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Sydney, Australia 1800s.

Australia: ° Adelaide ° Brisbane ° Darwin ° Fremantle ° Hunter Islands ° Lord Howe Island ° Melbourne ° Perth ° New South Wales (Sydney) ° Norfolk Island ° Van Dieman's Land: Tasmania (Hobart Town, Port Arthur)

Hunter Islands

The Hunter Group of Islands lie in Bass Strait off the north-west tip of Tasmania due south of Geelong, Victoria. The Hunter and Matthew Islands are a group of two small volcanic islands in the South Pacific, located 300 km east of New Caledonia and south-east of Vanuatu archipelago. Hunter Island and Matthew Island, 70 km closed, are both claimed by Vanuatu (for Tafea province) and France (for New Caledonia).

There seems to be disagreement as to who named these islands. Separate sources cited:

  • The island and the island group were named by British navigator Matthew Flinders after John Hunter, Governor, of the Colony of New South Wales, in December 1798 during the first recorded circumnavigation of Tasmania.
  • Captain Thomas Gilbert of the Royal Navy on board the Charlotte discovered Matthew Island on 27 May 1788 and named it after the owner of his ship.
  • Captain Jimmy Joe, on board of the whaler Hunter discovered the island (estimated to be in 1798) and named it after his ship.

Ile Hunter in French, also known as Fern or Fearn Island, 70 km east of Matthew Island at . About 1 km in area, the island have a dome shape, 242 meter high.

Hunter Island is in fact two conic islets attached by a 200 meter broad rocky isthmus. The east part is made of lava and slags, with a serrated peak of 177 meters high and the east part is made of basalt with a 142 meter peak. There is still a small volcanic activity on the island with sulfuric fumaroles from south-east island craters. Configuration of the island seems to have changed during the last century because it was described with only one peak before the second world war.

Hunter, Three Hummock, Albatross and Robbins and Walker Islands face swift currents. Adding to the beauty of the islands are mutton birds, the pelicans and albatross along with the myriad of other wild life. The islands are small, but are rife with individual characteristics identifying each in its own way.

Hunter Island is the largest island in the Hunter Group and lies six kilometers off the north-west tip of Tasmania. The island is approximately 25 km long, and 6.5 km wide at its widest point. Hunter Island shows evidence of 23,000 years of continuous occupation by Aboriginal people and has been inhabited by non-Aboriginal people for approximately 170 years. Many different owners have grazed cattle on the island lease since 1853. As can often be the case, despite its history of occupation, clearing and grazing, Hunter Island still retains its significance for conservation. The island is important for six now-threatened bird species, including the orange-bellied parrot, swift parrot, white-bellied sea eagle, shy albatross, Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle and fairy prion. The birds use Hunter Island as a resting and feeding place each year on passage to King Island and the Victorian and South Australian coasts.

Archaeological Investigations of a Prehistoric Tasmanian Site. Sandra Bowdler.

Hunter Island supports six ecological communities that are of priority for conservation at state level:

  1. Eucalyptus viminalis coastal forest
  2. Mutton bird colony
  3. Leptospermum/Melaleuca swamp forest
  4. Melaleuca ericifolia forest
  5. Dune vegetation
  6. Shrubby coastal heath.

There are eight plant species of conservation significance, including one of the most spectacular of the greenhood orchids, the endangered leafy greenhood Pterostylis cucullata. The leafy greenhood grows only along the very old (Holocene) sand dunes that transverse certain sections of the island, unfortunately the same areas where cattle grazing has been concentrated.

February 12, 1886, Warren Ledger, Warren, Pennsylvania, USA

Flood in Tionesia

The ice commenced to move in the river here on Saturday forenoon about 11 o'clock, I and had been running fully twenty minutes before any danger was apprehended, and the people along the river front had come to the conclusion that the worst was over, when the ice gorged in the main channel at the head of Dustin Island, half a mile below town, thus forcing the entire body of floating ice through the channel between the head of Dustin and the foot of Hunter islands. Then the water came rushing back, and before people had time to realize what was going on the whole flat or lower part of the town was inundated, so that boats were easily floated over five-foot fences. Ice was piled from ten to 15 feet high along Front street. Every cellar in that part of the town was flooded, and in many instances furniture floated around in the house in water two or three feet deep.

Forest Republican

March 16, 1895, Colonies and India, London, United Kingdom

Mr. P. C. Ashworth and Mr. D. Le Souef, of the Victorian Field Naturalists' Club, recently paid a visit to the Hunter group of islands in Bass' Straits, and landed on Albatross Island, which had not been trodden by the foot of man for 25 years. They found that the population of the island was confined entirely to albatrosses, and they lived in a cave for six days, owing to the weather being too rough to allow them to get away. They had rather an anxious time of it towards the last.

