George Boyle White (1802-1876), born Bantry, West Cork, East India Company Navy man, Surveyor, Australia 1830s Journals of Expedition.
Date/Place of Birth 24th August 1802 at Cork in Ireland
Date/Place of Death 25th May 1876 at Double Bay, in Sydney, NSW. Death Cert. # 3334/1876
Board of Surveyors Papers/File
NSW Certificate of Competency
Date of Licence 6th February 1838 and February 1844
Date of Registration N/A
Date of Removal from Register
* On 24th August 1802 George Boyle White was born as the first son of Boyle White and Honoria O’Sullivan at Bantry, Cork, Ireland. Attended school at Croydon till 1814. In 1814 he left Ireland and went with his Mother, brother and step family to Gibraltar. In 1815 he returned to England and continued his education at Startforth Hall School near Barnard Castle, Yorkshire until 1819.
* During the 7 years between 1819 and 1826 he was an Officer in East India Company’s Navy, it was here he gained navigational skills. It was in 1819 he visited Sydney & in 1821 he visited China.
* His step father was posted to Australia and he emigrated with the family. G.B. White arrived in Sydney on the “Cawdrey” as free settler on 7th January 1826. His Family had arrived previous day.
* On 11th February 1826 he was appointed as a 3rd Class Clerk in Colonial Secretary’s Office at Sydney (Salary £100 per annum). He considered that here he had no prospect of advancement so he resigned on 30th December 1826.
* Appointed Assistant Surveyor in the N.S.W. Surveyor General’s Department under John Oxley on 1st February 1827 at a salary of £200 per annum – refer to A.D. of B. Vol. 6 Page 387. . Spent much of his time surveying the Hunter Valley and Maitland in particular.
* The History of Surveying in N S W — By P. W. Beaver, Student Member Published in ‘The Australian Surveyor’ June – Sept 1953 pp 182 – 196. Pages 187 and 188.
“1844. His Excellency the Governor having had consideration of the necessity of reducing the expenses of the Department of the Surveyor General and at the same time of affording public bodies, as well as private individuals, the means of obtaining, at their own expense, surveys of land and reports on disputed boundaries, which if previously authorised by the Government, will be received as officials, as also projects for the opening of new roads or for the execution of any other kind of public work, has been pleased to appoint the undermentioned officers of the Surveyor General’s Department to become surveyors of the following districts :
Mr. Surveyor G. B. White, North Hunter River,
Mr. Assistant Surveyor J . J . Galloway, Home County of Cumberland,
“ “ J . Larmer, South County of Murray,
“ “ R. Davidson, West Bathurst,
“ “ J . V . Gorman, Port Macquarie,
“ “ J . Burke, Illawarra,
“ “ H . C . Rawnsby, Brisbane Water,
“ “ W . Shore, Hassens Walls,
“ “ F . McCabe, Twofold Bay,
“ “ W . Darke, Sydney.
The officers are authorised to act as surveyors or agents for private individuals and every facility in doing so by the various departments of the Government.
Application for the purchase or occupation of land may also be made through them, though the Government will reserve the right to itself of the discretion of acting or not on such application.
His Excellency has also been pleased to appoint the above officers to be commissioners of Crown Lands for the purpose of acting within their respective districts. The limit of the districts will hereafter be more fully announced.”
In 1848 the Governor extended the areas of these surveyors’ influence to include any part of the Colony for survey work.”
* March 1827 saw George Boyle White laying out townships such as Windsor and Pitt Town. At the end of 1827 he concentrated on Hunter River region.
* The years 1826, 1830, 1832, & 1857 saw G.B. White measuring flood heights of Hunter’s River at Maitland.
* In 1828 he carried out Trigonometric Surveys in the Hunter with Major Mitchell. He surveyed Hunter region – Parish of Uffington. Seaham & Sutterwick County of Durham and Alnwick and Hexham, County of Northumberland. Then Parish of Auckland, Middlehope, Uffinton, Sedgefield and Fal Brook in Durham and Hallis Plains, Morpeth, Maitland, Gosforth, Branxton, Stanhope, Belford and Rothbury in Northumberland.
* In May, 1828 he set out Maitland — under instructions from Major Mitchell. Between 7-10 May he carried out observations and surveys at Hallis Plains..
* In 1829 he received a salary of £220 per annum, and also an allowance of 2/6 per day for forage for his horse In
February 1829 he joined Mitchell at Hallis Plains travelled up the valley to Patricks Plains – Falbrook – Lamb’s Valley and on to Castle Forbes. During that year he also surveyed the Goulburn River. In April 1829 he took ill with rheumatic fever at Castle Forbes
* During 1829 to 1830 he completed surveys of William’s and Chicester Rivers in Durham and Tibbil and Myall
Creeks in County of Gloucester. Between June1829 to 1831 he marked out streets and boundaries of the new township of Maitland. In 1830 as an Assistant Surveyor he received a salary of £240 per annum, and an allowance of 2/6 per day for forage for his horse. He also received “rations” when in the field. (1830 returns of the Colony).
* In 1830 he surveyed Maitland. When Surveyor George Boyle White “came through the Upper Hunter he camped for a night at the foot of Forbes Hill on the Jenkins property, but found no fences, no habitation nor even a hostess on the farm along the banks of Muscle Creek – a farm that he said was ‘only formed in imagination’.”— extract from “Community Guide, Our Local History” by Muswellbrook Shire Council. .
He married Maria Greig Mudie, the daughter of James Mudie of Castle Forbes on 17th June 1830 at St. Phillips Church in Sydney. Settled at Greenwood downstream from Singleton. Maria was granted land north of Singleton called Miranne which she sold to Brooker on 11.8.1854 for 1000 pounds
* He travelled with Sir Thomas Mitchell and Heneage Finch on an expedition to the Barwon River in 1831 – 1832. George was Second-in-Charge of the Expedition – refer to much greater detail in ”Journal of Surveyor G.B.White from 26th November 1831 to 14th March 1832 on Expedition with Sir Thomas Mitchell” – this Journal is attached to this file and also referenced in “Sir Thomas Livingston Mitchell and his World 1792 – 1855” by William Foster.
At Wollombi, Surveyor General Major Thomas Livingstone Mitchell instructed White and Heneage Finch to
obtain additional supplies and follow on. They caught up with Mitchell at Ravesworth before dawn on the 30th to start
expedition into the interior. By mid afternoon the part had set up camp at Muscle Brook (Muswellbrook).
* On 3rd December 1831 the Epedition Party reached Pages River, Murrurundi. On 5 December 1831 they ascended the Liverpool Range. At Loder’s station on the Goo-a-rinda (Quirindi Creek) the Major procured a native to guide him to the Muelnerindi River. (Namoi River) which they reached on Christmas Day 1831.
* 1831 At Wollombi, Surveyor General Major Thomas Livingstone Mitchell instructed White and Heneage Finch to obtain additional supplies and follow on. They caught up with Mitchell at Ravesworth before dawn on the 30th to start expedition into the interior. By mid afternoon the part had set up camp at Muscle Brook (Muswellbrook). In 1831 he received a salary of £260 per annum together with the normal allowance for his horse.
On 3rd December 1831 the Expedition reached Pages River, Murrurundi. On 5th December 1831 the Expedition
ascended the Liverpool Range. Then at Loder’s Station on the Goo-a-rinda (Quirindi Creek) the Major procured a
native to guide him to the Muelnerindi River. (Namoi River) which they reached on Christmas Day 1831.
* In January 1832 they followed the Kareen River and by 14th Gwydir River was reached, travelled on in a northerly
direction to the MacIntyre River a tributary of the Karaula. March 1832 Mitchell left White in charge of the party near Tamworth and rode on to Sydney. White then returned to his family at Greenwood. In Late 1832 White was engaged on the Australian Agricultural Company surveys with Henry Dangar. He also surveyed the South bank of Hunter River and sea front at Newcastle, Liverpool Plains, Peel River and the Namoi, Cockburn and Moolowonndi River as well as the range between the Page and Gurindi Rivers.
* On 6th February 1833 George B. White was appointed to the position of Surveyor in the Department of the
Surveyor-General by the Governor. In early 1833 he surveyed along the Darling River.. George Boyle White explored the Darling River in 1833 from the Peel River Junction to the region of Fort Bourke He recorded that some natives gave him trouble. He also spent time surveying townships in the Hunter Valley. He set out the township of Muscle Brook 1833.
* On 3rd June 1833 George White, whilst surveying the Northern bank of the Hunter River from Lorn downward, reported that it “was lined with jungle or brush almost impenetrable, and to form a road from the Government township site (East Maitland) towards the Paterson River it would be necessary to cut through the brush for 2 or 3 miles from the Hunter River crossing.” Lieutenant W. H. Breton, R. N. visited the Hunter in 1832 and he described the brush as “one of the thickest vine brushes in New South Wales; so thick that it is difficult to penetrate even a few yards.” Extracted from Water Forum 2000 “Our River: Our Future” by Allan Raine on 20th October 2000.
* Following the death of his infant daughter at Lochinvar in 1834; he surveyed the town of Raymond Terrace.
He laid out the town of Raymond Terrace. Later he surveyed and made plans of roads in Singleton.
* On 25th May 1836 he was appointed a Commissioner of Crown Lands by the Government. In June 1835 he was on the “Patriotic Fund Committee” at Patricks Plains.
* In 1838 he was promoted to Surveyor for the Hunter River district.
* In1839 he was suspended for making frivolous charges against a police magistrate. Later that year he was reappointed to the Surveyor General’s Department as a Surveyor. He surveyed Newcastle Harbour and the foreshores and then traversed Hunter River from the harbour to the Green Hills near Morpeth. He became a member of the “Patrick Plains District Committed of the Australian Immigration Association”. One of the few surveys White did out of the Hunter region was a survey of the Reserve in the Village of Waverly. There was not enough work to keep White occupied full-time. He had accumulated huge debts in developing his property and became one of the large number of unemployed. He had to sell his property and then his library to satisfy his creditors
* In 1840 as a Contract Surveyor he received a salary of £325 per annum together with an allowance for forage for his horse – refer to the 1840 “Returns of the Colony.”
* In 1841 he received a salary of a salary of £325 per annum. He also received an allowance for forage for his horse – see the 1841 “Return of the Colony” at the Mitchell Library, Sydney. Surveyor George White received a salary of £325 until 31st December 1841, then he received an increase to £375 per annum. He also received an allowance for forage for his horse. In addition he received a further allowance of £100 per annum for the use of his own equipment.
* The 1843 “Returns of the Colony’ show that Surveyor White received a salary that year of £375 per annum, together with an allowance for forage for his horse. In addition he received an additional allowance of £100 per annum for the use of his own equipment
* In February 1844 he was appointed the Licensed Surveyor for the North Hunter River. 1844 saw George Boyle White survey part of the Hunter River in preparation of dredging that River. He also owned some of “Greenwood Estate”, and in 1844 he sold off (by auction) 3,500 sheep, and 1,000 cattle, horses, carts, drays and oxen. “Greenwood estate” was also sold that year by order of the Trustees of the Estate.
“In June of 1844 the Estates of George Boyle White were advertised for auction, 14 lots in all. It was stated that everybody that ever had visited Hunter’s River must have heard of Mrs. White’s beautiful Greenwood Estate. It consisted of 380 acres (151.19 ha) and adjoined the town of Singleton; the most part of it was cleared and fenced and returning a yearly rent of 15/- per acre. There was a cottage, office, outbuildings, Vinery, 7 acre garden and an orchard where every variety of fruit was grown in perfection and plenty. Also for auction was a Church section adjoining greenwood consisting of 585 acres (246.46 ha), a cottage and land at East Maitland, 1280 acres (518 ha) on Miranne Estate, 1,000 acres (404.69 ha) on the Miranne estate and an 86 acre (34.8 ha) farm at Lochinvar. Eight hundred head of cattle were running at the Severn under the superintendent of Mr. Hethrington and 300 head of cattle at Meranne Creek, together with 50 head of cattle at Greenwood. There were 2,500 fine woollen sheep, horse stock, household furniture and 200 bushels of wheat also offered for sale.” — this has been extracted from “Free settler or Felon (Hunter Valley History)” found at http://www.jenwilletts.com/earlysettler4.htm
The 1844 “Returns of the Colony” show that Surveyor White received a salary of £375 per annum until 31st January 1844 and then it was increased to £425 per annum.
* In 1847 he was declared insolvent. He carried out surveys along the Macquarie and Darling.
* In 1848 George’s youngest daughter, Maria Larnoch White, died 3 years 8 months of age at Greenwood, Singleton.. In the same year George was commissioned “to lay out a village (Dubbo) in the general location of the public buildings. He presented his plan for 150 town allotments and 12 cultivation plots, commenting that this would surely be sufficient for some time because ‘the position of Wellington, is not likely to make it to be a place of importance.’ Unfortunately George underestimated the demand for land that the subsequent Gold Rush brought on. Extract from “Dubbo & District Family History Society.
* In 1849 he camped on the banks of the Macquarie River where Dubbo now stands. Then in 1850 his work saw him camped on the confluence of Cox’s Creek and the Namoi River the present site of Boggabri. November 1850 In New England near Armidale.
* On 1st July 1853 he retired and after two years was granted a pension in 1855.
* There are many plans and sketches prepared by Surveyor White which have been preserved at State Records Office of New South Wales. These include work that he completed between 1827 and 1852. the works covered areas
. George Boyle White 1802 – 1876
such as Port Macquarie, Bathurst, Bligh Squatting Area, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Raymond terrace, Parramatta, Cobbity, Dungog, Liverpool, Merriwa, Mulgoa, Newcastle, Paterson, Windsor, Wolombi, County of Cumberland, Dubbo, Emu Plains, Greta, Lord Howe Island, Lower Darling River, Murrumbidgee River, Newtown, Peel River, Pitt Town, Camden, Singleton, and Wollongong.
