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would do in the old country for rent and taxes. Plenty to eat and nought to pay', is a tempting bill of fare; but a man may have this within the walls of a prison and yet sigh for liberty. And most men would rather have much to pay out of good profits, than nothing to pay, and next to nothing to pay with. The man who cannot secure an industrious livelihood in this country, or who has not the prospect of rearing his family in the same sphere of life as that in which he has moved, on account of the too strenuous competition of a dense population, acts wisely in going where there is more room; but then he should be one who can endure great hardships more patiently than great cares, since the probability is, that he will lessen his cares, but increase his hardships. In the homely language of the following sensible Letter, he must not expect more, in the first instance, than to make an escape from the fire to the frying-pan. We like the honest Yorkshireman all the better for not advising others to follow him, because so many have found themselves disappointed, although he seems to be one who can stand wind and weather, and take root in
• Paisley Block, Guelph. * MY DEAR Cousin,- It is with pleasure I sit myself down on the bare foor, as I have nothing else to sit upon, to write a few lines to
I shall not trouble you with a lengthened prologue or preface; I shall, therefore, as my paper is so small
, proceed to inform you of what I think you are most anxious to know, in as concise a manner as possible. I do not think it would be at all interesting were I to enumerate all our privations and hardships from the time we left England to our arrival here; I will therefore pass over that part of our history, and confine myself to what we at present are, and what we at present enjoy. When we got to Guelph we opened our eyes and gained information before we located; and the property that have purchased we considered to be of all that we had seen the most likely to suit us; we have 108 acres of good land, fifteen acres of which are cleared ; we have five acres of wheat, which is looking as well as can be wished, and which I believe will be ripe for the sickle about the middle of August: we have five acres of oats and nearly two acres of potatoes, the greater part of which we have planted ourselves; for this we have given £175 currency; £100 we paid to the man whom it belonged, which paid him reasonably for the clearance and crop, and an instalment that he had paid to the Canada Company on purchasing; we paid an instalment of £15, so that we have £60 to pay in five years, viz. £15 in two years, £15 in three years, £15 in four years, and £15 in five years. We have about eight acres of swamp We have a fine spring of water, which rises in and runs through our lot. We have bought two good cows with their calves ; the calves we are rearing, the cows yield us a most plentiful supply of
nilk, they give on an average eighteen quarts a day; we gave for them fifty-three dollars ; a dollar here is 5s. Od. currency, (or 4s. 6d. sterling); they live entirely in the woods, and cost us nothing keeping;
they come up to be milked morning and evening regularly, for which we reward them with a trifle of bran. We have a lot of fowls which my wife has had given her; we have also four dogs ; we are busy getting in some turnips for winter fodder ; we are about buying a yoke of oxen, they are about seventy dollars a yoke ; we intend having a couple of horses in the spring ; horses are on an average eighty dollars each, good ones. We are erecting a beautiful frame house, which will be the finest in this part of the country; we contracted with a carpenter to do the wood work for £85. The house will be built entirely of wood after the fashion of the country, but I do assure you they look much more neat and respectable than brick houses do. The length of it is thirty-two feet, the breadth twenty feet, five sash windows to the front and four to the back; a passage runs through the centre, with a door front and back, and the stairs go up in the passage; the roof will project over twelve inches, and the outside will be painted white; there will also be a chimney at each end. We lads have dug a cellar twenty by fourteen and six feet deep. I expect the house will be finished in a short time, or as brother Jonathan says,
right off.”. We have got all the stone ourselves, and done a variety of jobs that has saved us a great deal of money. I should have mentioned that we have sown our five acres of wheat with grass seeds. We live at the present in places called shanties, which are mere temporary cobblements put up in a rough manner, viz. boards piled up and a hole in the side to creep in at. Now in such a duck hull as this, myself and wife contrive to live; we have our bed on the floor, and whenever we have a fire we are nearly poisoned with smoke; when it rains, also, it comes into bed to us delightfully; but never mind that, I do not care a fig. My father and brothers live in a much better place; it consists of four poles driven into the earth and boarded at the sides, and is in every respect genteel compared to mine.
