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Strathfieldsaye, 1834 voyage correspondence and Passenger List
From BPP 1835 XXXIV, the New South Wales section of the Emigration Report
Extracts of a Despatch from the Earl of Aberdeen to Sir R. Bourke; dated Downing-street, 17 Feb. 1835.
[A similar Despatch was sent to Colonel Arthur, Lieutenant-governor of Van Diemen's Land, acquainting him that two ships would be sent to Van Diemen's Land.]
I have the honour to transmit to you herewith copies of a correspondence which has taken place between my under secretary and the chairman of the committee by whom the female emigrants have been selected and dispatched to the Australian Colonies. The first of these letters takes a retrospective view of the proceedings of the committee during the past year, and contains such suggestions as they have offered for my consideration, with a view to the improvement of the system of female emigration, together with a renewed offer of their services during the present year. The remainder of this correspondence gives the detail of the measures which will be adopted.
The system hitherto acted upon, of providing a portion only of the expense of the passage, and requiring each female to find the remainder, either by the payment of 5l. on embarking, or giving a promissory note for the payment of 6l. On her arrival in the Colony, has, for the reasons stated by the committee, been superseded, and another arrangement substituted, by which the whole of the expense of the passage will be defrayed at the cost of the public in the following proportion, viz. 9l. For each emigrant on the departure of the vessel from this country, and 8l. on the arrival of the ship in the Colony, either in specie or treasury bills, at the option of the Governor, according to the arrangement which you were informed would in future be made upon that subject with the owners of vessels engaged to convey emigrants to the Colonies.
I have further to acquaint you, that three ships, with about 200 young women in each, will be dispatched to New South Wales during the present year; the first of which will leave England on the 30th of April, and the periods fixed for the departure of the other two will be about the 10th of August and the 28th of October respectively. And I request that all necessary arrangements may be made for securing to the young women who may arrive by these successive opportunities every possible comfort and accommodation, from the period at which they may arrive in the colony until that at which they may succeed in obtaining suitable situations.
Before concluding this despatch, I have to observe, that in consequence of your recommendation that an officer should be specially appointed for the purpose of scrutinizing all applications from emigrants for loans or bounties, before any such assistance is granted, it has been determined to give effect to your wishes in this particular.
Emigration committee Room, 30 Dec. 1834.
The Emigration committee having during the past year effected, to the best of their power, the objects which they were instructed by His Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies to superintend, consider it their duty to make a detailed report to you of their proceedings, and to offer such suggestions as the experience they have now acquired in conducting female emigration to the Australian Colonies may enable them to submit.
The Committee have, as their reports on the departure of each ship have already made known to you, sent out three ships during the present year, viz. The Strathfieldsaye, from hence to Van Diemen's Land , which sailed on the 1st of May; the David Scott, for Sydney, which sailed on the 10th of July; and the Sarah, for Van Diemen's Land, which proceeded on the 16th of October. In addition to these ships, the committee have taken up, equipped, and dispatched the ship Duchess of Northumberland, of 550 tons, for Dublin and Cork, whence she sailed with female emigrants on the 20th of October; but as this latter vessel was, as it regards the selection of the emigrants who proceeded by her, entirely under the direction of the Irish government, and of Mr. Pinnock, sent from your department to superintend the business in Ireland, the committee confine their report to the three ships first enumerated.
The number of individuals sent out in each ship were as follows:
The average age of the females by this ship who partook of the government aid of 12l. Each, was 20 230/256 years.
The average age of the females by this ship who partook of the government aid of 12l. Each towards their passage, was 20 76/247 years.
