Asian Studies Program

Chinese Australia

Chinese Australians: A guide to the holdings of the NSW Office of the National Archives of Australia

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Series No: A1013 Date From: 1858 Date To: 1859
Description: This series consists of books of original letters which were written to the Secretary of the Treasury. On the left hand part of the book is a handwritten copy of the letter sent. The letters are numbers 1858/27-205 and 1859/1 – 100. On the right hand page is the heading "Answer" and where a reply has been received, this is usually copied down. On both pages, there is a margin approximately 6 cm wide. On the left hand page, the name of the recipient of the letter is noted. There are some cross references to related subject matters in other letters. There is an alphabetical index at the front of the volume.
A note on the spine of the first volume says : `Letters to the Secretary of the Treasury Vol.2'. This, the format & the dates indicate this is a continuation of an earlier volume held in the State Records Office of New South Wales at 4/5110 entitled ‘ Customs. Copies of Letters sent to the Colonial Treasurer. 1856-58’
Sample Items: Letters appear on the left hand pages which are numbered. Responses often appear on the right & are not numbered but are denoted below by an `a':
Page 10, 10 Mar 1858: Seizure of gold dust [from Chinese] is found to also contain 60 sovereigns
Page 42,42a, 11 Jun 1858: Sale by auction of 400lbs of opium
Page 45,45a,14 Jun 1858: Searches of Chinese for personal tea, tobacco, opium
Page 80, 19 Aug 1858: Return of opium on which duty was paid,1857-8
Page 142,142a, 25 Dec 1858: Conflict over Rockhampton seizure
Page 167, 21 Jan 1859: Gold to be returned to Chinamen at request of Legislative Assembly [The Chinese from whom it was seized had disappeared. Collector advised giving the sovereigns to the old Chinaman who gave them lodgings]
Page 172a, 25 Jan 1859: Re seizure of 60 sovereigns
Page 173, 31 Jan 1859: Gold Sovereigns handed over to Mr Black

gold dust