CHISHOLM, Caroline. 19254



Autograph Letter Signed ‘Caroline Chisholm’, to Mr. Allwood, asking him to “do me the favour to send me Ten Pounds for twelve days”. A good one page example, 7 x 4 inches, with the integral blank. Botany Street, near Toll Bar: address Mrs. Chisholm, Post Office, Redfern [Australia]; 26 October 1858. Rare. “I know you will if you can, but the willing helpers are not always in cash.” Caroline Chisholm (1808 – 1877), progressive 19th-century English humanitarian known mostly for her involvement with female immigrant welfare in Australia. In 1846 Chisholm returned from Australia to England, with her husband, to encourage migration to Australia and to promote migration reform. Before leaving the colony, Chisholm had collected over six hundred statements from settlers around New South Wales, and she published many of these in England to support her arguments for greater migration. Chisholm gave evidence before two committees in the House of Lords and gained support for some of her initiatives, including free passage to Australia for the wives and children of former convicts, but there was little official support for family migration. In 1849, with the support of wealthy London merchants, Chisholm established the Family Colonization Loan Society. The Society lent migrant families the money they needed to travel to Australia, with agents in Australia finding employment for new arrivals and collecting the loan repayments. The Society also chartered its own ships to transport the new colonists. With the discovery of gold in Australia interest in migration rose sharply, and by 1854 the Society had assisted more than 3000 people to travel to Australia. Chisholm continued to agitate for reform, and the Passenger Act of 1852 was passed to ensure better shipboard conditions for migrants. In 1854 Chisholm returned to Australia aboard the Ballarat. She toured the Victorian goldfields and was appalled by the conditions en route. She proposed the construction of shelter sheds about a day’s walk apart for prospectors and their families to travel to the goldfields, a project that received support from the government. Chisholm continued to work in Melbourne travelling to and from the home and store the Chisholms had purchased in Kyneton. She joined the family there three years later. Archibald was a magistrate during his time in Kyneton and the two elder sons helped him run the store. Due to Caroline’s ill health the family moved back to Sydney in 1858.