James Fitzpatrick Endorses Hamilton Hume

The Sydney Morning Herald

Friday 16 May 1873


My attention having been called to an article in your journal of the 28th ultimo, wherein it is alleged that Captain Hovell has stated that I did not endorse all that the late Mt. Hamilton Hume had reported about his fellow explorer in reply I have to say that I do most emphatically endorse Mr. Hamilton Hume's version, and that neither Captain Hovell or anyone else has any authority for saying I have did to the contrary.

Whilst on the subject, and for general information, I beg to state that we did camp at 'Cooma ' (though denied by Captain Hovell), that Boyd was not lent by Mr. Broughton but, was the servant of the late Mr. John Kennedy, of Appin.

 With reference to crossing the Murrumbidgee River, the cart may have been Mr. Hovell's, but I most distinctly remember that Mr. Hume did the work and made the punt, and then, with Boyd's assistance, dragged it across the river, during this time Captain Hovell sat on a bag of flour, and took no part in the proceedings.

After Mr. Hume crossed, he sent the punt back for Captain Hovell, who then crossed with the bag of flour.

As regards Captain Hovell's statement of the crossing the River Hume, it is at variance with the fact.

Mr. Hume got the wattles, made the raft and put a tarpaulin round them, and then, with Boyd, crossed the river.

During the time Mr. Hume was making the oft heard angry words between him and Mr. Hovell, and I most, distinctly, heard Mr. Hume say, in reply to a complaint of Captain Hovell's about the wearing out of the tarpaulin, that he (Hume) would yet not be deterred, and, if necessary, would kill one of his horses, and make a boat of his skin sooner than abandon the enterprise, for, go ahead he would.

As to whom the credit is due for the successfully carrying out the expedition, I most unhesitatingly say that Mr. Hume was the leader, and that during the journey he was always in advance of the party, we following his guidance.

James Fitzpatrick.

Glenlee House, near Campbelltown, May 12.

[These letters must close the correspondence.-Ed.]