Frank Leward: Memorials
Frank to Mrs. Leward
Frank to Mrs. Leward.
My dear Mother We have got here at last after an awfully long voyage. We had to go a long way south page 45nearly down to Kerquellen for a wind. It was awfully cold but we got a splendid wind at last. You should see the waves round there South of the Cape they come along like great mountains chasing the ship and just as you think they are going to come down and crush it they seem to sink away under the ship somehow and you go along all right. We had a fair wind right up to the west coast of Van Diemens land, a more horrid looking shore you never saw black looking sort of rocks without a tree to be seen in many places we nearly got ashore at a place called Macquarie harbour where they keep a lot of poor beastly convicts and some soldiers. However we got off all right and got round to the entrance of the river Derwent and up to this place.
You never saw a prettier looking place in your life all the way up from the entrance green trees and hills and every here and there beautiful green fields where people have settled just like home it almost made me feel sad to look at them only I was awfully glad to see a little green earth again and a jolly smell seems to come off the land right to the ship. When you come up to the Town its awfully jolly. Theres a wharf right up to the streets behind government House where Sir John Franklin lives and a splendid mountain more than 4000 feet high behind looking awfully grand. We have been busy since we came unloading awfully rough work and havnt finished yet. Edwards the first mate will make a tremendous lot out of his tobacco in this way it so happened when we got here the place was out of baccy there hadnt been a ship with any for a long time they page 46had hardly a fig left. They are awfully rich here every one has lots of money and when they heard we had tobacco on board they came crowding down for it. One cute fellow who came off in a boat got a little cheap then he winked at Edwards and as he went off told him not to lower the price. He can get £2 a pound for what he only gave a shilling for in Demerara and he expects to make thousands out of it. Hes been awfully good to me gives me as much baccy as I like and lent me £10 to get a rig out, clothes are awfully dear here. I got a suit of things and look quite a swell on Sunday, the things I came off with from Upton have got too small only I wear some old things unloading and cleaning out the old tub. That is beastly work we have to come up often it stinks so down below it turns you up.
I send you a drawing I made of this place. Thats Mount Wellington behind and St. Davids Church and Government House in front. Thats the Leura in front that's me looking out forward and thats Jones on the wharf talking to a girl hes awfully gone on shes always down on the wharf. Its a rum place the poor beggars of convicts arnt half so well treated as the niggers at Demerara. The other day I went up the street in the morning there was a crowd outside the gaol and we found they were going to hang six fellows all in a row nearly opposite the church for something or other. There were six things to hang them with because there were six fellows sentenced to be hung but a big swell heard one was a good cook so he got him off on condi-page 47tion that hed have to be his cook so only five were hung. They dont think much of hanging here.
I like this place awfully. Its the best climate in the world. Always sunshine and blue skies it doesnt ever seem to rain and never gets too hot. At night the stars look quite different to what they do at home you can see right into the sky. Some of the prisoners are gentlemen and as nice as anyone they have been sent out for rows with the government most of them from Ireland and jolly good fellows they dont keep them in prison. The other day I was leaning over the old tub doing nothing when the governor came by and spoke to me and asked me my name and where I came from hes a fine fellow Captain in the Navy and been all over the world, then he said hed like to see me at Government House if Id go so I suppose I must. Edwards and the skipper say I must.
I hope my dear Mother you will write while Im here we shall be here a long time before we get all our cargo on board for home. The ship with the letters goes tomorrow so I must finish
Your affectionate son