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Letter to his grandfather [24 February 1840, p. 4]
Title : Letter to his grandfather [24 February 1840, p. 4] Letter to his grandfather [24 February 1840, p. 4]
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Creator : Gemmell, Thomas
Source : Gemmell, Thomas, D 7730(L)
Date of creation : 1840
Format : Manuscript
Catalogue record
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Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of Michael Gemmell. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from Michael Gemmell and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

The last page of his letter to his grandfather also includes notes to his mother and to his sister, and space for the addressee William Barr. The ship was dismasted in a storm shortly after passing Cape Leeuwin; the broken masts and rigging were thrown overboard, and the crew rigged jury masts for the remaining distance to Port Adelaide. The passage of the India had been a hard one: it was dismasted twice, episodes that were potentially frightening for people making the bold move of migrating to a new land.

Thomas says nothing of his arrival in his new homeland; he wrote this letter to his grandfather and posted it the next day. Two post marks are clearly visible, Adelaide and Glasgow.
Thomas Gemmell variously worked farms at Mitcham and Morphett Vale and also worked as a teamster at Burra, before going to the Victorian gold fields. When he returned he was able to buy land at Strathalbyn, married Elizabeth Inglis, raised a family and grew wheat for a few years before switching to sheep. He died in 1897, a highly respected member of his community.
Related names :

Barr, William

Place : 1839-40
Further reading :
Adelaide observer , 19 June 1897 page 24 col. a-b The late Mr Thomas Gemmell

Gemmell, Nancy, Old Strathalbyn and its people, 1839-1939 Adelaide: National Trust of South Australia, 1995

Haines, Robin Life and death in the age of sail: the passage to Australia Sydney, N.S.W.: University of New South Wales Press, 2003

Pennigton, Peter William Wood's diary: a story of nineteenth century emigration on board the sailing ship "Constance" in 1852 Stansted: Ardnamona Publishers, 2002

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



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