Crown Lands Commissioners In Moreton Bay (1842-1859)
Dr Margaret Shield, Visiting Fellow 2017/2018

Maurice O’Connell Letter Graham

Gladstone, Port Curtis

May 3rd 1854.



  1. In consequence of the arrival here in their boats of a party of ship wrecked seamen, belonging to the Dutch ship “Hester” and in accordance with the verbal arrangements I have made with you on this subject, I have now to acquaint you that I am most desirous of dispensing with the services of the schooner “Tom Tough”, under your command for such time, not exceeding fourteen days, as may enable you to visit the scene of the wreck and rescue any of the property which may be recoverable, and as there is some remote possibility, of meeting with the boats of the other Dutch vessel, lost at the same time with the “Hester”, I need hardly point out to you that it will be extremely desirable to keep a vigilant watch whilst near the coast of New Holland for that purpose.


  1. You will understand, of course that the “Tom Tough”, whilst engaged on this service will be held at the risk of the owners, the terms of the charter party not giving me the power which otherwise I should have used, in despatching the schooner under the orders of Government.


  1. I have only, in conclusion to urge you to return with as much speed as may be compatible with the effectual performance of the task you have undertaken, and to add my thanks to yourself for the readiness with which you have accepted a duty imposed upon you, more by the calls of humanity, than the prospect of gain.


I have the honor to be etc.

M.C. O’Connell

Government Resident




(Queensland State Archives Series 6614 Letterbooks Item ID: 212594 Letterbook – Government Resident Port Curtis. Transcribed from the original. Reproduced with permission from Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet)