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therefore badly conducted, even when he is at home to superintend them. And lastly, while living in the woods, both employer and employed live on the most expensive food. They scorn any thing but the fattest pork from the United States, and the finest Genessee flour. The more homely food, which their own farms produce, becomes distasteful to them; and thus expensive and sometimes immoral habits are introduced into their families, which cause more frequent demands upon the merchant, and a consequent yearly increase of the unpaid bills. In such a state of things, the foreclosing of mortgages, the sale of farms, and the emigration of ruined families, must necessarily be of frequent occurrence.'
Now, however, that the Mother Country has reverted to a sounder commercial policy, and by so doing has put an end to those evils, which the artificial stimulus given to the lumber trade by our protective system had entailed upon our American provinces, Mr. Johnston is sanguine in his expectations for their future, and speaks favourably, though soberly, of their suitability for emigrants of the right class. While much difference of opinion seems to exist both among old residents and new settlers on minor matters, upon two essential points all were unanimous: — first, that those who were comfortable and well-to do in the Mother Country had better stay there; and secondly, that emigrants of reasonable industry, prudence, and patience, who confined their attention to farming alone, never failed to get on. Land partially cleared is to be purchased at prices varying according to the quality of the soil and the collateral advantages of the location,—but alway for sums which sound very moderate to English ears. From 21. to 50s. an acre, seems to be the rate usually given for the fee-simple of farms partially cleared and cultivated, including farm buildings. In consequence, however, of the roaming disposition of many of the settlers, eligible farms are often to be purchased on far lower terms. Mr. Johnston mentions one case in which 200 acres, 60 of them cleared, and many cropped, four cows, two oxen, two heifers, fifteen sheep, twenty tons of hay, a house 30 feet by 20, and a barn 30 feet by 40, were offered for 1121. sterling. In England the hay alone would, in some years, have fetched nearly the whole sum. The climate appears to be wonderfully healthy, the crops to be decidedly good where the farming is at all decent, - the warmth of the summer fully compensating for the severity of the winter, - prices to be ample, and labour to be well remunerated, but not extravagant. To sum up the whole in two words, it appears to be a grateful, but not a spontaneous land. "Those persons,' (says Mr. Johnston, vol. i. p. 25.) ' are
greatly deceived who think that less labour, and less patience
Great Success of industrious Emigrants.
. and perseverance, are necessary to success in the New World, than in our part of the Old. The chief difference is, that there is room enough in the broad lands of America for the full em
ployment of all, and that the diligent man of moderate desires • is sure of a competency.' The same opinion is repeatedly expressed in various forms, and seems to have been shared by nearly every resident with whom our author conversed. The following case may serve as an instructive specimen.
With one of these settlers (near the Miramichi in New Brunswick), John McLean, I had an interesting conversation; and as his history may interest some of my readers also, as an example of the way in which steady industry overcomes difficulties and securez comparative prosperity in a new country, I shall state the leading facts I gathered from him. He came over in 1822. He has 250 acres in his farm, of which 150 are cleared ; but he has not force to keep all this land in crop. He works it with the aid of three of his sons, two daughters, and three horses — keeps eleven cows, eight or nine young cattle, and a few sheep. He bought the land in a wild state, cleared it all himself without labour, and has raised eleven children. He has four sons settled on farms, one of whom paid 1501. for his farm : two of them worked as carpenters till they had sared money to buy their farms. Neither he nor any of his sons ever lumbered ; not one in twenty makes anything by lumbering. Oatmeal porridge and milk twice a day, and oatmeal cakes, are the prevailing diet. Odds and ends, as he called sugar, tea, &c., are obtained by the sale of butter and cheese. Mr. McLean thinks a man would do well here who could come over with 501. in his pocket, and better with 1001. But he ought not to have too much, if he is to labour contentedly and prosper. He himself had only 51. when he settled, besides three carts and a year's provisions.' (Vol. i. p. 110.)
A country, where an industrious man, starting with only 51. after the purchase of 250 acres of wild land, can in twenty-seven years have not only fought his way to a comfortable position, but have maintained eleven children, and settled four as independent proprietors, equally well off with himself, must assuredly be one of great capabilities to those who know how to avail them
• The families in many of these North American provinces are very large. In Lower Canada, among the French population, they seem to surpass anything we know here. “My driver (vol. i. p. 346.) ' was one of fourteen children, and was himself the father of fourteen,
and assured me that from eight to sixteen was the usual number of the farmers' families. He even named one or two women who had • brought their husbands five and twenty, and threatened “le vingt6 " sixième pour le prêtre." I expressed my surprise at these large ' families. “ Oui, Monsieur,” said he, “vous avez raison : nous * “sommes terribles pour les enfans.”
selves of its advantages. Mr. Johnston gives many valuable statistical details concerning the wages of labour and the produce of the soil in New Brunswick, as compared both with the Old Country, and with other portions of the New; all of which tell strongly in its favour. Thus the produce per acre of different crops appears to be as follows (Vol. ii. p. 193.):
Produce per Acre in Bushels.
