Hellhole That Used Rum as Money. Then a Scot Turned It into Australia

Daily Mail (London), January 26, 2011 | Go to article overview

Hellhole That Used Rum as Money. Then a Scot Turned It into Australia


Byline: by Jim McBeth

EVEN in the farthest-flung outpost of the Empire, in a God-forsaken place that his superiors decreed should be a hell on earth, Major-General Lachlan Macquarie was a man who believed in second chances.

His companions were the dregs of society, convicts who had been transported to the lawless colony of New South Wales, where they and the indigenous people were condemned to lifelong persecution.

But the warrior diplomat saw more than a hellhole that had, until his arrival as Governor, been ruled by the 'exclusives', a ruthless elite supported by the British government.

Macquarie saw... Australia. And during his tenure, which began in 1810, the Scot would transform and expand the colony into a country that he created and named.

Today, as we approach the 250th anniversary of his birth, Australians refer to him simply as Big Mac, or more formally, the Father of the Nation. But when the British dispatched the officer to New South Wales, it was to quell a rebellion.

His predecessor, Captain William Bligh - of mutiny on the Bounty infamy - had been deposed in a coup. Macquarie's task was to restore order, protect the prominent Britons and ensure criminals and Aborigines were kept in their place. But Macquarie, who had fought with distinction in America, India and Egypt, saw limitless potential.

He began erecting beautiful buildings and laying roads. Most of his work was carried out with the help of talented 'criminals', many of whom had been deported for petty misdemeanours.

In Britain, they were seen as mere wrongdoers.

The Highlander, who was born on the tiny island of Ulva off Mull, recognised them as a valuable asset. However, the Scot's belief in redemption would not find favour with his overlords and for every friend he made, he created many enemies, who would eventually engineer his downfall. The remarkable story of how Macquarie created a country is explored in a new BBC drama-documentary tonight.

In Australia, where they recently celebrated the 200th anniversary of his arrival in New South Wales, his name is writ large on the country's map. But he did more than merely open up what he first described as 'Australia' in a dispatch to Whitehall in 1817.

He founded towns, schools, banks, churches and the postal service. When he had arrived in the country the 'currency' had been rum. When he left, it was the Australian dollar.

Macquarie was born in 1761, one of eight children, to a family that farmed on land owned by the Duke of Argyll on Mull.

In 1776, the 15-year-old enlisted in the Army and was assigned to the 2nd battalion of the 84th Regiment, the Royal Highland Emigrants, and sent to Canada with the rank of ensign. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Hellhole That Used Rum as Money. Then a Scot Turned It into Australia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.