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re grave site

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:43 pm
by nonferrous
does any one know where the grave site of the chinaman who worked the gold at browns plains with jack brown who found the first gold at browns plains. the old grave supposed to be someware on or near browns plain.

Re: re grave site

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:04 pm
by Philski
He was buried next to his hut. I suspect his hut was on the North side of the savage river road at Browns Plains on the way down to Chinamans creek itself. John the Chinaman' s stomping ground was Chinaman's creek and up over the rise towards Timbs Creek. For so many people to visit his hut in the day and to be heard moaning from the road when he was dying ment he had to be close to the track. i always imagined they would have buried him in the open on the buttongrass. Because it gets very scrubby and difficult and dark going further in. And, he wanted to be buried like an Englishman. In the open etc,,

There are some outstanding records of his dealings with the workers at Middletons. I feel very sorry for him and what happened there. a few people where involved in the leave or get lynched saga. He left but died shortly afterwards.

"A hatter was a prospector that worked alone"

The rush to Middleton's Creek dates from April 6, 1879, but the creek being only some 60 chains long, and shallow, it and its tributaries soon became unprofitable to the great many who flocked there. It is estimated that some 500 men worked at this rush among them were Ted Peever (of Strahan), Joe Henley who afterwards died from the effects of a heart-breaking record walk from the King River via Strahan and Trial to Waratah, to see a relative who was dangerously ill. George Bennett and his brother Joe (who committed suicide at Zeehan), Jack Webster, Harry Howard, Bob Webster, the Harvey Brothers, Con Curtain, Tom and Jack Martin, Mick and Jack Meara, Jack McCaveston, Ted Mahoney, John Foster, Gam Webster, Jimmy Davis (of Curtin- Davis fame), and his brother Tom since dead, Paddy Flynn, George Meredith, Denny Teen, Jack Hayes, Charley Cummins, Bill Nelson, George Johnson (now of the Argenton Hotel), Sailor Jack, George Lambie, Frank Leslie, Jack Long (who afterwards met a sad death through an accident at Mt. Victoria (and whose sister and three brothers are on Zeehan), Jim Crotty (of Lyell fame) Fred Clarkson, Sam Hill, Tom Jones, Ned Evans, and P. Fogarty.

About this time, Jack Brown (who afterwards died aboard the Wakefield at Strahan) was working a creek on Brown's Plains. The
plains named after Brown are about 7 miles East of the Pieman, and a considerable amount of gold was obtained from this vicinity. Jack Brown had for a mate a Chinaman, an old and trusted companion, who had resided for many years in the colony, and who was respected and esteemed by all who knew him as "whiter " than some white men. For years he had toiled hard with his aged mate Brown, and always undertook the heaviest and roughest portion. An instance is recorded on one trip from Waratah, showing that after putting up an 80lb swag, he picked up a "cradle " and brought his burden smiling to Brown's Plains. The generosity and hospitality of the man was renowned, and no traveller ever passed his camp without receiving full and plenty of everything his larder contained no small undertaking when every ounce had to be packed from Waratah, over tracks that would horrify some of our present tomahawk prospectors. The prospects being not over bright at the Plains, Brown and his mate put in an appearance at Middleton's
Creek ; but '"Oh, for the rarity of Christian charity " After partaking of their fill when they needed it from the heathen Chinee, the
diggers raised a hue and cry at his entrance to their charmed circle ; their supposed New Eldorado was not to be interfered with by
such as he. John maintained his right to stay, producing his papers of naturalisation, and his miner's right, and intimated that be intended to prospect with his old mate Brown.The subjects of a Christian queen waxed indignant, and to their shame be it recorded,
they gathered around the one defenceless follower of Confucius and threatened him with extreme measures, unless he departed
from their workings. Satire on civilisation. The so-called Christians freely partook of the so-called heathen's charity and departed from his hospitable tent, vowing eternal friendship. But how where those vows kept ? With no show of justice to warrant them, the crowd, inflamed with their mad desire for gold, surged around the noble old fellow and insisted on his departure. With the same kindly smile that had always welcomed the angry faces around him, when the men were tired and weary, the old Chinaman stood at bay, till the friendly hand of Jack McCaveston pressed his shoulder, and with a few sensible words, pointing out that the men were beside themselves, induced the old fellow to leave the new rush . Shouldering his swag, with an aching heart, the outcast retraced his steps to the old camp, on the Creek near Brown's Plains. He did not trouble the susceptible nature of his quondam friends for long. In addition to having the heavy weight of some three score years to carry, the generous old Chinaman was suffering from a severe cold, contracted during his exposure to the rough life he had led so long. For weeks be struggled on, till tired nature succumbed, and John had to keep to his bunk. There he lay for days, his lonely "humpy" on the edge of Brown's Plains left unvisited, except for the interested call of a passing fossicker or tramp. For the honor of our common nature, Will Burns, the then mailman, has to be thanked for his kindness to the invalid. When he found John lying ill, with no thought of his color or creed, be did all he could to relieve his sufferings conveying to him from Waratah every luxury and medicinal comfort that could be procured, but the kindly assistance came loo late. One afternoon, two diggers, on the tramp to Heemskirk, hearing moans from the isolated hut, called in and found the Chinaman in sore straits. The same thoughtful spirit prevailed that always characterised the man, and he promptly placed the resources of his camp at their disposal, announcing to them the too evident truth that he was dying, and requesting his visitors to stay by him till the closing scene in his eventful history. More charitable than the men who had caused his weary tramp, the men stayed by the dying man, and did all in their power to soothe his final moments. Strange as it may seem, from the treatment he had received, after thanking his rough but kind nurses, John's last words were. "Bury me as an Englishman." As a white man he was laid to his long rest alongside the little cabin where he had extended hospitality to so many . No headstone marks where that man white of heart if not in color, sleeps, but the modest native grasses, with the luxuriant wild flowers waving o'er him, And the fragrance of "good deeds done," kept green in many a thankful breast till this day, is the token of respect that John would have desired before any elaborate or costly monument.

Re: re grave site

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:29 am
by warrenaw
Really interesting stuff there Philski. Thanks for posting it!

Re: re grave site

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:23 pm
by Philski
Hi all

i found it. His grave had a makeshift fence surrounding it and a slab of timber with a canvas over it as the headstone. As it was found. It was already dilapidated and his headstone unreadable after only a few short years. There is a good description of its location and its location relative to other well known creeks in the district. I am happy to show people where it is next time im out that way. as long as it is not dug up or damaged in any way, He died in 1879 and was by all accounts a generous kindly fellow.

Re: re grave site

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:12 pm
by drystone
Hi Philski,
what an interesting thread and kudos to you for finding the site. It would be both exciting and sobering to see his grave: a tangible piece of the west coast/Corinna folklore. Would like to take you up on your offer one day, time permitting, planets aligning etc!

Re: re grave site

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:03 pm
by wood
Maybe a pmat restoring cleanup working bee field day thinging??? b good to remind folks about the real history of the west coast an that its not a untouched wilderness waiting to b locked up by bob brown an his cronies media would luv a memorial type thing. ????

Re: re grave site

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:10 am
by Philski
Bob Brown was a hero of mine when i was a young supporter of the Tasmanian wilderness society, i was 12 (1980 or so) and saw the need to conserve and protect my home. I still do. Anyway, I was verbally abused by a lot of people back then because of the TWS patch i wore everywhere. I copped it quite a lot. Especially in the West and North West of the State. lucky for me i was just a kid and it never got really out of hand. This was just before and during the Franklin dam protests. It was a hectic, cold and wet and miserable time to be in Tasmania. Ive met Bob Brown and admire what he has done over the years. Bob is still riding the wave. only he falls off more than stays on now a days. Somethings do need protection, others are just done for their own political self perpetuation.

What they have achieved. 51% of this state is now under National Parks administration. 51 percent. 28% of all our agricultural land is owned by overseas interests! Highest in this country by miles. Try that shit anyplace in the world and see what tree you end up in. That's political ineptitude. Letting tiny left wing groups ride buck shot over our entire population. And today it does not leave us a lot of actual land left. All that NW area, is already gone.

We are the minority. The ones that should bitch and whinge and scream and tie ourselves to shit. Perhaps that would help.

The Chinese miner didn't want a memorial apparently.