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* 'Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's self in j)rint ; 
A book's a book, altho' there's nothing in't.' — Bvron. 

When a man writes a book, the public, if they 
take any interest whatever in his lucubrations, wish 
to be informed on two points : firsts what were his 
motives for writing at all ; and, secondj whether he 
is qualified to write on the subject he has chosen ; 
and as these desires are natural and reasonable, I 
shall willingly gratify them at the outset. 

Some authors write for fame, some for money, 
some to propagate particular doctrinef^ ^nd opi- 
nions, some from spite, some at the instigation of 
their friends, and not a few at the instigation of the 
devil. I have no one of these excuses to plead in 
apology for intruding myself on the public ; — for my 
motive, which has at least the merit of novelty to 
recommend it, is sheer laziness. — ^To explain this, it 
is necessary to state that, for some years past, I have 
been receiving letters from intending emigrants, con- 
taining innumerable queries respecting Upper Ca- 
nada ; — also from the friends of such children of the 
forest in posset who seasoned the unpalatable task 




of writing on other people's business with the assu- 
rance so consolatory to my vanity, that I was, of all 
men in the province, the one they considered best 
qualified to give such information, &c. These letters, 
always couched in the most polite terms, commen- 
cing with the writer's * sincere sorrow for taking up 
so much of my valuable time,* and ending with * the 
most perfect reliance on my knowledge and can- 
dour,' required to be answered ; and so long as they 
came ' like angel visits few and far between,' it was 
no great grievance to do so. But, after having 
written some reams in answer to them, and when 
every other packet brought one, and no later ago 
than last week I had two to answer, things began 
to look serious, and so did I : for I found that, if 
they went on at this rate, I should have no * valuable 
time' to devote to my own proper affairs. And there- 
fore, it being now mid-winter, and seeing no prospect 
of my being able to follow my out-of-door avoca- 
tions for some weeks, I set myself down in some- 
thing like a pet, to throw together and put in form 
the more prominent parts of the information I had 
been collecting, to the end that I might be enabled 
in future to answer my voluminous correspondents 
after the manner of the late worthy Mr. Abernethy, 
by referring them to certain pages of My Book. 

As for my qualifications to give information rela- 
tive to this province, I have only to state, that it 


» f 

! 1 



» i 


is now nearly twenty years since I first came to the 
country, having served here during the war in the 
years 1813, 14, and 15 ; and that, since the year 1826, 
my principal employment has been, to traverse the 
country in every direction, and visit nearly every 
township in it for the express purpose of obtaining 
statistical information. If, therefore, the reader 
will only be pleased to allow that my judgment 
is equal to that of the ordinary average of man- 
kind, it must be pretty evident that I have suf- 
ficient knowledge for the undertaking ; and I, on my 
part, can assure him or her, (for I am in hopes I 
sh«ll have both sexes for readers,) that I will, ac- 
cording to the formula of the oath, speak ' the truth, 
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
me God.* 

At the present moment, when public attention is 
so much turned to the Canadas, authentic informa- 
tion is much called for ; and though many works 
have been written on the subject, yet most of them 
have been inaccurate from want of information, or 
partial, in so far as the writer, being only acquainted 
with one section of the country, has described it as 
an epitome of the whole. From this censure, how- 
ever, we must exempt Mr. Gourlay, who wrote a 
really valuable and useful statistical account of the 
province. But his work is now eight or nine years 
old; and in a country like this, where the popu- 



lation doubles every seven years, and improvement 
goes on with a rapidity altogether unknown in older 
countries, an old book on statistics is of little more 
use than an old almanac or newspaper. 

My endeavour in these pages shall be to give 
such information to emigrants, that they may not be 
disappointed on their arrival in Canada ; — that they 
may know how to proceed and where to go, and not 
as too often happens, waste their time and their 
money in the great towns, making fruitless inquiries 
of people just as ignorant of the nature and capabi- 
lities of the country as themselves, with this differ- 
ence, that they are aware of their ignorance, whereas 
their advisers think they know something about the 
matter, and thereby often unintentionally mislead 
and deceive them. 

In looking over this my introduction, I find I have 
been most abominably egotistical ; — so much so 
indeed, that my printer, were I to continue through 
the work in this strain, might have the same excuse 
that poor John Ballantine had for his delay in 

printing a learned work by the Earl of B , viz. 

that he had not a sufRcient number of capital I-s in 
his printing-office. But if the -'eader will overlook 
this fault for once, I shall try to avoid it in future. 



t •.( 


Chapteu I. 

Who should come to Canada ? 
Come a' the gether, 

Youre a' the welcomer early. 

SiK Walter. 

I AM no great dab at political economy, though I 
once did study Adam Smith, and thought at the 
time that I understood him. But he is out of date 
now-a-days ; Peter M*Culloch reigns in his stead,- — 
and he and his compeers have turned political eco- 
nomy into what may be defined to be the science of 
paradoxes. But it is unfair to condemn what we 
cannot comprehend. However, though avowedly 
ignorant, I am not without my own theory on the 
subject of distress and emigration, and it is this : — 
From many causes, of which machinery is the 
most prominent. Great Britain can manufacture as 
much in ten months as all her customers can con- 
sume in twelve. It follows, therefore, that manu- 
facturers must be one-sixth part of their time 
out of employment. Now if this sixth were ap- 
portioned in the shape of one day in each week, 
the poor people might scramble through, by pinch- 
ing a little from the means they gained on the 




other five working days. But when it comes two 
or three mouths at a time, then commence distress 
and poor-rates, patriotism, and potato mobs in our 
manufacturing towns; and in Parliament, what Dame 
Quickly would call * an old abusing of God's pa- 
tience and the King's English* in a debate on * the 
state of the country,' — the cause of which state lies 
all the while too close under the noses of the dis- 
putants, to be visible to those who are looking for 
it with telescopes in the moon. The disease then is 
superfluity of manufactures and a paucity of con- 
sumers ; the remedy, to send the overplus of the 
manufacturing population to the colonies, where at 
one and the same moment they lose the character 
of manufacturers, and assume that of consumers : — 
and the manufactures consumed in this province are 
no trifle, as from the Custom House returns it 
appears that every man, woman, and child in these 
colonies, uses on an average, 40drs. worth of British 
goods annually. 

Who then are to 2:0 to Canada to restore the 
equilibrium between demand and supply? In the 
first place all who cannot comfortably support them- 
selves by their labour at home ; because, let a man 
be ever so poor in this country, his wages as a 
labourer will more than support his family, — and if 
he be prudent and sober, he may in a short time 
save money enough to purchase for himself a farm, 
— and if he has a family, so much the better, as 
children are the best stock a farmer can possess, the 



labour of a child seven years old being considered 
worth his maintenance and education, and the wages 
of a boy of twelve or fourteen years of age beino- 
higher than those of a stout and skilful ploughman 
in most parts of Great Britain, generally from three 
to four dollars a month, with bed, board, and wash- 
ing besides. At home they talk of ' a poor man with 
a large family ;' but such a phrase in Canada would 
be a contradiction of terms ; for a man here who has 
a large family must, under ordinary circumstances, 
soon cease to be a poor man. 

Mechanics and artizans of almost all descrip- 
tions, — millwrights, blacksmiths, carpenters, masons, 
bricklayers, tailors, shoemakers, tanners, millers, and 
all the ordinary trades that are required in an agri- 
cultural and partially ship-owning and commercial 
country, will do well to come to Canada. Weavers 
have but little to expect in the way of their trade, 
though such of them as are employed in customer- 
work can make from ten to twelve shillings a day ; 
but they soon make good farmers. A friend of mine 
asserts, that they make better farmers for this country 
than agricultural labourers, alleging as a cause, that 
as they have no prejudices to overcome, they get at 
once into the customs of the country as copied from 
their neighbours, and being in the habit of thinking, 
improve on them. But my friend is from Paisley, 
and, consequently, prejudiced in favour of weavers. 
However, there is no denying that the weavers from 
Renfrew and Lanark shires in the Bathurst district. 



are very good and very prosperous settlers, and that 
the linen weavers from the north of Ireland make the 
best choppers, native or imported, in the province, as 
they, to a man, can chop with either hand forward, 
and by changing their hand they relieve themselves 
and obtain a rest. This ambi-dexterouSness is 
ascribed by their countrymen, how justly I know 
not, to their habit of using both hands equally in 
throwing the shuttle. 

Of these trades, the blacksmith, tailor, shoemaker, 
and tanner, are the best. If there were in nature 
(which is doubtful) such a being as a sober black- 
smith, he might make a fortune. 

One exception there is, however, in the case of 
mechanics. First-rate London workmen will not re- 
ceive such high wages, either positively or relatively, 
as they would at home, — for this reason, that there 
are few on this continent who either require or can 
aiford work of the very first order, and those that do, 
send to London for it. 

Farmers and tradesmen of small capital will find 
in Canada a good investment. A farmer who com- 
mences with some money, say 250/., ought, in the 
course of five or six years, to have all his capital in 
money, and a good well-cleared and well-stocked 
farm into the bargain, with the requisite dwelling- 
house and out-buildings on it, besides having sup- 
ported his family in the meantime. 

Unless a man of large capital, by which term 
in this country I mean about 5000/., has a large fa- 


mily, he had better lend the surplus on mortgage at 
six per cent., than invest it in business, except he 
meens to become a wholesale storekeeper in one of 
the towns. If he attempts to set up a mill, a distil- 
lery, a tannery, a fulling and saw mill, and a store, as 
is often found to be profitable from the one trade 
playing into the hands of the other, and if he has not 
sons capable of looking after the different branches, 
he must entrust the care of them to clerks and ser- 
vants. But these are not to be had ready-made : — 
he must, therefore, take a set of unlicked cubs and 
teach them their business ; and when that is fairly 
done, it is ten to one but, having become acquainted 
with his business and his customers, they find means 
to set up an opposition, and take effectually the wind 
out of their former patron's sails. Where, however, 
a man has a large family of sons, he can wield 
a large capital in business, and to very good pur- 
pose too. 

A man of fortune, in my opinion^ ought not to 
come to Canada. It is emphatically * the poor man's 
country j' but it would be difficult to make it the 
country of the rich. Though the necessaries and 
most of the luxuries of life are cheaply and easily 
procured ; yet the elegancies of life, refined or literary 
society, public amusements, first-rate libraries, collec- 
tions of the fine arts, and many things that are 
accounted almost as necessaries of life by the higher 
ranks, belong, of necessity, to a state of society much 





more advanced than the Canadas, or, perhaps, even 
the American continent can as yet pretend to. It is 
a ijood country for a poor man to acquire a living in, 
or for a man of small fortune to economise and pro- 
vide for his family ; but I can conceive no possibility 
of its becoming for centuries to come a fitting stage 
for the heroes or heroines of the fashionable novels of 
Mr. Bulwer or young D'Israeli. 

There is one species of emigration, which it is as- 
tonishing shoulr* never have struck the authorities 
at home, and which would be most beneficial to all 
parties, — I mean, infant emigration. 

The idea was suggested to me nearly six years ago 
by my late worthy and excellent friend. Major William 
Robinson, of the King's regiment, a gentleman inti- 
mately acquainted with the province, where his name 
is endeared to the inhabitants by his determined 
bravery, added to a gaiety and good humour, which 
rendered him at once the favourite of all ranks and 
classes, and the most efficient partizan leader, with 
the exception of, perhaps. General Brock, that Ca- 
nada possessed during the arduous struggle with the 
United States. 

From the time I returned to the country T have 
consulted many hundreds on the feasibility of the 
scheme, and, in every instance, have been assured, 
that it was not only practicable, but would be highly 
beneficial to all concerned ; the plan is briefly as 
follows; — 





Let a number of parish children, of from six 
to twelve years of age, be sent out to Canada under 
a qualified superintendent. 

Let there be established in every county, or in 
every two or three townships, if necessary, a com- 
missioner, or board of commissioners, to receive ap- 
plications from farmers, mechanics, and tradesmen, 
wanting apprentices or servants, taking from them» 
at the same time, a bond with securities, that they 
will teach them their trade, craft, or mystery, — keep 
them, educate them, and, when their apprenticeship 
is up, give a small sum, (say, 25^.,) to set up in 
business those who have been indented apprentices. 
With younger children, whose work will not at first 
be equal to their maintenance^ it will only be neces- 
sary to bind the person taking them to educate them ; 
for, by a law of the province, parents, or persons 
standing in loco parentis, are entitled to the work 
of their children or wards, till they attain ^he age of ^\ 

The objection that would strike an Englishman 
most forcibly to such an arrangement, would be the 
possibility of the children being ill-treated ; but this 
is hardly a supposable case in this country. Their 
labour is too valuable for their master lightly to 
risk the loss of it by ill-usage, when the boy could so 
easily abscond ; and in this country, the fault of fa- 
thers and masters leans more to the side of a total 
disregard of King Solomon's advice as to the pro- 
priety of using the rod for the purpose of promoting 



infantile morality, than an over-zealous conformity 
with the dicta of the inspired writer. Besides, 
public opinion would always side with the child; 
and as, if this plan were to be carried into effect, the 
children must, in some degree, be considered as 
wards of the king, the legislature could easily pro- 
vide some simple and summary means, whereby 
any injustice or infraction of agreement might be 
punished promptly and efficaciously. 

The advantages of this system must be apparent to 
all. Parishes would get rid of young paupers, who, 
in the course of time, grow up, and, perhaps, 
become a heavier burthen on the parish by the addi- 
tion of a family, — and would get quit of them too at 
an expense not exceeding one-fourth of what an 
adult could be removed for, — seeing that 4/. would 
be the maximum for which they could be conveyed 
to Canada. And here we should get settlers at an 
age when they could easily be habituated to the 
work, the climate, and the ways of the country. 

It will most probably be found a bad plan to bring 
out adult parish paupers ; — for of course the gentry 
and yeomonry of a parish will strain every nerve to 
keep at home the honest, industrious, and sober part 
of the p«j;isantry, and send us out only the drunken, 
the vicious, and the idle, who here, as elsewhere, 
will be a burthen on the community, and have not 
the slightest prospect of improving their own condi- 
tion. There is one security, however, that we must 
always have against such a contingency, namely. 




that the rapscallionly part of the community, know- 
ing that, if they remain in England, the parish must 
maintain them, and that if they go to Canada they 
must work for their living, may not be easily in- 
duced to quit their present advantageous position. 

Chapter II. 

'Bake me a bannock, and roast me a collop, and I'll go and 
pouse my fortune.' — Scotch Nursery Tale, 

Preparations for Emigration. 
When a man has determined to quit home, and 
settle himself in a foreign land, and he should not do 
so on slight grounds, much trouble and vexation 
may be saved by his taking a little good advice, and 
that we are about to give in this chapter, in so far as 
emigration to Canada is concerned. 

It cannot be too strongly impressed upon emi- 
grants the inexpediency of carrying to the woods of 
Upper Canada heavy lumbering articles of wooden 
furniture. All these can be procured here for far 
less than the cost of transport from Quebec and 
Montreal. The only exception to this rule is, when 
a person has valuable furniture for which he cannot 
get any thing like a reasonable price at home ; and in 
that case, it may be cheaper to carry it to Canada 
than to sacrifice it in England. But as a general 



rule, mahogany furniture is not in keeping with the 
rest of a Canadian establishment ; and our own black 
walnut makes, in my opinion, more handsome furni- 
ture than mahogany, and possesses this great advan- 
tage over its more costly and exotic neighbour, that 
it does not so easily stain, — a property which saves 
much scrubbing and not a little scolding in families. 
Clothes, more particularly coarse clothing, such as 
slops and shooting jackets, bedding, shirts, (made, 
for making is expensive here,) cooking utensils, a 
clock or time-piece, books packed in barrels, ho- 
siery, and, above all, boots and shoes, (for what they 
call leather in this continent is much more closely 
allied to hide than leather, and one pair of English 
shoes will easily outlast three such as we have here,) 
are among the articles that will be found most useful. 
As a general rule also, every tiling that is made 
of metal, (for ironmongery is very dear,) as well 
as gardening and the iron parts of farming tools, 
and a few of the most common carpenters' tools, can 
never come amiss ; for, though a man may not be 
artist enough to make money as a carpenter for other 
people, he may save a great deal himself by having 
the means within his reach of driving a nail or put- 
ting in a pane of glass. A few medicines ought to 
be taken for the voyage, and those chiefly of the 
purgative kind, as ships are very frequently but in- 
differently furnished with a medicine chest. Among 
these I would recommend Anderson's, or any other 
of the aloetic and colocynth pills, Epsom salts, mag- 

l ! 




fiesia and emetics, made up in doses. If you take 
Seidlitz powders, or soda powders, or any of that 
tribe of acids and alkalies, let them be made up in 
phials, well stopped, not, as usual, in papers, for in 
that case they will get melted, or (as the learned 
express it) deliquate, before the passage is half over. 
With these phials will of course be required mea- 
sures, to take out the proper proportions of each 
powder. Fishing and shooting tackle ought also to 
be taken ; but of these I shall come to speak more 
at large when I treat, as I mean to do in a separate 
chapter, of the field-sports of Upper Canada. 

In the choice of a ship, steerage passengers 
should look out for one high, roomy, and airy be- 
tween decks ; and there can be no great difficulty 
in finding one of that description, as a very great 

number of the timber ships are so constructed. A 
fast sailer also should be preferred ; for the differ- 
ence of a fortnight or three weeks in arriving at 
your destination may make the difference of nearly a 
year's subsistence to the emigrant. If he arrive in 
time to put in a small crop of potatoes, turnips, oats, 
Indian corn, and a little garden stuff, it will go a 
great way towards the maintenance of a family for 
the first year, as it will enable them to feed pigs 
and keep a cow, which they could not otherwise 
accomplish. For a similar reason, it will be to the 
obvious advantage of all settlers to come out in the 
earliest ships that sail. 

To all passengers, but more especially to those of 



the cabin, a civil, good-tempered captain ought to 
be a very great inducement to sail in his ship, — as 
much of the comfort or discomfort of a voyage de- 
pends upon him. There are many of the regular 
traders between Montreal and Greenock and Liver- 
pool who answer this description, as well as on the 
London and Liverpool lines to New York. And to 
any person who goes by the latter route, I would 
strongly recommend my worthy, though diminutive 
friend, Captain Holridge of the Silas Richards. 
Above all, passengers of every description should 
ascertain, that the captain with whom they sail is a 
sober man ; for the most fatal accidents may occur, 
and have occurred, from drunkenness on the part 
of the officers of the ship. I prefer coming to Ca- 
nada via Montreal, as it saves money, time, and 
transhipment of baggage. 

