Memoirs of William Cox, JP.

Memoirs of William Cox, JP.

Sydney and Brisbane: William Brooks & Co., 1901.

Octavo, portrait frontispiece, coloured plate depicting arms and 2 photographic plates, top edge gilt; in the original red moire cloth, gilt.

First edition, rare: an exceptional copy in the original red moiré cloth boards. This work includes printed extracts from Cox's journal, written while he was supervising the building of the first road across the Blue Mountains in late 1814.

First edition, rare: an exceptional copy in the original red moiré cloth boards. This work includes printed extracts from Cox's journal, written while he was supervising the building of the first road across the Blue Mountains in late 1814.

William Cox (1764-1837) arrived in the colony in 1800 as a lieutenant in the New South Wales Corps, and soon after acquired Brush Farm at Dundas from John Macarthur. By 1803 he had over-reached his credit and, having been suspended as paymaster for the Corps, the ensuing years were turbulent for the young officer (including being arrested and ordered to England in 1807).

Cox, not long retired from the army, returned to New South Wales in 1810, where he was made a magistrate on the Hawkesbury by Macquarie. It was Macquarie himself, keen to capitalise on the recent crossing of the Blue Mountains, who commissioned Cox to supervise the construction of the road over the Blue Mountains. Cox was given a small working party of thirty convicts, each of whom had been promised their freedom as a reward. Together, the gang made 163 kilometres of road (including over a dozen bridges) over rugged and mountainous terrain in a staggeringly short six months. It was an extraordinary achievement, and Macquarie rightly praised his efforts and awarded him the first land grant beyond the mountains.

This volume reproduces his journal, the original of which is held by the Mitchell Library.

Price (AUD): $850.00  other currencies     Ref: #3812968

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