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delay, to prosecute a diligent search for the golden treasure. Availing himself of the previous scientific demonstrations and discoveries of the Rev. W. B. Clarke and others, he explored the locality where the precious metal was said to be most abundant, and ascertained the existence of gold sands in twelve different places, and satisfied himself of the richness of the district. Previous explorers, from lacking sufficient acumen, had not succeeded in benefiting either themselves or the colony by their golden discoveries ; but Mr. Hargraves was too clever a tactitian to fail in so important an undertaking. After several personal interviews, he addressed the following letter to the Colonial Secretary:
“Sydney, April 3, 1851. “Sir, “ With reference to my interviews with you regarding the discoveries recently made by me of the existence of gold on Crown lands in the interior of this country, and to your suggestion that I should communicate to you in writing my views on the matter; I beg leave to state, that I embarked in the discovery at my own expense as a speculation, and as a means of bettering my fortune in the event of my search proving successful. I have succeeded beyond my expectations; and, so far, the great hardships, expenses, and exercise of my skill have been rewarded; and further, that within the period of my explorations (the last two months) I made very satisfactory discoveries of the existance of the precious metal in several of the localities on the Crown lands above referred to, and that my first discovery was made on the 12th February last.
“I have the honour to submit for the early consideration of the Government the following propositions, viz., that if it should please the Government to award to me, in the first instance, the sum of £500 as a compensation, I would point out the localities to any officer or officers they may appoint, and would
undertake to realize to the Government my representations, and would leave it to the generosity of the Government, after the importance of my discoveries and disclosures have been ascertained, to make me an additional reward commensurate with the benefit likely to accrue to the Government and the country. Requesting the honour of early
Address to me East Gosford, Brisbane Water.
To the foregoing letter the Colonial Secretary returned the following answer :
“Colonial Secretary's Office,
April 15, 1851.
“Sir, “In reply to your letter of the 3rd instant, I am directed by the Governor to inform you that his Excellency cannot say more at present than that the remuneration for the discovery of gold on Crown lands referred to by you, must entirely depend on its nature and value when made known, and be left to the liberal consideration which the Government would be disposed to give it.
“I have, &c. (Signed) “E. DEAS THORNTON.”
On the 30th of April, Mr. Hargraves addressed from Sydney the following letter to the Colonial Secretary:
“Sir, “I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of
letter of the 15th instant, and in reply, beg to say that I am quite satisfied to leave the remuneration for my discovery of gold on Crown lands to the liberal consideration of the Government. The following are the localities where it exists: viz., Lewis Ponds and Summerhill Creeks, Macquarie, and Turon Rivers,
in the districts of Bathurst and Wellington. I am now awaiting his Excellency's pleasure as to the mode of testing the value of my discovery.
“Please address, care of Samuel Park and Co., George Street.
“I have, &c. (Signed) “EDWARD HAMMOND HARGRAVES."
Having received a guarantee of a government reward in the event of his discoveries proving valuable, Mr. Hargraves' next step was to persuade persons to commence mining operations. This he accomplished most successfully, by publicly announcing his discoveries in a lecture delivered in the town of Bathurst, on the 8th of May, and by establishing companies of miners, to whom he took upon himself to give a government authority to dig for the precious metal, as the following letters from Mr. C. H. Green, Commissioner of Crown lands to the Colonial Secretary, will show :