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THE MRONITOR. N -W FRIDAY, JUNE, 9, 1826. Tui female portion of our Convict population has. lately occupied the attention of our Contemporaries, par-. ticularly of The Australian, who, whatever deficiency there may be in his plans, certainlyseemns to evince a laudable anxiety on the subject. We are surprised how ever he should not have propounded his schemes for the amelioration of woman-kind in New South Wales, with out reflecting upon other reformers of females. "Why call the opinions of cdadjutors "the intermeddlings of affectcd Philanthropists" and themselves "false moralist,' " The Wilberforcean opinions prevailed for a time, amta;' the really pious folks were duped into a belief, &c. .&c;" . Now in the first place, such opinions as bere mentioned were not those of any person in existence, (from what ap. pears to the contrary,) but the opinions intended to be alluded to, were those of Mr. Grey Bennet, Mr. Buxton, and Mrs. Fry, and not of Mr. Wilberforce. And we beg: to inform the editorial folks of the Australian office, that ,,. all those worthies are incapable of "duping" any dioe, much less the pious part of the community. Such a jackanapes-mode of spelking of persons o£.whom the world (at lIast that part of it to which the Editor ofthe Australian belongs) is not worthy, is as reprehensible as. it is absurd. What singular moral conceptions must be have who ia discussing a point of moral and political economy, can' use expressions like the following. "We arc as much disposed as any persons, however pious they may be, or;afect. to be, to uphold the morality ofa Community." Now what should we think of a man who would argue upon or illus trate his honesty in similar langyiage, and say, "we are eas much dispqsed as any persons, however honest they may be, or affect to be, to speak favoura'ly of fair dealing and to discountenance fraud and cheatery." And yet what differ ence is there between the two subjects, except that' morality as a more generic term includes honesty' with. all the other virtues, and therefore demands language. and sentiments of corresponding dignity, decision, and solemnity. And then this unhappy casuist goes on to say, 'for it is half the pleasure which a well regulated mind experiences to find in society moral feeling &c. &c.— Are such pretty mincing terms as these worthy of such a subject ? No, Mr. Australian—such a mode of express
sto'si= clii t .'rms discover the source of that feeling which led you during the last Races to blame the un- gambling community of Sydney because they would not lay wagers. "Betting," (said the Australian) "Betting is the soul of racing !"' We believe it to be so in Europe —but; our frugal and (in this particular) moral com- munity, we had hopes that this vice would not have been added to those other temptations which are generally found to accompany horse-racing; and we did once in dulge the idea that Racing in New South Wales, might, for the first time in the world, be made sufficiently unex ceptionable, and be brought under such wholesome regu lations as that " the pious folks", or those "who affect to be so might venture to attend them. For all must ac- knowledge that the running of the horses and the as- semblage of company are in themselves an exhilarating and innocent spectacle. THE whole of the article in the Australian of the 31st .of May respecting the discipline and employment of female convicts, is in the same imbecile strain as the above quotation. Nearly all the premises are erroneous, and it is a pity but our contemporary would in his dis quisitions confine himself to trade, politics,and the Turf Club; for upon the subject of morals and the relative duties; particularly those which belong to the weaker sex, he makes most egregious mistakes. We think it our bounden duty to expose the dictums of an Editor who ventures to speak in a disparaging tone of some of the first characters of the age---of persons who are as renowned for talent as they are for morality and bene- volence. WE shall.now proceed to make a few remarks on the present and past mode of treating female prisoners. We shall not immediately enter into the question of the policy of transporting women from England in lieu of punishing them by imprisonment—though we shall take an early opportunity of doing so. On which occasion we shall be able to demonstrate, we trust, the superior efficacy of transportation as a punishment compared with every other, whether applied to men or women, but particularly to the latter; that is, at least, when the sys- tem is extensively acted upon with regard to male cri- minals. We shall confine ourselves merely to the treatment of those few female convicts whom His Ma- jesty's Government has hitherto judged it expedient to send to this Country. IN the early part of Governor Macquarie's time, female as well as male prisoners were allowed to lodge promis- uously in the towns. The old Factory was built at that time, but it was insufficient in size. Convict Bar racks there were none. The consequences of this system at length called aloud for reform. The paucity of our population, however, and the surveillance which every decent house-holder had over his neighbour, (for in the early part of those days every man knew every man in the country) prevented that excess of vice which would take place, if all the prisoners in the Factory and Barracks of Sydney and Parramatta respectively, were now to be turned loose every day at three o'Clock, and were not to be assembled again until the next