After a long and varied career, Meston retired to Brisbane where he died (a pauper) of tetanus on 11 March 1924. Meston was survived by his wife and, out of seven children, by four sons and a daughter. He is buried in South Brisbane Cemetery.
Professional and public life
He lost his seat when a civil court case resulted in bankruptcy.
In 1881 he moved to Far North Queensland where he edited the Townsville Herald for a short time before moving to Cairns where he was editor of the The Cairns Post and lived on the Barron River until 1889.
Although he claimed to be interested in sugar-growing, he never actually did so, and made his living from journalism, speculation and property management.
In January 1889 Meston led a government expedition to the Bellenden Ker Range and explored its summit. The expedition was considered a success, and this led to further official engagements.
In 1894 he was commissioned to investigate the conditions of Aboriginals in Queensland; despite his consequent proposals, little of his ideas were embodied in the Aboriginal Protection and Restrictions of the Sale of Opium Act 1897. Meston was, from 1898 to 1903, the Southern Protector of Aboriginals for Queensland.
In 1910 he was appointed director of the Queensland Government Tourist Bureau in Sydney.
In 1936, a portrait of Archibald Meston, painted by artist and friend B.E. Minns, was purchased through public subscription and donated to the Queensland National Art Gallery (now the Queensland Art Gallery).
Apart from numerous writings as a journalist, as well as official reports to government authorities, several books were published by Meston:
- 1890 - Queensland Railway and Tourist Guide. Queensland Railway Commissioners: Brisbane.
- 1895 - Geographic History of Queensland. Dedicated to the Queensland People. Queensland Government: Brisbane.
- "Family Notices.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 25 August 1871. p. 1. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
- Stephens, S.E., (1974), "Meston, Archibald (1851 - 1924)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, Melbourne University Press, pp 243-244.
- Australian National Herbarium biography: Archibald Meston
- "New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages". Retrieved 20 September 2011.
- "MR. A. MESTON.". The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) (Qld.: National Library of Australia). 12 March 1924. p. 6. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
- "Alphabetical Register of Members of the Legislative Assembly 1860–2012 and of the Legislative Council 1860–1922". Queensland Parliament. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "GIFT TO ART GALLERY.". The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) (Brisbane, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 31 October 1936. p. 7. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
- "RENAMING STREETS.". The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) (Brisbane, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 3 November 1938. p. 2. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Archibald Meston.|
- Taylor, Cheryl. (2003). "Romantic Pioneering in the Tropics: Archibald Meston's Home Life in Cairns, 1882-1888." etropic: electronic journal of multidisciplinary studies in the tropics, Vol 2, No 1. Accessed 25 March 2008
- Obituary of Archibald Meston, Brisbane Courier, Wednesday 12 March 1924, page 6 Accessed 20 September 2011
- (forthcoming) Jonathan Richards "Crocodile Destroyer": A Critical Biography of Archibald Meston