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Maritime quarantine versus commerce: the role of the health officer of Port Jackson in the nineteenth century.

One of the problems that perplexed the colonial government of New South Wales throughout the nineteenth century in its administration of Sydney s port-of-entry, Port Jackson, was the need to encourage the growth of shipping while at the same time requiring all ships arriving from overseas to observe quarantine regulations that were potentially very costly to shipping and associated commercial interests. Ships provided the vital transport and trading links with other countries that were essential for the colony's economic development. They could, however, be carriers of an infectious (communicable) disease such as smallpox, cholera or typhus fever that could devastate Sydney's population.

The grim consequences of infectious diseases were well known to the colony's administrators. All would have known of the disfigurement, blindness and death inflicted by smallpox in Great Britain, Europe and Asia and the swiftness of the onset of cholera epidemics that in the early 1830s caused an estimated 23,000 deaths in England and Wales. (1) They would also have known of the tragic consequences for the colony's children, including Governor Darling's son, when whooping cough was introduced into Sydney from the convict transport ship Morley in 1828. (2)

For any who hoped that Australia's distance from other continents would provide a prophylactic time-distance barrier against ship-borne diseases, reports of epidemics in overseas ports, such as that made to the government in 1883 by the Health Officer of Port Jackson, Dr Charles K. Mackellar, provided salutary reminders of the need for precautions in Port Jackson. Following representations from the London directors of the Eastern and Australian Steamship Company Limited, Dr Mackellar had been requested to report on the 'propriety' of modifying or relaxing the port's existing quarantine regulations. Successfully recommending against any such action, Mackellar judiciously included the information that in recent times a cholera epidemic believed to have been introduced into the Japanese Empire by the United States frigate Mississippi, had caused an estimated 200,000 deaths in Yeddo alone. (3)

Adding to government concern, steamships were progressively decreasing the time formerly taken by sailing ships to reach Sydney from Asian ports where diseases such as smallpox and cholera were endemic. This increased the likelihood that an infectious disease might be carried on shore by an infected person during the unrecognisable incubating stage, as happened when one of the crew of the Torres Strait mail steamer Brisbane caused an outbreak of smallpox in Sydney in 1876. (4)

Scientifically based knowledge about the causes and transmission of specific diseases was just beginning to emerge and the colonial government endeavoured to protect Sydney's residents by quarantining any ship entering the port that had an infectious disease on board or had called at an infected port. Quarantine entailed the enforced detention and isolation of the ship, her passengers, crew and cargo, normally from 1828 onwards at Sydney's Maritime Quarantine Station at the port's North Head, until it could be medically certified that there was no longer any danger of transmitting the disease to Sydney's residents.

The port's quarantine regulations, therefore, often caused costly delays to ships and considerable inconvenience to travellers, creating a conflict of interests that was described by Dr Mackellar in a report to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1883:
 The imposition of quarantine necessarily brings two very important
 interests into collision--the commerce of the country and the public
 health--and it therefore behoves the authorities to render its
 action as little irksome as possible as long as it is consistent
 with the public safety--for above all things the health of the
 people must be paramount. (5)

The decision taken in 1838 to appoint the first Health Officer of Port Jackson was, in effect, a constructive move towards making the port's quarantine regulations less irksome for commerce while increasing their effectiveness in protecting public health. It replaced a procedure adopted as early as 1805 when the southern seas whaler Richard and Mary arrived with a 'a dangerous fever' on board, whereby the ship's master was required to report to the boarding customs official any outbreak of an infectious disease during the voyage to the colony. The unsatisfactory nature of this procedure was described by Governor Gipps on 6 January 1839 in a despatch to Lord Glenelg, Secretary for the British colonies in which he justified his appointment of the first Health Officer:
 From the want of a Professional Health Officer, ships are now
 frequently detained at the entrance of Port Jackson on the
 report only of the subordinate officer of Customs, who is the
 first to visit them; after his report is received, delay
 frequently will occur in finding a Medical Officer to send down
 the Harbour ... When emigrant ships are in quarantine, a similar
 want has been felt of some Professional person, through whom the
 Government may communicate with the medical officers in the
 Lazaretto and by whose advice it may be guided; and finally a
 difficulty has arisen in affording medical assistance to Emigrants
 who have landed or come from the Quarantine Ground in a state to
 require it. (6)

The need for such an appointment was first raised by Dr John Dobie, a half-pay British naval surgeon with twenty-four years experience of diseases mainly on naval but also on immigrant and convict ships, who was temporarily employed at the Quarantine Station in July 1838. Displaying characteristic initiative, Dobie wrote to the Colonial Secretary, E. Deas Thomson, on 3 August 1838 offering his services in this role. The frequent arrival of ships with sickness on board, the daily growing commercial intercourse with the Indian Archipelago and the increasing influx of emigrants from Europe augmented the risk of introducing European and tropical diseases from which New South Wales was as yet free. Governor Gipps, Dobie hoped, would shortly contemplate the appointment of a Health Officer to inspect all ships arriving in the port, as was the practice in European ports.

Although Dobie's offer of his services as the port's Health Officer had Thomson's full support, Governor Gipps was initially reluctant to add to the cost of his civil establishment at a time when a severe drought had decreased the sale of Crown lands, depleting Treasury funds. His reluctance was overcome, apparently by two alarming reports. The first concerned the discovery of typhus fever on board the immigrant ship William Rodger after the ship had anchored in Darling Harbour on 26 September 1838. Typhus fever eventually infected 144 of the passengers and crew of whom at least forty-four died, including the ship's master. The second was a report in The Sydney Gazette on 17 November 1838 that fatal cases of typhus fever had occurred in Sydney in the last two weeks, one of which was distinctly traceable to infection communicated from one of the 'fever ships'. There were well-grounded fears that the disease had already spread among 'some of the poorer inhabitants of our crowded alleys and streets'. (7)

On 11 December 1838 the governor appointed Dr Dobie as the first Health Officer of Port Jackson, at an annual salary of 300 [pounds sterling]. In Dobie's letter of appointment his primary duty was to visit every vessel entering the port, other than those coming from Van Diemen's Land or engaged in the Australian coastal trade, in order to determine whether or not there was an infectious disease on board. If he was satisfied that there was no risk to Sydney's residents, he was authorised to grant admission to pratique (permission to proceed to a Sydney wharf and unload). In all other cases he was provisionally authorised to quarantine the ship, her passengers, cargo and mail pending government approval both for his action and for his recommendations for measures to be performed in quarantine in order to eradicate all traces of the disease. Other specified duties included supervising the progress of each quarantine, providing medical assistance to immigrants at the Immigration Barracks in Bent Street (later extended to include medical supervision of the Depot for Females at the Hyde Park Barracks), and periodically checking the health of crews of ships not in quarantine to make sure that none had developed an unreported infectious disease. (8)

