Page images

few people so iniserable as the poor of Europe, there are also very few that in Europe would be called rich: it is rather a general happy mediocrity that prevails. There are few great proprietors of the soil, and few tenants; most people cultivate their own lands, or follow some handicraft or merchandise ; very few rich enough to live idly upon their rents or incomes, or to pay the high prices given in Europe for painting, statutes, architecture, and the other works of art that are more curious than useful Hence the natural genuises that have arisen in Ame. rica, with such talents, have uniformly quitted that country for Europe, where they can be more suitably rewarded. It is true that letters and mathematical knowledge are in esteem there, but they are at the same time more common than is apprehended; their being already existing nine co.jeges, or universities, viz. four in New England, and one in each of the provinces of New York, New Jersy, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia-all furnished with learned professors; besides a number of smaller acadamies: these cducate many of their youth in the languages, and those sciences that qualify men for the professions of divinily, law or physic. Strangers, indeed, are by no means excluded from exercising those professiuns; and the quick increase of inliabitants every where gives them a chance of employ, which they have in common with the natives. Of civil offices or em. ployments, there are few; no superious ones, as in Europe; and it is a rule established in some of tho States, that no office should be so profitable as to make it desirable. The 36th article of the constitu. tion of Pennsylvania runs expressly in these words: " As every freeman, to preserve his independence (ir he has not a sufficient estate,) ought to have some profession, calling, trade, or farm, whereby he may honestly subsist, there can be no necessity for, nor use in establishing, offices of profit; the usual effects of which are dependence and servility; unbecoming freemen, in the possessors and expectants ; faction, contention, corruption, and disorder arnong the peo ple. Wherefore, whenever an office, through in

[ocr errors]

crease of fees or otherwise, becomes so proftable ag to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to be lessened by the legislature.

These ideas prevailing inore or less in the United States, it cannot be worth any man's while, who has a means of living at home, to expatriate himself in hopes of obtaining a profitable civil office in America; and as to military offices, they are at an end with the war, the armics being disbanded. Much less is it advisable for a person to go thither, who has no other quality to recommend him than his birth. La Europe it has indeed its value; but it is a commodi. ty that cannot be carried to a worse market than to that of America, where people do not enquire concerning a stranger, What is he? but What can he do? If he has any useful ait, he is welcome; and if he exercises it, and behaves well he will be respected by all that know him : but a mere man of quality, who on that account wants to live upon the public by some office or salary, will be despised and disregarded. The husband:nan is in honour there and even the mechanic, because their employments are useful. The people have a saying, that God Almighty is himself a mechanic, the greatest in the universe; and he is respected and admired more for the variety, ingenuity, and utility of his handicraft works, than for the antiquity of his family. They are pleased with the ol'servation of a negro, and frequently mentiou it, that Boccarorra (meaning the white man) make de black man werkee, make de horse workee, make de ox workee, make ebery ting workee, orly de hog.; He, de hog, 110 workee; he eat, he drink, he walka about, he go to sleen when he please, he libb like a gen. tleman. According to these opinions of the Americans, one of them would think himself more ohliged to a genealogist, who could prove for him that his an. cestors and relations for ten generations had been plouglimen, siniths, carpenters, turners, weavers, tan. ners, or even shoe-makers, and consequently that they were useful members of society; than if he could only prove that they were gentlemen, doing nothing of value, but living idly on the labour o?

cut up:

others, mere fruges consumere nati,* and otherwise good for nothing, till by their death their estates, like the carcass of the negro's gentleman-hog, coine to be

With regard to the encouragements for strangers from government, they are really only what are de rived from good laws and liberty. Strangers are welcome, because there is room enough for them all, and therefore the old inhabitants are not jealous of them; the laws protect them sufficiently, so that they have no need of the patronage of great men; and every one wiil enjoy securely the profits of his industry. But if he does not bring a fortune with him he must work and be industrious to live. One or two years residence give him all the rights of a citizen; but the government does not at present, whatever it may have done in forner times, hire people to become settlers, by paying their passage, giving land, negroes, utensils, stock, or any other kind of emolument whatsoever. In short, America is the land of labur, and by no means what the English call Lub. berland, and the French Pays de Cocagne, where the streets are said to be paved with half-peck loaves, the houses tiled with pancakes, and where the fowls fly about ready roasted, crying, Come eat me!

