Shipwrecks: Images and Perceptions of Nineteenth Century Maritime Disasters


  • Mark Staniforth


maritime disasters


In the nineteenth century the long sea voyage across thousands of miles of open ocean to Australia was a step into the unknown. International migration at this time usually involved travel by sea, as it had in previous centuries. Ships were the primary long distance transportation method and the movement of passengers was one of their most important functions. It has been estimated that more than 1.6 million immigrants travelled to Australia by ship between 1788 and 1900, nearly half of these people were assisted immigrants of one type or another and they came primarily from Great Britain with smaller numbers from Europe (Barrie 1989:121).