Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland eBook

Francis Lascelles Jardine
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland.

Of the six new settlements that have been called into existence, two, Bowen and Townsville, have been incorporated, and are now, together with Mackay, straining in the race to secure the trade of the western interior.  Cardwell has experienced a check, in consequence of an undue haste in the adoption of a line of road over its Coast Range, which is too difficult to be generally adopted, and will probably be abandoned for a better since discovered; but its noble harbour is too good, and the extent of back country it commands too extensive in area, for it not ultimately to take its place as an important port.  Burke Town is but starting into existence, but already supplies the settlers of the Flinders and other Gulf rivers with which it has opened communication.  Mr. William Landsborough, the well-known explorer, has been charged with the administration of its affairs, and a survey staff has been despatched to lay out the lands.  Vessels now trade direct from Brisbane with some regularity, which services will, no doubt, soon be re-placed by steamers.

But it is with Somerset, Cape York, that we have more especial concern.  In the August of 1862, Sir George Bowen, Governor of Queensland, being on a voyage of inspection to the Northern Ports, in Her Majesty’s Steamer “Pioneer,” visited Port Albany, Cape York, and on his return, in a despatch to the Imperial Government, recommended it for the site of a Settlement, on account of its geographical importance, as harbor of refuge, coaling station, and entrepot for the trade of Torres Straits and the Islands of the North Pacific.  The following year the formation of a Settlement was decided upon, the Home Government sending out a detachment of Marines to be stationed there, and assist in its establishment.  The task of establishing the new Settlement was confided to Mr. Jardine, then Police Magistrate of Rockhampton, than whom, perhaps, no man could be found more fitted for its peculiar duties.  An experienced official, a military man, keen sportsman, and old bushman, he possessed, in addition to an active and energetic temperament, every quality and experience necessary for meeting the varied and exceptional duties incident to such a position.  It was whilst making the arrangements for the expedition by sea, which was to transport the staff, materiel, and stores of the Settlement, that Mr. Jardine, foreseeing the want of fresh provision, proposed to the Government to send his own sons, Frank and Alexander, overland with a herd of cattle to form a station from which it might be supplied.  This was readily acceded to, the Government agreeing to supply the party with the services of a qualified surveyor, fully equipped, to act as Geographer, by noting and recording their course and the appearance of the country traversed, and also horses, arms, and accoutrements for four native blacks, or as they are commonly called in the colonies, Black-boys.  Although the account of poor Kennedy’s journey

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Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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