Friday, November 30, 2007

The Eureka Stockade Rebellion

I'm falling in love with Wikipedia. From yesterday's front page I ended up on an article about the Eureka Stockade Rebellion in Australia in 1854. It fits in well with the Labour Party victory there. Miners, called 'Diggers' of course, staged a revolt over taxation and for voting rights. Some of the leaders had the experience in Britain of fighting for the Chartist movement. British troops and police under the control of the colonial government of Victoria killed 22 miners in a very one-sided fight.

Of the 120 'diggers' arrested, 13 were brought to trial and then acquitted. What caught my eye were the nationalities and race of these 13. I think Australia can be justly proud when you look at the list below. (I tend to think of early immigration into Australia being convicts but an explosion in population took place when gold was discovered.)

1. Timothy Hayes, Chairman of the Ballarat Reform League,
2. James McFie Campbell a black man from Kingston Jamaica
3. Raffaello Carboni, an Italian and trusted lieutenant who was in charge of the European diggers as he spoke a few European languages. Carboni self published his account of the Eureka Stockade a year after the Stockade, the only comprehensive eyewitness account.
4. Jacob Sorenson, a Jew
5. John Manning, a Ballarat Times journalist, from Ireland
6. John Phelan, a friend and business partner of Peter Lalor, from Ireland
7. Thomas Dignum, born in Sydney
8. John Joseph, a black American from New York
9. James Beattie, from Ireland
10. William Molloy, from Ireland
11. Jan Vennick, from Holland,
12. Michael Tuohy
13. Henry Reid

I'm guessing the last 2 are Irishmen. The Irish were probably over-represented in those arrested as the there were many camped close to the stockade when the British attacked.

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