Petrie, Constance Campbell, 1873-1926
Reminiscences of early Queensland / by Constance Campbell Petrie
Call Number
N 919.43 PET
Brisb., 1904
View Catalogue


TOM PETRIE’S REMINISCENCES. PART I. CHAPTER I. Tom Petrie—Andrew Petrie—Moreton Bay in the Thirties—Petrie’s Bight—First Steamer in the River—“Tom’s” Childhood—“Kabon-Tom”— Brisbane or Turrbal Tribe—North Pine Forty-five years ago—Alone with the Blacks—Their Trustworthiness and Consideration—Arsenic in Flour—Black Police—Shooting the Blacks—Inhuman Cruelty—St. Helena Murder—Bribie Island Murder. 19
CHAPTER II. Bonyi Season on the Blackall Range—Gatherings like Picnics—Born Mimics“Cry for the Dead”—Treated like a Prince-Caboolture (Kabul-tur)— Superstitions of the Blacks—Climbing the Bonyi—Gathering the Nuts —Number at these Feasts—Their Food while there—Willingness to Share. 29
CHAPTER III. Sacrifice—Cannibalism—Small Number killed in Fights—Corrobborees“Full Dress”—Women’s Ornaments—Painted Bodies—Burying the Nuts—Change of Food—Teaching Corrobborees—Making new ones—How Brown’s Creek got its Name—Kulkarawa—“Mi-na” (Mee-na). 37
CHAPTER IV. “Turrwan” or Great Man—“Kundri”—Spirit of Rainbow—A Turrwan's Great Power—Sickness and Death—Burial Customs—Spirit of the Dead—Murderer’s Footprint—Bones of Dead—Discovering the Murderer —Revenge—Preparations for a Cannibal Feast—Flesh Divided Out—A Sacred Tree—Presented with a Piece of Skin—Cripples and Deformed People. 48
CHAPTER V. How Names were given—“Kippa”-making—Two Ceremonies—Charcoal and Grease Rubbed on Body—Feathers and Paint—Exchanging News—Huts for the Boys—Instructions given them—“Bugaram”—“Wobbalkan” —Trial of the Boys—Red Noses—“Kippa’s Dress.” 56
CHAPTER VI. Great Fight—Camping-ground—Yam-sticks—Boys’ Weapons—Single-handed Fight—Great Gashes—Charcoal Powder for Healing—Same Treatment Kill a White man—Nose Pierced—Body Marked—“Kippa-ring”— “Kakka”—Notched Stick—Images Along the Road-way. 63
CHAPTER VII. “Fireworks Display”—Warning the Women—Secret Corrobboree—“Look at this Wonder”—Destroying the “Kakka”—How Noses were Pierced—Site of Kippa-rings”—Raised Scars—Inter-tribal Exchange of Weapons, etc.—Removing Left Little Finger—Fishing or Coast Women. 72
CHAPTER VIII. Mourning for the Dead—Red, White, and Yellow Colouring—No Marriage Ceremony—Strict Marriage Laws—Exchange of Brides—Mother-in-Law —Three or Four Wives—Blackfellows’ Dogs—Bat Made the Men and Night-Hawk the Women—Thrush which Warned the Blacks—Dreams—Moon and Sun—Lightning -Cures for Illness—Pock Marks—Dugong Oil. 78
CHAPTER IX. Food—How It was Obtained—Catching and Cooking Dugong—An Incident at Amity Point—Porpoises Never Killed; but Regarded as Friends—They Helped to Catch Fish—Sea Mullet and Other Fish—Fishing Methods—Eels—Crabs—Oysters and Mussels—Cobra. 87
CHAPTER X. Grubs as Food—Dr. Leichhardt and Thomas Archer Tasting Them—Ants—Native Bees—Seeking for Honey—Climbing with a Vine—A Disgusting Practice—Sweet Concoction—Catching and Eating Snakes—lguanas and Lizards—Another Superstition—Hedgehogs—Tortoises—Turtles. 97
CHAPTER XI. Kangaroos—How Caught and Eaten—Their Skins—The Aboriginal’s Wonderful Tracking Powers—Wallaby, Kangaroo Rat, Paddy melon, and Bandicoot—’Possum—’Possum Rugs—Native Bear—Squirrel—Hunting on Bowen Terrace—Glass House Mountain—Native Cat and Dog—Flying Fox. 105
CHAPTER XII. Emus—Scrub Turkeys—Swans—Ducks—Cockatoos and Parrots—Quail Root and Other Plant Food—How it was Prepared—Meals—Water—Fire—How obtained—Signs and Signals. 111
CHAPTER XIII. Canoe-making—Rafts of Dead Slicks—How Huts were Made—Weapon Making—Boomerangs—Spears—Waddies—Yam Sticks—Shields—Stone Implements—Vessels—Dilly-Bags—String. 118
CHAPTER XIV. Games—“Murun Murun”—“Purru Purru”—"Murri Murri”—“Birbun Birbun”—Skipping—“Cat’s Cradle”—“Marutchi”—Turtle Hunting as a Game—Swimming and Diving—Mimics—“Tambil Tambil.” 130
