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Overlanders crossing cattle over the River Murray
Title : Overlanders crossing cattle over the River Murray Overlanders crossing cattle over the River Murray
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Creator : Hamilton, George, 1812-1883, artist
Date of creation : 1839
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 177 x 265 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

A watercolour painting entitled 'Overlanders crossing cattle over the River Murray in the Year 1839. Drawn by G. Hamilton an overlander'. The painting portrays men, both on horses and foot, together with dogs and recalcitrant cattle. Another part of the mob is visible at the top of the cliff. Hamilton made sketches throughout his overland trip, which has been described in his 'Experiences of a Colonist Forty Years Ago and a Journey from Port Phillip to South Australia in 1939 by an Old Hand'; this painting may have been done en route or after he arrived in Adelaide, using his sketches.

A note accompanying the painting reads: 'This is from The story of Australian Art by William Moore'.
'A member of a Hertforshire family, George Hamilton came to Australia when he was a young man, and made his first appearance at Adelaide during 1839, when he overlanded a mob of cattle from Port Phillip. A lover of horses, he rode in a race on the day he arrived. After following mercantile pursuits he entered the civil service in 1848 and rose to the position of commissioner of Police, which he held from 1867 till his retirement in 1882. He was one of the original members of the Adelaide Club, founded in 1863...'

Hamilton exhibited in Adelaide's first two art exhibitions and a number of his drawings were engraved for Eyre's Journal of Discovery into Central Australia and for George Grey's Journals of two expeditions of discovery in north-west and Western Australia, during the years 1837, 38, and 39, ....

His 3 volumes, The Horse: Its Treatment in Australia, (Melbourne 1866); An Appeal for the Horse, (Adelaide 1866); and Experience of a Colonist Forty Years ago, Adelaide 1879, are illustrated with his own drawings.

Mary Thomas, daughter of early pioneers and printing press operators, Robert and Mary Thomas, referred to overlanders at Stringy Bark Forest in her diary (PRG 1160/6, p. 36);

Dec. 31, 1845.   Stringy Bark Forest. I have seen party of overlanders just arrived from the Murray, which place they reached, I believe, from Port Phillip with a herd of cattle, part of which I have seen. One of the overlanders borrowed a comb for his hair, he, as he averred, not having used one until the day previous for three months. As they have not been to Adelaide when I caught a glimpse of them, I must have seen a great deal of their primitive bush roughness, as their long beards, etc. partly proved.

Related names :

Hamilton, George (1812 - 1883)

Coverage year : 1839
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Murray River
Region : Riverland and Murraylands
Further reading :
Internet links :

Australian dictionary of biography online edition Hamilton, George

SA Memory Foundation of South Australia 1800-1851 Diary of Mary Thomas



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