Killing the Rumours: James Tyson, first Australian millionaire. Through hard work and steely determination he became the richest person in Australia.
James Tyson was born in 1819, the seventh child of William and Isabella Tyson. Even though the forty acres they lived on was a free grant to William, it was seized to pay debts. William applied for and obtained a further grant of fifty acres in the unsettled area of East Bargo, near Sydney. The nearest neighbour was a very long walk away. They were beside a small stream, be it of indeterminant flow, but, at least it was water at hand. The family struggled to survive on that poor soil but the babies kept coming. William died when James was six so he had to start work early. Whether he wanted or was coerced to add to family finances, he did so.
After a few years he went West for experience in dry land grazing of cattle. The frugality lessons he learnt never left him, so soon he had a little saved as capital for his own “station”, while still bearing the weight of a patriarch.
At age twenty-six he joined his elder brother to go further West to claim a selection in the face of fierce opposition from powerful established landholders.
Through hard work, extreme risks, steely determination and application he became the richest person in Australia – owning more land (either by leasehold or purchase) than any other Australian.
As many people who do not know him think he became rich by unfair, ugly means, this book has a collection of writings by those who knew him. It not only convinced me he was a good man, it introduced me to an extraordinary person with amazing talents.
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