• Ernest Henry Field notes and letters

  • The papers include reminiscences, letters and field notes compiled by Ernest Henry concerning his exploring trips and mining ventures. Frequent mention is made of his contacts with Aborigines. Included are copies of the biography of Henry, 'The prospector of Argylla', by S E Pearson, and information compiled by Pearson on the Kalkadoons. Biographical notes on A D Henry and Edward Campbell Earl, newspaper clippings on Ernest Henry and information on the death of Inspector Beresford are included.

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    OM77-16 Ernest Henry Papers
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    State Library Qld
OM77-16 Ernest Henry Papers

In turn a seaman, soldier, pastoralist, prospector and mine owner, Ernest Henry was born in England in 1837 and emigrated to Victoria with his two brothers in 1858. After travelling overland to Brisbane, Henry joined George Dalrymple’s expedition which explored the Bowen and Burdekin River districts. He took up a pastoral run on the Dawson River in 1860 and leased Mt McConnell Station on the Upper Burdekin, before exploring the Upper Flinders River and establishing a third run in 1863 which he called Hughenden Station after his family’s ancestral home. Henry was the first permanent settler in the district, but financial problems forced the sale of Hughenden to his cousin, Robert Gray in 1865; Mt McConnell and Conway were consigned to Henry’s creditors. At this point Henry turned his back on pastoralism and began prospecting in north-western Queensland. In May 1867 he discovered rich copper ore on the Cloncurry River.  Forming a partnership, Henry worked the Great Australian Copper Mine until 1879 when he sold out and returned to prospecting. In 1882 he discovered further extensive copper deposits at Argylla and Mount Oxide, retaining his interest in these mines until 1913 when he retired to Sydney. The pioneer of the Cloncurry copper fields died in 1919.


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