FRONTIER CONFLICT AND THE NATIVE MOUNTED POLICE IN QUEENSLAND Attack on Europeans/others - Fraser family at Horne… Attack on Europeans/others - Fraser family at Hornet Bank station (27 October 1857) Location Label Attack on Europeans/others - Fraser family at Hornet Bank station (27 October 1857) Coordinate (149.407222, -25.757222) GDA94 Location type Pastoral run If pastoral run, Station or run name Hornet Bank (Goongarry) If pastoral run, Landowner or lessee Andrew Scott Pastoral district and/or region Leichhardt; Upper Dawson Location description Hornet Bank station Location notes/issues Location of memorial cairn Event details Day and month of event 27 October Year of event 1857 Nature of event Attack on Europeans/others Minimum number of people killed 11 Names of people killed and details John Fraser (23), Martha Fraser (43), David Fraser (16), James Fraser (6), Elizabeth Fraser (19), Mary Fraser (11), Ann Jane Fraser (9), Charlotte Fraser (3), Henry Nagle (27) (tutor), Bernado/Benmado (45) (hutkeeper), and R.S. Newman (30) (shepherd) Perpetrators Aboriginal people Cause/reason Thomas Boulton (superintendent of Euroombah station) alleged that the cause was the NMP camp on Euroombah/Hornet Bank and the Police taking women and men to labour for them: 'Not long after Mr. Ross arrived here, he thought proper to make Hornet Bank his quarters. Accordingly, he passed here on his way to that station with his detachment of Native Police, and ve or six gins. three of the latter belonging to a tribe of blacks in this neighbourhood. Some time afterwards, during my absence from home, Lieut. Ross took a mob of blacks up to Hornet Bank, entirely against the Messrs. Frasers' wishes as well as mine. I believe they were taken up there for the purpose of working as servants for the police, i.e., drawing water, cutting wood, bark, &c.; getting up their horses and making themselves generally useful to them. Matters went on in this way, however, tolerably well until the police began to make free with the women belonging to the blacks in question, which led to frequent collision between the latter and the police. One or two facts, amongst many of a similar nature, I will here mention, as they came under my own observation. A blackfellow named Caragejie went to the Police Camp at Hornet Bank one evening, and demanded that his gin, who was in their hands, should be restored. After taking her away, she returned to the Police Camp, and on his applying for her a second time he was bound with hands and feet together with two pair of handcu s, by the police, and so kept until the next morning. On another occasion, some half-dozen policemen, without an o cer, came down here in the evening from Hornet Bank, drew rations as usual from the store, and retired for the night a short distance from my house, with exception of one man, whom I allowed to sleep in the house. About midnight, I was awakened by a wild blackfellow coming to my window and shouting out the name of his gin, with other words, which I did not understand. I got up and, suspecting that his gin was with the police, I sent the man above mentioned to desire his comrades at once to send back the gin in question, which was done. I took the rst opportunity to acquaint Mr. Ross with this a air but he merely laughed at it. However, he thought it proper to warn him that if such gross conduct on the part of his men were repeated, I would make it my business to report the same to headquarters, as I was determined not to allow such things to go on *** the station. Once again, I heard the police ordering the blacks to fetch water for their use as usual: the blacks hesitated, when two policemen presented pistols at, and threatened to shoot, them if they did not immediately comply. This disgraceful state of things continued for several months, during which time the police and blacks were in the habit of hunting together on the Euroonbah Run, and robbing the shepherds' huts. I should not have known that any of these thefts had been actually committed, — though I long suspected it — had I not been told that such was the fact by the late Mrs. Fraser, whose information on the subject was derived from the gins kept by the police.' (North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser 12 January 1858, p3) See also the series of letters to the editor by various squatters and others relating to Lieut. Ross and his conduct and accusing him of not doing enough to prevent the Hornet Bank deaths—e.g. by Thomas R. Boulton, superintendent at Euroombah, alleging that Ross' troopers consorted with the local people, stole their women and robbed his shepherds' huts. He also alleged that the Frasers were worried about an attack and tried to get the NMP to 'clear' the station (North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser 12 January 1858, p3); also from Cardew, Sandeman and Gregory and C.R. Haly supporting Boulton ('If the residents on the Upper Dawson are so easily satis ed with a Native Police Force consisting of one second lieutenant, one trooper, and a boy,' - North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser 10 November 1857, p4); and from Scott, Thompson, Dolan and Forster in support of Ross. Gordon Reid (1981:80-82) cites the Fraser sons and the NMP taking Jiman women and the Frasers killing dogs and breaking weapons: 'Martha Fraser was aware of the situation: she had repeatedly asked Nicoll, when visiting the Dawson, to reprove her sons for forcibly taking the "young maidens", telling Nicoll that she expected harm to come of it. They were in the habit of doing this, she said, notwithstanding her entreaties to the contrary. Among the working men in the area the Frasers were "famous for the young gins".' 'I have heard something from an o cer of the Native Police—Lieutenant Sweet—who told me himself that he had been informed by a trooper then in the Native Police, that the murder of the unfortunate women at Hornet Bank was in consequence of the young men who owned the station having been in the habit of allowing their black boys to rush the gins on the camps of the aborigines in the neighbourhood.' (Maurice O’Connell 19 June 1861 Qld Legislative Assembly Select Committee into the Native Police: 87) Description of event 'FRIGHTFUL MURDERS BY THE BLACKS AT THE UPPER DAWSON RIVER It is with feelings of unfeigned sorrow that we have to record another case of wholesale slaughter, by the aboriginal natives, at the Hornet Bank, on the Upper Dawson River, the station of Mrs. Fraser, which occurred on the morning of Thursday, the 29th ultimo, on which occasion eleven of our fellow creatures were murdered in cold blood, under circumstances of extreme barbarity. The following particulars of this dreadful occurrence have been furnished by Master Fraser, a youth of fteen years of age, and the only survivor of twelve persons, who were on the station at the time. It appears, that before sunrise on the morning of the day above mentioned, the head-station was surrounded by upwards of 100 blacks, fully armed, and that the rst intimation the survivor had of their presence was the sound of voices in one of the outer apartments, and suspecting that it came from the blacks, he immediately rose from his bed and armed himself with a gun, when several of the miscreants rushed into the room, and while in the act of presenting it at one of them, he was struck with a waddie at the back of his head, and laid prostrate on the oor. He then managed to secrete himself under the bed, while the work of destruction went on in the other apartments. The blacks then quickly dispatched the other sons of Mrs Fraser, of the respective ages of twenty-two, sixteen, and seven years, while in their beds, before the unfortunates were aware of the proximity of such dangerous and remorseless enemies. The wretches then murdered Mr. Nagle, the tutor to the family, who was formerly in the o ce of the Englishman newspaper, in Sydney. Having, as they thought, deprived the whole of the males of life, the villains then enticed the unfortunate mother and her helpless daughters out of the house, promising that they would do them no harm and telling them not to be afraid. The sequel proved how little their treacherous promises were to be relied on; for no sooner had they made their appearance outside the house, than they were treated in the same brutal manner as the in del Sepoys did the ladies and children in India, and were afterwards cruelly murdered. The ages of the daughters respectively were twenty, eleven, seven, and four years. Still thirsting for blood, the wretches then proceeded to a hut, about fty yards distant from the house, and there murdered a man named Newman, and a German named Bernangle, under similar atrocious circumstances. Having accomplished this fearful work of death, the miscreants plundered the house of nearly everything they could conveniently carry away, and departed, driving before them a ock of sheep in the direction of another sheep station, but it is not at present known whether they committed any more outrages on this occasion.' (North Australia, Ipswich and General Advertiser 10 November 1857, p4) 'Two of the murders above alluded to, took place within six miles of the township of Taroom, the head-quarters of the police; and two more occurred within four miles of the ill-fated station of Hornet Bank, where a number of troopers, under an experienced leader, raised by the squatters in those parts, were stationed.' (Moreton Bay Courier 9 June 1858, p2 -Letter to the editor from G. Pearce Serocold of Cockatoo Ck, upper Dawson). NOTE this is a private force under Frederick Walker (see note). 'The Blacks have broken out worse than ever. Six men were killed at Euroombah (40 miles from this) in August —and in the middle of our shearing we were astounded by hearing that the Head Station of Hornet Bank had been attacked at midnight and every one on the place except one lad murdered. The station which is about 50 miles from this belonged to Mrs Frazer, who was killed with all her children, viz. one daughter aged 20, one daughter aged 13, one son aged 21, one son 17, & three children of from 6 to 10 years old, also a family tutor, & 2 shepherds, sleeping in the adjoining hut. They killed the men whilst they were asleep; the ring leaders were blacks who had for years been on the station & they succeeded in stealing on the men in their beds—& they appear never to have moved. The lad who escaped was struck down with a tomahawk whilst in the act of reaching his gun; on coming to his senses he had presence of mind to roll under the bed. There were plenty of loaded rearms in the house at the time. The dogs had been coaxed away by some of the station Blacks who knew them, & gave no alarm. The scoundrels knew when all the men were killed they had nothing to fear. They told the women to come out —& they would not kill them, & they were prevailed upon to do so, The unfortunate creatures were kept alive for hours to form a part of their endish orgies. [The following line has been overwritten with: ‘whatever you do take care that nobody cannot be able [sic] to consider that in case you are applied to questionable as I do not wish anybody to be able to read I have written’] At last the closing scene of the tragedy came one after another they were butchered—& their bodies mutilated in a manner I shall not pain you by describing. The blacks then ransacked the store—& laden with spoil made for the scrub, thinking that everyone was dead & that they would get far away before the Native Police (Comprised of blacks of other districts) would hear of the massacre.' (GB 216 D/D T 2974/6 1857 Letter from George Pearce Serocold to Charles Serocold 25 December) "MR. WILLIAM FRASER, OF ROMA. I dare to say that the name of William Fraser was more widely known throughout Queensland than that of Sir Thomas McIlwraith; in my young days there was no person who looked upon with greater respect by the boys, when he came into Ipswich, than the same "Billy" Fraser. Of course, although it is a matter of history now, no outrage—namely, the murder by the blacks, at Hornet Bank Station, Dawson River, of his mother, four sisters, three brothers, the tutor, and two men-servants—in what is now Queensland ever created such a widespread horror as this one, which took place on the 29th of October, 1857, only one brother (Sylvester, who has since died at Normanton, North Queensland) escaping to tell the awful tale. Before going any further, I may say that I met Mr. William Fraser, a few evenings ago, at the residence of Mr. Hugh Campbell, in Limestone-street, and, though the interview was short, I gleaned a few particulars which cannot fail to be interesting. Mr. Fraser's parents—hardy Scotch people—came to Sydney in 1831, and he himself, a Sydney native, was born in 1833. Subsequently his father, Mr. John Fraser, accepted a situation as book-keeper on Jimbour Station, then owned by Messrs. Henry Dennis and Thomas Bell, and, in the year 1846, left Sydney with his family to take up their residence in the "Never-Never Country," "Billy" Fraser, then about 16 years of age, coming overland with a party who had charge of cattle, sheep, and horses for the Jimbour Station. In this connection the names of Messrs. Scougall and Cox were mentioned. Here I may state that the date of the wreck of the Sovereign (which occurred on the 17th of March, 1847) was introduced. Mr. Henry Dennis, part-owner of Jimbour Station, was a passenger on the ill-fated vessel, and, among others, was drowned. Mr. W. Fraser intended to proceed to Sydney in the same vessel, but, at the last moment, Mr. Dennis prevailed upon him to return to Jimbour with an important letter. Early in the fties the Fraser family removed to " The Swamp" (the name by which what is now Toowoomba was then known, "The Springs" being the name given to Drayton), and were one of the rst families to settle there. Subsequently, Mr John Fraser, the head of the family, leased Hornet Bank Station from the late Mr. Andrew Scott, and they took up their residence there in March, 1854, the surrounding stations then on the Dawson River being those owned by the Hon. W. H. Yaldwyn, Messrs. Pollet Cardew (father of Mr. P. L. Cardew, solicitor, of this town), and William Miles. Between 1854 and 1857, while on the road to Ipswich with sheep, John Fraser became ill, and was brought into Ipswich and taken to the residence of Mrs. McLean (mother of Mrs. Hugh Campbell and of Mr. James McLean, municipal inspector), in Nicholas-street (about on the site where the railway bridge crosses), where he died, and was buried in the Ipswich cemetery. William Fraser, his eldest son, was one of the principal carriers (bullock drays) in those days, and, as most of the early pioneers know—some, alas ! to their cost—the blacks were very treacherous, and were not to be trusted, as an old bullock-driver once informed me, "no further than one could sling a bullock by the tail!" Time, however, crept along, and the Frasers at Hornet Bank became quite used to the surroundings of their new home in the then wild West. William Fraser was frequently away from the station for months at a stretch on the roads that was his particular calling. The Frasers had a black boy, whose name, I think, was "Joey." Many reasons are alleged for this boy's subsequent treachery. Su ce it to say, that, while the eldest son was away, Joey evidently induced a large tribe of the Dawson River blacks (they being regular terrors, one "Beiba" notoriously so) to visit the Hornet Bank Station; and, as stated above, before the break of morn of the 29th of October, 1857, they surrounded the holding. So secure and safe did the Frasers feel, that in the summer months, on going to bed, they were accustomed to leave all the windows and doors open. Sylvester Fraser, the survivor, was awakened by the cries of his sisters, and, as he was in the act of reaching for his gun, he received a chop on the arm and a knock on the head, falling between the wall and his bed, and somehow or other he crawled under the mattress of his bed, and thus escaped any further butchering by the blacks, who, keeping the mother until the last, slaughtered her after her daughters had been shamefully treated and murdered before her eyes. It is supposed that her son John and the tutor, who slept in the one room at the rear of the building, were the rst to be killed. Just after the blacks had terribly butchered the Frasers, one of the men-servants, who were domiciled in huts some distance away, happened to appear at one of the doors, when the blacks noted their presence, and returned and killed them. Sylvester—or " West," as he was more familiarly termed—regained consciousness, and, without hat or boots, rode over to Mr. Cardew's station and reported the occurrence The news soon spread, the Hon. W. H. Yaldwyn came over from his station, as did also Mr. Miles and his daughter (now Mrs. John Nicholls, of Ipswich, and Mrs. Herbert Hunter, of Brisbane), and the ve female victims—the mother and her four daughters—were buried in the one grave, while the remains of the brothers (three), the tutor, and the two men-servants were buried in an adjoining grave. To show the duplicity of the boy, who led the attack, it is sup-posed that he knew that the men- servants, who had completed their time as per agreement, had handed in their ri es only the day before the murderous onslaught. It was a terrible a air, and caused a great deal of uneasiness in the Dawson district for years afterwards. "West" Fraser then rode on to Ipswich, some 320 miles distant, to acquaint his brother William, and accomplished the journey in three days. On arrival here, "Billy" Fraser had his drays in the yards of Messrs. G. H. Wilson and Co., East-street, and was on the top of one of the vehicles when " West" rode up and broke the sad news to him. I am told that " Billy" became frantic. He immediately left the drays in the yard, rode round to Mrs. McLean, bidding her "Good-bye" and he and his brother immediately galloped o for Hornet Bank Station. In the meantime the news of the tragedy had spread all over Moreton Bay, everyone sympathising with "Billy" Fraser, who told me himself that he reached Hornet Bank Station in a little over three days, fresh horses being ready for them at all the stopping-places. "Without telling you all I have since done," said Mr. Fraser, "I tell you that I vowed, at the grave-side of my mother and sisters, with an uplifted tomahawk in my hand, that I would never rest until I had sunk it in the head of the blackfellow who was the cause of the murder; and I did it." Questioned as to whether he received a permit from the New South Wales Government to shoot down the blacks, he answered "No." To the query of "Was a warrant ever issued against you for killing blackfellows?" Mr. Fraser replied "No." And he then recounted several close "shaves" he had of losing his own life at the hands of the blacks—one was where, while riding on horseback, a spear went through the rim of his cabbage-tree hat, down his shoulder blade, and then stuck in his saddle. He cannot tell, to this day, where it was thrown from, but he made a minute examination for the thrower with his most trusty ri e, the stock of which he after-wards broke in a struggle with a powerful aboriginal. Mr. Fraser was subsequently a sub- inspector of the Queensland police, stationed at Broadsound; and, in reply to a query "As to whether he had any complaints to make respecting the police force?" he replied in the negative, stating that he had a good billet, but that he was of too restless a nature to keep it. For one who has experienced so much hard life Mr. Fraser wears his 68 years well. But he very reluctantly refers to the Hornet Bank massacre, in which he lost so many who were near and dear to him—a loved mother, loved sisters, and loved brothers. I may add that Mr. Thomas Moore, of South-street, and his late brother (Mr. William Moore) were both on the scene of the murder, at Hornet Bank Station, shortly after the dreadful occurrence, and the rst-named describes the furniture, &c., as being in a terrible state." (Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 7 October 1899, p7) Associated event(s) Attack on Aboriginal people - Dawson River, northwest of Hornet Bank (31 October 1857) Attack on Aboriginal people - Jerry and Jackey on Taroom station (29 December 1857) Attack on Aboriginal people - Juandah station (December 1857) Attack on Aboriginal people - Mt Narayen (between November 1857 and March 1858?) Attack on Aboriginal people - Redbank station (December? 1857?) Attack on Aboriginal people - Taroom station (27 November 1857) Attack on Europeans/others - Fraser family at Hornet Bank station (27 October 1857) Attack on Europeans/others - Fraser family, Hornet Bank station (c15 June 1857) Attack on Europeans/others - Mrs Fraser, Hornet Bank station ('a very short time after' 10th November 1856) Attack on Europeans/others, Hornet Bank station (before March 1859) Associated NMP camp(s) Euromba (also spelt Euroomba and Eurumbah) Upper Dawson Associated NMP o cers Johnson, Ralph Cholmondeley Godschall Murray, John Patrick, Alfred March Gorsed Powell, Walter David Taylor (also Tayler) Ross, Thomas C. [Cameron?] Swete, William R.L. Other associated individuals Baullie (also given as Bahlee, Balley, Bally, Billy and Boney) Beilbah (also given as Bilbah, Bilbo, Billbo, Bulbo, Bulba and Beilba) 1 Bernado (sometimes Bernangle) Fraser, Ann Jane Fraser, Charlotte Fraser, David Fraser, Elizabeth Fraser, James Fraser, John (2) Fraser, Martha Fraser, Mary Fraser, Sylvester (West) Gregory, Henry Churchman Miles, William Murray-Prior, Thomas Lodge Nagle, Henry Newman, R.S Scott, Andrew Serocold, George Edward Pearce Reference Contemporary reference (earliest source for event) North Australia, Ipswich and General Advertiser, 10 November 1857, p4 Date of rst reporting of event (earliest known date) 1857 Reliability of source(s) (e.g. whether the observation was from a rst hand witness, a police report etc) Range of evidence from o icial police reports and accounts from neighbours written at the time to recollections written later and third party newspaper accounts Other sources (e.g. modern/secondary references) for the event Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 7 October 1899, p7 Reid 1981:135 Praed Campbell 1902 Notes/comments Name prior to Hornet Bank was Goongarry; changed back afterwards. There were seemingly many reprisals after this event, both o cial and uno cial, carried out for months afterwards and across a wide region. As a result of these actions large numbers of Aboriginal people were killed and others driven from the area down into the Condamine and Balonne ('I am likewise informed (although not in possession of any o cial Report) that Lieut Bligh whom I had dispatched on the trail of those tribes implicated in the murder of the Frazer Family has been enabled to come upon them in the broken country and driven them to the Condamine and Balonne.' (QSA282454 1858 Letter from Edric Morisset to Government Resident 1 May, Letterbook NP 1857–1859, M lm 2437)) and into Wide Bay. None of these accounts are clear about the location of these events or the numbers killed: "It is reported, says the Brisbane Courier, that Mr. Macalister, Police Magistrate at Stanthorpe, and Mr. Macarthur, Police Magistrate at Longreach, will shortly change positions. Mr. Macarthur has been in the Government service for many years, and principally in remote districts. He came to Queensland from New South Wales in the early pastoral days of this colony, and was one of the party who captured and punished the blacks who were among the actual perpetrators of the outrages upon and the massacre of the Fraser family. Mr. Macarthur is a spare, active man, well on in years, but still a good horseman, and capable of getting through a lot of work." (Capricornian, 1 June 1895, p20). The Colonial Secretary's objections to the implications of certain phrases contained in John Murray's and Walter Powell's reports implies a suspicion of certain actions on their part: '2. Lieutenant Murray in his letter to the Commandant of the 19 January last says “a considerable number of Blacks concerned in the late outrage have been killed by the Police, nding that they were allowed up to the Station, and evidently thinking that their evil[?] deeds had been forgotten”; and the expression to which the Colonial Secretary entertains objection is that portion of the above that is underlined. It, I am to say, would justify the inference that unawares and possibly while entrapped within reach of gun shot, they were in cold blood destroyed. … 4.The murder of the Fraser Family with the attendant circumstances required that the perpetrators of such monstrous enormities should be punished in the severest manner wherever they could be found; but I am desired to state that there is something abhorrent to the feeling of humanity to read, even in that case, of three Gins being shot dead as they were running away, and the Colonial Secretary trusts that on any future occasion should a similar occurrence be reported, you will make enquiry at once into the matter in order to check the feeling that the lives even of the most ignorant savages may be unnecessarily taken from them.' (QSA17616 1858 Letter from William Elyard to John Wickham 15 March, Letters addressed to the Government Resident by the Colonial Secretary, Sydney, on the Native Police 1849–1858, M lm 1494) Mary McManus, Reminiscences of the Early Settlement of the Maranoa District (1913:online): In 1858 - 'The native police were patrolling the district as well. We were visited by two companies of native police at this time. One under the command of the Government o cer, Mr. Robert Walker, with eight troopers (I think) all blacks. Another under Mr. Fredrick Walker, or as he was familiarly called, "Philibuster Walker," because he went about the country with a band of six black troopers. He was the founder of the Native Police, and was raised to the rank of commandant of the Native Police Force. But alas! he could not resist the failing of intemperance. Consequently, he was requested to resign. He still patrolled this and other districts, chie y in the Dawson. His home, I believe was at Mr. Andrew Scott's station, Hornet Bank.' 