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1859

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.

O'Shanassy Ministry to 27 October 1859.

Monday, 28 March 1859.
Annual Dinner of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria.

Barkly and Mueller referred to exploration and the Exploration Fund in their speeches.

Wednesday, 20 April 1859.
Ordinary Meeting of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria, held at the Mechanics Institute.

The attendance of members was tolerably full. Dr Mueller, the President of the Institute, having taken the chair. Dr Macadam, Secretary to the Institute, lead the minutes of the last meeting, which were adopted without remark.

Australian Exploration:
Dr Macadam read a letter from A C Gregory Esq. on the subject of Australian exploration. He stated that Mr Gregory had sent the communication as a private one [to Ferdinand Mueller] and, therefore, there could be no hesitation in submitting it to a public meeting. [Mueller felt the contents sufficiently important to be read to the Institute by the Honorary Secretary, Dr John Macadam].

The President said that he was very glad that the letter of Mr Gregory, treating as it did on a subject of the gravest importance, had been submitted to the members of the Institute, and he hoped that it would be fully discussed.

Dr Wilkie moved that a vote of thanks be given to Mr Gregory for the kind interest he had manifested in this most important object, and an object in which the Institute should take peculiar interest. The members of the Institute had proposed to fit out an exploration party, but at first they could not attain the requisite assistance from the Government. Afterwards the Government had placed a sum of money on the Estimates for this purpose, and the society, while accepting it, thought that the season was not suitable. At present, however, no such objection could exist, especially as there seemed from Mr Gregory's account every probability of finding a well watered country to the northward. The best place for a depot was, in his opinion, that indicated by Mr Gregory, viz Cooper's Creek. He thought that any exploring party, to be successful, should remain it least two or three years in the field. Mr Gregory stood unrivalled as an explorer, and also as a commander, and although he did not seem inclined to undertake any Victorian exploration, yet his decision could not, in Dr Wilkie's opinion, be considered final. He begged to move:

That the Institute having had under consideration a letter, addressed to the President by Mr A C Gregory on the subject of Australian exploration, desire that their best thanks be conveyed to that gentleman for the kind interest which he has shown in the proposed organizing an exploring party in Victoria, and for the valuable suggestions which he offered for their guidance.

Mr Ligar seconded the motion. He did not think that Mr Gregory was anxious to raise the expectations of the inhabitants of the colony, or to unduly cast them down. He thought that the inhabitants of the Australian continent owed a deep debt of gratitude to this gentleman.

The resolution was then put from the chair; and carried nem dis.

Dr Iffla moved the second resolution:

That in consideration of Mr Gregory's long experience and distinguished labors as an explorer, it is the opinion of the Institute that the command of the Victorian expedition should be offered to him. Mr Gregory had distinguished himself by his courage and prudence, and was undoubtedly the fittest person whom they could place in charge of an exploring party. He did not anticipate that a country of extraordinary fertility would be found by any exploration, but he thought that some good land might be discovered. The results of the exploration might not be very brilliant at first, but a properly conducted expedition could hardly fail of being beneficial to the Australian community. (Hear.)

Dr Mackenna seconded the resolution, which was put from the chair, and carried unanimously.

Dr Eades moved the third resolution:

That a letter be addressed to the Chief Secretary, recommending Mr Gregory for the appointment, and soliciting the concurrence of the Government in the choice of the Institute. He did not feel himself in a position to endeavor to dictate to any Government officer, and he would suggest that the resolution be amended, and that instead of recommending Mr Gregory for any appointment, the Institute should merely intimate its opinion that he was the fittest person to be employed. (Hear.)

Dr Wilkie said that he had intimated to the Chief Secretary the probability of some resolution in favor of Mr Gregory being arrived at by the Institute, and he had been informed that the appointment of Mr Gregory would be received with great satisfaction by the Chief Secretary himself and his colleagues.

Mr Ligar suggested that the Institute should communicate with Mr Gregory, and ascertain whether he would accept of this appointment - a fact which his letter rendered somewhat doubtful. They should first of all clear the way with Mr Gregory.

Dr Iffla suggested that a telegram should be sent to Mr Gregory, to ascertain his own views as to this appointment, and whether he would feel himself in a position to undertake this responsibility; and if so, how long he would be willing to remain in the field.

