Site Name Gordon Creek
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Bilignara and Wardaman
Colony SA
Present State/Territory NT
Police District Gordon Creek
Latitude -16.45
Longitude 130.866
Date Between 14 Jul 1895 and 1 Feb 1896
Attack Time day
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 60
Victims Killed Notes Men.
Attackers Colonisers: Mounted Police
Attackers Killed 1
Attackers Killed Notes Teamsters John Mulligan and George Ligar attacked in their camp around 8pm. Ligar survived. Mulligan died within a year.
Weapons Used Spears, Firearms, pistols
Narrative Mulligan and Ligar were attacked at TK (Tom Kilfoyle) Camp on Jasper Gorge on 14 May 1895. A police party that included stockmen, tried to arrest a man named Major but the stockman concerned had a gun that "accidentally fired, killing Major." It was at this time that Harry was arrested and gaoled. He was later acquitted. It was probably in about February 1896 that police - notably Mounted Constable E O'Keefe - persuaded two Aboriginal women to entice a "big mob" [15-20+?] of Pilinara men to the police station to build a stock yard in return for the policeman providing tobacco and being a "good boss". When the men came to the station in the afternoon, they were chained together, which the women told them was to make them "little bit quiet. Like a dog." Police trackers, who had been hiding in the creek bed, were ordered into the station. One man was kicked in the ribs before all the men were lined up and shot. Their bodies were taken to the nearby creek bed where they were piled and burnt. Oral histories record: "They puttem big mob of wood, there, top of him. And chuckem kerosene, strike some matches, and burnem. Lot. No anything left, eh. All ashes. Burnem finish. Lot."
Sources Austin, 1992: 17; Read & Read, 1977: 55-62; NTTG 14 Jun 1895, p 3; NTTG 28 Jun 1895, p3; NTTG 13 Mar 1896, p 3; Lewis, 2018: 468-469; Sutton,2019, (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***