Earth, Wind, Fire, Water — Gold: Bushfires and the Origins of the Victorian Gold Rush Douglas Wilkie Originally published in History Australia, vol.10, no.2, August 2013 Abstract Many historians have noticed the coincidence of the 1851 Black Thursday fires in the Port Phillip District of New South Wales (Victoria) with the beginning of the Victorian … Continue reading Earth, Wind, Fire, Water – Gold!
ALEXANDRE JULIEN DUCHENE was not even four years into a fourteen year sentence in Van Diemen’s Land in 1840 when Major D’Arcy Wentworth, the Police Magistrate at Launceston, described him as ‘a man of most exemplary conduct’. Edward Hammond Hargraves, was less than two years into enjoying his claim to have started the Australian gold … Continue reading Duchene / Hargraves
Exodus and Panic: Melbourne's reaction to the Bathurst gold discoveries of May 1851 This article was shortlisted for the "Best Peer Reviewed History Article" in the 2015 Victorian Community History Awards. Originally published as: Douglas Wilkie, 'Exodus and Panic: Melbourne's reaction to the Bathurst gold discoveries of May 1851', Victorian Historical Journal, vol. 85, no. … Continue reading Exodus and Panic
Eighteen fifty-one was the year in which Port Phillip was separated from New South Wales and became Victoria. It was also the year in which the great Victorian gold rushes started. Many historians, and even a greater number of non-historians, believe these two events occurred within weeks of each other simply by coincidence. However, the … Continue reading Ten Thousand Fathoms Deep
Many people have the impression that the Victorian gold rushes not only began in mid-1851, but also occurred in response to discoveries earlier in that year near Bathurst, west of Sydney. Not so! The Victorian gold rushes of 1851 were a direct consequence of a largely forgotten gold discovery two years earlier in the Pyrenees … Continue reading 1849 The Rush That Never Started: Forgotten origins of the 1851 gold rushes in Victoria