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Sir Thomas Mitchell

Sir Thomas Mitchell diary, with comments on the discovery of gold, especially in the Bathurst district p.8


Thursday, 26th June 1851
Mr. Davidson went to arrange about obtaining some supplies at the Diggings.  I accompanied Mr. Stutchbury and my son to the bed of Frederick’s Valley Creek, and saw Mr. S. wash several pans of river deposit in all which small particles of gold were found.  We also tried my cylinders with little success.
In returning, we found that the trap rock overlay the slaty rocks with [indecipherable] separation – easily to be traced.  The small chrystels (like gunpowder) which always accompany the gold workings – Mr. S. shewed me appear on the surface of the ground wherever gold occurs.  He called them carburet of Iron, and said they were as much lighter than gold, as to be easily washed away from the gold in the pan.

Friday, 27th June 1851
I crossed the river early at the Diggings, and ascended the ranges on that side – measuring and taking angles from the highest summits.  I then fixed several very important heights, connecting them with the Canobolas.  All the features are curiously conform to the outcrop of the slaty rocks which all range with remarkable uniformity about 20c W. of North (“Magnetic”).  Saw a big ridge of quartz – a lode or vein – no doubt – running in the same direction.  I fixed the loftiest mass of the Mullin Range – and intersected that bend of the river, where my section from Molong terminates.  In descending I called on Mr. Hardy the Commissioner who shewed me some fine specimens of Gold pebbles and sold me one, I close, for £3.16.- weighing against a ½ a quartz pebble of the same size to obtain the weight of the gold only.  Mr. Davidson this day chained the river downwards from Ophir in order to connect it with my section line from Molong – connecting it also with Mr. Laws E. boundary line.
I observed this morning, a fine point of view for a drawing of the Digging scene and regretted much that my time did not admit of my taking it.