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Photographs supplied by John Huth

The plaque commemorates Aboriginal leader, Multuggerah.

Between 1841 and 1848, the Jaggera headman ‘Old Moppy,’ his son Multuggerah and other headmen led many raids and sieges.  Their allies – the ‘Mountain tribes’ – conducted similar resistance on the Darling Downs plateau and as far as Cunningham’s Gap. 

During 11 days of continual siege of all cattle runs in the valley below, a cavalcade of three heavily-loaded drays (each with several bullocks) armed with extra protection (18 men with guns) was sent up towards the Darling Downs from Ipswich.  Multuggerah and over 100 warriors fenced up the road and successfully ambushed and sacked this cavalcade between Mount Tabletop and Mount Davidson, sending all 18 men fleeing. Later the same day, a force of 30-45 squatters and servants arrived to avenge the ambush, only to be driven back by a shower of spears and boulders from Multuggerah’s forces on the spur of Mount Tabletop and possibly Mount Davidson.

This was ‘the Battle of One Tree Hill.’ It was immortalized in the bush ballad ‘Raid of the Aborigines’.  For the emerging Queensland squattocracy, it was a humiliating defeat of some of their most respected representatives – some of whom became major political figures.  In the days that followed, a force of up to 75 squatters, servants, border police, and soldiers from the 99th Detachment undertook a 3 week pursuit of Multuggerah’s forces (now over 300 warriors), covering 20 kilometres to Rosewood Scrub. The pursuit involved skirmishes and counter-raids by both sides.

A temporary peace was negotiated. A permanent military depot was established at Helidon to regularly accompany drays up the pass to the Darling Downs. Multuggerah and his successors continued raiding drays and cattle runs, including fighting travellers near Mount Tabletop.  This halted settlement in some areas. Some attacks continued as late as the 1850s and 1860s.

One Tree Hill is now known as Table Top Mountain.




Address:Kara View Circuit, Duggan Bushland, Rangeville, 4350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -27.593955
Long: 151.990367
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2004
Front Inscription

Mount Tabletop (Meewah)
Battle of One Tree Hill

You are looking across a landscape rich in unique enviroments, Aboriginal ceremonial sites and camp sites.  The hills weere called "cloud catchers" by Aboriginal people, honouring the role of the escarpment in bringing water to the streams that flow east.  There are Dreaming stories connecting these peaks to the unique Helidon spas.  The flat-topped hill that you can see from this lookout - Meewah (Mount Tabletop, or "One Tree Hill") - is especially important as a ceremonial site.

Historically, Meewah was the setting of a famous event of early Queensland. This was the "Battle of One Tree Hill" (13 September 1843).

From 1841 to 1848 - the beginnings of white settlement of this region - the Aboriginal headman ‘Old Moppy,’ his son Multuggerah and warriors of various allied 'Mountain Tribes' conducted many raids and sieges from Esk to Cunningham`s Gap in an attempt to intercept, 'starve out' and evict settlers.  For 11 days in September 1843, all cattle runs in the Lockyer Valley were held in siege.  A number of settlers called a meeting and dediced to send a large cavalcade, 3 drays (each of 9 - 12 bullocks) with 18 armed men towards Gorman`s Gap, to ensure continued use of the newly established route (now Blanchview Road) whilst they waited at Bonifant`s Inn (Tent Hill). Bullock drays at this time were "supply trains" between the Darling Downs and Brisbane.

Multuggerah and over 100 warriors meanwhile fenced up the road and lay in wait.  By this means, they ambushed and sacked the cavalcade between Mt Tabletop and Mt Davidson, sending the 18 men fleeing back to Bonifant`s Inn.  From the Inn a force of 20 to 45 armed squatters and servants set out to avenge the ambush.  The next morning they attacked the warriors` camp, below and on the spur of Mt Tabletop.  Despite initial gains, this group were driven back by spears and boulders from Multuggerah`s forces from the slopes of Mt Tabletop.  The settlers eventually retreated, several suffering severe injuries. Dr Stephen Simpson, the Commissioner of Lands who was also in charge of the Border Police, arrived to reinforce the squatters with six police, but decided the situation was too dangerous. He returned to Brisbane to muster forces.

This event at Mt Tabletop became known as the "Battle of One Tree Hill".  It was immortalised in the bush ballad "Raid of the Aborigines" by William Wilkes.  For the emerging Queensland squattocracy, it was an embarrsing defeat of some of their more respected representatives.  For Aboriginal people, it was a temporary victory but also an event through which many lost their lives both at the time and subsequently.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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