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The reproduced proclamations by the Government, which the reader will find at intervals, as well as many of the original documents, are the fruit of that gentleman's assiduity in collecting materials of interest and pertinence.It has been necessary to record the fact that the tragic issue of the license agitation was mainly due to the mistakes of the governing authorities, even as the unrighteous rigors of the digger-hunting processes were made more poignant by the haughty indiscretions and brutal excesses of commissioners and troopers.Those unfinished walls are in a paddock overlooking a little carse of some four or five acres by the creek side, owned by an Italian farmer, and close to the junction of the Woolshed Creek with the main stream in the valley.On the other side of the larger stream rise basaltic mounds, marked with the pits and banks of the earlier miners.Gold was found plentifully, and warehouse, hotel, and saloon crowded close with dwelling and church along the thoroughfare.A summer flood surprised the dwellers on the lowland and carried off lives as well as property, mingling a tragic sorrow with the losses of the unsuccessful.Down the valley of the Leigh, where the Sebastopol streets and fences run over the eastern escarpment of the table land, may still be seen the sandstone foundations of a station begun by the Messrs.Yuille, whom the coming of the first hosts of gold-hunters scared away from a place no longer fit, in their opinion, for pastoral occupation.
Huyghue, a gentleman still holding office in Ballarat, and who was in the public service here at the time of the Eureka Stockade, thanks are due, both by the publisher and compiler, for notes of that period, and for the extremely interesting illustrations of the Stockade, the Camp, and other spots copied from original drawings.Noone in giving valuable assistance in connection with their reproduction by the photo-lithographic process.The contributions of newspaper correspondents during the Eureka Stockade troubles have also assisted the compiler, and notably the letters of the correspondent of the Geelong Advertiser in 1854-5. John Noble Wilson, the commercial manager of the Ballarat Star, is due, on the part of all concerned, the recognition of his suggesting the narrative, of his constant cordial co-operation, and his untiring ingenuity in making suggestions and collecting materials both for the text and the illustrations.Less than 20 years ago there was not a house where now stands this wealthy mine and farm-girdled city, whose population is nearly equal to the united populations of Oxford and Cambridge, and exceeding by several thousands the united populations of the cities of Winchester, Canterbury, Salisbury, and Lichfield at the time of the gold discovery.This is one of the truths which are magnificently stranger than fiction.
Some of the first workers in this mighty creation are still here.