To the Editors of The Australian:
Sir, I am a settler in this district; but, being at Newcastle about
eight days ago, I had occasion to call at the Police Office. On going
there, I was surprised, and, I may say alarmed, at finding the door
surrounded by six or seven men, ragged, barefooted, and as black as coal
dust could well make them; in fact, they were terrific looking figures.
Seeing the clerk belonging to the office, come to the door, I ventured
to approach; when I heard these persons who it seems, were
miners, ask for shoes and
clothing; at the
same time complaining, that they had not been supplied with any, since
the beginning of last September; and that their feet were in so bad a
state ( and which indeed, I could perceive), that they were scarcely
able to stand.
The poor fellows were told, that there were neither shoes nor clothing,
in the stores; but, as soon as any arrived, they would be supplied. They
retired on this assurance, peaceably, certainly, but with a very
discontented air. Much has been said about the management of the
Newcastle coal mines, and the difficulty that exists, of procuring
coals, to meet the demand for them, but, if the miners be left without
shoes or clothing, what else can be expected? It cannot be a matter of
surprise, if men in their condition are driven to desperation.
I have been informed, that three of the men concerned in the recent
piratical attempt upon the schooner Gurnet are miners; and, it is not at
all improbable, that they composed part of the men I saw in front of the
I am, Sir your obedient servant.
The Australian 3 May 1826