women in South Australia


Did You Know... that Catherine Helen Spence arrived in South Australia in 1839.

That Fidelia Hill, nee Munkhouse, who arrived on the Buffalo in 1836 was the first person to publish a book of poems in Australia.

That prostitution is seen as South Australia's oldest social problem. Brothels were concentrated around Light, Whitmore and Hindmarsh Squares. Governor Grey complained that the large numbers of females who were living a life of prostitution in the city of Adelaide, was out of all proportions to the respectable population. Child prostitution did occur and as late as 1882 a ten year old girl was convicted for this crime.

That in 1848 more than 220 Irish orphan girls were shipped to South Australia. During the trip almost half of them had their period for the first time. When they arrived the Adelaide newspaper warned that the colony would become a receptacle for thieves, juvenile bastards and prostitutes.

That Mrs Jameson, 25 years, was sold by her husband in 1847 for $3.50 at the Land of Promise Hotel on the Port Road.

That female property owners could vote in Council elections in 1861.

As late as 1870 some men were against women in the Pulpit. When this was proposed one very irate male wrote this to the local paper.
A WOMAN in the Pulpit! A woman in whiskers I could look upon; but a woman in the pulpit I could not listen to her. It would destroy all my pre-conceived notions of man's supremacy of the natural status accorded to him, and I should opt to think that the men who listened were more womanish than the preacher. How utterly repugnant to our English notions of the duties of women is a woman preacher. How degrading to the minds of men is the fact that they can not find sufficiant intellect among their own sex to supply the yearnings of their mind, without taking their daughters from their domestic duties of peace and love by their own firesides to fill the pulpit. What is the root of this evel? Novelty no doubt!!

That the age of consent was increased from 10 years to 12 years in 1876.

In 1879 William Pilcher had this interesting item put in the paper. 'NOTICE. My wife having left me without just cause, I caution anyone from harboring her'.

That South Australian women gained the right to vote in 1894 !!!


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