PBC Dangar Index
Index and directory to map of the country bordering upon the River Hunter ; the lands of the Australian-Agricultural Company, with the ground plan and allotments of King's Town, New South Wales : containing a detail of the annual quit rent and amount of the redemption of the same ; also historical notes upon the tenure and principle of granting lands in the colony since 1810 ; also for the guidance of emigrant settlers, a description of the unlocated country in the vicinity of Hunter's River ; useful geographical notes on Liverpool Plains ; the present regulations and conditions upon which grants and sales of land are made by government, with observations thereon, with a view of the present state of agriculture in the colony, price of land, advice to settlers, &c. the whole forming with regard to land affairs in that colony, a complete emigrant's guide by H. Dangar. London : Joseph Cross, 1828.

This work is held by Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Background

Henry Dangar's Index and Directory was written for the guidance of emigrant settlers in the Hunter River district. Dangar held out to settlers the prospect of occupying the alluvial lands adjoining the Hunter River, "rich without parallel in the known parts of the Colony….. but little inferior to the most improved English meadows".

The book also set out the original ground plan and allotments of Newcastle. At the time of which he writes (1827) there were not more than 30 private houses in Newcastle and the population (excluding the Government mining establishment) was no more than 200. At this time the coalmines at Newcastle were being worked directly by the Government refractory convicts, returned by the settlers, being used as miners.

Of the Gooris who had survived the coming of Europeans, Dangar discusses a plan formulated by Mr. Dawson, then Manager of the Australian Agricultural Company for "bringing the free labour of the aboriginal natives to valuable account to the Government and to colonists generally". Mr. Dawson's intention was "to select such light labour as is most congenial to their inclinations and undeviatingly at the close of each day to pay each man the reward of his hire….", payment to be in kind rather than money.

"Thus (adds Dangar) by a perseverance in the principle of giving an equivalent reward for their labour; by protecting them from the insults and oppression they are subject to through the half-civilized Europeans with whom they mix; by raising in them a desire, through a continued habit, for the same comforts and luxuries as we enjoy (and thereby creating a stimulus to their exertions and an excitement to weaning themselves from their native wandering habits); I have strong hopes of Mr. Dawson's succeeding in this very important object. Then would be produced an able race of field and other laborers, void of every compulsory feeling, making them, in fact, members of the British family, possessing the same privileges and freedom as any Briton born."

Denis Rowe
20 January, 1999

We do not hold the map that once accompanied the volume. A copy of the map is held in the National Library and a digitised version can be accessed here: catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2787133
Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Brian Walsh and Cameron Archer who digitally photographed the volume. Thanks are also due to Brenda Sullivan, Adrian Fisher, Gionni Di Gravio and Lyn Keily who helped prepare this site. We also wish to thank our benefactor Mrs Lesley Gent for her financial contribution that enabled this Digitisation Project to be completed.
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