Eureka Stockade:J.W Lindsay forwards some suggestions to the Governor

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Eureka Stockade:J.W Lindsay forwards some suggestions to the Governor is associated with Ballarat, Victoria located at these coordinates -37.5621071, 143.8561493

This letter from J.W. Lindsay, dated 8 December 1854, which purports not to offer the Lieutenant Governor advice, is filled with insinuations and complaints about the corruption of government officials and the treasonable intentions of editors and journalists, who are 'not men of learning or men of mind'. The author also sees conspiracies of republicans, ribbon-men and Jesuits in every shadow, and laments the inability of the military or the regular police to detect them. The letter also, and none too subtly, suggests the type of man to make a good Colonial Secretary.

Record Citation: VPRS 4066/P Unit 1, December 1854 no. 53
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Agency: VA 466 Governor (including Lieutenant Governor 1851-1855 and Governor's Office)
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Date: 8/12/1854
Record Type: Letter
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Language: en
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04066-p0000-000001-0070-530-001.jpg Recd

11/12/54 British and American Stores Emerald Hill December 8th 1854

Sir, Actuated by a feeling of loyalty I presume to address your Excellency. I cannot but express my sympathy for you. You have been placed in a false position by the want of forethought in your well intentioned predecessor, and the want of ability or common honesty on the part of the Executive you found in Office on your arrival in the colony. Your Excellency must have read the public journal of Victoria previous to your departure from England, and it must have struck you, that Mr. La Trobe erred greatly in not enlisting some portion of the press in his favour: You must see that at present Victoria has a one sided press, and it would be a treasonable one, if its conductors did not perceive, that it would not entirely suit their purposes to give full vent to their opposition to the powers that be. If you wish to give a right direction to the detectives of this rising but fluctuating community, the Government must have its own press, conducted by intelligent and able men. Some such men are to be met with at present in Victoria, but they have no chance of doing any good either for themselves or for the community amongst whom they are cast, while high places are filled by illiterate agitators, who by fortuitous circumstances have obtained wealth. To persons at a distance some of the proceedings of Victorian legislation must appear ludicrous enough. Certainly some of the acts of Council here, would brand Mr. (?), as it is possible for men to be. Hence, you cannot at all times look to such a council for encouragement in the discharge of the onerous duties that devolve upon you as, the representative of our Most Gracious Queen. The press of the colony directed as it is at present has never pointed out enlightened course of policy. In fact a reader of the public journal of Victoria must perceive that editors here, who are either in whole or in part proprietors are men who have fixed upon certain crotchets, and hence they are everlastingly bothering the public with their one or two ideas. Beyond these they can never get, and were they to torture their brains until the day of doom, they could not hit upon others. They are not men of learning or men of mind. The best suggestion maybe found in the production of correspondents, but if they do not crotchets, they are frequently laid aside or refused . That there has been much corruption in the administration of the affairs of this colony, is what I verily believe. It grew up during the too quiet rule of Mr. La Trobe. The officers he Ansd 12/12/54

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04066-p0000-000001-0070-530-001v.jpg got about him were not to be trusted . The present crisis may give you a favourable opportunity of getting rid of some of them. However, it would be well to guard against the agitator who are abroad, who have one set of sentiments for the Legislative Council and another for public meetings. Those are not parties to be trusted, they are not trusted by the public, but hey happen to have their private friends or a clique in every assembly who are prepared to gloss over act of treachery of theirs. From the late demonstrations it would appear that treason does not exist in the colony. I regret to be obliged to say I think very differently indeed. There is a latent, sneaking, covert treason, that requires to be watched and strictly guarded against. Many foreigners are mixed up with Victorian Society and in the two public meetings, held this week in town, I could perceive animus of some of these men. They are privately at work to indoctrinate Britons into republican principles. I have no hesitation in giving it as my opinion, that secret societies are at work, aided and abetted by Jesuitical leaders and if the strictest watch is kept up, you may bid adieu to law and order. The machinations of such men cannot be met by an openly armed police or by rifle corps. They must be watched over by trust worthy of servants of the government, that must be prepared to assume any gait, and to make their way into any of the haunts of such miscreants. Few men in the police force of the colony would be fit for exercising a surveillance over ribbon men. The detectives here may hunt down a bushranger or a murderer, but covert rebels are other game. I must express my regret, that your law advisers, should have permitted you to commit an unconditional act, in the proclamation of martial law, before you had the sanction of the Legislative Council for doing so, however as it is past and that the Council has approved of your conduct and have expressed their sympathy with Your Excellency, now is the time to show clemency to the prisoners arrested. It would be presumption in me to offer a suggestion as to what men you should call to your council, but your own good sense will tell that political agitator, who while out of office have declaimed loudly in favour of popular rights, have invariably embarrassed any government with which they were mixed up, or because the greater tyrants when in power. To fill the place of Colonial Secretary, you require more than a good speaker. You require an enlightened statesman, a good financier and a man of indomitable

