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Out of the Frying Pan: Voyaging to Queensland in 1863 on Board the Fiery Star

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2016

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Extract

This article had its genesis in a family photograph of my paternal grandmother's parents, Rowland and Rebecca Walton (see Figure 1). I knew little about them apart from their English origins, but their appearance was intriguing: definitely stalwart pioneers, but what kind of pioneers? Popular cultural knowledge in Australia provides one central image of the pioneer, summed up concisely by Katharine Susannah Prichard: ‘It will be a nation of pioneers, with all the adventurous, toiling strain of the men and women who came over the sea and conquered the wilderness.’ Prichard's notion was directly inspired by a painting, The Pioneer (1904) by Frederick McCubbin (1855–1917), described by Tim Bonyhady as ‘one of the most influential paintings of the emigrant experience in Australia’. Utilising a triptych fonnat, it recounts (in the words of a contemporary reviewer) ‘its own legend of the useful toil, the homely joys, and destiny obscure of the pioneer, who does not live, as the rude cross in the third panel indicates, to see the growth or share in the prosperity of the fine city seen in the background of the panel’.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 

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References

Notes

1 A version of this article was presented at ‘Oceanic Passages’, Centre for Colonialism and its Aftermath conference, University of Tasmania, held in Hobart, 23–25 June 2010.Google Scholar

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31 W. Ross Johnston considers Jordan to be ‘a skilful propagandist, [who] used the available media to advantage’: ‘The Selling of Queensland: Henry Jordan and Welsh Emigration’, Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland 14(9)(1991): 382.Google Scholar

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39 Johnson, They Came Direct, 31–49.Google Scholar

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43 Woolcock, Rights of Passage, xiv: ‘The new colony … wanted only those who shared colonial expectations, could work hard and reproduce rapidly.Google Scholar

44 Rowland Walton purchased 61 acres in the Parish of Tingalpa (Portion 135) on 5 December 1863, paying £1 per acre: Queensland Government, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Folio 195, Vol. 31, D/G No. 7933. Birth details about the Walton children from the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages: 1864/B2715 (Rowland Robert Walton), 1866/B5956 (Frank Walton). Place of birth is given on their birth certificates.Google Scholar

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50 A Manchester Man’, ‘Our Manufacturing Districts and Operative Classes’, 377.Google Scholar

51 The Waltons were part of a small passenger contingent, with one Saloon passenger, four in Second cabin and thirteen in Steerage (plus the new Walton baby): Brisbane Courier, 5 August 1868: 2. Fares were £30 saloon, £27 10s. second cabin, £18 10s steerage: Brisbane Courier, 4 July 1868: 1.Google Scholar

52 Richards, Eric, ‘Return Migration and Migrant Strategies in Colonial Australia’, in Fitzpatrick, David (ed.), Home or Away? Immigrants in Colonial Australia. Visible Immigrants: Three (Canberra: Australian National University, 1992), 64.Google ScholarPubMed

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65 As recorded on the tombstone, Annie Hanlon died on 14 May 1891 while Thomas Hanlon died on 10 January 1896.Google Scholar

66 This occupation is recorded on the English Census records for 1871 and 1881.Google Scholar

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69 Sydney Morning Herald, 26 August 1927: 9; 27 August 1927: 16.Google Scholar