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1862

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.

Victorian Government:
Governor Sir Henry Barkly
John O'Shanassy's (third) Ministry to 27 June 1863.

Royal Society of Victoria:
President - Sir Henry Barkly, Governor of Victoria
Vice-President - Reverend John Ignatius Bleasdale & Sir William Foster Stawell
Treasurer - Herbert Francis Eaton
Honorary Secretary - Dr John Macadam M.D.

Thursday, 2 January 1862.
Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Commission of Enquiry dated 2 January 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Letter to Commission of Enquiry dated 2 January 1862. 2p.

Tuesday, 7 January 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Sampson dated 7 January 1862.

Wednesday, 8 January 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Cadell (chair), Iffla, Wilkie and McCoy.

Wilkie moved that the pistol found with Mr Burke be handed to Dr Wills.

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

• p. 168. Minutes of the EC meeting, 8 January 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 8 January 1862.

Thursday, 9 January 1862.
Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Howitt dated 9 January 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Letter to Howitt dated 9 January 1862. 1p.

Friday, 10 January 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Haverfield dated 10 January 1862.

Monday, 13 January 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Smith (chair), Wilkie.

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

• p. 169. Minutes of the EC meeting, 13 January 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 13 January 1862.

Friday, 17 January 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Wilkie (chair), Mueller, Elliott.

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 17 January 1862.

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

• p. 170. Minutes of the EC meeting, 17 January 1862.

Monday, 20 January 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Smith (chair), Wilkie, Eades, Macadam and Ligar.

A letter was read from Mr McPherson of Tarcoola enclosing a cheque for £27-10s for the sale of a wagon.
Wilkie's motion to hand the pistol to Dr Wills was not seconded.

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

• p. 171. Minutes of the EC meeting, 20 January 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 20 January 1862.

Tuesday, 21 January 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Cunningham dated 21 January 1862.
• Letter to W H Archer, Honorary Sec Acclimatisation Society. Dated 21 January 1862.
• Letter to McPherson dated 21 January 1862.
• Letter to Dr Wills dated 21 January 1862.

Friday, 24 January 1862.
Argus, Saturday 25 January 1862: 4.
At the District Court yesterday, Dr Wills sued Dr Macadam, as secretary to the Exploration Committee for the recovery of the pistol found in the hand of the corpse of Burke, the ground for the claim being that the pistol belonged to Dr Wills's son, who had lent it to Burke. Before the case was gone into, defendant's council stated that it was the intention of the Royal Society to give the pistol to Dr Wills the moment they were satisfied that they were justified in doing so. He considered it would be a great pity that any legal question should be publicly laised on the matter. Legally the Society were entitled to retain the pistol, but if it were found to have been the property of Dr Will's son, it was their intention to give it up to him. Mr Hackett asked Dr Wills whether that was satisfactory, and he accepted the offer, remarking, however, that he had great reason to complain of the delay of the committee in replying to his applications. It was explained that the Royal Society did not meet every day but the moment they found that Dr Wills had a satisfactory title to the pistol they would give it to him. The plaint was then withdrawn.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Frederick Harris dated 24 January 1862.
• Letter to John Patton dated 24 January 1862.
• Letter to John King dated 28 January 1862.

Monday, 27 January 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Wilkie (chair), Elliott, Iffla, Ligar, Gillbee, Macadam.

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

• p. 173. Minutes of the EC meeting, 27 January 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 27 January 1862.

Tuesday, 28 January 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to John King dated 28 January 1862.
• Letter to John King dated 28 January 1862.
• Letter to Dr Wills dated 28 January 1862.
• Letter to David Syme dated 28 January 1862.
• Letter to John King dated 28 January 1862.
• Letter to Mueller dated 28 January 1862.

Thursday, 30 January 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Mueller from King dated 30 January 1862.
• Letter to Mueller dated 30 January 1862.

Friday, 31 January 1862.
Commission of Enquiry into the circumstances connected with the sufferings and death of Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills, the Victorian explorers, presented its final report to Parliament.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Wilkie dated 31 January 1862.

Monday, 3 February 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: McCoy (chair), Iffla, Mueller, Elliott, Mackenna, Selwyn, Smith, Macadam, Gillbee.

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

• p. 175. Minutes of the EC meeting, 3 February 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 3 February 1862.

Tuesday, 4 February 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Cunningham dated 4 February 1862.

Thursday, 6 February 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Dr Wheeler dated 6 February 1862.
• Letter to Sampson dated 6 February 1862.

Friday, 7 February 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Moerlin dated 7 February 1862.

Monday, 10 February 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Wilkie, Elliott. No quorum, meeting postponed to the 17th.

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

• p. 175. Notes at bottom of page.

Wednesday, 12 February 1862.
Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Gill Fowler dated 12 February 1862.
• Letter to Wilkie dated 12 February 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Letter to Wilkie dated 12 February 1862. 2p.

Friday, 14 February 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Whitehouse dated 14 February 1862.

Monday, 17 February 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Wilkie, Macadam, Eades, McCoy. Not all present at the same time, no quorum and meeting postponed to the 19th.

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

• p. 175. Notes at bottom of page.

Tuesday, 18 February 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Haverfield dated 18 February 1862.

Wednesday, 19 February 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Elliott, Macadam. No quorum, meeting postponed to the 24th.

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Wilkie dated 19 February 1862.

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

• p. 175. Notes at bottom of page.

Friday, 21 February 1862.
Commission of Enquiry in the the deaths of Burke and Wills was laid on the table at the Legislative Assembly.

Argus, 22 February 1862, p. 5.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Barkly dated 21 February 1862.

Monday, 24 February 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Eades, Iffla stayed till 5.00 pm. Wilkie and McCoy arrived after 5.00 pm. No quorum.

A meeting of the Exploration Committe was appointed for yesterday afternoon, at the Royal Society's hall, but a quorum failed to attend. Under thes circumstances, Mr John King's promised statement, which we believe refers to the condition of the camels after they left the charge of Mr Landells, could not be made.

Mr Welch, the surveyor attached to Mr Howitt's party, who has been obliged to return to Melbourne through being attacked by retinitis while using his sextant, and whose right eye is useless - at all events, for a time - was in attendance, and informed those of the Committee who happened to be present that Mr Howitt left Mount Murchison on Monday, the 27th January. Mr Howitt received, before his departure, a despatch from the Committee, stating that despatches would be sent on by the next mail, but Mr Howitt could not afford to wait another fortnight, lest the water on his route should dry up. The despatches did not arrive for a fortnight afterwards, by which time (said Mr Welch) Mr Howitt must have been half way to Cooper's Creek. No one was left behind, because all the men were required to look after the stock. The despatches were now at Mount Murchison. (The purporse of these despatches was that Mr Howitt should bring down the remains of no other persons than Burke and Wills; but according to the despatch dated January 26, and quotod in the Argus of Thursday, Mr Howitt appeared to be aware of the wishes of the Committee.)

Mr Welch added that Mr Wheeler, the surgeon, was left at Menindie in charge of Bhotan, the sepoy, who was invalided from a camels bite in the right arm. The removal of Bhotan was necessary, and, as he could not ride a horse, the only way to bring him down to Melbourne in safety was by a light American waggon. Mr Welch added that when the depot at Menindie was broken up, the stores were transferred to Captain Cadell's establishment, but there still remained several small articles - medical and astronomical instruments, rough gems belonging to Dr Becker, etc. - which could be brought down by the waggon which conveyed Bhotan.

In a despatch written by Mr Howitt, from Mount Murchison, on the 18th January, and received by the Committee a fortnight ago, but which was not handed to us until yesterday, the following passage occurs:

I regret exceedingly, that owing to an affliction of the eye, from which Mr Welch has suffered since leaving Menindie, he will be prevented from accompanying me at this time. As I am unable to fill his place in the party here, I shall endeavour to perform the duties as far as I am able. I shall feel the loss of Mr Welch's services in the party in many ways.

The despatch was accompanied by a medical certificate from Mr Wheeler.

The instructions given to Mr Howitt to forward to Melbourne the camels which were of no use in his expedition are being carried out. The following despatch, dated Swan Hill, February 20, was received yesterday by the secretary to the Exploration Committee:

Sir,

I have to inform you that I arrived here on the 18th with the camels. They are all well, but the young ones require rest. I shall be obliged to spell here for six or seven days.

Mr Howitt directed me to collect several horses upon my arrival here, and take them to Melbourne. I find I can only get one of the number, which is perfectly useless, he having poll evil, and not likely to recover. The horses that Messrs Calcutt and Pinin were to have left here, knocked up with them, and I understood were left a long way down the Murray in low condition. Under these circumstances, I consider it advisable not to remove them. I shall therefore proceed upon my journey as soon as the camels have recovered, and shall come by easy stages, taking all the back roads, from Bendigo to Melbourne. The male camel, Nero, is much quieter. I shall report the arrival of the camels in person upon reaching the Deep Creek
(Signed) H M Sampson, in charge of stock.

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

• p. 175. Notes at bottom of page.

Thursday, 27 February 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Knowles dated 27 February 1862.
• Letter to Dr Wheeler dated 27 February 1862.
• Letter to Mueller dated 27 February 1862.
• Letter to Welch dated 27 February 1862.

Monday, 3 March 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Smith (chair), Eades, Mueller, Macadam.

A meeting of the Exploration Committee was held yesterday afternoon, Mr. James Smith in the chair. After some routine business had been disposed of, the reported massacre of the South Australian exploration party, under Mr. McKinlay, at Lake Hope, was adverted to, and the secretary was instructed to communicate with the South Australian government on the subject, urging the expediency of the government sending forward a detachment of police from Mount Hopeless, with the view of ascertaining the truth of the report. It will be remembered that Hodgkinson, who went with Wright from Menindie, and on his return proceeded to Adelaide, joined himself to M'Kinlay's party; and also, that the four camels which are said to have have escaped were supplied by this colony.

A letter was read from his Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, suggesting that, in the event of no information being received by the India mail of HMS Victoria having visited any of the Eastern ports, and the news with respect to the relations between England and America being of a pacific nature, the government of New South Wales should be requested to despatch H.M. screw steamship Miranda to Torres Straits, to ascertain the fate of the crew of the Firefly and afford the Victoria such assistance as she might stand in need of. The secretary was instructed to communicate with the government of New South Wales, in accordance with his Excellency's suggestion.

After some conversation as to the course that should be adopted in order to carry out, as far as possible, the intentions of Burke, in providing for his nurse, who came to the colony at his special request, Dr. Wilkie and Dr. Macadam were appointed to inquire as to what would be most acceptable, and to report to the next meeting of committee.

***
Bendigo Advertiser, 4 March 1862.
The Exploring Expedition.
Eaglehawk was thrown into a small excitement by the arrival, on Monday evening, at about four o'clock, of H.M. Sampson, the officer of the Expedition in charge of stock, with two female camels, one male, and two young animals. After breaking up camp at Pamamaroo, about the 18th January, he proceeded to Captain Cadell's store, at Menindie; hence down the Darling, and across the Euston; then up Murrumbidgee to Balranald, across the Wakool on to Swan Hill, where he arrived on the 18th of February. From Swan Hill he proceeded, on the 25th, by easy stages to Sandhurst. The camels are all in excellent condition. After leaving Lake Boga, he found the feed for camels - salt bush and cotton-bush - very scarce, and was forced, when opportunity offered, to purchase and carry it along. At Myers' Flat he says he did know what to make of it, he was so well received, especially by the ladies, who turned out in great numbers. At Croker's (Eaglehawk) people wanted to "see the camels," up till despatch of our report at nine o'olock, and we dare say much later. All parties were treated by Mr. Sampson with great consideration.

Among other little souvenirs, Mr. Sampson brings with him some nardoo cake, as prepared by the natives previous to cooking; some implements of native warfare, and stuffed birds for the Royal Society; a lot of photographs of members of the party taken at Menindie; and specimens of the various rocks, none of them auriferous quartz.

Belooch, who, the officer states, he has found an invaluable man with camels (thus contradicting statements made by the dilettanti explorers), is with the party. Mr. Sampson sums up his character thus :--"Tell him what to do, and he'll do it. He'll do fifty things that want to be done, you can't tell him, and he is as quiet as a lamb, if you know how to manage him." Belooch says, as to going in search of M'Kinlay and party, with every confidence in his friend and leader, "If you go, I'll go."

The party starts this morning at day-break, and will proceed to Melbourne by Burke's track.

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

• p. 177. Minutes of the EC meeting, 3 March 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 3 March 1862.

Tuesday, 4 March 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Vining dated 4 March 1862.
• Letter to Moore dated 4 March 1862.
• Letter to William Thompson dated 4 March 1862.

Wednesday, 5 March 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Commissioner of Crown Lands dated 5 March 1862.

Thursday, 6 March 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Barkly dated 6 March 1862.

Saturday, 8 March 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Stawell dated 8 March 1862.

Monday, 10 March 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Wilkie, Gillbee , Macadam.
No quorum.

Thursday, 13 March 1862.
Special meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Mueller (chair), McCoy, Gillbee, Wilkie, Selwyn, Hodgkinson, Macadam.

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

• p. 178. Minutes of the special EC meeting, 13 March 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 13 March 1862.

Friday, 14 March 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Dr Wheeler dated 14 March 1862.
• Letter to Welch dated 14 March 1862.

Monday, 17 March 1862.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee was held in the afternoon. For some time it was supposed that no business would be transacted, in consequence of the paucity of attendance. Eventually, at three quarters of an hour past the time appointed, a quorum was made.

Present: Professor McCoy (chair), Dr Wilkie, Dr Bleasdale and Dr Macadam.

After the minutes of the preceding meeting were adopted, Dr Macadam read some letters, which were received by the last English mail in reply to those forwarded by him to the relatives of the late Mr Burke. The first was from Major Burke, a brother of the late leader of the expedition, and was written from Malta. It expressed in high terms the thanks of the writer to the Exploration Committee for their considerate kindness, which had been great consolation to the family, and the assurance that the sympathy and honour towards his late brother were in safe hands. The public feeling evinced in the colony was most valued by the family; and as regarded Dr Macadam personally, he had asked Mr Wynne to verbally express his thanks. A letter from Mr J Burke, dated from Castle Hackett, Tuarn, was to the same effect. In it the writer said that 'although Burke met with an untimely fate, it was a consolation to his friends to know that he lived long enough to solve the great problem he had so much at heart.'

A private letter from Major Burke to Dr Macadam was also read; but the only matter of public importance in it was an expressed wish that the thanks of Major Burke should be conveyed to King, for his gallant conduct.

A letter from Mr Richard Bentley, the well-known publisher in London, was submitted to the Committee. Contained in it was an offer to pay £1,000 for the copyright of the travels of the late Mr Burke and Mr Wills, together with all maps, &c.

