Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Joseph Jehoshaphat Harpur (1810–1878)

by J. Normington-Rawling

This article was published:

Joseph Jehoshaphat Harpur (1810-1878), journalist and member of parliament, elder brother of Charles, was also a radical reformer. He became a leading figure in the total abstinence movement led by Rev. Father Lynch in the 1840s. As a result he and his family were converted to Catholicism. After the gold discoveries he went to the fields, was unsuccessful, but played an important part in organizing a miners' union. Active in the radical movements of the 1840s and 1850s, he wrote most of the editorials in the Empire that were a part of the propaganda for the land reform that John Robertson finally introduced. Under Henry Parkes's persistent persuasion, he agreed to stand for parliament and represented Patrick's Plains from July 1861 to November 1864. For Parkes's use he often prepared material, for little pay, for which he often had to beg. He edited a protectionist periodical the Sydney Times in 1864, and later the Balmain Reporter and the Kiama Pilot. He was a clerk in the Lands Department at the time of his death in Sydney on 2 May 1878.

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Citation details

J. Normington-Rawling, 'Harpur, Joseph Jehoshaphat (1810–1878)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1966, accessed online 21 June 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (Melbourne University Press), 1966

View the front pages for Volume 1

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]




2 May, 1878 (aged ~ 68)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.