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1858

Original minute books of the Exploration Committee of the Royal Society of Victoria are held at:
State Library of Victoria, SLV MS13071; Boxes 2075/1, 2075/2, 207/3, 2088B/1.
Mostly bound volumes, manuscript, handwritten in ink.
Some missing, some incomplete, and many generally not in chronological order.

Haines Ministry to 10 March 1858.

Monday, 4 January 1858.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee was held at 8.00 pm at the Mechanic's Institute on Collins-street.
Present: (6 of 24 members) Clarke (chair), Macadam (secretary), Bland, Hodgson, Hough and Iffla.

A public meeting was held at the Mechanic's Institute in the evening. A large proportion of the Committee attended. The Hon Captain Andrew Clarke was in the Chair and Dr John Macadam was Secretary. The first resolution was moved by Wilkie and seconded by Bonwick, supported by Blandowski:

That this meeting expresses its conviction of the great importance of exploring the interior of Australia, and deems it most desirable that an attempt should be made, at as early a period as practicable, to penetrate through Central Australia, from east to west, for the purpose of connecting the previous discoveries of Mitchell, Kennedy, Sturt, Gregory, and Grey. -Carried.

The second resolution was moved by Mueller and seconded by Macadam.

That this meeting recommends the formation of a light preliminary expedition, to explore the country between the Darling and the Victoria rivers with a view of opening up a line of communication between this colony and Central Australia, and for the purpose of selecting a suitable site for establishing a Depot, to serve as the basis of future explorations. -Carried.

The third resolution was moved by Hodgson, seconded by Eades and supported by Hough and Elliott.

That this meeting recognises the duty of the colonists of Victoria to cooperate with the Philosophical Institute in carrying out the scheme of exploration proposed. -Carried.

The fourth resolution was moved by by Mr Sinnett (not on the Committee) and seconded by Mortimer (also not a Committee member).

That a deputation, consisting of the Hon. Captain Clarke, MLA, the Hon. John Hodgson, MLC, Dr Wilkie, Dr Macadam, and R H Bland Esq, wait upon His Excellency to request his favorable consideration of the proposed expedition; and that they afterwards wait upon the Hon. W C Haines, the Chief Secretary, to submit to the Government the resolutions of this public meeting, to solicit their support of the important object contemplated by the Philosophical Institute, and to request that they would be pleased to place the sum of £2,500 on the Estimates in aid of the some. -Carried.

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1a.

• Typescript resolutions on the exploration of Australia. 1 p.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1a, RSV EC minutes 1857-1858.

• Minutes of the meeting of the EC, 4 January 1858. 1 p.
• Typescript resolutions on the exploration of Australia. 1 p.

Thursday, 14 January 1858.
A deputation from this meeting met with Governor Barkly on the 14th January and asked for £2,500 for the project. Barkly expressed his support and the deputation then transmitted a copy of the resolutions to Chief Secretary Haines, but he was called out of town.

Monday, 8 February 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: (11 of 24 members) - Hodgson (chair), Acheson, Bleasdale, Blandowski, Bonwick, Clarke, Farwell, Iffla, McKenna, Macadam, Mueller, Wilkie.

Captain Cadell informed the Committee that goods could not be forwarded to the Murray and Darling until spring.

Mr F C Christy offered the Committee carrier pigeons.

Iffla moved and Bonwick seconded the proposal that the Secretary of the Exploration Committee should communicate with Haines about the resolutions. When this deputation did meet with Haines, he claimed it was too late in the year to put the money on the Estimates. The deputation also met with the former Colonial Treasurer, the Honorable C H Ebden, who expressed his support but regretted that it would be inconvenient providing the funds.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1a, RSV EC minutes 1857-1858.

• Minutes, 8 February 1858. 3 p.

Wednesday, 17 February 1858.
At the meeting of the Exploration Committee, it was noted that the public and the press supported Victoria exploring the interior, but the Government had failed to support the proposal. It was hoped that A C Gregory would command the Victorian Expedition when he returned to the settled districts at the end of 1858.

• No archive records of this meeting.

Wednesday, 10 March 1858 - John O'Shanassy appointed as Chief Secretary (his second term), replacing the Haines Ministry (to 27 October 1859).

