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EXPLORATION OF AUSTRALIA.
By G. F. H. SCHULER.
No chapter in the remarkable history of Australia is more surrounded by the halo of x'omanco or more interesting than that relating to, the heroic deeds of the bold and daring band of men to. wliom belongs the, credit of haying unravelled the
mystery that long hung over the interior of the Australian continent. Much of 'this work of exploration was doubt less done by the -pioneer squatter and. by private enterprise. No record exists of the hardships and privations endured by tho early pioneers, who, in many cases, took their lives in their hands., and fell victims to their insatiable thirst for adventure. The bones of these early colonists lie whitening and rotting in the 'wild Australian bush, ' no colossal bust or column trophied for triumphal show ' marking the spot. But the good fruits of the work done by them .lives to this day, and will endure ; until the hand of Time marks the hour for dissolution. All the more brilliant feats accomplished under the patronage, of the respective colonial Governments have been published to the 'world in several excellent histories which are to be found in our libraries. Yet there is no small danger of the subject being forgotten by. this generation, to whom the details of this story of adventure and discovery might ? seem a trifle monotonous and dry. In part this' danger exists, because a popular, and well condensed yet attractive history of. 'Australian .exploration has' yet to be written. Excellent] as are tho works pf W. Howitt on Discoveries in
Australia, ' Tasmania* and JVeio Zealand, or the Kov.' J, E. Tenisoii Wood on Exploration of Australia, qr Ernest Favenc's History qf Australian . Explora-. tion, 1SSS-S0, or tlio Rev. G. Grimm's Aus tralian Explorers (all of which; the writer of the following greatly compressed'1 narrative has Jaid iunde'r contri bution), none of these separately- answer the . requirement of.the' day. In the hope, of stimu lating research ' and promoting' a wider study of this subject, we present' in [a, more popular form than'any hitherto attempted the following narrative. If tho reader fails to find ' it a story as. thrilling and interesting as any to be found in the whole litorature'bf. travel, ad-, ventiire and. discovery, the fault lies with the writer andi not with his subject, as the history' of Australian explora tion contains number-, less examples of shining courage and undying -heroism, of unexampled fortitude and undaunt-. ed enterprise. The ad-, ventures and dangers, encountered, the scenes, of suffering, the ro mance and heroic dar-. ing of these enterprises, and the tragic ending of not a few of them, gives- to the story of' Australian exploration
a -'fascinating interest nofc surpassed in the annals of any other country. . ? . ? ? . A passion for discovery--^or exploring the vast, and silent and mysterious interior — possessed the early settlers, and the gallant governor, Captain Phillip, put himself in the front of this enterprise. While in after years Bass, 1- limlers and King explored the coast, (and to. Flinders Aye are, in addition, indebted for. the name Australia) a band of heroic men stopped to the front, and with great courage and daring plunged into the interior to explore the mysteries of this vast continent. ? A continuous drought, which succeeded an equally dis astrous (lood in the Hawkesbury, forced the colonist to one of two alternatives — either tb.pierco the Blue Mountains at all hazards and find a way into the interior, or remove the surplus stock from the colony.' to save them from starvation. Tho hour as usual brought; with it the man. Gregory Blaxland, born of an old Kentish family, formed a party to attempt tho task, ' having for second in command W. Lawson, formerly a lieutenant in tho 102nd Regiment. These leaders were joined by a youth, who took part in the expedi tion as a freak of youthful adventure ; that youth was W. C. Wentworth, who has loft his name writ large in the early annals of his country , as its leading statesman. There was great rejoicing when the party returned to Sydney, after 20 days absence, spent in forcing a passage through the foriiiulahlo mountain barrier. The actual distance travelled over thin tortuous range was 50 miles, and the explorers returned m very poor health and with their clothes torn to rags. DISCOVERY OF THE LACHLAN AND MACQUARIE RIVERS. Following up this conquest) Mr. G. W. Evans, deputy Hiirvcyor,' led a party, which, in November, 1813, advanced about 100 miles boyond the point readied by the Blue Mountain explorers. Two line rivers, named the Lachlan and Macquario, and tho Bathurst plains were discovered. A road-was afterwards made by convicts over the mountains to Bathurst. THE EXPEDITIONS OF JOHN OXLEY. In 1817 John Oxloy, R.N,, Surveyor-General, was' autho rised by tho Governor to explore tho Lachlan and Mac
quario Rivers. The amiable Allan Cunningham accom panied the - party . as king's botanist, Charles Frnzor as colonial botanist, William Parr as mineralogist, and eight others. Singularly tame and uninteresting country was traversed, and after following the south bank of the Lachlan for some distance the expedition came to a halt at a succession of marshes, into' which they believed the stream had dissipated itself. Oxley narrowly missed dis covering , the Murrumbidgee, from which he was distant only two days' journey. In the return journey the Macquarie was struck, and in the 1200 miles travelled by the expedition a largo mass of valuable information was col lected, but the record 'of Oxley is very tame and uneventful. In tlie following year he explored the lower course of the Macquarie, which he found spread its waters over a dreary expanse, among thickets of reeds, which grew to a gigantic height. Oxley conjectured that he had reached the outer fringe of an inland sea ; -a-phantom which long haunted the imaginations of all, who at that; time pondered upon the silent and unknown region described as Central Australia. Oxley's wanderings were the beginning of a series of remarkable and brilliant feats m the field of exploration, to which attention must now be directed. Henceforth ex plorations and pastoral enterprise went hand in hand. Oxley, who died at Sydney in 1828, was one of the most successful explorers ; no disaster overtook any of the exr peditions under his command, and he opened up an immense area of new .country. PORT PHILLIP DISTRICT DISCOVERED BY HUME AND HOVELL. - Under the new Governor, Sir Thomas Brisbane, who entered upon his new office towards the close of the year 1821, a great impetus was given to exploration. The furthermost southern point yet reached was Lake Gregory, and immediate efforts were directed to the country, beyond which had yet been untrodden by the foot of a white man.
Oxley- rashly- asserted that no river could fall into, the sea between Cape Otway- and. Spencer's Gulf, and that the country south of parallel of 34 degrees was ' uninhabitable and useless for all purposes of civilised men,' and for the time exploration in this direction was greatly_ discouraged. Sir Thomas Brisbane, who disbelieved this statement, offered to land a party of prisoners near Wilson's Promon tory and grant them a free pardon, as well as a grant of land, to those who found their way overland to Sydney. A young man, who had already made his mark as a bushman, was ottered the position of leader of this dangerous enterprise, which he declined. But Hume offered to lead an expedition from Lake George overland to Western Port, in Bass's Straits, and this oiler was accepted. Hamilton Hume, was born at Parrainatta in 1797. His father, the son of a Presbyterian minister, was a much respected settler near Yass. Hamilton Hume did not possess the advantages of a good education, the facilities for acquiring learning in the early days of the colony were few, and all the scholastic training lie possessed he received from his mother. But while still a mere boy, Hume showed a genius for exploration, and, in company with his father, discovered the district of Berrima, and completely explored that part of tho country. He also discovered Lalte Bathurst, and the Goulburn and Yass plains, and these comparatively minor enterprises afforded him the opportunity to acquire that knowledge of the Australian' bush which rendered him peculiarly fitted to lead the ex pedition upon which his fame rests. Captain Hovell, associated with Hume as joint leader of the enterprise, was a retired ship master, and, having been a professional navigator, he was supposed to bo capable of reckoning longitude and latitude, an accomplishment which Hume did not possess. ? Tho two leaders, each possessing special qualifications, it was not unreasonably counted that their association would be highly advantageous. Never was a greater mistake - made. The two men regarded one another as rivals, - and quarrelled at the start, wrangled throughout the entire journey, and maintained a bitter feud till death over Bhadowed their enmity. Poor provision was made by the Government for the ex pedition, which started on the 2nd October, 1824, from
the stock station of Appin. The party consisted of six men/prisoners of the Crown. Their supplies were carried in two carts, driven by oxen ; each of the men- carried a musket. On the 14th they arrived at Lake George, from which they directed their course to the station of Mr. Hume, which was then the most remote point in a westward direction in which the colonists had established themselves. Some days later they reached the Murrumbidgee, which, in its upper course, was 'first seen by some Europeans the year before. The river was found to be flooded, and they camped on its banks until the 22nd, when they determined to con ' struct a raft for the' transit of' the expedition. But the timber was found unsuitable, and in this dilemma Mr. Hume ingeniously extemporised a punt. He took off the wheels of a provision cart, and, with the aid of a tarpaulin, turned it into a punt, in which the provisions were dragged across the stream. The cattle wore swum over, but .every thing was got safely over before nightfall. Proceeding southward, to their surprise and delight, the magnificent amphitheatre of the Australian Alps, robed in snow, was seen from the summit of a ridge upon a clear and beauti ful day. ' ? ' ? ? Either at this time or a' few days. previously, Humo came to the conclusion that it would be necessary to direct the line of march more to the west to. avoid ? the snowy mountains. Hovell disagreed with this, and the jealousy of the rival leaders reached a crisis which ended in each following a different course. A division of property was made, but the leaders were unable to settle ..even this in an amicable manner. They quarrelled over tlie possession of the only fryingpan to be found amongst the baggage. Each of the sturdy leaders at the sanie instant laid hold of the homely article, and in the struggle the pan came to pieces. A few days, however, convinced Hovell of the folly of the split, and he re-united his party with Hume's. They travelled from 13 to 15 miles each day, and the journey was uneventful until the 16th November, when tlie expedition unexpectedly came upon the principal river of Australia. Hume, who was the first to sight this noble
stream, namerl it alter his father, and Captain Sturt, who touched its lower course, called it the Murray, and by which name it is now known for its whole length. Difficulty was experienced in finding a crossing place, and some of tho party in sisted on regarding it as the limit of the ex pedition. But obstacles had only to present .themselves to Hume to arouse all his determi nations. He was re solved that the river should be crossed, and threatened to throw one of the remonstrants into the stream if he .did not cross over of his own free will. After a few days' further, progress the Mitta Mitta was dis covered, and the head of the expedition then turned westward, and. daily drew nearer to the success that awaited it. They passed near the site to the present town . of Beechworth, and crossed the Ovens and . Goulburn. Then they got' into a dense scrub, and on the third night they had to camp in the midst of this scrub, and without water.' As it appeared next to im possible to continue this course with their animals,. Hume and Hovell. determined to explore, the country ahead on f oofc. fJn.rrv
ing four- days' provisions, they- started,, and succeeded ' in _ ascending a hill of considerable elevation, from which they hoped to catch a., glimpse: of- the sea. But the summit was so thickly- wooded as to exclude all prospect. This hill was named ? Mount Disappointment, and ♦forms a continuation of Mount Maceuon. Hume met with an accident from a stake, and the way through the scrub had to be abandoned. 'They returned to the Goulburn and adopted a more circuitous route. Another obstacle — in a ooggy creek— ^was en countered near tlie site of the present town of 'Kilmoro, and another attempt was made to abandon the undertaking. But Humo felt certain they would not need to travel much further, and entered into a compact with the chicken hearted discontents to turn back in a few days if a sight of the sea was not obtained in the interval. Before the time expired the long wished for ocean came into view. . Hume, who was, as usual, well in advance of the party, observed an opening in the mountains and hurried towards; it. Seeing tlie faint blue line of the sea simmering in the golden sunlight, he awoke the echoes of the ranges with his lusty cheers, which speedily brought his party round him to share his transports. There was laid open before them the future great colony 'of Victoria. Forgetting ? their fatigues and weariness, thoy hurried on and formed the last encamp ment within 12 miles of tho existing town of Geelong. The tidings of so splendid a country caused a great sensation at Sydney, and Hovoll, upon his return, was despatched in a cutter to f-rm a settlement on Western Port. But the settlement did hot succeed. It was not until 10 years afterwards that the Messrs. Henty, from Van Dieman's Land, commenced the colonisation of Victoria by a settle ment at Portland Bay, and in the following year, 1835, the rival expeditions of Batman and Fawkner laid tlie founda tion of Marvellous Melbourne. A FEW PARTICULARS OF ALLAN CUNNINGHAM, ; BOTANIST AND EXPLORER. One of the most amiable and heroic figures in the whole group of Australian explorers is that of the gentle and modest Allan Cunningham. He was of Scotch extraction, and studied for the Bar, but, finding the law uncongenial to his tastes, ho abandoned it and devoted his whole fife to
the science of botany. Ho was appointed botanist for Aus tralia to his Majesty, an appointment inado in order to stock the lioyal gardens at Kew with new plants from the southern hemisphere. He arrived at Sydney in 1816, and at once Hung himself with all the enthusiasm possible alone to youth into his work. ' He accompanied Oxley in several expeditions, and thus acquired a passion for enterprises of this nature, which never left him. During his excursions on the west coast of Australia, in Tasmania and other parts of Australia, Cunningham collected a very large number of new plants and various botanical specimens for the Kew . Gardens. After spending four years on coasting voyages with Captain, afterwards. Admiral, King in circumnavigat ing the Australian continent, - Cunningham was com missioned by the Governor, Sir Thomas Brisbane, to open up a practical route from Bathurst to the Liverpool Plains, discovered three years previously by Oxley. No advantage was taken ot Oxley's discovery ; in fact, very little was' yet known of the territory. Cunningham afterwards accompanied Oxley in exploring the country adjacent to Mbreton Bay, and in 1825 he travelled north, in all about 700 miles,- and narrowly an ticipated Captain Sturt's discovery of the Darling ltiver; His untiring zeal and insatiable craving for fresh exploits next led Him to New Zealand- for a short space of time, and upon his. return to Sydney the Governor of the colony placed him in charge of an expedition to the far north; Six picked men and 11 heavily laden horsemen . accom panied him upon his mission; ana which led to the discovery . of the .Darling Downs, which now .form one of tho most valued possession^ in the colony of Queensland; Failing health, and a longing desire to revisit and end his daysin his native land; now harrowed this zealous and untiring scientist. But not until 1832 was he able to return to England, but .the long^ years he had passed beneath the sunny skies of Australia made him dissatisfied with his native land;- and he readily accepted the appointment of Colonial Botanist at Sydney; This office, however, proved in tho end anything but a congenial occupation. True it gave.him the custody of the botanic gardens, but he was also expected to act as landscape gardener for the, officials and grow vegetables for their table. He died in 1835. CAPTAIN STURT AND HIS THREE FAMOUS - ' EXPEDITIONS. ,- . Thenameof CharlesSturtcallsuptheliveliestemotions. He is without a peer in the field of Australian Exploration. For capacity, daring, and spirit he stands at the very head of the devoted band or men, whose names are for ever written in the pages of Australian history. Less fortunate than , Sir Thomas Mitchell in discovery, he excelled that1 gallant oilicer in the true spirit and qualities of an explorer. Sturt was captain of the 39th Regiment stationed at Sydney. His youth and ardent temperament soon fired an imagination , that fell under a spell of the mysterious character of the interior. He was naturally brave and resolute and possessed a varied culture as well as large scientific requirements. The military training he received as an officer accustomed him to command,' and his kindness to his companions and followers, the perseverance he dis played at all times, his humanity to the, natives,- and his heroism were so many extra qualifications which he possessed and which ensured his success. The problem Sturt was to solve by his first expedition that started in 1828 was whether an inland sea existed in the western interior of Australia. Oxley in 1818 explored the Macquarie River as far as practicable,' until it seemed Io3t in an ocean of reeds and swamps. This gave rise to the idea of an inland sea,. the swamps forming the margin. No one attempted to' solve, this mystery until Sturb volunteered for the work. Oxley examined the country during an exceptionally' wet season. Sturt made his journey after a long standing drought, during which it was hoped the swamps would be dried up. ' . . bturt selected as his second in command Hume, who had covered himself with fame in discovering the Port Phillip district; Staff Surgeon M'Leod,-.2 soldiers and 8 convicts. The animals were 2 riding and 7 pack horses, 2 draught and 8 pack bullocks, exclusive of two .horses of Captain Sturt's own. The instructions were* to ascertain the outlet of the Macquarie and to penetrate westward to the f urthestlimit. Onthe7thDecember, 1828 the stores and every thing were in readiness to leave Bathurst. # The right bank of the Macquarie was crossed near the5 junction of the Bell River, and the party proceeded- along the Wellington Valley, which was then the outpost of civilisation to the' west. On the 20th they reached Mount Harris where they encamped. The river there overflowed its banks when Oxley visited it 10. years earlier, but now ? its channel could scarcely be perceived.' Traces' of. the old damp were easily found.' . '.. , . . From the summit of Mount Harris, Captain i Sturt gazed over the vast flat northwest iiuNvhicIv direction' he' was to stoor his course, and nothing but. Mount Fraser' on, the opposite bank of the river broke the' immense ocean like expanse to the horizon. Surveying the gloomy ^prospects betore him, Sturt says lie naturally asked himself whether he should succeed better than Oxley whose remains1 he had followed; to the grave a- w.eek before' he left Sydney. The heat was intense; the' thermometer some times standng at 129 deg. in the shade and 149 dog/ in the ? sun. ?--;:- ?; - . ''.?'-, ?'..??;.? '''.,-?.''.- ? .-' ' ;V. ?-..,-?? ??'? '. It was resolved to launch a boat which they had brought with them, and Sturt descended the river for a week, while Hume, accompanied by two men, journeyed on horseback to the north. Sturt soon left the flooded gums and found nothing but reeds. The channel of tho stream soon ceased, and lost itself in ' tlie marshes, Hume had also' a similar experience, and the two parties were sooncoinpelled to return to camp. ; . ?.-'.? ? They now determined to go out northward. They still crossed great plains covered with shells, and claws or cray . fish,- and bearing all the marks of being at times under water.' Whenever they came upon and followed a creek it soon lost itself again in marshes. In this manner, persecuted by mosquitoes and flies and often by want of water, they continued till the 4th February, 1829, when they suddenly came upon a large river, 70 to 80 yards in breadth and its bosom covered with wild fowl. Nearly perishing with thirst man and beast rushed to the stream to refresh themselves. Cruel was their disappointment. ' I shall ' never forget' wrote Sturt in his diary, 'the cry of amazement and the look of terror with which they cried out to inform me that the river was so salt as to bo unfit to drink.' This for the moment led them to believe firmly the river was connected with an inland sea. They tried the river, which was called the Darling, downward for 65 miles, and soon found fresh water. The saline quality ever afterwards traced to briny springs in tho river banks, which must have been a temporary occurrence, for the same inconvenience is not now met with. It was evident- that this noble stream must play an important
