Timeline results for 1770 to 1899

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  1. Dispossession

    Governor Arthur tries unsuccessfully to drive all the remaining Aboriginal people in eastern Australia on to the Tasman Peninsula. 2,200 settlers, military, police and convicts form a ‘Black Line’. It was the largest force assembled against Aboriginal people anywhere in Australia and cost 5,000 pounds (equivalent to about AUD 1.2 million in 2008) and only two Aboriginal people are caught – an old man and a young boy.

  2. Bungaree dies. He came from the Broken Bay area and was a go-between in colonial Sydney where he was known because he liked to dress in military and naval uniforms given to him.


  1. Yagan leads Nyoongar resistance in Western Australia for three years.


  1. Yagan is killed. His head is cut off and pickled. It is then sent to England as a museum curiosity.


  1. Conflict

    Governor Stirling leads a party of men to a site near present day Pinjarra, on the Swan River and attacks 80 Aboriginal people. One of Stirling’s men dies and many Aboriginal people are killed. Official reports put their number at 14 but Aboriginal accounts suggest a whole clan was wiped out in the attack. This became known as the ‘Battle of Pinjarra’. It was an attempt to punish Aboriginal people south of Perth, after conflict with settlers caused the death of a settler in April.


  1. The Dunghutti people of north coast NSW are now confined to 40 hectares of land on the Bellwood Reserve, near present day Kempsey. They previously owned 250,000 hectares.

  2. Victoria has a so-called treaty with Wurundjeri people, covering land from Geelong to Melbourne. One of Melbourne's founders, John Batman, presents deeds which claim to have signed over the land in exchange for axes, flour and other European goods. But the agreement (now also called 'Batman's treaty') is almost immediately overturned by New South Wales Governor Sir Richard Bourke, as NSW was the overseeing colonial government of the area.

  3. Treaty

    John Batman attempts to make a ‘treaty’ with Aboriginal people for Port Phillip Bay, near present day Melbourne by ‘buying’ 243,000 hectares with 20 pairs of blankets, 30 tomahawks, various other articles and a yearly tribute. Governor Bourke does not recognise the ‘treaty’ and the purchase is voided. This is the only time colonists attempt to sign a treaty for land with Aboriginal owners.


  1. Conflict

    Triggered by accounts of the mistreatment of Aboriginal people by British colonists, the British House of Commons orders an inquiry and appoints a select committee to review the treatment of Aboriginal people by British subjects throughout the Empire.

  2. Land & land rights

    King William IV recognises the continued rights to land for Aboriginal people in South Australia’s founding document, the Letters Patent. It was the first ever recognition of Aboriginal rights granted in Australia’s colonial history. But the promise of legal entitlement to the land was never kept.

  3. The colony of South Australia is founded. A “Protector” of Aboriginal people is appointed but the Kaurna people, near Adelaide, are unable to maintain life as a group because of the expanding settlement and loss of their land.


  1. The policy of protection for Aboriginal people marks the beginning of involvement of the Catholic Church in missionary work and the establishment of schools for Aboriginal children.

  2. A massacre of Aboriginal people occurs at Gravesend, New South Wales with more than 200 killed.

  3. Saxe Bannister, the first Attorney General of NSW, first promotes the idea of an Australian treaty with Aboriginal people in a Submission to the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Aborigines. The retired Governor Arthur of Tasmania also urges that same Committee to consider treaties with the Aboriginal people of Australia.

  4. The British Select Committee publishes its final report ('Aborigines Report') on the treatment of Aboriginal people in all British colonies. Australian colonies are particularly criticised. The committee reveals that the negative effects of colonisation (read: massacres) on Aboriginal people were already well known in the early 19th century. It affirms the ‘plain and sacred right’ of Aboriginal peoples to land and recommends to appoint ‘Protectors of Aborigines’.


  1. Reports of poisoning of Aboriginal people on ‘Tarrone’ near Port Fairy, West Melbourne and ‘Kilcoy’ north-west Moreton Bay. Flour is poisoned and left in shepherds’ huts on ‘Kilcoy’ in the expectation that Aboriginal people now dispossessed of hunting grounds would take it.

  2. Massacres

    Major Nunn’s campaign. Mounted police, mostly European volunteers, set out in response to conflict on the Liverpool Plains, north central NSW. At Vinegar Hill, a site on ‘Slaughterhouse Creek’, 60 - 70 Aboriginal people are reported killed. The only European casualty is a corporal, speared in the leg.

  3. Massacres

    The ‘Myall Creek Massacre’ occurs. 12 heavily armed colonists rounded up and brutally kill 28 Aboriginal people from a group of 40 or 50 people gathered at Henry Dangar’s Station, at Myall Creek near Inverell (NSW). The massacre was believed to be a payback for the killing of several hut keepers and two shepherds. But most of those killed were
    women and children and good relations existed between the Aboriginal people and European occupants of the station.
    Seven stockmen are eventually hanged for murder. This outrages the colonial press and parts of the public who cannot understand why anyone should hang for murdering Aboriginal people.


  1. An entire community of Aboriginal people perishes in a massacre at Long Lagoon, a newly settled station in inland Queensland.


  1. Massacres

    30 Aboriginal people massacred at Rufus River in New South Wales, close to the boundaries with Victoria and South Australia.


View article sources (1)

[1] 'Victorian Government to begin talks with First Nations on Australia's first Indigenous treaty', ABC News 26/2/2016

Cite this page

Korff, J 2024, Timeline results for 1770 to 1899, <https://stage.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=3&q=&category=any&yearFrom=1770&yearTo=1899>, retrieved 1 March 2024

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