Samuel Gason

Police officer who worked on Dieri country. Gason is recognised for his 1873 publication about the Dieri. Howitt relied on Gason and Gason's publication for information about the Dieri, although Howitt did question the accuracy of Gason's information at time. In letters to Howitt, Gason described both an attempt on his life by the Dieri and his own attempts to terrorise the Dieri. With such information one can understand the Dieri's inclusion of Gason in gift-giving and ceremonies as an attempt to prevent the violence that he wrought upon their community. He was involved in the 1874 Barrow Creek reprisal killings, in what is now known as the Northern Territory. Historian Robert Foster noted the reports of Gasons' expeditions at Barrow Creek were 'replete with punitive intent'. For example, on one such expedition he wrote he was prevented from 'more effectually punishing' local Aboriginal people because night was closing in.
See: Robert Foster (2009) ‘Don’t Mention the War’ Frontier Violence and the Language of Concealment, History Australia, 6:3, 68.1-68.15. p. 68.9.

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