MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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Subject: Chinese community Clear

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The Chinese minority (period violent anti-Chinese Lambing Flat Riots), Victoria postal history
1861 exceptionally rare handmade envelope from a Chinaman sent with correct QV 4d inland postage plus 1/- for registration pmk'd Castlemaine "31" numerals (no despatch date) to a Hung Hat, 53 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne (present day Chinatown) with red REGISTERED/A/AU 22 61/MELBOURNE. Exhibition item ex PACK, FORSTER, PERRY, KELLOW.
Chinese peasants had flocked to the newly discovered goldfields in the 1850's but their different organised methods of mining constantly aggravated their Europeans counterparts. By 1861 Australia had at least 38,000 Chinese in the country (1 in 9 of the population - at Bendigo gold fields there were 5367 Chinese men and only 1 woman). They were fanatically loyal to a despotic foreign emperor and the local fear was that he could order them to rise up at any moment. In 10 months of unrest at Burrangong, NSW (about 375 miles away) the most infamous riot of the goldfields occurred on the night of June 30th 1861 (some 7 weeks earlier) when a mob of 1500-2000 drove the Chinese off the Lambing Flat, and then moved to the Back Creek Diggings where they destroyed tents, stole possessions, and cruelly beat up 150-200 Chinese. This led to the NSW Chinese Immigration Act of November 1861 which seriously limited the flow of Chinese into the Colony.
£2750
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