Gordon Jukes

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Travelling to the Diggings, the Keilor Plains. Victoria by John A. Gilfillan. State Library of Victoria Collection (H25126)


Gordon Jukes arrived in Melbourne in early 1854. [1]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Gordon Jukes saw the battlefield after the fight was over at the Eureka Stockade. [2]

Reminiscences of Ballarat, Victoria, its goldfields and the Eureka Stockade, 1854-1900 by Gordon Jewkes/Jukes MLDOC 6-660c, viewed 1994 by Dorothy Wickham

[Page 4] In the year 1854 I arrived in Melbourne which I found in a very unsetled [sic] state there was scarcely any demand for Labour Many had been to the diggins but had returned dissappointed but reports Continued to arrive of the discovery of new diggins & heads & large yeilds which Caused great excitement, & seemed to paralyse all their energies, Land and Property was very low I staid in Melbourne about a week & then Came with four others to Ballarat & according to the Invariable Custom of the day resorted to the George Hotel to pay our devotions to the all prevailing Nobler but I had not been there long before I was made acquainted to some extent of the state & Condition of things in general, a cry was raised that the Bank of Victoria was stuck up it being only two or three doors from were I was, & in the Middle of the day, four Men with Veiled faces had entered the Bank revolvers in hand gaped the officials & decamped with Gold & Money to the amount of some thousands of pounds the Troopers were soon out in all directions but so well

[Page 5] had they arranged their Plans that no trace of them Could be found, having had leisure time to look around me I found I had made a mistake in Coming to Ballarat as to all appearance the shallow diggins were worked out & the heads were running into deep ground. I found it required more Capital then I Could Command so I turned my attention in another direction just at that time Robert Smith had a Contract for building a Wesleyan Church in Lydiard St which is now numbered with the things of the Past & which was about the first Permament Building erected on Ballarat I applied for a job & got one to Quarry Stone at 15s per day I was working not far from where the Hospital now stands & living on the flat below Christ Church the first day I began to work i came home to my dinner But on returning to work I found I had lost my reckoning from the thickness of Scrub & Bush I was about 2 hours finding the place were I had been working so you may know I was pretty green

[Page 6] after working a few weeks with Mr. Smith I left & went to work at a Claim on the gravel pits on wages at a £1 per day the Shaft had just Bottomed on washdirt at a depth of 120 Feet Claims at that time were only 24 feet square for 8 Men with 3 Feet of spare ground or wall as it was Called between each Claim & those that Could get at it first took it out in about 3 weeks the Claim was finished I then joined 2 others & we sank a shaft on some old ground on the white Flat about 20 Feet deep we were working at it a month & Made £100 a Man we then sank another shaft & whilst I was down Puddling back the water one of the Men dropped a bucket of Clay down the Shaft having Missed the Hook although the Shaft was only 3/6 by 2/6 I was not touched just at this time a shaft that was sinking just below us Came upon rock a few feet from the surface which Caused quite a Commotion the wise men of the diggins were Called together to pass thier opinion & the Majority of them agreed that there could be no gold below the rock

[Page 7] this was the first rock that was struck on Ballarat the Claim was give up & we gave up ours this after wards proved to be the Commencement of the Golden Point Gutter a Man in those days need not be hard up if he was willing to work he Could go into the old Claims on golden Point & make his 3 or 4 Pennyweights a day. Gold at this time was about £3.15.0 per ounce but it Cost more than pound;4.0.0 an ounce to get it, Previous to this there had been some very rich Claims on the Canadian were Men had Made a good Fortune in a few weeks & this had made Ballarat Famous all over Victoria & diggers Came with their one two or three Hundred Pounds which they had made on Shallow diggins to make a large haul in the deep Claims at Ballarat & it was this that kept Ballarat up as I had now been diggin some three months I thought it time to throw of the Guise of a New Chum as a New Chum was looked upon with much disfavour by the experienced diggers so I donned the Monkey Jacket High boots wideawake & Belt & picked up the Slang Phrases

