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CHAPTER XII.

CO-OPERATIVE EMIGRATION桝MERICAN AND CANADIAN.


Desirous of trustworthy guidance, not only for co-operative but general emigration, I sought opportunity of speaking upon the subject to statesmen in the two countries in which I travelled.  The "New York Tribune" of October 21, 1879, stated, under the head of "News of the Capital," "Mr. Holyoake makes a suggestion.   He calls on Secretary Evarts to show how immigration can be helped.  Mr. Holyoake has brought to the attention of Mr. Evarts the idea of issuing an official book, giving information about the public lands of the United States, which can be circulated in England among working-men.  Mr. Evarts takes much interest in the matter."  A telegram to the "Tribune" of the same date, dated Washington, October 20, stated "Last Thursday, Mr. Holyoake, accompanied by Colonel R. G. Ingersoll, had an extended interview with the Secretary of State.  He explained to Mr. Evarts the advantage it would be to the English people both of the mercantile and farming classes, if what he terms a blue book were issued, giving, in the name of the Government, all the information of value to intending immigrants, with regard to the public lands, and their quality, price, and convenience of access.  Mr. Holyoake represented that State agents, and the agents of private emigration schemes, are now supplying much information of this character, but they are not known to be trustworthy.  The English people, he said, know the American Government, and would place confidence in any information which it might furnish."

    When I had the opportunity of an interview with President Hayes, Mrs. Hayes, and General Sherman, at the White House, they readily entered upon the consideration of the uses of the suggested book, and the President especially expressed valuable practical opinions thereupon.  It was, I knew, a matter for the departments.  My object was to explain it to the President, so that when he was consulted upon the subject it might not be new to him.  To find that the heads of the State gave attentions to the proposals of "a stranger," and listened to what he had to say with a graceful deliberateness, as though they had nothing else on earth to attend to, seemed more than royal courtesy in a republic.

    Being naturally much interested in Canada, I had previously thought it right to bring the matter before the Canadian Government.  The "Globe" of Toronto, in a telegram from Ottawa, dated October 25th, stated that I had "held an interview with Sir John Macdonald, the Premier, and the Hon. J. H. Pope, Minister of Agriculture, and pressed upon them the desirableness of the Government sending proper information to Great Britain respecting Canada梥uch information as will be of practical interest to the farming and artisan classes; and that I desired the publication, by the Canadian Government, of a Blue Book, similar to that issued by Lord Clarendon, some years ago, in England.  Besides the usual information, the volume should mention the localities in which special industries exist, so that an artisan of any particular occupation may know precisely where he will be likely to obtain work, and not enter the country perfectly ignorant of the character of its industries and their location, as is now the case.  The book should also state the character and nationality of the labor with which he will have to compete, the state of the labor market, and the rates of wages, with, above all, their purchasing value."  The Toronto "Globe" added, "Mr. Holyoake claims that the most convincing arguments to the prospective emigrant, is to show him he can purchase more of the necessaries of life in Canada for five dollars, than in England with its equivalent, a sovereign.  It was understood the Canadian Government would give the subject their consideration."

    The Premier, wishing me to see the Minister of Agriculture, gave me the following introduction to him, dated, "Department of the Interior, Canada, Ottawa, 6th October, 1879," addressed to the Hon. J. H. Pope:


Let me introduce to you Mr. Charlton, of Chicago, formerly of Hamilton梐n old friend of mine梐nd Mr. Holyoake, a member of the public press in England.  Mr. Holyoake is making inquiries as to Canada's capabilities for emigrants from England, and as to the subject of colonization generally.  I have asked him to see you, and I am sure you will give him every information, with all pamphlets and maps which may be of use to him.


    My stay at Ottawa did not permit me to visit the Marquis of Lorne, who, I have no doubt, would not less have given attention to the subject.  It occurred alike to Mr. Evarts and Sir John Macdonald that the Federal Government at Washington had no power to require any State to furnish information necessary for the national emigrant book I asked, and that the Governor of the Dominion of Canada was equally without power to command information from the Canadian Provinces.  My answer in both cases was, that while I was aware of those facts, the probability was that if the heads of the Canadian and American Governments should give notice that such information would be used in the national volume, if it was accorded, it would not be to the interest of any State or Province to be left out, and the compliance would no doubt be general.  It was admitted that it probably would be so.  Thinking it was incumbent upon me to inform the British Embassy what I had been proposing to the American Government, I went, when in Washington one day, down to the British Legation for that purpose.  I explained the whole matter to the representative of the British Minister.  At the Embassy I thought I found some misgiving as to whether the Home Government might not disapprove of emigration.  Probably there was a doubt whether the Embassy should do anything which might be construed into advising it.  This led me to address his Excellency, Sir Edward Thornton, the following letter, he being absent when I called:


    It will be in your Excellency's recollection that Lord Clarendon, towards the close of his life, issued three Blue Books on the "Condition of the Laboring Classes Abroad," consisting of reports from Her Majesty's secretaries of embassies and legations.  Mr. Secretary Evarts would like to see them.  It might be of great service to the people of Great Britain if you could show to him the books I have named.  Either with these books, or separately, there may be at your embassy copies of instructions which, at Lord Clarendon's request, I drew up.  These I have told Mr. Evarts I would ask you to show him if possible.

    In an interview I had the honor to have with the President (Mr. Hayes), I promised to prefer a request to you to show him the said books and instructions.

    Her Majesty's Government have never put obstacles in the way of British subjects emigrating to America.  It is well known to Her Majesty's Government that the English people continually do so, and do it upon doubtful, insufficient, and often misleading information.  I have asked the American Government to do the English people the service of affording them complete, detailed, and trustworthy information of the conditions and prospects of settlements in all the States of the American Union, which, being given on the authority of the American Government, would be regarded with confidence and respect.  If you, sir, should be able to concur in this view, and make known your opinion to the American Government, it would be an advantage both to the operative and the farming classes of Great Britain.

    The same representations which I have been permitted to make to the American Government I thought it my duty to make to Sir John Macdonald, the Premier of Canada, who was pleased to say that he should like to seethe analogous Blue Books I have named which were issued by Lord Clarendon.  I promised to request the English Foreign Office to forward copies to him, and to inquire first of you whether you could forward copies to him, or use your influence at home to procure them to be sent to Sir John.

    It is desirable that the English people should have equal opportunities of judging between the advantages of emigrant settlements offered by the Dominion and America.  I pray you to permit this consideration to be my excuse for thus troubling you.

William M. Evarts
(1818-1901)

    In due course Sir Edward Thornton wrote me as follows, from the British Legation, Washington, on November 10, 1879:


    In reply to your letter of the 8th instant, I regret to say that I can only find at this legation a single copy of the two last of the reports on the condition of the industrial classes in foreign countries.

    I should, of course, be glad to lend these to Mr. Evarts, for his perusal, should he wish to see them, but I cannot part with them altogether, as they belong to the archives of this legation and are single copies.  Neither can I send them to Sir John Macdonald, who, however, would find no difficulty in obtaining copies of them through the Colonial Office.

Sir Edward Thornton, GCB.,
"a safe ambassador."

    It is impossible not to notice the difference between this answer from Sir Edward Thornton to a British subject, seeking to promote an object of English interest, and those which I had received, as a stranger, from the American and Canadian Governments.  Sir Edward plainly is not disposed to take any trouble in the matter桰 merely look at the fact and do not complain of it梙e probably disapproved of the proposal conveyed to him, and, if so, it could not be expected that he would take trouble to forward it.  Unless Mr. Evarts told him that "he wished to see" the books, it does not appear that they would be shown to him.  If Sir John Macdonald wants them he must apply for them through the Colonial Office.  Any ambassador of a British Government knows very well that not more than one minister in a century arises in England who will take trouble to find himself new work.  It is a great thing if he will give attention to it when it is brought to his hands, and its importance made apparent.  Mr. Evarts was quite willing to consider the proposal in question, but I could not expect him to take the initiative in collecting from a foreign country the materials for the opinion asked of him; nor was it likely that Sir John Macdonald would take the trouble of writing to the Colonial Office in England for these reports for his own perusal; he had a right to expect that I would cause them to reach him myself.  Sir Edward Thornton is also entirely silent upon the remark I made in my letter, namely, that should he be able to concur in the views I had expressed as to the desirability of the emigrant book being issued, and would make known that opinion to the American Government, he would confer a great advantage on our operative and farming classes, since Mr. Evarts, seeing that the British minister was interested in it, it would be a motive for proceeding with it.  As Sir Edward was entirely silent as to whether he did concur in the project, I presume he did not; and, therefore, I could not expect him to do what I had hoped he would梟amely, procure himself from the Colonial Office the Blue Books in question, and send them over to the State House to Mr. Evarts, and forward them from Washington to Sir John Macdonald, when his (Sir John's) attention and interest would be further enlisted.

