Bowen Bungaree sails to the Eldorado

Bowen Bungaree, Bungaree’s son, sails with other Koories to the Californian gold fields with Richard Hill because of their skill in sailing boats and in the hope to be given jobs to carry the crowds of gold seekers flocking to the Eldorado. Black Bowen is the only one to return. He speaks with ridicule about America, “That country! No wood for fire, but plenty cold wind … no good for me! No good for blackfellows!”

On his return Bowen resumes his duties as a Police Tracker and reports to police the activities of two assigned servants (convicts) who had escaped and are petty thieves on the Northern Beaches. The men are captured and sent to prison. Bowen’s reputation is now well established, for example he tracks and uses his gun to hunt the bush-ranger Casey. Bowen wear grand clothes, Farrell describes him: “He was in full rig with dress coat, his hair knotted up behind with three feathers stuck in it”. (Jacobs 2007)

  • 'Boin (Bowen)  drawn by Mikhailov, 1820, courtesy AIATSIS