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James MorrillPrint Page Print this page

Obelisk in cemetery commemorates James Morrill, a sailor on the barque Peruvian who was washed ashore in 1846, following a shipwreck.

Other survivors gradually died but Morrill survived, living with local Aborigines for seventeen years. In 1863, he made contact with some shepherds near Inkerman station calling out "Don`t shoot, I`m a British object." James Morrill wrote later that he meant to say "British subject" but after 17 years living with an Aboriginal tribe in the bush he had almost lost his own language

Appointed to the Department of Customs at Bowen, Morrill returned to North Queensland, where his knowledge and experience of the Aboriginals made him much in demand as interpreter and go-between and often promoted peaceful conciliation. His knowledge of the country and its seasonal variations was often consulted by squatters and explorers. In January 1864 he accompanied George Dalrymple on the expedition to open the port of Cardwell, and in April 1865 he was in charge of the Ariel bringing the first cargo of bonded goods to the settlement on Cleveland Bay which later became Townsville. But his privations during his years of wandering had weakened his health, and on 30 October 1865 he died at Bowen. Aboriginals for many miles around came into town for a memorable mourning ceremony.

Location

Address:Richmond Road, Cemetery, Bowen, 4805
State:QLD
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -20.000222
Long: 148.233119
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Settlement
Monument Manufacturer:Royal Historical Society of Queensland
Link:http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonli…

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 26th January, 1964
Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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