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The Myall Creek Massacre

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Introduction

The Myall Creek Massacre was a horrific atrocity, leading to the slaughter of twenty-eight innocent Aboriginal Australians from the Kwiambal tribe, of the Myall Creek district, on the 10th June 1838. (1). The execution of the twenty-eight Aborigines, the group consisting of men, women and children, went completely without reason. During May 1838 stockmen in stations in the lower Gwydir Valley, located at a distance of between forty and eighty miles from Myall Creek began to organize an expedition. The purpose of this expedition was to clear the Gwydir area of Aborigines. (2) On Friday the 8th of June 1838 the expedition departed Bell's station, approximately forty miles west of Myall Creek. It appears that a series of massacres and murders were conducted by the group of white travelers upon Aboriginal people. These murders are thought to have occurred on the eighth, ninth, tenth (Myall Creek massacre), and thirteenth of June. The group dispatched on the nineteenth of June, with the purpose of their entire journey being the extermination of Aborigines.(3). On the 10th of June the group reached Henry Dangar's Myall Creek Station. Joined by Charles Kilmeister, one of the head stockmen on the station, the mob approached a group of terrified Aborigines taking shelter nearby another stockmen, George Anderson. Twenty-eight Aborigines were tied up and marched 'over a ridge'. Shortly afterwards, Anderson heard two shots fired. The group of Aborigines were shot, stabbed, decapitated and burnt. One Aboriginal woman was forced to watch the slaughter of her people, before being repeatedly raped and killed sometime later. (4). Conflict was evident between Aboriginals and Colonists from the very beginning of settlement. ...read more.

Middle

(25). On the 7th of December Governor Gipps stated his agreement with the verdict, and sentences the men to hanging. All seven men were hanged on the 18th of December, 1838. (26). Throughout the investigation and trial of the men white society was desperately divided regarding their opinions. Most white people could see no justification in a white man dying simply because they killed an Aborigine. The case caused much public outrage and dispute within the settlement. (27) The aftermath and lessons learnt in regards to Aboriginal treatment by members of white society are debatable, as it appears that the government did not manage to convey their message successfully. The aim of the persecution was to warn white settlers that Aboriginal brutality would not be accepted. However, the message that was received was 'if you do kill an Aborigine, by all means, do not let the government find out.' (28) An article written in the Sydney Herald on the 7th of December, 1838, the day seven of the eleven men were convicted of murder and sentenced to death, conveying the laws' reasoning behind convicting the men. The aim of the article appears to be to sway public opinion and convince society that the conviction was just. The article uses words describing the aborigines as "poor defenseless human beings" (quote, 29, Syd Her primary, from book), and attempts to manipulate the audience through the use of visual and emotive language. The article attempts to sway public opinion by making suggestions as to the understandings of why the men have behaved in the manner that they did. After stating and acknowledging these reasons, the article re-states that their behavior was un-acceptable and under British law and the Christian faith, could not go un-punished. ...read more.

Conclusion

Australia: New Holland Publishers, 2003. 20. Denholm, D. 'The Myall Creek Massacre', The Push from the Bush, No. 9, July 1987. 21. Elder, B. Blood on the Wattle, Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australian since 1788, 3rd ed. Australia: New Holland Publishers, 2003. 22. Elder, B. Blood on the Wattle, Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australian since 1788, 3rd ed. Australia: New Holland Publishers, 2003. 23. Elder, B. Blood on the Wattle, Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australian since 1788, 3rd ed. Australia: New Holland Publishers, 2003. 24. Elder, B. Blood on the Wattle, Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australian since 1788, 3rd ed. Australia: New Holland Publishers, 2003. 25. Elder, B. Blood on the Wattle, Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australian since 1788, 3rd ed. Australia: New Holland Publishers, 2003. 26. Elder, B. Blood on the Wattle, Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australian since 1788, 3rd ed. Australia: New Holland Publishers, 2003. 27. Elder, B. Blood on the Wattle, Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australian since 1788, 3rd ed. Australia: New Holland Publishers, 2003. 28. Atkinson, A. and Marian Aveling. Australians, 1838. NSW: Fairfax, Syme and Weldon Associates, 1987. 29. Historical Records of Australia. Series 1, Governors Despatches to and from England Volume XIX, July 1837 to January 1839. Sydney: Alfred James Kent, Government Printer, 1923. 30. Historical Records of Australia. Series 1, Governors Despatches to and from England Volume XIX, July 1837 to January 1839. Sydney: Alfred James Kent, Government Printer, 1923. 31. Denholm, D. 'The Myall Creek Massacre', The Push from the Bush, No. 9, July 1987. 32. Elder, B. Blood on the Wattle, Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australian since 1788, 3rd ed. Australia: New Holland Publishers, 2003. 33. Elder, B. Blood on the Wattle, Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australian since 1788, 3rd ed. Australia: New Holland Publishers, 2003. Mary Kay ...read more.

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