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DO NOT EMIGRATE YET.
The writer of this Pamphlet having had extended opportunities of judging of the usual conduct of seamen on board of vessels conveying emigrants; and seeing that public attention is being now directed to the subject, by the efforts of Journalists; as also that the better protection of emigrants in general, and of female emigrants in particular, has--thanks to the prompt humanity of the Earl of Mount Cashel--already interested the Upper House of the Legislature; thinks it a duty to give publicity to what he certainly knows on this matter. He does not intend, however, to confine himself--in his remarks upon the present evil system and upon what he believes to be its remedy--to the indignities suffered by female-emigrants in ships, at the hands of the Captain, the mates, the crew, or the Doctor; but to point out also some of the disadvantages under which all emigrants labour on their seeking a settlement in the land of their adoption.
PROJECTED WHOLESALE DEPORTATION OF WOMEN.
In the leading article of the "Morning Post" of Friday the 15th of March, the following remarks occur:
"If the dreadful orgies carried on in the Barque "INDIAN" be merely a specimen of the scenes common to emigrant-ships in general, we put it to Mr. Sidney Herbert, whether the extensive scheme of female deportation he has in view be either useful or philanthropic?"
The writer of this Tract unhesitatingly declares that such flagitious conduct as occurred on board the Barque "IDIAN" is merely a specimen of scenes common to emigrant-ships in general; and he asseverates this statement on two grounds.
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Firstly, because he knows of instances of far greater injuries and deeper depravity, occurring under auspices promising more than ordinary security for the welfare of the female emigrants.
Secondly, because the information he has taken the pains to acquire, in various fields of colonization, coinciding with his own knowledge of what was of frequent occurrence in the case of emigrants who were landed in New Zealand, compels him to conclude that such "dreadfol orgies" are the general rule, and not the exception.
As regards the dissolute conduct of the officers, towards the female emigrants, the author is pleased, though surprised, at the virtuous indignation expressed by the writer in the "Morning Post;" for undoubtedly the chief cause of its prevalence is, that it has been regarded, not merely by the seamen, but by their superiors on land and at home, as neither an iniquity nor a reproach.
It is pleasant to be on the sea and in the society of sailors if they are honourable men, but many are far otherwise. Tyrannical, drunken, and in other respects sensual and depraved to a degree exceeding most other men, they exercise little self-restraint; and having been subject to despotism, become despots in return, and are unfit to be entrusted with the power which, during a voyage, they generally abuse. This portraiture is so unlike the popular reputation which sailors enjoy, that most persons may think it unjust. But the general estimate of the character of seamen before the mast, entertained and expressed by those who have attained power in the stations of captain or mates; their disregard of the feelings of the sailors as men; the violence and harshness exhibited towards them, and which they commonly justify on the plea of the degraded character of the sailors, who, they say, cannot bear kindness; are strong evidence of its truthfulness, of the brutality of the system, and of its degrading effects on their own character, as well as on that of the seamen.
In fairness to the latter, it must be admitted, that impurity of conduct in emigrant-vessels is also a reproach to the emigrants themselves, and furnishes strong ground to conclude that the reputation of our countrywomen for superior chastity is either a tradition of the past, or a mere fiction, the assertion of which is now libellous to the women of all other countries.
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Yet, in this respect, are such as fall, rather objects of pity than of blame, since the growing degradation and deterioration of the character of the people is the natural result of a defective social organization, induced by class-government in Church and State.
In applying our efforts for the prevention of the frequent recurrence of these evils, we should not overlook that great trial to an imperfect character; namely, the sudden transition from a life of over-exertion and inadequately requited toil, to one of complete inaction and leisure, such as is commonly considered to be inseparable from confinement on board a ship during a long and monotonous voyage. Yet some system of regular but moderate occupation for a given period, under such peculiar circumstances, might surely be devised, and would greatly facilitate the observance of morality and the maintenance of discipline, whilst it would not less conduce to the health and happiness of the emigrants, actually and prospectively.
Instances are but infrequent in which such a love of indolence and such desultory habits have been contracted, during a passage of from four to six months, by persons who previously did not appear to be deficient in earnestness and diligence, have proved fatal to their future success and usefulness in the new society and career which, perhaps, a meritorious spirit of enterprise at first prompted them to seek in remote lands.
There are other injuries to which emigrants are exposed, which, during the irksome confinement of a long passage, are no slight grievance. Their food and water are frequently bad in quality, and deficient in quantity; ventilation is neglected, and the apartments and the fittings-up are inadequate for their health, comfort, and decency.
The Government has, it is true, taken measures to prevent suffering in those respects. It has appointed well-paid Inspectors, and perhaps well-paid Commissioners; and these eulogize themselves. Yet as the sufferings of emigrants are, notwithstanding, not much less frequent, it may be presumed, either that their Protectors are inert, or that they sympathize too exclusively with interested ship-owners and interested provision-merchants.
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IMPORTANCE OF AVOIDING ON BOARD EMIGRANT-VESSELS, THE USE OF INTOXICATING DRINKS.
But that which proves most fatal to peace and comfort in emigrant vessels, is intemperance, and the practice of using intoxicating drinks, whether to excess or not. These are the bribes as well as the provocative to irregularities and immoralities, which are resorted to by the officers of the ship, or by others who can command the indulgence.
British emigrant-vessels, especially these carrying passengers on the pretended economical terms adopted and so puffed by a London Colonization Company, have proved to be floating drinking-houses, in which emigrants, to their great injury in purse and in character, have been injured by the captain, or others interested in obtaining an adequate remuneration by the sale of liquors and of extra provisions.
American vessels, especially from the Northern States, sail on the system of abstinence from all intoxicating drinks, and the superior comfort, health, and discipline which they maintain, are very striking. Connected with the actual state of the British mercantile navy as compared with the American, I have also remarked, in foreign countries, where each resort, that the officers of the former are rarely, whilst the officers of the latter are frequently, to be seen at places of public Divine Worship. Mr. Sidney Herbert and his friends might no doubt engage with captains--sailing vessels of their own, or of which they are in part owners--from the sea-ports of the State of Maine and of New England, who, accompanied and assisted by their wives, would rigidly preclude any improper intercourse between the crew and the female emigrants, and provide for the needful comforts and for the best welfare of all the passengers, as Christian men and officers should do.
