The Gold Police who protected the Opium Trade
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  1. #1
    au
    Sep 2004
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    The Gold Police who protected the Opium Trade

    Hi Folks During the many years of the gold mining, Colony of Victoria appointed special police called "protect-ants." These police keep the peace amongst the Chinese gold mining community , Kept a watchful eye the other miner's who didn,t like the Chinese and sorted everyday issues and disputes. Often near the large Chinese camp there would be a police camp . Consisting 6 mounted troopers armed with Henry Martini's . Opium was quite legal like many places in the British Empire . With more than 25% of the Chinese community smoking Opium there was a good dollar to be made . The British controlled the Opium Supply on the gold fields. This continued from 1852 till the Substance Control Act of 1904 .

    I went to the site of a police camp near a large Chinese community. Started just after sun rise . The birds were in full song but the Md was not.
    Seems i had drifted away from where the police camp was . Lucky i spotted a bottle dump which gave a better sense of direction. Dug a few flat iron targets and then got something a little more aggressive . Half penny 186? and then a rather ratty looking sliver shilling 1873 . Closely followed by a lead Henry Martini 577/450 carbine 1875 . Plenty of lead seals of the bottle type . seems the police like a drink or two. Nothing for next 60 feet and then i managed a Chinese Cache coin and then another and had 4 in a hour. Even tho its still early spring the fresh breeze of the morning disappeared quickly and the temperature started to rise. In a matter of a couple of days the temp has gone up 30%. Yep with in a week or two the temp should start to get up to 90 degrees . Then summer gets really hot. I will have to switch to later gold mines where theres a fair amount of shade.

    tinpan
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    Last edited by tinpan; Oct 04, 2014 at 09:13 AM.

  2. #2

    Jul 2014
    Sherman, TX
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    Great history lesson, I enjoyed your post. Thank you

  3. #3
    us
    Dec 2012
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    Sounds like a good bottle digging spot, you should try. Nice finds!

  4. #4

    Mar 2012
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    Nice digs.

  5. #5
    us
    May 2013
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    Thanks for sharing Tin Pan. Your story is so similar to what I find here in West Texas when the Chinese came through employed by the railroad. Many of our camps out here are fairly small simply because they were never in one spot for very long, moving with the progress of the track being laid. Many of the same relics, like cash coins, buttons, a lot of opium stuff, broken bottles etc. Ironically, it sounds like our Spring as well. It usually last about two weeks here and then the temperature starts pushing 100 (or more).
    Some GREAT finds!! Congrats!

  6. #6
    au
    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by el remolino View Post
    Thanks for sharing Tin Pan. Your story is so similar to what I find here in West Texas when the Chinese came through employed by the railroad. Many of our camps out here are fairly small simply because they were never in one spot for very long, moving with the progress of the track being laid. Many of the same relics, like cash coins, buttons, a lot of opium stuff, broken bottles etc. Ironically, it sounds like our Spring as well. It usually last about two weeks here and then the temperature starts pushing 100 (or more).
    Some GREAT finds!! Congrats!
    Thanks i been hoping for years to find the fittings off a cane opium pipe but only found half a broken ceramic bowl off a later one. Found lots of opuim tins but the ground is hard on them and are just a mangled mess and the bottom with the writing is missing . tinpan
    Last edited by tinpan; Oct 04, 2014 at 09:11 AM.

  7. #7
    au
    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by bottlehunterofcoscob View Post
    Sounds like a good bottle digging spot, you should try. Nice finds!
    Thanks Bottlehunter but i think someone bet me to this bottle dump . tinpan

  8. #8
    us
    Jun 2012
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    Nice coin cache! I have yet to find one of those, knowing me I will think it's a washer until I get a better look at it! Lol!

  9. #9
    us
    Old Tom Cat.

    Jan 2013
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    Awesome Finds & cool Picture.
    My dumb butt was gonna post something like ' Did you forget to hit the Enter Button on your post back in April or May.'
    Then it Occurred to me that your South of the Equator Daa.

    With a low temp of around 40 o F this Morning our Winter is just around the Corner.

    Enjoy Your Summer
    HH

    Davers
    As I am finding , In life we begin having the Blissful happiness & the Wonder & innocence of a Child, then fall Quickly, then spend the rest of our lives trying to reach that point where we began ,through Pleasure , Fame, & Materials but Only 'Through true faith in Jesus , can we find Prefect Happiness or true Meaning in our Short lives on this Beautiful Earth filled with both the Light of Pure goodness & The Darkness of Pure Evil. D.

    That Said, I judge No Man.
    Davers

  10. #10
    us
    May 2013
    West Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinpan View Post
    Thanks i been hoping for years to find the fittings off a cane opium pipe but only found half a broken ceramic bowl off a later one. Found lots of opuim tins but the ground is hard on them and are just a mangled mess and the bottom with the writing is missing . tinpan
    Our ground is actually pretty gentle to artifacts, in fact, I don't know if you saw my post last week, but I had found two wooden dominoes sitting on top of the ground in a little camp. Most of our tins are in good enough shape to read, if you dig one deep out here it typically still has some of the orange and white paper on it. I have found a brass mouth piece and a broken brass bowl to Chinese tobacco pipes and FINALLY last night I found my first opium bowl that is about 95% complete. It is only chipped where it fitted into the saddle. I'm gonna hit the camp again this evening and try to post photos tonight or tomorrow. I want to make sure I get as much as I can.

    Good luck, amigo

  11. #11
    us
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    Hi Tinpan thanks for sharing those old photos and the finds, have found a bunch of metal button like those, some came from my grandmas homestead site.

  12. #12
    us
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    Nov 2013
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    History is what this hobby is all about, nice diggs

  13. #13
    us
    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinpan View Post
    Thanks Bottlehunter but i think someone bet me to this bottle dump . tinpan
    That's a shame, but happens a lot. Cool digs though!

  14. #14
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    Great finds and a fascinating post to read. I always enjoy seeing and reading about what you dig.

    Cheers,

    Buck
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    Any relics, coins, or other items appearing in my signatures were found on PRIVATE PROPERTY with total consent and permission from the owners of said property.

  15. #15
    us
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    great story.. Nice job on the finds

 

 
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