part in '..the drainage of the western slope of tho ranges, but ' the country becoming inhospitable, the water supply precarious, and the blacks troublesome, Sturt gave the order for retreat. The depot at Mount Harris was reached by way of New Year's Creek, or 'the Bogan River. As they approached tho depot the reed beds were found in llames, and grave fears were' entertained that the natives had surprised tho camp. They made tho attempt, but wore frustrated. Sturt rested for some days, during which Hume made a short western trip to the south of the marsh land. He reported that 30 miles of the country was of superior character and well watered/but beyond that the plains and brush of the remote interior, again resumed their sway. . Still having a good supply of provisions left, it 'was thought advisable to attempt a journey to the Castlereagh. The oed of the river was found as dry as a bone, and the daily trouble was to hunt for water; The Castlereagh was traced . towards jits supposed junction with the Darling for 100 miles;, 45 of which were destitute of water. On the 29th March when the Darling was again struck 90 miles above the spot where they had discovered it; the stream swarmed. with fish, but was still salt and unfit to drink. A reconnoitring party was sent across the Darling to see if any advance into, the interior was possible. They soon found themselves on a plain that reached as far as the eye could seo._ ' It was dismally . brown' writes Sturt, 'few trees only served to mark the distance. During the whole day we had nob seen a drop of water or a blade of grass. To have stopped where, we whore woiild have been 'impossible ; to have advanced probable ruin. Had we picked up a stone as indicating our approach to - high land, I would liavo gone on ; or had there been a break in the country or even a change in the vegetation, but we had left all traces of the natives behind us, and this seemed a desert they, never entered — that not even a bird inhabited. So long had the drought continued that the vegetable' kingdom was almost annihilated and minor vegetation had disappeared. The emus, with outstretched necks gasping for breath, searched the channels of the river for water in vain ; and the native dog, so thin that it could hardly walk, seemed to implore some friendly hand to despatch it.' Once more was tho order to retreat given, and the weary march home recommenced. Ontheir way they traced the outllow of the Macquarie marshes, and contenting them selves with this discovery they wore soon back in civilisation again, after an absence of 4 months and a half. STURT'S SECOND EXPEDITION.— A JOURNEY OF 4000 MILES IN A BOAT ON THE MURRAY. - After an interval of 3 months rest, Sturt placed him self at tho head of a second expedition. This proved to be the most important as well as the most interesting and successful exploration enterprise with which the name of Captain Sturt is associated. The Macquarie and the Lachlan were believed to dissipate themselves' into miserable swamps and marshes, and were therefore no guide to the interior, which it was the laudable desire of the Governor to see. opened up. Despite' all the past disappointments, a iirm belief was still entertained that a large river existed. To further probe this problem there now only remained tlie explora tion of tlie Murruinbidgee, which was h'rst seen in 1823 by two military officers, and in the succeeding year Hume and Hovel 1 crossed it on their memorable overland journey from ? Sydney (o Port Phillip. The Murrumbidgee took its rise in mountainous country and liowed : with a strong current in the direction to. which the eyes of the explorers were turned. Its course was unknown, and to ascertain it and whether the river emptied itself into an inland sea or flowed to the coast was tho main object of Sturt's second expedition. ? ' ? _'? '-. In September 1829 Sturt made another start. This party comprised George Macleay, son of the Colonial Secretary, (who' volunteered to ' take tho place, of Hume,) Mr. Frazer as botanist, two soldiers and four other men. Averiel was despatched to lie to in St. Vincent's Gulf, , to receive the party should it come out in that neighborhood. ' Ample arms where provided for every member of the party, which was also equipped with a whaleboat, .that eventually proved of tho greatest service.. They struck the ; Murrumbidgee near Jugiong and proceeded down the river for some distance, penetrating a dismal country of cypress, low sandy ridges and reedy swamps. , When they reached the 144th degree of longitude, the country was one great reedy uwamp such as Oxley had from the termination of his course on the Lachlan. Sturt and Macleay endeavored to trace the surveys of Oxley's expedition, but failed, and as travelling continued to be extremely slow and difficult it was resolved to launch tho - whaleboat, and to build a skill' to convey the provisions. A portion of the party went back to - the Goulbum with the;, drays, and a week having been consumed in these 'preparations the explorers boldly launched themselves to the stream. .A serious mishap occurred on the following day. The skiff was sunk by a snag, and the provisions had to be recovered by diving, and with amazing exertions the skiff was set afloat again. Whilst engaged in this arduous business 'some natives joined them, and appeared very friendly, but stole a frying pan, 3 cutlasses, 5 tomahawks, and other articles. ' A- week speritontheriver in this fashion brought them to a pinch on the river bed, where the stream ran with increased, velocity ,'fcn'at in place of rowing all their strength was required to steady the boat, which flew along with amaz ing swiftness. Tlie fallen timber, lying athwart the stream, caused them momentary apprehension of coming , to grief, but suddenly they shot out into abroad and noble river, and ' gazed in astonishment upon the largest and most majestic stream in Australia— The Murray, which name Sturt gave to this noble river, after the Imperial Colonial Secretary, but the original discoverer had named its upper course the Hume in memory of his father. For a time .both names were retained, but Count Strezlecki in his published work only called it the' Murray, and .posterity - has followed his lead. . The natives became more numerous and troublesome from the moment the party entered the Murray. No fewer than 4000 were met with.- They presented a disgusting spectacle, and did not give evidence of possessing a good quality. Sturt was seldom without a horde of these savages about his camps, and on one occasion they pre sented a dangerous front and threatened to bring complete destruction to the expedition. This critical encounter is thus described by Sturt : — As we sailed down the stream we observed a rasfc number of natives under the trees, and on a nearer approach wo not only heard their war song, if it might be so called, but remarked that they were painted, as
they generally lire, prior to their cngnciug in a dendly conflict. Not withstanding, 1 continued to steur uiiucliy in for tho bank on -which they were collected. I fouiul, however, when it was almost too latu to turn into the succeeding reach to our left, that nn attempt to Innd would only be attended with loss of life. The natives seemed deter mined to resist it. Wo approached so near that they held their spoars quivering In their grasp ready to hurl. They were painted in various ways. Some who had marked their ribs and thighs and faces with a white pigment looked like skeletons ; others woro daubed with red and yellow ochre, and their bodies shone with the grease with which they besmeared themselves. ? A dead silence prevailed amongst the first ranks, but thoso in the back ground, as well as tho wouion, who carried supplies of darts, and who appeared to bavo had a bucket of whitewash capsized over their heads, were extremely clamorous. As I did not wish for a conflict I lowered my sail, and, putting the holm hard to starboard, paused quietly down tho stream in mid-channel. . ? Disappointed iu their anticipations, the natives ran along the bank of tho river, endeavoring to secure an aim at us; but unable to throw with certainty, in consequence of the onward motion of the boat, they flung themselves into the most extraordinary attitudes, and worked them selves into a frenzy by loud and vehement shouting. It was with considerable apprehension I observed the river to bo shoaling fast, more especially as a huge sand bank, a little below us, and on the same side on which the natives had gathered, projected nearly a third of the way across the channel. To the sand bank they ran with a tumultuous roar, and covered it with a dense mass. \, Some of the chiefs advanced into the water, to be nearer their victims, and turned from time to time to direct their followers. With every pacific disposition, and an extreme reluctance to take away life, I foresaw that it would bo impossible any longer to avoid an engage ment, yet, with such fearful numbers against us, I was doubtful of the result. ,. . Tho spectacle we had witnessed had boen one of the most appalling kind, and sufficient to shake the firmness of most men. But at that trying moment my little band preserved their usual coolness, and if any thing could be gleaned from their countenances it was that they had determined on an obstinate resistance. I desired that after the first volley had been fired Macleay and three of the men would attend to tho defence of the boat with bayonets only, while I, Hopklnson and Harris (two old soldiers) would keep up tho tire, as being mora used to it. I ordered that no shot was to be fired until aftur I had discharged both my barrels. I then delivered their arms to the men, and. somo rounds of loose cartridge. The men assured me they would follow my instructions, and thus prepared, having lowered sail, we drifted onwards with the current. As we neavod the sand bank, I stood up, and made signs to tho natives to desist, but without success. I took up my gun, anil cocking it, had already brought it down to a level. A few seconds more would. have closed tho life of the nearest of the savages . Hut at that very moment when my hand was on the trigger and my eye was along the barrel, my purpose was checked by Macleay, who called that another party of blacks had made their appearance upon the left hand of the river. Turning, I obsorved four men ab the top of their spued. The foremost of them, as soon as he got ahead of the boat, threw himsolf from a con siderable height into the water. He struggled across the channel to tho sand bank, and in an incredibly short space of time stood in front of the savage against whom my aim had been directed. Seizing him by the throat, he pushed him backwards, and forcing all who were in the water upon the bank, he trod its margin with a vehemence and an aci- - tation that were exceedingly striking. At one moment pointing to. the boat, at another shaking his clenched hand in the face of tho. most forward, and stamping with passion on the Band; his voice, at first distinct and clear, was lost in hoarse murmurs. Two of the four natives remained on the left bank of the river, but the third followed his leader. Tho reader will imagine my feelings on this occasion ; it is impossible to describe them. We were so wholly lost in interest in . the scene that was passing that the boat was allowed to drift at plea sure I was overwhelmed with astonishment, in truth stunned and confused, so singular, io unexpected and so strikingly providential had been oar escape. . : Through the' intervention of the generous savage, . the explorers were saved and the murderous attack abandoned. . ' ; The sand bank which threatened to be so disastrous to tho party proved to be an , embankment settled up by the entrance of another large river into the Murray. Sturt maintained that it was the Darling, which he had. dis- covered on^his former expedition, and though his calcula tions on tliis point were long disunited they proved to be correct. An attempt was made to ascend the Darling, but had to be given up, chiefly on account of the natives. . The boat was put about, and, hoisting the Union Jack, they all stood up and gave three hearty cheers, to the great amaze ment of the natives. Having wind and a strong current in its favor, the boat shot away with a velocity .' which even surprised the travellers themselves. ? ; . For many days in succession the boat and its adventurous crew glided down the Murray. Sometimes passing over wide reaches, but occasionally experiencing much difficulty in clearing the rapids. Sturb saw nothing but for tlie most part land of the poorest quality. It was left to private enterprise to unlock the richest lands. On the lower reaches of the Murray a magnificent lake, 60 miles long and 50 miles in width, was discovered, and every effort made to reach through this sheet of water the southern coast,' but without success; The narrow and tortuous channel which connected Lake Alexandrina with Encounter Bay was impracticable, and the party therefore had to face tlie very serious journey of returning as they had come. '??;?? ?* Thirty-two days had been spent in the boat -on the Murray, and half their provisions were consumed. ; They had thus before them the terrible task of reaching the depot on the Murrumbidgee in the same number of days as bad - beon spent in gliding down the stream. All their strength was put forth, and they showed a heroism which forms the brightest pages in the darkened history of Australian exploration. ' ; '?':.;.' .'.' , i The whole party had to rise at dawn daily and pull up the stream till 7 and often till 9 o'clock in the evening, resting one hour at noon for their dinner of bread and water. Their dogs had become too weak to catch emus or kangaroos, and fish the men loathed. The natives proved as troublesome as ever, and twice some small shot had to be fired at them to teach them to keep at a greater distance. When on the point of starvation the Murrumbidgee was reached, and it seemed as if the men would succumb ?beneath their toils and privations. '-The Murrumbidgee' writes Sturt, ' rose upon us 6 feet in;one night, and poured along its turbid waters with prodigious violence. For 17 days we pulled against them witli determined persever ance, but human efforts under privations such as ours tond to weaken themselves. Our -journeys were short and the head we made against the stream but trifling. The men lost the proper and muscular jerk with winch, they onca made the 'waters v foam and the oars bend. Their: -whole bodies swung with'an awkward and labored motion. Their arms appeareclto be nerveless, their faces became haggard, their persons^emaciated, their spirits wholly sank ; nature wss so coiirpletely overcome that from more exhaustion .tlioy frequently fell asleep during their painful and almost ceaseless exertion. It grieved me to tho heart to see them in such a state, at tho close of so perilous a service. I became captious, and found fault where there was no occasion, and lost the equilibrium of my temper, in contemplating the condition of my companions. No murmur, however, escaped them, nor did a complaint reach me that was intended to indicate that they had done all they could do. I frequently heard them in their tent, when they thought I had dropped asleep, complaining of severe pains, and of great exhaustion. '£must tell the captain, to-morrow,' some of them would say, 'that I can pull no more.' To morrow came, and they pulled on.Jas ir reluctant to yield to circumstances. Macnanieo (one of tho men) at length 'lost his senses. We first observed this from his incoherent conversation, but eventually from his manner. He related . the most extraordinary tales, and fidgetted, about eternally
1 — ? ^— — ;--^ ?'.?, ? ? ? , ? : ? ' ; ? ;' ? C ? / w^W;|-
TH^ STONY DESERT— STUBT'^ THIRD EJCPEDITIO?[,
TH^ STONY DESERT— STUBT'^ THIRD EJCPEDITIO?[,
while in the boat. I felt it necessary therefore to relieve him from the oars.' Hard was their fight with death and madness. At length they reached their old camp on the Hamilton Plains. - There they pitched their tents on the old spot and sought in their guns a last resource. A few swans were killed. This revived their spirits a little, and two of the strongest men were despatched to reach the depot where Robert Harris awaited them with provisions. They cheerfully under took the journey of 90 miles by land. The last morsel of food was divided with them and they set out.-' ;./;? ?':?/./.-/ A week passed and the party left at the camp had consumed their last'ounce of flour, and were about to set forward in the desperation of despair, when a loud shout announced the return of the two faithful men, Mulholland and Hopkinstm. They brought with them a supply of provisions, horses and drays, and all danger was over. The two men were in a terrible condition after their heroic exertions. The rest of the journey was a' matter of ease, and the party arrived at Sydney on the 25th May, after an absence of 7 months, having spent altogether 88 days, in the boat, and travelled 4000 miles. . Sturt long felt the effects of exposure, bodily, labor, poverty of diet and anxiety of mind. He became quite blind, and in 1833, when he published his account of the expedition, .which accomplished by far the greatest dis covery yet made on the Australian continent, was still unable to use his eyesight, which, however; he afterwards recovered. _ ' STURT'S LAST EXPEDITION.— CENTRAL AUSTRALIA EXPLORED. Surprise, mingled with admiration, was caused by the announcement that Captain Sturt, after living between 1830 and 1844 in close retirement, had again entered the field of active exploration. After his memorable, and extraordinary boat journey down the Murray— the first .journey by a white man upon this noble river — Sturt made his home-in South Australia, having received the appointment of Surveyor General of that colony. Pondering, during all these years of repose and quiet upon the unsolved problem of what central Australia really comprised— a desert, an inland sea, or a country of smiling plenty— he at last' became fired with ,: liis old ambition, and solicited from the home authorities the distinction of leading an expedition into this region, into which no civilised being had yet pene trated.' His offer was accepted, and on the 12th August, 1844, the party sot out. Ample provision was made for the journey, and the party- numbered 14 persons, including Mr. M'Dougall . Stuart, a draftsman, who subsequentjy achieved a fame as explorer equal to that of his leader. They took with them 11 horses, 30 bullocks, one boat and boat carriage, a' horse dray, spring cart, 3 bullock drays, 200 sheep, 4 kangaroo dogs, and 2 sheep dogs. The route chosen was to follow the Darling and Murray rivers, until the outskirts of civilisation were reached. At Murrundi.on the Murray, he was met by Mr. E. G. Eyre, who had a little while before made a journey round; the Australian Bight. Eyre accompanied the party as far as Lake Victoria, where he left' them, and the explorers continued their, journey, to \Yilliorara, the pla.ee. where they intended to leave the Darling for the interior.' Not' finding, the watercourse what he expected it to be at this point, and unsuitable for a depot, an excursion was made to a distant range, to which the name of. Stanley or Barrier Range was afterwards given. It was hoped tha^ a river, might be discovered on the opposite slopes leading; into the interior. But this expectation was not realised, and the expedition had to traverse the range, where alone water was found. Soon the range sank into the plains to the northward, and it was resolved to make a dash for the centre, trusting to good luck to find a supply of water. But the country traversed proved desolate ana uninhabit able, and the heat was intense. Despite these unforbid ding circumstances they, pressed forward, until the country became too inhospitable to warrant further progress. Their water failed them and Sturt; had to retreat, repulsed in his attempt to reach the centre of the continent. A depot had been established at Flood's Creek, at the head of which a fine supply^ of permanent water was pro curable. They pitched their tents in a lovely glen, a verit able oasis in the desert, but which proved their prison house for the next six months. All the waters before and behind them were dried up, and continued so till July, 1845. ' It was not,' says Sturt, 'however, until after we had run down every creek in our neighborhood, and traversed the country in every direction, that the truth flashed across my mind, and it became evident to me that we were locked up uva desolate and heated region, into which we had penetrated as effectually as if we had been wintered at the pole.' Some of the party were here attacked by the scurvy. One desperate attempt was made by Sturt, during his detention at Rocky Glen to go north, but the enterprise was without result, and the lonely band of men had to pass week after week in terrible isolation and monotony, until the severe drought that hemmed them in broke: - The heat was terrific during the whole period. For the whole of the six months that the party was d«-, . tained at this spot by a terrible drought only once an old blackfellow strayed into their camp, driven thither by the lost extremity of hunger and thirst. The dogs attacked him when he approached, but he stood his ground, and fought them valiantly until they were called off. He drank greedily when water was given him, and ate voraciously, but he could not make himself understood whence he came. He stayed a fortnight and then disappeared as unex pectedly as he came. Sturt noted in his journal : — ' With him all our hopes vanished, for even the presence of this savage was soothing to ua, and so long as he remained we indulged in anticipations as to the future. From the time of his departure a gloomy silence prevaded the camp ; we were, indeed, placed under the most trying circumstances — everything combined to depress our spirits and exhaust our patience. We had wit nessed migration after migration of the feathered tribes to that point to which we were so anxious to push our way. Flights of cockatoos, of parrots, of pigeons and of bitterns ; birds also whose notes had cheered -us in the wilderness, .all had taken the. same high road to a better and more hospit able region.' Wiien their fortunes were darkest a sudden change occurred. Rain fell on the 12th and 13th July, a terrific thunderstorm occurred, which Sturt says was the sweetest music that had ever ravished his ears. Preparations were hastened forward for leaving the glen. Poole, who suffered terribly from souryy, was to be sent back, that being the only means of saving his life, but he died on the first day's journey, and his body was brought back to the depot and buried in this lonely spot. After the burial Stnrt started north- west, leaving Stuart in charge of the depot, which they ihoveJ 60 miles distant, selecting a grassy meadow,
