Site NameNicholson River, Bowgan (2)
This massacre is part of a group of massacres
Aboriginal Place NameNudjabarra
Language GroupGarawa, Yanuwa
Present State/TerritoryNT
Colony/State/Territory at the timeSA
Police DistrictBorroloola
DateBetween 30 Jan 1892 and 9 Dec 1896
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim DescriptionsWarrior(s)
Victims Killed30
Victims Killed NotesMore than 30 men, women and children.
Attacker DescriptionsStockmen/Drover(s)
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed NotesGeorge Clarke (station hand), Charles Deloitte (cook), Thomas Augustus Perry (station owner/manager). Clarke and Deloitte murdered 30/01/1892. Perry murdered 09/12/1897.
Weapons UsedFirearm(s), Rifle(s), Tomahawk(s), Spear(s)
NarrativeSee also Corella Creek massacre. The Aboriginal attackers were station workers. The colonists, led by Tom Perry, were pastoralists/station workers (there is no mention of police involvement although they were informed of the murders and Inspector Foelsche ordered Lance Corporal Power at Borroloola to investigate a media report of settler reprisals.) The station workers were Walter and Monkey Boy, and 'Peter' who was a massacre survivor, stolen by Tom Perry and ill-treated until Peter was old enough to kill him. Walter was killed in the 1892 massacre. Monkey Boy escaped and died of natural causes. Gaunt, in the Northern Standard of 19 February 1932, (p 3) described this massacre as 'one of the largest, if not the largest, in the history of the Northern Territory' and said that 'dozens' of Aboriginal people were killed, including 'bucks, lubras and picanninies'. The first attack was at Corella Creek; the second was at Fish Creek at the head of the Nicholson River. Read & Read (1991, pp, 26-28) put the date at 1910-1920 from their oral histories, but media reports put the murders of Clarke and Deloitte at 30 January 1892. Perry's death on 9 December 1897 marked the end of the episode, except that Peter served 10 years in Fannie Bay Gaol for it. Aborginal oral histories record: ‘All the old ladies couldn’t run fast enough. Well, those few ladies, mother of this mob …So they shottem, shot all these old ladies. Shottem. (and burnt them)’ (Read & Read, 1991, pp 26-28). The matter is not mentioned in the Government Resident's Report to the Parliament of South Australia for 1892.
SourcesRead & Read 1991; GSNT Record 579; NTTG, March 4, 1892, p 3 ; NTTG, Mar 5, 1897, p 3 ; Gaunt Northern Standard,/i>, (Darwin) February 19, 1932 ; NTRS 2710/P1 Borroloola Police Day Book - Memo, Foelsche to MC Power - 12 March 1892; Morrison ; Ucko & Layton 1999, RAHC . (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating***