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Title: Author: * A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook * eBook No.: 1301421h.html Language: English Date first posted: March 2013 Date most recently March 2013 Produced by: Ned Overton Project Gutenberg Australia eBooks are created from printed editions which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice is included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particular paper edition. Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this file. This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg Australia Licence which may be viewed online.
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The original does not have chapter numbers or a contents page; these have been added. Some aspects of the punctuation have been modernised; a number of misprints (except names) have been corrected. No quote marks have been changed. The font size of the ADDENDA have not been reduced.
WEBB, MILLINGTON, AND CO.
5, WINE OFFICE COURT, FLEET STREET;
ALSO LEEDS AND OTLEY.
LEEDS AND OTLEY:
PRINTED BY WEBB, MILLINGTON, AND CO.
THE age of hero worship is rapidly passing away in the murky cloud of barbarous feudalism, and that of the champions of moral virtue benignantly dawning over the surface of the civilized world. The truly noble who give knowledge, dignity, peace, and love, to mankind, are becoming the recognized heroes of all people. The sun of truth is emerging into mental light a glorious phalanx, too long hidden by false teaching and interested policy; while justice ordains them, those positions in national honour, which have been, for ages past, hideously usurped. The mission of "nature's nobles" comprises the alleviation of the miseries attendant upon the human family, the teaching man his duty to man, the exalting him to self-respect, the instilling humanity, and thus creating that most illustrious of characters—a practical Christian:
"The drying up one tear has more
Of honest fame, than shedding seas of gore."
Firmly impressed with the conviction, that among the benefactors of the human race, the subject of the following pages will occupy the attention of future biographers, while the interesting documents relative to the distinguishing features of her career can readily be collected, and inaccuracies corrected by living witnesses, we have taken upon ourselves the pleasing duty of arranging them in chronological order; tracing the flow of active benevolence from its source until widened into a broad and useful purpose. We have attended more to positive public facts than to minute personal illustrations, as during the lifetime of an individual, more especially a lady, there is ever a feeling of delicacy against gratifying a mere morbid taste by rudely peering behind the veil of domestic life. The recounting the public acts of this amiable female allows of no scope for cutting sarcasms and anatomizing by the pen—we believe all her works "works of mercy", justly worthy of praise—and praise we therefore have accorded in the sincerity of our convictions—we have, in our investigations of the facts placed before the public, seen no seeking, in the spirit of vanity, for public applause, but a high-minded principle pervading every act—a self-denying zeal daily in operation—a practical wisdom ever exercised—a gentle womanly sympathy continually applied—a kind of intuitive knowledge of the secret workings of the human breast, added to a woman's keen penetration, by which the feelings of others were divined, and led into a channel either for personal or public benefit.
The woes and pains of those in affliction were soothed with a nobleness of mind, a disinterestedness of purpose, and a sublimity of virtue, that acts powerfully on our sympathies. We record them that they may be admired and imitated. Philanthropist! a word mighty in signifhcance, encircles with humanizing radiance the name of Caroline Chisholm.
Emigration is the seed from whence germinates a future nation. Its mode, its source, and other facts, are the first entries on a country's historic page, which succeeding generations pore over with intense interest. In its records are traced the blood and kindred that gives character to a people, and show from whence sprang their ideas of politic, social and moral laws, deeply imbuing the community at its sun-rise, and permeating its destinies in its zenith.
On emigration, Mrs. Chisholm has produced, by indomitable perseverance, a deep impression, the results of which will long be acknowledged, as it has given life, energy, and moral character to an important and rising colony. She found the stream polluted, and she has purified it. The weak she has protected, and the poor she has sheltered tenderly and affectionately. With a woman's courage and resolution she has asserted the dignity of her sex, and caused the unscrupulous voluptuary to shrink appalled, and respect nature's loveliest creation, although in want and in rags. The chances, perils, and difficulties of a new far off home she has reduced; the outset rendered more independent, the voyage one of health, industry and protection, the reception kind and secure, and the future prospects of life one of earthly happiness.
To add to the charms and delights of the tenderest chords that vibrate in the human bosom, to prevent them being bruised or torn asunder, has been a task performed with apostolic fervour and enthusiasm—a labour of love worthy of a heroic woman and the gratitude of her fellow beings.
So potent is truth, that a powerful government has made concession to its representations and the demands of humanity.
In this place it is but justice to state that we are indebted to Samuel Sidney, Esq., for many facts which he generously placed at our disposal. This gentleman has made the subject of colonization peculiarly his study, and with ardour and talent, successfully advocated a liberal policy, conducive to the present and future benefit of emigrants, and honourable to the parent country.
In conclusion, we would remark, our biographical duties have been easy, as we have had no hidden motive in the individual to probe to its source, no ambitious aim to follow in a tortuous path, and the good and evil results of actions we have not had to weigh and call in the aid of philosophy to decide. When the time and the able pen come to trace the growth and developement of the mind that has actuated to the achievement of the facts related in this work, we hope our collection and arrangement may prove serviceable to such a literary contribution.
Whenever the opportunity presented itself, we have freely availed ourselves of Mrs Chisholm's public statements, and any official document in relation to her. We were first urged to our present undertaking for the pages of a serial publication, and it has been printed at a distance from our residence, these facts we hope will excuse any slight errors in style, arrangement, or typography that may have escaped our notice in passing through the press.
5, Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, June, 1852.
I. FATHER OF MRS. CHISHOLM—EARLY IMPRESSIONS—OLD SOLDIER—INFANTILE COLONIZATION—LOSS OF FATHER—COUNTRY LIFE—MARRIAGE.
II. DEPARTURE FOR INDIA—THE BARRACK ROOM—SCHOOL OF INDUSTRY—YOUTHFUL COMMITTEES—ECONOMY—BENEVOLENCE—NOBLE SUBSCRIPTIONS—ORPHANAGE—RULES—ADDRESS—INTERNAL ECONOMY—LESSONS.
III. VISIT TO AUSTRALIA—HIGHLANDMEN—CAPT. CHISHOLM LEAVES FOR INDIA—MORALS—SIDNEY—EVILS TO BE CONQUERED—PERILS OF FEMALE EMIGRANTS—EMIGRANT'S BARRACKS—MEETS WITH FLORA—COMMENCEMENT OF A HOME.
IV. LUKEWARMNESS AND OPPOSITION—SAVES FLORA FROM SUICIDE—RESOLVES TO PERSEVERE—INTERVIEW WITH THE GOVERNOR—DESCRIPTION OF THE HOME—OUTGENERALLING THE RATS—PERSONAL SACRIFICES—STATE OF DESTITUTION.
V. SINGULAR ADVENTURE—RESTORATION OF A SISTER TO A BROTHER'S LOVE AND STATION IN SOCIETY—STORY OF THE FAMILY—SENDS FEMALES INTO THE COUNTRY—FUNDS OF FEMALE EMIGRANTS—WATCHFULNESS AND ITS REWARD—SORROWS OF THE HEART SOOTHED—RESCUE OF A GIRL, AND THE GRATEFUL BOATMAN.
VI. REGISTRY OFFICE FOR FARM LABOURERS—WANT OF WORK—PROCEEDS WITH MEN UP THE COUNTRY—PEOPLE SETTLED—WAGES—MAKING FINE LADIES—MODE OF ENQUIRING—MRS. CHISHOLM IN THE BUSH—GRATITUDE—DISSATISFACTION OVERCOME—INCONVENIENCE OF FAME.
VII. WOULD BE GOVERNESSES—FALSE PRIDE CAUSES VICE TO BE PREFERED TO INDUSTRY—MISFORTUNE OF BEAUTY—LITTLE SCRUB—THE HAPPINESS OF SOMETHING REPULSIVE—HOW OPINIONS DIFFER RESPECTING SERVANTS—AN EASY LIGHT PLACE—FIRST REPORT OF THE HOME.
VIII. THE DO NOTHING EMIGRANTS—CONDESCENDING TO TAKE A COUNTRY MAGISTRACY—A PLOUGHMAN TURNED GENTLEMAN—A PAUPER WITH A COMPLICATION OF DISEASES—HOW HE IS MANAGED AND PASSED OFF.
IX. A CHAPTER ON WIVES—THE PLANS OF A MOTHER TO HAVE HER SON MARRIED—NO BOUNCE—THE BUSHMAN'S LETTER FOR A WIFE—HOW TO SELECT A GOOD WIFE—SEARCH FOR "A PERFECT BLESSING"—STOPPED ON THE HIGHWAY FOR A WIFE—MODE OF SUPPLYING WIVES—MATRIMONIAL EXCURSIONS.
X. CONVICTS BLESS GOD THEIR CHILDREN ARE NOT IN ENGLAND—PLEA FOR THEM TO HAVE THEIR WIVES—HOSPITALITY—MORAL SENSIBILITY—A REFORMED LONDON PICKPOCKET—GOD'S POLICE—EARL GREY'S CONSENT, AND CAPTAIN CHISHOLM'S BENEVOLENCE—LAND TICKETS—DECENCY IN INTERMENTS—"UNFORTUNATES."
XI. SOCIAL ARRANGEMENTS—SMALL FARMS SUCCESSFUL—GOVERNMENT SUCCUMB—BUSH PARTNERSHIPS—SYDNEY YEOMEN—JOURNEY INTO THE BUSH—TESTIMONIAL TO MRS. CHISHOLM—DEPARTURE FOR ENGLAND.
XII. OPENS AN OFFICE IN ENGLAND—THE GOVERNOR ORDERS CHILDREN OF EMIGRANTS TO BE SENT OUT—EARL GREY DESIRES MRS. CHISHOLM's OPINION—SUMMONED BEFORE A COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS—SECURITY IN TRANSMITTING MONEY—FAMILY COLONIZATION LOAN SOCIETY—A, B, C, OF COLONIZATION.
XIII. MRS. CHISHOLM—PHRENOLOGICAL DEVELOPEMENT OF HER HEAD—PHILANTHROPY A LADY FRANKING LETTERS—TESTIMONIES TO MRS. CHISHOLM—CONCLUSION.
ADDENDA: [RULES, REGULATIONS AND HISTORY OF THE FAMILY COLONIZATION LOAN SOCIETY.]
FATHER OF MRS. CHISHOLM—EARLY IMPRESSIONS—OLD SOLDIER—INFANTILE COLONIZATION—LOSS OF FATHER—COUNTRY LIFE—MARRIAGE.
England at one time abounded with a class among its people called yeomen, of which the country was justly proud. In a circuit around their homes they were looked upon as the presiding and fostering chiefs, their doors were open to the inquiring or weary wayfarer, hospitality was their distinguishing characteristic, and the needy, the struggling or the unfortunate sought their sympathy, advice, or assistance—seldom, indeed, fruitlessly. Money did not form the absorbing object of their pursuit, but to live honoured and respected by their neighbours was the happiness at which they aimed. To this sturdy class of Englishmen belonged Mrs. Chisholm's father, Mr. William Jones, a native of Wootton, Northamptonshire. Proud of his country and its institutions he contributed handsomely to the "Voluntary fund" that was subscribed during the existing war,—while his superior understanding and probity caused his advice to be sought by those who found pleasure in the exciting turmoil of political affairs.
A natural unbending love of truth gave to him a pride of demeanour, and also abhorrence of secrecy that was carried into the minutest details in the government of his family; thus however young a child might be it was allowed to remain in the apartment while important matters of business were discussed, or subjects of grave political importance canvassed. On the susceptible mind of youth this must have produced a deep impression, more especially as, when the child was seen to be attentive, its opinion was asked.
One day this high minded man introduced to his house a poor maimed soldier whom he attended with respect and affection, and calling his children pointed out what obligations they were under to this veteran; he having fought the enemies of England amid the perils of sea and land, and sacrificed his limbs, that they might live in ease, comfort and security at home. This old soldier excited the curiosity of the children by descriptions of other countries, the beauty of the scenery, the excellence of climate, the abundance of food, the advantages that would accrue by the possession of those paradises as colonies, and the fortunes emigrants might reap. This event, and family correspondence with some American settlers set the busy mind of the infant Caroline, the heroine of these pages, to ponder over the subject, and its effects are thus recollected and described in a letter to a friend in Sidney.
"My first attempt at colonization was carried on in a wash-hand basin, before I was seven years old. I made boats of broad beans; expended all my money in touchwood dolls; removed families, located them in the bed-quilt, and sent the boats, filled with wheat, back to their friends, of which I kept a store in a thimble case. At length I upset the basin, which I judged to be a fac simile of the sea, spoiled a new bed, got punished, and afterwards carried out my plan in a dark cellar, with a rushlight stuck upon a tin kettle; and, strange as it may seem, many of the ideas which I have since carried out first gained possession of my mind at that period; and, singular as it may appear, I had a Wesleyan minister and a Catholic priest in the same boat. Two of my dolls were very refractory, and would not be obedient; this made me name them after two persons I knew who were always quarrelling, and I spent hours in listening to their supposed debates, to try and find out how I could manage them: at length I put the two into a boat, and told them if they were not careful they would be drowned; and having landed them alive, I knelt down to pray to God to make them love each other."
An early loss of her father caused the education of the mind of the youthful Caroline to devolve upon her mother, who was left in easy circumstances, and fortunately being a woman possessed of surprising resolution, acute perceptions, abundant humanity and a firm reliance on the love of God, the lessons taught ripened those extraordinary mental powers of her daughter so admirably befitting to the great works of her future destiny.
The life of a young country girl presents but few points of interest. The sphere is prescribed within a narrow compass, still an isolated active mind will in some manner develope its vital powers, and we find that the practical benevolence of visiting the poor and the sick, of advising and soothing the distressed, shed a lustre around the girlish days of this noble woman.
When about twenty years of age the subject of these memoirs married Alexander Chisholm, an officer of the British army. There existed in the young couple a sympathy of disposition most remarkable, and thus the husband has ever most ardently reciprocated all the philanthropic aspirations of his wife.
DEPARTURE FOR INDIA—THE BARRACK ROOM—SCHOOL OF INDUSTRY—YOUTHFUL COMMITTEES—ECONOMY—BENEVOLENCE—NOBLE SUBSCRIPTIONS—ORPHANAGE—RULES—ADDRESS—INTERNAL ECONOMY—LESSONS.
Captain A. Chisholm, of the Madras army, arid his wife, about two years after their marriage, sailed for India, and it was here that first were begun those practical public works that have so eloquently appealed to the feelings, and done honour to the heart and understanding of Mrs. Chisholm.
The language and scenes of a barrack room are decidedly unsuitable to the ears and eyes of female youth. Familiarity with licentious and profane expressions, and indecorous conduct must obliterate all delicacy of mind and action. Moral torpitude ensues and vice loses its horrors. What other result would be expected but that which did occur to the poor creatures? In budding womanhood the playthings of passion, in their youth loathsome and abandoned, and in their prime the tenants of a premature tomb. Their lives disgraced humanity, the object of existence by them was unfulfilled, and they perished lost to the merits and rewards of their sacrificed Redeemer.
The fashionable excitement of life allowed few of their own sex, placed in happier circumstances, even to cast a thought upon these sacrifices to man's selfishness. Ladies shrank from entertaining such a subject in their minds, and if they did they feared the derision and scorn that would be levelled at their sympathy. God in his wisdom has given superiority of moral courage to some minds, an enduring love of their species, and firm reliance in Christian truth. Mrs. Chisholm indignant at the degradation of her sex resolved to effect a reform, but with a discrimination, unoffensiveness and completeness peculiar to herself. Determined to commence at the root, that no further growth should take place, she proposed to form a girl's school of the children and orphans of the soldiers, in which education should be blended with the duties of housekeeping. The room accorded for this purpose was in the precincts of the barracks, which Mrs. Chisholm soon discovered would prevent, from its immediate contaminations, her ulterior views. The neighbourhood was dense and unhealthy, notwithstanding which, as the humane founder of the project was acting from the purest motives, seeking no vain-glorious applause, but devoted to carrying out in sincerity the objects undertaken, and stating that as she had taken upon herself the sacred duties of a mother to the girls she must personally watch over and direct their actions; therefore, this noble lady, with her worthy husband, removed from their comfortable habitation to a district where, from dread of infection, many families of their acquaintance refused to visit them. The utility of the establishment becoming apparent it was shortly afterwards removed to a distance where really commenced "The School of Industry". The matron selected was an excellent housewife, and considered more suitable from not being able to read or write, as the responsibility of the reports consequently entirely devolved on the pupils. A committee was formed of the little girls, who deliberated and arranged the duties to be performed. Arithmetic and writing were learnt by keeping a strict account of the expenses and consumption of every article. The receipts and disbursements of all food, utensils, clothing, firing, wages, the duties performed, and incidental occurrences were all minutely recorded. The stores were given in charge to another set, some enacting the part of vendors weighing out and setting down the price per lb. and gross amount of all the items. Thus there was practical shopping and shopkeeping. The tiny members of the committee consulted on the kind and quantity of food for each day's requirement; the loss sustained by boiling, baking and roasting; all articles being carefully estimated: a girl by this mode of procedure knew what amount of provisions would be required in a family of three or thirteen, giving reasons for such calculations, and also the cost, hence the income necessary under such circumstances. They superintended and assisted in every domestic duty and thus resulted practical housekeeping.
When sickness afflicted any of them the causes, symptoms and cure were regularly registered, befitting the pupils for the duties of the sick room.
When food was left from the meals it formed a subject for consideration whether too much had been cooked or it had not been relished. A test of a few days corrected the error, if one: then the little conclave debated how the food could be most satisfactorily used on the morrow or the same day—here was a lesson on economy—or in what manner it could be nicely dressed up to give to some poor or sick person—thus the divine attribute of charity was indelibly implanted on the fair mind of susceptible childhood.
Eagerly were those valuable housekeepers sought for as servants and as wives of non commissioned officers. While many youthful but deficient helpmates of the soldiery beseeched to be admitted that they might participate in the advantages of such instruction.
Proud are we to record, and honourable is it to the Madras presidency and officers of our brave Indian army, that the then secretary, Mr. Chamier, took a lively interest in forwarding this valuable school; Sir Frederick Adams, the governor, subscribed £20. and in five days 2000 rupees were raised by a few officers and gentlemen in order to render effective the plan of Mrs. Chisholm. This institution was the commencement of what is now an extensive orphanage, rearing in industry, and protecting in virtue, those who have lost the guardianship of parents who have fallen a sacrifice to the glory of their country.
Considering the rules, the moral lessons, and the details of the system by which "The School of Industry" was governed, not only in the light of a curious document, but as a valuable model for carrying out similar institutions in an economical manner, we are pleased to have it in our power to give insertion to an authentic copy of the regulations. Be it remembered that a useful and virtuous direction of the mind of female youth tells powerfully afterwards on society, for the true education of future generations is ever centered in the maternal parent.
THE FEMALE SCHOOL OF INDUSTRY,
Daughters of European Soldiers
THE chief object of this Institution is to enable such European Soldiers as may feel disposed to remove their children from the Barracks and Putchery Lines. A House for their reception is to be procured in Black Town, Madras, where the children will be instructed in reading, writing, arithmetic, needle-work, and domestic management. Their religious instruction and moral conduct will be made an object of particular attention.
I.—Each child is to come provided with two plates, one cup and saucer, one knife and fork, one table and tea spoon, one drinking mug, and one common box for clothes.
II.—Each child is to be furnished with a separate bed, they are to be clothed in one uniform dress (after they have worn out such clothes as they may have brought with them to school) and to have one general mess.
III.—They are to get up at an hour so as to be able to take some recreation in the cool of the morning, either on the Beach or Esplanade, they are first however (after having washed themselves) to say a short prayer, and after they have come in to say their regular morning prayers, and then to have their breakfast. The children are to be assembled for prayers and meals by the ringing of a bell. They are never to go out without being accompanied by either the mistress or matron of the school.
IV.—No child is to be sent or allowed to go to the Bazaar. No male visitor is to be permitted into the school without the sanction of one of the managers.
V.—A child can at any time be withdrawn from the school, but will not afterwards be re-admitted on the establishment.
VI.—Parents who may have a daughter in this establishment may, during illness, send any of their younger children, on paying the expenses of their food.
VII.—Infant children will also be received from the Regiment Hospital a few hours daily, as the main object of this school is to teach girls the domestic duties according to the station in life they may expect to move in.
|For telling an untruth.|| To forfeit five tickets,
and to be kept for that
day separate from the
other children in the
school-room that visitors
may at once know the
| For stealing, and how-
ever trifling the offence,
| The same punishment
| Second offence.
|| Black bracelets in
| In breaking crockery,
if immediately acknow-
ledged, but but if discovered
afterwards by the mis-
tress or matron.
| No punishment
To forfeit three tickets.
| Parties to the conceal-
| To forfeit one ticket;
for conniving at trifles
may in time lead to
| If discovered quarrel-
ing or fighting.
| To be put on low diet
for a day, the same
punishment for all con-
| If sulky for six hours
or a day.
| Low diet double the
| Any girl who refuses
to assist in making a
| Not to partake of the
| If any part of the
dress is torn at play.
| The girl to be imme-
diately sent into a room
to repair it.
A black book is to be kept, into which all offences and punishments are to be entered by the mistress, the offenders are to be made to affix their names thereto. This book to be shown to every visiting member.
ADDRESS TO BE READ BY THE MISTRESS.
