A tale of two Forrests, two James and two Tommys in search of an inland sea.
Forrest expedition exploring party, 1874
State Library of Western Australia (004541D)

On 12 July 1872, John Forrest wrote to Malcolm Fraser, Surveyor General, seeking support to undertake an expedition to ‘follow the Murchison to it’s source, and then continue in an east and north-east direction to the telegraph line’. (Explorations in Australia. John Forrest)

John Forrest and a party of five men,  Alexander Forrest, James Kennedy, James Sweeney, Tommy Windich and Tommy Pierre, left Geraldton on 1 April 1874 in search of  inland water sources. The party reached the Port Darwin to Adelaide telegraph line on 27 September 1874. They continued onto Adelaide where they were welcomed early in the morning on 3 November 1874.
“Reaching the Overland Telegraph Line” G. F. Angas, 1874.
Sourced from “Explorations in Australia” by John Forrest, 1875

Join the State Library as the project team search the archives and other Australian institutions to explore this historical trek and exploration histories.

Check the Resources page for materials held by the State Library, or the  Updates page for interesting finds from the collection.

A Google Map shows the 1874 trek through Western Australia, including camp locations, excerpts from John and Alexander’s diaries, peaks and springs, and locations of Aboriginal communities.