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A handwritten letter on cream coloured paper consisting of one sheet of paper folded in half vertically to create four pages. It is dated in the top right hand corner of page one "Pyramul, via Mudgee, / New South Wales, 16 Nov 1864". It is addressed to "My Dear Sir, / It gives me more pain ...". The letter concerns the death by shooting at the hands of bushrangers of Alexander Mussen, and describes his burial place to the recipient. It closes with "My Dear Sir, / I am faithfully yours, / Samuel Bromley".
The Alexander Mussen Collection consists of 3 sketches, one ambrotype portrait, newspaper clippings, 13 letters and a death certificate relating to Alexander Mussen, his time on the NSW goldfields and his death, in 1864, at the hand of bushrangers. Alexander Mussen was a young Canadian, the son of a well known merchant in Montreal. It seems he fell into some disrepute and debt in Canada and travelled to the NSW goldfields to both try his luck and redeem the family name.
The gold rush in Australia had a major impact on society, culture, the environment and politics. The population increased dramatically, society became more diversified, colonial governments had to respond to the changes and the rest of the world became increasingly aware of Australia's wealth. The Mussen collection provides a personal and intimate insight into the practical workings of some New South Wales diggings, society more generally, law and order on the goldfields and the continuing connection between those who came to Australia and family left behind.
W 213mm x H 339mm
Date of event