists in England, he is very influential. In my own name and in the name of Herr Zelebor, I wrote today to the Museum here to ask whether they would agree to let us have duplicates of natural objects on an exchange basis.

Paid a visit to the Australian Museum, which is run by Trustees. Secretary: Mr George French Angas, an excellent artist and conchologist. The Museum was founded only a few years ago and appeared to be still very deficient, but is nevertheless a gratifying testimony to the scientific initiatives and aspirations of this young colony.

Wednesday 10 November.

Called on Mr William Macleay, the famous naturalist, at Elizabeth Bay. He has one of the finest properties in the vicinity of Sydney and is also an excellent entomologist and botanist. In his splendid and extensive garden are to be found the most interesting plants of Australia as well as the most valuable specimens from other parts of the world. Mr Macleay has a particularly rich selection of forest [deciduous] trees and conifers. There are also a few camphor trees in his garden. The conifers include

Araucaria Bidwellia

Bunya-Bunya

Cunninghami

Excelsa

[48] Macleay's misanthropic cast of mind is evidenced by the notices with which this elderly bachelor, living his life in quiet solitude, greets passers-by at the entrance to his property. Two great signboards, one on the right and one on the left, proclaim in large letters: BEWARE OF BLOODHOUNDS and ANY PERSON TRESPASSING WILL BE PROSECUTED.

As I was later told and was able to ascertain for myself, Mr Macleay does not own any bloodhounds, but had these notices put up simply to deter intruders, for, in view of the high degree of personal safety enjoyed in most parts of the colony, measures such as these are far from fair or justifiable. This is a remarkable fact which provides the best proof that man becomes a criminal only through social conditions and is inclined by nature rather to conduct his life along law-abiding lines and earn his livelihood in this fashion.

Sydney was founded on criminals. When it ceased to be a Penal Settlement there were 20,000 felons in the colony. And yet one sleeps quite soundly, with doors and windows wide open (if it is not too cold) and never hears of robberies because everybody is able to find a livelihood and, by dint of hard work combined with favourable circumstances, even to become rich quite quickly. Crime and vice however are for the most part only the consequence of want, poverty, and need.

The principal vice of the Australian colonies is the passion for drink of a large part of the population. In addition to the alcoholic beverages produced in the country itself, (wine, beer, brandy, liqueur) approximately [49] one million pounds sterling's worth are imported annually into New South Wales alone. This is a higher rate of consumption of alcoholic beverages than in any other part of the world!

In Prussia the annual consumption of spirits is equal to a vessel 1 Prussian mile in length, 33 feet wide and 10 feet deep. In England the annual consumption of wine is 0.267 gallons per head, in France 19 gallons per head. The British people pay £54,000,000 annually in taxes and £74,000,000 for alcoholic beverages. (Rascher, .... p.414).

Saturday 13 November

Called on M. Sentis the French Consul.

Monday 15 November

Called on Sir Daniel Cooper, in Rose Bay, who was knighted when he was elected Speaker of the Lower House (Legislative Assembly). Sir Daniel is the richest man in Australia. He is estimated to be worth a million pounds sterling, inherited from his uncle. However he makes very noble use of his wealth in that he devotes a large part of his income to good works. For the duration of the Crimean War he contributed £1000 annually towards defraying cost of the war. At the present time he is building a magnificent residence in Rose Bay (Woollarah) with grand [49] terraces and landscaped gardens. In the language of the Aborigines Woolarah means 'deliberation site' (council ground), as in former times this spot was chosen because of its commanding situation, for deciding on issues of war or peace and to summon the various tribes by fire [signals] or by blowing a horn.

Sir Daniel Cooper lives in most elegant, almost princely style, but one is immediately aware of being in the house of a parvenu. Great efforts are made to imitate certain social conventions, but they miscue all the time and their lowly origins are obvious everywhere. This is particularly the case with the female members of the household, Lady Cooper etc. One is most dreadfully bored in spite of all the delicacies that are served and the treasures that are shown to visitors, and I let out a long yawn when we at long last drove away from Rose Bay.

Near the country estate of the richest man in Australia, a poor Aborigine [Ricketty Dick] was huddled by the road, wrapped in a wretched woollen blanket, the last of his tribe, [50] the one-time lord of the soil, a cripple who stretched out his hand to us for alms. Quite close to the road he has a lowly shelter made of bark where he lives and spends the night. He is dressed entirely in European fashion, in a black top hat, threadbare old clothes etc. His complexion is brown-black, his hair curly - but not woolly, and there are a few scars on his face and chest. He speaks only his native language and may be about 40 years old. I have since heard that Sir Daniel provides him with all the necessaries and looks after him well, so if he has not long since exchanged his poor shelter for a better home in a hospital or a poorhouse, this is simply due to the fact that he feels more comfortable and at home here, because he has spent the greater part of his sad existence on this bit of soil.

[50] Tuesday 16 November 1858

At 7 o'clock this morning the Commodore and I went in the gondola to Cockatoo Island, to see the frigate in dock. She lay there majestically in the dry dock and displayed her colossal size for the first time. She is the biggest ship ever to enter this dock. On Cockatoo Island there are prisons for criminals who have been sentenced to 10 years or more. There we found an Austrian, Herr von Masqierdi, who was sentenced to 10 years for horse-stealing; also a German doctor, Dr Beer, for allegedly poisoning a woman with belladonna (5 gr.). Our doctors plan to submit a memorandum to the Governor in which they will seek to establish that this dose is much too small to make it possible to assume a fatal result.

Excursion by train to Campbelltown, 33 English miles by rail from Sydney. On the way I learned that a schooner which left Manila on 15 July did not arrive here until 3 November, and the ship Azyan, which left Manila on 12 August, not until 15 November. In the light of these passages we did not make such a bad trip.

The numerous bottles floating about in Port Jackson are said to be from missionaries who fill the bottles with religious tracts etc. and then throw them into the water.

We covered the 33 miles in exactly 2 hours by train. First class costs 10 shillings and second class 7s./6d. We had to pay 30 shillings [freight] for a carriage and 2 horses.

Sir William Macarthur was already waiting for us in Campbelltown with his carriage and drove us to Cambden Park, his residence. [51] Sir William is one of the foremost wine-growers in the country and is reputed to have the best wine. The railway line from Sydney to Campbelltown runs through fairly flat country. It was not till we got past Campbelltown that the country became hilly and the 'Blue Mountains' appeared in the distance.

The route from Campbelltown to Cambden Park is very lovely. We once more had the opportunity, as on previous occasions, to observe the inaccuracy of the assertion that the forests of Australia have no understorey, and likewise in the case of scattered tree cover, that there is no understorey. The trunks were bare, without leaves etc. The forests are in fact less dense in some places, and particularly where Nature has already taken a hand they have a park-like appearance. But in general there is not much difference and in many places they are just as dense as in any part of Europe.