It is a question often asked, how should money 
be taken to Canada ? I reply, in any way except in 
goods. Not that I have not often known that mode 
of bringing it prove highly profitable ; but it is a 
risk ; few who come out being good judges of the 
price of goods at home, and none of them knowing 
what kind of goods will suit the Canada markets. 
British silver or gold make a very good investment; 
as the former is bought up by merchants and trades- 
men, and used to purchase bills on the Treasury 
through the Commissariat, and the latter is remitted 
by the same classes < ^ meet their engagements in 
England. A Sovereign generally fetches 23s. or 24«. 



currency, that is 5«. to the dollar ; — Is. sterling 
passes for Is. 2d, currency ; — so that either descrip- 
tion of bullion gives a good remittance. One great 
objection, however, to bringing out money, is the 
liability there is of losing or being robbed of it: 
so that, upon the whole, the hr*ier way perhaps 
mav be, to lodg-e it with T. Wilson and Co. of 
Austin Friars, Agents for the Bank of Upper Canada, 
or at the Canada Company's Office in St. Helen's 
Place, taking an acknowledgment ; and th»n you can 
draw upon the fund from Canada, receiving the 
premium of the day on the exchange. 

People who find themselves on the outward voy- 
age, should lay in a very considerable quantity of 
potatoes and oatmeal, not only because these arti- 
cles are cheap, but because they have a tendency 
to correct the scorbutic qualities of salt meat. A 
few onions and leeks likewise will be found a great 
comfort on a long voyage, as also a good supply of 
vinegar and pickles. 

Emigrants would find their account in bringing 
out small quantities of seeds, particularly those of 
the rarer grasses, as lucern, trefoil, &c. ; for if they 
did not need such articles themselves, they would 
find plenty who would buy them at a high price. 
To these may be added some small parcels of potato 
oats, and of the large black oat of the south of 
Ireland for seed, as that grain, if not renewed, 
degenerates into something little better than chaff* in 
the course of time. 



All kinds of {rood stock are wanted here, and 
those who can uflbrd it will always find their account 
in bringing such. Pigs are valuable, in many parts 
of this country, according; to the size to which they 
can be fatted. Thus, supposing a hog- which weighs 
2 cwt. fetched twopence halfpenny per lb., one 
weighing 3 cwt. would fetch threepence, and so on, 
adding a halfpenny per lb, for each cwt. of the 
weight. A good bull would also be of great value ; 
and it is my firm belief, that we have not a first- 
rate draught stallion in the province. I have no 
doubt, moreover, that a Clydesdale cart-horse, a 
Suffolk punch, or even a moderate-sized Flanders 
stallion, would be a good speculation. The best 
description of working cattle we have is the Lower 
Canadian horse, which has many of the properties 
and much the appearance of the Scotch galloway : 
he is strong, active, and indefatigable in harness, 
but makes a bad saddle horse, as he is often not 
sure-footed. A breed between this and the Ame- 
rican horse makes a good, useful farm-horse ; and 
it is possible that a cross between the Canadian 
mare and the Flanders horse would make something 
like the Clydesdale, — tradition asserting, that the an- 
cestors of the Carnwath breed sprang from a cross 
of some Flanders mares brought to Scotland by 
the Duke of Hamilton with the galloway stallions 
of the country. 

As to dogs for household use, the English sheep- 
dog or Scotch colley, or the lurcher, would be highly 




valuable, particularly if trained to brin^ home the 
cattle, which often stray in the woods and get in- 
jured by not being' regularly milked. With careless 
»ettlerF, indeed, one half the day is often spent in 
hunting up and driving home the oxen. 

It has often struck me, that much time and trouble 
might be saved in collecting and bringing home 
the cattle, by taking out a few hundred weight of 
rock salt from Liverpool. In Cheshire they used to 
prepare lumps, for the purpose of putting in sheep- 
walks, by cutting them in the form of a ball, so that 
the rain ran off them without melting them. These 
might be put in certain places of the woods, and the 
cattle would not stray far from them ; and they 
might be removed from time to time, as the pasture 
became scarce. Wherever there is a salt spring, 
or a salt * lick,* as salt earth is called in this coun- 
try, the deer and cattle flock to it from all quarters. 
A friend of mine had one on his farm, and no fence 
could keep off these intruders ; till at last he was 
obliged to come to a compromise with the four- 
footed congress, and fairly fenced in a road to the 
spring, and by this species of Whig conciliation, by a 
sacrifice of part of his rights, saved the rest of his 

When you arrive in the St. Lawrence, having been 
on shortish allowance of water, you will be for 
swallowing the river water by the bucket full. Now, 
if you have any bowels of compassion for your intes- 
tinal canal, you will abstain from so doing; — for to 



people not accustomed to it, the lime that forms a 
considerable constituent part of the water of this 
country, acts pretty much in the same manner as 
would a solution of Glauber's salts, and often gene- 
rates dysentery and diarrhoea ; and though I have an 
unbounded veneration for the principles of the Tem- 
perance societies, I would, with all deference, re- 
commend, that the pure fluid be drank in very small 
quantities at first, and even these tempered with the 
most impalpable infusion possible of Jamaica or 

Chapter III. 

: ! 

* Lord, have compassion upon me a poor unfortunate sinner, 
three thousand miles from my own country, and seventy-five 
from anywhere else.' 

Irishman's Prayer in the woods between New York 
and Canada. A.D. 1784. 

What is to he done on Landing at Quebec ? 

If you are a rich man, and it makes no difference to 
you what money you spend, or how soon or late 
you settle ; then, as you are at Quebec at any rate, 
your best plan will be to go to Paine's hotel, visit 
the heights of Abraham, the fortifications of Cape 
Diamond, the cathedral and the convents, make 
an excursion to Montmorenci and Lorette, and do all 





ms a 
er as 
,ve an 
e, re- 
ith the 
Aca or 

ie sinner, 

New York 


rence to 
|i or late 
any rate, 
tel, visit 
of Cape 
ts, make 
md do all 

the other things that the * Guide Book ' and * The 
Picture of Quebec' can tell you much better than I 
can. But if you have no money to throw away, and 
wish tohavesnugquarters for yourself and your family 
next winter, you will not stay one hour in Quebec, 
or in any other town, longer than you can possibly 
avoid, — but get your luggage on board the Montreal 
steam -boat, and be off if possible in ten minutes 
after anchor has been let go ; — for by dandling about 
Quebec, Montreal, Kingston, and York, you will 
spend more money and lose more time, than, if pro- 
perly employed, might have lodged and fed yourself 
and family during the first and worst year of your 
residence in the new world. The Canada Company 
have an agent at Quebec for the purpose of for- 
warding emigrants, who makes contracts with a class 
of common carriers, called forwarders ; and aijy emi- 
grant, whether he intends to settle upon the Com- 
pany's lands or not, may avail himself of this advan- 
tage by applying to their agent, and will thus be 
transported to the head of Lake Ontario more cheaply 
and expeditiously than he otherwise could be, were 
he to make his own bargain. It would be well for 
all emigrants to take advantage of this arrange- 

If you have friends already settled in the province, 
the best thing you can do, is to write to them to select 
land for you in their own neighbourhood, if possible, 
— and to enter into such preliminary arrangements as 
will enable you to take possession the moment you 



■ I 

arrive, and lose not a day in setting to work upon 
your farm. If you do not possess this advantage, 
you ought to proceed to York, the capital of the 
province, where the greatest quantity of land is for 
sale, and there fix on the proper place to set np 
your staff. 

If yon have little or no money, you may apply to 
the agent for emigrants, who will put you in the way 
of procuring lands at a cheap rate, and on easy con- 
ditions, in the back townships ; or, if you prefer work- 
ing to enable you to pay for lands in a better-settled 
country, he may probably inform you where good 
wages can be procured. If you have money enough 
to pay a first instalment and keep yourself and 
family for a year, you had better apply at the office 
of the Canada Company or the Crown Commis- 
sioner, where you will receive every information as to 
the lands most suitable to your circumstances and 
views, and learn the terms on which they are willing 
to sell them. Those of the Canada Company are 
generally as follows : — Having fixed upon a lot, you 
offer the price at which their surveyors have valued 
it, and on paying a first instalment of one-fifth 
down, and signing five notes of hand, each for 
one-fifth of the remainder payable yearly with in- 
terest, till the whole is liquidated, you receive 
what is called a letter of licence, which at once 
acknowledges the receipt of the money paid, and 
gives you full possession of the lands ; and when 
the last promissory note is paid off", you receive a 



i for 

f and 
J office 
n as to 
;s and 
my are 
3t, you 
Lch for 
rith in- 
,t once 
id, and 
ceive a 


regular deed for the lands, and forthwith become 
entitled to all the privileges, dignities, and immuni- 
ties of Canadian freeholders. Strangers in the pro- 
vince sometimes get taken in, in an unscriptural 
sense of the term, by purchasing lands from indivi- 
duals with defective titles, or no titles at all. If the 
party pays the whole money at once, this risk maybe 
obviated, as there is a register office in each county, 
and by consulting that, he can ascertain if any and 
what burthens are upon the estate ; but if he is to 
pay the purchase money by instalments, he must 
depend wholly on the character of the seller ; for 
even though he register his lien on the farm, he 
is laying out his labour and money on it, which is 
enhancing its value to a much greater amount than 
the mere repayment of his instalments will cover. 

If you have no particular motives to induce you 
to settle in one part of the province more than 
another, I would recommend to you the Canada 
Company's Huron Tract, and for the following rea- 
sons : — 

1st. The land, as I shall have occasion to show, 
is equal to any in the province, and superior to much 
the greater part of it. 

2d. The very great extent of land (nearly eleven 
hundred thousand acres) gives the settler an exten- 
sive power of selection, which he does not possess in 
any other part of the province ; and when a commu- 
nity, however numerous, comes out, they are enabled 



to settle together, without any other party interfering 
with them. 

3d. It possesses numerous streams capable of 
driving any given quantity of machinery, whether for 
mills, manufactories, or farming purposes, and it has 
water-conveyance to carry away produce. 

4th. Being from 120 to 400 feet above the 
level of lake Huron, it is healthy, and the prevalent 
winds, the north-west, west, and south-west, blowing 
over the lake, which from its depth never freezes, 
temper the rigour of the winter frost and summer 
heat ; and the snow, which has always hitherto fallen 
in sufficient quantity to afford good winter roads, 
prevents the frost from getting into the ground, so 
that the moment it melts the spring commences, and 
the cattle have pasture in the woods fully three 
weeks sooner than in the same parallel of latitude on 
the shores of lake Ontario — a great advantage to 
the farmer under any circumstances, but an invalu- 
able privilege to a new settler, whose chief difficulty 
is to procure feeding for his stock during winter. 

5th. Crown and clergy reserves have long been a 
bar to the settlement and improvement of the pro- 
vince, though the nuisance is now, to a certain extent, 
abating by their sale on fair terms ; but no legislative 
enactment can secure the people against absentee 
proprietors, that is, persons about the government 
who have received large grants of land, or others 
who have purchased from these, and who hold them 







id, so 
age to 

been a 
le pro- 
Id them 

till, by the labour of their neighbours, roads are cut, 
and their value increased. Now, in the Huron tract 
there are no reserves of any kind ; and as for absentee 
proprietors, the Company's regulations compel all its 
settlers to clear about three and a half per cent, of 
their land annually for the first seven years. This is 
no hardship ; for a man, if he means to do good, will 
clear much more of his own accord, and if he has no 
such intention, it is only fair to prevent him from 
injuring his neighbour. The Company has made 
good roads through the tract ; and this regulation, by 
making every farm be opened towards the road, not 
only keeps them so, from letting in the sun and air 
upon them, but secures the residence of eight families 
on every mile of the road, by whose statute lo^carit 
can be kept in the very best repair. 

It has been objected by some, that this tract of 
country is out of the world ; but no place can be 
considered in that light, to which a steam-boat can 
come ; and on this continent, if you find a tract of good 
land, and open it for sale, the world will very soon 
come to you. Sixteen years ago, the town of Rochester 
consisted of a tavern and a blacksmith's shop — it is 
now a town containing upwards of 16,000 inhabit- 

The first time the Huron tract was ever trod by 
the foot of a white man was in the summer of 1827 ; 
next summer a road was commenced, and that winter 
and in the ensuing spring of 1829, a few individuals 
made a lodgment : now it contains upwards of 600 





inhabitants, with taverns, shops, stores, grist and 
saw mills, and every kind of convenience that a new 
settler can require ; end if the tide of emigration con- 
tinues to set in as strongly as it has done, in ten years 
from this date it may be as thickly settled as any 
part of America, — for Goderich has water-powers 
quite equal to Rochester, and the surrounding 
country possesses much superior soil. 

Emigrants are often anxious to purchase a farm 
partially cleared ; and for those who can afford it, this 
is a very good plan. But you must not let your 
English prejudices against stumps lead you, without 
further inquiry, to give an extravagant price for a farm 
where the stumps have disappeared; for from the slo- 
venly mode of farming pursued in this country, these 
farms are often what are emphatically denominated 
exhausted^ — that is to say, crop after crop of wheat has 
been taken off them until they are so completely de- 
prived of the power of supporting vegetable life, that 
they will yield nothing ; and then, when they will not 
return the seed that is sown in them, the wily pro- 
prietor finds a greenhorn who wants a fine cleared 
farm, which he lets him have for a handsome con- 
sideration ; and next autumn the poor man discovers 
too late, that it will cost him more money to bring 
his purchase into heart, than would have bought and 
cleared a wild farm. To such an extent is this sys- 
tem carried, of growing wheat without reheving the 
land by a rotation of crops, or a single cart-load of 
manure, that I have known twenty-seven crops of 




wheat taken off a field consecutively, and then, as a 
matter of course, if it cannot be sold, it is allowed to 
grow up with briars and brambles, and the owner 
sets himself to clear new land. Persons wishing; to 
buy a cleared farm would do well to take a farm for 
a year or so, until they have acquired sufBcient know- 
ledg;e of the country to be able to judge for them- 
selves, as to what purchase would be eligible for the 
purposes they have in view. 

Chapter IV. 


s sys- 
ig the 
)ad of 
ps of 

Capt, B.— ' Well, John, what kind of night have we had ? 
Servant. — Why, your honour, it snew a Uttle in the fore part 
of the night, but towards morning it frizz horrid.' 

Dialogue between an Officer and his man John. 

Climate of Upper Canada. 

The people of England, generally speaking, are not 
aware that such a part of the world as Canada 
exists; and those few whose researches have been so 
well conducted as to have arrived at that important 
fact, have heard of General Wolfe, who, in the reign 
of George the Second, took Quebec, and may pos- 
sibly have heard that Quebec was not worth the 
taking, — more especially if they have listened to the 
philosophy which proves that colonies are a burden to 
the mother-countrv, or have read in Voltaire's Can- 
dide, (I think, for having no books here except the 


- <i 



;i' ' 

I : 

li :! 

Bible, I am obliged to quote from memory,) ' that 
France and Enq-land were then engaaj^d in a con- 

o on 

test for some acres of ice and snow in North 
America.* Now to these worthy folk we are about 
to tell something worth knowing-. 

It never has been accountable to me, how the 
heat of the sun is regulated. There is no part of 
Upper Canada that is not to the south of Pen- 
zance, yet there is no part of England where the 
cold is so intense as in Canada ; nay, there is no 
cold in England equal to the cold of Virginia, which, 
were it on the European side of the hemisphere, 
would be looked upon as an almost tropical climate. 
To explain to an European what the climate of 
Upper Canada is, we would say, that in summer it 
is the climate of Italy, in winter that of Holland ; 
but in either case we should only be giving an illus- 
tration, for in both winter and summer it possesses 
peculiarities which neither of these two climates pos- 

The summer heat of Upper Canada generally 
ranges towards 80° Fahrenheit; but should the wind 
blow twenty-four hours steadily from the north, it 
will fall to 40° during the night. The reason of 
this seems to be the enormous quantity of forest over 
which that wind blows, and the leaves of the trees 
affording such an extensive surface of evaporation. 

One remarkable peculiarity in the climate of 
Canada, when compared with those to which we have 
likened it, is its dryness. Far from the ocean, the 







salt particles that somehow or other exist iti the at- 
mosphere of sea-bounded countries are not to be 
found here ; roofs of tinned iron of fifty years' stand- 
ing are as bright as the day they came out of the 
shop ; and you may leave a charge of powder in your 
gun for a month, and find, at the end of it, that it 
goes off without hanging fire. 

The diseases of the body, too, that are produced 
by a damp atmosphere, are uncommon here. It may 
be a matter of surprise to some to hear, that pectoral 
and catarrhal complaints, which, from an association 
of ideas, they may connect with cold, are here hardly 
known. In the cathedral at Montreal, where from 
three to five thousand people assemble every Sunday, 
yor will seldom find the service interrupted by a 
cough, even in the dead of winter and in hard frost; 
whereas, in Britain, from the days of Shakspeare, 
even in a small country church, ' coughing drowns the 
parson's saw.* Pulmonary consumption, too, the 
scourge alike of England and the sea-coast of Ame- 
rica, is so rare in the northern parts of New York and 
Pennsylvania, and the whole of Upper Canada, that 
in eight years' residence I have not seen as many 
cases of the disease as I have in a day's visit to a 
provincial infirmary at home. The only disease 
we are annoyed with here, that we are not accus- 
tomed to at home, is the intermittent fever, — and 
that, though most abominably annoying, is not by any 
means dangerous : indeed, one of the most annoying 
circumstances connected with it is, that, instead of 




being sympathised with, you are only laughed at. 
Otherwise the climate is infinitely more htalthy 
than that of England. Indeed, it may be pro- 
nounced the most healthy country under the sun, 
considering that whisky can be procured for about 
one shilling sterling per gallon. 

Though the cold of a Canadian winter is great, 
it is neither distressing nor disagreeable. There is 
no day during winter, except a rainy one, in which 
a man need be kept from his work. It is a fact, 
though as startling as some of the dogmas of the 
Edinburgh school of political economy, that the 
thermometer is no judge of warm or cold weather. 
Thus, with us in Canada, when it is low, (say at 
zero,) there is not a breath of air, and you can 
judge of the cold of the morning by the smoke 
rising from the chimney of a cottage, and shooting 
up straight like the steeple of a church, then gra- 
dually melting away in the beautiful clear blue of the 
morning sky ; yet in such weather it is impossible 
to go through a day's march in your great coat ; 
whereas, at home, when the wind blows from the 
north-east, though the thermometer stands at from 
55° to 60°, you find a fire far from oppressive. The 
fact is, that a Canadian winter is by far the plea- 
santest season of the year, for everybody is idle, and 
everybody is determined to enjoy himself. 

