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162 Western American Literature is slight, the book, judged by the ease with which it can be read, is excellent —especially its pleasing format and type, its index, and its complete (but unobtrusive) notes and explanatory material. In fact, from a technical stand­ point, it is a model of what a scholarly work of its kind should be. W il l ia m T. P il k in g t o n , Southwest Texas State College Australians and the Gold Rush: California and Down Under, 1849-1854. By Jay Monaghan. (Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1966. 317 pages, $6.50.) Many Westerners are aware that a number of Australians were among the men who joined the California gold stampede, and that a few of them, nicknamed “Sydney Ducks,” earned the attention of the vigilantes in San Francisco and the diggings. Few know, however, the fascinating story of the even greater gold rush to Australia that was a direct sequel to the California saga. The story of these two episodes and their interrelations is colorfully told here for the first time by Jay Monaghan of the University of California at Santa Barbara, author of The Book of the American West and since 1947 editor of the American Trails Series. Gold had been discovered in Australia before 1849, but it was to the advantage of the large stockraisers and employers of cheap labor to hush up any finds. When word came of the California strikes, even the most unsea­ worthy old windjammer of the South Seas was patched up and loaded with men from Australia and New Zealand, willing to suffer for three or four months the perils of storm, starvation, disease, and possible piracy to win to the shining shore of San Francisco. The colonial authorities, worried that the land would be emptied, offered a reward to anyone who would find gold in Australia. Three Australians lured to California, finding little luck there, decided they might strike it rich back home. The most energetic was Edward Ham­ mond Hargraves, and four chapters are devoted to his ironic success in panning the creeks near Bathhurst, N.S.W. The gold-seekers of the world thus changed the direction of their stam­ pede. With the discovery of Ballarat, “the richest alluvial goldfield ever Reviews 163 known,” men flocked into the future state of Victoria and repeated the scenes so familiar to collectors of Western Americana. Mr. Monaghan retells in brisk narrative the story of the skirmish at the Eureka Stockade, which has been termed “Australia’s Bunker Hill.” He shows that although few Americans were involved in the brief struggle between diggers and redcoats (only one American, a grinning Southern Negro, was tried and at once proceeded to make a burlesque of the court), American slogans were echoed at the time the Southern Cross flag was first raised. The new book also gives a chapter to the escape frotti servitude of the “Irish Patriots of ’48,” made easier when shipping became livelier during the rush from America to Australia. Charles Bateson’s excellent volume Gold Fleets for California (Sydney: Ure Smith, 1963), which Mr. Monaghan uses as one of his dozens of docu­ mentary sources, is not a substitute for Australians and the Gold Rush, since it covers only a fraction of the broader Monaghan canvas. The new volume contains a score of pictures, complete notes, and several pages of sources, as well as a good index. Mr. Monaghan’s skillful selection and vivid style recreate the days of the gold-finders in a way that makes reading his book an adventure in itself. Australians and the Gold Rush is the result of years of research and mel­ low writing. I first met the Monaghans early in 1955 among the files of the Mitchell Library in Sydney, that paradise of researchers in Pacific history, and as fellow Fulbright scholars we frequently discussed his projected book. The volume is at last available and is strongly recommended. A. G ro v e D a y , University of Hawaii Exploring the Northwest Territory: Sir Alexander Mackenzie’s Journal of a Voyage by Bark Canoe from Lake Athabasca to The Pacific Ocean in the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 162-163
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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