W. Macarthur lives on a charming country estate with his brother Mr Macarthur, who is married and has a very pretty little daughter. After lunch the Commodore and Herr Zelebor tried to shoot some birds, while Herr Selleny and I went for a walk in the surrounding country. Herr Macarthur has imported a number of Germans from the Rhineland and Baden to tend his vineyards. Each one has a cottage, a piece of land to cultivate and in addition to rations (meat, milk, bread and butter) they receive £25 a year in wages. Many, when they have saved a bit of money, settle in the neighbourhood as free settlers (tenants).

When the good Germans heard that strangers, - Germans, no less! - had arrived, a dozen or so soon gathered and greeted us. They said that they had already read about our impending arrival and the voyage of the Novara in the German newspaper that comes out in Sydney, and were obviously happy to see some fellow countrymen again, fresh arrivals from their mother country who would [52] be returning there. They all seemed to be pretty pleased with their lot, but wistful memories overcame most of them when our talk touched on their homeland. Most of the Germans already speak broken German, although they did not want to admit it. One German woman who had been here for 10 years, to whom I said: "I daresay you have already forgotten your German", replied: "Oh no! Wir keep it immer in exercise!......" Their last words as, visibly moved, they took leave of us, were a greeting to their distant fatherland.

The shortage of manual workers and the uncertainty of getting the actual work performed are so great that the wages paid, even for the lowliest of services, are truly astonishing. For example, one of the vine-growers who had formerly been a shepherd in Whitebay [Wide Bay?] told me that in this capacity he received £50 a year and food rations (meat and bread). A dairy maid who milks a couple of cows every day receives £10 a year plus board and lodging. In W. Macarthur's vineyard a labourer receives only £25, but then he has a free house and board plus a piece of land to cultivate for himself and the use of a cow. Australia is incontestably a country where a hard-working person simply must do well for himself.

I spent the evening in W. Macarthur's library, where I found the following works about Australia, previously unknown to me:

1. Sir Thomas Mitchell, Three Expeditions into the interior of Eastern Australia. 2 vols, London, 1838, with a sketch of the interior of Australia.

2. Tropical Australia. London, 1848. By the same Author. 1 map.

3. Travels in North West and Western Australia. By Sir George Grey, 2 vols.

4. Overland Expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington. London, 1850.

5. Sturt's Expeditions in Australia. London, 1850.

6. The Colonies of Australia Illustrated. London, 1850.

7. South Australia Illustrated. By George French Angas, 1847, London, Maclean, 26 Haymarket.

[53] Wednesday 17 November

In the morning, with Sir William Macarthur, I visited the nearby vineyards and cellars. It is only over the past 20 years, since 1838, that serious attention has been paid to viticulture and that it has become more widespread. However the total production does not exceed 50,000 gallons (15 gallons = 1/2Ohm = 1 Austrian Eimer [bucket]). I tasted several white vine varieties of the 1853 - 55 - 57 vintages, then red varieties, and one variety of muscatel, very similar to the vin muscat from the South of France near Cette. The white wine is the best, comparable with wine from the Cape in strength, colour and flavour, and very promising for the future when it is more widely cultivated. Macarthur also produces 87% alcohol by means of distilling equipment from Egrot fils in Paris which is said to work very efficiently. A number of grape varieties are subject to disease (fungus). Occasionally the vines are also infested with a worm which attacks the grapes and causes a lot of damage. Children who are employed to eradicate this pest are paid 1 - 2 shillings a day by the owner!

The grape harvest usually begins in March and continues until August. In South Australia it has proved most successful to keep wine at heat. Even half-spoiled wine has become completely clear and pure after some months by this method.

Sir William complained bitterly about the great difficulty of keeping workers, just at the time when they are most urgently needed. They suddenly stop work and run off. I saw a number of buildings and other jobs that had been commenced and then abandoned and now stand there half-finished because the labourers don't feel like keeping on with the work but prefer to go to the 'diggings'. "There is no greater tyrant in this country than the labourer" said Sir William as he contemplated the abandoned allotments.

[54] Macarthur does business with the following in London: Mr James Veitch Jun. & Sons, Exotic Nursery, King's Road Chelsea, where I can always obtain certain plants and seeds from Australia.

At about 10 o'clock we drove back from Cambden Park to Campbelltown, where I mounted a horse while my other companions, the Commodore, Selleny and Zelebor got into the hired carriage to travel on to Appin and Woolongong. A separate vehicle was hired for Kraus, and this also carried our baggage. The carriage with 2 horses was paid £2 per day plus meals in addition to the railway freight from Sydney to Campbelltown: 30 shillings. Altogether we paid £19. 5 sh. for 5 days - Odd-fellows price - funeral in the Bush!

At 1 o'clock we continued on to Appin (12 miles). I rode alongside the very light and graceful travelling coach - or rather hunting chaise - which Sir Daniel Cooper had lent us. We came to Appin at about 5 o'clock. Right at the approach to the village was an inn, and having no local knowledge whatsoever, we chose the first place we came to as our night's lodgings. It was an extremely dirty Irish inn. An old woman had taken over the guesthouse because she was in debt and was now running it with six or more daughters. However they did everything they could to meet our wishes so as to run the bill up as high as possible, and in fact it came to £3 for dinner, bed and breakfasts!

Thursday 18 November

Towards evening the Commodore shot a number of pretty birds, including the so-called Satin Bird and the Laughing Jackass. At about 8 o'clock we drove off from Appin and through charming forest scenery: dense, tall and green, the varieties of Eucalyptus giving the vegetation its principal character. One of the most beautiful parts is Sir Thomas Mitchell's or Broughton's Pass, very laboriously cut through the mountains and rocks, a most romantic rocky landscape with sandstone rocks, conifers and species of Eucalyptus. A bit of wild alpine scenery!

[55] After crossing some difficult sandy stretches, you reach a plateau which, from one particular spot (known only to the Aborigines, whereas a stranger will ride past it unawares) affords a grand panorama over Lake Illawara, Keira Hill (Flinders Hill), and the sea. Sir William Macarthur, who had brought us to a halt, drew our attention to this magnificent view and invited us to follow him on foot to a spot (through foot-high grass) which affords the best distant view.

Before reaching this plateau you come to Bargo Station, where travellers coming from Appin change their horses and spend a few hours overnight. It is a lonely farmstead in the middle of the forest, a couple of wooden huts clad with bark, but not lacking a certain degree of comfort inside. We arrived at about 10 o'clock, merely took some coffee and hurried on. The Commodore had gone on ahead to shoot birds in the forest. Soon we came upon a large herd of bullocks, driven and kept together with uncommon skill by three horsemen. Whenever one or other of these brown beasts strayed or got too far ahead, one of the horsemen quickly rushed after it through thick and thin in the scrub with admirable agility and brought it back to the big mob. You could see that the horsemen were gentlemen, were mounted on excellent horses, and were themselves probably the owners of the herd. But in the Bush one has to be prepared to take on work and occupations which, in our civilised world, are relegated to the lowest classes.