In carrying out these duties, the Health Officer was expected to ensure that there were 'no needless vexations to individuals or avoidable interruptions to trade'. He was also enjoined to adopt as a guiding principle the view expressed by the Medical Adviser to the Government to a Select Committee on Quarantine Laws in 1853 that: '[there is] one grand duty he must ever remember--his duty to the public; and if there were the slightest doubt upon his mind, he must give the public and not the ship, the benefit of his doubt'. (9)

Throughout the century, the Health Officers emerge from the pages of surviving documents as valiant defenders of the health of the people of Sydney who often placed their own health at risk in the course of their duties. They were Dr John Dobie who held office from 11 December 1836 to October 1839; Dr Arthur Savage from 5 November 1839 until his death on 17 July 1852; Dr Haynes G. Alleyne from 20 July 1852 to July 1882; Dr (later Sir) Charles K. Mackellar from 19 July 1882 to August 1885; Dr (later Sir) Henry Normand Maclaurin from 1 September 1885 to February 1889; Dr Frederic Norton Manning from 6 March 1889 to December 1892; Professor (later Sir) Thomas P. Anderson Stuart from 1 January 1893 to December 1894 and Dr William R. Peirce from 1 January 1895 to 1903.

All had extensive medical experience, some with a naval or military background. Most held other important appointments such as the port's Emigration Officer, Medical Adviser to the Government, Chairman of the Immigration Board, President of the Medical and of the Pharmacy Boards, and in the case of Drs Mackellar, Maclaurin, Manning and Professor Anderson Stuart, membership of the New South Wales Board of Health which included terms of office as the President of the Board. (10)

Adding status to the Health Officer's role in Sydney's class-conscious society, most were members of the exclusive Australian Club described by Governor Fitzroy in 1849 as 'an institution to which none but gentlemen of the highest character, station and respectability in the colony are admitted'. (11) Therefore, by virtue of their professional capabilities, their public appointments and their social standing, these men brought considerable authority to the role of Health Officer of Port Jackson, ensuring that their recommendations received careful consideration by the colonial government and usually, if not always immediately, a favourable response.

In adopting quarantine regulations in Port Jackson, the colonial government followed well-established precedents in British and European ports-of-entry where quarantine had been used as a protection against the importation of plague and cholera for a number of centuries. Unlike ports in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea where a ship arriving from an infected place was quarantined for a mandatory period of at least thirty days even if there was no sign of the disease on board, the policy adopted in Port Jackson conformed with the British government's policy that the least possible restrictions needed for the protection of public health should be placed on the free movement of trade.

Enabling legislation was provided by the Quarantine Regulations to be Observed in the Harbour of Port Jackson adopted on 1 October 1832 which were derived from the Act for subjecting vessels coming to New South Wales from certain places to the performance of Quarantine (known as the Quarantine Act) passed on 28 July 1832. The Health Officer was legally empowered provisionally to quarantine a ship by an amendment to the Quarantine Act in 1841. (12)

In practice, the time a ship was detained in quarantine was determined by the special circumstances in each case, with the aim of releasing the ship from costly detention as quickly as possible. Usually where the ship had arrived from an infected port with no sign of the disease on board, the quarantine lasted only for as long as was necessary to complete the required cleansing and fumigating procedures. Where there had been an outbreak of an infectious disease during the voyage, the length of the quarantine depended on the virulence of the disease. Generally this was for at least as long as what was then believed to be the incubating period of a particular disease. In 1853 this was twenty-one days for smallpox and fourteen days for 'ship fever' and in 1883, twenty-one days for smallpox, typhus fever and 'relapsing fevers', ten days for cholera and yellow fever and at the discretion of the Health Officer in most other cases. (13)

Throughout the century the following procedure was normally adopted by the Health Officer to check health on board ships arriving from overseas. The news that a ship was approaching the port was signalled from the South Head Signal Station to the Fort Phillip Signal Station on Observatory Hill. In the second half of the century the South Head Signal Station was provided with electric telegraphic and telephone links to Sydney. A message was immediately sent to the Health Officer who kept the Signal Master informed of his movements. Meanwhile, the ship was brought under the guidance of a Harbour Pilot to an anchorage no further up the harbour than an imaginary quarantine line from Bradleys Head to the lightship that marked the reef known as the Sow and Pigs, beyond which the ship was not permitted to pass. On 7 December 1894 the quarantine line was gazetted as an imaginary line drawn from Bradleys Head to Shark Point at Vaucluse. There the ship was required to wait under the supervision of the Harbour Pilot, with all unauthorised contact prohibited, for the Health Officer's decision whether or not to quarantine the ship and all on board, often including the unfortunate pilot.

According to Fort Phillip's Signal Master in 1853, the time taken to pass a signal from the South Head Signal Station was less than five minutes. However, the time taken for the Health Officer to be rowed from Circular Quay to the waiting ship could involve delays of many hours, particularly when rough seas in the harbour made it dangerous to attempt to reach the ship or the ship arrived after sunset and had to wait until daylight hours for the Health Officer's inspection. In the event of a medical examination, all the passengers and crew were usually required to file past the Health Officer with any head covering removed to enable a clear view of the face and with sleeves rolled up past the elbow to reveal any skin rashes. Any person who appeared to be debilitated or who had skin rashes or eruptions was then singled out for a more detailed medical examination. (14)

From at least as early as the 1850s when the gold rush brought hundreds of ships crowding into the harbour, requests were made to avoid delays by relocating the Health Officer to Watsons Bay where the harbour pilots were based. During Dr Alleyne's thirty years in office he steadfastly refused such requests, citing his need to be based close to officials involved in the administration of the port's regulations. However on 1 July 1882 the Colonial Treasurer, as the minister responsible for quarantine, yielded to pressure from the Steamship Owners' Association of New South Wales and stationed an Assistant Health Officer at Watsons Bay. This decision set the pattern for the future. When Dr Peirce, formerly the Medical Superintendent of the Coast Hospital, was appointed Health officer on 1 January 1895, he and his successors in the twentieth century were located at Watsons Bay.

From 1 July 1882 until Dr Peirce's appointment in 1895, the Assistant Health Officer, Dr Joseph A. Beattie, who was succeeded on 24 November 1882 by Dr Jonathon C. Sibley, took over the role of visiting newly arrived ships, communicating either by telephone or telegram with the Health Officer. Whenever necessary, the Health Officer also visited a ship in order to confirm the Assistant Health Officer's recommendations. Reflecting the growing pressure from steamship companies, the instructions to the Assistant Health Officer included the stern warning that he would be held strictly responsible for any unnecessary delays in boarding a waiting ship and 'that it is of the greatest importance to ship owners and masters that they should be afforded every facility for visiting the port'. (15)

