Queensland's Founding Documents


Pages That Mention United States of America

Letterbook of despatches to the Secretary of State for the Colonies 1859-1861 Vol 1 (ITM17670)



24 he is reported to have said, "About five years ago a few bags of Moreton Bay Cotton were shipped to Liverpool, and he saw at once that, with each vastly superior cotton, yarn could be produced finer than any before manufactured in India or Great Britain. He bought that cotton, brought it to Manchester, and spun it into exquisitely fine yarn. He found that the weavers of Lancashire could not produce a fabric from it, it was so exceedingly delicate; the weavers of Scotland could not weave it; nor could the manufacturers of France weave this yarn into fine muslin. It occurred to him to send it to Calcutta; and in due time he had the happiness of receiving from India some of the finest Muslin ever maufactured, the produce of the skill of the Hindoos with this delicate Australian Cotton. At the Paris Exhibition, some of this muslin was placed in the same glass case with a large golden nugget from Australia; and the two attracted much attention - The soil and climate of Moreton Bay were capable of producing six hundred pounds of this exquisitely fine cotton yearly per acre. Two crops could be grown each year. He valued this cotton at 1/ and 3d per pound, which would be equal to £40 per acre. This was no over estimate, for he held Australian Cotton for which he had recently given 1/7d

25 His Grace The Right Honble. The Duke of Newcastle &c. &c. &c.

1.s 7.d and 1.s 8.d per pound. For £40 per acre was an enormous yield for any agricultural product, and he did not think such a profitable return would be obtained in any other country. Judging by what was done in the United States, a man with his family in Brisbane could cultivate ten acres of land, which would yield £400 per annum, a very high rate of profit."

13. I venture to suggest that it might be well if copies of this Despatch were transmitted to the Royal Geographical Society, and to the Cotton Supply Association at Manchester.

I have &c. Signed / G. F. Bowen

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Empire to whch all belong.

7. I trust, however, that Your Grace will inform the Secretary of State for War, — that, while the Government of Queensland, for the reaasons stated in the enclosure, cannot advise, or support, "the "formation, for service in this Colony, "of a permanent Local Corps, after "the model of the West Indian "Regiments, and other Colonial Corps,"— they are, at the same time, most anxious to give their favourable consideration, and to lend their assistance in the Colonial Legislature, to any well-devised plan for settling on the public lands "of "this Colony, retired soldiers of good "character. By extending to non"commissioned and warrant officers, "and to private soldiers and seamen, "the privileges in the acquisition of "land allowed by the existing "Regulations to Officers of Her Majesty's "Army and Navy, the Council are "of opinion that a valuable addition "may be made to the population of "Queensland; and an honourable "retreat, in a peculiarly salubrious "climate, be provided for a class "of men who deserve well of the "Empire."

8. I cordially concur in the views thus expressed by my Council; and I beg to suggest that the War Office should make a definite proposal for the periodical settlement of retired soldiers on the public lands of this Colony. I will only


only add that competent Medical authorities consider the climate of Queensland, (which closely resembles that of Madeira,) to be eminently favourable to the restoration of the health alike of persons whose lungs have been affectedby long residence in cold countries, and of persons whose strength has been weakened by long residence in hot countries. Soldiers who have served in North America, and soldiers who have served in India would find an equally salubrious retreat in this Colony.

9. In compliance with the request of the Executive Council, I applied to the Major-General Commanding Her Majesty's troops in Australia, for a detachment of fifty men, with two officers; — "to form" (in the words of the Minute,) "the nucleus of the "Volunteer force which Her Majesty's "loyal subjects in Queensland intend "to create for the protection of "this Colony." The Government of Queensland engages to pay to a detachment of the above-mentioned strength, Colonial allowances on the same scale as those paid in New South Wales; and to provide also medical attendance &c, and the same excellent quarters, as were occupied by the Garrison of Brisbane up to 1849, newly furnished with every convenience and comfort for both Officers and Men.

10. I

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I have brought the subject before my Executive Council and I have the honor to state that the government of Queensland entirely agrees with the opinions expressed by Your Grace, and will give directions that so much of the river referred to as is comprised in the territory of Queensland shall be designated the Barcoo. Your Grace will doubtless communicate with the governor of South Australia respecting that portion of the stream which is comprised within the territory of that province.

3. In my opinion, two distinct principles should be adopted, as general rules, in settling the local nomenclature of Australia. So far as regards the great features of nature, such as rives and mountains, I think that the native names, if tolerably distinct and euphonious, should invariably be retained. But with regard to the towns founded by the European settlers, and with regard to the new territorial divisions of counties, electoral districts, and the like, — I hold it to be advisable that they should usually be named after the leading Statesmen of the day, after other Englishmen eminent in politics, science, or literature in the mother-country, — or after the Governors, and other conspicuous public men in the respective Colonies.

