Colonization and New Zealand
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THE South Australian Company was formed in January, 1836, for the purpose of planting a new colony on the southern coast of New Holland. The latest authentic account of the progress of the colony then founded was dated in June, 1840, just three years and a half after the Company was formed. It is as follows:--
|Tonnage of ships arrived
The New Zealand Company despatched their first expedition to New Zealand in May, 1839; but the principal number of the emigrants composing the first settlement did not quit this country till September, and arrived at their destination early in 1840. At the close of 1841, the whole number of emigrants carried out by the Company was about 7,000, of whom nearly 600 were first-class cabin passengers,
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SWAN RIVER--REASONS WHY
which is equivalent to saying that they were respectable capitalists.
There is no instance in history of such large bodies of people being transplanted in so short a period to so great a distance from home, establishing themselves in the new country with so few difficulties and hardships, and proving so speedily prosperous, or to so great an extent, as in the case of these colonies.
The colony of Swan River was founded, about 1828, on the western coast of Australia. Many considerable capitalists went out: one gentleman, Mr. Peel, is said to have taken with him 50,000l. and about 300 labourers. At the end of six months, he had not so much as a single servant to make his bed or sweep his floor--he had not, I believe, a labourer in his employment. His capital, consequently, if not wasted, was useless. The whole colony was in the same condition; and at the present time the population is computed to amount to about 2,500 souls only.
Some reason there must be why such a difference should have existed in the success of colonies planted apparently under very similar circumstances. The true cause of the difference is this:--Swan River was founded without any regular system calculated to insure its success; South Australia and New Zealand, were founded on a system which, if rightly carried out, could scarcely by possibility fail.
The foundation of all wealth is the soil. The corn which grows upon it or the cattle which browse on its verdure, are commodities which mankind must have, and for which they will exchange any other of their possessions.
But soil uncultivated is of little more value than the barren rock. It may produce a few sour fruits or vegetables; but till the labour of man is expended upon it, it will never produce enough to afford more than the most scanty subsistence for those who inhabit it. If wealth be the object sought, the possession of soil is but one step towards its attainment; labour must be applied before wealth can be obtained.
Another truth is this, that labour, to be productive, must be combined. Place a thousand labourers on a million acres of land, allotting a thousand acres to each, and at the end of a given time they will scarcely exhibit
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IT FAILED AND OTHERS SUCCEEDED.
more signs of cultivation than before they were occupied. The same individual must build the hut, tend the flock, till the soil, manufacture his own clothes; and the result is, that in every department his labour is scantily productive--his hut is ill-built, his clothes in rags, the wolf devours his flocks, and his thousand acres barely display a mark of culture. But place the thousand men on ten thousand acres, and see the difference of the result: one hundred build houses, one hundred tend the flock, one hundred manufacture clothes, and the rest till the land. An abundant harvest is the result, enough for the consumption of all, and some to lay by or export.
On the other hand too close a combination of labour is equally disastrous with no combination at all. Confine the thousand labourers to one hundred acres, and there will be far more builders, far more shepherds, and far more agriculturists than the soil can support. This is, in fact, the condition of this country. We have labour enough, and every possible combination of it; but the limits within which it is combined are too narrow--all cannot be maintained by its produce.
Now, at Swan River, the want of combination of labour caused its failure. The land was distributed with so profuse a hand, that, at the end of six months, almost every labourer had become a landowner. They were all capitalists--there was no combination of labour; and the colony failed as a matter of course.
In the other colonies mentioned, a different system was followed. The land was sold at so high a price, that none but a considerable capitalist could purchase it; and a labourer who emigrated there was obliged to work for a very considerable time before he could hope to save enough to cease from manual employment and buy land. One evil might have resulted from this, that no labourers might have gone out. To remedy this, the founders of these colonies expended the larger part of the purchase-money of the land in carrying out labourers free of expense; and hence there has been in them a comparatively fair proportion of labour and capital from their commencement till now; and so long as that continues, success may be predicated of them. By and bye they will become independent of a supply of labour from home; the increase of their own population will insure it.
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This new system is commonly known by the name of the Wakefield system, having been brought before public attention by E. G. Wakefield, Esq. It is one of those discoveries which is so simple that its truth must be apparent to the meanest apprehension; but, like many other great discoveries, its value has been doubted merely because it is so simple, and because it is not enveloped in mystical forms. Had it been very difficult to comprehend, had it been discovered in Greek books, or deciphered from Egyptian hieroglyphics, hundreds would have acknowledged themselves converts to it who now doubt its efficacy: the vanity of their understandings would have been flattered by the idea that they comprehended what others could not; but it would seem that because the reasonableness of it is so obvious, scholars, politicians, and philosophers have, on that very account, doubted its truth. Immense results, however, have proved, and are proving the soundness of the principle.
