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While in Europe laefc August Sir Thomas Elder, G.C.M.G., whose name is familiar 111* wide world over as that of the man who stands pre-eminent among Australian colonists Jo*
being the prune mover m the exploration or the interior of this vast continent, offered to send out, entirely at his own expense, an ex pedition to explore onr unknown country, and! thus fill up the blanks in the map of Australia* This mewt beneficent offor wm mode to *h* Koral Geographical Society of Australasia, or rather to Baron Yon Mueller, the President of the Society in Melbourne, to whom Sir Tbom&a disclosed his scheme, and who naturally |baa taicen a very prominent part in arranging matters for tho oarryiny out of such a worthy proposal. ho time ~o» lost in the consideration of tb» offer, and at a meeting of the South Australian Branch of the Society on August 36 the fol lowing motion was unanimously passed: - 'That the hearty thanks of the Royal Geographical Society, South Australian Branch, and of the colony generally, are due to Sir Thomas Elder fur his munifi cent offer to send out another exploring ex pedition at his own oast, and that his offer (should be heartily aooepted.' Negotiations were carried on between the colonial branches of the Society for the organization of the ex pedition, and from tune to time reoommends^ lions have been made of men oom patent to un dertake the intrepid journey through tracts of country untraversed by the feet cf the white man. Such progress has been m*d« in the ar rangements that it is probable the exploration party will set out during the next few days. Tho judicious liberality of our esteemed colonist in made the more noticeable when it is stated that Sir Thomas prescribed no definite stipula tions ; all that he asked for was that a plan of the operations in connection with the expedi tion should be submitted to him for approval, and this condition has been complied with. The Council of the South Australian Branch held a meeting on Monday afternoon, March 24, when matters connected with the fitting: oct of the expedition were deal* with. Mr. R. Helms, of the Sydney Museum, who won recommended by the com mittee of that body, and by the Councils of the Melbourne and Sydney branches of tho Society, -vtas selected for the position of naturalist. The South Australian Council also decided to recommend Mr. David Lindsay for the position of leader, and to ask Mr. Lindsay to communicate with Sir Thomas Elder in rr-gard to the leadership, and to re ceive iiietructions in the event of his appoint ment. The Council further resolved to ask the ix?rinisaion of Sir Thomas for the leader of the party to fill up the Society's blank form of journal with information of a scientific cha racter. In accordance with the wishes of the Coun cil Mr. A. T. Magarey, Hon. Secretary of tb» branch, together with Mr. Lindsay, waited upon Sir Thomas Elder at his residence, Mount Lofty, on Monday evening, and as the result of the interview Mr. Lindsay has been entrusted with the command of the expedition. Sir Thomas Elder has approved of the appointment of the other officials of the party, as follows : — Second in command, Mr. P. W. Leech; medical officer and botanist, Dr. Elliott, of Townsville; zoologist, naturalist, entomologist, and botanical collector, Mr. R. Helms, of the Sydney Museum; geologist, mineralogist* ethnologist, ' and meteorologist, Mr. Victor Streich, of Adelaide. It is expected that the expedition, which' will be wit at least twelve months, will start from near the Peake. The exact route to be followed is not yet known, Mr. Lindsay and those who have tho working oufc of the details of the expedition not having ye* perfected the arrangements. Roughly speak ing, though, the party will proceed from th» Peake in a westerly direction, traversing th» country aa yet unexplored between the route* taken bv Giles in 1875, Gosse in 1873, andr jorrest In 1874. This represents a tract soma 1,300 miles in length by 200 miles in width. The course will probably be midway betweer* the tracks of previons explorers. The ex pedition hope to strike the head waters of th» Mnrchison Kiver in Western Australia, anip then crossing the routes followed by Forrest* in 1874 and Giles in 1876, to explore th» north-eastern country lying between that discovered by Gilw in 1876 and Was burton in 1873, representing a strip about P00 miles in length and 200 in width. The nest move will be into the Northern Territory to examine the land to the east of that explored by Wafburton in 1873 andt Gregory in 3856. This is a patoh of some 400 miles by 300 miles, lying between the Ovct Usd Telegraph Line and the Victoria Rive* and Stnrt'i Creek, and it is in this region thafc Baron Von Mueller thinks there is - posBibi£*3K of relics of Leichardt being found. Sir Thomas Elder is aoxiotn ioaft -th« txplorers should start »w«y almost im mediately. It appeals that the arrsagemenfs ?o far are each that their equipment oan soca be completed. A large number of camels at* already at Beltana, and from thwea goo* ?election eould soon be owe. There tb» zw doubt that the expedition will be well on the way by the middle of Aprib, Baron Von Mueller was the principal penon eoncernni in the selection of the memben of the expedition, and we understand that in every ea»e where the gentlemen chosen oonld manage to get away the recommendation of th« Baron has beta approT«L Mr. Winoeckfc1
