Original Foundation Pamphlet dated 1 Sept, 1835

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  • The Colony of South Australia started out as a ?free settlement? decreed in 1834 by an Act of the British Parliament and, unlike the neighbouring colonies already established in New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia, it was the plan to be convict-free. The transportation of convicts was prohibited and, so the work of building the new Colony was expected to be borne by the English working-classes who would be assisted to migrate with their families to an unknown land on the promise of freedom of religion, and equal opportunity for all. The Crown insisted that the new Colony should be self-sufficient from the very outset and so the ?South Australia Act? did impose certain hurdles to be cleared before any settlement could occur, including a ?20,000 surety or bond upfront and, the pre-sale of ?35,000 of land to prospective colonists. The recently formed ?South Australian Association? backed by the Duke of Wellington was behind the push for the new Colony and, in September 1835 it produced a ?sales? pamphlet officially outlining ?the regulations of land in the Colony, for the preliminary sales of Colonial Land in this Country, and for the emigration of Labourers? to this new Utopia. Perhaps, this was the birth of the great Australian fixation with large housing blocks as it was outlined in the pamphlet that ?surveyed lands shall be divided as nearly as may be into sections of eighty acres each, with the exception of the site of the first town, which shall be divided into acre sections.? The land was available on a tender basis at the enticing rate of 1/- per acre and, interestingly, it is specifically mentioned that the Crown did not reserve rights to anything ?whether above or below the surface of the land.? Thus, mining rights lay vested with the purchaser. There was little information provided regarding the arduous nature of the land they were acquiring and, prospective immigrants were referred to published works on Australia such as ?A Voyage to Terra Australis? by Matthew Flinders and the ?Two Expeditions into the Interior of South Australia? by Capt. Charles Sturt, neither of which, it could be safely assumed, would have been freely available to the working-classes to peruse. Regardless, the conditions for settlement were met by the end of 1835 and the western (132›) and eastern (141›) boundaries of the new South Australia were set at the extreme points on the coastline that were first plotted by Matthew Flinders in 1802. The first settlers arrived in 1836 and the rest they say is history.

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September 4, 2022 12:00 PM AEST
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