|Paterson's curse, Echium plantagineum, Gundagai NSW|
Now as a rule, unless I am stomping on the rogues and cheats at the Charles Sturt Memorial Museum who took my original and meticulously researched text, without permission and slapped their own copyright claim on it, I am fairly easy about sharing. All people have to do is ask, unless I hand stuff out for free, and this is about just such a free offer, together with a sample.
This is about one of the ways I share: a huge volume, 1.5 million words of it, of research material. I call the collection Many Voices, because I have collected together a vast array of primary source material: either eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Australian history. This is an a (currently) 22 meg PDF, and there's a link at the end.
Because I am going travelling shortly, I have just put together the latest version, and when I mentioned this, a former colleague from the Powerhouse Museum asked if I had got around to dealing with the plant popularly known, either as Paterson's Curse or Salvation Jane.
I hadn't, but I made a note of it to follow up, but then there was more discussion, I started checking things, and before long, there was a whole new chapter of notes.
I may write it up at some stage, but I don't mind if others jump in as well. Here, as they stand in mid-July 2015, are the Salvation Jane files. Most of these are news stories, but I have some other leads that I will follow later. First though, a bit about the purpose of these files:
My intention is to provide food for prepared and hungry minds. These are starting points, not a total collection, and here you will find the ammunition you need to carry on your own hunt: you have places, names (of people and plants), approximate dates and more. There is enough here to make conclusions, but I have given very little of my own conclusions here. In short, you are in the land of Seek and ye shall find.
OK, enough of that: here's the brain food:
An early warning, news report, 1894
Paterson’s curse at Jingellic, news report, 1900
Recognition of a new weed, news report, 1900
The W. A. Noxious Weeds Bill, news report, 1900
A probable report on Paterson’s curse, news report, 1903
Another wrong identification for Paterson’s curse, news report, 1904
Another common name for Paterson’s curse, news report, 1905
An account of Paterson’s curse, news report, 1905
A wrong identification, news report, 1907
‘Paterson’s curse’ declared a noxious weed, news report, 1909
Adelaide weeds, news report, 1910
Fair is the marigold, for pottage meet.
Noxious in South Australia, news report, 1910
"The plant, so far as I can ascertain, Echium plantagineum, know here as blue weed. Salvation Jane. &c, and in New South Wales as blue weed or Paterson's Curse—the latter after the family that introduced it to Albury district about 30 years ago. It is an escape from garden cultivation, and is now very widely distributed throughout New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. In this State it has been prevalent to the south of the city, round Gladstone, Laura, and the adjacent districts, near Tanunda, and in other parts for many years. During the past few years it has been reported from a number of different districts, even as far north as Johnsburg, in the watercourses.