Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/152

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Chisholm, had provided no less than 735 young women with temporary protection and permanent situations—a record of good to which no other woman of our century, fighting against similar adverse circumstances, can conscientiously lay claim. Of these 735 unprotected female emigrants, the great majority, 516, were of Irish birth, the minority being composed of 184 English and 35 Scotch. It was the same during the subsequent years of what may be truly called Mrs. Chisholm's missionary career. As a rule, two girls out of every three brought by the emigrant ships were of Irish nationality. By systematically taking these lonely exiles under her protecting roof, saving them from the perils of a demoralised city, piloting them to worthy households in the country, and thus fitting them to preside in the near future over happy homes of their own, Mrs. Chisholm conferred an amount of good on our race that is simply incalculable, and that should ensure for her memory the everlasting gratitude of the Irish people, not in Australia alone, but all the world over. It was she who preserved the purity of the scream at its fountain-head, and there are thousands of Irish homesteads on Australian soil to-day that, in all human probability, would never have been erected but for her loving and practical philanthropy. The government official records credit this wonderful woman with having settled altogether 11,000 souls upon the soil; but that number, large as it is, can only be accepted as a rough estimate, falling far short of the reality. In the later years of her mission, she added to her supervision of the female emigrants the serious responsibility of taking whole families into the interior, and planting them on the fertile areas that only needed to be tickled with a plough to laugh with a harvest. This work needed many, of the qualities that go to make up a skilful general—tact,