The Goldfields of Tasmania meeting

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The Goldfields of Tasmania meeting

Post by Philski » Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:00 am

Please excuse the spelling and grammatical errors. I will edit the transcripts as I get time.

The below was taken from the Launceston Examiner in 1861 and is the actual transcripts of one of our very first prospecting meetings to find a payable goldfield in Tasmania after the government offered rewards to help entice mineral exploration in the state and get workers back to Tasmania.

A meeting of persons interested in the question of obtaining payable goldfields in Tasmania, was held in the Temperance Hall on Tuesday evening,for the purpose of communicating information and making arrangements for testing some promising localities. The hall was crowded. C. J. Irvine, Esq. was voted to the chair, and on the platform, on either side of him, were Messrs. F. L. Stieglitz, Rowland Davies, Williams, Joseph Cohen, Lewis Cohen, William Tyson, senior, WV. J. Norwood, John Gatenby, and R . T. Edwards. The Chairman, in introducing the business of the meeting, said that they had been called together for the purpose of having certain propositions laid before them, with a view of testing the gold-fields of Tasmania. The experiment had frequently been tried, but from some cause or other had not resulted in the success which was desired. i'll beheved that by no economical, careful, and competent supervision, something might be done by which the gold-fields would prove as remunerative as any in the neighboring colonies (hear, hear). It was proposed to send out a number of laboring men under competent supervision to make a thorough search, and the gentlemen who were to address the meeting would bring forward facts which would show that the gold-fields could be worked economically and pro litably, and he had no doubt but that poor and impoverished Launceston would one day be in a position to laugh at her neighbors(applause).

Mr. Will. Tyson held much pleasure in moving the first resolution-"That from the result of diggings in different localities and from information received, it is highly probable that all extensive and paying gold-field exists in this colony; and that this meeting impressed with the importance of making such a discovery inl the present depressed state of tile country, resolves to adopt the use of efficient means to test thoroughly our auriferous resources" (cheers). He could only say that he moved this resolution with all his heart. It stated that from the result of diggings in different localities and front information received, it was highly probable that an extensive and paying gold-field existed in the colony. Now, it would be remembered by many that he was appointed one of the directors of the People's Quartz Crushing Company a few years ago, and that he was also one oel the committee sent to look at the locality for the future operations of the Company, to see whether it was likely to pay. It would also be remembered that when they came down they brought a report of a discouraging character and this Company was broken up. Persons must then have been led to beheve that Fingal was not a remunerative gold-field. But it was to Inconvenienced that every one of the committee really beheved that there would be a paying goldfield, and he still held to the opinion he thin formed, namely, that any body of men who would thoroughly test the locality would find gold In payable quantities. he went up to see--not to hear. he visited the BlackBoy Reef and certainly did not see much encouragement; he then went to Dr. Otway's locality and there saw but little inducement; but when he came to the township of Manganna and Sailors' Gully he at once saw that gold could be obtained in paying quantities. i'll saw men working there, and perhaps some of them were present in the meeting-(A man here came forward and said he was one of them and was proceeding to speak of what To had done when the Chairman interrupted him and said that he could speak afterwards. After a little confusion silence was restored.) le went to some men who were Digging there and asked them to let him see the reward of their labors. They comphed with eh request, and to Ills ideas tile result was highly salutatory (rear, hear). The gold was cII laholy not I large as it goes but if theoy obtaiplulty of small gold they would probably eoI pon choose larger lug gets in this course of Lm.t11 then employed a laborer to dig for him. The man worked for one hour and ten minutes and got three shillings worth of gold. Thills tan was lld, aod he (hMr. 'l'ysoo) beheved that an able Bodied man would have procured double. But, Even supposing that it had only been eighteen tuppence worth it would have given a good indication of the payable natural of the ground. IllY skited this manti why he did not us better .appliances. i I searching for gold and the answer was, that it took a good deal of money- Theo man afterwards confessed that he spent his
money as fast as he got it; and this was the case with a good many. Now, we wanted the hand of able-bodied men, superintended by all intelligent, honest, hard-working and competent man (hoar Hear). His desire was that such a party should Try the ground for a month or two, if he was not to afraid of the result (cheers). We ought to have all alluvial digging company (Roar, hear). If the was not tied to his business In town by Peculiar circumstances, he would leave it and begin alluvial digging, and he beheved that the Result would turn out a good speculation (cheers). I r. Lewis Cohen seconded the resolution, and Did so under the firm behef that there were large And extensive gold-fields in this colony. He had Sent out several prospecting parties, and their
Researches showed that gold was distributed Throughout the colony. There was scarcely a Place where traces of gold could not be found. Only that tiny he had received a letter stating That the precious metal had been discovered at Quamby Bluff Ite beheved that the gold laid from Fingal down to George Town. He had a party at the River Piper, and the indications were so good that he had determined to expand £25 In sinining 100 or 150 feet, for he believed That he would be handsomely paid (hear, hear). Fingal was the first place that ought to be
Thoroughly tested. Air Tolland Davies (from Pilling) said he had had Some experience in gold-finding in Victoria, and from what he had seen the believed there was a Good protect of allowing gold in paying units at Fingal. he did not think the diggings Would he so rich as those at ballaarat and CastleMaine, but they would more resemble those at the Pyrenees and the Jim Crow ranges, where the Gold was in rich patches, scattered
here and there. He stated his belief That not £20 worthy of real prospecting in earnest had yet been expended at Mangana. It would be Necessary to bottom several holes before The lead was found, but that discovered be
he believed that a line of auriferous country 50 miles in length would be found. The shallow
Gullies required draining, and the dirt must be Sluiced, which operation would be very easily Performed, owing to the peculiar nature of the Earth. He was also of opinion that quartz mining Would prove remunerative. But It had nearly Ruined the Southern Company, who, finding a Little leader of auriferous quartz, worked it instead
Of following tip the reef, and actually spent £10,000 before they even found a reef, and then They had not sufficient funds to enable them to Go on. Another cause of the failure in too discovery of a rich gold field was the manner in which the £2000 or £3000 given by the Government had been expended. Instead of getting over sole practical diggers from Ballarat, or some of those places, they gave the money away to any men who liked to go up. These men only tried Shallow diggings, here and there; some did no Work at all, but smoked, and drank, and in fact did as they liked. A prospecting party ought not to consist of less than ten or twelve men; and by
Keeping three shifts continually at work a hole Could be bottomed without machinery in a fortnight or three weeks. It would require four such Holes to test the Alangana Flat, and get the lead, which once discovered would prove payable (hear, hear). In Victoria, reefs were tested not by a large company, at an enormous expense, but by small co-operative companies, who found the reels by prospecting, and then the rich men stepped in, a company was formed, and the prerequisite machinery erected. Air. P. Ii. Gell, M.L.C., said that as he felt a great interest in the district, which he had The honor to represent in the Legislative Council, be was very happy to give his support to The resolution proposed. It stated that " it was highly probable that an extensive And paying gold-field existed in the Colony," but he thought that the probability was A certainty now. he had seen ingots of considurable size, which had been crushed from the Quartz at Fingal, and he did not think the metal Could have been got by collusion, as there were so Irony circumstances that would have led to the
exposure of all trickery. Altogether about £600 worth of gold had been collected from the FingalQuartz. We had now had sufficient experience of prospecting parties composed of ignorant persons. And he trusted that the colonists would never Concur in forming any more parties unless the Members were perfectly competent. We ought To obtain some good practical miners from the Adjoining colonies (hear, hear, mingled with Cries of " He wants to send all the money out of the colony," and great confusion.) We had got As good hardworking men in this country as could be found anywhere, but they worked ignorantly in searching for gold (great uproar.) he meant That we had not got men who understood how to Prospect (continued uproar).

The following is the letter referred to :
Exton, 16th Dec., 1861.
Mr. L. Cohen.
l)ear Sir,-Aprdpos of the business of your meeting on Tuesday evening, I may inform you
That three men have been out several days, prospecting In the vicinity of Quamby's Bluff. One
Of the party (Melling) is all old Victorian digger, and being struck with the appearance of the place
-so much resembling the Victorian diggings-he went with two others to give it a trial. On Frday last they were sinking a hole, and about 9 feet down found two Nuggetty pieces of gold, but very small, and came home on Saturday for more tools and rations, intending to return tomorrow morning to bottom this hole. They state that
There are quartz reefs running along the gully in which they are sinking, a mile in length, north And south, and that its gully, if auriferous, would give ample scope for 10,000 diggers. I saw the Gold, and I have no doubt whatever of the truth of their statements, as I follow the men well. But like many other attempts of this kind, it will have To be given up, however favorable the indications may be, if they cotle shlort of being remunerative. would give what assistance it could afford, and I believe others would, if under the management of a committee of some kind. I Shall be happy to attend to any communication You may have to make in reference to this matter, and remain Your obedient servant,