Between the summer and winter of Canada a 
season exists, called the Indian summer. During 
this period, the atmosphere has a smoky, hazy effect. 










la a 

which is ascribed by the people generally to the 
simultaneous burning of the prairies of the western 
part of the continent. This explanation I take to be 
absurd ; since, if it were so to be accounted for, the 
wind must necessarily blow from that quarter, which 
is not in all instances the case. During this period, 
which generally occupies two or three weeks of the 
month of November, the days are pleasant, and with 
abundance of sunshine, and the nights present a 
cold clear black frost. When this disappears, the 
rains commence, which always precede winter; for 
it is a proverb in the Lower Province, among the 
French Canadians, that the ditches never freeze till 
they are full. Then comes the regular winter, which, 
if rains and thaws do not interfere, is very pleasant ; 
and that is broken up by rains again, which last 
until the strong sun of the middle of May renders 
everything dry and in good order. 

A satirical friend of mine gave a caricature account 
of the climate of the province, when he said that, for 
two months of the spring and two months of the 
autumn, you are up to your middle in mud ; for four 
months of summer you are broiled by the heat, 
choked by the dust, and devoured by the mosqui- 
toes ; and for the remaining four months, if you get 
your nose above the snow, it is to have it bit off by 
the frost. 


Chapter V, 

I V 

I i! 

' 'Tis merry, 'tis merry, in the good green wood, 
When the mavis and merle are singing, 
When the deer sweep by, and the hounds are in cry, 
And the hunter's horn is ringing.' 

Sill Walter Scott. 

Field-Sports in Canada, 

Having settled yourself and got things into some 
kind of tolerable order and comfort, you will next 
begin to think how you may amuse your leisure 
hours. And in the midst of forests abounding with 
game, p-nd lakes and rivers teeming with fish, (more 
especially if, as often happens with the new settler, 
his principal food should be salted provisions,) the 
guu and the fishing-rod naturally suggest themselves, 
not merely as an innocent mode of passing an hour, 
but as the means of furnishing the family larder with 
the most s voury part of its contents. 

If any one doubted the doctrine of original sin 
and the innate perverseness of mankind, the conduct 
of the English emigrants arriving in this country 
would go a good way to convert him to a more or- 
thodox way of thinking. There have arrived in the 
province within these three last years perhaps 
15,000 English agricultural labourers; and it is no 
very great stretch of the imagination to suppose that 




every twentieth man of them, when at home, was a 
poacher, or at least had some practical knovvle(lg;e 
of the use of a fowling-piece, and had in his days 
infringed on the laws of the land in defiance of 
the wrath and displeasure of the squire, the denun- 
ciations of the parson, the terrors of the gaol, 
the treadmill, the hulks and Botany Bay, and the 
disgrace which attaches to one whose life is an ha- 
bitual war with the laws. Yet, when these fellows 
have been a few months in Canada, they no more 
think of shooting than if they were cockneys. And 
why ? Because here it would be not only a harm- 
less amusement, but an honest, respectable and 
useful mode of making the two ends of the year 
meet, while there it was fraught with danger to both 
life and character. Accordingly we find, that York, 
on the banks of a lake, and surrounded by a forest, 
is not to say indifferently supplied, but positively 
without anything like a regular supply of fish or 
game ; and when you do by accident stumble on a 
brace of partridges, or a couple of wild ducks, you 
pay more for them than you would in almost any 
part of Great Britain, London excepted. In fact, 
unless a man is himself a sportsman, or has friends 
who are so, and who send him game, he may live 
seven years in Y'ork, and, wilh the exception of an 
occasional haunch or saddle of venison, may never 
see game on his table. I wonder, would a total 
repeal of the game laws produce anything of a si- 
milar effect at home ? 




^3! ■ 

Few people, then, in this country, except such 
whose sporting propensities have still stuck by them, 
and some officers at the different garrisons, who want 
something to kill the time, engage in a regular day's 
shooting; but when a man goes into the woods, at 
any rate he takes his gun with him, in case he should 
fall in with a deer that might replenish his stock of 
provisions, or a bear whose skin he may wish to bor- 
row against next winter. 

Many gentlemen coming out to Canada think, 
that, as the country is rough, nothing but the spaniel 
or setter will do. There cannot be a greater mistake. 
A setter is useless when he is not under your eye, 
and that he never can be for any very long time in 
Canada : he is naturally rash and self-willed, and no 
error that he commits can with safety be passed over 
without a most unmerciful castigation, if you mean 
that he shall ever stand the least in awe of you ; but 
when he finds that only one fault out of ten which 
he commits can be detected, he will take his beating 
for that, in the hope that he will escape the next time, 
(for with animals, as with man, it is much more the 
certainty than the quantum of punishment that ren- 
ders it efficacious,) and you will soon find that he will 
scamper into the midst of a covey, and follow them 
full cry under your very nose. Therefore, before 
you sail for Canada, make a present of your setter 
Carlo to your cousin, who is going to the north next 
August for the grouse season : — there his strength 
and travel will render him invaluable, his rough feet 






never be injured by the heather, and above all the 
openness of the moor will enable his master to ob- 
serve his every motion at a mile's distance ; and bring 
to this country your smooth-haired pointers, Juno 
and Ponto, whose more gentle, docile, and timid dis- 
positions will render them more amenable to your 
voice and whistle when out of your sight, and whom, 
if they do offend, one sound drubbing will overawe 
for four-and-twenty hours at least. 

In pheasant shooting the cocker would be useful ; 
for pheasants are found in swamps and close cover 
where it is very difficult to go, and when once sprung, 
the barking of the dog makes them sooner take to a 
tree again, where the continuation of the uproar at 
once makes them sit, and warns you where they are 
to be found. 

Of dogs that follow by scent, I should prefer the 
stag-hound, and if he has a cross of the blood-hound, 
so much the better. Study his voice as sedulously as 
you would that of Mr. Braham, or Madame Pasta ; 
for on his musical powers much of his usefulness 
as a member of society depends. His business is 
to hunt the deer into the water ; and as you must 
attack in a canoe, and may be at a great distance at 
the time, it is necessary that he should possess a 
sufficiently powerful bravura to let you know where 
you are wanted though three miles off. 

Greyhounds have been calumniated in this country. 
It is said first, that they won't live ; and second, that 
they would be uf no use if they did. — I deny both the 





i if 


1 1 

i ' 

one assertion, and the other ; for I have seen many 
live greyhounds in this country; and though a small, 
thin-skinned, silky-haired, drawing-room pet of a 
Surrey hound cannot be expected to dash through 
thick cover that would endanger the safety of its 
slender limbs, yet, could a wolf-hound, or failing that, 
a strong, rough, wire-haired monster, such as is used 
in the hilly districts of Scotland, be introduced, I 
think he might prove effective in the woods with 
fox, deer, or wolf, and at all events would breed 
lurchers, — a highly valuable dog in this country, where 
we are apt to apply to the taking of game, the rule 
that Napoleon applied to the taking of nations, viz. 
that the end justifies the means. In fact. Trans- 
atlantic sporting is a very non quo sed quomodo kind 
of proceeding. Wherever there are vermin, terriers 
are invaluable. In Canada there are plenty of the 
former, therefore let the latter be brought hither. 
The Scotch wire-haired, black-muzzled, or the Eng- 
lish snow-ball, is the best. 

If you have a rifle, you may just as well bring it, 
or, if you have plenty of money, you may buy one 
from Nock, who is the best maker in London ; but 
if you have a good town-made double-barrel, a 
rifle is unnecessary, as a little ball-practice will 
enable you to put a ball into a playing-card at thirty- 
five or forty paces, and that is as far out as, during 
the greater part of the year, you will ever see deer ; 
and by loading one barrel with shot, and the other 
with ball or buck-shot, you are in utrumque paratus. 




In India, the deer and tiger hunters have long ex- 
changed the rifle for the Manton, which from prac- 
tice they use with equal precision, and much greater 
quickness. There were, in the year 1818, three offi- 
cers in one cantonment, any one of whom would 
have taken a bet of three to one, that he would hit a 
cricket ball bowled away, with a single bullet. If, 
however, you prefer the rifle, you can get them in 
this country, coarsely finished to be sure, but perfectly 
true and cheap, at from 5^. to 15/. currency. 

In Canadian sporting, it is often necessary to fire 
at night, or in the imperfect light of the evening or 
morning. In that case you will find it a very great 
assistance, to mark the barrel with a chalk line from 
the breech to the sight. This hint may be useful in 
coming home at night in England, when you often 
walk up a covey too tired with their day's exertion 
to be wild. 

At the head of our quadruped game is the deer. 
He is larger than the fallow deer of England ; and 
his horns, we would say, are twined the wrong way, 
and are differently shaped from those of the deer of 
Europe. They are found in great abundance in 
every part of the province. Deer stalking is much 
practised ; but to practise it with success, you must 
be acquainted with the topography of the neighbour- 
hood, and know the salt licks and other haunts. 
Another way is, to let a canoe or raft float down a 
stream during the midsummer night with a bright 
light upon it. This seems to dazzle or fascinate the 

l -'ill 








animal, who is fond of standing in the water when 
the mosquitoes are troublesome in the woods ; and if 
the manceuvre be skilfully managed without noise, 
he will allow you to come within a few yards of him ; 
— so near indeed will he allow you thus to approach, 
that there have been instances known of his having 
been killed with a fish-spear. The most certain and 
deadly mode of proceeding, however, is to send your, 
dogs into the woods some miles from the banks of a 
lake or great river, and ' hark down' on the scent, 
when he will be sure to run for the water, where you 
can knock him on the head from a boat or canoe. 
But even in this defenceless position you must not 
approach him rashly, for he gives an ugly wound with 
his horns ; and with the sharp hoofs of his fore feet, 
he has been known to deal such a blow, as has sepa- 
rated the muscle from the bone of a man's leg. You 
must, therefore, either shoot him, knock him on the 
head, drown him by holding down his head with an 
oar, or seize hold of him by the seat, and make him 
tow the boat until he is exhausted, and can be mas- 

In deer stalking, and, indeed, all kinds of sport- 
ing in this country, it is ofteii necessary to camp out 
— that is, bivouac in the woods. This would appear 
to a man who is curious in well-aired sheets, as the 
next way to the other world ; but in reality there is 
nothing either dangerous or unpleasant in the pro- 
ceeding. Every man carries with him in the woods, 
punk, that is, German tinder, a fungous excrescence of 










R t 

the maple, and a flint. With this and the back of his 
knife, a light is struck, and the ignited piece cut 
off from the mass. This is put into dry moss, and 
blown or swung round the head until it blazes, and 
thus a large fire of logs is kindled. Spruce and 
hemlock are stripped, and moss gathered to make a 
bed ; and if it be dry overhead, nothing further is ne- 
cessary, the party all sleeping with their feet turned 
towards the fire. If, however, it threatens rain, 
a tent or wigwam of bark can soon be erected, per- 
fectly weather tight. And in winter this may be 
rendered more comfortable by shovelling the snow 
upon the walls so as to exclude the wind. 

When a bear runs away with one of your pigs, 
there is no use in going after him, hallooing, without 
a gun. You may scare him away from the mutilated 
carcase, but it will make but indifferent pork ; since 
not being bred in Leadenhall or Whitechapel, he has 
but a slovenly way of slaughtering. But trace to 
where he has dragged it, and near sunset let self and 
friend hide themselves within easy distance, and he 
will be certain to come for his supper, which, like all 
sensible animals, he prefers to every other meal. 
Nay, it is highly probable, if he possesses the gal- 
lantry which a well-bred bear ought to have, he will 
bring Mrs. Bruin and all the children along with 
him, and you can transact business with the whole 
family at once. 

In hunting the bear, take all the curs in the village 
along with you. Game dogs are useless for this pur- 



' »';' 





pose ; for, unless properly trained, they fly at the 
throat, and get torn to pieces or hugged to death for 
their pains. The curs yelp after him, bite his rump, 
and make him tree*, where he can be shot. The 
bear of Canada is seldom dangerous. He is always 
ready to enter into a treaty, similar to what my Lord 
Brougham negotiated lately with Lord Londonderry, 
viz. let-be for let-be — but if wounded, he is dan- 
gerous in the extreme. Yon should always, there- 
fore, hunt him in couples, and have a shot in 
reserve, or a goodly cudgel, ready to apply to the root 
of his nose, where he is as vulnerable as Achilles was 
in the heel. Some ludicrous stories are told of bear- 
hunting ; for Bruin is rather a humourist in his way. 
A friend of mine, with his surveying party, ten men 
in all, onoe treed a very large one ; they immediately 
cut clubs, and set to work to fell the tree. Bruin 
seemed inclined to maintain his position, till the tree 
began to lean, when he slid down to about fifteen 
feet from the ground, and then clasped his fore-paws 
over his head and let himself tumble amongst them. 

* " Tree-to" — an American verb active, signifying to make 
any animal take to a tree. In Kentucky, and other places inter 
barbaros, nigger-hunting is a favourite sport. When a slave 
runs away so often that there is no hope of the terror of the 
cowskin keeping him at home, a party is made up for a nigger 
hunt, for the purpose of shooting him ' pour encourager les 
autres.' It is looked upon as adding considerable zest to the 
sport, when you have the good luck to tree the nigger ; as then 
you can exhibit your dexterity, and, like Bob Acres, ^ bring 
him down at a long shot.* 




Every club was raised, but Bruin was on the alert; 
he made a charge, upset the man immediately in 
front, and escaped with two or three thumps on the 
rump, which he valued not one pin. 

When once they have killed a ^)ig', if you do not 
manage to kill the bear, you will never keep one 
hog; for they will come back till they have taken the 
last of them ; — they will even invade the sacred pre- 
cincts of the hog-stye. An Irishman in the New- 
castle district once caught a bear flagrante delicto^ 
dragging a hog over the walls of the pew. Pat, in- 
stead of assailing the bear, thought only of securing 
his property ; so he jumped into the stye, and seized 
the pig by the tail. Bruin having hold of the ears, 
they had a dead pull for possession, till the whilliloo- 
ing of Pat, joined to the plaintive notes of hisprote^e, 
brought a neighbour to his assistance, who decided 
the contest in Pat's favour by knocking the assailant 
on the head. — A worthy friend of mine, of the legal 
profession, and now high in office in the colony, 
once, when a young man, lost his way in the woods, 
and seeing a high stump, clambered up it with the 
hope of looking around him. While standing on the 
top of it for this purpose, his foot slipped, and he was 
precipitated into the hollow of the tree, beyond the 
power of extricating himself. Whiist bemoaning here 
his hard fate, and seeing no prospect before him, 
save that of a lingering death by starvation, the light 
above his head was suddenly excluded, and his view 
of the sky, his only prospect, shut out by the inter- 






it : 

vention of a dense medium, and by and by he felt the 
hairy posteriors of a bear descend upon him. With 
the courage of despair he seized fast hold of Bruin 
behind, and by this means was dragged once more 
into upper day. Nothing, surely, but the instinct of 
consanguinity could have induced Bruin thus to ex- 
tricate his distressed brother. 

- Otters are abundant ; and I should think, were an 
otter pack brought out, the sport would be as good 
here as in England ; but it has never been tried. 
The foxes are smaller and of a more delicate fur than 
ours ; indeed, the silver fox produces one of the 
finest furs we have. 

An animal, something between the hare and the 
rabbit, frequents the swamps. It is commonly 
trapped, and makes good soup, but is poor in any 
other shape. The racoon is hunted in marshy 
grounds, by moonlight, treed by dogs, and then either 
shot or killed by felling the tree. He is valuable for 
his fur, and when baked with potatoes his flesh 
is esteemed a delicacy. I never ate it myself, from 
prejudice, — which is the more inconsistent, as I do 
not object to a black squirrel, and have made a most 
comfortable breakfast off a hind-quarter of a bear 
cub. The beaver is rarely seen, as you must look 
for him deep in the woods, he always flying the 
habitations of man. The varieties of the pole-cat 
kind are numerous, including the ermine. The 
wolf is the only very mischievous beast of prey we 
have, and ht ?rries sheep ; but the legislature hav- 




ing offered a premium for their destruction, they will 
soon be thinned out. 

There is one curious phenomenon that may just as 
well be mentioned here as any where else ; the ex- 
traordinary and unaccountable migration of certain 
animals of this continent. Squirrels, weazles, mice, 
moles, &c., appear in great numbers for a month or 
Fix weeks, and then as suddenly disappear — * Come 
like shadows, so depart.* With the squirrel tribe, 
this can be accounted for. This continent contains, 
perhaps, one thousand times as much uncleared as 
cultivated land ; and when the acorns and beech- 
mast fail in the woods, the squirrels must seek for 
subsistence in the corn-fields. In the summer and 
autumn of 1828, black squirrels were so abundant, 
that the boys killed them with sticks or with blunted 
arrows, to such an extent that they sold their skins for 
five shillings per hundred ; since that time they are 
rarely to be met with in the cultivated fields. 

In the year 1827, the party exploring the now 
Canada Company's Huron tract, were much annoyed 
by an animal, called by the inhabitants of the coun- 
try a mole, and by the French Canadians the same 
(tmipe), though it is more like the shrew-mouse 
than the European mole, except in the structure 
of its fore-paws, for it does not construct its mines 
and galleries in the earth, but among the roots of 
the grass and the leaves. These pests kept running 
over the faces of the party all night, poking their 





lonj^ slender noses up the nostrils and into the eyes 
of the poor people while asleep ; and, on one occa- 
sion, one of them commenced making* a meal on 
the upper lip of an unfortunate Scotchman, who 
raised a cry that wakened the whole camp, under the 
conviction that the Indians had made a night attack 
on them. Whenever a fish was caught and laid on 
the beach, you were sure, if absent ten minutes, to 
find it deprived of its eyes ; and if for half an hour, 
four or five of them would have found a lodgment in 
the abdomen, while as many more were lugginf^ at 
its sides. In fact, so numerous were these vermin, 
that you killed many by treading on them. From that 
date, July, 1827, to the present, February, 1832, 
not one single solitary individual of the species has 
been seen on the same ground. Now, though we can 
account for squirrels, whose kingdom seems to be the 
top of the forest, and who have the power of swim- 
ming rivers and traversing immense tracts of coun- 
try with a rapidity that nothing un winged can 
equal, advancing and retiring like Cossacks, — how 
can we account for such slow sluggish animals as I 
have described, who, if they had travelled above the 
surface, must have become a perfect banquet to the 
kites and owls, appearing and disappearing in the 
numbers stated ? Some years ago, the Talbot settle- 
ment was invaded by an army of weazles, which 
boldly entered the, houses, and though from six to 
a dozen of them were killed every day, in one gen- 



tleman's house, not a sinnlc female was ever found 
among the casualties. IIow can this be accounted 
for? * I pause for a reply,' as orators say. 