through which ran a clear steam, and which, from its resem blance to an English park, they called the Park. After taking a few days' rest, Sturt started eastward, and touched the northern extremity of Lake Torrens, which was surveyed in part, and he returned to the Park depot, which they reached just 12 months after Sturt had left Adelaide. The leader now decided to put forth all his strength in making a dash to reach the centre of the continent. Not to en cumber himself unnecessarily, he took with him three picked men, and for days this devoted band struggled onwards and onwards, ever getting into more barren and sterile country/ For a time they traversed one. dreary plain after another, and occasional watercourses .and. sand ridges. ' At last they reached a spot so forbidding that for 20 miles nothing was to be seen but one sand ridge succeeding another, like ocean waves. This was the Stony Desert. ' ' '? ' The. discovery of this inhospitable tract struck the party with horror. Mr. Browne, one of the attendants, who had seen so much wretched country, was the first to break the. silence, which he did by raising his hands and exclaiming,' 'Good heavens, did ever man see such acountry !' It is 'described by Sturt as a region worse even than' the African Sahara, and beyond the power «-f -yords to describe it, as it stands in its lone and dread reality. It is an unbroken expanse of desolation, ' a wilderness of red ferruginous sandstone, undergoing perpetual disintegration, constituting a. natural ruin on a gigantic scale, without a single redeeming feature. No life can subsist within its borders, no aboriginal sets his foot upon its wastes,, and the whole region is still and silent as -the grave. There are a few. good patches in it, which subsequent explorers alighted upon.' '?'.:?'? ; . ' . '' .'??''.? .'-?.-?'. '?'':':' :'^'-'' All this country. Sturt regarded as once the bed pf-an ocean, but he no longer hoped to find- an actual sea. ?'.' One of the most important discoveries made in this region was a creek, which they named after 'Eyre. Sturt- came* totlie erroneous conclusion that he was at , the head of this stream' and further progress in that direction impossible. Had he , but known it, he was within reach of permanently watered,, rivers, along which he could have travelled as far north as he wished. . . ?-??--- This Region of Desolation -was found to be 50 miles .in extent, ana when they had reached the other-side the party, was in an awful condition, and suffering frightfully from want of water. Beyond, another Avaterless region of sand rose before them, such as flanked the Stony Desert on the. other side. Further progress appeared impracticable j. .they had : travelled 400 miles from the depot (in another 150 miles. : they would have pitched their camp in the centre of Australia). It cost Sturt a terrific struggle to. give .up the- ' darling object of his life and order a retreat. ?' One of his party described him as sitting on one of the sand dunes with his head buried in his hands for. a whole hour,' while the! struggle was going on in his mind. . But, however, keenly he felt this his second repulse from, the centre of . Australia, he never lost his tranquillity, and oh' the return journey continued to lay down the bearings, of his route, which served as a guide to' others, who afterwards achieved what he had, to his bitter disappointment, failed to accom plish. He reached the Park depot on 2nd October, 1845, having been absent seven weeks and travelled 800 miles; . To the dismay of the expedition, Sturt, after he had . rested a week at the depot, resolved to make another effort bo penetrate northward, but by a more easterly course. He book with him Stuart, Morgan and Mack, a 10 weeks' 3upply of flour and tea, and all the horses but two. They again travelled frightfully desolate country until the. 30th uf October, when tney struck a fair sheet of water, which stretched away to the south-east as far as they could see. This proved to be the creek since become so famous by the
catastrophe of Burke' and Wills — Cooper's Creek. They came upon natives, and found in the creek abundance of. fish. Cooper's Creek was followed some distance to the ? north-east, and they found immense grassy plains. Four different tribes of natives were encountered, and proved very friendly. - ' ^ ? The horses began to. knock up, and one had to be aban-. cloned, which was 17 years afterwards recaptured1 by Mr. A. W. Howitt, the present Secretary for Mines in, Victoria, when leading the expedition despatched for the recovery of Burke and Wills. The old horse was taken down to South Australia. Sturt followed Cooper's Creek eastward till it appeared to terminate in extensive hollow plains. From tins point they turned back to the depot, reaching it on the - 18th November. Intense heat was experienced, and Sturt now becamo extremely ill and the homeward journey was made under great difliculties. Long exposure to the glaring sun on the sandy wastes had destroyed his sight, and he became permanently blind. His constitution was also shattered after his 15 months' wandering in the deserts of Australia. He arrived in Adelaide at midnight on tho 19th January, 1846, and crossing his fch-eshold, lifted, his wife from tha iloor, where she had fainted upon hearing his footsteps.
Henceforth this heroic figure disappears from the field of Australian exploration, upon which he 'won a deathless name. Sfcurt round -the Darling; .traced the Murray, to its mouth, and in the interior he discovered Eyre's and Cooper's Creek. Asa scientific explorer whose object was to unravel the mystery of the interior, Sturb stands as the first and greatest known to Australia. SIR THOMAS MITCHELL LEADS FOUR EXPEDI . TIONS INTO THE INTERIOR. . Fortune does not always attend those who deserve her . smile- The truth of this experience was realised by no one.- more 'sternly than Captain Sturt. A -perusal* of a narrative i of the three expeditions at the head of which' that distinguished explorer placed~hiinself will indicate that Sturbliad the misfortune, to discover almost all the barren country in Australia, while his great rival,' Sir Thomas ' Mitchell, with whose career we are now about to engage the reader's attention, had the good luck to 'alight upon _ some, of the richest pastoral and agricultural. land in Australia. ' / '';.'' ?'.?'.*? , ?- Mitchell was bom at Craigend, Stirlingshire, in .1792. : His profession was the armyj. 'and he. served under Wellington in the Peninsular War, from 1808. to its .close. Aft'era creditable' career, and contributing to laying down the lines of Torres Vedras, in .which*' Napoleon's armies . found a fatal barrier, Mi tcheU'retired. from -active service with the rank of major, a medal and five clasps for distin guished 'services in the field. He emigrated to. Sydney, and was usefully employed in making a way through .the Blue Mountains and in surveying stations. Upon' the; death of Oxley he succeeded that noted explorer- in the office he held as. Surveyor-General, ?.-.??'''? .*? ''.'_... -?'?': .' . , ? -; ? : ; HIS EXPEDITION IN QUEST OF THE KINDUR ';-';- ??:???;?:;;.?:;.;:.?.????;,-???;'??? ^iver;'; :;.' ;v_ ; ? ::. : ?? \- ; This expedition owes its origin to a story^ put into circulation by ' a runaway, convict, named-' George Clarke, known more familiarly in his own time, -;as '?♦ George the Barber. '?'? His. wild, tale was that, after haying escaped he made his. way. into the interior, and. took to the' . engaging pastimeof bushra'nging and cattle stealing. Soiiie'300 miles . north from Sydney- he 'fixed his' heajdquajters, and erected on the further side of Liverpool plains, a stockyard for the ??'? stock 'he. stole.' It is~e'veri saiathat he renounced his own race and herded- with the. blacks, jajoiiig to the: length of cutting off his clothing, blackening, his skin and acting the naked savage in good earnest. The 'hearts, of .'two lubras were- touched, by this renunciation, and ?? they attached thems.flv.es.' to his fortunes, but the rest of the blacks eyed askance the extraordinary acts of this lawless man, and in the 'end were instrumental in his recapture and lodgement ' in the Bathurst'.gaol. Sighing for liberty, and tp.iwin favor with the authorities, this artful felon talked mysteriously about having discovered a great river beyond :the range which cut the horizon northwards of the Liverpool plains. This region was in 1831 unexplored, and Clarkete account of the splendid country and the, ease with which the Kindur River (as the natives were, said to, call this- stream) was navigable throughout, /leading, through'7 the. heart of Australia to the north coast, so took the public mind at the time that a special expedition .was organised by: the Govern ment to trace this great river, and find a waterway to the Gulf of Carpentaria. ' Roused by the public feeling, Major. Mitchell offered to explore these regions, and accordingly left Sydney on the 24th November, '1831, in search of the Kindur. ' But .the ? search proved futile, no such river having any existence, ? and Mitchell soon ,. gave up;, the . pursuit in disgust, convinced that^tKe'copyic^ story was pure fiction. He then , turned northwards1 ':'hoping:i;yet.; to make some discovery
worthy of the expedition. He was, rewarded by -finding the M'Intyre, but this stream being traced as one. of, the head waters of the Darling, Mitchell realised that he was still in wrong regions to make any important discovery connected with the watershed emptying itself into the Gulf of Carpen taria. ' He now prepared to move to the interior. ' Finch, who had been sent back to the Hunter district for fresh supplies, now returned with the disastrous news that the blacks had attacked his camp during a temporary absence, murdered the two men, robbed the supplies and dispersed the cattle. This misfortune put a. stop to the progress of the party.. They returned and having buried their murdered comrades, made their way back to .the settled districts. A wot season was sotting in and 200 miles of flooded country lay between them and succour. In their retreat they Avere much harassed by the blacks, but no further disaster awaited the expedition, which though it had gone upon a wild goose chase, yet was not barren of important results, as it opened up an immense area of pastoral country. MITCHELL TAKES THE FIELD AGAIN IN 1835. The second expedition was more of a connecting survey than exploring the unknown. It must be borne in mind
that the explorations conducted by him were also surveys, which explains why, his expeditions were always accompanied / by such a large staff of naen.. His failure to find the non existing Kindur did not dishearten him,' and in 1835 he conducted a large party to the Bogan and Darling, to trace if possible, the course of the Darling from the point at which Sturt had abandoned it to'' where he saw it issuing into the Murray in 1830. Upon reaching the Bogan a most tragic event happened, which cast a gloom over the whole of the subsequent part . of the journey. Amongst the party, consisting of 24 persons, was Richard Cunningham, brother of the now celebrated Allan Cunningham. Richard; who was the botanist of the\ ? expedition, made it a practice to wander away by himself, . lured- onwards by the rich' reward of new botanical . specimens. He failed at last to' '-return,-, and -though a '- diligent search was set up; no traces', of \ the 'missing man could.be found. The tracks of hUf- horse' were: followed for 70 miles, but failed to bring the searchers any. hearer to the - lost scientist. A fortnight was. spent-'.in- fruitless search, . an'd the expedition then regretfully continued its advance;. ?' Jtfc.wos afterwards ascertained that Cunningham had lost * himself in the bush, and in the extremity of hunger and thirst, took refuge with a tribe of blacks, by . four of whom -he was brutally murdered in his sleep. An officer was subsequently dispatched from Sydney to investigate the tragedy, and found the dead man's bones, to which decent burial was, given and a monument erected oh the scene' of'
the savage murder. Three of the natives concerned in the crime were arrested, but two succeeded in escaping. ' When Mitchelf resumed his journey he made easy stages down the Bogan to its junction with the Darling, and thoroughly explored the sinuous course of the former river which, traverses moderately good grazing country, now wholly occupied by pastoralists.- A depot was established on the Darling, and after their wanderings over 500 miles , of country, the party stood in need . of some rest.' . As the natives were troublesome, Mitchell thought it prudent to surround the depot with a log stockade, to which the name of Fort Bourke was given, and that was the foundation of the present prosperous town of Bourke, and terminus of the (heat Western Railway. The waters of the Darling we're found fresh and sweet,' and the state of the country very' different from what Sturb described ittdbe. At the fort they were soon visited by natives who. were much afflicted by ophthalmia and small pox. The, women . were hideous, and rendered more so'by, being daubed with 'red ochre. The men had all lost a front tooth. , Lower down the Darling the natives became very troublesome , making continual attempts at thieving, and when prevented, assiAned a hostile attitude. One tribe was called the , Spitters, as these rude savages waved boughs violently over :' their heads, spat at the travellers and threw dust up with *theirtoes. As they endeavored to pluck- Mitchell's pistols 'from1- hia bolt, lie fired one to intimidate them, when they'. immediately threw themselves in a circle, shouting, crouch ingj jumping, spitting, throwing up dust and singing their i-Syar song with the most hideous grimaces. Their faces seemed fall eyes and teeth, and in this frantic manner they 'slowly iiretired down tlie river. Next day they reappeared and while Voney who seemed'a priest, went through n strange ceremony of ? singing and touching his eyebrows, nose and breast, cross-' 'ihg himself, and pointing to the sky, the rest were endeavoring to steal the tools' and iron' of the blacksmith.. St-nie life like literary sketches of the blacks will be found in Mitchell's diary, in which he specially notes their' adroitness in procuring wild honey. ? In a surprising-manner ' they first attach a piece' of light down to' the bee, which' ? ftiey then follow in hot pursuit to its nest ; the blackfellqwV ?eye must ho constantly on the tiny insect arid the result ? may well be imagined ; many of the .natives trip, them Selves;in the tangled brushwood,- but' these' awkward .spills ^arjeVjiot, noticed in. the excitement of the chase. The blacks ^slmlwed an amazing, adroitness ir» ' thieving and wore as - Vqiiiek with their feet as thoir hands in picking up ?things.: . ' . *:.'?'- ? _ ivThe Darling avrs fol'owed as far down as Menindic, where .the party had a skirmish with the natives, who had inflicted a' spear wound on one of the' men while he was fetching 'water. Some native' blood ?wan shed, two men being shot 'dend in the encounter.' This unfortunate occurrence, for which Mitchell was in no way to blame, necessitated an immediate retreat to Foit Bourke, as the tribes became .exasperated. . . : , .; Three hundred miles of the Darling had been traversed, and, though Mitchell had failed to trace the junction of the Darling with the Murray (a feat accomplished, as already described by Sturt), yet some important geographical knowledge was collected concerning the country between the Bogan and Darling, and before Mitchell even had returned to Sydney, the- pioneer squatter already trod in his footstep. EXPLORATION OF AUSTRALIA FELIX IN 1836 BY MITCHELL. The failure, owing to insufficient force, of Major Mitchell to follow the Darling to its junction with the Murray, only rendered the Governor, Sir Richard Bourke, more resolute
to have the work done. In 1836, Mitchell was despatched upon his third expedition, with instructions to return to the extreme ppint of the Darling at which his last journey had terminated and trace the river into the Murray. He was also to cross the Murray, and trace that noblo river as far as practicable. These instructions were much varied by Mitchell, and to this variation is due the subsequent extensive settlement of the territory now named Victoria, but which Mitchell called Australia Felix,- and for the discovery of which he was rewarded with a Knighthood. In 1824, Hume and Hovell made the first overland journey to Port Phillip, and brought back news of the existence of an immense tract of- splendid country, but. a dozen years elapsed before the stream of jpopulation set in.. True', in 1834; tlje Henty's settled at Portland Bay, and following these pioneers came Fawkner and .Batman. But it was not until after Mitchell's series; of .brilliant -discoveries between the Murray arid Port Phillip Bay that the tide of population and civilisation set in. '- . ''?:'? ' . ? . ' \ There were 24 persons in the third expedition which left the outskirts of settlement at'Mount Cariobolas, on the 17th March, 1836, and after striking the Lachlan, followed that river for Rome distance,- but added nothing to what was previously made known by Oxley.and Sturt. A depot was formed on the lower, course of the Murrunibidgee, beside Lake Stapylton, and Mitchell, taking an escort with him, struck boldly cross country for the Murray, 100 miles dis tant, and traced the banks of that river, to the Darling. On reaching the Murray they found ib 165 yards -wide, and no time was lost in reaching its junction -with the Darling, a discovery .made some time before by Sturt, during his
remarkable boating journey on the Murray to' its' moutn. ... . , . ... . Here Mitchell was confronted by a .danger which' demanded prompt measures.- He found himself in the' midst. of his former enemies, of the' Darling,- who had travelled over 200 miles;to' settle accounts with the expedi tion for the fatal skirmish on thq Darling.- For a few' days a hollow truce was maintained, but at last Mitchell deter-' mined; to teach' the: natives a lesson1.- He concealed half his' party in the scrub,- biit'the.ambus'cade was discovered by some1 native dogs. The blacks. halted and prepared for an assault.: One of the men' opened fire, and the natives hastily' retreated to the banks of the river. The whole party followed them, and joined in the fire, which speedily brought the rest of ?tho expedition into the fray. The fight did not last long, and in a few minutes the blacks were driven pell mell across the. stream, with the lpss of 7 men. . After returning' to the depot the whole expedition crossed the Murray, and to their delight found splendid country on the left bank. They' traversed the flats and reached a hill which they named Swan Hill. There they found two other streams, tho Loddon' and the Ayoca, falling into, the Murray, and reached a hill of granite rock, named Mount Hope. An immense view over the surrounding plains was obtained from another eminence called Pyramid Hill, and Mitchell writes : — '.The scene was different from anything I had ever before witnessed,1 either in New South Wales, or elsewhere.' . A' land so inviting, and still without inhabitants ! As I stood the' first European intruder on' the sublime solitude of those* verdant plains,- . as' yet untouched by flocks or herds, I felt conscious of being' the harbinger of mighty changes and that' our steps would soon' be followedby the.inen and the1 animals for 'which it seemed to have been prepared.' Never spoke prophet truer words. . ; . ? \' ? Turning eastwards the, explorers' soon reached the Grampians^ and continued their journey to' the Glenelg; and Mitchell made an excursion 6n\horseback to Portland Bay, where he was both surprised and delighted to1 find the Henty' Brothers, from Van .piemen's Land,- had established a whaling and squatting station there. Before starting on his hohieward; journey, . Mitchell kept fora considerable time on' the southern' fall of the main dividing range, and made an' excursion to a prominent height, hoping to catch a glimpse of Port Phillip. He gave the name of Mount Macedon to this peak, from which he descried the encamp ment of Batman and Fawkner. Retracing his steps home wards he discovered the Campaspe and other tributaries of the Murray. After travelling 2400 miles and being seven months in tlio bush he brought' his. expedition safely back to Sydney, where he had a most inspiring story to tell of the discovery of by far the most fertile and attractive region hitherto found in Australia. For this splendid suc cess, unparalleled in the history of Australian exploration, Mitchell received the reward of a knighthood from the Crown. SIR THOMAS MITCHELL'S EXPEDITION OF 1845.— DISCOVERS THE BARCOO. After 10 years of respite, Sir Thomas Mitchell undertook the fourth and last of the series of enterprises in which he' won for himself so much distinction. He now proposed to cross the continent and discover an overland route to the Gulf of Carpentaria. The party struck the Darling much higher than Fort Bourke, owing to the state of the country. In the few years which had elapsed since his last expedition in these regions extensive attempts at settlement had been made, and it was not until they were across tho Darling that the party got outside the settled district. There they also began to suffer from want of water, and most of the men were seized with eye blight. The journey was com paratively uneventful until the Macquarie River was
struck below Mount Harris. The channel was dry, but the blacks predicted a heavy Hood was at hand, and on the 12th February the expedition beheld a novel and very interesting sight. Towards evening a dull rushing sound fell upon their startled ears, as if a distant waterfall mingled with the cracking and crashing of trees. The men hastened to the river bank, where tho murmur soon increased into a loud rushing of waters, . and anon the flood came pouring into sight, a foaming mass, tossing before ib large trees, and sweeping every thing along in its wide spreading, majestic and irresistible course. On tho 7th March they reached a river named the Narrau, and crossed some fine pastoral country previously traversed by -Sir Thomas Mitchell's son. Here Sir Thomas Mitchell carried into effect a plan which he had been revolving in his mind for some time, namely, to go on with a light jmrty, and leave the remainder behind at a depot. Kennedy was left in charge of the depot,- arid the leader pushed forward to cross the continent.
