Miss Rye's children and the Ontario press, 1875

Turner, Wesley B., Author
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Booklet made of photocopied pages containing article "Miss Rye's children and the Ontario press, 1875", written by Wesley B. Turner in 1976 as one of the chapters of Ontario History, the Quarterly Journal of the Ontario Historical Society (Vol. LXVIII, no. 3., pp. 169-203.)
MARIA SUSAN RYE (1829-1903)
Between 1869 and 1896 Rye's agency brought 3,623 female children to the dominion, a large proportion of them wards of the English poor-law unions which sponsored their emigration, and placed them from the reception centre Rye operated in a converted court-house and jail at Niagara (Niagara-on-the-Lake), Ont. Rye handled the financial affairs of the home and seems to have travelled to Canada most years, even as she became older.
Of the 1,100 girls Rye brought to Canada before 1875, all but 200 were pauper wards of the British state, and she hoped that the Local Government Board would take over the program. This prospect was scotched in 1875 when Andrew Doyle, the board inspector deputed to inquire into the Canadian circumstances of former workhouse children, singled out her placement methods for criticism as unsystematic and inattentive. Yet over the next two decades, with only brief interruptions when the apprehensions of the English Board of Guardians about her work became acute, she regularly brought parties of girls to Canada, protected by a receptive public there and by the interventions of well-placed British allies, including Lord Shaftesbury and the Marquess of Lorne [Campbell] and his wife, Princess Louise. From 1871 Rye received a civil-list pension of £70.
In 1895, by which time Ontario was beginning to examine the regulation of juvenile immigration [see John Joseph Kelso], she transferred her distribution centres at Peckham (London) and Niagara to the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society, and retired with her sister to Hemel Hempstead.
SOURCE: Dictionary of Canadian Biography
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Toronto, Ontario
Date of Original:
September 1976
Personal Name(s):
Rye, Maria Susan (1829-1903)
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The Quarterly Journal of the Ontario Historical Society

Published at Toronto, Ontario



by Wesley B. Turner*


The question whether the work of infant pauper immigration is to continue, or to be put a stop to,

. . . is one of great importance to this Dominion,

and especially to our own Province.

Barrie "Northern Advance", 15 April, 1875


Organized juvenile emigration from Britain to Canada in 1869 flourished until 1875. In that year it faced a threat of curtailment if not termination as the result of strong criticisms made in a report of a British government inspector. Andrew Doyle was sent to Canada in 1874 to enquire into "the system of emigration of pauper children to Canada under the supervision of Miss Macpherson and Miss Rye." [1] When his Report appeared in "British Parliamentary Papers" in February, 1875, the Canadian response was immediate and unanimous. The subject of this paper is the response in Ontario newspapers as a reflection of public attitudes towards juvenile immigration. The sharp focus reveals details about Ontario opinion on an important nineteenth-century issue; this examination is intended to contribute to the study of the collective and add to our awareness of the past regional consciousness of Canadians which are basic concerns of social history.

Scholarly studies of emigration and of social welfare in Ontario in discussing the emigration of children to Canada consistently regard Doyle's Report unfavourably because juvenile emigration is invariably seen as highly beneficial to the children picked from the streets and workhouses of British cities while the recipient country receives credit for kindness and generosity. A not untypical judgment is that Doyle's investigation caused a "setback in the work" and that Miss Rye's "activities were impeded by British officials." Yet, much about the general movement of children to Ontario, in particular public attitudes towards it, has been unexplored. This includes the response to Doyle's Report, the validity of Doyle's criticisms, and the consequences for the children in their placement in Canada. The paper can only touch on the latter points, for its principal aim is to explain why Ontario's response to Doyle's Report was unanimously negative. The answer suggested is that Ontarians reacted primarily from a sense of provincial patriotism although other motives — particularly economic self-interest — were not absent. To understand the basis of Ontario patriotism, before going on to See its expression, we must note briefly its inhabitants' perceptions about the province and about immigration; this will be followed by a look at Rye's work and Doyle's criticisms.

Ontario retained a British social heritage that included an acceptance of a structured society, with deference from the lower ranks toward the upper, as natural. Class lines were drawn although not exactly on the model of the old world. Here, by the second half of the nineteenth century, middle class business and professional men with their values of individual enterprise and laissez-faire capitalism dominated. At the same time, Ontarians had a North American sense of optimism. They believed that opportunity to reach the highest positions in society was available to anyone, native-born or immigrant, who strove for them.[4] Yet, there was dissent from the prevailing social order and economic conditions, a subject receiving increasing attention in Canadian historical writing.[5] Not all immigrants and residents found opportunity or saw the possibility of a brighter future for themselves in the province. One indication was the movement of many newcomers through Ontario to the Canadian west or to the United States. More telling evidence is the fact that many native-born Canadians were leaving the province or, dissatisfied with life on the farms, moving to the cities. Ontarians believed that the province needed a larger population not only to make up for population loss but also to provide the workforce necessary for a growing urban-industrial society. In their perceptions of the needs for and benefits of demographic growth, Ontarians did not differ from their neighbours to the south or from English-speaking Canadians to the east and west. Ontario depended on immigrants to perform unskilled labour on railways, canals, in factories, and especially in domestic service. So dependent was the province that even young children were brought in to be trained for jobs which evidently too few native-born would do.

Children had been sent to America from the early days of colonization but large-scale importation was a phenomenon of the Victorian age. It was an age of organization of philanthropy as much as it was of industry and finance. The general British Victorian attitude towards children is well known: childhood was a time of preparation for adulthood, for work and responsibility. But children were inherently wayward, irresponsible — if not-evil — and these tendencies had to be curbed by strict moral and occupational training.[6] Admonishments, even beatings, sometimes were necessary. The family was regarded as the ideal, indeed the ordained setting in which children should be brought up.[7] Yet, there were anomalies in British attitudes and practices. There was, for instance, a common image of the beauty and innocence of young children. Although children were expected to work (a necessity for working-class families), legislation in Britain and later in Canada increasingly restricted their employment and banned it altogether in some kinds of work.

For many reasons, as the century progressed, middle and upper class British reformers became increasingly concerned about the problems of homeless children, whether abandoned or orphaned. They responded by creating such voluntary organizations as the Society for the Suppression of Juvenile Delinquency (later the Children's Friend Society), the Reformatory and Refuge Union, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and the Association for the Advancement of Boarding Out. These set up or moved the government to establish juvenile prisons, special homes, reformatories, asylums, industrial schools, certified schools, and district schools.[8] Yet, Victorian reformers experimented because they did not accept institutions as suitable permanent alternatives to the family. If possible, children were to be taken from institutions and placed with families, their own or someone else's.[9]

One method of placement was to send children to the colonies.[10] It had many recognized advantages: it rid England of the problem, met the labour needs of developing countries, satisfied patriotism, and above all, offered children the advantage of family life. This promised a better future for a child than would ever be possible in Britain. In the nineteenth century the British view of their nation enlarged to include the settlement colonies; hence, it was as suitable to place children with Canadian or Australian families as with English or Scottish. The colonists welcomed youthful immigrants, even to the extent of willingly paying part of the costs of shipping them over.[11]

The intention of placing children with Canadian families reflects an additional dimension of the Victorian attitude towards migration within the British Empire, namely that labour should move from where it was superfluous to where it was deficient. In short, labour was a commodity. In the form of children this commodity obviously had limited use but great potential. Children could be trained to tasks in exactly the way employers wanted.[12] It was expected that such children would remain as workers and eventually parents, thus helping to develop and populate the new land. As with adult emigration, there was a mixture of private and government activity. Juvenile emigration was sanctioned and partially financed by governments; hence, they could not escape responsibility for its conduct. But the organization and performance of the work, in typically Victorian fashion, was left to private enterprise and Ontarians would have it no other way.[13]

Organized juvenile immigration to Ontario was begun in 1869 by Miss Maria Rye, soon followed by Miss Annie Macpherson in 1870, Mr. J. T. Middlemore in 1873, and Rev. T. B. Stephenson in 1874. Ontario's Immigration Department reported the numbers of children brought into the province as 187 in 1869, 447 in 1870, 775 in 1871, 506 in 1872, 594 in 1873, 603 in 1874, and 305 in 1875.[14] Clearly, this immigration was welcome; official reports and newspaper comment indicate a growing demand for the children. It is not surprising that major criticism of juvenile immigration and a questioning of the very idea would evoke sharp response from Ontarians. What gave it edge was the fact that basically Ontario's social attitudes were derivative and even colonial. Society took its lead from a parent across the ocean.[15] Ontarians showed their dependence by accepting English organization and control of juvenile emigration. These men and women operated as they alone saw fit giving no more than a subordinate or ancillary role to Canadians. Ontarians made no demand for Ontario or Canadian management of this emigration despite their belief that it was important to their country. Paradoxically, this same response revealed an outraged provincial pride which constituted a form of Ontario patriotism if not of Canadian nationalism.

For several reasons this paper will concentrate on Ontario's reaction to Miss Rye and her work. She was the pioneer of organized juvenile emigration to Canada, by far the best known conductor of it in the 1870s, the centre of the controversy with Doyle, and the subject of most of the press comment on this topic. The majority of the children she brought were placed in Ontario where she had her Canadian children's 'Home' and eight out of the ten other centres from which she distributed children. (Of the others, one was in Nova Scotia and one in New Brunswick.)[16] Her methods and her personal attitudes illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of this form of nineteenth-century philanthropy.

Maria S. Rye (b. 1829) as a young adult in her twenties devoted herself to the cause of improving the lives of single women. She did this first by trying to widen career opportunities for them (for example, she opened a law-stationer's office) and second, by organizing their emigration to Australia, New Zealand, and eventually Canada.[17] Criticism of this emigration work from both England and Canada caused her to shift her attention to rescuing workhouse and orphan children.[18] In 1875 she explained how she became involved in sending them to Canada. Her account is taken from a government report:

About fourteen years ago, Lord Shaftesbury had had a conversation with her about getting homes in Canada for young children. She had borne the matter in mind for some time, and in 1869 [1867?] a gentleman from New York . . . had visited London and explained what was done in New York and neighbourhood with poor children — sending them from the over-crowded Eastern cities to the far West, and finding for them good homes for life. She then began to think Lord Shaftesbury's idea could be realized, and by her own exertions, and with the aid of the Press, she had been able to raise enough money to buy a Home in Canada, in which to place the children when they were first brought out. This Home was bought in the beginning of 1868 at Niagara, and fitted up for a suitable residence. She had then gone back to England with her mind full of the idea of getting children off the streets, but on giving the matter further consideration she was impressed with the opinion that this plan would be scarcely fair to the Colonies. She thought children so emigrated should have a certain amount of training, and she had not seen exactly where she was to get the money or the strength to carry out the purpose. In this difficulty she had gone to Mr. Rathbone, Member of Parliament for Liverpool, who at once caught at an idea on the subject.[19]

What was genuine in her account was her social concern coupled with her ability to attract influential and wealthy supporters.[20] They enabled her to buy Avenue House, High Street, Peckham (London) where she would first gather the children before sending them overseas. With her own money supplemented by voluntary subscriptions, she bought what had been Niagara-on-the-Lake's second jail and courthouse and had it renovated to accommodate at least 120 children. [21] This residence, named Our Western Home, was formally opened on 1 December, 1869, with the customary speeches and large luncheon. Miss Rye explained her intentions and suggested that an almost unlimited number ("more than one hundred thousand" in the "Globe"'s report) of homeless children could be found in Britain if Canadians wanted them sent.[22] Another facet of her methods is revealed by this gathering, namely, the assistance she received from local leaders. On this occasion those present included Rev. Dr. McMurray (Anglican rector of Niagara). Robert N. Ball, J. P., and George P. M. Ball (of the locally prominent family), and Judge J. M. Lawder. In the other Ontario centres where Miss Rye did not have homes but from which she distributed children, she was aided by prominent local people, such as Dr. Holland, Dr. Hill, and Rev. G. Burson all in St. Catharines, Cyrus Nelles and Dr. Read (or Reade) in Grimsby, Dr. Robertson, Mayor of Milton, and Captain and Mrs. Whitehead in London.[23] That first year, 1869, she brought 187 children to the province and by 1874 had brought 1,377 to Canada of whom 1,234 were placed in Ontario.[24] She estimated that 200 of the children were from orphanages, the rest from workhouses. She maintained the Home at Niagara until 1895 when both it and the Peckham one were transferred to the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society which also sent out children. Miss Rye died in 1903 and her records are now held by the Barnardo organization in London.