My dear little Girls,
It is my wish that you should have read to you once a month the list of punishments. The rod in appearance is quite frightful and I think you will have the same opinion of it, and I trust you will look upon the Bracelets with a determination never to wear them. It is, I assure you, much easier to be good than to be bad, and you must be the one or the other. It will be a very shocking thing and would distress your parents and friends to see your name in the Black Book. If you tell lies, I fear you will soon learn to steal, for one generally follows the other; and if you steal sugar and little things, I fear you will in time steal broaches, and I dread to think what your end may be. But I hope better things of you, and fully expect you will pay great attention to the good instructions you receive, and be really good girls. But if you are idle you cannot be good. I therefore hope you will be industrious, this will be setting a good example to the natives, for let me tell you, and I speak the truth, that there is no situation in life in which you cannot do some good. I wish you never to forget how kind your parents are to place you in a situation where you are not surrounded by vice and wickedness. They are now giving up some of their comforts to add to yours, and it is not enough that you love them and feel grateful, but you must show your gratitude by your good conduct, and learn to be useful now, that you may here after be of real use to them, and perhaps in their old age; think if your mother should be ill, how happy it would make you to be able to nurse her and make her nice jellies, and light puddings, and do all that was required for her. You cannot, my children, think how dearly a mother loves, and the comfort she would feel in having a daughter for a nurse, and you must learn to do those things before you can have this pleasure, and you have now the opportunity. Think too how rejoiced your father would be to see you do all this, and how much such conduct would repay him for having given up his Arrack allowance to make you a good and dutiful girl. I wish you also to consider how proud your parents will be of you, I fancy I already hear your father say, in honest pride, that my girl can keep accounts, cook a dinner, and she is only fourteen years of age; and your mother says, yes, and make a shirt and cut it out as well if not better than I can. That you will be able to do these things I fully expect, and I have no doubt but you will have a great pleasure in doing so, and your being able to do them will give you a proper feeling of pride and independence, that is, if your parents should die, you would be able by your good conduct and management to support yourselves and little brothers and sisters, for God will never forsake the good. Before I conclude this, I must again refer to that frightful Rod, that shocking Black Book, and those ugly Bracelets, and as I think you will, with pride becoming soldier's daughters, consider it a disgrace that they should be seen. I will promise you, that if at the end of one year the Rod has never been used, that you shall have a day's holiday to bury or burn it, and that you shall invite your parents to be present on the occasion, giving them cake &c., made by your own hands. When the Rod is fairly out of the house, the Rewards will be distributed, and the ladies and gentlemen who have so kindly supported this institution shall be invited to attend at the distribution of the prizes, and you will know how necessary it is that the Rod should be removed ere this could take place. Your united good conduct could also remove the Bracelets and Black Book. Try then, my dear little girls, to be good, never tell lies, never steal the smallest thing, never fight and quarrel, and never make use of bad words, and obey and do what you are told, and you will then be the pride of your parents, a credit to your religion, and the admiration of all your friends.
TO THE MATRON AND MISTRESS.
You must never forget that children are early lovers of justice, and that peace and harmony cannot dwell where favouritism reigns. In this establishment, much will depend upon your conduct, as children learn more from example than precept. They are generally close and faithful imitators of those they reside with, and will judge by your acts and not by your professions; they will in the twinkling of an eye discover whether the way to your favor is the high road of sincerity or the bye path of hypocrisy and dissimulation, and will either love and respect you, or fear and despise you. If you rule justly, you will find it easy to govern; encourage them to be kind to each other, and lovers of peace; reprove them for their faults privately, and if possible without the knowledge of each other; never bring up old faults; be just and impartial in the distribution of tickets; and enter faithfully into the Black Book all punishments and the cause of them, and if you should have any particular complaint against any one of the children, report the same to the Managers that they may direct you how to act. You are not to use the Rod except you have permission of the visiting Manager. It will however be better that the children should not be aware that it is necessary for you to obtain this permission.
EXTRACTS FROM THE ASSISTANT HOUSE-KEEPERS ACCOUNT BOOK.
Breakfast ready at half-past seven.
Weighed the bread and meat, found them correct.
Gave out of the stores, 3 measures of rice, ¼ lb. tea, 1 lb. sugar.
Extra, 2 spoonfuls of barley to make barley water for Mary McMillin, who is not very well.
There are only 20 measures of rice remaining in stores.
For dinner, boiled mutton, curry and rice. Remarks, rice too much boiled.
At two o'clock, made Mary McMillin a cup of Tea. She is now much better.
As there was some cold meat left, and a small quantity of rice which would not keep until to morrow, we made it into pish-pash and gave it to the poor blind woman.
The tea leaves were given to the other poor women as usual.
The tea kettle wants repairing.
Paid the butcher's bill, 4r. la. 6d.
|Mary Smith, 13 years, }
Jane White, 12 years, }
June 1st, 1836. Kitty McCarthy, 8 yrs. }
|Questions to be answered by
How long was the rice boiling?
By referring to the accounts, I find there ought to be five pounds of sugar in stores, how do you account for the deficiency? What have you done with the butcher's receipt?
What use did you make of the boiled barley after draining of the water?
VISIT TO AUSTRALIA—HIGHLANDMEN—CAPT. CHISHOLM LEAVES FOR INDIA—MORALS—SIDNEY—EVILS TO BE CONQUERED—PERILS OF FEMALE EMIGRANTS—EMIGRANT'S BARRACKS—MEETS WITH FLORA—COMMENCEMENT OF A HOME.
In the career of usefulness, sketched in the previous chapter, was Mrs. Chisholm employed until 1838, when, for the benefit of her husband's health, with her infant family she left India, to visit the more salubrious climes of South Australia and Van Diemen's Land. Towards the end of the year she landed at that great field of her philanthropic exertions, Sydney. The first objects that came under her notice, and were benefited by her benevolence, were a party of Highland emigrants who had been sent to the shores of a country where the language spoken was to them strange and unknown, and without a friend to assist or guide them in that path of honourable labour which they desired. As a temporary means of relief Mrs. Chisholm lent them money to purchase tools and wheelbarrows, whereby they might cut and sell fire-wood to the inhabitants.
The success of this experiment was gratifying both to the bestower and receiver, in the one it revived drooping hopes, the other it incited to larger enterprises of humanity.
In January, 1840, Captain Chisholm had to join his regiment in India, but it was considered more prudent for the health of the family that they should remain for some time longer in the more favourable climate of Sydney. While the devoted and noble minded husband urged his beloved and courageous wife to carry out those views over which they had pondered for the reformation of evils detrimental to morality, the success of the colony, the honour of their native country, and to the mission of man on earth.
Many now living may remember the laxity of national morals in our country during the reign of a former monarch. The roué was then a character extolled, envied, and glorified. In every large town the sustaining of this character was the business of many men's lives, who were either high in station, wealthy, or nearly related to others who were so. Crimes were perpetrated that would now cause a man to be abhorred or stand at the bar of justice. Marriages had to have the indecent excitement of a flight to Gretna Green, disgusting elopements were fashionable, and women considered mere automatons of dress and passion. Female intellect was derided and shunned, that this "noblest work" of nature might be continued in slavish animal degradation. Morality rejoices then in the brilliant and elevating change effected by the glorious example of a female monarch, as now the domestic, social, and intellectual virtues are cultivated, reverenced and esteemed as a duty that womankind not only owes to herself but to society.
It cannot therefore be a matter of wonder that this miasmatic moral depravity was wafted to our colonies where it could riot even more freely, from being less likely to receive public censure and exposure than at home. Painful is it to think that the unprotected children of poverty or of crime were deemed the rightful spoil of degraded-minded men, while the lax morality of the colony rendered them callous to feeling, to honour, and manliness.
The narratives of the treatment of females emigrating to the shores of the New World, that reached this country were very sparing, and by interested parties asserted to be exaggerations or falsehoods, which for the satisfaction of conscience, was readily admitted as the most probable representation.
Let us then lift the veil and see the state of Sydney when Mrs. Chisholm arrived there, and the hydra corruption with which in her love of her species, and dependence on the Almighty, she nobly dared to grapple and destroy.
At the government depot in England, writes Mrs. Chisholm, "we find congregated together broken up families; young couples without children, or single young women, perhaps perfect strangers to all around them; each party leaving behind them in all probability, parents, brothers, sisters, &c., without almost any hope of re-union; here is a mass of human beings inwardly lamenting their separation from those most dear to them; they go on board under harrowed feelings, and the young women are placed under the care of a matron, who is viewed as a very subordinate character. These are trying situations for human nature, and a dangerous position for young women to find themselves in, for amongst these there exists no common feeling except that of perfect indifference to each other,—the innocent and the helpless stand there exposed to the wiles of the snarer. Who has not been shocked by the frightful details we have read in the public papers, how orphan after orphan had been victimised on board emigrant ships by men calling themselves Christians; how modest maidens have been brutalized over and insulted by those whose peculiar duty it was to protect them."
Upon the voyage being completed, continues Mrs. Chisholm in her appeal to the clergy of Sydney, "one of the most serious evils I know is the practice of young women being allowed to make engagements on board ship. Some families of high respectability do engage servants in this way; but I also know that some people, of the very-worst character, go there and engage servants—servants? No! They are not required as servants—they are not wanted to work. Many have I known who have been taken to houses of the worst character the first day of their arrival. Shall this evil continue? God forbid! The latter go on board ship with impunity: how can the captain or surgeon be expected to know them? They judge from appearances. A silk dress—a little talk about attending church on a Sunday, and the poor girl gets high wages—leads an idle life—visits the theatre—dresses well, and leads some of her shipmates into the same hands. Some say it is the duty of the clergy to prevent this system—others say, of the ladies: that it is a duty that ought to be met few will deny."
This was a monstrous, overgrown evil for a woman single handed to contend with, but like a good Samaritan Mrs. Chisholm went amongst the helpless and gave them advice, the captains and agents she besought to act with caution and humanity, and sacrificing every domestic comfort and privacy when she saw a poor creature amid dangers and ruin she took her to her own house; having as many as nine at one period there, sheltered and protected. Still the benefit capable of being effected was so trivial to the magnitude of the evil, that she saw it was far beyond her limited means, in fact, it was a national work. A stranger and uninfluential, she found her appeals must be comparatively disregarded. A circumstance at length took place which made her determine at all risks of ridicule and painful public indifference to commence in earnest her mission of mercy and charity. We prefer giving the history in the simple, unaffected language of Mrs. Chisholm's narrative.
"On my first visit to the emigrants' barracks, which was about five in the evening, my attention became fixed on a young and beautiful Highland girl (in tent No. 1); the arm of a gentleman was round her waist. I am a great admirer of beauty, and her style pleased me exceedingly. On my two following visits, I still saw the same gentleman; I observed too, a little extra finery on Flora. I could not make out the name of the gentleman, but I cautioned the poor girl's mother, and bade her beware. The poor woman said, 'there was no fear of Flora, for her head had never rested but on her mother's hearth.' She was all innocence—the mother all hope. The following day, I made a few purchases in Mr. ———'s shop, in George Street, when the same gentleman I had seen with Flora entered; an elegant woman hung on his arm. I enquired his name—'the lady was his wife.' I still doubted: I went to the next shop; I enquired, whose conveyance is that?—still the same name: I no longer doubted his intentions. The following evening, seeing him in a tent with Flora, I made enquiries if any ladies felt an interest in these young creatures, or afforded them protection? I was told, there was a committee, but the ladies never visited the institute, or in any way interfered; and after many enquiries, I was obliged to leave Flora to her fate.
From this period I devoted all my leisure time in endeavouring to serve these poor girls, and felt determined, with God's blessing, never to rest until decent protection was afforded them. In January, 1841, I wrote to Lady Gipps, and from that time I never ceased in my exertions. I knew that every ship's arrival would increase the necessity for such an institution. I felt convinced the evil which struck me so forcibly would soon be made apparent to the good people of Sydney; and I felt assured that the God of all mercy would not allow so many poor creatures to be lost, without disposing the hearts of the people to unite and save them. I now considered the difficulties, and prepared the plan: for three weeks I hesitated, and suffered much. I was prepared to encounter the opposition of some, the luke-warmness, or the actual hostility of others, to the plan I might suggest. I saw I must have the aid of the press; for I could only anticipate success by soliciting public sympathy for the cause I had undertaken, notwithstanding which, as a female and almost a stranger in the colony, I naturally felt diffident. I was impressed with the idea, that God had, in a peculiar manner, fitted me for the work; and yet I hesitated. About this time, several young women, whom I had served, advised others to write to me. I did all I could to aid them in their prospects by advice, or recommending them to situations; but the number increased, and I saw that my plan, if carried into effect, would serve all. My delay pressed on my mind as a sin; and when I heard of a poor girl suffering distress, and losing her reputation in consequence, I felt that I was not clear of her sin, for I did not do all I could to prevent it.
During the season of Lent of that year, I suffered much; but on the Easter Sunday, I was enabled, at the altar of our Lord, to make an offering of my talents to the God who gave them. I promised to know neither country nor creed, but to try to serve all justly and impartially. I asked only to be enabled to keep these poor girls from being tempted, by their need, to mortal sin; and resolved that, to accomplish this, I would in every way sacrifice my feelings—surrender all comfort—nor, in fact, consider my own wishes or feelings, but wholly devote myself to the work I had in hand. I felt my offering was accepted, and that God's blessing was on my work; but it was his will to permit many serious difficulties to be thrown in my way, and to conduct me through a rugged path of deep humiliation. I may here remark that, with one exception, every person I wrote or spoke to on the subject acknowledged the need of such an institution; promised to subscribe when one was established, though with few exceptions, all declared they thought the thing impossible. I determined on a visit to Sydney,* and on my arrival there, I requested two friends to call at the Herald office; both refused. I went myself, and am glad of this opportunity to acknowledge the attention I met with, and the support the proprietors of that journal gave me—indeed, to the press of Sydney I feel indebted, and thank them sincerely for their support. From his Excellency's letters, and what he said, I came to this conclusion, that, under existing circumstances, he would not refuse me, though he would rather not grant my request. I knew I had an able general against me, and that much caution, patience, and temper, were necessary on my part. I was advised by a friend to form a committee immediately—a thing easier said than done; but I was not certain of his Excellency, the governor, giving me the use of a part of the immigration barracks, and as I had more than forty letters in my possession, detailing the miseries of some of the young women then in Sydney, I had determined, as the forlorn hope, to publish these; and ten of them would, I knew, be sufficient to cause a feeling on the minds of the public, which would have raised funds at once: but I was told their publication would injure the colony, and I had no wish to do this, for I feel an interest in its prosperity, and should have lamented making a passing and transient distress known in England, when I was certain there would be no necessity for this measure.
[* Mrs. Chisholm resided at Windsor.]
I waited on the ladies who now form the committee, viz.—Lady O'Connell, Lady Bowling, Mrs. Richard Jones, Mrs. Roger Therry, Mrs. W. Mackenzie, Mrs. J. Wallan, and Miss E. Chambers; and it is pleasing to be able to state, that not one refused me—all expressed themselves as feeling an interest in the work.
LUKEWARMNESS AND OPPOSITION—SAVES FLORA FROM SUICIDE—RESOLVES TO PERSEVERE—INTERVIEW WITH THE GOVERNOR—DESCRIPTION OF THE HOME—OUTGENERALLING THE RATS—PERSONAL SACRIFICES—STATE OF DESTITUTION.
Thus did this excellent lady labour to arouse the public to a sense of justice and humanity on behalf of helpless females, and project plans to efface a stain and disgrace on the colony; the response was but feeble, private interest did not exist to quicken into action, and man is proverbially selfish in his deeds. Still the nucleus was formed, additional names added weight, and a distinct plan traced out;—action and energy were now the chief powers to be exercised to bring the scheme into useful operation, when private interest, jealous prejudices, and weak-mindedness, privately and publicly assailed the plan as a wild hallucination. The ardent grew cool, the friendly frigid, and the "first promised supporters withdrew their pledges." Bigotry, that can no more comprehend the life-giving impulses and ardent aspiration of the true spirit of Christianity, than the crippled Chinese female the elastic spring of the mountain habitant, was effectively at work as the tool of the base and hypocritical, and by it the unthinking and weak-minded were easily deceived, and truth distorted. The opposition raised, though it did not daunt the spirit of Mrs. Chisholm, relying as she did on the divine nature of her work, yet it harrassed and wearied out her body. Even the humane and pious, erring in judgment, advised her to relinquish her intention. Thus worn out, she resolved to retreat to her cottage at Parramatta, that by prayer and contemplation she might strengthen her mind to firmly proceed in her good work, when the following circumstance, as related by herself, took place.
"I started in good time, as I thought, for the Parramatta steamer; indeed, I was so certain of this, that although a friend overtook me in King-street with a conveyance, and told me he should be only just in time, I refused to ride; I wished to be alone for a few minutes; I was aware I had been much tried, and I knew a few minutes alone would give me time to soothe my feelings, and meet my friends at the steamer with spirit—perhaps I did not walk so quick as usual, at all events I was too late. I then walked towards the Flagstaff.
Near Petty's Hotel, I caught sight of a frail beauty; her dress told her fate; she evidently knew, and wished to avoid me; I was determined to overtake her; I was able to do this, for I hurried onward; I laid my hand on her arm, and the wreck of my Highland beauty stood before me. Alas, how different from the lovely girl she once was! the ruddy rose of the Highlands was changed for the tinge of rum: she had been drinking, but well knew what she was about.
"Tell me where you are going?"
"To h—!" was the answer
I continued to walk by her side: she became insolent; but I was determined not to leave her. She made for Lavender's Ferry, and said, "my mistress lives over there." I said, ["]I will go to the other side with you, as I want to say a few words to you. She was unwilling; but I persisted: we crossed over; I felt certain, from her manner, she meditated suicide; I passed to the left of her, and bade her sit down. I knew the circumstances of her family well, and my first question was of her mother.
"Did you see your mother die?" (I knew she did not, for her mother consented to her remaining in service in Sydney.)
"She died happy."—No reply.
"Are you a mother?" She seized my hand and placed it on her heart. "God is merciful!"—she shook her head.
I saw a letter in her bosom; I drew it out, with her nodded consent. It was from her brother; he felt her disgrace; he taunted her with being the first in the family who had known shame.
"I loved ***** better than any, save————" And again she shook her head.
"Your brother loves you even now."
"Were there any in your family who ever committed murder?"
She shook with horror.
"Then why will you?"
"It's there I meant to drown myself," pointing to a distant spot; "It's there we met often, and there I would die!"
I did not leave the place until, with subdued feelings, I heard her vow never to attempt self-destruction, I procured her lodgings; my spirits returned; I felt God's blessing was on my work. From this time, I never thought of human help; I neglected no steps to conciliate; I increased my exertions; but from the hour I was on the beach with Flora, fear left me."
Sir George Gipps, the governor, looked on the plan with doubt and suspicion. He thought Mrs. Chisholm was some wild enthusiast, and paid the least possible attention to her letters. The newspapers, wondering, doubting, and hesitating, discussed the proposition. The clergy considered the object laudable and praiseworthy, still they had doubts of the power and object of the promoter; but as the extent of moral good to be effected became apparent, and an appeal being made to them, through the press, they heartily responded, all denominations vying in assisting the indefatigable lady.
Mrs. Chisholm persevered nobly; and at length the governor grudgingly granted an interview to the "lady labouring under amiable delusions." A. philanthropic lunatic was a rarity, perhaps an excitement.
"I expected," said sir George Gipps, when relating the story to an English friend, "to have seen on old lady in white cap and spectacles, who would have talked to me about my soul. I was amazed when my aide introduced a handsome, stately young woman, who proceeded to reason the question as if she thought her reason, and experience too, worth as much as mine."
At one of these interviews, after Mrs. Chisholm had explained what she wished and intended to effect by her Emigrant's Home, Sir George remarked, "I believe you have overrated the powers of your own mind, and believing so, and also in your disinterested views, I think it right to tell you."
Sir George at last, on receiving a guarantee against the government being put to any expense, granted the use of a government building. It consisted of a low wooden erection. The room appropriated to Mrs. Chisholm's own occupation was not more than seven feet in length and breadth, without afire-place. She was compelled, when requiring a cup of tea, to send for water to a public boiler, in which hundreds of kettles had been dipped. At length a prisoner, engaged in the government printing office, brought a kettle of boiling water every morning.
Mrs. Chisholm writes, "in acknowledging this boon, I would thank lady Gipps for her kind and generous support; she strewed a few flowers in my path—I knew them by their fragrance, and I thanked God she had a woman's heart! But I must take possession of my office. On closing the door, I reflected on what I had been compelled to endure for forty nine square feet. My first feelings were those of indignation that such a trifle had been so long withheld; but better feelings followed. I determined to trust to Providence, to increase its size, and prove my usefulness. I soon observed, to do any good, I must sleep on the premises; and as soon as Mr. Mereweather was aware of my determination, he gave me the best room then vacant. I cannot say vacant, for it was used as a store room. This was, however, cleared for my accommodation; and having been busy all day, I retired wearied to rest. My courage was put to the proof at starting. Scarce was the light out, when I fancied, from a noise I heard, that dogs must be in the room, and in some terror I got a light. What I experienced on seeing rats in all directions, I cannot describe! My first act was to throw on a cloak, and get at the door with the intent of leaving the building. My second thoughts were, if I did so, my desertion would cause much amusement, and ruin my plan; I therefore lighted a second candle, and seating myself on my bed, kept there until three rats, descending from the roof, alighted on my shoulders. I felt that I was getting into a fever, and that in fact I should be very ill before morning—but to be out-generalled by rats was too bad. I got up with some resolution: I had two loaves and some butter (for my office, bedroom, and pantry were one); I cut it into slices, placed the whole in the middle of the room, put a dish of water convenient, and with a light by my side, I kept my seat on the bed reading "Abercrombie", and watching the rats until four in the morning. I at one time counted thirteen, and never less than seven did I observe at the dish during the entire night. The following night I gave them a similar treat, with the addition of arsenic; and in this manner I passed my four first nights at the Home."
After a time, four rooms of similar size to that named, were added, and thrown into one for the Home.
"My plan was to have apartments near the office for my children, but this did not answer—at night I must be in the Home. I gave up one child, although I could keep two with me; but I found the elder a source of so much anxiety that I consented to part with him. I knew under the honest care of Miss M. Galvin, of Windsor, they would be well fed, and kindly treated, and I could still keep one, my youngest. Some sickness among the children in the tents told me plainly my duty, still I would not, could not part with my dear boy. A lady, whose esteem I value, told me I ought not to risk my child's life; that I must give up my Home, or my selfish feeling for my child: I was aware of the truth of the observation, but refused. At night, as was usual with me, I saw the girls after they retired to rest. Ninety-four were in the Home; I asked if they had any place to go to if I turned them out; not one had a place of shelter. On my return to the office, I found a poor woman waiting for a white gown, to make her dead bairn decent. I went into my room, packed up my little fellow's wardrobe, and the next day he was at Windsor. This was the last sacrifice it was God's will to demand.
