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The Native Police on the Ballarat Goldfields, September 1851

Commandant Dana reports to the Colonial Secretary about incidents which took place on the Ballarat goldfields during a visit by the Commissioner for Crown Lands, accompanied by the Native Police.


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    Letter from Commandant Dana to Colonial Secretary,, September 1851; Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Archives Centre. Details



On the 21st. I accompanied the Commissioner and Mr Armstrong to the Ballerat Diggings and informed the men of the object of our visit. They at first appeared very much dissatisfied at being required to pay a License. In a few minutes a Public Meeting was called by persons called here "Stump Orators", two of these men are I understand connected with the Geelong Press, They attempted to pass resolutions and tried in their speeches to induce the people to resist the payment of Licenses: this I recommended Mr. Doveton not to pay the slightest attention to. After the meeting dispersed several men came to pay for their Licenses and on leaving the tent after having obtained them, were struck and pelted by the mob, and had it not been for the presence of the very few troopers we had with us, would have been severely injured …

… there are many turbulent ruffians here, from all parts of the country, and Van Diemans Land, and I sheall [sic] require a much larger force than I have at present at my disposal to maintain any thing like order.

I have therefore urgently to request that you will please to bring under His Excellency's notice the necessity of giving me a stronger Force. I am confident that at least twenty five well armed and appointed Troopers will be required, but as it will take some time time [sic] to collect so many I would beg to suggest that the detachment of Native Police now stationed at the Goulbourn may be recalled and ordered at once up here.