Harriet Gouger

Harriet Gouger was born Harriet Jackson in about 1805. She married Robert Gouger on 22 October 1835, in London. Less than a year later they departed for South Australia on the Africaine, accompanied by two servants. Robert, a tireless advocate for the foundation of South Australia, had been appointed the new colony’s first Colonial Secretary.

Robert Gouger recorded his wife’s ‘anguish at parting’ from the family to which she was ‘ardently’ attached. He also recorded her poor health at the beginning of the voyage. Harriet’s distress at leaving her family may have been heightened by the fact that she was both four months pregnant and suffering from ‘consumption’ (tuberculosis).

The second issue of the South Australian Register and Colonial Gazette records the birth of Harriet’s child on December 20th, 1836. Directly beneath this announcement lies her and her son’s death notice’s, they read: “On March 14th, at Glenelg, of Consumption, Harriet, wife of the Honourable Robert Gouger, aged thirty two years; and On March 15th, their son, Henry Hindmarsh, aged eleven weeks and one day.”

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