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Journals of Expeditions of Discovery into Central Australia   By: (1815-1901)

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PRODUCTION NOTES: Italics in the book have been changed to to upper case in this eBook. Footnotes have been placed in brackets [] within the text. A number of tables have been omitted or rendered incomplete. These are indicated in the eBook at the point at which they occurred in the book. Plates and maps in the book have not been reproduced. A list of plates forms part of the Table of Contents. There were 2 maps included in the book. These indicated the extent of Eyre's journeys.

JOURNALS OF EXPEDITIONS OF DISCOVERY INTO CENTRAL AUSTRALIA AND OVERLAND FROM ADELAIDE TO KING GEORGE'S SOUND IN THE YEARS 1840 1: SENT BY THE COLONISTS OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA, WITH THE SANCTION AND SUPPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT: INCLUDING AN ACCOUNT OF THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE ABORIGINES AND THE STATE OF THEIR RELATIONS WITH EUROPEANS.

by EYRE, EDWARD JOHN (1815 1901)

TO LIEUT. COLONEL GEORGE GAWLER, K.H. M.R.G.S. UNDER WHOSE AUSPICES, AS GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA, THE EXPEDITIONS, DESCRIBED IN THE FOLLOWING PAGES, WERE UNDERTAKEN, THESE VOLUMES ARE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED, AS A TRIBUTE OF GRATITUDE FOR HIS KINDNESS AND RESPECT FOR HIS VIRTUES, BY THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE.

In offering to the public an account of Expeditions of Discovery in Australia, undertaken in the years 1840 1, and completed in July of the latter year, some apology may be deemed necessary for this narrative not having sooner appeared, or perhaps even for its being now published at all.

With respect to the first, the author would remark that soon after his return to South Australia upon the close of the Expeditions, and when contemplating an immediate return to England, he was invited by the Governor of the Colony to remain, and undertake the task of re establishing peace and amicable relations with the numerous native tribes of the Murray River, and its neighbourhood, whose daring and successful outrages in 1841, had caused very great losses to, and created serious apprehensions among the Colonists.

Hoping that his personal knowledge of and extensive practical experience among the Aborigines might prove serviceable in an employment of this nature, the author consented to undertake it; and from the close of September 1841, until December 1844, was unremittingly occupied with the duties it entailed. It was consequently not in his power to attend to the publication of his travels earlier, nor indeed can he regret a delay, which by the facilities it afforded him of acquiring a more intimate knowledge of the character and habits of the Aborigines, has enabled him to render that portion of his work which relates to them more comprehensive and satisfactory than it otherwise would have been.

With respect to the second point, or the reasons which have led to this work being published at all, the author would observe that he has been led to engage in it rather from a sense of duty, and at the instance of many of his friends, than from any wish of his own. The greater portion of the country he explored was of so sterile and worthless a description, and the circumstances which an attempt to cross such a desert region led to, were of so distressing a character, that he would not willingly have revived associations, so unsatisfactory and so painful.

It has been his fate, however, to cross, during the course of his explorations, a far greater extent of country than any Australian traveller had ever done previously, and as a very large portion of this had never before been trodden by the foot of civilized man, and from its nature is never likely to be so invaded again, it became a duty to record the knowledge which was thus obtained, for the information of future travellers and as a guide to the scientific world in their inquiries into the character and formation of so singular and interesting a country.

To enable the reader to judge of the author's capabilities for the task he undertook, and of the degree of confidence that may be due to his impressions or opinions, it may not be out of place to state, that the Expeditions of 1840 1 were not entered upon without a sufficient previous and practical experience in exploring... Continue reading book >>


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