As soon as you approach the coast, umbrella palms, tree-like ferns and an entirely tropical, luxuriant vegetation appears. The last few hours of the journey to Woolongong led us through scenes of truly paradisiac beauty. We reached Woolongong about 3 o'clock.

[56] In Johnston's Brighton Hotel we met up with Mr Hill, who had taken rooms for us and arranged for our comfortable accommodation. As soon as we had rested somewhat, we went with Mr Hill to an Encampment of Aborigines outside the town, where 4 men, 1 woman and 2 children (mixed bloods) had camped in the middle of forest under scanty huts of bark. They were big, well-built fellows, their skin black-brown (chocolate brown), with unusually wide nostrils and curly hair. The woman had stiff straight hair, hair all over her body and arms, and a cut (scar) horizontally on her breast and arms. There are only about 150-200 Aborigines left in the whole province. Mr Hill could remember that 10 years ago in Wooloomooloo alone several hundred Aborigines had gathered to dance and make merry. We arranged for them to allow us to sketch them the next day.

Some of the men were invited to throw the boomerang, but this could not be arranged so quickly as we had thought, as this formidable weapon had first to be carved out of stone-hard wood. The boomerang they made was not however made with special skill and therefore was entirely inadequate in conveying to us a proper impression of the terrible power of this weapon. It nevertheless flew through the air with the speed of an arrow and returned to a spot very close to that from which it had been thrown. Selleny made a few sketches and then we arranged to go on a kangaroo hunt the next day with the Aborigines and their dogs, and for them to come to the hotel on the morning after to have their portraits done. The names of the Aborigines whose portraits were done, from Wollongong (Illawara District), the last of their tribe, are:

Barungalung, a man of about 35 years

Thullinbah, an old man, 60 years

Woorangah, wife of Barungalung, together with their child Mewingah.

[57] There was also a very old woman present, but she was so thickly wrapped in old rags and woollen blankets that nothing but her face was visible and even this was half covered, so that she differed but little from our ..... in the ..... And also a blind old man with grey hair. They all had incisions on their chests and backs.

As a sign and decoration to mark puberty and marriageability, they knock out the middle tooth in the upper jaw of the young men. This tooth was missing in all the men I saw. The women do not observe this custom.

They are called: the black natives, Blacks, or indigenous Aborigines, but never natives, a name which the natives of white parentage claim for themselves exclusively. The word Creole is taboo and has the same meaning as Mestizo, whereas it in fact derives from the Spanish word Criollo and stands for local native. For all inanimate things the word Colonial is used, indeed preferred.

Friday 19 November

Excursion to Balgownie-farm for a Kangaroo hunt. We drove about 5-6 miles and then walked up into the forest. The Bulli Range was to our north, then followed Bellambi, Mount Keira, Mount Kemla and finally Dapto, with Lake Illawara east of Dapto and the Jamberoo Range.

We were posted in the forest at a certain distance apart and then the blacks were instructed to drive the kangaroos towards us with their dogs. [58] However we stood there for over an hour to catch sight of just one small kangaroo or Wallabie. The dogs used for the hunt were trained ordinary dogs of a European breed. The so-called wild dog of Australia, the Dingo or rather Warrigul, is not a special species but simply a feral European breed. The natives use the word Dingo for dogs in general, whereas they call the breed alleged to be peculiar to Australia Warrigul.

Although the hunt at the first site proved unsuccessful, my time there gave me an opportunity to observe a number of features of the Australian forest, observations which later occasions always reinforced, particularly in reference to its feathered inhabitants. The forests are just as dense, just as grand and impressive as in Europe in regard to the mass and height of the tree trunks, only that the leaves of the various species do not display the same brilliant light green as the deciduous woods of Germany, but look more like the olive green of Southern Europe. The birds sing just as beautifully and as loud and various as at home, only that they often produce quite unique sounds and tones, as for example the Bell Bird (Myzantha garulla L.), who gives a deceptively close imitation of the sound of a bell, and the Coachman's Whip (Psophodes crebitans) who gives an astonishing imitation of the crack of a whip etc. However in a number of places in the interior the forests are said to have a more park-like appearances with the trees widely separated and with no understorey, but is this not also the case in Europe and in America? In Honduras on the way from Jequcigalpa to Comayagu and Santa Rosa in the Llanos I sometimes rode for days through coniferous forests with an absolutely park-like appearance.

Sir William Macarthur once drew my attention to another peculiarity of Australia, namely: all the rivers of the country have their source not far from the sea and flow inland.

[59] We selected a second, then a third and a fourth site and soon found a good hunting-ground. We actually saw only 10 wallabies and shot 2, but a great number of birds. The hunting-ground on Mount Keira was particularly charming in its loveliness: glorious vegetation, luxuriant, beautiful, full of variety, pleasant air, shady little woods, where we took up position at one end while the blacks began to drive the game at the other end so that we actually only had to listen for the moment when the Wallabie hopped past on its hind legs. Wallabies are considerably smaller than kangaroos but uncommonly agile and quick and it takes a great deal of practice and shooting skill to shoot one dead as it hurries past. The Aborigines who accompanied us were less skilled as hunters than I had expected - they often missed or failed to hit the right spot.

As we roamed through the forest we came upon occasional farms, lonely huts clad with treebark. They looked very poor on the outside but inside they contained many comforts missing in many a dwelling in a European town. Everywhere we were received in the most friendly fashion. All the members of the family busied themselves immediately, bringing us milk, butter, eggs, bread etc. There were a few books in every hut and a few little pictures and woodcuts had been cut out of illustrated journals and stuck on the walls. There was no shortage of pretty china, expensive glassware, cutlery etc. As is customary in Australia, instead of bread we were often served Damper, made simply of flour and water and baked on hot coals. First the flour is kneaded very vigorously for a long time and then it is left to bake for an hour in hot ash. [60] It tastes very good.

We did not come home from the hunt till about 6 o'clock. At 7 o'clock we had dinner in the hotel, to which we had invited Mr Hill and also Sir William Macarthur and his nephew. Zelebor came back from the hunt indisposed again. He had to go to bed immediately and had an acute attack of fever.

The Woolongong harbour is very small, there is scarcely room for 4-5 ships. The steamer which calls at several coastal settlements usually docks about 6 o'clock in the evening on its run from Sydney and at 11 o'clock in the morning on its return voyage. There are 3 or 4 ships, which maintain a very profitable service.

In Woolongong we also met an Austrian from Graz called Tosi. He has a tailoring business and is not doing particularly well.

20 November, Saturday

Today we made another excursion, to the nearby coalmines on Mount Keira, and endeavoured to hunt in the vicinity. At about 11 o'clock we were back in the hotel as we wanted to return to Sydney by the 2 o'clock steamer.

The coal-mines produce a very heavy yield. From the mine, which runs horizontally into the mountain, the coal is brought in small trucks in a kind of chute to the broad highway and from there in carts to the town of Woolongong. The coal-mine yields 200 wagons a day.

