Site NameMount McMinn
This massacre is part of a group of massacres
Aboriginal Place NameYutpundji-Djindiwirritj
Language GroupMangarayi
Present State/TerritoryNT
Colony/State/Territory at the timeSA
Police DistrictNo police district at that time.
Date24 Jul 1875
Attack TimeDay
VictimsAboriginal People
Victim DescriptionsAboriginal
Victims Killed40
Victims Killed Notes
Attacker DescriptionsOverlander(s)
Attackers Killed0
Attackers Killed Notes Charles Henry Johnston and  Abram Daer
Weapons UsedRevolver(s), Rifle(s)
NarrativeSee also Crescent Lagoon, Harris Lagoon, Calder’s Range and Mole Hill massacres. A range of sources (see below) detail this series of massacres. On 29 June 1875, Charles Henry Johnston, Abram Daer and Charles Rickards from the Daly River Telegraph station were attacked by Mangarrayi men at Roper Bar. Johnson died the next day. Too weak to bury Johnston, Daer and Rickards wrapped the body in canvas and oilskin and placed it together with a note under the foot of a tree and set off for Daly River Telegraph station, which they reached on 13 July. Daer died from his wounds on 7 August. While punitive expeditions were being organised to avenge the deaths, an overlanding party to Queensland, led by George De Lautour and William Batten, arrived at Roper Bar on 19 July and found Daer's note and Johnston's body and immediately set off in search of the Mangarrayi people. They left their own note for the police party dated 24 July 1875 saying they had ‘found natives mustered strongly at Mount McMinn', that they 'dispersed them and did their best to avenge Johnston's death' (telegram from JAG Little cited in NTTG, September 18, 1875, p. 2). The police parties arrived at Roper Bar on 2 August 1875, found the notes from Daer and the overlanding party and buried Johnson's remains on 3 August 1875 (‘Roper River Expedition’ NTTG, September 18, 1875, p. 2).
SourcesReid, 1990, p xi, 66-67; NTTG, July 17 1875, p. 1 ; NTTG August 14, 1875, p 1 ; NTTG, September 18, 1875, p 2 ; NTTG December 4 1875, p 2 ; NTTG December 25 1875, p 2 ; Wilson 2000, pp 221-222; Roberts 1999; Roper River Police Station Heritage Assessment Report 2015, pp 9-11; Toohey, Roper Bar Land Claim Report 1982, p 3; Austin 1992, pp 15-16; Roberts 2005, pp 115-119. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating***