Musquito

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Musquito (c. 1780, Port Jackson – 25 February 1825, Hobart)(Mosquito, Musquetta, Bush Muschetta or Muskito) was an Indigenous Australian resistance leader.[1] latterly based in Van Diemen's Land. He was born in Hawkesbury/Broken Bay region of Sydney.

After engaging in violent raids on British settlements in the Hawkesbury and Georges River areas, he was gaoled in Parramatta, then banished to the convict colony on Norfolk Island where he lived for the eight years.[1] [2]

In 1813, he was further banished to Van Diemen's Land. In VDL he worked as an Aboriginal tracker of bushrangers like the infamous Michael Howe and as a servant of the prominent and wealthy settler and rapacious entrepreneur, Edward Lord. For his services as a tracker of bushrangers, Musquito was promised repatriation to Sydney on at least three occasions (once on Norfolk Island and twice in VDL) but these promises were never fulfilled. His bitter anger at his treatment and his alienation from white society in the demographic upheaval and flood of convicts after 1817, led him to join with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Oyster Bay mob and organised warrior bands of up to several hundred to terrorise and slaughter white settlers and their farmhands. Eventually captured with the help of an Aboriginal tracker named Tegg (or Teague), Musquito was charged with aiding and abetting the murder of a Tahitian farm hand named Mammoa and settler George Meredith's servant, William Hollyoak at Grindstone Bay on Tasmania's east coast. Musquito was found guilty of the death of Hollyoak but not Mammoa and was sentenced to death by hanging. The sentence was carried out at Old Hobart Gaol on 25 February 1825.

The organised raids by Musquito that saw his capture and hanging was seen as a pivotal moment. 1824 was seen as the beginning of the Black War which continued for a further seven years before the surrender and banishment of the remnants of Tasmanian Aborigines to Flinders Island

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Parry, Naomi. "Musquito (1780-1825)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Powell was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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