FC: The Victorian Gold Rush
1: The Diary of Allen Storge
2: Monday the 11th of August 1851 Dear Diary my name is Allen Storge of Liverpool, England. We can't pay the rent for our house so we are moving out. We can't afford to stay here in england any longer so we are going to try our luck in Australia at the gold fields. Grandfather says that it will be very uncomfortable and dangerous. He said it is usually very stormy but sometimes the weather can be nice. We have packed all our clothes and taken our money out of the bank. The whole family is going! Me, Grandfather, Papa, my brothers Patrick and Samuel and my sister in law Kaitlyn bu I just call her aunt Kate. It is very expensive for all six of us so we won't be traveling in luxury. We have brought a bit of food including cinnamon buns and mutton so I hope it lasts us the trip! Goodbye! Yours Sincerely, Allen Storge. -
3: - | Wednesday the 21st of September 1851 Dear diary I'm sorry that I have not written in my diary for many weeks now. It has been hard to find time and space to do so. But that does not matter now. Well I must say the food around here is not the best I must say. We have the casual diet of Mutton, Damper, Tea and Hard Tack. But sometimes if were lucky than we might get some soup! But no one gets any fruit or vegetables around here! Another thing is that everyone is getting sick especially all the feeble people I have a wee cold though but we only have about two more months till we get to Melbourne and I probably won't be able to write for the next few days because I'm very seasick! Plus it is very cramped and dirty. Allen Storge.
4: Thursday the 2nd of November 1851, We have just arrived at Robe in South Australia near the border of Victoria. Papa is getting directions to Ballarat from the locals. We are staying at a small inn near the hardware store. My brothers (as usual) are messing around and stuffing their faces with meager slices cheese which we didn't finish on the boat. Grandfather looks pale and fragile so he is lying down with a wet rag on his forehead he looks like any minute now he is going to pass out. And finally Aunt Kate is busy freaking about the spider in her bag that Samuel put in, let's hope she won't throw up. And me? Well I'm just nibbling some bread and getting ready to go out and buy some supplies for the journey with Aunt Kate. Allen Storge.
5: Friday the 3rd of November 1851, Grandfather died today. Yesterday we went to sleep but today in the morning he didn't wake up. When we told the innkeeper he looked frightened and told us to burn him or the diseases would spread through the whole town. They said he probably died from said he died from pneumonia which is caused by sleeping on damp ground. He was having trouble breathing only a few months into into our sail. It was probably because one of the people on the boat who had been living in poor conditions and used all their money and other peoples to get here and escape poverty by finding gold to repay everyone. Why did we ever leave our comfortable home? Why did we? Patrick said it was because our house was haunted, but Samuel said dad has gold fever. But i don't believe him, because I don't want it to be true. Allen Storge
6: Saturday the 4th of November, 1851. Today when I went with my dad to look for directions we saw white men beating some Chinese men who had just arrived we tried to help but there was nothing that we could do that would stop this so we gave the man a small biscuit, when he looked up I saw fear in his eyes and my heart throbbed at the sight his face was bruised and bleeding, why would people do this? I tried to put it out of my mind and walked away to get some food. We bought tons of mutton, flour, and tea. WE need to buy here because at the gold fields they charge ridiculously high prices because they know nobody will go walk back so far just for cheaper prices. we also bought 3 hens and a cow. They will be very valuable because of their produce which is rare amongst the gold fields. My family is just lucky that we were quite wealthy. Allen Storge.
7: Sunday the 5th of November, 1851. Today has been good for us because the Chinese man we saw has come back and offered us if we wanted to travel with his group to Ballarat by walking. We of course agreed and he said we will leave in a few days so get ready. He also promised to help us with settling in to the gold fields which was kind of him. Were buying some seeds because to get vegetables because there is not many at the gold fields. He has a daughter called Yukimi she is very pretty and wears vivid kimonos, and the man? His name was Mo Chi. He has given me one of Yukimi's old kimono's that don't fit her anymore it's soft but i might have to trim it so it doesn't drag on the ground. They gave my father a large brimmed hat to shade himself from the sun. If only all people were like this. Allen Storge.
