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industry. Without possessing these qualifications, no one need expect to mingle successfully in the bustle life; although it is possible to exist as a farmer, without being so highly gifted. It is a wrong estimate of themselves which so often gives rise to disappointment and failure on the part of British emigrants. There is nothing in the soil or climate of America which can impart wisdom to the fool, energy to the imbecile, activity to the slothful, or determination to the irresolute. Examination of character should therefore form part of every emigrant's preparation, as his fate will perhaps altogether depend on it. It is folly for the idle and imaginative beings who float in British society to seek an Elysium in the United States, from whence they will again be speedily wafted to their native country. It is the industrious, prudent, and frugal people alone that can calculate on success.”
The contrast between Upper Canada and the United States, ends greatly in favour of the latter.
“ It may be perfectly true the people, soil, and climate, were originally alike' on both sides of the Niagara, but the United States and Upper Canada cannot with propriety be contrasted by those spots alone. The inhabitants of the United States, generally speaking, may be said to have been born in the country, and consequently possessed of the peculiar feelings and qualities of a people suited to a young country. On the other hand, most of the inhabitants of Upper Canada are either the descendants of the Royalists, slothful and unenterprising from the neglect with which they have been treated, or emigrants from Britain, where many of them had acquired notions and habits ill adapted for settling a wood-covered surface. Upper Canada having also become a place of refuge for the outcasts of other countries, and many of the settlers being composed of the poorest of the Irish and Scotch Highlanders, two of the most indolent and unambitious portions of civilized society, there can be no question of the people of the United States being more industrious and energetic than the inhabitants of Upper Canada. The United States sooner became peopled than Upper Canada, and may, consequently, be said to be an older country. The climate of the States is generally also better than Upper Canada. If the view which I have taken of the source of riches be correct, the United States, being an older country, with a better climate, and a more industrious population than Upper Canada, should also be wealthier. It will accordingly be found that in all external appearances, such as villages, houses in the country, hotels, internal intercourse and trade, and the dress of the people, Upper Canada is about a century behind the United States."
“ In the United States the machinery of government is controlled by the people, who do every thing for the welfare of the country, and political power is invested in worth and talent alone. In Upper Canada government is swayed by an aristocracy, who have never lost sight of their own interest in legislating for the country. A higher and more uniform tone of independence and self-respect pervades the inhabitants in the United States than in Canada. The emigrant who delights in lording over his fellow-mortals, and measures his importance and wealth by the servility and wretchedness of others around him, ought to shun the States. The emigrant who seeks a fair and favourable field for his industry, and aspires to share, in common with his brethren, the just rank and privileges of man, ought to shun Upper Canada.”
“The position of Upper Canada, in its external relations, which has been stated elsewhere, must be considered unfavourable, and in the internal condition of the country there is much which is unsatisfactory. The province is an appendage to Britain, and seems to have aped many of the frailties of the mother country. The principle of government has been patronage; the rule of governing, enriching the few and despising the many. Hence abuses in extensive grants of land, pensions, superfluous offices, an aristocracy, and such an aristocracy! a rapacious church, and the neglect of education. The institutions of Britain are a century behind the intelligence of her inhabitants. Upper Canada is generations behind North America in legislation. I have aļready said the government of the province is in helpless
infancy, and add, it must pass through the slippery paths of youth before attaining strength. There is already discord amongst the inhabitants, who are assailing the oligarchy under a sturdy, though not comprehensive minded leader. The strife is likely to be tedious, and without bloodshed; the poverty of the country and character of the people being a sufficient guarantee against aggression or envy on the part of the United States, and the scattered condition of the settlers a protection against themselves."
« Every thing in the United States seems to me to be resting on a natural and sure foundation, with prospect of continued prosperity In Upper Canada, most things appear to be on an artificial footing, and must consequently experience change. The States present a wider and a better field for the exercise of industry than Upper Canada; and the British emigrant, who must live by his own exertions, makes a sacrifice of his immediate interests, and in all probability the interests of his posterity, by preferring Upper Canada to the United States as a place of settlement.”
The last chapters are entirely occupied with Illinois. Our author observes in his preface, that his statements regarding that territory should be received with caution, and we are of the same opinion.
