Book on native police Qld Australia

I am thinking of writing a novel set sometime in the 1860s in Queensland re frontier conflict. I am not an Australian aboriginal person and thus I need to come at this from the perspective of a character who has come to this country with a more open mind than seems to have been the case with the majority of Queensland’s pioneers.

Speaking of which, the work of Carl Feilberg will inform my writing. Feilberg, Carl Adolph[1]. 1880, The way we civilise : black and white, the native police G. and J. Black, Brisbane viewed 29 June 2021

Here is an article that speaks to me of the muted dissent that existed (and was much more widespread than I had thought) re the treatment of First Nations’ people; H. W. Coxen was, I think, a worthy man; he’s genuinely baffled (and quietly outraged) by the actions of the Native Police. Though also a man of his times, no doubt, with his rider re “useful and civilized blacks”.

Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1861 – 1864), Thursday 7 May 1863, page 3


The following documents have been submitted to us with a request that they be published. For obvious reasons we comply with that request. Our readers will perceive that the correspondence elucidates a subject which was mooted in the Courier about a month back:

Bendemere*, January 30, 1863.

* I am not sure if this is Bendemeer in NSW, as per the map below. It’s quite some distance from Queensland, particularly Maryborough, which is some hundreds of kilometres north of the Qld/NSW border. which makes me think that Bendemere may have been the name of a property elsewhere than Bendemeer in NSW. Further investigation necessary.

Bendemeer in nsw.

To the Honorable the Colonial Secretary, Brisbane.


Some time back I had occasion to complain of the conduct of Lieutenant Carr, of the Native Police, for taking away from my station a black boy (Georgey) who, from his infancy, had been with me. He was forwarded to Maryborough, and by the boy’s statement to me now, he was applied to if he wanted to return; at the same time, telling him he would have to walk through an enemy’s country, and could have no clothes. Under the circumstances the boy consented to stop, and I was informed he did not want to return.

He now also states his reasons for leaving the Native Police, that the camp Sergeant had a partiality for his gin, giving him occasion to beat her, the camp sergeant rushed upon him, and nearly strangled him, threatening to shoot him, &c., &c. That night he left, leaving the government clothing, and made for my station, where he now is; at the same time asking me to protect him, stating that boys leaving the Native Police were always shot, and that he had committed no offence.

I gave the boy a memorandum to the effect, that he was employed by me, and that the Native Police were not to interfere with him, in case of my absence from the station.

About the 24th, I was from home, when Lieutenant Carr and troopers visited the station and immediately seized the boy in question.

The boy, in presence of my servants, presented the memorandum, which Mr. Carr said he did not care about, but took it from the boy and told him if he did his duty he should shoot him on the spot, as he had done two others; that he had orders from the commandant to take him. He was then secured and taken away. On arrival at the barracks the boy was let loose to walk about for a short time. Expecting to be shot, he at once bolted, and within twenty-four hours was at my station, swimming everything before him, and now claims my protection.

If the boy has committed any offence, I have no desire he should be concealed; at the same time, I am prepared to defend him, and if the government are willing to hear his statement I will forward it, the boy being quite as capable of making himself understood as Mr. Carr. The boy is a native of my place, and his relatives have been here since the settlement of the country. He is well known to the squatters in the district.

Mr. Carr was asked if he had a warrant for the boy: he said he had not. I feel assured that the government could never have issued such orders to shoot blacks unless for murder. I am informed that “Jackey,” who left the Native Police in Brisbane, was shot at the Ferryboo stockyard by Lieutenant Carr’s men, on his way to my station; and by the post have instituted an enquiry. Trusting that the government will take immediate steps to prevent the annihilation of useful and civilized blacks.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

(Signed) H. W. Coxen.

[1] See for information on him. See also

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