Spotlight: The Floating Museum

The former Burmese cargo ship Success was converted into a floating prison in the 1850s as the influx of immigrants seeking their fortunes on the goldfields caused the crime rates to explode. As a result, to alleviate the overcrowding of the prisons, the government purchased a set of abandoned ships (Success, Deborah, Lysander, President and Sacramento) and had them fitted out with cells.
The Success was the only one kept intact when the ships were decommissioned. Continue reading Spotlight: The Floating Museum

Spotlight: Portrait of James Sutherland

James Saunders was born at Big River, (Ouse). At 18 months old, James was left by his father with a woman at Perth. This woman raised him until he was 5 years old and he was given the name Sutherland. He was then fobbed off on a woman at Evandale, who looked after him until he was 11. James was then kicked out and left to his own devices. He tried to make his way back to Perth, but was arrested and tried under the vagrancy act. He was sentenced to 3 months in gaol. When he got out of … Continue reading Spotlight: Portrait of James Sutherland

Spotlight: Scott (Moonlite) 

As technology did not exist to replicate photographs in print at the time, artists employed by publications were given the task of dramatising events in illustrations or producing portraits of the key players based on descriptions or existing photographs. Continue reading Spotlight: Scott (Moonlite) 

Spotlight: “Thomas and John Clarke, bushrangers, from a photograph taken in Braidwood gaol”

In 1867 Thomas and John Clarke were the most wanted men in Australia. With a reward of £1000 for Thomas and £500 for John, the hunt was on for two of the most notorious bushrangers in New South Wales. Continue reading Spotlight: “Thomas and John Clarke, bushrangers, from a photograph taken in Braidwood gaol”