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Authors: Clare Wright

We Are the Rebels

BOOK: We Are the Rebels
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WE ARE THE REBELS

THE WOMEN AND MEN WHO MADE EUREKA

Winner of the 2014 Stella Prize,
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka
is the most talked-about
work of Australian history in recent years.

We Are the Rebels
is a new, concise edition of Clare Wright's groundbreaking study
of the women who made the rebellion.

Teaching notes are available at
textpublishing.com.au/education
.

‘Exhilarating.' Brenda Niall

‘Full of colour.'
Books+Publishing

‘Immediately entrancing.'
Guardian Australia

‘Fascinating.'
Irish Echo

‘A great story.'
Courier-Mail

‘Beautifully told.' Peter FitzSimons

‘Wonderful.' Chris Masters

‘Something for everyone.' NZ
Listener

‘Fills an enormous gap.'
Australian

‘Fast-paced, racy.'
Otago Daily Times

‘Refreshing.'
Age

‘Engrossing.'
The Hoopla

ALSO BY CLARE WRIGHT

Beyond the Ladies Lounge

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

Clare Wright is a historian who has worked as an academic and broadcaster. She is
a writer and presenter for television, with the ABC TV documentary series
Utopia
Girls
and
The War That Changed Us
among her credits. She lives in Melbourne with
her husband, three children and too many pets.

clarewright.com.au

@clareawright

The Text Publishing Company

Swann House

22 William Street

Melbourne Victoria 3000

Australia

textpublishing.com.au

Copyright © 2015 by Clare Wright

The moral right of Clare Wright to be identified as the author of this work has been
asserted.

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright above, no part of
this publication shall be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system,
or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording or otherwise), without the prior permission of both the copyright owner
and the publisher of this book.

First published in 2015 by The Text Publishing Company

Page design and typesetting by Jessica Horrocks

Maps by Guy Holt

Index by Karen Gillen

Cover design by WH Chong

National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry:

Creator:
Wright,
Clare Alice, author.

Title:
We are the rebels : the women and men who made Eureka / by Clare Wright.

ISBN:
9781922182784 (paperback)

9781925095708 (ebook)

Target Audience: For secondary school age.

Subjects:
Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Vic., 1854.

Women—Australia—History—19th century.

Gold miners—Victoria—Ballarat—History.

Riots—Victoria—Ballarat—History.

Ballarat (Vic.)—History—1851–1901.

Dewey Number: 994.57031

TO ESTHER

my own little rebel

CONTENTS

Author's Note

INTRODUCTION

The Morning After

Why Weren't We Told?

A Coffin Trimmed with White

GETTING THERE

Eureka!

Getting Ahead

Great Expectations

The Long Goodbye

The Wild World of Water

Our Floating World

A Dirty Disagreeable Lot

Crossing the Line

Southern Stars

The Deep

(Not So Marvellous) Melbourne

Settling for Collingwood

Canvas Town

Law and Order

All the Single Ladies

The Road

This Feminine Exodus

My Gypsy Life

GETTING AHEAD

Ballarat

The Camp

Diggeresses

Lady Luck

A Tax by Any Other Name

Pop-Up Shopping

Everything That Could Be Wanted

Mates

The Servant Problem

The Marriage Game

Girls on the Grog

The Chinese Puzzle

GETTING STUCK

Winners and Losers

Raw Cold and Unfathomable Mud

Poverty Point

Getting Spliced, Getting Licked

Land Locked

British Justice

Licence Hunters

Enter Ellen Young

Here Come the Hothams

Put Away

A Shameful Spectacle

A Licence to Swill

The Eureka Hotel

Liquid Gold

The Adelphi Theatre

GETTING EVEN

Spring

Murder Most Foul

A Busy Week

Famous Last Words

An Offended People

Scot Free

House of the Rising Diggers

It Burned Like Paper

Mosh Pit

The Blame Game

Ellen vs Joe

Tongues Wag

Lying in a State of Stupidity

The Stranger

Yankee HQ

A Cunning Plan?

We, the People

No Admission

Courtroom 1

Courtroom 2

The Diggers ‘Demand' and Hotham Cracks It

GETTING TOGETHER

Thanksgiving

A Flag of One's Own

Bringing the Matter to a Crisis

The First Shots

The Diggers Rally

A Council of War for Defence

Drawing the Line

Swearing an Oath

A Spy and Some Wet Soldiers

A Late-Night Deputation

1 December—Friday

2 December—Saturday

Night of a Full Moon

3 December—Bloody Sunday

Nightmare on Eureka Street

Where Can I Hide?

The Final Indignity

Burn Baby Burn

Ungovernable Excitement

The Morning After (Reprise)

CONCLUSION

Business as Usual

Hope

The Miner's Right

The Youngest Australian

Acknowledgments

Other Reading

AUTHOR'S NOTE

Where you see
italics
in the text, you are reading a direct quote from a primary
source. This includes letters, diaries, newspapers, poetry, songs, official reports
and other documents written at the time by the people who were there.

Primary sources, also known as ‘archives' or ‘historical records', are kept in public
places like libraries, museums and government records offices. Sometimes they are
also found in private hands: for example, family collections.

This book is based on my book
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka
, first published in
2013.
Forgotten Rebels
includes an extensive bibliography and endnotes, for much
more detail on quotes and sources. You can also go back to that book if you want
further information about a particular character, or deeper historical context for
events depicted in
We Are the Rebels
.

THE MORNING AFTER

It's Monday morning, 4 December 1854. The tent city of Ballarat has woken to a strange
dawn.

A Monday morning on the richest goldfield in the world would usually be humming:
a busy start to an energetic week. There are 32,000 people on the Ballarat diggings,
and normally they would be hard at it.

Miners from every continent on the globe working their claims. Cartloads of goods
arriving from Melbourne and Geelong to fill the stores with food and merchandise.
To be sure, in 1854 most of the businesses are still not buildings at all, just simple
canvas structures of every size imaginable. But they serve their purpose. Restaurants
are dishing up food, grog shops are selling illicit booze; there are even theatres
getting ready for the evening's performance.

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