eBook-In the Days when the World was Wide

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Stories of the early 1840s to 1856, told through the eyes of an illiterate Irish man, Patrick Costello. An agricultural labourer, he was typical of many who left Ireland under extraordinarily difficult conditions. At least one million people are thought to have emigrated to America, Canada and Australia as a result of the famine.

Patrick Costello’s narrative is significant, not only in terms of his emigration, but also because it is one of the very rare surviving records of pioneering experiences, with unique insights and detailed accounts of daily life, from someone who could neither read nor write.

He gives a first-hand account of the voyage from Liverpool relating experiences with pirates and life on board the vessel. On arriving as a bounty immigrant in Port Phillip, he was employed by Captain Hepburn who owned Smeaton Station. The first night spent in Australia was near Captain Hutton’s at Flemington ‘without fire, supper, or bedding of any kind’.

Patrick relates incidents of a new life in the fledgling Port Phillip District of New South Wales in 1841, and his subsequent experiences of gold rushes and life till 1856. His experiences are chronologically narrated, with the exception of some interesting incidents such as an Aboriginal corroboree and a murder at Bendigo. Many facets of squatting life and Aboriginal culture are dealt with honestly and with humour.

17 chapters, index, glossary, illustrated, 128 pages, with notes on places, stations and Patrick's life.