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Some Interesting Snippets about the Fortitude

SS "Fortitude"

My maternal ancestors, the Roper Family together with a relative John Everitt, came to Australia on the Fortitude, under the immigration scheme of Dr John Dunmore Lang.

Read more about the difficulties they faced in the following articles.

Scroll down the page and click on any of the links to read about the subjects ----


Dr John Dunmore Lang's efforts for Colonisation
Dr John Dunmore Lang, his life
Dr John Dunmore Lang and the Fortitude Immigrants
Extract from Cooks Colonization Company
Voyage to Australia - a diary kept by James Roper
Something About the Immigrants
Letter written by Captain John Wickham, Police Magistrate in Brisbane to Francis Merewether, Immigration Agent:
No 1 'Enclosure' in the letter of the Police Magistrate at Moreton Bay, of the 6th February 1849 to the Honorable the Colonial Secretary.
No 2 'Enclosure' in the letter of the Police Magistrate at Moreton Bay, of the 6th February 1849 to the Honorable the Colonial Secretary
No 3 'Enclosure' in letter of the Police Magistrate at Moreton Bay., of the 6th February 1849 to the Honorable the Colonial Secretary
No 4 'Enclosure' in letter of the Police Magistrate at Moreton Bay., of the 6th February 1849 to the Honorable the Colonial Secretary.
Letter to Sir Thos. L. Mitchell, Surveyor General
Summary of Proceedings of the Executive Council on the 13th March 1849 relative to Earl Grey's Despatch respecting the Immigrants by "Fortitude" despatched by Dr. Lang to Moreton Bay.
The Surveyor General to the Colonial Secretary respecting land for Immigrants by the Fortitude
The Police Magistrate at Moreton Bay to the Colonial Secretary respecting the Emigrants by the Ship "Fortitude" being permitted to erect slab huts etc. on Crown Lands, pending the arrangements with regard to land which they have paid for in England.
Morton Bay (By Our Correspondent)
Pioneers Jubilee Old Colonists Picnic in1899 (newspaper article)
The Fortitude Club
Roper diary-voyage to Australia

Interesting Notes on Early Brisbane

Outline Sketch of G A Roper
Thomas Roper Eagle Junction
1. Continuation of Brisbane in the Early Days by Thomas Roper
2. Continuation of Brisbane in the Early Days by Thomas Roper
Marriage of Thomas Roper - (source from a newspaper article)

Other interesting sites to visit re Fortitude

Roper Family History Page

You can write to me at my e-mail address if you have found any other interesting sites to add.

Dr John Dunmore Lang's efforts for Colonisation

Dr John Dunmore Lang (q.v.), who had visited Moreton Bay in 1845, sought to interest the colonial authorities in proposals for a "Moreton Bay Cotton Company", and a "Cookstown Colonization Company" to provide land in Moreton Bay for free settlers. A bitter controversy developed between Lang and the squatters who, in despair of obtaining labour for their stations, were agitating for the revival of a modified form of convictism.

Undismayed by official hostility and a complete absence of legal authority, Lang selected about 600 emigrants, the majority of them Presbyterian Scots, and sent them to Moreton Bay in three ships, the Fortitude (after which the Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley is named), the Chaseley, and the Lima.

Lang's efforts of colonization had the excellent though indirect effect of rousing the colonial authorities, with Earl Grey at their head, to push on themselves with the work of sending out emigrants. As a result, the Government ship Artemisia arrived in Brisbane in 1848 with a load of passengers for the colony, well in advance of Lang's first ship the Fortitude, which did not arrive until early 1849. The Chaseley and Lima followed later in the year. Lang had plans for the new settlers to grow cotton, but the government refused to recognise the "land grants" that he had issued to them, and the newcomers were treated as unwanted intruders. Acting on instructions, Capt. Wickham refused to allow them even temporarily to occupy Crown land or to be supplied with Government Rations. Nevertheless the immigrants, many of whom were capable and industrious tradesmen, speedily found employment, and their arrival undoubtedly stimulated progress in the somewhat stagnant settlement.
(Source Unkown)

Further Reading-


R Spencer Browne, A Journalists' Memories (1927)
H S Russell, The Genesis of Queensland (1888)
J J Knight (In the early days) 1898
C C Petrie, Tom Petrie's Reminescences of Early Queensland (1904)
Jubilee History of Queensland (1909)
E J T Barton, Our first Half Century 1909-published by the Queensland Government
Brisbane Centenary Official Historical Souvenier (1924)
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Dr John Dunmore Lang, his Life

LANG, John Dunmore (1799-1878), Presbyterian clergyman, politician, and miscellaneous writer, the son of William Lang and his wife, Mary Dunmore, was born in Greenock, Scotland, on 24th or 25th August 1799. He was educated at a parish school, and at the age of 12 entered Glasgow University, finishing an Arts course in 1815 (M.A.,1820)He also attended various night schools. In 1920 he received from the presbytery of Irvine his licence to preach; he was ordained a minister in September 1822 and obtained the degree of D.D, in 1825. Hearing from his younger brother George, who had taken up a grant of land in New South Wales, that the moral condition of the colony was bad, he decided to establish Presbyterianism there, and in October 1822 he sailed for Australia.
Arriving in Sydney in May 1823, Lang soon gathered a congregation together and obtained the use of a hall from the Government. He also set to work to obtain subscriptions to build a church, and the foundation-stone of Scots Church was laid on 1st July 1824. Shortly afterwards Lang voyaged to England and on his arrival interviewed Earl Bathurst, the Secretary of State for the Colonies who directed that one-third of the estimated cost of the church should be advance by the Treasury and that Lang should be paid a salary of £300 a year.
The church was opened in July 1826, and Lang continued to be its minister until his death more than 50 years later. Early in his ministry he was refused a licence to solemnize marriages, where upon he inserted an advertisement in the Sydney Gazette stating that he would solemnize marriages by banns, and challenging anyone to show that such marriages were against the law. The authorities then gave Lang his licence.
In 1830 Lang paid his second visit to England. He had endeavoured before he left to found a Presbyterian high school, but was unable to enlist the sympathies of the Governor, Sir Ralph Darling. In England, Lord Goderich, Secretary of State for the Colonies, not only agreed to authorize an advance of £3500 for the establishment of the college, but also agreed that £1500 of this sum might be used to convey a party of workmen and their families to Sydney. In 1831 Lang returned to Australia with 140 emigrants, chiefly Scottish mechanics and their families. The under standing was that the cost of their passages would be repaid out of their earnings. On the voyage out, in 1831, Lang married his cousin, Wilhelmina Mackie, at the Cape of Good Hope.
The experiment of bringing out the mechanics was a success, but Lang imprudently aroused hostility by writing a letter to Lord Goderich suggesting that the land granted tot he Church of England authorities was to being put to its proper use, and that it should be sold and the proceeds devoted tot he encouragement of emigration. Several people as a consequence refused their assistance in building his college, and he had to make personal sacrifices to meet his responsibilities. The school was opened in 1832 under the name of the Australian College. Lang was appointed principal without salary, but the school had a chequered existence until it was closed in 1854, Its scheme was too ambitious for the circumstances of the time, and its rigid sectarianism did not help it to attain success.
In 1833 Lang again went to England, and during the voyage wrote a book, An Historical and Statistical Account of New South Wales, which was published in London in 1834 and subsequently went into four editions, the last of which appeared in 1875. He returned to Sydney in 1834 and in the following year started a weekly newspaper, the Colonist. Lang was nothing if to outspoken, and he fought more than one libel action, acting as his own advocate. In the same year he opposed the appropriation of the land fund for police and jail establishments, and powerfully contended that the money should be spent on encouraging immigration/ In 1836 and 1839 he again visited England and did valuable work in advocating the sending out of suitable colonists to Australia. In 1842 he was in conflict with the synod of the Presbyterian Church in Australia, and was deposed from the ministry, a deposition which was confirmed by he presbytery of Irvine i Scotland. He was not fully re-accredited until 1863, after the local synod had rescinded their decision-the Church authorities in Scotland had done this some time earlier. From 1843 to 1847 he was a representative for Port Phillip in the new Legislative Council. He became a most active representative, and in 1844 brought forward a motion for the separation of the Port Phillip district from New South Wales. In spite of his eloquent speech, his only supporters were the other representatives of Port Phillip and Robert Lowe (q.v.). Much agitation was required before separation took place (1851).
Lang also took a prominent part in the controversy over whether Church or State should control education. He had been strongly opposed to Lord Stanley's Irish National System, which placed control in the hands of the State, but better acquaintance with its working made a convert of him, and he moved the adoption of the report of Robert Lowe's select committee, which had recommended it. The motion was carried, but Governor Gipps vetoed it.
In 1846 Lang went yet again to Europe, hoping to have emigration to Morton Bay encouraged. He was fully convinced that there were great possibilities in cotton-growing i Queensland,and lectured extensively on the subject in England. He arranged for the departure of about 600 migrants, who later went to Australia on the understanding that they would receive, on arrival grants of land in return for the passage money they had paid. The authorities in New South Wales refused, however., to comply with the arrangement, and Lang was involved in many difficulties and great expense. While in England Lang was also able to give evidence against the continuance of transportation. He spoke eloquently against it after his return, and during the agitation in 1850 was elected for the City of Sydney to the Council by a large majority over his pro-transportation opponent.
When the Council met, Lang moved for a select committee to inquire into charges made against him in connection with his bringing emigrants to Australia. He had enemies in the Council who took the opportunity to pass a resolution condemning his conduct. Lang announced his intention of resigning, but a largely-attended public meeting censored the action for the Council in passing its resolution without going into the evidence, and Lang retained his seat. He retaliated by publishing details of the careers of his opponents, and one of them prosecuted him foe criminal libel. He was found guilty, sentenced to four months' imprisonment, and fined ¢ 100. The amount of the fine was collected by public subscription of a shilling each, and at the election of 1851 Lang was again elected for Sydney, at the top of the poll.
He resigned soon afterwards, and paid his seventh visit to England. Returning to Australia, he was in 1854 elected to the Council as member for Stanley (Moreton Bay), and at once threw himself into the growing agitation for separation from New South Wales. Separation and federation were essential steps in the realization of his political ideal of Australian independence from Great Britain. His free and united Australia was to consist of seven provinces: South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, and three new provinces to be carved out of the northern districts - "Cooksland", " Leichartsland", and "Flindersland". Leichartsland and Flindersland he subsequently renamed "Capricornia" and "Carpentaria".
Lang was unable to contest the first elections under responsible government (1856), became of a clause in the Imperial statute which made ministers of religion ineligible for a seat in the legislature; but in 1859, by which time the clause had been repealed, he was returned to the Legislative Assembly as member for West Sydney. He held his seat until 1869, when he abandoned active politics. During his political career his interest in education never flagged; he also advocated a liberal franchise, land reform, triennial parliaments, postal reform, and the abolition of State aid to religion. He defeated, chiefly by ridicule, W C Wentworth's attempt to burden Australia with a peerage.
In December 1872 Lang's 50th year as a minister was celebrated, and during the same year he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in New South Wales. Two years later he made his ninth and last voyage to England, to see the fourth edition of his Historical and Statistical Account of New South Wales through the press. He died in Sydney on 8th August 1878 and was survived by his wife, a son and two daughters; seven other children had died earlier. He was given a public funeral.
There is a statue of him in Wynyard Square, Sydney. Dr Lang was a tall, heavily-built man, with an appearance suggesting great energy. He feared no one and by word and deed made many enemies. He was a masterful man and difficult to work with, but underlying everything was an immense enthusiasm and a passion for action. At times he appeared to me narrow and bigoted, especially in his views on the Roman Catholic Church, but even his own Church was not spared if he thought it in the wrong. In controversy his strong feelings led to his being sometimes unjust, but in his private life he was kindly and full of a practising benevolence. In politics he was never in office, but his long career was characterized by a consistent struggle for the establishment of better educational facilities and the general advancement of the people. His greatest achievement was his immigration work, for which he made voyage after voyage and worked and spoke with immense effect. It is true that in his dealings with the English authorities he was not always tactful or even prudent, but his bringing of artisans of good character to Sydney supplied a real need and had a distinct effect on the development of the colony.
Lang's fine intellect was fortified by much reading, and he did a great deal of literary work. His one volume of verse, Aurora Australis, published in 1826 and reprinted with additions in 1873, is largely religious verse not much better nor worse than most work of this kind; in his secular poems he occasionally touches the edge of poetry. His most important book was his Historical and Statical Account, which has valuable qualities, marred too often by personal bias.
(Source - The Australian Encyclopedia, Volume V, Published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney)

Dr John Dunmore Lang & the Fortitude Immigrants

Dr John Dunmore Lang was the first Presbyterian minister in Sydney. Alarmed by what he saw as a lack of moral standards among the population of the colony, and afraid that the increasing numbers of Roman Catholics into the colony would undermine Protestantism, Lang strongly supported free settlement and the abolition of transportation. He visited Moreton Bay in 1845 and thought the area eminently suitable for the growing of cotton. He negotiated with a reluctant government to bring to Australia reputable free settlers, proposing that the migrants would pay the cost of their passage and in return, receive a free grant of land.

Opposition to this suggestion came not only from the government but also from the squatters, who were desperately short of labour for their properties. The squatters wanted convicts for their properties, not immigrant small farmers who would not provide a labour force. Lang however, by sheer persistence, eventually wrung from the Government the grudging assurance that immigrants whose passage he arranged would, on arrival in Moreton Bay, receive a free grant of crown land. Lang with this promise extracted lost no time in signing up his prospective cotton farmers. Keen to keep convict "exiles" who would be made available to the squatters as labourers, as well as some of its assisted immigrants who were usually disembarked in the south.