The wild turkey takes the lead of our Upper Ca- 
nadian feathered g;ame. He is found in the London 
and western districts exclusively ; thoui^h I have 
heard, that in New England, he is domiciliated much 
farther to the north. He is large, weighin- from 25 
to 351bs., of a dark colour, which in some indi- 
viduals is lighter, and in others approaches to a 
leaden gray; and is very like the domestic turkey of 
the country, which, there is little doubt, must in many 
instances hold the same relation to him as the half 
Indian (* or bois brul<j,' as the French call them) 
does to the original proprietor of the soil. You can 
only distinguish him from his civilized cousin by a 
quick, firm, light infantry step in his gait, and his 
independent, watchful look. At certain periods of 
the year, he is anything but shy. I have walked 
along the highway for half a mile at least, with a 
flock of fourteen of them marching in front of me all 
the time within easy shot : some of them marching 
in the middle of the road, stmie hopping up on the 
rail fences and running along them, some jumping 
over into the neighbouring field, but none showing 
any unreasonable fear of me. 

They aru game, for pointers will set them ; and in 
lawns at home I have seen a pointer draw upon a 
turkey ; but all that I have heard about dark flesh 
and game flavour I have found utter trash. If you 






slioot them, and do not bleed them, their flesh is not 
so white as that of the turkies we see on our tables ; 
but so I suspect would be that of a domestic tur- 
key, if it were treated in the same way ; and as 
for the i^ame flavour, so far as I can jud^e, I defy 
the lord mayor and court of aldermen to point out 
the difference between a wild and a tame turkey, 
if placed on the table before them. Like all wild 
gallinaceous fowls, he runs like a Belgian ; and if 
you wing him and have not a dog, it is pretty cer- 
tain, whether he escape death or not, he will escape 
you. I heard of a respectable, fat, elderly gentle- 
man who wounded one in a four-acre field, and who 
had nearly broken his wind in pursuing him and 
trying to hem him into a corner, when a Samaritan, 
passing by, recommended his trying the effect of 
another shot upon him, which succeeded to admira- 
tion, for he bagged him without further trouble. 

Wild geese and wild swans we only see in tran- 
situ. In Canada the climate is too hot for them 
in summer, and too cold in winter ; so they pass the 
former on the shores of Hudson's Bay, and the latter 
among the jolly planters in the southern states, — 
thereby showing their good taste, for these last are 
the only body of gentlemen that as yet exists upo" 
this continent. 

A bird, called the partridge, though it is in reality 
of the pheasant kind, is found all over the American 
continent ; they are of two sorts, the spruce and the 
birch, so called from the different buds which they 












select for their food. The spruce partri(ln;e has often 
a disjiG^reeable turpentine flavour, from the nature of 
its diet. These build upon the ground, but as soon 
as they can fly, perch upon trees. It is said, that, if 
you shoot the lowest first, you can sometimes bag 
the whole covey ; but I have never been able to get 
more than two shots at a time. 

Grouse are found on the plains of the Western Dis- 
trict. They are like the European grouse, but smaller. 
I have never eaten any of them, so I cannot say any- 
thing as to their taste or flavour, but they make good 

The quail here I take to be a small species of the 
partridge ; for, whereas the quail of Europe is a bird 
of passage, that of America remains all the year round, 
and faces even the severest winter, when they may 
be seen like chickens round the barns and farm- 
yards. They make excellent sport, as they are nume- 
rous and very swift on the wing. They are found 
abundantly in the Home, Gore, Niagara, London, 
and Western Districts. 

The snipe and wood-cock are also abundant, — the 
former a little larger, and the latter a little less than 
the English bird. In this country, there are two sea- 
sons for shooting them, — the spring when they arrive 
to breed, and the autumn after the young have flown. 
In the latter season they are still found in families, — 
the old pair, and from three to five young ones. They 
are in great numbers in both provinces ; but in the 
neighbourhood of Sorel, in the Lower Province, when 


, (I 



they arrive in the spring, they rise in such flocks, that 
you have only to fire in among them to bring down 
two or three at a shot; and at Chippewa, I have known 
a gentleman shoot 173 brace of snipe and wood-cock 
in a day. 

There is a great variety of the duck tribe ; but the 
finest for sport is the wood, or tree-duck. He is ele- 
gant in his form, and with none of the rJdermanic 
waddle in his gait that distinguishes the tame duck ; 
he has a beautiful crest of about two inches long, 
which distinguishes him from every other of his 
species ; and he builds in a tree near a brook, so 
that tracing up the course of any brook you are 
pretty sure to meet with hiu.. 

Every person w^ho has been in America has 
described the interminable flocks of wild pigeons ; so 
I shall not trouble my reader on that score. Some 
two summers ago, a stream of them took it into their 
heads to fly over York ; and for three or four days the 
town resounded with one continued roll of firing, 
as if a skirmish were going on in the streets, — every 
gun, pistol, musket, blunderbuss, and fire-arm of what- 
ever description, was put in requisition. The con- 
stables and police magistrates were on the alert, and 
offenders, without number, were pulled up, — among 
whom were honourable members of the executive 
and legislative councils, crown lawyers, respectable 
staid citizens, and, last of all, the sheriff' of the 
county ; till at last it was found that pigeons, flying 
within easy shot, were a temptation too strong for 






it the 
is ele- 

duck ; 
of bis 
ook, so 
^ou are 

ica bas 

:ons ; so 

Into tbeir 

days tbe 

,f firing, 
'he con- 
cert, and 
liff of tVie 

^ns, fi^ng 
strong fo^ 

human virtue to withstand ; — and so the contest was 
given up, and a sporting jubilee proclaimed to all 
and sundry. 

The stream is no less prolific in sport than the 
forest and field, And if a inaa thinks proper, in the 
words of I::aak Walton, ' to be pleasant and eat 
a trout,* he can gratify his taste to any extent in 
Upper Canada. Trout are only found in the small 
streams, not in the larger rivers ; the large fish, pro- 
bably, making the latter unsafe quarters for them. 
They, generally speaking, are small, like those of the 
moorland-burns at home, but very delicately flavoured. 
When, however, mill-dams are erected on streams, 
they increase in size; and in the beautiful clear 
streams, fed from springs in the Long Point coun- 
try, they are as large as I have seen them anywhere 
in England. The banks being overhung with trees, 
fly-fishing is rarely to be had, except you station 
yourself on a bridge or mill-dam ; but the bait they 
take at all seasons, from the middle of winter, when 
you catch them through a hole in the ice, to summer, 
when you wash down the middle of the stream 
with it floating before you. Not being acquainted 
with the ways of the world and the deceits of man- 
kind, a piece of beef is as good a bait for Canadian 
trout as any that can be found. 

Of other fish there is no lack ; and many of them 
have no European name, but are very good fish for 
all that. The pipe pickerel, maskanongt^, black and 
white and rock bass, are to be trolled for ; the carp, 





sucker, and mullet, are taken by net or spear ; the 
cat-fish, and some others, by nij^ht lines. We have 
also the salmon and sturgeon ; but the former never 
visiting the salt-water, are not like the same fish we 
have at home. The white-fish are caught in such 
quantities as to be, even in the infant state of our 
fisheries, an article of commerce ; and the herring, 
which some people, with no more palate than a 
pig, compare to the Loch-Fine, are very numerous ; 
but the monarch of the Canadian waters is the Mac- 
kinaw trout, peculiar to lakes Huron and Superior, 
which seldom weighs less than twenty, sometimes 
fifty, and in some rare instances has been caught 
ninety pounds we. ,hi, and for richness and flavour 
far exceeds any fish we have. 

As a general rule, the farther west you go, the 
better are the lake fish. Thus the fish of Erie 
are superior to those of Ontario, Huron to Erie, and 
Superior to all. Every settler who can afford it, and 
who irtends to settle near a lake, ought to bring out 
a seine net with him. 

Spearing fish is a pretty amusement. It is done by 
standing in the bow of the canoe and motioning with 
your spear how you wish to be guided; and it is 
much more productive at night by torch-light than 
in the day-time. But I would recommend all infant 
Neptunes, who are only learning the use of their 
tridents, to practise for some time in shallow water ; 
for so sure as they commence their career, they will 
lei their zeal outrun their discretion, and upset the 



canoe at least twice for once they will strike the 

It is only since writing the above, that I fell 
in with the first volume of Moore's Life of Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald ; and I cannot describe the plea- 
sure I received from reading his vivid, spirited, and 
accurate description of the feelings he experienced on 
first taking on him the life of a hunter. At an earlier 
period of life than Lord Edward had then attained, 
I made my d^but in the forest, and first assumed the 
blanket-coat and the rifie, the moccasin and the 
snow-shoe; and the extatic feeling of Arab-like in- 
dependence, and the utter contempt for the advan- 
tage, and restrictions of civilization which he de- 
scribes, I then felt in its fullest power. And even 
now, when my way of life, like Macbeth's, is falling 
* into the sere, the yellow leaf,* and when a tropical 
climate, privation, disease, and thankless toil are 
combining with advancing years to unstring a frame, 
the strength of which once set hunger, cold, and 
fatigue at defiance, and to undermine a constitution 
that once appeared iron-bound, still I cannot lie 
down by a fire in the woods without the elevating 
feeling, which I experienced formerly, returning, 
though in a diminished degree. And this must be 
human nature; — for it is an undoubted fact, that 
no man who associates with and follows the pursuits 
of the Indian, for any length of time, ever voluntarily 
returns to civilized society. 

What a companion in the woods Lord Edward 






.1 V 



must have been ! and how shocking to think that, with 
talents which would have made him at once the idol 
and the ornament of his profession, and affections 
which must have rendered him an object of adora- 
tion in all the relations of private life, — with honour, 
with courage, with generosity, with every trait that 
can at once ennoble and endear, — he should never 
have been taught, that there is a higher principle 
of action than the mere impulse of the passions, — 
that he should never have learned, before plung- 
ing his country into blood and disorder, to have 
weighed the means he possessed with the end he 
proposed, or the problematical good with the cer- 
tain evil ! — that he should have had Tom Paine for 
a tutor in religion and politics, and Tom Moore for 
a biographer, to hold up as a pattern, instead of 
warning, the errors and misfortunes of a being so 
noble, — to subserve the revolutionary purposes of a 
faction, who, like Samson, are pulling down a fabric 
which will bury both them and their enemies un- 
der it. 



t^^ ,iii 


Chapter V. 

* A Dutch dish stewed in its own grease.' — Shakspbark. 

* As to physical causes (of commercial power) we shall place 
at their head the public roads, and establishments which facili« 
tate the transport, and render safe the deposit of merchan- 
dize.' — DUPIN. 

Travelling and Communications in Canada. 

Formerly, that is to sa) previous to the peace of 
1815, a journey between Quebec and Sandwich 
iTvas an undertaking considerably more tedious and 
troublesome than the voyage from London to Que- 
bec. In the first place, the commissariat of the 
expedition had to be cared for ; and to that end 
every gentleman who was liable to travel had, as a 
part of his appointment, a provision basket which 
held, generally, a cold round of beef, tin plates and 
dripking cups, tea, sugar, biscuits, and about a 
gallon of brandy. These, with your wardrobe and 
a camp bed, were stowed away in a batteau or flat- 
bottomed boat ; and off you set with a crew of seven 
stout, light-hearted, jolly, lively Canadians, who 
sung their boat songs, all the time they could spare 
from smoking their pipes. You were accompanied 
by a fleet of similar boats, called a brigade, — the 
crews of which assisted each other up the rapids, and 





at- night nut into some creek, bay, or uninhabited 
island, where fires were lighted, tents made of the 
sails, and the song, the laugh, and the shout, were 
heard, with little intermission, all the night through ; 
and if you had the felicity to have among the party a 
fifer or a fiddler, the dance was sometimes kept up all 
night, — for, if a Frenchman has a fiddle, sleep ceases 
to be a necessary of Hfe with him. This mode of tra- 
velling was far from being unpleasant, for there was 
something of romance and adventure in it; and the 
scenes you witnessed, both by night and day, were 
picturesque in the highest degree. But it was tedi- 
ous ; for you were in great luck if you arrived at your 
journey's end in a month, and if the weather were 
boisterous, or the wind a-head, you might be an 
indefinite time longer. 

But your march of improvement is a sore destroyer 
of the romantic and picturesque. A gentleman, 
about to take such a journey now-a-days, orders his 
servant to pack his portmanteau, and put it on boar<d 
the John Molspn, or any of his family ; and at the 
stated hour he marches on board, the bell rings, the 
engine is put in motion, and away you go smoking 
and splashing and wallopping along, at the rate of 
ten knots an hour, in the ugliest species of craft 
that ever diversified a marine landscape. 

By land there are only two seasons when you can 
travel with any degree of comfort, — midsummer and 
midwinter. During the former part of the year, 
travelling on horseback is preferable, or in a light 





waggon. During the latter, when there is snow 
on the ground, in a sleigh, which, from the smooth, 
gliding, half-flying sensation you experience, is by 
far the most delightful mode of land gestation, as 
the learned would call it, I ever experienced. 

Our inns are bad: that is to say, many of them 
clean and comfortable indeed enough, and the 
landlords almost uniformly civil and obliging, but 
the proverb, of * God sending meat and the devil 
cooks,' never was so fully illustrated as in this coun- 
try ; for, with a superabundance of the raw materia^ 
the manufactured article of a good dinner is hardly 
to be found in a public- ho use in the province. The 
radical cause of this defect seems to me to be, that the 
cookery of America is derived from that of Holland ; 
so they are inferior pupils of an indifferent school ; 
— for, though both countries have produced painters 
of great eminence, I never have yet heard of either 
producing a cook of even moderate genius. Soup is 
unknown in these parts. The gridiron, if to be found 
at ail, is only an ornamental not a useful implement 
of an American kitchen ; its place is usurped by the 
frying-pan, and everything is deluged with grease 
and butter. I saw some days ago, in the New York 
Spectator^ a clever announcement of a work about 
to be published, by a fair spinster from somewhere 
' down East,' (as she herself, being a New Eng- 
lander, would say,) on American Cookery. The lady 
is benemp't Miss Prudence Smith ; and it appears 
that, in America, the mysteries of cookery hitherto. 



1 1 

P !5- 

like those of the Drnids of old, have been preserved 
by oral tradition, which this young lady is now 
about to collect, arrange, and classify in a code of 
Transatlantic culinary economics, and thus will be- 
come the Justinian and Napoleon of her national 
gastronomy — the Meg Dodds and Hannah Glasse 
of the New World. I liave no acquaintance with 
Prudence ; yet I sincerely wish her all manner of 
success in her patriotic and philanthropic under- 
taking; and in the meantime I shall, to give the 
reader a kind of notion of what he may expect, 
present him with a few receipts, as I saw them prac- 
tised in the kitchen of a, not the^ London Tavern. 

To Dress a Beef Steak. 
Cut the steak about a quarter of an inch thick, 
wash it well in a tub of water, wringing it from time 
to time after the manner of a d|sh-clout ; put a 
pound of fresh butter in a frying-pan (hog's-lard will 
do, but butter is more esteemed), and when it boils, 
put in the steak, turning and peppering it for about 
a quarter of an hour ; then put it into a deep dish, 
and pour the oil over it, till it floats, and so serve it. 

To boil Green Peas. 
Put them in a large pot full of water, boil them 
till they burst. Pour off one half of the water, 
leaving about as much as will cover them ; then add 
about the size of your two fists of butter, and stir the 
whole round with a handful of black pepper. Serve 
in a wash-hand basin. 

II . ' 



To Pickle Cucumbers, 
Select, for this purpose, cucumbers the size of a 
man's foot, — if beginning to grow yellow, so much 
the better ; split them in four, and put them into an 
earthen vessel — then cover them with whiskey. The 
juices of the cucumber, mixing with the alcohol, will 
run into the acetous fermentation, so you make 
vinegar and pickles both at once ; and the pickles 
will have that bilious, Calcutta-looking complexion, 
and slobbery, slimy consistence, so r^uch admired 
by the Dutch gourmands of this country. 

To make butter Toast, 

Soak the toasted bread in warm milk and water ; 
get ready a quantity of melted butter and dip the 
bread in it ; then place the slices stratum super stra- 
tum in a deep dish, and pour the remainder of the 
melted butter over them. 


How poultry is dressed, so as to deprive it of all 
taste and flavour, and give it much the appearance 
of an Egyptian mummy, I am not sufficiently 
skilled in Transatlantic cookery to determine ; unless 
it be, by first boiling it to rags and then baking it to 
a chip in an oven. But I shall say no more on the 
subject, as it would be ungallant to anticipate Miss 

D 5 






I li 

\-i >; 


. If any man will only take the trouble to cast 
his eye over a map of the province, he will perceive 
that no country under heaven was ever so completely 
adapted for internal navigation. He will then see the 
line of the St. Lawrence, and the lakes ; the line from 
the Bay of Quinte to Lake Simcoe, and thai from 
the foot of Lake Ontario to the Ottawa by the Cata- 
raqui and Rideau ; from the Lake of the Thousand 
Islands, to the Ottawa, by the Petite Nation ; from 
Lake Huron to the Ottawa, by the double line of 
Lake Simcoe and Lake Nippissing ; and the nume- 
rous tributaries of all these, which very little expense 
would render navigable ; — so that were Mr. Brindley 
to rise from the dead, he would boldly pronounce 
that Nature intended all these as feeders to canals, 
to intersect the country in every possible direction. 

There is one thing that, as far as I know, is pecu- 
liar to Upper Canada, and the nearer parts of the 
State of New York, viz. that lakes have often two 
or more outlets running in different or opposite direc- 
tions. This affords great facilities in canalling ; for 
you have the reservoir on the summit level, and you 
have not to cut, (which is generally the most expen- 
sive operation in constructing a canal,) but merely 
to dam and lock the beds of these streams, as is done 
with the river Weaver in Cheshire, and the Rideau 
and the Cataraqui here. A bill too has passed the 
provincial Parliament this winter, authorizing the 



■ I 



same to be done on the Grand River, or Ouse, which 
it is to be hoped will be the precursor of a similar 
improvement of every stream of any magnitiitle in 
the province. 

Twelve years ago the means of communication 
were as I described them. What are they now ? As 
soon as the ice which now binds our rivers and 
lakes shall have dissolved in the spring, or at all 
events long before they shall again feel the effects of 
the winter's frtst, a vessel capable of crossing the 
Atlantic may sail up the St. Lawrence, tlie Ottawa, 
the Rideau, the Cataraqui, Lake Ontario, Lake 
Erie, Lake Huron, and land her cargo at the Sault 
de Ste. Marie, which connects Huron with Superior, 
— an internal navigation of nearly fifteen hundred 
miles in extent. 

