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Virtual Sourcebook for Aboriginal Studies in the Hunter Region Guide: 1800-1819

Sourcebook for Aboriginal studies : 1800-1819 Sources

1800-1819 : Sources for Aboriginal Studies


Grant's Voyage to Hunter's River

In June 1801 Governor King sent an exploration party to the Hunter's Riverled by Lieutenant Grant and Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson. There mission was to report on "where the most eligible place would be to form a settlement, both with respect to procuring coals and for agricultural purposes". Their report informed the Governor of the alluvial flats as being "a very fit situation for forming a settlement for the cultivation of grain or grazing";. They also reported on the presence of oyster shells along the beaches as well as good quality timber along the river. A small party were left behind to mine the coal at the present site of Newcastle, but due to the misconduct of a commanding officer the small settlement that had been working the seams was abandoned in 1802. Among their reports are observations of Aboriginal people.

Note: When reading the following accounts from Grant's voyage please be aware that they confused the rivers with one another and "regarded the Williams as the main stream and refer to it as the Hunter in their reports. The Hunter upstream from its confluence with the Williams they named the Paterson. Although the confluence of the (present) Paterson and Hunter was shown on their map, they did not explore the Paterson." (From T.M. Perry Australia's First Frontier: The Spread of Settlement in New South Wales 1788 - 1829. Melbourne University Press, 1963 p.56 note 8)









  • Skottowe, Thomas. The Skottowe manuscript : Thomas Skottowe's select specimens from nature of the birds, animals, & c. & c. of New South Wales / edited, with an introductory essay, by Tim Bonyhady ; natural history consultant: John Calaby ; foreword by Sir David Attenborough. Sydney : David Ell Press : Hordern House, 1988. Drawings by T.R. Browne.
  • For a complete set of images from this recently digitised manuscript please visit [Courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales PICMAN Database]


  • Joseph Lycett (c1774/75 - 1828) Newcastle, New South Wales, looking towards Prospect Hill c.1816-1818. [Detail 1] [Detail 2] [Detail 3] A gift by Port Waratah Coal Services to Newcastle Region Art Gallery. Photographed by Bruce Turnbull [Courtesy Newcastle Region Art Gallery]