Arthur Vogan to J. Duncan   6 November 1890

Royal Geographical Society of Australasia

Nov 6 1890

J. Duncan Esqr



My dear Sir,

I trust you will forgive the liberty I take in asking you to do me the following service:

Sir Thomas Elder has placed a large sum of money, for the purposes of Exploratory Work in Central Australia,1 in the hands of Baron Sir Ferd. Von Müeller K.C.B.2 FRS &c.

I am desirous of joining the party; but it will need all the influence I can bring to bear to obtain me a place on staff as there are so many good men applying.3

I was the sole representative of N. Zealand on the R.G.S.4 of Australasia's New Guinea expedition of 1885; and I want you to get me a letter to Baron Von Mueller from the Premier, or Dr Hector, or Dr Buller, asking a place for me as a N.Z. representative as well as for my past services in this line. I was artist on the expedition mentioned above; and discovered the Einsleigh river5 thermal springs — the only terraced springs yet known in Australia — in 1888 (and am credited with this & other geological discovery in Professors Jack's (Queenld Gov. Geologist) and Etheridge's (N.S.W. Gov Pathologist6) new book on Australia,7 which I have assisted to illustrate.8 Last year I made a geological report for the R.G.S. of A on 1000 miles of new country in N. W. Queensland, in the vicinity of the Herbert river, lat. 21°S.9

Any assistance you can render me in this way will be gratefully remembered.

I may mention that Sir George Grey has kindly given me an introductory letter to Sr T. Elder pressing my claims; I am also backed up by Dr Ramsay, Curator Australian Museum, Harrie Wood, Asst Secty Mines NSW; Maiden, Curator of Techl10 Museum &c as well as our branch of Society.

I trust Mrs Duncan & yourself are well — I hear your sons are doing well — and that Miss Duncan has enjoyed her trip to England. It may interest you to know that I have a book coming out in London in Jany.11

With kd regards to Mrs Duncan & yourself,

Believe me,

My dear Sir

Ever yours regardfully

Arthur J Vogan


P.S. As a well-known Journalist the Premier may be enclined to help me.12

Elder Scientific Exploring Expedition, 1891-2.
M’s British knighthood was K.C.M.G., not K.C.B.
See M to E. Ramsay, 11 November 1890.
Royal Geographical Society.
Einasleigh River, Qld.
Jack & Etheridge (1892), p. 626.
There are no illustrations in vol. 1. In vol. 2, none of the 44 palaeontological plates are signed by Vogan; plates 45–58 are geological sections, none of which are signed; plate 59, a plan of the Charters Towers Goldfields, credits the engraver but not the delineator; the plates 60-68 are microscopic petrographical sections, none drawn by Vogan. Artists involved in the Geological Map are not identified, the credit being 'Drawn and lithographed at the Surveyor General's office'.
Not identified.
Vogan (1891).
No supporting letter to M from Harry Atkinson, then in his fourth term (1887-91) as Premier of New Zealand, has been found. Vogan was not a member of the exploration party; see Lindsay (1983), p. 15, for a list of members and their roles. The medical officer was also the photographer, but no artist was included.

Please cite as “FVM-M90-11-06,” 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 4 December 2023,