Pushing His Luck: Report of the Expedition and Death of Henry Whitcombe, by Jakob Lauper by Hilary Low
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By pulling together earlier accounts and adding important new research, this history solves some mysteries about what happened to Henry Whitcombe, a young civil engineer who, in 1863, led an expedition to find a route across the Southern Alps in New Zealand. Swiss gold miner Jakob Lauper was hired to accompany Whitcombe and scout for gold, but the journey turned to tragedy when Whitcombe drowned while attempting to cross the flooded Taramakau River. Lauper survived and submitted a report in German about their findings, which was translated into English. This study is based on a painstaking new translation of Lauper's report and points to many errors and omissions in the first translation, as well as a significant geographical mistake in the survey itself.