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Issue Details: First known date: 1841... 1841 The Adelaide Independent and Cabinet of Amusement
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The proprietors of the Adelaide Independent and Cabinet of Amusement outlined their political creed in the following way: 'from the moment we began to read, observe, and think for ourselves, we have been the uncompromising opponents ... of oppression of every kind, in every degree, and whether exercised by the great or the little'. The proprietors declared their opposition to 'humbug' and to 'monopoly' and their approval of 'free institutions, free creeds, free trade, free thoughts, and free acts' (the latter provided they are 'consistent with just laws and social order'). The proprietors anticipated that the pages of the Independent would not be always 'wise, grave, dull, or prosy' but would attempt to 'shake us from the damp fogs which cling to the present time, and bask in the sunshine of mirth'. ('Prospectus' 1.1 (5 August 1841):1)

Regular features of the weekly newspaper included: auction notices, shipping news, South Australian court reports, news from other Australian colonies and from England (and occasionally from New Zealand and China), minutes of the Council of Government, and proceedings of the Adelaide Town Council and other public meetings. One one occasion, the paper carried news of Edward John Eyre's inland expedition. Editorial columns and letters from correspondents focused on teetotalism, banking, trade monopolies, employment conditions for immigrant workers and relations with Indigenous Australians. On the latter subject, in reporting on a case before the courts, the Independent stated that 'the slaughter of the natives was simply an act of self-preservation on the part of the Europeans'. (1.8 (23 September 1841): 30)

In response to an article published in the South Australian Magazine, the Independent published a series of poems on the Torrens River. A South Australian Magazine contributor had written that, in general, rivers become 'the love and delight of poets', but that the Torrens formed a 'striking exception' to that rule since 'not a single poet, as far as I am aware, [has] composed a solitary stanza in honour of its waters, or devoted a single line to its praise'.(See 'The Torrens, Its Sources, Its Streams, and Its Tributaries' by a 'Loiterer' on Its Banks, South Australian Magazine no.2 (1841): 46). In the issue for August 1841, the Independent proclaimed that South Australian magazines abounded with 'addresses and references to the noble river' and provided a 'few specimens' in its own pages. These 'specimens' comprised a series of twelve poems, the 'Torrens Poets', possibly written by Timothy Short (q.v.). Some of the poems copy the styles of English poets such as Robert Southey, Edmund Spenser and the Irish poet, Thomas Moore.

Apart from the 'Torrens' interlude, very little poetry or other literature appeared in the Independent's pages.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1841
    • Adelaide, South Australia,: George Dehane , 1841 .
      Link: U10712Web resource Digital copy of print publication via Australian Periodical Publications 1840-1845.
      • 'Printed and published by George Dehane at his printing office, Morphett Street, where orders and advertisements and all communications to the Editor, will be received.' (Adelaide Independent and Cabinet of Amusement 1.1 (5 August 1841): 1)

PeriodicalNewspaper Details

ISSN: 1440-1517
Weekly on Thursdays ('in time for the breakfast table').
Vol. 1 no. 1 (5 August 1841) - vol. 1 no. 16 (18 Nov 1841)
Six shillings per quarter, sixpence per issue.
Includes illustrations.
Advertising charged at three shillings for eight lines or fewer; twopence for each additional line.
  • Four pages, each of five columns, per issue.
  • Continous pagination for the life of the newspaper.
Last amended 21 Feb 2012 15:10:05
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