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Babbage writes his report
Title : Babbage writes his report Babbage writes his report
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Creator : Hergott, Joseph Albert Franz David, 1823-1861
Source : Sketches rgssams 54c
Date of creation : 1858
Additional Creator : Babbage, Benjamin Herschel, 1815-1878
Format : Artwork
Contributor : Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Inc
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Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Inc.. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Inc. and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

In 1858 the South Australian government funded a major expedition which would include

'The thorough exploration, as far as practicable, of the country lying between the western shore of Lake Torrens and the eastern shore of Lake Gairdner, and thence northwards. The surveying and mapping of the country traversed. The surveying and mapping of the western shore of Lake Torrens, so as to remove the doubts at present existing as to the extent, direction and outline of the lake. The surveying and mapping of the eastern and northern shore of Lake Gairdner, in like manner. Accurately laying down on the map the latitude, and as correctly as possible the longitude, of all remarkable landmarks, ranges, watercourses, lakes, permanent fresh water springs, and waterholes.' (SAPP 25, 1858 p. 4)

Benjamin Herschel Babbage was selected to lead this expedition. His botanist was Joseph David Hergott. Hergott was also a talented artist and drew a series of humorous drawings of expedition life. In this one Babbage is shown writing up his lengthy expedition report.

Despite his instructions for a thorough survey of the country west of Lake Torrens, Babbage was criticised for the slowness of his work and would be replaced later by Peter Egerton Warburton. The Babbage expedition was provisioned for 18 months, so speedy results were hardly expected. It was equipped with drays, a tank cart for water, photographic equipment and surveying instruments. It also carried a still for producing fresh water from salt water. The party consisted of WG Harris, Thomas Warriner, Hergott, J Dawson, S Thompson, H Kornoll, George Nason, H Lewis and J Stringer. Hergott's collections on the expedition were assessed by Ferdinand von Mueller and are held in several herbariums. He also worked on John McDouall Stuart's 1860 expedition and Hergott Springs (now Marree) was named for him.
Related names :

Babbage, Benjamin Herschel, 1815-1878

Hergott, Joseph Albert Franz David, 1823-1861

Coverage year : 1858
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :

Gill, Dawn, Iron tracks and dusty trails: the life of Benjamin Herschel Babbage Henley Beach, S. Aust.: Seaview Press, c2002

Mueller, Ferdinand, Baron von, Report on the plants collected during Mr. Babbage's expedition into the north-western interior of South Australia in 1858 Melbourne, 1858

Orchard, A. E. A history of systematic botany in Australia, Flora of Australia 2nd ed Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Study; CSIRO, 1999-

South Australian Parliamentary Paper no. 25, 1858 Northern Exploration. Reports etc of explorations into the interior, by Messrs Babbage, Warburton, Geharty and Parry

Threadgill, Bessie South Australian land exploration, 1856 to 1880 Adelaide: Board of Governors of the Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia, 1922

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