The average age of the females by this ship who partook of the government aid of 12l. Each towards their passage, was 20 years; making in the aggregate sent out in the three ships above named, of
In the execution of the delicate and onerous duties which devolved upon them, the emigration committee have been fully alive to their highly important nature, and to the serious responsibility resting on them. They have strongly felt that as respects the colonists, among whom the grievous disparity between the sexes, and the state of morals obviously arising from such a state of society, render the accession of females of virtuous and industrious habits in the highest degree essential, they owed the utmost care and caution in sanctioning and aiding the transit of such females only as were likely to become really useful. The committee have also carefully kept in view the objects which His Majesty's Government wished to accomplish, by confining the aid thus placed under their management to the class of individuals just mentioned; and they have anxiously endeavoured to guard against the admission of improper subjects, by previous personal inquiry in all cases within a reasonable distance; and in the cases of persons living remote from London, they have uniformly required the certificate of a resident minister, or of some person of known reputation, to whom the applicant might be known and so far as human care and caution can guard against the intrusion of persons of even doubtful character, it has been the anxious care of the committee to do so. Still they do not mean to assert, that instances of deception, in despite of their utmost caution, have not occurred; but they are the exceptions, not the rule; and it cannot but be obvious to every dispassionate person, that it is impossible so to guard the admission of candidates for emigration, that the conduct of some of them during a long voyage, under the privations which must occur with the most satisfactory arrangements, and a discipline necessarily imperfect, shall not be occasionally exceptionable, and that on reaching the Colonies, where circumstances so totally different, and the temptations by no means inconsiderable, await them, a few may not be found altogether undeserving of the bounty which has been bestowed upon them. On the other hand, it is equally certain that many who go out with extravagant, not to say romantic expectations, must, in the first instance, be disappointed, and will probably send home accounts under these feelings, which their more sober judgment and subsequent experience would condemn.
In the progress of the work they had undertaken, the committee saw with gratification, that a growing confidence was apparent on the part of that class of females in particular, whose emigration, either with reference to the objects of His majesty's Government, the wishes and wants of the colonists, or their own welfare after their arrival, it was most desirable to encourage, viz. healthy, moral and industrious country servants. Prior to the dispatch of the last ship, the committee had reason, beyond all former experience, to calculate, from the numerous applications they received, on filling that vessel almost entirely with individuals of this class; but in consequence of certain statements, published in the public papers, received, the committee presume, either from those whose conduct had been blameable, or whose expectations had been extravagant and ill-judged, apprehensions were excited in the minds of those upon whose fears it is so easy to operate; and the committee had the pain to find that numbers who had expressed thir desire to emigrate, subsequently withdrew.
A reply to these statements, furnishing facts which could not be controverted, removed, to some extent, their fears. Still the committee found it impracticable to engage the number of proper females which that ship could have accommodated, and, in consequence, she sailed largely deficient in the number she was fitted to convey; and the agent of the committee experienced some loss, he having, in a very handsome manner, declined the offer of the committee to bring the special circumstances of the case under the consideration of your department, with a view to compensation.
It is however satisfactory to the committee to add, that many who declined to emigrate in that vessel, have since expressed their wish to proceed next year, should the reports which may be received from the Colonies respecting the females who have already been sent out, be so favourable as to satisfy their reasonable hopes and expectations.
In the selection of suitable ships for the conveyance of the emigrants, in their equipment and provisioning, and in ascertaining the character, competency and fitness of the commander, surgeon and officers, the most anxious care has been exercised to promote the comfort and best interests of the emigrants. In the case of the Layton, however, as already stated to you, the committee have to regret that the result did not fulfil their just expectations; and, to an unfortunate difference between the superintendent and surgeon, the committee attribute, in a great degree, the unsatisfactory state in which some of the females by that ship arrived.
In consequence of this occurrence, the committee have thought it right to attach a pecuniary recompense for the proper discharge of the duties devolving on the superintendents; and they look for increased efficiency on the part of the persons thus appointed, from the payment of the gratuity being entirely dependent on the Governor's approbation of their conduct during the voyage.
The committee having also found that a portion of the inconvenience which has been complained of, arose from many of the emigrants not having the means to procure the required outfit for so long a voyage, sanctioned their agent's supplying the deficient articles at wholesale prices, the same to be issued by the wife of the superintendent on board, and made up during the passage, the agent taking their notes for payment of the cost of the supplies in the Colonies; much of which however, the committee apprehend, he will be unable to collect.
The committee have been strongly impressed with the indispensable necessity of punctuality in the departure of the vessels, and they have the satisfaction to state, that in every case the day fixed for the sailing of each ship having been publicly announced from two to three months beforehand, the embarkations have invariably taken place on the days stated, and the vessels have immediately proceeded on their voyage, thereby securing the emigrants from expense arising from delay and enabling them to make the arrangements for their departure with certainty; and the committee find the performance of their duties essentially facilitated by the confidence they have thus inspired. The females who have had no friends in London, and to whom some days residence in the metropolis was necessary to complete their preparations for so long a voyage, have been received and protected until the day of embarkation, on a plan approved by the committee, and satisfactory to the emigrants.
