Page:Last of the tasmanians.djvu/165

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138
THE LAST OF THE TASMANIANS.

the east to Lake Echo on the west, and driving the Blacks into Tasman's Peninsula.

An inspection of the map of Tasmania will enable the reader to understand the position, and comprehend the scheme developed in the order of September 25th, 1830. A more careful study of the map will enable him to trace the operations of the several divisions during the period prescribed. He cannot fail to be struck with the military sagacity of the authorities, and their care to avoid the risk of failure.

The Survey Department was severely taxed on this occasion, as everything depended upon a knowledge of the country. But therein lay the weakness of the scheme. It was long before the days of trigonometrical survey in the colony, so well conducted afterwards by Governor Denison. Notwithstanding such zealous officers as Messrs. Evans and Frankland were then at the head of that department, little progress had been made. Men took up land before survey, and the adjustment of acreage between neighbours was an established source of contention. Even prominent points of physical features were incorrectly laid down and we have but to compare the map of the period with the one issued by Messrs. Walch of Hobart Town, to comprehend the survey difficulties of Colonel Arthur. As it was impossible to do better at the time, the leaders of parties were each provided with a copy of the little map published by Dr. Boss, editor of the Courier, by which they were expected to guide their march. To appreciate the obstacles meeting the adventurous trackers, the nature of the country should be understood.

To illustrate the difficulties of Bush exploration in Tasmania, the relation of an experience of the writer may be pardoned. It was in 1842 that much excitement prevailed in Hobart Town, about a Fall two hundred feet in depth, which was almost in sight of the settlement. Accompanied by my friend Mr. George Washington Walker, the ex-Quaker Missionary, so called, and others, under the guidance of Mr. Dickenson, the florist, I went to visit this wonderful sight. The only way then known, and that which we had to follow, was first to ascend Mount Wellington, climbing over dislocated masses of greenstone rocks, crossing fallen trees of huge magnitude, and piercing a thicket that was an enemy to broad-cloth. Passing over the mountain, we came