A History of Encounter Bay 1837
The first years of settlement at Encounter Bay were, to say the
least, eventful but appear never to have been adequately
chronicled. Worse, many accounts are erroneous. The following
account is taken, wherever possible, from original sources. In
some cases the source is a secondary publication; these are
details that I have been unable to confirm.
The pdf file (11 Mb) is here.
Sources for 1837
- The log of the South Australian, a record of the whaling activities from 23 May to 18 October 1837. The vessel was moored in Rosetta Harbour for this period and provided a party of two boats in addition to those of the South Australian Company's fishery at Rosetta Cove.
- The confrontation between Stephens and Blenkinsop in June described in affidavits sworn by John William Dundas Blenkinsop and Sylvester Freeman.
- The visit of Wyatt and Mann to Encounter Bay in September in a letter written by William Wyatt.
- The attempt to enter the Murray Mouth in August, the loss of the Solway and near loss of the John Pirie, the successful entry into the Murray Mouth and deaths of Jeffcott and Blenkinsop on trying to exit the Mouth, a full report by Charles Mann in a letter of 6 March 1838. Mann, who was at Encounter Bay on his way to Hobart in the John Pirie in December, was an eyewitness.
- The death of the cooper, Jeremiah (John) Calnan, and report on oil at Encounter Bay by David McLaren, junior, in a letter of 29 November.
- The wreck of the South Australian on 8 December, a brief account by her captain, John Thorburn Boyd Macfarlane, in a letter of 24 February 1838.
- The near loss of the John Pirie, a short account by her captain, George Martin, in a letter of 1 March 1838.
- A journey along the Coorong and the crossing of Lake Alexandrina in December described in two affidavits by John Foley and Edward Stone.
- The death of the cooper, Jeremiah (John) Calnan, the entry into the Murray Mouth and the unsuccessful attempt to exit it, by James Walter Fell. Fell was employed by the South Australian Company at Encounter Bay and he claimed to be in the boat with Jeffcott and Blenkinsop. The account was written some time, perhaps much, later and is not wholly reliable.
- The exploration of Lake Alexandrina and the attempted exit from the Murray Mouth in December, a report by Thomas Bewes Strangways and Young Bingham Hutchinson, dated 1 January 1838. Strangways and Hutchinson organised the exploration party but did not witness the deaths of Jeffcott and Blenkinsop.