* By Charter of 4th July 1855 there was “The Commissioners of Inquiry” who examined the extent and character of surveys that had been carried out, including those by Thomas Mitchell. Although the Commissioners were very critical of T. L. Mitchell, George Boyle White was praised for his work—refer to Book on T.L. Mitchell. It is noted that “Chairman G.B. White, Member for Northumberland in the Legislative Assembly, and one-time Surveyor and second-in-command of Mitchell’s first expedition of discovery” questioned witnesses before the Select Committee on the Management of the Survey Department in 1858– refer to the above mentioned book on Thomas Livingston Mitchell for greater detail.
* In the year 1856 he was appointed a Magistrate and Auditor of the Australian Union Benefit Society. On 11th April 1856 his wife Maria died at the age of 44.years.
* During 1858 – 1859 he represented Northumberland and the Hunter in the Legislative Assembly and sat on various select committees dealing with land settlement where he made a great contribution
* On 25th May 1876 he died (aged 74) at Double Bay in Sydney, buried in Rookwood Cemetery. His last days were spent in bad health and insolvency. Survived by his two sons Boyle and Henry O’Sullivan and a daughter Helena.
* His son, Henry O’Sullivan White, after being an assistant to his father became a Licensed Surveyor attached to the Lands Department of NSW and in his later years worked in the Maitland District.
The above information has been compiled from various sources received from Gary Hamblin of Scott, Crisp, Hamblin, Surveyors, the Returns of the Colony (Mitchell Library), and Mrs. Jenny McCarthy
Refer to next Page to view the Map of the Route that Major Mitchell & G.B.White took in 1831 – 1832
Map was drawn by Les Dalton in July 2005.
The following Journal written by George Boyle White is held in the Mitchell Library in Sydney. Unfortunately the Journal is in a very poor state and decendants of G.B.White have had it printed from Microfilm & then they entered it onto computer to safe guard it. It has been included in this Project as a means of preserving this work.
Journal of Surveyor G.B. White from 26 Nov 1831 to 14 Mar 1832 on Expedition with Sir Thomas L Mitchell
G B White Mitchell Library Catalogue Series B 1969 (Card Index Drawer 244 – catalogued 1963 – 1967)
Z3182 (issued as microfilm at OY 527) Journal of expedition under Sir Thomas Mitchell 1831-2.
This transcription retains the format, punctuation and spelling of the Journal as written by George Boyle White.
Jenny McCarthy, Les Dalton,
Brightwaters, North Carlton,
NSW 2264 Victoria 3054
Saturday the 26th Nov 1831 The equipment of the Surveyor General for an exploratory excursion into the interior to the north of the Liverpool Plains arrived this day at Greenwood – and remained for the night. A letter from the Surveyor General addressed to me intimated a wish that I should join at young Wisemans and that my field equipment should meet his at any part most convenient. Consequently I sent to desire that my party should immediately proceed on to Foy Brook and there await until joined by Major Mitchells – and rode on myself to the Coolombe reserve to await Major Mitchell Sunday the 27th November Waited the arrival of the Surveyor General at Mr Dalhuntys – the Govt. road station – he arrived about one PM. and continued on towards Mr Blaxlands where he remained for the night. Informed me during the ride of his intention that I should accompany him on the exploring service.
Monday the 28th One of those days in which one fancies himself transported to the regions below – the heat insufferable – the temperature in the shade above 1020 – the wind blowing from the NW as if coming from the mouth of an oven or the crater of a volcano. But notwithstanding such favourable weather obliged to travel to the encampment – now to be made at Foy Brook. The ride far from pleasant from more reasons than one – found my tents there but through some bungling, the Major’s equipment had not joined them. What a Man – went for the Cart containing the Majors baggage – who returned bringing it with him about 9 pm. No one has any idea how easy it is to bother or plague a man out of his senses – when riding a course – as it is turned things then back.
Tuesday 29th Nov The weather a second edition of yesterday insufferably hot – was joined by the Survr Generals exploring party consisting of thirteen men – of some of them I imagine no great things, and more likely to prove a burthen than otherwise. Informed that it was the intention of the Surveyor General to take only two of my party – the whole to consist of sixteen in number with nine horses, three drays, three Carts and twenty bullocks with provisions complete for five months.
Recd permission to ride some to say farewell to my family and to provide an extra supply of rations to last the party to the finish of the journey – forwarded the Overseer of Major Mitchell to Sydney with the despatches.
Wednesday 30th 1831 St Andrews day – at 4 am said farewell, perhaps forever to a brief solace & a dearer Companion – feelings on such occasions have often been encouraged but so vividly in comparison is the parting to the reality that it turned out only a complete mockery of nature. St Andrews day can only be forgotten by me when the light of the sun sets on me – or when, as Sterne says, I become a clod of the valley.
Adjusted everything to enable the beargs with the East – to procure the necessary required – and arrived at Foy Brook just soon enough to find the party on the move and overtook them about two miles Sth – and then encamped in the evening at the foot of Forbes Hill. This day in heat equated to the last.
Thursday 1st December. The day much more favourable to travelling than the three just past. Continued on our journey until about 6am. – heard that the Cart coming was detained on acct of the two Bullocks furnished by Mr Dent straying – I sent Barber to order the men to try and join our party with the Bullocks remaining. Arrived at St Helliers at 1.20 p.m. and finally encamped on the right bank of the Hunter at half past two. A thunder shower or two cooled us – just about this time had a delightful bathe in the Hunter – and then surveyed for the information of the Surveyor General – the stores sent from Sydney. In the evening writing.
Friday December 2nd At daylight in the morning with propitious weather for ourselves – moving onwards the road to the N.W – called at the home of a genuine Ca McRonian (Hugh Cameron) on our way – A true Stirlingshire man as they were sixty years since – with all the hospitality of that time – but deaf as a post. The journey as yet monotonous and stupid over a surveyed country with nothing new to note. Chs Evans one of the party’s convicts this day sent to Mr Sempill of Segenhoe in exchange for another Blacksmith – for defalcation in his duty. Heard by express from Sydney of the escape of Barber the noted Bushranger whose acct of the interior this expedition was in some measure ordered – encamped on the Kingdom Ponds 2 miles above Dr Littles land – and went up with the Surr General on the range to get some geological specimens
Saturday December 3rd Continued our route onwards – up the valley of the Kingdon Ponds (or Strathene) and crossed the range from which they take their rise – connecting with the Mooralla Mountn a high point on the left. The range was passed without much difficulty or any accident and we finally encamped on the bank of the river Page about half a mile below Mr Warlands station. The weather very sultry with the draft and Pack animals much fatigued.
Sunday December 4th At 7am broke up the encampment and proceeded up the valley of the Page as far as a rock called by the Natives Murri Urundi about 6 1/2 miles above Mr Warlands station. Met there Major M. and then took the height of the Bed of the River with a Barometer – but the result of the operation I know not – in the valley of this Page – is fine rich pastoral country, the soil alluvial and timbered with apple tree Box and flooded gum. Weather sultry and the country has many places on fire.
Monday December 5th Moving onwards towards the pass into Liverpool Plains – the ascent to the range is not so bad as I had supposed it to be from report – got the heavily laden drays up by putting all the bullocks onto one without accident but on descending the arm of one of the drays snapped – put the heavy part of the load on to another dray and packed the bullocks belonging to the broken one – crossed – on small creek Neeja Cella and went on to Cooningi where the party encamped for the night – having made a course successfully from the peak of about W33N – two miles and a half.
Tuesday December 6th Moved at daylight and making onwards for Loders Station passed a water hole -called by the natives Nivolihman descended on to the plains about a mile and a half East of Loders Station – found this to be a tremendously round about route – encamped about 3 p.m. having made about 8.00 miles N30W. From the excessive heat of this day – the beasts of burthen were completely knocked up – the Thermometer 96o – in the evening some of the horses contrived to stray up the Creek – of course my horse is to blame for taking them away although never within a hundred miles of this place I imagine that I have been ordered to join this party or expedition for the purpose of giving the Survr General a butt to vent his spleen on – as if anything is amiss I am spoken to in an ill-natured way although never allowed to interfere with the party – there cannot be two Kings of Britain – or _ the Survr Generals remark and his [………] is his assistant – had forgotten to mention that the men comprising my party were sent back by Major Mitchell. That is not much encouragement for men to do their duty with the Asst Surveyor when they see strangers not belonging to the department preferred before them. Therm 64 – 96 – 90.
Wednesday December 7th The horses were found and brought back about 7AM. In consequence of my being blamed significantly for their loss I have determined on leaving my horse at Loders station to prevent the possibility of its being again hinted that he has led them astray. To permit the cattle to refresh the encampment was not removed this day – the weather uncommonly sultry – wind NNW Therm 84 – 96 –84.
Thursday Dec 8th At 6a.m. continued on our way towards “Waldo” on a track as far as Loders Station on the “Goo–a–rinda” about six or seven miles from our yesterdays encampment NNW – passed a range on the left – called Mamooga – from the Goo–a–rinda marked a line across a thinly timbered country of Box principally, to a creek – the “Molambarra” in which at present there is a scarcity of water – crossed it and pitched the tents for the night – the water crossed – wind in all arriving SWly – Therm 68 – 90 – 78 – this day made about.
Friday December 9th The morning cooler than it has been – pursued our route at daylight – at 9.30 we passed a stream running Wly. This morning on our way to the East passed two small hills called by the Natives “ Tali” & “Tala” – bearing about 3 miles on the left a parallel range called “Pirumbols” – from here took the Genl bearings of the following points “Wo” a high peak NNW 9 miles – “Oruda” NW 10 miles – about 2 miles south of the Creek – a remarkable peak called “Burragundy” NNE 4 miles off a ridge at the same line half a mile on the right named “Wooloola” and Tooriba N by W about 7 miles – the country to the creek much the same as yesterday – after crossing the creek the country is not so good and is badly watered but still keeping a fine level for a road – at 3PM encamped at the stream running NWly – the Ougua- having made this day about 12 miles N by W. Therm 60 – 90 – 68. The Barometer unfortunately became useless because of the screws loosening.
Saturday December 10th The morning ushered in with thunder and heavy showers and rain continued during the day – left the Ougua having the range of the Carribobbila on its left and passed over some broken ground in a NEly direction to the pass of a range from where we descended a beautiful graded slope of fine forest thinly studded with Apple Box tree for about 7 miles N by E – in crossing the pass there is a small round hill about 20 l – called “Nana-na-rook” which name the Surveyor General intends it should retain. Encamped for the night – near some water holes – on the track from the pass. NE. Therm 70 – 68 – 66.
Sunday December 11th The weather promises fair – at 8AM continued on N by E – still descending on the grazing forest after continuing on about seven miles. The nature of the timber changing – the land becoming of the finest description thinly covered with Apple and Gum. At 12.30PM arrived at Woolomool – Browns station on the banks of the Peel and then encamped for the day. The Surveyor General was much amazed at the ingenuity shewn by our Black guide “Jemmy” in extricating an opossum from a hollow tree. The Peel is here a fair running stream but small with large detached water holes near the banks – filled I imagine by the overflowing of the river. The forest land on its banks equals any I have seen in Australia – and is covered with lime stone in a state of decomposition. In the evening the [….] altitude of Aries was found to be 72.38 – 40 (obsd double Alt) giving the latitude 31 2.5/?. The following sets of altts were also observd by the Surveyor Genl:
1. Aries 69.02.00/63.54.60 Time by chronter 9.51.44/10.11.13
2. 48.3.10/43.59.00 – 9.43.20/9.58.12/.3.
3. Dist from Antares 59.32.00 & 9.54.47
Monday 12th December The cattle acquiring a little rest – remained for the day where we were encamped – quiet day – several large fish were caught by the party some of them weighing nearly twenty pound – they are said to resemble the fish caught in the Macquarie – all I can say on the subject is that in my opinion they are the finest fish I have yet tasted in the Colony for flavour and firmness – in the evening Mr Finch arrived at the camp with two men – the following sets of altitudes to determine the time were today taken by the Survr General.
1.19.45 66.10.60 118.56.50 118.56.50
22.09 61.10.40 42.28 49.30
Tuesday 13th December. Morning fine. Removed from Browns station Woolomool and kept down the river for about fourteen miles – moved over a poor country – the back forest land good and timbered with box – the flats near the river considerably covered with nobales of Loders Station – slopes thinly timbered with apple tree and Gum tree – and then patches from one to two acres – and areas quite clear – the genl course of the stream appears to be about WNW – at 3pm encamped for the night on a large flat near the river, Therm 68 – 85 – 72.
Wednesday December 14th At 8 am removed onwards in much the same direction as yesterday over country similar to that then passed over. The Pine tree and the Myall (resembling a Willow at the top) have been noticed by us for the first time in the forest lands – of the latter tree the natives manufacture their weapons – it appears to be a fine grained wood and bears a scent something like a Pine Apple. The first Kangaroo killed since we left Sydney was today shot by the Surveyor Genl. The formation passed over appeared to be trap – in many of the lower ranges where stone and lime seemed mixed. At 3 PM encamped by the river which we have been following down – crossing river now and then to avoid rounding the bends. It is now a large sheet of water 80 to 100 yds. in width and very deep – number of the fish – said to be cod – were caught by the party. Good course made today – went abt 12 miles. Therm 80 – 82 – 70.
