Exploring in the footsteps of Ludwig Leichhardt
(manually translated from original scan 01 Jan 2012, Andrew Thompson)
SPECIAL NOTE 6 March 2022
I originally translated this article about Ludwig Leichhardt back in 2012 and posted it on my old website. Just this week I began moving all my old content over here to This Happy Planet. I’m not sure what prompted me to take another look at this particular article, but I discovered that I had only manually translated about a third of it. So I played around with it for a few minutes, and Wow! Immediately following the piece about Ludwig Leichhardt, was a continuation into a second article by the same reporter, and the topic was massive – The Hornet Bank Massacre! As fate would have it, this historically huge event happened just a fortnight before this article was written. Naturally, I had to finish translating it immediately and have just posted it here on the site. I just wanted to explain it briefly as the eagle-eyed reader will notice that both articles appear together in newspaper screenshot above. OK, back to Ludwig!
In the following article from The Empire, 14 November 1857, the writer reflects on the disappearance of famed explorer, Ludwig Leichhardt and the legacy of the man.
He then tells of the forthcoming expedition by Augustus Gregory to further explore the Central Queensland interior while searching for traces of Leichhardt.
If you enjoy this type of article, you can find more on the Central Queensland History page. Feel free to leave any related comments at the end of this page.
Andrew Thompson, editor | historian
The Empire, 14 November 1857
From our correspondent
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 results of his 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