Having thus briefly adverted to all which appears essential, with retrospective reference to the service in which the committee have been engaged, they beg leave to submit to you, for the information and consideration of the Secretary of State, the following suggestions with respect to female emigration prospectively:
First. Although the committee have found some facility from the plan which at their suggestion the Secretary of State was pleased to sanction, of taking the promissory notes of the females for the difference between the bounty of 12l. per head (granted by the Colonial Department towards their passage) and the actual cost thereof, yet in practice it has not been found to work so well as they had reason to expect; the committee have found, in numerous instances, much reluctance on the part of respectable women and their connexions[sic], to come under a liability for their passage payable in the colony. Many of them cannot be disabused of the idea that they thus expose themselves to coercion, and to a state of compulsory service until the stipulated payment has been made; and the number is by no means inconsiderable who think they would be placed in what they term slavery, and deprived entirely of their free agency whilst the debt is uncancelled; and although in all such cases the parties have been reasoned with in order to remove an impression so entirely groundless, yet such is the peculiar feeling and apprehension existing on this point, that many have relinquished the desire of emigration altogether; and the circle of candidates from which the committee are enabled to select proper individuals, has thus been materially curtailed.
Another ground for changing the practice is, that the committee have reason to believe that the parties giving these notes, in most instances, become distributed in service throughout the territory; many get married, and the authorities lose sight of them; and there are not wanting various ways of evading the payment in a colony where the population is extensively scattered over the surface of the country, as it must necessarily be in New South Wales; and that, in fact, the actual payments are likely to be extremely inconsiderable, while the irritation of feeling created by any legal attempt to obtain payment, must give rise to many complaints; that which is in reality a just obligation, and which should, as the parties acquire the means, be honestly paid, is represented as a claim of an unkind and harsh nature, and the exaction of it openly denounced. The representations, too, which young women thus circumstanced and unduly influenced in the colonies, make in their letters to their friends in this country, are actively promulgated. Misrepresentation is soon at work to give an unfavourable colouring to the nature of the demand; and its operation is found to act unfavourably on the minds of candidates whose emigration is most to be desired. It is under these circumstances that the committee earnestly submit the propriety of granting a free passage in future to all such females between the ages of 15 and 30, as shall be ascertained to be proper objects for emigration to the Australian Colonies.
Secondly. The committee are anxious to draw the marked attention of the Secretary of State to the mode of receiving, protecting and placing the females who encounter a protracted voyage, in the expectation of bettering their condition in another hemisphere. It must be obvious that it is of the greatest importance that they should receive, immediately on their arrival in the colony, careful protection, aid and advice, until they can be placed in situations where their feelings would be wounded as little as possible, and in which they can maintain themselves by the honest exercise of their industry. With reference to this point, the committee have had, as they have already felt it their duty to submit to you, reason to apprehend that the females who have proceeded to Sydney, have been disappointed in their reception, and in the protection and care for their future welfare, which the committee (in consequence of the understanding under which they have acted on behalf of the Colonial Department) assured them they might reckon upon. In consequence, considerable prejudice respecting female emigration has ensured.
The committee would not enter into the question of how far this may have been occasioned by the conduct of some of the females themselves; but they submit, that until the public mind shall be reassured by intelligence of a different mode of receiving and treating these females, many of the most desirable class of emigrants will be deterred from embracing the advantages which a well conducted system of emigration cannot, in the opinion of the committee, fail to obtain for them. With the view to an immediate and practical remedy, the committee would suggest the propriety of sending instructions to the colonies, that a house should be prepared at each for the reception of at least 150 young women, who, on arrival, should be placed under the care of a respectable man and his wife as housekeepers, and where ladies of respectability wanting servants or otherwise, might, with satisfaction to themselves, repair. The expense of such an establishment, including a moderate salary to a housekeeper and his wife, the committee apprehend would not exceed 500l. per annum; and the committee submit, that such an expense being for the advantage of the Colony, might with propriety be charged to the Emigration Fund.
