Early Pioneer Colonists.
.(By, Rev. J. Stewart.) ,
The pioneers of White Australia are rapidly passing away, and it seems a pity thnt more' is not lieing dono to collate the useful items of information available, be fore; the line which is surely bocoming thinner every day, disappears altogether. I Jim writing specially wit/Ii reference to
the company of brave, true, patriotic men and women, who as free, adventurous pioneers, came to Aaistralia) from 3835 On ?to, say 1865, and of whom only a com parative few can now bo found, with memory fresh and ;clear to tell their taie. ?I am led ito write this, party because being on holiday for the first Itimo on 'he Richmond River, I Have met so many, who are^ eithor original pioneers or sons and daughters of pioneers, and in tho case of the laltter often running- well jn toitlheaJlolbtcd span of human life. A« the son of ono of the pioneers myself, I have always held tho best type of tfli'o early Australian in ^o high an csitteem as al most to amoiinji.ro veneration, and I have found great pleasure, hone upon tlio Rich mond, as elsewhere 'in my tra veils, in trac ing out 'the eariy liis'tory, unitil it would not bo risky to venture :tho suggestion, 'Give him one or two links in family history concerning 'tlio early life, say in tho Hunter Itiver district! and ho will soon make a chain of interesMng fao'ts.' To-day I am seeking some missing links, and I hope I may find them during my delightful holiday, either upon the Rich mond, Claremcu, or Twiead, ?because 'I know what a strong rido. of human migTaLJUUi&VL- IJl'llUlll LXK* J^LllIiJlVL *1U -IU1O LUO&- ing- years of the fifiticn towards these three rivers, with their magnificent wealth of naitur.il, though undeveloped, resources. And so I am inquiring as I move about, for some of the pass-engero by one- of the vessels which came to Syd ney in 1842, and so far I have found no sign. -Buti I am confidonit I shall be suc cessful, and so 1 hopo to see- this in print and circulated throughout 'the mother State, which I am proud of as my birth place, 'a6 I ani of equally proud of Sunny Queensland, as my amplo centre; 'of lifo and work sinco September, 1857. And so I stare a few facts, which I know will bo read . wi'Wi very deep uiStexes'ti by many, not only 'locally, ibut far, far away, even beyond the boundary of our Australian Com mon'WeaSith . It was on the 16th of Sopltember, 1841, ?that the fin© clipper ship, Ann Milne, under tlio [skilful command 6P Captain Tliorii, sailed out of Dundee (Scottland) .with over 300 passengers bound for Port Jackson. Ndt Botany Bay, for uiiliko many who had deft Groat Britain for Australia, and who wt-ro landed at Botany Bay, they woro willing voyagers towards tho New- Country, and they might safely be described as the 'best of the best,' for in most' cases they wor© tho brightest mid most O5i,toq-rising of the best types of family life in Eng-'laud, Ireland, and Scotland. Mostof them were youngT^and in ovory way, cs far ns phy sique and mental and moral qualities wero concerned, they were equal, if no't superior, to tho best 'type of immigrants to Australia in 1905^ and certainly better than the sample of tili-ei mem and women who came under tile free or even assisted sehoriies of immigration in tli'e later ysaTS. The ship liiado iv good run for ?thalt jxsriod, and the anchor was dropped in Port Jackson on January 17th, 1812. As I am writing here from memory, I j will bo itdiankful if any of the folk who cniriA bv tho Anh Mil-no will correct or
oven verify my dates and statements. Bait I feed well iiitironehcd, for I derived my information atiirst hand from several of those who remember 'their arrival eo we.ll, and who etill survive in sunny Queensland, to verify many of .t'lie in teresting moinories of that pioneer poriod in Ithe history of free, white Australia. Among ibho Ann Milne folk I will only mention a few whom I have know person ally. I roinenilKsr, for instance, how often I heard hi my boyhood that Jeanj Dun can reached her 14th birthday jus't. as tho vt'Ksel, like a living creation of 'beauty, glided gracefully -in between tho north and south heads of 'the beautiful Sydney harbor. And Jean's father and mother wore .there, u very, worthy couplo, foranor ly known as ''Jcems Duncan and Agnps Koss, and who 'cam frae Brci-hiii.' ' lkir two brothers, Charles and David, sturdy lads, wero also thero, and were regarded as general favorites because, of their droll
