Pathways to Democracy
PROV, VPRS 1189/P0, Inward Registered Correspondence, Unit 523 Goldfields, Chinese Protectorate, 60/N990
Petition in Chinese and in English to the Governor Sir Henry Barkly, 31 January 1860.Contributors
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This petition in Chinese and in English was sent to Governor Sir Henry Barkly in January 1860, with names of signatories given in Chinese and in English.
The Chinese community organised Victoria-wide protests against unfair taxes that targeted Chinese residents. Many petitions against discriminatory treatment were sent to the colonial government.
The petition pointed out that "the special tax upon the Chinese is expected to produce in this year fifty thousand pounds…” and asked that some of this money could be used for Chinese language printing equipment for the government to print laws and regulations in Chinese as well as in English. The petition also requested that “Chinese teachers who are fit persons, should be employed to open Evening Schools near the various Chinese Camps…” to teach English.
Pictured here is the first page of the English preface of the petition.
Text by Elizabeth Denny.