Jul 4: Buckland River Digger Uprising 1857 sparked the birth of the White Australia Policy

Greedy Chinese have been invading Australia since 1818 when opium-smoking coolie Mak Sai Ying stowawayed downunder to Sydney Cove.  Then in 1848 some 120-odd from Xiamen in China arrived in Sydney aboard the Nimrod to become the first round of ‘coolie’ indentured labour. Bad move, akin to Negro slave labour in American’s south.

But when the yellow hordes heard about ‘Golden Mountain’ (Victoria’s Gold Rush) they flocked downunder in their tens of thousands becoming Australia’s first boat illegals.

By 1852, 1500 pony tails had arrived.  By 1854, 16,000 Chinese had invaded via the people-smuggling route through the South Australian port of Robe to avoid paying Victoria’s then deterrent £10 immigration tax at Melbourne and Geelong ports.  Robe was their ‘Ashmore Reef’ or ‘Christmas Island’.

The Chinese became our problem from the outset, even before their greedy mass invasion for Aussie gold.

They were backward, couldn’t speak English, were stunted, ate rat and dog meat, wore odd clothes, pointy hats and the men all had girlie pony tails.  Being backward Third World peasant types, many Chinese brought poor hygiene and disease (notably highly contagious smallpox and leprosy) with them which quickly contaminate the White colonialists so logically were regarded as aliens (then termed ‘celestials‘) and fueled anti-Chinese resentment.

But the greedy blighters arrived by their tens of thousands to grab Aussie gold and take it back to China.  They did not conform to European standards.  They smuggled in opium, dealt in vice, gambling, brought in vicious Triad gangs with gunpowder and swords, and practiced weird religious rituals in their kitsch Joss Houses.

The general mood at the time was that the Chinese were illegal, subhuman and had no place stealing Australia wealth.  Perhaps not much has changed.

White Australia Day

The Fourth of July‘ is well-known for being America’s Independence Day, a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the original 13 colonies which formally seceded from the British Empire to establish themselves as a new nation – the United States of America back on July 4, 1776.

Well, in Australia, while still a White British colony, Whites rose up against the invading Chinese hordes at Buckland River situated in remote North East Victoria on Saturday July 4, 1857.

North East Victoria is Ned Kelly Country, where next generation Ned proposed an independent nation to also secede from the British Empire.

 

Such vital honest Australia history is not told in our classrooms by leftist-intimidated teachers, yet The Buckland River Uprising of 1857 remains the undeniable socio-cultural spark that initiated our White Australia Policy.

It would endure to protect the integrity of White Australians up until 1966 when Harold Holt let in around 800 Vietnamese. Then in 1972 communist Gough Whitlam took power and open the non-White flood gates from Vietnam.  Since 1788, White Australia thrived as a First World economic powerhouse and a social monocultural utopia – the envy of the world for nigh eight ancestral generations.

Of course, it takes a leftie like ‘Whitlam the Wrecker’ to corrode an envied civilisation like White Australia.

Back in the 1850s, Anti-Chinese sentiment was widespread during the Victorian gold rush.

The Buckland River Uprising

As Chinese arrivals took up plots on the diggings, their numbers crowded out the Whites of the gold producing areas. Their presence on the gold fields in large numbers was resented, in view of the fact that the Chinese were not prospectors. Not until gold was discovered did they come, and where workings were smaller and profits large they quickly exhausted the possibilities of any area.  They just followed and copied the Whites, who had done all the hard hit-and-miss prospecting.

Sound culturally familiar?

This was the case through the whole Beechworth division, where at one time the Chinese holding alluvial claims were in the proportion of more than three to one of the Whites. The disparity was at first apparent on the rich Ovens field, the alien diggers outnumbering the whites by more than ten to one.

The rich goldfields along Buckland River were situated south of now the snow town of Porepunkah (28km from Bright).  ‘The Buckland‘ (River) gold field was considered to be the White man’s field. The gold there had been discovered after specially strenuous effort, first by a Californian (White) in 1855.

Prospecting in the Ovens country, he followed the ranges in the direction of the Snowy Mountains, toward which numbers of small parties were making their way on reports of rich discoveries on the New South Wales side of the Snowy River. Few of these adventurers into a country as wild and inhospitable discovered any values worth considering, and the return journeys were made chiefly by disappointed men.

The Californian’s disclosure of the richness of The Buckland would have been delayed but for one of his mates, whose tongue was loosened by the free liquor provided by the storekeepers of those days, gave the show away. A rush from all the camps in the division set up immediately.

Some 2000 invading illegal Chinese miners quickly swamped the alluvial diggings up from the White diggers camp, which numbered just 700.  Over the coming months, Chinese had even cucked some stray White women, considered by Whites to be a cultural taboo.  The Chinese weight of numbers lead to rising tensions among many of the White settlers who had got there well first.