After obtaining possession of the building, which I named the 'Female Emigrant's Home', I appealed to the public for support: after a time, this appeal was liberally met. There were neither sufficient arrangements made for removing emigrants into the interior, nor for protecting females on their arrival. A few only were properly protected, while hundreds were wandering about Sydney without friends or protection,—great numbers of these young creatures were thrown out of employment by new arrivals. I received several into the Home, whom, I found, had slept out many nights in the government domain, seeking the sheltered recesses of the rocks rather than encounter the dangers of the streets. It was estimated that there were 600 females, at the time I commenced, unprovided for in Sydney. I made an offer to the government of gratuitously devoting my time to the superintendence of a Home of Protection for them in the town, and also to exert myself to procure situations for them in the country.
SINGULAR ADVENTURE—RESTORATION OF A SISTER TO A BROTHER'S LOVE AND STATION IN SOCIETY—STORY OF THE FAMILY—SENDS FEMALES INTO THE COUNTRY—FUNDS OF FEMALE EMIGRANTS—WATCHFULNESS AND ITS REWARD—SORROWS OF THE HEART SOOTHED—RESCUE OF A GIRL, AND THE GRATEFUL BOATMAN.
One evening, says Mrs. Chisholm, just after the opening of the Home, a gentleman of most serious demeanour called: he handed his card, and said, as his visit was to do good, no apology could be necessary. He commenced by saying, women were creatures of impulse and feeling; he admired their virtues, but deplored their want of judgment and stability. "You are doing wrong, ma'am—you are sending souls to perdition! to send girls to the country is monstrous. I am an old colonist, a man of experience, the father of a family; you do not know the country—the people are worse than barbarians, they are monsters." I told him I had visited Goulborn and Port Macquarie, and I saw no danger in either. "Bad places, ma'am; Bathurst and Yass are horrible—if you only knew half the horrors of these places! but see—(he dragged out a roll from his pocket)—read these, ma'am." I found his packet consisted of extracts from the Sydney papers, giving an account of all the murders and outrages for years past. "Read these and abandon your country plan." Seizing the papers, he walked up and down the office. "If you do not, I will publish the whole—yes, 2,000 copies—I will let the people of England know what they may expect if they send their daughters to New South Wales." His step be came more hurried, and I really thought him mad, and quietly removed the pen-knife and ruler. I knew that even madmen will sometimes fall into the same pace as their keepers, I therefore joined him in his promenade, and he soon kept pace with me. I asked him what was to be done with the girls in Sydney, that there was not honest employment for them, and that many were losing character. "Human depravity—the want of God's grace, or rather, the want of gospel preachers." I ventured to ask what church he attended; he acknowledged he had been under the ministry of five, but, according to his opinion, they were not faithful preachers. I promised to look through his horrid collection; and so far yielded to his earnest entreaties as to tell him I would seriously consider what he said; at the same time I told him, if I failed, my failure would be a valuable appendage to his book; for, that the fact being proved that girls lost character in the country, would strengthen his argument.
"Yes facts are stubborn things, Mrs. Chisholm, I once had a sister, but she is dead—worse than dead!" He paced the room. "I did not mean to tell you this a villain, a convict, ruined my sister!"
"Does she live in sin?"
"I believe not."
"Is she in poverty?"
"She is, and justly deserves it."
"That is not the doctrine of the gospel; have you seen her lately?"
"Not during the last four years."
"Have you given her any pecuniary assistance during that time?"
"I think seven pounds."
"Where is her seducer?"
"In Van Dieman's Land."
"Have you the means to aid her? for if she does not live in sin, it is your duty; who knows but this night she may he in want?"
"She brought it on herself."
"Where does she live?"
"In ——— street."
I told him that his pride would be brought low—that she might do something to bring him to public disgrace. I spoke of his mother—his father—and I saw home feelings were doing their work. I determined on taking advantage of his feelings. I put on my cloak and bonnet, and opening the door, said, this is the moment, the night, for a work of mercy. I shall go and see your sister; you must go too.
"But see, it rains."
Now as I stood as fair a chance of a sprinkling inside the building as out, it was no great sacrifice to me; and I pointed out the advantage of a night that kept the careful at home. He followed, and in less than forty minutes we were at Alice's door.
She occupied the half of a kitchen, in ———street; she had been washing, but was then at her needle; and as she sat, looked respectable; her face brightened as I spoke of giving her work. I questioned her as to her circumstances; her tale was soon told: she struggled hard to pay her rent, and to keep herself and child decent.
I asked if she was married?
"No; but if I could get to Van Dieman's Land, George would marry me."
"Have you no friends?"
"Yes, a brother" in a low voice "an only brother."
There was a movement from the door; nature had done its work. I retreated, that I might be no restraint on this happy reconciliation; my feelings could not be explained. Mr. ——— came out.
"Have you given her any money?"
"No; how much shall I give her?"
"All you have in your pocket—I see it's all hers—give her £10. You must not break God's blessing; devote it to her; pay her passage; employ some friend to see her married; stock a nice farm; in fact, you must make a decent woman of your sister."
I continued to talk to my silent companion; he saw me, to the Home door; he shook hands with me, and so fervent was his acknowledgment, that my fingers ached for an hour afterwards.
I think I shall not give offence by stating a few particulars of Mr. ———. He was the gentleman of the family; he had received a good education; he had a little money; he and his sister came to the colony on the death of their mother. Alice was a humble and affectionate girl; she acted as his servant; they did not even dine together; she was contented, and he was happy: he was getting on. He kept a "government man" that could read and write—never was a servant more attentive to his mistress; but still, to use Alice's words, "I never had a thought of him then." About this time, making butter paid remarkably well; Alice was a good dairy woman; the brother was tempted to take a farm, and send his sister to it; the "government servant" accompanied her; true, the brother did intend to send a man and his wife to her aid; but the butter came regularly; it sold well; and he forgot [h]is duty—hence her ruin; his long resentment followed; his change from one religion to another for it has been wisely ordered, that a heart full of resentment shall never find peace."
Seeing this gentleman afterwards, he said to Mrs. Chisholm, that he had come to the resolution never to cut out extracts from newspapers, or visit a philanthropist with money in his pocket.
This recital beautifully illustrates the active works of mercy and charity which Mrs. Chisholm was ready to seize every opportunity of practising. While the mind naturally reverts to the history of sympathy and affection to the sinner that is recorded in the acts of our divine Teacher, and from which the Christian mind derives its impulse.
It having been the custom for gentlemen and idlers to frequent the emigrant's barracks, Mrs Chisholm found it a task of some difficulty and delicacy to stop this practice, and have only one place of ingress and egress instead of many. Those points, however, she succeeded in accomplishing.
"Although the Home was crowded", says Mrs. Chisholm, I could not get a girl to go into the country—I found it necessary to go first myself. A party promised to be ready, but their fears overcame their good resolutions, and I had the dray to send away empty (this I kept a secret.) I had ninety-six on rations, a serious number; however I ordered two drays the next day, and sent them off in spirits. The inmates of the Home being most suited to rough country work, I proceeded into the interior, to form committees, and to establish country "Homes", taking, in some cases, parties of females with me; When I commenced taking them up the country, I had to meet, in the first instance, their travelling expenses, which were afterwards refunded. The inhabitants of the district cheerfully supplied them with food; the committees afforded them protection and advice. I took them to Campbell-Town, Maitland, Liverpool, Paramatta, and Port Macquarie. The first parties of young women varied from fifteen to sixty in number. I went from farm to farm, getting them places in service. I quickly disposed of the first venture, and then returned to Sydney, after having made arrangements for the establishment of country depots. I also got married families to promise shelter and protection to such young females as might require it.
Soon after the opening of the Sydney Home, I received sixty-four girls from ships then in harbour, and all the money they had amounted to fourteen shillings and three half-pence; twenty-two had no money; several two-pence; others four-pence. These girls I sent into the country, The majority are married, and not one lost her character."
One evening when Mrs. Chisholm was taking her rounds to see that all was right outside the establishment, she saw a party of men trying to conceal two girls. She immediately went to the young unthinking females and asked them if they had friends in the colony, and as they had not, desired them to go into the Home. One only did so. In a few minutes Mrs. Chisholm and the girl went back to induce the other to leave the men, when they were surrounded by the rough lawless looking fellows. They stated they had come to her to apologize, that knowing she did not get a penny for all her labour, and did it only for the good of the girls, they were not the men to obstruct her in her endeavours, and then bid her good night. One of these men afterwards came and privately besought Mrs. Chisholm to save a young girl who was in danger, She did so—the girl got well married—and thus the adventure of that night was the means of enlisting others in her virtuous mission.
No one ever undertook a voluntary unthankful and gratuitous duty upon themselves, and executed it with more personal sacrifice, careful watchfulness, and humanity, than did Mrs. Chisholm in carrying out the intention of the Homes. Those whom she had under her protection, had a maternal and friendly eye ever upon them, never would she sleep away from her flock, if a barn floor or the bush was their portion, she cheerfully partook of its inconveniences; and her regard for their feelings was beautifully illustrated by her custom, when all were supposed to be asleep, of gently entering then: dormitory. If she saw a closed eye, which by its tremulous motion, betrayed it was not sleep that hid the orb below, or the cheek glistened with recent tears, Mrs. Chisholm would affectionately whisper to the party to rise and follow her to her little apartment. The source of woe was enquired into, perhaps some near or dear relative in afar off land, or feelings lacerated by separation from the object of the heart—was the tale recounted. They were soothed and comforted—hope was held out—and the will of God shown in the steps of humankind. The very opening of the mind to one who breathed words of sympathy gave courage and ease to those who knew not of a friend before to whom they could unbosom the secret turmoil of their feelings, and they entered with spirit and confidence on their future career.
We cannot forbear relating another instance of the watchful zeal with which Mrs. Chisholm prosecuted her good work. A vessel arrived and it was mentioned that a beautiful young girl had attracted much notice on board; when the females came to the Home, one was missing from those who had left the ship—this proved to be the favourite. Mrs. Chisholm then learnt that the ship's boat had been seen hovering about, and she immediately engaged one in the harbour and proceeding to the place which she suspected as the most likely resort, and there discovered the misled girl. She told her if she returned at once she would not be missed, and avoid such a disgrace. The girl hesitated, her companion was insolent, but Mrs. Chisholm was firm, and threatened exposure in the public press—he quailed at the mention of the press. May the press of Sydney long maintain its power and preserve its influence! Each paper has its own interest; each editor his own opinion; but in the exposure of villany—in any moral movement, they are one.
"I went to the girl," says Mrs. Chisholm, "led her on towards the boat, and desired her to get in willingly, that the man should suppose it was entirely her own will. I was hastening along when the man who had been with the girl followed and said, "I must have one word with you; that poor girl is innocent and good—do you believe it?"
"Then may God bless you!"
He assisted me into the boat, and was soon out of sight. I landed at the jetty, and on offering the boatman his hire, he refused, to accept it, in a manner at once respectful and grateful.
"You do not know me, ma'am, but I know you; and may my arm wither from the socket, if ever I touch money of yours."
"Why, I have never seen you before—who are you?"
Alas, poor Flora! many loved you.
REGISTRY OFFICE FOR FARM LABOURERS—WANT OF WORK—PROCEEDS WITH MEN UP THE COUNTRY—PEOPLE SETTLED—WAGES—MAKING FINE LADIES—MODE OF ENQUIRING—MRS. CHISHOLM IN THE BUSH—GRATITUDE—DISSATISFACTION OVERCOME—INCONVENIENCE OF FAME.
While the affairs we have narrated were proceeding in favour of the destitute females, Mrs. Chisholm did not loose sight of the interests of the male emigrants. She found many arrived quite ignorant of the manners and customs of the colony, and were therefore, in many instances, imposed upon. Frequently the agreement was that wages had not to commence until the arrival of the employed at the place where he had to labour, which might be a three weeks journey; the luggage was heavily charged for conveyance; perhaps the food supplied was innutritious, while the poor man was liable to be discharged at a moment's notice, the verbal arrangement being often disputed. To check this evil Mrs. Chisholm commenced a registry office for servants, having a printed form of agreement. This document was signed by both the employer and employed, and kept at the office. A duplicate being given to both parties. On this was stated the wages, the day of their commencement, the notice to leave required to be given, the supply of flour or of corn, fresh or salt meat, and other particulars. This new system was not at first liked, but as both master and servant perceived their interests were served, they readily availed themselves of the bond. Out of all the agreements made ten only were ever disputed, and they were arranged by a reference to the original documents At the time labourers were required in the interior there were numbers idle in Sydney, supported at the expense of the government. Things wore a serious aspect, mischief-making parties, for some paltry gain, fed the spirit of discontent. The Irish lay in the streets, looking vacantly, and basking in the sun. Apart from them, Englishmen, sullen in feature, sat on gates and palings, letting their legs swing in the air. Another group was composed of Scotchmen, their hands thrust into their empty pockets, suspiciously glancing at every thing and every body from beneath their bushy eyebrows. Mrs. Chisholm ventured to produce a change, she provided for the leaders first, showed how she desired to be the friend of the industrious man, and went with numbers in search of employment, far into the country. She undertook journeys of 300 miles into the interior with families; and the farther she went the more satisfactory was the settlement of the parties accompanying this brave lady.
"When the public had an opportunity of judging of the effect of my system," writes Mrs. Chisholm, "they came forward and enabled me to go on. The government contributed, in various ways, to the amount of about £150. I met with great assistance from the country committees. The squatters and settlers were always willing to give me conveyance for the people. The country people always supplied provisions. Mr. William Bradley, a native of the colony, authorized me to draw upon him for money, provisions, horses, or anything I might require, but the people met my efforts so readily that I had no necessity to draw upon him for a sixpence. At public inns the females were sheltered, and I was provisioned myself without charge: my personal expenses during my seven years' service amounted to only £1. 18s. 6d.
As numbers of the masters were afraid, if they advanced the money for the conveyance by the steamers, the parties would never reach the stations. I met the difficulty by advancing the fare, confiding in the good feeling of the man that he would keep to his agreement, and to the principle of the master that he would repay me. Although in hundreds of cases the masters were then strangers to me, I only lost £16. by casualties. At times, I have paid as much as £40. for steamers, and, from first to last, in following out my system, I have been the means of settling 11,000 souls. The largest number that ever left Sydney under my charge, at one time, was 147, but, from accessions on the road, they increased considerably. The longest journey of this kind occupied five weeks; three weeks of which were passed on the road.
The rate of wages for a single man averaged £20 per annum, with weekly rations of flour 9 lbs., meat 10 lbs., tea 2 oz., sugar 1½ lbs. A married man and his wife, with one child, £25. per annum, and weekly rations of, meat 18 lbs., flour 20 lbs., tea 4 oz., sugar 3 lbs.
I established a female registry office in Sydney where all persons that required service used to attend in the morning, from ten till four. My first endeavour was always to get one female servant placed in a neighbourhood, and having succeeded thus far left the feeling to spread. With some persuasion I induced a man to take a servant, who said that it would be making a fine lady of his wife. The following morning a neighbouring settler said, 'You are quite upsetting the settlement, Mrs. Chisholm; my wife is uncommonly cross this morning, and says she must have a servant, and I think she has as much right to one as others.' It was among this class that the girls married best. If they married one of the sons, the father and mother would be thankful; if not, they would be protected as members of the family—they slept in the same room with their own daughters. I have been able to learn the subsequent progress in life of many hundreds of these emigrants. Girls that I have taken up the country, in such a destitute state that I have been obliged to get a decent dress to put upon them, have come to me again, having every comfort about them, and wanting servants. They are constantly writing home to get out their friends and relatives."
Of the system pursued by Mrs. Chisholm, the colonial emigrant agent says, "I do not think a better plan could be adopted than that one pursued about the end of the year 1841 and beginning of 1842, during a great influx of emigrants. Advantage was taken of return drays, by means of which they were removed, in small numbers at a time, and at a very moderate expense, into the inland districts. To districts on the coast they were sent by steamers, and were, in the first instance, committed to the care of the police magistrates, and subsequently received into 'Homes', specially provided for the purpose, and supported partly at the expense of the districts, and partly by contributions from the government."
It is curious to observe in the above evidence the official manner of hiding the short comings of government, and by implication, seizing upon any credit that arose from a sound plan. Honestly, he should have said that these Homes had been established, and the emigrants distributed, from the arrangements, and by the personal labour, and pecuniary risk of Mrs. Chisholm, and that the only assistance from government was a tardy contribution of £150., or about one-tenth of the total expenses.
The following extract from a circular will give an idea of the business-like style in which Mrs. Chisholm went to work;—
Jamieson Street, Sydney, Oct. 21st, 1841.
"Sir, I am endeavouring to establish a 'Home for Female Emigrants', and, as my first object is to facilitate their obtaining employment in the country, I shall feel obliged if you will favour my intention (should you approve of the same) by giving me the information I require regarding your district; and any suggestion you may think useful will be considered a favour.
"1st. Whether girls who at home have merely been accustomed to milk cows, wash, and the common household work about a farm, would readily get places? at what wages? and how many do you think would, in the course of the next two years, be required?
"2nd. Good Servants, such as housemaids and cooks, the rate of wages? and the probable number required for the same period?
"3rd. Married couples with small families, say two or three children, ditto?
"4th. Could employment and protection be found for boys and girls from seven to fourteen years of age?
"5th. Have you had opportunities of observing if the young women can save any part of their wages? for they are generally of opinion that nothing can be saved in the country, every article of wearing apparel being so much dearer than in town.
"6th. What would be the cheapest and best way of conveying the young women to your district?
"I have to observe that the servants will be classed according to their qualifications, and distributed fairly, so that those who are absent will have an equal chance of getting a good servant with those who are present."
In 1842, we find in one of the Sydney journals; "Mrs. Chisholm, the undaunted and enterprising bush pioneer writes: 'I wish you would use your interest to try and borrow a horse and covered cart for me. I require the cart to sleep in at night, and carry little children by day; I have a saddle-horse for my own use. I have now provided for seventy families; the weather is, however, very changeable, and I require a covered cart to enable me to continue my exertions.'"
It was during one of these journeys that a gentleman travelling came up to a party of emigrants camped on the side of a swampy ford. He found Mrs. Chisholm employed in effecting the passage of the women and children; she made her docile horse cross the ford with two children at a time, slung across his back hammock-like, encouraging him with her voice each time until all were safely landed. She had previously ridden thirty miles in search of employment for the parties.
On one occasion, arriving at a particular location and finding the surveyor's work incomplete, Mrs. Chisholm at once took the chain in hand and divided off the plots as well, for all practical purposes, as if performed by the most scientific man of business.
At another time she writes, "When we landed from the steamer and entered into the bush, we found there was 110 water. I had thirty women and children in the party, all tired, hungry, and thirsty, the children crying. Without saying a word, I sent one of my old bushmen off on horseback three miles to get enough of milk or water for the children. In the meantime, some of the emigrants came up and said, in a discontented tone, 'Mrs. Chisholm, this is a pretty job, what must we do? there is no water.' I knew it would not do for them to be idle; anything was better than that in their frame of mind; so partly judging from the locality, I said to them without hesitation, 'If you will dig here, I think you will find water.' Directing the tools to be got out, they immediately set to work, and providentially, they had not dug many feet when they came to water. This had such an exhilarating effect upon their spirits, that they instantly threw off their coats, began to dig two other fresh holes, and did not leave of till moonlight."
On one of her first journeys, she was met by a discontented party of emancipists, shepherds, and shearers, of the district, who said, "we believe you are a very good sort of a person, Mrs. Chisholm, and have great respect for you; but we cannot allow emigrants here to lower our wages." Her answer was, "I hear you want wives, is that true?" The reply was a universal "Yes." "Then, don't you see, I can't send single girls into a district where there are only bachelors. Let me fix a few married families down on the different stations, and I will send to them decent single lasses that you can marry."
This settled the question: a government officer on the same errand would have been mobbed.
At one station, where a female was in charge, the utmost alacrity was shown in providing for the party, and Mrs. Chisholm was informed there was a nice snug bed-room made up for her. "My good neighbour," replied the lady, "I must sleep where my girls sleep."
Accommodation was then made in the large room of the house, and all slept under cover. Breakfast was ordered at five o'clock, as Mrs. Chisholm always found the advantage of an early start. On demanding her bill she was told it was at the door, on reaching, which she found a strange horse, ready saddled. "Where is Captain?" the name of her favourite horse, which is well known all over the colony, demanded the lady. "I have sent him on early this morning to the next station that he might have a rest," replied the female inhabitant of the bush: "and there are some provisions to help yourself and party on the road; as to payment, we are all in your debt, your good actions pay us all." This kindness was of frequent occurrence, and displays the feeling of the settlers.
Difficulties had frequently to be met by policy. A large party of men, on one occasion, hung sadly behind, she saw discontent on their countenances, and that the slightest spark would cause an explosion and countermarch of the whole. Affecting not to perceive it, she told them they must feel fatigued but that soon they would have a rest and something to eat. Then leading them about two miles out of the road they arrived at a station. The bushman preferred plenty of food. "Well," said Mrs. Chisholm, "while the meal is being made ready, let us have a little chat."
"Who owns that corn in your barn?"
"Why, ma'am, who should but me?"
"Who owns the house?"
"How many cattle do you call your own?"
"Sixteen cows, five hundred sheep, and eight horses."
"What will you get for your corn?"
"Why, there it is, if any body wants it I'll sell it: I have plenty of every thing, I don't want money. I have been free four years; I have gained what I have by my own work, and there's not a man in all your party, if he choses, but may do the same."
