Recent archaeological work in North Queensland has established that Aboriginal occupation goes back at least 30 000 years. Frederick Walker quickly discovered that they believed that 'a system of warfare ought to be authorised by Government'. It was a conflict of opinion which was resolved decisively in favour of the settlers, a decision enhanced by the grant of responsible government to New South Wales in 1856 and to Queensland on separation three years later. One of the most disturbing examples of this callousness is illustrated in the diary of Caroline Crcaghe, written during a visit to north-west Queensland in 1883 a month or two before Gordon was writing of his concern to Gladstone. With time, removal orders became the major mechanism for controlling Aboriginal lives and it would appear that they were used more rigorously in Queensland than in any other Australian state.