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THE GOLD DISCOVERY... Big
To the Editors of the Sydney Morning Herald.
GENTLEMEN—In this morning's Herald I find the following statement:—"It is no longer any secret that gold has been found in the earth in several places in the western country. The fact was first established on the 12th February, 1851, by Mr. E. H. Hargraves, a resident of Brisbane Water, who returned from California a few months since. While in California, Mr. Hargraves felt persuaded that, from the simi- larity of the geological formation, there must be gold in several districts of this colony, and when he returned his expectations were
Here are two asseverations—one as to the date of the first discovery of gold in this colony; the other as to the method by which Mr. Hargraves is asserted to have made that discovery.
The object of this letter is to deny to Mr. Hargraves the merit of the first discovery, or that he is the first person who was led to the conclusion that the similarity of formation in California and New South Wales indicated the presence of gold.
I almost wonder how you could have forgotten the many articles connected with this very subject which you have published long ago, even, I believe, before Mr. Hargraves went to California, in which a comparison is instituted between that country and this respecting this very matter of gold-finding. The Maitland Mercury bears testimony of a distinct date to
the same fact.
Now, as to the assertion that it was on the 12th February, 1851, that the said fact was established, if you will turn to your own files you will find that on 28th September, 1847, the geological formation of this colony is investi- gated, and mention distinctly made of the existence of gold; and the article I allude to states, that from "facts communicated" (long before) to the Geological Society, Sir R. J. Murchison had already, in a letter that had then been published in the Philosophical Maga- zine, addressed to Sir C. Lemon, his advice that "a person well acquainted with the washing of mineral sands, be sent to Australia, speculating on the probability of auriferous alluvia being abundant," and suggesting "that such will be found at the base of the western flanks of the Dividing Ranges.
The "facts communicated" were that gold had so been found; and some of that gold is still in my possession. Mr. Hargraves has, therefore, merely acted upon suggestions thrown out years ago, and he has, therefore, no claim as
a "discoverer." The discoverer is he who first
proclaims a fact. The fact in question was not first proclaimed by him. If any merit exists deserving reward, why should the cultivators of
the science that leads others to riches be set aside? There are numerous localities in which
gold has been found in this colony; but is the government to pay every individual who picks up a handful of it? However, to confine myself to my immediate object, I deny again that either gold was first found in alluvia in this colony in 1851, or that Mr. Hargraves is the first person who indicated its existence from geological prin- ciples.
GOOD BYE, PORT PHILLIP.—On Saturday his Honor the Superintendent of Port Phillip, the members of Council who have been assisting in passing the Victoria Electoral Bill, and the Mel- bourne delegates to the anti-transportation con- ference, sailed in the Shamrock, steamer, for Port Phillip. There were a large number of persons on the wharf, among them were the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney General, Colonel Bloomfield, and other government officers, both civil and military, members of the Council of the Anti-transportation League, and other respecta- ble inhabitants. Although the legal erection of Port Phillip into a separate colony will not take place for a couple of months (there is, we be-
ieve, a "hitch" somewhere), it was felt on both sides that it was, in effect, Port Phillip taking leave of Sydney; and as the steamer left the wharf, three cheers were given for the new colony, which were responded to by those on board.—Herald, May 5.
THE LATE CAB ACCIDENT.—George Amber- son, the driver of the carriage which knocked down Francis Beggs on the evening of Good Friday (from injuries inflicted whereby the unfortunate man died on the following Wednes- day, as already reported in this journal), has been apprehended by the police, and is now in custody, awaiting the result of the coroner's inquest, which will be resumed this morning.— Herald, May 5.
MAN KILLED.—Information has just reached town of a melancholy occurrence which has just happened at Boro. It appears that on Tuesday evening last, there was a "hurrah" fight at Mr. Woodfield's Inn, during which a servant belong-
ing to the house received several blows, and on the following morning was found dead in his bed. It is supposed his death was caused by the in- juries he received. The chief-constable and the Coroner start off to-morrow morning for the scene
of the disaster. The deceased was an Irish immi-
grant, ex late arrival. From the hurried account given by the messenger, it would appear that the
blows were inflicted by the landlord, or in a general quarrel, in which he took part.—Goul- burn Correspondent of the Empire.
THE WEATHER.—It has been raining here ever since our last communication, but we fear that the blessing has not extended far south. The Goulburn Herald was misled last week by a person from Gundagai, who stated to the reporter, that when he left the Murrumbidgee, there had been a heavy fall of rain, and that from the appearance of the clouds, he had no doubt but that Bland and the Lachlan were sharing the blessing. We have seen a letter from one of the principal settlers on the Hume, in which he writes stating that there had been
no rain there for many months, and that at the time he wrote there was no likelihood of any. Goulburn Correspondent of the Empire.
GOOD NEWS OF MORETON BAY COTTON.—
Some months ago Mr. G. F. Poole, of North Brisbane, forwarded to the house of Messrs. Young & Co., London, some samples of cotton, grown at Moreton Bay, requesting an opinion concerning their value. By the last mail Mr. Poole has received a reply, informing him that the samples had been submitted to the inspec- tion of a cotton broker of 35 years standing, who declared that one sample, grown by Mr. R. J. Smith, of Town Marie, was worth from 9d. to 10d per lb., two samples, grown at New Farm, were valued respectively at 9d., and at from 11d. to 1s. per lb.; and one grown at South Brisbane was worth 10d. per lb. Messrs. Young and Co. were willing to purchase any quantity, according to the samples, at the prices named; and they authorised Mr. Poole to purchase immediately, to the extent of £1000, if practicable. Surely this should stimulate the dormant energies of the people in these districts.—Moreton Bay
ATTEMPT TO BREAK OUT OF BRISBANE GAOL.
—A plot on the part of the prisoners confined in Brisbanne gaol, to break out of the prison and make their escape, has been discovered and defeated. Suspicion of the movement having been excited, one of the wards was searched, and it was found that one of the hardwood
planks of the ceiling had been almost cut through. A rude saw, some blanket ropes, and an iron wrenching implement, were also dis covered, secreted. Some of the police assisted in guarding the gaol on Thursday night, when suspicion was first aroused, and on Friday the search was made. An investigation was held before the resident magistrate on Saturday morning, and the result was that the whole of the prisoners (seventeen in number) in that ward were immediately placed in heavy irons. Some of these men were charged with very serious, and in one or two instances with capital offences.—Moreton Bay Courier, April 28.