Author(s): Richard Cox
William Cox (17641837) was soldier, road builder, and pioneering pastoralist in the colony of New South Wales. He made his name building the road across the Blue Mountains in 1814. In just over six months, his team of 30 convicts hacked out 163 kilometres of road through appalling terrain, without serious accident. As such he is part of early Australian history. But whilst his sympathetic treatment of convicts contributed to this success, as Paymaster of the New South Wales Corps he had earlier used the regimental funds to buy his first farms resulting in dismissal from the army. As a pastoralist Cox helped carry through the improvements which gave Australia its first significant wool exports. As a liberal thinker he was both a co-founder of the first Agricultural Society and championed emancipists having citizens rights. In the first book-length biography of William Cox, Richard Cox a descendant gives the details of Coxs life, from early scandal through to success in several fields, and redeems the career of one of the pioneers of colonial Australia.