Today’s amazing online resource – the Journals of Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie – is generously brought to us all by Macquarie University and the State Library of New South Wales.
Click here for full transcripts of diaries written over thirteen years by Lachlan Macquarie, governor of colonial New South Wales between 1810 and 1822, and his wife, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Macquarie’s diary describes the couple’s journey to Australia in 1809, including accounts of Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, and Cape Town. Her husband’s diaries are in eight sections, each recording official tours of inspection to parts of the New South Wales interior and to Van Diemen’s Land.
Having spent too many hours poring over handwritten letters and documents trying to decipher the words and sentences, a transcribed document is a gift in itself. To have that transcription freely available online is nothing short of miraculous.
I’ve not yet looked at Mrs Macquarie’s diary, but Governor Macquarie’s writing style is crisp and to the point. His entries are short and very readable. He describes the landscape, his horses, and his servants. Mrs M, as he calls her, often accompanies him in the carriage or on horseback and he lovingly admires her pluck and her stamina.