Table of Contents

Miners cabin,

Miners cabin, California goldfields. 1850. Daguerreotype. California State Library, Sacramento, California.

Images of the Pacific Rim

Chapter One: 1850s: Artist-Photographers in the gold country

Some people say that the Australian mines are all that is said of them, while others believe they are a humbug ... The truth of the matter it is impossible to learn, without personally going ...
--George W. Hart to James Wylie Mandeville, San Francisco, 30 October 1851.1
The gold seekers were harbingers of modernity, and one had to be rather modern in 1850 to be untroubled by the world they seemed to fore shadow ... The dislocations of the gold rush were symptomatic because they resembled the dislocations of modernity.
--David Goodman, Gold seeking, 1994.2
Photography is equally a technology of its time, but it generated few ... impositions on the landscape or on workers; it was an artisan's technology ... It did not impose itself on the world but interpreted it, transporting appearance as the railroad transported matter ... For if railroads and photography had one thing in common, it is that they brought the world closer for those who rode or looked.
--Rebecca Solnit, River of shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the technological wild west, 2003.3

The shared aesthetic experience of Australia and the American West begins in the mid-nineteenth century with the discovery of gold in each country. What makes the aesthetic story of these two places on the Pacific Rim so important is that this historical moment--the rush for gold, with its massive population shifts on all continents--coincides almost precisely with the development of the most significant mechanical forms of reproduction, forms that would transform and define the idea of art and modernity itself well into the twentieth century. With its demographic explosions and social upheavals, the gold rushes of the 1850s provided the initial catalyst for this aesthetic exchange.

In California and in Australia, a substantial number of opportunistic photographers and itinerant artists joined the hordes of miners and other immigrants hoping to make their fortune through their image-making capabilities, if not through their luck, on the goldfields. The exchange went both ways: many of these young adventurous men travelled between Australia and California and worked in both places, creating images of people, social life and, most especially, of landscape in these frontier communities.4 Producing views of the landscape and portraits, they established distinct photographic techniques and stylistic interpretations that began to reveal the unique circumstances of their geography and their fledgling societies. Their interpretations began to diverge in exciting ways from the
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established artistic forms inherited from their home cultures. These visual records, based on the merging of traditional artistic modes and the products of mechanical reproduction, provide an unprecedented opportunity to examine the incipient construction of a shared visual culture--a new idea of the aesthetics of place--at the beginning of the modern age.

In December 1848, word of the gold discoveries in California reached Australia, from newspapers on board the US ship Plymouth out of the Sandwich Islands.5 The initial response was one of skepticism and understandable ignorance: where was California? The Australian colonies were certainly aware of the United States of America before 1848, but California was a place virtually unknown to those on the southern continent. American whalers and other trading vessels had been docking in Sydney and Hobart since the earliest days of white settlement in the antipodes, but the men on these ships were from places like Massachusetts and New York.6 The West Coast of North America was unknown territory, even more mysterious to Australians than it was to Americans on the eastern seaboard already caught up in the excitement of westward expansion across the continent. The very recent acquisition through conquest of the Spanish­Mexican territory of California had brought this region into the consciousness of Americans before the announcement of gold discoveries; but Australia had no reason to pay attention to such events.

The Australian newspapers were at first loathe to print news of gold-strikes in this distant land, for fear of wholesale emigration. But word of such a discovery could not be concealed for long and by the early days of 1849, printed posters along Sydney's Circular Quay and on its main streets announced `GOLD, GOLD, CALIFORNIA'.7 On 21 January of that year, The Eleanor Lancaster, a ship fitted out by Sydney merchant Robert Towns, left Sydney Harbour bound for San Francisco, with 52 passengers on board--the first of the Australian gold seekers to reach California. The ship arrived in San Francisco in early April. As one of its most peripatetic passengers would later write: `There were but few vessels in the harbor, the big rush not having yet set in, it being now early in 1849 ... The vessels were mostly from Australian ports; the gold fever had not extended to the Old Country or the American cities as yet.'8


Fig. 1.01 Clipper ship card for Coringa, sailing between New York and Melbourne, c. 1870s. Robert B. Honeyman, Jr, Collection of Early Californian and Western American Pictorial Material. Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, California.

Australians were some of the first to arrive in this previously isolated outpost in western North America, for they had, as citizens of a British colony facing the eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean, an easier run than any European or American ship, indeed the closest access (other than the nations of western South and Central America) to this other Pacific coast. While people on the East Coast of North
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America were paying exorbitant amounts to cross the Panama Isthmus or round the Cape of Good Hope, or making gruelling treks by wagon train across the treacherous American plains, ships from Sydney and Hobart were bringing passengers across the ocean in as little as 70 days and for relatively low fares. Jay Monaghan recounts that people were being charged as much as $500 to cross the isthmus in early 1849 and points out: `These figures were important, because they disclosed that Americans must pay twice as much to get to California as Hobart ship owners were asking and three or four times the price charged from Sydney.'9 Such brave and to some foolhardy souls would be the first of the more than 7000 Australians who would eventually head for California and the goldfields in the 1850s.10 Among these opportunistic migrants were freed convicts, shopkeepers, artists, printers, stockmen, families and adventurers, all of whom would have different experiences in newly Americanised California.

The tumultuous days of the California gold rush would also provide the first opportunity for recognition by Americans of a people newly called Australians. They were, according to early accounts, recognisable by their distinctive clothing--`cabbage tree hats and moleskin trousers'--and even from the colour of their possum-skin rugs and bedding, certainly characteristics that would distinguish them from their British counterparts.11 In the free-for-all of gold-rush society, first impressions were usually based on visual appearances, and descriptions of all nationalities by observers in San Francisco emphasised the differences in dress to distinguish them, rather than the similarities. The Australian colonists were never-theless most often figured in with the British in the eyes of the American authorities, thus making it difficult to determine the numbers of Australians in California from official records. Australians joined in the unprecedented multicultural mixture that amazed everyone who arrived in the gold-rush town. When the sailor-cum-photographer Isaac Wallace Baker (1818-­1862) landed in San Francisco in January 1850, he wrote in his journal: `It takes all sorts o' people to make a world, but you can find a sample of all sorts o' worlds in California!'12

John Jenkins hanging, 1851

The first trial and execution in S. Francisco on the night of 10th June at 2 o'clock ​ del. after the nature by W.C.K.; pub. &​ lith. Justh. Quirot &​ Co. San Francisco : Quirot &​ Co., 1851.  National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an7518191-v.

Australian John Jenkins was the first man to be hanged by the San Francisco Vigilance Committee, June 9, 1851. He had walked into a merchant's shop and taken a safe with $50 in it.  He was "tried" and hanged within an hour of his capture.

Australians' first independent reputation in San Francisco was unfortunate and quickly established: the inevitable presence of several criminals among the earliest Australian arrivals, either escaped convicts or newly emancipated ones, forever determined their reputation. The term `Sydney Ducks' was applied to all those who congregated in San Francisco in the neighbourhood at the edge of Telegraph Hill; the area became known as Sydney Valley and became identified, whether accurately or not, as the source of most criminal activity in this lawless town. (This same section of town later became infamous as the rowdy Barbary Coast.) The first victims hanged by the Vigilance Committees that sprang up in the city in 1851 (and again in 1856) were Australians, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the multicultural populace then developing in the city and in the California mountains where gold was being unearthed. That several members of the earliest Vigilance Committee were upper-class Australian merchants, and that Australian products such as flour and printed goods were more readily available and often of superior quality to what could be obtained from the American states,13 does not seem to have entered the public consciousness as firmly as the idea that all Australians carried the convict taint.14 Australian as criminal is the stereotype that stuck.

Still, Australians of every sort participated in the earliest forays into the California hills, setting up businesses in Sacramento and Stockton, and pioneering settlement through out northern California. As only one example,
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Captain W. Jackson Barry, one of the first Australian migrants on the Eleanor Lancaster, helped found Shasta City, California, and was involved in many significant events in the gold-mining communities of California and, later, back in Australia and New Zealand.15 Many made the biggest fortunes in those first months when the gold was still relatively easy to find; but many also ended up with nothing more than a knowledge of how gold could be found and how it could be mined more efficiently.

Hargraves in

"Portrait of Edward Hargraves, the discoverer of gold in Australia--[from a photograph by Frith]", ca. 1851. Illustrated Australian News.

Edward Hargraves (1816­-1891) was one of those Australians early on the diggings for gold in California.16 In 1851, convinced after his own experiences of the geological similarities between the gold regions of California and the hills of Australia, Hargraves returned to New South Wales and began digging around Bathurst on the plains of that colony. Soon he announced substantial discoveries of the metal at Ophir, and within weeks hundreds had flocked to the region. Earlier colonial governments had suppressed information about such finds, for fear of losing much-needed workers to the goldfields and losing control of a society only recently freed of the dubious status of being nothing but a penal colony. This time the New South Wales officials enthusiastically announced the discovery.

Galvanised by this announcement and the support it received from the government, others soon found even bigger strikes in the newly proclaimed colony of Victoria, in an area directly north of the then small settlement of Melbourne, a town founded only in 1838. Australians recently returned from California made most of these finds. One was James Esmond (1822-­1890), who was on board the same ship out of San Francisco that brought Hargraves back to Sydney.17

While Esmond made the most significant gold discovery at Clunes in Victoria in 1851 that led to the first early rush in that colony, he had less business acumen and self-aggrandising ambition than Hargraves. Most importantly, in 1855, Hargraves published his book, Australia and its goldfields.18 His name appeared in print as the `discoverer' of Australian gold, and so Hargraves, rather than Esmond, gained enduring international fame as such. The printed word, preferably with accompanying illustrations, was the central force behind the worldwide dispersal of information that caused the phenomenon of the gold-rush era.19 Once news of the Australian finds reached California, the migratory influx reversed itself. Not only did many Australians in California return to look for gold at home, but many of the Americans and foreign gold seekers who had flocked to San Francisco now clambered for passage to the antipodean continent. Australians all over the country also put down their tools, left their shops and headed for the territory north of Melbourne. As one Englishman then residing in Australia wrote, `since the commencement of this gold revolution society in the antipodean regions has become almost as migratory as among the Bedouin Arabs'.19 A later author claimed: `Australia became the new El Dorado of the world. California was forgotten--Marshall's discovery belonged already to the past. The tide of emigration from Australia became a flood of immigration.'20 The rise in population in Victoria in the decade between 1851 and 1861 was as remarkable as had been the growth of San Francisco and northern California a few years before: 77,000 in 1851, 237,000 in 1854, and by 1857, 411,000 in a colony only 20 years old.21 Australia's overall population in that same period rose from 400,000 to almost 1,200,000.

The relative rapidity with which the news from Australia reached even the remotest California mining camps speaks to the fact that the unprecedented movement of people caused by the announcement of gold discoveries in the 1850s precipitated an equally
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unprecedented movement of printed materials and images along with the people. Books, newspapers, journals, letter-sheets, illustrated posters and photographic images--all products of technological innovation in the mid-nineteenth century and the first indications of truly mass reproductive media--arrived by ship in the port of San Francisco, just as they did into Sydney Harbour. All these mails were then dispersed by post--on a steamer to Sacramento and Stockton, and then by pack mule or coach into the various mountain communities--with relative speed to the eager and often homesick miners throughout the new settlements and on the diggings. Literacy among the miners was a valuable and already not uncommon asset, but even those who could not read looked forward to the images in the newspapers and illustrated journals that began arriving in abundance.

The demand for visual information on the part of those away from home, and the hunger by those left behind for pictorial descriptions of these new places where their loved ones had gone, explains the immense popularity in the goldfield communities of the illustrated lettersheets produced in California throughout the 1850s and into the 1860s.22 These sheets constitute some of the earliest visualisations of the California that miners wanted to convey to the audience back home. As the historian Joseph Baird points out in his essay on letter-sheets, the image was what the sender wanted: ` ... most of the writers preferred to send a picture or pictures; all expected a rich, purely written, return from their correspondents.' 23 These pieces now represent remarkable documents of life and work in the mining towns, as well as evidence of the wonders of the Western landscape as it was first confronted by new settlers.24 The demand for these images also led in San Francisco to the first art-printing activities--and thereby the first inklings of a distinctively California illustrative style--as lithographers, engravers and photo-engravers were put to work producing scenes that would be mailed around the world.25

Baird quite rightly identifies these letter-sheets as `the major surviving visual account of California in that era'.26 Foremost among the preferred images were the first depictions of California's wondrous natural landscape, especially the newly discovered Mammoth Trees. As early as 1854, magazine editor James Hutchings (1820­-1902) was producing letter-sheets with photo-engravings from daguerreotypes of the redwoods found in Calaveras Grove near Yosemite--a site that had not been discovered by white men until 1851. Hutchings, who participated in some of the earliest explorations of Yosemite and its surrounding region, was instrumental, largely through his illustrations and reproductions of photographs published in letter-sheets and in his publication Hutchings' Illustrated California Magazine, in promoting the glories of the California landscape.27

Like so many other artists and photographers of the time, Hutchings also attempted to create panoramas of California scenes. Although he never achieved his ambitious conceptions for panoramas, other engravers and photographers were able to produce panoramic views of San Francisco Bay and other sites translated into letter-sheet illustrations. The marvellous work of the lithographic firm of Britton & Rey included town views and San Francisco scenes that were often taken from photographs.28 The firm's rendering, for example, of the meeting of the Vigilance Committee in 1856--one of their many recordings of contemporary events--credits Robert Vance as the daguerreotypist who provided the image for printing. Britton & Rey's prolific output of letter-sheet illustrations of all sorts of subject matter pertaining to California are the most vivid examples of

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an early visual formulation of the region. The firm, the best of those that popped up all over San Francisco to meet the demand for images, provided opportunity for a wide variety of artists and image-makers, with varied levels of artistic skill, to step forward to provide illustrations for this burgeoning market. Nearly every artist now associated with the gold-rush era in California at one time produced images for letter-sheet production.

The preference on the part of California's new arrivals for illustrated letter-sheets does not necessarily imply an illiterate populace. Indeed, the surprising sophistication of the miners' reading habits, and the relative ease with which printed material could be accessed even in the remotest settlements, is often remarked upon in the histories written of the gold-region mountain towns. In her account of Tuolumne County written in 1935, Edna Buckbee describes the cultural life of mid-1850s Sonora, the main settlement of that county in the Southern Mines region. The town had by the early 1850s three bookstores enthusiastically patronised by the transient yet ever-expanding population. The Miner's Bookstore of Mintzer & Company had `the most complete line of standard books and magazines obtainable at that period', including the most popular illustrated journals Harper's, Godey's Lady's Book and Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine. The Union Book Store carried `a full line of Atlantic Coast and European newspapers and magazines'.29  The Tuolumne


Fig. 1.02 The Mammoth Trees, in Hutchings' California Scenes, 1854. Letter-sheet engraving. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

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Book Store, opened in 1854 by J. Roberts, had complete runs and regular deliveries of international journals of all political persuasions: `the London Quarterly Review (conservative), Edinburgh Review (Whig), North British Review (Free Church), Westminster Review (liberal), Blackwood's, Edinburgh Magazine, and a large variety of American magazines and newspapers'. The proprietor complained that he could not keep in stock enough copies of any French dictionaries and immediately sold out of whatever editions he could get of `Bulwer, Dickens, and Shakespeare'.30 On 28 October 1854, one of Sonora's newspapers, the Union Democrat, included an article entitled `The Australian mines' in which the editor refers to a report in a recent Melbourne Herald, indicating that even Australian newspapers were available to him.31 Sonora at the time served a county population of about 5000. Other towns in neighbouring counties of the gold-regions had similar numbers of bookshops and newsagents, and also managed to produce several local newspapers.

These sources of print material provided not only literature, but, as the overwhelming popularity among miners and their families of the profusely illustrated Harper's and the ladies' journals demonstrates, visual stimulation. As Buckbee comments:

... these periodicals were strong factors in the decorations of Far-West homes, for they devoted many pages to the designs, the making of hooked rugs, crocheted and knitted tidies, and the never to be forgotten, or forgiven, colorful mottoes that hung above the doors and over the chimney pieces of both log and lumber houses.32

In Australia, similar conditions created similar patterns of dispersal of printed and visual material. The central factors in the distribution process of printed materials played as great a role in Australian cultural life in the mid-nineteenth century as they did in gold-rush California. Once news of Australian gold discoveries reached California and the rest of the world, the flow of illustration and mass-produced printed matter out of America would become a flood, as thousands poured in to the southern continent, bringing their books, journals and pictures with them.

