Narrative of the Overland Journey of Sir John and Lady Franklin and Party from Hobart Town to Macquarie Harbour 1842.


Burn accompanied the Franklin’s on this apparently epochal journey through what are evidently difficult terrain, weather, and rivers. Burn kept a travel diary of the experience with full respect for the Governor General and his wife. Most interesting is his account of Franklin as preacher: p. 15, Sunday, 3rd May 1842: By 8 A.M., every tent, save Lady Franklin’s, had been struck, most of the knapsacks packed, and breakfast speedily thereafter dispatched. His Excellency very shortly summoned the men, and in a thrilling tone of most impressive earnestness, read the morning service, to which he added a short but very striking sermon on the edict of Darius which consigned Daniel to the den of lions. In many a gorgeous temple have I listed to the soul-reviving promises of the Scriptures, but I much question if ever the language of sacred truth was more generally or attentively heard, than whilst delivered amid drizzling rain in the wild bush, to some who had proved most reckless violators of their country’s laws [20 convicts were on the journey as carriers and palanquin-bearers]. May the truths of that holy hour live in their hearts, and sanctify our own. The weather becoming worse and worse, with every indication of an unfavourable continuance, Lady Franklin, too, remaining considerably indisposed, the tents were once more pitched, and our quarters reoccupied for the dreary uncomfortable day.