Site NameTowel Creek, Clarence Pastoral District
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Place Name
Language Group, Nation or PeopleDhanggati
Present State/TerritoryNSW
Colony/State/Territory at the timeNSW
Police DistrictGrafton
DateBetween 1 Jan 1856 and 31 Dec 1856
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal or Torres Strait Islander People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed6
Victims Killed Notes
Attacker DescriptionsSettler(s)
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed Notes
TransportFoot, Horse
Weapons UsedFirearm(s), Muzzle Loading Rifle(s)
Narrative'Two settlers had been scouting' Aborigines for days 'and finally located them in the upper reaches of Towel Creek. According to Stanley Murray, elder tribesman who repeated the story to Victor Shepherd about 1930, the two settlers sat up till well past midnight making lead slugs for muzzle-loading rifles.' 'The settlers had an Aboriginal servant working for them called Jimmy Taylor, who had acquired a sufficient knowledge of English to become aware of what was going to happen.' That night he went to the camp to warn his tribesmen and 'they immediately moved camp upstream and took shelter in a rain forest, some climbing to the tops of trees and laying down in the thick matted vines covering the tree tops, while others continued on towards the tableland. It would appear that Jack Scott’s mother tried to hide in some bushes so fell an easy victim to the hunters. Unfortunately for those hiding in the vines, one man coughed. This at once betrayed their hiding place with disastrous results. It is doubtful if there is any record of how many lost their lives at Towel Creek. The place of the massacre is shown as being about a third of the way up to Jimmy Taylor’s gully which is marked on the Comara map.' (Murray cited in Bloomfield, 1981, pp. 45-6)
SourcesBlomfield 1981, p 45-6. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating*