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Journal Of An Expedition Into

Journal Of An Expedition Into

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About the Book
Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia in Search of a Route from Sydney to the Gulf of Carpentaria [1848]

The First Fleet of ships from England arrived in Sydney in 1788. This represented the first European settlement of the continent, although aborigines had already been living in Australia for tens of thousand of years. For the first twenty-five years the new inhabitants were confined to the coastal strip around Sydney as no way could be found across the Blue Mountains, part of the Great Dividing Range which runs parallel to the east coast of Australia for almost the coast's entire length.

When, in 1813, a way across the Blue Mountains was found, a wave of inland exploration was unleashed which continued for the next fifty years. New areas were opened up for settlement and several expeditions were commissioned by the government and by private backers to ascertain whether an inland sea existed. This remarkable period in Australian history was documented by many of the explorers themselves, who kept journals of their exploration. These journals were usually published soon after the conclusion of each expedition, and particularly appealed to people in England who took quite an interest in the "opening up" of the "new" continent. Moreover, many of those journals have been reprinted in facsimile editions, which mean that they are accessible to the modern reader, though they are by not readily available at all public libraries.

A number of Project Gutenberg volunteers in Australia have transcribed these Australian exploration journals and most are now available at Project Gutenberg, including a a number of HTML versions, with illustrations and maps from the original publications.

About the Author
Thomas Mitchell, 1792-1855

Surveyor and explorer of south-eastern Australia. Mitchell undertook four journeys of exploration in the interior of New South Wales.

In 1831 he explored the river systems to the north-west of Sydney. Mitchell believed that all these rivers flowed eventually into the Darling River, which Charles Sturt had discovered in 1829. He travelled as far north as the Gwydir River near the site of Moree. But the death of two of his men at the hands of Aboriginal people led him to turn back to Sydney.

On his second expedition, in 1835, Mitchell travelled north-west up the Bogan River to its confluence with the Darling, then travelled about 500km down the Darling. In this way he proved that all the westward-flowing rivers in New South Wales flowed into the Darling. He planned to trace the course of the Darling River to the sea, but harsh conditions and more fighting with the Aboriginal people of the riverlands forced him to turn back.

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