Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms
For Peace, Order and Good Government: The first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia
Early proposals
Six colonies
Drafting a constitution
Declaration of the Commonwealth
Conducting the first Federal election
Who could vote?
The election campaign
9 May 1901
The royal visit
The first federal parliamentarians
Ministry of May, 1901
Edmund Barton
Political parties
Legislative program
Relationship between the houses

Members of the First Parliament

David Morley Charleston

David Morley Charleston (1848-1934)

Senator for South Australia 1901-1903

Born at St Erth, in Cornwall, England, David Charleston was an engineer who worked in the United States of America as a marine engineer before migrating to South Australia in 1884. A United Trades and Labor Council delegate and President (1889-90), he was active in the early labour movement in Adelaide in the 1880s and 1890s, and was elected for the United Labor Party to the South Australian Legislative Council in 1891. He served in the South Australian Parliament as a member of the Legislative Council 1891-1901.

Charleston was elected as a Freetrader to represent South Australia in the Senate in 1901. He was defeated at the election of 1903, and subsequently made unsuccessful attempts to return to the Senate in 1906 and 1910. His main interests in Parliament were issues dealing with electoral and franchise laws.

Charleston had become a large rural property owner and after leaving the Senate he remained involved in union matters which related to his rural and mining interests.

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