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 195 pages of information about Narrative of the Overland Expedition of the Messrs. Jardine from Rockhampton to Cape York, Northern Queensland.
and savage nature of the northern natives is shown by their having twice attempted to surprise the settlement whilst Mr. Jardine, senior, was resident there, although they had been treated with every kindness from the first.  In these encounters two of the marines were wounded, one of whom has since died from the effects, whilst others had narrow escapes, John Jardine, junr. having had a four-pronged spear whistle within two inches of his neck.  Since then they have not ceased to molest the cattle, and in an encounter they wounded Mr. Scrutton.  They have utilized their intercourse with the whites so far as to improve the quality of their spears by tipping them with iron, a piece of fencing wire, 18 inches long, having been found on one taken from them on a late occasion.  In his last letter Frank Jardine mentions an encounter with a “friendly” native detected in the act of spearing cattle, in which he had a narrow escape of losing his life, and states that, despite their professions of friendship, they are always on the watch for mischief.  It is evident therefore, that no terms can safely be held with a race who know no law but their own cowardly impulse of evil, and that an active and watchful force of bushmen well acquainted with savage warfare is necessary to secure the safety of the young settlement.  For a description of the habits and the character of the Australian and Papuan races, which people the Peninsula and the adjacent islands of Torres Straits, the reader is referred to the interesting narrative of the voyage of the Rattlesnake, by Mr. John McGillivray, in which the subject is ably and exhaustively treated, and which leaves but little to add by succeeding writers.


The “villanous compound, a mixture of mangrove roots and berries,” which was presented to the explorers by the friendly natives as a peace-offering on first meeting them near Somerset, was probably what is described as the “Midamo” in Mr. Anthelme Thozets’ valuable pamphlet already alluded to above on “the roots, tubers, bulbs, and fruits used as vegetable food by the aboriginals of Northern Queensland.”  The midamo is made by baking the root of the common mangrove (’Avicennia Tomentosa’), which is called Egaie by the tribes of Cleveland Bay, and Tagon-Tagon by those of Rockhampton.  Its preparation is described at page 13.



A description of the settlement at Port Albany, Cape York, at the time of the arrival of the Brothers has been carefully drawn up in the shape of a report to the Colonial Secretary of Queenslandby Mr. Jardine.  It is so full and interesting that I cannot do better than publish it in extenso.  It first appeared in the ’Queensland Daily Guardian’ of 24th June, 1865.  A letter from Mr. Jardine to Sir George Bowen, reporting the arrival of the sons, and epitomising the events of the journey, together with the report of Dr. Haran, R.N., Surgeon in charge of the detachment of Royal Marines, on the climate of Cape York, showing its great salubrity, are also added:—­

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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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