Gold Fields' Commission of Enquiry. Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the condition of the Gold Fields of Victoria, &c. EUREKA STOCKADE, William WESTGARTH, John Pascoe FAWKNER.
Gold Fields' Commission of Enquiry. Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the condition of the Gold Fields of Victoria, &c.

Gold Fields' Commission of Enquiry. Report of the Commission…
Gold Fields' Commission of Enquiry. Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the condition of the Gold Fields of Victoria, &c.

Melbourne: John Ferres, Government Printer, 29 March 1855.

Folio, lxxii, 366 pp., a fine copy in deep blue polished half calf by Sangorski, spine lettered in gilt with raised bands.

Almost 400 pages on Eureka: the definitive report

The Gold Fields Commission of Enquiry on the Eureka Stockade, whose members including William Westgarth and John Pascoe Fawkner, was appointed to determine the cause of the disturbances at Ballarat, and the resulting report is most desirable for the sheer volume of first-hand evidence printed. The report covers the entire history of the Victorian goldfields, and examines the contentious issues of political rights and the license fee. The social condition of the fields, disparity of wealth, antagonism towards Chinese miners and rising discontent against the State are recurring themes. It is noteworthy for its unflinching criticism of the Victorian police.

The Gold Fields Commission of Enquiry on the Eureka Stockade, whose members including William Westgarth and John Pascoe Fawkner, was appointed to determine the cause of the disturbances at Ballarat, and the resulting report is most desirable for the sheer volume of first-hand evidence printed. The report covers the entire history of the Victorian goldfields, and examines the contentious issues of political rights and the license fee. The social condition of the fields, disparity of wealth, antagonism towards Chinese miners and rising discontent against the State are recurring themes. It is noteworthy for its unflinching criticism of the Victorian police.
The report comprises two parts. The first, of some 72 pages, presents the findings and conclusions of the Commissioners, and forms an in-depth critique of goldfields (mis)management resulting in the crisis at Ballarat and the Eureka Stockade. The grievances of the miners are seriously addressed – shortage of land and resources, price gouging, corruption, arbitrary decisions and coercion by police and magistrates, disputes between individual miners, and so forth. Treatment of the fighting at Eureka is fairly even-handed; sub-headings include 'Premature violence of the authorities', 'Inhumanities on the occasion' and 'Share borne by foreigners'.
The second part prints individual testimonies, forming an invaluable historical resource of some 365 pages.
By the date of publication in March 1855, easy alluvial riches were increasingly elusive, and successful gold mining increasingly relied on costly quartz crushing and extraction processes. Hence this report comes at a crucial time in Australian goldfields history when individual prospectors and their families were losing ground, quite literally, to companies with the capital to extract gold from quartz mined deep underground.

Price (AUD): $1,725.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504384

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