Next to Maria Rye, the most prominent of the other organizers of juvenile emigration was Annie Macpherson. She had had experience of social work among the poor of rural Cambridgeshire as well as of east end London. She placed her children in Ontario where she opened a central distributing Home (called Marchmont) in Belleville, followed in 1872 by one in Gait and in 1874 by one in Knowlton, Quebec. Hers was a larger, better organized operation than Miss Rye's, bringing 1,834 children to Ontario between 1870 and 1875.[25]

From the start, Maria Rye's juvenile emigration scheme received effusive praise in Canada. But in England there was criticism about her care in selecting children, her disposition of moneys she received, and her assurances regarding treatment of the children in Canada. By 1873, these questions were being raised at the highest level in correspondence between Colonial Secretary Kimberley and Governor General Dufferin.[26] The British government was involved because the children who were taken from the Poor Law workhouses had part of the costs of their emigration paid from Poor Law rates. Finally, the government acted after an M.P. in the British Commons asked if it intended to inspect the placement of children in Canada.[27] The British authority responsible for Poor Law Unions, the Local Government Board, chose one of its most experienced officials, Andrew Doyle, to make the inspection.

A barrister and also a Poor Law inspector since 1848, Doyle had written reports on vagrancy, pauper education, and sanitary conditions.[28] His Report on juvenile emigration, besides being printed in British Parliamentary Papers, was also despatched to Canada by the Colonial Secretary "with a request that it should receive the particular attention of the Canadian Government."[29] This was done. On March 10, the House of Commons Select Committee on Immigration and Colonization began to hold hearings on the Report. Two days later the newspapers opened their discussions.

The immediacy of this response is not surprising in light of the conclusions and recommendations of Doyle's Report. His general remarks, mixed with criticisms, occupy the first fourteen pages of the thirty-six page Report. The bulk (20 pages) is taken up with explaining the defects, seven in all. First, he mentioned the mixing of children taken from the streets with those from workhouses. The former, "the semi-criminals of our large cities and towns," not only contaminated, the latter, who "usually have had some few years preliminary education and industrial training" but also carried their detrimental influence among Canadians thereby discrediting the whole project.[30] Next, he complained that the parties of children sent out were too large (as many as 150) and the number of supervisors too few to give proper attention to the children's health and cleanliness. Groups should be not larger than fifty. Third, he found many faults with the Homes: they did not train children before placing them out,they did not provide a refuge for children unhappy with their situations, they sometimes served bad food, and there was occasionally cruel treatment of children. He cited the case at Our Western Home of a child kept in solitary confinement for eleven days "upon bread and water, without book or work to divert her thoughts." [31] Next came his major charges (four, five, six) and last, he raised the possibility that Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson profited on the juvenile emigration by perhaps as much as £5 per head.[32] He made no definite charge because he had received no detailed financial statements from the ladies and neither had answered his inquiry as to how much aid they got from the Ontario and Dominion governments. The Canadian Department of Agriculture paid part of the ocean passage cost for children under eight (as well as for selected types of adult emigrants) and the Ontario government provided free railway passage as well as provisions for certain immigrants from Quebec to Toronto. In addition, the ladies received money from the Poor Law authorities (£8 8s per child) and from charitable persons in both Canada and Britain. The ladies' funds, therefore, came from official and private sources in Britain and Canada. The people who took the children were not required to pay money to the emigration organizations.

Doyle's major criticisms were basic ones. He complained that the children were placed in situations too hastily after their arrival for Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson to know the youngsters' character, aptitudes, or fitness for service. The ladies knew too little about prospective employers or adoptive parents. They received applications, usually in excess of the number of children, and both had forms that applicants were required to fill out including a "recommend" from a minister and a respectable neighbour.[33] These requirements, Doyle claimed, meant little because the ladies did not visit the homes beforehand, the "recommends" were vague, and Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson had almost nothing to do with the actual placements. At each of her Homes, Annie Macpherson had volunteer superintendents who took care in the placing of the children; yet their numbers had grown too large for her means of supervision.[34] Maria Rye, however, aside from the matron of the Niagara Home, depended upon "the voluntary agency of private persons resident in particular districts", for example, in Durham county, Mr. and Mrs. Robson looked after the placing of children. Doyle believed they had placed nearly a hundred children "without more than a merely formal reference to Miss Rye." He mentioned cases "of children being transferred from one place to another, sometimes with the consent of Miss Rye . . . and sometimes without Miss Rye's consent or without her knowledge even.[35] He concluded, astringently.

If Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson were less anxious to get the children off their hands immediately upon their arrival, not only would they be able to exercise greater discrimination in selecting places, but they would be able to get them out upon better terms.

Doyle denounced the terms of placement: "I cannot help thinking that in a country in which wages are so high, the cost of living, for a child in a family at least, so low, the terms of service are for the children less favourable than they ought to be."[36] When the children arrived they came, according to Quebec or Ontario law, "under the absolute parental control of Miss Rye or Miss Macpherson," though whether the legal requirements had been met was simply not known.[37] Both ladies placed children by adoption but this had two meanings. In the ordinary sense, there was the adoption of a young child as a member of a family. Doyle gave as an example the adoption by Mr. Ball of Niagara of a young girl whom he undertook to bring up as he would his own daughter. But most of the children adopted were in reality apprenticed and for this Miss Rye, but not Miss Macpherson, used an 'indenture of adoption' which gave the 'parents' full control over the child until he or she reached majority. Miss Rye also used an Indenture of service' which bound a child as a servant to receive full maintenance until age 15 and thereafter wages in lieu of clothing. Finally, she had an 'indenture of apprenticeship' which bound the child as an apprentice to begin receiving wages from age 13. But, Doyle asserted, "The whole of this machinery of 'indentures' though it has a look of being business-like, appears to me to be worthless or delusive" because "a very considerable number of . . . (the children] are placed out without any such formality as an indenture of service, but simply upon a verbal agreement . . ." Hence, 'To the employer . . . [the system] affords no security for the service of the child; to the child it affords no protection so long as there is no efficient agency to see to the fulfilment of conditions." One young girl summed it up for Doyle. " 'Doption, sir, is when folks gets a girl to work without wages.'" [38]

Doyle went on to describe the placement of children with the families of gentlemen, clergymen, prosperous "yeomen" farmers, and even recent settlers possessed only of a clearing in the woods. He had much good to say of the Canadian farmer but he also thought him "often an exacting and unthoughtful master", who, because of the short growing season, worked the children very hard at seed time and harvest. Doyle saw farm work as worthwhile but not domestic service and other employments in towns and villages: "the least desirable sort of service in which they [the children] can be engaged."[39] There the friendless children were easily tempted by the abundance of jobs and high wages to change their places frequently with the result that they failed to develop the virtues of settled habits and steady application to work. Such children would be better placed out to service in England. Thus, many of the children were brought to Canada, or indeed taken to the United States, merely to provide cheap labour. Even worse, they were "presented to the people of Canada as objects of pity, to be taken into service as much for charity as for what their labour is worth." [40] Canadians were given the impression — he mentioned no names but implied this was done by Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson — that whatever treatment they received, the children were far better off in Canada than in Britain.

In light of the two preceding criticisms, Doyle expressed strong doubts about the results of this juvenile emigration:

"Nine-tenths of the children who have been brought out are still in service, and it remains to be seen how they will turn out. The prospects of a considerable number of them are no doubt promising. Of the prospects of a still greater number no one can honestly say anything one way or another, so little is known about them.[41]

While Miss Macpherson had responsible people regularly visiting the children, "Miss Rye does not profess to have any regular or organised means of supervision at all."[42] She relied on gentlemen, such as Mr. Ball at Niagara, checking on children's situations or on receiving unfavourable reports. In effect, Maria Rye counted upon community pressure ("the watchfulness and sympathy of neighbours") to ensure the children's proper treatment. Doyle pointed out the inadequacy of Miss Rye's methods by citing cases ranging from neglect — of children's religious and secular education, their clothing, or their sleeping accommodation — to "ill-treatment and hardship." He gave many instances of the latter and this piling on of lurid detail more than counterbalanced the favourable, but undramatic, comments in the Report. Some of the examples of callousness included:

a mistress told me that she had kept a girl on bread and water for three days for refusing to admit that she had stolen five cents; a master I ascertained had horse-whipped a girl of 13: I found the marks of a flogging on a boy's shoulders, the flogging having been inflicted a fortnight before.

While neighbours might be aware of these, and worse incidents, they had not the "moral courage" to inform Miss Rye or other legal guardians.[43]

Nevertheless, there were kind employers but their concern forced them into the role that Miss Rye neglected. For example, Mrs. Gourley of St. Catharines took in Annie McMaster whose brother George had been placed with a farmer near Port Hope. George, very unhappy with his situation, was sent for by Mr. Gourley who found him a job in St. Catharines with Mr. R. But he twice turned the boy out of doors.

Upon the last occasion he was found at the corner of the street, sitting on his box crying. He was taken in by Mrs. G.. who kept him for some weeks, and got his present situation, assistant to a small market gardener, where he is in a very humble home, but is kindly treated. . . . He had been in Chichester Workhouse for three years, where his conduct was reported to be 'good'. The information furnished the Guardians about him from Canada is:— Good accounts are received from this child. He is at St. Catharine's, in a gentleman's family." The Roy's own description of the place in 'a gentleman's family was that his master was a 'sort of middlin farmer; that he was put to wash the dishes, scrub floors, drive cattle, and do little chores about the house.' . The good woman who so kindly interested herself for the boy, observed to me— 'You are the first person, sir. who has ever been to visit these children or to make inquiry about them.' [44]

Doyle was not slow to point out the proximity of St. Catharines to the Niagara Home so that this, and other cases, emphasized Miss Rye's failure. Finally, and perhaps most damning, Doyle cited many cases (at least twenty-four for Miss Rye's children) of immigrants who had simply been lost sight of:

J. C. believed to have left last reported situation. The present address of M. H. is not known. . .

Not sure whether C. L. is in last reported situation. . . .

M. C. has changed places several times, but her present address is not known. . . .

J. F., who has had seven or eight different places, is said to be in the neighbourhood of 'Our Western Home,' and 'believed to be doing respectably, but address not known' . . .

Miss Rye gave me the address of E. M. as living with Mr. J. C. . . . Upon visiting some of the children, I found that E. M. had left Mr. J. C. 2 1/2 years ago, and had been since then with Mrs. B., who had never seen Miss Rye or had any arrangement about the child. [45]

Doyle's Report ended with two pages of recommendations which may be briefly summarized. Since many of the workhouse children were trained specifically for domestic or factory service, positions should be sought for them first in Britain. If children were emigrated, they should be sent at a very young age — under seven or eight — before they had formed strong attachments. Emigration of workhouse children should be separated from that of "arab children" [46] Elsewhere in the Report, he recommended an extensive period of training of children in Homes in Canada before they were placed out, periodic inspection of the Homes by persons not connected with their administration, and regular visitation of the adoptive homes again by persons independent of the emigration schemes.[47] He cited the inspections of workhouses and boarding homes in Britain as suitable models for Canadian needs.

Doyle's evident sympathy for the children — mentioning their loneliness, homesickness, disappointments — combined with his position as a respected, experienced official, made his Report a moving as well as powerful document. Clearly, his catalogue of the faults in Miss Rye's and Miss Macpherson's systems could not be ignored. If his charges were true, even partially, it was plain that while organized juvenile emigration might benefit Canadian employers and organizers, the results for the children were certainly mixed. The directors of the emigration could not escape blame for its failures. But also deserving of censure were the Canadian assistants, employers, adoptive parents, and even federal and provincial authorities for their failure to establish inspection. Unwittingly, perhaps, this blunt Irishman challenged a number of vocal Canadian interests: local elites and politicians. He implied that Canadian homes and family life were not necessarily better than English; that Canadian conditions were not automatically, evidently superior to those in orphanages, and other institutions in England; that for these children there was not much less opportunity or hope in England than in Canada. Canadians immediately saw these implications. Their resentment was no doubt increased because judgment was delivered in the superior tone of a British official, after a hasty visit, and it was given wide circulation in the British Isles. Canadians realized that such criticism would affect in all sorts of ways Canada's image abroad.

