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On Emigration and the State of the Highlands
Appendix M.


Of this fact we have among many other proofs, a strong testimony from Mr. Irvine.—’In some valleys the population is so excessive, that it is a question with many discerning people, how the one half of the inhabitants could subsist, though they should have the land for nothing. Those who would be tenants are so numerous, and the land fit for cultivation so scanty, that all cannot be satisfied. The disappointed person, feeling himself injured, condemns the landlord, and seeks a happy relief in America. The tradesmen are in the same predicament; they cannot be all equally well employed, because they are not all equally deserving; because there are too many of them, and because customers are too few. They curse their country, and make haste to abandon it.

In some spots with which I am acquainted, there may be from ten to twelve inhabitants, in some places more, to an acre of arable land. Most of them have no trade. They apparently live by the produce of the place and making every allowance for the scantiness of the fare, their patience of hunger, and trifling importation of necessaries, it is to me inexplicable how they subsist. To equipoise population they spread themselves begging.

With all this the reverend author is an enemy to emigration and this too is the country which, according to the Highland Society, is fast approaching to the point of complete depopulation.


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