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Central Mt Stuart
Title : Central Mt Stuart Central Mt Stuart
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Creator : Stuart, John McDouall, 1815-1866
Source : Explorations in Australia : the journals of John McDouall Stuart during the years 1858, 1859, 1860, 1861, & 1862, ..., opp. p. 165
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : Saunders, Otley
Date of creation : 1864
Additional Creator : Angas, George French, 1822-1886
Format : Book
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

This illustration is by George French Angas, an accomplished artist noted for his folio volume South Australia illustrated.

In 1860 during his fourth expedition into the interior of Australia, John McDouall Stuart found a hill close to the position which he calculated to be the geographic centre of Australia. He named it Central Mount Sturt after his former leader, Charles Sturt who had attempted to reach the centre in his expedition of 1844-46, but fell short by about 150 miles, blocked by the dunes of the Simpson Desert.

When Stuart reached what he believed was Australia's centre on 22 April 1860 he raised a flag and blazed a tree. The following day he climbed a nearby hill and raised a cairn of stones in which he buried a note

John McDouall Stuart and party, consisting of two men and himself, arrived from Adelaide in the Centre of Australia on Saturday evening, the twenty first day of April, 1860, and have built this cone of stones and raised the flag to commemorate the event, on top of Mt Sturt. The Centre is about two miles south-south-west, at a small gum creek...

From this point Stuart and his party continued north but on 26 June, some 200 miles short of the north coast of Australia, he turned back to Adelaide, following an attack by local Aboriginal people.

After John McDouall Stuart's return to Adelaide, the South Australian government changed the name from Central Mount Sturt to Central Mount Stuart to honour his achievement. In all Stuart led six separate journeys of exploration into the northern interior. He is remembered as an explorer of great courage who never lost a man from any of his expeditions. Although he did not become the first European to cross Australia from south to north, his expeditions were of great value in opening up the country.

His health broken from his explorations, John McDouall Stuart left Australia for England in 1864 and died in London on 5 June 1866. There is a statue to his memory in Victoria Square, Adelaide.

Related names :

Stuart, John McDouall, 1815-1866

Sturt, Charles, 1795-1869

Angas, George French, 1822-1886

Coverage year : 1860
Period : 1852-1883
Place : Central Mount Stuart (NT)
Region : Northern Territory
Further reading :

Stuart, John McDouall, Explorations in Australia: the journals of John McDouall Stuart during the years 1858, 1859, 1860, 1861, & 1862 ... Carlisle, W.A.: Hesperian Press, 1984

John McDouall Stuart's explorations, 1858-1862: South Australian parliamentary papers 1858-1863 Adelaide: Friends of the State Library of South Australia, 2001

Mudie, Ian, The heroic journey of John McDouall Stuart Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1968

Stokes, Edward, Across the Centre: John McDouall Stuart's expeditions, 1860-62 St. Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 1996

Webster, M. S. John McDouall Stuart with maps by Mary Quick [Carlton]: Melbourne University Press, 1958

Internet links :

Dictionary of Australian biography: see Stuart, John McDouall

John McDouall Stuart Wikipedia free encyclopedia article

John McDouall Stuart Society

Royal Geographical Society of South Australia (RGS Library)

Stuart, John McDouall Electric

Exhibitions and events :

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



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