An east Ballina Massacre - Shot down like dogs

From Reference 2

Details of the 1854 massacre were passed down to the Andersons from their grandfather who died in 1961 aged 104. According to them, around 40-50 men, women and children were initially killed in their camp at Shaws Bay in East Ballina. Survivors who fled north and west to the bush around Angels Beach were hunted down and slaughtered. It is estimated that around 300-400 people died.

Extract from reference 18 RRHS p18

In 1853 or 54 when Queensland was still under the jurisdiction of NSW it was the custom (occasionally) to patrol the distant territory with black-trackers in charge of white troopers. These were trained horsemen and muskets shots, but were possessed very often with only a cramped conception of their duty.

It has been alleged in Brisbane that the blacks to the north of the Tweed had murdered some white men and that the murderers has fled south towards the Richmond.

In the course of one afternoon one of these patrols - a small one- rode into East Ballina and put up at the Ainsworth's public house, 'The Sailors Home'. That is to say the white troops stayed at the hotel while the black trackers camped outside.

The object of the mission to Ballina was not disclosed to the settlement and no inquiries were made by the patrol, but at 3 o'clock the net morning they turned out and ascended the hill in the direction of the present reservoir. The blacks had a camping ground on the clear slope of the fill facing the valley reaching over towards Black Head. At the time between 200 and 300 lay asleep in the camp.

The troopers and trackers stealthily surrounded the slumbering blacks and when sufficiently close at a given signal opened fire. Men, women and children were slaughtered without mercy. Between 30 and 40 of the poor wretches were killed outright, and many who got away were badly wounded. Their graves may still be found on the fatal ridge. The patrol, after its bloody work, returned north and the white settlers at East Ballina reported the unprovoked massacre to the NSW Government. The authorities however, gave no satisfaction, and when pressed to take action against the troopers the settlers were peremptorily told to mind their own business and were warned their persistence in the matter might lead to trouble fore them.

In their flight from the camp the blacks took refuge in the scrub and did not return for quite a period. They sought no reprisals and took no revenge; and to the credit of the whites in the meantime, be it added, they were shown every sympathy and assistance.