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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 261 pages of information about The Backwoods of Canada.

“Forewarned, forearmed,” is a maxim of our forefathers, containing much matter in its pithy brevity; and, following its spirit, the writer of the following pages has endeavoured to afford every possible information to the wives and daughters of emigrants of the higher class who contemplate seeking a home amid our Canadian wilds. [Illustration:  Peter, the Chief] Truth has been conscientiously her object in the work, for it were cruel to write in flattering terms calculated to deceive emigrants into the belief that the land to which they are transferring their families, their capital, and their hopes, a land flowing with milk and honey, where comforts and affluence may be obtained with little exertion.  She prefers honestly representing facts in their real and true light, that the female part of the emigrant’s family may be enabled to look them firmly in the face; to find a remedy in female ingenuity and expediency for some difficulties; and, by being properly prepared, encounter the rest with that high-spirited cheerfulness of which well-educated females often give extraordinary proofs.  She likewise wishes to teach them to discard every thing exclusively pertaining to the artificial refinement of fashionable life in England; and to point out that, by devoting the money consumed in these incumbrances to articles of real use, which cannot be readily obtained in Canada, they may enjoy the pleasure of superintending a pleasant, well-ordered home.  She is desirous of giving them the advantage of her three years’ experience, that they may properly apply every part of their time, and learn to consider that every pound or pound’s worth belonging to any member of an out-coming emigrant’s family, ought to be sacredly considered as capital, which must make proper returns either as the means of bringing increase in the shape of income, or, what is still better, in healthful domestic comfort.

These exhalations in behalf of utility in preference to artificial personal refinement, are not so needless as the English public may consider.  The emigrants to British America are no longer of the rank of life that formerly left the shores of the British Isles.  It is not only the poor husbandmen and artisans, that move in vast bodies to the west, but it is the enterprising English capitalist, and the once affluent landholder, alarmed at the difficulties of establishing numerous families in independence, in a country where every profession is overstocked, that join the bands that Great Britain is pouring forth into these colonies!  Of what vital importance is it that the female members of these most valuable colonists should obtain proper information regarding the important duties they are undertaking; that they should learn beforehand to brace their minds to the task, and thus avoid the repinings and discontent that is apt to follow unfounded expectations and fallacious hopes!

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