George IV Bridge – celebrating 50 years

Mcdouall Stuart's journey to central Australia: acquired in 1992

Copies of an early published account of the first European's journey to the centre of Australia are exceptionally rare. The only recorded copy outside Australia is held by the National Library of Scotland.

'Stuart's journey into the interior of Australia' was published in Adelaide, possibly in 1860. It draws on John Mcdouall Stuart's own journal of his fourth expedition of 1860, when he also climbed and named Mount Stuart. Forced to turn back on this occasion, he completed the crossing from Adelaide to the north coast in 1862. The highway from Adelaide to Darwin is named after him.

The engraving here shows Stuart's meeting with natives on 26 May 1860. He wrote: 'They seemed to be in a great fury, moving their boomerangs about their heads and howling to the top of their voices, also performing some sort of dance.'

Stuart (1815-1866) sailed from Dundee on 13 September 1838. The house of his birth, in Dysart, Fife, is now the Mcdouall Stuart Museum.

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