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Macrossan liked to be alone much of the time, and was known to miners as 'Jack the Hatter'.

Image title:
John Murtagh Macrossan

State Library of Queensland

Image ID:
neg. no. 68214

Poulsen Studio

John Macrossan (1833–1891)

Miner, politician and federalist

Macrossan was a fiery Irish goldminer who came to the Victorian diggings in the 1850s. He became a miners' leader on the Queensland fields in the 1870s. In his campaign to support the miners, he got into trouble for horsewhipping the warden, the chief goldfields official at Ravenswood. He entered parliament and became a supporter of Thomas McIlwraith and a minister in his governments.

He was one of the Queensland delegates to the 1891 Federal Convention. Though he was not well educated, he made a great impression with his speeches. He was a supporter of the small colonies such as Queensland having the same number of senators as the large states. He said it was silly to think that in the Senate the small states would gang up on the two large states. He predicted that the Senate would divide on party lines. He turned out to be right, but most delegates did not see his point. He died during the sittings of the convention.