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News from Australia

Date: c 1854
Overall: 240 x 278 x 25 mm, 540 g
Medium: Ink on paper, framed
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Print
Object No: 00030872
Place Manufactured:England

User Terms

    This colour print by George Baxter (possibly after a painting by Chester Earles) depicts a young woman reading a letter from a gold miner in Australia to her elderly cobbler father and mother. Pinned on the wall behind her is a poster for emigration. A young man guestures with excitement at the £100 note enclosed - the letter must bring good news!

    This print was issued as a companion to the c 1853 print 'News from Home'.
    SignificanceRelatives at home in England or America were anxious to hear from loved ones on the Australian diggings. Letters brought news of their struggles - or in this case success - in their search for gold.
    HistoryDuring the 1800s the discovery of gold in California and Australia instigated the migration and movement of many people. During the 1850s and 1860s tens of thousands of miners criss-crossed the Pacific Ocean between Australia and America in search of gold. A $20 one-way ticket bought the traveller a bunk and a space for one trunk. The trip between Sydney and San Francisco took about six weeks.

    During the gold rush post offices increasingly emerged around gold digging sites as mining camps grew into permanent settlements. The 1850s was a busy period for the Australian postal system which was under heavy strain from the increasing influx of people and growth of the Australian economy. Letters and news from home was an important way for miners to stay in contact with their family and the outside world.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: NEWS FROM AUSTRALIA

    Web title: News from Australia

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