ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

A Gilded Life

The history of gold hunting in New Zealand is replete with the little-known story of a gold-digger with an Indian connection.

In Arthur Conan Doyle’s collection The Return of Sherlock Holmes, there is a story of a vile and vindictive sea captain named Peter Carey, a man so perpetually drunk that it only added to his other sins: of hurling abuse at his family and picking fights with neighbours, so much so that he lived apart, alone in an outhouse, where he was found dead one afternoon, a harpoon through him, and no one was left much the sadder. The story was titled “Black Peter”, suggestive of the evil in the sea captain.

Black Peter wasn’t just a mere character in fiction. Fifty years before Conan Doyle’s collection was published, a man called Edward Peters, who bore the same egregious nickname, unexpectedly discovered gold in Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand. This was in 1857 when the heady days of the Gold Rush were still on. The rush had been on since the 1840s when prospectors and adventurers crossed seas in search of fortune, moving between California, Australia and, last of all, New Zealand.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.