    On my return to England I went down to the Foreign Office, when Lord Barrington kindly permitted me to explain to him the grounds upon which I requested two sets (six volumes in all) of the aforesaid English Blue Books.  A few days afterwards the Marquis of Salisbury very obligingly sent them to my chambers.  As these volumes did not contain the personal instructions to Consuls, it became necessary to write to Earl Granville, who had by that time succeeded the Marquis of Salisbury as Foreign Minister.  After reciting necessary particulars touching the Blue Books in question of 1870𥹒, I proceeded to state that Lord Salisbury had kindly sent me two sets of these issues, which I have promised to send to the Governments of Washington and Canada.  When these books were issued, a copy of instructions for their compilation was supplied to Her Majesty's Consular and Diplomatic Agents abroad; and that I had applied to Sir Edward Thornton, at the British Embassy at Washington, for copies of these instructions for Mr. Evarts and Sir John Macdonald; but Sir Edward was unable to find a copy at the Embassy.  If they exist at the Foreign Office, and his lordship would order two copies to be sent me for this purpose, I should be much obliged.

    In due course Mr. T. V. Lister, on the directions of Earl Granville, forwarded me a copy of the two documents required.  I fear it must have cost the Foreign Office some trouble to find them.  There were impressions that they no longer existed.  I have still to apply for another copy for the American Government.  Since the accession of General Garfield to the Presidential chair, it will be necessary to communicate with him on the subject.  Professor Roberts, of the agricultural department of the Cornell University, has promised me to draw up a set of instructions necessary to elicit the information which will be required by immigrants, supplementary to any questions I may suggest.  Professor Roberts himself has knowledge, beyond any gentleman I conversed with in America, of the information emigrants most need.

    These details are given to account for delay in not furnishing the complete information I promised the two Governments named.  The object sought seems to me to warrant the expenditure both of time and means as far as I am able to employ them.  As respects co-operative emigration, certain particulars given in the address I delivered before the Co-operative Guild at Exeter Hall, London, in February, 1879, will be found in another chapter.

 
CHAPTER XIII.

WAYSIDE INCIDENTS.


UNTIL I went to America I had no proper idea what my personal appearance was.  The "Kansas City Times" thought me "to be about sixty years of age, of medium height, blue grey eyes, with side whiskers (which I never had), and hair which has been touched by the finger of time," which was true.  The "Index" described me as a "venerable" author.  The "Boston Post" regarded me as "being between fifty-five and sixty years of age, of medium height, and well proportioned, hair, moustache and imperial almost white, firm set mouth, small, grey, and very piercing eyes."  The "Boston Herald" found I had "snow white hair, a chin-beard, and in looks and manners much resembling ex-Governor Rice."  When I afterwards met the ex-Governor at the Christian Union, I was perplexed, not knowing which was which.  The "Boston Daily Advertiser regarded me as "of medium height, well formed, and of good weight."  Weight, I observed, is somewhat an element of rhetoric in the American mind.  The "Cincinnati Daily Gazette" described me as looking older than I was, but, however, having the appearance of robust age, with calm demeanor, and quiet voice.  The "Philadelphia Times" began its report of my address in St. George's Hall thus:"Bearing, though not bending, under the weight of seventy years.  Notwithstanding his age, he seems as fresh, physically, as a well-preserved man of fifty or fifty-five years."  One reporter thought me, "when excited, a little inclined to stammer."  A Florence writer said he thought, as a speaker, I was "off-hand, but refined in the choice of words."  I cease the citation of these descriptions, which will be less interesting to the reader than to the writer, and because the amusement arose from the contrast with other qualities assigned to me which it is not my place to quote.  No doubt my speaking at times was pretty much like stammering, since I always think it respectful to an audience to cast about to find the proper word, instead of throwing at their heads the first that comes to hand, although it may be an unfitting one; it being in my opinion a less waste of time to an audience to hear nothing than to hear the wrong thing.  As Lord Chancellor Campbell used to say, " It is better to go to a house where they give you bad wine than where you have to listen to a bad dialect."  In America I had to speak, like Mark Antony, "right on," but not with his success, because I did not expect to speak at all, and except at a few times when I did not think of the audience or the place, and thought only of the subject, I do not believe I did deserve the credit that was given to me by hospitable critics.  It is not possible to any, except orators by nature, to speak always as they would wish, but it is possible to anyone to say exactly what he ought to say if he has the courage, which the late Earl Russell had, of trusting to the audience to tolerate defects of manner in consideration of the fair intention of the matter.

    Americans I found perplex English visitors by bearing with wondrous patience things which would make us all indignant and probably mad.  The reason is that in England we can seldom get redress save by explosions; while in America the people know that whenever an evil becomes very tiresome, and they have time to attend to it, it has "got to go," and it does go then.  A man will live and die in the precincts of London Bridge and never go into the Tower, which stands hard by.  Since he can go into it when he pleases, he never goes into it at all.  But if the doors were closed, and the public excluded, he would make a violent speech at a public meeting convened to get the Tower open.  So it seems to be with Americans; they put up with great evils because they can alter them梕vils which would soon cause a revolution if they were unchangeable.

Thomas Paine
(1737-1809)

    One day I paid a visit, with two friends, to New Rochelle, to explore the lands voted by Congress, in the last century, to a famous Englishman桾homas Paine, whose political writings had so signally promoted the Independence of the United States.  No other Englishman ever achieved like distinction.  In his own country Paine ranked with Junius and Burke as a foremost political writer dealing with principles of Government.  In America his pen accomplished almost as much as the sword of Washington.  In Paris he was the wisest counsellor of the Revolution.  In England his liberty was in jeopardy; in America his life was imperilled; in France he was condemned to death.  I found his beautiful estate entire and unchanged.  I walked on the terrace where he meditated, and sat in the room in which he died, where objects of interest remain upon which he last looked.  No Englishman ever rendered services so splendid to three nations, or was so ill requited in all.

    Like others, I had heard it said that Americans in Europe gave observers the idea of a decaying race.  That must be because many being invalids come to Europe for change of climate; others because they have lost fibre in attaining fortune to enable them to travel.  Instead of being all attenuated I found men and women of vigor and solidity of frame very general.  I asked Dr. Oliver, of Boston, whom I found to be a philosophic physician, what, in his opinion were the physical prospects of the race.  He thought that three generations, or a hundred years, were needful to acclimatize a European family to the new country, that is, supposing they do not conform to rational conditions of life there.

    An English traveller will to the end of time be astonished at the simplicity, precision, and security of the express system by which luggage in America is transmitted.  In England the care of luggage is a very serious operation for the traveller.  You are required to see yourself that it is put into the van, and it does not at all follow then that it will remain there.  At the first junction you may see it on the platform again, or the van itself may be detached and sent to another part of the country, and you are told you should have looked after it.  In America a civil, quiet person appears, who asks you where you will have your luggage sent to, and he gives you a metal ticket with the name of that place, and you leave the station and proceed unencumbered on your journey.  Days, or even weeks after, probably 3,000 miles from the place you last lost sight of your portmanteaus and their precious contents, the train stops at a prairie station when there issues from an official ranch in a wood, or some unnoticed depot in the rocks, a baggage master, who has upon his arm the corresponding check to that which you have in your purse, and your luggage is there exactly as when you last saw it.

    Another thing surprising to me, was the artistic facility with which letters were produced on placards and signs.  Shopkeepers had a black-board at their door upon which they wrote with chalk the particulars of their commodities.  Near the "Tribune" buildings, New York, a man would come out of the shop and write up the quality and price of his oysters.  The words were written with such graphic beauty, freedom, and rapidity, that the board was worth buying and framing, and hanging up among your pictures.

    On the railroads in Massachusetts the tickets were exchanged in the carriages for a card containing the names of all the stations on that line, and the distance from the town from which you set out, and the reverse list showed the distance from every town to which you were going.

    All this was gratuitous courtesy to the passengers.  No railway in England ever does it.  Of conveniences to travellers, prompted by competition, we have, like other countries, many; but except the Midland, no railway is commonly believed ever to have introduced a single convenience from pure consideration for the pleasure or comfort of the passengers.  The railways will not sell tickets until within a few minutes of the starting of the train, and then you have to peep through a little hole, and whistle through it any question you have to put, without being able to see with whom you are dealing, or what change he is giving you, until it is thrust outside the aperture.

