from Swan Hill, 13 September 1860.
|Original item held at the State Library of Victoria, SLV MS13071, Box 2082/1a, Item 7.|
Victorian Exploring Expedition Records, Dispatches sent by members of the VEE to the EC.
Robert O'Hara Burke's dispatch, Swan Hill, 12 September 1860. 4 pages.
Tuesday, 28 September 1860
We have received a communication, dated Swan Hill, River Murray, September 13, stating:
The exploring party arrived at Swan Hill at 3 o'clock on Thursday, the 6th inst., and camped in the hospital reserve, close to the banks of the river, and about half a mile from the township. With the exception of a sepoy, they appeared in good health and spirits, and thoroughly united amongst themselves. The few inhabitants of Swan Hill turned out on their arrival - all filled with curiosity to see the party, and all anxious to do what they could to aid the purposes of the expedition, giving them a hearty welcome, and wishing them God speed.
During the stay of the camels, it was found almost impossible to keep a horse in the neighbourhood. They seemed all terrified at the unseemly appearance of the camels.
On Tuesday, the 11th, an excellent luncheon, was given to the officers of the expedition, and Professor Neumayer, by a few of the leading inhabitants of the township, at Raines's Royal Hotel. The table was spread under the spacious verandah of that comfortable establishment, and at the close of the repast all gave expression to the greatest satisfaction.
Dr Gummow acted on the occasion as chairman, with Mr Robert Taylor in the vice-chair, and, after the usual loyal toasts, proposed 'Mr Burke and tho Expedition,' which was received with the greatest enthusiasm. Mr Burke, on behalf of self and party, suitably replied; and the vice-chairman shortly afterwards proposed 'The King of Bavaria and Professor Neumayer,' to which the professor responded. A few local toasts followed.
The greater number of the party then walked over to the camp, and witnessed the loading of the camels prior to their crossing the Murray, some of the residents availing themselves of seats on the camels, while moving towards the punt.
The camels had all crossed by 5 o'clock, and, with their keepers, joined the waggons, which had crossed during the forenoon of the same day; all camping for the night about a quarter of a mile from the river.
On the morning of Wednesday the 12th, the explorers were visited by the majority of those constituting the meeting of the preceding day.
Three hearty cheers were given by the friends of the explorers on their starting.
The exploring party, on retiring, with great warmth and feeling gave three cheers for the ladies and other inhabitants of Swan Hill.
Mr Burke returned to Swan Hill along with those who had crossed the river to wish his party God speed, and was busily employed in making up despatches till midday (September 13), when he finally left the colony of Victoria, joined by the greater number of the inhabitants of this place, all anxious to see the last of the leader of a party from whom so much is affectcd.
Professor Neumayer and Mr Superintendent Foster followed the party about two hours after Mr Burke, the professor's object being the correction of the instruments used by the expedition.
Dr Macadam, MLA,