The means by which far-flung miners in California learned of the Australian gold-strikes--and acted, almost immediately, upon hearing the news--can be traced in numerous first-hand accounts by the miners themselves. Charles Ferguson, an Ohioan who in the 1880s wrote an apparently accurate reminiscence of his experiences in both gold-rush societies, recounts how quickly the word spread of Australia's golden fields and `infected' the California miners with a new gold fever. In the summer of 1851, Ferguson and his mining partners had staked a claim near Nevada City, but they were getting bored and looking for new adventure. He describes the sequence of events that quickly led to their departure for Australia:

It was customary in the mining regions to go about on Sundays visiting one's neighbors, or to town to see the sights, so that that day was generally the most stirring day in the week. Loveland went to town to see a dentist ... Taft staid [sic] at home, while I went to see Beauclerc, who was a great friend or ours. He told me he had just received a letter from an uncle of his in Australia; that gold had been discovered there by a man named Hargreaves [sic], that was liable to become very rich diggings. I thought nothing more of it until I went home. Taft was cooking supper. I inquired for Loveland ... I went out and found him standing a little distance from the cabin, his face turned starward, though I don't believe he was conscious of a star, for his mind seemed elsewhere. I asked him for his
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thoughts. He said Dr. Livermore, the dentist, who was formerly from Sidney [sic], told him that he had just received a letter from Australia advising him that gold had been found there in quantity and richness surpassing anything then discovered in California. I then told him about Beauclerc's letter. `What do you say about our going?' said he. `All right,' said I, `if you will go, I will.' At that moment Taft called us to supper, and when we went in we told Taft that we were going to Australia ... We then talked over the whole matter, and finally, the same evening, all three of us started off to see Beauclerc. We found him as ourselves, but how to get away was a more difficult question. He had lately got married, and it was out of the question to take his wife with him on what might, after all, be but a wild goose chase.33

Nevada City

Fig. 1.03 Attributed to Joseph B. Starkweather, 1852. Daguerreotype. Nevada City. Courtesy of the California History Room, California State Library, Sacramento, California.

Far removed from the comforts of settled society, these young men learned about a momentous event in a distant country through letters sent to two different acquaintances. On the basis of this written word, they made a joint decision to travel halfway around the world to seek their fortune. That there was a dentist from Sydney in Nevada City in 1851 also gives some indication of how far-flung were the earliest immigrants to the American West--and how quickly they had taken up occupations other than goldmining to make a living. Ferguson consistently refers to their restless anticipation as a `fever':

Loveland, Taft & myself were the first victims in Nevada City, but it spread rapidly, and others were soon as bad as ourselves ... George Scott, of the Empire gambling house, and his wife took the fever, which carried them off
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`between two days.' ... Beauclerc had now made arrangements with Scott and wife at Rock Creek to keep his wife, so in the course of a week there were eleven in all `carried off'.34

The whole group was in San Francisco by the first weeks of 1852, waiting for a boat to Australia and sightseeing along with `those afflicted with the Australian epidemic'.35 They finally gained passage, for 60 dollars each, on board the barque Don Juan. At this stage in Pacific travel, no regular shipping service had been established, although transit was much more frequent than it had been three years earlier. According to Ferguson, the voyage was filled with tensions between the returning `convict' Australians and the Americans; but, as he writes, `[a]t last, on the twenty-sixth of July, 1852, the sunny shores of Australia hove in sight, and great was the rejoicing on board that little barque, and all our troubles were forgotten'.36 They came filled with as much hope and anticipation and excitement as they had experienced a few years before in California. Anything could happen, and they were up for the adventure. In the end, it is estimated that more than 12,000 Americans joined the throngs in the decade of the 1850s; some of them stayed for a brief time, while others remained in Australia permanently.37

Yankee digger

E.C. Moore, Yankee Digger, c. 1858. Watercolour. The National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an3726891.

Americans were often identified by their outfits and their hats. On the back of this sketch is a poem Moore wrote:

     If a down-east Yankee you would be/Chew a quid & wear a "goatee"/Say "Yes Sir" & "No Siree"/
     Its not at all Colonial!/All colored people you must hate/On Mother Beecher Stowe dilate/
     Talk of Virginny, & New York State/Tangarees, cocktails & "brandy straight"/
     Freely guess, whenever you talk,/Hands in pockets when you walk/and I calculate by many a chalk/
     You wont appear Colonial!

Just as the delirium surrounding the California discoveries led to extraordinary societal transformations on the newly Americanised Pacific frontier, so, too, did Australia experience cultural displacements in the 1850s unlike those of any earlier colonial settlements. As had been the case in California, the real and lasting fortunes were to be made in Australia in the provision of services and supplies for the new settlements that arose where the would-be miners congregated. Itinerancy became the norm rather than the exception, as people from around the world arrived daily in the thousands, ships cramming into Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay and crowds trudging up the dirt tracks north from the town. Many of the new arrivals moved from goldfield to goldfield, and from occupation to occupation, and confronted in most instances new, or at least newly established, rules of social order. Skilled workmen and artisans, as well as manual labourers, voluntarily displaced from their traditional rung on the societal ladder of their home cultures, found themselves thrown into a `free market' system that, at least initially, liberated many from traditional wage structures and broke down hierarchies of class and occupation. One had to be creative and willing to try one's hand at new trades among new kinds of people. A certain level of tolerance of difference was an essential attribute in these newly developing societies, in which old ideas of social stratification and appropriate decorum appeared to be inappropriate to the real conditions into which people had thrown themselves.

Contemporary accounts of `digger' life are rife with examples of these opportunistic arrangements.38 Ferguson notes that, having managed to make the trip from Sydney to Melbourne, he and his mates then realised they had to set out on foot to get to the diggings, still some hundred miles away. En route toward the Ballarat fields, they were told to stop at an establishment already set up by their countrymen: `They baked pies and made money. Of course all the Americans went there and were told of our arrival, as we went there to get our meals until we got our house in order and some cooking utensils.'39 New arrivals, then, as early as 1852, learned by `bush telegraph'--that is, by word of mouth--of fellow immigrants already setting up businesses to accommodate the burgeoning population heading for the gold. Opportunism became the greatest asset and nearly everyone became of necessity an independent entrepreneur, despite the well-documented fact that the
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Victorian colonial government was from the outset intent on maintaining economic and social control to a far greater degree than had existed in the California gold regions.40

This kind of entrepreneurial spirit affected as well the less utilitarian aspects of civil society and activity. Artists and artisans also had to apply their hand to whatever activities presented themselves. William Howitt (1792­-1879), an Englishman of Quaker family and with high-level connections in the colonies, wrote in Land, labour and gold (1855) an account of his two years in the Victorian gold country. Howitt's narrative is replete with fascinating characters and vivid descriptions of a society where traditional hierarchies of occupation had to be abandoned. Howitt himself encouraged his travelling companion Edward Bateman (1815­-1897)--cousin of the Victorian lieutenant-governor and a skilled watercolourist known to the London Pre-Raphaelites41--to take advantage of the businessmen on the diggings who wanted pictures of their holdings, `but not under 5 l. [shillings] per sketch, as this class of people have plenty of money, and are all amazingly proud of their establishments'.42

This pride in ownership, and the desire to have visual evidence of one's material prosperity in the colonies, greatly determined the kinds of images produced in Australia in the middle decades of the century, as subsequent images will demonstrate. Bateman, then, had to produce images of things and people quite unlike the ones he had produced back in England--but his academic style, his pictorial devices, would have been the same as those he used in English parlours. On the gold-fields, artists, whether amateur or formally trained, became itinerant tradesmen along with everyone else. Their works, whether painted, graphic or photographic are in many cases more significant as historic documents than as aesthetic artifacts. Elements of artistic style nonetheless were transmitted to and consumed by the viewers of such seemingly modest image-making endeavours. Not only image-makers but book men, stationers and artisans of other cultural trades were part of this itinerant parade in the Australian gold country. In his book, Howitt described `the most distinguished character' on the diggings, `a Mr. Langley, an American auctioneer', whose main stock in trade was books, and whose sale for high prices earned him `several hundred pounds per week'.43 That Mr Langley was identified by Howitt as an American would simply have fit into commonly held assumptions that the Americans were the most opportunistic and skilled itinerants of all the incoming immigrants.

          Gold fields

  • Edward La Trobe Bateman. Butcher's stockyard and hut and stores at the McIvor diggings.
  • National Library of Australia, no. 6617903.

The traditional artistic skills of draughtsmanship and painting were in evidence in these new societies, and the selling and dispersal of illustrated books, journals and prints occurred regularly, even in the remotest regions. But in gold-rush society, both in Australia and in California, the most potent manifestation of the significance of reproducible imagery and the indispensable role of itinerancy in the dispersal of these images is the nearly simultaneous development of that new technological invention, photography. Martha Sandweiss begins her book on photography and the American West by stating that these two elements represent `a new medium and a new place that come of age together in the nineteenth century'.44

While the circumstances in Australia make for a less seamless metaphorical merging of westward expansion and photographic experimentation, the Australian gold rush also led to a massive upsurge in photographic activity in the colonies, activity which photographic historian Gael Newton describes as the era's `new growth industry'. Australians had participated in photography from its beginnings. They knew about the invention within
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weeks of its announcement in Paris, proving, Newton writes, that `what was once the Terra Incognita of the Antipodes was, by 1839, part of a global network of Western culture'.45

A consideration of photographers working in the goldmining regions in the 1850s through the 1870s provides not only the most convincing historical record of the period; it also presents the most tangible evidence that ideological constructions of place began to determine the look of something so seemingly straightforward as early photographic views. In this context, photography in California as well as in Australia must be considered against `home',--that is, `the metropolitan culture from which they stem'--whether that home is the eastern United States or Anglo-Celtic Europe.46 California at this time--isolated by months of travel from the eastern American seaboard and newly acquired from Mexico as a political entity of the United States--was in many respects just as `colonial' as Australia in terms of its relation to its `metropolitan culture', a relatively distant location, as its source of cultural attitudes and identity. The political circumstances were, of course, quite different in Australia than they were in 1850s California, but in terms of cultural influences and attitudes about aesthetic traditions, one can speak of a colonial mentality determining the artistic and artisanal activities in both of these English-speaking societies on the Pacific Rim.

When examining Australian photography during this period, most critics place its practices firmly against an English, or more broadly, a European model. Paul Fox writes, for example, that `[c]olonial photography, while sharing a sense of progress conceived of in terms of European time and space, simultaneously figures displacement from Europe'.47 Although this statement recognises the source of Australia's most pervasive cultural values and aesthetic modes, it fails to incorporate the significant contribution in Australia, particularly in the field of photography, of Americans coming from California who were also negotiating an aesthetic identity in relation to their own distant home culture. Does the idea of displacement that Fox suggests pertain to the settler colony of California as well? And does this sense of displacement actually engender a shared aesthetic between photographers working in Australia and in California in the mid-nineteenth century, or do differing ideological and political agendas determine the stylistic choices of photographers and artists in these new societies?

While grandiose conceptions of Manifest Destiny played a considerable part in the development of western American photography in this period,48 in Australia the ideological attitudes about the land and about opportunity were played out against the framework of colonial dependency and government control to a far greater extent than occurred across the Pacific in California. Contemporary observers and later critics frequently commented upon this fact. Charles Dickens, for one, was intent on making this comparison; in his journal he wrote, `[t]he contrast is very great between the orderly behaviour at the goldfields in Australia, and the disorders of California'.49

These circumstances have some bearing on Australian artistic and photographic practice. But despite the differences in the larger conceptual sphere--that Australia's political situation was different than that in gold-rush California--interaction between the populations of both places was from the 1850s vital and continuous. On a popular level, ideas, attitudes and material goods--including images--were in constant movement and transformation between these two frontier cultures. These elements of vernacular culture are those that California and Australia share, and continue to share into the twenty-first century. In that popular

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realm, photography was already by the 1850s one of the most easily exchanged of these portable visual artifacts. Because of the alacrity with which Americans had embraced the new medium of photography, American photographers by the mid-nineteenth century had gained the reputation internationally of being at the forefront of new photographic developments. This enthusiasm for technologies of the camera and its images pre-dated the most aggressive American drive to the West, but as Sandweiss and others emphasise, the development of photographic processes indeed coincides with, and so is to some extent determined by, the movement of settlers into the American frontiers, first during the California gold rush and then after the Civil War, with the completion of the transcontinental railways and the numerous exploratory expeditions in the 1870s.50

At the time when so many people from all over the world began to pour into California and then a few years later into Australia, Americans were already identified as embracing completely the most modern technological skills. As the photo-historian Alan Trachtenberg notes of Americans' production of daguerreotypes:

For the nation's boasters and boosters, it was an occasion akin to the expansionist fervor of manifest destiny, that homemade daguerreotypes were recognized not only as the best made things of their kind anywhere, but also as signifiers of qualities distinctively American, as emblems or icons of the national identity. A rhetoric seemed already in place, or was very rapidly improvised, for claiming the daguerreotype as an example and a proof of what was unique and exceptional about the nation itself.51

Their technical know-how made Americans flaunt the most advanced photographic styles wherever they went--an attitude based as much on their flair for self-promotion and enthusiastic salesmanship as on their actual competence. This aggrandising disposition, along with the whole range of actual photographic equipment and supplies, accompanied the migrants from California to the antipodes. A combination of practicality and ideological enthusiasm worked surprisingly well on the Australian frontier. An examination of the compendium of early Australian photographic establishments reveals that a large number of early photographers in Australia included the term `American' in the title of their businesses, even when their only connection to the United States was their use of American equipment and American photographic materials.52 The assurance that a photographer was connected to the technologies of American style obviously was a strong selling point, if the numbers of `American Photographic' establishments in Australian cities and country towns is anything to go by.

The most effective example of this advertising by association can be seen in the photographs produced by the team of Beaufoy Merlin and Charles Bayliss at Hill End, New South Wales, in the 1870s. As the American & Australasian Photographic Company, Merlin and Bayliss set up shop in this mining town. One of their photographs from Hill End shows them standing in front of their shop, with the large black graphic letters `A & A'--for `American and Australasian'--emblazoned across the facade. Neither photographer had any known connection to the United States, nor as far as can be determined had even visited there. Nonetheless, even the logo on the back of their photos included the linking of American and Australian flags, along with a locomotive, that most potent symbol of technological modernity, in the middle, and two hands clasped together in friendship below.53 By this decade--more so than in previous
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decades--American photographic practice represented progress, ambition, quality, skill and most significantly, modernity. Merlin & Bayliss conveyed all of these attributes with their printed symbols on the back of their photographic cards. The work of these two men, some 20 years after the first linking of American and Australian photographic practice, and during that decade when in the American West view photography would reach its peak, certainly warranted their assertion of tenacious ambition and the most modern photographic vision.54

In the 1850s, however, before the unprecedented efforts of Merlin & Bayliss, photography in Australia, along with all other artistic practices and artisanal activities, was still one of the itinerant, mobile occupations that many opportunistic young men thought might make them their fortune where new settlers congregated. Labelled by the Australian photographer and historian Jack Cato `a vagrant process', this chemical method of reproducing images was particularly well-suited to the needs of a population on the move. The process offered a convenient way to document and record their new lives, their new possessions and their achievements for those `back home'.55 Some of these photographers had been initially trained as painters or illustrators, but given the paucity of patronage for high art endeavours in frontier communities, took up photography as a necessary or supplementary creative activity. What is most intriguing about these artist-­photographers is that no matter how great their artistic ambitions were or how skilled or amateurish they were as artists,

Merlin & Bayliss Studio

Fig. 1.04 Merlin & Bayliss, Studios of American & Australasian Photographic Company, Tambarorra Street, Hill End, showing members of staff and passers-by, c. 1870­75. Photograph. Holtermann Collection, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney.

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they saw photography as the legitimate and appropriate choice of alternative occupation. From the beginning of its invention, then, despite all the debates about its place in the pantheon of the arts, photography was somehow connected with artistic practice in the minds of even the most entrepreneurial practitioners of the photographic trade. For the many wandering artists on the roads to goldfields in the mid-nineteenth century, whether self-taught or formally trained, photographic process was seen to involve similar acts of composition and to require some of the same aspects of pictorial imagination associated with painterly image-making. As John Wood notes, `photography simply appeared at a moment when both the Western pictorial vision and the camera's eye coincided, a time at which painters and photographers were producing similar kinds of compositions'.56 Such attitudes about artistic production were no doubt necessary and indeed liberating for those artists on the frontiers of Western society far removed from the strictures of European academic hierarchies.

