Site NameElsey Creek
This massacre is part of a group of massacres
Aboriginal Place NameUnclear
Language GroupMangarrayi
Present State/TerritoryNT
Colony/State/Territory at the timeSA
Police DistrictYam Creek
Latitude-14.954
Longitude133.27
Date30 Oct 1885
Attack TimeDawn
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed12
Victims Killed Notes
AttackersColonisers
Attacker DescriptionsMounted Police
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed Notes
TransportHorse
MotiveReprisal
Weapons UsedFirearm(s)
NarrativeMounted Constable August Lucanus later wrote of this massacre in the following terms (Lucanus cited in Clement & Bridge 1991, p. 20): “I arrived there [at Elsey Telegraph Station] in good time and stayed for a few days with Tuckfield, the stationmaster. I let my nigger go with the Elsie niggers to find out their whereabouts. After a few days’ spell we left in the evening for the niggers’ camp. About three miles from it we hobbled our horses, and walked up to within 500 or 600 yards and waited for daylight. As soon as we could see, we rushed the camp. Spears and other weapons were all stuck in a big banyan tree. Tuckfield and I guarded the weapons. When the niggers woke up and saw us they tried to rush us and get their spears, but they got a good reception. Charley was one of the foremost and was one of the dead. He still had the mosquito net he had taken from poor Campbell [murdered on 15 July 1882, triggering the Red Lily Lagoon reprisal] and had been sleeping in it that night. We had intended to rush the mosquito net had not the niggers tried to get at the spears. It would have been all up with us if they had succeeded."
SourcesClement & Bridge 1991; Roberts 2009; Jane Morrison (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating***