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do it, I am sure is on these.
This will have the best..
viceable by their labor in the country. To force them to it, I am afraid, is impracticable ; to suppose they will voluntarily do it, I am sure is unlikely. The colony of Georgia will be a proper asylum for these. This will make the act of parliament of more effect. Here they will have the best motive for industry, a possession of their own and no possibility of subsisting without it.
I have heard it said, that our prisons are the properest places for those who are thrown into them, by keeping them from being hurtful to others. Surely this way of thinking is something too severe. Are these people with their liberty to loose our compassion ? Are they to be shut up from our eyes, and excluded also from our hearts ? Many of very honest dispositions fall into decay, nay perhaps because they are so, because they cannot allow themselves that latitude, which others take to be successful. The ways that lead to a man’s ruin are various. Some are undone by over trading, others by want of trade, many by being responsible for others. Do all these deserve such hardship? If a man sees a friend, a brother, or a father going to a prison, where felons are to be his society, want and sickness his sure attendants, and death in all likelihood his only, but quick relief. If he stretches out his hand to save him, if to rescue him from immediate slavery and ruin, he runs the risk of his own liberty, and at last loses it; is there any one, who will say, this man is not an object of compassion, not only so, but of esteem, and Worth preserving for his virtue? But supposing, that idleness and intemperance are the usual cause of his ruin: are these crimes adequate to such a punishment, as confinement for life? But even yet granting, that these unhappy people deserve no indulgence, it is certainly imprudent in any State to lose the benefit of the labor of so many thousands.
But the public loss by throwing men into prison, is not confined to them only; they have many of them wives and children : these are also involved in their ruin. Being destitute of a support, they must perish, or else become a burthen on their parishes by an inability to work, or a nuisance by their thefts. These too are useless to society. Besides, by the poverty of the wives, and the confinement of the husbands, the public loses the increase, which might be expected from them, and their children, which, though a distant consideration, is not a trifling one.
• In short all those, who can work, yet are supported in idleness by any mistaken charity, or are subsisted by their parishes, which are at this time through all England, overburthened by indolent and lazy poor, who claim, and are indulged that relief designed only for the impotent poor : all those, who add nothing by their labor to the welfare of the State, are useless, burthensome, or dangerous to it.
To say, there are no indigent poor in London, is disputing a thing which every body allows: to say, these can all get employment here, or live by their labor in the country, is asserting a fact, which no one can prove, and very few will believe. The point then to be considered, is, not sending these into the country, which appears impracticable, but preventing others for the future coming from thence, which certainly is reasonable : in the mean time, what is to be done with these necessitous ? Nobody, I suppose, thinks they should continue useless. It will be then an act of charity to these, and of merit to the public, for any one to propose, forward, and perfect a better expedient for making them useful; if he cannot, it is surely just to acquiesce, till a better is found, in the present design of settling them in Georgia.
Those who are convicted of crimes, are sent to the plantations; whether they are of benefit to them or no, I shall not here make question ; but if they are thought proper to be sent, why should not those likewise, whose morals are as yet untainted, and who have the same temptations to villany, idleness, and want ?
But colonies, so far from draining us of our people, certainly add to the increase of them. Let us suppose only twenty men in a town: twelve of these have constant employment: this enables them to marry with comfort, by affording them subsistence for the families they may raise; the other eight who have but scarcity of work, prey on each other, and are all hereby kept in want and dejection, which prevent their marrying. For this they are sensible, a quiet mind, and conveniences for life are absolutely requisite : few are desirous of increasing their species only to be miserable; nothing indeed but a possession, or a sufficient income can justify a reasonable creature's wishing for a progeny. If then of these eight, three are transplanted into a country, where they may be happy, and enabled to marry; they leave the other five more work and subsistence, and by their
labor in our plantations, raise produces to be manufactured in our mother country, and thereby furnish more employment for them; this puts these five men also in a capacity to maintain families, and induces them therefore to get them. This is not conjectural, but evident from natural consequences, and (if need be) from the example of Rome, who often sent some of her citizens abroad into colonies for the very increase of her people (Stirpis augendæ Causa) if we may
ase of her penority as Livy. I cannot help takir
Since I have mentioned Rome, I cannot help taking notice of the great advantages these people found by their colonies. They began so early with them, that Romulus in his reign sent out seven colonies, and they continued them (with but few interruptions) quite through the commonwealth. Without these they could never have raised themselves to such an height: these paved the way for the many conquests they made, and secured them afterwards: they were a constant receptacle for the needy, a subsistence for the industrious, and a reward for the veteran, who had spent the vigor of his life in the service of his country. They added likewise (as an ingenious *author observes) very much to the public revenue; for Rome was at last in possession of lands in the several cantons of Italy, in Sicily, and the adjacent isles, in Spain, in Africa, in Greece, Macedonia, and all over Asia. An easy rent was paid by the citizens (among whom these lands were divided,) to the revenue of each state, and the peculiar domains of these conquered cities and kingdoms were incorporated in the public domain, and the produce of them lodged at last in the Roman treasury.
