Hack family vessels
The Hero was a one-masted wooden sloop, 40 ft long, 14.6 ft beam, 7.3 ft depth in the hold, weighing 36 tons. She was carvel-built (abutting rather than overlapping strakes on the hull), with a square stern and fixed bowsprit, on the Manning River, NSW, and registered in Sydney by John Gillies of Manning River in 1837. She changed hands a couple of times before being bought by William Dalton in March 1838. Although a small craft, she was quite sea-worthy and, under Henry Burns, brought furniture for Arthur Devlin from Sydney in March 1838, arriving a Port Adelaide on 2 April. Devlin, as attorney for Dalton, sold the vessel to Edward Hutchinson Pollard the following day. She was seized by the Harbour Master, Thomas Lipson, in the middle of May for a violation of the Registry Act and held several weeks. After a trip to Encounter Bay in June, Barton wrote in a letter dated 15 July: 'I last week bought a very fine little cutter of 40 tons burden to cut in with'. The South Australian papers consistently give her deadweight as 36-40 tons, so she must have been reduced in size later. Barton registered the Hero in Port Adelaide with William Wright as master on 30 October 1838, the first vessel to be registered in South Australia.
After several seasons attending the whale fisheries, she was seized by the Auction Company when John Baker foreclosed on Barton in early 1843 and offered for sale in the Southern Australian of 17 February 1843. However, a deal must have been struck between Baker and Jacob Hagen and Henry Weston Phillips because the latter pair re-registered the Hero on 15 February 1843 with James Long as master and she continued to attend the whale fisheries.
When the South Australian whaling effort petered out in 1845, Phillips and Hagen sold the Hero to the Hentys of Portland Bay, who sold her on to Hobart merchant, Frederick Arundel Downing, in 1846. She was wrecked at Cape Campbell, at the northeast tip of South Island, New Zealand, in November 1848.
Sources: Ronald Parsons, Ships of Australia and New Zealand before 1850, self-published, Magill, SA, 1983; R.T. Sexton, Shipping Arrivals and Departures, South Australia, 1627-1850, Gould Books-Roebuck Press, Ridgehaven, SA, and Aranda, ACT, 1990.