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unlawful ways too many of our young Gentlemen take to maintain themselves according to their high education, having but small Estates; here, with a few Servants and a small Stock a great Estate may be raised, although his Birth have not entituled him to any of the Land of his Ancestors, yet his Industry may supply him so, as to make him the head of as famous a family.
If any Maid or single Woman have a desire to go over, they will think themselves in the Golden Age, when Men paid a Dowry for their Wives; for if they be but Civil, and under 50 years of Age, some honest Man or other, will purchase them for their Wives.
'Those that desire further advice, or Servants that would be entertained, let them repair to Mr. Matthew Wilkinson, Ironmonger, at the Sign of the Three Feathers, in Bishopsgate-Street, where they may be informed when the ships will be ready, and what they must carry with them.
F. Advice to Immigrants to South Carolina, 1731 The author here gives some specific directions and advice to intending emigrants such as would best aid them in making preparations for their departure to a new and unknown country.
Proposals by Mr. Peter Purry, of Newfchatel, for Encouragement
of such Swiss Protestants as should agree to accompany him to
Carolina, to settle a New Colony. There are only two Methods, viz: one for Persons to go as Servants, the other to settle on their own Account.
1. Those who are desirous to go as Servants must be Carpenters, Vine-planters, Husbandmen, or good Labourers.
2. They must be such as are not very Poor, but in a Condition to carry with them what is sufficient to support their common necessity.
3. They must have at least 3 or 4 good Shirts, and a Suit of Cloathes each.
4. They are to have each for their Wages 100 Livres yearly, which make 50 Crowns of the Money of Newfchatel in Swisserland, but their Wages are not to commence till the Day of their arrival in Carolina.
" A Description of the Province of South Carolina, Drawn up at Charles Town, in September, 1731. By J. P. Purry, et al. In Force, Tracts and Other Papers (Washington, 1836), II, no. xi, 14-16.
5. Expert Carpenters shall have suitable Encouragement.
6. The time of their Contract shall be 3 Years, reckoning from the Day of their arrival in that Country.
7. They shall be supply'd in part of their Wages with Money to come from Swisserland, till they imbark for Carolina.
8. Their Wages shall be paid them regularly at the end of every Year; for security whereof they shall have the Fruits of their Labour, and generally all that can be procured for them, whether Moveables or Imoveables.
9. Victuals and Lodging from the Day of their Imbarkation shall not be put to their Account, nor their Passage by Sea.
10. They shall have what Money they want advanced during the Term of their Service in part of their Wages to buy Linnen, Clothes, and all other Necessaries.
11. If they happen to fall Sick they shall be lodg'd and nourish'd Gratis, but their Wages shall not go on during their Illness, or that they are not able to Work.
12. They shall serve after Recovery, the time they had lost during their Sickness.
13. What goes to pay Physicians or Surgeons, shall be put to their Accompt.
As to those who go to settle on their own Account, they must have at least 50 Crowns each, because their Passage by Sea, and Victuals, will cost from 20 to 25 Crowns, and the rest of the Money shall go to procure divers things which will be absolutely necessary for the Voyage.
It may not be disagreeable in this place to inform our Readers, that Mr. Purry, on his Return to Swisserland, with this Account of Carolina, soon prevail'd on many industrious Persons and their Families to the Number of about 400, to go with him. On the 11th of this Month (August, 1732] they embarked at Calais in France, on Board two English Ships, which arrived off Dover the next Day, and are now sailed on their Voyage. Mr. Bignion their Minister came to London, and received Episcopal Ordination: So that the Reflections which some have cast on the Religion of these people, are unjustly founded.
G. Design of Establishing the Colony in Georgia, 17331
The colony of Georgia was planned as a philanthropic enterprise to serve as & refuge for the poor and distressed in Europe. It was to be managed by a board of trustees. General Oglethorpe, who was the founder of the colony, was a man of the highest character and motives.
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE DESIGNS OF THE TRUSTEES FOR ESTABLISHING
THE COLONY OF GEORGIA IN AMERICA.
In America there are fertile lands sufficient to subsist all the useless Poor in England, and distressed Protestants in Europe; yet Thousands starve for want of mere sustenance. The distance makes it difficult to get thither. The same want that renders men useless here, prevents their paying their passage; and if others pay it for ’em, they become servants, or rather slaves for years to those who have defrayed the expense. Therefore, money for passage is necessary, but is not the only want; for if people were set down in America, and the land before them, they must cut down trees, build houses, fortify towns, dig and sow the land before they can get in a harvest; and till then, they must be provided with food, and kept together, that they may be assistant to each other for their natural support and protection. ...