The seriousness of the issue to Canadians is evident from the immediacy of the government's response. The Commons Select Committee on Immigration met early in March and took statements from Maria Rye and Annie Macpherson as well as from numerous Canadians involved with the immigration work or having personal knowledge of it. These witnesses included Rev. Dr. McMurray (to whose evidence the Committee called special attention) who was one of Miss Rye's volunteer assistants. His letter to the Committee was signed also by two other Niagara assistants, Henry Pafford (a former mayor of the town) and Robert N. Ball, as well as by Frederick Marson, William Kirby, J.P., and John W. Ball.[48] Other supporters included Members of Parliament (W. A. Thomson of Welland, J. B. Plumb of Niagara, Malcolm Cameron), clergymen (Bishop of Toronto, Bishop elect of Niagara), and citizens (D. R. Van Allan, former mayor of Chatham, John A. Donaldson, government immigration agent at Toronto). No witness spoke adversely of the ladies' work or supported Doyle's attacks. The Committee's conclusion is, therefore, not surprising:

the information which has been gathered . . . would be sufficient to establish that the work which has been done by Miss Macpherson and Miss Rye is, on the whole, of a satisfactory character; and that it results, with very little exception, in permanent advantages to the children who are brought out, and to the country which receives them.[49]

The committee made a circumspect but definite recommendation regarding financial aid to Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson, namely, that their juvenile immigration should be "dealt with as favourably as any other Immigration to this country." In effect, it wanted government assistance to continue, for Canadian demand for the children remained strong, Miss Rye asked for aid, and no witness had criticized government expenditure on this work. Nevertheless, in order to bolster its claim of success and usefulness of the immigration, the Committee recommended matching Doyle's inspection (which it called *'a partial one") by local (provincial) government investigation of the children. The members must have assumed that the results would be favourable; thus, a Canadian inspection would supersede the brief British one. Who could believe the claims of one man after an official Canadian inquiry found to the contrary?

In accordance with the Committee's recommendation, the Minister of Agriculture ordered an inspection of Miss Rye's and Miss Macpherson's Homes and of the children placed out. It was undertaken in the autumn of 1875 "by four of the oldest of the Immigration Agents in the Dominion, who were chosen for that purpose because their official experience would best enable them to judge of the condition, position and prospects of the children in their situations."[50] (One of the Agents was Donaldson who had written a letter supporting the ladies to the Committee.) Their testimony before the Commons Select Committee on Immigration proved Doyle wrong. Reporting in April, 1876, the Committee noted "with satisfaction" that the "children have been carefully placed, and are, with very trifling exceptions, doing well."[51] Because of Doyle's criticisms the English workhouses had ceased to support Miss Rye's project and the Committee regretted that she had brought out no children in 1875. In fact, she did not resume the work until 1877.

In 1876, again the Select Committee on Immigration looked into the character of juvenile immigration by Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson and as before, testimony was highly complimentary. For example, Donaldson reported:

I visited the different places where the children were placed, and, with a few exceptions, I found them all comfortably located. I look upon the system as being a great blessing to the children. It is a work that was well worthy of the praise bestowed upon the ladies who were the means of performing it. The children were given comfortable homes, and they were well provided for. I took the statements of the farmers' themselves, and of the farmers' wives with whom they were placed.[52]

The Committee accepted John Lowe's judgment that the few children not doing well were unimportant exceptions to the general success.

The Ontario government reacted coldly to Doyle's Report. In his report for 1874, the province's Acting Commissioner of Immigration, Adam Crooks, disassociated the government from Doyle's mission, denied the validity of his conclusions, and repudiated any responsibility for "the voluntary efforts of individuals."[53] In other words, it was not the government's duty to supervise Miss Rye's and Miss Macpherson's work or to inspect the children. The province, in fact, regarded favourably all the existing projects for juvenile immigration and in 1877, the Commissioner of Immigration (A. S. Hardy) expressed pleasure that Maria Rye had resumed her work.[54]

The government's reaction was reinforced, if not influenced, by the Ontario press' attitude. This was unanimously adverse to Doyle and favourable towards Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson. My findings regarding Ontario newspapers are based upon a survey of 31 English-language journals: three monthlies, eighteen weeklies, one tri-weekly, and nine dailies. Ten were published in Toronto, the rest in other cities and small towns, covering a geographical range in southern Ontario from Chatham in the west to Brockville in the east and north to Barrie and Ottawa. Every available issue for 1875 was read, although no comments were found before March and the latest was 27 November in the Ottawa Free Press, and also the first four months of 1876 in the three major Toronto papers: "Leader", "Mail" and "Globe". Since there are gaps in some newspaper runs, comments could have been missed. The large city dailies were examined and a selection of small town papers starting first with those published in locations from which children were distributed or, if the paper of that place was unavailable for 1875, those of nearby places.[55] The survey was not an attempt to examine every newspaper but rather those in the parts of the province where the ladies were active. Newspaper writing was categorized into editorials, reports of the Select Committee's hearings, news items about juvenile immigration work, letters to the editor, and material reprinted from British newspapers. Newspapers are not equivalent to public opinion but on the issues of juvenile immigration and Doyle's Report there was such consistent uniformity regardless of differences between papers on other issues, that it is certain they were expressing a widespread sentiment. If there had been any significant dissent on this topic, some expression of it would have been revealed in a newspaper (if not elsewhere) as were disagreements on so many other matters, including immigration. It is unlikely that a strong sentiment adverse to Miss Rye and favourable to Doyle would have remained unspoken. Only mild criticism was found (Welland, "Welland Tribune" and "Thorold Mercury", 16 September, 1875). In light of what appeared, the conclusion is inescapable that the Ontario papers were in fact expressing their province's public opinion.

What of the attitude of newspapers that did not comment on this topic? The thirteen that did not include the monthlies {Canada Farmer, Farmer s Advocate, Canadian Monthly and National Review), special interest papers (Toronto Irish Canadian, Toronto Monetary Times, Toronto Christian Methodist), and journals published in small towns not near centres where children's Homes were situated. The Canadian Monthly was a literary not a news journal, while the other two were devoted to farming matters which in the case of the Canada Farmer occasionally included editorials urging the emigration to Canada of English agricultural labourers. Lack of reportage or comment by small circulation, local newspapers does not prove lack of interest among their readers. They could express their views through their Members of Parliament and in letters to the Select Committee or to other newspapers;[56] moreover, some, perhaps many, of these readers also subscribed to large circulation dailies which gave the issue full coverage.[57] In other words, the large circulation papers offered reading material of general interest which naturally included the Rye-Doyle controversy. These papers represented as well as influenced broad sectors of public opinion. That there was widespread interest is suggested by the number and frequency of references between 12 March and late November, 1875. Scarcely anything was written on the controversy in 1876 because it had ceased to be newsworthy.

The first newspaper comment on Doyle's Report appeared on 12 March in a Toronto Mail editorial, this paper, which claimed to have the second largest if not the largest circulation in British America,[55] had been founded in 1872 intentionally to be the Toronto voice of Macdonald's Conservative party. It represented the view of Tory Toronto if not a wider Conservative readership. This bias, which included a deference to the British connection, may explain why the paper's editorial comments about Doyle were brief and moderate. It believed Doyle was "well qualified" for the task of investigation which had become "necessary in the interests of the municipal bodies at home favouring and assisting this system of deportation." The Mail acknowledged defects in the system but believed these could be corrected by Canadians. After the Select Committee issued its report, the Mail commented on it in a brief editorial of 24 May. Less than half the editorial referred to the Committee's findings regarding the Rye-Doyle controversy and the editor's attitude amounted simply to agreeing with the Committee's conclusion without attempting to justify his acceptance. These two were the only editorial comments by the Mail on the issue although it published many news items and letters about it. The editor gave more attention to other aspects of immigration (the Immigration department and the Agency Generalship in the editorial of 24 May) or even matters unrelated to it, all of which could furnish grounds for attacking the Mackenzie government. The editorial of 12 March ended:

In some respects we think it (young children] the best class of emigration that we could encourage, provided always that the selection in England do [sic] not warrant the objections which well-regulated communities have always entertained to being made the recipients of other countries' moral refuse. Canada, however, could scarcely have the face to complain even in that case. We presume the 'commuted murderer' LEPINE will be conducted to the border of some foreign country, where he will be an immigrant. And a great country cannot do as it would not be done by.

But Ontario editorial response to the Rye-Doyle controversy did not fall into categories that coincided with each paper's political bias. The only editorial actually critical, though mildly, of the immigration of pauper children appeared in the Liberal Welland Tribune on 16 September. Liberal, conservative, and independent papers reacted so similarly that they may be taken as presenting an Ontario, or Canadian attitude.

The initial editorials in a few papers addressed themselves directly to Doyle's Report, discussed one or more points, and refuted or rejected the points selected.[59] Only the Globe (19. 20, 22 March) printed Doyle's Report in full while the Mail (12 March) offered a summary. Most of the papers, therefore, did not discuss the Report in detail. Their editorials were impressionistic rather than explicit, argumentative rather than analytical.

This approach gave two general qualities to all editorials. One was a defensive tone displayed in attacks on Doyle's criticisms and sometimes on Doyle himself. An example is a short editorial in Galt's The Dumfries Reformer and Waterloo Commercial and General Advertiser (1 April) :

. . . Mr. Doyle seems to have made himself very officious ... [in his investigation] and has brought in a report recommending the appointment of an inspector to visit the homes and exercise a general supervision over the children. His motives in the matter are not above suspicion. We are glad to notice that the Government has very distinctly expressed its satisfaction with the manner in which Miss Macpherson and Miss Rye have managed this juvenile emigration'[60]

One basis for attack on Doyle was religious, but only the Globe picked it up. On 24 May it printed a letter Miss Rye had written to the London Hour in which she explained that because of her "decidedly Protestant opinions" she had brought only Protestant children to Canada and she insinuated that Doyle's bias against her work arose from the fact that he was a Roman Catholic. The Globes editor, after remarking on "the evidently hostile bias" of Doyle, concluded:

. . . Mr. Doyle, who, it appears, is a keen Roman Catholic, was sent out to inspect the work of ladies who have not only all along avowed themselves to be Protestants but who in order to avoid the very appearance of proselytism have always taken out the children of Protestants only, leaving the emigration of Roman Catholic children exclusively to the benevolently inclined of their own Church. It was, to say the least of it, unfortunate that the Local Government Board in England should have either wittingly or unwittingly made such an appointment.

