Brisbane: Squatters, Settlers and Surveyors

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 172 pages
Author: R. Fisher & J. Harrison
Year: 2000
ISBN: 9780958646994
Other: b&w photos, maps, abbreviations, bibliog, index
Publisher: Brisbane History Group

This volume of papers, the sixteenth published by Brisbane History Group, comprises twelve contributions by amateur, professional and academic historians on the origin and development of Brisbane. While centring on the seminal 1840s of free settlement, these papers range from the 1820s to the 1806s

In particular this collection places Brisbane Town within regional context of the Moreton Bay district. At the same time it portrays the crucial role of people in the pioneering process, as groups or individuals, whether squatters, settlers or surveyors. These were the true founders of Brisbane.

The main squatters who occupied the outskirts include:
 - Arthur and Eliza Hodgson of Eton Vale
 - Patrick Leslie, Henry Russell and Gilbert Eliott of the Darling Downs
 - Evan Mackenzie of Kilcoy
 - various Archer brothers of Durundur and elsewhere

The early surveyors who set the pattern for habitation are:
 - Robert Dixon
 - Granville Stapylton
 - James Warner
 - John Galloway
 - William Pettigrew
 - Henry C. Rawnsley

The other settlers and their wives, who influenced development, include:
 - Andrew Petrie and sons, the first free family
 - John Williams, the adventurous entrepreneur
 - Tom Dowse, the inveterate auctioneer and scribbler
 - all enterprising and escapist men and women listed in 1842

The localities treated in this volume include:
 - Brisbane from convict to free settlement and separate from New South Wales
 - North Brisbane, South Brisbane, Kangaroo Point and Bulimba developement
 - Ipswich and its journalists in relation to Brisbane
 - the Darling Downs to upper Brisbane Valley occupied by squatters
 - the Moreton Bay district as a whole

Some of the major subjects covered are:
 - the Aboriginal presence in the Moreton Bay district
 - the uncertainty of governors, officials and explorers in choosing the site for convict settlement
 - imposition of the fifty-mile limit and pastoral pressure before 1842 
 - exploration of the area, and exploitation of local resources
 - Formative work of government surveyors throughout the region
 - the role of squatters, especially in relation to Brisbane and Ipswich
 - the ambiguous legacy of convict buildings and institutions to free settlement
 - new arrivals, their ships, land purchases and fortunes in 1842
 - the appearance, amenities and inhabitants of Brisbane in 1842
 - the character of social and cultural life
 - early business ventures, industrial beginnings and building construction
 - determination of Brisbane street levels by surveyors and engineers
 - ambivalent attitudes of Ipswich journalists towards big brother Brisbane and inter-town rivalry
 - Government relation between Moreton Bay and New South Wales administrators

The stimulating volume of original papers in for everyone interested in origins and individuals of the Brisbane region, whether students, teachers, schools, libraries, academics, or general readers. 

In contemplating other accounts of people, places and purposes, it serves as a valuable source for local, regional, heritage, family, social and cultural history.


1. Too good a site for a gaol
2. The Brisbane scene in 1842
3. Athenians v. Thebians: Brisbane by Ipswich journalists

4. The fifty-mile limit
5. Down rode the squatters
6. Shepherd on the Stanley

7. Simpson's settlers
8. Andrew Petrie: Father of Brisbane
9. John Williams: Merchant adventurer
10. Thomas Dowse: Brisbane's Samuel Pepys

11. Pioneers surveyors of Moreton Bays district
12. Surveying early street levels in Brisbane



1 Review
  • Excelent service

    Posted by Unknown on 2nd Dec 2017

    I order on line whislt visiting Brisbane, and gave my English address.
    unfortuatly there wasn't a book in stock, but had excelent emails keeping me up tp date as to when my book would be posted to me.
    it arrived safely and I was delighted with the service thankyou.
    Yours Sincerely Rowena Dowse.

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