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From Antarctica to the Gold Rushes

Commander Alexander Smith RN served his country with fearless resolution for seventeen years on the quarterdeck, encountering many adventures on the high seas - an intrepid voyager in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Under the command of Captain James Clark Ross, he became a heroic polar explorer in the north Atlantic and was chosen for the epic 1839-1843 British Antarctic Expedition aboard the Erebus in the pivotal rank of First Mate.For the first time, the expeditions Erebus and Terror penetrated the furthest south into the Antarctic and discovered the ice barrier despite competition of Charles Wilkes' American and Dumont d'Urville's French expeditions. The Ross expedition was the first to go where no human being had gone before.Retiring from the Royal Navy, he was appointed Goldfields Commissioner in Castlemaine during the Victorian gold rushes in 1853. Later, he was elected as a pioneering member of parliament, became a homesteader and gardener and developed a fine reputation as a botanist and extraordinary, but forgotten life.
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About the Author

John Ramsland OAM is Emeritus Professor at the University of Newcastle NSW and a well-regarded historian. He is an author of several books and many articles. Children of the Backlanes, Custodians of the Soil (now translated into French), and Remembering Aboriginal Heroes (co-authored) are considered classics in their field. Brave & Bold won a prestigious NSW Writer's Centre award. His most recent books are The Rainbow Beach Man (2009) and Cook's Hill Life Saving & Surf Club (2011).

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