    Railways assume that every passenger is a thief who meditates robbery with violence, and the railway clerk must transact his business in self protection through a loophole.  If a tradesman sold tickets he would never think of keeping his shop shut up the greater part of the day.  The postmaster-general might as well require every applicant for a stamp to make a declaration that he has written his letter before he sold him one, to put upon it, as the railway company compel you to declare that you intend to travel by the next train before they sell you a ticket.  Their assumption is that the public are fools, and will jump into every train that comes up, and go everywhere unless they are prevented.  In America everybody is self-acting.  This, no doubt, tends to increase crimes of violence there among the uncivilized emigrants, since a man who has got to act for himself will act wrongly if he has not found out how to act rightly; and if he has a taste for wrong acting he will plead the necessity of self-acting as an excuse for it.  But this does not last long, for other self-acting persons put him down.

    At Narrowsburgh I found the hotel dinners better than those at the Station Hotel at Syracuse, which had a good repute.  I told the proprietor at Narrowsburgh so, which gratified him.  I always made it a point when I found an hotel-keeper had done well by his guests, to say so to him.  The acknowledgment was due to him, and always gave pleasure.  He is a churl who is well used and never owns it.  Besides, I thought it might make things better for the next passengers who arrived out there.  In England I have spoken to four waiters in a fashionable hotel, none being engaged.  Each refused to attend to me, as it was not his duty to await at that table.  Nor could anyone receive or convey the order to the proper one.  I must wait until he came, however long it might be, and when he appeared, as I did not know him, I had still to wait until he condescended to address me, as it would give renewed offence to address him if he was not the proper person.

    In America I never addressed a colored waiter, who, if he did not belong to my table, would civilly communicate with the one who did. Indeed, not merely civilly do it, he would show a pleasant willingness, as though he thought the object of being a waiter was to make things agreeable to the visitor.  Nor did they show that they wanted anything from me.  The colored attendant, who made my bed in the car and brushed my boots every morning, let me leave without giving me any impression that I had not paid him the quarter dollar due to him by custom, of which I was not aware.

    Chautauqua Lake is a famous place for the congregation of prophets.  It is a general campaigning quarter for propagandists of the other world and of this.  The shore is covered with tents of speculation and of practice.  The ardent take their wives and families there and spend their annual vacation time between the pleasures of the lake and the progress of principles.  The bright lake is eighteen miles long, and requires a steamer to cross it, so that there is ample space for airing the most advanced ideas.  It lies in a corner of New York State, some 500 miles or more from the city.  Those who go to convention there have in view to put forth their ideas of things in general, and generally do it.  For myself I could listen to all subjects, but did not want to listen to them all at once.  There were, however, a good many persons there who seemed able to do it.  I was surprised to find the Liberal Convention I attended a great "pow-pow," with no definite plan of procedure such as would be observed in England.  As I arrived early at the Lake I drew up the following resolutions, as the reporters had nothing to report:


    We, the undersigned, having arrived at Chautauqua Lake a day before everybody else, do resolve ourselves into a Primary Convention, setting forth the following objects:

1. That the President of the Convention be requested to define its objects, and state them as briefly as possible.

2. That as many of the speakers be requested to speak as possible to those points.

3. That each speaker be allowed reasonable time for denouncing everybody and everything, and afterwards it is hoped that everyone will proceed to business.

4. That if more imputation be desired by any speakers the proprietor of the hotel shall be requested to set apart a Howling Room, to which all such persons shall retire, attended by as many reporters as can be induced to accompany them.

5. That it is not intended here to disparage imputations or irrelevancies, which are always entertaining if well done but to prevent the time of the Convention being consumed upon persons instead of principles.

6. That clear notice be given to speakers that this is not a convention for the discussion of every subject under the sun, but of those only proposed from the chair.


    These resolutions were signed by G. J. Holyoake, L. Masquerier, H. J. Thomas, H. L. Green.  Of course they were directed against those whom Col. Ingersoll happily calls "the Fool Friends of Progress," who hang about clerical as well as lay associations, who create enemies by wanton imputations, and render good principles ridiculous by eccentricity of advocacy.  Mr. Green, whose name appears above, was the Liberal secretary梠ne of those wise, prompt, able men who know how to be earnest without unwise zeal, and who seek to conduct a movement so that it shall command the respect of adversaries.  Elder F. W. Evans, the principal of the Shakers at Mount Lebanon梐 pleasant speaking, genial person, agreed with the resolutions, but fenced about them more than an Elder should, and could not be induced to sign them; not that he had any denunciations to make, for he was a model of pleasant-mindedness, but he was bent upon irrelevancy himself.  The resolutions were printed in the "Bradford Era," the chief paper in those parts, and were considered to have been useful to the convention, which, unlike American conventions in general, had nothing in common save the unity of miscellaneousness, with the right of imputation to be used with or without discretion.  The President could not state a definite plan of procedure or questions of debate, for he had never thought of them, and he could not invent any, for he had the inaugural address in his pocket, not only written but printed, and bound up in book form; and, to do justice to the versatility of his knowledge, the address related to most things which have ever been mooted in this world.  The reader must not suppose that there were not wise men and wise women at the Chautaqua convention because mention has been made here mainly of the other sort.  At the town of Bolton, in England, I saw lately an announcement at a good-looking chapel that a sermon would be preached by the "Shaggy Prophet."  I saw no "Shaggy Prophet " at the Chautaqua convention.

    When leaving the great Propagandist Lake I was told to go by way of Dunkirk, then I should "strike" Buffalo.  The phrase being new to me it at first suggested an assault.  On disclaiming any intention of "striking" Buffalo myself, as it had done nothing to me, I found it was a mere picturesque term of travel, meaning to impinge.  The "blocks" of New York at first caused me trouble.  On asking my way in the streets I was told that the place I wanted was one, or three blocks off, as the case might be.  Not in the least knowing what was meant, I asked what is a "block?"  He whom I asked was not at all prepared with a definition.  Fearing he would think me wantonly ignorant, I said "I come from England, where we have plenty of blockheads, but no blocks."  Then he kindly said a block was a corner.  That helped me but little, since some blocks have no corner and some blocks are all corners.  It was some time before I discovered that a block meant part of a street intersected by other streets, and meant the whole block of buildings standing between two streets.

    It was when travelling alone on the Erie Railway that I was first invited to enter into business.  I was looking over "Frank Leslie" on the day when the engraving appeared in which I was taken in the act of being interviewed, when a bright-looking newsboy came up and asked, "Will you trade, sir?"  The question confused me, being quite unprepared for the proposal.  At first I said, "I have nothing to sell."  Next, that "I was not in business," adding some years ago I was a bookseller in the city of London, but since that time I had not been in "trade."  "I am not for buying," he answered.  "Then what is the matter with you?" I asked.  "What do you mean by "'trading?"'  He said, "you bought a 'Frank Leslie' from me; now I am asked for one, and I have not one left.  I have only a 'Harper (a similarly illustrated paper.)  "You have read 'Leslie,' and I will give you a 'Harper' for it.  You will then have had two papers, paying only for one, and I shall sell two papers instead of one."  The lad had a manifest turn for business.

    The most advantageous opening I saw in America for an enterprising stranger, was that of polishing shoes.  I found that 10 cents, or 5d. in English money, was the least sum expected for that operation.  The entire capital necessary for the business, including brushes, blacking, a mat, a stand, and a chair, would not exceed five dollars (1).  From this moderate outlay a clever operator might look for a return of 2,000 a year.  I made the calculation when in the hands of one of these happy artists one night on the Fall River boat.  A swift-handed mechanic can polish two pairs of shoes in five minutes, and that is allowing him double the time a business man in New York requires to eat his dinner.  This would give twenty-four operations in an hour, which, at 5d. each, would produce 10s., and twelve hours industry per day would produce 6.  Mechanics told me that they worked twelve and fourteen hours per day in the mills (much longer than they worked in England) so that twelve hours would be an average day for this business, and 365 times 6 would exceed 2,000 per year.  Supposing bright times, when the supply of dull-looking boots would be low, and the artist would work only half time, still the gain of 1,000 per year from 1 of capital is not so bad.  As most persons I saw, abroad or in hotels, seemed engaged in having their boots blacked, I judged this to be one of the most hopeful pursuits open to strangers in the States.  An American lady told me that "I might as well argue that because a clever dentist gets a guinea for drawing a tooth, and can draw two a minute, that he could therefore earn 120 guineas an hour, and acquire a considerable fortune in a year.  But the patients are not always at hand in sufficient numbers, and have not always a guinea in their pockets."  There is some truth in this.  Nevertheless, since we can black boots in London, and polish them well at a penny per pair, blacking them at fivepence per pair (with less labor owing to the greater brightness of the American climate) must be a good off hand business, as times ago.