October 31, 1854, Daily Alta California, San Francsico, California, U.S.A.

The Red Jacket


Considerable interest has been excited in consequence of the appearance in our bay of one of the finest clipper ships the world has ever produced. The Red Jacket, under the command of Capt. Reed, has performed the passage from Liverpool to Port Philip, in the astonishing short period of 67 days 10 hours -- a passage unparalleled in the history of sailing ships. The greatest speed attained during her run from England to Australia in the 24 hours was 402 miles, being a little over 17 knots an hour! From the light winds under which the ship has labored, her passage has been astonishingly rapid, thus preventing the possibility of adhering strictly to the priniciple of great circular sailing. As a proof of the admirable qualities of this ornament to our sailing ships, it is recorded by Capt. Reed's log, that in her passage from the longitude of the Cape, taking it at 21 east, she occupied the short time of 17 days 10 hours.

~~ Melbourne Morning Herald, July 17

November 30, 1854, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

Editor: I noticed that your correspondent "Canada." at Melbourne, whose letter was published in your yesterday's issue, stated that the world renowned clipper ship Red Jacket was built in New York. I will merely state that I was present on the day that this noble craft for the first time touched the water it was in Kockland. Maine. She was built by Geo. Thomas, Esq., and is owned by Messrs. Secomb & Taylor, of Boston, and Mr. Thomas, the builder. The Red Jacket is admitted to be the fleetest craft afloat. On her first voyage, which was from New York to Liverpool, for seven days the averaged eighteen knots an hour; while her greatest run in the 234 hours was four hundred and thirteen geographical miles, being about eighteen knots an hour!

~ W.

Four Seasons of Mojo: An Herbal Guide to Natural LivingNew South Wales and Australia.
Stephanie Rose Bird
Herbal guide to natural living.Useful ideas unrestricted by geographic borders, ethnicity, religion, or magical path. Included are recipes and concepts from the Caribbean, African American soul food, Buddhist Meditation practices, sacred Hindu rites, Old European traditions, Australian Aboriginal dreaming lessons, and Native American wisdom. "Four Seasons of Mojo" infuses ancient techniques, rituals, and methods from around the world to use each season''s inherent energies to supplement body, mind, and soul.

16th Century Ships
The Warship Mary Rose: The Life & Times of King Henry VIII's Flagship,
Henry Grace Dieu, The Anthony Roll of Henry VIII's Navy (Publications for the Navy Records Society)Anthony Roll., Turtle Ship, Golden Hind, HMS RevengeNew South Wales and Australia., Duyfken and the First Discoveries of Australia, Adler Von Lubeck: The German and the Austrian NaviesNew South Wales and Australia.

Brunel in South Wales.Brunel in South Wales:
Communications and Coal
New South Wales and Australia.
Stephen Jones

Brunel in South Wales:
Volume 3: Links with Leviathans
Brunel in South Wales.
Stephen Jones
Isambard Kingdom Brunel had strong associations with South Wales; chief engineer of the GWR at just 27, he was the same for the South Wales Railway Company, taking the railways across South Wales. This illustrated history focuses on Brunel's contribution to the maritime world, from his work on dry docks and shipping facilities to his steamships, including his 'great leviathan'.

The Fatal Shore
The Epic of Australia's Founding
Robert Hughes
Superbly researched and brilliantly written. The birth of Australia from England's brutal convict transportation system.

Charles Dickens' Australia.Charles Dickens' Australia.
Selected essays from Household Words 1850-1859
Book Two: Immigration
Margaret Mendelawitz
Starting as a court reporter, parliamentary newspaper columnist and theatre critic, he developed an instinct for injustice, humbug and charade. For 20 years he edited his own weekly journal, 'Household Words', later known as 'All the Year Round', publishing articles and stories designed to be interesting, entertaining, and educational. Dickens had a keen interest in Australia and fortuitously began publishing the periodical at a transitional moment, just before the heady days of the 1850s gold rush set the world ablaze. The discovery of gold drove a period of mass immigration, expansion into the hinterlands, and caused radical economic and social changes in an emerging nation. Of the nearly 3000 articles published in 'Household Words', some 100 related to Australia and have been collected in this anthology. Dickens saw Australia offering opportunities for England's poor and downtrodden to make a new start and a brighter future for themselves; optimism reflected in many of the articles.