The result of this was that between December 1848 and November 1849, the little settlement at Brisbane, numbering around 800 souls and already short of supplies, found itself inundated with an embarrassing influx of immigrants: Firstly the Artemesia a government sponsored ship with 240 immigrants; then Lang's first group of 253 on the Fortitude, followed by his second group of 225 on the Chaseley; then came 45 convicts on the Hashemy and a further 225 on the Mount Stuart Elphinstone; finally Lang's third group of 84 immigrants arrived on the Lima.

When the Fortitude arrived, Captain John Wickham, Police Magistrate in Brisbane, found himself with the problem of what to do with a large quantity of immigrants of whose arrival he had no warning. Wickham's distress at finding himself the custodian of the Fortitude immigrants is shown in the following private letter written to Francis Merewether, Immigration Agent:

Brisbane 22 Jany 1849

My Dear Merewether

I am glad to find that the papers relative to the "Artemisia" are correct. I fancy myself now in a speck of trouble. Dr Lang's ship the "Fortitude" has just arrived with 270 immigrants on board. From what I hear, they are not a description of persons to engage as shepherds or hut keepers. They appear to be under the delusion that land has been selected and laid out for them, that every arrangement has been made for their accommodation, and it only remained for them to commence operations. Poor people, I do not know what can be done for them. The ship is only to remain 10 days after arrival, therefore they must be landed as soon as possible and I must give them what accommodation the Government Buildings afford and I fancy that if they have not the means of procuring food, I must cause the Contractors to supply. I scarcely know anything of them yet, have only heard from the Harbor (sic) Master that the ship is in the Bay and that enquiries have been made by the immigrants respecting Lang. Of all wild schemes this seems to be one of the wildest sending 270 people to a strange Country without having made the slightest arrangements for their reception, indeed it was only through a newspaper report that we had any idea of such a Ship being on the way to Moreton Bay.

The Immigrants are in a manner consigned to Mr Richardson, a Storekeeper in Brisbane, but he has no funds, and is at a loss what to do in the matter.

Shall I be justified in lending Tents, Iron Bedsteads and utensils which have been supplied to this Depot. You will oblige me by giving your advice in this matter. If these people have not the means of providing for themselves it appears to me that I shall have to consider them in the light of distressed British Subjects and provide for them as for Shipwrecked Seamen and others. Of course under those circumstances I should consider the parties bound to accept any offers of employment that might be made to them or be struck off the ration list.

I shall write officially to the Colonial Secretary reporting the arrival of the Ship and ask for instructions as to how far I may be authorised to assist the immigrants.

A very long letter addressed to Mr Richardson by Dr Lang has been placed in my hands but owing to the press of business as the Steamer starts at 4 tomorrow morning, I have not time to understand it. He calls on Dr Simpson and myself for assistance but what can we do? No doubt something must be done but at present I am quite at a loss. I have requested Mr Richardson to go on board the ship and learn from the immigrants themselves what their expectations are and what they are fit for.

In the event of their being unable to provide for themselves and being willing to take any employment that offers, can they be put on the footing of Government immigrants and provided for accordingly?

This investment may ultimately benefit us, but I fear it will entail a vast degree of distress to the poor people.

I trust you will excuse my troubling you with this long story but I really foresee so much disappointment to these people that I am anxious to see how far the Government will go in assisting them. I shall probably know more of the scheme tomorrow but then the Steamer will have sailed for Sydney.


Very sincerely yours

Jno. C Wickham

I am glad to say that with the exception of one or two sick persons the whole of the "Artemisia's " are off my hands.

You ask how Mullholland gets on. She entered my service when she arrived here but I turned her away for improper conduct, indeed the majority of that lot has turned out badly.

Wickham's official letter to the Colonial Secretary was of no assistance to him with his problem, as the Government denied all knowledge of any promise of land grants for the immigrants, and he was directed to ensure that none of Lang's immigrants were supplied with government rations and were to be refused even temporary occupancy of government lands.

Acting on his own initiative, Wickham allowed the Fortitude immigrants to set up a temporary camp in the valley that ran down the northern side of Spring Hill. They called this area Fortitude Valley after the ship, and being the enterprising and industrious people that the were, they soon found work or created their own opportunities, many of them going on to become well known pioneers of Brisbane.
(Source-Generation page-115 to 117)

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Extract from Cooks Colonization Company (pages 14 to 17 )

"Without fear of contradiction, I give you my opinion that there can scarcely be any other climate in the world superior to that of Moreton Bay. The summer is hot, it is true, but the heat is greatly modified by the sea-breezes. The steadiness of the climate enables even Europeans to be engaged in every agricultural operation without endangering their health. I have been working with my own hands, both winter and summer, and generally all day long, although I was not accustomed to manual labour from my youth, and I never enjoyed better health in my life. There is another fact which may support my opinion: our Missionary Establishment consisted, as you are aware, of nineteen individuals, of whom only one was removed to the heavenly mansions by a malignant tumour in the neck; but not a single death has occurred as yet amongst the twenty-five children that were born at our station."

It would be scarcely be credibly, were it not the fact, that numerous families and individuals, both of intelligence and substance, should be emigrating from this country every year to the bleak inhospitable regions of British North America, with their long dreary winter of nearly seven months, or to the fever and augue swamps of the Far West in the United States, while so splendid a field for colonization as our own territory of Cooksland, in Australia, is allowed to lie almost entirely waste.

Were such a Company established as is proposed, many reputable families in all parts of Great Britain, and the North of Ireland, who would only be able to pay one-half, or perhaps even one-fourth of the fixed price of a colonial farm of eighty acres, would be enabled, notwithstanding, on the payment of that portion of the price, to obtain immediate possession of such a farm, paying interest on the unpaid portion of its price, with liberty to purchase out and out at that price within a certain fixed period. In this way numerous industrious families that are now earning the barest subsistence on miserable fragments of land in this country, as well as numerous others are engaged in unprofitable trade, could be transformed almost immediately into substantial proprietors of farms of eighty acres each , on the beautiful banks of the Clarence, the Richmond, and the Brisbane rivers in Cooksland - with a steam-boat running to and fro past their farms every week.

Mechanics and farm-servants, or even domestic servants, who may have accumulated funds sufficient to defray the expense of their own passage out, but who would not be able, in the first instance, either to purchase or to settle upon land on their own account, would, nevertheless, find it greatly to their interest to emigrate to Cooksland, and to pay or assist in paying their own passage out. For it would be quite practicable for such persons to obtain, through such a Company as is proposed, a remission of the purchase-money of whatever land they might afterwards purchase in the colony to the full amount of their passage-money. The prospects for such persons in Cooksland are at the present moment highly favourable; and any conceivable number emigrating in this way would very soon be able to establish themselves as proprietors of eighty-acre farms on their own account. The passage of an adult would cost somewhat about £15.

In the event of a considerable emigration taking place to Cooksland, much of the land of superior quality in that country, that could now be purchased in large blocks at the minimum price of a pound an acre, would very soon be worth double, triple, or even four times that amount; and in anticipation of this rise in value, it would unquestionably be highly politic, and an excellent investment for families in this country desiring to make a suitable provision for one or other of their number, who might emigrate a few years hence, to purchase either 80 or 160 acres of land on one or other of the rivers of Cooksland, whether they intended to do anything with it immediately or not; as its annual rise in value would afford them a handsome return for their investment, while the land would form an eligible property for the future emigrant. In the meantime, such a purchase would enable the Company, through whom it would be effected, to send out free of cost an adult emigrant foe every £20 of the purchase-money. In this way many persons of reputable character and industrious habits, who would be utterly unable to contribute anything towards their own passage out, might, nevertheless, obtain a free passage, and be put in the fair way of speedily attaining a condition of comfort and independence. Or. If the purchaser of such a farm were disposed to turn his purchase to immediate account, by bringing it into a state of cultivation, he would be able to secure a free passage out foe all the servants he might choose to employ; the cost of whose maintenance, till they would be able to raise a sufficient supply of provisions from the land, would be a mere trifle.

Finally, philanthropic persons possessed of spare funds which they would be willing to appropriate foe a truly benevolent and patriotic object, provided they should receive a reasonable rate of interest for their money, and adequate security for its ultimate repayment, without either emigrating or purchasing land themselves, might, nevertheless, be instrumental in giving a strong and salutary impulse to emigration of the description suggested, by taking shares in the proposed Company as soon as the principal sum they had advanced, together with such interest, should be repaid. If the requisite funds could be raised in this way, to effect the progressive emigration of any number of the very poorest of the Protestants of this country to Cooksland, in Australia, it would be quite practicable to pay any reasonable rate of interest to the parties advancing the funds, and to ensure the entire repayment of these funds within a limited period: so that the whole emigration supposed would be effected without costing any party in the mother country one single farthing. For, as the company would be entitled to select a certain extent of land of the first quality foe cultivation, on account of the emigration they would thus effect, while the influx of the additional inhabitants that would thus be introduced into the country, would of itself give a greatly increased value to that land, the Company would very soon be able to sell it all by retail, so as to repay the whole advance, and to realize a handsome profit on the whole transaction.

Such, then, are the principles of a self-sustaining system of Emigration and Colonization, which the writer would advocate for the settlement of Cooksland, in Australia. That country, he conceives, forms by far the finest field foe colonization that has ever yet been opened to the British emigrant in any colony of the empire. And if a large emigration of virtuous and industrious families and individuals, of various classes of society, from Great Britain and the North of Ireland, could be effected to that noble field, the difficulties in the way of effecting a comfortable settlement for the whole body of emigrants would be comparatively trifling; the facilities for the reproduction of the whole framework of society at home would be great beyond comparison with the condition of other colonies; while the progress of the settlement, not only in t he creation and acquisition of wealth, but in the formation and maintenance of all those institutions that constitute the honour and glory of modern civilization, would be rapid beyond all precedent in the annals of British colonization.
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Diary by James Roper
(Held in the John Oxley Library, Brisbane)

Left London September 19, 1848, accompanied by wife .............. ship "Fortitude" commanded by Captain Christmas, .......................... Surveyor .........................

by the Government Agent, after which we were towed by a steamboat for some distance after which she left us sailing with fair wind. Saw Brighton and the Isle of Wight, Margate, Ramsgate and Deal, at which place the Pilot leaves us. Soon came in sight of Dover with its fine old castle and white cliffs, and now take a last view of Old England.. Soon came in sight of Madeira, a majestic sight, after which we came to Porto Santo, also the Canary Islands, and the Island of Palma.

Most of the passengers suffered severely by seasickness for near a fortnight. Considering the vast number of children they recovered first and all appeared in good health and spirits. The different lighthouses had a pleasing appearance, something like the planets. We are now feeling sensibly the difference in the climate - the air much softer and continues gradually to increase, we are making rapid progress in our voyage.

In passing the Bay of Biscay we had one little squall which made sad havoc among the crockery, which created much laughter. Certainly the middle deck in which we live much resembles a little town, especially when lighted up at night by lamps, and the continual noise of children and buzz of adults - sometimes it is termed like building the Tower of Babel - confounding of languages.

We are now come into the trade winds, and experienced some calms, and certainly no one would conceive how smooth the sea is at such times, like the River Thames. We now see shoals of porpoise and some flying fish, which certainly are very curious. We caught one. The size is about that of a herring. The evenings are now becoming splendid - the air so totally different to that of England.

We are allowed the poop to promenade, through the kindness of the Captain. Some are singing, others playing on different instruments and dancing, but the latter was not suitable to the taste of feelings of most of the passengers. It was declined. A day and Sunday School is formed for the children. The church Prayers are read by the Captain every Sunday morning at half past 10 o'clock for the sailors, and those of the passengers that choose to attend, after which our minister, the Rev'd Stewart held a regular service, and great attention was paid to the same.

After this time a young shark was caught, three feet long, the passengers all wishing to catch a glimpse. The weather is now becoming hot, the thermometer standing at 86 in the shade. A Danish ship comes alongside bound for England. Our captain inquired if he would take letters for the passengers. He replied in the affirmative. What a bustle it instantly caused. Every pen and ink was set in motion as only a few minutes were allowed for the purpose. Some in the bustle had not time to seal them; others were thrown into the sea in getting them into the boat. Some were most fortunate in having written previous.

Soon after this many passengers are beginning to feel the affects of the heat, by loss of appetite and prostration of strength. Mrs Slaughter, a highly-respectable draper's wife, died, having a few days previously been delivered of a still-born child. She was committed to the deep the following day. The funeral service was read by the Captain. The sailors all dressed in their best clothes, the decks clean swept, and the service was one of great solemnity. A heavy bag of shot was fastened to her feet to sink to the bottom. She left an affectionate husband and eight children.

October 18 We caught a shark about 7 feet long - not full-sized. As soon as it was known a general rush was made to catch a sight. It showed amazing strength. Many hands were required to pull it on deck, where it displayed much violence, dashing itself against the deck until it was disposed of by knives, cutting off its tail where most off its strength lies, then its head, after which he was opened , when we found a large piece of pork belonging to one of the passengers which had been hung alongside the ship a few minutes previous. It was taken out as perfect as when put out, and much to the satisfaction of the loser. We have now been becalmed ten days. An American whaler is close to us putting out her boats, manned for the purpose of exercise in the manoevres. Several other ships have been daily in sight.

19th The weather still continues calm. We are able to make scarcely any progress. Today we saw a number of young whales. They came within gun shot. The Captain fired his rifle, but to no purpose.

21st A fresh breeze has now sprung up, after a calm of three weeks. Again we came up with the American whaler and another barque and schooner. Another woman died in hospital after being delivered in childbirth 9 days, died rather suddenly from excitement. Her remains were committed to the deep in 12 hours after her decease. An impressive service delivered by the Minister.

23rd We are still in company with several ships, wafted on by a good breeze. A whale of considerable size came close to our ship and spouted up the water.