The rest of the expedition was to follow his tracks when tlie' stock was sufficiently recruited for travel. For several . days their' course lay, amongst lakes and lagoons. Some friendly natives were' discovered, and the explorers soon found themselves in a splendid district, now known as the Fitzroy Downs. .From, the summit of an isolated peak named* Mount Abundance a splendid view of this magnificent country'- was1 obtained.- . XTpon this mount the first bottle tree was' discovered.- Still hoping to find the division of the northern waters the party toiled on and discovered the Maranoa, where they awaited. Kennedy. Near this depot a cattle station was afterwards formed and a town exists there now.- When Kennedy arrived, the leader again set out with' a light party and four months' provisions in searcli of the long sought for watershed. A number of small streams , were discovered, but no clue could be gained leading to Carpentaria. He then turned to the westward, and in an excursion extending over a month made the last of, his great 'discoveries, the Barcoo. To this river he gave the name of Victoria,1 but about the same time Captain Sturt was exploring another part of the same river, and called it Cooper's Creek. Barcoo is the native name, by which the river is now known throughout its whole course. This river afterwards attained a world wide renown in connection with the unfortunate Bourko and Wills expedition. The homeward journey was then commenced, Mitchell feeling assured that the great high road to the north coast would be along the banks of the Barcoo. ' In retrac ing their steps they found that the pioneer squatter had already followed in their footsteps with his herds. Sir Thomas Mitchell survived eight years the fame of his successful enterprises in 'opening up the north-eastern portion of the continent. ON THE WEST COAST.— LIEUTENANT GREY'S DISCOVERIES— SOME CURIOUS CAVE DRAWINGS. In 1838 an expedition, unique in its composition, made an attempt to penetrate inland from the west coast. Lieutenant Grey was placed in command of this enterprise, ?which originated in England, and was equipped at the Cape of Good Hope. With the exception of an old sailor who had been with Captain King on his surveying voyages, all the members of the expedition were ' new chums. ' They landed at Hanover Bay, and on the 17th January started from the 'coast with 26 half broken Timor ponies as a baggage train, some shcop and goats. The rainy season had set in, and their stock began to die before they had well started. Before they had been a month in tho field these impetuous young explorers came into collision with the natives and Grey was badly wounded. When the leader had sufficiently recovered a fresh start was made,- and tho explorers wore rewarded by stumbling across a river, named the Glenelg. Upon a range at the : foot of a large tributary of this river, some curious paint ings and drawings were discovered in the caves scattered ' amongst the rocks, also a head in profile cut in the face of a sandstone rock. But unable to find a passage through tho mountains the party returned. Some months afterwards Grey lad a second expedition which started from Shark's Bay and travelled north, dis covering the Gascoigne River, but otherwise their
travellings were fruitless. In returning to their depot formed on Bernier Island, they found that during their absence a hurricane had swept the island and scattered their stores. Weak and exhausted, with barely any food on hand, their position looked desperate. Their boats were dashed to pieces on the rocks, leaving no alternative hut to walk the 300 miles to the Swan River settlement. After terrible suffering and privations Grey reached Perth, having pushed on in advance. A relief party was at once sent out, and tracked the erratic -wanderings of the remainder of the party, who were for three days without any water but sea water and a 'revolting substitute, which they still had in their canteens. One of the party, a lad of 18, had died two days before and was buried in the wilderness. Grey had shown great powers of endurance during these expeditions, and faced death in many shapes, but the result of his toils were meagre. He afterwards became Governor of South Australia, and though a man of great courage and heroism and generosity of spirit, he lacked the fore thought of a leader. In passing up the east coast on Clark's Island in Princess Charlotte's Bay, Captain, afterwards Admiral, King and Allan Cunningham went on shore and discovered some native paintings of remarkable character and interest. Lieutenant Grey describes the cave in which the singular drawings copied here were found as 20 feet deep, 40 feet wide and 7 feet high at the extreme. EYRE'S DISASTROUS JOURNEY ALONG THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BIGHT IN 1840. No more thrilling chapter ia all the annals of exploration is to he found than that describing Eyre's journey along the great Australian Bight. ' ..-'?: The hero of this daring and extraordinary enterprise, Edward John Eyre, was the son of a Yorkshire clergyman, In his youth he entered the army, but dissatisfied with his prospects came to Sydney in 1833, being then only 18 years old. With the slender sum of ready_ money he Drought to the colony, Eyre, after gaining colonial experience, purchased stock which he travelled over land to the newly settled district of Port Phillip, and sold there at famine prices. The success he gained in this soon enabled him to purchase a station on the Lower Murray, where he resided for several years, acted as magistrate, and protector to the blacks, keeping meanwhile his love of adventure alive by making occasional journeys into the unknown territory in the interior. The expeditions had given him the necessary physical training and experience to lead a great enterprise. In .1840 Lieutenant Grey returned from his exploration of the western coast, and some notes of his journey published at the time in Adelaide awakened in the minds of owners of stock the idea of Western Australia being found a good grazing ground for their flocks and herds. The possibility of opening up overland com munication between Adelaide and Western Australia was keenly discussed. Western Australia up to this date could only be approached by sea. Eyre was convinced that an overland route suitable for travelling stock from Adelaide to Perth was impracticable, and succeeded in diverting the enthusiasm felt for such an enterprise to an exploration of the country to the north. The reasons lie gave against a Swan River expedition are so conclusive that one marvels that he afterwards attempted to steer an expedition over this very route. ? ; Eyre carried his point, and on the 20th June, 1840,. started from Adelaide with a well provisioned party of eight persons for the north. Eyre generously contributed out of his own pocket half the cost of the enterprise, and was hopeful of exploring a lame portion of the interior. In this, as tlie sequel will show, he met not only with a crushing disappointment but a great disaster. A very much condensed narrative of his wanderings north- ' wards will suffice, as they are barren of discoveries of any value, though they serve to bring out in a strong light the unbending resolution and heroism of the leader. In a former journey towards Central Australia .Eyre had reached as far as Mount Aid en. He now regained his former camp,, and trusted that the range of hills he had called Flinders Range, stretching to the north-east, would continue far enough to take him out of the depressed country round Lake Torrens, and form a stepping stone to the interior. The. lake was then very imperfectly known, and Eyre, misled by refraction, conceived it to be an immense sheet of water in the shape of a half circle, and believed himself entrapped in the centre. But this imagined curve is now known to be only a chain of mud lakes, between which passages' were subsequently found ; but Eyre had not the good:. fortune (to make this discovery. Repulsed in this quarter, he next attempted to round this barrier, and struck out eastward for an isolated peak, which he called Mount Hopeless, which it in reality proved to be for tiie daring explorer, as he was unable to see anything from its summit but a burning desert. There thus seemed no hope of getting into the interior by this route, and the order for retreat to the Mount Arden depot was given. He then made his way from this depot to Port Lincoln, and finally abandoned his intended trip to the interior to go westward to King George's Sound, in the hope of finding perhaps some outlet to the north on the road. Obtaining fresh supplies from Adelaide in the Waterwitch, a cutter which the South Australian Government had placed at his disposal, he started on 24th October for Streaky Bay, on the eastern shoulder of the Great Bight. In the following' month the expedition had been moved down to Fowler's Bay, which became the head quarters for some time. .. From Fowler's Bay repeated attempts were made to round the head of the Bight in the hope of finding better country and a route to the interior. But he was baffled at every point. Neither grass nor water was to be found for even a day's journey from their depot. Nothing but disap pointment and despair awaited him at every turn, but Eyre wan of 'too dauntless a temperament to give up all hope or to return to Adelaide and' acknowledge failure. He resolved to send the whole of his party back by the cutter, and, accompanied only by a black boy, push his way through to King George's Sound, or perish in the attempt. Baxter, an ? old servant, ?who had been overseer on Eyre's station, per sisted in sharing the perils of this journey with Eyre, and the party thus consisted of two white men and three black boys, one being an old favorite named Wylie. With this small party, a few horses and sheep, Eyre, on the 31st January, 1841, was left to face the 800 miles of desert soli tude before him. While admiring his pluck and amazing courage, one cannot speak in the same strain of his judg ment in Betting out upon such a march, which at the best would only be a struggle for life round the coast, and in no way supplemented the information already collected by the marine surveys. Nuyts and Flinders had cruised along the coast and looked with awe on the weather beaten cliffe rising 600 feet
above the water. In places the ceaseless waves had under mined this immense sea wall, which, all crumbled and shattered, presented vast chasms that yawned destruction to the venturesome mortal who would tread this certain path of death. The cliffs had not yet known the footfall of any white man. Contending winds had deposited at long intervals some sand hills, and beneath these hills, which rested on a limestone formation,' the only small supply of water was available to be found on this bleak, barren and inhospitable shore. ..... ? The first stage of the journey, was got over in safety, as supplies of water were .carried:-- But at the end of the first 200 miles the perils ahead loomed up with appalling vividness. The next 100 mile stage was without -water, and. retreat impossible! Horse after horse knocked up; and it- was found impossible to bring the stock on without one or more of the party first advancing in search of. water. .'- Constant' hardship and fatigue told upon the spirits of all, excepting' Eyre, whose indomitable will and great natural strength alone was equal to these almost superlniman 'sufferings.;.. Once the block boys attempted to run away, but, forced by hunger, they returned. Baxter, too, was in bad spirits, and, overshadowed by the awful privations before them, wished for a return. . . . : Here is a short extract from Eyre's diary on 11th March, after accomplishing their first terrible stage from ' the depot: — . ? . . ' . Afc night the whole party were, by God's blessintr, once more together and in safety, after having passed over 135 miles of desert country with out a drop of water in its whole extent, and at a season of the year the most unfavorable for such an undertaking. Tn accomplishing this dis tance the aheep had been six and the horses five days -without a drop of water, and both had been almost wholly without food for the greater part of the tima The grass we found was so dry and withered that the parched and thirsty animals could not eat it after the second day. The baggage had to be reduced to the lowest limits ; valuables, guns, pack saddles, water kegs had to be thrown away. Their sheep were reduced to two, and their flour to 142 1b. for five persons. To add to their agonies the heat was great, and they were pursued by myriads of-flies. But their greatest sufferings were occasioned by,;thirst. For three or four days at a stretch they travelled without even a mouthful of water. Their :terrible condition will be realised from this entry in Eyre's diary : — Leaving the overseer to search for the horses, \rhich had straved, I took a soonge and went to try to collect some of the (\e\f which was hanging in spangles on the grass and shrubs. ? Brushing these with the sponge, I squeezed it when saturated into a quart pot, which in an hour's time I filled with water. The native boys were occupied in the same way, and, by using a handful of grass instead of a sponge; they collected about a quart amongst them. Having taken the water to the camp and made it into tea, we divided' it amongst the party, and never was a meal more truly relished,' although we ate the last morsel of bread we had with us,, and none knew when we might again enjoy either a drink of water or a mouthful of bread. ? . But the crisis in the fate of the party was at hand. On the 29th April, after having spent nearly three months in these terrible wanderings, Eyre took the first watch to look after the horses, as this waa v-necesf-ary to prevent them rambling too far. The night yas cold and the wind blow ing hard. The horses kept separating in the scrub, and gave _ the1 lonely man much trouble. As his watch was drawing to a close, and he was heading them for the camp, the stillness of the desert' was suddenly broken by the sharp ? ping from a gun. What follows is best described in the touching words of Eyre's diary : — ? ? I imagined that the overseer (Baxter) had mistaken the'hour of the night, and not being able to find me or the horses, had taken that method to attract my attention. I immediately called 'out, but no answer was returned. I got alarmed, and leaving the homes, hurried up towards the camp as rapidly as I could. About 100 yards from it I met the King George's Sound native (Wylie) running towards me, and in groat haste and alarm, crying out — 'Oh, masaa ! Oh, massn, come here!' but could gain no information from him as to what had occurred. Upon reaching the encampment, which I did in about five minutes after the shot was fired, I was horror struck to find my poor overseer lying on the ground.. weltering in his blood, and in- the last agonies of death. Glancing hastily round the camp, I found it deserted by the two younger native bovs, ; whilst the scattered fragments of our basgage. which I left carefully.' piled under the oilskin, lay thrown about in wild disorder, and nt on^e revealed the cause of the harrowing scene before me. I'pon raising the body of my faithful but ill fated follower, I found that he was beyond all human aid ; he had been shot through the left breast with a hall, the last con vulsions of death were upon him, and he expired almost immediately after our arrival. The frightful, ttie appalling truth now burst upon me— that I was alone in the desert. He who had faithfully served me for many year.*, who had followed 'my fortunes in adversity and' pros perity, who had accompanied me in all my wanderings, and whose attachment to me had been his sole inducement to remain with me in this last, and to him, alas ! fatal journey, was now no more. For an in stant I was almost tempted to wish that it had been my fate instead of his. The horrors of my situation glared upon me in siich stnrtling reality as for an instant to almost paralyse the mind. A t the dead hour of night, in the wildest and most inhospitable wastes of Australia, with the Horee wind raging in unison with the scene of violence' before me, I I was left with a single native, whose fidelity T could not rely upon, and who, for aught I knew, might bo in league with the othbr two, who were perhaps even now lurking about with the view of taking away my life, as they had done that of the overseer. Three days had passed away since we left the last water, nhd it was very doubtful when we might find any more. Six hundred miles of country hail to be traversed' before I could hope to obtain the slightest aid or assistance of any kind, whilst T knew not that a single drop of water or an ounce of flour had been left by these murderers from a stock that had been previously so ?'? small. Though years have now passed away since the enactment of this tragedy, the dreadful horrors of that time and scene are recalled before' me with frightful vividness, and make mo shudder when I think of them.- A lifetime was crowded into those few short hours, and death alone will blot ont the impression they produced. Even the last tribute of affection to a friend, decent burial, was rendered impossible by circumstances. .No grave oould be dug in the hard rock which abounded in this region of utter desolation and the corpse had to be left wrapped in a blanket for a winding sheet, exposed to wind, sun and rain. Undisturbed it lay for years until acciden tally stumbled on quite recently by the district mailman. During the night the two murderers re-appeared, but remained at a distance calling out to the remaining boy, Wylie, to join them, but he refused. Eyre was unable to get to close quarters with them, and they wore never seen again. Doubtless they soon |ir-rished miserably of hunger' and thirst. Eyre found they had carried off both double barrelled guns, and left him only 40 lb. of flour, and little tea and' sugar and 4 gallons of water for his journey ahead of 600 miles ! ? . Eyre continued to struggle,, and for the next seven days the horses were again without water, by the end of which time he had got to the end of tlie long line of cliffs, and was again amongst sand dunes, and to a native well. Another was killed for food but the. animal being sick the flesh did not agree with them, but the black boy, WyHo, neverthe less continued to gorge himself with flesh, sitting up all night and gnawing away at his meat, consuming on an average 9 11-. of meat per day. On the 16th May, by ea-y stages, they had reached a peak whfch Eyre named Mount Ragged. Tlie baso rock here changed to granite, and some signs of improvement were noticeable. They now travelled along the shore, avoiding the rough scurb on tlie higher ground. But the anm\ was very heavy. Watar waa only obtainable by difnjing for it. Both horses and men were nearly worn out, and Eyre says that when seated to rest he felt no inclina tion to movo again. A'l his energy of mind had to be BUnmioned to overcome this dreamy carelessness, which
