Gold Rush Migrants: Chinese and Europeans
Holiday Rambles in the Upper Ovens District, illustrator unknown, wood engraving, Melbourne : Ebenezer and David Syme, The Illustrated Australian News, January 23, 1878, Illustrated Newspaper File, State Library of Victoria.
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A huge wave of migration occurred in the Ovens Valley when gold was discovered in the 1850s. In those days there were tensions between Anglo-European settlers and the Chinese who migrated in great numbers from Guangdong Province. Chinese miners were subject to resentment and violence – notably in the famous Buckland Riot of 1857, where a group of Europeans violently stormed a Chinese camp on the Buckland River in the Upper Ovens Valley. This 1878 illustration is from the gold fields of Bright, a neighbouring town of Myrtleford quite close to the Buckland River. It shows a more benign attitude, but still makes a point of difference between the ‘English Miner’ and the ‘Chinese Digger.’