Wednesday, 26 May 1858.
At an Ordinary Meeting of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria, the Second Report of the Exploration Committee was read by Dr Wilkie. The Report stated it was hoped the Government would aid an exploration party after the return of Gregory (NSW) and Babbage (SA). It was also hoped that A C Gregory would command the Victorian Expedition. Dr Wilkie moved the Report, it was seconded by Dr Iffla, carried unanimously and adopted.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1a, RSV EC minutes 1857-1858.

• 'Reports of Committees'. Handwritten manuscript of the second report of the EC. 26 May 1858. 9 p.

Monday, 19 July 1858 - Telegram arrives from Adelaide reporting A C Gregory's arrival at Mount Hopeless.

Adelaide, 19 July,1.00 p.m.
A letter was received on Friday from Mr Gregory, dated Mount Hopeless, 27th June. He reached the head of the Victoria River on April 17th, and tracked that river through Cooper's Creek into Lake Torrens, he found a crossing-place over Lake Torrens several miles wide and north-east of Mount Hopeless. He had with him eight men and thirty-nine horses, all well, and three months' rations left. He is now on his road to Adelaide.

Tuesday, 31 August 1858.
In August 1858, Ambrose Kyte anonymously offered to donate £1,000 towards exploration. A public meeting was held at the Mechanics Institute on Collins-street, and it was agreed to form an additional Committee, The Exploration Fund Raising Committee. This Committee was ostensibly separate to the Philosophical Institute of Victoria and their Exploration Committee, yet six of the seven members of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee were also members of the Exploration Committee.

This meeting was reported in the press the following day, 1st September 1858, and subsequently the meeting is often referred to as having been held on this date.

Monday, 6 September 1858.
First meeting of a Committee [Exploration Fund Raising Committee] on the subject of Australian Exploration, held in the Mechanics Institute.
Present: Stawell, Hodgson, Mueller, McCoy, Smith, Macadam.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p.1. Minutes of the first meeting of the EFC, 6 September 1858.

Monday, 13 September 1858.
Second meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Hodgson, McCoy, Mueller, Smith, Macadam, Stawell (chair).

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1c, RSV EC minute book 1858-61, 1 bound volume, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of the meeting of the EFC, 13 September 1858.
• [Another copy of] Minutes of the meeting of the EFC, 13 September 1858.

SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p. 9. Minutes of the EFC meeting, 13 September 1858.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1a, RSV EC minutes 1857-1858.

• Extract of minutes of the meeting of the EFC, 6 September 1858, signed Stawell and dated 13 September 1858. 1 p.

Tuesday, 14 September 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Stawell, Hodgson, McCoy, Mueller, Smith.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p. 9. Minutes of the EFC meeting, 14 September 1858.

Wednesday, 15 September 1858.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1a, RSV EC minutes 1857-1858.

• Typescript EFC Fund Raising Circular, from Macadam and dated 15 September 1858. 1 p.

Monday, 20 September 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Hodgson, McCoy, Mueller, Smith.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p. 9. Minutes of the EFC meeting, 20 September 1858.

Monday, 27 September 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Stawell, Hodgson, Macadam.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p. 11. Minutes of the EFC meeting, 27 September 1858.

Wednesday, 29 September 1858.
At an Ordinary Meeting of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria, Dr Wilkie presented and moved the Third Progress Report of the Exploration Committee which detailed the establishment of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee. The motion was seconded by Dr Iffla and carried unanimously.

not dated, c. September 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: (4 of 24 members) - Wilkie (chair), Blandowski, Hodgson, Macadam.

The outcome of the deputation's meeting with Stawell was reported.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1a, RSV EC minutes 1857-1858.

• Minutes of the meeting of the EC, undated, c. September 1858, written and signed by Wilkie. 4 p

Thursday, 30 September 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: (5 of 24 members) - Bland, Blandowski, McKenna, Macadam, Wilkie.

The Committee met to consider the public meeting held to elect the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.