To the Colony of New Zealand it is my own intention very shortly to proceed; and I propose, therefore, for the information of such of my friends or neighbours as may happen to hear of my departure, to give a short account of the present state and nature of that country, which in many parts of England is very little known. Indeed, in the most respectable circles a very large proportion of persons is to be found, who know little more of it then they may have read in Cook's voyages, which relate only to the last century.
The Islands of New Zealand lie within the degrees of 32 and 48 south lat. and 166 and 179 east long. They are commonly known by the names of the Northern, the Middle, and Stewart's islands. Recently they have received the appellations of New Munster, New Ulster and New Leinster. The natives call the northern island Eaheino-mauw-we, and the Middle, Tavaipoenammoo; for the Stewart's island they have no name.
These Islands were discovered by Tasman, the Dutch navigator, in 1642, just 200 years ago; but he neither landed on their shores, nor made any claim to them on behalf of the Dutch Government. In 1796 Captain Cook visited them, planted the British flag there, and claimed them on behalf of the British nation.
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SKETCH OF NEW ZEALAND.--MISSIONS.
From the period of Cook's visit, little intercourse seems to have taken place between this country and New Zealand till the year 1809, when occurred the massacre of the crew of the Boyd, consisting of nearly eighty persons, four of whom only survived. This tragical adventure is so well known as to render any repetition of its details unnecessary. The effect of it was to stamp the character of the natives as one of irreclaimable ferocity, and to deter all navigators from approaching those inhospitable coasts, where they could only expect to be plundered and killed, and could hope for no other grave than the ovens of their murderers. For several years the Rev. Mr. Marsden of Sydney was unable to persuade any captain to carry his vessel to the dreaded shores.
In the year 1814, however, and shortly afterwards, a body of English clergymen, catechists and assistants, sent out by the Church Missionary Society, settled on the eastern coast of the Northern island, and in 1822 were followed by a body of Wesleyan missionaries, who established themselves on the opposite coast. A wonderful amelioration of the native character has been the result; and probably, but for these missions, it would have been found impossible to plant a European colony in the islands. At the same time they made no direct attempt to introduce any colonization themselves, but on the contrary used every means in their power to prevent it. Their desire was to elevate the native character, and establish the aborigines as an independent civilized nation. But the scheme proved Utopian; it could only have been successful by excluding them from all European intercourse calculated to retard their progress. But, as in all other exclusive systems, the bad crept in while the good were kept out. Runaway convicts from New South Wales, sailors who had deserted from the whale ships, and other similar characters settled in great numbers in the islands; they lived without law or morality, in a state more degraded than that of the natives themselves (as renegades from civilization usually do), and produced far more evil than the missionaries did good. At last complaints were made to the home government, and a British resident (Mr. Busby) was sent out in 1835, with the view of establishing, if possible, some sort of authority among the European population.
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NEW ZEALAND ASSOCIATION.--COMPANY.
He was, however, armed with no sufficient powers, and those whom he went to control laughed at his inability to do it; their numbers and audacity increased, and bade fair to counteract every attempt to carry on the benevolent schemes of civilization adopted by the missionaries.
In the year 1837, a body of noblemen, members of parliament, private gentlemen, and influential merchants, formed themselves into an association for the purpose of colonizing New Zealand. A fundamental rule of their constitution was, that they were to have no pecuniary interest in the Colony, in order that the public might see that they were not merely seeking their own advantage. Negociations were entered into with Government, for the purpose of obtaining an act of parliament; but the scheme was met with little alacrity, and at last with decided opposition. One important change, however, arose out of the negociations; Government insisted that the association should become a joint stock company, pecuniarily interested in the undertaking. This they became, and are at present, their paid-up capital being, I believe, 200,000l.
It is unnecessary to trace the subsequent negociations of the Government and the Company. Suffice it to say, that Government have since recognized them as a public body, granted them a charter of incorporation, and ratified their title to the possessions they had acquired in the island. Government has done more; it has itself established a seat of colonial government at Auckland, in the northern island; appointed a governor, a chief-justice, an attorney-general, courts of law, and all the necessary apparatus for administering the government established. Besides the number of settlers who have gone out under the Company (mentioned in p. 1), many have accompanied the government staff, and others, in considerable numbers, have resorted there from this country, or from New Holland, on their own account. Three principal settlements have been established by the Company, --Wellington, New Plymouth and Nelson; and one by Government, called Auckland. Such is a brief history of the Colony to the present moment. I shall proceed to give some statements of its natural and improved condition, which are likely to interest intending settlers.
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CLIMATE OF NEW ZEALAND.