25th We passed the equatorial line with a delightful breeze, without being the least inconvenienced by heat.

Nov 1st The weather still very fine - ship going at the rate of ten miles an hour. We have not seen any other ship for several days. Although under a vertical sun we are not in the lest inconvenienced by the heat.

7th Nothing has occurred for several days, but this morning we saw another ship at a distance, and we are progressing on our voyage as well as can be expected. The weather has been very much cooler for some days past.

14th Our old friend, the American whaler, sent her boat alongside. An officer came on board to hear when we left England, and what news we brought out. They had taken five whales, and had 60 tons of oil, besides sending 60 home by another ship. It was quite a novelty to have a strange boat come alongside, and caused no little excitement amongst us.

20th We have just passed the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope, the weather still proving very favourable.

25th The "Ajacks" immigrant ship bound for New Zealand came up with us within half a mile, but being towards night they merely gave us three cheers and passed on.

Dec 4th About this time we caught several albatrosses, which caused much amusement. Some measured 9 feet from tip to tip of the wings, having three joints in each wing.

8th The wether beautifully fine, wind fair, going at 8 or 9 knots an hour. Today we came to the island of St. Paul, which is a barren an dreary spot standing our of the sea and about 5 miles in extent, and unhabited.

9th We had a stiff breeze for 48 hours, which gave us a good shaking, and did some considerable damage among the crockery, but it came from the right point for our passage.

18th We are again visited by a calm. The weather most delightful and the setting sun at night was one of the most splendid sights ever witnessed. Sea had the appearance of glass of various colours.

20th Contrary winds for some days, and the emigrants getting discontented at the progress made.

25th Christmas Day arrives and we are once more favoured with fair wind, and our excellent Captain uses his utmost endeavour to make us all comfortable as far as practicable by giving us a double allowance of rations, sugar, butter, flour, suet (?). etc., likewise a half pint of excellent punch to all adults, which proved very acceptable, and we only wanted the roast beef to fancy we were in Old England. We drank the Captain's health on deck with 3 times 3. The day passed off with much hilarity.

The wind again favourable, and we are going on our course rapidly.

January 1st Wind unfavourable - continues two days. Reached Bass's Strait on the 3rd towards night, with a stiff breeze and hazy, which caused some anxiety on part of the Captain, as we could not see land. He sounded and found 55 fathoms, which proved satisfactory, and we proceeded on our course; the next day to our great mortification we had an unfavourable wind, and we were beating about the Straits amidst the rocks of amazing size, and the promontory of South Australia. Various small islands.

6th Passed some very large rocks, very much like old castles in ruins.

7th We again favoured with fair wind and have got through the straits. Continue to sail rapidly for a few days, and saw the first land of Australia in the distance.

10th We are once more disappointed in having contrary wind - quite a stiff breeze. On the 12th we lost upwards of 20 miles, which put us in rather bad spirits, when being only about 300 from Moreton Bay. Yesterday we saw an immense forest and mountainous land behind it, which had a very grand appearance.

13th We are now becalmed, and to our great disappointment are going backwards - 18 miles since yesterday - which makes very many of our passengers discouraged and impatient, but I consider we have much cause for thankfullness having still a plentiful supply of good food and water, and nearly all in the enjoyment of good health. The weather still proved unfavourable, so much so that we lost 50 miles in 3 days, but on the 18th we were once more favoured with fair wind.

19th We are now coming to Moreton Island, where we expect to take a pilot, and much anxiety is experienced by all, especially the Captain, who had never been on this coast before, on account of the many sandbanks and shoals.

20th To our utmost joy we saw a little boat coming towards us. Although at first it appeared only a speck, upon the nearer approach we hoped it was the pilot, and certainly it was, rowed by his four men, and what delight was pictured in every countenance. We all instantly felt our minds relieved and that all was safe, especially when he informed us that we should reach Moreton Bay the following day. We cast anchor at evening opposite the pilot's residence, which is a very pretty residence about a mile distant from our ship. We heaved our anchor again next morning at 5 o'clock with cheerful countenances and cheerful faces, greeting each upon our safe arrival.

23rd The Health Officer and two other officials came on board and made their inspection, and upon leaving stated we might expect to land in about two days.

26th The boat arrived having the intelligence which was little expected that we were to perform quarantine on Morton Island, the opposite side of the bay, and that Government would provide fresh provisions for us, and that tents and wigwams were to be erected, and on Sunday we began to land, and a most pleasing sensation once more to tread on terra firma. The island is about 25 miles in circumference, sandy soil, but well covered with trees, some of great dimensions, which confirm there being a different soil beneath the sand. It is also well watered by springs of beautiful water and a vast quantity of wild fowl are there. It is also very mountainous, which gave is a very beautiful appearance, and the climate most salubrious, with a beautiful sandy beach, so that a number of persons like ourselves might spend a fortnight very agreeably indeed. Our ship is also anchored about three quarters of a mile from the beach, and the boats are daily coming to us and they are getting in their stock of fresh water. We have plenty of bathing - frequently night and morning.

Diary on board the "Fortitude".

Arrived in Moreton Bay January 20th, 1849.
(Source - John Oxley Library, Brisbane)

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"The Fortitude"
Something About the Immigrants.
by Isobel Hannah


The Fortitude, ship, of 608 tons, commanded by Captain John Christmas, left Gravesend on September 14, 1848, and after a tedious voyage of 128 days, 20 of which were occupied in coming from Bass Straits, arrived in Moreton Bay on Saturday, January 21, 1849.

The immigrants, the first of three shipments which were sent to this country through the patriotic efforts of Dr Lang, received a very scanty welcome from the Government and people of this portion of New South Wales.

The agent to whom the vessel had been consigned, Mr (afterwards the Hon,) John Richardson, one of the first merchants at Moreton Bay, refused to act upon the ground that he had never been consulted on the matter. The immigrants, therefore, were placed under the control of the Government, who were equally unprepared for the task, and rationed. They consisted of 82 males and 77 female adults, and 97 children under 14 years of age, and were forwarded under the exclusive auspices of Dr Lang, whose enthusiasm had been fired by the prospect of cotton being successfully grown and cultivated profitably at Moreton Bay.

Placed in Quarantine

The Harbour master, going alongside the ship, while at anchor in the Bay, boarded her on receiving the assurance that there was no infectious or contagious disease thereon, afterwards returning to Brisbane, and reporting to that effect. Dr Ballow, however, acting as health officer, proceeding to the Bay with the Customs officer two days later, elicited the fact that two cases of typhus fever had occurred during the voyage. A formal report having been made to the Police Magistrate, Captain Wicham, that officer ordered the ship to be placed in quarantine, and obtained from Lieutenant Cameron a guard of six soldiers, who left Brisbane on the following Thursday in the Schooner Susan. After this delay of nearly a week, the people were landed at what was known as "The Ship Patch," Moreton Island, and tents for their accommodation were sent down to the extent of the means possessed by Captain Wickham, which were, however, very inadequate. Fresh provision, vegetables etc.. were also forwarded for the use of the immigrants, and, as was stated at the time, it was "hoped that a few days' enjoyment of fresh air, accompanied by a wholesome change of diet, will eradicate all symptoms of disease from the passengers." The report failed to mention that any such symptoms had been in evidence for some considerable time. We can only imagine the feelings of those superior class of people who came by the Fortitude, inadequately accommodated on a sandy patch of a lonely island, guarded by soldiers as if they were criminals.

There, however, they remained for nearly a fortnight, when the Susan again went down, and, after being delayed for four days owing to strong southerly winds, returned to Brisbane with 64 of the Fortitude passengers.

Some of the Passengers

Amongst these were the Rev Charles Stewart, who for many years afterwards ministered at Ipswich, Mrs Stewart, Mr (afterwards the Hon. William) Pettigrew, surveyor, subsequently Mayor of Brisbane, who erected the first sawmills in what is now Queensland, and in spite of its destruction by fire on two occasions in its first years, built it up again in the spirit which characterised these immigrants, who seemed to have made "Fortitude" their motto. Mr Pettigrew was also for many years a member of the Legislative Council. Dr Henry Challinor was the surgeon superintendent. He settled at Ipswich, and became a member of Queensland's first parliament as representative of West Moreton. The doctor was accompanied by his wife and two children. Robert Cribb, a name well known to the present generation, came in the Fortitude with his family of 10 adults. He was a baker by trade, and when the the promised grant of land was not forthcoming he opened up business in Queens-street. By his own efforts he acquired a considerable amount of land in the best part of Brisbane, became member for East Moreton in the Parliament of New South Wales, and afterwards sat in our first and second parliaments.

A Strange Order

The passengers of the Fortitude, on their arrival in Brisbane, were uncertain as to the immediate steps they might take for temporary accommodation, but, as was remarked at the time, they appeared quite competent to decide the question for themselves. The Police Magistrate eventually decided that for the present, pending instructions from the Governor in Sydney, they would be allowed to erect temporary dwellings for themselves in the suburbs of the town, but for some queer reason they were not to be allowed to cultivate the soil or make gardens in any shape or form. So it was decided, and a temporary village formed on some of the slopes running parallel to the chains of waterholes, in the neighbourhood of what was then known as York's Hollow in the vicinity of what is now Gregory-terrace. It was a pretty spot in those days, and so, in gratitude to the ship which brought them, these stout-hearted people named it Fortitude Valley.

Dr Lang's Claim

Dr Lang's statement of claim upon the Government, which came from the Fortitude, was transmitted to Sydney for consideration. The doctor requested funds to defray the expenses of the surgeon superintendent, and of the surveyor, also for the usual gratuities to the captain and officers of the vessel. The remainder of the money which he considered himself entitled to for introducing these immigrants free of cost to the Government, he wished to be expended in the purchase of land for them. The aggregate amount paid by the immigrants in passage money to Dr Lang was over £2000, and as this sum only amounted to two-thirds of the expense in forwarding them, a most important saving of immediate expense to the Government was effected. It was advocated by the Press of the day that this claim should be met, but the expectations of the immigrants were never realised in this matter. The Government treated them with harshness, and gave prompt orders for their removal from Crown Lands they had been permitted to occupy, and the right to obtain land was peremptorily repudiated, The immigrants were most unjustly made to feel the consequences of what one might term the vindictive animosity which Dr Lang excited in he minds of Earl Grey and the then Governor, Sir Charles Fitzroy, and the official correspondence in connection with this scheme does to reflect credit on the writers.

Independence and Grit

The immigrants, however, of whom, by the way, there is no record of having complained of their treatment, were not of the calibre to fret, and although they were worried they lost no time in looking around them. Some hired themselves as agriculturists and as station hands; others opened business as tailors, painters, dressmakers, and so on; and a number, under Mr Pettigrew, set out to view the land. This independence and spirit of self-reliance carried them through, and of these immigrants of the Fortitude, it may be said that they laid the permanent foundation, not only of Brisbane, but of the great State of which it is the capital. Far and wide throughout the land went the Fortitude's immigrants; they were the means of giving Brisbane a start from a small village to its present dimensions, and many an industrious country centre owes its origin to men who came in the Fortitude with nothing but their indomitable perseverance and stoutness of heart.

Nation builders! they came to the everlasting glory of Queensland -
"A handful of workers seeking the start of a strong intent,
A handful of heroes scattered to conquer a continent."

(Source - Written by Isobel Hannah, Newspaper Unknown, from an old family scrapbook)
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No 1 'Enclosure' in the letter of the Police Magistrate at Moreton Bay, of the 6th February 1849 to the Honorable the Colonial Secretary.

Ship "Fortitude", Moreton Bay
January 28th, 1849

Sir, (To Capt. Wickham, Magistrate, Brisbane)

I had the honor of receiving your letter of 24th instant containing your request that I should remove the 'Fortitude', over to Moreton Island, as the health Officer considered it necessary that all communication should be prohibited with the settlement, at present, as I presume you are the representative of Government in this Port, I have considered it my Duty to comply with it, and we anchored here this morning and shall proceed immediately to land a portion of my passengers.

At the same time I beg respectfully to state, that I consider myself bound to protest against any detention of the ship, as my instructions from the owners, of the 'Fortitude' (I have no copy of the Charter Party) are that on my arrival in Moreton Bay, I am to communicate immediately with Dr. Lang's Agent, that the Emigrants might be landed, as soon as possible, that I am bound to victual them 48 hours after my arrival, but must keep them on board ten days, any detention after that the Charterers agree to pay 15 pounds per day demurrage, as this is quite a private Agreement between Dr. Lang and the owners of the 'Fortitude', I cannot conceive that the refusal of Mr. Richardson, to act, as the Agent of the former can in any way affect it.

With all due deference to the health Officers opinion, I cannot help expressing my opinion that all these arrangements are quite an unnecessary expense, that the passengers, are and have been for the last fortnight in a more healthy state than any time during the voyage, and most certainly more so than when we left Gravesend although we were not aware of that when we left.

I have etc., Signed Mr. Christmas, Master of Ship 'Fortitude'
(Source-By Permission of the Archives Authority of New South Wales- Ref. box 4/1028)
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No 2 'Enclosure' in the letter of the Police Magistrate at Moreton Bay, of the 6th February 1849 to the Honorable the Colonial Secretary

The Acting Health Officer to Capt. Wickham R.N., Police Magistrate, respecting the removal to Brisbane of the Immigrants now under Quarantine.

N0 2/49 Brisbane, February 1st, 1849


Sir, (To Capt. Wickham R.N., Police Magistrate)


I have the honor to inform you that I this day visited the Immigrants by the ship 'Fortitude' now under Quarantine at Moreton Island.

Finding that from the report of the Surgeon, no new cases of Typhus have made their appearance since the arrival of the vessel in the Bay, I think that on Monday next the 5th. instant you may safely direct that the removal of them to Brisbane be commenced, beginning with those who may be pointed out by the Surgeon in charge, as having been the most healthy during the voyage.

