Goldfields Involvement, 1854
To His Excellency SIR CHARLES HOTHAM,
SIR, I have been a digger in Ballaarat for the last two years, In the month of December last I was possessed of a tent situate on the Eureka; I put it up intentionally for my wife and seven children, whom I am expecting out daily. About the cnd of August last, I went into the bush to split timber, leaving my tent, furniture, clothing, cooking utensils, and sundry other articles, amounting altogether in value to £129 48; but when I returned, on the third of December, for a change of clothing, after an absence of more than nine weeks, what was my horror and dismay when I found nothing but the charred remains of the comfortable home I had provided, as I fondly hoped, for the reception of my wife and family, from whom I had been separated for more than three years.
On enquiry I learned what had taken place, and that the police and soldiers had set fire to it! I think it but just to myself to state to your Excelleney, that I took no part in the disturbances, but had been absent for weeks from Ballaarat at the time, and knew nothing of it until after my return and found my home destroyed as before mentioned of this! can produce most satisfactory proof. I stated these facts to the Royal Commission of Enquiry.
I therefore trust your Excellency will be pleased to take my case into your consideration so that I may be saved from so serious a loss of the fruits of my hard earnings.
By your obedient Servant, (Signed) JEREMIAH FOSTER
VPP 1855-6 Claims for Compensation, Ballarat.
Post 1854 Experiences
Ballaarat, 23rd April, 1855
To the Gold Commission of Enquiry
Ballarat, 23rd 1854
My tent was destroyed by fire length 43 feet by 21 feet in width. Tent cost £51, and the frame and erecting cost £30 and also 6 double blankets valued £6; also a small tent cost £10; crockery-ware and glass cost £12; 4 dozen mustard cost £.3.12s; 6lbs of spices cost 12s; 1 box of pepper cost £2; and about 40lbs of salt cost £1; preserved apples, about 501bs, cost 30s; 2 suits of clothes cost £9; and a chest cost £2.
Total £129 48.
And there were all my papers destroyed, and receipts of gold sent to England.
(Signed) JEREMIAH FOSTER Witness WM EDWD UNDERWOOD
Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
Riot at Ballarat appointed to enquire into circumstances connected with the late disturbance at Ballarat together with the evidence taken by the board laid upon the Council table by the Colonial Secretary, by Command of His Excellency the lieutenant Governor and ordered by the Council to be printed 21st November, 1854.