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Enquiries regarding Emigration. - Population of Canada. Distress anticipated.-Condition of old Settlers.-The Roads. -Liberal Policy.-The French Canadians.-The Irish sit on their skirts.-English and Irish Landlords.-Pensioners.Employment of pauper Emigrants.-Wages.-The Canada Company.-Emigrants settled on Seigniories. - Infamous conduct of Captains of Timber-ships.-A remedy.- American Speculators.-Mr. Andrew Stewart's judicious Plans for disposing of Emigrants.-An American Settler locating himself.-Emigration ought always to be directed to Canada.Disadvantages of the States.-Mr. George's Plan for internal Improvements.-The Bersiamits River explored.—Discovery in Magnetism.-Leave Quebec.-The road to St. John's.-Isle aux Noix.-Lieut. Ingal.-Lake Champlain.Crown Point. Ticonderoga.-The Royal Highlanders.A Canal-boat.-Troy.-Albany.-Breaking up of the Ice on the Hudson.-Economy of Time.-The Ex-King of Spain.→→ The Highlands.-Arrived at New York.
IT is a subject of extreme interest for the British traveller in Canada at present, and also at future periods, to obtain exact information regarding our colonists there. Their number and condition, their progressive denseness relatively to the extent of country occupied by them, their contentment, prospects, &c. all form heads of inquiry of great interest. And there is now one
POPULATION OF CANADA.
point worthy, perhaps, of peculiar investigation— whether a considerable population could be turned into Canada without grants of land altogether, and be left to depend merely on their labour— whether they could find engagements as yearly servants, for example, for, unless engaged by the year, they would starve in winter; but if they could be thus engaged, improvements would go on faster in the districts already occupied, the population would be kept dense, civilization would be kept up, the previous habits of pauper emigrants would not be violently changed, and the expense to parishes at home of sending them abroad, would be greatly reduced.
I felt myself bound to pay particular attention to the important subject of emigration, and to the disposal of our self-exiled countrymen in the Canadas. The information collected was rather voluminous, but I shall spare my readers a heavy infliction, and now merely give an abstract from my notes.
The population in the valuable British possessions in North America now amounts to upwards of a million and a quarter, about nine hundred thousand inhabitants occupying the two Canadas, and last year, the great addition of fifty-five thousand souls arrived at Quebec. A great number of these emigrants proceeded to Upper Canada, many lingered about the towns of Quebec, Montreal, Trois Rivières, Kingston, &c.; a few proceeded
CONDITION OF OLD SETTLERS.
to the Western States, and not a few returned, after a short trial of the New World, to the land of their birth. In one ship I remarked that sixty re-embarked.
In the beginning of winter I saw or heard of little distress among the emigrants; those who had brought money with. them were already settled on land, the paupers had found work, and they passed last severe winter better than it was anticipated they would have done, as the spring reports shewed. Though it is wrong to anticipate evil, yet many who know the Canadas well, foretold great misery and want among such an unusual number of settlers, many of them of dissolute habits, and unable to take care of themselves in the old country, and much less to provide food and warm covering in a new and severe climate.
I found the old settlers comfortable and happy, receiving good prices for their produce, and in the enjoyment of civil, religious, and political liberty. The governors of the two provinces are labouring to provide for the rising generation the means of instruction, and the Jesuits' college in Quebec is to be reconverted into a seminary, from a barrack. I before noticed the Upper Canada College at York, instituted by Sir John Colborne, as an admirable institution; and there are, besides, many excellent preparatory schools. The prosperity of the colonists has hitherto
been retarded by the want of good roads in the provinces. In the spring and fall of the year they are knee-deep in mud, and in summer the heat and dust render travelling extremely disagreeable. The sleighs in winter afford almost the only means of communicating with distant parts of the country, and of transporting produce to market, when the settlers are removed from the great highways, the St. Lawrence, and the lakes.
From the liberal policy of the Government, more particularly evinced in a despatch from the Colonial Office, in September 1831, to the Governor-in-chief, it is confidently anticipated that a new and a bright era will dawn on the Canadas; that all grievances will be looked into and redressed, and every possible attention paid to internal improvements. Hitherto violent partyspirit has convulsed Lower Canada, and a discontented few in the Upper Province have paralyzed the efforts of the local Government to ensure prosperity to the colonists. Now, however, all parties seem to be pleased, and the prospects of the Canadian settlers are most cheering.
I was much gratified in witnessing the comfort of the French habitans of Lower Canada; their neat houses, clean persons- their abundant fare, and contented faces! True, their agriculture is not on the most approved principles; their breed of cattle, sheep, and hogs, is not the best; yet withal, they are happy, attend to their fields in
DISCONTENT OF THE EMIGRANTS.
summer, and visit each other, and enjoy themselves in social communing in winter; they really seem to taste far greater happiness, and to know how to extract from their lot a far greater share of felicity, than those who at all times and seasons wildly strive to accumulate riches, without knowing or thinking how to spend them rationally.
But Irish emigrants ought to be kept at a distance from the French Canadians. The Scotch and English commonly proceed at once to Upper Canada or to the eastern townships, but the Irish sit on the skirts of the habitans. Thus, in riding out in the country I frequently witnessed a Canadian peasant returning from market, with the poultry, cheese, or vegetables he had taken into town to dispose of, and with a scowl on his countenance retracing his steps homewards. The cause of his discontent was simply this:-The Irish now crowd the markets in Lower Canada: at first they ask the same prices as the habitans, but being, as usual," from hand to mouth," they speedily reduce their price, and take whatever they can get for their pork, butter, eggs, &c.; and they can afford to take a low price for their commodities, for in Canada, as in Ireland, they huddle together filthily in single rooms, each corner being occupied by a family; they therefore save fuel and house-rent, whilst the habitans live at much more expense, but respectably.
It is with reluctance that I notice the conduct