In expressing so favourable an opinion of the American mercantile navy, in comparison with the British, the writer regards the members of each alike as fellow-men, and is glad anywhere to meet with examples of a higher humanity, or an improved civilization.
With regards to the morality on ship-board, it mainly depends on the character and conduct of the captain, whether the emigrants--the females especially--are properly cared for, protected, and go-
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verned. It is idle for a captain to seek to shelter himself by imputing the blame to that frequent and foul pest of an emigrant-ship, a drunken or drinking doctor. A good captain can govern and control a bad doctor, but the best doctor can exercise only a moral influence over a bad captain. Barbarous seamen will probably become speedily humanized whenever their reformation shall be seriously demanded by the determined good sense of the public. Within our time, and before railways interfered with their vocation, as great a change has been seen in the conduct and habits of another class, namely, the stage-coachmen, who for many generations had used a license for being professionally profane, brutal, and drunken.
Believing, therefore, that the sufferings of emigrants in ships, which is the present subject of public attention, can be prevented, the writer does not see, with the author of the article in the "Morning Post," that it is necessary that Mr. Sidney Herbert's project of female deportation should be abandoned, because such dreadful orgies as were carried on in the Barque "INDIAN" are of common occurrence in British emigrant-vessels.
But on the ground of the existence of other and greater dangers and evils which he will proceed to state, it does appear to him, that until these are remedied the execution of that project should be deferred.
THE SUFFERINGS OF EMIGRANTS IN COLONIES, A REASON FOR THE CESSATION OF EMIGRATION, SO LONG AS THE PRESENTT SYSTEM OF COLONIZATION, WHICH IS UNJUST TO THE PEOPLE, IS CONTINUED.
Sydney is, for its population, probably the greatest mart for female prostitution in the world, attributable, partly to the circumstance of its being frequented by a large number of seamen arriving there off long voyages, but chiefly to its being the resort of the numerous class of employers and labourers from the interior, who are for the most part unmarried. There, as here, the rich imagine themselves to be an aristocracy. The class called squatters, who own vast
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flocks and herds, consider themselves to be the gentry of the colony. The high price which the London land-jobbers induced the Government to set on land (about fifteen years ago) has been the origin of the act of squatting, and of the title of squatter.
The writer has acquired his information on this subject by travelling in New South Wales, Port Philip, and South Australia, in 1845. The owners of large flocks required a vast extent of land to depasture them; and because the minimum price of waste land was so high, they would not purchase it; consequently but few possessed freehold estates.
Liable to be dispossessed by any one disposed to purchase of the Government, the squatter incurs the least possible expense on his homestead; and, doubtless for the same reason, be avoids contracting marriage. Salt meat, without vegetables, heavy bread, inferior tea, dirty sugar, and very rank tobacco, a slab hut, pervious to wind and rain, are, the comforts of the squatter, (note. "Another curious thing is, I am so much accustomed to salt beef that I do not like fresh meat."
"I am thankful when I get a bit of salt meat or butter to eat: vegetables are unheard of; dry bread and tea are our staple.")
He usually employs one married man, whose wife cooks and washes for the master as for her husband and looks after their respective huts. Whether he employs ten, twenty, or more labourers, the others are unmarried men. Married men arriving direct from England, or those who re-emigrate from New Zealand, cannot readily obtain employment out of the towns; nor would any respectable labourer, if he were aware of the state of society in the interior, under the gentry and their labourers, take a wife, or a sister, or a daughter, amongst them. (note. "Wherever there is a woman in the bush, writes an emigrant, the unfortunate husband leads a dog's life looking after her.")
Usually each man, or two men, have the care of a flock by day and by night. The Sabbath brings them no rest. They, the labourers, have no habitations in which a wife could be decently maintained, and their masters would not consider them fit for the shepherd's life, if they required the most ordinary comforts of a British labourer's home.
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They receive wages which are paid half-yearly. The policy of the employer, then, is, that his labourers should be "cleaned out," that is, plundered of their wages as quickly as possible, in order for them to be the earlier compelled to resume work, and that it may be the sooner out of their power to buy land or stock on their own account. Some of the labourers go to the sea-ports, where, like their employers, they quickly spend their incomes in debauchery and in gambling; but most of them are plundered in a week or two at the public-houses kept in the bush, and provided, for the occasion, with dissolute women.
In such dens of iniquity, scattered over the vast country extending from Moreton Bay to South Australia, it is to be feared, will be hereafter disposed of a large portion of the women whose emigration is now induced by parties here, who are perhaps ignorant of the ills which await them on arrival at their destination, and who cannot then protect them.
Whilst the writer was travelling extensively in Australia, passing from one squatter's station to another, the chief topic of conversation at the house of each employer, was the misconduct of their men, and their inclination for frequent change of residence and of employer. If he (the writer) remarked that it would be easy to attach at least some of the best of the men to their service, by ordinary attention to their comforts and their improvement, as often was he informed that such a plan would be suicidal; that if the men became steady, prudent, and frugal, they would soon become rival stock-owners; and the suggestion not infrequently provoked ribald laughter.
These are the employers who desire the introduction of convict labourers; and thus may be explained the circumstance respecting which, in a recent debate in the House of Commons, Sir R. Inglis is reported to have asked, "Whether persons recently transported in two vessels had behaved so well, that their services were engaged before they landed, and in preference to the persons who arrived at the same time in free emigrant-ships."
It is a fact that there is there an unceasing demand for men as convict labourers, and for women as prostitutes, and that the governing class there (but a minority of the colonists) would prefer such to respectable
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emigrants. The writer has heard men, who affected to consider themselves as the elite of the gentry of New South Wales, boast of their former barbarities; that, when they had the advantage of a supply of convict labourers, they used to strap a fellow-man (if he were impudent or disobedient) to the stirrup-leather, and, mounting a horse, run him or drag him to a Police-station to have him flogged. Monsters such as these, whom the Government treat as gentlemen, do declare openly that they want convict slaves, and no other labourers.
