Journal 2

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 17 Jul 1859 to 10 Sep 1862
This page has been accessed 512 times.

J.H. Watmuff Profile,
1 1859-1862 Bendigo, Dunolly, Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Loddon , (Mt. Hope Rush), Ararat, Chinamans Flat, Moonlight Flat, Mt William (trek with guide), Pleasant Creek (Stawell), Melbourne,
2 1859 Bendigo Melbourne 1862 Otago N.Z.,
3 1863 Otago,
4 1863 Otago to 1865 Melbourne,
5 1865-1866 Melbourne,
6 1866-1869 Melbourne,
7 1869-1870 Melbourne,
8 1870-1876 Melbourne
9 1879-1881 Melbourne,
10 1881-1882 Dribs & Drabs,
11 1884 Sydney & Misc.,
12 Lusitania Voyage,
13 Lusitania Voyage,
14 Lusitania Voyage,
15 Lusitania Voyage,
16 and 17 England, letters and Journal,
18 Garonne return Voyage,
19 Resignations,
20 (Journal 19) Mildura,
21 (Genealogies),
22 (Spare)],
23 (Spare)],
24 (Spare)],
25 (Spare)],
J.H. & Bessie Watmuff's Photos
Olive Watmuff's Photos




[front end paper]





Bendigo, Victoria
1862 Otago @ NZ.




Journal - Kept by - John Hy Watmuff from July 1859 to 1862 Sept



John Henry Watmuff

Manuherikia River

Otago NZ

Crabbs English Synonims √ Books Ive sent for
Rogets Thesauris √
Watts Logic ~~
Gilberts — " for the millions √
Abercrombies intellectual powers √



Continued from July 1859 Long Gully
[1859-07-17 Sunday] July 11th [17th] 1859 Horrible weather, raining nearly every day. I went to my job on the “Hustlers Reef” last Monday morning, but left it last night, the ground is very dangerous & the men that own the claim know very little about timbering & making the ground secure. They would not allow me to have my way so I did not see the force of risking my life through their parsimony Hugh Campbell, Dan Fennegan & I put in a tender for the driving of 50 ft in the Hit or Miss Companys claim, Johnsons Reef — yesterday & got it, The shaft is 280 feet deep & wet, but unless the ground changes, I fancy we shall be able to make good wages at the price we are to have 30/- per foot — & timber supplied at the Shaft for boxing & propping Etc – we commence at it in the morning, all well — I got Bill Donovan into my place on “Hustlers Reef” Tuesday night I went to to my Singing Class, quite a revival there several new members. Wednesday night stayd at home reading & learning my lessons. Thursday, went into Sandhurst called at Barkleys then visited Frazers Lockey & I took a strool about Pall Mall had some fine fun with some young ladies acquaintances of his — Friday remained at [home]


Hit and Miss Reef, Sandhurst, July 1859

looking over Lindley Murray. Anderson came in & enlivened us with one or two of his lovely songs — he has a beautiful voice what a pity he is possessed of so little self respect, with his intelligence & abilities, combined with a very little energy would make him successful in anything he undertook Saturday I left work, came home & brought a couple of wheel barrow loads of wood from the hills at the back of the tent, then dressed myself & went into Bendigo, called at Barkleys could not get any money from him, I met my companion Lockey & we went into the Shamrock Concert Room, spent a jolly evening — came home together I received a long letter from J.Hamilton he is very well, but not doing very well at his business — his Reef here is turning out very rich — he assures me — I have a portrait of my sister & by some means he got a copy of it & the man imagines he is in love with it the best of the joke is he has never seen the original. I went into Church this morning & after dinner, I met Donovan took him to the Hustlers Reef, went afterwards into Sandhurst, walked about the township had tea in an Eating House went to Church & came home together, & so passed another week



Long Gully Bendigo 1859 —
[1859-07-24] July 24th Fine weather during the past week Commenced our contract on Monday, had to rig a windsail & put up a shed over the Shaft, & had 2 days hard bailing out water got down the Shaft on Thursday & by yesterday dinner time had drove about 4 feet — not so bad considering everything we had to prepare before commencing work Tuesday went to the Singing Class, Wednesday Hugh & Dan & I went into Sandhurst, called at Frazers, had some fun with Margery Johana & Lockey, on leaving them I visited the Church of England Bazaar, it was like getting into a hive of Bees, the young ladies at the stalls were like a lot of Jewesses begging & coaxing one to purchase articles at about 100 percent above their value. I bought some small volumes of poetry by different writers, on looking over them I find they are little gems. Thursday night my friend Jno. C.Burchell came up from Melbourne, he is a young chap I like well, well educated & intelligent he will be good company for me — he is going to live with my couzin Henry & I think he intends trying his luck at golddigging & is going mates with Henry tomorrow


Hustlers Reef, Sandhurst, July 1859

Burchell & I went into Sandhurst yesterday afternoon (I received a letter from my Uncle Charles, he informs me he intends returning to Bendigo shortly, in the letter was an order for £50.0.0 to be placed in the Bank to his a/c. I suppose if he brought it with him he would spend it ere he arrived here I got a letter from my Brother Fred — all well at home) we had tea at the Criterion Hotel, afterwards visited the Theatre, early this morning when we arrived at the tent After Breakfast got in several Barrows of firewood for the coming week, then went to Church. In the afternoon we went to Harry Inniss tent, he had his arm broken last night in a row, several Irishmen rolled into him & gave him a hiding in consideration of several, us boys, have given them, spent a jolly afternoon there I intend writing to my Brothers tonight

[1859-07-31 Sunday] August 1st 1859 Fine weather during the past week. We drove 9 ft 6 in for the weeks work, making us about £4.15/. each, we only get paid once a week, & 1/3 is deducted or kept back until the contract is completed, we struck a streak of lava yesterday which is making a deal of water, I should not be surprised if


Hustlers Reef, Sandhurst, 1859-08-07

the drive is swamped tomorrow. Harry & Burchell left here for a rush at the Sheepwash Creek last Monday morning. Uncle arrived here in the same evening, he is looking very well, but he has led a very fast gay life since he left us — he left Tuesday morning & went after Henry, they all returned yesterday tired & footsore after a fruitless journey, they could find nothing to suit them, tried several holes but got no gold — I've been into Sandhurst I think every evening, visiting about. Last night Uncle, Burchell, Harry & I went to the Shamrock Theatre, saw our little favorites the “Worrells” I saw my foreign lady friend, had a strool & a long chat with her — I recvd a letter from Mother, all well — no news. Mary has been to a Ball at Sunbury, in company with Jane Summers, & I believe enjoyed herself very well I wrote to Hamilton on Thursday & to mother this afternoon. I went after dinner to see Dave we took a walk together, called on Harry Innises went into Sandhurst this evening & Church, met several friends took a strool with some young ladies got home here about 11 pm. time now for bed —

August 7th 1859. Lovely weather but very cold first thing in the morning. On going to our work last Monday we found 10 feet of water in


Hustlers Reef, Sandhurst, 1859-08

& still running from the lava streak, we thought of giving up the contract, but the shareholders agreed to pay us a weeks wages while we bailed out the water, so all this week we’ve done nothing else but bail, hard work, lifting a 16 gln keg water 280 feet. We found yesterday that we are just beating the water, I went down — there is still too much water to be able to make much at it, so the owners paid the claim a visit, & have agreed to give us 10/- a foot more to carry on the drive I have been very gay & fast this week out every night on Sandhurst, it would be impossible to note down what Ive done & where Ive been Etc went to my singing as usual, Dan & I joind a Dancing Class, Monday & Thursday night the man is a Scotchman named I. Robertson, a great man at athletic sports & Highland Gatherings Etc I dont think he can teach us anything but Flings & Scotch Reels & Jigs Etc — however there is such a jolly lot frequents the place, that I intend going if only for the fun of the thing. Hamilton came down from Daisy Hill yesterday. In the afternoon we went into Sandhurst (I called at the P.O & received a long letter from Mother & one from Fred all well, no news. Jane Summers is living with them for a while, having left Sunbury. I would like to be at home for a time.) We called at Frazers, they insisted upon our remaining


Hustlers Reef, Sandhurst, August 1859

to tea — spent the afternoon very pleasently – after tea, Jim, & I went to the Shamrock Rooms didnt get home until this morning about 1 am & arose at 7, we had to go & Bail water at the Shaft until 1. pm. so as to keep it down for if it rose above a certain level it would distroy the Shaft — I hate having to work on a Sabbath — but it cannot be avoided sometimes on the diggings. Spent the afternoon reading & in the evening went into Church, met some acquaintances, got home by 10. am —

[1859-08-21 Sunday] August 22nd [21st] 1859. A fortnight since I continued my journal. We have done very poorly at our contract, only drove 8 feet during the time; it takes all our time to keep the water down & the rock we are driving in is the hardest I ever met with in the whole course of my digging experience We struck a small quartz spur on Thursday & with it came another heavy stream of water Im afraid we shall have to give the affair up unless we make some fresh arrangement with our employers — £5.0.0 per foot would only just give us wages — very annoying — Last Saturday night, I went to the Theatre along with Uncle, Burchell & Dan — Sunday morning I went to Church, being Sacrament Day we (Choir) were kept in until 3. pm. I had dinner at Campbells — I received a letter from Fred on Wednesday, all well, made me quite


Hustlers Reef, Sandhurst, August 1859

envious with the account of the places of amusement he has visited, Theatre, Oratories Etc flirting about with Jane Summers — no news from England by the last Mail from father — I have visited the Dancing & Singing Class as usual — Friday night I took Miss Scott home, got into hot water through it — there is a chap named C.Smith after her, I dont think he has any honorable intentions towards her. She is a poor girl but rather nice looking — however he is very jealous of her & I me & knowing it I was determined to annoy him & have been very attentive to her whenever I meet her at the S. Class I know she likes him but I think is afraid of him, however time tries all — Last night, Dan, Burchell & I went into Sandhurst, knocked about one place & another, had a dance at the Hamburgh Rooms — heard a song in the Shamrock & about 9, went to the Theatre, saw Fawcett in the “Lady of Lyons” I remained at home to day reading & writing. I wrote to Mother & enclosed £5.0.0 in the letter, for her — her money is done Im sure, ere now. I received a letter from my Brother Ned; he is still on Ararat, but not doing much, that is the reason he states for not writing before this; my old mates are still knocking about that neighbourhood. I wish Ned was on Bendigo. Mother is very anxious for us to be together



Long Gully, Bendigo, August 1859 [1859-08-28-Sunday] 27th [28th] August — Weather very unsettled, but I fancy its clearing up for Summer. Our employer put us on wages this week (£3.0.0) each, they also engaged 3 other men to assist us, we have done nothing but bail water the whole of the week, after working 2, 12 hours shifts in the day, we tossed up, for the shift & we get the day one — I dont like night work — we beat the water once more — so next week I suppose we shall resume our contract I would much sooner be on regular wages but that doesn't suit the claim holders ideas. Dan, Hugh & I go on the night shift the coming week — commence to night at 12 oclock — Went to the Dancing Class on Monday & Thursday, could not go to my singing owing to the rain — I went to Church at Sandhurst this morning, called at Frazers found a letter from Mother, she has received a letter from Uncle Hartley (Halifax) he is very indignant at the manner in which my father left his family & Im afraid he will wish a cool reception if he visits there Jane Summers has got the Refreshment Rooms at the Sunbury Station. Im afraid such an occupation as she is likely to fill will not tend to improve her, girls soon lose their greatest charm (their modesty) in public places such as Hotels, Restaurants Etc — She begs to be kindly remembered Etc to me


Hustlers Reef, Sandhurst, Sept. 1859

Long Gully Sept 1859

Sept 4th Miserable cold wet week, anything but pleasent working at night at the windlass what with the rain, wind & cold, the stone we have been driving through this week has been very hard — on paying our 3 mens wages £9.0.0 & the Blacksmiths Bill for picks, gads & drills sharpening, powder fuse Etc — we had about 5/. each to draw. Im quite disgusted with the affair if it doesn't get softer next week I dont intend doing any more at it — I went into Sandhurst last Monday afternoon had a cruize about met my foreign lady friend, went to her place for about an hour, she playd & sang me some pretty melodies. I missed my Dancing & Singing this week. Yesterday I went to see Faithey Bostock, some other merry devil of a woman was there, had a good romp & had to run for fear of getting my head broken from there I went to Sandhurst met Liza Marshall had a long chat with her, wanted to know why I never came to see them now explained the reason, became good friends & I promised to visit her this evening — I met some friends, we all went to the Shamrock came home by 12 oclock. This morning we had to go to our Shaft & bail water until noontime, spent the afternoon reading went to Church in the evening with Dave & Burchell, went to see Liza for a few minutes


Hustlers Reef, Sandhurst, Sept. 1859

on leaving her, I met the two young Kings Alick & John, the former is a nice chap but rather fast, the other is clever, but Im afraid will from present appearances turn out when older a sad scamp. Alick has a nice voice & is a member of our choir, along with his sister, a nice little girl. I often go to their house, they live close to the Church Old Mr King I like well — he is gold smelter in the Oriental Bank — we took a long strool together, accompanied me nearly home I wrote to mother last Monday & sent her £1.0.0 —

Sept 11th 1859 — Lovely weather for a change. We discharged our men yesterday & intend working it by ourselves if we do any more to the Hit or Miss Companies Claim we made small wages this week — the ground is still very hard, every particle has to be blasted out with powder. I heard to day the shareholders intend giving it up & getting the claim registered for awhile. I shall not be sorry to back out of our contract, for we are injuring our constitutions working at it we take 4 hours each down below & then come up to the surface & work at the Windlass the other 8 hours, its harder work than being below, but far more healthy. I went to my Dancing Class on Monday & Thursday night, had a little adventure, the latter night, about 10.30 I left the Room in company with a pretty Scotch girl to see home, she lived about 2 miles


Hustlers Reef, Sandhurst, 1859-09-11

from Bendigo towards the Emu Creek (I didnt know or I wouldnt have gone) we thought of taking a near cut through the bush, but we lost ourselves & at length tired & weary our clothes in an awful state through pushing our way through the bushes & high heather — I got her home, she lives in a hut in a quiet little gully in the hills, she opened the door very quietly, & found her father sound asleep in a chair, she put the clock back to 11 (it was then 3. am (Friday) & awoke him, the old man was sure it was after 11 before he fell asleep, but of course she easily persuaded him it wasnt any such thing — I started for home had 5 miles to walk — the day was breaking on entering the tent. I didnt get to work the until 9. am. & then wasnt fit to do any work properly, my mates had sat down by the road side until nearly 2 oclock waiting for me — Friday went to the S. Class after it was over Dan & Burchell & I went to the Shamrock stayd there until 11.30 & then came home — I went into Sandhurst last night called at Frazers, got a long letter from Hamilton, he is not doing much I wrote to him & advised him to return to Bendigo & attend to his interests here, his claim is paying very well, but would pay him better if he was working at it himself


Hustlers Reef, Sandhurst

Burchell received a letter from the Maguires, they are working on the Gt Western diggings between Ararat & Pleasent Creek — only just making a living, they state that my Brother Ned is working about 5 miles from them somewhere nr Moonlight Gully — I visited the Lyceum Theatre, heard Thatcher, Mrs Oakey & my old favorite Mdm Vitelli, the latter is a charming little woman — the young chaps on Bendigo are all in love with her. I of course being susceptible & at a very susceptible age must say ditto — women & girls play the devil with me — make me keep late hours or early ones I should say — I feel Im a flirt – or else am so very particular & fastidious in my taste that I can never find one that seems to please me wholly, for Im positive I never was in love — Minnie Hooper I liked very well but Im sure my feelings towards her were anything but that of a passionate lover — Jane Summers I like a little, but I feel as if my vanity was the only thing she seemed to affect — I should never go into ecstasies about, her, beautiful as she is. I have her likeness, there is an expression about her features that seem to say, Im beautiful, I know it — I like to be flatered, courted & admired, & will be while I can, boast of a charm. (If thats not her Ill suffer hanging)


Hustlers Reef, Redan Reef, Sandhurst

This morning I had to go to Eaglehawk Gully for our money, Sunday morning being the usual, diggers, settling up time — I spent the afternoon Reading a strange history of Carthage, on the war between the Romans & Carthagenians, the characters of the two great generals Scipio & Hannibal are well portrayed I went into Sandhurst this evening, & heard a good sermon, afterwards took a long walk with several members of our choir — about 10 when I got home —

[1859-09-18-Sunday] Sept 19th [18th] 1859. Lovely weather; we gave up our contract at the beginning of the week settled up on Tuesday night, the claimholders are not in a position to carry on the work any further, so we were out of work but on Thursday we took a contract, to sink a shaft 60 ft deep on the Redan Reef, we took Dave Anderson into partnership so there are now 4 of us mates — we put in 3 Tenders last evening for other contracts I think we shall get one out of the 3 — we commence with the one we have on Monday — Last Monday I went to the Lyceum Concert Room & heard some excellent singing. Tuesday night I went to the Shamrock Wednesday night remained at home reading until 11. pm. Thursday knocked about the gully called at several acquaintances tents. Friday I went to the Singing Class — took a pleasent walk along with two young ladies, on leaving them I went into


Long Gully Bendigo 1859 (Sept)

the Shamrock for a short time. Yesterday afternoon we all turned to & carried in a lot of firewood for the coming week, about 4 pm dressed myself & went into Sandhurst called at Frazers (where I get my letters a/d) found a letter from Fred awaiting me, all well in town. Jane S. has been in town again — On leaving there I went to the Lyceum Theatre, heard Vitelli sing some pretty ballads. I arose early this morning & went into Sandhurst to Church — after the service was over I met young Lockey had a long chat, 2 oclock when I got home to the tent spent the afternoon reading & in the evening went to Church again found I was very late so did not go inside, went into Kings had a yarn with the old folks — came home & have just finished writing a note to Mother in which I enclosed £5.0.0 for her — I wrote to Hamilton during the week —

Sept 25th 1859 Lovely weather. Anderson & I commenced our contract on Monday, & by last night had sank it down 30 feet & slabbed it 15 ft. so we have done very well- Dan & Hugh have done nothing yet they have been looking out for a contract, they got one on Friday to sink a shaft 70 feet deep on the Sophia Reef — we had to buy a windlass & rope (£3.0.0.) before they could begin, which they purpose doing tomorrow so we ought to do well now for a short time. Last Monday I went to a Ball at the Town Hall (had a ticket sent me) enjoyed myself firstrate, sunrise next morning


Redan Reef, Sandhurst, Sept. 1859

when I arrived home. Burchell very kindly took my shift in the Shaft on Tuesday morning while I went to bed, arose at dinner time & went to work Remained at home every night till Friday, when I as usual visited the Singing Class, on leaving it at 9. pm I went to Lyceum in company with Dan & Dave Anderson, left about 10 & on our way home in Commission Gully we fell in with anything but a reputable lot, (some old neighbours) went to their place & remained until nearly 1 next morning, eating oysters & singing & dancing & kicking up a row Left work at 5 pm yesterday, had tea & afterwards went into Bendigo (or Sandhurst) visited several places of amusement (on the cheap, I dont think anyone sees more life than I do on so little money, I never drink & am well known) Remained some time in the Lyceum Theatre — came home with old Lockey I went to Church this morning with him, had dinner at a tent in Iron Bark Gully with Dick Day called at Bostocks stayd an hour or so — came home & wrote a letter to Fred & another to Mother October 9th 1859. A fortnight since I wrote up my journal — been hard at work with our contract Dave & I have only 7 ft more to do. Hugh & Dan I dont think will be able to make the other one pay, the ground making a deal of water — Last Sunday afternoon Alick King with his sister Mary & another young lady paid us a visit & remained to tea with us at the tent, the first time ever a female


Redan Reef, Sandhurst, Sept. 1859

had a meal in my tent — we returned into Sandhurst with them & went to Church, afterwards Took a nice walk. I & Mary have always been very good friends, my mate Hugh is very fond of her but she hates the sight of him, he was at her mothers on our return & was anything but amicable he is a most infernal hypocrite, pretends to be very religious, but I wasnt long in finding him out during the time we lived together in our tent

Last Monday night I went into Sandhurst, met J.King, who informed me that Hugh had been saying a great deal to my disparagement, which rather annoyed me, so the following evening I went to the S.Class on purpose to see him. I called at Kings they were very cool to me — I accused Mrs K of it – & at length she told me that Hugh had warned her not to permit me to come to their house, or her daughter would soon be a prostitute. I could hardly contain myself with rage, for I can swear I never had an impure thought towards her or breathed an indelicate expression in her hearing I did not meet him that night, he sent a man to work in his place at the claim, but on Friday night I went into the Singing Class & met him, he wanted to avoid me but I got hold of him & exposed him & antecedents to all his acquaintances, & made him apologise to me & also to the Kings for his calumnies. I recvd a long letter from Hamilton yesterday he wants me to go with him to Melbourne at X mas I had a letter from Mother, no news by the late mail from England for us — she is


Redan Reef, Sandhurst, Sept. 1859

getting very short of money & doesn't know how to make things meet. Jane S. is living with her she left her fathers place — because he married her servant & took possession of her bedroom Etc she is on the look-out for a situation, poor girl Im very sorry for her, she has workd & striven very hard to make money for her father — & now to be the next thing of being turned out of house & home, is really very hard —

I went to the Shamrock after leaving the S.Class it is discontinued for 3 months — Im very sorry for I was getting on nicely could read music a little & my voice has greatly improved since I have been under Mr. Hardy. Burchell is mates with us instead of Hugh Campbell, I went to Sandhurst yesterday came home early for a wonder. This morning I went to Church, got in early called for Alick King at the Bank — In the afternoon Lockey & I took a long walk to Eagle Hawk Gully, he stayd tea with us spent the evening writing a letter to Mother

October 30, 1859 It is 3 weeks since I continued my journal I am getting very negligent & careless — but its really not worth while the uninteresting Im continually filling my book with. In after life should I live & be in a different position perhaps the pages I write may though insignificant at present may be


Redan Reef, Maiden Gully Sandhurst, Sept. 1859

a sort of reference if not of amusement, & its become such a habit now that I could not break it off very well. I feel it like a duty tho a self imposed one — I am sure it has been the means of improving me in many ways & to a person wishing to improve & instruct themselves will find it a great assistance.

I must try & recall to mind how the the time has passed or how I have spent it — We finished our contracts a fortnight ago and were out of work for a week afterwards. On drawing my money I wrote to Mother & sent her £5.0.0 — I bought a share in a Quartz Claim in Maiden Gully, there are 8 shareholders — we are sinking a shaft on the ground, it will cost us about £1.0.0 per week each to sink it, we let out the shaft sinking by contract, Dave & Burchell got it, we are not in partnership now — Dan & I are mates, we took a contract to sink a shaft out of Bendigo about 6 miles, on the Break of Day Reef, we are going to lodge & board at the Robinson Crusoe Hotel (Allens) & come home here once a week. I received a very affectionate [letter] from Jane Summers & another portrait — I had mine taken here & sent it her in return — she informs me that Hamilton is in town & making havoc with ladies hearts, flirting about every where


Break of Day Reef, Robinson Crusoe, Hotel, Sept. 1859

the little beggar has been telling her of my flirtations here, & she intends being jealous she is living at the Club Hotel St Kilda & informs me she has any amount of beaus & admirers — what a tantalizer she is, she may have 10,000 for what I care. I dispise coquettes. I got a long letter from Fred, he informs me that my sister Mary is very ill, & in the opinion of several that she is in a decline. God forbid for she is very dear to me. Im trying to make arragements for her to come up here, the change may do her good. Dan & I went out to Break O.day last week, we like the place very well, the claim is situated in the Bush about a mile from the Hotel, there are about a dozen quartz Reefers staying there a nice lot of fellows. Mrs A. makes us very comfortable, Mr A is a quiet gentlemanly man, evidently been in a very different to what he now occupies, he is a fine musician & the best flutist I ever heard they have also an excellent Library, so we are very comfortable — Mr & Mrs Sexton paid me a visit to day stayd tea, he got a billet last week (they are people that lived in the half of mothers house in town, she referred them to me) I


Break of Day Reef, Robinson Crusoe, Hotel, Sept. 1859

lent them some money a short while back I wish they would return it, for Im getting very short — I went to the Kings last night Dan — Burchell — & I took Mary & some other young ladies to the Theatre. I went to Church this morning & evening — had tea at Barclays took a strool about Sandhurst got home here about 10 pm — In the after noon I paid Mrs Hooper, (good old soul) a visit — Mrs Hickey was there — wont be long to judge from appearances ere she is a mother — she looks very wretched poor girl

13th November 1859 — Another fortnight passed over my head. Im getting very irregular Our contract at Robinson Crusoe Gully, is not paying us — the first 15 ft was a nice soft rock but since, we have struck a body of granite we can hardly clear our expenses out of it. Its a delightful place to live. I love the bush, dont think I could ever settle in town the neighbourhood where we are working is very rough — a continual succession of steep hills covered with thick scrub & timber, snakes, Lizards abound here — worse than Sandy Creek — I think we have killed about a dozen snakes since we have lived there — I had a narrow escape on Friday from the bite of one — I was going


Break of Day Reef, Robinson Crusoe, Hotel, Nov. 1859

after some slabs for our shaft, when I trod upon a snake. I observed it instantly, I think before my foot was upon it, for I gave a bound or jump that eclipsed every jumper I ever saw I could have fainted, to see the hateful thing coil up round my ankle. I believe I was bitten, but having on a pair of Wellington Boots fortunately my life was spared — cursed things I do hate them, a lion or tiger, generally gives some sign of his approach, but a snake lies in the grass, you dont know the moment when in the bush you may be bitten, & ones end is sure & quick —

I received a letter from Mother last week, my brothers & sisters are all well, she received a long letter from Father by the last letter, he abused her for allowing me to send such letter as I did to my Uncle Henry. I merely informed him of the manner in which he left his family, he looks upon it as an exposure & is very wrath & states that our object has failed if we wished to prejudice Uncles mind against him & insinuated that I have ruined my future prospects by such a line of conduct. I dont much care for myself but my poor mother is accused of possessing a malignant & persecuting spirit — because she has spirit enough to let his relatives know her


Break of Day Reef, Robinson Crusoe, Hotel, Nov. 1859

wrongs, she is very miserable at the accusation so little deserved, with regard to expectations I have been taught to look forward to, I look upon as moonshine, Im not very sanguine about ever receiving a penny, if it comes, right & well, if not I shant know disappointment. God knows Ive had enough of that in my life. — I received a note from Fred, & one from Jane he writes in anything but respectful terms of Jane — he makes her out to be nothing but a flighty giddy vain, proud coquette — & Im not to think anything more of her — its very little I ever did — it affects me very little. Im sorry she is such a fool — My friend James Hamilton came up from town & confirmed the report concerning Jane Jim imagines Im in love with the girl, he doesn't know me — I had her portrait on me at the time. I stuck it upon a post & Jim & I made a target of it for stones, we couldnt hit it which so annoyed me that I dashed it on the ground & it broke in a thousand pieces & so ends that affair — I spent the evening with Jim very pleasently — he is a fine generous hearted young chap too good natured for his own good, Im afraid. The claims I have shares in are likely to be too expensive for me to keep them on, there is no retreat now. I must either continue on or else forfeit what I have already spent on them


Isa King, Nov. 1859

[Sunday] 27th.November 1859 — Bendigo Victoria
Another fortnight passed; the weather has been fearfully hot — we finished our contract yesterday at Robinson Crusoe, the poorest job I ever took in my life the last 30 feet being through solid granite, it took every penny we earned this last 3 weeks to pay for tools & powder – my share or calls upon me for my claim amounted to £6.0.0 & to pay these Ive had to get into debt for my board — I could borrow but I dont like — so Im pretty hard up just now. Ive not wrote to mother the last three weeks, not having any money to send her. Im sure she must be greatly in want of money, I cant think about it, I do hope the claim Ive got shares in will soon strike a pay able reef — I received a long letter from my brother Fred about a week ago the mail arrived from England but no news from Father, mother has been expecting money from him, I wasnt so sanguine — Last Saturday week when I came into Sandhurst — I spent the afternoon & evening at Campbells & Kings — Mr Kings eldest daughter had just arrived from Geelong where she has been residing for a long time. I was introduced to her – she is a very different girl from Mary, she is very pretty, with lovely dark eyes & curly black hair, & a perfect little needle


Isa King, Nov. 1859

her manners (in my estimation) are perfect, something so fascinating & irresistible about her — that I experience emotions when in her company, I never felt for mortal before her image is ever before me. Ive been in her company very often since & the more I see of her the more I like her — I cant make her out, there is a melancholy about her that amounts to mystery. I cannot get or find out where she's lived the last few years & in what capacity — I cannot think theres anything improper attached to her — although it has been hinted at, by acquaintances of her family — I was with her last night, Dan & I took them out for a walk. Dan with Mary & I with Isa — he was so cross at the arrangement. Dan is in love with her (Isa I mean) the night was lovely so we took a long strool. I was astonished to find my companion so well informed — that she was intelligent I was sure — but without exception she is the best educated woman it has been my fortune to meet with. I spent this morning in my tent reading, after dinner I walked into Sandhurst — met Alick King, he invited me to their place, made me welcome, he & I, with his sisters took a cab & rode to Kangaroo Flat, walked from there to the Robinson Crusoe Hotel, Mrs Allen made us very welcome & after a short rest walked


Break of Day recommenced, Isa King, Nov. 1859

through to the bush to see the shaft Dan & I sank on the Break of Day Reef, lowered Alick down couldnt persuade the girls to go down we had tea at Allens, it was a lovely night we took our time walking to the Flat beguiled it by singing Etc, discovered that Miss K — possesses a beautiful sweet voice nearly 10 pm when we reached their home 11 pm when I got to my tent, feel very sleepy. I wrote to Hamilton this morning he left Bendigo some time back for Daisy Hill —

[Sunday, 4 December 1859] December 3rd [4th] 1859. The weather has been very hot 100º in the shade, Im burnt as black as a coal, the first four days of the week, Dan & I spent the time looking for work or a contract. Thursday night the shareholders of the Bk of day Reef offered us a £1.0.0 per foot if we would continue sinking their shaft, I dont think we can make wages under 30/- a foot. Dan thought otherwise, so in the hope of the ground getting softer, we accepted the offer — Im not in great hopes about making anything out of it, but perhaps its better than being idle We took out our tools & things on Friday morning &


Break of Day, Isa King, Dec. 1859

worked there until yesterday afternoon when as usual, we came into Sandhurst, nearly all my leisure time has been spent at Kings, in company with Isa reading, conversing & taking pleasent moon- -light walks, about the ranges surrounding Bendigo. I think Im not disagreeable to her — for my part I could live in her company for ever, she is very superior to myself — & also to any other member of her family except her father — he & she seem isolated from the rest, Mrs K. is rather a vulgar coarse woman — but very kind & goodnatured. This morning I spent in the tent reading & writing. In The afternoon visited several neighbours — After tea Burchell & I walked into Sandhurst, went to the Kings & got the girls out for a walk, Isa & I together of course — much to the disgust of several young chaps that are paying (or would if allowed) a deal of attention to them. We talked on a variety of subjects I found her far better posted up than myself on nearly everything we conversed about. I have read a great deal the last 4 years far more than she has — but she has an excellent memory & very keen in her conceptions & pretty correct in her judgement Im more subtle in my reasonings, but she is the most convincing It was late


Break of Day, Isa King, Dec. 1859

when I got home — I received a long letter from Fred yesterday — no news from home no money — mother is poor spirits — Ive not wrote to her for a long time, not having anything to send her — she must think it very cruel & undutiful of me — My claims are still sucking me, no return, nor do I see any chance of any. Ive given up one share, that has cost me over £50.0.0 since I first commenced it [Sunday, 18 December 1859] 13th [18th] Decr.1859. Another fortnight rolled by — similar to the last, we gave up our contract yesterday, the ground got harder than ever, we could not clear our expenses. I owe for a weeks board where I was living. I hope soon to pay it. While I have been away at Break O day Burchell with 3 others took a contract on the Nelson Reef California Gully to sink a shaft 60 foot deep — one of them wanted to give up, but in doing so would forfeit his back money, the contract not being completed. I bought or gave him the amount that would be coming to him, so I will commence tomorrow,) all being well. Ive not been (or to night I should say, at 12 oclock)


Nelson Shaft, Isa King, Dec. 1859

very well the last few days — where I have been working there was a deal of foul air which has affected my lungs. I am a little better. Im very downhearted & miserable at my long continued run of ill luck if it was [not] for the consolation in the way of sympathy I get from Isa King, I would be truly wretched — she is so kind & affectionate — I wonder how my mother is getting on, she must be very much in debt — I hear that if we finish our contract in a satisfactory manner, we are to be put on wages I dont much like working for a “boss” but I think constant regular wages is preferable to what I have lately been engaged at — Last night having a free pass given me for the Theatre I took Isa. Burchell was there with another young lady, we enjoyed ourselves very much — Spent to day reading until the evening, when I called at Kings Isa & I took a pleasent walk sat on the grass in the Camp Reserve till 10 pm — came home nearly 11 Pm I hear Jim Hall — my mate we are just going to work, being on the night shift


Nelson Shaft, Jim Wedding, Dec. 1859

Long Gully Bendigo Jany 8st 1860 A fortnight since I last wrote, but how differently spent from the previous one I feel quite a different being from what I was when I last wrote — I received a Telegram from my friend Hamilton on the 20/12/59 informing me that he was going to be married the following day or day after & was very anxious for me to be present I had not the price of the fare, but Uncle who is somewhat indebted to me lent me £10.0.0. I had just come from work at daylight when I received it (the message) having been at work all night, so Id no time to lose — I got my things ready & in the afternoon went into Sandhurst, had about 2 hours sleep, made my adieus, paid my fare & left by the night coach at 6.pm. the coach was crowded & the night being sultry, I was stiff, tired & sleepey on my arrival at Mother's house the following morning at 6 am & ill prepared to go to a wedding party — I found all very well, tho’ all in bed I was surprised, by seeing J.Summers come into the parlour, she looked so


117 Kerr St. Fitzroy, Jane Summers, Dec. 1859

beautiful, I was quite taken aback. I soon recovered myself & was very cool which seemed to hurt her terribly, we had a long conversation together, she told me how her father getting married left her without home Etc, & she was only marrying Edelman for the sake of one. I couldnt but dispise her, a young beautiful girl uniting herself to a man so much older than herself & from what Ive heard of him is a renegade Polish Jew & anything but a man of principle

I went to see Jim about 10 oclock, took Jane with me, found him all right – just married by a Scotch clergyman Mr Odell in the house — ive promised to return there in the afternoon, on our return home Jane told me she would never have been engaged, but she heard I was going to be married to some girl on Bendg now I have heard that she was engaged previous to my acquaintance with Isa I was strangely situated, loving Isa & hearing Jane swearing how dear I was to her Etc, on my arrival home I found my sister Mary just returned from Sunbury where she had been spending a few days on a visit at McDougalls


117 Kerr St. Fitzroy, Dec. 1859

after dinner Mary, Jane & I returned to Jims place. It is needless to relate how we spent the time, as usual upon such occasions very jolly, he had hired a fine large Ball Room at an hotel next door so we had plenty of dancing, singing fun & I believe everyone enjoyed themselves Mrs Hamilton is really a nice girl, for that is all she is, her maiden name was Kennedy, she is about 16 years of age but looks older, I hope they will be happy, for Jim deserves to be – he, *in the course of the evening, insisted upon me receiving a £5.0.0 note, to pay my Coach fare up & down, he would have sent it me for that purpose, but had not time. Im to pay him it back when I have £500 ayear, heaven grant it wont be long ere Im out of his debt, It was daylight when we arrived home next morning. Id not slept for 3 days so I didnt rise until the afternoon

Christmas Eve I went to the Exhibition Building with Mary & heard the Messiah sang in grand style. Farquharson – Coulon, Sara Flowers, Carandina being the principal vocalists, next day was


117 Kerr St. Fitzroy, Nelson Shaft, Dec. 1859

Sunday, went to St. Kilda. with some ladies in the afternoon — St Peters in the evening knocked about with Hamilton my spare time on Monday, & for the short stay I had I saw a great deal of life. Bid adieu to Melbourne & those so dear to me in it on Tuesday morning, the weather was intensely hot, the coach was crowded, I had a fat woman sitting in my lap for some 5 hours, no joke, arrived on Sandhurst at 8 pm in another hours time was in my own miserable tent, however I had a good welcome given me by those in it.

I spent the following day in the tent, asleep in the afternoon I went to work at night being my night shift, next day Thursday I went to see Isa, she was very glad to see me but thought I ought to have called the day before -, I spent my spare time with her ever since. Last Monday the 1st Jan 1860 the first Caledonian Gathering on Bendigo took place in the Camp Reserve. I went into Sandhurst & called for Isa, spent the day with her witnessing the sports, we went to the Theatre in the evening, it was very hot & we were very sleepy having been up all the night before, seeing the old year out & the new one in, on leaving the


Hamilton and Wife, Ironbark, Jan. 1860

about 10 pm we took a walk sat down for a while until we nearly fell asleep — it was 2 am Tuesday when I got home — I found my brother Ned here, having just walked up from Melbourne, where he had arrived from Ararat the day before I left — Thursday – Friday & Saturday night — I visited Sandhurst — Sunday, a good boy remained at home reading Im taxing my memory considerably to day & still Ive another week to account for — last Thursday night I went to the Lyceum Theatre saw Mr & Mrs Fred Younger & Mungall play. Jim Hamilton & his wife arrived on Sandhurst on Friday. I was to have met them last night at Frazers the Bakers, but I couldnt keep my appointment until it was too late. I saw Jim in the morning he was very glad to see me — I called at Frazers last night, took a strool with Young Lockey — saw a storm coming on & thinking I could get to my tent before it came on I started, but when I got to Iron Bark Gully, the rain came down in torrents I was drenched to the skin before I got into shelter, did me no good for Ive been suffering from a cold & a quinsy in my throat the last few days, which annoys me greatly, for I have such a job to swallow anything. I spent to day writing, but under difficulties, our tent


Ironbark, Nelson contract ended, Jan. 1860

being swarmed with visitors, at present there are no less than fourteen in it — some sitting on buckets turned upside down on the ground – my tent seems a rendezvous for all the idlers about the gully. I intend putting a stop to it — We finished our Contract on the Nelson Reef last Friday, but owing to the Manager being away in Melbourne we have not been paid yet. I hope we shall get on, on wages for the future. I am getting sick of contract work its so very hard to get a party of good working chaps together. I have just heard that Jane is to be married next week to Edelman & feel rather jealous & yet I ought not to be, for she is a girl I never would have married I liked her very much, & perhaps if Id never known Isa King would have loved her, for when I was in town, very little would have made her leave, E, she wanted to come to Bendigo with me & perhaps if I had had the money I should have brought her up a good job I think I had not — for I would have disgraced her & myself too, how affectionate she laid in my arms & showered kisses on me its the thought of those moments that bring a pang of jealousy — well its all over now – our acquaintance was brief I was only in her company a few times & yet was as intimate as if I was living with her for years! (a sensual passion nothing more & the more easy to shake off-)



[1860-01-15 Sunday] Long Gully Bendigo Jany 16 1860
Weather very hot. We got our money all right last Tuesday & went on to work on wages £3.10.0 per week, but last night (Saturday) we all got discharged. It appears the late manager Mr Anderson, had employed a number of his friends to work the mine the new Manager Mr Froggart, found a great many of the hands were useless ones, many who had never had a tool in their hands before so to get rid of them he commenced by discharging all hands I think that is the reason, for he will have to employ some to keep the ground so I hope to get on again next week for I was specially recommended to him as a good workman — heaven knows I have had experience enough in practical gold mining — I wrote to mother on Tuesday & sent her a pound Stg- all I could spare — my brother Ned is living with me, he is not doing any thing yet — Uncle received a letter from mother yesterday, stating that she had heard from Aunt Hartley by the last mail from England — who informs her that my father had been in


Long Gully, January 1860

Halifax, but had not called on them — very strange. I suppose he had a presentiment of the reception he would have received if he had done so — some relation is dead who has left Uncle & Mother about £15.0.0 each it will come out in the course of a few months — it will be very acceptable tho so small a sum — There was a PS to her letter for me stating that Jane Summers was married yesterday week to Edelman heaven grant she may be happy, tho I see clouds hovering over her future I know for a fact that he is at this moment an insolvent — & is only marrying her so that she cant give her evidence in a case of arson — it appears Jane was living at a hotel in St Kilda belonging to him, that was insured very high, she saw him or his *man setting fire to the place, for the sake of the insurance, the trial takes place shortly, & from what I can learn Edelman will lose the case — & I also hear he has another wife living, & has a family somewhere, so putting one thing to another it doesn't look very bright for her in the future, however she has been warned sufficiently


Long Gully, January 1860

My sister Mary was her bridesmaid & is spending a week with her. Thursday night I went to the Theatre, heard some good singing I went last night & took Isa King — we spent a very pleasent evening together — Rose early this morning read a great deal until dinner time, when Alick King came out to see us, & spent the afternoon here After tea Burchell, Alick, Ned & I walkd into Sandhurst called at Kings, had an hours quiet chat with Isa under the verandah alone — Dan was there looking as jealous as the devil, he likes Isa. I did not get home till late — I wrote a long letter to my father yesterday enquiring whether he had forgotten or ceased to take an interest in his family its a very painful duty for a child to have to write to his parent in the spirit I was obliged to do — There is a large rush about 50 miles from here at Lamplough, great numbers are flocking there — Harry, Alick King, L Frazer, & my brother Ned purpose going there in the morning, they are preparing their swags for the journey I dont envy them, no joke travelling such fearful hot weather as it is



Long Gully Bendigo Jany 22/60
The weather has been very hot during the past few days, the thermometer being as high on several occasions as 115º in the shade two men dropped down dead, sun struck – Im positively melting away. I got on to work again in the Nelson Reef Co. on Wedny on the night shift & 3 wretched shifts they were the days being so hot that it was impossible to get any sleep & have to work at night is very trying to the constitution. I received a letter from Mother last Monday, all well — enclosed in it was a printed effusion of some rymster the subject being the adventures of the Maid of the Merry Jig -the name of the place Jane Summers lived at for some time on Sunbury, it is a most scandalous thing, enough to shock any virtuous mind to read, bad as Jane is, she doesn't deserve caluminating in such a manner I wonder who composed it, I suppose one of her old rejected suitors — Burchell & I went to the Theatre the same night & enjoyed ourselves very much, my shift ended yesterday morning at 7.am. I tried to get some sleep but found it impossible, it was so hot

In the afternoon I went into Sandhurst called at Kings, they had just received a letter from Alick, stating they had just arrived on Lamplough – all right, but could get no opinion about the rush


Long Gully, January 1860

for a few days, they had *seen many friends who spoke highly of the place. I trust they will be fortunate — I had tea with the Kings, & afterwards Isa & I went to the Theatre, we didnt enjoy ourselves much it was so like an oven — I saw her home & on leaving her I walked through the Camp Reserve & being very tired I sat on the grass & fell asleep. I suppose it was about 12 oclock I awoke this morning & found a policeman standing over me & my little dog, barking most furiously, the man thought Id been drunk over night & from the Police quarters he had noticed me lying down. I was cross with him awaking me. I was enjoying a luxury unusual for some time past, a sound sleep — he invited me to the Camp, they were sitting down to breakfast & invited me to partake of some. It was very kind — I felt very much refreshed afterwards. I sent one away for half a gallon of ale which pleased them as much as there coffee did me — I got home about 10 this morning, after dinner Burchell & I went to Joe Deans tent this afternoon he came home with us & had tea, I called at Frazers (Long Gully), had a chat with them came home & wrote to Edward. I wrote to to Mother on Friday & sent her a pound Stg. I hope if I continue in constant


Long Gully, Nelson Reef California Gully January 1860

work to be able to send her something regular for the future — my shares in three claims Ive had to give up, after costing me about £150.0.0 since I commenced them I have still one share left, but I have very little hope of it ever doing me any good it costs me about 12/. per week to keep it.

Im now 8 years on the diggins, it appears 18 to me & yet how short my life has been, what trials I have endured & what scenes & changes Ive witnessed it seems like a dream, but for the many stern realities connected with it. Im just ten years in Australia, there were about 40,000 people in Victoria when I first came into it & now theres between five & 600,000, what a contrast, where Sandhurst now stands I remember when it was a forest with hardly a soul near it for 20 miles, since that time what tons of gold have been taken away from it & I no better for it all — Curse upon gold digging I say. I wish gold had never been found in it — I went to see Mr & Mrs Hamilton last Tuesday & spent a very pleasent evening with them

29th Jany 1860. Lovely weather the past week, quite a nice change — Ive been at work on the Nelson Reef at £3. 10.0 per week, but unfortunately the wages are to be lowered after this date to


Nelson Reef California Gully January 1860

£3.0.0 per week, eight hands were discharged because they would not accept the reduced rate — I thought I would [not], but I find the N.R.Co. is not the only one that are lowering the pay, so I intend to go on at it tomorrow morning. I wrote to Mother last Monday & sent her £1.0.0 , received an answer yesterday all well, she has moved into another house, more rent, but better situated, she is going to let one room — & Mary has commenced a school, attached to the house — I hope she will be prosperous in her undertaking. I cannot but admire her courage in making such an attempt at her age. I think she is just turned 15, she wants some money to fit the room up with forms & desks Etc. I wish I had some to send her, but unfortunately I have not. I went into Sandhurst Thursday night, met Miss Scott, took a long walk with her, I went last night, called at Kings they have received another note from Lamplough stating that Alick has been laid up with dysentry & that they all think of returning soon as possible, Isa & I went to the Theatre met Burchell there came home together I have spent the day reading & making another attempt with my school books — Burchell & Hooper have just gone to Church so I shall have a quiet evening alone

[Monday 30th January 1860] Monday morning 6 am. I had just finished writing last night


Nelson Reef California Gully January 1860

when who should pop in, but Alick King & Lockey the elder) tired, & footsore, & looking miserable & haggard after their journey. My brother Ned & couzin Harry they left some twenty miles behind, Harry being knocked up they left Lamplough in disgust on Friday morning — they have had some hard times since they left, having very little money & not getting any gold — & the weather being so very hot — I went into Sandhurst with Alick, remained an hour there, fell in with Burchell came home & found Ned & Harry just arrived & boiling the billy for some tea — poor devils they look wretched after their tramp — I know what it is knocking about & travelling under a hot sun with a heavy swag — & many times with a hungry belly — I thought little of it at the time, but I fancy I could not go through so many hardships again, its well we dont know whats in store for us — Im cook this morning, & while the Billy has been boiling Ive been writing, so now breakfast — & then to commence work 7.am — I begin /, have one hour for dinner & work until 6.Pm — 10 hours work aday & it is hard work under ground, working with a heavy hammer & gads & pick & shovels, I dont think its healthy, what with the dust & the smoke from the powder, in a hole 200 feet deep —



Long Gully February 5th 1860
Lovely weather — Still at work on the Nelson 3 days underground & the other 3 at the windlass — we have been getting out some very rich quartz, about 20 Tons which yielded over 1,000 oz — it was only a small spur, & is worked or run out they purpose erecting extensive machinery shortly — & I believe only intend keeping on about a dozen hands just to make a large dam & to assist, in the Engines action about 20 hands were paid off last night I wish I could get constant work elsewhere for the Manager Mr Froggart is a regular little tyrant, & bullies everyone he has spared me so far; with the exception of some insinuations I overheard that was meant for my mates & I, which didnt affect me much — My tentmate Burchell took very ill at the beginning of the week with Rheumatic Fever — poor fellow he is as helpless as a child, cannot hold a bit of bread between his fingers Harry & I have to feed him like a baby, he is suffering the most excruciating agony I dont know what we should do, if it wasnt for the kindness of Mrs Hooper & Mrs Forbes who are always bringing him something nice & waiting upon him during my Brother & mines absence


Nelson Reef, California Gully February 1860

one woman is worth fifty men, where theres sickness. I hope he will soon recover — its very miserable having any one sick in such a place as a tent, he wants to go to the hospital, but I dont like the idea, we'll see how he gets on next week. Ned has been at work with Uncle Charles (who lives along side in a tent with Harry) the last week but with poor success, didnt get enough to pay for his food — so it falls heavy on me having to keep all — I went to Sandhurst last night — saw Isa spent a couple of hours very happily with her — This morning we had the tent full of visitors, bad luck to them I say — Dave & I went to see the Drews in California Gully, they keep a Restaurant there — Ive known George Drew a very long time — his wife is a nice woman I left them & went alone to Mrs Hoopers found Mrs Hickey there, she has been confined, got a fine little girl, they were very glad to see me, Minnie looks 5 years older since her wedding & has such a melancholy sad appearance — that doesn't speak well for her happiness. I had tea with them & didnt leave till late so now for bed — bed did I say. Im sleeping on the ground since Ned returned, & to make things worse I


Nelson Reef, California Gully February 1860

have no bed clothes, but an old coat & a ponsho — my Blankets I left at Allens & owing them about 30/. I dont like to go for them until I can pay my debt Dan I hear had no such scruples but brought them on his own away yesterday Its fortunate its hot weather so I dont miss them much. Last Thursday was my 21st Birthday — what a brilliant fortune Ive inherited. I spent the evening at Drews, singing & dancing Etc —

Feb 12th 1860. Weather very hot. Been working very hard, making a dam, the work is very hard, wheeling barrows half the day, the other pick & shovelling my shoulder, arms, & face are burnt black I feel it much being so accustomed to work underground lately, Mr Froggart & I have had several tiffs, he has seemed to pick upon me, as a butt, but I opened his eyes, when I told him I knew the way the work should be done better than he did Etc — I could teach him his work — I expect Ill get the sack. I dont care I shall get more elsewhere. Ill remain as long as possible if only to annoy him. I dont think he ever had men working for him that speaks to him as I do, the other men fawn & submit


Nelson Reef, California Gully February 1860

to everything he likes to dictate. I suppose its owing to them being married & knowing work is hard to obtain just now. I went into Sandhurst last Monday night for medicine for Burchell, called on Mrs Hooper who kindly made up the liniment & lotion he requires — he is still helpless but I fancy doesn't suffer so much pain as he did the women neighbours continue to visit him & bring him little niceties, that we cannot procure, or cook, such as nice gruel — chicken, broth Etc — what a ministering spirit heaven has endowed women with. — I receivd a letter from Mother yesterday all well, no news by the Mail, but some pencil marks in a newspaper informing us that father was in Manchester — doesn't state what he is doing — I dont think he takes much interest in his family, or he would write to us a little oftener. Ned is doing nothing yet, he & Uncle are working together they made 14/- each last week. I went to Kings on Thursday night — also on Friday, called at Frazers, from there went to the Shamrock didnt get home until 12 oclock, spent a jolly evening altogether — Hamilton & his wife went to town last week I heard from him during the week he purposes returning next week. Burchell heard from Bob Maguire he has quite recovered from his illness & is at work on Ararat doing well — my


Nelson Reef, California Gully February 1860

old mates are still in that neighbourhood Last night I spent at G.Drews, drank a lot of Cyder which gave me the gripes Ive been suffering great pain ever since Ned went for some brandy & cayenne which I took & Im glad to state Im better now

I wrote to mother this evening & sent her £1.0.0 I saved it out of my last pay I could ill spare it as Im now situated my credit at the butchers & bakers fortunately good or I dont know what we should do for my wages are always spent before their earned —

19th February 1860. Beautiful weather Still at work at the same job. I was paid last night had very little left after paying my debts — Burchell I am happy to state is much better he is able to knock about a little, but is very weak & thin — I went into Sandhurst on Tuesday night, saw Holloway play “Belphegor” called at Kings saw Isa for a few minutes — promised to see her on Thursday night — when we took a long walk — it was a lovely night, & I enjoyed her company very much, our theme being what constituted happiness in mankind, a simple


Nelson Reef, California Gully February 1860

subject, but one when gone into is very interesting Isa must have read or else thought & observed a great deal in her life she is very intelligent or else Im very ignorant & my knowledge so limited that I form an estimate of her intellect from mine

Last night we went to the Theatre together heard L.Thomas — the harpist I never listened to anything more beautiful it was late when I got home — I have been reading a Book called Lions, living & dead, it gives a good description of celebrated characters, chiefly literary, contains a small review of their principal works. I find it very interesting — I was surprised at about 2 pm to day by Isa & Mary King with their brother Alickcalling here. I felt so ashamed at having only a poor tent to invite them into, however they hadnt expected anything else, they very soon made themselves at home — Isa bustled about & made an impromptu dinner I had to go into neighbours tents & borrow plates (tin) knives & pannikins Etc a stranger would have laughed to have seen two nicely dressed young ladies & us dirty rough diggers sitting


Nelson Reef, California Gully February 1860

anywhere we could on the stretchers eating what I called a good dinner, but they I suppose, considered a pigs mess, however they appeared to enjoy the novelty as it must be to them — they remained to tea after spending a most jolly Sunday afternoon — we had a walk about the hills & gullies — showing them the diggings & how the gold was extracted Ned & I accompanied them into Sandhurst didnt stay long there, got back by 9 p.m & wrote a letter to mother in which I enclosed £1.0.0., I received a letter from her yesterday that put me in very poor spirits, she is in great poverty, had to pawn her watch. She is very bitter, thinks it very hard that having three sons, she is not above want Ned feels it very acutely, poor chap he is rather downhearted, doing nothing — how different we might have been if my father had but done his duty to his sons & taught or gave us either a trade or an education not one of us is fit for anything but hard work, if we take a situation it can be but a menial one, & we are all possessed of a spirit above accepting such an one


Nelson Reef, California Gully February 1860

I would if circumstances permitted it go now & learn a trade, but as mother is situated I cant — I must make money some way or another in order to assist her. I did think Ned would have been spared the feelings I experience — I, years ago offered to pay for him being educated & sent money to Adelaide for that purpose, but it was put to other uses — I wish him now to endeavour to improve himself & go & learn a trade he is not more than 18, but he has knocked about so much the last few years that his mind & inclination is against making the attempt — there are some people possessed of good abilities that might become clever if so disposed, but not gifted with energy or application sufficient to be so, my brother is one of that sort naturally talented & quick, but wanted developing when young. A time will come when he will have wished he had taken my advice. Ive worked very hard the past year or so, & under difficulties such as few have experienced to improve myself & fit me if ever the opportunity occurs for something better than a diggers life

Mother states that a person called upon her who has just come from England & seems to know our family


Nelson Reef, California Gully February 1860

affairs, he sais that he knows my father who informed him, that he (my father) had visited my Uncle Joseph, who refused to let him have a penny more than what he has the control over & threatens if he is pressed that it will [be] the worse for us boys — & hinted as much that he purposed leaving his money to us — it appears Uncle Joe has certain monies that other deceased Uncles of mine left, which monies he has invested for his own interests, my father wishes his share of them, but the miser didn’t like parting with it & father doesnt want to press him, fearing to injure our prospects — he promises to write by the next Mail & let us know all particulars — I trust he will — its time I was in bed, after 12 & I have to rise at 6.

26 February 1860. Weather very hot we finished the dam about the middle of the week — since that time Ive been working at the windlass, hard work this hot weather —

Burchell is getting all right — Ive had a deal of unpleasentness with Uncle, this week — he received some money from Adelaide, & has been on the spree ever since, during one of his drunken fits he slit my tent, & cut down all the nice saplings around it. I was very sorry for they made the tent


Nelson Reef, California Gully February 1860

so nice & cool. I remonstrated with him & he was very insulting said many bitter things about me & my family. I could hardly keep my hands from striking him – but for somebody being near I should have done so, he had the audacity to claim my tent, which Harry & I put up while he was in Adelaide — & on his return I bought out Harrys share of it, because he wished to live with his father — he never liked me for when a boy I would never knuckle to him, & once he struck me, so I shall never respect him & he knows Im too manly to strike him now, he came into my tent abusing me the other day & I bundled him out, by the shoulders with the assistance of my knees

I went to the Theatre on Tuesday night saw the “Honeymoon” played. Thursday I went to Kings found Isa very ill in bed laid up from the effects of a cold accompanied by a fever — I was very much grieved she was delirious & didnt know me for some time — Ive called every night since, she is much better, Im happy to state I found her to night sitting up in the parlour — but looking very pale — I spent a couple of hours with her, reading — I was at the Theatre a short time last night — Hamilton called on me this morning, he was in poor spirits his claim is not turning out anything just now, & the weekly


Nelson Reef, California Gully February 1860

58. outlay per share is about £7.0.0. a very considerable sum & no returns. I went into Sandhurst with him. Mrs H. is looking firstrate. I had dinner & tea with them after which I went to Kings — I receivd a letter from Mother, all well — she informs me that a friend of hers a Mr Dewer who is in the Murray Navigation Co.is going to interest himself on my behalf & endeavour to get me a situation in the same employ I trust he will do so, I wish to cut this life. Mr Froggart & I have had several wordy battles. I dont think Ill remain long in the Nelson Reef Co. unless theres some change — I met Lockey the Younger on Friday night he had just returned from town called several times at my mothers house saw Mrs Edelman, they had a long chat about me — Lockey knows nothing about our amour — but he gathered from her enough to know how we were situated to each other so I got pretty well riled about her from him

March 4th 1860 Still very hot weather had a thunder storm on Friday & continued raining until last night. I lost 2 days work through it just £1.0.0. out of my pocket, spent every night this week at home reading & learning my lessons Etc — I went into Sandhurst last night


Nelson Reef, California Gully March 1860

called for Isa, took a long [walk] together — visited Hamiltons & introduced her to them — spent about an hour there conversing about one thing & another — it was late when I got home — This afternoon I went to see Enniss met Lockey the Elder, went with him into Sandhurst called at his Uncles the Baker – had tea there — went in to see the Grandmother next door — poor old lady she has been confined to her bed the last 16 weeks —

March 11th 1860 — Lovely weather the last few days — I received my wages last Monday. I wrote to mother at once & sent her £1.0.0. — I received no answer yet, perhaps she is waiting the arrival of the mail I hear its Telegraphed. Macauley the historian is dead, also Captain Harrison of the Gt Eastern I went into Sandhurst on Tuesday night called at Kings, their house joins the Scotch School Room, there was a grand Concert in it, tickets 5/. each — we didnt honour it with our presence, but took an outside ticket, which cost us nothing, the window being open — we heard as well as if we had been inside, & Im sure we were far happier — she is a dear good girl, so very kind & pleasent — I never met anyone I liked so well in my life. I wonder if


Nelson Reef, California Gully March 1860

60. she cares for me. I dont think Im very objectionable to her — for she always prefers my company to any one else, whenever I go to their place — she is very frank & agreeable to me except upon one subject & that is about two years of her life before her arrival on Bendigo. I cannot imagine anything improper connected with her but there are those uncharitable enough to hint as much to me — & when I challenge them are very quiet, & know nothing. Ill find out sometime or another — I met Mrs Hickey & her mother one night in California Gully, Minnie looks so wretched. I returned with Mrs Hooper who told me a long story about Hickey, about his manners Etc, & the manner he treats her, she is very sorry she allowed the wedding to take place

March 18th 1860. Had very indifferent weather the past week. I lost the first three days in consequence of an accident I met with. I was under a bank of earth working, pick in hand, when a lump of ground broke away & striking the pick drove it into my foot, Im afraid it will be a long time before its better, tho I dont


Nelson Reef, California Gully March 1860

intend losing any more time if I can possibly help -it — I lost yesterday owing to the rain – so I did not have much money to draw last night, we finished the job at the dam, & all hands were discharged. I was not sorry for I shant be long ere I get another billet & perhaps a better master — I dont know how it is this last few days Mr Froggart has been very civil & in fact taken quite a liking to me, if there was anything he wanted doing particular & well, he sends me about it, strange — for we were always at loggerheads until lately — I let him see he couldnt bully me like the others & he respects me the more for it — I was the last he paid & in doing so told me that if I would come up on Monday morning he would try & find me constant work until the machinery came up & the work commenced in earnest, very good of him, I was astonished. I have read a deal during the past week Hudibras, Tassos’ “Jerusalem Delivered”, & a strange old book without a title page, about the Goths & Huns — I have been reading in the way of light literature, alternately Dickens Bulwer — Disraeli & Walter Scott, I used to like the latter best, sometime back, but I like Dickens now, there is too much philosophy in


Nelson Reef, California Gully March 1860

62. & abstuse speculation in Bulwer for my mind to fully enter into, in its present unculterated state. I think Disraeli is too artificial, there seems a desire in his writings to please two classes, I have just finished, Sybil but there is a work by Thackeray – “Vanity Fair”, that I was delighted with such an easy racy style & full of fun & good sense its written in — Tuesday afternoon I went into Sandhurst, called at Hamiltons Photographic Rooms, had my portrait taken on closing for the day I accompanied Jim home, Mrs H. insisted upon me staying tea — I did so & spent a pleasent evening with them. Wednesday night I called at Kings saw Isa remained with her about an hour — went to Hamiltons. I went into Sht. last night called at the P.O. received a letter from Fred, all well at home, he states that Mother had received two letters from England one from Father, who has commenced business in Manchester, as a Silk Manufacturer, he anticipates being in a position to send for his family in the course of another year. I trust he will be successful in his endeavours to retrieve his fallen fortune, the other letter was from mothers relatives & contained an account [of] my Couzin Chambers death through Consumption, poor fellow I remember


Nelson Reef, California Gully March 1860

him so well — he was his mothers pride, she will be sadly cut up, her other son Charles Bryar is very wild I hear & does very little for her —

I called at Kings, Isa & I took a pleasent walk together — Edward is still doing nothing poor chap he is getting quite downhearted he only made about 15/. last week — he intends looking for work next week at some of the claims

[Saturday, 24 March 1860] March 24th 1860 Nice weather, Mr. F sent for me on Monday morning. Im to do just whatever I like about the works, Im left entirely to my own judgement

My brother Im happy to state got employment at the Engine Shaft at present being sunk by Contract (Nelson Reef

Monday night I went into Sandhurst called for Isa went to the Theatre, together nearly 1 oclock when I got her home — I afterwards met some young men (acquaintances joined & visited some cursed place, where we found a lot of girls, two of them were beautiful & under different circumstances would be worshipped by lovers of female beauty I left them about 3 oclock the remainder stay’d there — company I dont care much about — I overslept myself the next morning & lost ¼ of a days work in


Nelson Reef, California Gully March 1860

64. consequence. I received a letter from mother my sister Mary she states is far from being well — imagines she is in a consumption, God forbid — she writes in very desponding terms about their Circumstance I answered it & enclosed £1.0.0 in the letter, It will be acceptable. I was unable to send her any money last week, losing 4 days. I have been reading Nicholas Nickleby — I like it very much. I received another letter to day from mother, informs me that Fred is very ill. I went into Sandhurst this evening, called at Kings, did not remain long went to the Theatre for a short time, got home early, & now for bed, or I should say the floor for bed I have none. I filled a sack with dry leaves & sleep upon it, my covering being an old cloak & coat. I hope in a fortnights time to be able to go out to “Break of Day” & get my bedding out of pawn. [Tuesday, 27 March 1860] 26th March 1860. Last Sunday afternoon I went up to Mrs Hoopers — Mrs Hickey was there, looks 10 years older than she did on her wedding day. After tea Bobby Hooper & I went into Sandhurst, visitd the Church of England, on leaving after


Nelson Reef, California Gully March 1860

the service we went to the Kings, found Burchell & my Brother Ned there, while sitting talking, Mary King came in crying on enquiring the reason, she stated that Hugh Campbell had met her — & wanted to kiss & take liberties with her. I was very Cross & said if she was a sister of mine Id give him something he didnt bargain for or words to that effect, her brother Alick was there who admitted he hadnt courage sufficient to resent it — Isa & I walked out into the Verandah I filled my pipe & seeing a light in John Nevins tent (situated about 20 feet ) from Kings) I left her to get a light for my pipe, on entering the tent I found Hugh Campbell lying on the stretcher, he made an attempt to be friendly, held out his hand, I began to remonstrate with him, he got very insolent & while I was in act of lighting my pipe he in a most cowardly manner, rushed upon me & struck me in the face my pipe stem going nearly down my throat. I soon recovered myself & getting him on my hips I lifted him on his stretcher, with one hand I held him by the jaw & with the other I commenced giving him something he didnt relish I unfortunately hadnt struck him more than twice, when my old mate Dan (who is at present mates with Hugh) rushed in along with, John & James Campbell


Nelson Reef, California Gully March 1860

66. Dan got behind me & held my arms fast while Jim Campbell tried to strangle me by squeezing my neck. I was powerless, in the hands of I believe the three strongest men on Bendigo however I wouldnt let go my hold of Hughs jaw with one hand & his hair with my other I could not hollow out, however Isa heard a struggle & knowing I was in the tent rushed to see what the matter was — the wretchs had blown the candle out, & were doing their work very quietly. I remembered no more, but on recovering my senses, I found myself supported by Isa & Ned — It appears they locked the hut or tent door & no one could get in, my brother Ned smashed the window but could not assist me all being so dark Isa took a candle & set fire to the place which caused them to let go of me. Lockey Frazer & Alick never helped a hand — the curs the former hadnt time he says to get off his Sunday Coat & Vest — the latter did do better, for on Hugh being got out of my hands he rolled into him & gave him the hiding I had commenced — I was very illused, my left shoulder was put out, & my body & head are covered with bruises & torn with the nails in their boots. I did not feel hurt on recovering my senses (at the time)


Nelson Reef, California Gully March 1860

my blood was up & If I had not been kept back I should have done somebody an injury I with great difficulty got home, about half anhour afterwards. Isa & Alick came out to see me, a nice object I was, my clothes torn into shreds — they state that Hugh has both eyes bunged up & looks anything but handsome, Ill pay the lot out for their nights work — Ive heard since that one of them heard me make the remark through the window, when Mary came in, & they had been prepared for me — Dan is no friend of mine, there has been an ill-feeling on his side towards me in consequence of Isa’s preference to me — I wrote a letter to Mother on Sunday & enclosed £1.10.0 in it, Burchell posted it to day, this morning I got my bruises doctored up, I dont think Ill be fit for work this week. I spent the most part of to day with Mrs Hooper Minnie was there, they didnt know me at first — In the afternoon I escorted her a part of the road home, called at Drews & also on Mrs Froggart (Mr F. is in town) & told her I should not be fit to go to work this week — owing to an accident I met with, being thrown out of a cart — This evening, Tuesday, I went into Sandhurst called at Kings. I was very much hurt on enquiring where the sons were to hear they were in John Nevins tent in company


Nelson Reef, California Gully March 1860

68. with the Campbells. I could hardly credit it & went to the tent, & could hear Jack King laughing over the affair, as a good joke, Alick was not there — I felt that I should like to give him a thrashing to visit & be on apparently good terms with a man that never neglected an opportunity to insult his sister. I felt I was determined to take no more notice of what had occurred except in my own defence — if crossed by by any of them. I did not like the way Mrs King alluded to the quarrel, she seems to think, I ought to still see the affair out, as if it was my business, her sons might not [like] to be implicated in any way — with it – & stated as much that she was glad to see her son so ready to heal up the breach – so much for meddling in anothers business I have learned a lesson — Isa was very much affected & remonstrated with her mother what a contrast there is in their dispositions I got home about 9 pm —
[Sunday, 1 April 1860] 31st [1st] Nice weather — I did not go to the Nelson Reef this week. Ned being out of work I thought Id try & get him a job of some sort to keep him employed hearing of a contract on the Britania Reef, I went to see it found the shaft to be 220 feet deep & about 20 feet of


Britania Reef, April 1860

water in it, so twas impossible to go down & have a look at it, however I put a tender in at £1.1.0 per foot (driving) it was accepted — a neighbour Ike Ket joined us & we commenced on Thursday & bailed the water out, we found the shaft in a very dangerous state at the bottom & as the owners of the claim expected us to make it secure at our expense, such as providing timber for the purpose Etc. we gave the concern up yesterday morning, I went to see Mr Froggatt yesterday, to enquire if I was to go on to work Monday morning. I had my walk for nothing, Mr. F. had gone to Melbourne, but will be up again in a day or two. Ive been reading a great deal the last few days. I spent nearly the whole of my day at arithmetic which Im very deficient in. I borrowed some time back a volume of Chambers Educational Course one of the most useful works for beginners ever published — Im alone to night my tent mates having gone to Bendigo
[Sunday, 8 April 1860] 7th [8th] April 1860. Miserable weather during the past week. Mr Froggart sent for me last Monday morning, George Drew & I have been working in company on the Nelson — lost 2½ days owing to the rain & Good Friday, we dont get paid for holidays, the way


Nelson Reef, April 1860

70 of the employers on the diggins, no work no pay — Mr Froggart told me last night that he wont be able to give me constant regular work for some weeks to come, but in the meantime he will find or give me as much as he can in order to keep me — he is erecting machinery at present, by contract, some firm in town & they employ their own hands — I spent last Sunday with Hamilton, he introduced me to a man named Stacey a Writing Master, he wants an agent, & wished I would act for him. I did not care for it, but I mentioned Burchell to him, who at once engaged him, he delivered two lectures on Caligraphy, one at the British & American Hotel on Tuesday night & one at Buchanans near my tent. I attended both — they were very interesting. I procured him several pupils on the occasion, on our road home a heavy thunder storm took place, we got drenched to the skin, found our tent flooded with water, our bedding saturated, we looked like a lot of shipwrecked sailors. Monday night Ned went to Kings, found Dan there very comfortably seated by the fire. Ned was astonished & didn’t hesitate stating what he thought about the matter after what had passed — & left


Nelson Reef, April 1860

in disgust — I dont intend going near the house again, much as I love Isa, I saw Alick King, he was very much hurt at his mother permitting those who had so insulted his sister to be on continued terms of intimacy he was so affected by it, that he purposes leaving home in consequence — , an old play mate of mine from Adelaide called upon me one day, Pearce Devenish, hang him I wish I could shake him off for he is a low blaguard. Good Friday morning I went to see the remains of the Shellback Engine that blew up on Tuesday night. I never saw such a sight before portions of the boiler plates we found 50 yards away, & bricks & timber scattered about in every direction, at the time of the accident the men employed at the works were engaged repairing a dam bank some distance from the works, very fortunate, for had they been at their customary posts, not one would have escaped alive its very unfortunate thing, for the company has been very unsuccessful for a long while & were just beginning to improve — I wrote to my mother & sent her £1.0.0 all I could spare — I received an answer last night, enclosed in her letter was one from my father, a very long one, any thing but comfortable, its contents made me feel, its no use referring to them


Nelson Reef, April 1860

72. them, Ned received a letter from her, & enclosed in it was Aunt Hartleys letter containing the death of Cousin Chambers Bryars — I spent this morning reading. In the afternoon I visited Mrs Hooper, Mr H is still very ill, the tumour in his side is increasing in size. I dont think he will ever recover. In the evening I went to Church with Jim Hall heard some very good singing, but I cant say I profited by the sermon. Mr Croxon will never be a favourite of mine through his preaching I came home after the service. Harry & I have had a long serious conversation since he is a very thoughtful boy, reads a great deal & thinks as well — what a pity his father did not educate him, he is the making of a clever man, poor chap, he has been a cripple from his infancy, yet! it is astonishing how hard he can work —

[Thursday, 12 April 1860] 11th April 1860. Weather still very unsettled. Finished my job on the Nelson to night, so Im out of work — George Drew & I put a tender in to drive a shaft, but we didnt succeed in getting the job, to day — Monday night I went to the Theatre on purpose to see Isa. Burchell very kindly went to her fathers & got her to go


Out of Work April 1860

so that I might meet her, she was very glad to see me, we left the Theatre & took a long walk together, she was not surprised at my stating I did not intend visiting their house again, she was very sorry at what had occured, but thought it ought not to be the cause of our seperation, that she loves me Im positive & that I love her is beyond all doubt fondly & truly with my whole heart & soul. I feel for her, what I would never give another being, credit for what a contrast is the feeling to what Ive usually felt towards others. Oh love in its pure & sacred character is a holy passion – softens & refines both the inner & outer man. I met her last night, we took a long walk together, the night was lovely, the stars seemed laughing & twinkling, the moon appeared to look upon us so benignedly, open thorough love episode was ours last night, we were both so happy, & I did anything but bless the time for passing so swiftly by. Im sure it was after 12 when we kissed our adieus —

[Friday, 13 April 1860] 12th [13th] April 1860, Been idling about all all day, looking for work, reading Etc – mending my tent, & ditto clothes, a neighbour (Teetotal Jim) spent the evening with me in our tent, he is excellent company plays the flutina & flagelet & sings well he has only just left us, now for bed



74 Long Gully Bendigo April 1860 [Saturday, 14 April 1860] 12th [14th] Cold day, I went into Sandhurst this morning, called at Dr Barnetts for medicine for Mr Hooper, on my return remained there till dinner time, In the afternoon I went to California Gully, went down the companys shaft, had a long yarn with the men – called at Drews, had tea there — on my way home paid my Grocer a visit & purchased necessaries for the tent, spent the evening with Joe Russell, a neighbour.

[Sunday, 15 April 1860] 14th [15th] Sunday night, the weather has been too disagreeable for enjoyment — Yesterday morning I turned mason & built a new chimney to my tent. In the afternoon I took a walk with Ned, had a look at the place he & Harry are working at, they want me to join, them but I met some men who have taken a contract, & offered me a share in it — so I declined. I had a very bad headache & could not keep my appointment with Isa last night. Im very hard up for money, not had a shilling for near a fortnight. Froggart owes me £4.5.0 I was disappointed at not getting it last night, shall have to wait until next Saturday night now for it. I owe the Butcher & the Baker a months bill & my dear mother Im sure will


Nelson Reef, April 1860

be disappointed at not receiving money from me — I sent her nothing last week I dont like borrowing or I need not be short I have so many kind friends that have so freely offered to lend me some. I called at Hoopers last night, she knows how Im situated & on leaving she wanted me to take a pound all she had, of course I refused, knowing her to be poorer than myself, it shows what a good kind heart she has. We spent this morning firing at a target with a rifle & a revolver. Im not such a good shot as I used to be. I beat every one in this neighbourhood with the pistol, but am no account with the rifle. my new mates called after dinner & we tossed up who was to commence the first shift to night at 12 it fell to me & my mate — I thought of seeing Isa this evening at Church, but Im obliged to go to bed instead & endeavour to sleep. I hate night shifts — but there is no getting over it, it is nearly 6 pm, so I must turn in, Ned & Burchell have just left for Church, 3 miles from here how I envy them —

19th April 1860 — Three days since I last wrote. Weather beautiful, but have not enjoyed it very much, been on the night shift. Bob Forbes & I are mates, miserable work, go down the shaft


Nelson Reef, April 1860

76 at 7 pm. come up to supper at 12. am again at 1. am & leave at 6 — no joke 10 hours work in a close shaft, with bad air more than 150 ft from the bottom of the hole – anything but healthy what with the smoke from the powder & dust arising from the ground or rock. I think we shall be able to make wages at it if we dont come across any harder stuff than we are at present driving in. Monday morning I went up to Hoopers, Mrs Hickey was there with her baby. I turned nurse some two hours. Tuesday I went into Sandhurst, called at Hamiltons Portrait Rooms had my likeness taken in my working clothes. I went home with him & tried to get an hour or two’s sleep but I couldnt, had tea with at his place & had to run so as to be in time to go to work. I did feel tired next morning not having had any rest or sleep the day before. I went to bed at 6.30 & did not awake until 6 the same evening. I never felt so exhausted in my life. (Saturday) I went to work last night & I was quite frightened


Nelson Reef, April 1860

to commence, during the day my mates came on a solid face of rock like granite we couldnt make 3/- aweek at it & the air being very bad we were compelled to give up our contract, however we have spent the rest of the week at it boring & drilling as far as possible to try & discover if it was likely to change but we could see no signs of it — we only made about £1.0.0 each, I recvd the money due to me all right, & Ned having made £2.10.0. we paid off our debts & sent mother £2.0.0. I feel quite a load off my heart, trifle as it is —

(Sunday night) 22 April 1860. I went into Sandhurst last night called at Hamiltons, & Frazers — purchased a few articles of clothing I required, met Burchell & Ned, & we went to see "Rob Roy" — I never laughed so much at a performance in my life, *Robertson as the Outlaw, & some girl that would make an admirable little scullery maid as "Diana Vernon", 2 am this morning when I got home —

Been raining hard all day, truly wretched, our tent is like a pig sty. In the afternoon I went up to


Nelson Reef, April 1860

78 Hoopers. Poor H is very ill. Im afraid his days are numbered, the doctors say he may linger a long while, but hold out no hopes of his recovery — I thought of seeing or meeting Isa tonight, but it is so wet, & I wont go to the house — it seems an age since I saw her last, nearly a fortnight — friends of mine, very officious ones, tho’ perhaps they are right have been questioning respecting my intentions towards her — censuring me for entangling her affections, in my position. I never gave the idea a thought before. Ive vainly imagined I could go on loving forever. Im fairly per -plexed, it would be cruel & my heart would revolt at uniting myself to her as Im at present circumstanced. I would not think of such a thing even if my mother was comfortably situated, but as long as she is not I shall never contemplate matrimony but to part with Isa, perish the thought, my mind seems distracted come secret hope to my aid & bid me be sanguine, for Im very sad, from many causes —


Nelson Reef, April 1860

23 April 1860. Been very wet the forepart of the day, so did not go to work along with my couzin & Brother, took a walk as far as California Gully paid a few debts I owed. In the afternoon I went to Long Gully Crossing place & posted a letter at Pentreaths P.O to Mother. In the evening Burchell & I went to the Temperance Soiree, held in the School Room of the Scotch Church, it was the most successful affair ever held on Bendigo £200-0.0 was collected towards the Erection of a New Temperance Hall. I met Jim Hamilton & his wife & also Isa in their company, I could not get near them until it was over, when Jim took Isa under his care & left me with Mrs H — I wasnt pleased at the arrangement, Jim met some friend who was desirous of being introduced to Mrs H. & he had the impudence to introduce Isa as such — I meeting a friend at the same time I introduced Mrs H. as my wife — the episode caused us some fun

I only spoke a few words to Isa, agreed to meet her on Wednesday night — all well – on seeing her home — Lockey & I accompanied Jim home remained about an hour at his place — 12 OC Pm now, time for bed —


Charlie, Charles Brothers Watmuff; Nelson Reef, April 1860

80 25th April 1860 In the midst of life we are in death — little did I imagine the night before last, when I wrote the record of that evenings pleasure that the soul of my dear little brother Charlie was wending its way to realms of bliss. Poor Charlie he was the youngest & the pet of the family born on the sea Eleven years ago on our passage from England. I received a Telegraph message yesterday afternoon informing me that he died in the morning. I received a letter at the same time from Fred that was written on the 22nd inst desiring me if I wished to see him before he died I must start at once, the letter did not come to hand until it was too late It appears he went with another boy fishing in the Yarra — & he slipped into the water & would have been drowned but for the other lad who caught him ere he sank, on his rescue instead of returning home & changing his wet clothes he play’d about until his clothes dried on his back, some two or three days afterwards in consequence he was laid up with Rheumatic & lost the use of his leg & arm — & became delerious — & was so when be breathed his last, my poor mother must be in great grief — my father will be very much


Death of Charlie, Nelson Reef, April 1860

afflicted when he hears of it, Charlie being his favourite child — I would have started for Melbourne if Id had the money, but had not & knowing how miserably poor mother is, I thought under such circumstances that having to borrow money Id better send it to her than spend it in travelling — she will have received £2.0.0 the morning he died that I sent her, Burchell with his usual kindness offered me £2.0.0 all he possessed I would only accept £1.0.0 from him, my X(couzin Harry had a few pounds by him, but did not offer me one halfpenny.)X Burchell borrowed £2 0.0 from him on his own account to lend me, but knowing how it was procured I would not take it, but went into Sandhurst & called upon Hamilton, who without any remark offered me £10.0.0, he was very much grieved because I would only accept £5.0.0 from him — I wrote at once to mother & sent £6.0.0. Heaven reward Jim for his kindness In time of sorrow it is, when friendship is tested. I feel happy in having such friends I hope it will one day lay in my power to repay them for their kindness. On leaving Hamilton, I went to Frazers the Baker where my letters are always a/d. & having seen the letter from Fred marked immediate, & the Telegraph


Death of Charlie, Nelson Reef, April 1860

82 coming through him, he had opened it, thinking he might be able to render me some assistance Fred had stated that mother had had to pawn her jewellery to procure medicine & get other necessaries for Charlie when ill) — from which he gathered how she must be situated, he at once sent Margery with the message & letter & he insisted or made me promise, if I wanted any money to apply to him for it — It was a great shock to Ned & I poor Charlie Im sure he’s in a better place than this world, with its cares & sorrows — he was an universal favourite with everybody, so very quiet, & thoughtful, too much so for one so young God grant his souls at peace — __________________________________________

George & Will Frear, J.Hall & I met this morning & agreed to take the contract we were at last week at an increased rate — two of us to work at it — the other two to go to Huntly & sink a shaft on our own account there as we know several parties who are doing very well & who advised us to take up a claim there. G.Frear & Hall are to go to Huntly, & Will & I to go on with the contract & endeavour to earn enough to keep things going — I hope we shall be fortunate

I went into Sandhurst this evening but did not meet Isa at the appointed place. I suppose she could not leave


Nelson Reef, April 1860

home without creating suspicion. I do not visit their house — nor am I at all agreeable to meet thus clandestinely. I have a great abhorrence to anything underhanded. I called at Dr Barnetts on my way home for physic for poor Hooper — Im getting weary & tired with writing, my mind being so over- tasked the last two days — I forgot to state there was a P.S. attached to Freds note informing me that Mr. Edelman had bolted from his creditors & was supposed to have fled to Sydney, leaving Jane penniless, she has returned to Mothers — her usual refuge —

[Friday] 27th April, 1860 Weather fine — Im afraid our contract is not going to pay us we have only gone four ft since Wednesday our other mates came up from Huntley this evening, they have a claim there, but dont think it stands a good show, they commenced to sink a shaft upon it, but the purpose “shepherding” it until the party in the next claim bottoms, which they hope to do in a few days, if it is any good of course we shall sink ours, if not we dont intend to incur any further expense on ours. [Monday, 30 April 1860] 31st April 1860 Lovely weather the last few days. Yesterday, Sunday I


Nelson Reef, April 1860

84 left here early in the morning, to go to Robinson Crusoe Gully for my blankets & tools I left there, my couzin Harry lending me £2.0.0 (rather an extraordinary circumstance) to assist me in paying what I owe — It was a lovely day so I was determined to enjoy it & walked through the bush & as a matter of course lost my way. I was well repaid for curiosity led me to clamber up a very high hill, where I had one of the grandest views I ever witnessed, from my position I beheld the whole district of Bendigo with its innumerable gullies that looked liked yellow serpents gliding through the green forests, the tents in the distance looked like flakes of snow, away to the west the rugged Pyrenees presented themselves — looking as gloomy as my fortune did when I crossed them some years back — a little more to the North — I could discern Mount Koorong Malaga & Moligul to the South Mount Alexander & I imagined Macedon — & thoughts & old associations crowded upon me, & I sat down on the spot & was lost in the bewilderment of the vicissitudes attending different periods of my life short & chequered as it has been — an hours


Nelson Reef, April 1860

walk brought me to Allens — where I had dinner to which I did ample justice. Mr A was very kind, stated how foolish I was in letting such a trifle prevent me from coming for my things. On collecting them I found Dan Finnigan had taken the best part of my tools away & also a pair of my blankets — time tries all — I did not think he was so dishonarable as I have discovered him to be. I went with Allen to see a new Reef he has just opened, he showed me some splendid specimens — he gave me one — I left about 3 — 4 Pm — with my swag walked to Kangaroo Flat about 1½ miles fell in with a car & rode to Sandhurst, some 4 miles, passed Alick & Isa King in a trap driving towards where I had left — I quite long to see her again it seems an age since we met & spoke to each other I was very tired when I arrived in the tent. This morning I was going to our contract (which is on the Nelson Reef) where Mr Nicholls the Superintendant told me I could go on to work for wages in one of [the] other shafts for a few days & could then return to complete our contract — if we liked — I thought it would be the best to accept the offer in order to keep in the good graces of the Company, for Im sure


Nelson Reef, April 1860

of constant employment in a few weeks time [Tuesday, 1 May 1860] 2 [1st] May 1860. Weather very unsettled the last two days, working in a shaft some hundred ft deep on the Sth end of the N.Reef raising quartz. I received a letter from my Sister Mary yesterday giving me a more detailed account of Charlies death — she states my mother is distracted since my brothers death & was unable to answer my letter, but purposes doing so shortly — [Friday, 4 May 1860] 5th.[5th] May 1860 — Friday night-) Mr. & Mrs Hamilton paid me a visit last night — she thought a tent a cold cheerless place to exist in, wondered how we lived, & had our healths, Etc in it, Ive seen tents Ive thought looked like little palaces, but Im beginning to have different notions concerning them now, in fact Im getting ashamed to live in one very strange Ive lived in nothing else for many years, but then such a change has been stealing over things on the diggins of latter days, that the old joyous reckless days of golddigging seems vanishing, with the refined notions now indulged in by people — I dare say its all very well but I fear, all that pleasent unaffected sociability that used to exist has vanished


Nelson Reef, May 1860

they invited Ned & I to tea this evening but Ned wouldnt go because he hadnt good enough clothes to be presentable in, its not long since a pair of yellow dirty trousers & a blue serge shirt were passport enough for any company in the colonies — but alas! as Ive stated before, such days & times are fast fleeing away — I went & passed a very sociable evening — I went into Sandhurst this afternoon on business for Mr Froggart.

My mates G.Frear & Hall returned from Huntly to day, having seen the next claim bottomed & which turned out a “duffer” so they purpose going on with the old contract while we go on wages – of course we share whatever we earn — [Saturday, 5 May 1860] 6th. Saturday — Left off work at 4 Pm squared up with my mates & dissolved partnership. We made only £2.10 each after expenses were paid for our fortnights work — only two of us having earned anything — I went into Sandhurst this evening, met Mary King — she wanted to know why I did not visit their house as formerly. I soon let her know the reason she says Isa thinks me very unkind they saw me last Sunday when I passed them in the cab, they went to Allens who informed them I had been there — if I


Nelson Reef on wages, May 1860

88 only remained half an hour longer, there I should have returned with them — it wasnt to be. I must try & see her, I went to the Theatre for a short time, met Ned, came home early

[Sunday, 6 May 1860] 7th. May Sunday. Been a lovely day — I went into Sandhurst this morning called at Hamiltons & accompanied him to hear Mr. Fletcher the Independent minister, he chose for his text the first line of the Lords Prayer, Our father who art in heaven! – I liked it well — its long since I heard such a sermon — or one so liable to make an impression. I had dinner with Jim — left about 3 pm & returned to the tent, paid Hooper a visit — after tea I again visited Sandhurst & went to the Church of England, along with Miss Scott, at the conclusion of the service I saw Isa King, I quite forgot Miss S. Ill be ashamed to meet her again after leaving her so very abruptly. Isa seemed as glad to see me as I was to see her — we wended our step to a quiet spot & sat down — we had such a lot to talk about. I was so happy [I] forgot all the thoughts that have been so perplexing me in reference to her & my duty, it was 11 pm when we parted more enthralled than ever & less inclined to touch upon the subject of seperation


Nelson Reef on wages, May 1860

I had began to get reconciled to the idea, but now it is further off than ever — oh for the past few happy hours — such blissful hours that compensate one for a life of sorrow oh love the sacred essence of all thats pure on earth when the affections are centered on a worthy object — [Monday, 7 May 1860] 8th [7th] May 1860. Been a nice day. Been very busy all day, running about on business for Mr Froggart. I had to go into Sandhurst & having to wait an hour I called at Jims & he would have me sit for my likeness in my working clothes — I had to go in again to insert advertisements in the “Advertiser” – this evening I spent in a most humane manner. J.Hall cannot write very well & having a sweetheart on Inglewood he got me to write a letter to her for him. If ever love was made by proxy & was successful he ought to be — I exerted my best abilities in its composition, such poesy in prose was never penned before — he was quite proud of it — [Thursday, 10 May 1860] 11th.[10th] May 1860 Three days since I continued my journal. I had an idea of keeping a daily one — but I purpose writing now whenever I am inclined. Still on wages at the Nelson Reef raising stone — Tuesday night I saw Isa King she looked so nice, we took a long walk together,


Nelson Reef on wages, May 1860

talked all manner of stuff interesting alone to ourselves, late when we parted Wednesday night we went to see Miss — Avonia Jones in the play of Sybil, she is the finest actress ever appeared in Australia I could not imagine it was in human nature to be her superior — after seeing Isa home I met Hugh Campbell & Dan — we had some words, they were very insolent — to me — how manly? for two men to bully one. I had courage to tell them what I thought of them, Dan on Saturday insulted some foreigners & they nearly killed him they managed to cut one of his toes off or nearly so, the police got hold of him & he was fined £7.0.0 with costs for his freak. It was 2 am next morning when I got home. I received a letter from my mother yesterday. I answered it at once & sent her £1.0.0. Mr Dewer called upon her, she mentioned me to him, he wished he could see me to ascertain what kind of a situation I am suited for, he is going to the Snowy River & wont be back for some


Nelson Reef on wages, May 1860

time. I dont care much for peoples promises I have long since discovered that the man who helps himself in this world is the man who succeeds. Ive been suffering from sore eyes lately Ned got some kind of lotion from Dr Harris to day which I trust will relieve them —

[Saturday, 12 May 1860] 12th May 1860 Beautiful day. All hands got discharged to day but me, they kept me because there are a few jobs want finishing. I must be a favourite with the manager for he always gives me the preference if he can any time. I have been getting my brother Ned this evening to sit down & endeavour to improve his writing & otherwise improve his mind, he doesn't seem to care about it. Im very sorry for with a very little application he might soon fit himself for a better position than he appears likely to fill in his present state —

[Sunday, 13 May 1860] 13th Cloudy day, got up very late, cut up a lot of firewood & did some sewing such as putting patches on my working clothes & mending the tent, spent the whole of the afternoon reading "Cassells Papers" In the evening Ned & I went into Sandhurst,


Nelson Reef on wages, Soldier’s Gully May 1860

visited the Church at the conclusion of the service Ive met Isa & Mary King, we all took a long walk together, if the rest were like myself they were very happy Isa tells me that Alick has left them & gone to Lake Colac near Geelong. I fancy he was inclined to be wild. Jack has just returned from Inglewood, been very unlucky.

[Thursday, 17 May 1860] 17th May 1860 Fine weather, Monday & Tuesday I worked for the company & was politely informed my services would not be required again for some time. My couzin Harry & brother Ned are erecting a small puddling machine near Soldiers Gully & wish me to join them — so I thought I might as well do so as be idle. I commenced this morning — I dont know how it will pay us yet, not having got properly to work — I went into Sandhurst last night called at Frazers found a letter from mother there she is not very well & is very short of money by the last mail from England she had a few papers from father in one she found some pencil lines, in which he informs her he finds it very uphill work to get a commission & make a living where he is. Jane is still


Soldier’s Gully May 1860

at Mothers, shes had to pawn her jewellery to pay off debts Etc, since her husband left her a boy arrived from home who states he is his son & that his father, Edelman has been twice divorced, & his wives are still living, they have heard nothing of him since his departure — I called at Hamiltons & spent the evening with them — had supper, late when I got home to the tent. I hear the 10 O.C. whistle time to go to bed, very useful things are whistles attached to engines where so very few possess watches — [Saturday, 19 May 1860] 21 [19] May 1860 Weather very unsettled during the past three days. Ive been working with Ned & Harry at the machine I think it will pay us when we get properly at work, the three days we have been at it we [got] 1 oz. 10 dwts of gold, the machine is nearly a mile from the tent & as our tent is getting done up we purpose erecting a small stone hut near the work, there being a great quantity of loose stone on the surface near the spot we have selected — On leaving work this afternoon I visited California Gully, called on Mr Froggart who paid me what I was due — called at Frears & also at Drews. George is laid up with a bad hand I believe he will have to lose one of his fingers, he has been very unfortunate


Soldier’s Gully May 1860

lately, his wife is on the point of being confined & not a penny to bless themselves with, there is a deal of misery in this golden country — I wrote a letter to Mother & enclosed £2.0.0 in it, intend posting it on Monday — I told her to advise Jane to get a divorce from her husband, I hear she is very unhappy I did not think such an unholy union could be otherwise. I called on Mrs Hoopers also stay’d for about an hour, she related all her troubles to me — heard nothing else to day, everybody seems to have their share in this world, more or less, some of their own creating & some of anothers — I dont know what people see in me to be so confidential in their sorrows If it was in my power to relieve them I would, but it causes me grief to know Im unable to assist them — except with sympathy & its like mustard without beef — that I never covet it from anyone — After tea, (being wet) Burchell & I went to Piggotts & danced for about 3 hours — enjoyed ourselves very well — 12 O.C Im sure [Sunday, 20 May 1860] Sunday. Beautiful day. Spent the morning reading Addisons, Cato, a fine play, some splendid passages in it — the characters are beautifully drawn — I like it exceedingly, shall read it again if I have an opportunity. We had several


Emerald Co. (Shamrock, C. Gully, May 1860

visitors in the afternoon. In the evening Ned & I went to Church, met Isa & Mary King took a long walk together, 11 pm when we left them — [1860-05-21] Monday 21st. been cold & very cloudy I had an offer of a job this morning to drive a shaft in the Shamrock Cos Claim, C. Gully £3.0.0 per week — in company with W.Frear we have been engaged making a windlass to day or I have, for my mate left work about 1 pm, & Ive heard has been on the spree what a pity, he would be a nice chap if he could only keep from drink — I went into Sandhurst this evening thinking to meet Isa, but it came on to rain & she did not put in an appearance at the usual trysting place — so I was disappointed, however, I had some compensation, by paying a visit to the Frazers, where I spent a couple of hours with Lockey & Margery the rain ceasing, Lockey accompanied me a part of the way home —

Tuesday 22nd. Been a wet miserable day. I went to work this morning, but not finding W.Frear there I called at Mr. Cuddys a shareholder in the Shamrock Co who agreed to work in his place until he returned, we working away at our windlass, in his yard, Mrs. Cuddie standing by conversing


Ellen Cuddihy. Emerald Co. Shamrock, C. Gully, May 1860

with us, when George Frear, came running to us in a most excited state & informed us that my mate W.Frear had just returned home half drunk, with a small phial of poison he said something about being ashamed of the life he has led & his inability to reform & very deliberately drank the poison, Georges manner & the nature of his communication acted so upon Mrs. Cuddy, (who had only just recovered from a severe illness) that she fainted. I did not observe her at the time, having immediately rushed to Frears tent to see what I could do I found Will, stretched on the floor with his teeth so firmly clenched that I found it im- -possible to apply an emetic, several people hearing of the circumstance, came in, & with our united efforts at length got him to swallow an emetic — the police afterwards took him in charge & he is now lodged in Gaol — the best place for him, he is a desperate fellow when in liquor, he is one of the strongest men I ever met with, it took 6 of us to hold him, when getting his mouth open — On my return to Cuddys I found Mrs. C. had burst a blood vessel two doctors were in attendance, who make it no secret that her days are numbered hold out no hopes of her recovery —


Ellen Cuddihy. Emerald Co, (the Shamrock) Cuddihy, C. Gully, May 1860

It must ever be a source of pain to Frear to know he was the cause of her death — oh drink, vile miserable curse of humanity, demoralizing agent, when will there be a stop put upon its abuse — when will human nature throw off — & escape its influence — Governments build houses for its victims & yet encourages its sale & derives a revenue from its consumption – & its effects, what volumes I alone could fill of the many victims of intemperance that have come under my own observation since my sojourn in the Gold Fields, few would credit that half the population work & toil for no other recompense than the pleasure attached to drink which their labour affords them the opportunity of indulging in. I used to have a mate that on dividing our weeks earnings on a Saturday afternoon would make the remark, "look sharp boys & lets aget across the creek before dark, so that we may get drunk before its too late", poor Ned, we left him on Donolly, a few weeks afterwards he suffered from Delirium Tremens & was found dead in the bush with the flesh torn from his bones — & such is the end of many in the bush. My old mate Tom Rudd Ive heard is transported, having been a connected with a bad lot of drunkards & blaguards, he got above honest labour & took to thieving he is now reaping his harvest —


Emerald Co, (the Shamrock) Cuddihy, California Gully

Long Gully, May 1860. Bendigo
Wednesday 23 Very cloudy weather, got to work at last this morning. The shaft is 120 ft deep Im engaged in — the rock requires all to be blasted, the air is very bad gives me a pain in my chest — Mrs. Cuddy is very ill — her husband has been helping me to day but he might as well have remained at home for what work he has done — this evening I went to Halls been giving him & another young friend of mine lessons in Caligraphy. It affords me pleasure to be able to instruct another —

Friday. Very disagreeable weather. Still at work for the Emerald Co, (the Shamrock) have better times than on the Nelson Reef, I have more my own way. I went into Bendigo last night & called upon Hamiltons they were very glad to see me — he has been very ill with dysentry & is greatly changed — I offered him £2.0.0 towards what I owed him, but he got so indignant & would have thrown it in the fire if I had not stopped him, he wont receive it until Im worth £500 a year. I trust he may never require it until Im in the possession of such an amount, however I divided it between Burchell & Harry owing


Shamrock Co’s Claim (the Shamrock), C. Gully, May 1860

them both money — I went to Sandhurst this evening, called at Frazers & received a long letter from mother — all well, my sisters school is improving. Jane is still with her — but mother dont speak very highly of her, says she lounges about & actually puts out her washing Etc twelve months ago she wasnt above doing it herself but she wants to be the grand lady, since she has once tasted the sugared cup of idleness & luxury — I called on Hooper still unwell — his tumour increasing in size —

[Saturday] May 26th 1860. Been very cold to day left work at dinner time in consequence of Cuddy, who had to leave me & attend to his wife, poor creature she is very ill — this afternoon I went up to Mr Hoopers, Mrs Hickey was there, looking better than I have seen her for a long time. I have been reading “Ivanhoe” the best of Scotts Novels in my opinion This evening I spent with a wild lot at Piggotts, dancing & rioting till 11 pm — saw Dave & Joe home, drunk.

Sunday 27th.[May] 1860 Lovely day, rose early did a lot of jobs about the tents read during the afternoon — In the


Emerald Co.(Cuddihy) C. Gully, May 1860

[evening] Ned & I went to Bendigo. I met Isa — what an age it seems since I saw her last, she accused me of coldness & thought I wished to give her up Etc – I swore I loved her dearer than any object in life. I summoned up courage enough to tell her how Im situated & what folly what madness it was in me to continue feeding my flame & hoping under such auspices as mine for a consumation of hopes that I saw no prospect of being realized. Isa wept & I sighed my sorrow. I was very sad, & she angel as she is poured such balm & comfort into my soul by sympathy & hopeful trusting spirit, that she loved she didnt deny, & would always do so, whatever time may prove or do for for us. I released her from any thing like an engagement — she may consider herself bound to me by, & for the future we are to be but as very dear friends — but while of she is single & I ever in a position to maintain her respectability I vow never to look on another woman with eyes of affection — it was late when we parted, I more deeply in love than ever my mind in a strange bewilderment

Monday 28th [May] 1860. I rose early this


Emerald Co. (Cuddihy), Ellen Cuddihy death, 27th May 1860.

morning & got to the claim at 7 am – waited some time for Cuddie, not coming, I went to his house or hut & was shocked to find Mrs. C. dead, having just breathed her last, poor Cuddie he is in great grief, I remained with him all day & assisted in the preperations for the funeral. W.Frear was tried & acquitted this morning, he left Bendigo at once with an unenviable conscience. I went into Sandhurst this evening with Burchell went to the Theatre, saw “Winters Tale” playd the principal characters being taken by Mr & Mrs R.Heir — 12 when I got home. I wrote to mother during the afternoon & sent her £1.0.0 —

Wednesday 30th May 1860. Wretched weather — rainy & cold — I have not been to work, but have been very busy – I went into Sandhurst yesterday with Ned & bought a cart load of packing Cases, which we intend to build a hut with, having given up the idea of building a stone one. Harry Ned & I have got it nearly finished. I dont suppose I shall live much in it for I anticipate getting on the Nelson Reef for constant, shortly & it will


Nelson Co (Nicholls) C. Gully, May 1860

be too far for me to walk to work —

Hamilton yesterday gave me a ticket for Mr Hitchers course of Lectures, his first was last night, the subject being the search for “Sir J.Franklyn” I met Isa at Jims & we went to hear it — it was very interesting. MClintocks voyage was the principal feature of the lecture his discovery of the Relics Etc — I went to Cuddys claim this morning just to keep it from being jumped — while there Mr Nicholls the under manager of the Nelson Co called upon, wants me to go on for a few days on the Dam — I dont like where I am at present engaged, so I purpose starting in the morning

Friday 1st June 1860 — Beautiful weather I have been hard at work on the N.R the past 2 days. I went into Sandhurst last night met Isa by chance, took a walk to Hamiltons spent the evening there very pleasently, singing. Isa sings very well she has a nice sweet voice & sings with great taste & feeling — knows such a quantity of lovely little songs — Jim accompanied us, as far as Kings after paying his portrait Gallery a visit


Nelson Co (Nicholls) C. Gully, May, June 1860

I hurt my hand yesterday & I fear it is going to fester, been very sore to day & the work Im engaged at dosn’t improve it, using a hammer & drill all day. I went to Mrs Hoopers this evening & she good soul commenced at once to doctor it, Ive got it poulticed up at present

Sunday 3rd June 1860. Lovely weather I did not go work yesterday owing to my hand being so sore & painful, I assisted to shift our tent in the morning & help to put a roof on the new hut — I intend to board at Drews in California Gully (being near my work) next week, the new hut is too far to walk night & morning, being bound to time, finished the outside of our hut to day, in the evening Burchell & I went to Church but took a strool about Sandhurst until the service was over — we spent an hour listening to a lady playing a piano at a house — she sang & playd beautifully. I could peep into what seemed a drawing room, nicely furnished & how it made me long for such a home what a contrast it presented to the miserable wretched hovels Ive spent


Nelson Co (Nicholls) C. Gully, June 1860

the last 10 years of my life in — well who knows a time may come when I may possess such a home — the nice fire blazing in a grate, the curtains, easy chairs & sofa, the piano — & various luxuries & conveniences — appeared so perfect, strange I should have such thoughts on such a spot, for I once was camped in a hut built of boughs 8 years ago on that same spot, where now stands the best house on Bendigo -. We got to the Church just as the people were coming out, met Isa — we took a long walk together, our agreement of the other night was forgotten, for we were together, as formerly — & have promised to meet her on Wednesday night —

[Friday]8th June 1860. Having finished my job on the Nelson, last Monday I went to work again with Cuddy. I dont intend working in his claim again I cannot get my money from him, he owed me £5.10.0 I bought some canvass from him about £3.0.0 worth but I can ill afford to lose the rest. I commenced to board with Mrs Drew on Monday morning. I pay her 27/6 perweek washing included. Im very comfortable


Nelson Co (Nicholls) C. Gully, June 1860

Tuesday evening I called at Hoopers. Mrs H I thought was rather cool toward me & I accused her of it — it appears those cursed reports about Minnie & I, that I thought were buried in oblivion, at this length of time, has reached her ears. I soon reasoned her out of her doubts — I imagined Id put a stop to them long ago — whatever passed between Minnie & I is only known to ourselves — she is a true & honest wife & since her wedding has never spoken to me but as she might to a stranger — I was very much annoyed, but people are so fond of scandal in this world, if a person has the slightest blemish on them its soon made into a large blotch

Wednesday I went into Sandhurst & called at the hut on my way. Ned had recvd a long letter from Mother, all well at home, Edelman had returned very suddenly & had vanished again taking Jane with him — I went to Hamiltons, found Isa there — spent a couple of hours very pleasently. I happened to state there was a Dance at Thorpes "Imperial Hotel" California — Jim on the impulse wished to go, the ladies would not go but had no objection to allow us to go I did not care about going, but was


Nelson Co (Nicholls) C. Gully, June 1860

induced to accompany him. I did not think it right to leave them, but Isa agreed to remain with Mrs H. so we went — got there about 10 pm & danced & flirted till 4 am next morning, when we adjourned to Hazlitts store (a friend of ours, another wild young devil) we had a supper of salmon & eggs & other dainties, which we prepared ourselves. Jim slept with Dave I went to my own bed at Drews, close by — Jim left after having breakfast with me

Sunday 10th June 1860 Nice weather — I managed to get some of my money last night from Cuddie, paid my board, wrote to mother & sent her £1.0s.0d. I spent the evening with a fellow boarder, Andrew Smith who has a Chemist shop opposite to Drews he is a nice young fellow — clever & well informed, rather an improvement on the general run of my acquaintances – After breakfast this morning I went to the hut or I should say the tent for the hut is not finished, they are all living in a little 8 x 10 feet tent — I washed a flannel shirt & some socks — had dinner with them — after which J.King & his sisters Isa & Mary paid us a visit


Nelson Co (Nicholls/Froggart) C. Gully, June 1860

the hut is only 1½ miles from Sandhurst so its convenient. I was ashamed to ask them into such a hole — but they were too well bred to make any remarks about it – we showed them about the gully, how the dirt was puddled, cradled & the gold seperated from mother earth, all which appeared to interest them — we had tea together on the grass, under the shade of a gum tree, just outside the tent — Isa & I afterwards took a quiet walk for some two hours or so such happy hours — I was very loath to leave her — Burchell & Ned accompanied them into Sandhurst I returned to my new domicile, & now for bed & dream of her who night & day fills my soul — how absurd such notions would appear to me if uttered or experienced by another —

June 13th 1860 Beautiful weather — I went to work for the Nelson Reef on Monday morning. Im the handyman at present doing every kind of work I dont much like it, but its better than being idle. I think I am on now for constant. Tuesday evening Hazlett & I went into Sandhurst, called at Frazers & received


Nelson Co (Nicholls/Froggart) C. Gully, June 1860

a letter from mother, all about the same.- We went to hear Mr. Fletcher lecture on what is known of the "Interior of Australia", it was intensely interesting, his discriptions & accounts of the adventures of the several explorers was very good, the subject just at present is one that is filling every ones mind! the Govt. being employed now in fitting out an exploring party to cross from Victoria to the Gulf of Carpentaria — I met Mrs & Mrs Hamilton there, quite well, promised to visit them on Thursday night —

June 15th 1860 Lovely weather the last two days. I went into Sandhurst last night met Isa, took a walk met J.Hamilton who insisted upon me spending the evening with them, which we did most happily & sociably, had supper, 11 when we left 12 when I parted from her — 1 next morning I before I got into bed, I felt very happy, blessed with the love of a dear girl & such as Isa is, & the friendship of Hamilton The Nelson Reef is looking very lively about 50 hands at work, two engines & crushing plant in course of erection



The blacksmith & I are the only wages men on the ground & do just as we like —

17th Saturday Nice day. Our manager went to town a few days ago & has not returned so I didnt [get] my wages paid to me, another disappointment. Its certain but inconvenient to wait sometimes, for Im in debt. I went to Hoopers for about an hour, the old man still lingers, he was telling me how unfortunate he has been the last few years induced to leave a good home & business in Cape Town to try & make a fortune in this Golden Country, he thinks heaven has cursed him & his family for his covetiousness. I spent the evening in company with Andrew Smith, conversing upon a variety of subjects. I called at Cuddies for the money he owes me but could not get any from him

24th June, Lovely weather — A week since I last wrote my journal. Ive been engaged all the week, helping our Blacksmith & Engineer, at the forge — making Iron Cages bolts & Bars, Nuts & Screws — picks, gads & hammers — Tuesday night I went into Sandhurst, called at Frazers found a letter there from mother, all well she received some Newspapers from England, found some penciling



of fathers in one, in which he states his business is not paying — I think it was very foolish of him commencing something he knew nothing about in an old country, in the midst of so much Competition — I remaind about half an hour at Frazers, Lockey & I went to Hamiltons, remained there till 11 pm spent a pleasent evening — late when I got home having nearly 4 miles to walk. I spent Monday night at Hoopers. Minnie was there quiet & modest as ever — looks as if she had a world of sorrow on her mind & I believe she has according to her mothers account of her domestic trials — Wednesday night I spent with Ned & Harry. Froggart came from town & paid me my wages, after I had paid my debts & sent my mother £1.0.0 I found myself in sole possession of a solitary shilling

Thursday night I spent with, A.Smith very jolly — Friday night we went to hear one of the candidates for the mining board give his opinions on mining matters, Mr Lane we know him well, he is deaf & has a sniffle in his nose, very amusing the jokes that passed on the occasion at his expense



1st July 1860. Weather very fine, On Tuesday I finished at the forge & was put to the windlass of the New Engine Shaft, where I have to work 12 hours a day & the hardest work I ever did in my life. I get 10/- per week more wages for it — but I hear it is to be reduced — I did not leave the gully during the week except last night when I went into Sandhurst called at Frazers found a letter from mother enclosed in one from my father, that had been forwarded to us by Aunt Hartley of Halifax — he writes in poor spirits, having had no returns from his business, my poor father must be very sad & lonely 16,000 miles from his family, amidst strangers & unsuccessful in his pursuits. Mother is also in poor spirits my brother Fred is confined to bed with Scarlitina, she misses his wages small as they are it paid her rent, Ned sent her a £1.0.0 on Monday. I purpose doing the same to day — I am afraid Cuddies money is a bad debt — He has ran away, leaving a great many debts behind him — I thought of getting it to day — for Ned & Harry have bought a puddling mill for £35.0.0 they



are to pay £10.0.0 down the rest in 3 months so if I could have got a few pounds for them it would have helped them, my fortnights wages were all spent before I got it, having bought, boots & clothing I was in need off & sent a £1.0.0 to mother. Last Monday a concert was given at Thorpes for the relief of an unfortunate family. I was solicited to sing. I promised very reluctantly, however I sang twice & was encored on both occasions. I surprised myself, I felt as if, I could sing to any height & with so much ease — I have since been solicited to sing at two other places or concerts that are to take place on Sandhurst I have neither the time nor the inclination to devote to such things, so was compelled to decline the honor. I received a kind little note from Isa on Friday she had not seen me for a fortnight & thought it very cruel – she spent the day at Hamiltons. I shall try to see her this evening at Church — I go on to work to night at 12 oclock (I hate night shifts) 11 pm. Went to Sandhurst calling at Forbes, Hamblys & Hoopers on my way from there went to Neds



had tea with him, they have bought the machine, had to borrow the money, I hope they will make it pay, they hire a horse to work it at present. I went to the Albion with a friend had a drink remained with him until Church came out — met Isa & Mary King, the former was very glad to see me we took a walk for a couple of hours, & enjoyed ourselves — I was sorry I had to part with her so early, but she knew I had to go to work she accompanied me home to Drews I put her in a cab — being too far for her to walk back —

3rd July. Tuesday morning just returned from work, tired & wretched, the nights are bitterly cold & to be stuck at the windlass for 12 hours through a cold winters night is no joke, last night it rained very heavy, & having no shelter, got wet through. I have not felt very well the last two days. I feel very feverish & have a fearful headache — I shall to bed directly, Ive had my breakfast

7th July 1860. Saturday. I have been very ill since I last wrote confined to my bed



for three days, got quite delirious with fever the effects of a cold. I feel very weak — but much better. I found my appetite this morning so I shall soon recover. I took a little walk to the works to day, saw Nicholls — who told me he will find me an easy job for next week, until Im strong enough to resume my post at the "Shaft" the loss of 5 days wages will be a serious things for me. I intend to try & walk as far as Neds, he did not know I was ailing until this morning, Isa, dear angel, came to see me twice & sat & read for me like a dear creature she is —

8th July Sunday Wrote to mother & sent her £1.0.0 Received a letter from her & one from Fred enclosed in it was a note from Mary they are all ailing from influenza, a universal complaint at present, Fred sent me two pieces of music — Mother wishes I was living with them, not more so than I do myself

[Sunday, 15 July 1860] 16th July 1860. Nice weather. Im happy to state Im getting strong & over my attack & with the exception of a cough — dont



suffer from its effects. I went to work on Monday morning, doing light jobs, about the place — Froggart finding I can write gave me some office work to do. I dont think I should like to be stuck in an office all my days. I would prefer robust labor perhaps its through never being in one, I went to see Ned yesterday, they did very well last week, paid what they borrowed.

I had to go to work this morning at the Engine Shaft bailing water, from 11 am till 6. pm — I dont like working on Sunday its miserable seeing people going & coming from Chapel — & pleasuring Etc & have to stick at a windlass labouring away, but necessity knows no law — if the water was not kept down it would rise & distroy the shaft & it is costing about £20. perfoot to sink it, it is the finest shaft in Australia I hear or will be when its properly lined & finished — I suppose we shall get a days pay for our days work After tea I went to Hoopers, Minnie was there quiet & cool as ever. Mrs. H. told me that the reports I alluded to — had reached



Hickeys ears, & he was grown quite jealous of me — damn peoples prattling tongues I wish Id the slitting of them

22nd Nice weather but far from a pleasent one for being on the night shift, all the week & still suffering from a severe cold. Ive taken a deal of physic lately, had I taken Shakespears advice & thrown it to the dogs — I believe I should have been better than I am I went to see Ned on Tuesday, he had a letter from Mother — all well — I wrote to my sister Mary to day & also to mother — After dinner I called at Hoopers had a long chat with the old man, upon the immortality of the soul — he has some strange notions about the subject that I could not entertain. On leaving him I went to Neds hut for a time, went into Sandhurst, called at Hamiltons had tea with them, Jim & his wife talked to me very seriously about Isa made it out I was doing her an injury by continuing my addresses to her — for it appears Isa has several admirers & I hear from them that one has proposed I met Isa this evening at Church, & I made her answer me if such was the



case, she said Id no right to point her duty out, if she had liked the man she would have had him. Im very sorry I ever knew her, she wont marry me in my present circumstances & I told her I saw no prospect of improving them & if she wanted a home, not to think of me again tho god knows it will be long ere her image & my love for her is effaced from my heart my love for her is such, that I would be happy to see her so with another who could justly appreciate her, as I do I would willingly bear the sorrow, such an event would cause me, without one pang of jealousy. Ive tried to school my inclinations by reasoning upon the absurdity of such a passion, but philosophy stands a poor chance, when it comes in contact with, Cupid. I walked home anything but a happy man — the only way to break the charm that binds us is absence — Ive thought so long, but I & J. think Isa the same, lacks the firmness

Ive been reading my old favourite “Lallah Rook” this week — with sundry other such like matter that seems to add fuel to my flame Ill get some heavy works on scientific subjects & see if it wont prove in some way an antidote to my passion or folly.



29th July 1860. Im still at work on the Nelson Reef, the shaft is stopped, 12 hands were discharged. I, of all the wages men, was kept on, along with the blacksmith, Harvy we get along first rate. Im getting quite a "Smith" can make & mend most anything in the iron line — I was very glad to be kept on, for work is very hard to obtain owing to so many of the public companies turning out failures — Tuesday I went to Sandhurst called at Hamiltons, met Isa there purely by chance, they were all going to hear a Fletcher, lecture. I was easily induced to accompany them, but owing to Fletcher being indisposed, the lecture was postponed I returned with [them] & spent a pleasent evening as usual, singing & reading. Jim has an excellent library. I went to the new Theatre at the Shamrock last night, finest place on Bendigo opened with a good company Ned was with me. I received a letter from mother also, which I answered to day & enclosed £1.0.0. Ned has been very ill all last week but Im happy to state hes got over it. I gave him £1.10s.0d to assist him in paying off his debts. I went



into Sandhurst this evening & gave Hamiltons a few pounds towards paying off what I owe him I got £1.0.0 from Cuddies partner, last night, very unexpected. I dont suppose Ill ever see the rest of what he owes me —

On leaving Hamiltons I walked into the township & who should I meet but Isa by chance — she was bound for Church, but instead of going, we took a long walk & found a nice little spot & with her cheek rested against mine, the hours slipped by so quickly, 11 when we parted, 12 when I got home, I feel no inclination for sleep

[Sunday, 12 August 1860] August 10th 1860. Twelve days since I continued my journal. Im still at the Nelson working hard as usual the Machine will soon be finished

I received several letters lately, one from my sister Mary that didnt please me — one Mr. Davis seems to be the leading idea that pervades in in it, no allusion made to mothers struggles & difficulties, or a particle of sympathy, poor girl, I must not be too hard, for she is very young & I must say thoughtless. I trust as she grows older, she will improve.



I had the honour of recvg one from my brother Fred, full of matter, but destitute of sense, with the exception of Jane Edelman & her doings — of which he gives me in detail, & his private opinion of Mr E. which is not a very exalted one — Mother sent me a long letter full of troubles, a list of her debts & how she has been pressed by Sutherland for his £5.0.0 Im bewildered to know how she is to get out of her difficulties. I assist her to the utmost of my power & can do no more — my poor mothers proud spirit is sadly humbled, having to put up with so many humiliations It was a most unfortunate event my father leaving England & then to abandon his family, as he has done & God grant it may be for the best his ways are inscrutable Last Saturday night I went to Sandhurst, where I met my brother Ned, he is doing very well with the new machine lately. I trust he will be more fortunate



the coming week. We went to the Theatre together, being very crowded & a very indifferent company performing we did not enjoy ourselves much. On Sunday afternoon I had tea with him, Burchell & I went to Church. I was disappointed at not meeting Isa — we called on Hamilton coming home remained with him chatting until 10 pm — Isa had paid them a visit the day before, she was well & had enquired after me. It seems a long time since we met, I walked home alone — I enjoy my own company sometimes, best, it is very pleasent to commune with ones own thoughts, on such occasions more ideas revolve through my brain than at any other

I went to an amateur Concert on the night of Thursday week, they did some portions of the “Messiah” very well, but they were best up in the secular portion of the entertainment — a young man named Newton Clapham sang very well, he has one of the finest tenor voices I ever heard — I joined a Quadrille assembly this week, we are



[to] meet twice aweek at Thorpes, it will cost me about 5/. a month — they are very sociable jolly affairs & knowing everybody in the neighbourhood, who attend it, makes them very pleasent

I went to see Hooper on Wednesday I fancy he is a little better, I went into Sandhurst last night, met Ned knocked about with him talking over our very brilliant prospects, untill 9.30 when I jumped into a cab & rode home did not get to bed till past 12 Mrs Drew had some friends visiting her & I was invited to join the party I rose early this morning (Sunday) & went to the hut 1½ miles from this found Ned & his mates sound asleep got some clean linen & returned spent the rest of the morning in writing & reading. I purpose after dinner visiting my friends, the working man[’s] visiting days on the diggins, a man has very little inclination for going about much during the week after returning from a hard days work.



[page torn out]

Bendigo A c d bef af & w C & a v u ? e ? f ? of

? ? ? ?



[page torn out]



[Continuing Wednesday, 15 August 1860]

in sorrow, I more bewildered than ever & very much embittered at Mrs Hambles Hamblys conduct, I went to Kings the following night, [Monday] (the first time for many months) they made me very welcome, & Isa was delighted. We sat together in her little room for hours, chatting away & very happy, the clouds of the night previous had vanished and we lived in the present once more -. last night Tuesday we went to the Dancing Class for a few hours. [Sunday, 19 August 1860] 20/7/60.[19th Aug] Lovely weather, Summer beginning with its clear skies & sunny days, such as only can be experienced in Australia. Things were looking very dull where I am at work, but some three days back Mr Nicholls & I while examining an old drive in one of the claims found a little thin rim* of quartz, which on inspection turned out to be auriferous, we set in a drive & found it got thicker & in breaking down the stone found some splendid specimens, some of



them fairly encrusted with gold. The Manager has put on about 20 men who are raising the stone, the proprietors are in good spirits & are asking absurd prices for shares. I pity the buyers, for Im sure its only a small patch Ive had too much experience in quartz mining not to know the difference between a spur & a Reef as it is generally supposed to be. I received a long letter from Fred on the 17th. all well, had a letter from Father very little news in it, Mary did not like the form of my last letter to her I trust she has more sense than to despise advice that I meant for her good I answered Freds the following day & enclosed a pound Stg in it for Mother I had a visit from L.Frazer on Thursday he left for Melbourne the next morning & I sent a message to Mother by him. I went to see Mr Hooper last night poor old man he looks very ill, Mrs Hickey with baby was there, on leaving there I joined Smith & Hazlitt spent the evening in my tent, singing, joking, Etc had supper



& seperated about 12 — 9 am this morning when I arose, paid Edward a visit, he had just recvd a letter from my mother, & enclosed in it was one from my father to her — nothing important in either — Spent the afternoon at Hamiltons had tea, Mrs. H. was very civil, I did not forget to let her know that her illnatured remarks had not escaped my memory — she pleaded zeal for me as an excuse — I let her know that I cared little for anyone who meddles in my affairs, my own judgement with regard to my own feelings, I thought sufficient for their guidance. After tea I called at Kings Isa & I took a short strool together, very quiet arrived here at 9 Pm, tis now 12 [Sunday, 26 August 1860] 27/7/60 Nice weather on the whole Sunday, what a blessing is the Sabbath & yet how ill spent it generally is by diggers, working & slaving all the week their minds & bodies appear to be worn out, its usually spent in reading (Novels) smoking & lounging



about, the married digger appears for the sake of his family to be a little more particular & goes to Chapel once a day at least. Tuesday night Smith & I spent at G.Fowlers, he has a pretty cottage, & possesses an harmonica, & being a good musician he is good company, he is a gentleman & is liked by all who know him, we spent a pleasent evening, learning a Duet, “What are the Wild Waves Saying”). Thursday night I accompanied Smith, Dowding & Hazlitt to the Theatre to see Mr & Mrs C.Holt perform a piece of their own, called “Court & Stage” their acting was good, but his reputation would not increase were he to depend upon his dramatic productions — we hired a cab to bring us home, & through kicking up such a row, by singing laughing Etc we frightened the horse & had a very narrow escape for our lives — I recd a letter from Fred on Friday all well at home, informs me that mother (most wonderful to relate) had recvd per mail a draft for £8.0.0 from Father. It assisted in lessening the debt, mother



has incurred in Melbourne since his absence

Last night I went into Sandhurst & not meeting anyone I know I went into the Theatre & was rather surprised to see my brother Ned, setting in the Boxes as large & grand, with the Miss Kings. I soon joined them, enjoyed ourselves well, On leaving them at home I walked out with Ned, had some supper with him, 2. OC this morning when I got to my tent, Late when my bed & I parted company this morning. In the afternoon went to Neds, found a young man named Henry Dight there, who has just arrived from Melbourne, he is an acquaintance of Freds, & knows our folks well — he is a carpenter & has a long job on Bendigo before him, to assist in making the Sludge channel[1][2] from the White Hills to Huntly he seems a nice young fellow — I left about 4 pm & walked about Sandhurst till 6 –“- & called at Kings, accompanied Mr. King & Isa to Church, after the service, Isa & I took a pleasent walk together. Great excitement has been caused on Bendigo, by the report that the Exploring party consisting of 14 men



& 26 Camels, bound from Victoria to the Gulf of Carpentaria headed by Ohara Burke was within a few miles of Bendigo (Lockwood) nearly everybody that was able to raise a vehicle or conveyance went to see them but all were doomed to disappointment for the said party are some 30 miles off in quite another direction — I wrote to my Mother this morning & enclosed £1.0.0 [Sunday, 2 September 1860] Sept 3rd [2nd] 1860 Beautiful weather, but rather warm. Still at work for the N. Reef working underground in a shaft 200 ft deep all the week, driving in some very hard sandstone, with ironstone veins running through it, have to work very hard to do a fair show of work — there are three of us in one drive, we manage to put in about 6 shots a day, 2 of us use the hammer while one turns the drill, & after a shot, one man wheels the mullock to the mouth of the Shaft, another squares up the drive while the other usually climbs up the shaft & heaves up the mullock to the surface.

Monday night I went to Sandhurst called for Isa & having an order for the Theatre, went to see "Ambition" playd



Tuesday night I went to Hoopers, left about 9. pm came home & dressed, for the Q party, fine company there, wound up with a good supper 3 OC next morning when I left, felt very seedy next day.

Wednesday evening I walked into Sandhurst (3 miles no joke when ones tired) called at Hamiltons, met a Mrs. White there, an aunt of Mrs. H. (I met once before at Eldreds) I dont like her, her husband Mr W was one of the intimate friends of fathers who assisted in sending him to England she was pleasent to me, but I had an instinct feeling which told me it was assumed Jim & I left them & took a strool about Sandhurst, had a fine lark to- gether, went to Freemans Pastry Cook shop, flirted with a couple of waitresses most ardently, 12 oclock when I got home precious tired, through not having my proper quantity of sleep the night previous. Nature wont do to be abused, she makes one suffer for plunging into excesses, Thursday & Friday night remained at home reading a variety of stuff. Last night Saturday, Ned came over & had tea with me, & having a shilling



or two each — left from our extravagance, we walked into Bendigo & visited the Theatre saw Holt in "Macbeth" I liked him in the character, the Lady M was a most miserable attempt, (Mrs. C.Holt) she is just tolerable in Comedy & thats all — Raining hard all day spent the morning reading & writing, after dinner Smith & I went to G.Fowlers, several musicians dropped in & what with the instrumental & vocal, we had a Concert several there being the leading musical men of Sandhurst, late when we broke up — after spending a pleasent day

[Sunday, 23 September 1860] 25th [23rd] Sept 1860 Three weeks since I continued my journal want of inclination, for I cant complain of want of time for its not been so very much occupied after work hours. — Im beginning to look upon keeping such an uninteresting journal as mine is as pure waste of time, but having kept it so long Im loath to discontinue it, it serves me as a thing of reference — & a time may come when it may afford me pleasure to look over its pages, on looking over it now it brings up many associations that I would



otherwise have forgotten, Sundays being my “day" I shall commence by noting how Ive spent, to a Professing Christian, not well — but to me very pleasently, for Ive spent them with her, who is as dear to me as life itself, my own sweet Isa, last Sunday not being well she came out to see me. I showed her over the Nelson Reef Works had a pleasent walk about the ranges in the neighbourhood, had tea together in my tent provided so nicely by Mrs. Drew — walked into Bendigo together called at Hamiltons, rather late when I got home, this morning I had a fine walk through the Bush about 9 miles to the Whip Stick Scrub to order a lot of sawn timber for the Company, had I been on pleasure I would have enjoyed myself, but being on business, I did not, such is the perversity of human nature — We have been very busy on the Reef lately, but had a holiday on Friday in consequence of the ceremony of christening the Engines. Mrs. F- did the thing cleverly with a bottle



of Champagne, one of the Engines is now called the Trafalgar, the small one (16 horse power for winding purpose) the Nile, Nelsons two great victories, its generally admitted to be very appropriate nearly everybody in the neighbourhood got drunk, there being plenty of beer & eatables provided, Mr F. gave me preference of any job I liked about the works. I chose the Crushing machine feeding & washing out, the hours are very long 12 hours a day & every alternate week night shift. I fancy it will be more healthy than working under ground. Friday night a party of us went to hear an old favourite of mine Barlow the little wonder, he is the most versatile genius I ever heard of has an excellent voice, either for comic or sentimental songs, can play most every instrument, in fact can produce music out of anything

Ive received 2 letters from mother since I last wrote, answered one seems days back & enclosed 30/. in it. Mrs. Drew was confined of a boy early in week



[My] friend Frazer came from town a few days ago & brought up a parcel from mother & gave me a long a/c about those at home — Etc I wrote to her to day & sent her £1.0.0. Ned is not doing much at the machine Im afraid they will get into difficulties if things dont mend with them I gave Ned £1.0.0, so Im pretty hard up myself just now, I paid him a visit this afternoon & found Isa & her brother John there, passed the afternoon very pleasently, walked into Sandhurst with them in the evening, left them rather abruptly in consequence of the coach for the Gullies coming by at the time & not feeling disposed to walk out I jumped up — & so got home early. I forgot to state I wrote to my father last week, I wonder if he will answer it, Query —

October 2nd [Sep 30] ]1860. Weather very unsettled Been raining hard all day, much to my annoyance & disgust, for being Sunday & a day I look forward to with so much



pleasure. I had promised to meet Isa & Ive been disappointed. I entered upon my new job on Monday morning, & have got sick of it already, what with the long hours, & the attention & anxiety attaching it, my very soul & body gets weary, 12 hours work amid the din of the Crushers, can’t hear myself speak doesn't suit me — Im told I shall get ac- customed to it. Im afraid not — I managed to go into Sandhurst, Wednesday night, called at Kings, Isa was alone, & what with singing, reading some beautiful passages from some poetical works she has, & delightful conversation, such as only those that love can understand I spent some four hours — She gave me a splendid portrait of herself (Batchelder took the day — before) I never saw such a perfect likeness of anyone as it is) wont I prize it. It was 1 am next morning when I got to my tent, I receivd a letter from Mother, all well, she had, per favour of a passenger X "Gt Britain" receivd a parcel from my father, containing 12 *Sovereigns some religious works, & drawing books for my sisters. I must be thinking



of going to bed (6 pm) for Ive to be at work by 12 OC tonight, next week being my night shift

October 7th Nice weather during the past week. Feel tired & knocked up, after my nightly labours. I cant get enough sleep in the day time, my nature seems to object to the unusual mode of making day into night. I did not go out of the Gully during the week, until yesterday afternoon, (after spending the whole of the morning in bed) when I went into Sandhurst partly on our Managers account & also to make some purchases for myself in the shape of a new Sunday Coat & hat & gloves) arrived back by 6.OC went on to work until 12 pm to finish my week. Rose this morning at 11. am after dinner, I went over to Neds hut, we walked into Bendigo, called at Kings, found nobody at home, at least none of the young ones, rather disappointed heard they had gone early in the morning with a large party (picnicing on a Sabbath rather objectionable) to Axe- dale, I dont think they will enjoy themselves for it has been a wretched



day, drizzling rain & high winds —

We got wet through coming home going a considerable way towards cooling my passion, what with the rain & the disappointment of not seeing Isa, however Ive been spending the evening in the company of Gibbons in the shape of his "history" — its really splendid. Im passionately fond of Ancient history — I wrote to mother since my return & sent her £2.0.0 My brother Ned giving me 13/. towards the sum —

[Sunday, 14 October 1860] Oct 15th [14th] 1860. Wretched weather & to crown my misery a wet Sunday Tuesday night I went to the Kings met Ned there passed a jolly evening laughing over their last Sundays spree Wednesday night I spent at Hoopers the old man is worse — Friday night I went to the Theatre, met Fowler & Murdoch, after the performance we rambled about Market Square fell in with an old acquaintance a pretty woman, I used to know on Dunolly & Ararat, she used to be with or accompanied Madam Barre or take part in that ladys classical



entertainments the "Poses Plastiques" we had supper in a snug little parlour of an Hotel, didnt get home till 3 am next morning — last night I went to Happy Valley to assist Mr Halley, our new Superintendant on the Nelson Reef, to bring his things to Mrs. Drews, where he is going to take up his quarters, the little Ive seen of him I like, however — being tent mates, I shall know him better ere long. I went into Sandhurst this morning per invitation to dine at Kings, had a fine dinner, after which Isa & I took a walk out to Neds hut he provided tea for us. I was obliged to leave early & come home to try & get a little sleep before going to work at 12 oclock to night — I dont feel inclined to sleep, but if I dont I shall suffer before morning — I forgot to mention that Ned received a letter from father, I wonder if he intends honoring me with one —

21st Oct 1860 Alive & kicking which means in polite parlance (I suppose that Im in the enjoyment of good health & spirits — George Drew (who takes the



the opposite shift to me on the "Works") & I have arranged the division of our labour, different than formerly — we change shifts at 12 OC. this past week — I went on last Sunday night at 12 & worked till 12 Monday noon — George came on & worked till 12 at night & so on, by this means we both get 6 hours of the night, the only objection I have to the arrangement, is that we only get one evening to ourselves in the fortnight. Yesterday Saturday my week ended at 12 (noon) Spent the afternoon in bed so had the night to myself, I dont go on to work till Monday at noon — Last night I went into Sandhurst, visited the Theatre left in disgust at the close of the first Act met Ned & Dight— & J.King, knocked about till 1 this morning, honouring nearly every place of amusement with our presence for a short time, Dance rooms, Free & Easys & Concert Rooms — Rose late this morning & had a long chat with Mr. Halley (my new tent mate) he is a clever man – was a member of the Andersonian Institute (Glasgow where he was in business as an Engineer but through the failure of an extensive Steamer firm, whose boats he had fitted up, was the cause of his failure, there



are several Engines in the Colony, made by him, with his name on them) I may consider myself very fortunate in thus being so connected with such a man — he is exceedingly modest in his manner & simple in his habits — a true philosopher, but a man who possesses a deal of energy & perseverance — he has been very unfortunate in the colonies, fitted up a large crushing plant & extensive machinery on Blackwood with Mr Froggart, which ruined them both & now they are both engaged in conducting the works of the Nelson on fixed salaries rather a drop for them — Mr H. is very kind to me always willing to instruct me & in such a way that he makes me feel Im doing him a favour, by relieving him of a portion of his knowledge

After dinner I went into Sandhurst & called for Isa, took a cab & brought her out here, showed her over our works & the lions of the Gully, had tea together & had a pleasent walk afterwards to her house — after resting a little time we again sallied forth, sat down on an old favourite spot of ours in the Camp Reserve where we told our tale of love over again, 10 OC when we parted, 11 when I got home I received a letter from mother on Tuesday, in which she informed me she had received a legacy from England £17.0.0, it paid some of her debts) I wrote & sent her £1.0.0



California Gully Oct 1860 —

28th Nice weather, Summer setting in Monday morning I went to Mr Hoopers he is no better, went to work at 12 — & done nothing else since, except reading a little. I think it very hard we should have to work six, twelve hours a day, right through the week, while all the rest only work 10 & leave at 4 pm on Saturdays, one thing our work is not hard, but very tedious & monotonous & requires a deal of attention, we are also out of the sun & rain the machine we attend being under a large Shed — Im afraid I shall get deaf the Stampers make such an infernal noise, George Fowler called for me this morning, to go with him to the Church in Long Gully. Ive been several times before I did join the choir but had not time to attend the rehearsals — but whenever I go I usually enter it, George & I were the only males there this morning, so we had a fine opportunity of displaying our vocal powers some very nice young ladies there but have wretched voices. I intended going into Sandhurst this afternoon but the weather is not very agreeable & I was afraid If I went, I may be induced



to remain, & having to go on to work to night at 12, it wouldnt do to neglect the sleep I require — 4 o'c now, so into bed I purpose tumbling at once My brother Ned & J King I see coming along the road. Ive just told Mrs. Drew to tell them Im asleep & must not be disturbed, what a wretched way to pass ones life —

Nov 4th 1860 Weather very hot my weeks works finished yesterday Saturday 12 O.C. so I dont go on till 12 tomorrow. Tuesday I received a long letter from Mother & also another from Fred full of Town talk, all well at home — my sister Mary quite got over her attack. I wrote to Mother this morning & sent her £2.0.0 I spent Tuesday evening at Kings, saw Isa she was glad to see me, we are trying (or Im doing so) to be but as ordinary friends towards each other tho’ somehow or another on making our adieus, our lips come in contact as by an irresistible impulse that recognises no law but that of inclination

I was introduced to a Mr. Edwards of whom Ive heard Isa speak about a young man that came from Scotland



in the same ship with her & her father (who came out alone, only lately tho not Mrs K. & the rest of the family arrived) & I believe they became attached to each other, & would have been united, but he led rather a dissolute life after his landing she had not seen him for near 4 years & now he springs up, I hear a reformed man, he has a contract or is employed by the Contractors for the New jail on Sandhurst. I feel a little jealous, but if he renews his addresses, I wont stand in his way, for Isa & I broke our engagement mutually, & I dont care what she does, if she is rendered happy

My brother Ned has made his acquaintance & being room in his hut for another he has allowed Edwards to live with him I dont like the fellow somehow an instinct makes me think he is not what he would like people to think he is, I dont know what to call it (a want of sincerity, is the nearest definition I can think of. I could never think such a man could supplant me in Isas affections I went into Sandhurst yesterday evening, & called at Kings took Isa to the Theatre late when I got



to Neds where I slept for the night but came here to Breakfast, spent the morning reading. In the afternoon I went to Neds, J.King, & Isa called immediately after, spent the afternoon very pleasently, had tea there & in the evening Isa & I took a walk found ourselves at length seated on our dear little spot in the Camp Reserve, as loving together as if we were to be married in the morning making ourselves (this is on reflection) more miserable than ever — 11 o'c when I got home, nearly 1 now, poor human nature how weak & frail under temptation after all our resolutions to again be guilty of giving vent to passions that under our circumstances should be subdued. Its very fine old folks talking, but where two young impassioned natures meet, away flies philosophy and reason in connection with the hearts affections —

Nov 11th 1860 Lovely weather still at the Nelson Crushing Machine been a reduction in the wages but I am happy to state, not in mine



Im getting 5/. per week more than the other men on the ground, there being more responsibility attached to my situation, last week about 2,000 oz of gold passed through my hands, we are crushing for the public (not hav’g stone of our own) we had some stone from the Johnson Reef that realized something like 40 oz per ton I got away from work last night at 7.30, instead of 12 pm, owing to some derangement in the machinery

I went to see Mr. Hooper, poor old man he is much worse, his belly is getting a fearful size, owing to the tumour increasing — Minnie was there with her baby the prettiest child I ever saw. This morning I wrote to Fred — & read till dinner time. In the afternoon, I went to Hoopers had a chat for an hour with H. he speaks very despondingly, but thanks God for sparing his life so long, from there I went to Neds, Edwards was there & tolerably pleasent. We three went into Sandhurst



& called at Kings, Edwards & I stayd tea — from his manner towards me seeing Isa prefer my conversation to his, Im sure he hates me, at times his features bore a most malevolent expression, however I took no notice of him or his looks & spent a very pleasent evening, the 12 pm now, time for bed, if the machine had been all right I should have to go on to work instead of going to bed, as it is, Im to be there at 6 in the morning

Nov th. 18th.1860. Weather very warm summer set in, in all its intensity — Been hard at work, getting horribly disgusted with my job at the Machine such long hours & the work is so monotonous, not a soul to speak to for 12 hours, to one with a temp~ like mine, possessing an active mind & fond of excitement, such a life as Im leading would kill me soon Ive no time to go into company If I do its at a sacrifice of rest when I do go out that I dont derive much pleasure. For instance I left work at 12 on Friday, midday after 12 hours



hours labour, & went to bed at one & slept until 6, had my tea & went into Bendigo & took Isa to hear the Oratorio of the Creation (it was done very credibly by some 50 per- formers, all amateurs & I enjoyed it very much), 11 pm when it was over, had to make a hasty adieu to Isa & walk home 3 miles, had 10 minutes to change my clothes & get to work by 12 & did 12 hours work — so where was my pleasure! I was so sick & exhausted on leaving work yesterday noon, I threw myself down on the floor of my tent, without waiting for any thing to eat & slept till 6 pm on rising I washed & dressed & then walked 4 miles to Golden Square to see Hamilton, (where he is at present living) spent the evening with them gave him £2.0.0 being the balance of what I owed him, tho I shall always consider myself in his debt for the many kindnesses he has shown me since our acquaintance



he informs me he has sold his share on the Redan, or Sophia Reef for £700 half cash the rest in 6 months, he has long purposed visiting his fathers home in Scotland, & now he has the means, he intends leaving here in a fortnights times, heaven prosper him wherever he goes — I shall be very sorry at his absence, especially, as he thinks of remaining there — it was 12 O.C when I arrived home

I wrote to Mother this morning & I enclosed £2.0.0 in the letter — After dinner I went to Neds, we went into Kings & in company *with Isa & Mary & there brother John took a cab & rode to Kangaroo Flat from there walked to Allens had some refreshments & visited the "Break 0 day Reef" & rambled about the ranges through the Scrub & Bush, not very pleasent travelling for ladies with extensive Crinolines, got back to Kings by 7, had tea & left at 9 pm — walked home, called at the hut & had a chat with Burchell



Nov 26th.1860 Very hot weather all the week, one comfort I work in the shade, the greatest fault I have is when I have to sleep in the day time in the tent. I find it most oppressing

I left work at 12 Saturday night & slept until 10 am yesterday morn rose & dressed, went to the Long Gully Church, very poorly attended places of worship dont appear very attractive places out in the gullies verifying my general idea about Church goers. I think 19 out of 20 would not go but to see & to be seen the word of God & the salvation of souls is a very ordinary consideration with the majority. On leaving the Church I met my brother Ned & couzin Harry with their horses & drays just returning from the bush with a couple of loads of firewood (query, rather doubtful about the propriety of such Sabbath work the idea struck me & I moralized over it whilst accompanying them



to their hut. I had dinner with them which I prepared myself – quite a novelty to be a cook again after living at a Boarding house so long — after dinner I went into Sand & called at Kings, old folks out, no one at home but Isa, I thought her manner was not as it is usually there appeared a want of consistency about her which to me seemed unusual & strange, sometimes full of her accustomed enthusiasm & at other times distant & reserved I was rather pained by her manner Ned & Harry Dight called & had tea after which I left got home by 7 pm went to bed, & rose at 12, not having slept a wink & feeling wretched & tired, however I had to go to work & have just returned, waiting for dinner — ere I turn into bed again, what a life I received a letter from mother on Saturday all well, tells me she is just 50 years of age, my poor mother, she has led a sad miserable



life from a variety of causes. I would I could render her declining years happier 4pm. I called at Hoopers this afternoon, & I heard there from Scoty that he had met Isa my Isa with Edwards nearly every night last week what can I do or think of such a thing, I was positively savage when I heard it. I cannot believe she can think seriously about him, tho’ now I remember she always spoke most compassionately of him, which I ascribed to her charitable spirit & I feel miserable, my very soul seems torn from me — who can I blame but myself. I must have sickened her with my manner during the past 6 months. I ought to have been prepared for this, yet I could never realize the idea of losing her. I had hoped something would have turned up, that might have given me en couragement to look forward for a happy consummation of our love I cursed her when I heard it. I ought



to have cursed myself for being such an idiot as to find myself on her to have continued our intimacy, when we first agreed to be nothing more than friends. I feel ashamed of permitting my passion getting the better of my judgement, wont I steel my heart, at least, in her presence she shall never know the pang her conduct has caused me — While she was single I would never look at another being, bearing the shape of woman with affection, I dont wish to see her again, but I will & tell her what I think of her

December 2nd 1860. Lovely weather Went to work at 12 last Sunday night — Tuesday night I paid a man to work in my place & I went to Golden Square to bid Hamiltons Good bye — I was rather astonished to find Isa King there, who had being spending the day with them I was very cool towards her I could not conceal from her, that



of Edwards attentions toward her & what I thought about such behaviour had it been anyone else I would not have noticed it, for we have only been as very dear friends to each other the last few months, except at times when we forgot ourselves, she wished me to meet her the following night but unfortunately or fortunately (is a matter for after consideration) it turned out very wet, & she was not at the place appointed — being the first time I ever knew her to break an engagement. I had weighed as I thought every consideration & had come to the conclusion that if she was agreeable we would get married at once — I felt my very happiness for life depended upon it, & was fully determined to risk all consequences – my wages are enough to support us & my brother Ned is out of debt & I think would be able to assist mother, as I have hitherto done But man proposes & God disposes my feeling underwent a complete



revolution ere I returned home — I met Ned about an hour after the appointed time, who told me he had just met Isa & Edwards together going to the Theatre. I thought if she could go there in the rain she might have met me per promise & my feelings were very bitter. Ned & I went to the Theatre & saw them she looked very pale & anxious I thought, as if she had been guilty of committing some crime & was afraid she was being discovered — the play did not interest me much that night I got out in time to go to work doing my work in a most mechanical manner. I went to Church this morning, after dinner called at Neds went with him into Sandhurst. Ned had to call at Kings so I thought Id go in, found Edwards there, I just spoke to Isa, did not stay a minute – took a cab & rode to Golden Square called on Mr & Mrs Hamiltons



spent the afternoon & had tea with them & bade them once more adieus felt very sad at parting with them for Jim is the only man I ever met I feel a truly lasting sincere regard for, & tho we may never meet again, he will ever remain fresh in my heart & memory, he leaves on Wednesday for Melbourne) I called at Kings (on leaving Jims) for Ned (Isa & Eds, out for a strool) – received consolation from Mr. K. & Mary, such as its all your own fault. Isa had told them we had broken off our engagement, & that I had no right to let her present conduct, influence me – Etc — Etc. I feel very lonely, sad & miserable losing my best friend — & the only being I think my soul will ever yearn after – tho’ whatever may turn up, I should never think of Isa again as I have done I would not marry her now if it would save my life, tho I love her still



I wrote to mother this morning & sent her £2.0.0. I will post it tomorrow

9th. December 1860 Weather very unsettled the last few days, been hard at work, visited little, the only thing in the shape of pleasure Ive had, is Mr Halleys Company & Conversation, which I’ve stated before is very interesting. I learn something from him every day, "light my candle from his lamp" — called at Mr Hoopers on Tuesday morning. Old H. is worse, occasionally delirious — Minnie was there & several old neighbours who were very anxious to know when I was to be married. I had to submit to a severe ordeal, they little knew how every word pricked me — I forgive them they meant no harm, Minnie was the only one who seemed to know how things stood, she spared me — & turned the tables upon them — with a pleasent fire of raillery. Mr. Halley & I left the tent early this morning & took a long walk about the Gullys, looking at the Reefs & both being well known, we did not get home till tea time



