Dinner for James M. Tarleton, U.S. Consul
On November 14, 1854, a number of Americans "and a sprinkling of friends" met at the Adelphi Theatre to organise a "...gala Thanksgiving Day dinner... primarily so [U.S. Consul James M.]]" Tarleton could personally expostulate against American involvement in local upheavals."[Notes 1]
November 10 A meeting was held in the Adelphi Theatre this evening by the American people at Ballaarat, for the purpose of deciding upon the propriety of inviting J. M. Tarleton, Esq., United States Consul, Melbourne, and George Youngson, Esq., late United Stales Consul, Geelong, to an American dinner party (not as Mrs Parlington may suppose, to an American tea-party). The meeting was numerously attended by Americans, and a sprinkling of friends; Dr. Kennedy presided. A committee was appointed to carry out the views of the meeting, and make all the necessary arrangements for the reception of the American Consuls. Several American gentlemen spoke, and all were unanimous in expressing a wish that the American people residing on the Ballaarat gold-fields should give a reception worthy of the representatives of a mighty country. These sentiments were well cheered, and no doubt will be fully developed in the arrangements. A complimentary benefit to Mrs. Hammer, of the Adelphi, was proposed, and a committee appointed to carry it out. I should not forget to mention that Mr. Smith, of Adams and Co.'s Express, invited all parties at the close of the meeting to take a glass of champagne at the Arcade Bowling saloon, where sentiment and song went merrily round with the glass.
November 28 ...Mr Tarleton, the American Consul, was entertained at a public dinner, which was held in the Victoria hotel, Main road. The dinner was supposed to be given by the Americans then numerously resident in Ballarat, but most of the leading residents, of all nationalities, were also present. Dr Otway occupied the chair, and Messrs Resident-Commissioner Rede, and Acting Police Magistrate Hackett were invited. Just as the toasts were about to be proposed, a message was conveyed to Mr Rede that an attack had been made on some troops coming from Melbourne when they had reached the workings on the Eureka Lead. Mr Rede and Mr Hackett withdrew at once, and some time after Mr Tarleton also left, as the report was that several lives had been lost. The chairman of course knew of the occurrence, but the majority of those present did not hear of the affair until later in the evening. When the toast of the "Queen" was proposed a very significant fact was disclosed, namely, that for several minutes no one would respond to it. The Resident Commissioner had originally been allotted the duty of responding to this toast, but he had left for the scene of the Eureka outrage. There were many business men and miners present who were British subjects, and yet they sat without the slightest attempt to manifest their loyalty, until Dr Otway said if no British subject would volunteer for the duty, he himself would have to do so. At length a gentleman undertook the business, more pithily than originally, saying, "While I and my fellow colonists claim to be and are thoroughly loyal to our sovereign lady the Queen, we do not respect her men servants, maid servants, her oxen, or her asses." The last word, delivered with a hearty emphasis, was received with tumultuous applause. This incident tells more effectively than the most labored description could do what the state of public feeling was at the time it occurred. 
November 28 On the eve of the 28th Mr Tarleton, the American Consul, was feted at a banquet in Ballarat, and while the dinner was going on soldiers were arriving from Melbourne and a collision had taken place between soldiers, troopers, and diggers. All that night the diggers were busy preparing arms and ammunition. The committee of the League sat night and day, the Government camp bristled with sentries, and an eventful morrow was looked for. Some scribacious individual, writing to one of the papers, thus refers to the banquet given to the American Consul The dinner was supposed to be given by the Americans, then numerously resident in Ballarat, but most of the leading residents, of all nationalities, including the writer, were also present. The grand old Dr Otway occupied the chair, and Resident Commissioner Rede and Police Magistrate Hackett were invited. Just as the toasts were about to be proposed a message was conveyed to Mr Rede that an attack had been made on some troops coming from Melbourne when they had reached the workings on the Eureka Lead. Mr Rede and Mr Hackett withdrew at once, and some time after Mr Tarleton also left, as the report was that several lives had been lost. When the toast of The Queen was proposed a very significant fact was disclose namely, that for several minutes no one would respond to it. The Resident Commissioner had originally been allotted the duty of responding to this toast, but he had left for the scene of the Eureka outrage. There were many business men and diggers present who were British subjects, and yet they sat without the slightest attempt to manifest their loyalty until Dr Otway said that if no British subject would volunteer for the duty he would have to do so. At length aMr Irwin got up and undertook the business, more pithily than originally saying, "While I and my fellow colonists claim to be and are thoroughly loyal to our Sovereign lady the Queen, we do not and will not respect her men servants, her maid servants, her oxen, or her asses." The last word, delivered with a hearty emphasis, was received with vociferous applause. This incident tells more effectively than the most labored description could do what the state of public feeling was at the time it occurred.
