Brisbane: J. W. Buxton, 1867. Octavo. Pp. xii, 88 (including Appendix). Frontispiece: Photograph of F. and A. Jardine (LACKING), view of Somerset (facing p.75), and folding map showing the orthern part of Queensland showing route of the explorers (at end). Ferguson 7747.
Good. Recased in leather with ‘Overland Expedition’ printed on the spine, boards double gilt ruled, all edges speckled, new endpapers, lacks photographic frontispiece, pages have been severely trimmed with loss of title on the plate of Somerset, map affixed with tape, some tears along the folds and a longer 11cm diagonal tear with old tape mark.
This is a rare first edition of the Byerley account, taken from the Jardine’s journals. This story forms part of Queensland’s dark pioneering history: in 1864 the Jardine brothers set out from Rockhampton with 42 horses and 250 head of cattle and travelled north to their father’s station at Somerset. They left a trail of dead local inhabitants, horses, cattle and equipment in their wake. All of their own men survived, though in poor health. They arrived 10 months after they set out, with 12 horses and 50 head of cattle. The Royal Geographical Society rewarded their labours by electing them Fellows of the Society, and by awarding them the Murchison Award. Older brother Frank settled near Somerset and was appointed Police Magistrate in 1868. He died of leprosy in 1919. Younger brother Alex served on many government works in Queensland, became chief engineer for harbours and rivers and died in London in 1920.
Provenance: This book previously belonged to the Office of Geographical Survey in Rockahmpton but when the regional offices closed in 1956 many books were sent back to Brisbane. Many of these books were in disrepair and were due to be scrapped when a young surveyor was offered to take anything of interest. This book was subsequently rescued and through a friend at the University of Queensland Library the binder for the Brisbane City Council was approached, who in 1957 recased this book and Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia from Morton Bay to Port Essington, a distance of upwards 3000 miles, during the years 1844-1845.
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