A comprehensive collection of articles on the extraordinary history of Kangaroo Island, from 1836-1900
See also articles available on the Useful Links page.
Kangaroo Island - Birthplace of South Australia by Vickie Chapman M.P.
Celebrating Kangaroo Island's 175th Birthday (July 27th 2011) - Who Landed First? by Editor Gil Daw
First report of the Directors of the South Australian Company, formed 22 Jan 1836
Obstreperous Kangaroo Island Two articles dealing with a series of incidents which occurred at Kingscote between September 1836 and January 1837. A.A. Lendon.
Letter from Theresa Chauncey who arrived on the John Renwick in 1837
Memoirs of William Loose BEARE - from KIPA Newsletter 37, and comments pointing out corrections from Bill Holmseby in Newsletter 38.
Extracts from the Diary of Mrs Robert Thomas Experiences of a Lady Pioneer.
George Milner Stephen is appointed to the post of Colonial Secretary, An interesting newspaper account on what was happening in the colony in 1838, including the text of the paternalistic address to the aborigines by Governor Gawler.
The Tragedy of Dr. Slater and Mr. Osborne examines the ill-fated expedition of six passengers from the Africaine who, allededly against the advice of Captain Duff, proceeded to walk overland from Morrel's Boat Harbour to Nepean Bay in 1836. Dr. Slater and E. W. Osborne perished. Dr. A. A. Lendon published a booklet entitled "Kangaroo Island. The tragedy of Dr. Slater and Mr Osborne. A story of ninety years ago." which was serialised in the Kangaroo Island Courier, and reprinted here. Robert Fisher's journal, published in 1837 is followed by some acrimonious correspondence with fellow Africaine passenger Robert Gouger. Was there foul play? What actually happened is still a mystery.
Kangaroo Island in 1837 - an interesting snippet from the newspaper from a disgruntled newcomer. It seems people were prefering to go to the mainland and the islanders desperately wanted them to stay.
Kangaroo Island in 1843 - an early settler extols its potential, including crossing mutton birds with pigeons
Kangaroo Island in 1844 - a fascinating, detailed, descriptive account, when there was only 80 souls on the island
Tolmer in 1844 arrests McDonnell, Scotson, Smith and Gilks - the trials of a policeman catching rogues in K.I. with the help of the black-trackers.
21st Anniversary - Majority of the Colony of South Australia. An instructive potted history (newspaper article).
50th Anniversary - The Infancy of South Australian Settlement - A narrative of 1836 - (newspaper article)
Journal of a trip to Kangaroo Island 1852 includes several references to "Nat" Thomas
A trip from Kingscote to Middle River in a whaleboat in 1863 - H.F. Bates, written in 1928
Register article of 1868 - extent of settlement and cultivation on the island.
Kingscote Pioneer cemetery graves and allegations of a "clique" - letter by Thomas Creasy Willson, 1869, and resulting angry correspondence.
Letter from Charles W. Morse to Bishop of Adelaide 28 May 1869
An Official Trip to Kangaroo Island Saturday 13 March 1880,
Mr Matthew Burnett's Visit to Kangaroo Island 1882 - Newspaper article
Captain Alexander Tolmer in 1882 published "Reminiscences of an adventurous and chequered career at home and at the Antipodes." This page contains an 1883 review, a link to read it for yourself online, as well as his 1890 obituary.
A Few Days in Kangaroo Island - The Tourist, Adelaide Observer, July 1883
Early Experiences of Life in South Australia - an Extended Colonial History, John Wrathall Bull, 1883
Memories of K.I., Nearly 40 Years Ago. By ' Sky Pilot.' published 1922
Church history . St Albans Kingscote est. 1884 - A Brief History to mark the Centenary, compiled by Fay Davidson; and the history of the Kingscote Methodist Church.
Notes on Kangaroo Island 1884 -5 Six installments from a correspondent of the Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser
Trip Across Kangaroo Island 1886, Agricultual Editor, South Australian Register
Kangaroo Island in 1886 - Reminiscences of the early days (newspaper article)
Kangaroo Island and its resources - 1886 (newspaper article), includes geological resources.
The Land Commission pay KI a visit 1888, a scurrilous account by a bored reporter accompanying public servants visiting K.I. He paints an unflattering picture of complaining farmers and their struggles on "primitive" K.I. George Bates is described as a "better preserved fossil" existing "in a half-mummified condition". Almost the whole article is contemptuous and arrogant, but he does praise Mr. John Buick's orchard and his wife - "a comely old dame, who bore Nature's own impress of high-class womanliness."
Family Life in South Australia - 53 years ago, J. I. Watts, nee Giles (1890) - a precis of the K.I. years
Recollections of Pioneer Life , Jane Dobney 1902