Who then are the kind of persons to whom an emigration to America máy be advantageous? And what are the advantages they niay reasonably expect ?

Land being cheap in that country, from the vast forests still vuid of inhabitants, and rot likely to be occupied in an age to come, insomnuch that the property of an hundred acres of fertile soil, full of wood, may be obtained near the frontiers, in many places, for cight nr ten guineas, hearty young labouring men, who understand the husbandry of corn and cattle, which is nearly the same in that country as in Eu. rope, may easily establish themselves there. A little money, saved of the good wages they receive there while they work for others, enables them to buy the

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

iand ard begin their plantation, in which they aro assisted by the good will of their neighbours, and sume creait. Multitudes of poor people from Eng. land, Ireland, Scotiand, and Germany, have by this means in a few years became wealthy fariners, who in their own countries, where all the lands are fully occupied, and the wages oi labour low, could never have emerged froin the mcan condition wherein they were born.

From the salubrity of the air, the healthiness of the climate, the plenty of good provisions, and the encouragement to early marriages, by the certainty ol subsistence in cultivating the earth, the increase of inhabitants by natural grueration is very rapid in America, and becomes still more so by the accession of strangers: hence there is a continual demand for inore artisans of all the necessary and useful kinds, to supply those cultivators of the earth with houses, and with furniture and utensils of the grosser sorts, which cannot so well be brought from Europe. To lerabiy good workinen in any of those mechanic arts, are sure to find einploy, and to be well paid for their work, there being no restraints preventing strangers from exercising any art they understand, nor any permission necessary. If they are poor, they begin first as servants or journeyınen; and if they are sober, industrious, and frugal, they soon become masters, establish themselves in business, marry, raise families, and become respectable citizens.

Also persons of moderate families and capitals, who having a number of children to provide for, are desirous of bringing them up to industry, and to secure estates to their posterity, have opportunities of doing it in America, wbịch Europe does not afford. Chere they may be taught and practise profitable mechanic arts, without incurring disgrace on that account; but, on the contrary, acquiring respect to such abilities. There small capitals laid out in lands, which daily become more valuable by the in crease of people, afford a solid prospect of ample for tunes thereafter for those children. The writer a this bos known several instances of large tracts of land bought on what was then the frontiers of Pem


sylvania, for ten pounds per hundred acres, which, after twenty years, when the settlements had been extended far beyond them, sold readily, without any improvement made upon them, for three pounds per

The acre in America is the saine with the English acre, or the acre of Normandy.

Those who desire to understand the state of gó verument in Ainerica, would do well to read the con. s.itutions of the several States, and the articles of confederation which bind the whole together for ge. peral purpuses, under the direction of one Assembly, called the Congress. These constitutions have been printed, by order of Congress, in America; tivo editions of them have been printed in London; and a good translation of them into French, has lately been published at Paris.

Several of the princes of Europe having of late, from an opinion of advantage to arise by producing Ball commodities and manufactures within their own doininions, so as to diminish or render useless their inportations, have endeavoured to entice workmen froin other countries, by high salaries, privileges, &c. Many persons pretending to be skilled in various great manufactures, iniagining that America must be in want of them, and that the Congress would probably be disposed to i:nitate the princes abovementioned, have proposed to go over on condition of having their passage paid, lands given, salaries appointed, exclu. sive privileyes for terms of years, &c. Such persons, on reading the articles of confederation, will find that the Congress have no power committed to them, or money put into their hands, for such purposes; and

hat, if any such encouragement is given, it must be øy the government of some separate state. This, however, has rarely been done in America ; and when it has been done, it has rarely succeeded, so as to establish a manufacture, which the country was riot yet so ripe for as to encourage private persons to set it us; labour being generally too dear, difficult to se kept together, every

one desiring to be a master, and he cheapness of land inclining many to leave trades for agriculture. Some indeed have met with succesi,

« PreviousContinue »