22 Jan 1861
To the Hon. treasurer of the Exploration Committee,
the Hon. D. Wilkie, M.D. etc.
When I left Melbourne I gave power of attorney to Mr W Brahe, conveyancer, little Collins-street W. to draw the money for me which I understood would be due to me so long as the committee saw that I was still a member of the expedition and had not done anything what might prevent me from drawing on my salary. Mr Burke told me in the beginning of the journey, when I asked him whether he had reported me to Melbourne - I did not think it necessary, they will see in Melb. from my dispatches whether you are still with the expedition or not.
Now, Sir, I received a few lines from Melbourne that no money was forthcoming. This might not be true, and I hope it will be so. Should it, however, be the case then, dear Sir, I must say my reputation in Melb. is at stake: with that money due to me I hoped to pay up some debts I contracted while in Melbourne and now on the eve of going into the interior, perhaps never to return, my mind is depressed by the fear that the mere want of a certain formality should be the cause of spoiling my name. I think I have given sufficient proof that my hands & my eyes had not been idle: I have send in already 40 sketches, fully worth, I believe, the money I justly claim. Will you be kind enough, if necessary, to bring the matter before the committee because should it be really necessary to have an order from Mr Burke, who is gone, how can I expect to keep my word I gave to my creditors before leaving Melbourne? I gave an order to the Keeper of Captain Cadells store at Minindie, the paper, when presented, you will kindly respond to. I must however remark that the greater part of the sum mentioned in the order I had to pay for things & services entirely for the use & the benefit of the expedition, and during the time when I was producing pictures & scenes at Minindie or on other places away from the camp. As I have no order or permission to draw on the public funds of the Exploration committee, I took upon my own risk & will pay it out of my own pocket: at the same time I hope, that, so God will, after my safe return, the committee will take this point in kind consideration.
I have the honour to remain, Sir,