Herr Selleny completed a few more portraits of the Aborigines, who are disappearing more and more by day from the settled parts of the colony, and will die out entirely. I regretted not being able to take measurements, but hope to be able to do this in Sydney itself. We waited anxiously for the steamer, the more so as we had accepted an invitation by Mr Donaldson for 7 o'clock tonight. He had invited a large number of people to his home in honour of the Commodore. [61] Unfortunately a contrary wind was blowing and with every hour our hopes of arriving in Sydney in time faded more and more. I had in fact written to Mr Donaldson two days earlier and bemoaned our peculiar situation, insofar as we could not be certain of getting back to Sydney at the appointed hour without giving up the most interesting part of our trip, namely the Kangaroo hunt, but I still hoped to get there by at least 8 or 9 o'clock. And now even this hope had disappeared!

When the steamer had failed to arrive by 3 o'clock on account of the contrary wind, we decided to make the return journey in the carriage, while Zelebor, Mr Hill and Kraus were to return by steamer.

At about 3.30 we left the Brighton Hotel, after I had collected hair from the heads of a few more blacks. Our hotel bill came to £14 sterling for 5 persons for 21/2 days!

At first all went well - we climbed the first part of the mountain with ease, making quite a good pace. But there were many more steep parts to come and finally the exhausted horses refused to go any further. The Commodore had already gone a long way ahead to hunt in the woods. Selleny and I had followed the carriage on foot and urged the horses and the driver on. Finally, when further progress was quite impossible, we pushed and pulled the carriage ourselves, laid stones under the wheels to stop the carriage from rolling backwards, harnessed the horses (Billi and Sam) who refused to pull any further, and finally unharnessed them altogether while we, as a last resort, attempted to pull the carriage up the steep slope ourselves. To no avail. The three of us combined were not strong enough to move the fairly heavy carriage about 100 paces uphill and so we had to think of some other way of [62] extricating ourselves from our most unenviable situation - deep in the forest, with night approaching, many miles from human habitation.

We agreed to send the driver with the horses and the carriage back to Woolongong to fetch an extra team of horses and in the meantime, until he returned, to continue on foot, in the expectation of reaching the overnight inn at Bargo by walking at a good pace for a few hours. It was 6.30 and the sun was close to setting. Its last rays shone and flashed through the tops of the tallest trees of the forest as the carriage hastened back towards the lovely settlement by the sea which we had just left, while we turned our steps inland and uphill in the very opposite direction laden with mountainous luggage and travelling rugs in case we had to bivouac in the forest. In half an hour we overtook the Commodore, who was not a little astonished to hear of our adventures. So we made our way as a threesome - not "over the Rhine" [as the folksong says] but over the mountains and the plateau on the way to Bargo, on one of the most magnificent and lovely nights one can imagine, warm and moonlit.

From time to time, about once an hour, we halted for 10 minutes rest and indulged in a number of reflections. We could not fail to be struck with how serenely you can roam through the colony, even unarmed, without the slightest anxiety, although the basic elements of society here were a bunch of hardened criminals. The freedom and salubrity of living conditions here have turned them into honest folk.

We walked 18 English miles at a fairly smart pace until at last, at half an hour after midnight, when we had half despaired of reaching the inn and were planning to spend the night in the forest, we came to Bargo, which first announced its presence to us by its great fence. The terrible barking of the big dog was the not particularly friendly greeting which met the strangers approaching at this unwonted hour. At last the door of the forest hut was opened and an old man in a night-shirt stepped out and asked who we were and what we wanted? Soon he recognised us and remembered that we had called in on him on our outward journey, and so we were soon given the friendliest and most helpful reception. They brewed coffee and tea, boiled eggs, served us fresh butter and bread and quickly transformed the homely little saloon into a fairly comfortable bedroom. It was 2 o'clock when, dog-tired, we lay down to rest.

[63] By 7 o'clock we were on our feet again. The first question was whether our carriage had arrived, to which we received the surprising answer Yes! That was not what we expected, after the events of the preceding evening. The carriage had returned to Woolongong, the driver had borrowed a strong horse from his brother, spelled the horses for a couple of hours and then set off again for Bargo. He arrived there at 3 o'clock. We set off for Appin and Campbelltown about 9 o'clock.

We were surprised by the large selection of good books in the English language which we came upon in this sylvan hut. They had formerly belonged to a schoolmaster who gradually exchanged them for another form of spirit, for spirituous liquors. The innkeeper gave him credit and thus in the strangest manner he acquired a great number of books which now, on holidays from work or in the evenings after the day's work was done, pass from hand to hand and tell these remote settlers in the solitude of the primeval forest many an interesting and instructive tale of strange lands and peoples.

At one o'clock we arrived in Campbelltown, just in time to take a simple meal. In the same hotel a Freemason's Lodge had just been opened and had combined with the Oddfellows. They expected this new Lodge to liven up the town. The first visible results that we could see were massive cases of intoxication! In general the consumption of spirits is truly alarming. There is almost one public bar for every three inhabitants, every third house is a public house. [64] The value of the total consumption of spirituous liquors per capita of population is reckoned to amount to £6 per head!! (according to Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania by N.P.)

[64] At 4.40 pm we left Campbelltowm by train and arrived in Sydney at 6.30 p.m. (Note: Telegram from Campbelltown to Sydney: 34 shillings for 10 words, 2 sh. & 2p. for each additional word).

Kirchner had reserved rooms for the Commodore and myself in the Club (Australian Club) and so we had no option but to drive there. The clubhouse is extremely elegant and comfortable: reading-room, parlour, smoking-room, bathroom; service much better than in any hotel or boarding-house in Sydney - but on the other hand the bedrooms are uncommonly small, cramped and inadequate. The charge for a room is 3 sh., breakfast 3 sh., Luncheon 3 sh., Dinner 3 sh. 6d. Wine is extra. Tea 6d. - 1 sh. All other items are charged at cost price. So you can live much more cheaply in the Club than in any other hotel and more comfortably except for the bedrooms which leave a great deal to be desired.

In the Club we met Herr Andreas Bonar, who is related to the Commodore. He has lived in Australia for years and intends to return to Europe next year. Later on in the evening we called on Mrs. Rawack who invited us to tomorrow evening's Philharmonic Concert in the Exchange, in which she is taking part.

Monday 22 November

Paid calls. Zelebor arrived very ill in the Royal Hotel and is confined to bed. The steamer had to contend with strong contrary winds and did not reach port in Sydney until 3 o'clock in the morning.

Called on Dr. Bennett and Mr George French Angas, a skilled draughtsman and painter formerly of the Cape of Good Hope, where he published the following works:

1. Kafirs, illustrated in a series of drawings by G. F. Angas, London 1849, T. Hogarth, 5 Haymarket.

2. The New Zealanders, illustrated by G. F. Angas, London, 1847, Ths. McLean, 26 Haymarket.

[65] 3. South Australia, illustrated by G. F. Angas, London, 1847. Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket.

The concert in the Exchange was a brilliant success. Madame Rawack played enchantingly. A bevy of charming women attended.

