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Goldfields Quotes 3

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Goldfields Quotes Page 3

Chinese for Creswick - William Howitt

Ballarat May,1854

Here were ten or a dozen of these Chinamen, all apparently of recent arrival. They were chiefly dressed in loose blue blouses, or shirts, with a belt round the waist, short, wide blue trousers and light boots. On their heads they had those flat straw hats …They were in fact more like umbrellas, with the Chinamen for handles, than anything else.

… One man had at the end of his pole a working cradle, and at the other end a puddling tub. This must have weighed at least a hundredweight.”

(William Howitt Land, Labour and Gold; or Two Years in Victoria Longmans, London, 1855 quoted in Nancy Keesing (ed) History of the Australian Gold Rushes by those who were there. Angus and Robertson, Melbourne 1981 edition. P122)

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They are a great Nuisance - Charles James Kenworthy 

Q. 1364. “There are a great number of Chinamen here now are there not?

A -Yes; and they are a great nuisance on the diggings, and the Government ought to take some steps, if not their removal, at all events to prevent their increase; they are a great nuisance; they spoil al, the water on the Gold Fields, and will merely work upon the surface.” …

Q.1366. “Is there any other disadvantage connected with them?

A- They are a great set of thieves.”
(From evidence presented by Charles James Kenworthy, American, Ballarat, on 23 December, 1854 to the Goldfields Commission of Enquiry. Reprinted in I.F McLaren, The Chinese in Victoria: Official Reports and Documents Red Rooster Press, Ascot Vale, 1985)


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Inferior Races - Henry Melville 

Q. 3102”Are there any others but Chinese of the Inferior races?

A - I do not think that any but the Chinese would be complained of by the diggers. We have American blacks, and I have seen two or three Lascars; but the principal are Chinese.”

(From evidence presented by Henry Melville, a publican (formerly a storekeeper) Castlemaine on 30 December, 1854 to the Goldfields Commission of Enquiry. Reprinted in I.F McLaren, The Chinese in Victoria: Official Reports and Documents Red Rooster Press, Ascot Vale, 1985)

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Condition of the Aborigines - W. Thomas, Guardian of Aborigines, Melbourne District, 1852

… The present condition of the aborigines have (sic) no way improved but lamentably deteriorated. The discovery of gold has greatly affected their moral condition…

…They are now brought to an awful and dangerous state of degradation, so that the speedy extinction of the Melbourne and Moorabool tribes are inevitable.”

(W. Thomas, Further Papers relative to the Discovery of Gold in Australia (Parliamentary Papers, Great Britain and Ireland, H.M. Stationary Office, 1853) quoted in Nancy Keesing (ed) History of the Australian Gold Rushes by those who were there. Angus and Robertson, Melbourne 1981 edition. P116)

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A statement to the Colonists of Victoria - Peter Lalor

…the people were dissatisfied with the laws, because they excluded them from the possession of land, from being represented in the Legislative Council, and imposed on them an odious poll tax. The diggers were subjected to the most unheard of insults and cruelties in the collection of this tax, being in many instances chained to logs if they could not produce their licences…”

(Peter Lalor, Letter to the Colonists of Victoria, The Argus, 10 April 1855, as reprinted in Bob O’Brien, Massacre at Eureka, The Untold Story, Brown Prior Anderson, Burwood, 1992)

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The Eureka Oath - Ballarat Times Report

Some five hundred diggers advanced in real sober earnestness, the captains of each division making the military salute due to Lalor, who knelt down, the head uncovered, and with right hand pointing to the standard exclaimed in firm measured tone, “We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and defend our rights and liberties”. A universal well-rounded “Amen” was the determined reply. Five hundred right hands stretched towards our flag.”

Ballarat Times as quoted in in Bob O’Brien, Massacre at Eureka, The Untold Story, Brown Prior Anderson, Burwood, 1992, p78)

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