Site Name The Shackle, Granite Crossing
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group
Colony SA
Present State/Territory NT
Police District
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -14.217,131.951,0
Date Between 1 Jan 1878 and 31 Jan 1878
Attack Time
Aboriginal People Killed 17
Aboriginal People Killed Notes "Whether there was the slightest evidence of their being connected with the murder [of James Ellis] does not appear..." - SA Register, 30 Jan 1878, p4.
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 1
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes James Ellis.
Attacker Category Police and volunteers
Attacker Details Mounted Constable WG Stretton, two other troopers, civilians and a South Australian Aboriginal tracker.
Motive After Ellis's death, a jury found that "the only available retaliation is to give a lesson to the tribe" - the motive behind this massacre.
Type Of Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Clubs (used to kill Ellis), firearms (used to kill the Aboriginal group)
Narrative In reprisal for the murder of James Ellis in January 1878, Mounted Constable WG Stretton and co. located the party of Aboriginal suspects near the Daly River and shot seventeen of them.
Sources SHAR 1994; Roberts 2009; Reid 1990: 70; Morrison; NTTG, January 19,26, February 2,4,23, 1878. Kelsey 1975: 64-65 (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***