Dr Macadam moved, as an amendment, that the resolution should be rendered, conditional upon the declaration by Mr Gregory of his willingness to undertake the charge of this expedition.

Mr J Watson thought that they should try to provide the "sinews of war" before recommending any appointment whatever. Their appointment, or recommendation, would be of little use unless they could provide funds.

Mr Manuell did not see what the Government had to do with this expedition, considering that they had contributed nothing towards it. He hoped that the expedition would be successful without Government assistance.

Tho President said that the Government had gone to an expense of £3,000 for the importation of camels. He believed also that the Government would be ready to contribute financially.

Dr Becker was of opinion that the country should be ashamed of the manner in which they had treated Mr Gregory, who had done more good to Australia than any other inhabitant of the colonies; yet he was a broken man, both in health and fortune. After some further remarks upon the same subject, the speaker recommended that a gold medal should be bestowed upon every large subscriber to the exploration of the interior. Dr Becker regretted extremely that colonists were so desirous to shake off the golden fruit from that golden tree, Australia, without exhibiting any wish to manure the roots.

After some further conversation, the following substantive resolution was carried, moved by Mr Ligar, and seconded by Mr Rawlinson:

That a copy of Mr Gregory's letter be sent to the Chief Secretary, with an intimation that if it should meet the approval of the Government (as a contribution to the expedition), the Philosophical Institute will open a negotiation with Mr Gregory to take charge of the expedition.

Mr A K Smith moved, and Mr George Holmes seconded, the following resolution:

That immediate steps be taken to raise the sum yet wanting to complete the amount of £2,000 by private subscription, in order to secure the munificent gift of £1,000 made by a Victorian colonist, under the above condition, for the furtherance of Australian exploration. With, this view, that each member of the Institute be invited, by circular, to collect subscriptions for this patriotic object, if possible, amounting to not less than £20 each.

After the usual vote of thanks to the Chairman, the proceedings terminated.

Thursday, 5 May 1859.
Ordinary meeting of the Exploration Committee, held at 4.00 pm at the Mechanic's Institute, Collins-street.
Present: Stawell (Chair), Hodgson, Iffla, Becker, Elliott, Wilkie, Councillor Kenny.

By half-past 4 o'clock only six members of the Exploration Committee were at the Mechanic's Institute. At a quarter to 5 the chair was taken by Sir William Stawell.

The Hon John Hodgson said he found it difficult to account for the extremely small attendance, except upon the supposition that all the members of the two Committees summoned by Dr Macadam had not received the summons. Dr Macadam was not able to be present, but had deputed a gentleman to attend in his place, from whom ho understood that all the summons had been duly sent. It had been suggested that the project should be abandoned altogether; but for his part he would be extremely reluctant to give up the enterprise, and hoped that a similar feeling would animate other members of the two Committees. He should, seeing what a very small attendance there was, move the adjournment of the meeting until the following Thursday, at the same hour. Dr Iffla seconded the motion.

Mr Hodgson, in reply to Mr Elliott, said he had seen a notice which required all the members of the two Committees to bring their collecting books with them that afternoon. He trusted the Press would draw the attention of members to the absolute necessity which existed for pushing their exertions with promptness, for unless the required funds were raised in a very short time, the £1,000 donation would lapse.

Dr Becker, seeing the urgency of the case, proposed, as an amendment, that the meeting adjourn until Monday afternoon next; but on its being represented that members would experience inconvenience in attending upon that day, withdrew his motion.

The Chairman thought the only persons who had discharged their duty in the matter were the gentlemen of the Press. They had taken every opportunity of directing public attention to the subject, and recommending the objects of the movement, but, for some unexplained reason, people did not come forward as they ought to have done. He considered it to be the duty of tho members of the two Committees to bring with them as many co-members as possible to the meeting next Thursday, so that some definite conclusion might be arrived at, for in his opinion it would be far better to abandon the project altogether, than to be constantly putting off action.

Mr Hodgson said it might be desirable for the public to know that a considerable amount, in all about £600, had been already collected, of which amount Dr Mueller had about £90 in hand. Mr Kenny and himself had been promised £316, of which more than £200 had been paid. Mr Elliott said he had been promised £27, and had already received £15. He had no doubt but that he could get £50, if the matter were taken up warmly by all the Committee. Mr Kenny thought that if even very moderate exertions were used by the Committee, the project would be perfectly successful.

The motion for adjournment was then agreed to.

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

• Minutes of the meeting, 5 May 1859.

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

• p. 22. Minutes of the EC meeting, 5 May 1859.

Thursday, 12 May 1859.
Adjourned meeting of the Exploration Committee [joint meeting with the Exploration Fund Raising Committee], held at 4.00 pm at the Mechanic's Institute on Collins-street.
Present: Hodgson (Chair), Eades, Wilkie, Becker, Iffla, Macadam, Dickson, Smith, Mr Butchant and 2 other gentlemen. Apologies from Stawell, and Mueller who was ill. Barkly and Finnis were present for part of the proceedings.

Macadam read a letter from O'Shanassy acknowledging receipt of the Committee's letter and stating that the Government would consider the Committee's resolutions and take the necessary steps to purchase camels. Hodgson suggested each Committee member be responsible for raising ₤25 each. A discussion was held over proposing Gregory as Leader of the expedition.

---
A combined meeting of the Exploration Fund Committee and the Exploration Committee of the Philosophical Institute was held at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon at the Mechanics Institution. About 20 gentlemen were present. The Hon John Hodgson occupied the chair.

Dr Macadam (the Hon Secretary) read the following letter from the Chief Secretary's office on the subject of purchasing camels:

Sir,
I have the honor, by desire of the Chief Secretary, to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th inst., and I am to inform you that the resolutions adopted by the Exploration Committee, which you have submitted therewith, will receive the early attention and consideration of the Government, and that no time will be lost in taking the necessary steps for the purchase of the camels required for the expedition.
(Signed) J Moore.

The Chairman regretted the absence of Sir William Stawell, whose official duties in the Supreme Court prevented his attendance, and read a letter from the Chief Justice to that effect. With reference to the exploration of the interior, he (the Chairman) regretted that so little energy on the part of the two Committees had hitherto been shown, but it seemed as if public spirit had at last been aroused. So as to foster that spirit, it had been suggested to him that the members of the Committees, and any other gentlemen who chose, should make themselves responsible for the collection of a certain amount - say £25 each, or any other sum. By that means, considering the number of names upon the Committees, the required sum would be very shortly raised. He would leave it to the gentlemen present to suggest the measures to be adopted. He had £25 more to hand in, and hoped the gentlemen present were prepared to show that they had collected something considerable. The Secretary said he had received £27/10s. from Mr Sizar Elliott, £10/10s. from Mr Denistoun Wood, and £5/5s. from Mr P A C O'Farrell, the latter gentleman asking permission to retain his collector's book. Dr Mueller had sent a letter, stating his inability to be present at the meeting, but enclosed £70 already collected. He had been promised £20 more, and would make himself responsible, in all, for £150 (Hear.) Mr James Smith agreed to make himself responsible for £20, and expressed a hope that all the gentlemen present would promise to collect as much, or more.

The Chairman said he and Mr Kenny had together collected upwards of £300, and he would be responsible for £100 additional.

Mr Thomas Dickson regretted the badness of the times, and said that Melbourne was always being stirred for religious and domestic purposes. He himself had been prevented from attending at the former meeting, and had nothing to report at the present. Neither would he bind himself to collect any particular sum of money but would do all in his power to advance the objects of the project. An article had appeared that week in the Age newspaper [see The Age, Monday 9 May 1859:4], which, in his opinion, had materially affected the collection of subscriptions. Perhaps the Chairman could give some explanation on the subject?

The Chairman said that he had read the article in question. He understood that some proposition had been made to Mr Gregory, but, as he was not present at the meeting of the Philosophic Institute referred to, was not aware of the terms. At the same time, he thought it was extremely premature of the Institute to make any promise whatever, and that action on the subject ought to have been deferred until the joint Committees had conferred together, in whose councils the subscribers to the fund had also a right to join.

Mr Dickson thought the remarks of the Chairman, going through the Press, would prevent the cause suffering.

Dr Macadam explained that the resolution alluded to, which he would ready, simply emanated from a portion of the members of the Institute, and not from the Committee, or from the Exploration Committee.

The resolution is as follows:

That a copy of Mr Gregory's letter be sent to the Chief Secretary, with an intimation that if it should meet the approval of the Government (as a contributor to the expedition), the Philosophical Institute will open a negotiation with Mr Gregory to take charge of the expedition.

Dr Becker said the letter from Mr Gregory was dated December, 1858, and was not read for some time subsequently. It was not improbable that the discoveries in the neighborhood of Lake Torrens had altered that gentleman's views with regard to leading the exploring expedition. He thought that letter, and the action taken upon it, had directed the pen of the writer of the Age article alluded to.

Mr Butchart handed in £30 (£20 from Mr Thos Chirnside and £10 from Messrs J and J Winter). He had collected the money since seeing the circular calling the meeting, and had no doubt would be able to got £25 more very shortly (Hear.)

The Chairman, in reply to Mr Dickson, said it was the intention of the Government to act liberally. They would, besides giving camels, make a money donation. The amount, of course, he could not state.

Dr Becker suggested a bazaar in aid of the fund. Mr Dickson did not think much money would be gathered by having a bazaar.

Dr Iffla, who had just come in, was informed by the Chairman that about £700 had been collected, and, with promises, £1,000 might be considered as virtually in hand.

Mr Dickson, while doubting whether any substantial result would ensue from a bazaar, at the same time considered it a perfectly legitimate course to adopt for the purpose of raising funds. The Chairman said unless the assistance and cooperation of the ladies were enlisted, he did not see much chance of a bazaar succeeding. Dr Iffla thought the only chance was to obtain money by direct subscription, as the machinery of a bazaar was extremely cumbrous.

Mr James Smith suggested the appointment of a few paid collectors, so as to expedite the collection of funds. The Chairman put the suggestion to the meeting, which was agreed to.

Dr Wilkie read a letter from the Town Clerk of Williamstown, promising £15 from the Municipal Council, in case the exploration project were not abandoned.

Mr Butchart said if the Committees were to send a paid collector to that much-maligned race, the squatters, the money would be raised in ten days (Hear, hear.) It was agreed to send a collector up country, but no appointment was made.

Dr Becker stated that Captain Cadell had expressed his willingness to collect subscriptions along the Darling, Murrumbidgee, and other rivers in that part of the country. If the Chairman would give his authority, he (Dr Becker) would communicate with Captain Cadell on the subject.

Mr James Smith moved, and Dr Wilkie seconded:

That Captain Cadell's name be added to the Committee, and he be authorised to collect subscriptions.

Agreed to. The Chairman asked Dr Eades if he would lay the matter of exploration before the City Council, so as to secure the cooperation of that body. Mr James Smith suggested that the example of the small Municipality of Williamstown should be laid before the Corporation of Melbourne. Dr Eades would be most happy to do all in his power. The reason he had moved so little in the matter, was because the affair appeared to have dropped through. Public excitement in behalf of exploration had been entirely allayed, and public sympathy turned into other channels. At the same time, suppose each member of the Committee took a certain section of the city in which to collect subscriptions, the money would soon be gathered, and if public meetings were held in the different wards no difficulty whatever would be experienced in realising the required funds.

H¡s Excellency the Governor, accompanied by Captain Timins, here entered the room, and the Chairman explained to him what had been done at the meeting, and stated the amount already collected. He was sure that the meeting would be delighted to hear any suggestion from His Excellency.

His Excellency had nothing to suggest; he merely came to show the interest he felt in the matter, and was glad to hear that there was such an excellent prospect of collecting the required funds.

The Secretary read a letter from Captain Harrison, of Castlemaine, in which he stated that 200 subscribers of 2s. 6d. each had been obtained by him in a very short space of time.

His Excellency here left the room.

The Chairman, after alluding to the presence of the Governor, who had promised £50 to the fund, felt sure that the members of the Committees would be stimulated to fresh exertions. It was then agreed to adjourn the meeting until Tuesday next, at 4 o'clock.

Dr Eades received the sanction of the Committee to call ward meetings, and thought the Aldermen of the other wards would adopt the same course. During the meeting Dr Macadam read a letter from Dr Mueller, which stated that £50 had been collected by Mr M'Millan, of Gipps Land, and conveyed a promise of more shortly.

After a vote of thanks to the Chairman, the proceedings terminated.

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

• p. 23. Minutes of the [adjourned] EC meeting, 12 May 1859.