“In 1857 there were thousands of Chinese at work, and the rich values having been taken and the Europeans having drifted to other fields, the yellow men were in a majority of about three to one. Just what gold they took from their claims is not known. That the profit was satisfactory was shown by the establishment of three large camps on the course of the river, a palatial josshouse, numerous stores, gambling shops, and comfortable humpies. “

Source: The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 5 March 1932, p. 6

Arrogant in their numerical superiority, the Chinese disregarded the mining laws and by-laws, lorded it over the smaller parties of Whites, employed personal violence without scruple, and, as was common in those days, robbed the sluice-boxes and trail-races of the white diggers at every opportunity.

Appeals to the warden for the enforcement of the observation of the laws under which the white men worked were without avail.

Sporadic violence broke out in May 1857

Then with tensions unaddressed by the warden, on Saturday July 4 1857, the White diggers held a public meeting at the Buckland Hotel where organisers, mainly Californians, and direct action was decided on to expel all the Chinese from the Buckland Valley.

Come on and let us drive the long-tailed devils off at once” – was a quote sourced from uprising.

A party of under 100 white men carrying their tools – long-handled shovels, pick handles, and crowbars – moved on the Chinese camp at Lauder’s Flat and ordered the occupants to quit.

They were given an hour in which to pack their swags. They made the most of the time, and without offering resistance they went to the next camp at Stony Point. The eviction was complete.

The White men set fire to the tents and premises on the flat, burned the camp right out, and, reinforced by other parties of Europeans, followed the aliens to Stony Point, where the destruction of this camp also was effected. At the main camp lower down the river, the head centre of their operations on the field, a stand was made by the Chinese with a show of passive resistance, but the diggers had warmed up to the work in hand and their charge was determined.

Within moments they were in the midst of the horde of frightened foreigners, swinging their shovels and bars vigorously. Panic ensued. Indicating that they would evacuate without fighting, the Chinese gathered as much as they could of their portable belongings and left. The camp was burned, and to an accompaniment of wild wailings the temple of their joss was consumed in view of the retreating Chinese.

The white men, satisfied that the Chinese would not return, took possession of their claims and worked them.  A notable feature of the evacuation is that there was no loss of life on either side.

Readers should note that the various sensationalized historical accounts of events such like three or nine Chinamen were killed  are unsubstantiated leftist falsehoods intended to hatefully incite anti-Australian sentiment.  Tall tales of Chinese being trampled, robbed, beaten, a European wife of a Chinese miner beaten, a Chinese having his finger severed for a gold ring.. are lies. It is drivel.

Yes, fear-stricken Chinese, heedless of where they were going, fell into potholes and some into the river, whence they were rescued by the rearguard of the Whites.

Then the local troopers arrived and brought things back under control. One of the arresting police was notably Robert O’Hara Burke.  They only managed to catch and British troopers managed to charge nine Whites for the uprising.

Another fact worthy of remark is that but three men were convicted — and these on a charge of unlawfully assembling.

In November, 1857, it was enacted that the Chinese be protected under a system of Chinese residence licenses which ensured them against similar treatment. But the Chinese never went back to the Buckland.

So job done, lesson heeded, due justice and peace restored to the White diggers’ claim.

 

The Buckland near the camp (1862)

 

Leftist historians attempt to rewrite Australian colonial history by trying to re-brand the uprisings falsely as ‘riots’. But a riot is unplanned spontaneous criminal violence in the streets. Whereas an uprising is a politically motivated, planned and co-ordinated revolt by local citizens protesting against their violated rights.

The Chinese coolies had invaded the Aussie diggings and the Aussie diggers had had enough and it was time for the Aussie diggers to rise against them.

Colonial governments of the time eventually got the democratic message that Australia should not be a culturally diverse society and so ushered in the White Australia Policy to protect our European values and culture.

The Act was soon reinstated.

John B.L.S. Holmes’ letter to The Ballaarat Times, 14 July, 1857. p.3:

“Sir, – What are we to do with the Chinese? A pole (sic) tax of £10.0.0 per head has been found insufficient to stem the tide of almond-eyed asiatics from the ‘flowery land’ to the land of gold. … how will the future welfare and prosperity of this country be effected (sic) by the wholesale immigration of those pagans? They are a people with whom we do not associate, on whom, in fact, we look down with contempt…

… I would suggest His Excellency, the Governor should authorize the formation of volunteer corps …who might be armed, for want of better, with old muskets … and ready to act in concert with the military and police, in several districts.

… Reports are current that the Chinese have large quantities of gun powder, and that they are well provided with short, sharp, cut and thrust swords …”

 

The vision of Australia’s first federal government was a White Australia. The first Acts passed by the new Federal parliament in 1901 were the Pacific Islanders Labourers Act, and the Immigration Restriction Act. The first act enabled the government to deport any Pacific Islanders working in the northern states, ridding the nation of cheap non-European labour. The second, more importantly, preserved the white majority in the Australian population.

Looking at Ballaarat today, you wouldn’t have a clue there were ever any Chinese at all. That’s a good thing.