It would be desirable that those who have been landed on the Island, should not be again put on board the 'Fortitude' for conveyance across the Bay, but be at once embarked in the vessel by Government for direct transport to Brisbane.


I have etc., Signed D.R. Ballow
(Source-By Permission of the Archives Authority of New South Wales- Ref. box 4/1028)
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No 3 'Enclosure' in letter of the Police Magistrate at Moreton Bay., of the 6th February 1849 to the honorable the Colonial Secretary.


The Police Magistrate at Brisbane to the Surgeon Superintendent of the Emigrant Ship Fortitude respecting the removal to Brisbane of the Immigrants placed under Quarantine.

Brisbane, 2 February 1849


Sir, (The Surgeon Superintendent of Immigration, Moreton Island)


I trust that nothing has occurred since yesterday to cause the necessity of altering the arrangements which were them made, and that a portion of the Emigrants may be forwarded to Brisbane on Monday the 5th instant and others to follow as soon as the 'Susan' can return for them.

I think it will be advisable that the Emigrants should each provide themselves with one days rations at least cooked, as the conveniences for cooking are very limited on board.

Mr Watson will give every assistance by supplying rations in advance, and the Master of the 'Susan' will give ample time for embarking in order that no part of a tide may be lost, as with a fair wind it will require a whole tide to reach Brisbane.

I have given the Master of the 'Susan' directions to bring the personal baggage of each Emigrant, but all beyond that, particularly investments of goods, agricultural implements etc. must be removed from the ship at the expense of the shippers, with regard to which I have no doubt that the parties themselves will be able to make an arrangement with the master of the 'Susan' after he has completed his Contract with the Government.

I have etc. Signed I.C. Wickham, Police Magistrate.
(Source-By Permission of the Archives Authority of New South Wales- Ref. box 4/1028)
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No 4 'Enclosure' in letter of the Police Magistrate at Moreton Bay., of the 6th February 1849 to the honorable the Colonial Secretary.

The Police Magistrate at Brisbane to Capt. Christmas of the Ship 'Fortitude' respecting the removal of the vessel from her present anchorage at Moreton Island to one off the Mouth of the River.

Brisbane, 2 February 1849

Sir, (Capt. Christmas, Ship 'Fortitude')

As a portion of the Emigrants will be removed from Moreton Island to Brisbane on Monday Next (the 15th instant) should the surgeon Superintendent see no cause to advise the Alteration of the arrangements made for that purpose of course there can no longer be any objection to your ship returning to an anchorage off the mouth of the river or of your communication with Brisbane.

But as it will most probably be immaterial to you where the ship lies while waiting for advice from your correspondents in Sydney - I shall feel extremely obliged to you if you will allow her to remain at her present anchorage until the last of the Emigrants have embarked in the 'Susan' or until no more remain on shore than the Tents can comfortably contain, as in the event of rain setting in before that, the ship would afford a shelter to those who might have no other covering than the temporary huts which they have erected.

I have etc. Signed I. C. Wickham J. P, Police Magistrate
(Source-By Permission of the Archives Authority of New South Wales- Ref. box 4/1028)


22nd January, 1849

I.C.Wickham Esq. J.P.
(Forwarded to the Secretary of State,
by Despatch No. 96
of 19 May 1849)


I have the honour to report to you the arrival on the 21st Inst. of the Ship "Fortitude", 640 Tons, with 270 Emigrants and must apologize for thus troubling the Government on the ground of the unusual circumstances under which this Ship has arrived.

It appears by Letters received from Dr. Lang that this is only the first of a long series of vessels that are to be despatched to this port direct and he states in the most positive manner that all future Ships will be under the orders of the Commissioners, and that this one was not dispatched by them, in consequence of arrangements not being mature and the Dr. therefore did not like to delay the departure of those who had agreed to defray their own passage.

The ship has been duly consigned to me, but I would respectively request to waive my agency as it must be obvious I am not individually in a position to attend to their wants as the officials duly appointed and considering that a valuable body of Emigrants are now on our shores without any expense to the colony, I trust that the usual system may be adopted.

I remain yours most respectfully

I. Richardson
(Source-By Permission of the Archives Authority of New South Wales- Ref. box 4/1028)
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Letter to Sir Thos. L. Mitchell, Surveyor General

27th March, 1849


In reply to your letter No. 491/170, requiring me to report on an application to purchase land on the North Bank of the Brisbane River by the recently arrived Immigrants per Ship "Fortitude".

This land is, I have the honor to state, that applied for as a lease by Wm. Sheehan, a tracing of which was forwarded to you in my letter .....last.

It is of varied character, that back from the River being adapted for the purposes of cultivation where fresh water is found, that on the River bank is inferior and too steep for plough culture.

This land also includes that applied for to purchase, for the sake of the Coal it is supposed to contain, by Mr. John Williams.

I do myself the honor to suggest the expediency of laying out this land in Special Country Lots in areas of from 80 to 200 acres, making, if such .... shall appear desirable, a reservation for Village allotments in the neighbourhood of the permanent fresh water, and at the same time of effecting a Survey of the features between this place and Brisbane with a view to determine the practicability of a Ferry across the Brisbane through the Parish of Chuwar to Ipswich effecting a saving of some four or five miles in distance between the Towns of Brisbane and Ipswich.

I have the honor to be,


Your Obedient Servant,

Signed "James Warner"

Assist. Surveyor
(Source-By Permission of the Archives Authority of New South Wales- Ref. box 4/1028)
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Summary of Proceedings of the Executive Council on the 13th March 1849 relative to Earl Grey's Despatch respecting the Immigrants by "Fortitude" despatched by Dr. Lang to Moreton Bay.

Minute NO. 49/10 confirmed March 1849

With reference to the Proceedings on the 20th February last, The Honorable the Commander of the Forces lays before the Council a Despatch from the Secretary of State dated, 22nd 1848 No. 178 enclosing a correspondence with the Reverend Dr. Lang on the subject of an application from him for the payment of bounty on certain Emigrants despatched by him to Moreton Bay to be employed in the cultivation of Cotton and directing that no bounty should be issued on account of Emigrants sent out under such circumstances under the Supervision of private Individuals and in disregard of the Regulations of the Government.

The Council recommend that a copy of Earl Grey's Despatch and of His Lordship's letter to Dr. Lang therein enclosed, should be forwarded to Captain Wickham, in order that their contents may be communicated by him to any of the Passengers by the Fortitude who may apply for information on the subject.

Signed Francis L.J. Merewether, Clerk of the Council,

Executive Council Office,

Sydney, 17th March, 1849, No. 49/54
(Source-By Permission of the Archives Authority of New South Wales- Ref. box 4/1028)
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49/3255 5th April 1849
The Surveyor General to the Colonial Secretary respecting land for Immigrants by the Fortitude
No 49/182 Surveyor General's Office,

Sydney, 2nd April, 1849


Having on the evening of the receipt of your letter of the 21st ultimo No. 49/127, wherein you informed me that application having been made by the Immigrants who recently arrived at Moreton Bay by the Ship "Fortitude", for certain land as described at that place to be brought forward for Sale, and requested that a Report on the subject from the Surveyor of the District might be obtained, given instruction to Mr. Assistant Surveyor Warner to report accordingly.

I have this day received from him a communication on the subject of which I take leave to enclosure a Copy.

Dr. I may add that in accordance with the suggestions contained in the fifth paragraph of Mr. Warner's letter I shall instruct him by tomorrows post to lay out the land in question in areas of from 80 to 200 acres, making reservation for Village allotments in the neighbourhood of the permanent fresh water.

I have the honor to be Sir,

Your most Obed. Servant,

(signed) T. L. Mitchell, S.G.


Transmit a copy to Captain Wickham for the information of the parties.
The Police Magistrate accordingly 13th April 1849
Resubmitted 1 June, End of Issue, See 49/6449
(Source-By Permission of the Archives Authority of New South Wales- Ref. box 4/1028)

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The Police Magistrate at Moreton Bay to the Colonial Secretary respecting the Emigrants by the Ship "Fortitude" being permitted to erect slab huts etc. on Crown Lands, pending the arrangements with regard to land which they have paid for in England.

No. 49/8

Brisbane, 6 February, 1849


Sir, (The Honorable, The Colonial Secretary, Sydney)


(1) I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st Instant, containing instructions for my guidance, with respect to supplying the Emigrants by the Ship 'Fortitude' with Provisions.

(2) With reference to the 7th paragraph of your letter I beg to inform you that I had previously applied to the master of the Ship for a copy of the Charter Party, as well as of any documents which he might have, respecting the Emigrants, and now enclose his reply (dated 28 Jan 49) to my communication.

(3) With regard to my letter of the 24 Ultimo No. 49/3 forwarded to Sydney by the Schooner "Aimllary" reporting to you that I had been under the necessity of placing the "Fortitude" under Quarantine. I now do myself the honor to inform you that in consequence of a representation from the acting health Officer (a copy of whose letter is here with enclosed - No. 2/49 dated - 1 Feb. 49) I have commenced the removal of the Emigrants to Brisbane, and expect the first division to arrive by this days tide.

(4) As I have reason to believe that a great proportion of the Emigrants are in a position to provide for themselves, and will therefore not stand in need of aid from the Government on that score, still it is utterly impossible for them to procure lodgings, as there is barely sufficient accommodation at present for the inhabitants. I have therefore told them that they will be permitted to erect slab huts on a portion of Crown Lands which will be pointed out to them, and where they will probably be allowed to remain until such time as instructions are received regarding the Land for which their money has been paid in England.

(5) I have been induced to take this step in consequence of the uncertainty as to the length of time which may elapse, before any definite arrangements can be made for them and the probability that the Government Buildings may soon be wanted for other Emigrants.

(6) I am aware that it is contrary to the Land regulations to permit persons to locate themselves on Crown Lands unless by license - still I have considered these Emigrants to be very peculiarly situated and that until some arrangement is made with regard tot he Land for which many of them deposited the money before leaving England, it would be almost unjust towards them to insist upon their either purchasing or renting land, when it appears they were under the impression that all necessary arrangements were made, and they had only to take possession of the portions of land allotted to them.

(7) The great distance from Sydney is the only apology I can offer for taking so much upon myself in this matter - at the same time I fear that if immediate provision were not made for these people, serious results might follow, as the rainy season (which is later than usual) may be daily expected to commence, and in the event of their not having ample room and fresh air, sickness might breakout and prove disastrous to the whole community. I therefore trust that His Excellency will favourably consider the view I have taken and be pleased to sanction the arrangements I have made. At the same time I have clearly explained to the Emigrants that their being allowed a temporary occupation of the land, will in no wise entitle them to any right in it, but that, they must remove as soon as the Government shall desire.

(8) I beg to enclose copies of my letters to the Surgeon Superintendent and master of the "Fortitude", which were forwarded to them (dated 2 Feb, 49) on receipt of the Health Officers letter to me respecting the propriety of removing the Emigrants to Brisbane.

I have the honor to be Sir, Your most obedient Servant, Signed Wickham

Note in Margin-I regret that I cannot sanction the arrangements reported by the Police Magistrate in the 4th Paragraph. I so .... slab huts upon Crown Land cannot be allowed.......has been given must be immediately recinded. 21st

(very hard to decipher)
(Source-By Permission of the Archives Authority of New South Wales- Ref. box 4/1028)

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(From our Correspondent)

Fortitude Valley, lying about one mile eastward from North Brisbane, Morton Bay, was so named by a Mr Roper, who was a passenger per ship "Fortitude", the first of three ships dispatched with emigrants from London to Morton Bay, by Dr Lang of Sydney, in the year 1849. Mr Roper having purchased the only dwelling then erected in that part of the eastern suburbs of Brisbane, named the locality of which he was the only occupier in honour of the good shop which carried him to the colony, and settling down with his large and respectable family, commenced to enlarge his home and cultivate his ground in the valley. This was about five years ago; and not with standing the temporary drawback entailed on Morton Bay by the rush of the population to the gold fields of Sydney and Victoria, and consequent suspension of the various branches of industry in and around Brisbane, the valley is comparatively populous, we now find Fortitude Valley containing 113 houses, some of stone, some of brick, some of wood; all of them the homes of men who must pull off their coats to their labour, with perhaps two or three exceptions whose business may be done with their coats on. Of this 113 householders in this locality, 80 are freeholders; and all are sober, steady hard working people, rising daily in personal independence, and self respect. As a proof of this, although the locality contains upwards of 560 inhabitants it does not (even with the aid of Sunday visitors from Brisbane and the bush) support one public-house, for the holder of a licensed house in it, last year, has closed, without making a fortune. Another who is about to succeed him intends to try if he cannot create a business-the inhabitants are nearly of equal numbers of English and Irish, amongst them are two coolie families, also, one Scotch and one French family.

Most conspicuous among the dwellings in Fortitude Valley is the residence of the Sub-Collector of Customs, both from the elevation on which it is placed, and also the singularity of its architecture. This large stone building was built and finished in compo by one of the mechanics per 'Fortitude' with no other assistance than his labourers; it was the man's first job in the colony, but it was done well and cheap.

Most of the land in Fortitude Valley became the property of its present occupiers by purchase from those who speculated in ground, and in some instances, building allotments are so small as six to an acre - for which acre about £6 would have been paid to government and about £100 received from the purchased in return. This is large interest no doubt, but as poor people cannot buy large portions they must pay high for small ones. another circumstance connected with the purchase of land in this way bears hard on the working man, namely the tax for his conveyance; however small his but of ground is he must pay£5 before he can be secure in it; this requires mending if possible, they manage these things better in America .

