05/15/2022.Reading time 29 minutes.
By Lynley Wallis We have written before about why finding evidence for frontier massacres in the archaeological record is extremely difficult. There are several reasons why this is the case, not least because most causes of death are soft tissue injuries that leave little trace upon skeletal remains. This is especially the case for victims […]
09/21/2020.Reading time 22 minutes.
By Lynley Wallis and Heather Burke As with much history, the stories of women are largely missing from histories of the Native Mounted Police (NMP). Yet despite this absence it’s clear that most NMP camps were also occupied by women, both Aboriginal and European. Like most colonial women, the European wives of NMP officers faced […]
07/29/2020.Reading time 12 minutes.
By Lynley Wallis, Heather Burke and Bryce Barker From studies on the Armenian genocide to the Jewish holocaust and North American frontier conflict and dispossession (e.g. Ehlers et al. 2013; Harris 2020; Mangassarian 2016) it is now recognised that collective and individual trauma can have a long-term effect on successive generations of people. The most […]
05/18/2020.Reading time 13 minutes.
By Noelene Cole, Lynley Wallis, Heather Burke, Bryce Barker and Rinyirru Aboriginal Corporation A day after setting up camp near the dray track which connected Cooktown to the Palmer Goldfield in south-east Cape York Peninsula, Sub-Inspector O’Connor and 24 troopers of the Native Mounted Police (NMP) were attacked by ‘daring and war-like’ Aboriginal land owners […]
10/27/2019.Reading time 25 minutes.
By Lynley Wallis In a previous post, Alyssa Madden discussed the relationship between telegraph stations and the Native Mounted Police (NMP) across colonial Queensland. Seven years after the first telegraph office in the Southern Hemisphere was opened in Melbourne in 1854 (Gerrand 2014), the line from Brisbane to Ipswich was operational, and was connected to NSW […]
10/12/2019.Reading time 11 minutes.
By Noelene Cole Image making, an ancient and universal human practice, was revolutionised when photography became more portable and affordable in the second half of the nineteenth century. Although it was initially conceived as a means of objectively representing reality, photography was soon recognised as a powerful, persuasive medium of visual communication. Hence, for the […]
09/14/2019.Reading time 12 minutes.
By Bryce Barker As can be seen from reading about Stanhope O’Connor, Wentworth D’Arcy Uhr and Thomas Coward, the lives and circumstances of the officers in the Native Mounted Police (NMP) force were complex and multi-faceted. However, many accounts of individual officers often portray them as either ‘genocidal murderers’ or ‘stalwart keepers of peace on […]
08/25/2019.Reading time 30 minutes.
By Lynley Wallis In an earlier blog post I wrote about the challenges of finding contemporary physical evidence of deaths from the colonial frontier, and why such efforts are often akin to looking for a needle in a haystack (cf. Litster and Wallis 2011). Despite this, there are some rare instances where the specific location […]
08/11/2019.Reading time 8 minutes.
By Heather Burke When I imagine the Australian “outback” I think of the paintings of Tom Roberts or Frederick McCubbin and the relatively restrained colour palette they used to represent the landscape. While certainly complex, these colours are relatively dull and reflect the olive greens, straws, ochres, purples and blues of eucalypt, grass, rock and […]
07/26/2019.Reading time 30 minutes.
By Lynley Wallis The publication of a map showing frontier massacre sites across Australia by eminent historian Professor Lyndall Ryan has generated enormous public interest in the past 12 months (Figure 1). The map represents a wonderful resource with substantive research behind it. However, users should be aware that the “massacre locations” shown on it (and most […]