Not Your Usual Gold Stories

ISBN 9781760065706 , written by Peter Macinnis, published 2015 by Five Mile Press in Australia, released as a stand-alone title, Real Soon Now (when the marketing people decide).

Originally available in a boxed set, together with Not Your Usual Bushrangers under ISBN 9781760068004.

Regrettably, this book has fallen foul of some sort of power play within the publishing house, and the hard copy edition has NOT been released on its own. I imagine it is sitting in a warehouse somewhere. Ah well, I got my advance, and I have a few hard copies.

Find it on Google Books
For information from the publisher, see this link

This book is written for readers of all ages. The only qualification is that you should curious about Australia's past, and unwilling to accept the mindless pap that is regurgitated in Australian schools. Forget about how Hargraves was the first to discover gold: he wasn't the first, and if the truth be known, he never did find gold. He was, however, a consummate conspirator, and by his actions an claims, he triggered off Australia's gold rush.

Don't look for a detailed rehash of the Eureka business here. Yes, it rates a mention, but there were many other acts of violence, perpetrated on the goldfields, and I don't even deal with all of them.

This book offers fresh history. Here, you will read about
gold-cover (290K)

  • How a convict called Daly "discovered" gold in 1788 (he was lying, and he was later hanged for other offences);
  • How an unnamed convict on the Bog Hill, the western side of the Blue Mountains, found a nugget in 1823 or 1824, and was flogged;
  • How "Old M'Gregor" came in to Sydney with gold from the Wellington Valley for many years;
  • How others saw gold just below the Big Hill;
  • How Australia's first gold mine was opened in the 1840s near Adelaide;
  • How gold was found in Victoria in 1849, but the authorities put a lid on it;
  • How Edward Hammond Hargraves learned of Old M'Gregor's and other people's finds;
  • How Hargraves studied the start of a gold rush;
  • How Hargraves did not find gold, but announced a goldfield stretching from the Big Hill to the Wellington Valley;
  • How Hargraves and a henchman conspired to stop any rush being blocked by the authorities;
  • How people heard about the gold;
  • How they went after gold;
  • How they found gold;
  • Who made the big profits;
  • What the diggers ate, drank and slept in;
  • How some of the diggers died;
  • How people came to Australia from all over the world;
  • How the Chinese gold seekers were singled out for attack;
  • The many, many ways of robbing and cheat8ing on the gold fields;
and much more.

This is not the "history" you learned at school. I hated that rubbish as well. One of my hopes in writing this book is that I will manage to subvert the staid and hackneyed curriculum, Either before the book comes out, or soon after, there will be a separate page with live web links to most of the references in the book, because I believe that history should involve participation.

This file is

The first scrappy draft version was created on May 14, 2015 and last revised July 27, 2016.

If you email me at macinnis at, you will reach a spam trap, but be read, eventually. If you put my first name in front of that address, you will reach me direct. This low-tech solution is to make email harvesting difficult.

The home page of this set is here.

Since I started this site, it has drawn visitors.