Thursday Decr 15th From Pyrambungay a small hill on the left of where we had last night encamped – continued on after our Native guide (Brown) a black follow – and in about 3 miles passed to a ford of the River Moolinama now named Wollumburra – where we crossed the river – there it is about 60 yds wide and has something of the appearance of the ford at St. Patrick’s – pleased it is a very good ford – continued on our route – until we came to an extensive plain “Karloobas” – leaving the Hills of Pyraquin-qui-Warraga the Surveyor Genl renamed Booroola. – starting Sth – plain – about one mile on our right a point of harder rocks – range “Bungaria” – NNW by W – the main body of it NW – on our way this day we have passed through a large stint of Pine forest intermixed with the Sigali pine or Pandulum Accacia – but the land rather scrubby and very badly watered. – at 3 PM encamped near a waterhole – the first we have met with under Cooriah Hills. In the evening ascended Cooriah and took bearings.
Travelling is no doubt pleasant when a man is under no restraint but when subjected to the petulance or caprice of one who may study – to make you feel the power they have officially over you it is quite another thing – for instance when preparing to encamp today – after unsaddling my horse I – seeing Major Mitchell do so let him loose that he might go down to the Creek and drink with the pack horses intending then to tether him – when the following dialogue ensued – Mr. White do you know your horse is loose – Yes Sir I have just turned him loose to drink when he shall be tethered – I desire Sir you tether him immediately – whereupon I directed the man to do so. – when Major Mitchell returned and added – rather in violent tone and gesture – never let me see him untethered while in my encampment – to which I replied that his horse was untethered – and received the following courteous answer – that his horse should be untethered when and where he likes but at my peril to let mine loose – that he was Surveyor General – conductor of the expedition and – that I was an Asst Surveyor and should obey his orders – to which I answered that of course I intended to do so – and that if my horse was such an annoyance to him I would leave him in the bush – hut I will give the best – the dialogue – MM – you are an Asst Surr Sir and are bound to have a horse – at my disposal – and a serviceable one too – (they range horses back tether them – from my having bidden hard to please the Surver Genal) however my horse is a serviceable one – there is not or more so – amongst the horses you have here for his sized back – which he got in the Service – what when you lost yourself five times the other day- answer – yes when you would not allow me to take you in the right direction – any man would loose himself – when he is made to go against his inclination in a direction which he knows to be wrong – but it is a pity that he should be obliged to bear the odium – etc – Ha! Ha! – That is very good – Answer – probably Major Mitchell I have been too long in your Department – if so I am perfectly willing to go back with my horse and leave a service, which is no way unviable – M M (in a milder tone) – I don’t say that but while in the Department I wish you to obey my orders. Answer – That I always do and intend to do. This happened before the whole of the party and so it ended.
My horse was blamed on this occasion of some of them straying from the tents but four went away this morning and the Majors horse was amongst them. I rode my horse after them, found them and galloped them back to the encampment. Therm 62 – 80 – 66.
Friday December 16th At daylight everything being in readiness resumed – our journey following our black guide over an expanse of flat country and then interspersed with small plains – without anything to attract our attention – or worthy of notice until stopped by the river Namoi – a fine deep stream receiving all those waters which we have hitherto crossed – and in breadth about 66 yds – making a course to the NW – here we encamped for the night – The Accacia Pandulum is the only timber passed through to day. The crescent called by the natives “Boonala” – on the left north of the Namoi we this day left in the rear, Therm 60 –-80 – 60.
Saturday 17th December Our Native still guiding us towards Tangoolda NWly – the country passed over is uninteresting – the last river crossing normal – near Tangoolda – and on the banks of a large arm of the river Namoi we found the remains of a stockyard and hut with a number of gunjas – or the remains of a large encampment of blacks – this we imagine to have been the headquarters of the “Bushranger Barber” and his tribe and the remnants of hide and bones of cattle denote the havoc they made amongst them. This man ought to be doubly punished not so much for having slaughtered the cattle himself but for pointing the Natives on the way of it – at 1PM encamped near the stockyard – the Mount of Tangoolda N by about two miles. In the morning accompany the Surveyor General to its summit to form an idea of the country over which we aim to travel tomorrow. While about a shot fired at the tent – caused us half an hour anxious suspense as can be imagined – something had occurred either from the Natives or bushmen – made the best of our way back and found that one of the party had thoughtlessly enough fired his piece – for the purpose of cleaning it. All the firearms were this evening examined and loaded. Therm 46 – 87 – 74.
Sunday December 18th Tangoolda being the spot according to the Barber account from which he took a Nwly direction – crossing two ranges to fall in with a large navigable river named the Kindur – we accordingly at day light adopted that course leaving the point of Tangoolda and Muaraya and on the left and in about the distance of two Miles came to the Summit of a low range – surrounding this range the country seemed to be changing – the Iron Bark timber leading a plain of blue Gum Accacia and pine – and frequently a Kangaroo starting from the long grass – what to us is quite a novelty – we succeeded in getting some with the dogs – first caught by them since leaving Sydney – at about three miles from the summit of the range we were interrupted in our progress for a short time by a swamp – this difficulty was soon overcome by the men of the party clearing a road through it – and we continued on in search of water of which this part seems entirely destitute – at 3pm – the working cattle could travel no further – and the tents were pitched near a small water course – the Surveyor General and I rode on for another three miles – came to a bed of a Creek in which there were large holes contg water – when we returned to the tents intending in the evening to remove the party few of the animals would work – but they had succeeded in finding sufficient water until the morning – when at the Creek we observed fresh marks of the feet of Natives – they therefore cannot be far from us – Therm 52 – 88 – 78.
Monday 19th December In the morning continued on towards the Creek – we had seen yesterday abt 4 miles NE b N from the encampment – and there remained for the day to rest the Bullocks and party – the former being much in need of it – the Surveyor General with some of the men.– went forward to explore the country and set our course – as from a small rise it appeared to us to be excessively mountainous – and left me to protect the encampment in case of Natives appearing. At 3pm he returned with bad tidings – that is to say he had found that it would be impracticable to carry the Carts and drays forward and that of course it would be necessary to pack the working cattle when we again started. On his way he had encountered a female native but she had made her escape – at that time the black fellow – our guide – however on his return succeeded in speaking to her and she promised him to send one of her tribe – to the encampment to shew a route to the Kindur river.
Tuesday 20th December In compliance with the orders given on the preceding evening – at day light every one in the camp was bustling to load bullocks – that had packed and some that had never packed before – our efforts to load the last mentioned were unsuccessful and we were accordingly obliged to desist – it was then evident that it would be necessary to leave a quantity of the stores behind and Major Mitchell determined that two – medical assist Souter (the Doctor) and sailor Jones should remain in charge of the camp as it appeared to him that in a few days it was probable that the River (Kindeur) we were in search of ought to be discovered – and that while the boats were preparing to go down it the pack animals might return – and bring in the stores we left behind – after the usual trouble and delay usually experienced by all exploring parties – before the men become used to packing – we succeeded in getting ready to start about 10am. On calling for our guide we found to our astonishment that he was off much to the chagrin and annoyance of the Surveyor General – he could but have decamped a few minutes as I was speaking to him less than half an hour before – the poor fellow went without any reward for all his trouble – which must be regretted as he proved very useful and saved us much trouble – I imagine he must be fearful of strange blacks now that he is in their neighbourhood. We accordingly started without him – proceeding for nearly a mile up the creek on which we had been encamped – when we ascended the long spur of a range on our left – wanting to find a way that would lead us up to the range dividing the Kindur – from the Namoy – in this we were sorely disappointed as after getting up it nearly half a mile the face of a rock presented itself – which deterred Major Mitchell from thinking of attempting to proceed any further in that direction – orders were given immediately to turn back and is promptly obeyed – and at about 12 noon we returned to our old encampment. The tents were again pitched – new arrangements as to our further proceeding on were to be considered – and finally the drays were directed to be again loaded and everything to be in readiness to remove early tomorrow – the Carpenter while out shooting saw three of the Natives but they made away at sight of him. Therm 40 – 92 – 74.
Wednesday December 21st At 5 am the Tents were struck and the Surveyor General leading the way we retraced our steps to the spot where we were encamped on the evening of the 17 th – at that time we supposed the sheet of water close to us to be the River – on my walking out however only to […. ……] – I discovered that it was only an arm or lagoon – the river being some four of five miles to the westwd – this put an end to the intention of the Surr General with respect to making this place the depot to retire on in case of necessity – and orders were issued to be in readiness to move again tomorrow.
Thursday December 22nd Major Mitchell preceded us this morning in search of a spot near the river where a Hut could be erected safe from floods – the stores and drays following on soon as the cattle could be put to them at about six miles WNW from Tangoolda having passed Boolobolagget on the left and Inargarde on the right – we crossed a small water course and encamped at the foot of a low stony range – the river in places is fordable – in this reach of the Namoi – the range coming down so close as to form a gorge or narrow – below this – operations were immediately commenced to get the boats in readiness to consign them to their element – a sawpit was made – pine cut – a small dock was naturally formed in the embankment cut from the river – cleared about every thing but the boats – getting on swimmingly – those we expect will be doing so to about this day week – and another month I hope will see us in the unknown region of Australia far from those who may be thinking of or envying us – to whom we shall have a travelling story to tell if it pleases the Power above that we may return to do so.
Friday Decr 23rd Everyone bustling to do their bit to get afloat – the sawyers are already at work – the carpenter putting the frame of the Boat together – the Sail maker refreshing with a coat of paint – the canvas covering for the Boats – and the men employed in getting in timber to suit the different purposes for which it is required – Major Mitchell and I are calculating the several observations taken to chart the Geographical situation of the place and to drive away ennui and counting every increment – as to it – until we can get on the boats of that water – which we wish could take us where it is to bear us to.
Saturday December 24th Getting on as yesterday – the pine of this country – which we had hoped would answer all our purposes is not so good as we could wish it – it saws extremely hard and knotty and when through the sap assumes a dark colour. The Major and I today examined the far reaches of the small ranges close to us – he decided them to be of volcanic origin – Trachyte – as it is a subject – on which I wish for information – and am entirely ignorant of – I am pleased to be able to get a little insight into matters connected with the structure of this vast mass of conglomerate – the Globe – these small ranges abound also in agate – some tinged with red and some with a beautiful black – a collection of specimens was made here by the Surveyor Genl to present to the Geological Society at Home. This is Christmas cheer – a merry – or rather a happy Christmas to my friends and as in olden times they used to say, many of them.
Sunday the 25th December and Christmas day – we are all hard at work one way or another – but it is not requisite that we should do so to keep ourselves warm – the wind is blowing as hot as if from an oven – and the country around us all on fire.
Monday 26th Decr Still active preparations are going on to put us with our stores afloat. The first boat I will answer for it that ever swam on the bosom of the Namoy was this day launched. The spot appears as if it were intended by nature for something of the sort – a small dock naturally hollowed out by a fall of water from the adjacent hill just large enough to receive our Boat. This spot if the river proves to be of importance as emptying itself into the Gulf of Carpentaria or the Western Coast will be marked for ages especially as there is such easy access to it – and there is every probability to such remains to be proved of this being a near line of communication from Sydney with India. If that is the case it will perpetuate the names of the party whose arduous duty it is – to set the question.
Tuesday 27th December 1831 Busily employed in writing letters – as a man is to leave with dispatches early tomorrow morning – a long one to Maria and a few lines to Mr Brown requesting him to forward it – the second boat is getting on apace – and everything going on smoothly.
Wednesday 28th The Blacksmith left at day light with dispatches which he is to take on as far as Mr Brown – the second boat was this day launched and everything is in readiness this evening for us to proceed onwards tomorrow – employed myself this day in shooting and collecting specimens of Agate and Treokite from the neighbouring ranges. The thermometer for the substantial part of this day has stood at 97. The country side is on fire in all quarters
Thursday 29th Decr Every one on his station before day light – getting the rations down to the boats designed to carry us on and I trust to bring us back – almost 7am – every other thing being in readiness this morning – the baggage and tents were sent down – at this time Major Mitchell ordered three men to remain with the drays and Carts to take care of them and to await Asst Surveyor General’s arrival with provisions – that he had received instructions to bring on – to the depot – which Major Mitchell had intimated to him – he would form at the spot of embarkation – the names of the men to remain are John Jones, James Foreham and Steven Bombelli – the Blacksmith who yesterday went with despatches
By the time all the stores were in our frail boats – ribs covered with painted canvas – each taking on six crew – they were what I should say low down – I think I may without exaggeration say two tons in each – this was completed about nine o’clock – we therefore then proceeded – to follow the waters whither they would carry us – thinking to be borne on by them for some months to come – Major Mitchell in the leading boat – I following in the other at some distance – the Surveyor General wishing to survey the river on the Micrometer principle – we carried a pole with marks for that purpose – our voyage however was to terminate much sooner than we had anticipated – but what might have been expected from the material of which our boats were composed – after gliding down quietly for the space of about five miles – the first boat being then a half a mile ahead – and in the deepest and most awkward part of the river – the canvas in the bow of the boat of which I had charge of gave away leaving a rent of about twelve inches long – in half a minute the gunwhale of the boat was level with the water and I expected nothing but that – she would quickly find the bottom – of course all her cargo was covered – none of the men in the boats were sailors and consequently unused to pulling and much frightened and some confusion prevailed – by dint of telling them that they would lose the boat and those who could not swim probably their lives – I succeeded in getting them to pull all in one direction – and when a particle of the boat was not to be seen – we safely ran her nose in the mud on the right the right bank of the river – in a moment we were all up to our necks in water, and in less than fifteen minutes everything was out of her the flour wet but not much damaged – the tea, sugar and tobacco suffering considerably.
