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Proclamation of the Port of Adelaide
Title : Proclamation of the Port of Adelaide Proclamation of the Port of Adelaide
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Creator : Hindmarsh, John Sir, 1785-1860
Source : South Australian gazette and colonial register, 3 June 1837, p. 2, col. a
Place Of Creation : Adelaide
Publisher : Robert Thomas and Co.
Date of creation : 1837
Additional Creator : Gouger, Robert
Format : Newspaper
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Governor Hindmarsh proclaims the Port of the Town of Adelaide, naming the two points of land at the entrance of the estuary Point Grey (north) and Point Malcolm; the entrance itself was named Light's Passage. Lefevre Peninsula, Torrens Island and Angas Inlet were also named. The river itself was not named.

Hindmarsh had delayed proclaiming the port as he was not in favour of either the port or the site of Adelaide as decided upon by Surveyor General William Light. His preference was for Encounter Bay or Port Lincoln, and in this he was supported by a number of the first settlers. However Light had examined both of these places and had decided in favour of the creek north of Glenelg. He described it as ' of the finest little harbours I ever saw.' It was separated from his site for the main settlement by only seven miles of flat land, and the possibility of a canal connecting port and town was proposed quite early in discussions by Light himself.

Light's instructions from the Colonization Commissioners gave him the authority to make the decision free from interference by the Governor, and he held by his decision to place the port on the creek or estuary sheltered by Lefevre Peninsula.

Light himself guided the immigrant ship Tam O'Shanter into the port, although she ran aground on a sand bank. The Africaine and William Hutt moored in the creek in January 1837, and John Renwick unloaded immigrants there in February. Later a letter from John Duff, captain of the Africaine, Alexander Fleming, captain of the William Hutt and Henry French the owner, was published in the South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register: in this they wrote 'We, the undersigned, beg to congratulate Your Excellency on the proof which our safe arrival in this port affords of its eligibility as a safe retreat ...'

The proclamation of the port by the Governor in May 1837 was finally all that was needed by ships' captains who were reluctant to use an unproclaimed port because of the insurance issues. The Port of Adelaide's future on the creek was assured.

Related names :

Light, William, 1786-1839

Angas, George Fife, 1789-1879

Torrens, Robert, 1780-1864

Coverage year : 1837
Place : Port Adelaide, S. Aust.
Further reading :

Couper-Smartt, John Port Adelaide: tales from a "commodious harbour" Port Adelaide: Friends of the South Australian Maritime Museum, 2003

Parsons, Ronald, Port Misery and the new port (early Port Adelaide) Magill, S. Aust.: R.H. Parsons, 1982

Mudflats to metropolis: Port Adelaide 1836-1986 [Port Adelaide, S. Aust.: B. & T. Publishers, 1986]

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

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



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