Bennett explains the circumstances of the discovery of the Brisbane River and the establishment of Moreton Bay settlement. He relates the story of how a traveller named Uniacke, by publishing the story of his encounter with a castaway, Thomas Pamphlet, contested explorer John Oxley's claim of discovering the river. Pamphlet had been travelling from Sydney on board a ship that encountered a gale which blew it off course, and well out to sea. Mistakenly believing they were correcting their course, the crew headed much farther north until their lack of water and supplies forced them to make landfall at what eventually became the site of Moreton Bay. It was not Oxley who discovered the Brisbane River, claimed Uniacke, but Pamphlet and his shipmates.