1845 - Scheme of the Colony of the Free Church at Otago - GENERAL OBSERVATIONS EXPLANATORY OF THE SCHEME, p 7-12

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  1845 - Scheme of the Colony of the Free Church at Otago - GENERAL OBSERVATIONS EXPLANATORY OF THE SCHEME, p 7-12
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I. --CAPITAL--to be raised by the Sale of the Land.

II. --LABOURERS in proportion to the Capital, to whom free passages will be given.

To the former of these the Association will confine their attention, in the first instance, inasmuch as it is out of the price received for the land that the expense of the free passages is to be defrayed.


It is proposed to sell four hundred lots or properties, consisting of sixty and a quarter acres each, viz., fifty acres of rural, ten acres of suburban, and a quarter of an acre of town land, which, at £2 an acre, will give upwards of £40,000.


I. It is a landed investment. 2. It is land guaranteed to be of the first quality in the country--picked land--selected by surveyors of established reputation and great experience, and intimately acquainted with the qualities of New Zealand land. 3. The locality of Otago, after a very extended survey, was carefully selected as the very best in an island containing forty-six millions of acres, and all but uninhabited. 4. The climate, to a British constitution, is the finest and healthiest in the world. 5. The soil is rich and productive to an extraordinary degree; and the country is entirely free from the droughts and hot winds so hurtful in New South Wales. 6. In the agricultural department, grain and green crops are grown of the very finest quality, and of all varieties; sheep and cattle thrive there in a very remarkable way--they improve in flesh and appearance from the moment they are landed from Sydney; and there is within and behind the Otago District a boundless extent of rich open pasture lands, which the experience of some years past at Nelson and Port Cooper, in the same island, has proved to be capable of growing wool of a finer quality, and longer in the pile, than Australia itself, where of late the tendency to hairiness in the quality of the wool is becoming more marked, particularly in the warmer latitudes. 7. In the fisheries, the minerals, the timber, cabinet-woods, dye-woods, flax, and other native products, there are sources of wealth of great variety and

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abundance. 8. These great and manifold advantages, taken in connection with the peculiar plan and character of the Colony, as embracing a provision for religious ordinances, schools, and a college in connection with the Free Church, must be admitted to establish for this undertaking a claim -- even apart from its bearing upon the great interests of Christianity -- of the highest promise, as a field of national enterprise, and a safe and good investment for capital.


1. The intending settler, as a farmer, a flock-owner, in the whale-fishing, white-fishing, ship-building, cooperage, a tanner, a brewer, wood merchant, flax manufacturer, or other branches.

2. Many, though not intending to emigrate themselves, yet, amidst the overwhelming difficulties of providing for a growing-up family, may find this an easy, safe, and eligible way of establishing in life a son, or a ward, or other connexion, and that in a fine country, and in the bosom of a peaceful and religious community.

3. Absentee Proprietors, who, besides the encouragement they may be desirous of affording this scheme for its own sake, may also find that it holds out most favourable prospects simply as an investment of capital. Land has been letting at Nelson at from 5s. to 10s. an acre. If it should be wished to sell again, a method of doing so to the advantage of all parties is pointed out under the following head.

N. B. --Let it be specially noticed, that no purchaser of land will be called on for money till such a number of properties shall have been disposed of as will insure the first party's being of sufficient dimensions to constitute a broad and satisfactory foundation for the future Colony.


An absentee proprietor, by purchasing land at Otago, may, without any sacrifice whatever, confer great benefits upon deserving families in whom he takes an interest.

1st, He may recommend them to the Association as proper persons to receive free passages to the Colony--his right to recommend extending to the value of £45 for each lot or property he may purchase.

2d, He may, if so disposed, sell to them his rural lands, taking payment by such instalments as their circumstances will admit of. By selling his rural land at cost price, £100 (exclusive of interest,

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&c.,) he will still retain his town and suburban land, which thus costs him only £20 10s., and which, from the moment the first party shall plant itself on the soil of Otago, will, according to the 21st clause of the Company's "Terms of purchase," thenceforth be rated at the minimum estimated value of £80. In this way would an absentee proprietor benefit so many working emigrants, not only without, the smallest sacrifice to himself, but with a clear gain, at the lowest, of £60 10s. on the purchase money of each separate property he may buy.

