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Gallagher, Kitty (fl. mid-19th c.)

Gallagher, Kitty (fl. mid-19th c.)

Irish ex-convict and cattle drover who lived in Australia in the mid-19th century. Flourished in the mid-19th century; married Frank Gallagher; married a second time.

The little that is known about Kitty Gallagher comes down from William Telfer's account of the late 1830s and 1840s, but attempts to substantiate her background in Ireland and in Australia have failed. She is also remembered by two landmarks that carry her name: Gallagher's Mountain (near Scone) and Kitty Gallagher's Swamp (near Bundarra).

According to Telfer, Gallagher was the leader of the White Boys, an Irish insurgent group in Ireland during the late 18th century. She and her husband Frank participated in the 1798 Wexford Rebellion and were arrested and transported to New South Wales, where by 1839, they had their own small cattle run. After Frank died, Gallagher worked for William Telfer's father at an inn at Quirindi. She also spent six months working for a doctor at Tamworth and supposedly was the best nurse in the colony. Later, she and her second husband worked droving cattle for a man by the name of Henry Dangar. Dressed like a man and smoking a short clay pipe, Gallagher not only could drive a bullock team, but she could hoe and sickle a field of wheat, writes Telfer. A colorful figure, she is believed to have lived to age 96, spending the last years of her life near the swamp that bears her name.

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