The transition from painting to photography was, of course, first and most conspicuously achieved in the field of portraiture. As Trachtenberg points out, early photographic portraiture `played an inestimable role in creating the fetish of the portrayed or imaged face that has so large a role in the public life of modern cultures'.57 In frontier California and in Australia, those artists trying to find patronage as portrait painters were the first to add photography to their repertoire, since the daguerreotype's superiority at producing `a good likeness' was immediately recognised by artist and sitter alike. The first known photographs produced in California and in Australia were portraits,58 and comprised the vast majority of images of the daguerreotype era.59 While the coming of the wet plate in the mid-1850s, with the possibility of multiple copies and greater mobility, allowed an easier expansion of photography's subjects, portraiture continued for many years to be the mainstay of most photographers' business.

Describing William Freeman, one of Sydney's most influential early photographers, Jack Cato gives further explanation for the rapid transition by some artists to portrait photography:

It is said that William Freeman was an artist, and that he took up photography because the coming of the Daguerreotype destroyed the early phase of Colonial art, and with it the livelihood of the painters. The facts are that in Sydney's small-town population of the 1840's, the few painters who lived there were either starving, or on the bread line, or supporting themselves by some other occupation.60

Reverse of Merlin's cartes de visite

Fig. 1.05 Merlin & Bayliss, reverse of Merlin's cartes, with trademark of American & Australasian Photographic Company's Sydney office in George Street. Private collection.

          & B cdv-Homestead&logo

  Merlin & Bayliss, c-d-v of homestead with verso trademark, ca. 1870.
  Private collection.

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The situation for artists in early American California was just as precarious. While the gold rush may have increased the populations of California and the Australian colonies, art patronage did not expand substantially in either place, and more people could afford a photographic portrait than a painted one. Well into the twentieth century, anyone trying to make a living as an artist in these cultures on the periphery of Western civilisation routinely took up other occupations in order to survive.

In photography, artists found an occupation that gave them at least some chance of applying their skills in composition and picturesque arrangement. Not incidentally, the practice also allowed them, once they decided to settle in a town or city, to establish studios with all the accoutrements of the artistic salon. In some cases even the itinerant wagons used by the early practitioners of daguerreotypy were self-consciously rigged out as `sumptuously outfitted galleries rivaling the lesser establishments of the cities'.61

Portraiture may have been the first genre in which photography gained artistic prominence, but the visual representation of landscape also preoccupied frontier artists who turned to photography in the decades of the gold rushes. In views photography, enterprising operators almost immediately attempted to cash in on the public's desire to see images of new and, they hoped, exotic or spectacular places. In this field, the connection, at least initially, to popular artistic practices and longstanding traditions of pictorial composition was even more obvious than in portraits. Here one finds that the ideologies of place, of concepts of land and man's relationship to geographical location, play the largest role in what frontier artists create and what frontier and colonial audiences begin to incorporate into their own aesthetic attitudes.

While in the 1850s touring wagons roamed the California terrain taking pictures of new settlements and men at work that often included landscape elements, no `pure' landscape photographs--that is, a picturesque view composed of nothing but scenery--were made until the 1860s.62 The earliest ambitious views photographs in San Francisco and in Australia were of the towns. In California, George Robinson Fardon (1807-1886) introduced the glass plate negative to the city in 1852.63 Unlike most of the commercially minded operators in that boomtown who concentrated on portraiture, he quickly established himself as a specialist in cityscapes. Fardon's San Francisco album of 1856 contains 30 to 33 plates depicting overviews of sections of the new city, as well as images of the most stolid, `civilized' buildings that had been erected, as if he wanted to `promote San Francisco's image as a stable, prosperous, and permanent city'.64 The album is considered to be the first photographically illustrated book of an American city. Fardon, like so many other restless practitioners of the photographic trade in the West, eventually left the city he had memorialised and settled in British Columbia, capturing views of newly developing places there as he had in California.65

In Australia in December 1848 a visiting Englishman, J. W. Newland (fl. 1848­-1854), took the earliest surviving view photograph on the continent, a daguerreotype of Murray Street in Hobart, Tasmania. The itinerant Newland set up shop in Sydney before heading off to Calcutta and eventually back to London.66 His Hobart view is particularly striking, not only for its astounding clarity, but because it was taken from some height, out of a window of his second-floor studio, and gives a clear view of the waterfront in the distance.

Newland exemplifies the showmanship so often associated with these early travelling photographers. Along with his exhibition of daguerreotypes and his sale of views and
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portraits, while in Australia he also advertised an elaborate presentation that he described as a `BEAUTIFUL SCIENTIFIC EXHIBITION OF DISSOLVING VIEWS'. He mounted this spectacle at the Sydney Royal Victoria Theatre and in London at the Adelaide Gallery. It consisted of a magic lantern show, illuminated illustrations of animals and insects, and a rolling diorama some 10,000 feet (3048 metres) long of scenery, all accompanied by minstrel songs.67 Newland's varied efforts at popular entertainment while working as a photographer were not an unusual practice. Artists as well as photographers often made painted moving panoramas, all the rage for entertainment in the days before motion pictures. Hundreds of these home-made and imported panoramas, sometimes thousands of metres long and moved by rolling mechanisms, toured the countryside, both in California and in the Australian colonies.68

While artists and showmen of every sort in the gold regions were producing and exhibiting panoramas and other types of painted entertainments, photographers were also applying photographic technique to similar feats of scenic display. In some cases they exhibited the photographs themselves as panoramas, or used photographs as sources for painted scenes. While most of these efforts were considered ephemeral in their own time and have subsequently disappeared, tantalising hints of ambitious photographic undertakings have surfaced in the research of many dedicated historians. The late photo-historian of the American West, Peter Palmquist, wrote of the `Daguerreian Holy Grail', the lost 300-plate daguerreotype panorama of San Francisco and the California gold regions produced in 1850 to 1851 by the `Matthew Brady of the West', Robert H. Vance (1825­-1876).68 Vance's ambitious panorama was known to have been exhibited in New York and received rave reviews in photographic journals, although the public was apparently less than enthusiastic.

Stockton St

Fig. 1.06 George Robinson Fardon, San Francisco Album, 1856, p. 5. View down Stockton Street to Bay. Albumen print. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

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James Mason Hutchings, who has already been mentioned in connection with letter-sheets of the Mammoth Trees and who would occupy such an important place in promoting California through his publication Hutchings' Illustrated California Magazine, had initially embarked on an ambitious moving panorama project using his own daguerreotypes and travel notes. He finally abandoned the project in 1856 when he lost his financial backing.70 Martha Sandweiss also discusses at length panoramas that used photographs as artistic sources, most particularly John Wesley Jones's Great pantoscope of California of 1852. Jones produced this gigantic work by consulting his own collection of some 1500 daguerreotypes made in the field on expedition.71

While these photographs have disappeared, some panoramic views have survived from the daguerreotype period and even more appeared after the wet plate had been introduced in the 1850s. The wet-plate or collodion process allowed multiple prints to be made from the glass negative and printed on paper, a fact that photographers recognised was ideal for the large-scale production and sale of views.72 These early processes offer some of the first attempts on the part of photographer-showmen to produce majestic, expansive photographic images of the landscape that could be viewed and appreciated on public display rather than as intimate private images that most photographs had been in the daguerreotype era.

In Australia, panorama painting and panoramic photography also went hand in hand, and arrived just as quickly in the colonies as they did in frontier California. Panorama paintings of Sydney and Hobart had been an important part of `topographical landscape' images coming out of Australia since the invention of the panorama in the 1820s.73 By the time of the gold rushes, moving panoramas, many of them arriving from America, were regularly traversing the colonies. After J. W. Newland's 1848 display, scores of ephemeral entertainments held the attention of audiences in the goldfield towns and in the cities. As late as 1872, the American R. G. Bachelor (sometimes written Batchelder, and believed to be a relative of the photographers Batchelder)74 was exhibiting in Sydney his Colossean pantoscope, which included `beautiful views of New York, along the Central Pacific Line to San Francisco, to Sandwich Islands and New Zealand, then to Sydney Cove'.75 Cycloramas, a more elaborate form of panorama often requiring separate buildings for exhibition, remained popular in the antipodes until the arrival of motion pictures at the beginning of the twentieth century.76 But the earliest panoramas were designed for wandering. The panorama artists made an asset of their itinerancy, presenting these images of distant places as eyewitness accounts of their own journeys, or at least implying that they had visited all the places they depicted in their exhibited views.

Photographers in the antipodes were also quick to jump on the panoramic bandwagon. While no daguerreotype panoramas of Australian origin have survived, consecutive views produced with standard wet-plate cameras were quick to appear.77 As early as 1854 to 1857, Walter Woodbury created an eight-plate view of Melbourne, one of the first panoramas to be created in Australia;78 in 1856, Sharp & Frith made a five-section view, printed on paper, of Hobart in Tasmania;79 and Alexander Fox applied the idea of panoramic continuity to views of Bendigo's main street in 1858.80

These early panoramic efforts appear to be serially composed plates taken from ground level. While expansive in scope and continuity, they lack the grandiosity that a sweeping vista could provide. The most affecting use of panoramic method, both in painting and photography, took advantage of elevated sites. It is no surprise that the most common subject
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for the early Californian panoramas was San Francisco Bay, as captured by photographers setting up their camera apparatus on one of the city's many hills, the better to provide an uninterrupted and all-encompassing view down to the water's edge below and across the bay to the other shore. While the small size of daguerreotypes limited the impact of public display of such panoramic attempts, the immediacy of the detail in each plate, and the stimulating sensation of contiguous views, were thrilling discoveries nonetheless. The arrival of the wet-plate process simply made the panorama photographer's job easier and allowed for larger images.

So it was in Australia: the most impressive early panorama taken from an elevated vantage point depicted overlapping sequential views of Sydney Harbour. In 1858, O. W. Blackwood (1824­-1897) created a `panorama of eleven imperial plate images' of the harbour taken from the roof of Government House; he then announced he would `have the pleasure of offering the above to the public'.81 The plates, processed as albumen prints and put into albums, were described in the Sydney news papers as `super-excellent' and as `eminently superior to anything of the kind we have yet seen'.82 Most significantly, Blackwood was hailed as an `artist' as fully deserving of the title as any panoramic painter--perhaps lauded even more highly because of his obvious technical mastery in creating a seamless circular representation of a natural setting on several sectioned plates.83

Blackwood's splendid production proves that Australian photographers by the 1850s were as skilled and ambitious in their efforts to produce artistic views as any European or American photographers were. The materials, the equipment and the technological know-how were as advanced in Sydney and Melbourne as in San Francisco or London at the time, although some materials, such as chemicals and photographic papers, were sometimes in short supply. Panoramic photographs of Sydney Harbour would become in the next decades an obsessive focus for several important photographers.

This linking of painterly skill and photographic craft among the itinerant opportunists on the goldfields of both continents is a leitmotif for this period. In one of the most colourful accounts written by an American in Australia, appropriately titled Knocking about, the Massachusetts man Augustus Baker Peirce (1840­-1919) gives delightful, albeit exaggerated, description of his picaresque adventures throughout Victoria after he jumped ship in Melbourne in 1859.84 He worked at various times in his 30 years in the colony as a sign painter, a butcher, a snake-oil salesman, a theatrical set designer, a sailor, an actor, a singer, a river boat captain, a photographer and, indeed, a panorama painter. As Anita Callaway writes of him, Peirce is a prime example of a New World artist `removed from the claustrophobia of the Old World academies ... free to respond to the demands of a new popular market'.85


Fig. 1.07 Alexander Fox, Panorama of View Point, Bendigo, 2 views. October 1858. Courtesy of Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, Victoria.

Peirce seemed to be particularly proud of his panoramas, which he always described in terms of length and number of scenes rather than artistic quality. If the illustrations
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reproduced in his book are any indication, his artistic abilities were far inferior to his talents at self-promotion, a fact he himself light-heartedly acknowledged. Describing his first venture into scene painting, he freely admitted his ignorance of the requested scenes, but demonstrated the true opportunist's willingness to put his hand and his imagination to any task:

In Melbourne, I met a Canadian named William Chisholm, who engaged me to paint a picture of the great American falls for his Niagara Hotel. I had not seen the falls, never having been out of Massachusetts before my sailing on the Oriental, and I did not remember ever having seen a picture of them; but as Chisholm's patrons were in the same boat, the view which I managed to produce was very satisfactory, and old Chisholm, when questioned, would lean across the bar and murmur, `Perfect picture, fellows; almost makes me homesick to look at it!'86

Peirce and his cheeky reminiscences will figure further in this story of photography and aesthetic exchange, for his peripatetic adventures epitomise the kind of activities and occupations--and the kind of characters--that appeared so frequently in this period of colonial life.87

While public display and exhibition for entertainment were the primary factors determining the production of both painted and photographic panoramas, other frontier artists turned their hand to photography just to survive. In California, the French artist Henri Penelon (c. 1827­-1879) exemplifies one of many artists turned photographer, who eked out an existence in new settlements bereft of much artistic life or cultural patronage. Penelon is particularly intriguing, for unlike many other foreigners drawn to San Francisco and northern California because of the gold rush, he settled after a very short time in San Francisco in Southern California, in what was then the village of Los Angeles. In 1853, when Penelon arrived, the Spanish­Mexican town, newly acquired by the American government, had a population of about 4000 (the county about 10,000), with very little in the way of art patrons.88 Why Penelon decided to bring his talents here rather than join in the increasingly cultivated society up north is unclear, but he is consequently considered Los Angeles's first resident artist.89 He set up a studio near the town plaza, where he gained some employ ment as a portrait painter among the old Californio families. He also painted a fresco on the facade of the mission church on the plaza (the painting survived into the 1950s, when it was painted over). Penelon was French and Catholic, leading some writers to infer that he was more easily accepted by the Mexican Catholic Californian families that comprised Los Angeles society of the time.

One of Penelon's best paintings is an equestrian portrait of Don Jose Sepulveda, owner of the enormous Rancho San Joaquin, which covered nearly all of what is today Orange County. Legend has it that in the painting Sepulveda sits astride his Australian mare, Black Swan, considered the first thoroughbred horse in California and the winner in 1852 of the most famous horse race in early Californian history.90 The painting shows Penelon to have had some knowledge of standard European artistic modes such as equestrian portraiture, but his execution was primitive enough that one doubts he had much, if any, professional training as an artist. As John Dewar remarks in the only essay on Penelon, `[a]ll of the Penelon paintings are painted thinly, also the mark of the self-taught artist'.91 He continued nonetheless as an artist until the mid-60s, when, in April 1864, he began to advertise in the newspaper as `H. Penelon, Daguerrean Gallery', including as one of his offerings, `Pictures in Oil Paint executed in the Best Style'.92  From this time, he seemed to carry out painting when he could find the clients, but increasingly depended on making photographs.
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After 1870 Penelon worked almost entirely as a photographer, but still called himself in his advertisements and on his photographic cards `artist'.93 His photographs, what few can now be identified, reveal the same kind of compositional modes as his portrait paintings do (although without the horse). Falling on hard times due to increased competition in the booming Los Angeles of the 1870s, Penelon, in partnership with another photographer, Dudley P. Flanders, set out with photographic equipment for the Arizona Territory. He was apparently forced by financial need back to the itinerant photographic trade. He died suddenly in Prescott and was buried there, leaving behind a wife and two daughters in Los Angeles.

Penelon had limited his peregrinations to adjoining territories after settling in Southern California even when forced by lack of patronage in the culturally deprived region to hit the road again. More adventurous artist­ photographers, whether by necessity or through restlessness, peripatetically followed the gold-induced migrations around the globe to find custom. One such figure was Thomas Flintoff (1809­-1891), an artist from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, who had studied art in England (and perhaps in Germany) before setting off in 1851 for the new state of Texas.94 In Galveston and Austin, Flintoff painted portraits of all the `many ladies and gentlemen' of Texan society, including Texas founders Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston, and was praised for his `delineation of features and life-like tone and expression'.95 His portrait style was more polished than Penelon's and demonstrated an acceptable, if modest, mode of middle-class painting. He also produced several watercolour sketches of buildings and scenes of Texas towns that are some of the earliest views of these new settlements.