Friday 30th December 1831 As early as the day dawned the men who had formerly driven the drays – were sent back to the depot to break it up and – bring on the Cattle Carts stores etc – the Surveyor General from the disasters yesterday relinquished the idea of continuing down the river in the boats – indeed they are far from being calculated for such a service – the river was not for it – and instructions were such that they should again be taken to pieces – as it was Major Mitchells intention to endeavour now to track the River Kindur with the drays and the canvas covering the boats might answer for some different purpose – orders were given for all to be in readiness to move on. The arrival of the cattle – they came about 8AM – and it was found it would be requisite to wedge the wheels of the Carts &er – as they had suffered much from being exposed to the hot Sun – Major Mitchell then determined to encamp where we were for the day – to thoroughly repair the drays and to dry the provisions yesterday damaged – the sugar, tea and a small quantity of biscuits had suffered much – they were emptied out on dry tarpaulins and exposed to the sun. In the evening – heavy thunder with light rain,
Saturday 31st December 1831 At day light moved onwards – heading a general course of about NNW through a country remarkably flat – and timbered with the Accacia pandulum Box and Gum – the ranges on the left all trap and Major Mitchell pronounces it is a country of volcanic origin of a piece with Inoa – Timor – in about three miles from our encampment came to extensive plains skirting the river on our left – and afterwards pushed through a quantity of Accacia – in from five or six miles crossed the creek we were encamped on the 19th inst and halted for the day – very sultry during the first part of the day. In the evening thunder and the sky overcast as if for rain.
Sunday 1st January 1832 The new year commences with fine weather – at dawn of day moved onwards – and travelling through country covered with scrub of the Accacia Pendulum – interspersed here and there with plains – but not a drop of water – in about nine miles NNW from our last encampment passed the foot of a range on which there are some very unstable points – two resembling nipples – and one like a very large square stone placed on a base gradually sloping downwards – at 13 miles by guess – noticed a gravely watercourse coming from the Eastwd – but no water – at 15 miles our course to the NW was impeded by a thick scrub – and there being no chance of stumbling on water the course was altered to nearly west but which over a similar country brought us once more on the crossing in about six miles – the plain and forest on which we this day passed had much reed with water over pebbles – at noon oppressively hot – Therm 98o in the shade – some kangaroo were this day seen – they appear to be very scarce.
Monday 2nd January 1832 As early as usual getting onwards towards the big River travelling nearly NW for about six miles through a country little varying to the foot of a ridge – remarkable for having a quantity of Red Gum on it – to the left of our route – and being strewn with iron and sand stone – the only ridge of that description passed by us on this side of the mountains – kept a little more to the North – about NW b N for 8/ – the country before us appearing to be a dead flat as far as the eye could reach – the peaks of mountains seen by us yesterday bearing about E b S – at 6/ came to an extensive plain situated in the centre of which are two small isolated hills of trap formation [..] W b N – about a mile from our line of march to the northern one – I was sent by the Sur Genal for a specimen of the stone – and on my return found the Tents pitching close to a large hole of water – which chance had thrown in our way – now Iron Bark and Box is the prevailing timber with some pine – yet found in the forests between the plains and skirting them the Pendulum Accacia – the wind from the NW has been for the first time refreshingly cool and pleasant.- large Kangaroo was today killed by three dogs – water – from the hole near which we encamped a large quantity of lobsters were taken – when boiled they turned out uncommonly good.
Tuesday January 3rd 1832 At dawn of day moving onwards keeping a direction about NSS with the first part of it a scrubby uninteresting country timbered with Iron Bark – while cutting our way through a scrub the jabber of Natives was distinctly heard close to us – and on getting forward into some more open forest – we perceived a number of men at some distance in evident surprise¬ and doing their best to avoid the party. Henry Dawkins – my servant – was sent forward and tried to induce them to come to a parley – in a short time they were all around him – but when Major Mitchell went onwards – mounted – away they all scampered with the exception of one young man who stood his ground staunchly – by dint of persuasive signs (for we could neither understand or make ourselves understood) he was induced to come closer to the drays and seemed to survey our cavalcade with savage astonishment – bordering on fear – he was then presented with a Tomahawk and some bread which he commenced immediately to devour – and separated on friendly terms – when asked questions about the Kindur and some other native names given by Barber he appeared entirely ignorant of any such and merely answers the interrogators by repeating them as a parrot would – at the end of the eleven miles we arrived on the plains – very extensive giving the horizon like that of the ocean to the westward (say from WNW to SW). From these plains we changed our course to the North for about 8’ – a little table mount christened by the Surveyor General Mount Christenson (after our present Colonial Treasurer) – bearing N 19.10 E – about 16/ off – at 3/ we noted the plain to be a continuance of it – and those patches with swamp oak scrub – which thickened – and appeared in large patches – at 6/ we were compelled to cut our way through one of these for three miles – fortunately found water in a small hole sufficient for ourselves and the cattle. Therm to day 73 101 102 86
Wednesday January 4th 1832 As early as usual at starting – and keeping on to the North for 6 1/4/ over a plain Country with here and there patches of timber – at 4 1/2 miles came to a Creek running to the left with good water – this we crossed coming to another very extensive plain without timber – a remarkable high peak to Nth in the range on the right bearing 96 N 6 1/4/ – the same Mtn E _ S – Broken topped mass west of it by ESE – Mt Riddell NE – and the Westn extremity of the ranges to the southwd – that we have come round E b E 7/ – the course was then changed to N24E – still on plains – plains as far as you could see – at 5 3/4/ Mt Riddell peaked SE _ E and Broken Capped mass SE – at the end of the range descended into a hollow promising water – in which we were disappointed – here however the Tents were pitched – while I rode onwards to try and find that very essential article and returned without success and with every prospect of spending one of our hottest days I have experienced in the Colony without a cup of water to quench ones thirst. The therm at noon standing in the shade at 1080.
In the afternoon I volunteered accompanied by one of the party to go in search of water – went on for nearly eight miles in the direction we expected to find it – on the way we searched every gully and hollow without success and returned after sunset to the tents – fatigued and worn out with travel and thirst – the cattle as badly off as ourselves – water cannot be far off somewhere – as several Emu and Kangaroo were seen in the vicinity of the tents. Therm 78 – 108 – 104 – 88
Thursday January 5th 1832 After spending a feverish night arose at day light to push away onwards in hope of finding water – keeping still N24E – 9/ – at the end of which most fortunately for ourselves and the cattle more especially the horses – that had already commenced suffering from thirst and heat – a plenteous supply of water was discovered in a chain of ponds falling away to the Westwd two of the men at this time were suffering effects of yesterdays heat and want of water that they were obliged to be carried in the carts. At these ponds the Tents were pitched – and do not recollect when I so much wanted – or – enjoyed a cup of tea – a gallon of water – pure – at this time was of more value to us than any quantity of any other liquid in the world. No one knows the value of water so well as those who have experienced the want of it. Therm 78 – 100 – 98.
Friday January 6th 1832 At the usual time moved onwards – keeping a course to the N by E – leaving our friends in need – the ponds in our rear – the ground that we travelled over in this direction consisted of plains covered with patches of Swamp Oak – so thick that in some instances we were obliged to cut our way through – after going on this way for about six miles the Burn or box of the wheel of one of the drays – came out and we of course stopped for the purpose of repairing it and then found that the wheel of the other dray was literally falling to pieces – from the dryness of the weather– Major Mitchell was informed of this circumstance and made the best of his way in a direction in which the Country seems falsely to promise water – as when that was found it was his decision – there to remain – until the drays and Carts were made again serviceable. This requisite was discovered at about 3/ later from where we were first stopped – and then we pitched our tents – once again – the country we have passed through to day is by any description badly watered
Saturday January 7th 1832 This morning busily repairing every article in any way out of order – and every one of the party employed one way or other – I with my gun in tracing upwards and downwards the ponds on which we are tented – to have their general direction – it appears to be ESE and not NW – I found plenty of water in them – here and there – where I imagine there is always water – but often a connecting chain of dry holes for nearly a mile – without any – the land is particularly good – near them – consisting principally of plains slightly wooded in places – we had last night a shower of rain – but not half so much as we are anxious for.
Sunday 8th January 1832 The weather overcast and threatening rain and quite refreshing to us who have been half-broiled for the last week – at the usual hour of day light – moved onwards taking a northerly course for 12/ – the first mile over plains – the heat there through an oak [… …] scrub in which we were obliged to cut our way – after this the land became mush better and assumed a park like appearance with Pandulum Accacias standing in small clumps and other fruit trees thinly studded over it – at 6/ we crossed the bed of a stream of a large size but with no water whose banks resembled silica – those of the tributaries of the River Namoy – Box Gum Iron Bark and oak being the principle timber – from 9/ – to the end – on a large plain – where to avoid some scrub – the course was changed to NSE which we kept for one mile – to forest land of Box Iron Bark & Gum – here we spoke to a Native who did not appear to be the least alarmed but waited – the man who was on forward from the dray from which he was taking some sugar – some signs by him he was making he was to us quite unintelligible – I had forgotten to mention that previously we had seen a tribe of them – at the bed of the River we today crossed – who scampered from us like so many Kangaroos – frightened I conjecture by our large cavalcade that came upon them rather suddenly – we then went NNE for three quarters of a mile – when we again came on a large plain – over this we held to the North and on 1 1/2/ – encamped for the night – the long days journey having nearly knocked up the cattle – so here we were obliged to remain for the second time without water – but not much wanting it from the temperature of the day. The Thermr at the highest standing at 82 – at 4.30 pm breakfasted. In the evening a rocket was sent up just to try them. Therm 76 – 80 – 70
Monday January 9th 1832 At sunrise continuing on our journey with the same favourable weather we had yesterday – keeping abt N15E for one mile when we crossed some fine water holes – as we were yesterday without water we remained some few minutes to allow he cattle to drink – then went North half a mile and crossed another chain of ponds – with a fine and deep water hole a little to the right – kept a little to the Westward of North – to round a patch of Accacia Scrub and then continued our route North for nearly four miles – over land similarly timbered to the Hunters Riv r forest – at 2 1/2 miles when on a rise – apparently the highest ground we have been on for some time – we perceived evident marks of a tremendous flood ceasing– recently – that is to say within two or three years – beseted this flat country – the wash of grass and other vegetable matter sitting in trees at least ten feet above the surface – at the end we came to a river equal in size to the Hunter above Maitland and very like it on the banks – the land of the finest description – here the Surveyor General ordered the encampment – to be formed while he should reconnoitre the country round about – and determine whether he supposed this to be the long sought for Kindur – as circumstances should point out – after remaining away from the encampment nearly two hours he returned – having met a Native whose appearance of hostility prevented him from venturing as far as he had intended – and of course of establishing the destination – as one of us must answer to the charge of the party – in case of attack – that duty generally falls to my lot – or I had volunteered to trace this river some way down.
Tuesday January 10th The day setting in with sprinkling showers – at the usual hour orders were given for moving – as it was the intention of the Surveyor General to follow the newly found river down to its supposed junction with the Namoy – and then if the accumulated waters of both rivers were sufficiently large to float a good sized boat – there to construct one and to follow the united stream down – on the supposition that if the river discovered yesterday were not the Kindur – still its waters must join that river – if the story of the bush ranger suspecting such a river is at all accredited – I regret that the Survr General has not continued further on to the North – that is to say as far as the latitude on which he himself stated that it was probable a large river would flow from the concentrated waters of a basin formed in the Main Coast Chain of Mountains – but his reason for not doing so he gives as follows – that two considerable rivers cannot flow so near – in my opinion the stream we came on yesterday is not of that magnitude to admit of its being called considerable and is – in all probability – only a feeder to something worthy of that name – but time will show.
Started onwards keeping SW – until stopped at the end of it by a Gully from the river – then changed to North for four miles – here the tire of one of the dray wheels broke and I with the carpenter and two men remained behind to repair it while the rest went on. In less than three hours all was again right and we followed on keeping west for 5/ – WNW -1/ – and NW 5/ – through a plain country here and there thinly studded with Box and Apple tree with small patches of scrub – at the end we found our Tents already pitched – showers throughout the day – Therm 70 – 82
Wednesday 11th January 1832 At daylight the weather cloudy and promises rain in plenty – this we had during our travel- to our hearts content – at 6.30am – we moved on for about 6/ to the westwards – and was then stopped from going further in that direction by the river – changed the course to South – to get at some distance from its banks to avoid the hollows and scrubs frequently found on the borders of large streams in this Country – at 2/ crossed the dry bed of a large water course – this I imagine to be the same river – on the 8th inst – from there continued South 30 W – to a chain of ponds where we encamped – the country passed over today is very similar to that we have been travelling over for the last ten days – one vast unchanging flat – of which your eyes get completely tired – I saw today some fine large grey parrots with red breasts – the first of that description I have seen.
Thursday 12th January 1832 The morning set in cloudy with heavy thunder storms during the day – at day light moved again – but I cannot say onwards – keeping a sort of zig zag course – following the big river down sometimes stopping by it and then obliged to making away to the SE to get from it – this sort of travelling we continued until the bullocks were able to go no further – the wetness of the ground making the load then as heavy as lead – we encamped at the end of a journey of 8/ SW – over a large wet plain fortunately on some water holes – coming from the Eastward – I have noticed that the plains clear of trees near the river – are principally alluvial – and appear to be often overflowing – as they are full of the small hollows and rises – […. …… …… ….. …] – formed I conjecture by water – the plains further back from the river with some slight exceptions– appear to me to be of a bluish clay – consequently not near so rich as the others – course made abt SW by W 12 miles. Therm 76 – 86 – 74. Mt Riddell by SE 120 […. ..]
