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to the Exploration Committee of the Royal Society of Victoria.

Original item held at the State Library of Victoria, MS13071, Box 2076/2.
Royal Society of Victoria, Exploration Committee Records:
Part IV: Applications to join the VEE received by the EC.

 

Cranbourne, February 27th 1860

The Hon.Secretary
Royal Society
Melbourne

Sir,
I beg to tender my Services as leader of the contemplated Exploring Expedition, conditionally that reasonable time was allowed to arrange my affairs for a long absence and uncertain return.

I have been an early pioneer of new country for uses in Victoria & South Australia. In 1849 I traversed the Malay desert north+west of Lake Hindmarsh; my personal journal of one trip through it was published in the port Phillip Gazette of or about Nov 1849 by perusal of which my qualifications may be ascertained. I am conversant with the habits of the Aborigines, and have espoused their cause in the early days, when conflicts were frequent with the outside pastoral occupants of uses in the interior (See my letters upon the subject of the amelioration of their condition printed in the Herald of November and December 1847 under the signatures of “Philanthropist” and “Philo-aborigines”) I am familiar with many natural indications of proximity to water and with water bearing plants + roots found in the desert, and lastly am accustomed to the control of a travelling part so far as has related to moving large herds of stock from one district to another. If appointed I would pledge myself to action exertion and zeal in furthering the objects of the Expedition and early demonstrate that I should not follow the Herschell Babbage idea of dilly dallying for months together on the outskirts of the occupied stations merely to forward long-winded reports, but economise outlay by at once pushing outwards and securing some at least of the objects in view.

Pending the result of this application I would respectfully suggest that as brackish and salt juices of various plants* abound in some localities of the inland deserts, experiments might be useful for ascertaining how to neutralize or precipitate the disagreeable or unwholesome constituents, so as to render such supplies of service to the expedition during periods of destitution of fresh water.

I have the honor to be
Sir
Your most obed Servant
Wood Beilby

*Such as meseubryautheura equilaterate &c

Related archive: State Library of Victoria, MS13071, Applications to join the Victorian Exploration Expedition received by the Exploration Committee. Alphabetical list of applicants.

Beilby: Box 2076/1, ex1004-031.
View original: http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/304091

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