Mail arrived. Many letters. Die "Lisl hat an Bub'n!" ["Lizzie's got a boy!"]. Great jubilation!

Tuesday 23 November

Fancy dress ball given by the citizens of Sydney to the Right Worshipful Mayor & Lady Mayoress (Return Ball) to reciprocate the ball recently given by the Mayor (reputedly at a cost of £800). The Commodore and all the officers had been invited to attend, and so I went there at about 9 o'clock. The ball took place in the Prince of Wales Theatre. The company was very mixed, there was pushing and shoving. Very few respectable families. Hill was also there. By chance I was introduced to a certain Dr. Berncastle, a local doctor, who looks and behaves like an adventurer. He claimed to have earned the gratitude of the Expedition because he had shown Dr Hochstetter the shortest route to Bathurst! This gentleman made a terrible fool of himself later on which served him right for his arrogance.

Wednesday 24 November

Consultation at the Museum concerning ethnographic items which I am to receive for the Imperial Museum in Vienna and the Maxim[illian] Museum. Likewise a discussion with Sir W. Denison, who owns a very fine conchological collection, concerning an exchange with Zelebor's collection.

Terribly hot, sultry day, almost more unbearable than Shanghai. In the evening the long-awaited Serenade by the German Club and the members of the German choral society was to take place. Unfortunately, just as the Serenade was due to commence in the evening, [66] a violent Brickfielder came up, one of those dreaded cold southerlies, and although the sky remained clear the weather was unfriendly due to the sudden change of temperature and the wind made it impossible to effect the illuminations planned for the steamer Washington. Nevertheless the whole programme was carried out as planned. The steamer, crowded with people, left the Circular Wharf about 8.30 and moved gradually towards the frigate. After circling the frigate to the accompaniment of national anthems, the steamer took up position abaft the frigate (in the lee) and a deputation of 7 members came on board to present to the Commodore an address in the German language. Herr Gelbrecht read the address aloud to the Commodore, whereupon the latter expressed his thanks in very warm and cordial terms. The address was very beautifully written on parchment and elegantly bound. Some German songs were then sung on the steamer and proceedings closed with the playing of the Austrian national anthem. The illuminations on board the Washington failed almost entirely to achieve their intended effect. All round the deck, glass globes had been fixed with transparent sheets inside inscribed with the word "Willkommen!" [Welcome]. Bengal lights sent up from the frigate poured many a flood of light over the harbour. The Kirchner family and Frau. Radwick watched the festivities on board with us.

Thursday 25 November

My time was completely taken up with correcting the proofs of the English MS account of our system of measurement which I am having printed by Degotardi (for £4 per sheet) and yet the compositor still emended the whole thing so carelessly that a whole number of errors distorting the meaning have been left in, so that I am almost inclined to have the whole thing reprinted in the Government printery. Sir William Denison has already offered to have it printed free of charge.

[67] Today the Parliament (Legislative Council) was prorogued by the Governor General. The ceremony took place in the meeting chamber of the Legislative Council, with open doors. The Assembly was simply represented by a deputation, as is also the case in England with the Lower House on similar occasions. On the dot of 12 o'clock the Usher of the Black Rod announced "H.E. the G.G. of New South Wales!" and Sir William, with great dignity, entered the chamber and took his seat under a kind of canopy. At his side sat his Private Secretary and the Ministers. In front of him sat the President of the Council and several other high dignitaries. Hereupon appeared the Speaker, Sir Daniel Cooper, in his strange costume - a gold-embroidered coat and a huge wig. He read the address, to which the Governor replied. Parliament was prorogued till the 7th of December.

At 6 o'clock in the evening a dinner was given in the German Club by a number of Germans in honour of the presence of an Imperial Austrian warship. The great dining-room was very elegant and decorated in keeping with the occasion. Perhaps about 40 persons took their seats. The customary toasts concluded proceedings: - the Queen! - The Emperor of Austria! - the members of the Austrian Imperial family! To which the Commodore responded with a toast to Prince Albert. Then: - to the Commodore and the officers of the Novara - responded to by the Commodore with a very pretty toast - to the Germans in Australia, responded to - German Science! - to which I replied with a toast to the unity, might and greatness of our common Fatherland - (So weit die deutsche Zunge klingt, ein Gott im Himmel Lieder singt!) - in which I endeavoured to stress that in recent years no German state had, by fusing material and national economic interests, [68] contributed so much to German unity as the new regenerated Austria!

Dr. Hochstetter spoke a few very moving words in memory of Leichhardt, whereupon all those present rose in silence from their seats. This was followed by toasts to Alexander von Humboldt, Sir William Denison, etc. The festivities closed at 11 p.m.

Friday 26 November

Made calls, worked. In the evening visited Mr Plunkett, a highly respected old family, strict Catholics. Mrs Plunkett is unusual in appearance - pale features, a tall and stately figure, flaxen, quite white, prematurely bleached hair, soulful blue eyes, very talkative, educated in France and fond of playing to the gallery with her knowledge of French. Madame Rawack was also present and played some pieces on the piano.

Saturday 27 November

At 11 a.m., with the frigate fully dressed in a gala array of flags, a solemn church service was held on board to celebrate the birth of an Imperial Prince and heir to the throne. At 8 a.m., at midday, and at sunset a salute of 21 guns was fired. The changing of the guard was attended by Herr Kirchner and his wife and sisters-in-law, Mr Scott and Frau Rawack and 2 friends, as well as Herr Degotardi. The Commandant was highly displeased that Drs. Hochstetter and Frauenfeld did not also attend. After High Mass breakfast was served in the gunroom, to which the guests were invited. In the evening visited Dr Bennett.

Sunday 28 November

Rainy weather. Worked at home the whole day and wrote letters. Mr Stephens, the headmaster of the Grammar School, was kind enough to read through the English translation of our Memoir meticulously and critically and still found numerous mistakes and errors, despite the fact that Dr Bennett and Dr Browne had looked through it. I now plan to have the same, including the emendations, [69] reprinted in the government printery, especially as some particularly important sentences are quite incomprehensible. Evening visit to Dr Bennett.

Monday 29 November

Rain all day. The ball was cancelled and postponed till tomorrow, Tuesday.

Tuesday 30 November

Paid calls and worked. In the evening the ball was held on the frigate. About 350 ladies and gentlemen, the elite of Sydney Society, had been invited. A special steamer plied to the frigate every half hour from 8 o'clock onwards and brought the guests from Circular Quay to the improvised ballroom and back again (charge: £18 for the whole night). The frigate had been transformed into a dance hall with outstanding good taste: the whole deck was roofed with awning and magnificently decorated with flags. The masts were transformed into columns. On the walls were displayed the flags of the countries subject to the Austrian crown. The capstan was transformed into a gigantic bouquet of flowers and the helm into a magnificent fountain decorated with flowers. The bayonets had been very cleverly grouped together to form candelabras, likewise a number of ordinary ship's lamps, creating an extraordinary effect. The cannons on the deck had been pushed on to the poop and the wall lined with benches. On the quarterdeck a grand supper had been set on a richly decorated table, for the midnight hour. For the time being that was all hidden from view by a curtain of flags and not accessible. But behind it a number of candelabra were already alight and casting their light over the upper section of the improvised ballroom. The music was also located aft, both the ship's band [70] and the hired band, the so-called 'German Band', which however is made up mainly of musicians from Bohemia (10 players who received £10 for the whole evening, i.e. £1 each).

