A Lady's Visit To The Gold Diggings Of Australia In 1852-53 By Mrs Charles (Ellen) Clacy


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For Those Who Wish To Invest Small Sums In Goods For Australia, Boots And Shoes, Cutlery, Flash Jewellery, Watches, Pistols (Particulary Revolvers), Gunpowder, Fancy Articles, Cheap Laces, And Baby-Linen Offer Immense Profits.

The police in Victoria is very inefficient, both in the towns and on the roads.

Fifteen persons were stopped during the same afternoon whilst travelling on the highway between Melbourne and St. Kilda. They were robbed, and tied to trees within sight of each other - this too in broad daylight. On the roads to the diggings it is still worse; and no one intending to turn digger should leave England without a good supply of fire-arms. In less than one week more than a dozen robberies occurred between Kyneton and Forest Creek, two of which terminated in murder. The diggings themselves are comparatively safe - quite as much so as Melbourne itself - and there is a freemasonry in the bush which possesses an irresistible charm for adventurous bachelors, and causes them to prefer the risk of bushrangers to witnessing the dreadful scenes that are daily and hourly enacting in a colonial town. Life in the bush is wild, free and independent. Healthy exercise, fine scenery, and a clear and buoyant atmosphere, maintain an excitement of the spirits and a sanguineness of temperament peculiar to this sort of existence; and many are the pleasant evenings, enlivened with the gay jest or cheerful song, which are passed around the bush fires of Australia.

The latest accounts from the diggings speak of them most encouragingly. Out of a population of 200,000 (which is calculated to be the number of the present inhabitants of Victoria), half are said to be at the gold-fields, and the average earnings are still reckoned at nearly an ounce per man per week.

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