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Charlotte Georgina Foelsche

(from "A Force Apart?")


Charlotte Georgina Foelsche, who preceded Anna Waters to the Northern Territory, apparently led a quieter life, as there was very little written about her in the newspapers. Charlotte was born Charlotte Smith in England in 1841. Following her marriage to Paul Foelsche in Strathalbyn, she bore two daughters. Their first child, Rosie Emma, was born in 1860 and the second, Mary Jane, in 1863. Both accompanied their mother to Darwin when she joined her husband in 1871. Both later married Darwin citizens.Charlotte Foelsche undertook some fundraising activities for the Wesleyan Church and also attended fancy dress balls, but does not appear to have enjoyed the same press coverage as Anna Waters.


In 1875, Charlotte helped organise the second anniversary of the Wesleyan Church on 9 September where she officiated at one of the stalls. During the disastrous cyclone which badly damaged Darwin in 1897, Charlotte, her husband, daughters and their families, sought refuge in the offices of the cable company where they sheltered during the worst of the storm. In 1890, she was one of a number of prominent Darwin citizens who took a well-publicised harbour cruise and picnic. She was also an inveterate traveller who in 1883, went on holiday with the rest of her family. In March 1896, she visited Singapore for a month. In 1892, she was one of the passengers who travelled on the first voyage of the E & A Company steamers to leave Darwin for southern ports. She also left the Northern Territory in 1896 on board the SS Darwin for a threeweek trip to southern ports.


Charlotte Foelsche died suddenly of a cerebral haemorrhage in 1899. ‘The funeral was attended by nearly everyone living in and around [Darwin], including many of the leading Chinese and a number of Aborigines’. Her obituary noted that she had ‘always been foremost in any charitable work brought to her notice’.45 Her life had been typical of many European wives in Darwin.

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