Rare Books & Manuscript Collections

Rare Books & Manuscripts

Author: Carron , William , 1821-1876.

Title: Narrative of an expedition, undertaken under the direction of the late Mr. Assistant Surveyor E. B. Kennedy, for the exploration of the country lying between Rockingham Bay and Cape York. / by Wm. Carron, one of the survivors of the expedition. To which are added,
/ 1. The statement of the aboriginal native, Jackey Jackey, who accompanied Mr. Kennedy.
/ 2. The statement of Dr. Vallack and Captain Dobson, who rescued the survivors of the expedition; and
/ 3. The statement of Captain Simpson of the "Freak," who proceeded in search of Mr. Kennedy's papers, &c. [incl. three additional statements by Matthew Clarke, John Davis, & Mr. MacNate].

Published: Sydney: Printed by Kemp and Fairfax, Lower George Street, 1849.

97 (i.e. 125) p. : fold. map. 23 cm.

Online Access:
Wm. Carron to his father Charles Carron, Sydney, 1855

Map Fragment
, Map, & Other Related ills. (tp & 1856 Letter by Carron)

Read the full-text ed. of this book online at Project Gutenberg Australia

Map of Australia, locating Cape York [extreme north-east]

See a brief account of the 1848 Kennedy Expedition, with a Map
Note: A 1965 reprint of this work has the cover title: "Kennedy's Expedition", & states: "Reproduced... from a copy held in the Public Library of South Australia." -- In October 2008, NLA Reference Librarian Andrew Sergeant sent 3 images: "... the microfilm of the Mitchell Library's copy [in State Library, New South Wales collections in Sydney -- gd] contains a 2 page note written by Carron, and includes his signature."
The sample of Carron 's handwriting in the June 10, 1856 Letter proved strikingly similar to the 1855 mss "Dedication" to his father Charles Carron in RBR's copy of the "Narrative..."

Appendices on pp. 80-[125]. -- Imprint repeated in Colophon. --

Online text: "This ebook is available from the Australian Explorers Journals page" at http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0201121.txt

Contents: Ch.1: "We left Sydney on the 29th of April, 1848, in the barque "Tam O'Shanter' (Captain Merionberg); in company with H.M.S. "Rattlesnake." [pp.[1]-10]. -- Ch.2: "As I may now consider our expedition..." [pp.[11]-29]. -- Ch.3: "July 18. - Having loaded the horses, we started ... [pp.[30]-65]. -- Ch.4: "November 11. - We proceeded along the valley a short distance, with the view of forming our depo^t as near to Weymouth Bay as possible." [pp.[66]-78]. --
"State of the Weather at Weymouth Bay, / From 14th November to the 14th December, 1848." [Table, p.80]. --
No. I. / Statement of Jackey Jackey. [pp.[81]-87]. --
No. II. / Capt. Dobson's statement. [pp.87-88]. -- Dr. [Adoniah] Vallack's statement. [pp.88-99; "(Signed) AD. VALLACK."]. --
No. III. / Extract ["From the private log of T. BECKFORD SIMPSON, master of the brig "Freak" ...", pp.100-102]. --
Statement of Matthew Clarke. [pp.102-104]. --
Statement of John Davis [pp.104-122]. --
Mr. MacNate's statement [pp.123-97 (sic! for 125)] --
[p.125]: "(Signed) T. B. SIMPSON, / Master of the Freak. / THE END."

This is William Carron's 1849 record of Edmund Kennedy's ill-fated expedition to Cape York in far north Queensland. In 1848, Kennedy led the first expedition to seek a route to the tip of Cape York. William Carron was the expedition's botanist, and one of its three survivors. His notes were lost during the expedition, and the story had to be reconstructed later. --