These men and their oppressions have been well described, without the least exaggeration, in a most interesting little work entitled, "Settlers and Convicts" (note. Nos. 12 and 15 of Knight's Monthly Volume) a work which should he read by every one who has contributed to the funds raised for the removal of Englishwomen to a country where, through misgovemment, dishonour almost inevitably awaits them.
SUFFERINGS AND MURDER OF THE NATIVES, IN COUNTRIES COLONIZED BY THE BRITISH.
But labourers and emigrants, some of whose wrongs the writer has detailed, are not the only victims of class-government in the colonies as well as at home. The aboriginal inhabitants of Australia have been yet more cruelly injured. Their land has been taken without any compensation; their women become the prey of the unmarried colonists; and the native men, if they resent the injury, are soon shot down, or destroyed in numbers by poison. Flour largely mixed with arsenic is, for this purpose, baked into bread and given to them, or deposited in places where it is expected the natives may discover and appropriate it. The finest and bravest of their people fall first, leaving an inferior remnant, whose inferiority is no characteristic of the race, although it furnishes the oppressor with a bad but hackneyed pretext for neglecting their interests, and for the commission of further injuries.
That the practice of murdering the natives by poison is prevalent, has been shewn on many occasions. It was stated in the Legislative Council at Sydney in 1847; again in 1849; and, on each occasion,
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many instances were narrated, with particulars of localities and persons. Dr. Lang also, in a recent work on Australia and Cook's land (note. Lang's Cook's Land.) has furnished abundant evidence to the same effect. The writer of these pages knows but few instances of exertion on the part of the Authorities, to prevent, detect, or punish such atrocious crimes, or to protect the natives; who, as if in mockery, are, by the official Colonial Authorities here, declared to be British subjects, and as such entitled to all their privileges.
In the Portland-Bay District, and adjacent to the boundaries of Port Philip and South Australia, the natives have been murdered with impunity, and at a rate which threatens their entire and speedy extermination. There, they have been, for the most part, shot by the colonists. The writer was informed; by a squatter, that he believed there was not one squatter in this district, who might not have been again and again convicted of murder, had the Authorities not winked at its perpetration. The writer's informant did not except himself in this charge, neither did he justify the conduct of the colonists as necessary for self-defence, or on any other ground; but he spoke of the fact with compunction and sadness, apparently in the consciousness of its guilt, yet as a practice that had been going on from the first, that was still going on, and of which he was weary. Many of the neighbouring squatters had come there from Van Dieman's Land, where the native race had been already exterminated. He had come from Great Britain, and not having been, like his neighbours, raised in a den of crime, its frequent perpetration troubled him.
Yet in that district, as in Van Dieman's Land, there were plenty of well-paid Government functionaries, but they also sympathized only with the oppressors. Whilst the Under Secretary of State for the Colonial Department informs the House of Commons that the Aborigines everywhere enjoy the rights of British subjects, intelligence arrives from Sydney that the Colonial Legislature, doubtless in order to protect such criminals in the perpetration of murder, has refused to acknowledge the validity of the evidence, on oath, of those British subjects who are of the aboriginal race; yet evidence, save on oath, is inadmissible in the Courts of Judicature there.
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This destruction of native races by our colonists is as impolitic as it is wicked: a most wanton waste of human life in those very places in which human hands are most wanted.
Had the natives been treated with justice, they would have been most useful to the colonists. For instance, they should have been liberally paid by the Government, from the outset, for the destruction of wild dogs. The extirpation of the dogs would have rendered unnecessary the incessant guarding of the flocks, and the shepherds might then, as other men, have enjoyed weekly a day of rest. The natives would have become by degrees sufficiently constant in their services to have ably performed most of the duties bf shepherds. And had the emigrants of the labouring class been encouraged to become landholders, they and their families would have supplied to the owners of flocks and herds the extra aid required by them on particular.
The squatters should have been rated by the Government, to defray the expense of employing natives for the destruction of these dogs; and the rent paid for the runs (the land which the stock-owners depasture) should have been received by Government in trust for the benefit of the natives. Had the colonists pursued agriculture, each family occupying a small estate, the employment and civilization of the natives would have been less difficult than it is, now that the country has been monopolized by, and abandoned to, squatters, for the mere purpose of growing wool for exportation.
THE SAXON IDOL.
The prejudice of blood, and the destruction of native races, is the peculiar reproach of our modern civilization. The Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans, did not destroy the inhabitants of the lands which they invaded, whether they were, in the colour of their skin, black, or brown, or fair. And even before these extinct nations had their trial, whether they would or not serve God, in love to His creatures their fellow-men, the wisest of monarchs, Solomon, had shewn that he was above the prejudice of colour; for he extols the Church,
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the Redeemer's Bride, as in the person, not of a daughter of Jerusalem, but of a swarthy Egyptian.
The Spaniards, professing Christianity, destroyed, from fanaticism and on the plea of zeal for the service of God, the inhabitants of the lands which they invaded.
The Anglo-Saxons, professing Christianity, but incapable of any strong passion but selfishness, palliate the destruction of their fellow-creatures of other races, on the plea of their inutility and inferiority. The arrogant idea of the superiority of the Saxon race has become our Moloch, to feed which the other, if weaker, races of the human family are, by our omissions or by our acts, everywhere constantly sacrificed.
But the writer of these pages is not convinced that the Saxon animal man possesses higher capabilities of using and enjoying life than the Caffre, or the Australian, or the New Zealander. Those have distinctive peculiarities, but their character is alike hideous under the deforming power of sin; alike susceptible of being restored by Divine grace unto "newness of life."
