Page:A lecture on the evils of emigration and transportation.djvu/14

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medical attendance, of lawyers, of police, gaols, restitutive laws and courts of justice consequent upon the above is fully equal to the amount of £153,889 8s. 4d. Shall this be suffered to go on, in the face of common sense, reason and religion, without one redeeming effort to counteract it, shall we wonder at any distress in the colony, at any extent of misery or of crime, when such mad-like abandonment to the most reckless dissipation, is not only carried on to such an extent, but even sanctioned, licensed, and legalized."

Having shewn you one cause of this vicious state of society, I will now shew the effects. In Van Dieman's Land and New South Wales, the settlers are dispersed over a large track of country; each dwelling being separated generally by miles of trackless bush. The farmer or settler, has from 10 to 30 hands employed, generally all convicts; some may have one or two free men upon their premises, acting as overseers;—those men are not allowed to leave their master's premises. The word of God is never heard amongst the principal part of them, and his name never mentioned but with horrid imprecations; thousands of men are thus dispersed over an extensive track of the country. Let me ask, is it possible to restrain the passions of these men were their masters desirous of doing so? No, they could not; indeed the attempt is seldom or never made. The frequent executions that take place for children being violated proves to the contrary.

It is true the masters generally keep two or three convict women on the premises, and those women are the most abandoned and profligate of their sex. Food is all the masters have to find them, and this costs very little, as he produces all himself, with the exception of tea and sugar. By these women being kept on the premises, he gets his house work done, and they are the means of keeping the men at home, and causes a kind of security in his own family. I could mention many scenes of open and disgusting depravity that daily occurred, but I feel confident your own judgment will immediately suggest the cause of their omission.

It is to society, constituted as I have described, that the female emigrants were introduced. The first ship that arrived with these unfortunate beings was the Princess Royal; she arrived in the port of Hobart Town in September, 1832, with one hundred and eighty females on board, from 11 to 25 years of age.