8: Monday the 6th of November, 1851. Tomorrow we will be leaving with the men. I'm wearing an ankle-length dress with cotton pinafores (aprons worn over dresses), and thick sheepskin boots and a spring bonnet. Kate is buying some simple cotton dresses and leather boots and hats because the corset she is wearing is not associated with the gold fields. Along with all those layers of petticoats and hooped skirts that dragged on the paths. Patrick and Samuel are wearing brightly colored cotton and w0ol shirts and thick cotton trousers they haven't changed much, except for now they don't have collars. And Papa wears the same except for he is wearing a hat called a "wide-awake", I guess he doesn't like the "coolie" (a type of cone shaped hat) that Mo Chi gave him, maybe I can have it! Allen Storge
9: Tuesday the 7th of November, 1851. Turns out that were not going today because the white men were arguing about how the Chinese were being guided to Ballarat. They do not seem happy about it. But this gives me lot's of time to get to know the Chinese people and their culture. These people are so strange and foreign they call Australia the New Gold Mountain. I feel sorry because for most of them are in debt to people who owe them and if they don't find gold well... there will be problems. We have to walk about 500km to get there, I'm not sure if I'll make it, I'm the only child there, maybe there's a reason for that? Is there? Allen Storge
10: Wednesday the 8th of November, 1851. Today we have walked around 30km (about 18 miles). The terrain is steep and rocky ground. All our equipment is carried in 4 carts. It is very hard to do this. Speaking of people who had it hard well when everyone had gone to sleep some townspeople crept up and cut the ropes from all the Chinese tents. I was awoken by the malicious laughter of the white people as they watched the men try to untangle themselves from the mass upon them I can't believe how much racism there is here in Australia, is it always like this? Well let's focus on the bright side., Mo Chi gave us a ta'am to carry our family's stuff. Patrick and Samuel take turns carrying it. Well I have to go because it's dinner, mutton damper and tea not much but it will do for now, I can't wait to see what we can eat after we are rich! Maybe we can buy even more animals and open a farm! Allen Storge.
11: Tuesday the 14th of November, 1851 We have been walking for what seems millennium's, and I have no idea when we are going to get there! There are so many strange people and I've seen so many places and animals! Like last night my father, brothers and Mo Chi managed to catch a kangaroo which we shared among the seven of us. There were some left but it was too heavy so we gave it to some men who were weak and sick so they could not hunt themselves. But the good thing is that today we found a stream while we were looking for birds. We drunk, bathed in the river until we were clean and quenched. We caught some fish but they were too small to eat so we let them go. There is no point to skin it and find no flesh. This isn't too bad I guess, well it looks like Patrick has found something, I should check it out! Allen Storge
12: Saturday the 28th of November, 1851. We have walked so far that my feet are bleeding, my hands and knuckles are full of blisters from hauling myself up steep rocks. Today there was a huge rocky hill that the carts couldn't get over so they had to go around. They're supposed to be just around an hour late but it's already nightfall, I hope nothing bad happened. Some of the men have gone out to look for them. They are tired and weary but they have to look for the carts. We walked behind the Chinese elders the whole day. The men said stories and Mo Chi would translate them, Yukimi is too sick to say anything she just keeps walking without saying a single word. But tonight Yukimi was well enough to talk so she showed us how to play mah - jong which we played with tiles counters and dice. In return Patrick, Samuel & Kate is teaching her an English game but I am to tired to watch so I go to sleep. Allen Storge
13: Tuesday the 1st of December, 1851. We have now walked for about two weeks. Yesterday we found the carts one of the horses had broken free and the man had tried to catch it so left the carts and than the carts walked over to a paddock. The sad thing is we can't find the man. But we found some wells left behind by other Chinese travelers. There were directions to them on the trees. Tomorrow we will at Ballarat! Finally, I'm so excited I just can't wait! But the bad thing is some men died today I kept telling myself "tomorrow it'll be over, tomorrow, tomorrow...."! But we passed by an abandoned carriage it looks like it was attacked by bandits on its way back to Robe. I found a doll in there, so I will keep it there wasn't any other children so the men gave it to me, Mo Chi said thank you for me because I can't speak Chinese. Allen Storge
14: Wednesday the 2nd of December, 1851. We arrived at Ballarat. For lunch we ate at a 'coffee tent' in which it's name is quite deceiving for it sells mostly alcohol and lemonade. After that we set down into the bushland. Soon after we found an absolutely tiny stream which we followed. until we came to a small clearing where the ground sloped almost like a tiny crater. And in the middle was a tiny pool of water just big enough to bathe in. That day we set off to make our house. We made a wattle and daub hut. and after we finished we nailed a thick waterproof canvas (blanket) to the inside of the roof so no water would come in. We also did that to the floor except with a more hard and sturdier blanket. But that was only the plan we still had much work to do. Can't wait ti'll it's finished. Allen Storge
