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The Explorers of Australia and their Life-work   By: (1845-1908)

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CAPTAIN COOK and his Predecessors in Australasian Waters, by REGINALD FORD, F.R.G.S., Member of the British National Antarctic Expedition.

GOVERNOR PHILLIP and his Immediate successors, BY F.M. BLADEN, Chief Librarian, Public Library, Sydney.


SIR GEORGE GREY, by JAMES COLLIER, sometime Librarian, General Assembly Library, Wellington.

[Illustration. Captain Charles Sturt, aged about 54 years. From the painting by Crossland.]






Explorer, and Author of The History of Australian Exploration, The Geographical Development of Australia, Tales of the Austral Tropics, The Secret of the Australian Desert, etc., and Voices of the Desert (Poems).



In presenting to the public this history of those makers of Australasia whose work consisted in the exploration of the surface of the continent of Australia, I have much pleasure in drawing the reader's attention to the portraits which illustrate the text. It is, I venture to say, the most complete collection of portraits of the explorers that has yet been published in one volume. Some of them of course must needs be conventional; but many of them, such as the portrait of Oxley when a young man, and of A.C. Gregory, have never been given publicity before; and in many cases I have selected early portraits, whenever I had the opportunity, in preference to the oft published portrait of the same subject when advanced in years.

There are many who assisted me in the collection of these portraits. To Mr. F. Bladen, of the Public Library, Sydney; Mr. Malcolm Fraser, of Perth, Western Australia; Mr. Thomas Gill, of Adelaide; Sir John Forrest; The Reverend J. Milne Curran; Mr. Archibald Meston; and many others my best thanks are due. In fact, in such a work as this, one cannot hope for success unless he seek the assistance of those who remembered the explorers in life, or have heard their friends and relatives talk familiarly of them. Let me particularly hope that from these pages our youth, who should be interested in the exploration of their native land, will form an adequate idea of the character of the men who helped to make Australia, and of some of the adverse conditions against which they struggled so nobly.


Sydney, 1908.


The published Journals of all the Explorers of Australia. Reports of Explorations published in Parliamentary Papers. History of New South Wales, from the Records. (Barton and Bladen.) Account of New South Wales, by Captain Watkin Tench. Manuscript Diaries of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth. Manuscript Diaries of G.W. Evans. (Macquarie and Lachlan Rivers.) The Pioneers of Victoria and South Australia, by various writers. Contemporaneous Australian Journals of the several States. Private letters and memoranda of persons in all the States. Manuscript Diary of Charles Bonney. Pamphlets and other bound extracts on the subject of exploration. The Year Book of Western Australia. Records of the Geographical Societies of South Australia and Victoria. Russell's Genesis of Queensland. Biographical Notes, by J.H. Maiden. Spinifex and Sand, by David Carnegie.


In introducing this book, I should like to commend it to its readers as giving an account of the explorers of Australia in a simple and concise form not hitherto available.

It introduces them to us, tells the tale of their long tried patience and stubborn endurance, how they lived and did their work, and gives a short but graphic outline of the work they accomplished in opening out and preparing Australia as another home for our race on this side of the world.

The battle that they fought and won was over great natural difficulties and obstacles, as fortunately there were no ferocious wild beasts in Australia, while the danger from the hostility of the aborigines (though a barbarous people) was with care and judgment, with a few exceptions, avoided... Continue reading book >>

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