It cannot be urged that no practical measures have been propounded for bettering the condition of the natives of Australia. A philanthropist at Melbourne, Port Philip, in 1845, in a pamphlet printed there, developed a plan which well deserved the notice and support of the local Government. A prominent feature in the plan was, the donation of a small flock or herd to each tribe of natives; each squatter was invited to make a gift of a few for this purpose; enough to feed and clothe them with the produce of the increase; each tribe to be assisted in the management of the same by a Missionary willing in some degree, and at first, to range and rough it with the natives. The annual slaughter, if equal to the greater part of the increase, would soon have more than compensated them for the loss of their game and hunting grounds. But the truth is, that the Government and the Local Authorities have ever been heartlessly indifferent to the welfare of the natives. Moreover, whilst the Protestant sects on the spot are neglecting to instruct natives so as to fit them for becoming religious teachers amongst their own kindred,
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the Church of Rome is, at this moment bringing up in Italy, Australian Aboriginal lads, and preparing, them for the office of Christian Missionaries, destined to preach the Gospel to their brethren in the bush. A bitter reproach this, to the nationally-endowed Church of England, whose peculiar province it was to have cared for the natives in Van Dieman's Land and Australia.
Yet are these natives equally intelligent and apt to learn as other races of men; but their oppressors and destroyers have added insult to injury, by disseminating the false notion of the intellectual inferiority of the Australians. The author well knew two Australians in New Zealand, who, as labourers, pursued agriculture and stock-keeping. Their employer preferred them to the natives of New Zealand, as being more easily directed. Two Australian lads now educating at Rome were, not more than two years ago, wild in the bush. One belonged to a cannibal tribe, and had himself eaten human flesh; but since the time that they were taken in hand by the Roman-Catholic Missionary, who found them in the bush--in which he had lived for five years, entirely with the natives--their progress in acquiring knowledge has been surprising, and they are found to be even apter at learning than most boys of their age. Yet they were taken by chance; not picked out because they exhibited, in their wild state, evidence of mental power superior to those of their tribe by whom they were surrounded.
As regards the New Zealanders, instead of destroying them or their institutions, if the latter were fairly examined (the system and the practice) the Anglo-Saxon might find much to commend, and even to imitate. Give a village of New Zealanders education, and the community would then present, in the paternal and very sufificient Government of its wise men, and women, and elders, almost the beau ideal of Government as longed for by some of our ardent social reformers.
But if it be true that the Anglo-Saxon is so vastly superior to these in intellect and in skill, he must be very inferior to all in heart and in manliness, otherwise the consciousness of his superiority, and of their inferiority and weakness, would, accordingly to the world's notion of honour and magnanimity, irrespective of the fact
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that he has "nothing but what he has received," have peculiarly commended them as objects for his protection and forbearance. We are apt to cast on Russians, Sclavnonians, Tartars, Croats, Celts, and others, the imputation of exceeding us in barbarism and a love of cruelty, whilst we are so blinded by self-love, that every fact to the contrary passes unheeded. The Sclavonian Badetsky makes himself illustrious by military skill. The Saxon Haynau makes himself terrible by cruelty. Is he not a Saxon who has inflicted such merciless revenge in the Ionian Isles? And in and off Borneo, are they not Saxons who have butchered hundreds of the Dyaks for head-money?
Wherever British power is felt, Christian conduct in legislation has had no place. To gain a footing, her first act is generally to deceive. To grasp more, then all, her second act is to destroy.
Thus it must ever be whilst men who make great pretensions to a religious life found those very pretensions on their studied neglect of legislative and political affairs; as, by this neglect of their highest duties to mankind, they place the power of governing, either in the hands of men who appear to regard Christian principles as impracticable, and the wisdom of God as foolishness; or delegate it to others who earnestly exercise all their faculties in his agency who was "a murderer from the beginning." Off the coasts of China and Borneo his and their work holds its fell course. Madagascar has been recently surveyed and reported on, with especial reference to the facilities of invading it; whilst, by the military colonization of New Zealand, a future war of races becomes inevitable.
THE REMEDY AND ITS APPLICATION.
For the cruel injuries to which the poor emigrants are subjected on arrival in the colonies, there is, the writer believes, a simple remedy, which, if it were not resisted here and in the colonies, by the interested selfishness of a class, might be easily applied, without prejudice to the rights of any. This remedy should precede any attempt to force emigration. Until a remedy be
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adopted, the author hopes that his countrymen of the labouring class will--if they emigrate--continue to emigrate in preference to America, where they can acquire land on easy terms, and where they may, and do, in the exercise of the privileges of self-government, rise out of that degradation to which, here and in Australia, they are condemned.
The remedy which he would propose is, that the Government should convey the people who wish to emigrate to Australia in the ships of the nation, leaving at home the guns and other munitions and equipments of war. That each emigrant, accompanied by a wife or a sister, should, on arrival, be entitled to select a section of surveyed land (say of the extent of fifty acres), and to occupy it, having a promissory title; the title to be made complete whenever the emigrant shall repay to the Government the expenses incurred on his behalf, probably, for a couple, £25. Each emigrant would thus acquire a little estate, at a price which would encourage his hopes and his exertions, say at 10s. per acre; or, if it were necessary, in some cases, to assist the emigrant by an advance of rations, say at 15s. per acre. It would be essential to success that the emigrants should have the choice of the best of the unsold lands; quality of soil, supply of water, and situation, all considered. The best districts of unsold land should be surveyed for such allotments. Many small tracts of land in the vicinity of lands already occupied should be simultaneously subdivided and offered, in order that the emigrants might be dispersed, for their advantage in procuring employment, and for the advantage of the other colonists requiring labourers at particular seasons of the year. Thus, when not working for other men for wages, the emigrant would be able to work on his own land for himself. To prevent such sections falling into the hands of the land-jobbers, possession should be given only on condition of occupation, and the land should be inalienable on account of debt; or, what might be better, there should be no legal remedy for debt in the colonies, which would protect the emigrant from being injured by the temptation of the present facilities of obtaining credit. Should the emigrant fail to
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complete the purchase of the section, he should be allowed to have it free for life, or for as long as he should continue to occupy it. After his decease, or departure, it might be sold, or offered to other emigrants on the original terms.
The writer believes it would be difficult to overstate the amount of misery and crime which would be prevented, or the amount of happiness and prosperity which would ensue, if the emigrants were thus enabled easily to acquire desirable freehold estates. It would not impose any burthen on the tax-payers at home. It might require the advance of £100,000 on the part of Government, which would in time be refunded by the emigrants themselves. But it is the interest, as well as duty, of the Parent State to accelerate to the utmost the prosperity of those who emigrate to the colonies, for their future demand for our manufactures and surplus population will be in the proportion of their prosperity.
