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March 1791

While we were at Port Jackson, I went wt. the Governor & a Party to Benallon's House on the Et. pt. of the Cove to see a Dance according to previous notice given to Benallon who had assembled many of his friends for the purpose of entertaining us; they began soon after dark, having several small fires for the purpose of giving light, they placed us in a Ring within which they were to perform; their Musick was that of a Man beating two sticks & singing to it & some of the Women who did not dance, accompanied the Musick by beating on their thighs with the hollow of their hands, the dance began with the little Boys & then the Men join'd in, they danced a variety of figures all of which were observed to have regularity & good order in them, so much that if any of the fires were in their way they danced through them, the number that danced were 24 Men, Women & Children, there were several more there & plenty of Spears laying by them ; after entertaining us about an hour & they supposed we were going, Benallon asked if we would have one more dance which was agreed to & we then parted, several of the Children returning with us.

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I also went to Rose Hill, of which I can say but little, but the Soil does not go any depth; a few inches in many parts goes into a perfect sand & it is but in small patches in)any part that the Soil is a foot deep: the Return got from the last Crop only bore the proportion of 5 to 2 that was plan sowed; which is only 2 1/2 for one, It is the opinion of some that it never will produce good Crops of Corn, the quantity of ground clear'd at Rose Hill this 9th March, is Land clear'd for Corn 213 Acres; Land for Buildings Gardens &c. 80 Acres, & 121 Acres in three Parks, Total 414 Acres; but it is to be observed that the Trees are only cut down & removed, & the ground clear'd & turn'd up with the Roots of the Trees remaining in it, that all the labour is with the Grubbing Hoe & Spade, the Plough cannot be used 'till the ground is more effectually clear'd. There has been several excursions made into the Country all of which serve but to furnish as many Proofs of the Sterility of the inland parts of the County of Cumberland, the other parts of the Coasts or Country have not yet been examined. Having an opportunity of getting a satisfactory account of His Maj. Arm'd Vessel the Bounty from Lieut. Blighs letters to Governor Phillip giving an account of their proceedings & loss of the said ship by being piratically taken possession of;

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