Breakfast Creek Camp Raids 1840 – 1860

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Figure 1: Early map of breakfast creek with “blacks fishery and crossing place” marked. Fishing weirs here produced abundant fish harvests.

Aboriginal groups still remember Breakfast Creek as a type of ‘front line’ in their battle against encroaching settlement. The large and prosperous camps had been commented upon as early as 1824 by Oxley and Cunningham. Leaders such as Yilbung, Commandant, Dalaipi, Dundalli, Billy Barlow, Harry Pring and Tinkabed were all visitors here.

In 1852, 40 warriors raided Mr Bullocks’ home, destroying crops. They then joined a party of 200 to attack Cash’s property further north. A large party of settlers and eight mounted responded by attacking the camps but were bogged and found the camps empty on their arrival. They nevertheless burnt down and destroyed what they could.

Figure 2: The 1850 Petition of Residents at or near Breakfast Creek, pleading for police protection

Between 1856 and 1867 there was continual harassment, raids and robberies by Aboriginal groups here, resulting in a series of punitive attacks by settlers. In 1859 five police destroyed the camps and killed and injured at least two of the over 100 residents. In 1861, riotous Aboriginals drove off drays and robbed travellers, resulting in Constable Griffin and two mounted police making a raid and arrests. In 1862 there was another “dispersal” by Constable Griffin and one trooper. In 1865, two Constables were attacked, in revenge for which the camps were again burnt down. In 1867, some 15 Aboriginals stole one boat and ransacked another (a cutter). Sub-Inspector Gough conducted the fourth burning of the camps. Similarly, in 1874 mounted police dispersed the occupants.

 

Figure 3: The tight roadway (an aboriginal pathway) along the hamilton reach. The usurping of important transport routes close to large encampments goaded conflict

References:

  • ‘Brisbane,’ The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser 10 January 1860, p.2
  •  ‘Intercolonial News – Queensland,’ Freeman’s Journal (Sydney), 26 May 1866,  p. 330.
  •  ‘Letters – The Poor Blacks and the police,’ The Courier (Brisbane), 9 January 1864, p. 2
  • Bond, A., 2009, The Statesman, The Warrior and the Songman Nambour: Alex Bond
  • Kerkhove, R., 2015, Aboriginal Campsites of Greater Brisbane: An Historical Guide Salisbury: Boolarong
  • JUS/N15/67/9 (Queensland State Archives)
  • Bathurst Advocate, 3 June 1848 p 1
  • ‘Moreton Bay,’ Empire (Sydney), 27 January 1852 p 2
  • ‘Moreton Bay,’ Colonial Times (Hobart), 20 April 1852 p 3
  • Sydney Morning Herald 7 Feb 1855 p 2
  •  ‘Moreton Bay,’ Sydney Morning Herald 20 May 1856,  p 5
  • Moreton Bay Courier, 3 Nov 1858 p 2
  • Sheridan,  R. B., Moreton Bay Courier, 9 Feb 1859 p.2
  • Moreton Bay Courier, 10 Sept 1859, p 2;
  • ‘Queensland,’ The Sydney Morning Herald  19 September 1859 p 3
  • ‘Queensland,’ Sydney Morning Herald, 26 Sept 1859 p 2
  • ‘Local Intelligence,’ Courier (Brisbane), 17 Aug 1861  p 2
  • ‘Queensland,’ Sydney Morning Herald 9 December 1861, p 6
  • ‘Local Intelligence’, The Courier (Brisbane), 17 December 1861, p.2
  •  The Courier 29 January 1862, p 2
  • ‘Local Intelligence,’ The Courier 29 Jan 1863 p. 2
  • ‘Local Intelligence,’ The Courier (Brisbane), 23 February 1863 p 2
  • North Australian and Queensland General Advertiser 1 August 1863 p 3
  • ‘Weekly Epitome,’ Brisbane Courier 28 October 1865 p 5
  •  ‘News of the Week The Queenslander, 9 February 1867, p 5
  •  ‘Personal.’ Brisbane Courier 29 July 1913 p 9
  •  The Brisbane Courier 22 Feb 1919 p 3
  • ‘Hamilton and Ascot,’ The Brisbane Courier, 27 September 1930 p 21
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