Image Map Macquarie Manuscript Transcripts: Notes
Lachlan Macquarie

Elizabeth Macquarie

Lachlan Macquarie
In the project Journeys in Time 1809 -1822 the transcription of the journals of Lachlan Macquarie has been conditioned by a number of factors.

Invaluable assistance has been provided by the granting of permission by the State Library of New South Wales to use the content of their publication:

Lachlan Macquarie Governor of New South Wales: Journals of his Tours in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land 1810 -1822.
Edited by Phyllis Mander Jones.
Sydney: Trustees of the Public Library of New South Wales, 1956.

to create an initial corpus of transcripts and historical notes.
Many additional hours would have needed to have been devoted to examining and checking the original sources if this resource had not been initially available. However, while these transcripts have proved on the whole to be accurate, they have suffered from a number of editorial decisions regarding the presentation of the text.

Firstly, the substitution of commas and full stops [periods] for the dashes, vertical strokes and exclamation marks. [This position was adopted to assist in the scanning and reading of the text; however, it was precisely these features that were a unique aspect of Lachlan Macquarie's writing style].

Secondly, the omission of the underlining of place names and the placing inverted commas around some place names.

Thirdly, the decision to avoid the use of capital letters except in those instances where Macquarie always used a capital initial letter - thereby avoiding the problem of determining whether the manuscript had a capital or not. It is indeed true that at times it is extremely difficult to determine from Macquarie's handwriting what his intent was in terms of capitalisation, and he was at times extremely inconsistent. In particular, there is his use of the capital letter 'H', 'P', and 'R'. Nevertheless, there seems to be merit in attempting to reflect the idiosyncratic nature of his writing, rather than resorting to a simple uniformity. For example, there is his use of exclamation marks for emphasis, as well as after entry headings for dates in his journal eg. Saty. 20th April 1822 !!! This is a unique characteristic of his style.

As a result, Journeys in Time will reinstate most of these features in an attempt to 'recapture' the 'flavour' of the original journals, and in this way it may be possible to indicate those incidents or observations that seemed to carry special meaning or importance to the writer.

However, there are some exceptions to be noted:

  • Lachlan Macquarie's use of the comma or full stop after the numeral in listing the time of day, eg. '9, o'clock' or '3. p.m.' has been omitted. Similarly the capitalisation of the abbreviation 'P.M.' after entries for the time of day has not been retained, as he does not use capitals for 'a.m.' when recording events prior to midday.
  • Where he uses a short dash in a sentence, two short dashes: -- have been used in this transcription; while at the end of a paragraph or at the beginning of a sentence, where he uses a long dash, three short dashes: --- have been used.
  • The use of underlining has proved problematical in some instances, because in the electronic environment of the Internet it may lead users to assume that this is a 'hot link' to another level or category of information. For this reason you will find that there is a continuous text file version of each journal transcription that retains all of the original underlining (with no 'hot links'). This is complemented by a transcription divided on a daily basis - underlining in this section is twofold: firstly, there are those words or phrases that were underlined by Lachlan Macquarie; and secondly, underlining that will indicate 'hot links' to additional information. In the case of the latter these words and phrases will appear in colour in the text (whilst any underlining by Macquarie will remain black). For those users who have set their browsers so that 'hot links underlining' is turned off, any 'active' links will simply appear as coloured text. Categories of 'hot links' include: People, Places, Ships, and Maps
  • The names of ships have been placed in italics to help in their identification during the reading of the text.
  • Variant spellings, or spelling mistakes, are noted where appropriate.

Elizabeth Macquarie
The usual conventions have been followed in the transcription of Elizabeth Macquarie's 1809 journal entries, such as the insertion of omitted words or letters in square brackets where sense or clarity dictates. Similarly, Elizabeth's use of capitalisation is at times erratic, and sometimes difficult to determine, especially in regard to the beginning of sentences where she regularly omits the capital letter. Editorial policy has been to provide a text which is easy to follow, but which also aims to preserve most of the writer's idiosyncrasies.

The hyphenation of words at the end of the line in Elizabeth's journal is indicated by the use of a double colon : however this convention has not been retained in the transcription; instead the complete word is supplied (without any indication). Similarly the long 's' ( f ) has not been retained but rather changed to the modern form of 'ss'.

Punctuation has been introduced sparingly and follows the original wherever possible; the only exception is where a stop is absolutely necessary and this appears in square brackets. The use of superscript, stops, or double stops, have been retained in abbreviations for official titles, military or naval ranks, or with conventions such as Mr. or Mrs. (eg. Mr.. Mrs..).

The diary rubric of specifying the day of the week has been added in bold typeface as an aid to the reader in the division of the diary into separate sections, but not in the full transcription.

Elizabeth Macquarie's diary is somewhat problematical in that she does not appear to have recorded her experiences on a daily basis like her husband, Lachlan - rather she wrote up her impressions at specific times on the voyage, or during port stopovers in Rio or Cape Town. This is similar to the approach adopted by Captain Antill, also travelling on the Dromedary in 1809; though, in his case, he waited until almost the end of the voyage before he began to write up his diary. However, unlike Elizabeth (or Ensign Alexander Huey) who recorded their entries as a personal record only, Antill prepared his diary for his sisters Eliza and Mary to read. In this regard he was similar to Deputy Judge-Advocate Ellis Bent (another diarist travelling on board the Dromedary) who prepared his diary for the benefit of family members in England.

It is quite remarkable that so many accounts have in fact survived of this particular voyage to New South Wales in 1809 (five in total) - each one providing a slightly different perspective on the places visited, the events witnessed, and in the descriptions of the various ports of call.

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