threatened destruction^ At last, when their rations were quite-exhausted and they had been living on fish and wild animals, Eyre came unexpectedly tn an opening in ? the Bight, in which a ship was found anchored. His joy might ?well be imagined. The vessel proved to be a' French whaler, under Captain Rossi tor, an Englishman, whose name is perpetuated fin this little bay. For 12 days Eyre was hospitably entertained on board, and when sufficiently recruited he and the black boy resumed their wanderings, for despite all the untold hardships passed through, Eyre was deterrhined to' complete the journey. .' ? . ? . A fresh supply of provision was obtained from the whaler, and Eyre was able to complete his1 terrible journey, '.-This - last stage was as different from the first as anything imagin- . able. A wet season set in, and they had often to wade to the .waist before, to their great joy, they sighted tlie hills' -;? oh the further side of King George's Sound; -.On tlie 6th. July they walked into Albany, and thus- after six months V of heroic endurance and terrific sufferings, ended. a.featofV1 exploration without a parallel in history. - . .-'?'''-?? .'?' ?;'??*'?? But it was a' barren triumph. By hugging the coastvfiyife missed the better route existing further inland, and also tlie good country. He was subsequently appointed Governor of Jamaica and. put down a rebellion there with relentless severity. This led to his recall, and he was for some years, afterwards harassed by a bitter persecution, and found .a ? stanch champion in Thomas Garlyle and other less noted sympathisers, who aided him both with pen and purse. ? DR. LEICHHARDT'S EXPEDITIONS ACROSS THE CONTINENT AND HIS. MYSTERIOUS FATE* The most prominent arid romantic figure amongst the band of gallant, heroic men, whose names are written large across the Australian continent; next claiming attention is that of Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt. A glamor was cast around his reputation by the success attending his first efforts as an explorer, which the mysterious and complete disappearance of himself and party in 1848 has tended to deepen. The public imagination was caught by the daunt less courapre he showed throughout ; in the first place in starting with a mere handful of men from Brisbane, and successfully working his way laboriously across the interior to Port Essington ; and subsequently when he endeavored , to cross the continent east to west, from Moretori Bay to Swan River, and disappeared from the ken of mam To,/. this day his fate is enshrouded in mystery.- No traces eVerif* of his party have been foundi His disappearance is as com plete as though the whole party had been swallowed up in an earthquake or by the sea. , . Leichhardt was born at Beskow, near Berlin. He arrived in Australia in 1840, having escaped from the three years of service of the Fatherland. He was pursued as a deserter, but after his first expedition in Australia Alexander .von Humboldt obtained a pardon for him in recognition' of. his services to science, and he received permission to, return to' Prussia. But this permission came too late as Leichhardt had then started on his last and fatal expedition. During the first two years of his residence in Australia lie gratified his love of adventure and thirst for botanical researches, exploring the Country in the vicinity of Brisbane and Wild Bay. Upon his return to Sydney he sought to obtain the position of naturalist to Mitchell's last expedi tion to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Chafing under (he delay that arose in the starting of this expedition, Leichhardt made up bis mind io organise* one on his own account, arid by means of private contributions, and by eking out his own resources he got a small party together, which started on the 1st October, 1844, for Port Essington. He was accoiri- . jianied by 6 whites, 2 blacks, 17 horses, 16 head of cattle and 4 kangaroo' dogs, with other supplies equally meagre, and only- reckoned for a seven months' journey. '...??:.. . The plan he-laid down was to -start from Moreton Bay and keep to the eastern fall of the main range, avoiding the' parched up interior. Mitchell's plan was to strike north for . the Gulf of Carpentaria from Port Bourke ; Le.ichhardt's route, through a more roundabout one, proved safer for his small party, which was able to keep to the well watered coastal districts. . After leaving the head waters of the Condamine; Leichhardt struck a river wliich he christened the Dawson ; thence he passed on to the fine country of tlie Peak- Downs,' and named the Comet, Planet and Zamia Creeks. Oh'' the 25th January, 1845, the Mackenzie River was discovered . and on the 13th February another important river was dis-1 covered' arid named the Isaacs --a tributary of the Fitzroy— ? and soon afterwards they came on tothnSuttor; which they ? followed down to its junction with the Burdekin, t.he.largest' . river, on'the east coast. They travelled up' the valley of tlie' Burdekin until they crossed the dividing watershed between1 the waters of the. east coast and the Gulf of Carpentaria,-: On the head of the Lynd. which river was traced ? to ??its: ? junction with the Mitchell. Then they struck to the sea1 coast,.' intending to' follow round the southern coast at a' reasonable distance inland. . ' .... Much excellent pastoral country was discovered, ;and no i n ru per able difficulties were encountered on the journey. Many novel botanical specimens were collected, including the bread fruit tree. While on the Mitchell the camp was attacked one night, by the natives, and Gilbert, the naturalist, was killed'; two other members of the party were wounded. So unprepared wore the party that the . guns were uncapped and- it was Borne time before a few rounds caused the blanks , to seek safety in-flight.- The' body of Gilbert was buried' at the camp but his grave unmarked, and in order to prevent the blacks from dis.tcr ring the body a large fire was lit over it to hide the site. In the journey round the head of the Gulf many' rivers, including the Roper, were crossed and named. On the 17th December, when very near the last of their supplies; they arrived at the settlement at' Port Essington and' were' most - kindly received by the. command ant, Captain Maeartlnir.. They' had been 15 months on their wanderings and travelled 3000 miles.' -'..''. After a month's stay the party embarked for Sydney, and their unexpected arrival caused great surprise. The party had been given up for lost and a search expedition had already,' come back unsuccessful. A public subscription was raised, for Leichhardt and his associates, and £2500 was divided amongst them, Honors were showered upon' the fortunate leader, who had performed such an arduous journey upon such slender resources. Though the overland route thus discovered was impracticable for traffic, the expedition' brought back valuable information about a vast area of rich territory which was quickly rushed by squatters. Fired by the success of this enterprise Leichhardt, after a few months' rest, started at the ' beginning of 1847 upon the large undertaking of crossing the continent from east to west, starting from Moreton Bay and traversing the desert to Swan River. He was accompanied by 9 persons and 108 Blfep, 270 goats, 40 bullocks, 15 horses, and 15 mules. But wet weather bringing with it fever, which prostrated tliH whole party, and .a series of accidents aiyl mistakes, brought about 'the complete failure of the expedition, which,
after making the Mackenzie, was in such a reduced condi tion that a retreat became imperative. All the stock was .lost and seven fruitless months spent' in ?wandering over their old tracks. A more complete failure could not be imagined. ? Upon reaching Chauvel's station on the Condamine, 6th July, and having still considerable stores on hand, the wreck of liis second- expedition, Leiohhardt in company -with Mr. Isaacs and 3 of his late .companions made - an examination of the Fitzroy Downs, for- the purpose of uniting Sir Tliomas Mitchell's track with his own. Some minor discoveries were made, but the pioneer squatter trod so closely upon their heels, that Leichhardt eoon saw the wisdom of return ing and retrieving his some-vhat tarnished fame in other directions. ? ? THE LAST OP LEICHHARDT.— LOST IN THE ... . . INTERIOR. The heroic, idea of crossing the continent still possessed him, arid he made great efforts to organise a third expedi tion. .In' tliis ho also succeeded, and set. out again from Moreton Bay with only- 6 men, and ill provisioned for a journey estimated, to extend ove.r 2 to 3 year?. He had with him 50 bullocks, 13 mules, 12 horses and 270 goats, and only 800 lb. «-f flour, 120 lbs. of tea, spmo sugar and salt, 250 lb. of shot and 40 lb. of powder. The second in command was' Classan, brother-in-law to Lcichhardt, who had just arrived from Germany, and was without' any experience whatever of bush life, being a seaman, who, however; had suffered shipwreck, and the latter fact was thought' by the leader to bo a special qualification for Classan joining the party as he knew how to endure Jiard The expo 1ition was last heard of at M'Pherson's station on the Cogoon, on the 3rd April, 1848. After this it vanished from the ken of man as completely as a dream. Not the slightest trace either, of the men, animals, or mat . erial has.ever-beeri found,, making this disappearance of the entire expedition the most mysterious and remarkable occurrence in the whole drama of exploration. There is. no' record of the route he intended to take. In 1852, when' nothing had been heard of the ] party for four years, a ?. search party was tardily organised under1 Mr. Hovendoh.Helz, but the search proved futile. Two other expeditions led by Mr. A. C. Gregory, a distinguished explorer, resulted in the sanie manner. One of the Burke and Wills search parties were believed to have. discovered some tracesof Leichhardt, but these, upon closer investiga tion, were riot accepted as. authentic. ? An attempt was, after the lapse of some years, made by a Mr. Skuthorpe to sell to the New South Wales Government some al leered relics of, the expedition, including Leichhardt's journal in good preservation, but this, was regarded as an imposition. And to this hour the fato of Leichhardt's last expedition is a profound mystery, never likely to be cleared up.. A HARROWING TALE OF. WOE.— DESTRUCTION OF KENNEDY'S EXPEDITION TO CAPE YORK. Thirteen men, high in hopes arid bravo in heart, set out . from Rockingham Bay- on the 1st June, , 1848, with the determination to* ascend the eastern slope of the long peninsula that terminates-in Cape York, and 'find a road to the north coast, establishing communication with the northern and southern settlements. After 6 months of suffering and indescribable- suspense only three survivors returned, having such a melting tale of . woe to teJ] as sel dom before was hoard. Of thn leader of this expedition we have heard in connec tion witli Sir Thomas Mitchell's fourth expedition, in which he held second comriiand. He was regarded from his past services and experiences as inevery way qualified to success fully conduct a party along the peninsula, and, if possible, ' find a practicable route to5some northern port. But alas ! for the performance. ?' '.-'7-. ???':'/' '?' '.--'.;..? From.-, the.' very- commencement of this' enterprise it was overshadowed by inauspicious omens. .Their stores were inadequate. ., These consisted merelv- of 1 ton of- flour, 90 lb. qf tea; 600 lb.' of sugar, and a|few sheep. The latter wore soon lost, and. before half the journey was accomplished, the gaunt skeleton, Starvation, marched by their side, and mastered- them before reaching either the relief vessel; to. cruise at Princess Charlotte Bay during August, and at Port Albanyat alaterdate. Then there worethetropicaljunjrlcspf Northern Queensland, as this territory is.\now named, to impede their march. They 'had to penetrate a country- of scrubs,, marshes and high ranges, in which, the creeks were brackish, and the natives fiercely hostile, Moreover, -they-- ? also had the terrible lawyer vine (Calamus Australia) and the stinging tree to, fight with. The, first is a vine with long hooks and spurs on it that never let go ; the stalks are as.toutrh aswireand bind the.scrub trees .together- like interminable fretwork, through which a way alone is possible axe in hand. The severed tendrils, furnished as' they were with curved' spurs, become the sport' of the idle wind, and ^continually hooked the .fiesh of the hardy ex plorprs as they, axe in. hand; cut their way through the jungle. Then to cap their misfortune the blacks hung upon their rear, and with; horrible visages and warlike actions threatened- complete- destruction. Provoked at last beyond endurance, Kennedy-gave the fatal order to fire and four-of' the foremost; of ;the savages fell. The remainder retreated, but only, to think 'of revenge, to satisfy which they dogged the footsteps. of: Kennedy until weeks afterwards they slaked'Jblieir'passion in the blood of- the ill fated' leader. ? Five.weeks werespentin cuttinc a way through and turn ing thesq. swamps and jungles. Here Kennedy made for the ranges, in the hope of finding more open country. On the 18th July the carts were abandoned, and the stores t-ansferred to 26 pack horses, The sheep and horses rapi'lly ' fell away, succumbing to the sour coast grasses. In the ran -res, further obstacles -were encountered, and the toil of finding- tracks- oyer the rugged hills proved wearisome and exhaustina, and* consumed much precious time. But the cup of their misery was. far from- full yet. Rain set in. The month of August came, and f»till the expedition labor iously threaded' its way through the hills. They- strained every nerve to. reach the succour at Princess Charlotte Bay before August closed. But to noavail. Stores wore now running;', short, the storekeeper having bean very extra vagantVwith them, and sent in false returns. The allow-, ancn of flour hadto be reduced in the hope that it .would be eked out. Everything conspired towards tho ruin and destruction of the expedition. Now, the- horses knocked up, and one by one were left behind dead or dying, oruae.l as food. August passed away, and the doomed explorers were still striving . with might and main to. extricate themselves from the ranges, in the hope of reaching the rendezvous and the succour in Princess Charlotte Bav. Tho vessel appointed to await them hung about for a time* and then sailed for Port Albany. October had well advanced before the luok less band reached the crest of the ranges, and in vain
scanned the inhospitable coast for miles around this lonely trysting place. No vessel was in sight, no help near. It was now a fiercer fight than ever for deai life. Heavy in heart the column was turned towards Cape York. - There now laid their only hope, they must push on for that point, or else perish miserably in the bush. Kennedy realised that struggling on ?with the whole of his party meant death by starvation to all, and on the 9th November resolved to push on ahead with 3 picked men and the black boy Jacky to Port Albany, and send back relief by water. A depot was formed on Pudding-rpan Hill, in the vicinity of Weymouth Bay. Eight men were left here, Kennedy took 'with him only 28 lb. of flour, which was all that could.be spared, and a couple of horses, mere walking skeletons, and started for Port Albany, which he expected to reach in a fortnight. . . . The only account ever recorded . of' his journey- came from the lips' of the black boy Jacky, the sole survivor. For the first three weeks, it appears, after leaving the depot; very unsatisfactory progress was made, tho party having to cut- through much scrub and cross many creeks. Much precious time was. also lost by one of the men haying accidently shot ?' himself, and becoming unfit for travel. Kennedy- resolved to divide the party a second time, and near Shelbourne Bay left the 3 men, and, accompanied by only Jacky, determined to make a last desperate effort to reach Port Albany and hasten relief. . But he. miscalcu lated his own strength, and moreover did not count on the. blacks. Yet he almost succeeded in his heroic effort,, and reached the heights at the foot of which ilows the Escape River, and caught sight of Port Albany. Unhappily- here the blacks gathered round ? them in large numbers. Kennedy trie'I to escape their, vigilance by camping in the scrub without a fire, but in the morning the savages picked up their tracks and' soon swarmed round them in scores' They attacked the luckless travellers, who made a feeble, resistance. Kennedy received several fatal spear wounds, and died in the arms of the black boy. The faithful blackfellow spent 13 days in reaching Porfc Albany, living meanwhile on 'what small vermin he could catch, climbing trees every now and again to look for Port Albany arid the ship. He carried the saddle bags contain ing Kennedy's papers for some days, but at last his strength failed, and he had to hide them in a log. He did not travel more than one mile a day, and got to Port Albany the day before Christmas eve.. Being taken- on board the vessel awaiting the party, no time was lost in hoisting sail for Shel boume Bay, first to rescue the three men left at Pudding ?pan Hill. ' But no trace, of these men was ever discovered. Then all haste was made for Weymouth Bay, where the eight' men were left. When the relief arrived six of the men were, dead, and the two survivors were mere breathing skeletons. Their tale of the horrors of starvation is heart rending.' ' The' last three of their companions who- .died had to be buried by- the. ship's crew, the survivors, being' too weak even to perform this sacred office. - EXPLORATION OF- NORTHERN AUSTRALIA BY A. C; GREGORY IN 1855-56. Thename of Gregory is a familiar one to all; acquainted with the annals of exploration.. There were three brothers of this name. The eldest, A. C. Gregory, greatly distinv guished himself as a scientific explorer. In 1846 these brothers first.entered the field; .and for the;ensuing 20 years one or the other was connected with expeditions to the interior.^ Their services in exploring Australia have been invaluable, especially to Western and' Northern Australia. Frank Gregory found much good country on the Murchison, explored the Gascoigne and was the means of removing the stigma of desolation cast upon the north-west part of the continent. A. C. Gregoiy, in 1846, travelled through a large extent of salt swampy country beyond Bolgart Spring, ? and reached the Arro.wsmith and ''-explored the rivers dis-. covered by Lieutenant Grey. On the head' of the Arrowsmith a seam of coal was found. Two years subsequently this untiring explorer accompanied Governor Fitzgerald to Champion Bay, and' proceeded inland to- examine a galena mine, on the Murchison. The party were attacked by the natives, and theGovernor received a spear wound in the thigh. These and other enterprises brought A. C. Gregory's name into such prominence that in 1855; when the mysterious disappearance of Leichhardt directed men's minds to the necessity for. further exploration of the interior, private offers of great liberality- were made to fit out an expedition, but the Imperial Government took the matter in hand and furnished the necessary funds. . ? A. C. Gregory was placed in command of this expedition, his brother, H. C. Gregory, being second. The celebrated Baron von Mueller was attached as botanist ; Mr. J. R. Elsey, as surgeon and naturalist ; Mr. J. S: -Wilson, as geo logist, and Mr. Barnes, as artist. Together with JAie men the.party numbered 18, and the equipment was not lacking in any thing/ They carried- provisions for '18 months, 50 horses and 200 sheep. On the 18th July, 1855, they left Sydney for Moreton Bay in the barque Monarch, attended by- the schooner Tom Tough. The plan of the expedition was to proceed north to tho Victoria River, discovered by Captain Stokes in 1840, and described by him as a rival to the Murrav ; after- exploring this river they were to pro ceed to endeavor to cross- to the northern coast and ascertain the character of the intervening country. From, that point thev-were to endeavor to find a goodtraok- to. the northern settlement of New South Wales on the east coast by a more direct route than that discovered by Leichhardt. The expedition wai landed on the Plains of Promise, near the head of the Gulf of Carpentaria, on 24th September, 1855; Gregory and Baron von Mueller with seven men proceeded overland to the upper part of' the Victoria, and the Monarch returned to Moreton Bay. The Tom Tough went round to the mouth of the Victoria,, there to await the arrival of the land party. Gregory penetrated to within 730 miles or nturt s most advanced camp towards the centre of Australia, and then started on his homeward journey by way of ; the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Tom Tough haying been repaired, carried the bulk of the expedition to Timor, and Gregory; his brother, Mueller, Elsov arid three men started' on the 21st June across Arnheim's Land, as the northern- portion of the continent was then called, and reached the Roper River, which they followed down and skirted the: Gulf at some distance smith of Leichhardt's track. They crossed the Plains of Promise, so named- by Captain Stokes, but. Gro cory professed great disappointment with them, and did not find them all that the livelv imagination of Stokes had pictured them. On the 8th September they reached tho Flinders but did not follow up that river, thus missing the discovery of the fine pastoral downs that this important river flows through. They turned to the north, followed up the Gilbert River for 180 miles, and duplicated Leichhardt f» course only more south, and also- connected the routes of Mitchell aud Leichhardt with that of the present expe dition. .
