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Creating the Aboriginal Pauper: Missionary Ideas in Early 19th Century Australia

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This article examines the relationship between nineteenth century English poor law discourse and missionary work in colonial Australia. The text analyses key sites of Christian missionary philanthropy in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria in the period 1813-1849. It looks at changes in the ethos of one benevolent institution set up for poor whites, the Benevolent Society of New South Wales. Activated by Christian paternalism at its foundation in 1813 the ethos of this institution became dominated by the language of moral reform by the 1830s. The article also examines the first institution established for Indigenous people, the Native Institution at Parramatta, NSW, founded in 1814. Its aims and character will be compared and contrasted with those of the Female and Male Orphan schools for white children. The text considers also how Christian philanthropic visions for the improvement of Indigenous people were affected by factors such as accelerating pastoral expansion, loss of Indigenous food sources and retaliatory violence. Cet article examine la relation entre le discours relatif aux lois sur les pauvres au 19e siècle en Angleterre et le travail missionnaire en Australie coloniale, en se penchant sur les sites clés de la philanthropie chrétienne dans le New South Wales et Victoria durant les années 1813 à 1849. Ainsi, le texte analyse les transformations de l'éthos d'une institution bénévole créée pour s'occuper des pauvres blancs, la Société Bénévole de New South Wales. Alors qu'il était un produit du paternalisme chrétien à sa fondation en 1813, l'ethos de l'institution fut marqué par le langage de la réforme morale vers les années 1830. Le regard se porte également sur la première institution pour les peuples indigènes, la Native Institution at Parramatta, fondée en 1814. Ses buts et son caractère sont comparés et contrastés avec ceux des orphelinats pour filles et garçons blancs. Le texte considère enfin comment les vues philanthropiques chrétiennes pour l'amélioration des peuples indigènes ont été affectées par des facteurs tels que l'expansion pastorale croissante, la perte de nourriture indigène et la violence de représailles.

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