Eureka 1, 1855

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Background

Survivors met in November 1855 at the site of the Stockade to consider the subject of compensation to those who suffered losses as a result of police and military action on the Eureka Diggings 3 December 1854.[1] Raffaello Carboni launched his book Eureka Stockade on 3 December 1855. Printed by J.P. Atkinson and Co., the book was 126 pages in length and had green printed wrappers. It is an eyewitness account of the Eureka Stockade rebellion. Carboni sat at the Diggers burial site all day giving readings from his book, and sold copies to passers by.

Notes

The first telegraphic communication between Ballarat and Melbourne and vice versa took place yesterday afternoon at twenty minutes past three o'clock. Last evening about eight o'clock the representatives of the Press in Ballarat were invited by Mr M'Gowan to witness the working of the telegraph. There being no office accommodation ready at present on the spot selected was the last post near the Unicorn Hotel on the Township. A wire was carried from the post to a small testing machine placed on a stump at its base, and thence, to secure moisture, carried to the steam adjoining, which runs from Bath's claim (now Cobb's Corner). Mr J.B. Humffray, who was at the Melbourne station, transmitted the following remarks to Mr M'Gowan:- The establishment of electric telegraph communication between Ballarat and Melbourne is a far more pleasing event to celebrate on the anniversary of the 3rd of December than stockades and massacres.[2]


THE EUREKA STOCKADE.
Yesterday was the second anniversary of the fatal encounter between the troops and the holders of the Stockade, and the memorable and melancholy event was commemorated by a procession and the delivery of addresses.
Two o'clock was the time appointed for the rendezvous on the site of the stockade, and by three there were assembled about 200 persons, amongst-whom we noticed Messrs Seekamp, Hambrook, Nicholls, O'Meara, Hayes, M'Gill, Lessman, Lynch, and others. At three o'clock, Mr Lynch mounted a stump on the ground, close to the Stockade, and read the following address to the multitude : -
FELLOW CITIZENS, Sensible of the debt of gratitude we owe to the memories of the brave men who fell victims on the fatal 3rd December, '54, in their efforts to resist the oppression and tyranny of the then existing government, we meet here to-day, the second anniversary of that disastrous day, in solemn procession, to pay to their manes the only tribute in our power the celebrating with due solemnity the sad commemoration of their martyrdom.
The evil that men do lives after them; the good is often interred with their bones; is unfortunately a postulate which the history of ages has almost invariably verified, but let it be a matter of congratulation, that in the instance before as there is a happy inversion. The good lives after them-the cause for, which they bled has signally, triumphed, and we "may date the eventful morning of their martyrdom "as the incipient dawn of a new and hopeful era in our political condition.
In every struggle for freedom which history records, where the event has not realized success, the upholders of despotism,have sedulously endeavored to consign to obloquy the names and reputation of the men who had the moral fortitude to attempt the expulsion of slavery and proclaim the rights of man, by stigmatizing them with all the odious epithets language could supply, in order to exculpate themselves by the disparagement of their adversaries, and the almost invariable success which has attended this sinister artifice being too palpable to be overlooked, our colonial despots seized upon it with the avidity of men conscious of their misdeeds and of the evils they entailed, yet nevertheless desirous of justifying them by expedients utterly dishonest and pusillanimous.
The state trials afford ample illustration the invidious attempt I have adverted to and its signal failure ; and we are assembled here to signify by this demonstration that we revere their memories, and that we shall ever consider it a duty incumbent upon us to use every legitimate exertion to bequeath to posterity, as the noblest of. all inheritances, the desire of cherishing the patriotism that animated them.
It is needless, on my party to remind you of the causes which effected that deplorable massacre—they are, I believe, too indelibly engraven on your memories to be eradicated by time or place ; I will therefore desist from invoking unpleasant reminiscences which could have no other tendency than to excite embittered feelings and associations. I will even entreat of you to forgive the imprudent authors of the catastrophe, and thus manifest to the world that whilst you appreciate in its widest extent, and most unqualified extent, the exalted sense of liberty which animated the departed—you have the noble magnanimity to let all acrimo-nious recollections cease with the causes that generated them.
Let us then earnestly hope that we shall never again see repeated in our adopted land such scenes as characterised the ominous past, and that whilst we resolutely maintain our determination not to ignore one iota of our rights as free citizens, we shall never be wanting in our obedience to the laws, whilst they are the safeguard of our liberties, and not, as in bygone days, the instrument of our enslavement.
Nor is the task of exonerating them from the charge of indiscretion, which obtained undue currency, more difficult of accomplishment, when it is remembered that forbearance under the most ignominious treatment had been patiently observed, until it assumed too humiliating an aspect ; and that it was not until repeated appeals for redress had failed that ulterior measures had been resorted to; after which the very identical demands for which they were immolated, had been speedily conceded ; thus, tacitly acknowledging their justice, and adding another incontrovertible proof that the little relaxation from oppression we now enjoy has been purchased by their blood, and wrenched from the reluctant grasp of our begrudging rulers. ... [3]

Also See

Commemoration

Raffaello Carboni
  1. 22 November 1855
  2. The Ballarat Star, 4 December 1855
  3. Ballarat Star, 04 December 1855.