The food was eaten with a relish; ail were in high spirits; and after starting the difficulty was to keep up to them, so eager were they to proceed. The inconvenience of fame is sometimes felt, thus: on arriving for the first time in a remote district, a rough bushman came up and said, "Well, Mrs. Chisholm, I have been waiting for your coming some time, here's this new fashioned machine of mine somehow wont work." Mrs. Chisholm declared her inability to rectify it; the bushman was incredulous, but upon being assured this was the fact he went about saying to his neighbours that he thought nothing of Mrs. Chisholm, whom people said could do all things and everything, she could not direct how his machine was to be mended, so was no cleverer than other people. Mrs. Chisholm felt this was injurious to the prestige of her renown, and as she "ever stooped to gain all sorts of knowledge"—that is, if she had work to be done by a blacksmith or carpenter, she saw it done, and enquired the reason for various operations,—therefore, on returning to Sydney she took care to learn the mechanism necessary for the repairs of the implement in question, and visiting the district in about three months afterwards, she was able to direct the necessary repairs. "Aye, that's it, I knew if you would try you could do it—every body said so of Mrs. Chisholm," cried the delighted bushman, and she was reinstated, in the mind of the rough countryman, as the presiding genius of Australia.
WOULD BE GOVERNESSES—FALSE PRIDE CAUSES VICE TO BE PREFERED TO INDUSTRY—MISFORTUNE OF BEAUTY—LITTLE SCRUB—THE HAPPINESS OF SOMETHING REPULSIVE—HOW OPINIONS DIFFER RESPECTING SERVANTS—AN EASY LIGHT PLACE—FIRST REPORT OF THE HOME.
Of the singular and presumptuous ideas of emigrants we have an interesting account portrayed by Mrs. Chisholm in her "Pictures of Australian Emigrants".
Many applications were made by young women who professed to be governesses, but were utterly incompetent for such a situation. Among others came M——— R———, who offered herself as nursery governess; and whom Mrs. Chisholm found could neither write, read, nor spell correctly. The following dialogue, exemplary of profession and practice, too common in all societies, took place.
"Can you wash your own clothes?"
"Never did such a thing in my life."
"Can you make a dress?"
"What can you do?"
"Why, ma'am, I could look after the servants; I could direct them: I should make an excellent housekeeper."
"You are certain?"
"Yes, or I would not say so."
"Do you know the quantity of the different ingredients wanted for a beefsteak-pie of the size of that dish, and a rice pudding of the same size?"
"Oh no, ma'am that's not what I meant: I'd see that the servants did it!"
"But there might be great waste, and you not know it; besides, all, or nearly all, the servants sent to this colony require teaching.
Nothing, observes Mrs. Chisholm, but my faith in Providence, that there must be a place fitting for every body in society, enabled me to bear such inflictions; this faith made me labour in seeking some suitable employment for each, and had I not possessed it, but turned them out, their fate would have been inevitable and horrible.
Our next extract is illustrative of higher class would-be governesses.
"R——— was entered as a governess; I was glad of this, for I had then several applications from the country for governesses,: [sic] she was a pretty girl, too; and I knew, when pretty girls have no money—no friends—Sydney is a very bad place for them. There is nothing so unpleasant as to question a young lady as to her competency. She could teach music, French, drawing, &c.; she was satisfied with the salary, and her testimonials were first rate.
"You say you can teach music?"
"You thoroughly understand it?"
"One of your pupils is nine years of age. How long do you think it will take her to get through Cramer's Instruction Book?"
"Perhaps you have not seen it?"
"No, ma'am; but I was very quick myself—I have a good ear for music."
"What book did you study from?"
"I learnt singing and music at the same time."
"Tell me the name of the first piece you played?"
"Home, sweet Home."
I said no more about music. I gave her a sum to do in addition; and she made a total of sixteen pounds five shillings come to eighteen pounds four shillings. Now this girl, I afterwards ascertained, at home had lived in a family as nursemaid, and washed the clothes of five children every week; but she was a pretty girl—somewhat of a favourite at sea; I removed her the following day far from any pernicious influence.
One girl, having health and strength, had refused five situations; at last I thought I had suited her. She was to live in a settler's family and teach five children to read and write; she was not required to wash the children; but as the good and thrifty woman kept no servants, she was to wash her own clothes (or pay for the same out of her wages,) make her own bed, and clean her own room: the good woman also said, she would teach her anything she knew, but ask her to do nothing. I thought there could be no objection to this; but when I told her, once a week she must scour her own room (the best in the house)—when I said this—she burst into a passionate flood of tears; the degradation was more than she could bear! I thought it then my duty to refuse her the benefit of the Home. In less than three months this victim of false pride was living ————; anything rather than work: I have since regretted I did not give her one more trial.
"Pretty girls," writes Mrs. Chisholm, "no matter what their qualifications or characters, were difficult to dispose of; they are not, it appears, liked as servants, though they are preferred as wives.
Mrs. ————, wanted a servant; I sent one—a good servant girl, and a very beautiful girl, I acknowledge. I thought the place would suit her—no son in the house—no nephews—cook married—groom married—quite a safety. In less than an hour the girl returned, with the following note:—
"My dear madam,
What can you be thinking of, to send such a handsome girl to my house? Heavens, the place would be beset! besides, I do not like such showy women in my house; send me a plain, homely looking girl, and oblige yours, &c."
I always found it wearisome work to get pretty girls off; but after much patience, and many disappointments, I generally succeeded. Some ladies were easily pleased; but I had one I could not suit. She would go to a girl:—
"Can you make up a room very neat?"
"Can you cook?"
"Can you work well at your needle?"
"I can do plain work neatly."
Looking at her from top to toe—after a pause—"Ah, you won't do; it's a thorough servant I want."
Day after day did she repeat this; and, when it had occurred for at least the twentieth time, I went into my own room, mustered over in my mind her different objections to different girls, and came at last to a conclusion and a decision.
The same evening I received a cargo of sixty girls, one of them a parish pauper, her hair not combed, her face not washed; her clothes looked as if she had first jumped into, and then slept in, them; her features and figure quite justifying the name she had earned from her shipmates of "Little Scrub". A gentleman who was present at the time said, "I suppose you intend her for the bush?" I answered, "There is a place for every body in this world, and I think I have had one waiting for her several weeks past." On the following morning the fastidious lady came, and I saw at once that, while reviewing the late arrivals, her eye fell with peculiar complacency on Little Scrub.
Being rather afraid that I could not keep as grave a countenance as the gravity of the affair required, I thought it best to call her into my own room, and told her that I had a girl that would suit "not a good servant, but a good girl." I then called in Little Scrub, and the following dialogue took place—
"Can you wash?"
Staring wildly. "Wash, marm!"
"Can you cook?"
"Can you make a bed!"
"Make a bed, marm!"
"Will you do all that this lady bids you?"
"Oh! yes, marm."
The lady looked at the poor girl with the scrutinizing and pleased air of a connoisseur in front of a fine dusty picture, and her countenance glowed with satisfaction.
"I will take the girl", said she; "I dare say she will turn out a good servant. Oh, Mrs. Chisholm, you've not been long in this colony: it takes years to know it. You will make the agreement for six months. (With a deep sigh.) Oh, it is such a comfort to have something a little repulsive!"
Mrs. Chisholm's favourite axiom, or faith in Providence, "that there must be a place for every body" seems borne out by the contradictory opinion of mistresses in regard to the same servants; thus one writes, "I received last week the servant you sent me; when I saw her I was astonished how you could have selected such a person for my family. She has, as I fully expected she would prove herself, an idle, lazy, dirty, insolent, girl." Another place was procured for this same girl, and four months afterwards her new mistress writes; "As ——— ———, whom you were so kind as to send to us, has conducted herself remarkably well, I am induced to trouble you again on the subject of servants. Our housemaid is about to leave us, Mrs. would rather trust to your selection than her own."
The next example proves how much depends on temper: a lady writes:—
"I don't think it possible you could have seen the girl you sent me. I have had great experience; have had numbers from the factory, but, in all my life, I never met with any person who tried me as ——— ——— did. I was incessantly talking to her, but it was of no use: and, as I cannot be everlastingly teased, I returned her to you. She is slow at her work; abominably filthy in her habits; and was, to me, most insolent. I would not keep her for nothing."
This girl's next mistress, some months afterwards, writes, "I send in ——— ——— for medical advice; she has hurt her hand; if you will allow her to sleep a night or two in the Home, I shall consider it a favour. I shall also feel obliged if you will send me a girl to assist ——— ——— at her work until she gets well; for we have found her such a deserving good girl, we would gladly do all in our power for her. With our best thanks for your kindness, I remain, &c., &c."
A lady writing for a servant says, "As I keep two other servants, I have put on a piece of paper all this girl will have to do; and you must read it over, and explain every part of it, so that there may be no mistake afterwards. * * Mine is a very easy, light place." The duties referred to are: "To be dressed at half-past six; the hall and steps to be cleaned by half-past seven; the breakfast to be ready by eight; three beds to be made by nine; walk with the children till ten; needlework until eleven; to cook the children's dinner, and have it ready by half-past twelve; then she will have to dust the dining-room out, (and once a week to clean the windows) this she can do well by a quarter-past one; needlework till three; lay the cloth; wait at table. Now, she has nothing to do with washing the dishes, only the glasses, though I give her till half-past four; then she can take the children out; give them their tea, wash them, and put them to bed—this will be over by seven, when she can amuse herself with needlework. Of course she takes the entire charge of the children's clothes, which, I have a right to expect, should be kept in good order. I am no way particular what religion she is, but she must attend family prayers—I would not take her else. Say wages from £10. to £14.; but this I suppose I must leave to you."
A summary of the benefits derived from the Sydney Female Emigrant's Home is thus stated by Mrs. Chisholm in the first report published of the Institution.
Since the establishment of the institution, 735 young women have been provided with situations, at wages varying from £10. to £18. a year. Of this number 291 have been distributed in the country districts, of whom only 211 had been in service at home; 108 were orphans who had received their education in charity schools; 394 were Roman Catholics, 107 of whom could read, whilst 81 could read and write: 238 were Protestants of the Established Church; of these 42 could read, and 35 read and write, and 103 were Presbyterians, 35 of whom could read, and 21 read and write: total number of Irish, 516; English, 184; Scotch, 35. To the number of 131 was taken by parties who never before kept servants; 13 have broken their agreements, whilst 26 employers have broken theirs; 8 have had charges of drunkenness brought against them, two of which were proved; 5 were charged with thefts, none of which could be substantiated: 2 were guilty of insolence: I obtained a situation by a false character, and 19 were removed from their situations by the secretary; 13 left their places without giving notice; 17 were discharged without notice by their employers, and 2 after eight o'clock in the evening without any charge being proved against their characters; 19 left their places with proper notice, and have not been paid their wages; in Sydney 81 have changed their situations; in the country 11; pecuniary assistance has been afforded to 47 persons, and 263 have received donations of provisions. The amount of subscriptions received is £156.; the expenditure, £154.; cash in hand, £2.; subscriptions due, £41.; debts none."
THE DO NOTHING EMIGRANTS—CONDESCENDING TO TAKE A COUNTRY MAGISTRACY—A PLOUGHMAN TURNED GENTLEMAN—A PAUPER WITH A COMPLICATION OF DISEASES—HOW HE IS MANAGED AND PASSED OFF.
Having given a few characteristic anecdotes of the females whom Mrs. Chisholm had to manage, we will now exhibit the other sex. The "do-nothings" or "black-riband gentry" are a class which, Mrs. Chisholm says, "are numerous; amongst them men are to be found, who enter themselves as clerks or tutors, who are as ignorant of the duties of one as they are incapable of filling the office of the other. Some of these men by dint of impudence, push themselves into a little consequence on board ship. When they appeared at my office, I instantly said, 'are you one of the emigrants, per ship ——?' Their usual hesitating answer was, 'I came by that ship.' (They wished to lead me to suppose they paid their own passage, or, if I would oblige them by taking them as cabin passengers it would be as well) 'What situation do you want?' 'O ma'am, I'm in no particular hurry; I'm on the look out for a government situation; I have some very good letters; I have one to the attorney-general; and I expect he will offer me the clerkship of the bench; I am told it is a very fair thing to begin with.' Another told me he expected Mr. Thomson would make him an out country magistrate. 'Why, I am certain Mr. Thomson never promised you that.' 'No, ma'am; but all I want is a note from you, just to say that I'd take it, and I am sure he would give it me.' I told him I had no interest in that quarter, and if I had I would not recommend any person for a situation he could not fill I gave him good advice; told him he must work; that it was the only certain way of getting on in this country."
This class, observes the discriminating lady "seems to be manufactured on board ship: as soon as they land in Sydney, they go to a draper's shop, and purchase two yards and a quarter of black riband; this is put round their necks—sometimes a spy-glass is suspended; this is, however, rare—a dressing-case key, with a silver top, is the favourite trinket of these fashionables. I expose this foppery and vanity, as it proves that there is as much vanity in one sex as the other Finger rings are much worn by this class, and if they can meet with a cheap signet ring, they are delighted. The wife of one of this class of men told me, that her heart was nearly broken by her husband's crank ways; that, at home, he was obliged to work hard for nine shillings per week, and keep his family out of the same. 'He can plough, ma'am, and delve, and do all kinds of work; but he seems to think the government will make him a something out of the common way.' She begged me to try and persuade him to take a place where they might do well, and urged me to keep her application a secret;' For I know, ma'am, he'd be the death of me, if he knew I told you he was a poor man at home.' A passenger on board ship, with a kind intention, gave this man his cast-off ship clothing, and I believe he had received three pounds, a few days before he left home, for some services at an election; the fine clothes and money did him harm. It is almost impossible to serve such a man if he has two shillings in his pocket. The following morning I sent for him, told him I had a situation that would suit him; he expressed himself thankful to hear it—what was it?' An overseer at a bachelor's station; you will have twenty-five pounds per annum, and full rations for your wife and three children.' 'What shall I have to do?' 'Work; there are sixty cows; two men are on the station—these you must look after; and there is a small farm and garden as the latter is near a township, the vegetables sell well; you are allowed what you require for your own family; your principal work will be in the garden and on the farm. You can plough, I should say, judging from your looks; you have worked hard, and will find this place easy.' 'I don't think I would mind taking a situation as head superintendent, if you have one on your books.' The settlers of this country are clever, shrewd men; they seldom engage a newly arrived emigrant, for they require men of colonial experience, and they generally take them from their working overseers. 'So, you do not intend taking the situation I have offered you?' 'Certainly not.'"
A pauper who had been sent out never appeared in the office until he had been three months in the colony; nor would he then, but that he was struck off rations and turned out of the tents; he then came to me, looking as idle, miserable, and wretched as he could make himself.
"If you please ma'am, I want relief."
"I am turned out, and I have four children, and nothing to eat."
"Where are you going to stay?"
"With a shipmate."
"Come to me every morning at seven, and I will give you rations for your family until you get work."
"Oh, ma'am, I can't get work!"
"I will find you work in two days."
"Thank you! Heaven bless you! but I am not well enough to work. I was thinking of going to the hospital; but I am a little afraid of the doctors here not understanding my complaint."
"What is it?"
"It's called a compleracation."
"Dr. Harnett would cure you in a week."
"Would he though, really: you see, ma'am, I am very weak."
"Very; I require something strength'ing."
"Dr. H. has great faith in blisters; they are said to be the best things in your complaint."
"Ah! but I could not bear them: you see, ma'am, they would throw me into a fever that is the worst of my complaint, what does me good one way, does me harm another."
"But with low diet there would be no fear of a fever, I will write you a note to Dr. ———."
"Why, no ma'am; I'll wait a day or two, thank you Are there any parishes in this town?"
"Will you please to tell me where the parish officer lives?"
"There are no parish officers."
"Do you say so, ma'am?———(A long pause.) Where is there a vestry? for you see, ma'am, I'll never be able to do without a little relief. Have you a benevolent society here?"
"Do they give relief?"
"Will you please to give me an order?"
"You are not old enough by twenty years."
"Oh, ma'am, cannot you do something for me? Do you not know any kind people who will help me with a trifle?"
After trying his patience for some time longer, I gave him two days' provision for his family, and told him I would try and find an easy place for him. A few days after this he came, and renewed his demands in the following manner:—
"If you would only give me six shillings for a pair of shoes."
"I will the day you are engaged. Nowhere is a little coffee for you, and here is a needle, cotton, and thimble for your wife, to mend your coat; you must come to me to-morrow, at nine, and I will give you a waistcoat and shirt."
I then spoke to him about a shepherd's life; told him of the flocks that belonged to men who came here without a sixpence. I gave him a sheet of paper and pencil, and told him to go home and calculate what he could save in five years. I was glad to observe his step was quickened: the following morning he was punctual, I had a new loaf, quite hot, some tea, sugar, a beef-steak, a few pounds of potatoes these were in a basket.
"That's fine beef, John—it is for your breakfast."
"Do you say so, ma'am? Well, I am lucky."
"You must get a good place to-day. Now here is sixpence; go and get shaved and your hair cut; and here is twopence—you are obliged to buy water here; and, as soon as you come back, you can take the basket, for I have something else for you yet."
In less than half an hour he returned, quite another man; and, as I reminded him of my promise to give him the six shillings, he went off in high spirits; and at half-past ten John Baldwin sat in the office as a candidate for work. Though the improvement was very great, still he had an idle look: I therefore sent to Thorp's for one of their cheap neckerchiefs, and I must confess I never laid out one shilling and threepence better. The office was crowded when Number Five entered; in a loud voice, he talked of the dreadful times; cheap labour; still he wanted a few shepherds; but he was on the look out for a bargain—a cheap bargain. I could perceive John view him attentively, and then cast a wistful eye at the money that lay on the office desk. At last, Number Five praised John for his apparent anxiety for work: he blushed at the compliment; and, as I saw it was likely to be a bargain, I went into the room—(it might be that I felt guilty of using a little starch, or my dread of the ridiculous, that made me retreat to where I could see and hear without being observed). My success pleased me, for I was certain Number Five would make John earn his wages and fit him for making an honest livelihood in future; and I, at the same time, knew he had half a lawyer to deal with. I returned to the office, entered the agreement at £18, per annum a man and his wife for £18.! I could see Number Five was delighted; so was I, for methought what a change, what a blessing for his family, that he has come to a country where there is no home for the idle: what an advantage to his children! This man has been, at the time I write, some months with his master, and if he turns out well, I shall be bound to acknowledge that even grinders may do good. I may also remark, with reference to these idlers, that when the men in barracks were ordered by the emigration agent to work in the domain, nine came to me very sick:—Would I give them a ticket to Mr. McLean, to say they were unable to work? 'No; but I will to the doctor.' They were not quite ill enough for that, and therefore returned to their work."
A CHAPTER ON WIVES—THE PLANS OF A MOTHER TO HAVE HER SON MARRIED—NO BOUNCE—THE BUSHMAN'S LETTER FOR A WIFE—HOW TO SELECT A GOOD WIFE—SEARCH FOR "A PERFECT BLESSING"—STOPPED ON THE HIGHWAY FOR A WIFE—MODE OF SUPPLYING WIVES—MATRIMONIAL EXCURSIONS.
If there be one point that we admire more than another in the feeling that prompted Mrs. Chisholm to her Christian deeds, it is that in which she desired the fulfillment of the law of nature and the commands of God by promoting marriages, and the delight expressed in seeing man blessed with an ample offspring, as holy writ breathes forth a hope he will be. We feel the utmost loathing of the brutal doctrines of heartless economists who in their blasphemous language dare to term the "olive branches" sent in the love of Providence to his creatures "incumbrances".
"I should not feel the interest I do in female emigration," says Mrs. Chisholm, "If I did not look beyond providing families with female servants—If I did not know how much they are required as wives, and how much moral good they may spread forth in society as wives.
When I saw his Excellency regarding the establishment of 'The Home', I observed that there were many hundreds more females in Sydney than were registered, and that if they were protected on their arrival, and sent into the interior, in six months many would be married. His Excellency exclaimed with some astonishment 'Am I to find the settlers wives?'"
What his Excellency thought was not his duty Mrs. Chisholm considered hers.
The following story is an amusing instance of a good hearted, illiterate woman, in simplicity of mind speaking her private thoughts; Mrs. Chisholm writes, "I had one very beautiful girl; she could read and write well, was of an amiable temper, and willing to take advice: I provided her with a situation; she was returned to me solely on account of her good looks. I was at a loss what to do with her: being afraid to allow her to go out for exercise, I was obliged to limit her outgoings to attendance at church on Sundays. She was the daughter of a lieutenant, who had spent twenty-four years in the service of his country: and he having a large family and limited means, sent one of his treasures to seek an independent livelihood abroad. Providence provided for her in an unexpected manner. A very respectable woman, a settler's wife, waited on me for advice; she was one of those sensible, shrewd women, that help to keep a home together. She told me she had five boys and a girl, none of whom could read or write, and that she wanted a teacher.
"My eldest boy, Jack, ma'am," said she, "is as fine a young man as you would wish to see, only he is too wild: he is past learning; but the others are willing enough." At this time, I had three of these helpless creatures, just referred to, that I wished to provide for; but I told the worthy woman —— was so good tempered, that she would suit her best, if she did not mind her being handsome.
"Has she any bounce about her?"
I went into the room with her; as her eye rested on ——, there was a look of satisfaction, followed directly by one of deep thought and reflection. There was something so intelligent of a deep emotion in her mind flitted across her countenance, that I became curious; she left the room; and on returning to the office, said, "I'll see you again at five o'clock, ma'am; but don't let the girl engage, any how: a thought has come into my head I must think over." At five she came. "Now, Mrs. Chisholm, I would like to tell you my plan Do you see, says I, if any gal would keep a man at home, it would be the creature I saw this morning: now says I, tho' Jack's not taken to drink, yet he's uncommonly fond of company, and is for going to every horse-race he hears of; and I expect, some time, he'll make a very foolish match, wi' some one more ignorant than he is: yet, ma'am, tho' he can neither read nor write, he's uncommonly 'cute. Now, I think, if I take —— home, she'll tempt him to stay at home; and then, when I see he's taken, and his heart is touched, I shall call him on one side—bounce a bit, and say 'I'll have no fine ladies living wi' me.' This opposition will make him more determined; then, in a day or two, I'll cry a bit about it he's kind-hearted, and can't stand that: then he'll come coaxing me, and 111 consent, and talk over the old man; and the clergyman shall settle every thing, and it will be a good thing for us all, ma'am." I consented to arrange with ——, who should be ready the next day: she was engaged as a teacher for one year, salary £16.
