Chisholm, Caroline (Jones)

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Philanthropist, social worker, assisted migration to and settlement in eastern Australia; b. at or near Northampton, England, 1808; d. Fulham, England, March 25, 1877. She was the daughter of William Jones, a yeoman farmer, and she grew up with a strong evangelical sense of duty in social service. In 1830 she married Capt. Archibald Chisholm of the East India Company and became a Catholic. Catholic fervor thereafter reinforced her humanitarian zeal. The couple spent some years in India before settling in Sydney (1838). At that time arrangements for the reception and dispersal of free immigrants in eastern Australia were unsatisfactory. Mrs. Chisholm became concerned for the moral welfare of young unmarried women in a population composed partly of convicts and former convicts, and in 1841 she established a hostel where they could stay until they found employment. From this beginning grew her later social work. She recognized that New South Wales was deficient in "God's police"women and children. She therefore strove, in several trips through the country in the 1840s, through the Family Colonization Loan Society, which she established in London (1849), and through her pamphlets on colonization, to facilitate the immigration of the better sort of working-class people, especially single women, family groups, and the wives and children of emancipists. Approximately 5,000 people seem to have settled in Australia as a result of her efforts. Her headstone at Northampton is fittingly inscribed "The Emigrant's Friend."

Bibliography: m. kiddle, Caroline Chisholm (Melbourne 1950).

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