Departing from matters which are so painfully connected with those whose names will ever stand high on the list of Victoria's bravest explorers, the secretary announced that he had received a letter from Mr Myers, of Mount Murchison, dated March 3, containing one from Mr Howitt. In his letter Mr Myers states that a considerable quantity of rain had fallen at Youngara Creek since Mr Howitt left it, and that there was every appearance of the rain proceeding northwards. The despatch from Howitt, dated Younganya Water, 3 March 1862, was read.

Burke's gold watch
Note: The gold watch (No. 5094) which was purchased by the Exploration Committee and used by Burke on the VEE and by Howitt on the VCP, was placed on the table during this meeting and it was decided to send the watch to Burke's sister. The Committee secretary, Robert Dickson pawned the watch at Mr Browning's on Elizabeth-street on 4 July 1862. Dickson also pawned a silver watch on 12 April 1862 (No 10,597 which had been used by Mr Brahe and which came back to Melbourne out of repair. It was taken to Mr Henry Elder, watch-maker, Bourke-street, for repairs). Dickson was charged and convicted of pawning the silver watch on 25 November 1862 and sentenced to one months imprisonment, but charges relating to the pawning of Burke's gold watch were never brought.

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

• p. 180. Minutes of the EC meeting, 17 March 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 17 March 1862.

Friday, 21 March 1862.
Special meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Smith (chair), Wilkie, Iffla, Eades, Gillbee, Bleasdale, Macadam.
Meeting adjourned to 24 March.

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

• p. 181. Minutes of the special EC meeting, 21 March 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC special meeting, 21 March 1862.
• Minutes of EC meeting, 11 August 1862.

Monday, 24 March 1862.
Adjourned special meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Stawell (chair), Selwyn, Ligar, Wilkie, Gillbee, Bleasdale, Macadam.
The meeting failed to make a quorum and was adjourned to 26 March.

The meeting of the Exploration Committee was held at the Royal Society Hall, but a quorum failed to attend.

Under these circumstances Mr John King's promised statement, which we believe refers to the condition of the camels after they left the charge of Mr Landell's, could not be made.

Mr Welch, the surveyor attached to Mr Howitt's party, who has been obliged to return to Melbourne through being attacked by retinitis while using his sextant, and whose right eye is useless - at all events for a time - was in attendance, and informed those of the Committee who happened to be present that Mr Howitt left Mount Murchison on Monday, the 27th January. Mr Howitt received, before his departure, a despatch from the Committee, stating that despatches would be sent on by the next mail, but Mr Howitt could not afford to wait another fortnight, lest the water on his route should dry up. The despatches did not arrive for a fortnight afterwards, by which time (said Mr Welch) Mr Howitt must have been half way to Cooper's Creek. No one was left behind, because all the men were required to look after the stock. The despatches were now at Mount Murchison. [The purport of these despatches was that Mr Howitt should bring down the remains of no other persons than those of Burke and Wills; but, according to the despatch dated January 25th, and noted in the Argus of Thursday, Mr Howitt appeared to be aware of the wishes of the Committee].

Mr Welch added that Mr Wheeler, the surgeon, was left at Menindie, in charge of Bhotan, the Sepoy, who was invalided from a camel's bite in the right arm. The removal of Bhotan was necessary, and as he could not ride a horse, the only way to bring him down to Melbourne in safety was by a light American waggon. Mr Welch added that when the depot at Menindie was broken up, the stores were transferred to Captain Cadell's establishment, but there still remained several small articles - medical and astronomical instruments, rough gems belonging to Dr Becker, &c. - which could be brought down by the waggon which conveyed Bhotan.

In a despatch written by Mr Howitt, from Mount Murchison, on the 18th January, and received by the Committee a fortnight ago, but which was not handed us until yesterday, the following passage occurs:

I regret exceedingly that owing to an affection of the eye, from which Mr Welch has suffered since leaving Menindie, he will be prevented from accompanying me at this time. As I am unable to fill his place in the party here, I shall endeavor to perform tho duties as far as I am able. I shall feel the loss of Mr Welch's services in the party in many ways.

The despatch was accompanied by a medical certificate from Mr Wheeler. The instructions given to Mr Howitt to forward to Melbourne the camels which were of no use in his expedition are being carried out. The following despatch, dated Swan Hill, February 20, was received yesterday by the secretary to the Exploration Committee:

Sir,

I have to inform you that I arrived here on the 18th with the camels. They are all well, but the young ones require rest. I shall be obliged to spell here for six or seven days. Mr Howitt directed me to collect several horses upon my arrival here, and take them to Melbourne. I find I can only get one of the number, which is perfectly useless, he having poll evil, and not likely to recover. The horses that Messrs Calcutt and Pinin were to have left here knocked up with them, and I understood were left a long way down the Murray, in low condition. Under these circumstances, I consider it advisable not to remove them. I shall therefore proceed upon my journey as soon as the camels have recovered, and shall come by easy stages, taking all the back roads, from Bendigo to Melbourne. The male camel here is much quieter. I shall report the arrival of the camels in person upon reaching the Deep Creek.

(Signed.) H S Sampson, in charge of stock.

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to McPherson dated 24 March 1862.
• Letter to O’Shannassy dated 24 March 1862.

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

• p. 182. Minutes of the adjourned special EC meeting, 24 March 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of adjourned special EC meeting, 24 March 1862.

Wednesday, 26 March 1862.
Adjourned meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Stawell (chair), Wilkie, Mackenna, 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. 183. Minutes of the adjourned EC meeting, 26 March 1862.
• p. 184. Minutes of the adjourned special EC meeting, 26 March 1862.

Friday, 28 March 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Stawell, Wilkie, Mackenna and Eades.

Meeting adjourned to the 31st.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 28 March 1862.

Monday, 31 March 1862.
Adjourned meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Wilkie (chair), Mackenna, McCoy, Eades, Gillbee, Stawell, Macadam.

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

• p. 185. Minutes of the ordinary EC meeting, 31 March 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b Draft minutes, 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 31 March 1862.

Monday, 7 April 1862.
Ordinary meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Stawell (chair), Bleasdale, Smith, Gillbee, Mackenna, Macadam, Wilkie, McCoy.

The meeting adjourned to 9 April.

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

• p. 186. Minutes of the ordinary EC meeting, 7 April 1862.

Tuesday, 8 April 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to the Chief Secretary [O'Shanassy] dated 8 April 1862.

Wednesday, 9 April 1862.
[Adjourned] meeting of the Exploration Committee of the Royal Society was held in the afternoon, for the purpose of receiving and considering the report of Commander Norman, so far as it had been prepared.
Present: Stawell (chair), Selwyn, Wilkie, Cadell, Gillbee, Bleasdale, Smith, Watson, McCoy, Mueller, Ligar.

Sir W Stawell presided, and there was a pretty full attendance of the members. The report and correspondence prepared by Commander Norman, and which had already been presented to Parliament, was laid on the table, and a discussion arose as to the nature of the instructions which should be sent to Mr Howitt, in reference to the assistance of Mr Landsborough's party, and as to whether it would be desirable to supplement the stores left by Mr Howitt or not. Dr Mueller observed that on the receipt of Mr Howitt's expected despatches, the Committee would be able to form a judgement as to the best route by which additional stores and assistance could be despatched; and Captain Cadell stated that the despatches might be looked for by the Havilah steamer, which would arrive by Friday or Saturday.

Some doubt was expressed by several of the Committee whether Mr Landsborough might really be supposed to be making for Cooper's Creek, and the chairman felt a difficulty in believing that his party had found Mr Burke's tracks. Mr James Smith said, if Landsborough should reach Cooper's Creek, and be short of stores, there would be another howl of execration raised against the Committee, and it therefore behoved them to be cautious. Professor McCoy thought that loss of life was so much more serious a consideration than loss of money, that even although they might entertain some doubt of Landsborough's intentions, they had no choice left but to telegraph to Adelaide to hasten the sending of assistance to him, in the event his making for Cooper's Creek. A desultory conversation over the best route to be adopted for the despatch of stores, was closed by the adoption of the following telegram, moved by Mr James Smith, and addressed lo the Commissioner of Crown Lauds at Adelaide:-

The Exploration Committee has received intelligence, inducing the belief that Landsborough's party is on its way to Cooper's Creek, It becomes, therefore, necessary to guard against contingencies by leaving twelve weeks' provisions for twelve men at the depot. If Mr Howitt's despatches are still in Adelaide, please open them, and act upon them in conformity with these new circumstances. Can we obtain stores at Lake Hope Station, or any other station near Cooper's Creek?

The Committee then adjourned till half-past four pm tomorrow, when they will meet to hear the reply to the above telegram, and to consider the further steps necessary to be taken.

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

• p. 187. Minutes of the adjourned EC meeting, 9 April 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 9 April 1862.

Thursday, 10 April 1862.
1. Anniversary Meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria.
Professor M'Coy, Vice President, in the chair.

The Report of the Exploration Committee, for 1861, was read, and after some discussion its further consideration postponed until an adjourned meeting, to be held on the 17 April, 1862.

***
2. Adjourned meeting of the Exploration Committee, held at 4.30 pm.
Present: Stawell (chair), Iffla, Gillbee, Macadam, Wilkie and Cadell.

Business: To further consider Captain Norman's report. The meeting was adjourned to 1.00 pm on the 12th.

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

• p. 188. Minutes of the adjourned EC meeting, 10 April 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 10 April 1862.

Friday, 11 April 1862.
At the Anniversary Meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria, held at the Society's hall, Professor McCoy in the chair. The Secretary read the annual report of the Exploration Committee written by Stawell and dated 10 April 1861 (see Argus, Friday 11 April, page 6).

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Dr Rudall dated 11 April 1862.
• Letter to Welch dated 11 April 1862.
• Letter to Dr Rudall dated 11 April 1862.
• Letter to Dr Jacobs dated 11 April 1862.

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

• p. 189. Minutes of the EC meeting, 12 April 1862.

Saturday, 12 April 1862.
The adjourned meeting of the Exploration Committee was held, at 1.00 pm at the Royal Society's hall, in Victoria-street.
Present: Sir W F Stawell (chair), Professor McCoy, Mr Selwyn, Dr Wilkie, Dr Eades, Mr James Smith, Captain Cadell, Dr lffla and Dr Macadam.

Despatches from Mr Howitt were produced. These despatches were sent by Mr Howitt from Blanche Water, in the far north of South Australia, and reached Melbourne via Adelaide. Mr Howitt was at Blanche Water on the 18th inst., having come there with a light party from Cooper's Creek, to which he proposed returning by McKinlay's route, via Lake Hope. Slight symptoms of scurvy had appeared among his men, but, with that exception, good health prevailed in the party.

The despatches and diary show the South Australian Exploring party (McKinlay's) have visited the graves of Burke and Wills, at Cooper's Creek.

After the reading of the documents, some discussion took place as to the propriety of sending instructions to Mr Howitt; and it was ultimately determined to take advantage of the good offices of the South Australian Government, and forward by the Adelaide steamer, on Tuesday, despatches requesting Mr Howitt to remain at Cooper's Creek until the arrival of Landsborough's party from Carpentaria, or until he received further advice from the Committee; and to employ his party, in the meanwhile, in exploratory excursions to the northwards.

Mr Selwyn, Dr Wilkie, and Captain Cadell, were appointed a sub-committee to draw up these instructions, and submit them to an adjourned meeting of the Committee, on Monday afternoon.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 12 April 1862.

Monday, 14 April 1862.
Adjourned meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: McCoy (chair), Wilkie, Selwyn, Mueller, Cadell, Eades, Gillbee, Macadam, Stawell.

A letter was read from Dr Mueller resigning his seat on the Committee.

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Howitt dated 14 April 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Letter to National Bank dated 14 April 1862. 1p.

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

• p. 190. Minutes of the [adjourned] EC meeting, 14 April 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of [adjourned] EC meeting, 14 April 1862.

Tuesday, 15 April 1862.
Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to the manager of the National Bank dated 15 April 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Copy of letter to Commissioner of Crown Lands dated 15 April 1862. 2p.

Thursday, 17 April 1862.
At a meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria the Sixth Progress Report of the Exploration Committee was re-read, and on the motion of Dr Eades, seconded by A K Smith, Esq., CE, was received and adopted.

Thursday, 24 April 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Ligar (chair), Eades, Bleasdale, McCoy, Wilkie, Gillbee, 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. 191. Minutes of the EC meeting, 24 April 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 24 April 1862.

Friday, 25 April 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Dr Wheeler dated 25 April 1862.

Monday, 5 May 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Selwyn (chair), Wilkie, Gillbee, Macadam, Smith.

Moved that the pistol be given up to Dr Wills.

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

• p. 192. Minutes of the EC meeting, 5 May 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 5 May 1862.

Wednesday, 7 May 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Henry Hart dated 7 May 1862.

Saturday, 10 May 1862
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Copy of letter to Chief Secretary [O'Shanassy] dated 10 May 1862. 1p.

Monday, [12 May 1862?]
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Selwyn (chair), Gillbee, Smith, Wilkie, Macadam.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, [12 May 1862].

Monday, 19 May 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Ligar (chair), Wilkie, Eades, McCoy, Gillbee, Macadam.

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

• p. 194. Minutes of the EC meeting, 19 May 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 19 May 1862.

Tuesday, 20 May 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071 Box 2084/3k Medical certificate from Melbourne Hospital as to Dost Mahomet’s injuries. Dated 20 May 1862. 1p.

Monday, 26 May 1862.
Ordinary Meeting of the Royal Soceiety of Victoria.
His Excellency, Sir Henry Barkly, K.C.B., &c, President, in the chair.

The annual report of the Council, and the balance-sheet for the year, 1861, were read and adopted.

Annual Report of teh Council of the Royal Society of Victoria for 1861:
Your Council refer with satisfaction to the successful results of the Exploration conducted by the devoted Burke and Wills, and of the various leaders of the several Contingent Exploration Expeditions, although they cannot but deeply lament the heavy cost paid for this extension of our geographical knowledge in the lives of so many brave men. The Council, believing that no better or more faithful compendium of the labours of this Society can be submitted to you than the Progress Report of the Exploration Committee, have delayed their own Report in order that it may be accompanied by that of the Exploration Committee.*

*[The Progress Reports of the Exploration Committee were printed separately and presented to the Society on 20 August 1863.]

Thursday, 5 June 1862.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee was held to receive the despatches which had been forwarded by Mr Walker, the leader of the contingent exploration party.

Present: Dr Wilkie, Dr Macadam, Commander Norman, and Captain Cadell.

