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Journal of Landsborough's Expedition from Carpentaria In search of Burke and Wills   By: (-1886)

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First Page:

JOURNAL OF LANDSBOROUGH'S EXPEDITION

FROM CARPENTARIA,

IN SEARCH OF BURKE AND WILLS.

WITH A MAP SHOWING HIS ROUTE.

MELBOURNE: F.F. BAILLIERE, PUBLISHER, 85 COLLINS STREET EAST. LONDON: H. BAILLIERE. PARIS: J.B. BAILLIERE. NEW YORK AND MADRID. AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.

1862.

LANDSBOROUGH'S EXPEDITION.

The readers of this pamphlet are no doubt aware that the anxiety entertained for the fate of Burke and Wills led to the formation of several expeditions in their search. The first of these was formed in Melbourne and entrusted to the command of Mr. Howitt. The second in Adelaide, under Mr. McKinlay. The third from Rockhampton, under Mr. Walker; and the fourth from Brisbane, under Mr. Landsborough. These several expeditions were organised and started within a short period of each other. The steamship Victoria, Commander Norman, was despatched by the Victorian Government to the Gulf of Carpentaria to assist the explorers in carrying out their objects.

Mr. Howitt, as is well known, early succeeded in ascertaining the melancholy fate of Burke and Wills: but before his letter announcing it reached Melbourne the other expeditions referred to had set out.

The brig Firefly was chartered in Melbourne to take from Brisbane to Carpentaria Mr. Landsborough's party and equipments, and also some stores for Mr. Walker's party, the latter having been instructed to proceed from Rockhampton overland, by the shortest route, to a rendezvous at the Gulf. The Firefly, having reached Moreton Bay and shipped the horses, set sail for Carpentaria on the 24th August with Mr. Landsborough and his party.

As it is the object of this pamphlet to give details, especially of his expedition, the journal, letters, etc., which follow, are now presented.

...

(NUMBER 1.)

BRISBANE PARTY, W. LANDSBOROUGH, ESQUIRE, LEADER, REPORT TO 30TH SEPTEMBER 1861.

(COPY.)

Sweer's Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, 30th September 1861.

To Captain Norman of Her Majesty's Colonial War Steamer Victoria, and Commander in chief of Northern Expedition Parties.

Sir,

I have the honour to inform you that the greatest attention was paid by my parties to the horses for the expedition on board the Firefly, and they ought, during the eight days after leaving Moreton Bay, while we had the finest weather, to have done well, if their allowance of five gallons of water each a day had been sufficient for them; but with that allowance they were so thirsty that they did not thrive well. That quantity of water may do well for horses intended for the Indian market, where they can be fattened afterwards; but for our expedition horses, which were intended for immediate service on landing, to be kept in a close hold, confined by the cargo of the vessel, and fed with dry forage (they did not eat the carrots at first, until they had acquired a taste for them) eight gallons of water each per day at least should have been allowed to them.

On Sunday the 1st instant, when Captain Kirby expected to get through the Raine Island passage on the following day, where he hoped to get such calm weather that it would admit of your giving him a fresh supply of water, he allowed our party to give the horses a good drink. On that occasion they drank each, on an average, nine gallons. Towards evening of the same day the breeze freshened into a gale, and about ten at night, when the Firefly was head reaching under close reefed sails, we had the misfortune to lose sight of H.M.C.S. Victoria, under your command.

On Monday the 2nd instant the gale continued, and during the night the ship was hove to with her head to the eastward.

On Tuesday the 3rd instant the gale still continued, but Captain Kirby, having got observations of the sun, he boldly made sail in for the reefs, and between eleven and twelve a.m. he sighted the Raine Island beacon, and early in the afternoon he went through the passage, and got into smooth water, where we congratulated ourselves, and were thankful, I hope, to God, for the comparative safety of ourselves, and also of the horses under our charge... Continue reading book >>




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