Site Name Crawford River
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Dhauwurd wurrung or Wulluwurrung
Colony PPD
Present State/Territory VIC
Police District
Coordinates (imprecise to approx. 250m) -37.929,141.540,0
Date Between 1 Sep 1843 and 30 Sep 1843
Attack Time
Aboriginal People Killed 9
Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed: M F; Probable: M at least 9 F; Possible: M F; Wounded: M F
Non-Aboriginal People Killed 0
Non-Aboriginal People Killed Notes Killed:M F;Wounded:M F
Attacker Category Native Police
Attacker Details A party of Native Police
Motive reprisal for murder of Christopher Bassett
Type Of Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Unspecified
Notes Retaliation for murdered settler, Christopher Bassett one month earlier; also searching for lost white child Martha Ward (2yo), daughter of settler Abraham Ward.
Narrative In September 1843, H.E.P. Dana, Commandant of the Native Police Corps (NPC), followed up the murder of Christopher Bassett a month earlier at his station at the head of the Crawford River. Accompanied by David Edgar of the Bush Tavern and the adjoining Fitzroy River run, Dana and the NPC came upon a party of Aborigines near the edge of the swamp while searching for Martha Ward, two year old daughter of Abraham Ward, the licensee of the Travellers' Rest Hotel in Branxholme. In two separate encounters with the Aborigines, they shot at least nine.
Sources Critchett 1990: 252; Clark 1995: 46-7; Shaw 1996: 132
Corroboration Rating ***