FROM THE CHARTER. — His Majesty having taken into his consideration, the miserable circumstances of many of his own poor subjects, ready to perish for want: as likewise the distresses of many poor foreigners, who would take refuge here from persecution; and having a Princely regard to the great danger the southern frontiers of South Carolina are exposed to, by reason of the small number of white inhabitants there, hath, out of his Fatherly compassion towards his subjects, been graciously pleased to grant a charter for incorporating a number of gentlemen by the name of The Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America. They are impowered to collect benefactions; and lay them out in cloathing, arming, sending over, and supporting colonies of the poor, whether subjects or foreigners, in Georgia. And his Majesty farther grants all his lands between the rivers Savannah and Alatamaha, which he erects into a Province by the name of Georgia, unto the Trustees, in trust for the poor, and for the better support of the Colony. ...
* A Brief Account of the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia under Gen. James Oglethorpe (London, 1783). In Force, Tracts and Other Papers (Washington, 1835), I, no. ii, 4-5.
The Trustees intend to relieve such unfortunate persons as cannot subsist here, and establish them in an orderly manner, so as to form a well regulated town. As far as their fund goes, they will defray the charge of their passage to Georgia; give them necessaries, cattle, land, and subsistence, till such time as they can build their houses and clear some of their land. ...
H. Information to Those Who Would Remove to America, 1760 1
In spite of a century and a half of colonization of America by Europeans, and especially by Englishmen, there was a great deal of ignorance and misconception as to actual conditions there. No one was better fitted to describe the situation and give some needed advice than Franklin, with his sound judgment and thorough knowledge.
Many persons in Europe, having directly or by letters, expressed to the writer of this, who is well acquainted with North America, their desire of transporting and establishing themselves in that country; but who appear to have formed, through ignorance, mistaken ideas and expectations of what is to be obtained there; he thinks it may be useful, and prevent inconvenient, expensive, and fruitless removals and voyages of improper persons, if he gives some clearer and truer notions of that part of the world, than appear to have hitherto prevailed. ...
The truth is, that though there are in that country few people so miserable as the poor of Europe, there are also very few that in Europe would be called rich; it is rather a general happy mediocrity that prevails. There are few great proprietors of the soil, and few tenants; most people cultivate their own lands, or follow some handicraft or merchandise; very few are rich enough to live idly upon their rents or incomes, or to pay the highest prices given in Europe for painting, statues, architecture, and the other works of art, that are more curious than useful. . . . Of civil offices, or employments, there are few; no superfluous ones, as in Europe; and it is a rule established in some of the States, that no office should be so profitable as to make it desirable.
These ideas prevailing more or less in all the United States, it can not be worth any man's while, who has a means of living at home, to expatriate himself, in hopes of obtaining a profitable civil office in America; and, as to military offices, they are at an end with the war, the armies being disbanded. Much less is it advisable for a person to
1 Information to those who would Remove to America. By Benjamin Franklin. In Works (Sparks Edition, Boston, 1840), II, 467-472.
go thither, who has no other quality to recommend him but his birth. In Europe it has indeed its value; but it is a commodity that cannot be carried to a worse market than that of America, where people do not inquire concerning a stranger, What is he? but, What can he do? If he has any useful art, he is welcome; and if he exercises it, and behaves well he will be respected by all that know him; but a mere man of quality who, on that account, wants to live upon the public, by some office or salary, will be despised and disregarded. The husbandman is in honor there, and even the mechanic, because their employments are useful....
With regard to encouragements for strangers from government, they are really only what are derived from good laws and liberty. Strangers are welcome, because there is room enough for them all, and therefore the old inhabitants are not jealous of them; the laws protect them sufficiently, so that they have no need of the patronage of great men; and everyone will enjoy securely the profits of his industry. But, if he does not bring a fortune with him, he must work and be industrious to live. One or two years' residence gives him all the rights of a citizen; but the government does not, at present, whatever it may have done in former times, hire people to become settlers, by paying their passages, giving land, negroes, utensils, stock, or any other kind of emolument whatsoever. In short, America is the land of labor, and by no means what the English call Lubberland, and the French Pays de Cocagne, where the streets are said to be paved with half-peck loaves, the houses tiled with pancakes, and where fowls fly about already roasted, crying, Come eat me!
Who then are the kind of persons to whom an emigration to America may be advantageous? And what are the advantages they may reasonably expect?
Land being cheap in that country, from the vast forests still void of inhabitants, and not likely to be occupied in an age to come, insomuch that the propriety of an hundred acres of fertile soil full of. wood may be obtained near the frontiers, in many places, for. eight or ten guineas, hearty young laboring men, who understand the husbandry of corn and cattle, which is nearly the same in that country as in Europe, may easily establish themselves there. A little money saved of the good wages they receive there, while they work for others, enables them to buy the land and begin their plantation, in which they are assisted by the good-will of their neighbors, and some credit. Multitudes of poor people from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Germany, have by this means in a few years become wealthy farmers, who, in their own countries, where all the lands are fully occupied,