Another paper that attacked the Report by criticizing Doyle was the Ottawa Free Press whose editor (27 March) left his readers in no doubt as to the inspector's selfish motivation:

Mr. Doyle seems to us to belong to a class of persons whom we consider the least desirable to be had in Canada — professional leeches, who seek to foist themselves into positions in connection with the affairs of this country from which salaries may be derived. ... He paid a visit to Canada, we have no doubt, with the express intention of reaping to himself pecuniary profit out of an agitation which he had initiated in the old country, against the benevolent work of Miss RYE and others. He spent some time here — how he occupied it we are not in a position to say; but we do know that the report which he made to the British Government is not only false in fact, but as we have proven before a Committee of our own Parliament, utterly without the slightest foundation except the desire of the itinerant dead beat who made it, to be appointed a Commissioner of Inspection of Canadian Charity. Mr. DOYLE in his report, prejudiced as it is. by the author's desire to 'make a place' for himself, can find nothing better to complain of, except that no 'distinction' is made between 'pauper children' and 'orphan and destitute children.' He also makes some insinuations in regards to the subsidy made by our people, in aid of Miss RYE's benevolent efforts, which we are glad to say have been utterly set aside by the evidence taken before our Parliamentary Committee. In Mr. DOYLE's report, he makes the suggestion that some systematic plan should be adopted, on 'such a scale as would justify the organization in Canada of an efficient machinery for the reception, training, placing out and subsequent supervision of the young emigrants,' but he shows what he aims at. by asking that a plan for the inspection of 'the children' should be adopted, and asking that provision be made 'for periodical visits ... by members of the Committee, and that besides the visits of the members ... an official inspection should be instituted.' Of course this is simply a recommendation that Mr. DOYLE should be appointed at a good fat salary to supervise a work begun by the charity of philanthropic ladies in the old country, and carried into execution by the benevolence and humanity of the people of this country. We should be very sorry to see Mr. DOYLE succeed in his aspiration (after a salary) by which he desires to affix the 'poor-house brand' upon all the children who are brought out to this country by the benevolence of private individuals, and to invade the privacy of Canadian homes, for purposes which ought to secure the hearty condemnation of every one. We shall find occasion to refer again at more length, to this subject. In the meantime we may state that before the Parliamentary Committee, every one of the slurs thrown on the work of MISSES RYE and MACPHERSON, were proven false, and that the only apparent result was a general impression that the fellow, DOYLE, is simply and only aiming at securing for himself a fat salary, and the privilege of inspecting the homes of Canadians, who are generous enough to welcome the waifs and strays of the mother land, and who do not wish, and who will not permit any taint of the old country poor law taint to make bitter the sweetness of their generosity.[61]

The Belleville Daily Intelligencer (31 March) while equally unsympathetic to Doyle, attributed his faults to a different source:

As might be expected, the report of Mr. Doyle has been the subject of a good deal of comment in the newspapers, both in Canada and in England. Whilst in the mother country, the press has been inclined to accept the statement of the Government official, with that usual lack of knowledge of colonial affairs which distinguishes the London scribes, in Canada, where the position is better understood, the comments of the journals have been generally of quite a different character. . . . The largest number of inflential journals take much the same view of the subject as we have done, and see in Mr. Doyle the critic, who anxious to run down the labours of others, and unable to find matter for legitimate criticism, harps at what he fails to comprehend.

Then followed extracts from editorials in the Montreal Daily Witness (25 March) and the Montreal Gazette (29 March) with which the Intelligencer agreed. This editorial concluded:

The fact is, . . . Mr. Doyle's report is full of mistakes and misapprehensions, chiefly arising from his imperfect knowledge of Canadian Society and his inclination to judge everything from an English workhouse standard. Mr. Doyle's investigation of the system will do no harm, but will rather be productive of good, in leading to a better public appreciation of the work of Miss Macpherson and Miss Rye and their co-adjusters, and so even greater exertions than heretofore [sic] on the part of those benevolent persons to still further perfect their system. [62]

The lack of English understanding of the Canadian situation was a frequent theme in the editorials, as well as in other newspaper items on this topic, and one with significance.

Clearly Doyle's Report was untenable, but still there was the principle, the idea of juvenile immigration that had to be defended. This brings us to the second quality found in all editorials. They lauded the philanthropy of Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson, the benefits to the children, and the benefits to England — which were greater than they were to Canada. The editorials implied that considerable credit was owed to the Canadian helpers of the work, to parents and employers. They stressed that Canada was not dependent upon England in this work but rather the reverse. England depended on Canada, specifically to provide a solution to the problem of juvenile paupers which English society had created. Several editorials illustrate these points. The Belleville Intelligencer argued (19 March):

I very care is taken by Miss Macpherson, and . . . also by Miss Rye, in selecting Homes for their proteges, applicants for their services being required to produce a recommendation from their clergyman, and the conduct of the children, and that of their protectors in enquired into from time to time, . . . Thus it will be seen due exertion is made to secure comfortable homes for the children.

. . . We are quite content to have the matter in the hands of the ladies who have had the experience, believing that they will act with wise discretion, counselled as they are by many of our best citizens, who take an interest in the work.

After mentioning Doyle's charge that the ladies profited from the work, the editor continued:

We are aware that the precise contrary was the fact, Miss Macpherson and several of her assistants, not only giving their time free of charge, but paying their own expenses and giving their services free of charge, and actually defraying from their own private purses the cost of their board in the institutions which they control. As the charge to our knowledge was never made public, we did not consider it worthy of notice, believing that, like other baseless slanders, it would soon die out. . . . We hope to hear no more of this slander, directed as it is against persons whose sole offense has been their activity in doing good.

Mr. Doyle's visit has not been productive of any ill-effect, as it has resulted in letting in light on a subject upon which many people were previously but poorly informed, . . . we trust that Miss Macpherson and Miss Rye will continue their charitable efforts, undeterred by the petty annoyances which they will be called upon to encounter. They have already done a good work and are prepared to do more, and we trust that the philanthropic and charitable will lend their assistance in the praise-worthy enterprise.

From western Ontario came the comment of the London Daily Advertiser (1 April) that Doyle's charges "as to the mismanagement and failure of their [Miss Rye's and Miss Macpherson's] scheme for transferring destitute orphan children from poverty and vice in the Old Country to the comforts and advantages of respectable homes in Canada" had been refuted before the Select Committee. The Toronto Leader (25 May) started from this point of view:

The philanthropic work in which Miss MACPHERSON and Miss RYE have been for some years past engaged is highly appreciated by the people of Canada, and it would be far more conclusive evidence than that furnished by Mr. DOYLE, ... to depreciate these ladies and their efforts in the estimation of this country. The loose charges which that gentleman has preferred against Miss RYE and Miss MACPHERSON have naturally aroused considerable indignation here, and the labours of the select committee on Immigration, . . . have done something towards vindicating the character and usefulness of the work in which these ladies are engaged, as well as demonstrating that their method of operations can hardly be improved upon. [63]

The Globe more than once stressed England's gain from the emigration of the juveniles. An example is an editorial of 19 March which concluded:

... it is far more the interest of the English Poor Law guardians, as well as of the children committed to their care, to have the latter transferred to Canada, than it is for Canadians to receive them. We believe that the number of 'failures' among the children who have been brought to Canada during the last four or five years have been indefinitely fewer than among an equal number of those of the same classes left in England, so that, at any rate, the good effected has been indefinitely greater than the evil incidentally inflicted.

The editor of the London Advertiser, indignant at the criticism of the ladies' work, declared (22 April):

From a Canadian point of view, it appears that the people of England ought to be very thankful to be relieved of the burden of supporting any part of their enormous pauper population. Relieving them of that expense stands in the same light as presenting them with a sum sufficient to meet the expense. Then, so far as the children are concerned, they are brought to a country where they can earn better wages, be better instructed, attain a higher social position and live more happily in every respect, than they could hope for if they had been left in their original state. [64]

Reference to Canada's need for juvenile labour appeared in only three out of four Toronto Leader editorials and, with little emphasis, in one of the Globe's (2 October). The Leader on 18 March briefly states: "The children, as they arrive in this country in charge of their benevolent patrons, do not, it appears, find much difficulty in obtaining homes, there being great demand for them." The editor unenthusiastically agreed with Doyle's suggestion that only very young children should be brought in because they could then be "trained according to the tastes and wishes of those who adopt them."[66]

A viewpoint common to all the newspapers was a rejection of anything more than the mildest government intervention into the ladies' enterprise and of any investigation at all into Canadian homes. Thus, the Toronto Leader argued (25 May):

The conditions which he [Doyle] considers necessary for the success of pauper children in Canada are, the establishment of Houses of Industry under Government control, where the children would receive a few- years' training in Canada before being placed out and periodical inspection afterwards. This means nothing more nor less than the establishment in this country of the English workhouse system, and Mr. LOWE, the Secretary of the Agricultural Department at Ottawa, is right when he said, . . . that if the children were properly placed, the sooner would they be absorbed into the population of Canada, and that the less they had of the workhouse mark about them, to distinguish them from the ordinary children of the country, the better.

The Globe complained (6 April):

It is impossible to avoid concluding from the report that all that Mr. Doyle could say against the emigration of poor children — especially pauper children, whom he deems better than the 'rescued' — he says con amore, and all that he writes in favour of it is dragged from him. He has the utmost faith in supervision of all sorts, and none in the good instincts of the human heart; and, if he had his way, Canada would be pock-pitted with beadles looking after the immigrated children.

Part of the Montreal Gazette editorial that the Belleville Intelligencer quoted on 31 March presented this objection.

Mr. Doyle suggests that as the means for making the system work well, that there should be an inspection established. Upon 'the regularity of the inspection of the houses where the children are placed.The ventures to think must depend the success of the movement for emigrating pauper children. It is difficult to see how this inspection could help the children. We have mentioned the admission that nine-tenths of the children have been placed out to service, and are now doing well. In the Niagara district alone, Mr. Doyle visited with Miss Rye some 40 of the children all of whom were 'in a satisfactory state, some of them remarkably so.' What would be the effect of an inspection in such cases? Simply this: that the children would soon come to learn that there was such an inspection and all authority on the part of the Master, Mistress, or foster parent would be gone, and with it all the chance of successful training on the part of the child. The whole system would be reduced to a system of espionage, and no one would be bothered with the children when having them involved the inspection of their homes and household management on the part of government officials.[66]

Lastly, the editorials frequently reflected an upper class attitude that the juveniles — the weakest element of the lowest class in England — ought to be grateful for being raised from that station simply by being removed to Canada regardless of the families with whom they were placed. This view is best illustrated in an editorial from the Globe (2 October) which deserves to be quoted in full because of the other points made:

We have often had occasion to notice the work of benevolence successfully carried on by Miss Rye and others who have taken pity on the waifs of the Poor House and streets of the Old Country. It is not possible to become acquainted with what has been accomplished in this department of benevolent work without being convinced that great good has already been effected, and that still more may reasonably be anticipated if the same course is pursued, and the same carefulness exercised. The life and prospects of a pauper child in England are not so brilliant and attractive as to prevent any change being an improvement. The position of a workhouse girl may not be so sombre and depressing as Dickens sets forth for the boys in Oliver Twist, but it is sufficiently stern and unpropitious. In the most hopeful circumstances it is impossible to anticipate even a moderate amount of comfort and success in life to any so unfavourably situated, while with the majority there is an all but absolute certainty that physically their lot will be a very hard one and morally a ruin. It is looked upon as encouraging when but the half of these children, or even less, turns out well. In ordinary cases the proportion is a great deal smaller. There can be no just motive, then, for retaining them in their pauper condition, or for letting them have the chance which pauper apprenticeship affords.

Almost any change would be for the better, and the change which has been effected through the efforts of Miss Rye and others in the case of the vast majority of their little proteges has been as life from the dead. Of the seventeen hundred girls whom Miss Rye has brought to this continent, not more than twenty or thirty have, as far as is known, turned out what could be said to be badly, while a very great number, indeed, are in circumstances of the greatest comfort and happiness, and have before them every prospect of reputable and useful lives. If there can be sufficient proof adduced in favour of any proposition, there can be — there has been — of this. Persons whose word is beyond question, who have no interest in either concealing or distorting the truth, and who would scorn for any consideration to do either, have testified to this, and testified not from heresay but from their own experience. The photographs of hundreds of these girls with the accompanying letters from their employers or from those who have adopted them, which Miss Rye has collected alone tell their own tale. This strange but interesting picture gallery would have been complete had there been the counterpart of each of those likenesses, showing what these girls were when they were first taken in hand. In not a few cases these children have evidently become the cherished inmates of wealthy homes, and in the great majority they appear both healthy and happy and intelligent. Had the cases of disappointment been twenty instead of three or two per cent, the gains would have been great and, the success of the undertaking unquestionable.