The comparison of prices in the years 1848-9, per imperial quarter, is equally favourable to the farmers of New Brunswick (Vol. ii. p. 196.): –
Price per Quarter in
In answering the question, “who are the parties that ought 'to emigrate to these colonies ?' Mr. Johnston says:
The climate is very healthy, but no person ought to go who is afraid of the severity of a cold winter. Then no one ought to go to any of these new countries who is tolerably comfortable at home, unless he has a large family to provide for, on whose behalf he is willing to encounter the discomforts which necessarily attend a change to pew scenes, circumstances, and habits. As to those who may come to this province, the poor man whose ambition is limited to the attainment of a comfortable independence, abundant food and clothing for his family, and provision for them after bis death he
may come. If he has only money enough to carry himself and his family there, he must and ought to be content to work for others for a year or two, till he save enough to go into the woods and select and clear a lot of land for himself. In thus serving he will also learn the ways and localities of the country; and if he be satisfied with reasonable wages*, he will have little difficulty in finding employment. But if he can convey his family to the woods at once, and has still 201. to 50l. over, to sustain them during the first year, industry and hard work will do the rest. If a man contrive to land with 1001, in his pocket, he should not linger in the towns to spend it, but should speedily select--if he has not already fixed upon the country in which he is to fix himself ;-and going among the older settlers, he will easily find in most places one willing to sell his land and clearing for a sum within the means he possesses. Thus he may at once place his family in a new home without delay, and avoid the hardships and discomforts which attend upon the first planter of a log-hut in the wilderness. Those who can bring 5001., 10001., or 20001. with them, will take more time to select, and will probably prefer to settle in an older and more fully cleared district. These parties will also find farms with wider clearings, and better houses and farm-buildings, which they can purchase for various sums suited to their means, in which, by working with their own hands and families, with a little hired labour, they will be able to live in independence, and may hope to place their children, if industrious, in independent circumstances also.' (Vol. ii. p. 200.) |
**The wages of labour for farm-servants employed by the year * (besides board, lodging, and generally washing) vary from an average of 161. 16s. to a maximum of 281. 16s.
† Another settler is mentioned who came out eighteen years ago to New Brunswick, purchased 275 acres of wilderness for 501. After paying this sum, he and his two brothers had only 601. to begin with; at the end of ten years the farm and stock were valued at 10001., and he bought his brother's out. He considers New Brunswick a good poor man's country, - an expression which briefly
includes all the main recommendations of North America generally 'to the inhabitants of Europe.' (Vol. i. p. 118.)
The men who are likely to manage a colonial life with most success are not the finished and skilled labourers whom the English system of division of labour bas brought to perfection in any single department, so much as those who can do a number of things tolerably well, — who can turn their hands to any thing, as the phrase is. One of the settlers observed to Mr. Johnston:-'A man must work . as hard here as at home, and longer hours. He must build his own house, make his own family's shoes, and do many other things. A useless man need not come here.' (Vol. ii. p. 172.)
The Nova Scotians have the reputation of being superlatively handy. A farmer will cut lumber on his farm, and convey it with * his own horses to the shores of the bay. With or without the aid of a carpenter he will lay down the lines of a ship. He will build
ent of their lands to live on the incouragement to m
Mr. Johnston does not hold out any encouragement to mere capitalists, whose object is to live on the interest of their money or the rent of their land. Land is here too much within the reach of every man to render it eligible as a mere investment.
While on the subject of emigration, Mr. Johnston mentions two circumstances, which are curious, and deserve much attention. One is, the apparent deterioration of the race of settlers. The sons of emigrants, born in the colonies, are said to be rarely as energetic or successful as their fathers. The British-born succeed better than the natives. They are steadier, more persevering, more industrious. The remark is made by the native residents themselves — Mr. Johnson heard it on several occasions, and admits that his own observation fully confirmed its truth. (Vol. i. pp. 119–125.) The cause yet remains to be discovered. Some imagine that the climate is unfavourable to the development of the hardier and more pertinacious qualities of the Anglo-Saxon race. Mr. Johnston's explanation is different. After stating how universally he had found the fact admitted, he proceeds:
"This opinion from the mouths of natives is certainly very proroking, since I can sincerely say, after a very long tour in the province, that a finer looking body of yeomanry is not to be seen in any part of the world. The first provincial-born generation shoots up tall and handsome men and women, pleasant to look upon. It may be that the more slender form is less inclined to steady labour, and that, with the bodily figure, the habits and tempers of the industrious settlers change also. Certainly, as a whole, the regularly-settled inhabitants did not appear to work so hard as the same classes do at home. From that fact, however, I did not feel myself justified in concluding, as some do, that the native-born are naturally or absolutely indolent, ---my conclusion was, rather, that a living was easier got in the provinces than in the home-islands, and that, therefore, they did not require to work so hard to obtain it as we do at home.' (See also vol. ii. p. 174.)
The author's observations respecting the Irish settlers are particularly valuable, though casually made; inasmuch as they show that he has hit upon the real explanation of the frequent
it himself, with the help of his sons; he will even do the smith's work with his own hands. He will mortgage his farm to buy the materials, and will rig it himself. He will then load it with firewood from his own farm, and himself sail the ship to Boston, and sell cargo or ship, or both; or he will take a freight to the West Indies, if he can get it, and return in due time to pay off his incumbrances, - or to sell his farm if he have been unsuccessful, and • begin the world anew.' (Vol. i. p. 31.)