[Editor: This article, about the discovery of gold made by Edward Hargraves, was published in the “Domestic intelligence” section of The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW), 2 May 1851.]
The gold discovery
— It is no longer any secret that gold has been found in the earth in several places in the western country. The fact was first established on the 12th February, 1851, by Mr. E. H. Hargraves, a resident of Brisbane Water, who returned from California a few months since. While in California, Mr. Hargraves felt persuaded that from the similarity of the geological formation there must be gold in several districts of this colony, and when he returned here his expectations were realized.
What the value of the discovery may be it is impossible to say. Three men, who worked for three days with very imperfect machinery realized £2 4s. 8d. each per diem; whether they will continue to do so remains to be seen.
The subject was brought under the consideration of the Government, who admitted Mr. Hargraves’ claim for some consideration for the discovery, but of course could make no definite promise until the value of the gold field was ascertained.
Mr. Stutchbury, the Geological Surveyor, is now in the district, and Mr. Hargraves has proceeded there to communicate with him, and in a few weeks we may expect definite information. At present all that is known is that there is gold over a considerable district; whether it is in sufficient quantities to pay for the trouble of obtaining it remains to be ascertained. Should it be found in large quantities a strict system of licensing diggers will be immediately necessary.
The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW), 2 May 1851, p. 3
diem = (Latin) day
Hargraves = Edward Hargraves (1816-1891), gold-seeker, was born in Gosport (Hampshire, England) in 1816, he came to Australia in 1832, went to the Californian goldfields in 1849-1850, returned to Australia in January 1851, and died in Sydney in 1891; he was widely regarded as the first discoverer of a payable goldfield; he publicly claimed the discovery of the Ophir goldfields in 1851
See: 1) Bruce Mitchell, “Hargraves, Edward Hammond (1816–1891)”, Australian Dictionary of Biography
2) “Edward Hargraves”, Wikipedia
[Editor: Changed “Mr. Hargrave’s claim” to “Mr. Hargraves’ claim”.]
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]