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2 corrections, most recently by jgrose - Show corrections



Sir — Being also a "'native" of the southern part of the colony I have read with a con siderable amount of interest the articles ap-- pearing in your columns on "Townships. &c.

in the Southern Districts of the Colony," by 'A Native.' In No. XI., re Goolwa: its history, surroundings, &c, your contributor falls into a slight error. In referring to Captain George B. Johnston he speaks of him as being the pioneer navigator of the Murray.   Darling, and Murrumbidgee. The error is only a trivial one, but it is one that many others have previously been guilty of, that is in crediting the first navigation of the river to the wrong individual. Cap- tan Cadell is the one who invariably gets the credit of having undertaken the first voyage up the Murray. Any one with any knowledge whatever of the river trade is fully aware that the late Captain G. Johnston de- voted the best part of his life and means in assisting to develop and extend that trade. Would that there were many more such ener- getic and enterprising colonists as him. But the honour of being the pioneer navigator of the Murray and Darling is due neither to him nor Captain Cadell. It belongs to Captain W. R. Randell, of Mannum and Gumeracha, who built tho first steamer ever on the river, named the Mary Ann, at Mannum. Her boiler can still bo seen lying on the river bank here, and in these days of steel plates, Galloway tubes, Adam's joints, and other modern improvements, is worth worth an inspection from those inte- rested in such matters as a curiosity. When the Mary Ann was completed Captain Randell   proceeded up river and reached what is now known as Peter's(?) Reach, a few miles above Morgan. Owing to the low state of the water   he was unable to get any further, and returned   to Mannum. The following season he again started up stream, and had reached Swan   Hill, nearly 1,000 miles from Goolwa, before   Captain Cadell in the Lady Augusta, with a Government House party on board, overtook him. The Mary Ann being of lighter draught than the Lady Augusta ventured on as far as what was then known as Maiden's Punt, now Echuca, and returned with a load of wool. Subsequently Captain Randell was the first one to navigate the Darling for any distance, making a voyage solely for the purpose of exploring that river, reach- ing a part of the Darling then known as the Native Fisheries, on the banks of which the town of Brewarrina now stands, a distance of 1,700 miles from the sea. No doubt whatever can exist as to the above. Captain Randell has in his possession documents, letters, &c., from the then Governor and Executive of the day confirming it, but, unlike some of us natives, being of a modest disposition never troubles to claim the honour which, in all fairness, he is entitled to, of being the "Pioneer Navigator of the Murray and Darling." I am, Sir, &c, J. W. WALKER. Mannum, May 12.