At a very moderate expense, these children are taken from positions the most unpropitious to those in which they can have a fair chance. The cost of their keep for a few months in the workhouses of England will defray all the expense of placing them in western homes, where they are needed, welcomed, and in the vast majority of cases well cared for. Why, then, should the work not go on? If the workhouse authorities or the British Government wish official superintendence, by all means let there be anything of the kind that will satisfy them. But, in the meantime, while they are debating what the supervision shall be. and how it is to be instituted, there surely ought to be no suspension of a work in connection with which there has been no case of proved abuse, but very many of undoubted success and unalloyed blessing. It is quite possible that abuses may creep into this as well as into any other benevolent enterprise. But such a possibility is no reason for putting a stop to it altogether. The best of things have been abused, but who would ever dream of discontinuing a good work on that account before any such feared abuse had ever taken place, or. at any rate, before the first attempt had been made to show that anything but good, and that of the most marked description, had ever accompanied and characterized the undertaking. The good effected is manifest and substantial. The evil feared is problematical, and the worst can be obviated by proper precautions and intelligent supervision.

We cordially wish Miss Rye and all such practical workers for the good of the helpless every success in their work of faith and labour of love. What has been done is but little compared with what remains to be accomplished. Still what has been effected is in itself of no little moment, and tells very distinctly how the pauper class of England is to be reached and permanently- benefited.[67]

The editorials made no criticisms of Canadians who adopted or hired the immigrated children. There was no question of their right to do so or of the worthiness of their action. It was the children who were expected to adapt to Canadian families and ways. The newspapers displayed sympathy for the children, but no indignation at the society that produced them or doubts about the one that needed them for labour. The importation of very young children was entirely normal and acceptable: the organizers and their Canadian helpers knew what was best for the children. Regular inspection of the children's new homes in Canada was unnecessary and undesirable. It would introduce what the Globe (19 March) stigmatized as "red-tapery".

Was the Canadian idea of government inspectors and institutions, like workhouses, derived from Dickens' novels rather than from knowledge of actual conditions in Britain? Certainly there were problems in British provisions for child welfare, a subject too large for discussion here.[68] But British experience proved the necessity of systematic supervision of any program or institution caring for homeless children. Earlier schemes to send them to the colonies infrequently succeeded, but when they did it was often because supervision was provided at the receiving end. To mention only one example, boys sent from Parkhurst prison to the Australian colonies (1842-53) turned out best in Western Australia. One reason was that this colony, unlike the others, appointed a Guardian of Juvenile Immigrants who checked on the employers.[69]

Within Britain, before the 1870s, children in workhouses, factories, prisons, and other institutions were subject to government inspection. Sometimes this was reinforced by the activity of voluntary associations such as the Reformatory and Refuge Union (1856). It gathered and circulated information about reformatories and even assisted magistrates in their work of placing children. Children were boarded out in rural homes extensively in Scotland and Ireland but only on a small scale in England until the late 1860s. Then, because of public demand, the Poor Law Board sanctioned boarding out subject to a detailed set of rules. These included careful choice of foster parents and inspection by local committees of the homes both before a child was placed and regularly afterwards. So meticulous were these requirements that the system worked successfully for the rest of the century.[71] Because there was inspection of programs and institutions does not mean that all orphan and neglected children were well looked after or that all inspectors performed their tasks effectively. Some may indeed have fitted the Dickensian image of pompous, petty tyrants, but probably most were simply overworked and underpaid officials trying hard to do useful work. Canadians believed that abuses of the juvenile immigration scheme were few and only serious mistreatment need be worried about because, after all, these were merely the children of the poor, of the uneducated masses. Perhaps this indicates a less developed social conscience in Canada than in Britain or simply less experience with the problems of such children.

The newspapers' response reflected both conservative and middle class attitudes. The former is seen in the acceptance of the system as it existed. Ontarians did not want one with more dynamic state involvement, as Doyle suggested, or with stronger Canadian control and participation. The view of the Belleville Intelligencer (19 March),

"We are quite content to have the matter in the hands of the ladies . . .", was widely endorsed. Ontarians showed the latter attitude in their belief that their province was a land of opportunity for the children. By developing such virtues as assiduity, thrift, and sobriety, the individual could aspire to personal independence and even high position in society. The aspiration and striving for upward mobility, not necessarily its achievement, were the most desired qualities. Yet, Ontarians had not cast off Old World notions of social hierarchy. They accepted class distinctions without assuming class warfare. Their social acceptance — considered apart from economic demands — of young male immigrants principally to serve as farm labourers and young females as domestic servants, reveals the complex mixture in Ontarians' social thought of British conservatism with North American optimism and egalitarianism.

Editorials have been discussed first and fully because these presented the newspapers' viewpoint and arguments rather than information. In these the readers expected to find attitudes, to find their views reflected or guidance provided to assist in forming their own opinions. The editorials, therefore, most clearly and forcibly presented the Ontario viewpoint.

It was also expressed in two other major ways. The first was reports on the hearings of the Select Committee which sometimes contained details of witnesses' evidence and of the Committee's report. The manner of presenting this information as well as specific interpretive comments reveal attitudes. The second was news items about the arrival of children or about something related to juvenile immigration.

The Select Committee of the Canadian Commons represented a Canadian response to the British inspector's Report. It heard witnesses from Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, which meant that the evidence and conclusions presented Canada's — not just Ontario's — reply to British criticism. The newspapers' interest may be seen from the fact that they followed the proceedings closely, often announcing beforehand when Miss Rye would appear, and they drew conclusions before the Committee's report was issued. The most striking example of this kind of reporting appeared in the Hamilton Daily Spectator although it contained no editorial comments on the topic. In a series of items only a few lines long it reported that Annie Macpherson had appeared before the Committee (17 March), that 'Miss Rye, of emigration notoriety, is in town" (19 March), that Miss Rye would appear before the Committee (22 March), that "Miss Rye's evidence before the Immigration Committee disposed of the charges made against her in Mr. Doyle's pamphlet" (23 March), and that Judge Dunkin's evidence proved Doyle mistaken (25 and 30 March). All this the reader was told before the Committee adopted its report on 31 March.[73] The Brockville Recorder's only editorial comment on the controversy appeared in one of its brief reports of the hearings. On 25 March, it told its readers that because of Doyle's charges "an investigation has been held at Ottawa, which, we are happy to announce, fully clears them [Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson] from the charges."[74] The Newspapers that gave their readers details of the hearings instead of only brief news snippets were the three Toronto dailies, the London Advertiser, and the Ottawa Citizen.

All the newspapers were pleased that the evidence given the Committee overwhelmingly refuted Doyle's findings. They never questioned if the Committee was hearing only one side of the case nor if the Committee itself was biased. In other words, all the newspapers agreed with the Committee in accepting Canadian evidence before that of an English official. Even newspapers without editorials on the Rye-Doyle controversy showed their attitude towards it in their reporting about the Select Committee.

Most of the newspapers frequently informed their readers about the arrival of children, sometimes contriving to indicate their judgment of the work. Thus, for example, the Gait Reporter, on 30 July, told about the arrival by train of one hundred and twenty boys who were "marched up to the house. They were a healthy, sturdy lot of little fellows, and many of them will doubtless make their mark in the country in future years." The Ottawa Free Press, on 25 November, informed readers of a "drawing-room sale of useful and fancy articles" to be held to aid "Miss Macpherson's benevolent and Christian enterprise, in bringing to Canada and training for service, large numbers of destitute English children of both sexes.[75]

The St. Catharines Daily Times showed its interest and its bias not in editorials but in news items. The earliest appeared on 6 April:

HORRIBLE — A most horrible and revolting occurrence has lately disgraced St. Catharines. One of Miss Rye's girls — herself a mere child appearing about 12 or 13 years — has been delivered of an infant. The poor girl is living in a family which claims to be quite respectable, and therefore no blame can possibly attach to Miss Rye. We know nothing as to who is the suspected author of so scandalous and revolting a crime as the seduction of a mere child, but think it a case which calls for investigation by Miss Rye and others interested in the credit of her Institution and labours.

Two weeks later, the paper printed a letter from R. N. Ball who had visited the unfortunate girl and had received anonymous correspondence (presumably about the seduction) but wanted names so he could begin prosecution of the offender. The letter concluded, "I wish Mr. Doyle could see what a storm of indignation this St. Catharines case has produced, he would be obliged to acknowledge that public opinion is a power in Canada." R. N. Ball was probably the J.P. in Niagara who was one of Miss Rye's assistants. Whatever this incident may indicate about the success of Miss Rye's system or the effectiveness of her Niagara assistants, it was not turned against her or her project but, instead against Doyle! This newspaper's defence of Maria Rye was further expressed in a brief news item, of three lines, on 28 May: "Miss Rye states that [of] all of the children she sent to Canada not more then [sic] 3 percent have turned out badly." The absence of editorial comment does not prove a lack of interest or concern but probably the acceptance of the opinions expressed so forcibly in the Toronto dailies.

Correspondence to newspapers about the controversy provides no guide to Ontario opinion because only two letters from residents were printed and these individuals were interested parties. One letter came from R. N. Ball (St. Catharines Daily Times, 20 April), the other from John Brandon, M.D. (Ancaster) which appeared in the Globe on 16 April. It presents probably a typical defence of an individual assistant, for he identified himself as "a friend of emigrant children brought out by Miss Macpherson and others." He had placed forty-three of the children, the majority from the " 'Arab' class", and "These have been continuously under my care for nearly two years, so that I am in a position to speak of the satisfaction they give their employers, and of the progress which they have made in useful knowledge." His report was decidedly favourable:

With regard to the treatment of these children there may be greater or less degrees of kindness or severity, but in only one case have I heard of unkind treatment, and from that place the boy . . . was immediately removed: while no complaint has been made by the children requiring attention, and as far as can be observed their treatment has, on the whole, been the same as the children of the family in which they live. The method of training which Miss Macpherson has adopted, is, I believe, much better than that suggested by Mr. Doyle. Children of the 'Arab' class teach each other a great deal, and association with each other is to be deprecated; placing them out in Christian families supplies a want that is above all others — that of parents. And if the religious education which they receive in these families is different from what either Mr. Doyle or myself happen to believe in. still who can say that it is the worse on that account, and is not much better than they would have received had they not been sent to live in "common Canadian plank houses.'

The Daily Times printed a letter on 13 May from Miss Rye offering to reply to an anonymous correspondent if he would give his name and address. The Globe, on 3 July, printed a letter from A. M. Fletcher, dated at Peckham (London), who sought to justify her emigration of children and young women to Canada.[76]

Finally, Ontario newspaper attitudes can be seen in their presentation of items from the British press. What is important here is not British opinion but Canadian concern about the material that appeared in the overseas papers. This consisted of news reports, editorials, and correspondence by Miss Rye and Doyle.

The first report of English reaction appeared in the Globe of 19 March (datelined London. 4 March) and told of the unusually large sale of the Parliamentary Papers containing Doyle's Report. Some papers had commented but their views were not given. The London correspondent expressed certainty that the Report would be influential with "the authorities and the public in England', implying that this would benefit Miss Rye's and Miss Macpherson's work; it is not clear if he had read the Report. A week later, two Toronto dailies contained news from England concerning it. The Leader printed, without comment, an editorial from the Times which discussed the Report, accepted its findings, and demanded "that no more emigrant children should be allowed to depart for Canada until some considerable reform of these well-meant schemes shall have been agreed upon." The Mail (and on the 27th, the Globe) reported that a question had been asked in the British Commons about government action to regulate juvenile emigration to which the President of the Local Government Board replied that nothing had been done. Neither paper commented on this report. Both the Leader (on 18 March) and the Globe (on 19 March) had expressed editorially views totally at variance with those of the Times.

The first attack on the English newspapers appeared in the Belleville Intelligencer's editorials of 31 March which contrasted the better understanding of Canadian papers with "that usual lack of knowledge of Colonial affairs which distinguishes the London scribes". This indicates the Ontario argument in response to British press criticisms. Yet, whether or not they properly appreciated the Canadian situation, British newspapers obviously influenced British opinions and Canadians needed to realize this. Such was the message of the St. Thomas Weekly Dispatch in its only contribution to press discussion on the Rye-Doyle controversy, the printing on 1 April of an editorial from the Birmingham Daily Post: "The following remarks from the Birmingham Daily Post will not be without interest to our readers, showing, as it [sic] does, the manner in which the question is viewed in England by those most likely to be well informed on the subject." The Daily Post discussed Doyle's Report but its judgment of the ladies' work was moderate, containing no stricture like that of the Times. Before spring had come and the 1875 immigration season had begun, Canadian newspapers made clear their concern about British opinion towards organized juvenile emigration. They provided their readers with expressions of British opinion, both favourable and unfavourable, and replied to criticisms as if their readership included the British public.