California Gully 1860 Dec [Sunday, 30 December 1860] 29th.Decr.1860. Three weeks since I continued my journal. Been working away as usual, alternate night & day shifts — passed my Christmas very quietly, X mas day J.Hall, J.Barrow, & I hired a horse & trap & drove down to Huntly, after some refreshments we started to drive through Sandhurst & to Kangaroo Flat, stopping at every public House on the road, the day was very hot, my two companions were drunk by the time we arrived back, after tea I took a cab & went into Sandhurst met Ned at Kings on passing, (Isa out with Edds.) had a chat with the old folks — (I was there on Sunday, but did not speak to Isa, its more than a month since I spoke to her, how strange, who would imagine that this unnatural coolness could spring up between two beings that professed to love each other as we did, what an incomprehensible thing is the human heart)



Walked to the hut with Ned, he has been very ill during the past fortnight but Im happy to state he is now recovering

I wrote to mother a fortnight ago & sent her £1.0.0. I also wrote this morning & sent her £2.0.0. Ive recd 2 letters within this last 3 weeks they are all well at home, but they are disappointed by my not going to see them this X mas, the fact Ive neither time nor means, nobody in the Company’s employ could take my place without a weeks instruction & then would not do the work in a satisfactory manner, & what with my expenses & sending my mother money I find it impossible to save enough to visit them, as I should like to do — I long to see my dear mother & sisters it seems years since I had that pleasure This morning I called at Hoopers, found him still lingering, hardly knew me – on leaving there I went to the hut Burchell was the only one there, had a long chat with him, we went into Sandhurst together, visited the Church at the conclusion of the Service, I met



Mrs Hickey (Minnie), I walked home with her, we are very confidential to each other, she tells me a deal of sorrow & troubles (few pleasures poor girl falls to her lot) & I tell her some of mine I left her at her mothers, got home here about 9 pm nearly 12 Pm now, time for bed —

1st February 1861 A month since I wrote up my journal, getting very careless & neglectful Ive little inclination, the life Im leading is of such a character, that I find Ive little pleasure in noting how my time is spent. I feel ashamed sometimes on looking over these pages to what little purpose Im living for, if it wasnt for that bright star of our existence "Hope", what poor miserable wretches we should be Im still in the Companys employ but not at the same job. Im engaged now, as Banksman or Lander at the Engine Shaft, it is the only part of the works, where any work



is being done at present. The capital is getting low, & they wish to strike the Reef that is supposed to exist on the West side of the Shaft. I like my present job much better than the other I had, the work is not of such a monotonous character, there is some anxiety attached to it, the slightest mistake in the signals might cause the death of those below or injure the machine I have to land the water & stuff as it is hoisted up, assist in repairing the tools & dress the timbers necessary for securing the ground

I have heard from my mother twice once from my sister Mary — & was agreeably surprised at receiving a long [letter] from Jim Hamilton, (who I had fancied was ploughing the ocean near Cape Horn -) he informs me he is settled down in Swanston St. (Melbourne) where he has purchased the business of an "Ornithologist", his family & self are well — how I laughed to hear of Jim turning Bird fancier — Im afraid he wont be fortunate in his new profession, as in his old one he’ll dwindle his money away & then return



1/2/1861 - to old Bendigo again. I wrote him a long letter full of my opinions & advice I dont think he’ll thank me — I wrote to Mother a fortnight ago & sent her £2.0.0 wrote also yesterday & sent her £1.0.0 My brother Ned is still unwell was laid up a fortnight & managed to get considerably into debt. I have been unwell the past week, lost 2 days work, £1.0.0 out of my pocket no joke these times. Ive been to Church every Sabbath evening since I last wrote, met the Kings but never spoke to Isa, until last Sunday when I met Mr. King who insisted upon me going home to tea with him, Isa presided at the table, & was very affable & agreeable smiled as bright & looked as lovely & pretty as ever — I dare say to other eyes, but not in mine I called her Miss King she called me as usual, as if nothing had occurred to distroy the feeling that used to exist between us, what thoughts crowded into my mind during the short time I sat opposite her. I couldnt understand her, she was as calm & selfpossessed



met my eye as steady as a statue — I enquired after Edwards & was told he had not been there for a month I had heard such was the case, & also that his past professions of contrition for past misdeeds was but assumed, — after tea was over Mary informed me that while on Bendigo, he had saved up £40.0.0 with the intention of getting married, he had left them one evening & went to some Gambling Saloon & lost every penny of it, & had left Bendigo for a situation in Inglewood She also told me, that some years ago he was engaged to Isa, when she was a mere child, that circumstances had seperated them for years until they met again on Bendigo, when finding her disengaged, & professing repentance for his past negligence, she was induced to go with him again — Mr. King has a large family & Isa is over 20 & he thought or thinks it time she was married, & knowing I wasnt in a position to unite myself to her, he had advised her to accept Edwards, Mary told me that Isa had admitted to her but a week ago, that she loved me dearer than any object on earth — Mr. K.



knows nothing of Edwards late gamblings & falling off in his promises to reform – poor Isa she must be more wretched than I am — her prospect of happiness with such a being must be small Mary told me that she heard Edwards make Isa promise never to speak to me — how unmanly of him & — so accounts for her passing me without scarcely recognising me — her heart is fairly crushed, & her mind bewildered. Mary made me promise never to breath a word about our conversation. Isa would never forgive her if she knew what she had told me — I have Isa’s portraits which I have long intended to return to her — she has mine which I purpose getting from her —

In one of my mothers letters, she informs me she had received a letter from father, & he was engaged as agent for some Coal Merchant in Lancashire – having given up business on his own account I hope he will be successful but Im rather doubtful, for he is so fond of changes never can persevere or stick to one thing I fancy his must be a wretched life so very far from his family, with no one



[to] comfort him should he be sick or in distress, no home — no sympathy, living with strangers — Im sure there is no one in our family that feels for him as I do — & still Ive been accused of being the most prejudiced against — him, with the exception of my mother Ive have the most to complain of from his treatment but I forgive him as freely as it is possible to do so — It grieves me to know & see how my mother has had to struggle on against so many adversities, working like any common sempstress to support her family, she with her fine mind, refined & cultivated habits & manners & at her time of life seems very hard — how comfortable we might be if Ned & I were living with them, what we earn would keep us very comfortable. Ive no desire to see them on the diggins — nor yet do I see how I could live with them — in Melbourne — God help me Ill try to act a sons part to her, my mother —

Ive been to the Theatre twice since my last entry, once to see G.V.Brooke & Miss Avonia Jones play "Macbeth" the finest acting I ever witnessed in my life There has been another novelty — the March Troupe comprising a company of some 30 girls who play drama remarkably well —



2/2/61 February 2nd 1861 My 22nd. Birthday – how time flies. I dont appear to be getting any better with increasing years, in a worldly sense — Ive perhaps been a gainer by the experiences Ive undergone — I went to see Old Hooper, had a long chat with him, his end is drawing near fast, Minnie was there, she had been on a visit to her mother the last month we are very good friends & often have a laugh over our sentimental days

10th February 1861. Another week nearer the grave — Been hard at work, regular slavery — just now at the shaft, a deal of wet. Ive been working below this week no joke — we are wet through before we get to the bottom of the shaft & then to have to work for 8 hours in water makes one very tired & unfit to go out visiting Etc afterwards — my week finished yesterday at 1 Pm (Saturday) after tea last evening, in company with a fellow workman named Joe Beale I went into Sandhurst, visited the Shamrock or Theatre Royal, saw the Marsh Troup



play or perform the "Sea of Ice" a very sensational drama — on leaving we visited some friends of Joes — not very reputable ones I fancy — didnt get home until 4 am this morning, after Breakfast I went to see Mr. Hooper — he is still lingering what a short step there is between the grave & him, whenever I visit him I think it is the last time. It ought to make one pause in a wicked career & produce reflections on the brevity of life & not to spend it idly or in vain, but to be prepared for that great trial we are sent into the world to bear — Death — so that we may live again in glory everlasting – & not leave the saving of our souls for lifes last moments. Its very seldom such reflections cross my mind. Ive led such a strange life & been thrown into such a strange mixture of good & bad company that Ive acquired habits of free thinking that are not altogether orthodox I fear I take up the Bible & read it sometimes as I would a work of fiction, its truly marvellous morality, I think is very fine but rather Utopian — but still



a religion that all refined minds would adapt to [than] that of any other Ive any conception of. I fancy Christs comforting angel was his own good conscience no Satan tempted him but that which every man carries in his own bosom, his evil passion I think that in the worlds society there are people far superior to others in moral excellence — kind of moral pillars, which I think Christ is the highest, he was one who had conquered himself, which ought & I believe is the object of professing Christians that there was such a being as Christ I dont doubt, & that he was a man in whom was condensed all that was good & elevated in mans nature a kind of demigod who had conquered the same passions we combat, that he had his faults is very possible, but owing to the partiality of his biographers, we have not been shown them — perhaps Ive not read or studied Theology sufficiently to state or have opinions upon the subject but such thoughts flash across my mind until they form into substances — with regard to happiness, I fancy from the experience Ive had, that is to be

Completely changed my views on the subject, (J.H.W. 1870)



had on earth, we must look for it, not in the world, or the things of the world but within ourselves, in our temper – & in our hearts, a kind of spiritualism that I feel convinced belongs to the soul & of divine origin, a feeling or sensation that however depraved human nature may become, will never be effaced —

In the afternoon I went to the Church in Long Gully heard Revd Haywood preach walked over to the hut had tea there then went to hear the Revd Fletcher who of all men or preachers on Bendigo I think I could profit under — if I could get over that unnatural spirit of contradiction that I possess — its a great blemish in any ones character to doubt & endeavour to turn & construe what is good & what in my heart I feel is true into ridicule. After the service I met Mr. King & Isa just shook hands with them & came home

March 10th 1861 Just a month since I wrote last — getting very negligent of late. Still at work on the Nelson Reef the last 3 weeks, all day work — I like it much better, enjoy better health – we have finished sinking the Engine Shaft



220 ft deep. We left a well 8 ft deep & put in a plat[e] & have set in two drives or cross cuts in East the other West — I trust we may soon strike the Reefs – for the affairs of the Company are at a low – ebb — the valuable Crushing plant is standing idle, they purpose making some improvements in it & commence crushing for the Public again — so I expect next week I will have to take my old post again — & give up my present one at the Shaft —

I recvd, much to my surprise a letter from my father, no family news in it but lots of advice, cautioning against the vices young men are so prone to indulge in, sensual enjoyment, smoking, drinking Etc & a long tirade against matrimony my brother Ned had informed him I was courting & so drew his conclusions I think it will be a long time till I think of such a thing as marrying — I got a letter from mother that made me uneasy, my little sister Bessie was dangerously ill, I answered it & sent her £2.0.0 afortnight [ago] Ive heard since from her, that she has quite recovered



I also wrote to her to day & sent her £2.0.0 & as long as Im able Ill endeavour to send her £1.0.0 per week

I heard from Fred sometime back, he sent me some pieces of music — I had a letter from Hamilton last week he & family are well — doesn't state how his business [is] in answering. Last Sunday Ned & I walked to Huntly (or 3 miles beyond there) to see Harrry Dight, — had dinner with him, had a look over the Steam Saw Mills, where he works — took a ramble in Bush shot some 20 parrots enjoyed ourselves very much walked back to Huntly, where Harry introduced us to a young lady, a friend of his, very pretty, & I fancy that is all can be said in her favour, she is evidently an adventuress & is making a fool of Harry, who she wants to erect her a place — she purposes opening a library, in connection with a shanty I advised him to cut her, the acquaintance will do him no good — she invited me dinner (next Sunday (to day)) but Ive had no intention of going too far for a joke — we were very tired when we got home, tho we rode half way —



I went to a Ball three weeks ago at the "White Horse Hotel" a grand affair I went to the Theatre last night with Joe Beale, did not come home till this morning 9 am — This afternoon I went to Hoopers, he is still alive, Mrs H. was in great trouble, Scoty who lives with them broke out on the spree again & got into a deal of trouble, from there I went to the hut, Ned away had tea with Harry & Burchell, after which I went to Church, called at King’s to return a book Ive long had of Isa’s I did not stay long, she looked very *nice It would not do [to] visit there much I am getting weaned of my passion for her tho Im leading a very different life now than I did when I used to keep her company Company & scenes I frequent I dont care about referring to in my journal, in after days may be a reproach, tho thought of them is sufficient, without putting such things in character I was very happy & far more virtuous and morally inclined when she was my only companion than now — Ive somewhere heard or read that there



is nothing in human life more amiable & respectable than the character of a truly virtuous & lovely girl, as man will acquire a better moral tone by keeping such company, if he is so fortunate in falling into such — I rode home tis very late — when I commence to write, I dont like to stop, sometimes) [Sunday, 17 March 1861] March 18:th 1861 Weather very hot during the past week, the diggers are in great want of water, many of puddling and Crushing Machines, are stopped working & many men out of work in Consequence

I have not been well this past week owing to a bad cold & working such irregular hours. We have been laying down the pumps in the Engine Shaft I went to work on Monday morning, left it at noon & slept during the afternoon, had to go on at 6 Pm & work all night & so on all the week, in the day time we get down the pipes, & at night have to bail the water out Tuesday I went to Hoopers — Im getting tired of going Mrs. H. quite bores me with her recitals of her sorrows — not but what I can sympathise with her, but she seems to have stored them up for my particular



edification whenever I visit her.

I have received no letters since I last wrote — I commenced what will be a long letter to Father, which I intend to send by the next English Mail

My brother Ned paid me a visit this morning & remained to dinner, there machine is not very well, it cost them so much to have to hire 2 horses & dray they have bought a horse & cart of their own last week, its not quite paid for but they hope to be out of debt in a fortnights time. I went over to the hut to see the horse, he looks satisfactory

We went into Sandhurst, visited the baths had a bathe, met J.King, accompanied him home, Isa away on a visit had tea, Mary is getting a nice girl what a change there is in her since I first knew her — went to Church had a long chat about Isa — left her about 9. Pm took a cab & rode home.

April 7th. Three weeks since I last wrote up my journal, nothing particular to note — finished laying down the pumps so there will be no more night work for the Banksman — but unfortunately Ive lost that job, not through any



fault on my part, but one of the Engineers is to be dispensed with & he wants employment & as he has not been accustomed to any thing like mining, there was no job he could take except the one I had where the only qualities needed is steadiness & a knowledge of preparing timber, a kind of rough carpenter — Im shall be engaged at the crushing machine helping to prepare it for work.

Ive not been about much since my last, afortnight ago I went into Sandhurst, met Minnie & walked to her mothers with her. I went to see her father, he looks horrible, I never saw such an unnatural sight in my life, wasted to a skeleton & yet his belly is an enormous size presenting a shocking appearance

Last Sunday, Ned & I went to Huntly to see Dight — two other young men were there, friends of Harrys who had just come from Melbourne & were acquainted with my brother Fred, at least one of them Ned Rowitt — a smart little fast sort of a chap — who seems to have a vast amount of consequence I always play humble pie to suchlike



beings. I make a harvest of fun out of them by humouring their conceit & vanity. I can say he’s a decent fellow but having lived in a town all his life I fancy from his manner, he looks upon us country or bush bred youths, as somebody to patronise. I like to meet there sort a[nd] take a little of there arrogance out of them in a quiet manner — late when we left them, with a promise to meet them last night at Abbotts Theatre, or Dancing Saloon — we met & spent about 5 hours in the most reckless manner, in company of a lot of the lowest characters on Bendigo the place is well patronized by all classes, Lawyers, Clerks, Tradesmen & diggers mixing with the most abandoned beings of both sexes — 12 OC when we parted company 1 this morning when I got home — felt disgusted with myself this morning, headache from the excitement & smoking cigars — I dont know how those that drink must feel next morning — I always feel seedy after anything of an unusual nature — Im fond of pleasure &



amusement & generally get it in whatever form I desire it — but I always avoid excesses, most young men seem to plunge headlong into it, distroying health & wealth in the pursuit — Im wild & reckless when frequenting such places as I was at last night — but on leaving them Ive no desire to return to them — many I know are quite the reverse, the more they go the more they want to go —

I wrote to Isa last week (& returned her portrait) I stated my object in doing so was that I had no desire to preserve anything of one, whom I had been so cruelly deceived in, that had professed such love & confidence in me — & not without cause — for I acknowledged she was the only being I ever loved or could love in this world with the same pure emotions, & I was sorry to find that she one whom I thought was peerless – could have abandoned herself to another in such an impromptu manner, was unworthy the love of an honorable man & from her conduct the last 3 months it was very evident her professions of regard for me, were but feigned I concluded by hoping we should be



friends for the future to each other & trusted that at any time if it was in my power to be of service to her, she would employ me – Etc — I wrote it on the impulse of a moment, my heart seemed to go with it. I would have given anything for the likeness & better again — its contents must have caused her sorrow for after con- -sideration I dont think she deserved my reproaches —

I received her reply next day – which I shall copy to the very letter —

Dear John Henry — I never fully realised that all was indeed at an end between us until my portrait was returned to me, it has been a severe trial to me, & none the easier to bear that I have in a great measure brought it upon myself, but while I own that I have been greatly to blame, still I am convinced that were you thoroughly acquainted with the combination of circumstances that have been the painful cause of our separation, you would think – I have been more sinned against than sinning — There is one portion of your note to me, which implies a doubt of my having ever entertained any affections for you — you seem to believe that while



feigning a sincere love for you — my affections in reality were bestowed upon another; but in this you do me a cruel injustice, from the commencement of our acquaintance, until very very recently, you possessed my undivided love & never in all that time did I, in thought word or deed, prove unfaithful to you

With regard to the party whose it is unnecessary to name — I have merely to state the fact that for more than two years previous to his/my arrival on Bendigo we were strangers to each other, in accordance with my Father & my own wish. I then ceased having any communication with him —

You will naturally expect me to return your portrait, in fact it was for me to take the initiating step in the matter but I had not the courage to do so I hope you will not insist upon having it returned, let it be a pledge of friendship between us. Should the time ever arrive for either of us, when to retain it would be a crime, I will then return it to you. I thank you for your friendly good wishes, it is the greatest consolation, that I can have under the circumstances, that I may



still look upon you as a friend, I trust that when circumstances will permit, you may find one better calculated to make you happy & more worthy than I would have been to be your companion through life — I find I have written at greater length than I had first intended & I will now conclude with a hope that you will not become a stranger to us, my father highly esteems you & you will always be a welcome visitor at our house with kindest regards to you Dear Johnnie for the present adieu, Isa —

Many would suppose this a very nice note, but oh! Isa it breathes of deceit, what can she mean by a combination of circumstances, a man whom she professed to abhor, & whenever he shows himself she rushes into his arms — & yet Ive heard they are parted for good again perhaps: to judge from a part of her note she wants me to renew the attack Ill go to there place while Im welcome but no more love passages, thats past

This morning I visited to see Ned In the afternoon I went with Hazlett to see the Devonshire Reef, where he has a share — came home by 3 O.C



& wrote to mother sent her £2.0.0 did the same a fortnight ago — no news from father by the last mail. I received a a letter the other day from Fred, giving me an account of the pleasures he & others enjoyed during the Easter holidays — he & my sister went to the Volunteer Review at the Werribee, a most amusing a/c he gave of the affair, what with the rain & bad railway accommodation & other inconveniences

April 14th 1861 Lovely weather — till to day when it commenced raining, wish it would cease. Been at work in the Smiths Shop all the week, making Cages (or helping) for the Engine Shaft. Tuesday night I went in company of several others to E.H. Gully with the intention of joining the Volunteers, however after reflection I came to the conclusion I had no time night & morning to walk a mile to be drilled so did not join — Its a very popular movement & reflects credit on the community for taking such an interest in it —

Wednesday evening I went to Sandhurst visited the Atheneum. I often go there a kind of a debating society. Last night I went to the Theatre, didnt get home



till late. Spent the morning reading — In the afternoon went into Sandhurst to witness the Confirmation Ceremony – some 60 people were confirmed (many in my opinion confirmed sinners). I knew several, Minnie was one, after the service I met her & her brother Bob with Burchell walked home with them, got wet through

April 21st Weather beautiful — Been erecting a "Whip" on one of the Shafts at the Nt end of the Claim, to hoist up stuff with — 7 hands were discharged last night, things looking blue, no sign of the Reef yet — Spent my evenings reading, with the exception of Tuesday when I witnessed the rehearsal of a drama, some very aspiring amateurs are going to produce at Thorpes. I went into Sandhurst as usual last night, called at Hoopers on my way, went to the Theatre & was surprised to see Mary & Isa King in company with Edwards come in take seats near me. I just bowed or returned their salutation, & at the close of the first Act — I shifted my



quarters — 12 when I got home -

This afternoon, hearing there was to be a grand funeral in honor of a man who was killed on the Victoria Reef named Matthews — Hazlett & I went to the Cemetary (Long Gully) the deceased was an Oddfellow, a Forrestor & Freemason & to crown all was a Volunteer & being the first to die, he was buried with Military honors — 7000 people were supposed to be present I dont suppose 99 out of every 100 ever heard of the man before – the roads were like a fair vehicles & footpassengers crowding every where to see the show for such the procession was — while waiting for the funeral in the Cemetery, I saw one of the prettiest girls I ever saw in my life, doing what I termed to Hazlett, a meditation among the tombs, he left me with the intention of meeting the procession & while leaning over a fence, the girl came up & enquired if I could show her the foreigners Burying ground — rather a strange question, but I offered to ascertain for her — we walked about some time over the ground without finding out — the crowd



began to increase, so I offered her my arm which she accepted, found her far more attractive than the show — She was an Italian & so beautiful, she might have sat to Murillo for an ideal – Madonna — I pumped her but to no purpose, I couldnt get out of her where she lived or what her name was — our parting was as strange as our meeting we were walking very leisurely along the road leading to the White Hills, when a buggy passed by with a gentleman in it, he stopped & just said "get up" when before I could speak we shook hands & she left me in a moment. I was quite bewildered, I felt as if an angel had left my side & disappointed & cross I saw the vehicle drive away at a rapid rate — immediately after, I met Miss Sayars, (an Undertakers daughter) a pretty girl, but oh what a different style to the little foreigner who had just left me — had a chat with, & left her very abruptly for standing by I saw Isa King & her brother John — I spoke to them



Isa was very affable & friendly — the funeral being over, I got a cab & we three went into Sandhurst, accepted Isas invitation to tea — I dont know what possessed me, that after what has passed I could be so free & easy with her — I met Ned there & after tea we all went to Church, & returned to their house, did not stay long — Isa & I hadnt an opportunity of a quiet talk —

I wrote to Mother this morning & sent her £2.0.0 — Received a letter from Fred during the week, & enclosed in it was one from Mary —

April 28th.1861 Nice weather — At my old job "Banksman" again at the whip, tho I was engaged the fore part of the week on business, had to visit Sandhurst very often on behalf of the company — Mr Hooper departed this life last Sunday night the 21st. inst – a post mortem examination was held on the body, & it was stated that if the disease he died of had been properly treated he would have lived for many years — Cancer of the Liver he died of — I have



been to see Mrs. H. whenever I had time she is in a poor way, poor woman — I was sorry I could not go to the funeral but Mr Froggart could not spare me — Hooper was an Oddfellow so he was buried with some Ceremony, all the funeral expenses paid, & she received £20.0.0 from the Lodge — Dave Hazlett & Hannon Stewart & I went into Sandhurst last night, knocked about Pall Mall, saw everything worth seeing — then visited the Theatre, came from there & went dancing got home by 1 this morning

Last Monday night I went to an amateur performance at Thorpes — passed off very well — at the conclusion there was a ball & supper — to which I stay’d — I had only just time [to] change my clothes & swallow my breakfast before going to work Tuesday morning. I did not rise till late this morning, read till dinner time when Hazlett called & we went to the Anglo Reef to Stewart tent — he is a nice young fellow — Ive known him some time & we are very intimate Hennen is his proper name, but he



came out a middy in some ship of Greens & bolted away for the diggins on his arrival & turned gold digger, he has not been a very fortunate one — something like myself – but he is vastly my superior in intellect always studying, he purposes going in for some profession, but first wants to get a some money together, we passed a very pleasent afternoon together, looking through a microscope & stethoscope he possesses he returned with us & had tea together at Mrs Drews — after which we rode into Sandhurst, went to Church met the Kings introduced Stewart to them passed a pleast evening at their house, Isa & I rather shy time I was in bed – 12. OC.

May 5th 1861 Been nice weather the last week. Working very hard but for- -tunately all day work. Monday evening I attended a meeting at Thorps for the purpose of forming an amateur Dramatic Club — in connection with our Debating Society — about 20 young men joined — Thorpe promised to expend £30.0.0 on fitting up a stage & scenery in his large public Room — our object is for the



the sake of amusement & to aid the Charitable Institutions on Bendigo

Tuesday night Mr. Hally & I went to hear the Revd Dr Cairns, lecture of the Observance of the Sabbath. Its a subject that is causing much controversy among the clergy at present. A Melbourne minister Revd I. New has published a pamphlet in which he wishes to prove there is a differance between the Seventh & the Sabbath Dr C — is his opponent on the subject so the subject of the lecture was the basis of the argument I would like to know more of News side of the question, before being decided on either side. I left with a good opinion of the lecturer, as a good sound reasoner — Wednesday night Dave Hazlitt & I went to a Temperance Meeting, heard some good addresses on the subject delivered by members of the T. Society

Thursday night I paid Mr. & Mrs Welstead a visit spent a pleasent evening there singing Etc, Mrs W. plays the cornet well Mrs. W. is one of the jolliest women I ever met with, there was a very pretty girl there to whom I was introduced



— Miss Lay — rather affected in her way, thinks women dont get half eno[ugh] attention paid them, as they are entitled to I intend having some fun with her, when I have cultivated her acquaintance more Welstead made me a present of Two pretty songs — which I purpose learning

Friday night I paid my brother a visit, he had just received a letter from Mother — enclosed in it was one from Father. I have not read it yet Ned having it in his possession, nothing fresh — the same old story — all well —

Saturday on leaving work I went into Sandhurst, met by chance my Cemetary acquaintance, had a long chat with her she would not allow me to follow her or accompany her home — I would have done the former, but some acquaintances came up at the time & I could not shake them off — one of them once was a clerk in a large house of business here who knew the girl I had been speaking to he seemed surprised that I knew her, & it was only with some trouble I got out of him what he knew concerning her which rather surprised me — his old employer was a Wine & Spirit Merchant



& speculated considerably in vine growing in the colony, he went to Europe & brought out with him a man who understood the management of such things — the man had a daughter, this very girl – who ere they landed in Victoria was an orphan — her father having died on the passage — leaving her an easy prey to their patron, who turned out to be a pattern of everything unmanly, for after seducing her he abandoned her, or next thing to it, he set her up in a small Cigar shop in View Place, Sandhurst — & while keeping it was confined of a child, that died some weeks back — he doesn't know what she is doing at present, but thinks she is being kept by her seducer again who I know well — he is a Justice of the Peace in the neighbourhood of Bendigo & a member of the Presbyterian Church & is married — I believe that tale for the man in the buggy that she left me to join — was no other than the J.P.

After making a few purchases in the clothing line I returned home early &



what is very extraordinary without visiting a place of amusement — with the exception of calling into the Albion to have a glass of something — where I met Warden Anderson, (a nephew of Sir Henry Barkly the Governor of Victoria) with whom I made acquaintance in a singular manner, reflecting very little credit on either of us — he is a young man, a wild reckless dare devil that will come to no good, unless he changes —

Sunday. I went to Eagle Hawk Gully this morning to hear the Revd Mr Henderson one of greatest humbugs I ever knew & to crown my dislike of him & his church while feeling for the smallest coin I could find in my pockets to put into the "plate" I lost a pound note — did not miss it till I got home — I remember seeing a piece of old paper on the floor of the pew, but I never dreamt about it being my lost money. I at once returned, but could not find it – somebody had taken it up — I was very much annoyed, for I wrote to my mother this afternoon & as usual I



send £2.0.0 — but I had to borrow a pound from Ned to do so (who can ill spare it, being in debt & having to meet a Bill shortly) stayd tea at Neds where I found Harrry Dight & several other acquaintances — Went to Church (in Sandhurst) & heard Mr. R.Fletcher on the conclusion of the service I met Isa King alone — had not much difficulty in getting her to take a short walk — sat down on our old spot in the Camp Reserve, talked about old times, but avoided the future it was a melancholy pleasure to be thus thrown together again, she would not permit me to make any freedom with *her, our lips just met at parting — I can write no more whenever I allude to her I get into a peculiar train of thought & feeling that unfits me for anything else —

[Sunday, 12 May 1861] May 13th.1861. Nice weather up to friday night, when it came on to rain & blow & no signs of it abating. Hard at work on the Reef



nearly losing the number of my mess on Tuesday. We had put in a shot at the face of the drive & fired the fuse & stood in the shaft waiting for it to go off — no signs of it going I entered the drive to see the cause — when just as I got near it it exploded blowing out great lumps of rock, which had they struck me who killed me at once [but] with the exception of a few bruises & losing my hearing for two days — I got off very well, it was looked upon as one of the most extraordinary escapes that ever occurred, in mining — by those who have been miners all their lives, my fellow workman was sure I was killed & before venturing into the drive had climbed up the Shaft & got quite a crowd down — I was quite stupid when they found me, it is an awful feeling to be so close to death, never shall I forget the agony I experienced for a moment on finding the fuse burning so close to the powder & not have time to turn round —



Monday night, I attended our first rehearsal, we have a drama called "Still Waters Run Deep”. I would only only venture in a very light character where I say some dozen lines, & have to do a little pantomime business Tuesday night, tho’ rather sore & bruised & went to E.H. Gully to hear Mrs. Warne deliver a lecture — I have alluded to her before — I was introduced to two of her daughters, very different beings from the mother — light & very frivolous in the manners & conversation would not have the slightest objection to go to a Ball or the Theatre if they only had the chance & were allowed how often is it we find clever peoples children usually very unintellectual I think the mind is exhausted in their progenitors or else they devote so much of their time to the public & their own minds advancements that they are overlooked or neglected —

Wednesday attended Rehearsal again Thursday night, I went into Sandhurst met several acquaintances, was induced



to go to the "Royal" saw the Marsh Troupe in their farewell piece – coming home, (with some neighbour-) we visited the Quartz Miners Arms where there was some dancing going on, & meeting some more we knew we were tempted to remain till 3 am Friday morning — felt very loath to go to work next morning — Saturday night raining heavy did not go anywhere, spent the evening with Mr Halley reading & conversing — This morning I paid Hoopers a visit found Mrs. H. ill in bed, did not stay long, read all the afternoon — & after tea, went to the Wesley Chapel at the back of the tent — just came home

[Sunday, 19 May 1861] May 20th.1861 Lovely weather after the rain. — Im working at the North claim again "landing” a billet — I like the work is not very hard, & being near the roadside I see everybody passing, so Im always in company. Monday night I went to Thorps — assisted in enlarging the Stage & doing other things connected with the production of "Still Waters" —



Tuesday I went to Bendigo for a walk called at several tents on my way home Wednesday. I went into Kings where I had promised to meet my friend Burchell (who left Bendigo enroute for England) his relations at home hearing of his ill luck in Australia have sent money for him to return — he purposes studying for the Medical profession, he has an Uncle in practice near London. Im sorry he is going in one sense, for I always found him a sincere kind, good natured friend & companion the only acquaintance I had since Hamilton left, that when I was in sorrow or low spirited I could open my heart to in confidence Some 20 persons came to bid him adieu 12 oc when we parted — he left Bendigo next morning by the 6 am Coach for Melbourne Thursday evening I spent with H Dight he went to Melbourne (where his parents reside) on Friday morning, wanted me to go with him but I cant well afford the time or money, tho I know the change would do me a deal of good —



Friday night — the amateurs met, when it was resolved to put off the play, until the 29 inst. in consequence of the illness of Mr. Thorpe & the difficulty we have had in procuring lady professionals, the Bendigo ones are under engagements, we have sent to Inglewood 40 miles distance for two, it will be rather expensive, but the public mustnt be disappointed Saturday (pay day) I went into Sandhurst in the afternoon, made a few purchases — called at Kings for Ned — (who is always to be found there) spent 2 hours there, very pleasently, left & went to Abbots had some coffee, then walked home —

This morning I went to hear Mr Henderson in E.Gully, (didnt hear anything of my lost pound) tho, he preached about the talents. In the afternoon in company with Mrs. Hooper & Scoty — I went to the Cemetery to see Mr. Hs grave — left her there & Scoty & I went to see some friends at the "White Hills" & had tea there I had to hurry back — as I had promised Mr. Halley (the Engineer of the Nelson) who was away to get up steam & start



the Engine for him, after putting on a good fire I went to Sandhurst — met Isa coming out of Church, she walked out some distance with me when we parted, she told me she was engaged to Edwards, a long time previous to our acquaintance, but she had a presentiment she would never be married to him, or if so would ever be unhappy. I left her very abruptly promising to meet her early next week — I feel Im not acting honorably in thus renewing an intimacy fraught with so much unpleasentness — 11 pm I have just returned from the Engine having pumped the Shaft dry, so as to allow the men to go to their work below — the Shift commences at 12 O.C-

26 May 1861 Fine weather — Been hard at work, not only on the earth, but on the Stage — Our Dramatics Manager is a strange card — we pay him a Salary of £3.0.0 per week simply for 3 lessons a week on



Elocution & to instruct us in the business of the stage — he offered to take the leading character in the coming performance, & now just at the last moment he refuses for some trifling reason to play — and as the public expects great things from our performance it will make us look so ridiculous to make a mess of it, not one of the company would undertake to learn the part at such a short notice, from Friday night to Wednesday, I was induced to try it — it was 11 pm when I got it & before I went to my bed I had committed to memory nearly perfect 100 lines. I had a rehearsal this afternoon & went through 2 Acts perfect its no joke for an amateur to learn the language of the principal character of a 3 Act play in such a short notice — I hope the fellow will return & take the part — I may learn the words, but alas! for the acting, it will be a Burlesque

I wrote to mother last Monday & sent her £2.0.0 I went into Sandhurst last night, called at Kings, for Ned he is like one of their family) I went



from there to the “Lyceum Theatre“ & heard the Lyster Opera Troupe perform “The Bohemian Girl“ its a lovely opera & the two leading singers Squires & Escott sang most beautifully. “Remember Me” by the former was rendered most exquisitely, his voice being a light sweet tenor, not great range but his falsetto is the sweetest & best cultivated I ever heard — Madam E. has a fine powerful voice (sophano) & sings with great taste & feeling – they are not well supported — their Bass, Farquhason not being well was unable to appear — I walked home with a friend named Howard a nice fellow & very clever — he was one of the French commissioners at the Exhibition of ’50 — Remained in the tent this morning studying my part — afternoon had a rehearsal — This evening I went to Mr. Croxtons Church (Sandhurst) met Isa — we took a long walk together — 10.O.C when we parted —



California Gully 1861

June 2nd 1861 — Weather very changeable, plenty of rain the fore part of the week.

Monday and Tuesday evening, had a rehearsal of "Still Waters”. I had learnt the piece allotted me, knew it perfect when the fellow, returned at the last moment very repentant & offered to play the character of the Captain I danced with joy, tho knowing it, I was sure I would make a bungle of it — Wednesday night the affair came off with great Eclat, under the patronage of the E.H. Volunteers who came full dressed in marching order, with the band, every thing went off first rate, not a hitch or error made during the whole piece, the place was crowded & after its conclusion the forms & Benches were cleared away & we danced till day light — Isa & Mary King were there, so I spent a happy night. The performance was for the Benefit of the hospital, we met on Friday night to settle up, found the expenses far heavier than we had any idea of, so little left after everything



was paid up, we were half ashamed to send the balance in for fear of it being published. Saturday night I went into Sandhurst, met Isa King in Pall Mall & persuaded her to visit the Theatre heard the Lyster Opera Troupe do “Traviata”. there is some lovely music in it, but the two principal vocalists are ill supported, however they did their best. It was 1.am this morning when I got home, & had to rise again at 4.am & assist Mr Halley to make some alterations in the machinery & execute a few repairs, that could only be done while the engine was stopped We finished by 8.am & after Breakfast went to bed & slept — 10.30, walked over to E.H. met the people coming out of Church, walked home with Mrs. & Miss Lay. In the afternoon I went to Neds, had tea with him went to Church (Sandhurst) met my friend J Stewart (or Hannan) after the service, we walked home with



the Kings, remained there about an hour got home by 9½30 pm Jim has just gone what a melancholy fellow he is sometimes & at others mad with excitement

I wrote Mother to day and sent her £2.0.0 — so now to bed —

June 9th.1861. Fine weather, during the week, rather cold in the morning. The weather does not affect me much my work being under ground or Shed — The Stone we are raising I think will pay –

The Bendigo Garrick Club sent our club a requisition inviting us to assist them in a piece they wish to produce next week at the Theatre Royal, we agreed. Im to play a part in "Ways & Means", we had our first rehearsal in the drawing Room of the "Shamrock". I dont think much of the Club we are to assist, with the exception of one or two — I never met such a lot of duffers, one fellow who is to take a leading character, sniffles thro' his nose after the most approved Yankee style, another puppy of a chap, who wishes to be thought particularly clever goes about boasting he doesn't know a line of his piece, nor does he think he



requires to do so until the last moment I was thoroughly disgusted & am very sorry Im connected with the affair. Last night I went into Sandhurst called at Kings found Ned there, we left together & went to see "Neil Warner" in "W.Tell" I like his acting even better than G.V.Brookes in some characters, "Hamlet for instance"

Thursday night I went to a party at Welsteads. Mrs W. & I exchanged clothes in the course of evening, I with the aid of a veil & while dancing outside passed of as a woman. I danced with Murdoch & others who did not discover the counterfeit until I had recovered my regular costume when on mentioning some of the compliments I had been paid, they looked uncommonly uncomfortable & ill pleased — Spent this afternoon reading & writing — In the evening Hazlett, Stuart & Smith & I went into Sandhurst, visited the Church, not falling in with anything we knew in the lady line we took a walk about Sandhurst till late, 12 oc now, time for bed —

June 16th.1861 Weather very unsettled & disagreeable with plenty of rain, making it unpleasent at work scarcely a day occurs but what I dont come home wet through & truly wretched & the work Im doing



must be done whether it rains or no

Monday night I went into Sandhurst had a rehearsal of “Ways & Means" in the Shamrock, after it was over I went to Abbotts Lyceum heard Thatcher sing some of his local songs — 12 when I got home

Tuesday afternoon I took a holiday, the performance taking place that evening & we had to attend a stage rehearsal. I was rather amused at the appearance of some of the ladies (who were all professionals) some whom I had always imagined were so beautiful. I was quite disgusted with them, with one exception, Rose Edouin who is really one of the most charming girls I ever met — I had a long chat with her, got very friendly — she indulged in some fun at our expense (amateurs are always looked upon with such contempt by most professionals) It was amusing to hear one fellow doing the sentimental, with the strong nasal organ in such a matter of fact style — he is supposed to be in love with Nelly (R.Edouin) & tells her he loves her but in such a manner we all burst out laughing, she told him to to throw more feeling & pathos in his language towards her (professionally) & in his attempt to conform to her ideas proved so ridiculous that our merriment was increased tenfold, the rehearsal over



by 4.30. pm, I took a strool, saw the Sandhurst Volunteers for the first time, going through a parade to the great delight of all the children & loafers who had turned out to witness them go through their evolutions, this volunteering as become quite an institution every where — tho a novelty on Bendigo, being but a short time organised — I met Mr. King who insisted upon me having tea at his house — I agreed, met the girls, who purposed going to the Theatre to witness our performance & as they stated to have a laugh at the amateurs, (which they had to their hearts contents) I left them & began to dress for my character at seven I laughed at the changes produced with the application of paint, rouge & false hair Etc I was talking to Wilson for quarter of an hour before I knew who he was, the per- formance wont bear any comment, those who took some of the principal characters were very bad, did not know their parts, & were not well enough up in stage business to discern the audience, the members of our club if not such good actors were better up in their parts & but with one exception, never made an error



or mistake, at the conclusion of the first part I washed & went into the house joined Miss Lay & the Welsteads, when it was over we took a cab & I came home with them, my arm being round Miss Lay waist all the way, the cab being crowded she had to sit in my lap, she is pretty but a little fool & I fear would become an an easy virtue to any one inclined to do her wrong it shant be me — Ive enough sins on my head — The papers spoke very highly of our attempt, but I think the proceeds being so much more than was anticipated prompted the flattering critique. I went into Sandhurst last night, went to the Theatre for a short time, 2 O.C this morning when I got home — the reason it is so late when I get here after being to the Theatre is the distance I have to walk home — for I cant always afford to pay for cab — had to go down the Engine Shaft this morning to repair the valve in the lower lift of the pump, 11. am when I finished. In the afternoon I went to Neds — found my old mate Bill Freer there, who tried to poison himself some 12 months ago he has wandered all over Australia since then



feeling as he informed me like an outcast & a "Cain" continually haunted with feelings of remorse for the idea sticks to him he was the cause of Mrs. Cuddies death, he will soon kill himself with drink, not having resolution enough to withstand its degrading influence, he returned to Bendigo last night nearly starving, met Ned who offered him work at the "Machine".

I wrote to Mother this morning & sent her £2.0.0. I received a long note from Fred during the week, who informs me all at home are well, & that he had received a letter from father, full of good advice, suasians Etc —

June 23rd.1861. Miserable weather must expect it this time of the year, the middle of winter — Im working the whip on one of the North Shafts, getting out quartz for the Machine, which has not been at work for a long time now Mr Froggart purposes starting it again shortly, when I suppose I shall again have to resume my old billet at it — Im informed to day that our wages are to be reduced after next week — Im only getting £3.0.0 per week now, &



that is 5/. per week more than the other men employed on the works get, so if they are reduced to £2.10.0 mine will be £2.15.0. I dont know what to think about it, Im not confidence sufficient to try & get into some house of business store or anything in that line — there is a prejudice against diggers being em- ployed in the way of business, & my knowledge of it is so limited that I should not know how to commence — I bought some days ago Chambers System of Book Keeping, by single & double entry — on looking over it, I cant understand it. Dr. & Cr. & other technicalities was Greek to me until I had them explained however I intend mastering the principle of it — when a man gets to be 22 years of age & after leading a life as mine as been, its very hard to have to commence something so very opposite to what Ive been accus- tomed — Monday night the Amateur Club met — & it was agreed to produce “All that Glitters is not Gold” Friday night we had a rehearsal I think it will be a success — Our Debating Society met at the same time — I had the honor of receiving the congratulations of the members



with a considerable amount of undeserved praise for my essay "on the prospects of the Working Men of Victoria” Wednesday night I went to see Ned found him away & his mates hard at work by moonlight employing a mill of dirt a very customary plan, but one that if I had was working with them would object to, I think 10 or 12 hours a day quite enough to work, & if it would not pay at that Id give it up. I think it is paying very well, they have 2 horses & drays, with a nice cottage & stables & everything comfortable & out of debt. Ned seldom lets me know what he makes & Im afraid from what Ive been told he has an inclination to be wild, he is fond of the Bowling Alley & frequenters of such places always get rid of a deal of money, I have spoken to him about it, but he pooh poohs what I say to him on the subject. Im afraid if he does not give such practices as he is addicted to he will get a confirmed gambler. If I had not broken it off suddenly & been most determined on my resolution, I should



have become one many years ago — I used to think nothing of playing poker – Vantone — Cribbage Etc nightly, sometimes winning £20. & at others losing through sharpers a greater sum — Its a passion that after a certain time becomes incurable — God grant Ned never may come under its influence. Last evening I went into Sandhurst called at Kings in company with Hannan Stewart. Isa has been away on a visit to Castlemaine for a considerable time, & while I was there Edwards rode up to the house having just arrived from Inglewood. I heard from Mrs. K. that Isa & he never correspond, so he met with quite a dissappointment at not meeting her the old folks were very cool to him, he did not remain long, didnt seemed pleasd to find me on good terms with the family again — I dont like the fellow something so very sinister about him — On leaving them I went to the Theatre saw “Kenilworth” (Burlesque) with [left blank] as Queen Elizabeth, he is the finest – Burlesque Actor in the colony — This morning I had to go down the Shaft as usual to let out the air from the column in the pipes. Went to Church this evening came home & started the Engine, been writing this in the Engine house, to while away time



There has been a splendid comet the last fortnight to be seen in the East, it appears very bright about 4. am.