the well-known explorer, was first spoken of ta lead the expedition, and it Li more than likdr tha* ho wmild hare accepted tha offer of that important position hsd it not been, foe th» recent death of his father. . Mr. Milroy, of Victoria, was also asked to take a prominent place in the expedition, but bia reply- rr»8 Shaft ho could not go. All those selected are tried men, and the mere fact that they have received their appointments upon the reoommadi tion of so great a scientist w Baroa voa Mueller u a sufficient guarante* of their ability to 'Wndectabe tiia -c-ork for whiob. they will b» commiaioned. Professor Watson, of t!io Ade laide 'University, has been representing Sir Thomas Elder in connection with the nrraa^e ments between him, Baron Von Mneller, and the local branch of the Geographical Soeiuty.' Sir- Thomas Elder having deputed the Council of the local branch, to man.v?4 tha affairs connected with the expedition, the Council have appointed a committee, coa-nating oE the President (Sir Samuel D.iveaport). the Hon. J. L. Paraona. M.I*.. and Messrs. S. N6wIamL W. B. Wilkinson, A. T. Magarey, and J. W. Jones, to to arrange affairs for the dispatch of tho ex ?plorers, and to generally su^errizo matters. -A. large, number of applications have bsea rqpeived. from persons wishing to join the ex pedition, and a selection of four or five will be icade, probably during the holidays. 6OME PAETICULABS OF THERMTTT. The commander of the Expedition is a »on of: the i&to Captain John Lindsay, and wm bora at Goohra, South Australia, in Jons, 1856. Educeted at a public school, aad by tha late Rev. John Hotham. he entered the Civil -Service in 2873 as chwnman in. the Surrey -Department. He then became a cadot, and was appointed a surreyor in 1875, aad went to tho Northern Territory In 1378. Ho surveyed *nd reported upon tha Mounfc Wells Tin Mines, and duriajr the absence of Jlr. MuMinn acted as Senior Surveyor and Supervisor of Works. Having- explored the Mary River l» fas proved that this waa the itoce&m which. John McDouall Stuarb was following in his memorable journey across the Continent. Sir. ?Lindsay remained in the Territory until ilny, 1S82, and during that tims rendered invaluable service to the 2au«e of exploration. Ha advised the route of the Northern Territory railway- from Palaierrton to Pine Creak, alto gether distinct from that) surveyed in 187S, and, which, although slightly longer. It was aid, would reach tha agri cultural land and the vicinity of the known gold and tin discoveries. Resigning hi3 connection with the Government service in 1882 Mr. Iiindsay coma to Adelaide and undertook private business, but in 1663 he was commissioned by the Government to explore Arnheim's Lacd. The expedition, comprising six men all told, including a couple of blocks, took five months to complete the work, the travels represented the traverein^ of nearly 2,000 milec of unexplored country, and were associated with most exciting inculcated Tha expedition, led on by Sir. Lindsay with much intrepidity and skill, was very suoceesf id, and the information given xs the outcome of the trip resulted in the country being sold and stocked. Mr. W. Cuthberteon af New Guinea fame was second in cooimand. Among important dia cofiries Biade by the explorer* was thai of the Gwendoline F&li*. upwards of 195 feefc in height, on tie Baker Range, some GO miles from Southport. During 1884 and 1SS5 Mr. Lindsay was staged in surveying on behalf of the Water Ccneervation Department in the Murray districts and oa the West Cosst. In November, 1835, he started on aa expedition, undertaken en his own ac ©oont, to explore the country between the Dalhousie Springs and the Herbert. Xt was on this trip that he discovered '* the ?ruby fields' in the MacDonnell Ranges, and reported upon Auriferous deposits there. At the Herbert River Mr. Lindsay, who was accompanied by » party o£ seven, com menced the eurrey of 550 miles of run boundaries and connecting- with the Overland Telegraph line north of Powell's Creek, fhetsco ha went down th* \Macarthur River to tha new port of Boroloola. On this expedition eight camels were lost, and this was hi« latest Journey of exploration. He returned in December, 1S86, and during- lSw and 1888 was engaged in surveying and pro specting-, chieny in the MaoDonnell Rsngea, and among, other thing3 discovered the first marketable mica in Australia. Sinco Decem ber, 1SSS, Mr. Lindsay has been in Adelaide principally engaged on the Stock Exchange. Mr. Lindsay is a Fellow of the Royal Geo graphical Society, and is associated with the branches of the Society in Australia. Hs is also a member of the South. Australian Insti tute of Surveyors. Mr. Lcccli has been connected with the Civil' Service of this colony for several years, and was out with the Lindsay expedition in 1SS5 and 188G, and was second in command of the 'expedition led into Central Australia, in 1888 by Mr. H. V.B. Strathallan, C.E. Dr. Elliott, who is about thirty-six ye.