Thursday January 13th 1832 The day arrived with fair weather – the wind blowing strong and cool from the E – as soon as our all is packed up – and the Carts loaded – making our way to the SW say about S34W – after travelling in that direction for nearly two miles – which from the natural stiffness of the soil took us three hours to accomplish at the expense of completely rendering the Bullocks unfit for further work this day – we were obliged to halt – Major Mitchell and I rode about 1 1/4 miles to the West into the forest while breakfast was preparing to ascertain if the river is close – but perceiving the fresh marks of Natives returned to the Tents as we were unarmed – the Survr General deemed it prudent to do so – after discussion accompanied Major Mitchell to the SW for about six miles in the direction he intends proceeding tomorrow – continued then a little to the westward towards the river – but coming in contact with a lagoon which we could not cross – returned to our encampment – before proceeding tomorrow in the direction kept by us today – I should myself like to see the river – I am rather doubtful as to its course – and should we put the Namoy first – shall only have to return again – and it will be so much lost time. Therm 70 – 92 – 69
Saturday January 14th 1832 The weather at sun rise looking rather unpropitious – it turned out however better than it promised – at 6am – once again saw us underway – S33W for 12/ – all over plains – the forest skirting us close on the right – at the end we were stopped by a large channel of water – [.. ….] – having an East and West course – deep – and about 50 yards wide I conjecture – this the Survr General went down to the Wsstd – for two miles – when a right arm coming into it from the North – caused him to stop and – order the team to return to where we be first – retraced our direction – and there to pitch the tents trusting in providence for a place to cross it on the morrow – our working cattle men much distressed – it is not my duty to animadvert – on any thing directed by the Surveyor General- but this being a private journal – an opinion may be given – without risk of my incurring censure from any – had we yesterday sighted the river – we might have had confidence in the direction we have been this day keeping.- as it is we are completely like men groping in the dark and are fearful wandering about here losing time to no purpose – in search of a precious junction – which we may have been passed for the want of requisite observations – I would further recommend all Explorers to take out a small quantity of patience – as when an obstacle to the direction may present itself it may be examined – and the proper place of surmounting it be found without lugging – the good beasts of burthen – several miles backwards and forwards to no avail. Mt Riddell 115 1/2 – Nipple 115
Sunday January 15th 1832 At day light I with two body guards (a new rule of the party) so as in readiness to accompany the Surveyor G\eneral (as ordered yesterday morning) to reconnoitre the Country – the direction took by us was West 20 […] – river crossed – but this being Sunday I will term it holy ground – the ride was far from interesting and the walk to the poor devils following us must have been tiresome enough – after proceeding on that direction principally over stunted apple tree forest – for near 18 /- we returned as the sun was setting – to the tents – and breakfasted – but still had not seen the river – it is my opinion and I imagine the Surveyor General has some idea of the sort – that the Namoy is the Darling discovered by Captain Sturt – from the situation it is placed in on the Generals map – and the direction we are taking- it appears to me not to be above seventy or eighty miles distance – of where we now are – if it turns out so far as the Surveyor Genl had anticipated. 74 – 96 – 84.
Monday January 16th Before sunrise we were preparing for our departure – from MacNevans ponds – they being so christened by our adventurous Chief – and a short interval beheld them in our rear – our cavalcade keeping a course W20N in the direction we yesterday rode – at 2/ crossed a small river of the ponds coming down from the North – and then continued along the Apple tree forest on stony ground – for 9/ – to small ponds having a course SW – after crossing these travelled over plains – thinly and in patches interspersed with timber for nearly four miles to the same description of forest last left – through this we kept for two miles – to a chain of lagoons – here we encamped – and just in time – as the cattle some of them began to fail – two or three miles back – and could not have possibly gone further. The old encampments of the Natives in the lagoons – and water holes – are plentiful and some of them very recent – but we have met with few – it is lucky as some of us have a terrible dread of them – and would as soon see the devil – an abundance of wild duck of all sorts – in all the most we have fallen in with.
Thursday January 17th 1832 At the usual time sun rise – pursuing our course – W20N for about one mile over stunted apple tree forest – where the Surveyor General decided that we should keep NW – this we did for 6 1/2 miles – over few spots of good land – to a thick scrub difficult of penetration – to avoid this we kept for 1/ – N by W and then continued on NW by N for two miles of – a marsh I should term it – thickly covered with the swamp weed – and here and there a patch of bulrushes – at the termination of this – we came to a large lagoon where we were obliged to encamp – the cattle could travel no longer in the afternoon – Dawkins – my servant when absent from the tent fell in with about 30 Natives – they ran from him as from a spectre – although unarmed – and did not stop – until they had put the lagoon where they were encamped between him and them – they then ventured to stop and made some ridiculous – but vehement gestures for him to be off – they left every thing they had behind them – this is a specimen of what we have to fear from such beings – it is as well however to be guarded of a civilised enemy – this morning we had a slight thunder shower – course made NW to 10 1/2 miles.
Wednesday 18th January 1832 At dawn of day moving onwards to the NW for 7/ – over a fine country – thinly timbered with here and there plains studded with groups of shrubs – picturesque enough to adorn the landscape of an artist – at the end – coming to that description of timber (flooded gum etc) – that indicates a river or creek is near – the course was then changed to W by N which was pleasant for 2 1/2 miles – over a wooded country – and at the end a plain without timber for a mile or two – went on keeping from NW to N through forest of apple tree – and at 4/ encamped near a water hole – the junction of a creek – with a stream supposed to be the river – close by – approaching the junction as it was reported – by the man sent to look for it – found it to be only a bight of the same stream – which must be the river made by us on the 9th inst (Kindur) as it had a strong run to the Westd – it had, if so – much altered in appearance for the river – and is not of one quarter the size – if it grows smaller on the same ratio as we continue it down – it would soon die away in this interminable flat altogether – Major Mitchell imagines that it may have formed by overflowing several channels for itself – and that this is only one of them – this is probable enough – continued course N30 1/4 to 13 miles.
Thursday January 19th 1832 At the usual time we moved – the encampment – keeping a course N 10 E nearly parallel to the stream – same as yesterday – after going in that direction alternately seeing the banks of that stream for nearly four miles – it then appeared to take a more northerly direction – we still kept on for 10 miles to the end – travelling over the same description of ground – we have been going over for the last month – forests of apple tree gum and Accacia pendulum interspersed with small plains – we have not seen ferns of any description for the last three days – we still went on for 2 miles WNW – when we came upon the same water – since this morning left – here we again encamped – in the evening by the desire of the Survr General I walked in a north direction for about four miles – to ascertain of any more streams similar to the one we are on – are to be found in that direction – returned without success – the land just the same as on this side – Therm 78 – 100 – 90.
Friday January 20th 1832 Everything in readiness – at day light for moving – with the exception of the bullocks that had strayed from the encampment further than usual – at 6.30 – two of the drivers brought them in – one wanting – the other man having remained behind in search of the one missing – the Surveyor General in the meantime had altered his intention of following down this Creek any further to the Westd and had determined on equipping a light party – and proceeding further North – that is to say the true North as far as the latitude of 28 to ascertain if in that direction any river of magnitude was flowing from the Coast Range easterly – in consequence of the above change – the encampment was ordered to be again formed and arrangements made to enable him to prosecute his plan – so I have received instructions to remain here in charge of the drays – stores men etc – until I may have further instructions – the beast lost was brought in about the middle of the day.
Saturday January 21st 1832 As early as everything could be got in readiness the Surveyor General proceeded onwards – in prosecution of his plan yesterday ventured forth with eight men – one pack Bullock and two pack horses – although I have not been to say particularly comfortable in his society for the last eight weeks – from something extremely overbearing and repulsive in his nature – yet as we have agreed pretty well for the last month – I felt as if left alone in the wilderness – every one knows the feeling of utter loneliness – but few have felt it in such a desert as this surrounded by savages – but it will be easy for any to think¬ – given the consequent depression of mind (or spirit) attached to such a feeling – which a comparative view of times gone by – tent to strengthen and with nothing whatsoever to divert ones attention or keep the imagination from working as it will – before Major Mitchell left orders were given that the meat ration of those remaining behind should be reduced to two pounds weekly per man – so we are like Elijah fasting in the wilderness – and although unlike him in being fed by servant – we are striving to feed ourselves by fishing.
Sunday 22nd January 1832 To drive away ennui employing myself in making a finished sketch of our journey for the Survr General.- I trust all the good folk at home are praying for such a sinner – here would be an excellent place for any one so inclined to strive and refute – his tremendous heavy ties of solitude – I cannot find anything so beautiful in all myself – but that I would prefer the good company of good folks – Therm 84 – 97 – 82.
Monday 23rd January In the morning early left the encampment with my gun and went up the stream some distance – to see if I could induce a duck to wait until I came near enough to salute him – but to no avail – returned hungry to breakfast and nothing to eat – passed away this day – in as agreeable company as yesterday – the Moschitoes are uncommonly talented – and some inclined to make more free than welcome – succeeded this afternoon in shooting a duck for dinner.
Tuesday January 24th All day – Mapping – am awaiting anxiously the return of the Surveyor General to learn the news – river or no river – at about 5 pm Souter one of the men of the party taken on – to my surprise made his appearance at the Tents – I of course expected to see the rest close at his heels – on my demanding the reason of his return so soon – he informed me that on the evening of the day the Surveyor General left – this – the encampment was formed at a spot where there was no water and that Major Mitchell had despatched four men in different directions to search for some – that he was one of them and that after proceeding about 3 miles he met with a tribe of blacks – he states about 200 – they showed him water but on his attempting to return they detained him – he was kept by them for two nights and one day –and that early on the Monday morning he tried to make his escape – by stealing quietly from the gunja – they had made for him – he states that they were kind to him – gave him of their food – built a gunya. and seemed to […. ……] a woman with them – on his motioning to them his wish to go away they gently restrained him but used no violence – they were occupied he says – while he was with them in making spears – common rosined ones – jagged.
Wednesday January 25th 1832 Cloudy and threatening rain – amusing myself as well as I can in such a desert – and expecting the return of the Chief – at – 4 pm – 3 men arrived with tidings of a large river to the Northward – bringing the pack Bullocks and a letter from the Surveyor General directing me with the stores etc to make the journey to join him – some distance to the north.
Thursday 26th January 1832 As soon as every thing could be got in readiness – moved on towards the spot where we had formed a sort of a road – to make the passage across the river – from the soft nature of the bed – this occupied us some time as the heavily laden dray – and the Cart containing the ammunition – was to be unloaded and the articles carried across – at 10 am we had succeeded in getting over every thing safe – we then continued along the line marked by the Surveyor General on his route Northly for about five miles – through a fine park like country but devoid of water – the timber principally Accacia pendulum Apple tree Box and gum – at the end of the nine miles – encamped without water – this we were prepared for as the men who yesterday returned with the Bullocks informed me there would be none for twenty eight miles.
Friday January 27th The weather favourable & a fine refreshing breeze from the SW – at day light continued on our journey – along the same line we were yesterday following – the country in every respect similar to that then passed over in about 16 miles – we came to a chain of large water holes – here we encamped for the night – well may the old proverb – tempus fugit – be often quoted – Henry is today eleven weeks old – I shall honor a little of this water by mixing it with some brandy (the first time with a savour for it) and drinking to home and his mother – and may I soon again see them.
Saturday January 28th 1832 In the morning at the usual time of starting kept on following the markings – immediately crossing the ponds on which we last night encamped – and in about 20 miles – another chain much larger having a westerly course – we then followed the line having a north direction – over about 8 miles principally of Oak scrub – with some slight plains and patches of forest land – plentifully covered with something much resembling the leaf like bramble of home but wanting the thorn – this we have seen a great deal of before (which I have omitted to mention) – at the termination a large impassable river stopped our prospects further north – the banks of it are high – and from its breadth and body of water which is now –it is the most considerable we have hitherto seen – and at periods of much rain an immense body of the aqueous fluid must flow – down it – after continuing up its bank for nearly a mile we came to the encampment of the Surveyor General who was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the drays – to send them back to a range timbered with pine nearly fourteen miles in our rear – there to cut and prepare some for the purpose of planking the boat which is building – as no other timber had been seen that would answer the purpose – and none of that description was to be had any nearer.
Sunday 29th January 1832 At day light in the morning – climbed a high tree at the top of which a pole had been elevated some height – to command a view – the morning being cloudy and unfavourable could distinguish nothing but one vast expanse of trees – resembling the surface of the ocean – no mountains or rises breaking in – upon the distant horizon – from a line of shade I thought I could distinguish the course of the river to be about WNW – but that is mere conjecture – at 1pm Wood – one of the Bullock drivers – had left the encampment early in the morning in search of the Bullocks had not returned – and we began to be anxious for his safety – fearing that he might have encountered the Natives – who I suspect are numerous in this quarter – the Surveyor General with a party of four men across proceeded in search of him – after they had left me three hours the man returned having lost his way – and wandered in every direction when he fortuitously made the river and followed it down until it brought him to our encampment – two or three musquets were fired to bring the searching party back – and they returned about sunset – a Dray with four men was dispatched this morning to procure the timber mentioned yesterday.
Monday 30th January 1832 Beautiful weather – the men with the timber returned very early – the sawyers were set to work to cut it into planking – and some of the idlers to pick a resin for caulking the boat – the Bullock drivers employed in building a stock yard while the remainder of us were striving to catch fish for all hands – I regret to say without luck- for it is scimpy times with us now – in the absence of fish or fowl and I imagine or feel as if I never had a better appetite in my lifetime – if I were a physician – in cases where consulted on loss of appetite I should recommend not voluntary starvation – but that the patient should be placed in a situation similar to ours just now – where nothing could be procured that he might wish for – and that his existence depended on his own exertions – I would answer for the L’appetite in less than a minute – we have very little in this spot to attract our attention – sometimes of an evening we are amused with the melodious warbling of the native dogs – and a full chorus of twenty of them – now and then joining in – as if to say how happy we should be to pick the bones of either yourself or cattle – goodness no.