June 30th.1861 Miserable weather, as I expected my wages have been reduced to £2.15.0 per week, it is not only the Nelson Reef Co but every one on Bendigo have reduced the wages. I shall feel the difference for after sending my mother £1 per week & paying 25/. per week for board Ive not much left for clothes & other necessary expenses — I feel it very hard that it should be my duty to have to send so much of my earnings home. I would not mind it if I lived at home & enjoyed its comforts but to do so as I have done knock about the bush & live in a cheerless tent & in such a wretched manner, tends to make me very dissatisfied — I think it a shame my father should have abandoned his family, whatever excuse he may make, that its for our ultimate benefit he went



home to England. I have very little hope of ever being benefitted by relations there if he had never inculcated such ideas into our heads & given us trades or tried to educate us & put us in the way of living in a respectable way we should have been in very different circumstances than we are now, my thoughts are bitter sometimes on this subject, but I usually end by being ashamed of them — I am sorry Ive referred to it in these pages — & will for the future guard against doing so — Our Club met one night, had a rehearsal, I spent a jolly evening at Welsteads on Monday — Last night I went into Sandhurst, called at Kings. Isa is still at Castlemaine met Ned who gave me a ticket for the Theatre, late when I got home Wednesday night I went to a Concert at the White Horse Hotel — for the benefit of a family in the gully, it was a poor affair, something like the Free & Easys we used to have on Ararat & Donolly — I have been very uneasy respecting a letter with £2.0.0 in it, I sent a fortnight



ago, mother usually answers my letters immediately on receipt of mine, & it is this makes me doubtful about it. I gave it to Ned to post, & he informs me he did so — I wrote to Mary to day & enclosed in it another £2.0.0 I trust it will go all right — I spent this morning reading & writing. In the afternoon went to Church (Long Gully) from there to Neds hut, & had tea as usual found it crowded with mighty laughing, joking, card playing & trying to perform Gymnastic feats — I protested against spending the Sunday in such a manner & got laughed at for when I used to have a place of mine own — I was as bad as any of them, after tea H. Dight & I went into Sandhurst Church — he came part of the way home with me —

July 7th. 1861 Weather very unsettled Been very busy getting the Crushing Machine into Working order, purpose to commence Crushing next week, so I will have more night work. We have two Rehearsals of our new piece during the week being determined to keep our character for being the best dramatic club on Bendigo



I am sorry to state my tent mate Mr Hally has left me, having purchased a cottage on the Companys Ground & is living a solitary life — I regret his leaving much — he is such a well informed man I feel Ive been greatly benefited, intellectually by residing with him. I went into Sandhurst last night, did not go as usual to any place of amusement with the exception of visiting Mr. Batchelder a photographer, an old friend of Hamiltons he has a fine exhibition of photographic pictures, that are seen to advantage through stereoscopes. I received a letter from Jim yesterday, he was on the point of leaving Melbourne for England, having given up the Bird shop, not before losing a considerable sum of money) met my brother Ned walked to his hut with him, on arriving home I was informed a sad accident had happened in our main shaft the men on the last shift, whilst putting in a shot — & using a steel tamping rod which striking the fire caught the powder causing an explosion that blew the two men out of the drive, burning them fright- fully, they were conveyed to the hospital at once Im afraid one of them wont recover poor fellows Im very sorry for them, one of them is married & has a large family of young children — I often wonder such



accidents are not of more frequent occurrence

I spent this morning reading. In the afternoon went to the Church in Long Gully met Mrs. & Miss Lay walked home with After I went to Sandhurst Church, after the service met a friend of mine with two young ladies who I also know, & much to his delight relieved him of one, took a pleasent walk till 9 pm, 10 when I got home, changed my clothes & went to the Engine, to start it & pump the shaft dry for the men to go down at 12, found Mr Halley there & cross because I had not come sooner, we had some words both of us being cross at having to come to work on a Sunday evening —

14th.July 1861 Wretched weather — Working at the Crushing machine. Im getting to hate it, the continual noise & clatter for 12 hours a day is enough to drive a man mad, such is the noise that one cannot speak to a person, if alongside of any. I am nearly deaf for hours after work Ive a drumming in my ears that is far from pleasent. We had a rehearsal of All that Glitters Etc last Monday night when we were introduced to the ladies who take the female characters, the one who is to play Martha is a woman



about 35 and anything but prepossessing in her appearance — Im supposed to make desperate love to her — & while doing so I was so struck with the absurdity of the whole thing that I actually burst out laughing in her face, a proceeding very ungallant & ill-bred on my part, & one that caused her much offence – so much so that she was for cutting our connection. Im such an ass if anything tickles me as being ludicrous I must laugh — Ive no power to control it. I saw her home to Sandhurst & we got good friends — found her a regular woman of the world, fine company being an old actress — was full of amusing anecdotes about eminent pro- -fessionals in the same line — her moral principles & such like I found rather low called at Neds on Friday — not at home) Saturday night went to the Theatre Raining hard all day so I spent it in reading a variety of literature —

[1861-07-21-Sunday] July 20th.1861. Raining nearly every day more or less, making things more wretched than they are. Monday night had a rehearsal, Tuesday night the



16th. our performance came off before a crowded audience firstrate for amateurs at the conclusion of the first piece, my name being on the programme to sing a solo, I did so, singing a song from the “Opera of Maratana” “Let me like a soldier fall-” very few had heard it before & being (fortunately) in good voice, I was encored. I began another, but the house was so clamorous for the same one over again, that I had to sing it. I found it very hard to put the spirit into it as I did at first — at the conclusion of the entertainment the place was cleared & we finished with a Ball some 150 people being invited we broke up at daylight. Friday night I went to see Ned he had received a long letter from father full of good advice, but little family news — I wrote to Mother last Monday & sent her £2.0.0. Last night I went into Sandhurst, called at Kings found Isa away — met Ned & J.King & we all went to the Theatre – knocked about afterwards, 2 am this morning when I got home — Been raining all day did not go out any



where, until 9 pm when as usual had to go to the Engine & assist Mr Halley in getting the machinery in working order for the nightmen — I took a short walk in the afternoon for an hour to see Ned, he was away (at Kings of course)

[Sunday, 28 July 1861] July 27th.1861 Fine weather during the week everything looks so nice & pleasent after the late rains. Our Club met last Monday night to settle up the accounts of the last performance, we made the “Sick Club” a present of £6.0.0 from the balance — there was a Quadrille party at Thorpes same night. I remained till 2. O.C Wednesday night I went per invitation to a party at Mr Reynolds, Victoria Reef (a well to do Reefer) about 50 present. I knew most of them, & I managed to spend one of the jolliest nights of my life there what with music, singing, & dancing Etc Mr. R. had engaged the large room of the British & American Hotel for dancing in it was near 4 am when we broke up I was very loath to go to my work next morning being tired and knocked up — Thursday night I spent at Lays — they showed me some very beautiful curiosities they brought with them from Africa



among them & what pleased me most were some lovely paintings, done on a kind of substance resembling isinglass. I had to go again on Friday night for something I had lent them, I dont intend going there often, people are coupling my name & Miss L together in a manner that doesn't please me — I meet her very often at Balls & places of amusement where I sometimes pay her attention but far from being marked — she is a a light frivolus thing that would soon disgust me — nothing pleases her so much as when indulging in a a little scandel (disgusting to me). It was very late when I left work last night, did not go any where, spent the evening with Andrew Smith the Chemist

This morning did not rise till late read till dinner after which I paid Mrs. Hooper a visit found her quite well, got a good blowing up for being so long visiting her from there I went to Neds found him away — had a long chat with my couzin Harry about Ned & family matters he tells me Ned is very extravagant &



ought to have been out of debt long ago, he still owes a small sum about £6.0.0 Harry tells me they could get £60.0.0 each for their share in the machine & Horses Etc. Ned thinks of selling out, 12 months ago they commenced without a penny & now they are earning good wages & possess a good plant Ned has sent very little or done much to assist me in helping mother — I wrote to her yesterday & sent her £1 Ned giving me another to make up for I am in want of several necessaries & was obliged to keep some money by me

[Sunday, 4 August 1861] August 3rd [4th] 1861. Pleasent weather — Ive been unwell lately suffering from a a severe cold, working so much in the rain & perspiring freely afterwards with wet clothes on Etc. Monday night our Club met had a long discussion on a a paltry subject some idiot had started & left in disgust. Wednesday night I went to see Ned, as usual, away, my couzin Harry informs me Ned in one of his queer fits sold his interest in plant for £40.0.0. I think he was foolish in doing so he could have got far more if he had tried —



I dont know what he purposes doing I wished he had kept it, for he could earn wages at it & have assisted my mother, I want to cut my present kind of life. I fancy Im capable of taking a different position than I at present occupy or likely to do if I continue much longer a miner Ive learnt to get tired & in fact disgusted with the kind of company Im obliged to mingle with in my present occupation what I use to delight in rowdy low company low scenes & places Etc. Im sick of & wish to be something different — I must wait my time I suppose — Friday night I went to my Club, it was proposed to give another D. entertainment we selected a piece “Sink or Swim”. I think we will be able to produce it in our usual style. Last night I went to see an acquaintance of mine Fred James — he with some others are getting up an amateur Concert in the shape of a “Negro Band”. I was pressed to join & have selected a couple of songs to sing on the occasion & others of the party dropping in we had an impromptu rehearsal. I was



rather astonished to find such excellent talent in the neighbourhood. James is a host in himself, plays the English cornet & the Banjo & possesses a good rich tenor robusto voice. I think it will be a success, the object being for a charitable purpose it ought to be — I trust my cold will be better before it takes place — Went to chapel this morning

In the afternoon went over to Neds he had just concluded a bargain with H.Inniss one of the Share holders in the machine Ned sold out of — Harry wishing to leave offered Ned the share for £40.0.0 which he bought, so he was a gainer by the transaction, a good more by which means they got rid a partner they could not agree with — We took a walk into Bendigo, went to Church met Mary King. Isa had her kind regards to me from Castlemaine where she still is — on leaving her I fell in with John & Joe Falder some neighbours of mine & very respectable young men walked home together, went to the Engine & got all ready, time for bed after 12 oC —



[Sunday, 11 August 1861] August 10th [11th] 1861. Fine weather the fore part of the week rained the last two days Monday & Friday nights I devoted to the D. Club, The other 3 nights to political meetings, being on the eve of a general election. I voted yesterday for Donovan the popular member who was returned by a majority of 400 votes, I went to James on Thursday night sang our pieces, for the coming concert. The members of the Club I belong to object to my singing at the affair which is to be held at Alexanders Assembly Room a rival of Thorpes where we meet & perform, it comes off on Wednesday while our club performs on the ensuing Monday & it is supposed to [be] an opposition to injure the one I legitimately belong to. I received a letter from mother yesterday, she informs me that while [at] the Theatre Royal last Sunday to hear a clever preacher named J Taylor that on leaving by some back way she fell as I understand down some trap or stairs, injuring & bruising her



very much, I am sadly grieved at the accident but am thankful God in his mercy preserved her as he did from being killed, having had a most narrow escape — Been raining all day. Spent the afternoon at Falders the evening at Welsteads — I am now going to do my customary Sunday night work — set the engine pumps to work — 10 pm —

18th August 1861 Nice weather during the week. Still at the Crushing Machine detest it more than ever Been at rehearsals 3 times during the week. The concert came off on Wednesday night, with great eclat every thing went on firstrate — tho I must confess, I was not in such good voice as I usually am — & whenever I fail to please myself I think I dont please others — after the performance there was a Ball, at which I remained till daylight did appear enjoyed myself very much met S- there we were rather surprised at meeting I thought her in Melbourne & she thought or heard I had left Bendigo, since the eventful night we last met, she’s been married to a very respectable man at Tarrangower,



who knows nothing of her previous life so she hoped I would confine my knowledge of her to myself I went into Sandhurst last night visited the Theatre Royal — met several acquaintances, among the number Mary Lace, walked home to Long Gully with her. Spent this morning reading. In the afternoon walked into Bendigo, met Edward & H. Dight rambled about, went into the Shamrock for a while had tea there — then went to Kings, vainly hoping to see Isa, she is still at Castlemaine, came up during the week & only stay’d at home for a day —

Went to hear Revd Mr Fletcher preach came home alone — what an uninteresting week Another uninteresting week passed. I really dont know how its passed, with the exception that I have had to work very hard compensated by a slight share of pleasure tho under circumstances I ought not to complain plenty I know dont enjoy life as I do — I must be possessed of a miserable discontented disposition, nothing seems to gratify & yield me that amount of satisfaction that I desire even the attainment of my wishes. I think it would be different if I was otherwise occupied. I feel I am cast into a path of life Im not suited or fitted for — suffering



under a species of thraldom I feel it very difficult to seperate myself from the associations connected with my occupation & the life Ive led & am leading are becoming hateful to me — A diggers life was all very well some years back when times were good & a man had a chance of doing well — but now its downright slavery for an existence, without the pale of society – with no prospect of social advancement – circumstances compel me to remain so — but I hope (but for it what wretched mortals we should be) that something will turn up & change the present order of things in my case —

Our performance came off on Monday night but owing to the inclemency of the weather with but moderate success, the audience being more select than numerous — wound up as usual with a Ball — some very nice people being there — spent my spare time reading — I got hold of a volume of Lockes celebrated Essay on the Human Understanding — I never read anything so clear & simple & yet so profound — If Im ever in a position Ill buy his works —

Last night, Saturday) I went into Sandhurst visited the Theatre for a short time, after the performance I saw Mary Lace, in company with some man — immediately on seeing me she left him in the most unceremonious manner — & asked me to see her home, very flattering to my vanity, but I was near



suffering for preference for he suffering from a sudden attack of rage & jealousy rushed at me & made a blow at me with a riding whip that would have killed me, but for my agility, there were several near me that Im acquainted with, fellow workmen Etc — with whom Im on good terms & would do any thing for me, put a stop to his murderous intentions by giving him & his gang a good licking I dont intend for the future making myself a convenience for any girl again — I saw her home she is very pretty but a most arrant flirt, & yet is not chary of her favours where she is prepossessed in ones favour. I wrote to my mother this morning & sent her £2.0.0 In the afternoon I went into Sandhurst, & heard a Mr. Burtt, deliver an excellent Temperance Lecture at concluding I went to Kings didnt remain long came home & after tea went to Robinsons for an hour — [Sunday, 25 August 1861] 28 August 1861 Another week passed as usual with little variety, with the exception of one event that I was rather unprepared for, the departure of my Brother Edward for the province of Otago New Zealand — News arrived a short time back from there of the discovery of a new gold field reported very rich immense numbers of people are



leaving Victoria for there, Ned made up his mind to go on Monday (he sold his share to my couzin Henry in the puddling machine for £45.0.0 half the money down the rest in three months time) & informed me of his intention. I went into Sandhurst with him spent the evening together at Kings, & slept there all night & left for Melbourne at 6 am the following morning. I feel very low spirited at his leaving, he is so very headstrong & so very easy to lead, that I feel uneasy respecting his future course, I always exercised a control over him when on Bendigo that acted as a check to him — I pray God he may be successful & kept out of harms way — Ive not heard from him yet, I believe he will remain at Mothers for a few days prior to his departure —

Tuesday I went to a party at Thorpes enjoyed myself very much, Wednesday night I went to a lecture at the Wesley School Room

Saturday night, I went to Bendigo called at Kings met Dight, took a strool about Pall Mall, met many friends, who are leaving Bendigo for NZ next week — we went to the Theatre to hear the Biancas in the Opera of “Il Trovatore”. Went afterwards to a free & easy left it in disgust, reached the Hut at 1 am this morning, & turned into Neds deserted bed — came home to Breakfast spent the morning reading. In the afternoon my



friend Hannan Stewart & I went into Sandhurst spent a pleasent afternoon there had tea & afterwards went to Church with them, took a pleasent walk afterwards, did a little courting by proxy on my brother Neds a/c with Mary King but with no success. I think there is somebody else she thinks more about. Time & absence will soon cure him of his fit, on leaving them I fell in with about half a dozen acquaintances who are all bound for New Zealand next week, the brothers Falder, & A.Smith leave in the morning. I long to go if only for the change. [Sunday, 29 September 1861] September. A month since I continued my journal, nothing particular having occurred to break the usual routine of my every day life — I am still at the Nelson Reef Co — at the Crushing Machine, we have commenced the night shift system again, 12 hours on & 12 hours off, every alternate week the night shift, I do detest it — I heard from Mother a fortnight ago, who informed me that Edward, on reaching town, heard bad news from N.Z. thought he would wait, until he heard more news from there — he acted very imprudently, spent all his money in a lot of mock jewellery, & at length when he made up his mind to leave, he could only



and very barely raise his passage money, he left in a ship called the “Giants Causeway" in company with Lockey Frazer, the accounts are very conflicting from there, it appears to be a miserable inhospitable climate & quite destitute of firewood, where the diggers are — there is no doubt about there being gold, for Ive seen letters the last week from there from old Victorians who are doing very well. Last Sunday I took a delightful walk through the bush to Huntly to see H. Dight he made me very welcome had dinner with him, looked over the Sawing Mill he is connected with, left about 4 pm, got home very tired at 9. pm. Monday night I had an agreeable surprise on going over to see my cousin Henry, who should I find but my coz Lizzie (Henrys sister) who has just come over from Launceston & purposes remaining here to keep house for her brother – it is five years since I saw her last in Adelaide a little girl, she has grown into a very nice ladylike young woman, we were very glad to see each — other having of course a great deal to talk about, it was late when I left them I had heard she was in Melbourne staying with mother, but I did not expect her here so soon. Wednesday night we gave the last of our amateur performances, a benefit for the manager, Robinson — the Club being



having become defunct or next, thing owing to so many going away to N.Z. The attendance was poor owing to the same reason, things appear at a regular standstill, claims abandoned tents, huts & stores closed in every direction —

I have been to the Theatre several times lately owing to the rather unusual attraction of witnessing a live baronet, transformed into a disciple of Thespis. Sir W & Lady Don he is a low comedian, I have seen many much better. Lady Don is a splendid ballad singer, & is a fine looking woman, Burlesque appears to be their forte. I have been to the Kings several times, Isa returned last week I have only seen her once & then it was in company with others. Lizzie & I called there last night, but everyone was out except Mr King, who h as usual made me welcome —

I had dinner at Harrys to day after which Liz & I took a walk & introduced her to Mrs. Hooper & Mrs. Hickey, we had tea with them & then went into Sandhurst to Church with her. I ought to have been in bed instead done me more good than walking & then sitting down to write, it is now 11 pm & I have to go to work at 12 & dont leave till 6.am in the morning —



[1861-10-06 Sunday] 1861 California Gully Bendigo, Victoria

Been on the night shift all this week feel worn out for want of sleep, some folks can sleep at any time, but it is a most difficult thing for me to get about 3 hours of it in the day time, & that is not enough to have to work 12 hours through the night upon. I received a long letter from mother on Friday, she had just recvd a letter from my father in reply to one she sent him requesting him for assistance to keep her home together & educate her daughters, he plainly informs her it is not in his power, that he has eno’ to do to keep himself (I think the main reason of his leaving his family was to shun his duty as a parent, I sincerely trust it was not but I should be ashamed to acknowledge [him] as a father in such a case, but it looks like it) poor mother is in sad spirits at what she considers his negligence. It put me in a poor way for I see no way out of continued poverty. Im naturally sanguine but I feel to have no hope in this respect – of materially improving our position, my brothers & self appear to me to be kind of outcasts in society, not one of us pursuing any defined course. Oh how wrong it is to bring up boys without some settled calling or trade or education, especially in a country



like this. I felt low spirited & went into Sandhurst, called at Kings, thought it would enliven me, they appeared very cool toward me, perhaps it arose from my own morbid state of mind, I want a change Ive had a long spell of hard work with no rest or holiday, but I dare not think of it. I must work on, ever work, humanitys bondage —

I have been to see Liz several times. I went to Bendigo last night, met H.Dight, we went to hear Lady Don — she playd & sang with her usual grace & spirit, on coming home we called at Harrys, Liz made us up a bed & we stopped there for the night, had breakfast this morning with them, came home read a little, after dinner I returned & took Liz for a walk to the Back Creek Cemetary, situated in a very pretty place (for Bendigo) & a fashionable Sunday afternoon promenade, we were rather unfortunate in choosing the day for visiting it, windy & frightfully dusty, we were very tired & dirty on reaching Long Gully, felt all right after a good tea. I was sadly grieved on Monday by a visit from Mrs. Bostock (my old friend Faithey) begging money to bury her children, she has lost three within the last



three weeks from Diptheria, her husband is very ill. I gave her all I could spare, in fact more – & collected her a little sum from my fellow work man — poor Faith, she has known nothing but sorrow all her life, she was married at fifteen & is now 22 & had 5 children, her husband has been very unfortunate, sickness & want of employment. I think Im very wrong in con- stantly repining at my own lot, when I have but to look abroad & see so much misery around me. Scarcely a day passes without coming in contact with a beggar of some description, this should not be the case in such a country as Australia, the Golden Land there is something radically wrong existing some where — bad government, bad rulers. I often think the misery there is at present is a kind of judgement on the people for their willful extravagance & debauchery in the early days of gold digging. God grant there may be a change for the better soon — I wrote to mother to day & enclosed £2.0.0. The news from N.Z. are of a most conflicting nature, extremely so. You meet one person who has received very good news, & from another the reverse. I suppose I shall hear from Ned in a week or two. Last Thursday was a holiday for those that could afford to take one. A Volunteer Review was held at Huntly, came off with great eclat. I heard many funny tales, in connection with it —



[Sunday, 13 October 1861] October 14th.[13th] 1861 Pleasent weather. Still at the Crushing Machine working most irregular hours, night & day, crushing for the public

Had a holiday Thursday afternoon, owing to a receiving a visit from for the Governor, Sir Henry Barkley, he paid the Johnsons Reef Co plant a visit, where I saw him & his lady he is a tall thin man about 50 years of age, with a very kindly disposed countenance his lady is a young woman about 21 I should say he seemed pleased with everything he witnessed —

Wednesday night on leaving work at 12 pm I changed my clothes & went to a Ball at the White Horse Assembly Rooms, danced till day break

I did not go to work yesterday. In the afternoon I paid Mrs. Hooper a visit, from there went to Lizzies, took her into Sandhurst for a walk called at Kings. Isa & Edwards were there, the latter having just come in from Tarrangower — I believe they have broken off their engagement stayed tea there, Liz walked home, I went to the Theatre, met my quandary acquaintance Mary Lace, she lives in Long Gully, so I walked home with her — I stood talking with her near her mothers tent, when that lady, hearing our voices came out, & abused us frightfully, she didnt know me in the dark. I beat a retreat after expostulating with her for some time to no purpose — I vowed the last time I saw her



it should be the last for I always get into trouble whenever I meet her — she called at my tent several times lately, so Mrs. Drew informed me — but fortunately I was always out. Nearly 3 am this morning when I got home, did not rise till 10.am, read till dinner time, after which I went to Mrs. Hoopers had tea there her boy Bobby & I with my couzin Liz went to the Wesleyan Chapel, C. Gully, heard a decent sermon, a funeral one, for a man that was killed on the Redan, one time a fellow worker of mine (Antrewather) he left a widow & three children, a subscription was got up in the neighbourhood & a considerable sum collected to enable her to open a small place of business – at the close of the service, Bob saw Liz home I met Miss Lay & took a walk about the ranges with her. I dont much like her she is a most affected bundle of charms, she was born in India, where her father held a good position he is now a Reefer — the Mother & daughter Keep a school, the usual recourse for broken down gentility

[Sunday, 20 October 1861] October 21st.1861. Weather been hot, Summer set in — Been on day work the past week tho’ I worked half a shift last night for my mate (Watson) besides doing my own 12 hours — 18 hours work, right off, is no joke, with no rest between & such hard work



on getting home I fell asleep & did not awake till 10. am this morning. I went over to Couzins twice during the week. Harry has his mates share in the Machine, so he owns the whole of it now. I dont think he can make it pay for the ground is nearly worked out. I received a short note from Ned yesterday he arrived all right after a quick passage landed without a penny, had to sponge on others, until he arrived on the Tuepeka or Gabriels Gully, where the gold is found — he gave a fearful description of the place, very mountainous & cold, & no firewood within miles, provisions at famine prices, he says great numbers of the Victorians cant stand it, & are returning, he thinks there is plenty of gold getting, & hopes to get some himself very shortly. There must be a deal of gold getting by some, for the escort returns are very high. This afternoon I spent at Lizzies, Dight was there) stayd tea, & we all came over to Chapel in the evening I did not return with them, but came home at the close of the service, I purpose trying to sleep for a couple of hours, I have to go to work at 12, my night shift next week I dont feel well, had a bad headache — I wrote



to mother this morning I sent her as usual £2.0s.0d — I had a long letter from her some days back, she is very anxious on Neds account

[Sunday, 27 October 1861] October 28th.1861 Weather hot & sultry & being on the night shift, I have to sleep in in the day time, my tent is like an oven with the heat & what with the noise of passing vehicles, children playing, & a Butchers (Mr. Field) pigs squeaking, renders it next to impossible to get any sleep. I dont think I have had more than 18 hours sleep during the week & for a man who is engaged in hard physical labour, for 12 hours out of 24, it is too little to enjoy ones health & strength — I feel fagged & worn out — I was pleased at receiving another letter from my brother Ned, informing me that he is in way of doing well he is mates with Lockey Frazer & another man, he is getting £7.10.0 per week wages in a claim, which keeps the three of them in vituals the other two are prospecting, for a claim, he thinks any one if they will stick to work & make up their minds to put up with the hardships may do well — the weather is improving, Summer setting in. Im very glad to hear it, & trust he will make hay while the sun shines, for generally it is the first at a rush that do well — the next 6



months will be the most prosperous for Otago & those in it. Things are very dear there it costs them £2.0.0 prweek to live & then have nothing but Biscuits & Mutton. I wish I had gone with him, for many reasons. I think Ill go when I get the money that I am to receive from my cousin Harry in November. I have time yet to think about it. I went to chapel this morning. In the afternoon I went to hear a Mr Lloyd from Geelong, deliver an open air address on Temperance, he spoke & reasoned well & I trust to some purpose, for many that were present wanted talking to on the subject

I had tea at Fawcetts, from there walked into Sandhurst, went to Church, met Isa, saw her home, spent a comfortable two hours with her, talking over a variety of subjects, both of us avoiding the subject nearest our hearts — she did not deny that whatever there had been between Edwards & her, was at an end — [Sunday, 3 November 1861]

November 5th [3rd].1861 Pleasent weather, but rather hot. Been on the day shift this week I go on to night at 12, so Ive not much time being 10.30 now. Tuesday night I went to the Theatre, heard two very fine musicians, named Possard & Dewery, one plays the violinello the other the violin. I never listened to anything more exquisite I think Possard plays equally as well as



Miska Hauser, the great violinist, that visited Australia, some years ago — Thursday evening I spent with my couzins, very pleasently. Last night I went into Sandhurst, called at Frazers, found a letter there from Mother all well at home — she had received a letter from Ned, of a similar tenor as mine – made a few purchases, went to the Theatre met my foreign lady friend, looking as charming as ever, she was very glad to see me & made some apologies to me for her strange behaviour, on our last interview she was in company with a gentleman whom she introduced to me as her husband a quiet looking man, in a government billet late when I got home — I went to Chapel this morning, heard a good sermon, spent the afternoon at Welsteads. In the evening I went to Chapel, met my couzin Liz & Miss Piggott there, walked home with the latter. Mr. P. looked rather blue at me I thought & was only just civil, the old blaguard he ought to feel honored, at his daughter receiving attention from any respectable young man. A report has been prevailing about Bendigo to day, that the Exploring party headed by Burke & Wells has met with a most disastrous termination – a relief party was sent after them (but too late) to render assistance if necessary, on



its arrival at Coopers Creek, they found one survivor named King (he was nearly dead) who informed them that Burke & Wells, with two men, Gray & King had left Coopers Creek, & crossed the continent to the Gulf of Carpentaria & their provisions falling short on their return they had endured great hardships. Gray died, (tis said from the effects of ill usage by Burke, who from all accounts was a very unfit person to have command of such an expedition) the rest reached Coopers Creek, in a most exhausted state. I can imagine their misery on finding the party they had left in charge of the depot, had but the same morning abandoned & returned for the settled districts on the "Darling River" the three poor fellows nearly starved to death found in a “cache” a little rice & a paper stating, they thought they must be dead or had returned by way of Queensland they were too tired to follow, & after a consultation it was agreed to turn south for South Australia there camels died, there food was soon finished & sick, weak, & spiritless they lived a short time with the natives, but the food the natives lived upon, gave the Europeans no nourishment, fish & a kind of seed called “Nardoo” which satisfies the appetite but contains little nutrients, even then was



scarce. Burke died first, then Wells, King lived with the natives, who seemed to pity him in his desolateness he could not have survived much longer. It is a most heartrending story, & will long be remembered in this country — great blame is attached to the party leaving Coopers Creek so soon – but perhaps when the particulars come to light, the blame will rest on others shoulders -- Many attempts have been made to cross the continent, this King is the first that has returned alive from the undertaking — I wrote to mother to day & sent her £2.0.0

November 10th.1861. Weather frightfully hot, been 110º in the shade two days Been on the night shift, wretched work could get very little sleep. Im a stone lighter than I was one month ago, such is the effect of hard work in hot weather without a proper quantity of sleep, been nowhere during the week, except one visit I paid Lizzie, she is not very well got a severe cold. I went to Chapel this morning. In the afternoon I went about visiting the charitably disposed, with a subscription list towards the erection of a School for Fawcett. He is a cripple & a very intelligent young fellow I like him well — I was not so successful as I anticipated, it is really astonishing what



an amount of poverty a person discovers exists in peoples dwellings when solicited for assistance towards a charitable institution I should have had no difficulty in selling a lot of tickets for a Ball or any other pleasure entertainment. In the evening I walked into Sandhurst, went to Church after the service called at Kings (I cannot resist the temptation whenever I have the opportunity) saw Isa, as usual, very friendly & agreeable, we appear to understand each other very well — I seldom experience any thing like embarrassment in her company even when left alone. We read & sing Etc — as of old — after 10 when I left them had a pleasent walk home —

November 17th.1861 Another horrible week reminding one of the regions “infernal”

This has been a week of dissipation to me — Monday night I spent at Fawcetts very pleasently. Liz Fawcett is a very pretty girl & possesses a fine contralto voice, we had lots of singing (ditto Friday night) Tuesday night I went to Kings, the old folks being away, we had some fine fun dancing & singing 12 pm when I left Wednesday night I went to the Quadrille party at Thorpes, nearly all the ladies



in the neighbourhood were there, one half of their husbands being in N.Z. they didnt seem [to] feel any restraints, every body enjoyed them selves, flirting, courting & dancing Etc — Its disgusting sometimes, even to me, to see the levity displayed by women, with families – in such places — seem to possess no sense of shame — Ive seen women dancing, regular attendants at these kind of weekly reunions having their infants brought them by their husbands to be suckled, in the dressing room it was 4 am next morning when I left the gay & festive scene. Thursday I was too tired to go any where, went to bed early —

Saturday evening I called to see Lizzie, she had just returned from a visit of 3 days to Mrs. Hickey (Minnie) Myers Flat, she seemed quite pleased with the change – from there, I went into Sandhurst, visited the Theatre — met H.Dight, left early & went to a low dancing room, left in disgust with what I saw (tho nothing new) I fancy my feelings must be becoming more refined — for these kind of places had once a peculiar attraction. I delighted in a wild frolic, ending with what I used to call a jolly row, (but I think it is now one one [of] the most revolting sights to visit such a place as I went into last night to see beautiful, lovely girls about, Im



sure some of them not more than 16 years of age, splendidly dressed & maudling drunk, becoming desperately enamoured with men at first sight. Its really astounding the heights prostitution is carried to in this colony. Melbourne teems with them preachers & ministers exclaim against it in every pulpit, but to no purpose I fancy it arises from the state society is in, the diggins are populated with so many single men & Melbourne contains an excess of women, with very little profitable work for those who are willing to work. I stopped all night with H Dight, he is salesman in Amos Iron & Wood Yard, View Place, rose early, & walked over to my couzins, where I had breakfast Spent the afternoon reading & writing. I wrote to Mother & enclosed, but 30/. this time having had some expenses that left me very short of money. In the evening I walked into Sandhurst, met Mary & Isa King, we took a walk to Lizzies to gether, stay’d about an hour, then went back with them again —

November 24th 1861. Very hot weather Been on the night shift, but Friday night owing to an accident, that nearly



sent us to “Kingdom Come” we did not work last night. Went into Sandhurst called at Kings (I can go nowhere else) stayd till 9 pm, when I left & went to the Lyceum Theatre, it was frightfully crowded, owing to King the Survivor of the E.Expedition having arrived yesterday evening from Swan Hill enroute to Melbourne, being present, in company with the Mayor (Strickland) he appeared to be very weak, tho only 23 years of age he looked 30, he has been a soldier & is a fine well built smart looking chap – but one, (according to the doctors) was the most unlikely to survive much hardship poor fellow what misery he must have endured I pitied him his ordeal last night far more attention was paid him than was to the performance — This morning I took a walk to J.Hannon Stewarts on the “Shellback” he is a particular favorite of mine, he showed me a lot of beautiful photographs & stereoscophic views, & we spent a few hours contemplating minute nature through the medium of a powerful microscope, the best I believe on Bendigo Spent the afternoon with him visiting our acquaintances, laughed & joked at “James” looked very serious at Fawcetts, went to my couzins had tea with them, from



[there] went to Church, met Mary & Lizzie King the latter is getting quite a woman — took a long walk together. Mary tells me a gentleman named Enniss is a constant visitor at their house & professes a great liking for Isa — hang his impudence, an old man with a daughter just married I believe her parents desire her to marry him [Monday, 2 December 1861] December 2nd 1861 Weather very unsettled, one day exceedingly close & sultry & next rain & so forth — I received a long letter from my brother Ned, he is still working in Gabriels Gully, & doing pretty well, he states he has 6 oz of gold & £20.0.0 in money by him very good I think for the time he has been there, 6 weeks. I trust he may continue to do as well & at the same time be kept out of temptation, he does not advise me to go there, but thinks I might do much better there, than where I am, leaves it to my own judgement he doesnt deny having to put up with many hardships, his mate Lockey returned from N.Z this week, being rather delicate he could not stand the hardships & privations having always been accustomed to a good home & comforts he speaks in glowing terms of the gold fields there, thinks there will be some more golden districts discovered before long. I have made up my mind to try my fortune there. I am heartily weary & sick of my present life, long hours, night shifts, hard work, & of a description that would soon make an old man of me, my only



regret is that I am leaving a certainty for an uncertainty. I would not much care for my own part but In my present situation I could always send mother something to assist in keeping a home but I could not keep it up long were I to remain & there is no chance of improving my social position

My sole object in taking this step will be in the hope of realizing a lump sum of money that I may be enabled to enter into some other pursuit than Ive been engaged in so unprofitably for such a number of years. I do hope providence will prove kind to me in my undertaking. I know many that are making what I would look upon as a fortune over there — why may not I be as fortunate If work & energy will bring it, I shall be successful

I wrote to Ned to day telling him not to be surprised if he should see me shortly — I wrote also to my old friend Hamilton (Stirling, Scotland) This week as been one of the hardest In the shape of work I ever experienced — the machinery became deranged & we have had to work night & day to get it in working order again. I worked for 35 hours without intermission except to go to my meals I felt very tired and sore from the effects of my over tasked labours, getting 5/- per week more than the other men Im expected always to be at hand, we got every thing in working order by Saturday at noon. I spent one day in the Boiler repairing a valve — I never spent such a day in my life. Im sure I lost half a stone in weight — however I feel quite elated at the bare prospect of a change — I visited my couzins three evenings of past week. Saturday night Liz & I went into Sandhurst, did some shopping



after which we called at Kings where we stayd till 11 o.c very tired when I got home thro' the want of proper rest lately. Sunday morning I went to Chapel, after dinner, I called upon my friend J.Hannan Stuart & we took a strool together, found ourselves at my couzins by tea time, tea. I left early having to go on to work at 12 P.m. last night, looked into the Chapel heard the end of a sermon, met the Fawcetts, went into their place for a short time, got home by nine changed my clothes, & went into the Engine House where I slept till the Engineer came & roused me got home this morning at 7.am, slept till 2 pm, went to see couzin Harry who has promised to let me have the Bill that falls due tomorrow — I have just spoken to Mr Froggart about leaving, he was very sorry to part with me, & offered me 5/- per week more wages if I would remain, he also promised if I am unfortunate in N.Z. & want a billet on my return he will, if in his power — put me in one, very kind of him, & some satisfaction to feel & know that Ive been appreciated. I have promised to continue my work till Tuesday night. I purpose leaving Bendigo on Wednesday if possible I hear our Engine whistle calling me to work Im on the night shift, commence at 6 pm leave at 6.am the following morning — 7. [Thursday, 5 December 1861] December 5th.1861. Thursday afternoon — I leave Bendigo, where so many years of my life had been spent, where I have formed so many pleasent friendships & am endeared to by so many associations, to morrow — my spare time the last few days Ive spent in making my adieus, many I perhaps may never see again, some of them strange odd characters, some very dear to me, &



that I shall ever regret parting with, others I cannot respect enough, to experience much pain at parting with, however every one I visited tendered me their best wishes for my success in future – those that know me well, advise me to take the step, they think if Im fortunate, Im one that will turn it to account, many of my friends have a very exalted opinion about me, they think Im fit for something better than leading a diggers laborious life — tho I shall always be in their memories known as Gentleman Jack — & sundry other such like *patronizines.

I received £22.10.0 on Tuesday from my couzin Harry, being the balance due on the machine & horses Ned sold him — I shall leave with about £20.0.0 Harry Dight & I are going to N.Z. in company he unfortunately cannot leave Bendigo for some days so I purpose waiting for him in Melbourne I am not sorry in one respect, for I wish to spend a fortnight in town with my family — This is the last I may ever write in Bendigo. Ive packed up my things I purpose taking with me — my books & with* others things, I have given them away to friends — I shall spend to night in Sandhurst with the Kings where several friends have promised to call & see me I feel half sorry at the step Im taking arising from the great love of locality I possess. I never left but one place in my life with regret & that was Pleasent Creek some 200 miles West of Bendigo where I spent the most wretched portion of my life — & I think I never went to a place in such good spirits & sanguine of success as there —



Melbourne Decr. 1861

Decr.10th. Once more at home in the bosom of those I have so longed & loved to see & live with Home Sweet home, how few but those who have not known but little of its joys & pleasures can appreciate it, it is so nice & happy to live with those you know are sincere in their sympathy & love than among strangers who cannot enter into the state of ones feelings when in trouble & sorrow is experienced a feeling or suspicion of a want of true sympathy

The evening of the 5th. I spent at Kings, tho I fear Isa monopolised my entire attention, she took my leaving very much to heart. I was more affected than I liked to show, never shall I meet another girl whose love I shall prize like hers or one I think I could live so happy with as a companion for life, she is warm, true & affectionate in her nature & possesses a fine mind, no promises passed between us, but if Im *prosper[ous] I shall certainly renew the friendship, she wishes me to be happy & made me promise to seek some lady in society, I should learn to like, or in other words bid me flirt as much as possible & she says Ill learn to laugh that I could ever have loved a being like her — my couzins and several others were there to whom I bade adieu Slept at the Shamrock for the night, roused up at 5 am next morning, left by a coach drawn by 4 horses, found myself sitting beside a fat old lady & a clerical looking being, we did not exchange a word, all the way to Castlemaine where we reached about 9.am, had breakfast & started again in half an hour — nothing very



particular occurring on the road so far. I was struck with the immense amount of labour, in connection with the Railway works, all the cuttings from the Big Hill to Castlemaine are through Granite Beds, my astonishment was increased on getting nearer the more advanced portions of the line, the aqueduct of Taradale & Malmsbury are fine pieces of work, scarcely a spot on the road but what did not bring up some recollection of bygone days before their was a road of any sort for vehicles, when it used to take a month & 6 weeks to perform the journey of 100 miles the times Ive trudged along tired & weary in wet weather & in the mid of winter & the heat of summer & camped out, with heavens canopy for a cover & the stars to light me — the good old days before people used to ride & coach it, new chums little know what the earlier pioneers diggers & bushmen had to endure — forests stood where towns are now, surrounded with all the accessories of wealth. On reaching Woodend I found our journey by coach was at an end, the Rly being completed to there -(40 miles from Melbourne) 4 pm when we left, arrived in town at 6.P.m took a cab to my mothers, it is needless to state she was glad to see me as were my sisters & Fred — I fancy mother is looking much older Mary is growing a nice young woman, Bessy is much taller — I suppose we shall have her in long dresses soon & a consequence she’ll be! Saturday afternoon I took Mother to see the Exhibition of Colonial productions, which are to be sent to London for the Great Exhibition that takes place next year — I never saw such



a magnificent sight, such displays of wealth & commerce & colonial manufactured goods I noticed of latter, a deal of cabinet work such as elegant pieces or furniture made from Colonial woods, endless would be my task were I to attempt to discribe what I witnessed the principal feature in the building appeared to be a gilded column reaching to the roof supposed to represent the bulk of gold obtained from the Vic. Gold fields, nearly every branch of industry was well represented — It was the last day, the place was closed in the evening by a Concert given by the Philharmonic Society, the singing was pretty good but the place was so crowded it was impossible to enjoy it. Fred & I left early rambled up Bourke St. visited several places, tried my strength lifted 525 lbs not so bad for a little chap. I met my old rival Edwards, we were rather surprised at meeting, he told me about Isa cutting him, said it was all his own fault. I gave him all particulars concerning the Kings late when we parted. Sunday morning I went to St. Peters. In the afternoon Mary & I took a walk, met Edwards again, got fairly tired of him, harping on the same subject. Fred & I took a long walk after tea about town. This afternoon I visited the Museum at the University spent a few hours very rationally & I believe profitably



It contains models of every description of Machinery used in Farming & Mining pursuits a vast quantity of stuffed & Skeletons, specimens of Zoology & Ornothology & other natural curiosities too numerous to allude to

On leaving there I went to the Public Library & was disappointed to find it closed for some days in consequence of some alterations

Tuesday, I spent walking about town saw a great deal to interest me, many new buildings gone up since my last visit I noticed a great many diggers in the streets, bound for N.Z. they are easily told, sauntering along gaping into shop windows Etc so different from the quick brisk step of the business men of town — In the evening I went with Mary & to the philharmonic rehearsal (she is a member of the Society) we called for a friend of hers Miss Rekowskie, a charming little girl, (a daughter of a Polish gentleman a fine jolly old fellow,) with nice quiet winning manners that are irresistibly attractive — Harry Dight called on me to day he arrived from Bendigo last night

Wednesday. Spent the morning at home reading. Harry called about 11 Pm. & informed me he had fallen in with an old fellow apprentice of his named Thos Downs whose father is an old seafaring man on this coast for upwards of 30 years, he is engaged at present in fitting up a small schooner called the Sarah & Esther, at present lying in



the Yarra for Otago N.Z. She will be ready for sea in a few days. Harry has promised to go with them providing I am agreeable. I did not like the idea having had too much experience of small vessels — in former times — however I accompanied him down to the vessel found her a flat bottomed little craft about 30 tons looked very old & weatherbeaten, she had just received a coat of tar & a few new ropes looking like an old man spruced up for a season — I was introduced to Captain Downs an old bluff looking fellow with a deal of forced politeness but an expression in his face I did not like, a man I would not depend upon except perhaps in his profession — his son Tom, seems an easy, good natured sort of chap, nothing particular about him either personally or intellectually to specially recommend him to notice, three others (diggers) but formerly sailors, who are working their passage, form the whole set who are going to tempt providence in this old dingy I remonstrated with Harry about the folly of going in such a craft & at the same time paying as much for our passage as if we went in a first class ship — but to no purpose not having any experience in nautical matters he sees no danger. I after anything but willingly consented to go with them. On arriving home I found my sister Mary had gone to spend the evening at Mr James, Hoddle St. so I had to go for her was introduced to a nice



lot of people, spent a couple of hours in a most agreeable manner — home by 10 pm

Thursday. Cruising about town in company with Harry, visiting every place we think of interest, smoking Cigars & drinking lemonade & enjoying sundry other luxuries only enjoyed during this hot weather — Wrote to Edward & also to Mr. Halley, after tea in company with some friends of Harrys I knocked about town mingling in all kind of company (not altogether creditable) & places — 12 Pm when I got home

Friday. Went this morning with Henry down to the schooner, had a good look at her was not any the better pleased with the inspection, made the acquaintance of all on board, the cabin is a small box of a place about 6 ft x 10 fitted up with two bunks large enough to hold 2 in each (in close quarters). In the evening Miss James called & spent it with us, she is a fine jolly girl, time passed very quick but pleasently, she is full of life & fun — I enjoyed the walk home with her.

Saturday. Spent the day until 4 pm (reading & doing little jobs about the house) when Mary & I went to the Public Baths, paid 6d each, optional hot or cold & every necessary supplied, called at Rekowskis on our way home, no one in but Mrs. R.

In the evening a friend called, J.Sutherland, Mary & I accompanied him for a strool about town until 9Pm. I went out alone called on an acquaintance stay’d till 11 pm —



[Sunday, 15 December 1861] Sunday Dec 16th.1861. After breakfast, two friends of Harry Dights called, took a walk round the gardens, called at Dights, found the old folks nice homely people, came home alone to dinner after which we were fairly stormed with visitors among the number Geo. Johnson, Mr. & the two Miss Rekowskies, the old gentleman did not remain long, Mary & his daughters & I took a pleasent walk together came home early & had some singing, my sisters voice has greatly improved, after we went to St Marks Church, at the close of the service we took another pleasent strool. I fancy if I was thrown in Miss R. way much I should begin to get soft about her, she persuaded me to remain in Melb. thinks it very strange I should prefer a rough diggers life to a life in town with all its pleasures & comforts. (I entertain the same idea but what can I do, I am not qualified for an office or a mercantile life & people dont like to engage a novice. I feel bitterly, my position – & inability to improve it at present, no! Ill go to N.Z & if I can make a few hundred pounds, Ill never dig again) We met a gentleman named Clark an acquaintance of Marys to whom she introduced me to, he left us on arriving at Rekowskies we did not remain long there, on coming home found Harry here, after we settled the business he called about he left. The English Mail arrived last night, no news from our relatives I fancy father forgets he has a family — I received a long letter from my old friend Burchell, quite well, he has commenced his studies for a surgeon —



[Monday, 16 December 1861] Monday 17th Been very busy to day, purchasing necessaries for my voyage, buying Blankets, Boots Flannel shirts & trousers. Harry & I took a ramble in the evening met some Bendigonians bound like ourselves for N.Z. Im sorry we did not take our passages in some other craft for judging from appearances it will be some days ere we are ready to sail [Tuesday, 17 December 1861] 18th Decr.1861 Harry called with a cab this morning, took our things on board the schooner found all hands very busy loading her cargo, which consists of a lot of damaged timber, this evening I went to the Philharmonic Society in company with Mary & Agnes Rekowski, heard them rehearsing something that gave me an idea of the confounding of tongues at "Babel" called at R. on our way home spent about an hour very pleasently at their house [Wednesday, 18 December 1861] 19th. Still in town "Sarah & Esther" sails tomorrow. Harry called this morning, went out together, visited several places, rambled about till we got tired, came home about 4 pm. – expected the Rekowskies who had promised to spend the evening with us, was disappointed, little Dalia called to say her sister would be unable to come through some unforeseen circumstance — I feel very sad at the idea of leaving home once more — the more I see of home the greater my desire is to remain — God grant I may be prosperous & soon return

[Thursday, 19 December 1861] 20th.[19th] Bid good bye to all at home this morning called at Rekowskis & one or two other places & made



my adieus. I called for Harry & we went to Emerald Hill, where we were to meet Captain Downs & his son & go on board the schooner, which is lying off the Williamstown Battery. Capt. informed us she would not sail till tomorrow, & could return home again — we were not sorry. I felt as if I would willingly break my leg or arm so as to have an excuse for not going in such a wretched craft we spent several hours at Downs (Mrs D. is a nice person — & very interesting company, having been in the colony upwards of 25 years — she loves to talk about old times.) had dinner & tea with them during the afternoon I & Fred went to see Mrs. Crapper (who lives on E. Hill) my old nurse, she was very glad to see us, wished me luck Etc. & bade her adieu. Came home to Mother, much to her surprise & delight about 6 pm, my sisters were out, they came home with Mr Clark about 10 pm spent a very happy evening together, perhaps my last. I am more sad than ever — having to make another adieu in the morning (11 am)

[Friday, 20 December 1861] 21st. Another painful parting this morning. Harry came & breakfasted with us, left home early. Fred accompanied us to Emerald Hill where we parted, found old Capt quarrelling with his wife I believe he is an old vagabond, & they live very unhappily together, however when things got settled we left for Sandridge about 1 pm - (tis 9 years ago since I was there before, what a


On Board the Sara and Esther 1860-12-20

change, at that time there was but one Hotel in it & now its a bustling seaport town two long jettys crowded with some of the largest ships afloat-), we found the boat waiting for us, when just as we were embarking, I met Miss Sayers on the pier, had a chat for a few minutes with her — she had come from Bendigo to see some friends off to N.Z. we reached the S&E all right — found our cabin anything but clean or comfortable, being a small Box of a place about 6 x 10 ft it originally intended to accommodate two persons, four of us are to exist in it now, we put things in order the best way we could — & as the wind was fair & no signs of it changing, Harry & I took the boat & went on Shore at Williams town. Harry has an aunt living there so we called upon her, found her a jolly old woman who made us very welcome there is an old soldier living with her a Yorkshireman, who we found very interesting, he is at present engaged as Drill Instructor to the W.T. Volunteers — we staid tea & then returned on board I feel sorry I did not go home by the railway for I dont think from what I can hear we shall sail until late tomorrow, been spending the evening on deck, being a lovely night, its very pretty to watch the ships at anchor, & see the lights of a large town in the distance where everything seems so quiet & still & to know there is so much life & bustle but such a short distance away —

[Saturday, 21 December 1861] 21nd Decr.1861 Still at anchor waiting for a fair wind to carry us out of the bay. I hate this dallying away of time, if we had left Melb. as I wanted in the Aldinga on Wednesday we should have been half way on our journey, patience, in some cases, is a virtue I cannot boast of.


