FOREST CREEK DIGGINGS, MOUNT
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
November 9, 1851.
Sir, - In my former communication I informed you that a few days would be sufficient to dry up the creek, and such is the case this day, for a quarter of a mile above and below my tent, the creek is dry, and the diggers are now com- pelled to cart the earth to water some half a mile off, and those who are not provided with a cart are carrying it in tin dishes on their heads, or shouldering it in bags to wash out the wished for treasure. Still, with all these inconveniences many are doing very well. Last evening a party of five sold to Messrs. Fentum and Ed- miston, in my presence, 47 ozs. 17 dwts. 18 grs.
the return for 8 days work. Another party of four dug and washed 20 ozs. 4 dwts. on Satur- day, and this same party has averaged for the week 13 ozs. per day. On Friday, a party I am acquainted with, obtained 2 lbs 4 ozs. by twelve o'clock, but all are very averse to having their names brought forward. There are many
making 3, 4, and 5 ozs. per day, but there are far more doing literally nothing, and hundreds are leaving the ground for other diggings on Barker's Creek, and other places. Yesterday some six or seven hundred persons arrived from Melbourne, and I am given to understand that a general break-up took place at Ballarat on Thursday last, all wending their way to these diggings. Some regret having left them, for they state they could have done much better there had they remained. One thing is certain, hundreds will return in worse circumstances than
when they started - hundreds will make wages and a few an independence. It is remarkable
to see the success some meet with, while others
who slave and toil from day to day, sinking holes, and prying into crevices, get not sufficient gold to pay their daily expenses. The Creek for ten miles down, as far as Mr. Campbell's sta- tion, is lined with tents, diggers, and dangerous holes. The new Golden Point, four miles below the Commissioner's, contains about 1000 persons, Barker's Creek about 200, and altogether I should judge that there are at least 8000 persons on the two creeks, independent of those gone to
I am happy to say that, up to the present time, no accidents have occurred. Parties are upon the most friendly footing, and, with the exception of a case I sent you in my last, the Commissioner has nothing to do but grant licenses. Mr. Sturt is still here, assisted by Captain Dana, and what- ever the Geelong pipers may say about the latter gentleman's conduct at Ballarat, I can assure you that here he treats every one with civility, and will answer all and every question put to him with an affability of manner I did not ex- pect, after reading the Advertiser. Licenses are being granted daily, from ten till four, and notices are posted to the effect that gold will be received for the es- cort daily within the same hours. Parties still continue to be fined for digging without
licence, and many think it hard that they are compelled to take out a license before they find the gold. When I first arrived, there were only two stores on the ground ; now, handkerchiefs and flags are flying in all directions, as signals that such are stores, licensed hawkers, &c &c. Since my arrival I have been repeatedly and earnestly solicited to open a post office between here and Kyneton. Hundreds of letters would go down to Melbourne, if a conveyance could be obtained. I have spoken to Captain Dana upon the subject, and I expect to receive an answer to-day. I do not think the post office authori- ties will object to it, as it will tend to increase the revenue without incurring expense. If they do, let them commence one themselves; but let them do it at once ; for if they take the same time to decide upon this, as they do upon many other affairs, the diggers will be gone.