[Page 8] talked about duffers Shicers Stringers Drifts & I joined a party of eight we sank a shaft 160 feet deep I was on the Bottom sinking the well when I was reminded of an unwelcome Visitor which gave me a sharp tap on the head I looked round & saw a large augur had fell down the shaft the Handle of which had struck me & the Point of the augur had struck the Reef another narrow escape I thought, this Claim like many others turned out not payable but I never used to despair always buyed up by the hope that I should Come on it some day & should not have to work all the days of my Life to the Man without religion the diggers life was a very jovial one & Christians was vary rare in those days the Sundays were generally spent up to dinner time in washing & Chopping the weeks wood & me doing the cooking which was generally taken in turns after dinner it would visiting or being Visited when all the News of the week would be discussed & generally all the Liquor in the tent drunk it was Customary to keep a good supply of Grog

[Page 9] I well recollect regailing some Visitors on one of these occasions with Brandy Hot, the Panican had been going round pretty brisk & they thought it was quite time they were moving. I prevailed on them to have another wet I put a Billy on the fire which was about half full as I thought with luck water I put in a good part of a Bottle of Brandy the required amount of Liquor & having finished the lot the Visitors went home & we slipped into our Bunks in the Morning I got up to prepare the Breakfast & I found the Panicans all Covered with Grease I looked at the Billy in which I had been Making the Brandy Hot in & found I had Made a Mistake & put the wrong Billy on the Fire & had been helping my Friends to Brandy and Broth. I also very well remember my First turn at Cooking. I had made the Customary Plum Duff & got a nice Leg of Mutton put it in the Camp oven with plenty of Fire around it & over it, having arranged everything very nicely thinking to give them a surprise being my first attempt, when they Came to dinner one of my mates said is the Meat done I said it ought to be

[Page 10] he took of the Camp oven lid & Volumes of Smoke Issued forth My Nice Leg of Mutton was burnt to a Cinder it was some time before I was entrusted with the Cooking again, It was the usual Custom for one of the party to be Treasurer to have the spending of the Money keep an account & square up on Sunday it generally fell to My lot to occupy this this position things were a little dearer then they are now Bread 3 shillings a Loaf Butter 4d per lb Milk 5p per Quart but there was More drunk in Whiskey & Rum than Tea the Milkman would often Shout Milk & we shout Rum & then a little more water would be added Coppers & threepenny Bits had not arrived yet & Sixpences were very Scarce if there were a Sixpence Coming Back in Change it would generally be take a Box of Matches I have’nt a Sixpence It was rather a Novel site in those days to stand somewhere were the Wesleyan Church is about 9 o’clock at Night & see the diggers Tents lighted up stretched out before you & hear the discharge of revolvers for about an hour Revolvers were the order of the day but not much needed

[Page 11] No doubt their were some Notorious Characters in the diggins but a sense of honour seemed to pervade the whole diggins Community especially in thier dealings with each other & seemed more ready to give then to take at a later period of wich I am writing I have lived in a Tent by Myself having in My Charge More than an 100 ounces of Gold at a time being Treasurer for the Company & never was molested, It was also amusing to see the diggers at the Post office getting thier Letters when a Mail would arrive the Post office was a Small Place somewhere about the Corner of Lydiard & Mair St of Course these were no Letter Carriers then there would be a long String of them one behind the other awaiting thier turn with the greatest Coolness & good humour & Plenty of joking & if any one Came & wanted a letter out of thier turn, there would soon be an outcry Come behind take your turn But if a Female Came they would all give way in a Moment & allow her to get what she wanted even in those rough & uncouth days I have allways seen Females

[Page 12] Treated with Courtisey & Civility of Course there were not Many of them, young women were Certainly at a premium & were looked upon allmost as a Curiosity But the poor Fellow who assumed airs of Importance & wished to palm himself off as something above the Common was Certainly at a discount & would Come in for a good snubbing Snobocracy was very unpalatable with the diggers although there doctors Lawyers Merchants & others of the well to do Class jack was as good as his Mater & all had to stand on the same Level whilst diggin If an unfortunate Individual happened to find his way on to the diggins with a Bell Topper or Swallow Tailed Coat it was the Signal for a general Cry of Joe Joe how Much for your Puddling Tub, & such a lot of Slang would be heaped on the Fellows head, that he would remember the diggins as long has he lived, It was something surprising to see how few accidents occured taking into Consideration the amount of Grog that was drunk.