1860-12-22, On Board the Sara and Esther Bound for New Zealand

Harry & one [of] the sailors [Downes-1298|Tom Downs] & I went on shore this morning for a short time cruised about the “village” on Board by 2 Pm, when the Clearance Officer came to have a look at us & give us permission to proceed on our voyage – so the S&E 37 tons Capt Downs & 6 others from Melb. are only waiting for a fair wind to convey us to the Eldorado of our desires – the Capt has gone on shore — his son Tom hopes he wont get drunk & get into the watchhouse, very consoling, to have to place dependence on such a character —

-(copied from a pencilled journal-) [Sunday, 22 December 1861] 22nd Dec 1861 About 2 am this morning Harry & [I] were roused up by a great uproar, which we found on turning out to proceed from some one quarrelling It appears the capt. took 2 of the men ashore, with him, & requested them to wait an hour for him, they did so, & he not coming they went into a public house & got drunk while there, the Capt. found them & he being drunk they began to abuse each other, however they found the boat & came on board, bringing with them a tall old man named Beirtt or Brett, 70 yrs of age an old friend of Downs who in a drunken fit formed an impromptu idea of going to N.Z. he was the Bellman or Public Crier of W.Town & a strange looking mortal he appeared on my first inspection of him, dressed in a crooked hat & Red Coat with Brass Buttons & ringing a large Hand Bell they got quieted at last, & we put them all to bed X(*but not)X without some trouble, we soon fell asleep


[Part 2a New Zealand]

On Board the Sara and Esther Bound for New Zealand

& were awake about 6 am, when we went on deck & assisted in heaving the anchor & setting the sails the day was very hot & sultry & every appearance of an approaching change, the wind was light & very variable, we reached the heads about 2 pm saw the remains of the Ship "Empress of the Seas" that was burnt about 3 days ago - on getting out side of the Bay the wind began to rise, until it blew a regular gale, our tackle which was old began to snap like packthread nearly every rope we hauled upon gave way - impeding us very much in reducing sail & the deck being covered with timber made it awkward to work we were in a great state of confusion, whilst getting in our foretopsail, we had it cleared up & some of us going aloft to take it in when a sudden puff snapped off our topmast, the sea was running very high, rendering it impossible in the state we were in to get rid of the broken spars & rigging, all we could do under the circumstances was to let her run before the wind the seas running over her washing us sometimes off our feet, making it very dangerous, having nothing but a life line along the vessels side however by about 12 pm with a deal of trouble we got the broken rigging cut adrift, we lost the spar but saved the sail, being full of rents it is not of much use, by this time we had nothing set but the foresail, & as the wind was fair we kept our course, we


On Board the Sara and Esther

were off Cape Schanck at the time of the accident - I was in anything but an amiable humour, at my folly in coming to sea in such a cursed old craft that had been a Lighter on the Yarra for 11 years, the owners are trying to float her over to Otago & there she is to resume her old duties - Old Brett annoys me, he is an infernal old croaker, prophesises we are all bound for Hell, I do hate these croakers. I believe in making the best of a bad bargain. I wont sink if I can help it, but if it is my lot to be lost Im quite reconciled, but no croaking - I could go down with my arms folded if I saw no chance of escape - Harry & I turned in about 1 pm & slept as sound as tops, our Cabin being half full of water, made it anything but pleasent

[Monday, 23 December 1861] 23rd./12/61 - Was roused out early this morning by finding the water rising in the cabin, got up feeling very seasick, our first job on getting up was to bail out the Cabin. We found the wind had abated a little, but I never looked upon such a wild scene - the sea was running mountains high & our old boat looked like a wreck upon the water all on board seemed dull & lowspirited at such a stormy commencement of our voyage with the exception Harry & I the rest had not had any sleep during the night. After breakfasting of Biscuit & Salt Beef which


On Board the Sara and Esther: Swan Island

appears to be the only fare on board we made the startling discovery that our vessel was sinking, from the fact of the water rising in the cabin through the floor - we got the pump to work & found that by taking shifts of 2 hours each alternately we could keep the water down allayed our fears. In the afternoon it came on to blow great guns had to close off our foresail & keep her before the wind, she sails well with the wind aft being flat bottomed she rides over the waves like a duck, at times the waves rise, as if they were going to overwhelm us, when she rises with the swell beautifully, we sighted Wilsons Promontory about 9 pm - the most Southern part of Australia - Being loaded with dry deals & closely packed we feel most danger in the water rising, & swelling the timber & so open the seams, we think it is from that cause she makes so much water at present - I feel very tired having worked hard all day & not a dry stitch on me - Ill try & get a few hours sleep -

[Tuesday, 24 December 1861] 24th/12/1861. Roused up early to take our turn at the pumps, found everything looking as wild as ever - Downs very anxious, hoping to make the lee of the Swan Island by night the hurricane had ceased into a blustering gale, the sea looking more rough & angry than ever, as if it felt wrath


On Board the Sara and Esther: Swan Island

& disappointment at not getting our craft with its cargo for its prey, we felt anxious until we sighted our haven, which on doing, relieved us of our anxiety a little, we let go our anchor - & had taken in our sail, when it began to blow such a hurricane as few in our vessel say they never experienced before we had to let go our other anchor, while doing this another craft & a steamer ("City of Hobart" from N.Z.) came in for shelter during the night, we made all right & bailed our cabin dry when we had a chat & I took what I never remember taking before a glass of spirits. I really felt the better for it I wished to know what Downs intention was we could not think of proceeding on our voyage in our present plight. I could get no satisfaction from him, so I turned in reckles of consequences - consoling myself with the notion I had fellows in distress

[Wednesday, 25 December 1861] 25th.Decr.1861 Christmas Day. What a strange place & under what unpleasent circumstances to be placed in, on such a day. The sun that we had not seen for some time burst forth in all its glory making us reconciled to our position with its gladding influence than we otherwise would have been, the gale abated a little, but there is still a heavy sea & strong wind, rendering us unable to go ashore – in fact whatever our desire was in that respect we had to forego it, in the performance of necessary duties, such as pumping out our


Christmas on Board the Sara and Esther: Swan Island

floating cullender & arranging our wreck & also in making preparations to run up a new topmast fortunately for us my mate Harry Dight, being a carpenter & having his tool chest aboard we are in a position if we can get a spar fit for the purpose ashore to put it up, we are lying about two miles from the shore in Banks Straits, to the south some 5 miles, we can see the N.E. coast of Tasmania, an uninhabited part of that island Peter (one of the men) who acts as cook prepared what to us was nice dinner, consisting of a plum pudding & the skeleton of two ducks, that Brett brought on board. I brought forth a large Cake my mother gave me on leaving Melb - Im afraid our good things are all finished, for our vitualling depart is like everything else, not much account, we have a Cask of Salt Beef a few Bags of Potatoes a Fifty pound Bag of Flour, 6 lbs of Butter & one Bottle of pickles with salt & pepper - a carcase of a sheep comprised our Store list on leaving Melb the fresh meat is already finished so salt junk & Biscuits with potatoes is our only food for the future, towards evening we had to up anchor & shift our quarters to the other side of the island from where we can see several other isles – the largest being Flinders - & Waterhouse, which our Capt. informs me are inhabited

[Thursday, 26 December 1861] 26 Decr.1861. Lovely day, sea gone down & looks calm & unruffled reminding me of its treacherous character when thinking of the appearance it presented to us during the past three days, after breakfast that was a better one than ordinary, having caught a fine Barracoota, a fish that frequents these waters


On Board the Sara and Esther: Swan Island Lighthouse

in great quantities - We got out our Boat (a most dilapidated article) Capt. Harry & one of the men & myself forming the crew went to shore, after some trouble we found a small sandy cove we pulled into & landed found the island to be very small about 3 miles long by one broad, very low & sandy the only vegetation being some low set scrub & tea tree bush, at the East End of the Island there is a fine Lighthouse, which a walk of five minutes brought us to, we found there the only persons living on the isle, viz, Morgan the head Keeper with his wife & family & two other men, with a half caste Maori, a fine looking chap possessing as I found enormous strength, the children ran screaming in doors at our approach & we were unable to make friends of them during our stay Morgan invited us inside treated us to some home brewed Beer & currant damper, & after a chat for an hour during *which time, our Capt bought a spar for our topmast, giving 30/- for it - Harry & I, having expressed a desire to ascend the Lighthouse, the men accompanying us we made the ascent, we were rather "puffed" before we reached the top, however we were well repaid for our trouble a more gorgeous sight I never witnessed than when we got inside the Room containing the reflectors the sun shining brightly upon the glasses, producing all the varied colors of the rainbow, it reminded me of the descriptions of Enchanted grottoes & abodes I had read about in "Arabian Nights" & Oriental love - I was struck with admiration at its beauty & also with the mechanism connected the lamp & the revolver. We had a fine view of the sea & ships in the distance, our time was beguiled by


Christmas on Board the Sara and Esther: Swan Island

our friends detailing to us their life among the Islands they frequently visit. The Maori they inform me has a boat about 4 tons, he thinks nothing of going twice a year to Launceston in, alone & he informed me himself he purposed venturing to N.Z. in it, as soon as his engagement with Morgan is completed in the course of three months - They showed me some curiosities in conchology, splendid strings & necklaces of the most minute but pretty shells. I should have purchased one but not having much money & having an uncertain future ‘fore me I could not afford to gratify my desire - this comprises their principal pastime, with hunting snakes found in great numbers on the isle of a most venomous description Morgan showed us a large snake he had killed the day before, which had sprung at him like an infuriated dog fortunately he had long sea boots on at the time which doubtless saved his life, on bidding our friends adieu on the beach after getting a cask of fresh water in the Boat & lashing our spar astern we pulled back to our vessel about 3 pm passing a wreck that had taken place some weeks previous, our spar being formerly one of its yard arms got everything on Board all right, & commenced at once with Adzes to dress the spar for a topmast there was a deal of work to be done to it which Im happy to state was finished by dark, the other chaps have made everything ready aloft to ship it in its place in the morning. Harry & his tools being the most important feature in the work about sundown we were visited by the Maori & one [of] the Light house men, in their boat, we having presented them a "nobbler" & tobacco pipe, things very difficult to obtain - I was near forgetting to state


On Board the Sara and Esther: Swan Island

that (the Old Croaker as we call him) Brett returned on shore where he purposes to remain until he has an opportunity of returning to Victoria. Harry & I sent a note each to our homes by him, should he return Im glad he is out of the ship, he made me miserable he called me aside yesterday & told me in a most prophetic tone to leave the ship, for anybody in company with Downs was sure to meet with a sad fate - he informed me he has known Downs for nearly 30 years & that he his one of the vilest characters alive & finished by telling me some strange stories concerning him & among the category his having murdered a man in Hobart Town some years ago, all of which I firmly believe having had hints given me by Peter & Harry about him, but I did not care about listening to, thank God Im in no way superstitious. If we go down we do so & there’s an end of this world, whatever the next is, our ship hasn't leaked so much this two days. I dont care when we are ready to sail, three days with a fair wind will carry us over to the South end of N.Z., two more ought to take us to Otago & there Hurra for the diggins that are more in my line than this cursed ship business.

[Friday, 27 December 1861] 27th.Decr 1861 Fine day, wind changd this morning we had to up anchor & get at the other side of the Island with the straits again, where there is a current that runs at the rate of 6 knots the hour, plenty of pelicans & albatross flying about, caught another barracoota, made a good dinner for all hands. Worked very hard to day helping with the topmast, got everything


On Board the Sara and Esther: Swan Island

finished at last, tomorrow we intend trying to get on the yards & sails - spent the evening playing at Cribbage - & yarning, made a discovery, Old Downs knows my friend Hamiltons wifes father & all her relatives, a bad lot according to his account, however he shall never hear what Ive had told me concerning them - he has taken her away from all connection with them, so who or whatever they are cannot affect him much - so long as man & wife agree & live happy together & in themselves who they are & where they belong to is or should be of no consequence to anyone

[Saturday, 28 December 1861] 28th Decr.1861. Still at anchor, blowing a gale of wind, sea very rough, but much worse round the Island - we have both anchors out Capt. hopes they wont drag, so do all on Board, our chance of saving our lives under the circumstances would be very slight. Could not do much work to day aloft so all hands with one exception (myself) have been busy patching & repairing sails we are getting uneasy, for there is not more than a fortnights provisions on board & if our voyage is very long we shall have to submit ourselves quietly to "hard times" not pleasent to contemplate in an old, leaky, unseaworthy craft

[Sunday, 29 December 1861] 29th.Decr.1861. Wind went down in the night left a rough sea, we heaved the anchor this morning at 7 am, got under weigh with a light puffy breeze from the N.W. carried us along at the rate of 3 knots an hour, the men working aloft all day, got every thing in its place sail set & tackle & gear all right


On Board the Sara and Esther

we have a better fore top rigging than when we left port our topmast is better at all events. We were astonished at the quantity of Mutton Birds that have flown past us to day for hours without ceasing, myriads bound toward the coast of Tasmania (that has been in sight all day) having the appearance of a low cloud. Capt. prognosticates from the heavy weather, I think we've had enough to please the most stormy inclined. In the evening H.Dight brought forth his bible out of which holy but much neglected work he read aloud some very comforting chapters, he read about Christ walking on the sea to his disciples assistance - Sun went down very solemnly, heavy looking clouds & very low [swell] around us wind beginning to rise & other signs of rough weather. Im going to turn in, there will be more pumping to do ere long

[Monday, 30 December 1861] 30th. Horrible rough weather. Blowing great guns, nothing set but our foresail all day the sea running mountains high as if ambitious & soaring to reach the skies, at times our boat seemed buried in a nightly gulf & then rises to a pinnacle when we seem to pause & hold our breath as if it was our last before we were cast into unfathomable depths. Im getting so accustomed to the sublimity of it, that I would soon lose taste for the sublime & desire to the ridiculous by losing appeciation for the grandeur of such sights. Poets & writers may blather away about


On Board the Sara and Esther

"the sea" the sea & all its splendour, if such like were to take a voyage in the "Sarah & Esther" they wouldnt relish the subject, but wish for the quiet homely pastoral scene, that I shall in future look with more complacency upon - Ive been abominably sea sick to day & things around me are not likely to cure it - I wonder Im not accustomed to the motion ere now. I wasnt sick in the least the first 2 days, owing perhaps to the excitement - Our vessel poor thirsty thing, has been making a deal of water, to day had to spell at the pump every two hours. Tom Downs is very ill with dysentry took bad while at Swan Island, he is getting very weak & we have nothing on board fit for him to eat, a few pounds of flour is the only luxury we [have, we] give it [to] him made up like paste with sugar, poor fellow Im very sorry for him, he is a nice easy going good natured young chap, so different in every respect from his father, who is the vilest old Jonah ever lived, when he was a young man he used to be in a Slaver off the coast of Africa & the stories he relates accompanied with blood, & Crime astonishes me, providence hasn't cooked his goose ere now - [Tuesday, 31 December 1861] 31st.Decr.1861. All on board very low & dispirited, owing to the rough weather, hard work & harder fare. Blowing very hard all


On Board the Sara and Esther

day, nothing but the jib & closed reefed foresail set I wouldnt care much if I could only feel confidence in our ship, but such an infernal "cullender" to have to trust ones life in, is enough to make one wild "Old Skipper" is always at the Helm, I dont know how he stands it but there he sticks, singing an old dirge, the only words of which I can catch are

Damn the weather Across the heather Or at the tiller On the billow

I fancy theres a nice hot place for him prepared in another world where there wont be too much water to cool him as at the present. Pumping I find is fine exercise, as Bob (who acts as chief mate) says, it developes the muscles & reduces the stomach, unfortunately there are none on board but whose muscles have been developed long ere this & dont care for the service, however we all work pretty well under the circumstances, the wind tho’ rough is fair at present -

January 1st.1862. News Years Day, heaven preserve us, what a stormy beginning. Wind abated a little in the morning, set our topsail, had to take it in about 10 am, when it came on more furious than ever. I thought we could never outlive such a gale, sometimes a gust would come & we’d look about for each other, scarcely expecting to see one left on deck. It struck me to day as being very fortunate we have no bulwarks, for the weight of water we occasionally ship, must sink her if not got rid of immediately, it is very dangerous being about the deck with nothing


On Board the Sara and Esther

but a life line along the sides. Old Skipper is a fine sailor, he watches every billow, like a cat at a mouse seldom we ship a sea when he’s steering. We lay to about 4 pm. rather a dangerous experiment, but she acts better than was anticipated

2nd. Wind abated (or gale I should say) about daylight, leaving the sea like a moving mass or range of mountains, some of the waves appeared to meet the skies whilst we lay at rest for a moment in a deep trough, such a sea as very few have looked upon, our little dingy rolled fearfully we got our topsail set in the afternoon, & so we are proceeding on our course, which is some consolation Skipper treated us all to a glass of whisky, the old blaguard. I was lying in my bunk & I saw him take a bottle & half empty it, then fill it up with water & so served it out remarking to me there is nothing like combining policy with economy, he had but a 1 doz case on board on leaving Melb. so he means to spin it out

3rd. Sea still rough with little wind making very little headway, poor Tom, very ill. Im afraid if we have much longer, such weather, we shall have to throw him over- board - I have had a long chat with him to day, he is fond of his mother & likes to talk about her & his home -

4th. No change, heavy sea, making very little headway, Tom very ill. H.Dight found in his box a small Bottle of very good Bdy. that his mother had put there for medicinal purposes, he burnt


On Board the Sara and Esther

some & mixing some herbs he found with it, made an excellent concoction which Tom took some hours ago Im happy to state he feels much better. God grant it may prove effacacious. We are sorry Harry did not know of it ere now. I pity Tom, it is the first time he ever left home & feels our present want of luxuries or necessaries far more than any of us

5th. Sunday. Making very little difference to us we have to work at the pump as usual & attend to other duties, Harry & I are supposed to be passengers but we are from necessity compelled to work like the rest, with the exception that we dont do any night watch, once or twice we have tumbled out when anything extra has occurred. The sea has been less rough to day, but the wind very unfavourable being S.S.W. our course being S.S.E. We expect to see Stewarts Island to morrow, if the wind changes Harry got out his Bible to day & we have read a few beautiful Psalms & some Chapters of Christs life & works from "Luke"

6th. Monday Old Boreas at it again, in a deuce of a rage. Ulyses Voyage home from Troy is likely to rank second to ours, in having the fates against us, on coming on deck about 4 am this morning (Day Break) & after a most pleasent dream where I had met Isa King after a quarrel & made friends again with sundry other things how quick the illusion was dispelled, by the wild scene that presented itself to me, the wind howling & driving dark masses of cloud along, which seemed to touch the water, being so low, the sea very rough & angry & our


On Board the Sara and Esther; Pigasa Point, New Zealand

vessel rocking fearfully, with nothing set but our jib & foresail, a wretched day we passed. Capt. couldnt take the sun so towards evening, looking hazy ahead, he thought it advisable to lay too for the night, a miserable night we are likely to pass, ship like a log on the water at the mercy of every wave & billow - Tom is much better in health & spirits

New Zealand

7th. Jany 1862. Somewhat mistaken in our idea yesterday about the proximity of Stewarts Island. We put sail on this morning, weather being much fairer, sighted land about noon. Pigasa Point the most Southern point of N.Z. rounded it about 11 Pm. being a fine moonlight night we can see the shore from the deck very plain, the Island I believe is very mountainous, but abounds with good timber there are a few Inhabitants at the Nt end of it, who make a living sawing timber - it formerly was a whaling station. Our Skipper has visited the place & discribed it to me he has visited every part of Australia, N.Z. Tasmania & the Islands - abounds with anecdotes of sea & land in which he figures not very creditably, one, by observation, may pick up a deal of information from him, but must be careful not to take the chaff with the grain. On our rounding the Island we found a fine fair breeze to run us up the coast, if it will only continue we may arrive at our destination in another two days easily the distance being under 200 miles from this point

8th. The breeze continued all night & the best part of to day until 4 pm - when it died away, (6 more hours of it would have done us). We kept near the coast all day, which looks the most inhospitable ever I saw being high & rockbound, looking dark & frowning, when the wind left us we were opposite Tyre Bay (or what seemed to me nothing but an open roadstead) where


On Board the Sara and Esther

we saw a Brig & a Cutter laying at anchor in the mouth of the River Clutha or Molyneaux, the country seemed level & wore a more inviting aspect from this point, though later in the evening we fell in with the same old rough & rocky walls similar to what we passed in the morning we expect to be near Port Chalmers by day break thank God, for our provisions are nearly done, & so are the men what with bad fare & hard work in our leaky vessel Jany 9th. 1862. Without exception, this has been the most eventful day of my life at least incidents have occurred that will never be effaced from my memory About 1.am a head wind drove us out to sea, the wind changing a few points more favourably, we were enabled to "beat" back to Cape Saunders (distance but 8 miles from Port Chalmers) by about 3.pm. it had been a very hot close, sultry, day, not a breath of wind after noon - all nature seemed hushed, our sails hung heavy against the mast, the sea looked like a field of glass, the sky very cloudy, all hands on board appeared to be weighed down as if with "ennui." I spoke to Downs concerning the appearance, things presented, he seemed very anxious & regretted having beat up so near land at this time not above ¼ of a mile distance - we were in the cabin when we observed the mercury on the weather glass sink very suddenly he rushed on deck, ordered sail to be taken in, we got the topgallant sail furled, the Mainsheet cleared up, when we heard a rush of wind coming down upon us from the land, accompanied with some claps of thunder We were engaged hoisting on the peak halyards. I was letting adrift the slack to leeward, Dave Magher (the smartest young chap on board) was standing on the galley (situated at the foot or against the


On Board the Sara and Esther- Lightning Strike

mizen mast) hauling, Mike & Bob were on deck weather side of the galley, H.Dight was taking in the slack around a belaying pin, hauling together, when our mast was struck by lightning, the electric fluid passing down the Rope that we were hauling upon, the noise was terrific, more loud & startling than a myriad of cannons fired at once. Would that this were all – but alas! such was not the case - I was knocked or thrown off my feet by the shock, on regaining my senses which were in rather a paralised state, I sprang or climbed to windward, for what with the shock & the squall, our vessel was on her beam ends. I shall never forget the sight which presented itself, huddled together, & kept from rolling overboard by the galley keeping its position, I saw Dave, Mike & Bob, apparently dead, my friend Harry was more stunned than hurt. I called to him to rouse himself & assist in helping to save ourselves. I got him up at last by gently administering some curses at what I considered his stupidity. Old Capt was at the helm & seeing us, looking at the bodies, he coolly told us he believed they were dead, on looking around at our situation, we found the squall passing over as rapidly as it came, our Mainsheet was lying in the water, holding a great bulk of that element with about an hours hard work in clearing the mast of the sail & bracing round our fore yard to catch the wind full in the fore sail, our vessel slowly righted to our great joy. The excitement of these circumstances seemed to inspire us with twofold strength on getting things to right a little, & steering away for Port Chalmers, we looked after the unfortunate wretches who were suffering from the lightning. Mike & Bob were severely burned, the former had the hair of one side of his head singed off, his neck & shoulders


On Board the Sara and Esther; Port Chalmers

very much burnt. We found him insensible got him with Bob (who was not so severely burnt, but whose nervous system seems most affected) into the Cabin - poor Dave we found insensible & I fear will ever remain so, he looks horrible, on stripping him, we found the Electric fluid had first reached his wrist ran along his arm, the right side of his body & down his leg, carrying or burning of the flesh (the smell being most offensive) his flannel & drawers next the skin were burnt to cinder as if by fire, on getting them into the Cabin where we left them, we having to work the vessel at this time entering Port Chalmers, by a narrow irregular channel, bounded by sandy shoals, which were only avoided by great care, there being no wind – the tide brought us into port, where we found some fine vessels anchored in what appeared to be a basin with no visible outlet, surrounded at the sides by very high hills covered with trees & dense undergrowth rising nearly perpendicular out of the water, we could see a few huts here & there, where there appeared to be a level terrace, it was just dark when we dropped our anchor, but not before another incident occurred worth noting, the tide drifted us against a ship called the "Alma", bound for Melbourne, in the morning, with a number of passengers (a rough looking lot of diggers) who seeing our little craft bumping against theirs, with only Harry & I on deck & the old man at the wheel presenting anything but a nautical appearance, we were saluted with imprecations, & coarse remarks, which under different circumstances we could have replied to in the same spirit, but we were too sad to indulge - in getting clear of her, our topmast (the new one) fell foul of their spritsail yard, causing some confusion.


On Board the Sara and Esther; Port Chalmers

On dropping anchor we were paid a visit by their Captain a blustering German Yankee, who on our explaining our position sent his crew on shore for a Doctor who dressed our sufferers burns. Harry & I went on shore with him, found a small township with about 100 abodes in it, situated between high hills with a small wooden jetty for boats to land - we bought a loaf of bread & some butter, & returned on board, where we discussed our luxuries, being a lovely moonlight night the sight was beautiful, the surrounding woods buried in gloom, but the summits of the hills seemed crowned with a halo, all this I observed while furling the topsail & mainsail, a job of no inconsiderable difficulty, the sail being torn & our rigging broken however thank God our voyage is over, Im sure I ought to feel grateful, for not one on board but has suffered severely in some shape or form, but myself, we have had a deal to put up with, but Im so accustomed to hardships I cease to think much of them afterwards Tom Downs is much better, very weak but able to walk about, we shall sleep on deck to night, our bunks being occupied by the unfortunates. Mike is much better after his burns were dressed, he was able to get on deck, it will be some time before he & Bob are able to do much for themselves poor Dave, the Doctor thinks he wont live & if he does will be a miserable cripple for the rest of his existence, his arm, right ribs & thigh are bare of flesh to the bone I helped to dress him & never shall I forget the horrible spectacle & the offensive smell connected with it. We are within a cables length of the "City of Hobart" S.S. She leaves for here for Melb. in a couple of days we saw her last at Swan Isle bound for Melb. where she loaded & landed passengers & cargo here, in the mean while how annoying to us


Port Chalmers, trekking to Dunedin

Otago, New Zealand 1862

10th.Jany 1862 Lovely day. Rose early, cleared things a bit on board. Harry & I thought of going up to Dunedin by a Ply Steamer, but not coming within hail, we agreed with Tom Downs & the Capt. to go on shore & walk to Dunedin a distance of 8 miles leaving orders to Mike & Bob & a man sent on board – to have the craft towed up the inner Bay of Otago to Dunedin, we promising to come on board the next day for our "swags". So accordingly, we landed about 9.a.m. & commenced our walk by ascending a very high hill, covered with the most dense forest I ever saw our road was but a track, but we found groups of men at work cutting down the timber previous to making a road in contemplation, it was frightful hard work climbing over fallen trees, with a moist spongy wet soil underneath. On reaching the top of the hill, one of the grandest views I recollect ever seeing burst on our sight, at our feet behind we could see Port Chalmers to our left the bay of Otago whose waters wash the skirts of the town of Dunedin away to the West ranges of mountains rose one above the other until lost in the clouds, to the East the wide Pacific Ocean like a sea of silver with the noon day sun reflected upon it. On leaving this spot we descended into a pretty valley where we found a good metal road running in its centre, on both sides were small farms, gardens Etc & a few very decent looking dwelling houses, following the road which opened into a flat we found the houses getting more plentiful until we reached


Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

the city of Dunedin, situated at the head of the Bay the business portion of town is on a narrow Flat, but the residents are principally situated on the sides of very steep hills which surrounds & rises abruptly out of the town. We found many large & commodious places public houses, all built of wood, buildings going up in every direction, every thing looked busy & brisk but as usual in such mushroom places, thousands of men walking about looking for work, afraid to venture on the diggins. I spoke to many & I at length got disgusted with the tales they tell of hardships to be endured Etc - towards evening the S & Esther not making her appearance, we thought we'd stop the night but where, was the question, if we had had our blankets we would have camped out, however in rambling about we saw three men sitting on their swags, against a wall in whom I recognised, my old friends John & Joe Falder & Andrew Smith. We were glad to meet each other, they had just come down from the diggins where they had been three months, & had cleared about £120.0.0 each in that time, they seemed to think I have come too late, the best ground being taken up & worked out, but they advised me to try my luck, being dark we went into the Royal Hotel & asked for a bed, none to be had, but were told they would make us up a shakedown on the floor of the taproom for 2/. each to which we agreed, the place was full of men drunk & getting drunk gambling, cursing & swearing, at 12 oclock the police cleared the place, our beds were made & we turned in, tired & exhausted with my late exertions

11th. Rose at 6 Am. anything but refreshed after our nights rest, after Breakfast for which we paid


Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

3/. each, we wandered down to the beach, where we found the Sarah & Esther just being cast off with other crafts from a tug, being a strong breeze from the East, she was run right up the beach high & dry, with her nose into the town, however the tide rising we had to take a boat to get on board, we found poor Dave Magher suffering severely but perfectly consious, the other two were walking about, apparently well - with a deal of trouble we put Dave in the boat & pulled on shore landed near the jail, being the nearest spot to the hospital, on landing we had to run all over the town in search of a hand cart, at length being successful we got him into it & soon wheeled him to the hospital, a small wooden place prettily situated but answering various purposes, being a lunatic asylum & a Benevolent Asylum, on leaving him, we returned to town, pencilled a note to Mother, which I sent by John Falder, who left for Melb. by the "City of Hobart" Joe Falder & Smith intend remaining another week or so here. We rambled about town all the rest of the afternoon Harry met many he knew, being a carpenter & having his tools with him, he had no difficulty in procuring work he doesn't intend to try Gold digging until better accounts are current concerning them than at present. Ill follow his example tomorrow, & if I can get a decent billet Ill take it, until I hear from Ned, if he would advise me to go. We came on board this evening, to sleep, Capt in consideration of our valuable services has promised to let us remain on board as long as we are in town.

Sunday. On rising this morning & finding it likely to be a lovely day, I packed up my swag determined to start at once for the diggins, had a good breakfast & bade all hands on board good bye, with the exception


Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

of one all came ashore with me where we parted with their good wishes for my success, on reaching Princes Street I met Joe Falder who said if I would wait for him until tomorrow he would accompany me & become "mates" he promised to pay for my board at the hotel he was staying at until he was ready. I thought it would be the best thing, for its not pleasent travelling in a strange place alone - & he having been on the road before, knew where the best camping places were Etc I left my swag at the Royal & we rambled about until we found ourselves at the door of Dr Burns' (a nephew of Bobby Burns the immortal) Church, where we stood at the Porch & heard him preach an excellent sermon. I did not hear the text, but it was something about Girding up ones loins in whatever we undertake, but more particularly in Christs cause - he is a venerable looking old man & I believe is very much respected in this decidedly Scotch province. After dinner we went on board the hands came on shore & accompanied us to the hospital to see poor Dave - on returning, I met John Nevin & Jesse Mollison, very well dressed she recognised me & I believe wanted to speak but John who always was jealous of me, didnt take the slightest notice of me – & so we parted - she is the Belle of Dunedin - I found her greatly improved since I last met her upwards of 3 years ago, her parents came here before the gold was discovered & are in good circumstances. I understand now why John gave up a good situation to come here he was very fond of her, what fun I used to have with them both on old Bendigo. Im sorry we met for I looked, being in company with a lot of ill dressed sailors & myself in diggers costume, anything but a respectable member of society - the days in summer here are very long, not being dark till 9 pm


Otago, on the road once more

[1862-01-13] Monday. Rose at 6.am, Breakfast not being ready till 8, I went down to the Schooner, found all hands at work unloading the craft, found Harry picking out some tools from his chest into a carpenters basket prior to commencing the job he has got. After another cordial adieu we parted! with regret that Harry was not coming with me, for he is one of the few people I have met that I thoroughly like, he is upright & manly - very good-natured & a sincere friend – went on shore had breakfast. Joe having some business to transact which kept him till 11 am made it late when we left town to proceed on our journey. A.Smith accompanied us about 2 miles when the road commenced to being very mountainous, he left us & returned - our road for 5 miles lay on a high range, where some attempt has been made to form a road by cutting in a zigzag manner the sides of the hills, we came to a small river or creek, near its exit into the ocean, called "Green Island" where we lit a fire with some reeds, & boiled our Billy & eat some Biscuits & Butter started again about 2Pm, the sun being very hot, our road for some 3 miles led us over a very high hill, with not a stick of wood growing upon it, nor could we see the signs of any ahead on descending from the hill, we found ourselves in what are termed the Tairai Plains, but what I should call a Valley which runs between some high hills averaging I should think 2 miles broad & some forty miles in length, this portion of Otago being the only track of country fit for agriculture, some parts of it are very fertile, but not adapted for raising good grain (except oats). We followed the road along the W side of


Waihola Lake

the valley, most of it being farmed in & partially cultivated. (the landowners I found & I hear are without exception Scotch in fact everything that meets the eye, seems Caledonian, the country is very hilly & bleak in winter must truly be wretched, it is well watered but ill wooded, the hills are quite barren of timber but covered with good alluvium, yet too steep ever to be brought under cultivation, will do to run sheep upon), until we reached the junction of Waihola Lake & River Tiera about sundown, the river runs into the sea & is navigable to this point. The lake is little more than a swamp running about 7 miles up the plains by about one mile in breadth, fed by small perennial streams. We had to cross [by] a ferry paying 1/. each found a small township, with an hotel for its centre of attraction, where we purposed putting up for the night. We had come about 22 miles, not so bad for we had very heavy swags, mine weighs 46 lbs a good load to carry all day long. We found everything very dear 2/6 for our tea, consisting of tea cold meat & bread, our beds appear tolerable, but I dont know how we are to sleep, the house is a wooden one & immediately beneath is the tap room full of drunken diggers, swearing & gambling & singing praises to their God Bacchus. Joe left our billy below. I went down to get it, but found it vanished very annoying, for it was filled with tea & sugar - [1862-01-14] Tuesday. Lovely day. Left the Ferry 6.am. after buying some Biscuits & Bacon at a store we walked alongside of the Lake for some seven miles the borders of which are under cultivation, with here & there a decent looking farmhouse, met a pretty Maori girl


Tokomairiro (Milton),

full of fun sat down for a few minutes & had a gossip with her, her brother lived in a lot nearby & cultivated about 2 acres, she gave us some milk, I never met such a little lump of vanity, she didnt hesitate when I asked her how many beaus she had to inform me she might have any young man in N.Z. we bade her good bye bursting out laughing in her face at the interesting piece of impudence, by 1 pm we made a scattered village called "Tokoinuira" situated on the plains & surrounded by a good agricultural district, the sun being hot we camped & rested for two hours, & made some inquiries about the road to the different "diggings" - hearing we were only 10 miles from the "Woolshed diggings" & having heard our old friend Fowler was there, we determined on paying the place a visit tho’ some miles out of our road for "Tuapeka" - our road for some 4 miles brought us to an opening or narrow gully between some very steep hills, with a large creek running in its centre, our path up the gully led us to cross it several times, found the water very cold, this kind of travelling soon made us very tired we at length got to the end of where any work was going on without hearing anything of our friends it seems a miserable hole, about 300 people at work sluicing in the bed of the creek, a new kind of gold washing, I never saw in Victoria, darkness coming on, we went into a store kept by an old Scotchman named Dickson, of whom we bought some Biscuits & Bacon, he was very kind & invited us into his back apparently cut out of the side of the hill. We spent the evening with him & seeing we had


Waitahuna, Gabriels Gully

no tent & likely to be a wet night he introduced us to a young man who lived in a hut alongside who allowed us to sleep with him, he had a lot of dry grass in a corner which we spread on the ground & soon made our bed - We playd a few games of cribbage together, discovered him to be a shipmate of my brother Ned in the "Giants Causeway" from Victoria & formerly a stockdriver on a station near Pleasent Creek when I was located in that neighbourhood years ago - he advised us not to remain there, for very few were making more than their "tucker"

[Wednesday, 15 January 1862.] 13th.[15th] On rising this morning found it raining hard we waited till 10 am when it ceased, & commenced our walk for Teupeka, our road lay over a very high steep mountain which we toiled over for hours reached Waitahuna about 3.pm when we camped & had something to eat, did not stay long, but pushed on through a very hilly rough country until about dusk when we reached a large flat where we found a number of tents, on enquiring for the celebrated Gabriels Gully we were pointed out a narrow gully running between some more high barren looking hills, we found the gully full of tents & bearing every appearance of a large rush - the diggings being confined to the edge & centre of the gully, on following it up for about a mile we came to what is termed the township, a long string of calico stores, Billiard Rooms & Shantys called Restaurants, the best of the latter called the Cosmopolitan & kept by a lot of Jews we entered, having been informed my brother Ned was to be found there. I was disappointed in not


Ned Watmuff at Gabriels Gully

not meeting him. We were told to wait, after tea Ned always making it a rule to call, knowing I was coming, every evening. We sat in a back room where was congregated a lot of fellows, gambling, the table being covered with baize so as to create no noise with the dice. I should think over a thousand pounds Stg changed hands the two or three hours we were waiting. Ned at length came, we were very glad to see each other, he looks very well, in spite of the climate & hardships he must have experienced at the commencement of the rush. I was grieved to find him on such intimate terms with the fellows I had witnessed gambling. I was more hurt when I heard he had been very successful digging, but had spent what he had so hardly earned with these fellows gambling & associating with similar characters. It appears from what he tells me, he joined a party one of them named Signor Catebeni an Italian, a man who I should imagine had lived by his wits. Ned appears to be very fond of him & when there claim was wrought out they took a Billiard Room in a gully called Wetherstones 2 miles from this, on the other side of the range, they are paying £20. per week for it as yet they are uncertain how it will pay, having only just opened it, after incurring a deal of expense - I have as quietly as possible given him my opinion about it, which I trust will be the means of him abandoning such a low lifed calling, by curing him now he may eventually be led from taking pleasure in such pursuits, gambling is a passion that once takes possession of the soul, is never cast off



[Thursday, 16 January 1862] 14th.[16th] Jan 1862. Rose at 8. Breakfasted at Silverbergs Cosmopolitan, after which started over the hills for "Wetherstones" the latest scenes of attraction in N.Z. here we found, as is supposed 20,000 people, the digging having spread over an extensive piece of ground, gold being found in the strangest looking places I ever saw it obtained from, the flat is well worked but not to advantage, being wet ground & no timber to be had for securing the earth properly, the depth running from 10 ft to 20 ft deep the spurs of the hills have proved the richest places. I met a great many people I know from Victoria, some of them that came over some months back have done very well, they tell me Ive come too late, very consoling I must say, after wandering about for several hours visiting the different hills & Gullies at work, meeting & speaking to a great many we knew, we entered Wetherstones township, a bustling busy place where all the signs of a large rush are to be found, the township is half a mile long being but one street formed of Calico stores, Drinking & Billiard Booths termed Public Houses, found Neds place, on entering it, found it full of loafers & hangers on, lucky & unlucky diggers Etc, I was introduced to Catebena who was playing a match for £5.0.0 aside, with some other professional players he is a fine looking intelligent man, rather melancholy looking with a most engaging manner, at the con- clusion of his game, we had a long conversation together upon various subjects. I let him know I did not approve of Neds present occupation & induced him to persuade him against continuing in it, he admitted the passion for gambling had possessed him



long & had led to the loss of wealth, friends & position his father is a titled Italian nobleman, his brother who lived in Melb. a short time ago in Bourke St. had gone home & at present was one of Garibaldi "aides de camps" he is very fond of Ned & has often told him never to take to such courses as he seems inclined at present to follow. I trust he will be induced to come with me & endeavour to make something in a more legitimate manner. We returned to "Gabriels" about 9.pm spent a few hours at Silverbergs, watching the card & dice players win & lose, one "pigeon" was to my amusement most innovently plucked to the tune of 4 lbs of gold & some notes he had with him, he had worked hard for 3 months & was on the point of returning to Victoria, where he intended commencing business on Castlemaine, poor devil he may wait long before he earns the price of his passage money, we left for Neds tent where we sleep, about 12 pm.

[Friday, 17 January 1862] 15th.[17th] Jany 1862 Been raining hard all day Joe & I took a strool up Gabriels about noon could find no ground likely to yield us anything so we purpose taking our things over to Wetherstones tomorrow & set into work there, spent the day in writing up my journal from my pocket book where Ive kept it since leaving Dunedin, had our meals in the Cosmopolitan 3/. ameal - In the evening being privileged in consideration of Ned, were allowed into the back room & witnessed another scene of quiet sharping. Ned didnt come home at all to day I suppose they keep open all night

[Saturday, 18 January 1862] 16th.[18th] Jany 1862. Rose early, being a fine day, I


Wetherstones Gully

believe an unusual thing in this part of the world - after breakfast we pulled down the tent & packed up a big load each, which we brought over, pitched our tent in a little gully at the back of the township in a at the foot of a high mountain, after erecting it we returned for the rest of the things, put our stretchers up & have made things as comfortable as possible, the tent is 8 ft x 10 ft not much room with three bunks & a small table in it. We were very tired, the hill from Gabriels being like a house roof or steeper, some splendid views of the surrounding country are to be obtained at its summit. My mind gets bewildered with the immensity of the scenes presented the country around looks like a sea of immense billows rolling one oer the other, towards the West are to be seen some lofty ranges covered eternally with snow the first Ive seen since leaving England, this is the middle of summer & I could find some within 5 miles of this place - In the evening Joe & I went down the town, heard a splendid harpist the best I ever heard in my life. I saw an awful lot of drinking going on, visited several places of amusement Free & Easy sort of places, where the company volunteers to sing, dancing rooms I found, on entering three I only saw 4 women & those drunk & of the vilest sort, women are scarce here two arrived with their husbands & families this after noon & pitched their camp near us, causing a great sensation in the neighbourhood -

[Sunday, 19 January 1862] 17th.[19th] Jany 1862. Fine morning, a sure sign Im told of a wet afternoon, & so it turned out We went over to Gabriels Gully for the balance of Neds tools, came on to rain just as we had them packed up, & starting, I shall never forget


Wetherstones Gully

the labour we had in ascending the path up the hill, the rain made it very slippery. We were both in bad temper, more especially Joe, who on our way from Wetherstones had been victimised by an old man on the path side out of a £1.0.0, a great many travel along this path, the old man had a small piece of Board with a pea & three thimbles Joe had never seen the thing before & much against my wish, he risked a pound making sure he knew which thimble the pea was under I could not help laughing to see the astonished look of Joe on loosing his money, for he is very fond of money & thinks there is none could dupe him, what a gambler (professional) terms a "fly flat" - We were wet through on reaching our tent, & we began to experience the difficulties of life in such a country as this, the cold was intense, & no firewood to be had for miles, & the road to it over steep slippery hills. We gave 6/. for a small bundle of thin dry looking whipsticks, its extraordinary the great dearth of wood in this colony, we are very economical with it as soon as our vituals are cooked the fire is put out, every chip & shaving is preserved bones, old shoes, tufts of grass are all saved past, for fuel I dont know what we are to do in winter, everyone I speak to that have the means intend leaving when it sets in - on changing my clothes, I tumbled into the blankets & read & did a little of my back journal, finished it up to night so purpose returning to the old plan of writing it weekly, its too much useless labour, & not very interesting to go into details so much as Ive done lately, sufficient they are stamped on my memory


Wetherstones Gully

I’m not compiling this journal for other eyes – simply for pleasure & as a thing of reference, my life has not been a happy or prosperous one, but a succession of struggles for existence, a time may come when I may be in different circumstances that the varied events Ive related may from their novelty prove a source of pleasure in recurring to them occasionally

[Sunday, 26 January 1862] 24 [26th] Jany 1862. Beginning to get a little settled in my new abode, cant say I like returning to my old tent life so well as I did in Victoria the climate even at this time of the year being anything but pleasent one day scorching hot the next bitter cold, & strong winds. Monday Tuesday & Wednesday we went prospecting, sank several holes & fossicked about without coming across anything likely to pay, on Thursday we went into an old hole, & getting a fair prospect we set to & cleaned it out it hardly paid us for our labour, for on washing up yesterday, we only had 1 oz of gold, between us. I suppose we mustnt grumble. One thing Im happy to state – Ive persuaded Ned to leave Catebena & he is now living & working with Joe & I - I find him very much altered, & not for the better, since I worked last with him – our evenings we spend as jolly as it is possible we are surrounded by tents, & most of their inmates are Bendigo men, that Ive known for years, some of whom Ive been



Wetherstones Gully. 1862
long intimate with, our tent is crowded every evening & we sing, & chat, & play cards Etc. but I must admit, the general character of conversation & manners would shock too refined minds, it is always the case, when men live together, bound by no social restraints such as the softening influence of female society Etc that the intellectual part of mans nature degenerates & sink into the animal. Ive knocked about the township a great deal in the evenings, visiting all kinds of places, dancing rooms, where is to be seen some fiddler playing jigs & reels. Gambling hells & Billiard Rooms where are to [be] found the usual "hawks" whose faces are as familiar to me from old associations as possible, well known by their long lank fingers & yellow faces a new rush is always the resort of the most infamous characters, blacklegs & fighting men, muster strong. There are one or two singing rooms. Ive heard some very good amateurs sing in them, there is a man in one plays the violin exquisitely, he digs by day & I hear has made a good "rise" & earns 30/. anight fiddling, everything is very orderly & considering the state things are in, very little crime of a glaring nature is com- -mitted. I spent this morning writing to Mother & having £6.0.0 by me I sent her £5.0.0 of it, so I must work & exert myself now for everything is very dear


Wetherstones Gully

I wrote to Dight, also - my old "Boss," Nicolls head underground manager on the "Nelson Reef" paid me a visit to day, he came here some 3 months ago & has done very well, he is living about 3 miles from here in Munroes Gully I walked after tea with him a part of his way calling on Mr. Brown one of the Directors of the "Nelson Reef", who is trying his luck here, like the rest of us, he is not doing much, regrets having come. I like him well, one of the best informed men & nicest mannered I ever knew I shall cultivate his acquaintance. Im writing this with the tent full of people, laughing & talking all manner of nonsense -

February 2nd 1862. My 23rd Birthday & a poorer man than on my 13th. (my first in Victoria, which I spent on the night in an empty Boiler on Coles Wharf) What scenes & adventures Ive had since then in search of bright alluring gold, the worship of it being mans curse, every noble impulse, lofty as- -piration, principles, feelings, all that constitutes the noblest part of man is sacrificed at its shrine. We have worked very hard this week sank several holes cleaned out & tried others, in dirty wet ground, but to very little purpose, we only got 11 dwts to divide between three of us. We bought a tub for washing our dirt in cost us £1.0.0 being one half of a Hogd every thing is very dear 4/. per pound for salt Butter 4/. the 4 lb loaf 1/. lb for mutton 1/3 & 1/6 for Beef


Wetherstones Gully

it costs us a great deal & we dont indulge in anything but the very plainest food. Friday we sank a hole, bottomed in the evening & washed out a good prospect, putting us all in good spirits, when it came on to rain during the night, on looking for our hole next morning we found it regularly swamped with the flood caused by the rains, such is a very common episode in a NZ diggers life, can place no dependence on the weather its too severe for Europeans to live God knows what it must be in winter. I wrote to my sister Mary on Thursday night & enclosed £1.0.0. leaving myself with £1.2.0 all the money Ive got in this world, before leaving Victoria I promised to send Agnes Rakowski, a valentine from N.Z. not being able to procure one, I composed one, very like what an enthusiastic lover might write to his mistress, which I enclosed in Marys letter forgetting Miss R.s address. I trust she will take it as its meant, tho’ in rather an indirect form I hope she has sense enough not to take any notice of it, tho’ I would like, or am anxious to know if she thinks anything of me. Oh! vanity. Im ashamed of the small quantity I possess, & yet Id sooner hear or see Isa King for an hour, than live a month with Miss R. Ive spent my evenings in anything but a rational manner, a tent is a wretched place in wet weather, & being without fire is doubly so, so I go from one place of amusement to another, Free & Easies & Dancing Rooms associating with all kinds of company of a questionable character. A new Concert Room


Wetherstones Gully

was opened last night, several acquaintance of mine knowing I sing insisted upon my giving a song in the place & being in a daredevil kind of mood I assented I sang "My Village Home" a magnificent Harpist accompanying me on the harp. I was in excellent voice & made quite a sensation. I sang for an encore "In Happy Moments," the proprietor called me oneside & offered me board & lodging if I would consent to sing 2 songs a night, I declined, tho I was pronounced a fool by my mates, there are two other amateurs that have the finest voices Ive heard, one a "tenor" & the other "tenor robusto" quite a treat to hear them, they live near by.