The despatches consisted of a portion of Mr Walker's diary, and of letters from him to the secretary of the Exploration Committee. The documents, which were voluminous, were handed to the representatives of the press for publication. A chart accompanied them, which will be lithographed this day, in order that members may be supplied with copies. Mr Walker, in one portion of his despatch, speaks of the flour he took with him from the Victoria as being so bad that he had to sift it. Commander Norman, however, states that it was packed by Mr Walker himself, and was of the same quality as that consumed on the Victoria, all of which was very good. The despatches will be brought before the meeting of the Committee on Monday next. The chart shows the Flinders River from its mouth to a point some fifteen or twenty minutes south of the 19th parallel of latitude. It shows a succession of low sandstone ranges, alternating with salt lagoons and creeks in about the 18th parallel of latitude, as far west as the Leichhardt River, or to the west of the 140 degree of longitude. It shows the position of Burke's last camp on the Flinders, considerably to the north of the 18 degree of latitude, and shows Burke's return route, as traced by the blacks, along the banks of the river over 'fine plains,' to a point considerably south of the 19th parallel, or as far as Walker's 9th camp; At this point the track was lost on plains which are described as 'much subject to inundation.' The track then shows that Walker struck to the eastward, towards Queensland. About the 142 degree of longitude, the river which Walker has named the 'Norman,' was fallen in with and traced downwards towards Carpentaria for a distance of six camps, where it was left in 'flooded box.' Its course was parallel to the Flinders up to that point, and the probability is that it mixes its waters with those of the Flinders in the saltwater flats near the junction of the Flinders and the sea. The chart shows no part of Walker's explorations in Queensland.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 5 June 1862.

Friday, 6 June 1862.
[Argus, Monday 9 June 1862: 6].

Mr Haines moved that £2,090 be granted for the family of the late Mr Wills; the debentures purchased, the interest of which was to go to them, to remain the property of the Government. Mr Francis moved that the amount should be fixed at £4,180; the interest of £2,000 to go to the mother of the late Mr Wills, and the interest of £2,000 to his sisters, who were in England, and to be for their benefit, irrespective of the husbands they might now or in the future have. He made this motion because he believed that the circumstances of the case, which he had recently inquired into, justified it. He also felt that the amount was not too great when compared with the sum which had been set apart for Mr King.

Mr Haines, although not seeing any reason for the motion, would not oppose it; but the most convenient course for him, if the House consented to it, would be to provide for the increased amount on the Supplementary Estimates. Mr Levey pointed out that, if they were to adopt a course of this kind in this case, there were many other cases in connexion with the same and other exploring expeditions, which should come under notice.

Mr Heales thought it would be necessary to guard against over-liberality, as this case would probably guide others. The late Mr Wills was in the habit of assisting his mother and sisters, and the House ought to stand in his place; taking that view of the case, he thought the proposition of the Treasurer was sufficiently liberal.

Mr Higginbotham thought the Home should not only be generous in this matter, but equal in its generosity. A standard had been already set up in the vote for King, and it should not now be departed from. Mr Wills's family stood in the place of Mr Wills himself; and it the interest of £3,125 was not too much for Mr King, who had returned from the expedition, that interest of £4,180 was not too much for the relatives of Mr Wills, who had not returned.

Mr Woods supported the views of the hon. member who had last spoken. This matter should not be disposed of in a cheese-paring spirit. Mr Service was unable to agree on this occasion with the hon. member for Richmond. The case would have been different had Mr Wills left a widow and orphans; but as the father of that unfortunate gentleman was still alive, the proposition of the Treasurer was amply sufficient.

Mr O'Shanassy thought the original proposition of a grant of £1,000 was, after all, tha most satisfactory. The case was entirely different from that of King, who had returned disabled for life-thoroughly shattered in body, and weakened in mind, by his great sufferings. A money grant would be best, leaving the case to the subsequent review of Parliament, perhaps years hence.

Mr O'Grady hoped the discussion would cease, and the amendment of the hon. member for Richmond would at once be sanctioned. To discuss these details was unworthy of a country which had gained so much in the eyes of the world from the success of the late expedition. Mr Pope supported the amendment.

Mr O'Shanassy (after consultation with Mr Francis) proposed that the annuity derived from £2,000 worth of debentures should be paid to Mrs Wills, and a sum of £500 to each of the Misses Wills. (Hear, hear). In answer to Mr Humffray, Mr Haines said, the arrangement would benefit Dr Wills.

Dr Macadam said that, though no claim had been made, the claims of the youngest sister of Mr Burke should not be ignored. The amendment suggested by Mr O'Shanassy was accepted, and the amended vote agreed to.

Mr Haines then moved that a sum of £1,015 be granted for the purchase of debentures, the interest to be paid to Ellen Dogherty, the nurse of Burke, which was agreed to. Dr Macadam stated that the late Mr Burke had left an unmarried sister, to whom he was devotedly attached. No claim had been made for her, and Mr Burke had entered on the expedition perfectly indifferent to monetary considerations. He thought a sum of £1,000 might be sent to Miss Burke.

Mr Haines did not like to discuss the subject, as he was quite unaware of the feelings of Mr Burke's relatives on that subject. He might not entertain the same objection at some future day. The subject then dropped.

Monday, 9 June 1862.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee held at the Royal Society's hall.

Present: Dr Mueller (chair) Dr Wilkie, Dr Macadam, Captain Cadell and the Rev J J Bleasdale.

Dr Macadam made a report as to the sums recently voted by the Legislature in connexion with the Burke and Wills Exploring Expedition, and a resolution expressive of the Committee's high appreciation of the liberality manifested by Parliament was unanimously agreed to.

As there was only a quorum present, it was thought advisable to adjourn until Wednesday, at 3.00 pm, in order that the instructions proposed to be sent to Mr Walker, by the Sydney steamer, the following day (and which would involve either the continuance or the cessation of his services), should be fully discussed by a larger meeting. Dr Mueller intimated that, on that occasion, he should take the opportunity of offering some observations with reference to Mr Walker's remarks on the geographical positions laid down by Mr Gregory.

Meeting adjourned to 3.00 pm on the 11 June.

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

• p. 195. Minutes of the EC meeting, 9 June 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 9 June 1862.

Tuesday, 10 June 1862.
Related archive:

SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Letter to National Bank dated 10 June 1862. 1p.

Wednesday, 11 June 1862.
Adjourned meeting of the Exploration Committee held at the Royal Society building at 3.00 pm..
Present: Professor McCoy (chair), Dr Macadam (Hon Secretary), Mr Selwyn, Mr Jas. Smith, Dr Mueller, Mr Ligar and Captain Cadell.

The Secretary stated that the meeting was called to consider the letter received from Mr Walker, asking whether he should again take the field and investigate that portion of Queensland in which he had, as he believed come across the traces of Leichhardt. The Hon Secretary proceeded to remark that the Chief Secretary [O'Shanassy] had, in Parliament, stated his desire to bring these exploration expeditions to a close as soon as possible and that, as soon as Mr Howitt and Mr Landsborough had returned, the whole business of exploration, as far an Victoria was concerned, should cease. It seemed that a member of the Committee, who preferred to be heard of within the walls of the Legislative Assembly rather than those of the Royal Society -he alluded to Mr Embling- had made an effort to induce the Government to allow Mr Howitt to traverse the continent from east to west; but what had fallen from Mr O'Shanassy, on a recent occasion, in the Legislative Assembly sufficiently proved that there was little hope of further assistance from the Government in this matter.

The Chairman remarked that hitherto all Governments had been most liberal in their assistance to the work of exploration, but that it seemed to be the opinion of the Government that this colony had now done its fair proportion of the work of exploration, and that there should be, therefore, no new expeditions. At the same time, he had no doubt the Government would give every aid that was needed to wind up the affair.

Dr Mueller hardly wished to intrude his opinions, but, at the same time, he felt that nothing could be more desirable than to see the chart of Australia completed. On the face of things he thought it proper to have a full knowledge of the financial state of the Committee before anything was done, for it must not be forgotten that Howitt and Landsborough were still in the field.

The Hon Secretary had understood from the Treasurer that the amount of money voted by Parliament would only just cover the expenditure. Certainly there would be no balance left in favour of the Society. Considerable expense had been incurred on account of the unexpected journey commenced by Landsborough and it ought to be remembered that Commander Norman had done everything in his power to restrain that gentleman from making what might turn out a very disastrous undertaking. Another disadvantage under which the Committee laboured was, the action brought against the Committee by Mr Ferguson, who gained a verdict for £180 and his law expenses. No doubt there was a point of law reserved in favour of the Committee, but Mr Ferguson is renewing that claim after Burke's death which he abandoned while Burke lived, had set a bad example he (Dr Macadam) understood that notice had been received that two or three other members of Burke's party had thought proper to initiate proceeding against the Committee.

After some conversation, Mr James Smith moved the following resolution, which, under the circumstances, he should not support by any speech:

That this Committee, being of opinion that the great object for which the expedition of Burke and Wills was organised has been completed, and as its financial position does not warrant any further expenditure, deems it not desirable to engage in any further exploration of that eastern portion of Australia, more especially as they believe the time has arrived when the inhabitants of the neighbouring colonies should follow up and extend the discoveries effected at so much cost and such sacrifice of human life by Victoria.

Mr Selwyn seconded the resolution, which, after a few desultory remarks from Mr Ligar and Captain Cadell, was carried unanimously.

Dr Mueller next drew the attention of the Committee to the allusions made by Walker in his last letter to the alleged errors in Gregory's map, and as he (Dr Mueller) had been connected with Gregory's expedition he thought he might appropriately step forward to show that Mr Walker's remarks were not justified. The following was the passage from Walker's letter which he alluded to:

The great incorrectness of Mr Gregory's map has also hindered me much, and I wish I had not had it with me. I make a difference of twenty miles in longitude on the Burdekin, but as mine is dead reckoning, this I would not mention were it not that Mr Gregory's is also mere dead reckoning, and that, moreover, to suit his map, he has shifted the Belyando twenty-six miles more to the west than Sir T Mitchell has placed it. I well remember Sir T Mitchell saying how careful he was of his chronometers. If I remember right, his instruments were carried along on a pole by two men, who walked after the drays. You will observe when you receive my map, which I will forward as soon as I reach Rockhampton, that Sir Thomas Mitchell's longitude will tally with mine. But Mr Gregory is not a bit more particular in latitude; as, for instance, he places the latitude of the junction of the Clarke 10 deg 12min, whereas we found it by observations, repeated on account of this difference on several nights, of the stars Pollux and Arcturus, to be in 19 deg. 27min, 25sec.

Mr Walker, he said, had expressed an opinion that the Belyando was placed on Gregory's chart in a longitude twenty-six miles further westward than that assigned to it by its discoverer, Sir Thomas Mitchell. Mr Walker seemed, however, not to be aware that this transposition was effected not loss than ten years previously to the time when Mr Gregory constructed his chart of the route of the North Australian expedition, and that it was the geographer Arrowsmith who, when uniting the Belyando of Sir Thomas Mitchell with the Cape River of Dr Leichhardt, placed the former river so much more westward in the chart which he furnished for Leichhardt's work. Mr Gregory had merely connected the surveys of Mitchell and Leichhardt on the Belyando, diverged soon from that river eastward, and adopted, therefore, by far the greatest part of its altered position from Arrowsmith's chart. His (Dr Mueller's) former leader placed, moreover, the junction of the Cape River with the Suttor almost in the identical position originally assigned to it by Dr Leichhardt, and consequently on this point his observations accord much more with those of his (Dr Mueller's) unfortunate countryman than with those of Mr Walker, there being only about five miles difference in longitude, and hardly any in latitude, between Gregory's and Leichhardts positions. Mr Gregory's dead reckonings for longitude were, moreover, checked from time to time by lunar observations, and as he had finally the advantage of adjusting his survey to the longitudes of fixed maritime positions, he (Dr Mueller) could not anticipate that Mr Walker's assertions as to the incorrectness of Mr Gregory's chart would be borne out by future observations. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind, that in a rapid exploratory journey the first map of a new country could not have a claim to absolute accuracy, otherwise it would not be possible that in one single expedition, such as the one in which he (Dr Mueller) had the honour to serve, lines to the approximate extent of 5,000 miles could be surveyed within less than eighteen months. Mr Walker further contended that the latitude of the point where the River Clarke joins the Burdekin is laid down erroneously in Mr Gregory's chart. Here, again, an opportunity existed for that gentleman to have compared the charts which accompanied the respective journals of Leichhardt and Gregory, and if he had so compared them, he would have found that this supposed erroneous latitude was fixed by the discoverer of the Burdekin, and that in Mr Gregory's map it was left precisely in its former latitudinal position (although altered in longitude); because, as expressly stated in the journal of the commander of the North Australian Expedition, published in the Transactions of the Royal Geographical Society of London, (1858 p. 116), the cloudy sky prevented him at the time obtaining a reliable observation for latitude. But Mr Gregory had, notwithstanding, an ample opportunity of confirming the position of one of Dr Leichhardt's next camps on the Burdekin. Even if the discrepancy, of Dr Leichhardt's and Mr Walker's observations should not have arisen from a derangement of the instruments, to which on land journeys they were so liable, it was difficult to comprehend how, on an overflowing river flanked by pasture land the assumed fact of a tributary being found half a day's journey out of its position could endanger the well-trained party of an explorer.

While making the above remarks Dr Mueller frequently referred to various books, maps, and charts, including Mr Gregory's original map. The Chairman expressed a hope that Dr Mueller would put together his memoranda on this subject, in the form of a paper, which, being read before the Royal Society, might be incorporated in its Transactions. The Hon Secretary supported the suggestion. Dr Mueller wished to excuse himself, as at this season of the year his hands were full of work, and the statement he had made would, no doubt, appear in the newspapers. He eventually agreed to comply with the request.

After transacting a little routine business, the meeting broke up.

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

• p. 197. Minutes of the [adjourned] EC meeting, 11 June 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 11 June 1862.

Monday, 16 June 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Wilkie (chair), Gillbee, Eades, Smith, Iffla, McCoy, Macadam.

Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to the manager of the National Bank dated 16 June 1862.

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

• p. 198. Minutes of the EC meeting, 16 June 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 16 June 1862.

Wednesday, 18 June 1862.
Argus, Wednesday 18 June 1862, p4.
An address will be presented today to Commander Norman, of H.M.C.s.s. Victoria from the Exploration Committee. We are requested to state that the members are all expected to meet, at Sandridge Railway Pier, at twelve o'clock, to proceed on board with the address. See Norman's address.

Saturday, 21 June 1862.
A Special Meeting of the Exploration Committee was held at the Royal Society's hall to consider the despatch received yesterday from Landsborough, dated Bunnawaunah, Darling River, 2 June 1862.
Present: Professor McCoy (chair), Dr Eades, Dr Mueller, Dr Wilkie, Dr Macadam, Mr Gillbee and Mr Selwyn.

Macadam observed that, in compliance with the suggestion made by His Excellency the Governor at the meeting of the Royal Society on Monday evening, he sent a despatch to the South Australian Government, requesting them to communicate to Mr Howitt the return of Walker's party. On Thursday night, when there was a rumour in town as to the return of Mr Landsborough's party, he received from Adelaide a telegram to the effect that the mail for the far-north would leave the following morning. However he did not like to forward any information as to Mr Landsborough's return until he was certain of the fact. The despatches had now arrived, and been published in the daily papers; and it would be for the Committee to decide what steps should be taken.

