Friday, October 8, 2010


"Merchant" Campbell would be the Canberra regions most famous pioneer. He was also the fledgling colony of Sydney's first free trader. Compensated for the loss of a cargo and ship by the Governor of New South wales he was awarded his lands on the Limestone Plains of present day Canberra.

The story starts in 1796 when his vessel "Sydney Cove" departs Bengal (info) bound to test trade in the new British colony. He goes on to build a merchant empire on a wharf built for £20,000 (a staggering amount for the day) an historic area that was to become the cradle of Australian commerce.

Robert Campbell (1804-1859)(bio)

NLA (image here)

This article from The Sydney Morning Herald - 28 March 1936 goes on to explain the events surrounding the estabishment of the Duntroon Estate and the establishment of a pastoral empire...

National Library of Australia (here)

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  1. Very interesting, I wonder what he traded.

  2. I think he would have traded just about anything Keith. Apart from the mention of seal skins and sperm oil I have also read of walnuts, weapons and hatchets... all manner of things I imagine.


History lost through lack of funding

  The following ABC article laments the possible loss of many historical audio visual records that are waiting for digitising into modern fo...