Flintoff had an apparently successful studio in Galveston when in the spring of 1852 he left there as mysteriously as he had arrived. Since records indicate that he boarded a ship in San Francisco with his son, he must have travelled to California, but there is no evidence of any art produced by Flintoff there. He arrived in Melbourne in June 1853 on board the S. S. New Orleans, having visited Mexico and the Society Islands along the way (in 1874, he painted a scene from this journey, A past experience: Crossing the line by moonlight on board the S. S. New Orleans March 24th 1853, a photograph of which is now in the State Library of Victoria). Probably drawn by news of a gold-rich society, Flintoff headed directly for Ballarat, where by 1856 he had established the Tyne-side Photographic Gallery on Sturt Street. Here for many decades he produced


Fig. 1.08 Henri Penelon, Portrait of Penelon at easel in his studio, c. 1870. Photograph. Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California.

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paintings, both portraits and views, including a delightful example of pride in ownership, Henry F. Stone and his Durham ox (1887), now in the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. This portrait of a man and his prize-winning beast exudes Englishness as Flintoff's Texas portraits do not, even when the background landscape is stylised and generic. His style of painting here is reminiscent of those images of farmers with their champion bulls that appear in provincial galleries or as signs at high-class butcher shops in nineteenth-century London--traditionally painterly and old-fashioned. He did not, as other newly arrived painters in Australia did, attempt to delineate the eucalyptus or other Australian vegetation to identify the place as antipodean. Flintoff became a popular member of Ballarat society and even applied his artistic skills to the painting of banners for fraternal organisations such as the Ancient Order of Foresters, filled with Scottish emblems and ornamental flourishes.96

The most telling fact about artists' difficulties in colonial Australia is that Flintoff had from the beginning of his stay announced himself as a photographer, despite no indication of having had any previous photographic training; there are no known examples of photographs made by Flintoff in Texas or California. By the 1860s, he advertised himself as `Thomas Flintoff, ARTIST', itemising his willingness to produce cartes de visite, as well as `Portraits in Oil, Crayon, and Water Color executed on the premises'; he also advertised `Oil Paintings Cleaned and Renovated'.97 His advertisements in the local newspapers also declared his invention of `Flintoff's Infallotype', which he maintained were `superior for Permanency, Magnificence & Beauty to any Photograph produced in the colony'.98

The logo on the back of his photographs in the 1860s included text written in a painter's palette, `Flintoff, Photographer and Portrait Painter', but with no evidence of a camera or any mechanical apparatus. Flintoff took great pains in his photographs to show his `artistic' hand. His cartes portraits are often constructions in which the photograph is cut out and placed against a painted backdrop, posing the figure as if in an outdoor setting. He created what now look like sweetly manipulated photo-montages. While he may have acquiesced to the demands of the market for instantaneous and inexpensive portraits, he still felt compelled to give evidence of his skills as an artist of high, if whimsical, degree.


Fig. 1.09 Thomas Flintoff, Baby Bernard, c. 1870s. Cartes de visite. Photograph. Courtesy of Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney.

Others on the frontiers were first and foremost photographers, both entrepreneurial and itinerant, continuing in their profession for decades and mastering along the way all of the technological changes of the trade in the nineteenth century. Exemplary of these early
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adventurer-photographers who experienced both gold rushes were the Batchelder brothers, originally from Beverley, Massachusetts. They first travelled to the California goldfields in the early 1850s and then made their way to the Australian colony of Victoria once word of the gold rush there had reached American shores. Significantly, none of the four Batchelder brothers seems ever to have taken up mining in either place. The Batchelders exemplify the primarily commercial ambitions of most frontier photographers: `They developed a highly mobile, flexible, and practical style of operating that took full advantage of the rapidly expanding commercial possibilities of the era.'99 With their peregrinations around the globe, establishing photographic businesses from Massachusetts to California to Australia and back again, the Batchelders epitomise the adventurous itinerancy that in these new societies was so essential to the spread of modern photographic technology, artistic practice and popular aesthetic exchange.

The oldest brother Perez Mann Batchelder (1818­-1873) arrived in the California goldfield communities after practicing the daguerreotyping trade in Boston.100 His brother Benjamin Pierce Batchelder (1826­-1891) apparently learned the business with him there, and joined him when Perez followed the pioneers to the California gold country. As early as 1851, they operated a daguerrean cart located on Washington Street in Sonora, California, staying there as long as business continued.101 Sonora at the time was one of the most bustling of the mountain gold towns (so named because many of the earliest arrivals to this region came from the Mexican state of Sonora), and the Batchelders would have taken advantage of every opportunity to cash in on the desire of the early miners to give photographic evidence, to bear visual witness, of their circumstances for loved ones back home.102

          Batchelder as young man

Benjamin Batchelder as young man,  ca. 1852. Courtesy of Peabody-Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

This photo was taken in Massachusetts before the Batchelders had left for the California goldfields.

The Batchelders were not consciously striving for artistic stature, nor did they ever refer to themselves as artists. They had taken up photography as a commercial venture. Aesthetic devices in Batchelder photographs are simply there as part of the nineteenth-century photographic bag of tricks. But the images produced out of their wagons in the California hills demonstrate selectivity in the kinds of views that the operators, whether the Batchelders themselves or their trainees, decided to take. That these photographs often captured something of the surrounding landscape was perhaps at this point merely serendipitous and not a conscious inclusion. But soon views of the settlements, and the relationship of these settlers to the land that they were settling, would become a significant and carefully considered part of the photographers' repertoire.

In early 1852, the Batchelders sold their cart in Sonora to William Herman Rulofson (the same Rulofson who would later gain fame as a leading photographer in San Francisco103) and John B. Cameron. The brothers moved on to San Joaquin County, where they established another roving gallery operating out of the river port city of Stockton. In a letter from 1853, Perez indicates that he and Benjamin were still working out of wagons; it was probably at this time that Benjamin again ventured into the mountain communities around Jamestown near Sonora with another portable cart.104 In a letter to his brother John from Sonora dated 22 March 1853, Perez exuded enthusiastic enterprise: `We have two saloons in operation and shall have two more on the 1st of April. Since the 9th of January I have taken in this Saloon $2200. My expenses being no more than they were in the States. Ben has done nearly as much, so you see we are just beginning to do something.'105

In keeping with their enterprising aims to set up what can only be considered daguerrean franchises, the Batchelders were constantly taking on and training new
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operators. In March of 1853, a particularly fun-loving and seafaring man named Isaac Wallace Baker, also from Beverly, signed on with the Batchelders to learn the art of daguerreotypy (or, as he referred to it in one of his own letters, `dogtyping'106). Baker had rounded the Horn to sail to San Francisco in August 1849; he returned to Boston in 1850, only to return to California, again by ship, in 1852, at which time he apparently headed for the gold country. The exact whereabouts of Baker's training with the Batchelders is unclear. Palmquist states that Baker worked with P. M. Batchelder in Sonora, and quotes Batchelder's letter to Baker, in which he brags that he would `learn you the Daguerreotype business during the first two months'.107 In any case, one of the most well-known images from the California goldfields substantiates that he was indeed involved in the production of daguerreotypes out of a Batchelder travelling cart by the summer of 1853 [fig. 1.10]. Whether operated by Benjamin or by Baker alone, a `Batchelder's Daguerreian Saloon' was at this time parked on the road between Vallecito and Murphys Camp, some 32 kilometres from Jamestown and eight kilometres from Sonora. It is most likely Baker who stands in front of this `Saloon' in one of the most emblematic images produced in the California gold country.108

Baker, Playing

Isaac Wallace Baker, Playing Poker, ca. 1852.
Ambrotype. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, gift of an anonymous donor.

An image that captures Baker's fun-loving adventurous nature.

This quarter-plate daguerreotype, a very small and insubstantial artifact, nonetheless captures the intrepid spirit of the California `Argonauts', as the pioneer Californians were called. Baker stands arms akimbo at the entrance to the wagon, from which curtains billow out the window. He wears a jaunty scarf around his neck and looks directly at the camera, which is perhaps operated by Benjamin Batchelder, situated with the camera far enough away to include the entire wagon (with advertising sign), some seated bystanders and an entire line of evergreen trees ranged along the hillside behind. A sense of expansiveness, of being open for whatever opportunity comes along, emanates from the frame. Even the two onlookers seated in front of a sturdier structure to the left of the wagon contribute to the adventurous mood of the image. Endless possibilities--the sense that the world was their oyster and they were going to enjoy the opportunities that came their way--are symbolised by this frequently reproduced image.

Baker, signing himself as `operator' of Batchelder's Daguerreotype Saloon, confirmed this mood of transient excitement in a broadside advertisement, printed by the Sonora Herald from Murphys Camp, July 1853. This `Proclamation!' as Baker called it, ends with a cheery exhortation to visit before he has moved on:

SALOON ON WHEELS,--boys, recollect,--It may be off ere you expect. Pictures good, and prices low, Now's your chance, before I go; Recollect the name, and call in soon,--BATCHELDERS' DAGUERREOTYPE SALOON.109

Baker did not stay long at the daguerreotype wagon. Soon after this advertisement, he returned east, where he often gave lectures of his travels, illustrated with his own paintings and photographs. Eventually he took up the seafaring life again, perhaps prompted by word of gold discoveries in Australia. Family legend has it that Baker had a collection of boomerangs, which he acquired while in the South Seas on a voyage as a sailor. According to a newspaper article from a Massachusetts paper in the Baker biographical file at the Bancroft Library, `in September, 1862, while on a voyage to the East Indies, he was taken with a fever when on the coast of Sumatra, from which he died'.110
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The sense of immediacy is what makes the Batchelder carts and the images produced out of them so significant. While the daguerreotype operators were producing formal portraits inside the saloon for anyone who came along in need of a `good likeness', they were also able to capture the scenery around them, on the spot and at their leisure. The Batchelders' clever ability to cash in on the transience of these gold communities by remaining mobile speaks to the opportunistic nature of their ventures, and those of many other photographers in the mountainous terrain. In a letter to his brother, Perez speaks of being able to `take a circuit of five or six miles out round among the mines during this beautiful weather'.111 The system of mobile carts was ideally suited to the times and to the geography of the California mountains.

Letters to Baker make it clear that Perez also maintained a wagon on the main plaza in Stockton, and both Batchelders were busy in several locations training as many assistants in the daguerrean art as they could.112 Since attribution to either Batchelder is in most cases impossible to claim for the California photographs, one cannot establish whether the brothers had begun to specialise in any style or genre of photography at this point. Their Australian efforts make clear that Perez made his name almost exclusively through portraiture, while Benjamin was throughout his career more interested in depicting views and events.

Ever on the move, Perez Batchelder had by 1854 emigrated to Australia, where he established in May of that year a gallery in Melbourne. He even managed to include three photographs in the 1854 Melbourne international exhibition.113 Benjamin continued to operate at least one travelling wagon in and around Sonora until at least 1855, although whether a Batchelder operated the camera there or not is open to question. In any case, in this year a Batchelder's Daguerreian Saloon


Fig. 1.10 Isaac Wallace Baker, Baker standing in front of Batchelder's Daguerreian Saloon, 1852. Daguerreotype. oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California.
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is known to have been in Volcano, another gold-town settlement some 24 kilometres from Jackson in Amador County, and 90 kilometres north-west of Sonora. The colourful Nevada character and inveterate diarist Alfred Doten mentions in his journal that he had his `Daguerreotype' made in Batchelder's wagon in Volcano, on 29 May and again on 10 June 1855.114 Its presence so far away from Vallecito and Sonora gives good indication of the mobility of these wagons and the freedom that they allowed to take full advantage of the fluctuations of the market as the miners moved from place to place.

Jamestown-Sonora Road
The Jamestown-Sonora Road today, very near where Batchelder's Saloon Wagon would have been located in  1854-55. It is now on what is called the Mark Twain-Bret Harte Trail.

The photo-historian Peter Palmquist maintained that he knew of no photographs that could be substantiated as taken by Benjamin Batchelder in California before he went to Australia.115 A search of the collection of ste reographs at the Haggin Museum, Stockton, California, has uncovered one image with Batchelder's imprint that is identified, in handwriting on the edge of the stereo, as `Sonora 1856'. The view depicts from an elevated position the main street of the newly constructed town, all freshly timbered roofs with stacks of lumber to the side of the buildings. The only sign that can be seen is a large horizontal banner announcing `TIN SHOP'; a few tall trees appear along the road and behind the shops. This one image, significantly enough, is not a portrait, but a view that incorporates the fledgling settlement and the surrounding mountains as well.

If Benjamin Batchelder did indeed produce this view himself, then it would substantiate Mike Butcher's dating of Benjamin's arrival in Melbourne as 15 July 1858 rather than Palmquist's belief that he was the Batchelder who arrived in Melbourne in February 1856.116 This dating would also make sense of the fact that Benjamin was listed as operating as a daguerreotypist in Danvers, Massachusetts, in 1856 and in Boston in 1857 to 1858. The family was still interested in keeping their photographic enterprises alive back east and Benjamin probably continued there to train others who would work as photographic operators under the Batchelder name. Perez also must have returned at least briefly to Massachusetts at this time, for he is listed as marrying his second wife in Beverley on 16 June 1858.117 Perhaps Benjamin had also returned to Massachusetts to round up his other brother Nathaniel (1824­-1860), who was then working in the family trade in


Fig. 1.11 Benjamin Batchelder, Sonora, 1856. Stereograph. Courtesy of Haggin Museum, Stockton, California.

Sonora, 2004.

Sonora, California, 2004.
Author's photo.

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Danvers, to accompany him to Australia. He also got married there and his wife travelled with him to Melbourne.118 A fourth brother, Freeman Ezra (1834­-1862), was already working with Perez in Australia by 1857.

By the mid-1850s, Melbourne had experienced the same kind of transformations that the discovery of gold had brought about in San Francisco. Within 20 years of its founding in 1835, the Victorian city had grown so enormously wealthy and supported so much cultural aspiration that the town fathers had already established a university, a botanical gardens and a library.119 At the time when the Victorian gold regions were still largely the realm of itinerant tradesmen and more unsettled populations, the colonial capital was, like San Francisco, taking on all of the cultivated trappings of Western civilisation. These trappings included elegant photographic salons.

Perhaps aware that his greatest financial opportunities were to be realised in Melbourne, Perez never ventured into the goldmining towns nor established travelling wagons, but set up shop immediately on Melbourne's most fashionable street, at 57 Collins Street East. As had been his practice in California, Batchelder began training others to make photographs and also had an active trade in the sale of photographic supplies--one of the most lucrative and important commodities in the colonial markets. Batchelder even advertised his sale of `Photographic Materials of every description ... sent to any part of the colonies' in the Hobart newspapers.120

One of Perez's most accomplished assistants in Melbourne was the young Englishman Walter Woodbury (1834-­1885), the same photographer who made the first panorama of Melbourne. Woodbury's letters home to England provide a rousing account of 1850s Melbourne and Victoria and, most specifically, detailed descriptions of both Batchelders' operations. In 1855, Woodbury wrote to his mother that he was earning four pounds a week at Batchelder's, and described his Collins Street studio as `the head daguerotype [sic] establishment in Melbourne'.121 Woodbury also wrote that Batchelder had sought him out because he had noted that he, Woodbury, was the `best wet-plate operator in Melbourne'.122 By the year that Benjamin and Nathaniel had arrived in Australia, Perez had established, with another Massachusetts man Daniel O'Neill, a studio that would become a longstanding Melbourne firm, Batchelder & O'Neill. Perez mentions O'Neill in a delightful letter sent to his brother, in which he recounts a `Glorious Fourth' celebration staged at Melbourne's Imperial Hotel in 1855, at which some 120 Americans, `representing in their respective persons every State in Yankeedom', were in attendance.123 Overcome, as he writes, by the `rosy god', Perez persuades Mr O'Neill to leave the extravagant proceedings; `we were soon makeing [sic] a streight [sic] line for home which we reached without difficulty'.124 `I don't wish you to infer that I was tight (far from it)', he insists, `I merely got a little more elated with the idea of being a free born artisan of the United States than I remember ever to have been on any previous annaversary [sic].'125

Woodbury letter

 Letter from Woodbury in Australia to his mother in England,   August 23, 1856, with a photo of his studio in Melbourne.
 Courtesy of the National Museum of Photography, Film and        Television, Bradford, England.