3d, He may even confer upon them the privilege of selecting their own land, by transferring to them his own right of priority of choice as to his rural lands (so soon as that right shall have been determined by the first ballot--See Company's Terms of Purchase, clauses, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20), and making his agreement with them before their embarkation from Scotland.

4th, A proprietor who has selected his rural lands in one contiguous block (See Company's Terms of Purchase, clause 18), and who wishes to let his land, may promote his object, and, at the same time, confer an enhanced value on the entire block, by selling say one-fourth or one-fifth of the block in small allotments to such deserving families. Any one wishing to become the tenant of the remaining three-fourths, or four-fifths, of the block would fully appreciate the inestimable advantage which the location of so many industrious families with their children on the lands would secure to him, in the all-important requisite of labour.

5th, The same system may be followed, with excellent effect, on a more extended scale, by several proprietors agreeing to take their rural lands in one large block; and for the purpose of acting in concert in the selection of the best class of emigrants for locating upon their block, and in whose favour they would recommend for free passages. So many Glasgow proprietors, for example, might unite in a Glasgow block; or so many Edinburgh, Dundee, or Aberdeen proprietors, in an Edinburgh, Dundee, or Aberdeen block; and, by a careful selection of labouring families from separate counties or districts in Scotland, to be located in their separate blocks; each member of each of such little communities would find himself, at the antipodes, in a home neighbourhood of old familiar faces, and early acquaintances, or even, it may be, to a considerable extent, of his own family connections. The effect might be, to stimulate powerfully, not only to vigorous enterprise and industrial emulation, but to social sympathy and mutual kindliness and encouragement--and this at a time, too, when such effects would be of the very greatest importance to the Colony, viz., during the privations, and hardships, and toil, which are inseparable from the struggle in breaking ground in a new Settlement.

It is important to remark that the perfect practicability of the

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foregoing system has been satisfactorily ascertained. Working emigrants, in the Cook's Strait Settlements, have, out of the savings of the first two or three years, freely bought small allotments of the land, of absentee proprietors, at prices considerably in advance of those above named, --viz., at £5 and £10 an acre; and a body of German labourers have been located at Nelson, by a German capitalist, who took them, bound, at the expiry of a term of years, to pay him £5 3s. 8d. an acre, for small allotments of his rural land. This price included the extra expense of their own passage.

N. B. In all the foregoing cases of sale, security would be held over the lands until the payments shall be completed.


As to the inducements to emigration, in general, and to the Colonies of New Zealand in particular, they may be shown both negatively and positively, as referring either to the difficulties and hardships suffered by large classes of our people at home, or to the greater facilities of acquiring the necessaries and conveniences of life, and to the higher rewards of labour and industry, in the Colonies. And when these inducements are taken together, they must appear very strong, we think, to great numbers of our working class, and small capitalists.

In verification of this, we would only ask the men of these classes who are of middle age, who have grown up, or growing-up, families; and who, for the last twenty years or more, have been fighting the battle to maintain their position, --to earn a decent livelihood for themselves and families--or, perhaps, with laudable ambition, as it is called, to raise themselves in the world, or secure a competency for old age, and the other accidents of life--we would ask these men to say whether the terrible struggle in which they themselves have, during that time been engaged, with all its harassing anxieties, corroding cares, and strong temptations, is one into which they would willingly plunge their inexperienced offspring? --if they have not found this struggle so deadening to their own moral sensibilities as well nigh to have blunted these altogether?-- so incessant in its calls on their time as to have left little or no leisure for higher and more serious things?--so absorbing in its demands on the whole active faculties and energies of their minds, as almost to have excluded all thought and action regarding an eternity to which they are fast approaching, and a reckoning with that God who has bestowed their rational and immortal natures upon them for far different purposes; and who has shown, by a wonderful scheme of grace and mercy, the value which He puts upon that nature and its destinies?--if they do not shudder at the thought of

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leaving such an inheritance to their children, and perhaps to their children's children after them?--if, in the words of the greatest Christian philosopher and philanthropist of the age, "when they are thinking anxiously about a line of life for their children, they never think of the line that leads to eternity?"--or if, in language more authoritative still, they never put the solemn question to themselves, "What is a man profited if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

And it will not do to answer to this, that it is their lot, and that of their families. It is not their lot if they can lawfully escape from it without running into as great or greater hardships than those they endure. They are to be guided in this by that reason which the Author of their being has given them, directed by the light of his Word--and a man is no more morally bound to remain in a situation beset with harassing difficulties, of a merely temporal kind, than he would be bound, if cast, by the Providence of God, on a savage and desert island, to remain there, after he could get away from it.