There is no point of more importance to an emigrant, -- none which ought more to influence his selection of a locality for his new home, than climate. Those who leave this country for India may hope to scramble for a fortune for a few years, and return to enjoy it with such remnants of health as the climate may have left them. But to establish a British race in that country, to rear up a people full of British enterprise and intelligence, would be a hopeless undertaking. The West India islands are little better. The melancholy fate of the Niger Expedition, and our colony of Sierra Leone, proclaim the unfitness of most parts of Africa to the European constitution. In Canada there is no material drawback in the climate, but five or six months of winter, which bury its northern division in snow for that period, must be a serious impediment to the employment of agricultural capital. The droughts of New Holland will deter many from seeking that country as their location.
The climate of New Zealand appears to be of all others the best adapted to the British constitution, and the least likely of any to interfere with the steady employments of the settler during every period of the year. "From May till September," (which is the winter season in that country,) says Mr. Jameson, "during which period I resided in the Thames district, the weather was fine and clear. In the morning thin pellicles of ice were occasionally to be seen, the sure indication of a warm forenoon, and the nights were uncommonly brilliant and starry. Indeed, in no part of the world, if I except Port Jackson, have I beheld more beautiful moonlight nights than in New Zealand, both in summer and winter." -- "The climate of New Zealand," says the Hon. Mr. Petre, "is as salubrious as it is favourable to production. It has been stated in many of the settlers' letters, that although exposed to wet for days together, they never experienced the slightest ill effects; indeed the superiority of the climate is a fact on which all the settlers agree. The temperature is singularly equable. At Port Nicholson, in winter, it seldom sank below 45°. On one or two mornings, before day-break, there was a thin film of ice on the shallow water in the pools, but it did not remain. Snow never fell at Wellington, though it can be seen on the high mountains in the neighbourhood. Some of the highest peaks, such as
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CLIMATE OF NEW ZEALAND.
Mount Egmont, are above the line of perpetual snow; but in the plains the snow seldom falls, and never remains. The summer heat is equally removed from the extreme. It is never oppressive; and, even were the temperature higher than it is, the constant breezes at Port Nicholson would obviate all inconvenience. Nothing, indeed, can be more delightful to the feelings than the climate. The only fault I ever heard attributed to it is the prevalence of high winds; but this has been exaggerated, owing, probably, to the number of settlers who, having lived in the inland counties of England, have no previous experience of sea-coast weather." Mr. Watkins, a surgeon who visited the country in the winter season, says, "The climate is very delightful. The vicissitudes are not to be compared with those of our climate. The frost was there at one time--a very gentle frost indeed. The ice was not entirely over a small pool of water. They told me they sometimes saw it the thickness of a shilling, but I did not see any of that thickness. I have slept frequently in the bush. The fern grows in great abundance; I found myself very comfortable and warm in a great coat and bed of fern."--Report of Lords' Committee, 1838, p. 13. The Rev. F. Wilkinson says: "It is a beautiful climate; it is never so hot as New South Wales, nor is it so cold; it is more moist: was there in the period corresponding to the English autumn."--Ibid. p. 97. Mr. Flatt, of the Church Missionary establishment, says: "It is a very healthy climate, superior to England."--Ibid. p. 33. Mr. Tawell, a surgeon, there in the spring, says: "A general prevalence of exceedingly fine weather."--Ibid. p. 108. Mr. Montefiore says: "I have visited the Brazils, the whole of Van Dieman's Land, and New South Wales, and been on the Continent, but I never saw a country that equalled it. In scenery, climate, and productiveness, it is a perfect paradise."--Ibid. p. 68. It should be observed, that this gentleman had settled in New South Wales on a government grant of five thousand acres, and that, though his language is so strong, yet the jealousy of New Zealand which exists in that colony, precludes the idea of his wilfully exaggerating. On the healthiness and advantages of the climate, Mr. Swainson's work, of which the title is given at the end of these pages, will afford abundant information.
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PRODUCTIVENESS OF NEW ZEALAND.
The point of next importance to the settler is the productiveness of the country; and in this respect, as might be anticipated from the climate, New Zealand is inferior to none. Wheat, maize, barley, potatoes, yams, melons, peaches, flourish abundantly. A crop of wheat and one of potatoes has been grown on the same plot within the year. The vine appears to thrive well: oranges and figs have been reared in the northern parts of the country. Tobacco grows there: green peas may be placed on the settler's table eleven months out of the twelve; "and with respect to turnips, carrots, cauliflowers, asparagus, onions, and the whole range of esculents and fruits, the settler who has not abundance and to spare, of all these articles, must either be very negligent, or have some more advantageous pursuits to occupy his time."
