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While Australia's early Hawkesbury settlement (the Mulgrave Place district) is recognized as having special importance for its part in ensuring the survival of the colony, historians for the last 200 years have continued to denigrate the first settlers there. Lazy, lawless, drunken, and in debt is the image that has defined the ex-convict settlers. In this book, the cultural bias of the contemporary chroniclers is re-examined. Hawkesbury Settlement Revealed contains exciting new material about Australia's beginnings, and in particular, about the third mainland settlement which grew at the River Hawkesbury. The book tackles controversial themes, including the meeting of Indigenous and European cultures. It even delves into the local results of the influence of the French Revolution. A specific focus on the varying roles in women's lives is highlighted, which extended far beyond domesticity. Between 1797 and 1802, at least eleven women at Hawkesbury were granted their own title to land. Eight of these were ex-convicts. Of land holders, particular attention is paid to Sarah Cooley and John Stogdell, who were exceptional transportees. Stogdell developed an empire so vast that it influenced not just the dynamics of the Hawkesbury settlement, but also the 18th-century Sydney business scene. Their achievements stand alongside the fascinating glimpses of the daily lives of hundreds of the ordinary poor and ex-convict Hawkesbury farming families. The historically rich detail of the research in this book provides a new image of the Hawkesbury settlement.