LETTERS FROM AUSTRALIA WRITTEN BY ELIZABETH MARCHESI-HESTER (1862-1947), WIFE OF SALVATORE ADOLFO MARCHESI (1853-1921), TO HER BROTHER IN LAW GIUSEPPE (JOE) MARCHESI (1842-1920), EMIGRANT (TO AUSTRALIA), WHO RETURNED TO POSCHIAVO.
Salvatore Adolfo Marchesi (known as Dolph) accompanied his brothers Federico, Giuseppe (Joe), and Tomaso to Australia in the 1850/60’s. You can see details of the ships in which they sailed, on the the Emigrants page. They went to work in the gold mines around Bendigo, north of Melbourne, Victoria. When the gold ran out, mining continued for antimony.
Antimony is a poor conductor of heat and electricity and has many consequent applications in the electronics and other industries. It is toxic, and eventually Dolph and many others became very ill with “miners disease.” He died in 1920, but we have these letters which provide a brief picture of life for a miner and his family in Australia at that time.
When Dolph became too ill, the letters were written by his wife Elizabeth Marchesi-Hester. The spelling and punctuation are unaltered to retain the flavour of the correspondence. We reproduce a copy of the original letter of 31 December 1911, together with transcripts of this and the latest dated that we have.