A study of the Queensland native mounted police force in the 1870's

Barnett, Susan (1975). A study of the Queensland native mounted police force in the 1870's Honours Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Barnett, Susan
Thesis Title A study of the Queensland native mounted police force in the 1870's
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1975
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Total pages 121
Language eng
Subjects 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
Formatted abstract


The first notion of a native police corps was brought forward in the 1830s, by the penal reformer Alexander Maconochie. Its primary objective was to "give the native race an institution of which it could be proud, a means of raising Aboriginal morale."   A similar idea had been applied and had proved successful in India. But in the Eastern Colonies of Australia and particularly later in Queensland, this initial concept did not become a reality.

This thesis is an attempt to explore the theme that the Native Mounted Police Force which developed in Queensland, was really a part of what could be seen as a "tradition of violent expansion" in the nineteenth century colony. In view of the fact that the Corps played a major role in the frontier conflict, and the consequent destruction of a large percentage of the Aboriginal population, it is important to see how and why these actions were motivated. This inevitably must shed light upon the whole social context within which the Native Police operated.

The thread of these ideas is followed through with respect to the organization of the Force, its activities, its justifications and the reactions it produced within the colonial community. The decade of the 1870's was chosen as the limitations of this study for two reasons. Firstly, the 70's displayed all the characteristics of the Force and its interaction with the society as well as having another important factor. This second point, was that by the end of the 70's the Native Police organization and its supporting ideas were showing some sign of change. Up to this time, the Force had undergone no reform, no revision.   ………………………

Keyword Mounted police -- Queensland
Aboriginal Australians -- History

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