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from Swan Hill, 8 September 1860.

Original item held at the State Library of Victoria, SLV MS13071, Box 2082/1a, Item 5.
Victorian Exploring Expedition Records, Dispatches sent by members of the VEE to the EC.
Robert O'Hara Burke's dispatch, Swan Hill, 8 September 1860. 5 pages.

Blue Background

The Camp, Swan Hill.
8th September 1860.

Sir,

I have the honor to report that on the 20th inst Creber was discharged for disrespectful language and demeanour towards Mr Landells, Cohen for drunkenness and that Fletcher resigned. I engaged McIllwaine, Brooks and Lane to replace them upon the understanding that they could be discharged at any time without notice. I have yesterday discharged and replaced them with Beaumont [sic: Bowman]

 
     

 

     

and McPherson. The former a man of great experience who was out with Gregory on two trips and the latter a saddler. At the Mia Mia I was obliged to take on another man, John Polongeaux [sic: Jean Prolongeau] as I found it impossible to have the number of animals attended to without additional help. Polongeaux [sic: Prolongeau] has proved himself to be a very useful man, he is a good bushman, cook and driver. Mr Hodgkinson has also joined which brings the party up to the full strength of 20 men and I consider that number is required at present; hereafter perhaps it will be advisable to effect a reduction.

Also Brooks and Lane were

 
     

 

     

discharged without notice and their conduct was good. I gave them both cheques for the amount of pay due to them £6. 13.4 each for 20 days service, in order to enable them to return to Melbourne. I also enclose herewith a statement of the money expended by me with receipts.

The two drays containing stores referred to in my last letter have still not arrived. This delay is owing to the heavy rains and badness of the roads and I fear we shall be obliged to remain here for some days longer.

It is my intention to take on all the drays if possible to Balranald, as having brought the baggage this far it would I think not be expedient to

 
     

 

     

leave any of it behind here as long as I can obtain carriage at moderate rates.

The two draymen here have agreed to go on to Balranald, a distance of between 70 and 80 miles for £8 per ton and from Balranald I am in hopes that I shall be able to make another agreement to get the baggage onto the Darling where it is my present intention to form the first Depot and get rid of all the drays but our own. I will write again from Balranald and I hope to hear from you by return post to know whether the Committee approve of my arrangements, addressed to the care of Mr Foster, Superintendent of Police, Swan Hill who will forward me the letter to Balranald. Men and animals are all well. The weather has been and still continues very unfavourable but I hope that the rain now

 
     

 

     

falling will be of use to us when we reach the Darling.

I have received great assistance and every possible attention from Mr Foster and the settlers along the route.

I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
R O'Hara Burke,
Leader.

Doctor Macadam MLA,
Secretary,
Exploration Committee.

 
     

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