From 1832 when the port's quarantine regulations were first adopted, the decision to quarantine a ship was based on the answers provided by the ship's master or surgeon to a series of questions on a printed Health Report form. Depending on these answers, supplemented by a medical inspection where necessary, the Health Officer either granted pratique or ordered the ship's master to proceed to a quarantine anchorage, normally in Spring Cove at the Maritime Quarantine Station at North Head. The Health Officer then returned to Sydney to report his actions and his recommendations for the performance of quarantine to the responsible minister who in turn sought the approval of the New South Wales Executive Council. From 1881 following the appointment of the Board of Health, the Health Officer's report was referred to the Board for approval until quarantine administration passed to federal control on 1 July 1907. Until 1881 when the Board of Health became responsible for the administration of the Quarantine Station, the Health Officer was also required to organise medical care for people landed at the Station. In the case of a government chartered immigrant ship, he arranged for the delivery to the Station of the necessary supplies of medicines, medical comforts and general provisions; in all other cases, he requested the ship's agent to arrange delivery of the necessary supplies. He also monitored the progress of each quarantine, obtaining daily reports from the doctors in charge and countersigning all requisitions for medicines. (16)

Transport between the waiting ship and shore was provided in the early years either by the Customs boat or by hiring one of the harbour's licensed watermen. In 1853, following complaints about delays from waiting ships, a boat and crew were made available for the Health Officer's use. The numbers of ships involved and the magnitude of the Health Officer's task were immense. In 1853 Dr Alleyne visited 569 ships and in 1897 Dr Peirce visited 392 ships. In 1853, Alleyne quarantined seventeen of the 569 ships because of measles, typhus fever, scarlet fever or smallpox. In 1897, Peirce quarantined ninety-one of the 392 ships, two because of smallpox and eighty-seven because they had arrived from Asian or African ports infected with cholera, malaria or yellow fever. Before release from quarantine the masters of these eighty-seven ships were required to discharge all fresh water into the harbour, cleanse and lime wash tanks, pump out and disinfect bilges and in some cases send the ballast out to sea. As a rough average, some 400 ships were visited each year. (17)

Visiting the ships was hard, difficult work. It was dangerous because of constant exposure to the risk of infection and to the risks involved in reaching and boarding ships in rough weather. The task frequently involved arguments with aggressive and evasive masters and surgeons who resented the delay to their ships and sought to avoid quarantine particularly after the British government, recognising that Britain's geographic closeness to Europe made quarantine largely impractical, had largely abandoned maritime quarantine in the second half of the century. Except in the case of plague or yellow fever, quarantine in British ports was replaced by a medical inspection, hospitalisation of any infected passengers or crew on shore and the release of contacts with infected people into the community under periodic medical surveillance. Given the difficulties involved, the Health Officer's role therefore required a robust constitution and personality, a strong work ethic and above all, a total commitment to the ideal of protecting Sydney's people.

From the beginning of 1839 until the end of 1899, approximately 25,000 ships were visited by the Health Officer or the Assistant Health Officer, of which at least 256 were quarantined for periods varying from one to occasionally eighty days, representing a considerable cost to commerce. Additionally an undetermined number of ships were quarantined for less than twenty-four hours for cleansing purposes. Delays for cleansing could vary from hours to two or more days and usually involved washing the clothing, bedding and other personal belongings of the passengers and crew. It also involved cleansing and purifying by methods specified by the Health Officer, the ship and any cargo considered to be possible carriers of infection, such as bristles, carpets, fur, feathers, cotton rags and woollen goods. (18

In an effort to reduce the heavy cost to commerce of an idle ship in quarantine, the practice was adopted from 1837 of landing passengers and crew at the Quarantine Station to enable the ship to be cleansed and released as quickly as possible. Whatever efforts were made, however, to shorten the length of quarantine, it remained a costly procedure that could seriously erode the profits of a voyage.

Illustrating the basic cost of quarantining a sailing ship in 1837, the master of the Lady MacNaghten successfully claimed 302 [pounds sterling] 13s 10d (the 1998 equivalent being about 18,200 [pounds sterling] stg (19) from the government for the use of his ship for thirty three days as a hospital ship for passengers and crew infected with typhus fever. This amount was calculated on the basis of the rate fixed in the case of demurrage by the Charter Party (the legal agreement between the ship's owner and the charterer), a rate described by the master as 'very inadequate to indemnify the owners'. (20) Thus the estimated daily cost in 1837 for an idle sailing ship in quarantine was about nine British pounds (1998 equivalence of 550 [pounds sterling] stg). Indicating the basic daily cost of quarantining a steamship later in the century, delegates to the Australasian Sanitary Conference in 1884 were informed that the cost of the mere detention of a steamship in quarantine was from 120 [pounds sterling] to 300 [pounds sterling] per day (1998 equivalence of 8,000 [pounds sterling] to 20,000 [pounds sterling] per day). (21)

These were only the basic costs to which were added the costs of provisioning and providing medical care for the quarantined people and a variety of incidental costs. The extent of these extra costs was indicated in a letter dated 2 August 1900 written by the Chairman and Joint Managing Director of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, Sir Thomas Sutherland, to the Managing Director of the British India Steam Navigation Company, Sir James Mackay. The cost of maintaining passengers and crew during the quarantine of the P&O steamship India in four Australian ports amounted to 1,360 [pounds sterling] 9s 11d (1998 equivalence of 89,500 [pounds sterling]). Sutherland wrote that incidental costs had been incurred for 'extra lighterage, extra tugs, extra expenses from transhipping and coaling, Health Office expenses, and when the crew are landed to perform quarantine, for labour in moving the ship, etc'.

Sutherland's letter had been written in reply to Mackay's request for help in lobbying the British Member of Parliament and former President of the Board of Trade, Joseph Chamberlain. Mackay had suggested that Sutherland should inform Chamberlain of the great inconvenience the P&O company were sustaining 'owing to the barbarous quarantine laws in Australia' and to urge the desirability of calling a conference to discuss ways of bringing 'the self-governing colonies who are hide bound by barbaric quarantine rules ... which greatly hamper trade and are the source of much inconvenience and suffering to humanity' into line with 'the reasonable and enlightened procedures of this country'. Advising Mackay to await the outcome of deliberations in the Australian colonies about the implementation of uniform federal quarantine procedures, Sutherland provided further insight into the politics of quarantine when he added that:
 only as recently as the beginning of last year a Bill emanating from
 Queensland was before the Federal Council sitting at Melbourne, one
 of the clauses in which was intended to compel an infected ship to
 remain at the first Federal port until discharged from Quarantine
 which would have been a serious matter for the Mail Companies. The
 matter was represented to the Premier of Victoria with the result
 that the Bill was dropped. (22)

In Sydney, lobbying by shipping interests for the relaxation of the port's quarantine regulations appears to have been a recurring feature of business life in the colony that intensified as costly steamships with their frequent coaling needs were required to call at the ports-of-entry of the various Australian colonies, each of which had different quarantine regulations and facilities. Typically, when F.W. Jackson, an executive of the Union Steamship Company, Sydney, presented a paper on the subject of federal quarantine at a Conference of the Australasian Chambers of Commerce held in Sydney in 1897, he expressed the hope that the delegates might 'see their way to speak with no uncertain sound regarding the disabilities that frequently beset shipowners in their efforts to carry on the commerce of Australia'.