\rs of age, has been engaged in practice in Queens land for a long- time, and has been connected vrith Gny's Hospital, London. It 13 said that the doctor has given up a splendid appoint ment in order to accompany fehe expedition. He is a capable botanist, and skilled m photo graphy, and altogether is a gentleman of high attainments. Me. Helms holds a good position in conneo tkm with, the Sydney Museum. Through being out on ' collecting' expeditions in connection with, the special ecieaoo to which! he hasde vutcd himself Tand in 'other ways- Mr. Halmi has acquired considerable experienaa r/hich will serve-him well in the forthcoming' trip. Mr. Streich, who has been engaged as geologist and mineralogist, is about) thirty-one years of age, and is regarded as one of the very Lest .' men whose services could possibly ba. secured. At least four of the colonies have been ' picked* in order to get the most compe tent explorers and scientists. Mr. Streich is an expert from Freiburg, Germany, and on several occasicus has reported for Ms3sra. ILirrold Brothers on Various mineral properties in the interior. Messrs. Harrold Brothers Lave released him from their service during the currency of the expedition, and thU aeS on their part testifies in' a great measure- to their very considerate and patriotio motives. PREVIOUS EXPEDITTOX3. Australian land exploration comes within the space of the last seventy-eight year*. It is unnecessary to allude to any extent to the various stages of our inland exploration ; they are matters of history, to be written with the record of the rise and progress of tho Austra lian Continent. Mention though of the prac tical assistance rendered by Sir Thoma3 Elder in the exploration of the far interior will be interesting just now. Scarcely any other Australian colonist has contributed so much to the successful exploration of unknown ter ritory in South and Western Australia. The name of Sir Thomas Elder, too, will be long remembered as that of a man of great enter prise and a princely benefactor to our educa tional and philanthropic institutions. Expadi tions upon an extensive scale have been equipped wholly and in parb at his ex pense, and considerable sums of money have been expended by him in open ing the Far North for occupation. To aid in exploration Sir Thomas as early as 1863 imported camels from India, and his enterprise m the imporation of thesa ships of the desert has very largely assisted the work of exploration. Nofc alone ha3 the venerable Knight advanced geographical research by means of his purse ; he has frequently lent his camels to facilitate expeditions without cost to the Government Organized at the joint expense of two patriotic South Australians Sir Thoma3 Elder and the late Sir Walter Hughe#— Colonel Egerton-Warburfcon led an expedition in 1873 and 1S74 across she western interior of Australia. It i3 to the west of the Overland Telegraph Line that some of the greatest perils and hardships in connection with exploration have been encountered, and in. this relation tha following, having reference to tVarbarton's expedition, may be quoted from Sir Samuel Davenport's address delivered at the: inauguration of the South Australian Branch of the Geographical Society in 1886: — 'Baffled by the vast ranges of sandhills of monotonous succession and fearful travelling ground widen had previously checked the ad vance of the explorers Gregory on thoir descent from thi River Victoria in 1856, tho party had further to sustain the discouragements of hostile country, the frequent tortures of thirst, and -struggles against approaching starvation. J§ue impressive observation the reader of Aus tralian explorations must make, namely, thifc the'prospects of success or of relief from suffer ing are immensely influenced by the physical nature of the country visited. Like Sfcurb to the- Murray-moutb, like Eyre to the Sound, or Xieichard to Port Essington, or Burke and JVillsand McKfnlay to the Gulf of Carpen taria, or Stuarfc to the Indian Ocean, so War burton performed the distinguished service of perforating the continent through. Like Byre in ISil and Stnrt in 1S44-5, it wa3 his oontino ocs bad fortune to have to contend with arid and inhospitable country, most wearisome and difficult to travel over; but also like them IVarburton -held on with bulldog courage yefe cheerful submission to hardships, daily under mining- health to a degree verging on the ebb of life.'1 About the time this journey of ?War- burton's. b«oan the Government of South Australia, were fitting out a party to examine ? Ae country between the River Finfce and iremantle.and the command was given to Mr. IV'.- C. Gosse. The camels and Afghans of this party were also provided by Sir Thomas Elder. In 1875 Ernest Gile3 successfully penetrated to Perth, having with him eight men, eighteen came]?, and two native boys. On one stretch of desert no water was met with for 325 miles, ar.d for the last month the party srere obliged to live on the ejfZ3 of tka raalke pheasant. In 1876 after reaching Perth, Mr. Giles again traversed the continent by a new route. Leaving Pix Springs in April on a north-east course ho crossed the head waters cf the Murchison, and traced the River Ashbnrton to its source, arriving- at the Peake inAnguafc From 187S to 1SS2 Sir, \v muecke
explored from. Alice Springs to the Hay, the Herbert, and Tennaat's Creek, going down to and north of Start's final point in 1845. In 1879 A. Forrest su.-«.«sfully explored hitherto un known lands in tho north of Western Austra lia, and Mr. Tietkins, second in command of Giles's party from Fowler's Bay, traversed the country tnence towards the Musgrave Ranges. Mr. Giles explored the country to the west of the Peake in 1SS2, while in May, 1883, Mr. W. W. Mills, with Mr. C. Short (second in command), six Afghans, and thirty camels started from the Peake Station for Northampton Western Australia. During- a journey of l.GCO miles they suffered greatly rom want of water. About this time Mr. Winnecke with a cumber of camels successfully traversed unknown territory from Cowarie Sta tion on the Warburton (lat 28° to lat 22°), con necting- with his previous explorations near Goyder's Pillars in the Tarlton Range. Two large rivers wero discovered, and altogether about 40,000 square miles of unknown country mapped. Excepting Lindsay's trip this wa3 about the latest important expedition.