John Graham, Convict, 1824: An Historical Narrative
Special Collections G530 G76 GD97. Reproduced by permission of the Robert Gibbings Estate and the Heather Chalcroft Literary Agency
London: J.M. Dent & Sons
Gibbings became fascinated with the story of John Graham (b. 1800?) in 1936 when he read John Curtis’s The Wreck of the ‘Stirling Castle’ (1838). Gibbings’s narrative in John Graham, Convict tells the story of Graham who was convicted of theft in Ireland in 1824 and transported to Sydney. In 1827 Graham was in the penal colony at Moreton Bay (near Brisbane) but escaped and ‘went bush’, living with the local aboriginal tribe until 1833 when he gave himself up. In May 1836 Englishwoman Eliza Fraser was on board the Stirling Castle, with her husband the Captain James Fraser, when the ship foundered north of Moreton Bay. The survivors were captured by aboriginals and James was killed. Graham was instrumental in the rescue of the surviving captives in August 1836 because of his connection to and knowledge of the local aborigines. He was subsequently pardoned and given ten pounds.
Robert Gibbings, “John Graham, Convict, 1824: An Historical Narrative,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed August 22, 2019, http://ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/9382.
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