Site NameBarmah Lake
Aboriginal Place Name
Language GroupBanderang (Pangerang)
Present State/TerritoryVIC
Colony/State/Territory at the timePPD
Police DistrictMurray
Date1 Feb 1843
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed26
Victims Killed NotesKilled: M F; Probable: M 1 F; Possible: M F; Wounded: several
Attacker DescriptionsNative Police
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed NotesKilled:M F;Wounded:MDana - speared in the thigh; F
Weapons UsedFirearm(s), Spear(s)
NarrativeIn December 1842, Aboriginal men in the Barmah Lake region on the Murray River stole some sheep from Moira station leased by EM Curr and in late January 1843, Commandant Henry Dana, and a detachment of Native Police were deployed to patrol the area. According to Curr (1965 [1883], p 93), on I February, Dana proposed that his four black troopers would … protect Moira homestead, while he and three white NCOs would attempt to seize the tribe's leaders. Curr continues: 'shortly before the police "debouched" from the timber which skirted the proposed scene of action, the other party had arrived in the proper quarter, and, as could be seen, had gathered round the Blacks, whom it was so desirable to entice from the vicinity of the river and the reed-beds. The result of this was an immediate charge on the part of the troopers.' (Curr 1965 [1883], p 93). A year later, on 5 January 1844, a man called Allan, called at the Melbourne office of GA Robinson, Chief Protector of the Aborigines and told him 'that a number of men also women were shot by Dana's party at the Murry [sic] and children were knocked on the head with carrabines [sic]. They first sent out a party to look for the natives and then went and planted themselves in a scrub and sent two or three troopers to round or drive them like sheep to be a large party carrelled [sic]; then they commenced firing and shot some of them in the river. Dana told me he had a brush with the natives. He went to the Murry [sic] by the Campaspe and returned said 20 men, one woman, five children were shot’ (Allan cited in Clark 1998d, p 2).
SourcesCurr 1965 [1883], p 93; Clark 1998d, p 2. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating**