Hume and Hovell

Hamilton Hume
Hamilton Hume:  Born June 19, 1791, Died April 19, 1873
William Hovell:  Born April 26, 1786, Died November 9, 1875

The Hume and Hovell expedition was commissioned by Sir Thomas Brisbane, the governor of New South Wales in 1824.  Hamilton Hume was born in Australia, and was to be the first native-born Australian to lead a expeditionary party.  Hovell, on the other hand, was a formal British naval captain.  This great disparity in background lead to disagreement between the two men later in the expedition.  The expedition's purpose was to find new grazing land south of Sydney, and to find out the destination of the rivers of New South Wales.

Six convicts and one Aborigine guide accompanied Hume and Hovell on their expedition.  These included the leaders' personal indentured servants and skilled bushmen.  Of particular note was Thomas Boyd, who gained the distinction of being the first white man to swim across the Murray River.  (This was crucial for the party, because he swam with a rope in his teeth to help establish a crossing.)  The Aborigine guide was also crucial, as he helped to show the party a pass through the Great Dividing Range.
The expedition left Sydney in Octover 1824, and went south toward the Murrumbidgee River.  The party then crossed other rivers such as the Murray River, Ovens River, and Goulburn River, entering Victoria.  They used an aboriginee trail to cross the Great Dividing Range near Pretty Sally.  The expedition ended when they reached Corio Bay, near Melbourne, and mistook it for a different bay due to failing navigational equipment.  Because of this, the party decided to turn back on December 19th.  They arrived back in Sydney on January 18th, 1825.  Because of disagreements toward the end of their trek, they raced each other back to Sydney, and each claimed to be the greater leader in their accounts.  Both, however, were awarded large land grants for their information about the Australian interior:  they had found fertile land between the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers.  

William Hovell