I wrote this afternoon to Mr Halley giving him an account of my journey here & a description of the place & my opinions respecting its prospects Etc

9th.Feby 1862. Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday we tried to bail out the claim we sank last week, after working late & early up to our waist sometimes in water, we had to give in without getting to the bottom, we were rather disheartened, in the evening we consulted together to try Wetherstone Flat, a kind of a basin composing about 400 acres of ground surrounded by high hills & situated at the foot of several gullys that have yielded a deal of gold, it is about 10 ft deep, soft sinking but very wet there are several claims taken up & I believe some of them are paying very well, some friends of mine the Beales party are among the number, all the money we could raise (I had none) that is Joe Falder & Ned was £6.5s it would take £4.10s0d for a tin pump, without which we could not attempt to try the place, & the balance we bought a "long tom" with. Thursday we took up a claim & Friday we began a paddock about 8 x 12 square. We found the water too strong to keep


Wetherstones Gully

down, so we took in another mate, a young chap, named Bill Hodson (from California Gully) by night we just touched the bottom by keeping the pump going all day I think from the prospect we got it will pay, if we can get to work it fairly. Saturday morning got to work by 4 a.m. after 3 hours work pumping, & bailing with buckets we found we couldnt beat it so had to get two more mates to assist us, these two were half of a party who are intending to take up the next claim if ours turns out pay able, we by dinner time got the water out & "lifted" the bottom about 100 Buckets of wash dirt, which yielded us 1 oz of gold only, tho’ if the water was not so strong I fancy we should have got as much again for the gold is fine & in lifting the dirt out of the water a deal of the gold must be lost. We intend trying it again, we spread a report it turned out 12 oz instead of one, so as to induce other parties to take up the surrounding ground, when the water will be much diminished, 1 oz among 6 of us gave us 12/- each, on paying our expenses we had but 2/. between the 3 of us "bright times" to be hard up in such a damned miserable country, the last God ever created & left it unfinished is the verdict pronounced by all Victorians. I wrote to Mr King (of Sandhurst) this afternoon. I borrowed a book to day, the first Ive seen for some time been devouring its contents, a party leaving for Melbourne, gave me an old concertina he had, which amuses us a little [Sunday, 16 February 1862] 14th [16th] Feby 1862. We (Falder, Hobson, Ned & I) set into work early on Monday morning,


Wetherstones Gully

the other two who assisted us last week, wouldnt try it again. We sank a paddock, not so deep by 18 inches as the other, making it easier to work. Tuesday we sank another. Wednesday morning we washed the dirt out of them turned out 1 oz 3 dwts, so poor it quite disheartened us after working up to our knees in water nearly 13 hours a day, sinking, However in the afternoon we thought we'd try another paddock, got it down as deep as the others without touching bottom found we had got into what is termed a "dip" or hollow in the ground. Wherever these occur on the flat, the water is always strong, & so it proved we were unable with the pump & one man beside bailing hard with a bucket to lessen the water an inch, we shovelled away more than 2 ft down the water, & could get fine gold on every shovel full we lifted. I & Bill were in the hole Joe & Ned bailing, when the sides of the paddock from the water undermining them slipped in tons upon tons caved in, we with the greatest difficulty managed to escape being buried alive, fagged & weary we gave up nearly dark when we got to the tent, came on to rain firewood wet had a job to get a fire light nearly 10 when we had our tea, every rag of clothes wet, my blankets being dry I stripped & turned into bed so nice, next morning to put on wet clothes, walked down the "flat" had a look at the claim & not liking its appearance, we thought wd ramble about & try & find some other more agreeable spot to commence operations gain. We visited a new rush, foot of Gabriels Gully, saw many we knew, who didnt speak very highly of it, so we didnt take up a claim. I met Chas Melander there, a friend of Mr. Halleys a Swede, he is a clever young fellow. I used to enjoy his company very much, he is thinking of shifting near us. I hope he


Wetherstones Gully

will for he is fine company. We walked up Gabriels Gully & visited several gullies & places without seeing any place likely to "set in" came home by the "Blue Point" at the head of Wetherstones Gully. Friday morning our courage returning we determined to tackle the flat again had our tools & everything ready for a start when it came on to rain, & had to remain in the tent passing the time smoking & mending our clothes In the evening, went to "Kilgours Gambling Hell" – saw lots of money won & lost, went into other places, saw a good fight which lasted about 20 minutes, afterwards witnessed a Billiard match for £50.0.0 aside, heard some songs sung by a professional who has an affection in his nose causing much amusement & giving rise to many remarks of not a very elevating description. Saturday commenced work again, tried to bottom the same dip we were at on Wednesday, but had to give in, how very annoying to know where there is pay able gold to be had & yet unable to realize it, if some more parties were to take up ground around us should be able to work it, but the water frightens them we shall have to give it up & I suppose some one luckier than ourselves when circumstances are more favorable will get the benefit of it. I received a long letter on Monday from H.Dight he is in steady work in Dunedin & is very comfortable. I answered it on Friday, he informs me Capt. Downs has left the Sarah & Esther, & is knocking about town in a very disreputable manner with Peter Tolin, (one of [the] men who came with us from Melb) they have opened a low restaurant & Coffee Shop near the wharf. Spent to day partly in neighbours tents & partly in


Wetherstones Gully

our own, gossiping, smoking & playing cards. We rose very early about 4.am & the three of us started over the mountains for firewood immediately on leaving the tent we had to ascend the steepest hill ever I climbed (I was very cold on starting, but long before I was at the top of the hill I was in a violent perspiration, had to take of my Monkey Jacket which I hid under some stones until my return) on reaching its summit we had a grand view our track ran along the top for some 1½ miles, when we descended into a little valley or narrow one I should say for it took us half an hour climbing on our hands & knees to get into it, when we found ourselves in the the most dense forest I ever penetrated, no sun ever shines or ray reaches the ground, ferns in every variety & size creepers & parasitical plants form a perfect network nearly impenetrable, the whole of it, dont cover more than 300 acres & this is the only wood for scores of miles growing, except in one direction near Tokomiara where such another forest occurs its an extraordinary feature in this country. We gathered a bundle of dry sticks, something like "Whip Sticks" , each weighing about 1 dwt, & then commenced our journey back. We met scores of people on the same errand nobody knows or could form an idea of this going for wood & the difficulty attached to it unless they have experienced it, twice we got our our loads up the hill & lost them, rolling down again tumbling from rock to rock bursting asunder, at length getting them all right we trudged along with our loads, spelling every ¼ of a mile, till we came to the hill, at the back of the tent where I found my coat all right, from this point our labours ceased putting down our bundles into the path which was worn down in the form of a gro[o]ve let them go holding on a piece of rope, this was fine fun, & on shouldering it again at the bottom are then


Wetherstones Gully

tortured by remarks from the inmates of tents, you pass by, if your bundle is a light or small one you are asked if you tired, when did you leave Dunedin, if the reverse, its how many times did you go to the forest before you started down hill, as some I know will go back for a second bundle to start down hill with, this wood institution is the hardest work I ever did, & is usually done on a Sundays it was 1 Pm when we got home taking us 8 hours, with economy our 3 Bundles will last a fortnight, to boil the “billy” & cook our meat however cold or wet it is, the idea of having a fire is never contemplated

[Sunday, 23 February 1862] 21st [23rd] Feby 1862 Weather been very fine for N.Z. After deliberating on Monday morning what to do, we finally settled to try the Claim on the Flat again we got two other men to join us, & set in on the rising ground, which we have continued upon all the week, except one day which we spent trying the dip again but without bottoming again. We did a little [better] however made 5 oz 18 dwt between the six of us not bad if we could avoid the hindrances we are subjected to from various causes. I had to leave work on Friday, in consequence of a bad hand. The palms of my hand from continual hard work is like a piece of grissel, & when using the pick one day I struck it against a stone, giving my hand what is called a "Jar", it is very much swollen & extremely painful, & will be more so when it begins [to] gather as it is doing Ive not slept a wink for two nights, what an unfortunate wretch I am Im not proud to murmur but really I have cause It will be some time before I can get to work again


Wetherstones Gully

one blessing is its my left hand - I received a long letter from Mother, all well at home, but she is very short of money & is at a loss to know how to make things meet. Im sorry I cant assist her God knows I would if I could - she has had a letter from Jane Summers (I still call Summers for I cant think she is entitled to that of Edelman) she is at present in London, after being in California residing in the States says she is very happy. McDougall paid me a visit to day, he has just come from Victoria, saw my family since Mother wrote to me, staid tea I walked a mile or-two home with him, his mates are living in Waitanana Diggings 10 miles from here - Mother informs me she had a letter from Father he is doing nothing & cannot send her any money Xto Mother she wrote to Cousin Harry for some but he couldnt send her anyX his machine has not been paying him since I left Bendigo

[Sunday, 2 March 1862] 28th. Feby 1862. Been a miserable week for me my hand causing me the most excruciating pain. I did not sleep for 5 nights what with the want of sleep & pain Im worn down to a perfect skeleton, my hand gathered till Wednesday when it broke. I gave a doctor 30/. to cure it. I feel much easier since it commenced to discharge & hope to get to work again next week. My mates made about 1 oz of gold each they very kindly offered to divide it with me but I didnt feel justified in receiving it & declined. It produces a wretched state of mind to be laid up useless on the diggins & in a strange place, without a penny to bless myself with, for after settling up last night, I hadnt 1/. left - Ive spent my time reading & rambling about the hills & & gorges around, viewing nature in her most primitive form, the whole of N.Z. according to Geologists is of very recent formation, created in some spasmodic freak of nature.


Wetherstones Gully

I received a very kind letter from Harry Dight. He is still in Dunedin working at his trade, he has heard from my couzins Henry & Liz both are well, states that owing to the want of water on Bendigo the mines are laying idle the consequence being, no gold - Im very sorry, for Harry deserves to get on -

[Sunday, 9 March 1862] March 9th. Fine weather, for a wonder had only 2 wet days an extraordinary circumstance for N.Z. my hand is still very tender, but I managed to get to work, tho I did not do much, still working on Wetherstones Flat we made £2.15.0 each just enough to pay expenses - poor pay for such hard work & working all day in water, injuring ones constitution we made an effort to bottom the deep ground in our claim, but was driven from it by the force of water. I believe if we could work it, it would pay us for all our labour, not succeeding we have again come to the conclusion of leaving it all- -together & perhaps at some future time when the Flat is more worked & becomes drained to return to it again if it is not taken up etc worked in the meantime. I knocked about the township nearly every night, visiting a variety of places of amusement. The proprietor of the Waverly Saloon desired me to sing & not feeling inclined to sing for the amusement of such a crowd I declined & was leaving the place when he offered me £1.0.0 if I would sing, twice during the evening, wanting a pair of boots very badly I accepted the offer. The Harpist playing a fine accompaniment to me, I sang well & was vociferously applauded, left about 10 pm not well pleased with my evenings work in one sense, one comfort there is no one I care


Wetherstones Gully

about here so long as it is not known at home it matters not, its astonishing the number of men who frequent these places. I thought it a pity they couldnt find some more rational mode of enjoyment than visiting these places drinking & gambling - Etc. This morning we went for firewood owing to a fall of rain during the night the hills were very slippery, causing us considerable difficulty in getting our loads home. On arriving at the tents we found a quite a commotion, a band of lazy wretches had been spending the morning pillaging tents & being discovered by some one who brought a few policeman, 5 of the six thieves were caught but not without a desperate struggle in which several were shot down like dogs one of them (who got away) fired 6 shots at his pursuer two of them taking effect, but I hear not fatally, their leader is supposed to be a noted Victorian Bushranger whose life has been long forfeited by the laws, this affair has caused great excitement being the first instance of anything of the sort occurring in Otago before. I went down to the camp & saw the villains handcuffed together, ugly specimens of humanity -

March 16th.1862. Fine weather for a wonder Some acquaintances & neighbours, whom I knew on Bendigo named Quinn & Fincher called on Monday morning & proposed forming a large party of 7 men, to purchase a set of "Boxes" & commence sluicing (a kind of gold washing that is getting & likely to be the only pay able way of doing anything worthwhile on these diggings now the gullies & hills are worked out) after some consideration we agreed to join them but first to prospect ground ere we went to the expense of getting the necessary appliances we divided our party, 4 of us going to "German Flat"


Wetherstones Gully

I among the number, after scrambling over high hills & getting up to our knees in marshy ground in the gullies between we reached the place, a narrow valley, rather pretty with a creek running in its centre, found a few parties sluicing, on conversing with them we were given to understand that they were only just earning sufficient to keep them (the old story) we prospected along the creek in many places & also in several gullies running into it, but could only just raise the color of gold & not getting anything to induce us to return we bade farewell. We were put on a track back which we found much nearer & easier to travel than the way we went. I met an old acquaintance who was taking his departure for Victoria, Hugh Cameron, he has done very well, had 44 oz of gold on him & he told me he has 100 oz more in Dunedin lucky fellow, he was a shipmate of Neds from Australia & landed here without a 1s/d. We brought home a Bundle of firewood each, my shoulders ached after carrying it 4 miles. Tuesday & Wednesday we prospected about Wetherstones Gullies, at last we made up our minds to set in a gully that had been worked before, & had been very rich we ordered sluice boxes, which cost us £6.0.0 Friday & Saturday we worked very hard & on cleaning up we found we had only 1 oz. 7 dwts between the 7 of us to divide, not sufficient to pay the Boxes, we couldnt expect to do much at first, but next week we will be able to give it a fair trial. I spent to day in a most agreeable manner, a man died a few days ago near us from the effects of cold & fatigue



his tent & things are still standing, his mates if he had any, leaving him to his fate, the police didnt think it worth their while to take possession of the bits of things he left. I on entering it, the day afterwards found 2 Vol of McCaulays Essays which I took possession of. Ive read nothing that so interested me for a long time - Criticisms on great men their lives & writings I like the ones on Hampden, Milton, Cromwell, Machiavelli & Byron the best, more especially on the protector & the Italian which gives me quite a different opinion of their characters than what I had previously entertained

Friday I wrote to Mother, Ned & I managed to scrape £5.0.0 to send her, in the letter leaving ourselves quite penniless. Im longing for the arrival of the "Aldinga" expecting to hear from home by her -

March 23rd 1862 Weather cloudy & gloomy but attended fortunately with little rain. Worked very hard this week. Monday we worked in the same place as we did last week, but only getting 5 dwts of gold we abandoned it & commenced "paddocking" some ground we were "laid on" to, we sank one 15 ft square & washed the dirt from the bottom on Thursday & Friday & yielded us only 1 oz which so disgusted us, that we divided or broke up our party. Ned, Bill Hobson & I still sticking together Joe Falder, having made up his mind to leave & go to Dunedin where he has £100.0.0 in the bank he intends going to Vancouvers Island or British Columbia, Nt America where great numbers are at present going, owing to reports arriving of large yields of gold being found there



Poor Falder was drowned on landing from a boat at Vancouvers Island 1863 J.H.W

its a great distance to go, but I hear a pleasent voyage across the Pacific Ocean. I trust he may be more fortunate there in he has been while with me, he left yesterday morning. Ned & I have spent to day making a cradle & repairing our tools Etc we sold our Sluice Boxes & Fork for £5.15.0 that cost us less than a fortnight ago £6.10.0 after paying what we owed at the butchers & bakers we found our whole remaining capital to consist of 1s/6d between the 3 of us. Things are looking very bad with us. We shall have to live on short allowance next week if we dont find some gold. I received a very affct letter from my sister Mary, all well at home thank God - she delivered my epistle to Miss R – & thinks it met a favourable reception, my continual ill-luck has driven all feelings of a higher order out of my mind. Im getting quite callous, working, slaving hard enduring fatigue & hardship without remuneration is enough to make a fellow curse himself or whatever influence is at war with *living. I see around me many of the most abandoned & dissolute habits with not a single care of what the morrow may bring for the successful in whatever they undertake, that it seems some incomprehensible mystery must be employed in the regulating of things on this earth. Its no use railing. I had a letter from Dight to day, he intends waiting in Dunedin if he gets a favourable reply to a letter he informs me he sent my cousin Liz he is desperately in love with her & states



that unless he gets balm for his wounded spirit he cares little what becomes of him. I answered his letter giving him very little consolation, knowing she has little affection for him except that of a dear friend. He informs me old Downs is still in Dunedin & is getting up a subscription for poor Dave Magher. I trust he may get something handsome, poor fellow he is a cripple for life

[Sunday, 30 March 1862] March 29th.[30th] 1862. Weather very unsettled plenty of rain, losing a deal of time. Monday Bill & I with Ned tried a hole in a gully bottomed it but not the sign of gold, the same evening Ned left us to go & work in a claim situated in Gabriels Gully, the owners of which (some Jews) are old acquaintances, wanting a mate & we thought it for the best he should try for if only one of us can do well it will help to keep us going until something turns up that we can all join upon. The next morning he took his blankets & things & left us, being too far for him to walk night & morning. In the next tent to us are living two Greeks, strange characters, (I knew one of them, Andre Rosetta) many years ago on Sandy Creek) they are continually quarrelling Tuesday night hearing high words & fancying some blows were passing, I rushed in to their tent in time to stop, (J.Black (as he calls himself) from stabbing Andrea, cutting my own fingers in wrenching the knife out of his hands, after a few words got them quiet & saw them shake hands. They have been doing very well lately & are seldom sober, their claim is



pay able but not having worked it properly, it is very insecure & wood being hard to obtain renders it difficult to work any further. They offered to let Bill & I join them in it if we liked, which we did the following day & for the rest of the week (though at the risk of our lives (the ground being 30 ft deep & very rotten) we bought a "Tom" giving £2.0.0 & on squaring up found we had £2.0.0 each after paying all expenses.

J.Black knowing we were hard up & living on dry bread lent me a few shillings on Thursday very kind of him, & appeared more so to me, from the fact I knew so many old acquaintances from Victoria, who were aware of our position & never offered us a penny, some of whom have plenty & that Ive done many a kind action to Ive got a good memory & perhaps at some future time they may be placed in similar circumstances, & feel the want of a helping friend, gold digging is purely a matter of chance, very different from every other branch of industry. Ned came home to day very downhearted, their claim was swamped out by a flood which came unexpectedly & will take some time before they can get it into working order again, he thinks it will pay well if [they] can work it to advantage, for from a very little lot of wash dirt they got out 1 oz between them, but it was not sufficient to pay their board, perhaps better luck may attend us next week. I received four letters from Victoria this week. One from Harry Vickerman full of his troubles, one of his horses died



& the other is lame obliged to let the machine lie idle. I had a letter from Mr Halley full of gloomy ideas concerning Bendigo & its prospects states that numbers of the Public Co. are defunct the "Nelson Reef Co" is still in existence, crushing for the Public, no pay able quartz having been struck. I wrote to my brother Fred to night Ive spent nearly every night down the township knocking about in the same old vagabond manner in & out of all sorts of places in company with my two Greek mates who are very intelligent fellows, Rosetta especially, he is a fine musician, singing the whole or principal parts of Italian Operas & is well versed in all the Greek & Italian (both modern & ancient) poets & literary characters, he has been all over the world & is full of anecdotes & pleasent stories of people & places he has met & visited -

[Sunday, 6 April 1862] April 5th1862 Weather fair the fore part of the week on Friday it changed, & has been raining incessantly ever since, making Wetherstones Flat look like some great bog or slough of mud. Our tents of course were flooded. Monday & Tuesday we all four turned too & brought in timber for securing our ground, being too rotten to work without – it was a fearful job, toiling over the hills, twice & three times a day a distance of 4 miles each way, carrying each a heavy log of wood back Wednesday we commenced to put props in but on going down the hole we found that one half of the claim had fallen in some 10 ft rendering it impossible to work it again except without expending a great amount of labour & time upon it, which after consideration did not feel justified in doing, knowing it would not pay us for our labours



we secured the other half all right, but unfortunately its the worst part. Thursday rumours were about of a new gold field supposed to be situated on the West side of the Molyneaux River about 30 miles from here great numbers started, & after some consultation we drew lots which two of our party should go & see the place, it fell upon John Black & Hobson who at once rolled up their blankets & taking nothing but a pick & shovel, tin dish, & food to last them about three or four days & started. They returned to day, foot sore tired & regularly knocked up with their few days exertions after travelling in company with scores of others about a frightful rough country fording creeks & rivers losing themselves Etc, without hearing or finding the place, the disappointment felt is great, many vow vengeance on the originator of what is nothing more than a hoax, the difficulty is to find out who caused it -

In their absence, Rosetta & I were unable to do much at the claim, we washed up the dirt we had got out on Thursday & Friday, which yielded 1 oz 15 dwts, not bad for the work we did, if we had all been at work we should doubtless have done very well, always something turns up to put us back. Ned came home last night, having got disgusted with Gabriels Gully, he had 6s/3d to draw after expenses were paid so he doesnt intend going there again, all this is very disheartening. I sang last night at a concert room & was handed £1.0.0 for my services when I left, the money was very acceptable I laid it out this morning in necessaries for the tent, bought a piece of Beef 1/3 per lb -



& indulged in a 2/6 pot of Jam for our supper this evening - I received a letter from Dight during the week, informs me Joe Falder has sailed for Victoria (Vancouvers Island N.A.) where I hope he will be more successful than he was with us on Wetherstones - I got a long letter from Mother, full of troubles which makes me feel my continual ill luck more acutely, she informs me she had just received a letter from Father, & enclosed in it was a draft for £5.0.0 (most wonderful) he has his troubles Im sorry to relate, not enjoying good health & doing very poorly in his line of business (I dont know what line he is in) very little family news of importance. I had another letter from my old friend Burchell, he is studying in London for an M.D. attends lectures on physiology & Anatomy Etc, practices in the dissecting Rooms & has passed an examination in the College of Surgeons (very creditably) he relates how dis- -gusted he was at first in the Hospitals, but now he has become so accustomed to the "horrible" he can eat his lunch along side of a mangled body. I sincerely hope he will get along, & be successful in his new walk of life I spent this afternoon writing to my sister Mary & also to Mr Halley. In the evening in company with John Black paid some Greek friends of his a visit & discovered there was a kind of Freemasonry existing between them

[Sunday, 13 April 1862] April 12th. 1866 Weather very unsettled & disagreable & likely to continue so, now the winter is so near. On Monday Rosetta & [I] went out prospecting down the Tuapeka River we sank two holes 8 ft deep, but the water



coming in thr’ the gravel drove us out without reaching the bottom, so we came away tired & disappointed, no joke to walk 6 miles & then do a hard days work for nothing - I think if the water was not so strong on Tuapeka Flat & people could work the ground properly they would find some rich deposits of gold - on reaching home our mates Black & Hobson, informed us they had had a narrow escape with their lives the old claim having fallen in from the surface they had only time to scramble out beforehand – so that is the finish to our hopes in that quarter

Tuesday we got "laid" on to a claim on 30 ft hill & were induced to commence a hole (Rosetta & I) while the other two drove an old hole near by on prospect Wednesday & Thursday continued driving, & sinking but to no purpose for at the depth of 35 ft we dropd through into an old drive full of water which gave my mate Rosetta a start, the ground sounded hollow & I was sure we were over a drive or near some old underground workings, he would not not believe it until he got a ducking which made him come out with anything but classical Greek or Italian. I really dont know which of the two languages he could swear the best in, but his disappointment was most amusing in its demon- -stration, foreigners cant stand ill luck like Britons our other mates by Friday night had driven some 20 ft without meeting anything pay able they got about 5 dwts of gold - what a lot to divide between four men after a hard weeks work. Yesterday morning Ned came back from prospecting without meeting anything pay able



after some consideration I thought it best to leave my Greek mates (Hobson preferred staying with them. I was not sorry for we wished to get rid of him he is such a fool & always getting into trouble about the township, he fancies he is a good Billiard player & is constantly getting into debt at the various tables about - I paid some of his debts on condition he would never play again. I have taken quite a disgust against gambling as much that I shall show no example to my brother Ned, who Im sorry to see has a predilection for this most pernicious vice, its astonishing what a growing passion it is when once encouraged, far harder to leave off, than drinking - with regard to Hobson he no sooner paid me back what he owed me then he went at it again -) Wright & Hazlett with Bill Dowding (old Bendigo friends) asked Ned & I if we would join them in forming a small sluicing party, they know of some ground at the head of Wetherstones Gully they fancy will pay very well 5/. is all the money Ned & I possess, so we jumped at the chance. Wright bought a set of Boxes which cost him £7.0.0 that are to [be] paid for out of the first gold we get. Bill Dowding very kindly lent me money enough to see Ned & I over the next week in vituals - in the afternoon we went to see the ground & made everything ready for a fair start on Monday morning - Our evenings this week have been passed in the most reckless manner every night down the township visiting every place of amusement free of charge, dancing fighting, rowing & in fact doing everything of the most wild & discreditable character - the nights



are bitterly cold & having no firewood, we are compelled for the sake of warmth to visit the Dance Rooms regular dens they are, every variety of character are to [be] met at them, the most frequented is the “Metropolitan“ kept by nothing better than three prostitutes who occasionally join in a dance a woman being a novelty the attraction is great.

This morning we went over the mountains for firewood came on a cold drisely sleety rain that seemed to penetrate ones bones. I was tired when I got home to the tent, being wet through our tent this evening was crowded with neighbours spent it very jolly singing, card playing & reading with a little gambling - Ive given notice to all comers, that this is the last night Ill permit anything of the sort to be carried on in this tent

[Sunday, 20 April 1862] April 20th.1862. Fine weather during the week but cold & frosty nights & morning - Worked very hard. We made £4.15s/0d each not so bad if we can continue to do the same for a few months. Ned & I had not much of ours left to day, after paying our shares of the Boxes & other debt,. we got in a few stores for next week & found we had £4.0.0 left I wrote to Mother & we sent it to her - I recvd a letter from H.Vickerman all well on Bendigo but states things are very dull there, men are working on the Reefs for £2.0.0 per week Ill try N.Z. a while longer before I think of going back to work for such a sum. I caught



a severe cold at the beginning of the week, on Wednesday I could scarcely work, but was afraid to give way its awful to be ill in such a place as this, no comfort for a healthy man God knows what it must be for a sick one. There has been several deaths in tents close by us, who were only ill a few days before they went to their long homes where there is rest for the weary, (some comfort in such an idea) my cold I cured in the following manner, my limbs were racked with ague & my head aching frightfully when I walked into a densely crowded Dancing Room where I joined in the dance in the wildest manner, until I was fairly wet through with perspiration, in such a state I ran home to the tent, well wrapped up & turned into bed, next morning I felt weak but suffered no pain. This is a rather dangerous mode & would only recommend to a strong constitution & under similar circumstances Last night I visited the the same scenes, sang two songs for the Benefit of a poor devil who is very ill & hard up. Im happy to say the affair was a success & well attended, the “Talent" engaged being amateurs some of whom were rather mediocre but on the whole it was a good entertainment & would not have disgraced even enlightened Melbourne. Dave Hazlett gave a party at his tent to day, Ned & I were invited bringing our own knives & pannikins, found a jolly good dinner provided with plenty of tea & chocolate - & he had also made an attempt at desert, about a dozen



of us were there, how people unaccustomed to a diggers life would have laughed to have seen us in a tent 12 x 14 ft without a table, some of us seated on Buckets turned upside down some on blocks of stone with an old coat wrapped on it for a cushion, lids of "Billy Cans" & broken frying pan for plates & dishes, however we were all accustomed to the sort of thing & laughed & joked as if we were at a Vice Regal Supper or dinner party, if our mothers could only see us now – how the'd laugh, suggested some - Bill Wright had a pannikin of hot tea in his hand & was going to give us a toast, the vessel having no handle to it, got to warm to hold, burning his hand, he dropped it splashing one or two of us causing us to laugh & the wry faces pulled by those affected. With the exception of this little episode every thing went off first rate, our conversation of course turned as is usual at diggers bachelor parties to the Ladies, we all proposed & drank to the health of the girl we loved best (in tea) we had singing & cards (the usual thing) supper time came round after which we broke up about 8.P.m came home. I intend writing to my father. I commenced a long letter to day I dont know when I shall finish it

[Sunday, 27 April 1862] 28th.April 1862 Fine weather during the week, the mornings are fearfully cold & frosty & our work is chiefly among the water standing sometimes nearly all day up [to] our knees & always over our boot tops in it, anything but agreeable it quite frightens me sometimes in the morning



perishing with cold & shivering, & have to walk into a wet "paddock" & commence to bail water out one of our greatest trials is putting on our boots in the morning, they are soaking wet from the previous day & get frozen hard in the tent during the night so in the morning our first job is to thaw them I generally put a lot of hot ashes in mine & shake them about until the frost is out & then put them on - this is only the beginning of winter we have had no snow as yet tho’ I believe plenty has fallen on the higher parts of the country, the hills tops we can see in the distance are covered with "white caps". If I had enough to keep me thro' the winter I would go to Dunedin & spend it there return in the summer - My brother Ned took very ill on Thursday, the effects of a cold & the hardship attending our occupation, he seemed a little better this morning but a change for the worse seems to have taken place this evening. Poor fellow I hope he will soon recover I do all in my power for him & gratify his slightest whim this is an awful country to be ill in - We made £5.0.0 aman this week. Ned out of his share had to pay a man 15/. a day to work in his place since Thursday, which made a hole in our united earnings

Monday night I attended a Diggers Meeting at the Golden Age Hotel the object being to nominate members for a Mining Board to be established on these diggins what has long been needed, our various disputes & grievances at present are settled by an Old woman an old Scotch Captain, who knows nothing about mining or anything, a great number of aspirants came forward some who could talk well & some bad, some who were all theory who purposed grand schemes, by which



the fortunate inhabitant of Tuepeka is to amass an enormous fortune. I was glad to find a few sensible practical men among the number, who appeared to know the wants & requirements of the district, there was only one I knew from Victoria, Mr Brodie ex M.P. for Bendigo, he is an auctioneer here - & is not very popular, he could hardly get a hearing, but being rather an eloquent man he managed to wheedle round his listeners, until he became the most popular man of the lot, such is the power of mind & manner when exercised over a mixed assemblage of less intellectual beings. Tuesday night I wrote to Harry Dight & also to Cousin Lizzie - every other evening I spent at the tent, in company with Ned. This morning I went over the hills for firewood, literally knocked up on my return. I brought such a load my legs tremble still with the exertion. I was home by 1. P.m found several neighbours at the tent & my old acquaintance & one I respect more than any on this place, Chas Malander, a Swede, a fine intelligent young man, whose company Im very partial to, he staid tea with us. Im happy to know he is coming to live in our neighbourhood, so I shall see more of him

May 4th.1862. Weather similar to last, but colder at night, the gully where we are [at] work is situated between two very high abrupt ranges, & so formed that we only see the sun about 4 hours aday, the days are getting very short. We go to work as soon as it is day light & dont get back till dark, wet-footed & cold – returning to the tent & then have to light a fire & cook our tea (this is living with a vengeance)



Im happy to state my brother Ned is recovering fast he is not fit to work yet - tho he came to the claim on Thursday & did a little. We only made £3.2.0 aman this week - We had to employ a man to help us but the ground getting poor we discharged him & took in a partner who paid us £5.0.0 for the share - I dont think he will get his money back again he is an old mate of mine on the "Nelson Reef", (Bob Forbes) The "Aldinga" & "Omeo" arrived, beginning of the week. I received a long letter from my Brother Fred, all well at home, it was full of tantalising accounts about various amusements he had been at, what a contrast his pleasures are to ours. Ive seen a deal of Malander during the week, on Monday night he introduced me to the Debating Society just formed in the new Chapel (a calico tent on a large scale, seated with rough boards), the Society has a president & Secretary & Treasurer & numbers 60 members all dressed in diggers rough garments presenting rather a coarse appearance - but; there the comparison ends I was astonished to find many among the number highly intellectual, some I believe who have received University Educations. The argument under debate created a warm discussion & brought forth a considerable amount of sound logic & reasoning power such as I never listened to before. I was enrolled a member, the subscription is 1/. a week, the Society meets every Monday night. Im happy in having joined it, its far better than spending my evenings in cursed low places, one evening at all events is sacred & Im sure Ill be mentally profited by the association connected with such an institution



Malander & I spent last night in each others company discussing various subjects, he has some ideas on some – but on the whole is very enlightened without being Utopian or at all narrow-minded - we visited Webbs Dancing Room to get warm from there to D'Lorra’s, Blue Jacket Hotel, where a concert is held every Saturday night. Id not been in a minute before I was most vociferously called upon to sing - I dislike making a public exhibition of myself but felt compelled to comply, the place is built of Iron & is an excellent one to sing in, & with a good accompaniment I sang the "Old House at Home" which seemed to enter into the hearts of the audience. If I was possessed of much vanity, I should have had it gratified last night, by the expressions of the audience. I was compelled to sing it over again, much to the disgust of the regular professionals engaged at the place who are a worn out set, that couldnt earn a living except where talent was scarce. I never in my life attended so many places of amusement & saw so much life (of rather a questionable character I must admit) on so little money, the four months Ive been here Ive spent 12/- & that for cigars or most of it - I never drink & yet Ive free ingress & egress into every place on Wetherstones, Dance rooms, Singing Saloons, Gambling Hells, & Billiard & Bowling alleys I never play, but enjoy myself studying the various shades of character one meets at these places

This morning Bill Hobson (who is living with us but not working with us) & I went over the hills for firewood, suffering the usual fatigue on



such occasions. Spent the afternoon reading a work I borrowed some time ago full of excellent observations on life & manners more especially to young men on entering life, a few good ideas I fell in with I purpose noting - "Mankind in general mistake difficulties for impossibilities, that is the difference between those who effect [&] those who do not - "The more a man has to do the more he finds himself capable of doing even beyond the direst task "All men that have done things well in life have been remarkable for decision of character "Vigour, energy - resolution firmness of purpose these carry the day - more men fail from the want of energy & vigour than from want of talents "Is there one whom difficulties dishearten, who bends to the storm, he will do little, Is there one who will achieve; that kind of man never fails. "Idleness is the greatest prodagality Plato said - Better to err in acts than principle "No human being was ever truly great who had not learned the necessity & acquired the habit of looking facts steadily in the face - "It is better to accomplish perfectly a very small amount of work, than to half do ten times as much "Be punctual, by cherishing that spirit, out of which punctuality grows, that, accuracy, precision & vigour, which makes the efficient man, the determination, that what you have resolved to do should be done in spite of all temptations to the contrary - Nelson said, Ive always been a quarter of an hour before my time, & it made a man of me".



May 11th.1862. Weather very unsettled plenty of rain, accompanied with hail & a slight fall of snow the first I have seen since leaving England – we lost about 1½ days work in consequence. We only realized 1 oz 5 dwts of gold between us by Tuesday night in the claim we have workd the past few weeks & seeing no prospect of the ground improving we left the claim & took up another one in a gully at the foot of Wetherstones running into the flat where some of our party worked before. We have been busy cutting a tail race & making other preparations necessary for working the ground properly - I havent much faith in the spot - our earnings for the week was 31s/-d each just enough to keep us in vituals. Monday night I went to the Debating Society, rather a poor subject under discussion but one which caused an animated debate. Total abstinence or Moderation which, the most beneficial & practical - the argument became one-sided. Drunkenness was supplied for Moderation, no distinction having been drawn between them by those who took up the subject. Malander & I spent three other evenings in each others company adjourning after our strool to some dance Rooms for a warming before making for our homes (no great distance from the townhip) Im happy to say my brother Ned has recovered from his attack of cold & fever - Bob Fincher paid us a visit to day - he has been working



in Munros Gully (3 miles from here) since he left us where he is making good wages sluicing, he stay’d tea with us after which I walked part of the way home with him - I received a long letter from Harry Dight yesterday - he is well in health & *spent in constant employ at his trade, made many friends & spends his time pleasently, informs me Andrew Smith returned from Victoria a few weeks ago & is now employed as an assistant in the largest Chemist Shop in town at a good salary - I borrowed from a Baker (who has a few good choice books) a History of Hungary - which Ive read with interest

18th.May 1862 Fine weather during the week with the exception of Friday when it rained very heavy & so lost a day - We worked very hard this last week but with little profit we sank a large paddock, 14 ft deep - by the same in the square which yielded us 4 dwts of gold, that so disgusted us that none of us had courage to propose sinking another, so we left it after spending a great deal of work over it - we went on the Flat - where I worked on my arrival in this place, found the ground much worked - our old claim that we could not bottom for water, where the dip was, I was so anxious to bottom I found had been worked out & on speaking to some men near by in reference to it - I was informed that a party of Irishmen had made £450.0.0 each man out of that said dip they did not take possession of it until 2 months after we had left it & owing to some party farther down on the flat who had cut a tail race & partially drained the ground they



were enabled to work it to advantage - how very annoying - enough to make a fellow mad to think how unlucky we are, we sank a paddock about 12 x 14 & 11 ft deep which we worked yesterday it only turned us out about 13 dwts - giving us altogether for our weeks labour 13/. such ill luck making me feel very wretched - we broke up our party & Ned & I are undecided what to do We spent the best part of to day prospecting about & looking out for a place to set into work - we fell in with two acquaintances Tom Magher & Sydney Jack & have arranged to try some old working at the head of Wetherstones Gully - next week in partnership with them - they are wild, reckless chaps but good working men Monday night I went to the Debating Society - The question being which afforded the most happiness to mankind "Hope or Reality" I went with the majority & advocated Hope my friend Melander took Reality & by a plausible kind of logic & possessing considerable oratorial power then on a show of hands being called, it was carried that Reality did, not all the reasoning in the world would convince me in entertaining such an idea - Hope is the very essence of our nature, life would indeed be truly wretched without it - with all its care & trouble sorrows & afflictions, its a beacon on lifes dreary sea - the star of immortality - such a *discourse as I heard makes me think ill of humanity it proves how much man clings to the things



of this world - for I was sorry to find with one or two exceptions that the whole idea of those who advocated Reality confined themselves to its limited sense & to things temporal - selfishness predominated - for instance all seemed to think that the actual realization of one desire brought with it more pleasure - than the pleasure derived from a thousand or indefinate number of hopes or aspirations - Malander had the impudence after it was over to tell me he was not arguing from conviction - I was annoyed at the sophistry he displayed & rated him pretty soundly

25th.May 1862 Frightful weather the past week as I never experienced before & ever imagine I should - Monday & Tuesday it snowed incessantly creating a most dreary sickening sensation to all located on the diggins here - wherever I turn my eyes the same scene, white white every where & everything - our tents are buried in snow, last night the ridgepole of our tent broke with the weight of snow upon it we were nearly perished getting up to put it all right & beat the snow off the tent - our bit of firewood was buried - we lit a fire on Tuesday dinner time by burning a box we had in the tent, boiled a "billy" of tea which put some life in us. I tasted Brandy for the first time in my life on Monday night when I went to the Debating Society, not many present, being so cold our meeting did not last long, the subject being "Is it just to Prohibit Chinese Emigration into Australia" this subject has caused considerable controversy in Victoria & other colonies - Otago is the only



one they have been excluded from - after anything but an animated discussion it was decided that it should be so that in justice to European Colonists they should be excluded from entering & enjoying the same privileges. Wednesday morning, the snowing having ceased we made an attempt at work & by Friday night after doing a deal of work under very disagreeable circumstances - we found on washing up our dirt we had 5 dwts to divide between 4 of us, disheartened & miserable on Friday night I made up my mind to leave the damned country - but my brother Ned not agreeing I did not like to go without him - he thinks I might go to Dunedin & try & get a situation until the summer sets in & then return & try my luck again - I would not agree to it unless he came also, so there it ended - the winter has set in in earnest, snow covers every hill & even in the valleys it lies several feet thick some places Yesterday we rambled about to find some place to set into work - I fell in with Joe Russell who used to live next tent to me in "Pinch Gut" Gully Bendigo many years ago - he, along with three other men have hired a puddling Machine foot of the "Blue Spur." he thinks they will be able to make good wages at it but they want another mate & offered me a share in it for £10.0.0. Joe advised me to get it if I could



for if we can see the winter over, he is sure we shall make a few hundred pounds in the summer after some consideration I agreed, having £5.0.0 by me I borrowed £2.0.0 from Ned & a Jew named Barnett who keeps a small store near the Machine lent me the other £3.0.0 & he also offered me room in his store to put up my stretcher & come & live with him - to which I agreed, my own tent being too far away to go home every night. I brought up my things to night - so as to be ready & handy for my work in the morning.

Last night I went to Malanders & spent the evening with him knocking about the township we went into DeLorras where a kind of Free & Easy is held, it was crowded with men drinking & card-playing we spent a few hours very jollily Im sorry to state Malander & his mates are going to leave the diggins in the morning he thinks of going to Victoria, I bade him good bye to day - he made me a present of what few books he had & some other bits of things This afternoon we spent making slides on the ice & playing snowball like a lot of children it tended to divert us from the misery of our situation - the diggers are leaving fast Im sure upwards of 3000 must have left during the past week - everyone who has the means purpose leaving - lucky fellows! I wish I was out of it. The winter coming on so soon & so roughly gives rise to the idea of a very severe one - frightening many however, Im here now & mean to stick here -



Sydney Jack called to see me this evening he is a queer fish - in fact an extraordinary character - he was born in Sydney - brought up amongst the "blacks" in the bush living when a boy on horseback stockriding - he has been all over the inhabited parts of Australia from Queensland to the western boundary of Sth Australia. Knocked about for 2 years at the head of the Darling with 2 others where they gathered upwards of 500 head of cattle & 100 horses in that time - numbers of which Ive no doubt were stolen from the far inland runs - it took them 12 months to bring them to Adelaide where they disposed of them, horse stealing seems to have been a pastime with him, cattle lifting an amusement - Sydney got too hot for him on one occasion & he went as a seaman to China on a 9 months voyage, found his way back in company with an English gentleman he met in Hong Kong who had an affection in his mouth & could hardly make himself intelligible - however Jack had £200 a year from him for 2 years they travelled the colonies - sometimes living a gay life in the towns & at others far away in the interior - his tales of the blacks & bushrangers, scenes & adventures of the most reckless & extrordinary character would fill volumes, he stole a racehorse from a well known horse breeder in Victoria & brought it to Bathurst NSW where he sold it - the police getting an inkling of it he thought he get out of way for a time, so came to N.Z & camped near us & so we got acquainted, he & his mate Magher have



been very unlucky - the other night I went into their tent & found them at tea their meal consisting of dry bread & tea the same evening I was coming from the township & I saw a man with a load on his back wading through the mud I overtook him & found him to be Jack - he had a side of bacon & a 50 lb Bag of Flour with him I asked him where he got - he coolly informed me he had helped himself to it feeling very hungry this cold weather & not having a penny he went to a store & asked for some food on credit & was refused so he revenged himself in this manner. It wasnt exactly the thing - but I wasnt going to make a fuss about it - Ive done similar things when hard pushed in days gone by & know from experience a hungry belly knows no conscience Ah blush, frown - look with scorn upon the poor writer you who are clothed & comfortably housed & know not what it is to [be] hungry - ye can afford to be honest - circumstances alter cases – perhaps a time may come when I shall look back with horror at connections like Jacks - but I shall seldom find a warmer hearted or a better friend than he would make, about 2 or 3 months ago he had some money & I & Ned were short – old friends living near who I had known for years & that Id done many kindnesses for refused to lend us 5/- when we hadnt a bite of food in the tent Jack didnt know us scarcely - he came to me & put a pound in my hand & told me to come to him again as long as he had any he would share it with me - this is testing what a man is made of - I hope Jack will be lucky & become a better member of society than he has been - Ive read a great deal this week



Blue Spur – Wetherstones - Otago [Sunday, 1 June 1862] June 1st 1862. Weather still very unsettled sloppy & muddy every step - got wet through every day Wednesday it snowed all day. I prefer rain to it it gives every thing such a cold "Arctic Region" look food is very dear Bread & meat double the price it was 2 months since 1s/6d per lb for meat & its astonishing what a craving one feels for animal food this cold weather - I can take & make a meal of Bread & a piece of raw Suet that in Victoria would have sickened & disgusted me - Im living with a Jew named Ben Barnett - quite a young chap & the biggest "softy" I ever fell in with he is keeping a branch store on commission. Im afraid his profits are not large, he sells "grog" & I am annoyed terribly by a pack of wild Irishman living near who awake us up in the middle of the night for to give them drink & sometimes on credit - poor Ben is very timid. In such wretches company I dont feel very comfortable, last night 3 of them came, Pat McGar being one, a wild reckless buffer thats escaped hanging more than once - he made Ben get up & cook him a chop & boil some tea. I remonstrated with Ben & told him what a fool he was to be made such a tool. Pat heard me & has long wanted to pick a quarrel with me owing to me stopping him from robbing a drunken man some weeks ago fortunately I had my clothes on except my coat when he came up & commenced to bully me, Ben was



away for some water & the other 2 Irishmen were in the front part of the store - he commenced by telling me he had had it in for me for some time & Id better say my prayers I jumped up & before he could lift his shillalah I caught him a spanking smash with my fist in the neck just under the chin - he appeared astonished, & before he could recover himself I hit him over the face with an empty ale bottle, which stunned him - my blood was up at the time, but I knew if I remained a minute longer his mates who had heard the row in the front came rushing in) I would have been killed, so I got out at the back & made for "French Bobs" tent where I stopped the night. I met one of them last night he was very civil & sorry, but pleaded being drunk as an excuse for his attack, there was something about him I didnt like so I shall be on my guard with "that mob" for the future -

My new speculation doesn't look very promising as yet, there are five of us mates very decent fellows - We hire two horses for which we pay £10 per week for. (they belong to 2 of our mates the feeding of them is divided between us - they paying an equal share in all other expenses the Machine & Dray belong to a Yankee speculator we pay him (Montgomery) £5 per week for its use - So with one thing & another our expenses are very heavy, after settling up last night, we had only 30/- each to draw, but I think when we get properly to work we shall do better - the weather is very much against us - continual frosts



& thaws, making it frightful dirty & disagreeable to work, our machine is situated at the junction of two narrow gullies, foot of the Blue Spur we have set in a road way into the hill & intend washing every thing before us - we had great difficulty in getting the horses to the place the horse feed we buy in the township nearly two miles distance & have to carry it on our backs - our dray, we had to carry over pieces at a time, it scarcely paid us for the trouble for its of little use - We have ordered a sleigh to be made (£20) or an improved *plane, that will hold a load of dirt & tip up either side - Monday night it snowed so hard I did not go to the Dbtg Sty -. last night my mates & I went down the township, knocked about among all sorts of places & all sorts of company till 12 pm. the best part of the night I spent at DeLorees "Blue Jacket Hotel" where there is a Concert Room containing the only piano on Wetherstones, a young chap named Crawford from Collingwood plays it he knows several families Im acquainted with there - & knows my family very well, tho’ he does not know my name - nor do I wish him to do so - Im known in this place (except by those from Bendigo,) by the name of Bendigo Jack rather amusing, in after life & in different scenes to refer to, - "whats in a name" 9am when I arose this morning & for a



wonder fine weather - I read until 12 had dinner & went to the township met Ned, he has done nothing all the week, but work hard with no returns - spent the afternoon with him - on leaving him I bought a bundle of firewood 5/. (weighed 60 lbs) must last the coming week through for culinary purposes - I wrote to Dight Im getting very anxious about mother Ive not heard from them for some time - It fills me with pain not being able to send her some money - she struggling along & no support from either Ned or I. I lie awake at night picturing all manner of wretched scenes at home, perhaps sick, starving - their home sold up, turned out & such like - may God in his mercy be kind to them - I often regret for their sakes I ever left Bendigo I could always make wages & forward them part of it every week - or be near & share with them whatever distress they might be in

[Sunday, 8 June 1862] June 7th. 1862 Another wretched week over what with the cold, mud & snow, existence is nearly unbearable - I dont think theres such a miserable country on the face of the earth, if so God help its inhabitants - we get wet through at our work every day come home at dark to our cold cheerless dirty tent boil our billy under difficulties make a wretched meal & then tumble into bed & read or watch



the gambols of the rats that infest every tent in the district, owing to the creeks & rivers being frozen they have taken to the tents - horrible creatures Ive counted as many as 30 running about at a time we are getting so accustomed to them that we hardly notice them now, very destructive they are, eat holes in our clothes & blankets & if we leave any food about for ever so short a time it soon vanishes we keep our vituals in a box - and at night I can scarcely sleep with their noise & squeeking & tearing out chips of the box trying to work a passage through. They run over us at night in crowds, poor Ben is terribly frightened of them he has made a long sack which he gets into on going to bed - Owing to the inclemancy of the weather we got very little gold - we had only £1.13.0 each to draw after paying expenses its very annoying to know there is gold & we have the means of getting it & that the weather should be against us - Poor Ned is doing nothing, his mates & him are living by their wits, their claim being frozen up. Ned is a good billiard player & wins a little money at it - in fact one of his mates informed me, his playing keeps them alive this is an awful state of things - degrading us lower & lower & wonder what Father & those at home would think if they could see us leading the life we do - Monday I went in company



with Mr English (a neighbour of mine, a very nice intelligent gentlemanly fellow) to the Debating Society the evening was spent in business being the last night of the quarter - there has been a great falling off in numbers - natural consequence so many leaving the place - I went down the township last night visited various places of amusement - got a good blowing up from Mrs. Deloree for not coming to see her all the week - bother her, she is rather too amorous & has no discretion - she makes herself ridiculous, her husband is jealous - & many people I know have observed her partiality for me - she keeps the best Hotel on Wetherstones - attached to it is a Concert Hall where I occasionally sing - she wants me to board with her - & will pay me a salary besides if I will accept it to sing every night In my present circumstances, few would decline such an offer - but if I did, I know I should only get into trouble, her husband is a Frenchman & celebrated as a swordsman both in France & Australia & is also of a most revengeful disposition, so I think I do well in keeping aloof from having any further connection with her - there is a very pretty girl named Rose living with her - who also professes to like me (of the two I decidedly like the latter) & its amusing to witness the jealousy of the two women. I didnt get up to day till near 12 am Ned & his mate Haywood, called & spent the day with me - & also had some more friends here my Irish lovers came prowling about this evening but seeing a lot of us they kept very civil -.