I'oriar uiaioct ivna jiawKy »uj». mwv ; was also a trio from bonny Stratlitay, ' Perthshire— John, Jnndt, and Margaret i-^-owiiTt— strongly fragran* of tho Appin branch or the prolific Stewart tree. John was itho youngest, and ho reached his 20th birthdiiy on 'tlio 1st' of February, aftbr ho lunded at Sydney, from wIimivo ho went up tho Hunter nnd out to Mnt Wiow flogg'fl station, Ciainmon Plnius, aH carpenter on nn cngngvineiit of two years, ul .£20 ]*-r your and rations. After serv ing two years he received an I.O.U. for
.£?10, and walked' from Gammon to Mait liuul, and found ho was ono of the for tunate tow who received gold to Mie full value of Matthew Gogg's P.N., and he lefit himself a rich num. Po ho wont to Dr. Scott at Wall.ilong, on the I'.itorhon, and ho took a farm, and hc- remained there till the Hoods of 1857, during which peiiod ho niairied Jean Diinc.iu, who.* iVJlicr was al«o iv tenant on Wallalong till ]io diod in 1S55. [u 18-17 I wn« born to .Tohii and Jean S'tcwuttt, anil both futhei ?ind mother li\ed to &co twelve of felieir ?offspring (six sons and six daughters) grow itp to manhood and womanhood. In 1857 father removed, to -Moieton May, .i place with a very uns.nmuy jopiitat-ou, nnd edttlcd at a place called Bald Hills, 12 miles from Brisbane, and I spent a few hours very happily with him there on. the 3rd of !this month, just Ifcforo leaving for (Richmond, and I could fain have biongh't him with mo 'to let my I friends see tho man who has fulfilled I God's end in our Creation eo well, and to whom God has been so good, in lotting Iron tutor upnn his 84th year. I rejoiced with him as lie passed his 83rd mile stone, and found him enjoying good health and spirits, with all his senses clear, his memory faultless, and with a 6et of sound tseth .almost without n blemish, which he sometimes hs\s spoken of as 'the so: I grew in fe'ccfol.md on plain brose.' Amongst tho Ann M.7no folk were Thomas Gray, a giant from Rosshirc, who learned tho shocmakingi iaiihis inatiee coun. ty, and whose sewn work became known over n wido territory, with Brisbane as a centre. He 'too served two years upon a station almost on the extreme frontier liua of sottlemouit in Northern Australia iin 1S42, and dfc 'Clio termination of that por.'od lie set up in Brisbane as a cord wniner. In 1845 ho was marriod by Rev. J. D. Lang (Scots' Church), in Sydney, to .Taudt Sbowart, and soon after, one of the finest yanng couples ever seen in Moroton Bay reached Brisbane, and they wemlfc into their homo, itOiough but a humble on«-, in Gcorgo street, near Qraecn street, and where 'the business which was then begun, is still carried1 on, and there he died under a severo attack of English cholera, nearly 30 years ago, desply re grtlted by all who knew him,. and one. of 'Nature's ?trucsb gentilemon.' Aad his widow lived on that spot 'till 55 years passed, and in her 86th year left her three stalwart sons and 'three, virtuous daught ers ito carry on the business ? which ? her grand helpmate and she had ; so in diislbriously and honorably established tlialt the reputation remained, ivnd I am plcassdto say is maintained to this day. And there was John Connolly, a strong, laughlter-tloving 'boy' from tho South of Ireland, -who married Margaret Stewart, ana wno alter -larimmg tor a xime on on© Pntorson, migrated north to Morcfion Bay, sottJcd within a. short dig'tamco of the, iPost Office in Brisbane, and began clearing tlie scrub and tilling tho soil 'n t.he central fiMes. TJie Wset End State School is situated near John's old home. John was carrying tho the mails on horeteback bsitweem. Brisbane and Ipswich, 24 miks apart, when fa'tJier took his wife and family to 'Mbraton Bay, and ho was drowned in a way which never had any explanation in the Brisbane River ivbout 1S58 or 1859. His widow, now, 86 years of ago, and with a memory as clear n« sunshine JiviM a.t Snaidfrato. 12 miles
