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Letters from Herrman Koeppen
Title : Letters from Herrman Koeppen Letters from Herrman Koeppen
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Creator : Koeppen, Herrman
Source : D 8001 (L)
Date of creation : 1851-1865
Format : Letter
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Letters written by Hermann Koeppen to Johanna Maria Caroline Ohlmeyer (whom he later married) from the Victorian goldfields.

German migrant, Hermann Koeppen was born in Hamburg in 1825 and migrated to Adelaide in 1851.  His collection of letters to his fiancee Johanna, whom he later married, reveal a great deal about life on the Victorian goldfields. After meeting Johannna, Koeppen realized that he would need to be able to provide for her before he could propose marriage. He also had to support his mother who was still in Germany. So like many other men in South Australia at the time, he travelled east to the goldfields.  He had very little luck. In his letter of 19 December 1852, he wrote that he had dug up 14 1/2  (14.5) ounces.  This was his best week's yield. It was enough to pay his expenses to that point and cover provision for a few more weeks. 

See attached transcripts of the letters, including an explanation of the content, written by translator, Rosemary Radden (2006).

Image: Gold fields of Australia [game] SLSA Children's Literature Research Collection.

Coverage year : 1851-1865
Period : 1836-1851,1852-1883
Further reading :

Parker, Heather All in the line of duty: danger and drudgery on the gold escort route Adelaide - Mount Alexander, 1852-53 Bordertown, S.A. : District Council of Tatiara, 1971 (Bordertown: Border Chronicle)

Hocking, Geoff Gold: a pictorial history of the Australian gold rush Rowville, Vic: Five Mile Press, 2006, c2000

Stone, Derrick I and Sue MacKinnon Life on the Australian goldfields Carlton, Vic.; Sydney : Methuen of Australia, 1976

Tolmer, Alexander Reminiscences of an adventurous and chequered career at home and at the antipodes Adelaide, S. Aust.: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1972

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