Advising the conference that 'ship owners have always felt themselves hardly dealt with in consequence of the severity with which Quarantine Laws have been carried out', Jackson pointed out that ship owners had to bear the whole cost of maintaining passengers and crews in quarantine. In the case of a moderate sized steamer, the cost of quarantine borne 'by the unfortunate ship owner' had varied from 1,400 [pounds sterling] to 2,700 [pounds sterling] (1998 equivalence 97,500 [pounds sterling] to 188,000 [pounds sterling] stg) and the expenses for the Preussen [quarantined for smallpox from 26 December 1886 until 31 March 1887 during which there were seventy-nine cases of smallpox and thirteen deaths] had been upwards of 5,000 [pounds sterling] (1998 equivalence of 348,000 [pounds sterling] stg). (23)

Presenting a direct threat to the effectiveness of the Health Officer's role, the heavy costs of quarantine induced some ship masters to conceal the outbreak of an infectious disease on board despite the risk of substantial penalties under the Quarantine Act. When the Director arrived from San Francisco on 29 July 1853, Dr Alleyne granted pratique on the basis of the master's assurance that there was no sickness of a contagious or infectious nature on board. Late on the following night, however, he received information that caused him to immediately board the ship anchored at a Sydney wharf where he found a child infected with smallpox.

The ship and her passengers, including several who had already landed in Sydney, were quarantined at the Station where the ship was detained for sixty-three days in what may have been partly a punitive measure. In the aftermath, the ship's master was prosecuted and the government proclaimed that all vessels arriving from California, the Sandwich Islands and the Islands of New Hebrides were to be quarantined for not less than two days to allow Alleyne sufficient time to check the veracity of the masters' reports. This proclamation resulted in the quarantine of at least thirty-five ships, most for two days only, in 1853 and 1854. (24)

Equally dangerous to the effectiveness of the Health Officer's role, ship surgeons often endeavoured to make as light as possible of any sickness on board, undoubtedly with the encouragement of the ship's master. At a time when there were many theories concerning the cause of various infectious diseases, some ship surgeons either genuinely or wishfully believed that so-called ship fever was not infectious. This was the belief, for instance, of Dr Alick Osborne, surgeon--superintendent on the immigrant ship Adam Lodge, who authorised the landing of influenza cases in 1837 and, since the Immigration Barracks was full, arranged for their accommodation in Sydney lodging houses where several died.

As proof of his belief that ship fever was not infectious, Dr Osborne told the government's Select Committee on Quarantine Laws in 1853 that the disease had not spread to any of Sydney's residents (although a severe epidemic of influenza that became evident in the colony several months later may well have been connected with this incident). He also informed the Select Committee that quarantine was unnecessary in the case of ship fevers, since 'they become entirely innocuous when the people are dispersed and have a change of air'. Quarantine for typhus fever was also unnecessary, he stated, since the disease was entirely 'of local and atmospheric origin' and the 'febrile miasma' emanating from the disease would be dispersed on land. (25)

These typical examples, one of a deliberate attempt by a master to avoid quarantine and the other illustrating the contemporary lack of knowledge about the causes of specific diseases, demonstrate that the Health Officer's role required considerable astuteness in dealing with ship masters and surgeons. He also required the considerable self-confidence needed to make costly decisions at a time when there were many differing beliefs about the causes of specific infectious diseases and the efficacy of quarantine.

Unquestionably of all the ships entering the port, those bringing hundreds of immigrants to New South Wales below decks in steerage class caused the greatest concern to the Health Officer. Throughout the century at least 122 of 737 ships carrying emigrants, mainly from Great Britain, were quarantined by the Health Officers, imposing a considerable financial burden on shipping and other commercial interests engaged in the emigrant trade. (26)

For impoverished people who were desperate to find employment and a better life in a new land, there was a strong temptation to conceal sickness since otherwise they would not be allowed to embark. Although the British Passenger Act and individual charter-party agreements between ship owners and charterers set out certain minimum standards of accommodation, provisioning and supplies of medicines and medical comforts, there was little protection when an infectious disease was carried on board. The closely confined living arrangements and the insanitary conditions in steerage class provided a breeding ground for diseases such as typhus fever (mainly spread by body lice), measles, scarlet fever and whooping cough (mainly spread by airborne droplets), smallpox (mainly spread by secretions from skin lesions and by contaminated articles such as clothing and bedding) and cholera (mainly spread by faecal contamination of water and food).

On a number of such occasions, the Health Officer's actions were instrumental in providing a salutary reminder to ship owners, charterers, masters and surgeons of their contractual and moral responsibilities. About two weeks after the immigrant ship New York Packet ship sailed from Scotland on 8 July 1841 carrying 320 passengers including 249 bounty immigrants, a two year old child was found to be suffering from smallpox. The ship's surgeon superintendent, Dr John Aitken, a licentiate of the College of Surgeons at Edinburgh and a country doctor with no experience of shipboard life, decided not to use the designated hospital area which was already partially filled with sails. Instead, he isolated the little boy in the ship's long boat under tarpaulins on the open deck where he died, probably alone. Subsequently two infected adults were also isolated in the long boat, one of whom also died. As others became infected, Aitken allowed eleven cases to remain in their sleeping berths alongside healthy people because he considered that smallpox was 'not as likely to be caught from one slightly, as from one seriously affected'. Concurrently a number of people became infected with a fever that some of the immigrants recognised as typhus fever but Aitken maintained was influenza.

On arrival Dr Aitken reported to the Health Officer, Dr Arthur Savage that the last case of smallpox had occurred on 12 September 1841 and although he had 'upwards of twelve cases of catarrhal fever or influenza on my list which every vessel has more or less on arrival', all other passengers were totally free from disease. As a precautionary measure against smallpox, Savage quarantined the ship for cleansing. Four days later his concern over reports about the level of sickness amongst the immigrants caused him to send a naval surgeon to the Quarantine Station who immediately diagnosed several cases of typhus fever. The disease quickly spread throughout the Station eventually causing nine deaths.

Dr Savage's report on these tragic events resulted in a Board of Enquiry that found that the importer of the immigrants, John Miller of Glasgow, who had contracted to convey 1,000 suitable immigrants either to Port Jackson or Port Phillip, was at fault for not securing the services of a more competent and experienced surgeon-superintendent. Accordingly the entire cost of the quarantine amounting to 932 [pounds sterling] 2s 5d (1998 equivalence of 50,330 [pounds sterling] stg) was deducted from the bounty payments that would normally have been paid to John Miller.

Customarily a surgeon superintendent on an immigrant ship received a gratuity at the end of the voyage calculated on the basis of ten shillings for each immigrant landed alive where it was the surgeon's first voyage, rising successively to sixteen shillings for each immigrant according to the number of subsequent voyages for which the surgeon was employed. Additionally he was generally paid 40 [pounds sterling] for the cost of a return passage. On the Board of Enquiry's recommendation, Dr Aitken's gratuity was forfeited, leaving him penniless in Sydney. The master's gratuity was also forfeited since the Board considered that he had been either inattentive to the immigrants or had been guilty of 'concealing from interested motives' the doubt which he must have entertained about Aitken's report to the Health Officer. (27) Undoubtedly, such heavy financial penalties contributed to improving the quality of medical care on the immigrant ships of the nineteenth century.