from Brisbane, where I spcnlb an hour with her and father only a few weeks ago, and it was amusing to hear them talking with such zest of enjoyment of the events of the early iwen'fca, thirties, and forties. I Jiave a very distinct' memory of the marriage of Oharles Duncan and Gcorgina McPhersou (whoso father and mother camo out in 133S) in January, 1854. I re member that a great numbs* of 'friends, mostly Scolttish Highlanders graced tho .gathering in, Scottish ritylo, and 'though I prefer and re commend: the quieter function with Ic6s whisky and dancing, it must be admitted that weddings at 'that .period were grcab overits, sometimes lasting- two or threa 'days. This couplo Hived for a time. on Wallalong, but tlhey, too, mi grated to Bald Hills, Moroton Bay in .1857, and with tho exception of five years spent in Perith, Western Australia, they spent most of itheir lifo in Queensland, and 6o they preferred to return about two years age— .and they are Jiving hap pily upon a farm near Laidlcy, 50 miles from Brisbane, one. of the most fertile areas of soil in Aus'tralia. In September, 1857, David Duncan was marriod to Jano, youngest dauglvber of Hugh Stewart, another worthy High lander, who, with his wife, lefA Fort Wi' liam, Invemesshire, about 1837, and who lived for many years at Vacy, near the Paterson township. A few days after their wedding David and Jane Duncan left for their honeymoon to Mbreton Bay, and settled 'beside father at Bald Hills, and ithey have never 'travelled far since as far as residence is concerned, for dur ing the 47 years they could be found quite oasily, either at Bald Hills or' Gympie, 90 miles .north, or .at tlheir. pro hsiDt home at Caboolturc, ;50 miles from Brisbane. Bo'th Charles and. David Dun can followed my father's example in hav ing goodly families. Thero wero no sounds of complaints in those good old days of diminution tin the Wrtlli rate, and none of them had occasion 'to Tjo ashamed of their offspring. My grandmother, Agnes Duncan, was 56 years of age when grandfather diod in 1855/' and she felt the loss of her helpnuijto so kcernly tlialt sho felt a great desire 'to die with him. Bu-tt, like mnny more of the 'rustic
parritch fed,' she found dying was 'no sa.e easy,' and so she conftiuuert to siug, as she sang so sweetly, and to work, as sho did so industriously, and to tell the funniest and best of stories of the Scot fish folk lore, till one day, when she had passed her 90th year, she grow real tired, 'for she was not yet sick, and .sho 'slippot aw-a,' and her short, well-built form iu clay, was found by Louisa ATollor— her widowed daughter, wJth whom sho lived in Brisbane, where sho had dwd — stand- ing upon h«r feet at the foot of the bed, where she 'had been lying and where she was talking only half and Jiour before. I was Agnes Duncan's first grandchild, .and maybe on that account somewhat of a favorite, and when I trained for our Presbyterian MiuistTy she said, 'Eh Jetimcs, I am gay and prood,' mid even when silo Jos't somo of her marvellous powers of sight, song, strength and memory, sho would always reoogiviso me whon I 'crooned' tlio grand old 23rd Penlm .to 'Martyrdom,' Wio tuno to which she bo often sung it as precen tor, in Hinton Church, or in the simplesprviecs in my father's home, when wo only saw a minister now* and Itli'cn, before a church was built ait Bald Hills in.l8(i3. I was not so surprised as many when 'granny' died in a standing attitude — 'a .perfect pose for statuary,' tho doctor said, for so of-ieu when. I caNcd upon her, and found her busy alt work, I would re. mairk: 'Weel granny, you're ayo busy.1' And she would respond in her cherry way, 'Ayo 1-nsy, Jemnm; I'm ithinkiiijf I'll dec on my feet!' I have mentioned (that 'the Ann Milno arrived in Sydney on January 1 7 fit , 18-12, ,m-l lli.vt. a1 w.h ninthei'h t«iurt(vn'!h birth day. Ami