Although Mrs. Chisholm received hundreds of applications for wives, she would not make matches; but placed single girls as servants or teachers with families, in districts where wives were most wanted.
On one occasion, says Mrs. Chisholm, I received a letter from a man who wanted a wife. I found he was well known to several persons as a man of integrity. He stated it would be a serious thing to visit Sydney for a wife: first, a loss of time; second, money; and, after all, perhaps not be suited. His letter, interested me; and I determined on trying to serve him; I give his epistle verbatim et literatim, that the reader may judge for himself:—
"Reverend madam, I heard you are the best to send to for a servant, and I heard our police magistrate say, it was best to leave all to you; and so I'll just do the same, as his honour says it's the best. I had a wife once, and so she was too good for me by the far, and it was God's will, ma'am; but I has a child, ma'am, that I wouldn't see a straw touch for the world; the boy's only four yeare old: and I has a snug fifty-acre farm and a town 'lotment, and I has no debts in the world, and one teem and four bullocks; and I'se ten head oh cattle, and a share on eight hundred sheep, so I as a rite to a desent servant, that can wash and cook and make the place decant; and I don't mind what religion she bey, if she is sober and good, only I'se a Protestant myself; and the boy I have, I promised the mother on her death bed should be a Catholic, and I won't, anyhow, have any interferance in this here matter. That I do like in writing nothing else, I wouldn't, mam, on any account in the world, be bound to marry; but I don't wish it altogether to be left out. I'll ge her fourteen wages, and if she don't like me, and I don't like her, I'll pay her back to Sydney. I want nothing in the world but what is honest, so make the agrement as you like, and I'll bide by it. I sends you all the papers, and you'l now I'm a man wot's to be trusted. I sends you five pounds; she may get wages first, for I know some of the gals, and the best on um, to, are not heavy we boxes; and supposing anything should happen, I would not like it to be said she come here in rags. I wants, also, a man and his wife; he must be willing to learn to plough, if he don't now how, and do a good fair day's work at anything: his wife must be a milker, and ha dustrious woman; I'll give them as much as they can eat and drink of tea and milk, and, whatever wages you set my name down for, I'll be bound to pay it. With all the honer in the world I'se bound to remain your servant till death."
There was something, remarks Mrs. Chisholm, in the character of this honest bushman, during his colonial residence, to admire; he had gained his freedom, sent home money to his parents, and, during a long and tedious illness of twenty months, had attended his sick wife with patient care. Who would not get up an hour earlier to serve such a man?—I did, for I knew that early in the morning is the best time to choose a wife. I went first into the governess-room—all asleep; I unlocked the Home-door—some dressed, others half-dressed, some too very cross: I have often remarked, that early in the day is the best time to judge of a woman's temper; but I wish this to be kept a secret. I remained half an hour in the Home; I then went through the tents, could not suit myself, and returned. At the Home-door, I found a girl at the wash-tub; she was at work with spirit; she was rather good looking, very neat and tidy. I went into my office, and ascertained that, on board ship, her character was good. I desired the matron never to lose sight of her conduct, and report the same to me. Day after day passed, and I was at last fully determined to place her within reach, of my applicant in the bush, that is, in a respectable family, in his near neighbourhood; but I was able to arrange better, for I found that, amongst the families wanting situations, there was one related to her. I immediately engaged them as the bushman's servants; they were a respectable couple; the man a very prudent person. I told them to take the girl with them, and get her service near them, and on no account to allow her to live with a bachelor. I gave the girl three letters to respectable ladies, and she was engaged by one the fourth day after her arrival at ——. About a fortnight after, the bushman wrote to thank me for sending him the married couple; and concluded by saying, "With regard to that other matter, upon my word, you have suited me exactly; and, as soon as our month is up, we is to be married."
I received, says Mrs. Chisholm, forty-one applications of this kind; but the above is the only girl I ever sent into the country with a direct matrimonial intention.
The following is another specimen of an earnest appeal for a better half.
13th December, 1844.
Dear Madam.—Matrimonial engagements, at all times, require and demand mature deliberation, and should not needlessly and thoughtlessly be entered upon, even with a prior knowledge of the party—how much more then does it call for when coupled with a perfect ignorance of the person and qualifications of your future companion through life. Such then is the present case, and I hesitate not, with the most perfect confidence, and a firm reliance on your experience and discriminating judgment, to throw my fate in your hands, and entreat your kind offices in the obtaining for me a suitable companion for life, in other and plainer words—"a wife". With reference to my character, position, and prospects, I respectfully beg leave to refer you to Mrs. ——, to whom I have the honour of being known, and I trust they will prove satisfactory, If, dear madam, you will be pleased so far to oblige me, I doubt not my happiness will be accomplished, as there must be many worthy young women in Sydney, in every way qualified to render connubial ties what it is intended to be—a perfect blessing. The kind of person I would most desire would be a young woman, between the years of 25 and 35, English, clean in person, neat in habit, mild in manners, and an accomplished needlewoman, my late wife being a most excellent sempstress. With renewed apologies, and a request that you will favour me with an answer, I am, dear madam, your most obedient servant,
We will give one more instance, more especially as it illustrates the indefatigable labours of the benevolent lady in the wild bush of Australia.
When travelling with a large party of emigrants—while they were sleeping in camp—as Mrs. Chisholm entirely depended upon the settlers for food for her party, she was to be seen at the dim break of day in her gig, driven by a prisoner from Hyde Park Barracks, going about to collect from the settlers food for the breakfasting of her party. On one occasion, just as she came to a solitary part of the road, near a valley, she heard a man shouting to her, "Stop, stop!" A stout, rough bushman, clearing a few bushes at a leap, placed his hand on the horse's head, and said, "Are you Mrs. Chisholm?" "Yes: what do you want?" "Want—want—why, what every man like me wants when he sees Mrs. Chisholm. Come now, do look up that hill, and see that nice cottage and 40 acres under crop; and I have in it 20 hams and flitches of bacon, and a chest of tea, and a bag of sugar; the land is paid for, and the three cows; Oh, it would do you good to see the cows;" and then pulling out a roll of papers, continued, "See, what a character I have got from the magistrates in charge of the district; and look here, ma'm, at this roll of notes—these are the things to hasten the matter and get over difficulties with the clergyman—come now, Mrs Chisholm, do be a mother to me, and give me a wife; the smile of a woman has never welcomed me home after a hard day's work—you'll have pity on me—you don't mean to say no; you'll never be so cruel as to say no? It makes a man's heart light to look at your camp. Now, you don't mean to say you have not got a nice girl from Tipperary. Never mind the breakfast; I could keep the whole party for a week; and what peace of mind it would be to you to know what a kind husband I shall make one of your girls."
"It was upon the principle of family colonization," says Mrs. Chisholm, "and actuated by such feelings, that I carried out my matrimonial excursions in the Australian bush.
I, at times, took a number of single young females with me, in company with emigrant families, but then I allowed no matrimonial engagement to be made on the way, at the same time I took care to place the young women in situations from which they might, with that consideration due to the feelings of woman, enter with propriety and respectability into the matrimonial state."
CONVICTS BLESS GOD THEIR CHILDREN ARE NOT IN ENGLAND—PLEA FOR THEM TO HAVE THEIR WIVES—HOSPITALITY—MORAL SENSIBILITY—A REFORMED LONDON PICKPOCKET—GOD'S POLICE—EARL GREY'S CONSENT, AND CAPTAIN CHISHOLM'S BENEVOLENCE—LAND TICKETS—DECENCY IN INTERMENTS—"UNFORTUNATES."
Among the people in Mrs. Chisholm's field of labour were many who had been convicts, termed in the colonies "emancipists", one writer in speaking of this class says, "Nothing struck me more in the colony than the good behaviour of men who had been convicts; and I was continually inclined to ask 'Why have these men been transported?'" The emancipists were often to be met with in the bush, living in a horrible state of bachelorism, having sufficient means to support their wives and families who were, most probably, either in abject poverty or burdens on their parishes in England. Others again were living with women and having families while their wives were at home, but had no means of reaching those to whom, at the altar of God, they had plighted their troth.
In a letter on "Emigration and Transportation relatively considered", by Mrs. Chisholm, addressed to earl Grey, we get a vivid picture of the emancipist.
"Often, my lord, have I heard the emancipist, at family prayer, return thanks to Almighty God that his children were not in a country where they might be tempted by hunger to perpetrate crime.
In all the systems, and every system which has hitherto been tried, I do not, as far as my observation has gone, see much to approve; on the whole, I am bound to say, that the ease with which men can earn a living honestly, has done more for the reformation of the prisoner than any other observable cause. One of the most demoralizing evils of the old system, has been the separation of men from all domestic influence—rending for ever asunder the links of nature. The spirit of British justice never contemplated to sever for ever those whom "God had joined together;" nor is it in accordance with the dictates of religion and pure morality, that such a state of things should exist, as to doom men to be for years incarcerated together by hundreds, like a menagerie of wild beasts, or to live a solitary hopeless life in the bush; but so it is, thousands upon thousands are thus victimized, and destined to undergo all the frightful and deteriorating effects of this more than savage life.
Painful experience then has, by this time, exemplified to Her Majesty's Government the frightful consequences attending the aggregation of so many men in a state of close and galling bondage in Norfolk Island, Port Arthur, &c. If those unhappy victims to a principle promulgated but too successfully by a modern popular author, and who, I hesitate not to say, iniquitously tried to depreciate and thwart the decrees of Providence in the propagation of the human race, be so far sunk in the scale of humanity as to give but little prospect of their reformation; yet I have every reason to hope, that their truly lamentable condition may excite your lordship's commiseration, and dispose you to co-operate with those good Christians and philanthropists who in all faith believe that while there is hope of heaven, there is hope on earth; so that those who have escaped—and I am happy to think, vast numbers have escaped—this 'evil communication', and have gained through the force of an innate virtue, and the interposition of a merciful Providence, a respectable position in the ranks of social life; may receive from the hands of Her Majesty's Government that moral consideration, that degree of justice, which their domestic wrongs require.
No individual, perhaps, has had so many opportunities as I have had of becoming acquainted with the people of New South Wales. Wandering for hundreds of miles in search of suitable homes and eligible employment for the emigrant families and ticket-of-leave men, I had been accustomed at nightfall to find shelter at the nearest hut; as one of the family I have shared in the hospitality of all classes, whether rich or poor; consequently, I have had opportunities of gaining an intimate knowledge of the peculiarities and feelings of the people, and these justify what might otherwise appear uncalled for my recording here my humble testimony to the sterling worth and exemplary conduct, as a body, of the emancipists of New South Wales. At a time when slander outruns truth and charity, as regards the moral character of that people, I must honestly tell your lordship, that as parents, their extreme—nay, I must call it, nervous anxiety, regarding the moral and religious welfare of their children;—the efforts they make to educate them; the miles they travel to attend a place of worship on the Sabbath;—their deep sympathy for the unfortunate;—their Christian liberality and charity;—their open-hearted hospitality, have endeared numbers of them to my remembrance. Amongst this class it may be truly said, 'the schoolmaster is abroad.' I only wish that the noble lord who has immortalized this saying, had the domestic opportunities I have had of witnessing the efforts made by this class. When engaged at one time in providing for some emigrant families in the interior, I was accommodated at a farm-house, where both the heads of the family happened to have been sent out by Her Majesty's government; neither could read or write. Here I found a man engaged as teacher; certainly not the person you would wish to see trusted with the tuition of a promising young family of boys and girls. Their parents, a few weeks previous to my seeing them, had sent a few bushels of wheat to market, just to find them tea and sugar, until they could go to Sydney to sell their regular crop; they sold to the amount of 35s.; sixteen shillings of this sum were expended on books and stationery for their children. The books were handed to me by the mother, who remarked, "they cost a good bit, but we could not do better we our money." One of the books was the life of ——; the hero of this tale distinguished himself by his prodigies of adroit exploits in Newgate and its environs, a wild story of facts and fiction. I remarked that I had been informed it was a dangerous book; that it made what was bad look like good; was particularly enticing to youths of a certain turn of mind. "Now do you say so? How glad Jack will be you called—what a Providence!" and before I could even be aware of her intention, it was in flames on their hearth-stone. It never entered into her mind it could be exchanged, re-sold; that my opinion might be wrong; but, at the mere mention of apprehended danger, the book was destroyed. It was dashed into the fire, as if a venomous reptile had clung to a part of her garments. Is not this, my lord, a bright example for imitation? I knew an emancipist father refuse his daughter in marriage to a respectable emigrant, until he had paid some debts he had contracted before he emigrated; he was willing to pay the sum out of the portion he intended for his daughter, remarking, "Their prosperity would be greater, when no man could say they had wronged him." This scrupulous regard for property was entertained by a man who was once a notorious London pick-pocket. A pick-pocket! yes, we must not scorn or think lightly of those who have returned from the path of evil to the course of rectitude. I crave your lordship's patience a little longer; for while I love to linger on those little domestic incidents—those traits and fruits of returning virtue, and like to point them out to others as matters deserving their pious contemplation, I wish to bring to your lordship's notice one of those facts which ought to appear to the moralist and philanthropist, as one of paramount interest. Shortly before I left Sydney, the father of a large family came a journey of upwards of a hundred miles to see me. The object of his mission was a serious one. If, my lord, you are pressed for time, lay down this letter, for the prayer of his request deserves a tranquil moment; one that I would like you to think about, when, having for a time bid adieu to the cares of State, you seek the solace of domestic society; his prayer is one that I would like to cling about your heart, as one of your own household honey-suckles. It must not meet you at your office; but you must take it with you wherever you go. I would fain obtain for it a clinging place in your recollection, that when you think of your own dear ties, the wish of the emancipist father should present itself to your remembrance. He sought a wife for his son! a girl of good fame! "If," said he, "you could only get me a good girl; if I could see my son married to a good woman, then I should die in peace."
You have heard enough, my lord, of the horrors that have resulted from the Penal system; a system which has doomed thousands and tens of thousands to the demoralizing state of bachelorism. Calmly consider the evil which has thus been created, and in common justice to the virtuous part of the community there, remedy it, by giving a due encouragement to a respectable system of female emigration.
They are a class of men sensitively alive to virtuous marriages in their families, for no one more fully appreciates virtue than the reformed, * * If Her Majesty's government be really desirous of seeing a well conducted community spring up in these colonies, the social wants of the people must be considered. If the paternal government wish to entitle itself to that honoured appellation, it must look to the materials it may send as a nucleus for the formation of a good and a great people, For all the clergy you can dispatch, all the schoolmasters you can appoint, all the churches you can build, and all the books you can export, will never do much good, without "God's police"—wives and little children—good and virtuous women.
We may here state that, following up this public letter to earl Grey, by repeated personal applications at Downing street, and presenting a list of women, the wives of convicts holding tickets of leave in New South Wales, desirous of joining their husbands, the government yielded. Captain Chisholm becoming individually responsible for expenses incurred by them. The poor people came, many from Ireland, to Woolwich to be shipped off in the female convict ship, they were there met by the kind and warm-hearted lady and her husband—their necessities supplied, and by the generosity of Mr. Silver and Mr. Robert Brooks, of Cornhill, clothed. Arrangements were made for their reception in Sydney, and the inhabitants there viewed the measure as one beneficial to morality, consistent with humanity, and the most sure way of making steady, virtuous, and devoted citizens of the men.
When Mrs. Chisholm was on her journeys on humanity's behalf, she discovered that many poor people buried the money they had saved as a mode of security. She therefore, through the press, proposed that the colonial government should issue land tickets representative of the value of five shillings and a pound, that these should be offered to working men in exchange for their then useless money. That the funds accumulated from this source should be applied to assist the emigration of industrious people desirous of settling in the colony, and that the tickets be received by the government in payment for land. The Sydney papers do not state whether this excellent suggestion was ever carried into effect. But we suspect that it was not from the contracted views generally taken of liberal propositions by governing bodies.
It was the custom at Sydney to convey the bodies of the poor to the cemetery in a common rubbish cart. The lively feeling of respect to God's creatures, whether rich or poor, dead or living, with which Mrs. Chisholm is endowed was shocked at the sight, and making an earnest appeal to the public to obliterate such a foul stain on their civilization, the proposition was warmly taken up, the worthy bishop of Australia heading a subscription list. A horse, harness, hearse, and suitable appointments were procured, and for about four shillings was ready with a driver to make the last act of the living to the dead consistent with the solemnity of the awful occasion. It is singular from people considering what is everybody's business is nobody's, how they will allow the best feelings of human nature to slumber torpidly in their bosoms.
There is one subject it would be wrong to pass over in recounting the singular toils of this lady, because it is ever calling for the sympathy and commiseration of the Christian mind, and its duty exemplified in an act of our Redeemer, but is shunned by the daughters of luxury, ease, and virtue. It must be acknowledged there is great merit in reclaiming sinners wandering from the paths of righteousness and by making them sensible of their crime, teaching them to seek forgiveness of their errors at the throne of divine grace It was to be expected from our previous details of Sydney society that the streets of that place would be crowded with "unfortunate" females. Women who have once swerved from virtue's path are abhorred and repulsed by their own sex, while man, by whom they were tempted and corrupted, is ever ready to denounce and condemn them, Despised by society, the agonies of the mind are sought to be alleviated by plunging deeper into vice,—dissipation produces disease, she falls ere her prime—the grave offering repose to the body, but discovering the doom of the soul.
To bring to a sense of repentance, to draw from the showy path of sin such lost creatures is surely a work of true Christian piety, meriting the sincerest approbation of the virtuous. To this duty did Mrs. Chisholm, in the large benevolence of her heart, apply herself, and the result is one so cheering in its consummation as to stand a noble precedent for others to attempt a similar work of mercy. Seventy-six of these women were reclaimed, and only seven returned to a career of infamy.
SOCIAL ARRANGEMENTS—SMALL FARMS SUCCESSFUL—GOVERNMENT SUCCUMB—BUSH PARTNERSHIPS—SYDNEY YEOMEN—JOURNEY INTO THE BUSH—TESTIMONIAL TO MRS. CHISHOLM—DEPARTURE FOR ENGLAND.
To take a broad view of mankind at the present day it will be apparent to the thinking mind that forms of government are not considered so important as social improvement. Various are the schemes of the lovers of our species to alleviate the miseries that have grown up in the progress of civilization, time only will show which among the crude propositions shall receive the stamp of truth. The under current that agitates society in every quarter of the earth and engages the attention of philosophers is the question of the distribution of the land. Without being guided by either political or social ideas, but from observing the workings of the mind as presented for observation by the various and numerous classes that passed under the searching review of Mrs. Chisholm, she came to the conclusion "that in ninety nine cases out of a hundred, emigrants emigrate in order TO LIVE AND HAVE LAND.
It appears that land could only be purchased in large quantities and at a fixed price. The consequence of this was that persons with numerous children and moderate capital, could neither get employment from having large families nor could they purchase small farms to subsist comfortably upon by means of their labour.
The government at home thought that as the system of competition and legal expenses effectually prevented small farms in England, and believing the system worked well here, some such scheme as making capitalists the only proprietors of land, and labourers never able to rise from the sphere in which they commenced life, they were adapting to an infant colony those principles by which England has attained its renowned character for wealth and commerce, and therefore benefiting it in a wise and judicious manner.
It seems the government was mistaken and misled by interested mischievous theorists, who with pen and ink drew beautiful plans, but which in practice were found impracticable.
The squatters who proceed into the solitary wilds of unexplored parts and are the pioneers of colonization, were too powerful, they banded together and the government thought it prudent even to grant them more than they demanded. Another large party united and took possession of land near to Port Philip and were too strong for the colonial force to oppose.
The humble and industrious emigrants with large families were exactly the parties that would enlist the energy of Mrs. Chisholm in their behalf. Seeing the great difficulty of obtaining land by purchase she procured the consent of some large proprietors to grant on easy terms farms of fifteen, twenty, and forty acres; on these she planted worthy families, their industry and skill was remunerative, they throve excellently, and not only did their families have abundance of every requisite of life but they saved money.
After having proved by actual experiment, that labouring men with large families, rejected on that account by the squatters as servants, could support themselves and become independent by being placed upon from ten to twenty acres of good land; Mrs. Chisholm ardently followed up her representations in favour of this class, she had the gratification of seeing, under the government of Sir George Gipps, land put up for sale in lots of fifty acres.
The next work that falls under our notice which this lady undertook, for one of the most surprising traits of her character is the fertility of beneficial and practical ideas, was that of Bush Partnerships; a kind of co-operative association of two or more individuals who by joint labour created capital, brought farms into a remunerative state and then separated. After recommending great circumspection in the choice of associates, Mrs. Chisholm says, "What I would particularly recommend to new settlers is 'Bush Partnership'—Let two friends or neighbours agree to work together, until three acres are cropped, dividing the work, the expense, and the produce—this partnership will grow apace; I have made numerous bush agreements of this kind. One settler's wife was an excellent milker; her next-door neighbour could not manage a cow. An agreement was made, much to the advantage of both.—Settler A. was to bail up and milk B's cows—while B., in return, agreed to give one hour's instruction, daily, in reading and writing to A's children.
C. was an excellent gardener, but not equal to D. at sawing; D agreed to take C's place at the saw, while he worked in D's garden. A., B., C., D. were neighbours. A. had a large family, but little money—they agreed to buy a bullock and water-cart for their domestic use—B., C., D. found the money, A. agreeing that his son should take charge of the bullock, and go for the water for twelve months, as his amount of the contribution. At the close of the year, B., C., D. had horses; the bullock and dray were valued; they drew lots who should take it at the price named; it was A's draw; but he had no money; B., C., D. were glad to agree that A's son should give them labour as payment. I was present the day the son had paid the last day's labour. B., C., D. said, 'it has done us all good, and A. has behaved so punctually, the boy has worked so well—never been any excuse;'—the four farmers talked the matter over, shook hands, wished the boy luck, and the same evening entered into a bush agreement respecting the joint management of their cows."