The expedition had been absent 16 months, travelled 2000 miles by sea and 5000 by land. Gregory kept a very scanty record of his journey, a fact ever afterwards regret ted by him and others on account of his scientific attain ments and abilities. But the more modern race of explo rers have rushed to the other extreme and left behind them interminable, long and dreary journals. The last important expedition led by A. C. Gregory took the field early in 1858, and was organised to search for some ? traces of Leichhardt, ascertaining Iris route and recovering the journals of the ill-starred explorer. There were no hopes, whatever that Leichhardt or any of his party would be found alive, but a romantic interest was and is still felt in the fate of this expedition, which has disappeared so mys teriously. : At the .time interest Avas rekindled in 'Leichhardt's tragic enterprise by the story of d convict named Garbut, that somewhere m the unknown interior there existed a settle ment of escaped convicts, at which Leichhardt and his com panions, wera detained prisoners, lest they should reveal the haunts of these. felons at large. ? ? Ten years had elapsed since the disappearance of Leich hardt, and in the interval not a trace even was found of him. Gregoiy and his elder brother, accompanied by seven men, made a fresh endeavor to solve the mystery. Intend ing to travel with rapidity,. only pack horses were taken, and the head waters of the Barcoo (Cooper's Creek) were reached on the 16th April. On the eastern bank of the creek a tree marked L was found. Hely had found the
same tree, which stood adjacent to some stumps of trees felled by an 'axe. But no other trace was found, and doubts are now entertained whether this tree really was marked by Leichhardt. A large area was traversed by Gregory, who, though he failed in his mission, was success ful in confirming the identity of the Barcoo and Cooper's Creek, and thus after many previous fruitless efforts clearly defined the second great inland river system. JOHN M'DOU ALL STUART. Here we have a familiar name which will be recollected in connection with Captain Sturt's later Stony Desert expe ditions, of which he was draughtsman. If privations, if the. agonies of thirst, the prostration of terrific. heat, and the crushing experience of desolation, fit ariian to become the leader of exploration expeditions, then Stuart possessed pre eminent qualifications. But he was also made of that ster ling stuff which signalled him out as perhaps the most successful of all the daring band of adventurers who were the first to explore the interior of Australia. Start led no less than six expeditions, and successfully accomplished each of his wanderings without the loss of a single man. This of itself is a significant fact, bearing in mind the overhelm ing calamities that have overtaken other expeditions. FIRST EXPEDITION TO LAKE TORRENS. By the generous aid of his friend, Mr. W. Finke, Stuart started upon his. first expedition in search of new pastoral country to the west and north-west of Lake Torrens. He started from Mount Eyre on the 10th June, 1858, with only two men and a native, a few horses, and only a small stock of provisions. Passing through ?'? rugged and sterile country in the earlier stages, Stuart then reached the Win ginpin Creek, which he jumbled up in the strangest manner possible with Cooper's Creek, which lies 250 miles north east. The stony ranges which ho had to cross lamed his horses, and by a strange oversight no spare sets of shoes were pro-, vided for the animals. As no inviting country was dis covered he turned to the south-west- and explored the region between Lakes Gairdner and Torrens. The difficulties . of the journey were increased by the delusive mirage of the desert. '; He says — ' The mirage is so powerful that little bushes appear like the gum trees, which makes it very difficult to judge wliat is- before- us ; it is almost as bad as travelling in the dark.. I never saw it so bright or so' continuous as it is now ; one would think the whole country was under water.' After wandering in an eccentric course for 1000 miles, Stuart abruptly abandoned his quest, his pro visions ' running short, and^ his horses foot sore and ' incapable of much ? exertion. , He ascended a mountain, which he struck; and* named Mount Finke. The prospect from the summit was most discouraging'.*' '' It is gloomy in the extreme,' ho writes. ' I could see a long distance, but nothing met the eye but a dense scrub, as blank and dismal as night. ' He thereupon decided to steer a straight course for the coast, which they reached in a state of starvation, having passed through a 'dreary, dreadful, dismal desert.' Upon reaching tho coast they had only two moals loft to carry them to Streaky Bay, 100 miles distant. They had to exist on kangaroo mice, which were found in great abundance. The natives had deserted some days before. After only just escaping starvation, and after aweary pilgrimage of many months, they roanhsd Gibson's Station on Streaky Bay, and soon thence safely found their way back to tho busy haunts of man. ? In tho following year Stuart made a second journey, ex tending over a few months, into the vicinity of Lake Torrens, and made further discoveries of tho extent and value of tho good- country available. Towards the close of 1859 ho made a third expedition to the lake, whore he found some woll watered country and a large number of springs. An extra
ordinary number of quartz reef outcrops were seen, and though a small effort to dig for alluvial gold was made, none was found. ; STUART, THE FIRST EXPLORER TO REACH THE CENTRE OF AUSTRALIA. These three minor expeditions may be* considered merely as preparatory to his great enterprise .to search out a track ' across the continent. About this tiine. throughout Australia there existed in the public mind a great longing for a complete and satisfactory exploration of a route across the continent from south to north. For a time the South Australian Government offered a reward of £10,000 to any person who successfully accomplished this gigantic labor. To Stuart belongs the distinguished honor of being the first to attempt the feat, and though not the first to actually reach the Indian Ocean, he was the* first to. Bight it. More over, on. his track the overland telegraph-has been built. Leichhardt hnd reached. the northern end of the continent as early as 1844-45, but his journey was only in an oblique direction. Burke and Wills were really the first to cross the continent in February, 1861. M'Kinlay, who led one of ? the numerous search expeditions, accomplished the same feat only two months later, and Landsborough in June, 1862, and Sturt in July, 1862. -.:.,?'. Stuart succeeded .where both Mitchell and Sturt failed, and was the first explorer who crossed fairly in the centre of Australia. But this is somewhat anticipating. At present we are only concerned 'with' the first of his three heroic efforts to reach the centre of Australia, and thus feel his way and prepare for his final effort to reach the Gulf of Carpentaria. The three previous short journeys already described furnished Stuart with an advanced starting point for the great enterprise he- had in v hand. During the 1858 excursions he discovered Chambers Creek, and this invaluable supply of water subsequently became his starting point for the final expeditions led by him into the thirsty and inhospitable interior. On the 22nd March, 1860, he again reached the Neale River, and . thence started to tread upon unexplored ground. The expedition, which . only comprised 3 men and 13 horses, traversed fairly good pastoral country and struck several not unimportant creeks, which were named the Hamilton, the Stephenson and the Finke. Then they sighted extensive ranges, and on the 6th April they drew near a remarkable pillar of sand . stone, which Stuart describes as standing on a hill upwards of 100 feet high, the pillar itself from its base to its top being about 150 feet, quite perpendicular, and 20 feet wide by 10 feet deep, with two small peaks on the top. The leader christened it Chambers Pillar, which resembled some cracked and weather beaten old tower broken into peaks at the summit. This freak of nature was surrounded by numerous other remarkable hills,, resembling ruined castles. , ' During the next few days the party to their great astonishment, instead of finding nothing but desert country, traversed well watered tracts. In succession the Water house and the M'Donnell ranges were struck and Stuart ? from the summit of the latter obtained a view of some open grassy country, with a few small patches of bushes. A number of gum tree creeks flowed from the ranges and seemed to empty themselves in the plains. The surprise could not have been greater, as instead of an arid desert they found grass covered hills and abundance of water. But after crossing the M'Donnell Range they got among spinifex and scrub,- and in forcing a passage through this country their clothes and skin were torn. Still pushing on north ward, on the 22nd April Stuart reached the goal of his ambition, a goal for which so many others had striven, but failed to' reach. He stood in the centre of the continent, a spot about which so many wild legends had been circulated. Oxley and Mitchell pinned their reputation to an inland sea. Captain Sturt declared the interior to be a vast desolation — the Stony Desert. After many repulses Stuart was now able to proclaim to the world the fallacy of these beliefs. He lifted the veil and showed to the world that this mysterious region was simply excellent country, moderately watered and abounding in grass. This spot became Stuart's recruiting ground for his subsequent ex peditions. Stuart, who had every reason to.be elated over his bold achievement, made the following unpretending entry in his diary :— 'To-day I find by my observation of the sun, 111 deg. Omin. 30 sec, that I am now camped in the centre of Australia. I have marked a tree and have planted the British flag there. There is a high mount about 2£ ' miles to the north north-east. - I wish it had been in the centre;1 but on it to-morrow I will raise a cone of stones and plant the flag there, and name it Central Mount Stuart.' According to his intentions the Union Jack was hoisted upon this peak, from which a fine panorama unfolded it self. . _ Leaving a portion of his small party at this camp Stuart made an excursion of about 150 miles in a north-west direction, and so* long as he continued amid the group of ranges he found water. He named Mounts Denison, Leich hardt, Barkly, Turnbull and the Arthur Hills. Beyond that all was, scrub and spinifex and was destitute of the slightest moisture. Nothing but difficulties awaited him in his efforts to proceed further northwards, and before returning to Mount Stuart the leader was attacked by scurvy and the horses were in a woful plight. But after a week's rest at - ? the camp another effort was made to push forward, and with some success. Working to the eastward by the 1st June he found himself by a large creek, which he called the Bohney Creek, and subsequently reached a range — the Murchison — and several small creeks, including Tennant's, which has since become the site of one of the telegraph stations on the over land line. He now made an effort to reach the head waters of the Victoria by heading west of north, which brought the party into a dry strip of country that nearly put a period to the expedition. As they advanced the natives became more numerous, and about 30 of them fell upon Stewart and his companions with their spears, waddies and boomer angs, yelling and firing the grass. To repel this attack the natives were fired upon and driven away. The scene of this encounter was adjacent to a small stream fitly named Attack Creek. With failing health and stores ,and the approach of hot weather, with the dread of finding the creeks ahead dried up, and with the hostile attitude of the blacks Stuart on the 26th June determined to retreat. ' Thus,' says Stuart, ' ends my last attempt to make the Victoria River ; three times have I tried it and been forced to retreat.' In this last effort to advance northwards the horses had been 101 hours without a drink, and some of them had gone mad. The return journey was safely accomplished, and -on the 26th August the party was again, in touch of civilisation, ~ though very weak and reduced. . *
STUART STARTS AGAIN FOR THE INTERIOR.— HIS FIFTH EXPEDITION. .. When Mr. Stuart reached Adelaide in October, 1860, and reported that he had at length not only reached the centre oft the continent and there planted the Union Jack, but had penetrated still farther north, nearly reaching the 18th cleg, of south latitude, public enthusiasm in the colony was awakened, and as it oecame known that inadequate means alone had led to the retreat of the explorer, the local Parliament voted with promptitude £2500 to equip a larger expedition. Stuart was again appointed leader, and before starting such results of his journey as might prove useful to the ill starred Burke and Wills expedition, which was then about being despatched to the Gulf of Carpentaria from Victoria, were forwarded to Burke, fchougli they never reached his hands. .*?.'.. On the 12th December. Stuart once more arrived at Chambers Creek, having with him 10 men, 47 horses and ' 30 weeks' provisions. It is unnecessary to follow the party as they again traversed the country to the 18th deg. , beyond noting that in the short interval Stuart found squatting stations had already extended themselves to the north on the line of his route. Attack Creek was reached on the 25th April, 1861,- and the party again commenced to tread new ground. Soon they saw and named the Whittington Range, to the north of which they came into country finely grassed. They discovered several -creeks, including the Tonikinson, which was well supplied with water and became the base of their operations. In the next stage of the journey they reached the Ashburton Range, at the foot of which he formed a depot, and upon three separate occasions advanced with light parties to the north-west, but could discover neither water nor watercourses. The country changed for the worse, becoming sandy and scrubby and almost insurmountable obstacles were encountered. Upon this journey Stuart for the first time encountered a new kind of scrub, which spread out into many branches from the root upwards, interlacing and forming a kind of lattice work hedge through which the horses could only be forced with the greatest difficulty, and resulting in the animals being wounded and the explorers having; their clothes torn; into ribbons. Despite the determined efforts made to advance to the gulf Stuart found himself again blocked-, chiefly by the failure of water. His path was barred at every point and he had reluctantly.to abandon his enterprise and wait for a more favorable season. . Stuart had penetrated 100 miles beyond the furthest point reached on his previous journey, his most advanced position being lat. 17 deg., long. 133 deg. STUART'S SIXTH AND LAST EXPEDITION WITH WHICH HE REACHES THE NORTH. 'With a heavy heart Stuart on the 23rd September, 1861, made a public entiy into Adelaide. His second attempt to cross the continent had ended in failure. ' Yet in less than a month he was again upon his way with a fresh expedition and fired by the determination either to achieve his end or perish in the attempt. Before starting upon this his last journey the melancholy news reached Adelaide that Burke and Wills had been found dead at Cooper's Creek, by Mr. Alfred Howitt, and that they had previously accomplished the long vainly attempted achievement of traversing the continent from shore to shore. But this did not dishearten Stuart, who on the 21st October had organised his party afresh under the authority of the Government of South Australia, and once more attempted to force a passage through the forest of scrub to the north. The party comprised 11 men and ample supplies. There was, however, some defection before the party left the settled districts and many horses were lost on account of the severe heat. The natives showed themselves hostile in the early stages of the journey, but, undeterred by these misfortunes, the advance was continued, and by the 8th April, 1862, they had reached Newcastle water, the most northern camping ground of the former journey. Beyond this the whole country except near occasional water holes was as dry as ever, and the scrub defied advance on all sides. In attempting to penetrate this barrier the packs and clothes were torn to pieces, and both horses and men seriously scratched and bruised. By a determined effort to push northward a fine deep water hole, called Frew's pond, was discovered on the 1st May. ' This gave fresh heart to the party. Frew's pond is now a well known camping ground on the overland telegraph line. But past this 'spot Stuart was unable to proceed on account of failure' of water. They retraced their steps to a former camp at which water was available, and Stuart thence reconnoitred a western course with the hope of reaching the Victoria River or some of its tributaries. After repeated, rebuffs Stuart, on 23rd May, succeeded in finding fresh water ahead, and named the creek Daly Waters. Upon the banks of this stream they for the first time saw a tree that was also seen by Leichhardt, M'Kinley, Gregory and others in this region, having a long straight trunk, dark smooth bark, palmated leaves and bunches of bright yollow flowers. There were pelicans and other water birds. Pushing ahead they came into an extensive swamp, splendidly grassed to the horses' knees, which they named Blue Grass Swamp. The ground, in wet- season evidently under water, was so , cracked that the horses were constantly plunged into the . fissures which could not be seen on account of the tall . grass. They were now getting into better country. Next day they struck a creek named the Strang ways, upon the banks of which they for the first time saw the cabbage tree growing. The waters of the river were deep and clear, and contained some fish of 2£ lb. in weight. . '? It was now evident that they had penetrated the arid ' belt of country, and that they would speedily reach the Roper and cut into Leichhardt and Gregory's -tracks. A ; hilly region had first to be crossed, named Mount Mueller '. after the famous botanist of Victoria. They now found 1 they were in the country traversed by Gregory in 1856. The 1 trees grew to great height, the soil was rich, the grass stood ] to the horse's flanks. In one spot the grass was over their i heads, and the leader was lost in it, and only discovered by - looking for him. On the 30th June, they found themselveson 1 the banks of the Roper, and after tavelling over some j rough stony country 10 days later cut the Adelaide, 1 and in the next stage were delighted to behold the waters - of the Indian Ocean. 1 Stuart dipped his feet and washed his face and hands in 1 the sea, and recorded the fact in his journal, also that he had, 1 ' through the instrumentality of - Divine providence, been ] led to accomplish the great object of the expodition, and to i take the whole party safely as witnesses to the fact, and J through one of the finest countries men could wish to inhabit, 1 good to the coast, and with a stream of running water i within half a mile of the sea.' The Union Jack with Stuart's name sewn in the centre of .; it was hoisted,' and near the foot of a marked tree there was -' burled in a tin a paper containing a notice 'that the great- f
