Photograph from the Richard Daintree Album

An English-born geologist who emigrated to Victoria in 1852, Richard Daintree became one of Queensland’s pioneer photographers after he entered into a partnership with pioneer pastoralist William Hann and took up residence in the Upper Burdekin River district in 1864. Rather than concentrating on stock work, Daintree spent much of his time photographing the scenery and prospecting for minerals. The latter proved to be a great boon for northern development, for after the collapse of the pastoral industry in the mid-1860s Daintree opened up goldfields at Cape River (1867), the Gilbert River (1869) and on the Etheridge (1869-1870). Although the Etheridge field proved to be the only one of any consequence, prospectors moving into the region provided a ready market for meat as well as extending the search for minerals and venturing into agricultural and commercial enterprises. Daintree returned to England where he was appointed Queensland’s Agent-General in 1872 and was able to use his photographic material to promote Queensland as a desirable destination. Scrupulously honest, Daintree resigned in 1876 after a number of his subordinates were dismissed for malpractice. He succumbed to tuberculosis two years later.


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