of her earlier life
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Recollections of Emmeline Leslie (nee Macarthur)
This is the second webpage of Emmeline Leslie's recollections, written in 1909. Click here to return to the first page. Some of the recollections on this second page need to be read in the context of their times. References to native Australians (who had lived in Australia for perhaps 45,000 years with their own culture and way of life) are written from the perspective of a white settler in the Victorian era. On this second page, the challenging lives of the early pastoral settlers are clearly conveyed, and there are also interesting descriptions of sea voyages. Above all, these recollections recall the network of friendships and pioneer spirit of the early British (and often Scottish) settlers. It all makes fascinating reading and is of real historical significance, as first-hand evidence. At the same time, these memories were written down over 50 years after the events they describe, and there are some historical errors.
In the mid-1850s George's health took a downturn - consumption - and he and Emmeline sold their property and returned to London, where he hoped to get the treatment he needed. For Emmeline, who was born in Australia, this was her first visit to Britain. She describes her wonder at the country she had always been trained to call 'home', and recalls her first train journey, her visits to Scotland, and being presented at the royal court. On 22nd June 1860, with Emmeline present and all his brothers, her husband George Leslie died. He and Emmeline never had children (though Emmeline would go on to have two sons by her second husband Captain John de Falbe - it was Emmeline's descendant Jane de Falbe who donated the Leslie letters to the John Oxley Library in Brisbane - a wonderful historical resource).
Once again, my thanks to those involved in handing down these documents. Transcriptions of the Leslie letters, along with Emmeline's recollections below, were gathered and collated by Simon Kelleher, one of the Manar family historians. Emmeline Leslie died in 1911.
click here to return to Page 1 of Emmeline Leslie's recollections
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