Guide to the papers of Captain Charles Sturt (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Online Items

Series 1. Letter of instructions and other documents, 1843 - 1844

Sir John Barrow. Minute containing comments on Captain Sturt's proposals to cross Australia from the south to the north (8pp, copy), n.d. (File)

Lord Stanley (London) to Capt. George Grey (Adelaide), 6 December 1843 (File)

Proposals of Capt. Sturt; attaches memorandum of Sir John Barrow; Stanley authorises expedition on modified plan; Sturt's salary; despatch of instruments.

Lord Stanley (London) to Capt. George Grey (Adelaide), 16 December 1843 (File)

Selection of members of exploring party; recommends H. Stuart Russell; questions proposal to ascend River Darling in the first instance; prohibits extension of journey into northern tropical region; principal objective to ascertain whether chain of hills divides continent and whether rivers have their sources in those hills.

Capt. George Grey to Sturt. Instructions (13pp), 1 July 1844 (File)

Sturt to Capt. George Grey, 9 July 1844 (File)

Sends return of numbers of men and animals and provisions that he proposes to take on the expedition.

Series 2. Journal of Sturt on his expedition to central Australia, 10 August 1844 - 12 January 1846

Judging from variations in handwriting and ink, corrections and deletions, the journal is the original journal kept by Sturt during the expedition, rather than a later copy. The first two folders overlap, but some of the early entries in folder 2 are briefer than those of the corresponding entries in folder 1.

Sturt's delayed departure, 11 August 1844 - 5 September 1844 (File Folder 1)

Sturt's delayed departure with Harris Browne and James Hawker (15 August), arrival at Moorundie on River Murray, list of members of the expedition, departure from Moorundie (25 August), journey with Edward Eyre along Murray Valley to Lake Bonney; landscape; barometer readings; organisation of camps...

The expedition's departure from Adelaide, 10 August 1844 - 30 September 1844 (File Folder 2)

The expedition's departure from Adelaide (10 August), journey to Moorundie, Lake Bonney, Rufus River (10 September), Lake Victoria and the Anabranch of the River Darling, the return of Eyre to Moorundie, report of massacre of overlanders at Laidley's Ponds (17 September), injury to Robert Flood, arrival at the Darling River (24 September), encounters with large numbers of Indigenous Australians, journey northwards up the river...

Journey up the Darling River, 1 October 1844 - 20 November 1844 (File Folder 3)

Journey up the Darling River, meetings with Indigenous Australians, nature of the country, problems with bullocks, reports of lack of water beyond the hills, arrival at Laidley's Ponds (10 October), reconnoitre by James Poole, camp established at Cawndilla, departure of party for Barrier Range (28 October), scarcity of water in the hills, camp at a waterhole, departure of Sturt and five others on a search for Lake Torrens (4 November), Sturt's belief in the proximity of an inland sea...

Journey by Poole, Browne and David Morgan into the interior, 21 November 1844 - 30 December 1844 (File Folder 4)

Journey by Poole, Browne and David Morgan into the interior (21 November), departure of the main party from the Barrier Range, return of Poole, Browne and Morgan (2 December), their failure to find Lake Torrens, reductions in rations, establishment of base camp at Flood's Creek (11 December), journey by Sturt, John McDouall Stuart and Robert Flood eastwards to Barrier Range, rising temperatures, return of Poole, Browne and Morgan (25 December), their discovery of creeks to the north, departure of main party northwards (28 December), deaths of bullocks...

Temporary camp at large waterhole (Depot Glen), 1 January 1845 - 23 February 1845 (File Folder 5)

Temporary camp at large waterhole (Depot Glen), journey by Sturt, Browne, Flood and Joseph Cowley to north, great heat, failure to discover water, return to the main camp (24 January), journeys by Sturt and others northwards across endless sand ridges, Sturt's return to Depot Glen (21 February)...

Continued heat, unsuccessful journey eastwards, 1 March 1845 - 20 July 1845 (File Folder 6)

Continued heat, unsuccessful journey eastwards in search of water (12-21 March), monotony of life at Depot Glen, reduced rations, another attempt to discover Lake Torrens (22-25 April), Poole and Browne suffering from scurvy, visit by an old Indigenous Australian to the camp, decision to send Poole and a third of the party back to Adelaide, departure of Poole (14 July), news of death of Poole (15 July), departure of Louis Piesse with a dray (18 July)...

