Richardson made an expedition in 1845 from Tunis and Tripoli in Libya to Ghadames and Ghat in the middle of the Sahara. Here he collected information about the Tuareg and arrived after nine months back again in Tripoli. After he had published "Travels into the great desert of Sahara" (2 Books. London 1849), he succeeded to convince the British government to equip an expedition into Sudan and to lake Chad. In March 1850 Richardson went for the second time to Ghat accompanied by Heinrich Barth and Adolf Overweg. His party were the first Europeans to cross the stony elevated plain of the Hammada. James Richardson died of unknown illness on this journey on 4 March 1851 in Ngurutua, a six-day journey away from Kukawa near Lake Chad. His travel notes and diaries were published by Bayle Saint John as Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa (1853) and Travels in Morocco (1859).