journey had bsen com pi a'ted on the 25th July', 1862, Stuart having been nine months in accomplishing it since leaving Adelaide. On the following day the return journey was commenced. The party suffered; much. About the . middle of August Stuart was again attacked by scurvy and got worse and worse through fjhe whole journey. His eyes began to fail him. The streams and water holes were also found to be fast drying up, and the horses were scarcely able to travel. There did not appear to have been any rain in that -part of the country for 12 -'months. Some of the horses had to be abandoned and Stuart himself was doubtful whether he would . see the end of the journey, but on the 18th December :' he was back in Adelaide, ' having been absent 14 months. For the most successful completion . of this , great . enterprise the Government granted him £2000, and the lease of a large tract of country. His companions were proportionately rewarded. He died in England in 1869. vv Three most important results flowed from his heroic and spl end id enterprise, namely the annexation of the Northern Territory to South Australia, the establishment of a settlement at Port Darwin, and the , construction of the transcontinental telegraph along nearly the whole route of his expedition. ?'?-?.-.?.. ? . * BURKE AND WILLS REACH THE GUX.F OF CAR PENTARIA AND. PERISH ON THE RETURN JOURNEY; / ^^VN^v ^-- -:-;.. : v:;'-':; '? The year 1860 ushered in at once the brightest and the darkest page on the strange eventfiil -story. 'of Australian exploration. Up to tins time the efforts of those brave and daring men who had risked their lives in unravelling the mysteries of this continent had been confined to lonely wanderings through the .outer boundaries of this unknown territory, over which it seemed as if the spirit of darkness and gloom sat brooding. : But, each successive journey on land, each discovery of new. country, each baffled' attempt to, ascertain the s nature of the. .interior of this great continent, whether it was a vast inland sea, as Oxley and the first of the explorers confidently believed it to be; or whether it was a howling desert waste, unfit 'for- man, beast, or any living thing to inhabit— :a sort of ultima Thule in which goblins assembled, the mystic Rosicruciahs picked . up the philosopher's stone and brewed the elixir, of life ; each frustrated attempt to push aside the' curtain that obscured the vision only helped to feed curiosity. Mitchell, the most successful of all explorers, had to leave the mystery unsolved. Sturt gazed in blank despair, and with heart dismayed, upon the threshold of the centre of Australia — his Stony Desert ; the ill fated Leichhardt in his endeavor to penetrate the mystery paid for his rashness and daring by the forfeit of his life, and every trace of ' his expedition vanished from the face of the continent as though it had been a contingent of the ghastly Vanderdecken company, instead of a party of beings of real flesh and blood; ? .?'.:..' '.. M'Dowall Stuart was the first to make good his advance into this region. To him belongs the honor of having first reached the centre of Australia- and of dispelling all the terrible pictures which the lively imagination of travellers had invented. Before his sturdy and resolute advance the wonderful and trackless inland sea vanished into a few swamps and some flooded plains ; and the supposed terrible stony desert region merged into a smiling pastoral country. The whole mystery; is explained by the simple facts that Oxley touched the fringe ot this country at a time when an excessive' rainfall had Hooded all the fiats, while his successor Sturt penetrated a portion of the interior during a severe drought, when the country was baked and parched, waterless and herbless, and really presented the most forsaken aspect imaginable. But Stuart, and afterwards Burke and Wills, M'Kinley, Walker; Howitt and Landsborough, traversed this vast territory during a good season, when there was neither drought nor floods, and thus were- the true Heralds of the settlement which has since spread itself ' over the whole of the continent. But while Stuart was commencing his heroic enterprises to the centre and afterwards to the north of the continent, the colony of Victoria also sent an expedition into the field, and this expedition was the first to reach the -Gulf of Carpentaria. This j-roud fact, coupled with the melancholy and miserable termination of the finest, * almost princely, cavalcade of explorers that ever set out, lends a special interest to the story of their achievement and fatal 'ending. Morever, this one great and determined effort resulted in the continent being crossed no less than six times within two years by different expeditions. . ' ' ? ? It was altogether a disinterested and unselfish action on the part of Victoria to, send out such an expedition, as she had no territory to explore and was in no- way likely to aggrandise herself by letting the world know more of the wilderness and resources of the interior of Australia. Upon the expedition, not counting the cost of relief parties, £12,000 was expended. The movement was undoubtedly stimulated by the offer of £1000 by Mr. Ambrose Kyte towards the cost of fitting out an expedition in Victoria. Parliament aided the scheme generously with a-, vote of £6000, and £5000 was contributed by public subscriptions. A committee of the Royal Society undertook the responsi bility of superintending the arrangements, and with the superabundance of funds at its disposal, was able to equip Mi expedition on a most lavish scale. Twenty-four camels were imported from India with native .drivers, and these 'ships of the desert 'for the. first time accompanied an Australian explorer. Provisions and stores for twelve months were provided, and, in short, no material aid was wanting to ensure the success of the enterprise. Robert O'Hara Burke, to whom the command was given, possessed all the bravery and dauntless courage for which Irishmen are famous, he was' generous and impetuous to a * fault, but he had no special aptitude or scientific training ;o lead such an expedition, and was even without the indis pensable seasoning of a bushman ; the foresight and administrative capacity, without which failure would be sertain, were conspicuously absent from Burke's character, vhich was too enthusiastic and impulsive for the position to which the fatal mistake of the committee raised lim. He was 40 years of age when appointed, and came of i good fighting stock in County Galway. When still a youth le served in an Austrian cavalry regiment. When this ? vas disbanded, in 1848, he obtained an appointment in the Irish constabulary, which he, in 1858, exchanged for the lolice force of Victoria ; in the latter lie held the rank of nspector. On the news of the Crimean war, he hastened to England on leave of absence hoping to got a commisssion, -ut in this disappointment awaited him, and ho thereupon oturned to Victoria and resumed his constabulary duties. The second command was held by Mr. G. J. Landells, ivho brought the camels from India, and the amiable William John Wills held third command, and acted' as lurvoyor and astronomical observer. Dr. H. Beckler accom
paniecl the party as botanist ; .Lud wig Becker as artist, naturalistand geologist.' Tliere were besides ten white-men arid three Indian natives.tb look after the camels. ? It was a gala day in -Meibourrie when the expedition started from the Royal* Park on; the 20th August, 1860. Through the settled districts their progress was a kind of triumphal inarch. The route marked out was to strike the Darling,- then the Lower Barcoo (Cooper's Creek), and from that point to strike northwards to the. Gulf of Carpentaria.;,!-. '. - , v '; ; ' ? '.??-'' - When Menindie on the'Darling was readied, dissensions had already broken out irithe'raiiks. Laiulells complained of Burke interfering too mucli with his management of the camels, anil after a violent scene LandollB resigned , returning to Melbourne fiill of violent complaints of the conduct of Burke, wliorii ho- declared a rash ? and violent man, and prophesied the . ruin of the whole , enterprise in his. hands. What ominous, words and how literally fulfilled ! The amiable Wills was .thereupon, advanced to the second command. : Well educated and possessing a-lmirable natural gifts, this gifted' man was a specially valuable member of the party, but his disposition' was too yielding to lit him for a command. .The .third command was given to a Mr. Wright, whom Burke accidentally mot with as the manager of a station tailed Kiiichica, at which they hai ted. The leader had no ; previous knowledge' of .W right, who, it turned oat,' -'..was 'a veiy 'ignorant : ami unprincipled man, and scarcely able to write his .wn- name. Upon him fell the management of; the camels, and. horses and the' general economy of the. expedition.; It was ascertained subsequently that this inan instead of devoting liiinself to his duties, was engaged in looking out for stations.' for squatters and in speculations of his own.' ' -.'..?_ On/reaching the Darling, Burke formed a depot at Menindie, where he left the bulk of his men and stores, and on the 19th October, 1860, Burke made his second fatal blunder by dividing his expedition, and taking Wills, 6 men and 15 camels with him, rushed down to the Barcoo (Cooper's Creek). ' Wright was ordered to follow with the remainder of the supplies and expedition with all possible speed, an order which it took Wright three ' months and seven days to execute, and to this criminal delay may be attributed the whole of the crushing disaster which after1 wards overtook the expedition. Burke struck the Barcoo on the 14th November, and after following down the stream, for a few days, at length formed ? a camp and awaited the arrival of Wright. As day after day passed without any sign of the tardy Wright, it was decided to make short explorations of the adjacent country and examining two or three promising routes to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Four attempts were made northwards, one with horses and the rest with camels. Wills describes the country they examined as deplorably arid. On the last of these trips they penetrated 80 miles and would have gone further, but the men in charge of the camels fell asleep and ??? let them escape, and the return to the camp had to be done on foot in a broiling sun of 146 deg., no shade and very little water. Two of the lost camels were afterwards found near Adelaide. Impatient and irritated almost to madness in waiting for the laggard Wright, Burke at length determined to 'dash . into the interior and cross the continent at all hazards.' pearly two months had been lost in waiting for Wright, who ha'l with him 8 men, 10 camels and 13 horses, as well as the great bulk of the stores. The journey from the Darling to Cooper's Creek was done by the advance party in 22 days, but, as it was seen, Wright dawdled away the precious hours and took more than three months to. reach the rendezvous. Tocarry out his rash resolve to ' dasli across the continent,' Burke, on the 16th December, again divided his small party, and taking Wills, King and Grey, 6 camels, 1' horse and only 12 weeks' provisions to last for. a journey of' 1200 miles, plunged.'headlong into the mysterious interior. Four men; 6 camels and 4 horses were left at the camp, which was turned into a permanent depot. Brahe was placed in command, and instructed to erect a stockade to. defend himself against probable attack from the natives and. to await the arrival of Wright. Burke started upon the really critical part of his journey with the fullest confidence in his ultimate success, not fora moment thinking of his .rashness in risking the lives of his party by attempting to reach the Gulf with only a fraction of the means put at his command, and with which ho ought, under proper arrangements, have made the journey to Carpentaria a holiday; promenade, instead' of dropping and fritting away his resources and causing the leaders to perish miserably of starvation: and excessive fatigue. ' '?? . The first point was to make Eyre's Creek, and during the early stages of their course for Carpentaria the whole party rode on the caniels, but soon the animals knocked up, and the remainder of the niarch was done on -foot. Burke and Wills led, carrying a rifle and revolver, and King and Grey followed with the camels. They had crossed Sburt's Stony Desert by Christmas eve, and did not lind it the melancholy waste or bad travelling they were led to believe. The stony ground and the sand ridges were bare of. grass, but the rest of the ground was not destitute of grass. On Christmas day they struck a large creek running N.N.W., and this they followed till, the 30th, by which time it had trended considerably to the N.E. This stream lias received the name of Burke's Creek. The country adjacent was an alternation of sand ridges and grassy plains. On the 3rd Feb., 1861, Burke and Wills set out on toot to endeavor to reach the sea. They were soon obliged to leave the camels and only take the horse to carry their provisions, but he too was swamped in the Billy Creek -where it falls into the Flinders, and they pushed on without him to endeavor to reach the sea. They saw some blacks on the way, wlio lied in amazement. Here Wills's diary ends abruptly, and is not renewed till the 19th: February, when they had already started on their fatal homeward journey. In' Burke's notes the latest entry on their way to : the Gulf is the 20th January. On the 28th March he Bays : — 'At the conclusion of. the report it would bo as well to say that we reached the sea, but could not obtain 'a view of the open ocean, although we made every endeavor to do so.' ' '??/??' ' ? .- ? „ The notes of Wills upon this wild scamper back to Cooper's Creek are very brief,, but most powerful. A large rainfall made the country boggy and added to their troubles. On 6th March Burke became very ill from eating part of a largo snake which they cooked. On the 20th they com menced to lighten the loads of the caniels by leaving^ 60 lb. weight of things behind. Itain fell in torrents, and com pelled them to keep to the ridges to avoid being bogged. Gray, who had been complaining of suffering from dysentery, driven by the pains of hunger, stole some flpur, which he was found eating behind a tree, l'or this Burke gave him a severe thrashing. Five days afterwards a camel was killed for food, and on the 10th April they killed the horses 'On the 8th April,' Wills reoorda in
.his diary, 'halted 15 minutes to send back to Gray, who' (jamiiboitc'd lie could not walk. '?? On the 17th lie died 1 The survivors buried poor Gray in the lonely bush, and were so exhausted . by their labor that they .had to rest a whole day near the spot before attempting to renewftheir journey. ' Four days afterwards they were gladdened by a sight of the familiar land marks of their former camp at Cooper's Creek. As they approached it Burke awakened the. echoes of the forest by His ' cooeys,' but no eagerly expected reply came jfroni his , comrades. ', Speedily the horrible truth was learned -that the camp had been deserted. It .was a crushing blow by which Burke was quite overcome and unmanned. V ; ? Wills and King searched for a plant, and read an inscrip tion upon' a tree, 'Dig 3. feet westward,' .'which they at once did, and found a chest with some supplies and a letter from Brake conveying the mortifying news that he had only seven hours before abandoned the depOt and was ' actually then camped only 14 niiljjs: away. This unhappy day was a Sunday, 21st April, arid Brulie's note stated that .lie had remained four' months in the depot, that Wright had not turned iip with the' supplies ^froin the Darling; that the blacks were troublesome and provisions nearly exhausted, and that as Burke ;had stated his intention of returning in r. three months, they thought at the entl of four that ho must either have perished or taken another route. On Tuesday, 23rd April, 'the doomed explorers started for Mount Hopeless through a most frightful desert. Before leaving the depot, Burkb buried a letter at the foot of a marked tree, stating the direction they had taken : — ' We proceed ore to-morrow slowly down the creek to Adelaide, by Mountf'Hopeless, and shall endeavor to follow Gregory's track, bu'fc we are very weak. The two camels are done up and we shall not be able to travel faster than 2 or. 3 miles; a ilay. Gray died on the road from exhaustion and fatigue.. We liave all suffered much from hunger.' It was also stated in this letter that they had discovered a practicable route to Carpentaria and that they were ' greatly disappointed at) finding the party have gone.' By a strange . oversight no external marks were' made to show a relief party that the place had been visited by the explorers. On the 27th May' Wills started alone to the depot at Cooper's' preek, 'to deposit the journals and see if any relief had arrived. He reached there on the 30th and in his diary says, 'No traces of anyone except blacks having been here sincj we left. Deposited'some journals and a notice of our present condition.'' Wills also deposited this notice : — 30th May, 1861.— Wo have been unable to leave the creek. Both camels are dead. Mr. Murke mid King are down on tho lower part of the creek. I am about to return to them, when we shall probably all come' up this way. We are trying to live the beat way we can, like the blacks, but we find it hard work. Our clothes are going fast to pieces. Send provisions aiui clothes as soon as possible. The depot party having left, contrary to instructions, has put us in this fix. I have deposited some of my journals here for fear of accidents. Wills then returned to his companions and was fed by the friendly natives on his way back. They were now in a very exhausted and destitute state, and had nothing in the shape of provisions except nardoo, which is a plant that abounded in the vicinity. The seed of this plant is pounded by the natives and baked into a cake. King accidentally found the plant, which the natives had refused to show them. By the aid of nardoo they managed to prolong their wretched existence for a few days,' but though nardoo allays the pangs of hunger it contains ,very little nourishment. The un happy men were now in the last stages of starvation. In their despair they resolved to cast themselves on the charity of the blacks. Wills had become so weak as to be unable to move, and was willing his companions should- try and save themselves. ' They constructed a rude shelter of boughs for him and placed within his reach a supply of nardoo and water, promising to return to him as soon as they had pro cured help from the. blacks. They took a sad farewell, of Wills, 'who gave Burke his watch and a letter to deliver to his father, and- Wills told King that should, he survive Burke he must give the watch and letter to his father. The remainder of the journals were also buried, and thus these companions in travel and distress parted for ever on this earth. '? , '? : ?' ' v, ';''?!?? ''''' ' ?'? ??'?'?*' ' The day before his companions left him. Wills made his last entry in his diary, which is a most remarkable and pathetic -instance of patient equanimity in an hour of such dire de3olation and lonely death iii the great wilder ness:—- . -. ' '',' ? ;? .? - ???'.'? ' ? Friday, tho 19th of June.— Clear, cold night, slight breeze from tho east, day beautifully warm and pleasant. Mr. Burke suffers greatly from cold and is getting oxtremely weak. Ho and King start to-morrow up the creek; to look for the .blacks ; it is the only chance we have of being saved'from starvation. -'?' I am weaker than ever, although I have a goou appetite and rolish the nardoo much ; but it seems to give me no nutriment, and the birds here are so shy as not to be got at. Even if we got a good supply of fish, I doubt whether we could do much work on them andnardoo alone. Nothing now but the greatest good luck can nave any off us ; and as for myself I may live four or five days if the weather continues warm. My pulso is at 48 and very weak, and my legs ami arun are nearly skin and bone. I can only look out, like Mr. Micawber, ' fur something to turn up.' Starvation on nardoo is by no means very ..unpleasant, but for the weakness one feels and tho utter inability to move one's self ; for, as far as appetite is concerned, it gives the greatest satisfaction. Certainly fat and sugar would be more to one's taste ; in fact, these seem to one the great stand by for one in this extraordinary continent; not that I mean to depreciate the farinaceous ' food, but'tlie want of sugar and fat in all substances obtainablo here is so great that they become almost valueless to us as articles of food with out the addition of something else. Burke and King had only travelled a few miles when on the second day Burke gave in from sheer weakness.- No blacks were visible. King's own narrative reads : — ' After we had gone 14 or 15 miles, Mr. Burke said he could not go any further, and lay down under a tree.- 1 found some nardoo close, by, and had .the good luck to shoot a. crow.. The night wasvery cold, and- wo felt it' dreadfully,, and before daylight Mr. Burke said he was dying, and told, me not to try and bury him or to coyer, up his body in. any way,, but just put his pistol in his right hand. Then, he wrote some thing in his pocket book and died about two hours after sunrise.' . ? . ? These last hasty notes which Burke wrote while tlie hand of death was already laid heavily upon him betray some resentment, but also heroic resignation : — I hope wo shall bo done justice to. Wo have fulfilled our task, but we have been aban ? . We have not been followed up as wo expected, and the depot party abandoned their post.— R. O'Uaha Buiikk. Cooper's Creek. 26th June. ,,,,„, King has bohaved nobly. I hopo that ho will be properly cared for. lie comes up the crook in accordance with my request. King has behaved nobly. He lins stayed with mo to the last, and placed tho Eistol in iny han 1, loaving mo lying on the surface as I wished .—II. O 'II SUllKE. Cooper's Greek, 28th June. This was the bitter end of tho two bravo, high spirited leaders of the doomed expedition. What King's feelings were in that moment when ho realised thatho stood alono in tho groat wilderness, with Death also walking in his foot steps, and no friondly human being near him, when his own hour came for stopping out into the Great Unknown ? According to King's own narrative he was quite pros trated by Burke's death. He says : — When X was nhle to move I went on ag.xln-to try 'ami find 'help for Wills,' but the blacks had all diwippuarod. I found homo uardoo in ono of tunic camps though, and with this aud auothor. crow I shot, I started