• It now remains for me to say something of the country, and how we like it, &c. Now this I apprehend is what you want to know most about; then, to tell you in one word, we are all perfectly satisfied; we have not hopped out of a frying-pan into a fire, but out of a fire into a frying-pan. I have found things as I expected I should do; and what I read at home concerning Canada has proved to be correct; in this I am not mistaken, it is a solid fact. My father's . property at home, which was doing us no good, has here purchased for us a maintenance for life, as well as put us in possession of independence and comfort. We have exchanged a life fraught with care and anxiety, a life of hubble bubble, toil, and never-ceasing trouble, for one in connexion with which there is no care, no anxiety, and no dismal forebodings as to the future, for to-morrow here taketh care for itself. My father says, he would never mind encountering the same privations over again to put us in possession of the same independence ; he feels more than satisfied; he says, moreover, that he never felt so rich in his life, and never knew what riches were until
We feel rich ; we are little kings, and do enjoy such health as we perhaps never did before. We can here work a day beneath the rays
of a burning sun; we can in turn be wet to the skin three times a day, and still enjoy it all. We live here as the patriarchs of old, on
plain and homely fare; whilst the lowing of the cattle, and other rural sounds, impress my mind with a conviction that these are such times as they experienced, and which I have impatiently and ardently longed and hoped for. We are here farmers to all intents and purposes; the land appears to me to bring forth its increase abundantly, and will continue to do so to the end of time.
We do not go about here soliciting orders, and bowing and endeavouring to please and serve this man or the other; no, no; the scene has changed altogether; we are all rich people here, and all independent; we feel here our importance as men, as rational beings endowed with the power of thinking and acting; we do as we like, for there is none to control us. We have here the wild woods in which to rove at will, together with the advantage of shooting what we like, as here is
game of all sorts, bears, wolves, foxes, pheasants, deer, partridges, and nobody knows what besides, and nobody cares ; I would not exchange the life that I lead with the best mechanic that ever breathed, or ever will do. Canada, as I have said before, is a land of peace and plenty, blest with everything that can render it delightful to an independent spirit; here is no poverty here, a beggar was never known. is Plenty to eat and nought to pay, this is the land we live in.”
In a short time, if Providence continue to bless us with health, we shall have herds of cattle of all kinds ; in another year, all being well, I hope to have my expectations fulfilled or realized, as by that time we shall have some outbuildings finished, together with barns, stables, &c. It is, as I said before, the best place for the industrious of all classes to come unto, for according to the extent of their labour will be the extent of their riches, and these riches will not merely consist of cleared farms, and flocks, and herds, but of money too, for here is a market for every commodity that the farmer can raise, and a good market too: potatoes are selling now at 2s. 6d. per bushel, wheat 5s. per bushel ; it is all humbug to suppose there is no money market, for if the farmer should not feel disposed to sell in Guelph, he can take his produce to Hamilton or Dundas, and get money for it there too, so that, whenever you hear any one speak contrary to this, contradict them, and do not let them to be led away with such folly. There is another thing I will just set you right in, and that is the tree-stumps; it is said that these require twenty or thirty years to destroy them ; now know from me that five years will destroy some of the largest stumps, and some will rot out in three years. Our clearance is not a year old, and a number of our stumps are already so far decayed that I have pulled them up myself. Out of the number of instances that I could bring forward of persons getting rich in this country I will only mention one, and that is our neighbour, a Yorkshireman; he came here three years ago; he then had but 2s. 6d., and an axe: well, he set to work mightily, and now he has 100 acres of land, a herd of cattle, fine crops, &c., and what he has done at his land is worth 3751., and he has cleared this last year 1007.; now this has been done in this short time--where now is there a man in England that can do or get one-fourth of this? We, in like manner, must get rich, for we save all our wages, our cattle will continually increase, and thus every thing will go on progressively and prosperously ; but as fine a country as this is, I would never advise any individual to come here, on account of so many coming and find themselves disappointed, and who never would be satisfied with any thing in nature. Now here is a man in Guelph employed by a gentleman who related to me the story, who, when in England, could only get 12s. per week, and this gentleman was giving him 10s. a day, yet the man grumbled ; the fact is, the country cannot suit all, and for the reason already given, I should never advise any person to come for fear they should feel disappointed. There is another little matter I wish to set you right in, and that is society here ; now I would not have you think that there are none here but pauper lunatics, for when we first reached Guelph we were agreeably surprised to see a number of gentlemen dressed in white trousers, flannel jackets, and straw hats, ploying at cricket on the green, and they were quite adept at the game; they meet to play every Saturday. And then again the people are all civil and well behaved, more so than ever I found them at home; even in the most remote townships you will find them quite polite and agreeable. A Scotch church is already built at Guelph, as well as a Catholic church, an English church is building ; and when things get put to rights we intend having a light waggon to take us to town, the Scotch, the Church of England, and the Methodists, all at present preach and worship in one place by turns.