    Ice water (which is everywhere to be had, is pleasant and refreshing beyond all other obtainable drinks in the hot seasons) and lager beer seem to be superseding the spirituous drinks which produced so much danger formerly.  The brightness of the climate and the freshness of the prairie air are a species of wine in themselves.  The celerity with which all things move in America梩he ceaseless busyness of the people梞ake temperance a necessity of daily life to Americans; without observing it, they die like Indians, being merely a little longer about it.  There is speculation all over the United States.  In some cities men will risk nine-tenths of their fortune.  In others they will risk every cent they have.  There needs no physician to discover that there cannot be good digestion in such cases, and if spirit drinking be added there is no need to invoke the climate to account for fluctuations in longevity.

    During the months I spent in America I fell in with only two persons who struck me as being drunk.  One was a well-dressed ruffian, whom I thought intended to rob me.  We met in a street car the first time I entered one.  We were alone.  He wanted to know where I was going to.  I answered the question, my destination being to me quite an unknown place.  To my surprise he knew the person and the place, and named them "straight away."  He was not a man to take the refusal of an answer, and I did not want to lie the first thing on arriving in a new country.  When he left me it was with my full consent.  The other was a person of unusually grotesque movements梟othing more.  One evening I was sitting in the entrance hall of the hotel where I resided, watching mankind about, and smoking, when the smallest man I met in the country, came and sat in the seat next to me.  He was dressed in a neat suit of black; he was quite dapper, silent, motionless, and I thought melancholy.  The man was almost as small as a snuff box, and slender as a cane.  His face was sallow, his eyes were small; his most conspicuous feature, which certainly was conspicuous, was a well-formed nose, large enough to work problems in Euclid on the sides.  After some time he opened his mouth, when I saw the largest aperture I had ever beheld in a human head; and he deliberately put into it a quid of tobacco, which seemed to me as large as a child's foot.  As it was the first and only time I witnessed that operation, perhaps it impressed me more than it should.  When he was recomposed into the the state of quiesence in which I first had seen him, I thought I would speak to him to learn whether he was human.  Near at hand were two theatres, one of them I knew from a circumstance of personal and historic interest to me, but was ignorant which it was, and I asked my silent friend in black if he could tell me, when I found he could be offensive.  He treated my inquiry as though I could not be ignorant of the place which, indeed, was-the next door.  He probably did not observe that I was a stranger, and might be ignorant of what was notorious to everyone else, and thought I was jesting with him.  He moved himself close to me梙e put his knees upon me.  I thought he was going to climb up me.  His weight was not serious, as I thought that I could blow him away, but he acted like a human musquito, and it was not easy to get free from him.  I concluded he had been drinking, as he began to question me with incoherent volubility.  I fell back upon my old rule that there must be two persons to a quarrel, and I elected not to be one, since even a madman cannot continue to be excited when there is nothing to irritate him.  Silence is a source of confusion to the impetuous, as nobody can keep up a conversation with a tree.  I took out a new cigar, and went to the buffet to get a light, and took care not to return to the tarantula in the black coat, who, prior to the last glass but one, was I doubt not, a bright and civil gentleman.

    My intention was to visit North Alabama; but Memphis lay close there, where the yellow fever was active, and as I did not feel I wanted the yellow fever, I never went nearer Memphis than St. Louis.  Several persons who knew the district well, and who had resided there spoke to me favorably of it.  I learned, on British official authority, that there are large districts of Alabama where labor is scarce compared with other parts of America.  The State of Alabama contains but one million of population, though there is land enough to support ten millions.  The colored people have not learned to live under independent industrial conditions.  Like the English laborer, when feudalism was abolished, the habit of being kept still clings to them; and being in debt is not the same trouble to many colored men as it is to white men as a rule梩hough it must be owned that there are white men in many countries who are not much troubled about it either.  It is also objected that the colored men cannot be depended upon to remain in their situations, and will leave the plantation when most needed, which occurs at times among workmen not colored.  A rising mining town named Birmingham exists in North Alabama.  For many years past a great many miners have settled there from England and Wales, and are doing well and developing the richest of the coal lands.  With prudence anyone can keep himself in Alabama, but without prudence it cannot be done.  The prudence consists in avoiding undue exposure after dark.  The Germans have learned to do it.  They have founded a colony in this neighborhood.  The Germans get along well in this State, and there are large numbers of them in every town.  The hill country of Alabama bears the name of the "Land of Rest."  Consul Cridland reports that "the climate of this district or colony is said to be very healthy, and to this fact is attributed much of its rapid growth and success.  Good water abounds, and the site is 702 feet above the level of the sea.  Epidemics are unknown and fevers rare.  The summers are not oppressive, nights cool, the winter short and mild.  Snow seldom falls, and when it does, quickly disappears.  New settlers, mostly German, continue to arrive daily, and the population is steadily increasing, also in prosperity.  The officials of the South and North Alabama Railroad are warm friends of the colony, and do all in their power to encourage immigration."

    They make things plain in America.  The "New York Herald" published a page containing a series of broad black lines, showing the comparative length of 68 of the states and territories of America and the principal countries of Europe, omitting Russia and Alaska.  The longest line of all was that of Texas, containing 34,000 more square miles than the Austrian empire.  A glance at this page of the "Herald" shows the relative size of the 68 countries at once.

    The Canadian maps given me by the Hon. Mr. Pope are remarkable for their picturesque distinctness.  A quarto pamphlet of Manitoba and northwest territories is filled with copious wood-cut illustrations, singularly clear, conveying the sense of coolness and clearness of the air: while the American wood-cuts, in many instances, reproduce the effect of heat and sunlight, so that when I look upon the engravings of places which I saw, the atmospheric associations under which I saw them return again to the mind.  A writer describing Winnipeg, says "it possesses an excellent daily newspaper, the "Manitoba Free Press."  A clubhouse is regarded as a luxury in the Far West, and a newspaper is held to be a luxury of life."  Thus intelligence is the first thought of these new settlements.  Mr. Jas. Samuelson, an English barrister (brother of the English M. P. for Banbury), whom I met in Boston, has since published a small book of useful information for intending emigrants, both precise and informing.

    In Canada considerable practical thought is given to forms of co-operation unknown in England.  One was a plan by Mr. F. P. McKelcan, of the nature of an industrial federation of towns and villages, with a view to obtain, at a central office, a continuous record of persons of all professions in any town wanting employment, or who are themselves wanted or not wanted in it, so that emigrants arriving can learn at once where to go, or what places to avoid.  A person advertised in the "Montreal Witness" for a musical teacher for his family, and for a housemaid.  The answers received showed that there were 2,000 music teachers in Canada more than were at that time wanted, while there was not a single housemaid to be had.  Mr. McKelcan's plan is of the nature of a Co-operative Labor Exchange.  I had opportunity of conversing with Mr. McKelcan, and found him a man of good practical judgment.

    Whether Canada derives the inspiration of equality from its adjacency to the United States, or whether its spirit of civil liberty is indigenous, I was unable, during my pleasant acquaintance with that country, to determine.  That there were gracious ways in the land I could see; for instance, when the Canadian Hanlan梐 brilliant oarsman梑eat Elliott on the Tyne, the Marquis of Lorne telegraphed to Hanlan his congratulations.  This was a very handsome thing to do.  I have known no instance in which any person in England of eminent position has done a similar thing to an Englishman who has won a victory in a foreign country.  No mayor in any English town ever sent a telegram of congratulation to any Englishman who had distinguished himself abroad.  When Green, the Australian oarsman, rowed with Robert Chambers on the Thames梩he greatest oarsman England has produced桰 went myself to Sir Hugh Childers, then our First Lord of the Admiralty, and suggested to him that, as he had held an official position in Australia, it would be a graceful thing to send some message of recognition of Green, which would be encouragement to him.  Sir Hugh did so, but otherwise it would not have been done.  Chambers, of the Tyne, was the bravest oars man I ever knew.  In a mile race Green went more swiftly through the water than any man who had before appeared on our rivers.  In Green's four-mile race with Chambers on the Thames, Chambers beat him absolutely; and I knew Chambers would be better pleased that his opponent should have every encouragement to put forth his highest power, for Chambers preferred a stout contest.  The incident I have related made me more appreciate the voluntary act of the Marquis of Lorne in sending a message from Canada to Hanlan.  As an Englishman, I was interested in what related to the Marquis of Lorne in Canada.  Before he went out he published a volume of poems, superior to anything Lord Byron published at his age.  The English are a mysterious people in the eyes of Americans.  We treat the aristocracy in politics with a deference Americans contemn; while in literature we treat them with a severity that Americans would not display.  If the Marquis of Lorne was a pitman, or a weaver, he would be ranked higher as a poet than be is, being a peer.