4. The adoption of the last-mentioned principle of local nomenclature in these great and flourishing


His Grace The Right Honble. The Duke of Newcastle &c. &c. &C.

flourishing provinces of the Empire, is calculated to secure a peculiarly durable and wide-spread recognition for the names of eminent Englishmen. I will mention but two illustrations. So long as our language and race shall endure, millions of persons speaking the English tongue will be familiar with the names of the noble cities of Sydney and Melbourne, whereas, but for these designations, already only thousands, and in the next century, only hundreds would remember that a Lord Sydney was a Secretary of State in the reign of George III, and that a Lord Melbourne was a First Lord of the Treasury in the reign of Queen Victoria.

I have &c. Signed/ G. F. Bowen.

No 61.

S. F. B.

See Records in Private Secretary's Office.

His Grace The Right Honble. The Duke of Newcastle &c. &c. &.c

Government House, Brisbane, Queensland, 9th. August, 1860

My Lord Duke,

In compliance with the enclosed official application from the American Consul at Sydney, and in conformity with the practice followed in the other Australian Colonies, I have the honor to report that I have directed Mr. John Evans Brown to be recognized, provisionally, and until Her Majesty's pleasure shall have been signified, as Consular Agent at Brisbane for the United States of America.

I have &c. Signed./ G. F. Bowen.

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His Grace The Duke of Newcastle K.G. &c. &c. &c.

grateful thanks to your Grace for your authoritative confirmation of the views which I had already formed and acted upon, as to the constitution of the Legislative Council in this Colony. Your Grace's lucid exposition of the intentions of Her Majesty's Government will enable me to settle without difficulty any further questions which may be raised on this subject.

I have &c. Signed / G.F. Bowen.

No. 20.

Government House, Brisbane, Queensland 16th April 1861.

My Lord Duke,

A great impulse has naturally been given to the existing projects for the cultivation of cotton in Queensland by the news, which reached Australia by the last mail, of probable disturbances in the United States of America, and of consequent insecurity in the supply of cotton from that Country.

2. I beg to solicit attention to the report on the subject of cotton submitted more than a year ago, in my despatch No 11 of 6th January, 1860; and which your Grace caued to be


be published in the "Cotton Supply Reported," and in the annual volume of the Emigration Commissioners. It is there mentioned that, soon after my assumption of office here, I urged the Cotton Supply Association, (through Mr. Bazley, M.P. for Manchester,) to send out forthwith to Queensland an Agent, empowered to negotiate with the Colonial Legislature, to select land for purchase or lease, and to make all other arrangements necessary for the establishment of cotton plantations on an extensive scale. I further stated that should the manufacturing interest in England do me the honor of adopting this suggestion, their Agent would, on his arrival at Brisbane, receive every personal attention from myself, and every facility from my Government towards carrying out an object so beneficial both to the Colony and to the MotherCountry.

3. From intelligence received by the March mail, it appears that the principal Manufacturers of Lancashire are at length fully alive to the peril of their hitherto almost exclusive reliance, for their raw material, upon the Slave States of America. It is obvious that if my suggestion had been acted on a year ago, the

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a mistake to approve that "these "figures show a balance of trade "against the Colony. The difference "between the two sums arises "from the exports being valued "before they have paid freight, "shipping charges, merchant's "commissions, profit &c; and the "imports being valued after all "these charges, profit &c. have "been added to the cost price."

7. It is worthy of note that 93 per cent of our exports in 1860 were derived from the pastoral interest, i.e. from wool, hides, tallow &c. It is confidently hoped that future years will exhibit also a large and growing exportation of Cotton. Queensland possesses millions of acres along its sea-board and on the banks of its navigable rivers, admirably adapted for the most valuable descriptions of that plant; and the recent tidings from America have given fresh impulse to several companies already formed for its cultivation. Mr. Bazley (M.P. for Manchester) recently wrote to me as follows:- I "believe in all sincerity that "Queensland can grow the best "quality of Cotton in the whole "world, and in quantity beyond "the present consumption of every "country. The premium offered "by your Legislature will, I hope, extend the cultivation." He proceeds to show that, with a sufficient supply


See Despatches No.11 of 6 Jany. 1860. No.20 of 16 April, 1861

Enclosure No.1 See also Despatch No.80 of 1st October, 1860

supply of labour, Queensland would be able "in a very few years to raise "two or three millions of bales of Cotton "per annum, of the yearly value of "more than twenty-five millions Pounds "Sterling." I have already twice reported on this subject, of so high Imperial as well as Colonial interest.

8. From the figures given in the Registrar-General's Report (Enclosure No.2 pages XVII and XVIII) it will be seen that the consumption of British Manufactures in Queensland exceeds £23 per head of the existing population, – a far larger average than in any other British Colony, or foreign country. Next in order to Queensland in this respect, come Victoria, which takes about £17 per head; and New South Wales, which takes about £10 per head. It appears that the Cape Colony takes little more than £6; and British North America little more than £1 per head.—

9. I annex to this despatch the speech which I delivered at the Prorogation of Parliament in 1860; It contains a careful summary of the large amount of practical legislation, and other useful business, achieved during the first session; also a statement of the ample provision then made for the construction of roads, bridges, public offices, electric telegraphs, the improvement of our harbours, and other undertaking calculated to advance

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