A J Thompson | Andrew Thompson, Rockhampton Australia

Reflection on Ludwig Leichhardt | Central Queensland History

Historical Newspaper Article .:. Exploration following in the footsteps of Leichhardt

This article of historical significance is sourced from The Empire, Sydney 14 November 1857, and tells of the forthcoming expedition to open up the Central Queensland interior.

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Have a brilliant day,

Andrew Thompson.



LEICHHARDT. - The probable fate of this enterprising Australian explorer commands the sympathy of the civilized world; but to the inhabitants of this district, his memory ought and will be long held in admiration and reverence.

We cannot but remember the glorious resuIts of his overland journey to Port Essington in 1811 and '43, because many a squatter now feeds his stock upon those vast plains and ridges so graphically described by poor Leichhardt on his return to Sydney; the wealth they have accumulated through these important discoveries, is unmistakeably evidenced by the quantities of wool forwarded from these splendid districts by our coasting steamers and vessels trading between your metropolis and the ports of Maryborough, Gladstone, and Rockhampton.

In looking over his journal, printed after his return, one cannot but be struck with the simplicity of description of the land passed over, and the importance these remarks, bear upon the grazing interests of the Northern Districts. Slowly but surely are our pioneers taking step by step onward to those localities mentioned by Leichhardt as favourable to the sustenance of stock - from Jimba where the worthy Doelu states in his narrative, he took his departure on the 1st October, 1844 (the then farthest station on the Darling Downs) his track has been followed up, and the waters of the Upper Dawson, Palm Tree Creek, and the other numerous water courses have been successively taken up; and those plains named by him Vervain Plains, are now dotted over with the homesteads of the Australian grazier.

These energetic and enterprising men will be glad to hear that the Legislative Assembly has nobly granted the sum of money necessary to fit out an expedition, under the command of Mr Gregory, to follow in the footprints of the immortal Leichhardt, and willing hands and hearts will, I feel assured, lend every assistance to this trusty band, whenever they may make a start from our frontier territory.

We look forward with much interest to the equipment of this party, because the duties they will have to fulfil will be no child's play, and none but brave men ought to bo permitted to proceed with the expedition - thorough bushmen, well able to rough it - and who known how to camp out in all weather, are the style of men to secure for the service, and we would suggest to Mr. Gregory the propriety of getting one or two of our frontier bushmen to join the party. Men who have already spent many a sleepless night watching the stock, placed for the first time in the wilderness of the far-west, and who have kept their ground in spite of hostile blacks, and too often with a hungry belly.

That we have such men amongst us, many an outsider can bear willing testimony, and that they would be proud to make one of the party I have no doubt. It will, therefore, he judicious on the part of the commander of the expedition to think this question over once before be finally fills up his allotted number of men.

14 November 1857