Impressions of Melbourne

Thomas Pierson's initial impressions of Melbourne were not positive.


Thomas Pierson, Diaries (2 volumes). 30 September 1852 - 12 April 1864


Accession number: MS 11646

From the State Library of Victoria's Manuscript Collection. 


See the catalogue record for this item





April 3rd 1853 Sunday afternoon
today 2 men were Buried from near by us died of Collonial fever one died 2 weeks ago from same place.   we also saw several funerals pass our house today.  there is a great deal sickness here, and all think here that this is a very unhealthy place - all a Lie that we were told in History or the papers concerning it.  Mason and me have had the Dysentary & are not quite over it yet. Frances is not very well, none escape hardly. As to the climate I never suspisioned that there could be upon the face of the earth one so disagreeable some days so cold you cannot keep warm - next day so hot you cant hardly endure it. Some mornings cold enough for flannels & cloaks, middle of day hot enough to roast you - after 4 o'clock in the afternoon cold enough for cloaks etc. cold all night etc. some hours cold some hot - and dust so thick you are covered soon as you step out of the house you get white with the dust. Next hour it rains in torrents. Mason and me got covered with dust yesterday and coming home we got saturated with rain.  We poured half a bason full of watter out of our boots when we came home.  I speak defferentially but I will say I think Australia i.e. the parts I have seen, the most god forsaken accursed country I could conceive off.

This is my impression now - may change when I see and know more.

Thomas Pierson