Historical Records of Australia

The Historical Records of Australia was an attempt to make the records of the Colonial Office relevant to the Australian colonies available here in Australia.

Series One was published  in 26 volumes in 1914-1925 and consists of the New South Wales Governors’ despatches to and from England. These despatches were incredibly detailed reports on every aspect of the colony, and included correspondence from settlers, returns of shipping, and the opinions of the Governors on many subjects. More recently these volumes have been digitised and published on 2 CDs by Archive Digital Books Australia (Modbury, South Australia, 2009), making them completely searchable.

A search for ‘Fiji’ or ‘Feejee’ gives a number of results. For example, here is an estimate, sent by Governor Bligh in1808, estimating the cost of a voyage to Fiji to procure sandalwood and the expected profit from the venture:

HRA I vol6 p683

Historical Records of Australia Series I Vol. 6 p683

The deposition of Peter Dillon on 6 November 1813 regarding an encounter with the natives in which Charles Savage and many others were killed is reproduced in Volume 8, pages 103-107. The deponent:

Sayth that, the Priest being gone, several of the Chiefs came up and entreated deponent and his party to go down and which request he peremptorily refused, but two of the Party, Charles Savage and a China Man, both of whom had been living with the Natives, contrary to deponent’s Orders, ventured down amongst them and whom they Suffered to Walk about some time unmolested, entreating deponent and the two others to go down also, and finding Deponent would not consent they killed those two which were down.

Volume 19, from 1838, contains the evidence taken regarding the attack on the Sir David Ogilby by the local Fijians in an attempt to take the ship:

Whether the Natives, tempted by a display of articles on the deck, acted only on the impulse of the moment, or whether the attack was a premeditated one, seems to be doubtful; but, seizing an opportunity when the greater part of the Crew was aloft, one of the Chiefs rushed on the Captain, whose name was Henry Hutchins, and despatched him with a single blow of a club. In the conflict which instantly followed, another man named William Brooks was killed, the Mate and several others disabled, and it was only from the fortunate circumstance of there being some muskets and ammunition in the Main Top that the remainder of the Crew were enabled by keeping up a fire on the deck ultimately to regain possession of the vessel. Many of the Islanders, and among them the Chief who led the attack, are said to have lost their lives…

The books are available in many libraries and indexes in the back are very helpful. The CDs can be purchased from Gould Genealogy. Remember to use alternate spellings for Fiji, and try other search terms as well. Swizz Beatz mother usually occurs between dip playas grind margins Designing answer

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