Departure of remaining party from Depot Glen, 22 July 1845 - 12 September 1845 (File Folder 7)

Departure of remaining party from Depot Glen, slow progress over stone ridges to Lake Pinaroo, meetings with Aborigines, new depot named Fort Grey, departure of Sturt and four men from Fort Grey (14 August), discovery of a broad creek (Strzelecki Creek), reached latitude 27°27'S (22 August), scarcity of waterholes, geology of the region, difficulties of horses, 'terrible nature of this dreadful Desert', illness of Browne, decision to turn back after reaching latitude 24°40'S. (8 September)...

Decision to return to Depot Glen, 13 September 1845 - 30 November 1845 (File Folder 8)

Decision to return to Depot Glen, arrival at Strzelecki Creek (28 September) and Fort Grey (1 October), Sturt's final journey northwards with Stuart, Morgan and John Mack (9 October), discovery of large creek (Cooper's Creek), great Stony Desert, 'worse country than any we had seen on our previous journey', sufferings of horses, decision to retreat (24 October), abandonment of supplies to lighten the load, return to Cooper's Creek (29 October), meetings with Aborigines, return to Fort Grey (13 November), meeting with Browne and the base party (17 November), Sturt's illness, departure of Browne, Flood and John Jones from Depot Glen (27 November)...

Departure from Depot Glen (7 December), arrival at Barrier Range (15 December), return to Darling River and Lake Victoria (8 January). (21pp), 1 December 1845 - 12 January 1846 (File Folder 9)

Series 3. Letters of Louis Piesse, storekeeper on the expedition, 1845 - 1846

Louise Piesse to Sturt, 7 February 1845 (File)

Sends return of provisions.

Louis Pesse (Adelaide) to Sturt, 29 January 1846 (File)

Account of proceedings of the camp at Rola-rola and the journey from there to Adelaide.

Series 4. Vocabulary of the Murray River tribes, May 1844

Vocabulary of the dialect spoken by the Murray River indigenous communities, May 1844 (File)

The words are arranged alphabetically, with the translation on the right-hand side of the page.

Specimens of the language of the Indigenous Australians of the upper Darling (4pp), n.d. (File)

Series 5. Letters of A. Miller Mundy, Colonial Secretary of South Australia, 1845 - 1847

A. Miller Mundy (Adelaide) to Sturt, July 1845-May 1847 (File)

Payments; despatches concerning the expedition sent to the Secretary of State for the Colonies; despatches from W.E. Gladstone (Secretary of State) on Sturt's return to Adelaide and natural history specimens; leave of absence granted to Sturt; approbation of Lord Grey. (6 letters)

A. Miller Mundy (Adelaide) to Charlotte Sturt, 6 August 1845 (File)

Governor approves payment of £250 on Captain Sturt's account.

Series 6. Drafts of notes by Sturt

On the royalties from mines in South Australia and on the general revenue of the colony. (7pp) (File)

Opening paragraphs of Sturt's 'Account of the sea coast and interior of South Australia', published in volume 2 of his Narrative of an expedition to Central Australia. (2pp) (File)

Series 7. Drawings and charts

Three watercolours and a pencil sketch of an island, a settlement on a sea coast, a river scene with figures and a boat, and a view of mountains (File)

Two rough charts (File)

Series 8. Letters, 1847 - 1848

Louis Piesse (Calcutta) to Sturt, 16 February 1847 (File)

Account of his voyage to Timor, Ceylon and Calcutta in 1846; employment as an artist; aristocratic style of living; his attachment to South Australia; problems arising from tolerance towards convicts from Van Diemen's Land; debilitating effect of climate of Bengal; departure of part of 39th Regiment for England; gratitude to Sturt for favours and kindness.

[Charlotte Sturt ] (Boulogne) to [Charles Sturt], 3 February 1848 (File)

Receipt of a case of oranges; her mother; customs charges; her letter to Harriet; Henry Sturt; Sturt's visit to Crichel in Dorset to see relatives.