With the same object in view, the committee would also suggest, that a person of education should be appointed (with a fair remuneration for his services) as a superintendent of emigration in each colony. He should be required to keep a register of all persons wanting servants, and of all other demands for female employment; to acquaint himself, as much as possible, with the character of the parties applying, and to co-operate with the local authorities and ladies' committees, in the furtherance of all which can conduce to the well-being of the emigrants. He should also keep a register of the location of every emigrant, and watch over them, transmitting from time to time, at stated periods, lists of every female emigrant; showing with whom and where she is located, the remuneration she receives, the description of employment, when and to whom married, and the occupation and apparent situation of the person she marries; and generally all such information as will be interesting to the friends of the emigrants, and to the public at large; and he should transmit, as often as circumstances will admit, all such information and suggestions, as experience might enable him to offer, in furtherance of the object. An intelligent agent of this description might also, from time to time, ascertain the demand for labour generally throughout the different districts of the colony, and the remuneration given for it, together with the kind most in demand, so as to be able to direct an emigrant, immediately upon his landing, where he would obtain employment, and also transmit this information to the Home Government by an annual report or otherwise; stating at the same time the price of provisions in the Colony, and any other matter useful in promoting the general object of emigration.
If the salary of such an officer as is here alluded to should be payable by the Colony, surely it would be more than counterbalanced by the benefits which must necessarily accrue to the best interests of the Colony from his important service.
Thirdly. The committee would recommend that the maximum number of females who may hereafter emigrate under their auspices, should be 150 or thereabouts in each ship. This number would not press inconveniently on the demand for servants and other female employments, at the moment of their arrival; there would be less difficulty in lodging and taking care of them until placed in situations; and in various points of view, it would contribute to the great object which should be the leading consideration of all concerned in female emigration, viz. the proper protection, comfort and permanent welfare of every individual who is induced to quit their country to become members of a distant community.
Fourthly. The committee would recommend that in every ship there should be, as in recent instances, some married agricultural families of industrious and sound character; and they would submit whether some limited pecuniary assistance might not be given in cases of this sort, particularly when the majority of the children are females. The committee have found that families of this description exercise an important check on the entire society on board ship, and essentially promote regularity, propriety and harmony. While parents watch over the minds and conduct of their families, the moral influence extends far beyond the immediate objects of their solicitude and care. It must however be understood, that the admission of such married persons is limited to those only the committee may ascertain to be of unexceptionable character, and whose conduct and circumstances afford a reasonable guarantee of usefulness as well on board ship as in the Colonies.
In expressing their willingness to undertake in the ensuing year, the important task of gratuitously superintending the emigration of females to the Australian Colonies, the committee have to express to you their deep sense of the zealous and indefatigable exertions of their agent Mr. John Marshall, who has devoted himself to the work with an energy, perseverance and integrity which has left the committee nothing to desire, and which, they have no doubt, will be rewarded by the approbation of His Majesty's Government.
(Signed) Edward Forster, Chairman
To R.W. Hay, Esq.
Downing-street, 16 January 1835.
I have received and laid before the Earl of Aberdeen your letter of the 30th ultimo, transmitting a report of the proceedings of the emigration committee during the past year; and I am directed by his Lordship to transmit to you the following reply:
The Secretary of State desires me to express the high sense which he entertains of the very valuable and useful services of the gentlemen composing the emigration committee, and his satisfaction at hearing that they are disposed to carry into effect the views of His Majesty's Government with regard to female emigration during the present year, with the same zeal and disinterested spirit which has hitherto induced them to undertake so important an object. It must be a gratifying reflection to the committee, that they have been instrumental in introducing into the Australian Colonies so large a number of females, whose previous moral and industrious habits, will, it is to be hoped, effect a great improvement in the social condition of those provinces; and Lord Aberdeen confidently trusts, that through the future exertions of the committee, those colonies will be still further benefited[sic] by the arrival and distribution throughout the country of an additional number of emigrants of this description. The report made by the committee of the manner in which Mr. Marshall has performed the very responsible duties entrusted to him is most satisfactory to the Secretary of State; and more especially so, when it is remembered, that that statement is made by parties so well qualified as the committee must necessarily be, to form a judgment of that gentleman's conduct.
Lord Aberdeen is disposed to avail himself of such of the committee's suggestions for the improvement of female emigration as appear to be practicable at the present moment, and accordingly will lose no time in proposing to the Treasury that the bounty shall be so far extended as to enable the females to proceed to their destination, without the necessity of applying for a loan.
