Journal Entries by Thomas Mitchell

27 October (Sydney)

AGREEABLE TRAVELLING.
October 27.
Brightly shone the sun, the sky was dressed in blue and gold and “the
fields were full of star-like flowers, and overgrown with joy,”* on the
first day of my ride homeward along the green banks of the Murrumbidgee,
having crossed the river in a small canoe that morning. Seven months had
elapsed since I had seen [...]

14 – 24 October

October 14.
As we proceeded the broad swampy bed of this river or morass appeared on
our right for a mile, the country being still covered by an open forest
of box, having also grass enough upon it. At eight miles we approached
some low hills of clay-slate, and I ascended one to the southward of our
route from which [...]

8 – 14 October

CONTINUE THROUGH A LEVEL FOREST COUNTRY.
October 9.
Having buried on the left bank another letter of instructions for Mr.
Stapylton according to certain marks as previously arranged with him, we
mounted our boat on the carriage (which had been brought across early in
the morning) and continued our journey. I expected to find a ford in this
river but, considering [...]

24 September – 8 October

MANY RIVULETS.
September 24.
The morning was rainy and our way having to be traced up the ravines and
round the hills was very tortuous for the first three miles. We then
reached the dividing part of the range and descended immediately after
into valleys of a less intricate character. Having passed over the swampy
bed of a rivulet flowing southward, [...]

14 – 23 September

ASCEND MOUNT ABRUPT.
September 14.
I was most anxious to ascend Mount Abrupt, the first peak to the
northward of Mount Sturgeon, that I might close my survey of these
mountains and also reconnoitre the country before us. This morning clouds
hung upon the mountains however, and I could scarcely indulge a hope that
the weather would be favourable for the [...]

29 August – 13 September

BEACH OF PORTLAND BAY.
On reaching the seashore at this beach I turned to observe the face of
Tommy Came-last, one of my followers who, being a native from the
interior, had never before seen the sea. I could not discover in the face
of this young savage, even on his first view of the ocean, any expression
of surprise; [...]

18 – 29 August

THE BOATS LAUNCHED ON THE GLENELG.
August 18.
An uncommonly fine morning succeeded a clear frosty night. The boats were
hoisted out to be launched once on the bosom of the newly discovered
Glenelg; and they were loaded with what the party going with them might
require for ten days. I left with Mr. Stapylton instructions that the men
under his [...]

4 – 17 Aug

August 4.
Proceeding over ground of a similar character we crossed several fine
streams, some flowing in shallow channels over rocks, others in deep
ravines. The ground on the higher parts was however still so soft as to
yield to the wheels, and very much impeded the progress of the party,
especially at one place where an extensive lake, full [...]

July 27 – Aug 3

NATIVES AND THE BULLOCK-DRIVER.
July 27.
The cart which had fallen behind came in about three o’clock in the
morning. The natives had soon been heard about the solitary driver, and
four of them came up to him and demanded tomahawks; but being an old
bushranger, he, on their approach, laid out all his cartridges one by one
before him on [...]

17 – 26 July

PLAINS OF STIFF CLAY.
July 17.
The ground on the sides of the low hills was still so soft (and in this
respect I had found the country we had lately crossed even worse than
that previously traversed by the carts) that the only prospect which
remained to us of being able to continue the journey was by proceeding
over the [...]