Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

John Wilson Croker - letter received from Marshall Waller Clifton, 13 January 1846
MLDOC 1004

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Australind Western Australia
13 Jany. 1846.

My dear Sir

Altho' the exertions which many of my friends made in my behalf were not successful, I shall ever hold in grateful recollection their kind intentions; and it would indeed be the height of ingratitude if I did not offer to you my most heartfelt acknowledgements for the gratifying proof of your friendship afforded by your letter to Lord Stanley. To have received such a testimony as that Letter contained from you, is a reward of itself, and yielded me ample consolation for being disappointed of the Government of the Colony which I had been led to hope for.

The appointment itself would not have been much advantage to me - perhaps none at all - in a pecuniary point of view,

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but it would have been a gratifying acknowledgement of my past Services, and I was vain enough to think that I could have adopted Measures which would have changed the State of things in this most unfortunate Colony. Such too was the general feeling in the Colony. Every Man in it looked up to me with hope, and this - & this alone - made me feel strongly at being refused; - on grounds too, which I venture to think ought not to have applied in my Case - Namely because I was resident in the Colony. Admitting in most cases the propriety of such a Rule (tho' it prevents any man of local Experiences from ever filling the Office) it could not be said to apply in my Case, for my Settlement has been almost as much separated from the Colony at large as Port Essington, and I was not a Settler. I was independent

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of the Colony in every respect, and at the same time had had the advantage of having been a quiet Spectator of all that was going forward, without taking part or party in matters. However the thing is at an end & I hear that Col. Clarke is a most proper Man for the post.

To you, the administration of affairs in this Colony would be a farce. It is but Lilliput, and there is not in it a Man of talent. The first Governor Sir James Stirling seems, I regret to say (for I had entertained a different opinion of him) to have been activated by a spirit of Jobbing for his own advantage, and when a Governor jobs himself, He must wink at it on the part of other Government Officers; And our present Governor is a Man of no energy, wedded to party & impracticable theories & with crotchets of his own. Every thing therefore is wrong & has produced disastrous effects. The Colony has not advanced an iota, & in fact at present is in the most disastrous

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State from which it can only be rescued by some very energetic measures. The unfortunate determination of the Colonial Office to maintain the price of Waste Lands at £1 per Acre has finally extinguished the Sale of Land: not an Acre has been sold for the last 3 Years. Land ought to be given away - not to people already here - but to persons who would bona fide, transfer a certain capital to this Colony & engage to come out & settle in it themselves. This is the only way in which it (I speak of Western Australia) can ever be made a Colony - A Ship however has just arrived with a Catholic Bishop, 7 Priests, and as many Nuns & 15 or 16 Catechists - & this mighty religious establishment is said to be connected with a Catholic Emigration Scheme from Cork.

I cannot express how deeply I have grieved at the Death of Sir Wm. Follett. I had confidently hoped to see him Lord Chancellor. We earnestly hope Mrs. Croker & Mrs. Barrow 7 her Family are well. All my numerous Circle are in the enjoyment of good Health. Mrs. Clifton has regained her Health, & my Daughters are married happily or to be married. The Derangement of the Affairs of the Company, (with whose affairs however I am still troubled) has grievously damaged me, & I am uncertain what to do or what I shall be able to do. I suppose I must make up my mind to settle here, for I cannot bear to leave those of my Family who have married & settled

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here in this neighbourhood.

 I have never had it in my power to send you a Kangaroo or any of the beautiful Parrots of the Land from the want of Ships at this port, but I hope for a different State of things, as a party of Gentlemen with whom One of my Sons is united are cutting magnificent Timber for the Dock Yards & I hope to see a succession of Ships for this valuable Article for our Mahogany & Tooart Timbers are unrivalled in Excellence. I shall also send by the very first opportunity a Collection of Seeds for your acceptance. Many of the Flowers of this District exceed in beauty anything I ever saw.

Our Harvest is turning out well & we of this district have grown Corn enough to supply ourselves, but with shame be it told, that the Colony at large has never grown Wheat Corn enough for the use of her 4000 Inhabitants - the consequence of which has been the perfect disappearance of Money for the purchase of foreign Corn. In fact it is the fault of the people and not of the Land of the Colony that such signal failure has followed.

Mrs. Clifton begs to unite with me in kind Regards to Mrs. Croker & Mrs. Barrow and with warm attachment

I have the Honor to remain
My dear Sir
Your most faithful Servant

M. Waller Clifton

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[Cover sheet]

15 January 1846

Rt. Hble J.W. Croker
&c &c &c
West Moulsey