1 year of settlement 1844-5, 1845
Scope and Contents
A 290 x 190 mm watercolour of the new capital, Port Stanley, looking north-west. A flag flies from a flagpole on a raised mound to the west of the settlement, and there are scattered buildings along the shore, and ships at anchor in the channel.
Port Louis, located at the head of the Berkeley Sound, was the former French capital of the colony, founded by Louis de Bougainville in 1764, and the oldest settlement on the Falkland Islands. In 1842 the Colonial Office decided to move the capital to the more sheltered Port Jackson (renamed Stanley Harbour), as it was more accessible to the sea, had plenty of peat for fuel and a good supply of fresh water from Moody Brook.
Stanley was still a tiny outpost in the 1840s, populated by colonial officials, itinerant sailors, and British military pensioners. Work on Government House began in 1844 but the settlement grew slowly as a supply and repair port for ships rounding Cape Horn en route to the Californian Gold Rush. It was not until the late nineteenth century that it grew more rapidly as a trans-shipment port for wool between ‘the camp’ (the sheep ranching countryside of the islands) and the United Kingdom.
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