Henry Wallan

Known by a variety of names, Henry (or Robert) Wallan/Wallen/Warland/Whalley is an elusive character. He was born about 1794, and appears to have arrived in Australia in 1815 as a crew member on a convict ship and worked in Australian waters before going sealing in New Zealand. He arrived on Kangaroo Island between 1818 and 1820, possibly by deserting from the Brig Sophia, of which he was a crew member in 1818, and which was shipping sealskins and salt from the Island during those years.

Wallan had a son, Henry Whalley, born between 1818 and 1820, and possibly also a daughter, Ellen. The identity of the Aboriginal mother of these children is uncertain.

Wallan was prominent in the pre-colonisation Kangaroo Island community, and is remembered as its ‘Governor’. In July 1836 he was living at the community at Three Wells River (re-named the Morgan, and later again the Cygnet) with John Day and two Aboriginal women. They had a small farm, described by Colonial Manager Stephens as of about five acres, with two acres under wheat as well as vegetables, pigs and poultry.

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