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Wilhelm Kirchner

Photo: Kirchner Image: title page of the bookKarl Ludwig Wilhelm Kirchner (who had arrived in Sydney on 20th July 1839 on the Mary) returned to Germany in 1848 to work there for a few years as immigration agent for the NSW government. He based himself at his mother's house in Frankfurt am Main, arranged the publication and distribution of his promotional booklet "Australien und seine Vortheile für Auswanderer", and put up advertisements and posters in towns and villages all over the Rhine regions. There was a big shortage of labour in NSW at the time; convict transportation had finished in 1841. The NSW government authorised him to offer subsidised tickets to migrants. They would be contracted to work for a set number of years for land owners who had given commitments to Kirchner.


Image: mapKirchner's work as immigration agent was very successful for NSW, and he returned to Australia in 1851, where he was appointed Sydney Consul for Hamburg and for Prussia, and his businesses flourished. He was a financial supporter of Leichhardt's expedition to Port Essington, and Leichhardt named after Kirchner a mountain range 80 km west-south-west of Chillagoe in far north Queensland.
Left: Detail from "Map of Kennedy District, Northern Queensland, Shewing Surveyed Roads & Bush Tracks" by Thomas Ham, Government Engraving Office, Brisbane, 1868.

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(Thankyou to Ian Hutchings of the Queensland Department of Natural Resources for the Kennedy map.)

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