Journeys in Time
1809 1810 1811
1812 1815 1818
1820 1821 1822


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Historical Background

Chronology 1809 - 1822

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Monday 23. Octr.!
It rained the greater part of last Night -- but is fair this morning.

Dispatched Mills the 2d coachman, Vaughan the Constable, and one of the Natives, in search of the Runaway Horses, in the hope that they will come up with them between this and Wild's Pass. ---These 3 men set out about 6 o'clock this morning.

The Tents being very wet -- and wishing to give time for the Horses to be brought back, I have determined to remain on our present Ground till 11 o'clock.

We therefore delayed Breakfasting till 8 o'clock. ---This will give the Tents time to dry -- there being now a good deal of Sun out. ---Yesterday in crossing Wild's Pass, we fell in with Nagaray, a fine old Patriarchal Native of about 70 years of age with his whole Family of Wives,Sons, & Daughters -- in all 8 persons -- and all of whom Mr. Throsby had engaged to accompany us to the great Salt Water Lake recently discovered by Joseph Wild. ---This old man belongs to the Burra-Burra Tribe, of which his son Cookoogong is the Chief. ---His next eldest son Bhoohan is a very fine intelligent Lad.---

At 11 a.m. there being then no tidings of the Stray Horses, and the Tents being tolerably well Dried, we decamped and pursued our Journey across Goulburn Plains -- a most beautiful rich Tract of Country, extending from "Breadalbane Plains" on the North to fine open Forest on the South, Twelve Miles in length -- by Seven in Breadth generally -- and containing not less than Fifty Thousand acres of useful good Land, fit for both purposes of Cultivation and grazing -- with a plentiful supply of Fresh Water Ponds, and hardly a Tree to be seen in this whole extent of Plain -- but with plenty of good Timber on the Hills and Ridges which gird these Plains like a Belt.

We saw several Flocks of fine large Emus -- and some fine large Turkies -- and hunted some of the former, but the Dogs being rather shy did not kill any. ---The first Flock of 4 Emus which we saw were distant from us about 400 yards. ---The moment they perceived us they halted to look at us. We also pulled up our Horses to look at them. ---After they had reconnoitred us for a few minutes, they advanced towards us in a very bold majestic manner, at first walking smartly -- but slackening their pace as they came nearer to us -- until they had actually advanced within 15 yards of us. ---They then halted and looked at us -- and we might have shot them all with the greatest ease had we had either Guns or Pistols -- but we had neither -- nor had we then even the Dogs with us. On slight movement of one of our horses; and after they looked at us halting for a few seconds, they took the alarm and galloped off in a fine style. ---This was one of the prettiest sights I ever saw.

We only saw one Kangaroo in this whole days march -- but that was a large Forester -- and was killed by Mr. Throsby's Dogs in the Brush adjoining Bathurst Lake. ---At 6 p.m. we arrived at the North West end of the Lake, and at 7 we reached the Eastern Extremity of it -- just at Dark -- and after a long fatiguing march of 24 miles -- both our men and cattle being very much fatigued -- especially the latter. The first view we had of the Lake was really magnificently fine, from the Heights to the Northwest of it -- appearing quite a little Sea, covered with innumerable Flocks of Wild Ducks -- and a great many Black Swans -- which last looked most beautiful floating on the surface of this grand Piece of Water which is perfectly fresh and good. ---The Lake appears to be about Six miles in length by 4 miles in Breadth -- and has considerably increased in Size since Mr. Meehan first discovered it in April 1818. ---There are very fine extensive Plains on the East side of the Lake and also on the South East of it & likewise a very long marshy meadow on the East of it. ---The Men who went in pursuit of the Horses returned this Evening between 7 & 8 with 3 of them, vizt. Donald, Driver, & Lt. Macquarie's; but Major Antill's & 1 Carriage Horse (Lofty) are still missing.

Monday 23. Octr. 1820 -- Continued! -------
I was rather disappointed in not finding Commissioner Bigge and his Party at Bathurst Lake before me, as this was fixed upon as the Place of Rendezvous -- and as he had fixed to leave Bathurst on Wednesday the 18th Instant now six days complete -- and the distance he had to travel not being more than 120 miles. ---I trust however he will be here tomorrow. ---Being all of us a little tired -- we retired to rest very soon after we had dined -- which was not till Half past 8 o'clock. ---We had been all Eight Hours on Horseback this Day.---

22 October 1820 | 24 October 1820
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