Boundaries Of Pillipsland Cooksland  

Geelong Advertiser and Squatters' Advocate

28 September 1847

 Presuming, that the complete separation of Port Phillip from the Colony of New South Wales, and its erection into a separate and independent Colony, will form a part of the measures in question, I would beg to direct your lordship's attention to the subject of the future name of that magnificent province.

Permit me then as a literary man to represent to your lordship that such names for British Colonies as South Australia and North Australia, are as little creditable to the common sense as they are to the literary character and taste of our great nation.

They are not names but misnomers; being neither distinctive nor appropriate, as all proper names of countries and places ought unquestionably to be.

They are mere generic names, improperly transformed into the names of particular species of individuals comprehended under them by unwise Acts of Parliainent or orders in council; being just as inappropriate as West Europe would be as a name for Ireland, or South America for Domerara.

And if it was the glory of ancient Greece that every rock had its name - Nullum sine nomine saxum.

I appeal to your lordship whether it does not indicate a lamentable poverty of conception on the part of Her Majesty's late government, (for your lord ship I am happy to be able to say, is in no way responsible for the misnomars,) to have been unable to find proper names for territories about to be erected into British colonies, and much larger respectively than this whole island.

As your lordship, however, will be responsible for the future name of the province of Port Phillip as a separate and independent colony, I trust your lordship will see the impropriorty and inconvenience of continuing its present designation, which is not that of a territory but of a harbor, having merely been extended to the former by accident, and because the government, at the period of its settlement, neglected to provide it with a proper name.

I beg, therefore in accordance with the opinion and desires of several of the most eminent of the literary men of the province, to recommend that the future name should be - not Port Phillip - but Phillipsland.

For the reasons for this very slight change, I beg to refer your lordship to the introduction to my recently published work, entitled, "Phillipsland; or the country hitherto designated Port Phillip; its present condition and prospects as a highly eligible field for emigration".  

I beg also to refer your lordship to the first chapter of that work for the reasons in detail for adopting, as the future boundary of the new Colony, the one I have taken the liberty to recommend; viz., a line from Cape Howe to Mount Kosciusko in the Australian Alps; from thence to the nearest sources of the Tumut or Doomut River; then along that river to its junction with the Murrimbidgee, and then along the Murrimbidgee and the Murray Rivers to the embouchure of the latter of these rivers in the Lake Alexandrina and the Great Southern Ocean.

In my evidence before the Executive Council of New South Wales, on the subject of the petition to Her Majesty, by the six Port Phillip members for the separation of that province - a petition which I had the honor of suggesting and drawing up, I stated that in my opinion the boundary proposed by the former Legislative Council, viz, the Hume River for the whole of its course, would be a very proper one.

But having since traversed the country for the third time, by the overland route from Sydney to Melbourne, and having directed my attention particularly to the subject, I am convinced, for the reasons I have stated at length in my work, that it would be unjust to Port Phillip, and extremely inconvenient for the future inhabitants of the tract of country intervening between the Hume and the Murrumbidgee Rivers, to have that tract annexed to New South Wales, I would beg merely to add that, in the event of its being deemed expedient to extend the Western boundary of Port Phillip to the Murray River and the Lake Alexandrina, the recent discoveries of Sir Thomas Mitchell to the northward would afford ample means of compensating the colony of South Australia for the loss of territory in that locality, without prejudice to any existing interest.

For that newly discovered region is unquestionably of much easier access from Adelaide, the capital of South Australia than from Sydney the capital of New South Wales.


The Sydney Morning Herald

4 October 1847

In the Melbourne Argus is a copy of a letter addressed by Dr. Lang to Earl Grey, with respect to the erection of the district of Port Phillip into a separate colony.

A large portion of this letter is devoted to prove that the names given to the different portions of this continent, such as South Australia, North Australia, and Western Australia, are neither distinctive nor appropriate.

That Port Phillip would be the name of a harbour or town, and not of a province; and he proposes the new colony should be called Phillipsland.

The boundaries he proposes to the new colony are:-

A line from Cape Howe to Mount Kosciusco in the Australian Alps; from thence to the nearest sources of the Tumut or Doomut River; then along that river to its junction with the Murrumbidgee; and then along the Murrumbidgee and the Murray Rivers to the embouchure of the latter of these rivers in the Lake Alexandrina and the Great Southern Ocean.