Australia's Slave Ship Massacre — Part One

150 years ago today — 13 September 1871 — Australian slavers — aka 'blackbirders' — fired their guns into the hold of the brig Carl, where they had imprisoned 160 South Pacific Islanders they had recently attacked and kidnapped. Thirty five men were killed in hours of fusillades — and that many again would soon suffer an unbelievably horrific fate. To understand this massacre, we need to understand the man who ordered it. In part one of "Australia's Slave Ship Massacre", we delve into the life of forgotten mass murderer Dr James Patrick Murray, who played a role in the Burke & Wills, Ludwig Leichhardt and Adam Lindsay Gordon stories — and who had been widely hated across Australia even before he told his men on the Carl to "Shoot them all". To see images of the people from this episode (free, no sign up), go to

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