Front Page Titles (by Subject) 146.: FEMALE EMIGRANTS EXAMINER, 26 FEB., 1832, P. 131 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIII - Newspaper Writings August 1831 - October 1834 Part II
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146.: FEMALE EMIGRANTS EXAMINER, 26 FEB., 1832, P. 131 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIII - Newspaper Writings August 1831 - October 1834 Part II 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIII - Newspaper Writings August 1831 - October 1834 Part II, ed. Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson, Introduction by Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986).
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This note (in square brackets) is appended to a letter in the “Political Examiner” headed “To the Editor of the Examiner,”1 in which reference is made to No. 139, where Mill had responded to the address of the Dundee operatives. Described in Mill’s bibliography as “A paragraph in answer to a letter from ‘the female operatives of [Todmorden]’ in the Examiner of 26th February 1832” (MacMinn, p. 19), the item is listed as “Paragraph on a letter from ‘the Female Operatives of Todmorden’ ” and enclosed in square brackets in the Somerville College set of the Examiner.
we are much flattered by the favourable opinion of our fair Lancashire friends. To meet the case of females having no legitimate claim on any male relative for support, the interdiction might be confined to married females, and those whose parents are alive and not in the receipt of parish relief. But in spite of our correspondent’s jocular remarks on female emigrants, we must observe, that young women who have no parents or other near relatives to support and protect them, are exactly the persons to whom emigration holds out the greatest advantages. Our correspondent need not fear that on her first landing in Australia or Canada, the alternative will be straightway offered her, to marry or starve. On the contrary, labour of all kinds is so scarce, and consequently so highly paid, that for as long a period as she may prefer a single life, she may depend upon earning, with very moderate exertions, an abundant and comfortable subsistence.
[1 ]“Todmorden, Feb. 2, 1832. / Sir,—Living, as we do, in the densely populated manufacturing districts of Lancashire, and most of us belonging to that class of females who earn their bread either directly or indirectly by manufactories, we have looked with no little anxiety for your opinion on the Factory Bill, because we consider that you have not only the real welfare of the working classes at heart, but we are so impressed with the idea of your profound knowledge in these matters, that to dispute the soundness of any opinion seriously put forth by the editor of the Examiner, is considered by us a great work of presumption. Your notice, this week, of the address of the Dundee Operatives, has supplied us with the knowledge we sought. You are for doing away with our services in manufactories altogether. So much the better, if you had pointed out any other more eligible and practical employment for the surplus female labour, that will want other channels for a subsistence. If our competition were withdrawn, and short hours substituted, we have no doubt but the effects would be as you have stated, not to lower wages, as the male branch of the family would be enabled to earn as much as the whole had done; but for the thousands of females who are employed in manufactories, who have no legitimate claim on any male relative for employment or support, and who have, through a variety of circumstances, been early thrown on their own resources for a livelihood, what is to become of them? In this neighbourhood, handloom has almost been totally superseded by power loom weaving, and no inconsiderable number of females, who must depend on their own exertions, or their parishes for support, have been forced of necessity into the manufactories, from their total inability to earn a livelihood at home. It is a lamentable fact, that in these parts of the country there is scarcely any other mode of employment for female industry (if we except servitude and dress-making.) Of the former of these, there is no chance of employment for one-twentieth of the candidates that would rush into the field, to say nothing of lowering the wages of our sisters of the same craft, and of the latter, galling as some of the hardships of manufactories are (of which the indelicacy of mixing indiscriminately with the men is not the least), yet there are few women who have been so employed that would change conditions with the ill-used genteel little slaves, who have to lose sleep and health in catering to the whims and frivolities of the butterflies of fashion. We see no way of escape from starvation, but to accept of the very tempting offers of the newspapers, held out as baits for us, fairly to ship ourselves off to Van-dieman’s Land, on the very delicate errand of husband-hunting, and having safely arrived at the ‘Land of Goshen,’ jump ashore, with a ‘who wants me?’ Now then, as we are a class of society who will be materially affected by any alteration of the present laws, we put it seriously to you, whether, as you have deprived us of our means of earning our bread, you are not bound to point out a more eligible and suitable employment for us? Waiting, with all humility, for your answer to our request, we have the honour to subscribe ourselves the constant readers of the Examiner, / The Female Operatives of Todmorden.”