'At Gwambagyne, beyond Taroom on the Upper Dawson, Sandeman had asked me [Oscar de Satge] to look up his partner, Henry Gregory ... Henry Gregory was tough as whalebone, and used to ride from Gwambagyne to Burandowan, a two days' ride, it was said, with one pocket full of oatmeal and the other of sugar, and no other provision, disdaining, in that semi-tropical climate, blanket and ration bags. Single-handed, after the murder of the Frazer family, he pursued the blacks, tracking them up from camp to camp, "dispersing" them, and doing thereby as much to protect his neighbours as a whole detachment of police.' (de Satge 1901:160) 'Long afterwards, Serocold wrote: 'It was a necessity to make a severe example of the black leaders of the tribe and about a dozen were taken into the open country and shot ... These men were allowed to run and they were shot at about thirty or forty yards distant' (George Edward Serocold Pearce Serocold, Extracts from unpublished autobiography (NLA—MS 626, p.221, cited in Denholm 1972:351) 'The blacks for months had been threatening all our stations, saying “You look out directly white fellow altogether bong” (i.e. dead). They had been treated with great kindness for years, coming in to stations and going away just when they liked. So anxious were we to prevent a war that we overlooked thefts of sheep etc— & even when the six men were killed at Eurombah little or nothing was done. The blacks put all our forbearance down to cowardice, & there is no doubt formed a design to sweep us away one after the other. The Police force only consisted of six men & one o cer for the whole of the Upper Dawson. The magistrates met and consulted; unless immediate severe measures were adopted it was clearly seen that fresh murders would quickly follow, the result of which would be that the whole of our servants would abscond, our ocks be left to the native dogs and blacks, our stores pillaged & the country given up. Severity was in reality mercy in the end. Accordingly twelve of us turned out, & taking rations with us we patrolled the country for 100 miles round for three weeks and spared none of the grown up blacks which we could nd. I had hopes that my sword was turned into a ploughshare for good—& loath indeed was I to draw it—but it was a choice of evils—& we acted as we believed to be for the best in this crisis. Little did I think that the very nice pair or pistols, your last present to me on my leaving England, would be required to take human life;—they now lay near my head—and God grant me a cool head & a steady arm if these treacherous scoundrels pay us a visit. I sincerely hope the lesson we have given them will prevent them even doing any more mischief but this is hoping too much. In dealing with all savages you must make yourself feared. Depend upon it, it is very fortunate that we have had men of so much energy & decision in India: the accounts are indeed sickening, but desperate crises require desperate measures.' (GB 216 D/D T 2974/6 1857 Letter from George Pearce Serocold to Charles Serocold 25 December) 'Willie Frazer was one of a family that had been nearly all killed by the blacks at Hornet Bank. About 4 or 5 years before one of his brothers escaped by crawling under the bed. His mother and sister were killed and the place robbed of all stores the blacks could carry away. He told me he had shot 70 blacks up to date of travelling with us. He used a double barrel shot gun, cut down to carbine length and was a good shot.' (Andrew Murray's diary Wednesday June 19th 1860). 'You will observe in the enclosed report from Lt. Bligh that several of the ringleaders in the past outrages on the Upper Dawson were shot by his men in an encounter with them on the Auburn and as their names were afterwards given by one of their own countrymen staying at Mr Pigott’s station, there can be no doubt as to their identity. Some old gowns[?] and wearing apparel were found in the camp which also proves their participation in the late scenes of bloodshed and plunder.' (QSA282454 1858 Letter from Edric Morriset to Government Resident 8 August, Letterbook NP 1857–1859, M lm 2437) 'One of the black troopers who had been employed in the native police force, once gave me an account of how a mob of blacks had been dealt with after sticking up a station and murdering all but one of a whole family of whites. ... One night, however, they attacked the station, entered the bedrooms where the di erent members of the family were asleep, murdered them in cold blood mother, little ones, and all; but one son of about 17, who had, indeed, been left for dead, but revived, and, unknown to the savage wretches, crept out, ed for his life, and then gave notice to the black troopers not many miles away. Before daylight the troopers had surrounded the station, and the blacks, seeing that they were hemmed in on every side, rushed for a lagoon or large water-hole close by, into which they plunged pell-mell. Here, by diving for a considerable time, they avoided the shots of the police, but as they became exhausted, they were shot in the water one after the other till the whole lot—it may have been 50 or 100—had been killed. Supposing that they had nished their work of slaughter, the police went to the kitchen for breakfast, which, having nished, and while smoking round the reside, one who was about to light his pipe noticed that some soot fell on his hand, and upon looking up the chimney he saw a wretched fugitive cowering and trembling with fear, clinging to a beam and half su ocated from the smoke. He was told to come down, was taken outside, the o er to run a certain distance was given to him, and to get away if he could. But upon the rst move 10 or 12 shots with loaded ri es made that impossible, and he fell dead, pierced through with bullets. A black trooper who had taken part in the whole a air, was the detailer of these circumstances, but from other accounts of it which I have heard or read, I do not think the story at all overcharged.' (Zillman 1889:124–125; see also his more detailed version of the same tale in the Truth 18 and 25 April 1909. In this version he names the ex-trooper as “Broadfoot Jackey”) "I learned from various sources that a party of twelve squatters and their con dential overseers went out mounted and armed to the teeth and scoured the Country for blacks, away from the scenes[?] of the murder of the Frazers altogether, and shot upwards of eighty men women & children. Not content with scouring the scrubs & forest country they were bold enough to ride up to the Head stations and shoot down the tame blacks whom they found camping there. Ten men were shot in this way at Ross’s head station on the Upper Burnett. Several at Prior’s Station and at Hays & Lambs several more. The party in scouring the bush perceived an old blind black fellow upon whom they immediately tried sending a ball through his back, another through his arm which slivered[?] the bone to pieces and a third grazing his scalp. This old man had been for a long time a harmless hanger on at the di erent head stations and of course could have been in no way identi ed with the Frazer murderers. A black boy belonging to Mr Cameron of Corambula long employed by that gentleman in carrying messages & rations to his out stations and in going with drays to Gayndah & Maryborough, went to Mr Prior’s station on the Burnett and was shot there. A black fellow was captured in the bush by an armed black fellow in the employ of Mr Hay who supplied him with a carbine for the purpose. The black brought his prisoner to the Head Station tied him to a sapling in the presence of all the white residents and having addressed him in broken English in the most cruel and disgusting manner, placed the muzzle of his carbine to the helpless mans arm and broke it with the rst shot he then addressed him again in the same strain as before & shot him through the head. The Native Police say they have shot over 70 blacks. One of their acts deserves especial notice. They arrived at Humphrey’s station, went to the Blacks encamped near the house, bound two of the men and led them into the scrub and deliberately shot them, the cries of the two poor wretches were heard by the superintendents family at his house. I had supposed that these things although acted with seeming openness in the far interior and with evident impunity would not be tolerated in more civilised society and that the neighbourhood of Maryborough the chief town in the District could not be disgraced by any such barbarities. I was mistaken however. On the evening of Friday or Saturday last the white police accompanied by some white volunteers proceeded to the Blacks Camp near Mr Cleng’s[?] homestead between the old & new township of Maryborough and drove every man woman & child out of it, then set it on re destroying all the clothing, bark, tomahawks & weapons of the blacks and burning willfully the Blankets which at no inconsiderable expense are served out to the blacks yearly but he Government. The party of whites then followed and shot a boy of twelve years of age dead—a lad well known in town as a harmless, helpless lunatic and wounded a man with a ball in the thigh, besides. Yesterday the Native Police force under the orders of their white o cers preformed the same meritorious action for the Blacks in Maryborough setting re to their Camp destroying their clothing & blankets and driving numbers of them into the river in sight of the whole town population. Not content with this the Native Police proceeded to the boiling down Station about a mile from town and deliberately shot dead two old black men and a young one. I have witnessed no actual murder but I have witnessed scenes that I considered, occurring where they did, in the heart of the town, libels on the very humanity of the people, a disgrace to its Magistrates its Storekeepers its fathers & sons and every thing British in the place." (SLNSW 1858 Letter from G.D. Lang to Gideon S. Lang 31 March, A63) "I saw enough human bones at a bend of the Dawson River near Carabah Station to ll a handcart—a result of a round-up of aborigines in the late '60s" (O'Sullivan, M. 1947 Cameos of Crime) Blog posts 2 entries Label Tools Men in Label Tools Blue (and Red): A "[The Native Police] are clothed in a uniform of blue with scarlet relief, armed Brief with Snider ri es, drilled in semi-military fashion" (Brisbane Courier, 15 June History of 1878, p3). the Qld NMP From the start of the Native Mounted Police (NMP), the uniforms worn by Uniform o cers and troopers were a central element of their structure and presence. The lure of a uniform was thought to be one of the key attractions for Aboriginal men to join the Force, although more often than not this was seen as vanity by white observers: "Mr. Clohesy has found some eight men, all new to the service, and has rigged them out in the uniform of the troopers of which they are evidently not a little proud" (Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser 15 February 1872, p2). In giving evidence to the 1857 Select Committee enquiry into the deaths of the 11 members of the Fraser family and their employees on the Dawson River, William Foster thought that the troopers, "… seem to be a better race than the wild men they were taken from. The vanity of each individual is a ected by having an uniform, and being made a soldier of, and an esprit de corps is formed among them" (Legislative Assembly of NSW 1858:11). It is more likely that the uniforms were seen by Aboriginal men as a visible symbol of a labour agreement between themselves and Europeans. Given how important reciprocal (exchange) relationships were in Aboriginal society, the guns, hats, boots, uniforms and rations that were exchanged for their labour were critical ‘proof’ of a European promise. Failure to deliver could result in dissatisfaction or even desertion, as was the case in 1853 when three recruits from the Macintyre River—“Herbert”, “Luke” and “Owen”—deserted because ‘they had been for six months kept at drill, without uniforms, saddlery, or arms, and consequently without anything to gratify their feelings of pride, or self respect’ (Moreton Bay Courier, 29 January 1853, p.3). Eight recruits deserted from Rockhampton in 1862 for the same reason, suggesting that the Native Police’s supply chain had not improved in the intervening 10 years: "It was reported to me on my return that eight Recruits had been sent from Moreton Bay to Head Quarters by Lieutnt Wheeler but that they had all deserted a fortnight after their arrival here; the men had been led to expect a full supply of Clothing, Arms and Accoutrements and deserted in consequence of their disappointment" (QSA846765_1862_John O’Connell Bligh to the Colonial Secretary 15 December, In letter 62/2994, M lm Z5623). Supplies were often hard to get on the frontier, and the system of distributing uniforms from far-distant centres meant that camps could go without for long periods. Scarcity also created frugality, and it was not uncommon to recycle uniform components between successive troopers. Lieutenant George Fulford, for example, noted that a collection of clothing sent to Wondai Gumbal from the Label Tools Dawson included several torn and useless items, including one jacket that appeared "to have been worn for some length of time and has the name “Ralph” in it" (Fulford to Commandant 5 August 1855). All we know of “Ralph” was that he had been a trooper in the Clarence/Macleay region of NSW in 1854. The troopers’ uniform of the 1850s consisted of a dark blue cloth jacket, a choice of blue or white trousers, a shirt, boots and a forage cap (QSA86141 Native Police Work Downs Maranoa 1849-1857). The 6th and 8th sections, who were posted to Wondai Gumbal (between Dalby and Surat) and Yabba (between Nambour and Kingaroy), respectively, were also issued with a cloak. Edric Morisset, the second Commandant of the NMP, thought that little change needed to be made to the uniform in 1861 other than to increase its durability and introduce a full dress outer jacket: "[R.R.Mackenzie] Would you suggest any di erence in the clothing? [Morisset] It might be made of much more lasting material, but it would add considerably to the expense; that is why the clothing is at present made of colonial tweed. [R.R.Mackenzie] Do you think those blue jumpers they wear are good? [Morisset] Yes, for the bush. [R.R.Mackenzie] And you believe they are not expensive? [Morisset] No, very cheap. [R.R.Mackenzie] Do you think there should be jackets for the men to appear in parade in? [Morisset] Yes." (Qld Legislative Assembly 1861:149) Like their arms, ammunition, swords and badges, these uniforms would have been supplied by the NSW Government (QSA846738 60/2100), since the rst explicitly Queensland police uniform was not introduced until 1864. The rst ordinary, or ‘undress’, Queensland uniform was very similar