[Page 13] and the Scores of Shafts that were going down & thier working one against the other & thier Closeness together as a person Could almost jump from one Claim to another there seemed to be a special Providence attending the digger, I will not weary you by detailing my diggin experience as I expect it was similar to many others of that Period Making Money & Spending it & then making more & doing the same again I will give you a brief out-line Six of us were one of the first parties to the Rush at Magpie in 55 were if we had worked the Claims we Pegged off & Commenced to Sink instead of giving them away & working others which did not pay us More then wages we should have made between 2 & 3 thousand pound a man in about 3 months, But Men often in those days, gave the good Claims away, & worked the bad ones, the Magpie head junctioned with the Frenchman, & run on to the Table-land now Called Sebastopol were the Frontage System was first Introduced, I joined a party of 12 Put our ticket in the Ballot Box & drew No. 38 we worked 12months for about half wages

[Page 14] I then went to Smyth's Creek & worked another 12 Months with about the same results, from Smyth's Creek I went to Ararat & joined a prospecting Party were from the expensive Character of the Country having any amount of Rock & water to Contend with & being a Stranger in a strange land & of rather a reserved disposition, I had to Study domestic Economy living on Bread & Tea for about 3 weeks the Tea leaves being Boiled over about half a dozen times although I worked very hard I never enjoyed better health. John Woods the late Minister of Mines being one of the Party we both sold out for £40 a Man, & went to Pleasant Creek were we got a Billet to erect a Crushing Plant the first Machinery that was erected on the Reef having worked there near 12 months Woods & myself pegged of a Prospecting Claim on the Cross Reef & engaged two Men to sink it after sinking 100 Feet we gave it up Woods being returned to Parliament I left the district I afterwards learnt the Claim turned out to be very rich & very likely is working yet,

[Page 15] I then Came to Happy Valley were I joined a Prospecting Party & after about 12 Months work struck a New head which we Called the North American this was the Means of opening up a New District this Claim Paid me pretty well after having some good dividends I sold out for £285. I then with 3 others started for the Tuepeka diggins New Zealand, we had a Cradle Made to order, in Melbourne, on arriving at Dunedin we found Cartage very high from there to the diggins being a shilling a Pound so we had to pay 5 pounds to have the Cradle taken up on our way to the diggins we met some Scores returning giving a deplorable account of things there I met John Harvey & his Father returning who advised not to go as it was not safe as they were sticking People up not being believing in being robbed of the few Pounds I had, I returned to Dunedin stayed about 3 weeks & then came back to Ballarat.

[Page 16] I then joined a Party of Six we bought an engine & Puddling Machine worked about 12 months on some old ground but to very little purpose I now began to reckon myself up & and asked myself the Question for what purpose am I living why Continue to drag out this Miserable existence Gold diggin by this time had lost all its Charm for Me there was too Much dirt diggin associated with it so I summed up the whole Matter & Came to the same Conclusion as the wise man & said it was all Vanity & Vexation of spirit so I resolved to bid Gold diggin a final farewell I trust a Wiser if not a richer Man.

I will now take you back to the first day I arrived on Ballarat as I wish to refer more particularly to the now Memorable Stockade about a week after the Bank was stuck up, Bentley who kept an Hotel on the Eureka struck a digger with a Spade & killed him at the Coroners

[Page 17] Inquest he was acquited but the Irish or Tips as they were Called not agreeing with the Verdict resolved to avenge the death of their Countryman accordingly a rush was Made to the Hotel to Lynch Bentley I was on the ground at the time But the Scene was more than I can describe the yells Screams & Curses seemed to proceed more from Fiends then human beings But Luckily for Bentley he had made his escape then began the Smashing of Windows Bottles Glass & Furniture & to finish up they set Fire to the Hotel, Whilst the Hotel was burning, the warden arrived with a body of Troopers with drawn swords & Commenced to read the riot act so I thought I had been there long enough & began to beat a retreat thinking discretion the better part of Valour but nothing serious occurred up to this time I had no diggers License as I was not diggin & thought it not Necessary, but I was advised to get one, as I was liable to be taken up any Moment without one wether I was diggin or not.

