‘A Large Comet Appeared in the West’: The Daily Journals of Three NMP Camps

By Heather Burke Jonathan Richards (2005:1–9) has pointed out the rich veins that can be tapped when searching for Native Mounted Police (NMP) records in the Qld State Archives by burrowing through general file series, such as the Colonial Secretary’s inwards and outwards correspondence, the inquest files of the Justice Department, or the Executive Council […]

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‘My Darling Lis’: John Kenny’s Letters to his Wife Eliza

By Heather Burke We’ve written before about specific NMP officers who were eulogised in later life (Piecing together the officers’ list and Stanhope O’Connor). In reflecting on the various episodes in long and sometimes highly eventful careers, such accounts tend to portray these men as figures from a “Boy’s own” tale: full of adventure, exploration […]

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Shots Fired … But in What Direction and How do we Know?

By Tony Pagels  The role of the Native Mounted Police (NMP) was to control and disperse Aboriginal opposition to ensure European settlement was a success in Queensland (Qld).  This was achieved by the Force having the best available weapons and employing military-type tactics. But when a firearm was discharged 140 years ago how can we […]

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“All Mere Youths” When Taken Away: Recruiting Aboriginal Boys and Men to the NMP Part III

By Lynley Wallis and Heather Burke We have previously written about the processes of recruiting Aboriginal men to the NMP (Recruiting Part 1 and Willing Volunteers?). However, we didn’t have room there to consider another element of the trooper experience: the interpersonal relationships that existed, both amongst the troopers, and between them and the officers […]

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Willing Volunteers? Recruiting Aboriginal Boys and Men to the NMP Part II

By Lynley Wallis, Heather Burke, Bryce Barker and Noelene Cole In an earlier post we considered some of the mechanisms through which Aboriginal boys and men may have been enticed, or forced, to join the NMP. In this post, we consider what is perhaps the most perplexing type of “recruitment” of these men: that of […]

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From the Horse’s Mouth: Horses and the NMP

By Lynley Wallis and Heather Burke Today we don’t think twice about travelling vast distances by car at great speed, so it’s hard to imagine what life was like before the invention of the internal combustion engine. The First Fleet that arrived in southeast Australia in 1788 included horses, and by the time colonists began […]

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