Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/144

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CHAPTER VII.


IRISH IMMIGRANTS IN THE COLONIES.


CAROLINE CHISHOLM, "THE EMIGRANT'S FRIEND"—HER PROTECTION OF HOMELESS GIRLS—A DIVINE MISSION—CONVERSION OF A GOVERNOR—THE SYDNEY FEMALE EMIGRANTS' HOME—CORRECTION OF A CRYING EVIL—THE "BUSH JOURNEYS" OF MRS. CHISHOLM—WANTED, A TIPPERARY GIRL—WHAT THE IRISH RACE OWES TO MRS. CHISHOLM—ANECDOTES OF HER PHILANTHROPIC CAREER—LORD SHERBROOKE'S EULOGIUM—A TRIUMPHANT VINDICATION OP IRISH FEMALE IMMIGRANTS—OFFICIAL TESTIMONY IN THEIR FAVOUR—LIFE ON AN EMIGRANT SHIP—GENEROSITY AND AFFECTION OF IRISH GIRLS—THE DANGER OF DRUNKENNESS—SOCIAL IMPROVEMENT DURING RECENT YEARS.


If one were asked to name the most genuine, devoted, and unselfish philanthropist that has ever trod Australian soil, the name of Caroline Chisholm would at once rise to the lips.

Her affectionate title of "The Emigrant's Friend"—a title conferred with the unanimous consent of the young nation that profited so largely from her self-imposed mission of love—tells its own story and will ever remain one of the most pleasing phrases in the history of the great southern continent. It was towards the end of the year 1838 that Mrs. Chisholm, with her infant family (one of her daughters is now Mrs. E. Dwyer Gray, of Dublin), first landed in Sydney, the place that was soon to be the base of her benevolent operations. Her womanly heart was sorely afflicted by the crying evils she saw all around her in that young disorganised community. What horrified her most was the hapless fate of so many of the