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their own employer in the neighbourhood, we should have our reaping, mowing, and shearing done at a cheaper rate; and the emigrants, by means of the money made during the busy season, added to their earnings, would maintain their families well, and their children, from not being scattered, might have opportunities of learning to read and write, and of receiving religious instruction. Many would in a few years become small farmers—first as tenants, then as landholders, and, in either capacity, would increase the demand for labour."
This was sound sense in Charles Campbell, as contrasted with the sound selfishness of Benjamin Boyd; but although afterwards enforced and illustrated with a large collection of facts gathered by the one great colonial reformer produced by Australia, yet 1851 found the pastoral interests as ill provided with permanent labour as 1843. The selfish maxims of Mr. Boyd's Bent's sheep club prevailed after the ruin and death of the founders. The successful efforts to retain sheepwalks as walks only to encourage the growth of sheep, and discourage the rearing of children, found Australia, when the golden revolution broke out, largely dependent on wandering shepherds, bound by no ties, either moral or local, social or domestic, to the district, in the land of which they had no share. Even at this hour shortsighted successors to the Boyd policy are contemplating the forging of legal bonds to retain the unwilling services of cheap shepherds, hired in Europe anything rather than give up a share in their land monopoly, although it is melting from their grasp.
But while the governor, well backed by the Colonial Office, was deep in the contest which killed him and deceived thousands — while the bounty crimps were pouring in their miscellaneous collections to work or saunter, or, if women, walk the streets — while the squatters, losing sight of the just half of their claim, were factiously obstructing all government, and ready to ruin the bodies and souls of shepherds to save wool—one individual appeared, unencumbered with colonizing theories, undebased by any mercenary objects, laborious in collecting facts, diffident in expressing new opinions, prepared to learn, willing to teach, and anxious to be useful to all conditions of men— - Caroline Chisholm, the greatest, the only practical reformer and worker in colonization of the age, who will be remembered and blessed by thousands, following their flocks and cultivating their farms in Australia, when the names of the land-jobbers and charlatans of the “sufficientprice school,” the false “protectionists of colonial capital,” are forgotten.
NEGLECTED STATE OF EMIGRANTS-SHE FOUNDS THE "HOME"_TRAVELS THROUGH
THE BUSH_DISTRIBUTES SERVANTS AND WIVES—HER BOOK-COLLECTS VOLUN-
RS. CAROLINE CHISHOLM arrived in Sydney in 1839, with
her children and husband, Captain Archibald Chisholm, of the Madras army, who had been making a tour of the Australian colonies during a limited sick leave. On returning to India he decided to leave his family in New South Wales.
Soon after their arrival, during the first crash of insolvency of 1839, some Highland emigrants, who spoke no English and had large families, found difficulty in obtaining employment. A little money lent them by Captain Chisholm to purchase tools, and a little useful advice, set them up as woodcutters, and they prospered ; and, having seen the neglected state of the bounty emigrants, he pointed them out to his wife as fit objects for her charitable zeal and energy. There is a wonderful freemasonry among the poor, and by degrees Mrs. Chisholm's rooms were crowded by emigrants seeking advice. But it was the unprotected position of female and often friendless emigrants that most awakened her warm sympathies. She commenced her work in the literal sense of the term, by at the same time gathering information and acquiring the confidence of the working classes.
At that period she found young women who had emigrated nominally under the care of friends, but really under that of strangers, at the instigation of the bounty agent, without home, some lodged in tents with companions of indifferent character, others wandering friendless through the streets of Sydney; many who, having been collected in rural districts, knew more of cows and pigs than housework, if engaged in town, soon lost their situations when superseded by more accomplished. servants from ships which arrived daily.
Some of these poor creatures slept in retired nooks out in the public gardens and in the rocks, rather han face contamination of the streets. The total number of respectable females unemployed in Sydney at one time in 1840-1 accumulated to six hundred.
There were other and more serious evils attendant on emigration,
as then conducted, than the condition of the emigrants on landing. A considerable number of females of notoriously bad character were sent out in the bounty ships for whom bounty was never claimed; the Emigration Board sat in Sydney merely to apportion the bounty; the utmost punishment they could inflict was to stop the passage-money due to the agents. So long as the emigrants were delivered in good health, and within the standard, there was neither tribunal nor even organized opinion which could be brought to bear on any of the parties connected with the mercantile transaction. If duly invoiced, the bill for the live lumber was paid, while damaged goods were rejected. In some ships the immigrants were deprived of their fair share of provisions, insulted and assaulted by the crew, even by the officers, and otherwise abused. In others unrestrained intercourse took place between the officers, the crew, and the female passengers. In more than one instance the captain or surgeon selected pretty emigrants for companions during the voyage, and even during their stay in Sydney.
On arrival in harbour, not only were single gentlemen allowed to choose housekeepers on board, but notorious brothel-keepers regularly visited the emigrant-ships. The captain and surgeon could not know them, and had no power to impede them if they did.
There was no government officer on board to superintend the contracts or protect the emigrants; and thus, while women fell into the hands of seducers and harlots, there were a certain number of keen hands, with whom few in the colony would deal without a lawyer, who skimmed the cream of the labour from the ship on terms of very sharp practice.
All these things oozed out in England among the emigrating classes, and made, and continued to make, long after they were to a great extent remedied, emigration very unpopular, but no one cared or dared to take up the obnoxious and ungenteel position of the emigrants' friend in Sydney.
The colonists had not then learned that the cheapest and most powerful mode of colonizing is to make the working colonists content.
Mrs. Chisholm had courage and foresight. She began by appealing to the press and to private individuals on behalf of the poor destitute girl immigrants. At first she met with much discouragement, a few civil speeches—no assistance.
The most imperious section of the employer class saw no advantage from the protection of the employed. The officials foresaw more work, some supervision, and no increase of pay. The Roman Catholics, as soon as they found it was to be a universal, or, to use the Irish term, a “godless,” scheme of practical philanthropy, and not sectarian and proselytizing, opposed it vehemently. A dignitary of that church wrote
MRS. CHISHOLM'S APPEAL.
a letter to a newspaper, in which he termed Mrs. Chisholm a lady labouring under amiable delusions. At the same time the Protestants raised the cry of "No Popery!"
But she pressed on her plan of a “Home,” and when almost defeated was nerved to determination by the sight of a Highland beauty,“ poor Flora,” whom she had last known a happy, hopeful girl, drunken, despairing, contemplating, and hastening to commit, suicide.
She offered to devote her time gratuitously to a “Home of Protection,” and to endeavour to procure situations for the emigrant girls, unengaged and out of place, in the country,—an offer which was eventually accepted, after “she had given an undertaking and an understanding not to put the government to any expense.” On obtaining this concession she issued the following circular, which will give an example of that practical business talent to which she owes her success, not less than to her genuine philanthropy and many-sided talents :
“ JAMIESON-STREET, SYDNEY, October 21st, 1841. Sir,-I am endeavouring to establish a 'Home for Female Immigrants,' and have little doubt but funds will soon be raised to enable me to accomplish this; 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.
“Ist. 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 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. Subscribers of £1 will have servants selected and sent to them without any trouble; it will, however, be necessary that an order should be sent to cover the expense of their conveyance.
“I require, by donations, to raise what will furnish a house; and, by subscriptions, I expect to support the institution. I am of opinion that, when families in the interior can get servants sent them, we shall not hear of young
women suffering distress and losing character for want of a situation. I shall feel obliged if you will favour me with a reply by the 10th of November next.
“I have taken the liberty to annex a subscription list, and I shall feel obliged if you would leave it in the hands of some person to receive subscriptions, and acquaint me with the name, that it may appear in the papers.”
It was in reply to one of these circulars that the Rev. Henry Styles, of Windsor, the chaplain to the Bishop of Australia, an honest opponent, wrote:-“I fully appreciate the zeal and charity in your endeavours to establish the Home for Female Immigrants.' My only reason for declining to co-operate in a design which at first sight appears so entirely laudable is, that it is natural to suppose that an institution established by a lady who is a devoted member of the Catholic Church, which renders allegiance to Rome, should prove rather an instrument for augmenting the numbers of that communion, than merely what its name imports—a home for all destitute female immigrants, without respect to their religious professions. The result would be, that the immigrants in your 'Home' would be advised, restrained, and protected by the clergy of the Church of Rome.” After thus expressing himself, the reverend gentleman replied minutely to every question in the circular.
Mrs. Chisholm's answer to this plain and proper letter produced a second letter from Mr. Styles, in which he said, “Your frank and straightforward avowal of the objects you aim at, and the means you will use for their attainment, disarm suspicion. The assurance in your note that you will not be led by the agents of any ecclesiastical party, but that you will pursue steadily the good of the whole of the emigrants who may come
your care, referring in matters of religion to their respective clergy and teachers, induces me to offer you very cordially whatever support I am able to afford. I beg to enclose £2 as a donation.”
Eleven years have elapsed since this correspondence took place. Proselytism and propagandism are not to be done in a corner; for every day during that period Mrs. Chisholm has almost lived in public, yet no case of misuse of her influence has ever been brought against her, or any open charge, except by that unhappy ex-Presbyterian, Dr. Lang, whose admirable talents, neutralized by envy, jealousy, and reckless mendacity, have chequered every year of his life by actions for libel and defamation. But from time to time whispers are circulated by those who, professing a love of civil and religious liberty, exhibit sentiments more in accordance with those of the men who burned Wicliff and Servetus than the nineteenth century and the atmosphere of England.
The government building appropriated to the “Home” consisted of