The first link of this noble chain is the Lachine 
Canal. It overcomes the first rapid that intercepts 
the navigation of the St. Lawrence, between Mon- 
treal and Lachine. 

This canal was cut at the expense of the Lower 
Province. It is done in the most durable, substan- 
tial, and workmanlike style. It has five feet depth 
of water, and locks of twenty feet by one hundred. 
But if another canal is not cut in rear of the island 
of Montreal, these will be altered to the same size as 
those of the Rideau chain. 

This canal, with the assistance of one lock at Van- 
drieul, throws up the water to the level of the rapid 
of the Ottawa, where a shore canal ta'es you up to 






that of the Chilte a Blondeau ; and another, from the 
foot of the Longue Sault, puts you into an unbroken 
sheet of water, more resembling a deep narrow lake 
than a river, and extending sixty miles to the falls of 
the Chaudiere, where the Rideau joins it. 

The Rideau canal is the principal branch of this 
splendid navigation through the interior of these pro- 
vinces, — a navigation, which, among other benetits, 
brings into connexion with the markets of Montreal 
and Quebec, (estimating the depth of two townships 
on each side of it,) three millions of acres of arable 
land, whiih were either partially or totally shut off 
from communication, and for anything that the coun- 
try gained by them, the greater part might as well 
have been totally barren. 

The principle on which this work is carried on, as 
far as extent at least goes, is new in engineering. 
The rivers and lakes are raised at different points 
to the levels required, by immense dams, some of 
which must sustain a pressure of an atmosphere and 
a half at the base, and by these means excavation to 
an enormous extent is saved. It commences at 
Kingston and ends atBytown. The distance between 
these two points is as yet not quite accurately ascer- 
tained, but is believed to be about i3G miles. 


Chapter VL 

' We came into the land whither thou sentest us, and 
surely it floweth with milk and honey. ^ -^Numbers xiii. 27* 

Soil of Upper CawAa, 

In describing the different parts of the province, 
I shall adopt the natural divisions indicated by the 
difference of the soil, rather than adhere to those 
arbitrary lines which form the political boundaries of 
districts and counties. For this purpose I would 
divide the province into three tracts, viz. — 

1 . The Eastern, comprisinp^ the land situated be- 
tween the two great rivers St. Lawrence and Ot- 
tawa, including the eastern Ottawa, Bathurst, Johns- 
town, and a part of the midland districts. 

2. The Middle, which takes in all lands on the 
shores of Lake Ontario, containing the western part 
of the Midland district, the whole of the Newcastle 
district, and part of the Home and Gore districts. 

3. The Western, that triangle formed by the three 
lakes and the River Detroit, and the Lake and River 
of St. Clair, being part of the Home and Gore dis- 
tricts, and the whole of the Niagara, London, and 
Western districts. 

Before going into the consideration of these dif- 





ferent divisions of the province, it may be aa Vi^ell to 
make a fevi' general remarks that apply to them all. 

The eastern and western sections of the country 
possess relative advantages and disadvantages. The 
soil of the eastern portion is very inferior to that of 
the western ; and as the line of the River St. Law- 
uence and the lake runs about as much to the south- 
ward as to the westward, it follows of course, that the 
climate of the western must be much more mild than 
that of the eastern, and, also, that the winter is 
shorter by some weeks. 

To counterbalance these deficiencies, all kinds 
of produce fetch a higher price in the east than in the 
west ; for, as Montreal is the market of both, the 
eastern farmer gets as much for his produce in Mon- 
treal (where he can take it in a day, or a couple 
of days at the utmost, by water conveyance,) as the 
price paid to the western farmer, added to the 
expense of transport from Lake Erie or Lake Huron 
to Montreal ; besides, the eastern settler, from the 
proximity to market, can sell many articles of farm 
produce, which, in Canada, constitute the farmer's 
most profitable return, — among which may be enu- 
merated potatoes, poultry, eggs, and fresh butter, 
which his western neighbour, unless situated near to 
York or a garrison, cannot dispose of. But, under 
all the circumstances, I would recommend settlers to 
go to the westernmost division of the province, that is 
to say, beyond the head sof Lake Ontario, on the prin- 
ciple acted on by the Dutchman, that roads may im- 





prove and markets may be found near you, but bad 
land will never become good. And so, to a great 
extent, it has already proved, — for the Welland and 
Rideau canals have greatly diminished the expense 
of transport, and every penny that is taken oft' the 
conveyance of wheat to market, of course goes into 
the pocket of the farmer. 

The price of labour is cheaper in the eastern por- 
tion of the colony than the west. This is owing to its 
proximity to the Lower Province, where the French 
Canadians work for wages not much, if at all, higher 
than those of a labourer in England, and the many 
poor emigrants, who have to work their way before 
they can manage to travel farther up the country, — 
also to the cutting of the Grenville and Rideau canals, 
which, on the principle of demand producing supply, 
brought a great many labourers together, and those 
who could not be employed on these public works 
were content to work for the farmers on moderate 
wages, rather than risk a long journey on the chance 
of getting a larger remuneration. This advantage, 
however, will most likely get more nearly equalized 
as the country fills up. 


In treating of the eastern division of the province, 
I shall divide it into two parts ; the first, or eastern- 
most, consisting of the eastern and Ottawa districts 
nearly ; and, second, the westernmost portion, com- 
prising the Bathurst and Johnstown districts, with 

f ' 



I: . 




part of the midland, where a different geological 
formation obtains. 

The eastern portion of this division forms an irre- 
gular four-s?ded figure, about thirty miles in breadth 
and sixty in length. The surface is broken into gentle 
swells ; but there is not, in any part, anything that 
could with propriety be denominated a hill, although 
the ground rather nearer the Ottawa than the St. Law- 
rence, may be some 300 feet or upwards above the 
level of either of the rivers. This forms a ridge, run- 
ning in a south-westerly direction, and terminating or 
disappearing at the south-west corner of the eastern 
district. At this point the height of land is so close to 
the St. Lawrence, that the river Petite Nation, which, 
afler running about sixty miles, discharges itself into 
the Ottawa, arises within three-quarters of a mile of 
the river at Johnstown. 

On the top of this and other rises, the soil is light 
and gravelly, and contains large pieces of water-worn 
limestone and granite, with other masses of the same 
material, whose angular appearance seems to indicate 
their having come there more recently. The land 
in the bottoms, formed by the soil washed from 
these rises, is rich and deep, being generally a 
black loam. From the levelness of the country, cedar 
swamps are common in these bottoms; and these 
swamps, for the most part, contain strata of black 
and red peat- moss, though seldom to a greater depth 
than fifteen inches, which covers a rich productive clay 
soil, very much prized by the lower Canadians for its 




properties of bearing repeated crops of wheat, without 
either manure or the trouble of cropping, and deno- 
minated by ihemferrie glaise, in contradistinction to 
the cold and unproductive clay, which they denomi- 
nate argille. This rich clay they plough in the 
autumn, and leave it to be pulverised by the action of 
the winter frosts; then early in spring, before the 
frost is out of the ground, they sow it with spring 
wheat, — the moisture retained causes rapid germina- 
tion, and the crop is reaped soon after the autumn 

The be^t soil in this district is in the two townships 
of East and West Hawkesbury, and the lands lying 
on the banks of the Petite Nation river, though these 
last, from the flatness of the country, are subject to 
the inconvenience of being overflowed in the spring* 
In many places, indeed, to such an extent does this go, 
that along parts of the river, cleared passages through 
the woods, which in summer are used as roads for 
carriages, in spring perform the oflice of canals to 
float down rafts of timber to the main stream. 

The climate of the northern part of this division, 
being on a parallel with Montreal, is pretty much the 
same as in that quarter, but on the banks of the St. 
Lawrence it is much better : in fact, it is astonishing 
what a difference a degree of I'^titude in this country 
makes in climate. On the 16th December, 1826, 
when I was on my first visit to this quarter, they 
were still driving about in sleighs on the Ottawa, 
while the plough was go ^^ on the banks of the St, 





The principal villages in this part of the country 
are Cornwall, the capital of the eastern district, 
Williamstown, Hawkesbury, and L'Orignal, the ca- 
pital of the Ottawa district. 


The greater part of this is, perhaps, the least pro- 
ductive region in the whole province, and, probably, 
would not have been settled half so well as it already 
is, had it not been for fortuitous circumstances. 

The peace of 1815 came upon us suddenly; — 
all the colonial corps, and several regiments of the 
line, were disbanded, — and the regiments which were 
about to return to Europe left their seven years* men 
in Canada. These, with their officers, were all en- 
titled to grants of lands, and also provisions and agri- 
cultural implements. Government saw that, if they 
settled all these in a group, they might open a new 
country at once, settle the men more beneficially 
for themselves and at less expense to the public, 
and secure besides a first-rate militia force at their 
command in case of emergency. Accordingly, their 
location was chosen more with a military than agricul- 
tural eye ; and they were placed in the rear of King- 
ston, which, from its local advantages, is and must 
always be the great naval dep6t of Upper Canada. 
. This plan has perfectly answered the purposes for 
which it was intended ; for the men, so far from hav- 
ingforgot their military training, have taught it to their 
children ; and the very drk^ )iners, fifers, and buglers. 









though their instruments are handed to them only on 
the days of training, perform upon them as well as 
if they had been doing garrison duty from the day on 
which they were disbanded : — so that, should their 
services be required, the Bathurst district could pour 
down through the Rideau canal an efficient army of 
between four and five thousand men, commanded by 
officers of skill and experience, and garrison King- 
ston to overflowing, in twenty-four hours. 

The distress among the manufacturing classes 
in Scotland produced an extensive emigration in the 
years 1818-19-20, and 21 ; and the friends of these 
emigrants have been coming out in greater or smaller 
nunibers every year since, and have proved valuable 
and useful settlers in and about the townships of 
Ramsay, Lanark, and Dalhousie, having brought 
from Scotland with them their desire of education 
and information. The best library in the province is 
in Dalhousie, supported by the contributions of the 

In 1826, when all these people were fairly settled, 
and had plenty of surplus produce to dispose of, but 
a great difficulty of bringing it to market, the very 
best market in the province came to their door. The 
Rideau canal began to be cut. As they could not 
supply provisions for so large a body of men, some 
part of the supply had to come from Montreal ; and 
this fixed the price at that of Montreal, with the addi- 
tion of the freight and carriage from Montreal to the 
Rideau, which might amount to fifty per cent. more. 

,>H ■ 






Besides all this, they got work at high wages for 
themselves and their teams, which enabled them to 
extend their farms; and now that the Rideau is 
finished, they are better situated with regard to 
a market, than if their farms were on the banks of 
Lake Ontario. The strongest proof of the im- 
provement caused by this great undertaking is, that 
lands, which in 1824 were valued at one shilling and 
threepence, would now fetch from twenty to thirty 
shillings per acre ; and the wealth thus produced 
has introduced among them a spirit of enterprise 
that goes far to overcome the natural disadvantages 
of the country they live in. 

The lands of this section of country, which are 
situated near the banks of either of the great rivers, 
are many of them positively bad, and none first- 
rate ; indeed, it may be taken as a genviral rule 
in this country, that the best land is never to be 
found on the very banks of either lake or river. 
The reason is, that in former ages, the waters, both 
running and standing, have been much higher than 
they are now; and the land on their immediate 
banks consists of their deserted channels, com- 
posed of rock, stone, gravel, and sand, covered with 
a thin stratum of alluvium, the deposit of the sub- 
siding waters, augmented by the decay of the vege- 
table matter which may since have sprung up on 
their surface. 

Through the centre of this section runs the great 
granite chain, which, commencing on the northern 










shores of Lake Huron, intersects the continent, and 
falls into the ocean on the coast of Labrador; while 
a branch of it running, in a south-easterly direction, 
through the northern parts of this province, loses 
itself in the St. Lawrence, at the Lake of the Thou- 
sand Islands*, and its western ridge, crossing the 
continent towards the rocky mountains, is lost in 
the sea on the shores of the Pacific. 

The centre of the country, where the best land is 
found, is much broken by lakes, and in many places 
by large granite rocks, many of them from 250 to 
300 feet in height ; but in the valleys and interstices 
there is much good land, and whenever agricultural 
knowledge, accompanied by capital, shall be so far 
advanced as to induce the inhabitants to clear, drain, 
and cultivate the swamps, which, after all, are the 
richest lands in the province, an enormous quantity 
of produce will be supplied by them. 


Of the whole midland district, with the exception 
of the peninsula of Prince Edward, it may be said, 
that the great portion of the land is bad, and that the 

* In speaking of the Lake of the Thousand Islands, which 
begins at Kingston, and ends near BrockvillC; if we wish to be 
precise, we should add, like the Irish attorney who challenged 
a gentleman to meet him in the Fifteen Acres, ^ be the same 
more or less,' for there are upwards of sixteen hundred of 
them, of all sorts, shapes, and sizes, and a sail through them 
presents a scene of constantly-changing romantic beauty, 
unequalled, I believe, in any part of the globe. 




good and fertile lots are the exceptions to the general 

The surface for the most part is stony, rocky, 
or swampy, of a light description, and such as with- 
out manuring must soon be exhausted. To atone 
in some degree for this deficiency in fertility, it 
abounds, however, with valuable minerals, and on 
that account may one day become of great importance 
to the province. Iron ore is found in all its different 
shapes of bog, sand, and stone ore, but all of them 
unparalleledly rich. Marble, too, of dilerent kinds, 
is also found; and this maybe considered as the 
best field for the mineralogist in the province, as 
the strata seem heie overturned and intermixed in 
a way very different from the regular forms of hori- 
zontal alluvial stratification observable in almost 
every other quarter. The quantity of iron ore found 
in (his neighbourhood induced a gentleman to lay 
out a large some of money some time ago in builds 
ing very extensive iron-works at Marmora; but 
they have not answered the expectations of their 
projector. This failure arose principally from a large 
portion of the money being injudiciously expended 
in grist mills, and other buildings, by no means 
necessary for the purposes of smelting or forging 
iron, and partly from the difficulty of conveying 
their wares to market, the works being situated far 
from water conveyance. But were practical people 
to buy up the works at their real value (not the 
price for which they were erected), and lay out a 



\d far 


)ut a 


few thousand pounds in rendering the Trent and 
Crow rivers navigable, there can be ' Ule doubt, 
that in a short time the concern migh be made to 
yield a profit sufficient to satisfy reasonable men, 
though not to become that El Dorado, which could 
only have existed in the heated imaginations of 
its original projectors. The county of Prince 
Edward is an irregularly-shaped peninsula, forming 
the outer or southern side of a beautiful arm of Lake 
Ontario, called the V v of Quinte, — a sail up which 
presents one of the ost romantic prospects of 
which the colony c<.,* beast. This peninsula contains 
a very great pioj:^ ^ion of good table laud, con- 
sisting of a ri h mould, resting upon limestone 
rock, which is t ^ best soil known in America for 
summer crops, as it never becomes exhausted. The 
low lands, in many parts, require some draining ; 
there is much of it fine pasture ; good pine and white 
cedar abound — but beach and maple form the most 
common wood : the tract is tolerably well watered, 
hut being all but an island, there are no large 
streams ; and the farming seems to be carried on 
in a more successful manner than in many other 
parts of the province. 

There are a good many Quakers and Low Dutch 
among the inhabitants of this region ; and these, 
though generally ignorant, and prejudiced in favour 
cf the wisdom of their ancestors, to such an extent 
that many of them commence sowing, reaping, and 
other^ agricultural operations on the day of the 






month which tradition has sanctified as the proper 
day for such labours, without payinjr the slightest 
attention to existing circumstances, are almost uni- 
formly men of sober, steady, and industrious habits ; 
and such, in all countries, will render success in 
business probable, but in this certain. 

At the head of the Bay of Quinte', the land begins 
to improve ; and in what is called the Rice Lake 
County, that is, the centre of the Newcastle dis- 
trict, it is first-rate. This land was the scene of 
an experiment in emigration some years ago. The 
Honourable Peter Robinson, under the orders of 
government, brought out a great number of poor 
emigrants from the south of Ireland, and settled 
them here. So far as concerns the beneficial effects 
of emigration to the emigrants, the experiment has 
succeeded beyond the expectation of the most san- 
guine ; for, from being absolutely pennyless, they are 
now in the most comfortable and independent, and 
many of them in even what may be called affluent, 
circumstances. Their morals, too, contrary to the 
general rule, have improved with their circumstances; 
for they are (considering always that they are Irish- 
men) a quiet, peaceable, sober, and industrious 
population ; and the very men who, if at home, might 
be figuring as Caravats, Shanavists, or Carders, 
rebelling against all authority, and tracing their 
path with burning haggards and roasted Peelers, 
are quietly pursuing a peaceful and useful career 
in the back woods, grateful to the govei'nment 




to whom they owe all the advantages they enjoy, 
they are the most loyal and devoted of his Majesty's 
subjects; and, having got quit of the feeling of hope- 
lessness and despair of ever bettering their con- 
dition, that weighs down and paralyzes the Irish 
peasant in his own country, they have acquired the 
self-respect so essential to respectability, and which 
the habitually-oppressed can never know. So far, 
moreover, from requiring a civil and military force to 
compel obedience, the ministrations of my worthy 
friend, the priest, are found quite effective in main- 
taining order among them ; though it must be c( n- 
fessed, that the worthy ecclesiastic does not depend 
exclusively on spiritual thunder, but, with hardened 
and impenitent sinners, sometimes resorts to the 
temporal co-operation of an oak slick, — an argument 
which no man in the province can handle with more 
power and emphasis. 

It is true, that this experiment cost a good deal of 
money ; but were it to be repeated, from the know- 
ledge the government has attained of emigration, it 
could be effected for much less ; and, indeed, our wor- 
thy lieutenant-governor is now thickly settling many 
townships with poor emigrants, at an expense trifling 
in the first instance, and which must ultimately be 
repaid to government with interest. Would that the 
legislature of Great Britain would consider this, and 
back him in his laudable endeavours ! for, we be- 
lieve, that even Joseph Hume himself, were the 
thing fairly stated to him (m Jigures)^ would not 




hesitate to recommend a small advance to rescue 
hundreds of thousands of his ?ountrymen from want, 
turbulence, and vice, and place them in a situation at 
once so comfortable to themselves and advantageous 
to the nation. 