The staple production of the soil will, however, probably be the native flax, an article of great value, which has been manufactured into the strongest ropes and whale-lines, and into the finest French cambric. Its manufacture and preparation are yet in their infancy, but it is hoped by those who are best competent to judge, that it will be an article in demand in every manufacturing market, and make New Zealand the emporium of this branch of trade for the whole world. The best account of it is to be found in Mr. Petre's book.
Indigenous animals there are few or none, unless it be the dog. Swine were introduced, I think, by Captain Cook, and have multiplied to a great extent, so that pork is very cheap. Till the land is cleared it is deficient in pasturage; but cattle, sheep and goats thrive well notwithstanding, and as grass springs up wherever the native fern is burned or otherwise cleared, flocks and herds will probably become very numerous in time. That they are not now very scarce will appear by the list of prices appended hereto. Poultry are abundant and thrive well, when fed on maize. Wild pigeons and ducks are extremely numerous; owls, hawks, gulls, gannetts, penguins, terns, cormorants, woodpeckers, sparrows, wrens, parrots, paroquets and many other kind of birds are plentiful. "The ship," says Captain Cook, "lay at a distance of somewhat less than a mile from the shore, and in the morning we were awakened by the singing of the birds. The number was incredible, and they seemed to strain their throats in emulation of
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NATIVE FLAX.--NATURAL HISTORY.
each other. This wild melody was infinitely superior to any we had heard of the same kind; it seemed like small bells exquisitely tuned, and perhaps the distance and the water between was no slight advantage to the sound."
Fish is very abundant. The bream, the mackarel, the baracouta, salmon, rays, gurnards, mullets, soles, and several other sorts are to be caught in large quantities on the coast. Eels of great size and trout are in the rivers. Oysters are extremely plentiful and good, as are also large lobsters and crayfish.
The whale also approaches so near the land that an extensive fishery is carried on from the shore by boats, while larger vessels pursue the same employment at a greater distance at sea.
From poisonous reptiles, except a large spider and a centipede (neither of which Mr. Jameson, who was several months in the country, ever saw), New Zealand is entirely free. There are mosquitoes, and a sandfly, which are not however spoken of in any book I have read as being very annoying. There is also a maggot fly, which renders the use of wire-gauze meat covers indispensable in housekeeping.
The country abounds with timber of great variety and embracing many valuable kinds, available for every species of employment. Several saw-mills have been and are being established in the settlements.
A settler going from this country to a colony where the population is scattered at great distances, as is the case in the backwoods and bush of America and New Holland, will find an almost total absence of provision for his religious and educational wants. An occasional visit from a minister, sometimes of one denomination, sometimes of another, will be all the supply with which the religious wants of his family will meet; while their education will be committed to some simple schoolmaster, who boards about from house to house with the parents of his scholars. In New Zealand these wants are much better provided for. There have been, as already stated, two considerable bodies of missionaries in the islands for nearly 30 years past, who have gained the strongest ascendancy over the native mind. Their office however is chiefly directed towards the natives, and not towards settlers. But there has recently departed for the colony a bishop of the Church of England, the Right Rev. G. A. Selwyn, a gentleman of the highest
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RELIGIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL PROVISION.
reputation, who has taken out with him a considerable body of clergy. Large land endowments have been made by gift and purchase for the establishment of a regular church, and probably none of the settlers will find themselves beyond the reach of its services. There exists a powerful body styled the New Zealand Church Society, under which (with the aid of the Company) this has been effected, and which will continue to watch over the wants of the colony in that department. Besides this, the Company have devoted the sum of 15,000l. to the foundation of a college, so that the religious and educational wants of the Colony may be considered as most amply provided for; and certain it is that such provision was never yet made in any other infant colony.
Another point of great importance to settlers of a certain class, is the society to be met with. In the back-woods of the United States and Canada, or in the bush of Australia, neighbours are scarce; and anything like society suitable to those who have moved in the middle or upper ranks in this country is almost out of the question. In the convict colonies there exists a perpetual source of difference between the free emigrants and emancipists, and many persons have spoken of the necessity of employing convicts in their domestic establishments as quite revolting: others soften this down; but we know that a very large part of the population of those countries does consist of the off-scourings of our gaols and penitentiaries: and we may be allowed to suppose that such a fact must contribute, in some degree, to the discomfort of the settlers. In New Zealand these things are very different. The country is agricultural, not pastoral; the land has been disposed of in small contiguous lots; and the people have settled, and in all probability must continue to do so, in close communities. There are no convicts, unless it be a few runaways from Sidney, whom Government of course will take steps to remove, and who may be said to form no part of the colony. None are ever transported to it. Besides this, it happened that on the foundation of the colony so many respectable families went out, that the society at once assumed a superior tone. I have been informed by a gentleman of rank who has been there, that though the gaieties of fashionable life are not to be met with (fortunately for the settler), yet
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that a lady going hence would find as good society there as she quitted here. Among those who have gone out to settle, I find mentioned--the Hon. H. W. Petre, a son of Lord Petre; Mr. Molesworth, a brother of Sir Wm. Molesworth; Mr. Sinclair, a son of Sir Geo. Sinclair; Mr. Swainson, the eminent naturalist; Dr. Evans, a barrister of private fortune; and several more of equal respectability; and I have stated already that nearly 600, out of about 7,000 emigrants who have gone out to the Company's settlements, have been first-class cabin passengers.
