We hold a range of series which capture the incoming correspondence from the Colonization Commissioners. The Colonization Commissioners were appointed under an Act of King William IV to oversee the administration of the Colony of South Australia.

See also other information about the work of the Commissioners around Immigration.

Access conditions

Given the time that has already passed, most of these records are open for general public access.

However, records within GRG44/15 are restricted from general public access. You will need to seek permission from the Auditor-General for access records from this series.

Indexes and special lists

Index to early correspondence relating to colonization 1836 - 1843 (GRG 56/68/2)

This index lists records from the following series:

  • Incoming correspondence of the Assistant Commissioner relative to duties not connected with the Land Office, 1838-1841 (GRG 35/5)
  • Correspondence of the Resident Commissioner, 1837-1839 (GRG 35/211)
  • Copies of outgoing correspondence of the Land Office, 1838-1842 (GRG 35/230)
  • Abstracts of the revenue and expenditure of the SA Government, 1836-1849 (GRG 44/15, Restricted)
  • Copies of letters from the Colonization Commissioners to their officers in SA, 1836-1840 (GRG 48/1)
  • Copies of letters from the Colonization Commissioners to the Colonial Office, 1841-1842, and from the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners to the Colonial Office, 1842-1843 (GRG 48/2)
  • Payments made in SA on account of the Colonization Commissioners, 1836-1838 (GRG 48/8)

Covering 1836 to 1843, it is arranged alphabetically by the subject of the correspondence.

Special list to GRG 56/68/2 - Index to early correspondence relating to colonization 1836 - 1843 A - K

Special list to GRG 56/68/2 - Index to early correspondence relating to colonization 1836 - 1843 L - Y

Despatches from the Colonization Commissioners to the Governor 1840 - 1842 (GRG 2/22)

This series consists of despatches received by the Governor in his role as the Resident Commissioner, from the Colonization Commissioners. A despatch is a written official report on state affairs.

This list covers 1840 to 1842 and is arranged chronologically.

Special list to GRG 2/22 - Despatches received from the Colonization Commissioners by the Governor 1840 - 1842

Key facts

"An Act to empower His Majesty to erect South Australia into a British Province or Provinces, and to provide for the Colonization and Government thereof" (4 & 5 Will. 4. C.95) was assented to on 15 August 1834.

It provided that three or more persons could be appointed as Commissioners to be known as Colonization Commissioners for South Australia, to carry out certain parts of the Act.

The Commissioners formed a Board, and has responsibilities for:

  • the disposal of land
  • an Emigration Fund which for conveying poor emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland to South Australia, and
  • appointing a treasurer, assistant surveyors and other officers necessary to carry the Act into execution.

The Commissioner of Public Lands was appointed to act under the orders of the Commissioners.

All monies were to be submitted to the Lord of His Majesty's Treasury, and be audited in the same manner as other public accounts. A report was required to be submitted to the Secretary of State at least once a year.