Reviewing the various stages of quarantine administration in the nineteenth century, it is apparent that the smallpox epidemic that occurred in Sydney between 25 May 1881 and 18 February 1882 had a significant impact on the Health Officer's role. The source of the epidemic during which 154 people became infected, of whom forty died, was never officially identified as ship-borne. However, a petition to the Legislative Council in 1883 from a widow, Julia Russell, claimed that her husband who had operated a grocer's shop in Sussex Street, had contracted the disease because a 'Chinaman' who had been a passenger on the steamer Brisbane, quarantined on arrival on 29 April 1881 until 25 May 1881, had been prematurely released while suffering smallpox. According to Mrs Russell, the Chinese passenger had been conveyed to a furniture shop in Sussex Street. She claimed that 'through the laxity of the Quarantine laws or on account of the improper or neglectful mode in which those laws were administered in Sydney', her husband who had business dealings with the furniture shop, had contracted the disease and died on 22 November 1881 leaving her with no means of support for her five children. (28)

In the first five months of the epidemic, Dr Alleyne was placed in sole charge of its management. Lacking an infectious disease hospital in Sydney until a smallpox pavilion was erected later on the site of the newly approved Coast Hospital at Little Bay, Alleyne sent infected people and their contacts to the Quarantine Station. Media attention quickly focused on the inadequate, at times inhumane ways of treating infected people and their contacts and on the poor standard of care at the Station, particularly on board the hospital ship Faraway moored in Spring Cove. Public criticism over the handling of the epidemic resulted in the appointment of the New South Wales Board of Health in July 1881 which was subsequently re-constituted on 20 December 1881 as a statutory body under the terms of the Infectious Disease Supervision Act passed on 21 December 1881. (29)

The new Board of Health was given responsibility for the administration of the Quarantine Act, the Infectious Disease Supervision Act, the Dairies Supervision Act and other public health legislation, together with associated establishments including the Quarantine Station. This meant that the Health Officer now reported to the Board of Health with its strong component of medically qualified members and that the Quarantine Station was supervised by the Board of Health through its president. In the period from 1882 until Dr Peirce's appointment in 1895, Drs Mackellar, Maclaurin, Norton Manning and Professor Anderson Stuart combined the role of member of the Board of Health, including periods as President of the Board, with the role of the Health Officer of Port Jackson. During this period the Health Officer's role in checking health on ships was largely supervisory, with the Assistant Health Officer visiting newly arrived ships and initially determining whether or not a ship should be quarantined.

From the arrival on 8 January 1882 of the steamship Garonne with smallpox on board, the minutes of the meetings indicated the Board of Health's willingness to modify and improve procedures in the interests of commerce provided this did not endanger public health. Every effort was made to lessen delays by speeding up cleansing processes and by 1887, following the installation of a steam laundry and two Lyons' steam disinfectors at the Quarantine Station, ships carrying up to 600 passengers could be cleansed and released within forty-eight hours. (30)

Although all the members of the Board of Health were involved in such matters, Dr Mackellar was clearly a guiding force. He was not only a capable administrator but also a skilful networker who used his important commercial and medical connections to promote his plans to improve quarantine procedures and facilities in Port Jackson and also to promote the adoption of uniform quarantine policies and procedures in all Australian ports-of-entry. In the following years, other Health Officers, notably Dr MacLaurin, also vigorously promoted these objectives. Dr Mackellar was arguably one of the prime instigators of the chain of events that resulted in the inclusion of quarantine as a federal responsibility under Section 51 of the Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia which took effect on 1 January 1901 and resulted in the transfer of quarantine administration from state to federal control on 1 July 1909.

When Dr Mackellar took over the role of Health Officer on 19 July 1882 he held considerable pastoral interests and was closely involved in the life of the community, later following in the steps of his father-in-law to become President of the Bank of New South Wales. (31) As a primary producer, an exporter and a businessman, he was well aware of the commercial importance of minimal delays for ships on arrival and of a speedy departure with a lucrative export cargo.

In the commercial life of the colony, pressure for improved, uniform quarantine procedures in Port Jackson and other Australian ports was increasingly being exerted by various steamship companies. In 1878 the Steamship Owners' Association of New South Wales was formed, merging in 1884 with a similar association in Victoria to form the Steamship Owners' Association of Australasia. The Association's members represented commercially important organisations such as the Australasian United Steam Navigation Company, the Colonial Sugar Refining Company and Burns, Philp and Company. Since their objectives were 'to remove hindrances and obstructions to the steam shipping trade, to regulate and advance matters of common interest to and between steamship owners ... and generally to protect and promote the interests of Steamship owners ...' quarantine became an important item on their agenda. (32)

During the smallpox epidemic in Sydney, the New South Wales government proclaimed on 17 June 1881 that Hong Kong and all Chinese ports were infected with smallpox and therefore liable for quarantine in Port Jackson. The quarantine of the steamship Ocean on 26 June 1881 became an example for steamship owners of the need to rationalise quarantine regulations in the various Australian ports of entry. During a thirty-five day voyage to Sydney from Hong Kong, the ship had been cleared by Health Officers at Darwin, Thursday Island, Cooktown, Townsville and Brisbane. Nevertheless, it was quarantined in Port Jackson for sixteen days on arrival and for a further eleven days on its return voyage from Melbourne. Adding to the ship master's anger over what he considered was an unnecessary quarantine, some 450 Chinese passengers remained crammed on board the ship while his increasingly urgent requests for food and water were ignored by Dr Alleyne. In desperation after the people on board had been without water for a day, the master fired distress guns. The quarantine became the subject of a petition on 18 September 1882 to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly by the Sydney merchant firm, George R. Stevens and Co., who sought recompense for a loss of 1,585 [pounds sterling] 16s 0 (1998 equivalence 103,000 [pounds sterling] stg) resulting from the quarantine.

The petition had no chance of success. The quarantine had been within the letter and spirit of the quarantine law, although the spirit may have been swayed by racial prejudice. During parliamentary debate on 15 September 1881 of a motion that the actions of the government in the case of the Chinese passengers were not justified, either from a sanitary or from a humane point of view, the Colonial Treasurer took credit for the proclamation and for the Ocean's quarantine on the grounds that it would restrict the influx of Chinese. The motion was withdrawn when a letter from Dr Alleyne was tabled in which he gave an unsympathetic explanation for the delay in sending water to the ship. (33) George Stevens had to bear the financial loss but as a member of the Steamship Owners' Association he had powerful allies.