The character which the natives had not undeservedly acquired for ferocity renders it necessary to say a few words respecting them. Long before the colony was attempted, the Missionaries had obtained such influence that they could walk between two war parties who had travelled many miles to fight, at the moment when their war-dance was ended and their muskets levelled for discharge, make them depart in peace, and refer the matter in dispute to arbitration. Many hundreds of them are now well educated, can read and write, and are regular attendants at the services and communion of the different churches and chapels. Many have daily prayers, morning and evening, in their families, to whom they read the Scriptures regularly, and evidence in their conduct all the marks which ought to distinguish the most sincere Christian; some have substantial farms and considerable numbers of cattle. They are an extremely intelligent race, very apt to learn, so much so, that many have been known to quit the service of settlers because they neglected to instruct them as others did. They are excellent carpenters, and have built many houses for the English in a very skilful manner. They show great inclination for commerce. More than one have regular accounts with the bank at Wellington. One is a livery-stable keeper, and lets out a horse for hire. Numbers are engaged in the whale-fishery, and are said to make very smart sailors, and to be much more respectable in their conduct than our own. One, a Mr. Baily, is chief mate of an English whaler, and would have been made captain had he not been a foreigner. They are all clothed either in decent native dresses or in European clothes. For many years past European travellers have traversed every part of the northern island without the slightest protection, and have
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received no injury at the hands of the natives. Mr. Jameson, when sleeping in the midst of them in the open air in the woods, declares he felt as secure as if he had been in Cheapside; and Mr. Bidwell, who was there before the Company's settlements were established, travelled into the most retired parts of the northern island, with no other companions than four native young men; and though he acted continually in opposition to the strongest prejudices and superstitions of the natives by whom he was from time to time surrounded, he was not in any way injured by them, nor had he any part of his property stolen, except, I think on one occasion, a few ounces of tobacco, though it was constantly within their power to have taken it, and murdered him if they had been so inclined. I trust the perusal of the recent works referred to at the end of these pages will entirely remove the prejudices of such as imagine, with the Rev. Sydney Smith, that a New Zealand dinner consists of "two hot courses and a cold man on the sideboard."
In order more rapidly and certainly to advance the civilization of the native race, reserves of land, equal to one-tenth of the whole, have been made by the Company for their benefit, which will be vested in trust for them in order to prevent improvident alienation. It is true that a similar system has failed in America, where the Indians have retained their wild condition or been trodden under foot by the advance of the white population. But there the reserves were made in large blocks, on which the Indians remained unbroken, with comparatively little intercourse between them and their civilized neighbours; and as it became desirable to occupy the reserved land, the government have dispossessed the natives of it and carried them back to the wilderness. In New Zealand the reserves are intermingled, lot for lot, with those of the settlers, so that the native proprietors will be brought into immediate contact with civilization, and probably eventually, by intermarriage with the lower classes of settlers, merge into a mixed race like that which has sprung from the union of the Moors and Spaniards.
Such is a brief statement of the principal points relating to the Colony of New Zealand. If I have said any thing which seems to reflect on other colonies, it has been said with no intention of disparaging them, but merely to prove
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REASONS FOR EMIGRATION.
the peculiar advantages of New Zealand. Whatever I have stated of them is fact. No man can deny that snow lies long in Canada, that convicts abound in Sydney, and that droughts are the principal source of alarm in New Holland. If I appear to write as the advocate of New Zealand, I frankly admit that I do so; but I hope there may be such a thing as an honest advocate. I have stated nothing which others of great respectability have not stated before me. I am not aware that I have omitted any material part of the picture. It were easy for any one, intending to remain here, to say to others, "Go and emigrate." What I say is, "Follow me."
There are many persons who are born into this world to consume its fruits, not to produce them. Some of these will say, "Why this rage for emigration?" I will tell them a few facts, which shall be my reply.
