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petent judges, that many of them exhibit in conversation, an extent of acquired knowledge, a soundness of judgment, and a refinement of feeling, which would qualify them to fill with credit, almost any station of life. Without supposing these cases to be very numerous, we are authorized to conclude, that such persons must exert a most salutary influence on the body of their associates; and we have been struck, in attending public worship at the churches in Lowell, with the highly respectable appearance of the hundreds upon hundreds of young persons, who are there assembled. We need not say, how immeasurably removed such a body of manufacturers are, from the ignorant, depraved, and drunken population of an English manufacturing village.

The second class of establishments to which we have alluded, are formed on a narrower scale, and with a more direct aim at immediate profit. To the first class belong such factories as those at Dover, Norwich, Nashua, Patterson, Waltham, Ware, etc.; to the last, a multitude of smaller ones scattered throughout our country, and belonging either to a single individual, or more commonly to a company with a capital of one or two hundred thousand dollars. These of course, differ greatly in their management, with the habits and feelings of the proprietors. In many of them the object being immediate profit, every other consideration is lost sight of by the overseer, in the desire of making yearly a large dividend. Young children are extensively employed in establishments of this kind, and in many cases we doubt not, the evils resulting from manufactures in England, are experienced to a limited extent in the neighborhood of such factories. Still we have reason to believe, that in numerous instances, smaller establishments of this kind, being under the control of men of sound moral and religious principles, are conducted with a wise and constant reference to the best interests of those employed. In other cases, we have reason to know, men who lay no claim to evangelical feelings, have been so thoroughly convinced of the advantages to be derived from the prevalence, not only of moral, but decidedly religious principles among their workmen, that they have adopted regulations on the subject, which might put to shame many professors of religion, who are proprietors or overseers of manufacturing establishments. As an instance we might mention a factory in New England, owned by two gentlemen, whose views of religion are widely different from our own, who have nevertheless erected a church and employed a clergyman of the congregational order, and established a system of regulations for their workmen, of which the following is a brief outline.

"No family shall be permitted to reside on this corporation, VOL. IV.


by whom spirituous liquors are used, or offered to others, except in case of sickness.

"No profane or impure language can ever be allowed, either in the factory buildings, or in private houses.

"Every family, in all its branches, shall regularly attend church twice on the sabbath, unless prevented by ill-health.

"The children of all the families employed, shall attend the sabbath school.

"The children employed in the factory shall be divided into four classes, each of which successively shall be withdrawn from labor, and placed at the village school, during three months of the year."

A printed statement of these regulations is handed to every person who applies for employment in the factory; and though some are deterred from remaining by the strictness of the rules, the proprietors, we are assured, have found no difficulty in obtaining the best of workmen on these conditions.

We are perfectly aware, that there is much to be set off against these statements, in the case of other and far different establishments. Still we are convinced, as the result of extensive inquiries on the subject, that our manufacturers as a body, are becoming satisfied by such examples, that "godliness has the promise of the life that now is," and we are sure that their influence and authority may be enlisted to a far greater extent on the side of sound morals among their workmen, if the religious public adopt wise and efficient means to secure so desirable an object.

With this summary view of the management of our manufactur ing establishments, we submit in regard to their influence, first, on the social character of the people, whether, taking the country at large, they can be at all unfavorable, and if this management continues whether they ever will be? Compared with manufacturing and mechanical pursuits abroad, do they not rather tend to the improvement of society among us? In reference to this point there are many circumstances in our favor, a few of which may be noti ced in detail.

One obvious circumstance is, that the time of work required in our manufactories, is shorter than it is in other countries-in England, for instance. From ten to twelve hours, we believe, is the extent here; whereas in the foreign workshops, two, and sometimes three hours are added to this amount. It has recently been stated in England, at a public meeting on the subject, that children in certain of their worsted factories, are obliged to work from twelve to fourteen hours a day, and sometimes even fifteen, affording no period for rest except at night, and but an half hour for meals. The comparative shortness of the term of labor in our es

tablishments, is a matter of no small importance, and will tend, by affording opportunities for needful relaxation, and intellectual improvement, to prevent the debilitating bodily and mental effects, that arise from prolonged and incessant toil. In confirmation of this, we have ascertained by extensive inquiries, that the health of our manufacturing villages, is equal to that of the country at large.

Next, the standard of conduct and attainments is higher, in the class of our citizens here spoken of, than it is in the manufacturing population of England. More in these respects is expected and required of our artisans, in consonance with the generally steady habits of the community, and with the share of information which is here extensively possessed. Our systems of public education do much for us, before we go to the labors of the loom, of the farm, or of the sea. To fall greatly short of the common standard, either in morals or learning, would be a certain method in many places, of throwing one out of regular employment. While the general standard of conduct and attainments, though not so high as it might be, is respectable and far superior to that known in foreign countries, the social character of the people can receive. no such detriment in the workshop of the mechanic, as would bring it into unfavorable comparison with society in other laborious employments. The same kindly influence, in this respect, would be felt in the crowded resorts of manufacturing industry, as is felt elsewhere, and perhaps to a greater extent.