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04066-p0000-000001-0070-530-002.jpg perseverance in the performance of the duties of his office. A man ever watchful over the various phases the colony may assume in its transition. A man prepared to mix with Colonial Society, so as to learn how trade and commerce progressed or retrograded and to ascertain frequently the causes why they fluctuate. You require about your men that are equal to, but not men too big for their offices. You do not require men who pride themselves on their position but men who are anxious to gain the confidence of their fellow colonists, by the rightful importance of the duties that devolve upon them. In this way, and in this way alone can this colony be governed. To remove all grounds of complaints, if you can not deprive obnoxious officers of place and of power, the sooner they are removed from localities where they did not give satisfaction the better. Your Excellency has received so many suggestions on the land question , the licensing system and the subject of the sale of intoxicants that it would be entirely out of place, for one to attempt the slightest hint upon such subjects. I do not with some of Your excellency’s correspondents who figure in print, ask for plenary power to wave a wand over the Gold Fields, and by so doing assure you that I could put an end to discord and bring about a perfect peace. I believe such men are presumptuous enough

to cry peace, peace when there is no peace , and moreover, I think more that they are not cut out by the God of Nature, providence or grace to do what their overweening vanity would lead them to attempt, actuated as they are by purely selfish motives. Your Excellency will perceive that my object in addressing you, is to do away if possible with the influence of a one sided press, to urge the government to keep a vigilant watch over the actions of evil intentioned men, who would produce anarchy and confusion in the colony, and respectfully to urge you and to get around you not only intelligent, but honest men. Men who will not attempt to hide from you, what is daily transpiring amongst a people who are undergoing various changes, to which they were strangers in the land from whence they came. Lest Your Excellency should think I had any personal object to gain in presuming to correspond with you I shall merely subscribe myself.

To Sir C. Hotham

Your Excellency’s Obedient servant, by the initials of my name J. W. L

PS. My name is not unknown to the present Secretary for the Colonial Sir G. Grey Or his excellent mother, the Dowager Lady Grey

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04066-p0000-000001-0070-530-002v.jpg No. 53.

11th December 1854 J. W. Lindsay Suggestions

?.. thank you for his suggestions, that my anxious desire is to govern in accordance with the times - that I am aware foreigners area t work and will keep a sharp look out. CH ?.. H.E. thanks for your valuable suggestions therein contained… take it to be of vast importance and the L. Gov. is most anxious to cause a searching investigation into … that H.E. is aware that foreigners are at work and will cause sharp look out to be kept upon their movements…

[some parts of response indecipherable]

Facts about "Eureka Stockade:J.W Lindsay forwards some suggestions to the Governor"RDF feed
Has agency url +
Has coordinates37° 33' 44" S, 143° 51' 22" ELatitude: -37.5621071
Longitude: 143.8561493
+Google maps
Has date12 August 1854 +
Has image +, +, + and +
Has languageen +
Has record agencyVA 466 Governor (including Lieutenant Governor 1851-1855 and Governor's Office) +
Has record citationVPRS 4066/P Unit 1, December 1854 no. 53 +
Has record typeLetter +
Has record url +
Has related resource +
Has rights +
Latitude-37.562 +
Located inBallarat, Victoria +
Longitude143.856 +
Page has default formThis property is a special property in this wiki.Transcribed Record Form +
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