    One afternoon in Ottawa I had the honor to receive, at the Russell House, a deputation from the Ottawa Progressive Society.  It was the first formal deputation I had received.  I am afraid I did not acquit myself with the dignity a visit of that kind demanded, but the interview was to me a very pleasant one.  The same is true in both particulars of a deputation which I met at the Union Depot, Toronto.  Among them was Mr. Belford, of the great publishing house of that city, and Mr. A. L. Jury, representing the Toronto Co-operative Association, and also representatives from the Toronto Philosophical Society.  The time at my disposal did not enable me to visit the city.  I had been in it in the early morning a few days before, when I insisted upon walking into the streets that I might have palpable assurance of treading on the soil of Toronto.

Frederick Temple Blackwood, Lord Dufferin
(1826-1902)

    Canada is a much more pleasant and habitable country than Englishmen imagine at home.  The cold is definite in its nature, limited in its period of operation, and is to be combatted by exercise, and the contest conduces to health.  There is great warmth in the summer season and almost perpetual brightness in the cold time.  I was assured that the clear and brilliant days to be spent among the snow afford an exhilaration unknown in England.  I found many emigrants from the old country who thought they would not like to live in England or Scotland after their experience there.  It was professed to me that the fogs of New Brunswick are superior to ours since they give no colds.  But of the superiority of their fogs I can give no opinion as I did not try them.  When Mr. George Iles, of the Windsor Hotel, Montreal, afterwards visited me in London, at the Christmas of 1879, I often heard him say that in the winter weeks he spent in London, he experienced more discomfort from cold than he ever did in Canada.  It was a new thing for me to find in Ottawa that the Liberals were in favor of what we understand as "personal government," while the Conservative party were opposed to it.  On that question I was a Conservative in Ottawa.  Thus Canada was a country in which I could change my party without changing my principles.  Lord Dufferin, when Governor-General of Canada, said, at a dinner given to him at Toronto, "For many years past I have been a strong advocate for emigration in the interest of the British population.  I believe that emigration is a benefit both to those who go and to those that remain; at the same time that it is the most effectual and legitimate weapon with which labor can contend with capital."  These are the wisest words (save as I think those which co-operation has to utter) that any man of eminence has said upon the policy of labor.

 
CHAPTER XIV.

MANNERS AND OPINION IN AMERICA.


Children in America are regarded as apt to act upon their own will rather than upon the will of their parents. It did not appear to be so in any of the families which I had opportunities of observing; on the contrary, there were manifest affectionate and intelligent obedience. At the same time it was apparent that young people were more self-acting than they are in England, where we have a somewhat unwise domestic paternalism, which encourages a costly dependence. The result is that many parents have to keep their children at a period of life when children should be prepared to keep their parents, if need be. The American habit of training their children to independence, which they interpret as meaning self-dependence, has much to be said in its favor. We have the Scriptural maxim, "Train up a child in the way it should go." Young people in England among the middle class have quite reversed this. Their reading of the text is, "Train up the parents in the way they should go that when they are old they shall not depart from it." Hence it is that we have so many young men whose polities are Conservative conceit, who despise the principles under which their fathers were enabled to achieve prosperity, and who think their mission in this world is to live upon the earnings of their relatives, making no honest exertions on their own behalf.

The equality of classes in America has many pleasant features.  Policemen are dressed without the apoplectic rigor common with us.  In riding with Mr. Quincy, in one of the public carriages, or with the mayor of the city, I observed that they spoke to the driver as an acquaintance.  When Mr. Wendell Phillips took me to see Cambridge he consulted the driver as to the best route to see the university and other places of interest.  Sometimes the driver stopped and suggested another route that he thought would be better, with as much ease and confidence as though he were one of the party.  In nations where there is social inequality, intercourse between superior and inferior classes is marked by ceremonies of submission on the part of the lower to the higher.  There are also observances of pure courtesy, which pass under the pleasant name of "deference."  Deference is just when it is voluntary; when offered as an acknowledgment of discerned worth it is politeness; when it is yielded because it is exacted it is servility.  When all classes become socially equal, as in America, there is among the unthinking an unceremoniousness of behavior, which they suppose to be a sign of equality as showing that one man is as good as another.  It is overlooked that among gentlemen who are on a perfect equality, there is deference of manner towards each other.  Without it, equality becomes mere familiarity. In a democratic nation every person is a gentleman or a lady in social rights, and perpetual deference to each other is a mark of educated equality.  What reticence is in speech, deference is in manners.  Those who do not know when to be silent are not more offensive than they who do not know when to be still.  The babbler is one with the familiar.  Deference is the acknowledgment of individual superiority where it exists.  Rudeness is a coarse assumption of the right to disregard the feelings and convenience of others.  It is not equality, it is insolence.

    Emigrants who have left Great Britain because affairs were hopeless about them, naturally conclude that the country will not last long which could not find a livelihood for them; and they diffuse about them an impression that "the old country is about to burst up."  I met with a droll instance of this in Ottawa.  Rumors of the distress of the working class in England had spread over the United States and Canada, and a deputation of farmers were known to have over-run both countries, seeking sites for settlements.  A porter at the Russell House, Ottawa, a square looking youth, with readiness of speech, of Irish extraction I judged, though "raised" in England, told me, with great confidence in the accuracy of his own knowledge, that "the people in England were fighting to get into the poorhouse, and that the Queen was so struck and agitated by the distress and ruin of England, that she had sent her wisest men to America to find out the cause, and that they had been to Ottawa making inquiries."  The process, as he described it, of going so far from home to find out what was the matter there, certainly looked a little odd and roundabout.  Nevertheless, one cause of the condition of the farmer in England is doubtless to be found in America.  My amusing informant added, "England was not cowed like Ireland, and would rise and put down the Government if the ruin went on."  His idea evidently was that the Government could prevent any evil if it chose.

    The unrest which is a feature of American life, is a natural growth of the settler's condition in a new country.  The early settlers were broken up by the Indians.  When the settlers increased they broke up the Indians to make more room for themselves.  Afterwards adventurers from Europe kept up a general alertness of mind.  Men being free, as men were never free before in this world, the first effects are unrest.  The resources of American life being apparently boundless, and land plentiful and fruitful being easily acquired, the appetite for adventure arises and grows by what it feeds upon.  Having so many chances, Americans have less need of security than Englishmen, since, if one chance fails the American, there are many others open to him.  Opportunity is up early in the morning, and may be met about all day.  The chances of even splendor of life incite the new settler to incur risks to obtain it which Englishmen seldom think of undertaking.  Restlessness is not the disease of Republicanism.  It is the malady of ambition梠f indigence and hopelessness梥uddenly confronted with great opportunities.  Disorder itself marches at the heels of success.  Vastness of half-occupied country begets lawlessness, and lawlessness begets the fighting power, and the fighting power begets the fighting habit.  Wealth easily gained begets luxury, and luxury begets desperate efforts to maintain itself.  Where great results are possible, ambition, never ignited in Europe is set on fire there.  Splendid houses are possessed by men once poor and abject.  In territories so vast there are wild parts where the country is a camp, and the rule which for a time prevails is the rule of the knife.  But every increase of numbers helps to bring in the rule of law.

    Some travellers have reported disparagingly of American inquisitiveness.  A stranger being besieged with questions of a very personal nature, seemed to me a very natural thing in a country of widely-dispersed settlers.  So many are far away from centres of news that they have a craving for it others never know.  The stranger is to them a peripatetic newspaper.  His object in coming there, his destination, the place whence he first set out, the place which he has left, all imply new information.  He knows something which is unknown to the inquirers, and they want to know what it is; it is partly curiosity and partly necessity.  There is something stirring elsewhere, or he would not be stirring there.  The craving for news is a passion of the settler's condition, and the habit of acquiring it clings to him when he is in a position to obtain information otherwise.  The saturated English traveller from populous cities, where news is heard from a thousand tongues, is too apt to forget that the isolated have parched minds and thirst for details.