It is to be hoped, however, that, should the British 
[government ever ap^ain actively interfere in emip^ra- 
tion, they will employ men to conduct the under- 
taking who know something: about it ; or, if these 
cannot be found, at all events honest men, who will 
neither betray the people entrusted to their charge, 
nor the government which employs them. Their essay 
last summer was certainly anything but creditable. 
They collected a number of army pensioners, and 
came the old soldier over them, by commuting their 
pensions at a certain rate, — which rate (the poor 
fellows not being used to the calculation of an- 
nuities) was highly advantageous to the govern- 
ment ; and instead of remitting the whole or a 
greater part of the money to Canada, there to be 
paid them when they were settled on their farms, 
they paid them a large portion in London, — where, 
as might have been anticipated by any one who 
knows what an old soldier is made of, they drank it, 
and one half of them never embarked at all. Those 
who did come to Quebec without warning, had the 
rest of their money paid, spent it there, and got 
scattered about without advice or guidance. A few 
found their way to Upper Canada, where the go- 
vernment provided for them; but many, it is feared» 




t ♦ 


will return to England, where the evil report they 
will bring will be partly shared by the country, 
while, in justice, the blame ought to rest entirely 
with Lord Goderich and his Majesty's ministers. 

The emigrant, unless he has some of the induce- 
ments already alluded to, will do well not to think 
of settling until he has reached the Newcastle dis- 
trict ; and when once there, he will find himself amid 
land, which, with a few exceptions, (as. for instance, 
the sandy soil on both sides of the town of York, 
and tracts broken by the ridge of limestone rock, 
which, at a greater or less distan-e from its shores, 
surrounds Lake Ontario,) is of a uir average quality, 
and which, as a general rule, he will always find to 
improve the farther west he travels. 

The rear of the Home district contains likewise a 
great quantity of good land, particularly in the 
neighbourhood of Lake Simcoe ; and the market of 
York, the capital, which is growing more rapidly in 
proportion than even the rest of the province, gives 
settlers a great advantage. 

There is also a great deal of excellent land iti the 
western part of the Home, and eastern portion of the 
Gore district, though the latter is cut up in one 
direction by a bed of limestone rock, but with ex- 
cellent soil on either side of it. All that country, too, 
has the very great advantage of lying near to the 
lake, which gives a great facility in transporting pro- 
duce for the longest part of the way to market by 
water conveyance. 

£ 2 





Commencing at the head of Burlington Bay, and 
drawing a line in a south-westerly direction that 
would strike about the mouth of Cat-fish Creek, you 
will include the whole of the Niagara district, and a 
part of the Gore and London districts, which to a 
certain extent are assimilated in soil and climate, 
being composed of strong, stiff clayey land, or light 
sandy loam, degenerating towards Long Point into 
something very little superior to the sand of the sea- 
beach, — though the Arabs who inhabit this sandy 
desert, like their eastern brethren and indeed all 
mankind, believe their own to be the most favoured 
country on the face of the earth. The reason of this 
belief is two-fold : first, because it is their country ; 
secondly, because the trees being at a distance from 
each other, after the manner of a gentleman's park 
in England, it is easily cleared, or rather wants no 
clearing at all ; for, if you cut down any little under- 
wood there may be, and girdle (that is, cut a ring 
through the bark, and a little way into the wood of 
the large oaks so as to cause their death), you can 
harrow up the surface and put in a crop of wheat, 
which in all probability will double the price of 
the land and labour. Then, indeed, if the j .vould lay 
it down in grass, they woulf' have a first-rate dairy 
or sheep farm ; for it makes beautifid pasture, and, by 
a kind disposition of Providence, gypsum, which in 
this country is found the best and cheapest manure 




for light lands, is always abundant in their neigh- 
bourhood. But such is by no means the custom of 
Upper Canada. Crop after crop of wheat is sown and 
reaped, till the soil is so impoverished, that the more 
provident farmers sow a crop of clover or birch- 
wheat, which they plough down to prepare the land 
for their wheat, — while the more careless, or, as they 
say in this country, shiftless^ abandon their fjrm, and 
go on to another, to be abandoned again in its turn. 
From everything I can learn, this is very much the 
kind of land that is found in New South Wales. 
But to the settler in this country I would state, that 
land is rich and lasting just in proportion to the size 
and quantity of timber which it bears; and, there- 
fore, the more trouble he is put to in clearing his 
land, the better will it repay him the labour he has 
expended on it. 

This is by far the finest fruit country in the pro- 
vince. But, though in any part of it the fruits that 
grow in England, as well as grapes, come to perfec- 
tion in the open air, you must get to the Niagara 
frontier, or to the south of it, before you can depend 
on the more delicate fruits, such as the peach and 
nectarine, ripening. At Long Point, the papoa, a 
kind of semi-tropiCc*'i fruit, is found abundantly grow- 
ing wild in the woods. 

Having got through the small portion of second- 
rate land, we now come to tlie garden of Canada, — 
the London and Western districts. This country 
occupies fully one-third of the whole province, and 







there is not on the continent of America so large a 
tract of unexceptionable land. The soil seems to 
have been laid down by the water ; for it is based on 
limestone rock, — then comes a stratum of clay, — and 
generally, between that and the mould, there is a layer 
of ffravel of greater or less thickness. The soil on the 
surface is of the loamy description, — sometimes 
sandy and sometimes clayey, but in every case highly 

The timber is such as in this country indicates the 
best land ; and it is necessary that you should, in the 
choice of land, be aware of what kind of timbered 
land is the best. A mixture of maple, bass-wood (a 
kind of lime), elm, and cherry, indicates the very 
best soils ; an intermixture of beech is no objection ; 
and black walnut is found on first-rate soils. But, if 
beech be the only wood or the prevalent one, you 
may be sure that the soil is light. Pine grows on 
sandy soil, as often does oak, and always chestnut. 

We see in England, that Hampshire produces the 
best oaks; and the soil of that county is ten degrees 
more barren than that of the Long Point country 
just described. Cedar is found in the swamps, and 
hemlock (one of the pine tribes) in wet clayey grounds 
by river sides. The tamarac (larch), grows in the 
very worst swamps ; for, where you see it, were you to 
drain the marsh, you would only convert it into a 
bed of sand. The growth and appearance of the tim- 
ber, as well as the species, will enable you to judge of 
the nature of the soil. In the best soils, the timber 





is large, tall, and with a broad-spread bushy top, 
the bark clean and without moss. If in addition 
to this you find weeds, particularly a large species 
of nettle taller than yourself, and that the trees 
rise out of the ground at once like a broomstick, 
without at all displaying those roots which Gray 
calls * wild fantastic,' and which poets and painters 
admire, but Canadian farmers abominate, you will 
find you have got a rich deep inexhaustible soil 
— where, if you sow wheat the first year, unless you 
eat it down with your stock in spring, you will 
have a crop of straw, but, if you adopt the above- 
recommended precaution, you may count on a return 
of from thirty to forty bushels per acre. The great 
majority of the lands of this division are of this de- 

This country owes its settlement solely to the per- 
severing industry of my worthy and excellent friend, 
Colonel Talbot. Forty years ago, while exploring 
the about-to-be province, on the staff of Its governor. 
General Simcoe, he was struck with the beauty and 
fertility of this tract ; and afterwards observing that, 
from the improvident grants of the colonial govern- 
ment to friends and favourites, this fertile country, if 
left in their hands, would continue for ages a howl- 
ing wilderness, he procured from the authorities at 
home an exclusive power of settling it. For this 
purpose he set himself down in the very midst of the 
territory, without another Iiuiiinn habitation within 
fifty miles of him, and commenced his arduous un- 






dertaking by cutting out roads, amidst much head- 
shaking from the sage, and sneering from the igno- 
rant. He ho "ever never was a man who held as a 
part of his creed the wise aphorism, so often quoted 
in the present day, ' Fox popiili vox Dei;^ but held 
steadily on in the teeth of opposition, vexation, and 
disappointment, until, after about fifteen years of un- 
remitting labour and privation, it became so notorious 
in the province, that even the executive government 
at York became aware that there was such a place 
in existence as the Talbot settlement, where roads 
were cut, and farms in progiess: — and hereupon they 
rejoiced, — for it held out to them just what they had 
long felt the want of, — a vell-settlcd, opened, and cul- 
tivated country, wherein ^^ obtain estates for them- 
selves, their children, boir and unborn, and their 
whole kith, kin, and Relies. When this idea, so 
creditable to the paieri d feelings of these worthy 
gentlemen vas intimat to the Colonel, he could 
not be brought l'- iCv- tl:ic; l.tneaa of things in an ar- 
rangement, which would confer on the next genera- 
lion, or the next again,, the fruits of the labour of 
the \:nTj nt ; and accordin^i^ly, though his answer to 
the proposal was not couched in terms quite so di- 
plomatic as might have been wished, it was brief, 
soldier-like, and not easily capable of misconstruc- 
tion ; — it was in these words, * I'll be d d if you 

get one foot of land here ;' and thereupon the parties 
joined issue. 

On this, war was declared against him by his 




Excellency in Council, and every means were used 
to annoy him here, and misrepresent his proceedings 
at home ; but he stood firm, and by an occasional 
visit to the Colonial Office in England, he opened 
the eyes of ministers to thp proceedings of both par- 
ties, and for a while averted the danger. At length, 
some five years ago, finding the enemy was getting too 
strong for him, he repaired once more to England, and 
returned in triumph with an order from the Colonial 
Office, that nobody was in any way to interfere with 
his proceedings ; and he has now the pleasure of con- 
templating some hundreds of miles of the bnst roads 
in the province, closely settled or' each side by the 
most prosperous farmers within its bounds, who owe 
all they possess to his judgment, enthusiasm, and 
perseverance, and who are grateful to him i*i pro- 
portion to the benefits he has bestowed upon them, 
though in many instances much airainst titeir will at 
the time. I spent a fortnight vvii!:i him some eighteen 
months ago ; and certainly one of iiis levees ivith his 
settlers would, if as well reported, be auiie as amusing 
as one of those Mornings at Boy/ Street — that about 
the time I left London were Ldyied, by some wag, the 
leading articles of < e Morning HeraM 

The whole of t s tract is watered by beautiful 
streams and rivers many of which are even majestic. 
Among these ma\ ue enumerated the Thames, which, 
originating witl i forty miles of Lake Ontario, runs 
parallel to Lake jl^i ie, and dischf^rges itself into Lake 
St. Clair; Bear Creek, which waters much of the 

E 5 







western district ; the river Aux Sables, the Bayfield, 
and the Maitland, which flow through the Canada 
Company's land, and empty themselves into Lake 
Huron ; and on the east side, the grand river Ouse, 
and its tributary the Nith, which falls into Lake Erie, 
where a harbour is now constructing at the upper 
end of the Welland canal. 

At the extreme west of the province will be seen 
a peninsula, and a delta of islands in Lake St. Clair. 
This constitutes the greater part of the western dis- 
trict, and as its formation is curious it is worthy of 

By a glance at the map it will be seen, that the 
rivers St. Clair, Thames, and Bear Creek, fall 
into Lake St. Clair, near each other. These, all 
runninp- through rich alluvial soils, bring down a 
large quantity of mud, which so long as the river is 
moving rapidly is kept suspended by the water, but 
the ri':;ment it is poured into the still basin of the lake, 
begins to subside. This deposit, by the sweep of the 
eddy, forms bars below the mouth of the river of a 
semicircular form. On these bars rushes and aquatic 
plants grow; and when these fall to the bottom, 
they carry with them small boughs, straws, leaves, 
&c, which they had collected during the summer, 
and which increase and give consistency to the bar, 
soon converting it into a shallow, and from a shallow 
to an island, sweeping round in a crescent form, and 
enclosing a marsh. The first high wind drives 
the surf, impregnated with the mud of the shore, over 




this, and thus not only augments it, but fills up 
the marsh gradually to above the level of the lake, 
till it becomes dry land. Then another bar forms 
outside this in the same manner; and thus have 
been formed many thousands of square miles of the 
finest level, deep, alluvial soil, — -always retaining" its 
original character of a ridge, alternating with a 
prairie and a marshy run of water, and then a ridge 
again ; — until at last, there is no doubt, the whole of 
the present bed of Lake St. Clair will become a fertile 
plain, with a reedy, sluggish, Dutch-looking river 
running through the centre ; and after all the mud 
and material that can be employed in this work shall 
come to be expended, the same process will com- 
mence in Lake Erie ; so that, perhaps, future ages 
may see miles of waving grain covering the rich 
plains, where o^ce flowed the great inland seas of 

My attention was first called to alluvial formations 
of this sort, on the banks of the Ganges, some four- 
teen or fifteen years ago, where they go on so 
rapidly, that the geologist who runneth cannot help 
reading ; and I was surprised to find the St. Clair, 
where it issues from Lake Huron, presenting i\\l the 
features of the sacred river of Hindostan ; and stiil 
more were the functionaries of the United States, 
occupying Fort Gratiot, surprised to hear me pro- 
phecy, in the year 1827, the destruction of their 
lighthouse, then many yards from the banks of the 
river, whose stream now flows over what was its 



r i 

foundation. I this winter was highly delighted 
by reading in the Quarterly review of Lyell's Geo- 
logy, a confirmation of my own theories — given in 
such a masterly style, that I began to suppose that 
I must have not only seen the same kind of forma- 
tions which the writer has so ably described, but 
examined them along with him. As that, however, 
is impossible, I must only console myself, with 
honest PufF in the Critic, that * All that can be 
said is, that two people hit on the same thought, only 
Shakspeare had it first — that's all.* 

This, as may be supposed, furnishes a deep and 
fertile soil. Every here and there you have an 
immense prairie, furnishing pasture for more cattle 
than are likely to graze on them for a century to 
come. But there is no unmixed good in this world. 
A rich soil, abundant pasture, no rent, no taxes, 
have, in the course of little more than a century (for 
the French settled Detroit the same year that 
William Penn founded Philadelphia), produced, what 
the same circumstances never fail to produce on 
man, (naturally an inert animal, and unless stimu- 
lated by the new and artificial wants consequent on 
education and refinement, little prone to any gratui- 
tous exertion,) laziness and indolence. — A Scotch 
gardener emigrating to England, or a New England 
farmer to the west, surprise their neighbours by 
their industry, their intelligence, and their success ; 
and each hugs himself in the belief, that this arises 
from the superiority of his race, his education, or his 



individual intellect, when in fact it springs from 
nothing else than the badness of his native soil 
and climate, which renders the greatest industry, 
joined with the most unremitting attention, necessary 
to make it produce anything. When these vir^Mes 
are exercised on a more favourable field, they pro- 
duce a superabundance ; — but their children have no 
more inducement to follow their footsteps than the 
bees at the Cape had to prepare for a Dutch winter, 
after they had discovered that summer lasted all the 
year round. 

The only drawback to this fine country is, the 
want of running water through the summer in the 
interior. Much of the wealth of the people consists in 
cattle which, when near a stream, are branded, and 
run at large during the whole year ; but when water 
must be drawn from wells for a large herd of them» 
as is often the case for three months in the year, it 
is a great additional trouble to the farmer. 





Chapter VII, 

* To supi)ly the wants of industry, of trade, of government, 
between the muther-cuuntry and possessions scattered on the 
shores of every sea, a vast number of ships is necessary even 
in time of peace. And these ships ready to sail at a mo- 
ment's notice towards the threatened point, carry thither re- 
inforcements and succour, which render it impregnable either 
by famine or by force.'— Dupin on the Commercial Power of 
Great Britain, 

The Lumber Trade. 
The lumber trade, as an extensive and increasing" 
branch of commerce in this country, is well worthy 
the serious consideration of all who take an inter- 
est in the welfare of the colony ; and in consider- 
ing it in all its bearings, many erroneous and par- 
tial views of the subject require to be got rid of, and 
many prejudices to be overcome. 

There are two sets of opinions entertained on this 
subject, by tn o very different sorts of persons, — those 
who are interested in the trade, and those who are 
not. The first of these, looking at the hands and 
shipping it employs, consider it the great staple 
trade of the country, and in this they are backed by 
the mercantile interest at Montreal and by the ship- 
ping interest at home. The others, who are land- 
holders and cultivators, consider it a trade which 
diverts so much capital and industry from the agri- 





cultural improvement of the colony, which they look 
upon as the only legitimate pursuit in so hiri^e and 
improvable a country, and do not hesitate to brand 
it as a speculative and ruinous business to all con- 
nected with it, — demoralizing the people, and creat- 
in::: in all who follow it a distaste for regular labour 
and habits, which unfits them for ever for the duties 
of useful and respectable members of society. 

To enable us to judge between such conflicting 
opinions, it will be necessary to consider the effects 
of the trade, as it is and has been, — and what, 
in the common course of affairs, by the increase of 
the amount of business done, and increase of capital 
introduced, and a proper division of the business 
into separate departments, it may be expected to 
become in the course of time. 

The lumber trade has been carried on pretty mucfi 
afler the following manner : — 

A person, possessed of little or no capital, and 
inflated with the spirit of speculation, hires a num- 
ber of hands, and purchases a quantity of provisions 
(on credit), and betakes himself to the woods. His 
terms with his men are to feed them, supply them 
with what necessaries they may require, and pay 
them when he sells his raft. This mode of proceed- 
ing is one which has a manifest tendency to render 
a Lasiness unprofitable. No capital being required, 
of course any number of competitors may come into 
the trade ; and the provisions, goods, and wages, 
being not only bought on a long credit, but their 









1.25 1.4 ||||i/s 









(716) 872-4S03 





ultimate payment depending on a contingency, a 
very large profit must be laid on to cover the risk 
incurred by such an arrangement. Besides, by the 
want of ready money, the master is put in the power 
of his men, whom, if idle or dissipated, he cannot 
payoff; and, though fewer hands would be sufficient 
to conduct the raft to Quebec, still all hands must 
stick to it, not only till it arrives at its destination, 
but until it be sold, at the same expense all the 
while to their master as if they were engaged in 
productive labour, — because, if they quit the pro- 
perty over which they have a lien, they abandon 
the only security they have for their wages. 

But the worst feature in this system is, that it has 
a tendency to perpetuate itself; for, should a person 
with capital come into the trade, almost the only 
advantage he would possess over his poorer rival 
would be in getting his provisions and store-goods 
at something nearer their marketable value, (it being 
probable that, from the tendency of mankind to hope 
the best, were he to pay his men every Saturday 
night, they would still take but very little less than 
if paid at the end of the season,) and the power of 
paying off his men, when he no longer required 

Another pernicious effect produced by the trade 
is, that it draws farmers from their legitimate occu- 
pations, and makes them neglect the certainty of 
earning a competence by a steady perseverance in 
their agricultural pursuits, for a vision of wealth 



never to be realized. In fact, the only proper or 
profitable way in which a farmer can interfere with 
lumber, is by employing himself, his servants, and 
his cattle, in bringing out timber during the winter 
months, and selling it on the spot when the naviga- 
tion opens ; — thus employing to profit a season that 
would otherwise be lost to him, and converting his 
produce, which may not be saleable, into a commo- 
dity which is marketable. 

