Reverend John West

John West (1809-1873) arrived in Van Diemen’s Land from England in 1838 as a Congregational minister. He led the movement to abolish transportation of convicts, promoted education and social welfare and wrote a respected history of Tasmania. In 1854 he became editor of the Sydney Morning Herald. His newspaper articles, strongly advocating the constitutional union of the colonies, were influential.


30 January 1854

Federation Movement begins

The first of Rev. John West’s 16 articles about a federation of the Australian colonies is published in The Sydney Morning Herald. West, a Congregational minister, journalist and leader of the anti-transportation movement in Van Diemens Land, becomes an influential advocate for federation. He is convinced the colonies must form a federal union if they are to have any influence in London. West publishes his articles under the pseudonym John Adams.


The late Rev. John West, Senior Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.