to its predecessors, consisting of a dark blue jacket (also called a ‘jumper’) and shirt, a forage cap and dark blue trousers, with the option of white or drab cord breeches (Qld Police nd). For the Native Police the trousers were further accented by red stripes ‘strapped’ down the outside of the leg, the jackets with red cord (Queensland Government 1867:261) and the shirts with red facings (Moreton Bay Courier 18 December 1860, p3). These red accents were only added around 1861, since Frederick Carr, when questioned by the 1861 Select Committee, thought it was ‘a very good idea they are acting on—that of getting blue shirts, striped, with a red facing ‘ (Qld Legislative Assembly 1861:135). The uniform appears to have remained fairly consistent throughout the 1860s, 70s and 80s. The full dress uniform was di erent, of course, but was also only worn on ceremonial occasions (Figure 2). Amongst the o cers status distinctions were maintained through the number of cords in the sleeve ornament (one for a sub- Label Tools inspector, two for an inspector and three for the Commissioner) (Qld Government 1867:261). The sword that accompanied it was also only for display, even though troopers were usually still drilled in it, and often became very pro cient (Qld Legislative Assembly 1861:157). "Full dress Jacket—Dark blue cloth, Garibaldi pattern; standing collar, rounded in front, and edged all round with round gold cord; two rows of round gold cord down the front; one-quarter inch apart; Austrian knot of round gold cord on sleeve; round gold cord shoulder-straps. Trousers—Dark blue cloth, with two strips of gold lace, oak leaf pattern, half an inch wide and quarter an inch apart, down outer seam. Boots—Wellington Spurs—Steel, crane neck Sword—Light cavalry, scabbard steel Sword-knot—Gold cord, with acorn end Sword-belt—Cavalry pattern, pale Russia leather, snake clasp Pouch-belt—Pale Russia leather, two and a-half inches wide Pouch-box—Pale Russia leather, Q.P. in gilt on ap Sabretache and three slings—Pale Russia leather, Q.P. in gilt Gloves—white leather Head Dress—Blue cloth forage cap, with black oak leaf band, Q.P in gilt in front, straight peak. Undress Jacket—Same as for full dress, except that red cord is substituted for gold Trousers—Dark blue cloth, with two stripes of red cloth, half an inch wide, quarter an inch apart, on outer seam Or Pantaloons—Drab cord Boots—With trousers, Wellington boots, with box spurs, steel crane neck; with pantaloons, Napoleon boots and hunting spurs Sword-knot—Black leather Sabretache—None Head-dress—Same as full dress Gloves—White leather" (Queensland Government 1867:261). The 1866 Rules for the General Government and Discipline of the NMP Force required that ‘the men at out stations, when in quarters, will, invariably, parade on Sundays in full dress’. It is di cult to imagine the detachments at some of the furthest- ung NMP camps complying, even though many of them seemed to have been organised around open central spaces that probably did serve as Label Tools parade grounds. When in town the troopers were not to ‘appear in the streets unless dressed strictly according to order’ and were ‘at all times … expected to be smart and clean’ (Qld Government 1867:260). The red and blue colour scheme of the NMP uniform became a distinctive part of their identity. In 1861 Charles B. Dutton disparagingly referred to troopers who came on to his run as ‘bluemen’ (Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 8 February 1862, p6) and a series of rare 19th century drawings by a young Aboriginal man from north Qld known only as “Oscar” captured the vivid colours as the essential markers of a trooper. Oscar was ‘obtained’ by Augustus Henry ‘Gus’ Glissan, the manager of Rocklands Station, near Camooweal, in 1887, when he was only 9 or 10 years old. It is likely that his family were killed, since he was handed over to Glissan by the NMP, who were renowned for kidnapping women and children following ‘dispersals’ across the frontier. Oscar came from the Palmer River area, and nearly half of his drawings describe activities and people on the Palmer River or in Cooktown, the Palmer River’s main port. Several of his sketches depict groups of troopers dressed in full uniform, including boots and caps (Figure 3). Oscar was a keen observer, including details such as slashes of red on the troopers’ shoulders, down the fronts of their jackets (and possibly also on their breast pockets), both sides of their trousers, and across their caps. For Oscar, these were obviously crucial identifying markings, highlighting the red facings on the jackets, the red shoulder marks and the trouser stripes that are also very distinctive in the reproduction trooper’s uniform on display in the Police Museum in Brisbane (Figure 4). These red accents echo the uniform of the third incarnation of the Victorian Native Police, who operated in Victoria between 1842 and 1849. Their colour was green rather than blue, but their uniform maintained the distinguishing red contrasts on cap, trousers and jacket for both troopers and o cers (Figure 5). The earliest photographs of members of the Qld NMP date from the 1860s, apart from one isolated image from the 1850s. Interestingly, they show that the dominant form of headgear for both o cers and troopers seems to be the kepi, rather than the forage cap (Figure 6). The kepi was typical of most 19th century police and military, and was issued to the NMP with a removable ‘Havelock’ sun shade that could be tted over the cap to protect the back of the neck (Lamond 1949:32). Apart from the Havelock, none of the elements of the uniform seem particularly suited to the Qld climate, particularly as settlement spread further west and north. It was only toward the end of the century that uniforms were changed, Label Tools including introducing helmets, supposedly as better protection against the sun (Qld Police n.d.). While the non-dress uniforms of the mid-19th century showed only subtle distinctions between o cers and troopers, in 1896 Commissioner William Parry- Okeden introduced two further changes: a looser tunic in khaki and a soft felt hat for ‘bush duty’ (Qld Police n.d.; Figure 7). The adoption of Parry-Okeden’s uniform seems to have resulted in two parallel systems operating within NMP camps. At Coen in 1900 these were described as ‘Blue and khaki’ and at Eight Mile in 1902 as ‘khaki and N. Police’ (Report on Inspection of 8 Mile Police Station 2 December 1901, QSA290298 Police Stations –Durhan, Eight Mile, Highbury). In other words, while the o cers adopted the new khaki, along with the ‘bush’ hat, the regulation for troopers remained the blue tunic with blue or white trousers and kepi. What this means is that the original emphasis on dark blue with red accents for the Aboriginal troopers remained essentially unchanged throughout the second half of the 19th century and was even carried over into the 20th century through the trackers’ uniforms (Figure 8). While the image of o cers changed to re ect wider changes in the nature of policing, this doesn’t seem to have been the case for the Aboriginal members of the force. References Fulford, George to Commandant 5 August 1855, QSA86141 Native Police Work Darling Downs, Lower Condamine and Maranoa 1849–1857. Haydon, A.L. 1911 The Trooper Police of Australia. A Record of Mounted Police Work in the Commonwealth from the Earliest Days of Settlement to the Present Time. London: Andrew Melrose. Lamond, H. 1949 Native mounted police. Walkabout November 1:31–32. Legislative Assembly of NSW 1858 Report from the Select Committee on Murders by the Aborigines on the Dawson River; Together with the Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence and Appendix. Sydney: William Hanson, Government Printer. Queensland Legislative Assembly 1861 Report from the Select Committee on the Native Police Force and the Condition of the Aborigines Generally together with the Proceedings of the Committee and Minutes of Evidence. Brisbane: Fairfax and Belbridge. Queensland Government 1867 Rules for the General Government and Discipline of the Native Mounted Police Force. Queensland Government Gazette 7(28):258– 261. Queensland Police n.d. A brief history of the Queensland Police uniform. Police Bulletin 342:32–36. Label Tools Whittington, A. 1965 The Queensland Native Mounted Police. Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland 7(3):508–520. The Many The annotation ‘XXX’ can have numerous meanings. Meanings of X For centuries illiterate people have used an ‘X’ in place of a signature on contracts and agreements, or to make their mark. This was a regular occurrence in depositions given by illiterate workers to Native Mounted Police (NMP) o cers, as well as by many of the troopers who had not been taught to write (Figure 1). In some cases ‘X’ could be seen as a ‘brand’ or mark to indicate ownership. Alternatively, ‘X’ is the Roman number for ten and, as such, under such a system, ‘XXX’ represents the number 30. With the recent advent of texting an X is globally recognised as the symbol for a kiss, the number of kisses determining how special a person may be. There are several meanings of the symbol X that relate to alcohol. The process of recording the age of whisky after it is placed in barrels is indicated by annually marking the barrel with an ‘X’. An ‘X’ was preferred to an ‘I’ as it was thought that the latter could be confused with an accidental scratch. An ‘X’ is also used to record the number of distillations of some alcoholic drinks. With each distillation the alcohol content rises, so the more distillations (or Xs) the stronger the brew, though the Xs on a bottle of whisky or rum do not necessarily indicate the alcohol content. Likewise, beer quality is also sometimes measured in Xs. In 1877 the Fitzgerald brothers moved their brewing operations from Castlemaine, Victoria, to Brisbane, Qld. Their rst beer, a sparkling ale, was awarded three Xs and so became known as the ‘XXX Sparkling Ale’. In 1924 the company brewed a beer that was awarded four Xs, hence ‘XXXX Beer’ was born and became the symbol of Castlemaine Perkins Brewery as we know it today. Other applications for a series of Xs occur within the writing fraternity, whereby a writer completing a manuscript concludes the text with a single line of ‘XXX’ to signify to printers and editors that this is ‘The End.’ When an X is inscribed on a weapon, such as a Snider artillery carbine used by members of the NMP in Qld, however, it may take on an entirely di erent meaning (Figure 2). Qld Police Commissioner David Thompson Seymour was appointed in 1863 and was instrumental in ensuring the regular Qld police and the NMP were su ciently armed with appropriate weapons to e ect their purpose. At the time Commissioner Seymour was appointed, the weapons used by the police were Label Tools antiquated and unreliable muzzle loading percussion arms; this was to soon change. Advances in arms technology in Europe in the early and mid-nineteenth century produced reliable, accurate, and fast breech loading weapons adopted by Prussian, French, and Russian armies. The British had been left behind and, in order to maintain their position as a ‘military power’, it was necessary for their troops to be re-armed with breech loading weapons. Trials were conducted and modi cations considered to a number of weapons before the Snider ri e, artillery and cavalry carbines were approved by the War O ce in 1867 as the weapon of choice for the British Forces (Heptinstall 2016:8,14). Skennerton (2003) has described in great detail the Snider ri e and, along with Robinson (1997) and Heptinstall (2016), placed the arms in an historical context; we direct you to these sources if you wish to learn more about these weapons. Seymour was keen to acquire these arms, but the Government contractors were unable to supply them to the colony due to the high demand amongst British troops (Skennerton 2003:106–107). This forced Seymour to source the weapons via Commission Agents, who procured trade-manufactured arms from commercial suppliers, such as P. Webley & Sons. The trade-produced Snider arms did not possess the Royal Cypher (a crown over the letters V.R.), as seen on Government contracted weapons (Robinson 1997:44; Skennerton 2003:181,204), but otherwise were the same. Robert Kellet was the rst Commission Agent to o er 50 Snider carbines (the same as the British artillery weapons), 50 revolvers, and ammunition in 1870 to the Qld Government (QSA COL/A151 Inward correspondence letters 1325, and 1841 of 1870). These weapons, marked ‘Truelock Bros’ as well as ‘Tower’, and of the MkIII pattern with a locking breech (Robinson 1997:41,42,48), were subsequently approved for purchase and supplied to the Colonial Storekeeper. Messrs Blakemore of London supplied the next shipment of arms comprising ve cases of Snider carbines and two cases of revolvers to the Colonial Storekeeper in 1872 (QSA COL/A175 Inward correspondence letters 2272 and 2299 of 1872). These were also of the MkIII pattern and marked ‘P. Webley & Son’ on the lock plate (Webley patent), as well as ‘J.R. Blakemore, London’ and ‘Q↑G’ (Robinson 1970:44). A third order for 200 Snider carbines without swords and 50 with swords was negotiated directly between Seymour and P. Webley & Son of Birmingham in 1872 (QSA COL/A173 Inward correspondence letter 2009 of 1872). These arms were also of the MkIII pattern and the lock plate was marked ‘P. Webley & Son’. The lock plate of these arms was also expected to be marked ‘Q↑G’ by Webley, but on arrival in 1873 it was noted this mark had been omitted (Robinson Label Tools 1997:45–46;). Another purchase two years later, in 1874, for 200 Sniders without swords and 100 with