Before 1836

1804 to 1835

See also Prior to 1836


1804 On Friday arrived the Ship Union, Capt. PENDLETON, from New York, but last from Bass's Straits, whither she went to frieght in Skins and Oil, and has procured between 5 and 6000 of the former. She left New York the 10th of October last, and wintered at Kangaroo Island, where she staid upwards of four months, during which interval Capt. Pendleton set about and built a small vessel, 30 tons burthen, named the Independence, now at Kangaroo Island, whither he intends shortly to sail, having touched at this Port only to refresh.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Sunday 8 January 1804, page 4

1808 On Tuesday the Resource government vessel came in [to Sydney] with coals and cedar from Hunter's River. She brought accounts of the arrival there of the Fly colonial vessel, on Monday the 2nd instant, with the loss of three of her crew out of five, who were murdered by the coast natives at Bateman's bay a few days before. The Fly sailed from hence for Kangaroo Island some weeks since; but being overtaken by bad weather and contrary winds, was obliged to take shelter at Bateman's bay, and to send on shore for water. The three unfortunate persons whose fate it was to fall under the barbarity of the natives, were sent on shore with a cask, having previously arranged a mode of giving an alarm from the vessel, in case of obvious danger, by the discharge of a musket. Shortly after they landed, a body of natives assembled about the boat, and a musket was accordingly discharged from the vessel - the unfortunate men returned precipitately to their boat, without any obstruction from the natives, but had no sooner put off from the shore than a flight of spears was thrown, which was continued until all the three fell from their oars. The savages immediately took and manned the boat, and with a number of canoes prepared to attack the vessel; which narrowly escaped their fury by cutting the cable, and standing out to sea. The names of the murdered men were, Charles Freeman, Thomas Bly, and Robert Goodlet. 

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Sunday 15 May 1808, page 1

1812 Sydney. SHIP NEWS.—This morning arrived the schooner Elizabeth and Mary, Mr. Murrell master, with 60 tons of salt, procured at Kanguroo Island, and 2500 seal skins from the Islands in Bass's Straits. She fell in with the Campbell Macquarie, Capt. Seddins, at Kanguroo Island, bound from hence for the relief of the oiling and sealing parties belonging to the house of Underwood, employed at Macquarie Island ; and in Two-fold Bay she met with the schooner Cumberland, Captain Stewart, of this place, with about 15 tons of elephant oil : on leaving Twofold Bay she went off in a north-easterly direction.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 27 June 1812, page 2

1816  On Thursday the 28th ult. the brig Endeavour sailed for Kangaroo Island ; as did also the schooner Governor Bligh on Saturday the 30th ult. for the seal fishery.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 7 December 1816, page 2

1817 [Hobart Town] SHIP NEWS.—Yesterday arrived the Schooner Henrietta, Mr. D. McCARTY Owner, commanded by Mr. C. Feen, after a very successful sealing voyage; last from Kangaroo Island; her cargo consists of skins and salt: at the latter place she left Rosetta of Sydney, on a like voyage,—Also, the brig Spring, belonging to Mr. Edw. Lord, commanded by Captain Bunster, from the same place, having also procured a full cargo of skins and salt.

Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), Saturday 29 March 1817, page 2

[Sydney] The colonial brig Endeavour, Capt. Hammond, arrived  on Sunday last from Kangaroo Island, with a cargo of salt ; and The colonial brig Rosetta, belonging to Mr. Jonathan Griffiths, arrived on Tuesday from the same place with salt, and 5000 skins, the latter procured at other islands.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 5 April 1817, page 2

[Sydney] On Monday returned from Kangaroo Island, the colonial brig Endeavour, Captain Hammant, with a cargo of salt, &c.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 30 August 1817, page 2

1818 HOBART TOWN- On Monday last arrived from an unsuccessful voyage to Kangaroo Island, during which she met with very severe weather and some trifling damage, the brig Jupiter, Capt. Bunster; having only procured a small quantity of salt.

Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), Saturday 28 February 1818, page 2

The colonial vessel Rosetta, Mr Griffiths of Richmond owner, had arrived at Port Dalrymple from Kangaroo Island with salt, and remained there when Mr. Reibey left.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 16 May 1818, page 3

1819 [Sydney] The brig Governor Macquarie, Captain Sutherland, for Kangaroo Island.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 16 January 1819, page 3

[Hobart] On Thursday arrived from a sealing voyage at Kangaroo Island, the brig Jupiter, Captain Ainsworth; having procured 3200 seal, and 2400 kangaroo skins, and thirty tons of salt. She brings the unpleasant account of Mr. C. Feen, her Chief Officer, and Samuel Tomlins, one of the island men, having both been unfortunately drowned while the vessel lay in the Bay of Shoals at Kangaroo Island.

Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), Saturday 3 April 1819, page 1

1820  [Hobart] Same day [Monday] arrived the schooner Little Mary, Captain James, from Kangaroo Island.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 8 April 1820, page 3 

[Hobart]— On Sunday last arrived the brig Sophia, Mr. Brown, master, with salt and skins from Kangaroo Island. 

Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), Saturday 6 May 1820, page 2

1821  [Hobart] On Wednesday last returned to port, the brig Sophia, Captain Read, from Kangaroo Island, with 42 tons of salt, and upwards of 2000 seal and kangaroo skins. - This vessel experienced much bad weather off this coast, and was some time nearly out of provisions.

Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 - 1825), Saturday 12 May 1821, page 2

1824  [Sydney] KANGAROO ISLAND SALT, just landed from the Minerva.-This superior Salt for curing Meat, may be had in any Quantities at Mr. John Atkinson's Stores, No. 99, George-street.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Thursday 1 April 1824, page 3

[Sydney] Mr. Dawson, the Commander of the Samuel, has brought with him this voyage a black native woman, with a child two years old. She had been taken by the American ship General Gates from Kangaroo Island, and left on the South Cape of New Zealand, with a gang of sealers. After these men had been there some short time, a horde of the savages came upon them, and nearly massacred all the party. The poor native, with her little one, took shelter under a rock, till the New Zealanders left the spot. For eight months the mother and child lived, without fire, on birds and seal. They are yet on board the Samuel, and were in good health when rescued by Mr. Dawson from danger.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Thursday 8 April 1824, page 2

1825 [Sydney] Same day [Monday] arrived from Kangaroo Island, with 3500 seal skins, the brig Nereus, Captain Swindles. The Commander and crew of the brig Belinda, which vessel was lost on Middle Island, on the 19th July, came passengers by this opportunity.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Thursday 17 March 1825, page 2

1828  LAUNCESTON. ARRIVED, March 9th,—...the schooner Resolution, from Kangaroo Island, without being able to procure a cargo of salt, for which purpose she went there. 

Tasmanian (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1827 - 1839), Friday 14 March 1828, page 2

1829  On Thursday last.— From a sealing voyage, the schooner Henry, (John Griffiths Owner and Master), from Kangaroo Island, with the following valuable cargo:— 20 tons salt, 800 fur seal-skins, 400 common ditto, 2,500 kangaroo-skins, 2 casks seal oil.

Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846), Monday 16 March 1829, page 2

1832 ...  Of Kangaroo Island, we can perhaps say nothing but what is pretty well known. First, the harbour of Nepean Bay in which the American river or rather creek flows. The anchorage is sound—depth of water six and seven fathoms—open to St. Vincent's Gulph, but secure from all other quarters. Distance to the little un-named port in Encounter Bay about 40 miles; passage safe, but subject to currents and tide ripplings. Kangaroo Island furnishes as good salt as Liverpool salt, and also limestone. But limestone is found on the main. The land is sterile, but here and there gardens might be made with a little manure. Nepean Bay, therefore, in Kangaroo Island, must be the port of the Capital of the new Colony for the present. ...

Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 - 1838), Saturday 14 April 1832, page 2

... Taking into consideration every circumstance, either Kangaroo Island, or Port Lincoln, will be probably fixed upon for the first Settlement. Each possesses the primary requisite for the foundation of a Colony: viz. a secure and commodious harbour, with the facility of procuring an abundant supply of water and wood for all purposes. ...

Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 - 1838), Saturday 14 April 1832, page 4 

Not far from Port Lincoln is an island, to which Flinders gave the name of Kangaroo, in consequence of the great number of kangaroos which he saw there. It is about 80 miles long by 40 broad; and concerning this spot very minute and satisfactory information has been obtained from, persons who have carefully examined it, and especially from Captain Sutherland, late of the ship Lang, who is now in London, and who passed an autumn, winter, and spring, on the island.

The following extracts from Capt. Sutherland's Report, ... will excite rather than satisfy the curiosity of those who may wish to be fully acquainted with the grounds on which the Company in question founds its hopes of success. For further information we must refer them to the pamphlet before us, which contains charts of the line of coast to be comprised in the charter of Port Lincoln and of Kangaroo Island, as well as a particular account of the objects and means of the Company. ...

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 5 May 1832, page 4

In the neighbourhood of Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island, so named by Flinders, presents an eligible field for agricultural settlers. Of this line of coast, and of Spencer's Gulph, Gulph St. Vincent, and Port Lincoln, very minute surveys were made by Captain Flinders ; and afterwards, though less carefully, by the French navigator Baudin, whose proceedings are reported by M. Peron, the naturalist of the expedition ; and a map of Kangaroo Island has since been prepared by Captain Sutherland, who passed several months on that spot, and has lately drawn up an account of his observations.

" Report of a voyage from Sydney to Kangaroo Island, and of observations made during a stay of seven months on, and near the Island, by Captain Sutherland, who, in the year 1819, was employed by some merchants of Sydney to command a vessel of 140 tons, expressly fitted out for the purpose of obtaining a cargo of salt and seal skins from Kangaroo Island." Captain Sutherland has been engaged for many years in the trade between England and New Holland, and lately commanded the ship Lang. He is now in London. ...

Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), Monday 7 May 1832, page 2

See Captain Sutherland's appraisal of Kangaroo Island 

 The Whale Fishery — By the arrival of the 'Socrates,' accounts from the fishing establishment dated 25th ult., have reached us. We understand that from the promising accounts received, and the sheltered appearance of the bays for fishing, Mr. Tremlett was induced to fix the station on Kangaroo Island for the present season, in preference to proceeding to Port Lincoln. Another inducement to this step appears to have been to save the time which would nave needlessly been occupied in going further, which is of consequence, the season being already far advanced. One whale had been taken, but we believe that nothing can yet be said as to the prospects of the fishery for the season. We trust that every success will attend the enterprise, as we are not aware of any branch of Colonial industry that creates wore profitable exports than the fisheries. 

Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846), Tuesday 5 June 1832, page 181

For Kangaroo Island, on the 8th instant, the schooner Henry, with stores for the whaling establishment. Launceston Advertiser. 

June 3-Arrived from Kangaroo Island, the brig Socrates, Capt. Gibbons. Launceston Independent.

Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), Thursday 28 June 1832, page 2

September 24, from Kangaroo Island, the schooner ' Henry.' with 47 casks containing 13 tuns of whale oil, and 46 bundles whale-bone. [Also 21 Nov 1832]

Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846), Thursday 27 September 1832, page 5

[October 1832] In Britain, the [Murray] discovery had scarcely been published till proposals were issued for establishing a Colony on Kangaroo Island, or somewhere in the vicinity of the entrance of that river ; and such zeal was manifested in filling up the subscriptions necessary to carry it on, and to expedite the necessary arrangements for pro-curing favourable terms from Government, that the highest advantages were anticipated from it by the sister Colonies : but whether the Colony has been founded, or is in embryo, or has proved abortive, or is awaiting the issue of further discoveries, has not been ascertained.

Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), Monday 1 October 1832, page 2

From Kangaroo Island, on the 19th instant,the schooner "Elizabeth," 51 tons, Hart, master, with oil, &c. Passenger Mr. Trimlett.

Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846), Thursday 22 November 1832, page 372

1833 ...  From Kangaroo Island, on the 5th [Jan], the schooner Henry, with 2 tuns of whale oil, and stores. 

Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846), Thursday 10 January 1833, page 430

[Launceston] Feb 24.— The schooner Henry, Jones, master, for Kangaroo Island, with whaling gear and provisions for the whaling establishment. — Passengers, John Sinclair, Esq., Mr. Williams, John Taylor, wife, and child.

Colonist and Van Diemen's Land Commercial and Agricultural Advertiser (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1832 - 1834), Friday 8 March 1833, page 2

Sailed the Elizabeth, Hart, for Kangaroo Island on a whaling trip. Passenger Mr. John Sinclair. 

Independent (Launceston, Tas. : 1831 - 1835), Saturday 22 June 1833, page 2

Colonial Salt. ... We recently mentioned the circumstance of a cargo being imported to Sydney from the native beds at Kangaroo island, but independent of the difficulty of procuring the article at such a distance, for it has to be carried on men's backs several miles from the salt lagoon through the bush to the place where the vessel can be left at anchor,- it is by no means so pure or so strong as the specimen before us. ... Neither should it be forgotten that to encourage the Kangaroo island salt in the present state of things, would be to sanction a worse than West-India slavery in the cruel and unjustifiable treatment of the female blacks, whom the sealers employ at the point of the rod, in collecting and carrying the salt there found to the vessels. ... 

Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839), Friday 28 June 1833, page 4

On Saturday last, the schooner Elizabeth, 51 tons, Hart, master, from Kangaroo Island, with 60 tons salt and 1 tun whale oil.

Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846), Thursday 29 August 1833, page 4

1834  ... [London] Mr. Allan Cunningham the botanist. ... has expressed an unfavorable opinion of Kangaroo Island, where it is contemplated forming the first settlement, on account of its wanting water – but as I believe he was never there, his opinion cannot do away with the impression made by the favorable report of those who have actually resided on the island for months. ... 

...The first party sent out will be merely for the purpose of exploration, and fixing upon the best site for the town. Its number will be small, but the precise extent of it will depend upon whether the bill passes through parliament sufficiently early to render it possible for a large body of emigrants to go out this season. Should it prove sufficiently early, the first party, will be longer than it otherwise would be, on account of the shortness of the time within which its preparations at Kangaroo Island will have to be made....

Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), Tuesday 25 November 1834, page 2

... Several islands are included in the territory ; the most important of which is Kangaroo Island. This spot is about 80 miles long by a breadth varying from 35 or 30 to a few miles. It has a capital harbour; has been the most minutely surveyed; and, judging from the volume, appears the best adapted to a settlement. ...

Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), Friday 28 November 1834, page 3

Kangaroo Island. We are informed, that some families have already left the Tamar, to form a settlement on this island. The proverb says " you may go farther a field and fare worse," and so say we—from what we have heard of the properties and rescourses of that extensive spot. We fear it will be a longtime before it is fit for the reception of Emigrants. We shall shortly afford our readers some interesting particulars from a person, who was on the island some weeks.

Morning Star and Commercial Advertiser (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1834 - 1835), Tuesday 2 December 1834, page 2

1835  An account of the remarkable story of two English lads, named James Newell and James Manning, who in 1833 fell in with George Meredith on the schooner Defiance, and ended up trekking to King George's Sound, Western Australia

Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (WA : 1833 - 1847), Saturday 3 October 1835, page 575

See The murder of George Meredith 

1836  English Extracts. Yesterday morning, at five o'clock, the South Australian Company's ship, John Pirie, was towed down the river, bound for Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island. John Brown, Esq., commissioner of emigrations and Samuel Stephens, Esq., the company's colonial manager, accompanied by a party of gentlemen, boarded the vessel off Blackwall, and spent about a quarter of an hour in inspecting her, and conversing with the emigrants. They all appeared in high spirits, and expressed themselves well pleased with the arrangements made for their accommodation. Mr. Stephens then delivered a letter of instruction to the gentlemen in charge of the expedition, and on putting off, was saluted with three times three hearty British cheers, which himself and party returned from their boat. This is the first ship which has left a British port for the new Colony, and we understand she will be followed tomorrow by the Company's ship Duke of York, in which Mr. Stephens intends to sail.

Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 - 1838), Wednesday 15 June 1836, page  4