Having thus settled the means of conveyance to the colony, the point next in importance is to provide for the reception and safe custody of the females on their arrival there. The remarks of the committee on this subject have not escaped Lord Aberdeen's attention; and his Lordship has directed me to transmit, for your information, an extract of a despatch addressed by his predecessor to General Bourke, which his Lordship can have no doubt will have the desired effect.
With regard to the appointment of agents in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, as suggested by the committee, the Secretary of State conceives such officers to be scarcely required. I may observe, however, that the Governors of the two provinces have already been instructed to depute to some official person, who may have leasure[sic] for such duty, the task of superintending the females on their arrival, and of taking care that they are properly disposed in the colony.
The last point referred to in the report of the committee, upon which it is necessary for me to offer any observations, is their proposition for reducing the number of females emigrating in each ship, from 250 to 150. As a diminution in the number of females who have been hitherto sent in one vessel cannot fail to render their reception in the colony more easy, as well as the task of management on board ship, Lord Aberdeen is quite prepared to accede to this proposal; as far at least as reducing the number of females in any one ship from 250 to 200. In furtherance therefore of this arrangement, his Lordship is disposed to recommend, that instead of dispatching four ships with 250 emigrants in each, as was the case last year, there should be five sent during the present year; four to sail from the port of London with 200 emigrants in each, the remaining vessel from Ireland and Scotland with 200 also. The Secretary of State would further suggest, that the chartering and equipment of the last-mentioned vessel should be undertaken by the committee, as was the case with the "Duchess of Northumberland," which sailed from Ireland during the past year; but that the selection of the emigrants should be confided to branch committees from the London committee, if such an arrangement could be brought about.
Having touched upon all the points to which the committee have adverted in their report, it only remains for me to request that you will be so good as to acquaint me, for the information of the Secretary of State, at what periods the committee are disposed to recommend that ships should be taken up and dispatched with female emigrants to the Australian Colonies during the present year.
I have, &c.
(signed) R.W. Hay
To Edward Forster, esq.
Extract of a Letter from Edward Forster, Esq. to R.W. Hay, Esq.
Emigration Committee-room, 26, Birchin-lane, 24 Jan. 1825[sic].
I have laid before the emigration committee your letter of the 16th instant, conveying to them Lord Aberdeen's approval and adoption of the views stated in their annual Report of the 30th ultimo, and it is gratifying to the committee to receive the expression of his Lordship's satisfaction with their past labours in discharging the important duties confided to them by His Majesty's Government.
In answer to your request to be informed at what periods the committee would recommend that the ships directed by the Secretary of State to be sent by the committee to the Australian Colonies during the present year should respectively sail, I am respectfully to submit, that of the five ships directed by Lord Aberdeen to be dispatched, with about 200 females each, the committee consider that three form the port of London will be preferable to four, and that they should sail from Gravesend as follows, viz. the first, for Sydney, on the 30th April; the second, for Hobart Town, on the 9th July; and the third, for the same destination, on the 1st October; and that the remaining two should proceed to Sydney; one from Scotland on the 10th August, and the other from Ireland on the 28th October; provided that in the mean time the committee shall be assured that the required number of proper females can be confidently relied upon. By this arrangement, the committee are of opinion, the views of the Secretary of State will be best effected.
Downing-street, 28 January 1835.
I have received and laid before the Earl of Aberdeen your letter of the 24th instant, acquainting me with the respective periods at which the emigration committee are disposed to recommend that ships should be dispatched with female emigrants to the Australian Colonies during the present year; together with their proposition, that three vessels instead of four should be sent from London, and the remaining two from Scotland and Ireland respectively, provided the committee may previously ascertain that a sufficient number of emigrant can be collected in each of those countries to fill a ship; and I am directed by his Lordship to convey to you his consent to such an arrangement.
With reference to my letter to you of the 16th instant, acquainting you that the Secretary of State had directed a communication to be addressed to the Treasury on the proposal of the committee to afford an entirely free passage to females emigrating under their auspices, I have now to inform you, that an answer has been received, conveying the sanction of their Lordships to the proposed arrangements. It will therefore be understood, that a free passage will be granted to all females who may in future emigrate under the superintendence of the emigration committee; 9l. of which will be paid on their departure from this country, and the remaining 8l. on their arrival in the colony, either in specie or in treasury bills, at the option of the Governor.
