Aboriginal Resistance Hero Hanged – Anniversary

Aboriginal Resistance Hero Hanged – Anniversary



Hangman's noose

On 24 February 1825 an Indigenous Australian resistance hero, Musquito (c1780-1825) was publicly hanged.

Musquito was an Australian historical figure. He was both an Indigenous resistance hero and a Tasmanian bushranger. Musquito,  regarded as one of Tasmania’s most violent bushrangers, was known by various names – Mosquito, Musquetta, Bush Muschetta or Muskito.

His origins were in the Hawkesbury River and Broken Bay areas of New South Wales.

Musquito was possibly a Kuring-gai man from around Broken Bay in New South Wales although the Australian Dictionary of Biography says he was an Eora man, born on the north shore of Port Jackson, New South Wales.

Raiding parties


Musquito led many of the raids on the properties of British colonists along the New South Wales Central Coast. In 1805 he was captured and sent to the convict colony, Norfolk Island.

After a time there, in 1813 he was moved to what was then called Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).

Colonel William Sorell, the  Lieutenant-Governor requested Musquito’s help in tracking down bushranger, Michael Howe.

Musquito’s skill as a black tracker had attracted the attention of Sorrell. in return for doing this Musquito was promised his freedom to return to New South Wales.

Even though Musquito succeeded in his mission to hunt down and kill the bushranger the promise of freedom was broken.



Musquito became a bushranger himself.

He joined forces with the Oyster Bay people, the Laremairremener and together they carried out guerrilla campaigns against the British. In 1823 and in 1824, Musquito led attacks on farms along Tasmania’s east coast.

His guerilla gang is believed to have claimed many victims and in the sparsely settled Tasmanian countryside, hundreds of cattle and sheep were slaughtered.

Musquito became a wanted man so Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur offered a reward for his capture.

His several years of being a resistance leader came to an end when he was eventually tracked down, was taken into custody, and became a victim of the hangman’s noose.




Australian Dictionary Of Biography  http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/musquito-13124

Barlow, Alex and Hill, Marji  The Macmillan Encyclopedia Australia’s Aboriginal Peoples.   South Yarra, Vic, Macmillan, 2000.

Grassby, Al and Hill, Marji Six Australian Battlefields. North Ryde, NSW, Angus & Robertson, 1988.

Hill, Marji  First People Then and Now: Heroes of The Australian Aboriginal Resistance. Gold Coast, The Prison Tree Press, 1918. 

Powell, Michael in http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-02/musquito-and-tasmanias-black-war/8075714

Wise, C. “Black rebel: “Mosquito” pp. 1-7 in E.Fry (ed), Rebels And Radicals. Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 1983.


Marji Hill