Source notes for Rapid

Dr John Woodforde sailed to South Australia as surgeon on theĀ Rapid. His account, which covers the period from 1 May 1836 to 22 April 1837, appears to have been started on 19 August 1836, when he was on Kangaroo Island. Entries before this date are summary accounts of the journey highlighting noteworthy events, written in hindsight.

Woodforde’s original manuscript was copied into an excercise book in December 1867 by his sister, Harriet Woodforde. The whereabouts of the original manuscript is unknown, but the excercise book eventually came to the notice of Dr Woodforde’s grand-daughter, Vera M Woodforde, who had a typewritten copy made. The typewritten copy was presented to the South Australian Archives Department by John Coats in 1944. It is this version of Woodforde’s diary, now in the State Library of South Australia (PRG 502 1/2), which has been used on this site.

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