It was agreed that a deputation, consisting of Wilkie, Bland and Macadam should seek an interview with Stawell, the chairman of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee, and draw his attention to the existence of the Exploration Committee of the Philosophical Institute, and to the present position of the Institute in relation to Australian Exploration.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1a, RSV EC minutes 1857-1858.

• Minutes, 30 September 1858. 2 p.

Note: Between October and December 1858, the Exploration Committee and the Exploration Fund Raising Committee held a number of joint meetings:

Monday, 11 October 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Stawell, Hodgson, McCoy, Macadam.

At a joint meeting of the Exploration Committee and the Exploration Fund Committee discussion arose as to whether the expedition should leave before the camels arrived. Dr Mueller opposed the idea. Horses alone, he said, would be of no use in search of Leichhardt. He said that the departure be delayed untill the arrival of the camels.

Bleasedale moved: "That every preparation be made with the least possible delay for establishing depots and placing the expedition in such a state that it may be able to undertake the unknown country on the arrival of the camels. - Passed unanimously.

There was a further discussion whether the expedition should be done by Victoria alone, or in conjunction with other governments (Weatherston p. 60A). "The meeting determined that the expedition be undertaken by the Colony of Victoria."

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1c, RSV EC minute book 1858-61, 1 bound volume, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of the meeting of the EFC, 11 October 1858.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p. 13. Minutes of the EFC meeting, 11 October 1858.

Wednesday, 20 October 1858.
A deputation met Chief Secretary O'Shanassy and asked whether it was the intention of the Government to assist the exploration fund. O'Shanassy had placed £3,000 for exploration on the Estimates, primarily for purchasing camels. O'Shanassy also informed the deputation that the Government hadn't decided who would oversee the operation of an expedition.

Monday, 25 October 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Hodgson, Mueller, Wilkie, Macadam.

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1c, RSV EC minute book 1858-61, 1 bound volume, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of the meeting of the EFC, 25 October 1858.

SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p. 15. Minutes of the EFC meeting, 25 October 1858.

Monday, 8 November 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee, held at 3.00 pm at the Mechanic's Institute.
Present: Stawell (chair).

Charles Whybrow Ligar was appointed to the Exploration Committee to replace The Hon Captain Clarke who was out of the Colony. It was agreed that meetings would be held three times a week [Saturday, Monday and Thursday?], and that meetings would be advertised in the press. Hodgson read a list of names of members of Parliament and other interested people who should be appointed as Committee members. Seconded by Bleasdale and carried unanimously.

See: Age, 9 November 1858, p. 5.

Thursday, 11 November 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Hodgson, Wilkie, Macadam. [Absent: Stawell, Mueller, Smith, McCoy]. Also present were as Messrs. Becker, Thomas Dickson and Woods.

Collection books were issued to Committee members with the following memo typescript on the inside page:

Central Committee
Exploration Fund Committee
Melbourne, 11 November 1858.

Sir, I have the honor to inform you that, at a Public Meeting held in the Mechanic's Institution, on the 8th Inst., you were elected a Member of the above Committee, I enclose you a Collecting Book, and the Committee at a meeting held this day, considered it very desirable that each Member would use his every endeavour to secure the sum, at least, of Twenty-Five pounds.

Your aid in the accomplishment of this is earnestly requested.

The Committee will meet every Monday and Thursday at two o'clock pm precisely in the Mechanic's Institute, Collins-street, at which your presence, when convenient, would be esteemed a favor.

Subscriptions may be paid to the Hon Treasurer, viz: The Hon Dr Wilkie MLC, Collins-street, or placed to the credit of the Committee's account with the Bank of Victoria. The Committee will also be glad to receive Subscriptions at their meetings. In whatever way the sums be paid, a list of the contributors, for publication, is requested to be forwarded to _______.

Sir,
Your obedient servant,
John Macadam MD., Hon Sec.

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1c, RSV EC minute book 1858-61, 1 bound volume, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of the meeting of the EFC, 11 November 1858. Circular to be distributed with collecting books to enlarged Committee, from 'Central Committee'.

SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p. 18. Minutes of the EFC meeting, 11 November 1858.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/4a, Collecting booklets. Including 7 booklets recording the names of subscribers and the amount subscribed. 7 bound volumes.