Unhappily there are parties in London and in the colonies whose immediate interest is opposed to that of the emigrants. The writer alludes to the associated land-jobbers of London, to whom the Government has almost committed the work of colonization. From these parties emanates the ceaseless outcry about the want of labourers in the colonies. The assumed want of labourers is, to a great degree, a fiction: the concealed want of men who shall be compelled to rent or purchase land from the land-jobbers is a reality. In New Zealand, in the Northern Island, there is not and cannot be, employment for European labourers; because the natives of New Zealand are numerous, possess the best lands in point of fertility and of situation, are equally skilful and industrious, and, their wants being lower, no European can profitably compete with them, cultivating land with hired labour.
In support of these statements the reader is earnestly requested to peruse the notes appended to this Pamphlet which will serve to shew how greatly the capabilities of New Zealand, as a field for colonization, have been over-rated, and how limited is the extent of land readily or positively available for agricultural purposes. (Vide Note A at end)
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In Australia, again, as he has already stated, married labourers cannot readily obtain employment; and thus the married emigrants are almost compelled, by necessity, to become the tenants of the large landholders, absentee or resident. The usual terms have been to lease them land, according to quality and situation, at from 4s. to 10s. per acre rental, with, perhaps, a purchasing clause at from £4. to £10 per acre. If the emigrant tenant cannot surmount these hard terms, the landlord gets what he can out of him, and has eventually the advantage of his toil expended in reclaiming the waste land. It is to enrich in this way men who have, in associations or by grant; monopolized the land in large quantities, that such systematic exertions are made throughout Great Britain to incite the people to emigrate.
There is in the colonies a class of persons who will not work themselves and who cannot employ others. From every fresh set of emigrants these gain something, or hope to gain something. The greater the disappointment of the emigrants' expectations, the more is future emigration in danger of being retarded; consequently, the more confidently these interested persons repeat, through their organs at home, the former oft-falsified assertion of the want of labourers, which is now styled "a social disorganization!"
CORRESPONDENCE, POSTAGE FREE, THE MOST HONEST AND EFFECTIVE MEANS OF EXCITING THE PEOPLE TO EMIGRATE, IF IT BE FOR THEIR OWN ADVANTAGE TO DO SO.
In the House of Lords (Vide the report in the Journals of the 15th of March.) the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Earl Gray, reproaches the Earl of Mount Cashel for seeking the disclosure of the injuries suffered by emigrants in ships, and declares that the statement of such facts will be very prejudicial. But, he does not state to whom, or to whose interests, it will be prejudicial; and this brings the author to the assertion, that the interests of the people who emigrate have never yet been thought of by the statesmen, or the land-
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dealers who incite them to emigrate. A just man and a good cause need not fear any disclosure. If Earl Grey had replied, that to facilitate the particular inquiry, and to lessen as much as possible, now and in future, the distrust of the people, correspondence with the colonies should be conducted without charge for postage to the correspondents, he would have done himself honour, and the people more good, than he has yet done for them in public life.
Is it not the strongest presumptive evidence of the falsity of the representations of the present advantages to the people of emigration, so industriously disseminated by the land-lobbers, through the medium of the Liberal Press, that these parties have never demanded for the people a free or cheap postage between the mother-country and the colonies? Yet this would be a hundredfold more effective than the publication of letters from emigrants, or the present penny-a-line agency; if it were the object that the truth should be known.
The reply of Earl Grey to the Earl of Mount Cashel induces the writer to print this pamphlet, with the desire to inform the people, that not only is the correspondence of emigrants with their friends at home not facilitated by those who have an exclusive interest in the present system of colonization, but it has been greatly obstructed. He does not believe that one half of the letters written and posted by emigrants in any settlement in New Zealand, for the first three years after the founding of such settlement, have been received by their friends in England. It was the opinion of many of his brother-colonists, that the appropriation of the sixpence which had to be paid in the settlement on each single letter was the cause of their not being forwarded. If that conclusion is probable, it is a very strong ground for demanding free postage in future. But, in his own opinion, the majority of the letters would have been stopped had they not been pre-paid in the colony, for the same reason that the inquiry of the Earl of Mount Cashel would have been stopped; viz. in order to prevent the disclosure to the people of the truth, and of facts prejudicial to those who have victimized the emigrants.
But there are many letters received by the friends of emigrants, and not a few published by those who stay here and advise the peo-
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ple to emigrate. These letters have quite a family type; but, whether really written by the parties whose names are attached to them, or fabricated here, the object and end are the same. Only last autumn the author noticed one in a Provincial newspaper. These scribes chiefly luxuriate in the people's press. This particular letter was most eloquent and touching, and was addressed from New Zealand to the writer's "dear or honoured parents," somewhere in Scotland: whether the parents existed or not was no matter; the letter was well adapted for a purpose. It was to this effect: The honoured parents were informed that their dutiful son had attained to a state of comfort and affluence, and that it was only necessary to his perfect happiness that they should come and share his superfluity with him, and be maintained by him, resting from all labour for the remainder of their lives. He also invited them to bring with them any orphan or friendless child, which would be no burthen to him, only an additional pleasure. He mentioned the names of several of his countrymen, known to his parents, and living in the same settlement, who, possessing nothing on their arrival, had, in five or six years, amassed riches. He encourages his venerated parents to hope that they may get a free passage on a applying in the right quarter. But, alas! not a word appears about the remittance of any money to aid the accomplishment of his most affectionate desire, nor did it appear that any of the other rich Scots had done any thing in the way of remittance to their poor relatives. This beautiful letter was in the name of a man whose career in the settlement the author of this pamphlet had known for years. He was there imprisoned for debt, and probably would have been very rarely long out of prison, only that in a new settlement a man is very much grudged a maintenance at the public expense.
