Collection RS154 - Narrative of the overland journey

Index to RS154

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Narrative of the overland journey


  • 1842 (Creation)

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1 microfilm copy

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Name of creator


Biographical history

David Burn (1799?-1875), settler and author, author of the first Australian drama to be performed on stage, The Bushrangers, was born in Scotland, the son of David Burn and his wife, Jacobina, née Hunter (1763-1851). After her husband's death, she sailed from Portsmouth in the Westmoreland and arrived in Hobart Town in May 1821. With help from Governor Lachlan Macquarie she became the first woman to be granted land in Van Diemen's Land, taking it near Hamilton and calling it Ellangowan. In February 1824 she was granted 500 adjoining acres (202 ha) and next year applied for more. By 1829 she had 2000 acres (809 ha) by grant, 1200 (486 ha) by purchase, 2000 sheep, 150 cattle and many other assets, but a further application was refused, because her existing grants had not been improved.
Burn died in prosperous circumstances at Auckland on 14 June 1875, he had two children and was married twice. He was a prodigious writer and many of his manuscripts are preserved at the Mitchell library, Sydney, including his reminiscences and diaries. He was also author of Van Diemen's Land, Moral, Physical and Political, and Strictures on the Navy.
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Microfilm copy of 'Narrative of the overland journey of Sir John and Lady Franklin and party from Hobart Town to Macquarie Harbour, 1842' by David Burn - extracted from Colburn's United Services Magazine, Vol.2-3, June-November, 1843

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This material is made available for personal research and study purposes under the University of Tasmania Standard Copyright Licence. For any further use permission should be obtained from the copyright owners. For assistance please contact

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Publication note

First published in six monthly parts in the United Services Journal, June--December 1843 (and some brief extracts also appeared in the Launceston Examiner of 23 June 1928). Burn's original manuscript is in the Mitchell Library.
Digital copy available in parts at

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