This collection of essays explores the two libel cases (criminal and civil) prosecuted by Rev. Samuel Marsden against John Thomas Campbell in 1817, following the publication of the Philo Free letter. The event is examined in the various contexts of Imperial and Australasian Colonial History, Marsden historiography and biography, Australian legal history, South Seas missions history, the history of Australian indigenous missions, the freedom of the press, and normative ethics.
1. Peter G. Bolt: The Letter signed Philo Free; 2. David B. Pettett: Marsden in the Hands of Australasian Historians; 3. Joel Atwood: ‘So important in its nature, so difficult in its execution, and so doubtful in its result’. The Mission to the South Seas from 1786 to 1830; 4. Greg Anderson: The early colonial mission context of Philo Free; 5. Craig Schwarze: A Secret Enemy. The turbulent relationship between Marsden and Macquarie; 6. Malcolm Falloon: Mission Trading In The South Pacific By The Active (1814-1822) and The Accusations Of Philo Free; 7. Peter G. Bolt: The failure of the Philanthropic Society; 8. Jane M. Tooher: A Friendship Revealed. The Marsden & Stokes Family Correspondence; 9. David B. Pettett: Marsden’s Supportive Circle. Friendship in Controversy; 10. Elizabeth G. Moll: Unmasking A Shielded Secret Enemy. John Thomas Campbell and the Philo Free Trials; 11. Michael Gladwin: The Bigge Picture: Colonial Manners, Mission, and the Imperial Context of Australia’s First Libel Case; 12. Caitlin Hurley: Freedom of Speech and of the Press in Colonial NSW; 13. Alexander C. Bolt, Paul R. Cerotti, & Konrad Peszynski: Normative Ethics In Early Colonial Australia And The Country’s First Libel Case; 14. Malcolm Falloon: The Breaking of the Storm: Marsden and the Missionary Cause; 15. Bibliography.