In conclusion, I have only to express to you the confidence with which the Secretary of State relies on the arrangements which the emigration committee may decide on adopting, in furtherance of the important service which they have undertaken.
I have, &c.
(signed) R.W. Hay.
To Edward Forster, Esq.
Van Diemen's Land
Extract of a Despatch from Lieutenant-governor Arthur to Mr. Secretary Stanley, dated Van Diemen's Land, Government House, 24 Jan. 1834.
I have the honour to acknowledge your despatch, No. 9, of the 21st August 1833, in which you have taken a retrospect of certain of the proceedings more recently adopted by His Majesty's Government, in reference to the immigration of persons of the poorer classes into this colony under loans and bounties.
As the information you require on several points, and more especially those relative to the present rate of labour and provisions, will require considerable investigation, I shall defer transmitting a full answer to your despatch until I am in possession of the particulars to which you advert, and I shall forthwith assemble the immigration committee for the purpose of making the necessary inquires.
I may observe generally, however, that the wages of labour may be safely estimated, in consequence of the recent very considerable accession of labourers, at about 15 per cent. under the rates stated in the 3d Appendix to the Immigration Committee's Report of 1831, and that the expense of living is reduced at least in some measure from the increased competition among the merchants, importers of British goods. The effect, however, of the competition which otherwise would be much more remarkable, is counteracted, as respects the labourer, by the high price of meat, which is likely to be permanent, and to continue at about 4d. per pound; and of wheat, which is at present worth about 8s. per bushel, and will probably continue so high during the present season, but be cheaper in the next if there be seasonable rains.
I have the honour to transmita return by the muster master, showing the arrivals of immigrants during the year 1833.
Return of the Number of Free Persons who have arrived in Van Diemen's Land, from the 1st January 1833 to the 31st December 1833; distinguishing those who have received Assistance under the Arrangements sanctioned by His Majesty's Government for the Promotion of Emigration from those for whom no Advance has been made or Bounty paid.
Free Persons who have arrived under the Arrangements sanctioned by His Majesty's Government
Memorandum.-This Return, as far as relates to the Advances and bounties, comprises only the number of persons whose names have been reported to me since the 8th July 1833, the date of the Colonial Secretary's instructions.
(Signed) Thos mason, M.M.
Copy of a Despatch from Lieutenant Governor Arthur to J.G.S. Lefevre, Esq., dated Van Diemen's Land, Government House, 10th September 1834.
I have the honour to transmit a Return, showing the prices of provisions during the early part of this year; and also an Estimate of the probable demand for labourers. These documents have been prepared from returns transmitted by the several district police magistrates.
It may be proper, however, I should observe, from the variableness of the market, and other obvious causes, the information contained in them may become of little value within a very short time, [The prices of wheat, oats, barley, beef and mutton, &c. have been more than doubled since the period to which the Reports refer, in consequence of the number of immigrants who have arrived, and an unfavourable season. Next harvest will, probably, be plentiful, and prices will return to their former level. The fluctuations in the value of the necessaries of life in a new country are truly surprising.] And even now it is to be considered rather as an approximation, than as a statement founded on any very certain or determinate data.
These Returns were called for by the Secretary of State, but I have delayed their transmission in the hope of being able to forward them in a more satisfactory form, trusting that the information contained in my intermediate communications will have rendered their postponement of less importance.
I have, &c.
(signed) Geo. Arthur.
(Enclosure, No. 1.)
Colonial Secretary's Office, Hobart Town, 1st September 1834.
A Return showing the Average Price of Provisions, &c. in Van Diemen's Land, for the Six Months ending 31st march 1834; obtained from Returns transmitted to this office from the respective Districts of the Colony.
(Enclosure, No. 2)
Colonial Secretary's Office, September 1834.
I transmit herewith the Returns called for by the Lieut.-Governor's Memorandum, No. 256, dated 13th August 1834, relating to the wages and demand for mechanics, and also the average price of provisions.
The documents from which those returns have been made up by me I found in this office on taking charge, on the 8th ultimo; and as it does not appear that similar returns have been called for, of a date posterior to the 31st of march last, I am unable at present to furnish later information; but from the arrangements I have adopted, I shall be enabled to make up similar returns to the last days in June and December in each year, within a fortnight after those days; the first of those returns will be made up to the 31st December 1834.
