Annie Baxter Dawbin

Annie Baxter Dawbin (18161905), diarist, sailed from her native England in September 1834, accompanying her young husband Andrew Baxter (181355), an army officer charged with guarding male convicts aboard the Augusta Jessie. While Baxter was stationed at Launceston (until October 1838), Annie made friends with the local gentry about whom she wrote in her journal. This journal, kept until 1868, survives in 32 notebooks. It provides an unusually detailed and intimate story of a flamboyant woman told within the broad social narrative of European settlement.

After leaving Van Diemen's Land, the Baxters set up cattle stations first in northern New South Wales, and then in Victoria. During the 1840s Annie returned to Hobart for extended stays with her brother, an officer in the Royal Engineers.

Further reading: L Frost, A face in the glass, Melbourne, 1992; L Frost (ed), The journal of Annie Baxter Dawbin, Brisbane, 1998.

Lucy Frost