On the other hand, it must be remembered that the 
evils here ascribed to the lumber trade are not neces- 
sarily inseparable from it. One great disadvantage 
would be done away with, were there a division of 
labour and trade. It is an axiom in commerce, 
that a manufacturer seldom succeeds who is his own 
exporter, because the two businesses require two 
capitals. What then are we to say of the prospects 
of a man, who carries on two businesses with no 
capital at all? In fact, to make this anything like 
a steady trade, we must have a set of middle-men, 
who will purchase the timber on the river, and allow 
the hewers of wood to return to the forest, and get 
out more, while the purchaser, with a set of men 
who will act as pilots and raftsmen, sends it to his 
agent at Quebec, who, as soon as it is safely moored 
in the cove, pays off the men and awaits his market. 

It has also been said, that this pursuit induces 
dissipated habits. This is true, but not to the extent 
supposed. We see the lumber-man, after he has 
returned from the woods, where he has been con- 



I '4 

fined to hard labour and as hard fare for nine or ten 
months, and when, hke a sailor returned to port, he 
is making up to himself for past privations, by in- 
dulging in excesses which it is easier to account for 
by the propensities of human nature than to defend 
on principles of strict morality. Again, the business 
he is employed in ought only to receive the fair 
share of the blame that attaches to his tergiversations. 
It ought to be remembered, that it is not the sober, 
the industrious, the persevering lovers of order and 
comfort, that engage in such employments — it is 
those restless and adventurous spirits who despise 
regular industry, and wish to make money during one 
period that they may dissipate it at another, — or, as 
the sailors say, to earn like horses and spend like 
asses. In Norway and Sweden, lumbering has 
been an occupation time out of mind ; but we have 
never heard it complained of, that those employed 
in it were more vicious than their brethren, who 
pursued the vocations of commerce, manufactures, 
or agriculture. 

In our own country, it has been said, that mining 
murders morality; and certainly the conduct of many 
of our colliers gives some colour to the assertion ; and 
most men are content to give implicit faith to a pithy 
apophthegm, particularly when, like the one just 
quoted, it has the virtues of brevity and alliteration to 
recommend it, and are always willing to convince 
themselves, that those who are avowedly depraved 
are in their natural and necessary state, and to forego 




the trouble of inquiring why they are so, and how 
they can be extricated. 

It has been discovered of late years, howevtr, 
that cotton-mills and coal-mines, which were con- 
sidered as nurseries of vice and crime, can, by proper 
and judicious means, be made just as good schools 
of morality, as any other places where moral and re- 
ligious instruction are bestowed. And it would be 
worth the consideration of those concerned, to try to 
remedy the evils complained of, rather than to look 
on with the apathy of a man who should quietly con- 
template his neighbour's house on fire, instead of 
using his best endeavours to extinguish the flames. 

Before we condemn the trade en masse, we should 
recollect that it gives the colony the support of two 
most powerful and influential bodies in the mother- 
country ; for so long as the men who procure, and 
the sailors who export the timber, consume so much 
of our agricultural produce as to prevent the 
landed interest of England from becoming jealous 
of us, we are secure from their opposition ; and so 
long as that trade employs eight hundred ships, 
which are unfit for any other traffic, we ensure the 
support of the ship-owners. 

But the great advantage of the lumber-trade to 
British America is, that, from the home being so 
much more bulky than the outward cargo, an im- 
mense number of ships must come out in ballast, 
and these necessarily will transport emigrants to our 
shores at any price that will be a saving one. The 




ir I 

result is, that, while in the New York packet-ship 
the steerage passage is forty dollars without provi- 
sions, the same terms can be procured in a Quebec 
timber-ship for something less than as many shil- 
lings, though the one vessel is quite as commodious 
as the other ; — so that the lumber-trade acts as a direct 
premium to the settlement of the British colonies, in 
preference to the United States, and if we can only 
manage to keep it up for half a dozen years longer, 
we shall by that time have wheat enough to send to 
England, to employ a sufficient number of ships to 
carry out our emigrants. If the ministers at home, 
indeed, were to give us that length of time as warn- 
ing, it would save nearly all loss to individuals who 
have invested capital in saw-mills, &c., as the natural 
life of a saw-mill is not above fifteen years. 

Should our present rulers, however, in their spirit 
of ultra-liberality, see fit to do away with those 
duties which protect at once the produce of our 
colonies and our manufacturing, commercial, and 
shipping interests, it would be well for them to con- 
sider, what must be the result of such sweeping 
alterations on the well-being of individuals and the 
nation at large. 

The object to be obtained, we are told, is to pro- 
cure lumber from the Baltic, cheaper than the people 
of England pay at present for inferior timber from 
the colonies ; and the means of obtaining this end is 
to equalize the duties. Now, let us see for a mo- 
ment how such a plan is likely to work. 




The equalizing of the duties will, in the first in- 
stance, throw out of employment eight hundred 
sail of ships, and the crews that navigate them, — a 
very considerable item in our commercial navy, and 
a sacrifice not rashly to be made by a country whose 
very existence depends on her naval superiority. For, 
as we cannot imagine that such ultra Huskissonians 
would tolerate any law less liberal than the old 
navigation laws, which permitted every nation to 
bring its own produce into British ports in its own 
bottoms, — and considering that the dwellers on the 
shores of the Baltic, living in a world of timber, 
hemp, iron, pitch, tar, and rosin, have the advantage 
of us in regard to ship-building materials, — seeing, 
moreover, that they are much more lightly taxed, and 
must also have the advantage in building and sailing 
them, — it is clear that, in such case, we must send 
our timber-ships to heat bakers' ovens, and their 
crews to man the navies of rival nations, or to add 
to the strength of our parish poor. 

Our manufacturing and commercial interests 
would not be improved by such a change ; as it has 
been shown, that it would operate against the colo- 
nies, which are one of our best markets, and in favour 
of the Baltic, which is our worst. But the harm it 
would do both these interests, in Upper and Lower 
Canada, is trifling, when compared with its effect on 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, whose resources, 
and consequently means of paying for goods, it 
would utterly annihilate. 




V ' 

But still, say the liberals, we will get our deal 
boards cheaper, and that is all we want. You will 
get them cheaper, but not quite so much cheaper as 
you imagine. Thus, supposing timber can be shipped 
at Quebec and Memel at 50s. per ton, — that the freight 
of the one is 60s. and of the other 20s., and that you 
put 20s. duty on the one and 60s. on the other, the 
whole price of either at London will be 61. 10s. But 
if you equalise the duty, by either lowering that on 
the foreign to the rate of the colonial, or raising 
that on the colonial to the rate of the foreign, you 
give the foreigner a bounty of 40s. over the subject. 
Now, suppose such foreigner is contented to add 
only 30s. to his present profits, he excludes the sub- 
ject totally, — ^he gets a market for a million of tons 
additional annually — you save 10s. or 7^ per cent, 
on IT deals; and the 30s. instead of going into 
the xchequer, or to support your navy, your colo- 
nial, commercial, manufacturing, or shipping interest^ 
goes into the pocket of the Prussian merchant and 
landholder, who will not buy a cotton handkerchief 
from you the more, for all the sacrifice you have 

It has been proposed in England, for parishes to 
send out their poor to Canada. Were the lumber 
trade done away with, 201. per head would not put 
them on their farms here. As it is, the labouring 
poor are very busy sending out themselves: 55,000 
came to the Canadas last year, and 100,000 ar^; 
expected in this. Were it not for the cheap passages 

'' fl^ 






afforded by the ships employed in the timber trade, 
nine-tenths of these people could not afford to come 
out, and you must maintain them at home, which 
would absorb a little of the profit that would ac- 
crue from the cheap lumber ; whereas, these 50,000 
and 100,000 will, in the course of a year or two, re- 
quire 300,000^. worth of British goods annually, and 
that will go on increasing in geometrical progression, 
— a consideration by no means to be slighted by our 
manufacturers in these hard times*. 

* The first part of this chapter was written three years 
ago, on the Ottawa, among the lumber men. I now hear that 
what I proposed has to a great extent taken place, and that 
a great quantity of timber is bought, for the mercantile houses in 
Quebec, at Bytown, and other places on the Ottawa. 




Chapter VIII. 

' Though gilded domes and splendid fanes, 
And vestures rich, and choral strains, 

And altars richly dressM, 
And sculptured saints, and sparkling gems, 
And mitred head, and diadems, 

Inspire with awe the breast; 

The soul resign' d, devout, sincere, 
With equal piety draws near 

The holy house of God, 
That rudely rears its rustic head, 
Scarce higher than the peasant's shed, 

By peasant only trod.' — Miss Bowles. 

* New light never cometh into a tenement, save through a 
crack in the tiling.' — Ignoramus. 

Religious Sects, 

A VERY natural question for a man to ask on his arri- 
val in a country, is, what are the means of religious 
instruction, and what are the religious tenets of its 
inhabitants ? It is long since the French reproached 
the English with having twenty religions, and only 
one sauce. In Canada, we have two hundred reli- 
gions, and no sauce at all. It would be a waste of 




)f its 
ste of 

time even to enumerate all the religious sects, much 
less to discuss their tenets; but the chief are, as in 
England, the Catholic, Church of England, Pres- 
byterian, and Methodist. Of these, the Church of 
England is supported partly from the funds of the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and 
partly by an annual grant from the Imperial Par- 
liament ; the Presbyterian and Catholic by their 
own congregations and a small grant from govern- 
ment; the Methodist by a society in the United 
States, and by contributions from their congrega- 

When the Upper Province was separated from 
the Lower, one-seventh of all the lands was set 
aside for a Protestant clergy, under the ti'^.e of 
Clergy Reserves. This the Church of England laid 
claim to as theirs exclusively; but after much dis- 
pute, a despatch has been received from the Colonial 
Office, and communicated to the House of Assem- 
bly, of which nobody has yet been found who could 
undertake to explain the meaning ; but the general 
impression is, that it is intended, some way or other, 
that the two established churches of England and 
Scotland, are to be supported from the funds arising 
from the sale of these Clergy Reserves. In the 
mean time, before the receipt of this despatch, the 
House of Assembly, by an overwhelming majority 
(42 to 6, 1 think), had addressed his Majesty, request- 
ing that the whole sum should be applied to the 
purposes of education ; and there can be no doubt, 




were the entire province polled, they would be nearly 
as unanimous in favour of such an appropriation as 
were their representatives. But, if it be resolved that 
it should be applied exchisively to religious purposes, 
it will be both unjust and impolitic to exclude the Ca- 
tholics from a share of it. When the province of 
Quebec was ceded to Great Britain, their laws and 
religion were secured to them by the treaty which 
changed their government. That religion was Ca- 
tholic, and those laws provided a maintenance for the 
Catholic clergy by tithes, as well as by very wealthy 
endowments and foundations, among which may be 
enumerated the seminary of St. Sulpicius, the supe- 
riors of which are the seigneurs, or lords of the 
manor, of the whole island and city of Montreal, 
and were they not the most moderate of all possible 
landlords, 50,000/. per annum would not pay their 
rents. When, for political reasons, the government 
at home saw fit to divide the province of Quebec into 
the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, and 
the Parliament of Upper Canada first adopted the 
English law and then abolished tithes, the provision 
which the treaty secured to the Catholics was done 
away with. It is therefore very clear, that the Ca- 
tholics of Upper Canada had strong ground of 
complaint, when, in a political arrangement, their 
interests were overlooked. How much greater ground 
of complaint will they have, if other churches are 
endowed, and they left unprovided for ? 
But there is another reason which often weighs more 




with provernment, than justi^., . '2. expediency. The 
Catholics, as I have said before, are by far the most 
devotedly loyal subjects his Majesty has in Canada. 
It is well known that, during the war, Ogdensbiirtj; 
was taken by the gallant charge made, under a heavy 
fire from the enemy's batteries, by the Catholics of 
Glengarry, headed by their priest, the Rev. Alex- 
ander M'Donnel, now Catholic bishop of Upper 
Canada ; and a very large proportion of General 
Brock's army, who took Detroit, were the French 
Catholics of the Western district, fighting, be it re- 
membered, against their brethren of the United 
States frontier. The Irish Catholic is by far the 
easiest conciliated of any emigrant who comes to this 
province ; for at home, being habituated to oppres- 
sion, and looked upon as a Helot, he considers sim- 
ple justice a favour; and when, on his arrival here, 
he finds that he is emancipated in spirit as well as in 
letter, — that he is admitted into the legislative coun- 
cil, the House of Assembly, and the magistracy, if 
his rank or talent entitle him to such a distinction, 
as a matter of course — and that there is no prejudice 
that condemns those of his faith to be degraded in 
the eyes of their fellow-subjects, as if of a lower 
order of the human family, — he feels his heart over- 
flow With gratitude to the government under which 
he lives, and forgets in a moment the wrongs that he 
and his ancestors have suffered for ages. It is only 
within these few years that Irish Catholics came to 
this colony in any number : formerly they went to 



. t ' 



the United States, and still they go there in such 
number, that their army is to a greai extent com- 
posed of them, and Irish labourers arc as common 
in New York and Philadelphia as in London. 
Were the government to do anything that would even 
have the appearance of countenancing them, they 
would to a man prefer continuing their allegiance to 
their own government, to going over to strengthen 
a rival power. If, therefore, it be determined that 
the Clergy Reserves remain a provision for a Pro- 
testant clergy, let government make, as in duty, in 
gratitude, and in policy bound, a provision for the 
Catholic clergy also. 

Were government to set apart a tract of wild 
land, and let it be known in Ireland, that, from the 
sale of this, the Catholic church was to be provided 
for, a crusade would be preached in favour of Ca- 
nada, and in a few seasons the new territory would 
be filled to suffocation with men who would form a 
wall of steel around the colonial possessions of 
Great Britain. 

An elder of the Kirk, and bred in the most 
orthodox part of Scotland, I came to this coun- 
try strongly prejudiced against Catholicism and 
its ministers; but experience has shown me that 
these prejudices were unjust. I expected to find 
bolh priests and people as violently opposed to the 
British government here as at home, — I found 
them the strongest supporters of the constitution. 
I had been taught to believe, that a Catholic priest 




was a hypocritical knave, who ruled his misguided 
followers for his own selfish purposes, — I have found 
them a moral and zealous clergy, more strict in their 
attention to their parochial duties than any body of 
clergy I ever met in any part of the world, and 
not a bit more intolerant than their clerical brethren 
of any other sect. And I look upon this public 
avowal and recantation as a penance for my sins 
of ignorance, and I hope it will be accepted as such. 
I have no very particular leaning, as may well be 
supposed, towards the doctrines of the Church of 
Rome, but I merely wish, like Lord Byron, 

' Justice to do to Trojan and to Tyrian, 
For I was bred a moderate Presbyterian.* 

There are two bodies of Presbyterians in the pro- 
vince, the Established Church of Scotland, and the 
Presbytery of Upper Canada. The first are, as 
their name imports, in connexion with the Church of 
Scotland ; the second is composed of the Scotch 
seceders, licentiates of the Synod of Ulster, and of 
various Presbyteries in the United States. Their 
tenets, doctrine, and discipline, are precisely similar ; 
for the causes of separation n Scotland, patronage 
and burghers' oaths, do not exist in this province;— 
the only apparent difference is in the American con- 
gregations, where they sing psalms to the tune of 
Paddy Whack. Under these circumstances a union 
will, in all probability, take place ; — indeed, the laity 
are all in favour of such a measure, and the only 
chance of opposition is apprehended from the clergy 




of both sides. It is a melancholy fact, that there is 
something in the clerical character of all persuasions, 
strongly repulsive towards their brethren, who differ 
from them in the slightest degree, or even have the 
appearance of differing, — on the same principle that 
factions are formed among school-boys to fight 
others, because they live in a different street of the 
town or district of the parish. But it would perhaps 
be too much to expect people to practise as well as 
to preach Christian charity. 

There is no sect to which this province, in its 
earlier stages, owed more than to the Methodists. 
They were the pioneers of religion, kept the spirit 
of it alive, and prepared the way for the other 
sects. But there is a tendency in all human insti- 
tutions to corruption. As they became numerous, it 
was obvious that they could be turned to a political 
account, and they did not long want a leader. A 
person of the name of Ryerson, who from some 
cause or other had been refused ordination in the 
Church of England, (and what the cause could be it 
is impossible to divine, for God knows they are any- 
thing but fastidious here,) turned Methodist, and 
from being a man of education, and the generality of 
preachers of the sect being ignorant mechanics, he 
soon obtained an ascendency over them, and uecame 
a bishop and primate of all Upper Canada. In 
revenge for the insult offered his dignity by his 
mother-church, this person has been exerting a poli- 
tical influence over his followers, inciting them by 




every means in his power to hatred and contempt of 
the British Government, — begging for contributions, 
and exhibiting, as a pious raree-show, a young mon of 
the name of Peter Jones, — the son of an Englishman 
by a squaw, and who was brought up at school with 
Europeans, — to the too credulous John Bull, as a 
civilized and methodized Indian ; and as Shakspeare 
says that in England, * where they would not give a 
doit to relieve a lame beggar, they would give ten to 
see a dead Indian,' there is no doubt John's purse- 
strings will be most liberally drawn for the pleasure 
of seeing a live one. 

The mode by which religion and politics are 
joined is, I believe, peculiar to the American con- 
tinent, viz, by newspapers inculcating the tenets of 
a sect, and at the same time the politics of the 
leaders of it ; and this unholy alliance have the Me- 
thodists set up to blend treason with the Gospel, 
and to abuse all other sects, and in a more especial 
manner their brethren the Wesley an s, who are 
much less numerous, but infinitely more respectable 
than themselves. 

This blasphemous mixture of political and reli- 
gious dogmas, however it may add to the numerical 
strength of any sect, must be pernicious in the ex- 
treme to the true interests of Christianity. Pure 
religion is like pure gold; — it cannot be alloyed 
without being depreciated. 


Chapter IX. 

De omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis. 
Agriculture — Hemp — Flax — Tobacco — Vineyards — Houses 
and Buildings — Education — Servants and Labourers — Wages 
— Population — Comparative advantages of Emigration to Ca- 
nada and the United States — ^Revenue — Expenditure — Debt — 

Odds and Ends. 

