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Goldfields - Page Text Content

BC: Blurb As people came from all around the world to dig for Gold they lost their money, had life threatening diseases but they made history! Read more to find out what other things they did in the Gold Rush. | This book is copyright by Ashley Skead. Published in 2009.

FC: The Gold Rush

1: Health during the Gold Rush was very poor because there was a lack of clean and fresh water to drink or bathe in. There were many cases of diarrhea and stomach aches that spread quite quickly. Over all the Gold Rush was extremely unhygienic for people to survive in, but there was nothing stopping them! | Doctors' fees were too expensive for the digger which means they had to treat themselves with home remedies. Most of the remedies from the druggists usually didn't work because they were either fake or bad! | Health | Dear Darling wife, It's tough here in the Goldfields but not as as tough as not seeing ou your beautiful face. Love Fredrick Moray

2: History | MORAY, Fredrick Flight no:450 JJh Arrival: 21:00 Departure: 14:00 Thank you and have a pleasant flight | Small amounts of gold were found in New South Wales but the authorities kept quiet. Then a few years later a man called Hargreaves found gold near Bathurst and the word spread quickly from then. Within a few months there were 2,000 diggers digging for gold and the Gold Rush had begun. From 1851-1861 Australia produced more that 1/3 of the world's gold! Because there were so many people wanting to dig for the gold, all the other jobs such as farming, building and baking weren't being done. So Governor Fitzroy was getting worried that there would be too much violence over the food, water and of course GOLD. He made a law saying that no one was allowed to dig without paying for a license, giving you the permission to dig. This law was enforced so people who had no money would have to go home or die there!

3: More History | In September 1851 there were 10,000 people digging for Gold in Victoria. By 1852 the news had spread across Europe, England, China and America. Boatloads of hopeful diggers came to Melbourne and headed for the Gold Rush. | Many diggers disliked the Chinese. Racism was common at the time, and the feelings of disliking the Chinese spread almost through every Australian there. Some diggers would attack them at night. They carried whips and clubs to kill them and many did die.

4: Gold Gold Gold | Gold is a very valuable metal that is found underground. It has a shining outside that makes it unique. If you had the smallest amount of gold you were considered very wealthy and not a peasant. Diggers would use a shovel, cradle (sieve), plate axe and many other materials to dig in the Victorian goldfields | Alluvial Gold: Alluvial Gold is a type of gold that comes in clumps and is easier to find. A long time ago is was found in rocks that got washed away by the rivers and streams | Buried Gold: Buried gold was found deep into the soil. If you were a buried gold digger you usually teamed up in groups of 3 or 4 and started digging from up to 20-50 meters into the soil.

5: California Gold Rush | Fredrick Moray Permission to Prospect signature: F.MORAY | A man called James.W Marshall was the first man to spot gold in the Californian Gold Rush from 1849-1851. As the people from all over the world came flooding in the Red Indians were pushed off their land because of the big mass of immigrants. This caused big problems such people drinking heavily, gambling and theft. People lost their money because of the cost of gold supplies and the place just fell apart.

6: Food | Meat and Bread Most miners lived on meat and bread. Mutton was cheap because wool farmers sold their old sheep for meat. Diggers made their own bread by mixing flour and water into a loaf and cooking it over a campfire to make damper. Eggs, butter, milk and sugar were rarely seen on the goldfields. | Fruit and Veg British and Australian diggers ate very few vegetables. Potatoes, cabbage and onion were boiled with mutton to make a dish called Irish stew. However, Chinese diggers planted large vegetable patches and fertilized the plants with manure from their pit toilets. Chinese vegetable sellers were a common sight on the goldfields. Other diggers were happy to pay for fresh greens. In the 1800's people rarely ate RAW fruit but made it into jam or puddings.

7: Dressing | t | The men wore loose, brightly coloured cotton or woolen shirts that were open at the neck. Miners never wore collars or ties, but they often tied handkerchiefs around their necks. Trousers were made of thick cotton, and diggers wore leather belts to hold them up. Long boots or leggings were the "style" back then and were worn often by every man, because they were comfortable. Some people wore large-brimmed felt hats, caps and straw hats. They were also very common. The Chinese wore very different clothes to the other diggers such as loose cotton trousers and loose jackets with loop fastenings down one side. Most of the men had long hair which they would plait to keep out of the way.

8: Sicknesses | Sleeping on the damp grounds caused many sicknesses, and hundreds of people died of a disease of the lungs called Pneumonia. This deadly diseased is caused by the lungs loosing air and the patient not being able to breathe. Other diseases would be caused by cuts and wounds becoming infected and then spreading all over the goldfields. Children on the goldfields died because they were too weak and young to fight the diseases. Hundreds of diggers died because of mining accidents. Mine shafts sometimes collapsed. This was the most common accident that happened on the goldfields.

