Pay Dirt

ISBN: 9781927145753

Author: Hilary Low    Publisher: Canterbury University Press

‘Pay Dirt: ‘The Westland Goldfields’, from the diary of William Smart’ is the fascinating story of how payable gold was discovered in West Canterbury, and of claims to the government’s rich gold reward. It tells how English settler, William Smart, left Christchurch in 1862 to prospect for gold in the uncharted wilderness of the West Coast. Then, in 1887, long after the Canterbury government granted another prospector the reward, which Smart regarded as rightfully his, he was provoked to write his own ‘history’ of the early gold discoveries. ‘The Westland Goldfields’ was his attempt to set the record straight; but, incidentally, he produced a unique eye-witness account of early Pākehā on the Coast, prospecting alongside Māori, braving the hazardous environment, isolation and ever-present risk of starvation – before the region was overwhelmed by the gold rushes of the 1860s. Smart’s account, together with his drawings, is published here for the first time. Hilary Low has done a superb job of presenting Smart’s manuscript, and complementing it with a lively commentary on Canterbury’s quest for its own goldfield, and the extraordinary saga of its gold reward – a tale of hope and persistence, lies and fraud.

Bind: paperback

Pages: 160

Dimensions: 170 x 240 mm

Publication Date: 17-10-2016

Availability Date: 21-10-2016

Tags: August 2016   History   New Zealand

© 2022 Nationwide Book Distributors