In April, the Mail reported that the Liverpool Select Vestry (the body that controlled the local workhouse) had decided to suspend sending pauper children to Canada until the arrangements had been improved; it printed an editorial from the Saturday Review reluctantly approving the emigration of pauper children to the colonies; and it denounced the Times for its long-standing hostility to Canada. [77] In addition, it printed, on 3 April, and the Globe on 5 April, a letter to the Times from S. Williamson, chairman of the committee of the Liverpool Sheltering Home, an institution that rescued children from the streets and sent some of them to Nova Scotia where Colonel Lawrie and others placed them out. Williamson knew Miss Macpherson but not Miss Rye. He discussed Doyle's Report in detail, disagreed with the principal criticisms, and argued against the need for, or the value of inspection in Canada. Although neither paper commented on the letter, it is clear they considered its opinion significant. Later in the month (22 April), the London Advertiser editorially attacked an English newspaper — not identified — for comparing "the exportation of English pauper children to the traffic in coolies." The editor praised Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson and the families that took in the children and continued with the theme of lack of English understanding:

The privilege of seeing ourselves as others see us, given to us by the ungenerous English writer who considers Canadians a race of tyrannical slaveholders, would naturally arouse strong indignation in the minds of those who arc misrepresented, for the importation of English paupers would seem to be a thankless charity. . . . Consideration for the hundreds of children yet left in the refuges and 'homes' of Europe will prompt the charitable ladies to continue their work, regardless of the fact that churlish Englishmen do not give them credit for the pure motives which actually inspire their efforts.

He continued, for more than half the editorial, with a denunciation of the Times for its misguided criticisms of Canada and also of American politics.

Several newspapers, especially the Toronto ones, continued to show concern about British attitudes towards juvenile emigration. On 14 May, the Globe reported a meeting of the London (England) School Board which had discussed whether or not to withdraw its approval of juvenile emigration to Canada. The editor was pleased that the Board had not changed its policy but, nevertheless, denounced the critics:

The usual foolish nonsense about the cruelty of sending children to brave the rigours of a Canadian winter was, of course, talked, and the awful hard work exacted from these unfortunates was also dwelt upon with becoming unction: . . . There can be no doubt that . . . the Board has acted sensibly. Any drearier or more forlorn prospect than what lies before a pauper child, or 'gutter-snipe' in England is not easily imagined.

The Globe continued with its usual view that any change for these juveniles was an improvement and that Britain benefited more from their emigration than did Canada.

On 9 July, the Globe reported a meeting of the St. George's Board of Guardians (Hanover Square, London) in which opinions for and against Doyle's Report were expressed, the final decision being in favour of the emigration of pauper children under proper supervision by the Local Government Board. The Toronto Mail printed the same report (on the same date) but juxtaposed to an article from the Scotsman opposing such emigration. Neither paper published editorial comment on the news; it was unnecessary because the decision was clearly correct in Canadian eyes and, therefore, deserved publicity. (The Globe's reply may be seen in its editorial of 2 October.) The Mail perhaps hoped that the Guardians' opinion counterbalanced the Scotsman's attack. That same month the Ottawa Free Press (6 July), the Toronto Leader (1 July) and the Chatham Tri-Weekly Planet (14 July) referred to the attitude of the London Daily Telegraph, a Liberal paper of large circulation and considerable influence. The Free Press and the Planet (both Liberal) merely reported that the Daily Telegraph had come out in support of Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson against Doyle but believed juvenile immigrants in Canada should be inspected. This suggestion aroused the fury of the Conservative Leader which denounced the English paper as a journal of no importance, indeed a source of derision in "the society of the intellectual and cultured." The editorial's conclusion seems the equivalent of whistling in the dark:

Consequently, . . . the opinion expressed in this journal, as the children brought to Canada by Misses RYE and MACPHERSON must not be interpreted as bearing any significance so far as Canada is concerned. The general public in England will not even be aware of the article and if they did see it, they would not be very profoundly influenced by it. Whatever Mr. DOYLE's mistakes may have been, the remedy does not rest in any enquiry by Governments or by any one else. Hundreds and thousands of children have been sent out to this country and taken into families for adoption. The truth will come from them and the plain, unvarnished records of children who have been benefitted, will alone remove any doubts that may have been raised as to the salutary effects of juvenile emigration.

Only the Leader professed unconcern for English newspaper opinion. The other Ontario papers showed their concern by publishing British items as well as by replying to them. Though Canadian journalists presented arguments that made sense to their own readers, they never expressed a belief that they were influencing or could modify British prejudices. British criticisms, especially those of the widely read and respected Times, distressed Canadian journalists and not only with regard to juvenile imigration. It was but one thread of the entire British emigration movement which was but one strand in the complex fabric of British-Canadian relationships. Canadians were aware of, and at times worried about, the effect on the whole relationship of criticisms directed against parts, such as emigration. The interconnection is demonstrated in the London Advertiser's editorial of 22 April and one in the Ottawa Free Press of 16 September.[78] The Advertiser after denouncing British criticism of pauper juvenile emigration went on to attack the Times for its recent articles hostile to Canadian railway enterprises. The Canadian editor believed such writings could strike a blow at Canadian credit." The Free Press's editorial bore the title, "Importing British Capital" and opened, "We have frequently . . . urged the wisdom on the part of our immigration authorities of making an effort to induce an influx not only of the industrial classes of immigrants from Britain, but of British capital." The editor argued that Canada's development was lagging because British investors sought illusory high profits at great risk in foreign countries instead of investing in Canadian farms, mines and factories. His conclusion combined nationalism and colonialism:

It would be a wise course for the British Government to adopt, to encourage not only the restriction of the emigration of the surplus population of Britain to British territories, but also the circulation of British capital in such a way that it will not be taken out of the wealth of the nation, but be directed, with equal profit and advantage to the capitalist, to developing the resources and commercial importance of the colonies, whose prosperity cannot but be of the greatest interest to the Empire.

Clearly, if British opinion, in particular that of the Times and other newspapers, could be so significant for Canada's national interests it could be crucial for such a lesser matter as juvenile emigration schemes.

Ontario newspapers saw Maria Rye as a champion of a provincial (and Canadian) interest in Britain. Some demonstrated their support for her by printing letters sent by her and Doyle to the Times. [79] Miss Rye replied to Doyle's criticisms, criticized his inspection as inadequate, and explained her distribution system. Doyle refused to engage in discussion until the Canadian Select Committee had issued its report. Long after this had appeared, Doyle wrote to the Times that he had not officially received a copy but he hoped British workhouse authorities would not permit the emigration of children "until I shall have had an opportunity of examining what appears to be the partial and most unsatisfactory report of the Canadian Government." This letter was printed on 3 July in the Globe, Leader and Mail, and on the 7th in the Advertiser. The Globe and Leader also included the sequel to the letter: a question in the House of Commons by Edward Jenkins, Canada's Agent General in London. He asked if Doyle's letter had the sanction of the Local Government Board; its president replied that though 'The publication of such a letter was an objectionable practice," the situation was unusual. Jenkins' question obviously put Doyle in a bad light.[80] The Leader left its readers in no doubt by concluding its report with the comment: "The subject will, ... be discussed in the British Parliament and we are satisfied that the labours of the Dominion 'Committee on Emigration' will go far to counteract the injurious and apparently reckless statements made by Mr. DOYLE in regard to pauper children brought out to this country." This campaign closed as far as Ontario newspapers were concerned with a letter Miss Rye wrote from Niagara to the Times and which only the Mail, on 24 August, and the Globe, on the 25th, printed. In it Maria Rye explained that she was working to gain public sympathy in Canada and that she hoped to return to England with a collection of photographs of the children which she intended to put on display in London in order to win support there.[81]

Quite naturally, Ontario newspapers approached the Rye-Doyle controversy and British opinions towards it from an Ontario, or Canadian, viewpoint. This contained elements that can be described as patriotic or nationalist. The general assumption underlying much of the Ontario newspapers' response was that British journalists and officials did not understand Canadian conditions even if like Doyle, they had visited Canada. This incomprehension arose fundamentally from environmental and social differences between the old country and the dominion although, at times, it was attributed merely to the lack in Britain of full and correct information about Canada. In its negative, defensive sense — such as the claim that Canada did not need the children as much as they needed Canada — Ontario's attitude may be interpreted as an expression of the "garrison mentality" that Northrop Frye finds in nineteenth century Canada."[81] Yet, such an explanation would give only part of its meaning and not the principal part. Ontario's reaction was expressed in the other provinces and it was not a desire of people to shut themselves behind walls or avoid contact: instead it was an attempt to maintain and enlarge an influx from outside. The positive and patriotic elements received more frequent and stronger expression than the negative. Ontario papers asserted that for the children any kind of life in Canada was better than life in England; they wanted the children for the purpose of serving Canadian interests rather than British; they accepted the evidence of Canadian witnesses against that of a British inspector; and they were concerned about British opinion primarily because they were realists. Under conditions as they existed, British attitudes affected Canada's development.

What tended to be lost sight of in the heat of newspaper contention and the plethora of comment was the factual accuracy of Doyle's Report. In terms of the organization required to properly manage juvenile immigration and placement, Doyle's assessment was correct: Miss Rye had virtually none and Miss Macpherson's was inadequate. Evidence of the defects comes not only from the inspection of 1874 but also from subsequent developments. The fact that Canadian government inspection had to be instituted and also continued shows one shortcoming of the voluntary organizations. These inspectors usually reported favourably but occasionally they made criticisms of precisely the kind that Doyle had.[83] Finally, in 1888- in twenty years after Maria Rye had launched organized immigration —the Canadian government made a comprehensive agreement with the Local Government Board for a properly organized and supervised emigration of British children.[84] The jointly agreed code of regulations specified a period of training (no less than six months) for the children in Britain, reports on the homes where the children were to be sent, and twice-yearly inspection of homes by Canadian inspectors. The agreement was terminated in 1924 after a British government Delegation, appointed by the Colonial Secretary, had recommended its cessation. Under the scheme some 78,000) children had been taken out. With such a large number involved, it is not surprising the Delegation found defects, for instance, an occasional lack of inspection and unsuitable homes, Carrothers, writing in 1929, comments, "There is the danger of using the children for profit and of overworking them, to the neglect of their education and the detriment of their future welfare generally. [85] These were criticisms Doyle had made fifty-four years earlier!

Moreover, during the initial years of organized juvenile immigration, Ontario's welfare provisions for its own abandoned, neglected or abused children had serious inadequacies. Some of these were remedied by legislation during the decade. But a more comprehensive policy was needed and it was not achieved until 1893 in the Children's Protection Act. This "created the framework for a broad child welfare programme throughout the province"; under it was appointed Ontario's "first superintendent of neglected and dependent children", J. J. Kelso.[86] (He was a Toronto newspaperman, a well-known and respected promoter of social welfare causes, and the president of the Toronto Humane Society.) The situation during the 1870s can be looked at only briefly. The principal means of providing for normal, non-criminal, homeless children was apprenticeship but not until an Act of 1874 did the law ensure adequate protection for apprentices against exploitation and abuse. [87] Adoption or placement in children's institutions were other means to care for these children. However, since adoption was not governed or defined by specific legislation, its legal status remained vague even after the 1893 Act. Voluntary associations, religious or lay, established residential institutions for children. Some prepared them for apprenticeship while others undertook long term residential care. A number received grants but none was inspected. Changes came from the Charity Aid Act of 1874 which provided for systematic financial aid to charitable institutions serving adults as well as children and also required regular inspection. The reports of the inspectors revealed weaknesses in the institutions of the sort Doyle had found in the juvenile immigration schemes. However, the inspections were not complete. They did not include the placing out of the children although this was supposed to be one of the major purposes of the institutions. [88] Hence, how successful they were in putting children into suitable homes or work situations could not be known. Not until the 1880s and 1890s did the government pass further significant measures concerning the protection and education of homeless children.

