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and about the diggings (that is, occupying about one mile of the creek), cannot be less than 400, of all classes.
Report speaks of parties being at work in various places. I have no doubt of gold being found in greater or less quantities over a vast extent of country; it is accumulating in the low grounds at the present time, as I have found it far above the flood-line of the creek in various places, proving it to originate in the ranges and to be washed down by the rains.
“I fear, unless something is done very quickly, that much confusion will arise in consequence of people setting up claims, &c. At present everything is quiet, many people are entirely without food, and stores are not to be got, although I hear that some are on the road, which I hope will speedily arrive.
“I shall consider it my duty to remain here until I hear the intention of the government respecting this very important business.
“Mr. Teely will be able to give you particulars, as I understand he proceeds immediately to Sydney
“I have, &c.
(Signed) “T. STUTCHBURY. “Excuse this being written in pencil, as there is no ink yet in this city of Ophir.”
Mr. Hargraves, having, by the successes of hundreds of diggers, fully demonstrated the great value of his discoveries, and established New South Wales as a gold mining colony, wrote to the Colonial Secretary as follows :
Wellington Inn, Gengong, May 18, 1851.
Sir, “I have the honour to inform you that I have placed myself at the disposal of Mr. Stutchbury, and pointed out the gold country. He has expressed himself perfectly satisfied of the correctness of my statements to the government. The effect of my appearance in the district has caused a little excitement among the people; and at this time, at the lowest
estimate, I should say 500 men are actively engaged in mining with success, have made very large amounts. Anticipating the government would take immediate measures to regulate the mines, I have remained here at the suggestion of Mr. Stutchbury; and should the government require my services in carrying out their measures, I trust I shall be found, from my great experience in gold mining in California, fully equal to the task. Inferring such might be the case, I have not, either directly or indirectly, speculated in any way during the excitement; and now await his Excellency's pleasure as to the amount of compensation for my discovery, and further, if I shall be honoured with an appointment.
“I have, &c. (Signed) “ EDWARD HAMMOND HARGRAVES."
On the 3rd of June, the New South Wales Government rewarded Mr. Hargraves with the sum of £500, for his valuable discoveries, and at the same time appointed him a Commissioner of Crown lands, at a yearly salary of £500, for the express purpose of continuing a search on behalf of the government, for further fields of employment for the gold diggers.
The arrival of considerable quantities of lump and grain gold, caused a great sensation in Sydney; and the report of Mr. Stutchbury, which reached Sydney on the 22nd of May, was so conclusive as to the extent and richness of the mines, that a proclamation, which had been prepared for some time, was on that day issued, declaring the right of the Crown to all precious metals, and prohibiting all persons from searching for, or carrying off the same, except under regulations to be shortly promulgated. This measure of the government increased the excitement, and hundreds flocked out of Sydney for the diggings, regardless of the toil, the privations, and the exposure to the comparatively inclement winter of the Bathurst regions.
Finding all efforts to check the search for gold vain, the government lost no time in establishing regulations to preserve good order among the miners, and to render the auriferous soil a just source of income to the Crown lands' fund. Immediately after the issue of the proclamation claiming all precious metals as Crown property, the following announcement appeared in the “ Official Gazette.”
Licenses to Dig and Search for Gold.
“ Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney,
“May 23, 1851. “With reference to the proclamation issued on the 22nd May instant, declaring the rights of the Crown in respect to gold found in its natural place of deposit within the territory of New South Wales, his Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, has been pleased to establish the following provisional regulations, under which licenses may be obtained to dig, search for, and remove the
“1. From and after the 1st day of June next, no person will be permitted to dig, search