When the author read this letter he felt disgusted at the use which was thus made of it; and having then very recently received an interesting communication from a most intelligent correspondent in the same settlement, full of statistical matter, and valuable as a criterion of the actual state of the settlement, he wrote a short letter to a gentleman connected with the paper in question, telling him what he knew of the character of their other correspondent, and offering him
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for publication extracts from the letter of his own correspondent. This communication remains to the present day unnoticed. On his return to England in 1847, in disgust at the statements propagated weekly as advice to intending emigrants, or as intelligence from the colonies, he was frequently induced to offer for insertion, his opinions backed by the statements of other well-informed persons, but always with the same result: no notice was taken of the particulars which be communicated.
REMITTANCES OF MONEY THE BEST GUIDE TO INTENDING EMIGRANTS.
But as on this question people may err in judgment, as well as in intention, the best way is to attach little importance to any man's opinion. There is one safe criterion by which those, whom poverty at home may compel to emigrate, can judge where they may do well; namely, the receipt of money from emigrants by their relatives at home. Go forth thither, where the money comes from, whether it be from the United States; the Canadas, the Cape, Australia, or New Zealand. Only take care that you know the parties who have received the remitted money; because it would be quite easy for the polite letter-writer in the service of the land-jobbers to fabricate dutiful letters, announcing remittances; and then the men of Birmingham and Manchester would be informed, in a Birmingham or Manchester paper, that persons in Glasgow were receiving remittances from their relatives in Australia or New Zealand; and the men of Glasgow would be informed, in the Glasgow newspaper, that the same felicity had been the good fortune of persons in Birmingham and Manchester; and the dupes at either would not have an opportunity of personal inquiry.
"Of 541 remittances of money from California, made during the last three mouths through the Banking House of Willis and Co., of Boston, United States, 207 were in favour of women who have husbands, sons, or brothers in that country."
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The above is not adduced in proof of the advantage of emigrating to California (which maybe very temporary), but only to show the morality of American colonists in the use they make of their gains.
Again, another example, and this at home, now occurring, according to the latest intelligence from Limerick:--
'"Emigration is again amazingly on the incrcase. The banks in Limerick are hourly paying out money upon the orders remitted to the friends of those people in America who emigrated the last and preceding years. There are nine vessels at the quays rcceiving passengers."
The number of emigrants now embarking at Liverpool for America is also very great. We are fast losing annually the most energetic of our population. If the tide of emigration flowed to Australia, the loss to us in national power might be comparatively small. But whilst America receives it, each year her population is becoming superior to ours, or to any of the other oppressed populations of Europe. Within ten years from the present-time our oligarchy will feel the result in diminished productive powers, and in increased and irremediable poverty, crime, and impotence. To expect remittances of money from the poor emigrants who have been landed in New Zealand would be unreasonable: it is well for them if they can ultimately realize enough to enable them to get away, by re-migrating to Australia, Chili, or California. But why are not remittances frequent from Australia? If the Irishman in America, since the last year, can remit enough to enable a friend or friends to follow him, in Australia he ought to be able to do exactly the same in three years. Why, then, is there not also a tide of emigration to Australia, sustained by the noble devotedness of those who have gone before, to the friends who remain behind, waiting for assistance? Solely because of the British system, which sacrifices the people and the national interests in colonization, to aggrandize a class already bloated with excessive and unproductive wealth.
How, then, can we give, without increase of taxation at home, free postage and free passage to the people who wish to emigrate to the colonies? Why, by disarming for this purpose some of the men-of-war that, when they are not at mischief, lie at anchor, at Lisbon,
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Cadiz, and other stations pleasant to elderly officers of the royal navy. A Royal and National Australian Post-mail and Emigrant Service would give the young men, the hearts of oak, a much better nautical school. What, again, but our immense, excessive naval force, prevents the speedy realization of the blessings of universal and international free trade? A highly-intelligent American gentleman observed to the writer, that the people of the United States could not prudently remain dependent on other countries for the supply of manufactured goods, so long as the people of Great Britain supported their Government in sustaining a naval force on a scale adequate to blockade, simultaneously, all the principal ports of the United State.
DIFFICULTY OF REMODELLING OVER-PEOPLED OLD COUNTRIES, A REASON FOR ESTABLISHING MODEL INSTITUTIONS IN OUR COLONIES.
It seems to be high time to cease from consigning the poor to be used up in misery and in sin, to aggrandize the guilt and the wealth of those who have made themselves rich by injustice. Many seem to be willing enough to give the people alms, and to keep them in a state of hopeless pauperism and dependence. Few seem willing to grant the people their just rights; possessing which, so many would acquire independence, and contribute to enrich and uphold the commonweallh.
It is useless for the people to importune the Government for a redress of grievances, since it represents chiefly that class whose selfishness originated and upholds them. Every evil thing has in itself the germ of its own destruction. Destruction out of their own wickedness will sooner or later overwhelm them and the system. Meanwhile, let it be your work to see that the same evils originating in class-government shall not take root, or, if already rooted, shall not any longer grow in those great colonies of Southern Africa and Australia, in which, whether Europe be or not about to be convulsed with terrific wars, waged by Oligarchs aided by British Capitalists with loans of money, against the
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rights and liberties of the people, you or your children may, from want or other reasons, find it needful to seek a future home. You can effect this by associations here, and by associations of the people in the colonies, inciting them, by your correspondence, and by your delegates, to see, that if the colonies are henceforward really to exercise self-government, it shall be the government, not of a class, but of the people; a Government based on Manhood Suffrage at the age of Thirty Years; thus recognising the respect due to man as man, and the deference due to experience and matured age. For the good of yourselves, your relatives, and friends, as you would save them there from such a state of sin and misery as prevails here, urge them to take effectual measures that the waste lands shall in future, and from time to time, be allotted to those who are willing to give them value by their labour.
For this, there is truly a Divine right.
THE POSSESSION OF LAND.
In the opinion of many who take a heartfelt interest in the well being of human society, the State should be the sole landlord of all land, allotting it fairly amongst the people as tenants, and from its rental deriving a revenue to defray all necessary public expenditure.
Or there is another mode of arrangement for the public good in respect to land, which commends itself to all who venerate antiquity and precedent; viz. that which, through Moses, was appointed unto the tribes of Israel by God. By the institution of the Jubilee Year, the partition of the lands made by Joshua was long preserved. It prevented the rich from oppressing the poor by getting possession of all the lands by purchase, mortgage, or usurpation. It tended to preserve personal liberty, proportionate fortunes, and the order of families. It bound the people to their country, their lands, and inheritance, as estates derived from their ancestors, and secured to their posterity.
