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On Stuart's tracks
Title : On Stuart's tracks On Stuart's tracks
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Creator : Giles, Alfred, 1847?-1931
Source : Exploring in the 'seventies and the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line, p. 46
Place Of Creation : Adelaide?
Publisher : W.K. Thomas
Date of creation : 1926?
Format : Book
Catalogue record
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Alfred Giles describes New Year's Day 1871 in central Australia, comparing it more than favourably to the celebrations he expected would be taking place back in Adelaide. Work on exploring a route for the Overland Telegraph Line continued. There was no day off for the first day of the New Year. The explorers also came across the tracks left by John McDouall Stuart's horses nine years before, confirming that Ross was right in his calculation of their location.

The Overland Telegraph Line was being constructed across the continent from Adelaide to Port Darwin, generally following the route pioneered by Stuart in 1861-62. However further exploration was necessary to survey a route where there would be adequate supplies of trees suitable for telegraph poles as well as plenty of water for the men and their pack animals. John Ross was the leader of one of these exploration/survey teams. It seems incredible that Stuart's tracks should still be visible after so many years, but there was no other traffic in the area, other than the Aboriginal people and the animals, who trod lightly on the land. Elsewhere other explorers' tracks would also be found by later explorers.

Related names :

Giles, Alfred, 1847?-1931

Ross, John, 1817-1903

Stuart, John McDouall, 1815-1866

Coverage year : 1871
Place : Central Mount Stuart (NT)
Further reading :
Giles, Alfred, Exploring in the 'seventies and the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line Adelaide: Friends of the State Library of South Australia, 1995
Symes, G. W. Exploring in the MacDonnell Ranges, 1870-72 Adelaide : Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, S.A.Branch, Historical Division, 1960
Richards, J. B The Overland Telegraph Line: its early history Adelaide: South Australian Institute of Engineers, 1914 (Adelaide: W.K. Thomas & Co.)

Taylor, Peter, An end to silence: the building of the Overland Telegraph Line from Adelaide to Darwin Sydney: Methuen Australia, 1980
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

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



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