Aborigines conflict with Mr Cape, a corn farmer

The Aborigines whose normal sources of food had dwindled soon develop a taste for corn meal. In helping themselves they are soon in conflict with the farmers and their servants. What may have begun as a misunderstanding between Cape and the Aborigines over sharing/taking corn escalated quickly into armed combat. Cape seems to have provoked the Aborigines into many future acts of violence by his conduct: “Brisbane Water, May 25th, 1828…on receiving a letter from Mr Cape, stating that the Natives were again plundering him of Corn, I sent over to his assistance all the Constables in the district, and proceeded there myself that I might…form a proper estimate of Mr Cape’s loss, and….adopt some plan of future protection to him…I am very doubtful whether [Cape’s] statement be properly correct…I have every reason to believe that his men have encouraged [the Blacks] to the deed. – Mr Cape however appears to set his face against any enquiring, and even his neighbours who have gone over to his assistance, have been treated rather as intruders than friends…there is scarce a person in the District – either Black or White – with whom he is on good terms…He has provoked the Aborigines to many acts of violence by his conduct – menacing them…with a loaded musket. “I am fearful that there will be some trouble yet with the strange tribes, who, I have no doubt have been invited, from distant parts, by some of those, who have been ill treated by Mr Cape or others in the District, to retaliate upon their enemies, by pilfering them. – I have kept three of the worst Characters in the Watchhouse for some days, which has had a good effect on the rest and all is at present quiet. - Many of the Blacks in this District have conducted themselves very well; & should it be His Excellency’s intention this winter of distributing Blankets & Clothing amongst them, I shall assemble the whole of them and give only to those who have been deserving from their late conduct”. (Bean to Colonial Secretary 1828 in Blair, 2003, 18).