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dred acres, the fees were 13. 10s. This 1 mentioned to the Sheriff and several of the principal merchants at Montreal, who did not dispute it; one of them observing only that he believed there had been cases in which grants of 50 acres were made without fees.* It is much to be regretted that where land is said to be gratuitously bestowed, any fees should be deemed necessary; as the boon, when accompanied with this demand, is calculated to produce discontent rather than gratitude, especially where the emigrant finds that his fees amount to one half the sum at which he could select and buy the same quantity of land, without the delay attending the grant, and unshackled with any conditions or clearing dues. The surveyors receive their compensation in land, and generally secure the most valuable portions. When I was in Canada, they would sell their best lots at one dollar per acre; while 137. 10s. the fees on a hundred acres, amount to more than half a dollar per acre. I never met with any one person among all those with whom I conversed on the subject, who did not agree that, if a settler had but a very little money, it would be much more to his advantage to buy land, than to receive it from government.
Supposing the emigrant to be able to pay his fees, he may still have the misfortune to find that his allotment (for he can only choose his township, not his estate,) is not worth cultivating. In this case he has to pay two respectable persons for
I believe grants of 50 acres are generally, or always, to be obtained without fees.
surveying and certifyihg it to be irreclaimable; and he is then permitted to take his chance in the next distribution. Generally speaking, I believe he may expect to find himself in his own forest from three to six weeks after his arrival at the Land Office in Upper Canada.
Even then his situation is most dreary, especially if he has no neighbour within a reasonable distance, and has to purchase and carry his provisions from a remote settlement. But if he has no money to procure food; if he has a wife and family to provide for, without the forlorn hope of parish assistance; if he is a weaver or a spinner, accustomed to warm rooms, and to employments little calculated to impart either the mental or physical qualifications essential to his very support; if he is, in fact, of a class to which a large proportion of the poor emigrants from Great Britain belong, I can hardly conceive any thing more distressing than his sensations, when, arriving on his new estate, with an axe in his hand and all his worldly goods in his wallet, he finds himself in the midst of a thick forest, whose lofty trees are to be displaced by a labour almost Herculean, before he can erect the most humble shelter, or cultivate the smallest patch. And if at such a time he has further to anticipate the rigours of a long Canadian winter, his situation must be deplorable in the extreme.
Under such circumstances, which I should imagine are the ordinary circumstances of the poorest emigrants to Canada, I can conceive of no resource, nor could I hear of any, except that of hiring them
selves to some older settler, in the hope of saving a trifle in order to be able, in the course of time, to pay for clearing an acre or two of their forest farm, or to buy provisions while they attempt a task for which they are little qualified. Sometimes a few will join, and one half hire themselves out to obtain provisions for the other half while felling the trees. If they surmount the difficulties of the first year, they may expect at its termination to be in possession of an adequate supply of food for their families; and with the prospect, if they are industrious, of being independent and progressively prosperous during the remainder of their lives.
Those, however, who have money enough to provide for their immediate wants, and to pay the expense of clearing a moderate proportion of their land, (possessing 100l. to 200l. or 500l. for instance,) may, in a single year, be very comfortably settled in a decent log-house with out-buildings, and with every prospect of a liberal supply of all the substantial comforts of a farm. Every year would add largely to their abundance, and to their facilities for improving and extending their estate; but they would accumulate money but slowly, unless they had, as they probably would have, an occasional foreign market for their grain besides the West Indies. They may also derive some little profit from pot and pearl ashes, which Mr. Gof Montreal told me he received on consignment from Ohio; a distance of 800 miles, by way of Lake Erie and Ontario. The situation of the Upper Canadas is further said to be favourable to
the culture of hemp, notwithstanding the failure hitherto of the most promising experiments.
Grain, however, will be their staple commodity; and although the large body of settlers who arrive annually may afford a temporary market, they will soon produce far more than they consume, and under ordinary circumstances will depress the prices very nearly to a level with the cost of production. Indeed I heard the farmers of Lower Canada complaining that their markets were glutted with the produce of the Upper Province.
For several years the average price of wheat in Upper Canada has been about five shillings for sixty pounds; but on the American shores of the Lake we found it at twenty-five to thirty-three cents; and although its introduction into Upper Canada is either prohibited or shackled with heavy duties, it of course will find its way into the province whenever the price there is materially higher than at home. In the Lower Province, when our ports are open, they consume American grain, and export their own; as it is necessary their shipments should be accompanied with certificates of Canadian origin.
Any interruption to the timber trade would di-. minish the market for grain; since a very large body of consumers are found in the raftsmen, who collect and convey the timber from the lakes and rivers to Quebec, and in the crews of five or six hundred vessels who replenish some part at least of their stores at that port. The raftsmen are in a great measure the link of communication between the Montreal and Quebec merchants on the
one hand, and the emigrants and back-woodsmen on the other the channels through which British manufactures flow into the interior, and country produce to the coast.
Although, therefore, I have a list befofe me of fourteen heads of families, with eighty-six children, who, beginning the world with nothing but their industry, have, in the course of fifteen or twenty years in Canada, accumulated an aggregate amount of property of 35,500l., about 2500l. each, I conceive that a farmer removing thither from Europe, for the purpose of making money rapidly, would certainly be disappointed. On the other hand, if his object were to prevent the diminution of what little property he actually possessed, and to secure independence for himself and a career of prosperous industry for his children to purchase, by the sacrifice of the many comforts of an old settled country, the advantages of a less crowded population and a cheaper soil-to withdraw from the burdens, without retiring from the protection, of his native land, and without assuming those obligations to another government which might make him the enemy of his own-to settle, though in a distant colony, among his countrymen and fellow-subjects, within means of instruction for his children and opportunies of public worship for his family;-if these were his objects, and he could bring with him health, temperance, and industry, and one or two hundred pounds, I am persuaded that in the ordinary course of things, he would be remunerated a thousand fold for his privations.