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Oxley was born in England in the early part of 1781. In his youth he entered the navy, saw active service in many parts of the world, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. He came to Australia in January, 1812, and was appointed Surveyor-General.

Throughout his career in Australia, Oxley would seem to have won the friendship and respect of all he came in contact with. Captain Charles Sturt, in the journal of his first expedition, wrote of him as follows: -

[Map. Hume and Hovell's Route 1824; Sturt's Route, 1829 and 1830; Major Mitchell's Route 1836.]



The Imperial Government having long considered the feasibility of further exploration of the interior of Australia voted 5000 pounds for the purpose, and offered the command of the expedition to A.C. Gregory. As the inexplicable disappearance of Leichhardt was then exciting much interest in Australia, search for the lost expedition was to form one of its chief duties.

19.1. AUSTIN.

By 1854 the gold fever was running high in Australia, and each colony was eager to discover new diggings within its borders. Robert Austin, Assistant Surveyor-General of Western Australia, was instructed to take charge of an inland exploring party to search for pastoral country, and to examine the interior for indications of gold.

Return from Carpentaria to Cooper's Creek. Mr. Wills's Journals from February 19th to April 21st, 1861. Illness and Death of Gray. The Survivors arrive at Cooper's Creek Depot and find it deserted. A Small Stock of Provisions left. Conduct of Brahe. Report of the Royal Commission.

Proceedings in Melbourne. Meeting of the Exploration Committee. Tardy Resolutions. Departure of Mr. Howitt. Patriotic Effort of Mr. Orkney. South Australian Expedition under Mr. McKinlay. News of White Men and Camels having been seen by Natives in the Interior. Certain Intelligence of the Fate of the Explorers reaches Melbourne.

The attempt to reach South Australia and Adelaide by Mount Hopeless. Mistake of selecting that Route. Mr. Wills's Journals from the 23rd of April to the 29th of June, 1861. Adventures with the Natives. Discovery of Nardoo as a Substitute for Food. Mr. Burke and King go in search of Natives as a last resource. Mr. Wills left alone in the Desert. The Last Entry in his Journal.

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