Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Chinese in Australia 1848-1853

Like many Australians I knew that the Chinese came to Australia in numbers during the gold rushs. Like most Australians, I did not know that Chinese came to what is now Australia as migrant workers prior to the gold rushes. Almost 3,000 had arrived in the colony of NSW up to the end 0f 1853.

In exploring this question, I have just finished The Chinese in New England 1848-1853.There are so many questions, many of which will never be answered.

In May 1852, the Phoenix sank on its way to the Clarence River. There were twelve Chinese on board who were rescued. But a thirteenth was also found, wandering the beach with the Aborigines. He was mad.

So who was he? We will probably never know. Perhaps he was an earlier indentured labourer who could not bear the working conditions. Perhaps he survived a wreck on the way to Sydney or even Brisbane, then Moreton Bay.

1 comment:

tikno said...

I ever heard the word from my grandfather like this:
"Where there is sunshine, there is the Chinese people"