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Warburton barters for fresh meat
Title : Warburton barters for fresh meat Warburton barters for fresh meat
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Creator : Warburton, Peter Egerton, 1813-1889
Source : Journey across the western interior of Australia, p. 251
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : Sampson Low
Date of creation : 1875
Format : Book
Catalogue record
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Description :

Peter Egerton Warburton continues his praise of Charley, the expedition's Aboriginal guide. Without Charley's tracking skills water for the expedition's men and camels would not have been found, which no doubt would have lead to drastic consequences. Warburton also recorded that he stopped the expedition short of the water hole in case the Aboriginal people were frightened by the appearance of the white men and their camels. Despite this the next morning the Aborigines did flee, but returned shortly afterwards when Warburton bartered with them for fresh wallaby meat. By next morning the Aboriginal people had disappeared: the needs for meat and water of such a large party of strangers would have been a huge drain on the group's resources in this desert region.

On 12 November 1873 Warburton decided to send Lewis ahead to try and reach the Oakover River and help. Lewis returned shortly after with water and remained with Warburton until the expedition reached a tributary creek of the Oakover River where there was plenty of water, if not much else. On 13 December Lewis and one man, with the two best camels, left again to seek help at the nearest station. Warburton's son Richard was able to shoot the occasional bird, but otherwise their diet comprised only camel meat and water. There were no supplies of flour, tea or sugar left. Finally on 29 December 1873 Lewis returned with supplies and horses obtained from the station of Grant, Harper and Anderson. A camel train with further supplies arrived the next day. Warburton's party reached the station 11 January and Fremantle 25 March 1874. In the final pages of his book Warburton wrote that camels were the most suitable animal for the exploration of Australia. He had pioneered a route across Australia from the Overland Telegraph Line to the north west coast. Unfortunately his chronometer was slightly faulty and his plotted positions somewhat inaccurate, with dire consequences for the Calvert Expedition of 1896-7.
Related names :

Warburton, Peter Egerton, 1813-1889

Charley (Aboriginal man)

Coverage year : 1873
Place : Great Sandy Desert (WA)
Further reading :
Warburton, Peter Egerton, Journey across the western interior of Australia Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1968
Dunn, Margaret The captain, the colonel and the bishop Adelaide: Crawford House Press, 2004

Kelly, Kieran, Tanami : on foot across Australia's desert heart Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2003

McLaren, Glen Beyond Leichhardt bushcraft and the exploration of Australia South Fremantle, W.A.: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1996

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing. Taking it to the edge August 2004-



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