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THE GOOD TIME THAT IS COMING, AFTER THE BAD TIMES, GROWN WORSE, SHALL HAVE ENDED
If there are great troubles and afflictions impending because the injustice and selfishness of the rulers and the Priests have plunged the people, through misery, in unbelief, let us not forget that there are most blessed promises of prophecy yet unfulfilled, which shall be surely accomplished, and of which the discord and self-destruction of the wicked shall perhaps be the advent. Not the promise of unimaginable felicity of bodiless spirits dwelling in thin air; but of perfect felicity in physical and spiritual exercises and enjoyments to man in a material world. Earth and man renewed, restored to harmony, and the waste places of the earth inhabited. (Vide. Isaiah, Chaps, lxv.)
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The importance of having a section, not merely of fertile soil, and of land affording the requisite materials for building, and fencing, and firing, in sufficient quantity to escape the immense labour and expense of carrying such materials, where, as yet, roads do not exist, but also its easy accessibility to the emigrant on the termination of the ocean voyage, must be very obvious to those who can think for themselves, and to all who have heard and seen Mr. Catlin describe, with the aid of his very effective pictures, the process of taking possession and entering on the cultivation of a section of land having a frontage on a navigable river in the great north-west territory of America. To enable persons inclined to emigrate to judge of what obstacle they may encounter in New Zealand, where the tracts of available land are few and far separate, and where the making of roads is impracticable without vast expenditure,, the following descriptive extracts are printed. The first is from a letter (C. No. 30, Vide Documents appended to Twelfth report) signed on behalf of the New Zealand Company by F. D. Bell, and addressed to Lord Stanley, dated 18th September 1841, but which, was not made public until 1844, when sales of unseen land had ceased.
"The sale as to parallelograms to be extended, as a compliance with it (the system of parallelograms), in this mountainous district, or indeed in any part of New Zealand, would necessitate the occupation of much unavailable and bad land. It appears that, as far as the country is yet known, there are no good harbours in the immediate vicinity of any considerable extent of flat land suitable for the sort of agriculture to which emigrants from Great Britain are habituated, and the country surrounding all the best harbours is remarkably mountainous and rugged. Its such situations, generally speaking, detached and narrow valleys alone offer any sufficient present inducement to colonists to undertake the very expensive process (with reference to the high price of labour) of clearing heavily-timbered land."
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The following extracts are taken from the Journal of a recent explorer, and are illustrative of the soil and climate at a short distance from the coast. Of the interior of the Middle Island of New Zealand, recently explored by Mr. Brunner, it maybe needful to premise that the Roturoa Lake is only fifty miles from the sea on the north, in a course nearly due south of Nelson. The mouth of the Buller or Kawatiri River is on the west coast, and about seventy-five miles distant from its source, the Roturoa Lake. The reader will bear in mind, in considering the climate, that there the months of December and January correspond with the months of June and July here. Mr. Brunner arrived at the Roturoa Lake on the 18th December 1846, and he left it on the 31st; and pursuing the valley of the Kawatiri wherever its course was tolerably direct, he arrived at its mouth on the west coast on the 5th of June, having been five months accomplishing the very inconsiderable distance of less than eighty miles, and accomplishing it only by the indomitable perseverance with which he steadily faced the obstacles which the almost impassable rugged features of the country, aggravated by exposure to hunger and to cold, to snow and to rain, frequent, copious, and violent, almost beyond description elsewhere in the known world, presented to obstruct his progress. If such are the valleys of larger rivers of New Zealand, the reader's imagination can hardly portray the inaccessibility and terrible desolation of that immense mountain region, which occupies more than two-thirds of the entire area of the Middle Island of New Zealand, feeding those great mountain torrents which have torn a passage to the coast.
"Dec. 27,1846--At the Rotoroa Lake. A cold windy day, with showers.
"28--Raining all day, and the hills around, covered with snow."
"30--Drying our fern root, and otherwise preparing for a start.
"31--After securing our canoe, we started, &c. &c.
"Jan. 6. 7, 8, and 9, 1847--Continued rain, and great fresh in the river.
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"10--Very fine and warm. I again ascended a hill in to the southward, but could see nothing but hills, or rather mountains all around.
"12--The natives awoke me this morning to announce the approach of rain, which soon began to fall heavily.
"14--Waiting for an abatement of the fresh in the river: fine day.
"16 to 23--Stationary; collecting for food, chiefly fern root and fish. Collecting fern root is very difficult, there being but a very small quantity eatable, and that, the oldest and deepest growth.
"23 to 31--Detained by heavy rains and tremendous fresh in the river; and provisions being spent, obliged to return to a previous station to replenish.
"Feb. 22--We made about two miles of very bad walking--granite rocks covered with tutu and brushwood.
"23--About a mile of fearful walking; ground dry but moist. Uncomfortable lodgings on an uneven surface of granite rock.
"26--Precipices and granite rocks. At a fresh the river rises upwards of thirty feet.
"27--Worse and worse walking, the rocks being more steep and rugged.
"March 1st--Consumed the last handful of flour--Detained by continued rains from the 27th ult. to the 6th.
"6--Again made a start. We had the worst walking I have yet seen, on the side of steep precipices thickly covered with brier and under-brush.
"7--Passed the day in a black birch wood in company with thousands of sand flies. I endeavoured to ascend a hill, but found it so steep and rugged that I relinquished the attempt. The banks of the river are so very perpendicular, that it is impossible to reach the water's edge, and the rocks affording no shelter for eels we are badly off for provisions. I am resolved to pass the day as a Sunday, although much against the natives wish.
"9--I really believe two or three miles is the utmost that could be accomplished, under the most favourable circumstances, in such a country. Large granite rocks heaped confusedly together all over
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the surface, with a thick growth of under-brush and briers, an immense quantity of dead and rotten timber, and all these on the steep and broken declivities of a range of high mountains, interspersed with perpendicular walls of rocks, precipices, and deep ravines, form a combination of difficulties which must be encountered to be adequately understood or allowed for.