swords was arranged by the Agent General, again directly with P. Webley & Son. These arms were also of the MkIII pattern and were marked ‘Q↑P’ (Robinson 1997:46). Seymour in a letter to the Colonial Secretary dated 26 February 1875 was clearly pleased with the quality of the Snider carbines, noting: "… although many of the carbines (those supplied to Native Police) have had say rough usage I have not yet had one reported unserviceable" (QSA COL/A207 Inward correspondence letter 702 of 1875). A further order was placed by the Agent General with P. Webley & Son for 250 Sniders without swords and 50 with swords in 1877, then in 1883 yet another order for 50 Sniders to be marked ‘Q↑G’ (Robinson 1997:47). Examples of Snider carbines with the lock plate marked ‘P. Webley & Sons’ are held at the Qld Police Museum (n=1) and the Qld Museum (n=2). One carbine at the Qld Museum (catalogue number H1354) was donated to the museum in 1912, though its exact provenance is not known (Figures 3 and 4). The description of this weapon suggests it is from one of the earlier Government purchases made prior to 1877. The weapon has an MkIII pattern breech block and the lock plate is marked ‘P. Webley & Son’, showing the Webley patent (a ‘wing bullet over W&S’). The hammer is pattern III with a at face and the barrel has provision for a bayonet. The butt is stamped ‘Q↑P’ and the butt tang numbered ‘637’. On the underside of the fore-end (the wood below the barrel) there are three crude Xs notched into the wood. The Oxford Dictionary de nes a ‘notch’ as: "A nick made on something in order to keep score or record." Another de nition, from the Online Slang Dictionary, suggests notches on guns are related to: "An old Western action describing how many people they have killed by carving a notch in the handle of their gun." The notched Xs on the Snider artillery carbine held in the Qld Museum could, therefore, be a method of recording or keeping count of the number of people killed by whoever was issued with that weapon. The practice of marking an object to keep a score or tally of kills was common during periods of war. For instance, World War II ghter pilots would record the number of con rmed kills by marking their aircraft with a ag of the enemy or other symbol (Figure 6). Label Tools Written accounts support the suggestion that kills by members of the NMP may have been celebrated and recorded in a similar fashion. One trooper, known only to us as Toby, had a chequered NMP career. He was variously dismissed from the Force, was an alleged deserter, and in 1860 was implicated in the rape and murder of a European woman named Fanny Briggs. Toby was captured and escaped before allegedly being shot dead by Lieutenant Morissett in 1861 (Richards 2005:141). An inspection of Toby’s carbine was described, albeit much later, as being: "… covered with notches, which represented blacks he had shot" (Bird 1904:165). Another example whereby a ri e was marked to record the number of kills is also know from the other side of the frontier, on the gun of William Fraser. A provoked, brutal attack by Aboriginal people at Hornet Bank station on the Upper Dawson River in 1857 had resulted in the death of 11 settlers, including eight members of the Fraser family. One of the surviving family members, William Fraser, supposedly sought retribution for the attacks, aided by the NMP, reportedly killing many Aboriginal people (Richards 2005:64) and keeping a tally of his kills: "When I had heard his account of the dreadful tragedy, a friend showed me, in his absence, his ri e, on the stock of which were a row, of very signi cant notches. These represented natives he had shot in retaliation" (Sydney Morning Herald, 4 September 1880, p7). Similarly, Bottoms (2013:202–204) provided a description of Frank Jardine as a notorious killer of Aboriginal people who had carved 80 notches on his ri e during his expedition to Cape York with his brother Alexander and native police troopers in 1864: "Frank beat them o and scored a few more nicks on the stock of his ri e … Frank had the blood of many natives on his soul were we to believe the signi cance of the nicks on the stock of his ri e" (Cannon 1885:29,30). Jardine’s violent reputation and disdain for Aboriginal people was not regarded as an adverse characteristic, for he was later appointed Police Magistrate at Somerset in 1868. We may never know if the carbine marked Q↑P 637 in the Qld Museum was ever used to kill or ‘disperse’ Aboriginal people. However, the probability of the inscribed ‘XXX’ simply being an ownership brand seems low. Instead, the notched Xs on the fore-end of the carbine corroborate the anecdotal evidence that suggests that some NMP members kept a tally of the number of individuals they killed. But did XXX indicate three or thirty? And, if the latter, what is the possibility that an uneducated Aboriginal trooper serving in the NMP would be familiar with Roman numerals? If indeed the numerals are Roman it seems more likely that this weapon was owned by a European o cer. If the notation does indicate 30, represented by XXX rather than a series of singular tally marks, this Label Tools may suggest killings in multiples of ten. An alternative interpretation of the marks on this carbine is the third ‘X’ appears to be more closely aligned to a ‘K’. If this is the case then it could be the initial of the owners surname. If the owner was prepared to notch the initial of their surname into the timber the question to be asked is why they chose not to nominate all three initials. Perhaps this was a case of initially recording 21 kills with ‘XXI’, and a further nine deaths brought the tally to 30 when the nal ‘I’ was changed to an ‘X’. Without a clear provenance of the weapon we can only hypothesise on the meaning of these notches. Not to lose sight of further possible explanations, ultimately a notched ‘X’ means whatever the person who put it there wanted it to mean, and may always be elusive to us. XXX References Bird, J.T.S. 1904 The Early History of Rockhampton, Dealing Chie y with Events up Till 1870. Revised and Reprinted from Articles that Appeared in ‘The Morning Bulletin’ and ‘The Capricornian’. Rockhampton: The Morning Bulletin. Bottoms, T. 2013 Conspiracy of Silence: Queensland’s Frontier Killing Times. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Cannon, R. 1885 Savage Scenes from Australia: Being a Short History of the Settlement at Somerset, Cape York. Valparaiso: He ermann. Heptinstall, T. 2016 From Snider-En eld, to Martini-Henry, to the Magazine Lee- Metford: An Historical and Technical Overview of the Development of British Military Ri es from 1866 to 1895. Unpublished MA thesis, University of Hudders eld. Laurie, A. 1959 The Black War in Queensland. Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland1(1):155–173 Oxford Dictionary 2018 Notch. Retrieved 01 October 2018 from . Richards, J. 2008 The Secret War. A True History of Queensland’s Native Police. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Robinson, S. 1997 Arms in the Service of Queensland 1859–1901. Kedron: J.S. Robinson. Skinnerton, I. 2003 .577 Snider-En eld Ri es and Carbines, British Service Longarms 1866–1880. Labrador: I. Skinnerton. Sydney Morning Herald 1880 The natives in the far north. 4 September, p7. The Online Slang Dictionary (American, English, and Urban Slang) 2018 Notch. Retrieved 1 October 2018 from . Documents 20 / 67 entries Title Text File Tools Andrew Murray's diary [Transcript of ANDREW MURRAY'S 1860 DIARY from (unpublished) 1860 http://www.cqhistory.com/wiki/pmwiki.php/People/AndrewMurray. The original is held in the University of New England and Regional Archives, Heritage Centre, A0440] Saturday, December 31st, 1859 I started with my outﬁt and three horses, all young, sound and quite. My intention was to go through to Uralla that night which would be a distance of 27 miles. First starts from home are seldom early. Before I had all ready, mid day was past and after bidding all goodbye, it was well into afternoon. Leading two spare horses, unused to leading, prevented me going fast with the result that I had to stay at Rambanda for the night, a distance of about 12 miles. I had known Mrs. Stitt since I was six years old and she was very kind and hospitable, nevertheless I would have been glad if time had permitted and my horses had led better, to have reached my destination. A Mrs. Davis, sister of Mrs James Starr of Zion House, Armidale, was staying here and she, having come from the North of Ireland, had a wish to see the old year out and the new year in, with a bright ﬁre, which however pleasant in the depth of winter in Ireland, was not a necessity on a warm night in Australia. So, leaving the company to enjoy Hogmanay, I went to bed, but not to sleep. What with the rattling of dishes and the telling of stories of the time kept up in Ireland, little peace was possible until past the hour of 12. If I had known to what extent our ideas diﬀered, I would have traveled until 12 o'clock to reach my destination at Uralla Sunday 1st January, 1860. Started and went on quietly, reaching Uralla early, a distance of 15 miles. Accepted the kind hospitality of Mrs. George McKay at whose hotel I stayed when in Uralla, until all were ready for a start. Mrs McKay was a kind and motherly lady and as I had known them all for years and Johnny, Hugh & Vinney and their sons being all here, I was quite at home. Johnny had been working on the diggings for some time, where a great deal of gold had been found since its discovery in 1852 and was still being obtained. Monday 2nd January, 1860 On calling on Mr. John McCrossin to ascertain when he thought he would be able to start, he said that unfortunately he would be detained through some case to be heard at the Court House in Title Text File Tools Armidale. Had I known sooner, I need not have come so soon. Mr. McKay proposed that we ride over to Mihi Creek and see the people there. I had been at the station when a small boy about 21 years ago and had all the surroundings indelibly impressed on my mind. A Mr. Roderick McLennan, shipmate of my father, was managing there for the owner, a Mr. Jenkins, I think. The custom of the times when old acquaintances met, was to have a glass of rum or any substitute procurable. On this occasion it was hop beer. I remember the frothy head and the inviting look it had. When indulging in liquor, real or only a substitute, people get kind and generous. I must have a nip too. What a disappointment it was, the ﬁrst beer I had seen and instead of being as I expected, a nice sweet drink, it was bitter as if brewed from bitter wood. Drink that? No! No! It was twenty ﬁve years after that dose that I took kindly to beer. I was only learning to walk in those days and I feel I did not get groggy on that beer. Father carried me most of the way home from Salisbury and I heard my mother say I slept well that night. The Mihi beer and a few other things about the place are still on my mind. So on a second visit we were most kindly entertained by Mrs John Gordon and her two ﬁne daughters, Misses Jessie and Kate. Misses Jessie and Kate who did all they could to entertain us with all the anecdotes and jokes they could think of. I well remembered the old house still in a good state of repair, nicely ﬁxed up with paper pictures and all the little fancy ornaments, a great improvement on the old bachelors bare slab walls of 1840, and what was better, a nice cup of tea and a tasty meal instead of that hop beer and milk. Many new outhouses had been put up since my ﬁrst visit and the ﬁne, long native pampas grass that grew along the course of the creek with its downy featherlike white tops was all gone, not a trace of it now, the cattle and horses had cropped it all down, it was gone, little by little, unnoticed by those living there all along those years since I ﬁrst saw it. Not so with me, although only there a few hours and away for 21 years, seemed as though I had only been away a few days. The land and water appearance was all comparatively thick and I think if killed, much undergrowth will show up rock formation slate. In the morning a proposal was made to go out to the Mihi Creek Falls. The horses were brought in and noticing that Miss Kate's was not a choice riding hack for a lady, I exchanged with her, giving one that was a little better, a stock rather than a side saddle hack and I rode her pony. The distance to the falls was about six miles and did not take long to get over. The creek is small but in time of ﬂood, would be a considerable stream. I do not know the height of the falls, but over two hundred feet I would think. We threw some stones over and Title Text File Tools saw white cockatoos ﬂying among the trees growing on the narrow banks of the creek below. After having a look at the gully from diﬀerent angles we went back to the slate rock formation of the falls. Having a cup of tea and an early lunch, we then started back to Uralla. From there I went down to Cameron's sheep station where my old mate, Donald Cameron, was staying, with his wife Kate. Spent one night here among the kind old acquaintances and back to Uralla. Thinking I might be better of a 4th horse, as all except McCrossin had only two each, I returned to Haning and bargained with my uncle, John Blair, for a black horse he called "Rainbow" He thought he was fast and thought a great deal of him. He was by Loche Star, a big stallion we had and he had a strain of Arab in him, quiet tempered and a useful animal. (Unfortunately, while cantering over snow, he slipped and broke his thigh and had to be shot). Returning to Uralla, the time drew near for a start. I now had four fairly good horses. Cameron, Muldoon and