At a meeting with the Colonial Treasurer on 30 June 1882, a deputation from the Steamship Owners' Association of New South Wales voiced their dissatisfaction with the lack of uniform quarantine procedures in Australian ports, pointing out that the administration of the port's quarantine regulations and the lack of sufficient accommodation at the Quarantine Station entailed great loss for ship owners which if not rectified would greatly injure the reputation and trade of the port. (34) At the Colonial Treasurer's suggestion, the delegates submitted a series of recommendations on 9 August 1882, almost certainly with the encouragement of Dr Mackellar, for a course of action that suited his own agenda for improved procedures and for better facilities at the Quarantine Station. One immediate outcome was the location of an Assistant Health Officer at Watsons Bay to shorten the time taken to reach a ship. This was followed by the allocation of a steam launch for the Health Officer's use, replacing what Mackellar (a Vice-Commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and owner of the racing yacht Oithona) ruefully described as the 'miserable barge at my disposal' in which during bad weather he was unable to cross the Heads safely to visit the Quarantine Station. (35)

A recommendation for the erection of accommodation for Asiatics at the Station was not put into effect until 1902. However, a recommendation for greater water supplies at the Station was instrumental in an amount of 15,000 [pounds sterling] being set aside in the 1883 Appropriations for the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the 'construction of a Reservoir and other improvements at the Quarantine Station, North Head'. Importantly, procedures were altered so that a steamer coming from a foreign port and calling at intermediate colonial ports, having received pratique from the Health Officer of another colony, was allowed to come up the harbour to a Sydney wharf without the need of the Health officer's clearance, provided no sickness had occurred since leaving the earlier colony. (36)

Adding to the dissatisfaction with existing quarantine procedures, the lack of uniform quarantine regulations in Australian ports had resulted in a number of incidents where an infected person was not removed from a ship at the first Australian port-of-call. As a result the disease spread to other people as the ship progressed around the Australian coastline. In a carefully devised strategy, Dr Mackellar presented his case for a federal quarantine system based on mutual agreement between the various colonial governments in a report to the government in 1883 on the propriety of modifying the port's quarantine regulations and also in a paper read before the influential Medical Section of the Royal Society of New South Wales on 20 July 1883. The paper received highly favourable support amongst the medical fraternity and was endorsed by the New South Wales Branch of the British Medical Association on 3 August 1883, when there was general support for calling together a conference of health authorities representing each Australian colony. At the first meeting of the newly constituted Victorian Central Board of Health on 5 December 1883, a pamphlet published by Dr Mackellar on the subject of federal quarantine was an important item on the agenda. The outcome was 'The Australasian Sanitary Conference of Sydney, New South Wales' held on 17 September 1884. (37)

The conference addressed a wide range of sanitary issues such as the prevention of disease, sanitation at home and on shipboard and recommended a number of procedural changes in some detail. Importantly, it recommended that one Quarantine Bill should be prepared for adoption by the various colonies under the title 'the Federal Quarantine Act of Australasia'. No immediate approval by the colonies was forthcoming, however, because by that time an Intercolonial Convention on the subject of federation had been held in November and December 1883 which had proposed that a Federal Australasian Council be created to deal with matters which included 'the regulation of quarantine'. The baton which Dr Mackellar had carried forward with such energy and skill had passed to other runners in this field who were supported from the sidelines in the following years by Mackellar, by then a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, and by his Health Officer successors. The ultimate result was the transfer of quarantine administration to federal control on 1 July 1907, the introduction of uniform quarantine procedures in Australian ports-of-entry and the re-naming of the position of Health Officer as Quarantine Officer. (38)

Between 1839 and 1899 approximately 25,000 ships were delayed on arrival for times varying from several hours to some days while waiting for the Health Officer's visit and decision. At least 256 of these (this number excludes ships quarantined for less than a day for brief cleansing purposes) were quarantined for periods varying from one day to several weeks. (39) In view of this considerable cost to shipping, the question must inevitably be raised whether or not the benefits to public health were commensurate with the burden quarantine imposed on commerce and travellers.

There is, however, no unqualified answer. Theoretically it may be argued that on many, potentially even on all of the occasions when the Health Officer quarantined a ship, he prevented the introduction of an infectious disease that might have caused many deaths in the colony, justifying any costs. Despite the Health Officer's efforts, however, the system did not completely achieve its objective of protecting Sydney from infectious diseases. This likelihood was acknowledged by all the Health Officers. Dr Alleyne had warned the Select Committee on Quarantine Laws in 1853 that 'our Quarantine Regulations, however good, are only part of a system ... The only mode of rendering our system of Quarantine more efficient, is to make our code of health more perfect, and not to allow the protection afforded by wise and commonsense precautions of Quarantine to be weakened by the laxity of all other sanitary rules'. (40)

Research by P. H. Curson reveals that a number of outbreaks and epidemics of infectious diseases occurred in Sydney in the nineteenth century, indicating that on a number of occasions an infectious disease eluded the Health Officer's vigilance. (41) In some cases, for instance the measles epidemic in 1853 which Dr Alleyne claimed was introduced from Melbourne, (42) the disease may have been introduced into Sydney either by one of coastal trading ships that were exempt from the port's quarantine regulations or by overlanders. However, in most cases there is no reliable way of establishing whether the outbreaks and epidemics were caused by newly introduced ship-borne diseases or resulted from a recurrence of a previously introduced disease that had remained relatively dormant for some time in the colony.

Reviewing the role of the Health Officer in dealing with conflicts of interest between maritime quarantine and commerce in Port Jackson in the nineteenth century, one important outcome, however, does seem clear. Where the interests of public health and commerce converged, for instance in adopting uniform federal quarantine procedures, both public health and commerce benefited. Where, however, there was a conflict of interests, the role of the Health Officer ensured that the interests of public health took precedence over those of commerce to the extent that the limitations of the quarantine system and the contemporary state of knowledge about infectious diseases allowed.
Questions to be put by the Health Officer to the Surgeon and Master,
or other Person in command of any ship or Vessel arriving in Port


 1 What is the name of the Vessel and Beejapore 1672 Tons

 2 What is the Master's name? Macleay

 3 From whence do you come and when did Liverpool
 you sail? 12th October 1852

 4 At what Ports have you touched on your None

 5 Did you receive any Cargo or Passengers No
 at the intermediate ports?

 6 What is the nature of the Cargo, and Merchandise. Crew 60
 the number of Officers, Mariners and Passengers 979

 7 What Vessels have you had intercourse or None
 communication with on your passage, and
 from whence did they come?

 8 Have you any, and what Bill of Health? No

 9 Are you aware that any Epidemical, Measles brought on board
 Contagious, or Infectious Disease before sailing.
 prevailed at the place from which you
 sailed, or at any of the places which
 you have touched, or on board of any
 Vessel which you have had communication.
 If so, state where and when.

10 In the course of your voyage have any 80 cases of measles
 Persons on board suffered from sickness 20 cases of Scarlet
 of any kind, and what was the nature of Fever
 such sickness, and when did it prevail? 56 deaths. Most of them
 How many Persons were affected by it and from measles
 have any to them died in the course of 1 death this moming from
 the voyage? pneumonia

11 How many sick have you now on board, 13 cases of measles now
 and from what Disease? on board

12 If any sickness prevailed during the Measles brought on board
 passage, state the date of the first the ship during the
 and last case? period of embarkation
 appeared only after
 sailing (in a few days
 after). It has continued
 without intermission
 during the whole of the
 voyage--13 cases now on
 board 56 deaths from
 causes before stated

13 If any of the Crew or Passengers have 56 deaths from causes
 died during the voyage, state the nature before stated
 of the Disease of which they died, and
 the date?

