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Transcription Notes

This is a letter written by Edmund Burgess 1859-1897 to his mother. He traveled to Australia with his Uncle Michael Magnor in 1875. To put the relationships into perspective, I am the great grand nephew of Edmund. The letter shows that he is hopeful of a rich strike on the goldfields in north Queensland after lack of success at the Hodgkinson Goldfield.

The people:

  • Aunt Ellen - mother's sister, Ellen married John Sweeney
  • Mrs O'Sullivan - Edmund's godmother
  • Uncle Mickey - Michael Magnor
  • John Joe, Mary, Hannah, Dick, Abby and Tom - siblings

    MWJ Daly

Georgetown October 12 1876

Dear Mother

I hope this letter will find you in good health and spirit. I am in good health myself and Uncle Mickey thank God. I received Grandmother's likeness and it is very like her. I hope she and Aunt Ellen are in good health. Give my love to them.

The claim is worked and indeed this field will be worked out altogether in a few months.

The gold don't go down in the reefs after 80 feet. We are going to the Hodgkinson, a Goldfield 200 miles from here. It was open 6 months ago and is reported to be a very good Goldfield. It is between the Palmer and Etheridge (Rivers), 70 miles from the former. It is 70 miles from the coast. And a new port is opened for it on the shores of Trinity Bay between Cardwell & Cooktown.

I shall get all the letters you have directed to the Etheridge safe. I got John Joe's letter and shall write to him from the Hodgkinson when I get there. He is right to stop at home for a year. He will have more confidence in himself then and be young enough. We will do right enough. If I be lucky on the field I will send for him at once, it is not a long voyage to Australia nowadays & expect it will be so much shorted.

There are two towns on the Hodgkinson. The greater being Thornborough, the lessor Watsonsville. I hope Mrs O'Sullivan is well and all the neighbours. Give my best respects to Mr Morrison, Terry Collins & all the team.

How is Mary and John Sweeney. I hope they are well. I send papers to Father & a miners right I had.

I hope ye will have a happy Christmas and that Aghada is going ahead.

Give mine to Father, John Joe, Mary, Hannah, Dick, Abby and Tom