To John Shillinglaw   9 September 1872



It has been with some sorrow, dear Mr Shillinglaw, that I have read your otherwise splendid review of Mr Skeene's map 1 (which I have not got yet myself), as I find the honored names of Angus McMillan & Count Strzelecki omitted among those of the Explorers! our friend of Bushy Park was the real discoverer of Gipps land, from the Snowy River via Omeo over the alps down to the Avon & Mitchell, while the Count followed the track and then pushed independently through South Gipps land into Western-port. I may also say, that the Barkly Range, Mt Hotham and many other alpine mountains were placed by myself on the map (and named by me also) as far back as 1854, 1855 & 1857 in 3 very toilsome journeys through our Snowy mountains before any miners tracks or settlements were formed. These journeys, related in my reports to Parliament at the time, are of more geographic importance than those of several explorers specially mentioned on Mr Skeene's map. It is true my name does not occur on Petermanns map, but I got full credit in his "Mittheilungen",2 and my modesty forbade me to write to Gotha myself. As Mr Skeene had my copy of Prof Petermanns map (in which I helped for 20 years) as a basis, my poor name became omitted also on this occasion; but a Victorian should not be altogether overlooked in Victoria! Perhaps you will see the amends made, as it would come more gracefully from you than from myself. I may mention that I discovered also the remotest sources of the Yarra in 1860 on Mt Baw Baw 5000 feet high, which mountain with many other snowy hights I first ascended. I traced the Yarra thence down 30 miles, but had in a very harrassing journey no means to construct a map. But the Barkly Range, Mt Hotham and some other mountains were fixed by actual triangulation.

I can secure for you the honorary position in several geographic Societies, such as Hamburg, Lisbon &c, so soon as a copy of your important work on Flinders is out.3 You can have subsequently another title page printed

Regardfully your

Ferd von Mueller


Strzelecki, as you know, was also one of the alpine Explorers of Tasmania.

Shillinglaw's review of Skene (1872) appeared in the Argus, Saturday 7 September 1872, p. 6. The only overland explorers mentioned in the review are Hume & Hovell, Sturt and Mitchell.
See Petermann (1871), part 1, p. 10.
A prospectus for Shillinglaw's study of Flinders was published in 1879, but the book itself seems never to have appeared. See Ferguson (1941-86), vol. 7, p. 283.

Please cite as “FVM-72-09-09,” in Correspondence of Ferdinand von Mueller, edited by R.W. Home, Thomas A. Darragh, A.M. Lucas, Sara Maroske, D.M. Sinkora, J.H. Voigt and Monika Wells accessed on 10 August 2022,