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“I have the honour to report that a Mr. Hargraves has been employing people to dig for gold in the Summer Hill Creek in this district, and they have succeeded in procuring several
I have conceived it to be my duty to proceed to the spot, and serve notices to all the parties to refrain from further operations; and in the meantime, I shall feel much obliged for further instructions on this particular point. The excitement consequent upon the report of gold having been found in considerable quantities is very great; and I would beg to suggest that some stringent measures should be taken to prevent the labouring classes from leaving their employments to search on the Crown lands. And I would respectfully submit, that perhaps the procuring of a license to dig might in some measure restrain the shepherd and others from leaving their masters suddenly; and I have every reason to believe that, should
should the report gain ground, this will be the case to an extent which will be attended with great losses to the stock-holders.
“I have, &c.,
Commissioner of Crown Lands.
“I have the honour to report, for the information of her Majesty's Government, that in accordance with the intention expressed in my letter of the 8th instant, I proceeded to the
Ι spot where I had been informed the golddiggers were at work. Upon my arrival at the mine, I found seven or eight persons at work there; and having given them notice to desist from their search, they produced a letter signed by Mr. Hargraves, purporting to authorise their working, and to prevent other parties from digging in the same neighbourhood. I did not see any authority from the Governor to Mr.
AS IT IS.
Hargraves, empowering him to grant such licenses to others. Having performed what I conceived to be my duty in the above matter, I must now request his Excellency's further orders as to my proceedings.
« The excitement at Bathurst among all
“I have, &c.,
“ Commissioner of Crown Lands.”
Pending these proceedings, Mr. Stutchbury, the colonial geologist, was despatched to Bathurst, to test the value and importance of the alleged gold discovery, and he confirmed, in the most full and satisfactory terms, the truth of Mr. Hargraves' statements.
A few hours after reaching Summer Hill Creeek, Mr. Stutchbury addressed the following letter to the Colonial Secretary :
“I have the honour to inform you (hastily, to save a post), that having been two or three hours at the gold diggings, I have seen sufficient to prove to me the existence of grain gold. Of course, I cannot say more at the present moment, but will write again by the next mail.
The number of people congregating requires from the authorities some prompt measures regarding power to work, &c. Immediate power should be given to some person to act temporarily.
“Mr. Hargraves will remain at Gengong until he hears further from you. If I may be allowed to suggest, I think, from Mr. H.'s experience, you could not at the first moment engage a better person to carry out your views until matured measures can be brought into operation.
“I have, &c. (Signed) “St. STUTCHBURY."
Five days after writing the above, Mr. Stutchbury dispatched the subjoined to the Colonial Secretary.
“ May 19, 1851. "Sir, “I have the honour to inform
that since my last communication gold has been obtained in considerable quantity, many persons, with merely a tin dish, or other insufficient apparatus, having obtained 2 or 3 ounces per day.
“The number of persons engaged at work in