RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 108 Pt 1 June 2022 ABSTRACTS

A Sojourn at Port Arthur in 1839: The eyewitness account of French explorer Captain Cyrille Laplace – Colin Dyer

The penal colony at Port Arthur had been in existence for less than a decade when Captain Cyrille Laplace paid his visit in February 1839 in the La Favorite. Already a very experienced traveller, this was his second round-the-world voyage, and his second visit to Tasmania. Laplace’s interest in correctional institutions led to visits to Hobart’s female convict prison and the Orphan School of New Town. In Volume 5, chapter 1 of the official account of his second voyage, Campagne de circumnavigation, Laplace describes in detail the changes he observed in Hobart since his first visit in 1831. This article includes the translation of these observations.

Canberra and the Frontier Wars – James McDonald

The nature of Aboriginal resistance in the Canberra district was different to elsewhere in New South Wales. Four factors affected how the Frontier Wars played out along the Molonglo: (a) the invasion followed the arrival of influenza and the small Aboriginal population had already been decimated; (b) Captain Bishop’s 1826 military expedition quashed a potential major rising; (c) Governor Darling was more intent than his predecessors on controlling the stockmen; and (d) relations with European pastoral workers in the district may have been less hostile.

Colonial Pioneers: The early industrial metal trades of Sydney, 1825-1875 – Harry Cole and Drew Cottle

Little has been written of Sydney’s early tradesmen. Although numerically insignificant in early colonial Australia, by the end of the nineteenth century one group of these tradesmen, the metalworkers, had become crucial to the local economy. The metalworkers were one of the ‘new’ trades that had emerged with industrialisation. This article sets out to place the new metal trades in the city’s early metalworking industrial landscape and offers a brief glimpse into the role played by the metal trades workers in the economic development of nineteenth-century Sydney. It examines the artisanal nature of their workplaces before the transition to larger-scale industrial production.

This anomalous community: Dungog Magistrates’ Letterbook, 1834-1839 – Michael Williams

This paper seeks to provide an overview and brief analysis of a rare convict period source that appears to have been largely overlooked by historians. The Magistrates’ Letterbook for the police districts of Dungog and Port Stephens, New South Wales, 1834-1839 is a single volume of the outward correspondence of Dungog-based magistrates at the high point of the convict system to local landowners, other magistrates, the Australian Agricultural Company, and to such Sydney based officials as the Superintendent of Convicts, the Colonial Storekeeper and the Colonial Secretary. The Letterbook, written mostly when Thomas Cook J.P. was Police Magistrate, provides an intimate snapshot of a period when such magistrates as Cook dealt with a vast range of matters and people, including local indigenous peoples, convicts and sly-grogers, bushrangers and landowners; all constituting a community perhaps rightly described at one point by Magistrate Cook as ‘anomalous’.