Page "Arthur Phillip" Paragraph 21
Phillip showed in other ways that he recognised that New South Wales could not be run simply as a prison camp.
Lord Sydney, often criticised as an ineffectual incompetent, had made one fundamental decision about the settlement that was to influence it from the start.
Instead of just establishing it as a military prison, he provided for a civil administration, with courts of law.
Two convicts, Henry and Susannah Kable, sought to sue Duncan Sinclair, the captain of Alexander, for stealing their possessions during the voyage.
Convicts in Britain had no right to sue, and Sinclair had boasted that he could not be sued by them.
Someone in Government obviously had a quiet word in Kable's ear, as when the court met and Sinclair challenged the prosecution on the ground that the Kables were felons, the court required him to prove it.
As all the convict records had been left behind in England, he could not do so, and the court ordered the captain to make restitution.
Further, soon after Lord Sydney appointed him governor of New South Wales Arthur Phillip drew up a detailed memorandum of his plans for the proposed new colony.
In one paragraph he wrote: " The laws of this country will of course, be introduced in South Wales, and there is one that I would wish to take place from the moment his Majesty's forces take possession of the country: That there can be no slavery in a free land, and consequently no slaves ", and he meant what he said.
Nevertheless, Phillip believed in discipline, and floggings and hangings were commonplace, although Philip commuted many death sentences.