Cotton and Sugar Cane in Queensland
Throughout most of its territory, Queensland possessed a climate of tropical warmth and it is therefore , in its more fertile parts well suited for the growth of cotton and sugar. About the year 1861, the cultivation of the cotton plant was commenced on a small scale; but, although the plantations were found to thrive, the high wages of labour in Queensland and the low price of cotton in Europe, caused these first attempts to be altogether unprofitable.
Matters were changed, however, in 1863, for then the Civil War in America was raging; and as the people of the Southern States were prevented, by a long chain of blockading vessels, from sending their cotton to Europe, there was a great scarcity of cotton in England and its price rose to be exceedingly high. This was a favourable opportunity for Queensland; plantations were, of course, still as expensive as ever, but the handsome prices obtained for the cottin not only covered the increase in expense, but also left considerable profits. The cultivation of the sugar-cane was introduced in 1865 and after a few years had passed away, great fields of waving cane were to be seen in various parts of the country, growing ripe and juicy beneath the tropical sun.