when '58 years had panned, bringing many wonderful historic changes in Australia, Ui1© circle composod of John, Janet, and Margare'fc Stewart, who camo out from Perthshire, and Jane, Charles, and David Duncan, who 'cam J'rao Brecliin,' remained an unbroken cir cle, apparently hale and hearty for thoir years of strenuous pioneer service. Bn* in Itho Jfovcmber of 1899 my nicKher died, in her 73rd year, and in the Ssp'cmber fallowing Jaiuot Gray 'passed,' not so sick or sore| as tired, in her 86th year, just, a year younger than her sisttter, Aunlt Criclrton, who died in her native land, and whose bonny helpmate',' James Crich ton, died where ho hnd lived all hia life, in Maddorty parish, Perthshire, iiu his 99t,h year, ibho day after his dear old CMin. istcr.dicd, with whom ho had been as fiocialted as member andl ruling elder for fii.vty years or more,- and by whoso grave side ho was buried by a great, company of relatives, itflie Miinister being only one year younger ithan the elder to whom ho was so warmly atltached. And when the 63rd anniversary of 'the arrival of the 'Ann Mflne folk' came round last month, the rdmaiining quartette, John Stewart, Margaret Connolly, Charles Duncan, and David Duncan wero hale and hearty, and I -im confident! that if they heard tho sound of 'the Scotch 'Jiddlo' or bagpipes, would liavo gone -through a Scottish reel wi'tJh fair credit, and in .their menry mood cry 'hooch,' as they passed nnd touched hands, as -they had so often done in their younger days. \ And my ofojcdt in writing. Miis is maybe somewhait sol-fish. I wish; af possible, wjiilo I am enjoying my pleasant, profit «blo holiday in my native Sta'lla, io moot somo survivors of tOte splendid company of 'leal and true' men and women who 'came, in tho Ann Milne, and who worked so well and so unselfishly Ito lay the foundations, -nnd build up the superstruc ture: of a free, progressive, Christian Commonwealth in. our sunny land, undlor 'the Southern Cross And since I ha_vo been writing this hastily written sktltch, entirely from memory, and so iliablo ito fair criticism, I have heard of tho .first of tho company I am looking for 'in tlio neighbourhood of 'LUmorc, and I liopo to see not only Owen M'Donough and liis brother Edward, but others, or ' tha de scendants of otihers, eitlicr upon tlie Clarence, tho Richmond or tho Tweed. I shall also Tbo very .pleased to hear of any of my schoolmates wlio enjoyed 'the train ing, of our beloved, reverend teacher, Mr. George Sanders, between January 1853 and Septemiber 1857, .when I played and learnt some of 'the principles of useful citizenship with Messrs. David, John, Jo'soph, and Samuel See, Brian Brough ton (BuckJey, Joseph Lock, Charles Lane, Thos, and Charles Blain, John, and Sarah King, Agnes and Sarah ' Sbubb's, and the Soarlos, it'lio Bishops, McMurrays, McLcod's, McGregor's, and many other 'too (numerous to particularise. 'A year last September I met Angus McGregor, Joseph Sdo, John Jung, and some of tiioir reiaitdons for tlie first time for 46 years, ?and if anyone had seen us as ^ve mdtfin Hi Union cemdtory, nil nuiexpectedly, as wo greeted ono auotilier by our school boy mtikb and romped up and down through the quiet gravoyard, where our ancestors and friends wore reverently laid Ito rest, tiuoymigh't have thoughlt Wiero was only a short space between Tarbatn Creek Asy lum and Hinton cemo'ttery. So for the time did wo old boys forgot ttho pro perties and go in for' a 'good time.' Wo had our romp, then w doffed our hats, and made the village ring 'with our clear, strong harmony, as wo samg 'bho four familiar lines of doxology to tho' Scot tish National Anthem, 'Auld Hunner.' And ithcn I gathered aip tho tangled thread of precious memory fbr 50 years, and pictured our dear master and his fai-Khful [hound, 'Tye,' and told how in that early itimo he sent John Seajto Par liamonlt, Brian Broughton Buckley to tho Bar, Joseph Lock into 'the surgical pro fession, and yours gratefully for promising to publish this sketch, to tho Presby terian pulpit' and minstjy. JJlow Farm, Brisbane.