Sir William Stawell, who was unable to attend the meeting, was of opinion that a special messenger should be sent by coach to Swan Hill, and then go on horse-back to Menindie, to acquaint Mr Landsborough that there was no necessity for his taking any measures whatsoever to inform Mr Howitt of his arrival on the Darling, and that he might at once proceed to town. Sir William also recommended that definite instructions should be sent to the authorities at Adelaide to communicate with Mr Howitt, either at Blanchewater or Cooper's Creek, and request him to return home as soon as convenient, his only mission now being to bring down the remains of Burke and Wills.

There was in the room a very good bushman (Mr Charles Verdon, brother to the member for Williamstown), who was well acquainted with the country between Swan Hill and Menindie, and who would be willing to carry a despatch to Mr Landsborough in eight or nine days. Eades moved, Gillbee seconded;

That a despatch be forwarded at once to Mr Landsborough, informing him that it is not now necessary that he should communicate with Mr Howitt's depot party at Cooper's Creek, and that he may return at his earliest convenience to Melbourne.

Wilkie thought the Committee ought to pause before agreeing to such a resolution. Mr Landsborough, in his despatch dated June 2, said distinctly, 'I intend proceeding down the river to Menindie, where I intend, if necessary, to take the most advisable mode to let Mr Howitt know of our return from the Gulf of Carpentaria.' Now he (Dr Wilkie) did not see why the Committee should take this duty out of Mr Landsborough's hands. In all probability, Mr Landsborough arrived at Menindie about the 10th or 12th of June, and in a few days after proceeded to carry out the step contemplated in his despatch; and the Committee were now, on the 21st of June, at a distance of nine or ten days from Menindie, proposing to prevent Mr Landsborough carrying out his intention. Moreover, he could not see the utility of sending special messengers from Adelaide to Cooper's Creek, when Mr Landsborough was probably at that moment within a comparatively easy distance of Cooper's Creek. By taking the duty of communicating with Mr Howitt out of Mr Landsborough's hands they would only get into inextricable confusion.

Gillbee disagreed altogether with Dr Wilkie. Mr Landsborough had just arrived at the Darling from a very arduous journey, with his party, no doubt, in a bad state of health because no man could have performed what he had done on so small a supply of provisions without exposing his system to scurvy, and therefore to put this additional trial upon him would be manifestly unjust, particularly as they know that the journey from Menindie to Cooper's Creek was far more dangerous than that from Cooper's Creek to Carpentaria; and if Mr Landsborough reached Mr Howitt, he would have no definite authority with regard to Mr Howitt's movements. It was clearly the duty of the Committee to put themselves in communication with Mr Landsborough, so that his party might be brought to town as quickly as possible. And it was also the duty of the Committee to communicate with Mr Howitt, in order to bring the exploration proceedings to a conclusion.

Eades observed that if Mr Landsborough had started from Menindie for Cooper's Creek, the message would not overtake him; but if he had not gone, the message would stop his going, and Mr Howitt would be communicated with by way of South Australia. Selwyn questioned whether any adequate advantage would be gained by stopping Mr Landsborough from going to Cooper's Creek.

Mueller was of opinion that at this season of the year Mr Landsborough would have no difficulty in reaching Cooper's Creek, particularly if he went by way of Mount Victor. At the same time, he should be in favour of the resolution proposed by Dr Eades, if it were slightly altered. McCoy suggested that Mueller should place his views in the form of an amendment. Mueller accordingly moved, as an amendment:

That this Committee send a special messenger to Mr Landsborough, at Menindie, with despatches expressive of their high appreciation of the valuable assistance rendered by that gentleman and his party in their last expedition, and gladly concur in his view to proceed to Melbourne, where the Exploration Committee will be delighted to meet him; and that Mr Landsborough be informed that, as greater facilities exist for communicating with Mr Howitt via South Australia, the Committee would regret to tax the energies of any of Mr Landsborough's party in proceeding to Mr Howitt's camp, unless a messenger should already have been despatched by that gentleman, and would therefore send despatches to Mr Howitt after the answers from Mr Landsborough have been received.

Eades remarked that the amendment contained the substance of his motion. Ho had simply confined himself to business, and avoided compliment. Macadam thought it bettor to dispense with compliments for the present. It would be better to keep the compliments until Mr Landsborough's arrival in Melbourne, and then he could be complimented in person. The Committee had had reason to regret the rapidity with which they had paid compliments to two or three gentlemen connected the exploration. The amendment was negatived, and the motion was agreed to. Macadam then moved:

That Mr Charles Verdon's offer to proceed to Menindie on Thursday next, with despatches, via Swan Hill and Euston, for the sum of £30, exclusive of coach fare to and from Melbourne and Euston, be accepted, on condition that Mr Verdon delivers the return despatches in safety.

In reply to questions, Verdon said the distance from Euston to Menindie was about seventy-five miles, through mallee country, and that a despatch by special messenger could reach Menindie a fortnight earlier than if sent by post. The resolution was carried, power being given to Macadam to send away Verdon on Monday, if on inquiry, that course appeared the more advisable. Macadam then moved:

That, contingent and immediately upon the Hon Secretary being apprized of Mr Landsborough's party being en route to Melbourne, and his not having taken any steps to communicate with Mr Howitt, a telegraphic message be sent to the South Australian Government, urgently requesting them to take steps to inform Mr Howitt, at Cooper's Creek, by a special messenger, if necessary, that Mr Landsborough has returned in safety; and that Mr Howitt may return home with the remains of Burke and Wills, under such circumstances as to route and time as he may deem advisable.

Mueller thought that it was not necessary to pass such a resolution on this occasion. Macadam said it would prevent the necessity for his calling a meeting of the Committee, by which two or three days might be lost. It was not always that a quorum could be obtained.

Wilkie concurred with Mueller. When Verdon returned with the despatches, a special meeting of the Committee could at once be called, and the despatches could immediately be acted upon. He objected to the whole matter being left to the Hon Secretary, and for the hands of the Committee to be tied up. The resolution was carried, but Wilkie gave notice that, at the next ordinary meeting of the Committee (on Monday, the 30th inst.), he should move that it be rescinded.

In answer to a question as to the arm of Bhotan, the sepoy, injured by a camel's bite, Mr Gillbee said, after consultation, the surgical authorities at the hospital had determined that, as the use of the limb could not be restored, they would not subject it to any operation.

The Committee then adjourned.

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

• p. 199. Minutes of the EC meeting, 21 June 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 21 June 1862.

Thursday, 26 June 1862.
A Special Meeting of the Exploration Committee was held to consider despatches from Mr Howitt which had been received that morning.
Present: Dr Mueller (chair), Dr Macadam, Professor McCoy, Dr Wilkie, Dr Eades, Dr lffla and Mr James Smith.

Before Mr Howitt's despatch was presented, the following telegram, addressed to the Exploration Committee, from Messrs. How, Thompson, and Co., of Sydney, was read :

Landsborough writes to us from Toorale, requesting that (if not already done) instructions be forthwith despatched to him at Menindie as to his further proceedings, and how he shall dispose of his horses

Macadam remarked that this telegram left no doubt that the special messenger (Mr Charles Verdon), whom the Committee had determined on Saturday last to despatch with instructions to Mr Landsborough, would arrive at Menindie in time to accomplish the object which the Committee had in view, namely, to inform Mr Landsborough that it was unnecessary for him to communicate with Mr Howitt at Cooper's Creek, and that he might return as early as convenient to Melbourne. As Mr Landsborough requested to be informed how he should dispose of the horses belonging to his party, he (Dr Macadam) suggested that he should be directed to dispose of the horses and material as he might judge to be advantageous, either at Menindie or on his way to Melbourne.

Smith proposed a resolution to the effect that Mr Landsborough should be instructed to act as suggested by Macadam. . Iffla seconded the motion, which was agreed to.

The despatch, which embodied the resolutions adopted by the Committee on Saturday, and an addition in accordance with the terms of Mr Smith's motion, was read, and was then sealed, and handed to Mr Verdon, who was in attendance, and ready to proceed on his journey, yesterday being the day fixed for his departure. Before leaving, Mr Verdon corrected a statement which he made on Saturday, in reply to a question by Dr Wilkie, to the effect that the distance from Euston to Menindie was about seventy-five miles. He explained that the shortest route from the Darling to the Murray was seventy-five miles, but that the distance to travel from Euston to Menindie was about 230 miles. The error had arisen from his having misunderstood Dr Wilkie's question. Mr Verdon then left, to commence his journey, the Committee cordially wishing him success.

Macadam read a despatches from Mr Howitt, dated Jacob’s Station, Parallana, 4 June 1862. The communication referring to the stores was accompanied by a minute list of all the stores which Mr Howitt's party possess.

After the reading of the despatches, a conversational discussion ensued, and a unanimous opinion was expressed by the Committee that it would bo better to postpone the full consideration of the documents, and the instructions which should be sent to Mr Howitt, until the return of Mr Verdon with Mr Landsborough's reply to the communication forwarded by him. It was remarked that, as Mr Howitt's party were amply supplied with stores for some time to come, no danger could arise from the delay.

Dr Macadam promised to convene a meeting of the Royal Society immediately upon the receipt of Mr Landsborough's reply; and, upon this understanding, Dr Wilkie withdrew his notice of motion to rescind the following resolution adopted by the Committee on Saturday. Dr Wilkie at the same time expressed a strong objection to Mr Howitt's being recalled so long as there was any uncertainty as to the safety of McKinlay's expedition.

Dr Iffla remarked that while there was any doubt as to the position of any exploration party which had been sent out with the view of rendering aid to Messrs. Burke and Wills, it would be the duty of the Exploration Commit too to afford every facility for the succour of that party. He thought, however, that there were no grounds for any apprehensions with respect to McKinlay's party, as it was under the protection of the South Australian Government, and would, no doubt, be properly looked after. He suggested that some inquiries might be made about McKinlay's party, and that as soon as its safety was ascertained, Mr Howitt should be instructed to bring his melancholy mission to a close, and return to Melbourne. Dr Iffla's remarks appeared to meet with general concurrence; and the honorary secretary was requested to send a telegram to the South Australian Government, to ascertain if they were in possession of any information about McKinlay's party.

Macadam stated that he would hand over the charts accompanying Mr Howitt's despatches to the Surveyor-general, to be lithographed, as usual.

On the motion of Dr Macadam, seconded by Dr Eades, the following resolution was adopted:

That Captain Mayne be instructed to dispose of the horses and material appertaining to Mr Walker's contingent expedition.

There was no further business transacted.

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

• p. 201. Minutes of the special EC meeting, 26 June 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of special EC meeting, 26 June 1862.

Monday, 30 June 1862.
The wrongful dismissal case brought against the Royal Society of Victoria by Charles Ferguson was heard before Mr Justice Williams in the Supreme Court.

Monday, 7 July 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Cadell (chair), Gillbee, Wilkie, McCoy, Mueller, Macadam.

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

• p. 202. Minutes of the EC meeting, 7 July 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 7 July 1862.

Tuesday, 8 July 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071 Box 2084/3l: Dost Mahomet’s letter, 8 July 1862 to the Secretary of the Governor of Victoria concerning his rate of pay, whilst employed by the RSV EC. 2p

Monday, 14 July 1862.
Ordinary Meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria.
H F Eaton, Esq., Treasurer, in the chair.

The Hon. the Secretary informed the meeting that he had received from Captain Mayne, the Auditor-General of Sydney, the original maps prepared by Mr Walker of his route from Rockhampton to the Gulf of Carpentaria, and from thence to Port Denison, and that they would be immediately placed in the hands of the Surveyor-General, to be lithographed, with the view of their being afterwards placed before the Society.

Monday, 21 July 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Wilkie, Gillbee, McCoy, Macadam.

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

• p. 203. Minutes of the EC meeting, 21 July 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 21 July 1862.

Monday, 28 July 1862.
Ordinary Meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria.
His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, K.C.B., &c, &c, &c, President. in the chair.

The following contributions were laid on the table, viz:

A Map of the Exploration by the late Victorian Explorers ; Maps of Messrs, Howitt, Landsborough, and Walker's Tracks on the Outward and Homeward Journeys - contributed by the Surveyor-General.

A Chart of Mr. Landsborough's Homeward Route - presented by the Exploration Committee.

Monday, 11 August 1862.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee was held at 4.30 pm the Royal Society building as a consequence of the return from Menindie of Mr Charles Verdon, the special messenger engaged by the Committee to carry despatches to Mr Landsborough at Fort Bourke.
Present: His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly (chair), Dr Macadam, Dr Wilkie, Dr Mueller, Mr Gillbee and the Rev Bleasdale.

Dr Macadam said the object of the meeting was to receive a communication from Mr Landsborough, which had been very successfully brought down by Mr Chas Verdon, the special messenger of the Committee. Macadam read the despatch from Mr Landsborough, directed to himself and dated Tintinalagy, 22 July 1862.

After some conversation respecting the propriety of at once recalling Mr Howitt, in answer to His Excellency, Dr Macadam said that the Committee had endeavoured to get information about Mr McKinlay from the South Australian Government, but were not able to obtain a satisfactory answer. Dr Mueller remarked that at the last meeting it had been agreed to make Mr Howitt's recall dependent upon news respecting Mr McKinlay.

Dr Macadam referred to a previous communication from Mr Howitt, in which he said that if he remained where he was till the following August, he would be compelled to trench on the supplies kept at the depot, which consisted of twelve men's allowance for eight weeks. Several members expressed a desire to wait till some news came from Adelaide

Mr Gillbee thought there was no necessity to wait to hear from Mr McKinlay, respecting whose fate there appeared to be very little anxiety in South Australia. His Excellency reminded the meeting that there was no apparent reason for this want of anxiety save the knowledge that Mr McKinlay was a most experienced bushman.

Dr Wilkie said that it had been determined to telegraph to the South Australian Government for news, but this did not appear to have been done, so that the meeting were hardly in a position to decide. Dr Macadam replied that the message had been sent, but the reply quite evaded the point. There was an evident disinclination to give the required information as to the objects and whereabouts of McKinlay. The telegram he had sent was as follows:

To the Commissioner of Crown Lands, July 5. - The Exploration Committee intend recalling Mr Howitt, should certain information, expected in a few days show that Mr Landsborough's party is en route from the Darling. The Committee desire to know how long Mr McKinlay's party is expected to be out, and whether, in your opinion, Mr Howitt, by remaining longer, could render service to it, and how? Please give us what intelligence you have as to McKinlay's position and condition as to provisions, &c.

The answer was:

July 7 - Thanks for your telegram. We know nothing of McKinlay except from the reports brought in by Howitt. There are plenty of provisions and stores for McKinlay at Finnis's Springs. Commissioner of Crown Lands.

