John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition


On the back of his third expedition, John McDouall Stuart commenced his fourth expedition from Chambers Creek.

Stuart was accompanied by William Darton Kekwick and Benjamin Head, and took 13 horses.

The party proceeded to the centre of the continent, raising the flag on Central Mount Stuart.

Stuart's party then headed north beyond Tennant Creek where the Warramunga men mounted a skillful attack.

This attack, along with depleted rations, scarcity of water and failing health, forced the party to return the 2400km to Adelaide.   

Friday, 2nd March, 1860, Chambers Creek. Left the creek for the north-west, with thirteen horses and two men. The grey horse being too weak to travel was left behind. Camped at Hamilton Springs.
Saturday, 3rd March, Mount Hamilton. Camped at the Beresford Springs, where it was evident that the natives, whose camp is a little way from this, had had a fight. There were the remains of a body of a very tall native lying on his back. The skull was broken in three or four places, the flesh nearly all devoured by the crows and native dogs, and both feet and hands were gone. There were three worleys on the rising ground, with waddies, boomerangs, spears, and a number of broken dishes scattered round them. The natives seemed to have run away and left them, or to have been driven away by a hostile tribe. Between two of the worleys we observed a handful of hair, apparently torn from the skull of the dead man, and a handful of emu feathers placed close together, the feathers to the north-west, the hair to the south-east. They were between two pieces of charred wood, which had been extinguished before the feathers and hair were placed there. It seemed to be a mark of some description.
Sunday, 4th March, Beresford Springs. Night and morning cold; day very hot. Wind south-west.
Monday, 5th March, Beresford Springs. Wind changed to the east during the night. Morning very cold. Arrived at the Strangway Springs. Day very hot. Wind variable.