Charles Joseph La Trobe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria, left many legacies of his years in office, and his historical role is well known. He was also a talented and a constant diarist.
In this volume, La Trobe’s diaries of the fifteen years spent in Australia still in existence are reproduced in sequence and appear together for the first time. They record the voyage to Sydney, and the events of the six weeks that La Trobe and his family spent there. The account of the new Superintendent’s first fifty days in the Port Phillip District from his arrival at Liardet’s Beach on 1 October 1839 is followed by two large journals. The first, ‘Memoranda of Journeys, Excursions and Absences’, describes his travels in and beyond the colony, and the second, ‘Memoranda of Official Correspondence’, records his administrative activities.
The diaries, faithfully transcribed from the original documents, provide rich data previously inaccessible to most readers. They display the reactions of the youthful and idealistic La Trobe to the inhabitants and events of the colony, and give candid insights into his attitudes and manner. They reveal predominant personal characteristics which informed his administration and guided his decisions.