His Excellency thought the silence observed by the South Australian Government showed that they did not care much. Dr Wilkie suggested that there wes an intention shown to transfer responsibility. His Excellency wished to impress on the minds of the Committee that McKinlay started away with the knowledge of the loss of Burke and Wills, so that no responsibility pressed upon the Victorians in any way.

Mr Gillbee strongly urged upon the Committee the desirability of not allowing Howitt to remain out any longer. Dr Mueller said the question was, whether Finniss's Springs should not be communicated, with. He would not like to see Howitt's party broken up without information respecting McKinlay's party, whose safety could only be expected in the absence of very probable disasters.

Dr Macadam reminded the Committee that, whatever was to be done, whether stores were sent up or Mr Howitt recalled, there should not be a day's delay. After some desultory discussion, in answer to Dr Mueller, Dr Macadam said Mr Howitt was strictly prohibited from removing from Cooper's Creak without instructions.

His Excellency suggested that a telegram should be sent to the South Australian Government at once. The advice was taken, and a telegram was drawn up, which was to inform the South Australian Government that if Mr Howitt were required by them in connexion with Mr McKinlay, his services would be at their disposal, but that in the interim he would be directed to fall back on Mount Searle.

The Committee then adjourned till the following day, at the same hour.

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

• p. 204. Minutes of the EC meeting, 11 August 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, Item 8, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Draft minutes of meeting of EC, 11 August 1862. 3 p.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of EC meeting, 11 August 1862.

Tuesday, 12 August 1862.
An adjourned meeting of the Exploration Committee was held at 4.30 pm the Royal Society's hall.

Present: His Excellency the Governor, Professor McCoy, Dr Eades, Dr Macadam, Dr Mueller, Dr Wilkie, Mr Gillbee, Mr Selwyn and Mr James Smith.

Dr Macadam announced that, pursuant to the resolution passed by the Committee the previous day, he had communicated with the Commissioner of Crown Lands at Adelaide, and, in reply, had received the following telegram:

Your despatches will be forwarded by police-trooper to Cooper's Creek immediately on their being received here. We are much obliged by the kind offer of the Committee to search for McKinlay. We think it would be of no use for the Committee to send to Finniss's Spings; but as McKinlay was instructed, after completing the search for Burke, to acquire a knowledge of the country between Eyre's Creek and Central Mount Stuart, or Mount Humphreys, and return from thence by the western shores of Lake Eyre, it anything has happened to him or his party it would be in that locality. Although we are under no present apprehension for his safety, yet, if we do not hear of him soon, we shall have to look for him. Under these circumstances, we would suggest for the consideration of the Committee that if Mr Howitt wore instructed to traverse the country above alluded to a useful addition to our geographical knowledge would result, even if Mr Howitt did not find McKinlay, or if McKinlay had successfully traversed that country.

Some discussion followed the reading of this despatch, but there was a pretty unanimous expression of opinion that Mr Howitt should at once be recalled, particularly as the South Australian Government appeared to entertain no fear as to McKinlay's safety, and a letter from McKinlay himself, dated December 7, 1861, showed that he would not expect aid from Cooper's Creek.

Dr Mueller laid before the Committee a suggestion from the Committee of the Acclimatisation Society, to the effect that the camels should be left at the northern outskirts of South Australia, where they could enjoy suitable climate and natural food, and where, in the event of their being required by the South Australian Government in any search for McKinlay, they could be made available for that purpose. Ultimately the following resolution was unanimously agreed to:

That, considering the nature of the reply received from the South Australian government, the Hon Secretary do now carry out the third resolution arrived at by this Committee on the 21st June 1862, with the further instructions to Mr Howitt to leave as large a quantity of the surplus stores at Cooper's Creek as possible for the relief of future parties; and also to leave as many of the camels as possible at one of the most northerly and convenient stations of South Australia, so as to prepare them for further tropical work, or such other purposes as the Victorian Government may determine.

The resolution of the 21st June was to the effect:

That immediately upon the Hon Secretary being appraised of Mr Landsborough being en route to Melbourne and his not having taken any steps to communicate with Mr Howitt, a telegraphic message be sent to Adelaide, urging the South Australian Government to inform Mr Howitt that he may proceed homewards with the remains of Burke and Wills, under such circumstances as to route and time as he may deem advisable.

Dr Mueller then announced that the Chief Secretary [O'Shanassy] had expressed a desire for a succinct report to the proceedings of the Exploration Committee from their appointment until the present time for transmission to the Imperial Government. He moved the appointment of a sub-committee consisting of himself, Dr Wilkie and Dr Macadam to prepare such report.

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

• p. 207. Minutes of the [adjourned] EC meeting, 12 August 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, Item 9, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Draft minutes of EC meeting, 12 August 1862, including newspaper clipping of telegram received from the Commissioner of Crowns Lands, South Australia and two detached pages of notebook containing motions made by Dr Mueller, signed by McCoy and dated 11 August 1862. 9 p.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3b, RSV EC 'Draft minutes', 2 August 1861 to 11 August 1862. 1 bound vol, ms., pages not numbered.

• Minutes of [adjourned] EC meeting, 12 August 1862.

Wednesday, 13 August 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Howitt dated 13 August 1862.
• Letter to the Commissioner of Crown Lands dated 13 August 1862.

Monday, 18 August 1862.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee was held in the afternoon at the Royal Society's hall to welcome Landsborough to Melbourne. This was followed by a meeting of the Royal Society to present a gold watch to John King and to honour Landsborough.
Present: Governor Barkly, Mueller (chair), Gillbee, Iffla, Smith, Watson, Mackenna.

At the meeting His Excellency introduced Mr Landsborough and intimated that that gentlemen would give a narrative of his expedition. His Excellency also introduced two aboriginals who had accompanied Mr Landsborough from Carpentaria. Mr Landsborough said he had much pleasure in meeting the Royal Society, and he was much gratified with the reception that had been accorded him. His expedition had been the second to cross the continent of Australia from Carpentaria, and he hod been fortunate in finding a good road. Through tbe liberality of the Royal Society, he had a first-rate outfit at Brisbane. Unfortunately, the transport, Firefly which conveyed himself and party from Brisbane, was wrecked on Hardy's Island. However, four days afterwards they were relieved by Captain Norman, of the Victoria. Through the exertions of Captain Norman, his officers, and crew, the Firefly was towed off the reef, and the horses were re-shipped, and taken on to Carpentaria. It had been supposed hitherto that the Albert River was not navigable by vessels of large tonnage; but the Firefly, a vessel of 200 tons, went twenty miles up that river, and the horses were landed without difficulty; in fact, they walked ashore.

He was delighted to flind so fine a country. He had had twenty years experience of Australia, and he had never seen better country for stock than be found on tbe Gulf of Carpentaria. His mission was to search for Burke and his companions, but he could not shut his eyes to the fact that there was a fine country before them, and that country lying idle-a country which, through the exertions of Burke and his companions, had been opened to the world. (Hear.) The pastoral interest was a great interest still in Australia; and he held it to be a great pity that the stock of the country should be boiled down for tallow when the finest wool in the world was grown in Australia. He hoped that the discoveries made through the instrumentality of the Royal Society would tend to prevent this. He would now point out the route which he took in coming from Carpentaria to the Darling. In his first expedition he followed up a running stream for 150 miles through a fine country in a south-westerly direction, intending if possible to reach Stuart's route; but, owing to the time lost through the wreck of the Firefly, he was unable to carry out this intention. His impression at first was that this stream was created by rain; but it was the dry season no rain had fallen for months-and he ultimately found that there was a very fine spring. He found the stream about three feet deep at its source, - and very rapid strong enough to turn a powerful wheel. On his return he found that this stream, about eighty miles from Carpentaria, became two streams-the one flowing into the Nicholson River, and the other into the Albert River. To show the character of the country, he might mention that during this expedition to the south-west the horses travelled as well as if they had been stabled. He had travelled in Queensland and New South Wales, and he never found horses stand work as well as these horses did.

On returning to the depot they rested for three weeks, and then they started to find the tracks of Burke and his companions. Thev had heard that tracks had been seen by Mr Walker on the Flinders River. They tried to follow the tracks of Walker to the Flinders River, but although he had preceded them only by about two months, his tracks could not be followed, owing to the rain which had fallen. They proceeded to the Flinders River, but they could not find traces of Burke. They followed up the river for about 400 miles, through a magnificent country. When they reached this point they left the Flinders River, and in about twenty miles got on to the water-shed of the Thomson River, one of the main heads of the Cooper River. When they had proceeded about 100 miles he was glad to be able to show his companions, who knew nothing about him until about a week before he started on the expedition, that he knew where he was going: he found a tree marked by a companion in a former expedition, several years before. They were then about 160 miles from Burke's depot, and it would afford him the greatest pleasure to have gone right to that place, but his supplies were very limited, and the blacks had repeatedly told them through Jemmy, one of his party, who understood their language-that they had seen nothing but camels with the explorers. He, therefore, deemed it the better plan to strike across, about forty miles, to the main head of Cooper's Creek. This they accordingly did, and they followed Cooper's Creek until they struck the Warrego. They then followed the Warrego down until they struck the Darling. On reaching settled country they were very sorry to hear of the melancholy fate of Burke, Wills, and Gray.

They were hospitably received by the settlers, but the season was dry, and their horses fared much worse in the settled districts than in crossing from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Darling. In conclusion, Mr Landsborough expressed his acknowledgments for the warm reception which had been accorded to him, and his willingness to answer any questions that might be put to him.

In reply to questions, Mr Landsborough said be thought the Flinders River was about 500 miles long. The most elevated land on the Flinders did not exceed 1000 feet high. The country was very dry, except in the wet season. The river was not so large; the bed was about 120 yards wide, with a shallow stream flowing along its surface. His expedition came through the country at a very favorable season of the year. The wet season, in the tropical portion of Australia, generally commenced about the beginning of the year. Thunder storms and rainy weather might be expected until the end of April, and sometimes as late as May. On the bends of the Gregory River, the country was of a basaltic character; and on the Flinders River there was an abundance of quartz and ironbark trees. Gold was very often found in an ironbark country. He saw about fifty miles of ironbark country. The range dividing the Flinders River from the Cooper's Creek country is estimated to be from 1000 to 1500 feet high. The range that he crossed on his expedition to the south-west from the Albert River was quite different. It was composed of quite a different basalt to any he had seen before. The slopes of the table land were badly grassed-they were grassed with spinifex. All the basaltic country that be had seen previously in other parts of Australia was exceedingly well grassed. He had no douht that the rivers on the east side of the range separating the Flinders from the Thomson were supplied by springs. He had never been to the west of the Thomson. In his course from the Flinders to the Thomson, he saw to indication of southern streams, In returning to the Albert River from his expedition to the south-west, he came on to a river which he called 'O'Shanassy,' and which was well watered. In the waterholes, which he followed down for seventy miles, he found plenty of fish, and his impression was that these fish came up from rivers farther to the south-west. It was the dry season when he was there, and he could see traces of water where it had spread for several miles across the country in tbe wet season. He had no doubt that, if he had been able to go farther down, he should have got on to a large river.

Dr Mueller observed that this seemed to augur well for any expeditions that might be undertaken from the south of the Gulf of Carpentaria to the south-west. He begged to ask whether, in following down the tributaries of the Thomson River, Mr Landsborough met with any traces of Dr Leichhardt ? It would appear from the information supplied by Mr Walker, that Leichhardt took the tributaries of the Thomson, in order to be able to skirt the desert of Captain Sturt.

Mr Landsborough said he went from near Port Denison to the heads of the Thomson River some years ago, and the probability was, be thought, that Mr Walker saw his tracks, or the tracks of Cornish and Buchanan, who had also been from Rockhampton to the heads of the Thomson. The party of Mr Peter Macdonald (a Victorian), also went from Rockhampton to the southern side of the range several years ago. In his (Mr Landsborough's) first expedition, he endeavored to find Leichhardt's track on the heads of the Thomson, but unsuccessfully.

Dr Iffla asked whether Mr Landsborough, in the course of his brilliant journey across the country, met with many bodies of natives, and whether they evinced a friendly or hostile disposition? Mr Landsborough did not admit that it was a brilliant journey. (Laughter.) He saw very few blacks. The largest inumber he saw at a time was about thirty. He saw no tracks of blacks, and he could not imagine that they were numerous. He always avoided having much intercourse with the blacks. He never had any trouble with the blacks until this expedition. On the Barcoo River, a number of blacks, who had previously appeared most friendly, approached the camp in the middle of the night, and, but for the watchfulness of Jemmy, might have knocked them on the head. They were driven away, but the next morning they appeared disposed to attack the party. Under these circumstances, he was obliged to fire upon them. One shot, however, was sufficient to get rid of them. He come upon the Flinders above the navigable point. The Range which he crossed to the south-west of Carpentaria was a table land; the Range between the Flinders and the Thomson consisted of a series of hill or mountains, with passes between them, as Mr Walker had described in his journal.

His Excellency inquired what were Mr Landsborough's impressions and ideas of the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria, with reference to the settlement there of Europeans at any future time? Mr Landsborough replied that, although living in the open air, and not having the best of food, the country agreed admirably with him. While his party and the crew of the Victoria were at Carpentaria, there was very little sickness among them; there was no fever nor ague. The shores were very level. There was nothing that could be called a hill for 90 or 100 miles. Although a very dry country, there was rain for about three months in the year, and then there were large floods. He did not reach the Flinders River until two or three months after Walker's party, and he could not then find Burke's tracks. He considered that he ought to be excused finding them, when Mr Walker, who was there two months before, with a larger party and twice the equipment, could not follow up the tracks. He could not even find Walker's tracks. It was impossible for Burke and Wills to have gone within sight of the sea, because saltwater creeks spread all over the country for ten miles from the sea. This was his opinion from what he saw at the mouth of the Albert River; and he had no doubt that the mouth of the Flinders River was of the same character.

His Excellency said he was sure that they all felt very much obliged to Mr Landsborough for the cheerful alacrity with which he had replied to all questions, and the amount of information about his journey which he had laid before the meeting

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

• p. 211. Minutes of the EC meeting, 18 August 1862.

Thursday, 21 August 1862.
Special meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Eades (chair), Mueller, Wilkie, Smith, Macadam.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, Item 10, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Draft minutes of special meeting of the EC, 21 August 1862. 2 p.

Monday, 1 September 1862.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee was held at the Royal Society's building.

Present: Dr Wilkie (chair), Captain Cadell, Mr James Smith, Mr Selwyn, and Dr Macadam. Mr Landsborough was also in attendance.

Mr Landsborough handed to the chairman the journal which he had kept during his journey. It had, he said, been kept at the Survey-office, for the purpose of correction, rather longer than he had expected, but he had taken it from thence that day. Since then he had been at Williamstown, going through it with Mr Ellery, for the purpose of correction.