With all these drawbacks the locality mentioned, filled as it is with hardy sons of toil, - steadily advances forming a moral and political bulwark, alike removed from the pampered children of society on the one hand, and the idle, the trifling, and debauched youth - the foundation being already laid - we shall rise as a class, many in numbers, and powerful in resources onwards to unlimited improvement, willing to give to mankind the benefit of our experience and a share of our happiness.

Advance Fortitude Valley is our cry.

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Pioneers' Jubilee
Old Colonists' Picnic
(From THE QUEENSLANDER, May 19, 1899)


The happy idea of having a reunion of the surviving passengers, with their descendants and friends, of the three of Dr Lang's immigrant vessels-the Fortitude, Chaseley, and Lima- which arrived at Moreton Bay in 1849, was carried into effect on May-day with very great success, The arrival of those vessels, with their 700 passengers, marked a very important event in the history of Queensland; and the idea of celebrating the jubilee of the occasion was taken up with a great deal of enthusiasm. Appropriately enough, the holiday of 1st May was the anniversary of the arrival in the Bay of the second vessel, the Chaseley. Mr S Grimes MLA, made an energetic secretary to the movement. He and the committee decided to have the reunion at Goodna, where a large number of the immigrants settled. The spot chosen was in the recreation reserve, on the banks of the river. To that place about 300 persons repaired by train from Brisbane, and their number was swelled by a contingent from Ipswich. The day was spent in a very pleasant manner, the older people recalling scenes in a very interesting past, and the younger members of the party playing all kinds of games.

In the afternoon, the Hon. W Pettigrew presided over a meeting of the people, the proceedings at which were opened by the singing of the "Old Hundredth." An apology was received for absence of Mr J C Cribb, member fro Bundamba, who had been asked to take the chair.

The chairman made an address, in which he reviewed the actions which induced Dr Lang to resort to immigration to the colonies. Civil and religious liberty headed Dr Lang's desires, he said in getting the immigrants by the three ships. The question whether what he strove for had been accomplished he left those who followed to answer. His own employment in connection with the party was as surveyor, and be recommended for settlement land just beyond the river from where the gathering was being held. Of the ship Fortitude, he stated that 266 souls landed; the number known to have left, and who never returned was 40; the number who remained included Mr J Roper and wife, of Tenterfield, was 21;: the number now known to be alive 72; ditto, dead, 89; the number whose condition was unknown was 54. Of those deceased and over 80 years of age there were 9; ditto, between 70 and 80, 14. Of those alive and over 70 years of age there were 24; ditto, between 60 and 70, 32. Ditto, between 50 and 60, 26. The passengers by the Lima were more fortunate than the others, as they carried land orders; but the orders drawn were more in amount than the Government land order. The passengers then agreed, with one exception, to share according to their orders. This exception was given his full amount.

Mr S Grimes, MLA, explained that the Fortitude arrived on 20th January, the Chaseley on 1st May, and the Lima on 3rd November; but in each case there was a delay in landing. Of those who were grown people at that time, two were present - Mr Pettegrew and Mrs Johnson. There were only about half-a dozen alive, all of whom had been asked to be present. Mr J N Roper, of New South Wales, wrote in grateful terms at having been persuaded to come to "this land of peace, plenty and prosperity." There was another letter from Mr J W Thompson, now reaching 80 years of age; another from Mrs Lewis; another from Mr William Stanley Hall, now 88 years of age, and living in Sydney. There was also a letter from Mrs W H Barlow, who went to New Zealand and afterwards to Melbourne. Letters had also been received, with interesting facts, from the Hudson family, who went to New Zealand. Mr Stanley Hall, jun., and Mrs John Cannan. Mr Grimes went on to say that he had some statistics to show that the immigrants had obeyed the injunction to go forth and multiply; for he read a list of names, with the number from 6 up to 130 descendants. In the later case there were two-great-great-grandchildren. The list, however, was incomplete; but the twenty-one names given showed 977 descendants. This fact, he said , would show the great effect the arrival of the vessels must subsequently have had upon the history of Queensland. He announced that complete lists of the passengers by the Fortitude and Chaseley were on exhibition; but the list of the Lima was not complete.

Mr J G Cribb gave an interesting account of the influence exercised by the immigrants upon the community to which they came. He said, to obtain anything like an adequate view of the nature and quantum of his influence, it would be necessary to review the previous social and political history of New South Wales (of which Moreton Bay was then a part). Still, a cursory glance at a point or two in that history would be serviceable in partly understanding the need of such an immigration they were considering, and its beneficial results upon the history of Queensland. Dr John Dunmore Lang, under whose auspices the ships were despatched to the colony, was the first Presbyterian minister settled in the colony of New South Wales, arriving in Sydney in 1823. The condition of the country was terrible. Dr Lang set about improving it, and in 1831 despatched from Britain, where he went on a pilgrimage, a first batch of sixty Scotch mechanics, in the Stirling Castle. This stimulated the Government; but their men were mostly Iris Romanists, the number causing alarm to the Protestant portion of the community. The Doctor then undertook another mission to organise and emigration of Industrious capable people from the evangelical Free Churches, and his efforts so far succeeded that arrangements were made in 1848 for the despatch of the John Edwards. Owing to the number of passengers, however, the Fortitude was substituted, and left London docks on Sunday, 10th September, arriving tin Moreton Bay on 20th January 1849. The other vessels followed on the dates specified. The immigrants had expected to go on the land, but owing to the disappointment with respect to the land orders, they drifted in all directions, and into all services. Notwithstanding the failure of the land orders, and the endeavours of Earl Grey and Sir Charles A Fitzroy to set them against the doctor, they continued his fast friends and even induced their friends to follow, so that the number who arrived as the result of Dr Lang's mission was estimated at not less than 2000. As to the influence of the immigrants, there was established the United Evangelical Church, which had to undergo much opposition from the independence of action, of which stimulated a spirit of self-help and co-operation effort. The new-comers established a reading-room and school of arts, and a series of tenable building societies. Their political influence was apparent in the way they were against the introduction of convicts, while the squatters were endeavouring to ef............ and the efforts made to secure separation from New South Wales. The latter is the endeavour to open Cleveland as the port. The party with which the immigrants stood won. The last really great surprise took place in 1854, when Dr Lang was posed by Arthur Hodgson, as the squatters representative. Notwithstanding all difficulties, Dr Lang won by one vote.

The next five years were full of events, culminating in 1859 in the erection of these territories into an independent colony, free land for free men. Even in a challenged and scattered outline the thoughtful could see what a power for good these time immigrants were, and how that influence permeated every fibre of civilised life as well as our religious life.

Mr T B Cribb, MLA., made a s.......... and humorous address, in the course, which he marked the deep religion of the immigrants, and their influence on the life of the community.

Mr George Grimes spoke on the moral and social influence of Dr Lang's immigrants. He said people of the present time could form no idea of what Brisbane was when the ships arrived Some concept might be formed by going to a present town, where a clergyman was nowhere to be seen, and where the Lord's day was day to sport instead of prayers. Up to ............ place had been a convict settlement of ............. convict settlement-that was, only the worst criminals were went up. The place then thrown open to free immigrants there was sufficient indications eight years afterwards of what the settlement had been. The time was scarcely sufficient to eliminate the moral evil, and make the place fit for the reception of respectable people. That things were much worse than it was now. More than that, it was Dr Lang's idea that the immigrants he sent out should be those who would lay the foundations of the country in such a way as that they would permanently be based upon righteousness and liberty. No more important was the arrival of the Mayflower to America than was the arrival of these three ships to Queensland. Also, Dr Lang's migrants came to a large extent embodied with Dr Lang's ideas, and no better settlement could have actuated them. In Moreton Bay district there were no more than 1500 or 1600. The influence of the arrival of 600 or 700 people could be imagined. Practically many of our institutions dated from that time. The influence was manifested in the first six months. Churchgoing came to be quite a respectable thing. Licentiousness was checked, and was no longer possible in the light of day. The immigrants supported Dr Lang's ideas of a separate colony. They knew it would be more easy to maintain that moral influence which had been shown on Britain at that time. The town's moral tone arrived ahead of any of the cities of Australia; whether it had maintained that position he did not know. Certainly, it was not a disgrace to be known then that one came from Brisbane. Therefor, he impressed upon those present that it was not a disgrace to be connected with those who came in these three ships; in fact, in time to come they would be glad to trace back their ancestry to those who were immigrants. In connection with the Parliament of the Colony, great influence was manifested by the immigrants, one of the first acts being to cut away State aid to religion. Their efforts in an educational sense might be impressed; and in connection with the establishment of religious bodies, they laid the foundations of some of those at present flourishing in the colony incidentally, it was mentioned that the immigrants erected the church near the Government printing office now occupied as a residence by the Government Printer. There was great disappointment when the immigrants found they could not get the land that had been promised them, but not a single hand would have been held up against Dr Lang. All believed the purity of his motive, and his desire to promote the good of the country. Although it was known that money would be forthcoming if the law was resorted to, none would take a stand against him. It was, therefore, only right that he should move, and he knew the resolution would receive sympathetic support. "That this meeting desires to record its admiration of the patriotic and statesmanlike efforts of the Rev Dr Lang to secure that the foundations of the future colony should be laid by the introduction of free, industrious and religious immigrants, and affirms its convictions that had the proposals of Dr Lang been adopted, the influence for good on the new colony would have been incalculable." (Applause)

Mr E B Sutherden seconded the motion, and briefly endorsed the sentiments of the previous speaker.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Mr S Grimes afterwards delivered an address, in which he recalled some interesting events of the early times. He mentioned that the electoral roll of Brisbane and suburbs in 1819 contained only ninety-nine names, many of which were similar. He believed there was not now a survivor, save Mr John Hardgrave. He said although there was some disappointment among the immigrants on arrival, all recognised that on Dr Lang's part there was a sincere desire to do what was right. No one knew how he fought for the colonies. He was to have come out in the Chaseley; but remained behind to look after the interests of Queensland in the framing of a new constitution. His courage was obvious from a letter which he addressed to Downing-Street in 1849, in which he held out almost a threat that they continued to treat the colony as they had done, an effort would be made to establish a republic. (Applause)

A vote of thanks was accorded the trustees for the use of the reserve. This portion of the proceedings closed with the singing of "God be with you till we meet again."

The party reached town about 5.30. Among those present during the day were many well-known citizens, including Mr W H C Marshall (town clerk), Mr J B Hall, Mr Edmund Gregory (Government Printer) Mr William Grimes (of Grimes and Petty), and others.

PASSENGERS BY THE LANG SHIPS, the sujoined lists of passengers by the Fortitude, Chaseley , and Lima are supplied by Mr S Grimes, MLA -

Ship Fortitude, 750 tons burthen, Captain Christmas, medical superintendent, Dr Chalinor, arrived 20th January 1849. Mr and Mrs Roper, Mr and Mrs A Slaughter and family, Mr and Mrs J Davis, Mr and Mrs Chalinor, Mr and Mrs Langridge and family. Mrs Storie and family, Mr and Mrs Robert Cribb and family, Mr and Mrs Chas Trundle and family, Mr and Mrs R Sexton and family, Mr and Mrs Childs and family, Mr and Mrs Dodswell and family, Mr and Mrs Thos Clark and family, the Rev Chas Stewart, Miss Stewart, Mr and Mrs McKergrow, Mr and Mrs Melville and family, Mr and Mrs S P Welsby and family, Miss Eaton, Mr and Mrs Hingston and family, Mr and Mrs Goold and famly, Mr and Mrs Charles Keid, Mr and Mrs Henry Keid, Mr and Mrs Wm Bulcock, Miss Bulcock, Mr and Mrs Walmsley, Mr and Mrs R Taylor, Mr and Mrs Fowell, the Rev Mr Cliff, wife and family, Mr and Mrs Deacon, Mr and Mrs Chaillie, Miss Southerden, Mr and Mrs Black and family, Misses Black (2) Mr and Mrs Lloyd and family, Mr and Mrs Voysey and family, Mr and Mrs T Smith, Mr and Mrs Primmer and family, Mr and Mrs Carver and family, Mr and Mrs King and family, Mr and Mrs West Ling, Mr and Mrs Russell, Miss Jones and Miss Russell, Mr and Mrs Price, Mr and Mrs Fowles, Mr and Mrs Newstaadt and family, Mr and Mrs Adkin and family, Messrs G Hol, J Everitt, J Stanford, W Munro, Smith, John Paton, Sampson, Baardmore, Peter Chisholm, John Fielding, Jas Robinson, B Bulcock, S Southerden, E B Smitherden, J F Sutton, G W Maskell, Julius Newstead, W S Hill, F Mercer, H Burrell, Ed Mellor, John Smith, Thos Wilkinson, Ed Williams, Peter Buchanan, John Clapton, thos Stuckbury, J Hofland, H A Lyard, John Slaughter.

Chaseley, 515 tons, 120 days, Captain Charles F Aldrich, medical superintendent Dr W Hobbs, Mr and Mrs Smallman and family, Rev Mr and Mrs Thomas Kingsford and family, Mr and Mrs Ingham and family, Mr and Mrs Henry Bulgin and family, Mr and Mrs R C Butler, Mr and Mrs Adolphs McWilliam, Mr and Mrs Peter Mc William, Mr Thomas McWilliam, Mr Hohn Cotter, Mr and Mrs William Grimes and family, Mr and Mrs Benjamin Cribb and family, Mr and Mrs William Scott and family, Mr and Mrs David Caldwell and family, Mr and Mrs John Markwell and family, Mr and Mrs Isaac Markwell and family, Mr and Mrs Robert Towell, Miss Towell, Miss Cribb, Mrs Davis, Miss Bridson, Mr and Mrs William Taylor and family, Mr and Mrs John Bale and family, Mr and Mrs John Reedman and family, Mr and Mrs William Boddy, Mr and Mrs J Birt, Mr and Mrs Scells and family, Mr and Mrs R Brotherson, D C Mc Connel, Mr and Mrs Thomas Bawden, Mr William Aldrich, Mr Frank Aldrich, Mr Hobbs, Miss Hobbs, Mr and Mrs W S Hall and family, Mr and Mrs Charles Roberts and family, Mr and Mrs Thomas Sands and family, Miss Sands, Mr and Mrs J W Thompson and family, Mr and Mrs Robert Dickens and family, Mr & Mrs J Perrin, Mr and Mrs G L Walker and family, Mr and Mrs H Wright and family, Mr and Mrs Thomas Dickens and family, Mr and Mrs Henry Bostick and family, Mr and Mrs David Bell and family, Miss Femister, Miss Mary Femister, Missrs Rothwell, Ahern (2) and Murphy, Messrs H Kilner, William Smith, Thomas Burr, W H Brand, Mr and Mrs Weir, A Walker, W Rae, John Jick, George Cosier, D F Longland, Lucas, Anderson, A Femister and son W Green.

