Source note for Light’s journal

Surveyor General William Light kept a log during the period following the arrival of the Rapid at Kangaroo Island in August 1836. It deals in some detail with the activities of the survey staff, including the explorations and decision-making relating to the site of the capital. In 1839, when he had been removed from office as Surveyor General and his choice of site for the capital was the subject of controversy, he published extracts from his log ‘with such observations as I made at the time and during subsequent periods’ as A brief journal of the proceedings of Willliam Light late Surveyor General of the Province of South Australia with a few remarks on some of the objections that have been made to them. He noted in his introduction: ‘They were penned at the moment, and without any thought of publication: but the various attacks so industriously made upon nearly every step I thought fit to take, and almost every measure I ventured to propose or advocate, have determined me to give them publicity; and I have interpersed a few remakes upon some of these attacks.’

The version of Light’s journal used on this site is from the Wakefield Press 1984 re-publication, William Light’s Brief Journal and Australian Diaries, with an introduction and notes by David Elder.

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