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Condition of the horses to be considered
Title : Condition of the horses to be considered Condition of the horses to be considered
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Creator : Sturt, Charles, 1795-1869
Source : Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia ..., volume 1, p. 404
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : T. and W. Boone
Date of creation : 1849
Format : Book
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

In considering the risks in advancing further north, Sturt assessed the condition of the expedition's horses, already suffering from lack of feed and water. They had been more than twelve months on dry grass and other innutritious plants, and their condition was poor. They managed to stumble 15 miles or so a day, and at night were picketed to prevent their wandering. Water too was scarce. If he turned back he would in all likelihood reach water, but to advance even one day, would put that water beyond the reach of the horses. Without the horses, the men had little chance of survival.

Charles Sturt left Adelaide in August 1844 to explore Central Australia, and determine the continent's watershed. He also hoped to unveil the secrets of the centre, and to discover the inland sea he believed existed. He took with him a boat to sail upon it. In the end, he discovered no inland sea, only the Stony Desert and the endless sand dunes of the Simpson Desert. He did however discover and name Cooper Creek, the great but ephemeral river of central Australia. The boat was abandoned on the return journey to Adelaide.

In 1847 Charles Sturt received the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, one of the highest awards an explorer could aspire to. The citation for the medal included the words 'for the prudence with which further advance was abandoned, when it could only have risked the loss of those intrusted to his charge'. His prudence is evident in these pages as he agonises over the condition of his horses and men, weighing these against his own desire to proceed.

Related names :

Royal Geographical Society

Sturt, Charles, 1795-1869

Coverage year : 1849
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Central Australia
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :
Internet links :
Australian dictionary of biography online: Sturt, Charles (1795-1869)
Exhibitions and events :



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