W. Woonovou.?4
On page 5
I toration = of ordor, Mir. Guill conll
sued as follows : We must have sonoc
Component means for properly tosthing promising
lo?oalitios, He did not atlvoeate sending tile money
ouit of the colony, but as he beheved that we had
auriferous resources, he trusted greater care
And caution would he used in the fnuture exendi
,tuore for prospecting parties. he did not think
That we ought to blame the Government. Goverl
ment could not not do the work; the people
thhemselves must do it. he beheved that no good
Could ba obtained by depending on the assistance
Of the Government ill such a tter. Ill had
Washed out gold himself, and had seen It taken
from quartz, and he could only say that he would
Always be glad, both in his private and official
Capacity, to aid In the development of the nuri
"ferrous and other equally valuable resources in
The same district (cheers). he did not
loh the present occasion wish to introduce irre
levant matter, but he would merely say that the
coal at Fingal was equally asn deserving of notice
As the gold; and he trusted that the coal resources
Would soon obtain the same amount of attention
0n the development of the gold-floods had excited
S(hear, hear).
hir. iIughes (jeweller) stated that lihe
lately bought four ounces of gold from Mir. Stubbs,
who had himself washed it out at Fingal, but he
Could not continue digging unless he hait a
DMr. It. T. Edwards, in support of the resolution,
begged to state that lis experience, both at Fingal
an(in'i Victoria, led him to the conclusion there
was at Flngal as rich a gold-fnell as any in Vic
torin. Very many persois who had seen the
sample of gold lately exhibited in his shop doubted
if it came from Fingal, but he had seen and par
chased ten times that quantity of filtner gold
at Mlangano. Some partics had got till replorts,
and exhibited samples of gold which they had
alleged was Tasmanian, though it came from Vic.
torl;' anti this had caused many persons to be
very caulious in beheving atny statements respect.
lg Tasmanian gold; but he assured the that
The sample referred to was Fingal gohl, nild was
Brought to town by Ihr. ItRoert Carter. Tie had
seen nuggets weighing lo0idnt., and Ihe hald also
seen ten ounces of large nuggets washed out by
Mlesars. Inder and Napper frot s surface diggings,and
Quite equal to any surface washings in Victoria.
In tie case of the Quartz Crushing Company,
the cart had been placed before The horse. 11ad
£1000 been expended in deep sinking, instead of
£10,000 on quartz-crushing machinery, rich gold
Fields would probably have been discovered long
Before now (hear, hear). It' the Company hald
had a competent manager, it would have gone on
Successfully. The reef showed gold in the very
casement, as might be seen by a specimen at
Mesars. Cohen Brothers' office. If the Company
had driven down into the heart of the reel, it
Would have paid handsomely, but they drove up
`wards and lost the gold. he had not seen one
hole on the Molngana township that was properly
bottomed. At a meeting of twenty-eight diggers,
they all confessed that none of them hal bottomed
their holes (Some onto in the body of the nudience
here called out that he had bottomed a hole.
Some confusion enthused, with cries of " turn him
Out), He would merely say, in support of the
Motion, that beheving as Ihe did that there were
Rich, gold-fields at F;ingal, he felt it was only
Necessary to fortm a company to test them I
Thoroughly, if only for the last time, place a con
petent man whose reputation would be a:t stake at
The head of a prospecting party, and one month
Would show a handsome return (cheers).
Mr. Stieglitz sails he could not doubt that there
was a paying gold-field nt Fingal and he would
Cheerfully help to support any enterprise either
For the development of the gold or coal rec
Sources (hear, hear). he thought that if we
Could create a rush to Fingal we would soon
Hear of payable diggings, for he had never heard
Any other opinion front competent men but that
Gold could be obtained in cosilderalle quantities
both by alluvial digging and from quartz.
DIr. Davies, in explanation of what had fallen
from a former speaker, wished to state that Ihe
Did not mean to say that the Government ought
not to have given any assistance, but that it was
The duty of the Government to have seen that it
was expended in the best possible way; and they
Did not do this.
A person who announced himself as a practical
Digger now mounted the platform amidst much
Uproar. i'll stated he was the first man who
went prospecting at Fingal and bottomed a hole.
He supposed that if he wore a black coat he
