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Charles Russell facts for kids

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Charles Russell (1817-1892), known as "Black Douglas", was an Australian bushranger, who became famous for robbing miners on the road between Bendigo and Melbourne.

Early life

Russell was born in Bristol, England in 1817. After coming to Australia, he was well known as a prize fighter, boxing for money. He began robbing people on their way to and from the goldfields at Bendigo. One report claimed he robbed 16 people and chained them to a log.

Because of the danger of bushrangers like Black Douglas on the roads, the government set up a gold escort, a coach protected by police troopers to carry gold to Melbourne. One of Black Douglas's tricks was to rob the tents of miners during the day while they were busy digging for gold. He and his gang were captured by an angry mob of gold miners near Maryborough in May 1855. They were going to punish the bushrangers, but the police arrived and saved them. They were charged with various crimes and put in prison. He served several prison terms, and was in prison at Rochester when he died in 1892.

In 1860, Wilhelmine Guischard wrote a book called Black Douglas: An Australian Romance.

In 1926, his pistol was given to the police. Russell had forgotten it during a robbery in 1857. It was planned to be presented in the Castlemaine Art Gallery.

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