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A History of the Colony of Victoria, Vol. 2 of 2

Excerpt from A History of the Colony of Victoria, Vol. 2 of 2: From Its Discovery to Its Absorption Into the Commonwealth of Australia; A. D. 1854-1900 In a previous chapter it has been shown that vague rumours of gold discoveries in Australia were current long before 1851. As far back as 1839 Count Strzelecki reported, in a letter to Captain Philip King, R.N., that he had found grains of gold in silicate, and although he had been unable to trace the veins, he was satisfied that they indicated the country to be auriferous. Two years later the Rev. W. B. Clarke, of Sydney, produced some pieces of quartz impregnated with gold, which he had found in the ranges near Parramatta, but he was urged by the Governor not to make his discovery public. Again in 1844 Sir Roderick Murchison, on purely scientific grounds, based upon his knowledge of the geological formation of the country, predicted the existence of gold in Australia. The reasons which delayed for ten years the development of so important a factor in the country's wealth are not far to seek. When the discoveries of Hargraves had plunged the Colonies into wild excitement, it became necessary for the pioneering speculators to vindicate themselves. The explanation of Count Strzelecki covers all the others: "I was warned," he writes, "of the responsibility I should incur if I gave publicity to the discovery, since, as the Governor argued, by proclaiming the Colonies to be gold regions, the maintenance of discipline among 45,000 convicts, which New South Wales, Tasmania and Norfolk Island contained, would become almost impossible, and unless the penal code should be amended at home, transportation would become a premium upon crime, and cease to be a punishment." Therefore the Count, and others who had like experience, deferred to the wishes of the authorities, much as they were opposed to their private interests. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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