“There is, perhaps, no country in the world where a farmer can commence operations with so small an outlay of money, and so soon obtain a return, as in Illinois. An ordinary farm labourer in Illinois gets the value of eighty acres of land yearly. In Britain, when due allowance is made for the board of the labourer, he does not get one-tenth of an acre of good land. When wages are compared with land, the farm labourer of Illinois is about eight hundred times better rewarded than in Britain. The land of Illinois to which the comparison of wages refers, is of fine quality, situated in the best climate of America, and is not greatly surpassed by any portion of the earth. The British labourer's reward of one-tenth of an acre, would yield a mere trifle annually; but the Illinois labourer's reward of eighty acres, might afford sustenance for himself and family for ever. Illinois may justly be called the poor man’s country,' if any part of the world deserves the title. The extraordinary reward which the labourer receives, and the bountifulness of nature, are favourable to the poor, and no person who has health and strength, and leads an industrious and virtuous life, can continue without the means of subsistence in Illinois. The future prospects of Illinois appear to be highly favourable. Referring to what has been stated regarding the progress of wealth, and the channels of trade, it will be found that almost all the elements of prosperity exist in the country. The soil, grasscovered surface, climate, internal facilities of commerce, cheapness and extent of land, and the systems of governing and educating the people, are not surpassed by any other portion of America, and inhabitants are alone wanting to complete its greatness. Illinois being about the size of England, might furnish a greater supply of food, from the general superiority of the soil, and seems to me to be nearly capable of sustaining the whole inhabitants of England, in addition to its present population, or nearly seventy times the inhabitants it now possesses. In whatever point of view Illinois is regarded, as adapted for herds and flocks, for wheat and Indian corn, for manufactures and commerce, or for the abode of population generally, it will be found to be one of the most favoured portions of North America, and with the exception of population, possessing all the elements of future prosperity and greatness. Time will supply inhabitans, the want of which at present, however, forms one of the many advantages of the country for agricultural emigration.”
It seems a mockery to compare Upper Canada with such Elysian fields:
“ The settler of Illinois places his house on the skirts of the forest or on the open field, as fancy may dictate. The prairie furnishes summer and winter-food for any number of cattle and sheep, and poultry and pigs shift for themselves until the crops ripen. With the preliminary of fencing, the plough enters the virgin soil, which in a few months afterwards yields a most abundant crop of Indian corn, and on its removal every agricultural operation may be executed with facility. The first crops
are excellent, and seldom suffer from atmospheric effects. Pastoral, arable, or mixed husbandry, may be at once adopted, and produce of all kinds obtained in the utmost profusion.
“ In Upper Canada the settler is immersed in the forest with roads that are passable for heavy carriages only when frozen. The Illinois settler enjoys a prospect of wood and plain, and the open prairie affords good roads at all times when the weather is dry. In Upper Canada no part of the surface is productive which has not been cleared. In Illinois the whole of a prairie farm is productive without being cultivated. In Upper Canada the forest settler cannot at first produce his own food, and lives for a time on flour and salt provisions. In Illinois the settler at once raises on his farm almost every thing he can consume. In Upper Canada the farmer is not fully repaid for his first operations until the end of six or seven years. In Illinois the farmer is repaid for his first operations in course of a few months. The farmer's reward in Upper Canada is many years distant, and in Illinois it is almost immediate. In short, the farmer in Upper Canada at first finds difficulty in growing a sufficiency of produce for his own use, and the Illinois farmer difficulty in consuming his produce.”
The younger brother of our author, doubtless determined in his course by these descriptions, emigrated, and fixed himself in Illinois. Mr. Shirreff, near the end of his book, has published an extract from one of the letters of this brother, the whole tone and spirit of which seem at variance with the glowing pictures that immediately precede it. A desire, on the part of our wary friend, to exhibit a pleasing instance of the attachment which a Scotchman always feels for his native land, was probably the reason why he has overlooked its adverse tendency.
“«I do not regret the step which I have taken in settling myself on the banks of the Mississippi, and shall be stimulated to active exertion by the thought, that every tree I cut down, every sod I turn, and every animal I rear, brings me nearer Scot. land. I have reason to believe these hopes will be realized. Allowing, however, that they will not—that a livelihood is the most I shall obtain, and that I am compelled to spend and end my days here—what of that? at the longest, life is not so very long, and when accompanied with virtue, it has attractions almost any where. But I still look to Scotland as containing all I truly love in this world, and shall never relinquish the hope of being able to end my days at home.""
Because we have freely noticed a few faults and exaggerations in Mr. Shirreff's book, we must not be thought disposed to withdraw any of the favourable expressions already applied to it. We sincerely wish that the work may be republished in this country. The Appendix, at least, should be every where read: it contains a mass of statistics and general information concerning the Western States, collected during the personal observation of a practical farmer, equally curious and important. The style of the book is simple and pleasing, and most of the views are remarkable for their sincerity. We know of no other traveller in this country, who has had the same opportunity to observe the morals and manners of the humbler classes of our community; and all his remarks about them are just and liberal.
