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The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay
With an Account of the Establishment of the Colonies of Port Jackson
and Norfolk Island (1789)

written by "Phillip, Arthur, 1738-1814"
...onsidering what we read of the jealousy of the Portuguese Government respecting its diamond mines, the more extraordinary. Provisions were here so cheap, that notwithstanding the allowance of meat was fixed by Governor Phillip at twenty ounces a day, the men were victualled completely, rice, fresh vegetables, and firing included, at three-pence three-farthings a head. Wine was not at this season to be had, except from the retail dealers, less was therefore purchased than would otherwise have been taken. Rum, however, was laid in; and all such seeds and plants procured as were thought likely to flourish on the coast of New South Wales, particularly coffee, indigo, cotton, and the cochineal fig.* As a substitute for bread, if it should become scarce, one hundred sacks of cassada were purchased at a very advantageous price. [* Cactus Cochinilifer, of Linnaeus.] Cassada, the bread of thousands in the tropical climates, affords one of those instances in which the ingenuity of man might be said to triumph over the intentions of nature, were it not evidently the design of Providence that we should in all ways exert our invention and sagacity to the utmost, for our own security and support. It is the root of a shrub called Cassada, or Cassava Jatropha, and in its crude state is highly poisonous. By washing, pressure, and evaporation, it is deprived of all its noxious qualities, and being formed into cakes becomes a salubrious and not an unpalatable substitute for bread. By the indulgence of the Viceroy, the deficiency in the military stores observed at the departure of the transports from England, was made up by a supply purchased from the Royal arsenal; nor was any assistance withheld which either the place afforded, or the stores of government could furnish. The circumstances, which in this place most astonish a stranger, and particularly a Protestant, are, the great abundance of images dispersed throughout the city, and the devo...

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