Snippets from the book

Smith and Salmon newspeper article 1839Sarah and Mary-Ann Salmon had mixed emotions when the Princess Victoria finally sailed into Sydney cove on 4 February 1834. The two women thanked God for keeping them all safe on their voyage. Their home-sickness and apprehension was overcome by the excitement of seeing their beloved Thomas again. All the weary passengers were up on deck as they entered Port Jackson between the north and south heads, waiting for the first glimpse of their new home.

With John Smith filling her head with exciting plans for their future and desperate to have children of her own, Mary-Ann accepted his proposal of marriage and they applied to the Registrar of Convicts for permission.

Every evening an oil lamp by the entrance to the inn was lit to remain burning throughout the night to guide late travellers safely to their door.

Arriving in Sydney Sarah Bird sold ‘the worst of my cloathes’, her black silk cloak fetching ten guineas and her petticoats two guineas each. She learned quickly that fashion had a high value in the young colony and while wearing the best of her ‘cloathes’ Sarah must have looked smart and financially secure.

Meanwhile Robert Howe was growing up wild and uncultivated, rebelling against his father and the paper. The fleshpots and taverns of Sydney Town were alluring to a well-established young man and he was enjoying all that was on offer.

As a man of many aliases, William Watt’s theatrical skill and good looks made him a valued player in these productions.

When Mrs Anne Howe met William Watt she was intrigued. She saw in William Watt, an exciting man, a passionate thinker and a writer. Watt saw in Anne an intelligent woman in her prime, only thirty-two, influential and wealthy.

The Thunghutti people lived in the ravines and gullies of the harsh mountainous terrain and they raided properties and killed cattle, horses, sheep, while menacing and often killing the inhabitants.

A few days before Christmas, they arrived home from one of their walks carrying large bunches of Christmas Bush, pine branches and cones to decorate the veranda posts in front of the inn and enough to fill the brass jardinière in the dining room.

One preventive medicine available in the colony was vaccination for smallpox and it was available for Penrith children from 1852.

During the night the William steamer returning from the Hunter had come to Catherine Adamson’s aid but after many manoeuvres, with the assistance the pilot boat, they were unable to tow the distressed ship.

It was a sunny morning in Hartley when Alice Salmon on her father’s arm, walked down the aisle of St John the Evangelist Church. The soft grey silk gown suited Alice’s colouring and her cousins had made a posy of violets and snowdrops for her to carry.

In quiet anticipation Mary-Ann proudly sat on the upstairs balcony of Robert’s home to see the Royal procession as it turns into Macquarie Street.

Chippendale was a working-class suburb of narrow streets full of small substandard cottages to accommodate the families who worked at the Colonial Sugar Refinery, and the Kent brewery on Parramatta Road and the Anchor flour mill in Abercrombie Street.