Twelve Australians and the aboriginal guide Jackey Jackey (d.1854) were delivered to Rockingham Bay by ship with their supplies, carts, and horses in June 1848. Initial progress was slow, the carts proving difficult in crossing swamps and rivers. Later, some members of the expedition fell ill. In mid August irregularities were discovered in the sharing out of rations and Carron took over this duty. Numerous groups of Aborigines were seen, some friendly, others threatening and in some of the encounters spears were thrown and shots were returned. For example, on 9 Oct (p.60), "a great many natives came in all directions and making a great noise ... followed us at some distance, continually throwing spears after us for some time". By 13 November (p.66) Kennedy, Jackey and three others struck out in an attempt to reach the Cape quickly and bring help, leaving the weaker members near Weymouth Bay. -- Douglas, one of the Cape party, accidentally shot himself, so Kennedy and Jackey left the three men at `Pudding Pan Hill', Shelburne Bay, and pressed on. Nearing the tip of the Cape York, Kennedy was fatally speared. Jackey buried him and managed to slip away down what was later named the Escape River where he was taken on board the supply ship "Ariel" waiting for the expedition party in Albany Passage, and directed the rescuers. The three men at Pudding Pan For an account of Kennedy's 1848 expedition, along with sundry maps, portraits, & lengthy excerpts from Carron's book, see Ch.9.2 of Ernest Favenc's "EXPLORERS OF AUSTRALIA AND THEIR LIFE-WORK" at gutenberg.net.au/ausexplore2/0-favenc-online.htm

For biographical accounts of Carron, Kennedy & Jackey, see their entries in the online "Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Ed." at
or the
http://gutenberg.net.au/dictbiog/0-dict-biogI-K.html . --

A brief biography of Carron : "William Carron was born in 1821 at Pulham, Norfolk, England. - Carron was a gardener in England. He arrived in Sydney in 1844 in charge of plants for Alexander McLeay's garden and was was botanist to Edmund Kennedy's expedition to Cape York 1848. - He was a clerk in the Department of the Superintendent of Convicts from 1848-53 and from 1866-1875 he was a collector for the Sydney Botanic Gardens and collected information on forest reserves for the New South Wales Lands Department. - He was appointed inspector of forests and forestry ranger, Clarence district of New South Wales, in 1876. - Carron died at Grafton, New South Wales, in 1876."
(http://gutenberg.net.au/pages/ carron. html)." --

"Read of Kennedy's expedition by William CARRON: In 1848 the Assistant-Surveyor of New South Wales, Edmund Kennedy, led an expedition to explore Cape York Peninsula. In the previous year he had discovered the Thomson River and established that the Barcoo River was part of Cooper's Creek. - Arriving at Rockingham Bay (north of Townsville) in May, Kennedy's party, after much privation and toil, reached Weymouth Bay, where they established a depot. - Kennedy, with four others, Costigan, Dunn, Luff, and a native, Jacky Jacky, left this depot in an endeavour to reach Cape York, where a relief ship was expected. Kennedy and Jacky Jacky continued north, after leaving the others at Shelburne Bay. - Only the native reached Cape York, for in a skirmish with blacks Kennedy was killed. - Jacky Jacky guided the ship's relief party to Shelburne Bay, but Costigan, Dunn, and Luff had perished. At the Weymouth Bay depot, only two survivors were found." [here follows the partly col. map entitled "Kennedy's Expeditions 1847 & 1848"]

Local Note: RBR copy donated in September 2008 by Jim Dangerfield, who stated that he had obtained this historical document from family members in England, & that it recorded an "event quite famous in Australian history." -- In rather poor comdition, with covers & many pages loose. --

The "folded map" mentioned in other catalogue records consulted in 1st Search/WorldCats has been largely removed for preservation purposes. A remnant of it shows mss. annotations regarding the topography of the area explored in the right hand, truncated margin (see ill.).
This map fragment is precariously attached to the [loose] fly-leaf, on the verso of which one finds the following dedication/inscription in neat ink handwriting: "C. Carron . -- 1855 -- / The gift of his Son. / William Carron -- / -- Sydney - " (see ill.). Both the Map Remnant & the Dedication have been scanned to be available for general viewing on the archival website.

Queensland Discovery and exploration History Sources.
Kennedy, Edmund Besley Court, 1818-1848 Diaries.

Other Title(s): Kennedy's expedition.

Holdings: Archives & Special Collections DU 260 C3 1849 RBR

University of Manitoba
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