Tuesday 31st January 1832 Many of us poor mortals will never open our eyes – on another January – they will be about for the long and lasting sleep – how strange it is to say – that when past the enjoyments of life how reluctantly we all look forward to the moment that we are to part with it – the old man of ninety – gives up his soul with as bad a grace as the young one of twenty – still wishing worse existence – and really I cannot see for what – except that his accumulated heap of troubles in this world is not of sufficient magnitude – this lucubration has been called forth – by a remark by the Surveyor General at dinner. ‘That few imagined or felt the shortness of human existence relating to incidents that have occurred to him some years past and in boyhood’ – and that now as a man of forty – he looked back to them as events of yesterday – but all this is extraneous natter to my journal – so now for the rest of today – the men are working as yesterday – and I have been fishing for the food – success – it is really pleasant pastime – when the fish bite occasionally – and a mans dinner – is in the river there – I disagree with the merciful fisherman Isaac Walton – when they keep nibble nibble is such a case – my opinion is not in accordance with his views of this matter – he probably speaks yet only theoretically not by experience.
Wednesday 1st February 1832 By command I went down the river for about six miles – to return keeping the banks – and with a party of four men clear away any obstructions to the passage of our boat downwards – that might present itself – I found many in that short distance – and although we cleared away a quantity of accumulated timber forming a barrier in many places – it will still occupy a day more to clear up to the encampment – I am fearful we shall have very much trouble in getting a boat down this river – if it is possible to do it at all – there are the rapids or falls – here to the spot where I commenced at – with little depth of water over a rocky bed – consisting of iron stone (calcareous) – nodules of which are sticking up and causing the water to break over them – this I have reported to the Surveyor General and in consequence has intimated to me his intention of taking the pack horses and some men and of examining the river for some miles – onwards
Thursday 2nd February This morning early the Surveyor General with six men left me once more to go on for forty or fifty miles to ascertain if it really is possible to get a boat downwards – as much as to have an idea of the general direction of the stream – its course westward is particularly ominous – and his opinion is wavering as to whether or not it is the Darling – I would venture to bet something – that these waters must join that river – if its situation is properly placed on the map of which I have my doubts.
Ii is sickening work to have ones expectations continually stretched on the rack – and followed by disappointment – which is likely to be our case – that too – by paying attention to the report of a bushranger.
Friday 3rd February 1832 The weather today sultry – Our boat is at length finished with the exception of the battens to be nailed over the canvass – which cannot be done until the Surveyor General returns to know if we may requisition or not – a point in my humble opinion that ought to have been ascertained before we built her – a description of the boat – only so we as a hint to any one in a similar situation to us – that is to say – where materials for the purpose of building cannot be procured and the object is scarcely floating with the stream – for I imagine we never should have been able to propel so unship shaped a thing against a current of any force – her form is that of a punt with a projecting keel of 8 inches by 20 feet 6 in. length and above abt 23 ft – flat bottomed of course – her beam below is 8 feet – above 9-10/ – keeping the same center forward aft that is to say as far forward as when the boards at a sharp angle are sloped inwards in a wedge like form to make an approximation to something resembling the bow of a boat – I think she will be capable of carrying five tons – and that her draft of water will be from 26 in to 3.0 feet – but I fear there will be more trouble than anticipated in rendering her water tight – and she is tremendously heavy.
In the evening Worthington one of the party – returned to the Tents apparently in such trepidation – and stated that while occupied in fishing a spear had been thrown at him by a Native from the opposite bank of the river. I immediately took my rifle and proceeded with him to the spot – where it had lodged close to him in the bank but no spear was to be found or any marks of a person having swam from the opposite side – to take it away – and it would be impossible from the nature of the banks thereabouts – they being soft and sandy – for any human being to get in and out of the river without leaving a trace – I do not believe a word of it – and was convinced he only wanted to get his muscet loaded to shoot ducks – several of the party have seen Natives close to them today – but they have not the slightest inclination to molest them – the weather fine – a wind from the NE.
Saturday 4th February 1832 Sultry weather – the wind from the ENE- this day I have passed in calculating the courses made by guess and comparing them with that of observations – they just stand as follows from the Namoy to the Kinduer of the 18th by account we have made north 70/160 Statute of miles 52 80 but equal to very nearly 88 geographical miles of Latitude – by the two latitudes observed I find we have not made so much by 18 geomiles – the westing made appears to be 76 34 St miles or 66 geo miles – equal to- i.14 of westing in this latitude the chronr making it 1.13 West of our former dock yard so there we agree pretty well.
Sunday February 5th 1832 The weather fine – with a strong breeze – from the Eastwd – at about 10am I was disturbed from some astronomical calculations by one of the party calling from the river that there were Natives on the opposite bank- as I wished if possible to let them see that we are inclined to be peaceful – I approached towards them – and found that the man (Cusack) – who had given us notice of their approach – had induced two to venture across while the remainder – ten in number – squatted on the bank opposite – they were friendly and extremely loquacious but – the devil a word I imagine understood on either side – in a short time a reasonable confidence seemed to be established – they all came over – and then I sat with my servant Dawkins – in the midst of my sixty visitors – as if we were acquaintances of old – they were all unarmed – I mentioned to them some native names – that occur in Barbers account – but not one of them struck their attention not even that of the famous River the Kindur – they presented us some rough shaped waddies – strings of beads and a Boomerang or two – and received in return two tomahawks a knife and other small things – they seemed perfectly to understand the rule of trading – as we left them they followed us up to the encampment – their great surprise at viewing for the first time – a civilized mode of life – with the several articles appearing there – is not easy to describe – it was followed on their part – by an itching to possess everything they saw and several were detected in trying to secure any small article of metal that was laying about – they left us however good friends – but I was much annoyed – just as they had crossed to the opposite side of the river by one of the party who inadvertently firing a piece – which caused them to scamper and look over their shoulder – in a way that indicated their suspicion of treachery on our side – and I am now fearful it will prevent another visit – their just qualification acquired by them from their intercourse with Europeans – appears to be a missing of goods that do not belong to them – two of them were fine tall well made – the others small but well proportioned – I subjoin a few words I was enabled to collect by signs – to see if they agree with those of the settlement blacks: nacoga – the head; nayalar – the beard; naboyna – the ear; na mil – the eye; namoul – the nose; Myall dinbi – the Waruara; namurra – the hand; eyar – the mouth; woolummurra – the fingers; woorenda – fish; Doon – the peniss; Carorildy Corungi – the arm – but I am not sure – and woolingaul a word general among them which appeared to have a significant meaning but I could not make it out
Monday 6th February 1832 At 10am the Surveyor General returned to us – having followed this river downwards to the SW – to the junction of it with that named the Kindeur – he describes the reaches of it as being in some places immensely large – equal to the Thames – and then falling away into insignificancy from the decided direction it takes to the SW where he left it – he pronounced it to be the Darling of Captain Sturt – (this as will be seen by my journal I have long supposed) – he consequently has spoken to me of his intention to proceed further to the north and carry with him if possible the boat which I am fearful may prove to be most difficult and arduous undertaking – to cross the river for the purpose of moving onwards we have launched our bark – and although clumsy looking to a sailor when out of the water – is a much better made ship than could have been expected from the workmen and the materials – just at the moment we were preparing – to get the stores across – we were surprised by the arrival of Asst Surveyor Finch accompanied by only one man – without the supply of stores etc that we had expected him to bring. The melancholy part of the story remains to be recorded and how happy I should have been could I have closed this journal of the repetition – without any such blot upon its pages – the remainder of his party – two in number had been murdered by the Natives and the stores a secondary consideration had been plundered by them – at Magaruas ponds – by Mr Finchs account it appears that they had suffered – as we did thereabouts for the want of water – and he proceeded onwards – for the purpose of knowing the different states as we had on our trip – and that he left the two men behind in charge of the dray – after an absence of three days he returned to witness – the several articles of stores – and provisions – taken away or strewn about and – the two men with their heads beaten to pieces covered over and laying underneath the drays – as he had but one man with him in such a predicament surrounded probably by the Natives his bullocks and horses missing he decided as prudent that they should take as much provisions that they could conveniently carry and make the rest of their way to join our party and – acquaint us of the circumstances – lest we sought him travelling to their supplies – and went on too far – the worst part of the story is – that had the party been properly armed – such a catastrophe would not have happened – and I am fearful that from the [……] – Mr Finch – will incur censure for having attempted to travel through a desert peopled with savages – with only one crazy fowling pieces and no ammunition – the charge with which it was loaded being all they had. I shall add no comment – as every one hearing the story formed his own opinion and judged for himself – I can only say that the perseverance shewn by Mr Finch in attempting after such a grievous trauma still to follow through such a desert – deserves commendation – and he must possess both strength of mind and body – to have undergone the fatigues he has encountered – since Wednesday last – the day on which he discovered the dead bodies of the men as yet unblemished by corruption – therefore it is reasonable to suppose that the occurrence was thus very recent – the poor little Blacksmith – that returned with the despatches on the 28th last month was one of the unfortunates.
Wednesday 7th February 1832 The time has at length arrived – that we are to shape our course to the land of the living – much earlier than I yesterday anticipated – but as we have performed the service which the expedition was fitted out for in putting beyond doubt – where the waters of these rivers – supposed to flow formerly to the NW – to empty themselves – under the circumstances – and the unfortunate result of Mr Finchs expedition – the Surveyor General has deemed it prudent to return as soon as possible – for should wet weather now set in with our short supply of provisions – we might be yet placed in an awkward predicament – we have therefore moved back to the ponds on which I was encamped on te night of the 27th ultimo – and it may not be believed but I am not at all sorry I hear announced a retrograde announcement- although not under such mutageous circumstances I had once hoped for.
Thursday 8th February 1832 Before the day dawned we were on our load homewards – retracing our track in about ten miles – the bar of one of our four vehicles came out – and I with the carpenter remained behind the party until the accident repaired and in a short time overtook them – as there would be no water on the road until we reached the Kindur – we were anxious to reach that far to night – and although a hard days journey to the cattle we accomplished it at about sunset – Major Mitchell being anxious to be on the home side of the river – we attempted the passage – but the Bullocks had already travelled too far and were incapable of drawing the dray through it – and therefore we were obliged to unload our stores – and carry them across – leaving the drays where they were – this occupied us until 10 oclock at night – when we encamped – all having had through the day sufficient exercise to ensure a good nights rest.
Thursday February 9th 1832 As the day dawned the voices of natives were heard in different directions around us – and instructions were immediately given to those having muskets to load – and stand in front of the Surveyor Generals tent – as if anything offensive was attempted on our party – the late event had determined us to give them such a reception as would deter them from ever again visiting white fellows.
In a short time three or four made their appearance as if attentively reconnoitring our encampment – and on perceiving that they were observed – commenced a dance in their savage aray of Corrobory – making signs evidently friendly – and they had no arms – the Bullocks at this time had not been brought in – but the drivers were sent in search of them – therefore took my rifle and went in the direction they had gone – that they might not be surprised at the appearance of the Natives – when I saw on the opposite bank a body of I imagine fifty blacks – painted on their bodies as with a sort of pipeclay – and on seeing me they commenced their corrobory and dances – in a similar way – I had turned back to acquaint Major and perceived Dawkins speaking to the two or three first seen – on the other side of the river – I called to him – and soon found myself surrounded – by numbers – as the large body had now joined the others – they appeared pleased by our confidence in coming over to them unarmed and pressed upon us as presents – several of the bands – which they had round their foreheads – and on our leaving four or five of them followed us and came to the encampment – a Tomahawk was given to them – with which they appeared satisfied – and when we had ascertained that their language was the same – with those we last saw – and of the Natives about Liverpool plains – they departed in peace – signifying as we understood – that we should see them again.
This day has been occupied by the carpenters thoroughly repairing the wheels of our carts and the drays – to enable them to carry our stores etc back again – these of course we got over the river first thing this morning.
In the evening the Natives again made their appearance – but not in their confident manner of the morning – no notice was taken of them and in a short time they disappeared – soon after a rocket was thrown up – by way of giving them an idea of what could be done by us if requisite.
Friday 10th February At dawn of day – keeping a direction E26S – to cut by way of a short road to our encampment of the 16th of January – but it turned out much longer than the original track – for after going in that way – nearly seven miles – we were stopped by an extensive morass like country – which we were obliged to round – making the best of our direction as circumstances – would admit – yet 6pm we came to our road – about four miles from the encampment – and followed it down to the water – and pitched the tents on the old spot – in drawing towards it we heard the cries of Natives – amongst them a gin singing – whose voice had not an unpleasing effect – the air mild & calm corresponding with the tune sun set – caused a romantic sensation – mixed with an idea – that even in this wilderness these beings – whose wants are few – are comparatively happy to many having thousands at their disposal.
Their quiet however was to be disturbed – the Surveyor General dreaded them- as such near neighbours – and he proceeded I following at his command arrived – to dislodge them – on coming in sight he fired his rifle – this had the desired effect- off they scampered – and we heard no more of them – poor inoffensive devils – I was going to add – but after what had happened I must hold my tongue.
Saturday 11th February 1832 Early in the morning stirred – onwards – to our old resting place of the 15th of last month – Mr Finch and I – riding by turns for although there are four pack horses carrying everything – the Major has not been kind enough – as he has a spare saddle – to offer one to Mr Finch and yet to save his horses back he is riding one himself – such treatment may be intended to show the men how little he thinks of his officers – it will however have this effect – that an officer will not consider himself bound to do more than his duty – and consequently not go one iota out of his way to oblige his Head – what inducement can there be for any person to risk his own property – without a chance of remuneration if lost – and meet with such a treatment – a return – the Bullocks, dray mules horses – so lost by Mr Finch – on this occasion were all his own property – and used by him for the Government Services to prevent delay.
Today the party are again put on full allowance of meat and flour.
