The false map
The importance of a locality or township in Victoria is increased in proportion as it is well or badly situated relatively to the Gold Fields; and facility of approach, and shortness of distance, confer claims, and offer advantages, the value of which is fully appreciated, a well in the old country as in this. The position of Melbourne and Geelong, in this respect, has been made the subject of controversy by the public press; and that a jealousy on this head has arisen is too apparent to be overlooked, and is readily accounted for when the vast natural advantages of Geelong are candidly viewed. The progressive pace at which this town and its commercial interests have been moving onwards must satisfy its most ardent well-wishers, notwithstanding the obstructions wilfully thrown in its way. We do not hesitate to affirm that there have been few places in which a greater amount of sound business, proportionately, has been done within the last three years, than in Geelong. The business now carried on here may be learned at once, when it is stated that the imports for the year ending 30th June, 1854, amounted to £2,211,571, and employed 114,656 tons of shipping; and that the exports during the same period amounted to £1,316,813.
The ‘false’ goldfields map with Strachan & Co’s explanation and the ‘real’ map.
The fact, however, that this jealousy does exist has been recently shown most flagrantly by the publication of a MAP purporting to be a correct representation of the distances of Melbourne and Geelong from the Gold Fields of this Colony. It is attached to a general Price Current, issued by a firm in Melbourne, and is evidently intended to be circulated throughout the world. Its palpable object is to show that the Gold Fields and a highly populated district are in close proximity to Melbourne, while Geelong is placed at a false distance. Ballarat is made to appear just twice the distance from Geelong that it is from Melbourne, whereas the real distance of that township and its Gold Fields is only forty-eight miles, in a straight line from Geelong, and, by the same mode of measurement, sixty-two miles distant from Melbourne; and the same glaring disproportions exist with regard to Mount Alexander, the Murray River, etc. Who the concoctors of this disreputable document were we know not, for it bears no signature – but, for the purpose of indentification, we state that the lithographers were Messrs. Campbell and Fergusson, Melbourne.
In order the more fully to exhibit the baseness of this fraud, a map is enclosed, published by Messrs. Macdonald & Garrard of Geelong, on a correct scale, and a moment's comparison of the False Map with the true one will point out the dishonorable nature of the SILENT LIE it was the mission of this Map to tell!
Strachan & Co.
Geelong, 1st July, 1854.