CHAPTER XV. Aboriginal Characteristics—Hearing—Smelling—Seeing—Eating Powers—Noisy Creatures—Cowards—Properly—Sex and Clan “Totems”—“The Last of His Tribe.” 137
CHAPTER XVI. Folk Lore—The Cockatoo’s Nest—A Strange Fish—A Love Story—The Old-woman Ghost—The Clever Mother Spider—A Brave Little Brother —The Snake’s Journey—The Marutchi and Bugawan—The Bittern’s Idea of a Joke—A Faithful Bride—The Dog and the Kangaroo—The Cause of the Bar in South Passage. 143
CHAPTER XVII. Duramboi—His Return to Brisbane—Amusing the Squatters—His Subsequent Great Objection to Interviews—Mr. Oscar Fristrom’s Painting—Duramboi Making Money—Marks on His Body—Rev. W. Ridley—A Trip to Enoggera for Information—Explorer Leichhardt—An Incident at York’s Hollow—An Inquiry Held. 160
CHAPTER XVIII. A Message to Wivenhoe Station after Mr. Uhr’s Murder—Another Message to Whiteside Station—Alone in the Bush—A Coffin Ready Waiting—The Murder at Whiteside Station—Piloting “Diamonds” Through the Bush—A Reason for the Murder—An Adventure Down the Bay—No Water; and Nothing to Eat but Oysters—A Drink out of an Old Boot —The Power of Tobacco—“A Mad Trip.” 170
CHAPTER XIX. A Search for Gold—An Adventure with the Blacks—“Bumble Dick” and the Ducks—The Petrie’s Garden—Old Ned the Gardner—“Tom’s” Attempt to Shoot Birds—Aboriginal Fights in the Vicinity of Brisbane—The White Boy a Witness—“Kippa"-making at Samford—Women Fighting Over a Young Man—“It Takes a Lot to Kill a Blackfellow”— A Big Fight at York’s Hollow—A Body Eaten. 179
CHAPTER XX. Early Aboriginal Murderers—“Millbong Jemmy” and His Misdeeds—Flogged by Gilegan the Flogger—David Petty—Jemmy’s Capture and Death—“Dead Man’s Pocket”—An Old Prisoner’s Story—Found in a Wretched State—Weather-bound with the Murderers on Bribie Island—Their Explanation—“Dundalli” the Murderer—Hanged in the Present Queen Street—A Horrible Sight—Dundalli’s Brother’s Death. 191
CHAPTER XXI. The Black Man’s Deterioration—Worthy Characters—“Dalaipi”—Recommending North Pine as a Place to Settle—The Birth of “Murrumba”— A Portion of Whiteside Station—Mrs. Griffen—The First White Man’s Humpy at North Pine—Dalaipi’s Good Qualities—A Chat with Him—His Death—With Mr. Pettigrew in Early Maryboro’—A Very Old Land-mark at North Pine—Proof of the Durability of Blood-wood Timber—The Word “Humpy bong.” 204
CHAPTER XXII. A Trip in 1862 to Mooloolah and Maroochy—Tom Petrie the First White Man on Buderim Mountain—Also on Petrie’s Creek—A Specially Faithful Black—Tom Petrie and his “Big Arm”—Twenty-five Blacks Branded—King Sandy one of them—The Blacks Dislike to the Darkness —Crossing Maroochy Bar Under Difficulties—Wanangga “Willing” his Skin Away—Doomed—A Blackfellow’s Grave Near “Murrumba.” 218
CHAPTER XXIII. “Puram,” the Rain-maker—“Governor Banjo”—His Good Nature—A Ride for Gold with Banjo—Acting a Monkey—Dressed Up and Sent a Message—Banjo and the Hose—“Missus Cranky”—Banjo’s Family—His Kindness to Them—An Escape from Poisoning—Banjo’s Brass Plate. 229
CHAPTER XXIV. Prince Alfred’s Visit to Brisbane in 1868—A Novel Welcome to the Duke—A Black Regiment—The Man in Plain Clothes—The Darkies’ Fun and Enjoyment—Roads Tom Petrie has Marked—First Picnic Party to Humpybong—Chimney round which a Premier Played—Value of Tom Petrie’s “Marked Tree Lines”—First Reserve for Aborigines in Queens, land (Bribie Island)—The Interest It Caused—Father McNab—Keen Sense of Humour—Abraham’s Death at Bribie—Piper, the Murderer—Death by Poison. 238
PART II. CHAPTER I. Death in 1872 of Mr. Andrew Petrie—A Sketch of His life taken from the Brisbane Courier—Born in 1798—His Duties in Brisbane—Sir Evan Mackenzie—Mr. David Archer—Colonel Barney—An Early Trip to limestone (Ipswich)—Two Instances of Aborigines Recovering from Ghastly Wounds. 248
CHAPTER II. “Tinker,” the Black and White Poley Bullock—Inspecting the Women’s Quarters at Eagle Farm—A Picnic Occasion—Cutting in Hamilton Road, made originally by Women Convicts—Dr. Simpson—His After-dinner Smoke—His Former Life—The “Lumber-yard”—The Prisoners’ Meals—The Chain-gang—Logan’s Reign—The “Crow-minders”— “Andy.” 255
