The Port Macquarie Historical Society's latest publication Return to Lake Innes has been launched.
Transcribed and edited by Clive Smith, the 98 page book is the publication of original letters and journal entries written by Annabella Boswell, nee Innes, during a stay at her uncle's Port Macquarie estate in 1848 and on a return visit in 1853.
It is a sequel to the previously published journal written by Annabella Boswell in the 1840s.
A $2,900 grant was provided for the project which publishes the original letters and journal entries written by Annabella Boswell, nee Innes during her stay in Port Macquarie in 1848 and a return visit in 1853.
A further grant through the Royal Australian Historical Society Cultural Grants Program of $1,950 allows for the publication of research and biographical notes about the first convicts to serve sentences at the Port Macquarie penal settlement.
Mrs Williams congratulated Mr Smith and the Port Macquarie Historical Society on continuing to ensure that local history and heritage is preserved and accessible for future generations.
Mr Smith described the painstaking process of transcribing Annabella Boswell's journals and letters, confirming that this publication is new material.
"These have never been published before, and Annabella's descriptions of conditions at the Lake Innes estate and at Port Macquarie compared to her previous visits make interesting reading," Mr Smith said.
"This book documents an important time in our history, immediately before and after the disbanding of the Port Macquarie penal establishment and the withdrawal of government resources from the town.
"It documents a struggling town settlement, the Innes estate in a decline from which it would never recover and a community totally reliant on agriculture and shipping. A striking contrast to our town today."
The publication has been supported by Create NSW's Cultural Grant Program, a devolved funding program administered by The Royal Australian Historical Society on behalf of the NSW government.
Copies of the book are available from the Port Macquarie Museum at 22 Clarence Street, Port Macquarie at a cost of $10 each.
Copies of Annabella Boswell's earlier journals published as Annabella of Lake Innes are also available for $10 a copy.
Book sales support the work of the Port Macquarie Historical Society in caring for its heritage collections and State Heritage listed building.
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