Coromandelians: South Australian Pioneers of the 'Coromandel'

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Media: BOOK - hardcover, 568 pages
Author: B. Stace & W. Othams
Year: 2020
ISBN: 9781743058008
Other: b&w photos, index
Publisher: Wakefield Press

Sailing from London in September 1836, with 124 adults and 32 children, having survived storms and scurvy, the 'Coromandel' arrived at Kangaroo Island on 12 January 1837, only 15 days after the Governor arrived at Holdfast Bay. 

It was the first vessel sent out by the Commissioners for Colonization of South Australia to carry predominantly young working class couples, the first on which the number of men and women were almost equal, and the first where most of the labourers were free to work for whomever they wanted at whatever wage they could negotiate. It was 18 months before a larger group of labourers arrived on a single ship.

The 'Coromandel' also carried South Australia's first Advocate General, first Surgeon General, first banker and first geologist, all of whom were influential and controversial characters in early South Australia. 

Examination of the events that affected these pioneers, and the events in which some of them played lead roles, brings South Australian colonial history, and some of its controversies, to life at the personal level.

This huge book, packed with over 100 biographies is a compilation of the full story of the ship 'Coromandel', its voyage to South Australia in 1836-37, its passengers and crew, and their contribution to colonial South Australian.  

Not just for descendants of the Coromendelians, this book is for all who are interested in the story of South Australia's early pioneers and the social history of the South Australian colonisation experiment.  


Author's note
Comparing the 'Coromandel' and the 'Calcutta'

Part 1: The story of the 'Coromandel' and its passengers
Some historical context
Introducing the 'Coromandel'
Free passage labourers
The cabin passengers
Other 'labouring-class' emigrants
Nature of free passage labourers
'Coromandel' cargo and supplies
Departure dinner
Food, messes and regulations
The voyage - to Cape Town
The voyage - at Cape Town and to Kangaroo Island
The voyage - at Kangaroo Island to Holdfast Bay
The 'Coromandel' at Holdfast Bay
Desertions at Holdfast Bay
The 'Coromandel' at Holdfast Bay (continued)
First year ashore
Capt. Chesser's problems and death
E. Stephens and C. Mann: Early legal involvement
Early Methodists
Early years (1838-46)
After the first decade
'Coromandel' editors and publishers
More information

Part 2: Lessons from the Biographies
Filling in the blanks/jigsaw puzzles
Unreliable register entries
'Saints' or 'Sinners'?
Strong women
Dangerous lifestyles
Many moves and more pioneering
How many stayed in South Australia?
A labour force for the capitalists?
Occupation changes
South Australia: A land of hope and opportunity?
Some conclusions

Part 3: Biographies
A-Y listing
Six other labourers
The cabin passengers
Crew colonists

The Pioneers Association of South Australia
References and Sources

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Coromandelians: South Australian Pioneers of the 'Coromandel'

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