Escape Cliffs: Almost Northern Territory’s Capital...

Hands up if you think you know the history of the Northern Territory at least in basic form? OK, now hands up who knows what the Capital of the Northern Territory is? Darwin of course … and I’m sure you all got that one right. ┬áNow hands up who knows what the Northern Territory’s FIRST capital was (or should I say “was going to be”)? No? No-one? Well nor did I, until yesterday. It was Escape Cliffs! And I doubt that many have even heard of it, right? I made this discovery when reading up about a voyage that the brother of my great great grandma, Phebe Randell (nee Robbins) was on. In the ‘tin of treasures’ (the one mentioned in my EVACUATE! post) that I’ve been going through, I found a letter that Abner Mark Robbins of Findon, South Australia (sometimes known as Abner, sometimes known as Mark) wrote to his sister Phebe Robbins in 1864, detailing the voyage he was about to embark upon to look for a suitable place for the “capital” in the Northern Territory. You can click on the images above to enlarge them, but to make life easier I have transcribed it for you. Just a note, I have kept the out-of-place upper and lowercasing and spelling just as Abner himself did, but have added in some fullstops to help it make sense. Sunday 6 Mar 1864 6 March Dear Sifter, I now take the opportunity of sending a few lines to you hoping they will finde you in good health as it leaves me at present[.] Mother is quite well and has been to Hindmarsh this morning[.] Mary Ann and Richard and family are all quite well[.] I am still in town...