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The Australian Emigrant’s Manual; Or, A Guide to the Gold Coloies of New South Wales and Port Phillip.


John Dunmore Lang, D.D.

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London: Partridge and Oakey, 1852. First Edition. Sextodecimo, 17x10cm, in green cloth with the decoration in blind, title lettered in gilt on front cover: Lang’s | Emigrant’s | Manual, pp. Xvi, 94 (last colophon only), [2 book advertisements]. Ferguson 11334.

Very Good. Corners lightly bumped and a 2mm stain to fore-edge of front board, minor indentations along edges, new endpapers, minor foxing. Please note: Ferguson describes this edition as a duodecimo (11334) but our copy has 32 pages (16 leaves) between signatures. A small handwritten note dated 1977 inserted stating that the book was in an unopened state when acquired but as the writer of note wished to read the book it has now been opened.

“The discovery of gold in Australia is decidedly the great event of the present age”. So begins Lang enthusiastically in his introduction to this tidy little manual designed to ease the gold-seeking emigrant’s way into the great southern land. Answering such fundamental questions as “Where am I to go?” and “Shall I go the the Diggings?” Lang also makes suggestions for the emigrant inclined to cultivation, preferring cotton to other crops, and concluding ” Here, then, is a field of boundless extent and of wonderful promise for the settlement of families and individuals of limited means and moderate views.” (p.57). This first printing does not contain the “Appendix to the Second Thousand” containing a letter “illustrative of the course it was proposed to follow in directing a copious stream of emigration to Australia” Ferguson 11334a.

John Dunmore Lang 1799 -1878, a dynamic immigration organiser, was an emigrant from Scotland himself and the first Presbyterian minister for Sydney, arriving there in 1923. Lang’s Emigrant’s Manual was published after a particulalry busy few years in Lang’s life during which he wrote many letters to the British Press encouraging people to migrate. He believed the grinding poverty of Britain could be relieved by the boundless opportunites offered in Australia. He also thought an Australian republic was a possibility and co-founded, along with Henry Parkes and other radicals, the Australian League. Lang had a link to Queensland politics, being elected to the legislative assembly of the Moreton Bay District in 1854. His express purpose in standing was to press for its separation from the colony of New South Wales. His voluminous published works (books, pamphlets, press articles, letters to the editor), his numerous public speaking engagements in Sydney and in the bush, and his endless travelling (within Australia and over seas) ensured that this opinionated and vocal Scotsman had a wide-reaching influence on Australian Colonial values and sense of identity.