Of Agriculture, as practised in this province, I have 
very httle to say, except that were the same slo- 
venly system pursued in any country less favoured 
by nature, it would not pay for the seed that is used. 
I have already stated the ruinous mode of taking 
repeated crops of wheat off the land; and on the 
river Thames, in the Western district, I witnessed a 
refinement on this barbarism, viz. burning the stub- 
ble before the land was ploughed for winter wheat, 
and thus depriving it of even the trifling strength that 
it m!ght derive from the decomposition of the straw. 
It is only in some parts of the province that ma- 
nure is used at all ; and it is not an uncommon 
occurrence, when the stable-litter has accumulated 
in front of the building called the barn, (which 
generally contains all the farm offices,) to such a de- 
gree as to have become a nuisance, that a man invites 



his neighbours to assist him in removing the barn, 
which is always a frame building, away from the 
dunghill, instead of transporting the dunghill to the 
wheat field. 

But the spirit of improvement has gone forth. 
Three years ago, the Provincial Parliament passed an 
act, whereby, if a certain sum should be subscribed 
by any district in the province, to carry on a Society 
for the improvement of Agriculture, the Legislature 
gave also a sum to assist. Most of the districts have 
taken advantage of this highly judicious enactment ; 
the Newcastle and western districts have dis- 
tinguished themselves by the spirited manner in 
which they have commenced proceedings ; and 
should, as is highly probable, the emigration of 
the better classes continue and increase, there is no 
doubt that our agriculture will be improved as well 
as every other interest in the province. 

One question, which everybody asks, and which 
I have not been able satisfactorily to solve, is, what 
is the average amount of wheat and other grain to 
an acre ? I can only state my belief, that it is con- 
siderably above that of England — but how much, 
I am quite incapable of pronouncing. 

I shall not waste my reader's time nor my own 
with estimates of the result of farming pursuits, or 
how they ought to be set about. It is quite enough 
that they are, if prudently conducted, uniformly suc- 
cessful. And any man may get more informa- 
tion from the first farmer he meets in the township 

F 5 




fi . 

in which he takes up his abode, than he would from 
me, were I to write a book on the subject, like the 
Dutch poet's, as thick as a cheese. 

There is one agricultural product for which the 
soil and climate of Upper Canada are admirably 
adapted, and to which it would be of great import- 
ance, in a national point of view, that the attention 
of the farmers should be fairly called; — I allude to 
Hemp. There is a great deal of very rich bottom 
land, which is too rank for the growth of wheat in 
the first instance, but which, were it reduced by a 
crop or two of hemp, would be made fit for wheat 
and other grains. 

In the more remote parts of the country, hemp 
would be a much more profitable return than wheat, 
as it is more valuable in proportion to its weight, 
and consequently, what in one instance goes to the 
carrier, in the other would go into the pocket of 
the farmer ; and if Britain possessed a colony that 
could supply her with this ar*'de, so indispensable to 
a maritime power, it would render her independent of 
the northern nations ; and in the existing state of 
things, it is highly desirable that she should not de- 
pend on Europe for anything. 

Hitherto attempts to grow hemp have proved 
abortive, because they Jiave been made by solitary 
individuals, and where a mill was set up by one en- 
terprising and public- spirited gentleman, the farmers 
in the neighbourhood would not enter into the spirit 
of the thing, so that he got little or no plant to ope- 




rate on but what he raised himself. But, were a 
communitv of farmers to build a mill, and enter into 
an agreement to raise a certain quantity of hemp each, 
there is no doubt but it would become a staple of the 
country, as the difference of duty on foreign and 
colonial hemp would of itself be a profit sufficient 
to repay the grower. 

Flax would also be a profitable article, but as yet 
there is not a single flax-mill in the province. All 
that is raised, is used for domestic purposes, and is 
dressed with a hand-brake, by the farmer who grows 
it, and spun, and in many instances woven, by the 
women of the family. 

Tobacco is grown in very considerable quantities 
in the western district, and it is a very profitable 
product for people who have large young families, as 
the culture is much like that of a garden, and the 
stripping, weeding, worming, &c. &c., is better done 
by children, who have a less distance to stoop, than 
by grown persons. As they are the principal la- 
bourers, it is found expedient to enlist their interests 
on the side of their duty ; and therefore it is cus- 
tomary, when they have by their industry and dili- 
gence saved the crop, to give them, as a reward, the 
second crop, which is less in quantity and much in- 
ferior in quality, but which, if not assailed by frosts 
early in the autumn, often produces enough to pur- 
chase as many good things, and as much finery, as 
to render the poor urchins, in their own estimation, 
persons of fortune for that year at any rate. 



The tobacco of Canada is, however, avowedly in- 
ferior to that of Virginia, which the people here 
ascribe to want of skill in the management of it. 
That may be the case to a certain extent ; but it is 
probable too, that the climate and soil are not so well 
adapted to a plant a native of the tropics, as a more 
southerly latitude. 

Some German soldiers, who had settled in the 
west after the American revolutionary war, were 
joined two years ago by some of their friends from 
the banks of the Rhine, bringing with them the 
Khenish vine, which they planted in the autumn of 
1830. Of course we cannot tell how wine-making 
will succeed, for the grape-vine is the most capri- 
cious of all possible plants. But as the climate is 
more congenial to its culture than that of many 
parts of Germany where wine is produced, there is 
no doubt we may have wine of some sort or other, 
though it be rather too much to expect a Canadian 

There are different kinds of houses in Canada, 
about which a few words may be useful to the set- 
tler. Most of the houses, more particularly those 
of recent settlers, are built of logs. When a man 
gets on a little in the world, he builds a frame house, 
weather-boarded outside, and lathed and plastered 
within ; and in travelling along the road, you can 
form a pretty accurate estimate of the time a man 
has been settled, by the house he inhabits ; — indeed, 
in some instances, you may read the whole history 



of his settlement in the buildings about his farm- 

The original shanty, or log-hovel, which sheltered 
the family when they first arrived on their wild lot, 
still remains, but has been degraded into a piggery; 
the more substantial loghouse, which held out the 
weather during the first years of their sojourn, has, 
with the increase of their wealth, become a chapel of 
ease to the stable or cowhouse ; and the glaring and 
staring bright-red brick house is brough' forward 
close upon the road, that the frame dwelling, which 
at one time the proprietor looked upon as the very 
acme of his ambition, may at once serve as a 
kitchen to, and be concealed by, its more aspiring 
and aristocratic successor; just like a man who 
having acquired wealth from small beginnings, is 
anxious to conceal from the world the gradations by 
which he rose, and to exhibit only the result of his 
successful industry. 

If you can afford to build a brick or stone house 
at first, by all means do so ; but if you cannot, take 
my advice, and, like a good fellow, don't build a 
frame one. It is the most uncomfortable dwelling: 
ever man lived in. It is utterly impossible to make it 
air tight, so that it is as hot as an oven in summer, 
and as cold as an open shed in winter. Build a log- 
house ; not a thing that is put up in the course of 
a forenoon, but with corners neatly squared and 
jointed, as if a carpenter had dovetailed them. 
Point it with mortar, not clay, and whitewash it 




outside and in ; and give it a cottage roof, the eaves 
projecting at least twenty inches, so that the drop 
may never touch the walls. As you will hardly get 
seasoned wood, you had better lay your floors rough, 
and run up temporary wooden partitions. With 
such a house, you may make a shift for the first 
■winter. Next spring, the boards will be seasoned ; so 
you can take them up room by room, and have them 
properly planed, ploughed, tongued and laid ; and 
then, when you plaster your walls and partitions, 
the logs having dried and settled as much as there 
is any chance of their ever doing, you will have a 
comfortable house for the remainder of your life. 

We build very ugly houses in Canada, very ill 
laid out, and very incommodious ; but this is our mis- 
fortune not our fault, for there are no people on the 
face of the earth more willing to learn, and if by 
any chance a man once lays out a cottage a little 
neater than his neighbour's, you will see it imitated 
for ten miles on each side of him along the road. 
Therefore, if you will bring out with you a set of neat 
designs and elevations of small houses, it will not 
only enable you to build a good house yourself, but 
you will become a public benefactor, by showing to 
the whole of your neighbourhood how they may do 
the same. 

Education met with early consideration from the 
Legislature of this province; small endowments 
were made for common schools, and 100/. per an- 
num voted for a grammar-school in each district; 




but still, until lately, there was no seminary in the 
province superior to a Scotch parochial sciiool, 
when the lieutenant-governor, at his own risk, esta- 
blished a college, consisting of a principal, three 
classical, and one mathematical master, a drawing 
and French master, and an establishment for read- 
ing, writing, and arithmetic. And these masters 
being chosen from Oxford and Cambridge, of which 
universities they are graduates, for their talents, we 
may say that the means of education are now as 
good in Canada as at any of the great chartered 
schools of England. The only objection is, that the 
majority of the masters are Cantabs ; whereas it 
would have been more advisable had they been 
selected from the more orthodox and gentlemanly 

A large fund is set aside for endowing an univer- 
sity ; but the charter being too exclusively Church 
of England, for a community so mixed as the popu- 
lation of Canada, it has wisely not been carried into 
effect, under the hope that the home government will 
remedy this defect. What, as it appears to me, would 
be the most beneficial plan, would be to add chairs 
in the different faculties to the present college, steer- 
ing clear of divinity altogether ; and if any particular 
sect should wish to have a professor of its own creed, 
let the university give him a hall to lecture in, and 
keep his library, and let the sect who appoint him 
pay him. 

It is very questionable policy to bring out either 



servants or labourers to Canada. They are apt to g-et 
discontented, and either leave you, or behave -n such 
a way as will induce you to turn them off. If you 
bring servant maids, I would recommend to you the 
policy of Donna Inez : — 

' Her maids were old, and if she got a new one, 
She was quite sure to be a perfect fright.' 

For if you bring out anything tolerably young or 
good-looking, she will get married in the course of 
the two first months of her sojourn. The same 
rule applies more forcibly to governesses ; for though 
a cook maid may be replaced here, a lady of educa- 
tion cannot. 

Our servants are not exactly what in London 
would be considered first-rate ; but, with a little dril- 
ling and scolding, we get on pretty comfortably; — and 
then we have the incalculable satif "action of knowing, 
that there is nobody better off than ourselves. The 
wages of women are from 20*. to 30s. per month, of 
men from 21. to 31. ; but, with all this, it is not nearly 
so expensive to keep servants here as in London, as 
the price of their board there alone would keep them 
altogether here. Labourers' wages are 3s. 9d. per 
day, or 41, per month, finding themselves, or from 
21. 10s. to 3/. 15s. if found. As a general rule, how- 
ever, the settler will find his account in doing every 
thing that he possibly can do by contract, and this 
more especially in clearing land. 

The population of the province is stated, accord- 



ing to the census of March, 1831, to be 234,800; 
but a great many of the townships were not returned, 
and we know of about 35,000 emiirrants who have 
arrived and been settled in the province during the 
last year ; so that with those and the internal increase 
and the emigration we have not yet heard of, the 
population cannot be much, if at all, under 300,000. 

It is a question with many intending emigrants, 
whether to go to Canada or the United States. 
I think Canada preferable, and for the following 
reasons : — 

It is to many who happen to have consciences, no 
light matter to forswear their allegiance to their king, 
and declare that they are willing to take up arms 
against their native country at the call of the country 
of their adoption ; and unless they do so, they must 
remain aliens for ever ; nay, even if they do manage 
to swallow such an oath, it is seven years before their 
apostacy is rewarded by the right of citizenship. In 
landing in his Majesty's dominions, they carry with 
them their rights of subjects, and immediately on 
becoming 40«. freeholders, have the right of voting 
for a representative. 

The markets of Canada for farm produce are and 
must be better than those of the United States ; for 
Canadian corn is admitted into both British and 
West Indian ports on much more advantageous 
terms than foreign grain, and the taxes on articles 
required for the consumpt of the inhabitants are not 




one-twelfth so great in Canada as in the United 
States. Thus, all British goods pay at Quebec only 
2J per cent, ad valorem^ whilst at any American 
port they pay from 334^ to 60 per cent. 

Very erroneous notions are current in England 
with regard to the taxation of the United States. The 
truth is, that though America is lightly taxed in 
comparison with England, it is by no means to be 
considered so when compared to most of the conti- 
nental nations. The account usually rendered of 
American taxation is fallacious. It is stated, that 
something under six millions sterling, or about 
10s. per head on an average, pays the whole army, 
navy, civil list, and interest of debt of the United 
States, while we require fifty millions, or nearly 
2Z. 10s. each, for the same purpose. But the fact is, 
that that sum is only about half what the Americans 
pay in reality; for each individual state has its own 
civil list, and all the machinery of a government to 
support ; and insignificant as the expenses of that 
government appear in detail, yet the aggregate is of 
very serious importance. For instance, there are 
five times as many judges in the state of New York 
alone as in Great Britain and Ireland; and though 
each Individual of these were to receive no more 
than we would pay a macer of the court, yet when 
there comes to be two or three hundred of them, it 
becomes a serious matter; nor does it make any 
difference, in fact, whether they are paid out of the 




exchequer of the state, or by the fees of the suitors in 
their courts ; they are equally paid by a tax on the 
people in either case. 

Although the necessaries of life are cheap in Ame- 
rica, and equally cheap in Canada, the luxuries of 
life are higher by several hundred per cent, in the one 
country than the other. Thus, wine in the United 
States is so hiachly taxed, that in a tavern at New 
York you pay more for a bottle of Madeira than in 
one at London, viz. five dollars, — and fifteen shillings 
for port. 

In Canada we have stumbled by accident, or had 
thrust upon us by some means or other, what may be 
considered the great desideratum in financial science, 
viz. the means of creating a large revenue with a light 
taxation. This arises from three causes : first, that we 
derive a very large sum annually from lands the pro- 
perty of the crown, which are sold to the Canada Com- 
pany, and from timber cut on crown lands, &c. ; second, 
that we derive a revenue from public works, which 
have been constructed at the expense of the province, 
and which are in a fair way of yielding a much greater 
return than the interest of the money expended on 
them, and from shares in the bank of Upper Canada, 
of which the government took a fourth of the stock ; 
and, thirdly, because we make our neighbours, the 
good people of the United States, pay a little of our 
taxes, and shall, with the blessing of God, if they 
keep on their tariff*, make them pay a pretty penny 



The following is a statement of our probable 
revenue for this vear, classed under these different 
heads, taken from the public accounts of last year 
laid before the House of Assembly. 

Resources of the Province of Upper Canada^ esti- 
mated for the Year 1832. 






From the Canada Company for 
Crown Reserves .... 

From Timber cut on Crown 

From Proceeds of Saies of do. 

From Rent of Crown Reserves 

From Jesuits* Estates in Lower 

From Survey Fees, Fees on 
Patents and Leases, Fines, 
Forfeitures, and Seizures, and 
Rents of Mills and Ferries . 

From the Welland Canal . . 
From Burlington Bay Canal . 
From Kettle Creek Harbour . 
From Oakville Harbour . . 
From York Lighthouse . . 
From Bank of Upper Canada . 3000 

From Duties on Imports at 

Quebec 37600 

3000 . 

. 25935 

1500 . 

1500 . 

200 . 

200 . . 

175 . 


3000 . , 






From Duties on Goods, Wares 
and Merchandise, and Salt, 
imported from the United 

From Licences to Hawkers, 
Pedlars, and Auctioneers, 
and Duties on Auction Sales 3500 






Estimate of Expenditure of the 

Officers of the Legislature . . 840 
Eleven District Schools . . 1100 
Adjutant-General's Establish- 
ment 6^^ 

Inspector-General's Salary . 406 
Receiver-General's Salary . . 778 
Common School Appropria- 
tions 2000 

Five Pensioners 100 

Interest on Public Debt . . 8565 
Contingencies of the Legisla- 
ture 4500 

Militia Pensions 1000 

Lighthouses ^^0 

Permanent Salaries, 1 Will. IV. 

chap. 14 7223 

Civil List Estimate .... 8629 



Balance or Surplus for the Re- £ 
demption of the Public Debt 
&c. &c. &c 43859 


1 The, Public Debt of Upper 
I Canada. 

1 For Militia Pensions . . 

. 25000 . 

f For Service of the year 1824 

. 16000 . 

1 For Burlinj^jton Bay Canal 

. 17250 . 

\ For Welland Canal . . 

.150000 . 

ij For Kettle Creek Harbour 

. 4000 . 

•i For Oakville Harbour . . 

. 2500 . 

ll For Roads and Bridges 

. 20000 . 

. 234750 

1 Of which is redeemed 

• • 

. 42000 

Leavins: a balance of 


Which is nearly all secured by liens on the above 
public works, upon which the whole amount (less 
19000/.) has been expended ; so that it may be said, 
the public debt nnw forms, or will presently become, 
a source of revenue to the province. 

From these statements it will appear, that the re- 
venues of the colony are in a very flourishing state ; 
as last year we paid off 10 per cent, of the public 
debt, and this year, the Upper House having rejected 
the supplies on nearly the last day of the Session, 
when the mischief could not be remedied, it is pro- 
bable the surplus will be considerably greater. 







• i ^ 



It has been eloquently said of the Earl of Chat- 
ham, that he 'advanced the nation to a hii^^h pitch of 
prosperity and glory by commerce, for the first time 
united with and made to flourish by war.' In like 
manner, though by no means Chathams, the legis- 
lators of Upper Canada have, for the first time I 
suspect, succeeded in uniting revenue with debt and 
making it flourish by debt ; for, it will be seen, that 
the debts of the province have been contracted 
chiefly for the purposes of public improvement, and 
that the public works, as they develop themselves, 
will not only repay the money expended on them, 
but become a permanent source of revenue to the 

Of the 47490Z. of taxes raised on the subject, 
directly and indirectly, we may estimate that 10,000/. 
is paid by the United States, for British goods 
smuggled across the frontiers, leaving 37,490/. as 
the whole of the provincial taxes to be paid by 
300,000 people, — that is to say, in even money, about 
2s. sterling a head. So that it appears, brother Jona- 
than, with all the apparent economy of his institu- 
tions, pays to his general and particular governments 
ten times as much as we do ; and, unfortunate John 
Bull, who, poor fellow, is much worse able to afford 
it, just about twenty-five times as much. 

Now, gentle reader, that you have got this length, 
permit me to compliment you on your patience ; a 
virtue which I shall no longer call upon you to 



exercise, than by requesting you, in the diplomatic 
phrase, to accept the assurances of my highest con- 
sideration, until we meet, as I hope we shall do next 
summer, on the banks of Lake Huron. 

GoDERiCH, March, 1832. 


London :— William Clowes, Stamford<street. 


st con- 
do next