14 Upon the appearance and prevalence of No
 any Disease, was there any unusual state
 of the weather, which might lead you to
 suppose its existence to depend rather
 upon atmospherical causes then upon
 specific contagion?

15 Are you aware of any circumstances, Yes
 during the passage or at present, which
 would render it expedient to place the
 Ship and people in Quarantine?

16 To the correctness of the foregoing Yes
 Statements, are you ready to make
 declaration, if required?

Hayes Gibbes Alleyne MD
Health Officer
January 6th 1853

Source: State Records NSW: Colonial Secretary's correspondence 1853,
agent for Immigration to Colonial Secretary. 4/3200, 53/4869.

St Ives, New South Wales Member RAHS


(1) Margaret Pelling, Cholera, Fever and English Medicine 1825-1865, New York, 1978, pp. 1-2.

(2) Jean Duncan Foley, In Quarantine: A History of Sydney's Quarantine Station 1828-1984, Kenthurst, 1995, p. 18.

(3) 'Quarantine Station, North Head (Report of the Health Officer upon the State and Condition of, etc.)', New South Wales Votes and Proceedings, Legislative Assembly, (NSW V&P (LA)), 1883, vol. 2, p. 985.

(4) Foley, In Quarantine ... pp. 67-8.

(5) 'Quarantine Station, North Head (Report of the Health Officer)', NSW V&P (LA), 1883, vol. 2, p. 981.

(6) King to Hobart, 8 January 1805, Historical Records of Australia (HRA), vol. V, p. 279; Gipps to Glenelg, 6 January 1839, HRA, vol. XIX, pp. 737-8.

(7) Dobie to Colonial Secretary, 3 August 1838, State Records Authority of New South Wales (SRNSW), Colonial Secretary's miscellaneous correspondence, 1838, 4/2408.3; Foley, In Quarantine, pp. 42-4; The Sydney Gazette 17 November 1838.

(8) 'Report from the Select Committee on Quarantine Laws with Minutes of Evidence and Appendix', New South Wales Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Council (NSW V&P (LC)), vol. 2, 1853, Sydney, 1853, Appendix: 'Copy of a letter from the Colonial Secretary to the Health Officer, 21 January 1839', pp. 1-2; 'Health Officer of Port Jackson (Duties to be performed by)', NSW V&P (LA), 1858, vol.3, p. 1253; Gipps to Glenelg, 6 January 1839, HRA, vol. xix, pp. 737-8.

(9) 'Report from the Select Committee on Quarantine Laws ...', evidence of H.G. Alleyne, 28 June 1853, p. 5, and of B. O'Brien, 1 July 1853, p. 7; 'Report of the Health Officer of Port Jackson for the year 1853', NSW V&P (LC), 1854, vol. 2, p. 856.

(10) Blue Book of New South Wales for years 1837-1894, Mitchell Library (ML); New South Wales Public Service Lists, 1897-1904, ML; 'Dobie, John', Douglas Pike (ed.) Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB), 1986, vol. 1, pp. 310-11 ; 'Savage, Arthur', Douglas Pike (ed.), ADB, vol. 2, p. 418; 'Alleyne, Haynes Gibbes', Douglas Pike (ed.), ADB, Melbourne, vol 3, pp. 26-7; 'Mackellar, Sir Charles Kinnaird', Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Searle (eds), ADB, vol. 10, pp. 297-8; 'MacLaurin, Sir Henry Normand', Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Searle (eds), ADB, vol. 10, pp. 327-8; 'Manning, Frederic Norton', Douglas Pike (ed.), ADB, vol. 5, pp. 204-5; 'Stuart, Sir Thomas Peter Anderson', John Ritchie (ed.), ADB, vol. 12, pp. 130-1; 'Obituary for Dr. H.G. Alleyne', Australian Medical Journal, 15 September 1882, p. 431; W.G. Armstrong, 'The First Australian Health Officer', The Medical Journal of Australia, 24 June 1939, p. 928; F. McCallum, 'An early Australian Quarantine Officer', Health, Commonwealth Department of Health Journal, vol. IV, January 1926, pp. 1-4.

(11) Quoted in A.W. Martin, Henry Parkes: a Biography, Melbourne, 1980, p. 59; J.R. Angel, The Australian Club 1838-1988, pp. 62, 63, 382, and passim.

(12) 'Quarantine Regulations to be observed in the Harbour of Port Jackson, New South Wales, 1832', enclosure with Governor Bourke's despatch on Quarantine Laws, no. 28, 15 February 1835, ML; Glenelg to Gipps, 7 June 1838, HRA, vol. XIX, pp. 434-5; Public Statutes of New South Wales, 3 Gul. IV, 1832; Foley, In Quarantine, pp. 19-20.

(13) 'Report from Select Committee on Quarantine Laws', evidence of H.G. Alleyne, 28 June 1853, question 15, pp. 1-2; The Australasian Sanitary Conference of Sydney, N.S.W., 1884, NSW V&P (LA) 1884, p. 54.

(14) 'Health Officer of Port Jackson (Duties to be performed by)', NSW V&P (LA), 1858, vol. 3, pp. 1253-4; 'Health Officer', NSW V&P (LC) 1852, vol. 1, pp 1239-41; Copies of letters sent to Health Officers, 1839-1853, 4/3735, and copies of letters regarding quarantine, SRNSW, Colonial Secretary's correspondence, 4/3892-4, 4/2735; Health Officer to Colonial Secretary, 12 May 1853, SRNSW, Colonial Secretary's correspondence, 1853, 4/3197; A.J. Metcalfe, 'Some Aspects of Quarantine Work at Sydney', Health, vol. X11, July 1934, p. 60.

(15) Alleyne to Colonial Secretary 14 May 1853, (53/4222), SRNSW, Colonial Secretary's correspondence 4/3197, Blue Book of New South Wales, Colonial Treasurer, 1882-1895; 'Instructions to Assistant Health Officer stationed at Watsons Bay', 11 February 1892, Board of Health Quarantine Regulations, SRNSW, 5/5854; Assistant Health Officer, Watsons Bay to the Health Officer, Sydney, 26 September 1882, appendix to papers relating to the quarantine of the 'Gunga', NSW V&P (LA), vol. 2, pp. 1033-4.

(16) 'Health Officer of Port Jackson (duties to be performed by)', NSW V&P (LA), 1858, vol. 3, pp. 1253-4.

(17) 'Health Officer: Report of the Health Officer of Port Jackson for the year ended 1853', NSW V&P (LC) 1854, vol. 2, pp. 855-7; 'Report of the Board of Health for 1897', p. 6, NSW V&P (LA) 1899, vol. 1; 'Health Officer: Letter from the Health officer to the Colonial Secretary', NSW V&P (LC) 1852, vol. 1, pp. 1239-41.