Would be heard. he got six ounces and a half
Of gold, and ashole had never been bottomed
Since (a voice-quite right). The speaker was
Considerably excited and the noise continuing he
at length retired from the platform.
Mr. Tyson hoped that the audience wound
give every practical man a hearing, as they might
Thereby get some valuable information (hear,
hear). He trusted that every practical man who
had had experience on this Fingal diggings would
Come forward and give his experience (hear,
A man named Johnson then catch forward, and
Said that whatever Ie told the audience would be
fact. i'll did not agree with the statement that
There were no competent main here; there were
Plenty of them (cheers). There was not the
Slightest doubt upon his mind respecting the rich
ness of the Fingal gold-fields. He himself had
got fourteen ounces all over the diggings. It
might be asked, if he had got so ntuch gold, why
he was wondering about Launceston seeking em
employment? The reason was that Ihe could not go
Up to Fingal without means. Machinery must
Be apphed. Take, for instance, Stanfield's Plat.
On one side was the Ben Lonmond Itnge, and
Another mountain on the other side, whilst at both
ends were quartz reefs. This flat was the recep
tacle for the drainage of all the hills, and a hole
Could not hoe sank to any depth without slabbing,
as the earth was very spongy and moist. Gold
was to be found in nearly every gully, but capital
was required. If a prospecting party were well
Supphed with provisions and proper tools, and
went to work heartily, under a competent super
Intended, who would work himself, and not go
Riding about at his pleasure, like some others, we
Should have a good gold iceld this summer (ap
Sler. Robert Stanley stated thant he went up
Prospecting with a party of four diggers frozen
New Zealand. They only went scraping about,
and on his suggesting to his mates to go to
Sharky's Gully and get some gold to send to their
Employers, they made a reply to the effect that
They had not come out fossicking, but prospecting
(a laugh). They used to convenience work at nine
O'clock in the morning, leave off at nioon for
dinner, and did not work after 4 ip.n·. Only 2 holes
were sunk, and no gold was found. Th'llere were
As good men for a prospecting paltry to be found
Hero as anywhere (hear, bear).
TheIo resoldituilt was then put to this meeting,
and carried unanimously.
Mr.. Norwood said it was a matter of congrats.
lation tlhat the persons present were for oece ill
their life unanitoous,-and it was a pleasant
thought that sonio enthusiasm still remained
Amongst the community. Ho know that;this eco;
loy stood very low oi the opinion of Other
Colonies, bht we must show that we could think
And act fir ourselves, fbr the time had now ar.
rived when we must put forth our strength and
Ilevelopn our resources. It had been rather pain.
fnit to see persons rushing away to New Zealnlld,
o and at first on very unreliable itforllntionl. The
Result had shown a tolerable waste of life and
Money, ulin it was to be regretted that these men
Ii d turned their back o better gold.fields. Ilt
had been told that before gold was discovered,
these colonies were Itn* nn stante as they could
Be. he did not know whetller things were so
Ilhad now Ili then but they wore had enough, and
inwe almost try to iolake them better. Men were
not required from Victoria to prospect. ( tthear,
Ihear.) There were plenty of suitable men here
Who were quite competent to bring to light
Hidden riches not deeply buried in the earth,
and lthus attract what was so much needed-c-n
itliux of pelrlSons into this colony, who could all
find profitable employment. If gold were dis
Covered in paying quantities, every mlna in the
island wont I have ai opportunity of improving
His circumstances, nld t sonie would Iimakie for
tuntes. (Ilenr, hear.) tle was very glad to see
several gentlemen from Finigal present. 'IThe re
solution which nhe had to ntove was, "''lhat ins
order to carry out the design expressed in toie
foregoing resolution, a company be formed to ibe
designanted the ' Launceston Goil Digging Conm
pany' (not a Quartz Crushing Complany), withll a
capital of td0100, ill shares of £1 eachl; and Ihat
The responsibility of shareholders ie limited oin
this nmount of their shares." It was thouglht
That by fixing the shares at I1. each a large
numlber of persons wolitd le enabled to take a
practical part and interest in the matter. It was
To be hoped that this Company wouli not heo n
successful like tinny societies formed in .Lant
ceoton, but that it would proveano exception to tie
rule. .\Vith a directlory well chosen, acting cer
