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Conspiracy of Silence : Queensland's Frontier Killing Times - Timothy Bottoms

Conspiracy of Silence

Queensland's Frontier Killing Times

By: Timothy Bottoms, Raymond Evans (Foreword by)

Paperback Published: 27th May 2013
ISBN: 9781743313824
Number Of Pages: 288

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As Europeans moved into new lands in Queensland in the 19th century, violent encounters with local Aboriginals mostly followed. Drawing on extensive original research, Timothy Bottoms tells the story of the most violent frontier in Australian colonial history.

'This is an important, well researched book: challenging, compelling and controversial. It is a must read for anyone interested in Australian history.' - Henry Reynolds
The Queensland frontier was more violent than any other Australian colony. From the first penal settlement at Moreton Bay in 1824, as white pastoralists moved into new parts of country, violence invariably followed. Tens of thousands of Aboriginals were killed on the Queensland frontier alone. Europeans were killed too, but in much smaller numbers.

The cover up began from the start: the authorities in Sydney and Brisbane didn't want to know, the Native Police did their deadly work without hindrance, and the pastoralists had every reason to keep it to themselves. Even today, what we know about the killing times is swept aside again and again in favour of the pioneer myth.

Conspiracy of Silence is the first systematic account of frontier violence in Queensland. Following in the tracks of the pastoralists as they moved into new lands across the state in the 19th century, Timothy Bottoms identifies massacres, poisonings and other incidents, including many that no-one has documented in print before. He explores the colonial mindset and explains how the brutal dispossession of Aboriginal landowners continued over decades.

'... a road-map back into what seems, from a modern perspective, to be a barely conceivable past.' - From the foreword by Raymond Evans

About the Author

Timothy Bottoms is a Cairns-based historian and author of Djabugay Country and A History of Cairns.

Industry Reviews

'This is an important, well researched book: challenging, compelling and controversial. It is a must read for anyone interested in Australian history.' - Henry Reynolds.

A record of the Queensland white/aboriginal frontier


A record of the skirmishes on the white/aboriginal frontier, falling short of a guerrilla war but resulting in thousands of deaths on both sides. Rumors of massacres are systematically investigated. A map of early pastoral expansion in Queensland shows how the frontier expanded to the north and north west. The government incentives to conquer the aboriginals are outlined. The horrific role of the native (aboriginal) police from other States and tribes is summarized. Massacre sites in northern NSW, Queensland and Northern Territory are shown on modern maps for readers to check on sites near where they now live. The 1840 - 1860 improvement in western armaments are outlined, allowing easier conquest. Outlines of mention of similar attacks on the Great Plains of the USA, Africa and Argentina are mentioned.



Talk about a Mis Handled Strategy, especially the Qld Police


A most disgusting use of Power by the Pioneers and the Government of the day

Australind Western Australia


Compelling Reading


A confronting subject. Sometimes hard to keep reading. Always hard to put down.

Queensland, Australia


This is a great read.


This is a book that should be read by all Queenslanders. What happened to our Aboriginal people after European settlers arrived is just shocking. It was murder on the highest scale and the Authorities just turned a blind eye to it. The book is one of the best researched I have read and Dr Bottoms has written in a style that is easy to follow. You may be disgusted (like I was) if you read this but you will not be sorry. The book is an eye opener and a page turner.

Brisbane, QLD.



5.0 4



List of Maps


Foreword - Professor Raymond Evans

Prologue - The Reason


1. Post-Convict Era and the Future South-East Queensland

2. European Invasion of the Future Southern Queensland

3. European Invasion of the Future Central Queensland

4. South-West Queensland - the Channel Country

5. Poisonings and Sexual Exploitation

6. Early Gulf and Central Queensland

7. The Frontier Moves to Far North Queensland and Cape York Peninsula

8. Dark Deeds in the Northern Rainforests - the Tully and Cairns Districts

9. The Gulf Country and Western Queensland

10. Queensland's Disreputable Reputation




ISBN: 9781743313824
ISBN-10: 1743313829
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 27th May 2013
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.5
Edition Number: 1