At about 8.30 the steamer came alongside for the first time and about 150 people arrived with this first 'run'. When the ladies and gentlemen stepped from the elegantly draped gangway on to the frigate, they were received by a number of officers and Herr Kirchner and shown, by way of a broad improvised stairway, to the between-decks or the gun deck where the cloakrooms, toilets, cardroom and smoking-room had been fitted up. Then the guests were led up by the ordinary stairway and the gun deck to the main deck where the Commodore received them and conversed with them briefly, after which they mingled with the rest of the company or joined the dancers. Madame Kirchner, the wife of the Austrian Consul, did the honours as hostess. The whole thing made a powerful, indeed unforgettable impression on the guests and even on us. Seldom have I seen so many genuinely merry and contested people together in such a small space: people who had in fact been brought together more or less by chance. In the gun-room two buffets had seen set up, one for tea, coffee, other hot drinks, lemon squash etc., and the other for wine, liqueurs etc. Everything had been provided for.

Unfortunately it began to rain at about nine o'clock, which not only meant that a number of guests got rather wet on the way to the ship, but also caused some of those who did not wish to wait until the fully laden steamer could bring them across on its next run, to turn for home. Among these were Sir Daniel Cooper and his lady and others. The Governor and his family as well as several ministers were prevented by family bereavement from taking part in the festivities. However the greater part of the elite of Sydney society - the Treasurer, the Minister for Education, the Solicitor-General as well as foreign Consuls, etc., were present. The ball lasted till broad daylight. I left the frigate at about 2 o'clock. The Commodore did not come home till about 6.30. [71] The next day there was talk of nothing but the ball on the Austrian frigate and by the early hours the reporter of the Sydney Herald - the only widely-read paper in the town (Fairfax publisher) - had a long article about the brilliance and magnificence which had reigned the night before on the frigate.

Wednesday 1 st December

Left the Club with E.S. Hill at about 9 o'clock in the morning and went through Newtown and across the Cooks River causeway (about l000' long and 200' wide) to 'Coggerah Bay' where we arrived in a light carriage about 11 o'clock. Here we found near the shore a small Encampment of blacks and female mixed-bloods (two women with two children half-caste and Jonny, the last of the Sydney tribe, approximately 30-40 years old, hunchbacked due to a fall as a boy). In the year 1836 there were still 53 blacks of the Sydney tribe alive, now there is not a single one except for Jonny.

We set out in a small, but safe, well-built boat belonging to Jonny, rowed by Jonny and 2 white men, to cross over to Cook River Bay. It was our intention to find the skeleton of a blackfellow called Tom Ugly (native name Tow-weiry), a chief of the Sydney tribe, who lived near the outlet of the Cook River and was buried where he lived and died, under an overhanging sandstone rock. Jonny told us that Tom Ugly, an outstanding specimen of an Aborigine, died about 10 - 12 years ago, but that only 9 - 10 months ago he had seen his bones sticking out of the sand in the spot to which he led us, which apparently prevented him from continuing his search for shellfish. Actually, the whole of the foot-track along which Jonny had led us to this particular spot was covered with masses of empty oyster shells [72] which obviously indicated that fairly large Encampments must at one time have existed there.

Today the predominant vegetation was once again: Eucalypti, Casuarineae, Acacia, Banksiae & Xanthoreae which gave the neighbourhood a quite distinct character. In some places we came upon the Araucaria Cunninghami & Excelsa introduced from Norfolk Island.

Everything pointed to the fact that the spot had at one time been inhabited by blacks. In many spots traces of fires were still to be seen. We dug and dug but without success. A few small human bones and a lower jaw in a state of decay such that they partly crumbled between the fingers like earth, was all that we could find after repeatedly searching for hours. We returned to the boat and to Coggerah Bay where Mr Hill went to the famous Bushman's Black Pot (which plays something the same role here as the sooty, dirty 'Haferl' of the Viennese 'coffee sister') to fetch chocolate and milk, which tasted delicious with the bread and other snacks we had brought with us. With his natural generosity Hill shared everything he had brought with him with the Aborigines, who for their part were extremely forthcoming with him.

We had not yet given up our search for graves. Jonny promised to bring us to a place near the road where our route passed, where about 9-10 years ago an Aborigine had died for want of the barest necessities and was buried by an Irish settler. We drove to this spot. Jonny came along too with his shovel and digging stick. It had started to rain hard and even the umbrella we put up failed to protect us from a drenching. At last we came to the mysterious spot: Munnin-milli. Jonny searched for a moment, then he said: It must be here, where Micky or Sarannu lies buried. He immediately took the shovel and began to dig. But it was only at the second site we dug up that we were able to be quite sure that this was really the grave we were looking for. At a certain depth sand appeared and then once more silica, just the opposite of what was at the other site. After a bit more gravel-silica, traces of human bones appeared. Jonny now stopped digging and maintained it [73] was now up to us to finish the job.

Aborigines are as a rule simply buried in the woollen blanket which they wore when alive, with their head in the direction of the sea. It did not take us long to find the skull, which was already considerably decomposed. However we stuck it in a sack and took it with us. But there was no point in digging any further for the skeleton, which must have been in an even worse condition for our purposes. Jonny swung the shovel on to his shoulder, thanked us again for our gift of money he had received and returned to his Camp in Coggerah Bay. We climbed into the carriage and let our excellent horse trot home as fast as he could. In spite of our disappointment with regard to the Aboriginal skeleton we had so urgently hoped for, we were well satisfied with our excursion which had revealed to us so many interesting scenes and phenomena.

At 6 o'clock we were back in town. At about 8 o'clock I called on Dr Alfred Roberts, Castlereagh Street North, and spent several most agreeable hours in his company and that of his wife. I have to thank him for several interesting ethnographic items from the Fiji Islands.

Thursday 2 December

During our stay in Sydney a large shipment of Llamas (alpacas and vicunas) arrived in Australia from Peru, with the intention of improving the local sheep and raising the quality of the sheep's wool bred here by their importation. The experiment was a private speculation. Each Llama costs £40. Now Sydney and Melbourne are outbidding each other for them because each of these provinces wants to acquire them exclusively for itself.

I am once again obliged to Mr Hill for the many pleasures of this day. About midday we rode together to Long Bay, where there was a Camp of Aborigines whom we wished to persuade to come to town next day to be measured. They had come from various districts - from Shoalhaven, Illawara and Port Stephens, from tribes bearing these names; 2 men and 3 women, including a mixed blood, Sarah, with two mixed blood children. One of these children, still on the breast, was completely white with red cheeks and light blue-eyes. It could hardly be distinguished from a child of white parents. They promised to come tomorrow from their camp about 7 - 8 miles from town to a certain spot just [74] outside the municipal area, where Dr Schwarz and I propose to carry out measurements on some of these individuals. We then rode on to the La Peyrouse Monument in Botany Bay, a splendid ride through charming forested country. The monument stands on a completely open, airy site in the so-called Frenchmen's Gardens, because the soldiers who were landed there with La Peyrouse are supposed to have grown vegetables there. The monument consists of a sandstone column resting on a pedestal, about 30 feet high and crowned by an iron globe. It is surrounded by a wall 3 - 5 feet high, with an area of 35 square feet. On the south side facing the sea the following inscription is cut into the stone:

"A la mémoire de Mr. de la Peyrouse. Cette terre qu'il a visité en 1778 est la dernière d'ou il a fait parvenir de ses nouvelles. Erigé au nom de la France par les soins de Mr de Bougainville et Ducampier, commandant la frégate Thétis et la corvette Espérance, en relâche au Port Jackson en 1825."

On the northern face the English translation of this inscription is engraved. On the eastern face:

Foundation laid - 1825

Completed - 1828

On the western face the same inscription is in French.

Quite close to this monument stands the so-called Botany Tower, a kind of watch-tower, with a Watchman in constant attendance at Government expense. The little octagonal house stands all on its own and affords an uncommonly charming and commanding view over Botany Bay. To the north-west you can see the flagstaff of Bank's well-known establishment, with its small zoological garden. On the opposite shore of Mud Bay (ESE) is the point where Captain Cook first landed. [75] A brass plate has been set into a nearby sandstone cliff to commemorate this noteworthy event. Close by to the west is the piece of land known by the name of Kundthal (a corruption of Colonel). The island below the Botany Tower is called Bear Island. The vegetation was predominantly characterised by Xanthoreum, Epacris, and Blue gum trees.

At about 3.30 we were still at the La Peyrouse Monument and at 5.30 I was already back in the Australian Club, in order to dress for dinner in Government House at 7 o'clock. That same morning, together with the Commodore and Mr Hamilton, I had visited the fine but not yet quite completed buildings of the Sydney University. The Vice-Provost, the Hon. F.L. Merewether, had come especially to call for us in the Club. This building cost the Government £50,000 sterling. In addition the Government has approved a grant of £5,000 sterling per annum for the upkeep of the University. It is a grand and magnificent building. Up to the present there are only 35 - 38 students enrolled. They say that due to the enormous salaries of the teaching staff and other costs every student has hitherto cost the State £400 per annum! The completion of the building will presumably cost another £40 - 50,000. For the institutions, privileges, charters, etc., see the Prospectuses and Calendars of the University 1852-58 for which I am obliged to the kindness of Mr Woolley.

At 7 o'clock in the evening, dinner at Government House as guests of Sir William Denison, to which the Commodore, Commandant and I were invited, which gave rise to some resentment among the natural scientists, who believed they had been slighted. Mr Kirchner, in his capacity as Austrian Consul in Spe [prospective] also attended. The most senior officials, Ministers, Queen's Counsels, members of Parliament etc., were present. The dinner lasted until 10 o'clock.

[76] Monday 3 December

Still no prospect of sailing within the next few days. Went with Dr Schwarz, Selleny and Mr Hill on another excursion in the woods outside the town in order to carry out measurements on several Aborigines. Measured 1 woman and 2 men. Selleny made sketches. The old man had his septum pierced and was able to stick a kangaroo bone through it. The younger people have not kept up this custom. Spent the evening at Dr Bennett's house.

Saturday 4 December

Paid farewell calls. Made some purchases. Wrote letters for the mail to Europe.

Sunday 5 December

Worked at home all day. Wrote letters. Spent the evening at Kirchner's.

Sunday 6 December

In the morning went with Dr Bennett and Mr Moore to the frigate. Later paid farewell calls on the Governor and Mr Alfred Denison. About 2 o'clock luncheon in Rose Bay, at Sir Daniel Cooper's home. In the evening a ball at Kirchner's. Went aboard.

Tuesday 7 December

Sailed at 8 o'clock in the morning with a favourable breeze. Sydney has left me with the best possible impressions. Nothing could be more instructive than a stay, however brief, in a town where the core of the population consists of transported convicts, in short of criminals of every kind. You can see that human nature is not intrinsically bad and inclined towards evil, but that it is chiefly the unnatural social conditions in Europe which give rise to most crimes. When transferred to other circumstances and conditions, these same people become solid, useful and honest members of society, and here they have, within the brief span of time since the establishment of political institutions (which have achieved miracles), laid the foundations of progress and prosperity the like of which is hardly to be met with in the history of any other country, with the possible exception of North America. [72] At the same time such a degree of personal safety and security of property obtains everywhere in the former thieves colony that no-one locks his door at night and in hotels there are absolutely no precautions against leaving valuables or cash, etc., lying about. In short, one feels safer in Sydney than in any town in Europe and there is nothing anywhere to remind one that it is a society made up of the descendants of transported felons.

Wednesday 8 December

Yesterday and today very rough seas........ [End of Extract]


{The following listing and summary of the content of the Karl Scherzer diaries was written by the late J.E. Fletcher and published in his book on John Degotardi.}

The Novara Diaries of Karl von Scherzer: 30 April 1857 - 26 August 1859

Karl von Scherzer (1821-1903) was an Austrian economist, ethnologist, and later consular official. The manuscript account of his time aboard the Novara between 1857-9 is to be found in three diaries in the Mitchell Library collection, Sydney. They were acquired from local book dealers and publishers Angus and Robertson on 17 July 1939 (according to a pencilled note in the gutter of page l, Diary I). Scherzer's much printed version - more complete, more formal, more documented, less frank - of the Novara's voyage is his three volume Reise der Österreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde in den Jahren 1857, 1858 und 1859 , Imperial and Royal State and Court Printery, Vienna 1861-2; I (1861) xii 368, 37; II (1861) viii, 454, 20; III (1862) viii, 436; appendices. An English translation, also in three volumes, but without the numerous illustrations and some tables and appendicies, appeared from 1861-3 in London (Saunders, Otley & Co.), whilst later editions in German and Italian were also published.

The contents of Scherzer's three diaries are briefly described below, taken from John E. Fletcher's German Manuscripts (1538-1864) in the Libraries of Sydney: A Descriptive Catalogue , (Book Collectors' Society of Australia, Sydney, 1988, 73-6). Pages not described in this listing are presumed blank. Microfilmed copies of the diaries are at Mitchell Library CY789.

* Diary, Volume I - On board the Austrian frigate Novara, 30 April - 7 December 1857.

Mitchell Library, Sydney, A2633, 28.5 x 22.5 cm, 290pp. All three diaries are boards, full cloth, with the inside front cover bearing the stationer's label of 'C. Rollinger, Vienna'. For Volume I, the diary proper begins on page 81. The prefatory material contains:

3-6 Introduction, with description of the Novara.