Tuesday, 17 May 1859.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee held at the Mechanic's Institute.
Present: Hodgson (Chair), Iffla, Wilkie, Eades, Macadam, Elliott, Kenny, Bleasdale and other gentlemen, Gilbee, Mackenna.

Fund raising business. Macadam suggested the camels would be useless unless accompanied by their native drivers.

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

• p. 25. Minutes of the EC meeting, 17 May 1859.

Monday, 23 May 1859.
Ordinary meeting of the Exploration Committee [joint meeting of the Exploration Fund Raising Committee], held at 4.00 pm at the Mechanic's Institute.
Present: Hodgson (Chair), Dickson, Bleasdale, Macadam, Eades, Wilkie.

Subscription books were given to the following gentlemen, who were appointed to cover the wards of the city and obtain subscriptions: Mr Lennox, Lonsdale ward; Mr Stark, Bourke ward; Mr Hartwell, La Trobe ward; Mr Anderson, Gipps ward; Mr Claxton, Macarthur ward and shipping in the bay.

Fund raising business.

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

• Minutes, 23 May 1859.

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

• p. 26 . Minutes of the EC meeting, 23 May 1859.

Monday, 30 May 1859.
Ordinary meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Hodgson (Chair), Wilkie, Mackenna, Macadam, Bleasdale.

Fund raising business.

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

• p. 27. Minutes of the EC meeting, 30 May 1859.

Monday, 6 June 1859.
Ordinary meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Hodgson (Chair), Wilkie, Mackenna, Becker, Macadam, Smith.

Cadell offered ₤500 of transport from Adelaide to any part of the Murray or Murrumbidgee Rivers.

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

• p. 28. Minutes of the EC meeting, 6 June 1859.

Sunday, 26 July 1859.
A Dramatic Performance in aid of the Exploration Fund, was held at the Theatre Royal; 'Money' and 'My precious Betsy.'

The performance last night in aid of the Exploration Fund was a marked success. The gentlemen who took part in it were most of them, as amateurs, well used to the stage, and the parts severally entrusted to them were looked upon as in safe, if not in efficient hands. The Garrick Club furnished a not inconsiderable proportion of the cast, but the occasion being purely a special one, the company brought together is to bo regarded entirely as extempore.

The purposo of the performance is laudable in the highest degree; the opening of the interior of this unknown continent should be a principal subject of consideration by every Australian, whether indigenous or imported, and the proposition to play in aid of so great an undertaking cannot but be looked upon as highly creditable to those gentlemen by whom it has been suggested and carried out. The numerous attendance last night gives us reason to hope that the fund will receive a valuable addition, and the scheme itself being thereby brought into prominent notice, may receive an increase of attention.

The comedy of "Money" was far from an infelicitous selection. It had the advantage, besides others, of being well adapted for amateur representation, inasmuch as the characters are both varied and evenly distributed. It was performed exceedingly well; and while it is not possible to indicate any serious deficiency, it is gratifying to be able to record instances of surprising excellence. The part of Evelyn, by Mr. W. Levey, was sustained with care, intelligence, and nice discrimination. In the first act its effect was a little diminished by a want of sufficient acquaintance with the acoustic qualities of the house, but this disadvantage overcome, the character progressed, not only with smoothness, but with a force and vigor which the audience were not slow to recognise. Mr. Levey was never tempted into extravagance, but there was, at the same time, no indication of feebleness in his acting. His utterance was clear, his emphasis scholarly, and his feeling natural. Moreover, he looked the part to the life, Mr. B. A. Henry was wonderfully graphic, irresistibly amusing, and not in the least farcical, in the curious character of Graves. His dolorousness was admirably preserved, both as to facial expression, solemnity of gait, and lugubriousness of speech. He played, in fact, with a quaint finish and a rare humor, which many professional actors might envy and imitate. The scene with Lady Franklyn put the houso into a paroxysm, of merriment. The Sir John Vesey of Mr. Biers was meritorious; the Sir Frederick Blount of Dr. Nickling very commendably characteristic; and the Stout of Mr. Turner excellently made up. Mr. Philp played Lord Gloss more evenly; Mr. Henriques acted Dudley Smooth a little too quietly; and Mr. Hunter made Sharpe and the Old Member respectable impersonations.

