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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Stevenson, George

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Stevenson, George, was born at Berwick-on-Tweed on April 13th, 1799, and went to sea in an East Indiaman commanded by his uncle. Not liking the life, he returned to Scotland, and obtained a rudimentary knowledge of medicine. He then had a varied experience in Canada, Central America and the West Indies; and ultimately became connected with the literary staff of the London Globe. Returning to England in 1830, he wrote a work entitled "France," in conjunction with the late Sir Henry Bulwer, afterwards Lord Dalling. In 1835 he succeeded Mr. John Gorton as editor of the Globe; but becoming strongly impressed with the virtues of the Wakefield system of colonisation, he decided to emigrate to South Australia, and obtained the position of private secretary to Captain (afterwards Sir) John Hindmarsh, the first Governor. Prior to his departure from England, in June 1836, he married Miss Margaret Gorton, and also entered into a partnership with Mr. Robert Thomas for the production of a newspaper in the new colony, of which he was to be editor and Mr. Thomas manager and printer. In pursuance of this arrangement the first number of the South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register was issued in London on June 18th, 1836. It contained all the official notices of the new colony, with an addendum of general news. The second number was published in Adelaide on June 3rd, 1837; and in it was notified Mr. Stevenson's appointment as clerk of the Council and a justice of the peace. Soon after Governor Gawler's appointment, in 1838, Mr. Stevenson resigned his various official posts; and the Gazette was separated from what now became the South Australian Register, of which Mr. Stevenson continued editor till 1842, when the disastrous financial crisis compelled him to sever his connection with the paper. He subsequently established the South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal, which he conducted with much ability till the crisis occasioned by the discovery of gold in Victoria, when it was dropped. Mr. Stevenson, who was subsequently coroner of Adelaide and its suburbs, was the defendant in a libel action brought against him by Mr. George Milner Stephen, acting Governor of the colony, on the strength of some comments which, as editor of the Register, he had made on that gentleman's land transactions at Gawler. However, Mr. Stephen was nonsuited. Mr. Stevenson died at North Adelaide on Oct. 18th, 1856.