Marriage and Romance
Unknown photographer, Sarah Lee Hang Gong (nee Bowman) with four of her children in Victoria mid 1880s, photograph.Contributors
This item has been released by the collection holder to foster Victoria's cultural and creative life. If using, please attribute the creator of the work and the collecting institution.Copyright
Out of Copyright
Londoner Sarah Bowman migrated to Ballarat and married Chinese merchant Lee Hang Gong in Creswick in 1869.
Unusually for a married woman at that time, she not only owned property but was listed on the council Burgess Roll, the list of property owners who could vote in council elections. Sarah was confident enough to petition the Creswick council for better conditions at the Black Lead Chinese Camp.
The Hang Gongs had five children when they moved from Creswick. They travelled to China and back, finally settling in the Northern Territory. Sarah Hang Gong’s sister Elizabeth also married a Chinese merchant. Elizabeth Young’s family, however, stayed in Ballarat.
Text written by Elizabeth Denny.