The last great labour of Mrs. Chisholm in the colonies was one of a most arduous nature, from which many a bold hearted and muscular framed man would have shrunk, it was to collect "Voluntary Information from the People of New South Wales;" to make known, as Mrs. Chisholm writes, to a British public the resources of the Australian colonies; to furnish the labourer, the mechanic, and the capitalist, with information that can be depended upon; to point out obstructions to emigration which ought to be removed; and to expose evils which ought to be eradicated. * * * To supply flock masters with shepherds is a good work! To supply those shepherds with wives is a better!! To find employment for families that will enable them to rear a well-fed peasantry is a God-like undertaking.
Australia can boast of her high-spirited sons—her virtuous daughters—her sunny sky—her rich pastures—her ships laden with wool—her cattle wild and countless on her mountains—her sheep crowding her hills, and seeking the shelter of her vallies; she can grow her own sugar—make her own wine—press her own oil—spin her own cotton—weave her own wool—grow her own corn—but, until Australia can prove that she can be peopled by her own children where God's blessings are not considered 'encumbrances', she will never be able to maintain a proud position or be competent to defend the noble harbours which Providence has given her harbours to be defended by her sons, who, at the call of Old England, would issue forth, and by their gallant aid and meritorious deeds do honour to the race from whence they sprang."
The evil most prominent in this lady's idea was the horrible disparity of sexes, causing the colony to rely on emigration for a supply of inhabitants, and that too in a country where industry defies want, and the honourable pride of a numerous family, free from poverty and temptation, could be indulged in man's heart teeming with thankfulness for such a natural and divine blessing.
The information collected was "Brief Biographies" of settlers and servants, taken down in their own words, in answer to a list of printed questions.
In carrying out this plan, Mrs. Chisholm travelled into the Bush and collected upwards of six-hundred biographies, as a fair example of the working classes. These journeys she accomplished in a covered spring van, travelling from farm to farm, and from station to station; one night sleeping at a wealthy squatter's residence, the next at a humble settler's cottage, welcomed and known to all. She was accompanied by her husband, who joined her from India in 1845. In one of her printed letters to the public, she states, "the facts in question were collected by me some months previous to my leaving the colony, by visiting their farms and homesteads; sometimes taking down their statements in their own dwellings, sometimes on the road side, and sometimes in the ploughed field, having the plough as my table. I was indeed so well known to the people, and as they knew my motive was to convey faithful information to their relatives, friends, and countrymen at home—they invariably related to me their circumstances with the greatest readiness and cheerfulness. I have in my possession a large mass of these facts, which I have named 'The Voluntary Information of the People of New South Wales'; and they present a fair average of the condition of the working classes there. My object now in giving some of them publicity is the desire I have of their being made the basis for the formation of a Family Colonization Loan Society."
One small tract, containing a few statements, was published in Sydney, and another in London, in 1848: many hundreds, of a very interesting description, remain in manuscript.
In February, 1846, a public meeting was held at Sydney, for the purpose of taking into consideration the presenting to Mrs. Chisholm, then on the eve of her departure for England, a testimonial of the estimation in which her labours on behalf of the emigrant population were viewed by the colonists. Some idea may be formed of the respect felt for the admirable lady, and acknowledgement of her public services, when eight members of the Legislative Council, the Mayor of Sydney, the High Sheriff, thirteen Magistrates, and many leading merchants formed themselves into a committee to carry the wishes of the meeting into effect. The amount of each subscription was limited.
In a very short time 150 guineas were raised, and presented to her with the following address:
"We, the undersigned members of council, magistrates, landholders, merchants, and others, inhabitants of New South Wales, beg to offer you, on the occasion of your departure from this colony, the expression of our thanks for your active and zealous exertions on behalf of the emigrant population during the last seven years.
"We feel assured that the extraordinary efforts which you have made have been dictated by a spirit of the most enlightened benevolence. In the establishment of an Emigrant's Home in Sydney, and in procuring the advantageous settlement of great numbers of the emigrant population in the interior, as servants, and occupants of small farms, your exertions have proved of signal advantage to the community.
"In the large collection of statistical facts and 'voluntary information' which you have derived from the labouring classes, you have accumulated materials for establishing the great advantages which New South Wales possesses as a favourable field for the emigration of British Settlers."
Mrs. Chisholm accepted the testimonial, in order to expend it in further promoting emigration, in restoring wives to husbands, and children to parents. In the course of her answer, she said "It is my intention, if supported by your co-operation, to attempt more than I have hitherto performed."
She left Australia in 1846, bearing with her the warm prayers of the working colonists, whose confidence and gratitude, both bond and free, she had thoroughly secured, charged with the self-imposed mission of representing in England the claims of those powerless classes who have neither honour nor pensions to bestow on their advocates.
OPENS AN OFFICE IN ENGLAND—THE GOVERNOR ORDERS CHILDREN OF EMIGRANTS TO BE SENT OUT—EARL GREY DESIRES MRS. CHISHOLM's OPINION—SUMMONED BEFORE A COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS—SECURITY IN TRANSMITTING MONEY—FAMILY COLONIZATION LOAN SOCIETY—A, B, C, OF COLONIZATION.
Faithfully and earnestly has Mrs. Chisholm, in this country, performed her promise to the people of Sydney.
Immediately upon her arrival, her private residence was thrown open to aid persons desirous of emigrating, she communicated with the friends of settlers, gave gratuitous and friendly advice to others, and personally superintended the shipment of the inexperienced. Not only did her noble husband become responsible for many expenses, but by the joint exertions of this exemplary man and woman the starving were fed and the naked clad. Such was the tax on their moderate income that postages alone amounted to upwards of £1. in a week. With the assistance of their young family and incessant labour of both captain Chisholm and his wife, the clerical duties became more than they could accomplish, which compelled them to engage assistance in this department. All these works of humanity were performed at a severe sacrifice to their limited means, still they looked at the holy work as far surpassing any private consideration, and thought but of the good they were bestowing on their fellow mortals.
They have made a still greater sacrifice of personal feeling, captain Chisholm having proceeded in 1851 to the Australian colonies with the view of promoting the re-union of separated members of families, while Mrs. Chisholm for the present remains in England to carry on her plan of Family Colonization.
Immediately following the departure of these missionaries of mercy, we find in a "blue book" that the governor of Sydney, Sir George Gipps, wrote to Mr. Secretary Gladstone in England, that it having been represented to him "by Mrs. Chisholm, a lady who has on many occasions made herself useful to this government in matters connected with the disposal of emigrants, that during the course of great emigration many children had been left behind in consequence of the inability of their parents to pay * * for the passage of each child." His excellency then gave a list of children, and stated that he had issued an order for their emigration at the public expense. To this both the Government Emigration Commissioners and lord Grey gave their cordial approval.
The correspondence between the governor and the government was sent from Downing Street to Mrs. Chisholm with a request to "have the kindness to favour him (earl Grey) with your opinions as to the feasibility of the suggestions there offered, together with any remarks which your knowledge and experience in these matters may enable you to communicate."
Mrs. Chisholm sent a noble reply, pleading for families to be sent entire, showing the iniquity of making children a bar to emigration, and that it became "the duty of the state to throw protection around the child." That the clause in which "couples who have no children" being considered most eligible, was "fraught with most fatal consequences;" throwing a horrible temptation in the way of undisciplined minds. That she had "heard the iniquitous warning coolly given, 'Remember, you must have no children when you are with me; that breaks our agreement.' And this alone, and paramount to all other considerations, determined me to locate families."
Mrs. Chisholm issued the pamphlet before referred to, addressed to earl Grey, and his lordship honoured her with an interview, paying marked attention to her representations of the wants of the colonies. The Government Emigration Commissioners, too, twice had the advantage of receiving her opinion, vivâ voce. She was next summoned before a committee of the House of Lords, referring to which, earl Grey in a dispatch to the now governor, Sir C. A. Fitzroy, says he begs to inform him that in Mrs. Chisholm's evidence she had mentioned "the want of proper accommodation for the reception and protection of young women immediately on their landing from emigrant ships. This is a point to which I would request your early attention, and I am sure I need not impress upon you the importance," &c.
It is pleasing thus to record the attention paid by a powerful aristocratic government to the voice of a sincere uninfluential woman when pleading in the cause of humanity.
The wives and families of convicts were the next objects on which Mrs. Chisholm's energy prevailed. An account of their shipment we have detailed in another page.
Among the many evils Mrs. Chisholm promised the poor of Sydney she would endeavour to rectify, was that of the insecurity of the transmission of money to friends in England. Many sums were sent to pay the passages of the aged and children who had been left behind, which money frequently never reached its destination or fell into the hands of persons by whom it was misapplied.
On July 29th, 1847, Earl Grey sent a dispatch to the governor, Sir C. A. Fitzroy, commencing thus, "Sir, it has been intimated to me by Mrs Chisholm, of whose benevolent exertions you are, no doubt, well aware, that there are many of the settlers in New South Wales who, having prospered in the colony, are exceedingly desirous of applying a part of their savings in assisting their friends and relations, whom they have left in this country, to join them in the colony, and share in the advantages which they themselves enjoy, but who are prevented from sending by the difficulty of securing the safe remittance of the necessary funds, and their application to the intended purpose.
I consider it of the greatest possible importance to adopt means for obviating that difficulty, and for affording the utmost practicable facility to those who, having already emigrated, wish to de, vote a part of their earnings to so commendable a purpose." His lordship then details a plan—and thus was another of the labours of Mrs. Chisholm triumphant.
Indefatigable in her zeal on the subject of emigration, Mrs. Chisholm, on one occasion, when going to the government emigration office, was detained among the crowd of persons desirous of emigrating, and hearing their plaints of the necessity of lies to attain their object by denying their having families, and regret on a separation from the objects of their affectionate love, resolved from that moment on the formation of a FAMILY COLONIZATION LOAN SOCIETY, the leading principles of which are repudiatory of government or parochial assistance. The class of persons generally who desire to emigrate are those who having industry and skill, desire a larger and more remunerative field for their powers than they find in their native country, and, impressed with that idea, they are willing to make personal sacrifices to obtain their object, while being thus worthy minded, they feel pain in separating themselves from those parental ties which exist in the bosoms of the good disposed.
The founder of this new system of emigration proposes that a fund shall be created by the savings of the parties desirous of going abroad, of not less than two-thirds of the passage money; that they shall meet in groups; learn each others' character; become friends; and be mutually bound to aid in causing to be refunded the remainder of the expense when at their destination, within a certain time; that this money, as paid, shall aid others to go out, and subscriptions from the benevolent be applied to the same purpose.
Robert Lowe, Esq., member of the legislative council of New South Wales, in a speech delivered in London, June 1st, 1850, says, "there is a very benevolent and amiable lady, Mrs. Chisholm, to whose exertions too much praise cannot be given, who is now sending emigrants out at £12, but the government price is £18." Thus then it seems there is not only more independence, security, and family ties preserved, but that it is a cheaper mode.
The arrangements made on board of ship are such as to form a perfect security to children and young females. In fact, nothing can be more consonant with good will, kindness and watchfulness, than the plan laid down. The responsibility on fathers and families is of such a moral nature that they must feel proud of the trust, and none dare abuse it. The gratifying feeling that cheers this lady on in the work of humanity is that of having entire families, bound together by affection, seeking a new home, and supporting each other in their trials and labours; thus a dear parent, perhaps seventy or eighty years of age, goes abroad with her children or grandchildren and shares their fortunes instead of being left a solitary deserted being relying on the frigid support of poor rates, and the chilling attendance of hirelings in a workhouse. So truly noble is this plan that it ranks in its committee lord Ashley, M. P., the right honourable Sydney Herbert, M. P., the hon. Vernon Smith, M. P., John Tidd Pratt, Esq., F. G. Neison, Esq., M. Monsell, Esq., M. P., Wyndham Harding Esq., while Captain Chisholm takes the unpaid and arduous duty of hon. Secretary.
In 1850, Mrs. Chisholm published her celebrated pamphlet, called "the ABC of Colonization", in which she denounces the existing plans of emigration. There is a genuine womanly feeling throughout, and such a spirited assertion of the dignity of womanhood, and love for the aged and young, that we cannot forbear a few short extracts; she says, "I should like every one to feel that under that revered name (Queen Victoria) it mattered not, when they made application for a passage, what country they came from, so that they were British subjects—what creed they professed, so that they were loyal and peaceable men. I hold it to be derogatory to the high and moral feeling of Englishmen, that under the insignia of the royal arms of England, modest matrons should be asked the question 'Whether any increase to the family is expected, and when? I consider it a gross outrage to humanity—a violent rending of the tenderest ties of nature, and injurious to morality, that heads of families above forty years of age, and those who have a certain number of children under ten years of age, should be excluded from the advantages and rights of emigration—that under other rules children beyond a certain number should be taxed £7. each on account of passage money that again, single men passed the age of thirty-five should not be considered eligible, and that the 'candidates most acceptable are young married couples without children.' These, indeed, are evils, trials, temptations, and stumbling blocks, thrown in the way of weak human nature, which ought not to be; humanity should forbid it, and religion ought to raise her voice against it; the aged, if able to go, should not be left to pass the remainder of their days round a lonely and cheerless hearth, or to find their way to the workhouse. * * *
"The emigrants sent by the government assemble at Deptford or some other port: not two families know each other, or perchance until their meeting at the depot had ever seen one another before: young females find themselves there as perfect strangers. But what scenes take place before they have got thus far; what conflicts of nature are endured 'ere they leave their homes; what harrowing scenes arise out of the taxation clause; at times young children may be seen handed over to the care of a grandfather, an aunt, or a cousin, or as one poor man in Australia said to me, 'my wife was obliged to take the child from her breast by the side of the ship, and hand it to a friend.' Others, on account of having just passed the prime of life, are necessitated to remain behind. What wailings in the cottage! What sad farewells outside the village! How nature will then exclaim, 'Never see that dear face more—never look at that venerated parent again', now sunk in agony in the darkest corner of his dreary habitation. This is not a piece of romance, but one of the scenes of real life. Which are most to be felt for, the intended emigrant or the desolate being left behind? These heart-burnings of nature are not extinguished here; the same feeling which a benign Providence, for the wisest of designs, has implanted in the human heart, keeps the flame alive in the distant colonies; the child longs for the parent—the father or the disconsolate mother sighs for the offspring. I cannot tell how often I have been entreated by sons and daughters in New South Wales to do all I could to see their parents sent to them, or the numerous applications I have had made to me by parents to forward to them their children. These appeals follow me to this country. * * *
"There are many evils that will doubtless present themselves to every reflecting mind attending our present mode of filling ships, but may we not hope that we shall go on suggesting and improving until our young women can be sent into a ship with the same confidence with which females now enter our trains and mail coaches; something more humanizing is required than the present mode; something that will bring all our social and religious feelings to bear upon one common object."
To those horrible evils, and disregard of our natural ties, has Mrs. Chisholm,by her plans, presented a mode of redress.
MRS. CHISHOLM—PHRENOLOGICAL DEVELOPEMENT OF HER HEAD—PHILANTHROPY A LADY FRANKING LETTERS—TESTIMONIES TO MRS. CHISHOLM—CONCLUSION.
Before concluding, it may be thought in our memoirs of the labours of this good and extraordinary woman that we should give some idea of her personal appearance.
Mrs. Chisholm is tall, embonpoint, and as the governor says, "stately in her bearing;" frank, easy, and lady-like in her manners; her mouth expresses the firmness and decision of her character; her eyes are grey, penetrating in their glance; and her countenance beaming with kindness, which at once causes confidence in her intentions; a certain calmness and earnestness rest on her features, which is aroused into powerful expression as, the subject of her discourse is that of advice, affection, or contempt; her voice is musical, without the slightest provincialism, she speaks with fluency and appropriateness of phraseology, and, as occasion calls forth, can be affecting, sarcastic, or witty. In the midst of a vast correspondence and personal superintendence of business details, certain periods are sacredly assigned to domestic duties.
Mrs. Chisholm has six children living, the three eldest of whom have aided in the labours of carrying into effect the gratuitous and philanthropic plans of emigration as propounded in the Family Colonization Society, and it is truly gratifying to see the species of adoration and love with which they look upon their amiable parents. Piety, in deeds as well as words, matrimonial, filial, and paternal love knit together, and form one of the happiest of happy family circles.
The head of Mrs. Chisholm is one which a phrenologist contemplates with immense interest Unknown to De Ville, she was urged to present herself to him, and not enter into conversation, when that celebrated manipulator thus declares his opinion of the organization that appeared to him: "This lady's memory is rather extraordinary; there are very few persons who possess so strong an one. Few people have greater power in the acquirement of languages. If she had attempted improvisation, she would have excelled in it; there are few organizations with more power for it. Has a very high sense of justice, but she must take of it. If offended her expressions will be strong.
Attachments and friendships few, and very strong. Diffident among strangers, but cheerful in society. It is not often a lady takes to mathematics, but this individual would not find it difficult. If she would take up poetry she would do well at it. With theology and sacred history she should be well acquainted: has a high sense of religion.
The organization is not confined to a single thing, it would give power in many, though to afford her pleasure it must partake of the practical feeling. Theology must have undergone a good deal of consideration. Has a severe struggle with herself and inward feelings. Annoys herself more than her neighbours; knows herself better than others. There are few organizations so good if they have been well cultivated. Drawing is not difficult. Music pleasing. This organization partakes more of the male than the female character. Is capable of going through a great deal of struggling with difficulties. Fond of approbation, but does not stoop to servile means to obtain it; will have a little struggle with this organ. Kind and benevolent as far as her means go. Love of children strongly developed.
This is the most powerful organization which I have seen, with one exception. This is amazingly powerful, more destined by nature for a male than a female head. It is a most general organization, and though it may now be confined to one subject, it can apply and excel in any number; mathematics, natural history, the sciences, chemistry, analysis, &c. She could excel in anything. This organization is most like Certini, an Italian improvisateur, and was originally intended for a male. Her memory is so strong she can excel in anything, and would never be confined to one subject. If she were to apply to the dead languages she would become a proficient. There is nothing she would take up in which she could not excel. Form and size are good. Miniature and landscape painting, and drawing generally, would be acquired with facility on this account. Few would go more readily into the Hindostanee language, having memory to recollect the characters. She has a very strong memory. Music (organ of) requires more developement; has enough power in Time (organ of.)
She principally wants a quicker arrangement in her ideas. She has the power good, but a little more would make it gigantic. It is not in proportion to the rest of the organization. She will excel in the arts and sciences.
There are not half a dozen male organizations in the kingdom with such a powerful memory. She is a thorough improvisatrice, give her a subject, and she will make you a speech on it, or write sheets full.
She is communicative on common topics, but has judgment to discriminate when she may speak and when to be silent; would not disclose a matter of importance, would suffer death first, rather than do so, did the honour or character of another depend upon it. Has a gigantic organization, more powerful than that of the Marquis Mascati. Signed,
Jan. 30th, 1833. JAMES DE VILLE."
|MEASUREMENT OF HEAD|
|From 2 to 22 . . .||7||8-10ths.|
|Measures to 22. . .||5||1-10th.|
|2. . .||4||7-10ths.|
|13. . .||6||2-10ths.|
|15. . .||5||7-10ths.|
This professor of Phrenology remarked, on presenting the above document, "I am willing to stake the truth of Phrenological science on the developement of this head being in accordance with the mind and actions of the individual."
Those who have had the honour of intimately knowing Mrs. Chisholm, and others who have read of her acts may form a judgment of the reliance to be placed in Phrenological science from the above curious document, given before she attained the public position she now occupies.
"The distinguishing character of Mrs. Chisholm," writes Mr. Sidney, "is philanthropy—extending to all classes and all sects—directed by a degree of common sense that almost amounts to genius, united with an energy, a zeal, an Untiring perseverance that renders nothing she undertakes impossible.
"Her philanthropy is not a mere amusement to be taken up at odd hours, like a new romance—to be laid down as quickly as it was taken up—to be satisfied by a distribution of cheap tracts, or, at most, of cheap superfluous guineas—by capricious visits to poor cottages, whose misery renders the change from the luxurious drawing-room a pleasing excitement. It is a part of her life of her daily duty. For the cause she embraced, she has chosen to abandon the luxuries, nay, the comforts, to which her fortune and station entitled her; to wear stuff instead of silk; to work hard, to live hard, to save, that she may spend upon her poor. * * Thousands have reason to bless Mrs. Chisholm. We find her not like Mrs. Fry—descending from the drawing-room to the prison, to return, carriage borne, to that drawing room, when her errand of mercy was done—but in the small room of a small house, in an obscure suburb, writing at a rickety table, amidst piles of colonial documents, and answers to her thousand correspondents."
The governor, Sir George Gipps, frequently expressed the esteem he felt for Mrs. Chisholm's works of humanity, and so important to the executive power did he consider the nature of her labours that he conferred a privilege upon her never but once known to have been granted to a female, and that was the wife of the American president, Jefferson,—he allowed her to frank letters.
Sir George Gipps observed in council—"I cannot give a stronger evidence of the economy of the people working for themselves, than by referring to what has been done by Mrs. Chisholm, and I am glad of this opportunity of doing justice to that lady's exertions, and do it with much greater pleasure and satisfaction, from having at the commencement of her labours thrown cold water upon her plans."
The bishops of the colony, and the clergy of every denomination, aided and applauded her works of mercy. Lord Stanley, in 1844, wrote to the governor, saying, "you will express to Mrs. Chisholm the high sense I entertain of her services in behalf of the emigrants." Lord Grey has frequently added his testimony of admiration and approbation of the exertions of the benevolent lady. The committee of the legislative council of New South Wales, in their report, "desire to record their grateful sense of the valuable services of a lady, to whose benevolent exertions on behalf of the unemployed, as well as free emigrants of the humbler classes generally, this colony is under the highest obligations—Mrs. Chisholm, whose name is so well known in the colony for her disinterested benevolence," Robert Lowe, Esq., late Fellow of Magdalene College, Oxford, in a speech in the legislative council, says, "One person only in the colony has done any thing effectual anything on a scale which may be called large to mitigate this crying evil and national sin, and to fix families on our lands in lieu of bachelors. And, strange to say, that one is an humble, unpretending, quiet-working female missionary! an emigrant missionary not a clerical one! The singularity of her mission, looking to the nature of her work, is one of the most original that was ever devised or undertaken by either man or woman; and the object, the labour, the design, are all beyond praise."
