Quarto (295 × 227 mm), pages -336 (with a red duty stamp in the bottom margin of fourth page), comprising publications dated Monday, 6 April and Tuesday, 7 April 1789.
Neatly disbound as one section, with slight paper and paste residue along the spine; top edge a little unevenly trimmed; leading edges uncut, with the first one lightly chipped and sunned; a little marginal soiling to the rear page; minor production flaws (including a short marginal tear to the first leaf, now expertly sealed); overall in excellent condition.
The earliest printed accounts of the expedition of the First Fleet to Botany Bay, and the settlement at Sydney Cove appeared in issues of the 'London Chronicle' in early 1789. Important accounts appeared in the issues for 24-26 March (Number 5058) and 26-28 March (Number 5059). This particular issue contains a lengthy article (1198 words excluding the heading) occupying two-thirds of page 331, 'Further Particulars of the Botany Bay Expedition (Continued from our Paper of the 28th ult. p. 300)'. More than half the article (616 words) is devoted to 'the natives ... in the Southern territory'. Several of the woman 'were noticed with two joints cut off the middle finger ... frequently large assemblies of men were noticed together, all of whom had one of their front teeth out ... Although the women appear always without the least covering, the men seem, notwithstanding, to possess some jealous notions; for though they permitted our seamen to decorate their wives with gilt and coloured slips of paper, they never would leave them behind, when they were about to depart.... Captain Cooke [sic] relates, that only a few of these people presented themselves, and therefore it was concluded the country was thinly inhabited; but in this he was mistaken, as frequently tribes of three of four hundred came down together.... We have stated, that some huts, formed of boughs, had been seen, but in the greatest extent up the country that was ever made, small bodies of the natives were noticed under hollow banks, and in caverns.... The rocks along the sea-shore afford many of them like asylum ... Fish is their principal food, and the women are as expert as the men in catching them, and understand managing the canoes full as well; they also can dive; but in this the men are astonishingly dexterous, and frequently go to a depth of 70 or 100 feet, to bring up the shell fish, or a fish wounded by their lances.... When Governor Phillips and his officers presented these people with necklaces, pieces of cloth, and handkerchiefs, they greedily took them; but so temporary was the pleasure of possession, that they scarce ever kept the gift beyond a day, and all their finery was found from time to time scattered about the woods and unregarded.... The terror of our guns killing so precisely the object aimed at, is the great source of awe.... They once threw a spear at a party of the seamen; but as it failed in effect, they seemed anxious to disown any hostile intent, and struck the man by whom it was thrown'. The balance of the article deals with the livestock landed on the colony and its fate, the results of gardening ('radishes and turnips promised better than other vegetables'), and the miserable life of the convicts, concluding with reference to the 'curiosities which will arrive' (a stuffed black swan and several stuffed kangaroos, although a young one in Major Ross's possession 'is intended as a present to his Majesty, whenever it can be conveyed in safety to England'). This page also contains a paragraph (54 words) relating to the removal of '30 female convicts from Newgate to be put on board the "Lady Juliana" transport; they joined 152 women (and two years' provisions) on board, 'to sail round to Portsmouth to meet the rest of the fleet for Botany Bay'. Not least, and on another topic of interest to us, in the classified advertisements, under 'Books just published', is 'J. Lackington's Second Catalogue for 1789. Consisting of 40,000 Volumes, including six Libraries just purchased, with late publications, many in curious bindings. Also scarce old Books. The whole selling extremely cheap'.