In the year 1840, in the town of Liverpool, there were thirty-eight thousand persons (that is, one-fifth of the whole of the working-classes), living in underground cellars, -- dark, damp, confined, ill-ventilated and dirty. About eighty-six thousand more in the same town lived in narrow courts, having egress and ingress only at one end, the filthy state of which is indescribable. Some idea of it may be formed from the expression of a poor hardy Irishman, who lived in a similar locality in London, and who described the odour of the atmosphere which he breathed, "as being like to lift the roof off his skull." The lower classes in Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, and other of our large towns, are in very much the same condition; and in the great ocean of wealth and profusion which exists in London there is a perpetual undercurrent of misery and degradation, which would astonish those "who walk in silk attire," and know nothing of the state of the labouring classes. A respectable physician describes the condition of the houses in Lamb's-fields, Bethnal-green, as resembling the wigwams of the vilest savages, --they cannot, says he, be worse. Four women and two men have been known to live by day and sleep by night in a room seven feet long by six feet broad; and in the Saffron-hill district, behind Holborn, it is not uncommon to find five or six families, a donkey, a pig, or a stock of stale fish, tenanting one small room. The inhabitants of these districts are frequently swept away in whole families by fever,
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STATE OF THE LOWER CLASSES IN THIS COUNTRY.
small-pox, and dysentery, just as savage tribes are. The physician before alluded to has seen as many as six persons ill of a fever all in one room, and four of them in one bed. Out of a population of seventy-seven thousand, fourteen thousand were attacked in a short time by fever, of whom about one thousand three hundred died. In one year, one-third of the pauper population of Bethnal-green, and nearly half of that of Whitechapel, were attacked with fever; and in the parish of St. George the Martyr, the proportion was 1276 out of 1467. Such facts as these are as little known to the generality of persons as the state and condition of Owhyhee. If they appear exaggerated to any one, let him refer to the Report of a Committee of the House of Commons on the Health of towns (1840), 1 where he will find upwards of two hundred folio pages full of facts, resting on the most respectable testimony, quite as startling as these, which have been simply extracted from that source. They seem to me to prove, that there is a very large body of persons in this country who are thrust to the very verge of civilization, and whose condition must be bettered, let them emigrate where they will:-- they are facts which are not of casual occurrence, but which exist pretty equally at all times and seasons; and there are many others, which prove that the lower classes are subjected to the greatest hardships, in their endeavours to procure a livelihood in this country. I will only mention one, which is a standing fact; namely, that so large a proportion of the female population is withdrawn from their natural household cares to the labours of the factory or the field, which ought by right to fall upon less feeble shoulders, and ungentler hands. It is a strong proof of the difficulty of procuring a livelihood, when the women are called in to partake in those labours by which the men ought to maintain them and their families.
Besides this state of things, which I have said is not casual, there are periods of extraordinary distress, when all classes feel the pressure of circumstances, and are barely able to maintain themselves in their usual position. Trade stagnates, the Gazette teems with bankruptcies, the labouring class is supported not by their own exertions but by charitable contributions from the rich, discontent and distress are heard and seen on every side.
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EXTRAORDINARY DISTRESS AT PRESENT.
In the month of January last, there were 13,080 persons, in the town of Paisley and the adjacent villages, either wholly out of employment, or so far so as to be dependent on the relief fund. At Stockport, in December last, out of 8,215 persons capable of working, 4,145 were unemployed. At Bradford, where 6,000 persons are usually supported by labour, none were fully employed, and only 1650 half-employed. At Bolton, where there are usually fifty mills, employing 8,124 persons, thirty of the mills and 5,061 of the persons were either wholly unemployed or only employed a few days in every week. In the same town, in 1836, there were 2,110 iron-founders, engineers, millwrights, and machine-makers; in December last, there were only 1,325. In 1836, there were 150 carpenters; in December last, there were 49. In 1836, there were 120 bricksetters; in December last, there were 16. Stonemasons were reduced in the same period from 150 to 100, tailors from 500 to 150, shoemakers from 80 to 40. Many of these classes had emigrated to America, others were tramping the country in search of occasional work. Even in the little town of Barnard-Castle, in the county of Durham, it was stated in one of the county papers (the Durham Chronicle) that there were upwards of one hundred families, in January last, living without employment, whom the charity of their neighbours could only provide with a shilling a-week per head. These facts are chiefly from the public prints. They may be exaggerated; but no man, be his experience as limited or his scepticism as unlimited as it may, can doubt that great extraordinary distress has of late existed and continues to exist among the lower classes in this country.
Neither are straitened circumstances confined to the lowest classes. In the middle ranks of life, what numbers do we not find who have been educated at a great expense for particular trades or professions, and are perfectly qualified to acquit themselves with credit in them, who are yet unable to obtain more than the scantiest employment for their talents. The best years of their life are spent in the hope that things will be better by and bye; and that when middle life is past, they may fall into ampler employment about that time when nature rather dictates a cessation from labour than its commencement.