Perez himself presided over the firm Batchelder & O'Neill for only a few months, before leaving Australia and turning this Melbourne operation over to his brother Freeman; the elder Batchelder was back in the United States by 1868. He died in San Francisco in 1873, having resided in Oakland, California, for some years, where tax records indicated his occupation as `farmer'. He left an estate worth some $53,000, most of which was in property that was given upon his death to his surviving wife (his father, Col. Henry Batchelder, was still alive at the time of Perez's death, and inherited one-fourth of the estate).126
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The certificate from California Probate Court concerning Perez's estate also delineates that at this time, Benjamin Batchelder still owed him money on two promissory notes, even though Benjamin already had an established business in Stockton. 127 The probate certificate also indicates that Oakland photographer William B. Ingersoll (1834-c. 1908) owed Batchelder a small sum and, most interestingly, that as late as 1870, Batchelder had sold Ingersoll `instruments and materials in a photographic Gallery in Oakland'.128 This could mean that Perez continued to make photographs once he left Australia, although no images exist that can be identified as his, and Ingersoll's imprint appears on the stereograph of Batchelder's Oakland residence. The obituaries in the California papers described Perez Mann Batchelder as a California `Pioneer', evidence that he was acknowledged for his arrival in California during the gold-rush years. By the 1870s, such status was already being romanticised and nurtured as part of the California frontier legend.129

Benjamin and Nathaniel meanwhile remained in Australia and had established a Sydney studio on George Street (the location, according to Jack Cato, of 10 of the 16 photographic studios listed in the Sydney city directory for 1858130). Here they probably knew and competed with another American-trained, although English-born, photographer, Thomas Skelton Glaister (1825-­1904), whose studio was on nearby Pitt Street at this time.131 Glaister epitomised the aristocratic studio photographer, with elegant accommodations and prices based on exceptional aesthetic quality. Unlike the more commercially oriented Batchelders, he strove to appeal to a high-class clientele seeking formal portraits, and he charged accordingly. Glaister's works remain the best examples of early Australian portrait photography. He, too, touted his American training, calling his studio the American and Australian Portrait Gallery. His American know-how is most evident in the polished surfaces of his daguerreotypes, a finish unlike most other photographs produced in Australia at this early date. More than any other early photographs in the colony, Glaister's surviving works provide evidence that Australians had access to the highest standards of photographic art and that they were willing to pay for quality.

          family portrait

Thomas Skelton Glaister, Family portrait. Ambrotype, ca. 1858.

The Batchelders's work was certainly less glamorous and more utilitarian than Glaister's elegant images, at least in terms of portraiture. Later, in Bendigo, Benjamin would be conscious of compositional elements in his selection of pleasing scenes to photograph, but the idea of artistic `polish' does not seem to have entered his or his brothers's photographic vocabulary. The Batchelder brothers remained in the George Street studio, apparently never venturing out to any country outposts, until 1860, when upon Nathaniel's untimely death of a heart attack, Benjamin returned to Victoria and set up shop in the goldfield town of Bendigo.132

Once in Bendigo, Benjamin again began employing and training others to make photographic views--including, fortunately for the purposes of this study, the memoir-writing Augustus Baker Peirce, the same one who made the bar-room paintings of Niagara Falls. Perhaps following his brother Perez, Benjamin returned to California in 1868, where he set up again as a photographer, with his wife Nancy, in Stockton. He advertised himself on his stereographs and in the San Joaquin County directory as `Portrait and Landscape Photographer' and as making `Photographs in Every Style'. He entered into the life of the city and resumed his penchant for recording civic events. He continued to make photographs until his death in 1891. His wife Nancy continued the business in Stockton--with her own logo on the photographs as `woman artist'--until 1914.133
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The relatively clear albeit peripatetic trail left by the Batchelder brothers and especially by Benjamin make their work the ideal specimens to analyse changes in photographic style or aesthetic direction caused by their movement from America to Australia and back again. Since Benjamin continued all the while to produce photographs that record the events of this exciting time in Victoria, his work, or that produced under his name, gives one of the clearest indications of how photographic compositions changed in keeping with the demands of customers on different continents. While the documentary aspect of these views, both in California and in Australia, are of primary importance and are a response to the photographer's desire to record what is there, there can be no denying that underlying ideological stances--the story that the patrons want to tell--determine to some extent the photographer's choices of what to document.

As has already been mentioned, it is difficult to determine which California images were produced by Perez or Benjamin Batchelder as they roamed the mountains in their daguerreotype wagons. Some of the many unidentified photographic images that have survived from this period were by their hand or out of their wagons; and one can assume that the stylistic devices and iconographic motifs that begin to appear in these early productions both influenced and were influenced by the Batchelders's efforts. Because of these intrepid itinerants, a surprisingly large number of photographs were known to be made in the California hills during the height of the gold rush in the early 1850s. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, have been preserved to the present day, no doubt still extant because the vast majority of these treasured objects were intended for private use and consumption, sent home to the eastern United States or to Europe as evidence of personal circumstances rather than for public display.


Fig. 1.12 Benjamin Batchelder, Batchelder & wife (Nancy) in Stockton studio at 183 El Dorado Street, c. 1885. Stereograph. Haggin Museum, Stockton, California.

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What kind of images were produced in the West in the 1850s, when so many itinerant photographic operators along with the Batchelders were in the California mountains and on the goldfields? What concepts of place did these operators choose to emphasise in these photographic records? Looking at the variety of daguerreotypes that still exist, one is struck by two central elements. First is the emphasis in so many images on the relation of the figure to the landscape, and the man-made to nature. Most early views include people, posing in front of newly constructed buildings, as signs of the conquest of the daunting terrain. But even the seemingly straightforward depiction of a settlement that includes posed people often includes evidence, if only coincidentally, of the rugged geography surrounding the new towns.

This natural element is also evident in the many photographs taken in the goldfields themselves. While the miners working appear in the foreground, almost every photographer of the era in California took pains to include the landscape that surrounded them, as if to emphasise more clearly the strenuous obstacles that these individuals had to overcome and to underscore the tenacity necessary to conquer such an adverse, if awe-inspiring, environment. The one known view of Sonora by Batchelder is as consistent to this trope as other photographers' views. Taken from the hills above town, the town looks as if newly embedded in primeval wilderness, with all the banal and industrious contrivances of nineteenth-century American commerce.


Fig. 1.13 Miners at Taylorsville, California, c. 1851. Daguerreotype. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

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The second striking fact of the California photographic record is that so many photographs survive that were taken in the mines and diggings themselves. Despite the treacherous conditions and the hardships faced by miners and photographers alike, photographers from the first days of the gold rush recorded the miners on-site, at work in a vast and wild landscape. Not only do the images provide evidence that these men had to overcome daunting physical hardships to get to the gold; they also display in many cases a self-conscious sense of conquest. These companies of men (and sometimes women) engaged in mining pose for the camera, in the middle of their laborious activities, as if laying claim not only to the gold they dig, but to the craggy, imposing land itself. The photo-historian John Wood describes these configurations of men at work in nature as depicting an iconography of corporate cooperation:

But on a more prosaic level--on the most obvious visual level--they record a chronology of cooperation ... They represent a kind of early corporate mentality. These are pictures of mining companies, often with their homemade signs proclaiming their names ... These daguerreotypes, then, are little utilitarian vignettes, pictures of communes of possibility. And therein was the beginning of what I called the twenty-four-karat American dream ... These nineteenth-century Americans had formed companies, business communes, that allowed the possibility for all of them to if not get rich at least become much better off by working for the good of the group.134

As portraits of groups, engaged in activities for `the good of the group' in wilderness surroundings, these small visual records fit as comfortably into the ideological construction of the American frontier as the grander images of the Western landscape that would become such significant documents of conquest and artistic splendour in the next two decades, into the `golden age' of Western photography in the 1870s. Many writers of photographic history have discussed these later views of the West as evidence of concepts of Romanticism, of the Sublime or even of the anti-Darwinian ideas of Catastrophism, with a sometimes sublimi nal focus on the pioneers' efforts to conquer and tame the wilderness.135

These attitudes about the land are as evident in the earlier daguerreotypes taken of the miners in the California goldfields and of the burgeoning mining towns as they are in any later photography for the views trade.136 Batchelder's vista of Sonora in 1855 easily conveys a sense of newness and, with its high vantage point, an awestruck recording of Anglo civilisation rising up in virgin territory. But the famous image of his operator Isaac Wallace Baker standing in the doorway of the Batchelder daguerreotype wagon at Murphys Camp also speaks of Manifest Destiny and the will to conquer nature. In California, the photographer was compelled, by patrons' demands and geographical circumstance, to emphasise individualism and man's conquest of a magnificent land, a wondrous topography.

The photographic record in Australia, at least that which has survived from the daguerrean period, presents different priorities, even in images made by photographers who had operated in California before arriving in the antipodes. What is particularly striking is the dearth of images taken in the Victorian gold-fields themselves during the first decade of the gold rushes. In the early days of the Australian gold rush, from 1851 to 1861, very few examples of photographs, public or private, taken in the goldfields survive, and none possess the self-conscious ambition so apparent in the Californian examples. Photographers were certainly there from the beginnings of the mass influx of hopeful diggers, and travelling cameramen had traversed the colonies from the mid-1840s. George Goodman (d. 1851), credited by Cato and Davies with taking the first extant photographs in Australia, travelled throughout the colonies taking daguerreotypes, from Sydney to Hobart to Melbourne, and to points
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in between.137  Goodman had acquired a licence to make daguerreotypes in the British colonies from Richard Beard in London, when England still required such licences. He came to Australia in 1842 and took photographs, almost always out of doors, until his departure for England in 1847. He set up his apparatus most often at hotels and in pubs, where he made likenesses of all in the vicinity who came to him; but there is no indication that he travelled with a daguerrean wagon.138

Of the scant photographs known to be taken of miners at the early Victorian diggings the best known are those published in 1858 by the geologist Richard Daintree (c. 1832­-1878) and the extraordinary Frenchman Antoine Fauchery (1823-­1861) in their magnificent album Australia: Sun pictures of Victoria.139 As Dianne Reilly notes in The dictionary of Australian artists, `[t]he Fauchery­Daintree partnership produced some remarkable photographs for the time'; indeed, their efforts stand alone as the most skilfully produced images made in Victoria in the decade. Even Fauchery's images of diggers, obviously posed as the photographer told them to, presents a different vision of the diggers' circumstances and attitudes than that in the Californian scenes of miners at work. His Group of diggers is posed theatrically, capturing some sense of the excitement of gold discovery and camaraderie among the men working the fields. But there is little of the single-mindedness of corporate effort that is such a prominent attitude in the California images.


Fig. 1.14 Fauchery & Daintree, Group of diggers, 1858. Albumen silver photograph. From Australia: Sun Pictures of Victoria, Melbourne, 1858. La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne.

A few other scenes in Sun pictures of Victoria do depict the development of primitive settlement amid the muddy landscape of the Victorian fields and demonstrate as well Daintree's focus on geological conditions in the colony.140 These views speak particularly to the difference in geographical setting between the Victorian fields and the claims in the California mountains. It is indeed
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difficult to find anything picturesque or ruggedly geological to conquer in these mud-mired plains where tents, shacks and a few substantial buildings have been haphazardly raised. There are no high hills here upon which the photographer could conveniently place his camera for a sweeping view. But there were such spots in other Victorian diggings, such as Beechworth, and daguerreotype operators were there. Other reasons, other priorities, must have determined the photographic record that has survived in Australia.

In the illustrated newspapers published in Melbourne in the period, some of the engraved images in their pages have obviously been taken from photographs made on the site. The News Letter of Australasia in April 1858, for example, includes on its front sheet a detailed scene of the `Gold Diggers' Puddling Machine', including a horse and wagon held by a man looking at the viewer; in the background, other men are engaged in operating the puddling machine. While the engraved initials indicate that Nicholas Chevalier was the artist and Frederick Grosse was the engraver, the clarity and the immediacy of the image indicate that it was copied from a photographic source. Alexander Fox in Bendigo provided the photographs for several engravings that served as letter-sheets in the 1850s. None of these photographs have survived, although some letter-sheets do, and demonstrate that images from the goldfield towns were more prolific than the extant record would lead us to imagine. Other engravings in the illustrated journals of the period are identified as taken from photographs; in very few cases do the photographs still exist, indicating that they were viewed primarily as tools for the artists to use to render their artistic products.


Fig. 1.15 Frederick Grosse, Gold diggers' puddling machine. Wood-engraving. Published by John P. Brown, Melbourne, April 1858. Image by Nicholas Chevalier. National Library of Australia, Canberra.

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Visual depictions, then, of life in the Australian goldfields were abundant, but the preferred medium by most of those with artistic aspirations was printed illustration. The most prolific and beloved of these image-makers was Samuel Thomas Gill (1819-­1880), always referred to as S. T. Gill, and one of the more colourful characters associated with this period in Australian history and art.141 First in South Australia, where he became known for his drawings and watercolours of the Eyre and Sturt expeditions into the Australian interior, and from 1852 in the goldfields, Gill showed a remarkable facility for humorous sketches of goldfield life made on the spot and later worked on for publication. His images are detailed enough to provide later viewers with historical information about the miners' dress, material culture and social mores. In the tradition of great English illustrators such as Cruikshank, Gill's illustrations became immediate hits with the public when they were reproduced in journals and books. Gill also learned the lithographic process and as early as August 1852 he published his illustrations as a series of lithographs, titled Victorian gold diggings and diggers as they are. These sets, followed by several more in the mid-1850s, were immediately published both in Melbourne and in London, and established Gill as `the artist of the goldfields'. As Shar Jones writes, `His success ...was so great that his work continued to be pirated in both England and Germany.'142 Books such as John Sherer's popular The gold-finder of Australia included engravings of Gill's images but the publisher failed to attribute them to the artist.143 His many vignettes for letterheads became so widely disseminated that his authorship was lost in their prolific reproduction.

          Gold-Finder, cover

Cover, John Sherer, The gold-finder of Australia; how he went, how he fared, and how he made his fortune.  Illustrations by W.A. Nicholls (after S.T. Gill).
London : Clarke, Beeton & Co.,  1853. Courtesy of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Gill's illustrations, along with those of other artists publishing in Australian and English illustrated journals, remain as the most extensive visual record of the Victorian gold-fields. Many of them were reproduced so often that they have become icons of Australian colonial life, serving as the model for subsequent re-enactments of goldfield culture, in films and on television. As Goodman indicates, such books as Sherer's, with its appropriated illustrations by Gill, provided the template for `the colonial narrative' accepted by subsequent generations as the truthful picture of the colonial age.144

          Gill ill. License

W.A. Nicholls, after S.T. Gill, 'Inspecting a License,' from Sherer, The gold-finder of Australia, London 1853, opp. p. 50.  Courtesy of of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

The illustration clearly indicates that Nicholls simply copied Gill's well-known images of life on the goldfields in Victoria. The scene depicted--complete with a black man, who is certainly meant to represent an American--refers to the very unpopular license fees that the Victorian government attempted to impose. This tax was the impetus behind the famed Eureka Stockade revolt.

This apparent preference for illustrative over photographic narrative is all the more intriguing when one learns that Gill was purported to have purchased a camera and photographic equipment early in his career. Some historians believe that he was the first person in South Australia to obtain a daguerreotype licence in 1842.145 As far as can be determined, however, he never made any photographs. His illustrations, while filled with precise detail, are not ones that are photographic or appear to be taken from photographs. They are more in the traditional style of genre illustration, similar in type to Charles Nahl's illustrations in the California journals of the time and John David Borthwick's oft-reproduced depictions of California camp life. They derive from popular print tradition rather than photographic models.

The popularity of these visual descriptions of life on the Australian goldfields demonstrates that images from Victoria were certainly as sought-after a commodity as were Californian images. Photography, moreover, was as well established a resource by this time in Victoria as it was in 1850s California. These facts give rise to the obvious question: what happened to the photographic images of the Australian goldfields? Why are there so many and such vivid images of labour and activity in the Californian goldfields, of miners working together within the rugged mountainous

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landscape, when virtually none are extant from this period in Australia? Further, those few that do exist convey a very different attitude about the landscape and underscore different aspects of these new settlements and their polyglot peoples. The equipment and supplies necessary to produce up-to-date photographs of the landscape and its inhabitants were not unknown in Australia by this time--the photographic panoramas in Sydney and in Melbourne by photographers as expert as Blackwood and Woodbury make that clear, as do the refined portraits of Thomas Glaister. Rough conditions--the heat, dust, limited water and impassable trails--did not deter many operators from traversing the gold country and producing photographs there. The fact nonetheless remains that the majority of Australian photographic images that exist from the time, whether made in the cities, in the goldfield towns or points in between, were either portraits or views of settlement. For reasons that can only be described as ideologically and economically determined, photographers in the Australian colonies turned to these genres for their subject matter, to the exclusion of some of the iconographic formulations that had preoccupied the adventurous spirits at work in California's gold country.

Benjamin Batchelder's photographic views offer some of the most revealing examples of these iconographic shifts and give evidence of changing ideological attitudes about landscape in seemingly straightforward images of place. Returning to Melbourne from Sydney when his brother Nathaniel died in 1860, Benjamin found Perez's Melbourne company Batchelder & O'Neill to be thriving as a portrait studio, well-known along with its more mundane portraits for producing thousands of copies of cartes de visite of famous actors and performers who visited the colony. 146 Benjamin continued on to Bendigo, where by the beginning of 1861 he had established the leading photographic business in town.147 While he did not himself take to setting up mobile wagons, at least not on the scale that the Batchelders had carried out in the California mountains, he did continue to hire and train camera operators who worked under his direction. Most notably he employed at this time Augustus Baker Peirce, sent to him by Perez from the Melbourne studio. As Peirce writes in Knocking about, Benjamin was at this time commissioned to produce photographs to be exhibited at an exposition in London. To this end, he sent Peirce and another operator on an expedition through the Bendigo region. Peirce described their gear: `We were furnished with a little black push-cart holding the camera and other necessaries, and we were to get pictures of all objects of interest.'148

The exhibition that Peirce mentions was the London international exhibition of 1862, held in a specially constructed building in Kensington that would later become the Victoria & Albert Museum. The centrepiece of the Victorian display was a pyramid of gold bars 13 metres high, representing the amount of gold extracted in the colony in the previous decade. Accompanying this impressive exhibit, each Australian colony submitted photographic views meant to display the colonies' progress and development. Richard Daintree, Charles Nettleton (1826-­1902) and many other photographers sent their work from Victoria, and many received medals at the London show. As part of this effort, Benjamin was commissioned by the Sandhurst Town Council to photograph Bendigo and surrounds.149

In the end, Benjamin's work may not have been sent to the exhibition, but his contributions to this event were compiled as the Bendigo album, 53 plates of which still survive in the La Trobe Picture Collection of the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. Each plate was signed as produced by Benjamin himself,
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although at least some of these views were undoubtedly produced by Peirce and his companion.150 Benjamin's cart appears in nearly every view, usually at the side with the Batchelder name prominently displayed. In at least one photograph, a man, possibly Gus Peirce, poses next to the cart itself. The cart, with its clear signage, is a charming example of the Batchelder penchant for American promotionalism and advertising.

The album's subject matter, so thoroughly described in Mike Butcher's recent catalogue,151 was no doubt influenced by the nature of the commission; Benjamin was producing them for the purposes of official exhibition. These are not images of activity in the mining fields or of active conquest of the land; they are images instead of the trappings of British civilisation and settlement. Pictured are Bendigo banks, gold exchanges, cemeteries, substantial residences and breweries--the most solid structures in the region. These scenes, then, include objects and views that would make sense of a colonial landscape, a foreign geography, for an audience at home, a `home' that was still identified largely as England. As Paul Fox has written, new settlers and their officials in Australia were constantly concerned with the `image' of the country, newly opened for free settlement, that would be presented to a European audience. Fox states further that `[b]ecause colonial photography portrayed the colony ambiguously, the need for consistent signifiers to make sense of disparate colonial geographies was imperative'.152 For this reason, any photographs commissioned for an official exhibition such as those in Benjamin's Bendigo album would focus on evidence of `civilised', specifically British, settlement itself, and reveal a deflection of any grandiose sentiments about a landscape of `otherness' for which most early settlers felt ambivalence and unease.

Batchelder cart

Fig. 1.16 Augustus Baker Peirce, Peirce and Creelman with Batchelder cart. Illustration in Peirce, Knocking About, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1924, p. 32.

As the leading photographer in town, Benjamin was once again commissioned in 1866 to produce views of Bendigo's Korong
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Shire for another exhibition in Melbourne that was then intended for display in Europe.153 The results of this venture conveyed similar notions of Australian land and space to those displayed in the 1861 commission. One Victorian newspaper, in reviewing the images of the colony sent to the exhibition, described Benjamin's view of Sunday Morning Hill, Brenannah Station in revealing terms. While the depiction represents a typical Australian station with sparse vegetation, a few grazing animals and a solid house with verandah and pitched roof surrounded by mallee fence, the reviewer, as if willing it to be so, maintained that it `might be mistaken for a view of an English upland residence on a sabbath day because of the softness of the scene and the brightness of the verdure'.154 Photographers, then, were aware that their job was to stress a `typicality of view' with a consciousness of the audience back in England and Europe who would see these images exhibited, and would recognise that `wild nature' had been overcome in Australia, not by white man's brute conquest, as was implied in many of the Californian goldfield views, but by the civilising effects of British culture and law.155 The land, so aggrandised in California as both awe-inspiring and as an obstacle to be confronted and tamed, was either ignored in Australian views, or at most was made to fit into a familiar context, readable by those who understood the landscape compositions, whether painterly or photographic, of European culture. Benjamin Batchelder and his operators were happy to oblige in this construct.

brewery Bendigo

Fig. 1.17 Benjamin Batchelder, Sayer Brothers' Norfolk Brewery, Bayne Street frontage, Bendigo, 1861. Albumen photograph. La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne.

In Bendigo, Benjamin was drawn, as he always would be, to the depiction of civic events that included crowds. The first plate in the Bendigo album focuses not only on the stolidness of the town's public office building, but shows the crowd gathered to hear
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the results of a local election.156 He attempts to capture the movement of the gathered citizens, although the necessary exposure time still led to the blurring of some figures. He was more successful with his most ambitious photographic document, a shot of the procession accompanying the arrival of the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria's son, in Bendigo on 18 December 1867. As Butcher comments, '[i]t provides a contrast to the customary static views, and an illustration of the rapid progress of photography'.157 It also conveys something of Benjamin's own photographic style, his interest in recording events and people at celebratory moments in civic life.

Shortly after the Duke of Edinburgh's visit, in 1868 Benjamin sold his Bendigo business and returned to California, first to Oakland and then setting up shop again in Stockton. By this time, all the roughshod and enterprising newness of the gold-rush years when the Batchelder brothers roamed the California mountains had disappeared to be replaced by agricultural gentility and small-town prosperity. California was now interested in constructing a visual image of domesticity rather than emphasising plucky scenes involving the conquest of nature. Benjamin's Stockton photographs exemplify this transformation, concentrating most often on scenes of town life and civic events. A most delightful example or his eye for the crowd survives as a stereograph depicting Stockton's centennial celebrations on the Fourth of July 1876. It shows people assembled in the town's main square watching the inflation of an enormous air balloon (an activity that was by all accounts less than successful).158 People crowd the balconies oi a neighbouring building-Benjamin apparently took the picture from his own studios balcony. One of Stockton's most substantial structures, Mansion House, can be seen in the background. The crowds on the square surrounding the balloon are dressed in their finest outfits, the women wearing white dresses and elegant hats. That so many women and children are participating in the town's celebrations is evidence enough of the enormous transformations that had taken place in California since Isaac Baker stood in the doorway of Batchelder's Daguerrean Saloon on the outskirts of Sonora, when women and children were a rare commodity in places like Stockton. Benjamin's many photographs of Stockton people at their leisure, playing croquet and going on picnics, speak delightfully to the state's genteel transformation.

Croquet tent

Fig. 1.18 Benjamin Batchelder, View of Littlehale's croquet tent, Stockton, California, c. 1885. Stereograph, Courtesy of Haggin Museum, Stockton, California.
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By the 1870s, California and Australia were both enormously different places than they had been in the 1850s, when gold `brought the world in'. Photography, in documenting these transformations, participated in the visual construction of place for these new societies. Photographers created new ways of seeing, with visual modes that were sometimes aesthetic, sometimes reportorial, sometimes a combination of both. All of these modes were meant to explain these new sites of Western colonisation to themselves and to others far removed from these landscapes. Given their shared experience of forging a new Western society out of a wilderness invaded by gold-hungry hordes from all over the globe, California and Australia exchanged iconographic expression in the popular imagery that accompanied these immigrants.

The question, however, remains: What did these two peoples choose to share visually? What iconographies had resonance once California became part of the United States and Australia developed as a prosperous colony of free settlers within the British Empire? The most intriguing photographic comparisons centre always on representations of the land itself. The visual construction of the frontier, first formulated in the 1850s, would continue to inform reproducible illustration and views photography into the 1880s, by which time the conquest of the American West was already becoming romanticised by writers and artists, and Australian images nurtured more consciously a sense of British culture placed against this `other' landscape. The grandiose images of the American West produced in the 1860s and 1870s by Eadweard Muybridge (1830-­1904), Carleton Watkins (1829-­1916) and others had no direct equivalent in Australia, although similar intentions of documentation began to inform the efforts of Beaufoy Merlin and Charles Bayliss as they traversed the gold regions of New South Wales and Victoria in the same decades. But this story more appropriately fits into a later iconographical development, as Californians and Australians began to confront their own ideas of the picturesque applied to their own landscapes and geographical affinities.

By the end of the first decades of the gold-induced population booms along the Pacific coasts, the interchange of ideas and images between California and Australia became a commonplace. A common language, similar climate, material trade and shared concepts of law and democracy meant that the two regions would continue to have close cultural ties. But distinct differences in popular aesthetic choices would also appear, as their cultural identities began to coalesce more clearly. Despite the seeming similarities of two frontiers transformed by massive migration brought about by the discovery of gold, despite the arrival of similarly opportunistic artists and photographers and in some cases, like the Batchelders, the same artists and photographers producing in both places, the visual record often reveals this disparity in ideological expectations. In the case of California, the photographic record reveals a rough-and-tumble yet self-conscious conquest of the wilderness by the proponents of Manifest Destiny filled with the desire to get rich. In the case of Australia, visual documentation emphasises that British culture and British virtues were manifestly established in this colonial outpost, where virtue and morality prevailed over lawlessness and a hostile environment. Still, as the nineteenth century progressed and as increasingly sophisticated forms of mass communication appeared, these newly developing countries on the Pacific Rim would depend increasingly on reproducible images to learn about each other and to share aesthetic ideas about their identities as Western nations.
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1. George W. Hart to James Wylie Mandeville, 30 October 1851, San Francisco, California. James Wylie Mandeville Papers, Manuscripts Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California (MA42).

2. David Goodman, Gold seeking: Victoria and California in the 1850s, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, New South Wales, 1994, p. 221.

3. Rebecca Solnit, River of shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the technological wild west, Viking, New York, 2003, p. 14.

4. No doubt there were adventurous women, too, but so far none have been identified who worked as photographers both in California and Australia in this period. Among the many sources about women in gold-rush California, see JoAnn Levy, They saw the elephant: Women in the California gold rush, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1992; and JoAnn Chartier, With great hope: Women of the California gold rush, TwoDot, Helena, Montana, 2000. For women photographers in early California, see Peter Palmquist, Women photographers: A selection of images from the Women in Photography International Archive, 1852­1997, Iaqua Press, Arcata, California, 1997; and A bibliography of writings by and about women in photography, 1850-­1990, Borgo Press, Arcata, California, 1994. On the role of women in gold-rush era Australia, see Anne Summers, Damned whores and God's police, 2nd edn, Penguin, Melbourne, 1994; and Penny Russell, `A wish of distinction': Colonial gentility and femininity, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1994. Some interesting contemporary quotations concerning women on the Australian diggings are cited in Bruce Moore (ed.), Gold! gold! gold! The language of the nineteenth-century Australian gold rushes, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2000, pp. 185­-88. On women photographers in Australia, see Barbara Hall and Jenni Mather, Australian women photographers 1840-­1960, Greenhouse Publications, Richmond, Victoria, 1986.

5. Jay Monaghan, Australians and the gold rush, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1966, p. 3.

6. As L. G. Churchward remarks: `Contact between the United States and Australia was not initiated by the gold rush; but only then did Americans find in Australia a steady market for their goods, and Australia moved from the frayed edge to a proper place within the world pattern of American communications.' See `Australian­American relations during the gold rush', Historical Studies/Australia & New Zealand, vol. 2 , no. 5, April 1942, pp. 11­-24.

7. `We were walking down George Street one day and noticed a placard posted on the old barrack wall, "Gold, Gold, California", and then followed an advertisement that a vessel was to leave at a certain date for the new Eldorado.' W. Jackson Barry, Past & present, and men of the times, McKee & Gamble, Wellington, 1897, p. 80.

8. ibid., p. 84.

9. Monaghan, p. 44.

10. Charles Bateson writes: `[i]n the first six months of 1849, twenty-five vessels and six hundred and seventy-nine passengers sailed from Australia for California', and that `between seven and eight thousand people sailed from Australia and New Zealand for San Francisco while the Californian gold rush was on'. Gold fleet for California: Forty-Niners from Australia and New Zealand, Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, 1963, pp. 46, 142.

11. Monaghan, p. 75.

12. Isaac Wallace Baker, Journal 1849-­50, entry for 18 January 1850. Bancroft Library, The University of California, Berkeley, California (microfilm, C-F53).

13. Monaghan, p. 143; and L. G. Churchward, `Australia and America: A Sketch of the Origin and Early Growth of Social and Economic Relations between Australia and the United States of America, 1790­-1876', unpublished MA thesis, University of Melbourne, 1941.

14. Captain W. Jackson Barry, one of the first Australian migrants in San Francisco, wrote in his memoirs: `I noticed particularly that whatever the crime was that was committed the Sydney men were blamed for it. No doubt many bad men, the dregs of a convict population, came from Australia to California in those days, but there were rowdies from New York, and gamblers and blacklegs from New Orleans and other American cities, who were equally as criminal as the Australians.' Past & present, p. 89. Demographic studies have demonstrated that Sydney migrants in the 1850s may have actually included fewer violent criminals than many other groups. S. L. Richards and G. M. Blackburn state: `It is clear that the males from Sydney differed from other males in California: they had brought their wives and children.' In `The Sydney Ducks: A demographic analysis', Pacific Historical Review, no. 42, 1973, p. 28.

15. See Barry's books for fascinating tales of his adventures in America, Australia and New Zealand: Up and down, or, fifty years' colonial experiences in Australia, California, New Zealand, India, China, and the South Pacific, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, London, 1879; and Past & present, 1897.

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16. On Hargraves, see The Australian encyclopedia, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1956, vol. 4, pp. 430-31; and J. A. King, Edward Hammond Hargraves, Summit Books, Sydney, 1977.

17. On Esmond, see Louis R. Cranfield, `Esmond, James William (1822­-1890)', Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB), vol. 4, Melbourne University Publishing, 1972, p. 142.

18. Edward Hammond Hargraves, Australia and its gold fields: A historical sketch of the progress of the Australian colonies, from the earliest times to the present day; with a particular account of the recent gold discoveries, and observations on the present aspect of the land question. To which are added notices on the use and working of gold in ancient and modern times; and an examination of the theories as to the sources of gold, H. Ingram and Co., Milford House, Strand, London, 1855.

19. R. G. Jameson, Australia & her gold regions, Cornish, Lamport & Co., New York, 1852, p. 78.

20. Bateson, p. 143.

21. Figures taken from Goodman, p. ix.

22. Letter-sheets were also produced in Australia at this time, but not as prolifically as in California, and did not often appear to be made for the specific purpose of writing a letter with an accompanying illustration. An example of such a sheet, with a lithograph taken from a photograph, can be seen online in the Pictures Catalogue of the National Library of Australia: A. J. Stopps, Bruce's quartz crushing machine, Kangaroo Flat, Bendigo, from a photograph by Alexander Fox; on stone by Stopps. Sandhurst (Pall Mall), published by Geo. Stater, [185­ ]. Lithograph, 13 x 20 cm. Folded sheet of blue letter-head paper, Rex Nan Kivell Collection (NK6338. nla.pic-an8628827).

