THE ECHUNGA GOLD-FIELDS.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN REGISTER.
Sir — It having been industriously reported that the Gold-field of South Australia has never been renu merative, and some letters from individuals enter taining a more favourable idea having appeared in
your columns, I feel it my duty to offer to you for publication what has come to my knowledge in refe rence to the conflicting opinions. And, first, I beg to hand you a true copy of a statement of gold from Echunga, purchased by residents in Adelaide, verified by the autographs of the original purchasers. It appears from that statement that Echunga Gold, to the amount of considerably upwards of seventeen thousand pounds, was sold in Adelaide between Sep tember, 1852, and January, 1853 ; besides which, I have other proofs which bear me out in declaring that, in the aggregate, a considerable quantity of South Australian Gold has been shipped to England without passing through the hands of brokers or dealers. Some astounding facts, to which I have been an eye-witness, in the early part of this week, and which, when they become better known, will be quite sufficient to satisfy the most fastidious enquirer, as to the probable ultimate success of the South Australian Gold fields, fully confirm my belief in the richness of the Gold-fields. On Monday last there was " a rush" in Chapman's Gully, and most cheering hopes are entertained. The rush occasioned a dis pute, which caused the interference of the police in the adjustment of a certain claim. When I reached the spot, however, all faces wore the aspect of per fect cordiality, and I was able to obtain from some of the diggers, all of whom had paid for licences, a written assurance of their desire that the promised reward of one thousand pounds should be paid to Messrs. Chapman, Hardiman, and Hampton, whom they considered justly entitled to it, as the original finders of the Gold- field. I also hand you a copy of this testimonial from the diggers, several of whom had been digging at Echunga five or six months, and some even longer. Many local circumstances are worthy of remark, and among them the snug and comfortable appearance of several of the tents, which have stone chimneys attached, with shelves, tables, and other fittings, indicative of anything but a migratory tendency among the inmates. I am, Sir, your most obedient servant, W. T. The foregoing letter was accompanied by a copy of a statement detailing sales of Gold exceeding 4,000 ounces in the aggregate, verified by the signa tures ; a copy of the memorial to the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Council, embodying the facts ; and the following letter in support of the memorial, signed by thirty-six of the diggers at Echunga : — " Echunga Diggings, May 24, 1853. " We the undersigned, diggers employed in the search of gold at Echunga, beg respectfully to recommend the prayer of the memorial of Jesse Chapman, William Chapman, Thomas Hardiman, and Henry Hampton to His Excellency the Lieu- tenant-Governor aud the Legislative Council, feeling confident, from our own experience, that the renume rative qualities of the said gold-fields might have been made of very much more value if greater inducements had been held out by the Government, and that con sequently the condition of the labouring classes would have been materially improved by their stopping at home, or rather in South Australia, among their families. " William Hall, L. Kepert, Thos. S. Allanson, Thos. Flett, John Eaton, Wm. Lawrence, Robert Salt, Thos. Plow, George Vincent, S. Sherwin, William Tree, Robt. Bell, Charles Morris, Thomas Elliott, Henry Norris, Thomas Baker, Thomas Felstead ,William Chandler, Abraham Skinner, Richd. Edwards, John Sturt, Geo. L. Thornton, Richard Smart, John Brown, Henry Wilkinson, Wm. Masters, Andrew Porteous, Thos. Adams, Charles Greenwood, Lorenz Wilke, Edward Loveland ,Wm. Presswell, Nicholas Kelly, Thos. Dodd, W. Wegner, John Dodd."