Lima, barque, 347 tons, Captain Yule , from the Downs, 27th June 1849, arrives Moreton Bay, 3rd November, 1849. Passengers Mr and Mrs Ellerby, Mrs Ellerby senr., Mr and Mrs Twine and family, Mr and Mrs Bailey and family, Lieutenant Collins and nephew, Mr Julian, Rev Mr Baker and wife, and family (Chaplain) Mr and Mrs Lewis and family, Mr and Mrs Saunders and family, Mr and Mrs Hudson and family, Mr and Mrs Robert Dickens and family, Mr and Mrs W H Barlow, Mrs Humby and son, two Misses Fry, Dr Wilkinson (surgeon superintendent), Mr and Mrs Broadfoot and family, Mr and Mrs Thorpe Riding, Mr and Mrs Waldock and family, Mr and Mrs Watt, Mr and Mrs James Johnson and family, Mr and Mrs John Lumeden, Mr and Mrs Sexton and family, Mr and Mrs Clarke and family, Miss Hunter, Mr and Mrs Pratten and family, Mr Lucas, Mr and Mrs Wood and family, Mr Bowser, Mr Neugent, Mr Nuttall, Misses Turner (2), Mr & Mrs Marshall . List not complete.

The article was difficult to read & decipher so please excuse any mistakes and let me know if you find any.
You can write to me at my e-mail address

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The Fortitude Club

The Fortitude Club was founded in Brisbane 1961. The objectives were -

To encourage an appreciation of the Arts.
To further interest in geography and history.
To promote understanding with the peoples of other countries of the world
To foster an interest in the National Trust, which preserves historic buildings and lands, protects aboriginal relics and the native flora and fauna of our country.

I don't know if this Club is still active in the present time but someone maybe able to shed some light on its activities.
I have one of the programmes for 1979 when the Patron was Mrs G Olley, President: Mrs E B Findlay, and Vice-Presidents: Mesdames E Bothwell, G Burcher and L J Sanders, Hon Treasurer: Miss A L Campbell, Hon Secretary: Mrs C G Wragge and Committee Members: Mesdames C B P Bell, D Goffage, A A Taylor, A W Young, Miss M A McBryde and Miss A Neal, Theatre Convenor: Mrs G M Burcher.

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Notes written by Thomas Roper about the early days in Brisbane. He was the youngest member of the Roper Family who emmigrated from England to Australia on the "FORTITUDE". I think they are interesting articles, well written and should be shared.

Outline & Sketch of G A Roper

My father and mother arrived in Brisbane in June 1849. Father came by the ship Fortitude and mother by the ship Luna (Lima). By way of passing the ship my father came by, the name was later given to the now Fortitude Valley by my father and his brother Uncle James.

Mr and Mrs James Roper who came by the Fortitude had a family of four viz., James Neariah, Sarah Ann, Emma, and Thomas. My mother was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Joseph Lewis of Gloucester who arrived on the Luna (Lima). Both families came out under the auspices of Dr Lang as free imigrants paying their own fare out, they were promised a grant of land of 150 acres, but the NSW Government would not recognise Dr Lang and the grant of land was refused.

The immigrants then decided to build their shacks in the present Victoria Park; however, the Authorities hounded them out of the Park and they were driven to the Valley and settled just about where Brunswick Station now stands.

My father and uncle here started to make bricks, and as neither of them were brick makers they did not allow for shrinkage and the first batch was spoilt. My grandfather Roper bought a lot of property round about the Valley. Two acres where the British Empire now stands, and his daughter who married Mr Poole a chemist, owned all the property where the Convent now stands.

Later on my father with his brother James N Roper sold up their holdings and with two friends walked down to the gold fields in Victoria to try their fortunes on the Turin and Bendigo fields. After having made five or six hundred pounds, a considerable sum in those days, they returned to Brisbane by boat. My uncle J N who was married, a son was born, being the first free white child in Brisbane. Later the family left for Tenterfield overland by horse and dray. Here my uncle set up a general store and boarding house; in later years it became the firm of Roper and Walker well known in the Tenterfield district. {see footnote} During the period of the boarding house Mrs J N Roper had the pleasure of the company of Thunderbolt, a notorious bushranger; he also held up Mr Roper at the store and helped himself to the police horse and saddle.

My father who married Miss Caroline Lewis settled in the Moggill district and took up farming.

They were also joined by the Nyar and Shields families, but did not make much of a success of farming through dry weather.

Footnote. The store of Roper & Walker in Tenterfield, NSW was established by James Neariah Roper's son, James Hargrave Roper and his brother- in-law Mr Thomas Moore Walker, not J N Roper as indicated in the notes above.

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Thomas Roper, Eagle Junction.

Brisbane in the early days as I first saw it - then familiarly known as the Settlement: starting from Kangaroo Point Ferry, I will first describe Queens Street.

On the right hand stood the residence of Mr Andrew Petrie, builder and contractor. He has ever stood in the front rank in the early development of Brisbane. He was for many years previous to Brisbane being proclaimed a free port in the services of the Government. He was afflicted with blindness for many years during which the business was conducted by his co-partner and son, Mr John Petrie. Their business was very extensive employing a large number of hands with whom they were very popular. From here the road into town crossed a salt water creek. Over this was a dilapidated wooden bridge. The creek was fringed with mangroves under the shade of which sundry boats were moored. After crossing the creek the road diverged, one to the right circuitous to avoid the hill and emerging into Queen Street from behind the present site of the Courier buildings, the other straight over what was then Jail Hill, the Jail occupying the site of the present Post and Telegraph Offices and was under the care of Mr Feeney - Governor. This is the first building after leaving Mr Petries. At the intersection of Edward with Queen Street was the beginning of Queen Street proper. But very few who are travelling Queen Street of today would have the slightest conception of what it was in the Forties. Then there were no friendly gas jets streaming forth to lighten the path of the luckless pedestrian - nothing more than a few oil lamps from the various little pubs by law compelled. There were no asphalt pavement, no McAdemised streets. Water worn ruts were allowed to travel where fancy guided them, with here and there an old stump of a tree to entrap the unguarded wanderer. I remember meeting an old friend of the Samaritan type with his horse and dray drawing a load of stones to fill in a few of the deepest ruts around the corner of Messers Grimes and Petty. This was the only attempt I saw at repairing streets.

In order to give a slight description of Queen Street I will start from the corner where now stands Hunters Boot palace. This corner was then vacant enclosed by a rough split rail fence. Adjoining this was a large brick building in course of erection by Mr M Skyring, in later years occupied by Mr E Southerden, now the site of the new arcade. There were two small shops occupied by Mr I H Robertson and Mr Birch somewhere about the site off the present Oxford Hotel. Mr Robertson was afterwards appointed Post Master in Maryborough. Opposite these were a few tumble down cottage tenements.

On the left again was a marine store kept by Mr Charles Whitmore. Next door was the residence of Mr Thomas Haynes who was then one of the town caterers of milk. On the site of these now stands the business premises of Jack and McKenzie. Opposite on the right was neat private dwelling, the residence of Wm Duncan Esq. sub collector of H M Customs. He was well known as the Blackmans friend. Adjoining were some cottages belonging to Mr David Peatrie. Opposite this was a Hotel in process of erection by Mr Wm Sheehan opened as the St Patricks Tavern, the present site of the Hotel. On the right opposite was low wooden structure called the Sawyers Arms, also a bakers shop kept by Mr D Savoy, next came a butchery conducted by Mr Newbould. The ground that these once occupied is now the present site of A.I.S. Bank, Stewart, and Hemmant and others.

There were a few small tenements intervening between these and the corner of Albert Street. On the corner was a brick building owned by Mr Phelan. In after years it was occupied by Mr McNab, it was then a Horse Bazaar. Crossing Albert Street where the present butchering establishment now is, was then occupied by Mr Cairncross as a bakery.

Higher up was Mr G F Poole, chemist and drugstore and Mr Sparks, general store on the opposite corner. Now Messrs Grimes and Petty was the business premises of John Richardson Esq. then the leading merchant of the place. Next to him was Mr James Sutherland general store. A little higher up on the opposite side was Mr George Edmonstone, butcher. Close alongside was the Smithy of Mr Lachlan McLean. Here the ring and anvil could be heard from early morn to dewy eve. There were no eight hour regulations then in existence.

Adjoining was the little Wesleyan Church, a wooden structure of humble appearance and dimensions free from all architectural adornments. It would accommodate about eighty worshipers. The first Wesleyan Church in Queensland, pastor the Rev William Moore, late Missionary from Fiji. The first wedding celebrated was Mr and Mrs James Sutherland. There was a new Wesleyan Church in course of erection in Albert Street on the ground now occupied by the Queensland Deposit Bank. This in its turn had to give place to a more commodious building in the year 57. As time rolled on this church had to make way for the noble edifice erected on the corner of Albert and Ann Streets. The Telegraph Newspaper Buildings now occupies the site of the Smithy and the Church.

A little higher up was the Sovereign Hotel kept by George McAdam the usual resort of the Darling Downs squatters who occasionally made things hum. Both Brisbane and Ipswich were very lively on the advent of the shearers after the seasons clip. Cheques would be knocked down with a free hand called Lambing down.

Opposite the Smithy stood the Court House. This was the most conspicuous and extensive block of buildings in the street erected in the penal days. The main entrance was a large stone archway with stone stairway on either side. Many a bitter wail, many a heart breaking narrative could be told of scenes enacted within those sombre walls. The clank of the prisoners chain, the shrieks from the triangle brought forth by the cruel lash are heard no more. The leg irons and hand cuffs are passed into oblivion and the building then tenanted by the happy and the free, the first home of the newly arrived immigrants. There were one or two flogged after Brisbane was proclaimed a free port with a few exceptions (one of these being Mr Eldrige, chemist) .

There was continuation of Government Buildings which were being used as Police Barracks, Watch House and cells. The last of these is the Post Office, Mr W A Brown, postmaster. The allotment forming the corner of Queen and George Streets, is vacant enclosed by a rough fence where now stands Mr Troutous chemists shop. The opposite corner was a brick building occupied by Mr Pickering, wine and spirit merchant, now the Bank of New South Wales.

After crossing George Street on the left stands a large stone edifice known as the Commissariat Store then occupied by a detachment of soldiers. The ground was enclosed by a high close paling fence, the site of the present Treasury Buildings. The soldiers were removed just previous to the outbreak of the Crimean War. Immediately opposite was the little Episcopalian Church built of brick, free from all architectural designs further than a small turret where swings a solitary bell. It would seat about 200 people . The Rev Glennie, clergyman.

There is one more interesting spot before we leave Queen Street. On the bank of the river is a small enclosure where some tombstones may be seen in various stages of decay. From the inscriptions they were evidently officers attached to the different regiments located here during the penal times. Every vestage of these has long since been swept away. It must not be forgotten there were some advantages in walking Queen Street in the forties that we do not now enjoy. There were no inconvenience through being jostled or crushed by the passing crowd or slipping on the glassy pavement or being knocked down whilst crossing by a passing bus or cab. Brisbane was singularly free from these accompanying dangers of civilisation.

There is one rather peculiar feature of both professional and businessmen. They appear to be associated in pairs, namely two doctors, Messrs Ballow and Karman, two chemists, Messrs Poole and Eldridge, two lawyers, Messrs Little and Ocock, two bakers, Messers Savoy and Cairncross, two blacksmiths, Messrs McLean and Davis or (Darumboi), two butchers, Messers Edmonston and Newbould. This will apply to North Brisbane only as there were others on the south side. Writing from memory after so many years have elapsed there will naturally be many omissions and inaccuracies. However, I doubt not there are many still living who will remember some of the old familiar names who departing left their footprints in the sands of time.

A few notes on Brisbane and suburbs in my next.

Old Colonist.

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1.Continuation of Brisbane in Early Days

Starting from George Street west of Queen Street there were not many buildings. On the left was Davis Blacksmiths shop (there is an interesting history of this man who lived for some fourteen years with the Aboriginals and was by them named Darumboc). Near his shop stood the Hospital now the site of the supreme Court. Opposite where the Imperial Hotel now stands was a neat Villa , the residence of Robert Little Esq. A few other cottages terminated the buildings in George Street.

On the opposite corner the present site of the New Crown Hotel then stood the Caledonian Hotel kept by Thomas Clune. All around from this on every side was open Commange. The camping ground of bullock teams, said teams would frequently monopolise Queen Street during the process of receiving loading for Up Country. Many of the bullocks would be lying down in their yokes chewing the cud of contentment perfectly indifferent tot he requirements of traffic regulations.

At the back of Rankin and Morrow's Store, George Street, was large waterhole, a continuation of a chain of these running from the present Market reserve. The town was supplied with water for domestic purposes from this. There was no enclosure of any kind or any convenience of raising water. The waterman simply backed their drays into the water and with rope and bucket filled their casks usually three for a load and sold at 9d. per cask. What is lost in transparent purity was compensated by being both food and water, more especially after thunder storms. This was a favourite resort for dogs to get a luxurious bath. There were no galvanised tanks in those days and the great objection to catching water from the roofs was the houses were all shingled and discoloured the water.

