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David Carnegie

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David CARNEGIE (1871-1900)

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Carnegie was the fourth son of the Earl of Suffolk, England. After education as an engineer, David Carnegie worked on tea plantations in Ceylon, but joined the rush to Coolgardie when gold was discovered in Western Australia in 1892. Over a period of five years he prospected, and led several important exploring expeditions into some of Australia's most arid areas. After leaving Australia, Canegie was appointed Assistant Resident in Nigeria where, at the age of twenty-nine, he died as a result of a wound inflicted by a poison arrow. At the time he was involved in attempting to stop a native uprising.

In "Spinifex and Sand" Carnegie has this to say:

"Think of us, picture us, ye city magnates, toiling and struggling that your capacious pockets may be filled by the fruits of our labour: think of us, I say, and remember that our experiences are but as those of many more, and that hardly a mine, out of which you have made all the profit, has been found without similar hardships and battles for life! Not a penny would you have made from the wealth of West Australia but for us prospectors--and what do we get for our pains? A share in the bare sale of the mine if lucky; if not, God help us! for nothing but curses and complaints will be our portion. The natural rejoinder to this is, "Why, then, do you go?" To which I can only answer that one must make a living somehow, and that some like to make money hard, and some to make it easily. Perhaps I belong to the former class."

"Spinifex and Sand" is not a dry, daily journal but a remarkable account of discovery and survival in a most inhospitable part of the world.


Updated 4 August 04

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