About this site

Bound for South Australia is a digital re-enactment of the journey made 175 years ago by nine ships that came to South Australia in 1836.  It combines original historical source material and modern communications technology into a living digital history.

The website is organised as a ‘blog’ (a ‘web-log’) made up of weekly posts from surviving written records of these journeys and the people who made them.  The original source material presented each week comprises direct extracts from the journals, diaries, letters and logs of the crew and passengers on board the nine ships: Africaine, Buffalo, Cygnet, Duke of York, Emma, John Pirie, Lady Mary Pelham, Rapid and Tam O’Shanter.

Each week, from the commencement of the first voyage in February to the landing at Holdfast Bay on 28 December 1836, we will publish a new post that corresponds to that week on board.  There are 45 weeks in all which make for one fascinating story with many adventures along the way.

As well as the journal extracts, each of the weekly posts includes additional background information on the topics, issues and themes relevant to the people and happenings on board that week.  Profiles of the authors of the original material and each of the ships are also included.  Maps trace the progress of the ships on their journeys.   Extended extracts of original journal entries will be made available through the site, as well as the passenger lists for each ship.

For schools, there is a supplementary page of questions, lesson suggestions and activities associated with each of the weekly posts.

As we are working with original historical sources, sometimes there will be words and phrases that are unfamiliar to modern readers.  Wherever you see a word or phrase highlighted with grey shading, a short explanation is available by simply rolling over that word or phrase.  A full glossary of these terms (organised from A-Z) is available from the glossary section of the website.

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4 Responses to “About this site”

  1. Danja Derkenne September 27, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    I have as a resident at Princess Juliana Lodge,NSW, a residential hostel, Dulcie Eileen Quin, born 26/08/1905 who is Captain Quin’s surviving niece I have been told. As I would like to document her link to the history of South Australia for our records, can you send me a link or similar that tells more about Captain Quin in South Australia? Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Bob June 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    According to his obituary in the Observer for 2 May 1896, ‘The late Captain Quin was born in 1817 in the township of Newry, in the north-east of Ireland. He was the youngest of a family of eleven children, and up to the age of fourteen remained under the parental roof. Owing to the death of his father about this time the home was somewhat broken up, and with his mother and one of his sisters he went out to New York, where another member of the family had already preceded them. The sea presenting a fascination, it was not long before the late gentleman embarked on the Cassandra, one of the old type of sailing vessels, as a boy. Here he remained for about a year, making voyages to Charleston and Austria, and then changing into another vessel belonging to the same firm, he visited France. The late Captain Quin subsequently returned to the Cassandra, and during this period laid the groundwork of his knowledge in seamanship. In May, 1836, he shipped on the Eagle of Philadelphia, bound for Rio de Janeiro. Here he joined the Cygnet and it was in this vessel that he arrived in South Australian waters in September of the same year. Captain Quin celebrated his nineteenth birthday on the voyage and was made second mate of the Cygnet before reaching this colony.’

    The answer to the question of how the opportunity to join the crew of the Cygnet arose appears in the diary of B.T. Finniss, one of the passengers. He records that Captain John Rolls had differences with the men which led them to strike work, and subsequently all but the carpenter left the ship so that a new complement had to be recruited.

  3. Colin Quin June 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    I am a descendent of Hugh Quin, whom was the 2nd mate on the ‘Cygnet’.
    I am trying to determine how he came to join the ship at Rio de janeiro and the circumstances that led him being in that port.I have no information as to his history up to this point apart from the fact that our family did originate in Newry in Ireland.
    Is there anywhere that I can perhaps search for this information.
    Colin Quin.

    • Darren June 13, 2011 at 11:05 am #

      Thanks for your enquiry Colin. In next week’s post you will find that the Cygnet is indeed anchored at Rio. I will see if our researchers can locate any further information to assist with your question.



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