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Torowota, 30 October 1860.

Original item held at the National Library of Australia, NLA MS30/3.
Papers of Burke and Wills Expedition, National Library of Australia, MS 30.
Letter, signed, from Robert O'Hara Burke to his uncle, John Burke.
Written from Torowoto during the expedition, 30 October 1860.


Blue Background

October 30th 1860.

My dear Uncle,

I write to tell you that I have progressed so far very favourably. I am now at a creek about 200 miles from the Darling. We have passed through some fine well watered country not before known and I think that I have a very fair chance of success.

My Second-in-command and the Doctor resigned at Menindie from sheer cowardice when they saw that I was determined to go on, as they wanted to pass the summer on the Darling. They will of course assign other reasons and I have no doubt but that I shall be attacked by their friends and that you may probably hear of it through the English press. I have not time to enter into the details nor do intend or wish you to say anything about what I now tell you but believe me that I have done exactly what I ought to have done and what I am sure would have met your approval, and it will ultimately be clearly proved whatever becomes of me unless we are all lost, which I am happy to think is very improbable.

What we have done up to this will cause a great sensation as we have passed some very fine sheep grazing country not before known for which when my report goes down immediate application will be made.

We are now encamped upon a creek not before known. Grass nearly fit to mow, splendid feed for horses and camels and a party of natives who never before saw white men encamped close to us. They appear to be very friendly but require a sharp look out to be kept on them.

After the return of the party who go back with this letter and my official dispatch and I shall have eight men including myself, 16 camels and 4 horses. I shall proceed on to Cooper's Creek or the Victoria River as it is sometimes called, and from thence to Carpentaria as straight as I can go and if I can go. The difficulties to contend with are want of feed and water and the hostility of the natives. It is very possible that I may leave half the party behind and push on with the rest if I find I cannot get through with them all.

However, rely upon it that I shall take care of them and myself too and not run any unnecessary risk.

Goodbye. My best love to Hessie, Lady Cloncurry and all.

Your aft. nephew,
R O'Hara Burke.



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