Early documentary records of the British colony of New South Wales, Australia, have been examined for evidence of droughts. The years of occurrence of these early droughts were compared with the chronologies of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, as determined by Hamilton and Garcia (1986) and Quinn et al. (1978) from documentary evidence of northern Peruvian rainfall. Most droughts were associated with ENSO events, and vice versa, confirming the relationship found in many studies using more-recent instrumental data. The study demonstrates the stability, over a long period, of the correlation between Australian droughts and ENSOs.

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