[Page 18] I accordingly took out a License but never was asked for one, the Troopers would be out two or three days a Week amongst the Claims License hunting, but the poor Fellows would get some abuse, between the Joeing & Hooting they got & the bottles & Stones that were shied at them the diggers Made it hot for them so they Confined thier operations More to the roads waylaying the diggers as they went to & from thier work & they often got some Curious pranks played them for Instance two diggers would be walking along the road one would have a License the other not a Couple of Troopers would be Coming towards them the one with a License would set on to run as fast as he Could the Troopers after him after a smart chase he would let the Troopers Come up to him & then he would produce his License in the Mean time the other without a License would be Minus but of Course this would not do a second time with the same Troopers, the Licence was at this Time reduced to £1 per month which would have been reasonable

[Page 19] for the time had there been sufficient Protection but Might not right was the order of the day the Irish stuck well together & had most of the Eureka head in their possession & if any of their party jumped a Claim on the other heads & the warden decided against them they would come down in a Mob & the Party to whom the Claim belonged had to Clear out Quick & would be very fortunate to get off without the loss of blood there was very little Value set upon Money in those days & the very parties who objected to the License tax would think nothing of going into a Shanty & shouting two or three Pounds for all hands, But I think it was more from the Hunting & Badgering the diggers got then the cost of the License which Caused the grievance But had it not been for that there were a great Many that would not have taken out a License things had now arrived at such a pitch that something must be done & about half a dozen of the Leading Spirits Convened a Meeting of diggers

[Page 20] on Bakery Hill some hundreds of diggers assembled a Platform was erected & about some five or Six addressed the Meeting & from the large talk Indulged in British Rule was soon to be a thing of the Past in Victoria however it ended in a Motion being Carried that all should burn thier Licences & not take out another accordingly some bark & Chips were got together & lighted & a good number burned their Licences & a good number did not & I was one of that Number this Meeting Culminated in the Stockade I dont recollect seeing any License Hunting after that Meeting the dissatisfied digger now began to enroll themselves Companies were organised all kinds of arms & weapons were brought into requisition there was no secret about it it was all done openly & in the Middle of the day the different Companies on Bakery Hill Could be seen from the Camp & Township going through thier exercise & being drilled by thier officers the greatest excitement now prevailed & the peacebly disposed diggers wondering what would be the end of it all.

[Page 21] although Many of the diggers Connected with the Stockade were actuated I have no doubt from honest Motives arising from the unjust tax & the oppression brought to bear upon them, yet there were others acted from Mere Mercenary Motives thier object being to plunder the Camp of the gold it Contained at that time a good few diggers when they had washed up & divided the Gold would deposit thier Gold in the Camp for Security as they did not believe in selling it for the price then offering & many would take thier Gold home Government was responsible for all the Gold held but it was to get possession of this Gold many joined the ranks Training & drilling had now been going on about a Fortnight Stores had been Plundered for arms & ammunition with a promise of payment Sentinels were stationed on the roads leading to the Stockade & no one allowed to pass except they had the Password there were four of us living together in a tent at that time on the Flat about 100 yards from the Camp although none of us were directly

[Page 22] Connected with the Stockade we were in the Confidence of some who were & were kept well Posted up with the Password & what was going on & were let into the secret that they were going to attack the Camp on the next Saturday night & that we had better Clear off Ballarat for a day or two But the officials at the Camp knew what was going on, they had thier Spies at work, the Camp was barricaded with Bags of Sand or some other Material, behind which the Soldiers were Stationed, ready to give them a warm reception, Saturday Night Came & we ascertained that the attack was postponed on account of Many of the diggers being absent, & Many that were there had had a drop too Much, things went on as usual untill the Next Saturday, & that Night they were to have the Camp & Gold in thier possession but like the Saturday Night previous the Men didnt turn up it now appeared very evident that the Majority of diggers did not believe in the attack, as there was to Much risk attached to it,

[Page 23] But there were some Intrepid Spirits amongst them, who endeavored to rally thier forces for the next Saturday Night, Matters had reached that Stage that they could not entertain the Idea of giving it up without an attempt, but on the Next Saturday Night, thier Numbers were still less, I should think not more then 70 being present, the Camp authorities knowing the State of affairs, resolved to bring things to a Crises & accordingly on Sunday Morning Marched from the Camp headed by Captain Wyse, as they neared the Stockade the diggers became aware of thier approach, & as they neared the Stockade, the diggers fired the first Volley, wounding the Captain in the Leg, who died afterwards, from the wound, & wounding & killing several soldiers, the Soldiers & Troopers then rushed the Stockade the diggers Leaping the fence, & running in every direction, the soldiers & Troopers shooting & Baynotting all they Could, about Six ‘Clock in the Morning I heard