What is now the Observatory was then a dismantled Grain Mill. Here the convicts formerly ground their maize and wheat for daily food. Further on in the vicinity of Warwick and Sapsford stood the Government pound in charge of Mr Hughes. Crossing Queen Street on the bank of the river near D L Brown & Co Warehouse was the residence of Wm Thornton Esq. of H M Customs.

The whole of the present Botanic Gardens was grazing ground in commom for all who owned a horse or cow. Goats were plentiful in those days. No restrictions or registrations were then enforced. There were a few stunted Lime trees, Guavas etc. that the cattle had not completely destroyed. A few clumps of Cactus or Prickly Pear and one of Bamboo. The latter was famed as being the secreting place of an enormous Boa Constrictor. This was gratuitously retailed to all new comers by the Blacks. I never saw the snake or met with any one that had.

In Elizabeth Street about the side of Mr McLeans present business establishment stood and old building at one time a Government Barn. This was used by the Roman Catholic's for holding religious services previous to their building the little stone church alongside the present Cathedral. Father Stanley was then Parish Priest.

I must not forget Frogs Hollow which will ever remain fresh in the memories of all residents. Its location is rather difficult. At the intersection of Albert and Elizabeth Streets. North was a large shallow swamp about one acre in area. After a thunder storm it would be a miniature lake. It was the receptacle of all the town refuse. Dead cats, fowls and dogs would lie putrefying in the sun. (No Sanitary Inspector walking about). It was tenanted by myriads of bull frogs. Their nightly concerts (more especially after a fall of rain) is beyond description and must be heard to be appreciated.

In George Street the late Captain Coleys old residence is yet standing near Gardner Bros Cordial Factory also Mr Kannans which has since been considerably renovated. There was no Bellvue Hotel or Club House or Parliamentary Buildings or Government House or improvements of any kind. Eastwards of this the South Brisbane Ferry was at the back of the Museum. Close alongside was a wharf and store known as Tom Dowses Wharf; he was the first Town Clerk after Brisbane being proclaimed a municipality. South Brisbane held an important position in the early days. The Hunter River steamers moored here and discharged and received their cargoes. The bulk of the wool from up country was delivered here into the Receiving Stores of the Company. Many of the station teams delivered their loading in Ipswich. It was conveyed form thence to Brisbane chiefly by punts. The principal stores were the late I & G Harris, A I & H Hockings and Captain Daniel Peterson. John McCabe and Grenier conducted the leading hotels. Mr W Kent ran the drug store.

In January 49, the ship "Fortitude" arrived in the Bay. This as you may imagine created quite a flutter in the usually quiet little village. The news was hailed with gladness. Unfortunately she was quarantined for three weeks on Moreton Island. The Fortitude was the first of three ships sent out by the late Dr Lang. Two others arrived the same year. The Chaseley and the Lima. As these were despatched under somewhat peculiar circumstances perhaps a word of explanation will not be out of place. Through their not being under Government control the authorities in Brisbane at the head of which was Captain Wickham, Government resident refused to take charge as in the ordinary way of Government ships. The Dr's reputed agent, Mr John Richardson, would have nothing to do with them. The only apparent way of solving the difficulty was for the new arrivals to consent to be classed as Government Immigrants. This suggestion was at first denounced as Infra Dig. However after further discussion wiser counsel prevailed and they resolved to do so. The authorities at once sent down supplies of fresh meat, vegetables also tents and medical comforts and a detachment of soldiers as a protection from the Blacks. The Land Orders given then by Dr Lang on their leaving London represented twenty acres per stature adult. The idea was to at once start cotton cultivation. The Doctor had written a work entitled "Cooks Land" {Colonisation Scheme} which he proposed to name the present Colony of Queensland.

On the passengers arrival in Brisbane they at once interviewed the agent, Mr Richardson, to ascertain how they were to proceed. He most determinedly objected his appointment as agent being without his consent or knowledge. A deputation then waiter on Captain Wickham. He in his official capacity could do nothing seeing Dr Lang's Company were not recognised in Downing Street. Public meetings were held and the matter further discussed but of no avail as far as procuring the land. This unfortunate turn of affairs presented a very grave aspect to all interested. How to solve the difficulty remained a problem. There was no employment to be had in town. Several of the young single men (there were forty in all) interviewed Rev Glennie. He advised them to go up country and engage as shepherds and station hands which they did at salaries from £16 to £20 per annum. The married portion, chiefly business men and mechanics having small capital entered into sundry pursuits both in Brisbane and Ipswich and gradually merged into Colonial life.

Correspondence was opened up with Dr Lang in London but nothing satisfactory came of it. The scheme had evidently fallen through. The passengers by the Chaseley shred the same fate. Those by the Lima were more fortunate and got their land. Some settled at Moggill, some at Bulimba and others at Boggo. These were the Pioneer Farmers of Queensland. Others speculated in properties and acquired homes in Fortitude Valley. From this, the locality derived its name.

At that time there were only three or four families located north of Petrie's Bight. On the hill where the Convent now stands was Mr Skyring's residence and Pinery. There was no cutting there and drays took the lower road, now Wickham Street . The Massey Bros, brickmakers in the hollow near Catholic School, Boundary Street. On the corner at the junction of Ann and Brunswick Streets stood a Bark hut, the residence of Charlie Windmill, now the site of Corrigan's palatial building.

There were no other residents till you came to Breakfast Creek. On the left hand was Flannigan's market garden with dense scrub a the back. It is now the site of the Bowling Green and sundry stores. Captain Wickham resided at Newstead. There was an old broken backed wooded bridge spanning the creek, only passable at low tide. As the tide flowed in, the centre of the bridge was several feet under water. Immediately opposite the present Toombul Wharf was another Market Garden owned by Mr Gage. Both here and at Flannigan's was the scene of many depredations by the Blacks.

A few words in relation to German Station in my Next,

Old Colonialist.

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2. Continuation of Brisbane in Early Days

The German Station which is now Nundah was formed by eight or nine German Missionaries early in the forties. The Homestead had a novel appearance. The houses close together, presumably for mutual protection, and formed one side of a street. One of these was set aside for religious services and school house. When I first visited the place, Mr W A Noble (now of Myrtle) was conducting the school. Fronting the street was an enclosure of several acres in area for cultivation. There were spacious stockyards erected and a large herd of milking cattle daily operated on. The social scheme of All things in Common was being worked with apparent satisfaction. There are only two of the original pioneers left; all the others have gone over to the great majority. However, their representatives of the third and fourth generation are to be seen on every side. The mission itself was not a success.

The old racecourse on New Farm was a place of note in the early days. Here resided Richard Jones, Esq., property. North East of this stood a cottage, the residence of S Lyons, the original proprietor of Moreton Bay Courier, and a Mr Adams, a solicitor. On the bank of the river near the late Mr Drury's residence was a little cottage, the home of Mr Doeg, one of the clerical staff and contemporary with Mr Wilkes of the local paper. Where the Municipal Wharves are erected was them an undulating hollow. There was no retaining wall but a gentle grassy slope from the present road to the river.

Here the little Ketch "Nelson" discharged her cargoes of oysters for the purpose of burning for lime. They were burned on Kilns built with logs about five feet high. Several tons would be consumed in one burning. These oyster cargoes would be a great attraction to both Blacks and juvenile Whites. Here they would fraternise and feast on the delicious Bivalve. The owners gave free permission providing the shells were left behind. To continue this wholesale destruction would soon have annihilated the oyster from our shores. There were no leased oyster beds or fishing regulations in existence.

Yorks Hollow was situated somewhere about the Horse Parade on the Exhibition Ground, was a favourite camping ground for the Blackfellows. Bribie Island, Amity Point, Logan and Wide Bay would all send their contingent for the Carbon Corroboree. These gatherings preceded a fight, generally of a tribal character. More frequently the ladies were the unintentional cause of these Savage Appeals to Arms. Both their corroborees and fights were patronised by the civilised white man. It was the only evening's diversion.

The actors of the play took good care to freely advertise the forthcoming treat weeks before the event. This would be verbal announcements only, as they never patronised the local paper. Admission free, no tickets, no collection at the close further than most urgent appeals for tobacco or any stray coppers. Having these trifles in your pockets you were always most heartily welcomed. On these occasions Royalty would be presented. Two or three kings with glittering badges on their breast denting their name and country over which they ruled. Besides these there would be quite a posse of Dukes.

I well remember the Duke of York. He was evidently a Chief whose smile was more courted than his frown. Making Kippers, which means the young men are brought out - their first debut into society. After this introduction and sundry ceremonies, they are recognised as full-blown warriors, eligible to marry and have a lady love to build his Gunyah, carry his household treasures and finish picking the bones of the newly-killed opossum after he has satisfied his inner man. The wife usually squats down behind her Lord and Master during the meal time and he tosses the half picked bone over his shoulder to his hungry and patient spouse. The scene of a first class Corroboree is one full of excitement mixed with a certain amount of timidity. The Gins sit round in a large circle, say 200.

They are singing a War Dance, accompanying the song by slapping their thighs with the hollow of the hand and keeping good time to the tread of their Lords. A peculiar feature in their dances. The Ladies never joined in the frivolous fantastic step. This was following our John Wesley's idea of a ballroom - the gentlemen dancing by themselves.

The refreshments during the interlude were of a very meagre order - simply a few Calabashes filled from the adjacent water holes, accompanied by the inseparable pipe. The whole scene had a weird and pandemonium appearance. Innumerable torches from strips of stringy bark (which is very inflammable), the warriors painted in a most fantastic way, usually in alternate red and white stripes from the face down to the feet. Their hair would be stuffed with down and feathers. They would come darting out from behind the big forest trees, waving their flambeaus and yelling like demons. During the stillness of the night their revelling could be heard for miles. The whole assembly would be attired in nature's costume, like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The following morning they would be lying about the camp - completely exhausted. Usually there was an interval of a few days prior to the armies meeting on the battlefield.

It was customary for the opposing forces to assemble on two opposite ridges, having the valley between. From these vantage grounds, they would send forth their taunts and challenges (reminding one of David and Goliath in Biblical History). One after another of their leading champions, or some young hot-blood thirsting for distinction, would walk down into the valley and several single combats would take place. They were very dexterous, both offensive and defensive. Unlike European wars, the ladies would take part in the melee. They would show extraordinary aptitude in the art of self-defence.

I remember on one occasion a goodly number of townsfolk had come out to witness the heroic deeds of the able champions. During the heat of the battle, the retreating forces got mixed up with the non-combatants, or whites. Away we all ran townward, followed by the victorious troops flushed with victory. Probably the cunning of the savage saved him from a disastrous defeat, as the victors dared not throw their spears of boomerangs, fearing they might injure some of the white men. I am not very clear as to their methods of Treaties of peace. I never heard of any War Indemnities, either monetary or territorial.

They ministered not the daily wants and necessities of the dwellers in town as far as their intelligence and natural indolence would permit them. They would come daily, marching

in Indian file, accompanied by troops of dogs, the Gins usually with a bundle of firewood on their heads which would represent a breakfast. The Gins were the burden bearers. In addition to the load of wood, they would frequently have a piccaninny squatted in a blanket on their backs, also a dilly bag stuffed full of odds and ends, their household treasures. The bulk of the domestic work m such as scrubbing verandas, cleaning up back yards, hewers of wood and carriers of water, would fall to the lot of the poor drudging wife.

An unfortunate occurrence happened about the year '50. A man reported in town the Blacks were spearing Mr Petrie's cattle at the Fisheries on Breakfast Creek. A detachment of military went out, accompanied by the Chief constable, Mr Fitzpatrick. On arriving at the camp somebody blundered respecting the word of command. The military fired into the camp. The Blacks were horrified as well as maimed and fled for their lives. An investigation was held and punishment was metered out to the offending parties. It turned out the charge of their molesting cattle was all a fabrication.

Late in '49, the Mount Stuart Elphinston arrived with a shipment of exiles, which was soon followed by the ship "Bangalore". This was the last shipment of this undesirable class. The Hashemy was lying in Sydney Harbour with a similar cargo but were denied a landing. The Eagle steamers ran alongside and brought them up to Moreton Bay. Another eventful arrival about this time was the ship "Emigrant". Both on the voyage and whilst lying in the Bay, a frightful epidemic was raging. Between thirty and forty died whilst lying in quarantine. The ship's doctor succumbed to the fatal malady. Dr Ballow (the Health Officer in Brisbane) went down (with a strong presentiment he would never return). He soon fell a victim. The daily reports brought up from the Bay were mournful in the extreme. Doctor Kannan volunteered to go down (to what then appeared the very jaws of death). However he was spared to see the fell disease stayed and in due time a clean bill of health was reported.

The year '50 was fruitful of notable events. The visit of Sir Charles Fitzroy, who was then the Governor - we were then looked upon as far off dependency Colonel Snodgrass was our Parliamentary representative.

In the year '50 or '51 the first Circuit Court was opened by Mr Justice Terry. The advent of these legal gentlemen, with their gowns and wigs, created quite a sensation. The court was held in the big room upstairs in the old Courthouse. On the calendar were two men, Wagner and Fitzgerald, who were tried for murder, condemned and hanged on the hill outside the jail wall, on the present site of the Electric Telegraph Office. Another case, of little importance in itself, but was the cause of great financial change - a Publican named Genier had his till robbed of supposed cash. On investigation it was found the cash consisted of I.O.U's. The charge fell through on the ground of its not being legal tender. The issuing of these was prohibited and they were at once called in. This system had previously been the chief circulating medium. The amounts were usually from five shillings down to twopence. There was but little coin of the Realm in circulation at that time. However, the Bank of NSW was now the monetary difficulty arranged.