Nor are the highest ranks all upon a bed of roses. Many
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EMIGRATION MAY RELIEVE IT.
a sinking heart is concealed beneath the gloss of fashionable life. Numerous families are obliged to seek cheap places of residence on the Continent, or to retire for purposes of retrenchment from the usual circle of their acquaintance here. I have been informed, that in one county of England half the landed estates are mortgaged, and I have reason to think the statement is not far from the truth.
Now these facts are my answer to those who say, "why this rage for emigration?"--It is not, however, pretended that emigration can afford an entire remedy for this state of things. If a million of persons were to emigrate to-day, their places would soon be supplied, and the same evils recur in a brief period: and if emigration were carried on in a steady continuous stream, it would be calculated upon and produce no effect on the progress of population.
But, though emigration cannot afford an absolute remedy, it may in seasons of pressure afford some relief. No man refuses to eat to-day because he knows that he will be hungry again to-morrow; or to repair his house because he does not thereby make it a new one. So it would be unreasonable to reject emigration, merely because it may be necessary to recur to it again, or because it only alleviates and does not cure the evils to which it is applied. But even if it were clear that emigration could do nothing towards improving the condition of those who remained behind, it might still prove very beneficial to the emigrant himself. He at least escapes from the straitened circumstances which oppressed him here; he finds an open sphere for the employment of his labour or capital, where industry, prudence, and perseverance are not baulked of their reward. If the colony prosper (and it cannot prosper without him) the labourer becomes in time a small farmer; the small farmer a landowner, and the great capitalist the lord of a territory. Nor do the advantages of emigration stop here. Generations to be born will feel its benefit. In this country a large family is a heavy burden to a man; it is as often mentioned in terms of condolence as of congratulation; but in a rising colony every child is a new right hand. While he remains under his paternal roof, he is useful in a hundred ways; and when he wishes to settle for himself, the means are not far to seek. How greatly must such circumstances add to happiness! and
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ARGUMENT FOR EMIGRATION.
how greatly must happiness be increased by living in the midst of a busy and thriving community, free from the complaints which here resound continually in our ears!
It is extraordinary, that when the two pictures are contrasted, so many should prefer living here in protracted indolence, or struggling with hopeless difficulties, to seeking a new home, where hope animates and success crowns every well-directed effort. In some parts of England it is true that a very strong interest is felt in emigration. In the town of Plymouth a branch of the New Zealand Company exists, and in December last a ball was given there for the purpose of raising funds to send out some emigrants, which was attended by upwards of 1000 persons of distinction, and was repeated a fortnight afterwards. But in other parts, the names of Adelaide, Melbourne, Wellington, or Auckland, capitals of thriving colonies are absolutely unknown to 99 persons in every hundred.
Even where the subject is more familiar, it is surprising to find so few persons willing to emigrate, and that too among those whose circumstances are such as to point to it as a very desirable step. It is true there are some who are so indolent or so timid that the idea of anything like an enterprise is enough to deter them. The prospect of getting ready to go, the perils of a sea voyage, the possibility of meeting a native, are sufficient obstacles in their way. For once they act wisely: here they are only miserable and useless; there they would be positively injurious. Others are prevented from going by the tenderness of relations, who would rather see their families unprosperous here, than only hear of their prosperity abroad. Others will not trust an emigrant with a portion of their capital; they say, "a man who has not succeeded here, will never succeed any where;" forgetting that new circumstances make new characters. Sometimes a man will say "I feel much pinched and should like to go where I could improve my own and my children's prospects; but I have always been looked upon as a man well to do in the world, --such a step would be as bad as a declaration of insolvency. What will my neighbours say?" No doubt "my neighbours" will say much, and probably much of what they do say, very little to the purpose. But why should a man care for what they say, when he
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ADVANTAGES OF PUBLIC COMPANIES.
feels he is acting wisely, and is about to leave them some 14,000 miles behind him? Others have heard of a friend or a neighbour who has gone out and returned in worse condition than he went. But are a few such instances as this (and few they are in comparison) to be balanced against the tens of thousands of successful instances which our colonies display. Is the exception to govern, or the rule?
