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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Anderson, Lieut.-Colonel Joseph

Anderson, Lieut.-Colonel Joseph, C.B., K.H., was born in 1789, and joined the army in 1805 as ensign in the 78th Regiment. He served with singular bravery and distinction, being on several occasions severely wounded in Egypt and at Talavera, Busaco and Torres Vedras in the Peninsular War. Having become major of the 50th Regiment he was in 1834 appointed by Governor Sir Richard Bourke, of New South Wales, to take charge of the convict establishment at Norfolk Island, as Military Commandant and Civil Superintendent. The miserable felons were then in a state of chronic mutiny, and steeped in every species of crime. At imminent personal risk, Major Anderson, whilst maintaining rigid discipline, introduced a kindlier and more humanising system, and with the best results. In 1837 Major Anderson was created K.H., and subsequently became lieut.-colonel After leaving Norfolk Island, he saw active service in India, and commanded a brigade in the Gwalior campaign in 1843, during which he was severely wounded, and for which he received the C.B. in 1844. In 1848 he retired from the army, and took up his permanent residence in Port Phillip, where he engaged in squatting pursuits on the Goulburn River. In 1852 he was nominated to the first Legislative Council of Victoria, to fill a vacancy in the list of non-official nominee members, caused by the death of Mr. Dunlop. In this capacity he supported the Convicts Act Prevention Bill, which was designed to prevent the influx of convicts from Tasmania into Victoria; and when the measure, having been disallowed by the Imperial authorities, was again adopted by the Council in the ensuing session, Colonel Anderson was the mover of an address to the Queen, setting forth the reasons which induced the Legislative Council to again pass the bill. In 1854 Colonel Anderson served on the Colonial Defence Committee, and in the following year in a debate on the immigration question strongly advocated the adoption of prohibitive legislation, with the view of stopping the influx of Chinese. Colonel Anderson died at South Yarra, Melbourne, on July 18th, 1877.