9: Education | By late 1852, there were 12,000 children on the Victorian Goldfields. As the number of children grew, timber schoolhouses were built. Children could attend from ages of seven up to 12, but most stayed for just a year or two. | Lessons: Children started school at around seven years of age. They learned reading, writing and arithmetic in the first class. Higher grades taught geography, history and grammar. Handwriting was also and important subject. Young children wrote with chalk or lead pencils on flat pieces of stone called slates. Older children used metal-nib pens dipped in ink. | Punishments: Teachers were very strict. Children were punished for wrong answers or untidy work, as well as for being late and misbehaving. "Writing lines" which was writing several sentences over at least one hundred times. Naughty boys were hit with a long stick called a cane. Five or ten "cuts" were given on the bottom or the hand. Naughty girls were often slapped or smacked hard on the hands and legs.

10: More Education | Learning difficulties: Children found it hard to learn because the teachers were either untrained or they left from time to time. The children didn't go to school very often because their parents would follow the gold rushes from one place to the next. In the 1850's New South Wales children would only have 1 or two years of school. | Rules: - Hands and nails must be clean. Any dirty children will be sent home. - Children must carry a handkerchief at all times. - Boys must remove their caps before entering the classroom. - A child must not speak without the teacher's permission.

11: Transport | Most people walked to the diggings along roads that were no more than rough, muddy tracks. There were very few bridges, so travellers had to pass through rivers or wait for a ferry to come. Some diggers wheeled a barrow that held their possessions such as tools, food and clothes. Other diggers went together to hire large wagons called "drays" that were pulled along slowly by bullocks.

12: Tools used: Miners used metal picks, shovels and gold pans to search for gold Diggers who had worked on the Californian goldfields in the 1840's brought their tools with them that they used there. The blacksmiths worked day and night making tools for the diggers. If you were a blacksmith, then you would be very rich. Gold panning: The simplest way to get gold was from the gravel nears creeks or rivers because the soil was moist and easy to dig into. There was also lots of gold found there. | Hard Work

13: Instructions to Pan Gold: | The miner put a shovel full of soil into a wide metal gold pan. Then he put the soil into a big cradle and his friend would use the handle to turn it around.Then he would pour in water to clean the gold. The cradle is used to separate the gold from the gravel so they can keep the gold and throw away the gravel. Like a sieve.

14: Glossary | afterlife- life after death blacksmiths- people who work with iron to make horse shoes and other objects bullocks- male bulls canvas- strong cotton cloths clogs- outdoor shoes worn over other shoes collars- the part of a shirt that goes around your neck colony- area of land occupied and settled by people from a distant nation diggers- miners who worked on the gold fields diggings- a place in Australia where gold is dug drays- low carts without sides gold pans- wide metal dishes used in gold prospecting incense- gum or spice that makes a sweet smell when burned leggings- leather covering foreleg | measles- disease causing fever and skin spots mutton- meat from an adult sheep nomadic- roaming from place to place to seek food pensions- sums of money paid regularly by the government to people in need pinafores- aprons worn over dresses provisions- food and drink racism- hatred for people from other countries of cultures shafts- deep narrow holes dug straight down into the ground typhoid- disease causing fever and death yielded produced or gave out

15: References | 1. "Life on the goldfields" By Melanie Guile 2. www.sbs.com.au/gold/ 3. Google Images 4. www.yahooligans.yahoo.com 5. www.kids.net.au

16: The Diary of Fredrick Moray: A digger in the Victorian Gold Rush 1851

17: Dear Diary, This is the worst day of my life, my mum has tried to walk for the 3rd time today but just kept collapsing on the hard wooded chair that our Grandma made for use before she died. I live with my 3 older brothers Chad, Nickolaus and Graham, and my younger sister Chelsea who is just 3. Our lives are pretty hard. We don't have a house, only 4 walls and a piece of timber that could fall down and kill us any second. My mom keeps yelling at Graham who keeps on eating the 15 almonds that my aunt gave to us as a goodbye present when she left to England. That's basically all the food we have in our box that mum calls a pantry, other than a stale piece of sourdough bread. Oh I would die to have that piece of bread, but mum says it's for dad when he comes home at 9:00pm tonight after work. I look out the big hole in the side of the wall, looking at a small child about 6 pointing to a shop window wanting the object but his mum is saying no. Then he looks disappointed and walks off. I wish that I was in that little boy's situation, going for a walk with my mum and asking for something. | 11/7/1851