15th.June 1862. Another week passed baffling description, of all the misery & wretchedness Ive endured from things external & feelings internal. Monday morning we found our Machine & dam, sluice boxes & cuttings covered with snow took us all day to clear it away & get ready for work again - Tuesday & Wednesday - what with one of the horses being bad, & the hard frost setting in, we did nothing - my mates thought of giving the affair up - but I proposed visiting the proprietor (Montgomery) & coming to some more favourable arrangement. I waited upon him on Wedy afternoon - he wasnt inclined to make any alterations in our agreement - I told him we would give him £5.0.0 per week for the horses & Machine Drays, sleighs, & Sluice Boxes Etc & we guarantee to keep the horses in good condition - I gave him an hour to consider it - on my return he wanted £7.10.0 - I was leaving again when he called me back & agreed to my terms - so we purpose keeping on at it - for I feel confident if we get over the next two months we shall do very well at it. We only washed one Machine of dirt during the week, it turned out enough to pay expenses & gave us £1.0.0 each besides - it takes us half a day (Saturday) to carry horse feed from the township over a very



rough dirty road, it seems hard to have horses & not able to make them bring their own feed - but its rather dangerous, being no road - only a pathway running among & between holes - Monday night I visited the Debating Society (with English) the subject was "Does Otago or Victoria hold out the greatest inducements for intending Emmigrants” from Britain) - Victoria bore away the palm the night was bitterly cold - & I fancy the most of those present were predudiced against Otago -

Ive had very sore feet this week - suffering from chilblains - Im generally very careful with regard to my health - but I fancy I brought on this complaint from my own folly in the following manner, my boots get very soaking – every day at my work & through the night they get frozen hard like Iron - & to thaw them so as to get my feet into them I fill them with hot ashes & rattle them about until the leather softens - I feel more comfortable without boots I can run about the snow barefooted - Ive been reading an interesting work by Bulwer-Lytton "Devereux" a delightful thing - giving me a good idea (I dont know if a correct one) of the characters of several eminent men who lived in Queen Anns time - Pope, Bolingbroke Swift Fielding & several others - This morning being fine I went in company with two other men - accompanied


Wetherstones: pig hunting

by two good dogs on a pig hunt. We ascended the hills that surround Wetherstones & struck along the ridges in the direction of the "Waipora". After walking up hill & down for several miles across the snow lying on the hills & wading through the creeks & marshes, in the gullies, we at length came to a spot where the snow lay in patches & found some spots where pigs had been snouting up the ground in quest of roots, got onto the track of a sow with a litter of young ones following it about a mile, we espied a thicket of scrub a few yards square - fully confident they were in it, we divided & by going a round about - we surrounded them & sent one of the dogs to rouse them, he wasnt long in doing so when the sow was seen running out towards Bill Harris with 6 little ones, they could run like deer, however the dog pinned the old, one but he paid dearly for his temerity, the pig ripped up his belly with its feet like a knife. I ran & hit her over the head with a cudgel, which didnt take effect for with a loud grunt she pitched right at me & not expecting such an attack, I was unprepared for it, she would have worried me, but for the other dog who rushed upon her thus diverting her for the moment from me - I scrambled up, but not without an effort the fall had stunned me & my face scratched & my eyes nearly blinded with mud. Joe Russell I found engaged with the sow, the dog having


Wetherstones: pig hunting

got frightened ran away & it took the three of us to finish her Bill Harris stuck his bowie knife into her two or three times which finished her career he had sent the dog after one of the little ones & now came up to us dragging it with him by the hind leg, having secured it, we set to work to dissect the big one, cut her into quarters, we brought home the two largest & the little pig – our walk back was any thing but a pleasent one - the road being hilly, & rocky & the distance long - however after tea we felt all right & they had a good laugh at my expense

22nd June 1862 Weather similar to last but not quite so much frosty. We commenced work on Monday with every prospect of doing well – when on Tuesday we broke the beam of the Machine. (a piece of straight timber 9 inches in diameter & 19 feet long it was brought from a forest 20 miles away at great expense) this was a severe blow for us, rendering it impossible to go on with our work without it. We deliberated what was best to be done to replace it would take nearly 4 days this time of the year to go for one at Tokomira - I proposed to go to the forest at the head of Gabriels gully & take the two horses & if we could not find one long enough to get two pieces & splice them – we lost no time, an hour after it broke we started, got into a steep gully where the timber grows, & after looking at every tree in the forest (which is not more than ½ a mile square) without finding one suitable - we were obliged to be



satisfied with two short lengths, it was quite dark or at last night had come on when we got there to the top of the hill, the snow was thick, on the ground & the horses dragged their load very easily home - we were very tired & weary on reaching home - & every rag of our clothes, torn, wet, & frozen Wdy we spent in splicing & getting our new beam in working order. Thursday afternoon we got to work again too late to make any thing like wages - we had only £1.0.0 each to draw, after paying expenses which have been heavier than usual horse feed is increasing in price every day - we pay 31s/6d perhundred for chaff & 14s/d- per bushel for Oats, & have to carry it on our backs from the township - Friday we had a dispute with some men working near us, a wild lot of Irishmen with a few Spaniards & Italians - who are sluicing near our dam & are running their sludge into it - we remonstrated with them they were very insolent & their party being twice the number of ours, they got very quarrelsome & threatened to drive a pick into the head of one of my mates, before he had time to do so Jack who is a very strong young fellow, picked his antagonist up in his arms & threw him into the dam - the fight became general. I was armed with a long handled shovel, & managed to hit a couple in such a manner, that they all seemed inclined to renew the attack - my mates



fought like tigers & pitching onto them suddenly they were not prepared for such an encounter the majority being foreigners ran at once, our only ally - was a Bulldog of Joes - who entered into the spirit of the thing dog fully & bit at their legs that it seemed they were more afraid of "Castor" than of us. They went for the Commissioner & when he came, he settled the case against them & made them cut a race for their sludge round our dam - since then they have been very civil - but I dont trust them this morning "Castor" came in with his side bleeding & on examining the wound found he had had a knife stuck into him - this is what I call cowardly & we visited the Spaniard tents but all denied doing the act - I received 4 letters this week - one from Mr Halley, he is very well & still on Bendigo doing very little at the Nelson Reef - sympathises with me at my want of luck - but advises me if Im doing anything or seeing any chance of getting on here not to think of returning to Victoria - the other letter was from my cousin Lizzie, she is not very well & is tired or sick of Bendigo & thinks of leaving for Adelaide - Informs me Mrs. Drews little boy is dead, died from excessive kindness - she saw Mr Halley a few hours before she wrote & he wished I was back - says I could get to the same billet on the Nelson



I had before at the same wages - I dont like the idea of returning worse than I went - my other letter was from my dear old friend James Hamilton, he is still living in Stirling, Scotland, settled down quietly & hopes for the rest of his life Mrs H. & little Sandy are quite well - it was a long, kind, affectionate letter, such as only one dear friend could write to another who had every confidence in each other - there is one portion of his letter - that has led to reflections of a serious nature, since his leaving Australia he has come under the Divine Spirit changing his character considerably judging from the tone of communication he advises & recommends me to search after heavenly things producing as he states a better order of mind - alludes to the death of Jesus Christ his dying for our sins - the plan of salvation - its effacacy - & finishes with an earnest appeal to pray - altogether it was a beautiful letter & coming to me in such an out- -landish place & situated as I am in such unsettled circumstances, it may exercise a good effect. I tried to pray since, a thing Ive not done for many years - in fact Ive lived with & associated with so many sceptics upon these subjects - that my conscience has in a great measure somewhat hardened & renderd



anything but susceptible to things spiritual Fred[s] letter, as usual, full of news principally referring to the various pleasures & amusements himself & other members of my family have been indulging in one comfort in Freds letters - they always show me the bright side of my families circumstances - I wrote to Father during the week & also to Dight - I received a note to day from Malander - he left here for Victoria, but seeing a good opening to invest his money in Dunedin he is remaining in the province - he has leased a piece of ground in town & purposes erecting Public Baths - I trust he will find it a profitable investment - Joe Russell & I started this morning at 9 am for a bundle of firewood we had to go many miles for it, travelling over hills & gullies covered with snow, coming home it came on to snow. I fortunately reached a range of hills that I could follow & would bring me near home - how I did get here I can hardly tell - I left my wood near a rock I know so I shall go for it in the morning Joe has only just got home - he lit a fire, burnt half his load & took shelter in a hole among some rocks until the storm passed - he would have perished if it had not been for the fire - poor devil he is fast asleep & seems unconscious of his late danger - what a blessing to the weary, is sleep - the most mysterious of natures phenomena & yet the best to man -



29th June 1862 Weather much milder than it has been the past few weeks - spent a deal of time in repairing our works - so as to be better prepared for a renewal of bad weather - we in consequence, did not get much gold we had 31/- each after paying all expenses. Im been a very poor spirits, the life Ive led & am leading is affecting me not only physically but mentally - sometimes I feel after a continued series of disappointment as Ive experienced lately I shall go mad - Poor Ned is doing nothing but working hard with no returns & Im sorry to say or think he is getting addicted to vices that I fear are having had their origin in necessity - I have implored him often, whatever is the consequence to refrain from gambling in any shape or form - this thing itself, makes me regret our ill luck the more - for if we could leave this place & go somewhere he might be freed from his present associations & change or refrain from indulging & feeding the vice, gambling is like drinking, but worse it is a growing evil - & let it get firm hold of a man happy is he who is ever released from its degrading influences - Monday night, went to the Debating Sty – subject - "Are the Nt States of America justified in going to war with the St States" - the debate lasted thro 10 pm when it was settled to the satisfaction of many that they were - the question was very



one sided - the Southerners being badly represented it proved to me however justified they might be - that the usual audience are not satisfied from convictions of their own - but are led by any one possessing a very moderate share or oratorical power & so they vote without thinking over the subject, for the side best buttered & easiest swallowed - Thursday & Saturday nights I spent at the "Blue Jacket" Deloree pleasently after a fashion - Spent the day reading never left the tent - I wrote to Fred & also to Malander

There is one thing causes me great anxiety & that is I find my eyesight is getting very defective – some days I can hardly read & if I read or write for an hour or so in the evening, I suffer severely - my head swims & aches & the letters get quite indistinct - I fancy it is the continual glare of light arising from the suns reflection upon the snow - Ive read very little lately - from the cause God grant me my sight - or farewell these visions Ive pictured to myself in the future when I should discontinue my present life & turn to other more congenial to my tastes when an appointment should arrive -

6th.July 1862 Fine weather but bitterly cold & frosty - Made £3.0.0 each this week - but out of that we bought a set of sluice boxes 24 ft long as our cradle but a deal of fine gold - Monday night I went to the Society, subject, which did the most good for Society the "Minister or the Schoolmaster"



much to my disgust the subject was handled in such a disrespectful manner & the character of the Minister treated in such a tone of levity that I wasnt surprised at the Schoolmaster gaining the palm - its astonishing to find a lot of intelligent men so antagonistic against anything appertaining to mans spiritual welfare. With the exception of last night when I paid the "Blue Jacket" a visit in company with Ned & my mates, I spent in the tent, reading when my sight permitted, it snowed all night & to day every thing looked so dreary & gloomy - that I find my spirit affected with it. I wrote a long letter to Jim Hamilton to day -

13 July 1862 Weather beautiful & fine - the sun shining bright all day - & yet intensely cold Im sure it must freeze about 20 hours out of the day for everything around is frozen up, our Dam & Mill - with water & tail races all choked up with ice - the water holes & springs Etc - we have to take an axe to chop the ice when we want water for culinary purposes - we only worked two days of the week Monday & Saturday, just one Machine of dirt, which fortunately turned out well - giving us £1.2.6 each after defraying expenses every body is idle - passing away time as agreeably as possible under the circumstances seems to be the order of the day, sliding - & playing snowball



cardplaying & drinking - the billiard & Concert & Dancing Rooms are filled night & day - but I observe very little money spending - Its amusing to visit the township & hear the criers & bell men going about praising the places of amusement they represent - the most attractive places are those which hold out the luxury of a fire -

Ive been laid up with chilblains. I can scarcely walk or sleep for pain. Ive had to wear old boots with pieces cut out of the side, for many a day, in other respects I enjoy glorious health. In fact since Ive been in NZ Ive not felt the slightest effect from my hardships - Its been a cursed place for many - for Ive seen fine strong men since I lived here, cast down, broken in health & vigour for the rest of their days. Ive had so far a marvellous constitution. I ascribe it to my commencing & getting enured to what would appear incredible hardships - when I was a mere child - so my system has grown to meet the requirements of the life Ive led - pains, rheumatics, cramps & such like are to me unknown - whereas when a full grown man who has had the comforts & luxuries of a home commences on such an occupation as a gold diggers, he soon breaks down & begin to show signs of decay - I received a letter from Dight, on Tuesday, he is still unwell complains of the climate Etc - I wonder what hed say if he had to live in a small thin calico tent


Wetherstones: pig hunting

without fire - I guess hed cease to grumble at his present life if he had to live a week with me I visited DeLorees last night got into a scrape about their girl - such a lot of chaps are smitten with her that Im looked upon by many with antipathy, & difficult is my task sometimes to stop their remarks - things are different in such a place as this in comparison to a settled town men here as in all society where there are no women [are] wild & lawless more like brutes when their passions are aroused than human beings with a spark of divinity in them -

I spent to day pig hunting near the Tuepeka River had a long chase tracking one over the snow, at length got in sight of a fine boar - he showed fight but Castor got hold of him & we cut his throat, carried the two hind quarters home - we were very tired on reaching here - I went out on Thursday but after travelling many miles & losing ourselves in the bargain without meeting any signs of pigs we came home much disgusted - to day I travelled bare footed over the snow thinking it would cure my chilblains

20th.July 1862 The weather overhead has been beautiful, the sun [shining] brightly - for some 3 or 4 hours a day & then it commences to freeze & everything underfoot gets as hard as stone. We were four & a half days idle in consequence of the frost



it thawed a little on Friday & we managed to sluice a Mill of dirt that we had puddled last week it yielded us 3 oz 10 dwts - which was very good for the quantity of dirt we had washed for it - it was just enough to pay expenses - & give us £1.0.0 each over - not bad considering we are frozen up like some Arctic Explorers in winter time -

My leisure time has been spent in a variety of ways – snowballing - pig hunting - & going over the mountains for firewood - sometimes reading & writing - very little of the latter for I find my eyes wont permit me to indulge in my favourite recreation - & my feet with chilblains has prevented me enjoying out door or open air exercise so much as I would like - Monday night I went to the Debating Society,) found many had left, we mustered nearly 200 members some weeks back, now we are about 45 - next week I suppose there will be less.) no subject was discussed all business - it was proposed & carried that we should change our programme for the ensuing quarter instead of debate, have Essays from the members & at their conclusion any thing that had been stated in them that seemed objectionable - to be subject to criticism & discussion - Twelve essays are promised by members - I was induced at the solicitations of several members to become one of the number - I felt thoroughly incompetent for such a task



especially when a man has to depend upon his own brain for matter - there being no such thing as a Library on this place where to gain a grain of information upon any subject - Ive spent hours in pondering over in my mind what to compile an essay upon - my knowledge is too limited to enter on any particular branch of Literature Science & Art - from memory - however I purpose writing what I do know & what I think about many subjects - On the interest Literature Science & Art exercises upon mankind - I purpose dividing my subject under three heads, L.S & A with as many remarks as possible upon each & wind up with their application rather an *univer[s]al subject - but one must be guided by circumstances - on such an occasion I made a comment, a day or two back & have gathered, arranged & partly written & finished my remarks & ideas upon Literature. Ive not gone into or alluded to any particular author or writer *& Confined my self to the general importance & effects a study of the higher branches of literature & pursuit of literary habits affords, combined with the pleasure such tasks engender - I found all this comparatively easy. Science & art will give me a pulling up -

Ive found time to visit DeLorees three or four times this week - Mr & Mrs White are living with them at present singing for food & drink - I met him several years ago - when he was considered



the most accomplished singer that ever visited Australia he used to be the principal tenor in the first Christy Minstrels that appeared in Europe & America when I heard him first he had a splendid rich full toned Tenor Robusto voice - he is now a poor miserable broken down drunkard, lost his voice at least he professes to sing - & sometimes he even *un electrifies one sometimes with a few bars of most ravishing sweetness - since Ive been here he has taught me several songs - we have sung several times together - he was very ill & hard-up a short time back & a concert was got up at which I sang for his Benefit - some £30 was made by it & it was thought he would leave this colony & return to his own home - but he got the money & was never sober until it was done - I enjoy his company much he has travelled all over the world in his professional character & is full of anecdotes & comic stories Etc & tells them with that easy well bred air that denotes the gentleman by education - Ned is like myself, doing nothing, frozen out. I hardly know how his mates live - by their wits I think! I spent several hours with them to day at their tent, one of them is a well informed fellow - who has received a University Education (Dublin) but Im sorry to say is a confirmed Atheist - & does a deal of injury to those, less informed he comes in contact with - we had a long argument to day



he quotes Hume & Hobbs - Volney, Voltaire & Payne I retorted with Locke, Bacon, Abercrombie & Watts & other authors whose names have escaped my memory he does not believe in the immortality of the soul on this subject I was more than his equal - for I do, & I left him without a leg to stand upon – he then abused & denied the authenticity of the Bible the fulfilling of profecy seemed to affect him most I alluded to one of his own favourites Volney, who in his Rise & Fall of Empires does more to prove the truth & entire fulfilment of many proficies than any other traveller - I trust I was eloquent enough to overthrow some of his flimsy & superficial arguments - based upon principles not proving – pure hypothesis.

July 27th.1862. The weather changed on Monday thaw set in released from bondage - all suspended nature - we managed to get or do a fair weeks work realised about 10 oz of gold - giving us after all expenses about £5.0.0 a man - We were humbugged by Montgomery the proprietor of the Mill) with reference to a dray belonging to the plant - which we use & supposed belonged to him, it appears the dray belongs to another party who claims it, we dont intend giving it up, so a summons was served upon us for its value - & we are to appear at court on the 29th inst - unless we come to some arrangement I waited upon Mr M. to day & have offered to buy the dray, on consideration of his lessening the rest of



the Mill - he is to give us an answer tomorrow & in the meantime we must try & see what the person wants for the dray - it was borrowed by Mr. M. in the first place & the owner has been absent from here several weeks - Troubles never come alone – I received a long letter from my sister Mary that has caused me much pain & uneasiness – she informs me they are reduced to the most extreme poverty so humiliating that she has borrowed £5.0.0 from Dr Droyer - who has attended her through an illness extending over a period of two years gratis. My God it drives me mad to think my mother & sisters should be suffering such poverty & have to struggle in such a manner, while there is a Father & three grown up sons in health & strength living - & not one of the lot able to assist them - Mary says Fred only allows or gives mother, out of his wages, just enough & barely what keeps himself - Mary, poor girl is a poor delicate slender girl, but from the tone of her letters possesses a fine high spirit & considerable intelligence that cannot stand long under such circumstances I rack my brain with all sort of designs & schemes to thinking of some remedy for our domestic trials & difficulties - & have come to the conclusion to try the Machine about two months longer - in that time If the weather holds good, I trust to be able to save enough to take me back to Victoria, where Ill again try for some



employment in Melbourne & live at home & or suffer with them I would sacrifice life itself so they would be benefited & be happy - I wrote to Mother & enclosed £3.0.0 in the letter, all I could scrape together, lived the last week nearly on dry bread in Consequence - My Essay is not one line the more advanced since last week - my mind being too much harrassed & unsettled to collect or arrange an idea properly - I went to see my brother Ned yesterday afternoon, had tea with him - he has got into a very devil may care kind of way, in consequence of our long continued ill luck - they got to work last Monday but did not make enough out of their claims to pay their weeks expenses - I have not left the tent to day except for a few minutes up to Johns tent (one of my mates) spent the day mending my clothes & reading, the latter not much, my sight still being very weak from the effect of the snow - I hope to heavens it *Just soon recover it again -

August 3rd 1862 Weather moderate - the snow all vanished from the vallies, but we had another heavy fall last night, that has given everything a sepulchral look again - I have often heard & read descriptions giving one a glorious idea of winter in the old country



they can take it with all its beauties - I dont care if I never see snow again - We lost no time this week - made about as much as last week say £5.0.0 but we had the dray to pay for which took £2.10.0 each to purchase however its now our own property & we pay 7/6 per week less for the Machine - in consideration, so we had only about £2.10.0 each to draw after all I wrote to my sister Mary & sent her £2.0.0 leaving me again without money - One of my mates & I left home early this morning & went in the direction of the Molyneaux River, (a large river running nearly Nth & Sth through Otago nearest point from here being some 20 miles it runs between high & rocky mountains above this point & little is known of it, a perfect Styx I suppose some day when the country gets better explored something more about it will be known) We crossed Munroes Gully & got upon the mountain fell in with a little copse of timber & after a tiresome beat up we at length got on the tracks of some pigs - we came in sight of a fine young boar & fired a revolver at him which fortunately struck his leg - we had no dog - but after running & sticking to him we got up to where he had *perched he showed fight but it was no go we quickly cut his throat - & cut him up in two sides



after which operation we trudged home tired out & weary, about 4.P.m when I got here, however we have meat for a week - its astonishing the quantity of meat a man can eat here in winter, the same quantity in Victoria would disgust me - I often take a large piece of suet & some bread for my dinner to work - Monday night - Mr Neil delivered his essay (& a very fine one it was the subject being "On Influences" - I must begin in earnest about mine or I will be behind hand - I went to the township last night - met a great many acquaintances - visited DeLorees staid chatting with Mrs DL & Julia till 1.30 this morning - such fun Mrs D is as jealous as possible of Julia - & the latter is of her - [Sunday, 10 August 1862 (likely)] August 11th 1862 Tolerable fine weather during the week, made £4.10.0 aman - we broke our Beam again - but we managed to buy one from Groves -(who has given up puddling) for £5.0.0 an unlooked for expense - Neds party is broken up. Ned is fossicking & prospecting about I want him to bring up his tent & pitch near mine - he doesn't like the idea - too far for him, from the Township & where there is any life he never seems happy only when he’s in a place of amusement or a Billiard Room. I remonstrate



but he takes very little notice - poor fellow he has become quite callous of his lot - I long for the time when we shall leave this cursed country when perhaps under different influences he may become changed in some of his habits -

Monday night a young fellow named Jones delivered an Essay on Self Improvement - a very good one - but from some remarks he made with reference to the harmonising of Science with Christianity led many to imagine he was a sceptic on Biblical writings - some of the members rose & opposed his views at its conclusion - when a very animated discussion arose lasting till nearly 12 Pm On Wednesday night in the same Erection a Tea Meeting was held, the second thing of the sort ever got up in this locality. The place was crowded Jones & I went in to hear some addresses that were made after the tea was over - Revd.Mr. Vicers spoke & he alluded to our society - & damns the institution, but not altogether the manner in which certain subjects were discussed especially any thing bordering on the Theological he at length commenced to condemn Jones Essay & was rattling away unconscious of our presence when Jones whispered he could not stand to be condemned so publicly as it appears



Vickers had misunderstood the application of Jones's objectionable remarks - one would infer both Jones & I were atheists from what he had referred to - Jones is a well educated man & has fine oratorical powers superior to any private individual I ever met with - he spoke well & eloquently for about twenty minutes, before any in the place began to think the whole affair was out of place on such an occasion - after that such a hubbub occurred, we were at length forced to retire highly amused at what we heard & seen - seen such a collection of character[s] for such a place that will never be effaced from my memory - women there known to be prostitutes serving out tea & men, some well known low brutes such as members of the P.R. keepers of Gambling Hells, dance rooms Etc -

All my leisure hours Ive spent in writing & compiling matter for my Essay, - my great drawback or one I feel effects me most is my limited Grammatical knowledge - I must really have a go in this, as soon as possible [Sunday, 17 August 1862] August 17th 1862 Been nice weather, but bitter cold & frosty at nights Worked very hard this week - four nights we worked sluicing until 10 pm made nearly £7.0.0 each not so bad if I can continue to do so for the next 3 months I shant care & there is every prospect of doing so - I am



now out of debt & have got a few new pieces of clothing - I have had very little spare time on my hands this week - been glad enough to go to my bed as soon as I got home - Its not pleasent sitting up without fire such cold weather as this so I read in bed or watch the Rats in thousands playing about the tent - or ferociously gnawing away at the Box we keep our vituals in - many times they have succeeded in eating a hole right through the boards which are 1 inch thick no one would credit their numbers & voracity unless they had seen them - they have driven & frightened many out of their tents this winter Ben Barnett the chap Im living with is terribly frightened of them - He has made a long sack in which he rolls himself up in at night - they are very distructive - last week I bought a flannel shirt & left it on a stool, when I got home I found it found in shreds fairly eaten away - I suppose they used it for nests they are rather intellectual, by the bye, they often run away - with Books & Newspapers discuss & distroy matter to an alarming extent

This morning Ben & I went over the hills for Firewood - we had made up a large bundle each & were returning & had to cross a rapid running creek on a fallen trunk of a tree, when I slipped my footing & went sprawling into



the water. My bundle seemed to stick to me & kept me under the water longer than I liked - I was near being drowned when I caught hold of an overhanging bough - I was wet through - Ben lent me his drawers & one of his shirts & fasting my wet things to my bundle made the best of my way home carrying my load - I vowed Id never go for firewood again while I had money to buy a bundle in the township on getting home I found my wet things so frozen coming over the mountains, I could not pull them asunder without thawing them at the fire Victorians would hardly credit such a thing could take place in the course of three hours

August 24th 1862 The weather has been very unsettled, but the changes have taken place generally at night, so hasnt hindered us from work excepting making everything very dirty & disagreeable we made £7.10.0 aman this week the best weeks work Ive had for many a long time & a prospect of it continuing - On Tuesday news arrived on "Wetherstones" of the discovery of a New & very rich Gold field situated far into the heart of the country - some 70 or 80 miles from here on the Banks of the Molyneaux River it appears two enterprising men (diggers) named Hartley & Riley left here some 6 months ago on a prospecting tour, they travelled and



prospected over many parts of the island that no European had ever traversed before & succeeded in finding gold in many places but in none so rich as on the Banks of the River Ive named near its supposed source - they arrived in Dunedin with 86 lbs (Troy) weight of gold - they also claimed & it was granted them, the Government reward of £2000.0.0 for the discovery - considering the thousands of diggers on these fields who are doing nothing, it isn't a matter of surprise that thousands made preperations for starting away at once - I never heard tell or witnessed such an Impromptu Rush or Exodus in all my Ten years experience of gold digging in three days time I dont think 200 men were left on these diggins - to people who know nothing of diggers & what they are capable & have the pluck of doing - it would appear madness to go to such a place, at such a distance so unprepared - & trusting to luck as many have done & are doing still - It is supposed at present to be impossible for a dray or any conveyance to get there from whatever point they start from - every man that left here carried nothing but provisions in the shape of Biscuits - with a pair of Blankets a Tin dish & a pick & shovel, the storekeepers are making great exertions to get draymen to accept cartage @ £120.0.0 per ton is freely offered - many a load has started & the drayman has no idea what road to take or how he is to get there -



how he is to proceed, the road to where the diggins is situated is supposed to be the roughest part of Otago, over mountains - & ranges Etc & at this time of the year they are covered with snow there is sure to be a lot of suffering -

Ned & Jack Heywood (Sydney Jack) called at the Mill on Thursday morning, to bid me good bye - on asking them to show me what they were starting upon I found they had £1.0.0 between them & about 25 lbs of biscuits with a pound of Butter & a little tea & Sugar - this is all they had to start away for a place where no provisions are to be had for money - scarcely enough to last them until they arrived there I gave Ned £2.0.0 & made him buy a lot more biscuits to take with him & also a quarter of Mutton & so they started - they are good walkers & I dare say will be there by this time - although their swags were heavy they were nothing in comparison to some Ive seen many a man started from here with a load of 70 & 80 lb weight, no joke this to carry over hills & mountains, that only a Swiss or an inhabitant among the Andes or Himalayas can have a conception of - I sincerely hope the rush may be a good one, for the sake of those that have gone, but for my own part, I wish



Hartley & Riley had been to Jericho for the next 3 months - here are we just struggled through the worst part of the winter & beginning to do well & a chance of continuing the same - when this rush takes place & upsets all my plans - my mates have got the fever - & want to give up the Machine & start - last week we could have got £30 each for our working share in our Machine & now we could not get 1s/d -. We went to buy horse feed last night at the township & could only get, as a great favour, at a most exorbitant price enough to last our horses 4 days – heres a pretty go! - horses cannot live here this time of the year on what they pick up - let alone do any work with them - One of our mates Joe Poulter at once stated his decision to start, he left this morning with Dowding & Pickett – John & J McEwan the owners of the horses wants Russell & I to stick with them at the Machine for a few days while the feed lasts & perhaps by that time some news may arrive from the rush that will induce us to remain longer - & we may be able to buy some more horse feed, we agreed to this - they promising - if the rush is as good as it is represented, to sell one of the horses & with the other we will pack & all go mates together & be off - to this we have agreed, to day - Monday night I went to the Society likely to be the last meeting that will take place - Gordon delivered his



Essay on the "Gigantic Monsters of the Pre-Adamite World" the matter all borrowed Im sure, from Hugh Miller with general ideas of Cuviers a long discussion ensued - when Jones again made himself very obnoxious by his sceptical remarks on the Harmonising of Science with Christianity - I happen to know that he is not at all sceptical, but strongly impressed with the belief in every instance of what he professes to condemn, he does it simply for debate & to draw a set of people connected with the society out - On leaving Gordons last night (where we buy our horse feed) my mates being inclined for a spree - we all went into DeLorees - stayd there till 2 Am this morning John got as drunk as a Lord & bringing him home it came on to snow - & he wanted to lay down & have a sleep - Joe & I were the only sober ones so we carried him home on our backs - I went down the township this afternoon - I never saw such a deserted place in my life - I walked into, Im sure 50 deserted tents & places in some I found blankets on the beds & books & in one a Boiler with a piece of Beef in it on a fire or what had been a fire. I gathered a lot of Books together - from places I visited I could get any amount of diggers tools - I



spent about two hours at Gordons - singing some sacred music the first Ive heard for a long time - I received a long letter from Mother this week & one from Fred, all well but complaining bitterly of their poverty -

August 31st Tolerable fine weather during the week - We worked the Mill until Wednesday when our horse feed being finished we were compelled to give up. On dividing we found we had made £3 – each, very annoying to have to give up such a good paying concern - We turned the horses out on the hills but after an hours feeding they returned to the Stable for their feed, it seemed such a sad sight poor beasts to leave them to their own resources My mates sold Sam to a storekeeper for £80.0.0 who purposes putting a swag on his back & going to the rush with him - We all remained very undecided about going to the rush until Friday spending the two days previous looking around to find a sluicing claim that would pay us to work - without the use of horses - we tried several that I fancy would have payed us but somehow the desire increased within us to go to the rush - so we made up our minds to go with the stream - J. Russell is the only one of our party who intends to



remain behind, we left him the sluice boxes & pump with other articles - that we could not sell - in fact no one is left here who would take them as a gift - Russell is one of these steady going old "coaches" & intends to get up a company or party & try & get a head of water & sluice the ground we have been engaged in puddling if he can do so, it will pay him very well

Our new party consists of J.McEwan, J.Dewar (the owners of the horses) myself & an old Bendigo acquaintance named, Nelson - we intend taking a good load each on our back & pack "Captain" with tent & tools - some flour & oatmeal We have spent the last two days in making preperations for starting in the morning - but owing to a foolish thing Nelson did to day will prevent us going till the day after - the most useful thing to take with us is a cradle small light ones - Nelson saw me this morning in a deserted tent, as he thought & took possession of it - & brought it to my tent & left it - about an hour afterwards two policemen paid me a visit & I was accused of stealing the cradle. I told them how it came in my possession – however - thinking the receiver



as bad as the thief I was taken into custody & marched to the watchhouse - I sent for one or two who knew me & after being detained for upwards of two hours I was released & a warrant was issued for Nelson’s apprehension - my mates in the meantime hearing about it gave Nelson notice of what was up & he was advised to hide in J.Russells tent till day light to morrow morning - when we purpose to start him on the road & at a certain point we will meet him during the day - we have finished our packing - we are taking lC of flour & lC of oatmeal, two cradles four picks & four shovels - besides enough biscuits & meat tea & sugar & other little necessaries for the journey - I have met several who have returned from the New Eldorado -(poor miserable barefooted objects) they say it is a frightful country to travel over, no firewood, & not a station or an habitation where provisions are to be bought - they think there is plenty of gold there & easy to be obtained - all Ive seen purpose returning as soon as possible their object in coming back is to provide themselves with the proper appliances necessary for working & living in such a place - most of those who left here first have had to return - not being properly provided with the means of remaining - I heard of Ned from several - when last heard of he was on the spot where the diggins are supposed to be I wonder poor devil how he will get along, he was so ill provided - I spent last night at Neils, in company with the Revd Mr Vicers - a very nice gentleman & one who has taken an interest in me, since I joined the D. Society



he gave me a list of Books he advised me get & study should I ever get settled down in any place a few I name: - "Abcrombies Intellectual Powers" (I have read) "Rogits Thesauras", "Crabbs English Synonims" "Watts Logic" & "Gilberts Logic for the Millions", with many more - I received letters per last mail from Victoria from my couzins Lizzie & Harry, state things are very dull on Bendigo - Lizzie poor girl is not well, & that Isa King for some reason is not to marry Sarjeant Enniss & also W. Edwards is again on Bdg. & is fooling after Isa & they appear to be as friendly as formerly - very singular - after what has occurd -

[Monday, 1 September 1862] Sept 1st 1862 Postponed starting to day, in consequence of a heavy fall of snow. I dread risking the hills while such weather continues - we paid 35/- for a bushel of oats this morning our swags are all made up & ready to start Nelson left at daybreak this morning - I rolled up blankets & things, & also 25 lbs of biscuits & some other necessaries this afternoon & went over the hills to a large rock on the Waipora Road where I promised to meet him - it took me nearly 3 hours before I could find him - poor devil he was half dead with the cold, being out in all the snow storm. I advised him to make for Lanes Restaurant for to night (a sod hut built on a most desolate hill top on the Waipora Rd cold, bleak, place - from where the travellers turn off


Last day at Wetherstones

to go to the Dunstan Rush (as the diggins are called) if he didnt he could not survive this night Im sure it was 4 pm when I got back - cold, wet & miserable after a good tea at my mates tent I felt all right & came to my own lonely one. I forgot to mention my tent mate Barnett left for the rush 3 days ago leaving me in debt of £3.0.0 besides having kept him the last month in food - this is my last night on Wetherstones - nothing very pleasent occurring since my sojourn on it to render it a difficult matter to leave it – or endear it to my memory - except some very pleasent people Ive made acquaintance with in it - who I dare say I shall meet again, where I am bound for -

Manuherikia} Copied from a Pencilled Journal kept on my journey to this place, daily - [Tuesday, 2 September 1862] Sept 2nd 1862 - We left Wetherstones this morning our party consisting of J.McEwan, John Dewar, & myself we had each a good load on our backs – fully weighing 56 lbs each - I had 40 lbs of flour altogether we think we have a months provisions with us, except flesh meat which I believe is to be bought at a station near where we are bound for, our horse, "Captain," is loaded with about 200C of things, including 2 Cradles & a lot of provisions We started at 10 Am, the weather very unsettled, it took us fully 2 hours to rise the hills, the ground very slippery and spongy, on reaching the hill top we were nearly blinded with a cold sleety hail storm which blew in our very teeth, we sheltered behind some rocks for about an hour, without


Tramping to Manuherikia

unloading our horse, the only shelter we could find – not a tree or bush to be seen as far as the eye could reach - we at length started benumbed with cold & wet through - reached Lanes restaurant at about 3 Pm, having only travelled (as the Crow flies) some 3 miles from our starting point. We found upwards of 200 people here, all weather bound - some going up & some coming down from the rush. We unloaded & gave our horse the last feed of oats he is likely to get for some time & turned him out to pick up what he could with a lot more half famished looking animals, it was pitiful to see them the weather was so cold & the grass partly covered with frost, they could not leave the place where we left them - we entered the hut built of cut sods & Roofed with canvass, about 5 feet high by some 30 feet long & 12 feet broad with a large fireplace at the far end, but alas! no fire in it, the proprietor informed us we could make a fire if we would go for some wood, somewhere about 2 miles from here - three men volunteered to go & until they came back I & others were in a wretched plight, our clothes being actually frozen upon us. I feel all right now, got my things dry & we purpose sleeping here Im sure there is a hundred people making preparations for sleeping in the place imagine - ye City bred people such a quantity of mothers sons in such a place - to pass the night our beds are likely to be soft, owing to the floor b'g


Tramping to Manuherikia

muddy. Ive seen many here I know, that Ive met under somewhat similar circumstances in Victoria & about, entered into conversation with some had long chats about by gones days & comparing notes & observations about rushes & places we have visited since meeting last & all that sort of thing - I hear the rain coming down it must be an awful night to camp out

Sept 3rd 1862 Rose early - anything but refreshed with my nights lodging - Went out after the horses found ours had strayd away in company with a lot of others we wandered about the mountains for some 2 hours without coming upon their tracks - at length we saw two tracks leading towards Wetherstones, which Jim pronounced to be Capts & Sams - the latter horse was the one we had sold, but fell in with us at “Lanes” enroute like our own - the two had fraternised & having in their mind the remembrance of their nice comfortable stable on Wetherstones they had agreed to return to it Jim followed & found them standing outside the stable he at once caught them & brought them back making them come the distance in a quarter the time it took them to do it yesterday - we at once loaded & in company with several other parties, we started about 11 am, all annoyed at our delay. Our track took us over a rough swampy country, & yet very hilly, came across several patches of scrub perhaps half an acre in extent, nothing occurred to break the monotony of our journey until we came to the Beaumont River a small tributary of the Clutha or Molyneaux, we had to descend a frightful looking hill to get into the river - the only way to get down


Tramping to Manuherikia

to the bottom of the valley was by making the horses jump from terrace to terrace, rather dangerous & rendered difficult by the nervousness of the animals who trembled like leaves & had to be driven by their behind one horse got restles & dragged the bridle from the man leading him & bolted, he didnt get far ere he came to grief by doing some head over heel kind of feat, distroying to some extent the load on his back, but fortunately with none to himself - I have always noticed horses in general on dangerous roads care little to trust to themselves but do things & accomplish tasks far more readily when a man is with them, than otherwise

We camped here after fording the stream for about an hour, finding a little wood lit a fire & made a "Billy" of tea - we should have camped for the night at this spot, but the feed being so bad, that after a consultation it was agreed to push on to "Gardiners Station" some six miles farther where we were told good feed was to be had - it was nearly dark when we started, the moon peeping out gave us sufficient light to pick our steps across a long moor some three miles across, without exception the worst piece of ground Ive seen in NZ. the ground being covered with "crab holes into which the horses would sink to their bellies into. we came to a Creek at length that seemed to put a stop to us, it ran over a


Tramping to Manuherikia

a flat which had been covered with water at no late period, the poor horses without an exception got bogged & sometimes we thought we should have to leave them to perish - they were so knocked up – it took us 2 hours to unload them & carry the things on our backs to the opposite side - wading through black slimy sludge - got started again every one being in the worst possible humour with each other - more especially those who had proposed our nocturnal journey - no one had an idea of the country we had to traverse that night or we should have camped for the night at the Beaumont - nearly 1. am next morning when we reached Gardiners where we camped - & turned the horses out they didnt commence to feed till daylight being so exhausted - we found a number of people camped here - 26 miles from Wetherstones -

Sept 4th. Being very stiff & tired this morning we didn’t feel inclined to hurry ourselves - out of the 6 horses who travelled in company with us but 3 were able to resume the journey to day it was 10 am when we left Gardiners Station which by the way is nothing more than a 3 roomed mud hut on about 10 acres of ground, fenced, & not a 10th of that cultivated - the proprietor has some cattle & a small flock of sheep running on the moors which he occasionally sells some from to the butchers on the diggins. The station is situated in a pleasent valley & to us miserable wretches it appeared like an oasis in a desert or wilderness - we noticed a great difference in the climate to day, much milder, our


Tramping to Manuherikia

track lay over an indescribable country, rough broken hilly & rocky ranges, many times perilling our horses necks in making descents where had they slipped would have been lost sight of down precipices & gorges, our greatest annoyance was in crossing the creeks, being much swollen through the snow melting - we adopt a simple plan for safety we carry with us a long length of strong whale line & when the river is to be forded the firstman starts with the line round his body & paid out as he proceeds across, he on the opposite side then holds the end or makes it fast & so we all cross without being afraid of being swept away by the strong currant - We camped, at another, so called, station, kept by a man named Miller, a miserable hut the homestead containing some 3 dirty rooms in which his family lives, situated in a very steep abrupt gorge - I went & bought half a sheep from him, for which we paid £2.10.0 for it weighed 34 lbs at 1s/6d per lb, we found wood here & good feed for the horses - so we made ourselves snug with a good fire, & got hot supper - pitched our tent & gathered a lot of dry grass to sleep upon - determined to make ourselves as comfortable as possible to make up for our last two nights misery, it reminded me of travelling in Victoria - great numbers are camped near us, many I know some going up & others coming down - we are continually pestered


Tramping to Manuherikia

by those returning to give them something to eat. If we complied with all the requests made to us yesterday & to day our loads would be light ones ere now - It is very hard to refuse starving men a morsel to eat, but number one must be looked to - rather a selfish doctrine - but under the circumstances, pardonable -

Sept 5th Very tired & knocked up, our journey to to day being over an awful hilly country, the path winding in & out among rocks & ravines, camped early after reaching & crossing the River "Teviot" at its junction with the Molyneaux, in crossing in company with others, one horse was washed off his legs, & carried in a few minutes into the big River, where he sunk with his pack on his back the man who owned him had been the road before & had returned & given £60 for the horse & was taking up a load of provisions to his mates on the new diggins, he had a narrow escape for his life, when the animal lost its footing he stuck to him till there was no chance of saving him when he had work to regain the shore - We were very sorry for him, & invited him to partake of us - we let him have enough to return to Wetherstones where he purposes returning in the morning, this & horses breaking their necks in coming down hills sides is a common occurrence the last 2 days - we have met several parties who have lost everything - such are a few of the vissisitudes of a diggers life in N.Z.

Sept 6th.1862. On rising this morning the horses


Tramping to Manuherikia

were nowhere to be seen. We divided & went in opposite directions & could find no trace of them until some travellers informed us they had seen a lot of horses going back. We at once crossed the river & after a sharp walk caught up to them, we had some difficulty in getting them over the river again, when we did, we were not long in putting their packs on their backs & making a start. I believe there is pay able gold to be found in this neighbourhood, we got the "color" in every dish we tried from the gravel in the bed of the Molyneaux, those who know anything of this part of the country state, that the Molyneaux is auriferous from its source to the sea - a distance of 300 miles, I believe, in all its windings - from this spot our way lay over a level plain some 6 miles long by about 1 broad, the easiest road we have as yet travelled - We reached Capt. Baldwins Station by 2 Pm, situated in a pleasent part of the country, after camping for about an hour - we again got under weigh & commenced to ascend the "Nobby Ranges" or what is generally known by the name of the "Devils Back Bone" - the path was very rough & rocky rending it very dangerous & fatiguing for travelling, our poor horses were terribly knocked up when we camped the spot we camped is amongst a lot of rocks which remind one of a lot of old ruins the weather was bitter & cold snow laying on the ground all round us. We had to brush it off some


Tramping to Manuherikia

rocks ere we could prepare our bed - Mr DeLoree & a large party I know are camped alongside, they are returning from the rush - in consequence of not being prepared with tools & provisions to remain, they left the Rush yesterday evening & they inform us a rumour was in circulation that a road for teams had been found from Dunedin to the Dunstan & before many days were over drays may be expected with provisions it will be good job if its true, flour is not to be had except in small quantities then at 3/6 per lb -

7th Up with the sun found our horses had been dissatisfied with their nights locale & had taken it into their heads to carry out the previous nights idea of returning, however after a walk of about an hour we overtook them fortunately they had kept near the track or we could never have found them amongst such a rough country without losing ourselves - We at length got started, the road not improving a jot the better or more easy to travel. I cannot discribe the road better than by saying that it appears to me a miracle how we managed to get to this spot – (the junction of the Rivers Molyneax & Manuherikia our destination for the present) - without either breaking our horses necks or our own - We had a little mishap which fortunately didnt end fatally that occured as follows, a packer with two mules had joined our party in the morning, & instead of them taking the lead, he brought up the rear - I was leading a horse, in front of his animals, the path way being only wide enough to admit of one beast travelling


Tramping to Manuherikia

it at a time, we had arrived at a dangerous part of the road where the path ran alongside of a nearly perpendicular hill I had hard work to make "Captain" come along, he was so frightened stopping every now & again when he had to make a jump or steadily balance himself, this annoyed my friend with the mules behind & struck my charge with the whip which made him spring to the side of the hill, the pack coming in contact with a projecting rock made him lose his balance, when he rolled over & over down the hillside which was covered with rocks & Boulders - I had a narrow escape being on the near side. I dont know how I got free, he must have gone over me for I picked myself up, stunned & bruised, my mates had rushed after the horse & reached him just as he was trying to rise at the edge of a rock which had stopped his progress, had he got further than this spot nothing could have saved the beast he would have gone into a foaming torrent below - we found the horse unhurt, but the cradle was much damaged & a bag of flour was broke but being in a very strong bag not much was lost. I was in a devil of a passion & rushed at the Muleteer - who stood laughing at us & was rather insolent, which so angered me I gave him a smack in the face which he seemed inclined to return. I was just in the humour & was walking into him, when some of the party parted us but not before him & his mules got some rough handling this affair delayed us about an hour - we reached the Junction about 5 pm. to get to it we had to descend a fearfully steep hill, at the top of which we had a grand view - at our feet we could see the


The Molyneaux Junction

the two Rivers winding their way at the edge of a plain some 7 or 8 miles in diameter which I should imagine had been at some late period a Lake, now tis a level gravelly plain surrounded on all sides, with mountains, more especially towards the West & South where are situated the "Umbrella Ranges", covered all the year round with snow, before the Rivers reach the plain & after leaving it they run through very rocky defiles, where the water rushes & roars over rocks & falls in a truly wild and sublime style, giving one a grand idea of unformed or primitive nature – one remarkable feature in this part of the country is the great dearth of timber Ive not seen a tree since leaving Wetherstones - nor do I see the signs of any from this spot, the fuel we use for cooking purposes is grass roots, sometimes we come across a little patch of dry withered scrub I have burnt more wood at a nights camping in Australia than Ive done for all the months Ive been in N.Z. this dearth of wood I believe is only confined to certain parts of N.Z. Otago more particularly for the North & South islands are full of magnificent forests of very useful timber. We found a great many people camped here, Gold being found on the beaches of both rivers as good at this point as up the Molyneaux 15 miles, where it was first found in pay able quantities by "Hartley & Reiley" the prospectors many I hear are doing very well, those who have tools & a Cradle have nothing to do but to set to work


The Molyneaux

& cradle the gravel from the beaches of the River, the climate seems much warmer here than I felt it since my arrival in N.Z. I may here state that on the way hither we met two new acquaintances of some of our party, who have joined our party, so there are six of us now in partnership -

Sept 8th.1862. We spent to day in unpacking our tools & cradles & putting them in working order, our biscuits all being done, we broke into our flour & made a lot of Bread (flour & water no yeast) I was the Baker we all went for wood managed to get a small bundle each, about two miles up the Manuherikia) cooking my loaves on a flat stone, by the evening we had everything ready for making a start in the morning. I heard about my brother Ned to day from a party just come from up the River, where he is at work - he has got a claim 15 miles from here out of which he has been making about 1 oz of gold a day, but owing to the scarcity of provisions, it has taken him half his time to hunt after provisions. I must try to find him on Sunday - he expects me & will be at the town- ship, that is forming at the other end of the plain, on that day

9th. Not feeling well this morning, I did not go from the tent, but finished several jobs left undone yesterday. Tom went to Lowes Station, 8 miles from here to buy a sheep for which he paid 1/6 per lb for, he discribes the Road as being a good, one & perfectly level along the Banks of the Manuherikia, he came across several parties at work cradling on its Banks & getting pay able ground, he shot two splendid wild ducks & was told at the Station, the Rivers were full of the


Molyneaux Junction

largest eels in the world, his journey took him all day to accomplish - the other four of our party went prospecting, they got gold wherever they tried, but most of the claims are taken up this, E.side of the Molyneaux, many are trying to get at the other side, an enterprising young carpenter knowing that this would be the case, purchased some few boards he saw at a station some miles from here - & is constructing a boat, which to me looks like a Box I went to see it this evening as I mean to cross in it to morrow - it is 8 ft long & 3 ft broad & 2 ft deep, square at each end, he propels it with a paddle like an Indian hundreds here who wont venture in it, but prefer going several miles higher up where there is a small boat that belongs to Frazers Station, & where the river does not run more than 8 knots the hour - while at this point just before entering the gorge it runs at the best 12 an hour -

10th. T.Alexander & I started away this morning early, on a prospecting tour, he & I were the only ones who would venture in the Box. I took off my boots & Coat, determined not to be drowned without making an effort to save myself in case our vessel was capsized - We pulled the boat up the River some 300 yards & then entered pulled boldly into the current & by great exertions landed nearly ¼ of a mile below where we entered - for this accommodation we had to pay 2/6 each, he takes 4 over at a time - pays well tho a dangerous experiment for if cast over, I fear if there is a swimmer living who could escape being drowned in such a place - we prospected for about a mile down the Molyneax found plenty of ground that will pay well to work marked out two claims & returned home just as the sun was setting, the rest of our party where equally successful this side of the river, so tomorrow we will divide 3 this side & 3 the other, making this head quarters, where the horses are to be kept Etc.





no II






  1. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/154842748 Alexander Amos and Co. ; completing sludge channel, Sandhurst, £5500
  2. The channel probably was 9 inches wide with 8 inch sides. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/87944965

Images: 1

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.