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Edward John Eyre
Transcript of Edward John Eyre
In June 1840, Captain Grey was concerned about cutting government of South Australia’s spending and not being extravagant with Government funds but Captain Sturt was more keen to have someone take a flag and plant it into the most central part of Australia to announce to the natives that white man was here and that they should fear and retreat. Captain Grey presented Eyre with a Union Jack that had being woven in silk by the ladies of Adelaide. This expedition did not succeed and the party returned to Adelaide.
Edwards’s second expedition was a second attempt but he was driven back once again by the arid country around Lake Torrens. He took his party west to Streaky Bay rather than going back to Adelaide. From here he made another attempt to strike north but failed.
After Edwards second expedition had failed, rather than going back to Adelaide they decided to try going from Streaky Bay to Perth. By this time it was February 1841. During their walk along the Great Australian Bight to King George’s Sound Baxter was shot. The two Aboriginal guides that were in the party ran away after this incident with most of the supplies. Only Wylie remained with Edward and they carried on and finished the expedition reaching their destination of Albany on the 7th of July 1841.
What Was the Aim of the Expedition
The main purpose of the first two of Edwards journeys was to lay claim to the central part of Australia and plant a flag so they could let the Aborigines know that white man had been here and that they should be intimidated. The purpose of the third expedition was to find a route from South Australia to Albany in the West. They had hoped to cross cattle and find good grazing country. But what they discovered was a track far too punishing to move cattle through and very poor desert.
The preparation began with formation of a committee of government officers. Edward offered his services and also was responsible of finding a third of the horses and paying a third of the expenses. The committee originally wanted to explore west but Edward was keep to explore north, looking for good grazing country. He explained to them how the west would be more difficult but ended up tackling the most difficult past west.
For the third expedition realised that his party was too big so he sent all of the party back except for Baxter, Yarri, Joey, Wylie and eleven pack horses as well as fresh supplies from Streaky Bay.
Edward was born on the 5th of August in 1815 at Whipsnade, Bedfordshire England. He was educated from a young age, and when he finished school he intended to go to the army, though his father suggested to use the money to move to Australia. From here he came to Sydney as a 17 year old boy and proved himself to be a great explorer when he crossed from Sydney to Adelaide with 1000 sheep successfully.
Edward was a respected man who helped out many other explores along his journey. He was honoured more for his endurance rather than the discoveries that he made.
Edward John Eyre Background
Edward John Eyre
By Morgan Armstrong & Naomi Bentley
Others In The Party
A Clear, Simple Map of the Path Taken
The Significance of the Expedition in Terms of its Contribution to Opening Up the Interior
Problems Encountered By the Expedition
The Fate of the Men Involved
Thanks For Listening !!
Problems that the expeditions encountered included:
- Hacking through bushes from 5am in the morning to 10pm at night.
-Walking in hot, dry conditions for long periods of time caused thirst and hunger and starvation with little supplies.
-It was hard to work in the dark.
-Different attacks from Aboriginal clans sometimes caused disagreement.
-Going north was one of the hardest areas to go through in which they soon moved to other areas.
-Cattle such as horses, cows and sheep found it tough and some ended up dying.
-It was hard to know where you were actually heading as there were not many paths or dirt tracks but some animal and Aboriginal tracks helped in some parts.
-No running water in most places.
-There were no maps.
- They survived by killing and eating kangaroos.
- Wylie even ate a dead penguin he found on the shore.
One of the most significant things about Edward was that learnt from his two first expeditions about the Aboriginal people and how they worked and he learnt to work with them rather than against.
During Edwards first and second expeditions his party consisted of John Baxter, E.B Scott, two Aborigines. During the third expedition the party consisted of his aboriginal friend Wylie, John Baxter, and 2 other aboriginals who often helped out along with thirteen horses, forty sheep and three month supplies.
The significance of Edwards expedition was that it was one of the longest expeditions across Australia on some extremely hard terrain. A major achievement was finding a path from the west to the east of Australia as the only connection up until then was by ship. The area was also not mapped out up until then they could only assume what was beyond the rugged cliffs on the coastline from what they could see from the ships.
No one was killed or injured in either the first or the second expeditions. But unfortunately during the third expedition John Baxter was shot. After this incident, the two other aborigines in the party ran away taking most of their supplies and leaving only Edward and Wylie to finish the journey.
Eyre was awarded a gold medal of the Royal Geographic Society for this incredible journey. Despite his hardship, Eyre lived to be 86. In 1846, he was made Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand. He was also made governor in various parts of the West Indies. Eyre retired to England, where he lived until his death in 1901.
Wylie was rewarded with a pension, and he remained in Albany, happy to be among his own people once again.
First and second expeditions went from Adelaide to central Australia =
The third expedition went from Adelaide to Albany =