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Diary of John Brown
Title : Diary of John Brown Diary of John Brown
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Creator : Brown, John, 1801-1879
Source : PRG 1002/2
Date of creation : 1834-1836
Format : Diary
Dimensions : 275 x 230 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Two copies of the diary of John Brown, February 1, 1834 - July 3, 1836. One is in typescript, one a photocopy of the original held in the Mitchell Library

The diary gives a unique insight into the often heated and frustrating communication between and relationships with the Colonization Commissioners in the early days of the foundation of the province of South Australia, as they planned to set sail to the new colony. According to Brown, there certainly were many disagreements, betrayals and differences of opinion between His Majesty's Commissioners and despite the best intentions of his sympathisers, it is lucky South Australia was ever colonised at all, due to the fumblings and arguements between other colleagues.

There are two copies of the diary of John Brown, 1 February 1834 - 3 July 1836. The original is held in the Mitchell Library of New South Wales. The facsimile copy of the Diary of John Brown, 23 February 1835 - 30 May 1835, with rough diary 11 February 1834 - 3 July 1836.

The rough diary lacks the following entries; 1 August 1835 - 26 August 1835 and 5 October 1835 - 26 October 1835. There is also a typescript copy of the diary created by R.M. Hague. The typescript includes a fair copy (word for word where possible) of the diary, 23 February 1835 - 30 May 1835 and a rough copy of the diary, 27 Aug 1835 - 4 Oct 1835 and 27 October 1835 - 3 July 1836.

1835 -23 FebrY. Since I began more decidedly to devote myself to the Plan for Colonizing South Australia, I have frequently thought it an object so important in itself, and in its probable consequences, that a Journal of the events falling under the notice of any one of those who took an active part I promoting it, would be, one day or another, interesting if not valuable.

The majority of early emigrants arrived at Port Adelaide. The image above is of Port Adelaide from South Australia Illustrated by G.F. Angas (B 15276/7)

In A Colonial Experience : 1838-1910 : a woman's story of life in Adelaide, Geoffery Manning reveals an impression of the every day tent life of John Brown, through the voice of his fictional character 'Helen. C. Spencer':

"We all rose early and breakfasted with Mrs. Brown, with the parrots chirping over our heads. The coffee mill was nailed to a tree and the roaster stood closeby the side. The fire for cooking was on the ground nearby. John Brown was in his tent, writing, and we were rude enough to look over his shoulder and read what he had written: 'The more we see of the colony, the more our impressions in its favour are confirmed. There is abundance of good land everywhere.... I have dug for water close to my tent and found two feet of rich black earth, mingled with sand...'

Related names :

Aboriginal Australians

Brown, John, 1801-1879

Currie, Raikes, 1801-1881

Duff, John Finlay, 1801-1868

Fisher, James Hurtle, Sir, 1790-1875

Gilles, Osmond, 1788-1866

Gouger, Robert, 1802-1846

Grenfell, Pascoe St. Leger

Hague, R.M.

Hanson, Richard Davies, Sir, 1805-1876

Hill, Rowland, Sir, 1795-1879

Hindmarsh, John, Sir, 1785-1860

Kingston, George Strickland, 1807-1880

O'Halloran, Thomas Shuldham, 1797-1870

Quaife, Barzillai, 1798-1873

Mann, Charles, 1799-1860

McLaren, David, 1785-1850

Morphett, John, Sir, 1809-1892

Napier, Charles James, General, Sir, 1782-1853

South Australia Company

Strangways, Thomas Bewes, 1809-1859

Strangways, Henry Bull Templar, 1832-1920

Stephens, Samuel, 1808-1840

Thomas, Robert, 1781-1860

Torrens, Robert Richard, Sir, 1814-1884

Wyatt, William, 1804-1886

Coverage year : 1834-1836
Period : Pre-1836,1836-1851
Place : South Australia
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :

Manning, Geoffery A colonial experience, 1838-1910 : a woman's story of life in Adelaide, the District of Kensington and Norwood together with reminiscences of colonial life Underdale, S. Aust. : Gillingham Printers, 2001

Jaensch, Dean (ed.), The Flinders History of South Australia: Political History , Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 1986

Pike, Douglas, Paradise of Dissent: South Australia 1829-1857 , 2nd edn, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1967

Internet links :

State Library of South Australia, Archival collections Papers of John Brown - PRG 1002

Mitchell Library and State Library of New South Wales

Australian dictionary of biography online edition Brown, John

SA Memory, The Foundation of South Australia 1800-1851 John Brown



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