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2-250 (Text)

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The way in which single women are now sent out is highly objectionable: they are placed under the protection of married families; nothing is known of their character; the first thing to be done is to change the girl's name - what can we expect with a falsehood to commence with!  One girl who came into the barracks, gave the name of Ellen McGuiggan: on looking at the ship's list, I saw no such name. 'Oh, ma'am, I forget! I was changed to another family'. This girl's real name was McDermott: she was to have left Tipperary with a family by the name of McQuade; but, at the last moment, they refused to emigrate, and Ellen was transferred to McGuiggan's care; but ultimately she came under the protection of Mr and Mrs Matthews. Is this the way to improve the morals of the people? I have seen so much of this kind of protection, that I abhor and loathe the thought of it. Some families there are who have indeed acted a parent's part - in every ship there are some; but I have known some of these married men tear up their marriage certificates, leave their wives in Sydney, and extend their protection far into the interior. 
I may here remark, that very little dependence can be placed on written characters. The Countess of Cashel seems to take an interest in the poor, and her characters, when genuine, are to be depended upon: but many come here with forged characters, and I have remarked they generally run thus, if given by the countess, - 'The bearer is a diligent reader of the Bible, has attended a Sabbath school for years, and is strongly recommended to the pious care of any Protestant family she may meet with'. The Catholics generally have one from their bishop, the Right Reverend Dr Murray, of Dublin, who has known them for years; and the tenor of the certificate runs thus - 'For four years the bearer has been a weekly communicant, and would be a treasure to any family, and is most strongly recommended to the pious care of the clergy of New South Wales'. Now, the genuine certificates of the above lady and gentleman are worded in a very different style. The Countess