The lady characters of the piece were in most able hands. Mrs. Heir's Clara Douglas is known too well as a very charming delineation to need additional praise on this occasion; Mrs. Vickery's Lady Franklyn is in like manner one of the acknowledged successes of the stage; and Miss Morgan's Georgina may be described in like manner. The progress of the comedy was not interrupted by a single hitch, and the principal characters were summoned before the curtain with much enthusiasm.

The farce of "My Precious Betsy" followed, and Messrs. Bagster and Henry were eminent in extravagant drolleries until a late hour.

His Excellency the Governor was present, and a more brilliant dress circle has rarely been seen.

Friday, 5 August 1859.
Circular to the squatters of Victoria from the Exploration Committee:

Melbourne, 5th August 1859.

Sir,

The great importance of the object must be our apology for the anxious soliciting your kind co-operation in the contemplated exploration of central Australia.

We deem it unnecessary to urge the incalculable advantages that would be secured by a successful exploration of this vast continent, and the duty of this colony to contribute for this purpose.

We earnestly beg, however, to direct your attention to the generous offer of ₤1,000 that has been made, on condition that ₤2,000 should be subscribed within twelve months. About ₤1,000 only has as yet been obtained , and that chiefly in Melbourne; and as only one month remains to complete the required amount, we venture to make this personal appeal to you, in the full assurance that you will appreciate our efforts to accomplish an object of so great a national importance, and that you will not refuse to aid us with a contribution to the Exploration Find.

We have the honor sir,
Your very obedient servants,

William F Stawell
John Hodgson
Ferd. Mueller
John Macadam
David E Wilkie

The favor of an immediate answer is respectfully requested, addressed to the Hon Treasurer, David E Wilkie, Esq, MD, 106 Collins street-east, Melbourne.

Monday, 5 September 1859.
Letter from Stawell to Kyte:

Melbourne, 5th September 1859.

Sir,

We have the honor to announce to you, through his Honor the Chief Justice, Sir William F Stawell, that your munificent offer of ₤1,000 for Australian exploration has met with hearty response from all classes in Victoria, and we have succeeded in raising by private subscription the stipulated sum of ₤2,000 within the stipulated period of twelve months.

In announcing to you that we are in a position to claim your munificent gift of ₤1,000 we pray you, on behalf of every colonist of Victoria, to accept the assurance of our grateful esteem and of our warmest acknowledgements; and although your name is still withheld from us, we cannot withhold our admiration of your ostentatious patriotism and disinterested zeal in the cause of science.

We confidently believe that the valuable assistance which you have rendered to the cause of science and Australian progress, will, at no distant period, be rewarded by as wide extension of our geographical knowledge of those vast central regions of Australia which have been hitherto cut off from the civilised world, and still remain untrodden by the foot of civilised man. And we feel assured that it will ever be a source of unmingled satisfaction that you have so successfully initiated in Victoria a movement in favour of exploration, which we are fully justified in believing will be attended with the happiest and most successful results.

We have the honor sir,
Your very obedient servants,

William F Stawell
John Hodgson
Ferd. Mueller
John Macadam
David E Wilkie

Friday, 21 October 1859.
Ordinary meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Stawell (Chair), Mueller, Wilkie, Hodgson, Elliott.

Wilkie stated he had received the ₤1,000 donation from the anonymous donor through Stawell and the Exploration Fund stood at ₤2,914, 6s, 4d.

O'Shanassy agreed to place ₤6,000 on the estimates for 1860 and had promised his personal support.

A public meeting was ordered to be convened to receive the report of the Committee and determine future proceedings.

Macadam informed the Committee that Landells expected the camels to arrive in December or January.

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

• p. 29. Minutes of the EC meeting, 21 October 1859.

27 October 1859 - William Nicholson appointed as Chief Secretary, replacing the O'Shanassy Ministry (to 26 November 1860).

Wednesday, 16 November 1859.
The Philosophical Institute of Victoria received a Royal Charter and become the Royal Society of Victoria. At this Ordinary Meeting the following Committees were appointed:

  Resources in the Colony Committee 23 members
  Song Bird Committee 4 members
  Museum Committee 4 members
  Murray Cod Committee 4 members
  Sewerage Committee 6 members
  Exploration Committee 16 members

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