I, thought it would be well before starting, to call a meeting to arrange in a rough way, to deﬁne our respective duties on the coming journey. Where there are eight to cook for during many months journey, a good deal of friction can be avoided by a mutual understanding as to our respective duties. Most of us, especially Cameron, Muldoon and myself, knew roughly how to prepare a meal, an almost inherent accomplishment of those who follow diggings, stock- droving, carrying etc. When the arrangement of cooking week about was proposed, Mr. McCrossin objected to doing his weeks cooking. The matter could have been got over easily. He was the organizer and leader of the expedition and had a right to all due consideration. He was willing to assist, but not to be bound, was one of the best types of the human race. Kind, just and strict, but too liberal, all admired him and wished him success. The result of the meeting was barren. Nothing was ﬁxed deﬁnitely, further than each one was to provide an equal share in purchase of necessary rations, ammunition and general outﬁt. We were all to share in any division of any country we might ﬁnd and each member to dispose of his interest as he chose. When all got together we numbered seven white men and a black boy named Duke, who was a son of King Brandy and Queen Marry Anne's, born at Salisbury, 7th October, 1839. MR JOHN McCROSSIN, who organized the party and was its chief supporter, was a native of the North of Ireland. With his father, mother, sisters and brothers, he arrived in this country in the early 1840's. The whole family were strictly honest in all their dealings. When he started out on this trip he had a ﬁne up to date store and Title Text File Tools was doing good business. He found and maintained the black boy, Duke, in horses and saddles and took with him fourteen horses. MR JOHN McKAY, a native of Inverness, Scotland, came to this country in the 1850's. He wrote a good hand. Kept a journal and bought much of our provisions, with money contributed from time to time as requested by the party. He had two horses, one for saddle and one for packing. He had, he said, been educated for a sea faring life and before starting, had been like thousands of other young men, at the Rocky River diggings at Maitland Point, near Uralla, NSW. MR. DONALD CAMERON, a native of Inverness shire, Scotland, came to this country in the early 1850's and was a neighbour of ours whilst managing for Mr. R. Pringle's station at Retreat. I knew him well there and also as a digger on the Rocky River at Maitland Point. A ﬁne, able man, about 6ft high, active and strong. He had two horses. HAMILTON ROBISON, was a native of the Hunter River. He and his people were highly respected by all who knew them. He had two horses, a pack and a saddle horse. JOHN MULDOON a native of the North of Ireland, followed mining pursuits and was a mate of Cameron on the Rocky River diggings, had two horses. JOVANNA BARBRA (JOHN BARBARA) was an Italian by birth, by trade a carpenter, quiet and unassuming. He seemed out of his element a little. He had a pack and saddle horse. MYSELF (ANDREW MURRAY) a native of Whabra, on the MacLeay River, N.S.W. was carried on to New England when very young, had followed pastoral and station work all my life and had four horses. THE START Monday, January 16th, 1860 Started from Uralla and had some trouble with the horses. McKay, Robison and Duke stayed behind at Saumarez Ponds. Unfortunately, I lost the barrels of my gun. Messrs. John McCrossin, Cameron, Muldoon, Barbra and I went on. Mr. McCrossin had some law business to attend to. Tuesday, January 17th, 1860. I bought a new gun, double barrel, in Armidale for &3.10.0. After many little delays we left in the afternoon, about 2.30. Passed Tilbusta about four miles further and camped on a creek. Night cold, timber box and stringybark. Wednesday, January 18th, 1860. Title Text File Tools Started at 8 o'clock, crossed over to the pinch. Had dinner on a small plain near Guyra. Had a tin of sardines and oiled my boots. Country thickly grassed, basaltic rock formation. Went on to Falkoner, bought a cheese from a Mrs. Cameron. She, her husband and family were shipmates of Donald Cameron. Went on and camped near Ben Lomond head station. Timber, peppermint, patches of red soil. Thursday, January 19th 1860. Started early, wishing to see the Glen Innes races. On topping Ben Lomond, we saw the tents in the distance on the racecourse on Beardy Plains. The distance deceiving. After travelling until about 4 o'clock and making several further attempts to cross the Beardy (being stopped each time by the boggy nature of the country) we got along to where the road crossed as the people were leaving the course, so went past Glen Innes about 11/2 miles and camped about a mile from the town. I managed to shoot a plains turkey. Took it onto the camp. After tea the whole party except myself and Duke went back to the town. The night was very dark. I took the inside out of the turkey, carried it to a small muddy waterhole, plastered it over with mud and put it in a big ﬁre to cook, gathering up all the wood I could get to try to steam it. After a length of time I took it out, the mud and the feathers came oﬀ in ﬂakes but it was not cooked so had to cut it up and put on to stew in a billy can. Later on the party returned in small detachments. They had been amongst a rowdy lot settling up at the races. A constable said Muldoon had struck him and they were apprehended and had to be bailed out and were to appear at court next day. Friday January 20th 1860. My travelling companions returned to town. Mr J.A. McGuiness J.P. heard the case at one of the hotels. All were let oﬀ, as the constable, if struck, had made a mistake and had arrested the wrong man. Started in the afternoon along the Tenterﬁeld Rd and camped at Ogg's Creek Country poor and granite formation. Much stringybark, blackbutt, little grass to be seen and of poor quality. Saturday January, 21st, 1860. Started at 7 o'clock and passed Dundee and thence over a somewhat better class of country. Timber, peppermint. After a few miles the country much improved. Timber changes to yellow jacket. Crossed Deepwater on the edge of the plain and shot a plains turkey. There was little water in the creek. Crossed the creek near the head station and after going about a mile, crossed for the Title Text File Tools third time over deep water. The run of the water was very little. Going on some distance we turned oﬀ the road to the left and in the bend of the creek got a ﬁne dry camp for Sunday. Had gun practice at a tree with fairly satisfactory results. I had been interested to have a swim in a large waterhole but changed my mind. We did not catch any ﬁsh. Sunday January 22nd 1860. Camped all day. Muldoon gave us some useful religious tracts. Also, I had a Bible, one left at Retreat Station years ago and given to me by my grandmother. The name of Archibald Phelan was written in it. I suppose the name of the young man who owned it and left it through forgetfulness, would regret his loss. The country here is all of granite formation, large ﬂags and boulders of that rock cover the mountains and ridges for many miles around. Monday January 23rd 1860. Had a good start this morning, passed over the Bolivia Mountain, on the north side steep and uneven. Passed Bolivia head station on our left and on the Mole River country, the greater part of the way was poor to very poor. Passed along under the bluﬀ, a high, almost perpendicular peak, on the roadside. The Mole River has deeply eroded country between granite, sandy ridges, white gums grow along its course, the bed is sandy. Crossed a low dividing ridge and ran down what appeared to be one of the main heads of Tenterﬁeld Creek. Camped a few miles South of the town. All is granite formation, some high hills to the west and east of our camp. The granite seems ﬁner in the grain here and some large ﬂags of it in places. Tuesday January 24th 1860. Started somewhat later and reached the township early. Some of the horses were to be shod. I stayed in the camp in a bend of the creek, close to the town. Made a ﬁre in a stump as ﬁrewood was scarce. One of the party brought me a piece of mutton to boil. It was very tainted. I had read in the "Armidale Express" that charcoal would take the taint away from meat, if a quantity was added to the water in which the meat was boiled, I tried it and found it a failure so did not have a very palatable meal. My mates showed signs of having sampled "ﬁre water", especially . Some of the Tenterﬁeld blacks, Duke said, were after him to kill him, so in starting in the afternoon from town, he armed himself with a Title Text File Tools cutlass, with which we were provided. Swords had been ordered but were unprocurable. The cutlasses had no sheaths and were very dangerous weapons to carry. Duke rode a chestnut colt of Mr. McCrossin's, which started bucking furiously when just clear of town. Duke ﬂourished the cutlass and stuck to the saddle well, saying that "blackfellow could come now, he would teach them not to follow after him!." Went on a few miles down the Tenterﬁeld Creek and camped, being a little north west of town. Wednesday January 25th 1860. Started early, passed over Ballandeen Gap. Poor granite country, not swampy at all. Had dinner on a creek and on over white sandy ridges. After passing a big, high stockyard, we camped within a few miles of Bartley Rose Inn, Quart Pot Creek. Thursday January 26th 1860. All agreed to have breakfast at the inn for a change, so started early. After three of four miles travel, came to the hotel, a long barn like building, split slab walls and a stringybark roof. We ordered breakfast. Bartley Rose seemed a little afraid of us, thinking from the numerous arms were carried that we might be related in some way to bushrangers or horse stealers! After waiting a while, breakfast was ready and we tried to have value for our money. McKay had a bottle of pickles when most else on the table had disappeared and was deliberately eating away at them, so we nick named him "Pickles". He tried the salad oil in the cruet, but it did not seem palatable! A little of it was taken to oil our guns. The meals cost us 2/- a piece and all liquors were 1/- a glass, including cordials. After breakfast we journeyed on, passing Maryland head station. The country near it is of good sound formation. Much wattle growing on it. After passing it, sandy country was again met with and travelled over for about eight miles, when we camped at a sandy gully. Friday January 27th 1860. Had a good start to the mail station, into camp early. Had dinner and long gun practice at a tree that has a good deal of lead in as a result. On the west a high range runs in a northerly and southerly direction, faced on the side next to us with a dark green scrub, very dense. At the foot of the scrub, a swamp of a few acres in extent is visible, as if a spring came out of the scrubby hill. On the west side of this range is the Rosenthwell head station. The ridges and gullies were very steep. I went down some distance, exploring, and had a struggle to get through the long grass. A small animal started Title Text File Tools running along in the grass, making a peculiar spitting noise and of a strange, stiﬂing odour. I thought it an uncanny place, climbed the ridge and home to camp. Another stage will bring us near the town of Warwick. Still in granite country. Saturday January 28th 1860. Got away early and all went well. Cameron and I travelled together as a rule, as mates conversing and exchanging ideas on all the various incidents of the past and present. A strange trait in human existence is that some associates either from longer acquaintance or social bearing or friendship are greater favourites than others. Donald and I had shared in the mountain chase after wild stock, as well as working together in other ways. We are not ﬁrst in the party where 1/- nips are at hand, but up to our post where work was wanted, whether cooking a meal, pitching a tent or bringing the horses in to camp. Of the latter we had little to do, as Duke was always attentive to his work. This was a hot, dusty day, wind from the N.W. in which course the road ran. The horses raised clouds of dust which were carried by the wind in the faces of those behind. The country from three miles north of early camp had improved, some beautiful, sound forest land of a reddish colour. Arrived at Warwick about 3 pm. Crossed the Conadmine River and camped at Cave Creek. Sunday January 29th 1860. Remained in camp. The temperature is very warm. Monday January 30th, 1860 As some horses had to be shod, we remained in camp. McKay and I went ﬁshing, but did not catch any ﬁsh. Tuesday January, 31st 1860 Started early and camped near Dalrymple (now Allora Creek), saw a great number of turkeys but not near enough to shoot any. We shot some pigeons. Wednesday February 1st 1860 Had a good start, travelling over plains and intervening belts of openly timbered ridges, the timber being of a kind of yellow jacket. Gnarled growth and good ﬁrewood. We camped on a well watered creek, called Clifton Creek, country, open plains here and di cult to get wood to cook with. I had to bake some ﬂour into johnny cakes and the remainder into dough boys with sugar. Two emus Title Text File Tools came into sight on the Downs, which are very extensive here. I caught Rainbow, the fastest horse I had and armed with a revolver, went in pursuit, hoping to get some oil for our harness and guns. Directly I went toward them, they were oﬀ at a fast pace and as the ground was not good for galloping, I could not get near enough to shoot. Thursday February 2nd Went on over country much the