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FRIEDRICH KRICHAUFF, 1ST S. A. PARLIAMENTARIAN of GERMAN ORIGIN

The front of the South Australian one penny purple postcard is postmarked with a duplex cancel of G.P.O. ADELAIDE/ MY 14 / 91/ S.A, and is addressed to the Hon F.E.H.W. Krichauff M.L.C., Flinders Street (Adelaide) (Figure 1).

The reverse is printed for the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, South Australian Branch with a printed and manuscript message:
An Ordinary Meeting of the Council will be held in the Room, Broken Hill Chambers, on Tuesday 19th Inst at 2.30 o'clock p.m. BUSINESS - Urgent & Important re Antarctic Exploration - re Camels & General.

A.F. MAGAREY, J.W. JONES Hon. Secretaries, Adelaide, 14th May 1891 (Figure 2).

Friedrich Eduard Heinrich Wulf Krichauff was born on 15 December 1824 in Schleswig, Denmark, the son of Carl Krichauff, a German Supreme Court judge and his wife Julie. He was a boyhood friend of the future Baron von Mueller. Friedrich was educated at Husum, Schleswig and later at the University of Kiel, where he was apprenticed to Ludwig Fischer at the Kiel Botanic Gardens. On Mueller's advice he went to Adelaide, South Australia in 1848, in the German ship Goddefroy, which sailed from Hamburg, and arrived in Melbourne on 13 February 1848 (an alternate version was that he was on the Alfred) . Together with Mueller he purchased land in the Bugle Ranges (between Strathalbyn and Mount Barker), and they farmed for a short period at this property in S.A. He married Dorothea Fischer on 10 May 1853, and became a S.A. parliamentarian from February 1857-1893, when he was defeated and retired from politics.

He had a lifelong interest in scientific agriculture, making many experiments in his own garden, and he was a plant and seed donor to the Herbarium and Botanic Garden, which Mueller directed in Melbourne. He was known for many things including Founding Chairman of the S.A. Agricultural Bureau 1888-1902; the Krichauff Ranges, Central Australia and a fuchsia, were named after him, as was a new high yielding, rust resistant wheat. As a parliamentarian he was responsible for the introduction of the Forestry Act (1873) in S.A. He published 'The Customs, religious ceremonies, etc., of the Aldinga or Mbenderinga Aborigines in Krichauff Ranges, S.A.', published by the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, S.A. Branch 1890, as well as 'The future of our wine industry and the results of manuring vineyards in Europe and Australia', in 1889. The town of Krichauff, S.A. was named after him, but was changed to Beatty in World War I. He was an early member of the Volunteer Rifles and achieved the rank of captain.

Krichauff died on 29 September 1904 at his home in Norwood S.A., survived by three of his four sons and by his wife who died in 1919, to whom he had left his estate valued at £750. It is obvious from the reverse of the postcard that he was a member of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (S.A. branch). The business enacted at the meeting on the 14th May 1891 was an unusual mixture of Antarctic exploration and Camels! The only expeditions to the Antarctic around that time were: the 1892-93 British whaling expedition from Dundee and the 1892-93 Norwegian whaling expedition (leader C.A. Larsen).


 
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