Cross the Mountains?

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser

12 June 1808

Yesterday a Bench of Magistrates assembled; before whom the following offences were heard - James Tracy, for absenting himself from his master early in May and continuing absent until within a few days since.

The prisoner stated, that he had, in company with two others set out to cross the mountains in quest of a hitherto undiscovered settlement; the chimerical existence of which has proved fatal to many ignorant and credulous adventurers.

He stated likewise that they had crossed three ridges of mountains and three rivers; that they subsisted during their absence upon flour with a small quantity of which they had equipped them, selves, mixed with water.

His master was present at the examination and gave the prisoner a character which weighed with the Bench, in mitigation of the punishment which his offence of absconding from his labour must otherwise have drawn upon him; but as it was necessary at the same time by example to deter others from similar misdeeds, he was sentenced 100 lashes.