The Backwoods of Canada eBook

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

In my next I shall give you an account of our logging-bee, which will take place the latter end of this month.  I feel some anxiety respecting the burning of the log-heaps on the fallow round the house, as it appears to me rather a hazardous matter.

I shall write again very shortly.  Farewell, dearest of friends.

LETTER XI

Emigrants suitable for Canada.—­Qualities requisite to ensure success.—­
Investment of Capital.—­Useful Articles to be brought out.—­
Qualifications and Occupations of a Settler’s Family.—­Deficiency of
Patience and Energy in some Females.—­Management of the Dairy.—­Cheese. 
—­Indian Corn, and its Cultivation.—­Potatoes.—­Rates of Wages.

August 9, 1833

WITH respect to the various questions, my dear friend, to which you request my particular attention, I can only promise that I will do my best to answer them as explicitly as possible, though at the same time I must remind you, that brevity in epistolary correspondence is not one of my excellencies.  If I become too diffuse in describing mere matters of fact, you must bear with mine infirmity, and attribute it to my womanly propensity of over-much talking; so, for your comfort, if your eyes be wearied, your ears will at least escape.

I shall take your queries in due rotation; first, then, you ask, “Who are the persons best adapted for bush-settlers?”

To which I reply without hesitation—­the poor hard-working, sober labourers, who have industrious habits, a large family to provide for, and a laudable horror of the workhouse and parish-overseers:  this will bear them through the hardships and privations of a first settlement in the backwoods; and in due time they will realize an honest independence, and be above want, though not work.  Artisans of all crafts are better paid in village-towns, or long-cleared districts, than as mere bush-settlers.

“Who are the next best suited for emigration?”

Men of a moderate income or good capital may make money in Canada.  If they have judgment, and can afford to purchase on a large scale, they will double or treble their capital by judicious purchases and sales.  But it would be easier for me to point out who are not fit for emigration than who are.

The poor gentleman of delicate and refined habits, who cannot afford to employ all the labour requisite to carry on the business of clearing on a tolerable large scale, and is unwilling or incapable of working himself, is not fitted for Canada, especially if his habits are expensive.  Even the man of small income, unless he can condescend to take in hand the axe or the chopper, will find, even with prudent and economical habits, much difficulty in keeping free from debt for the first two or even three years.  Many such have succeeded, but the struggle has been severe.

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The Backwoods of Canada from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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