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Joseph HAWDON (1813-1871)


"The first overlanders with stock from Sydney side to Port Phillip were Messrs. Ebden (afterwards treasurer), Joe Hawdon, Gardener (of Gardener's Creek), and Captain Hepburn. This was in 1837, one year before Mr. Mackinnon arrived in the colonies. In 1838 Captain Hepburn made a second overland trip, starting from Braidwood, New South Wales, with sheep purchased from Captain Coghill of that place, and in January same year (1838), Mr. Gardener started on second trip with 460 head of cattle purchased from my father, the late Dr. Reid. of Inverary Park, in Argyle; delivery of same made by myself at Yass end of January month. This trip with Mr. Gardener so far imbued me with the love for adventure that I followed with stock the June following, and formed stations on the Ovens River, near where the town of Wangaratta now stands. The first overlanders with stock to Adelaide were Joe Hawdon and Eyre, the latter afterwards celebrated as an explorer. Well can I remember the excitement caused by the then so-called race, who should be first to Adelaide, Hawdon or Eyre, but Hawdon was too good a bushman for Eyre and had more experience, and was a better judge of the season (it was a dry one). Hawdon wisely followed the course of the Murray right to Lake Alexandrina, and consequently had food and water in abundance. Eyre crossed from Goulburn to go over the Wimmera Plains--no doubt a shorter way had the season been propitious, but as it turned out dry he had to retrace his steps, and follow the track of friend Hawdon. Hawdon by this time had a long start, and arrived in Adelaide two weeks before Eyre, and had his stock disposed of. I may remark very few of us overlanders are now left, but should this meet the eye of any such of 1837 and 1838, I make no doubt they will remember the facts above stated."--Extract from "Answers to Correspondents," from Mr. David Reid, Moorwatha, Victoria, in the Australasian, May 4th, 1888.

From The History of Australian Exploration (index of names, dates and incidents).

Updated 18 August 04