It is likely that Mulligan opened his 'Queensland Stores' in either 1862 or 1863, after the discovery of Copper and Gold at nearby Peak Downs. His first premises were located in East Street, moving to the corner of East and William Streets in 1865. The Early History of Rockhampton includes the following comment about Mulligan and his tokens: 'Copper (coins) were even harder to get than Silver and several of the leading business people had copper tokens struck, which were accepted as pennies, while at the same time they served as advertisements. The late Mr D.J [sic] Mulligan circulated a large number of these tokens, which remained in use for ten or fifteen years.' (Rockhampton City Council, personal correspondence)
Mulligan is said to have 'sold out to H.F. Walton, and retired to Ireland, where he died.' No date has been identified for his death. (Rockhampton City Council, personal correspondence).
The penny token and two varieties of halfpenny tokens issued by Mulligan are all dated 1863. The tokens were struck by W.J. Taylor. The earliest located reference to his business is a half page advertisement published in Pugh's Queensland Almanac for 1864. The advertisement lists his field of trade as 'Wholesale importer of Drapery, Ironmongery, Teas, Sugars, and Oilmen's Stores.' No copies of Rockhampton newspapers from before 1865 are known to exist, so it is difficult to date the establishment of his business more precisely.
In the first half of 1865 Mulligan ran a number of advertisements on the front page of The Rockhampton Bulletin. In one he advertised a range of general stores including items such as:
'Ration, counter and refined sugar
Fresh ground coffee packed in air-tight tins
Heavy and light weight candles
Kerosene oil, comet brand
Preserved and dried fruit of all kinds
Preserved fouls, soups, and vegetables
Tobacco, Barrett's twist"
While the above advertisement was running, he also advertised goods such as:
"Drapery and Ready-made Clothing
Ladies and Gentlements Boots and Shoes
Ironmongery, first-class assortment
China, Cut Glass, and Earthernware
Drugs & Patent medicines.'
In April 1865, Mulligan was advertising a change of address, and announced a sale of 'Drapery, Boots & Shoes, ETC., At greatly reduced prices, in order to dispose of same prior to REMOVAL TO HIS NEW PREMISES, corner of East and William Streets'.
Advertisement, Pugh's Queensland Almanac for 1864, unnumbered page.
Advertisement, The Rockhampton Bulletin, 3 January 1865, p.1.
Advertisement, The Rockhampton Bulletin, 5 January 1865, p.1.
Advertisement, The Rockhampton Bulletin, 1 April 1865, p.3.
Personal Correspondence, Rockhampton City Council. 2005, 2 pps.
McLeod, S. (December,1963). 'Notes on Rockhampton Token Issuers.' The Report of the Australian Numismatic Society. pp. 98-99.