Narional Archives of Australia
CRS F126 Item 8 PART 1
Copyright P J Mackett 2007
5. 6.1940 From T G H Strehlow to Mrs K Morton Anningie Station
Mrs Morton wants to retain and educate Betty, 3/4C, child.
10. 4.1940 Fron T G H Strehlow to Director Native Affairs Darwin
Re: Application by Mrs K Morton to retain and educate
3/4C child Betty.
The mother of the child is a half-caste girl named Maggie Davis,
and the father is an aboriginal named Dick, therefore the child
Betty is 3/4 black. Both the parents are Barrow Creek Aboriginals.
21. 2.1940 From Mrs Morton to Director Native Affairs Darwin
3/4C child Betty is 5 years old and has been with Mrs Morton
for about 18 months.
25. 5.1937 From T G H Strehlow to Chief Protector of Aboriginals Darwin
Report on the trip to the Anningie Tin Fields.
We found the following men on the field :-
1. Ben Nicker. Joint owner of the 'Reward' mine together with
'Nugget' Morton. The latter is absent in Melbourne temporarily.
Nicker and Morton are employing two natives at the moment,
viz. Skipper and Frank, also one halfcaste called Gus Elliot.
(Bob Davis, Morton's agent, laid a complaint against Gus Elliot
and his numerous lubras; but the Ordinance does not permit of
any action being taken againts Elliot on this score.)
2. E H 'Shrimp' Morton. 'Nugget' Morton's nephew. Like Ben Nicker,
Shrimp has been .................Censored............. . He was
feeding a boy called Donovan but had not yet started work on
his claim. He applied for a Licence.
3. Ramazan Abbas, Shofki Kuzin. Albanians. Their employee was a
half-caste Afghan called John Mahomet. (the notorious lubra-
keeper Charlie Cheep (an Afghan) has already left the field.
4. Thomas Moar. Has a Licence and was employing a native, With
him was - .........................................
F R Sproll. A well known Arltunga prospector who thinks of
returning to the Arltunga soon.
5. At the last camp visited by us we found :-
Jack Ludgate. Half-caste who was employing a native without
Fred Khan. Father Afghan, mother probably white.
Jim Clarke. White prospector.
NB Doug McDowell, another white prospector noormally at this
camp, is at present on a holiday in Adelaide.
No other natives, male or female, were to be seen on the
Field on Thursday : even the three lubras whom Sergeant
Koop and I had noticed at Gus. Elliot's shack on Wednesday
had vanished nexe morning.
We saw, however, a young lubra called Kitty at Mrs R Davis's shack.
Sergeant Koop and I questioned Kitty in view of Mrs Campbell's
allegations (see above). Kitty gave us the following statement :-
'She left Mt Peake because of hidings received from Mr and Mrs
Campbell. She went out and stayed with Lill (the Western
Australian lubra) at 'Nugget' Morton's camp.
When 'Nugget' took his cattle down, Kitty and Lill drove his horse
plant as far as Charlie Carter's station. Upon their return Kitty
came to stay at Mrs Davis's place (Mrs Davis is 'Nugget' Morton's
sister); Lill is still doing the stockwork on Morton's run with
A summary of these pages was given as follows
‘To infuse an universal terror’
The Coniston killings of 1928
Northern Territory University
Supervisor: Dr Bill Wilson
Earlier, on 28 August, the co-owner of Broadmeadows Station,
William John (‘Nugget’) Morton, had been attacked by a group
of 15 Walpiri.  Aboriginal oral history suggests that Morton
was attacked because of his abuse of Aboriginal women.
Walpiri Jimmy Jungarrayi told Read (1991), 'Well, that, all
the people bin talkin’, ‘What we killem that man, because that
man come up and robbem with the woman all the time?’ In
notifying police, Morton claimed three Aboriginal men approached
him asking for tobacco and meat and that when he passed meat to
one he was thrown to the ground and soon found 15 men attacking him.
Morton stated he fought his way to his revolver, receiving 'several
heavy blows to the head', and 'after firing several shots I noticed
the blacks raced away'.  In his initial statement Morton neglected
to mention that he had killed one Aboriginal man with his revolver.
Morton made his way, after joining his companion Sandford, to Ti-Tree
Well where he dictated a letter to the police, being unable to write
himself due to injury. On 7 September Alice Springs police received
written word that Morton had been attacked. 
T.G.H. Strehlow’s diaries provide testimony to the Aboriginal oral
accounts of Morton’s inhumanity to Aboriginal people, especially
young women. In 1937, as a Department of Aboriginal Affairs Patrol
Officer, Strehlow and Sergeant Koop of Alice Springs conducted an
investigation into Morton’s suspected breaches of Aboriginal
protectionist legislation. In detailing the allegations against
Morton, Strehlow provided an uncommon insight into his character:-
'Nugget' Morton was keeping a Western Australian lubra
there for his stockwork: she had tried to run away – as well
as some of the girl victims mentioned below – but Morton had
got her back (and the other two) each time and inflicted a
severe hiding as a deterrent against further attempts to run
away. 'Nugget' was since employing as 'stockmen' (he has no
male abos. working for him) one or two other little native
girls, 9 or 10 years of age, whom he had raped. Another
little girl he had given to his nephew 'Shrimp', who was about
17 years of age. Ben Nicker, who was working for Nugget was
similarly using a little girl, and both Ben and the girl were
suffering from gonorrhoea.'
82 Letter dictated by W. Morton to B.S. Sandford at Tea Tree Well,
30 August 1928, NAA A431 1950/2768 Part 1.
83 Read, P. & J. Long Time, Olden Time, p.42.
84 Letter dictated by W. Morton to B.S. Sandford at Tea Tree Well,
30 August 1928, NAA A431 1950/2768 Part 1.
85 Alice Springs Police Day Journal 23/6/27 to 31/10/29, NT Archives,
F255, entry 7 September 1928.
86 Strehlow, T.G.H. Diary begun April 1st 1937, Strehlow Research Centre,
Alice Springs, entry 28 April 1928. Strehlow also recorded that, oddly
enough, Skipper and Dodger were working for Morton at his Tin Field mine.