Four page, handwritten letter from Reuben Gatward in Prahran, Victoria, to Polly in Luton, England, circa 1859. Born in 1826 in Hertfordshire, England, Gatward had been working as a draper's assistant in Luton, Bedfordshire before emigrating but was listed as a farmer in the shipping list.

This letter was written when Gatward was recovering from scurvy, the result of the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables on the goldfields. He talks about mutual acquaintances, and suggests the important role that friends made on board ship had for new settlers without family. He also speaks of the difficulties of the diggings: 'Gold digging is a very precarious way of making a fortune. I do not say making a living for I think everyone can do that, but the privations and hardships are greater than I should like to put up with for just that …'

Physical Description

Four pages of a letter, written in ink on good-quality notepaper.

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