They must be careful, no doubt, first, that their present hardships are not of their own making, and then, that the prospects of the change are good, and rest on a solid foundation.

The above will give some idea of the inducements to emigrate from present privation.

The inducements to emigrate from a prospect of future advantage, are, first, the provision made in this Scheme, and that for the first time in any British enterprise of the kind (with one, or perhaps two, exceptions of an early date), for a Church and a stated Christian ministry, and for schools and teachers, from the very outset; and for the increase and continuance of these institutions as the Colony advances, which of themselves are sufficient to recommend this scheme above all of the same kind that have gone before it. There is also provision for a College, which, by the blessing of God, may in time be the means of diffusing still more widely over the settlements of New Zealand, ami others around, the inestimable privileges of a Christian ministry, and of a Christian education.

Next to moral and religious instruction and superintendence, and sound mental culture, comes health of body, the first of earthly blessings. The great salubrity of the climate, its comparative freedom from disease, and its perfect adaptation to British constitutions, will insure for the Colonists a higher average of health and longevity than they could, under almost any circumstances, enjoy in any part of their native country; but this will be more markedly the case where the change is from a life of severe toil to one of moderate labour -- from hard and long-continued work, whether of mind or of body, and that in an atmosphere altogether unfitted to support healthful and vigorous life, to that of salutary employment in the open air, in a delightful climate -- from the

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oppressive anxieties and difficulties, and the ruinous competition of both capital and labour, which must always prevail in a rich and over-peopled country, to one where there is abundant room and scope for all the men and all the money that may go to it for many years--and, in short, from all those causes which, at home, are crowding our lunatic asylums and hospitals with insanity and disease; are tripling the number of those hopeless organic affections of the heart that render life a burden, and generally bring it to a sudden and awful close; and that are raising the rate of mortality in some of our large manufacturing towns and districts, from l 1/2 or 1 3/4 per cent, (which are about the average rates in many rural parishes in Britain), up to 2 1/2, or even 3 per cent. --that is, almost double. 1

This is a sad view of what most men now-a-days are accustomed to call our wonderful improvements in the arts and sciences, and our great advances in manufacturing and commercial prosperity-- but even this gives no adequate idea of the destructive nature of some employments, in which large masses of our people are engaged, to human life; or still more so to vigorous health, and every thing that deserves the name of true enjoyment of life; and what is more melancholy still is, that all those causes are increasing, and are likely yet more and more to increase, in the intensity of their action, and to produce greatly more mischievous effects.

These are truths which are, as yet, properly appreciated by few, but which must gradually force themselves (and we hope are already beginning to do so) on the attention of all thoughtful and benevolent men.

1   No one who has attentively considered this subject will fail to perceive that even these high rates give no proper idea of the mortality of the native population of such towns and districts, as compared with rural communities; especially if the former be increasing rapidly in numbers (as is the case in all prosperous manufacturing places); for in these cases a large proportion of the increase will consist, not of the excess of births over deaths, but of immigrants, who will come in, very many of them, at ages when the rate of mortality is lowest--that is, from fifteen or twenty to forty--and these, by the end of each period of census, will be found, along with others of the same description, who have come in during former periods, to constitute a large proportion of the inhabitants of these towns--and these young and healthy persons being taken into the general enumeration, will, of course, greatly lower the rate of mortality of the whole population.

Again, the enumeration being, not of the actual deaths, but of the burials, excludes the cases of all those deaths (and in many places this is a great number), where the remains are not buried in the towns, but are taken to the place where rest the ashes of their ancestors and relatives, and are interred there.

And lastly, a considerable number of all ranks, in the decline of life, and when they have reached those ages when the rate of mortality again becomes high, retire from towns to the country, and there spend the few years that remain to them.

And it is to be observed that all these causes have a two-fold operation--they lessen the number of burials in towns relatively to the population, and they increase those of the country. It is not denied that opposite causes to those mentioned, will, to a certain degree, be operating and producing contrary effects, but only to a very limited extent; and we are fully convinced, both from observation, and from statistical facts well ascertained, that, were all these sources of error on both sides corrected, it would be found that the average duration of life in most large manufacturing towns is not more than half that of many rural districts.

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