" Vox populi vox Dei."
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1848
As we were going to press, we received the Beport of the Expedition to the North- ward, together with the M.S. of a most im- portant paper, which as intended as an appendix. By means of leaving out some arücíes prepared for publication, we have been enabled to insert the latter, as a do- cument containing the most essential part of the former, with the advantage of a more minute description of the most inte- resting particulars, as to the mineral dis- coveries made in the course of the expedi- tion. In another article in our journal, will be found some remarks in reply to " a letter signed "An Explorer," which we are" gratified to find will be fully borne out, as to the object of the parties applying for land on the " Murchison," by the follow- ing:
Although the level character of the country'passed over in this expedition, is not favorable to geological or mmeralogical investigation, yet some of the rivers have worn their channels to a sufficient depth to expope the various strata of rocks in their true relative position; a circumstance of great importance in geological research.
The principle feature of the country is the elevated table land, which forms the continuation to the northward of'the Dar-
ling Bange, the rocks of which it is com- posed are a syenitic granite, gneiss, and in many places, especially on the line of ele- vation, chlorite slate and trap dykes, and the' whole is generally surmounted by a sandstone, which very closely resembles
the' upper rocks of the new red sandstone. The granite( rocks are intersected by small vein's of quartz, some ,of which contain traces of zinc, lead, and copper ; the rocks which form this range are remarkable for their gieat uniformity of character through- out its whole length, and they greatly dif-
fer from those which form the lower rocks
of the Victoria and Herschel ranges, which almost wholly consist of gneiss abounding in garnéts, and intersected occasionally by trap dykes and thin veins of quartz, which present a metalifcrons aspect, but the only metals seen were minute portions of sul phuret of iron (Boives River), and some fine specimens of sulphuret of lead (galena) in the bed of the Murchison ; on one spot, a quarter of a mile above our bivouac of the 16th October, some small pieces were discovered, but as no vien was found, there, seems; great probability that.it had been brought down from a spot 2 à miles higher, up, where the galena filled a cleft in the rock one foot wide and 30 yards long, but being covered with water to the depth of 3 feet, except at- the northern, end, I could examine it but imperfectly, neither could I trace it beyond the bed of the stream ; the bearing ofthe river. is N. 25,E. m., and the adjacent rocks are of hard syenitic gneiss, dipping 8o degrees to the W.N.W., and the. strike N.N.E. It is somewhat remarkable, that the vein coincides exactly with the stratifi cation of the adjoining rocks ; this appears to indicate an accidental mass or offshoot from a vein, as it is not usual lor à true lode to lie parallel to the strata.
There is also a mineral resembling plum bago in many of its properties ; it is found
disseminated in small particles in the gneiss, rocks on several parts of the Bower and
The intervening space between the Dar- ling and the Victoria and Herschel ranges, is occupied by a series of rocks referrable to the carboniferous system, the upper rocks of which being red feruginous sand- stones, which by their decomposition form the scrubby; sand plains which occupy so large a portion of the country, and it is only where the lower shales and limestones are exposed by valleys (Irwin Plains and F. Smith's range) that the soil is suitable for agricultural or pastoral purposes. 'The black carboniferous shales are exposed in several places (Greenough, Irwin, and Moore Bivers), but it is only on the Irwin that coal has yet been found. The same formation appears to exist to the west of the Victoria range, and also to form the summits of these hills, giving the remark- able table form which is so conspicuous in this and Moresby's flattopped range ; these
sandstones differ from those on the eastern
side of the range in their greater thickness (Murchison Biver and Gairdner Bange), the more frequent occurrence of thin bed- ded limestones, and the numerous shells, and fragments of fossil wood (Wizard Peak and Moresby's Bange),they contain. Notwithstanding the greater facilities for examination afforded by the depth of the numerous stream-beds, the black shale has only been found in two places, one to the west of King's Table Hill, and the most promising about 5 miles to the southeast. The greater part of the coast line consists
of a coarse limestone which rests on the sandstones, and from containing shells of existing forms, appears to be of recent
A. C. GREGORY,
Our columns being too much occupied to admit of our giving a full digest of the Journal of the Expedition, we have endea- vored to give insertion to some of the more interesting portions, especially describing the available couutry discovered:
" Rode down the Bowes to examine the
country, and found it generally of good grassy character, suitable for sheep ; the bed of the streams being filled with broad leaved reeds, seems to indicate an abun- dant supply of water in the dry season, but the pools were very small, and the water all brackish, not even excepting the running streams. The hills are of gneiss,
with garnets and traprock, the latter pro- ducing excellent grass of various kinds, the most conspicuous of which is a species of kangaroo-grass, but of a less woody cha-
racter of seed-stalk than that found in other
parts of the colony. The extent of land fit for sheep-feeding on this stream (it can scarcely be called a river) I should esti- mate at 100,000 acres, and Mr. Burges considered it capable of feeding about 17, 000 sheep. The existence of garnets, iron pyrites, and a mineral resembling in many of its properties plumbago, specimens of which were found in the gneiss of this dis- trict, seem to indicate a metalliferous for- mation, and I have little doubt a further search might develop many at present hid-
den sources of wealth." '
"We estimated the valley of the Buller to contain about 10,000 acres of good grassy land, and 30,000 acres of inferior feeding country, the good land is much; broken into patches by that which is of indifferent quality. Timber is here, and also on the Bowes, yery scarce, and the little that exists is very indifferent and small."
"Messrs. Bidart and C. F. Gregory, walked to the hill which lies 3/4 of a mile west of King's Table-hill; ,the rock of which, it is formed appeared to belong to the coal formation, as thin seams of black shale were seen in the rocks of which the lower strata of the hill is composed, but the natives making their appearance, it was not considered prudent to remain geolo- gising among the cliffs"
" Crossed the south branch of the Bowes, after which the country was, not so well grassed, except in the valleys. The lower hills were of granite ; the higher, red sandstone of tabular form. The country became more sandy and covered with short
scrub, gradually rising to the south. At
noon we obtained the high table-land; crossed two scrubby .valheys bounded by sandstone hills, in the first of which, the black shale peculiar to the coal-formation showed itself, with a slight dip to the south."
" After an hour's ride, over, rich grassy hills, reached the foot of Wizard Peak ;
here we-left our horses and ascended the hill ; arrived at the summit, to our great surprise, instead of the scrubby and sterile country described by Capt.Stokes of the
Beagle, beautiful grassy hills stretching from N to SE met our view to the ex- tent of about 20,000 acres ; had it not been certain from bearings to Mount Fairfax and other hills, that we were on Wizard Peak, I should have suspected its identity. Leaving Wizard Peak, steered north along the western foot of the grassy range ; the country to the east, consistsof grassy hills of limestone, rich in fossil remains of wood, and shells, with an occasional granite hill producing coarse grass or short scrub ; to the west "the country was more level but less grassy and in many parts scrubby."
" The total distance travelled in this ex-
pedition was, in round numbers, 1,500 miles, and the extreme point, reached, in latitude 27 deg. south-350 miles from Perth in a direct line ; and the period we were engaged in the expedition was ten