Some of the shortcomings in Ontario's social welfare for children corresponded to weaknesses in the juvenile immigration schemes. But Ontarians were not going to modify their provincial policies because of Doyle's criticisms. The lack of significant government action after 1874 suggests public satisfaction with the existing welfare provisions. Yet, as late as 1890, J. J. Kelso testified before the Royal Commission on the Prison and Reformatory System, "'in this province we have been very negligent in the matter of children.'" The historian of Ontario's Social welfare policies claims that the evidence of Kelso and other witnesses "created a picture of a serious problem of neglected and delinquent children throughout the province, particularly in the large towns and cities." He continues, "a similar indictment could have been made with greater force at any earlier point in the province's history. [89] Clearly, if government provisions for the placement, supervision, and protection of Ontario children fell short of the province's own needs, how adequate could they be for immigrant children after they had been placed outside the receiving homes? It is not surprising that defects, indeed abuses, could exist in immigration schemes that, taking the most helpless of emigrants far from their native land, were organized so informally and depended so heavily on the voluntary good will of a few Canadian helpers.

What the 'facts' were in 1875 in such matters as the treatment of children or their success and prospects in Canada is not clear because the situation was constantly changing and conditions were relative. The treatment of the children in Canada, aside from outright cruelty, may have been generally better than it was in Britain. Their food, aside from bread and water, may have been more wholesome. Children who succeeded in Canada may also have succeeded in Britain. In terms of the children's lives the success or failure of the immigration scheme could not be known by 1875 because they had not operated long enough and records of the consequences were inadequate. The organizers did not keep comprehensive, objective records and, in any case, these were not what Ontarians sought. What concerned them far more than facts was judgment on juvenile immigration and Doyle's criticisms. They believed the judgment of Canadians, particularly those of the 'better sort', were reliable, indeed definitive. This approach to the controversy minted Ontarians', and Canadians', interests which does not necessarily establish their principal reason for taking it. However, the intensity of the response to Doyle's criticisms (and to others' in Britain) suggests Canadians did want and did need juvenile immigrants in a period of generally declining immigration as well as of increasing emigration from Canada to the United States.

Whatever its basis, Ontario's view was clear. Ontario was and is not Canada, particularly French Canada, but in 1875 Ontario's preponderance in English-speaking Canada was overwhelming and was therefore crucial. In its attitudes towards juvenile immigration Ontario's provincial patriotism revealed beneath its British surface, depths of English-Canadian nationalism. What was articulated in the Rye-Doyle controversy was Canada's divergence from Britain. The strongest thrust of the newspaper discussion had been to stress differences between the two societies, British incomprehension, and the totality of the change for the children.


Form to be filled up by Persons in Canada applying for Children at "Our Western Home"

Our Western Home, Niagara, Ontario.

What is your full name? Give me your full address. Are you married? Is your wife alive? Have you any children, and how many? What is your trade or profession? How long have you lived in your present neighbourhood? Do you belong to the Episcopal Church? If not, state with what body of Christians you do worship? Give me the name and address of the minister of the church where you worship. Give me the name and address of the reeve or mayor of the town in which you live. If I commit an orphan to your care, state what position she is to hold in your family. Also state the age of the child you wish for.

Maria S. Rye,

Hon. Sec. Our Western Home, Niagara, Ontario,

to whom this form is to be returned when filled up.


Form of Circular addressed by Miss Rye to the Reeve or Clergyman for information with regard to an Applicant for a Child.

Our Western Home. Niagara

Sir, M. and Mrs. _________ having applied to me for one of the orphan girls under my care, and having given me your name as one of their references, please tell me. in confidence, whether you consider Mr. and Mrs. _________ and their family fit persons to have the charge of a little girl; and also how long you have known them.

An early reply will oblige

Yours very faithfully

Maria S. Rye


Form of Miss Rye's Indenture of Adoption

This indenture, made the ____ day of____ in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy ____ , between Maria Susan Rye, Robert Notman Ball, J.P., of the county of Lincoln, and Henry Paffard, Esquire, Mayor of the town of Niagara, of the first part, and of the second part, for the purpose of being adopted into his family, a minor child in the custody and under the protection of the said Maria Susan Rye, Robert Notman Ball, and Henry Paffard, and now at the age of ____ and the said parties of the first do hereby transfer to the party of the second part all their right to and over the said child, subject, however, to the proviso herein-after contained; and the said party of the second part, in consideration of the delivery to him of the said child, and of the labour and services, love and affection, to be received by him from the said child, doth hereby adopt the said child, and take her for his own child, and doth also hereby convenant, promise, and agree with and to the said parties of the first part, that the said party of the second part will protect, maintain, educate, and in all respects regard and treat the said child as he does, would, or should do his own lawful child; and that he will bring up the said child and cause it to be instructed in the principles of the Protestant religion, and the said party of the second part convenants with the said parties of the first part, that in case of any breach of the covenant herein contained to be by him performed he will forthwith, whenever requested so to do by the parties of the first part, deliver up the said child to the custody of the said parties of the first part. And further, it is hereby expressly understood and agreed, that in case, during the minority of the said child, the party of the second part shall die, or become incapable of carrying out. or neglect to carry out, duly and regularly, all and singular the various obligations imposed on him by this indenture, the parties of the first part reserve to themselves the right of resuming their control over the said child, or in taking such measures of securing her rights as they may be advised.

In witness whereof the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.

Signed, sealed, and delivered in presence of


Form of Miss Rye's Indenture of Service

Indenture. This indenture made and entered into the ____ day of ____ A.D. 187 ____ , between Maria Susan Rye. Henry Paffard. Esq., J.P., Mayor, Robert Notman Ball, Esq., J.P., all of Niagara, of the first part, a minor orphan of the age of ____ years, of the second part, now under the charge and control of the parties of the first part, and ____ of the third part. Whereas the said Maria Susan Rye, an English lady, now residing in the Dominion of Canada, has under her charge a number of orphan children brought from England by her for the purpose of finding them homes and which said orphans she desires, conjointly with Henry Paffard and Robert Notman Ball, Esqs., whom she has appointed guardians of the children aforesaid with herself, to bind out and apprentice, until they shall attain the age of 18 years, and of whom ____ , the party hereto of the second part, is one.

Now this indenture witnesseth that the said parties of the first part, in consideration of the convenants and agreements herein-after contained on the part of the parties of the third part, and by and with the full consent of the party hereto of the second part, doth by these presents put and bind out as an apprentice the said minor orphan, ____ , the party hereto of the second part, to live with and serve him, the said party hereto of the third part, for and during and unto the full end and term of ____ years, fully to be completed and ended on the ____ day of A.D. 18 ____ during all which period the party hereto of the second part shall well, truly and faithfully serve the said party hereto of the third part, as help to servant, and shall obey his lawful and reasonable commands, and that she will do no damage to her said master in his goods, estate, or otherwise, nor willingly suffer any to be done by others, and that she will not during the said period absent herself at any time from the service of her said master without his consent first obtained: but in all things, as a good and faithful servant and apprentice, shall well demean and conduct her self to her said master. And the party hereto of the third part, in consideration of these promises, promises for himself, his heirs, executors, and administrators, and does herein covenant and agree with the parties hereto of the first and second parts, and with each of them to teach and instruct the said party hereto of the ____ second part, the said ____ in the knowledge of books, so far as to give her a plain English education, or to cause the same to be done, and to teach and instruct, or cause to be taught and instructed, the said____ in the arts and duties of housewifery, and the use of the needle, and such other duties as may be necessary to qualify her to obtain a livelihood for herself when the period of her apprenticeship shall have ended, and to pay due attention to her moral and spiritual culture, and afford her the opportunity and use his authority to induce her to attend some Sunday-school and place of public worship where the doctrines of Christianity, as held by the Protestant denominations, are taught and that he will furnish and provide suitable and proper meat, food and clothing, both woolen and linen: and in case of sickness, with medical attendance and medicines, and all other necessaries, except that when the said ____ shall have attained the age of fifteen years, in lieu of clothing he shall pay her wages at the rate of ____ dollars per calendar month until she shall have attained the age of seventeen years; and from that time until the expiration of the period of service herein-before mentioned he shall pay her wages at the rate of ____ dollars per calendar month. In witness whereof the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.



* The author wishes to thank the Canada Council for its support of the research for this article, and two of his colleagues, Professors W. G. Ormsby and Patricia Dirks for their helpful comments on the manuscript. Two students who assisted by reading newspapers were Brian Egan and Steve Owens.

1. A Report to the Right Honourable the President of the Local Government Board, by Andrew Doyle, Esquire. Local Government Inspector, as to the Emigration of Pauper Children to Canada, Great Britain, Parliamentary Papers, 1875, LXIII (9), 3. (Henceforth Doyle's Report.)

2. M. Horn and R. Sabourin (eds.), Studies in Canadian Social History (Toronto, 1974), p. 7.

3. R. B Splane, Social Welfare in Ontario, 1791-1893 (Toronto, 1965). pp. 260-61:

W. A. Carrothers. Emigration from the British Isles (London. 1965): H. I. Cowan. British

Imigration to British North America: The First Hundred Years (Toronto. 1961 ); S. C. Johnson, A History of Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America. 1763-1912 (London, 1966): N. Macdonald, Canada Immigration and Colonization, 1841-1903 (Toronto.

1966). On the British side see I. Pinchbeck and M. Hewitt, Children in English Society. Vol.

II: From the Eighteenth Century to the Children Act 1948 (London, 1973), chap. 18.

4. M. Cross Ted.), The Workingman in the Nineteenth Century (Toronto, 1974), pp. 2-5. 371: G. P. de T. Glazebrook, Life in Ontario: A Social History (Toronto, 1968), chap. 9 and pp. 193-94: Splanc, pp. 14-17: Horn and Sabourm. pp. 117-21; P. Waite, Canada, 1874-1S96: Arduous Destiny (Toronto, 1971), pp. 4, 9-10.

5. Cross: Horn and Sabourin; Splanc: S. E. Houston, "Victorian Origins of Juvenile Delinquency: A Canadian Experience," History of Education Quarterly, XII (1972), 256-80: S. R. Mealing, "The Concept of Social Class' and the Interpretation of Canadian History," Canadian Historical Review, XLVI, 3 (1965), 201-18.

6. Splane, pp. 221, 231-40: Houston. Hist. Educ. Quarterly, XII (1972), especially pp. 258. 261: Pinchbeck and Hewitt, H, 247-57 and chap. 14.

7. Houston, Hist. Educ. Quarterly, XII (1972;, 254, 265, 273; Horn and Sabourin, pp. 96-97; Pinchbeck and Hewitt, II, chaps. 12. 13, 19.

8. Pinchbeck and Hewitt, II, 456-58, 479-80. 508-9, 532, 549, 623-24. For Canadian developments see Splane; Houston, Hist. Educ. Quarterly, XII (1972).

9. Ibid., especially pp. 266-68; Splane, pp. 54-56 and chap. 6.

10. Splane, pp. 260-64; Pinchbeck and Hewitt, II, chap. 18; Annual Report ... on Immigration for . . . 1870, Ontario, Sessional Papers, 1870-71, vol. 3, part 2, no. 28, p.x. (Henceforth Out. SP.)

11. First Report of the Select Committee on immigration and Colonization. Canada, Journals of the House of Commons. 1875, vol. 9. Appendix 4, pp. 21, 24. (Henceforth. Report of Select Committee, Journals.)

12. Report on Immigration for 1871, Ont. SP, 1871-72, vol. 4. part 2, no. 56. p. 19. The St. Catharines Daily Times, 10, 21. and 22 June. 1875, and the (Goderich Huron Signal, 9 June, illustrate the "commodity" approach to juvenile immigrants.

13. Splane. PP. 16-18, 263. 286-87; Glazebrook. chaps. 9, 10: W. T. Morton fed.), The Shield of Achilles: Aspects of Canada in the Victorian A fit I Toronto, 1968).

14. Report on Immigration for 1877. Ont. SP, 1878. vol. 10. part 4, no. 35, p. vii.

J5. Splane, pp. 14-19, 259, 274; J. L. I-inlay, Canada in the North Atlantic Triangle: Two Centuries of Social Change (Toronto, 1975), pp. 198, 204, 245-46; Cross, Introduction; Thomas Conant, Lift in Canada (Toronto. 1903), chap. 22.

