Interlude Pursued – Part 7

Originally Published 31 October 2014:

Background to Violence


The events at Cocanarup during the 1880’s did not take place in a vacuum. Precedents of violent repression had been set along the Swan River since 1829, more forcibly at Pinjarra in 1834, the Vasse River and York District between 1835 and 1841 and at various localities in the North West including Boola Boola Station, Broome, in 1865 and Murujuga, Karratha, in 1868. Stories of put downs, battles and clashes both locally and from around Australia were carried in the newspapers of the day, the vulnerability and protection of the isolated settler being the prime concern of the publishing entities.


Slaughterhouse Creek Massacre

Above: Mounted police engaging Indigenous Australians during the Slaughterhouse Creek Massacre of 1838: Artist Unknown- Source; Wikipedia – Australian Frontier Wars

Continue reading

Interlude Pursued – Part 6

Originally Published 11 October 2014:

Cross-cultural understanding and the difficulty in researching old family histories

 The following post, as with others in the Interlude sequence, contains the names and images of deceased Aboriginal persons. Also contained is a discussion about the difficulties Aboriginal families of the South West of Western Australia face in tracing their heritage. The conversation carries the names of certain old Aborigines recorded in various family trees and may be sensitive to some people. The intention is to help illustrate the nature of old Aboriginal family structures and the practice of keeping an oral history versus one based on written records. Also, to explain the dramatic change in traditional Aboriginal lore and culture that came with the arrival of settlement and the insurmountable problems surrounding the identification of a great many individuals during what was an extended and tragic period of transition.

Noongar Williams Family - PossiblyAbove: From Nyungar Tradition: Glimpses of Aborigines of South-Western Australia 1829-1914 by Lois Tilbrook. This photograph, said to be taken at Gnowangerup around 1910, is thought to be of the Williams family. There are eighteen children, three women and one man, but yet again, no names.

Continue reading

Interlude Pursued – Part 4

Originally Published 15 September 2014:


More thoughts on the movements and whereabouts of John James Dunn prior to March 20th, 1881


Telegraph - Albany to Port Augsta - Goog EarthAbove: Construction of the East-West telegraph line between Albany and Port Augusta, South Australia, impacted upon settlement along Western Australia’s South Coast. Both the Gillam and Dunn families established in Port Augusta between 1876 and at least 1888. John Dunn and Henrietta Gillam may have gone there together with their infant daughter Grace, in December 1875.

Continue reading

Interlude Pursued- Part 3

Originally Published 31 August 2014:

And the Dunns of Cocanarup;

What do we know about John, James, George, Robert and Walter?


Dunns of CocanarupAbove: The Dunn brothers and sister, Eliza, probably taken around 1910 – After the death of brother George in 1907.  Front row seated – Eliza, William & James.  Back row; Walter and Robert. The photograph comes from the Ravensthorpe Historical Society webpage on Cocanarup but is also to be found on the Diamond State Data Services  Dunn Family  group sheet webpage

Continue reading

Interlude Pursued – Part 2

Originally Published 19 August 2014;

And Yandawalla and Mulyall, who were they?


Unknown Noongar BrothersAbove: Unknown Noongar Brothers from an unknown origin. The photograph was taken from the Kaartdijin Noongar – Noongar Culture website. The men look to be brothers and look to be carrying the spoils of a recent hunt. There are so few photographs of the people these pages are concerned with and typically next to none of the old photographs featuring Aboriginal people carry the subject’s names anyway. I’ve decided to use this one because the men here would seem to be around the ages of Mulyall and Yandawalla at the time of Cocanarup while the image lends itself to the conversation at large on account of its apparent time period.

Continue reading

Interlude Pursued – Part 1

Originally Published 12 August 2014:


So, Who Was Dartambaum?


Dartambaum Wordle


When William Dunn walked in to the Albany Police station on Thursday, April 1st, 1880, he told Sergeant Furlong and the staff there that his brother John, ‘had left his station at Cocanarup on the 20th Ulto along with a native named Jumbo. . . ’

The only other person within a mile of John Dunn at the time he went missing was the stonemason Thomas Riley who was on the scaffold about 200 yards away. When P.C. Truslove went to Cocanarup over five months later to investigate, he reported, ‘Have been to Dunn’s Station, can give no reason for suspecting Jumbo except supposed to have been in neighbourhood at time. Riley cannot say whether old or young, man or woman that went with Dunn.’  Riley confirmed as much in his statement to the police by saying about the Aboriginal man his employer went off with, ‘I could not recognize him ever if I saw him.’
Continue reading

Interlude Continued

Originally Published  3 August 2014:

Regina Vrs Yungala

Supreme Court – Perth

Monday, 24th October, 1881


old Postoffice - Albany

Above: Albany’s 1869 government building  which housed the Court House, Post Office and Customs Office. Yungala was committed for trial at the Supreme Court in Perth after a hearing here on September 23rd, 1881, before Resident Magistrate Rowley Crozier Loftie.

Continue reading

Interlude Resumed

Originally Published 31 July 2014:

Who were Henrietta Gillam and John Dunn?


Henrietta Gillam - NOT

Above:  Not Henrietta. There are no known photographs of Henrietta Gillam in the public domain so I had to go in search of an image that I thought might do her justice. This one from the Orien en Aeroplane cultural blog is idealised but appeals.

Continue reading