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Colonization of South Australia
London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longman, 1835. Octavo, folding handcoloured frontispiece map; original blue paper boards with grey spine, printed label, spine chipped and hinges weak, but an excellent unsophisticated copy, preserved in a quarter brown morocco box by Aquarius. With an 1825 letter from Torrens about the New Zealand Company. A fine copy in striking original condition of this important and influential work on South Australian colonisation, one of the earliest books on South Australia and the first book of Australian interest by the important political economist Torrens. Robert Torrens (1780-1864) was a marine officer who served with some distinction during the Napoleonic Wars, and who had a career-long interest in emigration to Australia, and who at one point even angled for an appointment as Governor of New South Wales. He tried to purchase land in the proposed Swan River colony in 1828, but when that fell through turned his attention to promoting South Australia instead. Torrens' book appeared in mid-1835 and the province of South Australia was formally established the following February. A tireless exponent of settlement and colonisation, his scheme was beset by ruinous land speculation and dilatory management, meaning that the colony collapsed in 1841 and had to be rescued with a loan from the British Parliament, metamorphosing into a crown colony the following year. This copy has a set of advertisements dated April 1835, and the bookplate of Sir William Molesworth. He was a British MP and friend of John Stuart Mill, who presided over the select committee on transportation of 1837, known as the Molesworth Committee, and would have had more than a passing interest in Torrens' views on emigration (see also catalogue number XXX). Loosely inserted in this copy is a letter signed by Robert Torrens to Zachary Macaulay, the abolitionist and influential committee member of the Church Missionary Society, relating to a prospectus he had sent relating to the New Zealand Company. The letter is dated 12 March 1825, and shows that Torrens had hopes of interesting the Church Missionary Society in the project, 'and in affording every assistance and support to the individuals who have for so many years devoted themselves to the social and moral improvement of the natives.' Torrens was one of the most active supporters of the New Zealand Company, but not much is known about how the Company was run, making this an interesting survival.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-08-08           Check availability:      Biblio    

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