23. Joseph Baird, California's pictorial letter sheets, 1849­1869, D. Magee, San Francisco, 1967, p. 16.

24. For examples of letter-sheets, see Peter J. Blodgett, Land of golden dreams: California in the gold rush decade, 1848­-1858, Huntington Library Press, San Marino, California, 1999; and J. S. Holliday, Rush for riches: Gold fever and the making of California, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1999.

25. For an early description of the development of letter-sheets and other illustrations in California, see Francis E. Sheldon, `Pioneer illustration in California', The Overland Monthly, vol. xi, 2nd series, no. 64, April 1888, pp. 337­-55.

26. Baird, p. 11.

27. James Hutchings was himself an important character in gold-rush California history. An English businessman and journalist, Hutchings took the first tourists into Yosemite and established there the first hotel; through his publication of his magazine and through the illustrations seen there and on the letter-sheets he sold to miners, Hutchings more than any other person spread the word about the wonders of California. As Kevin Starr states in his book Americans and the California dream 1850­-1915, Hutchings `must take the most credit for helping to reverse the frontier relationship of Californians to their landscape', p. 181. His Hutchings' Illustrated California magazine, with profuse illustrations, was published from 1856 to 1861. See also Peter Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn, Pioneer photographers of the Far West: A biographical dictionary, 1840-­1865, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2000, pp. 31-2­ 16; and Hank Johnston, Yosemite's yesterdays, vol. 2, Flying Spur, Yosemite, California, 1991.

28. On Joseph Britton (1825-­1901) and Jacques Joseph Rey (1820­-1892), see Palmquist and Kailbourn, pp. 124-­25, 454­-55.

29. Edna Bryan Buckbee, `Sonora, metropolis of the southern mines', in The saga of old Tuolumne, The Press of the Pioneers, New York, 1935p. 203.

30. ibid., p. 208.

31. `The mines in Australia,' Union Democrat, Sonora, California, 28 October 1854, p. 2, col. 3.

32. ibid.

33. Charles D. Ferguson, Frederick T. Wallace (ed.), The experiences of a Forty-Niner during thirty-four years' residence in California and Australia, The William Publishing Co., Cleveland, 1888, pp. 202-­03 (HEH RB5858).

34. ibid., p. 205.

35. ibid., p. 206.

36. ibid., p. 235.

37. It is difficult to get any accurate figures for American emigration to Australia in this period, because ships' records were not always reliable in their counting of nationalities and because many arrived by jumping ship or were otherwise unrecorded; further, many emigres came and went during the tumultuous days of the early gold rush. The Australian encyclopedia states, `in the years 1851­56 more than 10,000 persons from the United States arrived in Sydney and more than 8000 in Melbourne. Not all of them were Americans', vol. 1, p. 169. Daniel Potts in Young America and Australian gold, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1974, provides some statistics that give rough estimates of Americans arriving by ship as approximately 5400 entering Australia between 1852 and 1855 (pp. 50­-51). But he also states that Americans accounted for 1.23 per cent of the population of Victoria in the 1854 census (p. 216). Goodman indicates in Gold seeking that the population for Victoria in 1854 was 237,000 (p. 1), meaning that Americans at that time would have numbered 2915 in the colony, but this would only count those who stayed for a long period. Other sources are equally contradictory.

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38. Long before its adoption as a term for an Australian soldier, `digger' was the appellation given to `[a] miner on the Australian goldfields'. See Moore, Gold! gold! gold!, pp. 30­-31.

39. Ferguson, p. 244.

40. On the American and Australian governments' different approaches to control of gold-rush populations, see Goodman, Chapter 3: `Order', pp. 64­-104.

41. Edward La Trobe Bateman was also the nephew of the American architect Benjamin Latrobe, famous for his Greek Revival buildings in Baltimore and Philadelphia. When Edward left England for Australia in 1852, along with two other artists Thomas Woolner and Bernhard Smith, their departure was said to have inspired Ford Madox Ford to create his most famous painting, The last of England. After sketching Australian scenery and flowers, as well as scenes from the diggings, Bateman settled in Melbourne, where he worked as a decorator of houses, book covers and architectural designs. He also had a hand in the planning of several public gardens in Melbourne and laid out the grounds of the University of Melbourne. After an accident damaged his drawing hand and lawsuits over the accident were unsuccessful, he left Australia to become a landscape gardener in Scotland. See Dictionary of Australian artists (DAA), pp. 51-52; Allan McCulloch, Artists of the Australian gold rush, Lansdowne Editions, Melbourne, 1977, pp. 44­-46; and Daniel Thomas, `Edward La Trobe Bateman', in ADB, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1969, vol. 3, p. 117.

42. Howitt, `The American auctioneer', quoted in Nancy Keesing (ed.), Gold fever: The Australian goldfields 1851 to the 1890s, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1967, p. 124.

43. ibid., p. 125.

44. Martha A. Sandweiss, Print the legend: Photography and the American West, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2002, p. 2.

45. See Gael Newton, Shades of light: Photography and Australia, 1839­-1988, Australian National Gallery and Collins Australia, Canberra, 1988, pp. 1, 15.

46. See the entries for `settler' and `settler culture' in Ashcroft, et al., Key concepts in post-colonial studies, pp. 210­-12.

47. Paul Fox, `The Intercolonial exhibition (1866): Representing the colony of Victoria', History of Photography, vol. 23, no. 2, Summer 1999, p. 174.

48. Wikipedia describes `Manifest Destiny' as `a term that was used in the 19th century to designate the belief that the United States was destined, even divinely ordained, to expand across the North American continent, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes Manifest Destiny was interpreted so broadly as to include the eventual absorption of all North America: Canada, Mexico, Cuba and Central America. Advocates of Manifest Destiny believed that expansion was not only ethical but that it was readily apparent ("manifest") and inexorable ("destiny"). Although initially used as a catch phrase to inspire the United States' expansion across the North American continent, the 19th century phrase eventually became a standard historical term.' See Albert K. Weinberg, Manifest Destiny: A study of nationalist expansionism in American history, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, 1935.

49. Household Words, no. 113, 22 May 1852, p. 217; as quoted in Goodman, p. 65. See also Goodman's long note concerning the standard comparative arguments about law and order on the goldfields, Chapter 3, endnote 3, p. 241.

50. `Still, no part of the American historical imagination is so shaped by visual imagery as its image of the nineteenth-century West. Photography's role here is central, for photographers truly bore witness to the epic story of the American settlement of the western half of the continent.' Sandweiss, p. 13.

51. Alan Trachtenberg, `The daguerreotype and antebellum America', in Grant B. Romer and Brian Wallis (eds), Young America: The daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes, Steidl, Göttingen, Germany; The George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; The International Center of Photography, New York, 2005, p. 14.

52. See Alan Davies and Peter Stanbury, The mechanical eye in Australia: Photography 1841­-1900, Oxford University Press, Sydney, 1985, pp. 122­-24. background image 1850s: Artist­photographers in gold country

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53. For the remarkable story of the achievements of Merlin & Bayliss, the best source is still Keast Burke, Gold and silver: Photographs of Australian goldfields from the Holtermann Collection, Penguin, Ringwood, Victoria, 1973. Burke discovered the photographers' plates from Hill End and Gulgong in 1951, still in the Holtermann family's possession, locked and ignored in a garden shed.

54. Sandweiss, p. 13.

55. Jack Cato, The story of the camera in Australia, Georgian House, Melbourne, 1955, p. 11.

56. `Nineteenth-century science allowed this new art to spring, like Athena, full-blown into life ... There was no "primitive" stage of photography, nothing that resembled cave drawings or aboriginal glyphs.' John Wood, The photographic arts, Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 1997, p. 1.

57. Trachtenberg, p. 18.

58. The late Peter Palmquist still maintained in the introduction to his comprehensive volume, Pioneer photographers of the Far West, that `California's first identified daguerreotypist was an adolescent girl', p. 10: Fannie Vallejo, the daughter of General Vallejo, who made a portrait of her mother in 1847, when she was 12. Alan Davies has identified as the earliest extant daguerreotype made in Australia a portrait of Dr William Bland, `taken before 14 January 1845', in Sydney, by George B. Goodman, the country's `first professional photographer ... who opened a ... studio on the roof of Sydney's Royal Hotel on 12 December 1842'. See Alan Davies, An eye for photography: The camera in Australia, Miegunyah Press, Carlton, Victoria, 2004, p. 2; and The mechanical eye, p. 8.

59. `The daguerreotype dominated the first twenty years of American photography; and the overwhelming majority of examples were portraits.' William F. Stapp, in Harold Francis Pfister, Facing the light: Historic American portrait daguerreotypes, National Portrait Gallery, by Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1978, p. 13. See also Beaumont Newhall, The history of photography, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1982, p. 13.

60. ibid., p. 12. The entry for William Freeman in DAA, written by Tim Robinson, gives no indication that he was ever anything other than a photographer. Since William and his brother James had bought the first right in their English county to produce daguerreotypes from Richard Beard in the 1840s, he must have been committed to the photographic business from his arrival in Australia in 1853. See DAA, pp. 276­-78.

61. Richard Rudisill, Mirror image: The influence of the daguerreotype on American society, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1971, p. 131.

62. Peter Palmquist, conversation with author, Emeryville, California, May 2001.

63. See Palmquist and Kailbourn, pp. 223­-25.

64. ibid., p. 223.

65. On Fardon, see also his San Francisco album: Photographs of the most beautiful views and public buildings; reprint, Hans P. Kraus, New York, 1999; and Joan M. Schwartz, `G. R. Fardon, photographer of early Vancouver', Afterimage, December 1978, p. 5.

66. J. W. Newland, Murray Street 1848. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. See Newton, p. 11. 67. Anita Callaway, `Prospects and predictions: An antipodean perspective', in her Visual ephemera: Theatrical art in nineteenth-century Australia, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2000, p. 144; and DAA, p. 570.

68. The literature on panorama painting and its conceptual implications is vast and growing. Some of the best sources are Sandweiss's `"Of instructions for their faithfulness": Panoramas, Indian galleries, and Western daguerreotypes', in her Print the legend, pp. 48­-86; Ralph Hyde, Panoramania: The art and entertainment of the `all-embracing' view, Trefoil Publications in association with Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1988; and John L. Marsh, `Drama and spectacle by the yard: The panorama in America,' Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 10, Winter 1976, pp. 581­-90. On the panorama in Australia, see Mimi Colligan, Canvas documentaries: Panoramic entertainments in nineteenth-century Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne University Press, Carlton South, 2002; Callaway, `Prospects and predictions: An antipodean perspective', pp. 136­-52; Keast Burke, Newsreel in 1862: Moving diorama of the Victorian exploring expedition, Australian Documentary Facsimile Society, Sydney, 1966; and Gordon Bull, `Taking place: Panorama and panopticon in the colonisation of New South Wales', Australian Journal of Art, vol. 12, 1994­-95, pp. 75­-95.

69. Peter E. Palmquist, `The sad but true story of a Daguerreian Holy Grail', in Drew Heath Johnson and Marcia Eymann (eds), Silver & gold: Cased images of the California gold rush, University of Iowa Press for the Oakland Museum of California, Iowa City, 1998, pp. 43­-73.

70. Palmquist and Kailbourn, pp. 3­-4. It is interesting that Hutchings uses the photographs of C. L. Weed (1824­-1903), the first photographer of Yosemite Valley, as the source for the illustrations of the valley in his book, Scenes of wonder and curiosity in California, Hutchings & Rosenfield, San Francisco, 1861. Most importantly, he credits Weed as the source for the engravings; see, for example, p. 62, `The Yo-Semite Waterfall, Two Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty Feet in Height. From a Photograph by C. L. Weed'.

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71. Sandweiss, pp. 48­-86.

72. `For the representation of architectural works or landscapes, the paper process is admirably adapted.' The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 February 1856; as quoted in Davies, The mechanical eye, p. 26.

73. Bernard Smith discusses this `highly popular form of entertainment', if unwillingly, in his Australian painting 1788­-1990, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1991, pp. 16­-18. See also Bull, `Taking place'.

74. Under the entry for Perez Mann Batchelder, Kerr writes: `His surname was commonly spelt "Bachelder" and he was possibly a kinsman of R. G. Bachelder, a touring showman who brought several popular panoramas from New York to the Australian colonies in 1867­-68.' DAA, p. 50.

75. Freeman's Journal, 28 September 1872. Batchelor (or Batchelder)'s earlier forays into the Australian countryside are discussed in Burke, Newsreel in 1862, pp. 144­-45.

76. Colligan, pp. 157-­206.

77. Photo-historian Alan Davies writes that `although a Lerebours panoramic camera, taking daguerreotypes measuring 12 by 38 centimetres, was sold in Sydney in February 1850, no Australian extended landscape or cityscape daguerreotypes have survived'. An eye for photography, p. 80.

78. Davies maintains that Woodbury's panorama was the first one made in Australia, giving a date of 1854. The mechanical eye, p. 26. But Newton states that the date for the panorama was more likely 1857. Shades of light, p. 19.

79. Davies, The mechanical eye, p. 26.

80. `The Fox panoramas were taken in October 1858 (View Point, 4 panel) and sometime in 1859 (Pall Mall, 6 panel)'; correspondence with Mike Butcher, City of Greater Bendigo, Victoria, 1 July 2004. I wish to thank Mr Butcher for bringing the panorama photographs by Fox to my attention.

81. Davies, The mechanical eye, p. 26; and DAA, pp. 70­-71.

82. The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 August 1858; quoted in Davies, The Mechanical eye, p. 26. It is interesting that Blackwood's next ambitious project, also produced as an album for sale, consisted of photographs of Sydney's nine banks. See W. Wickmann and B. Groom in the section on Blackwood in DAA, p. 70.

83. On Blackwood, see also Anne-Marie Willis, Picturing Australia: A history of photography, Angus & Robertson, North Ryde, New South Wales, 1988, pp. 13­-21.

84. Augustus Baker Peirce, Knocking about: Being some adventures of Augustus Baker Peirce in Australia, Mrs. Albert T. Leatherbee (ed.), with an introduction by Edwin Howard Brigham, MD, illustrated by the writer, Oxford University Press, London and Yale University Press, New Haven, 1924.

85. Callaway, p. 147.

86. Peirce, p. 22.

87. On Peirce in Australia, see also Callaway's entry in DAA, pp. 614­-16; and her discussion of him in Visual ephemera, pp. 146­-48.

88. In 1850, the population of the city of Los Angeles was officially given as only 1610; by 1860, it was 4385. Los Angeles County in the same period grew from 3530 to 11,333, according to Leonard Pitt and Dale Pitt (eds), Los Angeles A to Z: An encyclopedia of the city and county, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1997, p. 403.

89. On Penelon see John Dewar, Adios Mr Penelon!, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles, 1968; Nancy Dustin Wall Moure, Loners, mavericks and dreamers: Art in Los Angeles before 1900, exhibition catalogue, 26 November 1993­20 February 1994, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna, California, 1993, p. 20; Claudine Chalmers, Splendide Californie! Impressions of the Golden State by French artists, 1786-­1900, no. 212, Book Club of California, San Francisco, 2001, p. 26; and Palmquist and Kailbourn, pp. 434­-35.

90. The story of the 1852 race between the Australian thoroughbred Black Swan and Pio Pico's Californian-bred Sarco figures in most of the accounts of early Los Angeles, as proof of the obsessive ends to which the gambling Californios would go in their desire for horse-breeding stock and entertainment. The equally fascinating fact that an Australian horse was the first thoroughbred in California, and that it had arrived in Los Angeles at such an early date in the history of Australian­American trade, is less remarked upon. As evidence of the rapidity with which such exchanges took place after the discovery of gold, and the lengths to which traders would go to advertise and expedite their goods, this story certainly merits deeper research. For an account of the race itself, in which hundreds of thousands of dollars exchanged hands and entire estates were won and lost, see Los Angeles Star/La Estrella, Saturday, 3 April 1852, p. 2; and Los Angeles Centennial Celebration Literary Committee, An historical sketch of Los Angeles County, California: From the Spanish occupancy, by the founding of the mission San Gabriel Archangel, September 8, 1771, to July 4, 1876, Louis Lewin & Co., Los Angeles, 1876, pp. 39­-40. More recent accounts include Leo Carrillo's poignant memoir recounting his grandfather's ruin by betting everything on the race in Chapter 19, `Horse race lament', The California I love, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1961, pp. 115­-25. As a recent article writes, `the highly celebrated matchup between Black Swan and Sarco was one of the first to pit a Thoroughbred against a Spanish horse'; see Morgan Yates, `Track stars', Westways, January­-February 2004.