April 3--Stopped by a precipice, which wanted exploring previous to venturing over it. It tries ones nerves to be dangling on a flax rope, about a hundred feet above a granite rock, with the load on the feet, and no hold for the hands. So it was with us.
"6--The appearance of the country much altered, the hills lower.
"10--Entered upon a fine tract of wooded land, on either side of the river--On questioning the natives at Kawatiri I found this to be the valley of Oweka, and formerly their route to the Mawera, and also to Port Cooper.
"19--The heavy fogs that fall here during the night render it impossible to start much before mid-day, unless you choose to get wet through.
"20--Another days progress, but a short one; as we were again amongst rocks and mountains. (Interval of almost continuous rain till the 29th.)
"29--Hunger drove us from our quarters. Although only showery, yet the drip from the bush made us all wet through in a short time.
"30--Came on another day's walking, and were still jammed in between two high ridges of black birch hills, almost perpendicular to the river's edge.
"May 1--An awful day's journey. The hills coming down to the river's edge, with perpendicular precipices at their base, we were compelled to ascend them.
"3, 4, 5--continual heavy rains: nothing to live on but a few rats.
"6--Raining, and blowing a tempest. The fresh in the river came down a torrent, driving us out of our shelter into the rain and wind, to pass the night how we could.
"8--A fine day, but no prospect of moving for some days, the
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fresh, having rendered our progress impossible, and the hill in front being too perpendicular to ascend.--detained by almost incessant tempest and rain until the 19th.
"19--Although the day appeared far from fine, yet we mounted our loads on our half-starved backs, and managed to proceed a short distance, hoping to push past the precipice, before which we had then been detained ten days, all but starved; but the rain again caught us, and we passed a most miserable night.
"20--Another deluge of rain.
"22--A bitterly cold day; the rain gave us a wetting during the night.
"23--Hunger again compelled us to shift our quarters in search of food; but finding none, I was compelled, though very reluctantly, to give my consent to killing my dog Rover. The flesh of a dog is very palatable. It is too richly flavoured to eat by itself.
"25, 26--Heavy rain.
"27--Dog nearly consumed, and we could find no other eatable: the weather too cold for eels, and birds are not seen in the black birch woods.
"28--A bitterly cold day, but dry; so that we were enabled to proceed on our journey. Although the character of the country had now changed, and we were passing through a level country, having at our last precipice taken leave of the fearful rocks and mountains among which we had been wandering for nearly five months, and had reason to think we could not be very far from the sea coast, our condition was far from being a pleasant one. We were still on the brink of starvation, in an enormous and dense forest, pools of water covering the surface of the ground.
"29--Found a Mamakou, which we cut down, and intended baking on the morrow. The natives bear hunger badly. I had much trouble with all but Ekehu, the rest continually asking in what way I could compensate them for their sufferings: they were also constantly lamenting their coming.
"31--A dirty cold day. The natives, searching for food, found a recently made Maori oven and a wari. I distinctly beard the roar of
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the tide, which was to me as good as a dinner.
"June 3--Had the satisfaction of seeing the tide rise in the river. The travelling still very bad; but hunger, and the prospect of relief, made us get through a fair day's journey.
"4--Accomplished about a mile, when we saw the Pa of the Maories. Fired a salute of powder, but received no answer, neither could we discern any smoke.
"5--On exploring this morning we found two canoes, a wari, and a wata, but no provisions. So, after many days and nights looking forward to a full meal of potatoes, on reaching the coast we were compelled to eat the rimu, or sea-weed, instead. Yesterday I should have thought sea-weed poisonous: now I eat it with a relish. So much for hunger.
"The Remarks.--I was greatly disappointed in the last eight or ten miles of this river. I had previously seen the land from the coast, and thought it good and richly wooded, where, on inspection, I found a wet massy surface, with little, if any, vegetable soil."
This is the error into which Capt. Cook, and all others who have looked at New Zealand lazily from their ships or boats, without encountering the fatigues of an inspection, have fallen; viz. the idea that the forests, beautiful and luxuriant to the eye as a landscape, grow out of rich and available land. What Mr. Brunner found by inspection on the banks of the Kawatiri at its mouth, Capt. Cook and his comrades might also have learnt by the inspection of the land on Ship's or Cannibal's Cove, Queen Charlotte's Sound, &c.--that to the waters edge it was far too steep and stony to be of value to man; and that proceeding further inland from the shore a country still more inaccessible and worthless is encountered.
In order to clearly understand the merit of Mr. Brunner's narrative reference should be had to the map of the Nelson Settlement, which embraces the country explored by Mr. Brunner (Vide "Sydney's Emigrant's Journal" 1849. Messrs. Orr & Co.) This little map particularly deserves an attentive examination by all who pro-
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fess to have an honourable intention and motive in recommending their countrymen to emigrate to New Zealand.
One extract more, in illustration of the character of the Northern Island, from Terry's "New Zealand," on which it is necessary to remark that some grass land has been discovered in the southeastern extremity of that Island:
"The exaggerated statements circulated in England of the colony and it's productions, soil, and climate have led generally to the very erroneous impression and opinion, that the necessaries, and even more, as regards food, would be abundant and cheap. But New Zealand has neither a tropical climate, nor is it a country in which edible vegetables and fruits, indigenous to such regions, grow and flourish spontaneously and abundantly: nor is it a land inhabited by native animals adapted for the food of man; and easily obtained by the toils or chase. The islands of New Zealand are uncultivated wastes, either of mountains covered with dense forests, of plains and lowlands covered with high-ferned Shrubs, or of swamps and marshes covered with rush and flax, without any open spots of grass land for pasturage, or of verdant downs and hills for sheep. In these vast tracts there is not to be seen a living animal, wild or domestic. Whatever is produced from the soil in New Zealand for the food of its population, either of grain from arable land, or of stock from pasturage, must be the work of time, by great labour and at much expense. The very nature and circumstances of the country must render the progress of agriculture in New Zealand slow and gradual."
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© Gerald Franklin & The Frenchay Tuckett Society Febuary 2005.