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1858-1862 Stuart

John McDouall Stuart explored the interior of Australia in six expeditions between 1858 and 1862. He opened up the country, finding the centre of the continent and establishing the first route from Adelaide to the north coast of Australia. He was exploring in the field at the same time as BH Babbage.

Stuart was born 7 September 1815 in Dysart, Scotland. He was educated at the Scottish Naval and Military Academy in Edinburgh where he trained as a civil engineer. He emigrated from Scotland in 1838, arriving in South Australia in January 1839 aboard the Indus. On the voyage he made friends with James Sinclair, later of Green Patch Station near Port Lincoln. In Adelaide Stuart worked in the Government Survey Department and in 1844 he joined Charles Sturt's Central Australian expedition where he served as a draughtsman.

Following this expedition he worked as a surveyor on Eyre Peninsula where he met William Finke. With Finke he moved to the northern Flinders Ranges and here he met the Chambers Brothers. These three men would be instrumental in determining Stuart's future directions.

For more information about Stuart's six expeditions see Taking it to the edge: Land: John McDouall Stuart.


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