Again, there is in our population generally, a strong disposition to rise above their station. The classes of people who rely, for their livelihood, on manual labor and personal exertions, are always aiming at a condition of independence. Efforts of this kind are peculiarly favored by the genius of our government, and by the common course of events. Wealth and a fair character, some one has remarked, constitute a title in America. Hence the eagerness which marks the pursuit of property in every class, and the acquisition of a good name also, though the latter with less universality. An American never consents to serve, but with a view to obtain the means of becoming a master, in his turn. In England, a servant, a day laborer, or a common journeyman, expects always to remain such. Expectations so different, must produce very different results on the character, and variously affect the social condition. That on the part of the American they must be favorable, no one can doubt. Such a result is realized as much in a manufacturer's shop, as it is in any other scene of labor. Connected with this fact, is the opportunity, always presented among us for change of situation. If a man does not succeed in one line of life or of exertion, another lies before him. A vast field of enterprise is spread out in so extensive a country; and such is the bearing of

our institutions that by means of talent, diligence, and virtue, the humblest lad in our manufactories-the poor son of a day laborer, may aspire to distinction, and even to the highest official station. To many a youth in obscurity, this incentive has been addressed with a force, that has elicited, if not created, talents and civic virtues of the first order-talents and virtues which have met their appropriate reward. Even the poor foreigner, if he evinces talents and worth, may here change his situation of service for a better place, and may build up his fortune himself. An instance of this kind was pointed out to us in an important factory, where a foreigner rose from the condition of a common laborer to the ownership of part of the establishment,-a change of condition which he probably would never have experienced at home. Under so favorable an influence in respect to our social character, have our manufactures grown up, and we believe they are destined to prolong that influence. In respect to the female portion of our manufacturing population, it is certain that they are not excluded from the advantage which has been mentioned, according to the sphere in which they are fitted to move. The opportunities of improving their situation by change, occur with the same frequency and certainty, as they do in the other classes of the sex, in other walks of industry. It has recently been ascertained, by a careful inquiry at some of the principal establishments in the country, that to the unmarried female residents among them, the prospects of a comfortable settlement for life, are quite as great as they are to those of this class in other situations.

We may add to all the above, that the force of public opinion is much in our favor on this point, because it generally is in favor of social order, and the charities of life. Were there even a disposition in the establishments spoken of, to encroach on this order, and these charities, it could not effect its object. Public opinion would put it down. That opinion, in a sense, is irresistible, and all must conform to it in reality or appearance, or be excluded from the benefit of its friendly and efficient support. While public sentiment has thus a propitious influence on the interests in question, setting them right where they might be inclined to go wrong, it receives aid and countenance from them in return; and through the exertions of master manufacturers, whose reputation with the public is at stake, and whose pecuniary advantage happily coincides with their responsibility, social life will even improve under the systemn. We venture to say, that it has so improved already.

The consideration of the influence of manufactures, on the inteltellectual character of the people, next demands our attention. We have necessarily anticipated a part of what might be said on this topic, since much that affects the intellectual character of the

people, results from their social condition. A few things, however, may be distinctly remarked in this place. The whole of our political and social system, aims at making a body of enlightened citizens, and this as a means of preserving a republican form of government. In this respect, we have a decided advantage over nations differently situated, as to all the great branches of business. General intelligence exists. The public mind is enlightened, at least, in a comparative sense, and inen enter upon their several pursuits with a proper understanding of the objects to be secured, and of the means of securing them. This intelligence runs through all the departments of exertion, and affects the manufacturing as well as every other profession. Each individual, even in this employment acts his part from choice, allured by his love of gain, or desire of respectability; and with an adequate discernment of the nature of his agency, aims at the production of the given result. This is not the case, at least, to such an extent, in foreign countries. On the part of many of their master manufacturers, it has seemed to be a settled opinion, that the less like intelligent beings-the inore like brutes or machines, the operatives could be made, the more profitable they would be as workmen. They were at all events to be kept down, and ignorant, and oppressed, they were never to be suffered to aspire after intelligence and self-control. Such a plan in this country would be as impracticable at present, as it would be eventually ruinous. With the sense which the people have of their rights and privileges, it would not be submitted to. They cannot, except by their own choice, become the victims of ignorance and oppression. Such a state of things might, indeed, be brought upon our country by degrees, and in the progress of national degeneracy; but in this event, the structure of our government would be changed, and our liberty and institutions would depart with the spirit of intelligence.

The foundation of this spirit lies in the simple circumstance, that all the people know how to read. We make the statement in this unqualified manner, because the exceptions to this fact, particularly in New England, are too few to be noticed. Here are embodied all the elements of knowledge by which the public mind is illuminated. The primer and the spelling book have made us a nation of readers. The basis is thus laid of that competency of understanding and learning which distinguishes the generality of the people. Our manufactories furnish no real exception to the fact of this general diffusion of knowledge among the community. In the majority of cases, the children taken into these establishments, have arrived at an age, in which they have acquired an ordinary school education. Where this is not the fact, they are sent to school during a part of the year, or are otherwise instructed in the neces

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