Sunday 12th February 1832 At much the usual hour retracing our track towards the encampment of the 14-th of last month – a tribe of from seventy to eighty Natives hanging suspiciously about our rear – from the recent events and our forbearance I imagine they think us afraid of them – so they have reason – and some of us may be – there will be occasion yet I am afraid to teach them the use of our firearms – and the first lesson should be one that they will never forget
Monday 13th February 1832 The dawn of day found us moving onwards – in the direction of Mount Frazer – the Surveyor General having though reluctantly expressed his intention of going with the party to the spot where Mr Finchs men were murdered – to take away any property that that might be remaining – after keeping to the Eastward for nearly twelve miles – to my sorrow we came to what Major Mitchell – forgetting that he was Surveyor General and taking up the old soldier – termed a fine commanding military position – as if we were really to expect an attack from an enemy who understood the matter – and the encampment – after an hours consideration was formed according to his idea of advantage of ground – this unfortunate piece of ground – unluckily changed his former intention – and after expatiating largely on the advantage to be derived from a knowledge of fortification and pointing out to me the various points of strength in his position – which I was stupid enough not to observe – informed me that on the morrow he thought of going on to the ponds with a mounted small force – and leaving me to protect the tents and stores – until his return in the evening – this is a good place for he can come back – but I am fearful the distance is too far – otherwise I do not think it prudent to divide our strength.
Tuesday February 14th 1832 The morning was as if its intention was to frustrate all our plans – the rain pouring in torrents – and the wind blowing a gale from the Eastward – the Surveyor General gave up his intended trip – and fearful of being drowned by a flood – gave orders for the drays to be got in readiness to proceed – notwithstanding least that these immense plains when thoroughly saturated should become so soft – as to prevent our travelling for some days – and the water it is evident enough sometimes flows over them – this fear of the Natives – is today changed to dread of the rain – and he expressed. himself – that if once safe in his office in Sydney – he would leave the inglorious task of exploring – this vile country with the Oxleys and the Sturts of the day.
After toiling for nearly ten miles the bullocks and drays bogging in the clay every ten minutes and the men of the party carrying a sample of about fifteen pounds of soil with each foot – in a day which for wet and cold I have not often seen surpassed – we stopped to encamp – and were again delayed for about an hour by the choice of position – wet and miserable as we all were – it is to be regretted that when men give up one profession for another – that they should plague those individuals belonging to the one they have latterly embraced with tactics of a profession they themselves have given up – for one that suits them better and for which they are more suited.
Wednesday February 15th 1832 Boisterous and blustering weather – heavy rain continuing in showers all the night – but change of wind from the SE to the north gives us hope of a clear up – and that we are not yet to be drowned in our countrys service.
A description of our present encampment – will serve to give a fair idea of the comforts of a wanderers life in such weather – and shew the advantages to be gained by a choice of position – when in my eyes – a dry one would be preferable – picture to yourself a chain of ponds – having a NWly course – with alluvial soil on the banks – of the consistence of good stiff mortar – and the drays and Carts of the expedition placed so as to form a right angle with the ponds – the tents being pitched to the NW of them – the Bullocks and drays having been previously roused about – for the span of half an hour just in the very spot – where they are ordered to stand – so that it is absolutely necessary – either in or out of the tent to be up to your knees in mud and water – but as a stockyards in which two or three hundred cattle are penned up for a night or two in wet weather will give a good idea of our camp floor – such is the advantage of our military position – in hopes of the weather clearing up soon – the Surveyor General intends waiting here a day or two,
Thursday 16th February 1832 Through the night continued heavy rain – and the weather in the morning very unsettled – the situation of our encampment – makes us as miserable as we can be – yet still we must remain until the weather will permit us leave here – have often heard it remarked that nothing can possibly be worse than living on board a ship – I would advise those who may think so to try this – and I think they would then agree with me that there are worse professions than a sailors.
The prospect this afternoon is brighter – and I am in hopes – the sky has cleared to continue so.
Friday 17th February Thank the Almighty we have once more fine weather – a day or two will make the plains sufficiently dry to enable us to move onwards – the Surveyor General intends to try tomorrow to visit the spot where Mr Finchs men or their skeletons are lying – although in expectation the native dogs and vultures of which there are plenty – in this country – will have saved the trouble of consigning the remains of the poor fellows to their Mother Earth – and it is more than probable that not a vestige will be left to point out the spot of the disaster – and several emus have visited us today for the water and several guns have been discharged at them by our crack shots – who some way or other managed to miss them all.
Saturday 18th February 1832 At dawn of day the Surveyor General accompanied by Asst Survr Finch with some men mounted and armed – proceeded on towards the ponds – to examine the extent of the mischief done by the Blacks – and to bring away anything that may be remaining – I with the rest of the party are taking care of the encampment and stores – and my only wish is that the Natives may pay us a visit during the short time I have charge – every musket is prepared for them – and I have an old debt to discharge in addition to this recent occurrence and – a sailors- old motto – close quarters – shall be the order of the day – not a shot should be fired until they were within thirty yards – and what with my rifle and Buck Shot in the muskets – it would be strange if a separation did not happen between the Blacks souls and carcases of some of them – at 8pm the party had not returned and in accordance with orders a large fire was kindled on the highest ground – and a rocket thrown up to show the situation of our camp – at 9.30 while standing at the fire the sound of a gun in the distance intended to say they were on the way – that I promptly answered by the discharge of a musket every two minutes – until I supposed them sufficiently near to see our fire – and at 11.30 the party was again embodied – with the exception of a man whose horse having knocked up had remained behind to bring him on – after waiting for some time – at an interval of half an hour two other rockets were discharged – to light him home – and he arrived safe with his horse at 2am.
By the account of the Surveyor General on his return from Machivaris Ponds it appears that he imagined the men who were killed by the Natives were taken by surprise – and were asleep under the dray – the bodies were still lying there naked – and from having been dead scarcely three weeks the sight and effluvium – was indescribably horrible – the left side of the skull of each of them – was battered in – and no vestige of a feature could be traced to distinguish the one from the other – merely the bare bones grinning horribly from under the mass of rubbish that the murderers had thrown upon them – (for everything that they had considered useless they heaped upon the unfortunates) – on moving the bodies – that they might be consigned to the graves prepared for them – their skulls had been smashed even more – pieces of the bone – like fragments of broken earthenware – detached themselves – the flour was the object which led the Natives to this act of outrage – Mr Finches baggage in two boxes – was untouched – as well as the tea sugar tobacco and other articles – with the use of which they were unacquainted – the articles that could be collected were brought on to our encampment – and I am fearful that the stench accompanying them will remain for some time.
Sunday February 19th 1832 The horses being much fatigued with their journey of yesterday – the Surveyor General proposed making only a short one today as far as the Creek crossed by us on the 4th January. This we did keeping SE course for about eight miles which from the spongy nature of the plain – was as tiresome to our cattle as double as much of firm ground – and we encamped about 3pm. Mount bearing by compass – 103. SE.
Monday 20th February 1832 The day one of very heavy showers and squalls of wind from the – NE – this with the clogging of the ground caused by the wet – prevented our moving at the required time – towards ten oclock the weather became fair and promised to us a fine cloudy day for travelling – but the Major had not made up his mind whether or not he would move today – amused myself with reading – Basil Halls America –a work lent me by Mr Finch – the style of it I much admire – from the unstudied and easy way in which he relates his opinions and the occurrences incidental to a traveller – with now and then some slight touches showing profession – which makes it in my estimation the more valuable – for none but sailors can spin yarns of that description – in the free and easy way they ought to run off the reel.
At 12 noon orders were given to move and after floundering in the mud caused by the recent rain – and often sticking in it with our wheel carriages – we arrived at our resting place of the 3rd ult – (our draft cattle more tired than if we had gone twenty miles in lieu of four) – sometime after sunset here – we dined on the grilled fat of a snake etc – and then went to our beds well tired of our days work.
Tuesday February 21st 1832 As the day dawned we prepared to retrace our journey of the 2nd of January – but from the extremely boggy nature of the flats we had to pass over – could only get on for about seven miles – when the cattle knocked up – we were consequently authorised to pitch the tents much against our inclination – Mount Riddell bearing at 5 by NE – I am of the opinion that a very little more rain would prevent our return with the drays – probably for some months – and that it would even be difficult to accomplish it by pack – such is the unfavourable situation we are now placed in.
A singular incident occurred today – which is not likely to be believed – by sceptical folks – one of our pack bullocks – the last in the line – while the driver was walking at his leisure at some distance in the rear – was attacked by four large mastiff like looking native dogs – one of which we succeeded in shooting – they are larger and stronger built than I have met with in other parts of the Colony – and would be a formidable enemy ever to meet – if they ventured an attack in numbers of four or five.
PM – thunder is rolling in the distance and heavy charged clouds or electric fluid are hanging around us – I am fearful we will have plenty of rain – if so our troubles are not yet over.
Wednesday 22nd February 1832 My forebodings last evening were luckily for us not verified – and a fine morning found all actively preparing to reach our encampment of the 2nd of January if it were ours to procure – only a feast of lobsters – I shall be glad to see that spot once more – and that once I hope to be the last – we proceeded on merrily for about four miles – and at a good pace – when we were delayed by the ground of our iron bark range being what is termed perfectly rotten – that is to say the nature of the soil is such that when it becomes saturated it is the next thing to impassable – after floundering about – in one mud hole and out of another – and sometimes sticking fast for nearly an hour – we succeeding – in time in making our way through – at the expense of nearly killing the bullocks – in the midst of our distress we were somewhat startled by the appearance of a tribe of natives – they approached us and when near enough to be distinctly seen laid down their spears as I suppose in token of friendship and came firmly on – after a good deal of gabbling – in which we were as wise as if they had held their tongues – they introduced – in the finest fashion of Natives three or four as fine black females as I have seen – well made – then they motioned to us to take our choice of – and the ladies themselves by their insinuating gestures seemed inclined – to be courted – but as we declined their courtesy or the honour they extended us I am fearful our national gallantry – will not stand very high in their estimation – however had matters not been exactly as they seem between us and the Natives – I think one or two of our party would not have been proof against temptation – the men who were stout and well made who strove by signs – to learn something of Mr Finchs disaster – but they appeared to be perfectly at a loss as to what we meant – and I am persuaded from the confident manner of their approach they know nothing of the matter – had they been aware of it they would have given us a wide berth – yet I have understood – that their introducing you to their wives or women – is a sort of bait – often attended by fateful consequences – so much for that – at 2.30pm encamped at the lobster ponds – the recent rain has made them bank high – but still we caught no fish.
Thursday 23rd February 1832 At dawning we continued on our trail – and got on well for some distance – when a short repetition of our yesterdays work delayed us for nearly an hour – during which period we were kept in full activity by myriads of moschitoes – of a grey description and of double the usual size – by dint of perseverance we at length arrived at the river Namoy at the spot where we encamped on the 1st day of the year – our fortification was soon formed – and my Uncle Toby – though was twisted partly by himself assisted by Corporal Trims – could have been nothing when compared with – ours – in fact we ought in this expedition all to be Corporal Trims – to understand the military technical terms – that are continually used.
Friday 24th February 1832 Nothing material occurred today in retracing our journey of the 31st January and we were encamped on the southn side of the creek – then crossed at about two oclock PM – we shall from henceforward – I hope – get on rapidly to whither our affections – and failings – naturally lead us – to our homes and those dear to us
Saturday 25th February The day ushered in with heavy thunder accompanied by showers – this cleared up as the morning advanced – and we travelled homeward – noon of this day – found us again at where we launched the canvas boats – from whence we pushed on with buoyant hopes of making grand discoveries – in this then unknown land and of immortalising the name of the leader of the expedition – we have returned – how far we have succeeded in doing anything at all – I will leave those to judge who may come this road after us – all I can say is that I envy them not – whoever it may be – the object of ascertaining where the waters flow – has been accomplished – I am heartily glad we did not attempt anything more.
In the morning ascended the hill back of the Tents and observed angles to the Northd – on returning home a slight shower overtook me just as I reached the Tent – increased into a heavy squall of wind and rain – sufficient to blow away the Tent and drench us thoroughly – besides spoiling all our traps.
Sunday 26th February The weather overcast – and fine for travelling – resumed at dawn of day our homeward track – at noon we were much surprised by perceiving two horsemen coming towards us – and not a little gratified when found it was Mr Brown & his stockman – to think we were once more approaching the land of the living – we merely interchanged a sort of greeting – and asked or answered no questions – Mr Brown informed us he was searching for cattle – we are now upward of fifty miles from his outer station – this is the way the country becomes known – at 2pm we reached our old encampment of the 16th Decr without anything further happening worthy of note – and pitched the tents for the night.
Monday February 27th Retracing our steps of the 16th Decr – as the country is described in my notes on that day – repetition is needless – the travellers we met yesterday have again joined us on their way homewards – as soon as our tents were pitched accompanied the Surveyor General to the Summit of Coorial to survey and sketch the surrounding country – the atmosphere was beautifully clear – and the outline of the ranges in the vista distinctly marked – on a serene looking somewhat Italian sky – the remarkable peak having the name of our late Suvr General we distinguished by 1 by 4.30 SE of us – while the mountain king of the land we have left – Balacras point raised its lofty head in the sombre blue of the clouds – about 333.10/ NW.
As the evening closed in upon us – we reached our tents – a little fatigued with the labours of the day hoping to enjoy a little rest – but our visitors the moschitoes were in myriads – to receive us – and to net them .was out of the question.
Tuesday 28th February 1832 Recrossed the River Moolaria – and went on to the encampment of Cambunga where we halted for the day – nothing worthy of note occurring in the days journey.
Wednesday 29th February 1832 At dawn of day resumed our homeward route – and reached our encampment of the 14th of last ¬Decr about noon – all this country having been described in my journal outwards – there can be nothing remaining – of any interest to note – and a daily record of passing locals – under such circumstances – can be nothing but – monotonous and stupid – I had forgotten to mention that between this and the last encampment – on a remarkably broken but small rise – a fine field for geological argument presents itself – shell & organic remains turned into [……….] – and strongly united with other rock of trap formation – the calcamite – assert that organic retentions – are not to be found – in igneous matter and that trap rock has its origin from fines.
