First German Settlement - Unwritten History by A. T. Saunders.
|Extract From The Register - 2 February 1928.|
The notes of Pastor Brauer on German colonists in Saturday's Register are amusing. It seems that the 500 poor Germans, who were helped to leave Prussia and to come to South Australia some-how put South Australia under some obligation by allowing themselves to be brought here, and the late Mr. G. F. Angas and South Australia should, according to Pastor Brauer, 'acknowledge the debt it owes to them.' I always thought it was the other way round, and that the Germans owed debts to South Australia and G. F. Angas. I enclose an extract from the journal of Capt. Hahn, of the Zebra, with which Pastor Brauer was familiar. In George Stevenson's Gazette and Mining Journal, 26/10/50, p. 4. c. 1, and 31/10/50, p. 1. c. 5, are articles by the Rev. Mr. Austin on the Germans. If I ever read what Mr. Austin wrote, I have forgotten it, but any way his testimony is worth perusal. The letters of Pastor Kavel and his brother are also worth reading, and their tone is different from that of Pastor Brauer. The life of G. F. Angas by Hussey and Hodder, should also be read. Mr. Angas and his cousin established the Union Bank of Australia, and he had to sell out because he was pressed for cash, unexpectedly, in connection with his German debts, and his agent's land purchases.
First 500 Germans in South Australia - Extracts from the journal of Capt. D. M. Hahn, of the Danish ship Zebra:
Left the Elbe 21/8/183C with 100 adults and 91 children, the surgeon, Matheison, and crew 16, or 217 on board the vessel. Then comes a long account of the voyage. Sighted Kangaroo Island 27/12/38. Six men from the shore came on board 29/12/38, and said our flag was the first foreign flag to be seen in South Australia. Five adults and six children died on the voyage. The rest, 187, were in perfect health. There must have been some births on the voyage.
The people from the Zebra were put into the huts at Port Adelaide (Old Port), erected by the Germans per Prince George. Capt. Hahn met Mr. Gouger in Adelaide, who boasted of his landed property, so Capt. Hahn suggested he should settle the Germans on some of his land, but this proposal "diminished Gouger's affluence into a scanty income." As aliens, the Germans could not buy land. Mr. Finnis, Mr. Metcalfe, and Mr. Dutton could do nothing for my anxious passengers then, but Mr. Dutton came on board a few days after and told me he had bought land at Mount Barker, and invited Capt Hahn to see it.
On January 24, 1839, Capt. Hahn and Mr. Dutton rode in a carriage to see the land; there were also 12 gentlemen on horseback and a second carriage filled with ladies. At 11 a.m. they had ascended Mount Lofty, and had a beautiful view there, which Capt. Hahn describes. After having ridden about six months (miles), a beautiful valley presented itself. Mr. Dutton and I were the first who reached this valley. Capt. Hahn had time to ascertain the real nature of the soil. The want of water is not felt as the River Onkaparinga, which is 6 ft. deep, traverses the valley, and on its surface 'fish of various kinds.' They proceeded further. . 'I did not leave the valley without wishing that it might be granted to my emigrants. We reached Mr. (Capt, John) Finnis's cattle station at dark, where two tents stood, and there passed the night. I was up before the sun and was delighting myself with the prospect. Beside our hut flowed a fresh-water stream from east to west. About four miles from us lay Mount Barker. We drove to the foot of Mount Barker, and at 8 a.m., 25/1/1839 'ascended this hill.' From its summit I perceived the bay of Alexandrie (sic) and also the Murray Mouth.' At 11 a.m. they assembled for breakfast, and Mr. Metcalfe, a part owner, Mr. Finnis, and Mr. Dutton sat under the shade of a tree, and Capt. Hahn asked them to grant 100 acres where the Germans might form a settlement. The three were inclined to bring the Germans to their land, and Capt. Hahn effected the following contract with them, which he noted then in his pocket book, and became the basis of the actual agreement. Dutton, Metcalfe, and Finnis will order at least 150 acres of land to be measured off for the Zebra Germans, and let them have it rent free for the first year, 38 acres for building, the rest for cultivation. A year's provisions in advance to be furnished the Germans. All their baggage shall be brought up. Six milch cows shall be loaned to the community; milch cattle gratis shall be supplied, changed every three months; every family shall always retain two good milch cows. The Germans shall have the use of the cattle gratis with grazing grounds. Poultry, ducks, pigs, and geese shall be furnished the Germans in advance in expectation that with butter, eggs poultry, fruit, and vegetables which they will bring to market, their circumstances will soon improve. This arrangement being only for the first year, it shall be regarded as an experiment. If everything succeeds and the gentlemen find that the Germans are diligent and laborious, each family may rent the following year at much land, at a moderate rate, as they can cultivate. They engage to build, next year, a church for the emigrants as their own expense, in which, however, the Germans are to render every assistance. Mr. Dutton promises £20, Mr. Metcalfe £10, and Mr. Finnis £10 per annum for the support of a preacher and school master. Mr. Cook (a farmer who was with us, but who did not really belong to the party) was nominated chief and treasurer for the first year, for which board and lodging and £40 salary were promised him. Any emigrant who has sufficient to buy cows of his own may pasture them free of charge. When ail this was brought to a conclusion it was 1 o'clock. I told the gentlemen I had now carried my point, and if they would not take it amiss I would immediately return (to Port Adelaide). A servant was sent to show me the way, and at 9 p.m. I was again in Adelaide. It was so dark that I did not venture to go to the harbour, and the following morning very early went to the port and on board. The journal extracts cover three foolscap pages of small type, but the fore-going gives the gist of the South Australian portion.