dinlly, liberally, and froml pure motives, and with
elleiient tllen and means, he trusted that a happy
Result woulll he effected (hear), i'll thought Mr.Gell
hald been Inillllderstool anld somewIVllhit roughlly
treated. That gentleman did not want to sa nd
money out of tile colony. Supposing we dil get
one or two persols of great practical knmowledge
ferom the other colonies we should not he traitors
To the country lbut wounl merely be imrnprting
skill and labor. 'nsmania wnas tile most splendid
Of nil thile colonies ; it was this most talgulficent
coulntry in the world; there was no such elimate
anlywhere else, and it was our boundie duty to
priomote its interests in every possible way. he
ltherefore hoped thait the sliares would be quickly
tak:en up, and that the Compnani y py oenuing a
plyilng gold-field would reheve the country from
its p)resent fini ncial embaIITrrassments, raise tle
valoeof property, and renovate trade (cheers).
Alr.. osepll Cohen said that durinlg the years
1857-58, no less than 485t ounces of Tas
imalloiiin cold were pnrclhased bty hliti and sent
To liglnlllld. Now as tll was was bltined frotn one
small spot known as the Nook, it was very evi
denlt that there Imust be large remunerative gold
Fields; anl when the resolutlio now before the
meeting was passed, he would take hius share ill
The Company, and under proper mannagemenllt he
had no doubt hut that the result would be hene
ficial, and gold would not only be discovered at
Fingal hut also in other Incalities. As eolonists
we hiad ontiv to put our shoulder to thewteel, and
we should sooni rival Victoria (cheers.) The Vie
torinits would not bleheo thalt gold was obtniamable
in Tasmanlia:l , and whien hie took tweuty ounces
over to Melournle some time ego and told a broker
it was Tastmanian gold, he would scarcely beheve
it, but slid that he (Mhr. Cohen) must he joking,
it was doubtl ias Victorin gold tiaken toT 'asntaiut,
and said to have been found In that island In order
To get a rush thither. he hoped that too shares
Would be taken up and the gold-fields tested at
ntter, as the fine dry weather was approaching.
he hald much pleasure in seconding Mr. Nor.
wood's motion.
The resohltion wan then carried unanimously.
1Mr. Wm. Williams proposed, " That the fol.
Iowing be a provisional Board of Directors to
carry out the design of tie Company:--lessrs.
Wim. Tyson, Lewis Cohen, W. J. Norwood, Wm
Williams, Jamen Meyers, Wm. Johnstone, R. T.
Edwards, Aloxamlor Webster, Wm. It. Wood
gate, C. J. Irvine, James Bennell, G. C. Brooke,
F.-Green. That each director be dshareholder li
The Company, and that in case of vacancies oc
curring by resignation or otherwise suell va
cancies he filled by a ballot of thle shareholders."
Mr. Alexander Webster seconded.
Mfr. R. It. Cowl moved s ni anmendment that
The words " with power to add to their number"
be inserted after the names of the Directors. His
reason was that hie thought in a public matter
like this, in which many of the colonists werocon
cerned, every shareholder ought to have a voice in
tliche management of thle aIfirs. Besides, the Di
rectors might think it desirable to add some gen
tlettan of practical knowledge to thelr iumber,
and they could then admit him.
Mr. Costley was opposed to large commilttcs,
becaluse everybody then depended upon nvery
body attending, nod no one was present.
(Laughter.) Small committees always worked
Thie mover and "econder having consented to
embody AMr. Cowl's amoeldmnent, the tesolution.
with this insertion was put is the meeting aind
Mr. Norwood sails that the next- business was
To take tip tile shares =lle therefore requested
all who desired to take up shlrea to sign fobr the
number they required. - -
Mr. Tankard enquiredlhow it was propaseddto
get in the money for the shares from the shlre
Mr. Norwood : By a collector.
AMr. Tankard said therwiersc many working
melt who could not niford to pay the -amoant0of
The shares in one lump suts, but could pay, them
by weekly instalments of 2s Gd.
Mr. Norwood reomrked this pln ivould be
almnost impracticable on account of thea immense
trouble which it would involve. `
The Chairman said that the comlmittee nhad
already conferred together, and had come to the
c loclusion that those gentlemen who put down
their names as shtareholders should be called upon
by two committeemen on the next day for o0s per.
share cash, and a promissory note for the rest.
Nearly 200 shares were taken up, and the meet
ing dispered shottly before ten o'cnck.

source: from: ... m=fourteen mile bluff gold&searchLimits=l-availability=y/f|||l-state=Tasmania

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