Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 618 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR THOMAS LIVINGSTONE MITCHELL (1792-1855), Australian explorer, was born at Craigend, Stirlingshire, Scotland, on the 16th of June 1792. From 18o8 to the end of the Peninsular War he served in Wellington's army, and was raised to the rank of major. He was appointed to survey the battlefields of the Peninsula, and his map of the Lower Pyrenees is still admired. In 1827 he was appointed deputy surveyor-general, and after-wards surveyor-general of New South Wales. He made four exploring expeditions between 1831 and 1846, and discovered the Peel, the Namoi, the Gwyder and other rivers, traced the course of the Darling and Glenelg, and was the first to penetrate into that portion of the country which he named Australia Felix. His last expedition was mainly devoted to the discovery of a route between Sydney and the Gulf of Carpentaria, and during the journey he explored the Fitzroy Downs, and discovered the Balonne, Victoria, Warrego and other streams. In 1838, while in England, Mitchell published his Three Expeditions into the Interior of East Australia. In 1839 he was knighted and made a D.C.L. of Oxford. During this visit he took with him some of the first specimens of gold and the first diamond found in Australia. In 1848 the narrative of his second expedition was published in London, Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia. In 1851 he was sent to report on the Bathurst goldfields, and in 1853 he again visited England and patented his boomerang propeller for steamers. He died at Darling Point, Sydney, on the 5th of October 1855. Besides the above works, Mitchell wrote a book on Geographical and Military Surveying (1827), an Australian Geography, and a translation of the Lusiad of Camoens. During his tenure of office as surveyor-general he published an admirable map (still in use) of the settled districts of New South Wales.

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