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26 October 1853 Captain Francis Cadell

 26 October 1853        Captain Francis Cadell

On 26 October 1853 the Legislative Council gave a dinner in honour of Captain Francis Cadell, one of the pioneers of river transport, who had just completed a successful trip up the River Murray from Goolwa to Swan Hill and return. In August the paddle-steamer Lady Augusta, named for the wife of the Governor, Sir Henry Young was brought through the mouth of the Murray after being sailed from Sydney. She was fitted to carry eight first-class and sixteen second-class passengers and had eight crew. Her passengers on the inaugural voyage up stream included the Governor, his wife and two members of the Legislative Council. Cadell also had built, in Goolwa, a barge called Eureka and with this in tow the party set out on 25 August and reached Swan Hill on 17 September. On the return journey 441 bales of wool and other cargo were loaded on to the barge for delivery to the wharves in Goolwa, hence to be transported to Port Elliot for shipment. This was the culmination of the plans of Young, Cadell and William Younghusband, merchant and politician, who saw the great river as playing an important part in South Australia’s trade. With others Cadell formed the River Murray Navigating Company which operated for several years before it failed, partly because Cadell apparently was not a good businessman and also because of difficulties with Victorian authorities, Eventually Cadell left South Australia and was murdered by South Sea Islanders while pearling near Torres Strait.

Leslie McLeay and Nancy Cato, River’s End, Wakefield Press, 1985, pp54-60.

Tags: Cadell Captain Francis, River Murray, river transport