After all these tributes to the humane acts of this lady from the most influential sources, strange does it seem that there is no mode of rewarding civic virtue. There seems something "rotten in the state", where Mrs. Waghorne is pining in neglect, while the descendents of a demoralized female excite sympathy and court favour. Mrs. Chisholm's zeal and achievements are publicly acknowledged.
Amid personal sacrifices made every hour of her life, she still earnestly perseveres. Her plans are not confined to the contracted circle of individual interest, but it is the duty and work of a government that she is, and has been for some time assiduously labouring to accomplish. On the page of Colonial History, Mrs. Chisholm's name is now brilliantly written. In the biographical records of the friends of mankind, she has worthily earned a prominent position.
In her God-like mission, self has been absorbed in fervid devotion to the Christian duties of charity and mercy. Her zeal has been apostolic, and with purity of faith, love of mankind, and reliance on God, she has toiled until triumphant. Bequeathing results that will make thousands yet unborn, in their prayers to heaven, call down blessings on the name of the philanthropist
[RULES, REGULATIONS AND HISTORY OF THE FAMILY COLONIZATION LOAN SOCIETY.]
The following Rules and Regulations of the Society will elucidate the entire system and show the minuteness of the details to secure to the Emigrants' health and comfort:—
Membership.—Intending Emigrants, and more especially young and aged people, who desire to participate in the protection this system of emigration affords, must become Members, and comply with the Rules and Regulations of the Society.
Testimonials.—Certificates of good character must be produced, from at least two respectable householders, before applicants can be enrolled, or obtain a passage. All testimonials are sent to the Colony before the sailing of the vessel conveying the Emigrants, and are stamped with the Society's seal. By the adoption of this plan the Certificates so stamped will be found of essential benefit to the Emigrants on their arrival in Australia. To preserve the respectability of the Society, and for the comfort of the passengers, married persons are required to show their marriage certificates.
Fees.—Persons entered on the books of the Society have to pay an entrance-fee of Is. each (the same for children). Certificates of character must be forwarded and approved before the entrance-fee can be taken, or the name entered. To meet the current expenses of the Society, a further fee of 10s. each by all adults, and 5s. each for all children under fourteen years of age, must be paid in the Colony, with the last instalment of the loan.
Payments, Loans, &c..—Intending Emigrants are, in the first instance, required to pay at least two-thirds of their passage-money, which amount may be paid in instalments, free of charge; the other portion of the passage-money will be lent by the Society (if its funds admit of such loan being granted), to be returned by the borrower. As a security for this loan Emigrants are required to sign an Agreement (previous to receiving their Embarkation Orders), that they will refund such loans, through the instrumentality of Agents in the Colonies, within one year after their arrival in the said Colonies, or sooner, if possible, in order that the money so repaid may be re-lent to others in like manner: while the borrowers can nominate their own relatives and friends for a passage and a loan, equal to the sum refunded by them, provided the persons so named meet the approval of the Committee. Loans are granted to persons paying their passage-money by weekly or monthly instalments, and whose membership has extended over a period of at least four months. Passages are granted only to those persons who have paid to the Society the whole proportion of money required for their passage.
Amount of Loan.—This is entirely dependent upon the state of the Society's funds, and eligibility of the party for colonial employment, or other circumstances; but in no case will the loan exceed £4. for each adult.
Family Groups.—Each body of Emigrants is divided into groups containing twelve adults, who can take their meals together during the passage. The object of this arrangement is that friends and relatives may unite and aid each other in their common emigration, and induce a social intimacy among strangers previous to embarkation, by which means they enter the vessel as acquaintances and friends, ready to assist in those little services so conducive to happiness and comfort in a sea voyage. Families and individuals who cannot meet with persons wishing to emigrate from their own locality, have thus an opportunity of meeting desirable associates, and mutually forming a group advantageous both to their present and future views. By this means an interest in each other's welfare in a new home is created by personal reciprocal interests, and cemented by mutual obligations. A list of the Associated Groups embarked, with their names and ages, the place from which they emigrated, their destination and subsequent settlement, the amount of loan advanced, repayments made, the sums still due and by whom, will be published as often as the Committee may deem proper.
Protection to Orphan Girls and Friendless Families.—The friendless young women are grouped with, and introduced to families (at the Group Meetings held at Mrs. Chisholm's residence, on Mondays, at seven o'clock in the evening, previous to embarking), and placed under their special guardianship. Arrangements are also made to insure mutual responsibility for good conduct during the passage. In like manner youth and young men are associated with family groups. Members of groups must pledge themselves not to admit into their body persons of doubtful character, as their comfort during the voyage would be greatly lessened by so doing.
The Re-union of Families.—Relatives and friends now separated (some being in England, others in Australia), when they are unable to pay the sum required for their passages, may jointly, in both countries, make weekly and monthly deposits, until they have by their united efforts raised the necessary amount, which, with the aid of a loan from the Society, may enable such parties to emigrate. In like manner, parties in England anxious to emigrate, and who cannot at once pay the required sum, can make weekly and monthly payments towards their passage either through the Committee or local Agents. If there happens to be a family with some grown-up children, not possessing the necessary means to emigrate, one or two of the most eligible precede the rest to the Colonies, and through the mode of the re-union of Families, contribute to the emigration of the remainder of the family. It will be the duty of the Society's Agents in the Colony to remit these payments to the Committee in England, for the specific purpose of enabling such parties to emigrate. The Regulations of the Society do not admit of the separation of man and wife, or of children without the consent of their parents.
Notice of Departure.—One month's notice is given of the sailing of the vessel to which Emigrants may have been nominated as that in which they can have a passage.
Price of Passage.—The exact sum to be charged as passage-money cannot be positively stated until a ship is engaged. Children between one and fourteen half-price. Infants nothing. The reason of any fluctuation in the charge arises from the variation in prices at which vessels can be procured at different periods. Any advantage resulting from favourable circumstances is always given to the Emigrants.
N.B.—The Society engage none but A 1 ships, and each vessel carries an experienced surgeon.
Application for Membership.—Persons desirous of becoming members of the Society must state: 1. Their name and age. 2. Place of residence and occupation. 3. Whether married or single, male or female. 4. How much they can contribute towards their passage. 5. What part they can pay immediately. 6. If they require a loan, by what time, and by what instalments, they can complete their payments.
Information.—Any information that may be desired can be obtained by applying (personally or by letter) to Mrs. Chisholm, 3, Charlton Crescent, Islington, London; or at 29, Bucklersbury, City. If application be made by letter, Two Stamps must be enclosed for reply, or no answer can be sent. N.B. No charge for information.
Colonial Agents.—Captain Chisholm is now in the Colonies for the purpose of appointing Agents. It will be the duty of these Agents to receive from Emigrants all loans made by the Society, and remit the same to the Committee in England. They will he required to keep a register of all agreements entered into, and the districts to which the Emigrants have proceeded; and also to afford advice and assistance to Emigrants in obtaining employment; and facilitate, by every means in their power, the satisfactory settlement of each in the locality of their choice. All advice and information in the Colonies will be furnished free of charge, but no pecuniary aid can be given.
ARRANGEMENTS ON BOARD THE SOCIETY'S SHIPS.
Cabins.—Enclosed cabins are furnished to each family, of a size according to the number of individuals. Children above fourteen years of age are provided with compartments for sleeping separate from those of their parents. One enclosed cabin is allotted to seven single females; also an enclosed cabin for seven single men, in parts of the vessel appropriated by classification for those berths. The arrangement of the cabins is such as to provide for perfect order, decorum, and morality.
Personal Comfort.—Much personal comfort arises from the feeling that all the passengers are on a footing of equality, there being no classification in the Society's vessels, and all possess the privilege of walking on the poop. When preparing their meals, also, the passengers are not disturbed by cabin or intermediate passengers, as none other than the Society's Emigrants are allowed a passage in the same ship.
Ventilation.—The novel contrivance for ensuring ventilation between decks, fitted up in the "Athenian", at the Society's expense, from plans by Dr. Bowie, being found extremely effective in preserving health and comfort, will be continued in all future vessels dispatched by the Society.
Cooking.—The provisions being prepared by the Emigrants, and delivered as directed in the "Ship Rules and Regulations", will be cooked by an Emigrant's cook, provided to perform that duty by the Society.
Children.—It will be at the discretion of the Surgeon to issue, three times a week, to children under seven years of age, four ounces of Rice, or three ounces of Sago, in lieu of Salt Meat.
Medical Comforts.—For the information of the Committee of the Society, the Surgeon of the vessel is required to keep an account of the issue of medical comforts, with the names of the parties receiving them.
Luggage.—The bulk of luggage (free of charge) allowed to each adult passenger is fifteen cubic feet, ten in the hold and five in the cabin, with half that amount for children. This includes the cabin box, which must not be more than 1 ft. 6 in. long, 1 ft. 10 in. broad, and 1 ft. 2 in. deep. [A carpet bag is far more useful than a box.] The cabin box (or bag) is to contain sufficient linen or other articles for fourteen clay's use, as no other packages can on any account be allowed in the cabins. The remainder of the baggage, marked "Wanted on the voyage", will be so stowed in the hold that it can be got at once a fortnight (or oftener) during the passage, for the purpose of making any required exchange of apparel. All packages of baggage must be distinctly marked with the name of the passenger, -and also with the words "Wanted on the Voyage", or "Not wanted on the Voyage;" and they must be at the docks, ready for shipment, at least Five days prior to the day appointed for sailing. Persons residing in the country can have printed baggage tickets forwarded upon application, by enclosing Two Stamps for the same, and stating the number they require. The Society does not make arrangements for extra luggage.
Articles to be Provided by the Passengers.—The Society provide cooking and mess utensils, but the following Articles must be provided by each Emigrant:—
|Knife and Fork.||| Half a Bath-brick.|
|Table and Tea Spoons.||| Two sheets of sand-paper.|
|Metal plate.||| Two coarse canvass aprons.|
|Hook pot.||| Hammer.|
|Drinking mug.||| Tacks.|
|Water-can.||| Leathern straps, with buckle,|
|Washing-basin.||| to secure the beds neatly on|
|Two Cabbage-nets.||| deck when required to be|
|One Scrubbing-brush.||| aired.|
|Half-a-gallon of Sand.|||Three Pounds of Marine Soap.|
Bedding.—Passengers must provide themselves with bedding: the size of mattress for a double bed place, 3 ft. by 6 ft.; for a single berth, 2 ft. by 6 ft. Feather beds are on no account permitted.
N.B.—Bedding, and all the Articles above named, can be supplied by the Society to the Emigrants at contract price, if preferred.
Security for the Emigrants' Comfort and Health.—In order that the Society's passengers may be amply secured against any curtailment of their comforts, or their health impaired by the over-crowding of the vessel, the Society add ten per cent, to the space allowed by the Passengers' Act.* In addition to a vastly increased space, the passengers are accommodated with a Wash House upon Deck, an arrangement tending greatly to increase the Emigrants' comfort and health. The Charter-party (or agreement made with the Ship Agents and Contractors by the Committee of the Society) also guarrantees that every detail tending to the comfort and health of the Emigrants shall be strictly observed. No wine, beer, or spirits, is allowed to be sold to the Emigrants; and shaving on crossing the line, burning tar barrels, or throwing water over the Emigrants (as has been customary), is strictly prohibited. For the due fulfilment of the above Regulations a bond of £2,500 is signed.
[* It may be as well to explain this more fully:—If the Government (or passengers') Act states that there is space enough for one hundred passengers, the Family Colonization Loan Society occupy that space with only ninety, or ten per cent. less than the law permits.]
Duration of Voyage.—Sixteen weeks is the average duration of the voyage; and every Emigrant is entitled to draw sixteen weeks rations, according to the Society's Weekly Dietary Table, for March, 1852. here given:—
Weekly Dietary Scale for each Adult.
|Biscuit,||per week,||3 lbs.||| Raisins||do.||½ lb.|
|Beef,||do.||½ lb.||| Preserved Fruit, do.||¼ lb.|
|Pork,||do.||1 lb.||| Suet,||do.||6 oz.|
|Preserved Meat, do.||1 lb.||| Peas,||do. ²/³ ds. of a pint|
|Soup Bouilli,||do.||1 lb.||| Rice,||do.||¾ lb.|
|Fish,||do.||¼ lb.||| Preserved Potatoes, do.||½ lb.|
|Flour,||do.||3½ lb.||| Carrots||do.||½ lb.|
|Tea,||per week,||1½ oz.||| Lime Juice,||do.||1 gill.|
|Coffee,||do.||2 oz.||| Pickles,||do.||1 gill.|
|Sugar,||do.||¾ lb.||| Mustard,||do.||½ oz.|
|Treacle,||do.||½ lb.||| Salt,||do.||2 oz.|
|Butter,||do.||¼ lb.||| Pepper,||do.||½ oz.|
|Cheese,||do.||¼ lb.||| Water,||do.||5 galls. 1 qt.|
|Oatmeal,||do.||2 oz.||| Do., each infant||1 gall. 3 qts.|
To prevent waste, parties no-t drawing the quantity to which they are entitled, will receive the quantity due to them on leaving the Ship. This reserve will be useful to them if they go up the country, or until they have permanent employment.
N.B.—The Society put on board Water and Provisions for twenty-two weeks, in case the voyage should last so long; the Emigrants are only allowed to draw, on leaving the Ship, what they have saved from their weekly allowance for sixteen weeks.
All the Groups are provided with printed receipts for their weekly rations, and also for medical comforts should they be required. Scales, weights, and measures, are put on board. The Captain will have to deliver the receipts of the Emigrants, or the provisions, to the Society's Agent in the Colony on his arrival.
Debarkation.—On the arrival of the Society's vessels at Port Phillip, or any other destination, tents will be erected (under the superintendence of the Society's Agent) for their temporary residence. The "Mariner" has taken out tents for the sole use of the Society's passengers. By this means persons of both sexes will be secured from many expenses and inconveniences too often resulting from seeking lodgings in haste. One large tent will be used as an office for the engaging of Emigrants. Persons engaging will be furnished by Captain Chisholm, or the Society's Agents, with every advice and information tending to their benefit and security, free of all charge, but no pecuniary aid can be given.
Pledge of the Members.—The following resolutions were passed at a Group Meeting, held at Mrs. Chisholm's 3, Charlton Crescent, Islington, consisting of parties proposing to emigrate to Australia by the aid of the Family Colonization Loan Society. Since the sailing of the first vessel they have been adopted by every Group, and are earnestly recommended to all future Groups.
Resolved "That we pledge ourselves, as Christian fathers and heads of families, to exercise a parental control and guardianship over all orphans and friendless females proceeding with the family groups; to protect them as our children, and allow them to share the same cabins with our daughters.
"We further resolve to discourage gambling, and not to take cards or dice with us, or to enter into any pernicious amusements during the voyage. We likewise resolve, by parental advice and good example, to encourage and promote some well-advised system of self-improvement during the passage.
"As the system of repayment proposed by this Society is one that, if honourably kept, will add to the credit of the working-classes as a body, and be the means of encouraging the generous and good to assist our struggling countrymen, we hereby solemnly pledge our honour as men, and our character us Christians, to repay the loan advanced to us and impress the sacredness of fulfilling this duty on each and all of the members constituting the groups. We also promise to aid the colonial agents in the recovery of all loans, and to make known, in whatever part of the colonies we may he, the means by which parties well to do there, may assist their relations in this country through the medium of the Family Colonization Loan Society.
"We further pledge ourselves not to introduce as candidates for membership of the Society any men but those we know to be of good character, or families but of good repute.
"We also determine not to accept of payment for any services we may render on board ship, but endeavour individually and collectively to preserve the order of a well-regulated family during our passage to Australia, and to organize and establish a system of protection that will enable our female relatives to enter an emigrant ship with the same confidence of meeting with protection as respectable females can now enter into our steamers, trains, and mail-coaches.
"That all members constituting groups be asked for their approval and fulfilment, as far as they may be individually concerned, of the above resolutions."
Resolved.—"That the group do record and tender their grateful thanks, and those of all members comprising groups, to Mrs. Chisholm and the gentlemen who form the Committee of the Family Colonization Loan Society."
Maternal Superintendency.—The Committee have requested—To undertake the motherly duty of seeing that all the young females are in their sleeping apartments at a proper hour, and they are most earnestly solicited never to retire to rest leaving any girl on the Poop or Deck of the Ship. They are also requested to visit the Female Cabins at least once a day, in order to give such directions as may be necessary for the preservation of order, cleanliness, and that propriety of demeanour so becoming in young females. The above-named persons are also particularly desired to caution the young females against song-singing, or any noisy amusement, in the Stern Cabins, or on the Poop, or Deck of the Ship.
The parties named above are likewise requested to make arrangements with the Surgeon for rendering any assistance to sick persons that may be necessary.
Arrangements will be made for amusements; and parents of mature age are requested, for the sake of the young, to be present on such occasions, so that there may be mirth without danger and amusement without remorse.
We, the undersigned heads of Families, associated as Mr. Group, having produced our marriage certificates to each other and made personal enquiries into the respectability of all in our group, and being satisfied, have voluntarily agreed to mess together during our voyage to Australia, and to afford parental protection to such young persons as are admitted into our Group, and will consider and treat them as members of our family.
Equal [two children under a certain age are counted as one adult,] to 12 Adults, who are entitled to a weekly supply of Provisions as under stated:
|Soup Boulli||9||0||| Butter||3||0|
|Preserved Beef||9||0||| Treacle||6||0|
|Preserved Potatoes||6||0||| Vinegar||3 pints.|
|Carrots||6||0||| Pickles||3 do.|
|Cheese||3||0||| Water||63 gallons.|
|Peas||8||pints.||| And 7 quarts for Infants.|
*** It is arranged that Mr. will enter
duty of Captain of the Mess for the first 7 days, Mr.
for the second, Mr. for the third, Mr.
for the fourth, Mr. for the fifth, Mr.
for the sixth 7 days, and so on through the voyage.
Mr. has been elected by the Group to keep the dietary account book.
N.B.—The Groups should be composed of a party of 12 or 24 persons, as they can then take their meals together during the voyage.
RULES AND REGULATIONS TO BE OBSERVED ON BOARD THE SOCIETY'S VESSELS.
Rule 1.—The Groups are to choose six persons from their body, to be called the Group Committee, whose duty will be to preserve order on the Lower Deck, and see that deck kept clean; to attend during the issue of provisions, to see that each mess has the proper allowance; and to keep a register of the Brands on the various casks of provisions, that they may know they are consuming the provisions put on board for their use. The appointment of the first Committee (to act for one month only) devolves upon Mrs. Chisholm; at the expiration of that period the Groups can elect others. The following six persons have been selected by Mrs. Chisholm, for the reasons assigned opposite their names:—
2.—For the more effectual preservation of order and regularity, all complaints are to be made to the Surgeon, through the medium of the Group Committees, in order that he may apply to the Captain, should it become necessary, with a view to remedy the cause of complaint.
3.—No smoking allowed on the Poop, Lower Deck, or abaft the Main Mast on the Upper Deck.
4.—Single Men are not allowed to go abaft the Main Hatchway on the Lower Deck (except during meals).
5.—One side of the Poop Deck to be retained clear of Passengers, for the Captain's use and comfort, and that of his Officers. The Group Committee are to see this rule strictly carried out.
6.—The Passengers are to leave the Poop Deck at Half-past Eight in the evening, and the lamps extinguished at Ten, with the exception of four on the Lower Deck, and one in the Poop, which are to be left burning during the night. No lights of any kind are permitted in the Cabins, nor may those hanging over the tables be removed.
7.—No lines for drying clothes to be placed in the Cabins, or between decks, such practice being very injurious to health.
8.—Fire-arms, Gunpowder, Lucifer Matches, or other inflammable materials, are to be delivered to the Captain on going on board. If discovered in any Passenger's custody during the voyage, they will be taken possession of by the Captain.
9.—The Surgeon is to appoint two careful persons to clean and trim the lamps, who are also to see that the Passengers' mess utensils are brought on the Upper Deck to be cleaned, perfect cleanliness between decks being imperative to health.
10.—The Scuttles are not to be opened, except by the Carpenter of the ship, who will have orders to do so, whenever deemed advisable, by the Officer of the Watch.
11.—Provisions are to be issued at the following hours: Water, daily, at Half-past Six in the morning; and all Provisions at Ten o'clock in the Morning of the days specified in the Ration Regulations.
12.—The RULES FOR MEALS are as follow: The odd Messes, viz., 1, 3, 5, &c., will Breakfast at Eight o'clock in the Morning, Dine at One in the Afternoon, and Sup at Five in the Evening. The Even Messes, viz., 2, 4, 6, &c., will Breakfast at Nine in the Morning, Dine at Two in the Afternoon, and Sup at Six in the Evening.
13.—The Emigrants are to prepare their food for cooking, and take it to and receive it from the Cook appointed in the Emigrants' service. This duty, it is hoped, will always be done by one of the men of each mess, as it is not proper for respectable females to go forward amongst the ship's crew.
14.—Passengers are strictly prohibited from giving any Wine, Spirits, or Beer, to any of the Ship's Company or Passengers' Cook.
15.—The Surgeon will attend on the Lower Deck daily at the hours of Ten in the Morning and Five in the Evening. It is requested that all applications for Medicines will be made at those hours, except in cases of emergency.
16.—As Ventilation and Cleanliness are essential to the health and well-being of every person on board, it is earnestly recommended, and hoped the Group Committees will strictly enforce, that the Beddings, &c., from the Berths, be brought on deck twice in each week (viz., Tuesdays and Fridays, if practicable), aired, and the Berths well cleaned.
