Immigration in New South Wales

It is not to be imagined , however, that the English Government ever took any of this land revenue. Every penny was used for the purpose of bringing immigrants into the colony. Agents in Europe were appointed to select suitable persons, who received what was called bounty orders. Anyone who possessed an order of this kind received a free passage to Sydney, all expenses being paid by the Colonial Government with the monry received from the sale of land. The Governor had the power of giving these orders to people in New South Wales who sent them home to their friends and relatives, or to servants and labourers, whom they wished to bring to the colonies. Now, Governor Gipps imagined that the land would continue to bring in as much revenue every year as it did in 1840 and gave bounty orders to the extent of nearly one million pounds. But in 1841, the land revenue fell to about one twentieth of what it had been in 1840. The colony would have gone bankrupt had it not been that more than half of those who received bounty orders never made use of the permission granted after hearing of the predicament. Governor Gipps was blamed by the colonists and received from the Secretary of State a letter of sharp rebuke.

As for the immigrants who did arrive in New South Wales, their prospects were not bright. For a long time many of them found it impossible to find employment. Great numbers alnded friendlaess and penniless in Sydney and it a few weeks found themselves obliged to sleep in the parks or in the streets and , but, for the friendly exertions of a benevolent lady, Mrs Chisholm, who obtained employment at different times for about 2,000 of them, their position would, indeed, have been wretched.

Mrs Chisholm founded a home for defenceless and friendless girls of whom nearly six hundred were at one time living in Sydney in destitution, having being sent out from home with bounty orders, under the impression that employment was certain whenever they landed in Port Jackson.

Gradually the colonists returned to a more modest lifestyle , removing the financial stress which had been the primary cause of all of the troubles. Land ceased to be bought at the ruinously high rates and goods returned again to their former prices.

 

History of Australia