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John Gilbert diary entry

10 May 1845

Page 95. Volume 2

[in left margin]


of told them a fearful tale. That the natives are occasionally very numerous on this spot I think is attested by the numerous well beaten footpaths which run from Lake to Lake and from Lagoon to Lagoon in every possible direction, and they have certainly a most beautiful country, and which in the event of its being settled upon by Europeans they would endeavour all they possibly could to prevent, the Lakes and Lagoons and even this part of the river being so well lined with rank vegetation offers to them a fine field for obtaining game consisting of the numerous water Birds which abound in such vast numbers and doubtless many roots in addition to the Lotus seed which is so abundant, while the little scrub which grows every where on the intervening Basalt fields, is their hunting ground for Wallaby's α Kangaroo’s. in the event of this beautiful spot of country being settled by europeans, the vast numbers of aquatic Birds from being constantly alarmed by the flocks α herds, and probably most of all by the Settlers Gun, would gradually disappear, and then the poor Native would begin to deplore his loss of sport and food, and probably soon commence attacking the settler and his flocks, and thus like most other parts of Australia when first settled, frequent scenes of Bloodshed, with all its horrors would ensue, till the whole tribe would become dispersed from their grounds, or succumb to the new occupant. if such a country as this of the Lakes could be settled by the European without harm to the Native and rightful owner of the soil593, one cannot but help wishing that so fine a country may soon be peopled with our industrious and persevering countrymen. We travelled on the river upwards for 8 miles and camped on the left bank just under the range, where it comes very close to the bank of one of the annabranches594. Calvert α Brown started off to reconnoiter the river for tomorrows stage. A very serious accident was very nearly happening to Roper this morning, several of our party have lately got into the ridiculous habit of catching hold of the Horses tail when wanting to catch one, the Dr entertaining the idea that as soon as a horse feels his tail taken hold of will immediately stop. The Dr has cer=tainly succeeded sometimes in catching his horse so, and consequently recommended others to do the same, which several of them of late have done, Roper did so this morning and the horse immediately kicked out striking him in the chest fairly knocked him down, but most fortunately he escaped with only a severe bruise, the Dr

Note 593

On 27th February 2013 the following Indigenous land use Agreement was posted on the “Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements Project” website, under the title “Gugu Badhun People / Hopewell, Redbank Creek and Valley of Lagoons Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)”. “The Agreement Area covers about 759 square kilometres, located about 76 kilometres west of Ingham in the State of Queensland. The Agreement Area includes all of the land and waters within Lot 5281 on PH1808 (Hopewell Pastoral Holding), Lot 5138 on PH1348 (Redbank Creek Pastoral Holding), Lot 4 on SP232791 (Valley of Lagoons Pastoral Holding) and Lot 227 on OL208 located within the Native Title Determination Application QUD85/05 Gugu Badhun People 2 (QC05/07)”.

Note 594

Neither Gilbert nor Leichhardt gave this campsite a name, although perhaps “Camp of the Lotophagi” would be appropriate; Leichhardt has written “Land of the Lotophagi” over this area on his field sketch map. Does it have a name already? McLaren placed this camp at GR 055 483 on the 1: 100,000 Valley of Lagoons map 7960. He noted what Gilbert had said about the position of the camp, and then established this from the configuration of ranges and anabranches on Leichhardt’s field sketch and the Valley of Lagoons map. McLaren does not appear to have visited this camp site area himself. From a scrutiny of the Valley of Lagoons map myself, the three anabranches drawn by Leichhardt on 10th May appear to start at GR 035 455, GR 047 475 and GR 055 484. That would mean the campsite was more to the north, perhaps at GR 061 497, at the bottom of a gully between two parts of a ridge, both of have fingers which come down to the anabranch. Alternatively, the campsite could have been just south of this ridge, at GR 059 494, which does tally better with what Gilbert wrote the next day - that they had travelled for a mile nearly north before turning north-east, and that the stony sides of the ranges had come close to the river making travelling difficult for the bullocks.