‘Two excellent girls’

Cissy and Clara McLeod, the ‘half-caste’ foster daughters of Captain and Mrs Mugg

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Cissy and Clara McLeod were two sisters of Aboriginal descent who lived in Darwin in the early decades of the twentieth century. In a society almost obsessed with notions of European superiority and racial purity, the McLeod sisters achieved a remarkable level of acceptance from the European community. In mid-1922, they left Darwin for Singapore and never lived in the Northern Territory again, but were remembered favourably by old Darwin residents for years after their departure. Cissy's and Clara's achievements were totally reliant on their own abilities, yet they would never have been given a chance if they had not had the support of their foster parents, Captain and Mrs Mugg. This couple are also considered in the book, as is their father, who lived for over twenty years in the remote town of Borroloola where the sisters were born. The ultimate fates of Cissy and Clara McLeod were tragic, but their lives in Darwin were marked with success. It was a notable achievement against considerable odds and remains worthy of recognition today.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDarwin
PublisherHistorical Society of the Northern Territory
Number of pages51
ISBN (Print)978-1-925167-96-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Daughters
Sister
Caste
Purity
Descent
Residents
Departure
Superiority
Fate
Northern Territory
Singapore
Acceptance

Cite this

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abstract = "Cissy and Clara McLeod were two sisters of Aboriginal descent who lived in Darwin in the early decades of the twentieth century. In a society almost obsessed with notions of European superiority and racial purity, the McLeod sisters achieved a remarkable level of acceptance from the European community. In mid-1922, they left Darwin for Singapore and never lived in the Northern Territory again, but were remembered favourably by old Darwin residents for years after their departure. Cissy's and Clara's achievements were totally reliant on their own abilities, yet they would never have been given a chance if they had not had the support of their foster parents, Captain and Mrs Mugg. This couple are also considered in the book, as is their father, who lived for over twenty years in the remote town of Borroloola where the sisters were born. The ultimate fates of Cissy and Clara McLeod were tragic, but their lives in Darwin were marked with success. It was a notable achievement against considerable odds and remains worthy of recognition today.",
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‘Two excellent girls’ : Cissy and Clara McLeod, the ‘half-caste’ foster daughters of Captain and Mrs Mugg. / Farram, Steven.

Darwin : Historical Society of the Northern Territory, 2018. 51 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

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