Source notes for John Pirie

Diary of anonymous writer of voyage on John Pirie

Although the author of the journal of the voyage of the John Pirie is uncertain, it was probably John Brown. The surviving journal contains entries from 1 March 1836 (eight days after the ship departed from London) to 11 February 1837. The content of the journal is overwhelmingly concerned with the welfare of the livestock at sea and on land, although entries also contain observations on the weather, wildlife, events and relations on board. The journal continues to record events on Kangaroo Island after landfall on 16 August 1836 and later at Holdfast Bay.

The existing journal begins at page three, suggesting that the initial pages have been lost. The handwriting is clear and legible, and includes flourishes typical of the period. The writer finished a paragraph with a line to the margin. Any notes by the transcriber are in square brackets [], and a question mark in square brackets indicates uncertainty about the accuracy of the transcription. The transcription used is as accurate as possible, reproducing rather than correcting the non-standard spelling or idiosyncratic expression of the writer.

The original and a microfilm copy of the journal are held in the State Library of South Australia: D 5845 (L). The transcription used on this site is by Kate Walsh, Jude Elton and Bob Sexton.

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