Niagara, C. W. (Canada): 1852. A very rare, unrecorded, Australian gold rush broadside, advertising to Canadians outside of Toronto a ship departure to the gold rush in "Sydney" via Boston, and carrying Edward Roper, an artist who pictorialized the Australian bush. It is not recorded on WorldCat, Trove or the Canadian National Catalogue and handsomely printed in a variety of bold type fonts.
In February 1851, gold was discovered at Ophir near Orange in New South Wales by Edward Hargraves. This find launched the Australian gold rushes. Most likely based on this information and the slow pace of accurate news moving about the globe, Sydney was cited as the destination for the ship Concordia. At some stage between the printing and their arrival in Australia, the destination of the ship was changed to Melbourne and the Victorian gold diggings.
According to Jim Burant, who worked for Library and Archives Canada for 38 years, "Roper embarked from Boston on board the sailing ship Concordia on September 8, 1852 and arrived in Melbourne in early 1853" - (see the article by Burant in the spring 2012 Hamilton Arts Journal, location available on request.)
Trove records Roper's manuscript journal of his voyage on the 'Concordia' from Boston. The diary describes the ship's voyage to Melbourne, "with details of weather; vessels seen; winds; speeds; sails used; position; pastimes; fish and birds seen; Christmas festivities and songs sung; approaching Cape Otway; Arriving in Melbourne. This is followed by an account of his time in the gold fields, with descriptions of the diggings; people living in tents beside the Yarra River; price of goods; digging for gold. The diary is interspersed with sketches of land seen during the voyage, and sketches of the trip to the diggings, and tents pitched en route". (Trove 22720130). Roper's paintings during this period are held in Australia [See Libraries Australia ID 2284234 for an example.]
The broadside text reads:
“AUSTRALIA And the GOLD REGIONS! The Fast-Sailing, Copper-Fastened, and Coppered Ship CONCORDIA, 1,200 TONS BURTHEN, LEVI PRATT, COMMANDER, (who is well acquainted with the trade,) Will be DESPATCHED from BOSTON on MONDAY, 30th AUGUST, 1852. For SYDNEY, will carry a limited number of first and second class passengers. This ship is well ventilated, and a most desirable conveyance for persons intending to visit this promising country, where such golden harvests are being reaped by all.
She has a full poop, and her state rooms are large and airy. The between decks are seven feet, and are fitted up in the most comfortable style. An experienced surgeon will be attached to the Ship; her dietary list will be found liberal and complete; and every possible comfort provided to make the voyage a pleasant one. Every information as to Goods best suited to the market (which can be purchased better in Boston than any other port) can be had on application to the owners.
Passage all found $100, in double berths; $115 for single berth; 160 dols. in the house on deck, forward; 190 dols. in the after Cabin. The “Concordia” will be succeeded by the new Clipper Ship “Fanny,” of 1500 tons burthen, to sail on the 1st Oct. Application made to us where a plan of the Cabin can be seen. LEE & ROGERS, Niagara, C.W. or COBB & FRENCH, 18 City Wharf, Bost[on]."
The captain of the 'Concordia', Levi Pratt, was born in Cohasset, Massachusetts, in 1798 and is recorded in the Boston Custom House as captain of a number of vessels including the 'Fama', 1825; schooner 'Bashaw', 1829; schooner 'High Flyer', 1832; the ship 'Concordia', 1851; the ship 'Chaos', 1840; and the ship 'Amazon', 1855 (destination Adelaide, SA).
A plan for the cabin could be obtained by request from "Lee & Rogers, Niagara, C. W.". The township of Niagara C. W. was 36 miles from Toronto by water. This town was in Upper Canada during the rebellions of 1837-1838; we locate a grocer by the name of Rogers in the town in 1851. Cobb & French, of 18 City Wharf, Boston are also listed on the broadside.
57.8 x 45.5 cm; 18 x 22 3/4". Printed in a variety of bold type fonts, no place or printer, dated 1852. Small loss to the lower right corner, affecting the last two letters of the word “Boston.” Very good, clean condition, unfolded, with light fold lines.
A rare boldly graphic broadside printed at the beginning of the Australian gold rushes, unrecorded in either Trove or WorldCat. Very good condition. Item #23714