Burke & Wills Web
The online digital research archive of expedition records
© 2020

to the Exploration Committee of the Royal Society of Victoria.

Original item held at the State Library of Victoria, MS13071, Box 2076/2.
Royal Society of Victoria, Exploration Committee Records:
Part IV: Applications to join the VEE received by the EC.


Melbourne, March 1st 1860

To the Exploration Committee of Victoria

I beg to offer my services as a leader in the proposed exploration of the interior. I have for several years taken a great interest in the subject and prepared myself in various ways for the duties of such a command. In December, 1857 I forwarded to the Exploration Committee of the Philosophical Institute an offer to attempt the traverse of the Australian continent form the River Albert in the Gulf of Carpentaria to the settlements on the Southern coast.

Further study of the subject has confirmed me in the opinion that the exploration of the interior may be best accomplished by making a series of transverse journeys across the continent from the Northern coast – and I beg respectfully to forward herewith a statement of my review on the subject:–

In respect to my ability to describe the natural phenomena met with during the journey I may state that I am thoroughly conversant with geology and meteorology. I 1857 I read before the Philosophical Institute of Victoria a paper on the "Origin of Whirlwinds" which, although it was not selected by the council of the Institute for publication, met with the decided approval of the Astronomer Royal of England, and was through him published in the Philosophical Magazine, a copy of which I enclose.

In conclusion I would respectfully remind your Committee that geographical knowledge has been extended much more by individual effort than by large and costly expeditions.

I am, Gentlemen,
Your most obedient servant
Thomas Belt

Melbourne, 10 March 1860.

Having determined to proceed on a visit to Europe, I beg most respectfully to withdraw my application for the leadership of the proposed exploring expedition.

I am gentlemen,
your most obedient servant,
Thomas Belt.

Related archive: State Library of Victoria, MS13071, Applications to join the Victorian Exploration Expedition received by the Exploration Committee. Alphabetical list of applicants. Belt: Box 2076/1, ex1004-035.

www.burkeandwills.net.au Burke & Wills Web The digital research archive of expedition records
© 2020, Dave Phoenix