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'To the miners of Victoria'

This is a letter written to the Argus by a 'foreigner' after his grandson was arrested in Bendigo for not having his mining licence on his person. Although his grandson’s licence was in a nearby tent he was marched at bayonet point to the Government camp, made to wait many hours and eventually fined.

31 January 1853
Published Source
Australian National Dictionary Centre, The Gold Rushes and Australian English: a resource for researchers, teachers and students, Australian National University, 2005, http://www.anu.edu.au/andc/res/aus_words/gold/index.php. Details
This material is provided by the Australian National Dictionary Centre, a joint project of the Australian National University and Oxford University Press Australia.


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TO THE MINERS OF VICTORIA Per favor of the Argus. GENTLEMEN, MINERS, AND GOLD DIGGERS GENERALLY, - I am a foreigner, and have not a perfect knowledge of the English language, and must beg your indulgence for my style. I am an old man, a father, and a grandfather, and I left my own fine country with my children, that they might better their fortunes in a colony enjoying the boasted freedom of Great Britain. But I now discover that the Colonists shall be marched in prisoner-troops, and shall be abused and ill-treated, and shot down like the wild wolf at the discretion of the constables, who are most ignorant, most base, most villainous. I know that it is not so in England; but here if a man shall not have paid his monthly tax, or shall reply to the abuse of a constable, it will be so. I have seen it with my own eyes. My grandson was very much indeed abused, and taken from his work for the whole day, which was a very great loss to us, because he had not his license paper in his pocket, and they would not allow him to go to the tent, which was quite close, to fetch it. So he was marched, at the point of the bayonet, to the camp of the Government, and after waiting many hours was fined; his father following, but was not allowed to speak to him, and received much exasperating speech from the constables…. I am, Gentlemen Miners, ON [sic] OLD FOREIGNER. Bendigo, January 31st, 1853. Argus, 11 February 1853