CHAPTER III. “Andy’s” Cooking—Andrew Petrie’s Walking Stick as a Warning-Tobacco-making on the Quiet—One Pipe Among a Dozen—The Floggings—“Old Bumble Gilligan, the Flogger, Flogged Himself—His Revenge—“Bribie,” the Basket-maker—Catching Fish in Creek Street—Old Barn the Prisoners Worked In—“Hand carts.” 262
CHAPTER IV. The Windmill (present Observatory)—Overdue Vessel—Sugar or “Coal Tar”—On the Treadmill—Chain Gang Working Out Their Punishment-Leg Irons Put On—Watching the Performance—Prisoner’s Peculiar Way of Walking—“Peg-leg” Kelly—Fifteen or Sixteen Years for Stealing Turnips—Life for Stealing a Sheep—Tom Petrie’s Lessons—The Convict’s “Feather Beds”—First Execution by Hanging—Sowing Prepared Rice. 269
CHAPTER V. Mount Petrie—“Bashed”—The Black Tracker—Relic of the Early Days—Andrew Petrie’s Tree—Early Opinion of the Timbers of Moreton Bay—An Excursion to Maroochy—First Specimens of Bunya Pine—First on Beerwah Mountain—“Recollections of a Rambling Life”—Mr. Archer’s Disappointment—Another Excursion—A Block of Bunya Timber“Pinus Petriana”—Less Title to Fame—Discoveries of Coal, etc. 276
CHAPTER VI. Journal of an Expedition to the “Wide Bay River” in 1842—Discovery of the Mary—Extract from Mr. Andrew Petrie’s Diary—Encountering the Aborigines—Bracefield-Same Appearance as the Wild Blacks—Davis“Never Forget His Appearance”—Could Not Speak His “Mither’s Tongue Blackfellow with a Watch—Mr. McKenzie’s Murdered Shepherds—Frazer Island—Mr. Russell Sea-sick. 288
CHAPTER VII. The Alteration of Historical Names—Little Short of Criminal—Wreck of the “Stirling Castle”—Band of Explorers—Sir George Gipps—Trip Undertaken in a “Nondescript Boat”—Mr. Russell’s Details of the Trip—A Novel Cure for Sunstroke—Gammon Island—Jolliffe’s Beard. 298
CHAPTER VIII. The Early-time Squatters—Saved by the Natives from Drowning—Mr. Henry Stuart Russell—“Tom” Punished for Smoking—“Ticket-of-Leave” Men—First Racecourse in Brisbane—Harkaway—Other Early Racecourses—Pranks the Squatters Played—Destiny of South Brisbane Changed—First Vessel Built in Moreton Bay—The Parson’s Attempt to Drive Bullocks—A Billy-goat Ringing a Church Bell—The First Election—Changing Sign-boards—Sir Arthur Hodgson—Sir Joshua Peter Bell. 304
CHAPTER IX. “Old Cocky”—His Little Ways—The Sydney Wentworths’ “Sulphur Crest”—“Boat Ahoy !”—“Cocky” and the Ferryman—“It’s Devilish Cold”—“What the Devil are You Doing There ?”—Disturbing the Cat and Kittens—Always Surprising People—Teetotaller for Ever—The Washerwoman’s Anger—Vented His Rage on Dr. Hobbs—Loosing His Feathers—Sacrilege to Doubt—“People Won’t Believe That”—Governor Cairns. “OLD COCKY.” 320
CHAPTER X. Mr. Andrew Petrie’s Loss of Sight—Walked His Room in Agony—Blind for Twenty-four Years—Overlooking the Workmen—Never Could be Imposed Upon—His Wonderful Power of Feeling—Walter Petrie’s Early Death—Drowned in the Present Creek Street—Only Twenty-two Years —Insight into the Unseen—“You Will Find My Poor Boy Down There in the Creek”—A Very Peculiar Coincidence—Walter Petrie’s Great Strength—First Brisbane Boat Races. 330
CHAPTER XI. Great Changes in One Lifetime—How Shells and Coral Were Obtained for Lime-making—King Island or “Winnam”—Lime-burning on Petrie’s Bight—Diving Work—Harris’s Wharf—A Trick to Obtain “Grog” Reads Like Romance—Narrow Escape of a Diver. 339
CHAPTER XII. Characters in the Way of “Old Hands”—Material for a Charles Dickens“Cranky Tom”—“Deaf Mickey”—Knocked Silly in Logan’s Time“Wonder How Long I’ve Been Buried”—Scene in the Road Which is Now Queen Street—A Peculiar Court Case—First Brisbane Cemetery. 344
LIST of PLACES, NAMES, PLANTS, and TREES, With a Few Specimens of Aboriginal Vocabulary (For the benefit of those unacquainted with the form of spelling used, English spelling given in brackets in cases of some difference). 350



