A Plague Ship


Elizabeth Bowden died in Manly Cove on the North Head of Sydney Harbour after contracting typhus on board the ship ‘Maitland’ in 1838. ‘Maitland’ passengers were accommodated on board or in tents as the Spring Cove quarantine area was already full to capacity with passengers from the ‘William Rogers’. Elizabeth was one of 286 ‘Maitland’ passengers and crew who contracted typhus or scarlet fever; 40, including  Elizabeth’s son Jacob Bowden died on board and others, such as her oldest son James Bowden, succumbed soon after. The report of a committee of enquiry was a damning indictment of the system which allowed immigrants to be ‘transported to the colony like cattle’.

Uncommon Endeavour

The Life and Times of Thomas Adam, Hunter pioneer and citizen

Published 1998  ISBN 0 646 34952 X

Thomas Adam was a remarkable young man who seized the opportunities for advancement after his arrival in Sydney from Ayrshire, Scotland in 1838. Difficult economic times did not deter him in his pursuit of an independent living as a cabinet maker, then Lake Macquarie timber cutter, Newcastle builder, producer of barges for the coal trade on Bullock Island, Raymond Terrace timber miller and New England tin miner. His role in public life was also impressive as a member of the first Newcastle Council, candidate for the Legislative Assembly, Raymond Terrace Mayor,  education reformer and general political and economic pundit.

Adam & Beyond & Supplement

Ancestry & Descendants of Thomas & Rebecca Adam  Published 2001                      ISBN 0 9778 150 18

Adam & Beyond Supplement Published 2009                     ISBN 09578 50 35

These books followed the publication of ‘Uncommon Endeavour’ in 1998, the story of Thomas and Rebecca Adam. Unlike Thomas Adam, his children took on safe careers in the railways, which provided security for their families mainly in the Hunter district. They benefited from Thomas Adam’s vision to pave the way for a better life for his descendants in the rapidly developing colony of NSW.