    The splendid school system of the country causes a much higher average of intelligence than we have in England.  I frequently heard young ladies of fifteen or eighteen years of age speak familiarly and intelligently of public questions, cite the names, recall the record, describe the capacity of public men with an accuracy of judgment which would be thought unusual in ladies in England of mature age.  Where general intelligence reaches so high a level, persons of distinguished attainments are less conspicuous than they are in a nation where the majority are ignorant.  Where the many know little, a person whose knowledge reaches only the standard of mediocrity has a chance of being conspicuous, and a person of ordinary attainments is eminent.  But it implies a higher state of progress where the majority are well informed, than where only a few are so.  In America there are a million villas to a single mansion.  This implies a far higher average of comfort than where there are a thousand great houses, and a million hovels.

    Publicists in the United States know perfectly well the intellectual requirements of the population. Nothing has been spoken upon such a subject in England showing more practical wisdom than the following passage by Professor J. C. Zachos, teacher of oratory, English language, and literature, at the Cooper Union, New York, before named:


    It is generally assumed that brutality and ignorance, idleness and dissipation, criminality and pauperism, are confined for the most part among the poor and uneducated class of the community.  This is a great mistake.  When a man or woman does not support himself or herself by fullfilling some useful and necessary function 1n society, either in administration or work, what is this but pauperism without beggary? When a man or woman disregards sentiments of honor, outrages feelings of humanity, tramples upon the weak and wrongs the innocent, robs and steals by professional devices and "tricks of the trade," what is he or she but a criminal in the sight of God and all honest hearts, though far beyond the reach of the law? When a man or woman, " with the best intentions," does not know how to preserve his or her health, or the children's, in the ordinary conditions of life; "knows much of books, but little of men," much about literature and history, but little of nature; is conversant with "letters and language," but knows not the alphabet of science nor the elements of natural history梚s not all this very miserable ignorance of things essential to human happiness and progress? Ignorance does not signify the absence of knowledge on every and all subjects, but of those the most essential to our position, opportunities, and obvious duties. Is not this kind of ignorance very common among what are called the intelligent, and even the " learned " classes?


    This passage contains a volume upon the morality of daily life. Eccentricity in piety in America is imputed to the want of that delicacy and taste supposed to be conspicuous in Democratic institutions; yet in England Moody and Sankey exhibitions were promoted by noblemen. Thurlow Weed, a politician always spoken of now as a "venerable and great authority," has lately given the following description of American Christianity:


Clergymen do not, as formerly, dwell and linger upon the dark feature of theology. Nothing is now heard of the fate of "infants not a span long." The ministry of our day is a ministry of peace, charity, and good will. This generation learns to love and serve rather than to dread and distrust our Creator and Saviour.


    This is said in answer to a great American heretic, Col. R. G. Ingersoll.  But the answer itself is heresy in England.  The intolerance complained of in American religious life did not strike me as being at all so serious as it is sometimes represented.  Intolerance in any degree is thought more of in America than elsewhere, because the general liberty of opinion is so great there.  There is, however, I observed, some neat unadulterated intolerance in many church quarters in the States; but the bluest pattern is imported, and, as a rule, does not keep its color in America.  It is objected that a stranger settling anywhere in the country is asked by his neighbor what church he purposes to attend, and that there is an exacting expectation that he should go to some place.  The question, however, is often put merely to test the stranger's tastes.  If no place on hand suits him, things are sometimes made unpleasant to him.  But this objection to nonconformity is a very different thing from what it is in England.  In America there are fifty religious to one in England, and a man is fairly thought to be fastidious and "stuck up" who, amid the great variety presented to him for selection, cannot find one to his mind.  They offer him so many specimens that they think it a reflection upon their ingenuity if not one will suit the new comer.  If, however, the stranger who is thus difficult to please, chooses to set up a new religion for himself, there is nothing more said.  He is quite at liberty to do it, and if he "strikes ile" in unexpected quarters he becomes popular, as having increased the theological resources of the community American Christians are braver-minded than English.  They believe in spite of irreverent humor.  They can laugh at droll aspects of the thing they like.  We think ridicule kills piety.  The religion of the nation does not stand upon the connection of the Church with the State, but upon conviction, which is braver.  Americans have such prodigal material resources that they expect a great deal of everything.  Whether it be theology or politics, they like large quantities of it.  As with us, those who promise most are most popular.  It is only the few who see that a little truth makes you wealthier than ten times the amount of error.  But with the bulk of mankind, as they are, making great promises is a good trade alike in politics or piety.  It does not much matter that nothing comes true.  Many generations of men will live on expectations, as the history of great creeds shows.  Those who believe in many things are much better regarded by the public than those who believe in few.  Simplicity and truth seem shabbiness by the side of the profuseness of error and the opulence of delusion.  Besides the thinking class (never very numerous in any country), who look for evidence of new truth or for verifications of supposed truth, there are two other classes梩hose who have each a set of first principles for himself, and those梩he most numerous of all梬ho have no principles whatever, and do not want any.

    The reason why spiritualism answers better in America than elsewhere is because anybody may put what interpretation he pleases upon any proposition advanced; and in districts where there is no standard of common sense or test of science established, the believer has it all his own way.  Then people who aim at nothing almost always hit it and nobody disputes their success.

    The American manner of speech is more picturesque than in England.  People look at things in a more unconventional way.  I had excused myself to my host, Mr. Hill, at Florence for smoking, by saying I did it to avoid pretence of perfection.  "Yes," he said, "You don't want to be an angel at starting out."  One thing which struck me in meeting American ladies was seeing how large a number were teeth-talkers.  They used their teeth like a piano, and the pretty accents seemed to run along the rows.  English women usually talk with their lips, which is enticing, but the American method has very winning ways with it.



    The Irish, whose charm is perplexingness, do not suffer that quality to deteriorate in America. They submit to the Church, but rebel against secular government. They submit to ecclesiastical authority abjectly, and resist the nobler authority of reason foolishly. Having been so long oppressed and deceived, they suspect nobody so much as those who try to serve them.

    Among Americans I found descendants of the old Tory party still of opinion that the United States would be the better for a king.  I conversed with many who longed for an aristocracy.  There are always persons who, having acquired or inherited riches without capacity, or disposition to distinguish themselves in the public service, would welcome any system which accorded them distinction without dessert.  Besides there are in every state numerous persons who think they could manage public affairs much more satisfactorily, at least, to themselves, without the troublesome control of the democracy.  There are people who decry and give dismal accounts of popular government.  Then there are those who having lost the opportunity of exercising paternal government over the colored people, would be glad to extend it to the whites.  Others I found, as we find them in England, making quite a reputation by denouncing the supposed tyranny of others, with a view to putting a real one of their own in its place.  Amid ingenious and varying disguises of patriotic speech, it was not difficult to discern the irrigating current of personal purpose, running beneath their fertile ardor.  You know the Democratic Republican, who professes exclusively to represent the interests of the people, by the same sign that you know the Tory-Chartist in England.  In London, he professes neither to believe in Whigs or Tories.  If he owns to a preference it is that he would rather see the Tories in power than the Whigs; and what he says, and what he supports, all tend to that end.  In America the Democratic-Republican denounces Republicans and Democrats alike.  His impartial soul soars to a nobler ideal, but it is the Democratic thing he will be found aiding nevertheless.  Whoever cares only for his own personal interest, whether as an individual or as a member of a class, teaches public men, so far as his example goes, to act upon the same principle, and one day the property and freedom of himself and those whom he represents may be swept away by those whom he has instructed to use power for their own purposes.

    So many aspects of American and Canadian life strike a stranger, that the space I have prescribed for myself will not contain them all.  Many persons have been omitted whom I ought to name and also many incidents which I should like to relate.  No doubt as many have been described as will suffice to satisfy the reader that the people and the country have inexhaustible interest.  It is a land where each man believes that he can move the State himself, and sometimes one man does it.  America is a land where no oppression can long exist, except that which the people choose to inflict upon themselves.  Daniel Webster once said to an aspiring, but modest young lawyer, who had expressed his fear that the profession was overcrowded, "My young friend, there is always plenty of room at the top."  Meaning that excellence where most needed is never in excess, and that on the path leading to it, requiring courage and perseverance to travel, there is seldom seen many passengers.  In no country is there much competition at the top, but the road to it is more open in America than elsewhere, while paths to honorable prosperity are innumerable, and some of them three thousand miles long.