9-14 Description of scientific observations to be made.

17-18 On Alexander von Humboldt's recommendations of physical and geological features to be noted.

21-2 Measurements to be made on human skulls and the skeleture of animals, birds and fishes.

25-7 On J. Zelebor's responsibility to preserve living mammals (listed) and birds (listed).

29-30 On various ways of catching fish and trapping animals and birds.

31-2 Distances sailed.

33-42 "A list of those doctors and scientists who were sent the English translation of our proposed procedures in measuring [human skulls] to determine racial differences" in: Rio de Janeiro, Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon, Madras, Singapore, Batavia, Manila, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Auckland, Tahiti, Valparaiso, Santiago, Lima, Panama, St. Thomas Island, North America, Central America, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Cuba, London, Germany and Switzerland.

43 Lists of comparative weights and measures.

45 Books to be acquired.

53 "Maxims collected during a circumnavigation of the earth."

59-64 Thoughts on previous circumnavigators and their various fates. The commercial and scientific advantages to be drawn from a circumnavigation of the world.

67-71 A listing (31 points) of scientific and commercial observations and notes to be made.

73-4 On those on board the Novara who are responsible for such observations: how these are to be made and recorded.

75-8 "General questions" (30 itemised points).

79 "Local questions". Has only "Rio de Janeiro and Brazil in general".

80 Psalm 107, verses 23 and 24 (in English).

81-290 'Diary kept from the day of departure on board His Majesty's frigate Novara during her circumnavigation of the earth." The diary runs from 30 April 1857 (Trieste) to 7 December 1857 (on leaving Amsterdam Island, in the South Indian Ocean). Not every day is noted. Places visited are Gibraltar (20-30 May), Madeira (8-17 June), Rio de Janeiro (5-31 August), Cape of Good Hope (2-26 October) and the Islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam (19 November - 6 December).

Scherzer describes the routine of ship life, and the regular scientific observations carried out. For their successive and apparently invariably successful shore visits he lists in some detail, with an occasional frankness not designed for publication, the people he encounters, the institutions and private homes he enters, the social events organised for and by the Novara the various expeditions into the hinterland. He glosses too the comments and activities of both the Commodore, B. von Wüllerstorf-Urbair, and the captain, F. von Pöck. He writes with more objectivity of the doings of his fellow scientists on board: the zoologists G. Frauenfeld and J. Zelebor, the botanists E. Schwarz and A. Jellinek, the geologist F. Hochstetter and the artist J. Selleny. Statistical tables are frequently copied out. These and other items, usually referring to trade and trading figures, are taken from various local newspapers, gazettes, almanacs.

The diary digresses at:

85-6 List of stores carried.

86-7 Names of officers, heads of divisions, number of seamen.

87 Members of scientific commission on board named and designated.

87-92 List of scientific instruments on board, their suppliers and those on board now responsible for their use and safety.

* Diary, Volume II - On board the Austrian frigate Novara, 8 December 1857 - 16 September 1858.

Mitchell Library, Sydney, A2634, 28.5 x 22.5 cm, ii, 272pp. Contents as follows:

i Chinese characters.

ii [Skull] "Measurements taken on Java, 10-25 May 1858".

1-272 Diary, kept from 8 December 1857 (on leaving Amsterdam Island in the South Indian Ocean) to 16 September 1858 (at sea, between Shanghai and the island of Puynipet (Ponape]). Not every day is noted. Places visited are Ceylon (8-16 January 1858), Madras (31 January - 10 February), Nicobar Islands (23 February - 26 March), Singapore (15-21 April), Java (5-29 May), Manila (15-25 June), Hong Kong (5-18 July) and Shanghai (25 July - 11 August).

272 "Plan to be followed in measuring (human bodies and skulls)".

* Diary, Volume III - On board the Austrian frigate Novara, 17 September 1858 - 26 August 1859.

Mitchell Library, Sydney, A2635, 28.5 x 22.5 cm, 290pp. Contents as follows:

1-272 Diary kept from 17 September 1858 (on approaching the island of Puynipet [Ponape]) to 26 August 1859 (return to Trieste). Not every day is noted. Places visited are the islands of Puynipet (18 September 1858) and Sikayana [Stewart] (17 October), Sydney (5 November - 7 December), Auckland (22 December - 8 January 1859), Tahiti (11-28 January) and Valparaiso (17 April - 11 May 1859).

Scherzer left the Novara on 11 May 1859 in Valparaiso (168) and travelled overland to the Bay of Panama which he reached on 21 June 1859. He travelled via Coquimbo (17 May), Caldera (18 May), Cobija (20 May), Iquique (20 May), Arica (21 May), Islay (22 May), Chala (23 May), Pisco (24 May) and Callao (186). He was in Lima until 12 June (187-221), from where he visited Cajamarquilla (2 June) and Pachacamac (7 June). He continued his journey to Panama via Huanchaco (14 June), Lambayeque (15 June), Paita (16 June) and Taboga Island (20 June).

In the Bay of Panama he travelled by the steamship Midway (captain Hole) to Cartagena (23 June) to St.Thomas (30 June). On I July he boarded the Magdalena (captain Abbott) bound for Southampton where he arrived on 19 July (246), after a brief stopover in Falmouth on 18 July. From 20-27 July he was in London (249-57), visiting friends and publishers. On 27 July he left Southampton by the steamship Behar for Gibraltar, where he rejoined the Novara and her crew on 1 August 1859 (258). The Novara's own progress from Valparaiso (12 May 1859: 168) to Gibraltar (1 August 1859: 258) remains then unchronicled, both here and in the printed Reise which also follows (III 295-399) Scherzer's landbound itinerary rather than the Novara's rounding of Cape Horn and crossing of the South Atlantic.

264 "To those returning home on the frigate Novara." Five 4-line stanzas by H. Littrow (Trieste, 10 August 1859).

273 Printing costs of Scherzer's Reise (see No. 211).

288 "Welcome to the Novara to Chile". Four 6-line stanzas by A. Ried (Easter Sunday, 1859). [Printed, with music, as Appendix VII at Scherzer's Reise , III (1862).] One 4-line poem (Valparaiso, 17 May 1859).

289 "Distances covered by His Majesty's frigate Novara during the circumnavigation of the world."

290 List of books.

For comment on the variations between Scherzer's manuscript account and the printed version, at least as exemplified by his description of the Novara's visit to Sydney (Diary vol. III, 41-77), see J. Fletcher, 'Karl Scherzer and the visit of the Novara to Sydney in 1858,' Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society , 71 (1985) 189-206.


Index | Ship History | Scherzer Diary | Expedition Narrative | Sydney | Selleny | Bibliography | Novara Expedition
Hochstetter I | Blanche Mitchell Diary | Minnie Mann Diary | Hochstetter II | FitzRoy Dock | Scherzer in Sydney
Frauenfeld Diary | Incident at Sikyana | Sydney Chronology | Appendicies
| Lissa 1866 | Ferdinand Maximillian

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