[Page 24] loud Cheering at the Camp, it occurred to me at the time that the state of things had been reversed & Instead of the Stockade attacking the Camp, the Camp had attacked the Stockade, I dressed myself & was soon at the Stockade, which was rather a piece of foolhardiness on My part, I think it was seven Dead I counted Scattered about who had evidently been killed whilst trying to escape some of them where rather badly mutilated with sword or Baynot, I went into the Black smiths Shop, the Blacksmith was still in Life & his Striker was moistening his Lips with something, a Ball had struck him on the Back of the Head, the Brain was oozing out, he died directly afterwards, it appears he was working at the time a Formidable Weapon lay on the Hearth nearly Finished, it was a kind of Spear axe & Peck, Combined made with a Socket to fix on the end of a Shaft several revolvers

[Page 25] were lying about, which had evidently been put on the Fire, as they were useless, Martial Law was Proclaimed by large Bills being Posted about, & If I recollect right no lights were allowed after Eight o Clock, on the Monday night after the Stockade someone Fired on the Sentinel, at the Camp, the Soldiers turned out & Fired on the Tents, were lights were burning, it was about 9 o Clock, & we had a light burning at the time but was Immediately extinguished My Mates rushed out of the Tent & over Golden Point, I Slipped under my Stretcher & held a Shovel over my head, I head a ball Come Whizzing very Close to Me, I screwed up a little Closer & held on to the shovel, I Presently heard some Voices Shouting to stop firing, & the firing ceased, several were wounded but I did not hear of any one being killed, It was said that the firing on the Sentinel was simply an excuse, for further revenge, as they were not satisfied with the previous days work

[Page 26] on the Tuesday several of the diggers were buried, & the Funeral was attended by the largest number of Pedestrians I ever witnessed, at a Funeral It must of been nearly a Mile in Length the the officials at the Camp were rather nervous, they would not allow the procession to pass by the Camp to the Cemetery, but everything passed of very orderly & Quiet, on the Next day a large Body of Artillery Men Soldiers & Troopers with four Mounted Cannon arrived from Melbourne, which had the effect of restoring peace & order, Large rewards were now offered for the Ring Leaders & if I mistake not £1000 was offered for the Head of Captain Vern, Dead or alive, there is no doubt much good resulted from the Stockade, It put an effectual Stop to the Issue of Licenses But 2/6 per ounce duty was put upon Gold the diggers were more satisfied with this then the License as it did not affect those that were not getting Gold, it Brought about a better felling betwixt the digger & Trooper & was a great boon to both

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[Page 28] Some people have very gloomy forebodings as to the future of this Colony but I have great hopes in the future of this Colony I believe God intends to raise up a noble army of workers with whom he Can Cooperate with in hastening on the evangelisation of the world I know there is a Class of youths in this Colony that are a disgrace & some in our own Neighbourhood which the Windows in our Church & School is an evidence, but to some extent this is owing to parents not excersising a proper Control over their Children when young there are to many parents & I class Myself one amongst the number that are something like Eli too sparing of the rod to the ruin of the Child but is not human nature the same all the world over are not all born in sin & shapen in Iniquity it is simply the development of human nature & it will Continue to develope untill arested subdued & kept in Subjection by the grace of God

[Page 29] I mantain that the youth of this Colony will Compare favorably with any other Colony or Country there are Many vices which Characterise the youth of other Countries which our youth are Not addicted too, they have splendid memories & very quick at learning I consider that on the average the youth of this colony will learn as Much in five years apprenticeship as the youth in the old Country learn in seven & I have no doubt this Colony will turn out some very Clever workmen I could wish they had a little more firmness & Concentration of there powers to some given purpose but this will be rectified bye & bye when they get the Grace of God in thier hearts now if there is any of our young here that intend getting Married some day I have a Message for them before they get Married God wants them to get Converted & when you do Marry you are not to Marry any Stranger or foreigner but to Marry into

[Page 30] the family of the household of faith I believe the Rothschilds enacted a Law or had an understanding among themselves not to marry out of the Family so that they might keep all thier Money among themselves but in process of time they found this was working detrimental to thier best Interests & they had to rescind that Law but in your Case it is different – if you Marry out of the Family it will act detrimental to your present & eternal Interest the probability is that you will not only lose your title but Inheretance also God says be not unequally yoked with unbelievers. Now let us for a few Moments take a retrospect of the past few years as I believe to use the language of Scripture God has set his heart on this Colony & any Man unless he belongs to that Class who says there is no God & he is rightly designated a fool but any Man with an average amount of Comon sense must see God not Merely as a Casual observer or passing spectator of events but one who his deeply interested & has some great purpose to accomplish

