Item 2 - Letter from Mary Stickey

Identity area

Reference code

AU TAS UTAS SPARC S9-2

Title

Letter from Mary Stickey

Date(s)

  • 1835 (Creation)

Level of description

Item

Extent and medium

1 letter

Context area

Name of creator

(died 1834)

Biographical history

Richard Stickney (d.1834) was a young Quaker from the North of England. His sister, Esther, was a friend of George Washington Walker, the Quaker who accompanied James Backhouse on a missionary journey to Australia in 1831, and she asked him to look for her only brother, young Richard, who had run away to sea on an Australia bound ship, because of hardships in his job. By 1834, however, he had written to his sisters from Sydney but, before G.W. Walker was able to trace him there, his uncle Isaac Stickney received news of his nephew's death by drowning in November 1834 at the mouth of the Manning River N.S.W., from Thomas Soltit who kept the "Jolly Tar" public house where Stickney lodged in Sydney. Isaac Stickney wrote to Governor Burke of New South Wales enclosing Soltit's letter and asking for further information. This, together with information and papers from the Port Master, was given to Backhouse and Walker, who discovered that Richard had used an assumed name "Robert Smith" and had been employed by Thomas Steel as one of the seamen sailing up the East Coast for cedar on a small coasting craft which sank near the mouth of the Manning River, and that Steel had Stickney'S watch, gun and some old books (nautical works and 3 or 4 religious Friends' works). Stickney's own letter to his sister Sarah in 1834, with these papers, expressed regret at the grief he had caused his family and described his impressions of Sydney. He found that "the country born inhabitants are now becoming numerous and will soon form a sufficiently distinct people, they are a facsimile of the Americans both in body and mind, tall rawboned and muscular, with a most exalted opinion of themselves ¬ indeed in most athletic exercises as cricket, rowing or boxing they bear away more than their share of prizes. They are mostly ignorant to the last degree." The "currency lasses" he thought "not very elegant" but "there is one accomplishment not generally reckoned in the female list in which they excell they can most of them .swim." He remarked too that 99 percent of the children had fair hair. Richard Stickney attended the Friends (Quaker) Meeting House in Sydney when he had time. George Washington Walker wrote to Esther Stickney also of Quaker matters, his journey, botanical specimens, etc.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Deposited by Miss Amy Rowntree through A.C.T. 1953

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Letter from his sister Mary dated 25 January 1835 regarding family news, living at Chester, sister Sarah at Scarborough. Written from Beverley Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

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Available for reference

Conditions governing reproduction

This material is made available for personal research and study purposes under the University of Tasmania Standard Copyright Licence. For any further use permission should be obtained from the copyright owners. For assistance please contact Special.Collections@utas.edu.au

When reusing this material, please cite the reference number and provide the following acknowledgement:
“Courtesy of the UTAS Library Special & Rare Collections”

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Finding aids

Original inventory and descriptive notes can be found at https://eprints.utas.edu.au/11070/1/stickney-S9_Richard_Stickney.pdf

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Dates of creation revision deletion

HE Aug 2018

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