Burke & Wills Web
www.burkeandwills.net.au
The online digital research archive of expedition records
© 2017

through the Interior of Australia from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

From the Journals and Letters of William John Wills, edited by his father, William Wills
London: Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street.
Published in ordinary to Her Majesty, 1863.
(Ferguson 18622)

Dedicated by permission, to His Grace, The Duke of Newcastle, KG., etc, etc, etc.

By His Grace's faithful servant, William Wills.
January 1863.
1862.

Contents

Birth - Infancy - Boyhood and Early Education - Youthful Traits of Character.

My two Sons leave England for Australia - Incidents of the Voyage - Extracts from Journal - Arrival at Port Phillip - Melbourne - Employed as Shepherds in the Interior - Mode of Life - Melbourne in 1853 - Advice to Immigrants - Descriptive Letters from the Bush.

I arrive in Australia - Join my two Sons at their Sheepstation - Return to Melbourne and Remove to - Ballaarat - Visit to Mr Skene - My son studies Surveying - His Rapid Proficiency - Appointed to take Charge of a Party - Letters on various Subjects to his Mother and Brother at Home.

My Son is appointed to the Magnetic Observatory at Melbourne, under Professor Neumayer - His Rapid Advance in the Study of Magnetism and Mineralogy - Letters to his Relatives at Home, descriptive of his Pursuits, Wishes, and Sentiments - First suggestions of his Probable Employment on the Exploring Expedition.

Postponement of the Exploring Expedition projected at the beginning of 1860 - My Son's Letter to his Sister on going into Society - Mr Birnie's Opinion of him, and Extract from his Lecture - Letter from William to his Mother on Religious Views and Definitions of Faith - His last Communications to his family at Home, before the Departure of the Expedition.

How the Expedition originated - Appointment of the Leader, Officers, and Party - Mr Robert O'Hara Burke, Mr G J Landells, Mr W J Wills, Dr Hermann Beckler, Dr Ludwig Becker, etc. - The Expedition starts from Melbourne on the 20th of August, 1860 - Progress to Swan Hill - Discharge of Mr Ferguson, the Foreman - Advance to Menindie - Resignation of Mr Landells and Dr Hermann Beckler - Mr Wills promoted to second in command, and Mr Wright to third.

From Menindie on the Darling to Torowoto - Mr Burke's Despatch, and Mr Wills's Report from Torowoto - Mr Wright's unaccountable delay at Menindie - The Expedition proceeds onwards to Cooper's Creek - Exploring Trips in that neighbourhood - Loss of three Camels - Mr Wills's Letter to his Sister, December 6th and 15th - Incorrectness of McDonough's Statements.

Mr Wills's Survey of the line of Country pursued by the Expedition, from Torowoto Swamp to Cooper's Creek.

Departure from Cooper's Creek for the Gulf of Carpentaria - Arrangements for the continuance of the Depot at Cooper's Creek - Mr Brahe left in Charge - Determination of Route - Progress and Incidents - Mr Wills's Field Books, from the 16th of December, 1860, to the 30th of January, 1861, 1 to 9 - Shores of Carpentaria.

Return from Carpentaria to Cooper's Creek - Mr Wills's Journals from February 19th to April 21st, 1861 - Illness and Death of Gray - The Survivors arrive at Cooper's Creek Depot and find it deserted - A Small Stock of Provisions left - Conduct of Brahe - Report of the Royal Commission.

Proceedings in Melbourne - Meeting of the Exploration Committee - Tardy Resolutions - Departure of Mr Howitt - Patriotic Effort of Mr Orkney - South Australian Expedition under Mr McKinlay - News of White Men and Camels having been seen by Natives in the Interior - Certain Intelligence of the Fate of the Explorers reaches Melbourne.

The attempt to reach South Australia and Adelaide by Mount Hopeless - Mistake of selecting that Route Mr Wills's Journals from the 23rd of April to the 29th of June, 1861 - Adventures with the Natives Discovery of Nardoo as a Substitute for Food - Mr Burke and King go in search of Natives for assistance Mr Wills left alone in the Desert - The Last Entry in his Journal.

King's Narrative - Mr Burke and King again go in search of the Natives, as a last resource - Death of Mr Burke - King returns and finds Mr Wills dead in the Gunyah - He falls in with the Natives and wanders about with them until delivered by Mr Howitt's party - Extract from Mr Howitt's Diary - Extract from Mr McKinlay's Diary - My Son's last Letter to me, dated June 27th, 1861 - Strong Attachment between Mr Burke and my Son - King delivers the Letter and Watch intrusted to him - With some difficulty I recover the Pistol - King's Reception in Melbourne - Sir H. Barkly's Letter to Sir Roderick Murchison - Summary of Events and their Causes.

Letters of sympathy and condolence; from Sir Henry Barkly; Major Egerton Warburton; A.J. Baker, Esquire; P.A. Jennings, Esquire; Dr Mueller; The Council of Ballaarat East; Robert Watson, Esquire; John Lavington Evans, Esquire - Meeting at Totnes - Resolution to erect a Monument to Mr Wills - Proceedings in the Royal Geographical Society of London - Letter from Sir Roderick Murchison to Dr Wills - Dr Wills's Reply - 'The Lost Explorers,' a poetical tribute - Concluding Observations.

------------------------
www.burkeandwills.net.au Burke & Wills Web The digital research archive of expedition records
© 2017, Dave Phoenix