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Now being at the farthest of my journey, and just upon the point o setting off on our return, I found myself elevated in a manner I knew not why ….. The journey being a dangerous one, I well knew before I set off but as the adage is ‘nothing venture nothing won’ being imprinted on my mind, surrounding all the obstacles that fell my way.

George Caley

Why have few people heard of Sir Joseph Bank’s eccentric botanical collector George Caley or the French surveyor and map-maker Francis Barrallier? These men and many others were the first explorers in the Blue Mountains a decade before Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth and yet their names and their journeys are virtually forgotten.

And why haven’t we heard more about the convict Jim Wilson who preferred to live with the First Australians and guided the first journey out of the Cumberland Plains in search of the fabled Paradise? And why do we know virtually nothing about the rich landowner Sir John Jamison who led the first recorded white-water expedition in Australia?

Here, in the most comprehensive study of early colonial exploration and published together for the first time are the journals of all the explorers who first probed the sandstone ramparts of the Blue Mountains. They are presented complete and unabridged to set the records straight about the true history of European exploration in the Blue Mountains. To address the neglect of the part played by the First Australians in these journeys. And to explode the myth that these men were ‘agents of Empire’.

On Suspect Terrain Edited by Ross Brownscombe

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