A Wild History: Life and Death on the Victoria River Frontier
Monash University Publishing
1 Jan 2012
In 1883 white men began to drive great herds of cattle into the Victoria River District of Australia's Northern Territory, one of the last of Australia's frontiers. They entered a vast and complex tropical land of big rivers, wide plains, and rugged ranges. It was a cattlemans paradise, but also a paradise for the Aboriginal people who had lived there for thousands of years. Each side came to see the other as the serpent in the garden that had to be banished. A 20 year war ensued, and ultimately both sides lost the coming of the cattle began the destruction of the paradise for both. The frontiersmen who came to the district included cattle and horse thieves, outlaws, big capitalists, dreamers, drunks, fools, madmen and others. Together they established massive stations of up to 12,000 square miles. This book looks at them all, from the explorers of the 1830s and 1850s to the founders of the big stations in the 1880s and 1890s, and finally the golden era of the cattle thieves in the early 1900s.It looks at the complex interactions between the environment, the powerful and warlike Aboriginal tribes and the settlers and their cattle complex interactions which produced what truly became, A Wild History. Key audience: Australian history, race relations, cultural studies, plus general audience (really anyone interested in Australian history).