NOTE.桾he nature of these paths, and the co-operative way of travelling therein, is the subject of the next and final chapter, which, additional to those announced, will conclude this series.  For reasons given in it, it will be devoted to an entirely neglected subject, "Emigrant Education."

 
CHAPTER XV.

EMIGRANT EDUCATION.


"The German and Irish millions, like the negro, have a great deal of guano in their destiny.  They are ferried over the Atlantic and carted over America, to ditch and to drudge, to make corn cheap, and then to lie down prematurely to make a spot of green grass on the prairie."  Let us hope this is a history of the past only.  A more melancholy outlook for emigrants than these words of Emerson's is scarcely conceivable.  Yet the same may be said of the fate of the majority of pioneers of all nations hitherto, who have gone out to found their fortunes in new countries.  Yet co-operative arrangements are possible which would diminish "guano" in the destiny of adventure, and delay the appearance of the "spot of green" on the prairie until it suited the emigrant that it should appear.

    One condition of organized emigration is a book of the kind described in Chapter XII.  The need of a Government guide book to all the States, may be seen by the following letters, which were sent to me while there.  The first writer, Mr. S. J. Athern, does not think much of Texas, and he speaks as an emigrant of thirty-three years' experience.  He says:


"You saw when here [New York] the chagrin and terrible disappointment of a party of English farmers who settled (or, rather purchased land, for they could not "settle") in that terribly trying and arid State of Texas.  In Texas the land, or much of it, is arid, the climate is trying, and the civilization of that vast territory is not inviting; in short, it takes a nation of Texans to reside in Texas to battle with the pistol and the bowie-knife, which have sway in that State.  Thirty-three years ago I was an emigrant myself, so that you see I have a fellow-feeling for those who follow in my wake."



The next writer bears excellent testimony in favor of Texas. He has had forty-two years' experience of the State. Mr. George W. Grant, of Huntsville, Walter County, Texas, wrote to me saying that


    "He had been a citizen of that State since 1837, over forty-two years; had been much over the State, and knew it well, and was impressed with the belief that the climate, soil, and seasons are as well, if not better, adapted for emigrant enterprise than any other place.  Land is cheap; that some counties hold over 1,700 acres granted from the State for school purposes.  University and other public institutions own much rich prairie country, with wood and rock, for every purpose梘razing and farming land梬hich can be bought from $1 to $2 per acre, on ten years' time, at 8 per cent interest."


The next writer is clear as to the fertility of the country, but less so as to the intellectual fertility of some of the people. Mr. William M'Ilwrath, of Chillicothe, (Mo.) with whom I do not agree梬rites as follows:


    "A great many come here and think because the country is fertile, the people untrammelled by any of the Old Country ideas or associations, that here, and here alone, is to be found true Republican government梩rue representative government.  There is, perhaps, no country to-day for which a combination of circumstances has done so much, and for which the people thereof have themselves done so little.  About fifty millions of people are here ruled, in one sense, as completely by an oligarchy of moneyed men as ever was a petty duchy of Europe ruled by its duke.  Our people are not any more ignorant than the mass of people of other countries; but there is this peculiar feature about the ignorance of many梩hey think they know everything, and convey that thought with them into their everyday action.  The ignorant person in other countries is, as a general thing, conscious of his ignorance; but here he is not.  The most complex, most abstruse questions in the science of government can be fully explained to you by an ignoramus."


    The want of the next writer is manifestly some book which he can depend upon for guidance. Mr. H. Smith, Greeley, Colorado, writes as follows:


    "I have been in this country some years, have a wife, and three children, have been farming and laboring, and, by close economy and hard work, have got together a few hundred dollars cash.  Wish to get me a farm and home for self and family, and not having means enough to run around the country and find out whether what I read is true of lands, and having no friends to help me, I do not see how to make a good and safe investment, or how much confidence to put in what I read about the country, so that I can act with safety.  I have seen enough of going off alone on the prairie, or in the woods, with no schools or advantages of any kind."


    Canada, no less than the United States, affords the same sort of eloquent, because unconcerted, testimony as to the need of trustworthy information.  Last year1880梩here sailed from the river Mersey, Liverpool, 180,000 emigrants75,000 were English, about 2,000 Scotch, 29,000 Irish, and 74,000 foreigners.  What an advantage to all these persons it would have been to have a book they could trust, telling them what to expect wherever they might go.

    As these chapters may be read abroad, I conclude them with some passages from the report I made to the London Cooperative Guild at Exeter Hall early in 1880, shortly after my return from America.  As application came for as many as 4,000 copies of that statement for the use of workingmen in one district, after the sale of the Co-operative News, which alone contained it was exhausted, it will clearly serve many readers if the chief statements are included here.  Mr. Walter Morrison presided on the occasion.  The Guild, which owes its existence to the genius and devotion of Mr. Hodgson Pratt, is the most generous department of co-operation, because its object is to extend the knowledge of that new principle of industry which introduces equity into all relations of labor, gives to workmen certainty of moderate competence, and affords capital ad vantages of which it need not be ashamed.  What I represented on that occasion was that it is by no act or inspiration of ours that our countrymen do emigrate.  When emigration is a choice of those who have means it is creditable to the enterprise of the nation; when it is a necessity of the poor it is a disgrace to a community which does not know how to take care of its own people.  To the needy, the friendless, and the ignorant, emigration is a terror; it is a forlorn adventure on untried existence.  Few can conceive the misery of the long isolated journey from homeland.  With little means and less knowledge, the poor wanderer is often stripped of his slender store on the way, and never reaches his destination.  Then he becomes an unwelcome addition to the workmen of large cities, who resent his intrusion, as by his desperate competition for employment he brings down wages and helps to create the very same condition of things from which he has fled.  Tossed about the unknown eddies of thronged labor markets, he soon sinks.  Unless local, reluctant charity梤eluctant because already overburdened梡icks him up, his end is more deplorable than it would have been had he remained at home.  This cry comes back to us from every great city.  I heard it myself in New York, in Philadelphia, in Fall River, in Cincinnati, and Chicago.

    The great centres of industry are as candles, which lure the helpless, light-pursed moths of labor to perish in their flames.  Then how fares it with those whose means do hold out, and who do reach the prairies?  I speak still of the poor emigrant.  What knows the tailor, the shoemaker, the mechanic, the weaver, the jeweler, the clerk from the desk, or the assistant from behind the counter, of the agricultural life they have adventured upon?  They know nothing of the soil, nor seasons, nor currents, nor climate.  They do not know the crops when they see them, nor know how to cook the unfamiliar produce when they have raised it.  They do not foresee the malaria which may leap from the newly-turned soil, nor the ague that hides in the evening air.  Far away it may be from human habitation, the wandering quack is the only physician of the solitary settler梩he wandering Indian his only and often dubious visitor.  His road to the nearest market is through pathless woods and unfathomed creeks.  Over that trackless way he must drag his produce, if he has any to sell; or carry his provisions, if he has money to buy any.  He begins life anew, as though he were the first man turned out of Eden to seek subsistence in an untrodden land.  He encounters isolation, dreariness, privation, and often despair, under which many sink, while those who hardily succeed generally become animalized in the determined struggle.  The ordinary emigrant from England passes from the brightness, convenience and abounding society of cities to the silence of the forest and the companionship of unknown creatures, who beset or crawl in his path.  His new destiny is to fight the sullen and fruitful wilderness, which accords him plenty if he conquers it, or gives him but a grave if he fails.  It is of the nature of a merciful thing to mitigate the bitterness of this experience.  Co-operation can smooth the path of this form of enterprise.  It can collect families to go out together.  It can procure them right information.  It can provide a conductor on their passage out, and convey them to colony land, where houses are erected and provisions provided until crops can be raised; and it can supply a practical director until the settlers learn to take care of themselves.  Co-operation can take the peril and uncertainty out of friendless adventure, and lend the charm of comfort and security to manly and industrial enterprise.  So great are the unforeseen opportunities of free countries and cheap lands, that even isolated emigrants梐ble to incur hardships with spirit and strength梒ontinually succeed and attain to absolute opulence; but even they own that struggles which were avoidable, had organized emigration been available to them, have left savage or selfish marks upon their character, which it is the interest of society to prevent, if it be possible, in the future.

