Whales, Maidens and Gold
Henry Williams emigrated to Van Diemen's Land in 1831 with his family at age 5. His father was a boat-builder and his mother died when he was only 10. His brothers were all occupied with the sea whether as boat-builders or sailors, so it came as no surprise when he signed up on a whaler while still a teenager. For the next few years, he sailed the Pacific, hunting sperm, right and fin whales while having adventures in Hawaii and Tahiti. He arrived at the Californian Goldfields in 1849, not as a miner, but as a supplier of provisions to the goldminers. Fortunately, he recorded his impressions and experiences of the people and events he saw in an era when personal accounts were not common. This is the story of his adventures which come alive with his interest in the people he met and their different lifestyles.
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