morning. Roads and Bridges however, being at length pretty much extended beyond Liverpool, and the road to the Hawkesbury quite completed, Governor Macquarie turned:his attention to Barrack-building. And first the Convict-Barracks in Sydney, and then the Factory at Parramatta were begun and completed. A GRAND improvement was expected by some, when the Factory was finished; others however were not san- guine on this head. The prognostications of the latter proved the truest. With all the boasted head-shavings of the new Factory according to the new rules, the women in Sir Thomas Brisbane's time were not a jot more sober, more chaste, more industrious, or more honest, or more respetful in their demeanour than in Governor Mac quaries. At length Chief Justice Forbes or Major Goul- burn or both (but at all events it was not until an Ex ecutive Council had been established), commenced the present system of classing the women in the Factory, and placing all returned-hands in the third class or class of disgrace for a definite period. All personal applica- tion at the Factory were at the same time refused ad mittance, and the parties had no other resort in order to obtain a servant but by writing to the Council. By this means, if the applications for servants exceeded the num ber eligible to go out, the Council had the means of selecting the most respectable applicants for employers; and in making that selection, a preference was given to the married Heads of families of good charcter.. WE are not prepared to say that this plan fully an- swered the ends which ought to be kept in view in the management of female convicts; but having been in the habit of taking this description of persons into our ser- ice for the last fourteen years, we can distinctly pro- nounce, that ever since the classification of the Factory inhabitants, we have been much better served, and have had less occasion to change, than formerly. THE plan of distributing women immediately from the ship, will not in our opinion answer as well, as the late or present plan (for we do not exactly know which to call it;) the women we feel confident will be too full of gaity and presumption on their arrival in this fine climate, steadily to set to work as servants do in England, with out a previous drilling in the Factory. Accustomed all their lives to idleness and intemperance, the flow of health and spirits, the excitations produced by novelty and by being set free from the bondage of ship-board, will soon tempt them to insubordination and licentious ness: and unless the same ardent measures be taken to marry them off on the farms where they are bound as
dairy-women &c, as we understand were taken to get those married at Emu plains, we auger very ill of the new speculation. BUT what will become of them even if they should marry ? And this question may be answered by asking another—how many married women are there at this moment in the Factory sent there with and without the consent of their husbands ? Is mere marriage a cure for all sorts of vice? Certainly not. Instances there are doubtless where it has wrought wonders. But such instances are rare, and will by no means justify the adoption of a general rule like the one elogized and now in experiment. And if not, is it not adding to vice and misery by making persons adulteresses who are already harlots ? Is it not better for society that we should be troubled with an unmarried drunken child- less prostitute, than with the same person bringing up children and training up her daughters to be prostitutes before they can even have any inclination to unchastity ? By the present or late plan., if a woman behave ill and leave her service, she is doomed to be imprisoned among the third Class for a given, period. Now the improve- ment in this respect which we would recommend, is, to make this imprisonment as little social as possible—to take away all comforts of tea and sugar, &c, and merely to clothe and feed the mis-behaved in the coarsest manner consistent with health. The Gazette, in our opinion, ad- vocated a false humanity when it condenmned the Arch- deacon's plan of withholding tea and sugar. Why should a woman have such indulgences who will not work ? Even the Apostle Paul, one of the most compassionate of men, declared that those ought not to be allowed to eat who would not work. And seeing that her incarceration is the result of her own wilful and inexcusable idleness, or insolence, or drunkenness, or unchastity, is it common sense to grant such persons the same indulgences which the virtuous poor of England can scarcely obtain with twelve hours hard labour per day? Does not such false humanity go to confound vice and virtue, by not making a different distinction between the well-behaved and the ill-behaved? If the present plan of classifying the inmates of the Factory but be persevered in, and merely improved by a more severe treatment---if a female Convict in service comes once to be certain, that insubordination to her em- ployers will be visited by a very severe discipline in the Factory for a given period, from which no tricks either on her part or on that of her friend or paramour can de- liver her, there will then be a chance of her doing a little better every time she goes out to fresh service. AND now comes the main question at issue between The Australian, and us. What is to hinder, or what does hinder, the women from marrying on the present plan? Is it not an every-week occurrence to hear female pri- soners' called in Church ? If the Editor of The Australian goes to Church