London, 'Printed for the Proprietor, by William Cecil Huttmann', 1840.
Folio, 352 pages (16 pages each issue).
Early binder's cloth recently rebacked, retaining the top two-thirds of the spine; cloth marked and mottled, with some neat restoration to the corners; edges a little marked; very light tidemarks to the leading edge of the front flyleaf and an initial blank; leading edge of the first few leaves of Number 22 slightly chipped; bottom lefthand corner piece missing from the last leaf, with the loss of about 15 words of text and a small amount of the colophon (which is the same in each issue); overall a very good run of the first 22 issues of this weekly, which ceased publication with Volume 1, Number 29 on Tuesday, September 22, 1840.
The prospectus appears on pages 7 and 8 of the first issue; the proprietors' object is 'not mercenary but patriotic ... they are not the organs of any party ... they will offer a fearless and uncompromising opposition to every deviation from the self-supporting principle on which [South Australia] is founded'. Their aim in part 'is to present an impartial record of the colonial intelligence ... 1st, from the colonial papers; 2ndly, from direct correspondents in the colony and other exclusive sources'. Accordingly, it contains much original material. The editor was John Stephens (1806-1850); 'about 1838 George Fife Angas employed him to write emigration propaganda. Stephens's first notable work was "The Land of Promise", republished in 1839 as "The History of the Rise and Progress of the New British Province of South Australia". In that year his exposure of absurdities in T. Horton James, "Six Months in South Australia" (London, 1839), ran to three editions. He also edited the "South Australian Colonist", on which Angas lost heavily; it was replaced in 1841 by the monthly "South Australian News" at a cheaper rate' (Australian Dictionary of Biography). The ownership signature of R[obert] K[yffin] Thomas is pencilled onto the front flyleaf, and the blindstamp of the 'Register & Observer Office, Adelaide' appears on an early blank leaf. Sir Robert Kyffin Thomas (1851-1910), the grandson of Robert Thomas, who arrived on the 'Africaine' at Holdfast Bay in 1836 with a printing press, was himself an influential newspaperman in the state. 'In 1877 he became the principal joint proprietor of the "South Australian Register", and as chief of staff he also edited the "Adelaide Observer". A parliamentary reporter, he was in charge of the Hansard branch until 1882, when he became general manager of the "South Australian Register" which became the "Register" in 1901' (Australian Dictionary of Biography). Ferguson 3082.