Letter from Mr. Hume

Sydney Herald

4 July 1831

We subjoin the following letter from Mr. Hume, enclosing the extract, and stating his views of the propriety of encouraging emigration to the southward;-

Appin, June, 20th 1831. Gentlemen, - Being obliged to set out immediately for Argyle, I have not time to write you so fully as I could wish, on the propriety of encouraging settlements to the southward, as described at length in the Extract enclosed herein. However, the thing is simple, and will in a great measure speak for itself, but the following are, I think, the principal inducements which should weigh with Government, to promote emigration to the southern shores of Australia:

1st. - The situation of so great an extent of good country on our southern coast, adjoining a fine harbour, which I have every reason to believe would contain the British Navy; and which also commands a principal point in Bass' Straits.

2nd - From the nature of the soil, and the situation of this part of the Colony, it is well adapted for the growth of grain, and most kinds of English productions, and the climate is also congenial to the European constitution.

3rd - One great advantage attending the colonising this part of our territory, would be, that horned cattle and sheep could, in the first instance, be taken over land, from the interior of Argyle; and should a settlement at some future day be established on the banks of the upper part of the river, now called Murray, (formerly the Hume), south from the junction of the river Darling, it would form an inland settlement about half way between this and the Straits, and access could be had either to Sydney, or to Port Philip; live stock could be brought easily from the Murray by land to this market, and agricultural produce, no doubt, by water.

4th - The downs adjoining the harbour in the Straits, are backed in with a good unlimited interior, possessing rivers, which I believe in a great measure to be navigable, and, judging from their direction, they must doubtless disembogue on our southern coast; some of them, no doubt, in the great Western Lake, lately discovered by Captain Sturt.

5th - I am firmly of opinion, that if the country at Bass' Straits were thrown open to emigration, it would in a short time prove the granary of this Colony, and one of the greatest sheep countries in Australia.

Yours very truly, H. Hume.