RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 109 Pt 2 Dec 2023 ABSTRACTS
Politics versus Justice: A fresh look at the third trial following the Myall Creek massacre of 1838
This article revisits the trials of those accused of taking part in the Myall Creek massacre of 1838, in which at least 28 Wirrayaraay people, mostly women and children, were murdered. It closely examines the third trial, which involved four of those accused who took part in the massacre and explains why they escaped conviction, notwithstanding that seven of their fellow accused had been convicted and hanged following an earlier trial. The article also considers what became of Davey, a young Kamilaroi man, who was to be the main witness for the Crown in the third trial.
Quong Tart’s Neighbours: Cycling around the boundaries of exclusion and racism, 1880s–1900s
Marc Sebastian Rerceretnam
This article will look at the experiences of Mei Quong Tart (1850–1903) after he moved into the affluent Sydney suburb of Ashfield. While much has been written about his successes as a businessman, philanthropist, social advocate and Chinese community representative, there is little research relating to the social obstacles he encountered in his immediate neighbourhood and personal life. In the late 1800s, Sydney’s minority Chinese communities found themselves at the receiving end of political campaigns promoting their exclusion and the curtailing of their rights. In response, the Sydney-based Chinese community instigated campaigns and attempted to counter these negative initiatives. This paper will also look at Quong Tart’s use of popular sport to influence anti-Chinese public opinion in the late 19th century in light of the rise of anti-Chinese sentiment and movements to restrict their immigration and residency.
Angus Mackay and agricultural education in late 19th century New South Wales
Ian D. Rae
Angus Mackay (1830–1910) was a Highland Scot who came to the Australian colonies in the 1860s and spent nearly two decades in Brisbane. Arriving in Sydney in 1881 as an agricultural journalist, he was appointed to the Board of Technical Education and then as an instructor in agriculture at the Sydney Technical College, a position he held until 1897. He wrote books on bees, sugar cane, agricultural chemistry, and guides to agriculture in Australian settings, delivered public lectures and made professional conference presentations, making his career from informal advice to farmers to the inclusion of agricultural education in the state education system.
Chungking Follies: The supporting cast of the Chungking Legation, 1941–42
Sir Frederic Eggleston’s pioneering mission to Chungking (Chongqing) in 1941, accomplishing the opening of diplomatic relations with China, has received considerable scholarly attention. The main cast of characters is well known, Eggleston being assisted by Keith Waller and Charles Lee. This study shows that the contribution of other individuals made a significant impact on the Legation story, though their roles have been either neglected or overlooked. They included a former Shanghai policeman, a habitual criminal and confidence trickster, and a Russian-born linguist and secretary. In particular, in the early days of the mission — under dangerous wartime conditions — the role of Shanghai-born Edmund Burgoyne is shown to have been crucial for its establishment and initial diplomatic achievements. A review of their biographies leads to reassessment of the dynamics of the Legation in its founding phase.
RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 109 Pt 1 June 2023 ABSTRACTS
Touching hands with Anzacs: a re-evaluation of 1920s War Service Homes in NSW
Australians make pilgrimages to Gallipoli for the dawn service and distant battlefields on Anzac Day or Armistice Day to commune with Anzacs. They often ignore evidence directly associated with Anzacs all around us, in capital cities, suburbs and country towns in the form of dwellings constructed by the War Service Homes Commission in the 1920s. This paper aims to provide a more balanced assessment of the work of the Commission than has been the case to date.
Beaumont & Waller’s Botanical & Zoological Gardens, at the Sir Joseph Banks Hotel, Botany Bay 1848–61
Mark St Leon
In 1848, William Beaumont, with the assistance of his business partner, James Waller, began to transform the gardens and grounds surrounding the Sir Joseph Banks Hotel at Botany Bay into a pleasure resort. The resort, named Beaumont & Waller’s Botanical and Zoological Gardens, would be quickly established as one of Sydney’s favourite outlets for public leisure and recreation. This article outlines its origins and development until its demise in 1861 in the context of early Sydney’s social and civic developments. The article concludes by identifying the resort’s three major legacies.
Ingleside Powder Works: ‘a curious colonial enterprise’
The mysterious past of Ingleside Powder Works has never been fully explained due to conflicting interpretations about the motives of its 1880s designer and superintendent, Carl von Bieren. What brought him to Australia from the USA, and why did the works fail to produce gunpowder? This article contends the works were ostensibly built to produce explosives, but in reality, to facilitate an affluent lifestyle for the man who purported to be ‘Carl von Bieren’ and his supposed wife, Anna. Evident is a remarkable web of deceit spun by a 19th-century confidence man.
Thomas Wilson Esq and the natural history collections of First Fleet Surgeon John White
Thomas Wilson Esq, a Londoner, was the driving force behind the publication of three of the most important early Australian books, especially in terms of natural history: First Fleet surgeon John White’s Journal (1790), James Edward Smith’s Botany of New Holland (1793) and George Shaw’s Zoology of New Holland (1794). Although known to have joined the Linnean Society and to have employed the artists Sarah Stone and James Sowerby, Wilson has long been an enigmatic figure. This essay discusses the remarkable breadth of White’s collections on his behalf and reveals that Wilson was, in fact, a wealthy apothecary, not only a patron of White but an important supporter of Matthew Flinders, as well as being tangentially connected to two other surgeons associated with New South Wales, John Lowes and George Bass. Wilson was the central figure in an important professional network that was openly competing with the socially grander and far better-recorded coterie of Sir Joseph Banks.