Carthage also (which was the greatest republic except Rome the world ever knew,) pursued this policy. All her conquests were for the sake of her commerce, as all her citizens were merchants. The riches of all Africa, from Egypt to the ocean, were brought to Carthage as tribute or plunder. She extended her dominions to the coasts of Spain, and in the islands of Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia. But these places when conquered she did not depopulate, or suffer to lie uncultivated, but still gathered the fruits of them, and made them a treasury of new and certain riches.
* Mr. Moyle.
And such a treasury are our plantations; for sooner or later the wealth, that is raised there, centers in England; our rich planters generally come to settle here with their estates, which are got without any expense to us. And though the importation from these places vastly exceeds our exportation thither, we are still manifestly the gainers, as we are not, when it happens so from other countries.
1. As we have the benefit of manufacturing the products which they raise.
2. As this employment by enlarging their maintenance adds to the increase of our people at home.
3. As those in the plantations are increasing more than they could at home, by having a better provision, and by the reception of foreigners.
4. As they consume great quantities of our manufactures, they will raise the value of our lands, by adding to the price of wool. '
5. As the commodities from thence are conveniences for life, or necessary for our navigation, or trade with other countries by a re-exportation. For wherever it happens that foreign products are not consumed here in luxury, but can be re-exported, (as tobacco and sugar for instance) the importation of them how great soever is a gain to England.
If what I have said here does not answer the second objection, the conduct of the Trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia will, I hope, and doubt not, satisfy those that make it. They have, and constantly do, (as I am credibly informed) use the utmost care, by a strict examination of those who desire to go over, and by their inquiries otherwise, to send none, who are in any respect useful at home. They admit no sailors, no husbandmen, or laborers from the country. They confine the Charity to such only as fall into misfortunes of trade, and even admit none of these, who can get a subsistence, how narrow soever it may be. They suffer none to go, who would leave their wives and families without a support; none who have the character of lazy and immoral men; and none, who are in debt, and would go without the consent of their creditors. To prevent which, they have resolved (I see by the newspapers,) to publish the names of such as shall be chosen at least a fortnight before embarkation ; so that the honest creditor can suffer nothing hereby, nay he can be a gainer, as well as the public. For the poor
artificer and tradesman, when he finds a decay in his trade, and that he cannot support it much longer, instead of holding it, till he increases his debts, and is thrown into a dungeon, by which they usually become irrecoverable: or, instead of running into a foreign country, in dread of a gaol, by which the debts are lost, and his labor and increase are also lost by the public, and by which he imparts the knowledge of some useful manufactury, to the detriment of his country; he may now make a dividend of what he has among his creditors, he may go with his wife and children, who will all be useful, into an easy, a sufficient, and pleasant support; where he will have no reason to be ashamed of his fortune, as he will see no inequality; or the labor of cultivating his lands, as they will be his own possession. Nay to such also, whose creditors compound with them, the Trustees (as I am informed) recommend it as a necessary part of their duty, to discharge, whenever they come to affluence, the remainder of their debts. They have likewise made such regulations, as they conceived would best conduce to the promoting religion, the preservation of peace, the order of government, and the encouragement of industry and virtue among them.
If then from the advantages, which will accrue to our trade, from the ease which our parishes, and the public will gain by a right disposing of the poor, the establishing such a colony in Georgia, appears so consistent with prudence; how much more so, is it, with that humanity we ought to have for our fellow creatures? How many never gain a sufficient settlement in the world ? Here they may be sure of one, How many, after they have gained it, fail by various misfortunes? Here they may recover, and forget them. How many may be saved hereby from begging and perishing in our streets by want? How many from the gallows, to wbich, necessity and idleness lead the way? How many may now live to be useful, who are destoyed by their parents at their very birth, lest they should be a burthen too great for their support; and whose light is extinguished the very hour they receive it? How many more would see the light, by the marriage of those, who are prevented now by the fear of want? And how many may be preserved from languishing out a miserable life in a prison, to the loss of their families, and the public, and the scandal of a country of liberty?
How many too may be preserved from self-murder, into: