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National Museum of Australia

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Sketch of Joseph Sharpe's store where Alexander Mussen was shot


Sketch of Joseph Sharpe's store where Alexander Mussen was shot

Object information

Physical description

A colour sketch in pencil and watercolours depicting a row of roofed huts behind a row of trees and a fence. There are hills and trees in the background, and cleared land and a road in the foreground. Handwritten in ink on the back is the text: 'A view of Mr JA Sharpe ' Store on the / Pyramul Creek. The door way of the Building / adjoining the Store was the place where Alex / was Shot.'

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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