Mr Cunningham escorts Russian Scientists to the Blue Mountains

1st March 1820

Sometime in March 1820 Allan Cunningham accompanied Leut. Lawson, Fedor Stein the Russian naturalist and the artist Emel’yan Karneev to the Blue Mountains. The Russians were part of the famous Bellingshausen expedition.

Robert Heward wrote:

In the month of March [1820], two Russian vessels arrived at Sydney [the “Otkrytiye” and “Blagonamerennyi”] the naturalist, M Stein [Fedor Shtein] and painter, M Karneev [Emel’yan Korneyev], ((Find out more about Emel’yan Korneyev at TROVE)) attached to the expedition, having obtained permission to cross the Blue Mountains, Mr Cunningham proffered his services to accompany them on their tour.

They were absent ten days, and returned on board their ships, much gratified with their excursion, and with the attention they had received from Lieutenant [William] Lawson [Commander of the Bathurst settlement at the time and famous for being one of the three men credited with crossing the Blue Mountains for the first time in 1813] and Mr Cunningham, who accompanied, and pointed out to them the various remarkable features of that portion of the country which their limited time enabled them to investigate. ((Source: Robert Heward’s Biographical Sketch of Allan Cunningham, Page 253))


A more detailed account of the Russians’ 1820 visit was published in the Journal of Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales Vol.143, p. 1-28, 2010: The Russian Expedition’s Sydney Visit in 1820 and Some Forgotten Blue Mountains Names by David F Branagan ((Source: The Journal of the Proceedings of the Royal Society Vol.143 p1-28.))