I can now tell you how hot it has been since we have been here. Once my thermometer stood at 88, but the average heat is 82 to 81, and sometimes it will drop to 50 in the night, and sometimes to 40, yet it is all right and all comfortable, we feel nothing of these great changes. We intend making a dam on our stream for water-fowl, &c.; we go here without stockings, handkerchief, coat, and waistcoat, and this altogether through choiee, and we are just as comfortable with only trousers, shoes, and straw hats, as you with all your clothing on. I see now that I must be bringing matters to a conclusion ; you must tell Mr. D., that if ever he thinks of coming here, he had better do so as soon as possible, or else for ever be nothing more, and his children after him, than humble obedient slaves; my reason for saying so is, land is getting dearer every succeeding year, and in a few years there will be no purchasing land but at an enormous price ; if, therefore, he should ever think of coming, it would be well for him not to do so without first receiving from me a letter of instructions.
Your affectionate cousin,
(Signed) • John NEWTON.' P.S.—When a person comes to Canada, it requires great resolution in order to prevent himself from being heartbroken at the sight of such a number of big trees, which are all to be tumbled to the earth by his arm alone. I have seen a tree three yards in diameter. • To Mr. Joseph Mappin,
Far-Gate, Sheffield, Yorkshire.'
This plain, unvarnished account can deceive no one; and if all emigrants brought out the same spirit, they would hardly fail to do well. The Letters of settlers who dwell upon having to pay no taxes, no tithes, no rates, no rent, always awake the suspicion that they feel uncomfortable, and have recourse to these consolations to sustain their cheerfulness. Such is the impression produced by several of these Letters. The following extracts give a fair view of the rough and the smooth of a settler's life. The Writer is a Naval Officer settled in the London district.
• I am happy to say that I am already fairly installed as a farmer, for I have got my little crop of wheat and rye into the ground; I am owner of a capital waggon and team of oxen, and I have bought and sold both live and dead stock in a small way. I certainly have accomplished as much as I expected to do, and am very well satisfied with my labours, hard enough as they are from morning to night: how delightful, indeed, is my life of vigorous exertion now to the
drudgery and harassing cares I left behind me in England. This is not yet a country where much money is to be made except by those who can afford to speculate largely in land, and wait for some years for a large return upon the outlay; but then the finest land is so cheap yet, (though it is rapidly rising), and the necessaries of life are to be procured
so easily, that after the bustle and discomfort of getting settled are over, a man with a family, who has a little capital to begin with, feels a perfect load shaken off his mind and spirits, and he breathes in an atmosphere of ease and cheerfulness, to which, in England, he was an utter stranger : these, at least, have been my sensations, and I do not think I am of an over sanguine disposition. It is to be sure, not all sunshine here, for we have very considerable disadvantages to contend with, such as the want of good servants and the general scarcity of labourers; but these evils are decreasing yearly as emigration goes on, and really in this country a person is thrown so much upon his own ingenuity and resources, that he soon learns to be much less dependent upon the help of others than at home. On the score of respectable neighbours we are very fortunate, for I can count eight or ten naval or army officers, with their families within a few miles of us; we are to have a large importation, too, next year, for Admiral Vansittart is coming here with all his establishment, and will bring a clergyman with him, who is to have the new church which my
friend Captain Drew, R.N. is building, about a mile from where we live, which I look upon as a great comfort and blessing to us. of provisions we are much better off than I expected; we have excellent beef at 3d. and the finest venison at 2d. per lb. ; our bread, butter, and milk, are not as cheap in proportion; but next year I shall have my own dairy establishment, and send my own grain to the mill, which will remedy that. On the whole, I consider I have greatly bettered my circumstances by coming to this part of the world, and though I should hardly like the responsibility of advising others to follow my example, I give my candid opinion on my own case, and I should further say that if the advantages of Upper Canada were understood and appreciated in England as much as I value them, thousands instead of tens would come out here.' pp. 17-18.
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