ART. VIII.---WORKS OF FENIMORE COOPER.
1.- Romances, by J. FENIMORE COOPER. Precaution inclusive to
the Headsman. 26 vols. 12mo. 1820 to 1833. 2.—Notions of the Americans, picked up by a Travelling Bachelor.
2 vols. 12mo. 1828. 3.-Letter to General Lafayette, on the Expenditure of the United
States of America. 4.- A Letter to his Countrymen, by J. FENIMORE COOPER. 1 vol.
8vo. New York, 1834. pp. 116.
THERE never was a nation which held the safe old maxim of festina lente in such contempt as this American people. We are all engaged in a race, the like of which twelve millions of souls never ran before; up and down the Hudson, along the banks of the Delaware, across the wide waters of the woods, by the deep streams of the west-hurry scurry-neck and neck:
" Tramp! tramp! along the land they ride,
Splash! splash! along the sea!". It is the only steeple-chase of which the clearest vision can see no limit, and in which the headmost rider is as far from any apparent goal, as the laziest laggard of the field.
The new world has been to the students of the kindred sciences of government and economy, very like the black-board of a mathematical class. About sixty years ago, a clean wipe was made of the confused old diagrams and inconclusive calculations that had covered it over, and with a clear field under new masters, and by a new mode, we once more set about trying to solve the problem -the greatest happiness of the greatest number. It is generally thought that the class of '76 did its work well.
But philosophy places its hand on the curb-rein of enthusiasm. We will grant that the question is not entirely made out; that for the government part of the problem, the deranging element of time cannot yet be computed, and that the experience of a few half centuries is yet required to determine whether a dense population and universal suffrage, dear land and an absolute democracy, can co-exist. Still there are other matters that we have determined to our complete satisfaction, and upon which no inhabitant of the western hemisphere will ever go back to the eastern for any new light.
We have framed axioms out of the questions in economy most puzzling to the pedagogues of the last century, and taught them among other points that there is in perfect freedom, unlimited enterprise, absence of monopolies, and the individual character springing from all these, a national capital such as the Rothschilds and
franco a nato that with hatch other to hold life
, er zation
The IS CON and th teries ordina and the should polite more
Hottinguers never dream of, which finds no difficulty of investment even without the facility of a national debt, and which is daily working results to which even the Sankay canal and Chatmoss embankment afford no formidable rivalry.
But we have no mind just now to tickle the national egotism in the matter of accumulation of property. The increase of wealth with us is, after all, not so very extraordinary. When we extricated ourselves from the go-cart of colonial government, there were many kind souls, skilled no doubt in the rearing of infant nations, who thought we should toddle helplessly for a few years, until some able-bodied nurse might extend her arms for us to drop into. But there were even then better seers of the future of America. Mr. Burke, who perceived more clearly afar off than immediately before him, and whose vision across the Atlantic was unobscured by the bloody mists which dimmed his view of the nearer republic, commemorated at an early period " the victorious industry of a people as yet in the gristle;" he well foresaw what that people might effect, when they should be “hardened into the bone of manhood.” A due consideration of the character of the colonies, of the stock from which they sprung, of the stimulating character of the new government, and of the vast capabilities of the country, leaves not much reason to any Dominie Sampson of the young world to cry out “ Prodigious!” at the rapid settlement of the States, and their correspondent increase of wealth. There is far more cause of wonder and pride in the advance of mental culture and civilization in the United States than in our mere material progress; and however little favour the remark may find in the eyes of the engineer corps, we hold the former far more worthy of a special pæan. But there is, it seems, some difference of opinion as to the meaning of this term, civilization. M. Cousin says in one of his Reports, " that though England be covered with the mantle of a material civilization, France and Prussia have an indisputable right to be considered the two most civilized countries of Europe."* We may differ as to the test. With M. Cousin, the generous system of public instruction in the one country, and the freedom of the public institutions; the glories of the metropolis, and copious literature of the other-settle the question in their favour. But they of British blood will try the matter after a different mode. They think that good government is one of the surest tests of civilization—that the habeas corpus is one sign—the freedom of the press another--a liberal elective
*“Je regarde la France & la Prusse comme les deux pays les plus éclairés de l'Europe, les plus avancés dans les lettres & les sciences, les plus vraiment civilisées sans excepter L'Angleterre toute herissée de préjugés, d'institutions gothiques, de coutumes à demi barbares, sur lesquels est mal étendu le manteau d'une civilisation toute matérielle.” Rapport sur l'état de l'instruction publique, &c. 1re Partie, p. 109. Imprimerie Royale. Paris: 1832.