regularly, which so great a lover of morals and religion of course does, he will hear the Banns published every Sunday morning and afternoon at both Churches. The only difference that we know be- tween the present plan and that proposed by The Aus- tralian, is, that instead of marrying in the Country, they marry in the Town. And is competency and education are to be had in the towns more readily than in the Country, we prefer the few women that are sent to New South Wales;to be married to free mechanics in the Town (who can maintain them) after they have been to service a year or two and been taught something of house-keeping, rather than they should be turned into large farms, nominally as Dairy women, but eventually as harlots, even though their prostitution should, as in the Emu-plains case, terminate in marriage. For such marriages are in our opinion worse than going to perpetual service in the single state : and the history of such marriages, fairly narrated, (and we are prepared to prove the accounts hitherto given of them to be every thing but fair,) will amply bear us out in our opinion. IF women in due proportion to the men were trans ported to this Colony, we should of course have to pro- pose a more enlarged plan of reforming and domiciling them. But the few that do come out we insist are mar- ried quite as soon as they ought or deserve to be. CAPTAIN BISHOP, who was dispatched by the Governor some weeks ago in command of a troop of horse, (we believe they are designated The mounted Police,) to pe netrate into the new country to such a distance as would enable them to come up with the tribe of natives which reckoned among its numbers the perpetrators of the late murder of Thomas Taylor, has returned to Head Quarters with his men. He overtook the tribe in ques tion and captured the murderer with his two compa nions. The latter afterwards made their escape, but the native who speared Taylor they brought safely to the County Gaol in Sydney, where he is now safely lodged, and we hope will soon take his trial for the offence. This man and his two companions, with that habit of ingenuous truth for which the natives in their primitive state are noted, confess thie particulars of the tragic event. It appears that two or three of that sect among the savages whose office it is to perform the oper ation of knocking out the front teeth of the young men when arrived at a certain age, had come from parts beyond Lake George, to Argyle and Bung Bung, to perform this most important national custom. And as they passed or returned by the hut of Mrs. Sherwin, situated a little to the North of Lake Bathurst, they went in, as is customary; and Taylor, with the courtesy which usually takes place between the whites and na tives of Argyle, offered them such hospitality as was in
his power. The destrovers of fore-teeth however d. emanded in a stern tone other food than poor Taylor had to furnish, and by their gesticulations of anger and dis appointment, and the exhibition of a sufficient number of remaining teeth of every description sufficient to tear the flesh from his bones in case he did not gratify their savage and unreasonable claims, he did what is always found to be the most dangerous thing in the world when contending with these wild men, namely, he began to display his terror, and what was still more dangerous, took to his heels. The savage now in gaol, without, more ado, levelled his destructive weapon, and with a fatal aim pierced the flying fugitive through the body. The skeleton of his hand has been seen amongst the blacks - this, with other indications, has satisfied Captain Bishop, that the unfortunate man was used as a substi tute for that food, which the monsters had craved of him, and which his inabhilty to supply caused them to commit the horrid deed. CAPTAIN BISHOP however, with that manly and con siderate discretion which always distinguishes the truly brave, was resolved to shed no, blood, nor hurt the natives further than by securing the chief of the tribe and the three natives before-mentioned. The fate of the latter has been related. To the chief was exhibited the car- bines and sabres of the troop, who also performed their rapid, and to the simple warrior of the South, most astonishing evolutions. Great pains were taken to ex- plain to him the irresistible power of the military, if once their hostility were put in force against his subjects, armed only with spears and waddies. Fortunately, a very good interpreter caused the whole of Captain Bishop's explanations, threats, admonitions, and over tures of good-will in case of peace, to be clearly com- prehended by the sable King of the snowy mountains, and as far as his astonished and petrified countenance coupled with fervent protestations of sincere repentance for the breach made by his three cannibal subjects, could give tokens of sincerity and deep conviction of his own imbecility as a belligerent monarch, so far Captain Bishop was perfectly satisfied with the royal penitence and good faith. Captain Bishop then, with much policy and discreet benevolence, gave the humbled chief to understand, that he was authorised by His Excellency the Governor to pronounce his pardon. After which ceremony, he was dismissed with the proper and natural tokens of cordial reconciliation. It is the opinion of all in the new country that the expedition of Captain Bishop will be attended with permanent peace, the fears of the natives having been excited by the above trans actions to such a pitch, as will require a generation to pass, in order to dissipate it.