[London, The Queen's Printer], 1841.
Foolscap folio, two volumes, 8 pages (the last being the endorsement); and xl, 272, x, 358 (appendix), 58 (index) pages plus 4 large folding hand-coloured maps (including 3 by John Arrowsmith). The maps are (1) 'Plan of the District of Adelaide, shewing the application of the Running Survey to that locality' (approximately 500 x 600 mm); (2) 'The District of Adelaide, South Australia; As divided into Country Sections. From the Trigonometrical Surveys of Colonel Light' ... (500 x 600 mm); (3) 'The Maritime Portion of South Australia, from Capn. Flinders and the more recent Surveys made by the Survr. Genl. of the Colonies' (620 x 500 mm); (4) 'Map shewing the Special Survey in South Australia, to the Eastward of the Gulf of St Vincent' (515 x 600 mm).
Matching modern half calf and cloth (retaining the original printed blue front wrapper to the Second Report); the First Report has a faint stamp at the head of the moderately creased title leaf, and some insect damage resulting in slight loss (now expertly stabilized); the Second Report has some stains to the top seven centimetres of the last twenty leaves (moderately heavy on only the last handful); maps offset and a little foxed, with some tiny edge tears and creases (mainly near the stubs); some longer tears near the stubs expertly sealed (but with an old and indifferent tape repair to one tear on the blank verso); overall in very good condition.
'This Report contains very complete information regarding the Colony from its foundation [in 1836] to 1841' (Ferguson, referring to the Second Report). Wakefield's self-supporting system of colonization, administered by the South Australian Colonization Commission, failed and the commission was dissolved in January 1840. 'The new board of three salaried commissioners slowly became aware that the colony's funds in London were rapidly dwindling. After months of inexcusable procrastination they had no choice but to throw the colony on the mercies of the Colonial Office. Nevertheless the blame of their own shortcomings and extravagance was placed squarely on [Governor] Gawler for his irregularities, "reckless" expenditure and alleged grave errors of judgment.' The imperial parliament accepted the select committee's recommendations and took control of the colony's affairs. Although the select committee had refused to condemn Gawler and reported that 'even his severest critics had suggested no way in which Gawler's expenditure might have been significantly reduced', he was abandoned as the scapegoat and after his recall in May 1841, he was never again to find public employment (Australian Dictionary of Biography). Ferguson 3218 and 3219.