A crocodile pulls a sleeping man into the river by one leg. Another breaks the neck of a swimming policeman. An out-of-luck miner drowns himself in the town’s well. Once called Palmerston, the City of Darwin began in the 1870s. Darwin was a pioneer’s paradise; sometimes as exciting as it was dull; full of potential but, too often, dangerous. Not everyone survived. The first settlers arrived in January 1870, to find very little other than surveyed blocks of bushland sold to distant investors. It was a colony made from scratch, with little tangible reason for its existence until the Overland Telegraph Line came through from London and joined Australia to the rest of the world. Then gold was discovered, and hopeful miners rushed north from all over the country. Most went home disappointed; but only if they survived the privations of the bush and the distraction of the pubs. Then the government brought in Chinese ‘Coolie’ workers – and they kept coming, gold dust shining in their eyes, until, by the end of the decade, there were ten times as many Chinese as European settlers, and Chinatown was the most vibrant part of the settlement. Known as Palmerston until it was renamed in 1911, Pugh brings the early colony to life once again, through this delightful and colourful account of Darwin’s fascinating, unique early history, and the extraordinary characters who pioneered the settlement of the north.
Derek Pugh is an award winning author of nine books, three of which recount the early European settlement of North Australia, firstly and unsuccessfully by the British, then by South Australians. See www.derekpugh.com.au
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 3 FOREWORD 5 TIMELINE: THE FIRST TEN YEARS 8 PREFACE: THE STORY SO FAR… 1869 11 CHAPTER 1: SETTLEMENT 1870 25 CHAPTER 2: UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT 1870 42 CHAPTER 3: UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT 1873 108 GALLERY164 CHAPTER 4: UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT 1876173 CHAPTER 5: AND NOW? 194 APPENDIX 1: 211GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FROM FEBRUARY 5 UNTIL JUNE 20, 1870. 211 OTHERS KNOWN TO BE RESIDENTS FEB 5 – JUNE 20, 1870. 212 APPENDIX 2: 213 THE 88 PASSENGER VICTIMS OF THE GOTHENBURG DISASTER 24-25 FEBRUARY 1875 213 THE 22 SURVIVORS OF THE GOTHENBURG DISASTER 24-25 FEBRUARY 1875 215 BIBLIOGRAPHY 216 IMAGES LIST 224 INDEX 232 HISTORY BOOKS BY DEREK PUGH 237
History of South Australias successful colonisation of the NT. Of interest to general public, history buffs, South Australians and Territorians. The sesquicentenery of Darwin is this year, 2019, so there is an increased interest in our history, and no other book fills this particular niche.
Launch by Her Honour, the Honourable Vicki OHalloran, NT Administrator, in September 2019, with publicity. Public lectures. Social media advertising campaign.