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Re: Astonishing Sinclair history!
Did Australia have sort of one big gold rush, a couple of them, or was
it an ongoing thing. I think we have had maybe 4 smaller ones: the first
being in Georgia 1828, Pikes Peek 1858, Black Hills 1876, The Alaskan one
1896-7. The big one was in California 1849, with the largest 1900's strike
near Carlin, NE. My encyclopedia doesn't even mention the Black Hills, SD
strike. They may be yet mining there at Lead, SD today. I am aware of
this because I was a Girl Scout counselor at Deadwood, SD very near there.
Australian Gold Rush: The discovery of large gold deposits was one of the
most important events in early Australian history. The first important gold
field was found early in 1851 near Bathurst, NSW and later that year gold
was discovered in Victoria. Thousands of people came to Australia seeking
gold. The population grew from 400,000 in 1850 to more than 1,100,000 by
1860. .....Gold has been discovered in all the states but the riches lay
mainly in Vic and W. Aust. WA's big rushes began in 1892 at Coolgardie and
1892 at Kalgorlie." World Book Ency.
So which rush was your Alexander in. My great great grandfather, Zachariah
Bowers, went from Dane Co., WI to the CA strike. He was about 48 yrs. old
which was ancient for that situation. The census shows almost exclusively
20 year olds with a few teens and a few in early 30's. Zack soon began
driving a gold quartz wagon which might have been easier work but at least a
sure source of income if you didn't get highjacked. He did accumulate some
money; sent word that he was returning home. The folks planned a big
celebration but then got a telegram that he had been robbed and murdered on
the streets of SF.
A Byington cousin went there as a shop keeper but kept his money. The
prices were terrible. He returned with the money sewn in his vest which I
understand is in a museum in Chittenden Co. VT. He was able to buy the
biggest and nicest farm and lived happily ever after.
Here are a couple of good books on this subject:
"In Camp & Cabin" by Rev. John Steele. Zack is briefly mentioned in this.
One of J. Steele's relatives soon married Zack's daughter. This small paper
back is out of print but I found it at Powell's for 4.50.
"The Shirley Letters" by Dame Shirley (Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe).
Some wife accompanied their husbands. Shirley's husband was a doctor who
worked as a miner. The story is from Shirley's point of view and is quite
Have any of you heard the term "I have seen the Elephant", or the
This expression, I believe, came from the 49ers. It expressed the idea of
having set out on a tremendous quest, then reaching the goal and being able
to return from it, then sum it up in that elephant expression. It springs
from the outline of routes to California drawn on a map. If you look then
at the map you will see the rough outline of an elephant. The expression
was for maybe a generation or two generally used to describe other
Anyway does anyone have an old map that looks like an elephant?
From: MSiperek@aol.com <MSiperek@aol.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Saturday, April 10, 1999 6:35 AM
Subject: Re: Astonishing Sinclair history!
> A bit of a romantic story re: my great grandfather and the South African
>Gold Rush. This story was relayed to me by a 90 year old Orcadian
>who knew my great grandfather's family. ALEXANDER SINCLAIR went to join
>unnamed uncle in the search for gold. He found a nugget the size of nut
>returned to Orkney, fancied some jewelry for family members and used the
>procedes to marry a my grandmother "whose family thought they were gentry"
>and finance his trip to America. He had come from a family whose family
>13 lived on a small croft surrounded on three sides by my gr-grandmothers
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