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[Page 32] In taking a retrospect of the present Colony of Victoria I go back 50 years & in my Minds eye I see a Splendid Country with an area of more then 26.000 Square Miles with its Mountains & Valley Immense Forests & Plains & Fertile soil & large Inland Lakes, & untold Millions of Wealth beneath its Surface, & a with a healthy Climate & this vast Teritory is in the possesion of a People of the lowest Type of Intellect who seen to be almost incapable of thought or action having no aim or purpose in living not having sufficient energy or Intellect to Cultivate the soil, or erect a rude tenement to shelter them from the Inclemency of the Weather, how long this people & thier ancestors have been in possesion of this Land & how they became so wretched & depraved it is not my provence now to enquire, But God with whom a thousand years is as one day & one day as a thousand years

[Page 33] whose eye never slumbers or Sleeps but is ever watching the Movements of Nations & Individuals Interposes in his own good time, & the set time has now arived & any man of thought & Reflection cannot fail to recognise the divine Interposition, & the Mandate that the race should cease to be perpetuated & this People give place to a more energetic & Intelligent race such as God Could use to accomplish his purpose, seems to me to have gone forth some time before the white Man took possesion of the soil, for although I have seen in the years 54 & 55 a goodly number of these tribes Congregated together I very seldom see more then one or two of thier offspring the first Pioneers of Civilisation are the Squatters taking up large tracks of land & rearing large flocks of Sheep, & herds of Cattle, & Cultivating the Soil, thus preparing the way for Immigration then again I see the hand of Gold God Most Remarkably displayed in the discovery of Gold although Comparatively Speaking there were but few people in the Country these very Men are led

[Page 34] to where Gold is got in large quantities & with very little trouble & expence, thus most of our best Gold Fields were discovered in the early days & this no doubt was Gods way of Inducing Immigration for in a few years thousands of young Men & Men in the prime of life the Bone & Sinew of Great Britian are flocking to the Gold fields, some bringing thier wives & families, other sending for thier wifes, families & sweethearts making this thier future home, & adopted land, a hardy honest & Industrious people, & as one passed from place to place he was often Struck with the abscence of old age Infirmity, or Sickness & although Claims were worked in such a reckless Manner, being only 24 feet square & working one Claim against the other as to which should get down first & take out the spare ground which Consisted of what was Called a 3 feet wall it was rare to hear of an Accident there seemed to be a special providence attending them.

[Page 35] as these people were to be the progenitors of a Noble enterprising & Intelligent race that shall ultimately develope into a glorious & Mighty nation such that God can use for the accomplishment of his purposes.

From this Slight review of the past I will now make a few remarks on the present State of things & looking throughout the length & bredth of the land what a Change has been wrought in a few years what was a rare thing to see 30 years ago native boys & girls may now be numbered by tens of thousands & a young woman which was looked upon allmost as a Curiosity are now as plentiful as any admirer of the fair Sex Could desire the primeval forest has been Converted into large Cities & townships with thier permanent buildings & glorious Institutions not wanting in artichectural skill, large workshops & manufacturies are also established

[Page 36] the barren wilderness has become studded with fine pastoral residences & homesteads with tens of thousand of acres under Cultivation & Instead of Importing allmost everything for our use & Consumption we are now exporters to a Considerable extent & thanks to the Mother Country we have a most liberal Constitution which might well be the envy of many older Colines & Nations & a state school boy May aspire & attain to the highest position in the State expect except that of govenor we allso have a franchise which every Victorian should be proud of Manhood Suffrage & vote by ballot, setting the Mother Country an example which she has Commenced to Imitate for she has adopted the ballot & are is now agitating for Manhood suffrage & I think we are the first Country in the world to adopt a system of education free Compulsory & secular & although there are many who do not believe in its secularism

[Page 37] for my part I quite agree with it as I think secular & Religious education should be seperate & distinct from each other not that I am unwilling that our Children should receive religious Instruction in thier youth for there is none more anxious then myself that the ennobling principles of Christianity should be rooted & grounded in them becoming part of thier nature, we read in scripture that the pre word preached did not profit them not being mixed by faith in hearing, so I fear if religious Instruction were Confided to the state School Teacher, it would not profit much as it would be applied & received in the same spirit as secular Instruction & Gods sacred word would be reduced to the same level as profane history, & as our young people grew up in years its sacredness & power over them for good, would to a great extent become nulified, I am of opinion that religious Instruction should be entrusted