17.—It is requested that for the washing of Passengers' clothes and articles in use, the same days (viz., Tuesdays and Fridays) will be employed, and washing concluded before Eight in the Morning.
AUSTRALIA AND WHO SHOULD EMIGRATE.
The following brief, but excellent advice on the subject is published by the COMMITTEE OF AUSTRALIAN COLONISTS now sitting in London.
AUSTRALIA includes Five Colonies:—
NEW SOUTH WALES.
Capital City and principal Ports—SYDNEY and MORETON BAY; Population by last Census, 180,000; Imports, £1,670,300; Exports, £1,990,900; Sheep, 7,026,000; Cattle, 1,360,100; Horses, 111,200.
VICTORIA (LATE PORT PHILLIP).
Capital City—MELBOURNE; Ports—MELBOURNE, GEELONG, and PORTLAND BAY; Population, 78,000; Imports, £744,295; Exports, £1,041,796; Sheep, 6,033,000; Cattle, 346,562; Horses, 16,743;
Ports—PORT ADELAIDE and PORT LINCOLN. Population, 67,000; Imports, £887,423; Exports, £571,348: Copper Metal, 44,594 cwt.; Copper Ore, 8,784 tons; Sheep, 1,200,000; Horned Cattle, 100,000; Horses, 6,000.
Ports—PERTH and KING GEORGE'S SOUND.
VAN DIEMEN'S LAND.
Ports and Cities—HOBART TOWN and LAUNCESTON.
With two exceptions, the chief occupations of Australia are the same, viz.: Pastoral and Agricultural; Sheep and Cattle have long been the favourite investment of settlers; and shepherds, herdsmen, bullock-drivers, and the like, will find an unlimited demand for their services.
Agriculture is carried on extensively and successfully in all the Colonies by small farmers, who work with their families, and hire not more than one or two men, except in harvest time. Agriculture cannot be carried on successfully, after the European plan, by a farmer hiring much labour, except in rare cases near a large town.
In South Australia, Copper Mining has been actively pursued since 1845. The exports are large; and one mine, the Burra Burra is the richest in the world.
Gold has been found in very large quantities in New South Wales, chiefly near Bathurst, 160 miles from the coast, and in Victoria, at Ballarat, 40 miles from the port of Geelong, and Mount Alexander, 90 from Melbourne.
As Sydney has 60,000 inhabitants, Melbourne 25,000, and Adelaide 15,000, there are the same trades and professions carried on there as in the most thriving towns, of the same population, of Europe; but the fluctuations of trades are rapid, and professions are easily glutted.
Gentlemen of education without capital, clerks, and persons of that class, should not emigrate unless they are prepared to become shepherds, or to dig for gold, or accept menial employment.
Gentlemen of capital, large or small, will act most wisely in refraining from making any investment for at least twelve months after arriving in the colony.
A working farmer, or a market gardener, may readily earn a comfortable living by renting or purchasing land within a convenient distance of a town.
The following Trades are good:—Carpenter; Blacksmith, first rate; Bricklayer; Stonemason; Sawyer; Well-sinker; Miner; Wheelwright; Tailor; Bootmaker; Tanner.
A Tailor married, need not be first rate; should be prepared to become a shepherd, also, if necessary.
Ornamental trades are in very moderate demand, such as Carvers and Gilders, fine Cabinet-makers, &c.
Demand for Compositors limited.
The man who works in iron must do anything from repairing a steam-boiler, to shoeing a horse, and the same with the man who works in wood.
A man who can handle tools in a rough useful manner, drive a team, fell, dig, and plough, and understands cattle, will do best of all. The working man who knows only how to work will make a good shepherd.
There is a steady demand and high wages for female domestic servants and for stout country girls, accustomed to daily and country work. All these can, if they please, marry respectably.
For Governesses there is little demand, unless such as are prepared to be generally useful in assisting the mistress of the house. A few well-introduced may do well, but the market is generally soon overstocked.
Sewing is not a good trade in the sea-ports; in the interior it pays for a married woman.
For industrious, sober, married couples, suitable for farm servants and shepherds, and for stout, intelligent boys, of ten and upwards, the demand may be said to be unlimited. Good wages may also be earned by the young children of a shepherd or ploughman, from even the age of eight.
The discovery of gold has so much disturbed and raised the rate of wages that it is difficult to state an average.
But for many years the wages of a shepherd have ranged from £20. per annum to £31. 4s., with a hut and rations of 10 lbs. flour, 12 lbs. meat, ¼ lb. tea, and 2 lbs. sugar, per week.
A shepherd's wife, cooking for him and one other man, has received £9, with the same rations, and an allowance for children, above eight years old. These money have recently risen fifty, and more, per cent, and the skilled mechanics in proportion.
A common Labourer digging at the Gold Fields earns from 8s. to 12s. per day.
Gentlemen desiring to embark in the purchase of live stock, and become, according to the Colonial phrase, squatters, will have to purchase the tennant-right of a run, or grazing ground, from an occupier holding at a rent under the Crown, as all the pastures accessible from a port are occupied. Brothers, or friends in partnership, with capital, will have a better chance in sheep and cattle than single individuals.
Letters of introduction are generally useless, unless accompanied by letters of credit.
Certificates, properly attested, of good character, are useful to men seeking employment.
As little baggage, and as much money as possible. No goods on speculative investments. There are plenty of mercantile firms, with whom a stranger cannot compete. A workman should take his tools.
No wooden furniture. A family may take linen, plated goods, knives, and forks, if they have them. Letters of credit may be obtained from the
BANK OF AUSTRALASIA,
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN BANK, &c.
THE FAMILY COLONIZATION LOAN SOCIETY.
An account of the labours of Mrs. Chisholm would be imperfect without the details of that Society which she has so perseveringly struggled to establish during the last three years of her life. The faith that she had a mission to perform, the carrying out of which was a duty to her Creator, and overflowing with love of her fellow-beings, has borne her triumphantly through difficulties that would have appalled many a stout, manly heart. Personal deprivations have been incurred and cheerfully endured which wives and mothers, ordinarily, from self-love and family interest shrink from encountering; and that elegant display, luxurious home, and enjoyment of refined society, which position and means places at command and maintains, have been by Mrs. Chisholm totally disregarded. With meagre means to carry out a great national undertaking, a governmental duty, and selfish as well as bigotted prejudices ever rising in her path, she has combatted and conquered—every obstacle subdued—and now firmly established a society and system that has given a death blow to the horrible practices of emigration the offspring of sordid and callous hearts, and rendered a model to the world for the safe, moral, and comfortable transit of vast bodies of people seeking across a broad ocean, a new home, and the entire enjoyment of the fruits of their toil. Truly applicable were the words applied to her by the Earl of Shaftesbury "the children shall arise and call her blessed."
The Society, as we have already stated, was projected by Mrs. Chisholm in 1847, on her return from Australia, after successfully working at colonization for seven years. By the end of 1849 she had collected some two hundred parties, who, by small instalments, had paid nearly two-thirds of their passage-money. In 1850 she procured the patronage of her first committee, including the Earl of Shaftesbury, (then Lord Ashley) Mr. Sydney Herbert, Mr. Vernon Smith, Mr. Wyndham Harding, and Mr. Tidd Pratt. A small sum of money was subscribed, towards which the t Countess of Pembroke gave £250. The society was brought before the public in May, 1850; in September, 1850, the first ship, the Slains Castle, was despatched with 189 statute emigrants, or about 250 men, women, and children. Towards their passages the emigrants paid, by instalments, £1403. The Society lent £865, to be repaid in two years by earnings in the colony; part of this loan has been repaid, we give the following account of this vessel and its departure which will convey an idea of all the others to the reader.
The Slains Castle, whilst lying at the East India Export Dock, Blackwall, was visited by great numbers of persons, who were highly gratified with the arrangements and contrast afforded to other vessels engaged in the same service.
On descending to the lower deck the scene was most striking. All usual erections being removed, there was a clear length of 100 feet of deck. The cabins, ranged on each side, were numbered, and resembled a ward in Greenwich or Chelsea Hospital. Those intended for a man and his wife were of a certain size, while those for a party of females were larger. The bedsteads for a married couple consisted of broad stout laths, one-half of the length of which were placed to fit into the other, so that when not needed to sleep upon they could be slid back, and the bedstead become one half the size. By this contrivance there was a couch formed for the day, and by a board sliding in a support for the back, while the room gained left a private cabin for the occupants. A wash stand in a corner, and some other trifling articles, completed the fittings. In some of these there was a small bed-place a little above for a young child. In the young women's cabins two sides had each two berths, while another side had a couch which drew out to allow a mother and daughter, or elderly female and young child, to sleep upon. This last-named party had charge of the young women in the cabin; and, as one of the girls in the group was selected from having parents 011 board, her mother had a right to entry to see her daughter: thus a double guardianship become exercised. By a space being left at the bottom, and the frame-work not reaching the roof by several inches, a free and perfect circulation of air was allowed in each cabin, besides, there being a small window covered by a piece of coloured cotton; thus there were privacy, air, and light. At the end of this deck were domestic offices for females and children while others for men were on deck. At the bows a part was partitioned off for the young men, where there were two ranges of bed places, and tables, with ample room, where in quiet and retirement they could pursue their studies during the voyage. Down the centre of the deck between the cabins were tables for the meals and other purposes of the emigrants, above which were shelving for the dishes.
The completeness and excellence of the arrangements are thus seen, while, the passengers having the use of the entire deck and poop of the vessel, it must be acknowledged that every means was taken to render them comfortable and healthy; their interest being considered paramount in every particular.
The emigrants were not of that class who have sunk in poverty and despair, who, reckless of consequences, sought but for change; they seemed men stem in purpose, borne forward by self-respect; they appeared to feel that within themselves they possessed powers to attain a higher destiny in society than their efforts in this country could achieve; that by changing the field of their exertions God in his mercy and love would accord, as a reward for their labour, peace, love, and plenty: in that reliance fear become dim and hope radiant.
During the early part of Saturday, the 28th ult., there was all the usual bustle, confusion, and hurry of embarkation on the decks of the Slains Castle. The flag that has "braved the battle and the breeze" boldly graced the bows, others gaily decorated the vessel, but that which most attracted attention was one symbolic of the spirit that guided the present enterprise, and hung from the mizen. It was a present from a party of ladies to Mrs. Chisholm, of "true blue" colour having in gold-coloured type a monogram of Mrs. Chisholm's name, C. C., linked together by the stout part of the letters, and surrounded by the letters F.C.L.S.—Family Colonization Loan Society. The indefatigable Mrs. Chisholm was on board, practicially and beneficially bestowing her experience, and with her maternal solicitude superintending all arrangements for the domestic comforts of the emigrants. A party of six friendless handsome Irish girls seemed to have a large share of her attention and care; all that circumstances and human foresight could provide for their well-being, and exhortation to prudence and caution of conduct was judiciously bestowed. It was surprising to watch how any unexpected difficulty that arose was promptly removed, how every petty detail was regarded and controlled, by this extraordinary woman. A family at the last moment found they could not go by this vessel—another anxious and ready, filled their places; a family presented itself, the mother of whom but four days before had undergone the ordeal of maternity—Mrs. Chisholm, in respect of her sex, promised a passage in three weeks by another vessel, but was met by a refusal; she then declined the responsibility of receiving the anxious emigrant without a doctor's certificate; this was procured, and the invalid carried on board. The searching eye of Mrs. Chisholm caught the face of a baby, and she detected incipient measles in the family. They were tenderly refused admission, and carefully placed in a cab, with money for their immediate requirements, and promise of future attention and an early passage. We noticed with melancholy feelings a poor youth who had set out in life with all the bright aspirations of fame as an artist; his first public attempt met with disfavour; his buoyant hopes were prostrated a blight seized his mind and he sank under the unexpected blow; despondency overshadowed him, and paralyzed in action, he sought a new life, home, and country, where, unknown, and with other occupations, he might gain a renewal of energy of mind. We have at many ports witnessed the departure of emigrants when it seemed as if the separation was a violent tearing up of sturdy roots of affection, agony, and despair being wound up to the highest pitch of human endurance. In the present instance, when the command for departure was given, it appeared to us as if the affections about to be separated were but slender tendrils; and in this one fact is shown the nobleness and virtue of the scheme. Among these emigrants were many about to join in ease and comfort their dearest friends, while others had 011 board around them their relatives and families, all that was nearest and most beloved by them on earth. Thus it is a system in accordance with nature—with God's holiest laws. Certainly in all cases there are exceptions—two children were parting with their parent; at the last moment they dropped on their knees and besought, with stifled voice, a father's blessing; he knelt, his feelings for a time chocked his utterance, when with fervid words he resigned them into the hands of Almighty God, and besought them ever by their conduct to merit His mercy—His love.
The large crowd moved with the stately vessel to the last point of the dock, when, the word for "all hands on shore" being given, the mongrel crew of dock labourers rapidly tumbled out of the ship, and as if by magic, in the next instant the forecastle was crowded by as noble a crew of powerful British tars as could be seen, ready and able to perform their laborious and dangerous duties. We would defy any Englishman to witness such a sight without feelings of pride in his country. The steam-tug being affixed, the last rope on shore was cast loose, when cheer after cheer from the windows and roof of the crowded inn, and mass of people arose, and was responded to by the emigrants. Mrs. Chisholm, who was gazing at the scene from a prominent part of the vessel, turned round and observed, "Well, at length, here is emigration for and by the people!" Mixing with the crowd on deck, we observed the prolonged gaze of many a reddened eye—we saw the silent tear trickle down the cheek—we heard the deep sigh and subdued sob—the cheek and lips of manhood blanched and the agitated nerves make the trembling of the hand. The grief of some was calm and deep, while a few appeared as hilarious as if proceeding on a gipsying party. The vessel proceeded down to Gravesend, where she anchored, Mrs. Chisholm making a continued round of inspection during the time, assisting and advising in every particular.
Sunday on Board.—Two hundred friends of the emigrants lodged at Gravesend during Saturday night, and early on Sunday morning proceeded on board the Slains Castle. A clergyman of the Church of England, the Rev.. Edward Bullock, commenced the religious duties of the day by reading prayers, after which the Wesleyans performed service according to the mode of their Society; next followed two Roman Catholic priests, who delivered most appropriate exhortations, but dispensed with the usual ceremonies of their church. Never in any country (and it has been our fate to see many) did we ever see so truly a Christian spirit prevail, such harmony of sentiment and brotherly love. The sight was most exciting and admirable; it gave us hope; and we felt assured, were such meetings of more frequent occurrence, the painful asperities of sectarianism would die away, and the true spirit of Christianity be prevalent. But a still more extraordinary scene presented itself—one which, perhaps, never before occurred on board any vessel, and was deeply impressive on the now immense crowd on board, for it appeared about 800 persons visited the ship. In the afternoon there issued from the captain's apartments a train of clergymen, arrayed in surplices, about twenty-four in number! They mounted the poop and went through the beautiful services of our Established Church; then a sermon was delivered, which produced a deep and serious impression on the assembly, while the Psalms sung, perhaps, were never echoed on the vault of heaven with more fervour and sincerity. Later in the afternoon an address on teetotalism was delivered. The sacred day was spent in listening to the sublime truths of holy writ, and in showing that they must be the guide of erring man, who would desire happiness on earth and obtain eternal life in heaven.
We found that among the emigrants were 120 communicants of the Church of England, two Jewesses, and the others about equally divided between Wesleyans and Roman Catholics.
On Monday Mrs. Chisholm went on board to bid the emigrants farewell. The men all came on deck and seated themselves around their noble patron and friend. She exhorted them as to their conduct, when they unanimously pledged themselves "as Christian fathers and heads of families to exercise a parental control and guardianship over all orphans and friendless females proceeding with the family groups, to protect them as their children, and allow them to share the same cabins as their daughters; also to discourage gambling and any pernicious amusements during the voyage; and by parental advice and good example to encourage and promote some well-devised system of self improvement during the passage." The lady likewise begged of them not only to be the guardians of the females, but also of religious liberty to their fellow-voyagers. Mrs. Chisholm, proceeding below, in a most feeling manner addressed the females on their conduct and duties. The moment for separation now arrived, but the pen is powerless in describing the scene that took place. A young Jewess clasped her in her arms, kissed her, and called her "her dear mother." Other females wept aloud. The old women, hung about her praying for the "blessings of God to be her portion." The men in silent grief grasped her hand; and the last cheer given was one which must ever tell forcibly on the feelings of a mother: it was "Three cheers for Mrs. Chisholm's children!" On Tuesday afternoon the anchor of the Slains Castle was weighed—her sails spread to the wind. The second ship, the Blundell, sailed in May, 1851, with 218 adult emigrants, and several children, who paid £1942, and borrowed £674 from the Society. The third ship, the Athenian, sailed in September, 1851, with 209 emigrants, and their young families, who paid £1942, and borrowed £524. Thus, in twelve months, during a period that the government had been unable to fill several of their ships with emigrants to whom they gave a free passage, and when filled had only been able to obtain a class whom Earl Grey termed the refuse of workhouses, inferior to convicts. Mrs. Chisholm had been able to collect families of the most industrious and frugal class, numbering one thousand souls, and contributing £5237. In this vessel, the surgeon, K. Bowie, Esq., who had been one of the most active professional men of the Board of Health, during the raging of cholera, finding that interest, not capabilities and a rigid self-sacrificing to duty, led to a just public reward for labour, in disgust sought with his family a home on Australia's shores; this gentleman fitted up two perforated zinc tubes extending from the stem to the stern of the vessel, and continued on to the deck, one tube was placed along the roof of the cabins, the other the floor, the first carried off the used air, the latter brought in fresh, and such was the excellence of this plan that all the effluvia from the close congregation of so many people and from the large quantity of cooked meat was completely drawn away as it arose, while at the equator, between decks, the temperature was two degrees less than under the poop. He also had a simple contrivance for distilling sea-water, which extra supply was distributed for sanitary measures. These contrivances being found so valuable, efficient, and even economical, they now form a portion of the arrangements in the Society's vessels. Economical, certainly, for they save the "medical stores", and instead of the vessel arriving with a number of emigrants worn out with sickness, their constitutions injured, and requiring months to recover a tone of health that they may be able to labour, they find themselves capable of entering on active employment the instant they land, as has been practically proved for there was not one un-engaged the second day after the arrival of the Blundell. On the Athenian touching at the Cape four female children had been added to the passengers, born on the ocean wave. It is curious to read the written bills of entertainment on the voyage. The recitations, concerts, &c., "by particular desire" "under distinguished patronage" "from indisposition" "previous engagements" M.— M.— "will not appear until the following public entertainment, of which due notice will be given." "First appearance." "Glorious hit," and that "between the first and second parts refreshments will be handed to all the audience," a species of liberality much to be envied under more favourable circumstances.
The Athenian sailed in February, 1852, with 209 adults and their children, the passage-money in which being 13, and the society lending an average of £2 per head, the emigrants contributed about £2700; a remarkable trait of the superior moral character of the emigrants. All this amount of emigration with the multitudinous affairs of the Society, has been accomplished without the usual expensive machinery of colonising companies "Mrs. Chisholm and her family" says Mr. Sidney gave up their time gratuitously to the work, with the aid of one clerk, and one old woman to open the door to the inquirers who knocked from morning to night. She has received eighty letters and forty calls on the subject of emigration in one day. Mrs. Chisholm's success was owing not less to her common sense, her business-like habits and experience, than to her energetic philanthropy. Her plan was extremely simple. Every Monday evening she held meetings of intending emigrants at her small house, No, 3, Charlton Crescent, Islington, where they obtained information, and made acquaintance with each other. Groups were formed of from three to eight families, who co-operated for mutual assistance on the voyage. These groups each elected a representative, and these formed committees for a variety of useful objects onboard. Instalments were taken as low as Is. a week. When a sufficient number had paid up to justify the society in taking a ship, an economy was effected in the passage-money, while the best provisions, good ventilation, enclosed berths, and superior arrangement for the decent comfort of families and the protection of single girls and friendless children were secured. Every ship was an improvement on the preceding one; and the society aimed not only at assisting as many emigrants as possible, but at affording an example of model emigration."
On the 18th of February, 1852, the Family Colonisation Loan Society held in London one of the most numerous and enthusiastic meetings ever assembled in this country on the subject of emigration; the Earl of Shaftesbury in the chair, who stated "he had seen in the last ship a family which included a child six weeks old, and a grandmother who had attained eighty-four years." More than 2500 persons were present; every corner, every rafter that could be reached was crowded, and the great hall, viewed from the platform, presented an undulating sea of faces, all deeply intent on the business of the evening. The flags of all nations ornamented the bare walls. At the end of the room, opposite the chairman, in huge letters, the mottoes "Advance Australia", "Speed the Plough", and an initial monagram of F.C.L.S. on the blue flag of the ship about to sail, were displayed. The Earl of Shaftesbury had Mrs. Chisholm on his right hand, and on his left the Eight Hon. Sidney and Mrs. Herbert, with a party of their friends; Messrs. Gone, William Jackson, James Levick, M'Clellan, and others engaged in the Australian trade; and Messrs. Stanley Carr, S. Devonport, M'Nab, Churnside, Russell, and other Australian colonists were among the parties who crowded the platform. The street was thronged by parties unable to obtain admission.
The Australian city of London merchants seeing the want of labour in the colonies subscribed about £4000 to aid the movement, and in the first instance, using Mrs. Chisholm's name, endeavoured to set on foot a plan of emigration, but ultimately abandoned it to the guidance of that lady, they taking the honorary post of committee-men in addition to the older members who had aided the labours of Mrs. Chisholm.
The discovery of gold in the Australian colonies has increased the demand for emigration, and the energy of emigrants to attain their passage; this, likewise, has greatly risen the price of freightage of vessels, while the ferment in the colonies themselves unhinge matters from that calm and progressive state that formerly could he almost positively ensured. From these circumstances the same urgency for loans does not exist, and prudence dictates that they should not be on the same scale as heretofore. The establishment of the society is a new era in the history of emigration.
Webb, Millington and Co., Printers, Leeds and Otley
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