Dr Macadam wished it particularly to be noticed by the public that the delay in the publication of the journal was occasioned by the necessity which existed for proper correction, and that even now it was being published somewhat hastily, while it was capable of much revision and alteration. The chairman asked Mr Landsborough if there had been any unnecessary delay at the Survey-office in respect to the journal? Mr Landsborough could not say so.

After a short desultory conversation, the meeting closed.

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

• p. 213. Minutes of the EC meeting, 1 September 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, Item 11, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Daft minutes of EC meeting, 1 September 1862. 6 p.

Tuesday, 2 September 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Landsborough dated 2 September 1862.

Thursday, 4 September 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Cadell, Wilkie. No quorum.

Monday, 8 September 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Cadell (chair), Wilkie, Gillbee, Mueller, Ligar, Macadam.

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

• p. 215. Minutes of the EC meeting, 8 September 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, Item 12, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Draft minutes of EC meeting, 8 September 1862. 5 p.

Tuesday, 9 September 1862.
Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to the manager of the National Bank dated 9 September 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Letter to National Bank of Australasia dated 9 September 1862. 2p.

Thursday, 11 September 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Landsborough dated 11 September 1862.

Monday, 15 September 1862.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee was planned, but in consequence of the absence of the Hon Secretary and several members, there was no business transacted. It was intended to consider the question of having medals struck, to present to those gentlemen who during the last few years have so greatly distinguished themselves in exploring the terra incognita of this continent.

Friday, 19 September 1862.
A Special meeting of the Exploration Committee was held at the Royal Society's hall.
Present: Bleasdale (chair), Eades, Wilkie, Macadam, Cadell, Gillbee.

Dr Macadam announced that that morning he had received from Mr Howitt despatches, dated Angipena Police-station, 2 September 1862 and enclosing the diary of his second expedition to the north of Cooper's Creek.

Mr Howitt arranged to be absent from Cooper's Creek for a month, in order that he might explore the country to the northwards and do what he could towards ascertaining if there were any signs of McKinlay's movements. Mr Howitt did not find McKinlay, but he was under the impression that McKinlay had proceeded in a north westerly direction, and, according to a telegram which had that day been received in Melbourne, his speculation appeared to be correct.

The following telegram had been forwarded by His Excellency the Governor for the use of the Committee:

Sydney, Sept. 19.
Captain Adams, of the brig Fortune, which arrived last night from Port Denison via Broad Sound, brings the welcome intelligence that McKinlay has returned safe. McKinlay and party had been to the Gulf of Carpentaria, it is stated, and arrived from thence at Port Denison in the early part of July. From the latter place they started in the ketch Ben Bolt for Rockhampton, but after boating about for nineteen days, the vessel was compelled to put into Broad Sound for provisions on the 4th September, and sailed again on the 5th for Rockhampton, from which place McKinlay intends to take the steamer for Sydney, The party were all well; and, so far as Captain Adams could ascertain, not one had been lost on the journey, extending over thirteen months.

It would thus appear (observed Dr Macadam) that McKinlay had succeeded in performing what appeared to be the greatest exploit in exploration since the formation of the Committee, and this while an undue amount of influence was being used in a hasty manner to cause the recognition of other services. McKinlay had actually passed from the outer districts of South Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria, and thence to Port Denison.

Mr Cadell expressed his doubts whether there had not been some mistake in the news, and whether McKinlay had not been confounded with Walker. Dr Macadam thought there could be no mistake, inasmuch as all the circumstances relating to Mr Walker's party had been before the public of Queensland for some months. The news came by a brig which arrived at Sydney only the previous night from Port Denison. Mr Cadell observed that the latest dates from Port Denison were later that the beginning of July, he had great doubts whether McKinlay had arrived in fact, he did not believe the news at all.

Dr Wilkie remarked that Melbourne was connected by telegraph with Brisbane, which was only 300 miles from Port Denison; and he could not understand why seven weeks were required to bring this intelligence. Mr Cadell said there was steam communication from Brisbane to Port Denison. Had the intelligence been about ordinary matters, he should have been inclined to give some credence to the report of the captain; but, as it was about exploration, he could not do so. At the same time, he hoped the report was correct.

Dr Wilkie observed that Mr McKinlay's despatch from Cooper's Creek was dated December, so that he could have been out only seven instead of thirteen months. Dr Macadam replied that several months elapsed between Mr McKinlay's departure from South Australia and his leaving the despatch at Cooper's Creek. Mr Cadell wondered what Mr McKinlay could have done with his sheep, as he took 150 with him. At the same time, he trusted that the report was correct.

Dr Macadam then proceeded to read Mr Howitt's despatches. With regard to one statement in the despatches, that Mr Howitt was disappointed at not receiving any communication from the Committee when he arrived at Blanchewater on the 27th August, Dr Macadam observed that the delay was caused by the Committee having to consider the propriety of recalling Mr Howitt, and having to send Mr Verdon to the Darling, and await his return, by which a delay of six weeks took place. In case Mr Howitt reached Blanchewater, on returning from Cooper's Creek about the end of October, he might be expected in Melbourne about the end of November.

The despatches were accompanied by some neatly executed tracings of Mr Howitt's track to the north of Cooper's Creek.

The documents having been read, the Committee adjourned until Monday.

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

• p. 217. Minutes of the special meeting of the EC, 19 September 1862.

Saturday, 20 September 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Ligar dated 20 September 1862.
• Letter to Dickson dated 20 September 1862.

Monday, 22 September 1862.
Adjourned meeting of the Exploration Committee held for the purpose of considering the nature of the reply which should be sent to Mr Howitt's latest communication.
Present: Eades (chair), Wilkie, Mueller, Ligar, Cadell, Macadam.

Dr Wilkie asked Macadam whether he had received any communication from Sydney, with reference to the arrival of Mr McKinlay there? Dr Macadam replied that he had received no official communication on the subject; but, from information which he had received on Saturday night, and from telegrams published that morning, it was, he believed, quite certain that McKinlay had arrived in Sydney. Captain Cadell stated that he had received a communication, from which it appeared that McKinlay had arrived there, and was to start for Melbourne by the first steamer.

Dr Macadam reminded the members present that the business before them was the recent communication received from Mr Howitt, and the reply which should be sent to it; and he would remind them that Mr Howitt wished whatever despatch they forwarded to be sent by way of Adelaide, in sufficient time to meet him on his return to Blanchewater. The matters with respect to which Mr Howitt most desired further instructions were, as to what he was to do with the camels; and whether ho was to accede to the claims of the man in charge of them, who apparently considered himself entitled to a higher rate of pay than had been provided for. It would be for, the Committee to consider, Dr Macadam thought, whether Mr Howitt's suggestion as to leaving the camels up country should be adopted, or whether he should be directed to have them taken to the Wimmera, whither the camels recently in the Royal Park had been removed.

Captain Cadell mentioned, incidentally, that there was a report that one of the camels had been found dead on the Darling. Dr Mueller pointed out that one great reason for leaving the camels up country, as suggested by Mr Howitt, was the idea that by doing so they might be of use to Mr McKinlay; but the return of that gentleman did away with any necessity for leaving them behind. Mr Ligar was of opinion that all the camels should be brought down to the Wimmera, especially as it was to be remembered that they were in reality the property of the Victorian Government; and after some further conversation, that gentleman moved:

That the whole of Mr Howitt's suggestions be adopted, with the exception of that relating to the camels; and that with reference to them, he be instructed to send them to Mr Wilson's station, at the Wimmera.

He would also ask the secretary to explain to Mr Howitt the reason for not adopting his suggestion in this matter. Dr Mueller seconded the resolution; but he thought that Mr Wilson should also be communicated with, and informed of the addition which was about to be made to the number of camels in his paddock. This suggestion was adopted, as was the resolution, and it was understood Mr Wilson would be written to on the subject. The Hon Secretary was then authorized to call a special meeting of the Committee, on the arrival of Mr McKinlay in Melbourne.

The remaining business to be transacted was not of a public nature.

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

• p. 219. Minutes of the [adjourned] meeting of the EC, 22 September 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, Item 13, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Draft minutes of EC meeting, 22 September 1862, including two detached pages of notes. 6 p.

Friday, 26 September 1862.
A Special meeting of the Exploration Committee was held at the Royal Society hall, to receive McKinlay to Melbourne, who arrived in town on the Balclutha yesterday, from Sydney en route to Adelaide.

Present: Bleasdale (chair), Eades, Gillbee, Watson, Macadam, Cadell. The meeting was attended by about forty other gentlemen, among whom were Mr Landsborough, the Hon Matthew Hervey, MLC., the Rev Dr Cairns, Mr K B Brodribb MLA, and Mr Ramsay MLA.

Mr McKinlay, on entering the hall with the four members of his party who have accompanied him from Sydney (Messrs. Davis, Poole, Wylde, and Kirby) was greeted with a hearty round of applause.

Dr Macadam explained that the meeting had been convened pursuant to a resolution passed by the Exploration Committee, at their last meeting, that, as soon as Mr McKinlay arrived in town, they should be called together. He regretted that His Excellency the Governor would not be present, owing to a previous engagement to attend a meeting of the Albert Memorial Committee. His Excellency, however, had been pleased to appoint Monday for an interview with Mr McKinlay, and no doubt His Excellency would make an endeavour (although he had another engagement) to attend the meeting of the Royal Society on Monday evening, at which Mr McKinlay had kindly consented to be present, and give probably a few details connected with his expedition. Sir William Stawell was engaged on the bench, and, in last, the ordinary difficulties attending an afternoon meeting - and that on a mail day - had to be experienced. He trusted, however, that the proceedings would be none the less enthusiastic on that account.

Dr Eades then rose, and observed that the object of the meeting was to congratulate Mr McKinlay, not merely on his arrival in Melbourne, but upon the gloriously successful way in which he had passed over so large a portion of the Australian continent, taking his party in safety through the interior to the settled districts, and adding considerably to the geographical knowledge of the country. He (Dr Eades) was sure that, in simply congratulating Mr McKinlay on his return, he very inadequately expressed the feelings of the Exploration Committee or of society at large. He could only say that, where ever he had gone in private circles since the receipt of the gratifying announcement by telegram of the arrival of Mr McKinlay at Port Denison, he had found prevailing a general feeling of happiness and admiration at Mr McKinlay's great achievement, and he was sure he was not offending the delicate and modest emotions of the brave explorer, when he asserted that that feeling was shared to a large extent by the fair sex. His own belief, from the expressions which he had heard, was, that if all the ladies who were anxious to have a peep at Mr McKinlay, were to come to the Royal Society's hall on Monday evening next, the building would be far too small to accommodate them. (Cheers.) But turning to the more serious part of the case, he considered that the Committee had great reason for thankfulness to the kind superintending Providence that had taken care of Mr McKinlay and his party, that had preserved them from sickness and disease, that had guarded them from untoward accident, and had brought them again safely among friends. As to the value of Mr McKinlay's services to Australia, it would be obtrusive on his (Dr Eades') part to offer any remark. When Mr McKinlay laid his papers before the South Australian Government, they would hear all the particulars of his expedition, and even before that time they would have some little information, seeing that on Monday evening Mr McKinlay would submit to the Royal Society such particulars of his journey as his own prudence might allow him to give. In conclusion, he begged to call upon the meeting to give one glorious cheer for Mr McKinlay and his party.

The call was promptly responded to by all present upstanding.

Mr McKinlay, who was loudly cheered on rising, said he felt very 'much flattered at the kind manner in which ho had been received by the meeting. He begged to offer his sincere thanks to the gentlemen present; but at the same time he desired to assure them that, but for the fact that he and his party were favourably served with respect to water, they probably would not have accomplished what they did. (Cheers.)

The Rev Dr Cairns observed that he could hardly say what he thought, and certainly he could not say what he felt, at seeing the termination of Mr McKinlay's great adventure. Mr McKinlay's success was a national event of very great importance. He concurred with Dr Eades that they ought to acknowledge their obligations to a kind and watchful Providence, by which Mr McKinlay and his party were preserved when they were exposed to no little danger. Mr McKinlay, by his success - which was due under God to his own sagacity, foresight, and great fitness for the work assigned him - had been the means of adding immensely, as had been said, to their geographical knowledge of opening to their view the general aspect of a great part of the interior, and also, of adding indefinitely to the future prosperity of the country. Mr McKinlay's expedition had had the effect of deepening and enlarging his (Dr Cairns's) Australian sympathies, he knew not how it was with others, but he had had a great battle to keep in anything like subjection the amor patria. He came out to Australia late in life, with his attachment to his native country very strong, and that attachment was yet strong. But these recent discoveries - the success of these efforts of exploration - had tended very greatly to elevate Australia in his feelings, and he was now more thoroughly Australian than he was before. And if it had that effect on him, it would have the same effect on thousands of others. These discoveries would tend very powerfully to produce a feeling of patriotism, to attach the hearts of the people to the country, and to bring hither many whose presence would be of great benefit. (Hear, hear). Before sitting down, he begged to express the hope that the public of Melbourne would have an opportunity of expressing their sense of admiration of the labours of Mr McKinlay and his associates. Their congratulations, he trusted, would not terminate in that hall, delightful as the meeting might be, or as the Royal Society's gathering on Monday evening might be expected to be, he trusted that the welcome to Mr McKinlay would take the shape of a public ovation. (Hear, hear). There was only one thing wanting to complete his (Dr Cairns') happiness - namely, the presence of Stuart. He should like to see Stuart sitting with McKinlay and Landsborough, and then he should have before him the three great explorers, whose names would go down to posterity as the thee best friends that the continent ever had (Cheers).

Mr Landsborough, who experienced a hearty greeting, said he had to express his congratulations to Mr McKinlay for the very successful journey which he had accomplished. He never had the slightest doubt that Mr McKinlay would achieve the greatest success in exploration. When passing down the Darling he (Mr Landsborough) heard every one talking of McKinlay, and what he would do. There was every confidence that whatever could be done would be done by him; and it afforded him (Mr Landsborough) the greatest pleasure to find that the expectations which he formed from what he heard on the Darling had been realised. (Applause). He never had the pleasure of meeting Mr McKinlay before, and he was glad to have the opportunity of stating that his appearance alone was sufficient proof that he had conducted his expedition with success. (Hear, hear). He had learnt from Mr McKinlay that, for the last five mouths of his journey, he was without flour. Notwithstanding in this, the party enjoyed better health than when they had flour, because the flour was bad, and hurt them very much, as bad flour would. On reaching the settled country, the party found that bread disagreed with them, because they had been so long unaccustomed to it. This was exactly what Dr Leichhardt remarked after his long journey to Port Essington. He was for two years without flour, and then when he came to eat bread, it disagreed with him (Hear, hear). Mr Landsborough concluded by repeating his congratulations to Mr McKinlay on his return from his glorious journey.