[Page 38] to those that believe in it & practice its precepts & can ask with Confidence the Cooperation of the holy spirit that the word may be made a blessing to them.

for Of the nature youth of this Colony I hope great hopes I am not Insensible to the fact that ther a number of them are vicious & evil disposed but on the whole I think they will compare favourably with the youth of any Nation on the earth they have splendid memories & thier faculty of perception is good & very quick at learning & I have no hesitation in saying that this Colony will in a few years turn out some splendid mechanics & Statesmen, in fact they will become Masters of any Profession they Choose to aspire too, at present they are too find of Variety, lacking firmness & Concentrativeness & a little less self esteem & more respect for age would better become them but I have no doubt the Mutual Improvement associations that are now being established through the Colony will remedy these defects together with Sabbath School Instruction

[Page 39] as they will Create within them a desire for Mental Culture & raise them to a higher Platform Morally ,Socially & Religously I am glad to see that selfishness is not a Characteristic of our Native youth, but are rather Inclined to be generous & render assistance where assistance is needed, I am also glad to notice that a large Majority of the Native youth of this Colony have not that the low Cunning & deceitful ways of the youth of the working Classes in the old Country nor have they the propensity for that low & degrading Vice drunkeness & thanks to the fostering Care of Protection they are now enabled to learn trades which will enable them to earn an honest living in any part of the Civilised world.

I am not less hopeful of our Colonial Maidens I have no doubt they will prove a help meet for the young Men it would be unreasonable to think otherwise as God who said it is not good for Man to be alone, gave Adam a wife just adapted

[Page 40] to his Circumstances, & suitable to for him in every particular, so he has in his unerring wisdom provided one for each of our young men, but he has left them to excercise thier own judgment in selecting the right one, I think the same Virtues & failing which Characterise our young Men, are also applicable to our young women, it has been said they are to fond of dress but I am Inclined to think this is in thier favour, as a slovenly untidy young woman is a tolerably sure Indication of loose Morals, & Vica Verca, a young woman that is Industrious & endeavours to appear respectable will also endeavour to keep their her reputation untarnished it has also been said that they will make sorry wives as they are being brought up unacquainted with domestic duties duties this I put down as bosh, for as thier Industrious habits thier Quickness of perception thier Intelligence with thier aptitude to acquire

[Page 41] Knowledge will soon make them proficient in all that is required of them to adorn the homes of thier husbands & train up thier Children to reflect be a Credit on to themselves & a blesing to society, but I think they make themselves sadly too Cheap, I would like to see them assume a more dignified Lady like & Independent attitude towards the young Men it would raise them in the estimation of the young Men & all sensible people

I will now take a peep into the future say some 50 years hence & the hopes I had entertained I find are more then realised the little one has become a thousand & the small one a great nation the Population Can now be numbered by the Million as I aticipated the state Schools Mutual Improvement associations Sabbath Schools & other kindred Institutions have done thier work nobly, & I now see an Industrious prosperous

[Page 42] & enlightened people, there are still a number of poor people but thier poverty is not of that low wretched & degrading Type arising from Crime & Intemperance, & they are well cared for by thier more fortunate Bretheren I am glad to Notice that Hotels are few & far between, although a poor Drunkard may be seen now & then it is more the exception then the Rule, wages are a little lower good tradesmen averageing about £2.10.0 per week the eight hours System being still in operation but there is no dearth of Labour & Provisions are remarkably Cheap & there seems to be a feeling of Contentment through out the Length & Breadth of the land the working Classes now occupy thier proper position, in society, & there is are no Clashing of Interests with Capital & labour all disputes all disputes arising out of the two Interests are decided by a board of arbitrators

[Page 43] from which there is no appeal, & as I make a further Inspection I find large Cities Townships Villiages & Hamlets at Convenient distances from each other, being Connected by Railways, there seems to be a network of Railways throughout the land I am also glad to Notice our large Inland Lakes are being Utilised for Irrigtion purposes, so that with the large reservoirs that have been Constructed for Conserving the water in the rainy season & the Canals which are running through the dry portions of the Country the old Complaint of poor Crops is seldom heard, I see that Brick has superseded wood It is very rare to see a wood tenement, Permanent Brick Buildings two storey high with nicely laid out gardens is now the order of the day, having the appearance of Cleanliness & Comfort which to a large extent is due to the sober Clean & Industrious habits of the Virtuous Wife