    Articles published by General Mussey in the "Sovereign Bulletin" of Washington on "Organized Colonization" are wise and comprehensive.  The plan devised in New York by the Co-operative Colony Aid Association has for its object桾o purchase land in a salubrious spot adjacent to a city; to arrange a park in the centre of the colony, erect a school-house for the education of the children, and a co-operative store to supply the provisions of the settlers; put up tenements for them to enter upon, and apportion farm holdings necessary for their subsistence; and so soon as the produce of an emigrant's labor has repaid all outlay on his account, to convey to him absolute possession of his allotted estate.  In the meantime a travelling agent may conduct groups of emigrants from the land where they embark to the colony, where a resident director will advise them in their employment until each colonist becomes the owner of his apportioned estate.  The organizers of the colony intend to keep their aid clear alike from charity or profit.  A return of a moderate interest upon the capital used, until it is repaid, is all they seek.  The object of co-operation is to encourage self-help, and to assist it without patronage.  Whether aims so sensible, so moderate, and so free from Utopianism as these can be carried out, remains to be seen.

    It soon appeared to me that there was a Babel of land agents, and no authoritative voice amongst them.  No emigrant setting out here, no emigrant arriving there, could tell to whom to listen, or where to settle.  Many agents were entirely honest, but few persons ordinarily accessible knew which was which.  Choice of land was as much a lottery in New York as London.  There was no standard by which to compare any man's statements, and no one knew all the thirty-seven States and Territories of the United States, or what Province to choose in the Dominion of Canada.  No person, unless he was a very old man, could prudently advise an emigrant to go anywhere, since only such an adviser might hope to be dead before the emigrant wrote home to say that he had been sent to quite the wrong place.  It seemed to me that a State book was wanted, setting forth the estimated quantities of land open to enterprise in every State to be had by purchase or gift, conditions of tenure, process of acquisition, arable quality, climate, sanitary peculiarities of the State, conditions of health as to exposure, diet, and clothing, markets for labor, and commodities near, facilities of transport of produce, and the purchasing power of money梩his information would enable an emigrant to go out with his eyes open.  Land agents may honestly be ignorant of many things; a Government can be informed on all.  Besides, a Government can be trusted.  It will, as a rule, neither lie nor exaggerate, and its summary of the facts of all States with which it is connected will enable anyone to test generally the representations made by interested individuals.  When I had resolved to ask this of the Government of Washington, I thought it becoming in me, as an English subject, first to ask it of our Government at Ottawa.

    The steps taken to that end, and the interviews accorded me thereupon, have already been narrated.

    America is to civilization what France is to Europe梩he seed land of progress and equality.  It is the empire where ideas reign.  Thought grows there like their forests.  Enterprise is in the air.  Equity in labor may extend there as well as equity in trade.  Think what that means in commerce!  In America few things are what they seem.  No one imagines that prepared provisions are pure.  Any man will admit that "honesty is the best policy," but many seem afraid to try it.  Honest quality, honest weight, honest price梩hat means morality in daily life.  Co-operation not only makes it possible, but makes it profitable.  It was seeing this that induced ministers of religion to volunteer their high names to further this movement.  Did not the Marquis of Ripon tell us at Manchester of his regret that the co-operative principle of according to labor a participation in profit had made small progress in England, during the thirty years that he had known the movement?  Americans would die of this dilatoriness.  It would be alike a mercy to labor and capital to take this idea to that more discerning land.  One day I may ask the Government of Australia for an emigrant book; like that asked for in Washington and Ottawa.  To us it is a matter of indifference to what country emigrants may go.  Our object is to see that they go from England intelligently, and not ignorantly, and that the advantages co-operation may offer shall be available to them.  From the State departments of the Canadian and American Governments I have received valuable maps, and sufficient volumes to form a library for the Guild.

    From Washington I received 475 valuable maps of seventeen of the chief States of America; these, with other documents given me by the Canadian Government, together with numerous letters and schemes from correspondents, I have transferred to the Guild for the use of co-operative, secular, and working men's societies and clubs.  Mr. Alsager Hay Hill, editor of the "Labor News," 15 Russell street, Covent Garden, London, has knowledge and means of advising emigrants.  His disinterested service of working people is widely known.  Many letters which I have received from land agents are marked by candor and circumstance of statement, are full of interest and valuable information, and confidence may manifestly be placed in the writers.  Any colony aid committee need not seek to supersede nor conflict with already well-organized arrangements which individual agencies may have established.  Many States in Australia, as also in Canada or America, have authorized agents, official and responsible, for the sale of State lands.  All an English committee require to do is to devise a plan of co-operative emigration, and carry it out as an example and model to others.  By communication with individuals and official agents they might be induced to add co-operative features, facilities, and securities to their plans.  It is no object, nor necessity of an English society, to conduct the business of the world themselves, but to induce and by example encourage all concerned in trade, commerce, and emigration, to conduct it, as far as possible, upon co operative lines.  Thus a knowledge of associate principles may be carried, as it were, upon the wings of the wind to the four corners of the world, and made enduring in men's minds by the sense of timely, profitable, and disinterested service.

    I care for emigration exactly as I care for co-operation梐s the cause of the poor, not of the rich.  I am not for that emigration which takes away the well-paid workman from a good employer.  But I am for the emigration of all those who cannot find a well-spread table for their families here.  And it is the interest of all of us that emigration should be in the future co-operative, as it will diminish the competition which will arise otherwise among isolated settlers, and it will develop social life where it is most needed.  Englishmen and English ideas are welcome in the United States and Canada and it is to the interest of this country that freedom, civilization, and social life should be strengthened by the solidity of English thought.  Besides, it must be obvious to all who are familiar with public affairs that the world has changed.  Industrial society has reached a new stage.  New forces, new conditions, and new opportunities now exist. Europe is crowded.  Crowns, feudalism, privilege, partial laws, and devouring armaments, deprive the common people of subsistence or condemn them to perpetual precariousness.  Here in England we have surplus workers; abroad there are unoccupied acres, where a hundred millions of families may dwell in opulence and ownership.  Here the Government offers to workmen only the lot of the soldier or the fate of the pauper.  The sole deliverance is that of wedding the people to the prairies.  The new cry of progress is梔ispersion.  If workmen are wise they will train no more children for mine or mill.  Mechanics only minister to luxury they can, as a rule, never taste.  Children should be trained for the field.  Their eyes should be taught to look abroad.  They should be familiarized with the literature of adventure, and fed with the inspiration of distant enterprise.  No education is of any value to them which does not include that of the farm, and soil, and crops, and climates.  The steamship will carry them to lands of independence in ten days.  I for one say to mechanics, Beg no more for employment, higgle and supplicate no more for hopeless increase of wages梘o away.  The farmer does not want you, the manufacturer does not want you, the tradesman does not want you, the poor-law guardians do not want you梘o away.  You have nothing to gain by violence梱ou ought not to seek anything from pity.  Learn from the negro of the South if you cannot learn from your own pride梘o away.  Wait not around the shopkeeper's till for the dole of workhouse rates.  Hang no more round the doors of the Poor-law Union梘o away.  Be no recruits in the hateful wars of empire.  Shed not your blood in carrying desolation and death among nations as honest and more unfortunate than yourselves.  No terror or toil of the wilderness can equal the peril and shame of this梘o away.  Let those who will 'rectify frontiers'梱our duty is to 'rectify the frontier' of poverty and dependence.  Let those who have just employers honor them and continue in their service.  Let all who can command adequate subsistence here remain and increase the honest renown and prosperity of their native land.  But let the poor save a little capital at co-operative stores, and join the great fortunes of those nations where freedom and equality dwell; and where wealth awaits all who have fortitude, common sense, courage, and industry.  To all who by generous care of others endow emigrants with co-operative knowledge and create for them co-operative facilities梩o them will belong the praise of advancing progress without conflict, of saving labor and capital from the ultimate strife of blood, and of insuring the prosperity of every honest interest, beyond the dreams of statesmanship.


______________


    Since these words were spoken I have seen Lord Dufferin's just and wise admission made at Toronto, that emigration benefits alike the country which is left and the country which is adopted.  Since then the question of the land bids fair to swallow up all others.  Workmen are beginning now to listen to the cry of Ebenezer Elliott raised fifty years ago


O, pallid Want!   O, Labor stark!
Behold, behold, the Second Ark!
                       The Land! the Land!


It was the same far-seeing, but then neglected, Anti-Corn Law Rhymer梩he last of the poets who put politics into his verses梬ho wrote


                           He ties up hands
                           Who locks up lands:
The lands which can't be sold and bought
Bring men and States to worse than nought:
The lands which can be freely sold
Are worth a world of barren gold.


It has taken fifty years to make English statesmen and the English people understand this.

 


 

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