The Hon Matthew Hervey remarked that no greater pleasure could be afforded an old bushman than the welcoming back of an old bushman, after so hazardous a journey; but he did not rise to congratulate Mr McKinlay, because he had already congratulated that gentleman with all his heart. His object in rising was to congratulate those who were Mr McKinlay's friends and companions in his arduous undertaking (Cheers). He was sure that when the proper time came, Mr McKinlay would publish their names to the world, and do them proper justice. But those members of the party who had arrived in the colony, and were present at the meeting, were entitled to some mention. He referred to Messrs John Davis, Robert Poole, Paul Wylde, and John Kirby; and he was sure that all present would join him in wishing those gentlemen heartily welcome to Victoria, after the trying expedition in which they had been engaged (Cheers). The journey accomplished by Mr McKinlay might be looked upon perhaps as one of the most arduous in the annals of exploration. Considering the long absence from civilized life - the unusual distance which had to be performed contrary to the expectations formed when the expedition started - the want of provisions sufficient for ordinary men - the absence of flour, tea, and sugar, whereby their choice of food was limited to dried camel's flesh, dried horse flesh, and a little salted meat, - considering all these things, it seemed extraordinary that the members of the party should have been able, not only to retain their health, but to continue hardy and robust (Hear, hear). He (Mr Hervey) derived great satisfaction from knowing that the first welcome which they received, after crossing the continent, from civilized beings was at a place in the north will which he happened to be connected, and that the first fresh beef which they ate was at a station which he had the pleasure of holding. Notwithstanding the love of adventure which had been Mr McKinlay's characteristic for the last twenty years - notwithstanding that he had been known in Victoria and South Australia as the best explorer in this part of the world - people scarcely expected him to find in the interior a tremendous flood that would force him over to Carpentaria. He (Mr Hervey) was only too glad that it occurred, and that the name of McKinlay could now appear on the map of Australia as the discoverer of a track from south to north (Hear, hear).

Mr McKinlay returned thanks for the kind manner in which the party connected with him in his expedition had been spoken of, and for the manner in which their names had been received by the meeting.

Dr Macadam expressed his concurrence in the suggestion of Dr Cairns. He trusted that one night next week, on the platform of the largest building in Melbourne, they should have Mr Landsborough and Mr McKinlay, side by side, giving to the public the benefit of their respective experiences in connexion with exploration (Hear, hear)

The proceedings then terminated.

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

• p. 223. Minutes of the special meeting of the EC, 26 September 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, Item 14, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Draft minutes of EC special meeting, 26 September 1862. 2 p.

Monday, 29 September 1862.
Special meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria, held at the Royal Society hall, to honour McKinlay.
Dr Mueller in the chair.

Mr M'Kinlay, the explorer, being present, was received by the members with enthusiasm, and was congratulated by the chairman on the successful issue of his expedition, and on his safe return.

The following contributions were laid on the table:

Lithograms of the Sandhurst Monument to Burke, Wills, and Gray - presented by the Sandhurst Exploration Memorial Committee.

Commander Norman having taken the chair, a paper "On the systematic position of the Nardoo plant and the physiological characteristics of its fruit" was read by Dr Mueller.

***
There was a large attendance of visitors at the Royal Society meeting, the attraction being the desire to see Mr John McKinlay, the explorer. His Excellency the Governor was not present, owing to his presiding at the lecture delivered at the Theatre Royal on the life of his late Royal Highness Prince Albert, and Dr Mueller was voted to the chair.

On being introduced to Mr McKinlay, the chairman referred in most eulogistic terms to the perseverance displayed by that gentleman in carrying out the difficult mission entrusted to him by the South Australian Government. Mr McKinlay, in acknowledging the compliment paid to him, said that had it not been for the favourable seasons he experienced, he would, perhaps have met with the same luck as those who had gone before.

Among the new members elected yesterday evening was Commander Norman, of H.M.c.s.s. Victoria, who was warmly welcomed by the chairman, and whose service in the cause of exploration was made the subject of comment.

Tuesday, 30 September 1862.
Public Meeting of the citizens of Melbourne was held at the Exhibition Building to honor Landsborough and McKinlay. Details.

Related archives:
SLV MS13071 Box 2081/1i, Return of the explorers.

• Draft of an Invitation to attend a public meeting in honour of the Leaders of the Queensland and South Australian Relief Expeditions.  1p.

SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Letter to Moore dated 30 September 1862. 2p.

Thursday, 2 October 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Howitt dated 2 October 1862.

Saturday, 4 October 1862.
Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Samuel Wilson dated 4 October 1862.
• Letter to James Smith dated 4 October 1862.
• Letter to Moore dated 4 October 1862.
• Letter to Moore dated 4 October 1862.
• Letter to James Smith dated 4 October 1862.
• Telegram of appreciation to Arthur Moore, one of Walker’s party, 4 October 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Copy of letter to James Smith dated 4 October 1862. p.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Item 15 - Telegram of appreciation from Macadam to Arthur Moore, one of Walker’s party, 4 October 1862.
• Item 16 - Draft of telegram to Arthur Moore, 4 October 1862. 1 p.

Monday, 6 October 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Commissioner of Crown Lands dated 6 October 1862.

Friday, 17 October 1862.
Special meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Wilkie, Eades, McCoy, 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. 224. Minutes of the special meeting of the EC, 17 October 1862.

Saturday, 18 October 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Letter to various colonial governments dated 18 October 1862. 2p.

Tuesday, 21 October 1862.
Special meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: McCoy. No quorum.

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

• p. 225. Minutes of the special meeting of the EC, 21 October 1862.

Monday, 27 October 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: McCoy (chair), Gillbee, Iffla, Wilkie.

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

• p. 226. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, 27 October 1862.

Thursday, 30 October 1862.
Related archives:
SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Samuel Smith dated 30 October 1862.
• Letter to Crawford Pascoe dated 30 October 1862.
• Letter to James Smith dated 30 October 1862.
• Letter to Archer dated 30 October 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Letter to Crawford Pascoe dated 30 October 1862. 1p.

Thursday, 6 November 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee - [re: funeral of Burke and Wills?]
Present: Stawell (chair), Smith, Ligar, Eades, Gillbee, Wilkie, Iffla, Watson.

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

• p. 228. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, 6 November 1862.

Tuesday, 11 November 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Stawell (chair), Eades, McCoy, Watson, Selwyn, Macadam.

The meeting was for the for the purpose of considering the arrangements with respect to the funeral of Burke and Wills, a duty which, at the request of the Government, the Committee had undertaken at a meeting held on Thursday last.

The conversation which took place upon the subject lasted a considerable time and something was done towards adopting a plan of operations, which, when complete, will be duly laid before the public.

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

• p. 232. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, 11 November 1862

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a Minutes, incomplete and some undated. 69 p., ms.

• Draft minutes of EC meeting, 11 November 1862.

Monday, 17 November 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee, held at 4.30 pm.
Present: Wilkie (chair), Watson, Ligar, Macadam.

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

• p. 235. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, 17 November 1862.

SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, Item 17, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Draft minutes of EC meeting, 11 November 1862. 8 p.

Wednesday, 19 November 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Wilkie (chair), Mueller, Gillbee, Smith.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, Item 17, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Draft minutes of EC meeting, 19 November 1862. 2 p.

Thursday, 20 November 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2079/3, RSV EC miscellaneous outward correspondence, February-October 1860 and July 1861-November 1872. 126p.

• Letter dated 20 November 1862. 3p.

Friday, 21 November 1862.
Adjourned Meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria.
His Excellency, Sir Henry Barkly, K.C.B., &c. &c. &c, the President, in the chair.

A paper "On the Site for the Burke and Wills Monument" was read by John Millar, Esq., C.E. In connection with the paper, notice of motion was given by Dr Eades:

That Messrs Fitzgibbon, Millar, the Rev Dr Bleasdale, Dr Wilkie, and the mover, be a Committee of the Royal Society to communicate with the existing Committee relative to the Site for the Burke and Wills Monument, proposed by Mr Millar.

Mr Milla's paper: On the site for the Burke and Wills Monument, with artistic suggestions thereon. He commenced by referring to the melancholy interest surrounding his subject, and then reverting to the peculiar form which the memorial was to assume, he took a general view of the history of sculpture from the time of Phidias to that of Gibson, Hiram Power, and Marochotti, of the present day. He next read the advertisement in the Government Gazette calling for designs for the memorial, and after denouncing as "unparalleled dictation" the imposition of any condition respecting the character of the monument, he expressed regret that only £4,000 had been voted for the whole affair. He also condemned the site now chosen, because the explorers had nothing to do with the Legislature as a body, nor did the idea of exploration originate with it. The site at the intersection of Collins and Russell-streets was better, but the experience gained in connection with the corporation fountain showed the inadvisability of such a choice. Passing by the other site which had been proposed and abandoned, he came to his own suggestion as to the best locale for the monument, viz., the extreme easternmost angle of the reserve surrounding the Royal Society's building, which was the very starting point of the great expedition. The paper concluded with remarks explanatory of the inppropriatness of the site suggested, which he hoped would be filled by the work of a Victorian artist.

Saturday, 22 November 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Walker dated 22 November 1862.
• Letter to Mayne dated 22 November 1862.
• Letter to Acclimatisation Society dated 22 November 1862.
• Letter to Superintendent Foster dated 22 November 1862.

Monday, 24 November 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to the Castlemaine Municipal Council dated 24 Nov 1862.

Tuesday, 25 November 1862.
Exploration Committee secretary, Robert Dickson, was convicted of pawning Burke's gold watch.

Wednesday, 26 November 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Chief Secretary [O'Shanassy] dated 26 November 1862.

Thursday, 27 November 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee.
Present: Ligar (chair), Eades, Gillbee, Iffla, Wilkie, Watson.

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

• p. 237. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, 27 November 1862.

Monday, 1 December 1862.
General Meeting of the Royal Society of Victoria, held at the Society's hall.
Present: Eades (chair), Gillbee, Mueller, Macadam.

A copy of Mr M'Kinlay's Diary, with Maps of his Route, were received from His Excellency, and laid before the meeting.

The Annual Report of the Council, submitted as a Progress Report, pending the receipt of the Final Report of the Exploration Committee.

In consequence of the desire of your council that their general report should be accompanied by the final report of the Exploration Committee, whose labours are now drawing to a close, it has been deemed expedient to submit on this occasion merely this brief outline of the labours of this society during the past six months, the proceedings of your council having been so much interwoven with those of the Exploration Committee; and, although at a general meeting of the society, His Excellency the President, on behalf of His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, presented to Mr King, (the survivor of the widely famed Burke and Wills Expedition), the gold watch awarded by the Royal Geographical Society of England, and at general meetings were introduced to the society those enterprising and successful explorers, Messrs Landsborough and McKinlay, as well as the commander-in-chief of the Victorian Relief Contingent, Captain Norman, the details of these highly interesting meetings will, it is considered, fall more appropriately within the scope of the proceedings of the Exploration Committee.

Proposed by Mr. Eaton, and carried:

That Messrs Fitzgibbon, Millar, the Rev Dr Bleasdale, Dr Wilkie, and Dr Eades, be a Committee of the Royal Society to communicate with the existing Committee relative to the Site for the Burke and Wills Monument, proposed by Mr Millar.

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

• p. 239. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, 1 December 1862.

Monday, 8 December 1862.
Age, Tuesday, 9 December 1862, page 4.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee held in the afternoon at the Royal Society's hall.
Present: Wilkie (chair), Macadam, Ligar, Iffla, Watson, Gillbee, Eades and Elliott.

A letter was read from Mr Dalmahoy Campbell stating that one of the lost camels had been found on Mr Donald McRae's station on the Darling near Mount Murchison and Mr McRae was requesting information what he was to do with the animal. Mr Ligar said he would be visiting the area shortly and he would ensure the camel was forwarded to its proper destination.

Macadam read a letter from the Castlemaine Volunteers requesting that they be allowed to honour Burke at the upcoming funeral. Macadam suggested they be invited to attend to form a bodyguard and assist in the music. econded by Elliott. A discussion ensued regarding which public bodied should be given precedence at the funeral.

Mr Watson announed that he and Dr Wilkie had secured a triangular peice of ground in the Melbourne General Cemetery for the grave. The grave had been started that morning. Macadam read a letter from the cemetery trustees stating that the land had been granted subject to an ornamental fence being erected around the plot.

Macadam mentioned that many pblic bodies were anxious to have precise information about the order of the funeral and he suggested a meeting be held on Wednesday and Captain Standish be invited to atend.

Eades moved, Ligar seconded and the motion was carried, that:

The Hon Secretary of the Exploration Committee be requested to give, on the evening of the funeral of Burke and Wills, an historical sketch of the Exploring Expedition from the records of the Committee, that the public be invited to attend, and that the Government be asked to give use of the Exhibition Building for the purpose.

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

• p. 240. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, 8 December 1862.

Thursday, 11 December 1862.
Meeting of the Exploration Committee, held at 4.30 pm.
Present: Smith (chair), Eades, Wilkie, Gillbee, Iffla, Watson, Macadam. Also Colonel Anderson and Captain Standish.

Telegram from Howitt informing the Committee that the remains of Buke and Wills had arrived in Adelaide.

[Meeting adjourned to 12 December?].

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

• p. 243. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, 11 December 1862.

Friday, 12 December 1862.
[Adjourned?] meeting of the Exploration Committee, including the report of the sub-committee appointed to organise funeral arrangements.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2075/3a, Item 7, RSV EC minutes and reports of sub-committees, 1861-2, (incomplete and some undated, including August 1862 – December 1862 and Progress Report for 1861. 69 p., ms.

• Minutes of sub-committee re: funeral arrangements, 12 December 1862. 5 p.

Monday, 15 December 1862.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee was held in the Royal Society's hall for the for the purpose of considering the programme for the funeral of Burke and Wills arranged by the previously appointed sub-committee, consisting of Colonel Anderson, Captain Standish, Dr Wilkie and Mr John Watson.
Present: Wilkie (chair), Iffla, Gillbee, Elliott, Macadam.

Dr Wilkie occupied the chair, and there was also present Mr Gillbee, Mr Iffla, Mr Elliott and the Hon Secretary (Dr Macadam). The following resolutions were passed:

That the funeral services be conduced in St James's Cathedral and that no one but the chief mourners be admitted.

That application be made to the Government requesting that the minute guns be fired from the batteries at Williamstown, Sandridge and the field battery at Batman's Hill, and subsequently from a battery in Royal Park, or other spot in close proximity to the cemetery.

That a letter be written to the major-general commanding requesting to grant permission to the military to take part on the occasion of the funeral of Burke and Wills by lining the road extending from the gate of the cemetery towards the city of Melbourne.

Suggested:

That an invitation be sent to Ambrose Kyte Esq. to attend the funeral in company with the Exploration Committee.

