[Editor: This brief untitled news item, about some well-behaved convicts, and an Aboriginal girl raised in Sydney, is an extract from the “London” section published in the The London Chronicle (London, England), 24 February 1791.]
[By the officer who brought home the dispatches from Botany Bay]
By the officer who brought home the dispatches from Botany Bay we learn, that Richard Pugh and Elizabeth Morgan, two convicts sent from Gloucester prison with the first fleet, and who were married before they embarked, have behaved in so exemplary a manner, that they are esteemed among the most useful and industrious of the convicts. They are stationed at Norfolk Island, where they maintain a good reputation. Pugh has discovered great ingenuity in covering houses with shingles, and turns out a valuable member of the colony.
The native inhabitants of the country have caught the small-pox from the English, and died in great numbers: a little girl named Abaroo, almost 11 years of age, was brought into the colony with several others, who were in a terrible state from this disorder. They all died except this girl, and a boy who was under the care of the Surgeon-general. The Governor desired the Clergyman to take the girl into his family, and bring her up as a servant. She had been with him, when the officer sailed, eleven months; and she had so far improved in speaking English, that she could understand almost every thing she was bid to do. Her master has taught her a short prayer or two, which she repeats to him morning and evening; and if he ever happens to forget to hear her, she never fails to remind him of it. He has also taught her the letters, and she begins to make some progress in reading.
The London Chronicle (London, England), vol. LXIX no. 5383, 24 February 1791 [“From Tuesday, February 22, to Thursday, February 24, 1791”], p. 186 (2nd page of that issue), column 3
Botany Bay = a bay located to the south of the City of Sydney (New South Wales), located in the south-eastern section of Sydney’s greater metropolitan area; it was discovered in 1770 by the English explorer James Cook (1728-1779); Botany Bay was intended as the location for the first British settlement in Australia, but Governor Arthur Phillip (1738-1814) decided that the area was unsuitable, and instead founded the settlement further north, in Sydney Cove (in Sydney Harbour, Port Jackson, New South Wales), but, despite the change of location, the settlement was often referred to as “Botany Bay” for many years
See: “Botany Bay”, Wikipedia
first fleet = a British fleet of eleven ships, which transported convicts, officials, and military personnel to New South Wales, in order to establish a colony; the fleet left England in May 1787, and arrived in Sydney (NSW) in January 1788 [the term “first fleet” is usually capitalised: First Fleet]
See: “First Fleet”, Wikipedia