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National Museum of Australia

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Letter from J.A. Sharpe to Thomas Mussen, July 1865

2006.0085.0011

Letter from J.A. Sharpe to Thomas Mussen, July 1865

Object information

Physical description

A handwritten letter in ink on cream paper folded in half vertically, and dated in the top right hand corner "Pyramul, 19 July 1865". The letter is addressed to "Tho Mussen Esq / Dear Sir / By the mail / just arrived I have received ...". The letter concerns a parcel of papers sent from Canada. It ends with "Dear Sir / Yours respectfully / JA Sharpe".

Statement of significance

The Alexander Mussen Collection consists of 3 sketches, one ambrotype portrait, newspaper clippings, 13 letters and a death certificate relating to Alexander Mussen, his time on the NSW goldfields and his death, in 1864, at the hand of bushrangers. Alexander Mussen was a young Canadian, the son of a well known merchant in Montreal. It seems he fell into some disrepute and debt in Canada and travelled to the NSW goldfields to both try his luck and redeem the family name.

The gold rush in Australia had a major impact on society, culture, the environment and politics. The population increased dramatically, society became more diversified, colonial governments had to respond to the changes and the rest of the world became increasingly aware of Australia's wealth. The Mussen collection provides a personal and intimate insight into the practical workings of some New South Wales diggings, society more generally, law and order on the goldfields and the continuing connection between those who came to Australia and family left behind.

Object information

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