A Merciless Place by Emma Christopher.A Merciless Place: The Fate of Britain's Convicts after the American RevolutionAustralia. A Merciless Place.
Emma Christopher
The fate of British convicts is a dramatic story—the saga of forgotten men and women scattered to the farthest corners of the British empire, driven by the American Revolution and the African slave trade. A Merciless Place captures the story of poverty, punishment, and transportation. The story begins with the American War of Independence which interrupted the flow of British convicts into America. Two entrepreneurs organized the criminals into military units to fight for the crown. The felon soldiers went to West Africa's slave-trading posts just as the war ended; these forts became the new destination for England's rapidly multiplying convicts. The move was a disaster. To end the scandal, the British government chose a new destination, as far away as possible: Australia.

Van Diemen's Land, New South Wales. Wyld. 1827

New South Wales. Map.

A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-53. A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-53A Lady's Visit to the Gold Digings of Australia in 1852-53.
Ellen Clacy
An 1853 account of a trip by Mrs Charles (Ellen) Clacy (1830-1901) to the Australian goldfields. Essentially a guide for prospective emigrants, with much practical advice within the narrative, this books sheds light on early Australian social history and hints at problems in the author's outwardly respectable life.

Among Australia's Pioneers
Chinese Indentured Pastoral Workers on the Northern Frontier 1848 to c.1880
Chinese Indentured Pastoral Workers, Australia, 1848 to 1880.
Margaret Slocomb
The almost simultaneous abolition of the slave trade and the cessation of convict transportation to the colony of New South Wales started a quest by the squatter pastoralists for alternative sources of cheap labor for their vast sheep runs. Over a period of five years, beginning from 1848, around three thousand Chinese men and boys from Fujian Province were recruited under conditions little different from the slave trade.Athor Margaret Slocomb focuses on the experiences of approximately two hundred of these Chinese laborers between 1848 and 1853.

True History of the Kelly GangTrue History of the Kelly Gang.
A Novel by Peter Carey

Winner of the 2001 Booker Prize.
Out of nineteenth-century Australia rides a hero of his people and a man for all nations, in this masterpiece by the Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda and Jack Maggs. Exhilarating, hilarious, panoramic, and immediately engrossing. This is Ned Kelly's true confession, in his own words and written on the run for an infant daughter he has never seen. To the authorities, this son of dirt-poor Irish immigrants was a born thief and, ultimately, a cold-blooded murderer; to most other Australians, he was a scapegoat and patriot persecuted by "English" landlords and their agents.With his brothers and two friends, Kelly eluded a massive police manhunt for twenty months, living by his wits and strong heart, supplementing his bushwhacking skills with ingenious bank robberies while enjoying the support of most everyone not in uniform.

Australia Sea Stories:
Fiction and Non-Fiction

Australian Mining Companies.
Australians: Eureka to the DiggersAusttralian Mining.
Author Thomas Keneally is a novelist, playwright, and nonfiction author who is best-known for the Booker Prize–winning novel Schindler's Ark, which was adapted into the movie Schindler's List. His other titles include the Penguin Lives biography Abraham Lincoln, American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles, and A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia.

Four Seasons of Mojo
An Herbal Guide to Natural Living
Stephanie Rose Bird
Useful ideas unrestricted by geographic borders, ethnicity, religion, or magical path. Included are recipes and concepts from the Caribbean, African American soul food, Buddhist Meditation practices, sacred Hindu rites, Old European traditions, Australian Aboriginal dreaming lessons, and Native American wisdom. "Four Seasons of Mojo" infuses ancient techniques, rituals, and methods from around the world to use each season''s inherent energies to supplement body, mind, and soul.

A Selection of Books about
Australian Mining Companies
Australian Mining Companies.

Australian Mining.
The Gold Rush
The Fever That Forever Changed Australia
Australian Mining.
David Hill
Australia's incredible gold rushes of the mid-to late-1800s produced tremendous wealth and ensured the financial survival of the struggling Australian colonies. They also tripled the country's small population, halted convict transportation, subverted the hierarchical British class system, laid the foundations of the Australian egalitarian ethos, and stimulated the democratic ideas that led to the establishment of the nation of Australia. David Hill recreates this monumental turning point in Australia's history using diaries, journals, books, letters, official reports, Parliamentary enquiries, and newspaper reports of the time, along with his own storyteller's skill of bringing the past to life from New South Wales and Victoria, up to Queensland and the Northern Territory, then down to Tasmania and across the great deserts of Western Australia.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.  
History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient CommerceMerchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.
W. S. Lindsay

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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