same, all black soil. Passed a number of carriers driving bullock teams. Passed a ﬁne piece of extra well grassed country at Emu Creek and reached Eton Vale early. Camped on the north side of the station. Grass not so good here, eaten oﬀ by sheep, which, compared to New England sheep, seemed nearly as big again. McKay shot a rosella parrot with a bullet, the plumage of these birds is a dullish green, the bright colours, red, yellow and blue of the New England rosella wanting on those of the Darling Downs. Friday February 3rd 1860. Left camp early. McKay shot a ﬁne turkey. We reached Drayton early. Some alterations and repairs to Mr McCrossin's harness necessitated his staying some time. Drayton is situated on a dry, stony ridge, no sign of water near it. The water is carted from a spring some distance away. Donald Cameron and I went on to Gourie Creek. The day was very hot and except a few white cedar bushes, there was no shade. The water in the creek was nearly all dried up. Had some diner packed up and passed the Gourie head station and near dark, camped at a boggy spring. There was a well but the Glen Gallon Water was useless of dead possums and native cats in it. We managed to get enough water for the camp by digging it out of the cattle tracks. The remainder of our party came to camp late. Some of them had been drinking success to the journey. We went on towards Jondaryan Station, where at Mirage Creek, an illusion like a lake, ripples in the wind on the edge of the lake. When we reached the creek on the edge of the timber, the waterholes were half dried up and hundreds of mussels or shells were stinking in the muddy bank. Passed Jondaryan head station and went on to a long waterhole and camped. There was no bread and the little hitch that should have been ﬁxed up at Uralla cropped up, Title Text File Tools Mr McCrossin always attended to boiling the water and making the tea but some of the other members of the party never did any of the cooking. They would hobble their horses, put their harness together and wait for the two or three willing hands to do the rest. On this occasion, when the bread bag was opened there was no bread. The result was that de nite arrangements were agreed to. Mr McKay was very attentive to writing up his journal and some of the others did nothing, I also, kept a journal. Needless to state, no further annoyance was experienced and all were willing to take their week to cook. Sunday February 5th 1860. Camped as usual on the Sabbath. The day was one of the hottest we had experienced. Nice showers during the night. Monday February 6th 1860. The distance to Dalby was about ﬁfteen miles. The road lay through a comparatively level, open timbered, box forest. No sign of a creek. We pushed on and reached the township of Myall Creek about three o'clock. Our horses were not all in the best of condition, especially Barbra's poor pack horse. As some expected letters from home, we agreed to go up the creek a mile and a half and camp for a time. We went into town many times, when the weather was ﬁne. We had some heavy showers and the creek ran a good stream, and small ﬁsh of silvery white appeared, six to eight inches long, camped up in the stream and where there were low falls, jumped over them. They resembled bream. We also went shooting scrub wallabies in a belar and brigalow scrub. I shot one which had one or two scrub ticks on it, so we would not use it, camped here till the 17th. Friday February 17th 1860. Started on early and reached Jimbour Creek about noon. Camped near the creek, the only place where there was any timber. Fixed up our tent and got dinner and were enjoying it in front of the tent. There was a thunder cloud overhead. Suddenly a small streak of chain lightning struck a tree about forty yards from us, cutting a small limb oﬀ, and rending the bark to the ground. All our bowie knives were thrown from us and we got away from the trees. I saw the lightning strike the ground on the open plain and the dust rose as if a large gun had been ﬁred upwards. The cloud soon ﬂoated away. A light shower had fallen that made the ground sticky. Time passed on, the night was dark. We had a ﬁre burning, when a young man rode up to our camp and said "good night". He Title Text File Tools seemed to have had a glass or two, he rode a grey horse. Leaving the camp, he went in the direction of our horse bells and we soon heard them galloping. Muldoon's horse, Shawnessy, had a bull-frog bell on and was heard very plainly. Muldoon, McKay and I went on foot as fast as we could run in the dark, Muldoon keeping ahead a few yards. When we reached the horses the fellow was taking the bell and hobbles oﬀ Shawnessy. Muldoon, who was a strong young man struck him, knocking him down. I got hold of him, he objected so got a few hard hits. McKay came up. The man's horse had got away and we marched the would be horse stealer back to our camp. Cameron and Muldoon found his horse and put it in the Jambour paddock. We kept guard over our prisoner all night, intending to take him to Dalby. The delay to have him tried changed that plan. He said that his name was Baxter and his father owned a pound near Brisbane and his intention was to take the horses to the Bunya Bunya Mountains, but if we would let him go, he would not trouble us again. After considering the matter, we let him go and had no further trouble form him, or anyone else, the whole trip. Saturday February 18th 1860. After getting ready we went on our way, passing the Jimbour head station, where Leichhardt started from on October 1st 1844 for his overland trip to Port Essington. Got out to Karanga Creek where there was ﬁne water and many ﬁne ducks. In ﬁxing up our guns to try get a few of them, Muldoon accidentally let the hammer of his gun slip. The gun went oﬀ and although we were all standing around him, providently, no one was injured. The discharge frightened the game away. A very marked change for the worse takes place in the character of the country after passing Karanga Creek, situated about six miles from Jimbour. Instead of blacksoil downs, we had a lighter coloured soil, which, during periods of heavy rain, would be boggy in places. The Down's gnarled box disappeared, red gum along this creek of fair growth, is well represented. The poplar box is to be found on the forest land, with iron bark scrub. Patches occur, chie y of brigalow, grass wiry and in places, seedy. Surface water in drought periods is scarce. The sight of a round well is to be seen near where some buildings of an early period exist. The timbering of this well had been ﬁxed in by timber (circular ) similar to the fellys of a cart wheel. The work had been well done, the upper part being in good repair still, although Title Text File Tools abandoned for, perhaps, twelve or fourteen years. Camped on Jingi Creek, known also as Charlie's Creek, it empties into the Condamine. Sunday February 19th 1860. Camped here in the afternoon. Duke discovered what he thought were bees going into a small pipe, near the top of a dead tree. He went up, thinking to get some honey. I may state that there were no native bees in New England and Duke had heard of them but had not seen them and the English bee did not reach that district as at this year. The New England blacks used to go over their boundaries into the Namoi and Tamworth districts after native honey and pipe clay. Where the beautiful white pipe clay was found in Hall's Creek is still a mystery. The tree, although high, was not big and Duke soon felled it with the tomahawk. Muldoon, whilst examining the supposed bees, had ample proof of their stinging ability. One ﬂew at and stung him near the eye, I have not forgotten his exclamation!! They were a small variety of hornet with a dark, honey like substance in their nest in a kind of comb. Su ce to say, one small taste of it would last one for a lifetime. I tasted it and su ered very much from its eﬀects during the night. My trusty mate Cameron attended me, till I began to get better. A teaspoon of the substance would, I think, prove fatal. It had a sweetish honeylike taste. Monday February, 20th 1860. Started early taking the Gayndah Road. Cameron and I had strong views on the liquor question and although but little spirits were indulged in, every shout, as it was called, cost 8/-. Neither of us liked it and objected, as it were, to be being victimised. We bought a bottle of raspberry syrup at the store of the station and going ahead, when we came to water, had a drink. We never pulled up at hotels on the road afterwards, except on one occasion. The country going towards the road to the Boyne River, was of a sandy nature, second and third grade grazing land quality. Camped at a creek, squatter pigeons were fairly numerous and there were some ducks. I shot a few pigeons and others got some ducks. We came a long stage today, about twenty ﬁve miles. Tuesday February 21st 1860. Got a fair start and travelled over iron bark ridges, composed of granite sand and some quartz. The ridges, although high, were not rough. The gullies were deep. On reaching the Boyne River we found a large channel sanded from bank to bank and there was a Title Text File Tools little surface water under it. Passed the station on the east side of the river, called the Bassandirvan and owned by Sandeman and Gilbraith. After travelling some distance we camped on a sandy ridge, characteristic of the whole country we have seen for over thirty miles, a course, sandy formation. We had our best water dog poisoned at this camp, so have only Mr McCrossin's old Bluey, a cattle dog, left. I walked a long distance, trying to discover what I thought might be scrub turkeys, but found the loud cooing noise was the note of the doves, which are numerous hereabouts. Wednesday February 22nd 1860. Started early, crossed over the River Boyne. Passed the head station, Bundaberg, I think is the name of it. The owner's name is Lawson. They were packing carbines to send out to some new country. Character of the country, second class. Camped on a small creek, the name of the creek is unknown to us. Thursday, February 23rd 1860. The country being poor, we pushed on over medium country, re crossed the Boyne and camped at Starthdees Station. Very poor feed. Watered the horses, a great many blacks here. They camped in groups at small ﬁres and sat in rows like soldiers Friday February 24th 1860. The character of the country is still poor, in places, useless. There is a kind of cemented rock with white box and iron bark and scrubby heath. Had some rain during the night, hope to reach Gayndah tomorrow. Saturday, February 25th 1860. Had a good start, Cameron and I went on ahead, passing over some hard, cementlike rocky ridges with a prickly heath low scrub for about seventeen miles. Came out on a ﬁne black soil plain. Saw a house on the roadside. We were a mile ahead of the party and on calling at the house, found they sold milk. What a treat! We drank about a quart each. What a luxury to us, coming as we had from where milk was plentiful. The party in sight so we went on to Gayndah and pulled up at Walkers Hotel, to await the coming of our mates. A man was standing at the tap room door, whom I seemed to have seen before. He was much altered, but something about him I must know. I asked him if his name was Bell. He replied that it was and added, "you are Andrew Murray". Saw him last at Stoney Batter about seven years ago. He inquired our Title Text File Tools errand and on being told insisted on me staying with him. So the others of our party went on over the Burnett River, camping on the west bank. I stayed t the hotel that night. We occupied the same room in separate beds, but had little sleep all night talking about the old New England folk and what had transpired since he left. I spent a pleasant night as his guest. Sunday February 26th 1860. John Bell would not hear of me going over to the camp. I would have preferred it as I was never a good publican's customer, but pressing invitations from an old companion of bygone days and arrangements with the party to hobble and look after my horses prevailed and stayed with him over Sunday, and fared well as the day was showery. Monday February 27th 1860. Mr. Bell told me his business there was buying cattle. He had, however, the evening before we arrived bought some three hundred or three hundred and ﬁfty head from the landlord, Mr. Walker. After a hard deal which ended in his favour on the strength of his playing the violin to Mr. Walker's satisfaction and singing a few songs, aided by a member of the Force, the chorus of whose song was "We'll laugh and sing, God save the King, auld Ireland and the army etc." Mr. Bell said buying the cattle was a hard bargain, getting a reliable man to drove them, still harder, for he could not get one worth a button. Would I help him? I replied that I would, if my companions agreed to do my work, pack up my kit and look after my horses. This they readily agreed to do, so I am now to be, for a time at least, a cattle drover. I got in as a disinterested party in the stock. Mr Walker did not know that I was the leading bull rider in the Moonbi Ranges and that I had a........likely for the welfare of my old Longford friend. Tuesday February 28th 1860. Matters being arranged satisfactorily I started out in the north easterly direction where the cattle were being herded. There were about ﬁve hundred head in the lot. There being no yard to count out, it was mutually agreed between Mr. Walker and Mr. Bell that as the stockman and myself were disinterested we were to cut the mob and whichever was the bigger lot was to be Mr. Bell's. The cattle were a mixed lot from Yandillo Darling Downs. After rounding them up and mixing