Thursday 1st March 1832 The weather cloudy and threatening rain – which however kept off – the Surveyor General intending to leave us – at 1pm for Sydney – the expedition is halted for the day – at 1pm Major Mitchell – prior to his departure gave me his instructions to remain with and take charge of the party as far as my house – he considering – as he said in reply to the question – who was to take charge – asked by Mr Finch – that he Mr Finch was only a visitor – an altercation here occurred between the parties – and after all that was said by the Major – to Mr Finch – I may well consider that the worst of his conduct to me in the first instance – was civility in comparison to many of his cutting speeches to that officer – on his leaving – although it is a pleasure to again be my own master – and not to be obliged to listen to dictation on the most trifling matter – yet I felt a sort of regret as of late we have agreed as well as two individuals can of such opposite temperaments
Friday 2nd March 1832 At dawn of day moved onwards and at 12 noon – had the pleasure of again seeing Wooloomoul – (Browns station) – they were there mustering and branding stock and the howling and bellowing of the cattle was music to my ear – as it indicates our approach once more to a land of civilisation – then to I met Mr Cann – and had the news of the Hunter – of my home, of my Maria, of my friends – if I have any.
By good fortune – we discovered a lost Bullock in the herd fat, plump and in fine condition – this I took upon myself to have slaughtered as we are short of meat – roast beef should be again upon our Tent table – and the men of the party feel none the worse – for a tuck out as they term it of fresh beef – through the night I slept little – and when often times – starting from a dose – the voices of mutinous cattle restarted.
Saturday 3rd March 1832 Gloomy weather and heavy – hanging time – the Surveyor General having directed that the party should halt here for a couple of days to recruit – I am obeying his orders – against my inclination – today and tomorrow will appear lengthy to me – I will not be easy until we are on the move again.
Sunday March 4th 1832 Unsettled gloomy weather – to drive away ennui – employed myself not in saying my prayers as I ought to have and returning thanks for the safe arrival of our party this far – but in fishing – and succeeded in catching a sizable cod – sufficient for our dinner.
Since the Survr General – leaving us – the men of the party seem to imagine that they have already a Ticket of Leave and are to be subservient to no one – my orders are treated in the way – any one would expect from men who probably have brains sufficient to observe – the manner – in which the subordinate officers of the Surveyor Generals Department are treated by their Head – and to take advantage accordingly – I believe now – since I have shewn them – that I now am not Surveyor General – but the present conductor of the expedition – and will be obeyed as such.
Monday 5th March 1832 As soon as the Bullocks were brought up – removed to our old encampment formed on the 10th of December last – during the journey we were sufficiently drenched to require a change of clothing – on our arrival. I was much surprised to see a couple of emus approaching towards me while leading my horse – I did not at first perceive them and could not imagine at what the beast was snorting – and giving other indications of fear – when I turned around and saw them about ten yards behind – I fired with a pistol at the nearest and evidently wounded it – but so slightly as to admit of making its escape.
Tuesday 6th March 1832 A morning unsettled & looking very likely to give us another ducking – but as good luck would have it – the weather cleared up towards the close of our days journey – arrived at our outgoing encampment under Carrabobbila about noon and pitched the Tents – the sky promising fairer for fine weather than it has done for the last week.
Wednesday 7th March 1832 That promises are not always to be depended on – this morning has given us a fair specimen by setting in with heavy rain – not withstanding which we prepared to move and – luckily enough for us by the time our tents were struck the rain which had been heavy and constant for two hours previous eased – and we completed our journey to Goolumburra – otherwise Barometer Creek – without getting wet by 1pm – another week and this trip Wednesday should be completed.
Thursday 8th March 1832 A beautiful day dawned which we took every advantage of in pressing on our homeward bound route – at 11am we placed Loders station in our rear – and felt so much more confident that we were drawing near to the precinct of the Colony – on perceiving that we had a well worn dray track under our feet – continued the road until – our cattle were fairly fatigued – but not so badly as to prevent their making a good days journey on the morning – we therefore encamped at the junction of a stream with the main Creek Coorungi and rested for the remainder of the day.
Friday March 9th Beautiful weather – but bitterly cold for the season – the thermometer in the morning giving the temperature at 42 – my opinion of this climate is that the sudden changes from extreme heat to extreme cold is sufficient in a short time to undermine the strongest constitution – I speak feelingly as I have risen from my bed – with acute rheumatic pain in my back and left side today – such as I have not felt in my several attacks of rheumatic fever. How troubling are all our hopes of the world – I was thanking providence I had weathered so safely all the troubles of the trip – and when just I may say – on the threshold of my home – I feel acute twinges of a disease so severe – has already on one occasion brought me all but to my grave – finally I expect it to finish the work it so – nearly completed on its first essay.
We have without much trouble crossed the Liverpool range – and encamped close to the Rock Murri Urundi – on the left bank of the River Page – now I can safely say that I am once more in the Colony of New South Wales
Saturday March 10th 1832 The morning – fine bracing weather as it would – at home be termed – but after the recent roasting I have had I find it winterishly cold – enough to make us blow our fingers before the sun rises – sufficiently to warm the Earth – we today safely surpassed the range dividing the River Pope from the Kingdon Ponds and pitched our tents for the night in the latter stream – I found Warland at home – breakfasted with him – and heard all his news.
Sunday March 11th 1832 At the peep of day followed down the Kingdon Ponds – as far as Orrs land and then encamped – rode as far as Bingles to borrow a newspaper or two – met Thompson there – returned to the encampment at 9pm
Monday March 12th 1832 The usual hour found us moving slowly down the Kingdon Ponds – met Dangar of the AAC going towards Liverpool plains – and received a letter from Mrs W. Having some flour to return to Segenhoe – I went with one of the drays [… …..] for that purpose having the remaining Carts to keep the main road – until they crossed the Hunter – there to encamp – spent a pleasant hour or two at Segenhoe and reached this today at about 2pm
Tuesday March 13th 1832 The morning threatening rain – it however by noon cleared for a fine bright day – we reached our old camp of the 30th of Novr – there is nothing now to note worthy of attention – the only thing interesting to me is the daily push towards my home – another and another day and there.
Wednesday 14th March 1832 Dull cloudy weather with showers and much thunder during the day – at 2pm encamped at Foy Brook – here Mr Finch bade me farewell and I am again all alone – shall I be so by this time tomorrow – I hope not.”
COPIES OF SURVEY CALCULATIONS CONTAINED IN G.B.WHITE’S JOURNAL HAVE BEEN REPRODUCED ON THE NEXT 5 PAGES. THE REMAINING PAGES OF CALCULATIONS COULD NOT BE COPIED BECAUSE OF THE POOR STATE OF WHITE’S JOURNAL.
THERE ARE ALSO 2 SURVEY PLANS SHOWN ON PAGES 214 – 215.
● It is noted that “Bright Sparcs Archival and Heritage Sources” refers to the following on George Boyle White.
“Mitchell and Dixon Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales.
Title: George Boyle White – Records
Reference: ML MSS 1806X
Date Range: 1827 – 1892
Description: Family Papers 1828-1892 [ML MSS 1806X, restricted], Papers, including letters from the Surveyor-General 1827-1875; miscellaneous correspondence 1830-1832; journal 1843-75; field books and surveying notebooks 1827-1875; journal of expedition under T.L. Mitchell 1831-1832; geological notes 1846.
Access: Partly restricted.”
Additional reading on Surveyor White may be found in “George Boyle White 1902 – 1876” by Harry F. Boyle O.A.M. published in the Heritage Address 1995 at the Paterson Historical Society.
The assistance provided by the State Library of New South Wales in the provision of the Microfilm print of George Boyle White’s Journal is greatly appreciated.
FIELD SURVEY CALCULATIONS FOR 12th DECEMBER 1831. P. 101
FIELD SURVEY CALCULATIONS CONTAINED IN G.B.WHITE’S JOURNAL P. 104
Field Calculations of Observations. P. 105
SURVEY FIELD CALCULATIONS P. 108
Note the use of 4 Figure logarithms.
FIELD SURVEY OBSERVATIONS & CALCULATIONS FOR 12th DECEMBER 1831 P. 109
SEE NEXT PAGE.
2 Examples of Survey Plans signed by G.B.White.
Plan by G.B.White of the Estate of Captain Hungerford Subdivided into Suburban Allotments
Signed by George White on 8th December 1853.
National Library Reference http://nla.gov.au/nla.map-f387-v
Plan signed by George White showing Properties adjoining Fal Brook, Parish of Vane dated 10th August 1833.
Australian National Library Reference http://nla.gov.au/nla.map-f392-v
Continued next Page
The following extract was provided by Mrs. Jenny McCarthy (in Oct. 2006) and who is a Great great niece of Gorge Boyle White.
TOWN AND COUNTRY JOURNAL JAN. 27 1872
“ This is Tillimby, Mr. A. Nivison’s residence. Among numerous other liberties, we must take this, of going through his land, in order to read a bend of the river at a most romantic spot, where we cooey for a host and swim the horses.
‘Who lives opposite then?’
Mr. G.B. White, the best living authority upon the early history of the district, In addition to possessing a splendid memory, Mr. White has kept a journal for about half a century; his information therefor, is valuable, especially upon the land question; for his is not only an historian and an eye-witness, but a prominent actor in the parts he has recorded, and his dates may be relied on.
In the days when the Hunter was call the Coal River, the land was mostly given away in grants upon certain conditions; the payment of quit rents at the rate of 2d an acre being enforced upon the arrival of Governor Darling in December, 1825, who brought out new regulations from Downing-street, under which a Land Board was constituted. Before this board applicants for land grants had to appear, when they received grants according to the amount of capital they could command, at the rate of two acres to the pound.
Military and naval commissions, were treated as capital, at the rate of 500 acres for a military lieutenancy, and 1000 acres for a naval lieutenancy, or military captaincy. The grants that had been previously made from Downing-street, were now enlarged; grants were made on account of children born in the colony, clergymen and their families; persons married in the colony, servants; in act, the land was given away on the slightest pretext to induce settlement. All this ceased in 1832 together with transportation – the worst thing. Mr. Cory says, that ever happened to the country. The land was mostly surveyed in square miles for settlement and grants, the maximum grant being four miles. The parishes contained so many square miles, one-eighth being set apart as church and school land, which property being managed by commissioners, the results were ‘nulla bona,’ for they disappeared in salaries and jobbery.
The Paterson and the Williams were mostly settled by men emigrating with orders for land from the Secretary of State, 1000 acres being granted for every ten prisoners engaged to be employed and maintained. After the years 1832, grantees applied for extensions under the new regulations, some of them getting their grants enlarged to 20 and even 25,000 acres. Segenhoe, originally as 16,000 acre grant from the Secretary of State, became 32,000 acres; St. Hellier’s 10,000 acres, and so on; but four miles, or 2500 acres, were the maximum on these rivers. ‘Underbank’, which we shall come to by-and-bye, was double grant to Mossman, which subsequently fell to the Bank of Australia, and in their great land lottery (all prizes) it fell a first prize to McDonald, as infant. It was then mismanaged by trustees, let for 300 pounds a year, and at length sold for 2000 pounds.
On November 11, 1831, Mr. White met Mr. T. Mitchell, at Singleton, on an expedition to explore the Peel, and ascertain if it did, as was supposed, flow north, and fall into the Gulf of Carpentaria. Tamworth was then the extreme limit, north, of settlement by the white man, Joey Brown, of the Wollombi, being found squatter here for grazing purposes. On following down the Peel they found all the water-sheds trending south of west generally, instead of north , and in 1821 Mr. White returned to survey the new grants to the A. A. Company – Warrah and Peel River. In this year, Maister Cann, and Corey entered New England, after Danger and Corey had been shifted off the A.A. Co.’s new property, Peel River, on which they had built a hut and brought some cattle, to what is now the Company’s head station, Goonoo Goonoo. The Company, through their chief commissioner, the celebrated Sir Edward Perry, would have monopolised both banks of the Peel had it not been for the firm stand made by Sir T. Mitchell and Mr. White backed by the Governor, who refused it on the ground that it might be prejudicial to the interest of the settlers to come.
‘That was nobly done’.
Egad, you’d say so if you saw the river. Those rivers, the Paterson and Williams, have been settled considerably by men once servants of the Company, who were carefully selected at home for good character and a knowledge of Stock and agriculture; the result is, there are graces of old English manner, — simplicity, shyness, respect for superiors, and a quiet understanding of what they profess to understand, rather refreshing to behold.
The ancient method of setting out county towns was by rule of thumb in Sydney . The whole country being surveyed by mile blocks, a block was taken near the mouth of a river, and at an interval of about ten miles another block was coloured red for another town upon the river, and so on upwards, physical geography was not much studied in those days, and the questions of levels, drainage, accessibility, building-stone, road-metal, timber, and fuel did not much trouble those town allotters.
With the exception of Singleton, Mr. White laid off all the towns on the three rivers, traced up the main range to Cunningham’s Gap, surveyed the Richmond, Macquarie and other rivers westward and made sections of the Hunter. Look at this splendid map, the scope of country it embraces, and the excellence of the work, compiled and drawn by himself from his own surveys, –unfinished, I am sorry to say: but, perhaps, to be completed some day. Mr. White served thirty-give years in the colony, having arrived before Sir T. Mitchell.
‘A find old gentleman truly; no doubt his services have been duly recognised by the Government and the country.’
No doubt of it – not a shadow of doubt about it. By the first he was insulted, and by the second, forgotten.”
Early Hunter Valley Settlers
Home Index to Settlers and Estates Early Settler Introduction
George Boyle White