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from Swan Hill, 10 September 1860.

Original item held at the State Library of Victoria, SLV MS13071, Box 2082/1a, Item 6.
Victorian Exploring Expedition Records, Dispatches sent by members of the VEE to the EC.
Robert O'Hara Burke's dispatch, Swan Hill, 10 September 1860. 4 pages.

 

Received in Melbourne by Macadam on Thursday, 13 September 1860.

Blue Background

The Camp,
Swan Hill.
September 10th 1860.

Sir,

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2nd inst. Ten waterproof bags have been received.

The Expedition starts tomorrow for the Darling via Balranald on the Murrumbidgee, having rested here since the 6th inst.

I have made arrangements with the draymen for conveying our stores to the Darling, eighteen (18) tons at the rate of £8 per ton from here to Balranald and £8 per ton from Balranald to the Darling and I consider it absolutely necessary to make this

 
     

 

     

arrangement, notwithstanding my being in possession of the resolution of the committee objecting to the transfer of the stores by hired assistance for the following reasons,

The resolution of the Committee though an expression of opinion did not amount to a positive order.

If I had lost this opportunity of conveying on the stores it would have referred the progress of the Expedition and might prove fatal to it;

It would be impossible for us to move them without assistance within the next month or six weeks the road will be impracticable for drays for want of feed and water and will continue so in all probability for the next eight or ten months.

I called a meeting of the

 
     

 

     

Officers of the Expedition and they were unanimously of my opinion that it would be dangerous to the undertaking to adopt any other course.

I am well aware that our baggage is too cumbersome and that a time will I hope soon come when we shall be obliged to leave the greater part of it behind us, but to do so now before having established our Depot upon the Darling where every article may be of the greatest service, would I think be a most dangerous [crossed out] unjudicious proceeding. It would be quite useless to send up flour to the junction of the Murray and the Darling as carriage if any from thence could only be obtained at a enormous expense.

 
     

 

     

It is my intention to purchase it at Balranald where I understand it can be obtained for £28 per ton.

I have this day discharged John Polongeaux [sic: Jean Prolongeau] and I have given him a cheque for the sum of £5 being the amount of pay due to him for fifteen day's service. One of the Indian natives will return from here being incapacitated from proceeding further by illness.

The Expedition will be at Balranald in about a week, any letters forwarded through Mr Foster will reach us there if he is instructed by the Chief Commissioner of Police to send them after us.

Professor Neumeyer arrived here today and proceeds with us to the Darling.

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

 

PS. Please to inform Mr Nash that it is no use to send any stores to the junction of the Murray and the Darling, therefore they had better not be sent at all until further information has been attained.
ROHB.

 
     

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