• Volume 1, Dr Wilkie, Number 118.
• Volume 2, Dr Macadam, Number 108.
• Volume 3. Dr Wilkie, Number 31.
• Volume 4, James Anderson.
• Volume 5, J Judd Esq, Number 10.
• Volume 6, W O Hodgkinson, Number 16?
• Volume 7, John O’Grady & W O Hodgkinson, Number 45.

Saturday, 13 November 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Hodgson, Wilkie, Macadam, Woods.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p. 19. Minutes of the EFC meeting, 13 November 1858.

[c. Monday, 15] November 1858.
A joint meeting of the Exploration Committee and the Exploration Fund Raising Committee was held.

Present EC: Hodgson, Macadam, Wilkie. (3 of 6).
Present EFC: Hodgson, Macadam, Wilkie, Iffla, Knaggs, McKenna, Mueller, Bleasdale, Rawlinson, Gilbee, Dobson (11 of 25).

Wilkie moved, seconded by Iffla, that Hodgson take the chair.

The joint meeting discussed drafting a statement for the Government asking for money to set up an expedition and advising the expedition waits for the arrival of the camels.

Wilkie thought the expedition could start in March 1859 before the camels arrived as it was too much to wait until March 1860. Bleasdale thought the depot could be established in 1859 ready for the great expedition of 1860.

Mueller thought the camels would arrive in May 1859 and moved, seconded by Macadam, that the expedition be delayed until the arrival of the camels and in the meantime the Committee raise funds and proceed with arrangements. -Carried.

Bleasdale moved, seconded by Dobree, that depots should be established with the least possible delay so that the expedition could move into the unknown country once the camels arrived. -Carried.

Rawlinson moved, seconded by Knaggs, that NSW and SA be invited to cooperate. Wilkie opposed this amendment and moved that the expedition be undertaken by the colony of Victoria. Mueller seconded this and was sure the Government would aid the expedition liberally. Iffla thought the wealthiest colony should be able and willing to carry out the expedition alone. McKenna referred to the overland telegraph from India to Victoria and thought co-operation was advisable, Knaggs agreed although he did not expect other colonies to provide funds. Rawlinson thought they should provide funds, but withdrew his motion. Amendment carried.

McKenna moved, seconded by Iffla, that a Committee of Wilkie, Macadam and Mueller draft a statement of resolutions to present to the government. -Carried.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1c, RSV EC minute book 1858-61, 1 bound volume, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of the joint meeting of the EC and EFC, not dated. (c. November 1858)
• Minutes of the meeting, 15 November 1858.

Thursday, 18 November 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Hodgson, Macadam, Wilkie, Woods.

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2075/1c, RSV EC minute book 1858-61, 1 bound volume, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of the meeting, 18 November 1858.

SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p. 20. Minutes of the EFC meeting, 18 November 1858.

Monday, 22 November 1858.
Meeting?

Thursday, 25 November 1858.
Meeting?

Friday, 26 November 1858.
Argus - A deputation from the Committee of the Exploration Fund commenced the canvass of the city yesterday, and obtained contributions to the amount of £120.

Monday, 29 November 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Hodgson. No quorum. (See Argus, 30 November 1858, p4 col. 5). It was decided that meetings would be held bi-weekly.

Monday 6 December 1858.
Argus - Exploration Fund Committee.
The Central Committee will meet
every Monday ard Thursday, at 2 o'clock p.m. precisely. Subscriptions received at the meetings.
John Macadam, M. D., Hon. Sec.


Wednesday, 8 December 1858.
Annual General Meeting of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria, held in the evening at the Mechanic's Institute on Collins-street.

The Exploration Committee of the institute has merged its efforts in those of a larger body, elected by the citizens of Melbourne for forwarding the same object. It is pleasing to record the support given by the Government, which has expressed an intention of procuring camels to aid.

Thursday, 9 December 1858.
Meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee.
Present: Hodgson, McCoy, Wilkie, Smith, Macadam and Dr Brownless.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/1, RSV EFC and RSV EC minute book, 1858-1873. 1 bound volume, ms., 295 numbered pages.

• p. 21. Minutes of the EFC meeting, 9 December 1858.

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