(Signed) John Martyn.
Colonial Secretary's office, Hobart Town, 1st September 1834.
Extract of a Despatch from Lieutenant-governor Arthur to Mr. Secretary Stanley, dated Van Diemen's Land, Government House, 26th September 1834.
With reference to your despatches announcing the intention of the Government to send out to this Colony another shipload of female emigrants, and directing that the necessary accommodations should be provided for their reception, I have the honour to inform you, that the "Strathfieldsay" arrived here on the 13th of last month, and the females were landed on the 16th, and taken to a large house in the precincts of the town, which had been previously hired for their accommodation.
I annex a very satisfactory report prepared by the Ladies' Committee, who after taking a most active part in facilitating the distribution and comfortable settlement of the females generally, transmitted, under the impression that it might be gratifying to their friends, a nominal list, showing how far they have respectively been employed, and on what terms.
I have much pleasure in bearing testimony to the circumstance that the females who have arrived on this occasion are of a very superior class. Two-thirds of them were provided with situations within one week after their landing, and it is believed that the whole of them would have obtained employment before the expiration of a fortnight, had they all been equally worthy of recommendation.
The establishment at the house provided for their reception was broken up within five weeks after their disembarkation.
The following payments have been made on their account:
The Ladies Committee have also recommended that gratuities to the amount of 84l. Should be paid to the superintendent and servants of the establishment.
It is proper I should add, that there appears to have been a want of efficient superintendence during the voyage, and of consequently frequent misunderstanding between the surgeon, the superintendent, and the matron, who, on their arrival, immediately complained of each others conduct.
I would suggest that the person in charge of the emigrants should be prepared to present, as soon as the vessel arrives, a list of all the females entitled to the protection of the Government; a precaution, the omission of which on the present occasion, was attended with considerable embarrassment.
I concur with the Ladies' Committee in the opinion, that the arrival at Launceston of a limited number of well selected females, would not be otherwise than beneficial, as, with the assistance of the Ladies' Committee, they might obtain comfortable situations and good wages.
In the event of the suggestion being acted upon by His Majesty's Government, I should have much pleasure, if previously informed of the probable period of their embarkation, in making my arrangements so as to be able to proceed to Launceston for the purpose of facilitating their proper reception and ultimate disposal.
I am quite satisfied that if care be taken in the selection of the emigrants, the sending of free females to this Colony under the advance or bounty is more advantageous than the extension of a similar privilege to any other class of persons whatever.
I have, &c.
(signed) Geo. Arthur
(Enclosure No. 1)
In transmitting, for the information of his Excellency the lieutenant-governor, the accompanying return of the disposal of the free female emigrants by the "Strathfieldsay," the ladies' committee have to express their gratification at the comparatively-short time and very satisfactory manner in which the generality of these emigrants have been disposed of.
A considerable number (about 40) quitted the ship immediately on her arrival, some being removed by their friends, and others proceeding themselves on shore to seek their respective relations and acquaintances there; and although the precise destination of each of these individuals has not been distinctly ascertained, it is believed that by far the greater number are comfortably situated, either in service or with their friends.
Of those who availed themselves of the accommodation provided for them by the government in this town, the ladies' committee are happy to state, that at least two-thirds of the total number were provided with respectable situations at the close of the first week after their disembarkation; and but for the occurrence of an interval of very unfavourable weather, the probability is, that most of the others would have been engaged with corresponding expedition.
In speaking of the character of the generality of the emigrants, the committee consider them to be, in every way, of a very superior class to those who have hitherto arrived in the colony under similar circumstances; and, as far as can be judged from every inquiry and observation which has been made, the committee are happy to add, that both the emigrants themselves and the persons who have engaged them are alike mutually pleased with their several services and situations.
(Enclosure, No. 2)
Alphabetical Return of the disposal of the Free Female Immigrants, per "Strathfieldsay."
16 August to 22 September 1834.
(Signed) Geo. Everett
22 September 1834.
A Return of the Number of Agricultural labourers, who, with their Families, have Emigrated to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, since the Returns laid before the House of Commons, 19th August 1833, to the present date; specifying the Colony to which such Emigration took place, the Number of Persons in each Family, and the Amount of Assistance granted.
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