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An Unlikely Leader


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Table of Contents

Introduction: an unlikely leader

  1. Setting the scene
  2. Influencing factors
  3. Promotion deferred
  4. Commissioned without command
  5. A veiled alliance
  6. Whence came the pox?
  7. The challenge of New South Wales
  8. A governor under siege
  9. The mind, the eye and the pen
  10. Restored and respected

Appendix 1: Hunter family tree
Appendix 2: John Hunter's statement of the loss of the Sirius

Promotional Information

This history of John Hunter, the second governor of NSW, sheds light on his struggle to be a respected leader.

About the Author

Robert Barnes received his PhD in Australian history from the University of Melbourne in 2006, and has been a member of the Royal Australian Historical Society and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria for over 30 years.


'Has the court of public opinion possibly made an unduly harsh judgement of master seaman John Hunter (1737-1821)? Melbourne author and former Newcastle Boys' High pupil Dr Robert Barnes believes so, and he has mustered a compelling case for reassessing the man after whom our Hunter Valley is named.' -- Mike Scanlon * The Herald *
'This biography helps to establish much more substance for John Hunter, second governor of New South Wales, who is remembered mostly for his "failures" ... Fills a gap in our understandings of the major players in early New South Wales.' -- Royal Historical Society of Victoria * History News *

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