1861 Petermann Antique Map of 4th John McDouall Stuart Expedition in Australia

Cartographer :Augustus Heinrich Petermann

  • Title : Karte von J. Mac Douall Stuarts Reise durch das innere von Australien, 6 Marz bis 25 August 1860...Gotha Justus Perthes 1861
  • 21 1/2in x 8 1/4in (540mm x 210mm)
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition
  • Date : 1861
  • Ref #:  82057

This long finely engraved original antique map of the expedition of John McDouall Stuart 4th expedition into the interior of Australia between March and August 1860 by Augustus Heinrich Petermann was engraved in 1861 - dated - and was published by Justus Perthes, Gotha Germany.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Red
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 21 1/2in x 8 1/4in (540mm x 210mm)
Plate size: - 21 1/2in x 8 1/4in (540mm x 210mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - Folds as issued
Verso: - None

John McDouall Stuart (7 September 1815 – 5 June 1866), often referred to as simply McDouall Stuart, was a Scottish explorer and one of the most accomplished of all Australia\'s inland explorers.
Stuart led the first successful expedition to traverse the Australian mainland from south to north and return, through the centre of the continent. His experience and the care he showed for his team ensured he never lost a man, despite the harshness of the country he encountered.
The explorations of Stuart eventually resulted in the 1863 annexation of a huge area of country to the Government of South Australia. This area became known as the Northern Territory. In 1911 the Commonwealth of Australia assumed responsibility for that area. In 1871-72 the Australian Overland Telegraph Line was constructed along Stuart\'s route. The principal road from Port Augusta to Darwin was also established essentially on his route and is now known as the Stuart Highway in his honour.
On 2 March 1860 the three men left Chambers Creek, aiming to find the centre of Australia. As always, Stuart travelled light, taking only as much as could be carried on a few pack horses. The secret to successful exploration, in Stuart\'s view, was to travel fast and avoid the delays and complications that always attend a large supply train.
By the time they reached Neales River (near present-day Oodnadatta) unexpected rain had ruined most of their stores and they continued on half-rations – something that Head, who had started the trip as a big man and weighed twice as much as Stuart, found difficult to adjust to. Water became more and more difficult to find and scurvy began to set in. Stuarts right eye was failing. Nevertheless, they found a major watercourse in early April which Stuart named the Finke River, and followed it north-west over the South Australian border to the MacDonnell Ranges, which he named after Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell, Governor of South Australia, on 12 April 1860.
On 22 April 1860, according to Stuarts calculations, the party reached the centre of the continent. Stuart wrote:

.......There is a high mount about two miles to the NNE which I hoped would be in the centre but on it tomorrow I will raise a cone of stones and plant the Flag there and will name it Mount Sturt after my excellent and esteemed commander of the expedition in 1844 and 45, Captain Sturt, as a mark of gratitude for the great kindness I received from him during that journey.
In fact the mountain became known as Central Mount Stuart after Stuart himself, not his mentor Sturt, and geographers no longer regard it as the true centre of Australia. Nevertheless, it retains its symbolic value......

The explorers were unable to progress much further north. Lack of water forced them back again and again. Stuart\'s scurvy was growing worse, Head was now half his original weight, and only Kekwick remained capable of heavy work. Then, on 22 May, it rained. With water now available nearly every day, they made good mileage and by mid June were able to reach a riverbed which Stuart named Tennants Creek (now the site of the township Tennant Creek). The worst of the country was now behind them and they were only about 800 km from the coast.
From here, however, progress seemed impossible. A four-day excursion to the north-west found no water at all and they had to retreat. After giving the horses a week to recover, they tried heading due north. They found another creek (later named Attack Creek) but were blocked by heavy scrub. Unlike those further south, the Warramunga Aboriginal people were hostile. On 26 June they raided the explorers camp. One stole the shoeing rasp (which Stuart was able to recover); others threw boomerangs at the horses and set fire to the grass around the camp. Like Sturt (and unlike some of the other Australian explorers) Stuart generally got on well with the Aboriginal people he encountered but he was unable to negotiate with this group and considered it unsafe to continue. That night, with even the indefatigable Kekwick complaining of weakness, the explorers abandoned their attempt to reach the north coast and reluctantly turned south.
It was 2,400 kilometres to Adelaide, all three men had scurvy, supplies were very short, the horses were in poor condition, and the country was drying out. Nevertheless, the party pressed on at Stuarts customary rapid pace. They reached the safety of Chambers Creek in August. A few days earlier, on 20 August 1860, the larger Burke and Wills expedition had finally left Melbourne.
Stuart reached Adelaide in October 1860. Although he had narrowly failed to cross the continent, his achievement in determining the centre was immense, ranked with Spekes discovery of the source of the Nile. Stuart had solved that which he attempted with Capt. Sturt 15 years earlier – the riddle of the nature of the centre of the great Australian continent. He was awarded the Royal Geographical Societys Patron\'s Medal – becoming only the second person to receive both the Patron\'s Medal and a gold watch (the other was Dr Livingstone). Belatedly, even the South Australian government started to recognise Stuart\'s abilities, and was honoured with a public breakfast at White\'s Rooms