1873 - HUME, THE EXPLORER. - Another old identity, whose name will always be intimately associated with the Australian colonies, has passed away. The death of Hamilton Hume took place on the 19th of April, at Cooma Cottage, Yass, New South Wales. Hamilton Hume was born at Parramatta, an the 18th June, 1797. He was the eldest of four children of Mr. Commissary-General A. H. Hume, who, in 1797, had left England for Australia on board tho frigate Guardian, commanded by Riou, "the gallant, good Riou," of subse- quent historic fame. When but seventeen Mr. Hume discovered the country around Berrima. In 1815, he thoroughly explored that country. In 1817, at the request of Governor Macquarie, Mr. Hume accompanied Mr. Surveyor Meehan on a southern expedition to the " new country." During this trip they discovered Lake Bathurst, Goulburn Plains, and neighborhood. In 1818, Mr. Hume was joined with Messrs. Meehan and Oxley in an exploring expedition to Jervis Bay. In 1822 he was engaged on Lieutenant Johnston's east coast survey, in search of rivers, during which trip Mr. Hume, with Mr. Alexander Barry, penetrated from the Upper Clyde to the present site of the thriving town of Braidwood.
In 1821 Mr. Hume, in company with Mr. G. Barber (his brother-in-law), Mr. J. K. Hume, and Mr. W. H. Broughton, discovered the Yass Plains.
In 1824 Mr. Berry suggested to Governor Brisbane that Hamilton Hume was a most suitable person to lead the exploring party which his Excellency intended to despatch from Cape Howe or Wilson's Promontory back to Sydney overland. A party was formed consisting of eight persons:-
Mr. Hume and his three servants, Claude Bossowa, Henry Angel and James Fitzpatrick; Mr. Hovell, and his three, Thomas Boyd, William Bollard, and Thomas Smith. The instructions given to the party were to take their departure from Lake George, and to push on at all hazards to Western Port; in the event of meeting a river not fordable, to trace its source sea- ward as far as possible. On the 17th October, 1824, the party left Mr. Hume's station Lake George. On the 18th they camped near the site of his late residence, Cooma, close to the town of Yass. From the 19th to the 22nd, they were detained at Marjurigon, the Murrumbidgee being in flood. Resolved to push on, Mr. Hume took his cart to pieces and made a punt of i t with his tarpaulin, and so overcame what seemed to his companions an insuperable difficulty. After crossing the Tumut River, Mr. Hume found that they were getting into too high a country, as he observed the Snowy Mountains crossing their course. He therefore altered his route and steered for the west. On the 16th November they reached the river, now known as the Murray.
Mr. Hume called it the Hume, after his father. On the 20th they crossed the Mitta Mitta in a boat made by Mr. Hume of wattles, and covered with his tarpaulin. Crossing the Little River, passing over the present Ovens gold-fields (Beechworth), they reached the Goulburn River. From thence they made Mount Disappointment, there they met with a complete check. After desperate endeavors to penetrate the scrub in the direction they were making, they were at last compelled to change their course, by an infusion of more west. At their camp, near where the city of Kilmore now stands, there was a display on the part of the men of considerable discontent. Hume made this compromise with the party, that if no decided prospect occurred of making the coast within the next two or three days, he would give up the journey and return homewards. On the 13th December, Hume, in advance of his party, observed an opening and a fall of the land far to tho south. Three days afterwards they made the coast, camping, on the 15th December, near the present site of Geelong.
In the year 1828, Mr. Hume went as second to Captain Sturt on that famous Australian explorer's expedition to trace the Macquarie River. From the experience of that journey Sturt pronounced Hume to be an able, sagacious, and intrepid bushman. The acquaintance then formed ripened into a friendship which was never broken. Some of Sturt's letters to his friends give pleasant glimpses into the nature of the regard which existed between them.
Captain Sturt was very anxious to secure Hume's services a second time, but private interest compelled the latter to forego what otherwise would have been so pleasurable an employment. After 1828, the career of Mr. Hume ceased to present points of special interest to the general public. He had done his work as an explorer. The remainder of his years was spent in the successful pursuit of pastoral occupations, by which he amassed a competency, retiring at the close of his career to spend his days at his seat upon the banks of the Yass River, to which he had given the name of Cooma. - (Ref - Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)(about) Previous issue Tuesday 10 June 1873).
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