15: Thursday the 9th of December, 1851. We have finished the house, well actually I wouldn't say that it's more of a cottage. While we made it we had to sleep in small tents which wasn't the most comfortable thing you could say.. Our home is built on the side of it so that if it floods than it won't drown the house, and we won't be wet! That was the danger of building an house near a pond. Today we also bought two hens. We made a small shed for them but nothing of too much effort. One of them is an excellent egg layer and a beautiful one as well. She is brown with a red orange tipped feathers, but other feathers are tipped black her name is Marie, Kate named her. But we have another hen who is a moldy white with pale brown roots and I named her Beth, She is kind and I like her, we are friends! Allen Storge
16: Friday the 5th of December, 1851. Today we unpacked all our tools. We prefer to pan our gold than to dig or tunnel for it. We have One gold cradle and three pans except one of the pans is for the gold cradle. We like to work in our pond which us good because than we can stay close to our home. The gold at the bottom of riverbeds or creeks is called alluvial gold. What we do is Kate and I use one pan to look for gold and so does Papa except by himself. And Patrick an Samuel work together on the gold cradle. But not today. The boys are all making a gate around our little crater so that we can have some peace. Today when we went to buy some meat we decided not to because the meat hanging dry in the sun was not hot, rotten and swarmed with flies, maybe if we come early then they won't be infected. Allen Storge
17: Sunday the 7th of December, 1851. There was allot of rain last nigh and our small little crater is now filled with water the water level is just below our house! We haven't gone in to wash yet because now there aren't enough plants to keep it clean and we don't know whats in thee, plus none of us except dad and the boys can swim. There is only one good thing about this. A few hours ago a Kangaroo came up to drink in the creek and Papa took out a great big gun and shot it! Now we will have this fine hopping beast for dinner! The men are preparing it but Kate and I our using the gold cradle and Samuel or Patrick is sent to come check on us every now and then! But I haven't seen Yukimi orMo Chi for a while maybe they would like to eat some Kangaroo with us, there is much to much for just us! But than again we could salt or smoke it so that it preserves better! But then again my mother said sharing is a virtue. Too bad she hasn't come back yet. Allen Storge
18: Tuesday the 11th of December, 1851. Yesterday we finished skinning the Kangaroo and today we finished cooking it. But when we went to get Mo Chi & Yukimi they were here, well at least there bodies. I'm shaking so much that I'm getting dizzy and I keep getting ink all over the page. Apparently they went with another Chinese couple to look for gold and they found an ounce or two and apparently there was an argument on how to share the gold and in the end they killed them. I can't believe that any person would do such a thing, how could anyone be so cruel enough to take someones life? Who? Allen Storge
19: Friday the 14th of December, 1851. Kate is terribly sick. We don't have enough money for a doctor because we used it all coming here. And father is drinking heavily now and he keeps forgetting our names. And Samuel got into a fight fe days ago with one of the soldiers becaus ea soldier raped Kate. He is fatally wounded and is struggling to breathe for a few more days. Patrick is taking care of me most of the time now because even he can see that our family is falling apart and going broke. We don't make nearly enough money to put up with the monthly license fees of 30 shillings per month. We haven't even made a single penny yet! But theres a new group called the Ballarat Reform League and I stand with them because they are fighting for more rights for citizens, no lisence fees and the release of convicted rioters! Which I totally agree on! Allen Storge
20: Thursday the 20th of December, 1851. Kate's dead. Dead. I can't believe it! I'm crying but I don't want the pages to go soggy so I'm using an handkerchief. This is horrible. Samuel died yesterday as well but I was to busy mourning to write anything in this diary. It was just like this I woke up in the morning and I was gonna ask Kate what she wanted for breakfast so i squeezed her hand and it was cold, and limp. I think this was the worst experience in my life. To lose 4 close friends and family in a month. Why god oh why? Patrick's came back from the shops maybe he has some lunch! Allen Storge
21: Saturday the 22nd of December, 1851 Patrick and I have been running for hours. The soldiers found Papa and he didn't have a license he struggled and fought so they killed him. There coming to our house to find if he had any money so me and Patrick took r=the money and fled. We have a few pieces of bread and cheese from last nights supper but nothing else. It's bed time. I asked Patrick if he would tell me a story but I don't think he heard me he busy thinking abot something and hes stroking his beard (which has been growing madly ever since we got here) in thought. I guess I'm all alone on this one. But wheres mother? Allen Storge
22: Sunday the 23rd of December, 1851 We found a carriage ride that will take us to Melbourne we used up all our money though to get on it. I don't feel excited but I am very hungry. But I don't get much time to feel hungry because I'm to busy throwing up because I'm so sick, it's probably becauseI've been sleeping on the wet ground. Allen Storge
23: There's men on horses chasing after our carriage, with guns. Big guns! I hear a woman screaming, I hear a baby crying and I hear the gunshots as Patrick falls onto my lap bloody and shot, now I'm screaming as well. I yell at Patrick where he is going and to stay with me, he replies with regret "I am going to see mother". I'm so sad that I can't see how wounded he is because I'm crying to much. Mother is dead, they lied tome. I can't see any hope left or anything it's just a blur but I can feel the pain in my shoulder I've been shot and I'm losing blood quickly. and I'm going to die any second now it's getting harder to write. Oh no the...