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Letter - R. Gatward to Polly, Life on the Goldfields, 11 Oct 1858 Document Reg. No: HT 3535

Three page handwritten letter from R. Gatward to 'My Dearest Polly', dated 11 October 1858. It was written while Gatward was working on the diggings at Tanangower [Tarrengower?], Victoria.

The letter has been written on a wrapper for 'The Polygot Newsletter, a summary in English, French, German and Spanish, for Transmission to Europe'. The Polygot was printed and published for the proprietors at the 'Punch' Office, Melbourne, October 1858. The wrapper has an etching of 'View on the Yarra near Dight's Mills' by F. Grusse on its front. The newsletter is an early example of a publication produced in several different languages, an indication of the 'multi-cultural' nature of the population of Victoria in the 1850s.

R. Gatward was a miner who came from Bedfordshire and appears to have worked in a draper's shop before emigrating. He writes that he has been unsuccessful on the diggings: 'After leaving you I expected to meet with many hardships and discomforts, and in that I have not been disappointed, but I certainly did not expect they would extend over such a length of time'. The letter gives an indication of the homesickness felt by many young men, especially those who came to Australia to make their fortune and were disappointed.
Three page letter, handwritten on a wrapper for the Polygot Newsletter. The wrapper has an etching of 'View on the Yarra near Dight's Mills' by F. Grusse on its front.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Brian Burton, 2004
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: gold, immigrant voyages, settlement, correspondence, goldfields, english immigration, gold mining, health well-being
Themes this item is part of: Domestic & Community Life Collection, Migration Collection, Reuben Gatward, English Migrant, 1852
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Settlement - Cultural & Social Life
Tertiary Classification: correspondence
Sender: R. Gatward, Tanangower, Victoria, Australia, 11 Oct 1858
Addressed To: Polly, Luton, England, Great Britain, 11 Oct 1858
Other Association (See Comments): Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Oct 1858

Place and date of publication for the Polygot, which the letter was written on.

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