16. Miss Rye's letter in Toronto Globe, 14 May. 1875; Report of Select Committee, Journals, 1875. vol. 9, App. 4. pp. 21-23. 25.

17. Dictionary of National Biography (1901-1911). III, 245-46. (Henceforth DNB)

18. W. Dixon (Chief Canadian Emigration Agent in Britain) to J. C. Tache (Deputy Minister of Agriculture). 14 October. 1868, and enclosed letter. Dixon to Miss Rye. Public Archives of Canada, R(il7, Department of Agriculture, T-l, vol. 24. 2185: Miss Rye to L. Stafford (Chief Immigration Agent at Quebec). 14 October, enclosed in Stafford to Tache, 29 October, ibid., 2187: Dixon to Stafford, 12 November, ibid., vol. 25. 2252: Dixon to Tache. 3 December, ibid., 2274. Miss Rye explained and defended her work in a letter to the (London) Times which was reprinted in the (Toronto) Globe, 19 May, 1869.

19. Report of Select Committee. Journals, 1875. vol. 9, Apr. 4. p. 22.

20. William Rathbone was a wealthy Liverpool merchant and influential politician who brought Miss Rye the official support of the Liverpool Poor Law Union. DNB (1901-1911), III, 161-62. She also had the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of Shaftesbury and the Times. Pinchbeck and Hewitt, 564-65. She brought a note from Shaftesbury by which she obtained an interview with Prime Minister Macdonald. Macdonald to Shaftesbury, 7 August, 1869, PAC, MC26. Macdonald Papers, A. 1 (e). vol. 516. part 1.

21. Report of Select Committee, Journals, 1875. vol. 9. App. 4, p. 26. J. Carnochan. History of Niagara (Toronto. 1914), pp. 155, 161. pictures opposite p. 151.

22. Globe editorial of 6 December: Pinchbeck and Hewitt, IL 565.

23. Report of Select Committee, Journals, 1875. vol. 9. App. 4, p. 25. Names of gentlemen in various localities to whom the Emigration agents will kindly apply for information about Miss Rye's children. 11 December, 1875. PAC, RGI7. 1-1, vol. 146. 15291. On G. P. Pall's earlier career as a businessman see W. P. J. Millar, "George P. M. Ball: A Rural Businessman in Upper Canada," Ontario History, LXVI, 2 (1974), 65-78.

24. Report of Select Committee, Journals, 1875, vol. 9, App. 4, p. 23: Report on Immigration for 1877, Ont. SP, 1878, vol. 10. part 4, no. 35. p. vii.

25. Pinchbeck and Hewitt. II, 562-65. Miss Macpherson described her work as well as solicited for aid in little booklets published at the time: Canadian Homes for London Wanderers (1870): The Little London Arabs or the Brothers of the 'Matchbox-Makers' (1870): Summer in Canada (1872): Winter in London (1872).

26. Kimberley to Dufferin. 24 April and 12 June. 1873. PAC. MG27, Kimberley Papers, A, 4: Dufferin to Kimberlev. 29 May. ibid. For early criticism see Dixon's Report for 1870, Canada. Sessional Papers. 1871. IV (no. 6), no. 64. pp. 62-73. (Henceforth Canada. SP.) Miss Rye published a defense entitled, 'What the People Say about the Children and What the Children Say about Canada," (London. 1871).

27. (London) Times. 6 June. 1874, p. 6. This was reported in a few Canadian papers. Sec Globe editorial of 9 June. The question may have arisen as a result of a controversy Miss Rye was involved in earlier in the year for which she published a defence entitled. "Charges Made Against Miss M. Rye Before the Poor Law Board at Islington, and Her Reply Thereto," (25 March. 1874). Her critics called for inspection by the local Government Hoard and some of their charges were to be made in Doyle's Report.

28. L. Boase. Modern English Biography London, 1965). I, 911; Pinchbeck and Hewitt. II. 526, 566-70.

29. Report of Select Committee. Journals, 1875. vol. 9. App. 4, p. 2.

3O. Doyle's Report, pp. 14-15. The children from the streets were sometimes called 'arab' or 'gutter children' while those from the workhouse were usually called 'pauper' children. The Report is most fully discussed in Pinchbeck and Hewitt. II. 566-70.

31. Doyle's Report, p. 18.

32. Ibid., pp. 6, 33-34; Report of Select Committee. Journals, 1875, vol. 9. app. 4, pp. 10. 13-21; Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Arts . . . for 1875. On!. SP, 1875-76, vol. 8. no. I, pp. vi-vii. The Canadian government after investigating was satisfied that Miss Rye did not profit from the work. See Copy of a Letter addressed by Miss Rye to the President of the Local Government Board, O. B. Parl Papers, 1877. LXXI

33. Doyle's Report, p. 38.

34. Ibid., pp. 9-11.

35. Ibid., p. 20.

36. Ibid.

37. Ibid., p. 10.

38. Ibid., pp. 11-12, 38-41.

39. Ibid., pp. 13, 30.

40. Ibid., pp. 21-22, 16.

41. Ibid., p. 29

42. Ibid., p. 14.

43. Ibid., p. 30.

44. Ibid., pp. 26-27. Here only initials were given. The names are found in The Reply of Mr. Doyle to Miss Rye's Report on the Emigration of Pauper Children to Canada, G. B. Par Papers, 1877, LXXXI

45. Doyle's Report, p. 27.

46. Ibid., pp. 34-35.

47. Ibid., pp. 15, IX. 22, 28.

48. Report of Select Committee. Journals, 1875. vol. 9. App. 4, pp. 2. 34-35.

49. The quotations are taken from page 3 of ibid.

50. Report of Select Committee. Journals, 1876. vol. 10, App. 8, p. 17.

51. Ibid., p. 2.

52. Report of Select Committee, Journals, 1877. vol. 11. App. 6, pp. 70. 16.

53. Report on Immigration for 1874, Ont SP. 1875-76. vol. 8. part 2. no. 3. p. xi.

54. Report on Immigration for 1877, ibid., 1878. vol. 10. part 4. no. 35, pp vi. 7. See also Report . . . for 1876. ibid., 1877, vol. 9. part 4. no. 51. p. 9.

55. For the following newspapers either very few or no issues for 1875 could be located: Bradford South Simco News; Grimsby Independent; Guelph Mercury, and Herald; Milton Canadian Champion; Mount Forest Examiner; Oakville Express.

56. Globe, 16 April: St. Catharines Daily Times, 20 April.

57. These dailies were: Toronto Leader, Globe, Mail; Ottawa Free Press; London Advertiser. The St. Thomas Weekly Dispatch on 15 May, 1873 claimed the majority of its renders subscribed to the Toronto Mail or Leader. D. H. Russell. "The Ontario Press and the Pacific Scandal of 1873" Unpublished M.A., Queen's University, 1970, pp. 146-46. Presumably the claim was valid which suggests the situation existed in other small towns.

58. Mail, 9 February. 1875. The claim is not supported by the circulation figures for 1877 which give the Mail 9,000. the Globe, 12,000. and two Montreal papers larger circulations. P. F. W. Rutherford, "The People's Press: The Emergence of the New Journalism in Canada, 1869-99. Canadian Historical Review, (1975), 187.

59. Globe. 19 March; Ottawa Free Press. 27 March: Belleville Daily Intelligencer, 19 and 31 March; Toronto Leader, 18 March. The first two were Liberal papers the others Conservative.

60. On the editorial page "Galt" took the place of "Dumfries" in the masthead. Sec the brief comment. "The Doyle Charges" in The Brockville Recorder, 25 March.

61. See also Globe editorials of 19 March and 6 April.

62. See also editorials in London Advertiser, 22 April, and Globe 19 March.

63. See also editorials in London Advertiser, 22 April; Leader, 18 March. 5 April, 7 July; Globe, 19 March, 14 May. 2 October: Ottawa Free Press, 27 March, 23 November.

64. See also editorials in Globe, 6 April (Part of this editorial was printed on 9 April in the Gait Reporter and Waterloo County Advertiser, its only editorial comment on this controversy), and 14 May.

65. The other Leader editorials appeared on 5 April and 25 May.

66. Sec also editorials in Ottawa Free Press, 27 March: Toronto Leader, 5 April, Globe, 2 October

67. Sec also editorials in Globe 6 April. 14 May: Leader, 5 April: London Advertiser, 22 April: Belleville Intelligencer, 31 March, quoting the Montreal Daily Witness.

68. See Pinchbeck and Hewitt,

69. Pinchbeck and Hewitt. IT, M8-58; see also pp. 458-9. M9-52. 558-61.

70. Pinchbeck and Hewitt. If, 479-80. W. I . Bum, The Ave of Equipoise: A Study of the Mid-Victorian Generation (New York, 1965), pp. 126-28.

71. Pinchbeck and Hewitt. TT. 519-21, 532-35.

72. Pinchbeck and Hewitt. II, 478-80, 511, chap. 21; Hum. pp. 122-5, 223-24.

73. Sec also London Advertiser, 16, 18, 22 March; Mail, 18, 22, 23 March; Globe 22 and 23 March; Ottawa Free Press, 16, 24, 31 March.

74. This paper had a second item on 25 March about the hearings and printed one on 1 April (dated 27 March from Ottawa).

75. References are too numerous to list. Some of the more pointed are: Galt Reporter, 23 April. 14 May, 22 October: St. Catharines Daily Times, 10, 21, 22 June; London Advertiser, 15 May.

76. One can only speculate about the number of letters on this topic sent to newspapers and not published. Twelve letters to the Select Committee were printed in the Journals, correspondence that more validly suggests the state of public opinion because some of these letters were not evidently from interested individuals.

77. The dates respectively: 3. 5. and 27 April.

78. Similar editorials appeared in the Globe, 2 September, 1874: Ottawa Free Press, 2 September. 1874, 1 May, 1975: Toronto Mail, 9, 10. 17, 20 April, 1 and 7 May, 1875.

79. The Toronto Mail, on 8 May, printed Miss Rye's letter and on the 13th, Doyle's. The Globe and London Advertiser printed both on the 14th. The Leader printed only Miss Rye's on the 10th.

80. This was Jenkins' intention. See his Report, pp. 119-20. in Report of the Minister of Agriculture for 1875, Canada. 1876.

81. The debate between Miss Rye and Doyle continued until 1877. See Copy of a letter addressed by Miss Rye . . . G. B. Parl. Papers, 1877, LXXI (392), 507. and The Replv of Mr. Doyle . . . ibid.,

82. In his Conclusion, pp. 824-27, 834, 838 to Literary History of Canada. Canadian literature in English. C. F. Klinck. general editor (Toronto, 1973).

83. Splane. p 262, and n. 199. See also Doyle's criticisms in The Reply of Mr. Doyle . . . (G. B. Parl. Papers, 1877, I XXXI (263). 489.

84. Johnson, pp. 282-90: Carrothers. pp. 279-82.

85. Carrothers. p. 281: M. K. Strong, Public Welfare Administration in Canada (Chicago. 1930), pp. 97-l00

86. Splane. pp. 273-77: Strong, pp. 198-202.

87. Splane, pp. 231-32, 225. Separate institutions were provided for deaf, dumb, blind, and mentally ill children while delinquents usually were sent to reformatories. XX.

88. Splane, pp. 222-30. 232-45, 56-64.

89. Splane, p. 214. where he cites Kelso's remark. See also pp. 268-71. Some concern for Canadian children was expressed before the 1877 Select Committee of the Canadian Commons. Report of Select Committee, Journals, 1877. vol. It, App. 6, p. 71.

Miss Rye's children and the Ontario press, 1875
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Miss Rye's children and the Ontario press, 1875

Booklet made of photocopied pages containing article "Miss Rye's children and the Ontario press, 1875", written by Wesley B. Turner in 1976 as one of the chapters of Ontario History, the Quarterly Journal of the Ontario Historical Society (Vol. LXVIII, no. 3., pp. 169-203.)