ePub 版

are more curious than useful. Hence the natural geniuses that have arisen in America, 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 ; there being already existing nine colleges, or universities, viz. four in New-England, and one in each of the provinces of New-York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, all furnished with learned professors; besides a number of smaller academies , these educate many of their youth in the languages, and those sciences that qualify men for the professions of divinity, law, or physic, Strangers indeed are by no means excluded from exercising those professions; and the quick increase of inhabitants

every where gives them a chance of employ, wbich they have in common with the natives.Of civil offices or employments, there are few; no superfluous ones as in Europe ; and it is a rule established in some of the states, that no office should be so profitable as to make it desirable. The 36th article of the constitution of Pennsylvania runs expressly in these words : “ As every freeman, to preserve his independence, (if 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 anong the people. Wherefore, whenever an office, through increase of fees or otherwise, becomes so profitable as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to be lessened by the legislature.”

These ideas prevailing more or less in all 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 armies being disbanded. Much less is it ad-
yisable for a person to go thither, who has no other
quality to recommend him but his birth. In Europe,
it has indeed its value ; but it is a commodity that can-
not be carried to a worse market than to that of Amer-
ica, where people do not enquire concerning a stran.
ger, What is he? but What can he do? If he has any
useful art, 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 husbandman
is in honor there, and even the mechanic, because
their employments are useful. The people have a
saying, that God Almighty is himself a mechanic, the
gratest in the universe ; and he is respected and ad-
mired more for the variety, ingenuity, and utility of
his handyworks, than for the antiquity of his family. -
They are pleased with the observation of a negro, and
frequently mention it, that Boccarorra (meaning the
white man) make de black man workee, make de horse
workee, make de ox workee, make ebery ting workee ;
only de hog. He de hog, no workee ; he eat, he
drink, he walk about, he go to sleep when he please,
he libb like a gentleman. According to these opinions
of the Americans, one of them would think himself
more obliged to a genealogist, who could prove for
him that his ancestors and relations for ten generations
had been ploughmen, smiths, carpenters, turners,
weavers, tanners, or even shoemakers, and conse-
quently that they were useful members of society ;
than if he could only prove that they were gentleinen,
cloing nothing of value, but living idly on the labour of
others, mere feuges consumere nati,* and otherwise

Merely to eat up the corn.WATTS.

[ocr errors][merged small]

good for nothing, till by their death their.estates, like the carcase of the negro's gentleman-hog, come to be cut un.

With regard to encouragements for strangers from government, thiey are really only what are derived from god laws and liberty. Strangers are welcome because there is room enough for them all, and therefore the old inhabitants are pot jealous of them ; the laws protect them sufficiently, so that they have no need of the patronage of great men; and every one will enjoy securely the profits of his industry. But if hę does not bring a fortune with him, he must work and be industrious to live. One or two years residence give him ail the rights of a citizen; but the government does not at present, whatever it may have done in former times, hire people to become settlers, by paying their passages, giving land, negroes, utensils, stock, or any other kind of einolument whatsoever. In short, America is the land of labour, and by no means what the English call Lubberlaud, 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 would be advantageous ? And what are the advantages they may reasonably expect?

Land being cheap in that country, from the vast forests still void of inhabitants, and not likely to be inhabited in an age to come, insomuch that the property of an hundred acres of leruile soil full of wood may be obtained near the frontiers, in many places, for eight orten guineas, hearty young labouring men, who understand the husbandry of corn and cattle, which is nearly the same in that country as in Europe, 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 land and begin their plantation, in which they are assisted by the good will of their neighbours, and some credit. Multitudes of poor people from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Germany, have by this means in a few years become wealthy farmers, who in their own countries, where all tlie lands are fully occupied and the wages of labour low, could never have emerged from the mean 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 of subsistence in cultivating the earth, the increase of inhabitants by natural generation is very rapid in America, and becomes still more so by the accession of strangers ; hence there is a continual demand for more artisans of all the necessary and useful kinds, to supply those culuvators of the earth with houses, and with furnitures and utensils of the grosser sorts, which cannot so well be brought from Lurope. Tolerable good workmen in any of those mechanic arts, are sure to find employ, 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 journeymen ; 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 fortunes -and capitals, who having a number of children to provide for, are desirous of bringing them up to industry, and to secure estates for their posterity, have opportunities of doing it in America, which Europe does not afford. There they may be taught and practise profitabic mechanic arts, without incurring disgrace on that account; but on the contrary acquiring respect by such abilities. There small capitals laid out in lands, which daily become more valuable by the increase of people, afford a solid prospect of ample fortunes thereafter for those children. The writer of this has known several instances of large tracts or land, bought on what was then the frontier of Pennsylvania, for ten pounds perhundred acres, which, after twenty years, wiien the settlement had been extended far beyond them, sold readily, without any improvement made upon them, for three pounds per acre. The acre in America, is the same with the Englislı acre, or the acre of Normandy. Those who desire to understand the state of

government in America, would do well to read the constitutions of the several states, and the articles of confederation that bind the whole together for general purposes, under the direction of one assembly, called the Congress. These constitutions have been printed, by order of Congress, in America; two editions of them have also been printed in London ; and a good transslation of them in 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 all commodities and manufactures within their own dominions, so as to climinish or render useless their importations, have endeavoured to entice workmen from other countries, by high salaries, privileges, &c. Many persons pretending to be skilled in various great manufactures, imagining that America must be in, want of them, and that the Congress would probably be disposed to imitate the princes above mentioned, having proposed to go over, on condition of having their passages paid, land given, salaries appointed, exclusive privileges for terins 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 that if any such encouragement is given, it must be by the government of some particular state.

« 上一頁繼續 »