Overland Telegraph Line: 1865 -1875.
Original Documents for Planning and Construction.

A large number of original documents are held by the developer which are important to reference to get precise details of a wide variety of aspects related to the development of the planning and construction of the Overland Telegraph Line.

The list below provides links to those Reports which have been uploaded to the site so far. If other Reports are required, please contact me.

Reports and correspondence preceeding construction.

  1. File 1 (first date 19 May 1870):

    • further arugments for the cable to be landed at Normanton;
    • doubts about South Australia's ability to deliver by the end of 1871;
    • Queensland's refusal ro connect to the South Australian line at Darwin.

    File 2 (first date 16 June 1870): reviews

    • the British and Australian Telegraph Company proposals and Queensland's request to not let South Australia to have any connection to the BAT line;
    • the South Australian legislation;
    • the BAT decision to only land the canle at Port Darwin;
    • the BAT provisional agreement with South Australia.

    File 3 (first date 15 August 1870):

    • conditions on South Australia for the completion of the cross-continental line by the end of 1870;
    • costing and the nature of cables;
    • possible conflicts of interests with Queensland's suggestion of a second cable.

    File 4 (first date 6 October):

    • NSW not wanting a competing line;
    • Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company reaffirming the submarine cable would terminate at Port Darwin;
    • South Australia agrees to consider the Queenland line meeting the South Australian line at the Roper River;
    • the possibility of a cable lonking thr Roper River to Normanton;
    • Continued scepticism about the completion of the Port Darwin to Port Augusta line.


Reports related to the South Australian and Queensland rivalry.

  1. 1871 - Overland Telegraph Lines in Queensland and South Australia (Correspondence relating to).
    Letters from Thos L. Murray-Prior and W. J. Cracknell.


Reports during construction.

Reports following completion.

  1. 1873 (1 January) Adelaide and Port Darwin Telegraph: Report by C. Todd on the Construction and Completion.