That Messrs Wills, Wynne, King and Mueller be the four first chief mourners.

That a letter be written to Mr Thomas Wills, Ballarat, giving information of the funeral and requesting him to communicate with any other of Mr Wills' relations he may know are in the colony.

The following was then resolved on as the order of the funeral procession:


See the original at the State Library of Victoria

Some discussion took place in reference to one or two of the details of the programme, and especially with respect to the funeral service in St James's Cathedral.

Dr Macadam and others, with the exception of Dr Wilkie, were averse to having any part of the services in St James's because of the difficulty of taking the remains in and out of the church and keeping the long procession in order. It was decided to consult Dean Macartney, who will conduct the service.

Dr Macadam mentioned that he had received information that the Havilah, by which the remains will be bought to Melbourne, would not leave Adelaide before the 24th, so that her arrival in Melbourne would not take place before Saturday, 27th December. The Committee discussed the dates for the lying in state and the funeral and proposed Monday, 12 January 1863 as the funeral date.

The Committee adjourned until Wednesday. Before leaving Dr Macadam read a telegram announcing Stuart's success and safe return of his party.

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

• p. 245. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, with newspaper clipping, 15 Dec 1862.

Wednesday, 17 December 1862.
The adjourned meeting was postponed until Monday, 22 December.

Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Speaker of the Legislative Assembly dated 17 Dec 1862.

Thursday, 18 December 1862.
Related archive: SLV MS13071, Box 2088B/5, RSV EC outward correspondence August 1860 to July 1869.

• Letter to Speaker of the Legislative Assembly dated 18 Dec 1862.
• Letter to President of the Legislative Council dated 18 Dec 1862.

Monday, 22 December 1862.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee was held at the Royal Society hall.
Present: Mr Ligar (chair), Mr Watson, Mr Gillbee, Dr Eades and Dr Macadam.

The business had reference to the arrangements of the procession at the public funeral of the leaders of the late exploring party. In conformity with the expressed view of the Legislative bodies, the alteration of the day of the funeral, fixing it for the 21st of January, was confirmed; and, in consideration of the infirmities of some members of the Legislative Council, it was agreed that they should be allowed to attend in their carriages. Some other changes were made in the order of the procession - the Mayor and Corporation following immediately the Legislative bodies, and, next to them, the Vice-Chancellor and members of the University are to have precedence. The procession, will not be delayed at the cathedral, the dean having waived the point raised by him. It appears that some perplexity has been caused to the Committee by the claims of precedence urged by some bodies not universally recognized beyond the limits of their own organization; for example, the Odd Follows have been unable to agree whether the Grand Lodge of Victoria, or the Manchester Unity Lodge should take the place of the other. The Committee decided that they could not deter- mine this point, although each of these bodies had announced that they would not attend if the other had precedence, and one of them also stipulated for free passes for their members by the Melbourne Railway from Prahran. The remains of Burke and Wills will arrive here on Saturday, but it is intended to receive them without any public formality, beyond the attendance of some members of the Committee.

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

• p. 247. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, 22 December 1862.

Sunday, 28 December 1862.
The remains of Burke and Wills were landed at Sandridge railway pier by the steamer Havilah. The steamer was telegraphed off Cape Otway at half-past twelve o'clock on Saturday. The agents expected her to arrive about midnight, and consequently at twelve o'clock Dr Macadam, Dr Eades, Mr J Watson, and Dr Wilkie, accompanied by Mr J V A Bruce, proceeded to Sandridge, with a hearse and two mourning carriages. The vessel did not arrive until several hours later and the remains were landed at 5.00am. Upon proceeding on board, the Committee were met by Mr Howitt and Dr Murray. The remains of the explorers were delivered over to the Committee and, and a hearse being in attendance, they were conveyed to the hall of the Royal Society.

***
Arrival of the remains of Burke and Wills.
Ballaarat Star, Tuesday 30 December 1862: 2 (from the Age, Monday 29 December).

The Havilah, S.S., conveying Howitt and his party, with the remains of the unfortunate explorers Burke and Wills, arrived in Hobson's Bay early yesterday morning [Sunday 28 December], and got into berth at the Sandridge Railway Pier, at about five o'clock a.m.

Dr Eades, Dr Wilkie, Mr John Watson, Mr Bruce, Dr Plummer (Chairman of the Sandridge Municipality), Dr Macadam (Hon Secretary of the Exploration Committee), and other gentlemen, were on the pier awaiting the arrival of the steamer.

Immediately on the vessel being moored, the case containing the remains was conveyed on shore, and mounted shoulder high, covered with the Union Jack, by four members of Howitt's party. In this manner it was conveyed along the whole length of the jetty to the hearse, which was at the gates. The remains were followed by the members of the party uncovered, and the scene thus presemed was one of the most mournful solemnity.

The Sabbath morning was beautifully fine; and the surface of the bay presented the appearance almost of glass, scarcely a breath of air was stirring; indeed, it seemed as if the elements were hushed into mournful stillness by the presence of the dead. At so early an hour there were of course few persons stirring except the watchers on board the ships lying alongside the Pier, so that every circumstance was calculated to arouse solemn feelings and painful recollections in the minds of those present. There was Dr Eades following closely on the heels of the bearers - he who scarcely two years and a half ago, as Mayor of the City, in the name of the citizens of Melbourne, bade a hearty God speed to Burke as he started on his great enterprise as the leader of one of the finest and most complete parties ever engaged for land exploration service - now, instead of grasping with cordiality the hand of a returning hero, he follows in mournful silence, a few bones, all that remains of Australasia's ill-fated explorers.

Still more impressive were other associations connected with that little Sabbath party of mourners on the Railway Pier. Following in the train there is the nurse of Robert O'Hara Burke - Ellen Dogherty - she who watched over him in infancy, and carefully tracked his progress through life. She, too, at her own request, goes forth to meet his remains, and to escort them and watch them on their journey to their last resting place.

The remains were considered in charge of Dr Plummer until they reached the Sandridge Municipal boundary, when they were formally handed over by him to Dr Eades. They were placed in a hearse, and followed by two mourning coaches, containing those who joined the procession, and conveyed straight to the Royal Society's Hall, where the case was deposited, and the key handed to Dr Macadam by Mr Howitt, whose duty ends here.

The feelings of Mrs Dogherty now apparently gave way, and she urgently requested to be left alone with the remains, which are still covered with the Union Jack. This was conceded, and she was nearly an hour alone in the hall. Those of our readers whose mournful duty it may have been to stand by the bedside of a dying friend, or to linger over the tomb of a departed relation, will be best able to appreciate and picture for themselves the feelings of the affectionate old woman during this interval.

A veil overshadows the scene which we dare not withdraw to attempt even a surmise would be to tread upon ground which is holy. Having thus far described the mournful ceremony of the removal of the remains, we may close this notice, by stating that after they had been safely deposited, the Hall door was locked, and the British ensign was hoisted half mast high on the flag-staff, where it will remain until after the funeral.

The arrangements for the final ceremony are now nearly complete, and it is expected that the remains will be coffined on Tuesday next. The Hall will be opened at ten a.m. on Friday, when the public will be admitted to view the remains as they lie in state,

The inner coffins which are to contain the remains of Burke and Wills, are made of gun metal, and a said to be a portion of a lot of coffins which we imported from America some time back, and which no use had been found until the present requirement of receptacles for the remains of illustrious dead.

Monday, 29 December 1862.
A meeting of the Exploration Committee was held for the purpose of receiving Mr Howitt and his party on their return.
Present: Wilkie (chair), Eades, Gillbee, Smith, Macadam.

Dr Wilkie pointed out that the business before the meeting was simply to receive Mr Howitt and his party, who were present; and if Mr Howitt had any statement to make, they would be most happy to hear it. In reply Mr Howitt observed that any statement he had to make must necessarily be a very short one, since he had nothing to add to what had been already forwarded in his despatches. He had only to add that he had endeavoured to carry out his instructions, and to do his duty to the Committee.

Dr Eades then said that, while their business was simply to officially receive Mr Howitt, he would, in the name of the Committee, and of the public also, bear testimony to the able manner in which that gentleman had performed his duties, and congratulate him on his safe return with the remains of the departed explorers, which had been handed over to the care of the Hon Secretary until Friday, when the lying in state would commence. The Committee and the public, he would only add, were glad to welcome Mr Howitt and his party back.

Mr Gillbee could endorse all that Dr Eades had said; and would say, further, that Dr Murray had brought back with him a valuable collection of woods indigenous to the neighbourhood of Cooper's Creek, besides a number of geological and mineralogical specimens. That had been done quite spontaneously on Dr Murray's part; and that gentleman had besides brought with him a number of photographs, but these required to undergo a process, and until that had been done they could not be presented.

Mr James Smith said that, in his opinion, the Committee would not be doing their duty if they did not also offer their congratulations to the gallant companions of Mr Howitt on their return, and express their sense of the manner in which these gentlemen had performed their duties. The suggestion was received and adopted.

In reply to Dr Macadam, Mr Howitt then stated that Messrs Aitken and Charles Philips had gone on with the camels to the Wimmera while Macwilllam had remained behind at Adelaide. That, with those present, accounted for the whole of the party. In answer to the same gentleman, Dr Murray stated that throughout the party had enjoyed comparatively good health, and the only things which they had to contend against were the scurvy and a few cases of dysentery; but the former was got over by the use of vegetables, which they obtained at the Creek. They formed a garden there, which was rather successful, in as much as when the party left they had not consumed all the vegetables raised in it. At the same time, the party had a large supply of citric acid and of preserved vegetables, in part of the stores of the former expedition, all of which were found to be of considerable use. Taking these things together, and the absence of all dissipation, the general health was good.

In reply to Dr Macadam, Mr Howitt again stated that, in accordance with instructions, he had left behind him, at Cooper's Creek stores of various kinds, including clothing, sufficient for a party of twelve men for a fortnight, so that any party arriving there would have that time to recruit. He had also, by marks on trees and in other ways, indicated the situation of the cache, besides conveying in the same manner the latest information respecting the state of the different roads, and the localities in which supplies of water were to be looked for. And, in answer to Dr Wilkie, Mr Howitt further stated that he had not kept a journal after his arrival at Cooper's Creek. He had not been there sufficiently long at any one time to permit him to do so; besides, there would, have been nothing of sufficient interest in the life there to be noted. Dr Murray, however, who had been left in charge there, had kept a journal. That gentleman, on being questioned, stated that he had merely kept a journal which he intended to be private; but if the Committee desired it, he could have it ready for them in a week or a fortnight.

After some further conversation on the subject, it seemed to be understood that the Committee would be glad to have a copy of Dr Murray's journal. Some little discussion then ensued as to when the services of the exploring party should be declared at an end, and, consequently, to what time payment should extend. Ultimately Dr Macadam moved that the services of the party be not dispensed with until after the funeral, and that in the meantime should any of the party desire to be absent, attending to his or their private affairs, he or they can, with Mr Howitt's consent, have permission to be so absent. Dr Eades seconded the motion, which was carried.

Dr Macadam next moved that the members of the Committee will, in a permanent form as on parchment, convey to Mr Howitt their high estimation of the manner in which his duties have been performed; and that they will present the same at a public banquet, to be held on the night of the funeral; that a public address be presented on the same night to Mr Ambrose Kyte and to Captain Norman; and that photograph copies of the addresses be presented to the members of the exploring party and the men of the Victoria respectively. Mr James Smith seconded the motion, which was carried.

Dr Macadam mentioned that he had received complaints from some quarters as to the formation of the procession, as well as one or two applications for places in it. Amongst others, there was an application from Burke's nurse, who desired to be present at the funeral. Her request was granted, and she will follow the remains in one of the mourning carriages. The Hon secretary then moved that the present arrangement of the funeral programme be confirmed, in order that he might have it printed and copies of it circulated as soon as possible. The motion was seconded and agreed to, as was also a motion inviting the members of the Committee, and of Mr Howitt's party, to be present on Wednesday evening, at eight o'clock, to see the remains placed in their respective coffins.

This terminated the 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. 248. Minutes of a meeting of the EC, 29 December 1862.

Wednesday, 31 December 1862.
Argus, (Thursday 1 January 1863, page 4).
The remains of Burke and Wills were deposited in the metal shells, or inner coffins, prepared for the purpose, last evening, at the Royal Society's Hall, in the presence of several members of the Exploration Committee, Mr Howitt and his party, and a number of gentlemen (including Mr Kyte MLA), who had been invited to attend. Eight o'clock was the time appointed for the commencement of the ceremony; but the only members of the Exploration Committee in attendance at or about that hour were Dr Eades, Dr Iffla, Mr John Watson, and Mr Sizar Elliott.

Nothing, however, could be done, in consequence of the absence of the key of the chest in which the remains were brought from Adelaide. This, it appeared, was in the custody of Dr Macadam, and the proceedings had to be delayed until the arrival of that gentleman, which was not until close upon nine o'clock. Dr Wilkie was present about the same time, and Mr Gillbee appeared shortly afterwards. It was then explained to the company that Dr Macadam had been detained by sudden, indisposition. Dr Eades, who was called upon to preside over the ceremony, said he considered the most fitting way to perform the mournful duty now devolving upon them - the duty of depositing bones, which he held to be sacred, in the coffins prepared for, them - was quietly and silently, without display or demonstration of any kind. Mr Howitt expressed his belief that the whole of the remains which he found on his first journey to Cooper's Creek were now in the possession of the Exploration Committee; and that, if any were missing, they were missing when he first ascertained the fate of Burke and Wills.

The chest was opened, and disclosed two packages carefully sewn up. The one contained the remains of Burke, the other held the bones of Wills. The relics were then transferred to the coffins, the task of placing the bones in proper position being performed by Dr Wheeler, the medical superintendent of Mr Howitt's expedition. The hands and feet of Burke, and the skull and a portion of the feet of Wills were missing. The, shirt, in which Wills died accompanied the remains, and was deposited with, them in the coffin. A winding-sheet, from the linen-chest of the Burke family, was produced by Mrs Dogherty (Burke's nurse), who was present, and wrapped around the bones, of the ill-fated explorer.

The coffins, which are of medieval pattern; have a slide at the head, covering plate glass, through which the remains can be seen. The ceremony occupied less than half-an hour. The 'lying in state' will commence, not to-morrow, as originally appointed, but on Monday next. This alteration has been made, in order that the festivities incident to the opening of the new year may not be interfered with.

The interior of the Royal Society's hall has undergone elaborate decoration for the mournful pageant. In the centre is a handsome catafalque, approached on each side by a flight of five steps, and surmounted by a canopy, the four supports of which represent palm trees The sides of the hall are draped with black cloth and crape. The middle panel in each wall is filled up by a large Maltese Cross, and on either side are displayed plumes; wreaths, and other funereal emblems. To provide for any 'rush' on the part of the public, the doors for entrance and exit will be distinct.

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