them as fairly as we could, we cut. When heavy and light cattle re ringing around, the heavy cattle keep together. I had the lead and the cut was made, which was Title Text File Tools considered satisfactory to both parties. All the bullocks were in Bell's lot. They were then counted and a man came with me to help me drove them whilst Mr. Bell and Mr. Walker returned to Gayndah to settle up for them. Bell then returned and together we drove them down to Mr Reid's station, Iderway, where we had a yard to put them in. At the house a hearty squatter's welcome, good fare and good sleep awaited. Wednesday February 29th 1860. Had breakfast and a good start and travelled level with the Burnett on the west bank to a creek, emptying into the Burnett River. As we had no yard tonight, we camped the cattle between the creek and the river, near the junction. It seemed to be an outstation. A Mr. Bates lived there, the name of the place being Yanda. Thursday March 1st 1860. Started early and went on over some well grassed country where we had to keep night watch again. Friday March 2nd 1860. Went on and after a hard days drive we reached Messrs. Leviston and Lamot's station, "Twingaring". In the distance we saw large yards and hoped to get the cattle in. On Mr. Bell's asking, however, the use of the yards for cattle was refused. They were sheep yards and the cattle would tread them up. So we had a third night, watching. We camped on the east side of the creek which served as a break and a fence came into it, which, with a dense vine scrub, served a fairly good camp. We had little trouble, but felt the want of sleep. One of the station bulls was a little troublesome during the night. Saturday, March 3rd 1860. Started as early as possible. The ridges were very stony, with sharp slate and rock. A wind storm had caused the fall, by the roots, of many spotted gums. The cattle were footsore and travelled very slowly. We had only one apology for a stockwhip, which we exchanged from time to time and by hard work got about three miles by mid day. Had a razor back to rise so put the cattle on into it to fee up, whilst we had a little to eat. While at dinner one of the station owners came along. He thought we could not make the next station so had better camp at a creek, some distance ahead. The ground on the top oﬀ the ridge was softer going and by hard work we reached Walla by sundown. Mr. Bell got leave to put them in the yard. I think he gave in a short count. The yard was not big enough but we were inside a paddock so if a few were left out, no Title Text File Tools matter. However we got them packed in, the rails up, something to eat and lay down on the couch on the lower side of the yard, a nice soft bed and dry. We soon slept. It was cloudy then and had been all day. We slept soundly, very soundly. I awakened next morning, we were in a watercourse coming through the yard, more than a little damp. I wakened up Bell, we gathered up our traps and went into a hut where we ﬁxed up a stretcher and the water dripped oﬀ us till morning. Sunday March 4th 1860. At daylight we got away. A deep banked creek came into the river where we had to cross at the bend of it. On the river sand, the river had not risen so we got over all right. I drove all day with a hat and shirt on, my pants and boots on the saddle and the horse with the cattle swam a scrubby creek and reached Gin Gin in good time. Got a yard for the cattle and a dry suit from Mr. Eugene Brown, who, with Mrs Brown at the "British Lion", were very kind to us. My exploring mates were camped on the opposite side of the Gin Gin Creek. Monday March 5th 1860. Jin Jin or Gin Gin Creek was a banker, showers had prevented all chance of drying wet clothes. Mr Bell had got an aboriginal to herd the cattle. Relieved of that duty, I went down, stripped, after calling my mates, who came down on the opposite bank. I swam over. The ﬂoating driftwood was the greatest danger to a swimmer. Over alright, got some dry clothes, found the party were on short allowance, ration nearly all used. Tied my clothes in a bundle, put them on my head and holding them by a string in my teeth, swam back again. Got some tucker and a blackfellow to swim over with it on his head. Tuesday March 6th 1860. The blackfellow gave satisfaction as a herdsman, so we were at leisure. My mates got a white cedar log and made a dug out of it. It was light and soft to work, so was soon scooped out like a pig trough and the launching ceremony was the next performance. Being scooped out only enough for one to squeeze his knees in and no keel to steady it, no prophet was required to tell the result of trying to cross a ﬂooded creek in it. As few of the party were swimmers, they had the forethought to try it in shallow water whilst one wedged into it and one the inquiries, "Are you alright"? being aﬃrmed, it was let go. No sooner done when the boat was on top and the passenger was where the keel should have been. After many getting ducked in this way recourse was had under directions of the principal shipbuilder, (Jovanna Title Text File Tools Barbra) to lash a length of the unused part of the log one each side of the canoe. It was then found that turning over tricks were partly cured. Nevertheless, I think no prudent Life Insurance Coy. Would have taken the life risk at par of a magpie trying to cross that ﬂooded creek in such a makeshift boat. Still, wonderful to relate, it served the end and went from bank to bank without a capsize. Rations were taken over the camp, at the skippers risk, however. Wednesday 7th March 1860. Taking it upstream to where the water was calmer, although much deeper, Mr McCrossin succeeded in crossing over safely and Mr McKay swam behind the boat. Thursday, March 8th 1860. A very wet day. The water in the creek no sooner down that it is up again. No hope of getting the cattle over without swimming so Bell and I took them up the creek about a mile above the head station and drove them into the stream. They all swam over safely and the horses were put in with all our clothes and my boots on my horse. They reached the far bank alright and I swam after them. Mr. Bell went back and managed to paddle over in the boat as he could not swim. The ridges on the opposite side were very stony, a slate formation. I could not catch my horse and su ered walking over the stones barefooted. Was glad to see Bell with one of my mates, coming to my assistance. I got my horse and boots and we rounded up the cattle on a ridge, bounded on one side by a vine scrub. Camped. Friday March 9th 1860 Started early and got to Cabbage Tree Creek which we had to swim the horses and cattle over and carried our saddles and traps over on a log. The camp party my mates also moved on today from Gin Gin and camped at Cabbage Tree. We took the cattle on to a stock yard used for mustering. Country improving much. Saturday March 10th 1860. Went on and reached Colorya, Mr. Holt's place, where we got a good yard to camp the cattle in and a black boy to herd them, he lost one or two. Here, also, a bet was decided in my favour and I got a sovereign from Mr John McKay who bet me a pound at camp on twenty second of February that the spinal marrow in a bullocks backbone went under not through the backbone. A bullock having been killed and the matter proved in the cutting down, my bet was easily proved and I got my sovereign with not very good grace from Title Text File Tools Mr. McKay. It was however fairly won. Sunday March 11th 1860. River bound again. A river a few miles ahead of the Chocoya station called the Colan, was not crossable, so we camped in good quarters in a large shed of Mr. Holt's. Mr. Bell stayed at the house. Monday March 12th 1860. Camped all day. A detachment of native police commanded by a Mr. Bligh came up from Stow. The blackboys were expert swordsmen and practiced with some cutlasses we had. Tuesday March 13th 1860. Still wet, creek's ﬂooded so we remained at Colorya till the evening of the 16th. Old routine, quiet all the time. Saturday March 17th 1860. Started, passed Whoroya, Mr. Clarke's station. He lived at Clarkness, on the Bundarra. The long continued rain and the unsuitable country for sheep was death to them. The condition of the sheep was poor and the yolk on them had changed to a red mould, on their backs. The Colan River was crossable. Camped at Mr. Blackman's Station. All this country is of poor description, slate, rock, spotted gum and iron bark. The creek here is called Baﬄe Creek. A Mr and Mrs Buchan were staying here. They had been neighbours on the New England and had stayed at Haning often. Mr. Buchanan was trying to nurse a few sheep, a hopeless task, as the red mould was on their backs from excessive wet. Sunday March 18th 1860. Went on to Mt Coalseam Creek and camped. Grass is high and the country softer. Mosquitoes troublesome. Monday March 19th 1860. Had a good start. Made on the Mr Blomﬁelds station, Merinvale. Many squatter pigeons over all this country. Got a good yard and Mr. Bloomﬁeld was very kind to us and told us stories of adventures after the blacks. Tuesday March 20th 1860. A good start, the country is poor and boggy. One heifer took a staggering ﬁt and fell down. I split her ear and after bleeding a bit, she got up and went on alright. Bell said I was a good vet and he would not have thought of that treatment. Much ti tree growing all Title Text File Tools over this country. High mountains ahead and a big patch of black vine scrub. My party ahead now, we were making for a gap between the hills. Camped near a swamp. Mosquitoes in myriads, worried us all night. I had a rug with a hole in the centre to put my head through but it was useless. Wednesday March 21st 1860. Set out as early as we could, trying to make Riverston by midday. Mr James Bell, my old mate on the McDonald, came along to meet us. Kind hearted, thoughtful, industrious Mrs Bell, had baked us a pillowslip of nice biscuits. The Boyne River was deep, the biscuits were wet and in a mush. Poor Jim was sorry and so were we! We got the cattle down and crossed the Boyne alright. Got a yard at Riverston to put them in. Mr. Pollington was here and I think, Messrs Dickson and Williams. Thursday March 22nd 1860. Got a good start, country improving much. Took cattle on to Stow and left them above Brennan's Hut. Heavy rainstorm. Jim stayed with the cattle and John Bell and I went on to Stow, where long lost sight of friends, welcomed us. Mr. R. Bell was one of the best managers and most industrious of all the pioneer laddies who had ever crossed from the New England to the North. All at home now, Mr. Robert Bell would have me bring all my dirty jean pants to be washed. I did not think it was fair. My arm was quite equal to washing my dirty clothes. Mr Bell insisted on my bringing them down and I did, and have always thought it an imposition. They were all nicely washed and that old sort of kindness will never be repaid by me in this world, I fear. Pulled out party up and camped. Mr. McCrossin, Cameron, Robison and McKay went into Gladstone. Friday March 23rd 1860. Got togged out in a new suit of clothes and oﬀ Bell and I went to Gladstone. Mr McCrossin, Cameron, Robison and McKay, who turned back with us to town, saw the ocean for the ﬁrst time. John Bell, who was with me, got a boat and rowed me out to a water logged vessel called the "Marina". The harbour was bit choppy, but we got over alright. Two men and a boy oﬀ some wrecked ship up N.W. of the Barrier Reef had found this vessel, timber laden, drifting about and had steered her into Gladstone Harbour. They were su ering from scurvy and had had great hardship and starvation, had been dipping their biscuits in a cask of slush tallow, Title Text File Tools it smelt bad. Went back and stayed at Richard Hetherington's hotel. Had a few songs, Hetherington sang one called "Bannocks in the Strathbogie". Saturday March 24th 1860. Returned to Stow where we stayed for some time. I went about with Jim Bell. Sunday March 25th 1860 Jim and I went down towards Calliope. He was showing me where he would like his cattle camp. Mr. and Mrs Robert Bell passed us on their way to see Mr and Mrs Clark on Calliope station. We camped here till the 27th and were kindly treated the whole time. Wednesday March 28th 1860. John Bell lent me a brown, dock tailed cob and we also got a loan of a carbine. We went on and passed the Calliope, passed Mr Clarke's station and went on to Mr. Young's station, Mt Larcomb. There were a great many blacks camped here. They had killed several people on this station and Mr. Young had got into trouble in Gladstone for shooting one of them. We began practising at a tree when the whole camp of blacks cleared oﬀ the place. We saw no more of them. There were three or four graves on the ridge above the house. Thursday March 29th 1860. Had a good start this morning. The country from Riverston to here is in most places, ﬁt for sheep. East Stow and Mt Larcomb are stocked chie y with sheep. The ridges are undulating. Passing west we passed Mr. Landsborough's station, Raglan Creek, crossed that creek and travelled over back country, aﬀected at times, by the high tides. Camped near the seven mile scrub. Some thunder with rain at this camp. Mosquitoes troublesome. Friday March 30th 1860. Went on through the scrub, a track wide enough for a team had been cut through it. Saw a blackfellows skull by the roadside. On emerging from the scrub on the west side, Duke noticed what proved to be a large brown snake in a log with some cracks in it. Robison killed it, length about seven feet. Continued on a few miles passing Mr. Archer's cattle station. The country is level here, we camped about ten miles from Rockhampton. Saturday March 31st 1860.