Citation options:
Work identifier

APA citation

Petrie, Constance Campbell. (1904). Reminiscences of early Queensland Retrieved November 29, 2020, from

MLA citation

Petrie, Constance Campbell. Reminiscences of early Queensland Brisb: , 1904. Web. 29 November 2020 <>

Harvard/Australian citation

Petrie, Constance Campbell. 1904, Reminiscences of early Queensland , Brisb viewed 29 November 2020

Wikipedia citation

  | author1=Petrie, Constance Campbell.
  | title=Reminiscences of early Queensland
  | year=1904
  | section=1 v.
  | location=Brisb
  | publisher=
  | url=
  | id=nla.obj-52853192
  | access-date=29 November 2020
  | via=Trove

Citations are automatically generated and may require some modification to conform to exact standards.


Select the pages you want to download, or the whole document.

Available formats
TIF high resolution

Or select a range of pages:


You can order a copy of this work from Copies Direct.

Copies Direct supplies reproductions of collection material for a fee. This service is offered by the National Library of Australia


Or select a range of pages:


Share on Twitter

Share on Facebook

What can I do with this?

Out of Copyright

Reason for copyright status
Creator Date of Death is Before 1955

You may order a copy or use the online copy for research or study; for other uses Contact us.

Copyright status was determined using the following information:

Creator Status
Creator(s) Considered Dead
Creator date of death
Material type
Literary Dramatic Musical
Published status
Publication date
Government copyright ownership
No Government Copyright Ownership

Copyright status may not be correct if data in the record is incomplete or inaccurate.

For more information please see: how copyright status is determined.