Just prior to his government’s defeat in 1859 the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, notified Sir George Ferguson Bowen of his appointment as Governor of the new colony to be known as ‘Queen’s Land’. As befitted a man a man who was not only a powerful political figure but also a well-known novelist, Lytton’s correspondence was less formal than usual, and reveals perceptive observations. Bowen was warned that he would experience difficulty with the squatting fraternity in the colony and that he would need to treat ‘all parties’ with ‘the fairest play’. Pastoralists did indeed come to form a powerful political bloc during Queensland’s formative years. Lytton further advised Bowen that ‘the more you treat people like gentlemen the more they will behave as such’, and once a civil service had been established Bowen’s recruits were to extend the greatest courtesy ’to the humblest member of the community’. These were not mere homilies; they were the reasoning of a seasoned diplomat, and Bowen appears to have taken heed of Lytton’s advice. Partly owing to the capabilities of the Colonial Secretary, Robert Herbert, Bowen was able to keep aloof from party politics, and he was noted for his courteousness. Bowen also chose his civil servants with great care, and by so doing he was able to establish the new colony on solid foundations. His exceptionally long term as Governor of Queensland, from 1859 to 1868, also reveals that the British Colonial Office was fully cognisant of Bowen’s abilities.