Convicts, Capitalists and Corruption is a gripping narrative portraying personal stories of the leaders of Sydney society, convicts building the Mountain Road and the captivating history of the pioneers who established the early settlements west of the Great Divide. It depicts the lives of the brave men and women who ventured into the vast expanses of unknown land after the proclamation of Bathurst. Their stories encompass the many aspects of colonisation within the Nineteen Counties and the ‘outer limits’ of the Lachlan, Macquarie and Bogan rivers. There are also descriptions of the land of the Aborigines as it became inhabited by convicts and European settlers.
Kate Gadsby centres the book around the first settlers at Nubrygyn and the Wellington Valley convict settlement. Several years later it became the home of the Anglican Church missionaries as they endeavoured to Christianise the local Aborigines. The book describes the battles of the settlers and the squatters with unruly convict labourers and the lawlessness in Wellington County. Other than the Bathurst constabulary, the first twenty-five years of European settlement west of the Macquarie River existed without a police force. Deprived of constables, the Wellington region became overrun with bushrangers, murderers and convict runaways.
Beautifully illustrated with rare maps, photographs and artworks from colonial masters, this is a fascinating read. It is a ground-breaking historical narrative of people and occupation west of the Great Divide and the Colony’s settlements within the Wellington County and the vast lands beyond.