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- The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 - 1/100 -


Produced by Col Choat.

The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888.

Complied from State Documents, Private Papers and the most authentic sources of information. Issued under the auspices of the Government of the Australian Colonies.

by

Ernest Favenc.

Sydney: Turner and Henderson 1888

Dedication.

TO

THE HON. SIR HENRY PARKES, G.C.M.G., C.C.I., M.P., AS THE OLDEST RULING STATESMAN IN AUSTRALIA, AND IN THE PRESENT CENTENARY YEAR THE PREMIER OF NEW SOUTH WALES, THE MOTHER COLONY, FROM WHENCE FIRST STARTED THOSE EXPLORATIONS BY LAND AND SEA, WHICH HAVE RESULTED IN THROWING OPEN TO THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD A NEW CONTINENT, NOW RAPIDLY DEVELOPING, UNDER FREE CONSTITUTIONS, A PROSPEROUS, CONTENTED, AND SELF-GOVERNING COMMUNITY, THIS HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN EXPLORATION IS DEDICATED.

ERNEST FAVENC, SYDNEY, 1888.

PREFACE.

A complete history of the exploration of Australia will never be written. The story of the settlement of our continent is necessarily so intermixed with the results of private travels and adventures, that all the historian can do is to follow out the career of the public expeditions, and those of private origin which extended to such a distance, and embraced such important discoveries, as to render the results matters of national history.

That private individuals have done the bulk of the detail work there is no denying; but that work, although every whit as useful to the community as the more brilliant exploits that carried with them the publicity of Government patronage, has not found the same careful preservation.

To find the material to write such a history would necessitate the work of a lifetime, and the co-operation of hundreds of old colonists; and, when written, it would inevitably, from the nature of the subject, prove most monotonous reading, and fill, I am afraid to think, how many volumes. The reader has but to consider the immense area of country now under pastoral occupation, and to remember that each countless subordinate river and tributary creek was the result of some extended research of the pioneer squatter, to realise this.

Since the hope of finding an inland sea, or main central range, vanished for ever, the explorer cannot hope to discover anything much more exciting or interesting than country fitted for human habitation. The attributes of the native tribes are very similar throughout. Since the day when Captain Phillip and his little band settled down here and tried to gain the friendship of the aboriginal, no startling difference has been found in him throughout the continent. As he was when Dampier came to our shores, so is he now in the yet untrodden parts of Australia, and the explorer knows that from him he can only gain but a hazardous and uncertain tale of what lies beyond.

But, in this utter want of knowledge of the country to be explored, where even the physical laws do not assimilate with those of other continents, lies the great charm of Australian exploration. It is the spectacle of one man pitted against the whole force of nature--not the equal struggle of two human antagonists, but the old fable of the subtle dwarf and the self-confident giant.

When the battle commenced between Sturt and the interior, he was, as he thought, vanquished, though in reality the victor.

In the history of exploration are to be found some of the brightest examples of courage and fortitude presented by any record. In the succeeding pages I have tried to bring these episodes prominently to the fore, and bestow upon them the meed of history.

In compiling this book I have had the sympathy of many gentlemen, both in this and the neighbouring colonies, and my best thanks are due to them, especially as, owing to it, I have been able to make the work perfectly authentic, and I trust, a thoroughly reliable work of reference.

SYDNEY, 1888.

ERNEST FAVENC.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Part I Rumours of the existence of a Southern Continent in the Sixteenth Century--JAVE and JAVE LA GRANDE--Authentic Discoveries and visits of the early Navigators--Torres sails between New Guinea and Terra Australis--Voyage of the DUYFHEN in 1606--Dirk Hartog on the West Coast, his inscribed plate--Restored by Vlaming--Afterwards by Hamelin--Nuyts on the South Coast--Wreck of the BATAVIA on Houtman's Abrolhos--Mutiny of Cornelis--Tasman's second voyage--Dampier with the Buccaneers--Second Voyage in the ROEBUCK--Last visit of the Dutch--Captain Cook--Flinders; his theory of a Dividing Strait--Plans for exploring the Interior--His captivity--Captain King--Concluding remarks.

Part II The Continent of Australia--Its peculiar formation--The coast range and the highest peaks thereof--The coastal rivers--The inland rivers-- Difference of vegetation on the tableland and on the coast--Exception to the rule--Valuable timber of the coast districts--Animals common to the whole continent--Some birds the same--Distinct habits of others--The Australian native and his unknown origin--Water supply--Upheaval.

PART I LAND EXPLORATION

Chapter I [1788-1803]

Expeditions of Governor Phillip--Mouth of the Hawkesbury found in Broken Bay--Second expedition and ascent of the river--Expedition of Captain Tench--Discovery of the Nepean River--Lieutenant Dawes sent to cross the Nepean, and to try to penetrate the mountains--Attempt by Governor Phillip to establish the confluence of the Nepean and Hawkesbury-- Failure--The identity settled by Captain Tench--Escaped convicts try to reach China--Captain Paterson finds and names the Grose River--Hacking endeavours to cross the Blue Mountains--The lost cattle found on the Cow Pastures--Bass attempts the passage of the range--Supposed settlement of a white race in the interior--Attempt of the convicts to reach it-- James Wilson--His life with the natives--Discovery of the Hunter River by Lieutenant Shortland.

Chapter II [1813-1824]

The great drought of 1813--The development of country by stocking-- Blaxland, Lawson, and Wentworth cross the Blue Mountains--Reach the head of coast waters and return--Surveyor Evans sent out--Crosses the watershed and finds the Macquarie River--Construction of road over the range--Settlement of Bathurst--Visit of Governor Macquarie--Second expedition under Evans--Discovery of the Lachlan River--Surveyor-General Oxley explores the Lachlan--Finds the river terminates in swamps--Returns by the Macquarie--His opinion of the interior--Second expedition down the Macquarie--Disappointment again--Evans finds the Castlereagh--Liverpool Plains discovered--Oxley descends the range and finds Port Macquarie-- Returns to Newcastle-Currie and Ovens cross the Morumbidgee--Brisbane Downs and Monaroo--Hume and Hovell cross to Port Phillip--Success of the expedition.

Chapter III [to 1830]

Settlement of Moreton Bay--Cunningham in the field again--His discoveries of the Gwydir, Dumaresque, and Condamine Rivers--The Darling Downs, and Cunningham's Gap through the range to Moreton Bay--Description of the Gap--Cunningham's death--Captain Sturt--His first expedition to follow down the Macquarie--Failure of the river--Efforts of Sturt and Hume to trace the channel--Discovery of New Year's Creek (the Bogan)--Come suddenly on the Darling--Dismay at finding the water salt--Retreat to Mount Harris--Meet the relief party--Renewed attempt down the Castlereagh River--Trace it to the Darling--Find the water in that river still salt--Return--Second expedition to follow the Morumbidgee--Favourable anticipations--Launch of the boats and separation of the party--Unexpected junction with the Murray--Threatened hostilities with the natives--Averted in a most singular manner--Junction of large river from the North--Sturt's conviction that it is the Darling--Continuation of the voyage--Final arrival at Lake Alexandrina--Return voyage--Starvation and fatigue-- Constant labour at the oars and stubborn courage of the men--Utter exhaustion--Two men push forward to the relief party and return with


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