The Committee's attention became next directed towards the great disproportion there was in the male and female population of our colonies, therefore a ladies committee was formed in London, at the head of which was placed Mrs. Fry. This committee, I firmly believe, imagined that they should render a benefit by sending a few thousand females out to make up the deficiency, under the pleasing idea that they would be the means of propagating the human race in
of residence, and because you might not have any one at hand who could prove that you was a free man, would you consider it English law to be taken and locked up in a filthy dungeon with felons and drunken men until next day, and then to be compelled before a magistrate to prove that you are a free man? Would you consider it English to have your house forced open in the dead of night, and your family turned out of their beds by these unprincipled villains, and every thing in your house turned upside down, and then to be told that they were glad that the information they had received was not correct, as they had been told you had a convict in your house? You perhaps might consider this not English law; for mind these men can do the above without telling who gave them the information; the law gives them the power of acting so without even communicating with a magistrate on the subject. Would you consider it English law for one of these men's associates to be sent into your house to ask a drink of water, and for them to follow and find him there, and then to lay an information against you for harbouring a convict, and to be fined according to the discretion of the magistrates, from £40 to £50 for allowing a convict in your house, and that convict dressed like a gentleman, making it impossible for you to ascertain whether he was free or bond? Would you consider it English law to be tried for offences against the laws of the country by seven military men instead of, as in this country, by a Civil Jury, composed of twelve individuals, and to have convicts' evidence taken against you; and those convicts to have indulgences held out to them as a reward on your conviction? No; I am confident you could not consider such as I have stated English laws, and yet such are the laws the poor emigrants have to live under; but I will not occupy any more of your time in reference to the penal laws of the colony, but return to the subject of Emigration.