Prisoner John APPLEBY 1873

The inscription ‘Taken at Port Arthur 1874” is Beattie’s confabulation of facts in the name of tourism. Beattie prepared copies of these prisoner cdv’s for display in his collection of Tasmanian convictaria at his “Port Arthur Museum” located at 51 Murray St. Hobart (and not at Port Arthur) to coincide with the first of two early 20th century film adaptations (1908-9, 22 minutes – see theatre poster below; the second was filmed at Port Arthur in 1927) of Marcus Clarke’s popular fiction For The Term of His Natural Life which appeared as a serial in 1870 and in novel form in 1874. Hence the date “1874” and the place “Taken at Port Arthur” written on the verso of this cdv when the actual date and the actual place of photographic capture were respectively 1873 and the Hobart Gaol in Campbell Street. Beattie fabricated this fake history for several dozen original mugshots taken in the 1870s by government contractor T. J. Nevin because he was required under the terms of his own commission as government contractor (from ca. 1900) to market photographic imagery of Tasmania’s penal heritage to the intercolonial tourist. The loose cdv’s such as this one of prisoner John Appleby were prepared for sale and exhibition at Sydney’s Royal Hotel in 1915 to be displayed as Port Arthur relics, alongside relics and documents associated with the fake convict hulk Success which visited Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. The collection of “convict portraits” held at the National Library of Australia Canberra and at the State Library of NSW in the Mitchell Collection are the estrays from these exhibitions. … More Prisoner John APPLEBY 1873

Captain Edward Goldsmith and the conundrums of the Ethiopian Serenaders 1851

The resources in this article contain offensive language and negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of this weblog. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. Please note that this example of a mid-19th century performance genre called “blackface” and the use of the “N” word here will offend 21st century readers; proceeding is your responsibility.
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Captain Edward Goldsmith puts household goods at auction 1855

Auctioneer Wm. Gore Elliston considered himself “favoured” with the opportunity to sell the contents of Captain Edward Goldsmith’s residence at 19 Davey Street, Hobart, Tasmania at auction, scheduled for the 8th and 9th August, 1855. Captain Goldsmith himself would have attended. He remained in the colony until permanent departure in February 1856 on board the Indian Queen as a passenger, accompanied by his wife Elizabeth and son Edward jnr. In addition to the sale of valuable household furniture and furnishings were food processing equipment from Captain Goldsmith’s licensed wholesale store, and ship gear and timber from his shipyard and patent slip on the Queen’s Domain. If sold, the many hundreds of items of furniture, dinner ware, engravings and antiquities on offer would have been purchased for the families of public officials in the colonial administration as much as by the wealthy merchant class, and those families eventually, as they do, would have donated superior pieces to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Galley (TMAG) and other local public collections … More Captain Edward Goldsmith puts household goods at auction 1855