The three principal settlements in New Zealand, namely, Wellington, New Plymouth, and Nelson, have been established by the Company. Governor Hobson has planted the seat of government at Auckland, where, however, it is said that not as many hundred settlers have repaired as thousands have repaired to the Company's settlements. It is possible, however, that prejudice or the want of self-reliance may induce some to think the government location more desirable for them than those established, by what is a word of terror in many persons' ears, a Joint-Stock Company. Others, however, will think otherwise. No government (if we except the American in the extension of their boundaries, and our own during the colonial administration of Lord John Russell) has ever shown any acquaintance with the principles of colonization, almost any desire to advance it, or any aptness to effect its details. When the New Zealand Association made their first application to Government, they were told by Lord Glenelg, "that we had colonies enough; they were a heavy expense and difficult to govern, and not worth the while." 2 At another period, when labour was in great demand at Sydney, and government had a sum of 200,000l. actually appropriated for the purpose of sending out emigrants, the reply made to earnest solicitations from the colony to do so, was, "that the pressure of business was so great that they had not time to attend to those applications, but that they would receive attention on some future occasion." 3 The mother who should tell her infant crying for food, to wait till another day would not display more unnatural cruelty. All experience is against the fitness of governments to carry out the first details of colonization. Their department is to enact and execute laws, to manage the finance, to superintend and bind
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ADVICE TO INTENDING EMIGRANTS.
together the fabric of society; but the tardiness of their movements, the lack of personal interest in the matter, "the pressure of other business," the perpetual changes of administration, disqualify them for an employment where only extreme promptitude, continual watchfulness, and a steady course of policy can insure success. On the other hand, such a company as the New Zealand Company is particularly qualified for the purpose. They have a heavy pecuniary interest in the success of the undertaking; their affairs are conducted with the promptitude and decision of men of practical habits; they have no "other business" to attend to; and they pursue a steady undeviating course of policy. Experience is as much in their favour as against governments. All they have done has been admirably done, and affords the fullest assurance that they will continue watchfully and diligently to foster the rising growth of their establishments.
I have already extended these remarks beyond the limits I intended, I fear beyond the limits of the reader's indulgence. They may perhaps fall into the hands of some who may be induced by them to give the subject their serious consideration with a view to their own emigration. To such I will take the liberty of giving one word of counsel. Let your first endeavour be to obtain all the information you can on the subject. Do this before you mention it to your friends. You will probably find many of them strongly opposed to your plans, and anxious to divert you from them. You will, by this means, be prepared to answer their objections. Inquire of them also what books they have read, or what personal information they have on the subject. If you find they have read no books and acquired no personal knowledge of it (as with many is the case), you will then feel that they are advising you on what they know nothing about, and you will not be shaken by their prejudices. When you have decided on the step, lose no time in carrying it into execution: you will only by delay waste energy, opportunity, and money, and gain no possible advantage. If you put yourself into communication with the proper parties, you will be able to make the necessary preparations for your departure in a very short period, unless your affairs be very intricate indeed.
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AUTHORITIES FOR INFORMATION.
In conclusion, I subjoin a list of the authorities to which I have myself referred, and which are within the reach of almost every reader or inquirer. I also add a list of market prices in New Zealand, extracted from the New Zealand Almanac for 1842, and the New Zealand Journal of 5th Feb. 1842.
LIST OF AUTHORITIES.
An Account of the Settlements of the New Zealand Company, from personal observation during a residence there. By the Hon. H. W. Petre. Smith, Elder & Co., 65, Cornhill. 1841. Price 3s.
New Zealand, South Australia, and New South Wales. A record of recent travels in these colonies, with especial reference to emigration and the advantageous employment of labour and capital. By R. G. Jameson, Esq., Surgeon, Superintendent of Emigrants to Australia, &c. Smith, Elder and Co. 1842. Price 8s.
Report of Select Committee of House of Lords on the state of the Islands of New Zealand. 1838. Hansard, Great Turnstile, Lincoln's Inn Fields. Price 4s.
Report of Select Committee of House of Commons on New Zealand. 1840. Hansard. Price 2s. 4d.
There is also another Report of 1841.
Observations on the Climate of New Zealand, principally with reference to its sanative character. By William Swainson, Esq. London: Smith, Elder and Co., Cornhill. Price 2s.
Colonial Gazette. Published at the Spectator Office, 9, Wellington-street, Strand. Price 6d.
New Zealand Journal. Published every other Saturday. 170, Fleet-street. Price 6d.
The New Zealand Company's House is in Broad-street-buildings, London. The secretary is J. Ward, Esq.; the under secretary, E. D. Bell, Esq. The officers of the Company are extremely ready to give every information required of them; and terms of the sale of land and free passages can be obtained of them.
Most publications relating to New Zealand, and the other South Sea colonies, may be procured of Messrs. Smith, Elder and Co., 65, Cornhill, London.
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PRICES CURRENT in NEW ZEALAND, extracted from the NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL of 5th February, and the NEW ZEALAND ALMANACK for 1842.
PRICES CURRENT in NEW ZEALAND
London: Printed by STEWART and MURRAY, Old Bailey.