Communication with Ipswich by steam boat was first started by the Experiment, afterwards supplemented by the Hawk, owned by Boyland and Reid, which was followed by the Swallow, built by Mr Winship. She was expected to be a rapid bird of passage like her feathered namesake, but failed to create a sensation as regards speed. The following years saw quite a fleet of river boats - the Bremer, the Settler, the Breadalbane, the Emu, the Ballarat, the Brisbane and the Ipswich. The four latter were owned by the Ocean Steam Company.

The communication with Sydney was at long intervals and very irregular. The monthly arrival of the old Tamar (occasionally relieved by the Shamrock). The Tamarack was commanded by Captain Murphy. Her arrival was quite an event - her smoke would be seen as he came up the river and the news of a Sydney steamer's arrival would be the universal topic. (There were no means of signalling.) Little groups would be gathered together awaiting her arrival with impatient expectancy, as this was the only means of communication with the outer world beyond a few small schooners. The business men would have consignments on board. One would have a few bags of Pampanga sugar, another two or three half and quarter chests of Hysonskin tea, another a keg of nails, the want of which has caused a delay in building. The publican was expecting a consignment to replenish his cellars (no local breweries). The delivery of the mails was of paramount interest. The European news would be four or five months old. There were no cablegrams or telegrams to flash as in our day. A second steamer was placed on the Sydney Line - the Eagle started he maiden trip in '50 in charge of Captain Allen. She decorated with bunting and welcomed with cheers as she rounded Kangaroo Point. In after years the honour of making rapid trips fell to Captain O'Reilly, in charge of the Boomerang. There was no steam trade to the North of Moreton Bay. Maryborough and Port Curtis were the only two Ports and these were served by sailing coasters.

The Constabulary Force was composed of three constables and one chief, quite equal to local requirements. A very small affair compared tot he Force of the present day. Our Coalfields were of limited character. The first was at Moggill, owned and worked by Mr Williams. The output was very small - I suppose equal to the demand. This property was purchased by a Syndicate, Messrs Panton, Faircloth, H Buckley and others. It had ceased working for many years.

In industry of the Boiling Down Establishments created a large employment during the season. They were in the hands of enterprising men, R I Smith, John Campbell and Peter Fleming, all on the banks of the Brisbane and Bremer. This was the only outlet for the surplus flocks and herds. Owing to the limited population the consumption was very small. The idea of supplying the home markets with either frozen or living stock was left for the present generation to develop.

There were no vehicles in the early days of Brisbane beside the bullock and horse drays, with the exception of Captain Wickham's Sociable which was brought out on Sunday to enable the family to go to church. The first public conveyance was started by a Mr Woods, if I remember rightly. It was running from the Sovereign in Queen Street to the Royal George in the Valley - that is, when there were any passengers to carry. The only road fit for driving was the road to Eagle Farm and this was this was the work of convicts. Any kind of an outing had to be accomplished on horseback. I am afraid many of the ladies would be denied this pleasure.

The timber supply for building purposes was all sawn by hand. The day of sawmills had not yet arrived. The Binstead Brothers on North Quay were the principal Sawyers. Certainly there were no very extensive contracts rushing in. If so, they exercised the virtue of patience.

The memorable year '51 electrified Brisbane by Hargreave's discovery of Gold at Summer Hill. Most exaggerated and absurd rumors were startling the whole community. The find at Summer Hill was quickly followed by another and far more important one on the Turon. This last information threw all business completely our of gear. Men of all classes were now seriously talking of going to have a look. The steamer Eagle, also the brig Jack belonging to I & G Harris, were quickly filled to overflowing, so intense was the excitement. After a few trips of the Eagle, the bulk of the able-bodied men ere landed in Sydney, leaving their wives, sweethearts and children to the protection of the aged and infirm old men. But a very small percentage of Brisbane crowd made a success of the venture. The gold was not to be picked up on the surface of the ground. After a month or so the fever had died out and many returned to their homes poorer, wiser and sadder men.

During the year '51 the first School of Arts was opened. The leading spirits were John Innes, James Spence, Langridge Poole and others. The spirit of debate was just awakened and the first Separation meeting was held. Taylor (the learned Blacksmith), Robert Cribb and other orators of note (at that time) addressed the meeting.

The year '52 saw the initiation of cotton cultivation. Messrs, Poole and Eldridge, druggists, had the honour of pioneering this (at one time) important industry, thus emulating the Great Mechi of razor strop fame, London, who took such a prominent position amongst the British farmers during the Forties. The cotton was found to take kindly to our Queensland climate and flourished luxuriously. The following years several companies were formed and large areas were placed under cotton, but the scarcity of labour for picking the same proved fatal. The Government stepped in to assist to nurse the infant into manhood by giving a bonus of £5 per bale of ginned cotton. The following year it was reduced to £2 per bale and the third and last year to £1 The cessation of the bonus proved the death of cotton cultivation. The agricultural districts around Ipswich took a prominent place. The firms of Cribb and Foote and I & G Harris imported costly ginning machinery. Thousands of bales arriving both by land and water during the season gave the town a busy and bustling appearance. There was one peculiar advantage in its cultivation - the poorest land would produce the finest staple cotton. The great and insurmountable difficulty was the scarcity of hands to harvest the crop, which was exceedingly perishable. On a bright sunny day the balls would burst and give the appearance of a field of snow; a single day's rain would destroy the farmers' prospects - the cotton would be stained and unmarketable. Another great obstacle was the competing with America in the home market. It was found unpractable. The cotton trees were rooted out and burned and a general resumption to the original staples, maize, potatoes and hay.

During these years, there was a constant war betwixt the squatters and selectors. The former wanted cheap labour and broad acres for his flocks and herds. They fought close settlement tooth and nail. They had a great preponderance in Parliament and were masters of the situation. The Darling Downs, they asserted, would not grow a cabbage. To punish the Brisbane trade they threatened to make Cleveland the shipping port and deliver their work on Blue Water. There seems to be an inherent antagonism between the flock master and the tiller of the soil, from the time of Cain and Abel, which culminated in Fractricide.

In '53 a new era in timber for building purposes now dawned on the community by the erection of a sawmill by our enterprising townsmen, Wm Pettigrew, Esq. As usual in all progressiveness of this nature, opposition was his own by the craft which they looked upon as in danger. They predicted failure and a speedy collapse. Unfortunately their predictions of the latter were soon verified. It was burned tot he ground in '55. It was re-erected and again burned down in '74. It was wrecked for the third time by the 'Big Flood' of '93. Again restored and in full work up to date. Surely the grit of the Scotsman was much in evidence here.

Coming events cast their shadows. The supposed boon of separation had for several years been the vital topic of the day, the appeal for which was unanimous, in which the whole country joined issue - squatters, farmers, business men and mechanics. Crowded meetings were held. All the eloquence of the local talent was poured forth most lavishly and enthusiastically cheered. Dr Lang was indefatigable in keeping the prize well before the public eye and ear, both with pen and platform oratory. The Home authorities were petitioned again and again. At last the Royal Assent was granted, her most Gracious Majesty christening the new-born Colony "Queensland". In the year '59, Sir George Ferguson Bowen was appointed first Governor.

The year following, the first Parliament was formed and a new Nation sprang into existence, with an enormous territory and containing within herself all the elements for building up a mighty Nation, with ample room for millions of the over-populated British Isles to find a home and help to open out nature's rich storehouses. The extent of her mineral wealth must remain to be developed by coming generations. What a few years back was looked upon as Terra Incognito has now been taken possession of by the Frontier Squatter and vast flocks and herds are now depasturing thereon. The time has arrived for Brisbane to lay aside her swaddling clothes and enter the arena of life's battle as a stalwart stripling. A municipality is proclaimed. The formation of streets andp lighting the same call for immediate attention.

In '65, a Board of Water Works was instituted. The Enoggera Reservoir was constructed, The old town waterhole disappeared and a new era had set in.

Owing to the monopoly and consequently high rates of freight enjoyed by the A.S.N. Steam Company, a new Company was started, chiefly composed of Brisbane Shareholders. Captain Putello (formerly an employee of the old Company) was appointed manager and sent home to superintend (supervise) the construction and sending out the infant fleet, consisting of the Queensland, Lady Young and Lady Bowen. The senior Company at once lowered their freights. For a time there was keen competition; however, through insufficient capital, the Queensland Company succumbed to its more powerful rival, which resulted in the older Company purchasing their complete plant and resuming supremacy of the Coasting Trade without a rival. Some few years after this, Howard Smith and Son established themselves in Brisbane as Ocean Carriers. They too met with similar treatment as the defunct Q.S.Company. however they were able for the strain and maintained their ground and are now powerful and friendly competitors for public patronage.

In the year '63, Brisbane was subjected to a flood, which was succeeded in '64 by a disastrous fire, the first of any magnitude the town yet experienced. Queen Street from the corner of Albert Street (well known as Cairncross's corner) nearly up to the Bank of NSW was laid in ruins. There was a Volunteer Fire Brigade at work, but the appliances brought to bear were ill-adapted to contend with a fire of such magnitude. Refuge Row, the site of the present A.M.P. Buildings up to the Telegraph Office. Naturally these buildings were all of a temporary character and have long since disappeared.

The year '66 was noted as the year of the great Riot. Navvies who had been employed in the construction of the Ipswich and Toowoomba Railway struck work and came down to Brisbane in a body about 60 strong. There was some consternation amongst the inhabitants of the different villages as they passed through. The bakers and butchers threw open shops as a peace offering. However, there was no wrecking or violence offered until they arrived in Brisbane. Here two or three of the ringleaders now became very prominent. Making absurd demands of the government, threatening to sack the treasury, etc. To meet such an unexpected emergency, all the Government employees were quickly enrolled and marched out, parading Queen Street. The ringleaders now demanded bread or blood with threatening gestures. They were soon taken in hand by the Police and locked up, and finally sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, where they got the bread they so defiantly clamoured for. The main body quickly dispersed, and this ended the first Labour trouble of Queensland. There were no Labour Unions then in existence.

About this time the Bank of Queensland failed and a terrible depression was experienced by the community. However, the cloud was soon to be dispersed in a most unexpected way. In '67, the Gympie Goldfield was discovered. A Mr Nash,, gold prospector, after many weary months of fruitless toil among the ranges, most fortunately was led to prospect a gully, afterwards well and favourably known as Nash's Gully. here he came across rich deposits of the precious metal. He reported the same to the authorities and claimed the one thousand pounds reward previously offered by the Government, together with a prospecting area. The news spread like wildfire, both in Maryborough and Brisbane. Thousands wended their way to the new Eldorado. All sorts of vehicles and conveyances were pressed into the service. One man landed on the Field having wheeled a barrow containing his little ones and necessaries over a hundred miles. His indomitable pluck carried him through. A man of such stamina was bound to succeed, which was verified in his case. He became one of the leading men of the town and today holds a prominent position there. This rich field came most opportunely for the country. It had universally been acknowledged as the salvation of Queensland. At one time over a thousand men (breadwinners) from the Valley alone were working at the alluvial ground, all getting something. There was no capital required or months to wait before any return for labour expended, as in the case of deep sinking on the Reef, nor any costly machinery to invest in. The outfit consisted of a pick and shovel, prospecting dish and cradle, and to start work at once, and, possessed with a Miner's Right (a Licence to Mine), the field was before him. Working the reefs in search of matrix gold (which has grown to such an important industry) required a large capital. To realise, this, Companies were floated and a large amount of labour is employed to work the same. Many thousands of pounds are expendable on machinery. The road from Brisbane to Gympie over the Blackall Ranges was about one hundred and twenty miles of very rough broken country. It was a terrible experience, more especially for all vehicular traffic. However, extravagant expectations on reaching a new goldfield wept aside all obstacles that would affectualy bar any other enterprise.

The sugar industry is far too important to pass over. In the year '62, the Honourable Louis hope on his Cleveland estate started salt works by the process of evaporation form artificial pans. The industry not realising expectations, he determined to form a sugar plantation. A large amount of capital was expendable in machinery and plant and preparatory works but, not proving the success anticipated, after a few years it was abandoned. The Logan and Albert appears to have been the pioneers' favoured locality, as it was thought the climate was more equable and the virgin scrub soils more productive. Kanaka labour was now introduced, but from various causes the industry (except in a few isolated cases) did not realise expectations and in many instances the plantations have been converted into grazing and agricultural farms. The climate of the Tropical North appears more congenial for the development of the sugar cane.

During the year '68, Brisbane was honoured by a visit form Prince Alfred (now Duke of Edinburgh). The reception was truly Loyal and Royal.

As occurrences of more recent date are still fresh in the memories of many of your readers, consequently there will be no interest in perusing the same.

I omitted to mention when writing of the discovery of gold in Gympie that Canoona was the first Field discovered in Queensland in the year '58. The present town of Rockhampton owes its origin to this discovery.

"Old Colonist".

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Newspaper Clipping source unknown

Thomas Roper

The Rev. T Rees Thomas will have extra seats put in the aisles when the former City Congregational church now known as the Ann Street Uniting Church celebrates its 121st anniversary this Saturday.

Part of the church's history is still to be found in the battered copies of its initial marriage register.

The first marriage recorded in the book took place on July 19, 1858 when Thomas Roper a widowed storekeeper from Maryborough married Caroline Lewis.

Mr Thomas said there was no church building in those days so they married in the bride's home at Moggill.

The early Congregationalists worshiped in an upper room in a building known as the National School near the corner of Creek and Queen Streets.

The present church building was once a cereal factory.
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You can write to me at <jvbryant at halenet dot com dot au>. . if you have anything to add or any corrections to make or just have a chat. Do I have any Roper or Everitt descendants out there that would like to say hello?


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