back to Wills. Ic took mo four days to got back, and when I got thore I found he was dead too. * Icovored up Ills body with boughaand Band as well as I could, and then rested for two days, and started off again to look for the blacks. I don't know 'how many. days it was before I found them, but I think a good many. At tint 'they were very .kind to me,; and gave me plenty to eat; after that -they tried to drive mo away, but I stuck to them, and the women gave rae.some. nardoo every day, and sometimes one of the men would give me somo.flalj. I don't know how long I have been with them, hut I think It must have been about three months. I think I could have lived for a long time with them, for I was all the while getting a bit stronger. ,? ? '.. : '?.?:? Leaving King with the friendly blacks let us now turn another page in this pathetic story, and seb what the guilty Wright had been doing in the interval. Brahe, as already stated, loft the Cooper s Creek depot on the morning of the 21st April for Monindie, and Burke, Wills and King arrived at the abandoned depot on the same day, just as the shades of evening, were gathering round. Brahe had only been eight days upon his journey when lie. met the sluggard Wright bringing up the bulk of the supplies, having loitered and frittered away more than three, months at Menindie , before even starting for Copper's- Creek. A consultation was held between Brahe and .Wright, who resolved- to return to the depot on Cooper's Creek. They reached it in eight days. : After making a perfunctory examination they came to the conclusion that, the depot had not1 been visited in the interval, and lost.no time in again hastening away. A fortnight later Wills returned to the. same depot a second time to bury the journals; he also failed to dis cover that it had been revisited. ? Thus, by a series of fatalities, every member of this luckless expedition was doomed to contribute to its final destruction. But Wright and Brahe were guilty of worse than more mistakes, they showed criminal neglect. Brahe erred in an unpardonable degree in not minutely examining the cache when he returned to the depot on the 8th May. He ought to have assured himself that the provisions' had1 hot been taken. But it is upon the head of Wright that 'the guilt of .this shocking and ghostly .tragedy falls'. ..' ?'? . '? ? BELIEF EXPEDITIONS.;; '^ , ; ''- \ The. wretched man Wright returned- to,, the .Darling on the 8th June, and sent on his... despatches. When these '; reached: Melbourne they caused a :protound sensation. For! some days before the public mind liad .become 'alarmed at' the absence of any tidings from the, explorers, and steps were being taken to send forward a relief expedition. The exploration committee in Melbourne appear to have, gone asleep, and they made no inquiries as to the safety of.: the expedition until in June, 1861. Dr. Wills, father of the.' amiable Wills, whose miserable death at Cooper's Creek at: the age of 27 we have just described, came to Melbourne' from Ballarat, and his energetic appeals determined' the committee to send out a search party at once. This party was placed under the command of Mr. A. W. Howitt, the present secretary of the Department of Mines, Victoria. In proceeding to the Murray, there to collect horses and stores, Howitt met Brahe on the Loddon coming down with Wright's despatches. The uncertain fate of Burke. and Wills was made public by these despatches and sent a thrill of horror throughout the Australian continent. - - - .' 'In all the colonies the public demanded the immediate despatch of relief parties, and the outcome of this extra ordinary impetus in exploration was that relief expeditions'' were despatched with all possible speed from Melbourne, Adelaide, Iiockhampton and Carpentaria. This combined action produced great results, and was rich in discovery.' Before the close o* 1862 the continent- had been crossed in - six different directions, and the explorers came back with so much invaluable information that there practically' remained very little more to be done on a large scale in the; way of exploration upon the Australian continent. ' ? : ? ? ? The leaders of the four relief expeditions,, of 'which we shall give a few brief notes, were A. W. Howitt, who,- was1 sent from Melbourne to follow up the tracks of Burke and - Wills ; F. Walker, who started from Rockhampton and pro- ? cesded north in search of the survivors ; J. M'Kinlay left Adelaide with directions to search Cooper's' Creek and! contiguous water courses ; and W. Landsbbrough, who : started from the Gulf of Carpentaria, and was instructed' to penetrate as far south as possible and necessary.' And these parties were to be supported from the- Victoria, which proceeded to the Gulf ot Carpentaria, and established a relief depot on the Albert River. : : ^. FINDING OF KING BY Mr. EtO%ITvT. ' , ;f Howitt started early in July, 1861, and made all speed to. Cooper's Creek, taking Brahe back with him. On the 8th September they reached this now historic streamy and- five; days afterwards arrived at the fatal depot. He did not stop', to examine whether the cache had been- touched, but bent all his energies upon following Burke's' outward track down : the creek. On the 15th, Sunday, while the whole party: were out searching the country, King was found by Welshy who was second in command under Howitt. -. ?? ,.--,?.; ' King's wants received every attention for the .next ..few, days, and as soon as he was able to walk lie went' down the creek with the relief party to show them where the remains of Burke and Wills were. The bodies Were buried where they lay. Burke's remains were wrapped in a Union- Jack, and an inscription placed on a box tree at the head of the ? grave. ?-? ,. ;; ... ,i;. '; .-??- ,;?,!* -.-.: After rewarding the blacks, Howitt returned home-again, . bringing King with him. Upon arriving, at Melbourne !hei was sent back to disinter the remains' of the explorers] and-, bring them to Melbourne. This task he also successfully; accomplished, and a public funeral then' took- place, and a statue erected to their memory. ' ... . ' : ?? WHAT M'KINLAY'S EXPEDITION ', accomplished; : It was the 16th of August before M'Kinlay left Adelaide with a party of ,10 and good equipment. A depot) was formed at Lake Buchanan, and thence ? the leader . ' struck out for Cooper's Creek. Blacks were met, who pointed out a white man's grave, which was Gray's, but : ?? M'Kinlay did not know this at the time. He was told by the aborigines that some white men had been killed and eaten thore, and jumped to tho conclusion that this was the ? end of tho mining expedition. He gave the name of Lake Massacre to the 6lace, and, fearing the blacks, M'Kinlay ordered them to be fired on, and they dispersed. This hap pened to be the same tribe which treated King so well, and ' they must doubtless have felt great surprise at the manner in' which their well meant intentions were received. . ' When M'Kinlay had been some time on his homeward journey ho received a true account of the fate of Burke and Wills, and being still in command of large supplies, resolved to continue his march across the continent. This:, was a wise resolve, and led tu the discovery of an immense tract of good country. During the early stages of his advance he passed a number of lakes, some of which were . empty, and also many creeks and Hooded flats. An attempt : to make a more northerly course was unsuccessful, as the dry season had set in, ana M'Kinlay had to turn book and
for some weeks remain at Lake Hbdgkinson. He there made an assault upon Sturfc's famous Stony Desert, and penetrated 57 miles into this solitude, finding it nothing put dry lakes, red sand hills and bare stones. At length, after a month's weary waiting, rain set in, and the explorers were able to progress, but now found the country boggy and still barren of grass. On the 13th February an old camp of Burke's was found, and after then the country gradually showed an improvement. During the whole of April they travelled through rich territory and abundant vegetation, and early in May crossed Burke's track in the Cloncurry, then descended into the splendid country watered by the Leichhardfc, and on the 18th M'Kinlay found himself on the Gulf of Carpentaria, but, like Burke, dense walls of mangrove barred his way to the shore. Having thus attained the end of this journey, the head of the column was turned for the Pacific coast. Unavoidable obstacles, dangers and privations had to be endured before they reached Port Darwin, traversing about the same country as Leichhardt and Gregory had traversed years before. Since leaving the gulf, M'Kinlay had .ittle else to subsist on than horse and camel flesh, and stood on the verge of starvation during the whole of this rush back to civilisation. But had he looked about him a bit while on the Upper Burdekin he would have discovered that he was; really travelling amongst the advance guard of the pioneer squatters, from whom supplies could have been obtained. M'Kinlay's journey had this good result, that it gave the last blow to the theory that the interior of Australia was onevast desert; Sturt was the first to explode this theory, M'Kin lay's laborious jouAiey completed the work. . ? . - . WALKER'S SEARCH PARTY. \: :l:~ ? Frederick Walker, who was sent from Rockhampton with a party of mounted native troopers, was anold'bushman,* and ha*l much to do with the formation of 'the native police of Queensland. He started.' on the 7th September, 1861, and hurried forward at a rapid pace, striking Cooper's Creek on the 27th, and followed that creek for three days, finding traces of both Gregory and Leichhardt; He then followed some old horse tracks leading to the Alice. He then crossed the watershed betweeu the Alice and the Thomson, and next fell in with the head waters of the Barkly; a large tributary of the Flinders. On the 30th October they were attacked by a body of natives, some of - whom were armed with iron axes and tomahawks. Walker repulsed his assailants, who' left 12 of their number dead on the field of battle. The Norman, discovered by Walker, was followed to its iunction with the Flinders, upon which another track leading south of Burke and Wills's was' found, but could not be followed until fresh supplies were
obtained from the depot on the Albert. They reached this depot on the 7th De cember, crossing the tracks of several other explorers, and having safely crossed the - continent in the quickest time on record — 5 months and 12 days. The party spent a fort night recruiting ' them selves at the depot, and tli en picked up the track of Burke and Wills again, and followed it south to the ninth camp of the ill' starred expedition. Be yond this point the tracks were* obliterated by the action of floods, and sur mising that Burke had turned westward, Walker made in that direction. He failed, of course, to pick up any other traces of the missing explorers, and, after being himself reduced almost to the point of star vation, Walker struck a '? pioneer cattle station on the Burdekin River, not far from where M'Kin lay ' afterwards arrived. Walker's party reached Rockliampton on the 5th June, having been 5 months and 2 weeks away, and made a valuable con tribution to the geography of the northern part of the continent. LANDSBOROUGH'S EXPEDITION FROM CARPENTARIA TO ?MEN1NDIE. ' The lost of 'the four search expeditions was led by W. Landsborough,' who had already gained a large experience of bush life in private exploration. He proceeded in the Victoria to the Gulf of Carpentaria, and thence struck inland. This party consisted of 3 white men and 3 blacks. Tli'e gulf was reached on the 24th August, 1861, and the Albert was explored for some 120 miles. ? vVant of water and the hostility of the blacks forced the party back to the depot, which had in the mean time been visited by Walker, who reported the discovery' of Burke and Wills's tracks on the Flinders. Landsborough started in the same direc tion, but failed to strike either the tracks of Walker or Burke. He reached the Flinders by way of the Leichhardt .on the 19th February. In following up the Flinders he discovered this ' beautiful downs
through which this river winds, and then made for the Thomson, and finally struck Cooper's Creek on the 19th April, when they had a fight with the natives, who nearly surprised the camp. The settled district's were reached with ease from Cooper's Creek, and the remainder of the journey was viA Menindie to Melbourne. Upon his arrival Landsborough was publicly taxed with being more in terested in looking for available pastoral country than in searching for Burke and Wills. With these expeditions practically closes the story of exploration in the eastern half of Australia, which had been crossed and re-crossed six times, and cleared away the mystery which so long enshrouded the interior. Future explorers had to expend their energies upon the western part of the continent. SOME RECENT EXPORATIONS IN WEST AND CENTRAL AUSTRALIA. For. the i next dozen years there was a lull in exploration, saving . sundry small private expeditions, chiefly in Northern Queensland. In 1868 a report reached Perth that a Mr. M'Intyre, who was leading stock from the Darling to the Flinders, had discovered fresh traces of the lost explorer Leichhardt, in whose fate the public ever manifested a most romantic interest. Baron Von Mueller flung himself with enthusiasm into this cause, and offered to lead a search f-arty. A plausibly told story was at the same time circu ated that a native guide had been on the very spot, where 20 years before a party of white men had been murdered. Baron Von Mueller finding himself at the last moment unable, owing to his other engagements, to take command of the expedition which the We3t Australian Government had determined to despatch in search of Leichhardt, the selection fell upon Mr. John Forrest, a surveyor, who sub sequently distinguished himself in a marked manner, as about the last of the heroic race of Australian explorers. He travelled '250 miles further north-east from Perth than any previous explorer, and found the region barren and unsuitable for occupation. No relics of Leichhardtwere found. , The story of the native turned out to be founded upon the remains of a number of horses which were poisoned in the neighborhood. ........ Soon after his return from this fruitless search, Forrest received the command of a second expedition, to make a survey of the southern coast, between Perth and Adelaide, with a view to telegraphic communication. This route had not been traversed since Eyre's famous journey, undertaken 30 years before, round the Great Australian Bight. A small coasting schooner was despatched toaccompany the partyand call at Esperance Bay, Israelite Bay and Port Eucla, and supply
thent with f resh stores. Forrest kept more inland than Eyre, and was rewarded by finding good country. ^ Forrest led a third and more arduous expedition in 1874, from Champion Bay to the centre of Australia,- the present site of the. Peak station, on the overland telegraph, line. In this journey he kept the line of the Murchison, and endured much suffering from want of water after leaving that river. Some native wells were discovered ; to the most notable of these he gave the name of the Wild Springs, which is an oasis in the desert. The journey, which occu pied 5 months, was the means of flooding with light this part of West Australia. COLONEL WARBURTON'S MEMORABLE JOURNEY ACROSS THE WESTERN INTERIOR ' The enterprise of Colonel Warburton, which we are now about to briefly describe, was promoted by Mr, T. Elder and Mr. W. W. Hughes. The leader of the expedition was 'born in Cheshire, England, in 1813, and served as a soldier in India from 1831 to 1853, when he came to South Australia, was appointed Commissioner of Police, and subsequently commandant of the volunteer forces. He engaged in a number of explorations, which seasoned him for tfie hazardous and terrible journey in 1874. It was undertaken solely for the advancement of geographical knowledge, and the original idea was that a start should be made from the Alice Springs, a station on the overland telegraph, and thence in a direct line to Perth. This route was not adhered to, as will be gathered from the sequel of the horrible journey that at one time threatened, death to the entire party. Colonel Warburton was accompanied by his son, Richard, Mr. Xiewis (surveyor), one white man, two Afghans and a black boy, with 17 camels and stores for six months. They left the Alice Springs on the 13th April, 1873, and at once encountered difficulties, which grew greater and greater as the explorers advanced. Scarcity of water delayed the party and protracted their journey through the sand hills in the centre of Australia so much that the rations were all consumed and the camels knocked up before half the distance was covered, and during the remaining stages the party had to endure unheard of privations. The journey is a simple record of travelling through a barren, waterless couutry, and a perpetual search for native wells. Lewis, who started on the 19th November for the head waters of the Oakover, returned on the 25th, having successfully reached the point aimed at, and on the 5th December the whole party had moved to the ? rocky creek that be liad found. Here the party halted, and kept themselves alive as best they could while Lewis dashed
forward to an outstand ing station, 170 miles dis tant, where supplies were procured. But the three weeks Lewis was absent seemed an age to the starving men. Not until the 29th December did the relief come. The result of the jour ney was a -great disap pomtmerit, and Warburg ton had unluckily got into a strip of desert country, which from failure of means he was even unable to adequately examine. Some pastoral country was expected to be discovered, but Warburton, like Sturt, had only a tale to tell of arid desert and miles upon miles of sand ridges. * He had altogether . travelled 4000 miles upon this ghostly journey, which, but for the' almost superhuman powers of endurance shown by Lewis, would have ended in adding another chapter to the story of the many . brave men engaged in ex ploration who nave laid down their lives in the Australian bush.' CONCLUSION.^: In these main out ines of the story of Australian exploration the names of many - gallant men are omitted, who, acting with smaller and private .enter prises, have rendered in estimable services in the cause of discovery upon our continent. Foremost amongst these stand - the pioneer squatters and the old miners searching for gold. Many interesting pages could also be writ ten of the achievements and the failures, the sutler ings and heroic endurance so gallantly borne by men like Austen, Babbage, Campbell, Baron von Mueller, Count Strezlecki, Favenc, Goyder, Hume, the Jardines, M'lntyro and Ernest Giles to whom Australia owes an inox pungabledebtof gratitude, it is the fruits of their labor we of a later gene ration are enjoying ; they in a few years lifted the mystery which fur centu ries hung over the great southern continent, and the memory of these pieu deserves to be enshrined amongst the illustrious and brave Englishmen whose gallant and death less deeds have made ?the annals of their country glorious. ?'?-'