[Page 44] another remarkable Feature is the large Beds of Coal & Mines of Iron stone which have been discovered, God has in his own good time & Infinite wisdom discovered to Man in his own way were the Coal & Iron was, just as he led men to were the Gold was to be found, & I am not in the least surprised to see for smelting the Iron from the Stone into Cast Iron large Blast Furnaces, & Puddling Furnaces for Converting the Cast Iron into wrought Iron which in its turn is being worked up into all kinds of machinery, Steam Engines & Locomotives & a large export trade is now Carried on with the south sea Islands & other places which are now thickly populated & as there is now plenty of the raw Material & with all the latest Improvements in Machinery they are Can now enter into fair Competition without any other Nation without the aid of protection & from the superiority of thier work other Countries have but little show with them

[Page 45] In My Imagination I now take a strole into the Legislative Assembly & take my seat in the strangers gallery which is soon Crowded every one takeing a deep interest in the debate that that has now Commenced, it appears a honable Member for Ballarat tabled a Motion for seperation from the Mother Country the Mother Country signying her acquisence in that movement as she thinks the Colony with its Men of War ships & admirable defence works & its well organised Militia & Volunteers are well able to defend its own Interests, & as this is the last night of the debate every one is anxious to know the result, the house is pretty equally divided one Party affirming that it is desirable to remain a little longer under the Protection of the British Flag & the other Party are painting in Glowing Colours the advantages that would accrue to the Colony from a Republican form of Government

[Page 46] & their debating powers & flow of eloquence is something wonderful to listen too & as every member has had an opportunity to of speaking to the Motion & the Subject nearly exhausted, there are now to be heard Cries of divide, after a few words from the speaker, a division takes place which results in a Small Majority for the Motion amidst loud & Continued Cheering, & in ascertaining who these men are that have such Capacity for debating & ready flow of language I am not surprised to find that they are Victorians Bred & Born, In fact the whole house with two or three exceptions, are natives of the soil, another feature which gives me great Pleasure is the strict observance of the Sabbath day, it is a very pleasing Sight to see whole families wending there way to the house of God, there has been a great revival of religion & the Influence of the Holy Spirit has been felt throughout the Land

[Page 47] & thousands have been added to the Church free thought & Infidelity are hiding thier diminished heads, the young Men are Imbued with the Missionary Spirit & are anxious to go & Preach Christ any where & everywhere I notice that Sabbath Schools & Mutual Improvement associations have become a mighty Power for good, by these organisations & United effort they have the power to Elect or reject any Candidate for Parliamentary honours, which is a guarantee for the honour & Integrity of the house. The Education Act is still in force free secular & Compulsory, but Religious Instruction is Imparted in nearly all the Schools before or after School hours, & I am not sorry to Notice that the Catholics are tired of agitating for a Seperate grant & have accepted the Same terms as other denominations Ballarat still retains its reputation as the Premier Gold field Large Quartz Reefs

[Page 48] have been struck at various depths from 1000 to 2000 feet although not rich, from the the late Improved appliances & Methods of saving Gold, they are worked with profit, & give employment to thousands of Men there is no Mention now of Ballarat Ballarat it has become world famed for its manufacture which Consists of allmost everything from an Needle to an anchor & from the general use of Coal & the number of its Manufacturies with Volumes of Smoke Issuing from its numberless Chimneys it May now be termed Smoky Ballarat. There is no Mention now of Ballarat east & Ballarat west, it is one great City & Pleasant St is about its Centre, & the Insignificant Wesley Church of pleasant St has given place to a Magnificent Edifice Capable of seating nearly 2000 people it has a beautiful spire & Peal of Bells whose Chimes often Cause Many a sorowful heart to rejoice

[Page 49] & in this Beautiful Church [indecipherable] worshippers have been spared to bear Testimony to the accuracy precision with which these Changes & events were foretold 50 years ago.


Post 1854 Experiences

See also


Further Reading

Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.


  1. Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
  2. Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
  3. Gordon Jukes (spelt Jewkes in catalogue) Eureka Stokade, 6-660c, State Library of New South Wales, viewed 1994

External links

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Caption, Reference.