Australian Gold Rush

Lead: On January 20, 1788, six transports delivered 750 convicts to Botany Bay. Sixty-five years and 168,000 prisoners later, the practice of deportation to New South Wales was abruptly terminated.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: In January, 1851 Edward Hargraves returned to Sydney, Australia. He had spent some time in the Gold Fields during the first years after its discovery in California. This reminded him of similar geological formations he had noted in territory along the Macquarie River northwest of Sydney two decades before.

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Phar Lap

Lead: Despite a heroic past, Australia is a nation with few real national heroes. Few would deny, however, that one of them was a big, red horse named Phar Lap.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his youth, Phar Lap, whose name in Thai is the word for “lightning,” did not seem a likely prospect for heroic status. The gelding was born in Timaru, New Zealand in 1926, bought for about $336 and arrived in Australia, painfully thin, with warts all over his face, and lacking very much elemental grace. His trainer, Harry Telford, however, believed he had the makings of champion. Phar Lap was of large sturdy construction and later was found to have an enormous heart of near freakish size. He could sprint and also hang in there for the distance. Around the stable the horse was known as Bobby, and there he met his soon-to-be inseparable companion, stableboy Tommy Woodcock.

 

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The Australian Gold Rush

Lead: On January 20, 1788, six transports delivered 750 convicts to Botany Bay. Sixty-five years and 168,000 prisoners later the practice of deportation to New South Wales was abruptly terminated.

Tag: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: In January, 1851 Edward Hargraves returned to Sydney, Australia. He had spent some time in the Gold Fields during the first years after its discovery in California. This reminded him of similar geological formations he had noted in territory along the Macquarie River northwest of Sydney two decades before.

 

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Convicts Arrive at Botany Bay I

Lead: The prisons of England were just too crowded: something had to be done.

Tag: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: To solve the problem of a growing prison population in England, the government began in 1718 to deport or transport prisoners to the colonies in the American South. They were sold to shipping contractors who would sell them to plantation owners as workers on the coastal estates. This method of transportation ended with the coming of the American Revolution and the population of the prisons began to creep back up.

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Convicts Arrive at Botany Bay III

Lead: Beginning in 1787 Britain sent or transported nearly 170,000 convicts from its overcrowded prisons to Australia. For some this meant a chance to start over in a new life. For others it was torture, pain and sometimes, death.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The average sentence involved 7-14 years of hard labor on a distant and primitive continent
with little promise of return to their homes. It was not easy, but the nature of the experience depended upon their own behavior and the character of their employers. Convicts were assigned either to private employers or put on labor gangs organized by the government for public works projects, building the colonial infrastructure: roads, bridges, and governmental buildings. Private employment could be somewhat easier, depending on the job and the boss, but regardless, it was hard work. Owners were required to feed, house and clothe the convicts or they reverted to state control.

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Convicts Arrive at Botany Bay II

Lead: Beginning in 1787, Britain began transporting convicts from overflowing prisons 10,000 miles to Sydney Cove in eastern Australia. A modern state was built on convict labor.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Crowded prisons was just one reason why Britain chose the Southern Pacific colony of New South Wales. After rejecting West Africa, Jamaica and Nova Scotia as impractical, the government settled on Australia after considering the description of a visit to the island continent by Captain James Cook eighteen years before. The mild climate, good soil and well-protected harbors seemed ideal for permanent settlement. In addition, Australia had the benefit of providing Britain with a strategic outpost in a region where it had had little military presence.

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