(18) Jean Duncan Foley, 'Vessels quarantined in Port Jackson for more than twenty four hours from 1805 until 1973', unpublished; Foley, In Quarantine, pp. 23, 38-9.

(19) Robert Twigger, Inflation: the value of the pound 1750-1998, Research Paper 99/20, 23 February 1999, House of Commons Library, UK.

(20) 'Demands of Master and Owners', Enclosures with Despatch from the Governor of New South Wales to the Secretary of State, no. 60, 7 July 1837 concerning the emigrant ship Lady MacNaghten, ML; Glenelg to Gipps, 7 June 1838, HRA, vol. XIX, pp. 434-5.

(21) The Australasian Sanitary Conference of Sydney, N.S.W., 1884, p. 11.

(22) Mckay to Sutherland, 27 July 1900 and Sutherland to Mackay 2 August 1900 and attachments, Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company History and Archives, P&0/91/7, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, U.K.

(23) F.W. Jackson, 'Federal Quarantine', Conference of Australasian Chambers of Commerce, Sydney, New South Wales, May 1897, pp. 210-18, ML; Foley, In Quarantine, pp. 86-7.

(24) Minutes of the New South Wales Executive Council, no. 36, p. 303, 1 August 1853, and no. 47, p. 414, 26 September 1853, SRNSW 4/1530; Foley, 'Vessels quarantined in Port Jackson'.

(25) 'Report from Select Committee on Quarantine Laws', evidence of A. Osborne, 12 August 1853, pp. 26-7; 'Vessels Arrived, 1837', SRNSW, Colonial Secretary, COD 34; Glenelg to Bourke, 29 April 1837, HRA, vol. XVIII, p. 738.

(26) Guide to the State Archives of New South Wales, No17: Shipping and Free Passenger Records, Sydney, 1984, pp. 95-132; Foley, 'Vessels quarantined in Port Jackson'

(27) 'Report of Enquiry into cause of sickness on board the New York Packet', Public Record Office, Kew, UK, Colonial Office 201/320, 10630, pp. 21-89; HRA vol. XX11, Gipps to Stanley, 3 May 1842, pp. 29-30 and 14 May 1842, 'Return of the amount of quarantine expenses charged against Parties importing Immigrants on Bounty into New South Wales between 1 January 1841 and 30 April 1842', p. 52; Gipps to Stanley, 4 June 1842, pp. 100-1 and Stanley to Gipps, 8 February 1843, pp. 558-842; evidence by H.H. Browne regarding surgeon superintendent's gratuities, 27 July 1855, 'Family Colonization Loan Society--Report from the Select Committee', V&P (LC), 1855, vol. 2, p. 520.

(28) 'Report of the Board of Health upon the late epidemic of small-pox, 1881-1882', NSW V&P (LA), 1883, vol. 2, pp. 953-62; 'Petition by Julia Russell received 27 February 1883', NSW V&P (LA), 1883, vol. 2, p. 975.

(29) 'Report of the Board of Health upon the late epidemic', p. 955; Foley, In Quarantine, pp. 70-9; Public Statutes of New South Wales, 'An Act to make further provision to prevent the spread of the disease known as Small-pox and for other purposes', 20 December 1881.

(30) Board of Health Minutes of Proceedings 1881-1896, SRNSW, 5/2913, 5/2973; Board of Health Quarantine Regulations, SRNSW, 5/5853-5/5854; J. Ashburton Thompson, 'Australasian Maritime Quarantine; its Theory and Practice', Transactions of the Seventh International Congress of Hygiene and Demography, London, 1982.

(31) 'Mackellar, Sir Charles Kinnaird,' Dictionary of Australian Biography, vol. II, Sydney, 1949; and Bede Nairn and Geoffery Searle (eds), ADB, vol. 10, pp. 297-8.

(32) 'Conference of Steamship Owners held in Sydney, New South Wales, at the Chamber of Commerce Exchange on 10 June 1884', papers of Captain F. H. Trouton of A.S.N.Co., MSS set 205 (1), ML; Rules of the Steamship Owners' Association of Australasia adopted at a meeting of members held on 12 November 1884, Sydney, Pam. File 656/A-Z, ML; The sixth Annual General Meeting for the year ending 31 July 1890 of the Steamship Owners' Association of Australasia, ML; N.L. McKellar, From Derby Round to Burketown: The A USN Story, Queensland, 1977, pp. 113-98.

(33) 'Steamship Ocean (petition of G.R. Stevens)', NSW V&P (LA), 1882, pp. 1303-5; New South Wales Parliamentary Debates, session 15 September 1881, 'SS Ocean', pp. 1130-42.

(34) 'Quarantine Station, North Head (Report of the Health Officer upon State and Condition of etc.)', appendices, B, Letter from Steamship Owners' Association dated 9 August 1882 to The Under-Secretary for Finance and Trade, p. 986; Conference of the Australasian Chambers of Commerce, pp. 211-12.

(35) 'Quarantine Station, North Head (Report of Health Officer ...', 'Steam Launch', p. 980; Jackson, 'Federal Quarantine', pp. 211-12; 'Instructions to Assistant Health Officer stationed at Watson's Bay', 11 February 1892, Board of Health Quarantine Books 1881-1915, SRNSW 5/ 5854 and 3/5854; P.R. Stephensen, Sydney Sails: The story of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's First 100 years (1862-1962), Sydney, 1962, pp. 64, 262.

(36) Foley, In Quarantine, pp. 80-82; The Australasian Sanitary Conference, Sydney, N.S.W., 1884, appendix A, 'Federal Quarantine', p. 57.

(37) The Australasian Sanitary Conference of Sydney, N.S.W., 1884, appendix A, 'Federal Quarantine', pp. 56-59.

(38) 'Quarantine Station, North Head (Report of Health Officer ...', p. 985; The Australasian Sanitary Conference of Sydney, N.S.W., 1884, pp. 56-9; M. Roe, 'The establishment of the Australian Department of Health: its background and significance', in J.H.L. Cumpston, The Health of the People, Canberra, 1978, pp. ix-x.; C.M.H. Clark, 'Federation', Select Documents in Australian History 1851-1900, Sydney, 1975, pp. 443-538.

(39) Foley, 'Vessels quarantined in Port Jackson'.

(40) 'Report from the Select Committee on Quarantine Laws', evidence of H.G. Alleyne, 28 June 1853, p. 5.

(41) P.H. Curson, Times of Crisis: Epidemics in Sydney 1788-1900, Sydney, 1985, pp. 23, 31, 56-63, 73-75, 90-92, 120-121.

(42) Report from the Health Officer of Port Jackson for the year 1853, NSW V&P (LC) 1854, vol. 2, part 2, pp. 855-7.
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Author:Foley, Jean Duncan
Publication:Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society
Geographic Code:8AUNS
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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