18: 12/7/1851 | "There's Gold in Australia"Shouted Nickolaus. He ran inside and handed me a newspaper clipping from outside. The West Australian it says. "Gold in Victoria" was the headline that caught my eye. I can't believe it, this might be the only chance that we have to survive. I show it to mum but she's too weak to open her eye's. She so close to the end of her life and it makes me cry. My tears go all over the newspaper, blurring the text. Today my life changed. The next morning my uncles boat takes us to Melbourne. I give mum the 5 almonds left and give her a big hug. She doesn't understand whats going on but I whisper in her ear "I'm saving our lives" she smiles and turns around. Graham, Nickolaus, Chad and I set of with Uncle Benjiman. I look into the ocean and see a dolphins in a group of 3 playing around and jumping, when I see that I think of my brothers and I being together. We sit closely together trying to stay as warm as possible. The cold night air is making my toes to purple and numb, but nothing stops me. I think Chad is crying because I hear this faint sob in my ears, don't worry, Chelsea will be fine in England with Auntie.

19: 15/7/1851 | "We're hear" I shouted. We thanked Ben and gave him our last piece of Carrot cake that I stole from the lady sitting next to me who was sleeping, I don't think she minded. I jumped off the boat and onto the jetty, the planks of wood squeaked as I walked with my 3 brothers. People were everywhere. I was pushed against a man who had hot coffee in his hand and it went all over my shirt that I had to make because I didn't have anything else. I turned around and couldn't see my brothers anymore, they disappeared in the large crowd full of hopeful diggers. My hands were shaking not knowing where to go. I saw some Chinese diggers on the side walk wanting to buy some supplies, they emptied out their pockets and only a few coins came out. I felt sorry for the man and it looked like he was having a hard time. I walked over to him and gave him my 4 shillings that I had been saving since I was 5. The Chinese man acknowledged my generosity. "Come on don't dawdle around, we don't have enough time" said a voice behind me that sounded familiar. I turned around and my brothers were standing in front on me, with a cradle and pan. "Let's get digging" Said Graham! We went to a place completely packed with diggers. This was the only place that we could find, because we were so tired. That night I slept next to Chad and we talked about how great it would be to get enough money to save mum and Chelsea.

20: 16/7/1851 | "Rise and shine" Yelled Nickolaus, "We have to get ready if wew want to save our mum". I looked at my watch, it was quite hard to read because the sides were rusting and it was very old, so old that my grandmothers mother gave it too her. 5:02am "great" I said "This is a good time because then not much people will be up. I slipped on my sock and coat. For breakfast all I had was a cup of hot tea that someone left at the front of our tent door. I wanted scrambled egg on a piece of toast straight from the toaster and some warm c crispy bacon on the side. I knew that I would never have the money to buy something so fancy. I probably wouldn't be allowed to go into a restaurant with these clothes on. I hurried out the tent with Graham, Chad and Nickolaus to go digging. I walked out into the open air, my feet were about to freeze into ice blocks. My nose had frozen snot running down and my cheeks were as pale as a sheet of clear white paper. As I walked towards the mining center I heard a thump, like an elephant walking. I turned around and saw my eldest brother Nickolaus on the floor drowning in blood. I fell to the floor and shook hid arm "Nickolaus, Nickolaus" screamed in his ears. "Come back, Chad, Graham and I can't go on without you". "I's true, you're the one that keeps our team a team, you can't stop now, I love you" agreed Graham. This was the end of our hope. Our journey

21: ended there. Us brothers had fought our battle and it overtook us this time. We couldn't do anything about it. When we dug, it was for mum, when we persevered and kept going , it was for mum, but now the team hasn't got enough players. Over and DONE. I picked up a rock and threw it at a tree as hard as I could, the emotion got to me, the sadness, sorrow, bravery and most of all the thought of loosing a brother up set me that most. One of the diggers shot a bullet into his head. This was a sign, a sign saying that something even worse was going to happen, something TERRIBLE! | Now I am 37 and live in the sunshine coast with my wife Susan and my 3 kids Harriet, Andrew and Georgia. I enjoy being a father because it gives me the chance to give my kids the influence that my mother never gave me. Never worry about things that might go wrong, because most of the time it'll go right. Of course for us it didn't, but we believed it could be. Now Graham and Chad always visit us and see baby Georgie. They love us and we love them. Isn't that what life is all about. Having people love you and you loving back! You should be grateful that you have a family and parents, not about something in a shop window. Copyright Ashley Skead

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  • By: Ashley S.
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  • Title: Goldfields
  • 1851
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  • Published: over 9 years ago