November 28 The general attitude of the diggers was perhaps best expressed at the time in a little speech delivered by Mr. Irvine [sic] at a dinner given by the American citizens to Mr. Tarleton, the American Consul. It should be remembered that there was then a large number of American citizens at Ballarat, but the dinner was numerously attended by British subjects. Dr. Otway, by no means a disloyalist as the sequel shows, occupied the chair, and seated near him were Commissioner Rede and the acting Police Magistrate, Mr. Hackett. When the time was approaching for proposing the Toast of "The Queen" news was brought to Commissioner Bede that the diggers had made an attack, at the Eureka lead, on the troops arriving from Melbourne. At once Mr. Rede and Mr. Hackett left the table, and shortly afterwards Mr. Tarleton (the Consul) also withdrew. In due course the toast of the Queen was proposed, followed by a dead silence. The task of responding to the toast had been allotted to Mr. Rede, but he had left. There were plenty of loyal business men in the room, but they remained silent. The waiting became painful. At length Dr. Otway said if no British subject volunteered for the duty he himself would have to respond. At that Mr. Irwin rose and uttered the sentiment of everybody. Said he: "While I, and my fellow-colonists, claim to be and are, thoroughly loyal to our Sovereign lady the Queen, we do not, and will not, respect her men-servants, her oxen or her asses." Mr. Irwin laid abnormal stress on the concluding word and sat down amid tumultuous applause. He had compressed the attitude of the miners in a nut-shell.
November 30 COMPLIMENTARY DINNER TO J. TARLETON, ESQ , AMERICAN CONSUL The company began to assemble at the Victoria Hotel, Red Line, about seven o'clock there were some 60 or seventy gentlemen present, chiefly, though not exclusively Americans. The chair was ably filled by Dr. Otway, on whose right we observed the guest of the evening, and C. P Hackett, Police Magistrate, and on his left Mr Resident Commissioner Rede, Bent Hall, Esq., &c., &c. Following his speech, "Mr Tarleton sat down amidst a perfect hurricane of applause. At this stage of the proceedings Messrs Rede and Hackett had to leave, as has been reported in another place. The toastmaster then gave "Queen Victoria." Air "God save the Queen." Mr S. Irwin, in the absence of Mr Commissioner Rede, briefly responded." Following a toast to "The Army of America" "Dr Otway, who had been long connected with the American army responded in a happy speech in which between mirthful descriptions of the irregulars and eloquent narration of brave deeds done when there was need of them, he so far entranced the press as to render this the only report available."
- ↑ The Potts' references do not state that it was a Thanksgiving dinner, or that the purpose of the dinner was for such expostulation. However, the U.S. Thanksgiving Day is held on November 26, and Tarleton was corresponding with Hotham regarding American involvement.
- ↑ Potts, E. Daniel (Eli Daniel) & Potts, Annette, (joint author.) (1974). Young America and Australian gold : Americans and the gold rush of the 1850's. University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, QLD
- ↑ DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. (1854, November 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p.5. Retrieved March 2, 2015 
- ↑ THE EUREKA STOCKADE. (1870, March 4). The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), p. 3.
- ↑ Reminiscences of Ballarat. Tuapeka Times, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 5332, 17 January 1906, Page 3 
- ↑ Bate, Weston. (1978). Lucky City: The First Generation at Ballarat 1851-1901. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 COMPLIMENTARY DINNER. (1854, November 30). Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic. : 1851 - 1856), p. 4 Edition: DAILY.  Reproduced in The Argus 2 December 1854
- ↑ THE EUREKA STOCKADE. JUMPING ON A JUBILEE. (1904, October 23). Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved November 28, 2015, from 
--Neil Huybregts 18:06, 7 March 2015 (AEDT)