Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/62

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

48

TRANSPORTATION

money. Of this class perhaps as many as three-fifths have been virtuous and industrious persons; the rest being a dead weight upon the colony, either from their indifferent moral character, or from the non-adaptation of their previous occupations and habits to the wants of the colony.

Of the free emigrants above mentioned, 1536 have been unmarried females, who had also been assisted in their emigration by bounties, in the shape of passage- money, from the revenues of the colony. But when we take into consideration the original constitution and character of colonial society, and the strong temptations to which unprotected females must in such a society be exposed; when we take into consideration the improbability of inducing any considerable number of really virtuous females to emigrate to a distant country, and especially to a convict colony, without natural protectors; and when we take into consideration also the artifices of individuals in the shipping line, who find this species of export trade by no means unprofitable;—it will not appear by any means surprising, that the system of female emigration, which has been pursued for several years past, under the direction of a Board in London professing to reform the Australian colonies, should, instead of producing any such reformation, have only added prodi-