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91. Dewar, n.p. [p. 7].

92. Los Angeles Star, 16 April 1864; quoted in Palmquist and Kailbourn, p. 434.

93. `In 1874 Penelon travelled to Prescott, Arizona Territory, with a man named Flanders, both photographers calling themselves "artists," as was the custom.' Chalmers, p. 28.

94. The only evidence that Flintoff may have studied in Germany is a note in the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery registrar's files, compiled by Frank McDonald. Consulted 20 March 2003.

95. Texas Star Gazette, 14 February 1852; quoted in DAA, p. 265. His best painting in Texas was The Jones children of Galveston, 1855. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. See Pauline A. Pinckney, Painting in Texas: The nineteenth century, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1967; and The handbook of Texas online, viewed 21 September 2004.

96. Thomas Flintoff. Large banner: Ancient Order of Foresters/No 3200/Court Unity/Ballarat, c. 1880s. Painted in oil paint on green taffeta. City of Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat, Victoria (item id no. 89 210). The banner now hangs in Museum Victoria's Social History Collection; a reproduction appears online at, Australian Museums and Galleries, viewed 4 March 2005.

97. Advertisement from Ballarat Star, January 1860; reproduced in Davies, The mechanical eye, p. 173.

98. ibid., p. 173.

99. Palmquist and Kailbourn, p. 99.

100. Documents in the Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, demonstrate that Perez Mann Batchelder had already led a roaming life before heading to California in 1851. In 1841, he was working as a merchant out of Peoria, Illinois, along the Mississippi River. In 1843, he wrote home from Cincinnati, where he was working on a river boat and then on a dairy farm. He returned home to Massachusetts via New Orleans in 1845; but by 1849, he was in Wisconsin Territory (W.T.), settled as a farmer and trapper. A letter sent to his brother John from Summit, W.T., expresses his desire to come home soon as he `would like to get married ... next fall'. The next letter to `Brother J. H'. is dated `Oct. 29th 1852' from Stockton, California. He describes in detail here the daguerrean wagon that he and his brother Benjamin had arranged in Stockton. None of the earlier letters give any mention of photography; so Perez must have learned the trade some time after returning to Massachusetts from Wisconsin and before travelling to California. Benjamin may have already learned the process by the time Perez returned home in 1850. Since the Peabody Collection includes a photograph of Perez as a boy taken at `Black, photographer' in Boston, and the photograph of Perez reproduced in Palmquist's book was also taken by `J. W. Black' at the same Boston address, it is tempting to assume that the Batchelders learned the business from this same J. W. Black. In the 1860s, one of the Batchelders, presumably Perez, went into business with James Wallace Black. Several photographs still exist that include the logo for `Black & Batchelder', including a famous image of Walt Whitman, taken in March, 1860. See Ed Folsom, ‘“This heart’s geography’s map”: The photographs of Walt Whitman’, The Virginia Quarterly Review, 2005, viewed 14 July 2005. Letters and other documents pertaining to the Batchelders are from the Batchelder Collection, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (F.Ms. B3287).

101. Rudisill discusses the advantages and disadvantages of these peripatetic operators in Mirror image, p. 133.

102. Edna Buckbee provides a vivid depiction of Sonora's cultural life in the 1850s in The saga of old Tuolumne; on p. 194, she states that `Batchelder, a prominent daguerreon [sic], opened a `dag' salon on Washington Street in the spring of 1851'. She is apparently referring to Perez at this point, although the fact that she only mentions Batchelder's family name might mean that the documentation upon which she had relied does not distinguish which Batchelder opened this wagon.

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103. See Robert Bartlett Haas, `William Herman Rulofson: Pioneer daguerreotypist and photographic educator', California Historical Society Quarterly, vol. xxxiv, no. 4, December 1955, pp. 289­-300.

104. Rudisill quotes from a letter written to Isaac Wallace Baker from Perez: `Ben is in the saloon at Jamestown. Have not heard from him don't know what he is doing', p. 133; see also Palmquist and Kailbourn, p. 99.

105. Perez Mann Batchelder, letter to John H. Batchelder, dated Sonora, 22 March 1853, Manuscripts Collection, Phillips Library,Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (F.Ms. B3287). Batchelder has apparently ignored the fact that by 1853 California was part of `the States'.

106. See Rudisill, p. 71. For more on Baker, see Therese Thau Heyman in the preface of Johnson and Eymann, pp. x­-xv; and Margaret S. Creighton, Dogwatch & liberty days: Seafaring life in the nineteenth century, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, 1982.

107. See Palmquist and Kailbourn, p. 94.

108. The copy of this daguerreotype in the Bancroft Library, presented along with other materials about Baker by his relative Frederick Baker in 1942, includes the following note: `Batchelders Daguerreian Saloon, summer of 1853. Most of the time it was located on the east side of the highway that runs from Vallicita [sic] to Murphys, in Vallicita as shown by the map in another picture. Whether this is the location pictured here is not certain. Dag. by Isaac W. Baker. The man in the doorway is probably Batchelder. Baker was his partner in the business.' Subsequent known portraits of the Batchelders and of Baker would indicate by appearance that the figure in the doorway is indeed Baker. Reproduced in Rudisill, pl. 45, p. 294; in Johnson and Eymann, pl. 48, p. 124, listed in catalogue as by Baker, Baker in front of Batchelder's Daguerreian Saloon; and in Palmquist and Kailbourn, p. 95, fig. 74, as `Isaac Wallace Baker in the doorway of Batchelder's Daguerreian Saloon, 1853'.

109. Reproduced in Capturing light: Masterpieces of California photography, 1850 to the Present, exhibition catalogue, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, 2001, fig. 4, p. 10.

110. Baker's biographical file at the Bancroft Library consulted on 12 May 2001. The author wishes to thank Drew Johnson, curator of photography, Oakland Museum of California, for providing information about Baker; and Baker's descendent Tom Horning, of Seaside, Oregon, for family information about Baker's life after his California sojourn. Telephone conversation, 7 June 2004.

111. Perez Mann Batchelder, letter to John H. Batchelder, dated Sonora, 22 March 1853, Manuscripts Collection, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (F.Ms. B3827). 112. In a letter to Baker quoted in Rudisill's book, Perez mentions two other operators, `David [and] Patch', working in the Murphys Camp area out of a Batchelder wagon, and compliments Baker for his prodigious work. See Rudisill, p. 133.

113. Palmquist and Kailbourn, p. 101; and Mike Butcher and Yolanda J. M. Collins, An American on the goldfields: The Bendigo photographs of Benjamin Pierce Batchelder, Holland House, Burwood, Victoria, 2001, p. 3.

114. In his journals, Alfred R. Doten (1829­-1903) makes the following entries: `May 29, 1855 ... I went down to a sort of Daguerreotype saloon on wheels (Batchelder's) and had my likeness taken (for 5.00)--John Slaven, Jake Chinn, Theodore & all who saw it said it was a first rate likeness--"couldn't be bettered"', vol. 1, p. 221. In the same volume he wrote, `Sunday, June 10 ... morning I went over to Volcano for more provisions &c ... I went into Batchelder's saloon & had my daguerreotype taken'. Walter van Tilburg (ed.), The journals of Alfred Doten 1849­-1903, University of Nevada Press, Reno, Nevada, 1973.

115. Conversation with Peter Palmquist, Emereyville, California, May 2001.

116. Butcher and Collins, p. 4; and Palmquist and Kailbourn, p. 99.

117. Butcher and Collins, p. 3.

118. The marriage date given on their son's birth certificate--10 December 1858--is later than the arrival of the ship in Melbourne upon which they were meant to have landed in Australia; see Butcher and Collins, p. 4.

119. As Goodman points out on p. 87, the desire on the part of the governing bodies to control and order a potentially reckless society was one of the reasons behind these institutionalising efforts: `Institutions were central to the attempt by elites to reassert background image 1850s: Artist­photographers in gold country order in gold rush Victoria'. On the astonishing rise of Melbourne to the ranks of great cosmopolitan cities with cultural aspirations, see Geoffrey Serle, The golden age: A history of the colony of Victoria, 1851­-1861, rev. edn, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1963; and his From deserts the prophets come: The creative spirit in Australia, 1788­-1972, Heinemann, Melbourne, 1973.

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120. Hobart Town Daily Mercury, 12 June 1858; see Davies, The mechanical eye, pp. 22, 44.

121. In Walter Woodbury Papers, Royal Photographic Society, Bath, England; quoted in DAA, p. 878. See also Alan F. Elliott, The Woodbury Papers: Letters and documents held by the Royal Photographic Society, South Melbourne, 1996.

122. See Newton, p. 176, note 11.

123. Perez Mann Batchelder, letter to John H. Batchelder, dated Melbourne, 28 July 1855, Manuscripts Collection, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (F.Ms. B3827).

124. ibid.

125. ibid.

126. In the `Delinquent tax list' published in the San Francisco Chronicle on 10 February 1873, a `Batchelder, P M' appears as in arrears on the taxes for a mortgage by 32 dollars. `Daily Chronicle supplement ­ Delinquent tax list', p. 3, The Huntington Library (Rare Book 54467), inserted into a set of old Chronicle issues.

127. Probate Court document in the Matter of the Estate of Perez M. Batchelder, County of Alameda, California, dated 27 February 1873, Manuscripts Collection, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (F.Ms. B3287).

128. In a `Probate Court partition done May 4, 1874', the eighth item on p. 3 states: `an agreement of Wm. B. Ingersoll, with the decedent, dated Dec. 21 1870 relating to the purchase & ownership of the instruments and materials in a photographic Gallery in Oakland. This agreement is of doubtful value.' Probate Court partition document, Manuscripts Collection, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (F.Ms. B3287).

129. When Richard Henry Dana, Jr, returns to visit San Francisco in 1859, he gives a speech at the Pioneer Society, about which he writes, `Any man is qualified for election into this society who came to California before 1853. What moderns they are!' Two years before the mast, Modern Library, New York, 2001, p. 417.

130. Cato, p. 11.

131. See Erika Esau, `Thomas Glaister and early Australian photography', History of Photography, vol. 23, no. 2, Spring 1999, pp. 187­-91. Glaister, who is now recognised as the greatest Australian daguerreotypist, would also leave Sydney in the 1870s, ending up in Santa Rosa, California, where he became a wine-maker, and never seemed to have created another photograph.

132. Bendigo was officially named Sandhurst until 1891, but was unofficially called Bendigo from the 1840s. The Australian encyclopedia describes the situation: `It is generally believed that the place was named after an employee on the Ravenswood property, who professed to be an accomplished boxer and who was nicknamed "Bendigo" after the English prize-fighter, William ("Abednego") Thompson, known by that name at the time.' Vol. i, p. 489, col. A.

133. Benjamin Pierce Batchelder was buried in Rural Cemetery, Stockton, California, on 11 November 1891, aged 64. A logo on one of the Batchelder photographs indicates that his wife carried on the business after his death. The small card printed on the back of a boudoir card photograph includes the Batchelder name, but with a silhouette of a woman sitting at an artist's easel. The lettering is the same as Benjamin's earlier Stockton works, but the fashions in the photograph indicate a date in the later 1890s or early 1900s. Records indicate that Nancy Ellen Batchelder was buried in Rural Cemetery, Stockton, California, on 24 December 1914, aged 76. See `Burials in rural cemetery, Stockton, California' in Old cemeteries of San Joaquin County, California, vol. ii, San Joaquin Genealogical Society, Stockton, California, 1962.

134. John Wood, `Theatrical narratives and the documents of dream: California and the great American image,' in Johnson and Eymann, pp. 23­-42.

135. For the quaint conceptions of Catastrophism and its philosophical linking with attitudes of Manifest Destiny, the original presentation appears in geologist Clarence King's address in 1877 at Yale College, Catastrophism and the evolution of environment. An address by Clarence King, delivered at the Sheffield School of Yale College, on its thirty-first anniversary. June 26th, 1877, [s.l.] 1877 (Huntington RB 266287). As Ian Jeffrey writes about the photographs of the Western geological surveys, `Photographers have rarely had such an explicit theoretical basis for their work.' Photography: A concise history, Oxford University Press, New York, 1981, p. 60.

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136. Peter Palmquist always maintained that there were no `pure' landscape photographs--that is, landscape as artistic composition--of the West until the 1860s. In conversation with the author, Emeryville, California, May 2001.

137. Cato, p. 3; and Davies, The mechanical eye, p. 8, and An eye for photography, pp. 4­-8.

138. Davies, The mechanical eye, pp. 8­-9; and DAA, pp. 307-­09.

139. Antoine Fauchery, Sun pictures of Victoria: The Fauchery­Daintree collection 1858, facsimile of Antoine Fauchery's Lettres d'un mineur en Australia, text by Dianne Reilly and Jennifer Carew, Library Council of Victoria, South Yarra, 1983. See also Fauchery's Lettres d'un mineur en Australie; precedees d'une lettre de Theodore de Banville, Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, Paris, 1857.

140. See Richard Daintree, Hill mining under lava. Jim-Crow diggings, ca 1858. Albumen photograph. From Australia: Sun pictures of Victoria, Melbourne, 1858. La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (acc. no. H84.167/23, call no. PCV LTA 355); and Falls of the Campaspie River, ca. 1858. Albumen photograph. From Australia: Sun pictures of Victoria, Melbourne, 1858. La Trobe Picture Collection (acc. no. H84.167/29, image no. B22462).

141. See S. T. Gill, Victoria gold diggings and diggers as they are, Macartney & Galbraith, Melbourne, 1852. On Gill, see Ron Appleyard, et al., S. T. Gill: The South Australian years, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 1986; Keith Macrae Bowden, Samuel Thomas Gill: Artist, Hedges and Bell, Melbourne, 1971; Sasha Grishin, S. T. Gill: Dr Doyle's sketches in Australia, Mitchell Library and Centaur Press, Sydney, 1993; Grishin, `S. T. Gill: Defining a landscape', Voices, National Library of Australia, vol. ii, no. 4, Summer 1992­93, pp. 5­-19; E. J. R. Morgan, `Samuel Thomas Gill', ADB, vol. 1, pp. 444-­45; and J. Tregenza, `The visual dimension of colonial history', Art and Australia, vol. 19, no. 1, 1981, pp. 91-­96.

142. Shar Jones, in DAA, p. 297.

143. John Sherer, The gold-finder of Australia: How he went, how he fared, how he made his fortune; edited by John Sherer; illustrated with forty-eight magnificent engravings from authentic sketches taken in the colony, Clarke, Beeton, London, 1853.

144. Goodman, pp.131­-34.

145. Jones in DAA, p. 296.

146. Butcher and Collins, p. 3; and Cato, p. 22, quoting from The Argus, 22 November 1865.

147. Butcher and Collins, p. 4.

148. Peirce, pp. 31­-33.

149. While Batchelder's photographs were displayed in Bendigo and then in Melbourne at an exhibition of the photographs to be sent to London, no mention of his Bendigo views appeared in the London exhibition catalogue; it is possible that they never made the trip to the final exhibition. See Butcher and Collins, p. 12.

150. In his recent essay for a catalogue on Batchelder's Bendigo album, Mike Butcher asserts that these images were indeed shot by Peirce, and that he may be pictured in at least one of them, standing next to the Batchelder cart, see Butcher and Collins, pp. 11, 82.

151. ibid., p. 12.

152. Fox, p. 175.

153. The Melbourne intercolonial exhibition of 1866 to 1867 would provide objects to be sent as the Victorian entry at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867. See Fox, p. 174.

154. Inglewood Advertiser, 29 September 1866; quoted in Fox, p. 174. For a view of Sunday Morning Hill. Brennanah Station, see Fox, p. 176.

155. `The 1866 photographs of the municipality became the eye of the democratically elected representatives of the people who directed the images taken by the photographer.' Fox, p. 175.

156. See B. P. Batchelder, Bendigo Town Hall, Declaration of the Poll, 13 August 1861 in Butcher and Collins, p. 27. Albumen photograph. La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne (cc. no. H26090, call no. PCV *LTAF 61).

157. Butcher and Collins, p. 6.

158. ibid., p. 8.